Are We Sure The Dawn Is Coming?

by Brendan & the Strangest Ways

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1.
Remind me what are we doing here Didn’t we both say that we didn’t want to come back And what now that we’ve realized the fear Our little promised land has fallen through the cracks Soon I’ll say farewell again and finish moving on The luster of the emerald city’s gone Call it a fabricated fit Squeezing back into the places we got stuck Aware what this air hangs heavy with Can’t help breathing in the need to self-destruct Soon I’ll say farewell again and finish moving on The luster of the emerald city’s gone A lengthy list of little things Who’s gonna hang on to our friends once this is through Remind me what the difference is Between enemies and friends not spoken to It’s time I said farewell again and finished moving on The luster of the emerald city’s gone The luster of the emerald city’s gone
2.
It was a beautiful doomsday when we left that town behind We spent hour after hour inching down Interstate 5 “This place won’t let us leave,” you cried, “these stars aren’t on our side” Darling we, we can beat Mercury Your old deck of tarot cards said movement was the way Without a word of warning ‘bout things born in retrograde But we can’t half believe in this it’s real now or it ain’t Darling we, we can beat Mercury Hang on while I try to make this right Cause we were the perfect team in what seems like a lifetime prior Now every hoop we’re jumping through the other lights on fire Our signals aren’t crossed it’s more somebody stole the wire Darling we, we can beat Mercury Help me while I try to make this right And Boulder sounds like someplace where two of our kind can hide Darling we … We’ve visited these crossroads now a couple dozen times Forget each other’s limits though we’ve got ‘em memorized The road ahead is crumbling but only in our minds Darling we, we can beat Mercury Hand in hand we always make it right That bastard ain’t fast enough to catch us not tonight Darling we, we can beat Mercury
3.
Poor waking hours, they hardly stand a chance There’s no following the dreams of what we should’ve had As days drag on I can’t figure my way through How I lost you over on 12th Avenue Sarah, can’t no one care about you deeper than I do Sarah, are you aware of how my heart keeps breaking for you Sarah, that’s damned unfair of you to treat me like your fool Still you do and I’m scared that there’s no getting over you Was never one for these Sunday afternoons Don’t help to know exactly where you are and what you’re doing Again ignored you try to trick me but I’m sure You’ve got your phone in hand goddammit why won’t you just answer it Sarah, can’t no one care about you deeper than I do Sarah, are you aware of how my heart keeps breaking for you Sarah, that’s damned unfair of you to treat me like your fool Still you do and I’m scared that there’s no getting over you A ways over your shoulder We could be so much closer But I know I’m not the only one Sarah, can’t no one care about you deeper than I do Sarah, are you aware of how my heart keeps breaking for you Sarah, that’s damned unfair of you to treat me like your fool Still you do and I’m scared that there’s no getting over you Poor waking hours, they hardly stand a chance
4.
Gaslight 03:05
Seems I lost track of the time And my once reliable mind To frame the events of the day In a perceptive, objective way The night outside might fix to freeze Just like Joshua Tree on Christmas Eve But I’ll keep warm by a gaslight tonight I’m not often one to forget Or go out of my way to upset It’s strange but as sad as it sounds The details escape me right now The night outside might fix to freeze Just like Joshua Tree on Christmas Eve But I’ll keep warm by a gaslight tonight Worn out from beating me up Remorse, it ain’t ever enough A shame that I can’t trust myself That’s right, I could use some help The night outside might fix to freeze Just like Joshua Tree on Christmas Eve But I’ll keep warm by a gaslight tonight I’ll keep warm by a gaslight tonight
5.
Stranded 03:50
All you want is a lover to leave A kind of cold that I ain’t ever seen Reaching to rip out the rug any old time you please I love you honey, why you so mean to me Stranded at the altar Of a beachfront wedding in Bayview, Milwaukee Borrowed this suit of clothes From another groomsman with twenty pounds on me Stranded on a sidewalk This street’s native name it’s sort of tricky to speak Bless the happy couple Who put me up on a sofa bed in the honeymoon suite All you want is a lover to leave A kind of cold that I ain’t ever seen Reaching to rip out the rug any old time you please I love you honey, why you so mean to me Stranded at The Backyard Count me minus one with lots of time to explain Heads up, pressing my luck Playing at a backyard by any other name Stranded at a campground Happy ever after was a lot to assume I’m doing all I can now To remember how I got to depending on you All you want is a lover to leave A kind of cold that I ain’t ever seen Reaching to rip out the rug any old time you please I love you honey, why you so mean to me I love you honey, why you so mean to me I love you honey, why… why you so mean to me
6.
The Good 03:42
These days I can’t help feeling like a shell of my old self Like some backward evolution turned me into someone else And would you believe I can’t stand being downtown anymore There’s some memory of her lives in every doorway From what I gather her heart’s a fluid, ever-moving part Because every time I reached for it, it’d skip a little farther And somewhere in her mind it may have seemed a simple ask A love brand new out of the box without a past She said I’ve seen the good in you I’ve seen the best that you can do When you elect to do your best When circumstances call for it Oh baby won’t you do better for me And I haven’t any use for February, end it please We would sit and we’d play cards in her apartment and we’d freeze And it made no sense to me why she refused to let me go That night she chased me outside barefoot in the snow Now I picture early April when the snow begins to melt And I picture her descriptions of how terrible she felt In a twenty-two page letter with a name but no address Just to put some context on me at my best She said I’ve seen the good in you I’ve seen the best that you can do When you elect to do your best When circumstances call for it Oh baby won’t you do better for me Baby won’t you do better for me, please
7.
I knew her last, I knew her least I did my best to keep the peace Now I’m covered in the dust She used to draw her blueprints for us She said go when she meant stay I’m her favorite thing to throw away Her last resort is her first line Of defense every time She’s my little hypocrite She gives up quick She loses temper preaching patience She makes each mistake with confidence Tell me how do you argue that Simple wishes turn back time And live a history revised So she’ll imagine what she wants Those things she thought they’ll get me caught We share our spoils til things get tough One of us can’t be blamed enough A simple standard to adjust What works for you should work for us She’s my little hypocrite She gives up quick She loses temper preaching patience She makes each mistake with confidence Tell me how do you argue that
8.
I swam across the Rio Grande to clear my weary head I slipped down to rock bottom on the way back to Big Bend I thought about letting that current carry me away But I was hanging from a noose tied to the Empire State We’ll see if damage done is something can be left behind So I’m coming down from booze tonight for the nineteen-hundredth time There’s all my failures flashing off like fireworks in my mind And stabbing pains at random intervals in my right side Light me a candle, say me a prayer Or lay me to ruin in this disrepair Teach me a history, one where we’re not there This is bound to be over soon Atop my fridge I see exactly where you left your heart On multi-colored Post-its stuffed inside a mason jar If I’m the common thread that simply frayed and broke apart Then that makes you the needle kept on stretching me too far Light me a candle, say me a prayer Or lay me to ruin in this disrepair Teach me a history, one where we’re not there This is bound to be over soon
9.
En route to New York City from old sunny Buffalo I’ve budgeted for gas and parking, ferry boats and tolls To a bougie Village nightclub I ain’t getting paid to play Chin up you’re gonna turn your luck some day A dozen years of overhead not sure how wisely spent I’m busking at the baseball game to try and cover rent It would seem I’m doomed to starve until I learn another trade Chin up you’re gonna turn your luck someday Can’t do no right by Anna we ain’t talking anymore Hell all we had to do was drop our baggage at the door But people treated poorly gonna make more of the same Chin up you’re gonna turn your luck someday It’s always darkest before the dawn Are we sure the dawn is coming? En route into Ontario another show to do Tomorrow this old aching throat will be a full-on flu If we had known this was our last good night we mighta stayed Chin up you’re gonna turn your luck someday It’s always darkest before the dawn Are we sure the dawn … It’s always darkest before the dawn Are we sure the dawn is coming?

credits

released September 4, 2020

All songs written by Brendan Shea © 2020 Good Thing Going Music (ASCAP) all rights reserved

Recorded by Ace Lutz at County Q (Nashville TN) Additional tracking by Jason Hall at Black Rock ESP (Buffalo NY) and by Lincoln All at Turkey Burger Studios (Rochester NY)

Mixed and mastered by Joseph J. Chudyk at Mockingbird Studios (Byron NY) Produced by Brendan Shea with Pat Shea

Brendan Shea: acoustic guitar, vocals Dan Dugmore: steel guitar Dave Freeland: bass (Mercury, Waking Hours, Gaslight, Hypocrite, Turn Your Luck) Kelly Back: electric guitar Jimmy Wallace: piano, organ Jonathan Yudkin: cello, violin, mandolin, banjo Joseph Chudyk: percussion (Mercury, Stranded) Paul Scholten: drums, percussion
Sam Hunter: bass (Emerald City, Stranded, The Good, Candle) Steve Sheehan: acoustic guitar Tommy Bijak: electric guitar (Turn Your Luck)

Backing vocals on Waking Hours and Turn Your Luck performed by D.B. Rouse, Jon Emerling and Jack Shea

Cover painting by Jackie Frost Van photos by Terry Wherry Collage photos by committee Design by Coni Majchrowicz

Thank you to everybody listed above for your amazing contributions and to everybody listening for your support. This couldn't have happened without you.

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Brendan & the Strangest Ways Buffalo, New York

Brendan & the Strangest Ways is the moniker adopted by songwriter Brendan Shea to create music for the restless spirit. His songs are heartfelt reflections on countless miles traveled in a search for something that always feels just a little out of reach. Brendan’s peers have called him a true songwriter’s songwriter who expertly crafts his lyrics like a mason building a brick wall. ... more

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