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Golden Age Of Radio


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(2002 – Signature Sounds: US, RMG: Ireland)

Recorded and mixed by Jason Humprey at Undercover East (Darius’ house), Bill Moriarty at Soundgun (Philly), and Sid and Jim at the Electric Cave (Portsmouth, NH) – summer/fall 2000.

Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless. Art and design by Mila Zelkha and Paul Dorian. Cover photo by Arthur Currier. Josh photo by Roger Woolman/hotpress. Sunset by Aldis Russell. Mountain range by Jon Boxerman.

Josh Ritter: voice, guitar, piano
Zack Hickman: bass, guitar, mandolin, organ
Jason Humphrey: electric guitar
Darius Zelkha: drums

Notes: This album was originally pressed up by Josh and sold at shows before it was picked up by Signature Sounds and released nationally in 2002. The original version had a different, solo version of “Golden Age” titled “Country Song,” and different mastering and track order.

 

Lyrics

Come and Find Me
If I could trace the lines that ran
Between your smile and your sleight of hand
I would guess that you put something up my sleeve
Now every time I see your face the bells ring in a far-off place
We can find each other this way I believe

From the hills and up behind, my town
is naked from the horizon down
The curvature is pressed against the raise
We walked up in the fields alone
And the silence fell just like a stone
That got lost in the wild blue and the gravel grey

Come and find me now

Though I’m here in this far off place
My air is not this time and space
I draw you close with every breath
you don’t know it’s right until it’s wrong
You don’t know it’s yours until it’s gone
I didn’t know that it was home ‘til you up and left

Come and find me now

I keep you in a flower vase
With your fatalism and your crooked face
With the daisies and the violet brocades
And I keep me in a vacant lot
In the ivy and forget-me-nots
Hoping you will come and untangle me one of these days

Come and find me now

You’ve Got the Moon
We ate May down to the rind
Asked the moon for another helping
It’s getting on past suppertime
Lights are low and it was evening
Pull your dress up to your knees
Out in the fields we’ll go walking
Just the tall grass and the trees
Silhouettes and crickets singing

And here I am holding on to you
And you’ve got the moon

See the leaves fall as they turn
Green into a golden evening
Slowly, so there is no change
It does not feel like the end of something

And here I am holding on to you
And you’ve got the moon

Stars and satellites and clouds
Everything tonight is floating
And I am too so I hold your hand
And up above the moon is rowing

And here I am holding on to you
And you’ve got the moon

Me & Jiggs
Me and Jiggs staring at the ceiling the stars above the radar range
Song from a station wagon laying foundations on the shadows of overpassing planes
I’m feeling good, at seven o’clock we’re gonna drive across the county line
And find Saturday night like an orphan child that the good days left behind

And I’m not sure we can make it stay
Sun’s going down and its the end of the day

Me and my friends in the park drinking beer underneath the tree
Lying on your back as the sun goes down, you know it’s perfect cause you’ve got to leave
On a Saturday night in a town like this I forget all my songs about trains
A bar with a jukebox and you on my arm heaven and earth are pretty much the same

And I’m not sure i can make you stay
Sun’s going down and its the end of the day

Later on sitting on the roof talking like the night could last all night
Like we are all half crazy and all at least half alright
Sitting on the porch playing Townes Van Zandt play guitar to burn off the hours
Till we climb the fences at the edge of town and paint our names on the water towers

And I’m not sure we can make them stay
Sun’s going down at the end of the day

Anne
Anne walks alone
Past the Domino sugar factory
She’s as easy to know
As a broken mystery
Conversations are slow
With herself in dead parking lots
Hands not being held
End up tying everything in knots

And she’s lonely

You don’t deserve what you’ve got
Holy Father of the day-to-day
If you keep such careful watch
Tell me why is she just wasting away

Being lonely
Oh so lonely?

Water under the bridge is never coming back

Roll On
West of her there’s a place know
Never have been but I’d like to go
Somewhere out there I believe in me
And West of her is where I’d like to see
West of her there’s another place
Sun shines soft on another face
And the river falls on another sea
And West of her is where I’d like to be

Roll on

I tried out-running you it didn’t last
Everything that catches up must come to pass
And your voice is the one inside my head
I ended up out-running myself instead

Roll on

You’ll probably end up thinking that I don’t care
When you get a letter from a new somewhere
But i know you’ve got what you need to be
Happy someplace East of me

Roll on

Leaving
Making my own city lights
Out of bourbon and the stars of a bar room fight
Face forward in the wind
If you don’t know where it is but you know where it’s been

Then it’s leaving, leaving, leaving but I don’t know where
Leaving, leaving, leaving but I don’t know where

I tried to keep myself in line
I been bad but I seem to get back I every time
Now I come back and the place is all locked
Between the door knob and the doorbell, somebody talked

Now it’s leaving, leaving, leaving but I don’t know where
Leaving, leaving, leaving but I don’t know where

Every time I turn around
Something else just floated away
There ain’t a single thing that I’ve found
With wings that decided to stay

Maybe it’s the place on the wall
Or maybe it’s the space where the phone didn’t call
or Maybe it’s this thing in my chest
We’ll know what it was by the hole that it left

Now it’s leaving, leaving but I don’t know where
Leaving, leaving, leaving but I don’t know where
Other side

Say the west is a story we made up to erase
Conestoga wagons left tracks you can see from space
From the Northwest passage to the Great Divide
Everybody’s looking for the other side

I’m still waitng for the whsikey to whisk me away
And I’m still waiting for the ashra to lead me astray
I twist the culdesacs into one way signs
I ain’t going round in circles on the other side

So at night I sit and watch for stars to stay
They wink and then they’re gone down the Milky Way
But when You’re left in the middle of the Midwest sky
Everywhere you look is the Other Side

Harrisburg
Romero got married on the fifth of July
In our Lady of Immaculate Dawn
Could have got married in the revival man’s tent
But there ain’t no reviving what’s gone
Slipped like a shadow from the family he made
In a little white house by the woods
Dropped the kids at the mission, with a rose for the virgin
She knew he was gone for good

It’s a long way to Heaven, it’s closer to Harrisburg
And that’s still a long way from the place where we are
And if evil exists its a pair of train tracks
And the devil is a railroad car

Could have stayed somewhere but the train tracks kept going
And it seems like they always left soon
and the wolves that he ran with they moaned low and painful
sang sad misereres to the moon

(chorus)

Rose at the altar withered and wilted
Romero sank into a dream
He didn’t make Heaven, he didn’t make Harrisburg
He died in a hole in between
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God’s a drunkard for pain
Me I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train

Lawrence, KS (Can’t Leave This World Behind)
Dirt roads and dryland farming might be the death of me
But I can’t leave this world behind
Debts are not like prison where there’s hope of getting free
And I can’t leave this world behind

I’ve been from here to Lawrence, Kansas
Trying to leave my state of mind
Trying to leave this awful sadness
But I can’t leave this world behind

South of Delia there’s a patch out back by the willow trees
And I can’t leave this world behind
It’s a fenced in piece of nothing where I hear voices on my knees
And I can’t leave this world behind

Some prophecies are self-fulfilling
But I’ve had to work for all of mine
Better times will come to me, God willing
Cause I can’t leave this world behind

This world must be frightening everybody’s on the run
And I can’t leave this world behind
And my house is a wooden one and its built on a wooden one
Seems I can’t leave this world behind

Preacher says when the Master calls us
He’s gonna give us wings to fly
But my wings are made of hay and corn husks
So I can’t leave this world behind

Golden Age of Radio (a Country Song)
Picture they took of you in your cowboy hat
Makes you look like you are one of the boys
Out on a Saturday night, meanwhile on the outskirts of the dance hall
I’m a joke that you’d probably enjoy
On the outside of Memphis all the building look big
And the white picket fences all dare to charge around the lawn
And hold their heads up high when my headlights find them out
They’ll be the first to put their hands in the air with my radio on
Singing a country song soft and low

Oh when I’ve got a worried mind I know
I hear the ghost of Patsy Cline
On the Grand Old Opry Show

Living on the edge of the city limit line
This is where the boundary finally ends
And I swear that we’re the last living souls in a populated ghost town
All the billboards are our best friends
Which way did our last chance go and can we
Get out if we go right now?
It seems that with the malls and the mega-church stadiums
We would get out if we knew just how with the radio on

Standing in line to get my self-help book signed off
On by the reverend who shouts to the converted
Have mercy on this boy he did it all by the book
But still kind of has his doubts
Oh you look pretty good in that jonquil dress
But your smile is a wooden nickel’s pride
and I know that it ain’t worth much but I feels good to touch
And I think that I could dance if I tried with your radio on

Oh when I’ve got a worried mind I know
I hear the ghost of Patsy Cline
On the Grand Old Opry Show

Drive Away
I don’t have any questions that you can not answer
I’m pretty simple that way
Any fears I have left are just ghosts of ghosts
That you drove away

Don’t drive away

We were all built to last, guaranteed for life
That’s what everyone says
Not under flourescent lights
With those tubes in your arms
In a hospital bed

Don’t drive away
Please stay awake
Stay here

Song for the Fireflies
After all the lights had died
Out behind the palasades park
Fireflies remembered to do
Exactly what they were supposed to

And memories were like coins that tumbled
Somersaulting through the deep
Down every well we threw them in
Until they came to the top again

And out like the sun
In your hair, in your hair

Every month that ends its spin
Is picked up by the moon for keeping
Clean and safe from accidents
Sheltered from the elements
But June is like an echo
Of the sounds we never made
I swear they find me in my waking hours
Thirty days like poison flowers

The wind in your hair
Like a sigh, like a sigh

With intermittent rain and shine
the sky re-started six or seven times
It’s blue because it sees
All our infidelities
We both know that it’s been so long
I’m not sure what to say so I hope
Fireflies remember to do exactly what it was they used to