The Carnivaleros

Dreams Are Strange | lyrics and credits


1. Hesitation Bridge

It's hard to let your hair down cast your doubts over the ridge
Until you've walked a mile across the hesitation bridge

Some folks born to follow some folks born to lead
Some folks live on nothin' while others live on greed
All those things that you call yours aren't really yours at all
We're all in this together with our backs against the wall
It's hard to let your hair down cast your doubts over the ridge
Until you've walked a mile across the hesitation bridge

The taps are flowing freely folks are stamping on the floor
The band is bringing down the house they're tight and that's for sure
If you really listen to the beating of your heart
All those preconceptions will start to fall apart
It's hard to let your hair down cast your doubts over the ridge
Until you've walked a mile across the hesitation bridge

No reason to feel guilty ‘bout the choices that you make
Tend to your own business give back more than you take
Some folks keep on hating there’s not much that can be done
Their confusion just keeps getting passed from father down to son
It's hard to let your hair down cast your doubts over the ridge
Until you've walked a mile across the hesitation bridge

gary mackender: accordion, percussion, vocals
karl hoffmann: bass
joe fanning: mandolin
chris giambelluca: banjo
 

2. Dreams Are Strange

Dreamt I won a raffle
Got a Winnebago
Insurance was killin' me
Sold it for a Volvo
Drove across Nebraska
Lost control, slammed into a tree

Had no health insurance
Bought an airline ticket
Flew south to the City of Belize
Headed down to Queen Street
Found old Mama Chen's
Got the guesthouse overrun with fleas

Dreams are strange
Dreams are no small change
Dreams can make you whole
Dreams can save your soul

Ran back to the airport
Couldn't find my passport
Policia threw me in a tiny room
Stole my clothes and toothbrush
Naked with six strangers
Gin rummy was the last thing on their minds

So I flew out through the window
On wings of Chinese cardboard
Soaring high above the Gulf of Mexico
Landed in Beatrice
What used to be my front yard
Head first in over three feet of snow

Dreams are strange
Dreams are no small change
Dreams can make you whole
Dreams can save your soul

gary mackender: accordion, vocals
karl hoffmann: bass, lap steel, tambourine, vocals
joe fanning: acoustic and electric guitars
chris giambelluca: banjo
heather hardy and rebecca carlson: background vocals
 

3. The Chestnut Oak

gary mackender: drums, banjo, accordion
karl hoffmann: bass
heather hardy: violin
 

4. Gonna Jump In A Hole

My baby keeps a-spending all my money, all my money
As she sidles up to me and whispers honey bunny
I tell her that I'm broke now and you know that that ain't funny
As my disposition sinks to the other side of sunny
Gonna jump in a hole
Nowhere else to go
And I'm losin' control
This girl is taking a toll

She drops me a text wants my credit card number
Ran into some bargains on the other side of town
She said she'll pay me back when she cashes her next paycheck
In the meantime has the need to throw a few dollars down
Gonna jump in a lake
That girls' on the make
Now's the time to break
I've had all I can take

Later in the evening get a call on my cell phone
My baby tells me that she needs some money for bail
There was a misunderstanding at a box store on the east side
Bring a bucket of cash and get me out of this jail
Gonna jump in a hole
This girl is taking a toll
Gonna jump in a lake
I've had all I can take
Nowhere else to go
I'm off to Mexico

gary mackender: drums, accordion, organ, percussion, vocals
karl hoffmann: bass, vocals
joe fanning: guitar
 

5. Mamie Eisenhower

Midwestern girl of privilege was, Mamie Eisenhower
Wore pretty clothes with little gloves, Mamie Eisenhower
Sent to Wolcott's Finishing School, Mamie Eisenhower
Attended church, played by the rules, Mamie
Her father packed Meat
Her sisters were sweet
The family Doud
Were mighty proud, Mamie

Married that Kansas boy Dwight, Mamie Eisenhower
Called him Ike, seemed just right, Mamie Eisenhower
They hitched up after she left school, Mamie Eisenhower
Showed she was nobody's fool, Mamie
Climbed up the ladder with her man, Mamie Eisenhower
First lady of our glorious land, Mamie
She became FLOTUS
He became POTUS
A vote for Ike
What's not to like
She became FLOTUS
Mamie

gary mackender: drums, accordion, organ, percussion, vocals
karl hoffmann: bass
joe fanning: baritone guitar, guitar
chris giambelluca: banjo
heather hardy and rebecca carlson: background vocals
 

6. Tumacacori


gary mackender: drums, accordion, vibes
joe fanning: acoustic guitar, baritone guitar
karl hoffmann: bass, lap steel
 

7. Who's To Say

Well if I think I was a-gonna then I'd already been
If I did what I was spose-ta wouldn't have to ask when
I know there's something must've mattered seeped right outta my brain
I'll put it off until mañana my loss might be your gain
Who's to say

Well I might've said something caused some minor dismay
I've got a knack for flippant verbiage so some of you say
Some day I'll think before the logorrhea causes disdain
But I don't remember yesterday my loss might be your gain
Who's to say

Well the whiskey's talkin' for me didn't mean what I said
The lampshade didn't fit me was too small for my head
I swear I'm done a-talkin' I might be a bit vain
Walkin' right out the door now my loss might be your gain
Who's to say

gary mackender: drums, accordion, organ, vocals
karl hoffmann: bass, lap steel, vocals
joe fanning: guitar
chris giambelluca: banjo
heather hardy and rebecca carlson: background vocals
 

8. Moving On

The time has come, the weather's turned
Cashing in on what you've earned
Leaving town tomorrow's train
Our time together all in vain
I knew that it would come to this
Not ready for that one last kiss

Moving On, moving on
Moving On, moving on

One more night to while away
Preparing for the coming day
Talk is cheap or so I've heard
The last few weeks in my mind blurred
This won't hurt you one damn bit
Living on your charm and wit
While I slowly fade away
Every day a bit more grey

Moving On, moving on
Moving On, moving on

gary mackender: accordion, parade drum, tambourine, vocals
karl hoffmann: bass
joe fanning: baritone guitar
chris giambelluca: banjo
heather hardy: violin and background vocals
rebecca carlson: background vocals
 

9. The Red Maple

gary mackender: piano, accordion
karl hoffmann: bass
heather hardy: violin
 

10. Wore Out My Welcome

Raised in Black Canyon City
By my ma and sisters three
Married my childhood sweetheart
Meant to start a family
Instead I joined the army
To protect our way of life
While I was playing soldier boy
A man done stole my wife

I wore out my welcome, I wore out my clothes
I wore out the feelings from my head to my toes
Some say that there are better days ahead before I'm done
In the meantime nurse this whiskey in a bar in Winkelman

Now I'm working the night shift
Selling gasoline and beer
Today is just like yesterday
Tomorrow looming near
I can't take back the things I've done
Just step ahead in time
Try to keep my feet on solid ground
This lonely life of mine

Now I am an old man
I've seen folks come and go
Somehow I am still alive
My family's all below
The grass ain't getting greener
On this side of the hill
As I rest my feet 'til my next shift
Got a few years in me still

I wore out my welcome, I wore out my clothes
I wore out the feelings from my head to my toes
Some say that there are better days ahead before I'm done
In the meantime nurse this whiskey in a bar in Winkelman

gary mackender: drums, accordion, vocals
karl hoffmann: bass
joe fanning: acoustic guitar
heather hardy: violin
 

11. Donna’s Song

gary mackender: piano, drums
karl hoffmann: bass, guitar, baritone guitar
heather hardy: violin
greg mackender: vibraphone
 

12. Psychic Mary

Old Mary had the ESP
It seemed to run in the family
Passed down from old granny Sue
Who knew exactly just what to do

With a parlor right down on Main
Psychic Mary on the window pane
Digging deep in the human soul
Talking folks down the rabbit hole

Velvet curtains hung up on the walls
Bathroom shelves all lined with dolls
Hundreds of candles burning in the room
Old souls risen from their tomb

Psychic Mary
Came from Tucumcari

For ten dollars she'll read your palm
Conversate with your long gone mom
Up in the sky she's doing fine
With the cards gives you a sign

On a cloud with your family tree
All are perched on God's bended knee
Someday soon Mary said to me
You'll be together for eternity

Psychic Mary
Came from Tucumcari

gary mackender: drums, accordion, vocals
karl hoffmann: bass
joe fanning: baritone guitar
chris giambelluca: banjo
heather hardy and rebecca carlson: background vocals
 

13. Time Traveling

gary mackender: piano, accordion, organ, drums, percussion
karl hoffmann: bass, guitar, lap steel
 

14. High Speed Yard Sale

gary mackender: accordion, drums, toy piano, marimba, organ
karl hoffmann: bass, guitar, baritone guitar
sly slipetsky: tuba
 

Dreams Are Strange


This fifth album of music, Dreams Are Strange, is comprised of equal parts Lyrical Stories of American Gothic Characters of Fiction, and Instrumentals Written for Film and TV. All songs were written and tracked at Homestead Studio. Tucson, Aizona, in 2015.

Engineered and produced by Gary Mackender and Karl Hoffmann, mixed by Karl Hoffmann, and mastered by Jim Brady Recording, Tucson, AZ.

All Songs ©2015 Gary Mackender, ASCAP



"Dreams are Strange is the band’s fifth release, and every Carnivaleros CD is excellent, that much goes without saying, an intoxicating mixture of roots musics of all brands: zydeco, folk, Appalachian, Tex-Mex, swing, and, yep, even waltzes, though Big Louie and the Versailles Court would never recognize the lattermost incarnation here, I’m pretty damn sure. More, each disc is better than what preceded it. That alone should supply the band with ample reason to…cut it the hell out!! This is Earth, we’re allowed only just so much above our station, and then have to shuffle off the coil, so don’t force the envelope! The listener is advised to afterwards listen to The Osmonds, The Archies, or The Bangles as penance for having tasted of Eden and the apple." - Mark S. Tucker, VERITAS VAMPIRUS, Issue 1,196, April, 2016