Thieves of Chicago

by The Great Crusades

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about

Chicago rock-noir quartet The Great Crusades released their debut album on Mud Records in 1997. Now 17 years later the band returns to Mud Records with their 8th studio album, Thieves of Chicago. Over the years the band has been compared to Tindersticks, The Jayhawks, Nic Cave & The Bad Seeds, and Tom Waits.

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released October 21, 2014

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The Great Crusades Chicago, Illinois

“The Great Crusades look at life through a shot-glass lens, mixing anger, muscle and minor-key remorse like a roughneck Tindersticks with the bonus of a singer who’s got the tubercular pipes of Tom Waits and Axl Rose’s love child.” - David Fricke, Rolling Stone ... more

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Track Name: This City Is a Shambles Tonight
Modern life is a mechanical depression.
But he has the only radical exception.
But he must show self-control.
It’s what he really wants to know.

Looks like he might have had a bit of a rough night.
Looks like he might have got himself into a fight.
He forgot to comb his hair.
And he’s stumbling everywhere.

His city is a shambles tonight.
He’s walking near a river of light.
To find a girl, looking for a way back home.

His city is a shambles of light.
He’s shuffling to a devil’s delight.
To find a friend who will take him into her arms.

Hiding a secret, disguising his compulsion.
A private tragedy, inferior revulsion.
He can’t believe who he’s become.
How did his life become undone?

But now he knows that the end of it is near.
A way to get beyond the stagnancy and fear.
And now he’s whistling in the wind.
And now the next act can begin.

His whole world is a shambles tonight.
But he’s bathing in a river of light.
He’s heading out to do it all over again.

His whole life is a shambles tonight.
But he won’t lay down and give up his life.
Until he finds someone to help him do it over again.

His face reminds her of a place she used to know so well.
But she’s thinking that tempting fate will only bring her hell.
And she leaves before he can even tell her his name.

So like a fallen champion he keeps on walking.
Ignores the insults, and the pointing, and the gawking.
What’s a lonely boy to do?
See what you pushed him to?
Should he go to a new town to try his trade?
Maybe a deal with the devil can be made.
It could be so impromptu.
His lips were made for kissing too.

But now he’s dragging through the shambles tonight.
Now he’s lifting his hands to the heavenly light.
Look what you pushed him to?
What’s a lonely boy to do in the shambles tonight?

Lyrics © 2014 by Brian Krumm
Track Name: The Devil and All His Relations
If these men are out of time, with no patience,
Is it the devil and all his relations?
It makes no difference if it drew a breath.
It doesn’t matter.
There aren’t many left.

It could be only a matter of time.
Make no mistake they’ll bleed the last dime.

If the burden is heavy, he’ll lend you a hand.
The one behind him holds the life of a man.

These are men out of time with no patience.
These are men with no past and no destination.
The devil and all his relations.

Don’t let them fool you, there’s too much at stake.
And nature gets lost in their wake.
They’ll be no handouts.
No conscience is found.
All one-way streets, all the whole town.

Lyrics © 2014 by Brian Krumm
Track Name: Sometimes on Sundays Too
I can’t quite escape this thought and it’s haunting me,
following me round the room.
Would if I hadn’t been there to see you that night,
if I was too late or arrived too soon?
You stood at the top of bending stairs,
with a face I won’t forget.
Your friends filed in while this was happening,
on the night that we first met.

When there were parties every Saturday.
At the house on Illinois Street.
And sometimes on Sundays, too.

I remember feeling so simple,
as you stared down from the stairs.
I thought you were so far out of my league,
I hid behind my hair.

Little did I know we’d meet again.
Accidentally, while talking to friends.
Little did I know that I’d fight for your love.

Truth be told, I thought you glowed.
Like a star shining through the heart of the blackest night.
I would never put up a fight.
I would let you have me any way you wanted me to be.

Lyrics © 2014 by Brian Krumm
Track Name: Another Song About You
Nowhere to go but up from here.
I tried to change myself to be better,
better than I thought I could be.
Nowhere to go but up.
Now watch me as I wait here, and time won’t stop.

I stared at the moon tonight, as hard as I could.
I wished you were here with me;
I told you that I should.
I would have took you in my arms.
And not let you go for a long, long time.

I never would have thought I’d write.
I’d write another song about you.
But here I am again. Here I am again.
Am I just singing in the wind?

Nowhere to be but in a higher place.
Nowhere to be but here,
but I’m lost without a trace.
I should be happy until I’m dead.
Without an ounce of regret swimming in my head.

I’ll be waiting right here by the side of the road.
Until you remember everything you’ve always known.

Lyrics © 2014 by Brian Krumm
Track Name: Naked Arms
I never thought someone could know me like you do.
There’s so many things we’ve shared together, yes it’s true.
A haze comes over me, like a shroud.
My mind and soul float away, in the clouds.
And I fall back into your naked arms again.

You never have to question if I’ll return.
Yes, I’m a hopeless lover, I never learn.
I’ve got nowhere left to go.
And no one who I could show.
So I’ll fall back into your naked arms again.

I want to go, I need to know, I have to show you again.

I come to you in the morning, to beg for your love.
You open up the door slowly, just enough.
To see the dawn show my skin.
And then you sigh and let me in.
To fall back into your naked arms again.
You were the only one to hear me scream,
to tell me that I shouldn’t dream.

Lyrics © 2014 by Brian Krumm
Track Name: The Right Way to Be Wrong
She wears black, black leather.
In every kind of weather.
Doesn’t care ‘bout her bad reputation.
Just wants to be on a rock n roll station.

She was born in Pennsylvania.
But she moved to California.
She just had to run away.
So everyone could hear her play.

She doesn’t care what the people say.
She’ll keep on singing this song every day.

Because that’s the right way to be wrong.

She plays a Melody Maker.
Like no one ever could.
She wears it slung down low.
Keith Richards said that everybody should.

The glorious results of a misspent youth.
And all she ever needed was three chords and the truth.
She’s not afraid to bite.
She’ll mow you over with a buzz saw tonight.

She doesn’t care what the people might say.
She’ll sing this song every single day.
She’ll keep on singing her song.
And all the people will want to sing along.

Lyrics © 2014 by Brian Krumm
Track Name: Thieves of Chicago
I’ve got so much to say, and so little time to waste.
I wanted to share what I’ve seen and I’ve felt, each sound and every taste.
These things have been with me in my heart for many years.
I don’t have a way to write them down.
As the daylight fades from my window and my face.
I could never just walk away.

As we walk through the alleys, over rain-splattered streets.
They talk about lovers and complain of the heat.
We sing like believers, shuffling our feet.
They can never take these things all away.

As the thieves of Chicago go out for the night.
They can never take these things all away.
The ocean waves traveled so many miles.
Just to hit upon a shore they don’t know.

The sunlight comes through an open window
In a place we’d never been before.
It illuminates your beautiful face.
The wind moves silent through the window drapes.
It touches your skin with a mysterious grace.
I’ll never forget how the air tastes.
As the thieves of Chicago go out for the night.
They won’t steal my soul without a fight.

The regulars sit down at the usual spots in a place they call the World’s End.
I turn to my left; I turn to my right.
I see I’m surrounded by friends.
As the thieves of Chicago, go out for the night.
They can never steal this part of my soul.
We sit there for hours and we sit there for more.
I ask for just one pour.

The ocean waves traveled so many miles.
Just to hit upon a shore they don’t know.

Lyrics © 2014 by Brian Krumm
Track Name: Vandalia
Back in the place where I grew up.
I saw many things I’ll never forget.
You wouldn’t either if you saw them like me.
A man took his dog for a walk in his Cadillac.
It was crazy, but the dog could pull along the car.

Oh, take me to St. Louis. Take me out of the rain.
Let me go to a place I can remember with not much pain.
Take me to the wall on Vandalia Avenue.
So I can play my guitar and I can always remember you.

And I was in love.
But I was too caught up to know it.
We were happier than we’d ever been.
It’s funny how things work out in the end.
Ain’t it funny how things work out in the end?

Uncle Tupelo, Deidre didn’t know.
We used to see them at Cicero’s, in the bar down below.
And every time I’d come in town.
She’d always come around.
We’d kiss in cars in the back of bars.
Even though we were spoken for.

I’ll always remember you.

Lyrics © 2014 by Brian Krumm
Track Name: Time Capsule
Never thought he’d end up such a wreck.
He’d want to wring his own neck.
He’s had it up to here with solitude.
With keeping secrets of his own attitude.

He never thought he’d be so unkind.
Not with words but in his mind.
He had so many secrets locked in his head.
You won’t know them ‘til long after he’s dead.

Going down in history.
Without even trying too hard.
He could change the mood of a room.
Without saying a single word.
The time capsule will be released.
Explode from beneath the street.

He could change the mood of a room.
Without speaking a single word.
They said he just had to be in the room.
To change the way that everybody breathed.

Going down in history.
Without even trying too hard.
He could change the mood of a room.
Without saying a single word.
The time capsule will be released.
Explode from beneath the street.
In the 1100 block of a city TBD.
Never thought to look there when he was alive.
The time capsule will be released when he dies.

Lyrics © 2014 by Brian Krumm
Track Name: Cruel Joke
The planes are lined up with their usual routes
Across the sky, with their blinking lights.
Taking people to see the ones they love.
Never looking back to where they’ve come from.
‘Til they’ve arrived.

As the ones who love them lay down for too few hours of well-deserved sleep.
I stare at the sky and I wonder why.
I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.
And I wonder what you would have said.

Some of our friends aren’t here anymore.
They can’t share a drink with us again, ever again.

As they soar across the sky,
the planes never wonder why they pass us by.
They just float there, oblivious.
They hang in the clouds, mischievous.
The landing lights wink a cruel joke.
Our friends can’t be with us, because their bodies broke.

I wish I could only say goodbye.
Not only to you, but to the others—why?

We didn’t talk for so many years.
I hope you know I wish you were here.

Lyrics © 2014 by Brian Krumm
Track Name: Til the Needle on the Record Goes
 I spill your voice into my cup.
The liquid drips, I fill it up.
I toast a drink to what you said.
I put the needle on the record and I go to bed.

I put the needle on the record then I go to bed.

Yesterday’s mistakes dry up the night.
Cold empty sheets, dim flourescent lights.
I blur your vision from my head.
‘Til the needle on the record and it goes to bed.

Once was a time when I thought you were mine.
Now I must climb past the others and I get in line.

The drowning memories that I dread.
‘Til the needle on the record goes to bed.
She’s standing there with a jet black stare.
I found out too late that she didn’t care.

You were well paid but time will tell.
Not as a maid, it’s your body you’d sell.
My new lover wears a label.
Ninety proof. She’s on the table.

Lyrics © 2014 by Brian Krumm
Track Name: Old Lovers, Old Friends
You’ve heard all these songs of lovers.
You’ve heard all these songs of friends.
They will soon be gone forever.
As our time comes to an end.

You’ve heard all these songs of roses.
You’ve heard all these songs of rain.
They couldn’t capture all the passion.
They could never capture all the pain.

But we sang them so many times.
In the bedrooms and in the bars.
We sang about the moonlight.
And we sang about the stars.
I hope you will remember we sang the best we could.
Ain’t it a shame, but we will have the memories.
Among old lovers and old friends.

We tried to write down all our memories.
To remember every day.
But now the melodies have faded.
And the nights have gone away.

We promised to remember.
We thought our world would never end.
Now all we have is silence.
Among old lovers and old friends.

We just had to put them all away.
In a box upon a shelf.
As we raised a glass to each other.
To good fortune and good health.
I hope you will remember we sang the best we could.
Ain’t it a shame, but we will have the memories.
Among old lovers and old friends.

Lyrics © 2014 by Brian Krumm