Don't Listen to My Face

by Jessica Ripka

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credits

released April 7, 2010

Performed and recorded by Jessica Ripka in Detroit First Church of the Nazarene and assorted practice rooms of Ohio University and the University of Michigan - Winter 2010. Strings graciously provided by Ian Tobasco (Violin) and Eric Moore (Cello).

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Jessica Ripka Los Angeles, California

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Track Name: Paint Me a Picture
You laid the colors down and you left them out
And I tried to paint something that would make you proud
But I ran those colors through with your very blood
And I drove my bristles through the heart of your love
Your love, oh, your love…

So I closed my eyes and I held my breath
I just tried to deny all of my regrets
Oh, but no I can’t escape the weight of my hands
I say, change, try to change – but I know that I can’t, I can’t
I can’t, I can’t

But I
Try and I try and I try
To make it right again
Try and I try and I try
To make it right again

Try and I try and I try – to make it right again
Try and I try and I try – to make it right again
God knows how I try
Oh, God knows how I try
Try and I try and I try
Try and I try….

You laid the colors down and you left them out
And maybe my failed attempts can still make you proud
Track Name: Alls I Know
They say that beautiful women wear their hair down
They get their nails done at some fancy place in town
But I always bite my nails and spit ‘em on the ground
So I don’t know much about these things

They say that when you fall in love the planets align
They bring you flowers and put stars in your eyes
But I always grow my own flowers outside
So I don’t know much about these things
No, I don’t know much about these things

(chorus)
What I do know and see
Is life doesn’t look like a magazine
All I ever would ever want to do
Is know about what’s really true
And I’d rather be knowing it with you

They say you need a cushy job to be complete
Rise to the top, don’t ever stop – increase your fees
But I always love a man who’s unafraid to clean a toilet seat

They say you need a bigger house, a bigger yard
Impress your friends with all your china and classy cars
But all my closest friends are friends who value laughing hard
So I don’t know much about these things
No, I don’t know much about these things

(repeat chorus)

Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh…..
Track Name: Grow
I built my heart tall as trees
Hung my words on their leaves
Waved my branches – said, “Look at me!”
And when all the words turned brown
I just painted them green

(chorus)
Never really liked that things die
Before they grow

It took all my tape and some glue
To make my words hold up the way they’re supposed to
But, oh, those autumn winds
They blew right through
And left me nothing but my nakedness and empty truth

(chorus)
Never really wanted to die
To let myself grow

(chorus)
To grow, to grow
To grow, to grow…

And after autumn, comes cold
Before the bloom of spring must come the driving snow
And if I’m brave enough to just let go
Of all these seeds that I’ve been too afraid to finally sow

I’ll put ‘em in the ground, let ‘em die
Put ‘em in the ground, let ‘em die
Put ‘em in the ground, let ‘em die die die die die…
And let ‘em grow
Track Name: Schmoozing is for Losers
Take my picture
Take my number
Forget, forget
Forget my name

Nice to meet you
Hope to see you
Again, and again
And again someday

But you forgot, forgot
You forgot my name

You forgot it
Forgot it
You forgot it
You forgot it
And never wanted it
Anyway.
Track Name: Testify
I keep my secrets sleeping soundly
In crystal jelly jars
In the walls of my heart

I seal them with a stoic smile,
My teeth strung neatly across
All the limbs I’ve lost

(chorus)
But it’s getting harder to hold my tongue
And keep my words in line
Before I testify – testify


To the syrums tasted, words I’ve wasted
Quoting nursery rhymes
As my paradigm
So change my paradigm

(chorus)
Cuz it’s getting harder to hold my tongue
And keep my words in line
Testify - Testify - Testify


And if you ask me, I won’t tell you
How I really feel
Cuz I made a deal
To keep my lips sealed


(chorus)
Oh – But it’s getting harder to hold my tongue
And keep my words in line
Oh, it’s getting harder to hold my tongue
And keep my words in line
Before I testify – testify – testify - testify

Oh Oh Oh Ohh….
Track Name: Spare Me
I – I don’t love you
I don’t want to
Make you cry
But I –
I can’t fake it
I won’t make it
If I try

(chorus)
So spare me the details on why you’re so blue
Cuz I am sparing you
Spare me the details on why you’re so blue
Cuz I am sparing you

Trouble –
So much trouble
All the trouble
We’d invite
On hearts
That are bloody
They’re so bloody
Especially when they lie

(repeat chorus)

A lifetime
A long, long lifetime
A long lonely lifetime
That really should be
Spent with – spent with someone
Someone other –
Other than me

So spare me the details on why you’re so blue….
So spare me the details on why you’re so blue…
Spare me the details on why you’re so blue – I am sparing you
Spare me the details and find someone new – cuz I am sparing you

Oh oh oh
Oh, oh, oh..
Oh, Oh, oh
(repeat 1x)
Track Name: 3 Blind Mice
Three blind mice
Warned me twice
About the likes
Of people who follow their dreams

They said they die
The most horrible ways to die
Like losing both your eyes
From dreaming your dreams all night

(How d’you lose both your eyes with your eyes closed?
They never answered me that)

Instead they said
Do take care
Always be aware
And never ever dare
To believe you can be happy or lovely or talented or important or free
Especially free

Instead they said just wear grey
Every single day
And be our slave
And, by the way, find a job to pay
For all the bills we accumulate
How do mice accumulate bills to pay they never say
I’ve asked at least a dozen times today

(chorus)
So.
I never dared to leave their lair
Unaware of the songs I wanted to sing so badly

Because they said
Don’t. Write. Songs.
Especially songs that are long.
Or songs that go on and on….
About mice or things that are fuzzy.

They said, “Dear, you know it’s true
People just wouldn’t like you
They’d laugh and they’d scoff and they’d boo
Yeah, they’d scream the moment they saw you – they would!
They’d scream the moment they saw you.”

And for years I believed
They lies that they would feed me
Thinking they were keeping me safe
And out of harms way
I wanna be safe and out of harms way

(chorus)
So.
I never dared to leave their lair
Unaware of the songs I wanted to sing so badly
No I never dared to leave their lair
Unaware of the songs I wanted to sing so badly

Until I found
In a swanky restaurant downtown
As a mouse ran through the crowd
And they – screamed and screamed and ran across the floor
Screamed and screamed and threw him out the door
But screamed and screamed, “Please sing your song once more.”

Really?

So…
I ran away
From the mice that day
And I placed their cage
In the flames of a dumpster downtown
Yeah, I ran away
And I never became
As grey and as lame as they told me I had to be

So I a word to the wise
If you know of these mice
Don’t believe their lies!
Cuz they’ll scream and scream and run across your floor
Scream and scream – but throw ‘em out the door
Dream your dreams and sing this song once more
Remembering that they’re just
Three blind mice.
Track Name: Thick Skinned
Y’know, it’s really no surprise to find me here at your front door
You never let me in to let me love you
But I promised and I swore


That I would wait
I would wait
Yeah, I would wait
For more – outside your door

One bright and sunny day I took a chance
And walked the grounds
I noticed all your curtains drawn, your doors locked shut
So safe – so safe and sound

So still I wait
Still I wait
Yeah, still I wait for more –
Outside your door

Badada…badadada...

Well the winter was quite hard, I will admit, but don’t you fret
I could’ve faced a thousand days of cold and ice and hate
And never left

So still I wait, darlin’
Still I wait
Yeah, still I wait for more
Outside your door

Badada…badadada….

Well I’m beginning to believe that maybe this was a mistake
That maybe all the time I’ve waited here has been for one
One big fat waste

So I won’t wait, darlin’ - No, I won’t wait
No, I won’t wait – no more, no, no no more – No, no, no more
Outside your door
Badada…badadada….
Track Name: For Julie
I never wanted to feel this – I’ve been afraid for so, so long
But you drew me out with your finger tips
You came around and you held on

I never wanted to say this – loud enough for us to hear
But your voice is calling me softly
Lifting the weight of my fears

(chorus)
I’ve believed a lifelong lie
That my own arms can hold me
But I think I can finally say
I am strong enough, strong enough, strong enough
To be weak

I never wanted to leave this – this lonely island I call home
But offer safety in numbers
That I never knew from being alone

I never wanted to break this – this jaded heart made of stone
But you held me over your fire
Melting the pride from my bones

(chorus)
I’ve believed a lifelong lie
That my own arms can hold me
I think I can finally say
I am strong enough, strong enough, strong enough
To be weak

(interlude)

I’ve believed a lifelong lie
That my own arms can hold me….

I’ve believed a lifelong lie that my own arms can hold me
I think I can finally say
I am strong enough, strong enough, strong enough
Oh, I am strong enough, strong enough, strong enough
To be weak
Track Name: Cafe
We have the same colored eyes
And the same curly hair
People mistake us all the time
Even though I’m never there
We read the same books by the nightstand
I hear we’d make the best of friends

Were it not for the fact
We love the same man

We both like salads but not with celery
Does he make a separate plate for you too?
Don’t you love those long walks on Saturdays
Clinging close to him like I used to
Maybe we would meet down by the café
Ordering pastries for his commute

I don’t do that now
Because you do

I don’t love him now
At least I know I shouldn’t love him now
Sorry we can’t be friends now
Because he loves you
Track Name: Meant to Be
I lost track of the day

When fate pulled up and brought me this way

I’d been searching for gold but I found these stars

Never would’ve known what a wonder they are

And I suppose that I should know where my life is going by now

But when it’s up to me I never see the beauty of the here

And the now


(chorus)

Cuz sometimes my life - Gets in the way of my living

Sometimes one breath - Is all I can do for planning

Some places I’ve been - Ain’t where I was going, oh no

But all the while - it’s how - it was meant to be


I laid out my list of goals
Packed my bags of fine fancy clothes
Well, I lost it all at some cross-roads
Some – some mysteries – only heaven knows

And if I said that I was mad, well, I just wouldn’t be being true
Cuz the life we live is never lived only if we’re doing what we planned to do

(chorus)
(repeat chorus – quiet until “…one breath…”)

I lost track…of the day……