Songs of the Highway

Say senorita won't you pour one for me
It's been a long hard road from Nashville, Tennessee
Each border I cross an unseen line
Reminds me what I've left behind
All my friends
So many miles away

So I'm singin'
To the wind
These Songs of the Highway

Late nights spent writing
Lost in a haze
Scan the horizon
To glimpse the green ray
Eye of Poseidon
It beckons to me
Carry my hardships on out to sea
There ain't no regrets
Beatin' in my chest
Wouldn't have it any other way

So I'm singin'
To the wind
These Songs of the Highway

It's true you don't know
What you had 'til it's gone
It haunts you like the ghost
Of a high lonesome song
I yearn to hold her close
As the autumn leaves fall
As the inmate yearns
To scale the prison wall
A day don't pass
Where I won't ask
Does she remember my name?

So I'm singin'
To the wind
These Songs of the Highway

Take Her by the Hand

There ain't no romance on the open road
It's like ridin' towards the sunset in search of gold
Heart's been trampled 'neath a lifetime of dust
Foolish I'm searchin' for a soul I can trust

Days spent dreadin' the nights so long
Walkin' in the verses of same sad song
Believe me when I find her gonna make my stand
Bend in her shadow and take her by the hand

We all share a sentence we ponder at night
We all have scars you can't see in the light
Wander this world as if we're alone
One in the river as she whispers her poem

Days spent dreadin' the nights so long
Walkin' in the verses of same sad song
Believe me when I find her gonna make my stand
Bend in her shadow and take her by the hand

But will I ever find her
The one in my dreams
Will she elude me
Like so many it seems
the heart is a compass
It points out the way
Has mine broken
And led me astray

She entered the room, time it slowed
My heart awoke like a seed 'neath the snow
Well they say love's blind, when you see it you'll know
It ages like wine from the bloom of a rose

Days spent dreadin' the nights so long
Walkin' in the verses of same sad song
Believe me when I find her gonna make my stand
Bend in her shadow and take her by the hand

Midnight Rendezvous

I was walking by the trains
In the cold November rain
Thought I'd stop and grab a bite
Before callin' it a night
When I saw her standin' there
Runnin' fingers through her hair
Our eyes met across the room
Knew right then that I was doomed

Well I still remember you
And our midnight rendezvous
'Neath that old Maryland moon
What began ended too soon
Do you ever think of me?
Though it wasn't meant to be
Well you know I had to try
Babe with love it's do or die

There are people you will meet
Walkin' solemn down the street
There are secrets and deceits
There are wants and there are needs
There's a road to paradise
And I've seen it in her eyes
But that road it ain't for me
I'm still searchin' for that dream

Well I still remember you
And our midnight rendezvous
'Neath that old Maryland moon
What began ended too soon
Do you ever think of me?
Though it wasn't meant to be
Well you know I had to try
Babe with love it's do or die

There are so many things
I'd like to say to you
Bo on and spread your wings
And though our time is through
Don't dare think I'll ever forget about you
Don't dare think I'll ever forget about you

Are you still in that small town
Being held there by your doubts
If our paths they cross again
Would you see me as a friend
Well I ask myself sometimes
On these cold November nights
If you saw me 'cross the room
Would you let me go so soon?

Well I still remember you
And our midnight rendezvous
'Neath that old Maryland moon
What began ended too soon
Do you ever think of me?
Though it wasn't meant to be
Well you know I had to try
Babe with love it's do or die

All Out War

I can feel the heat on this Texas street
Burnin’ holes in the soles of my shoes
Surrounded by men in darkened dens
Communin’ with bottles of booze

There’s a picture of you at twenty-two
In the breast pocket of my coat
I turn it over when I’m not sober
And shed tears to the words you wrote

I said open your eyes
Raise your fists
Show me that we’re worth
More than this
I know it ain’t easy
But it’s worth fightin’ for
Love ain’t a battle
It’s an All-Out War

This old guitar carries the scars
Of a thousand bar room nights
My fingers they trace the lines on her face
As she sings ‘neath the fluorescent lights

I cradle each word like a newborn bird
Fallen from the nest
I was too blind to see you had to be free
Or else be laid to rest

I said open your eyes
Raise your fists
Show me that we’re worth
More than this
I know it ain’t easy
But it’s worth fightin’ for
Love ain’t a battle
It’s an All-Out War

Been chasin’ my breath since the day you left
Twelve long years ago
It’s the snap of the bone as the blade finds it’s home
Where love once flourished and flowed

I’ve know the sacrifice of a reclusive vice
Though many an angel has tried
If you asked me today I’d just have to say
I guess that I’m doin’ alright

I said open your eyes
Raise your fists
Show me that we’re worth
More than this
I know it ain’t easy
But it’s worth fightin’ for
Love ain’t a battle
It’s an All-Out War

Darkest Before the Dawn

Can we care about our neighbors
Instead of asking for their papers
And think about what we do to this world?

'Cause human life's more precious
Than a blood diamond necklace
Or any flag that's ever been unfurled

It's time to climb from 'neath the covers
And stand up for each other
In this the hour of truth
When you opt for silence
Those swallowed by violence
Won't be there when it comes for you

Oh my friends
This ain't a sad song
Keep marchin'
Though the road is long
We'll prevail
For love is strong
It's always Darkest Before the Dawn

Another mass killin'
Celebrity villain
Face on the TV screen
They won't call him a terrorist
We all get the gist
It ain't in line with their white supremacy

We vote in these leaders
And watch them impede us
Every step of the way
Self serving cowards
Growing empowered
With cash from the NRA

Oh my friends
This ain't a sad song
Keep marchin'
Though the road is long
We'll prevail
For love is strong
It's always Darkest Before the Dawn

Every orientation and gender deserves equality
You ain't savin' souls trying to control
The lives of those you've never seen

Let's stop arrestin'
For minor possession
If this is the land of the free
Ban private prisons
That enslave millions
Because they don't look like me

Oh my friends
This ain't a sad song
Keep marchin'
Though the road is long
We'll prevail
For love is strong
It's always Darkest Before the Dawn

Second Chances

I saw him standing there
So dirty and disheveled
When I said Hi
His eyes grew wide
Like he’d see the devil
He said oh pardon me my friend
Most tend to pass me by
They’d rather wish I didn’t exist
Than ever try and wonder why
I stand here on this corner
Just tryin’ to survive
While they avoid my glances
Life don’t favor second chances
I asked to buy him a drink
He said thanks I think I’ll pass
But keep me in your thoughts
And promise me you’ll raise a glass
For all the ones forgotten
For all the ones ignored
‘Cause in the end we’re all human
And virtue is its own reward

Ghosts

Sweet Maria of the southern wilds
Patron saint of this lonesome mile
Got evicted and lost her child
Try as they might they can't
Take her smile

Six-string Joe used to play the blues
Down on Beale and Union avenue
Pawned his guitar for a plate of food
Got a lot of soul but none on his shoes

These are some people you're likely to meet
If you ever look up when you're shufflin' your feet
Can the richest nation afford empathy?
For the ghosts of this American dream

Sarah sells street papers by the interstate
Her husband beat her 'til the day she ran away
Started drinkin' heavy to push aside the pain
Sober now, ya ask her how
Says I take it day by day

Old John lost his arm to a bomb in the war
Been tryin' to find a job since 1974
No address and post traumatic stress
Shut many a door
Came home an unknown
Sayin' what are we fightin' for?

These are some people you're likely to meet
If you ever look up when you're shufflin' your feet
Can the richest nation afford empathy?
For the ghosts of this American dream

And I don't know the reason why
So many turn a blind eye
Maybe they don't wanna see
Don't wanna see
When we hit hard times
It comes to mind
Maybe that could be me
Maybe that could be me

Woodland Rose

There's a comfort that's come
From knowin' you're near
Though I don't hear your voice
We've drifted apart
Like ships in the dark
My darling it was never by choice

Words said in anger
That turned us to strangers
Tears that stain the path of dreams we chased
A moment's lapse of trust
Can never define us
Or lay this castle that we've built to waste

I want so to hold you
Though I don't deserve to
And doors once open lie closed
It's always been a fault of mine
Rememberin' only the good times
It's one of the many you know
My sweet little Woodland Rose
My sweet Woodland Rose

If what I've heard's true
You're with someone new
It was only a matter of time
Took many moons to overcome my wounds
And I buried that sword called pride

No amount of distance
Or time's slow persistance
Can sever the bond we share
If you're feelin' alone
And your mind starts to roam
Know that I'll always be there

I want so to hold you
Though I don't deserve to
And doors once open lie closed
It's always been a fault of mine
Rememberin' only the good times
It's one of the many you know
My sweet little Woodland Rose
My sweet Woodland Rose

We've drifted apart
Like ships in the dark
My darling it was never
By choice

Born in Tennessee

Sultry-eyed siren runnin' wild and free
Pretty as a peach in the orchard tree
Hot as summer and sweet as tea
Must've been born in Tennessee

Hands on her hips smirkin' at me
Says Yankee boy my love ain't free
Opens her heart, hands you the key
Must've been born in Tennessee

Hold me like a river holds it's polished stones
From the mighty Mississippi to Clingman's Dome
You're in my heart everywhere I roam
Give me one kiss for the endless road

Says some things are worth more than gold
Leads you down to the honeysuckle grove
Pulls you close 'neath the poplar trees
Must've been born in Tennessee

One day we'll have that island in the sun
Together like Two Hearts on the run
'Til then she leaves a light on for me
Sweet lady from Tennessee

Hold me like a river holds it's polished stones
From the mighty Mississippi to Clingman's Dome
You're in my heart everywhere I roam
Give me one kiss for the endless road

Two Hearts

Came to a stop one night on a dark and dusty road
Thirty-one miles from the place I'd planned to go
Walked the white line 'til I did find a neon glow
Sign said Welcome to the Desert Rose

I walked on in and pulled a stool up to the bar
Saw her sittin' there and I forgot about my car
She slid right over with a drink I said hey there how'd you know?
She smiled you kept me waitin' it's about time that you showed
And I said

Looks like you and I
Are gonna have some fun
'Cause you and me babe
We're Two Hearts on the run

Just then two men walked in from the hard drivin' rain
One had a knife and just my luck one had a chain
One with the knife said that's my wife you gonna meet your end
Now you all know I had no way of knowin' that my friends

I turned to her and said you gonna help me outta this mess?
She reached right down and pulled a gun from 'neath her dress
Her man said wait a minute think it over Rosalee
She turned as bridges burned and said this right to me
She said

Looks like you and I
Are gonna have some fun
'Cause you and me babe
We're Two Hearts on the run

Ran out the back door hopped into her little truck
She shifted gears we disappeared in a trail of mud
Down a maze of sidestreets and backroads we did drive
Hollerin' with adrenalin just happy to be alive

Lookin' back they hadn't followed at the time I thought it strange
Right then in the rearview mirror headlights shone through the rain
One day I know I'll burn hot as the settin' sun
Right then I was the king, she handed me the gun
And we sang

Looks like you and I
Are gonna have some fun
'Cause you and me babe
We're Two Hearts on the run

Rolled down the window as they rammed us from the side
The truck fishtailed to the left and then the right
A loud crack lit the sky, something in me changed
They barelled through the storm like a runaway freight train

Levelled the gun and I started to unload
Smoke poured from the hood and I saw a tired explode
They swerved into a ditch and the car burst into flames
They hopped on out and started to shout all kinds of names
And we sang

Looks like you and I
Are gonna have some fun
'Cause you and me babe
We're Two Hearts on the run

We drove a hundred miles and found a cheap motel
Holed up there for the night and uh had some fun as well
Like a dream when I awoke the truck and her were gone
And though she never said goodbye she at least left me this song

From time to time she comes to mind my Desert Rosalee
And in a note you know she wrote these simple words to me
We cannot return blindly from whence we've come
I know one day you'll find me

We are
Two Hearts
On
The run

Ease Your Pain

When one day the spark
In my eyes goes dark
Shed not a tear in my name
Let our love live on
In the words of this song
To bring you calm
And ease your pain

Said I'd never leave you lonesome
Oh my love
Wish it was a promise I could keep
Sailin' for the darkest ocean
Into the greatest mystery

Though I know your heart's a breakin'
Oh my love
Standin' strong by my side
Leavin' ain't easy for those taken
It's hardest on those left behind

When one day the spark
In my eyes goes dark
Shed not a tear in my name
Let our love live on
In the words of this song
To bring you calm
And ease your pain

You wear my pride upon your finger
Oh my love
Many happy years we've spent
Lovin' names we gave each other
Honored to have been called your friend

Hear that train whistle callin'
Oh my love
Wheels rollin' down the track
When I enter that long tunnel
Know there ain't no lookin' back

When one day the spark
In my eyes goes dark
Shed not a tear in my name
Let our love live on
In the words of this song
To bring you calm
And ease your pain


The Outlaw

Staring out the window at a mountain range
Speeding down the track on a one way train
Cop at my side
They say tomorrow I'll hang
Longing for my freedom like a dog on a chain

Never found no comfort in Caroline
Got sweet Mary on my mind
Don't you cry for me
Just lay me down where the river meets the sea

Robbed a bank in Baltimore and River city too
Got lucky in Kentucky yeah you know how I do
Posse caught up with me down in Tennessee
They said come out with your hands up
I said hold on let me finish my tea

Ran to the bed grabbed my boots and my gun
Hopped from the window and away I run
Ran for the station and almost made it too
Sometimes you make plans and life has other plans for you

If I had a boy you know I'd tell him son
Don't be like me don't live by the gun
You think a man's free just 'cause you seen him roam
Well that man ain't free he's just a man without a home

So walk me to the gallows up those creakin' steps
Hood on my head and a noose around my neck
Yell to the coppers do what you gotta do
Done more livin' in my short life than you could do in two

Heart Like an Ocean

Her eyes are the light that shines
Between the blinds and warms the room
To wake you soft from slumber
On a Sunday afternoon

Her arms hang at her sides
Like the boughs of a willow tree
'Til they raise outstretched to say
Babe come on home to me

Her heart's like an ocean
Too vast to swim
But it's better to die tryin'
Than regret not jumpin' in

Her smile's a wildflower
Watch out boys she'll take your breath away
Expect nothing less from the girl
With a name like a holiday

Her long legs carry her graceful
Through the crowd as a summer breeze
Two feet above the ground
So careless and free

Her heart's like an ocean
Too vast to swim
But it's better to die tryin'
Than regret not jumpin' in

Mortality Blues

Let me get old before I die
and I'll never ask a thing no more
Let me get old before I die
'cause I feel like I'm knocking on death's door

You were young when you came here
You may be young when you breathe your last breath
If you take my advice you will leave here
You'll find no mercy in the one they call death

Chorus

All the time that you have use it wisely
Make amends, say all you need to say
Those who don't they come to despise me
My name is death and I take no holiday

Chorus

And you know no one can resist me
When I lay my claim on them
Try to be at peace when you meet me
When you walk that lonesome valley my friend

Chorus

Stand Together

Get pulled over for nothing
They got their quotas to fill
Now you're out ninety dollars
Down the street someone's getting killed

The city's on fire mama
They say we've lost our minds
I guess that's just what happens
when you stoke a fire too many times

Chorus

We know what's right and
We know what's wrong
Gotta stand together
or fall alone

New York City's got it's arms around my throat
We were in Oakland on the platform
when they shot Oscar Grant like a dog

Got their military weapons
Like they're going to war
Seems like they forgot
Who the hell they're working for

Chorus

Well they got a new dance
in Ferguson Missouri
It's call the serve and protect
So don't you worry
Put your hands in the air
'cause the cops don't care
Just move real slow
Or you'll be the first to go

Chorus

What have we learned
In this history of hate
Attica, Orangeburg, Kent and Jackson State
Body cameras do nothing
When you can just turn them off
We need to lock up the judges
Who don't lock up corrupt cops

Chorus

Ballad of Brady

Old Brady was a mean man
A tyrant some would say
He loved his women and his drink
Up to his dyin’ day
His woman was a gentle soul
She ran the country store
Worked her fingers to the bone
While old Brady walked out the door

One day a stranger arrived in town
With stars upon his boots
He asked where Brady could be found
They said the red saloon
Upon the doors a partin’ wide
Saw Brady sittin’ there
Drunk off cheap liquor boys
And slumped back in his chair

Oh Brady, Oh Brady
What have I done
Once called me the light of your life
But now I’ll shine for no one
Oh Brady, Oh Brady
What am I to do
You weren’t the best man
But oh how I miss you, how I miss you

He served Brady his warrant sheets
And led him to the train
Handcuffed and disheveled
In the unforgiving rain
Brady’s wife ran and ran
She screamed her husband’s name
She spied them by the platform there
And so she took her aim

She pulled the cold trigger tight
Until no more remained
All missed ‘cept for the one
That freed Brady from his chains
He slipped from the stranger’s grasp
Fell face down in the mud
The last words he ever spoke
You got me my love
You got me my love

Chorus

She ran quick from the station
Shocked by what she’d done
Tossed clothes in a suitcase
And threw away the gun
The sun broke through the clouds that day
As the rain it then died down
She cried a lonesome melody
As she walked on out of town

She came passin’ on through
Ten years to the day
To say goodbye to her love
And lay flowers on his grave
Some say if you listen close
At night you’ll hear the sound
Of his woman cryin’ out
How she shot old Brady down

Chorus