Carbon Copies 


The band strode to their instruments

A quickened air of confidence

Permeates the hangar for the day's appointed shoot

They lay it down, attack the song

Catch lightning for eternity

And swagger back to sunlight as the notes escort them out


  Forged within the core 

  And cauldron of a star 

  So live your life 

  Like who the hell you are 

  Infinite lifescapes - 

  Familiar to bizarre - 

  Revel on through Time 

  Like who the hell you are 

The artist paints, his glare intense

A theme runs bold and evident

The sense he's on to something fills the Paris afternoon

And there it is, the masterstroke

The feeling no one dared evoke

A canvas revolution in the making starts to bloom



Carbon copies, carbon, carbon copies...

Carbon copies, carbon, carbon copies...

Born with all the spit and polish

The family name could muster

Casting shadows in the light

Of the neighboring star cluster

The cobwebs of connections

Old money fuels that big head start

Your pick of prized professions

From corporate law to modern art


Carbon copies, carbon, carbon copies and the numbers don't drop 

Error, error, error upon error and the printer won't stop 

Carbon copies, carbon, carbon copies pages black & white 

Terror, terror, terror upon terror with no end in sight 


Carbon copy socialite

Imprinted with its pretty face

Such are the perks of taking breaths

At the right moment in time and space

Carbon copy business suit

Brain-dead brute gets a clothing line

Tailor-made to market the brand

Pushing hand-me-down white collar crime

Carbon copies, carbon, carbon copies...

Carbon copies, carbon, carbon copies...

Deep in all the grime and gravel

History's neglected kid

Playing catch up all your life

With Maslow's lofty pyramid

A mine field of directions

Sideline big plans for making good

Adult-like obligations

Weighing down a stolen childhood



Carbon copy service job

Young lives fettered in retail chains

The nameless, faceless worker drone 

Cheap labour as your life force drains

Carbon copy shooting spree

A copycat case of life gone wrong

Trials summed up in a sentence

To run consecutive life-terms long


fade out:

Carbon copies, carbon, carbon copies...

Error, error, error upon error...


(a drinking song)

I don't mean to disturb you

With minor interference

Please pardon my intrusion

And general appearance

I see you're having dinner

I know it's not my business

But your wife and I are lovers

For years she's been my mistress

Believe me I'm embarrassed

It's hardly fair to you

We let it go for far too long

Unsure of what to do


So sorry for this mess, dear 

I know it seems abrupt 

It's something that's been building 

So please don't interrupt 

Yes I have been drinking 

But it never bothered you before 

I may not earn a fortune

But I own stock in her

An investment of a lifetime

In daydreams as it were

That has to count for something

A love grown so obsessed

To simmer in the shadows

Don't say you're not impressed

Believe me I'm embarrassed

It's hardly fair to you

We let it go for far too long

Unsure of what to do


So if you would so please

Accept at my insistence

Apologies for my misdeeds

And general existence

Now if you'll beg my pardon

I'll bow and take my leave

Never meant to cause such drama

What a tangled web we weave


How much do you want for this dream?

Don't be stubborn - name your price

I'm a connoisseur and know when I see

High quality merchandise

I've seen all sorts of dreams in my time

But this one's the cat's meow

Looks like someone tried to make it real

And maybe didn't know how

chorus 2x: 

I'm a tycoon of second hand dreams 

And I'm here to make a deal 

Tycoon of second hand dreams 

And I'm here to make some real 

I've seen this town before the wars

Before the crisis hit

Before right-wing talk radio

Turned everything to shit

I've seen the best dreams come and go

I've seen the worst ones rule

I've seen some dreams bait everyone

With no one left to fool



From the lonely girl on the rooftop

To the runaway at the bus stop

From the unknown artist in the studio

To the one-hit wonder on the radio

Every town's got its own crop



Pull up a chair

Outdoor French cafe

Gazette under arm

Merlot on the way

Try to relax

Browse a series of articles

I suddenly sense

A wave of charged particles

chorus 1: 

Flashes of you 

Charged particles - ricochet through 

Tableau pour deux - Two ravenous hearts 

Love on the menu 

Window gazing

A second hand store

Familiar signage

"Please use other door"

Enter and browse

Rummage through the old articles

I suddenly see

A haze of charged particles

chorus 2: 

Drawing my view 

Charged particles - vignette in blue 

So déjà vu - Strolling hand-in-hand 

Moonlit avenue 


Like shadows of your long lost ghost

All the moments that I miss the most

Like Nature took a video

And trapped it in a moonbeam's glow

To play it back when the light is right

Your images so plague my sight

(chorus 1 + 2)


Who knew putting up a fight

Meant putting on a show

One too many times in court

And now you've got to go

All crowd around the golden calf


As he's led away in handcuffs

To their shock and disbelief


Bible Belt gun show 

It keeps them entertained 

The politics that fools and tricks 

The bored and addled brained 

Bible Belt gun sho

You showed them who's in charge 

How fast you go from cult hero 

To fugitive at large 

Bible Belt gun show (Jesus in camo) 

Bible Belt gun show (scripture meets ammo) 

Bible Belt gun show (backwoods G.I. Joe) 

Bible Belt gun show (Jehovah to bravo) 

It was one long heart attack

From Clinton through Obama

Subjecting every tortured soul

To all your needless drama

Lashing twisted tongues

Grotesque legal contortions

Ratchet up the crazy

To unheard of proportions

Condemn the un-American

And make your little speech

As you peddle your religion

Borrowed from the Middle East

Guns going into Starbucks

On family Christmas cards

Popping up in campaign ads

Like victims in graveyards


You got the nurses, the teachers

The school boards on the run

What was it you were saying  

Mister good guy with a gun?

You claimed it's for your self-defense

Claimed it's for protection

As you crowd around the ballot box

To shoot out an election

Got you foaming at the mouth

At their Pavlovian bell

A little neural programming

And you're angry as all hell

Boycott the social sites

Boycott the NFL

Drive those lizard-brain resentments

Into every gun they sell



I told my friend I'd meet you

I owed him a favour

I'm sure that it's an honor

One day that you'll savor

But I can't make promises -

Guys like me are in demand -

Let's chill out over drinks

Then I'll tell you where we stand

I must warn you, my standards are high

I'm not some bum you dated or average guy


Yes a girl she should know how to behave 

Show deference to her man and heed his direction 

But your air of self-reliance 

Speaks volumes in defiance 

Yeah and I was set to show you my email collection 

To think I planned to show you my email collection 

But you can't even seem to manage the ounce of respect that I crave 


Let's give our little dance

An honest direction

As you're the weaker sex

You need my protection

And my higher income bracket -

Gender has its rewards -

With all the perks and status

A man's world well affords

I must warn you, my love isn't cheap

I'm not some beta cuck chump or internet creep



You will not let us fix it

You will not let me out

I try to break away

And like a baby you just pout

Therapy's a no go

It's an acid to your pride

I try to leave you gently

And you threaten suicide

I know it's controversial

And lacking peer review

It reeks of desperation

But what else am I to do?


Psychiatry at gunpoint 

Let me line up our first session 

Psychiatry at gunpoint 

With a licensed Smith & Wesson 

Attendance, though essential, 

Remains wholly confidential 


We don't share any interests

We move in separate spheres

Keep conflicting schedules

Incompatible careers

You know we have no future

But won't let me move on

I tell you but you won't accept

My love for you is gone

I know it's controversial

And lacking peer review

My professional credentials 

Hang there helpless against you 


You seem to willfully embrace 

This constant air of tension

As skillfully you bob and weave

Attempts at intervention

You won't accept my counsel

Shun all suggested treatment

What did you think would happen

Living years in disagreement?



A planet in search of an identity

That lingering phase of immaturity

We grow out of roles but the acting resumes

A planet of cults and costumes

Some ride out in packs joining leather clad gangs

Or grow into fictional vampire fangs

Some wield a guitar in the world of hair bands

Or buzz cut their skulls as some leader commands


Products of fads and demo targeting 

We fall prey to heroes of slick marketing 

Fresh out of schoolyards and sheltered playrooms 

We all choose our cults and costumes 

Some play the role of militia recruits

Kevlar and camo and thick combat boots

Some copy the walk and the slang of street toughs

Or dwell underground wielding whips and handcuffs

Some cover their tracks, lugging camping equipment

To hide in the forest from worldly commitment

Some rule over flocks in imperious robes

Or tattoo and pierce from their toes to earlobes


Products of trends and the spells on tv 

We Bogart the first hat that fits to a T 

Fresh out of patience for corporate boardrooms 

We all choose our cults and costumes 


The core of ourselves can get buried so deep

Far too weighted down and neglected 

We take our escapes to unhealthy extremes

To fit in and not feel rejected


Some slip into armor of scholarly tweed

A clever defense built with all that they read

Some come to regret the gang colors they've worn

And seek new respect in a clean uniform

We rummage wardrobes for respectable shirts

To cover the scars where our wounded pride hurts

Ashamed of ourselves and the humans we are

Sometimes our centered self wanders too far




Not everyone is born to win

Sometimes our fortunes say we suffer

Bear the brunt of life's indignities

With only simple joys as buffer

But if it's any consolation

I come bearing good news

And if it brings you any peace

Here's a bit of information


If all else fails 

Your life derails and goes off track 

Take confidence 

What put you here has got your back 

If all else fails 

Evil prevails and wins the day 

Take comfort in 

The joys of Nature will replay 

If all else fails 

Now don't look so incredulous

That the Universe has powers

To transcend space from dark and dead

To a sun-drenched field of flowers

But if you need some confirmation

I bid you look around

You're here and there's your evidence -

Life is all reanimation -



All songs are copyright protected. The right of Michael Centra to be identified as the author of these works has been asserted by him in accordance with Copyright, Design and Patent Acts.

All rights are reserved. No part of any lyric published may be reproduced, stored or transmitted by any means without the permission of the author.