Bush League Bard

by Van Walker

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released August 20, 2010


PLAYERS

Mikey Madden (Cello)
Squeezebox Wally (Accordion)
Michael Barclay (Drums)
Liz Stringer (Banjo & Voice)
Chris Wilson (Harmonica)
Jeb Cardwell (Dobro)
Greg Field (Fiddle)
Zane Lynd (Voice, Bull Fiddle, Electric Bass)
Cal Walker (Voice, Electric, Bass, Harp, Mando, Mandola)
Chris Altmann (Fiddle, Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Piano, Pedal Steel)

Recorded by Chris Altmann April 2010 at MJ's Joint On Bent Off High
Mixed & Mastered by Craig Pilkington at Audrey Studios, Coburg
All music by Van Walker except Ride & Trouble by Van Walker & Cal Walker
All lyrics by Van Walker

Thanks to Ruth & Paul, Mick & Jen, Fin & Dolcy, Dave Lane, Justin Rudge, John Bon Bovi & Andrew Bailey

Backstage photo by Santana Rudge
Design by Adam Gibson


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Track Name: Ride
RIDE
By Van & Cal Walker

I'm a-wake you morning take you down to the road here the hobos wait to ride, yeah ride

& in the future you'll get used to thumbing your lift when the mainsail suits your style, your style


And together we'll feel better hitting our straps going hell for leather, ride, yeah ride
I'm gonna sit you on my knee, I'm gonna make you ride with me


I'm a-longing to be coming into your heart like a guitar strumming, ride, yeah ride

& in the morning you'll be sore & scratching your back wear the cat kept clawing, ride, yeah ride


& in the future you'll get used to thumbing your lift as the main sail suits your style, your style

I'm gonna put you on my knee, I'm gonna make you ride with me


I'm a-wake you morning take you down to the road here the hobos wait to ride, yeah ride

And together we'll feel better, hitting our straps going hell for leather ride, yeah ride


Yeah I'm a-longing to be coming into your heart like a guitar strumming, ride, yeah ride

I'm gonna sit you on my knee, I'm gonna make you ride with me


Yeah I'm a-wake you morning take you down to the road here the hobos wait to ride, yeah ride

& in the evening we'll be leaving out of town if you're man don't treat you right, we'll ride

If he don't treat you right, we'll ride

Track Name: Drunk Boat
DRUNK BOAT
By Van Walker

Tried to swim, but I sank

Your kind of love could drown a man

Boat it rows, help arrives

You got that loving in your eyes



Hey yeah, waters rise

You got that loving in your eyes

Hey yeah, waters flow

You got that loving in your bones



Out of tune, out of touch

I love you baby but it's all too much

All your love, well it sank my boat

Still your love is keeping me afloat



Hey yeah, waters rise

You got that loving in your eyes

Hey yeah, waters flow

You got that loving in your bones



Tried to swim, but I sank

You're kind of love could drown a man

But you saved me baby that's for sure

I should be sleeping on the ocean floor



Track Name: Prisoner's Blues
PRISONER'S BLUES
By Van Walker

Well I'm sitting in my cell, I don't trust the outside world

Lies became Truth, Heaven got worse than Hell

There's far too much of nothing, & still people cry for more

Blindness was the answer when the old man's eyes got sore

Reality is only a small percentage of what we choose not to ignore
 

There's too much information, too much greed behind the scenes

We stole the sacred text but no one’s got the soul to know what it means

You're crucified as a heretic & an infidel today 

If you can’t follow all your metaphor with ridiculous cliche

This life's just one tall story, never let the truth get in the way

We gladly wear our ball & chain, freedom's long passe


Ignorance is a virtue, oblique's become opaque

Every night I go to sleep & I dream that I'm awake

I stand here gripping these prison bars, constantly in doubt

I can tell if I'm looking in or if the guards are looking out

But they found a way to rob a man with nothing left to lose

And now the jailer whistles the prisoner's blues



I travelled through the world before they threw me in the joint

I could lie to get what I wanted but I wanted truth so what’s the point

I hung out on the inside, teetered on the edge

Went to see the Oracle but I misheard what it said

So I swapped the artists ideals for a little Luger & I killed some folks instead


Well it seems not everybody can be free & I was too slow I suppose

When the cops burst in they said 'Congratulations!'
Cuffed me & they broke my nose

Told me they were protecting me & all the people I might hurt

That I was a degenerate but they all seemed to like my work

Told me I was special, not just another scum inmate

Told me I was the Ubermench, a man compared to the primate

Told me not to struggle, suggested I accept my fate

Told me I was an Artiste, I said 'Fine. What's the going rate?'

Then they threw me from an airplane so I could describe the view 

For now the jailer whistles the prisoner's blues



I visited the prison doctor, he was smoking a cigarette

He said Longevity was over-ratted, who wants to be old & decrepit?

Whip the monkey long enough maybe he will dance

It might alleviate the boredom, might be entertaining while it lasts

For there's not enough to go around, there's only so much wealth

Seems the only way to not get robbed is to go rob someone else

God created the Heavens & Earth but Man created Sin

When another's pain means nothing cause you don't feel anything

They're fighting a losing battle they are never going to win

Still they got me in the corner waiting for the music to begin


Everyday they whip me & force me to produce

They don't want originality, they prefer a substitute

Something like that other one, c'mon, play it again, Sam!

Now the prisons are filled with Artists, the lunatics are the Big Boss Man

They've taken over the asylum & baby I blame you

For now the jailers whistle the prisoners blues



Everyday they whip me & force me to produce

But pain is not the reason, even if it was, what's the use?

Eventually they worked it out if they just left me alone

Loneliness would get me & from my cell I'd begin to moan

But what's so appealing I haven't got a clue 

But now the jailer whistles the prisoner's blues!



Baby there's a black dog creeping around my door

Every day I feed him all I got but the next day he comes back wanting more

Maybe we deserve this, maybe we should go
& leave this whole damn mess behind for another animal

For even some low parasite would never kill it's host

So when you're talking about intelligence, a Flea or Me, who's got the most?


So I'm sitting in my cell, I don't trust the outside world

I'm glad I'm incarcerated.... better that outside in that Hell

Most the time you look around, you don't have to look too far

You're lookin in the mirror & still you can't see who you are

For they make you numb with pleasure, then they dare to act surprised

When you're poisoned with sensation & you're left desensitised 

& you can't quite remember any time before the greed

Life & Death is neither here nor there when you lose Eternity

& you try to kill your Brother, trying to deny

That any form of Murder isn't really Suicide 



Track Name: Rules Of The Rain (album only)
RULES OF THE RAIN

by Van Walker

When the world is wet with rain

& the sun comes out again

Colours sparkle on the leaves

& birds resume melodies



Will you remember me

& understand the rules of the rain
When those clouds pass through the sky

On their journey to Eternity

Though their present forms must end

They'll be back again



But will you remember me

& understand the rules of the rain


For the price that we pay isn't cheap

Just to wake to the sound of our sleep

And the promise you promised to keep

Kind of sprung a leak


When there's laughter in the sky

But there's stormclouds in your eye

& the rain comes down on you

Let it soak you through



And you'll remember me

& understand the rules of the rain



Track Name: Forever Ain't So Long (album only)
FOREVER AINT SO LONG

by Van Walker

Looking out my window,
I can see the sunshine

I can see forever,
forever's such a long time

But even if they catch me,
there's nothing they can do

Darling cause you love me,
baby cause I love you


We'll leave in the morning,
wipe the sleep from our eyes

& through the dark go crawling,
long before the sunrise

& we'll hide in the mountains,
so high it's hard to breath

Baby they don't want you but
they're gonna kill me



I can hear the trackers,
dogs barking in the distance

They're coming up right after us,
finishing this business


I better load a shotgun,
baby I don't want to

Maybe they'll believe me,
then I might not have to

But even if they catch me,
there's nothing they can do

Darling cause you love me,
baby cause I love you



So looking out my window,
I can see the outside

I can see forever...
Forever aint so long



Track Name: Trouble (album only)
TROUBLE

by Van & Cal Walker

There's no way of proving that I love you honey 

If you always expect a lot of trouble from me

Can't help self-fulfilling prophecy now baby
If you don't trust me at all


The way that we live is always changing baby

& the things that we got can't be arranged in one day 

& the trouble we had aint gonna disappear 

Maybe we should just sit down & talk



Music keeps on playing

& it will play until the end

But I wont be changing 

No matter who's around to hear


Remember I met you at my girlfriend's party

Thought I'd been hit & Cupid knew Karate


Put down my drugs & drinks & sobered up smartly

& I whispered in your ear


The time that we had together was amazing

But we got to a point that needed reappraising 


The lies that you told we bold
& baby you were brazen

& it all ended in tears



Track Name: Underneath The Radar (album only)
UNDERNEATH THE RADAR

by Van Walker

Baby don't believe a word

A Bleeding Heart cannot be cured

But the cold echoes of memory

Will someday lead you back to me

And we'll fly away

Yeah we'll fly so far

And we'll get further if we stay

Underneath the Radar


For the only thing that keeps me sane

Is playing music, not the game

But everybody’s gotta win

But if you feel alright it aint gonna mean a thing

So we'll fly away

Yeah we'll fly so far

But we'll get further if we stay

Underneath the Radar


So baby don't believe a word

The Bleeding Heart cannot be cured

But the cold echo of memory

Will lead you someday back to me



Track Name: Green's Hotel (album only)
GREEN'S HOTEL

by Van Walker

At the Green's Hotel there's a bar girl I know well

She's a sweet young thing, man the girl couldn't be much more than seventeen

And there's a 3-legged dog that guards the fire & farts & barks at ghosts

And a guitar man who plays in spite of everything


And the place is dark, darker than your heart

But the light I find keeps you off my mind



And the place is old but the fires warm & the beer is cold

And Happy Hour lasts just until the place closes down


And the guitar man plays with a steady hand

And on a quiet night there will still be a fight

At the Green's Hotel



There's old Snooker Dave, well his teeth, like the table's, seen better days

And Old Clementine used to dance on these tables once upon a time

And the owner's mean but his wife's the cruellest thing you've ever seen

And the Man in Grey used to drive for Harry the Hatchet, they say



And my sweet young thing watches everything

With a smiling face she treats us all the same

For it's all we have to drink & have a laugh

For the drink I find keeps you off my mind


At the end of the night I hang around & help the girl if there's a fight

She checks the texts on her phone, & if it's late I'll offer to walk her home

And the guitar man, well he's played & drank & now he cannot stand

And the rest of the crew disappear as if into thin air



Better hit the road, the songs are getting old

And the streets are dark, but there's light around your heart

We don't need to fight, I'll walk you home tonight

From the Green's Hotel



Track Name: Song From A Train (album only)
SONG FROM A TRAIN
by Van Walker

Our love weighs like an anchor in my heart

Ever since our lives where torn apart

I learnt love & life both must depart

But I was enamoured with you

Guess I was a fool

Well, it ended for worse or for better

& now I am still on the journey we once were both on together


For you were the first & last true love of my life

I loved you so much though I paid the price

Innocent hearts cut like a knife

I trusted you & what did I get

You let some idiot's heartless libido change our lives forever

& now I am still on the journey we once we're both on together



But when that pain starts follow your heart

Though it limps, follow your instincts

They will lead you blind through the dark

& the Muse will help a true heart


So now that we have both grown so much older

& the shame around your heart has grown bolder

You want to come cry on my shoulder

Oh baby why can't you see?

It can never be

Though my heart will never say never
I am still on the journey we once were both on together



Track Name: Passing Through (album only)
PASSING THROUGH

by Van Walker

I feel glad deep inside

Most times you know I’m really glad I'm even alive

Though my heart is breaking & it's taking such a very long time

But I'll hit the road, I'll wait & see

Maybe something better is waiting for me

Up ahead on the road that I'm going but I never can see



You where there in my dreams 

& baby you can always tell me what it all means

These old windows are closed against the breeze

But I'd be lost if not for you

Girl there's only so much that a lover can do

Wave goodbye & sigh when he's passing through



So I'll follow my nose where the cold wind blows 

& I'll wake up in the morning wearing another man's clothes 

& I'll wade in the water with the daughter of an immigrant rose

& I'll take you on & I'll hold my own

For the sin of the father I can gladly atone 

There's no time like the present to forgot it
I'll regret it I know



I lived there in your basement bare

You had a dodger for a lodger & in need of repair

But without a doubt that little house was ours to share

But what did I do? I thought I was living with you

I guess as soon as you're assuming with a woman you're through

But in all that time I never made a pass at you



So goodbye girl I guess I aint the one 

To meet you in the morn under monogamy's sun

It feels too bold to act old when you still feel young

But while I'm gone I'll think of you

And how you wrestled in the nettles for our wallaby stew

And how your shouldashone eyes shone brown when they shouldashone blue



You where there in my dreams 

& baby you can always tell me what it all means

These old windows are closed against the breeze
Yeah but I'd be lost if not for you

Girl there's only so much that a lover can do

But wave goodbye & sigh when he's passing through

For baby I'm passing through



Track Name: Spend It All (album only)
SPEND IT ALL

by Van Walker

Here's to the time

The time we aint got left fo saying goodbye

For goodbye means nothing when you live on the fly

Time's just the dream that intrudes on our lives
& life sure aint flying by 

Now that we're old

And the dreams of our youth gets left out in the cold

And the things that I knew, well now, I know I don't know

But it aint so special that I got to write home

I left home so long ago



But there's a light in your eyes that means nothing at all

Nothing no more


Into the well of your dreams,
I don't know what they mean

Nothing it seems

But you always want to know

But I raise my glass
& I spend it all



So here's to the road
I dance over lumps & bumps 

Breaking my load
It spills by my sides as horizons unfold

Horizons enticing me into the unknown

And the unknown remarkably feels like home



And here's to your head

It sit's like a sunset all ready for bed

You're eyes like two bellies hungry but well fed

I know that they're thinking though nothing gets said

& nothing that is said is meant