Are you breathing?

by Redlands

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credits

released June 1, 2009

Redlands is Daniel Thrall, Justin Irwin, Jeff DeLaVergne, and Nick Prevenas. With Noah Gabbard.
Recorded by George Nardo in Tucson, AZ at Luna Recording Studio.
Mixed and mastered by Aaron Ruse in Carpentersville, IL at Arsenal Recording.
Artwork by Scott Musty and Chase Ritzel.
Shows: www.myspace.com/danielthrall
Contact: redlandsmusic@gmail.com

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Track Name: Burn the Bridge
Danny’s in the basement; he don’t even have a clue.
He’s sleeping off a bender, and he won’t be around ‘til noon.
She’s counting every dollar.
She’s packing up her things.
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up. Of course he knew. He had to know.

Boss is in the back, and there’s three new cashiers to blame.
67 dollars ain’t enough to make a claim.
This job’s a dime a dozen.
So what if I get caught?
It’s easy, easy, easy when you’re down on your luck
to take a knife and stab your brother in the back,
step upon sidewalk’s cracks that break your mother’s back.
Oh, let’s burn the bridge. Oh, the bridge is burned.

My girlfriend’s in a frenzy ‘cause she’s 26 days late.
That little piece of plastic shouldn’t carry so much weight.
Before we even knew
I told her we were through.
It’s easy, easy, easy, easy to cut my losses
and turn and walk away like we don’t have no history
and start again with someone new with whom there’s mystery.
And no, oh, no, responsibility. Just burn the bridge.

But when I take some time to ponder out unkindness,
in my heart I feel regret, but in my head I plot my next pre-emptive strike.

My best friend Ethan’s brother went to bat for him last week.
Ethan owed some money from a losing gambling streak.
But once the debt was paid
he couldn’t be allayed.
Hit me. Hit me. Hit me. Hit me. Hit me one more time.
Into a hole he fell that he could never climb.
He called his brother once again but this time was denied.
Oh, the bridge was burned.
Track Name: Sing! Sing!
Cameron can’t refrain from uncalled-for display.
I measure time just to watch you break him down.
You act like our decline was painless to abide.
Come on, love, it can’t have been that easy now.

It's not how good you look. But, yes, you do look good.
Cameron, he's as good as gone in my book.
It's how you hold yourself, your slow-unfolding self.
Emily, oh you hooked and pulled me in.

Come on, Come on sing, sing. You know the words, sing, sing.
Let's begin again. I know, I know it's late. Too late, too late to say. Let's begin again.

Whisky’s in your stead, when paths cross in my head.
Memories swirl like devils full of dust.
I swallow my pride. As hope and doubt collide.
Emily, with regret I wish you well.

Come on, come on sing, sing. I repeat the word envy and begin again. Envy, envy, envy. Cameron, if you could see what your love has done do me…

Oh it's a taste I've acquired. My chest is afire. Bitterness, come fill me in…

Come on, Come on sing, sing. You know the words, sing, sing.
Let's begin again. I know, I know it's late. Too late, too late to say. Let's begin again.
Track Name: Mercy Core
I pour myself another drink;
It’s about time that my memory starts to fade.
I think it’s now been seven years,
but yesterday still feels like today,
the way you’d say my name still resonates.

Outside in the city streets
the chaos makes me want to stay inside.
But I remember how my stepping out and letting go
always made you proud.
The sounds of praise resound. It always made me proud.
The sounds of praise resound. It always made me proud.

I remember well the day you left.
I’d seen it coming weeks before it came.
The house was quiet still and warm,
a pleasant but unfamiliar tone.
Atone, atone, atone. A man alone.

Jesse tells me to buck up.
He says I’ve been a fool to mourn so long.
What they didn’t know, and they still don’t,
is that all along I have been just fine

Come on and tell me something sage that you know.
You’re right as always. Just this once I’m in control.
I’m near to finding what I’m looking for,
some peace and quiet from your mercy core.

I wrote a letter to myself
Reminding me that I don’t need a thing.
Just an old guitar and a couple drinks,
a paperback, and maybe time to think.
I think you’d think I’m on a roll.

There’s people always stepping in,
meaning well but missing by a mile.
What they didn’t know, and they still don’t,
Is that all along I have been just fine.

Come on and tell me something sage that you know.
You’re right as always. Just this once I’m in control.
I’m near to finding what I’m looking for,
some peace and quiet from your mercy core.

When I’m alone,
this house becomes a home.
My features start to show.
The pace begins to slow.
The seedling finally starts to grow.

Come on and tell me something sage that you know.
You’re right as always. Just this once I’m in control.
I’m near to finding what I’m looking for,
some peace and quiet from your mercy core.
Track Name: Crazy Watch
I’ve not told you everything;
I’m not proud to say.
But, patience, boy, it’s coming
in time…
When you asked me questions
I never lied to you,
but I kept from you his letters:
Graduation, valentines, I shut him out, you thought he’d died.

He sent postcards every birthday,
and he begged me to tear down this wall.
But I made sure that he’d never reach you.
I’m the reason why he never called.

San Francisco morning,
we walked through Russian Hill.
We stopped at an apartment,
my guilty conscience weighing down,
the whole façade came crashing down.

Fiction sometimes seems much neater,
but the truth will always shine through.
The hardest part is to ask forgiveness.
Oh, I hate what I’ve put you through:

the news of the truth of your roots.
I implied that he died,
but he’s here, he’s inside… Inside.

Fiction sometimes seems much neater,
but the truth will always shine through.
The hardest part is to ask forgiveness.
Oh, I hate what I’ve put you through.
Track Name: Nowhere, USA
The old house has its ghosts,
friendly though most are,
I’m hesitant

The tire swing in the back
on the maple tree still hangs,
though tenuously.

The bulb inside has long been dead,
but still I find my way
by memory

For 18 years I walked the halls,
the wooden floors
still creak with every step.
Inside these walls I dreamt
of the day I’d fly away,
but with his death I’m back
for to pay respect
and stay in Nowhere, USA.

In the damp cellar late one night
years ago I took her hand, and I told her
what she wanted to hear.

I lost control nodding off
behind the wheel,
and crashed into the shed.

With my oldest boy beside me,
we glance in every room
and rap on window panes.
In the master closet
high on a shelf overlooked,
we find heavy box, full of notes, addressed to dad,

in a woman’s hand unknown.
So I ask my son to go
because he’s much to young to know
where a lonely man’s heart goes,
when apart two people grow,
like everybody knows,
though they tried never to show.
Mom and dad we know.
Mom and Dad know.

So I take the box out back with a match and tell myself
that no one has to know.
I light box and watch as the smoke fills the air.
When my mom steps out I wave, “It’s his newspapers,” I say. “I’ll be right in,” I say.
Track Name: Japan
When you phoned me from Japan,
you stuttered, stalled, and then began.
You told me that you had the will
and the conscience for to kill another man.

I hung up hopeless and fatigued,
the portent I had long foreseen
was written clear across the wall,
with no one there to break your fall.

I told you, “Don’t you tread there; you are gonna crack.”
You told me, when they’re dead then maybe you’ll relax.

For a lifetime you’ve been burying your thoughts.
Maybe action is the answer that you’ve sought.

I listened from the start,
your torment tugging at my heart.
But with reason far behind,
the puzzle pieces fell apart.

There’s no one there I tell you, take a breath, keep calm.
Panic building, pictures falling from the wall.
Walk away, I urge you, the damage is yet done.
On a mission, with precision you drift…

The moon is a sign that the enemy line, as it waxes and wanes, is as endless as time, endless as time, end of the line, end of the line, endless as time, endless as time, end of the line, end of the line, endless as…

Time keeps passing dawn will never come,
until you pull the trigger on your psychotropic gun.
Walk away, I hate to; But I don’t have a choice.
If I’m not careful, I too will be destroyed.
Track Name: Are you breathing?
How could I know
at 9 years old
that loneliness
is commonplace?

There’s a broken chord
where harmony
once filled the home,
but nobody seems to hear.

It’s natural
to want to shine,
but father yells
and mother cries over me.

Thinking hard
of common ground,
there’s one thing they
can’t live without.

I may be too young to die,
But that don’y mean that I won’t try.

On Saturday
long before they awake,
from the closet shelf
I pull my father’s safe.

It’s cold and hard
and heavy now.
I pick a spot
I can live without

I don’t feel anything now.
I just taste blood in my mouth.

Come on breathe. Come on breathe.
Look at me, son. Come on, breathe, son.
What have we done?

I may not feel my legs now,
but at least you’re at my beck and call

There’s not concealing how you’re feeling.
I’m right here, in your last years,
and I’m still breathing.
Track Name: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Come thou fount of every blessing.
Tune my heart to sing thy grace.
Streams of mercy never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest joy.

Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by loyal friends above.
Raise my cup I’m fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I’ll be in spirit
‘til released from flesh and time.
Yet from what I do inherit,
here thy winter may subside.

Here I raise my Ebenezer.
Here by thy great help I’ve come.
And I hope by thy good pleasure
safely to arrive at home

When they sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of home.
They to rescue me from danger,
yhey interposed their precious warmth.

How their kindness yet pursues me
mortal tongue can never tell.
Clothed in flesh ‘til death shall loose me,
I cannot proclaim it well.

On that day when freed from breathing,
I shall see thy lovely face.
Clothed then in blood-washed linen,
how I’ll sing thy sovereign grace.

Come, my friend, no longer tarry.
Take my ransomed soul away.
Send my brother now to carry
me to realms of endless day.
Track Name: A Someday
Can you perceive
all the drastically changing
halcyon bright colors
pouring through the shades and on the floor?

I’m thankful you’re here,
and now everything’s blooming
into love and laughter
that lingers in the air

It’s weightless in here,
and the levity’s steeping
into tracks I’m gleaning
from pages of the past.

This absence is real,
but the foundation’s sturdy.
There’s a someday for us
someday soon to come.
Track Name: Hidden Hands
A broken lamp, a room unkempt,
the air inside is stale.
And heavy with the fog and smoke
of people going under.

Yesterday, a scene replayed, their voices raised in vain
because no one hears through ringing ears,
but that won’t stop this train.

“Jolie, you lied, you lied, now I’ve got truth for you, dear.
Here it comes, the man you thought you loved has played you for a fool, dear.”

She turned away, a shielded face,
her pattern of defeat.
A sleight of hand, with the table lamp,
she brought him to his knees.

“Now who’s the fool?” she said and gathered her belongings.
Laughing now, she held a match up to the motel’s curtains, seething. She’s seething.

She feels the heat of embers from the past.
Her heart is beating fast
soon he’ll wake up.
He pulls the strings of her heart with hidden hands,
intentions made of sand
are washed away.

Jolie, she tried, she tried but guilt has got the better. Irresolute.
The man she thought she loved has played her like a fool here.
Track Name: The Fifty Fifty
Andrew has the baby tonight,
and I will move our things from eyesight
in hopes that someone comes to replace us.

Realtor says we’ll make a profit.
50/50, keep the money.
It’s you. It’s you that I want.

Everyone arrived so hopeful.
Three short years, I am so humbled.
Oh my god, oh my god, what has happened?

And when I slow down I recollect
all the hurtful things we said.
And when you phone me,
I say I am fine.
But when we hang up,
inside I die. Inside I die.

Our answers always sound so phony.
She’s so young, all we can say is
“Papa has to go away for a while.”

In hindsight you’ll say this was fated.
Was it youth or naïveté?
Neither explanation takes the pain away.






















Don’t call me cynical just yet. Not just yet.
Don’t call us typical just yet. Not just yet.
We’re not statistical just yet. Not just yet.
We aren’t the 50% percent yet. No, not yet.

I sat and watched you fade away.
In my head, I was sure you’d stay.
How I wish that I could go back.
The love that we had I would protect.

Over time I’ve let it go.
All the embers have lost their glow.
Though this ship has run aground,
my broken heart is homeward bound.
Homeward bound. Homeward bound.
Track Name: In the Bedroom
In the bedroom,
black light overhead revealing
walls are glowing.
Jane Doe lay there dead, but there was
no sign of struggle,
a piece-less puzzle
that I can’t seem to understand.

Yellow legal pad,
composing notes to self of motives
someone could have
anger this explosive.
I felt a stirring
no less disturbing
than what lay there in front of me.

Open eyelids, empty eyes, pale flesh.
Recognition sinking in,
there’s a pattern here,
and it’s much worse than my worst fear.

So I lay it out,
a map in front of me.
Sleep elusive
amid this killing spree.
I take a moment,
vertigo slowly
pulls out the rug from under me.

Open eyelids, empty eyes, pale flesh.
Recognition sinking in,
I’m a sinking ship,
and it’s much worse than my worse fear.

Everything I once held true,
every friend I’ve tried talking to
(since the reason and the rhyme
of taking someone’s life
was how I spent my 9 to 5)
left me like the breathless life of
her and him and her and him and her and him.