Water Wears the Stone

by TR Kelley

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about

Songs of love, death and subversion.

credits

released January 1, 1995

All songs written by TR Kelley - Darkwater Music (BMI)
Recorded at Don Ross Productions - Eugene Oregon
Graphic design - Rat Salade Grafix

TR Kelley - acoustic & bass guitars, vocals
Debbie Diedrich - piano on #6, harmony vocal on #4
Katie Henry - flute on #3, harmony vocal on #4 #9
Walker T. Ryan - slide guitar on #9

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TR Kelley Swisshome, Oregon

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Track Name: Lilac Trees
off to the side of a lonely road, lilac trees were blooming
gentle purple sentinels watching over space
curious i stopped my car and the hush of an older evening
wrapped me like a grandma's quilt drawn down around my face

hiding in the tangled grass a remnant of some stairs
charred timbers, glass and broken bricks scattered here and there
farther back an orchard grown wild and wise with years
a tired fence and seven stones washed by ancient tears

the earth reclaims what has been wrought
by the reckless and the dreamer
hopes are broken on the wheel of an unforgiving land
she hides the scars into herself healing back to beauty
and all that's left are lilac trees where none before did stand

the moss growing on the old grey stones had softened all the names
born in May of 892 was a little boy named James
the death date came soon after, my heart filled with knowing tears
as a mother who has lost a child that sorrow spans a hundred years

the earth reclaims what has been wrought
by the reckless and the dreamer
hopes are broken on the wheel of an unforgiving land
she hides the scars into herself healing into beauty
and all that's left are ashes that i'm holding in my hand

the setting sun is warm and gold, t
he sky above grows dark and cold
there is no death if one remembers
to sing the names out into space
to stroke the stones with certain grace
to honor the holy resting place
by passing down this roadside changed

the earth reclaims what has been wrought
by the reckless and the dreamer
hopes are broken on the wheel of an unforgiving land
she hides the scars into herself healing back to beauty
and all that's left are lilac trees where none before did stand
and all that's left are ashes that i'm holding in my hand
where none before did stand
Track Name: Jagged
i am jagged i am clear
i just have to get out of here
i am soaring i am space
and i'm trying hard to hide my face
afraid you will see into me
the heat and night and spring inside me
nothing that you did was wrong
but i've just been away too long
forgot the power of a song
and the passion of the singer
you're a road i can not travel, and you're wine i cannot drink
and a song that forever haunts me on nights when i cannot sleep

electricity and music
fill this starry night in may
i know i'm a fool to open up
and lose myself this way
entranced by undercurrents
in the things that you do and do not say
but roads diverge, we separate,
your path i can never know
but we're dancing at the junction
and watch this night get old
you're a road i can not travel,
and you're wine i cannot drink
and a song that forever haunts me
on nights when i cannot sleep

someone else is driving
and i ride mesmerized
by lights and lines and lives in motion,
words and feelings left unspoken
greener fields that leave me broken,
willing shards upon your wooden floor
held up to the light of day
the magic slowly drains away
and i am left just as before,
try and chase your shadow out my door
you're a road i can not travel,
and you're wine i cannot drink
and a song that forever haunts me
on nights when i cannot sleep

your song will forever haunt me
and tonight i cannot sleep
Track Name: Water Wears the Stone
i built my walls,
bricks of anger tears of stone
dark windows of unbreakable emotion
a fortress of calamity that i'd learned to call my home

water wears the stone, down to flesh and bone
when the storm is over, i will find i'm no longer alone

you are the rain
growing flowers
in the shards and ashes of the life i left behind
but sometimes in the still of the night
i'm still fighting those old demons on familiar battlegrounds

water wears the stone, down to flesh and bone
when the storm is over, i will find i'm no longer alone

if i cannot see you
i'm still clinging to shards of pain
staring at my hands and the blood running down
wash me clean again

if i cannot hear you through the voices in the rain
forgive me love, it's a little dark in here
till the walls come down again

water wears the stone, down to flesh and bone
when the storm is over, i will find i'm no longer alone
Track Name: Steal a Glance
i got a folding metal chair backstage right
sipping beer feeling good it's a packed house tonight
waiting for my set i got a private fantasy
but to my surprise you're looking back at me

i try to steal a glance
but your eyes are open
what's this, the air's a little warm
who are you - i'll never really know
just some guitar pickin' guy in a late night show

it's a hazard i've run into before
buzzin' with the power that we conjure with these chords
it's a channel to a primal wordless place
i know that you've been there, i can see it in your face

i try to steal a glance but your eyes are open
what's this, the air's a little warm
who are you - i'll never really know
just some guitar pickin' guy in a late night show

up under the lights you're larger than life
got a halo in your hair and your voice is like a velvet knife
i get sucked into the magic like some kind of giddy fan
forget this is my second home and you are just a man

i try to steal a glance but your eyes are open
what's this, the air's a little warm
who are you - i'll never really know
just some guitar pickin' guy in a late night show

do you look at me that way
cuz your feeling what i'm feeling
do you like the things i'm doing to my microphone
i like the way you play and i like the way you sing
but the thing that gets me going is the way you look in jeans

after the show, trading tapes and hugs and drinking beer
it's on the road goodbye boys maybe see you maybe late next year
i'll keep my wild thoughts to myself and you will never know
till your driving down the highway and you hear this on the radio

i try to steal a glance but your eyes are open
what's this, the air's a little warm
who are you - i'll never really know
just some guitar pickin' guy in a late night show
Track Name: Clearcut Disillusion
missed another payment
on my pickup truck today
it doesn't matter
they're gonna take it all away
the mill's been closed for half a year
my world is crashing around me
someone said there's no more forest

my daddy was a faller
my brother pulls green chain
and i went to work in the woods
the day i turned 18
there's been good times
and hard times and boom times
but we never thought that it could end
and now some jokers telling me
there's no more forest

they said the trees would last forever
they said my job would be secure
you can blame this on the environmentalists
looking back i'm not so sure

my wife is working at the local Circle K
my unemployment it ran out yesterday
my kids ask me "Daddy, why ?"
i don't know what to say
but in my minds eye i can still see the forest

they said the trees would last forever
they said my job would be secure
you can blame this on the preservationists
looking back i'm not so sure

all around me i see broken men and clearcut hills
shopping malls and taverns
where we try and lose our ills
the timber companies cut and ran
raped the people and the land
now they're telling me, "sorry but there's no more forest."

it wasn't the spotted owl and it wasn't the Japanese
it wasn't mechanization that finally took us to our knees
just a clear-cut case of rampant corporate greed
they couldn't see the forest for the trees

missed another payment on my house and land today.....
Track Name: Dance of the Road
we have traveled the same roads
in different time and different space
i recognize the stars in your eyes,
there the same ones i used to navigate by
until time and circumstance,
took me away from the dance of the road

between the lines and the ties,
between the signs and the lies we live
heading for that goal if you can remember what it is
and till you go you'll never know if you belong there

we have traveled the same roads
in different times and different space
i can see the tracks of experience on your face
and i look in the mirror at my own eyes,
and those same lines i recognize
but there's been time and circumstance
took me away from the crazy dance of the road
trying to bring them what you're feeling,
trying to know just how to live

between the signs and the lies
between the ties that bind
between the ties that take you home
i know you're caught there

we have traveled the same roads,
i can't follow where you've gone
your road is for you now,
you let me dance when you're in town
you let me dance you never let me down

we have traveled the same roads,
in different time and different space
i recognize the stars in your eyes,
they're the same ones i used to navigate by
until time and circumstance,
took me away from the crazy dance of the road

damned if you and damned if you don't,
you can't ever get away
and i look out my window,
at the cold and the grey
and i wonder how i'd be,
if i'd gone that way
Track Name: One Size Fits All
one size fits all (1994)

i wanted a skirt something pretty and bright
so i set out for mall one saturday night
was irritated at the labels, large, medium and small
but the most insulting tag is "one size fits all"

i took a deep breath and grabbed one off the rack
went in to the dressing room, closed the door behind my back
first i put the left leg in then i put the right,
i pulled it up a little and it was getting kinda tight.
then i heard a thread pop, then i heard a rrrrrrrip
this dinky little rag was stuck around my hips

half the women in the world are over size fourteen
but where they hide the clothes for us remains to be seen
we come in all sizes small and short and big and tall
and there aint no such thing as one size fits all

i took the rag to the counter i showed it to the dude
he said "you better pay for that" with a snotty attitude
here's a hundred eighty pounds of pure power and grace,
of womanly perfection in body and face
my body or my attitude neither one is small
and i refuse to knuckle under to one size fits all

i said sit down shut up you pompous little shit
if you look here at this label, it said this skirt would fit
so it ain't my fault that it ripped down the side
even though my thighs are big and my ass is kinda wide

but i have a cool solution to this mess that you have begun
you can sell me two of these for the price of one,
and i'll sew them both together i can do it pretty fast
with good strong seams that i know will surely last

and then i'll sit you down with a big black pen
and you'll fix all these tags so this don't happen again
he looked kinda defeated and he said o.k. fine
he picked up the first one and wrote in size 9

so i left the store triumphant i was feeling mighty good
i try to educate i try to make it understood
half the women in the world are over size fourteen
but where they hide the clothes for us remains to be seen
we come in all sizes small and short and big and tall
and there ain't no such thing as one size fits all.
Track Name: Girlchild
girlchild, my daughter i will raise you as i would be
strong and confident, wild and free
girlchild my daughter, fear i will not teach you
anything you reach for can be yours
girlchild my daughter,we will wander together
upon our great green mother goddess, the earth
girlchild my daughter, i'll teach you the secrets of womyn
the ways of the witches, and the strength of the night

when the patriarchy falls, like crumbling prison walls
and all the little children will go free at last
no roles and games will bind them,
confuse them or confine them
humble them in fear like i was

taunted if you're different, don't fit those little roles
submissive little objects in tight designer clothes
anger at the system, trapped inside a cage
of lowered expectations and woman-hating rage

when the patriarchy falls, like crumbling prison walls
and all the little children will go free at last
no roles and games will bind them,
confuse them or confine them
humble them in fear like i was

girlchild my daughter, the change is coming soon
my sisters and my mothers are returning to the moon
girlchild my daughter we won't take it anymore
won't worship at their altars won't scrub their dirty floors
won't sacrifice our babies in their senseless bloody wars
maybe not in my life but most certainly in yours
womyn will be free again
free
Track Name: I Am a Pitcher
i am a pitcher, you are a cup
will you pass me on, after i fill you up
will you try to keep pouring, you'll be likely to drown
there's no time to be selfish, i'll be back around

look here's a channel, of a river gone dry
can't you smell the rain coming, in the hot summer sky
i feel the storm building, way down deep in my blood
better get up to high ground, or be lost in the flood

i'm the waves on the ocean, i'm the mist in the night
a dark lake with no bottom, where you could sink out of sight
i'm the ice of the mountains, i'm the tears in your eyes
there's no way to contain me, so please don't even try

when i was younger, i got caught in the rain
it soaked into my spirit, helped me channel my pain
now i flow over boulders, i fall from the sky
gonna wear down your mountain, gonna drive you to cry

i am a pitcher, you are a cup
will you pass me on, after i fill you up
will you try to keep pouring, you'll be likely to drown
there's no time to be selfish, i'll be back around
Track Name: Downwardly Mobile (Gov't Cheez)
there's a guy in a hardhat
leaning on a shovel
munching on a donut
with his pants slung low
bitching to his buddy
about those bums on welfare
he's making 20 bucks an hour
on the government rolls

i myself used to work in retail
stocking and selling and sweeping the floor
but my time is worth
more to me than money
ain't gonna work in no store no more
hey mister boss man you don't own me
i've dropped out and i'm doing fine
bartering and scrounging
and shopping at the goodwill
downwardly mobile on the poverty line

i said fuck the american standard of living
i can get by on a whole lot less
i live in a shack with my bike out back
and i ain't giving nothing to the IRS
hey mister boss man you can't own me
i have chosen a life of alternative ease
sitting in the sun and picking my guitar
eating top ramen and government cheese

well its not at all that i don't like working
i get a lot of satisfaction
from a job well done
but i won't sell my time
doing something i hate
there ain't no second chance
when your lifetime's done

call me a slacker on the government tit
call me a hippie and a no-account bum
curse me blue
from your white collar high rise
hating the way that your life is run?
feeling kinda empty
when the working day's done?

you got to pay somebody money
to do things you ain't got time to do
because you are too busy earning money

call me a slacker on the government tit
call me a hippie and a no-account bum
call me a red from your blue collar tavern
hating the way that your life is run?
feeling kinda empty
when the working day's done?

taxpaying workadaddy upright citizens
pay homage to the system
at the shopping mall
a consume-a-rama binge
with plastic money
you'll be working till you're dead to pay for it all
trashing the earth
just to make more doodads
get the economy higher than before
growth for the sake of growth is cancer
when the earth is gone
there won't be no more
yeah, there's gotta be some cash
for the food and the rent
but money can't buy what you really lack
time doing what you love
is time that's well spent
cuz time is the one thing
you can't buy back
Track Name: He Changes Didies
valentines day has come an gone and our anniversary too,
mother's day was un-celebrated, and my birthday late in June
no cards, or flowers or shiny trinkets to hang around my neck
no negligees or chocolate hearts, gift certificates or checks
my friends don't understand why i am not at all upset
so i guess i should explain the real goodies that i get

he changes didies, he makes me pizza,
he walks the children to the park, washes dishes,
reads bedtime stories
and keeps me purring after dark
i prefer the way he shows his love
spontaneous and from the heart
to store-bought emotions
from the marketing team at hallmark

the colourful grocery store displays remind us when to care
sell cards and cups and plaques and holiday print underwear
useless junk to clutter up our lives and waste our hard earned cash
we said enough prepackaged sentiments and tossed them in the trash
now we don't rush to the store for a card
don't sneak some flowers from the neighbor's yard

he makes me popcorn, we watch a movie,
we ride our bikes down to the park,
we hunt for mushrooms, we read together,
we lie and listen to the rain long after dark
i prefer the love we share
a thousand little ways
than humdrum social rituals on
prefabricated holidays