Song A Week, Volume 6

by James Tristan Redding

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1.
Quiet all along the highway Sun peeking over the trees Wind picked up but I wore my coat And it feels alright to me Come out here every morning Sit quiet and listen clear Blue crayon and a piece of paper And I watch these lines appear Some people seek salvation in heaven Other folks build it here on earth Me I'm just lucky to count my blessings Anytime I can find the words Younger self well I never woulda' guessed What's always on the top of the list Get an early start tomorrow Pack a little bag to bring Blanket and a pair of mittens Winter's gonna' turn to spring
2.
I can't take it back I can't change the facts I can't make the past be something else I can't get too close I can't let you go I can't dream of loving someone else One more touch one more embrace Please don't leave me now There must be some saving grace To rise about the doubt Go the distance take my hand Lead me like a child One last night baby one more stand Just one more mercy mile I can't be so cold I can't see the road I can't draw the blinds or shut the door I can't seem to say I can't walk away I can't live without you anymore It's too late it's not too late All I need is you to stay
3.
Cold morning coffee color of soil About as thick as motor oil Like molasses a couple of drops Made a halo on the countertop Cold morning coffee forgot it was there Stained the paper on the rocking chair Mug is sittin’ on the kitchen floor Left over from the night before Cold morning coffee sharp as a knife Unforgiving like weighted dice Some kinda’ frozen oblivion Heart made of obsidian Cold morning coffee heavy roast Somewhere south of Mexico Bitter as winter as dry as dust Almost dead like the two of us
4.
Place called Eldorado a couple hours from OKC One square mile somewhere in the middle between you and me Sick of these palm trees and I miss the way you laugh What if I go east and you head west and we cut the drive in half Bet there's fields of gold and green that glisten in the rain Never made a footprint there and no one knows your name Do you still have that Subaru with a peace sign on the back I got me an old Chevrolet and I just filled up the tank Hope you're leavin' Greenville L.A. just disappeared I'm flyin' like an eagle there ain't no rear view mirror Mile markers flashing by lead to where I'll spend all my tomorrows A place called Eldorado A couple books and a baseball cap the shirt you bought for me Heart racin' as I tossed 'em all on the empty shotgun seat Bet you're on a two lane road in the Appalachian snow Somewhere in the desert I turned on that radio Guess you got through Knoxville I just passed Santa Fe And I ain't gonna' stop 'til I see your pretty face Mile markers flashing by lead to where I'll spend all my tomorrows A place called Eldorado Sometime after midnight I tried to call you up Telephone kept ringin' got this feelin' in my gut Shook it off like I always do and rolled the windows down Lit another cigarette too late to turn back now Mile markers flashing by lead to where I'll spend all my tomorrows A place called Eldorado
5.
Got up today wrong side of the bed Rock n’ roll hangover in my head Stumbled to the kitchen and I lost my frown 'Cuz she was percolating to the coffee sound Pop went the toast, and up she jumped Do-si-do'd with the fridge and closed the door with a thump Dancin' in the kitchen singin' a song Feelin' 'bout as happy as the year is long Banging on the pots and rattling the dishes What a way to start the day Dancing in the kitchen Sizzling bacon is her high hat beat Pancakes flipping to the time in her feet Singing along to the tune in her heart Spatula microphone like a superstar Scrambling the eggs is her rhythm section As she makes my favorite breakfast confection Dancin' in the kitchen singin' a song Feelin' 'bout as happy as the year is long Banging on the pots and rattling the dishes What a way to start the day Dancing in the kitchen Jumpin' on the table in a cloud of dust 'Cuz the floor's not high enough
6.
Engine runnin' strange need the oil changed Go see Billy at the fillin' station He'll top up the tank and it won't break the bank And he's always good for makin' conversation Diner on the left lady's name is Tess Makes the county's finest apple pie Summer through to winter breakfast lunch and dinner Gotta' have a piece before you die But if you're feelin' lost like you can't see no way out Lookin' for some answers when all you got is doubt If you're out on the edge with nothin' left to lose I know who to send you to There's some things in this world only God can do When you're feelin' low there's a place just up the road Keystone Karaoke's goin' down If you can't sing a lick they won't mind a bit Cheapest kind of therapy in town If you need a little peace to get you through the night A candle in the darkness to shine a little light If your heart is broken and you're feelin' like a fool I know who to send you to There's some things in this world only God can do I ain't tryin' to say that God won't find a way Of showin' up through someone else The people that you meet might be His hands and feet I'm sure he don't mind the help Well if you need the grace that'll quench your thirsty soul And a cup that will not empty further down the road If you're lookin' for redemption for something tried and true I know who to send you to There's some things in this world only God can do
7.
Five foot nothin' leather for skin County line furthest he's ever been Diesel engine big cloud of dust Live and die by the land Ain't no backtalk do all your chores One turned seven other one's four Proud of teachin' and raisin' 'em up Fine as anyone can Soil is rich pockets are empty House is fallin' apart Work the field yield'll be plenty In the home and the heart Nothin' comes easy there's no guarantees Still he's planting the seeds One hard morning he will not rise Tears will fill up his children's eyes Angels came down from heaven above Guess it's time to go home Ain't no bible for bailin' the hay Ain't no preacher who knows what to say That don't stop 'em from spreadin' his love Where the seeds are all sewn
8.
I look just like my dad, same hair and pale gray eyes But when I act like mama well it ain't no big surprise My younger years were filled up with kitchen table lessons Like please n thanks n don't complain n always count your blessings Followed in her footsteps when I got a part time job A buck means more when you earn it with a dustpan and a mop Sure some nights I cry but man she did that too Maybe there were some things I was always gonna do I believe no one's perfect And when we make mistakes the world keeps turning If there's some kinda' master plan for how we outta live Had mine passed down to me just like mama did No one holds a grudge like me I learned it from the best Still each Sunday morning I kneel and I confess Didn't love my neighbor or I hung up on a friend Or I said a few four letter words other than amen I believe no one's perfect When we make mistakes the world keeps turnin' If there's some kinda' master plan for how we outta live Had mine passed down to me just like mama did Married young and raised a son and I taught him right from wrong How to laugh and love and live even when I'm gone Prayer reaches where we can't so lift one to the sky Oh just like mama did when grandma said goodbye
9.
It was dawn but also midnight And somehow also 3am I was moments from my last rites Until I saw a man named Kent It was Paris and Nova Scotia And at the same time Annecy He was sort of like a human Visa Everywhere you want to be So where's the conflict where's the drama Where's the problem you may ask You see I'd come across a deadly llama That nearly ended my sorry ass Why was he angry this crazy mammal What was his problem his urgent strife Turns out the llama had just been rankled By Nik Newark's drum and fife The creature charged me with nostrils flaring I saw my life flash before my eyes The lights were blinding the music blaring I thought I just might die tonight But then around the corner racin' Came a man with a plan The one and only Kent Q. Aitken A banjolele in his hand He lulled the llama by strummin' gently Into a state so calm and soothed And it got sweeter and downright friendly Instead of freaked out by their tunes So while I was once saved by the music From Nik Newark's drum and fife There came a night when in the confusion Kent Aitken also saved my life
10.
Packed it all up in a rental van Guitar a girl and a half assed plan Heard that it's a 10 year town Better start makin' the rounds Fifty cold calls 'til they let me in Tiny office and a guy named Slim Thought my first song had a pretty good shot Then he said, "what else ya' got" I got mouths to feed I got bills to pay A dog and a wife and an H.O.A. I got high blood pressure one bad knee And a Volvo leakin' antifreeze To top it all off one verse and Slim said stop What else you got Hot take from my Uber driver What I needed was a great co-writer Said he was Tim McGraw's third cousin Hell he'd written almost a dozen We wrote a track just right for Garth Got as far as the driveway guards Sang it through the intercom A voice came back, "what else you got" I got outta' state plates and two flat tires And a radio tuned with needle nose pliers I got bootleg cable and uh, Obamacare And holes in all my underwear Dann Huff told me son you're really good, NOT What else ya' got I got to thinkin' how hard could it be To start a publishin' company Get the writers all lined up around the block Just so I can tell 'em what else ya' got I got smoker's cough I got whiskey shits And a mother in law that just won't quit I got plumber's crack I got athlete's foot And I'm still a long way from Brentwood There goes the mansion, the Rolex and the yacht What else ya' got Look out Music Row I'm comin' in hot What else ya' got
11.
Another town another show Didn't seem that long ago A one night stand and off I go Run down I hit the road again Haunted by the highway sound I close my eyes the lights go down Echos distant in my mind The days are long and the nights are longer As I stare out the darkened window Run down I hit the road hit again I feel the eyes of all the fans They all watch me as I stand On stage again And as we drive away I feel so empty But left them wanting more Run down I hit the road again The band, my friends Run down I hit the road again Yeah rock the night away Run down I hit the road again Another town another show Run down I hit the road again
12.
Bricks are just as strong as the weathered hand that lays them And the plan for where they're gonna' go Hammer and a level some work gloves and a pencil And brand new double A's in your radio I can build a house or I can tear it down I can work a forklift or a crane But thirty years of workin' only one thing's certain That I never want to build again Funny thing about time it changes your intentions Turns your blueprints upside down Built so many walls and it shifted my perspective Wanna' turn 'em into bridges now Jericho to China I'm not the only one Puttin' borders round his heart Golden Gate to Brooklyn the man that I've become Wants to bring together what's fallin' apart Funny thing about time it changes your intentions Turns your blueprints upside down Built so many walls and it shifted my perspective Wanna' turn 'em into bridges now
13.
Morning air smells like your perfume Layin' sleepless in my bedroom Day is fadin' to a full moon Feels like a perfect time to lose you From Hawaii to the bayou We ain't shinin' like the stars do Spark is burnin' out between me and you Gone as midnight in the afternoon Won't forget these moments with you But what's been done baby we can't undo Open up the goodbye door and walk on through You could turn back but why would you want to Drew my smile on like a cartoon We can't change who we turn into Engine all but runnin' on fumes Close as hand grenades and horseshoes Won't forget these moments with you But what's been done baby we can't undo Open up the goodbye door and walk through You could turn back but why would you want to We gave up there's no shame Can't light a candle in the pourin' rain I'm just gonna' say it I think we always knew Someone had to walk away it might as well be you
14.
Concrete in the mixer spinning round and round Two by fours in ditches dug into the ground Sweat rolls down the faces squinting in the sun At what they created in a cloud of dust Sculpture in the center posing with a dove Shaded by the shelter of cirrus clouds above Fishes in the water frozen as the sky Waiting on the winter underneath the ice Modern man must imitate the screen Even if we don't know what it means On the edge we stare at the abyss And wonder who made this Somewhere in the desert where there they built no road Is my buried treasure that's where I will go Leave behind this palace let this place decay Find myself a cabin dream the days away
15.
Half the prayer on earth lives in hospitals and prisons Guess that’s what it takes to get soul to listen A simple conversation can break your heart in two Funny how we learn to love what we’re just about to lose Doesn’t matter who or why it hurts to say goodbye But even then it’s sometimes been a blessing in disguise Every season I been seein’ more and more examples Life’s for livin’ and we ain’t given more than we can handle Like hot and cold like salt and pepper Oh God sure knows how to weave it all together I can make a plan but I better trust His timing And find the silver lining You know that moment when you're shakin' off a dream Ain’t awake ain’t still sleepin’ you’re somewhere in between Damn near twenty years I walked around like that Couldn’t see the forest through the trees the good inside the bad Like hot and cold like salt and pepper Oh God sure knows how to weave it all together I can make a plan but I better trust His timing And find the silver lining Movin’ on when someone’s gone is something you can’t measure Holdin’ hands or golden bands nothing lasts forever Wasn’t always pretty but it made me who I am I think I understand
16.
Keep my leavin' in the soles of my shoes In case I got a little leavin' to do, a little leavin’ to do I leave my boots by the foot of the stairs In case my leavin' wants to go somewhere, wants to go somewhere North to south east and west I keep on leavin' 'til there's nothin' left Close behind no matter where I go Seems the leavin' won't leave me alone Well I got me a job twenty dollars a day But my leavin' told me I gotta' walk away, gotta’ walk away The boss man asked me said what's the rush I was long gone in a cloud of dust, in a cloud of dust North to south east and west I keep on leavin' 'til there's nothin' left Follows me around no matter where I go Seems like this leavin' won't leave me alone I try to stay long as I can But the leavin' always seems to have other plans, have other plans Ask me where I'm goin' well I don't know Just a chasin' that leavin' on down the road, on down the road North to south east and west I keep on leavin' 'til there's nothin' left Close behind no matter where I go Seems like the leavin' Seems like the leavin’ Seems like the leavin' won't leave me alone
17.
You know the cookie's gonna' crumble You know the curtain's gonna' close But when all the tables tumble You ain't gonna' stumble 'cause you know The cookie's gonna' crumble Get your share grab a piece while you can Don’t be scared you better use both hands All them fragments big or small Ain't your dough after all You know the cookie's gonna' crumble You know the curtain's gonna' close But when all the tables tumble You ain't gonna' stumble 'cause you know The cookie's gonna' crumble Be prepared it's gonna' fall to the ground Beware it's goin' down down down Walla Walla to New Orleans It's gonna bust to smithereens You know the cookie's gonna' crumble You know the curtain's gonna' close But when all the tables tumble You ain't gonna' stumble 'cause you know The cookie's gonna' crumble yes it is Time will tell when that cookie Hits the bricks starts to boogie Race the clock move those shoes It's gonna crumble soon
18.
Half a million people in this town Why’s it feel so lonely when the lights go down Hard as I’m tryin’ I’m no good at readin’ minds But I can read between the lines Just like every place before Same old mistakes but this ain’t Kansas anymore The last decision in between these city limits Just outside that door You can have Wichita guess I’ll keep on lookin’ Gave it all I got to make it work until I couldn’t Somehow the dirt here seems to hold your memory You can have Wichita and it’s all Wichita to me I won’t pretend to understand The time I spent building castles in the sand Everywhere it brought me everything it taught me Well it made me who I am You can have Wichita guess I’ll keep on lookin’ Gave it all I got to make it work until I couldn’t Somehow the dirt here seems to hold your memory You can have Wichita and it’s all Wichita to me You can have the clovers that rise up when it rains Tall grass in the back yard those long hot summer days You can have the porch swing made for autumn evenings Lonely as the willow tree season after season
19.
Cracking paint and rusted hinges Are all that stand today In between two wooden bridges The heartbeat slipped away Used to hear the sound of laughter Children playing in the sun Seems like no one thought it mattered What their hometown would become And I can't say I got a reason Reason why I stuck around Lots of times I feel like leavin' But my feet won't walk me out Only sound here is the engine The only footprints left are mine Cracking paint and rusted hinges And that's the bottom line
20.
I think of Thomas Edison when I turn out the lights Compare my life to his even though I know that that ain't right Ask myself what good I've done as I board a crosstown bus Thinkin' 'bout miss Rosa Parks and all she did for us Do you ever wonder at the end of the day Why will they remember my name? There's a song that only you can sing And a dream that only you can dream There's a story only you can write With words you carry deep inside There's seven billion people that's true But there's only one of you Aretha she's the queen yeah and Elvis was the king But once upon a time someone taught 'em both to sing And years before Neil Armstrong took his steps on the moon He crawled before he walked across his parents' living room You might not see yourself up there But you gotta' start somewhere When it's tough and you feel like giving up And you're scared you'll never be enough When everything beneath the sun Already seems like it's been done If you're looking everywhere for something new Well there's only one of you And what about the man who came from Galilee Who made the lame to walk and he caused the blind to see Marked his words in yellow two lines from John 14 Even you are gonna do greater things than me There's a song that only you can sing And a dream that only you can dream There's a story only you can write With words you carry deep inside This world is full of souls But it's you that makes it whole When it's tough and you feel like giving up And you're scared you'll never be enough When everything beneath the sun Already seems like it's been done If you're looking everywhere for something new Well there's only one of you
21.
22.
(spoken intro) Yo yo yo turn it up 2021 it’s ya boy JTR comin’ at ya live from Music City Nashvegas Tennesizzle Just when you thought it was safe, better get ready for your truth vaccination across the nation Dis one here goes out to Mr. Kent Aitken the story of how we met holla’ (song lyrics) Everybody knows that Kent’s the man A world travelin’ bloke with a master plan He’s got a dog named Kiwi and a banjolele But that’s not what I came here to say, see? He doesn’t talk about how he earns the bacon It’s by being a Canadian secret agent You now 007? Well he’s 001 The original, pinnacle, second to none Yeah Kiwi is his partner and dangerous Deadly cute with that furry butt Judy Dench is his contact at embassy You thought she’s just an actor? Hell naw, G Remember that story in the nightly news About a pirate ship from Belarus They was stealin’ all the money from the merchant marines Who was headed to Japan from the Philippines But in comes Kent with a glass of scotch Just raises one brow and says “not on my watch” And in 24 hours he cleans it up In a pair of Stacy’s and a brand new tux Now why I am tellin’ you this whole story? Full of guns and guts and grace and glory Because you mighta’ thought I met him through Song A Week And I wouldn’t wanna’ overlook his great mystique Plus there’s pirates everywhere some are undercover As our bankers, our bosses, even friends and brothers Kent’s the reason that I quit my pirate ways And became the song writer that I am today So before you think that you know someone Imagine all the other things they might have done Moonlightin’ as Batman in a suit and tie, man Case in point Kent Aitken on Prince Edward Island
23.
Lately my mind’s been on what's in my attic Got a house full of crap and a head full of static A ratty tin tree from so many Decembers Letters and photographs no one remembers And I’m feeling down about what’s in my basement Suitcases broken but I won't replace 'em Bed frames and coolers and two legged stools A couple flat tires and some rusted out tools Why do I keep all the things I ain't usin' Up above and down below Smack in the middle in a state of confusion I keep holdin' on when I need to let go All the time and the space that I’m wasting In my attic and basement My ceilings are sinking from what’s in my attic A console TV and my Dad’s leather jacket Grandmother's trunk full of moldy old clothes Teddy bear missing an eye and a nose Can’t open the door too much junk in my basement Silly straw hats from a long gone vacation Lawn chairs and dumbbells and folded up boxes Rubbermaid bins full of dead electronics Why do we keep all the things we ain't usin' Up above and down below Smack in the middle in a state of confusion We keep holdin' on when we need to let go All the time and the space that we're wasting In our attics and basements I got all of these memories and all of these plans Why can’t I be right here where I am?
24.
Well I grew up on the coast line and we always had a good time Hangin' round a place we called The Point I missed a couple school days and I chased a couple big waves And I skipped two family trips to Illinois Lookin' back there's no doubt those summers at the boathouse Really were the good old days And ever since I moved away I miss sixteen and I miss sunscreen Lived it up while the sun was goin' down Yeah I sometimes missed the punch line But I dream of bein' back there even now Way back when I was a boy Didn't know how much I'd miss the point Well I'd known her half a lifetime it was simple in the sunshine Sharin' dixie cups and skippin' rocks I figured we'd be best friends but that changed in a weekend When she sat down beside me on the dock Didn't catch the signs 'til she put her hand in mine Lord sometimes I reminisce On all the things I missed I miss sixteen and I miss sunscreen Lived it up while the sun was goin' down Yeah I sometimes missed the punch line But I dream of bein' back there even now Way back when I was a boy Didn't know how much I'd miss the point
25.
Marty, you know I'm a fan because I told you that I am You also know that I'm a writer Crazy seeing Clubhouse change the Athens of the new south To a network with connections even tighter And I wonder if I ever would have got to know you better If we'd never joined the Thursday evening round What a gift that Steven's giving to the writers who are driven By allowing us to hear each other's sound What's my next destination? The best place in the nation Yeah I'm lookin' for an all expenses paid 364 nights 365 days vacation Wanna' get away so take me to SongTown USA Now I still got a day job but I also know it's no prob To take some PTO for writing sessions Whether meeting at your office or my apartment if you wanted Let's sit down and write something really special What's my next destination? The best place in the nation Yeah I'm lookin' for an all expenses paid 364 nights 365 days vacation Wanna' get away so take me to SongTown USA How many lines should there be in our bridges Depends if we're in SongTown city limits Or sittin' here in this little Five Points kitchen Not to mention if we're tryin' to pitch it
26.
When a PK from Wisconsin hears a farm boy from AR Singin' 'bout some Holy Ground You can bet it lights his ears up and opens up his heart Makes him wanna' stick around this town From six strings at a pawn shop to a front line man with FEMA To tuneville Tennessee ten years ago You sing it from experience and love it like you mean it Countrywide to Coaching Music Row Once a Show Dog always a Show Dog Once and always a Wonderboy And a hitwriter, a fundraiser, voice that's on the boombox With a plan to make a joyful noise Pretty sure you just got started makin' hits When you got a moment, Show Dog, won't you teach me some tricks Bible camp is funny they wanna' hear you sing Kumbaya or Amazing Grace Well I taught the campers Sweet Home 'cuz back in '93 I wasn't yet familiar with George Strait Once a Show Dog always a Show Dog Once and always a Wonderboy And a hitwriter, a fundraiser, voice that's on the boombox With a plan to make a joyful noise Pretty sure you just got started makin' hits When you got a moment, Show Dog, won't you teach me some tricks Got a little misty readin' how you named your pup First country song I ever heard I know Bill McCorvey passed but he had a son so I looked him up And his gratitude moved me beyond words
27.
What do you give to the man who's already written every song To the outlaw whose writing is so right it's almost wrong How do you inspire or take him higher than he's ever been before Take him fishin' to Idea River, borrow his bait and give him some of yours From the heart of New York City to McKenzie to Nashlantis in '63 In the words we never heard until your pen and paper set them free Through five thousand tunes and counting how could there be a thought you haven't caught Well as any angler offers there will always another trawlin' spot So let me take you to the river Let me show you where I fish Maybe I can catch some bluegills And you'll catch a couple hits Every time I visit I always bring a friend Idea River she's a giver I come back time and time again After all the bells are rang I'll meet you on the banks We can listen to the gentle whisper of Idea River Why would a kid from Boston in the 80s turn anyone's head In a world full of lawyers guns and money who'd remember anything he said Well the muse is kinda' funny in the way that she hands out gifts And for better or for worse she made a whole bunch of 'em his So let me take you to the river Let me show you where I fish Maybe I can catch some bluegills And you'll catch a couple hits Every time I visit I always bring a friend Idea River she's a giver I come back time and time again After all the bells are rang I'll meet you on the banks We can listen to the gentle whisper of Idea River
28.
On a Sunday late in April On a bird with silver wings Sits a man who's always faithful From winter through to spring He's lost a couple good ones Maybe more than his share No less heavy when it's slow or sudden Sometimes it don't seem fair One less voice one less heart One less pair of hands One less napkin plate and chair It might be one less Christmas card But I believe the preacher man It's also one more prayer Death can heal those still alive I can feel it in my chest It's not about who's wrong or who's right No it's about who's left One less voice one less heart One less pair of hands One less napkin plate and chair It might be one less Christmas card But I believe the preacher man It's also one more prayer So where's the silver lining What are the magic words I'm down here on my knees Just tryin' to trust His timing And lean into what I've heard Prayer don't change God it changes me
29.
A lot of folks don’t know that April 28th Is International Campbell Day Not the soup although that’s tasty Or the city near San Jose No I’m talkin’ about the Finance Man Yes every 28th of April I leave milk and cookies on the kitchen table Not for Santa though he’s awesome But for someone I see more often I’m talkin’ about the Finance Man Finance Man balances the books Finance Man it ain’t as easy as he makes it look This year my only wish for the Finance Man is this Celebrate International Campbell Day By stickin’ around with us, okay? You know I heard there’s this place on Woodmont Boulevard Where they swap human beings out like trading cards Now I know I’ve never been there They might be a buncha’ winners But not as cool as the Finance Man Now a Finance Man’s gotta’ seek the finest It ain’t easy choosin’ between A+ and E minus But ready or not some food for thought The ones you got respect you a lot And that’s important for a Finance Man Finance Man balances the books Finance Man it ain’t as easy as he makes it look This year my only wish for the Finance Man is this Celebrate International Campbell Day By stickin’ around with us, okay? What’s my point here, why am I makin’ such a ruckus? I’m just tryin’ to help adjust the compass Not to mention no one else is near as good at the budgets P. S. I heard down on Woodmont they all got mullets!
30.
How can you make a noise When you don't have a voice Can anybody hear my thoughts How will my love be loud When I can't make a sound Can you speak for me if I cannot How do I trust that I Will fully heal in time Can you promise this shall pass However long it takes We'll trust and we will wait Can absolutely promise you that
31.
What would we hear if we all listened well Over the roar and the grind and the swell Pressed from all sides by a world all but falling apart When we run out of steam and we’re fresh outta’ luck Just a blank check from the eyebrows up Hope comes with a song like an old radio in your heart So turn up the dial tune into the groove Shake off that funk and step out of those blues Let your mind go ‘cuz the world don’t mean a thing Take a walk in the park lay back in the grass Just close your eyes let the moments pass Who knows we'd hear if we gave the birds a chance to sing Life isn’t all clutter and noise It’s the simple things that give us joy The flutter of wings the falling of leaves I flew through life unfulfilled Whole lotta' nothin' on my windowsill There’s a better song inside us all take it from me So turn up the dial tune into the groove Shake off the funk and step out of those blues Let your mind go ‘cuz the world don’t mean a thing Take a walk in the park kick back in the grass Just close your eyes and let the moments pass Who knows we'd hear if we gave the birds a chance to sing
32.
The thing about a river is she's been here forever And she's deeper than she looks Quiet steady current softens all the edges Of even jagged rocks No one knows why the river flows Where she starts or where she ends Silent as a mirror but strong enough to take you with her That's the thing about a river But the thing about a river is she only flows downstream Yeah she never turns around She'll lift you up or pull you in ain't much in between If you float or if you drown No one knows why the river flows Where she starts or where she ends Silent as a mirror but strong enough to take you with her That's the thing about a river She's the path of least resistance Try to follow where she leads If you're listenin' you can hear her whisper She'll tell you everything you need
33.
Like any other tale on Music Row It started out with a man and microphone Another small town star with a Nashville dream Playin' all night for beer and gasoline Next scene is a rust red pick up truck Tearin' up the tires in a cloud of dust You can see the movie in your mind So what's so special 'bout it this time Trailer parks to Broadway bars Shootin' stars and broken hearts Yeah I know how a country song begins Bad checks and motel beds Sunsets and what the heck happens next How's this one gonna' end Rumor had it there was somethin' 'bout a girl And a pawn shop ring least that's what I heard Backstage catchin' fireflies in a jar Everyone knows that's how it starts Trailer parks to Broadway bars Shootin' stars and broken hearts Yeah I know how a country song begins Bad checks and motel beds Sunsets and what the heck happens next How's this one gonna' end So where's it wind up what becomes of all his plans I ain't gotta' tell you we all know how it began
34.
Can't believe I'm sittin' here with you Listenin' in while you sing' the same old tune A world class drama queen don't you beat all I've ever seen But I eat it up like I always do All day long I been thinkin' 'bout your smile I'll be back to the house in a little while Won't you meet me at the door kiss me like you did before Don't you know it drives me wild I know it wouldn't be shouldn't be Couldn't be smart to fall But I'm yours and you're mine and that's right And that's it and that's all My head tells me there's trouble down the road But my hands still grab the wheel and pull you close I'm lucky love is blind 'cause I can't trust this gauge of mine This diesel heart is set on cruise control I know it wouldn't be shouldn't be Couldn't be smart to fall But I'm yours and you're mine and that's right And that's it and that's all Rivers don't complain 'bout where they flow And the mountains they just keep collectin' snow Well I'd borrow beg or steal but I can't change the way I feel No it's buried deep down in my bones I know it wouldn't be shouldn't be Couldn't be smart to fall But I'm yours and you're mine and that's right And that's it and that's all Well I'm yours and you're mine hands down no doubt Right as rain said and done super cool sure enough That's a fact and that's it and that's all
35.
Oh the atmosphere is heavy with unrest these days Ain't a moment I don't feel it crashin' over me like waves I can try to change direction as the clouds move in But they always beat me to it and they soak me to the skin In bed with the rain it's like drownin' in my sleep Drags me to the depths 'til I don't know what I believe I can't speak for you but I don't need that kind of pain I've had enough I'll never get back in bed with the rain Once my back was breakin' from the load that I was haulin' My knees were buckled under all the while the rain kept fallen But lucky me I'm waterproof and still the fact remains Last thing I'll ever do is get back in bed with the rain In bed with the rain it's like drownin' in my sleep Drags me to the depths 'til I don't know what I believe I can't speak for you but I don't need that kind of pain I've had enough I'll never get back in bed with the rain
36.
Write me a love song in the key of C Sing it through a telephone wire quietly I been gettin' closer closer to the edge Remember how the clock stood still when you looked at me and said Maybe we can love again maybe we should try Maybe we can trust again with hearts open wide Maybe we can climb these walls or maybe break them down Maybe it’s just you and me and that's all for now Fear can be an anchor or a stepping stone We could let it bind us or learn to let it go After the rain falls the silence in between Finally start to hear each other you know what I mean Maybe we can love again maybe we should try Maybe we can trust again with hearts open wide Maybe we can climb these walls or maybe break them down Maybe it’s just you and me still learning how All we need is to breathe again All we need is to let it in All we have is you and me And maybe that's all we need Maybe we can love again maybe we should try Maybe we can trust again with hearts open wide Maybe we can climb these walls or maybe break them down Maybe it’s just you and me and we can work it out Maybe it’s just you and me and that's what it's all about
37.
There's hundreds of occasions I like to celebrate Like my birthday or a good friend postin' bail But familial or legal from the bar to the cathedral They all require the same things to prevail It takes courage when the goings gettin' tough Grace n' humor when y'ain't sure which way's up Yes it takes some perseverance when sometimes by all appearance Well it looks like you might be pretty much outta' luck Happy anniversary You pulled it off so perfectly I hope you'll have a darn good time on purposely Just watch out for that Retrograde of Mercury Oh that ain't no joke Now I realize I seem quite empty handed I know I brought no present, card or cake But even good ol' Hallmark couldn't land it in the ballpark Describin' how much you got what it takes So Happy Anniversary how long's it been A very happy anniverary I say again From a moment to a decade you deserve a glass o' champagne Hip hip hooray here's to you my friend Happy anniversary You pulled it off so perfectly I hope you'll have a darn good time on purposely Just watch out for that Retrograde of Mercury Watch out for that Retrograde of Mercury
38.
Knuckles turnin' white 'cuz I'm holdin' on too tight To my worn out steerin' wheel But ain't no sense in sweatin' this old road knows where it's headed Doesn’t matter how I feel Let it ride let it roll let it wander where it goes Let it ride trust my gut and give it time Let it lead let it be anything it wants to be It’s alright just let it ride Only got myself to blame tryin' to change what I can't change Same old lesson every time And I cover way more miles when I coast a little while I gotta' learn to let it ride Let it ride let it roll let it wander where it goes Let it ride trust my gut and give it time Let it lead let it be anything it wants to be It’s alright just let it ride The rearview mirror shows the disappearing road But it won't ever know where the highway goes Let it ride let it roll let it wander where it goes Let it ride trust my gut and give it time Let it lead let it be anything it wants to be It’s alright just let it ride
39.
In the crashing of the waves In the silence of the stars In the song of the wind in the whispering pines I find myself and there you are In the rain across the meadow In the desert after dark In the patience of the sleeping soil beneath the snow I find myself and there you are Down every road you are with me I never walk alone The lovin' grace that you give me I take it everywhere I go In the smile of your hello In the shelter of your arms In the world that we’re creating every time we touch I find myself and there you are Don't need to look far You're as close as my heart I find myself and there you are
40.
When you've run out of reasons and don't know what season you're living in or where you came from Or how you got here no your mind ain't too clear only thing you been feelin' is numb And you're searching your soul tryin' to fill the deep hole you've been diggin' since you were a child Half livin' half dead 'bout as deep as it gets livin' wild as the wild is wild What makes us do things that we don't want to do is beyond me When you're out past the gates crawlin' day after day like a zombie When you know you've been beat you can smell the defeat And you're strugglin' to make the last mile If the chains gonna' break better do what it takes Livin' wild as the wild is wild Oh card tricks and hat tricks and ne'er do well side-kicks they'll pick at the wound 'til it bleeds Long nights and loose ladies and total 180s they'll drop kick you down to your knees But a good shot of hope is the best kinda' dope no you ain't comin' down for awhile So mainline your veins say goodbye to the pain livin' wild as the wild is wild What makes us do things that we don't want to do is beyond me When you're out past the gates crawlin' day after day like a zombie When you know you've been beat you can smell the defeat As you struggle to make the last mile If the chains gonna' break better do what it takes Livin' wild as the wild is wild When enough is enough and your raw nerves show up Like a scrappy red headed step child You can't take anymore and it's time to wage war Livin' wild as the wild is wild
41.
Ain't no problem with a party of one Nothin' stoppin' me from havin' some fun Time for date night got nothin' to lose While I'm at it gonna' kick off these shoes I'm stayin' in for a night on the town Someplace quiet with my kinda' crowd Lights just right for makin' memories Of a perfect evening with me Got a hot date with nobody else Time to pour a little somethin' top shelf Settle in at the kitchen counter It's the best kept secret after hours Morning after just to thank myself I think I'll buy myself flowers There's no taxi there's no walk of shame Or next day callin' rememberin' names All my credit cards they're still in my wallet Like Kenny said no shirt or shoes no problem Turn my music up a little bit louder Sneak past Mittens the four legged bouncer Pour me one more ain't nobody countin' Anyone treat me better than me I doubt it
42.
It was a tragedy that's certain One hundred dead or more No one could quite determine What happened in the storm Were the instruments defective Did the captain fail his crew Only two left in the wreckage And one is right in front of you Ground me here 'til further notice Take my 14k ring But I'm already at my lowest Please don't clip my wings My lesson's clear to me I swear it I'll never take another chance But I don't think that I could bear it To spend eternity on land Like sailors need the salty ocean And truckers need the open road Don't break me I'm already broken Looking up from down below Ground me here 'til further notice Take my 14k ring But I'm already at my lowest Please don't clip my wings
43.
On the road to Austin there’s a little town Just a couple houses mostly empty now You could blink and miss it but I hope you won’t If you took me with you I’d be goin’ home Puttin’ down roots or spreadin’ out wings There’s an up and a downside to everything Offerin’ you a mystery to get lost in Little slice of history on the road to Austin At the edge of Main Street there’s a five and dime Steppin’ cross the threshold will take you back in time Maybe you got someplace just like this so you understand Somethin’ ’bout the air there made me who I am Puttin’ down roots or spreadin’ out wings There’s an up and a downside to everything Offerin’ you a mystery to get lost in Little slice of history on the road to Austin I can’t say the exit number we never used to have ‘em They changed the roads a couple years ago seems like that always happens Anyway it’s worth the trip close as you already are Swing a right by the Chevron sign and you’re in my backyard
44.
There’s devils in the detail and angels in the clouds And not a chance in hell I’m gonna’ turn this thing around My flag is torn and faded like feathers in the wind The deck is stacked against me but I’ve bet it all again No line on the horizon no sign of judgment day And not a shred of evidence my soul is bein’ saved No hostages no prisoners I’m out here all alone Wheels are on the same old road but ain’t no goin' home The air is like a furnace all ashes of the truth Concrete lawn I’m walkin’ on is littered with the proof The liquor store is open the pharmacy is shut Something’s goin’ down tonight I feel it in my gut No line on the horizon no sign of judgment day And not a shred of evidence my soul is bein’ saved No hostages no prisoners I’m out here all alone Wheels are on the same old road but ain’t no goin' home
45.
Simple song just to say Guess what happened today Someone very special turned five years old Greatest kid there's ever been One hundred fifty percent From his toes up to his nose William this is your birthday song For this year and every year beyond With love from mom and dad who'll stand beside you all along William this is your birthday song A little taller week by week Friends with everyone you meet You'll always be somebody's hero A lot like Peter Parker But without the spandex armor You're new and improved, William Five Point Zero William this is your birthday song For this year and every year beyond With love from mom and dad who'll stand beside you all along William this is your birthday song Nothing is as strong As the love and lifetime bond Between a dog named Maxxie and a boy You're right where you belong So let's all sing your birthday song Happy birthday, make some noise!
46.
On the morning I was saved the curtains opened wide Heard a voice I did not understand and water poured down from the sky Rivers overtook the forest cities crumbled to the sea Dropped the anchor I carried all these years watched it fall away from me With the sound of a gunshot and the flash of a bomb In the blink of an eye like the calm before the storm Day became night and night turned into day That was how it happened on the morning I was saved On the morning I was saved the earth shook like a drum Watched my world spinnin' upside down and saw the axis overcome Pushed the engine to the limit pulled the scales from these eyes Threw my hands up surrendered then and there and I was busted open wide With the sound of a gunshot and the flash of a bomb In the blink of an eye like the calm before the storm Day became night and night turned into day That's just how it happened on the morning I was saved
47.
This face that you see Well it's not really me It's just how I look this time 'round I've been women and men I've been man's best friend Every place from the Ritz to the pound And my brain can be hazy From pushing up daisies Between every life and the next But some memories of mine There's no passage of time No that could ever make me forget I was born as a toad And I ran 'cross the road Against all the advice I was given Wreaking havoc for truckers Those poor long haulin' fellows / fun lovers Before I made it to heaven And the rush of the traffic I was cryin' and laughin' Until that wide load did me in I was crushed by the weight Of a trailor whose freight Was various sorts of fish There were trains plains and cars There were restaurants and bars There were bad cooks and good politicians There was root beers and colas And Cindy Margolis And drive thru Kentucky Fried Chicken There were highs lows and middles There were jokes puns and riddles But that's not what I most remember No the smell of fresh salmon And the sound of trucks slammin' That'll stay with me forever
48.
She dances in and out our lives She skirts the shadows of the room She's like the sunset she'll never stay the night She'll leave you howlin' at the moon I knew her once and once was time enough To see that I can't hold the stars Then why love Lulu I'd be smart to give her up But try to tell that to my heart She comes from every place there is She's had a thousand different names She'll say she's sorry and soothe it with a kiss She'll bust you open just the same I knew her once and once was time enough For learnin' I can't hold the stars Then why love Lulu I'd be smart to give her up But try to tell that to my heart She comes to visit now and then She brings the daisies what they need She blacks the sky out then lights it up again She did the same to me
49.
If your battery is low reception's gettin' weak And all you got is hang ups you know so to speak Wouldn't it be nice if help was just one call away If only you could figure out God's mobile number, eh? I hear you buddy I was just like you Tuned out and disconnected yeah I didn't have a clue But an infomercial sold me the best thing I ever bought Would you believe my new flip phone lets me talk to God? I called triple nine nine it was right on time Got connected to the Cloud Nine God Line I pressed one pressed two I was waitin' in queue Then the automated angel put me on through I bet you could write a book the trouble that you've seen Lucky you life is gettin' better than it's ever been Why? Because today I'm shipping out your very own Fancy cordless 5G holy mobile telephone So call triple nine nine you're right on time Get connected to the Cloud Nine God Line Press one press two you'll be waitin' in queue Then the automated angel is gonna' put you through Call now or later We'll be here forever I mean, ideally, call before you die But you know, like, whatever
50.
Outta’ my way I used to say Nobody better pass me up Runnin’ so fast scared of comin’ in last Or never gettin’ enough Me first used to sound so lonely Me first until I healed my hurt Couldn't help nobody as the old me I gotta’ fix me first Well I got loud to shout it out And show ‘em all how it’s done The city I reached with what I had to teach Me Town population one Me first used to sound so lonely Me first until I healed my hurt Couldn't help nobody as the old me I gotta’ fix me first So here's a challenge from me to you Next time you're at the grocery store Scout out the longest line then step behind Bet you never tried that before
51.
How many times I almost quit Turned my back on life said to hell with it But somewhere deep inside me A voice spoke to remind me How good it's about to get I didn't wanna' hear that stuff No I was shut down I couldn't feel no love But slowly by degrees A couple things got through to me Like maybe it's enough To be the reason someone smiles Give 'em somethin' to believe in for a little while Walk beside 'em step by step God will guide 'em through the rest He gives the gifts we're just here to help receive 'em That's our job to be the reason At first I couldn't put it into words Like a highway with one too many curves When you're racin' in the dark You can blow right past your heart Sometimes it takes a lotta' nerve To be the reason someone smiles Give 'em somethin' to believe in for a little while Walk beside 'em step by step God will guide 'em through the rest He gives the gifts we're just here to help receive 'em That's our job to be the reason I walked that walk as if the blind could lead the blind 'Til something opened up my mind The voice of reason in my ear My better self right beside me in the mirror
52.
Well it's something I thought was pure fiction Just a ploy to sell tabloids and such Turns out they got it all perfectly right to the letter It's been known by several descriptions Like a monster or creature of dread It's the biggest ... octopus ... ever What the books couldn't teach I'm observing That it's real and lives in the sea But I don't have to live my life frozen in terror See it's friendly and that much is certain After all it's been kind to me It's the biggest ... octopus ... ever Well it's wide as the great state of kansas It's tall as the sky and it's wet And it lives longer than any human can measure Yes we can't really quite understand it All we know is we'll never forget The biggest ... octopus ... ever It has eyes the size of the ocean And a heart that's salty and warm It's every bit as mysterious as it is clever I will say it once more in slow motion So take heed as you have been warned It's the biggest ... octopus ... ever
53.
I wake up in the morning my dreams fade away And before I open my eyes I pray for the day I know if I let love light the way Every little thing is gonna be OK The sun is shining the world is turning The birds are singing their song for me The river is flowing the wind is blowing The grass is growing and so are we Ain’t it great ain’t it great It happens every day So if sometimes I stumble or maybe even fall I get back to basics before I walk I gotta crawl And everybody's searchin' just like me I keep forgettin’ I’m already free The sun is shining the world is turning The birds are singing their song for me The river is flowing the wind is blowing The grass is growing and so are we Ain’t it great ain’t it great It happens every day Call me crazy and you’d be right I know it’s true and I know why
54.
Standing at the corner of the world Finally see how wrong I've been It ain't round I'm trippin' on the edge Losin' touch and fallin' in Arguin' with the corner of world Dead wrong but what difference does it make Six sides to every story and I can't see 'em all There's too much water in the way Out here at the corner of the world No one there to reel me in Ride the waves until the current rose up good Goin' overboard again Reachin' for the corner of the world Like a silent foxhole prayer Sharp as a razor and colder than the night Get me outta' there Facin' down the corner of the world Like it's my only friend Speak the words make the moves do it all If it'll keep me from the end

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Entire collection of original songs written and recorded week by week for Song A Week 2021, an international songwriting group. Photograph on cover courtesy of Nigel Hanlon.

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releases February 12, 2022

Written, performed, engineered and mixed by James Tristan Redding and, where applicable, a co-writer as named per song. Words and music copyright 2021 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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