Ink​-​Stained Fingers

by Derek Brink

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released May 20, 2014

Derek played everything. With apologies to every drummer anywhere ever.


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Derek Brink St Louis, Missouri

Derek Brink is a musician from St. Louis, MO. He offers all of his music for the low cost of absolutely FREE. No one owns the space over your head, and Derek doesn't think you should pay him to fill it. For those who are generous, you may pay any amount you wish with Derek's thanks--but you are not obligated to do so. Thanks, and come back for more, any time! ... more

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Track Name: Slip Away
Used to see no point in having dreams.
No tomorrow and no future.
No refunds, no regrets.
That was me.
But now that I am living it,
I'm shocked to still be living it.
I'm shocked to find I'm dreaming
of a time that's yet to be.

I don't know how it happened,
but now I'm on the other side
of the worst years of my life
and the future is in sight.
If I could give you some advice,
you've GOT to keep on fighting.
'Cause to let go of your dreams
is to grab hold of dying.
And letting go of dying
is to stop being afraid--
just stop being afraid
of things you cannot change.
Don't let it slip away...don't let it slip away.
Don't let it slip away.

Used to be I'd fall asleep
afraid of waking up
to face another day
to fall asleep again.
But after all that rain...
After all that darkness...
I've never been so grateful
to feel sun on my skin.

I don't know how it happened...etc.
Track Name: Pretty Much the Story of My Life
To the girl with the golden hair...
When you fix me with your stare,
I sometimes think I could die right there
and go to Heaven.
And maybe I might as well.
Heaven would be better than the Hell
of knowing I can never tell you how I feel.

'Cause every time I try
the words don't come out right,
and it starts to sound like I'm trying to convince you.
And you just smile at me...

Well maybe, given time,
I could find some words that rhyme
that would make you realize I'm singing to you.
And maybe, given space,
you'll see the look that's on my face
that grows colder every day I'm pining for you.

'Cause every time you go,
it's like watching part of my own soul
walk right out the door saying, "See you later..."
And you keep smiling at me...

What's that supposed to mean?
'Cause I just can't believe
that anyone like you could fall for anyone like me.

So to the girl with the golden hair...
Maybe I should stop right there
before this all leads me nowhere,
I've been there frequently.
Whatever happens, let's make it quick.
I've been making myself sick.
And I broke another guitar pick
trying to work through it...

...and that's pretty much the story of my life.
Track Name: Of Death & Dying
Oh boy, Danny.
The pipes are useless.
You know, I'm Irish enough without them
and I don't want to sing that song.
If grace is so amazing,
why sing about it at funerals?
The dead don't really need it
and I keep getting the lyrics wrong.

But I'll be here in sun and shadow,
for it suits a wretch like me.
Then sings my soul,
"Come and walk with me in the garden."
I've got songs of death and dying
but they don't do that much for me.
Even though “Thou art great,”
I'm sick of seeking pardon.

Oh boy, Danny.
Yes I do love you so.
But the flowers have all gone now,
not a trace left to be found.
If I've been there 10,000 years,
there might be something wrong here.
When I think in awesome wonder,
I'd just as soon not stick around.

I'll be here in sun and shadow...etc.

Oh boy, Danny.
I've used all the cliches.
The point is that I miss you
and I do not want to move on.
I'm sick of doing that.
But nothing lasts forever.
Even loss, in time, can be lost
and the band can play along.

Oh boy, Danny...
Track Name: The Girl
There's a girl in the story,
because of course there is...
She's enough to make me drink.
And she doesn't even know it,
if she does, she doesn't care.
You know, it really makes me think.

Could've been married by now,
had a kid by now...
Do I really want that, though?
I think I only want the girl
because she is a girl
and she laughs at my stupid jokes.

And it just kills me
any time I see
her walk around with someone else.
Never a better guy.
Just another guy.
And I've realized
I'm never going to be that guy myself.

If there's a moral to the story
it's that there is no story
if you keep it to yourself.
And I may live to regret it,
but at least I fucking said it
and I hope she'll wish me well.

Could've been married by now,
had a kid by now...
But I went about it wrong.
I think I only want the girl
because she is the girl
that I've wanted all along.
Track Name: Holding On
I'm tired of the leaving.
I'm tired of saying goodbye.
I'm tired of always laughing
for fear of always crying.
Thirty years gone
and it's almost not worth trying.
If this is going anywhere,
I could use some kind of sign.
What makes it worth it
When it's like this all the time?

The world is getting smaller
and it's everywhere you look.
America, Iraq, Iran,
irate from reading holy books.
Promised more, but getting less.
Promises go 'round and 'round.
It's a wonder my generation
didn't burn the whole thing down.
Life ain't turning out
the way I expected it to.
That may be a cliche,
but that don't mean it's not true.

But some things are worth the holding on.

I'm tired of the anger
and I'm tired of the guilt.
I'm tired of repenting
and of knowing that I never really will.
I'm tired of missing all the friends
I had once who are gone.
Seems my friends keep running out.
Or they're dying while they're young.

I'm tired of going to hospitals.
I'm tired of going to graves.
Everybody's getting cancer.
Everybody else is getting AIDS.
Ain't no use in crying,
sometimes things just go that way.
But you've got to start to wonder
if it's really worth the stay.

Track Name: Yours Sincerely
I thought about calling you up
but I just lost the nerve.
Talking to you by myself
puts me all out of words.
But hearing your voice makes me
want to sing out like a bird.
I'd sing you a song,
but my songs are too long,
and there's better ones you've heard.

I don't mind saying I love you,
but I don't know if I should.
If I thought you might say it back,
I guess that I would.
The few times we touched
I thought I might melt right where I stood.
The warmth of your skin
is enough of a sin to hold me for good.

I know you're not perfect
I've heard stories of the scars that you bear.
But I'm pretty fucked up myself,
so I don't really care.
If you'd like to try,
I think maybe we'd make a great pair.
And if you get too stoned,
I'll carry you home and keep you safe there.

So bring out your skeletons, girl.
Bring out your dead.
Expose all your weakness and
let's put all your fears to bed.
And don't be ashamed
of the things that you did or you said.
Just wipe off the blood,
replace it with love, and rest your sweet head.
Track Name: The Best
We met as children.
Grew up Christian.
Grew apart, came together,
fell apart again.
Hung out in high school.
Trying to be cool.
Some things never change,
you know I'm still trying to win.

I've been trying to figure it all out again...
And I think that my best guess
is whatever it was, it was the best.

I found you naked,
shipwrecked, and sacred.
Exposed to a world
you'd never worked out.
I called you martyr.
You called me brother.
Maybe there was hope
and maybe there was doubt.

I've been trying to figure...etc...

I don't know what to make of it.
I've thought about it a lot.

You brought me religion
like an affliction.
The blood poured from my wounds
and sacred heart.
I think I told you.
At least I meant to.
Should've made my case right then
from the very start.

I've been trying to figure...etc...
Track Name: ...there but for the Grace of God
I've got a friend I'll always miss
every time I find myself humming one of his songs.
Something went wrong
and he couldn't stand the thought of singing along.
Not in the background.

He took a handful of psyche-drugs and speed.
Washed it down with vodka mixed with bleach--no chaser.
But somehow still survived...
at least for a little while...
If you can call that being alive.
Long slow decline.
Long slow decline.
What a waste of a good life.

It's been a long time since I could say that I was fine
without it sounding like it's a line
or just a device for saving time.
Yeah, I'm just fine.
I'm always "fine."

Look on the bright side, I still want to fight.
I fight for sleep every single night.
I fight when I think I'm indignantly right.
But I'm starting to hate that guy.
Close my eyes...and I hear the old songs...
It's a waste of time trying to find anyone who wants to sing along.
But fighting with a ghost doesn't change anything that's wrong.
And what hurts the most is knowing he was already gone
by the time I was begging him to stay.
I could never go out that way.

And I know that the falling snow probably doesn't mean a thing.
It's just snowing.
And I hate that I've learned how to deal with this and the feelings that it brings.
That's not worth knowing.
And I wonder what his last thoughts could have been in the end.
You know, he never even apologized.
And I know that I should be mad as hell about this...but I just miss my friend.

Go outside to get some air.
The blizzard didn't care.
The whole town is covered over.

And oh...
Oh isn't that beautiful?
Track Name: Beyond Repair
What did I expect?
Everything I've caused has an effect.
Guilt turns to regret
before the ashes can fall from a cigarette.
Forgiven before I beg it
before I even catch my breath.
Blood poured out for my sin?
You must be bleeding to death.

I'm laughing on the outside
and dying on the inside.
And I can't own up to anything
without losing all my fucking pride.
I'm lonely and I'm angry
and I'm looking for a friend.
And you stand there, arms nailed open.
I don't know where to begin...

Assured, but unconvinced.
Are you certain that I'm worth all of this?
Standing in my place
while I sit here, sinless, spitting in your face.
How am I to feel
when I know you got the shit end of the deal?
How am I to walk away?
And what exactly is it that you expect me to say?

Even now. Even still.
How am I to add to what I already had in guilt?
It's more than I can afford.
Good news, kid! Now your failures have killed The Lord.
All I hear you saying is that it's going to be okay.
I keep knocking you down and you keep rising from the grave.
I'm waiting for a tap upon my shoulder.
I'm waiting for the scars to heal over.
I'm begging you again to draw me closer.
And I'm furious that every time I find you bending lower
to reach me...

I am beyond repair.
I am beyond repair.
I am beyond repair.
You have broken me.

And I would not trade this for anything.
Track Name: The Ring I Almost Gave Her
There's a wedding ring in my bookcase.
It belonged once to my mom.
It came to me after she died.
I've been doing my best to keep it warm.
Some day I may still need it,
but it's getting hard to imagine what for.
Nobody else seems to want it
and I don't look at it much anymore.

It's been a lot to carry.
She passed away when I was 14.
I don't know if I'm ever going to marry.
I'm the type that's leave-able, it seems.
I keep it there in the bookcase
by some books I'll never read.
It's just nice to know that it's sitting there,
should I ever have the need.

I ran into the woman
whose finger I would've put it on.
She said it was nice to see me
and introduced me to her son.
I looked him in the eye a while,
gave him a smile, and it was time to move along.
I'm happy enough for her, I guess,
but my smile sure felt painted on.

It would've been a mistake if we had stayed
anything more than friends.
So that kid ain't mine, and that's alright.
I'll probably never see him again.
But I do regret the things I said and did
that made her run to other men
and left the ring I almost gave her right where it's always been.

Maybe someday I'll find someone
to take that ring away from me.
Or maybe I'll buy her a new one
that someday my own kid can keep.
But until that day, I guess I'll pray
for some grace to fall back on.
And I'll keep looking at the bookcase wondering
what's taking me so long.
Track Name: Give It Up
When I was a young man,
I met a girl with a French last name.
I said to myself right then and there...
"I think I'd like to marry that girl someday."

So far that hasn't happened...
But isn't life still beautiful?
Sure it's got bad times to write songs about,
but those songs are wonderful.
You've got to celebrate what you've got,
even if there's more you want.
Anything else is a slow suicide.
You've got to give it up.

Most of my whole life,
I've lived in a city with a French king's name.
When I was a kid, I used to say to myself,
"I'm gonna get out of here someday."

That'll probably never happen.
St. Louis is too beautiful.
Sure, it's got bad streets you can walk down,
but those streets are filled with PEOPLE.
You've got to celebrate what you've got,
even if there's more you want.
Anything else is a slow suicide.
You've got to give it up.

Some things never happen.
You've got to make it beautiful.
So much of this is in your hands...
You've got your hands full.
You've got to celebrate what you've got,
even if there's more you want.
Anything else is a slow suicide.
You've got to give it up.
Track Name: Dichotomy
Born of blood and of water.
Chasing after a preacher's daughter.
My mistakes are my own.
My faith is my own.
Tired hands. Tired feet.
A man of unclean lips, and my lips repeat,
"Leave me alone."
Just leave me alone.

I've only got so much that's keeping me here
in this world that's not my home.

I'm full of love. Full of hate.
Full of hope in the times I don't lose my faith.
If I could just hold on...
It's here and it's gone and it's here and it's gone.
Praise the one who set me free...
But I'm not sure if he knew it was me.
Sing a terrible song...
and just carry on...

It's getting so much harder to face my demons down.
They've been here so long.

I'm a man and I'm a child.
I will wash my hands as the crowd goes wild.
I meant it with love,
but push came to shove.
Peaceful beast in my heart,
but these days my heart seems so stop and start.
Grace is enough.
But sometimes it's too much.

Some days, it all seems worth it in the end.
But the nighttime gets rough.

Some days, it all seems worth it in the end...

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