what happened?

by the smallest one

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songs about expectation and disappointment; innocence interrupted by inexorable - sometimes fatal - injustices; dispositional deficiencies; and some of the other fun stuff in between. 'what happened?' ages with the listener as the tracks collide, beginning with a children's story gone wrong, and ending with a man on his death-bed looking back at his life in despair. life is good.


released July 21, 2016

credits: mason mcconnell



all rights reserved


the smallest one Calgary, Alberta

my name is mason & i like to write songs about things.

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Track Name: buddy
buddy the dog
had a friend named paul.
paul was a cow –
the biggest cow of ‘em all.

they hung out
every single day.
when they got tired,
they took a nap in the hay.

then one day,
buddy went outside,
but paul was gone.
thought, ‘he must be hiding.’

so he searched and searched
all across the farm,
but paul was too sly,
though, he couldn’t be far.

his daddy called him
for a snack -
the best shepherd’s pie
buddy ever had.

then he went back
to find his pal.
looked every day,
‘til he was put in the ground.
Track Name: colour of the halls
you’re asking lots of questions about life,
and if they come unanswered you don’t mind.
you hear it’s complicated -
the truth is overrated,
so for now don’t worry, it’s alright.

you stop the walk with chilling urgency.
you've come across a flower and a bee.
their chemistry is magic -
you’re told it’s just a sad trick,
and they cuff your wrists, and drag you from the scene.

when all you really wanted was to know
all these things that everybody knows,
but they won’t show.
and you whisper to that flower and that bee,
“i know you two are special, i don’t know
why they can’t see.”
and the bee whispered back, “don’t ever change.”

you scribble with a marker on the wall -
a rocket ship, a dog, a basketball.
they stumble through the big door,
say “that’s not what it’s meant for,”
and it’s covered with the colour of the halls.

you’re climbing up a tree with some friends,
careless about what might happen next.
they say you’re gonna break your neck,
and that they have your best interest,
but really, who’s to say what’s best?

when all you really wanted was to have
a childhood spent thoughtless -
is that really much to ask?
and you hop into that rocket ship, and fly
so far away from everything that you
once called your life.
and you leave all that brokenness behind,
only to find a piece of it still by your side.
and so your loneliness carries you back home.
Track Name: i'll go quietly
picking and pulling
at crooked stars
just to cover our own.

if the planets weren’t hidden,
we’d still find ways
to make them feel alone.

thinking if i had
a better voice,
i’d be happier,

but i know once i got there,
i’d just be
aching for more.

i can’t make a move
without my eyes
twitching so tenuously.

to this hazy little world,
my lip begins to curl.
don’t mind, i’ll go quietly.

been listening to the rhythm
of the wind,
trying to pick up on the notes.

but the weather just keeps howling
and thundering
in my head, and i don’t know
if i’m high or i’m low.

i can’t feel a thing
without my hands
pulling back so nervously.

in this loud and busy place,
no one can see my face,
but i still feel like they’re watching me,
although, i know they’re not watching me.
don’t mind, i’ll go quietly.
Track Name: little one
little one,
don’t you sigh.
you’ve got your whole life
ahead of you.

little one,
you’re dragging your feet
through the puddles in the street,
in your best shoes.

little one,
your heart is gold,
but you’ve never been told
about it.

so you walk
across town
with your eyes fixed to the ground,
without it.

and you can’t help but feel
like the smallest one.
but you can’t let these
fears become
loaded guns,
pointing towards the sun.

little one,
you got caught in a whirl,
now you’re scared to talk to girls,
and strangers.

little one,
now there’s a hole in your heart –
it was your brain that threw the dart
that made it.

and all of your thoughts
get scattered and lost
within your head,
so you don’t talk.

and all of your friends
wonder where you’ve been;
the more time passes,
the less you see them.

and it carries on.
yeah, it carries on.
it carries on and on.

yeah, it carries on.
it carries on;
one day you’ll wake up,
and everything’s gone.

and you can’t help but feel
like the smallest one.
but you can’t let these
fears become
loaded guns,
pointing towards the sun.
Track Name: fire escape
you made her breakfast
for her 25th birthday.
cereal and toast,
‘cause you’re still struggling with eggs.
she kissed you on the cheek
with a mouthful of wheat
and Special K.

you made a plan
and wrote in on a post-it note.
she said, “show me”,
you said, “i don’t like your tone.”
she asked what you’ve devised,
and you said, “it’s a surprise.
come on, let’s go.”

you zipped her up,
and then began to make your way.
then the fire alarm echoed
down the apartment hallway.
she clutched your arm.
you said, “it’s a false alarm.
we’ll be okay.”

you hurried down the hall
with her hand in your hand.
pushed and pulled the handle,
but the fire escape was jammed.
you looked under the door
and saw the flames tear up the floor,
and you looked back
at her.

and all you could see
was her dazed eyes glowing.
you opened up her hand,
and you dropped the note in.
tears welled down her cheek
as she read your plan;
you held up the velvet square
and you both felt all your fear dissolve.
Track Name: trying to find a boat
i love you more than anything,
but i don’t show you,
and i’m sorry for that.

you called me on my birthday -
you were the only one.
we talked about being sad.

you told me of things i’ve never seen.
twelve years alone.. how could that be?
beats me.

you find yourself tethered
to the calendar,
and you can’t cut the ropes.

you’re swimming in a sea
filled with monsters,
just trying to find a boat.

you could join in on the scare,
but that wouldn’t get you anywhere.

you give your best for all you do,
but no one seems to notice you.

what happened here?
all the things you thought you’d have
by now are nowhere near,
and the moments from the past
will never reappear.
so close your eyes,
and let your heart heal.
Track Name: the noise inside your head
last night, i saw you
in the middle of the road.
i shined my lights right on you,
and they speckled through the holes.

i got out to help you,
but you pushed my hands away.
please just let me help you;
you know, i’ve always kept you safe.

we had no conversation -
we were talking to ourselves.
picked up your medication.
maybe this time it’ll help.

then i said your name,
and you looked my way.

your eyes were automatic,
i could hardly bear.
your mind was so sporadic,
but I could tell you were still in there.

but I lost my voice
to all the noise
inside your head,
so now i tread
in the water
that once was pure,
now filled with dirt.
oh god, it hurts.

so I dug up old memories
from when you were okay.
we used to be so happy.
i hope death takes the noise away.
Track Name: time machine
you held my hand
at my bedside.
it felt just like it did
when we were young.

do you recall
my grandfather’s last words?
his eye’s caught mine.
they said, “don’t die alone.”

then his eyes closed.
and I asked my dad,
“where did he go?”
and he said, “i don’t know.”

do you remember
the time machine we built,
so we would never
have to grow old?

look, now, at us –
it’s not the same;
you’ve moved,
and i’ve stayed in one place.

but, tell me,
and try to be honest:
is this the way
you pictured it?

well, not me.