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Tom McRae — Keep Your Picture Clear
Album: King Of Cards
Avg rating:
6.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 914









Released: 2007
Length: 3:55
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Here I go, back again
Sliding off the ceiling
Was I gone for long?
Did I just flip the switch?

Across the street away from me
A man is singing 'Sympathy for the Devil'
And he's getting all the words wrong.
His newspaper flies desperately
But words aren't wings; like gravity
They'll keep you here.
It's a theory to subscribe to
But you know you're being lied to

So keep your picture clear
Keep your picture clear

Stay awake, the lines are drawn
You're never right until you're wrong
In the eyes of the world.
And a picture tells a thousand lies
Little dots in black and white
You've no idea
The strongest will survive
But it's the scum that always rises

So keep your picture clear
Keep your picture clear
Keep your picture clear

And you talk just like a diplomat
But hide the gun behind your back
And leaders need a bloody war
Congratulations, this is yours
Looking through the history books
Of liars, cheats, and petty crooks

They'll print your picture clear
Print your picture clear
Keep your picture clear

So close another file
Of revolution turned to style
We're so tired of walking blind
Growing fat in hungry times
Keep your picture clear

Keep your picture clear
Keep your picture clear
Keep your picture clear
Keep your picture clear
Comments (93)add comment
 lizardking wrote:

You've convinced me....6→7....maybe →8 soon!
 
8 today....I like when a song references another song I like (Sympathy for the Devil) and LONG LIVE RP!!
Love it!
This is top stuff.  Instant 7 and rising.  I need to check this guy out ...
 TerryS wrote:
Yeah, I know  - Sex, Politics and Religion, but
Read these lyrics before you go to vote...........

 
You've convinced me....6→7....maybe →8 soon!
Yeah, I know  - Sex, Politics and Religion, but
Read these lyrics before you go to vote...........
 bronorb wrote:
Anyone have an opinion on the rest of this album? I love this.

 
Erm, two years after your comment, but... King of Cards is his weakest album, but it holds some gems (most of which you can hear on RP). I recommend Just Like Blood (experimental, cool production), the more organic and introspective All Maps Welcome (all-time favourite) and the most recent Did I Sleep And Miss The Border (more recent political ranting, awesome band). 
 bam23 wrote:
I absolutely will not accuse him of "ripping off" anyone, a common enough phrase here, but "the scum also rises" was the title of a Hunter Thompson article in Rolling Stone back when Watergate was evolving. Referred to a disgraceful/disgraced president. Possibly Hunter Thompson was not the first to use the term, but it has stuck with me. Therefore, anyone who employs it merits some level of attention.
PS. For those unfamiliar with the literature, this is a play on The Sun Also Rises by E. Hemingway, a regional American writer.

 
The song is a rant against Tony Blair and his participation in the war against Iraq, so I'm guessing that the "rip off" is deliberate and quite fitting...
 bam23 wrote:
I absolutely will not accuse him of "ripping off" anyone, a common enough phrase here, but "the scum also rises" was the title of a Hunter Thompson article in Rolling Stone back when Watergate was evolving. Referred to a disgraceful/disgraced president. Possibly Hunter Thompson was not the first to use the term, but it has stuck with me. Therefore, anyone who employs it merits some level of attention.
PS. For those unfamiliar with the literature, this is a play on The Sun Also Rises by E. Hemingway, a regional American writer.

 
Hemingway based his title for that novel on a passage from the Old Testament; just about everything is borrowed in one way or another.  I've never seen Papa Ernie referred to as a "regional American writer" before though.
Pretty cool song,
 rascal wrote:
nice production...well crafted sound

 
But is the song and singing good? not in my ears ;)
 Stephenater wrote:
Never noticed this song before, I like it!

 
Agreed!
nice production...well crafted sound
 bam23 wrote:
I absolutely will not accuse him of "ripping off" anyone, a common enough phrase here, but "the scum also rises" was the title of a Hunter Thompson article in Rolling Stone back when Watergate was evolving. Referred to a disgraceful/disgraced president. Possibly Hunter Thompson was not the first to use the term, but it has stuck with me. Therefore, anyone who employs it merits some level of attention.
PS. For those unfamiliar with the literature, this is a play on The Sun Also Rises by E. Hemingway, a regional American writer.

 
Hi bam23,
thanks for your informative comment, but it eludes me why you refer to Ernest Hemingway as a "regional" American writer.
I absolutely will not accuse him of "ripping off" anyone, a common enough phrase here, but "the scum also rises" was the title of a Hunter Thompson article in Rolling Stone back when Watergate was evolving. Referred to a disgraceful/disgraced president. Possibly Hunter Thompson was not the first to use the term, but it has stuck with me. Therefore, anyone who employs it merits some level of attention.
PS. For those unfamiliar with the literature, this is a play on The Sun Also Rises by E. Hemingway, a regional American writer.
Anyone have an opinion on the rest of this album? I love this.
Never noticed this song before, I like it!
 rdo wrote:
 "Walk on the Wild Side" anyone?

 

Yup.

 

Nowhere near as interesting as walk on the wild side....


When it was playing first I thought its Lambchop. But the voice was too young.
You find it on myspace.
 Toke wrote:

I NEVER EVER use that Google thing.......

https://www.tommcrae.com/Store/Store.html
 

my granpa calls it "The google".....found on the "interweb"
Oooooh.  Edgy.    {#Rolleyes}
 libsang wrote:


Where did you find it? I've been looking everywhere for a download—no itunes, no amazon, no link on his website? help??
 
I NEVER EVER use that Google thing.......

https://www.tommcrae.com/Store/Store.html
 jam5ie76 wrote:
8  reminds me a bit of The The and not just the harmonica
 
I have made that mistake for years. Hmm.
 Shesdifferent wrote:
Didn't car for the beginning, but loved the end. Go figure.
 
You aren't the only one.
Just think, in 40 years, he'll sound like Leonard Cohen.
A song for our times, for warmongering governments and robber barons in Finance Capital.

"the strongest will survive
but it's the scum that always rises"

Isn't that the truth! You just have to look at those who've emerged to rule us in the last decade or so, in politics and the economy. Reminds me of an old saying about UK Tories:

Q: Why are the Tories the cream of society?
A: Because they're rich, thick and full of clots
whisper. or sing. not both. argghhh
Mental root canal.  {#Fever}
a 2 is all it gets, and that's generous
I like this!
 "Walk on the Wild Side" anyone?
Too early for this one!!{#Naughty}
8  reminds me a bit of The The and not just the harmonica
Bumping this from 7 to 8 - I really like it!  Wickedly-clever lyrics and unexpected musical injections.  Snarky and fun.

Here I go
back again
sliding off the ceiling
was I gone for long
did I just flick the switch?

across the street
away from me
a man is singing Sympathy for the devil
and he's getting all the words wrong

his newspaper flies desperately
but words aren't wings like gravity
they'll keep you here

It's a theory to subscribe to
but you know you're being lied to
so keep your picture clear
keep your picture clear

Stay awake
the lines are drawn
you're never right until you're wrong
in the eyes of the world

and a picture tells a thousand lies
little dots in black and white
you have no idea
the strongest will survive
but it's the scum that always rises

So keep your picture clear
keep your picture clear
keep your picture clear

you talk just like a diplomat
but hide the gun behind your back
and lead us near a bloody war
congratulations, this is yours
looking through the history books
of liars cheats and petty crooks

they'll print your picture clear
they'll print your picture clear
keep your picture clear

keep your picture clear


A song that seems greater then the sum of it's parts.
 crockydile wrote:
What a very odd song. Starts with spoken word, finger snapping and ends with a harmonica laced choir...{#Think} Very Creative.

 
{#High-five} Agreed, very cool.

woot/......yeah  baby
Didn't car for the beginning, but loved the end. Go figure.
What a cool fun song!!
 jkhandy wrote:

Agreed!   {#Cheers}
 

Where did you find it? I've been looking everywhere for a download—no itunes, no amazon, no link on his website? help??

It's a theory to subscribe to
but you know you're being lied to
so keep your picture clear

Not bad! Like to hear new music!!
300+ ratings so it's been played many times... and I've never heard it? Oh, sure now I hear the bit at the end I remember it. Hmm. 7
hmmm..... i find myself lowering my ranking of this song each time i hear it....  the repetition is driving me nuts!!!!!!!!!
What a very odd song. Starts with spoken word, finger snapping and ends with a harmonica laced choir...{#Think} Very Creative.

 skdenfeld wrote:
No higher recommendation for a song than to purchase it.  Done.
 
Agreed!   {#Cheers}
No higher recommendation for a song than to purchase it.  Done.
 DoctorHooey wrote:
This one's a creeper - snuck under my skin while I was working from repeat listenings. It's really cool - nice slow burn.
 
Most definitely.

Now this I like.  Ooh just looked.  Apparently i liked it last time too.

This one's a creeper - snuck under my skin while I was working from repeat listenings. It's really cool - nice slow burn.
The quiet rhythm of passionate lyrics - i dig it alot.
Very good!
I like the piano - it's repetitive, I admit, but I almost like it more for that very reason. Keeps me grounded in the surreal while I'm attempting to detail the picture that I, personally, would keep clear....sorry, I shouldn't have done that.
=SNAP=  Dig it, Daddy-O, it's the CRAAAAZYIEST!  =SNAP=

-7 
For me the second half makes up for the first half, but just barely.
 
Intriguing...
Sounds like Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys.
Wow. . .his tone, the slight scratch of his voice.  The strum of the guitar. . .very nice, indeed quite likable. 
yup. It's a dark, grey Monday morning.
Meh, kinda sounds like a public service announcement commercial.
I am trying to keep my picture clear, the drugs help but it's hard.
Eeeek!  That harmonica just drilled a hole in my head....
Me likey 
yclept wrote:
he sounds like the Arctic Monkeys front man...nice bass line in the first half
Totally, I thought it was AM's showing a new maturity. Not that I don't admire their immaturity.
Bravo. Unexpected lyrics. Beautiful in its simplicity.
Good song!
never heard… like it…
Love the line about the guy singing "Sympathy for the Devil" and getting all the words wrong . . . though I wonder if he may have overheard me singing in my car one day . . . :silenced:
sleep on!
God this is excellent, thanks Bill.

skdenfeld wrote:
I love it when slow songs take off like that!
agreed. . .
Excellent....thanks RP.
what the heck, he's english?!?
I love it when slow songs take off like that!
fredriley wrote:
Is that a chipmunk squeaking away in one channel during the chorus? Sounds in some distress ;-)
Sounds like a chipmunk in heat. Either that or just a straw in a cup lid - up/down. :ask:
Not my cup of tea, but harmless. 4
This is excellent - overtones of Bright Eyes and Citizen Cope, but a great sound behind the haunting lyrics. Update: Shame the same can't be said of the rest of the album, which is pretty dire.
This is really good. I like it!
he sounds like the Arctic Monkeys front man...nice bass line in the first half
:-(
cookie_token wrote:
I just can't stand the way he sings, have to mute RP while the song is on. :(
interesting song though, I think (7)
Lovin' that big bass, and then the song just flippin' takes off! Like it. A lot!
I just can't stand the way he sings, have to mute RP while the song is on. :(
I like Tom's way to build his songs...something different
Listening to it the first time, its jumps and skews disorient - almost scary.
definitely gets better as it goes along... what was that comment about a chipmunk? that was funny
jesspra wrote:
I think this should segue into that Tricky song...
Nice. It just did. :dancingbanana_2:
slinky.
I think this should segue into that Tricky song...
Is that a chipmunk squeaking away in one channel during the chorus? Sounds in some distress ;-)
...very ear-catching...
Reminds me of Tom Waits in some ways.
Soul Coughing would go good after this...c mon Bill.
I enjoy the conspiratorial tone of the artist.
I liked the way that it built. A bit of 'The Wall' in the ending I think...