Cameron Blake With Strings: LIVE

by Cameron Blake

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released December 20, 2010

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Cameron Blake Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Track Name: Hide and Go Seek
Don’t you underestimate us; we have lived here much longer than you know
Stack that woodpile in the corner, soaked in Bourbon it will burn right through the snow

Her flannel dangles on your shoulder, as your beard is growing older in the cold
You have loved so many others; you have shaken all the innocence you’ve stolen

Ready or not here I come to blank face stares at my shirt undone
Ready to run, but I can’t run, your mouth is wet, my chest is numb

The bird seed shells are black as raisons on the backdrop of the white December earth
And as you look out of your window, you become the person that you’ve always hurt

We’ve come so far in our deliverance, she says while digging through the drugstore in her purse
My halo’s sometimes rather crooked, I never tend to fear I’ve lived to see the worst

Ready or not here I come to blank face stares at my shirt undone
Ready to run, but I can’t run, your mouth is wet, my chest is numb

In the siren’s solitary whistle, the devil plays a contrapuntal jig for two
“Well, tell the truth like any other, but leave the part out where I cover up the truth”

A record scratches up the needle, the spotlight sizes up the center of the room
And there you stand with all your laundry, your clothes are dirty but my mind can see right through

Ready or not here I come to blank face stares at my shirt undone
Ready to run, but I can’t run, your mouth is wet, my chest is numb

Give us bread to wipe our faces, serve us wine to stain the places where we’ve been
I hear the mice jump under stove tops, round the pilot light to clear the crumbs I’ve left

Momma taught me how to hold you, how a woman wants the pillows on her bed
I wish our bodies never slept, I wish to Jesus that these thorns come off my head

Ready or not here I come to blank face stares at my shirt undone
Ready to run, but I can’t run, your mouth is wet, my chest is numb

Now the country is a monster, the combines rusting in an overgrow of mirth
Living hungry like mosquitoes, feeding on the backs of calves until they burst

The papers say I’ve killed a brother, but I was dead before the trigger shot him first
But everybody is forgotten, except the saints who pray each day for their re-birth

Ready or not here I come to blank face stares at my shirt undone
Ready to run, but I can’t run, your mouth is wet, my chest is numb
Track Name: Never Taught Much
Momma never taught me to sing
Daddy never taught me to cry
Now you tell me that I must go
And learn how to leave things behind

Momma never let me walk home
Daddy never took me to swim
The old road is open, my hands on the wheel
But I’ll never touch you again

Chorus 1
Where did you come from and who do you know
When all of the world is dying alone?
You say you’re my lover, my sister, my friend
But you’re just like the others, protecting your skin

Chorus 1A
The sun burns for sinners, it rises for saints
And all your inheritance is lost in a blink
The costume was ugly, the mask bit my lip
You were quick to the punch, now I’m drowning in it

Momma never taught me to lie
Daddy never taught me to shave
Now every time I picture your smile
I shake and I can’t hold the blade

Momma never let me grow up
‘Cause daddy chased the monsters away
And as I watch these tears leave your eyes
I face that monster I clearly became

Chorus 1
Chorus 1A

Now you hear I’m coming back.
With all that I own and all that I lack
I will hand you a letter with a picture that if you
Remember deserves a good laugh

That momma never learned how to sing
Daddy never let himself cry
Now it’s time for me to run free and leave
And live off the land for awhile
Track Name: The Love Song Never Died
Her old pickup is stuck in the grass
That grew longer in the summer of ’03
When the flood rains washed over all our paths through the trees
Where the men grew hard and the women watched their faces
And the children ceased their racin’ just to see if they’d break
But the love song never died
The love song never died
The love song never died, except in me

The radio buzzed lonely over miles to the background hum
Of the kitchen in the valley where our fingers touch
Where men lay down and the women watched their faces
And the children ceased their racin’ just to see if they’d sleep
But the love song never died
The love song never died
The love song never died, except in me

It’s lonely out here. The desert is asleep. It’s lonely out here, where the mockingbird speaks.
It’s lonely out here. The boxcar smoke is sweet. It’s lonely out here, the nails that pierce our feet.

You’ll come on back someday
When every scene’s been played
With you I’ll stay forever

You’ll come on back someday
When every string’s been frayed
With you I’ll stay forever

The love song never died
The love song never died
The love song never died, except in me

All the books that you read
Stacked by size against the mahogany frame of your bed
I read them all beside you ‘til the lamp grew dim
Where the moonlight lit your painted lips turned ivory
Your fingernails like diamonds as they claw to be fed
And men repent when the women wash their faces
And the children take their places in the cool of the dead
But the love song never cried
The love song never cried
The love song never cried, except for me
Track Name: Baltimore
Beat up little seagull
On a marble stair
Tryin’ to find the ocean
Lookin’ everywhere

Hard times in the city
In a hard town by the sea
Ain’t nowhere to run to
There ain’t nothin’ here for free

Hooker on the corner
Waitin’ for a train
Drunk lyin’ on the sidewalk
Sleepin’ in the rain

And the people hide their faces
And they hide their eyes
‘Cause the city’s dyin’
And they don’t know why

Oh Baltimore
Ain’t it hard just to live
Oh, Baltimore
Ain’t it hard just to live, just to live

Get my sister Cindy
And my little brother Ray
Buy a big old wagon
To haul us all away

Live out in the country
Where the mountain’s high
Ain’t never comin’ back here
‘Til the day I die

Oh, Baltimore
Man, it’s hard just to live
Oh, Baltimore
Man, it’s hard just to live, just to live
Track Name: This Is All
If this is all the journey
If this is all the race
This is all worth living if this is all the case

In all the ways I struggle
In all the ways I fall
If this is all the meaning
Then tell me this is all

This is all the failure
If this is all the blood
If this is all the bruising
Then this is shitty love

In all the ways I’m hurting
In all the ways I’m wrong
If this is all the meaning then tell me this is all

This is all the passion
If this is all the pain
If this is all the comfort
Then we are all to blame

If this is all the freedom
And this is all the crime
Then this all confusion
When this man is left to die

Take it all
Take it all on
My weary song

Take it all
Take it all on

Give me one more chance to breathe
One more chance to believe

That this is all the journey
This is all the race
This is all worth living if this is all the case
Track Name: Hudson Line
I’ll blame any ol’ thing.
But you haven’t left me
from New York to Poughkeepsie,
out into the sea
where the Hudson runs through
a cold iron engine,
of old fashion values
you couldn’t hold true.

Like the levy that breaks
from cracks in the damn,
like the willow that bends
its roots till the sand.
But you can’t understand
where the ripples began,
but it hurts all the same
to see her hold another man’s hand.

I’ll tell any ol’ lie,
but I couldn’t betray you.
My pride and my virtues
have stunt my disease.

I’m not the bravest of men,
but I’ve owned Staten Island
with a flag and an ink pen,
a small price for the free.

Like the levy that breaks
From cracks in the damn,
like the willow that bends
its roots till the sand.
But you can’t understand
where the ripples began,
but it hurts all the same
to see her hold another man’s hand.

The most restless of years,
the cotton grew thicker.
The roosters were pickin’
an’ ate the hen’s grain.

And you cherished me once
when business was booming,
our warm blood consuming
the body’s terrain.

Like the levy that breaks
from cracks in the damn,
like the willow that bend
its roots till the sand.
But you can’t understand
where the ripples began,
but it hurts all the same
to see her hold another man’s hand.

Don’t look at me moon,
leave me in shadows
and the sound of railroad
will drown out her tune.

Oh, this broken ol’ car
from New York to Poughkeepsie -
it cannot change me,
then why’d it have to change you?
Track Name: Willow Tree
Elm tree won’t you shelter me?
Plastic branches choke my leaves
Your trunk is tangled to the roots
Elm tree build me stronger like you do

Oak tree bend down, lift my head
Dancing shadows shade my bed
Dripping veins and buzzing pulse
Oak tree take me, capture all my heart

Ash tree can you help me breathe
When I am stuck to this machine?
The gardener carved out the rotten core
Ash tree fill me deeper one time more

A blue jay steals the cardinal’s seed
A frightened hare’s in the fox’s teeth
Crying out “Kind sir, be good to me
And lay my head at the willow tree”

And I don’t know why men must fall
When we can’t see the face of God
The birch tree tears, its skin is weak
So lay my head at the willow tree

Lime tree will you watch me go?
All my children want to know
These tart and sour blasts are long
Some say that I’m too far gone
And I will find you where

A blue jay steals the cardinal’s seed
A frightened hare’s in the fox’s teeth
Crying out “Kind sir, be good to me
And lay my head at the willow tree.”

And I don’t know why man must fall
When they can’t see the face of God
The birch tree tears, its skin is weak
So, lay my head at the willow tree
I hang my head from the willow tree
Track Name: Moonshiner
I’ve been a moonshiner for seventeen long years
I spent all my money on whiskey and beer
I go to some hollow and set up my still
But if whiskey don’t kill me
Then I don’t know what will

I go to some barroom and drink with my friends
Where the women can’t follow and see what I spend
God bless them pretty women
I wish they was mine
Their breath is as sweet as
The dew on the vine

Let me eat when I’m hungry
Let me drink when I’m dry
Give me dollars when I’m hard up
Religion when I die

The whole world’s a bottle
And life’s but a dram
When the bottle goes empty
Well, it ain’t worth a damn
Track Name: Baby Come Home
When all of the lights go low
And even your eyes don’t glow
And all that you want is to leave

When each end of the candle burns
And only the seasons turn
Then baby come home to me

Chorus 1
When all of the scenery changes
And we’re under a cloud of danger
I will love you through the war

Chorus 1A
When all of our feelings crumble
And we’re under a sky of thunder
I will love you through the storm
I will love you all the more

When all of the tide rolls in
And the waves are too high to swim
And you never get what you need

When all of warmth is gone
And the embers are ash, and the ash turns to coal
Baby, come home to me

Chorus 1
Chorus 1A

Here we are walking in time, beating the same old drum
Maybe you’ll find that love is easy when you are mine

Here we are, fingers entwined, trapping the same old thumbs
Maybe we’ll find that love is easy
When you are mine

‘Cause when all of the lights go low
And we’ve got to take things slow
I need you here with me,
So baby, come home to me
Track Name: Where the Blossoms Fall
The man with seven dollars walks the plank today.
His shirt is stained with evening mixed with hunger, hunger, hunger.
He’s heard it said that love is just a game we play
-the uncertainty of innocence, the over-used clichés.

The woman with a hairnet woke up late tonight.
Her tender eyelids circled in a weary, weary, weary life
of punching in the hours while her thoughts parade
around her ring-less finger that feels naked as it punches out the pain.

The child with her hands tied tight around the clock,
she doesn’t know what’s better, better, better for her future stock
is built upon the feeling that she’s nothing much
-a single withered flower in a broken flower pot.

Do you want to go? Go where the canyon splits?
Do you want to see? See the sun in all its radiance?
Do you want to hold me in your arms?
For where the blossoms fall, I will be and I will call,
“Good shepherd, walk this moonshiner home.”

The mother with her make-up and her posh perfume,
who’s waiting for her boss to call her “baby, baby, baby”
got the kids off early and her husband’s gone.
Her life becomes a movie when she puts her high-heel Pradas on.

The father with his briefcase and his cigarettes
off to save the country with his fighting, fighting politics.
His temper breeds production, his look is fierce -
a ten cent soul that’s dropping in a thousand dollar suit.

Do you want to go? Go where the canyon splits?
Do you want to see? See the sun in all its radiance?
Do you want to hold me in your arms?
Do you want to hold me in your arms?
Do you want to hold me in your arms?

For where the blossoms fall I will be and I will call
“Good shepherd, walk this moonshiner home.”