Heroes and Sparrows

by Kevin Brown

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1.
My lot in life might only be a little But a little bit might be a pot of gold I like the thought of playing second fiddle I like the view of me and you growing old I know, sometimes it’s hard to catch your breath The beaten path, it seems, has been beat to death I’ll take the exit up ahead Towards the distant lights of nowhere. My favorite place just might be my backyard My favorite faces never make the news. How come the best songs never make the pop charts? I guess a million dollars just can’t sing the blues I know, sometimes this world’s a bit too bright Sometimes it seems there’s not an honest face in sight Sometimes I lie awake dreaming all night Of the distant lights of nowhere. They say faith’s a bit like walking on the water A dream’s a bit like walking on the moon Love is like the flowers that I bought her She’s been sneezing like the devil all afternoon Sometimes it’s hard to find the words Sometimes making sense is like a flock of hummingbirds Some things are better seen not heard Like the distant lights of nowhere.
2.
Chattaroy 04:13
“Stow the sails and toss the anchor” The captain called, “All hands ahoy!” But the tempest raged, and then it sank ‘er In the dust of Chattaroy. They say the west is getting warmer I think the world’s just growing cold I’m a shipwrecked farmer In Chattaroy, growing old. My days are bound by barbed wire fences Stacked and twined like bales of hay. My daydreams ache to take me places Long ago and far away. They say this land was once an ocean Sometimes I can hear the breakers roar It’s just these dry old Ponderosas In the heat in Chattaroy How many years have I been waiting here Watching for my ship to come in Between the land and the lack of water The putting up keeps getting harder And the harvest just dries up and Blows off in the wind. All the ships that sail inside me Even-keeled and westward bound They’ll return one day from long ago and far away And find me lying in this ground. The say that heaven holds the answers Will I ever reach that distant shore? I’m just a tired old slow dancer In the arms of Chattaroy.
3.
Owls 04:22
There’s a fox on the news and it’s a hell of a racket So I pull on my boots and my walking jacket If I gave a hoot would they come and haul me away? There’s owls in these woods I hear ‘em pining From the tops of the firs when the moonlight is shining I’d sure like to see one but they’re always hiding... If I had wings I would fly up the mountainside Light in the treetops, turn to the world and say “Hoo, hoo, hoo!” The man on the TV, he’s a loud such and such He works up the crowd, they yell and they cuss They don’t look around cuz their heads can’t turn very much. If I had wings I would fly up the mountainside Light in the treetops, turn to the world and say “Hoo, hoo, hoo!” Who makes the winds blow and Who told these birds they could fly? Who suffers the fools And fools with the proud and the wise? I stand by the woods and I wait for the owls It does my soul good to hear those long vowels Call out the truth in the darkest of hours If I had wings I would fly up the mountainside Light in the treetops, turn to the world and say “Hoo, hoo, hoo!”
4.
When I go out at night, I don’t mean to do no wrong But the nightlife it just calls to me And I’ve got to go along I slowly close the door Try not to wake my wife They’re all asleep and no one knows When I go out at night When I go out at night, it’s a kind o’ restlessness Something still within me from those Wilder days I guess And she’s waiting for me in the shadows Past the back porch light My old dog just runs around When I go out at night. When I go out at night, I’m a dancing drunken fool I’m wearing my old cowboy hat I must look pretty cool Alone there in my backyard No one to see the sight Just drinking up that midnight sky When I go out at night They say the night life ain’t no good life For a home-lovin’ man But I guess that that just depends On where it is you stand Cuz when I go out at night, and I stand beneath the stars There ain’t no jukebox playing And there ain’t no broken hearts But there’s wood smoke on the wind tonight And that moon is such a sight All wrapped up in that midnight sky When I go out at night. Yeah there’s wood smoke on the wind tonight And that moon is such a sight Excuse me while I kiss the sky When I go out at night.
5.
I walked the crooked road past Clonakilty Bay Trying to straighten out my wonder The cows were in the heather, and the crows were in the hay And the road wound on forever. Past the stone walls of Ireland Stitched into the land Like patterns woven in the wool From when the world was made by hand This world was made by hand. Trains and planes and restaurants are where we live alone Home is where we travel the world over See all the happy couples cradling their phones A thousand miles between them in their hands. While the stone walls of Ireland Lay stitched into the land Patterns woven in the wool From when the world was made by hand This world was made by hand. Sometimes the road you walk runs straight into a wall So you stop and smell the clover Lean your back against the rocks, and watch the soft light fall And wonder if there’s any place but here. By the stone walls of Ireland Stitched into the land Patterns woven in the wool From when the world was made by hand This world was made by hand.
6.
The moon might make a mess of me tonight How the shadows start to shinin’ When the day turns out the lights It don’t take much for the sky to blush When I think of you There’s lightning in the west And the moon might make a mess of me tonight How I wish I had my angel by my side The devil’s in the moonshine and he’s Pouring us doubles for a lonesome night It don’t seem right That you’re not here tonight. The twilight’s got the blues And I wish that you were by my side. Darling won’t you come home soon I’m tired of quarreling with this crazy moon I’m trying to keep the wolves at bay There’s such a howling in my heart Ever since you went away. The stars cannot contain themselves, it’s true They’ve gone and rearranged themselves In constellations resembling you What’s a guy to do? I better take this mess to bed Get the moon out of my head, and Lean in to the morning light Darling come home soon Because the moon might make a mess of me… Tonight.
7.
Back when we were heroes, back when we were true Bold as lightning, me and you Capes across our shoulders Dragons in our dreams These are hard times for heroes it seems I never told you but I can fly The first time took me by surprise Sometimes I leave my rest and rise High above the rolling hills The golden fields of yesterday. Heroes fly. Sparrows fall. Heaven watches all. You and I were sparrows, you and I were small Perched out by the schoolyard wall A shadow was approaching A story came undone Was the eye that’s on the sparrow Watching the gun? And oh, how could we ever know The wire that trips inside a mind? Cries echoed all around I fell to the ground and so I must go off into the blue Heroes fall. Sparrows fly. Heaven must know why Read about it in the morning news Talk about it for a day or two Numb and confused Wondering what can we ever we do? Back when we were heroes, back when we were true Back before we ever knew The lillies and the sparrows Are in our charge, it seems These are hard times for heroes Hard times for heroes Hard times for heroes
8.
9.
There’s a vase of paper flowers sitting on the windowsill They ease my poor troubled mind like pretty things will The nurse’s name is Nancy, she tells me I’m a dear She brings me tea at 3 o’clock, but won’t say why I’m here. I’ll be gone by morning, out the window in the rain Before they ever miss me I’ll be on that northbound train I’ll paint the night in orange and white and cradle it away Just like these paper flowers made by Posy Rae. The ghosts of my old lovers are hiding in the woods You can hear ‘em late at night, they’re up to no good. They press against my window, like petals in the breeze Look into their hollow eyes and you can see the trees. I’ll be home by morning. I promise I’ll be true. I’ll walk a thousand miles with your picture in my shoe. I’ll gather all the stardust from the shores of Pend Oreille I’ll bring you paper flowers made by Posy Rae. My time is drawing closer. The light begins to fade. I wish that you were near me, sometimes I’m so afraid. I hear whispers in the hallway, things I don’t understand The vase upon the windowsill holds me in it’s hand. I will bloom by morning. Like the lily, like the rose. Like Solomon the wise man in his finest clothes Like cherry trees in April, like buttercups in May Just like the sweetest flower ever made by Posy Rae.
10.
How I Kneel 06:18
There goes another day into the sea The sun rolls off the edge Into the arms of it’s long journey. My name is Abraham I have no fame I come from a tormented land I pray to a God with a thousand names This is how I kneel It’s just the way that I kneel There was a pestilence, there was a war I fled with my family near We climbed on a boat for a distant shore This is how I kneel It’s just the way that I kneel I wake in the darkness I reach out my hand I trace the stars of my ancestors land I hold to the edges Of our sacred wheel I fight to believe This is how I kneel Come here my children, sing me our song We are worth more than the wars We are like stars up where we belong This is how we kneel It’s just the way that we kneel I wake in the darkness I watch for dry land I tend to the seeds here in my hand I stand at the ship’s rail Keep watch for my fields My knees in the dirt This is how I kneel There go my children Just out of reach Brown-eyed and barefoot and free Running like sandpipers down the beach This is how I kneel This is how I kneel This is how I kneel
11.
These are all the things I wish that I could say I found ‘em in the woods beside Lake Coeur d’Alene I was happy it was summer it was Sunday These are the things I wish that I could say You are the reason I’ve been looking for Walking through the piney woods down by the shore The sunlight hit the the water The wind turned towards the north, and I knew You are the reason I’ve been looking for And it was Easy as a cricket buzz on Labor Day And I say Goodness knows that we’re all here for goodness sake It’s just a simple song for goodness sake I found it lying in the reeds down by the lake Like a baby in a basket barely awake It’s just a simple song for goodness sake It’s just a song for goodness sake.

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released September 9, 2019

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Kevin Brown Spokane, Washington

Singer-songwriter Kevin Brown makes his home in rural Northeastern Washington state, not too far from the farms where two sets of great-grandparents settled a century ago. The rich natural surroundings serve as a metaphor for exploring the landscapes of the heart and soul -- faith, family, love, the passage of time, and the interwoven fabric of earth and humanity. ... more

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