Hello My Name Is I Was Born Without A Body

by Jon, The Archivist

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"This is an album that almost didn't exist. It's a story I've been gestating for about two years, and its earlier iteration was scrapped entirely in favor of my sophomore record, Tenement. After many months of sitting on these song ideas, I finally found the music and words to make them a reality in the best way possible. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

This album is a concept album, more so than any I have released before. It tells one linear story of love, jealousy, queerness, mechanical bodies, shattered dreams, and forgiveness. It is also deeply indebted to the sea. In the info section of each song you can find a short description of that chapter of the narrative."

- Jon Brien


released August 19, 2016

All songs written, performed and recorded by Jon Brien
All songs mastered by Jon Elfers



all rights reserved


Honest Face Records Worcester, Massachusetts

We are an independently run label based out of central Massachusetts.

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Track Name: The Swell of Summer
In the swell of the summer we’ll set our hearts free / as the sea opens up and is swallowing me / when the moon on the ridge extends over the trees / we can fall there together, how happy we’ll be
Track Name: A Birthday
Hello my name is I was born without a body / just a head with brains for poetry / and my arms all gnarled and knotty / but my father, oh, he loved me / though I took his lover from him / on the day that I had lost it, she was taken from this existence
And the doctor took my head and he attached it to a ribcage / made of steel and bolts and wires / and he pulled at me with pliers / and the lights were bright and shining / over the table and the gurney / and I must have screamed so loud it would have shaken the whole city / and they cranked my heart for beating and put gears in my knees for walking / told me I’d never be pretty / told me I’d never feel anything
Oh mother did you love me when you sacrificed your body / or did my hideous form kill you like the kids at my school tell me
Oh mother did you love me when you sacrificed your body / or did I torment and disgust you with my legs all curled and rotten
Track Name: The Actress
The dresses you bought me don’t fit anymore / they just sit in stray piles like leaves on the floor / so I hang them like curtains draped over the door / and I twirl on my stage / it’s an act I adore
As you cough in the kitchen I’m starting the show / I imagine the feel of real skin in my clothes / as the crowd files in from the street side below / and you turn on the news, the fifth night in a row
What will my father think of me years from now / will I make him proud / I’ll make you proud / I’ll make you proud
The light from the T.V. it mirrors my shame / as news stories of scandal and war flood my brain / my performance is sound tracked by shouting and flames / and the newsman announces my final charade
The actress retreats for one final bow / and the audience rises and cheers all around / as the mean on the screen screams to tear this wall down / I’m enjoying the fiction I matter somehow
How will I make my father proud years from now / will I make him proud / I’ll make you proud / I’ll make you proud
Track Name: Dusty Living Room
I want to cover myself in the sheets of the bed / the same sheets that my father brought me home from the hospital in / I can feel the oil of his hands in the cloth when I breathe / but in the end the smell turns to ammonia and incense / I picture his face in the coffin / I’m down on my knees
If there’s a god don’t take him please
I’m chipping off rust from the cogs in my hands / while a clash record plays in the living room / the angry brits shout their demands / the necklace you made me on the jewelry case reflects the sunrise of the window’s light / and I hate myself and I hate my body and I hate and hate with all of my might
If there’s a god make me alright
The dust in the air and the morning sun / hangs in front of me like an omen come / to destroy my willpower with the force of a gun / my demons relax cause they have already won
Track Name: Leaving
Maybe I’ll run away tonight / drive till I reach the morning light / leave the sorrow and death behind / maybe I’ll go to New York tonight
How do you run from yourself?
Maybe I’ll run away tonight / make myself a new name tonight
Track Name: Sarah
When I met you, you looked at me like no one had ever looked at me before / as in you looked at me right at my face seated cross legged on the floor / you stepped right over my clockwork legs and outstretched a gentle hand / and I stood up with some effort and made small talk with you and / I loved you then
We struck up conversation about dreams and love and loss / we were both aspiring actresses with bad luck at making off / we talked about auditions and the awful human race / and you slipped me your address as I stared blankly at your face / I loved you then
The first night that you kissed me on the rooftop back in May / I felt the touch of your lips linger on my fingertips for days and days / and the whole we kissed in August and October and in March / you started getting noticed up on billboards and in bars and bars and bars / I loved you then
As we stumble through an after-party past the Broadway line / and you greet costars and directors with your normal hand in mine / I am slowly become hidden like a leap year lost in time / with the body of a childhood toy, forgotten / tossed aside
I loved you then
Track Name: Acid Neck
When I get sad I watch your face / the way it moves its endless shapes / the way you laugh and your body shakes / and you clutch your chest and you touch my face
When I get sad I feel your hands / the subtle skin, the way they land / I rub them up against my cheek / I feel them moving as I speak
You clutch my arms, I pull away / I don’t feel beautiful today / you inch away with somber eyes / your sadness forms from my surprise
I feel like an outcast in my own skin / I don’t have your skin / I don’t have my skin
We spend the whole day counting clocks / waiting in line and making talk / I’m never getting what I want / you’re always getting what you want
You tell me that it’s not my fault / they see the nails and not my heart / I’m tired of this, my temper’s on / I turn and tell you to fuck off
I feel like I’m borrowing my heart / I don’t have your heart / I don’t have my heart
I don’t want to hurt you / when you only want to help / I spit my acid on the neck / of every lover in this hell
Track Name: An Omen
Listen / you’re not talking again / I’m touching your hand / it’s cold
Listen / you keep breathing in / so violent and tense / controlled
I told you / I was leaving again / I meant it this time / I lied
I left / the car running again / the doors are all locked / I tried
We’re moving in popular time / we linger two half steps in line / the walls of the room are too wide / our bodies get trapped while inside
Do you feel it / when you’re lying in bed / the crick in your neck / it’s red
Does it hurt you / are you crying again? / does it sit in your lungs? / like lead
The dogs always bark in the night / an omen ignored every time / in the flash of the beaming headlights / the sound of a preventable crime / your crime
The plans that we made as young kids / were renewed, then destroyed and relived / does it make sense to tell you like this / do you want me to tell you like this?
I thought I heard you on the coast last night / it was only a dream
Track Name: Moths
The shoreline crashed like a fighter jet on the night that you left town / and the moths in my room danced around on the ceiling in pirouettes up and down / the neighbors next door had a bonfire in the depressing summer heat / and I sat on my bed and thought about what you said as you pulled into the street
You said “you are not a part of me” / “I am not a part of you”
I thought about visiting friends in the city and the nights we spent upstate / I thought about watching some T.V. but I guess I thought it was too late / through the window I heard the refrain of a soft Parisian love duet / with my broken French and my cold regret I could make out what it said
It said “you are not a part of me” / “I am not a part of you”
I walked down the road to the graveyard in the depressing summer heat / I felt like a cliché and I laughed to myself at the headstones by my feet / I sighed at the moon and felt new in its light for a moment, then it moved / there were no stars in sight and in the dark of the night I hummed a little tune
It went “you are not a part of me” / “I am not a part of you”
Track Name: In Transit
The highway’s dark and quiet / New York is fading in the distance / I hear your name in every silent second / I see your face in every streetlamp
I was not built to be your lover / my heart of iron runs too thick / this is the way the doctor’s made me / they made me broken made me sick
My eyes are bloodshot from the driving / the only kind of pain I feel / I sense your presence in their pulsing / I feel your skin as I grip the wheel
When morning comes I’ll be in Boston / I’ll pull my car up on the beach / I’ll trace your name into the shoreline / I’ll watch it wash into the sea
Track Name: By the Sea
It’s a Sunday morning / the ocean is calm / I am wandering out / with outstretched palms / a decade alone / though it feels like a week / I keep seeing your face in those of strangers I meet
What would my father think of me now / would he be proud? / would he be proud?
I tried my best to command my life
The water is cold or I imagine it might be / I watch as the sand wicks the rust off my feet / the regret seeps in at noon right on time / and I laugh to myself that I’m doing just fine / and I’m watching the boats / as they weave through the docks / and I pretend that one day they might carry me off / back to New York to find you / but what would it matter / you’d have nothing of me / you’d scoff and rain me with laughter
What would you think of me know / would you be proud? / would you be proud? / I say out loud
A hand on my wrist / a voice asks my name / I turn round to see a face defined in its shame / and you look back at me and say / I’ve been searching, oh, I’ve been searching
You hold me close / I whisper I’m sorry / you say that’s alright / we all make mistakes
I want to cry for a year / I want to cry for a thousand years
In the swell of the summer we’ll set our hearts free / as the sea opens up and is swallowing me / when the moon on the ridge extends over the trees / we can fall there together / how happy we’ll be
As the summer months die and the sun starts to set / I will lay in your arms with your hands on my head / and until the waves turn my body to rust / I will sit here beside you and know I am loved