Voodoo Mouth

Voodoo Mouth was recorded in 2008 by Bob Russom at his private studio in Graysville, Alabama.
Words and Music: Bobby Shifett
Musicians: Featuring Laura Stansill: Vocals | Andrew Reid: Bass | Stephen Casteel: Guitar | Kenny Shiflett: Drums


One mere mortal’s broken rhymes
Tell the tale of the life and crimes
In the age of the Voodoo Mouth

Gaze upon a scene of death
Shocked and awed with baited breath
And on the scene live accounts

Hypnotized! Hypnotized!
Frames and plots and lies and lies
We’ll be back with a body count

The story broke and we got it all
From Hiroshima to the Berlin Wall
It’s your world but we’re in charge
Brought to you by your favorite credit card

By my blood I will tell
The levees broke and the towers fell
I swear I saw it all on my TV
From New York to New Orleans
Times were hard and life was mean
In the golden age of misery

Some folks looked for food to eat
While others died out in the streets
Our cameras caught all of the tragedy

The bottle broke and the truth leaked out
Fires out west and floods down south
Mojo risin’ in the east
While Little George rode astride the Beast

What if your life was blown away by a hurricane?
And everyone you knew was washed away?
And no-one came for days and days?
To see if you were ok?

One mere mortal’s broken dream
Feed the fires of worldly things
Oh the schemes of the Voodoo Mouth!

Does not forget, cannot forgive
Suffers not to let live
On the scene live accounts

A million zombies on a chain
Curse each other and share their pain
We’ll be back with the body count

The deal was done and they had their way
Then on to Baghdad and Guantanamo Bay
With Halliburton and hell to pay
Spat from the Voodoo Mouth.

What if your life was blown away by a hurricane?
And everyone you knew was washed away?
And no-one came for days and days?
To see if you were ok?

Song Stories: Coming Soon
I wrote “Voodoo Mouth” as a way of processing my thoughts and emotions about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I remember that the lyrics for this one took a while even though I had written the music shortly after the event. I was so distraught and angry about the needless suffering that we all saw in New Orleans after the levees broke, that I couldn’t articulate my emotions.
This song isn’t just about Hurricane Katrina, though. It is also a reflection of how the corporate news media callously exploits tragedy as one of its primary narratives. It is about their role as the propagandists for the corporate/military complex.
I had made a video for this song as well, and Neil Young was even kind enough to post it on his “Living With War” website. However, I no longer have the video and so I guess, like the lives of so many who were devastated by this event, lost to posterity.
There is another version of “Voodoo Mouth” that I recorded, sans vocals, with Chris Hendrix, Bob Russom and Jonathan Kobler. It’s just a live room recording and it’s very rough and raw. I like it though because it reflects the emotional intensity that I felt after Hurricane Katrina. Chris’s drums really do remind me of a hurricane. I’ll get it posted up here, just for the hell of it.