Soldier Songs

by Rustin Smith

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1.
I dropped my weapon in a creek bed Ran clear to write this secret I was the devil in the moonlight Waving banners and charging the fight I was losing my remembrance of the home we made I got afraid We’re lovers in a time of war Who don’t know what they’re fighting for Who can’t recall what common sense is While scaling all their barbed-wire fences Lovers in a time of war, lovers in a time of war I can dream you waiting on the front steps The wind blows gently your dress But I’m gonna have hell to pay dear For the things I’ve done and seen here Before this blood was shed we were naive Now I believe, (in…) We’re lovers in a time of war Who don’t know what they’re fighting for Who can’t recall what common sense is While scaling all their barbed-wire fences Lovers in a time of war, lovers in a time of war Though war may break our bodies My heart, my thoughts fly to you, dear If they lay me low in fields of violence My restless spirit won’t be silenced Till I’m with you Before this blood was shed we were naïve… Now I believe We’re lovers in a time of war Who don’t know what they’re fighting for Who can’t recall what common sense is While scaling all their barbed-wire fences Lovers in a time of war, lovers in a time of war We’re not thinking ‘bout tomorrow Today is just some time we borrow Lovers in a time of war, lovers in a time of war
2.
Angels 05:05
Write it down in a letter to home You can sell it in a storybook All of the time this battle’s taken from us Cost more than any ground we took I used to pray to see my home again Used to dream about family I used to pray for a miracle But now it seems like it’s all up to me If God won’t send his angels, Tonight we’ll take up wings We’ll suffer in our glory, While we dream of simple things If God won’t send his angels, Tonight a choir will sing And they will tell our story of a freedom that won’t ring If God won’t send his angels Earned a chest full of ribbons and brass And a heavy mind full of doubt Seems I’ve been bringing this hell so long I can’t remember what we’re fighting about Ain’t that the way the old world stays the old world If God won’t send his angels, Tonight we’ll take up wings We’ll suffer in our glory, While we dream of simple things If God won’t send his angels, Tonight a choir will sing And they will tell our story of a freedom that won’t ring If God won’t send his angels Ain’t that the way the old world stays the old world Ain’t that the way the old world stays the old world If God won’t send his angels, Tonight we’ll take up wings We’ll suffer in our glory, While we dream of simple things If God won’t send his angels, Tonight a choir will sing And they will tell our story of a freedom that won’t ring If God won’t send his angels, Tonight we’ll take up wings Tonight we’ll take up wings
3.
Soldier Song 04:31
Once upon a time I had a throne Till I burned it down Flame and fire in the air Dust and ashes on the ground Everybody looked but no one saw The night we lost it all Another soldier song Sing me one about it all gone wrong How the good guys turned to run ‘Cause we were scared and sick and young We’re not so strong But we pretend and so it all goes on And our secrets in the dark We don’t sing in soldier songs In every fairy tale you’re climbing up On the way you still believe Darkness isn’t gonna hold you back Till dark is all that you can see Then everybody gets to tell your tale But none are left who know it well Another soldier song Sing me one about it all gone wrong How the good guys turned to run ‘Cause we were scared and sick and young We’re not so strong But we pretend and so it all goes on And our secrets in the dark We don’t sing in soldier songs The kingdom comes when kingdoms go Don’t cry for Camelot Although we lost a lot The boys will keep ‘em singing on, and on till kingdom come And I can’t take… Another soldier song - Sing me one about it all gone wrong How the good guys turned to run ‘Cause we were scared and sick and young We’re not so strong But we pretend and so it all goes on And our secrets in the dark We don’t sing ‘cause we’re not so strong But we pretend and so it all goes on And our secrets in the dark We don’t sing in soldier songs
4.
Something is wrong here Functions are not right Feelings are missing Connections are off time Sparks are flying Wings are beating Resistance is futile The moment is fleeting Still hallelujah, hallelujah, holy this This is really happening, this is what is So for what is, hallelujah, still hallelujah The girl at the grocery The girl at the coffee shop The girl at the cinema The girl in my mind tonight Maybe she loves me Maybe resents me Maybe I’m handsome Maybe I hate me Still hallelujah, hallelujah, holy this This is really happening, this is what is So for what is, hallelujah, still hallelujah Gone down the subway, the moment is new Lost down the stair flights, lost down the tube I’m still here. I’m still here. I’m still hearing here. Ah…. I’m still hallelujah, hallelujah, holy this This is really happening, this is what is So for what is, hallelujah, still hallelujah I’m still hallelujah, hallelujah, holy this This is really happening, this is what is So for what is, hallelujah, still hallelujah Still hallelujah
5.
Evangeline 05:03
I wander in to a dark empty hall A shuddering light projects on the wall I’m transfixed by the sight of it all…Evangeline Her close-up shot is a gathering storm Bright eyes strike from her thunderous form But rain won’t come and so we are torn…Evangeline Remember I tried to believe Evangeline – I thought you could save me Up there from you’re silver screen Don’t I know you’re just a dream Bright light – Flickering through black night Star shine wasn’t what it seemed Don’t I know you’re just a dream, Evangeline? Easy to please and not very wise An unknown love is my sacrifice Burning desires is just paying the price…(for) Evangeline Falling for her is just falling apart The end can’t be like it felt at the start Tonight I wish I could win the heart…(of) Evangeline Remember when I still believed? Evangeline – I thought you could save me Up there from you’re silver screen Don’t I know you’re just a dream Bright light – Flickering through black night Star shine wasn’t what it seemed Don’t I know you’re just a dream, Evangeline? When you are asleep tonight and dreaming Will you dream a dream to set me free? Evangeline Evangeline – I thought you could save me Up there from you’re silver screen Don’t I know you’re just a dream Bright light – Flickering through black night Star shine wasn’t what it seemed Don’t I know you’re just a dream, Evangeline? Evangeline – I thought you could save me Up there from you’re silver screen Don’t I know you’re just a dream Bright light – Flickering through black night Star shine wasn’t what it seemed Don’t I know you’re just a dream, Evangeline?
6.
Chains 03:41
I’ve been riding these rails in the search of a brand new start I’ve been dreamin’ ‘bout a raven-haired girl who could break my heart I hear out west a man’s free anywhere he goes But right now I just wanna get clear of this Nebraska snow I was born in chains, And my heart remains In those cotton plains But my mind is free, So they can’t bury me In my chains, in my chains When I left Lou’siana I was stowin’ on a river barge Afraid of every single rhythm reminiscent of a soldiers’ march Left the territory on a borrowed donkey must’ve been three weeks Now I’m looking for a living with nobody ever looking for me I was born in chains, and my heart remains In those cotton plains But my mind is free, so they can’t bury me In chains, in my chains Hallelujah, amazing grace! God grant that no Southern land will ever see my face Again, Again I was born in chains, and my heart remains In those cotton plains But my mind is free, so they can’t bury me In chains, in my chains I was born in chains, and my heart remains In those cotton plains But my mind is free, so they can’t bury me In chains, in my chains
7.
She said to me, “Do you come in here frequently?” I paused to think about what my reply should be No one around this place would ever say I act secretly I guess I’ve had my hat in hand since I was seventeen I live without a net out on a wire Always a candle looking for another fire I guess I’m still payin’ dues Still dreaming ‘bout blue suede shoes Tomorrow’s always gonna be a fight But I still believe in tonight When I left home I thought I could make something good God knows I tried to not run down the neighborhood But I’ve been shaking down anyone who’d give a half a listen to a song I sung I end up working so much harder than most anybody else just to have a lot less fun I live without a net out on a wire Always a candle looking for another fire I guess I’m still payin’ dues Still dreaming ‘bout blue suede shoes Tomorrow’s always gonna be a fight But I still believe in tonight Tonight – I can’t live in tomorrows that never come Tonight – I can’t carry the sorrows from what’s been done All you are is you – and all I am is me So I sing, So I sing I live without a net out on a wire I’m always the candle singing, ‘baby, light my fire’ I guess I’m still payin’ dues Still dreaming ‘bout blue suede shoes Tomorrow’s always gonna be a fight But I still believe, ‘cause I live without a net out on a wire Always a candle looking for another fire I guess I’m still payin’ dues Still dreaming ‘bout blue suede shoes Tomorrow’s always gonna be a fight But I still believe in tonight I still believe in tonight
8.
Last 04:04
When I was young I was wild and aching If only mostly on the inside I was afraid and that was not mistaken For life’s a perilous and lonesome ride So I went hiding out in caves and shadows Waiting for my enemies to come I sharpened blades and imagined battles Where I would prove I was the righteous one. Now I just want to lay her down In fields of my long past In meadows of a summer gone Maybe that’s where love can last And if I wait behind I won’t make a sound When she lays her robes aside I won’t take her crown When I was young I was wild and aching Now that I’m older it just hurts to dream Of friends and family now time’s forsaken And I’m not even who I once believed Nobody’s ever who they seem Now I just want to lay her down In fields of my long past In meadows of a summer gone Maybe that’s where love can last Now I just want to lay her down In fields of my long past In meadows of a summer gone Maybe that’s where love can last When I was young I was wild and aching Now that I’m older it just hurts to dream

about

Midwest songwriter Rustin Smith creates intelligent rock songs from sonic headwaters discovered in a childhood spent spinning 45's from 1960's pop and country to 1980's synth rock.

Having achieved critical accolades with Ardent Records band Satellite Soul and solo indie record Steering Wheel, Smith spent years writing, producing and performing for other artists during his own series of fizzled label deals and unreleased projects. Now Smith has resurfaced with Soldier Songs, eight anthems about war and peace, confession and absolution, desire and lament. The result is a haunting convergence of the intimate and the epic, what we fight for and what we fight about, dramatized in civil war love letters and space fantasies at the mall arcade.

Soldier Songs has found a way to comprehensively give voice to Smith's meandering biography that stretches from the hayfields of Kansas to rock-festival shows to ordination as a local minister.

Songs evokes the self-doubt of the hero (Lovers in a Time of War, Soldier Song) as easily as the illusions of love (Evangeline) and rock-n-roll (I Believe in Tonight). Angels cautions taking matters into one's own hands, while Still Hallelujah is a poignant surrender ("this is what is / so for what is, hallelujah..."). Chains is a first-person tale of the aftershock of liberation, and Last reveals the bitter longing for permanence ("Now that I'm older / it just hurts to dream").

The particularity of it all invites reflection on the past and future, on those near and far-off, on the living and the dead.

For Soldier Songs, Smith rekindled collaboration with producer/engineer James Felver and former Satellite Soul bandmate, drummer Ryan Green (John McKenna Band). Everything else, from guitars and harmonica, piano and synths, bass and vocals are performed by Rustin. The record began as an exercise for creative renewal during a sabbatical season and was completed over a few weeks in the Summer of 2013 as a gift to his church congregation.

Soldier Songs is a noteworthy collection of songs and sounds that will connect the soul of a journeyed artist to an audience listening for deft depth and enduring hooks. Whether traveling by steamboat or rocket-ship, Soldier Songs will prove a faithful soundtrack.

credits

released September 24, 2013

Produced and Recorded by Rustin Smith and James Felver
Mixed and Mastered by James Felver
Drums by Ryan Green
Songs written and performed by Rustin Smith
Artwork: Donna Rimbo
© 2013 Songs for Rocksmyth (ASCAP)
www.rustinsmith.com

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Rustin Smith Kansas City, Missouri

Midwest songwriter Rustin Smith creates intelligent rock songs from sonic headwaters discovered in a childhood spent spinning .45's from 1960's pop and country to 1980's synth rock.

Having achieved critical accolades with Ardent Records band Satellite Soul and solo indie record Steering Wheel, Smith released Soldier Songs in late 2013.
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