When the Wheels Touch Down : Caught up in glue Living like a daydream Looking like somebody new All stitched up in your tight seams Raised in the ripples Call for the drinks we need It looks plain and simple But when they cut, they don’t bleed Up on the stake When the wheels touch down The shovels and rakes Bury us right down in the ground I know what’s at stake, when the wheels touch down No points in the quiver The headwall comes crumbling So hot that we shiver And our mouths they start mumbling But you can try to defend And stay off of your back But the lips get swollen  As the widow makers they make contact Let the tongues speak in tongues And let the starts get finished Let the necks get hung Before they even know what the sin is Why don’t you just let it come clear? I have been passed over

Double Blade : Banjo moon in an Autumn sky Hollow back but ringing bright From the North it’s blowing strong Telling sign that it won’t be long So hand me down my chopping stick Put that blade up to my lips Going to brave the winds and head on down Bury that blade right in the ground And it’s on its way On your knees and pray I keep my faith in the double blade Now the limbs and leaves are getting thick Push that flame into the wick When I catch my eye in the polished steel Before the winds I bow and kneel Lord the list is getting long Ain’t nothing I’ve tried that I ain’t done wrong Can’t explain how I know how I know To find my way on the long road home

On Wounded Knee : Back of the napkin scratch out The words that I’ve learned But they don’t come, just cracks and hums Like nothing I’ve ever heard No place to stay no fire or rain No number or ratio No gauge to give a warning sign I guess we all should have known What the downside might be As we swore and prayed and stood and gazed At some beast we never did see Coming winter’s chill in Charlottesville With no leg to stand on That’s about where I draw the line Scrape off the time elapse Push myself right up to the collapse Will you know me when I’m down on wounded knee? Well the blood ran down and covered up Everyone I’ve ever known Mangled hands and best laid plans My my haven’t we grown Back to the mirrors where we can’t hear The screams and shouts below I tell you boys it’s about time There are high towers and deep wells There are strokes and heart attacks and spells Will you know me when I’m down on wounded knee?

Stone Above Your Head : Take your harvest from the soil That is blacker than the color of the coal But you’re never going keep anything you try to reap If you pull it from the dusty Georgia bowl All the blossoms from the Magnolia Have shriveled up and fallen to the ground And I know I should have told you That the rust was going tear your engine down When the stone’s above your head And you’re driving in the nails When you’re gone what kind of song are they going sing? When the clay falls upon the pine All that remains is what you leave behind When you’re lying with that stone above your head Sit and listen, tune them in Hear the trials and the hardships of my kin Taken by the tones of the Cactus and the Rose And the rhymes that Gary Stewart used to spin All the easy people running to me You can see their chickens running through the yard Put them on the table every Sunday Then they bow their heads and give thanks to the Lord

Patience in the Shadows : Puff my chest to fill my lungs up Spread my hands as if they’re wings Everything is in doubt again Feel the back tires spin On the dirty couch once again I lie awake While morning sucks the nighttime dry Well it’s good that it’s overcast today But I’m at home if I close my eyes Patience in the shadows And driving nails into thin air Silently in the backrooms we wait Paragraphs of nods and grins I hope we can stand when it’s time to go on But it’s alright if we don’t even try Well, I guess we’ve made no progress The same talk we had 18 years ago Let’s just get our guns and rob them And hope to hell our cover is not blown Open wide to scream my lungs out But I don’t say a thing Everything is in doubt again

Apprentice to Ghosts : Sky was turning pink Day began to think It won’t be long till night is taking over Coming with the winds The trees began to bend And the August heat gave way to mid-October Take the timber and turn it into gold Because the yearlings are no more in the field Save the branches and the stories you been told Because the ones who were no more are still here Apprentice to ghosts, I’m learning to be Apprentice to ghosts and dead leaves The high beams start to shine Illuminate the eyes Of the possum and the white tail on the shoulder Light off into the night Like a sparrow taking flight Starry skies just echo what he told her Just like water to the seed It provides you everything you need And you’re running from the house But no screams are in your mouth

Parting of the Clouds : In my line of sight, particles are swimming I can reach up and touch outer space This hospital room is no good place to spend the night But from myself in here I will be safe Somewhere along the river my hands start talking to me The left in disagreement with the right Like Vincent Van Gogh, I cut myself in two There’ll be no coming morning to this night It’s not the truth but it’s the answer I gave A forked tongue speaks every word I say Is this the point, where the whole thing comes unwound? Stand by for the parting of the clouds The back eddies swirl, hot like a temper I catch them in the riffles and the runs When this all got started, that much I don’t remember But they tell me I’m not the only one There’s a light at the end of the funnel Strapped down and hit up with something good There’s a storm brewing out on my equator I think it’s time I throw myself before the judge

 Leaving Chattanooga : Oh, you’re never going find me Up Lookout Mountain down in Tennessee Think I better cross that line Leaving Chattanooga behind Down in the valley people all the same So I turned 12, changed my name Dropped my accent and hopped a train You’re never going find me no more I was too young to fight but I took my turn Flying in the belly of a big iron bird 30,000 feet, I saw the world You’re never going find me no more Back in the soil I became a spy Working for Hoover and the FBI Rolling undercover with aces high You’re never going find me no more From the Tennessee Valley to the D.O.C. Hiding up yonder in Germany I left Tunisia at the break of day Landed in the water down in Tampa Bay

Liberty Bell : Much has been written from the droppings My ears and eyes are sinking low Why don’t we just sit down and have a conversation There’s no telling where the words might go I hear that you ran off with the weatherman From that Baltimore station Any fool can tell when it’s raining In fact, I can see a storm coming now Net worth and networking Well you know it’s just not working for me All alone sitting here at the table With all the other punch drunk honorees I’ll ring you the liberty bell Many times we stumbled, we finally fell The gold don’t laugh and men they cast no shadow It might look deep but here the water’s shallow The soil might look rich but the seeds will prove it fallow The drugs might feel good but it’s a bitter pill to swallow

Banks of the James : River was running, trembling low Just like your voice on the payphone Words have been whispered but none were so sweet As the promise you made to betroth Down by the trusses and crossing of ties Where the black water touches the land The light from the city and the light in your eye Would witness me taking your hand But all the lights of Surry County never saw anything Reflected across the river and fell upon me Light is fading to day Waited around On the Banks of the James Long are the hours that pass in between Dusk and the blanket of nightfall Bright are the beams that shine through the branches Eager to see your arrival Currents run strong and they carry along All debris that they pass on the way Carry you down slowly turning to brown Like the man you came to betray But you never came back up that day Where the black water touches the land You gave me your word you’d give me your hand Why’d you go and betray your man? Now you’ll never come back up again

Central Daylight Time : The roof blew off the club in Oklahoma City The fireman said, “the show can’t go on” So we spent another night somewhere in New Mexico Drinking until all our money was gone We had a day to kill so we climbed up a mountain Walked straight down the other side Picked up a hitchhiker on the way back to Taos he said, “thank you boys for the ride” If I could separate what’s real from what I’ve been dreaming I could live to fight another day If I’d have listened to my mom When she said don’t be believing everything those writers say There’s no line at the door and only 30 people bothered to advance pay If I could separate what’s real from what I’ve been dreaming I could live to fight another day We unpacked everything and we set it all up to play 3 songs on a radio show You never can tell if anyone is listening And I guess it won’t kill us what we don’t know So we play them just the same and we tell them our name And where to find us on the computer screen When we’re packing it up I hear Stu on the phone saying, “baby I’m living the dream” We’ve got to sell 10 t-shirts or 20 cds to get from Stephenville to Houston town There are people there who care a little about me  And you know they won’t let the poor boy down Well its 5:29 Central Daylight time When the 5 of us come strolling in And its smiles all around because its 76 hours before we got to be leaving again

Dry Your Eyes : The time has come to blow out the candles Pardon me if I was confused Dry your eyes and never grow old There’s no need to stoke up the fire It’s warm enough when you breathe Stack the wood high, like the king of the castle Warm red wine makes me so bold