Eureka Oh God Eureka

from by Matt Kresling

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It wasn’t always overcast and gray,
and long before the sky was filled with wires,
before the scent of rubber tires and gasoline
became its signature,
a Yankee clipper moored in Humboldt Bay,
the crewmen all along the rail admiring
the redwoods growing to the waterline.
They said, “All this paradise is missing
is an indian massacre.”

And the fog that settled then
still hasn’t lifted today.

Eureka oh god Eureka,
should have left it the way
that they found it, oh
Eureka oh god Eureka,
oh no.

The lumber barons of the town became,
like the feudal lords from whom they were
descended,
resentful of the trespass of the citizens
across their wilderness,
so they leveled it for lumber for the frames
of mansions more easily defended;
something everyone can share
from the window of a tourbus.
And we’ve got a name for their plunder:
our architectural heritage.

And the rain that started then
still hasn’t let up today.

Eureka oh god Eureka,
should have left it the way
that they found it, oh
Eureka oh god Eureka,
oh no.

Look what you’ve done,
O pioneers.
Watch the bars let out,
hear the shouts of your spawn in your ears.
This parking lot, this curbside waterbed frame:
is this what you hoped would appear
when you first came ashore?
This laundromat, this Sears?
When you first came ashore?
This mill of souvenirs?
This towering forest of billboards?
Put your disappointment here.

It appears now the West will be lost,
the same way it was won.

It started back then and we
haven’t stopped building today
Eurekas, oh god, Eurekas,
what for?
Eurekas, no god, Eurekas,
no more.

credits

from 2, released December 31, 2011
violin & arrangement: halim beere, bass: lonnie wilson, guitar & drums: jake krohn

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Matt Kresling Los Angeles, California

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