Old Habits Die Hard

by Jacob Earl

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    Second in a trilogy of EPs released in 2008. Semi-autobiographical stories about death, love, nostalgia, and childhood.
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released July 29, 2008




Jacob Earl Ottawa, Ontario

Independent DIY queer producer/songwriter/photog.

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Track Name: Klimt
bitter cold of mid-November
of a year that i barely remember
the night so cold, i could see my breath
past the liquor store on queen st. west

i was visiting Toronto for a week
looking to get away from all the bleakness
that had been weakening my mind
and burying my feeling until even i was blind to them

the print by Klimt on the washroom wall
seemed to prophesize the fall
the fragmented pigment related the story
of me fucked up in all my glory

my life had turned into quite the mess
and how I had become obsessed
with fixing everyone around
and running away from my own sound

concertgoers to the phoenix nightclub
the double bill they’re seeing tonight, up
first are local rockers; they’re righteous
up next is a mainstream band; quite pretentious

i don’t wanna stay for this shit
let’s take off and smoke a spliff
and listen to some trippy music
drop some hits and really lose it

when you land, you’re gonna land hard
and that will be your sole reward
a lesson learned the hardest way
that you seem to have forgotten anyway

now you have me completely disarmed
and yet i feel no alarm
i’m all too happy to go with the flow
that takes me back to what I know

staying up past four in the morning
watching the night turn into day
the sun beating down on the pavement
and all the workers begin the daily fray

soon I’ll join them once again
this excursion eventually must end
all that’s left is my rotting gut
and an ashtray full of cigarette butts

and the print by Klimt on the washroom wall
somehow symbolized it all
the city, the pity, the pathos, the power
ever fading by the hour

and there it lost its myth to me
this great big place it used to be
but it’s just like any other place on earth
when it boils down to it, a piece of dirt

c’mon, let’s go get some breakfast
i don’t want this empty ache in my gut to last
i’ve lost my desire for this place
i’m ready to call it quits and forfeit the race

bitter cold of mid-November
of a year that i barely remember
the night so cold, i could see my breath
one more night towards my death
Track Name: Sleeping In
you will wake up
on the other side of the river
drenched in your pain
subconscious shivers
you will shed it
like you shed your skin
when you weren’t afraid to jump in
or leave us

you will wake up again
from hibernation
a season with the bears
to hide sensation / starvation
cold comfort, chained to dumbness
of the social bravado
that you weren’t afraid to speak out against…
or be wrong

don’t trade in your health
for the game
the ending is always the same

you have left a sliver
somewhere inside of my heart
taken from the river
you swam against the grain
that is why I envy you,
you have left the pain behind.

you’re sleeping in
you’re sleeping in
Track Name: Old Habits Die Hard
old habits die hard
old habits die hard

out in red rock country
behind a big scrub tree
we sat beside your surrogate grave
and talked about our dreams

dad smoked a cigarillo
i contemplated death
we swapped old stories of you
because these memories are all we have left

and old habits die hard
this one by far the hardest
grieving for all your pain
though you’re now the farthest from it

i’d pray for you each day
but what would that mean from a heathen anyway?
‘cause I don’t believe in god
and if I did, I’d hate him for taking you away
oh why couldn’t you stay?

because old habits die hard
my grieving heart beats out the pain
old habits die hard
old habits die hard
Track Name: Wild Life
this time we have is finite time
already we have wasted enough on lies
let’s put that behind us now
and move on

all these cancers could eat me up one day
and I wouldn’t even get the chance to say
how much i loved you and
how much i needed you there

So come and take a trip with me
Camping up in the highlands for a week
We’ll see where that takes us
‘cause tomorrow I might not be here

I enjoy the wild life
Crafting my home with wood and knife
Will you join my tribe
and settle down with me?

And if you want to tie knot
This is all that I have got
It isn’t much to offer
But it’s yours for keeps

Let’s fall asleep under a weeping willow
And dream the same dream on the same pillow
We can spend the rest
Of our lives together

‘cause I enjoy the wild life
cutting my meat with a knife
will you join my clan
and settle down with me?
Track Name: Traces
you are lips
all over my face
but when I open my eyes
i’m alone in this place

green was the graveyard
where we traced our path
back to that epitaph
once a year where we passed

pathetic fallacy
rain poured down from the sky
it smeared up our faces

so naturally
and concealed
the tears in our eyes

back to the tool shed
where we kissed and smoked up
with every passing raindrop
we avoided getting soaked up

traces of lilac
and tangerine
linger around
wherever you have been

traces of ginger root
on the mezzanine
aroma of passion fruit
but you remain unseen

you are lips
tracing down my back
i am unfolding
in your lap

hell was the time
i spent before we met
and hell was the time
i’ve spent ever since you left
Track Name: Just Ghosts
there was a time when we were
all possessed with fever
the glorious deceiver
she whispered don’t ever leave her
but you don’t have to grieve her
it only mattered
when we still had corporeal form

i’m not in the habit of
crying over a lost love
feeling too much but not enough
but I’ll indulge you this once
because we haven’t got it all
down to a fine science,
this emotional stuff

but wait there’s a second act
full of action and romance
you even get to dance
frenzied in a trance
full of criminal passion
over the grave
of everyone you never forgave

we’re all just ghosts
on borrowed time
we haven’t hit the dirt yet
we just finished the crime
but we all end up together
paying the same time

it sounds like a bad joke;
unfortunately the one you spoke
when you swore off god
and his justice and law
and declared that you don’t believe
in any of that hokey hoo-haw

“it’s not real, my dear,
if you can’t physically feel it here,”
you whispered in my ear
you took my hand and
laid it to rest
on your gently-beating breast

there was a time when we were
all seeking the same redeemer
we just called it different names
but it was all the same
the vanity we couldn’t do without
when we were physically cruel

we’re all just ghosts
on borrowed time
we haven’t hit the dirt yet
we just finished the crime
but we all end up together
paying the same time
Track Name: This is the Way the World Ends
sitting in the dark alone at home
call from Toronto, pick up the phone
news on the other end of the line is bad
i’m afraid I can’t handle this tragedy

i’m not equipped for this abrupt end
i never got to hug you goodbye my friend
and though i knew the end was near
i was ignoring it because of my own fear

death it scares me out of my wits
makes me anxious ‘til i can’t even sit still
I’m a nervous wreck of a man
Who has no belief in a greater purpose or plan

so i’m going up to the Gatineau hills
i got a thousand and one little memories to kill
meet me in the summer on the lake
we’ll visit the forest where we used to make out

maybe we can relive the good ol’ days
or start some new ones in the same type of haze
you’ve grown more beautiful with the years
and I’ve learned not to ignore my fears

can i kiss you with all my heart
i’d like this chance to start over
the world will end in a whisper too soon
maybe before the end of this tune

i haven’t got time to mourn for the dead
they’re not around to hear what I said
but you’re here and you hear me whether you want to or not
and until I get an answer we’re not leaving this spot

let me take you back in my arms
let down your guard and alarms
we can fall asleep under the stars
and dream of a time not too far
when we have our own son or daughter
and share a future filled with laughter

‘cause before we even know it the opportunity is gone
faster than it even came along
will we regret the way it all ends
if we never even tried to mend?

this is the way the world ends
this is the way the world ends
this is the way the world ends
this is the way the world ends

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