Eleven Years Of Silence

by James Tristan Redding

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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 New York, New York

James Tristan Redding is a singer-songwriter in the tradition of American narrative, putting poignant and sometimes whimsical lyrics to accessible, memorable melodies. Redding was raised in the mid-west by British parents and wrote, recorded, and toured with Alt-Country group Union Pulse (2002-2012). Now in his 30s, James is building a catalog of original material written and recorded on the road. ... more

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Track Name: Kick Your Feet Up
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
Track Name: Spittin' On Cars
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”
Track Name: The Seat Right Beside Me
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
Track Name: How Did I End Up Here
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
Track Name: Can't Call You Baby
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?
Track Name: Jeff Bridges You Beautiful Bastard
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
Track Name: Trust In My Love
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
Track Name: Why Does It Rain
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
Track Name: Christmas on Clinton and Delancey
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
Track Name: 100 Days Of Stars
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