Reverie

by David Wilcox

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about

On Reverie, this veteran singer/songwriter tackles subjects both lofty and commonplace with the melodic grace and fine-honed lyric sense that have long typified his work. In this live setting, Wilcox gives himself no room to hide — fortunately he’s ready to expose his thoughts and emotions without fear of disfavor. The playful “End of the World (again)” and the philosophical “Let the Wave Say” look at planetary change with a sagacious eye. More stinging are “Little Fish” (a sly commentary on the smugly religious) and “We Call It Freedom” (a warning against American xenophobia). Character sketches like “Shark Man” and “Angeline” are a touch unsettling. For the most part, Wilcox keeps his tone positive (if a bit melancholy) in songs like “Ireland” and the title tune. As usual, his acoustic guitar work is impeccable, with “One Way to Find Out” featuring some especially fine playing. Wilcox is a master at prodding the listener to think while surrounding him with a mellow aural atmosphere. Reverie ranks among his best efforts along these lines.

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released November 23, 2010

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David Wilcox Asheville, North Carolina

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Track Name: End of the World (again)
It’s the end of the world again
Got the tickets early and we’re standing in line
It’s the end of the world again
Everybody’s certain of it one more time

Tell me all about the calendar the Mayans figured out
Before they all disappeared in mystery
They didn’t have a future, but we all have no doubt
They knew the punch line of our history

It’s the end of the world again
Got the tickets early and we’re standing in line
It’s the end of the world again
Everybody’s certain of it one more time

Accurate predictions all indicate our doom
Things that eluded our detection
An age of truth and beauty, or else it goes kabloom
Fourty five days past the election

After the warning
Here comes the morning
Just a life of earthly bliss
Sun keeps burning
World keeps turning
We just can’t go on like this

All that evolution since we crawled out of the slime
Indebted to everything that made me
If this is as high as we are ever gonna climb
We can just sit back and be lazy

It’s the end of the world again
Got the tickets early and we’re standing in line
It’s the end of the world again
Everybody’s certain of it one more time
Track Name: Shark Man
If you look peaceful inside - I’ll shake your cage
I’ll pull the strings of your pride - I’ll make you rage
I love to start a good fight I told you so
I’ve got the bait for your bite You can’t let go

Got you wiggle where I want
You love to let me taunt
You think I’m gonna change - NO

I draw you in with my smile, big toothy grin
We haven’t fought for a while, I’m back again
Poke what you wish to be true, your tender place
Joke is I’m fishing for you You take the bait

Reel you up into my spin
You have to enter in
You think you’re gonna win - NO

I smell the blood of your pain - The shark arrives
My job is to entertain - Eat you alive
Then when your wound is exposed - the water’s red
I love the way that it goes - straight to my head

When you struggle to defend
You fall for it again
You think it’s gonna end - NO
Miss you. It’s not about the issue
It’s more about the tissue
The shark is gonna rend - So...

I find where you’re sure that you’re right, and disagree
I lie when the truth is in sight Rewrite history
I still love to start a good fight I told you so
I’ve got the bait for your bite You can’t let go
Track Name: Cast Off
Your cast was taped over with plastic bags
‘Cause you wanted to wade in the waves
You held your arm high but the water got in
And it itched like hell the next day

The strength that you need, you doubted
The cast was getting rotten inside
But what would it feel like without it
Weakness needs a place to hide

Doc said the cast is gonna have to come off
Try to get by with a brace
You opened your fingers so slowly at first
With a terrified look on your face

I knew what that look on your face meant
Though you didn’t have courage to speak
You wished they would cast a replacement
You felt broken like you’re way too weak

But the doctor explained what would happen
You atrophy the longer it stays
If you wear an old cast like it’s fashion
What’s beneath will just wither away

Have mercy for lives that are shattered
Cast with hard doctrine and creed
If it’s only the idols that mattered
Plaster would be all they need
Track Name: Dynamite in the Distance
He plants the charges on the river
on the ice, on the ice,
He'll break the silence of the winter,
for a price, for a price

When you hear the sound from far enough away,
even dynamite can purr,
hand in hand along the memory of the way they were,
they were,
They were walking on the ice of all the things he'll never say to her.

They can drive out on the water
like its land, like its land
He takes the detonator wires
in his hands, in his hands

When you hear the sound from far enough away,
even dynamite can purr,
hand in hand along the memory of the way they were,
they were
They were walking on the ice of all the things he'll never say to her.

Acres of snow
Long as that all ice stays hard
So they made their home
Safe within their lovely yard

She's got her ear against his heartbeat
in their bed, in their bed,
Somehow the things he's never spoken
have been said, have been said

When she hears the sound from far enough away,
even dynamite can purr,
Hand in hand along the memory of the way they were,
they were,
They were walking on the ice of all the things he'll never say to her.
Track Name: One Way to Find Out
There’s a bridge on a river
Woven strands that reach from this cliff to you
But the canyon is deep, the connection is new.
I can’t stand here forever
Feel my heart just aching to follow through
Maybe that’s all my heart can do

So this is the chance I have to take
Maybe this bridge is bound to break
I’m tired of waiting here in doubt

Then I hear you shout:
Just got one way to find out

We got swept in the current
In that rush and tumble of love below
Afraid to hang on, afraid to let go.
When we wrapped ‘round each other
I was moved to see where these waves may flow
Oceans of love our hearts could know.

Maybe we’ll drown just past the falls
Or maybe we’ll make it after all
I’m tired of waiting here in doubt

Then I hear you shout:
Just got one way to find out
Track Name: Little Fish
The little fish Beside our bumper stickers
Are schooling side by side
We drive like this To stop the freeway speeders
They need our moral guide
We take the lead We claim the territory
We make them all slow down
The legal speed We made it mandatory
They’ve got no way around

I like the part where they
Despise us for our righteousness
Let’s jam the culture’s gears
There’ll come a day when every head
Will bow in fear I say the day is here

It’s up to us To fix democracy
We have to clean this mess
In God we trust We want theocracy
‘Till every tongue confess
It’ll take some pain To break a willful fighter
To make him change his ways
In Jesus’ name We twist the harness tighter
Until they must obey

CHORUS

We want the truth We want creationism
In every public school
So all the youth can get what we were given
The golden iron rule
And every faith That dares to cross the border
From any foreign land
Will be erased So we can keep the order
The way that god has planned
Track Name: Ireland
Someday I’ll sing in Ireland. I’ve dreamed it for so long
The motherland of balladeers and home to orphan songs
Where someone who loves music can feel like they belong
I’ll see those ways before these days are gone

When I was a kid in Cleveland, music got me through
I sang my songs to give me hope, and now it’s what I do
Some have called me a troubadour, as if the word was new
A thousand years of history breaking through

From far across the ocean, on that midwestern plain
My ballads and my story songs long for whence they came
It feels like finding family, though I have no Irish name
My heart is here in ways I can’t explain

The man who made my old guitar formed it on these shores
From trees that whispered in the wind two hundred years before
There’s stories that the forest knows, and places to explore
I’ll bring that wood back home to there once more

I’ll find the pubs where people sing, I’ll listen to the bands
I’ll walk those busy city streets, and see it all first hand
Guitar case on the sidewalk where the singers make their stand
I’ll sing my songs on their own family land

‘Course I know so much has changed. The future’s come to stay
Show me life the way it is, not some Paddy’s day cliché
I’ll offer up my songs to you, and we’ll see the way they play
My orphan children may get turned away

But still I’ll show them where they’re from. It’s not just history
I’ll speak the words of poets gone: my music’s ancestry
We’ll hear the voice of Ireland in the wind beside the sea
In waves of music far as I can see
The voice of every poet singing free:
Singing bring your orphan children home - to me
Track Name: Reverie
Walk to the place where the road runs into the reverie
Taking me back
To the green in the leaves high over the reverie
Follow the stream
To the sound where the creek pours over the reverie
follow me down

I only wanna stay - here
Here is where I want to be
Here is where I’m gonna be

When the fire from the war
Sends the smoke down over the reverie

I will abide
In the strength of the tall trees under the canopy
Wherever I am
I’ll return to the deep peace here in my memory

All of our homes
That we built with our own hands, shatter so easily
All of the dreams
That we dared to dream, now they will never be

So I need to stand
With my back to the great grandfather red wood tree
I need to know
There’s a seed that can grow - into the mystery
into the majesty
into the reverie
into the reverie
Track Name: Buster
Nice suit. How do you do?
I guess I need your help, sir, what with all I’ve been through
Come in. Man, that barking is a din
You hush now Buster, This man is our friend

Sit down. I’m glad you came around.
It appears your credentials are perfectly sound
Smart face. You open your case
A contract to sign on the line with the date

Buster keeps growling but not for the moon
You say I just have to make my mind up soon
Should have more to go on
To know what’s to do
But my dog Buster don’t trust you

This home. I live here alone
Except for old Buster now everyone’s gone
This land. All that I am
It’s been in my family since my great grand dad

CHORUS

Don’t bite. Sir, something ain’t right
I’ll sleep on it and call you in the morning light
Good thing. It was a criminal ring.
I slipped out of the trap you was trying to spring
Track Name: Stones of Jerusalem
Sultan Suleiman restacked the walls again
Malik-al-Muattam had destroyed
Before him was Saladin who captured Jerusalem
From the Crusaders who won it in war

But before the Crusaders, the stones had been made into
Mosques that were made from old stones
Those stones were Queen Helena’s picked up from Hadrian
Long after Herod was gone.

This building before you is not what I am
This building is something I do
I stand like a wave in a fast moving river
I stand for the story that’s moving through
Building is a verb, even more than a noun
Stacking us up; Tearing us down
Cut from the quarrys in sacred ground
We are the stones of this town

King David and Solomon give way to Babylon
That falls to the Persians ‘till the Greeks take control
Then come the Maccabees who rule in Jerusalem
‘Till general Pompey takes it for Rome.

Herod and Pilate, and Titus and Hadrian
Helena, Constantine, Persians and Byzantines,
Muslims, Crusaders, Kurds under Saladin,
Then Mamluk Sultans from Egypt come
They rule here for centurys up to the Ottomans
Whose empire remains until world war one

This building before you is not what I am
This building is something I do
I stand like a wave in a fast moving river
I stand for the story that’s moving through
Building is a verb, even more than a noun
Stacking us up; Tearing us down
Cut from the quarrys in sacred ground
We are the stones of this town
Track Name: Piece of Me
You’ve never seen a rumble Like the fight tonight
We got the Christians on the left
We got the Christians on the right
See ‘em coming at each other
Got the bloody truth in their teeth
They’re fightin’ like the devil For the prince of peace

You want a piece of me
Take it out back. Get a piece of me,
Snip and you snap to cut a piece of me
What you lack is just the - peace of me

Step right up / See ‘em face their death
Back in the Roman coliseum
We used to see ‘em all confess
Yeah, it used to be the lions Had the pointy teeth
Now we throw ‘em to the Christians
For a little comic relief

CHORUS

There’s only one message
That’s gettin across
As they’re all screaming at each other
That their souls are lost
Yeah, the lights go dim, and the fight gets grim
We see the body of Christ Torn limb from limb
Track Name: We Call It Freedom
You don’t deserve to be citizens now
You’re serving the opposite side
It’s treason to slander our nation
And damage our pride
How could you protest the torture we’ve done
As if our great land should be weak
You’re not worth the freedom we won
That allows you to speak

We’ll throw ‘em in prison
And that’s where we’ll leave ‘em
There’s no harm in torturing Devils and demons
Watch who you pity or else you might be one
(We’ll starve ‘em and drown ‘em and
Strip ‘em and beat ‘em)
They call it torture. We call it freedom

Don’t call it justice to ask for a trial
Of those whose suspicion is clear
If you are with us, then
You should have nothing to fear
Watch what you say about the land of the free
We’re listening all of the time
Remember there’s room down in Gitmo
And treason’s a crime

CHORUS

So now WHAT gives you the right
To say that America’s wrong
We will SHINE like a beacon of light
But first we must fight to be strong
Track Name: Let the Wave Say
If the surface of the ocean
Is this time that we’re alive
Then this rising wave in motion
Is this moment that we ride

If you don’t move when it’s moving
Then your life leaves you behind
If you can’t see what it’s doing
Trust the wave more than your mind

When the wave is all around me
I got no other plans
I just balance through the changes
And let the wave say who I am

From a thousand miles of water
From the wind beyond belief
Every wave roars out its power
As it rises on the reef

And the high blue wall can break you
You can never fight the sea
You just learn to let it take you
To the place you want to be

Now the wave is all around me
I got no other plans
Keep my balance through the changes
Let the wave say who I am
Track Name: Angeline
I had the entrance codes - I was your man
Sirens and pistol shots - Cancel the plan
Run for the loading dock - Back to the van
Wait for me - All I see
The cop say freeze - I’m on my knees
I’m falling Angeline

YOU MAKE ME FEEL SO FREE

Down in the holding cell - Questions got rough
Nothing could make me tell - What happened with us
Angeline - You’re all I need
I can feel no harm - When I’m in your arms
It’s easy Angeline

Inside the razor wire - Always for you
I’d burn like a house on fire - thinking you knew
All along - These walls are strong
It would make me free - If I could be
Your hero Angeline

Dig my way back to you - Under the Earth
Most of us never see - All that we’re worth
Down deep - Memories
I can make my way - Through the stone and clay
I’m crawling Angeline

So lovely in angel wings - See through my eyes
Don’t change a single thing - Keep the disguise
Halloween - All a dream
I may never leave - But I make believe
We’re flying Angeline