Most days on the drive to work I see quail crossing the street, usually in threes and in a line. Sometimes they hesitate in the middle, but I always stop and let them cross. Yesterday there was a little guy all alone, and he almost got hit. But he made it. I knew he would. And right away I started writing this song in my head, on the drive home. A couple times I saw coyotes, and they just stood there looking at me.

<a href="http://rushmorebeekeepers.bandcamp.com/track/one-two-three-52-6">one two three (52-6) by rushmore beekeepers</a>

i stop for quail when they run across the street
even though they don’t look both ways
they run across, one two three
they run across, one two three
one two three

i stop for coyotes when they stand in the street
and just say hey, leave those quail alone
don’t eat that quail, no no no
don’t eat that quail, no no no
no no no

i stop for dogs when they try to bite my car
i just let them bite it
they’re little dogs, bark bark bark
they’re little dogs, bark bark bark
bark bark bark

i stop for quail when they run across the street
and they always come in threes
they run across, one two three
they run across , one two three
one two three

I wrote and recorded all of the music (except drums) on the 31st, and had harmonica (technically mouth harp, if you’re being scholarly about this) as the main instrument. Planned on writing some lyrics after I had it all done, but it didn’t work out. Usually words and melody hit me at the same time and I go from there, so it’s a little out of routine to record all the instrument tracks before having lyrics. I really wanted words, perhaps Pogues-ish/Irish sing-alongy words, but whatever portion of Irish blood I have and my alcohol-free lifestyle wouldn’t work together, so I mixed it as an instrumental, maybe for somebody’s soundtrack. Carrie said I should try to write some words (I think she knew I was just being lazy). So, after spending a wonderful evening with her, her mom, and cousins, I came home and quietly wrote these words which are probably, vaguely, inspired by my recent obsession with the TV series Jericho.

<a href="http://rushmorebeekeepers.bandcamp.com/track/nowhere-left-to-go-52-5">nowhere left to go (52-5) by rushmore beekeepers</a>

the lights have gone out before we thought they would
and our friends have left us where we once stood
together, through dark nights and trials, it’s true
we must face our fates alone

the summer it burns and the winter it freezes
in our hands we hold everything we believe in
we survive, we have everything we need
and there’s nowhere left to go

the hope is the past, it’s not ours to own
the ghosts of our past, in shackles they moan
forever, in darkness, broken-hearted, true
they must face their fates alone

scavengers pick the bones of the world
the righteous reduced to beggars and cursed
and never, in trial or verse, will they learn
we must face our fates alone

Featuring a certain fabulous Carrie on vocals! Must admit I cheated a little on this one; wrote it two days after last week’s song. I can break my own rules, right? Fastest recording session I’ve had in a long time, and one of the most enjoyable! Carrie and I did the backing vocals in one take; I couldn’t get her to sing alone, so you get two of me. Sorry. Also, I have been playing slide banjo since approximately two minutes before that part was recorded.

<a href="http://rushmorebeekeepers.bandcamp.com/track/your-hurt-knees-52-4">your hurt knees (52-4) by rushmore beekeepers</a>

woke this morning, lost an hour, you were calling me
you’d fallen down in some rocks
you were ok, but you wanted to share the story
and see how i was

and i wish you weren’t so far away from me right now
and i wish we could do whatever we wanted to
and i wish i was there to kiss your hurt knees

maybe you shouldn’t try to race your sister down the street
or maybe you could practice somewhere softer
we could run ’round in the grass, there’d be obstacles
kids and pets and picnics

and i wish we were at the park right now
even though it’s dark, we could still have fun
and i would be there to kiss your hurt knees

went all ’round the house this morning turning the clocks forward
i’m sure i missed one
maybe it’s like it’s one less hour we’ll be apart
or maybe i’m just sentimental

and i wish you weren’t so far away from me right now
and i wish we could do whatever we wanted to
and i wish i could be there to kiss your hurt knees

Doing something I often do, wondering about the end of the world, while trying something I don’t often do, using my deep voice. I had two versions I went back and forth between, the only real difference being the vocals. Finally decided that since it’s already a different kind of song for me, might as well go all the way.

i’ll wait for you where the leaves are falling
the dogs are barking
and the band is playing what could be our song

i’ll stay with you where the clouds are drifting
and the trains are rolling
and the people walk by like they do in cities in movies

and when the sunlight comes across, it’s blinding but beautiful
and these words confuse the meaning
and when it gets too dark to see, it’s blinding but beautiful
and there’s a little love in everything

i’ll be with you when the bridges are burning
the buildings are shaking
and we are creating what would be our love

i’ll stay with you when the time is coming
the streets are folding
and the people wonder why we smile, and where our smiles belong

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