CRIER by Bill Mallonee & Muriah Rose

by Bill Mallonee

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about

(Album photo by: Muriah Rose)
Christmas. Most of mankind's grandest hopes are wrapped up in flesh & blood of Him who they call Jesus, the Savior of the world.He came at a time when the ancient world was starving for love. Caste systems were inviolable and military might "made right."
Into that world appears Christ. With a Sermon on some Mountain guaranteed to blow your mind.
People tend to forget just how "disowned" he was. Right off the top. We forget that He was disowned by the authorities both political & religious. God "scandalizes" us by deciding to "appear" among the meek, the lowly, the poor, the marginalized. He "scandalizes" our sensibilities still to this day.
I know at an early age all the joys and expectations of Advent & Christmas narratives (whether they are history or memories nuanced with touches of zealous imagination) somehow seeped into this small child's imagination and have been inspiring him ever since.

Jesus. The Mystery we are compelled to love.
It often happens that the people who are supposed to "represent" Him here do the worst and bloodiest damage throughout mankind's dismal history, I have all sympathy with those for feel they must "turn away" from such representations of Christ, the man of Peace.
Christ seems to "take us where we're at."

I'm convinced He's more concerned about each of us 'learning His heart." And then trying to live it out, however stumbling we may be in our "first steps." We begin, by accepting our acceptance. We begin by recognizing our deep need and broken-ness. An empty cup he seems to be all-too-ready to fill.

Then the simple exchanges of just talking to Him daily & listening become a way of transformation from within and into the world in which we live. We get use to our own skin. And we learn to love the spirits of our fellow travellers. Our brothers & sisters.The world is starving for such manifestations of that Love.
That's some of what these songs are about....
Joy & courage on your journey,
bill mallonee
Advent/Christmas 2012
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Album notes:
I have this very old nondescript nylon string Spanish guitar. It figured deeply and beautifully in the writing of these songs and in the making of "CRIER." (I paid maybe $60 at a pawn shop in Athens, Ga years ago.) It has a neck on it like a baseball bat. Meaning it's just so THICK and unwieldy to grasp that there are just some chords I can't play on it.
You have to wrestle the hell out of it to make music on it.
Call it a friendly "skirmish."
BUT, it is without a doubt, a oddly inspiring instrument. I have used it on numerous WPA recordings. The guitar possesses a wonderful," throaty" tone. Good guitars are mysterious and this one truly is. Not much on beauty, but it's character" bids a closer look.
It's natural 'voice," to my ears anyway, seems to have a sort of acoustic "wisdom" in it. Songwriters live for these sorts of "finds."
It sounds "authentic," worn and humble....
Like it came with the "stories" & songs waiting to be un-packed.

credits

released December 20, 2012

Bill Mallonee:
guitars, acoustic steel 6 string, Spanish nylon string, string & harp arrangements, drum programming, harmonica.

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about

Bill Mallonee

Bill Mallonee is an Americana artist w/ 75 plus albums over a 25 year career. Voted by Paste Music Magazine #65 in their "Top 100 Living Songwriters" poll. He was the
founding member of Vigilantes of Love. He has worked with Mark Heard, Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris, & Peter Buck from REM.
His most recent work, "The Rags of Absence" released in Jan. 2017.
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Track Name: GATHER THE LITTLE LAMBS IN
GATHER THE LITTLE LAMBS IN words/music: bill mallonee
Gather the little lambs in
Gather their joys & sighs
Gather their mysteries & their unwritten histories
may all of their tears be dried

melt all the weapons of sadness
melt all the weapons of hate
close of the distance & our grim resistence
maybe it’s never too late

when it comes to us living by Spirit
well, you were never holding your breath
we’re so barely able to hear it
so you showed up in the flesh

bring in the lonely & confused
bring in the orphans & freaks
sister & brothers. All we have is each other
and hearts with a similar beat

bring in the drugged and bedraggled
the homeless and well-castled kings
bring the deficient and proud self-sufficient
let us all find that song we can sing

Gather the little lambs in
Gather their joys & sighs
Gather their mysteries & all of their histories
may all of their tears be dried

(gather the little lambs in
gather the mad wolves as well...)

Afterword:
We did not "get here" overnight. The "wake-up call" is past. Our children are not safe and have not been safe for years. I believe we live in a culture that embraces violence as an article of faith. Yes, there are "freak-shows," mentally disturbed and desperate people "out there." But even such sad souls are a symptom of the broken & depersonalized land we've created and live in. The price we are paying for cowing to gun enthusiasts and their lobbyists is appalling. Those who would pervert and mis-represent their so-called "2nd Amendment rights," are complicity guilty in these murders.
May God give us courage to envision something better & to show us all the better way.
Track Name: CHRISTMAS IN BABYLON (BOURBON ON BREATH)
CHRISTMAS IN BABYLON (Bourbon On Breath)
words/music: Bill Mallonee

it's Christmas in Babylon and what have we here?
a planet groaning & driven to tears
we've been hedging our bets and draggin' our feet
but tonight your heart is a train and it's gathering steam

Chorus:
all these clamoring voices about life & death
we're all bell-ringers in parking lots w/ bourbon on breath
now there's the strains of a hymn & a star in the sky
and Love's showing up hard in a small Baby's cry

even the animals smiled with delight
at the child in the stable all ringed with light
Mary & Joseph, they held Him close
hope of the ages wrapped up in swaddling clothes

now suffering & wonder maybe all that you get
on this side of the veil...lest you forget
life is drifting & falling...and drifting again
maybe you're coming home...to someplace you've never been

and there's a band of angels, they've tuned up and plugged in
awaiting their cue. about to begin
god sends us a gift this time every year
Ah, it's Christmas in Babylon...and what have we here?
Track Name: TO REACH OUT TO ME
TO REACH OUT TO ME words/music: bill mallonee
Mary had a baby boy
so she sang a song of grace
stars and angels started showing up
all over the place

it came with angel’s voices
and with a star in the night
it came with kings and politicians
trying to crush out the light
Joseph was dreamer
sometimes he’d dream of God
sometimes his dreams told him to stay
sometimes they said: "get outta Dodge."

chorus:
now, I hear you’re in the business
of making all things new
that’s some crazy kinda enterprise
just 'tween me & you
now, I hear you loved the good earth
I hear you loved the sea
I know you crossed a few of them
to reach out to me

you opened up a clinic
when you came of age
healed the sick at no expense
ah, you were all the rage
you made the rounds at weddings
and you always brought the wine
you hung with the finest sinners
they thought you were divine

you took it to the highways
you took it to the streets
some called you a Savior
some called you a master thief
you came & sang a song of love
you came & preached of peace
you told the rich & powerful
their wars would one day cease

now, everybody lives in chains these days
all sad & mean & bored
living on a razor of despair
and by the edge of the sword
you saw where it was leading
you never held your breath
you delivered your own eulogy
ah, but You never really left
Track Name: SHEPHERD'S REMINISCE
SHEPHERD'S REMINISCE words & music: Bill Mallonee

All my best friends are walking wounded
All my friends? They are off-cast
But they all have hearts deep as well
and they now cry at the drop of a hat
once all of them were shepherds
now they have courage for a staff
maybe those who've tasted much of grief
can chart the better path

CHORUS:
now they said they heard an angel choir
but i was staring at the embers
and it happen all so long ago
i really don't remember

my companions disappeared that night
following a star that burned
and me? well, i stayed at my post
and waited till they returned
they came back drunk on something
maybe joy is a libation
they were all in one perfect accord
'bout this Light for all the nations

Now, sometimes i feel a bit left out
but see there was work to do
maybe there's reward in heaven
for those who simply follow through
Now, my friends, they speak of priceless pearls
and they speak of first and last
All my best friends are walking wounded
All my friends they are off-cast
Track Name: TO REACH OUT TO ME (acoustic/alt. version)
TO REACH OUT TO ME words/music: bill mallonee
Mary had a baby boy
so she sang a song of grace
stars and angels started showing up
all over the place

it came with angel’s voices
and with a star in the night
it came with kings and politicians
trying to crush the light
Joseph was dreamer
sometimes he’d dream of God
sometimes his dreams told him to stay
sometimes get outta Dodge

chorus:
now, I hear you’re in the business
of making all things new
that’s some crazy kinda enterprise
to give yourself to
now I hear you loved the good earth
I hear you loved the sea
I know you crossed a few of them
to reach out to me

you opened up a clinic
when you came of age
healed the sick at no expense
you were all the rage
you made the rounds at weddings
and you always brought the wine
you hung with the finest sinners
they thought you were divine

you took it to the highways
you took it to the streets
some called you a Savior
some called you a thief
you came & preached of love
you came & preached of peace
told the rich & powerful
I’ve come to set you free

now, everybody lives in chains these days
all sad & mean & bored
living on a razor of despair
and by the edge of the sword
you saw where it was leading
you never held your breath
you delivered your own eulogy
ah, but you’ve never really left