This Charmed Life

by The Burning Hell

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about

Recorded in the early spring of 2009 after a winter of hibernation and isolation (a-la The Shining, minus the murder) in the Yukon, This Charmed Life is a small, strange collection of songs about death, winter and not fitting in.

credits

released March 1, 2010

Mathias Kom - ukulele, guitar, keys, vocals
Walter Bloodway - electronics
Darcy McCord - cello

Recorded, produced and mastered by Jordy Walker.
All songs by Mathias Kom. Cover art by Gabe Foreman, layout and design by Leigh Kotsilidis.

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The Burning Hell

The Burning Hell is the alter-ego of Canadian songwriter Mathias Kom, and consists of him plus Ariel Sharratt (clarinet), Nick Ferrio (bass), and Darren Browne (guitar).

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Track Name: Robert's Bad End
Robert, you were such an idiot
but nobody blames you for it
you saw neither the forest nor the trees
even when you worked as a logger
and it didn’t take a psychic or an augur
to predict you would come to a bad end

it was nearly a week before they found your body
and when they did, it was a Tuesday
you always liked to go out on Tuesdays
cheap wings and half price drinks until 10
and when they found you, your eyes were still open
And you were smiling and wearing your good clothes

your wife was patient with you
your kids tolerated you
you had plenty of friends
you had a great start and a good run
so what does it matter if you had a bad end?

bad end, bad finale
alone in the woods
down in the valley
alone in the woods
near the rocks by the river bend
but all ends are bad ends in the end
Track Name: Don't Let Your Guard Down
Don’t Let Your Guard Down

The wind’s not going to blow me away
I’m getting thin, though, and my skin is looking grey
Downtown just hasn’t been the same since the oil boom days
And the market’s not so self-assured anymore.

Waves are tiny but the current is deceptive
Miami style’s alive again, the Speedo’s been resurrected
The kids are all floating out to sea with the riptide
Their parents never learned how to swim: pity.

In this town new people are something you never see
The same ones keep returning like smallpox or TB
The socialists are unionizing for a health plan and a raise
But you know that one for all or all for one it’s just another day.

In this sad town don’t let your guard down
In this bad town don’t let your guard down
Track Name: Earthquake & Volcano
When fire met force
They were instant friends
Earthquake and volcano
together
Made islands

When God saw dirt
He said this must end
Water and holy ire
Boat, beast and island

At the end of time
Will the dead attend
Through earthquakes and volcanoes
Together an island
Track Name: Last Winter
Last winter there was more snow than we could remember
More snow than you could shake a stick at, not that you would
Last winter all the trees were dismembered
In an ice storm but it left things looking good

Last winter the rafters cracked in the attic
Car tires popped and engines stopped
The televisions were all snow and static
Little birds trying to migrate died in mid flight and their frozen bodies

Dropped onto the runways of the airports and the pilots looked around
At the rain of tiny birds that was covering the ground
And they all said it’s too cold and strange outside today to fly

Last winter we played cards even though I hate cards
And we drank a lot ‘cause, well, that’s what you do
Last winter feeling good and getting along was hard
But you said what’s done is done and I said I guess that’s true but baby

There’s no need to ever go outside if we make the right decisions now
We could stay in here all winter and let the city bring the plow
To dig us out and by then we’ll be thin, and all in love again
Track Name: Northern Life
Veni vidi vici
That’s what I spelled out on my ouidja
Board so I came I saw and I conquered
For month or two

I said “Here I will build my palace
Under the aurora borealis
Spend every shortest day
and longest night with you

I never thought I’d stay for so long
But just like the Germans in the Yukon
I came for the romance
And I stayed ‘cause I forgot to leave
But now I’ve left my heart at the Westmark Hotel
And I think I left my dignity there as well
I think a northern life is not the life for me

And the evil of the dark is a religious myth
The real terror is the folks you have to share the dark with
And when it starts to feel like home
Well they call it Stockholm Syndrome

Now it’s close to time to go
I can’t see the snowbanks through the snow
A kiss on the cheek
And one last drink for the road

And I never thought I’d stay for so long
But just like the Germans in the Yukon
I came for the romance
And I stayed ‘cause I forgot to leave
But now I’ve left my heart at the Westmark Hotel
And I think I left my dignity there as well
I guess a northern life is not the life for me
Track Name: The Things That People Make, Part 3
The coolest place to record a recording
Is Burnaby BC
It’s not too crowded in the studio
Just Darcy, Jordy and me

The bus ride down from Whitehorse
Was as long as a mayfly’s life
And an old man with a stutter
Told me the best joke of all time

He said “What is yellow and red and orange
And looks good as a hippie’s attire
And I said I give up and he gave me a wink
And said ‘f-f-f-f-fire’

And I laughed, and then I sang

This charmed life is charming
beyond measure
The work feels a lot like pleasure
And there’s a season for leisure and there’s a season for leisure
In this charmed life I love all of the things
That people make
I love the tricks and games and the millions of names
The wrong answers and the right mistakes

And as the cyclists cycle by
With their pant legs tucked in tight
I wonder what kind of white wine
They’ll be drinking at home tonight

The spring will bring the flowers
To the feet of the city trees
And the honey bees will buzz subtly
like the ‘b’ in subtlety

And the rabbis and the ministers
Will play rock paper scissors in the park
To decide once and for all whether unicorns
Were left behind by Noah’s Ark

And the bears in the woods and the cougars in the bars and the leeches and the sharks in the cars

Will say

This charmed life is charming
beyond measure
The work feels a lot like pleasure
And there’s a season for leisure and there’s a season for leisure
In this charmed life I love all of the things
That people make
I love their tricks and their games and their millions of names
The wrong answers and the right mistakes