by Vigilantes of Love



Produced, in part, by Mark Heard. Recorded in a mere 3 days in Arnoldsville, Ga, (Athens.) This was the record that started & confirmed Vigilantes of Love. Our early set.

"Here are the embryonic beginning, folks. Hard hitting acoustic guitar with Dylan-eque sensibilities. Haunting, impressionistic accordion. Mallonee mixes Woody Guthrie politics with tender heart-stripping folks ballads. Passion and conviction firmly in place. Songs of faith, failure, joy, yearning and hope. Lots of hope."

CyBrenJoJosh (BMI); 1993 Fingerprint.
Produced by Bill Mallonee
All songs written by Bill Mallonee.


released April 15, 1990

Bill Mallonee: guitar, vocals, drums

Marcus Aurelius Hall: accordion

Jonny "Dog-Mess" Evans: harmonica

Oglethorpe County Tree Frog Chorus: backing vocals

"Slap Happy": (last of a dying breed) drums, percussion

Billy Holmes: mandolin, bass, backing vocals



all rights reserved


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: Weak One Now
it's not your promises that i don't respect
they're cold comfort when i'm wrecked
reaching blindly out for you
heard it said least a thousand times before
just keep knocking at your door
of opportunity

(but) i'm the weak one now
and i don't need your sacred cows
and it's hard to drink the dreams
mingled ashes and the might have beens
kill the spirit sell the flesh
we amuse ourselves to death
holy words on baited breath
lose their meaning in the 20th century

gold has lost it's luster
and the silver becomes dull
once i used to run with joy
now i can barely crawl
like to help you brother
i've washed my hands and dried
the steely blade of science
never hypnotized me once
Track Name: Songs On the Radio
pardon my imposition
and the slurred speech on my tongue
but i couldn't help but notice
you were looking for ruins to hide among
see i've tried on all these faces
to see if they might fit
and i've tried to mumble phrases
but i'm tripping over it

the songs on the radio
just (still) suck i'm afraid
it is my turn to drive
and i can barely stay awake

hazardous conditions
pavement is wet
i've got an eighteen wheeler future
breathing down my neck
and the bridge is icing over
and the brakes are shot to hell
voice on the radio says
here comes the sixties

and they were arguing the merits
of freud and darwin on mtv
all the things they foist upon men's minds
in the blessed name of free inquiry
buy stock in psychiatric hospitals
soon there'll be no vacancy
guess if no one's at home out there then
somebody else has got to fill that need

i need someone tonight
blind ambition
i need someone tonight
you've got my permission

now what i need is non-existant
you've got to create desire
eastern europe is a most likely buyer
they've been dying for it
crying for it ever since the wall
for syringes porn designer drugs
orgasms and shopping malls

won't you pardon my imposition
and my lack of tact and flair
i was looking for redemption
i was hoping you might tell me where
i can smell it on your breath
i can smell it in your hair
i can almost reach and grasp it
but my vision's so impaired

because there's dung on the airwaves
as far as i can see
as far as the ear can tell
in the nineteen nineties
Track Name: Something To Hold On To
if you say goodbye
if you say so long
is this commentary
on all that i've done wrong
see i've weathered disappointments
at times i have been used
if there's any meat left on the bone girl
it's there for you to chew

you can take every inch of rope
climb your (little) mountain in the blue
just leave me a little something
i can hang on to

i would love to take you in my arms
but that might be too cruel
been out there dodging feelings
with a bullet meant for you
i should let you walk out freely
i have no claim on you
i should exercise compassion
don't really want to

nicodemus had his questions
thomas had his doubts
we've not been left in the dark
to work the whole thing out
this clinical environment
to believe is just a fake
i would thrust my hands inside the wound
if it will bring you all to faith

i will boast in my brokeness
revel in my defeat
i will let you kick my ass
if it's what you need from me
you see pilgrims without weapons
sometimes get nailed to a tree
they use no anesthetic
but the surgery's guaranteed
Track Name: As Big As Christ
gotta get out of here
before the rain comes in
even though you swear
up and down you're my friend
parting's always
sweet sweet sorrow
thank God i won't have to
wake up with you tomorrow

in the middle of this long drawn out session
in the middle of your gathering depression
pardon me if i interpose a question
big as Christ smaller than your life

i don't know why i feel
such great dissatisfaction
maybe i don't stand in the place where i work
and take affirmative action
maybe when i sleep around
it's a come and go reaction
i've been victimized hypnotized
by the latest distraction

see i have no motivation
i have no any drive
i've got no hunger fascination
for the finer things in life
my friends say they're so happy
my friends say they're well fed
they're well drugged laid and entertained
so beautiful deadly boring

can't you see the landmines
so well placed
underneath the skin
set to go off in your face
how can i hear your voice
with the noise in my head
clamour for attention
the dying and the dead

hey can i come in my chains
can i come empty handed
can i come empty hearted
and say you demand it
lie to myself
and it's long overdue
try to make myself believe
the truth isn't true
Track Name: In The Morning
darling come and tell me what is wrong
i know you think that they're big and strong
God knows these rooms aren't safe when the night's so long
but in the morning they may be gone

your heart is beating faster and your fever is red hot
ever since the fall i try to remember something we forgot
and all the broken toys we left out on the lawn
why in the morning they may be gone

see these sheets of flimsy covers don't offer much protection
they don't make penecilin that will cure your infection
and our method of detection is so wrong
in the morning they may be gone

child you know i love you and i care
but you will find the heart of man is worse than any nightmare
you know how they will try to steal your dawn
in the morning they may be gone

close your eyes and try to get some sleep
sufficient is the evil for the day we have to keep
it's written somewhere this can't go on and on
why in the morning it may be gone
Track Name: Thorn In Your Flesh
darling better mend your ways
and mark these words real well
darling better mend your ways
beware the gates of hell
let me put it all quite blunty
let me be most direct
be the rose you'd love to hold
and the thorn that's in your flesh

mister better mend your ways
the time is growing near
the analysts keep talking
while their hearts fail for fear
it's taking inventory
of the things that you respect
find the rose you'd love to hold
and the thorn that's in your flesh

childrens' cries are never heard
by the needle or the knife
i swear i heard their voices
on the other side of life
we expose this wisdom
to the elements for a test
show the rose you'd love to hold
and the thorn that's in your flesh

prisons and jailhouses
of this worthless currency
brick for brick dismantled
by a truth that sets one free
thrust your hands inside the wounds
there for you to inspect
find the rose you'd love to hold
and the thorn that's in your flesh
Track Name: Take No Prisoners
here come lonely days
it's like taps being cut off
on saturday night
here come lonely days
i've been wishing that i wasn't
such a parasite
i dialed your number twenty times
and i know that it ain't wrong
lately it occurs to me
this time you're really gone
i'm so lonely

here come lonely nights
i been sending out distress signals
morse code and the light
here come lonely nights
this bed's become an ocean
and there is no land in sight
i dialed your number twenty times
and i know that it ain't wrong
suddenly it dawns on me
this time you're really gone
i'm so lonely

you know all my secrets
you know all my crimes
my degree of treason
and my sick state of mind
but your love is like a canon
ripping through the dark
once i used to stagger
now i've learned to walk
and i'm so lonely

Jesus Jesus it's my hour of pretense
i pray it would be followed
by heartfelt repentence
my cranium's a battle zone
there are land mines in my skull
break into the compound and take no prisoners
'cause i dialed your number twenty times
and i know that it ain't wrong
lately it occurs to me
that you were never gone
when i'm lonely
Track Name: Watching The Moonlight
i've been watching the moonlight
slow caress your face
seen it flicker and draw back
in the presence of your grace

i've been watching the moonlight
steal across your lips
and you must have whispered his name
'cause i know i tightened my grip

i've been watching the moonlight
break across your brow
and the secrets that you kept there
spilled out on the ground
Track Name: Flames of Hell
i feel the flames of hell licking 'round my feet
there's a man over there just dying to meet me

i feel the flames of hell licking 'round my shins
i'm face to face with all my might-have-beens child

i feel the flames of hell licking 'round my waist
everything i do is so distasteful

i feel the flames of hell licking 'round my chest
i been victimized by my need to impress you

i feel the flames of hell licking 'round my head
jesus coming back to judge the quick and the dead

this stuff i bought i thought it was jewelry
Jesus this stuff i bought i thought it was jewelry
i thought this stuff was jewelry
but i believe you died to take the chains off of me

there's a gospel train coming on track ninety nine
come on aboard don't be left behind
Track Name: America, America (a free download)
america america
my dad sure believed in you
he said "a man's gotta do what he's gotta do"
got his degree at your diploma barn
he was the first kid off the farm
gonna change the world with chemistry

but i know he'll do
what you ask him to
for america

buy a new house with a tailored front yard
run up all the credit cards
there's more where that came from it's a cinch
i knew by the age of six
i'd never make a scientist
when i saw the price you paid in their trenches

they cut the moorings of your sacred ship
pushed her out and they let her drift
then the wind changed unannounced
brought a new friend home to watch tv
to help you deal with the anxiety
she measured out her love in ounces

yeah i've seen you do
what she asked you to
for america

i remember standing 'round
the vacant corner of some playground
hoping we would get you back
dying to make contact

now i struggle to pretend
and fill the gaping holes in
and remember all you did
looking back to take inventory
put the best construction on the story
i'm now writing for my kids

'cause i know you'd do
what they ask you to
for america

america america
God shed your grace in his
lonely heart this evening
and if he falls asleep
gather him and hold him tight
and help me with this grieving

'cause i know he'd do
what you ask him to
i salute you
Track Name: Drunk on the Tears
i've been eating the fare of the wicked men
under the guise of sophistication
it's poisoned my senses and my sight needs correction
it's bad for my bowels and my general complexion

it's been my staple for so many years
it's hard to taste the wine
when you're drunk on the tears

hey we got new ways to treat the soul that succumbs
electroshock and valium
in the twentieth century you don't need salvation
we got chemists dedicated to your recreation

nicole works the streets for twelve hours a day
she don't charge much but what she'll trade away
in a few short years her business will fade
that's what happens with the tools of the trade

jim and tammy and reverend swaggart
they don't look like Jesus and they're a whole lot fatter
don't miss the truth for a stupid side show
don't confuse the cup for the contents it holds

God i need a drink and i need one fast
make it a strong one one that will last
have you got anything that has been selling brisk
for a soul diagnosed at a terminal risk

Jesus lover of my soul
let me to thy bosom fly
i'm so weak and i'm so cold
the lambs in the west so speedily die

alibis roll off my tongue
i'm looking for ruins to hide among
i got a soul piled high to excess
with the wonderfully useless and the frivolous

the praise due your name evades my lips
there's no helping hand on my fingertips
i used to be someone now i'm not worth a shit
i've got a truckload of things trying to forget

since back in the garden on the first page
something about the cradle and the grave
the promises broken more promises made
all in the image i've so defaced

played out on the pages of history
dripping in blood that flows from a tree
where the Father and Son part company
come back together for you and me

i don't know why you did it what was your motivation
crucifixion's not a cool sensation
You had something to say and You started to speak
the cross was a place for Your coronation speech
Track Name: Losin' It
climb the tower with me tonight
speak long with the wind
let your laughter drown my sorrow
let an age of hope begin

loyalty is not a word
heard 'round these parts these days
love gets drowned in a pool of tears
i'm drunk on anyway

hold me tight
God i'm losing it
hold me tight
i'm confusing it

job lost all his daughters
job lost all his sons
lost all his crops and his animals
each and every one

still i know whom i believe in
and persuaded He is able
to keep track of all the cards
laid out on my table

oh please don't get upset
you know these means of grace
have never failed me yet

see the harvest getting ripe
there's a wine press almost full
michael swing your sickle wide
and take off both your shoes

sold me a wealth of pleasure
it was a dime store full of pain
the stuff i thought was jewelry
it turns out to be chains

hold me tight
i'm abusing it
hold me tight
i'm losing it
Track Name: Words of Love Spoken
we were sitting at the bar
finishing our last drink
talking like mature adults
and hormones did their thing
run my hand under your dress
and gently squeeze your thigh
you're wearing my wedding ring
i don't need an alibi

now i know that cathode ray
lies and steals
it pays no attention
to the way that you feel

and i will pray without ceasing
i will play while unleashing
sanities and the vanities
and the empty keep reaching
hope to be brutal as i
examine every motive
i will strain my soul
to hear the words of love spoken

honey i've got visions of your flesh and more
rolling around my brain
hear angel voice choruses
around each and every bend
when i come to you with my
bleeding little heart in my hand
tough time getting it off my sleeve
but i knew you'd understand

now i know that asphalt highway
lies and steals
it pays no attention
to the way that you feel

i am stricken with malaise
i am smitten with the vapors
it defies all known description
every current nomenclature
given to excesses
gross exaggerations
manifold weaknesses
and diverse temptation

now i know that James Earl Ray
lies and steals
it pays no attention
to the way that you feel
Track Name: Who Knows When the Sunrise Will Be
i'm a chemistry
of flesh and water
of blood and guts
a savage disorder
i made the wrong move
oh what a bother
ever since then
i've been looking for my father

when this darkness rolls in
i can't read my id
who knows when the sunrise will be

martin luther said
to one of his brothers
except for one instance
no one can die for another
the devil makes me fearful
about my survival
one's gone before
to assure your arrival

sometimes the darkness rolls in
and just takes hold of me
who knows when the sunrise will be

see i feel like barabas
with his sentence reversed
i've got my handgun of conceit
but at least it's registered
and i checked out
my best western motel
i saw a man on the hill
in place of my hell

when the darkness rolls in
it chokes the life out of me
who knows when the sunrise will be

you can count on your charm
revel in your wealth
improve your appearance
hope in your health
houses of cards tumble
and reputations fail
marriages crumble
and interest rates sail

and there's there are no more heroes
and there are no rules of thumb
criminals are pardoned
'cause there's no place to put 'em
and babies are torn
'cause nobody wants them
and whales canonized
by some government program

blind men sad men
dreamers with wishes
paralytics lunatics
and the back street fringes
all find a place
in Your home at Your table
You make them well
'cause You're willing and able

still in the darkness
there's a candle you will see
who knows when the sunrise will be