When The Dust Settles

by The Parlor Soldiers

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1.
2.
When the dust settles, once the storm has stirred The bricks from the home we'd built See, flesh and bone was all you'd known Till our stars got crossed, but still When the dust settles I will find the nerve To call you once again When the dust settles, my friend If I beat on our door, don't let me in My sorrow and sobriety cannot last Just leave your man, his head in his hands Cold, dead flowers on the welcome mat If I beat on our door, just let my shadow crawl Like a ghost upon the steps If I beat on our door, Elizabeth But you were the first to rattle my cage To let the bird inside escape To kiss my skin, to do me in With a long distance call from the Garden State You were the first wild pony that ever I did ride You were the first, my bride When the dust settles, the other woman I'll never breathe her name again Or kiss her sailor's mouth, unbutton that blouse That came undone at the Starlite Inn When the dust settles, if it be your will Like the wind I'll just blow along And when the dust settles, hell I'll be gone When the dust settles and all the stars Have come dripping from the sky Into your motel room with the ghost you knew As you man lying by your side When the dust settles, will you paint your door With a desperate shade of blue? When the dust settles, what will you do?
3.
Crazy 03:00
4.
I’ve lived two years in Virginia and it’s not bad But I’ve got this twitching in my feet I’ve been looking into Texas Or I might pack up my guitar and go to Nashville Tennessee I spent a year in Pennsylvania It was cold and dark and generally ugly I’ve been rambling like a cowboy but it never seems to help Is there a home somewhere for me? Oh, restless heart stop traveling, let me stay a while I’ve got dinner on the stove, I’ve got laundry to fold I’ve got these babies to hold and you are wild. Come in and sit down Come on, let me hold your keys You’re been running round and round, round and round, Why don’t you settle down with me? We’ve been working on the roof We’ve been planting in the yard These are the things that people do, do, do Why is sitting still so hard? Oh, restless heart stop traveling, let me stay a while I’ve got dinner on the stove, I’ve got laundry to fold I’ve got these babies to hold and you are wild. You’ve got a highway where your house should be And wings instead of hands You’ve got the patience of a gypsy, A proverbial “ants-in-pants” You see I had a couple kids And went and bought a house I can’t keep running like I used to Won’t you slow down? Oh, restless heart stop traveling, let me stay a while
5.
Well, Billy Prescott was a boy of some great renown In our sleepy, small farming town Yeah, his mama was good looking And his daddy straight shooting Seemed like the cottonwoods was calling his name Well, I hear there's a body in the quarry And I'm loaded and restless and high You take Route 49 to where the river runs dry Would you like to go see him tonight? He smoked reefer and went swimming And his body went missing Yeah, the undertow was stronger than he For fourteen days they was searching Till all hope was broken Yeah, his mama only wanted to see him again Well, I hear there's a body in the quarry And the liquor has hit me just right Drinking Kentucky Red by the dry riverbed And hope we see him tonight Well, Mary Jo and me was driving Like Carolina lightning When I tried to get under her shirt With whiskey burning our throats We parked by the road And made it down to the water's pale light Well, I hear there's a body in that quarry And there's a harvest moon out tonight And if the stars are too bright we can shoot out the lights And join him in the quarry tonight
6.
Sinner 04:00
Yea I've got a story not the kind I like to tell No one winds up looking really good it doesn't end well But listen up now I'm gonna set the record straight About how I sealed my no good two timing husband's fate Well all you know my husband Billy loved them bottles of old crow I used to try to keep him sober but that ended long ago So Billy left the house about ten o’clock to sit at Cady's bar And by three he was so loaded Cady sent him back to his car That old Chevy didn't stand a chance when Billy's out his mind He clipped a half a dozen cars then he flew through a traffic light Well I don't know where he was headed but the sheriff caught his scent That sheriff knows that old Chevy like his own two hands It was a short chase Billy landed in some brush The sheriff said hey Billy tell me buddy tell me what's the rush? Now Billy knows me and the sheriff used to have a little fun So instead of putting up his hands he pulled out his gun He was indecent he was dirty he was never home by twelve And let me tell you how it broke my heart the way he'd sleep around He never stepped foot in a church he was the scourge of the town So tell me how is it a sin to shoot a sinner down Now in his stupified state Billy wasn't much a shot The sheriff knocked him to the ground then he dragged him to his truck Billy said you are a dead man, you've been messing with my wife The sheriff said you better shut it boy I'll lock you up for life He was indecent he was dirty he was never home by twelve And let me tell you how it broke my heart the way he'd sleep around He never stepped foot in a church he was the scourge of the town So tell me how is it a sin to shoot a sinner down Now when he hadn't had to much to drink he was a clever man I was calling on the sheriff when Billy split the can I saw him walking toward the front door but I didn't hear the bell I knew it wouldn't end well He brought his pistol cocked and loaded I was in my dressing gown I ran back into the bedroom but the sheriff had stepped out There were footsteps in the hallway I dropped onto the ground Then I grabbed the sheriff's gun and shot my old man down He was indecent he was dirty he was never home by twelve And let me tell you how it broke my heart the way he'd sleep around He never stepped foot in a church he was the scourge of the town So tell me how is it a sin to shoot a sinner down So be gentle when you judge me I was only saving myself Tell me how is it a sin to shoot a sinner down
7.
Pacing through the garden waiting for something to bloom For the roses to bud, for someone to give them to For all those love songs I wrote to come true Pacing through the garden waiting for something to bloom Waiting on an angel, one with dust on her heels A waitress from Decatur in a motel south of Mobile But the phone ain't speaking, the only ringing's in my ears Waiting on an angel, one with dust on her heels Pacing through the garden praying for the light of day For the talent I once had but pissed all away Baptized in hellfire, the bottle led me astray Pacing through the garden praying for the light of day I've had to live out these songs one too many times Just drinking down sorrow as cheap as bad wine They used to come so easy, now I wrestle every rhyme I've had to live out these songs one too many times Pacing through the garden waiting for something to bloom Just clawing at the soil by the dead light of the moon But it's getting late in the season, the last days of my youth Pacing through the garden waiting for something to bloom
8.
The Old Plow 03:23
The old plow is coming his teeth break the earth The last winter frost beats you down breaks you down The weatherman sounds from your old radio Says it looks like rain The old plow is coming his teeth break the earth And seeds fill the scars that will heal into rows The weatherman knows on your old radio There will be rain The old plow is coming his teeth break the earth And no one would grow without a tear in your heart a tear in your eye In the hardest of times does it help you to know just a little more rain And you could grow But you just grow old
9.
Mess 02:55
He was sitting with a cigarette trying to get a light He was flirting with the waitress like he does it all the time he was telling her that anarchy's a personal decision and he's right he was drumming all his fingers on his dirty levis jeans he had a little extra energy for shuffling his feet he didn't see me in the shadows but he was almost sitting close enough to reach I can't stand it any longer I pretend that someone's calling I get up and walk right by him but he doesn't seem to notice me I'm looking at my phone, I didn't see you till I ran into your beer That'll get me noticed, oh yes they'll all notice what a mess I am And feel a little sorry and a little bit embarrassed I'll be running, hoping that my wet white t-shirt doesn't expose my broken heart but you got to go back, oh yes, I got to pay the tab oh no, and remember how I left my bag and jacket and my phone's dead, all wet, I can't call for help this is bad, and so sad. So I walk into the bathroom where I try to recompose Could I be a little tipsy soaking beer up through my clothes? I smell like a distillery I'd really like to leave but oh no, oh no So I gather all my wits, I walk back into the bar There's a man there with a mop who I'm trying to ignore I'm looking straight ahead, I slip in my own puddle and I'm crashing to the floor That'll get me noticed, oh yes They'll all notice what a mess I am And feel a little sorry and a little bit embarrassed I'll be crawling, hoping that my wet white t-shirt Doesn't expose my broken heart So I get my jacket and my bag, pay the godforsaken tab And walk with all due haste to the door I didn't know you were behind me but you tapped me on the shoulder And said "honey, be careful driving home" You must have a weird sense of humor, you must watch romantic comedies I must have had a slight concussion because I find myself handing you my keys
10.
Long Gone 01:59
Well, you're my black-eyed Betty, girl I'm your uptown boy I'm your primary income, sugar You're my pride and joy I'll leave the money on the bureau Split before your red dress is on I'll be gone, long gone, baby, long gone I ain't always been no black-eyed Betty I had a sweetheart when I was young But the war took my man And the bank men took my home Now it's pubescent Casanovas like you And wannabe Don Juans But one day I'll be gone, long gone, baby, long gone Well, you're my black-eyed Betty, girl I'm your hundred-dollar man Well, your senses must be crackin', that ain't no heat that you're packin' Boy, you ain't worth a damn If you keep on flappin' your lips I'll call the sugar daddy downstairs with the gun And you'll be gone, long gone, baby, long gone
11.
I was young when the bank men took our land Sold it to some richer man Out of Baltimore And so my father and his second wife Annette With a newborn at her breast Could barely weather the storm You never know what you have till it's gone The right words till you've said it wrong The slightest breeze to blow along Can knock you down Now Bernadine, she was a tomboy from up the road We'd catch cicadas and skip stones Count the passing railway cars Hell, she was wild as them ponies up by Kemper Creek Beautiful and free No man could tame her heart You never know what you have till it's gone A broken heart till you've loved someone The slightest breeze to blow along Can knock you down My father found work at a meat packing plant further north His family to support Still barely scraping by I would dream of rusted skies and sparrow calls Bernadine in torn overalls Her hand in mine You never know what you have till it's gone The truth you've known for so long That the slightest breeze to blow along Can knock you down And I spent years in a town of smoke and steam Till I got word that Bernadine Had taken ill one day So I took a train to find the farm that the bank men stole Stripped for a laundromat and liquor store And the nurse at the hospital Said I was too late You never know what you have till it's gone Some ponies don't stay wild for long And the slightest breeze to blow along Can knock you down Can knock you down
12.
Lawless 03:43
I swore I'd burn this town with a single match That I'd brew my coffee with the embers and the ash I swore I'd burn this town with a single match [I'll keep the engine running] And I'll stick up the clerk Just put the money in the bag, little man, and nobody gets hurt We'll see if Lady Luck's a debutante or a flirt Cause when the money ran thin there weren't enough to go around The rich still got richer and let all us poor folk drown Now when you're penniless and hungry it ain't hard to understand What makes a lawless woman and a lawless man Back in Calhoun County a bullet grazed my cheek But we made it out the back door by the skin of our teeth We been losing ground and I been losing steam If you were thinking of quitting I think you missed your chance We been seen in three dry counties and there's seven lawmen dead I couldn't let ‘em put a price on your pretty head And when the mercy ran thin there weren't enough to go around We couldn't steal enough money to buy our wretched souls back now We saw no riches or glory, how could you reprimand This here lawless woman and this lawless man Let the Lord forgive me when my days are done If I was born into luxury I would have never hurt no one Let the Lord forgive me when my days are done
13.
Don't let your dreams get you down You've gone too far to turn back now Just put your shoulder to the wheel and if it takes a hundred years Don't let your dreams get you down If your heart is heavy and you feel it start to rust And like some crooked Midas you kill everything you touch Just plant a seed in the ground from the bitter fruit you've found And see what rises from the dust Don't let your dreams get you down Just wipe the sweat from your brow Put your shoulder to the wheel and if it takes a hundred years Don't let your dreams get you down

credits

released December 9, 2011

Vocals, Guitar and Percussion: Alex Culbreth and Karen Jonas
Double Bass: Dan Dutton
Produced by Glenn Fink
Photography by Erica Hopson

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The Parlor Soldiers Fredericksburg, Virginia

Fredericksburg songwriters Alex Culbreth and Karen Jonas are joined by Dan Dutton on double bass as they play the usual tunes of heartache and heartbreak along with some more niche pieces about outlaws, sheriffs, hookers, and whiskey. Together they weave stories and harmonies that will make you pull your heart out of your chest and dance all over it. Figuratively. theparlorsoldiers@gmail.com ... more

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