e!e!(iwale) lyrics

as promised.. i proudly present to you the
lyrics and “who played what” for every empire! empire! (i was a lonely estate) song ever! ..except for jacob’s song. that’ll be up sometime. i hope you enjoy!

-jon

if we had found you any later, you would have drowned

(from the split 7″ with into it. over it.)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar

cathy latinen – guitar

nate squires – bass

jon steinhoff – drums

all the streets had emptied, spilling forth like a parade, and you
were eighteen and i was eighteen. then, all of east lansing was
littered with collegiate speak and irony that slurred new beginnings
with tired speech. now, it serves as a constant reminder of how youth
is wasted on youth.
i knew this because as i drove, the hole that was me and my life was getting smaller and smaller and was being filled with new hampshire, or maybe it was the idea of new hampshire, but who cares, as long as it was filling up the hole.
(from the “early discography” cassette tape)

keith latinen – vocals / keys / trumpet


fold your arms like an aeroplane
cast over seas you could not navigate
for fear of an entry point
dear, do not go quietly!
do not go, do not go at all!
(you are needed here)
you were strong
but your body wasn’t
and even if i know
it’ll still hurt to hear it from you
so when you go
your arms will not part the sea
or even support their own weight
but it is time
(and even i know!)
but it will still hurt like hell when you go
archival footage
(from the cassette tape version of “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar

we have been watching you for weeks, getting weaker
this time next month you’ll be gone

how do you say goodbye?
how do you spend time waiting for…

i should be home with you


documenting thirty days

(from the split 7″ w/ football, etc.)
keith latinen – vocals / guitar
cathy latinen – guitar
dj degennaro – bass
jon steinhoff – drums

i wrote it down, in case i might forget how tall you make me feel-
like i was towering over trees and buildings
(and you made it sound so easy).
then, i would wear your strength like a bright badge pinned to my chest.
right there, you made me swear i would not forget.
i still remember that may, when a late frost taught me
that even the things we left for dead
can resurface, and
every step was magnified by the sharpest snap that seemed to say,
“your voice is still small, and will not carry anything.”
and even the smallest words cling to the roof of my mouth.
and i broke my promise again and again!
it’s all i can do, sitting here waiting,
hoping the words will just fall from my mouth
(like when you were around me)
and all i need is to read what you told me,
“everything else in the world disappears when your voice wraps around me”
so how many points do you have ’till you gain, you know, the ultimate power?
(from the import version of “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums
cathy latinen – guitar

oh, you had littered your clothes across the floor where we last met. l
ike a trail of things we never said- but what have we ever said?

still, it was 1998, and we had plenty of time to reconcile. b
ut i was

more concerned with what came next then i was of forgiving you.

but you had not forgiven me, and you would not allow your teenage
heart time to mend or time away. o

h, what an ugly sight it was to
see!

so you told them all about me- and all the things i hadn’t done. and
the little white lies that birthed from your mouth turned into such an

avalanche.

then your voice became so small, or everyone else’s grew large. but
it was far too late to pull the words back.

they were gone.
so no one will hear you scream, “no one will love you like i do…”

it was your heart that saved you
(from the cassette, import, and vinyl versions of “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / drums / trumpet

nurse your wounds, you are no soldier
we are not men of faith.
so that, when we die, the only thing that touches you
will be the worms of earth, turning earth over earth.

i have not forgiven you
i don’t think that i will.

will you ever know how hard it was to say,
“you are a lost cause, and i can’t save you now.”

i have not come to set things right.
i have come to say goodbye.

actually, i’m just wearing your glasses
(from the vinyl version of “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar
cathy latinen – guitar
dj degennaro – bass
ryan stailey – drums

i watched your cheeks flush, colored by an air from a calgary cold front
your breath made ghosts spill into the night, and gather as if they might not disappear.

i had heard a rumor you were moving back home!

but even if it was true, i did not expect to hear it from you so bluntly.

so it hung in the air like a fever, or a slow moving front
and i would not find shelter here, so i braced myself

“out!” i cried, “out!
are you running to or are you running from?
or does it even matter if it won’t change your mind?”

when you put you hand on mine,
i knew.

how to make love stay
(from “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums (second half)
cathy latinen – guitar
ryan stailey – drums (first half)


city lights graced interstates, the way you move your hands through your hair when you feel alone. remember the flowers you picked when we crossed over madison? you were so sure you found yourself that you branded it into an oak- the one you swore reached through the sky and swallowed the city line. you had yet to hit twenty-three (an age that would swallow you).

then, every breath made you confess you did not know what to do with your hands. this is a new side of you- so full of fear.

keep what you have built up here
(from “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums / keys
cathy latinen – guitar / vocals

oh no! i thought you’d changed; take back all the things you said.
i remember thinking this evidence you left was damning enough
but you took all the words from my mouth and pulled them out.
how could i not see you for what you are?
but you turned all the words from my mouth into doubt.
and i wish i could tear your heart out!

break meter and release, and still the voice it keeps
and i wish that your lungs would give out,
and finally give air to breathe

but i know better now. no words could weed you out
when your back’s against the wall, you’ll be crying out,

“i’ll take all the words from your mouth and leave them out.”
and your hands are shaking.
finally, call out!
and the silence breaks your heart, finally.
oh, i almost pity you now (i almost pity you now).
finally, call out!
oh, i almost pity you now.
and i wish i could tear your heart out!

break meter and release, and still the voice that keeps
and i wish for you lungs to give out, finally.

what safe means
(from “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass
cathy latinen – guitar
joe sak – drums

you settled into uneasy sleep, a subtle hint that things were changing
and every breath of labored rest brought new designs of old regrets.

and how they aged you! how they took your strength away!
(when they entered your body and pinned fear to weight)

pull out! pull out!
lead you weak cells to oxygen, and sew your skin to bone.
you can hold on! hold on!
lend dead weight to stronger hands.
you are not alone.
(you are not alone)
if you’re weighed down, i’ll lay your fears to rest
you are safe now.
(you are safe now)

it happened because you left
(from “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums
cathy latinen – guitar

in fall, the year you grew to be six feet
i tempered my fear into haste,
a worry that dogged our mother.

she, the baby of three, asked how
so many things could take flight at once.

there are no easy answers, and even thirteen, i
could not think of a sure reply.

at the church where i was baptized,
our father refused to park near the crowd
at that time, i still believed in god, or faeries,
or that the air could catch on fire.

when you and your friends took off on separate routes,
i wanted to follow you.
but our mother said i was not allowed to.

you had not yet learned how to fill such a broad frame.

that winter you said you hated your body,
but when spring came, you’d learned how to speak,
and you moved west
to watch the ocean eat the coast away.

i can still remember that day you left,
thoughts spilling out from my chest,
like, “who will you be when you come back”
or even, “will you come back?”

rally the troops! poke holes in their defenses! line our coffers with their coffins!
(from “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass
cathy latinen – guitar
matt brim – drums

it flew out your mouth, “you can drive me anywhere- just drive me anywhere but here.”

tonight, the length of your neck is a lonely parapet; you are armed to the teeth and looking for a fight.

it was in your mother’s dress that the temper showed signs of slowing down. your fingers traced the route of the seam (like a map of your body that landed just shy of your knees).

it fell the same way on your mother- as she was, at that age, the same height as you.
she never faced a fear quite as sharp, but her sister did and it broke her heart

what came out your mouth next was a series of mistakes- you had taken all you could take, and here tonight, the weight of their stares, well they could bury you alive. you are worn to the bone, and looking to disappear. and who could blame you?

it was in your mother’s dress that the temper finally died out, and gave way to the fear that keeps its company with such a loud mouth! (like the sound of an earthquake tearing out terra firma’s mouth).

you must not let it in, and keep your head up on top of your body. there are far, far worse things than this, so we must move with purpose and do what has to be done.

it’s a plague, and you’re invited
(from “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums
cathy latinen – guitar
dj degennaro – vocals

all of this time i should have known, but we buried our hopes in our throats.
and though it spared us from honesty, it could not deny anything else.
after the air cleared and the anger left our bodies, we slept more soundly.
we slept more soundly!
on denton, where you realized the full weight of what you had done, you felt ashamed for the first time.
but still refused to admit that you were wrong!
i swore i would not carry your weight for you anymore when, at twenty-one, you cannot help yourself.
but in the time you were making up your mind, we still held our breath.
so history repeats, and the feeling that i will one day wake an old and empty man only drives me harder.
even if you will not sacrifice your youth, it will grow to resent you.
like a body of water, it will yield only to entrenched earth.
i swore i would not carry your weight for you anymore when, at twenty-one, you cannot help yourself.
but in the time you were making up your mind, we already knew.

everything is connected and everything matters (a temporary solution to a permanent problem)
(from “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums
cathy latinen – guitar
dj degennaro – vocals

on a late spring day, when summer began to take shape, you lowered your head to bear an uneven compromise. how your voice held steel, make sharp by the sound of it aloud! you were drunk on each syllable; you could not even hear what it sang.

when you were young, you spent your summers in maine. and stripped of the friends you made, you gorged yourself on frost and hemingway.

when you came back to michigan, you would walk with words you did not speak and dress yourself with an air we couldn’t reach.

so when you go back to maine, i hope that you stay (where you have corned truth and beauty). and each borrowed refrain you sing, you sing, you sing will sound the same to the lonely, lonely sea.

the next step to regaining control
(from “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass
cathy latinen – guitar
matt brim – drums

i knew that you wouldn’t change, but i bit my tongue and swore, resigned myself to carry on despite you.
but you would not match my stride and cried, “foul! foul! how could you expect me to care about somebody else?”
and after all, who would expect anything else from you?
you would not apologize for what you claimed you’d never do.
you guard your hand like there is something brilliant
waiting to play itself off.
and when you move to strike, everything will fall into place.
but i’ll call your bluff. i know you’re all talk.
and when the words come out
there will be nothing left but promises.
i wanted it to be different, to see truth where it did not fit.
but the harder i looked, the farther you seemed from it.
there is a cadence here, i guess, for every measured misstep.
i put one foot forward and you take two steps back.
so just say what you want.

with your greatest fears realized, you will not be comforted
(from “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / banjo / cello / trumpet / percussion

you wore a hand-me-down dress that never fit quite right.
your mother’s frame did not favor you.

the summer she passed you were born, and you father lost his job.
he could not handle it (or you).

you wore the saddest smile that never fit quite right.
your mother’s smile felt that way too.

the summer she gave her life for you, and your father blamed you,
was the summer you began to blame yourself too.

i am a snail, and you are a pace i cannot match
(from “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums
cathy latinen – guitar

the long days piled into weeks before you’d speak, as the storm crawled to meet the shoreline. and it began to rain at once!

i tried (i tried, i tried, i tried) to keep the awful things at bay from you.

but it was on the air and useless,
i might as well have tried to prove the words i fought to purchase would comfort you.

like, “there was nothing more that we could do.”
or that i still loved you (when nothing could be further from the truth).

will your hand fall out of mine?
you shame lives on its own, trying to reach the depths down where it belongs.
will it find rest in your bones?
aching and pulling muscles to act out against you!
so stay your pity now.
if it reaches the heart, we all pull out.
and let the beat slow down.
(there’s nothing that we can do you for now)

are you sorry or are you just scared?
there will be no false comfort here.

oh, i ought to tell you the truth! i did not come to plea for you.
where was your heart when your words led the truth anywhere else from you?
you’re not sorry, you are just scared.
i have not come to calm your fears.
i am sorry i hid what you are.
but everyone else but me already knew! already knew!
and would not come to plea for you.
where was your heart when they never appeared?
anyone else would care.
but you would not shoulder the weight you should bear.
i will not shed a single tear.

an idea is a greater monument than a cathedral
(from “what it takes to move forward”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums
cathy latinen – guitar
matt agrella – vocals

will the same mistakes haunt you like they used to do?
or are you afraid that your body won’t let you choose?
you are your father’s son, and the same disease that holds you held him once!
and i know if you push this hard it will still take hold.
you cannot accept the things you can’t control.
and i know your mind is young but your body’s old.
and you can’t forgive youself (though no one else could blame you for this).
but hold on! hold on! hold on!

and already i can’t remember if the heart was ever aware
that the body it kept alive was wearing out, was shutting down.
and tonight, when it realized, you gave up, it cried out,
“only now i realize i always knew.”

jacob’s song
(from the “title it yourself” compilation)

keith latinen – vocals / keys / guitar / bass / drums

lyrics coming soon…


how to stay afloat in a sea of change

(from the “summer tour ’09” ep)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar

you had made plans for the colder months ahead
and braced yourself for disappointment

michigan winters have such a way of isolating breath from your body

but they were such strong traits that your father passed down to you
and when they wore you out, they won out

so how could i look at you?
you are what you feared you’d turn in to

but if you change your mind, i will forgive you

(and all will be undone)


year of the rabbit
(from the 7″ of the same name!)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass
cathy latinen – guitar
joe sak – drums

don’t say goodnight. is this your life, or are you holding on? dear it’s alright to say enough! to let your body break down.
and they will never know what broke your heart. if only i could say how sorry i felt.
don’t turn your head- it’s hard enough to know it’s all my fault. yes, i regret i laid myself out when your eyes cried, “please help me darling.”
don’t say goodnight! it’s not enough to get me through this night. don’t say goodbye, it’s not alright to know you’re hurting and i cannot help you.
and they will never know what broke your heart. and all the words escape from out of my mouth.

idk, my bff jill
(b-side of “year of the rabbit”)

keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums
cathy latinen – guitar / vocals

will i ever understand how anything gets done? i tied a knot in my heart for you, thinking that’s what you wanted. i tried to make my voice sincere (tell everyone how hard it was!) and anyway, i could never reach your ears, like the weight of it’s wings were clipped when they hovered near you.
should i tie your arms afloat to its melody, and anchor my heart to you in hopes i’ll climb out your mouth? i was so sure you wanted love, how could anyone find doubt? i tied a knot in my heart for you, though it’s not what you wanted.
(wear your heart out for me).

our love has made us pariahs

(from “when the sea became a giant”)


keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums

oh, the city burns!
nero would be proud

my mouth fills up

a eulogy comes out

what a waste of breath!

spoke, but nothing else

my heart pours out

slow down

put your head in clouds

oh no! (i am alone)


you have to believe that life is more than the sum of its parts, kiddo
(from “when the sea became a giant”)


keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums
cathy latinen – vocals

oh sure, you can look for reasons
and try to be them, for a while

but you know you can’t be her answer

she was never after truth

will your mother still blame you

if she knew all the words that she said

drove you here

a half a world away

destroying your body

to get back for every word she said

but it won’t change the way she is

and it won’t change a thing she did

so calm down

sleep now

forget all the things that she said


lilly, i have something important to tell you

(from “when the sea became a giant”)


keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums
found out how scared you were
to ask how i knew

everything

but not how i ever blamed you.

i know you were never aware,

so how could you say

“sorry, how could i take and take

and never think of you?

i’m not sorry i don’t care about you.”

found out how little i felt

when i stepped back and heard you say,”it’s not my fault- i was raised

this way.”

and i’ll be damned if i pity you

like i used to do

when i still loved you.


they will throw us to the wolves

(from “when the sea became a giant”)


keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums
your hands were broken
but you wouldn’t cry out

as we tore your heart apart

should i thought of you with sadness?

or a small, small, price to pay…

but you should have known better

oh, i admit to no wrong!

you should have understood

i had no choice, no choice

all winter

you told me, “it’s never enough to stay still”

i thought you’d be proud of me

should i spell it out, spell it out now?

you’ll never be good enough

so i’m getting out, getting out now


k.o. k.o. (the most of my worries are the least of your concerns)

(from “when the sea became a giant”)


keith latinen – vocals / guitar / bass / drums

cathy latinen – vocals

you were a secret kept
far from my heart

i know i should have wept

but no tears found their way out

you were an avalanche

a sharp decent with fast words, deliverance

(i will not be ashamed, i will move perfectly now)

and i, the minuet

kept time by sorrow spent

spoke soft, stood down

(step away, step away, i will hold in my place)

and i have been losing sleep

so i can’t be trusted to know

every time you cry out

you say, “not enough, dear”

should i change pace?

move air through empty lungs?

oh, compose yourself

and know that all you’ll be

is a secret kept upon my lips for now