Twenty Years And A Day

by James Tristan Redding

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1.
Wish I were you and you were me Maybe the taste would be sweet Better to ask than wonder why Over the Southern Sky Picture a night together Higher than I can measure Capture it all in a letter And seal it with a kiss Throw to the wind a question How does a loss become a lesson Give it away and learn to listen I hope you’re hearing this Wish it were easier done than said To forget what I regret Lookin’ for sunshine through the clouds Or the last train out of town Picture a night together Higher than I can measure Capture it all in a letter And seal it with a kiss Throw to the wind a question How does a loss become a lesson Give it away and learn to listen I hope you’re hearing this Let the colors come and comfort me Paint the river like a galaxy Now is all we really ever have Maybe you’re my better half
2.
Captive or free born to believe A sweet paradox intercepts Never complete we pay our dues Still a supple heart is beset Once at the shore twice on the tide Paradise belongs in the hands Holding out for the dawn asking only for time With the facts and the hint of a chance We were made for joy Made to embrace in the fullness of time And a grateful poise Strapped to the stars with a flicker sublime It’s a perfect mess Black on the inside in a silver disguise Can the best be blessed To receive it all as a sacred surprise When they pull the shells out of all the guns And the empty shelves can be filled with fun Then and only then will the children dance In the empty streets if our best laid plans Say the clock ran out and the people shout Give it up run away crash and burn no doubt But we have ourselves and we have our dreams And the future stars orbiting upstream Not the only way to change the course There’s like a million different buttons on an iron horse Somehow we gotta open up a new discussion to ask For all the superheroes hiding in the Welfare Class To lend their voices to the choices of the governing few And open up a new horizon for the red white and blue I never seen a real democracy but heaven is now Maybe the music leads the way so can you show me how
3.
Where are you now If only the barber salon in Plainfield Atomic Dog on the water horse Straight outta’ the speaker Real time dollar holler Pick up sticks to your shoe Now a ballot always a ballot Give ‘em what they want
4.
Figure 1. The VLA in one of its more compact antenna array configurations. The 27 antennas are moveable on rail tracks, and different configurations are used to obtain different spatial samplings of incoming cosmic radiation. Figure 2a. An example of a possible SKA configuration. In this model, patches of collecting area (stations) extend from a dense core in a log-spiral arrangement. The pattern continues to baselines of ~3000 km. The huge number of SKA sensors gives excellent spatial sampling characteristics without the need to periodically relocate antennas. Figure 2b. An artist’s impression of the SKA core region, with planar-aperture arrays and dishes visible. All the sensor technologies will share wide band communication as well as signal processing and data-processing infrastructures. Figure 3. A view of the SKA as an information and communications technology (ICT) machine. Signals from a variety of different types of electromagnetic-field sensors (antennas and receivers) are transported and processed via common machinery. Sensors are chosen largely on the basis of their performance-to-cost ratio within particular frequency bands.
5.
Hey cowboy won’t you let me in I’m nothing if I’m not your friend And if our dreams catch fire we can start again Hey cowboy, hey hey hey cowboy Flannel and leather, iron and ash Circuits and starships, blasters and cash Bullets and powder, granite and slate History and future, horse hair and faith Reach for forever wring out the reins Pull not your punches speak not your name Spin only clockwise let out the sound Fall never silent shut never down Hey cowboy won’t you let me in I’m nothing if I’m not your friend And if the wheels catch fire and the roof descends Hey cowboy, hey hey hey cowboy Stranded expanded hands in the sand Landed in tandem branded and planned Offhand understanding demanded the cans Commanded a band and manned it firsthand I have a lump of lead in my sock And boots in the water slick as a fox Give me the hatchet bury the keys Take off your handcuffs light the marquee Hey cowboy won’t you let me in I’m nothing if I’m not your friend And if the wheels catch fire and the roof descends Now, cowboy I can see the world but the world cannot see me
6.
Wall or no wall, the floor is cracked Gotta’ find a way to turn the clock back Wall or no wall, we trashed the attic Because the man next door called us melodramatic Wall or no wall, the doors are locked The rooms are becoming like a prison block Wall or no wall, the gas is leaking Getting light headed and my thoughts are fleeting Wall or no wall, the plumbing is wrecked The pipes exploded out of sheer neglect Wall or no wall, the switch is defective The circuit set off all the smoke detectors Wall or no wall, the paint is peeling The sight is giving me a sinking feeling Wall or no wall, the windows are broken Around the foundation there is steady erosion Wall or no wall, the roof is gutted The rain poured in and the basement flooded Wall or no wall, the garden’s dead But all the worst weeds grow inside my head Wall or no wall, we destroyed the frame Tried to flush our mistakes but they clogged the drain Wall or no wall, the ceilings falling If we’re not careful it will crush us all Wall or no wall, we shredded the curtains Threw ‘em to the ground lit a match and burned ‘em Wall or no wall, that’s not the question Not if Cain and Abel turn to Smith and Wesson Wall or no wall, we’re afraid of the neighbors And it’s making us a bunch of haters Wall or no wall, with or without The call is coming from inside the house
7.
Hey be honest with me for a moment When we go see your favorite band Or take the Bowery with our boots on Did you think it would be like this Talk to me about midnight slices And a rich tobacco dawn Could you wake up feeling any better South of Houston west of Wall You will always be my something Full of what I can’t remember Such a stunning never mind A thousand words you may have heard From the moment we began to Just a gorgeous I forgot A pretty excellent whatever Truly beautiful I guess
8.
So Brilliant So Striking Let’s Paint Something Great Like Every True Echo Impaled On The Ice Our Aches About Nothing Fall Under Our Voices Which Say Yes Despite These Reluctant Poor Eyes You Ain’t Called Away But Lament How Relieved Once Bound And Windblown Our Intense Urge Inert Use Low Light Afoot To Keep Safely Secure Ride Yonder Make Yesterday Hope Each Hurt Ends Sweet Rain Rinse Your Embers How Willing Toward Else Eons Embed Over Years At A Haste Let Aces Slip Up Even Righteous In Exit For Dunces To Rest So Delightful This Noise Don’t Ask Why For Underneath Rides Something Foul Oh Saints In Elite Prisons Act In Accord We’re All Teaching Art In Its Greater Locale Never Nervous How Rare Newly Noble He Lies Jump Over So Limber Such Wicked Wide Beams Use Patience Use Image Or Inhale And Act Slight Errors Can Kill For The Luscious Corrupt Though No Hope Escapes True Hypocrite Karmic Kings Owed Before We Were Golden Erased From Despair Now Our Instant Illusions And Armor Runs Out Crying Out Let’s Not Zero Sum Everything Wild Even Killers Love Deeply Each Evil Eyed Night
9.
Heavy as a tidal wave washing up on shore Easy honey we got saved so many times before Altogether let it breathe Ready we can stand beneath Trouble with a T on the double with a D in the rubble of a jubilee And maybe it was Jacksonville could be twenty years Smoking on a picnic bench naked in the pines Underneath a half pint moon swimming in the summer air Neon ether motel crush gasoline and wine Devil in a paper bag like the southern tide rolling up in rags Early in a morning dive lift another drag let the feeling rise Risky letting out the words to escape a tongue let alone who heard Angel with a blackened lung to a hummingbird beautiful and stunned Nowhere near the finish line this is not the end Gracefully a last goodbye or funeral for a friend Elevator tumble dry sixty second drop Lemonade and stumble by take it from the top
10.
Can the tide itself decide when to ebb and when to flow Or does someone high and holy hold the rolling undertow When the water wants your body and the clouds have cut a deal Make a circle on the ceiling really none of this is real At the end of every story there’s a door that we can open With a key we’ve always carried but we thought that it was broken On a bird comprised of metal moving faster than a prayer Something happened in an instant to awake the unaware Even if the crew had shown a swift reaction to the rumble It was too late to elude the taste of trouble JFK > DUB There was ice across the aisle and a whisper in the wings Someone asked about the exit as our hopes began to sink First the wheels were not responding to the buttons at the helm Then the luggage started dancing and the crew was overwhelmed Like a tidal wave toward me came a thousand words a minute And I tried to offer solace but my heart just wasn’t in it What’s the answer to the riddle or does asking change the game If we reach our destination we may never be the same If the captain had been warned the shift might not have been so sudden But what’s done is done and no one saw it coming JFK > DUB To bear witness is to honor what another hand has carved After giving up the concept of the outcome we deserve Should our plans be all but shattered and we barely wash ashore Drop the rock and listen closely this ain’t Kansas anymore In the morning we are taller than ourselves when evening falls When we still don’t see the reason and the mirror can’t recall I’d be lying if I told you that I never told a lie But I know it never saved me from the way I felt inside Thank the heavens all the engines simultaneously stumbled Opened fire on our pride and made us humble JFK > DUB
11.
A lotta’ people talk about the many metaphors What a stellar way of marketing a couple story boards Get a couple colored pencils an eraser or two Then before you even notice you’re a big cartoon Well it happened all around me and before I was hip They put some crazy ass computer graphic microchips With a dude in isolation and the comic reel So the audience believes the way they think they feel, wait Thought I was Aladdin but maybe I’m Jafar How did this shit happen to a movie star Wasn’t I Mufasa, what the fuck I’m Scar Check out the grand finale it’s my au revoir Now I kind of always thought I was the belle of the ball And someone else was the beast but baby now I recall My magic carpet is sunk, the talking teapots have quit My luck is just about out I guess I gotta’ admit So if it’s all about perspective and the narrative voice Could I get another chance to be the popular choice Or has the illustrator spoken with her circles and lines And have the viewers seen it all and all but made up their minds Thought I was Aladdin but maybe I’m Jafar How did this shit happen to a movie star Wasn’t I Mufasa, what the fuck I’m Scar Check out the grand finale it’s my au revoir And my mama told me it will all be alright in the end But baby it’s not alright so we just have to pretend Eat the red pill and the blue pill and the red pill and then Watch your nose it’s gonna’ grow until you’re honest again OK I’m talking to the mirror and the map on the wall And if I’m getting any answers are they lucid at all I’m not the fairest nor the cleanest, better try to get smart Never mind all the dalmatians I got fleas in my heart
12.
White as snow holy hollow hands Vexes and sighs dive down deep Upper apex supple run for red Tarot atlas shining via vida Slice and hook notches broken Rhythmic reason fallen spoken Qourse qorrecting qarthorse qarving Pistol perfect pitch preserving Orthopedic autotuner North by western rotten rumors Milk and honey napalm necktie Lets go steady burn the bonsai Klezmer sweetheart pigtail earthworm Jumping jackknife light up lead mine Into action out of exile
13.
s p e l l i t o u t t o m e e x p o u n d y o u r p o v i f o r g o t m y s m i l e h e r e a n d l a y n u m b a l l o f m e p l a n n e d t o d r i f t o u t o f o z s o m e o n e l i f t o u t t h i s o d d f e e l i n g f o r o n c e m y h e a r t s t o p p e d b e a t i n g c l a s s i c y o u s a n g t h e p l o t d e s c e n d g e t t i n g t o o l a t e b o t h d i d o u r b e s t t o s l i n g o n e l a s t p l a s t i c m a c h e t e
14.
I got a real specific itch that only you can scratch ‘Cuz there’s a real specific way you turn the tune And it’s a real specific moment when you pop the hatch Before the real specific flowers start to bloom Unslide this real specific knife out from my play-doh ribs Remove this real specific rope from where it binds Replay the real specific reel, reveal the tongues and the lips Return the real specific pieces right on time From Atlantic to Pacific BE REAL SPECIFIC You only wanna’ be prolific IF YOU’RE REAL SPECIFIC A couple verses are terrific WHEN THEY’RE REAL SPECIFIC Or did it get too scientific? WELL IT’S REAL SPECIFIC I want your real specific soul between my mental paws Give me the real specific key to swing the door Disclose the real specific facts and do it just because You had this real specific feeling once before A couple real specific words come quickly to my aid To show you real specific why you got no time Until my real specific love either inches or invades Beneath the real specific rules we left behind From Atlantic to Pacific BE REAL SPECIFIC You only wanna’ be prolific IF YOU’RE REAL SPECIFIC A couple verses are terrific WHEN THEY’RE REAL SPECIFIC Or did it get too scientific? WELL IT’S REAL SPECIFIC
15.
It’s no one’s fault but mine And there’s no more alibis Yeah I just ran out of time Out of reasons and resigned Won’t try to shake the blame To unbreak the window panes Nothing good is gone to stay It’ll all come round again Sorry that I missed your birthday That you might never hear these words Better if I send a letter I wonder what would you prefer Never want to miss the sunset Or to tell a friend goodbye Maybe next year I’ll surprise you With my eyes and ears alive Imagine with a flutter A mockingbird in flight Unwind the sunny summer It was October overnight The changing of the chapter As the leaves begin to glow Carry with you all the laughter If it’s heavy let it go
16.

credits

released April 15, 2020

All songs written and recorded by James Tristan Redding, with a lot of assistance from the Apple program Garage Band. Album cover photograph by Stephanie Charpentier Brusubardis.

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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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