Avery County, I'm Bound To You

by Barton Carroll

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released October 15, 2013

Produced by Martin Feveyear and Matt Weiner. All songs by Barton Carroll copyright 2013 BMI

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Barton Carroll Seattle, Washington

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Track Name: The Straight Mile
into a canopy of laurel and ridgepocket pine
our forefathers walked their very last straight mile
into hard, hard times
back in them stricken days
were they looking for something or were they turning away?
and the first killing frost in the fade of autumn's gold
bent their backs into the winters; bent their memories into songs
and with one step low, they cut their furrows in the slopes
and they built their wounded homes into the stoney mountain earth

and a longing was born for what always came before
with a shiver in the bloodline
with melody on a drone
got shed of those lately ways

well the heavens went aflame and a father was struck down
and act of god in a god fearing town
and the voices of the hymnals sung of angels in the air
oh a scalded heart will see symbols everywhere
so cower your troublin' mind from the praise and the shouts
opposition from within and defender from without
like when the mountebanks rise, cynical and vain
and dosey doe upon the ground where pretty polly was slain

oh the tremors of the earth never reached these dells
you better keep your eyes down, son
on the winding trail you can't walk a straight mile

oh traveler will you understand?
there's a rhythm in despair
it's the price for ancient songs
it's the hand-me-down sorrow of a place where there's no future
but the past goes on and on!

for the hills and the hollows and the silence of the pines
you let me down, oh you broke my heart
but I don't walk through the valley alone
I always pray to Saint Joey Ramone
oh sweet rock and roller, won't you set me free at last?
and break open the western sky
'cause if you give me the chance
I'll walk the straight mile
Track Name: It Had To Be A Train
train, train it had to be a train
leavin' me here, feelin' this pain
you know that trains are way outdated babe
you've been furious long enough
you can't be serious! where'm I gonna put your stuff?

train, train you had to take a train
you couldn't rent a car; you couldn't take a plane
like everyone else does these days
you're from Boone, not old Russia
your name is Jen, not Anna Karenina

I fell in love with a real cinephile
you know I always wanted a girl with style
and the shimmering silver screen became our truth
but "C'est Finis" was my worst fear
what a grand exit you've scripted here
and I wish I wasn't falling for this the way I fell for you

train, train it had to be a train
thunder clouds and stormy rain
did you pray to the heavens for the whole cliche?

train, train you had to take a train
belle femme pretentieux, pour vous j'ai tout fait
did you think Goddard was filming your escape?

there's no music, no black and white
no cameraman or flickering light
no audience to ever see
no front row girl to cry for me
in a b-list, plotless station all alone
ooooooooooohhhhhhhhh
Track Name: Laveda
memory, oh memories, since you won't leave me alone
explain to me why I feel so lost even though I've come back home
I've been seeking fortune: I've been seeking slither and shimmer out in the world
but nothing will cure this curling craving for a modern mountain girl

I want her to see me, and I hope I have the words
I want her to see me, but I hope I see her first

there were city nights when I was miles away with happiness in my reach
and I'd wake to visions of a hillside trailer humming with electric heat
then I'd find myself back in the quiet dell where compunction took its form
and with our hips we tried to push back the wretched failure of being born

could you feel me down there in the lonesome low?
I could swear you wanted me; I could swear that it was so

who's gonna shoe your pretty little feet, darlin' who's gonna glove your hands?
who's gonna know your mama made you while she was doin' it to Steely Dan?
as you cling to the earth and scream for the kingdom, did you see some other face?
love was a match defense for you and for me an act of shame

and Laveda, Laveda loving you is a shame
Laveda, Laveda loving you is a shame
Track Name: The Beech Mountain Waltz
gather 'round boys, bring your fiddle and your bow
play that old tune that gales over beechwood and pine
like when the tanager sings or the snows melt in spring
it's a comfort to a miserable kind

she was linen and curls and Carolina soul
like a journey to England or Spain whereupon
she could bring you straight home where the first sign of love
was when the band played that sweet Blue Ridge song

the boys played the Beech Mountain Waltz
oh! she swayed like a flower
and we danced in the wind and the mandolin song
the Beech Mountain Waltz all night

I was twenty years and one when the world shook and burned
and I answered the call of that awful foreign war
and she plead to my heart and she cried in my arms
saying, "Will I ever see you anymore?"

and the boys played the Beech Mountain Waltz
oh! she swayed like a flower
and we danced in the wind and the mandolin song
the Beech Mountain Waltz all night

as the guns did howl and the bombs did roll
and I held that Beech Mountain girl in my hopes
she had met the contagion and sank to the tomb
saying, "Tell him I love him so."

now her father's grievous head hangs low
and her mother weeps and moans
and I spend my time with the blinding moonshine
and the dream of a girl I had known

so boys, play the Beech Mountain Waltz
oh! she swayed like a flower
and I long for the wind and the mandolin song
the Beech Mountain Waltz all night
Track Name: Pauline
the time has come, Pauline
the night will fall and take its wings
a cosmic silence long overdue
even pitch and stone atomize
so don't feign surprise
you had every day of your life didn't you?

the angels called on me
a job o'work was sent my way
a tangle they could not unwind
turns out every holy page
and every parson's rage
were all wrong. we've been friends throughout time

and though we rarely correspond
you see, my style is frowned upon
I'm a loner and a soldier and a thug
I get it done

you were so dimly thinking as you were so grimly sinking
motherhood would save your life
now it comes down to an act and the miserable fact
don't you know loneliness is out of style

and the South closed in on you
and made you the proof
of a soul twisted by faith
misery abounds

for salvation was in little things you were too remiss to know
as you fill the air with tremolo drone
when you sow that much mendacity
they're gonna ring my bell below
gonna bring me up to speed
I'll drag you wretched like an animal, moanin' like a crone
you better hope and pray they never come home

you won't know what to do
I'll break the family out of you
I promise I will not back down
spinning children aching from the path
well, now you've met your match
victim maker, heart breaker, ruiner of lives

and though every waking day you vamp a heavenward gaze
in your dreams you touch the Maestro's face
step along
Track Name: What A Picture Is
I been hidin' in the brambles and thorns just to get a picture of my love
but when the rattle of that deadbolt sounds, I'll be shootin' straight and standin' up
it's getting cold, and tomorrow she may find me laid out like a frozen jerk
but I been waitin' on the twilight sun to lay down and do its work

I want the light on her eyes. I want the blaze of an unsuspecting smile
here she comes, here she comes with a clickle and a hum
I got you girl

when you walked out I did a scramble through the house for a portrait that I could keep
left without hope I could hold your image close as I cry myself to sleep
but I took for granted every pretty chance I had every photo-milesecond of time
now I've been reduced to a crouching paparazzo with a beer bottle full of wine

I got a focus and a frame
you got a way to make it shine

'cause a picture ain't nothin' but a little ol' digital angel
telling stories of the world we used to live in
I'll be lookin' in on that picture when I'm feelin' down
and you'll always be smiling, and you'll always be around

there's another man because there's always another man
I seen him around, and I can say I'm not impressed
but surely he would not begrudge an ex-gentleman his forlorn request
I'm gonna run like hell when this is done clutching my only image of you
and he may work out or he may wash out
but your heart tell you it's true

that he may have you
but he don't get you like I do

and a picture ain't nothin' but a little ol' digital angel
telling stories of the world we used to live in
I'll be lookin' in on that picture when I'm feelin' down
and you'll always be smiling, and you'll always be around

and a picture ain't nothin' but a blue indication
of the way that you felt before the bad vibrations
if a picture's got a little ol' life of its own
you can live there in your memories and you'll never be alone
Track Name: Mama's Making Something On The Loom
mama's making something on the loom
mama's making something on the loom
said when she was little as me
she had a countypin to call her own
now mama's out working the shuttle and the reed
treadles up and down they go

and the web's just coming along
so we can go out kickin' in the leaves
run for your life, get it while you can
'cause tomorrow the school bell rings
and when we get home, there'll be something to see
woven like you'll never believe
when mama's making something on the loom

and there's a cold snap on the air
as she sings The Riddle Song
I'm looking for skips and I will say, "There's no skips to be found!"
she says, "Singin' helps chase the blues away, and children make you laugh out loud."

as the hilltops claim the sun we can say, "Well, ain't it grand?"
there's friendly shapes like a drop or two of rain on a lupin flower
and row by row the color comes through
when mama's making something on the loom
mama's making something on the loom
mama's making something on the loom
Track Name: Every Little Bit Hurts
that ol' drinkin' man livin' out on Tatum's land
well I've known him in this town all my life
he sips away his days, and he's got a kindly way
and if you care to set a spell, he will abide

I said, "You never look much troubled and the years are coming on. There must be some secret that you own."

he said, "Son, I never fight with old Jose. You know I always hold out for Patron. So with a moment of your time won't you spare an old man a dime? We'll go down (to) the liquor store, and we'll go dancin' through the door. 'Cause you know every little bit hurts!"

that ex-girl of mine had me lovesick all the time
oh, boys. she was a beauty in the day
and stolen from my arms by a man with vacant charm
and it didn't take him long to fly away
two children at home, left to mind them on her own
now she's downtown dancin' on a pole

she said, "It's good to see you, hon. Oh, and didn't we have some fun back before we knew the ways of the world? So you got a twenty dollar bill for me? I'm gonna make you the VIP. And for old time's sake let's go make the earth quake! 'Cause you know every little bit hurts!"

I went to see the preacher, and I told him where I'd been
I said, "Man, there is a sadness wide and deep."
he said, "Son, you best come in and repent for all your sins and the wicked company you keep. That strong drink will make you turn, and Babylon will burn, and Jezebel will tempt you from the truth."

he said, "Leave it all behind! You gotta live for the next life. Big Daddy's got his eye on you!"

and I said, "Man, for what it's worth I'll take my chances on this earth. That sounds more like a trap door than the word."

and on my way to his gate I dropped a nickel in his plate.

I said, "You know every little bit hurts!"
Track Name: The Saviors Of The World
no rain, no wind. only Appalachian sun
the first morning of freedom woke with the dulcet of the pipes and drums
I know the signal of the bell tower closely
and the music is a call to arms
rolling headlong down the mountain for the weekend
in a Bronco to a Marion farm
we'll stake down our tents
where the arrowheads and flints and the treasures of Catawba were laid
winter and spring were so fractious and cruel when we lost the Big Two
but the mournful season warms and fades

cooling in the belly of an Elk River shallow is an implicated source of fire
good thing we got our Old Timers with us if we rumble into the briar
run down the range for the cracker box remnants that we mercilessly pelletize
we built our summers on blackberry crushes and the power of the 4th of July
and though we may dream of adventures downstream
there's a menace on the river so vile
join with me, boys. we'll meet the goblin hordes
no match four our swords
as the Saviors Of The World run wild!
Track Name: Avery County, I'm Bound To You
so it seems I thought that History was cheap
and I could hold its cadence down
so it seems I thought that I could break free from low livin' on high ground
where solitude thrones all woodfire and snow
and tall tails ring like the swath drone of the dulcimoor
the Old World ways and the New World wish to be left alone

and the stranded ache of my mountain home
so far from New York or London or Rome
with their boulevards and Sunday freedom
was a swirling drain, was a need to gun on
from a junk survival or a death no fox could outrun
give you blind acceleration

and easy parley made for sullen days to come
by blow envy and bastard rage
given a language of cinder and slag
thought I could steal something to say
or the diviner would speak and her secret be told
for a soul without languor and a voice without vibrato
looking outward and the world reverberates with home

and the long harmonic of deafening dreams
and dread preterition in high clarity
gets in your heart, and it never leaves
so I'm out. I'm gone. I'm rattled and blue
but don't let 'em steal your story and sell it back you you
that's what liars and phonies do

Avery County, I'm bound to you and your name will always mean
that beauty come by honest is beautiful indeed
and your gentle wildcraft and your rough rhapsody
tower over lowland acres of virtue and blame
but isolation won't excuse its self just because you repeat the claim

of a joysome eternity, high lonesome within
and the heart song of ancients longing me back again
I can't go back again
and "So long" won't stand, and "Farewell" won't do
"Goodbye" ain't good enough
so Avery County, I'm bound to you
I'm bound to you