Agents Of Change

from by Danny Schmidt




This song is about the gentrification process. And it's about how the movements and flows of people around shifting notions of Desirability are so fundamental that it feels almost like a law of nature, like reverse entropy. And whether, in any particular moment, we are feeling like the victim of those changes or the instigator of those changes, truth is we are always both, as the process itself is immutable and inevitable. I wrote this one after our best friends couldn't afford to be our neighbors just a couple years after we bought our home.



The neighbor's house is burning
With flames that rise so fast and mean
The white folks run with empty buckets
And tears of gasoline
I hang my head and blame the others
With a match stick in my teeth

The neighborhood is flooded
Still every day the stakes just rise
But if I could I'd dam the waters
And curse the open skies
I'd drain the lakes and streams of credit
And I'd watch those ink stains dry

I never thought that as the streets got shined
The money and the time could change the course
When better's for the worst
When better's for the worst

But now I fear for a tiny slice of pie
I became that guy, I became that guy, that guy, that guy
That's just the way, the glory and the shame
The agents of the change

Now there's a wall around the courtyard
So tall no gypsy thieves might climb
But what's the point of castle towers
With all your friends outside
So fill the mote with beer and pretzels
I’m climbing down tonight


from Standard Deviation, released March 8, 2019

Danny Schmidt - Vocal & Guitar
Colin Agnew - Drums & Percussion
Will Robertson - Bass & Keyboards
Fats Kaplin - Pedal Steel Guitar, Mandolin
Mira Stanley Costa - Harmony Vocals
Cara May Gorman - Harmony Vocals
Carrie Elkin - Harmony Vocals


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Danny Schmidt Austin, Texas

Named to the Chicago Tribune's "50 Most Significant Songwriters in the Last 50 Years," Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt is considered a preeminent writer, an artist whose earthy poetry manages to somehow conjure magic from the mundane, with lyrical depth drawing comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Townes Van Zandt. ... more

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