Songwriting Demo

by James Tristan Redding

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1.
Jeans and flannel white tube socks and sandals Good old Mr. Randall handy as they come Ain’t a talker reminds me of my father Just like clockwork twenty years and then some Since he handed me the keys he’s been watching over me Hell, sometimes I forget he’s even there Always fixing something keeps this whole place running No matter what I break he’s got a spare Right above my ceiling I wonder if he hears me When I finally hit my knees and say a prayer The man upstairs Last Thursday cake and candles for his birthday He left one burning and lit a cigarette Sat before me kept me up ‘til morning Swappin’ stories like two best friends Tuggin’ on his beard he wiped away a tear And put that last piece of cake in some Tupperware He’s always fixing something keeps this whole place running No matter what I break he’s got a spare Right above my ceiling I wonder if he hears me When I finally hit my knees and say a prayer The man upstairs Wonder what I’ll miss the most when the old man finally goes Up to hear the angels sing Looking out at the clear blue sky said he’s ready and I know why ‘Cuz someone’s watching over him
2.
Easy Answers 03:51
Oh God I must confess Against the driving rain My eyes are seeing red I need your help again I’m falling on my knees To beg to be reborn Reach out and take my hand And save me from the storm There are no easy answers The image is unclear The dash has no directions To where we go from here No matter what I’ve done I cannot stray too far This human heart is stunned By just how weak we are And still we find our way By grace toward the light With eyes as wide as day To reach the other side There are no easy answers No places left to hide It’s us against the question Of how we feel inside So I’m raising up my voice Yeah I’m ready to be saved May the truth cut through the noise And the people be amazed There are no easy answers No magic crystal ball It’s trial and tribulation Until the curtain call
3.
This town was all you ever wanted And I thought you'd be all I need Your mama hugged the phone 'cuz you were finally headed home But it ain't home to me From union dues to church on Sundays Tried to hitch my life to yours Sometimes it works sometimes you wind up gettin' hurt And lookin' for the door You can have Wichita the whole damn city limits I'm leaving you the place you love and everything that's in it Somehow the dirt here seems to hold your memory You can have Wichita and it’s all Wichita to me Caught you crying in the driveway Engine running windows shut I know it ain't this place but I wanna' blame it anyway For what happened here to us You can have Wichita the whole damn city limits I'm leaving you the place you love and everything that's in it 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 A man knows when he's beaten and I just don't belong You're right where you need to be and I'm as good as gone
4.
Couldn’t see what I couldn’t see right before my eyes Didn’t doubt what I believed and couldn’t tell you why Wouldn’t hear what I wouldn’t hear not a whisper not a shout You said it loud and clear but I knew how to tune you out I didn’t know what I didn’t know of course I know that now I had to learn the hard way the only way that I know how Baby please forgive me don’t turn around and go I didn’t mean to hurt you I didn’t know what I didn’t know Couldn’t tell what I couldn’t tell and you couldn’t tell me anything Followed you down to the water but you couldn’t make me drink Didn’t do what I said I’d do I guess that all I can say Now I’m looking at losing you I hope it’s not too late I didn’t know what I didn’t know of course I know that now I had to learn the hard way the only way that I know how Baby please forgive me don’t turn around and go I didn’t mean to hurt you I didn’t know what I didn’t know I didn’t know how to love you I didn’t know how much I do Tell me we’re not breakin’ up I swear I’ll make it up to you
5.
Jet planes makin’ smoke trails cross the sky but I can’t see ‘em Trains are running every fifteen mins but they won’t stop for me Goin’ half crazy without you baby deaf dumb and colorblind Stuck on rewind in the same old black and white movie in my mind If you were here, oh the things that I could do The clouds would clear there’d be miles and miles of blue Without a sound my doubts would disappear And all my walls would crumble and they’d fall if you were here Rain showers dried up hours ago but I’m still soaking wet Blackbird singin’ the songs of spring but I can’t hear ‘em yet Feelin’ half broken my heart’s wide open but I can’t feel it beatin’ All because I’m either lost or dreamin’ or somewhere in between If you were here, oh the things that I could do The clouds would clear there’d be miles and miles of blue Without a sound my doubts would disappear And all my walls would crumble and they’d fall if you were here Quarter after midnight lookin’ for something I can’t find I can almost see your face and feel your hand in mine Every song on the radio sounds like an empty street Wonder where you are tonight and why not next to me
6.
Same old movie in my head every summer me and her Talkin’ names like James if it’s a boy or Lisa for a girl Holdin’ onto the memory of a barefoot porch on a Saturday And the face in a faded photograph seven thousand miles away Dog tags and a wedding ring, how’d it come to this Hard to do the right thing when you don’t know what that is Heart is halfway ‘round the world but my boots are on the ground Countin’ down the days here ain’t too much longer now Tunin’ out the choppers and squintin’ through the dust Thinkin’ of the one I love and the place I wish I was Did my best couldn’t fix the rest but I pray she understands Either way I’m learnin’ what it means to be a man Dog tags and a wedding ring, how’d it come to this Hard to do the right thing when you don’t know what that is Heart is halfway ‘round the world but my boots are on the ground Countin’ down the days here ain’t too much longer now Open up that envelope and a tear rolls down my face Loves me and she’s proud as hell P.S. little Lisa’s on the way
7.
Leavin' 03:40
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
8.
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
9.
Dog days and damn I'm ready Fire up my rusty Chevy I know where I need to be Just a ragtag riverbank but Layin' back with the music cranked up Sure feels like Waikiki to me Don't need no reservations no black tie invitation It's a good time right time anytime guaranteed Call up CMT they got to see my private island Redneck VIPs in cut off jeans my private island Woah ohh where the sweet sunshine don't cost a dime no Woah ohh it's a state of mind my private island It's a place out past the asphalt No pilots planes or passports TSA won't slow us down Little sand and a whole lotta' dirt A little Tim McGraw can't hurt Poppin' PBRs and losin' count Ain't got but a couple dollars don't think much 'bout tomorrow Suns out guns out right here and now Call up CMT they got to see my private island Redneck VIPs in cutoff jeans my private island Woah ohh where the sweet sunshine don't cost a dime no Woah ohh it's a state of mind my private island The map don't show it but we know where to go A piece of paradise at the end of a gravel road
10.
Feel your teardrops on my seats the hurt when you stomp your feet Desperation hittin’ second gear So you’re gettin’ outta’ Dodge lightin’ up and cursin’ God Leavin’ her in my rear view mirror She hurt you pretty bad I know you don't deserve it On the other hand she might be worth it We’ve been around the block a time or two I've seen you lost and watched you push on through Now I can’t tell you what to do or steer this wheel for you But before you walk won't you go around the block Another time or two The way she cranks my radio always spills her Diet Coke Left my windows down when it was rainin’ Slammed those shotgun brakes like the daggum interstate That backseat drivin’ really drove me crazy Oh but she sure made you feel amazin’ We’ve been around the block a time or two I've seen you lost and watched you push on through Now I can’t tell you what to do or steer this wheel for you But before you walk won't you go around the block Another time or two I’ll take you anywhere you wanna’ go Back to her arms or down this lonely road God knows we’ve been that way before We’ve been around the block a time or two I've seen you lost and watched you push on through Now I can’t tell you what to do or steer this wheel for you But before you walk won't you go around the block Another time or two
11.
I can't take the silence in here on my own Time to face the music you ain't comin' home Swore that we could make it we were never givin’ up Didn’t take too long to see that I’m all outta’ luck Hit the lights and cue the water works Watch the world go 'round like no one knows it hurts There’s freedom somewhere out there but I’m stayin’ in tonight So before you shut the door on me go on hit the lights To love you drove me crazy to lose you broke my heart Guess I thought you’d save me but I made that pretty hard Last words you spoke to me still ringin’ in my mind Never stay so long that you can’t leave it all behind Hit the lights and cue the water works Watch the world go 'round like no one knows it hurts There’s freedom somewhere out there but I’m stayin’ in tonight So before you shut the door on me go on hit the lights Maybe you’ll regret it I kinda’ think you won’t You don’t seem to miss me and I probably shoulda’ known
12.
You could throw a rock one side of Richland to the other Half the kids ain’t got no dad the rest ain’t got no mother I put Richland in the rear view and never turned around Now me and this old 40 watt gonna’ clean that attic out Opened up a shoebox my mama musta’ saved Couple dozen envelopes scribbled with my name Ripped ‘em open one by one started to understand Probably scared to death I’d turn out like my old man Finally met my father in the letters that he wrote Yeah his memory ain’t too far from me tonight About a half mile west the return address Reformatory Road Mansfield 44905 House is empty but it’s fillin’ up my heart Talkin’ with my daddy up here in the dark Asked about the science fair and how little league was goin’ What about the girl next door wonder how he coulda’ known Finally met my father in the letters that he wrote Yeah his memory ain’t too far from me tonight About a half mile west the return address Reformatory Road Mansfield 44905 Never told me what it was what kinda’ line he crossed That took him from his only son But that don’t bother me because every single one of us Is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done
13.
When it’s all about to crumble When I stumble and I fall Breathe in deep and thank the stars above You listen when I talk Funny how it’s easier to reach you When I’m on my knees I could really use your help right now Won’t you take a walk with me I love the way you listen to me You gimme’ grace to speak my heart Somehow when I tell you what I’m thinkin’ about The night don’t seem so dark When I’m afraid there’s something I can’t do You show me that I can I’m hopin’ that someday I’m gonna’ be The man you think I am Knowing that I’ll never be alone Makes my life worth living I feel your gentle touch beside me And know that I’m forgiven I love the way you listen to me You gimme’ grace to speak my heart Somehow when I tell you what I’m thinkin’ about The night don’t seem so dark When I’m afraid there’s something I can’t do You show me that I can I’m hopin’ that someday I’m gonna’ be The man you think I am When you smile I know I’ll never fail Every time you wag your tail
14.
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
15.
Where has our America gone What happened to the country we loved and counted on The place we always knew where we belong It may look a little different but it's been here all along It's the courage in the eyes of the nurses and the doctors New York City cheering for all those first responders It's makin' time for the ones who've gotta' face this all alone Or a bittersweet goodbye through the window of a nursing home Where has our America gone What happened to the country we loved and counted on The place we always knew where we belong It may look a little different but it's been here all along It's a dollar for a woman or a man without a home Sleepin' on the sidewalk in the town where you were born It's a Sunday wave across the fence one neighbor to another And callin' up your mama just to tell her that you love her Where has our America gone What happened to the country we loved and counted on The place we always knew where we belong It may look a little different but it's been here all along Where has our America gone? It's been here all along
16.
Who ever thought of dyin' as romantic Takin' one last breath up on the stage I won't be teary eyed or tragic When I say goodbye and drift away Thank you all for comin' out to see me I don't do this song much anymore Just a few more notes and I'll be leavin' Let 'em linger as I'm carried out the door A legacy of all the words I wrote and sang and spoke and heard Underneath my Goorin Bros hat One last strum across these strings Lookin' back wouldn't change a thing If you're livin' right then dyin' ain't so bad Started out an hour south of Boston Feels like forever since '82 Went from singin' with the X-Rays live in Austin To writin' tunes for Townes and Emmylou Regina with a sun dress in the front seat A Guild and a Gibson in the back Somewhere outside Bowlin' Green Kentucky Scribbed every line to Big Cadillac A legacy of all the words I wrote and sang and spoke and heard Underneath my Goorin Bros hat One last strum across these strings Lookin' back wouldn't change a thing If you're livin' right then dyin' ain't so bad Thank God I spent my days doin' as I pleased Before I took the stage That night on Santa Rosa Beach
17.
I wasn’t planning to meet someone tonight Steppin’ outta’ the pourin’ rain for a little somethin’ on ice Way things was couldn’t catch a buzz I was gettin’ ready to leave ‘Til she sat down on the bar stool next to me Peeled the label off her beer said ain’t we met before Fought back a laugh you don’t hear lines like that anymore Bought me a shot and looked at the clock is there anywhere you gotta’ be Said that depends on what you’re askin’ me Too early to tell if this is love or two kids havin’ fun Too early to tell if you’re playin’ around or if I could be the one Do you believe in love at first sight, I’ll tell you later tonight Yes I will but it’s a little too early to tell She woke me up at the crack of noon with a kiss A cup of coffee and a margarita how could I resist We laughed, we played, we stayed in bed all day, got up when the sun went down Then she said you ready for another round Too early to tell if this is love or two kids havin’ fun Too early to tell if you’re playin’ around or if I could be the one Do you believe in love at first sight, I’ll tell you later tonight Yes I will but it’s a little too early to tell She got me thinkin’ sittin’ here drinkin’ I could get used to this Guess I’m guessin’ if I pop the question I wonder would she say yes
18.
A beat up truck on a long dirt road That’s the place I feel at home Burning rubber on these city streets Now my heart is made of stone Feeling jaded, complicated Until I turn that FM dial Hear them singing, gospel ringing I raise my voice and join the choir I found God in a country song A melody that sounds so sweet Heavy head hanging low from the day Let that music take my cares away That first day when I stepped off the plane I thought I’d found a better life But love is fleeting and fame don’t last And cash won’t keep me warm at night Feeling jaded, complicated Until I turn that FM dial Hear them singing, gospel ringing I raise my voice and join the choir I found God in a country song A melody that sounds so sweet Heavy head hanging low from the day Let that music take my cares away Chasing bright lights after midnight Like a band-aid on a heart But in the morning you transform me Like a campfire in the dark

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released January 9, 1919

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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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