Todd Rundgren: Arena

Artist

Todd Rundgren

Players

Todd Rundgren

Producer

Todd Rundgren

Release Date: September 30, 2008
Label: HiFi Records

"Arena" debuted in live performance at Toddstock - June 22, 2008. "Arena" tour kicked off in Oshkosh, WI on June 26, 2008.

Mad

Crowded world
How can I find peace of mind
With so many small agendas
Pushing at me all the time

Button one: you knew I had no time today
Button two: you had to push it anyway
Button three: then you went and did it again
So I counted to ten and right there and then
You made me mad

Now I'm mad
This is more than upset
It's as enraged as I get
And you ain't seen me mad yet
And now I'm mad

Crowded world
Where no quiet can be found
But for little scattered spaces
With invaders lurking round

Button one: I told you not to call me here
Button two: your voice is like a drill in my ear
Button three: you never hang up on your own
So get off the phone and leave me alone
Because I'm mad

At the end of my patience, and I have a lot
Don't know what makes you feel as if you're all I've got
Nothing better to think about, better to do
Why does everything always have to be about you?

Afraid

It must feel pure to be so sure
About every little thing
But there's no cure for that angst of yours
That tugs at you like a string

Because you're afraid, afraid to know
To know the answer
'Cause you're afraid that it will burn
You're afraid to learn

A nervous tic, you're being tricked
By somebody else's god
A little bit sick and a whole lot addicted
There's another crack in the facade
Because you're afraid, afraid to see
To see the reason
'Cause you're afraid the tide has turned
And you're afraid to learn

Because you're afraid, afraid to hear
To hear the accusations
'Cause you're afraid of what you've earned
You're afraid to learn

Why suffer for nothing?
Suffer for something

Mercenary

Close your eyes and plug your ears and turn away
I will execute the task without dismay
Just leave upon the table what you've agreed to pay
Then tell me

How do you like me now?
How do you like me now?
I will do your dirty work
Tell me, how do you like me now?

Chances are you'll never hear again from me
Not my style to put my business on the street
But you know where to find me and youalso know my fee
So tell me

How do you like me now?
How do you like me now that I've
Done your dirty work
Tell me, how do you like me now?

I will lay a foe to waste
For a grudge I've never had
I will burn a field of grain
For a spite I've never had
I will spoil the wealth of kings
For a greed I'll never have
I will bring a nation down
For a cause I'll never have

Gun

I like the noise and I like the smell
And where the lead ends up, what the hell
I've got a gun

So you be the robber and I'll be the cop
Cowboy saloons where someone gets dropped
GI Joe goin' over the top
I don't much care as long as I pop pop pop my gun

You better run
'Cause I'm young, dumb and I've got a gun
Public idiot number one
'Cause I'm young, dumb and I've got a gun

The constitution says that I'm so blessed
That I can clean my piece on the supreme court steps
My pretty gun

There's many like it, yeah but this one's mine
A good replacement for a lack of spine
When tribulation makes me need to unwind
And pierce the air like I'm in Palestine
Here's my gun

This is my rifle, this is my gun
This is for fighting and this is for fun

I hate to gush but I'm your biggest fan
I really love the way you fit my hand
You're with me always like a wedding band
More than a friend to me, my true identity

You're smooth and hard and that's the way you stay
Bright and polished like a Chardonay
Fully loaded as a New Year's Day
With a round in the chamber
A round in the chamber

Courage

It's good to be the king, I've heard it said
That's why I let you put a crown on my head
Hoping that I'll never be forced to fake
Actions that I'll never have to take

I let you think I was a better man
With pretty words about how true I am
Humbly pretending to be brave and strong
Inside I'm wondering, what if I'm wrong?

Every once in a while you'll see
Things are not what they seem to be
Like the moment you saw through me

Ah, but when push came to shove
I had lost the thing I love
When I lost the courage of my convictions

I never let you see my doubting side
I've always felt there's things you can't confide
I need to be what I need to be
However artificially

And now I haven't got a thing to show
For all the posing and the bravado
You tested me and I had to fail
No longer am I a supermale

I was proud and I had to fall
Now my image has grown so small
And to think that I had it all

Ah, but when push came to shove
I had lost the thing I love
When I lost the courage of my convictions
And I live in constant fear
That I'll never have you here
Til I find the courage of my convictions

Ah, but when push comes to shove
I will have the thing I love
If I have the courage of my convictions
And your heart I would enslave
And this whole world I would save
If I have the courage of my convictions

Weakness

I don't keep a lot of secrets
But the ones I do will die with me
It's not because I'm hiding something
A trusted friend I try to be

But when every adversary lies in wait to test me
My world they would undo
And they'd break me down to nothing if they only knew

That you are my weakness, my weakness
You're my Achilles' Heel
The flame that melts the steel in my heart

I don't pretend to be objective
I will always come down on your side
But every time I see or hear or smell you
My bias grows more hard to hide

And when the truth must be protected
I find myself distracted
My duty I abuse
And in the battle's clamor
The flaw within my armor
Might shake the secret loose

There's no ties
As far as anybody knows, no surprise
As far as anybody knows, you and I
As far as anybody knows, have no ties
And as far as they know, my will is bulletproof
And I'd be no good to no one
If they knew the truth

That you are my weakness, my weakness
You are my Kryptonite
The sun that shines a light on my soul

Strike

Gathering in the corner
Trying to look discrete
We been talking about this all night long
Now it's time to hit the streets

Are you ready to rumble?
Are you just gonna grumble?
You might take a tumble
But it's time to rumble

This is the reason you keep a dream alive
Spread it round the underground
The moment will soon arrive

Time to strike while the iron is hot

No one received a message
Nobody has a plan
Everybody knows when the time is right
To take a righteous stand

You spend a lifetime waiting for a sign
Alert the press and place your bets
The planets will soon align

Pissin

I didn't notice you there
Til I felt your breath on my neck hair
Now you put me through my paces
You don't know what personal space is

And not a soul in the room
seems to have your need to share
Did you ever stop to wonder
Does anybody care?

Maybe the ladies are impressed
But I don't think so, let's be honest
Why don't you give that thing a rest
You're just a one-man pissin contest

This used to be a nice place
And now your dick is in the mayonnaise
How does one vent one's sense of sickness
At skull and skin of such vast thickness?

Of everybody at the party
Your target had to be me
I really hate to disappoint you
But I ain't got the need

'Cause it's the thing you do the best
The kind of fight of which you're fondest
You wanna brag, well be my guest
You won a solo pissin contest

I think by now we know better
You can't get blood from a bore
We gonna find that stupid sucker
Who let you through the door

None of the ladies were impressed
Our recollection may be jaundiced
We all recall with special zest
We saw a solo pissin contest

Today

Time to get up and face it
Time to endure that aching
Time, I must keep account of
Time, the exact amount of
My life you've entwined in the game that you've designed
To waste my time, my precious time
All gone down the drain
Now it's time to break the chain

Today's the day
Today's the day
We settle our scores
Because tommorrow we're gonna wake up
Even

Time, there is no such thing as
Time, just the endless ring of
Time after time of constant
Time wasted wrestling with
Something someone said that got glued inside your head
Somewhere in time, in ancient time
Hope the memory dies
Then you finally realize

Today's the day
How many years must we continue
With bitter tears upon the menu?
The same old fears, a different venue
Now it appears the stress will end you

Let's get it all out in the open
Somebody call and make it happen
In the boardroom, on the backstreets
Hugs and kisses, knives or axes

Why not here, why not now?
Why not here, why not now?
Why not today?

Bardo

It's been easy until now
But you'll likely question how
You have traveled far, it's true
But there's much more left to do
For it's time to pay the toll
And we never know the sum of what we owe

You can't go back from where you came
You must move on and face the flame
Of the last bardo

You can pray unto your god
But your prayers will bring you naught
For in here you bear the scar
Of exactly what you are
It matters not what you believe
And it matters even less what you think you know

So put on your little show
But no further will you go
Til you pass the last bardo

You will surrender all you hide
And be cleansed and purified
And of you burden you'll be free
If it takes eternity in the last bardo

Mountaintop

Well, the old man called me to his dying bed
There's only one thing in this world I like to see, he said
I tried so many times but I've never done it
Often made the climb but never reached the summit
So I could look down on this pissant little town

I took one step
And another step
But I could not reach that mountaintop

I couldn't reach the mountaintop

So I picked him up and put him on my back
And strapped him in just like a hiking pack
I took off up the hill at a steady pace
I said: don't die on me now, we're gonna win this race
So we can look down on this pissant little town

I'll take one step
And another step
Til I reach that mountaintop

I'm gonna reach the mountaintop

Panic

You like to push the envelope
If you're gonna stick out your neck
Everybody's sure to give you plenty of rope
So who am I to object?

Don't know what it means to fail
You like walking along the edge
Feel like you got a guardian angel
Follows you around the ledge

Everything's a different size
When you're totally adrenalized
It's a very thin line

The room is on fire but it
Won't help to panic
And the floods rise higher but it
Don't help to panic
You lost you're voice but it
Won't help to panic
And you got no choice so it
Don't help to panic

Yea it's a very thin line
It don't take much to lose it
One moment everything is going just fine
Then something takes your head and screws it

You can never lose your cool
Though you've got no course of action
You may just wind up looking like a fool
Or some other social infraction

Everyone expects to be
At a level of anxiety
It's a very thin line

You're in a strange town but it
Won't help to panic
And the power goes down but it
Don't help to panic
The zombies awake but it
Won't help to panic
And the earh is aquake but it
Don't help to panic

Yea, the wings fall off but it
Won't help to panic
And your boner goes soft but it
Don't help to panic
All the liquor's gone but it
Won't help to panic
The bars closed at one but it
Don't help to panic

We all think we'll do what's right
Though we're half as high as Franklin's kite
When it all comes down to fight or flight
It's a very thin line

Yea, the wheels just spin but it
Won't help to panic
And the roof caves in but it
Don't help to panic
And you just made a stinky
Won't help to panic
Then you cut off your pinky
Don't help to panic

Manup

There's a cloud in the distance
Rising from the dunes
Ten thousand riders
Blaze a trail of ruins
No doubt about it
They're headed this way
Who will protect us on a judgement day?

Some are unready, some are unwilling
Hiding amongst the women and children
Rousing the rabble from under the bed
I'm calling you by name to bite the bullet
Manup

We didn't want no trouble
But trouble's what we have
You call it paranoia
And have yourself a laugh
And avoid the confrontation
Until some other year
Somebody call the boys cause there's no men in here

Some are unready, some are unwilling
Some are still able but ain't got the feeling
Talking real loud at the back of the crowd
I'm calling you by name to bite the bullet
Manup

Listen to me my friend
What you will not defend
Somebody else will end up takin'
And when the famine comes
You think they'll just give you some
But if you believe that
You're mistaken

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