Traveller's Moon

by Adam McBride-Smith

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credits

released 20 April 2012

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about

Adam McBride-Smith Oklahoma

Adam McBride-Smith grew up in Oklahoma, but has called many places home since then. His first album, "Good and Gone" was released in 2007. Adam's newest record is currently in the final stages of production. Recorded in September, with the help of the War Eagles and other special guests, the album is set to be released in early 2012 on Wild Honey Records. ... more

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Track Name: Blue
Blue

Blue shadows in the morning
Blue window full of rain
Is it because I know I’m leaving?
Blue ticket on the train
Is it because I know I’m leaving
That all my colors change in hue?
I’ve spent half my time escaping from something
And the rest trying to get back through

Now there’s blue flame on the kitchen burner
Blue words echo up the stairs
Blue telephone is ringing
Blue song hanging in the air
Is it because I’m always leaving
That all my colors change in hue?
I spend half my time escaping from something
And the rest trying to get back through
And now I’m blue
Blue

And in those old church house windows
When the sun is shining through
Saints and devils round the borders
And every one of them was blue

Blue all along the western ocean
Blue darkening into night
And it was blue in the beginning
And blue long after the flight
And I see blue shadows in the evening
From the city to the coast
The wind blew cold in through the curtains
A blue thread pulsing in your throat
Is it because I’m always leaving
That all my colors change in hue?
I spend half my time escaping from something
And the rest trying to get back through
And now I’m blue
Blue
Track Name: If I Can't Have You
If I can’t have you

If I gotta be alone
Like old St. Paul
Lay me down on stones
Till the angels call
You know I seen that light
Shine from overhead
But it never leads me
To your bed
If I can’t have you
If I can’t have you
Gonna make do with someone else instead

Well some have eaten bitter weeds
With the wolves and sparrows
Some fell to the flames
And some to flights of arrows
But don’t that wall look high, babe
And ain’t that fire red?
And if I can’t have you
If I can’t have you
Gotta make do with someone else instead

I know a fool ain’t nothing but a faithful man
Who ended up on the wrong side of the truth
Well I’m down on my knees in the rocks and reeds
Just praying for a little bit of living proof

Well I ain’t no saint
But this much I know
That we love them best
Who drag us down most low
And when the shame it burns
‘Round your head
Gotta turn your cheek
Like the good book said
If I can’t hurt you
If I can’t hurt you
Gotta take it out on someone else instead
Track Name: The Devil and the Delta Queen
The Devil and the Delta Queen

I hitched a ride on the Delta Queen
Headed down to New Orleans
Fire in her belly
And the river rolling wild

I’ve cut cards on many a shore
Some leave rich and some leave poor
Some they never leave at all
But me I just keep moving

Through the smoke and the gaslight glare
In the deck saloon they turned to stare
A score of ragged gamblers
Their faces pale and worn

And at the head the dealer sat
In a bearskin coat and a silk cravat
A silver watch hung upon a chain
And I sat down to join the game

So round the room the cards did fall
And the bets were placed and the raises called
I had two diamonds in the hole
And the queen on the table

And in the dark the wind turned round
And nearly stove the boat a ground
The rain came tumbling from the sky
To batter on the boards

At last the dealer he did call
And the diamonds from my hand did fall
But a straight flush fell straight across the face
Of the timid queen I courted

So I reached to open up my purse
And found that I was doubly cursed
For stolen or mislaid it was
Nowhere to be found

“Fear not my friend,” the dealer said
“For having fallen in the red,
We offer credit to he who renders
Up a minor guaranty.”

I said, “No property of merit
Nor of wealth did I inherit.”
Said the dealer with a devilish grin,
“Then on your soul we’ll wager.”

Now I’m headed down to New Orleans
With the devil and the Delta Queen
Fire in her belly
And the river rolling wild

And the pitch black men by the boiler door
You can hear them cry beneath the floor
Singin’ “oh my lord, deliver me!”
But the wheel keeps on turning

And like so many men before
I left my home upon the shore
I lost the last I had to give
But still the game goes on

And if I ever win it clean
And I get off the Delta Queen
Gonna dig a hole by the river side
And lay my money down
Track Name: Kingdom
Kingdom

By the time we made the junction
The winter had set in
The road a sheet of glass
The freight cars cornered round the bend

Those highway lights were halos
When I felt that hunger stir
But when walking turned to wandering
I could hardly say for sure

Ain’t no kingdom coming down
Ain’t no kingdom coming down

It was in the roadside rushes
Where that rusted giant sprawled
Through a twisted mouth of metal
For my company he called

So the hem of blind misfortune
Shakes loose providence at times
For them that take no sides
Between the living and the dying

But ain’t no kingdom coming down
Ain’t no kingdom coming down

I’ve seen the fields gone to wrack and weeds
I saw the rain bring a mountain down
But I still ain’t seen that kingdom yet
Though I wear my need like a golden crown

The bottle and the powder
And the bitterest of blooms
That flowers in strange seasons
In loose time with the moon

And stranded on that white sea
With no country and no name
Gazing past the weathered glass
Some foreign shore to claim

I saw my kingdom coming down
I saw my kingdom coming down
Track Name: Miracle Child
Miracle Child

Must be a miracle child
To go down with the flood
Once you were skin and bones
Now you’re flesh and blood
Your pockets full of ticket stubs
Your mouth filled up with weeds
Count the wounds the long night left
And step into your dress of reeds

Must be a miracle child
To have fallen so low
From your high garden wall
To the dark streets below
Trumpet vine and devil’s wine
And corn silk round your head
Count your blessings, they’re silver stars
See them shine above your bed

Come the thunder and lightening
All you do is run and cry, cry, cry
Don’t you know you’ve got to look your savior in the eye?

Must be a miracle child
Like a flame under glass
Through the smoke and the sawdust
You saw the wires creep past
And now you stand on the fatal step
And turn to face the stalls
With the lights all burning far below
Like angels bound to break your fall
Track Name: Bad Habit (honey honey)
Bad Habit (honey honey)

Honey honey, you pretty thing
Your daddy bought you a diamond ring
He wonders where all the money goes
It must be for your Sunday clothes
‘Cause I saw you walking down the street
Looking oh so fine
Your face white as the falling snow
And your eyes red as the cherry wine

Ooh-la-da-da
First you wind up on the floor
Ooh-don’t I know
Then you’re coming back for more

You better break that bad habit
Gotta fake that bad habit
Gotta shake that bad habit
‘fore that habit’s shaking you

Saw you out on the town
Trying to paint it red
But you fell down at the station and it
Painted you instead
Now honey honey on the cornerside
Trying to get a lift
But there was no one in this lonesome town
Who could even catch your drift

Ooh, lord they say
It’s a long way down
Ooh, but honey’s taking
The short way around

You better break that bad habit
Gotta fake that bad habit
Gotta shake that bad habit
‘fore that habit’s shaking you

Every time I come around
You’ve got your window shades pulled down
Pour yourself another round of
Misery and royal crown
You can’t change a rainy day
Into a sunny sky
But you can always change your heart
Honey if you’ll only try

And you can break that bad habit
You can fake that bad habit
You can shake that bad habit
‘fore that habit’s shakin you
Track Name: Traveller's Moon
Traveller’s Moon

When the day is done
And the sky goes dim
Would you lead me up the stairs
To your room again?
I been gone a long time from your arms

If I could erase
The trouble from your eyes
In its place I’d set the light
Of the morning skies
I been gone a long time from your arms

If the wind should turn
And shower us with dust
Though the sun may burn
And the rain may rust

I’d still walk alone
Down each twisted street
Until I find the road runs straight
Underneath my feet

In the darkest hour
I’ll be coming soon
Find me by the parting light
Of the traveller’s moon
I been gone a long time from your arms

Chorus

When the day is done
And the sky goes dim
Would you lead me up the stairs
To your room again?
Track Name: Your Only One
Your Only One

Come let me spin you around
I’ll be your shadow
Under the bright lights
And no one will know where we’ve been
Out on the edge of town
Driving that same road
That we travelled down
Watching the markers flash by
My love with the wandering eye

And you move so easy no iron fence could hold you
Like the tall grass sways when the day is done
Play that old song one more time now
Make me believe I’m your only one

Out on a Saturday night
The lights on the dance floor
Don’t shine quite as brightly
As when I first walked through that door
But ain’t it a hell of a note
They’re playing that old song
But the timing is all wrong
And the sweet words just sound like a lie
To my love with the wounded eyes

And you move so familiar you’re hard to let go of
And where would I go if I knew how to leave?
So spin me round slowly till the dancing is done
I’ll let you believe I’m your only one

Come turn that wheel once again
If we could make Utah
And the old Moke Dugway
We’d park and just watch the world spin
Moving in three quarter time
We’ll put to rest all the worst and the best
And we’ll dance till the sun starts to rise
My love with the light in your eyes

And the dancing is easy when there’s no fence to hold you
The tall grass sways and the day is done
Play that old song one more time now
Make me believe I’m your only one
Make me believe I’m your only one
Track Name: Rockingchair Blues
Rockingchair Blues

Could it be the whiskey or the wine
Could it be the whiskey or the wine
Put me on that old Virginia line?

Out all night until the break of day
Out all night until the break of day
Watched my money as it rolled away

I got trouble on the other line
I got trouble on the other line
All last night I had you on my mind

I went back to Tulsa just to hear the news
I went back to Tulsa just to hear the news
But the only station played those heartsick blues

Got a letter from a friend I used to know
Got a letter from a friend I used to know
Said he’d never shake off all the debts he owes

Honey give me back my rocking chair
Honey give me back my rocking chair
Gonna rock away all my lonesome cares

I sung for glory I’ve been sanctified
I sung for glory I’ve been sanctified
Looked at heaven from the other side
Track Name: Too Cool
Too Cool

Honey there was a time
Before you were mine
When I walked these empty streets
Wandered up and down
This cold, hard town
With no empty arms to meet

Saw those window lights
Shine clear through though the night
How they’d flash like strings of jewels
Here you come my way
And my friends all say
You’re too cool, too cool, too cool

Come on honey we can head on down
See those city lights shine like stars
Red-eye stations at the end of the line
Well we never seem to make it that far

Well it wasn’t your dress
Or some cry of distress
That swept me off my stool
You’re no dancing queen
But I must confess
You’re too cool, too cool, too cool

Be that as it may
Still you’re not too cool to say
What’s really on your mind from day to day

Some girls get hot
Trying to game the shots
Want to play you for a fool
You never made yourself out
To be what you’re not
You’re just too cool, too cool, too cool

Come on honey we can head on down
See those city lights shine like stars
Red-eye stations at the end of the line
Well I wonder when we’ll make it that far

Well now time goes by
And we’ve all seen trials
And temptations cloud our eyes
But I’ve come a long way
Since my back step days
And I’d rather be by your side

You got charm to spare
You’ve got savoir faire
But you ain’t nobody’s fool
Here you come my way
And my friends all say
You’re too cool, too cool, too cool
Track Name: The Uninvited Guest
The Uninvited Guest

The dawn was breaking in my bones
But the night lay deep around my door
Sometimes the hard choices that are left to you
Are the only ones you’re running for
One road shines like silver
And the other rolls down like a fold in a dress
But on down the way, is there any place to stay
For the uninvited guest?

Of all the stones that you cast aside
Some are lost and some find the river shore
And all the words that you use to hide
Will come ringing round at your backdoor
One road burns with tongues of flame
And the other one is aimless at best
But on down the way, there must be some place to stay
For the uninvited guest

The coat you wear is too thin to keep
The moon from slipping through your sleeve
As you rise to face the morning sun
Climbing slowly through the winter leaves
One road goes to no place that you know
And the other runs through the wilderness
But either way, is this any place to stay
For such an uninvited guest?
Track Name: Panamanian Road Gang
Panamanian Road Gang

Black dirt country back in ‘41
Every year it comes a little more undone
Word gets around about a government check
A crowd commenced to form down by the courthouse steps
Last thing I remember’s that dotted line
But they get you through the door before you change your mind
And you wake up in the morning and you’re way down low
Working on a Panamanian road

We tore through the jungle with a saw and chain
Engine just a bawlin’ like an old freight train
Mynah birds cryin’ in the dead of night
Pretty girls sway under the paper lights
Last thing I remember’s that sweet palm wine
But they get you through the door before you change your mind
And you wake up in the morning and you’re way down low
Just working on a Panamanian road

Through the locks and quays
Saw the black boats glide
With the fruit from the south and the steel from the north
Oil from the east and the guns from the west
And whose hands will mend
What man divides?

I saw the fever and the fits of fire
Bad news walking on a telephone wire
Black tar stretched out like a snake’s new skin
The devil keeps time and you’re flying round the bend
The best that I remember didn’t pay no mind
When you measure out your days a couple feet at a time
And where the hell we’re headed, oh the lord only knows
We’re just working on a Panamanian road

Best that I remember didn’t pay no mind
When you measure out your days a couple feet at a time
And where the hell we’re headed, oh the lord only knows
We’re just working on a Panamanian road
Track Name: Pale Horse
Pale Horse

At the end of a blue blue highway
I saw that pale horse turn around
Flecks of fire caught in his step
Though the black wire ringed him round

Silver tracks and dead smoke stacks
Silver coins we tried to keep
Silver stars that steal our hearts
When we’re lying in our beds asleep

Jesus when I first met you
You were just a stranger out on the road
But I knew it was you by the way you laughed
When you shouldered up my heavy load

You walked beside me for a little while
Kept me company in your way
In the crowd’s hungry grip I guess you gave me the slip
And I was sorry you couldn’t stay

You dark-eyed wanderer
Still your step till I come
By this way again

Cause over yonder
There will be no driver’s lash
No mark to wear upon your skin

The devil he crossed my way a time or two
When I was tangled up and stuck
And I knew it was him by the way he shook my hand
And wished me luck

Still I could not blame him
If he had better places to go
Fine promises to make, finer souls to stake
Higher hearts to drag down low

As I travel this hard dusty road
It’s all I can do to laugh
For I am bound by promises
Someone must have made on my behalf

But at the end of this blue blue highway
I saw that pale horse turn around
Flecks of fire strung through his step
Though the black wire ringed him round

Chorus

I saw him dance like a coil of smoke
Between the wild weeds and the sky
And the silos and the radio towers never spoke they just
Cast their long shadows back in reply

Silverbacks and dead smokestacks
Silver planes that trail the sun
Silver crosses that guard our losses
And leave us no room to run

But I won’t need any promise of glory
On that final waking day
I just need that pale horse
To bear my body away
Track Name: King Magpie
King Magpie

Up from the lowlands with a railman’s smile
A blue flame burning at the bottom of the dial
Singing one for the rounders with their backs against the wall
King Magpie has come to call

You’d know that wounded gait at a glance
You’ve seen him spinning in a barroom dance
Talking like losing was the sweetest tune
And singing, “Fare thee well, Kentucky moon”

He’s seen the scrapyards and refinery fires
Heard starlings chatter like electric wires
A furl of black ash lifted by the heat
To settle aimless on the evening street

But he’s been up and down the broken coast
Rolled in the arms of the holy ghost
Followed the falling of a dying star
‘Till it was lost in the bright lights of the boulevard

He brings you colored glass and tinfoil flowers
Ornaments to brighten up your lonely hours
Penny postcards, kisses sweet as wine
King Magpie is on the line

He says, “You are my child, you are my darling one,
You are the chains I thought I could outrun
Whatever trinkets I have failed to fence
You may claim as your inheritance.”

So you go walking through the midnight air
Along those roads only the wild birds share
Through the static and the bare-faced shills
The whispered hush of all your nameless ills

Follow him out into the carnival night
Down past the dark end of the station lights
Where that wild unbounded country lies
Under the shelter of the starblown skies

The meadowlark sings sweetest psalms
Forsaken lovers all the mourning dove calms
And through the evening air the swallows fall
King magpie swallows them all