by No Stranger

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Onward was written by Jonathan Cooney over the course of one very tumultuous year and recorded in the corner of a nicely finished basement by Sam Barry.


released November 12, 2013

Jonathan Cooney is No Stranger

Guitar on Warmer in the Water and piano on Alone in a Double-Sized Bed by Sam Barry
Mastering by Ryan Schwabe at the Maniac Mansion
Painting by Dani Leon
Photography by Jonathan Cooney
Design by Christine Fischer and Susan Blumberg



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No Stranger Delaware

I'm Jonathan Cooney, and I'm No Stranger.

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Track Name: Warmer in the Water
Come with me and together we’ll wash our skin until it shines.
We’ll dance in slow motion; in the water, we are divine.
Everyone high up in the balcony will watch every single step,
wishing they could move the way we do.
Smile for me, darling.
Lock your fingers with mine so I can keep them from trembling.
I know it’s cold, but it would be absurd
if it were warm as the nights got longer.
This sudden ice is scary, I’ll admit.

It’s warmer in the water, if only by a little.
It’s warmer in the water than trapped in the ice.

Some say it’s better to be frozen, never needing to move.
They’d frown upon the tears that cut through the ice and free you.
But I say it’s better to be slow, as long as you can swim,
for there’s something better hidden deep within.

You never disappointed me.
Track Name: Violating the YouTube Terms of Service
If there's one thing I'm excited for,
it's the timely end
to all the horror stories that she told me
all too frequently
of all the times you moaned and whined
when you didn't get your way.
How I'd love to give you a piece of my mind,
but I know it won't change a thing.

So fuck you and your endless stacks of laundry
scattered on the floor and your tacit misogyny
and baseless entitlement, as if you could benefit
anyone but you
because all you're good at is abuse.

How I'd love to give you a piece of my mind.
It probably wouldn't work.
We'd probably just get burned
like all the joints you smoked
when she wasn't home
and all the food you wasted,
fifty dollars worth a week,
but I guess it's not a big deal when you've got your parents
paying for everything
even when you act like you don't want them to.

You had so much potential to be a nice guy,
but you threw it all away
with your passive-aggressive, demeaning obsession
with making my girlfriend your maid.

You had so much potential to be a nice guy,
but you never even gave it a try.
Track Name: Alone in a Double-Sized Bed
I’d fill my lungs with iron for you,
dust expelled from the railroad.
Speed trains nor freeways could get me to you soon enough,
no matter how fast they go.

If I could, I would jump and spin the globe underneath
and place myself in the fields of the Lakota.
I’d walk to your location where the phones don’t reach
and never stop until I see your smile.

It’s been a long time since I’ve forgotten what longing feels like.
Don’t want to remind myself that I’m sleeping all alone tonight.

The photos in my room that once welcomed me
make me wish that you had never left.
It’s selfish, I know, but it’s hard to fall asleep
alone in a double-sized bed.
Track Name: Deluge
Those of my eyes rival the angels' tears
raining down and scattered here,
meant to till the soil and bring it back to life.
But if I don't believe in God or
angels guarding Heaven's door
then from my eyes springs forth
the greatest sadness I have ever known.

My cup runneth over.

I'll stay and soak up the deluge
so no one sees the damage left behind by the monsoon.
I'll stay and soak up the deluge
so no one knows a thing about the truth.

Now that I've drunk the rain the soaked the ground,
sleeping neighbors hear no sound
while I piss away the rain that fell so hard before.
And in the morning, the sun will rise so bright.
It's rays will sting my reddened eyes.
At least I'll know that I kept secret all my cries
from them all.

My cup runneth over.
Track Name: My Drill Is the One that Will Pierce the Heavens
It’s a little strange now,
having all this time to think about
the words to say
as I walk to your apartment.
I haven’t counted the steps yet,
though I know that they’re much
more than the few we needed before.
The elevator won’t get me there
any faster than if I take the stairs.
It’s only two minutes, but they drag on;
soon enough, I fear it’ll be too far to drive
an ocean away.
I’ll keep that in mind as I knock on your door today.

We could have been neighbors.

It’s just not the same without you next door.
Track Name: Desk Drawer
Someone once told me the words that I've said
found a place to rest and reside inside his head,
but the words I want to share the most
are the ones he'll never hear.
With my eyes cast down I'm sad to admit
no one will ever hear my thoughts on the matter.

So now I'm trapped by waste bins filled with paper,
overflowing with abstractions cut before they had any chance to grow.
So perhaps it's time to take out the trash
and make room for something new.
With my eyes cast down, it pains me to admit this to you:

It's too late.
So much left to say,
no one left to say it.