Thoughts and Prayers

by The Blue Ribbons

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1.
Combed my hair, put on some clothes Gotta look sharp 'fore it's time to go. C'mon babe, hold on tight Gunna take a ride that'll last all night, gunna last all night. If I get tired if I get sick Wipe my brow and poke me with a stick. Saint Chris is flyin just a little too low Tell him that he's gunna have to go, gunna have to go. Just one thing before we start Do you have anything for a bleeding heart? We'll count the stars and count 'em again If there's any left over we'll just put 'em in the tin. If any of your wishes ever do come true, Were they worth all the trouble that they put you thru, That they put you thru? The Queen is living in a garbage can And signs everywhere of sinister plans. The end of the world, it came and went. Do I still gotta pay my rent, gotta pay my rent. 6,7,8,9,10,11,12 All the devils go to heaven All the angels go to hell. There's a war going on between night and day. And the sky turned red in the usual way. You don't have to be a little baby to cry And if you don't love me don't pretend to try, don't pretend to try. What's the point, what's the plot They don't care what you have, they just want what you've got. I've heard it said that these are the good ol' days. 1% take, everybody else pays, everybody else pays. I don't know, but I've been told That the hangman's gotta heart of gold, gotta heart of gold.
2.
I was lost in the pages Of the time back in New Mexico. My heart was breaking While the light of the sun was overcome by the mountain. You took me by the hand And led me across the Rio Grande Where we lay down on the dry river bed And we were dead to the valley. The fortress I have built for you might fade away But not today The forces are coming down and all we have is now. Your father was a Cuban revolutionary And your mama was a beauty queen. You packed your old bags And you moved down to New Orleans Where you forgot all you knew about me. On a fake Navajo blanket The spirit lines were lies and we were too. You're on my mind Every time I see the clouds cry out loud on the mountain.
3.
I took a long walk On the ocean floor I couldn't even breathe the air no more Forgot all the things I thought i knew before Until the sea spit me back upon the shore. Feel asleep In the permanent night of the moon. That sad, sad light Woke me up too soon With a slap in the face Now I'm back to war And a whole lotta fear is trying To get thru my door. CHORUS: Bread and the bone Bread and the bone Straight to the water in the heart of a stone You put your lips to the cup And the rubber on the road Gotta get back to the bread and the bone. I put on the dog and that pretty little piece of business And kick against the pricks from hell to breakfast Spend all day listening to the same old lies And at night they become my new lullabies. CHORUS Shonuff for real, i ain't one of the chosen I often feel like my wheels is frozen The thoughts I conceal are starting to close in. I made a lot of calls on the red telephone Done a few things my mama can't condone I'm an ass in lions skin, a wolf in cheap clothes Looking like Elvis dying on his throne. I took a long walk on the ocean floor Couldn't even breathe the air no more Forgot all the things I thought I knew before Until the sea spit me back upon the shore It's a crying shame the way the crows have flown All the roads are paved to the great unknown If you're the queen honey bee I'm just some low down drone Why are we treating each other like we wanna be alone. CHORUS
4.
The temples all caved in And the bells were rusted and cracked The saviors all stopped saving And they ain't ever coming back The birds all took to walking And the fish did too Everybody just stopped talking When midnight came at noon I'll be there I'll be there The children ran away And the dog left a suicide note The neighbors are reading your mail And no one laughs at your jokes The treasure map was wrong And the garden was a trap Boys in the band have long gone home But we won't need no music to dance I'll be there I'll be there I'm gunna hold onto you Like a tree holds its leaves Like the skin of a snake Or a single snow flake You're like a word I can't rhyme Although, I know your body, your soul, and your mind And at the end of time When its all been laid bare You know I'll be there I'm getting a little hazy And I'm working on this gut I'll still need you like crazy You're my wheel and I'm your rut We've got to roll like the hills Or we'll sink just like a stone If love was just cheap thrills You know i could do it all I my own I'll be there I'll be there
5.
I got the tears of the devil All shot up in my bones It makes me fear for myself And fear for my happy home I got the bad blood boiling Up from where my heart used to be And my mind is infected With sweet apathy When I woke up this morning I was on the killing floor Staring straight into a face That I had never seen before It said "when you look into the sun Everything around you grows dark. Remember this, my son And you're bound to go far" The paint is peeling Off of the sky and falling into the hills And that smile on your face is giving me the chills I know the way home Like I know the sign of the cross Save your wretched breath Can't you see that we're lost Pray that your sweet darling angel Comes and takes you by the hand Remember who you are if you can You can yell and scream all you want This ain't no kind of church The more you believe the more it hurts I got the tears of the devil All shot up in my bones It makes me fear for myself And fear for my happy home
6.
Like some holy roller Using miracles stolen While working for Jesus Christ Incorporated And like that latest caper It looked so good on paper But somebody found some photographs of the last second coming (Chorus) I can’t conceive of a reason To convince me of the things that we do I don’t believe in their meaning I just believe in the meaning of you All your fears are filthy With conspiracy theories If they all were shown to be true You alone couldn’t see it It’s like a message delivered By a dead end river It ain’t what it’s supposed to be From sea to shining sea (Chorus) I can’t conceive of a reason To convince me of the things that we do I don’t believe in their meaning I just believe in the meaning of you The resurrection failed In that Mexican jail Drunk on too much blood of the lamb But that story ain’t written yet And we got stuck in transit And this fucker is rancid These holes won’t dig themselves And these drugs don’t work anymore (Chorus) I can’t conceive of a reason To convince me of the things that we do I don’t believe in their meaning I just believe in the meaning of you
7.
INVISIBLE 05:27
I don’t want you to find me I don’t want you to remind me Anyone who is blind can see That I want to be invisible You can’t control me I don’t want you to console me Just forget that you know me Baby, I’m invisible Gonna live on the fringes Hidden in plain sight The way the day turns into night Keep my head down Stay in the back I’ve gone underground I’ve slipped through the crack You can’t fool me You can’t get to me Maybe you think that you can see right through me But baby, I’m invisible Them stars in the night Are long since dead But we hold on to their light By a vanishing thread Slowly fading away into the abyss Like existential photosynthesis Imagined memory of a forgotten lie You betrayed your ignorance when you accepted mine Faith is of no consequence You underestimate your insignificance I ain’t strong enough to need These things that are making me bleed Inauthentically breathing and deceiving from being truly seen I don’t want no trouble Just let me stay in my little bubble Mama always said I’m more lovable As long as I stay invisible Be what you wanna be That becomes what’s real See what you wanna see And choose what to reveal It’s your choice You can change your mind I believe that we wanna be invisible sometimes
8.
SUN AND MOON 04:08
There’s a sun and a moon up in the sky Never told the truth, never told a lie Only thing they do is let time roll by Nothing is wrong and nothing is right You can disappear without a trace And they can see what’s in your pocket from outer space Try to find warmth in a cold embrace Why does no one want what you can just give away? You know that I’ve loved you from before my birth Now we walk the hills and valleys of this flat earth Heaven don’t care about our little church But we know what we’ve got and we know what it’s worth I ain’t afraid of dying I’ve seen rivers being born I am strong but I’d be lying If my soul was never torn By the light of the horizon We’ll bang the drum and sound the horn The sun and the moon up in the sky Never really lived and can’t ever die Don’t really matter if it’s day or night We’re just trying to find love under their light
9.
HAD ENUFF 03:30
I’ve had enuff of you pennin’ me in I’ve had enuff but you’re doin’ it again I’ve had enuff of you freezin’ me out And actin’ like you don’t know what I’m talkin’ about I’ve had enuff of your friendly fire I’ve had enuff of trippin’ your wire I’ve had enuff of this goddamn war I’ve had enuff and I don’t want no more Baby, why must you treat me so ruff Can’t you give me some of that good good stuff? You’re givin’ me a love that’s tuff and I’ve had enuff I’ve had enuff of eatin’ crow I’ve had enuff and it’s beginnin’ to show I’ve had enuff of climbin’ these walls And makin’ me believe that everything is my fault I’ve had enuff of our childish ways I’ve had enuff but they just stay and stay I’ve had enuff of these fairytales I ain’t no Prince Charming and this spell’s gonna fail You’re the Big Bad Wolf and you huff and puff Come on and eat my Billy Goat Gruff The moral of this story, I’ma call your bluff I’ve had enuff I’ve had enuff of our passive aggressions I’ve had enuff of our false confessions I’ve had enuff of these dividing lines We can still disagree and be of the same mind I’ve had enuff of ignorance I’ve had enuff of intolerance I’ve had enuff I’ve had enuff I’ve had enuff You’re keepin’ our love in cuffs You don’t even know the meanin’ of trust Hey, stay out of all my stuff I’ve had enuff
10.
WALTZ 02:40
In times like these It’s hard to see What’s true Oh how I want you to possess my heart Where are you? Where did you go? When you leave will you return to me? I never know It’s not clear If I can hear The tune I try to open myself to you Say you will Or say you won’t All I know is I need you But me, you don’t Maybe yes Or maybe no All the music that I need Is right here in my home All the music that I need Is right here in my home
11.
(Chorus) I don’t know if I’m coming or going I don’t know if I’m sinking or floating I don’t know what I’m hiding or showing I don’t know The moon was high and wasn’t thinking straight The sun fell down and drowned in the ocean and was never the same The mountain tops are in your frying pan The seven seas they freeze and boil with the sins of man (Chorus) I don’t know if I’m coming or going I don’t know if I’m sinking or floating I don’t know what I’m hiding or showing I don’t know There was a hole in the sky That’s where God crawled out All the love we had was killed And was filled with fear and doubt All the rain in the cloud could never wash it all away The man in the shroud could never beg you to stay (Chorus) I don’t know if I’m coming or going I don’t know if I’m sinking or floating I don’t know what I’m hiding or showing I don’t know Everyone slow down and take a breath and wait Mind this moment because there ain’t no early and there ain’t no late You can smoke your weed You can drink your grain You don’t have to be happy but you don’t have to be in pain (Chorus) I don’t know if I’m coming or going I don’t know if I’m sinking or floating I don’t know what I’m hiding or showing I don’t know

about

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS...

It can be a genuine and authentic spiritual expression; it can also be a hollow response to a horrific tragedy. Meaningful meaninglessness, a perfunctory catch phrase when one doesn't have the time or inclination to investigate what is beneath. It is the 😢 that one throws out and then...back to shopping. It can encapsulate the disappointment we feel when we see the response to so much devastation. It is poison and the antidote. It can be a positive missive of hope and connection, a hypocritical assertion, or a snarky retort.

It is also the title of our new record.
One thing is for sure, most of us have had thoughts and have prayed, in one form or another. So, that's cool.
Things can seem incredibly futile and we often get caught in the "what's the f'ing point of it all". Nothing new there. The anger and disappointment is overwhelming at times. Understood. LIFE.
I get paralyzed by all of this, and start to lose touch with what's important. Because, LIFE.
My response is to keep making music.
It is the most important unimportant thing I can do, for better or worse.
It is positive, it is personal, and it brings people together.

all songs by james rohr
copyright 2020 universal spleen ASCAP

credits

released January 1, 2020

tauras biskis–drums/vocals/concertina
mike castellana—guitars
jef charland—bass/vocals
james rohr–piano/keys/lead vocals

recorded at woolly mammoth in waltham, ma
engineered and mixed by dave westner
mastered by eric masunaga at modulus sound in brighton, ma
produced by the blue ribbons and dave westner

cover artwork by michael d. spencer
label art by becca solomon
layout by duncan arsenault

we are humbled by the constant love and tolerance of our families—we love you. we also offer our deepest gratitude to everyone who contributed to this project and of course, to all who have been with us for the long haul. thank you for listening.

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The Blue Ribbons Massachusetts

Boston Music Award winners,The Blue Ribbons was formed by singer/songwriter/keyboardist James Rohr. They have been building a base of devoted fans with their original and soulful music. Described as
“Ray Charles and Tom Waits on a pirate ship with Sun Ra and Captain Beefheart,” they
combine “upbeat disillusionment and celebratory fatalism with musicianship” – Charan Devereux;Boston Globe.
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