The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex

by The Holy Gasp

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about

The story of a troubled marriage further burdened by the death of the husband's father, and further burdened still by the death of his therapist.

"From the most painful and precarious of predicaments, The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex rises as a creative masterpiece."
-DOMINIONATED

"Powerfully enigmatic."
-AESTHETIC MAGAZINE

"... even though so much of the album is primal (in lyrical content and instrumentation) -- raw, even crude -- there is a sense of refined craft, of every choice being a deliberate one. Smart and funny, brash and vulnerable... with an unsettling, terribly insightful humour. These songs build in their own psychoanalysis and yet they're never too clever or distant from their content."
-STEPHANIE BOLSTER, Governor General Award winning poet

"...an immediately captivating mix of genres, anchored by a powerful vocal performance... ultimately unlike anything you have probably heard before.
-SACRED EXILE

"...how extraordinary is frontman Benjamin Hackman’s voice? Quite literally, he could sing about anything, anything at all, I’d listen."
-GRUNGECAKE

"...beautiful and powerful... lovely and inspired.."
-AIPATE

"...a riot, filled with boundless, ecstatic energy."
-OHESTEE

credits

released September 7, 2018

Written & Composed by Benjamin Hackman
Recorded by Dale Morningstar on Toronto Island
Mixed by Craig Saltz
("The Arrangement" recorded & mixed by Matt DeMatteo)
Mastered by Andrew Mitchell
Costuming by Ashley Feldman
Package and design by Fynn Leitch
Produced by Benjamin Hackman

Benjamin Hackman – Vocals, congas, bongos, auxiliary percussion
Joseph Organ – Organ, piano, vocals
Mathew Somerville Wronski – Electric bass
Oso – Drums
Karen Ng – Alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flute
Christopher Weatherstone – Alto saxophone (on "The Arrangement")
Robert Stevenson – Clarinets
Nicolas Buligan – Trumpet, tuba
Tom Richards – Trombone
Natalie Wong – Violin
Nathan Smith – Violin
Cory Harper-Latkovich – Cello
James McEleney – Double bass, vocals
Sebastian Shinwell – Electric guitar, sitar, vocals
Michael Davidson – Mallet percussion
Jessica Upton-Crowe – Vocals
Sara O. Shahsavari – Vocals
Nixon Boyd – Vocals

This recording was made possible by the generous financial support of the Ontario Arts Council, The Canada Council for the Arts, and FACTOR. We also wish to thank our sponsor, Caplansky's Deli.

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Track Name: A Black Elevator
A BLACK ELEVATOR

He went down on a black elevator
He went down down
He went down on a black elevator
He went down down
He could not keep from quivering
And fingering a silver ring
He penetrated into the ground
He went down on a black elevator
He went down down

Third floor…
Propose to your mama!
What’s a matter, pussy? All’va sudden you don’t wanna?

He went down on a black elevator
He went down down
He went down on a black elevator
He went down down
He donned a tie and boutonniere
And threw a brick into the mirror
And headed deeper into the ground.

Second floor…
Bet you think you’re real tough!
Better watch yourself before your daddy cuts it off!

He went down on a black elevator
He went down down
He went down on a black elevator
He went down down
For his daddy he was coming
He could hear the furnace humming
It was far too late to turn it around
He went down on a black elevator
He went down down

First floor...
Fight your father!
Come on, mother fucker, this is all you ever wanted!
Track Name: What I Gotta Know
WHAT I GOTTA KNOW

Babe, I gotta know what you’re gonna do now.
Where you gonna call home tomorrow?
Is this bed we share something we share now?
Or is this bed no longer gonna be our home?

Do you believe me when I tell you I love you?
I don’t believe you anymore when you say it to me.
You say your heart has space for other people,
But has it got the space for you and me?

Babe, I gotta know right now
If you sleep out tonight will you come home tomorrow?

Baby, I put a shiny ring around your finger—
I never tied no noose around your life!
I don’t mind if you have space for other people,
Just be clear with me if that still makes you my wife.

Babe, I gotta know right now
If you sleep out tonight will you come home tomorrow?

How many months will it take for you to tell me
What it is I gotta know right now?
You’ve gotta make your mind up ‘bout tomorrow
‘Cuz I gotta know if I’m gonna stick around

Babe, I gotta know right now
If you sleep out tonight will you come home tomorrow?
Track Name: Since She Broke My Heart
SINCE SHE BROKE MY HEART

Used to have a woman
Used to hold her tight
Tried to treat her good
Used to say “We’ll make it!
We can work it out,”
Because I thought we could

It doesn’t make any sense
Doesn’t make any sense
No no no no

Used to wake at 7:00
Used to shave my face
Used to eat three meals
Then she threw me out
Took all my shit
You know how that feels?

It doesn’t make any sense
Doesn’t make any sense
No no no no

Does every cat say woof woof woof?
Does every dog say meow?
Oh what the hell
Oh what the hell
Am I supposed to do right now
Since she broke my heart?

Ain’t got no grace
Ain’t got no tact
Ain’t got no spine
Gonna throw me out
From my own damn house
And she thinks that’s fine?

It doesn’t make any sense
Doesn’t make any sense
No no no no

And every bee says tweet tweet tweet
Oh every bird says buzz
And it’s all because
It’s all because
It’s all because
It’s all because
She broke my heart!

Used to have a father
Used to have a cat
Used to have a bed
I’m 30 years old today
And I’m getting divorced
And my therapist is dead

I can’t take anymore
Can’t take anymore
No no no no

Does she hear me when I cry?
When I moan at night?
I’m within in those walls
I’m behind those blinds
I sleep on that shelf
I lounge on those plates
I piss in that fridge
I live in that soul
And she broke my heart!
Goddamn!
Track Name: Beat Wave
BEAT WAVE

He’s the kinda kid who’s gotta shave his knuckles
He jams alone to his brass belt buckles
He don’t complain of growin’ blinder and blinder
Man, that kid’s the king of The Great Unwinder
He’s got a family pack of Vaseline
But he’s only one man, if you dig what I mean
He’s on a Beat Wave
Beat Wave

He carved a little hole in his cantaloupe
And he lathered it up with aromatic soap
He’s hip to the scene of his sweet reminiscing
And one sock from every pair has gone missing
He decoupages his magazines
He’s got a solo exhibition in the underground scene
He’s on a Beat Wave
Beat Wave

B-E-A-T W-A-V-E
Beat Wave
B-E-A-T W-A-V-E
Beat Wave
Beat Wave

He turns out the lights and he closes the shutters
He weeps for his wife and he curses his mother
He’s out of work with bills to pay
But he’s not gonna get out of bed today
Beat Wave
Beat Wave
Track Name: Simple Pleasures
SIMPLE PLEASURES

Got a plum in my pocket
Got a plum in my pocket
Gonna save that plum ‘til later tonight
When I see my baby I’ll give her a bight
Simple pleasures
I’m gonna have me one
Simple pleasures
Are for everyone

Got a cat on my lap
Got a cat on my lap
Better wake her up before I’m late
Ah, to hell with that, my boss can wait
Simple pleasures
I’m gonna have me one
Simple pleasures
Are for everyone

Gonna go see my daddy
Gonna go see my daddy
Gonna leave a sip of whisky on top of his stone
My daddy wouldn’t want me drinking alone
Simple pleasures
I’m gonna have me one
Simple pleasures are for everyone

Oh Devil, oh Lord, whose powers afford
The freedom I have to choose?
Whose sins shall I obey?
From whose laws shall I stray?
And which of you will I refuse?
Simple pleasures
I’m gonna have me one
Simple pleasures
Are for everyone
Simple pleasures
Simple pleasures

Got a plum in my pocket
Got a plum in my pocket
Gonna hold it out all bruised in my hand
I’m gonna beg my baby to try and understand
Simple pleasures
Simple pleasures
Simple pleasures
Track Name: A Most Peculiar Request
A MOST PECULIAR REQUEST

Won’t you let me in your belly button?
I wanna come into your belly button
Oh mama, let me in that button
I wanna come into your belly button
I swear to goodness gracious that I will not bite
Let me sleep inside your bellybutton tonight

Let me come inside your belly button
I wanna come inside your belly button
Mama mama mama, let me in your belly button
I wanna come inside your belly button
Oh I don’t wanna have to throw a hissy fit
Let me in your button for a little bit

Damn, mama, can’t you see I’m torn?
I’ve been beggin’ for it since the day I was born
And all the voices tell me that it’s just so wrong
Won’t you sympathize with me? It’s where I belong!

Let me come inside your belly button
I wanna come inside your belly button
Oh mama, let me in your button
I wanna come inside your belly button
Oh mama, won’t you give it a try?
Let me come inside your belly button and die!
Track Name: I Don't Wanna Want It
I DON’T WANNA WANT IT

I’m just so sick of sex—
I don’t wanna want it
I’m just so sick
I’m sick of sex
I’m just so sick of sex—
I don’t wanna want it
I’m just so sick
I’m sick of sex

I’m sick of sex
I’m sick of sex
I’m sick of sex
I’m sick of SEX!

I’m just so sick of sex—
I don’t wanna want it
I’m just so sick
I’m sick of sex

I’m sick of sex
I’m sick of sex
I’m sick of sex
I’m sick of sex

I don’t wanna want it
I don’t wanna want it
I don’t wanna want it
I don’t wanna want it
I don’t wanna want it
I don’t wanna want it
I don’t wanna want it
I don’t wanna want it
God I want it

Gimme
Gimme
Gimme
Gimme
Track Name: The Arrangement
THE ARRANGEMENT

I don’t care if you’re conflicted
I don’t care if you cry
I don’t care if you hate me
Believe me so do I
I don’t care if you bite me
If you claw at my skin and my hair
I don’t care if you love me
I don’t care, I don’t care

In the evening, when the sky is bruised
And the roof beams are beaten by the rain
And the wind thrashes wildly
Against a helpless windowpane
I’ll be your Daddy, I’ll be your Sir
And you’ll do as you are told
And in the morning, when I kiss you, withhold

I don’t care if you’re working
I don’t care if you’re ill
I don’t care if you’re in mourning
You’ve got orders you’ve agreed to fulfill
I don’t care if you’re bedridden
If chemotherapy has taken all your hair
I don’t care if you’re sick of all this shit
I am, too, babe, but I don’t care

In the evening, when the light bulbs burst
And the floorboards have rotted and decayed
And the wallpaper boils and bubbles
And the mattress has gone to fray
I’ll be your Master, I’ll be your God
And you’ll clean up everything I soil
And in the morning, when I kiss you, recoil

Treat me like shit, treat me like shit
We both know, darling, you can
Treat me like shit, treat me like shit
We both know, we both know I am

Treat me like shit, treat me like shit
We both know, darling, you can
Treat me like shit, treat me like shit
We both know, we both know I am
Track Name: A Division of Assets
A DIVISION OF ASSETS

You got a mop for your floor
You got a bedroom door
You got a fridge for your food
You got a good attitude
You got a pretty little home that you tidy on your own
I’ll bet you drink your coffee out of a mug
But me, little ol' me
I got drugs

You got a doggy that you walk
You got an alarm clock
You brush your teeth every day
You got a job that’s okay
You got a curly-haired niece with a sweater made of fleece
Whom you can call upon for cuddles and hugs
But me, little ol' me
I got drugs
I got drugs
I got drugs
I got drugs

You got clean underwear
You got some subway fair
You got a place gotta be
You got a bachelor’s degree
You got a happy little smile I haven’t seen in quite a while
And now you never speak—you only shrug
And me, little ol' me
With my cauliflower ears and the patches on my knees
And the soup I eat alone with plastic cutlery
Oh I’m endeavouring to be
A part of your family
Have you got to be so goddamn smug?
I got drugs!
I got drugs!
I got drugs!
I got drugs!
D-R-U-G-S, I got ‘em
Track Name: I Love You I Love You I Love You I Love You I Love You I Love You I Love You
I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU

You can leave your dirty dishes in the kitchen sink
I’m gonna love you
Leave a red sock in the wash and turn the t-shirts pink
I’m gonna love you
Babe, you got no need to stress
I signed up for the tidy but I’ll take you in your mess
I’m gonna love you
Yeah I am
I’m gonna love you
Anyway I can

You can leave your phone at home and disappear for days
I’m gonna love you
I never need attention, baby, anyways
I’m gonna love you
In the whole damn world
I know I’m never gonna find no better girl
I’m gonna love you
Yeah I am
I’m gonna love you
Anyway I can

You can tell me not to touch when you come to bed
I’m gonna love you
You can bring up every awful thing I ever said
I’m gonna love you
You can pack up all your things
You can leave me forever in the morning
I’m gonna love you
Yeah I am
I’m gonna love you
Anyway I can
Track Name: A Daily Affirmation
A DAILY AFFIRMATION

You got to love yourself
In the morning
When you wake up
And you drain the black tar out of your heart
You got to love yourself
In your gorilla suit
In your bathroom mirror
When you’re confronted by the ape that you really are
You got to love yourself
Anyway you can

You got to love yourself
With your tiny dick
And your fat ass tits
And the hair on your head that just won’t stay
You got to love yourself
Like an ugly child
Like a crippled dog
Like a fat fuckin’ baby crying all damn day
You got to love yourself
Any way you can

You got to love yourself
When your daddy dies
And your wife walks out
And your kitty cat cries and cries ‘cuz she went away
You got to you love yourself
When you hate yourself
When you berate yourself
My man, listen up, there ain’t no other way
You gotta love yourself
Any way you can
Track Name: A Boy And His Cookie
A BOY AND HIS COOKIE

I want a cookie that never ends
To last me all my life
A cookie I can eat and eat
With or without my wife
With or without his wife

I want a cookie that’s always there
To catch all of my tears
To hold me in my hour of need
And sooth my nightly fears
And sooth his nightly fears

Oh I’ll never stop eating, I mean it, I swear
I’ll keep it with me everyday everywhere
And I’ll sweep up the crumbs
And I’ll vacuum the rug
I promise, I promise, I promise…

I want a cookie that’s always whole
That’s bigger than I’ll ever be
One that’s warm and gooey and soft
And baked only for me

Oh I’ll always be hungry, I mean it, I swear
I’ll cling to her side everyday everywhere
And I’ll brush twice a day
And I’ll floss before bed
I promise, I promise, I promise…

I want a cookie that’s always there
Each morning when I wake
And lets me eat the whole day through
Despite my tummy ache
Despite his tummy ache

Oh I’ll always be starving, I mean it, I swear
I’ll cling to your side everyday everywhere
And I won’t run away
If you don’t run away
I promise, I promise, I promise…

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