Lyrics Gasoline © The Utility Project 2007

01 Wankel

Breaking News this is just in
an engine doesn't need a piston
un uh
I've got something called a rotor
spinning inside my motor
uh huh
Felix Wankel, the man behind this
he never had a driver's license
un uh
Now I've been drivin' since I was sixteen
but it feels like I don't know anything
un huh

Somebody give the rotary engine one more spin
It could use a good friend
Somebody give the rotary engine one more spin
I think it might be done in

Pistons are the status quo
it's kind of hard to let them go
uh huh
I'm leavin' town in my RX8
and my Wankel's running great
uh huh

02 La Rueda

una noche
en un coche
de mis abuelos

adsnde mbamos
no recuerdo

y entonces
la rueda salio volando

como un cohete al cielo

Esa noche
Este coche
Ya no existen
Pero mis abuelos
Estan bien

Nada vive para siempre
Ni siquiera mis memorias

a menos que
se las diga
a alguien

[One night in my grandparents' car
I don't remember where we were going

The wheel flew off the car
like a rocket to the heavens

That night, that car are no longer here
but my grandparents are well

Nothing lasts forever, not even my memories
unless I tell them to someone]

03 GettyVan Gogh

You think that my dad will save me
but I'm afraid you are wrong
he's not gonna pay for me you'll have your way with me
we'll both be sad when you're wrong

I know I'm surrounded by fame
it's all just because of my name
I've never lacked money but you know what's funny
I've never been happy one day

I went to Rome to get away
from father and the family
don't be surprised they never cared
on family matters they're unaware

I've always had all I wanted
and now I'm out on my own
minding my own business
I've been abducted in Rome

Dad says he won't pay the ransom
Grandad refuses too
they think that I'm bluffing to you that means nothing
and frankly I'm afraid of you

you cut my ear clean off
and mailed it home in a box
it took longer than you'd like
a poorly timed postal strike

To pay kidnappers is wrongful
it means that no one is safe
to give up that cash is unjust and rash
..dear lord what will it take

now they finally agree
a price that suits my family
there was a bit of back and forth
negotiating my net worth

04 (Don't Blow Up) Traverse City

Hey what's goin' on with you man?
Why you puttin all that gas in those cans?
Am I witnessin' some kind of evil plan?

Don't blow up Traverse City
I think this place is kinda pretty
Don't blow up Traverse City

They've got shopping, they've got restaraunts
They've got all the things you might want
Beautiful gardens, homes that are old
Swim in the lake even though it's too cold
I like this place I call it my home
I call it my home away from home

Well kid it's none of your beeswax
But hey since you did ask
I guess I'll lay out some facts

Old Mission Point is my home
my friends and I we drive boats
cuz there's nowhere else nowhere to go

when we need gas we leave cans out
for the next dude comin' to town
it was just my turn to make the rounds

I'm not gonna blow up Traverse City today
I'm not gonna blow up Traverse City o.k.
I won't blow up Traverse City

05 Henry Ford

With Thomas Edison you were obsessed
you convinced his son to capture his dying breath

And you swore that you lived before
that you were a soldier in the civil war

I saw Calvin peein' on your name
on the back of a pickup truck again

you modernized the assembly line
and turned out cars in record time

I saw Calvin peein' on your name
on the back of a pickup truck again

Happy Birthday Henry Ford
it's the 30th of July once more
Happy Birthday Henry Ford
even though you're dead
doesn't mean you're ignored

Every car I've ever owned
it was a Ford, it's all I've known

Happy Birthday Henry Ford
it's the 30th of July once more
Happy Birthday Henry Ford

Labor unions you abhorred
so you hired some goons, eh, Mr. Ford?

when you were ten you knew then you would be an engineer
you lived on a farm in Dearborn Michigan that year
you saw a thresher that was made to propel itself
you took it apart and you rebuilt it all by yourself

06 Intrepid

We drove a teal Intrepid
resolute fearlessness
on the Interstate
connecting two or more states
to go see Incubus
an evil spirit that lies on you in your sleep
in Indianapolis
a city in central Indiana
a show that was Interesting
holding our attention
we became Intoxicated
abnormal state of poisoning
we decided to spend the night
the time from dusk to dawn
in the morning we awoke
to cease sleeping
to find a problem with our car
a vehicle moving on wheels
we stopped at a gas station
a business providing gasoline
and found some things insane
a deranged state of the mind
an ancient toothbrush
a brush for cleaning the teeth
jesus is coming t-shirts
collarless short sleeved undershirts
and an evil troll coloring book
a book in which to color
with a curse for us inside
the part within

I'm driving down the interstate
I'm driving down the interstate
going 30 miles an hour
going 30 miles an hour

A cop he pulls me over
a cop he pulls me over
says now you girls be careful
you almost to Terre Haute

a semi tries to pass me
pass me on the shoulder
now the world is spinnin
now my world is spinnin
somebody picks me up
somebody picks me up

now we're sittin at Bob Evans
yeah we're sittin at Bob Evans
the car is all smashed up
the car is all smashed up

I just want my daddy
I just want my momma

07 Diesel

Yeah they found him in a river and he was dead
suicide? foul play? no one will ever say

the rules of the universe unravel
do you believe in time travel?

put him on a bus full of hippies from Sebastopol
and smell the egg rolls when the pedal hits the floor
Rudolf can tweak the motor
he'll clean the fuel pump and the carburetor
he's our bud, he's the man
finally someone who understands

A hundred years ago he saw the need for bio fuels
now he's back and he's pissed give him a chance and the tools

put him on the hill to testify before his peers
there's a blast and then a flash and then dear Rudolf disapears

08 Poseyville

I live in Poseyville
in a house upon the hill
there's an oil well out back
it never stops does not slack
nodding up and down
a sea of corn surrounds

in the evening all is still
all except the well
it never stops does not slack
that oil well out back
nodding up and down

it sounds like a turkey that's being choked
it squeals and it cries with every downstroke
all that I want is a moment of peace
but I'm at the mercy of this screaming beast
I can't stand to be in my own home
the screams and the cries won't leave me alone

I'm here in Poseyville
in a house upon the hill
I'm under attack
by that oil well out back
hands upon my ears
but there's something loud and clear

fingernails on chalkboards
the wails of dying horse
nothing can compare
with the sound I hear
it happens every day
It'll never go away

I guess I could move
yeah I think I'll just move

09 Bertas erster Gang

Alle aufgepasst, heute ist der fuenfte August
es ist Zeit sich an die historische Fahrt zu erinnern.
Es scheint als waeren Berta Benz und ihre beiden Soehne
die ersten gewesen die 100 Kilometer gefahren sind.

Berta musste an Apotheken stehenbleiben
um Benzin in den kleinen Mengen zu kaufen
die man brauchte um Laeuse vom Kopf zu kriegen
Berta schreckte einige Leute entlang der Strecke

Pforzheim ist nicht weit von Mannheim
aber es erscheint ziemlich weit
wenn man es noch nie mit dem Auto gefahren ist.

die noch nie eine derartige Kutsche gesehen hatten.
Die Huegel waren ein Problem und glaubt es nur,
wir verdanken Bertha den niedrigen Gang in unseren Autos.

[Attention everyone today is August fifth
it is time to recreate that historic trip
it seems that Berta Benz along with her two sons
to drive sixty miles they were the very first ones

Berta had to stop at pharmacies
for gasoline only there in small
amounts for lice upon the scalp
Berta startled some folks along the way

Phorzheim isn't far from Mannheim
but it seems pretty far
until you've travelled it by car

never had they seen a carriage travel this way
the hills were a problem and now listen here
its thanks to Berta that your car has a low gear]

10 John's Garage

Hey John, your dad said
"Get ridda those maggots out in the garage
they're crawlin' on the trash
I don't care how, just get 'em gone"

open up the gas
pour it on the bags
then we strike a match
and oh, what happens next?

maggots flyin' on fire
before our eyes

maggots turnin' into flies
lookin' like
the 4th of July

airborne they ignite
on their kamikaze flights
I know that it isn't right
but oh, what a beautiful sight

maggots flyin' on fire
at least they got to fly
before they said goodbye

11 Rockefeller

Middle man, say your prayers
Stockholders, collect your shares
Charities, get in line
Nevermind, I'm startin' mine

I know
he knows
he's just as good as he was bad
I know
you know
he's just as good as he was bad

Yellow Fever, say goodbye
Hookworms, you're gonna die

Send me to the warlocks or send me to the witches
but there's only one man who scares me outta my britches
you can say that I'm chicken, you can call me yeller
just don't make me compete with JD Rockefeller

Competition? I have none
Life is a game and I've just won

12 Gas Can

I grew up across street from you
you'd come over every day to play
except for one day
something happened in your garage
I watched the ambulance drive away
I didn't see you do it but you

you blew up your face
you dropped a lit match
in a gas can

when I finally saw you, you'd changed
you had a scab for a face
you looked like a man
who just got back from vietnam
I didn't see you do it but you

when I asked you how you did it
you said something funny to me
and I'll never forget it
you said that you ate too many mashed potatoes
then you smiled and said I'll see you later
I didn't see you do it but you

13 Boneshaker

Dad pats me with his hand
and says son be a brave man
I'm sittin' on an old saddle
switch it on and it starts to rattle

It's causin' an earthquake and
it's makin' my back ache and
I'm ridin' on a boneshaker
I'm ridin' on a boneshaker

Got two wagon wheels under me
the design is simple enough you see
the engine shakes between my feet
it coughs and spits, it's puttin' out some heat

dad's face is now a distant memory
after 12 miles no one here but me
over hills and steams through the briers
I look down and everything is on fire

I just rode the world's first motorbike
makin' history, riskin' my life
I'll let Dad worry 'bout the history makin
I'm just happy for a little boneshakin'

that's the sound of my bones shaking

14 Gasoline Dreams (Matthew Graham)

Oh gasoline, of thee I sing.
Oh gasoline, of thee I dream,
Cause I'll do most anything
To fill my car
With gasoline.

Oh gasoline, of thee I sing.
Oh gasoline, of thee I dream,
Cause I'll promote most any scheme
To fill my car
With gasoline.

Oh gasoline, of thee I sing
Oh gasoline, of thee I dream,
Cause I'll write on most any theme
To get back home
To Y oh ming.

To get back home
To Y oh ming.

15 Otto

Fill the combustion chamber with gasoline and air
then compress the mixture just like you do not care
ignition burns the fuel, pushes the piston down
empties up the chamber-turns the crankshaft around

This sends the wheels a spinnin' round and round and round
thank your tire treads, they keep you on the ground
step on the accelorator and see what happens then
more gas pumps in the chamber and it starts all over again

An engine's like your body, it works whether or not you know
filler up check the tires and buddy you're good to go
you can thank Nicolaus Otto he figured all this out
he tried this, he tried that and I'm sure he had his doubts

suck squeeze bang blow
(intake, compression, power, exhaust)

Think of Nicolaus Otto when you're zooming down the road
in your late model Dodge Omni haulin' another load
of ancient engine technology circa eighteen eighty five
every moving bucket of bolts keeps Otto's dream alive

Ethanol and cleaner fuels now they begin to flow
just as the desire for alternatives does grow
an industry changing gears probably never be the same
but the four stroke engine we know and love will always bear his name

16 Leg Burn Bob

I'm clearin' brush at the lake home
stackin' it up pour all the gas on
turns out I'm standin in the danger zone
still air keeps all the fumes low

Red phosphorus turns to white
with every match strike
this causes it to light
and gas fumes ignite

Did you hear a whoosh?
I thought I heard a whoosh
past the burning brush
into the lake I rush
Oh honey, now you hush
doesn't hurt me very much
can't feel 'em when I touch
so it's back to clearin' brush

next morning I'm in pain
got blisters on my legs
I told you so you say
to the doctor right away

I've got irradiated pig skin
on my calves and on my shins
don't think I'll start a fire with gas again

17 The First Marcus Car Was a Motorized Hand Cart


18 Midnight Ethyl

Down in the pay zone the rat hole collects
the oil that's down there and keeps out the gas
the oil's forced up and the gas it is vented

the pilot burns off the excessive gas
if it's cold nuff this casing head gas
turns into petrol without the road tax

burnin' midnight ethyl

no one inspects it- but it's nice to collect it-
so under the radar no one would expect it

yeah you can run on this renegade petrol
your new best friend's name is midnight ethyl
fill up in topeka go fill up in bethel

don't get caught filling by the side of the road
with your trunk in the air exposing your load
like a '74 pinto you're bound to explode

you know officer I'm glad that you asked
what's in these jugs? under the hatch?
perhaps we can see by the light of this match

19 Lukasievich

I left home to work at a pharmacy
there I found a way to distill kerosene
on july 31st eighteen fifty three
a lamp I made was used to light a surgery

You can leave the whale oil inside the whale
we've got something better for sale
bubblin' up from the ground comes the seep
now we're lightin' up this town on the cheap

I'm digging wells, I'm setting up refineries
demand is good, the zlotys flow right through me
I paved our streets and paved the way for the modern oil industry

20 The Illinois Oil Basin

It's black gold that I'm chasin' in the Illinois oil basin

from Wisconsin to Cincinnatti and Nashville to the Mississippi
buried down underground just about fourteen thou'

Daniel Yergin wrote 'The Prize' now he's opened up my eyes
it's black gold that I'm chasin' in the Illinois oil basin

impossible though it seems, all this land was once sea
tiny animals now deceased, droppin' down in their sleep

let's look back in the past rotting heaps of biomass
once there lived tiny plankton, now I think we should thank 'em

it's black gold that I'm chasin' in the Illinois oil basin
all this time it's been waitin' for the rigs we're creatin'

can you hear the cicada cry? dying now he can no longer fly
decomposing he becomes the earth, in a million years comes his rebirth
plankton from some time ago, reconvened to make the oil flow

he's liquified with all his friends, but that's not where the story ends
sucked back up and then refined, he becomes the gasoline that you buy
now it's time to incinerate, burned up inside your old v8

it's black gold that I'm chasin' in the Illinois oil basin
and the clock that I'm racin' with the demand that we're facin'

since Precambrian times repeated uplifts and down wrappings
igneous and sedimentary now loosened up all the trappings

it's black gold that I'm chasin' in the Illinois oil basin
some folks say that it's fine soon we'll have a good supply
it's black gold that I'm chasin'

I won't let these stacked pays ever get in my way
Recent calcs indicate that it's not yet too late

it's black gold that I'm chasin' in the Illinois oil basin
it's black gold that I'm chasin' in the Illinois oil basin

21 Drillin' Drake

In 1859 I dug an oil mine
I made a hole in the earth near Titusville, PA
hoping to find crude in a big enuff pay
the banks and investors were with me all the way
until things got rough and then they backed away
I used a steam engine to get the drilling done
there was no plan for action so I invented one

drill comes up
drill goes down
drill turns around

I came up with a drive pipe when things were getting' rough
32 feet down the bedrock was pretty tough
we drilled and we drilled each day only got 3 feet
people gathered round to point and to laugh at me
but we kept on drilling down 69 feet

drill comes up
drill goes down
drill turns around

we'd left it for the night feelin' kind of low
first thing next morning we saw the oil flow
we gathered up some tubs and filled em up real quick
the smile on my face was so big that it hurt
the only thing I wish is that I had a patent
all my problem solvin' just went to anyone who wanted it
if solvency's your intention you gotta patent your invention

24 At Your Service Station (w/McDonald)

(natural sound)

23 Jellies (w/Levitt)

your brand new pair of jellies
of course are made from petroleum
I find myself crossing the street
whenever you dare to wear 'em

you look at me and smile
you look at me and smile
you look at me and smile

now I have my own pair
and I wouldn't dream of anything else to wear

grease up those dancin' shoes and show me your dancin' moves
you're movin' on the dance floor more than anyone would hope for

24 Gasoline (w/Lichtensteiger)


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