Tomas Kalnoky

Czech-born American musician

Tomas Kalnoky (born December 24, 1980) is the lead singer and songwriter of the ska band Streetlight Manifesto. He is also a member of the Bandits Of The Acoustic Revolution, another music collective. He has also been involved with Catch 22 and Gimp.

Tomas Kalnoky


  • So you're tired of living
    Feel like you might give in
    Well don't.
    It's not your time
    • "A Better Place, A Better Time," from Everything Goes Numb (2003) [1]
  • So tell me: how long do you think you can go before you lose it all?
    Before they call you bluff and watch you fall?
    I don't know, but I'd like to think I had control
    At some point, but I let it go and lost my soul
    • "A Moment of Silence," from "Everything Goes Numb" (2003)
  • Last two soldiers on the battlefield
    survivors of the war
    they aim at one another while their mothers beg the lord
    "if you're listening, I'm missing him
    so somehow bring him home"
    how did it come to this?
    so the soldiers lift their rifles and they're aiming at the head
    they think of their first love before they take a final breath
    and somewhere in the distance they hear something someone said
    how did it come to this?
    • "The Big Sleep," from "Everything Goes Numb" (2003)

  • Years go by, the time it does fly
    And every single second is a moment in time
    That passes oh so quick, and it seems like nothing
    But when you're looking back well it amounts to everything
    • "1234, 1234," from "Keasbey Nights" (2003)
  • I got no cash I got no girl but I got the world in the palm of my hand and I don't care if you care or if you understand because I'm a little kid and I've got little problems and I don't give a shit if you don't, you don't understand because:
    I got me.
    That's all I need.
    And I live comfortably.
    And I sleep peacefully.
    • "Giving Up, Giving In," from Keasbey Nights (2006) [2]

  • Right and wrong
There's not a lot of difference when you're singing that poor man's song
And that song it goes just a little like this:
  • "Everything Went Numb" from "Everything Goes Numb" (2003) [3]

  • I take that back I won't stop singing when I'm dead
I'll sing from the great beyond, I will echo in your head
And if you think taking your life will set your free
You've got something to learn, it's called humility
You've got something to learn, it's called humility
  • "That'll Be The Day" from "Everything Goes Numb" (2003) [4]

  • I'd like to sing a song (please swear you won't be long)
I'll try not to be long but I don't want to get this story wrong
There was a kid who never cared about the little things
Don't even bother because I'm tired and I'm sick of it
And everything she makes a point I'll make a counterpoint
She said it's easy but in the end you'll have no choice
And you know that's only just the way that it goes
(You said it right man, that is just the way that it goes)

I've got a gun in my hand but that gun won't cock
My finger's on the trigger but that trigger seems locked
And I can't stop staring at the tick tock clock
And even if I could I would never give up
With a vest on my chest and a bullet in my lung
I can't believe I'm dying with my song unsung
So if and when I die won't you bury me alone?
Because I'll never get to heaven if I'm singing this song:
Oh, you don't know where I've been
Oh, you don't know what I've seen
  • "Point/Counterpoint" from "Everything Goes Numb" (2003) [5]

  • Don't you come to me with all your color-coded quotes
Everybody's laughing but they never ever get my jokes
Fool, you're a tool, a sheep
And it's obvious to everyone but company you keep
And don't you squint and me because your childhood was the pits
Every single one of us have trodden through our shit
Oh, and I know you're shrewd
Because I smell it on your clothes
It's in everything you do

Falling, fallen, we all fall down
It only really matters how we stand our ground
And if and when we rise to our feet again
We'll be on our own
  • "If And When We Rise Again" from "Everything Goes Numb" (2003) [6]

  • It hurts too much to stand by
You've got to stop and draw a line
And everyone here has to choose a side tonight
The moment of truth is haunting you
Don't forget your family
Regardless of what you choose to do
You can't decide
And they're all screaming “Why won't you?”
I'll start the engine but I can't take this ride for you
I'll draw the bath and I'll load your gun
But I hope so hard that you bathe and hunt
  • "A Better Place, A Better Time" from "Everything Goes Numb" (2003) [7]

  • And now I know it's hard when you don't know what to think
And every single smile is a foil and you're waking up
You might try but you won't get by until you're crucified for all the things you try to do
Well I don't care if you sink or swim
And I don't care how you hold it in
As long as you don't bother me with all the things I don't bother you with
And 9 times out of 10 you might be right
But what about that time you know you're wrong?
You sing that same song
And everybody smiles but they'll never get along
  • "We Are The Few" from "Everything Goes Numb" (2003) [8]

  • You say you've got the cure
But I don't have a disease
And you say you've got the answers
But I've made no inquiries

Well you say you're life's a bore
And I can't quite disagree
If you judge your life by the pieces of shit that inhabit your TV
Because they stand so proud, and they talk so loud
And every other word is a lie
I've found that everyone who is anyone is a waste of time
  • "Failing, Flailing" from "Everything Goes Numb" (2003) [9]

  • Hey there Salinger, what did you do?
Just when the world was looking to you
To write anything that meant anything
You told us you were through
And it's been years since you passed away
But I see no plaque, and I see no grave
And I can't help believing that you wanted it that way
And Vincent Van Gogh, why do you weep?
You were on your way to heaven but the road was steep
And who was there to break your fall?
We're guilty, one and all
And I don't know much, but I do know this: With a golden heart comes a rebel fist
And I can't help agreeing with those that would not quit

And it makes me sick when I think of it
All my heroes could not live with this
And I hope you rest in peace because with us you never did
And K.D.C. you were much too young
And you changed my life
But I draw the line at suicide
So here's to life!
  • "Here's to Life (Reprise)" from "Everything Goes Numb" (2003) [10]

  • A moment of silence please for those that never get the chance
They show up to the party but they're never asked to dance
The losers the liars the bastards the thieves
The cynicists, the pessimists and those that don't believe in nothing

I never met a loser that I didn't see eye to eye with, I declare
I stare into your eyes
But you look right past me into the air
What's it like to stand in your shoes?
To have never felt the belt of somebody's abuse?
I take the bottle and I tip it to all my heroes that have passed
Alas, your have left us but your stories they will last
Uninspired by the recruiting call
Independent we stand
Independent we fall

So tell me: How long do you think you can go before you lose it all?
Before they call your bluff and watch you fall?
I don't know but I'd like to think I had control
At some point but I let it go and lost my soul
Sit tight but the revolution's years away
I'm losing faith and I'm running low on things to say
So I guess I have no choice but to regurgitate
The tired anthem of a loser and a hypocrite
Oh! To have died that night I realised it wouldn't last!
Our days were numbered and the reaper tipped the hourglass
The final mayday of our sinking ship had come and passed
Oh! To the west, you don't know what it is you're running from
And everybody's laughing loud
Your last chance to make your mother and your father proud
  • "A Moment of Silence" from "Everything Goes Numb" (2003) [11]

  • It doesn't really matter if you lead or follow
Everybody's laughing like there's no tomorrow and even if there was, would you still go following your friends?
I don't know where we went wrong, we're still singing those same sad songs
“It's my life, not your life, I'll end it when I want”

And now I'm off to save the world once again
But I don't know how I'll pull it off this time
I think I'm going to drown
Now he's off to save the world once again
But he don't know how he'll pull it off this time
I just know I'm going to drown
  • "The Saddest Song" from "Everything Goes Numb" (2003) [12]

  • Why do you cry when you know how the story ends?
How can you laugh when you know that it hurts your friends?
We've all been there once but you never left
This is me coming back to get you out
To say goodbye to make amends
I'm not leaving this place
Unless I'm leaving with you
'Cos you're the only person with a half decent heart here
And I know you will put it to use

Me and Mr. Dylan on the ride home
We had a heart to heart about life
But neither him or me could decide for ourselves if we wanted to outlive that night
Like two children on the playground of the unconfessed souls
Abandoned by our mothers and our lovers and our foes
If only we were brave enough to live the lives we stole
What a wonderful world this could be!

So how many more examples until we break?
So how many sacrifices must we make?
Because we've all been there once before
And it looks like we've returned once more
So is this the beginning or the end?
  • "The Big Sleep" from "Everything Goes Numb" (2003) [13]

  • We'll not be victims there'll be no victims of to speak
And only then will we be free
And up will rise the meek

And when we fall we will fall together
No one will catch us so we'll catch ourselves
And where we roam, we will roam forever
No one will understand what we meant

The beaten and the bruised, forsaken, the abused
Oh what a glorious day we'll have rising up and claiming all our dues
The day will come as sure as the ever-setting sun
All of those that self-impose will find themselves so indisposed

Now, with the line drawn in the wet sand
You need to tell us where you stand
Sitting waiting watching rotting everything they warned us of is true
Now tell me what we're all supposed to do
They're coming after all of us with everything they've got
With the fury of a soldier who will answer to his God
So how will we fight? All we have is logic and love on our side
  • "We Will Fall Together" from "Somewhere In the Between" (2007) [14]

  • If I were you, I would take this as a sign
Believe it's true, we were never meant to fly
And I owe you, I know you more than anyone alive
And I will not let go

They will not remember this song
No matter what we do we'll be wrong
They will not remember this song
No matter what we do we'll be wrong

I can't seem to see the seal we're breaking
I can't seem to see the seal we broke
I refuse to recognise your views
Someone shouted "Everything's for nothing"
Somebody shouted, "All is lost"
But I can't buy that nonsense too

Way back when the prophecies began
Do you think they really had a master plan?
Or were they merely writing fables, stories?
I don't know but it has occurred to me
The punishment that they threaten constantly
It's only real if they could just convince me

So fuck the flocks of sheep that keep amassing masses
Asses being led so far astray
And I won't claim to believe the things I read
Black books or agenda magazines
I'd rather see in shades of gray

If I were you, I would take this as a sign
Believe it's true, we were never meant to fly
And I knew you when you were you
Before they twisted all your views
Before you came unglued
  • "Down, Down, Down to Mephisto's Cafe" from "Somewhere in the Between" (2007)

  • Would you be impressed if I said that the dead would help us counting
Every single moment that we waste our time?
All the time we're spending vaccinating this disease
I just get dizzy when I think of all the ways we try to hide our maladies
We wine (We wine!), we dine (We dine!), and everything is fine
Because it's not my fault

Now you're upset because you finally got the notion
That everything you had is spinning down the drain
Oh! Do you mean it when you beg and pray and plead?
Your "Giveittomegiveittomegiveittomegiveittome all those things we need"
And what, pray tell, will you whimper when your number will be called
You'll say "It's not my fault"

I had a dream last night where everyone was trying
Subconsciously I knew it was a lie
And when I woke I knew that it was time to pray
To make amends before the end, before my judgement day
I looked around, I stood alone, I knew what I had to say
I said "It's all my fault"
  • "Would You Be Impressed?" from "Somewhere in the Between" (2007) [15]

  • Little miss dismissed can't miss like a detuned radio
I cannot believe you when you tell me what you know
And nothing will be broken if your house is made of stone
But you know as I do it will never be a home

We want it, they got it
They claim we'll die without it
But something tells me they are wrong

So what will you do when they call your name and you're not ready to go?
Everyone will stare at you and tell you what you know
That you're in too deep and you can't quite keep your secrets, one and all
We might just make it after all, on our own
We might just make it after all

But we had one foot on the gas and one foot in the grave
Everyone was laughing when we said we had it made
  • "One Foot on the Gas, One Foot in the Grave" from "Somewhere in the Between" (2007) [16]

  • So mercy, mercy, mercy me
Praying for the death of a man I'll never meet
Though everyone will know the truth they'll still just make believe
Mercy mercy me

That's all they came for, that's all they took
That's all we had to offer, only dirty looks
And when they realized we'd given all we could, that's when they finally understood
Mercy mercy mercy me
Haunted by the memories of things we'll never see
Guilty for the statements that we'll never get to speak
Mercy mercy me

"We can't quite blame it on our mothers
Claim everything they did was always wrong"

And there ain't no turning back when our train is off its track
And there's nothing we can do but watch it crash
And there ain't no right and wrong when we know it won't be long
And there's nothing we can do but watch it crash
  • "Watch It Crash" from "Somewhere in the Between" (2007) [17]

  • Maybe the times we had, they weren't that bad
And everything else was part of the plan
We sang: "I don't know where we go from here"
This is the alpha, omega, beginning and the end
And we all just idolize the dead

So you were born (So you were born!), and that was a good day
Someday you'll die (Someday you'll die!), and that is a shame
But somewhere in the between was a life of which we all dream
And nothing and no one will ever take that away

You had a love and that love had you
And nothing mattered, you were fine
And some will complain, they're just bitter, what a shame
They know that loving and losing is better than nothing at all

Maybe the times we had, they weren't that bad
And everything else was part of our path
We sang: "I don't know where we go from here"
This is the anthem, the slogan, the summary of events
And we all just idealize the past
  • "Somewhere In The Between" from "Somewhere in the Between" (2007) [18]

  • The blonde lead the blind, but now I being to see
All the things you missed when you were dismissed
Because learning always ended at three
And time after time, you pass along liability
And all the things you say, they only give you away
Because you're on the same level that you were that day

Oh! Friend! You look too deep at the cover of the magazine
But the words inside they come across deprived
And they force feed shit, but you still subscribe
And you watch, but you don't see
You touch, but you don't feel
And you'll rue the day they'll try to take it away
But they know you'll never fight it if they keep it the same

Did you loose faith?
Yes, I lost faith in the powers that be
But in doing so I came across the will to disagree
And I gave up, yes I gave up and then I gave in
But I take responsibility for every single sin
  • "The Blonde Lead the Blind" from "Somewhere in the Between" (2007) [19]

  • So Marigold, my love, you've had too much to drink
And I need not remind you, our discount tickets for this sinking ship
Take-backs and sweet regrets, that's all that we have left
No one is looking out for anyone but number one
One to one, two to dance, we all get our sweet romance
Though sour grapes will turn to wine it's all just vinegar with time
  • "The Receiving End of it All" from "Somewhere in the Between" (2007) [20]

  • Oh! My dear! My tis of thee! What a tangled web we weave!
Everyone is the one until the one falls down
Then we're all just "please please please"
The painted rust will only fool the fools for just so long
Eventually, that's when they'll see everything was wrong

Oh! The shame! Humility! What a wicked gang are we!
Like a liar looking down on a thief looking down on a killer looking down on a creep
Oh! This sinking ship will only hold its course for just so long
Eventually, that's when they'll see everything is wrong
  • "What A Wicked Gang Are We" from "Somewhere in the Between" (2007) [21]
  • Please excuse my enemies
I think they do not know
That I will gladly self-destruct
if they leave me alone.
  • "This is the start, the beginning
    The prologue to the yarn that you're spinning
    A million synonyms will never get close to describe the feeling"
    • If Only for Memories from "The Hands That Thieve" (2013)

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