Lyrics & credits for The Worst You Can Do is Harm

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Give Me a Moment | Carparts | Samaritan | Mimi | Medicine Cabinet Pirate | Unsalted Butter | Government Loans | Scent of Lime | Copernicus

 

GIVE ME A MOMENT

This song is to Miss M____ who nursed me through heavy drinking.

Living my summers out in a hotel
Finally found a moment to set a spell
Heard things at home were going astray
Won’t you give me a moment I’ve been away

I heard my name but didn’t turn around
Waited on the stairs for you to take the elevator down
And down
When I got to my room I found out

You’ve been a lover and you’ve been a friend
There’ve been others I never meant
How many witnesses I couldn’t say
Won’t you give me a moment I’ve been away

I’ve been out of my head

First sign of winter I want you to go
Take nothing with you and never let it show
Leave me alone now so I can pray
Lord, Give me a moment I’ve been away

  • Brian Young- Drums
  • Joe Skyward- Bass
  • Chris Walla- Hammond Organ, Tape splicing
  • Sean Nelson- Harmony Vocals
  • John Roderick- Vocals, Guitars, Wurlitzer Piano, Upright Piano

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CARPARTS

This song is for Mr. H______ who shared twenty years.

I’m leaving you all of my car parts
I didn’t have the money or I would have gotten roses
You poured one more highball
But I had to go before my poor heart overflowed
Ceiling tiles and highway signs are flowing through my mind

You put all your hope in my slim chance
I didn’t know I had

I’m leaving under cover of darkness
I never had a home where I didn’t need to hide
I’ve seen every lover leave me the same way
The harder they are the harder I try
That’s a lie, but I say it with a smile

You put all your hope in my slim chance
I didn’t know I had
I don’t even have cigarettes

Baby wasn’t down with the heist
I just tried to do what I thought was right
But baby wasn’t down with it
She wasn’t down

I’m leaving you all of my car parts
I’ll call you when I’m coming back again if I can
I mean to quit stealing as soon as I steal for the last time
At least my watch is right two times a day

You put all your hope in my slim chance
I didn’t know I had
I don’t even have cigarettes

  • Ben Gibbard- Drums
  • Chris Walla- Bass, Mellodio Horn, Guitar, Baritone Guitar, Harmony Vocals
  • Sean Nelson- Piano solo, Harmony Vocals
  • John Roderick- Vocals, Guitars

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SAMARITAN

This song was written on the typewriter of Miss K____.

Please don’t report me to the police
I wanted to help but I can’t stick around
Do what you have to do but remember I helped you out

If and when you see me again just pretend we never met

I needed to do that for myself
Just get away from here and maybe it will never come up again

This is what they mean by “standing in for the sane”

I wouldn’t normally but my bread became hell
You sounded in pain and I knew nothing would change by your scream

Just so you don’t think everyone’s the same way
Tomorrow I prob’ly won’t remember I did a thing
You just need to make sure you’re OK

I need to get the hell out of here
I’m sure the cops are on their way
Please forget my face

This is what they mean by “standing in for the sane”
They’ll never bother anyone again

Hold my hand through this long walk
Tell me I can when I balk and go to fall
These are men on either side with threatening hands
Put my spinning head in a soft clamp

Going down a grey ladder
With a dry glare every ten feet
And no hands

  • Brian Young- Drums
  • Joe Skyward- Bass
  • Sean Nelson- Harmony Vocals
  • John Roderick- Vocals, Guitars

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MIMI

This is about a road in Alaska where beautiful and terrible things happen.

When I saw your eyes
I saw you Mimi
I was bringing us home
And I did what I could

The babies were flaming
I had to run them down
But when I saw you Mimi
I had to get into you

Your eyes on my soul
You can turn lead into gold
I know that I crossed the line
Mimi I know you’re a gold mine

I was so lazy
All hands and thighs
Those flaming babies
Came down from the sky

We couldn’t have saved them
Oh Mimi don’t cry
But when I saw you leaving me through that front window
My life flashed before my eyes

  • Chris Walla- Optigan Organ, Hammond Organ Bass, Harmony Vocals
  • Sean Nelson- Harmony Vocals
  • John Roderick- Vocals, Guitars, Optigan Organ, Hammond Organ Bass

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MEDICINE CABINET PIRATE

Have you ever been in love with a junkie?

We could have a baby to keep us awake
Or we could get a radio
Or we could wait for the shaking
Do you hate me for saying so?

There’s a chance that no one would know
There’s a chance that it wouldn’t show
Do you hate me for saying so
Miss Pinched-Fingers/Stuffy-Nose?

You were waiting for my turn
You were waiting for me to learn
Medicine Cabinet Pirate
You were waiting for my luck to run out

I wanna be with you all the time

The engines are whining, drowning us out
Fragrant vibrations
Bolted, leafless ire
Drink up your life but only taste the dying

Pinched-Fingers/Stuffy-nose

I couldn’t have dreamed this alone
I couldn’t have dreamed this wrong, this long

New morning you lazy-eye
Two Romulans over
Cruel laughter when Katie died
Duel over my cold shoulder

Your new math is treason

  • Chris Walla- Drum Machine
  • Robbie Lodermeier- Drums
  • Sean Nelson- Harmony Vocals, Yamaha Keyboard
  • John Roderick- Vocals, Bass, Guitars

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UNSALTED BUTTER

So much for us all living together in a big house…

You’re so cold, right
You’ve been cold all night
Now you’re holding on like you’re holding a child

Your eyes are shining
But it’s dark outside
Do you feel alright?

Making dinner dates?
What, are you blind?
I hold down two jobs just to keep one from flying

It was late, my mistake
A whole two hour left of daylight
My dinner date was hung-up on sun

If you think you’re gonna to be here long
I’m gonna miss you so much when you’re gone

All that wasted time
They call it: Murdering your own apartment
Daylight glows
The patterning is desolate

Now it’s breakfast time
You’re holding Hollywood above my head
Unsalted butter is my punishment

I’m gonna miss you so much when you’re gone

My dinner date was hung-up on sun

  • Chris Walla- Drum Machine, Hammond Organ Bass, Guitar
  • Robbie Lodermeier- Drums
  • Mike Squires- Guitar Synthesizer
  • Sean Nelson- Harmony Vocals, Imaginary Dr. Dre Keyboards
  • Stephanie Wicker- Harmony Vocals
  • John Roderick- Vocals, Guitars, Baritone Guitar

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GOVERNMENT LOANS

She killed my friend, but her Hell is now.

Don’t give any cake to the blonde one
Maybe she’ll be an artist
She’ll do it or she won’t

She’s in line for some government loans
You know the hard times’re gonna come

The murderer’s shoes are spotted
He sees his persecution there
He knows he won’t be forgotten

He’s in line for some government loans
You know the hard times’re gonna come

This whole thing with my knees is heartless
I’m not the only one feeling old
I want due consideration

I’m in line for some government loans
You know the hard times’re gonna come

  • Brian Young- Drums
  • Joe Skyward- Bass
  • Jim Roth- Pedal Steel
  • Sean Nelson- Harmony Vocals
  • John Roderick- Vocals, Guitars, Wurlitzer Piano

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SCENT OF LIME

This is a song of crippled love for Miss T______.

You are light-tasting
Fine, with a scent of lime
My part in your art is to be there

You’re right
I’m wasting such a meager grace
So soon
What you’re doing is aiming

The plainest words are the finest
I gladly waive my rights to find the real world
If you find the real world let me know

It never rains enough to cool my fever
All it does is rain

The worst you can do is harm
Waiting for the other shoe to fall
And shouting from your car at an empty road

The plainest words are the finest
I’ve been waiting half my life to find the real world

  • Jason Finn- Drums
  • Mike Squires- Bass, Delay Guitar
  • Sean Nelson- Harmony Vocals, Upright Piano, Roland Juno106
  • John Roderick- Vocals, Guitars

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COPERNICUS

You think you know the shape of the sky? Look again.

We caught an honest buzz
You caught us
Called it dangerous

I doubt I made a sound
You thought it was erotica
It was erotic

You called a cough a smile
Now I can’t tell glad from ill
You doubt my world is round
You’re right I was Copernicus

You don’t have to wait to come undone
Not about the night we hung Old Leigh

Hail and rain on the lake tonight
Into the lake now
Way to go

Someone made a mistake tonight
And they’re blaming it all on you

Swimming told me you waited too long
Wait for the light now
Way to go

Hold the rope they’re going to hang you from
They’re blaming it all on you

That’s between the birds and the worms

  • Chris Walla- Piano
  • John Roderick- Vocals, Drum Machine, Guitars, Juno 106

 
All songs by John Roderick, (c) + (p), 2001. Lyrics reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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