Power Down

by Paper Tigers

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released January 1, 2015

Songs and guitars and singing and things by Lucas Oswalt. Recorded at home in Silver Spring, Md., late summer/early fall 2014.

Mixed By Chris Freeland at Beat Babies Studio in Woodstock, Md. Mastered by Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio in Cornwall, N.Y.


“The riverbed in which power runs leads back, the patterns of power lead back, the valley where power is contained leads back – to the forever new, endless, straightforward way. Reversal, recurrence, are the movement, and yet the movement is onward.” –Ursula K. Le Guin



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Paper Tigers Stillwater, Oklahoma

Paper Tigers is a singer/songwriter project from OKC native Lucas Oswalt. Before moving from the nation's capital back to Stillwater in 2015, he played in many DC-based punk bands, including The NVs, Lady Cop and Black & White Jacksons.

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Track Name: How Did You Grow So Cold?
You were roaring in your twenties
Moonshine, whiskey, wine aplenty
Till you pawned your heart and had no soul left to sell
But your immaculate conception
Bore you famine, war, depression
And sent you tumbling into the mouth of hell

And I say oh, oh, how did you grow so cold?
As the temperature rose faster
Pitching fever toward disaster
And by some damn grand design
You just snatch up all you can find
Till the only word you know how to say is “mine”

Will we still be drunk on power
Right up till eleventh hour?
Will heredity and prophecy rain sins upon the sons?
Can we point fingers at the father
Or should we even try to bother?
‘Cause we hold both the shovels and the guns

And I say oh, oh …
And we say oh, oh …
Track Name: Separate Ways
There’s an exodus over on the factory floor
Punching clocks for the last shuffle out of the door
Now they got you where they want you
Down on your knees
With the Pharisees grinding down the least of these

First scorned then ignored by the anchor at nine
No difference between party or company line
Food stamps and stress, no relief, duress
Won’t inherit the earth, but we’ll inherit the mess

So what are they supposed to do
Flying colors like black and blue?

Hammer and the anvil, needle and the thread
The prattle and the rattle and the battle in my head
So take all your power
Your passion plays
And we can just go our separate ways

There’s a protestor kneeling with her hands up in prayer
In the eyes of a riot cop’s thousand yard stare
And some bankster execs with anonymous checks
Private army on the dole and some muscle to flex

There’s a syndicate deep underground in Tehran
Fresh rounds of arrest at the crack of the dawn
And a sisterhood burning in an acid attack
Missing brothers and fathers who ain’t coming back

So what am I supposed to do
When every face looks just like you?

Hammer and the anvil, needle and the thread
The tools we must use just to keep ourselves fed
So take all your power, your passion plays
Your storm and your stress and your end of days

Hammer and the anvil, needle and the thread …
Track Name: Nothing In Our Way
Who will I be with no more enemies?
No thousand yard stares
No more sights or crosshairs
Swords to ploughshares

No revenge thrills
Won’t tilt at windmills
No slings or arrows
Fists or firecrackers
Knives or elbows

As long as I have blood coursing through my veins I’ll fight
Through swelling ebbs to clean clear lanes and a shaft of light
And I won’t be damned
Won’t listen to the doubt that can hold its sway
And there will be nothing in our way

Superstition breeds acquisition
Left them bleeding
But your once-rising tide is now receding

No more difference
No more distance
Hearts are see-through
Leave it all behind you
That’s not what defines you

There will be nothing in our way …