Strum and Bang


all songs by Josh Arnoudse and Raky Sastri

© 2016 Extraneous Music LLC 





remember me, remember you 

among the ranks, two of a crew 

free as a bird to waste our time 

among the young, among the blind 


sing with me now the strange refrain 

of what we were and what remains 

look at you now, lost in the weeds 

mind in the gutter, ass in the breeze 


we men of means

hung up on high 

cut from the tree 

cast from the tribe 

to waste away and wonder why

to make a baby and bleed it dry



born into fire, were we? I’d call it paradise 

without a worry to me I ran the streets at night 

and in that heady weather there was no you and I 

but now we’re bound together and there is no divide 


remember when you threw me the hard stuff high inside? 

you shot a terror through me that never did subside 

you know sometimes I wonder what sent us down the slide

but now we’re ten feet under

digging to the bottom in the middle of the night 


well you know me

I’ll be spinning in the middle hidden in another hurricane eye

every time 


oh could it be

that we are living out a riddle only headed for a lonely ride 

well I don’t mind 


you’re free to make your choices and free to question mine 

but ’til we split our voices, let there be no divide



so your mama was a mess sometimes

took the keys away and told you you were boring

well come sit and talk with me tonight

we can bore each other both until the morning 


so your daddy was a poltergeist

sent your little sister screaming down the hallway 

well I don’t know about the afterlife

but I can help you to forget about the old days 


you say your body is a bad punch line 

you’re sick of looking like a beast after a bombing

well baby take a look at me sometime

let me add a little yodel to your yawning 


if you don’t believe me 

and you’re left feeling hollow

tie a tooth to a tree

pull the string and I’ll follow 


you say your brain is like a lost land mine

one false move and you could send the children flying 

well I can’t think of any reason why

I couldn’t add a little dancing to your dying



little boy born in a subway station 

mom and dad gonna put him on a train 

shot a cap gun at the United Nations 

here come the fuzz, gonna carry him away 


here come the fuzz

get out your gun

kick out the bedroom door

and I’ll run through the night

ready to die

’til you wonder why you never see me anymore 


Caroline come from a good education

22 years just to whittle down her brain 

government siren of sweet abbreviation 

here come that little boy just to blow it all away


here come the fuzz

get out your gun

kick out the classroom door

and I’ll run through the night

ready to die

’til you wonder why you never see me anymore 


don’t you wish you could be the salt of the sea

not a trophy for all that has been and will be 

when you’re born onto stilts you don’t stand on your feet 


handsome man like a little island nation 

bears the brand of the riddle in his brain 

“can’t you find just a little consolation?” 

“that’s what I’m in the middle of” he sang 


don’t you wish you could be the salt of the sea

not a trophy for all that has been and will be 

when you’re born onto stilts you don’t stand on your feet



O come ye wasted children, whose praises do you sing? 

Whose image do you gaze on, your finger to the screen? 

What message to deliver, what wisdom to be gleaned? 

What wisecracks there to linger where my brain cells used to be? 


Dream on, dream on!



Jesus born again in a world of play pretend, of beards and old banjos 

martyr made to be a teenage fantasy to claim and call your own 

it ain’t you babe 

I’m looking through you 


Jesus sings of otherworldly things with a larynx like a radio 

telephone rings with the losses and gains of his stock portfolio 

nothing to it 

you can’t refuse him 


oooooooo Jesus won’t you save us from ourselves?

draw a line between us and the golden cloud from which you fell 


Jesus walks through crowds of children who don’t know what is real 

screens aloft they bow down before him 

as he teaches them to think and feel 

and they are healed! 


Oooooooo Jesus won’t you save them from themselves? 

take the reins and lead them to the sounding of the opening bell




up all night, counting sheep 

kicking legs and grinding teeth 

you were singing in your sleep 

“man, I don’t know what to believe,

I don’t know about you and me” 


what made you strange at 17

will make you sad at 33

“It ain’t the same” you said to me

“and I don’t know what came between,

I don’t know about you and me” 


and if you’re aching for a change

I’ll drill a hole into your brain

watch it spiral down the drain

’til no memory or chemistry remains 


every night, the strangest dream 

where I chase you and you chase me 

swimming circles ‘round the sea

’til our eyes are full of salt and turning green 

and the bottom drops out of the trampoline 

and we’re back to the beginning you and me

10. 1-4-5


I was standing there broken down, wanting to cry 

like a Santa Claus joke on the 4th of July

but I spoke not a word and I held my head high 

’til I opened my throat on a 1-4-5 


and I know what you’re thinking, you don’t have to lie 

something always feels wrong when you tell me I’m right 

‘cause I know you too well and I know what you like 

and I’ll bring it on home with that 1-4-5 


I was counting out rattlesnakes under my bed 

there were twenty-five Joshuas, thirty-nine Jeffs 

when you start talking numbers I start turning red 

put a brand on my butt and a price on my head 


and I’ll do as you say, put my name on the line 

drill a hole in my brain and I’ll bleed myself dry 

‘cause it’s always the same, trade a buck for a spine 

and I’ll tear out your heart with that 1-4-5 


one day I will vanish mysteriously

to grow old and start taking things seriously 

with no light in my eyes and no blood in my feet 

I will stumble down, sputter out, stutter and squeak 

until sooner or later I can learn how to lie

how to say “how are you” without wanting to die 

when I open my throat, ain’t no sparks gonna fly 

just a tired refrain and that 1-4-5



in the Kingdom of Righteousness, you held the throne 

you were wise as a prophet and sound as a stone

a tower of flame rising up from the ground

to devour and defame all the youngbloods around you 


I was shocked and chagrined, shattered and broken-hearted 

to find us my friend so far from where we started

the smallest offense and you clamored to see me 

strung up in the air like a dead Mussolini 


so what good have you done with your moral marauding? 

your dogs are all dead and their corpses are rotting 

and all that remains of your wasted devotion

is buried in lead at the bottom of the ocean



Douchey come and Douchey go 

what does Douchey want?

only Douchey knows

Douchey done like he did before

I was Douchey once but I ain’t no more 


I was seventeen when I first believed

I was young and strong, I was sad and mean 

and it was ten long years learning how to breathe 

in a bubble buried six feet deep 


only twenty-one, I was dead and gone

up and hung my head from the highest rung 

and it’s a long way down from all Kingdom Come 

to a mop and broom and a staple gun 




Oh when I was just a little boy, my daddy sat me down

said “my son, you are a Douchey, Douchey won’t you do me proud?”

so I shunned the foolishnesses of the other kids at play

scuttled off my youthfulness and I just set out on my way

down the straight and narrow highway headed right into the sun

and when I got to New York City all the zeroes turned to ones

and I was wandering the sidewalk telling strangers where to go

I was singing like a savior in a manger all alone

’til I made myself a martyr and nobody seemed to mind

broke a window with my buttocks but my buttocks were just fine

’til I woke up in a forest with my fingers turning blue

and started serving ice cream sandwiches to men in business suits

took a look into the mirror,

said “OH GOD, what can I do

to feel like a human being and not a DOUCHE?” 




“you can’t go wrong!” they told me

“be what you believe in, and see it through”

I played along and pinned my hopes on me and you 

are you gonna wait until your only ride is leaving to think things through? 

before too long you’re turning green and black and blue 


and there’s another little snowflake crying 

when all his penny wishes won’t come true

but don’t you whittle down your forehead wondrin’ why 

I believed it too 


“it’s not too late!”

there was a ringing in my eardrums

some deaf old dudes just hanging on for their dear lives in old punk boots 

I said “you win some, you lose some, you’re bound to find a reason to hold on too” 

if I was wrong, then I was wrong 

what can I do? 


oh you’re not the only one who’s trying

to dig a hole through what you just can’t move 

oh you’re not the one and only dog who’s dying 

I believed it too 

I believed it too




she was a young girl in motion 

another ripple in the ocean 

gathering up all of her force into a wave 

another year or four

and she was tearing up the floor

and tearing down anyone who tore into her way 


she was dragging like an anchor 

full of righteousness and rancor 

running down her Revolutionary road 

yeah, she set me straight alright

on what was wrong and what was right 

with all the wisdom of a twenty-two year-old 


loosen up, look around you

you don’t have to drive yourself into the ground 

you’re only young and so afraid

to see the world in all its many shades of grey 


she said

“I grew up with a feeling I’d be hanging from the ceiling

by the time I hit the age of twenty-five

but the more that I keep breathing without looking for a reason,

the more that I am glad to be alive

and I don’t know why”