Man Up

by Preston Hull

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04:36
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05:26
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11.

credits

released 27 August 2011

all bass by Zak Croxall
drums on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 by Tom Hartman
drums on tracks 5, 6, 7, 9, and 11 by Bob Edinger

all words and music by Preston Hull (ASCAP)

produced by Preston Hull
drums and bass recorded at Cybersound, Boston by Rob Whitaker
mastered by Bernie Grundman
layout and photography by Madeline Birkner

a sincere thank-you to all of the above and to the following: Chris, Dan, Jonathan at BGM, Kirsten, Lizzie, Perry at Cybersound, Pete, Robin, the Songwriting faculty at Berklee College of Music, anyone who planted a seed for these songs, and my family.

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Preston Hull Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania native Preston Hull is one of Philadelphia's most versatile songwriters. His most recent album, "Man Up," ventures from alt-rock to alt-country, pop-punk to piano ballads.

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Track Name: A Year Inside
I was eighteen
at the starting gate
I was thinking epic thoughts
I’d bend the world with my hands
So I set out armed with wisdom
from a page-a-day I’d bought
and watched as nothing went as planned.

and I used to wonder
what the hell I could’ve done
but now I know it’s eighteen
it makes you dumb.

I spent a year inside
digging through my head
and I didn’t like what I didn’t find
but I didn’t like my choices
so I chose to get older instead
and I have never changed my mind.

I know I used to think
that I would never see the sun
but now I know that twenty’s still pretty young.

I met a girl and our lives fit like the teeth of a zipper
and we used to take turns being strong
but you know how sometimes that little pulley-thingy breaks and the goddamn sides won’t stay together?
well, the cynics say that nothing lasts for long

and I used to wonder
what the hell it was I’d done
but we all know that 21 is dumb.

seems all I’ve learned is one year’s troubles
make the last one’s dumb
I can’t wait ’til this year’s trouble’s done
no I can’t wait ’til 24 is dumb.

seems all I’ve learned is one year’s troubles
make the last one’s dumb
I can’t wait ’til this year’s trouble’s done
no I can’t wait ’til 24 is dumb.
Track Name: Little Spark
When she walked across the city
wearing nothing but my hoodie
she became my summer plans.
and I think she might be crazy
but not the jealous kind of crazy
the kind whose eyes light up at the chance.
and on the forms her ethnicity is “other”
I’ve never had an “other.”

virtue or vice add ‘em up
she’s 110 pounds of everything I love

CHORUS
little spark floats in on the breeze
she lands in my lap and she’s just what I need
she doesn’t care when the sun comes up
she doesn’t care if they’re watching us
little spark she glows as she please
she light up the town leads me dizzy through the streets
no she doesn’t care when the sun comes up
she doesn’t care if they’re watching us
she doesn’t care if we just lay around and touch.

so we go to her apartment
on top of new york city
and then some chic new place up town
and I probly don’t belong here
but I’d like to learn the language
and she’s buying everyone another round
amid ‘em all she sits there grinning
and she orders up some spicy fucking drink I’ll end up finishing

the social storm she stirs up
I just gotta ride it out until it’s just the two of us

CHORUS

she crawls across the sheets like she’s about to pounce
her eyes ignited like to sable suns
and I can feel her breathing as I softly offer up my body
slowly overwhelming me she
she leans in close and then she
beats on my chest like a drum
she always ruins every moment and it’s really kinda fun

CHORUS
Track Name: More Than I Knew
There’s twenty million three-fourths naked
college girls upstairs and they’re all wasted
and I’m not much better off myself
and they’re all trying to get laid
that’s why you throw this kind of thing
but I have a headache
and tonight I will abstain

yeah sometimes I surprise myself.

CHORUS
I think I love you more than I knew
I think I love you more than I knew
I think I
I think I do
I think I love you more than I knew
I think I love you more than I knew
I think I do.

there’s thirty million fresh distractions
daily downtown flesh attractions baby
but it’s like somebody flipped a switch
and no I don’t know what you did
to get me in the state I’m in
but I have a headache
and I want you to raise my kids

no I don’t understand myself.

CHORUS

I tried to prove that it wasn’t true
but I’m starting to lose.

it’s one girl in a million gets me in this mood
and keeps me in it daily
I think about you daily.

when I think about the future
you’re in every fuckin’ scene
and I don’t need no one to tell me what that means

CHORUS
Track Name: People In Love
I’d be lying if I said it’s not cold tonight
and I’d be lying if I told you I mind
it’s fall in this city
and I don’t see nothing I recognize

well the street’s kinda wet from the rain we just had
and it’s shining all red in the light
the sign says “don’t walk”
but I don’t think anyone minds
tell me are there always so many people in love?
do they only come out
when I’m trying to forget about us?

I played the cigarette king on a park-bench throne
and God knows a king’s on his own
come on
even those bums got their arms ’round each other

refrain

I think I’m turning back, turning round
I think I stumbled on the wrong side of town
the odd man out
under the boiling clouds
I’m bouncing all through the crowd
a pinball on his fall, on his lonely way down
the static sound of the traffic on the slick streets in the background

well the rain’s coming back
and there’s nowhere to hide
but I’d be lying if I told you I tried
they’re huddled in doorways
they’re sharing umbrellas and everything
Track Name: So This Is The City
I found a sweet blue afternoon
life is good and I’ve got proof:
there’s a garden on a roof
there’s a girl, I think she’s cute
I was tryin’ to hate this city, too.

there’s church bells ringin’ hallelu
while a siren slices through
whoo-ooh
whoo-ooh.
I cross the street no matter what
I smile at the friendly bum
but he never smiles back
I guess it’s personal.

PRE-CHORUS
I never really followed baseball much
but fuck the Yankees anyway
this many people can’t be wrong about anything
wha-oh

CHORUS
so this is the city
so this is the sound
this is where they say that everything goes down
so this is the city
a city in spring
it ain’t home but it’s a lot of other things

hey winter: that’s been quite enough
the sun is out, let’s take a walk
the public garden’s filling up

Zeus used to rule all the men and gods
now the pigeons shit on him in the park
while little asian kids play tag
dude plays the banjo on a bench
there’s couples covering the grass
beside the signs that say
“please keep off of the grass”

PRE-CHORUS

CHORUS

behind the piano shop
this alley is as sunny as it’s ever been
a bird catches a draft
of some air from another century
swoops to the fire escape to listen in
wha-oh

CHORUS
Track Name: Mariska Hargitay
when something creepy is going down on the internet
when somewhere there’s a boy that thinks that “no” means “yes”
in real life or on the TV
when someone sputters he didn’t know she wasn’t old enough
or when a working girl gets roughed up
we all know who’s first on the scene

CHORUS
Mariska Hargitay
your name is kinda fun to say
your dad was Mr. Universe
whoa-oh
your mom was a babe
and look what they made!
Mariska Hargitay
everybody’s glad you came
you tried out to be Monica
on Friends
but they turned you away
look at you today!
I know the world is better off with you this way

there’s someone creepy on the train opening his coat
and is it murder if she chose to choke?
yeah talk about a dirty job
but when she’s with the victims still her eyes can say “I understand”
then turn around and say “I’ll kick your ass”
when she needs to let you know who’s boss

CHORUS

in the criminal justice system
sexually based offenses are considered to be especially screwed up
in New York City, the extremely foxy detective who deals with this nonsense is known as

CHORUS

Mariska please
won’t you slap some cuffs on me

CHORUS
Track Name: Sometimes I Forget
sometimes I forget
that no one’s keeping score
I do this to myself.
sometimes I forget
that there’s now and little more
I must hurt for something else

my head and me
we make long lists of maybes
try to know ahead of me
I hear there’s a forest
but I only see trees
and they’re losing all their leaves
you know I only feel this bad ’cause it’s so easy.

CHORUS
it’s like mouth to mouth with foreign tongues
I never felt so young
and vulnerable
it’s like fingers screeching down the walls
I try and stop the fall
sometimes I forget
oh sometimes I forget

sometimes I forget
to give credit where it’s due
to step outside my shoes
sometimes I forget
that I don’t make the rules
that I’m a sucker too
your fellow fool.

my head and me
we make long lists of maybes
try to throw my fear in front of me
and I get confused
between what’s now and what’s eternity
it’s an awful waste of energy
you know I only feel this bad ’cause it’s so easy.

it’s like mouth to mouth with foreign tongues
I never felt so young
and dumb
it’s like fingers screeching down the walls
I try and stop the fall

oh fuck.
what I’d do to be zen buddhist
what I’d do for high cathedral just for me
but there’s a war inside
I just wave white flags for peace.

CHORUS

I chip away
at the ground beneath my feet
the slightest semblance of peace
you know I only feel this bad ’cause it’s so easy
Track Name: Arsla
story of a yellow white boy and a blue brown girl
up against the odds, us against the world
but this was no Verona
no story near as noble
as the west side of New York

if I dug a hole in my back yard
and I dug and I dug and I didn’t burn up
I would come up somewhere
squinting in the glare
near the house where she comes from.

CHORUS
Arsla
I never heard a name like hers before
she’s got the sweetest accent in her voice
Arsla
I never seen dark eyes as bright before
she likes our infrastructure and our boys, but
Arsla
what would they say back home?

not with a bang, but with a whimper we finished
one sweet sweet girl didn’t know what hit her
and the boy who played decider
had only one desire
to stick his face down in the sand.

CHORUS

you know what they’d say back home.

cause on American streets we’d pass her people
monochrome cliques spittin’ passing needles
she would never translate
I would read it on her face
I don’t know what they were thinking
they were not the ones betrayed.

CHORUS

I’d like to blame the world
I’d like to blame the world
I’d like to blame the world
Track Name: Mitochondrial Eve
she was my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandma
and yours
and she made better babies than all the other ladies in the cave bore
she c-c-couldn’t have known
no she couldn’t have dreamed
just how big her living legacy would be
she couldn’t know she’d be the angel at the top of our tree

she couldn’t know that she
she coudln’t know that she’d give me
my mitochondria

CHORUS
she’s still alive in our veins
there was no fall from grace
they oughta make a holiday
she was more than just a link in the chain
she gave me my mitochondria
m-m-my mitochondrial eve

she was our great-great-great-great grandma
and you know we should be grateful
but we just sit at her Thanksgiving always bickering and bitching at the kids’ table
she c-c-couldn’t have known
if she did she probly couldn’t have done it
yeah that’s just too much weight for anyone to walk around luggin’
but the future takes your shit and goes runnin’

she couldn’t know that she
she couldn’t know that she’d give me
my mitochondria

CHORUS

(she couldn’t know that she
she couldn’t know that she’d give me)

she wasn’t the queen of the pleistocene
no she couldn’t have known
when she was getting laid
that she was making nations
the first waves in today’s sea of faces
but that’s fucking fate kids.

(she couldn’t know that she
she couldn’t know that she’d give me

my mitochondria)

CHORUS x2
Track Name: Goodbye to Boston
I think it’s time I go
no they don’t need me here
there’s plenty of fresh faces coming every single year

this city is a light
but I am not a moth
no it’s time my precious cubic feet were auctioned off

I think it’s time I said goodbye to Boston
I think it’s time I said goodbye to Boston.

I’d seem the perfect type
I’ll be a student all my life
and I’ve got a car, a kind of car that
all the rich men like

but I’ve been sleeping fine
there’s nothing on my mind
and you know that’s how I realized
that it’s about that time.

I think it’s time I said goodbye to Boston
I think it’s time I said goodbye to Boston.

I’m not rich enough to chair the board
but I’m not poor enough to sweep the floors
though I’m ashamed to say I’ve used the servants’ door.

let the yuppies have their playground
let New England have its crown
let all the pretty families live just enough outside of town.

let the others keep their reasons
I won’t need ‘em where I’m going
at least now the trouble with this river won’t be the way I’m rowing.

I think it’s time I said goodbye to Boston
I think it’s time I said goodbye to Boston.
Track Name: Where Apples Grow
the kind of heat that rides piggyback on you
a thick bright afternoon
the kind where all four windows down ain’t quite enough.

up through the miles of orchards in their rows
on the road that sneaks along the creeks
where the sign says “beer and lunch” but they’re ten years closed.

I breathe in deep:
just cut grass and gasoline.

PRE-CHORUS
I left the fold
but I forgot the goal
now I’m counting up the things that I still know
leave my city skin by the side of the road

I was born in a hot green valley
the kind of valley where apples grow.

the birds are trying, the cicadas are winning
a jet draws a white line
above the fields buzzing with everything living.

a lazy breeze
is tugging on the power lines and apple trees.

PRE-CHORUS

CHORUS
I was born in a hot green valley
the kind of valley where apples grow
from the hillsides of Adams County
to where the highway cuts below
and I met a man from out of town who told me that I couldn’t know
well maybe I didn’t know
but now I know.

and the sun sinks out of sight
we bounce down long gravel drives
park the car and walk among
eruptions of fireflies.

PRE-CHORUS

PRE-CHORUS

CHORUS