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The Faded Red and Blue

by David Berkeley

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Oh Quiet World, The Faded Red and Blue, Anna and Argyle (Mi, Feathericci and David Berkeley Dub, Cardboard Boat, The Fire in My Head, Some Kind of Cure, Strange Light, Live from Fez, and 2 more. , and , .

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1.
Ash to Ash 04:32
A child king sits on his throne, In his tower casting stones, Counting everything he owns, But late at night he cries alone. There’s a village down the hill With fields to plow and mouths to fill. Children grow up as they will, But fuel the fire and blood will spill. Ash to ash, Bend the bough, Run old Rosie around, Till first is last and lost is found, oh we’ll all fall down. Some say fear is like the wind, Hard to say how it begins, Hard to stop it strengthening, Hard to blow it back again. Ash to ash, Bend the bough, Run old Rosie around, Till first is last and lost is found, oh we’ll all fall down. Come back daughters come back sons. Don’t believe that this is done, Even though their rage has run From shining sea to Washington. Ash to ash, Bend the bough, Run old Rosie around, Till first is last and lost is found, oh we’ll all fall down.
2.
Have you seen the flag laid out, The faded red and blue? One star missing edges torn It barely made it through. If we believe the promise In the fabric still holds true, Then we must be a harbor For the weak and weary, too. I know your heart beats, I do. My heart beats just like you. Once I saw the Grand Canyon It snowed upon the edge. You were there beside me You cried and then you said, “Deep inside this great divide I know god isn’t dead. Call it what you will, Spirit or soul or love instead.” I know broken hearts can mend, and hardened hearts can bend. See, I’m now a father of two boys I love them so. With open eyes and open hearts And minds I hope they grow. And may we leave a world to them That’s sacred not all sold, Remembering where they came from and where we’re all bound to go. Oh my heart overflows, Fear will fade I know. Cause I have seen the flag laid out, Old Glory red and blue.
3.
Just before the dawn, Half a world asleep, I heard the news, Heard the newsman weep. When the earth is quiet, And autumn’s just begun, It’s hard to find a fault in anyone. But now it’s come to this. You got to wonder why, From a hotel room Beneath the desert sky. Throw down a line, but hold on to the end. And so the days go by, Nothing seems to change. Like nothing can be done When nothing is to blame. Then on the lover’s day While the palm trees bend, Put your books away Cause here it comes again. Throw down a line, but hold on to the end. Turn back the time, let us start again. How have we managed to fall so far? Don’t try to tell me it’s who we are. What kind of freedom would leave such scars? Oh, lay down your arms. Heaven help the child Who in her darkest hour She don’t back down From the fools in power. And you’re waking now. And the sky begins to light. We got another try. We got to make it right. Let’s throw down a line and hold on to the end. I know it’s time, time to start again Throw down a line, but hold on to the end.
4.
There’s a house that stood against the wind Till the roof gave in, the roof gave In the door post there We carved our names But all that’s changed, all that changed You left that day, and crossed on through. I didn’t know. I wish I knew. How you heard them howl, Their circling. There were wolves. Long before the fall Of everything, There are wolves in the wings. When you sang to me, you changed the words So I learned, so I learned The good ones win, they always do I didn’t know, I wish I knew How you heard them howl, Their circling. There were wolves. Long before the fall Of everything, There are wolves in the wings. Lay with me in the meadows of my mind Just one more time, one more time Could stop a while, and I could say to you I heard them, too. I hear them, too. How I hear them howl, They’re circling. There are wolves. Long before the fall Of everything, There are wolves in the wings.
5.
Oh the water in the stream Flowing through the centuries Through the canyons, through the trees. This be dear to me And the breezes as they blow From cross the seas through your window, Where they come from where they go. This be dear to me Oh this be dear to me. Oh I believe this is what’s worth fighting for. Oh help us see that there is so much more, Adonai. Oh the desert vast and wide, Silent under endless skies, And then you put your hand in mine, This be dear to me. Or when you wake still warm from sleep, Half a dream your soft lips speak, Safe and near me you I’ll keep. This be dear to me. Oh this be dear to me. Oh I believe this is what’s worth fighting for. Oh help us see that there is so much more, Adonai. Adonai. Oh the autumn rust and gold, Winter mornings crisp and cold, Then in spring the world unfolds. This be dear to me. Oh this be dear to me. Oh the whole world’s whispering. The morning rains, the prayer bells ring. The eagles cry, the great whales sing. This be dear to me. Oh this be dear to me. Oh I believe this is what’s worth fighting for. Oh help us see that there is so much more, Adonai. Adonai. If I leave this world too soon, Far beyond the silver moon, Live your life with love and truth. This be dear to me. Look there’s love in all that’s true. This be dear to me. Feel the love surrounding you. This be dear to me. Oh this be dear to me. Yes, you are dear to me.

about

I began writing this small batch of songs just after the American presidential election in November of 2016. I was in Washington, D.C., on tour with my duo project Son of Town Hall. My band mate Ben Parker and I found ourselves in the National Museum of American History looking at the American Flag that inspired the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. That beautiful old flag was profoundly and surprisingly moving. It looked particularly fragile at that moment. Like our democracy itself, it seemed to be nearly falling apart, calling out for an honesty and compassion that has all but disappeared from our public discourse. I felt a great love and fear for our union on that day. I still feel that. I finished these songs in the spring of 2018 shortly after the Parkland shooting.
As I write this note, my two boys are eleven and eight. These past two years have been particularly tough for me not only as a songwriter but also as a father. In both roles I believe it is important to seek out positives, to look for light even as we admit and express darkness. Since the election, I have struggled in both capacities to do this. Every time I went to my shed hoping to write something pretty, the latest headlines would creep in and altered my course. And every time one of my boys asked for an explanation of something the president said, I struggled to respond appropriately. Though I found it easy to write about what was angering me, I wanted to do more than just rant. I didn’t want to widen an already gaping divide. That’s not really why I write songs.

So I’ve tried to find a bit of hope, some common ground, maybe even a piece of our shared humanity in these words and melodies. I wrote them as much for me as for you. And I wrote them for my boys. To remind us all that we live in a world that is still worth loving, a world that is still worth holding dear.

Thank you, as always, for listening,
David
Santa Fe, NM

credits

released November 2, 2018

Credits
All words and music by David Berkeley
© 2018 Straw Man Publishing (ASCAP) All rights reserved.

The Band:
David Berkeley – vocals, acoustic and classical guitar
Ben Wright – electric guitar on tracks 1,3, and 4
Casey Anderson – upright bass on tracks 1,2,3, and 4
Paul Groetzinger – drums and percussion
Bill Titus – electric guitar on track 2
Will Robertson – piano and accordion on track 1, piano, banjo, and upright bass on track 5
Karina Wilson – fiddle on tracks 1 and 3
Jordan Katz – trumpet, flugel horn, French horn
Sarah Zaslaw – violin on track 5


Tracks 1, 2, 3 and 4 were recorded and mixed by Jono Manson at the Kitchen Sink in Santa Fe, NM
Track 5 produced, recorded, and mixed by Will Robertson at Gallop Studios, Brookhaven, GA. String Arrangements on track 5 by Will Robertson
Mastered by Dave Glasser at Airshow Mastering Boulder, CO

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David Berkeley Santa Fe, New Mexico

The San Francisco Chronicle calls Santa Fe-based songwriter and author David Berkeley a “musical poet,” and the New York Times praises his “lustrous, melancholy voice with shades of Tim Buckley and Nick Drake.” He was a guest on This American Life, and has released 7 studio albums and 2 books. He is also half of the wildly creative Trans-Atlantic costumed duo Son of Town Hall. ... more

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