Famous Anonymous Wilderness

by Graham Lindsey

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1.
HUTCH JACK FLATS RAG I set out for Hutch Jack Flats to be alone in peace It had been twenty-one years since the first time I could leave From anywhere that gave me life or slowly killed me quietly And still I heard the urgent voices although no one followed me They begged drive on, drive on I rounded a hilltop and started down the other side My mortality began to doubt the view that struck my eyes Twenty men all tied together digging twenty graves on the roadside And each man called beyond his chains without compromise Carry on, carry on Now passed the brooks and creeks and streams and rivers I did go Each one flowing madly into something I'd never know I contemplated ever-afters as my stride began to slow And when I reached the Hutch Jack Flats I heard a song I did not know Singing hold on, hold on Everywhere was here and there no matter where I went The wind blew bones across the road but my ghosts were already dead And suddenly I longed for all the places I'd already been And for the people and the things that I ignored when they all said Hey boy slow down, slow down
2.
MY MUSEUM BLUES I can't articulate the shame the vain and unrelenting blame I place to man and beast the same I guess to aim the water in the drain is only human My fingers unfold without restraint To cling and claw the veil from the face That drapes the windows from the rain And brace them together in some sort of union I must address the obvious The mess of this and that and this That famous anonymous wilderness This bliss undressed by wisps of dim confusion And tethered to the floors I hear a scream that leaves the boards that creak To free itself beyond mere fleeting speech That breathlessly breeds these delusions Dear lady please answer me I beg of you your new and naked attitude The exact truths which you conclude In lucid soaring interludes That move your soul to some relief I see the things that anybody sees The dreams the sermons, elegies These cheap cryptic formalities To clean and eat the humbled spirit An empty hand lays down the prize The prayers turn to a soft disguise The dead and living both decry But amplify the reasons why they still fear it The marksman nears a clearing where The message ain't no clearer But it mirrors here and Heaven there And why creatures revere the weirdness of their maker Tonight my love she lays in bed While forms of dread swim through my head Instead she said she won't contend with things she doesn't hate yet and I won't wake her Sweet lady that I look to Along this nameless ancient chain I yank This insane circus train track takes It's aim without it's brakes I can't see through the smoke it makes And so I look for you
3.
Emma Rumble 03:13
EMMA RUMBLE Emma Rumble Emma Rumble Your black hair's hanging low Your naked arms are glistening And frozen from the snow Emma Rumble Emma tell me For if you don't let me know My heart's already taken So tomorrow I will go Emma gladly I'll stay with thee Only if just for tonight I will read the lines between your palms Just move into the light And let it bathe you let me know you You who have been so confined By the beauty that you suffer's Why your hair is growing white Your hair is growing white Emma Rumble Emma Rumble Why do you stir in such distress? Late in the evening you were sleeping You were dreaming I should guess Do not touch me do not hold me You cried it was useless And implied to me through wild eyes Those things you can't confess Emma sadly I must leave thee As my true love waits alone On the porch step in the moonlight She looks out and through the cold If I kiss you I must kill you You told me in gentle tones Emma Rumble do not wait for me I'll see you down the road In my hometown the sheriff found My true love in the snow Her body lay beaten there And covered in your clothes Emma Rumble Emma Rumble I cry as my shotgun loads The night is hot and heavy now And I'm walking down the road I'm walking down the road
4.
Hey Hey 02:54
HEY HEY I've been taught and I've been told And I've been turned and pushed and pulled I've been played hey hey hey hey The sun goes up the sun goes down This big wide world keeps spinning round It's all the same hey hey hey hey And all along the winding way Beauty ain't an act of faith All in all it's not the same I've been bought and I've been sold And I've been crooked and cockeyed and cold I've been swept and swayed hey hey The tide comes in and the tide goes out The whole wide world starts to shake and shout Say what you will say hey hey But all along there are the waves The rays of daylight faraway They live they die but nothing's changed All along the winding way I came I saw I did not stay I lived I died I did not change
5.
I WON'T LET YOU DOWN The mirror of your bureau leans as it had before Reflecting on a bed where now lays an empty floor Your doorway is lamp-lit and aching with some kind of invitation But you stand there with the curtains pulled down around your body like some final decision But I won't let you down I won't let you down I'll never let you drop to your knees for me Just put your ear to the ground 'Cause I won't let you down I won't let you down Whatever keeps you warm and lets you sleep tonight I must guess it's the dress the windows wrap you in with moonlight I'll lay on this naked floor and wait for you And watch your eyes close slowly sadly from across the room And I won't let you down I won't let you down And if by midnight I'm gone I swear I'll be back by dawn 'Cause I won't let you down I won't let you down
6.
EVERYBODY SINGS A LONESOME SONG Where have all the singers gone Gone to churches one by one The street's been quiet for so long Where has all the music gone The radio keeps everyone at home Slow dancing through the telephone And then we die and no one knows And there's just the sound of the radios While the counterfeits who hate our dreams Moan joyful tones through the tv screen But I can't believe what I have seen Now everybody hums the same damn melody And the pushers know the junkies will come back If no one ever understands the trap And for those young without their mouths Echoes break the windows in an empty house And no one wants to hang around Not long ago I was just a babe When targets chased the armed parades They ran in rhythm with the notes that played And we'd sing along with the falling rain But that ain't how it feels today 'Cause the butchers with those electric bones Fired hearts like empty bombs explode Now everyone's back on their own Dying fast I am not growing old Yes the lonely know the only way is down And not everybody comes back around Whose song has stopped for the voice of God Angels or fools call them what you want We all make do with what we've got You are hard-wired for eternity Eyes roll back so the heart can sleep Conversations bite the ankles of infancy You and I are a stupid symphony Reborn and dying constantly Like the jukebox wind on the ocean blows Take this change and make the silence gold It's deafening out here on my own I suppose that's just the way it goes But the solitude proves everybody wrong 'Cause everybody sings a lonesome song
7.
Viola 02:38
VIOLA Viola Viola violets turn brown Who was the poor outlaw that has dragged you down He held you and dealt you and then he was gone Viola Viola you were done wrong Viola Viola violins won't sing Your paintings are fading in stacks on the street The tones and the colors are puddles at my feet But lady sad lady who sleeps with the hounds Viola Viola you will be done wrong Viola I know the passed year has been hard I've sung at your temples I've slept in your bars I've seen the Jack dance with the Queen in your cards I gave you my hand and you dropped to the ground Viola Viola I did nothing wrong Viola Viola please don't make a sound For that poor outlaw is back in your town He walks with a swagger and whistles this song Viola Viola it was me all along
8.
DEAD MAN'S WALTZ When you're weary and worn out And no arms can seem to hold you When you're heavy and strung out And tired with no place to go to And the times feel for certain That nobody's hurtin' like you do Bring your heartache and smile And we'll walk as many miles as we have to When the people you've known Wave like armfuls of smoke through the air And the rain on your shoulders Doesn't pass like the wind through your hair And your eyes begin to fool you And fail you from the face that you wear Don't trust any mirrors you will need something clearer To find what you're looking for there If the streets don't respect you Yet constantly rap at your door Well you know what neglect means Now you know what deceit can afford But to stand there like that with your heart in your hands Dealing for more The streets will break in again and again And take only what you're living for Since your body betrayed you You've been so afraid of the cold But what storm has pursued you That makes you do everything that you're told It must be the ice that drains Down from your eyes through your clothes That first taught you your voice But now haunts you with it from the side of the road To look at your face is to lose myself in those eyes How softly they open and swiftly they close from the light Like the curtains in your room bending shadows over you tonight As you snake through your skin from the shape you've been in That you still somehow seem to fit inside Like the shadows on your face Can't help falling into place line by line As the strangers that pass Leave their fingerprints on the glass Just so they can say they at least tried Well if the whole world looks vain Through this tainted window frame You're probably right
9.
YOU WILL BE ALRIGHT All night in our wintry rooms Through liquid light we limp along With saviors there Our bodies know no compromise So hold onto to the first thing That decides to care And hunted as an insect by the perfect defect We will both just sit and stare This could be anywhere There is sun and there is rain I'll never swim that stream again It is a gutter now And life-like I begin to move And spin what is this drain I'm in I am not proud I climb back on my rotting bed Where every joke aims for my head Where are the clowns? They're in the tavern now I rode in on a hungry horse I plundered open range And came by way of spite Now sitting beside you your naked needing Wants releasing And stay I might But lady don't mistake me For another medication I'm not that strong to night You will be alright
10.
IF I WAS A HORSE If I was a horse I'd want to be a bucking horse And if I was a mule I'd kick and spit and scream and roar And I would never work no more If I was a mule If I was a hound I'd want to be a mean old hound I'd chase and hunt my master down If I was a hound If I was a horse I'd want to be a bucking horse And if I was a bull I'd stomp the ground and steam and snort Like you ain't ever seen before If I was a bull If I was a horse I'd want to be a bucking horse I'd kick and spit and scream and roar If I was a horse
11.
SONG TO NEW YORK I went to every city where I met no one And I stood in every barroom where nothing had begun There were fights in every alley way And protests panting until dawn Pleading someone listen to them Belch their empty songs And the pirates dressed in new blue jeans Sold tickets in the square I heard that Somewhere something happened once But never quite occurred Stagecoaches sent limp lovers passed I watched the lure sink then raise And dangle like a lullaby But the children ran away I saw twenty flowers baring Twenty colors in a line Each dancing to a cadence Keeping them there 'til they die As lonely dreamers peddled their schemes To loners looking for anything Take me where you want to Just don't let me see the strings The waterfront reeked of new perfume Where strangers strangely drifted by For morning would be coming soon While unwilling goes the night And I in my fading raincoat wondered Mothered by a million fears How ancient are these memories That have always left me here I remember serpent skylines rising Swimming in infinity And all the poisoned people Submerged in obscurity As if to reach up was enough To beg eternity for more I can't remember waking up Or what my dreams were for I am useless to the wild earth So sings the bowels of every place I used to map the laughter Though I could never find its face And anywhere that I may go My judgment roars its restless bells I never knew and shall never know A worse place than myself

about

Debut full-length album from Graham Lindsey

credits

released September 2, 2003

Graham Lindsey - vocals, acoustic guitars, resonator guitar, harmonicas
Matt Cartsonis - bottleneck guitar, accordion, mandola
Doug Livingston - pedal steel
Joel Hamilton - upright bass
M.B. Gordy - drums, percussion

This album is dedicated in memory of
Jason Lonewolf Hatfield
-Let there be light

Produced, engineered, and mixed by Steve Deutsch
Assisted by George Landress
Recorded at Mars Recording, Santa Monica, CA
Photo - Christine Hromadka
Painting, layout and design - Joe Perreze

All words and music written by Graham Lindsey
(Graham Lindsey Music/ASCAP). All rights reserved. Copyright 2003 Graham Lindsey.

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Graham Lindsey montana

Known for the dark, raw, stripped-down approach he takes to American roots and folk, Graham Lindsey's music has been said to fall somewhere in the middle of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, and 'if Gillian Welch had a male counterpart,' while following in the traditions of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. But, it does so with plenty of his own punk rock sensibilities in tact.

Photo Credit: Nicole Wickens
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