Western Ballad Lyrics

Memory Of A Ghost
Shannon McNally/Mark Bingham

Time and time again
I listen to the wind
Waiting in vain to hear
To hear, your footsteps coming near
Time and time again

And as the wind blows
I’m still a lonely host
Dancing cheek to cheek
And as the wind blows
I’m still a lonely host
With the memory of a ghost

Oh how we move
Slowly in step
Round and round we go
Shuffling to the waltz
On the rug past the window
Round and round we go

Whippoorwill sings through
The gray orange haze
No cage no seed no wire
Spinning through remnants
On this living room stage
No feast no fear no fire

Lamplight lingers on your missing silhouette
The one that I’ve yet to forget
Leading unheard laughter through the maze
Of love’s rafters
As I lean towards regret

Tracing the ether
Chasing your touch
Grappling to conspire
Wishing on impressions
Tiptoeing round the hush
Spying phantoms in the brush

High
Shannon McNally/Mark Bingham

Pine trees and woodsmoke
Brushing my skin
I was just a little bit high
Under the milky way
Sweet as a birdsong
I was just a little bit high

And oh this way he came
He came to me
I could not believe my eyes

Arrived like a forest fire
It burned by design
I was just a little bit high

Into the looking glass
I gazed and saw
How much had never been there before
I recognized my childhood self
How very nice to be home again

Red as the dawn over the prairie
I was just a little bit high
The white of the moonlight came rushing in
I was just a little bit high

Blue as a robin’s egg
Centered like a third eye
I was just a little bit high

And as I rose to my feet I knew
Just who I had become
Into the future I gazed and saw
The bones of my ancestry

When I Am Called
Shannon McNally/Mark Bingham

Wharf rats stroll by the water
The water that used to be blue
It’s more than water now
It’s almost water
It looks like water too

Seagulls fly by the river
The river that used to be blue
It’s more than a river now
It’s more than water
It looks like water too

I will see the leaves change
I will learn to take the fall
I will throw a snowball through the sky for you
I will go when I am called

Aaaahhhhh
Somebody’s calling
Aaaahhhhh
Somebody’s falling

Bluebirds fly over the mountain
That’s what bluebirds do
Bluebirds will never be in the wrong century
They look like bluebirds too

I will go when I am called
I will go when I am called
I will see the leaves change
I will learn to take the fall
I will go when I am called

Every thought you’ve ever thought
Just might come true
Even if you’ve never shared a secret
That’s why we open bottles and drink the afternoon
Feeling like I’m being watched every moment

Hedgehogs dig in the garden
A garden of science and void
It’s more than science now it’s almost Coltrane
The impressions of eternity

Western Ballad
Allen Ginsburg

When I died, love, when I died
My heart was broken in your care;
I never suffered love so fair
As now I suffer and abide
When I died

When I died, love, when I died
I wandered in an endless maze
That men have walked for centuries,
As endless as the gate was wide
When I died, love, when I died.

When I died, love, when I died
There was a war in the upper air:
All that happens, happens there;
There was an angel by my side
When I died, love, when I died.

True Possession
Shannon McNally/Mark Bingham

I am my one and only true possession
My soul’s song, my only true confession
And I turn towards the truth of my obsession to roam

They draw you in and drag you down
No matter how you try not to drown
Sometimes it just can’t be helped

Them that live without sympathy
Them that are without modesty
Bore me deaf dumb and blind

You find yourself under the water
Fists clenched knowing you oughta turn the cheek
What was it they said about the meek?

I won’t apologize, let them criticize
With all the dismissal in their eyes
And I’ve been scaring them
Since I’ve been knowing them
Confusing them, long since been losing them
It’s just the way it goes

Strong and wrong, long gone
Strong and wrong and long gone
down their path

There is no answer fit
Why I shouldn’t quit forever
Their company

Thunderhead
Shannon McNally/Mark Bingham

Watching the horizon for signs of a storm
Knowing that the right will undo all the wrong
I can feel this child inside me move
She rolls with nothing to prove
She’s gonna change the way I choose

Looking forward to the blood and pain
Feel it coming down like rain
Washing over and through my veins

Come the thunderhead moving down the pass
Come the thunderhead break the silence at last

Now I can come clean find words for all the seen
Find some peace inside the stream
Turn in and endure the mean
I can feel this child inside me move
She rolls with nothing to prove
She’s gonna change the way I choose

Blind by the sun cleansed by the pain
Dancing with spirit elders in coats of gold
Crawl through the spot where the world
Was pulled like a root, pulled by it’s leaves
Gathered and burned as the dinner of thieves
Then returned as the body of Eve
Reckoned by the grace of grace

Rock and Roll Angels
Shannon McNally/Mark Bingham

Rock and roll angels and barroom saints
Reliving your checkered pasts
Composing your Hallelujah chorus
tying memos to your tattered masts

Will you always be broke
choked on slivered dreams
with dumb luck and fat chance
as the constant features on your silver screen
Or will the seas part to that other land
Where things will get easier and you’ll get a hand

How much more can they sell you
Sell you things that money can’t buy
Can you believe a word they tell you?
It’s the words they left out that left you this way
Those things that they forgot to say

When I was single I dressed so fine
My shoes did not squeak across the floor
I was led to the altar wearing black crinoline
Summer star as the evening began

Be good to the first for the last is much worse
They will turn you to dust in your grave
And the moon gives no light
You’re traveling blind
Soon as your back’s turned
You’re cursed and maligned
Like the book of Job in three quarter time

How much more can they sell you
Sell you things that money can’t buy
Can you believe a word they tell you?
It’s the words they left out that left you this way
Those things that they forgot to say

From less of an altar and more of a dashboard
More from the wand and less from the lord
Into your dreams we’ll gather in flight
Hoist your song deep in the night

Rock and roll angels
so far from saints

Toast
Shannon McNally/ Mark Bingham

Dragonflies and the sun was out
Next thing I knew
The sun’s going down over the river
The sky is orange
We’ve been passing the days like
We could live on air

Your love is relaxing
Even delicious
I want to remember this song
A long long time from now
When we’re tired and we’re mired
In the work of every day
So tonight I toast
to the memory of the dead
As the friends we love are by our side

These days are not so easy
These days are not serene
There’s too much motion
They are thick with tension
Little is as I would like it to be

Your love is tempting
Even sneaky
I want to remember this song
A long long time from now
When we’re tired and we’re mired
In the work of every day
So tonight I toast t
o the memory of the dead
As the friends we love are by our side

My breath is my divine faith
Teach me to be quiet
Teach me to forget myself
To remember the many many kindnesses

In My Own Second Line
Shannon McNally/Mark Bingham

Tonight the streets are quiet
The battleships are docked
Angels working on the chariot wheel
Ghosts wait for daylight cast no shadow
Your orishas took my beer
My memories have moved on
A drop of spirits on the tongue
As we burn the photographs

Might as well be looking up
From the bottom of the sea
Extinction of that beam to heaven
Rainbows at the serpents’ tail
Remember the hills and the valleys below
Poly Ann drove steel like a man

And I see you in each step I take
In every sugar pine
I’m standing still in time
In my own second line

Out on interstates where truckers roll
Carrying gold from town to town
Wanna hide away like Jean Lafitte
Get drunk on the money till judgment day
Sooth the sorrow, heal the wounds
Beautiful fields lie just beyond
Starry crown on my head
I know this time ain’t long

Oh Willy, oh Willy
I’m afraid of your ways
Your soldiers of pleasure
With your fife and drums
Watch the empire crumble
In your private disgrace
A drop of spirits on the tongue
As we burn the photographs

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