TITLE LENGTH Available on iTunes & Spotify!

Mark of Cain

Oceans Without Fishes

Savage Land

Triple Lungs

Cacophony (I Refuse to Hear)

Drone Attacks

Heads Up High: Paean to Arab Spring

How to Melt a Heart of Stone

Born Without a Horn

Hey Hey Hey (When we all turn Grey)

Alternate Mix - Cacophony (I refuse to hear)

Aqura

Oceans Without Fishes

Peng-Er

1. The Mark of Cain is sung from the perspective of Cain who premeditatedly killed his brother in cold blood and jealousy. Cain then wallowed in self-pity after being ostracized for fratricide. In the song, Cain is on the run in the chilling rain --- oblivious, recalcitrant and remorseless about his own viciousness. There is sometimes a Cain in all of us.


Verse 1:
Chilled to the bones in the pouring rain
Drenched to the skin driving me insane
Not washing away my pain
Feel like screaming something profane (X2)
Verse 2:
Lots of sunshine and lots of rain
Fields of flowers will bloom again
But running with the Mark of Cain
This is my curse I can’t explain (X2)
Chorus:
This crazy world I do disdain
Something lost but nothing gained
This rain keeps falling on my brain
This rain can’t wash away my stain
Verse 3:
Merciless Rain I’m soaking wet
Haunted by fears I can’t forget
Will the sun be shining soon?
Flaming noon and waning moon (X2)
Repeat Chorus

2. Oceans without fishes is a Zen-like song about personal loss submerging and swirling in the cross currents of a larger world facing greater and perhaps irrevocable losses. Personal suffering seems so small in the grander scheme of things but it hurts deeply nevertheless. It is a forlorn love song set against the backdrop of an impending ecological breakdown if not extinction --- the conflation of a loss within a loss.


Verse 1:
Oceans without fishes
Skies without birds
Forests without bears
A world without love
Verse 2:
Mountains without snow
Rivers without swans
Heaven without stars
My world without you
Chorus:
Sailing in the ocean vast
You and I two specks of dust
Thought my love for you will last
But our joy ended too fast
Verse 3:
Pond without lilies
Land without bees
Nights without fireflies
Winters without you
Verse 1 (repeat) → Chorus

3. Savage Land is a song inspired by a Clint Eastwood Western spaghetti movie with Tex-Mex flavor set in the post-Lehman Brother era of financial meltdown and banking malfeasance. Like Rashomon (the great Akira Kurosawa’s movie), “reality” is perceived very differently by four protagonists: the down-trodden immigrant, the tough landlord, the callous banker, and his migrant-empathizing and guitar-slinging son. Hope you like the howling wolf and the horse neighing in fear at the introduction of Savage Land. That big bad wolf is still working at Wall Street and the city of London (with a million dollar bonus despite rigging interest rates, foreign exchange, and gold and silver spot prices, tax evasion, and money laundering).


Verse 1:
I’m a migrant on the lam in a very savage land
I hate it here cos the food is very bland
The working class is screwed
In a boiling pot and stewed
The owners carry guns
Not a place ----- for my sons
Verse 2:
I own a plot of land in a very savage land
I hate it here cos my soil is full of sand
I owe the banks big bucks
No better than loan sharks
I pay lots of taxes
For sand --- and cactus
Chorus:
Is this the “promised land”?
Where I make my final stand?
I don’t have cash in hand
The banks have the upper hand
Verse 3:
I worked for the bank in a very savage land
Went bust they put me on a witness stand
My boss made a million
And me but oblivion
He has a team of lawyers
For rich ---- employers
Chorus
Verse 4:
My father worked for a bank in a very savage land
My mother cried when I joined a rock-and-roll band
This guitar is my weapon
And I sing against oppression
For the hired hand
Across ----- the Rio Grande → Chorus

4. Triple Lungs is inspired by Park Ji Sung --- the South Korean footballer who earned the moniker Three-Lungs Park for his unceasing and relentless running on the soccer field for 90 minutes when he wore the famous Manchester United jersey. It struck me that it makes more sense running with “three lungs” after a love one than over a ball but millions of soccer fans may vehemently disagree with me.


Verse 1:
I just want to fly to you
Wish you would want me too
Sprouting wings or triple lungs
I want to see you soon
Verse 2:
I will run a thousand miles
Hope you will wait for me
That takes up too much time
I rather fly to you right now
Chorus:
But baby are you still around?
If I fly to you right now
Would you wait for someone else?
When I run my thousand miles
Verses 1 & 2 (Repeat) → Chorus

5. Cacophony I Refuse to Hear School should be a place where learning is fun. But it is often a place for regimentation, bullying, socialization by society, state indoctrination and a winnowing process for elites and other subordinate classes. School is also a frightful place where kids can be randomly massacred in some countries. Cacophony (noise and not my song) emanates not only from teachers but also parents, politicians, mullahs, media moguls and advertisers seeking to influence if not manipulate us.


Spoken
Nothing at school but fear and jeer
Taught by fools and not a seer
Cacophony I refuse to hear
Propaganda I will always sneer
Call & answer:
I hate school (X2) [Yes we hate]
Verse 1:
I don’t want to go
Get shot in school
I just want to stay
At home
Verse 2:
I don’t want to waste
My life in school
I just want to be
Young and free
Spoken
Nothing at school but fear and jeer
Taught by fools and not a seer
Cacophony I refuse to hear
Propaganda I will always sneer
Get out of here
Away from school I will always veer
Surely my tears will disappear
Don’t talk to me about career
Call & answer:
I hate school (X2) [Yes we hate]
Repeat
I don’t want to go
Get shot in school
I just want to stay
At home
I don’t want to waste
My life in school
I just want to be
Young and free
Cacophony I refuse to hear
Don’t talk to me about career (X2) Fade

6. Drone Attacks is a 21st century protest song against the CIA and the Pentagon which harness UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to summarily kill their suspected enemies from afar. However, the collateral damage is often innocent men, women and children. Those who launch military drones are jury, judge, prosecutor and executioner rolled in one. They will clinically justify drone attacks as necessary in the “war on terror” and less damaging than indiscriminate carpet bombing. But those “who live by drones will die by drones” one day especially when drone technology are disseminated widely, and people will have no moral and legal scruples about “surgical” strikes.


Verse 1:
Drone attacks as birds of prey
Bringing death and great dismay
Horror Machines in the sky
Raining fire from up high
Chorus 1:
Vultures circling high above
Eyeing targets far below
Blasting them to smithereens
Counting kills on plasma screens
Verse 2:
Women, children are fair game
For killers afar without a name
Annihilating them for democracy
Smacks of nothing but hypocrisy
Chorus
Vultures circling high above
Eyeing targets far below
Blasting them to smithereens
Counting kills on plasma screens
Verse 3:
Ashes to ashes from afar
Video game for Kandahar
Another day at the Pentagon
Surgical strike an oxymoron
Bridge:
Taken aback by drone attacks
Broken bodies in gunnysacks
Last straw to break a camel’s back
Black hearts trigger a fire back
(Repeat: Verse 1)

7. Heads Up High: Paean to Arab Spring is an anthem saluting the young and the brave who unexpectedly toppled brutal and authoritarian governments in the Arab world. The song is idealistic, defiant and naïve, and celebrates the wind of change and freedom against deadly odds. In reality, a Pandora’s Box has been opened by the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia triggering a domino effect through the Arab World and beyond. The outcome is still open-ended but may the human spirit and idealism remain forever young.


Verse 1:
Hold our heads up high
Baby don’t you sigh
Darling don’t you frown
Don’t let them grind us down
Verse 2:
Lift our chins up high
Baby don’t you sigh
Let us build a world
Where wonders can unfold
Chorus:
Earthquake, fire and flood (Iraq)
Despots, guns and blood (Libya)
With jasmine flowers in your hand (Tunisia)
With a hope burning in our land (Bahrain)
We will hold our heads up high
Repeat Verse 1
Chorus:
Earthquake, fire and flood (Egypt)
Despots, guns and blood (Syria)
With jasmine flowers in your hand (Tunisia)
With a hope burning in our land (Yemen)
We will hold our heads up high

8. How to Melt a Heart of Stone? is a plaintive ballad about thawing the heart of an ice queen. It is actually a mission impossible for silly lover boys throughout the ages because a woman’s heart (let alone an ice queen’s heart) is often quite unfathomable, mysterious and fickle. But driving a silver Porsche and offering a dozen red Valentine roses may help in the courtship. But will their relationship last?


Verse 1:
How to melt your heart of stone?
You up high on your icy throne
I’m down here & all alone
Am I just your lover’s clone?
Only the queen bee’s mating drone?
Verse 2:
How to melt your heart of stone?
Oblivious to my bemoan
Is there something I must atone?
Something about me you don’t condone?
Something about you I must intone?
Chorus:
Once you were like a lava flow
Fiery red & all aglow
Lava cooled into a cold black stone
Weighing down on my skull & bones
Leaving me lost in a twilight zone
Verse 3:
I want to smash your heart of stone
My hot for you is overblown
In my heart you’ll be disowned
Into the sun I should have flown
Where I can melt a heart of stone
Chorus

9. Born without a Horn is a twelve bar blues about a modest and good-natured kid who wisely eschews the social pressure and expectation to impossibly behave like an angel or being unfairly put down as a devil. He is a naturally flawed and down- to-earth human being (neither extremely good nor bad) who struggles just to make it today. But he will not leave this world with a horn.


Verse 1:
I was born
Without a horn
I was born
Without a horn
Ain’t no angel
Ain’t no devil
Hold no pitchfork
Wear no halo
Just a poor boy
Seeking no trouble
Just a poor boy
Staying alive
Verse 2:
Bitter sweet
Tricks or treat
Three six four days
Ain’t Halloween
Doesn’t matter
Where you’ve been
Doesn’t matter
What you’ve seen
Sometimes forlorn
Sometimes torn
Leave not this world
With a horn
→ Repeat Verse 1

10. Hey Hey Hey is a happy song in reply to the Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty Four”. Indeed, in a brave new world of extended longevity (better nutrition, medical knowledge and exercise, and revolution in science and digital technology), many couples can easily make it to Eighty Four years of age. But, to quote and paraphrase Carol King: “Will you still love me tomorrow (when I’m Eighty Four?)”


Verse 1:
Hey Hey Hey
When we all turn grey
I still love you and will hug you every day
Hey Hey Hey
No No No Dismay
I still love you and will chase the blues away
Chorus:
Come what may
When we lose our way
Loving you will always make my day
We have each other
That’s all that matter
Friends forever
Even when we all turn grey
Verse
Hey Hey Hey
When we all turn grey
I still love you and I don’t care what they say
Hey Hey Hey
When everything decay
We have each other and will keep the world at bay
Chorus → Repeat Verse 1