by Chad Lee Williams



released December 29, 2011



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Chad Lee Williams Portland, Oregon

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Track Name: Sisters
There's a trembling in my throat so frail & thirsty
You hang on every note, you're a spring born memory
Then you string me along these haunted melodies
and I find my voice again in your sweet relief

When I lay down my song tonight
Please sister help me make it sound alright

Despite my belief that we are not helpless here
Those who follow me rise through the Cascade air
There the North sheds the blood to protect the Southern song
and in the Middle of it all a new hope dawns

When I lay down my head tonight
Sisters watch over this heavy heart

Sister carry me...
Track Name: The Rapture
High beams bend the traces
Then scale the canyon walls
Twisting around the words
To all of our favorite songs
I would turn around tonight
If I could shake these goddam nightmares
And find the words to say

I'm not a man of volition
I often get so scared
Now they're talking of the rapture
On the radio again
There's a killer on the loose
There's a tremor in the sky
I know it's no excuse

When just one scene remains
where you stood behind your sister's gate
and the last frame to play
Is your eclipse ...
It's too late...
Track Name: Astoria
Soiled bottles of rust becoming torrential
eventually creating a void where my head once fell
So I held out my tongue and inherited wishes
to finish out his reign over Western Montana

Rifle through the hills and tear out the pages
A wage placed to the cur all tender and gristle
Oh whistler, you don't ring as true when summer has gone
The swan will sing just for you when I no longer hear it

I sold you bales of black ash for the awakening
and hunted the great horned owl across the badlands
until all of my labors were sunk with the shadows behind me

At the end of Mercury's pass lies a new life's blood
The flood is released to the chill of Astoria's white mist
A kiss placed only to life over dead pines and trenches
so wretched and worn the names that I once belonged to

I sold you bales of black ash for the awakening
and hunted the great horned owl across the badlands
until all of my labors were sunk with the shadows behind me
Track Name: Jay Stielstra
I'm seeking refuge from the past
leaving smoke and dust to hide my tracks
but the sun has stained you to my mirror
Now it's never been more clear

When these lake winds start to blow
they rip my heart in two
and every line that maps this hand leads back to you

Old Jay he told me, when he raised his glass
Said, "You don't know it now, but you'll be back"
I said "Jay, that's crazy. I'm gettin' out of here"
Now it's never been more clear

When these lake winds start to blow
his voice comes ringing through
and every word that leaves his lips comes back to you

Though tonight I sleep under western skies
I'll dream of thunderstorms and fireflies.
3,000 miles, barely a year
Now it's never been more clear.
Track Name: Trees of Winter
The notes lodged in your lungs spill like water
into this shallow pool of sound misgivings
The mud sinks to my knees and freezes over
as the air of dead white pine chills my bones again

These nights I sleep among the trees of winter
beneath a hearth of stones and falling feathers
The torch glows strongest when the angel emerges
and dims with each passing day that she is gone

Each night I sleep I among the trees of winter
beneath the ash remains of unsent letters
Then from a deep spring snow a fire resurges
and melts the ice away from the locks on my heart
Track Name: Everybody's Crying (Live)
Everybody's crying for ya don't ya know
Dying for a part in your motion picture show
Some just wanna dance while others wanna fly
in skies where no one else ever has survived

And I just sit and watch as they crash and burn
another jet down, will they ever learn
that there's no use in following your script
All of the big guns shoot it from the hip

We all rise and fall on the biggest stage of all

Everybody's singing for your precious time
ringing in your ear and wringing all of their lines
in and out of key, sometimes it's hard to tell
but you make them all believe the lies they try to sell

And I just sit and watch as the gavel drops
another man guilty, not knowing when to stop
If you wanna be a rebel and bend a rule or two
The all time greats know how to work the tune

We all rise and fall on the biggest stage of all

Everybody's fighting, stepping in your ring
taking your best shot and missing everything
caught off-guard by the hex in your eyes
one by one, dropping like flies

And I just sit and watch as you stand tall
but sooner or later every champ falls
'cause I'm the underdog you've never heard of
with nothing to lose, I'm taking off my gloves

We all rise and fall on the biggest stage of all.
Track Name: Weary Hearted Girl (Live)
Always one to show for your curtain calls
I really like your song, weary-hearted girl...

Never one to know, discretion or bare bones
courage served up cold, not sure how this one goes...

And I will wait for the turn
to disengage and raze every wall
that every stopped me from trying
to kill the ghost

One more puzzle piece spills onto the floor
A slippery place to be, enigma to the world...

Now it's gone too far, the joke is lost on me
sweep up my shattered bones, weary-hearted girl...
Track Name: Wedding Band (Live)
Given recent history, concealing, twisting knives
it's not your eyes that set me off into another paradigm
It's when you speak to me in Russian with a tin can for a phone
and it sounds like the apocalypse of our innocence reborn

Souvenirs, black coffee, beers, 8-day old key lime pie
racing through the threshold under shot up Mojave skies
but when your Aunt Martha came a waitress slipped to me her key
and that night we made it rain arcane once you passed out from the mead.

Crawling through the garden, chewing on snakeberry vines
Swallowing the poison, heaven weighing on my mind
If God could only see you now dancing with the damned
he'd kneel right down beside you and kiss you on your wedding band

Oh no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no...
Track Name: Strand of Gold
A life of hope and chivalry
constrained by years of restless sleep
Rescued by a light not known
and held within a strand of gold

Down where she breathes no ponds run dry
The seeds of spring hang from the sky
They fall then rise from beneath her feet
to wrap her in a lace of green

When I take my final rest
to the one that I love best
May the very last light I see
Her eyes as deep as the bluest sea
Her eyes as deep as the bluest sea
Track Name: December (Live)
December you have been a friend
A rekindled gift of innocence
Now February's laid you down
beneath January's icy ground

And I don't want to sing about it
I just want to get there on my own

These things I see I can't explain
Visions born of a fiery rage
And clouds just gather to misconstrue
what I already know is true

And I don't want to sing about it
I just want to carry it alone

Rooted on this icy knoll
above rustic cemetery snow
but ardently these grounds I'll tend
until December is unearthed again

And I don't want to sing about it
I just want to stand here all alone
on my own, December's gone
Track Name: Dead Horse
I've always been more than kind
when a dead horse kicks me from behind
but sometimes I turn and look too soon
and I find myself alone with you

I don't want to hear your story
I don't really need a friend
I just want to sit right down
and annihilate the night with gin

Kevin crows a sharp-tongued tune
Hannah likes to work the room
and Carla doesn't seem to mind
but your lips are working overtime

I don't want to hear your story
I don't really need a friend
I just want to find some space
where these veins are flowing free with sin

Now the dead horse lies there on the ground
so you start jumping up and down
until your face is the shade of blue
One day that ol' boy is going to rise up and bite you

I don't need to hear about it
You don't even know my name
So why don't you just turn around
and crawl right back into the ass from which you came.
Track Name: The Last Line
The highlights of our years
fade out of mind as the final tear
is released to the sea
the blue sea

Our names are etched in stone
by the lakes of our home
never to roam
there again

So much changed in so little time
as the song comes to its last line
I love you, good night,
and never more.
Track Name: Back Streets of Town
Oh, why, Kara, why are you just standing there
with your roses and thorns in the crown that you wear
Do you really believe we can ever live this down
There's no room to breathe on the back streets of town

I know the way you walk and I know where you've been
but underneath the strongest bonds lies a game we just can't win
and I truly believe I'd only let you down
so it's time for me to leave the back streets of town

It's the coldness that you find and you don't seem to mind
until it's too late to turn back and atone
All of these darkened alleys come creeping up behind me
and remind me of a love no longer told

It should come as no surprise how the sweetness ends
All of the moments lost, now the stain it begins
and it kills me to believe, but I just drink it down
We got carried away on the back streets of town
Track Name: Reno Again
Working on another Irish bender
and rolling dice on a Sunday afternoon
hoping for a one to put me over
this ailing heart and losing aptitude

I planned to tell you of the news this morning
when you called me in my empty motel bed
Last night I lost it all on a pair of sevens
but I'm lying here in Reno again

For 20 years I've been hauling timber
from Aberdeen to the Arizona sands
but somewhere along the way I lost all virtue
to whiskey, slot machines, and one-night stands

Yet I was not prepared to get the news this evening
when you called me from his place in Bellingham
Now the tears fall like rain on my windshield
and I'm pulling out of Reno again

Yeah, "I'm looking at the world through my windshield"
as I'm rolling out of Reno again
Track Name: Latte Blues
I think it's time to get down the road
I've got to find me a different place
When I walk around this quaint little town
there's always someone up in my face
giving me the business
about how my soul needs saved
I think I better get down the road
before I lose my brain

I just want a simple life
both far away and new
without some chump out on every block
playing me the Latte Blues
Three jobs ain't enough to put gas in my truck
and the rent's long over due
If I'm going to dig my way out of this mess
I'm going to have to bend some rules

I think you better get down the road
Oh, I love you but you just can't stay
Your starry green eyes and sweet morning sighs
are slowly starting to fade away
You drive me to drink and I really think
it's going to kill me one of these days
I think you better get down the road
before you put me in my grave

I just wanted a simple life
both far away and new
but you can all me on the telephone
if you decide you want one too
It's not kind of place to just show your face
You've gotta work and pay your dues
So if you wanna come back home again
You've gotta play it by my rules.
Track Name: She's Somewhere Between
I've been searching my life over for some middle ground
Too much fun or not enough is all I've ever found
Only until lately, since she started coming 'round
This fire in my heart has turned my world upside down

She's tearing up the honky tonks, but takes it all in stride
'cause some nights you will find her painting by the riverside
She's paints the colours of her dreams, then a portrait of a clown
who waits here on this bar stool for her to paint the town.

She's somewhere between heaven and a child
Her heart's made of gold, but her spirit is running wild
She reels me in 'til I can almost taste paradise
then casts me away into a lake full of ice

Now here we are again like every time before
She sways in my arm across the hardwood floor
Now she's gone, it's closing time, but I'm still in denial
that in her eyes I am nothing more than a child

She's somewhere between...