Eleven Years Of Silence

by James Tristan Redding

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1.
It’s a long way down to the edge of town We should take our time let the clock unwind baby stick around Did you ever feel like a dream was real Never mind the facts baby don’t look back, let your heart be still And kick your feet up Yeah, kick your feet up, girl Well, we don’t have much, but each other’s touch So kick your feet up When your hopes and mine maybe cross the line Take a window seat, try to get some sleep if you’re so inclined Just a few more miles to the sweet sunshine We can rest our heads at the water’s edge, all we need is time To kick your feet up, go ahead Well kick your feet up, hey why not Yeah, we’re sinking slow baby just let go And kick your feet up After everyone has left the platform And it’s so quiet you can hear the planes I’ll be waiting for you on the boardwalk You know the wonder wheel doesn’t feel the same Through the open doors to the vinyl floor Past the empty seats to the one heartbeat you’ve been waiting for Just an outside chance off a single glance But the Stillwell lights on a summer night make me wanna’ dance So kick your feet up and lose those shoes Kick your feet up, show ‘em how it’s done Baby don’t ask why just let me see those eyes And kick your feet up
2.
In the late 1980s I was kicking around All the rocks on the sidewalk of a belt buckle town On my freckled face rested what was left of dessert In my pockets were nested two big fistfuls of dirt Every Saturday morning life was made of cartoons As each day began yawning it was us and the moon Me and Benjamin’s daughter had the world on a string Man her laugh was like water, made the mockingbirds sing And we walked through the streets like an old pair of shoes Full of comfort and scuff marks, no sign of the blues We home cooked our mischief and handmade our fun Every moment was magic, two crooks on the run To this day my best memory of all those nights under the stars Lord forgive me, was spittin’ on cars I took Benjamin’s daughter to the crest of the hill With a backpack of roses and a promise to fill Her wild imagination way up over the top With the colors of August and she promised to swap Her sweet voice like a bluebird for a few knock knock jokes From my socks to my sunburn man I felt every note We both crouched on the concrete of the new overpass Laughing down at the drivers as we aimed for the glass And we walked through the streets like an old pair of shoes Full of comfort and scuff marks, no sign of the blues We home cooked our mischief and handmade our fun Every moment was magic, two crooks on the run To this day my best memory of all those nights under the stars Lord forgive me, was spittin’ on cars On a bright Tuesday morning in the month of July Holy hell without warning broke the blueberry sky Some rich bastard in Boston bought up Benjamin’s house Sweet and bitter the raindrops swift and blunt on my brow True to form did his daughter sail the sidewalk to shore Through a blanket of water and she knocked on my door Held my hand like an anchor and said the flood must be ours She said, “God got jealous of us, dear, so he’s spitting on cars”
3.
Everything I know tells me not to go Not to walk away just as you wave to say thanks It’s all that I can do to move my heavy shoes Up to East 105 with my heart in my hands And the words in the eyes of the girls and the guys That I pass hoping each will be you They say “run to her now, you fool, sing her the sound that you Hear when she walks in the room” Now the moon it is rising, the stars they are shining And as slow as the autumn was winter’s unwinding But now that it’s empty the uptown and I, we both Make believe like you’re still riding in the seat right beside me I still can’t believe all the things you see With a glance you can make the room dance on a dime As if you wrote the book and painted all the looks On the 8 million faces all frozen in time And it’s barely past midnight so I think I just might Hold out for the end of the line Because when we turn around to head right back downtown Just the cars, the conductor and I Watch the moon as it rises, the stars when they’re shining And as we start moving the winter’s unwinding But now that it’s empty the downtown and I, we both Make believe like you’re still riding in the seat right beside me Okay so it won’t all be flowers and sunshine And sometimes we’ll hurt and we’ll laugh through the tears But you’re pretty tough and I’m not bad myself So I stand here before you saying Happy New Year By now there’s a subway car headed to Queens And my northbound just let out a sigh Because even the train knows it just ain’t the same And the tracks all lead back to one moment exact When the moon it was rising, the stars they were shining And to my surprise it was winter unwinding But now that it’s empty the uptown and I, we both Make believe like you’re still riding in the seat right beside me
4.
The moon picked a fine place to hide out this evening The cab seems to know that you're thinking of leaving A change in the wind says get ready to wonder If one can get over what you have been under The hallway is leading your steps to the sidewalk Where everyone knows when you're just making small talk It's perfectly human to miss your old lover But you know a phone call won't help you recover How did I end up here So keep walking east past the Chinese and Russians A smile freaks the freaks out don't think that it doesn't A slice and a coffee will help to remind you What's rising before you sure beats what's behind you There's only one way to find freedom and justice Rip into the reins 'til the wheels are all busted When what stands between you and that which you're chasing Lies deep in the Hudson now ripe for replacing How did I end up here To open your heart is to take what you're getting With two open hands for the future descending You can't hold your breath for the rest of your days here So let go of your lungs and get ready to stay here Maybe they'll hire you to wait on the tables Or dance for the children or scout for the labels But for now get some sleep 'cuz tomorrow means business And call your old lover and beg for forgiveness
5.
God the radio here sucks tonight, pass the noodles I’m starving It’s the second door on the right, don’t you want one more beer? Peel ‘em all off and hit the light there’s no need to be graceful Don’t you dare, oh but I just might; it’s a good thing I’m here I can’t call you honey ‘cuz you ain’t all that sweet I can’t call you kitten because you’re not that discreet I can’t call you angel ‘cuz your wings are on fire Guess I better just start calling or you’ll call me a liar God your eyes are so dark, dear; black coffee and porcelain Like the three silent leap years because we both ain’t too smart Just in case you forget me dear, think of Texas but hotter Oh I sure hope you’ll let me here make an X by your heart I can’t call you cowgirl ‘cuz you took off your boots I can’t call you siren because we’re both in cahoots I can’t call you princess ‘cuz your crown’s on the floor So the next time I call you come on back and get some more Two pairs of shoes and a belt that don’t fit Nice new tattoo but it don’t mean shit Dust off the chains, untie the lace and hold back your hair You can’t stop the seasons, the change in your face or the cold country air I can’t call you darling ‘cuz that girl is dead I can’t call you sweetheart because it fucks with my head I can’t call you baby, ‘cuz you’re older than me So the next time I call you what the hell should it be?
6.
So if we get reborn, if there’s an afterlife And if we get to pick before the time arrives I’d go for something new, you know I’d change my tune A little levity, a little brevity, I wanna’ be The Dude What happens when we die? A lot of people say At the T.O.D. the soul flies away I wonder what’s the scoop, and do we get to choose So how’s my karma, and what the hell is dharma, I wanna’ be The Dude Clearly I was sleeping in philosophy class When all the kids were talkin’ ‘bout Immanuel Kant But every time Lebowski got a network broadcast All four of my eyes were pressed right up to the glass I bet Buscemi’s chill, and Goodman knows the deal You know beyond the grave they’re gonna’ keep it real We’re in a world of pain, so when this life is through I’m singing the Eagles, and bowling with Jesus, I wanna’ be The Dude I’m out of my element, so just for the hell of it Reincarnate me as The Dude How about a White Russian? Hey, end of discussion In my next life I wanna’ be The Dude
7.
I don’t wanna’ tell you I’m broken You don’t need to say you are too I won’t ever try to be the best man you know But you can always trust in my love I don’t wanna’ know where we’re going We don’t need to talk about God I won’t ever try to make you feel like you’re wrong You can always trust in my love Trust in my love and keep in rising off the ground Fly ever higher and don’t ever look down One sunny morning you’re gonna’ feel no pain Until then you can trust in my love There was a time I felt hopeless And thought every day would be my last We’ve come a long way and tomorrow ain’t easy But you can always trust in my love Trust in my love and keep in rising off the ground Fly ever higher and don’t ever look down One sunny morning you’re gonna’ feel no pain Until then you can trust in my love We may live to see our grandchildren grow Or we could leave this world tonight But every little moment I look into your eyes I’m surrounded in the most beautiful light I don’t wanna’ make you my anchor I don’t need a reason to stay And I won’t ever leave unless you ask me to go But when I’m gone remember this Trust in my love and keep in rising off the ground Fly ever higher and don’t ever look down One sunny morning you’re gonna’ feel no pain Until then you can trust in my love
8.
It must be six months since when we first met And I don’t like to admit it but it was better when I hid it The love was great but it didn’t take too long Before I wasn’t strong and it all went wrong So I had a few to relax And I went down by the tracks To a darker place inside But I was open wide, thinking Why does it rain every time I touch you Every time I think I found exactly what I need Tell me why do I cry every night when I am without you And loneliness is all that I can feel But when the sun shines down and you’re still not around The thing I miss the most I can’t explain Baby, why does it rain Well I drank myself to sleep every night for a week When I didn’t hear from you, oh Lord I wanted to And the whiskey spoke your name and it sang about the pain Of wondering where you are and if you still care Then I had a few to relax And took a walk ‘cross the tracks To a darker place inside But I was open wide, saying Why does it rain every time I touch you Every time I think I found exactly what I need Tell me why do I cry every night when I am without you And loneliness is all that I can feel But when the sun shines down and you’re still not around The thing I miss the most I can’t explain Baby, why does it rain And it won’t stop raining Your heart remaining Between such self-defense and self-defeat So you call your lover And then you discover A thousand little cracks in the concrete
9.
I found Christmas in New York City In a 4th floor walk up where everyone’s Chinese On a Thursday afternoon walking back from East Broadway With a coffee and a package under my left arm I’m gonna’ quit staying up until it’s almost morning And get back to getting moving when the sunlight breaks But for now I gotta’ keep on with the same old same old It’s not gonna’ get me rich but it’ll get me by I got about 100 letters that I need to start sending And twice that many phone calls just waiting on me Guess I’ll get a move on as soon as I tell Amy How it feels to come back home to 98 Clinton Where a brand new guitar is just waiting in the hallway And it’s signed by the man with the golden voice Then as if that’s not enough there’s a card with a button That you press and a cartoon Mexican dances and he sings Feliz Navidad, I hope you’re happy and you’re healthy Did you open up the socks? They should keep you warm and dry Congratulations on your concerts and your drive across the country North America’s your playground, better start treating it like a kid Now the man who taught you everything, how to sing and how to feel He drew this peacock and this dragon, here you can have a copy So remember to keep smiling, someone’s watching over you If this is Christmas, Santa sure knows how to light up this big city
10.
Heartbreak don’t mean nothing when the sunlight hits the dash All you need is courage now, and a little bit of cash Let the only reason that you left it all behind Be the best regret to keep tomorrow on your mind All across the country there are boys and girls like you On the verge of breaking but instead make something new No one gets to steal the things you carry in your heart Ease the clutch back slowly, let the trouble fall apart And the highway isn’t lonely with an A.M. radio And the daylight stays forever and you’re never all alone And a child in New York City waves a watermelon smile All the old mistakes seem silly, and you’re weightless for awhile Try to taste the morning with the palette of Van Gogh Reach behind your seat for that cassette of Counting Crows Look at all the license plates and all the states they’re from Each one is a painting of something you could become New Orleans is forever, maybe Austin is as well Sushi, coffee, cigarettes, we gave each other hell Eleven years of silence and a hundred days of stars Funny how Toronto waits for me and my guitar Some of us see time as walking forward in a line For me it’s all slow motion and right now it’s on rewind To a place where something’s sacred and we both have what we need For a better life by morning on the road alone and free

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Songs written while building a life in New York City.

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released July 1, 2015

Written, performed, and recorded by James Tristan Redding. Words and music copyright 2015 by James Tristan Redding. Registered with BMI. All rights reserved.

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James Tristan Redding Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Godin Guitars Official Artist and Founder of www.songaweek.org.

His catalog of 400+ titles includes collaborations with hit writers Mark Narmore, Steve Dean, Elliott Park and Pete and Pat Luboff, among others both stateside and worldwide.

Redding has landed cuts by recording artists Eli Alger, Dan Whitehouse, Emma Gale, and David Easterling.
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