Places

by Thomas Dalton

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about

In February 2010, Mike Lengel, my friend and creative collaborator, challenged me with a songwriting project. With 2,700 miles between us, it would be a way for us to work together, separately. Inspired by distance, travel, and places, we’d each write a series of songs set in places between our respective coasts. These are my songs.

credits

released August 21, 2014

All songs and music by Thomas Dalton, 2010-13. Recorded at home, 2012-13.

Front cover photo by Thomas Dalton, 2014 (Ayersville, PA)
Back cover photo by the US National Park Service (HAER IN-23, Mill Creek Bridge, Alton, IN)

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Track Name: Ayersville, Pop. 5 (PA)
The last thing you see is the pale green bridge and you're off,
Out into the world. It's the portal out of the silence
and everything that's behind it.
A saw in the ground is the welcome sign,
population down to five as far as I can tell,
but I wish the old town well.

Five of us, all five of us, to Ayersville?

Leaves on the ground as I leave for the town.
Yellow house, could knock it down,
could sell it for some thousands
it's all we do with houses

At least it will last when we think of the past:
Every summer, mom and dad.
I think of the memories meant to be made with my family.

Five of us, all five of us, to Ayersville?

I will write a letter
I will write a letter to you

What it will say, we won't know for days,
here I wait in Ayersville!

Five of us, all five of us, to Ayersville?
Track Name: Vacation to Akron (OH)
We took a vacation to Akron, Ohio
With your parents, when we were in high school.
The first time I'd seen you in a while
since I fell in love with your face.

We saw a shitty band called Oasis,
just cause they were playing.
We stayed at your mom's sister's place,
it's strange because they are twins,
and we made out, and we held hands
under the bridges and overpass,
six hours there and six hours back,
and six years later, all that has passed,
and some time after, I'm back in Akron

I had to look around the place,
I was just an hour away.
The thing I would admit today,
I said a prayer I'd see your face.
And oh (it's alright, it's okay), what would I do?
And oh, what would I say?

We took a vacation to Akron, Ohio
When we were in high school and I was in style.
We took a vacation to every single place when
When were in high school and I was impatient
And at this pace, man, all I do is pacing
I wish I'd find that basement in all of the pavement

I had to look around the place,
I was just an hour away.
The thing I would admit today,
I said a prayer I'd see your face.
And oh, what would I say?
And oh, what do I know?

I know they got tires, I know they got the Black Keys,
I know that I'm tired, I know that I've been lacking since you're gone.
I know that you've moved on.

We took a vacation to Akron, Ohio
When we were in high school, now it's been a while
We took a vacation, with your parents, to Akron Ohio,
Now I'm embarrassed.
Track Name: Alton, Water Season (IN)
You can fish on the Mill Creek Bridge
On the Little Blue River in Indiana.
You can fish on the Mill Creek Bridge
On the (washed out road) Alton-Beechwood Road.
Water over pavement from melted snow
So you can catch a fish right off the road.

Alton, Water Season
Alton, Water Season

Market Street doesn't have a market,
The Crossroads barely have a road,
Water levels, Pete is marking
Is all we have to show.

Alton, Water Season
Alton, Water Season

You can wish that it all holds back,
That the waters recede and the damn wont crack,
We built ourselves, 'cause no one hears
From the Army Corps of Engineers in

Alton, Water Season
Alton, Water Season

We'll have a party every year
When all the water's disappeared.
I'm not a sorcerer or seer,
But I know what happens every year.
(Rain, rain, go away.)
So join the revelry and cheer!
Everybody raise a beer!

Alton, Water Season
Alton, Water Season
Alton, Water Season
Alton, Water Season
Track Name: Naval Station Great Lakes (IL)
Citing budgetary constraints,
We must marry our scary day and feigned merrymaking.
On a pier in the bay, we'll appear to celebrate
And dance nearer to our fate, and the day.

You're free, Atterbury.
Did you see, we got married?
To the sea, we will leave, February.

I'm not okay, Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois.

Tighten screws and file ledgers,
I lie that it's better than while away and wait for your letter.

I'm not okay, Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois.
Still a ploy or two ringing in this brain...
I'm still employed.

If they misplace my papers, it's okay, I'll see ya later.
They say it's a great relevator.
We're still at war; Naval Station, safe and warm.
We're still at war; Naval Station, great lord!

I'm still employed,
Still a ploy or two ringing in this boy.
I'm still employed,
I'm still employed,
I'm still employed.
Track Name: Moose Wilson Road (WY)
I asked the pastor-man, "where's the laughter and your children now?
Does it matter what is after's related to the way you act it out?"
'Cause he rules his roost with iron cross when he is home, which oft, he's not, so I have flown, kicked off the moss, I'm gone.

And if god wants to find me, Moose Wilson Road, Wyoming is where he can find me.
If the devil wants to find me, Moose Wilson Road, Wyoming is where he can find me.

So I looked to friends to help me out, but after I had gone without them seven months to a year, everyone had disappeared.
I walked alone, on and on, in a haze into the dawn, 'til every trace I left of me was gone.
And on every face saw every conversation I have had, and having just one friend, it doesn't seem so bad.
I walked across this nation, I've been running from my past and the only man I ever met with patience is my dad.

And if mom wants to find me, Moose Wilson Road, Wyoming is where she can find me.
If the government wants me, Moose Wilson Road, Wyoming, I know they can find me

'Neath the sky and the mountain range behind me
I will try to climb.
These are not the things that bind me.

A place is a place even if it's not a place, and this was a place long before it was a place.
A place is a place even if it's not a place, and this was a place long before it was a place,
And if you maybe lately feel you lost your place, be only here, only hear, and only face what's facing you.
It's what I do.

And I sing this for Ayersville, I sing it for Centralia too,
I sing it for the census designated place you trail me to,
I sing this for Ayersville, I sing it for Centralia too,
I sing it for the census designated place you trail me to,

if god wants to find me, Moose Wilson Road, Wyoming is where he can find me.
If the devil wants to find me, Moose Wilson Road, Wyoming is where he can find me.

'Neath the sky and the mountain range behind me
I will try to climb.
These are not the things that bind me.
Track Name: Hiding in Pocatello (ID)
I walk down the road,
Summer's final throes, I know it's over.
Street lamps and sweaters for the cold.
We came to Idaho
And everyone home wants to know
Why we chose to live this far north.

We know what our home's for,
Hiding in Pocatello.

I walk down the road,
Knowing what I know, I hold the shoulder.
But I've gotten bolder:
I'm going to the grocer
To find you and me something new to eat.
What did I think I'd get?

We know what our home is.
Hiding in Pocatello.

I walk down the road,
Sun the dimmest glow over my shoulder,
Cop cars from Boulder!
And I look for you...I know you're safe at home.
And I look for you and hope they never find us both.
And I look for you like I would a ghost.

And we know what our home's for,
Ear to wall and feet to floor.
Yeah, we know what our home's--four, three, two, one,
We'll hit the door if we have to.
There's always something to react to when you run.

And I run!
And I run!
And I run!
And I run!

And I think of our old home, as I look for you.
There were ants in the honey and ants in the glue.

And I run!