We walk in the Holy Alone, on toward a lonely death. Some will be lonesome and others won’t, there. There’s iron ground of a sorry red I ought to could forget, but I’m bound to all of this by soft regret: the red in the mud, the red in my blood, the iron in my veins. I’m bound to all of it by soft regret. And I’m bound to canyons red, the same as them. The red in the mud and the red in my blood, the iron in my veins—the hills are bled and my people are dead, but we’re colored both the same. I’m bound to canyons red, the same as them. I’m bound to all of it by soft regret—the red in the mud and the red in my blood, the iron in my veins. The hills are bled and my family’s dead, but we’re colored both the same. To trade regret, we’ll try and forget; and I might ought to could, yet. We walk in the Holy Alone, on toward a lonely death. Some will be lonesome and others won’t, there.
What if I told you I hid a sinister lie between the back of my head and my eyes? Is candor real, or implied? For the record, this record is my lullaby. If I sleep like a baby at night is for you to decide.
Battle Hymn of Boy & Blood
When I was a kid, I went looking for arrowheads in an Indian crick and just kept going. I said, “I reckon I’ll leave.” I meant nothing to no one, except a dog name of Blood. And we drifted along. We headed way out West where it’s picking up, hitched a ride in the cargo bay of a Greyhound bus. I saw the desert that way, come alive in the starlight, camped out in a bramble to keep the coyotes at bay. I had Grandaddy’s gun tied up in a satchel. It was near all I could handle, but Blood scared them away. We’re headed way out West where it’s picking up, hitched a ride in an aeroplane and a pickup truck. When I was a kid, I went looking for arrowheads in an Indian crick and just kept going. I’ve made it far as I may. I’ve run into some lean years. Blood died in El Paso, and I buried him there. And I’m living way out West, where it’s picking up. Got a mind to stay, if fate deals me any luck.
I’m the loneliest when I wake up, but I know that every fault in me is mine. I tried my damnedest to give up on love to keep from giving up on life, but every girl who smells of cigarettes and bats an eye is guaranteed a second glance from me, although I try. I try my best not to love it, but I love it so, my god, I want to die. Skinny kids and Red Chinese and time can make me cry, but the future’s hard to care about until it’s gone and died. I know my life is a shambles, but I miss you every second I’m away. If I’d kept my end of our gamble and I had half a heart, I’d come back home to stay. Every moment lost can only mock the passing time. Selfishness is easy to regret, but hard to mind. And when you love me less, I’ll say I had to run away. But I’m already gone to stay.
Lit A Shuck For Dixie
The two of us, lights down low, were just feeling right at home when coming up the road rode your daddy and the deputy, and your pa had a hanging rope. You snuffed out the light, I went out the hall window into the night. And you called after me, “Courage, Baby! Send for me, and I’ll come running. Just send the word, and I’ll come running.” When I seen you in your dressing robe coming up the road, I knew you were my only love. You held my hand, and we went through the driving snow, clean forspent when we hit the Red River bridge. You slipped on the icy shoal, and fell to your death in the cold river below. Well, I knew I’d best be gone next time the old train whistle called. And when the menfolk all took arms, your daddy swore he’d hang me sure and I would surely come to harm. The Panhandle wind blew discouragingly hard, and I lit a shuck on an Eastbound train, ne’er a stitch but my luck. To Dixieland I went running. And, oh, my love, I’m still running.
Theme From ‘Gentlemen Bears’
Daylight’s cusp, at bitter war with dusk, will rage all night to bring the light. The sun above will greet the moon with love and tuck her in to a sky-blue bed. And midday finds the clouds at rodeo, the ceiling spinning, dancing to and fro. As evening bends and whirls, the saying goes, I held it all in my hand. The sun’s last rays bleed o’er the day in waves. They blink in doubt, then flicker out. The stars, from sleep, astride the blackest steeds, at twilight ride to fetch the night. And midnight spreads its ragged blanket out, so full of holes that ne’er a man could count. And you and I are lost in all this going on.
Jimmy Fred had an open casket. They laid him in the ground on a brilliant Sunday morning on a hill outside of town. On his tombstone, chiseled letter in lines listed his birth and death dates and his hometown. When Texas is Over Yonder, and the dew is on the ground, I’m alone in my daddy’s pasture with the caprocks ranged around.
Nigh on every Sunday morning that the creek wasn’t dry, in the preacher-man would wade with his Bible held up high. ‘For God so loved the world,’ he sang, ‘that He gave His only Son. He’ll wash away your sins today with His holy baptism. Forsake your evil sinners’ ways and be totally submersed in the righteousness of Christ,’ he screamed, with the chapter, line, and verse. ‘Holy Bible! Sole earthly source of men’s souls’ survival! Holy Spirit, save these poor, rotten sinners!’ Sunday mornings, when the creek wasn’t dry.
Who’d You Save Your Love For?
I loved you like a fire in all its ruin, but never in return did you ever feel the burn. And all along I knew what I was doing—I knew that you were lying, though I meant it every time. Did you go and find a better man than I? Did you give him all your love? Was mine not good enough? Well, if all I ever got from you was lies, it was worth it, for my part, though it like to broke my heart. Oh, who did you save your love for?
A Slip of the Pen
A slip of the pen, when winter blew in and muddled the letters at my hand: I strove to compose, in tormented prose, one missive to send her, one love letter—a plea for forgiveness. And, when the wind stayed my hand, I’d only just begun to count all the ways regret filled my days, how lying beside her did fan a flame. Like the light on the desk, it danced without rest—till smothered by winter, the coldest ever. I’ll trade you the way it is for the way it had been. I’m lonesome, cold and blue. Whatever the ransom is, I would pay every cent my captive heart to loose. But off on the wind the words I had penned flew, somewhere forgotten, and ever thence. And I never again could conjure them hence, till cold reminiscence took my every hour.
Tempted and tried, I am oft made to lie, in songs about how you have cast me aside, that I’d carve into arteries, vessels, and heart—except I don’t know where they are. Truly, my dear, I have long hoped to hear that you have abandoned your hoarding this year, and might then return what you’ve stolen, to wit: I hope you’re done with it. It’s true, I have said I am bound East and West; it’s true, I have labored to bore through your breast, whose beauty and grace I would cede to the fates. But I’m in the same old place. Send me a wire, send a parcel, a note, with detailed instructions, a map, and a photo; and I will abandon what I haven’t writ, in hopes you are done with it.
The Palo Fucking Duro
I rode out to the mountains while the rain was on the porch, where you and I don’t visit anymore. I crossed the wide expanse at where the rainbows touched your shoulders, where you and I don’t whisper anymore. I’ve had every inch that I can handle, but there’s already nothing I can say. The clouds have all assembled on the Palo Fucking Duro, and I have turned and made for greener roads. You and I have long ago et more than we could swallow of dusty love and windy northern choke. I made myself a fond and lonesome oath, but there’s already nothing I can save. And where I am going, oh lord, I don’t know. I am bound for the river, if ever it flows. I have a moaning to go in my soul. From the top of the canyon to hellfire below, I will roam in my sadness till lifeless and cold, far away. I have a moaning to roam in my soul. I was born in a bramble on the side of the road to a whore and a pusher, both in love with a ghost. And there’s no way in heaven you could love me, I know. I’m the loneliest of the lone.
‘Neath Every Moon
North up the Pike, where day turns to night—I waited on you there. There in the gloom, ‘neath every moon, at least a fortnight. Faces in clouds cast on the ground in shady little boughs; on came the rain and hid all the day, and soaked me through. My frown was on the ground—and where were you? Was I in love, were you? Tell me, Love, I dare you to. I left you behind and made for the heights on the county’s other side. I crossed o’er the bridge at Old River Ridge, and passed on by. My pride I put behind, like I did you, and the sole of every shoe, and every mile I walked without you. The breadth of it grew, and the bitterness too, till I knew I hated you for leaving me there. But you didn’t care that I loved you then. And the coldness in my heart has all consumed a love that ever bloomed, a warmth I only knew for you.
Just as I am, without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that Thou bidst me come to Thee. Oh, Lamb of God, I come. I come.
There’s a patch of sunlight that peeks through on the hillside that once caught your eye, and my likeness inside. But the path we cut that day in the rough is all covered up, like it never was. And the breeze on the air cut a jig in your hair. I remember you there, but the wind couldn’t care. It spirited you ever distant, and along with it you were gone in an instant. I remember, still, you alighting there on the farthest hill, in the baby’s breath. What if I told you I hid a sinister lie, that I will carry your love for life, that it ain’t going to die? Well, I doubt that you’re listening anyway, Love, but I wrote you this record to prove that it ever was. You faded from sight on the distant horizon, and danced in the light as your silhouette died. And with bated breath I watched that hillcrest, but there was only wind in baby’s breath.
February 16th - AUSTIN - WHITE SWAN - with The Bye and Bye
February 25th - AUSTIN - SWAN DIVE - with The Pons (as part of A Local Night For Local People)
March 17th - AUSTIN - SOOPER SECRET SXSW SHOWCASE!
March 22nd - AUSTIN - FRANK - with Soup - $6 - All ages
March 23rd - CORPUS CHRISTI - THREADS - with TBA - $8 - All ages
March 24th - SAN ANTONIO - LIMELIGHT- with Lonely Hunter (from College Station) - $5 - 21+
March 30th - HOUSTON - MANGO’S - with The Revival & The Tilburn Jig - $6 - All ages
March 31st - COLLEGE STATION -TBA - with Lonely Hunter