Chopping Board

by Jack Elias

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about

As clear as mud, Chopping Board’s simple, ancient sound presents as a cicatrice without suture, a treasure tonic for the intuitive digger (or coffee cup reader).

Listen down.

credits

released April 3, 2014

Musicians:
Sonia Zadro: Vocals
Anna McInerney: Violin

Mixed by Robert Irish
Photographs by Eiko Bravo

ALL SONGS COPYRIGHT © 2014 JACK ELIAS

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about

Jack Elias Sydney, Australia

Jack Elias is the death star of folksong poetry. From the more discordant ramblings of Quaoub (what Elias formerly toured Europe under), comes Chopping Board, the first vinyl release from this Lebanese-Australian songwriter via Spence, Cohen, Prince Billy and Baier cut live from an Erskineville lounge room. ... more

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Track Name: Hope Everything You Love Dies in Your Arms
When these eyes are king no more
And they're done with watching
Everything I love die in my arms
I hope everything you love dies in yours

When these eyes are king no more
And they have gazed on all things
Everything I love will thrive in my arms
I hope everything you love dies in yours
Track Name: Chronicle
As ugly as magic your skin is so fair
And your body that was lied to is now practiced in the custom
Of going to the river and washing your hair
And reading the chronicle of eyelids from cover to cover
And then cross-dress your sorrows with cheer
While the river does its thing with the water and the fish in mid-air

Well I must be devoted to feel so near
A stones throw away now from you my beloved
But as the stone passes through the air
Can feel my heart begin to languish and flicker
Or words to that effect just only a lot quicker
Between the water and the river I'd do well to remember your tears

Is it better to betray than to inbreed
To pierce the yoke with barbed eyelashes
And dip my brush in every riverine
And wear the cloth that always clashes
How I love these hessian sashes
They go with nothing when nothing goes with me
Track Name: Athlete
I’m last in a phase of useless feats
What follows will determine the light,
The summit, the trenches, the lulls and the peaks,
The rainbow that bankrolls the night

I am an athlete of boredom

And the muzzle that I wear is stained with breath
And the knots in its sails are sighs
And I die from having to suffer less
And I suffer from what that feels like

I am an athlete of boredom

And unlike the athletes of death
Whose bodes are summoned to strike
Who shift their weight back to the flesh
And then ram its head down on a spike

I am an athlete of boredom

I imagine less and I imagine least of all
And then something else besides
A tremor, a pause, a ripple, a feast,
An almond that clings to the knife

I am an athlete of boredom
Track Name: Evil is Old Bread
My countryman’s murder will soon be your grave
As you fought us together I have every faith
That together you will die for the sins of your weight
And the god that I love will look upon evil

Evil is old bread
Eat it to stay alive
But not to be well fed
Evil is old bread

In sickness and horror we fled to the north
We fled to the mountains where our fathers walked
They knew that this world did not owe them their thoughts
And that both doors are open to call upon evil

Evil is old bread
Eat it to stay alive
But not to be well fed
Evil is old bread

To what degree now I know of so far
Always behind the sun we are
And behind the sun is a dog’s behind
That begs to turn the other cheek

Evil is old bread
Eat it to stay alive
But not to be well fed
Evil is old bread
Track Name: Oblivion
Arise, let’s go sing your love for other open ended worlds, and then pin it back into its holster
Let’s sing of oceans and the fate of whims and doggy tins and oil spills that map your heart’s low gaze
And let’s sing your way out of the burning book that signs our names with a minus sign

And be born again

To dream a brittle dream
And lose a little steam
And save your crumbs for a curly day
And when lightning lights in a blue sky
To build a thing that stays

O’oblivion I’m saving my hush money for you

What simon says is to avoid men who resume great hope to back the world into a corner
With hands on your shoulders and magic markers behind your ear to help you feed and clothe yourself
And with sticks and snot, and with springs and spindles and all that mingles, to restore the space beneath your mother’s skirt

And be born again

To dream a brittle dream
And lose a little steam
And save your crumbs for a curly day
And when lightning lights in a blue sky
To build a thing that stays

O’oblivion I’m saving my hush money for you
Track Name: Finch
When the finch runs foul of the gust
And it kicks a big stench
And so say all of us
And you say dear brother, where are you?
And he hands you back the icy cusp
And so say all of us

And I eat from a bird that won’t sing
And I cry a boutique
And when birds of a feather flock
To greener pastures
All I ask is for you not to count me in
I eat from a bird that won’t sing

When the finch runs foul of the gust
And it kicks a big stench
And so say all of us
And the lord is our shepherd, and his good son
Died on a hyphen and not the cross
And so say all of us
Track Name: Morning Milking
It fell on it’s ear
And from one wet surface to another I steered
My father’s tomb to the shores of the moon
And the many moons behind
But now you are his from behind
And I wish you were mine

It’s common and it’s clear
You told me to fear the devil in all things round
To put land on my feet
And to sing words to sleep
And to dust them with two coats of lime
But now you’re his from behind

And if prior to here
There was no atmosphere
Just the sparks that want to fly
When you break in old shoes
It’s outrageous to lose a farmer before the morning milking
No, I never stood a chance
But it’s never too late to miss what will never be mine
Now you’re his from behind
Track Name: Chopping Board
Put back the shame into my heart and pour every care onto my neck
And drag me by my ankle bones to the god-awful end of the stick

O’ lord let me be your chopping board
So that I can then come to swallow your sword wholly

I have now the heart lord, the sap and the fiber to receive your blows
So let your sword swing free and your stones hover ’til I’m weathered in woe

O’ lord let me be your chopping board
So that I can then come to unpack your word slowly
Track Name: When a Song Goes Down
I like it when a song goes down
I like the small noise it makes
It’s like catching up with old friends
On the bottom of the lake

And when a song goes down and loses it’s song
I’ve learnt not to be slow to sing and go down
And fall in with friends who hide drains in their voices
And thirst for the things that are gone

I like it when a song goes down
I like the small noise it makes
It’s like catching up with old friends
On the bottom of the lake

And so drown out your voices and cast down your song
And set a place at the table for the hole in your plate
‘Cause great is the heart, the heart that sinks
When the webbed hand of the lord drags the lake