Silver Train
Written on the Amtrak Southwest Chief, on the way to Gallup, NM for a Dan Fogelberg Tribute show

1. I was curled up tight in the fold-down seat of an Amtrak headed west.
A year end sky spit the wind and the sleet and the rain.
Sleep wouldn’t come as those nameless towns blew by on the Winter chill.
And I was blowin’ the other way on a Silver Train.

2. Got a call from a friend to see how I’d been as I was driftin’ asleep,
The signal dropped in the heat of my tryin’ to explain.
That the way it was goin’ I couldn’t quite tell ‘bout the up or the down of it all.
That I only knew straight ahead on this Silver Train.

(Chorus 1)
The roadbed offers you nothin’, just gives you whatever it will
So, don’t get used to the way things are, the conductor might give you a thrill.

3. So, just like ice as it melts away on its journey to the sea…
As high-pressure bullies its way through and drives out the rain.
Use what you’ve got or it’s going away. Live like you’re going to die
Or you’ll wave a sad good-bye to that Silver Train.

(Chorus 2)
The roadbed offers you nothin’, just gives you whatever it will
So, don’t get used to the way things are, the conductor might hand you the bill.

 

Heartbeat
Penned four days after returning from a tour of Ireland, as the heartbeat of that magical land faded.

1. Like seeds, blown by the winds of time,
we will be planted far to the West.
Those who travel, will bear your legacy,
will be your destiny, we’ll weather the test.

2. You’ve raised us, through the hardest days,
All your simple ways, are now broken and bowed.
But we’ve listened, to your heart’s desire,
And we’ll carry that fire, to the home that we’ve found.

(Chorus)
The strings of your harps have grown still now,
And your stories are cold by the door.
But our grandchildren’s children, will bear the fruits of those seeds,
And their longing for home will wash them back, back to your shore,
And their longing for home will wash them back, back to your shore.
Drawn homeward once more.

3. There’s a heartbeat, dwelling deep in this place,
And it can’t be erased, it’s locked down in the blood.
And your children, they will keep it alive,
No it won’t be deprived, by famine, fire or flood.

(Chorus)

 

Mezzaluna
(instrumental)
A piece that “developed” over a year and a half of fooling around on the classical guitar.

 

Spirit Dance
“You’re here to taste your destiny in a quest for visions strong”

1. Trace the Great Bear in the sky, stand in awe of what you’ve been given your days rolling by.
For tonight, the Spirits will be here, they’ve your name down in their book, there’s nothing to fear.

(Chorus 1)
For the time has come to walk that line between darkness, between light.
You set this course so long ago now the melody’s finally right.
You’re here to taste your destiny in a quest for visions strong.
To illuminate your path, they’ll lead you on.

2. Smoke from wood fire paints the scene, as the night closes in around this velvet green.
Moving shadows in the mist, then the spirits descend on your soul time begins to twist.

(Chorus 2)
From out the center of the fire, well an image takes its form.
Took all this time just to understand, to its inner life you’re born.
As the eagle spreads its flaming wings and she lands upon your soul, to illuminate your path to make you whole.

(Chorus 3)
You can call upon this awesome power you can gather Spirits ‘round
For you’ve seen beyond this veil of tears, felt the fury, heard the sound
What you’ve learned within this Spirit Dance cannot be sucked away,
by the numbing pace of modern day to day.


Morning's Comin' On The Illinois
Songline arrived upon waking up on the deck of the “Spirit of Peoria” Riverboat.

1. Mornin’s comin’ on the Illinois,
First breath of daylight touch my mind.
Been pulled by this ol’ river ever since I was a boy.
Mornin’s comin’ on the Illinois.

2. Autumn ghosts are dancing in the mist,
Speaking words that I can’t understand.
They’ll volunteer their secrets if I just don’t resist.
Autumn ghosts are dancing in the mist.

3. Years spin by just like that paddlewheel,
Weight of ages draggin’ on sometimes
Whistle blows the dust away, the sound of steel on steel.
Years spin by just like that paddlewheel.

(Instrumental Bridge)

4. Wild coyote singin’ up the sun.
Raven moon has dimmed it fading glow.
Daylight plays out slowly, another circle has begun.
Wild coyote singin up the sun.


Never Known Before
“I was climbing out my shell, I was rattlin’ the door”

1. The valley floor was Autumn brown, Springtime’s spirit in the trees
The dogs of Winter’d been chased down, iron grip had been released
I was climbin’ out my shell, I was rattlin’ the door,
But I never thought I’d find, what I’d never known before.

2. Pockets full of souvenirs, gathered up along the way.
Collected memories and tears, borrowed from the passion play.
Sometimes even those who’ve lost their illusions to the core,
Need to risk it all to find, what they’ve never known before.

3. Time and distance can reveal, hidden roads along the way.
Hand in glove or steel on steel, dark of night or light of day.
Could it be that even those, walkin’ blind to what’s in store
Just might trust and give their hand to what they’ve never known before?

(Instrumental Bridge)

4.And so it is for everyone, and so it ever more will be.
A thousand years or sun to sun, let the mystery set you free.
Could it be that even you, walkin’ blind to what’s in store,
Just might trust and give your hand to what you’ve never known before?


I Close My Eyes
Came from dream snapshots received as my Dad was leaving this world.

1. I close my eyes…faded pictures of a different face, a younger, stronger face
Take their places in the silence and the dark.

2. I close my eyes…and the echoed sounds of laughter in the sunset of a long ago
A former life, looking backwards through the telescope too far.

(Chorus)
Of the life you long have led, so little now remains
So let go all those burdens and loosen up your chains
Wave good morning to all who’ve gone before
Then you’ll never need to worry anymore.

3. I close my eyes…and the light of evening’s shining off the rear view from the back seat of that ’59 Pontiac,
my sleep came with the dark.

4. I close my eyes…there’s an image in your uniform, the war was won,
the woman sitting by your side had just become your future wife.

(Chorus)

5. I close my eyes…and you’re there for everything I’ve done, the right and wrong, the good the bad,
the weak the strong…never wavered off the mark.

6. I close my eyes…faded pictures of a different face, a younger, stronger face
Take their places in the silence and the dark.


Inaji wabli
Lakota words mean “Arise O Eagle, carry your people home”…from the blufftops of the Illinois River.

1. Stood upon the heights with the river valley rollin’ out below me.
Random lines of people who have journeyed here before me in my head.
Stories trigger memory of those travelers who have faded into history
Now this ghostly wind so high above the Illinois whispers what they said.

(Chorus 1)
I am a man of the prairie, I am a woman of the buffalo
I am a child of the Mother, we are the people of the Eagle don’t ya’ know.

2. Tales kept rattlin’ round of the days before the days were named and numbered.
Spirits of the ancient ones appeared before my quite astonished mind.
And they spoke of a time when the people and their land were held in balance.
And they left me with a song, with a beacon in the dark for one so blind.

(Chorus 1)

(Bridge)
Inaji wabli yuha oyate tiyatakiya ho
Inaji wabli yuha oyate tiyatakiya ho
(Arise o eagle, carry your people homeward)

3. So what are we to gather from those seeds that were planted by the ancients?
What’s the best that we can do with this wisdom they have poured out on the ground?
Seems its up to us to tend that golden bounty as it ripens into flower,
And try to mend that broken circle, (for all our sakes) bring that balance back around.

(Chorus 1)

(Chorus 2)
You are a man of the prairie, you are a woman of the buffalo
You’re a child of the Mother, we are the people of the Eagle don’t you know.


Dreamer
One sitting, home studio, late September night, Jesse & the Dreamer, merely archetypal composites.

 1. Well she always played the dreamer, treasured dreams in the palm of her hand
Spent her days lost in rainbows of winterlight, not a soul seemed to understand.

 2. Til the day that she met Jesse, a battered hand in a tattered glove
Ya know how early in the game we all seem one and the same, that aching of desire or maybe love  

(Chorus)
Caught between the cradle and the exit door
Reality just wasn’t nearly good enough anymore.

 3. From the last goodbye of Summer, through the dying of the year
Danced the ragged glint off the razor’s edge, you know how fantasy banishes fear

4. Spent the Autumn courting madness, spent the Winter fighting pain
Can be hard to unravel a knot that tight, with all your best dreams circling the drain

(Chorus)

5. Well her Daddy called the doctor, and her Mama called the priest
By the time they all had gathered, all those dreams had been released

6. Well she always played the dreamer, treasured dreams buried deep in the ground
No more days lost in rainbows of winterlight, since ol’ Jesse came to town.
No more days lost in rainbows of winterlight, since ol’ Jesse took her down.


Luna Bruja
(Witches Moon)
Written by me & Constance (Randall) after kayaking into the flaming sunset on the Bay of La Paz,
from a bar called “Luna Bruja”, Pichilingue Beach, Baja Sur, Mexico.

1. On the road to Witches Moon, gotta find Luna Bruja
Passed it by and turned around, drawn in by the scarlet sky.

2. One year’s not a lot of time, hell, that’s what the doctors gave her
So I chose a different road, no one left to ask me why.

3. Federico sent me here, sent me north along the coastline
He said she’d conjure up a spell, that would take it all away.

4. Took the beach road in the dark, torchlight down to the shoreline,
There she stood upon the waves, through ages long before today.

(Instrumental Bridge)

5. Beyond the empty red horizon, beyond the stillness of the veil,
From the farthest reach of distance, heard the snapping of a sail.

6. As her power overtook me, a the spirit ship drew near,
Saw her age beyond the boundaries, of all space and time and fear.

(Instrumental Bridge)

7. And when I woke up in the sunlight of an unexpected day
Was the magic of the bruja, enough to take it all away?

8. Did the power of the water, of the ancient, endless sea
Lay its hand upon my daughter, and give her beauty back to me?

(Instrumental Bridge)

On the road from Witches Moon

 

One More Day
A birthday song to myself…and you.

(Chorus 1)
Celebrate the turning of another year, celebrate the slow approaching dawn
Throw your head back and say, one more day…one more day to keep it rollin’ movin’ on.

1. Touch of Fall now, ghosts of Winter blown in the Autumn wind
Never will we see a day like this again, never will we walk here in this time.

2. Feelin’ better, blowin’ down this highway on a second wind,
Never, I said never lookin’ back again, straight ahead is always down the line.

(Chorus 2)
Celebrate the turning of another year, celebrate the morning’s fiery dawn
Throw your head back and say, one more day…one more day to keep it rollin’ movin’ on.

3. Face the fire, quiet desperation on the losing end,
Starin’ down that fear’s the only way to win, only way to keep your life your own.

4. In the fading of that lonely whistle from a midnight train,
Sweet voice of travelin’ ringin’ in my brain, affirming everything I’ve always known.

(Bridge)
Those tired eyes, that weary voice of yours, talkin’ to your mirror, there’s no answer comin’ in.
Don’t deal in sorrow, revel in the mystery, go on and pass that cup of wonder til it comes around again .

(Chorus 1)

© Barry Cloyd 2012. All rights reserved.

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