Flat Land

 

One of my favorite Paul Simon songs goes “It was the year of the Beatles, the year of the Stones. A year after JFK.” 1964 also happens to be the year I was born. Needless to say, I’ve seen some stuff. Vietnam, watergate, inflation, recession, genocidal atrocities, endless wars, and more cultural shifts than I can count. Not to mention pet rocks. And all before the present century. The old curse, may you live to see interesting times, comes to mind as well as “you ain’t seen nothin yet”. America is the gift that seems to keep on giving when it comes to interesting times. The context of this album is the end of the Bush years and on through the Obama years. It was nearing completion about the time Trump was elected and I decided to delay it’s release. I didn’t want to saddle my poor creation with a release date in the midst of that particular circus. Flat Land is a metaphor for a world that’s become psychologically two dimensional. It seems to me we’ve gotten into the habit of rejecting reality as it is in favor of a flattened, simplified, caricature. A world view without any depth or content where all choices have become binary and all colors have been reduced to black and white. There’s a certain amount of comfort living in a world like that. It helps assuage the anxiety that’s existed in American culture literally my whole life. The album deals with the personal aspects of my life during this period as well as the public. It is my view of things from my small perch in the woods of central Texas where I make my home. Thankfully it’s very quiet where I live.

  1. 1.Believe


Broken wings will mend and you will fly again

If you only take your time

Winds will blow you so far you don’t know who you are

But you’ll shine in the end


And there are brighter days

Than what you have now

And aging troubadours will

Always show you how

You can still believe

You can still believe

For ever more


On the days that go wrong try to sing another song

And the time will go much quicker

For as you grow old you’ll see the time it gathers speed

And your youth becomes a whisper


And there are brighter days

Than what you have now

And aging troubadours will

Always show you how

You can still believe

You can still believe

For ever more



Cherish every wrong turn cause that’s the way you learn

Every pain can turn to joy

Cherish fear like a friend then you will understand

That it cannot control you


And there are brighter days

Than what you have now

And aging troubadours will

Always show you how

You can still believe

You can still believe

For ever more


  1. 2.Just Arrived


The old will tell that life can be like a wishing well

Pay your money and then you drown

The moments get lost and no one seems to count the cost

Once you’re lying in the ground

And I can’t say if they’re wrong to feel that way

I only know the road I’m on

The mystery seems to lie at the heart of the stream

Are you going or are you gone


When I feel low

When I feel high

There are days when I can touch the sky

When I’m on my way

When I’m on my way

And when I’m on my way

I’ve only just arrived


The fear of hell and the hope for heaven people tell

Sounds like a story for a child

It’s a human thing to fall in love with your own dreams

Then try to make them real

And who am I to tell you whats true or lie

I only know what I feel

And who can say how it all got this way

Is there a hand behind the veil


When I feel low

When I feel high

There are days when I can touch the sky

When I’m on my way

When I’m on my way

And when I’m on my way

I’ve only just arrived


  1. 3.Flat Land


It’s all there in the text don’t you know it’s inerrant

And God made the world just like the words say

The twelfth Iman is speaking don’t you hear him in the desert

Hindus say the Vedas are older than the world


And I wish I could live in their flat land of certainty

A world of surety

Where there is no room for mystery

But my faith was never strong enough


It’s all there in the math you cannot refute the logic

There is no god that we can’t reason away

The gaps will be reduced we’ll have no more of your magic

There is no limit to what the human mind can slay


And I wish I could live in their flat land of certainty

A world of surety

Where there is no room for mystery

But my faith was never strong enough


My politics are perfect there’s no reason to debate

The other side is made up of sycophants and fools

Conspiracy I believe in is the truth to relate

And facts are only lies whenever I disagree


And I wish I could live in their flat land of certainty

A world of surety

Where there is no room for mystery

But my faith was never strong enough


  1. 4.Lady Blue


She had eyes like silver fire but her touch was cold as steel

She drew me in so fast that I didn’t have time to feel

Whirlwind days, a smoky haze, I was always on her arm

And every night the sex was good but the bed was never warm


Now I got bags to pack

You know I’ve spent my time on the tracks and

I’m never going back to you

Party scenes and magazines wrapped up in shades of blue

I’m never going back to you

No I’m never going back to lady blue


She had all that money could buy and plenty to divest

Leisure time was all of her time and she always bought the best

She paid my gigs so I hung around but I lingered there too long

She thought she knew what feelings were when she’d hear me play a song


Now I got bags to pack

You know I’ve spent my time on the tracks and

I’m never going back to you

Party scenes and magazines wrapped up in shades of blue

I’m never going back to you

No I’m never going back to lady blue


I don’t know what became of her but you know I wish her well

Her empty soul and her avarice seemed to me to be like hell

And I’ve met a few of those as I travelled the dusty road

I don’t know where they come from and I don’t give a damn where they go


Now I got bags to pack

You know I’ve spent my time on the tracks and

I’m never going back to you

Party scenes and magazines wrapped up in shades of blue

I’m never going back to you

No I’m never going back to lady blue


  1. 5.Sunny Day


Look at the sunny day. Don’t you want to go out?

Go outside and play today

Won’t you play with me?

I’m a child of the light and I won’t stay in the shadow

Waste away my life with TV

Won’t you play with me?


When we’re open to the world

That’s when we’re free

There’s a light in all of us

Inside of you and me


Walk with me down the row. See the flowers in bloom.

All of nature knows what is true

Won’t you walk with me?

Hear the voice in the wind of the souls that have lived

Know there is no end where there’s love

Won’t you walk with me?


When we’re open to the world

That’s when we’re free

There’s a light in all of us

Inside of you and me


Look at the sunny day. Don’t you want to go out?

Go outside and play today

Today


  1. 6.You Fall


Try to go inside yourself and find what’s in between

The thoughts that your thinking and the feelings that you dream

A mansion filled with golden doors that lead to darkened halls

Open up all of the locks

And you fall

Yeah you fall


Try to see it my way and try to understand

Everything that’s whispered and written in the sand

Waves will wash the words away till nothings left at all

Try to dig a hole in the earth

And you fall

Yeah you fall


Try as you might you never hear what’s been said

Losing your identity until the day your dead

Reject the things that priests and kings tell you to believe

Listen to your heart and you’ll be free

You’ll be free


Try to go inside yourself and find what’s in between

The thoughts that your thinking and the feelings that you dream


  1. 7.American Soul


We’re all scared of terrorists

And brown people with funny names

While the men in three pieced suits

Derailed the national train


There was a time black brown and white

We all fell in love with this land

We all knew where we stood

Well as any people can


American soul

Where did you go?

American soul

Where did you go?


Fairness was the doctrine then

On which we all agreed

Right or left, it is a great sin

To live in pursuit of greed


I don’t know if there is a God

But the one we used to have

Is better than what we got now

All working for the golden calf


American soul

Where did you go?

American soul

Where did you go?


We’re all scared of terrorists

And brown people with funny names

While the men in three pieced suits

Derailed the national train


8. Reborn


Time waits for no one

It sneaks on by while your sleeping

And holding on to anything

Reveals the lies that you’re keeping


Sometimes we’re reborn

And no ones ever solved the riddle

Sometimes to be reborn

You have to die a little


Why the fear of dissolution

The voice inside will be silenced

It never was what you really are

Just a narrative of changes


Sometimes we’re reborn

And no ones ever solved the riddle

Sometimes to be reborn

You have to die a little


We’re a dream that thinks it’s flesh

We feel alone and so small

But with time and a change of form

The dream will become it all


Sometimes we’re reborn

And no ones ever solved the riddle

Sometimes to be reborn

You have to die a little


9. Julie It’s You


Every time I see the stars above I start to smile

I don’t know why but I hope it lasts awhile

And in your eyes you know that I feel young again

So much love and I don’t know how to begin


And sometimes

I wonder if this is a dream

In my mind

Then I see you smiling

And calling out my name

Julie it’s you

Julie it’s you


Such a strange thing to find that I’m in love with you

Julie you’re the reason I’m never blue

Your touch is magic, your smile is like a summers day

How did those other boys let you get away


And sometimes

I wonder if this is a dream

In my mind

Then I see you smiling

And calling out my name

Julie it’s you

Julie it’s you


Take a quiet walk along a pathway through the trees

Look up at the clouds and tell me what do you see

Hold my hand, I’ll tell you why I love you more

Julie you’re the reason I’m living for


And sometimes

I wonder if this is a dream

In my mind

Then I see you smiling

And calling out my name

Julie it’s you

Julie it’s you


  1. 10.Sad Sweet Song


I used to have a funk in my soul

I could rock and I could roll

My lady says what became of the man

With the power in his hands

Spend up all your time

Sitting and drinking wine

Why don’t you go and do me like you used to do


One day like a bump on a log

I was laying on the couch with the dog

My lady says what you doing there

Acting like you don’t even care

Spend up all your time Sitting and drinking wine

Why don’t you go and do me like you used to do


She says hey

When you gonna play

Hey

When you gonna play

That sad sweet song of love like you used to do


Then I began to see

What the girl was telling me

After all I’m still the man

With the music in his hands

Not going to spend my time

Sitting and drinking wine

Got to go and do it like I used to do


Hey

When you gonna play

Hey

When you gonna play

Hey

When you gonna play

Hey

When you gonna play

That sad sweet song of love like you used to do


repeat

Program Order / Lyrics