Laker Music
lyrics and liner notes
Waking Hour
     
 


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out on Jericho Beach Music in Canada and Red House Records in the US


Liner notes and Lyrics

I took a trip south to Nashville, Tennessee, to record this album with my good friends Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch and Fats Kaplin. We had talked of recording together for quite some time. When it finally came together over five days in September of 2003 it was a meeting of the minds and I thank the boys for lending their spirit, talents and humour to the songs. David Francey

...to try and write a line or two about how I feel about Francey and this record would be impossible...it would get all syrupy and sweet and adoring and and ... and..... so I won't try... maybe just thanks pal for having me along....
Kieran Kane

Gentlemen (you too Kieran!) it was a true pleasure. I couldn't ask for
anything better than this. Kevin Welch

The four of us sit in a tight circle, lights dimmed, whiskey bottle open. "What should I play on this one Dave?" "I don't know, banjo?" "Sounds fine to me." And so it goes into the night. Fats Kaplin




The Waking Hour

In love, the hour of realization and reckoning during a period of silence and doubt.
(May 31, 2000. Ayers Cliff, Quebec)


I wake to the radio morning news
Just as the day is dawning
And I watch from the window while a passing cloud
Dulls the hopeful morning
And I wonder will the girl I love
Come back with the morning
But the omen crow at the waking hour
Has given me fair warning

And the heart that's breaking
Never makes a sound

She was once my heart's delight
My need and my desire
She was my day, she was my night
My water and my fire
And I was once the same to her
When we still walked together
But the heavy heart at the waking hour's
Expecting heavy weather

And the heart that's breaking
Never makes a sound

I know love
I've seen love's face
I understand its sorrow
For every love I've ever had
Has always met tomorrow
Though I am Wednesday's child of woe
I try not to be ungrateful
But I was born at midnight black
With a heart that can be hateful

And the heart that's breaking
Never makes a sound
And the heart that's breaking
Never makes a sound
And the heart that's breaking
Never makes a sound

Lead Vocal: David Francey
Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocal: Kieran Kane
Guitar: Kevin Welch
Mandolin: Fats Kaplin


Highway 95

This is the interstate that runs down the east coast of America. It's not so much a journey into the heart of the country as a trip under the skin.

(February 3rd, 2002. Jacksonville, Florida.)


Three crosses in a copse of trees
A long way from Calvary
Kiltered in the southern breeze
In Northern Carolina

Words of God are advertised
High above in an empty sky
I feel sad and I don't know why
In Northern Carolina

Driving down the 95
Left winter far behind
And it might rain but I don't mind
'Cause I've got the window down

Woman in the Welcome House
She's a flower of the South
Words are jewels in her mouth
In Northern Carolina

Had the Southland on my mind
Crossed the Mason-Dixon Line
I'm a long way from my kind
In Northern Carolina

Driving down the 95
Left winter far behind
And it might rain but I don't mind
'Cause I've got the window down

Three crosses in a copse of trees
A long way from Calvary
Kiltered in the Southern breeze
In Northern Carolina

Lead Vocal: David Francey
Bouzouki: Kieran Kane
Guitar, Cell Phone: Kevin Welch
Fiddle: Fats Kaplin


Ankle Tattoo

One of the constants of life is the cast of characters that find themselves at the bus station. I numbered among the many at the depot in Montreal, where this song was written.

(August 13, 2003. Montreal, Quebec.)


I was at the bus station
That terminal place
With the rest of the desperate
Who've fallen from grace
Where eyes are averted
Where other eyes stare
Man talking to somebody
Nobody's there

The terminal cases
They're impossibly young
An old man is asking
If I've seen his son
The cops do a walk through
Bottles slip into bags
And the beggar boy
Standing there
Hanging in rags

Nothing much changes
Just the passing of time
And the faces that wait here
At the end of the line

And the eyes, they get raised
To the blue of the screen
To the coming and going
Of men and machines
And I think very likely
The departure of dreams
The arrival of the midnight hour

There's a girl with her legs crossed
Got an ankle tattoo
It's an ugly reminder
In four shades of blue
And the bad boys, the rude boys
They're into the game
And they keep their eyes open
For the halt and the lame

Nothing much changes
Just the passing of time
And the faces that wait here
At the end of the line

Lead Vocal: David Francey
Guitar, Backing Vocal: Kieran Kane
Guitar: Kevin Welch
Mandolin: Fats Kaplin


Morning Train

I started this song at the train station in Tønder, Denmark. I thought that the messages from all the gods would be the same.

(September 2, 2003. Ans, Denmark)



I met Jesus in the morning
He was waiting for a train
He said He thought it might be time
To come down and explain
How wrong it was to do some things
And do them in His name
He said, "After all, everybody's
Riding on this train"

I met Buddha on the subway
On the subway underground
Saw his smile slowly fade
I saw him look around
He said He wished we'd understand
And do so in His name
He said, "After all, everybody's
Riding on this train"

Met Allah on the El train
Above the city streets
We rattled down the railway line
And we looked down on the meek
He said He wondered why it was
Some never feel the pain
He said, "After all, everybody's
Riding on this train"

I saw the Devil standing
At the station in the rain
He had a smile upon his face
Self-satisfied and vain
Said, "Heaven is its own reward
I don't have to explain"
He said, "After all, everybody's
Riding on this train"

Lead Vocal: David Francey
Guitar: Kieran Kane
Guitar, Shaker: Kevin Welch
Dobro: Fats Kaplin


Wishing Well

What I remember of the media circus surrounding the execution of the Oklahoma Bomber, Timothy McVeigh. Insult added to injury, misery as entertainment. I remember thinking "He's wishing he was anywhere else than where he is right now."

(June 11, 2001. Ayers Cliff, Quebec)


On the morning news that brought me round
They put the Oklahoma bomber down
He might serve in heaven, might burn in hell
But he's no more wishes at the wishing well

I should feel compassion, I know I should
I don't know if his dying does any good
He was good as gone when the building fell
When they ran out of wishes at the wishing well

Lying on his back, eyes open wide
And the prick of the needle and the silent slide
The Press lined up, with their stories to tell
How there's no more wishes at the wishing well

Today I rattled around this town
Hands in my pockets, eyes cast down
And the air as still as the steeple bell
It was dry as a bone at the wishing well

The thunderheads tower over the town
I'll be warm and dry, when the sky falls down
And we might get lucky but you never can tell
It was dry as a bone at the wishing well

On the morning news that brought me 'round
They put the Oklahoma bomber down

Lead Vocal: David Francey
Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocal: Kieran Kane
Guitar: Kevin Welch
Banjo: Fats Kaplin


Ashtabula

A small picture of an Ohio coal port on the south shore of Lake Erie. I wrote it at Kelli O'Neill's cottage in Madison.

(June 15, 2003. Madison, Ohio)




Kelli drove us down the lake
On a bright Ohio day
And we looked across the railway yards
At the hoppers painted grey
That coal train from Kentucky, man
She's come a long long way
Down in Ashtabula
On a sunny summer's day

Walked down to the harbour
Down to the harbour side
Where the coal was piled up waiting
High and black and wide
And it's waiting for a laker, man
To carry it away
Down in Ashtabula
On a sunny summer's day

And the tilting bridge
Itself swings back
And sail is given way
And the cobbled streets
That climb the hills
Are fading red to grey

In the maritime museum
So high above the waves
The pictures of the past recalled
In black and white and grey
But the Masters and the ships are gone
Long since passed away
Down in Ashtabula
On a sunny summers day


Lead Vocal: David Francey
Bouzouki, Percussion, Backing Vocal: Kieran Kane
Guitar: Kevin Welch
Accordion: Fats Kaplin


Tonight in My Dreams


When I wrote this song I could picture Beth dancing around the kitchen to it.

(June, 1994. Ayers Cliff, Quebec)


Tell me baby would it be alright
Would it be alright
If I saw you tonight
If I saw you tonight
Saw you tonight
In my dreams

Tell me baby would it be okay
We can get back home
By the break of day
If I saw you tonight
Saw you tonight
In my dreams

I ain't no liar
We can get higher
Than Heaven above
I'm telling you
Baby it's true
This must be love

We could go out, carrying on
Just dancing 'til dawn
With the radio on
If I saw you tonight
Saw you tonight
In my dreams

We could be dancing
To a radio tune
I'll kiss you all night
By the light of the moon
If I saw you tonight
Saw you tonight
In my dreams

I ain't no liar
We can get higher
Than heaven above
I'm telling you
Baby it's true
This must be love

Tell me baby would it be alright
Would it be alright
If I saw you tonight
If I saw you tonight
Saw you tonight
In my dreams

Lead Vocal: David Francey
Guitar, Backing Vocal: Kieran Kane
Guitar: Kevin Welch
Fiddle: Fats Kaplin


Over You

When you take a step back from love to see where you are standing. I did that, but I never did get over Beth, as it turns out.

(May 29, 2003. Ayers Cliff, Quebec)



Well I saw myself once
As clear as day
Took a look in the mirror
And I turned away
And it left me wondering
What I'm gonna do
If I can't, if I can't get
If I can't get over you

And the sound of the siren
Through the window wide
The moan of the city
In the dark outside
And it might be over
But it won't be true
If I can't, if I can't get
If I can't get over you

And the room that you gain
Is more emptiness
And the sound of the rain
On the window glass
And the clock on the wall
Says ten to two
And I can't, and I can't get
And I can't get over you

Lead Vocal: David Francey
Bouzouki, Guitar Slap: Kieran Kane
Guitar, Backing Vocal: Kevin Welch
Mandolin: Fats Kaplin


Fourth of July

We were in Madison, Ohio, on the first anniversary of the events of September 11th, 2001. It was all flags and bunting, a nation dealing with its sorrow in part through a display of patriotism, and a government seeing an opportunity to take advantage of it all. Written at Peter and Nancy Clark's house in Oak Park, Illinois.

(September 27, 2002. Chicago, Illinois)


I returned to the States one year after
The towers returned to the earth
And the sabers were drawn from their scabbards
They were rattling for all they were worth
And I understand how that could happen
I don't need to ask anyone why
It's September and I can't help but think that
It looks like the Fourth of July

Down on the shores of Lake Erie
They see the political slant
The pursuit of their happiness promised
By the stacks of the nuclear plant
Now there's flags flying on every lamp post
Red white and blue 'gainst the sky
It's September and I can't help but think that
It looks like the Fourth of July

It's the powers that be pay the piper
It's the powers that be call the tune
They want all of us up for the dancing
All howling away at the moon
But my ear's to the ground and I'm listening
I keep watch with a weather eye
It's September and I can't help but think that
It looks like the Fourth of July

Lead Vocal: David Francey
Guitar, Backing Vocal: Kieran Kane
Guitar: Kevin Welch
Mandolin: Fats Kaplin


Just Wanna Be Loved

A love song for Beth, written on the train between Kingston and Cobourg, Ontario. I was listening to a lot of Bluegrass music at the time.

(July, 1989. Coburg, Ontario)


Takin' the train to see my baby
I don't know if I'm comin' back
Coulda said yes, but I just said maybe
Safest way on a slippery track

And I just wanna be loved by someone
I just wanna be loved

Spent a long time standing on the shoulder
Waitin' on that endless ride
Started out young but I got a lot older
Standing on that highway side

And I just wanna be loved by someone
I just wanna be loved

You can spend a lifetime contemplating
Wondering how you got that far
Seems to me I'm always waitin'
On nothin' but buses and trains and cars

And I just wanna be loved by someone
I just wanna be loved
And I just wanna be loved by someone
I just wanna be loved

Lead Vocal: David Francey
Percussion, Backing Vocal: Kieran Kane
Guitar: Kevin Welch
Harp: Fats Kaplin


Badlands

We descended from the verdant prairie, down into the Badlands around Drumheller, Alberta. I recognized much of myself in the landscape. Written at the house of Bill and Betty jo Werthmann, in Edmonton, Alberta.

(August 1, 2001. Drumheller /Edmonton, Alberta)


Here I am in my own Badlands
Here I wait and here I stand
Went searching for the distant past
Found three red rocks and a piece of glass
In my own Badlands
In my own Badlands

The redstone, ironstone scoured land
Rock of ages in coloured bands
And I climbed to the top, to the top of the hill
If I hadn't come down I'd be climbing still
In my own Badlands
In my own Badlands

And the Red Deer River runs muddy and brown
Choked by the dust of the hills around
And the sun in the sky standing still
But the river's rolling and it always will
Through my own Badlands
Through my own Badlands

You can count the layers of the past and gone
You can smell the rain of the coming storm
Inside my head is just the same
It's cracked and dry and needing rain
In my own Badlands
In my own Badlands

Here I am in my own Badlands
Here I wait and here I stand
And I feel abandoned, quite alone
Dust and rock and skin and bone
In my own Badlands
In my own Badlands

Lead Vocal: David Francey
Bouzouki, Backing Vocal: Kieran Kane
Fiddle, Banjo: Fats Kaplin


Sunday Morning

The first song I wrote in Elphin, Ontario, where we now live. I so often feel disconnected from where I am at any given moment. Never when driving, however.

(September 10, 2003. Elphin, Ontario)



He walked on the water
I walk on the ground
He went up to heaven
And I'm still coming down
It's a long way, a long way
A long way from Saturday night
It's coming Sunday morning
I'm a long way from feeling alright

In the cold light of morning
In the cold light of day
In the cold light of reason
Got nothing much to say
And I'm a long way, a long way
A long way from Saturday night
It's coming Sunday morning
I'm a long way from feeling alright

I'm so far away from wherever I am
I'm so far away from wherever I am

I woke up Sunday morning
Saw the shining silver spire
Rise above the highest tree
That Cross rose even higher
I'm a long way, a long way
A long way from Saturday night
It's coming Sunday morning
I'm a long way from feeling alright

Lead Vocal: David Francey
Guitar, Tambourine: Kieran Kane
Guitar, Backing Vocal: Kevin Welch
Mandolin: Fats Kaplin


Gone

I wanted to impart some words of comfort to a friend who had been left behind by love. I couldn't think of what to say, so I wrote this song.

(April 30, 2003. Ayers Cliff, Quebec)



Look at the sky
So blue today
Well you'd never know
That he walked away
Look at that cloud
It's the sole one there
In the endless sky
In the empty air

Don't you worry
Don't you cry,
'Cause the world will love you
By and by

That's what it's like
To live in town
When it comes apart
But it all comes 'round

And the world will turn
Around again
And bring the sun
And bring the rain

It's funny how
It carries on,
Before we're here
And when we're gone

That's what it's like
To live in town
When it comes apart
But it all comes 'round

Don't you worry
Don't you cry
'Cause the world will love you
By and by

Look at the world
It's so new today
Well you'd never know
That he walked away

Lead Vocal: David Francey
Bouzouki, Backing Vocal: Kieran Kane
Guitar: Kevin Welch
Guitar: Fats Kaplin


Credits:

The Musicians:

David Francey: Vocals
Kieran Kane: Guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, percussion, backing vocals
Kevin Welch: Guitar, backing vocals, percussion
Fats Kaplin: Guitar, fiddle, mandolin, slide guitar, harmonica, accordion, banjo

Recording and Mixing Engineer: Philip Scoggins
Mastering: Philip Scoggins
Producer: David Francey
Arrangements: David Francey, Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch, Fats Kaplin
Recorded at: Moraine Studio, Nashville, Tennessee
Design: Michael Wrycraft
Photography: Beth Girdler and David Francey
Art: David Francey
Copy editor: Kate Murphy

There are altogether too many people to thank at this juncture. I would no doubt forget someone that I wanted to mention, so I will thank you all for all your help and kindness and support. Special thanks to Nashville support crew, Kellen Brugman, Claudia Scott and Kristi Rose. Thanks to Philip Scoggins for his patience and expertise.

To the musicians who played on this album, who made it such a joy.

To Ian MacGregor, for his friendship and advice.

To my wife, Beth Girdler, my heart's delight.




I would like to dedicate this album to my mother and father, who have been a constant in my life.

My father passed away on May 5th 2004. He was a kind and gentle man to the end.

"Wi' sic as he, where e'er he be,
May I be, saved or damned."
Robert Burns



Thank you all


All songs, words and music by David Francey (SOCAN)





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