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The Whole in the Pieces

by Bob Fenster & The Windows

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1.
We are walking contradictions Filled with doubt yet so sure of ourselves We repeat the same mistakes And find ourselves back at square one You might think you know what you’re doing You might think you’ve known all along No doubts that you are a shoo-in No one can tell you you’re doing it wrong You’re doing it wrong I knew it all when I was 20 Time passed and I found I was a fool Armed with a fatal dose of amnesia I repeated the cycle over again You might think you know what you’re doing You might think you’ve known all along On the same path you’ve been pursuing Listen to me, you’re doing it wrong You’re doing it wrong A voyage of self-discovery Can’t be done without your memory You might think you know what you’re doing You might think you’ve known all along All my advice you are eschewing What can I say but you’re doing it wrong You’re doing it wrong You’re doing it wrong
2.
You saw me wasted and worn, broken and torn Scattered in shards on the floor, you saw the whole in the pieces Picked them up and I promise To come when you call, to pick you up when you fall And never forget you’re with me You saw me silent and leery, shut down and weary Holding it all inside, you kicked down my door and you walked in Turned on the light and I promise To come when you call, to pick you up when you fall And never forget what you gave me All things offered and kept, tears held and wept I wouldn't believe it except we’ve lived and we’re still here I'll see your strength when you're weak, your love when you speak Shining in your eyes, I'll see the whole in the pieces I'll turn on the light and I promise To come when you call, to pick you up when you fall And never forget that you love me And never forget you love me I’ll never forget
3.
It all happened so fast I could only notice slowly My toes became fingers And my neck swallowed my belly I woke without sleeping Legs all tied up in pillows The air smelled of frostbite And my breathing tasted hollow At least Samsa knew what to call himself I can’t even find words to call for help Ma Sulla Samma Gundy Ma Sulla Samma Gundy Who am I if I’m not me? Ma Sulla Samma Gundy Closed my eyes to touch you But found there was nothing to see The colors had all changed And none of them sounded right to me… Someone tell me that I should have known Give me someone to blame How could this begin so differently Only to end the same
4.
He is wearing a mask but it’s no disguise Hiding away she can still see in his eyes The words came out but he can’t backtrack Recalled his messages, but they won’t come back It’s just a passing phrase, he said, it takes everything that he’s got Trying to get it out of her head, and tying himself into knots It’s just a passing phrase She didn’t intend a peek behind the curtain I know she’s feeling regret, oh yes I’m certain She wants to know how to make it up to me If she can turn back time, then maybe we’ll see It’s just a passing phrase, she said, something better forgot While she’d like to move ahead, I didn’t miss that train of thought We say our words had no meaning But maybe the truth is quarantining A slip of the tongue I want you to overlook Should you believe me, maybe you mistook? When I say I meant nothing by that I’m giving Sigmund something to pick at It’s just a passing phrase, I say, the truth comes out more often than not But the words they won’t go away, it’s sad for us both that I got caught It’s just a passing phrase It’s just a passing phrase Just a passing phrase
5.
You can forget what normal is, get acclimated to the same Memories foreign and distant, a feeling you can no longer name Just when I felt resigned, just when I had moved on We can get lost in the humdrum, pushing boulders up the hill Expired aspirations, dreams unfulfilled Just when I felt resigned, just when I had moved on I stumbled into you, I was taken by surprise What you’ve shown me opened up my eyes It’s like you flipped a switch and put me back on track I forgot this feeling, but it all came back Wide awake and dreaming again, try to hang on another day Someone’s got to remind me, before I let it slip away Just when I felt resigned, just when I had moved on You just don’t realize what you’re missing Until you know... what you’ve been missing all along
6.
When crazy comes to town, are you up or are you down Can you ever find the time to unwind? When you know you’ll lose your clout, but you’ve got to let it out Now all you do is pout to yourself When crazy comes to town When you wish you were unknown and you want to be alone Don’t you know crazy won’t be far behind When the curtains finally close and then crazy turns and goes Now he’s off to entertain someone else When crazy comes to town When we all can gather round Cause no one knows what presents and such wonders he could bring Whoo hoo hoo, whoo hoo hoo, when crazy comes to town Whoo hoo hoo, whoo hoo hoo, when crazy comes to town When you know you’ll lose your house but you got to let it out Now all you do is pout Whoo hoo hoo, whoo hoo hoo, when crazy comes to town
7.
Hard Pass 04:23
Making me an offer you say I can’t refuse Seems like a no-win no matter how I choose You’re giving me no time to think it all through But if you rush me, know what I’m gonna do I’m gonna have to say, I’m gonna have to take a hard pass Put me on the clock and then you want me to move It’s too much pressure, what are you trying to prove? Keep it up my friend, and you’re bound to lose Try to read the room, pick up the social cues I’m gonna have to say, I’m gonna have to take a hard pass I’m gonna have to take, I’m gonna have to say… hard pass It’s just a turn of a phrase, there’s nothing hard about it Find another way, you’re gonna have to do without it Put me under the gun, but you’re firing blanks I’ve given it some thought, thanks but no thanks I’m gonna have to say, I’m gonna have to take a hard pass I’m gonna have to take, I’m gonna have to say… hard pass I’m gonna have to say, I’m gonna have to take a hard pass I’m gonna have to take, I’m gonna have to say… hard pass
8.
You ask a lot of questions, I do my best to answer Used to be pretty easy, now they’re getting harder I know it’s no surprise that I’m easily confused I don’t want to tell you lies but sometimes I don’t know the truth Randy wrote a song for his son, so I should write one for you A catchy tune stuck in your head that tells you what to do I know you don’t feel better when I promise the pain will end I don’t want to make things worse, but the pain, it’ll come again Randy wrote a song for his son, so I should write one for you A message hidden in the rhymes that tells you what to do I sometimes wonder what it would sound like The song my father never wrote for me As sharp and helpful as a broken knife An annotated list of barstool tips on… how to leave Don’t know why people are mean and I can’t fix what’s been done These are things I cannot change, lessons you have to learn I’m not so good at leaving, and I know you wish I was Long ago I figured out, that’s not what a father does Randy wrote a song for his son, so I should write one for you A catchy tune stuck in your head that tells you what to do Randy wrote a song for his son… I should write one for you So that when I’m dead and gone, you’ll know what to do
9.
Don’t know where I am half the time In my body or my head Some stranger’s lying sprawled out in my bed But the one thing I know, no matter where I am You’re on my mind Don't know how you keep faith in me If it's a lie you tell it well Can’t tell the difference between my heaven and my hell But the one thing I know, when I close my eyes It's you I see I can’t tell if this is wrong or right But the times you’re with me I’m shining bright Don’t know if there’s a God above Or if He knows that I am here I’ll find out soon enough and I know you’ll shed a tear But the one thing I know, the only thing I know You’re my one, you’re my one You’re my one true love But the one thing I know, the only thing I know You’re my one true love
10.
You can’t even see the trees, let alone the forest You’re lost in the woods if we’re being honest Like a peacock you preen, a paragon of virtue But deep down you know the truth will only hurt you Is it worth taking a chance to go against the flow? Maybe you’d learn something about yourself, wouldn’t you like to know? Stop shrugging your shoulders asking what the use is Own up to who you are, and no more making excuses Can’t walk a mile in your own shoes, you’re in no shape to do it Any old reason you’ll use, just to avoid going through it You won’t even take a step, afraid of what you might find What do you have to lose, a giant leap for your mind To thine own self be true, but it’s not all about you What are you gonna do, it’s time for a breakthrough
11.
I’ve known you from the beginning, you always thought that you were good You always made an effort when no one thought you would You always disappoint me no matter how hard you try It’s something I should count on, but I have a hard time And I thought you were better than that I thought that you were better than that You’ve always lied to your friends, but also lie to yourself It’s never really your fault, it’s always someone else Say one thing and do another, that’s a good hypocrite We’ve all got good intentions, so get over it Make a resolution for January the first No more second person when it’s you who is the worst Now I’ve seen you at the ending, same as you’ve always been Hiding in the foreground, just blending in
12.
Lying awake at insomniac time Stuck in a groove inside of my mind The same thing happens every night I close my eyes but you’re still in my sights I don’t know what I’m gonna do I can’t clear my mind of you I don’t know what I’m gonna say If I push these dreams away Perish the thought Perish the thought At 4 am there is no veil You come back without fail Picking over the good and the bad Memories of memories I’ve had I’m stealing your time, such a creep I’m avoiding a good night’s sleep Try as I may I can’t come any closer Oh maybe I should just turn over Pictures of you are starting to fade I’m so alone here in the bed I’ve made Now I know what I’ve gotta do I’m gonna clear my mind of you And I know what I’ve gotta say After I’ve pushed these dreams away I’ll perish the thought I’ll perish the thought

about

Thanks to Dara Diamant, Zoenda Parks McIntosh, Hal Haygood, and David Van Taylor for song title ideas which helped me conquer writer’s block; Chris Hall for use of his photograph; Patrick Sullivan and Blunt Jackson because reasons; Brian Bland for his bottomless cup of kindness and letting me record his gorgeous song; and my most faithful listeners Brenda Watkins, Emily Shearin, and Madeline Fenster for their unrelentingly positive support.

I don't want to go overboard with the special thanks, but big ups to Lee Wiggins for lending us his ears. Additional thanks to the guest musicians, Owen Hodgson, Jonny Daly, James Goodfellow, and Dustin Ciano and friends.

This project wouldn’t have been remotely possible without the support of The Windows whose contributions, patience, and friendship over the many years of this production have been invaluable. Thank you for your generosity of talent, time, and spirit. Extra kudos to Peter McDade for being a sounding board, motivator, and mystic.

credits

released March 15, 2021

The Windows are:
Thom Bowers - bass
Christian Lipski - backing vocals
Peter McDade - drums and percussion
John Pecak - electric guitars
Bill Shaouy - keyboards

Mixed and mastered by Joel Boyea
Album cover design by Bryce Kalal

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Bob Fenster & the Windows Somerville, New Jersey

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