Gall

by Stephen Simmons

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about

I recorded this album at home from mid 2017 through early 2018 and played all the instruments. I saw a theme running through this cycle of songs (some old, some new) and sought to capture the essence of what I thought it was trying to communicate the best that I could.

credits

released July 28, 2018

all songs written by Stephen Simmons
copyright secured @ Shiny Geode Music / SESAC

Produced, engineered, recorded and mixed by
Stephen Simmons at Captain Ryman Studios, Nashville, TN
Mastered by Alex McCollough at True East Mastering, Nashville, TN

Stephen Simmons: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12 string guitar, mandolin, keys, harmonica

Design: Stephen Simmons
Cover drawing: Stephen Simmons circa 1991

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Stephen Simmons Nashville, Tennessee

Stephen Simmons was raised in the small town of Woodbury, Tennessee. As a songwriter and Ten years as a Road Dog, Stephen’s vision has grown to entail more than just reflections of rural America. Stephen’s records (which were compared to everyone from Johnny Cash to Ryan Adams) combine virtuosic songcraft and musicianship with unparalleled artistic honesty. ... more

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Track Name: Gall
GALL

From the family farm, to the factory floors
To working part-time, in the superstores
They say go to school, they say get a job
They gotta lotta rules, they gotta lotta gall

On Colonial Street, nineteen Seventy Three
I came into this world, Woodbury, Tennessee
Under the smoke and the hue, from the Shirt Factory flutes
Where my Grandparents worked, by the old Grammar School

Third Treaty of Tellico, eighteen O’ Five
Settlers took this land, from the Cherokee Tribe
So a Scotch-Irish kid, could dig up and arrowhead
Play Cowboys and Indians, bang you’re dead

I was outta town, when I got the news
Grandpa had passed, weren’t nuthin' they could do
I tried to hurry home, for the rifle salute
Full Military funeral, a thank you for World War II

They say Jesus came down, was a big affair
Everybody was talking, out on the Roman Square
After he went back home, forty years they talked
Till somebody wrote it down, or the best they could recall

Then the Church weighed in, on all the words passin' round
St. Peter was in, St. Thomas was out
A Canon was formed, Holy Spirit they saw
You gotta have some rules, you gotta have some gall

Now it's the 21st Century, we can fly to Mars
We can dance on the Moon, we can number the stars
We could blow up the Earth, we got those kinda balls
We got that kind of knowledge, we got allota gall

So I got many jobs, I went to many schools
I played my guitar, I broke all of their rules
How much I couldn't give a damn, man would drop your jaw
I’m proud of who I am, I gotta lotta gall

words & music by Stephen Simmons /SESAC/Shiny Geode Music copyright secured / all rights reserved
Track Name: Death To The Dreamers
DEATH TO THE DREAMERS

As the crowd chants “Death to the Dreamers!”
I sit out on the porch with the beautiful schemers
Hey we're all a little buzzed
But we don’t make too much fuss
As the crowd chants “Death to the Dreamers!”

And the Bishops claim to lead all the true Believers
Someone shouts from the porch “Hey you’re just Deceivers!”
Hey when to you did God entrust?
And your claims are blasphemous
Still the Bishops claim all the true Believers

And the working man hails the Teamsters
Plant Foreman - Chicken-little Cries like he’s chased by screaming little demons
Greed feeds on trust
Takes a mountain down to dust
As the Blue Collars all hail the Teamsters

And the Soldiers must follow their leaders
Hey freedom’s not free for the free bleeders
Congress waves the flag
But they hide behind it when it snags
On their coffin’s dirty nail on order from their leaders

All the suits are delirious with a rabid fever
And you’ll catch it too if you pull that lever
Cogs are filled with devious rust
So they grease it with our blood
But it fuels our American fever

As the crowd chants “Death to the Dreamers!”
Hey the world’s burning down and they’re still dreaming
Hey World pay some attention to us
Aren’t we all tired of their self-righteous tongues?
As the crowd chants “Death to the Dreamers!”




Words and Music by Stephen Simmons / Shiny Geode Music / SESAC all rights reserved
Track Name: Burnt Orange & Bruised Purple
BURNT ORANGE AND BRUISED PURPLE


The sky was burnt orange
Full of bruised purple clouds
Her plane took to the sky
That last Spring she was in town
Taking her far away
Leaving all kinds of regret
That cut a mighty river
Right through bone inside my head

She went her own way and I went mine
We both second guess it all the time

Been living inside my head
And she just woke me up
I knew that I would miss her
But I didn’t know how much
She's turned on lights
I didn't know were in this ole house
And now she's gone and they creak and wail
Like there's ghosts all about

And don't look under the bed
Some things ain’t dead

I gotta buzz this evening
The whiskey here is really strong
Nice barmaids behind the counter
They say they like my songs
Storm cloud’s moving in
Waiting to explode
Know how the weather feels
Felt it all day long down in my soul

And I gotta kite and I'm waiting for the lightning
Racing for new knowledge and new sight

It's true I learned these chords
On a dead man's guitar
True that I was born
With a lonesome wandering heart
Every song has to end
Every fever has to break
To question ain't a sin
Only so much we can take

And I don't know what happens next
I suppose till my last days I'll be vexed


So wherever you are tonight
Wherever you've been today
Wherever you go from here
You know my love for you will stay
It seems you're lost
You can't find your way back
You know you can call my name
And I’ll come runnin' down them tracks

My love don't care that your his
Love ain't nobody's, it just is
Sky was burnt orange
and full of bruised purple clouds
Her plane took to the sky
That last Spring she was in town



music and lyrics by Stephen Simmons / SESAC/Shiny Geode Music / copyright secured / all rights reserved
Track Name: Microphone In My Face
MICROPHONE IN MY FACE

There’s a microphone in my face tonight
Recording everything I say wrong or right
Did I love that girl? Did she look my way?
Did we roll under the covers? Is she here to stay?

Sue me if I have a few drinks and go to far
It’s just my nature never meant no harm from the start
Could you go home with me? Could we have us a time?
Would you be here with me? When I open my eyes?

Sometimes late night when I’m all alone
Praying to my God or the only one I know
Pray how you want, love how you are
Just show respect, just have a heart

I wear a mask of flesh, bone and skin
A vessel for my soul, a suite to wear while I’m here
A heart that beats outta time, two eagle eyes
One bad knee and a tongue that won’t mind

There’s a microphone in my face tonight
Any words I said can not not be denied
It ain’t a song, until there’s a chorus
We all love to sing along, so whatever you do don’t bore us

Chorus:
Sky blue and no clouds
Mind true and no doubts
Sleep tight and don’t wake from your dreams
Good always wins and you’re free



words and music by Stephen Simmons / Shiny Geode Music / SESAC / all rights reserved
Track Name: Acrobats Tonight (Still)
ACROBATS TONIGHT (STILL)

Chorus:
All the girls look like acrobats tonight
The beer keg's all tapped out and cops ain't nowhere in sight
I ain't got a nickel and I ain't got a lousy dime
But all the girls look like acrobats tonight
~~~
A forty year old man
Drinking wine out of a box
Eating TV dinners with holes all in his socks
Still can love someone

A fifty year old divorce'
With a new found love for pot
Missing her little girl who'd rather live with her Pop
Still can love someone

Bridge:
Still as the water
Even as the World she turns
Constant as the calling
As the Cosmos continues to churn
And the Stars all continue to burn

~~~
The Sparrows stopped singing as the Blackbird calls return
After every fresh rain
They get all the worms
As the Sparrows hide and wait for Spring's return

The Wolf and the Muse are both at the door
Whom do I feed first?
When I ain't got no more
When the wolf and the muse are both at the door

Chorus

Your a glass of sweet tea and butter on a roll
I'm a crushed out old cigarette
And the whiskey bottle's last toke
But you're as smooth as butter on a roll

Evening Sun sets through the window of an old Missouri bar
I've been here before
And sang I smiled with my old guitar
With another love on my arm
Chorus

She came in a runnin’ through the front door hair all on fire
Few snoot full’s a whiskey
And her fears did all subside
Walked out the back door as the night owls conspired

Man in the Moon is frowning cause he stayed up all night
Sun tells him to move on over
As he burns hot and bright
And all the girls look like acrobats tonight

Chorus

Words and Music by Stephen Simmons / Shiny Geode Music / SESAC all rights reserved
Track Name: U & I
U & I
You and I should know
What it is that's proposed
It’s not like I like you or that you like me
But I need you and you need me
Where do you get off with such nerve
The thoughts in your head i've heard
You think you know it all and I think that I know more
That’s the reason I’m banging on your door
Chorus:
What is it that makes us tick?
Is there a medicine for this sickness?
Or is this just it?
I beg of you, I implore
You self-centered men just ignore
Why am I out here talkin like such a fool?
But I ain't gonna answer to you
I’ve taken my shots at you I kept score
Puttin' you down just made you bigger than before
You and I we got to share this little mind
Will we ever make peace while there's still time?
Chorus

Lyrics and music by Stephen Simmons
all rights reserved / copyright secured
Track Name: I Love You, But I'm Scared Of You
I LOVE YOU, BUT I’M SCARED OF YOU

Strap me on the side of a rocket baby
Blast my ass right into space
Engrave my initials on your locket
Go with me all the way

Chorus:
Oh I know that you really don’t know
How to get outta the way
I know it’s true cause of the things you do
Scream “I love you, but I’m scared of you”

Put me down on a piece of paper
Draw me anyway you like
Sketch into me what you’d like to see
And make me better, if you think that it might

Chorus

Bridge:
You know that I’m scared too
But I’m in love with you
But I’ll leave without a clue
If you want me to

Write me into a song now baby
Sing my spirit away
Just pull me out when no one’s around
And turn the knob up all the way

Or just slap me on a biscuit baby
Spread me like butter in jam
As I melt in your mouth you’ll find out
I taste the same, I am what I am

Chorus

I’m in love with you
And I get scared too
Oh but I’m through
Running from you


-words and music by Stephen Simmons / Shiny Geode Music / SESAC
Track Name: Space Between The Stars
SPACE BETWEEN THE STARS

The space between the stars
Like the space between our hearts
Distant and cold
Dark matter no one knows

Like sunlight hits the top of a hill
Like truth slowly revealed
Unveils a rattlesnake heart
Under a Lion’s proud garb

There’s a code in our souls
Not DNA not bone
Can’t explain the art
But we bare it’s mark

You love on one hand
And with the other you do harm
Half step up and four steps back
Till the train disappears on the tracks

Born under a bad star
Free will only goes so far
So you bitch, cry and moan
As if the cosmos cares to know

Chorus
I don’t want you to cry
We never truly die
Were only in a vessel
A human disguise



words and music by Stephen Simmons / Shiny Geode Music / SESAC
Track Name: There You Go
THERE YOU GO

There you go
You’re gone again
To where I don’t know
But you’ll be back again

There you go
You’re gone again
You can pretend I suppose
But I suspect you can’t stand your own skin

Chorus:
You tore a big ole leaf from a big ole tree
I saw you hiding behind it on the front porch swing
And baby do you think it’ll ever grow back again
Big enough to hide you when
You go again

There you go
You’re gone again
And I propose
That I should give up trying to win

Cause there you go
Just like the wind
And man I don’t know
How many times we can let you back in again

Chorus

When I was young I’m told
My imaginary friend
Went everywhere I’d go
And he’s been with me since

So I was not alone
On Colonial Street my friend
Now that house ain’t home
And the school’s gone I went to then

Chorus

Words and music by Stephen Simmons / Shiny Geode Music / SESAC ©Copyright secured, all rights reserved
Track Name: When The Wine's All Gone
WHEN THE WINE’S ALL GONE


Chorus:
When the wine’s all gone we’ll drink whiskey
When the whiskey’s all gone we’ll smoke grass
When the grass’s all gone we'll take off all our clothes
And dance around the town naked and stoned

I hailed myself a cab to Clarksville
Drank all the way on rented wheels
I didn’t know a soul and the bars were all closed
Stuck out my broke thumb and headed home

Chorus

The highway is really a rainbow
Full of different colors and promised gold
It’s up to you which road you choose
Life rewards those that always move

Chorus

We’ll dance like the woman in the red dress
Who doesn’t care there’s a tear in her hose
We’ll dance like the good times and the good cheer
WIll forever and ever always flow

Chorus



Words and Music by Stephen Simmons / Shiny Geode Music / SESAC all rights reserved
Track Name: Sunlight / Moonlight
SUNLIGHT / MOONLIGHT

I look around and all I see are faces in the crowd
Who can’t face the fact
That I see right through their smiles, straight through to their frowns
And I feel around and all I feel are family that I feel
That I have let down
Oh why can’t I be, what they need me to be

Chorus:
So Sunlight don’t run out on me
Cause I’m still not done oh why can’t you see
If moonlight won’t come babe I won’t weep
I’ll pray for you, if you’ll pray for me

I’m running late I’m always running behind
To catch up with this life of mine
But time she just flies on, she flies right on by
They say that all things pass and the only thing
That stays the same is things always change
But I can’t help but feel we’ve left something behind

Chorus

They say all things happen for some reason
And God only knows if he’ll reveal in time
But this time I’m tired baby of trying
To find the reason and figure the rhyme

They say that Christ he was an only child
And all he ever knew was love
The love of a Father, the love of a Son
We go to school, we got to church, we go to work
And learn to worship things of this earth
Things that ain’t worth, they ain’t worth that much

Chorus




Music and lyrics by Stephen Simmons © secured all rights reserved

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