Hard Fought Defeat

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While Bloodhounds took four years to write, I definitely didn’t have the same problem with Hard Fought Defeat.

 

Although I wish the circumstances had been different, there was no shortage of ideas for these lyrics. As I was putting the finishing touches on the last grouping, my dad passed away. This impacted the last two things I wrote for Bloodhounds and created an obvious focus for what you’ll find below.

 

Trying to create different concepts for groupings in the past, this one is the most cohesive by default. Revolving around the grieving process, it runs through several emotions I felt at the time. Unfortunately, other friends of mine were dealing with similar situations and it all got channeled into this project too.

 

Despite knowing what I wanted to do, a fair amount changed from conception to what appears here. For one, the original title was From Reactions To Reflections. The concept would’ve stretched out over two groupings with this one featuring pieces that were more reactive to the situation. The follow-up would be called From Reflections To Reactions and contain more meditative pieces as a counterpoint. It wasn’t until Take Care was written that this idea got dropped. Coming up with the term hard fought defeat (a play on hard fought victory) changed my perspective on the material entirely.

 

From there, it was a matter of moulding things together and selecting what fit best. Two pieces were still cut from this version (there were originally 14 and it was too long,) but it drastically improved the overall flow. A lot of other leftover lyrics were supposed to be on the follow-up as well, but even that plan changed along the way. (find out all about it right here.)

 

This is probably the closest I’ve come to seeing something through from conception to final product though. I usually end up scrapping my initial idea while going through the writing process, so it was a huge success for me. As such, this might also be the proudest I’ve been over any set of lyrics. In regards to individual favourites, those include Getting Ready, From 4 To 8, Imperfections and Take Care. Although I know that’s not a lot considering the praise I’ve heaped on this group of lyrics, they’re honestly four of the best things I’ve ever written in my mind. Because of that, the rest don’t meet the same level despite still being great for what they are.

 

For those interested, check out the original version of these lyrics in the Fireteddy National Library. You can also find some stuff that didn’t make the cut here.

 

Lyrics Content

 

01. Getting Ready

02. August Sun (Toronto)

03. From 4 To 8

04. When I’m Gone (Silent Sound)

05. Last Mistakes

06. Imperfections

07. I Fall Down

08. Backwards First

09. Waiting For An Answer

10. Coming Around

11. Days Of Sleep

12. Take Care

 

Getting Ready

 

Sure as the plan for this life

We don’t always understand, but I know we’ll survive

Yeah we’ll find a place to land pretty soon, you and I

While we’re searching for a sign, always searching for a sign

 

Watch every tear overflow

We don’t want to live in fear, everything that we know

Will it always disappear? burning out with the smoke

If we stop to let it go, never stop to let this go

 

Pointing to the sky, from the sky to the sea

Always getting ready for the pillar that I’ll be

Steady as the light piercing through the shadows we keep

 

Eyes open wide in the dark

We don’t always realize, though it’s all in the stars

As they blow out in your eyes to attain one more spark

Now we’re showing off our scars, always showing off our scars

 

No one knew what we had to fight for

When no one felt a thing

Callused skin, I’m taking on this weight

 

Pointing to the sky, from the sky to the sea

Always getting ready for the pillar that I’ll be

Steady as the light piercing through the shadows we keep

 

With every spirit rising, you’re turning and capsizing now

Swimming bitter oceans and making a commotion

Building up some strength so you don’t have to drown

 

Sure as the plan for this life

We don’t always understand, but I know we’ll survive

Yeah we’ll find a place to land pretty soon, you and I

Now we’re running out of time, always running out of time

 

Pointing to the sky, from the sky to the sea

Always getting ready for the pillar that I’ll be

Steady as the light piercing through the shadows we keep

 

Steady as the light piercing through the shadows we keep

Steady as the light piercing through the shadows we keep

 

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August Sun (Toronto)

 

I’ve been waiting, waiting for the sky to change

Heading out of town, now this all still feels so strange

It hasn’t been a month, been a month since you fell behind

Leaving on a train, but I can’t get you off my mind

 

Somewhere in this city I will come to terms

Maybe get a little distance as I try to learn

Learn another lesson from this life made so unkind

 

I’ve been running, running from what I can’t face

Why bother staying when I feel so out of place?

It hasn’t been a week, been a week since I left home

Searching for myself in a future that’s still unknown

 

Somewhere in this city we can be renewed

Maybe find a little peace before the past intrudes

Intruding on this life as my heart turns into stone

 

Everybody leaves, now they’re moving on fast enough

While the people who don’t care end up staying there far too long

Tell me will it crack, will it crack when I come undone?

Returning just to find that I can’t fool anyone

 

Somewhere in this city I will make amends

Maybe stay a while, well it all depends

Depending on this life when it sets like the August sun

Depending on this life when it sets like the August sun

 

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From 4 To 8

 

The clock hand passes midnight

But her eyes are open wide

With these private thoughts that linger on

Inside her tired mind

Outstretched beyond this absence

Raising arms as it sinks in

Is such fondness only camouflaged?

Until the heartbreak finally ends

 

From 4 to 8 she sits up straight

She contemplates if he’s awake

But still she won’t disturb his room

It’s far too soon, it’s far too soon

 

She’s found herself a tablet

So addictive in the dark

While this autumn breeze still whispers names

Past burning leaves and sparks

Now daylight runs much shorter

As night drags on and on

With equations made in restlessness

Its chemistry gone wrong

 

From 4 to 8 she sits up straight

She contemplates if he’s awake

But still she won’t clean out his room

It’s far too soon, it’s far too soon

 

While pretty soon she’ll move along

As shadows creep across the hall

She feels him haunting every space

From 4 to 8, from 4 to 8

 

Where does she get the strength?

Enough to carry on

She thinks of someone else

She doesn’t feel that strong

 

It won’t take long to find herself, it won’t take long to come back out

From where she’s been as seasons start to change

 

From 4 to 8 she sits up straight

She contemplates if he’s awake

But still she won’t clean out his room

It’s far too soon, it’s far too soon

 

While pretty soon she’ll move along

As memories start to flood the halls

She feels his spirit’s warm embrace

From 4 to 8, from 4 to 8 now

From 4 to 8, from 4 to 8 now

 

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When I’m Gone (Silent Sound)

 

No need for physical violence

I’ll just scream until my lungs fall out

Transplant the heart of a lion

Before returning back underground

 

Now what’s the sense in denying?

With everything that I’ll never see

It really isn’t surprising

We’ll take rebellion as our new release

 

But will you miss me when I’m gone?

Will you miss me when I’m gone

You’ve been waiting around for this silent sound

But will you miss me when I’m gone?

 

From father to son

It can’t be undone

This anger I feel

It’s anger I’ve won

Now taken away

To rest where you lay

With memories of pain

A heart full of rage

 

From fire to ash

For something that lasts

It’s falling apart

Then going down fast

Now drilled in my head

These words that you said

In lessons I’ve learned

With lines we get fed

 

From cradles to graves

It finds us too late

But when my time comes

Will I be afraid?

With all the blank stares

I’m slightly impaired

While anger can blind

I’m finally aware

 

From mother to son

Our grieving’s begun

This fear in my heart

What have I become?

Where’ did I go wrong?

They’re playing our song

It’s all out of tune

But let’s sing along

 

I’m singing along

I’m singing it wrong

It isn’t my song

I’ve tried being strong

Where did I go wrong?

Where do I belong?

Now everything’s gone

Everything’s gone

 

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Last Mistakes

 

Looking for a little escape

You had to flush this life down the drain

Now floating off in outer space

I guess it isn’t really the same

 

Pushing through when nothing makes sense

Never living in the present tense

Eventually to hedge all your bets

Examples of the things we forget

 

Always imploding, the light that escapes

We hold onto nothing so nothing can change

Infinite closure, our lives rearranged

Birds on a wire, inspired and profane

We’re living out, we’re living out our last mistakes

 

We prayed for some different results

I can’t say that this wasn’t your fault

Brought back here to hold what you claim

With consequence gone unexplained

 

I’ve wondered where everything ends

It’s all over before it begins

So how can we bury the past?

When the future we court doesn’t last

 

Always imploding, the light that escapes

We hold onto nothing so nothing can change

Infinite closure, our lives rearranged

Birds on a wire, inspired and profane

We’re living out, we’re living out our last mistakes

 

You can leave but you’ll never escape

You can leave but you’ll never escape

 

You can leave but you’ll never escape

From living out, living out your last mistakes

 

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Imperfections

 

You can’t see the north star burning at night

Clouded over, rain falling down from the sky

Trying to find some sheltered made for this life

Grappling with the pain you’ve been feeling inside

 

Well you don’t have to cry

But you don’t have to fake a smile all the time

No you don’t have to cry

Still I hope one day that you realize

 

With imperfections beautiful

These tears don’t make you weak

Why waste your time on turning heads?

When you never have to leave

 

Make this life a place to stand

And you won’t struggle to your feet

With imperfections beautiful

It’s the hardest thing to see

 

Now you want a way to make us believe

Catching every breath that allows you to speak

Redirect your whispers into a scream

Why water these ambitions down to a dream?

 

Well no one wants to die

But living isn’t simply being alive

Still no one wants to die

So I hope one day that you realize

 

With imperfections beautiful

These tears don’t make you weak

Why waste your time on turning heads?

When you never have to leave

 

Make this life a place to stand

And you won’t struggle to your feet

With imperfections beautiful

It’s the hardest thing to see

 

Staring from the outside, from the outside looking in

I can’t claim to comprehend it, but I’m sure I know one thing

If you have a little patience, looking back on where we’ve been

Never pushing you to change, I’ll still be waiting in the wings

For a light to shine again, for a light to shine again

 

With imperfections beautiful

These tears don’t make you weak

Why waste your time on turning heads?

When you never have to leave

 

So please don’t leave

Don’t leave

 

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I Fall Down

 

Square one, starting in the aftermath

I’ve been struggling to find answers or a different path

Coming to the surface, can I recreate?

A time before these memories always kept me awake

 

My life still stands on its own legs

With each regret I keep trying to fight

We can’t just be two souls convalescing

Losing it all to the night

 

Now I can’t even see a thing at all

But every time I close my eyes, I fall down

I fall down

 

Last chance, endings aren’t what we desire

I’ve been looking for a reason or an honest liar

Someone who can try and make this disappear

Maybe help me understand what we’ve been doing here

 

My heart, it beats at a new pace

Like it’s fluttering to take off in flight

We can’t just be two stars intersecting

Blowing out fast in the night

 

Now I can’t even see a thing at all

But every time I close my eyes, I fall down

I fall down

 

Searching in the past, can’t stare too long

I could look into the future but it all seems wrong

While hoping this relents, though it’s far too late

Always counting down the hours when there’s no escape

Now there’s no escape at all

 

Every time I close my eyes

Every time I close my eyes, I fall down

I fall down

 

Now I can’t even see a thing at all

But every time I close my eyes, I fall down

I fall down

 

I fall down

I fall down

 

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Backwards First

 

My biggest fear in life is not the end

It’s becoming an amnesiac

I’m looking at the past to comprehend

Maybe finding hope in little facts

 

Writing endless notes that I post on the walls

Reminds me of the days, it’s a haze in the fall

Always looking back there when it won’t make sense at all

 

I’ve been heading backwards first

With every story unrehearsed

Submerged in thoughts that we can’t leave behind

 

Pushing harder to confess

I’ve gotta let it off my chest

Before this weight lies heavy on my mind

 

Reliving all the better times gone past

We can’t act like it’s an accident

Worshipped every moment like a mass

While no matter how inaccurate

 

Taking every thought, tied in knots as they leave

Reminds me of the sights and the life that we grieve

Now I’m looking back there in an effort to proceed

 

I’ve been heading backwards first

With every story unrehearsed

Submerged in thoughts that we can’t leave behind

 

Pushing harder to confess

I’ve gotta let it off my chest

Before this weight lies heavy on my mind

 

But what’s to find? Now what’s to fear?

Can you tell me what the hell we’re doing here?

 

If the past re-gifts the present

And the future’s not so pleasant

What can we do?

 

I’ve been heading backwards first

With every story unrehearsed

Submerged in thoughts that we can’t leave behind

 

Pushing harder to confess

I’ve gotta let it off my chest

Before this weight lies heavy on my mind

 

Before this weight lies heavy on my mind

I know the future’s yet to be defined

 

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Waiting For An Answer

 

Strength in numbers, blunders yet to fail

Subtraction’s only counting down until we can’t prevail

Holding on, we’re longing to believe

But now my heart it bleeds, now my heart concedes

 

Looking in the same old places

Wasting time with our disgraces

Let’s pick up the pace before we leave

 

Can we grieve? Can we grieve?

Can we spare a little moment on our knees?

On the breeze, as we turn around to watch the autumn leaves

We’ll freeze, coming back beyond our apathy

It always keeps us waiting for an answer to receive

 

Strength in weakness, bleakness comes too fast

These colours aren’t as vibrant if our memories never last

Searching for a thought that we can seize

When everybody bleeds, everybody leaves

 

Looking through these washed up faces

Killing time to win some races

Praying for the patience to proceed

 

Can we grieve? Can we grieve?

Can we spare a little moment on our knees?

On the breeze, as we turn around to watch the autumn leaves

We’ll freeze, coming back beyond our apathy

It always keeps us waiting for an answer to receive

 

Come on, come on, please come around

Come on, come on, now come back down

To me, to me, to me

 

We’ll spin and spin as daylight turns

Beneath the sun before it burns

You’ll see, you’ll see, you’ll see

 

Can we grieve? Can we grieve?

Can we spare a little moment on our knees?

On the breeze, as we turn around to watch the autumn leaves

We’ll freeze, coming back beyond our apathy

It always keeps us waiting for an answer…

 

Can we grieve? Can we grieve?

Can we spare a little moment on our knees?

On the breeze, as we turn around to watch the autumn leaves

We’ll freeze, coming back beyond our apathy

It always keeps us waiting for an answer to receive

 

Waiting for an answer to receive

Waiting for an answer to receive

 

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Coming Around

 

There’s nothing you can say

That means too much to me

What people think they know

They rarely ever see

 

But please don’t be confused

By what I might decide

These choices are my own

It isn’t foolish pride

Or is it foolish pride?

 

I have my two feet firmly planted on the ground

I’ve got both ears plugged so I can’t hear any sound

Some think I’m lonely, but slowly I’m coming around again

I’m coming around again

 

As past mistakes remain

To fill in all the blanks

Emotions we can’t figure out

Before they fade away

 

In trying to Discern

Exactly how we feel

We’ve gathered all this distance

Expecting wounds to heal

When will they ever heal?

 

I have my two feet firmly planted on the ground

I’ve got both ears plugged so I can’t hear any sound

Some think I’m lonely, but slowly I’m coming around again

I’m coming around again

 

I don’t know how it starts

I’m not sure where it ends

But now the hardest part

Is trying to understand

 

We don’t know how it starts

We’re not sure where it ends

But now the hardest part

Is knowing there’s a plan

 

I have my two feet firmly planted on the ground

I’ve got both ears plugged so I can’t hear any sound

Some think I’m lonely, but slowly I’m coming around again

I’m coming around

 

I have my two feet firmly planted on the ground

I’ve got both ears plugged so I can’t hear any sound

Some think I’m lonely, but slowly I’m coming around again

I’m coming around again

 

I’m coming around again

I’m coming around again

 

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Days Of Sleep

 

I was waiting for a fix

But then I found a trick and fought to stay awake

For the last few months I’d been let down

So I stuck around to see the daylight break

 

You don’t know how it feels

Before your heart begins to ache

It’s something of a mystery

How this misery can all take shape

 

Well I heard the sirens call

Until I walked these halls to find the sun’s embrace

From the morning glow that I took in

Now upon my skin, the heat still radiates

 

How can they comprehend it

When I don’t know what to say?

It’s nothing but some misery

If this mystery still permeates

 

Shots of morphine, days of sleep

That’s how I thought this life should be

In sorting out what hurt before

I’ve made myself an open door

 

Past addictions, new withdrawals

From what we took to climb the walls

Dependant love until it’s gone

Expecting us to move along

 

I know I’ll slip, but if I’m lost

Beneath these waves that flood my thoughts

I’ll never waste my life away

To substitute what can’t be changed

 

I’ll come back out, I’ll come back out

I’m not sleeping now

 

Shots of morphine, days of sleep

That’s how I thought this life should be

In sorting out what hurt before

I’ve made myself an open door

 

Past addictions, new withdrawals

From what we took to climb the walls

Dependant love until it’s gone

Expecting us to move along

 

But we’ll be strong

We’ll be strong

 

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Take Care

 

Found a war to engage in and lost

Waved our flags without knowing the cost

As they line up the streets of our hard fought defeat

All repeating the sign of the cross

 

Dug a hole that can never be filled

Sure as the sun sets over the hill

Slowly gathered around without laughter or sound

We watch as this moment’s fulfilled

We watch as a life’s been fulfilled

 

Makes me question these theories I’ve had

How could something so good end up feeling so bad?

Now the words left behind linger fresh on my mind

Take care, take care, take care

Is anybody there?

 

I’ve got a little advice left to give

Maybe a meaningful life left to live

We all struggle for air and pretend we’re prepared

When you know, still you know

 

Well your heart’s gonna ache

And your heart’s gonna break

But the hardest part comes

When you know its too late

 

As the days turn to weeks

And the months turn to years

Then you can’t help but wonder

When that person was here

 

With the rear view, a clear view

And a path that will steer you

From the love that you’ve gained

Comes the pain that you’ll veer through

 

In the hours you wake up

To the moments you sleep

You’ll know it’s been worth it

By the memories you keep

N

ow those final words spoken

Linger fresh on my mind

Take care, take care

And I’ll see you in time

 

Take care, take care

And I’ll see you in time

 

Take care, take care

It comes all in good time

 

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