Strong Measures 

[ War-Torn Love Life ]

• [ World Wide Scale ]

• [ Smoke Plumes ]

• [ The World is Getting Away ]

• [ Fuck The World ]

• [ Subscription ]

[ Scorners of the Grave ]

• [ Warlike Way ]

• [ The Shelter of Shadow ]

• [ Dear Life ]

Musical Renditions:

Smoke Plumes (Click for Audio) 


Composition/MIDI/Arrangement/Production - Mark Knight

Lyrics - M. Centra /Steve McAndrew *

Composition/Vox - Steve McAndrew

Drums - John Wooten

Acoustic Guitar - Schenkerguy

Electric Bass Guitar - Schenkerguy

Electric Guitar - mlc

Electric Wah Guitar - SimonH1

* slightly altered lyrics

Scorners of the Grave (Click for Audio) 


Juhani Nakala : All music and instruments except *

M. Centra: Lyrics *

John van den Oetelaar: Lead and background vocals and *sologuitar.

Steve McAndrew: Background vocals

* slightly altered lyrics


Another night of planning

The perfect diplomatic stance

Fine-tuning the best approach

To give democracy a chance

Another tough press conference

Another talk with heads of state

Another late night meeting

Another truce to cultivate

So many questions from the press

So much ground you need to cover

I imagine you've rarely had

The chance to take a lover


And you're overwhelmed with honors

For "securing peace in our time"

But your record when it comes to love

Is as dark as any war crime

Dark as any war crime


Lost in a thousand yard stare 

Never to be a wife 

Choking on the smoke plumed air 

Of a war-torn love life 

Quick flight into Moscow

For the latest round of talks

High drama at the summit

When the Afgan delegate walks

Another long press conference

Then it's off to catch a flight

Debriefed on the plane ride

To arrive in the dead of night

So many conflicts to diffuse

So many embassies to phone

All these envoys bidding for time

Make you hard to catch alone



News flash from the Balkans

Of the violently oppressed

Quick close to the Q & A

Another point left unaddressed

Another rough draft to review

Another statement to refine

One more point to clarify

But you're always pressed for time

So many fires to put out

Can really push a person's sanity

Overrun and slice you up

Like some two-bit principality




Changes must be made

On a world wide scale

Consequences weighed

On a world wide scale

Justice must be measured out

On a world wide scale

Understanding brought about

On a world wide scale

As displaced populations mount

And diplomatic options fail

chorus 1: 

All the hopes our plans betray 

And still we call for votes 

All the lives our efforts save 

While at each others throats... 

On a world wide scale...

Tempers must be cooled

On a world wide scale

All resources pooled

On a world wide scale

Measures must be carried out

On a world wide scale

Understanding brought about

On a world wide scale

As bad blood boosts the body count

And diplomatic pressures fail

chorus 2: 

All the problems we ignore 

And still we want to solve 

All the thoughts that we condemn 

While screaming to evolve... 

On a world wide scale...

Power must be shared

On a world wide scale

Unity declared

On a world wide scale

Progress  - we must tabulate -

On a world wide scale

Happiness - re-calibrate -

On a world wide scale

As heart rate readings elevate

And diplomatic measures fail

(chorus 1 + 2)

Changes must be made

On a world wide scale

Paradise surveyed

On a world wide scale...

Hate and hunger ended

Life and limb defended

On a world wide scale...


On a high flying wagon train

Feel the sun through the window pane

Ran them black hats clear out of town

Hired a posse and gunned them all down

So let 'em raise a big dust cloud

You did good and your Mama's proud

No telling what the truth will find

But you're sky-high now with an open mind

chorus (X2): 

And it's funny how the views can change 

Thirty-thousand feet up and way down range 

Are those smoke plumes in the air? 

Or a line of clouds in the predawn glare

Not sure what you really did

'Til historians lift the lid

Will a new world war dance cut it?

Open Pandora's box or shut it?

Is the world now a better place?

Did it just fall flat on its face?

No telling what you left behind

But you're sky-high now with an open mind


Why does Time always grant us sight

Of what we did wrong and what we did right

When it's too late to change a thing?

When the swan has sung its song and taken to the wing?

How long can Wisdom survive

Unwanted: Dead or Alive?

A lone voice 'mid the home team cheers -

"I give you these for they have no ears"

Final toast on a midnight plane

In full stealth mode and free of blame

It all went like you said it would

Took on the press and you fooled 'em good

Heading home with a loaded chest

Oiled Stetson and a cowboy vest

You know, you really robbed 'em blind

But you're sky-high now with an open mind



Sunlight threw suspicion on the moon

Then the stars were blamed

Someone pointed a finger at the gods

And the universe was framed

But the world, the world is getting away

But the world, the world is getting away

Oil implicated

In a world wide scheme

Everyone a victim

Of a hijacked dream

Zombies we circle the block

Like hands on the face of a clock

Life's a tattered suit

That just don't fit

We slowly waste away

Growing into it

Shoppers just doing time

In life's frozen check-out line


The world is getting away 

From the scene of the crime 

And leaving shards of evidence 

In shattered lives behind 

The world is getting away 

Giving all of us the slip 

Like an omen to a clueless crew 

Abandoned by the ship 

Poisonous cloud

Building in the air

Handy-man planet

In need of repair

World full of carbon emission

Less than in live-in condition

Demographic born

To sweat and slave

Busy being mommy's

Little live-in maid

"Daddy said pick up the slack

And finish before we get back"


On the sea of extinction

Where wind and tide begin to shift

Under sky as thin as ice

Another species set adrift


What if there were no rivals to face?

No worldly threats or wars to be won?

What if there were no calls of distress?

Nor any need at all for a hero to come?

How would you pass your days?

Without such submissive praise?

Could you coolly co-exist?

Or would you resist and...

chorus 1: 

Fuck the world 

Fuck humanity 

Anything to prove 

Your masculinity 

Fuck the world 

Got to show them you're brave 

Need a nemesis to fight 

And a damsel to save 

Even if it's digging your own grave 

What if there were no cries for justice?

No discontents or crime to control?

What if there were no spies to suspect?

Nor any need at all for a border patrol?

How would you ever breathe?

At which nothing you could seethe?

Would you shrivel up and die?

Or shout at the sky and...

chorus 2: 

Fuck the world 

Fuck civility 

Anything to shield 

Such vulnerability 

Fuck the world 

Got to always play rough 

Need an enemy to hate 

And to always look tough 

Even if inside you've had enough 

Customized crisis, over-blown urgency

Yet another emergency made for you…

Dog whistle whisper, raw animosity...

Any slur or atrocity will do...

Fuck the world

(chorus 1 + 2)


didn't order all the pain and the fear

didn't order a single shedded tear

i have yet to see a victim-less day

on this planet we call civilized

didn't order all the scandals and schemes

rogue principalities and two-bit regimes

daily doses of the bloodiest scenes

we've prerecorded and televised

pre-chorus 1:

didn't order a peace treaty signed

when a hand shake should have sufficed

didn't order the prospects for peace

so extravagantly over-priced

pre-chorus 2:

didn't order the cameras to close in

when countless could have been saved

didn't order the heroes to hang back

when waters could have been braved


cancel my subscription - 

it's a world of contradiction* 

this was not your ads description 

i ordered paradise! 

cancel my subscription to this life 

cancel my subscription to this... 

didn't order all the terrorist cults

lives led astray and the fatal results

children caught up in the crimes of adults

brainwashed to pray and praise suicide

didn't order all the racist dot coms

psychotics tinkering with homemade pipe bombs

lone assassins quoting scripture and psalms

to prove their actions were justified

(pre-chorus 1+2)


the tension only breaks

when a dream within awakes

and the human spirit takes

a new form


floats like so much loose debris

carried clear across the sea

in a storm

in a storm

didn't order all the bubble-gum pop

mass market divas and gangster hip-hop

updated versions of the same old crop

of vaudevillian song and dance routines

didn't order all the crime on tv

turned entertainment for the citizenry

i'm not a lawyer so why should I be

so transfixed on countless courtroom scenes?

(pre-chorus 1+2)


*Line substitutes.

First, second and third run-through of chorus:

1rst: It's a world of contradiction

2nd: It's a world of dereliction

3rd: It's a world of mass affliction


now, i've been in heavy weather

but this i just can't stand

it's amazing how you stay calm

with the bitter end at hand

take a look outside this window

the storm's not easing up

it's gonna blow right through your cornered life

and flip it like a cup


at war with the world - 

'cause they don't like the way it's made 

so they're gonna kill us 

and put our bodies on parade 

would you reach across the table

and light my cigarette?

would you give us fifteen minutes?

would you care to make a bet?

be a friend and crack that window

i feel like i can't breathe

on second thought don't bother

who wants to hear them seethe?

(chorus 1)

chorus 2: 

at war with the world - 

more than our eyes refuse to meet 

so they're gonna kill us 

and drag our bodies through the street 

do you think they'll lay us down

in a hazy sunlit glade?

do you think they'll hear our story

and the sacrifice we made?

i remember reading something

that always made me brave

"through words a man is never dead,

not even in the grave"

(chorus 1+2)

(repeat to fade)

at war with the world

(not even, not even in the grave)

at war with the world

(not even, not even in the grave)

at war with the world

(not even, not even in the grave)


be it Earth

or the realm of the gods

everyone, everywhere

is at odds

we hear the words the diplomats say

still we pound the drums in a warlike way

every inch

of the Earth, every spot

takes on the look

of a dark parking lot

we try to keep our demons at bay

still they manifest in a warlike way


and so we come with loaded guns 

to advertise our aims are true 

and so we march with bayonets 

to emphasize our point of view 

no one wants to listen

no one wants to care...

crowded bar

contentious workplace

weapons quick to draw

fisticuffs to face

burning grudge, a time bomb in play

shattering of lives in a warlike way



we already got

a witches brew

and these amateur chefs

want to thicken the stew

for you and for me

and for all humanity


tag verse:

no one wants to listen

no one wants to care

until some lunatic fringe group

starts waving guns in the air


verse 1:

i struggle out of the gate -

stumbling -

trip bombs leave dead bodies in my wake

a crescendo of alarms -

soldiers scramble for their arms -

and the race is on for the shoreline of the lake

verse 2:

at the first line of trees - a machine gun nest -

wishing my shadow was a cave I could crawl into

wishing my shadow was a grave I could fall into

verse 3:

behind, I hear the cries -

echoing -

ahead, a stretch of field with deadly crop

more escapees disappear

with each report I hear

the gunshots ring the air but I don't drop

verse 4:

i pass the open ditch and bags of lime -

wishing my shadow was a cave I could crawl into

wishing my shadow was a grave I could fall into


i could fall 

i could fall 

i could fall into 

i could fall 

i could fall 

i could fall into 

verse 5:

i feel the open field

exploding -

claiming lives around me left and right -

attack dogs on the trail

as my lungs begin to fail

with freedom just beyond and within sight

verse 6:

at the murky waterline I fall wounded -

praying the shadow was a cave I could crawl into

praying the shadow was a grave I could fall into

wishing the puddle was a lake I could dive into...


Seems such a shame to waste our lives

Disturbing the peace that they came with

Seems quite the art to fashion greed

A handy excuse to lay blame with

And so we ..

Swagger around like we own the setting sun

Fuel up our tanks for the grisly hit and run

Fabricate fights, double down on damage done

Pushing each other to the edge— until we're...


Holding on for dear life 

Trading threats to dear life 

Shot down dead for dear life 

Pushing each other to the edge 

The edge of dear life 

Seems hard enough to face Nature -

Such dangers we're forced to contend with -

But quite the strain to treat our tongues

As weapons we use to offend with

And so we...

Won't recognize the vocal and growing pleas

Leave unaddressed our vulnerabilities

Worsen a world with everyone ill-at-ease

Pushing each other to the edge— until we're...



There's a danger in history repeating

Every quest to win growing ever self-defeating

And driving between us a new wedge

Pushing each other to the edge— until we're...


(repeat to fade)

Pushing each other to the edge... 


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.