In Which the Choices We Didn't Make Were Better Than the Ones That We Did

by Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate)



From Keith Latinen's liner notes:
A little (brief, I swear!) history behind these two songs: they are both alternate versions of songs we have already released, but these versions are quite different. “I Would Have Stolen You a Whole Orchestra” originally appears on “On Time Spent Waiting…” and is much slower and has a completely different set of lyrics / melody. It’s a slow verson of an already slow song- and yes, the “(Stability Version)” tacked on is indeed a nod to one of the best Death Cab for Cutie Songs/releases in their canon.

This version of “Rally the Troops!…” features the original lyrics/melodies that came much earlier and are still so ingrained in my mind that I sometimes accidentally slip into them while performing this song live. If you see me mess up and sing some of these lyrics, you will know why. The last thing to change vocally on “What It Takes to Move Forward” was “Rally the Troops!”, in which I rewrote the lyrics and the melody. I think the album version is still the stronger of the two, but this song is certainly interesting and has its own strengths not found in the LP version. This version also features a third guitar that was cut out of the final LP version during the breakdown of the song.


released November 29, 2013



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Track Name: I Would Have Stolen You a Whole Orchestra (Stability Version)
We were sophomores who had shaken off 20-something credits
while taking on water in our steadily sinking academic lives

A whole year spent weaning off weekends in our hometown
left us isolated and alone in our rooms

You were a bull,
militant, or adamant to change

I was one too, in a fashion
with differences that seem to matter little now

When autumn had firmed into hard and steady ground
I finally grew tied of feeling sorry for myself
and shed what little was left for dead

And started brand new
with a heart that could finally let go
and begin to heal
Track Name: Rally the Troops! Poke Holes in Their Defenses! Line Our Coffers With Their Coffins! (Original Version)
Sally the ford
if there's no chance of a last push
to save us now

And even though I know,
they'll put your body up to break on the millstone
to abandon hope

This is what you get for thinking you can walk on water
you are not bigger than your words or yourself

But I know you're already sure
so the finest words can never change that
so you'll resign your failure to my complete lack of faith

And come down! I know! I know!
You can't make them see what you see

You'll force your hand
(even if it betrays your body to abandon hope)

This is what you get for thinking you can walk on water
this is what you get for holding your head up so high

Do you wish you had never met such teeth so sharp?

Draw out!

The oldest words will never become the truth
no matter how much you want them to be