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Leap Songs, Part 1

by James Tristan Redding

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Well it's the same old tune I fell hard and fast three sheets over the moon Fools rush in and baby I wasn't ready It was the first of many You've heard it all before She went and shattered my heart across the floor It was cold and dark it was sharp and heavy Yeah it was the first of many Many night I'd lay awake Many chances that I'd take Many many things I wish I could undo Many faces I've become Many more before I'm done Many words I wanna' say to you So just try to hold it steady This is the first of many Now this ain't nothin' new Paint the town blood wake up with the blues I lost a fortune and found a lucky penny Just the first of many
Locked inside a locket A picture of your heart Given like a sentence Holding all the cards Sand won't hold forever Finally broken free I have drawn a straight line Between you and me Never walk out on a friend Never force another's hand Never doing that again Off in never land Never talk behind their back Never promise me forever You never did me right until tonight You walked away and I heard you say Say never Almost glad it happened You were nearly mine Slipped out with the sun set It was almost kind Memories they are fleeting Love is faster still Sneaks in while you're sleeping Out again like a whippoorwill
You're a tall glass of something And cold as they come I didn't see you comin' Until the fall had begun I was sunk like a sailor Beat like a drum You had me baby Between your finger and thumb You were a fever dream A galaxy joyride The chaos of an upside down world My insides were outside Somebody shut me up quick Before I get hysterical And you're not the love of my life You're just a chemical Slip in my doorway All subtle and sweet Drag me like concrete To the depths of the sea Straight to my liver Come make me bleed And I will remember What you did to me
Some days he's just hella' tired Gotta' call into work risk gettin' fired Rent due car note flat tire flat broke Some days he's just hella' tired Some nights she just can't do it Did it all last night right now she can't get through it Real glad the baby's dad showed up but still feels bad Some nights she just can't do it We all many hats night after night day after day Belly up or buy a pack just to feel okay Pick your poison make your choices play it forward play it back We all many hats Some folks never seem to get it Any second luck could change but they don't let it What am I so afraid to lose why don't I try something new Some folks never seem to get it
I can't cook much good lord help me Oven is stone cold kitchen's empty Never cared that much to learn One too many times got burned Lucky for me the smoke and the steam They don't prevent me I can still reinvent me There's one recipe I can bake with both eyes shut Whatever ingredients I have on hand they're just enough One part pain Two parts time Mix in with patience And the barest beginning of a smile Yeah I can't cook much But lessons on toast It's plenty for dining alone I can't cook much microwave is my best friend Save those leftovers and heat 'em up again My fridge has never been for food It's just ketchup and Mountain Dew Lucky for me all the things I don't know Will not stop me servin' These things I'm learnin'
A kiss from you is like a summer day Sun's been down since you went away This umbrella barely keeps me dry My memory replays that blue sky But it’s raining in Birmingham Coming down in Topeka The water is risin' up Getting deeper and deeper It’s pouring in Madison Flooding from the dirt to the stars And all the weatherman know It's because that's not where you are Walked in the dark since you been gone How can one road stretch so long Coat is soaking wet as are both shoes Learning to love the rain if you want the truth
Guns don't kill people politicians do Dig a big old hole bury the truth Epitaph says he was resisting duress How many more it's anybody's guess Guns don't kill people politicians do Guns don't kill people fragile egos do You won't listen to me I won't listen to you Billions take orders from a couple guys in suits Nevermind that they're lying freeze or I'll shoot Guns don't kill people fragile egos do Guns don't kill people sick systems do We're fightin' each other they make off with the loot Brother on brother let them choke on cake Unfriendly fire while the enemy escapes Guns don't kill people sick systems do Guns don't kill people white lies do Whitewash anything brown all black and blue Get used to the cussing normalize the hate Keep runnin' out the clock until it's too late Guns don't kill people white lies do Guns don't kill people songwriters do Audio transmission a case of the Too Woke Blues Keep on listenin' 'til the old you is dead Let the new ideas germinate in your head Guns don't kill people songwriters do
Close those eyes listen closely Open hands open heart Darker days are approaching Time to find a brighter spark Even now it's within you You were born in the light Shine and shimmer you begin to Be the brightest star tonight Star light star bright You were born with hope inside Star light star bright You were born with hope inside Seasons change so do lovers One walks out one walks in Honor still one another No ones loses no one wins Light the fuse feel the fire Even if you're tired still Let yourself be lifted higher If you will it then it will
You were never on my mind Hope that doesn't make you sad I don't mean to be unkind Or throw away love we've had No excuses I don't need 'em You're the finest of the fine I hope you catch the reason You were never on my mind Your picture's in my wallet Your pillow's on my bed Your name is never far away From anything I've said Across the distance and the time We're not so far apart You're never on my mind But you're always in my heart You were never on my mind Tell me dear was I on yours And maybe true love isn't blind It's a lighthouse on the shore While you're out there on the sea I'll keep watch from far behind Same way you look out for me You were never on my mind Your hair is on the good book Your scent is on my shirt Your eyes are everywhere I look So beautiful it hurts
I'm the star of an adult movie Ain't as hot as it sounds Defrost dinner so it's gettin' juicy While the thermostat is goin' down Every scene is rated R That's R like Responsibility I sure do love bein' the star Of an adult movie I'm the star of an adult movie Sexy music drivin' home from work Light a candle in my birthday suity Fill the laundry bin with pants and shirt Hit the shower singin' Bad To The Bone Bedroom's waitin' for me Silk sheets dozin' off alone To the dreams of an adult movie I'm the star of an adult movie Ding dong hey the plumber's here Fixin' pipes in my old jacuzzi Just repairs dude nothin' weird No time for swingin' dicks Forget the cleavage cover up the booty Ain't into them dirty flicks It's hard work in an adult movie
I was not there in the garden Did not take the bait Heaven's heart began to harden Before I learned to pray Will I disappear if you take away my sin How would my footsteps remember where they've been Do I need savin' again and again What becomes of me if you take away my sin Sun comes up goes back down I been livin' in between Chasin' freedom I've never found Spirit's willing flesh is weak Will I disappear if you take away my sin How would my footsteps remember where they've been Do I need savin' again and again What becomes of me if you take away my sin What makes a man need forgiveness Gives that man a voice I been silent and superstitious Since I was a boy
How will I remember New Years through November To the light shine down on me and you Sisters and my brothers We'll help one another Speak it clear and bright We can start tonight Let a little light shine on through When the morning is freezing And midnight is too Sleep won't come 'til someone Drops the other shoe When your straightjacket ain't straight And all the saints are crooked too Don't forget you gotta' let The light shine on through When the good cop and the bad cop Choke out the truth And you gave up the ghost But it won't give up you When the liquor store's empty And the pistol is too Please open wide While the light shines on through When it seems like you're sinking In an blanket of blue And the band keeps on playin' Like they ain't got a clue Though your heart has been broken And your ego is bruised Remember each November Let the shine on through
Two eggs over easy Coffee refills free Hadn't seen his face before Nor had he seen me Chatter in the background Silent where we sat Pair of wayward strangers Sitting back to back How close have you come to what you're chasin' Which will win today you or what you're facin' Should I hunt him down or does he complete me Dancing with the devil over easy Ketchup off my table Empty as the night A voice came from behind me You can borrow mine Bright red from the bottle On my china plate Counting down the minutes 'Til we both walk away How close have you come to what you're chasin' Which will win today you or what you're facin' Am I supposed to win or does he complete me Dancin' with the devil over easy Never looked right at him He didn't look at me Two men simply acting On what they believe Maybe I'll yet catch him Another sunny day This morning we had breakfast Before he slipped away
3 frogs one log one decides to jump Talks tough enough livin' on this stump High time he tries to ditch this dump 3 frogs one log one decides to jump 3 frogs one log sun goin' down 1 craves escape just gettin' out Still here oh dear what does he do now 3 frogs one log sun goin' down How many frogs are on the log Well that all depends How many really took the action That's what matters in the end 3 frogs one log night creepin' in 1 thinks this stinks he just can't win Wanna' go doesn't know where to begin 3 frogs one log night creepin' in 3 frogs one log can we really change 1 thing today in the same old same We've heard big words easy to say 3 frogs one log can we really change
Good old Jesus where you been I don't know where to begin Human race could use a friend Good old Jesus Good old Jesus hates the war Wonder who he voted for Picks a tune on his front porch Good old Jesus Good old Jesus five feet tall Climbed the cross and took the fall Found his name in the bathroom stall Good old Jesus Two thousand years of waitin' here for you So what the hell's another one or two Good old Jesus ain't much left to lose World says just give up but I refuse Good old Jesus built to fight Smells like hooch and Lucky Strikes Help me make it through the night Good old Jesus Good old Jesus heart is broke All my dreams went up in smoke Sometimes life's a dirty joke Good old Jesus Good old Jesus skin and bone He only rolled away the stone So we could walk each other home Good old Jesus
Love is a candle on a winter day Flicker so fragile then it blows away Everything's brighter when the blaze begins But nothing is standing when the fireworks end We burn it down down to the ground And then we do it again White hot flames and I call your name Out loud 'til the end I'll go up in smoke Turn to ash and choke on what remains Just for one more night when you and I Are dancing like a flame Your heart is paper mine's gasoline I love the danger in the spark between Someday the embers will slowly die We'll stop igniting but not tonight You got a lighter I got a match Let's start a fire go up in a flash
Night is long sky is dark There's a big hole in my heart When the pain began I can't remember But today I surrender Head is beat soul is bruised This body's black and blue I've lost the lines unwinding pain from pleasure So tonight I surrender I surrender right here and now I surrender and lay my burden down (weapons down) No happy ending sick and tired of pretending Torn and tender (give me shelter) (voice may tremble but) I surrender Can't make right what went wrong There's nowhere I belong But I believe it won't be like this forever On my knees I surrender You hurt me I hurt you It's tragic and it's true We're better off apart than still together I've had enough and I surrender
Goin' on a hike packin' what I oughtta' Bug spray pocket knife lots of water Smart phone camera in case I see an otter Aim real quick make sure I caught 'er Goin' on a hike bringin' things I should Like some toilet paper so I can wipe my butt You know the old question 'bout a bear in the woods Do they crap out there if I was them I would Goin' on a hike got my protein bars High top boots and a pickle jar Why would I bring a pickle jar That's my commitment to the rhyme I always take it too far Goin' on a hike with my buddy Rob He's a private chef that's a bad ass job Anything you like he can cook no prob But when we're out in the woods We sound like Calvin and Hobbs Goin' on a hike up at 3am Only slept a bit coulda' used more REM No not the band though I do like them Good old Michael Stipe yeah he's such a gem Goin' on a hike neighbor pissed me off Made a bunch of noise around 10 o'clock I hope their cat pukes on their favorite socks And that Elon Musk ruins all their stocks A song every day while I'm tryin' to hike Had to write this one before twilight I'll be real tired when we get back tonight Maybe this ain't a hit but it came out alright
Never guessed it the way it ended That I’d never be the same I’ll remember some days forever Make friends with the pain I made friends with the pain Friday night turned into Sunday Left me spinning in the wind I didn’t dream this or see it coming But I don’t regret a thing I don’t regret a thing Some nights I shiver can’t get warm Some nights are shelter from the storm Some morning afters the sky is bright Sun lights the ashes left by you and I Some nights Memory’s hazy the nights all blend To one amazing kiss Some nights seem to fly some never end Some are just like this Well some they're just like this
I been told I'm dumb as dirt And I should be so lucky There is magic in those words For a guitar pickin' dummy Dumb as rocks mud or sand The ground where we're stepping In my creator's hands Pretty much a blessing What does dirt do? Holds up the trees Helps the corn grow and the mustard seed Make a mountain and grow a garden Clean the air in my apartment Let the worms call it their turf That makes me the luckiest man on earth If I'm as dumb as dirt All my friends are dumb as dirt They care for Mother Nature On her behalf they hurt For her strength they labor They're dense enough to say Humans aren't too smart We're throwin' our brains away And thinkin' with our hearts
Darkness on the edge of town Someone crying in their drink Neon casting shadows down On the tan line from a ring Broken hearts on empty streets So sure midnight is a curse Yes that's what I believed Until the night when I met her When she took me by the hand Led me back to her hotel We explored the word romance In ways I swore I'd never tell Held each other as we faded While that desert sun did rise Not a single moment wasted That's the other side of midnight Stars all sparkle up above Moon illuminates your heart Before you know it you're in love Damn near glowing in the dark You'll forget the threat of midnight And slippers made of glass If she finds you in the twilight She won't even ask
Give thanks with your heart wide open Give thanks each and every moment What if tomorrow lifts away What we’re not grateful for today Give thanks in the words you’ve spoken I am right wing I am left I am shoestring I am wealth I am pilgrim native man Blood and soil brave new land Give me reason gimme’ rhyme Couple scraps and I’ll survive Tell the ones who haven’t heard Don’t look now but in a word I’m the bird I am freedom I am bound I am legal underground I am eagle I am dove I’m the people I’m one love Shoot my bones down cook me up It will never be enough Tell the ones who haven’t heard Don’t look now but in a word I’m the bird
In a song the sky is blue The world is fair men tell the truth We all walk a mile in each other’s shoes In a song summer lasts all year Every evening's bright and clear Perfect picture before the sunset disappears We don’t mean to hurt each other Still it seems time after time Father mother sister brother How did life get so unkind Tried to love you got it wrong You’re all I wanted all along Night is black not a star to wish upon It’s easier to love you in a song In a song some dogs live forever All the rest go straight to heaven To that big farm you'll forgive the old expression In a song we get a second chance With what's her name at the high school dance God don't laugh at all my little plans
Used to show off all of our memories like a trophy Loving you was the best biggest part of my life Tracing my steps back trying to look ever more closely No idea how I got where I got to tonight And you're somewhere other than here And I've run out of both faith and fear And the miles and the years they have done What you told me they'd do And I can't take back all my mistakes And I guess you took all you could take And they tell me there's someone else out there But I don't know who The numbers the same the address hasn't changed Even the plants haven't moved I would tell you I'm waiting at home But this house ain't a home without you Little red door at the top of the staircase Chair where you told me you felt like the rain Then one day you got up and stepped on an airplane You take the round trip I'll take the blame
Feeling lonely you text me over 'Cause you want to talk Same old fighting same old story Then you shut me out I've been trying getting closer To finally understand Where I'm failing where I'm losing touch But I don't think I can I can let you down I can let you cry But I can't let you in my heart again I can let you drink I can let you dream But I can't let you in my heart again I locked you out you crawled back in Threw the deadbolt drew the chain But here you are again A little advil with some coffee Never lets me down In my feelings under a blanket Never hear a sound
Peace and love to everyone Well almost you know who you are Forgive and forget what's done is done Except a few you know who you are Warm wishes wholesome holidays And a happy new year To everyone on earth I know Minus two or three you know who you are Don't look at me You know who you are You know what you've done Deep down in your heart All the good boys and girls Please disregard Those with coal in your stockings You know who you are A rising tide lifts all ships Always lead with the heart All for one and one for most You know who you are Your inner child only speaks the truth Except the ones that are liars Namaste away from you Y'all know who y'are
How do you make a heart stop hurting Undo the damage life has done It isn’t easy but I’m learning Mornings get brighter one by one One more step toward what you hope for One more sleep The dawn will pour in and your life will begin The ones who have been losing will win One more step Just one more step that’s all that’s left Just one more step get out of bed Just one more step see what you get Just one more step inside your head What if true love is looking for you If you can make it through today Someone who just wants to adore you Chase all the darkest days away
My head and my heart Fingers and toes Under the toenails Inside my nose Both of my shoulders And these wobbly knees My eyes and my ears The soles of my feet Everything aches In this body of mine Well it's weak and it's failing Yes it's deaf and it's blind The insides are outside Outside is in What doesn't hurt Is when I surrender again My past and my present Future mistakes Learning my lesson Sure hard to take Loving and leaving And letting it all go History's repeating The devil we know
Yes is the reason I get out of bed No time for wasting and none for regret Yes picks my feet up left right left Could always say no but I haven't yet Yes to the one who makes my heart dance So that's a no to all other romance Yes that's risk I'm taking a chance No it ain't perfect but it ain't so bad Yes here and now means a no somewhere else Yes to this moment yes to myself No use in crying all I can do is my best No makes more space for a yes Sometimes out loud is how it's expressed Sometimes a yes is silent consent Sometimes we speak so no one has to guess A no means a no that's a one word sentence


released December 1, 2023


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James Tristan Redding Nashville, Tennessee

British-American songwriter, singer, audiobook narrator, studio player, Godin Guitars official artist.

Founded global collective www.SongAWeek.org, performance art experience The Under Over: tinyurl.com/tuo22 (song circle underneath a highway) and writing retreat www.TheNashville24.com (annual challenge: write 24 songs in 24 hours).

Cuts by Sarah Harralson, Eli Alger, Emma Gale, David Easterling
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