Copperhead Road ~ Steve Earle

steve-earleSteve Earle is an American rock, country and folk singer-songwriter, record producer, author and actor. Earle began his career as a songwriter in Nashville and released his first EP in 1982. His breakthrough album was the 1986 album Guitar Town. Since then Earle has released 15 other studio albums and received three Grammy awards. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Shawn Colvin and Emmylou Harris. He has appeared in film and television, and has written a novel, a play, and a book of short stories.

Earle was born in Fort Monroe, Virginia, and grew up near San Antonio, Texas.  His father, Jack Earle, was an air traffic controller. Although he was born in Virginia where his father was stationed, the family returned to Texas before Earle’s second birthday. They moved several times but Earle grew up primarily in the San Antonio area.

Earle began learning the guitar at the age of 11 and was placed in a talent contest at his school at age 13. He is reported to have run away from home at age 14 to follow his idol, singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt around Texas.[8] Earle was “rebellious” as a youngster and dropped out of school at the age of 16. He moved to Houston with his 19-year-old uncle, who was also a musician, where he married and worked odd jobs. While in Houston Earle finally met Van Zandt, who became his hero and role model.

Copperhead Road

Copperhead Road” is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Steve Earle. It was released in 1988 as the lead single and title track from the album Copperhead Road. The song reached number 10 on the U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and was Earle’s highest-peaking song to date on the rock chart in the United States. The song has sold 1.04 million digital copies in the US as of September 2015.

The song’s narrator is named John Lee Pettimore, whose father and grandfather were both active in moonshine making and bootlegging in rural Johnson County, Tennessee. Pettimore’s grandfather visited town only rarely, in order to buy supplies for a still he had set up in a hollow along Copperhead Road, and he had taken precautions to stop federal agents from finding it or apprehending him. Pettimore’s father hauled the moonshine to Knoxville each week, but was killed in an accident during one of these runs.

Pettimore enlists in the Army on his birthday, believing he will soon be drafted (“They draft the white trash first ’round here anyway”), and serves two tours of duty in Vietnam. Once he returns home, he decides to use the Copperhead Road land to grow marijuana, rather than produce moonshine (“I take the seed from Colombia and Mexico”). Having learned a few tricks from the Viet Cong while fighting overseas, he resolves not to be caught by the DEA.

Copperhead Road was an actual road near Mountain City, Tennessee, although it has since been renamed Copperhead Hollow Road, owing to theft of road signs bearing the song’s name. The song also inspired a popular line dance, timed to the same beat, and has been used as the theme music for the Discovery Channel reality series Moonshiners.


Copperhead Road – Earle

Well my name’s John Lee Pettimore
Same as my daddy and his daddy before
You hardly ever saw Grandaddy down here
He only came to town about twice a year
He’d buy a hundred pounds of yeast and some copper line
Everybody knew that he made moonshine
Now the revenue man wanted Grandaddy bad
He headed up the holler with everything he had
It’s before my time but I’ve been told
He never came back from Copperhead Road

Now Daddy ran the whiskey in a big block Dodge
Bought it at an auction at the Mason’s Lodge
Johnson County Sheriff painted on the side
Just shot a coat of primer then he looked inside
Well him and my uncle tore that engine down
I still remember that rumblin’ sound
Well the sheriff came around in the middle of the night
Heard mama cryin’, knew something wasn’t right
He was headed down to Knoxville with the weekly load
You could smell the whiskey burnin’ down Copperhead Road

I volunteered for the Army on my birthday
They draft the white trash first,’round here anyway
I done two tours of duty in Vietnam
And I came home with a brand new plan
I take the seed from Colombia and Mexico
I plant it up the holler down Copperhead Road
Well the D.E.A.’s got a chopper in the air
I wake up screaming like I’m back over there
I learned a thing or two from ol’ Charlie don’t you know
You better stay away from Copperhead Road

Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road

The original moonshiner’s ballad was made famous by Robert Mitchum in the song, The Ballad of Thunder Road, that he wrote for the movie of the same name.

  • Audio from the 1988 album, Copperhead Road:

copperhead-road

Play Copperhead Road - by Steve Earle

Gasoline – Kicking Harold

kicking-haroldA longtime force in the underground alternative rock scene, Kicking Harold has tasted the limelight many times but has never been able to maintain a spot in the mainstream long enough to break through.

Starting in 1994, the band was originally made up of members Brian Anderson, Ed Shemansky, and Tim David Kelly. The three played their first gig after putting together a few songs just to have fun, and strangely enough the president of Headliner Records came in and signed the band on the spot. Cutting Ugly and Festering over the next few months, the record arrived in 1995 and began to create a stir in indie circles. MCA Records picked up on the growing fanbase and approached them with a contract. Signing only days later, Kicking Harold reissued their debut the next year and found themselves popping up on alternative radio all over the country. Scoring gigs with Bad Religion, Helmet, and the Deftones, the band gained a massive buzz with fans but the label started to lose faith and started withdrawing the publicity around the record.

Sure enough, by 1997 the band was without a label and Anderson quit the band out of frustration. Shemansky and Kelly continue to write and record without support, and put together Return of the Bulb Men in a series of tense recording sessions. Drafting in Todd Ramsey to replace Anderson on bass, Headliner takes the band back but limits the release of their record severely due to its avant garde tendencies. Instantly becoming a collector’s item, the record’s frustrating release convinces Ramsey to leave before doing much with the group and English singer/guitarist Sam Varma and bassist Eddie Patrina become the newest members to join.

Performing all over the country, Kelly recorded the Burn One Down EP during the tour but again Headliner lacked any faith in the record and it became even more obscure than Kicking Harold’s last record. Band tensions began to run high, and in 1999 they split apart to try and reinvigorate themselves. Kelly released a much higher profile solo album (Growing Up Naked) and got a nice response from college radio, inspiring him to bring the band back together with the new lineup of Todd Ramsey and drummer Michael Keeley in the summer of 2001. Recording Space Age Breakdown throughout the next few months, the band released and recorded the record the following year on Mityma Music.

Gasoline

Gasoline – Kicking Harold

I am gasoline and matches
I turn everything to ashes

I am gasoline and matches
I turn everything to ashes
I’m Burning, I’m Learning
I’m Learning, yes, I’m learning

I give kerosene divorces
I light angel wings with torches
I give kerosene divorces
I light angel wings with torches

I’m Burning, I’m Learning
I’m Learning, yes, I’m learning

Life is good because I’m breathing
Hell is just a stage of grieving
You’re an evil human being
Sorry if that hurt your feelings

I’m Burning, but I’m Learning
I am Gasoline, I am history
I am Gasoline, I am gone

  • Audio from the 2002 album, Space Age Breakdown:

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Play Gasoline - by Kicking Harold

Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers

picketRobert George Pickett was an American singer who found fame under the name Bobby “Boris” Pickett. He was known for co-writing and performing the 1962 hit novelty song, “Monster Mash”.

Pickett was born in Somerville, Massachusetts.  His father was a theater manager, and as a 9-year-old he watched many horror films. He would later incorporate impressions of them in his Hollywood, California nightclub act in 1959. Pickett was a United States Army veteran, who served in Korea.

Pickett co-wrote “Monster Mash” with Leonard Capizzi in May 1962. The song was a spoof on the dance crazes popular at the time, including the Twist and the Mashed Potato, which inspired the title. The song featured Pickett’s impersonations of veteran horror stars Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi (the latter with the line “Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?”). It was passed on by every major record label, but after hearing the song, Gary S. Paxton agreed to produce and engineer it; among the musicians who played on it was pianist Leon Russell.

Pickett died at the age of 69 on April 25, 2007 in Los Angeles, California, due to complications from leukemia. His daughter Nancy Huus was at his side when he died. He left two grandchildren, Jordan Huus and Olivia Huus.The May 13, 2007 episode of the Dr. Demento show, featured a documentary retrospective of Pickett’s work.

Monster Mash

Pickett was an aspiring actor who sang with a band called The Cordials at night while going to auditions during the day. One night, while performing with his band, Pickett did a monologue in imitation of horror movie actor Boris Karloff while performing The Diamonds’, “Little Darlin'”. The audience loved it and fellow band member Lenny Capizzi encouraged Pickett to do more with the Karloff imitation.

Pickett and Capizzi composed “Monster Mash” and recorded it with Gary S. Paxton, Leon Russell, Johnny McCrae, Rickie Page, and Terry Berg, credited as “The Crypt-Kickers”. The song was partially inspired by Paxton’s earlier novelty hit “Alley Oop”, as well as by the Mashed Potato dance craze of the era. A variation on the Mashed Potato was danced to “Monster Mash”, in which the footwork was the same but monster gestures were made with the arms and hands. Mel Taylor, drummer for The Ventures claimed to play on this, and that fact is repeated many places, including Taylor’s N.Y. Times obituary.

The song is narrated by a mad scientist whose monster, late one evening, rises from a slab to perform a new dance. The dance becomes “the hit of the land” when the scientist throws a party for other monsters. The producers came up with several low-budget but effective sound effects for the recording. For example, the sound of a coffin opening was imitated by a rusty nail being pulled out of a board. The sound of a cauldron bubbling was actually water being bubbled through a straw, and the chains rattling were simply chains being dropped on a tile floor. Pickett also impersonated horror film actor Bela Lugosi as Dracula with the lyric “Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?”

Monster Mash – Pickett, Capizzi

I was working in the lab late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

He did the mash
He did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
He did the mash
It caught on in a flash
He did the mash
He did the monster mash

From my laboratory in the castle east
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast
The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
To get a jolt from my electrodes

They did the mash
They did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
They did the mash
It caught on in a flash
They did the mash
They did the monster mash

The zombies were having fun
The party had just begun
The guests included Wolf Man
Dracula and his son

The scene was rockin’, all were digging the sounds
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
The coffin-bangers were about to arrive
With their vocal group, “The Crypt-Kicker Five”

They played the mash
They played the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
They played the mash
It caught on in a flash
They played the mash
They played the monster mash

Out from his coffin, Drac’s voice did ring
Seems he was troubled by just one thing
He opened the lid and shook his fist
And said, “Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?”

It’s now the mash
It’s now the monster mash
The monster mash
And it’s a graveyard smash
It’s now the mash
It’s caught on in a flash
It’s now the mash
It’s now the monster mash

Now everything’s cool, Drac’s a part of the band
And my monster mash is the hit of the land
For you, the living, this mash was meant too
When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you

Then you can mash
Then you can monster mash
The monster mash
And do my graveyard smash
Then you can mash
You’ll catch on in a flash
Then you can mash
Then you can monster mash

  • Audio from the 1962 album, The Original Monster Mash:

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Play Monster Mash - by Boris Pickett &

The Cave ~ Mumford & Sons

mumford-and-sons-bb11-2015-billboard-04-650Mumford & Sons are an English folk rock band. The band is made up of Marcus Mumford (vocals, guitar, drums, mandolin), Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboards, accordion), “Country” Winston Marshall (vocals, banjo, dobro), and Ted Dwane (vocals, string bass). Although the band members have claims on certain instruments, the members switch instruments during live shows according to convenience, for they each play a variety of instruments. The band formed in late 2007, rising out of London’s folk scene with other artists such as Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, Jay Jay Pistolet and Noah and the Whale.

The band has often supported Laura Marling at concerts, while their association with Noah and the Whale can be traced back to St Paul’s School, Barnes and King’s College School, Wimbledon. Mumford and Lovett attended King’s College School alongside Noah and the Whale bassist Matt Owens, while Marshall attended St Paul’s School along with Charlie Fink, lead singer of Noah and the Whale.

The Cave

The Cave” is the third single by London rock quartet Mumford & Sons, released from their debut album Sigh No More. It was released in the UK on 26 February 2010. It placed 81 in Triple J Hottest 100, 2009 before the single had been released. It was the second single in the US after “Little Lion Man”, and has sold 1,657,000 digital copies there by September 2012. On November 30th 2011, the song received 4 nominations in 54th Grammy Awards including Song of the Year and Record of the Year.


The Cave – Mumford

It’s empty in the valley of your heart
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you’ve left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat
You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see
But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

Because I have other things to fill my time
You take what is yours and I’ll take mine
Now let me at the truth
Which will refresh my broken mind

So tie me to a post and block my ears
I can see widows and orphans through my tears
I know my call despite my faults
And despite my growing fears

But I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker’s land

So make your siren’s call
And sing all you want
I will not hear what you have to say

Because I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it’s meant to be

And I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

  • Audio from the 2009 album, Sigh No More:

sigh-no-more-album

Play The Cave - by Mumford &

Magic Arrow ~ Timber Tibre

TimberTibreTimber Timbre is a Canadian music group, featuring Taylor Kirk, Simon Trottier, Mathieu Charbonneau and Olivier Fairfield. The moniker refers to an early series of recordings made in a timber-framed cabin set in the wooded outskirts of Bobcaygeon, Ontario.

Timber Timbre released two albums independently before releasing their self-titled album on Out of This Spark in January 2009. They were subsequently signed to Arts & Crafts, who re-released the album on June 30 in Canada and July 28 internationally. The album was named as a longlist nominee for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize on June 15, 2009, and was deemed album of the year by Eye Weekly.

The band’s song “Magic Arrow” was featured in the television show Breaking Bad, in the episode “Caballo Sin Nombre”, as well as in the TV series The Good Wife, in the episode “Bitcoin for Dummies”. “Black Water” features on the soundtrack for the 2012 comedy, For a Good Time, Call… Their song “Demon Host” was featured in the end credits to the 2013 film The Last Exorcism Part II.

The band’s fourth album, Creep On Creepin’ On, was released in April 2011. The album was named as one of ten shortlisted nominees for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize, and eventually lost to The Suburbs by Arcade Fire. In 2012, the band supported British folk singer Laura Marling on her UK tour and Canadian singer Feist on her tour of America.

The band’s fifth record, Hot Dreams, was released April 1, 2014. The album was a shortlisted nominee for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize.  but eventually lost to Tanya Tagaq’s Animism.

Timber Timbre’s sound has been described as “an aesthetic rooted in swampy, ragged blues” and “beautifully restrained blues from an alternate universe”, which creates an atmosphere that is cinematic and spooky.

Magic Arrow

The band’s song “Magic Arrow” was featured in the television show Breaking Bad, in the episode “Caballo Sin Nombre”, as well as in the TV series The Good Wife, in the episode “Bitcoin for Dummies”.


Magic Arrow – Taylor Kirk

Mystic palm, gem and tarot
A few escape your magic arrow
I saw you reel them in for miles
Each captivated crooked smile
And you know you can heal them all
Your double diamond disposition
Refractions of your center prism
Your magic arrow flies precision

And you saw it from that vantage point
Perimeter scratched on the nation’s native hide
And we saw those christian clippers glide
Over white caps and white sails hide
Over white knuckles
And I was fine till I saw the pale horse ride
And open up it’s gape across the ocean floor
You were fine till you saw the white rider take
And take some more

Our mother’s milk double faro
A few escape your magic arrow
And with a Christ as bayonet
Oh you siphoned off the hellion’s threats
And even in your ghastly visions
Your magic arrow flies precision
Whistles fly like a boiling potion
Charges like a locomotive

And you saw it from that vantage point
Perimeter scratched on the nation’s native hide
And we saw those christian clippers glide
Over white caps and white sails and hide
Over white knuckles
And you were fine till you saw the pale horse ride
Open up it’s gape across the ocean floor
You were fine till you saw the white rider take
And take some more

  • Audio from the 2009 album, Timber Timbre:

Timber Tibre album

Play Magic Arrow - by Timber Tibre

It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) ~ Bob Dylan

bob-dylanBob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, poet, and disc jockey who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades. Much of Dylan’s most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal chronicler and a reluctant figurehead of American unrest. A number of his songs, such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin'”, became anthems of the anti-war and civil rights movements.

Dylan’s early lyrics incorporated politics, social commentary, philosophy and literary influences, defying existing pop music conventions and appealing widely to the counterculture. While expanding and personalizing musical styles, he has shown steadfast devotion to many traditions of American song, from folk and country/blues to gospel, rock and roll and rockabilly, to English, Scottish and Irish folk music, and even jazz and swing.

It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan and first released on his 1965 album, Bringing It All Back Home. It was written in the summer of 1964, first performed live on October 10, 1964, and recorded on January 15, 1965. Described by Dylan biographer Howard Sounes as a “grim masterpiece,” the song features some of Dylan’s most memorable lyrical images. Among the well-known lines sung in the song are “Money doesn’t talk, it swears,” “Although the masters make the rules, for the wise men and the fools” and “But even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked.” The lyrics express Dylan’s anger at hypocrisy, commercialism, consumerism, warmongers and contemporary American culture, but unlike his earlier protest songs, “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” does not express optimism in the possibility of political solutions.

Dylan has stated that “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” is one of his songs that means the most to him, and he has played the song often in live concerts.

Dylan wrote “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” in the summer of 1964. Although he was prepared to take his time developing the song, as he did with “Mr. Tambourine Man”, he finished it in time for inclusion on the Bringing It All Back Home album, which was recorded in January 1965. Dylan first performed “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” live on October 10, 1964 at Philadelphia Town Hall. The version included on Bringing It All Back Home was recorded on January 15, 1965, the same day that the other three songs on side 2 of the album (“Mr. Tambourine Man”, “Gates of Eden” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”) were recorded, with Tom Wilson in the role of producer.  It was long thought that each of the four songs that make up side 2 of Bringing It All Back Home were recorded in one long take.  However, there was actually one false take of “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”.

Dylan biographer Howard Sounes described “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” as a “grim masterpiece.”   The only accompaniment is Dylan’s guitar, playing folk-blues riffs and up and down chord progressions.   Author Sean Wilentz has noted that the song’s chord structure is similar to that used by the Everly Brothers’ in their hit recording of “Wake Up Little Susie”.  The lyrics of “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” express Dylan’s anger at hypocrisy, commercialism, consumerism, warmongers and contemporary American culture.  In his book Bob Dylan, Performing Artist, author Paul Williams has suggested that the song addresses “the possibility that the most important (and least articulated) political issue of our times is that we are all being fed a false picture of reality, and it’s coming at us from every direction.”  Williams goes on to say that the song successfully paints a portrait of an “alienated individual identifying the characteristics of the world around him and thus declaring his freedom from its ‘rules’.”  As such, a major target in the song is the old, established concepts which give a false picture of reality and hinder new worldviews from being accepted.

While it shares a sense of prevailing entropy with the previous song on the album, “Gates of Eden”, the critique in “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” is more direct and less allusive.  Author Michael Gray has commented that although the vitriol Dylan unleashes towards his targets is similar to his earlier political protest songs, “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” is a transitionary song in that it does not express optimism in the possibility of political solutions.

Instead, Dylan sings in a new prophetic voice that would later become his trademark. However, with the political pessimism comes a more poetic vision than in his earlier protest songs, along with a more complex figurative language.  Howard Sounes notes that the song features some of Dylan’s most memorable images.  The opening lines begin the song’s torrent of apocalyptic images:

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child’s balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying

This opening echoes the Book of Ecclesiastes, where the author states (1:17) “I observed all deeds beneath the sun, and behold all is futile.  There are echoes of Ecclesiastes throughout the song. Another example is:

The masters make the rules
For the wise man and the fools.

The author of Ecclesiastes laments (2:15–16) “The fate of the fool will befall me also; to what advantage, then, have I become wise? But I come to the conclusion that this, too, was futility, because the wise man and the fool are both forgotten. The wise man dies, just like the fool.”

One of the most famous lines from the song reminds listeners that even the most powerful people will ultimately be judged:

But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked

These lines seemed particularly prescient when Dylan performed the song on his 1974 tour with The Band, a few months before Richard Nixon’s resignation as a result of the Watergate crisis. The final lines are also powerful:

And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life and life only

Dylan has cited “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” as one of his songs that means the most to him.  In 1980 he stated that “I don’t think I could sit down now and write ‘It’s Alright, Ma’ again. I wouldn’t even know where to begin, but I can still sing it.” In 1997, Dylan told The New York Times, “I’ve written some songs that I look at, and they just give me a sense of awe. Stuff like, ‘It’s Alright, Ma,’ just the alliteration in that blows me away.”

In a 2005 reader’s poll reported in Mojo, “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” was listed as the #8 all-time greatest Bob Dylan song, and a similar poll of artists ranked the song #21. In 2002, Uncut listed it as the #5 all-time Dylan song.

It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) – Bob Dylan

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child’s balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying.

Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fools gold mouthpiece
The hollow horn plays wasted words
Proved to warn
That he not busy being born
Is busy dying.

Temptation’s page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover
That you’d just be
One more person crying.

So don’t fear if you hear
A foreign sound to you ear
It’s alright, Ma, I’m only sighing.

As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don’t hate nothing at all
Except hatred.

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their marks
Made everything from toy guns that sparks
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It’s easy to see without looking too far
That not much
Is really sacred.

While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the President of the United States
Sometimes must have
To stand naked.

An’ though the rules of the road have been lodged
It’s only people’s games that you got to dodge
And it’s alright, Ma, I can make it.

Advertising signs that con you
Into thinking you’re the one
That can do what’s never been done
That can win what’s never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you.

You loose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand without nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks
They really found you.

A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit to satisfy
Insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not forget
That it is not he or she or them or it
That you belong to.

Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to.

For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despite their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Cultivate their flowers to be
Nothing more than something
They invest in.

While some on principles baptized
To strict party platforms ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize
And then say God Bless him.

While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he’s in.

But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it’s alright, Ma, if I can’t please him.

Old lady judges, watch people in pairs
Limited in sex, they dare
To push fake morals, insult and stare
While money doesn’t talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares
Propaganda, all is phony.

While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer’s pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death’s honesty
Won’t fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes
Must get lonely.

My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
False gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say okay, I have had enough
What else can you show me ?

And if my thought-dreams could been seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only.

  • Audio from the 1965 album, Bringing It All Back Home:

Bob_Dylan_-_Bringing_It_All_Back_Home

Play It's Alright - by Bob Dylan

Counting Blue Cars ~ Dishwalla

downloadDishwalla is an American alternative rock band. The band’s name comes from an Hindi term for a person providing cable television to a neighborhood. In a Vox interview, Rodney claimed the band took the name out of a Wired magazine article.

Dishwalla, which emerged out of the early stages of post-grunge, is composed of J.R. Richards (vocals), Scot Alexander (bass), Rodney Browning (guitar), Jim Wood (keyboards), and George Pendergast (drums). They spent the mid-’90s touring with the likes of Sheryl Crow, Blind Melon, and the Goo Goo Dolls in support of Pet Your Friends. Prior to making a second album, the band was caught in the middle of the Polygram/Universal merger and such a move left Dishwalla pondering what to do next. Their second album, “And You Think You Know What Life’s About”, was released in 1998; promotion and sales were lackluster due to label downsizing. Dishwalla’s time with A&M was short lived and exhausting because of such corporate behavior, but they stuck it out to contribute their cover version of “Policy of Truth” for the Depeche Mode tribute album “For the Masses”. By the new millennium, Dishwalla left behind major-market America for a third album. They signed with Immergent while Pendergrast left the band. Pete Maloney, a drummer picked up on the 1998 tour, resumed percussion duties. In 2002, Dishwalla appeared sound and sane, issuing the experimental third album “Opaline”. A self-titled album followed in 2005.

Counting Blue Cars

Counting Blue Cars” is a song by the alternative rock band Dishwalla that appears on their 1995 album Pet Your Friends. It was Dishwalla’s only hit song, making it onto the Billboard Hot 100 and the Top 40 in 1996. It is mostly about wanting to know about God’s ambitions and wanting to ensure one’s eternal destiny. The song is instantly recognizable by the line in the chorus, “Tell me all your thoughts on God (cause I’d really like to meet her).”

Counting Blue Cars – Kolanek

Must of been mid afternoon
I could tell by how far the child’s shadow stretched out and
He walked with a purpose
In his sneakers, down the street
He had, many questions
Like children often do
He said,
Tell me all your thoughts on God?
Tell me am I very far?

Must of been late afternoon
On our way the sun broke free of the clouds
We count only blue cars
Skip the cracks, in the street
And ask many questions
Like children often do
We said,
Tell me all your thoughts on God?
‘Cause I would really like to meet her.
And ask her why we’re who we are.
Tell me all your thoughts on God,
Cause I am on my way to see her.
So tell me am I very far –
Am I very far now?

Its getting cold picked up the pace
How our shoes make hard noises in this place
Our clothes are stained
We pass many, cross eyed people
And ask many questions
Like children often do

Tell me all your thoughts on God?
‘Cause I would really like to meet her.
And ask her why we’re who we are.
Tell me all your thoughts on God?
‘Cause I am on my way to see her.
So tell me am I very far?
Am I very far now
Am I very far now
Am I very far now

  • Album from the 1995 album, Pet Your Friends:

Pet_Your_Friends_Album_Cover

Play Counting Blue Cars - by Dishwalla
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