Lassa Fever / Pearls Before Swine Flu

These are musical notes from a very depressed time in my life, i.e.graduate school.  The music came from places of unhappiness anddesperation but also honesty and love for family, friends and partners.May these songs be positive and true for you.

Rabies is from 1994 a demo for the HopeBombs, all the others were recorded pretty quickly in 1996, partlyin preparation for playing with the Hungry Hungry Hippos. The songs are listed in a suggested listening order.
- Eric, January 2003

I've added most of the Pearls Before Swine Flu demo. This was made pretty soon after Lassa Fever, but at much higher velocity. This was a brain dump of various songlets, with enough words written to sing them, and the tracks were vocal and acoustic guitar, almost all first takes. Notice that the first four songs morphed into Hippo songs.
- Eric, March 2004

Lassa Fever

Killing Time Between Glimpses of You mp3 lyrics
Carolina Daze mp3
Notes From a Plague Year mp3 lyrics
Bury Your Son mp3 lyrics
Adam Was Given the Power of Names mp3 lyrics
Julie of Your Fate mp3 lyrics
Rabies mp3
Chinese Puzzle Box mp3 lyrics

Pearls Before Swine Flu

Shes Unbearable Spymp3
Hang Dogmp3
Mary Margaretmp3
Watchdog Songmp3
Dawn Break Openmp3

All words and music © 1996 Eric Hsu, except for "Mary Margaret" which is a peppy version of Mary Margaret O'Hara's "You Will Be Loved Again".

Killing Time Between Glimpses of You

Killing time between glimpses of you
Killing time between disappointment
(obsession, rejection) and something new

Hanging on, stupid hopes
hanging on to stupid hopes

I'm in heaven

Carolina Daze

I breathed Greyhound bus exhaust
across the state, six hours a week
left my new friends behind
for a tour of small town bus stop signs
Engines rock me to sleep 

and your gratitude it lasted
just as long as your loneliness
put me back on the shelf
like a bottle of pills
use only when necessary  

When you're hurting
when you need a hand 
I know that it's wrong
but I don't give a damn 

I watched helicopters landing
'neath the tram all confused
and I can't understand
why you cancelled your plans
cause I never asked for help before

That was drowning time
but old friends helped me through
and it's no thanks to you
yeah it's no thanks to you
so I don't owe you anything

yeah you showed me my place
and I swear I'll never be that stupid again

Notes From a Plague Year       

I'm jealous of the people in old pictures
all their simple notions still intact
Days pass in breathless isolation
My past desires sink like stones

All the clocks have stopped since plague came
Matches, soap and paper running out
My heart still aches from last year's funeral
My lungs fill with pinpoint clots

My thoughts scatter
like pearls, like leaves, like ashes

I'm sick and tired of old excuses
Medical illusions fall apart
Our remedies resemble wishful thinking
Pills, shots, cut then grasp at straws

My doubts scatter
like spores, like rumors, like panic

Bury Your Son

Bury your son, dig me a grave
I leave with deep regrets and debts
that can never be paid
Give me peace into the afterlife
Bury your son, dig me a grave
leave your grudges
under a mountain beside my remains
Give me peace into the afterlife

A wallet full of singles
I've used up all my favors
equations finally let me down

My wife won't pay a penny
She's hiding all the cash she stole
she left my body in the morgue
Don't leave me in dishonor
won't you settle it and

I'm sorry I lost your money
I made the bed I'm lying in
So I don't want any pity
but tell me where's the dishonor
trying to bust the gates of heaven apart

I can see treasure in these lines
I gambled everything to
touch this grand design
ask my daughter ask my son
forgive these sins of mine

Adam Was Given the Power of Naming

Don't stay too long
Cause you're starting to look like the devil
Don't stay too long
Cause I'm starting to ask who's before me

Tell me you want me, tell me you need me
But you can't give me proof who you are
You can't give me anything but promises.

Julie of Your Fate

Where's the self-respect here
under laws of your family life?
You're always failing them
If only there were something I could offer you

Julie of the flesh
Julie of the mind
Julie of your fate

you were born to nurse your youth away
you were born to serve a dying thing
you were born to give apologies
for everything your fault and more

Tell me how this storm reminds you
Of the scene of your very first kiss
A doorway, an open passage
Blow away this worry like a gust of wind

There's no self-respect here under
the glare of your mother tonight
and your father's declarations
that you were born worthless and you'll die that way

Chinese Puzzle Box

She's got a dozen observers
stabbing her with needles
as they hold her down
water raw eggs to force feed her
a priest and guru
argue how they'll put her in the ground

Bad decisions

Mute paralysed
a Chinese puzzle box that no one wants to try
we share silent clarity
every motion telling me she wants to die

Do we break and splinter?
Do we sway like reeds?
Do we smash like pottery?
Do we fall like leaves?
Do we clutch like children?
Or like the tide recede?
do we part like strangers?
or do we part like the sea ?