1. Old Screen Door

 

There was blood on the handrail and some on the floor

This house was my home, but it ain’t no more

 

Came back for a visit just to see his face

But the room started spinnin’, and I lost my place

 

You try to hold it in, but it all spilled out

Yeah, it started with a whisper, but it ended with a shout                           

 

Daddy caught some lightnin’ bugs in a jar

We let 'em all go while he was lookin’ at the stars

 

A whiskey ghost rode that Milky Way

Yeah, I remember that night like it was yesterday

 

chorus       

 

The snakes were hissin’ in the hedges

The rats whispered 'neath the floor

And the moon was just watchin’

Through the old screen door

 

Well, he caught us in the kitchen, me and little Joleen

We held him off for a while, but he was just too mean

 

A thousand stars hung in that woeful sky

And listened helplessly to a thousand woeful cries

 

chorus       

 

Well, this Louisville slugger, it’s got tape on the grip

Blood poolin’ up, drip, drip, drip

 

Lightnin’ bugs floatin’ through a haze of gasoline

Now I lay me down to sleep, set my soul free

 

chorus     

 

The fire hisses through the hedges

The flames whisper 'neath the floor

And the moon glows crimson

Through the old screen door

 

Ernest Troost, vocals, guitars, bass

Ralph Humphrey, drums

 

2. Pray Real Hard

 

Well, time is short and the nights are long

Times are hard when your money’s gone

When your money’s gone and you’ve got no place to stay

Well, the future looked bright, but it’s already fading away

 

Well, you can keep good time or let it slide

You can stop time cold or let it ride

You can let it ride 'round and 'round this town

But if you keep it up, babe, you’ll never live it down

 

Well, time stood still and the moment passed

You’re slow on the trigger, but you’re breathing fast

You’re breathing fast like an engine chuggin’ up a grade

You got to sleep on the floor 'cause that’s the only bed you made

 

Well, time is a thief and a beggar too

Steal your life before you’re through

Before you’re through with all you have to say

But if you pray real hard, maybe you’ll come back someday

Yeah, if you pray real hard, maybe you'll come back someday   

 

Ernest Troost, vocals, guitar, mandolin, harmonica

Mark “Pocket” Goldberg, electric bass

Steve Mugalian, drums, cajon

                       

 

3. O Love

 

O love, lift this weight from my chest

O love, lift this weight from my chest

What goes unspoken now will be buried with the rest

 

O love, shake these bones until they crack

O love, shake these bones until they crack

I burned all the good to the ground and it ain't never comin’ back

 

O love, left me a broke and hollow frame

O love, left me a broke and hollow frame

Well, I don’t feel a thing, but I cannot bear the pain            

 

O love, don’t turn your back on me now

O love, don’t turn your back on me now

Well, I know you can touch this troubled heart somehow

Yes, I know you can touch this troubled heart somehow

 

Ernest Troost, vocals, guitars

Nicole Gordon, harmony vocals

Mark "Pocket” Goldberg, electric bass

Ralph Humphrey, drums

 

4. Close                                                   

 

You give me room

As wide as this west Texas plain

Where I can conjure up a desperado runnin’ down a train

Headed for his doom

You give me room

 

You give me space

Where I can try to find myself in this big empty place       

Where I can stumble and tumble and fall on my face

You give me space

 

chorus 

You give me room so I can breathe

You give me room big enough to hold my dreams

And if I laid it all out end to end, it would stretch from coast to coast

And all this room you give me makes us close

 

You give me love

As pure as that single cloud in this big western sky

I can see it reflected in the pupils of your eyes from above

You give me love

 

chorus 

 

You give me love so I can breathe

You give me love big enough to hold my dreams

And if I laid out all the things that you give me

Well, they’d stretch from coast to coast

But in the end it’s the love I love the most

And all that room you give me that makes us close

 

Ernest Troost, vocals, guitars, mandolin, pump organ, percussion

Nicole Gordon, harmony vocals

Dave Stone, upright bass

 

5. Harlan County Boys

 

High on this ridge

Where the pines reach up and touch the slate-grey sky                      

My granddaddy lived

Till this cold black mountain swallowed him alive              

And his willful young bride

She buried her grief like coal deep inside

 

chorus    

She said, I’ve had a heap of sorrow

And just a scrap of joy

And I’ll miss with every breath

My Harlan County boy

 

We lost my daddy too

In the great union struggles of '72                           

When blood and anger roiled this land

And grandma held back a crowd

With one raised hand

 

chorus 

 

She said, I’ve had a heap of sorrow

And just a scrap of joy

And I fear I’ve lost another

Of my Harlan County boys

 

bridge   

And though I am my father’s son

I did not work the mines                                 

I left this mountain

I had other ones to climb

But I can hear my grandma’s voice through the city noise

Remember that you’ll always be a Harlan County boy

 

Now standing in this shade

Beneath this spreading pine near grandma’s grave

They’re all gathered 'round

In their Sunday best

'Neath this hallowed ground

 

chorus   

And though she had a heap of sorrow

And just a scrap of joy

Now she’ll be forever

With her Harlan County boys 

 

Ernest Troost, vocals, guitars, mandolin, pump organ

Nicole Gordon, harmony vocals

Dave Stone, upright bass

                       

 

6. The Last to Leave

 

I keep my eyes open, I try to look both ways                     

And I try most days to keep my ear to the ground

But I never saw this freight train comin’

I never heard its mournful sound

 

Well, this was a sweet ride while it lasted                  

I guess I’ll get past it, I can only try

But since you have gone on that Greyhound to Boston

I’m still kind of lost in the reasons why

 

chorus      

My heart, my heart

It’s always the first to believe

And my heart, my heart                     

It’s always the last to leave

 

If this love was a party, well, everyone’s gone home

The stereo plays a lone melody

And I’m in the kitchen, I’m sortin’ through empties

Sortin’ through how empty can be

 

chorus

 

bridge

Well, time wore my edges down

And I met a girl from a northern town

And she said, we better take it slow and see          

'Cause she knows what you pay to play

And her heart’s made in a special way

Then she turned and whispered to me, she said

 

chorus

 

Ernest Troost, vocals, guitars, mandolin, percussion

Nicole Gordon, harmony vocals

Dave Stone, upright bass

Charlie Bisharat, fiddle

                                   

7. Weary Traveler

 

Weary traveler, rest a while

Weary traveler, rest a while

You’ve but to go one more mile

Weary traveler, rest a while

 

Troubled waters on the rise

Troubled waters on the rise

Keep that pure hope shinin’ in your eyes

Troubled waters on the rise

 

chorus        

Well, it’s been this way since the very first day        

Ain’t no need to wail and moan

Take your licks, stand up straight

Tell trouble it’ll have to wait

 

Ain’t no burden gonna hold us down

Ain’t no burden gonna hold us down

Shift that weight, boys, to higher ground

Ain’t no burden gonna hold us down

 

chorus

 

Seems this world is newly born

Seems this world is newly born

Go tell Gabriel, blow his horn

Seems this world is newly born

 

chorus

 

Ernest Troost, vocals, guitars, bass, pump organ

Nicole Gordon, harmony vocals

Johnny Hawthorn, lap steel guitar

Ralph Humphrey, drums

 

8. I’ll Be Home Soon

 

Woke up early, rolled out of bed

Got my six string and your smile in my head

And in the dark of the early dawn

The air is cool when I turn the engine on

O baby, I’m gonna be home soon

 

Outside El Paso, where the brown hills touch the blue

Folks throw their dreams 'cross the river and split their hearts in two

And if I had a nickel for every time I seen

Your reflection in my windshield or TV screen

O baby, I’m gonna be home soon

 

bridge         

Life is a mystery, I seen it on a sign

You can stare into infinity and get lost in time

Ain’t no clues in the western sky

The stars blink and blush, but don’t reply

O baby, I’m gonna be home soon

 

Flat horizon, loneliest I seen

There’s an old scrappy moon, and I’m somewhere in between

Drivin’ hard I can make good time

By morning’s light I’ll cross the county line

O baby, I’m gonna be home soon

I'm gonna be home soon

 

Ernest Troost, vocals, guitars, pump organ, percussion

Dave Stone, upright bass

                                           

9. Storm Comin’

 

Gonna build me a castle outta mortar and stones

With a big blockade outta mastodon bones               

Gonna burrow down deep among the roots and the grubs

Keep my head down with the beetles and the bugs

 

Gonna build me a fortress outta rock and steel

With doors that bolt and windows that seal

Gonna build me walls 'bout ten foot thick

Outta old car chassis, barbed wire, and brick

 

chorus  

Well, the horizon is clear, for as far as the eye can see

But there’s a storm comin’, and she’s gonna make a mess outta me

 

Gonna build me a levee outta gravel and fill

With a tall watchtower at the top of the hill                              

Gonna build me a bunker with a big searchlight                                   

Keep my eyes wide open and the hatch locked tight

 

chorus 

 

Ernest Troost, vocals, guitars

Nicole Gordon, harmony vocals

Mark “Pocket” Goldberg, upright bass

Ralph Humphrey, drums

 

 

10. Bitter Wind                                                                                 

 

Oh, oh, it’s a bitter wind that blows

It’s a bitter wind that blows you back my way

 

All the miles in between now and used to be

Aren’t enough to shield me from this cold

All the guilt on my shoes, all the time I have not used

All the time I have not used just slipped away

 

And the scheming and the tears

Come howlin’ back through the years

They come howlin’ back through the years

Like they’re here to stay

 

bridge

Did you keep me in your sight, did you hunt me through the night

Did you follow all the crumbs I left behind     

Did the blood and the gore tip you off, make you sure

Make you sure that I really wouldn’t mind

 

'Cause I’m just too weak to do anything but sleep

To do anything at all would mean a choice

Will I run, will I freeze, will I crumble to my knees

I will crumble as you embrace me so hard

 

And the gnawin’ at the door, I can’t stand it anymore

I can’t stand to know it'll eat its way inside        

And then, once it’s in, the end will begin

The end will begin with a sigh

 

Oh, oh, it’s a bitter wind that blows

It’s a bitter wind that blows you back my way

 

Ernest Troost, vocals, guitars, pump organ

Dave Stone, upright bass

Steve Mugalian, drums

Debra Dobkin, percussion

 

 

11. When It’s Gone

 

You say she walked right in, like original sin         

And she held a spark beneath your heart

And now you’re in it deep, can’t get no sleep

Well, you can hold on tight or just let go

 

Well, if you rock this boat, button up your coat               

'Cause the winds that blow, blow ill

And when the bleeding subsides and it’s cauterized

There’ll be nothin’ left inside you can feel

 

chorus    

Only you can find the place in your heart

Where you know right from wrong

Never overlook the good you have for what might be

'Cause, brother, when it’s gone, it’s gone

 

Well, you’re inside out, worn down by doubt            

You want to scream and shout at the moon

But if you clear your mind, you just might find

That your better self knows just what to do

 

chorus

 

Ernest Troost, vocals, guitars, pump organ, harmonica, percussion

Dave Stone, upright bass

 

 

 

12. All I Ever Wanted

 

I drifted down a luminescent stream

Floating weightless through a polyphonic dream

When I awoke I realized, as you lay by my side                                 

That all I ever wanted was you

 

I have cradled desire in my arms

I have cradled desire in my arms

As I crossed the burning sands it turned to vapor in my hands

'Cause all I ever wanted was you

 

chorus

Yeah, all I ever wanted was you

Breathin’ out and breathin’ in

It just hit me like a freight train comin’ through

Yeah, all I ever wanted, all I ever wanted

All I ever wanted was you

 

I spoke in tongues at an old revival show

I chased the devil down where no one else would go

There ain’t nothin’ else I crave, whether I’m lost or whether I’m saved

'Cause all I ever wanted was you

 

chorus   

 

Ernest Troost, vocals, guitars

Nicole Gordon, harmony vocals

Dave Stone, upright bass

Steve Mugalian, drums

                                          

 

13. The Last Lullaby

 

The golden light shines above

As we all gather here with love

And as our voices gently bend

You are on your way back home again

 

The leaves are thick upon the ground

Where you now walk without a sound

The birch tree bows as you go by

As we sing to you this last lullaby

 

bridge       

Your laughter will ripple down the rivers to the bays

Your smile will spread through all our days

We’ll be real good to ourselves and won’t cry

While we sing to you this last lullaby

 

The woods are rich and dark and green

As pure and sweet as you’ve ever seen

She takes your hand and the meadow sighs

As she brings you home with this last lullaby

She takes your hand and the meadow sighs                            

And she brings you home with this last lullaby

 

Ernest Troost, vocals, guitars, pump organ

Nicole Gordon, harmony vocals

Dave Stone, upright bass

Charlie Bisharat, fiddle