Lyrics & Song Stories


We chose the TITLE of this album from a line in Two-Lane Road.  It seemed to fit the whole mood of the album and the message we wanted to share.

West-central Texas is a perfect place to live for a constant observer of the weather like Ed.  As the old saying goes, "if you don't like the weather in Abilene, just wait five minutes."  Ed particularly enjoys watching thunderstorms develop during the spring months.  One spring afternoon as he was watching storm clouds forming, it occurred to him that what he was observing served as a very likely metaphor for, pardon the pun, "stormy" relationships.  WEATHERMAN is the song that resulted from his musings.

by Ed Priest

Out on the horizon, darkness hangin’ low
Thunderclouds are risin’, the wind is bound to blow
Will the storm surround us with lightnin’ and with rain
Will we survive to see the sun again

Your countenance is brooding, your eyes are growing cold
I hear the distant rumble of a terror yet untold
A storm is surely brewing to blow our love away
Will we survive to love another day

I am not a weatherman, but I can feel the rain
I can hear the thunder, I can see your pain
If I were a better man, perhaps the storm would pass
And the shelter of our love would hold steadfast

It’s been a long time comin’ – the storm that we both fear
But there’s no use in runnin’, the tempest now is here
It’s bearing down upon us, there’s no place left to hide
Will our love die, or will the storm subside

Sometimes the sky is blue, sometimes the sky is gray
Sometimes we hide our faces from the day
We saw the dark clouds gathering, but we chose to ignore
The cold wind of untruthfulness rattling our door

Now the house is creaking, yielding to the wind
Windowpanes are breaking, the roof is crashing in
Is this our final moment, is love about to die
Beneath the ruins of a secret lie

How often do we think we're running toward the new when we're really just running away from the old, or just running away?  THE ONLY SOUND was inspired by someone Jenni knew who moved to Abilene from Austin, TX.  He had a sad soul and it seemed he thought he had discovered what he was looking for in moving, only to find he had brought his loneliness with him.  Only after the song was written did Jenni realize he had actually come from San Antonio.  Oops!  Such is life!

by Jenni Jamison

He looked around, a broken world was all he had
He made a sound, it came back to him just as sad
He don't know what happens now, he just knows

He come running up from Austin to the new life he had found
To the lonely days that haunt him, and his voice, the only sound

Now all his days are spent with nothing to amend
Each morning's thoughts just lead him closer to the end
And the days will roll by, and still he knows

What he prefers is to pretend there's no regret
And day by day he's busy enough to forget
Underneath his consciousness the knowledge stays

To look for life would mean to open all the wounds
The search and fight would chase away the empty rooms
But the pain will stay low, the fear inside

LOST GENERATION (The New London Song)
New London, Texas is very near Tyler, Texas, and Tyler, Texas is where Cole spent his formative years.  LOST GENERATION  commemorates the 1937 explosion of the school in New London.  Almost 300 children died that day after an undetected gas leak was ignited.  It was that very incident that led to the introduction of odor into natural gas.

LOST GENERATION (The New London Song)
by Cole Bennett

It was just another Monday half past three
School was letting out all through Rusk County
When the sky shook with a violent, deafening sound
And turned the Texas sunshine black and brown

The elementary kids sat on the bus
Watching out the windows for the rest of us
An explosion knocked me flat upon the ground
A generation lost in New London town

Today all the playgrounds lie cold in the sun
The study halls all shuttered up and bare
The ghosts of New London still whisper and run
For the lost generation not there

The doctors and morticians had to drive
From all directions down 155
To tell us what was lost and what was found
Two hudred fifty children heaven bound

The newsmen came from Dallas on that night
CBS sent rookie Walter Cronkite
To tally all the bodies scattered round
A generation lost in New London town

Papa came to town without my mother
Together we searched all day for my brother
Through all the smoking rubble on the ground
A generation lost in New London town

Ed is forever fascinated by the frequent disparity between what appears to be and what really is - a seemingly perfect relationship that suddenly splits, apparent career success that takes an unexpected dive, and well-constructed deceptions that promise heaven but deliver hell.  Fairytales present themselves in many guises, but they have one thing in common - they all tell a story that can never come true.

by Ed Priest

I love you, you love me, how very simple can it be
Forever after, happily, until enters party number three
Now he loves you, and I must agree
It’s somethin’ any fool can see
I’m losin’ you no matter what I do
I guess sometimes true love isn’t true

Welcome to a fairytale where the best of promises can fail
And great expectations don’t always prevail
Welcome to a fairytale

You finish school, you get a job, you feel that life is on your side
But due to circumstances beyond your control
You wind up quite dissatisfied
A stock market loss, a vindictive boss
A glitch in the corporate machine
Or you just figured out too late what you love and what you hate
So you settle for somethin’ in between

A preacher man on TV says eternal life is free
But if you mail him your tithe you won’t have to wait
God will bless you this side of heaven’s gate
So you write a check you can’t afford
You make it out payable to the Lord
And the preacher rakes it in while he preaches against sin
In the end you find you’re still poor

CYNTHIA ANN PARKER had a beautiful and tragic life.  As a young girl at Fort Parker, Texas, she was captured in a raid and taken to live with a Comanche tribe.  She embraced her new life, grew up, married, and had three children.  When she was 35 years old she was captured again (along with her daughter) and taken to live with her family of origin.  She was told her two sons would be brought to her, but of course she never saw them again.  After several attempts to flee to her family, she began a hunger strike and is said to have died of a broken heart.  Jenni was touched by her story after reading about her at Frontier Texas in Abilene.  Her life is a reminder to us all of the destruction that hatred of our fellow beings brings.

by Jenni Jamison

Her father was an elder in a Primitive Baptist mission
She played without worry while the men tended field
They dreamed of their future and of peace for their children
See the Indians coming, see the Indians coming

She came from Fort Parker, on the Navasota River
Went to the Comanche and she made it her own
She laughed with her people until 1860
When she came to be rescued and taken back home

She witnessed the murder of her family and her friends
For claiming a land that no human could own
She was just nine years old, and more death she would see
And would wonder if the land is something to die for

Her husband was the new chief of the old Comanche nation
They chased the wild buffalo and the horses ran free
They dreamed of their future and of peace for their children
See the white man coming, see the white man coming

Human nature tends to think love includes entitlement, as if loving someone, or being loved by someone, implies ownership.  Au contrare - love, if it is really love, must be freely given and freely received.  Otherwise, it is nothing more than a device used to obligate and manipulate someone into a kind of forced emotional servitude.  Love frees both the giver and the receiver of love.  This inspired Ed to write SHE JUST HAPPENS TO LOVE ME.

by Ed Priest

If you look in her eyes, don’t be surprised if you should love her
In a little while something in her smile will make you want her
But don’t get your hopes too high and don’t even try to ever hold her
She belongs to no one and she’ll run from anyone who tries to own her

And she’s not mine
But for reasons I don’t understand, she stays with me
She don’t need me
But somehow she finds it in her heart to love me
She knows who she is and what she wants
And what she wants is to be free
Though she’ll never belong to anyone
She just happens to love me

If you think you’d like to try to catch her eye don’t worry about me
All I want is nothing less than her happiness, with or without me
And though I want her with me, in my love she is free
To follow her heart
Whether it leads her to me or if she wants us to be apart

The beginnings of MONTECATINI were written on a plane ride back from Italy.  Jenni is a people-watcher by nature, and when she travels she always watches and wonders about the people she sees.  Sometimes it can become a trance-like experience - watching and wondering, sound and time almost stop.  But for the people around, the hustle and bustle continue, and they walk right by without even seeing you.

by Jenni Jamison

Where is he going, the grocery, running errands
The corner store for tobacco and stamps
Then home where his wife is reading her favorite book

Where are they going, to high church, tour a museum
Meet friends in the square and feed the pigeons
They don't even see me here reading my favorite book

People in fast motion, where do they go when they're alone
They look but never see, then off again
In a blind commotion, staring through what they might be
Pretending to be free, then off again
Leaving me to my long way home, leaving me to my long way home

Where are we going, a traffic of people in the night
The town square in Montecatine
We talk with unclear words like a misprint in a book

Where am I going, a coffee bar, I'm just missing you
Maybe green tea with milk and sugar
Then down to the water's edge, losing my favorite book

In downtown Kerrville, Texas there's a tiny cafe where Sara greets you, seats you, takes your order, cooks your food, buses the table, and runs the register.  Cole was inspired to write SMALL TOWN SARA after he, Dan McGregor, and Greg Young enjoyed pizza ala Sara during a trip to the Kerrville Folk Festival.

by Cole Bennett

Sara works downtown at Rudy's cafe on the square
Pours her soul in every empty cup
Always in an apron with a pencil in her hair
Smiles real hard to keep from giving up

The breakfast crowd comes early from the factory near the tracks
On mornings while the sky is dark and new
Johnny is the foreman at the table in the back
Buys ham and biscuits for his morning crew

And they say Small Town Sara you're the best part of our day
Keep the change and I'll be on my way
You hear that city calling with its subway, lights, and lies
But please don't leave us Sara for the big town in your eyes
Please don't leave us Sara for the big town in your eyes

Sara makes the plate lunch special every day at noon
Meatloaf with two vegetables and pie
Ladies from boutiques drink Sara's tea with macaroons
Living lives that sometimes make her cry

Sara buses tables takes the dishes to the back
Eats a bowl of Rudy's day-old stew
Stares out of the screen door at the alley and smoke stack
Thinking about those friends she never knew

All those cafe customers love Sara like their own
They call her sweetheart, honey and the rest
But just like any family when it's time for moving on
It's hard to see that moving on is best

At three o'clock each afternoon when Sara locks the door
Takes a booth to count her tips and pay
Bows her head and dreams about busy streets and fancy stores
Saving all her nickles for some day

Ed wrote TWO-LANE ROAD long ago when he was in college.  He had lost the song until one day while driving and dreaming on a two-lane road, he thought "That would make a good song subject.  Hey, I've already written that."

by Ed Priest

Driving down a two-lane road, my suitcase in the back
Thinking on my heavy load and wondering what I lack
I left my people in L.A. looking for the sky
Thought that I could find my way on the simple word goodbye

And I saw myself out on the road where time can go so slow
In loneliness I broke my heart on the dreams I'll never know

The highway calls me in the night when darkness fills my mind
Then I go looking for the light it seems I'll never find
Long ago my heart was young, with reason yet to live
Back before my songs were sung and before I tried to give

by Greg Young
In the summer of 2005, we did a show we called "Songs we wish we'd written:  Our favorite covers."  One of the songs we covered was ITINERANT POET, written by our good friend Greg Young.  We recorded the show and Itinerant sounded pretty good, so we slapped it on the CD.

INFAMY was inspired during one of Cole's trips to Hawaii.  It marks a tragic day in world history, and explores a moment in a life affected by that day.

by Cole Bennett

She taps her fingers on the steering wheel
Safeway paper bags behind her seat
Turn signals blinking "jump-swing" time
Together with the sandles on her feet

She dreams about a soldier in the dark
A shaven face, a pretty diamond ring
And holds onto a chain of metal tags
And fifty years unbroken wondering

In her closet underneath his uniform, a pair of Mary-Janes that she has never worn
He brought them home to her in 1941, the day their child was born
And now she's waiting, patiently for Friday night, the big band and the horns

On an early Sunday morning long ago
He had no thought to save a life or kill
Awakened by the reds of the Rising Sun
The speaker echoed "This is not a drill"

Her minds-eye sees a hanger by the sea
The radio and records they would play
But no more will they meet to spin the floor
The music of Glen Miller gone away

Sign up now and see the world for free
Be brave and save our country from the foe
Our soldiers serve with honor, faith and pride
Just think of all the places you can go

We had previously incorporated MARY MILD (by Stafford, Shane, and Drake) and WROTE A SONG FOR EVERYONE (by John Fogerty) into our regular set.  We loved them so much that we wanted to record them and they fit right into the mood of this album.