City of Vines

by Ryan Joseph Anderson

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1.
Molly was an orphan saved from a flood  Meaner than the water that turned dirt to mud She had the backbone I had the time She held the needle and I smoked the dime She held the needle and I smoked the dime Let me tell you boys when she was yelling at me I won a river from the heart of a stream She shook my feathers and riled my dog Curled my fingers and drained my pond She curled my fingers and drained my pond Lived on nothing but fast food and wine Cried at commercials, blamed it on pride She never got tired but slept through the night With a cigarette burning, the ash held fine Cigarette burning and the ash held fine Let me tell you boys when she was laughing at me I won a river from the heart of a stream She shook my feathers and riled my dog Curled my fingers and drained my pond She curled my fingers and drained my pond Oh lead me to the heart of the pine It’s just and easy lie Getting by We got old and she got bored Traded in her needle for a look at the lord Three weeks later she was off of her knees Saying all those believers can never be pleased All those believers can never be pleased
2.
I’ll drink my coffee from your broken cup When all that remains are lipstick and dust And I’ll let this house surround me love Till there’s one wall standing in a midnight sun One walls standing in a midnight sun No peace to find I saw you leaning on a purple heart In the back of the room you were tracing his scars Oh I thought that I could please you love By scratching out your number from the bathroom stall Scratching out you number from the bathroom stall For some peace of mind One morning broke and another arrived Then I traced my shadow on the ground for you to find Could you save me save me from these stupid games I always start I’m an only son you’re my evergreen You turned your pillow to the ragged kind And you branded their sleep with shivering eyes When the rumors from your creaking bed Crept down the alley and back again Crept down the alley and back again With no peace to find One evening broke and another arrived Then I burned my shadow on the ground for you to find Could you save me save me from these stupid games I always start I’m an only son your my evergreen
3.
Shadowboxer 03:39
Brother I’ve seen the night in the eyes of the enemy Scarred and bored, lit up like a dime My welcome home came with no song I’ve never been much of a lauded man They told me I’d find you in trees we used to climb in Spun around like a weathervane Before I let you down you threw me your crown And said I must be one of the lucky ones One of the lucky ones Dreamed that I’d lived my life in the arms of the enemy Starved and bored, swept up in the tide There’s Queen Anne’s Lace on the floor by a vase I’ve never been much of a patient man Sat on the stoop in our grandfather’s suit And watched you sweep leaves off the balcony  Before I let you down you threw me your crown And said I must be one of the lucky ones One of the lucky ones When lightning struck the roof And split the walls you had your proof That’s how if feels to take The first real punch of a shadowboxer All the years we used to bleed I don’t recall but I believe That’s what it takes to face The first real punch from a shadow boxer Long before I let you down I stole your name I wore your crown Now I’m here to take The first real punch of a shadow boxer Brother I’ve lived my life in the arms of the enemy
4.
One more fall near the wrecking ball Old shoes on telephone wire Where the streetlights tease the sky And try to hold winter at bay I have always walked that way Trying to learn how to find The sound of the thunder in the coming tide I heard the words of the corner girls Baby please love me tonight But in the front of a Greyhound bus I couldn’t think of something clever to say I have always left that way Trying to learn how to find The sound of the thunder in the coming tide If I stay here any longer I fear I might never go Cause on the one hand I’ve seen it all friend These streets once paved in sand I thought I stood real tall then But on the other hand I’m getting old friend Seasons and cities change And I’ve been thinking about a southern home But I don’t think I’ll go alone You and I  Lived our lives in a city of vines Never had more than we could take Never asked for much of nothing at all Except for one more fall near the wrecking ball Trying to learn how to find The sound of the thunder in the coming tide
5.
16 Lovers 03:32
Born of midwest skies That hid the walls ‘neath summer vines And branded me no wealth no fame With 16 lovers who would share my name All the notes I wrote To praise the days of skin and oil 30 nights and one to find 16 lovers and they all went blind So I leave it all Left abandoned by the roadside dancers Cast for the calls Black the night I woke To the sounds of cards against the spokes Of a wheel that rolled without a frame Chased by 16 lovers who all looked the same
6.
Don’t be afraid of the sounds that we made Banging on your bedroom door We were looking for Linus who has hepatitis He was sleeping on the pharmacy floor His little sister the one who can’t say mister Cause her tongue is always hitting her teeth She woke up dancing put into a trance By the devil and the deep blue sea Her name is Lilly but we all call her Billy And her hair’s too red to be real She swears that it’s hers it’s been like that since birth But those pictures all got lost or got burned Well I kissed her once we were both on the run But her tongue kept hitting my teeth When I backed up she threw me a punch And was laughing when I started to bleed Do you miss the days when we ran wild Let the Green Line take us home In the morning we would talk a while And I’d strip your memories for my songs Linus was found in a heap on the ground Lilly let the music play She gathered him up with the pills and the dust Like the candy of some twisted parade Well he’s just fine he’s back on the wine They both get a little bit week If they ever get caught listening to the song The devil and the deep blue sea
7.
Diamonds 04:36
In the backwater lights Of the town where my parents were Raised from the cornfields And freed in the pines They thought they made diamonds And praised it a miracle But it wasn't miracle It was more of a crime Burnin the hours away When the ones left behind Couldn't pay the price For twisting in the light Some breaks you buy One grandma was born Somewhere in Arkansas Where the orphan train rattled  Left her mother a bride The other one hailed From the Upper Peninsula Where the miners still miss her ‘Cause she always wore white The bartender's brother Drank all the liquor And slept in the back room With his twin to the side And my grandfather's sister Had 6 boys and 3 girls Who never quite knew When their dad would arrive We lived on Belmont Not too far from Addison They’d visit on Sundays With diamonds to find And we'd listen to baseball On a broken old radio With the tv turned quiet Beneath the flickering lights
8.
When I was 8 or 9 or 10 I pulled a ribbon from your curly hair It’s been in my pocket now for all these years But I could never really hold my breath Waiting on you babe  I wasted all those days  begging for the winding hour I thought I’d show myself with time But a light in your window made me chang my mind Now I’m the crooked teeth in an old man’s smile I could never really lay my hands Dirty on your bed ‘Cause the wrinkles in my skin Are begging for the winding hour  I’ve been threaded but never stitched One man’s prayer is another’s pretend I don’t know which is which But I’ve been longing to be sought  If you find me I could be your wild rover Sing for me the wild rover I could be your wild rover babe When I was 8 or 9 or 10 I rode my bike down your street through the leave so quick Now your house is gone but those leaves still stick I could never really say goodbye If I never said hello But I had to watch you go With pity for the winding hour
9.
Pale John the beggar told Charlie the queen The trick to this poison is loving the sin They kicked all the rust off an 89 Ford  And wound up somewhere north of Salinas All through the night they laughed so hard the road shook Mary the jilted told fast Paul the shamed The days I longed for you dried my veins She stood in the ocean, she pealed off her dress Let it float out and get lost in the breakers All through the night she screamed so loud the moon shook Could those battle cries maybe be the sound Of haunted American lives Or just the wind upon a chain Or a long goodbye Or a long goodbye Could it be the sounds of haunted American lives Pale John and Charlie saw Cherokee Rose Tattooed on the back of a girl with no clothes Who stepped from the water like she’d never seen land And asked if they’d take her to Salinas And all through the night They sang so loud the road shook
10.
July 04:09
Have you thought about July Had regrets you couldn’t hide No never me I’ve been in Angola’s pen Told the devil kept the bad ones in But I’ll get over it When I can pay for what I’ve done And dance on broken bones Are you scared are you cruel Have you ever told the truth No never me I’ve been guilty and I’ve been framed Never had much of a soul to save But I’ll get over it When I can pay for what I’ve done And dance on broken bones Heroes rely On a villain for their play Which one am I  You came to find A simple way to say that I’m Just one more shade of grey So cut the world loose from that string Never cared much what they thought of me And I’ll get over it When I can pay for what I’ve done When I can dance on broken bones

credits

released June 30, 2017

The Players:
Ryan Joseph Anderson: Vocals, Guitars, Keys
Brian Morrissey: Guitar, Synth, Vocals
Dan Ingenthron: Bass, Keys
Mike Holtz: Drums, Percussion
Jen Donahue: Vocals
Nick Broste: Trombone, Mellotron
Sam Johnson: Trumpet
David Levine: Saxophone
Gary Schepers: Tuba
Gabriel Stutz: Pedal Steel

produced by Ryan Joseph Anderson and Brian Morrissey
engineered and mixed by Nick Broste
mastered by Peter Andreadis

all songs written by Ryan Joseph Anderson
horn arrangements by Nick Broste
album art by Jen Donahue
album design by Bill Chesney

Copyright Ryan Joseph Anderson Music 2017

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Ryan Joseph Anderson Chicago, Illinois

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