RECKONING

“Home”

Home it ain’t the same no more
Home it ain’t the same
As I walk down the boulevard and pass the avenue
I realize it’s me that changed

I been beaten down to the cold hard ground
I been beaten down to the ground
I have felt defeat smashin’ down in my guts
And my beatings have become world renowned

My feet are a-bleedin’ and a-hurtin’ in the mud
My feet are a-bleedin’ in the mud
I been runnin’ from nothin’ with the Devil at my heels
And my lungs are a-drownin’ in the flood

Is it you my dear that could save my soul?
Is it you that could set me free?
Swore I looked in her eyes and I saw home
And that’s where I’m hopin’ to be

Yeah I think it’s time for my one last stand
Grit my teeth for my one last stand
Climb on in back and we’ll chase the sun
One day we’ll reach the Promised Land

Climb on in back and we’ll chase the sun
One day we’ll reach the Promised Land

“Williamstown, MA”

The treeline bows for sunlight, shinin’ steeple stands a-gleam
To shade shadows of eternal night upon a poet’s dreamin’
In New England’s mighty winter, he’s a-carvin’ his sacred earth
Mappin’ verses in split timber, hands wrapped in blood and dirt

Bells tolling tales of pale afternoon
Chimin’ high and lonesome sounds
Oh a reckoning is a-comin’ soon
Oh down, down in Williamstown

To him silence sings a hymnal, disarmed comfort it will bring
But God sits patient in this fiddle, eager for the comin’ spring
Secret tongues will whisper, but you will not hear a word
For to keep but one listener till no longer left unsure

Bells tolling tales of pale afternoon
Chimin’ high and lonesome sounds
Oh a reckoning is a-comin’ soon
Oh down, down in Williamstown

When lonesome comes a-theivin’ I’ll drag my bones to North Country
In boot heels I’m believin’ when that north wind sets me free
No I have not been to where I’m bound but I’ll crawl that crooked line
And if you still will not be found we’ll meet within my mind

“Gallows”

Hangman, oh hangman, won’t you come set me free?
I been roamin’ now for four long years and there’s no place left to be
Hangman, oh hangman, no woman ain’t loved me
Don’t you worry ‘bout no blindfold for no one’ll come to see

Mother and father I’m sorry for what I done
A life of sin just ain’t worth livin’, could have been a better son
Mother and father I hope you understand
Stealin’ cars and brothel bars take a toll on a desperate man

Your Honor, Your Honor, no need to hear my plea
No job, no home, no food to eat in a rich man’s economy
Your Honor, Your Honor, no need to ask me why
The cold hard ground is all I ask and I’ll get there by and by

Sister, oh sister, there ain’t no other way
Dry your eyes, oh don’t you cry, I’ll see you on Judgement Day
Sister, oh sister, I ask on bended knee
No service, roses, or kind spoke words, just sweep my grave for me

Hangman, oh hangman, won’t you come set me free?
I been roamin’ now for four long years and there’s no place left to be

“One Man War”

A thousand miles from what I’d known
A vast wasteland of steel and stone
There’s a darkness here that’ll swallow you whole
But a blindin’ from every soul

From the blazin’ street to the scorched skyline
From the saintly tramp to those called refined
No I won’t go back to what was before
For now I’m wagin’ a one man war

Old furnace gates please let me in
Cremate all that might’ve been
Old wounds healed now by city flame
And I’m baptized in the holy rain

Just take me to the grit of grief unseen
Just guide me to what they deem unclean
For it’s there you’ll learn what you’re fightin’ for
When you started wagin’ a one man war

You know I grew so old before my rightful time
I ain’t ready yet to die
As long as I got breath to breathe
I will stay alive, I will stay free

And I have learned that I’m not alone
You know we all drag ‘round these burden stones
And the time is nigh to settle the score
When we started wagin’ a one man war

No this jungle still ain’t got me beat
Now ain’t the time for no retreat
I’ll just say I’ll be alright
Cause this one man war ain’t the losin’ kind

“East of Eden”

This house is full of ghosts and I can’t sleep again
Tell me one more time mama, I’ll be a decent man
Cause I ain’t much a forgiver, and I tried to make it right
It don’t look like either gonna be done tonight

And I’m starin’ in the face
Of my grave or your grace
But hate ain’t what I taste
Somehow I’ll learn to live with your mistakes

And the Earth, she swallows blood, of children weak or strong
Struck with gunsmoke guilt that’s just been passed along
And this weight you just can’t bury, this burden goes far beyond
We forgotten sons, forever vagabonds

And I’m starin’ in the face
Of my grave or your grace
But hate ain’t what I taste
Somehow I’ll learn to live with your mistakes

Lay me down, now to sleep
I fear the light is leavin’ me

Lay me down, now to sleep
I fear the light is leavin’ me

Lay me down, now to sleep
I fear the light is leavin’ me

Lay me down, now to send
Further east of Eden

“The Flood”

See the wolves at your door
See the wolves at your door
You can’t stay here no more
With the wolves at your door

Levee come, levee go
Levee come, levee go
No the seed is not yet sewn
Levee come, levee go

Human dogs in the mud
Human dogs in the mud
They will stand, stand the flood
Human dogs in the mud

Righteous man, watch your throne
Righteous man, watch your throne
Soon your treasure will turn to stone
Righteous man, watch your throne

We shall not die in vain
We shall not die in vain
Branded on bleedin’ brain
We shall not die in vain

 

“Holy Land”

Who now will stand to defend a man?
A man with no dollar to his name?
Freedom ain’t free in this holy land
But you’re free to lose all the same

What will you do, Old Leatherneck Dan?
When your friends are all laid in the ground?
“I suppose I’ll find peace in this holy land
But my home is nowhere to be found”

Yes and why is it birthright that they still demand?
Don’t they know that we all bleed the same?
Still I think they see color in this holy land
A land forged in blood and in shame

Yes and why are some people still constantly damned?
Some cowards say they are to blame
They say one kind of love in this holy land
Can’t stay if you don’t sin the same

Yes and how long will murder be fair reprimand?
A gagged mouth don’t make much for voice
You can always find justice in this holy land
Listen, kid, they made their choice

Yes and when will this cease, this hate held in hand?
As our children are left with decay?
But this is the way of our holy land
With the cards you are dealt you must play

And they ask me

From where do you come, boy, you don’t understand
I’m young and unlearned yeah you’re right
But if one thing I learned in this holy land
It is to wake up and to fight

“Sledgehammer”

In the blue dark breathin’ hours of the morning
Your tattered banner feeds the hungry wind
All these years you heard the sirens and the warnings
You just thought by now you might’ve found a friend
But God only knows where you been

So you braved bareknuckle rings with golden heroes
Man this fightin’ somehow wore you so thin
Now you’re kickin’, screamin’, starin’ out your window
And lonely’s still leakin’ from your pen
Cause you keep driftin’ on back to where you been

In your youth you used to ramble like a preacher’s son
Seekin’ sorry reasons to start again
Now you barely need a reason to run for your gun
And all you found was a beginning to an end
And you can’t remember where you been

But you always found a promise in these strangers
How they break and bleed but are learning how to mend
How they ache to live far from fear and danger
How humble ruin’s all that’s left now to defend
Somehow they know exactly where you been

So you get up from your knees and stand unshaken
With faith and cold steel flamin’ from your engine
Remember what you’re given what you’ve taken
Bury your blues, take only what you can
And you’ll burn where you been
Yeah you’ll burn where you been
Yeah you’ll burn where you been
Yeah you’ll burn

“Blood Hymn”

I come from the red clay flatlands
Where a ticket out’s like a diamond ring
Ain’t no diamond ever found its way to these shakin’ hands
But I found myself a song to sing
No I found myself a song to sing

Winter came upon me when I was seventeen
Runnin’ from the shadow, scrapin’ to survive
Misery was company and my dreams were kerosene
But the night still taught me to drive
Yeah that night still taught me to drive

I remember the deep black river
I said, “Look at me, ain’t I a shame?”
She said, “Life ain’t always a life giver”
And that river still knows me by name
Said that river still knows me by name

Now I run with some street corner deacons
And they’re all painted red and black and blue
Lost and found but still in earnest seekin’
They got New Eden in the soles of their shoes
They got New Eden in the soles of their shoes

So I take what I’s given from bleedin’
And I learned when to run, when to hide
But blood ain’t now what I’m needin’
Cause that blood ain’t along for this ride
No that blood ain’t along for this ride

Ain’t along
Ain’t along
For this ride
Ain’t along for this ride

Gotta take back
Gotta take back
Gotta take back
My life and make it all right

“Reckoning”

I was born of a pauper prince, he died before I’d come
His brothers now they care for me and treat me as a son
They are young and I am old, but they were much the same
They got shipwrecked shores and civil wars and a youth to reclaim
We share a name

And it’s been a long time comin’ but I’m out here on my own
And I’m waltzin’ the back roads, safe and sound but skin and bones
And it’s a different kind of demon now not lopin’ on the plain
Cause I’m flyin’ forward fastly deep inside the rain
In the pourin’ rain

Weary children, patience will bring
A hunger, a hunger to redeem
And no one’s got ahold of you, and you ain’t got no king
I believe we all gonna sing
Glory be.
Be a reckoning.

You know I learned to love the steamin’ street cause it’s been good to me
It taught me how to swallow blood, how to rage against the sea
But in all these gold-trimmed windows I see my people bought and sold
So I stayed inside and braced for bitter cold
Yeah it made me old

And I see behind your empty lies where faith is just a word
And it’s spillin’ from some poison lips now preachin’ what’s preferred
Your know some were born to raise a glass and some to raise the dead
But freedom’s in some broken bones and the dreams in your head
And they ain’t dead just yet

Weary children, patience will bring
A hunger, a hunger to redeem
And no one’s got ahold of you, and you ain’t got no king
I believe we all gonna sing
Glory be.
Be a reckoning.

I believe we all gonna sing
Glory be.
Be a reckoning.


BOUND IN BLOOD EP

“Eulogy”

Out on the highway ‘neath the midnight sun
Out on the highway ‘neath the midnight sun
I still listen for that chimin’
But still I ain’t heard none

I seen lonesome and heartbreak I can’t seem to say
I seen lonesome and heartbreak I can’t seem to say
You say hope’ll trickle down, Lord,
After you’ve made the lonesome pay

We’re meetin’ lots of new friends, Lord, they’ll shake hands with bombs
We’re meetin’ lots of new friends, Lord, they’ll shake hands with bombs
But we will all reconcile with a passage read from Psalms

Brother, Sisters starvin’ sleepin’ out in the street
Brother, Sisters starvin’ sleepin’ out in the street
We could hire you for laborin’
If you had shoes on your feet

There’s a line in the Southland, there’s a sign stuck in the sand
There’s a line in the Southland, there’s a sign stuck in the sand
Says, “If you try to cross me
I’ll shoot you where you stand”

My home is a-bleedin’ I ain’t seen no tourniquet
My home is a-bleedin’ I ain’t seen no tourniquet
But Ma I thought you said it was life and life only
We all gonna die a death we ain’t seen fit

From the diamond desert to the flood plain, I still listen for them chimes
From the diamond desert to the flood plain, I still listen for them chimes
Hey Woody you was right all along
One day we all gonna seem them freedom bells shine

“Ballad of Johnny Bright Eyes”

Hey there John still singin’ that half-hearted victory song all alone
But I remember those nights and them burdens that we’d tow
Yeah we were always suckers for the sad songs on the radio
Yeah me and John’d find redemption burnin’ all those miles in the road

And John I know you’re sorry for the things that you have done
But every man has a story that’s needed to be sung
And just like every brother has a sister and father a son
We swore it to the end John, brothers bound in blood

Johnny come home, just like Stevie said no one’s gonna fool around with us
Sweet and slow, we’ll sing our songs even if our lungs are filled with desert dust
And I know, that you my friend have got the soul and it ain’t no sleight of hand
Now go, Godspeed to you as you go on down to chase that Promised Land

And John you stand and claim a big nothing but I don’t know about that
And I’ve had my share of the blues and man they ain’t so bad
But he sent you out among wolves in a crumblin’ wooden shack
But I heard that everything that dies someday comes on back

Johnny come home, just like Stevie said no one’s gonna fool around with us
Sweet and slow, we’ll sing our songs even if our lungs are filled with desert dust
And I know, that you my friend have got the soul and it ain’t no sleight of hand
Now go, Godspeed to you as you go on down to chase that Promised Land

Don’t you forget John those times we’d own the night
Chasin’ that hunger down Highway 95
And I’ll always remember singing “Sweet Adeline”
The radio says John, “Stay hungry, stay alive”

Don’t you forget John those times we’d own the night
Chasin’ that hunger down Highway 95
And I’ll always remember singing “Sweet Adeline”
The radio says John, “Stay hungry, stay alive”

Hey John

“Jailbreak”

No stranger times are there than these
When I don’t feel no summer breeze
If I could just see your face
Hell, if my mind could just keep the pace

Look in my eyes there’s a dustbowl cloud
And I’d go to see you if my legs allowed
But I’m hard up in this ten by twelve
Oh God don’t put my story on the shelf

Brothers please make me so strong
Cause I know that I can’t brave it on my own
Brothers I wish you all so very well
Please jailbreak me from this living hell

I swear I saw the light before
Just poundin’ through that iron door
And I’m still sittin’ here as my hope it dies
But I still won’t shut my weary eyes

Like soldiers on a winter’s night
You kick down the door, the room floods with light
Now I was blind but now I see
My brothers my ragged company

Brothers please make me so strong
Cause I know that I can’t brave it on my own
Brothers I wish you all so very well
Please jailbreak me from this living hell

My dear old friends this is no place to die
I would if I could but my eyes won’t cry
Just dip me in waters so flowing and free
Just take me home boys, it’s where I’m to be

No stranger times are there than these
And now I feel that summer breeze
I’m sorry boys if things go unsaid
There just hard to say when you should be dead

Brothers please make me so strong
For I know that I can’t break from this hell alone

“Riverside Prophet”

You know I heard all them stories by the riverside
And I went to go to see the man in white
Said, “Son this river’s wild and you know that,
Just tell me what ails you boy, what drives you mad”

And I said, “It’s a cigarette burn on the front my skull
I’m just an alley cat yearnin’ for somethin’ more than this
I’m more than this
It’s just somethin’ ‘bout the moon that gets me late at night
It’s just that burnin’ in my soul and I don’t feel quite right
In my own skin, no, in my own skin”
“Well son it sounds to me like you got somethin’ to prove
Boy you got the stuff and your heart’s in the soles of your shoes
And it sounds to me like you couldn’t be more keen”
“Sir I’m just tryin’ to find a way to be redeemed

But now I got this cigarette burn on the front of my skull
I’m just an alley cat yearnin’ for somethin’ more than this
I’m more than this
It’s just somethin’ ‘bout the moon that gets me late at night
It’s just that burnin’ in my soul and I don’t feel quite right
In my own skin”

“Yeah you’re gonna take a beatin’
And you’re gonna be down on your knees and
You gotta take the punches on the chin
If you’re lookin’ for redemption, kid
You’re not gonna find it in what you did
When you’re drivin’ with the radio on

And now you got a cigarette burn on the front of your skull
You’re just an alley cat yearnin’ for somethin’ more than this
You know you’re more than this
It’s just somethin’ ‘bout the moon that gets you late at night
It’s just that burnin’ in your soul and you don’t feel quite right
In your own skin, do you, in your own skin?”

Just a cigarette burn on the front my skull
Just an alley cat yearnin’ for somethin’ more than this
I’m more than this
Yeah, it’s just somethin’ ‘bout the moon that gets me late at night
It’s just that burnin’ in my soul that gets me late at night
And no I won’t make it out alive
No, not this time

You know I heard all them stories by the riverside

“How To Be Blue”

So this is winter once again
As I turn to trace my steps
That bittersweet forgotten flame
Hides deep in my Sunday’s best

And now the alleys call me home
To bleed ‘neath killin’ moon
Cause all I have ever known is, babe,
How to be blue

And maybe I’ll burn down that diamond road
And drive straight to the sun
Cause what I don’t have I don’t need anymore
And my shelved story’s just begun

Yeah I still sing ‘em ragged for the beaten and broken
But what if the broken is you?
Cause all I have ever known is, babe,
How to be blue

At night I wake up with the civil wars
Roarin’ and rippin’ my soul
The Devil stands smilin’ slingin’ hot lead
And I hear when them death bells toll

And I still found nowhere to lay my head
And I stand in some dead man’s shoes
Cause all I have ever known is, babe,
How to be blue

Now I suppose my curse is cast
I’ll find ways to make it my own
So if you wanna see me on the edge of town
Just know girl I won’t be alone

I’ll be singin’ high lonesome in the junkyard choir
And honey I’ll be livin’ so true
Cause all I have ever known is, babe,
How to be blue
And all I have ever known is, babe,
How to be blue

So if you want a story or you’re just passin’ through
Stop by, I’ll teach you the blues

“Steel Thunder”

At night I hear that lonesome whistle blowin’
Steel Thunder burnin’ round the river bend
If I only knew where that train was goin’
But I’m sittin’, shakin’, dreamin’ in my bed

My mother waits downstairs in the kitchen
Still waitin’ on my father to come home
If I could grab ahold while the rail was switchin’
But I just can’t leave her waitin’ all alone

Yes I dream of golden fields with rest redeemin’
Where love don’t depend on the time of day
And with old Steel Thunder still a-gleamin’
You know I heard that whistle could blow my blues away

Now I don’t have a home in this world no more
All my time’ll be spent just passin’ through
So darlin’ if you’d kindly show me the door
You stole my soul and didn’t have a clue
Makin’ me your goddamn fool

Now I don’t know quite when I’ll get there
If my body somehow makes it back to you
You can bury me far west of nowhere
And pray I somehow made it past the blue

Yes I still dream of golden fields and rivers windin’
Where hope can make folks love you every day
Now onto Steel Thunder I’m a-climbin’
To make Steel Thunder blow my blues away

“Highwayman’s Farewell”

I overstayed my welcome once again
Left a note behind you my friend
And I walk along this lonesome dusty trail, oh Lord
Yeah I overstayed my welcome once again

Wish there was something I could do
Wearin’ down these old ramblin’ shoes
And I blaze a trail for the broken and sing a song high and lonesome
I wish there was something I could do

Don’t you come lookin’ after me
Be gone by the mornin’ light you’ll see
And if a hardened scout you should send, he should know he can’t catch the wind
Don’t you come lookin’ after me

Where I’m headed darlin’ I don’t know
Frankly I don’t care anymore
And I promise I won’t shed a tear as long as I’m away from here
Where I’m headed darlin’ I don’t know

Got nothin’ left but a story to tell
This train’s bound for glory, ring the bell
And I can feel the pull deep in my bones, and I know I must go alone
So I leave you with this highwayman’s farewell
Yes I leave you with this highwayman’s farewell