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Why You All So Thief?

Title: Why You All So Thief? 1
Released: 1994
Label: Sing Eunuchs

Liner notes

Thanks to: Dave Sink, Bob Thornton, Bob Durkee, Scott Owens, and Dennis.

Why You All So Thief? was included in its entirety on the compilation Protein Source of the Future… NOW!.

Table of contents

  1. Going to Tennessee
  2. Pure Heat
  3. Burn Rubber
  4. Fluoride

Going to Tennessee 2 3

Baseball season'll be starting soon
But we have no baseball team here
I got a house on the river
I can see Arkansas 4 from where I am

The dogs are gathering
And the birds are chattering
And the sun is setting on Memphis 5
And the sun is setting on Memphis

The medicine bottle collection on the windowsill
Shakes when the cars go past on Interstate 55 6
You are standing above me
You washed your face with that apricot scrub again
I am glad I am alive
And your skin is warming up
And my skin is warming up
And the sun is setting on Memphis
And the sun is setting on Memphis

Pure Heat 2 7

The wind from the north
Battens the yellow corn
You come in to the house
With your dress torn

I can see you now
As though through a screen
A smile on your face
Your fingers dripping kerosene

Your hair hangs down
Over me
Your hair casts a shadow
To cover me

I can see you now
As though through a screen
A smile on your face
Your fingers dripping kerosene

And the wind from the north
Cools me
The wind from the north
Doesn't fool me

I can see you now
As though through a screen
A smile on your face
Your fingers dripping kerosene

Footnotes

  1. Why You All So Thief? is a split EP with fellow Inland Empire cassette musician Simon Joyner, each contributing two tracks. The Simon Joyner tracks, Burn Rubber and Fluoride, are not discussed here.

    The title comes from a line in Jamaica Kincaid's autobiographical novel (confirmed in the liner notes to Protein Source of the Future… NOW!), A Small Place. Amid her anger with corruption in the government of Antigua, where she was born, and its exploitation by foreigners, she writes (p. 68):

    The people who go into running the government were not always such big thieves; nor have they always been so corrupt. They took things, but it was on a small scale. For instance, if the government built some new housing to be sold to people, then a minister or two would get a few of the houses for themselves. They would then sell them outright, or rent them. Everybody knew about this. Some of the ministers were honest. One of them, a famous one in Antigua, a leader of the Trade and Labour Union movement, even died a pauper. Another minister, when his party lost power, had to drive a taxi. It is he, the taxi-driving ex-minister, who taught the other ministers a lesson. If you say to them, "Why you all so thief?" they say, "When I leave here, you want me to go drive taxi?"

    A similar title, Why You So Monkey?, belongs to a Cash Nexus album and song released in 1996, Cash Nexus being one of the Wckr Spgt related Inland Empire bands. I'm unclear if there's any further relationship between the albums.

    Kincaid, Jamaica (1988). A Small Place. New York: Farrar, Strous, and Giroux.

  2. "Both songs [on Why You All So Thief?] are about cheating death, an effort which, you'll note, has yet to meet with success anywhere, ever." — liner notes to Protein Source of the Future… NOW! 2

  3. Going to Tennessee is part of the Going to … series.

  4. Arkansas is a state in the American South bordering Tennessee on the west.

  5. Memphis is the largest city in Tennessee, located on the Arkansas and Mississippi borders.

  6. Interstate 55 is a major north-south freeway running from Chicago to New Orleans through Memphis.

  7. Pure Heat is part of the Pure … series.