Stay Cold

by Stalwart Sons

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1.
03:36
2.
03:06
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02:40
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03:08
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05:58
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9.
02:34

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released 20 September 2012

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Track Name: Good King
Good King (David Sings Before Saul)

Good King
can you hear my voice sound?
Good King
can you hear my strings resound?

Good King
witness your dominion
all directions your eye sees is yours for keeping
garret borders, all your land is alive

We tend our piece we have been given
piled gold on gold in the treasury provision
surely goodness will be yours for all days

Good King
How your voice wields power
a single word shall rend men to asunder
may laurels ever grace your brow

Even the trees fly peaceful flags
and we cower underneath and shake like blue flame
grey cloud would hold in spirit
and bid you to stay cold
stay cold

So to rage at the night
and hide yourself in dark,
Save us wreathed in sheepskin
against an burdening time
where my strings to swerve
your darkening sigh.
I weep for my country
I sing for my king

Good King
Born under the hammer
shudder at the breezes and contemplate the seasons
O Good king
will your anger abed?


ELABORATION:
If we concede that every person is blessed with gifts, with a role, then they are duty bound to use those talents. One man is a King, another a shepherd. My role as a musician or poet then, if I am indeed gifted with song and words, I have no choice but to sing and create. The artist is blessed with insight and critique. The stepping up of militarism in our world is more than disconcerting, a problem far beyond my limited reach to correct. Perhaps it is not my place to make the decisions, the functioning of the country is not mine, but rather to sing my heart and hope beyond hope that it gets heard. David sings before Saul.
Track Name: A Lonely War
A Lonely War

The stewards spread for miles
and the rain to wash them down some
when out from the mourning,
we tipped our glass overflowing,
drank whole at our weakness,
the derricks bucking as they taunt:
dig my ground, dig it dry
'til there's nothing left under your feet

From out a poison tongue
won't tease a sullen answer
From out my grasping fingers
the guitars all bled out

While kids turn their faces to the sun
black helicopters block the light
I'll wave the cane at the shadows
until I'm old and bent
The Halloween generation sleeps
shake the bed to rouse my sons
If we spurn to conquer lost nations
but we fight a lonely war
such a lonely war


ELABORATION:
In an area of the world the wherein we can exploit a natural resource to its fullest, privileged to such a great degree, causing a huge influx of money to the province, but rarely to the places that need it. The loss, both environmental and moral, far outweighs the gains. The supposed benefit we see is fleeting; the idea of stewardship is one that is lost. How lonesome to be the only one to see the sun about to set, to see the desert coming.
Track Name: Wave More Flags
Wave More Flags

Blowing out them landscape views
sorry brethren, kissing days
You speak of watchmen in the walls
bored wars and black gold stains
And in the Red Deer River flow
washed out my shins an all

Those grass stains announce
sympathies ingrained in our youths
The wild geese cut so gentle
tastes like iron in my mouth

and with the diving sparrow
comes at the cross-wind blow
deign failure is not of us
then the believers move
to wave more flags
wave more flags

We heard the wind bark orders
rigid at attention pause
underneath the washed-out colours
I want them to be birthed anew.


ELABORATION:
Our country sets aside one day of the year, wherein the people paint their faces red and white and set fireworks off on Parliament hill, and the day after lose that fervour like amnesiacs. I am of a generation reared on Canada minutes and Terry Fox runs, yet even with these pains to unite the country under a banner, yet more often united in a collective apathy. Less a call for nationalist pride, but a pride in and of itself. A desire for a pride worth having. The ability to wave a flag, the ability to stand for something.
Track Name: Wolfspeak
Wolfspeak

I raise my voice
for the boy raised on wolfspeak
and to cut my teeth
to the sharp point of a widows peak
The black river flow
and the poison traps to lure us in
put two sticks to each other
dare best the cold
cold
cold

I raise my view
the smoke signal where my city used to be
I would sing extinction songs
such visions of things once seen
every boreal kingdom
every woven thread to the wrist
tread cherished land
constant swathes of antlers grace my path

Stalk while my weakness staves
God, bless me, I'm young
when we howl it sounds like rage
your howl sounds like rage


ELABORATION:
Wolves in Northern Alberta have been poisoned and shot in order to preserve Caribou populations which have been dwindling due to the loss of habitat as a direct result of tar sands development. A literal million was spent to balance an innocent symptom, yet fully ignored the cause of the problem. I feel a great solidarity with the wolf. Even that a song could cause as much change as a howl at the moon. Even in the futility of protest, the joy to raise one’s voice in anger.
Track Name: Hope Chest
Hope Chest

We storm like kings
because we are poor
we dive like kamikaze crows

We command like swords
every word is an in axe in our hands
salve to the creaky hinge

We strike like boughs
as if we don't break
how we cover our heads

We ring like bells
as if we don't give
watch our homes cleft in two

We sigh like waves
and hold our breath like so
took bed sheets as our guard

We hold like breaks
as if we could heave
how we cover our heads

stave cool, draw blood,
topple houses when they say that "we're rebuilding"
locked to a ball & chain
because you call it thus

and with so much to give
all this fiery want
under precious vow and
under resolute cause
all this burning heart prepared
I put it in my hope chest

every single conjured change
I put it in my hope chest


ELABORATION:
The institution of marriage, especially in hardcore circles, is met with derision. Broken homes and certain situations are seen as symptomatic, as if marriage itself were the problem, that relationships are rife for hurt. I see such strength in the people involved in this community, nothing is beyond their grasp. I believe that your life is yours to create. We have the ability to not run in our parent’s ruts, and repeat their mistakes. We have the ability to have loving relationships.
Track Name: True North
True North

If you could set your legs to run, my dear
past barbed wire or waving scarves
If it is you who has seen the wind
the whole horizon spreads forth

The way you bend your tongue
or make a shovel with your hands
to dig for fire in the dry, dry ground
as if to err or provide

As if to dwell on solitudes
or believe in garrisons
no heroes borne out of schoolbooks' want
our mere survival entails

and so to teach the children
to bask in world's ovation
every single steadfast pilgrim
so frightened by the dark

Recite the words of a rumourous band
or a national anthem

Have you ever set your gaze such heights?
The constant northern star?
Witness the wind bend low the trees
and so the country bows...

Recite the words to the rumourous land
or a national anthem
we true north, strong and-
true north and strong

...like one candle to another
on the back of my hand
I drew a map of Canada
O Canada!

And so I wouldn't forget
on the back of my hand
I drew a map of Canada
O Canada!

If I could set my legs to run
past drilled fire or waving flags
as long as I could feel the wind (on my face)
I would still be running;
running


ELABORATION:
In studying this country, either through its history or literature, it seems we define ourselves as a nation either in the negative from our looming neighbour (as what we are not), or as defined by our “greatest” minds in the most reductivist terms (survivalist, garrison, solitudes). Or perhaps know the land itself purely in the ways in which we steal from it, or in rote recitations of songs in which we never consciously focus on the pertinence of the lyrics. In so many ways, how we are defined has been decided for us, in so many ways reduced to little box exactly how we see our country. I wish to see new definitions, active growth and vibrancy, find that True North, find it myself.
Track Name: Windburn Children
Windburn Children

Wind-burned children
stand on guard,

You braced from recoil showered by
the buckshot spray
Our cocksure walk down tenant land
would never burn them down
or quell the quaking ground

Wind-burned children
dig and grow

A marching youth would not hold tight
and never could
and if they do keep glory here
never burn them down
and sway with joyous sound

Deep and wide
there's a cold wind blowing

Windburn Children
wield our ploughshares
here we are standing on guard
here we are saved


ELABORATION:
Coming from a lineage of farmers, I see the decline of family run agriculture, the decline of eating what one grows; a true understanding of land and openness is becoming less and less common. To stand in the open prairie and feel the wind, harrowed by the brisk, is noble – to be a son of the land.
Track Name: Horse Blanket Rash
Horse Blanket Rash

The breath is freezing
as if it were to never end
and the wind it breezes
and shows it's brawn against my back

If we were to look on
every river wound against
run over one thousand blessings:
"May we never thaw, Amen."

O may you sing true
O may it forever burn,
the car seats we pile these horse blankets on

My little brothers
My heavy eyes
My empty bottle
My bowie knife
My saddle sore
My Colville dime
Those hearts all bleeding
My hungry skies & growing lists

Amen.


ELABORATION:
I’m fully aware of how I must come off, continually treading this theme of Canadianism, giving myself a rash from constantly rubbing this theme into the ground. Nevertheless, I still feel compelled to keep digging at it. Our country has yet to define itself, and as it ages, its people care less and less about it. I have not exhausted my fascination with this place, these songs, effective lists, are an attempt at getting one step closer to definition.
Track Name: Good Man
Good Man

To walk a narrow path
straight as a crow
the havens are rich in sound
healthy ease and sleepless

The way to tread barefoot on shale
empty bottle soldiers
storm against the air
and the harvest about me

To have an instrument
and the will to sing,
resound the hollow gulleys
pull anchor and flow on

You are the ear
I will be a good man
Sing full-bore & naked
Sing freedom
Freedom

ELABORATION:
Something of a response to Richie Havens’ performance at Woodstock, the revelation of simply chanting the word “Freedom” again and again. To live a strict lifestyle, wear this counter-culture like a badge of honour, intellectualize these words and this music, yet in the end give every fibre to deliver a simple and honest performance. I still believe in the power music can yield. The desire to be a good man, to create something good and exude it nakedly. Cut away all the pretence and radiate.