Burlap and Gold

by Matt Morrow

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1.
05:00
2.
3.
4.
04:39
5.
02:39
6.
7.
8.
9.
04:19
10.

about

This record is a set of songs told from the points of view of various people from my hometown whose stories I found interesting or moving in some way. Some of them are people I know personally, some of them are people I have never met but have read about in the local paper, and some of them are me. It was made almost entirely in my bedroom, and it was recorded, produced, and mixed entirely by me. Because of this (and the inherent fact therein that, in almost any situation that requires technical and/or technological knowledge and competence, I have little to no idea what I am doing), the sound quality leaves a good deal to be desired. Hopefully you can look past this and find something to enjoy here, because these songs mean a great deal to me, and I would like it if they could mean something to others as well. Thank you to everyone who has been interested enough to come to the shows, and especially those who have offered me encouragement. It means a lot.

This record is dedicated to my hometown of Guntersville, Alabama, and to my family, especially to those members who are no longer with us.

- Matt

credits

released July 25, 2011

Guitars, banjo, piano, keys, percussion, harmonica - Matt Morrow
Drums on tracks 1, 6, 8, 9, 10- John Harvey
Vocals on tracks 6, 10 - MaryJustice Lucas
Bass on track 6 - John Federico
Handclaps on track 4 - Anna Mikel Jones
Recorded, produced and mixed by Matt Morrow
Mastered by nobody
Cover photograph provided by the Wolford family

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Matt Morrow Guntersville, Alabama

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Track Name: Corner Store
god, in this town a man ain't worth nothing
if he don't talk to you
i hope it ain't too late to start now
cause i don't know who else to turn to
god, i don't know where i'm going
i ain't too proud of where i've been
and i just can't help feeling like
i'm alone every now and again
i was somebody in high school
and i guess that's why i stayed
here in this nobody town
where i thought i'd have it made

but i work at the corner store
and i don't know what life is for
and i ain't never prayed before
so i hope i'm doing this right

i try my best to be a good man
but it feels so out of touch
i just wanna know why everyone hurts
if you love everyone so much
god, this town is full of secrets
that nobody wants to tell
and if what the bible says is true
we're all going to hell

and i work at the corner store
and i don't know what life is for
and i ain't never prayed before
so i hope i'm doing this right
it's come down and it's spit me out
and i don't know what life's about
oh god, could you help me out
if you're even there at all
Track Name: Jesus Staked His Claim
seven pairs of tennis shoes on the power line
blowing in the breeze by the lakeside
seven little barefoot kids with their fishing poles
lined up on the levee where the gulls glide
saturdays, the high school kids meet up in the fields
the moon is watching everything they do
they're god's children, one and all, making their own fun
all god's little children through and through
but the perfume blows, and all the boys go crazy

but we ain't worried none for what nobody's done
cause jesus staked his claim here long ago
we all can do the math and walk the narrow path
and we'll get to heaven if we live life slow

lonely people looking for a bottle or a body
hit theresa's bar under the lights
wanda baker's husband died christmastime last year
and you can find her here most every night
but come sunday she's singing in the church choir

and we ain't worried none for what nobody's done
cause jesus staked his claim here long ago
we all can do the math and walk the narrow path
and we'll get to heaven if we live life slow

violet jenkins threw herself off the river bridge
the lake, it was as blue as the sky
and everybody asked themselves if she killed herself
or if she finally learned how to fly
and after that it rained for days and days and days

we ain't worried none for what nobody's done
cause jesus staked his claim here long ago
we all can do the math and walk the narrow path
and we'll get to heaven if we live life slow
we'll get to heaven we'll just get there slow
Track Name: Things You Can't Get Back
between the things we never said
and the things we can't take back
someone told someone, "i love you"
someone found something someone lacked
and in between, i watched you go
and in between, you told me so

and out of everyone i know
you're the one who knows me well
i don't know who we think we're fooling
acting like we both can't tell
but i will fake a smile for you
and you will do your faking too

the way the light dances on you
the way the rain falls on your head
makes me glad to be alive
makes me wish that i was dead
but for every year that passes by
it makes less and less sense to say goodbye

and so this just goes on and on
bitter friends with secrets hid
you won't touch me that way again
and we'll pretend you never did
pretend away the things we knew
like who's been hiding what from who

and in between the things you've got
and the things you never will
and the things you can't get back
i will be there waiting still
Track Name: The Survivor
i'm the suvivor
i won't be taken down
i've been here longer
than anyone else in this town
everyone who came before is dead
but i can hear their voices in my head

when i was younger
they didn't take my kind
in back of the bus
in our own separate line
now they're open arms and open doors
don't you wonder what they feel so sorry for?

i can't remember why i came
i can't remember my own name
i can't remember, but you can bet
that there are some things that this tired old mind will not forget

the sunday paper
put my face in there
an endangered species
in the city's care
celebrating all my hundred years
with "happy birthdays" that nobody hears

i'm the survivor
i won't be taken down
i've been here longer
than anyone else in this town
everyone who came before is dead
but i can hear their voices in my head
they won't let me rest
not yet
Track Name: Buck's Song
see what you get for just being good
staying where you're told and doing what you should
well, they found you that night and they shot you dead
now you're lying in the road with a bullet in your head
see how everything has changed

and i think of the way that you looked on the day
that they shoveled her up and they took her away
and now how i wish i could be that brave
you were burlap and gold and you laughed at the grave
see how everything has changed

well, there's nothing i've seen was like seeing you there
your own blood in your mouth and the stars in your hair
and i still haven't lost what you gave that night
and it fills up my eyes with some holy light
and i see now - everything has changed
Track Name: Talking to Strangers
i know just what my mama said
i can hear every word in my head
but i don't care if it's wrong or if it's right
i know just what i need tonight

i've been talking to strangers
and wishing to god they were you

i look for you almost everywhere
i can find your face when you're not even there
but i don't care if i'm living on lies
it's like i'm talking to you if i close my eyes

but i've been talking to strangers

i won't wonder where you are tonight
when she rolls over and turns out the lights
i'll pull her little body in tight
it feels like you if i hold her just right

i've been talking to strangers
and wishing to god
i've been talking to strangers
and i'd give anything to talk to you
Track Name: Worn Out Radio
won't you let me come inside?
i never was one much for pride
and i ain't done nothing that i should have pride for
your face is still my favorite prayer
but i see the lines that i put there
and i can't stand to break your heart no more
just wanna dance you across the bedroom
and hold you one last time
but that song ain't me, babe
i know you ain't still mine

the drugs have all done took their toll
i can't stay straight two days in a row
or say nothing to defend the things i've done
and after all the hell i put us through
i still lost me long before i lost you
but you know i don't do the stuff for fun
it holds me like a mother
and it loves me when i don't
but it hurts me like a lover
when you won't

and this town is changing every day
it ain't the same one that we used to know
but no matter what time may take away
my feelings for you
never go

i remember those long years ago
this same damn worn out radio
this same sweet old unchained melody
and the first time that i looked at you
is burned on me like a tattoo
but now's the last time you'll ever look at me
so let the song play on and on, dear
we'll just keep dancing slow
it says, "time goes by so slowly"
but we know it don't
yeah, we both know it don't
Track Name: Amen, Amen, Amen
tell me, baby, one more time
what you're gonna tell him when he looks you in the eye
and asks you, baby, where you've been
and whether you been messing around on him
cause i gotta wife and i gotta kid
but don't think i'll be telling them what we did
cause i'm a man, baby, of the lord
but i ain't never seen such a sin before
amen, amen, amen

i seen you sunday at the service
i was trying to give a sermon, you was making me nervous
looking like an angel there that fell
pretty as a picture, baby, hotter than hell
then "hallelujah!' sang the choir
while you burned through that dress just like a 4-alarm fire
who would ever have suspected then
we'd been rolling through my bedsheets looking guilty as sin
tangled in my bedsheets guilty as sin
amen, amen, amen

don't touch me no more than you have
cause i don't know what god'd have to say about that
don't you know he's watching all the time?
don't you think he's seen your hand in mine?
hallowed be they name
you're gonna make me go insane

ain't you worried about your soul?
we was like a hellfire burning out of control
but the lord always understands
all about the earthly desires of a man
and he made woman just for this
to test the wills of the men he loved best
ain't you heard me from there in the pew?
ain't you ever known that i was talking to you?
amen, amen, amen
Track Name: Hero
i was in the army, but i never went to war
and you called me a hero, but i've never known what for
and you've worn my ring for half a century
but a decade goes by like a february day
when you know you'll die in the same town where you was raised
and i'm getting closer every time the hand goes round
sometimes i'll go a week without making a sound
it ain't that i don't got nothing to say
it just always gets away from me

sometimes the light still hits your weary face just right
and i'm 19 again and it's 1955
and i come in to land in the palm of your hand
and if there's one thing i've learned from you in all this time
it's a hero's just someone in the right place at the right time
and that's where i was when i found you
and if i had it all over again to do
i'd call you my hero every day
all those times we sat there and i didn't say it
and take you to heaven every night
cause you always deserved to go
Track Name: Burn Down the Town
when you live in this town
they all know your name
they know where you're going and from where you came
and you'll spend your whole life
trying to make them forget
i've been 20 years trying but it ain't happened yet
and i can hold onto you
all through the night
but they better not find me there by the morning light
still this feeling has burned me
all up inside
till i feel like it's only a matter of time

till it burns all the buildings for miles around
and burns everything that stood strong until now
burns all the statues - in the flames they'll go down
burns down the town

so we meet up in secret
so we meet in the dark
but when you're smothered in shadows, you can't light a spark
so baby, you get a match
and i'll show you how
tell me, what else is there we can do now

but burn all the buildings for miles around
burn everything that stood strong until now
burn all the statues - in the flames they'll go down
burn down the town

the flames are licking the sky
like it's the 4th of july
let your freedom ring

and burn all the buildings for miles around
burn everything that stood strong until now
burn you and me - in the flames we'll go down
burn down the town