Ryan States

Strange Town

Released 02/09/2010
Drooling Class Records
Released 02/09/2010
Drooling Class Records
The melancholy songs are piano/guitar driven with horns at times. It is a tribute to singer/songwriters of the ‘70s, but with a twist, the artist is 'out'. It is a love letter to New York City and the first album ever made on a circus train.
  • 03:41 Story Lyrics
    Immigrant (Fish Out of Water)
     
    I was stopped by the Texas state patrol
    Didn’t like the sound on my radio
    I guess he never heard of Heatwave
    Do you like my shoes, do you wanna trade?
     
    I was told by a man of the cloth
    That it’s not good to be so soft
    He didn’t approve of the love I made
    Said that I was lost and that he was saved 
     
     
    Sometimes feel like a fish out of water
    At times forget I’m not from here  
    The spirit longs for a much larger world
    Been waiting for like five years ago
     
     
    Made a vow with my co-conspirator
    To emigrate up north together
    Said we’d give up all our lusts  
    If we let another year get the best of us  
     
    Then we’d be where the dreamers go
    Losing ourselves in the world capitol
    But now he says he’s gonna ‘make it’ in Sanger
    He got another place with another singer…
      
    chorus: repeat
      
    Gonna steal a ride if I need to
    There isn’t much that I would not do
    I may love someone, though it’s not fair
    But I still don’t know if I’ll ever get there
     
    Gonna quit my job for my sanity
    Wake up tomorrow, I’ll be seventy
    But hey that’s just another year
    And by the way things look I’ll still be here 
     
     
    [bridge]
    Oh, it can’t be so
    I belong where I cannot go
    Oh, didn’t cha know
    we are all born alone
     
    [sax solo]  
    chorus: repeat 
     
  • 03:55 Lyrics
    Under the River
     
    under the river
    from the mainland
    just another musician
    come to the island
     
    new to the seawater
    and the rich soil
    is it possible
    to already feel loyal
     
     
    I understand how we got here
    So I know I belong
    Will you ever give me 
    What you gave your son
     
     
    a street lamp at midnight
    casting a shadow
    of cast iron ornaments
    outside my window
     
    new to the bedrock
    new to the mountains
    new to the park and her
    stony fountains
     
     
    I understand how we got here
    So I know I belong
    Will you ever give me 
    What you gave your son
     
     
    under the river
    from the Manhattan
    just another server
    can't afford the island
     
    mother to the New World
    cover me
    mother don't shun
    or drown me
     
     
    over three centuries
    of ghosts from the past
    fighting for liberties
    we thought would last
     
     
    I understand how we got here
    So I know I belong
    Will you ever give me 
    What you gave your son
     
    What you gave your son 
    What you gave your son
     
  • 04:03 Lyrics
    I'll Give You (What You Want)
     
    You called with an invitation
    To watch movies on your couch
    Did you forgot to mention
    Your wife had left the house?
     
    You said that she would be working late
    That we would be alone
    I couldn’t believe my ears
    I could never break up a happy home
     
     
    But if you’re not happy
    oooh, you should be happy
    Just listen to the voice
    in your heart & in your head
     
    There’s no need to worry
    Baby don’t worry
    even if it’s the first time
    anyone has said…
     
     
    I’ll give you what you want
    The love you never got
    I’ll give you what you want
    You never have to stop
     
    I’ll give you what you want
    The love you never knew
    I’ll give you what you want
    All I have inside for you
     
     
    Was marriage your only option?
    Were you trapped outside yourself?
    Were you born into a prison?
    To live as someone else?
     
    That’s how it was for all of us
    Except a lucky few
    Have you been waiting long?
    And is there anything I can do?
     
     
    ‘Cause if you’re not happy
    Whoa, you should be happy
    I’ll show you the things
    that you have never seen
     
    There’s no need to worry
    Baby don’t worry
    ‘cause tonight you can ask me
    to do anything…
     
     
    chorus: repeat
     
    [guitar solo]
     
     
    (I’ll give you what you want)
    All I have inside for you 
     
  • 05:38 Download Lyrics
    In the Game
     
    Your number’s the only one that I had
    When I left my home with just a bus fare
    A friend of a friend of a piano player
    And at least one of us wants to be with you there
     
    You may not be willing but certainly able
    At little expense to you
    At least as seen from my little window
    My window without a view
     
     
    Don't you see desire in the boy
    that just wants in the game?
    Don't you see desire in the boy
    that just wants in the game?
     
    Don't you see desire in the boy
    that just wants in the game?
    Don't you see desire in the boy
    that just wants in the game?
     
     
    I can’t believe what a friend I have made
    Cause you’ve done everything to help me choose
    Oh wouldn’t it be nice to have your talent
    You’ve given so much but not a thing I can use
     
    Somebody told me that you understood
    What it’s like to go it all alone
    Maybe you’re spread out too thin
    How you kept my hopes up wish I never picked up that phone
     
     
    Don't you see desire in the boy
    that just wants in the game?
    Don't you see desire in the boy 
    that just wants in the game?
     
    Don't you see desire in the boy
    that just wants in the game?
    Don't you see desire? 
     
     
    Jeremy, you moved to the east coast
    Your friends never understood what mattered to you the most
    Oh I think I can comprehend
    And I thought “it’s my turn”, but I wasn’t even close
     
    It’s only one more key to the door
    Oh at little expense to you
    At least as seen from my little window
    My window without a view
     
     
    Don't you see desire in the boy
    that just wants in the game?
    Don't you see desire in the boy 
    that just wants in the game?
     
    Don't you see desire in the boy
    that just wants in the game?
    Don't you see desire?
     
     
    [guitar solo]
      
     
    Don't you see desire in the boy
    that just wants in the game?
    Don't you see desire in the boy 
    that just wants in the game, well
     
    Do you see desire in the boy
    that just wants in the game?
    See desire?
     
     
  • 04:37 Download Story Lyrics
    Better (When You're Older)
     
    Paul is a boy very young
    Grown-ups told him he was lucky
    They said life is best when you’re a child
    but it gets harder after a while
     
    Clinging to the many 'I love you’s'
    conditional love’s in abundance
    Would they still want me if they knew?
    Or will they stop saying “I love you”?
     
     
    Childhood is easy for some
    but I don’t envy the young
    And trust me child
    it gets better when you’re older
     
    You can choose how you want to be
    where you live and who you see
    where you work and where you play
    Life’s not so bad after you grow up...
     
     
    His sisters never went through it
    the struggles he faced everyday
    It’s those kids on the playground
    their parents taught them how to hate
     
    Feeling like a loner
    wrongly blaming himself
    Big brother’s saying, “family’s forever”
    but he’d take it back if he knew me better
     
     
    Childhood is easy for some
    but I don’t envy the young
    And trust me child
    it gets better when you’re older
     
    You can choose how you want to be
    where you live and who you see
    where you work and where you play
    Life’s not so bad after you grow up gay
     
     
    [piano solo]
     
     
    Life’s not so bad after you grow up gay
    Do you still love me? 
     
  • 03:50 Lyrics
    I Will Find My Way
     
    I see the sky but the air is grey
    Just said goodbye to my friend today
    I’m standin’ alone in this strange town
    But I gotta get back to where I will be found
     
    And I will find my way
     
     
    The work I do is strange
    The nature of the job has never changed
    And some say that I don’t know
    And to others I’m a hero
     
     
    And I will find my way
    And I will find my way
    Oh I will find my way
    Oh, I’ll find my way
     
     
    I just bought another calendar
    The last one ran out of days
    And time goes faster and faster
    Runnin’ outta time to change my ways
     
     
    chorus: repeat
     
    [guitar solo]
     
    chorus: repeat
     
     
    I see the sky but the air is grey
    Just said goodbye to my friend today
     
NOTES
The album tells a story of moving from Middle America to the Big Apple one year after Sept 11th. The album was made on the circus train between 2007 and 2009, in dozens of U.S. train yards and on dozens of train runs. The nearly two dozen musicians were made up of friends or strangers found online.

"I'll Give You (What You Want)" is about getting hit on by married men. "Better When You're Older" is a coming out song.