V​.​O​.​L. (greatest hits & near misses)

by Vigilantes of Love

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05:09
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02:16
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credits

released September 10, 1996

Previously Unreleased Tracks:

Bill Mallonee: lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, harmonica

Tom Crea: drums

Chris Bland: bass and backing vocals

John Keane: electric guitar on "Double Cure"

Previously Released Tracks:

Bill Mallonee: guitar, harmonica, percussion, drums, vocals

Chris Bland: bass, vocals

Andy Carlson: violin

Newton Carter: guitar, vocals

Tom Crea: drums

Matt Donaldson: drums

Chris Donohue: piano, guitar, vocals, bass

Billy Holmes: keyboards, bass, mandolin, trumpet, guitar, sitar, vocals

Joey Huffman: keyboards

John Keane: percussion, pedal steel guitar, guitar, vocals

David LaBruyere: bass

Phil Madeira: keyboards, accordion

Travis Aaron McNabb: drums, percussion

Produced by Bill Mallonee and John Keane. Compilation Produced by Dan Russell. Compilation Executive Producer: Barry Landis. Engineered and Mixed by John Keane. Mastered by Ken Love.

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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.
... more

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Track Name: Struggleville
all is quiet on the western front
there appears to be a lull
john and jane doe are sleeping well tonight
with the little thoughts inside their skulls
salome she's undressed to the nines
and although a few pounds fatter
she got pavlov's bells on her ankles and wrists
she coming at you with a platter

so i stole down to the waterfront
to escape the desert heat
oh what on earth you gotta do around here
to try and get yourself a drink
heard john the baptist preaching
"make way for the King
but if you want to recognize Him
you gotta tell me all your sins"

they are building a new gallows
for when You show up on the street
polishing the electric chair
they're gonna give You a front row seat
heard a sneer outside the garden
salutation so well heeled
"welcome all you suckers to struggleville"

i've been trying to negotiate peace
with my own existence
she got a stockpile full of weaponry
she breaking every cease-fire agreement
oh the whole thing is full of decay
as sure as i'm made of dust
and into rust i know
the beast is falling

they are building a new gallows
for when You show up on the street
polishing the electric chair
they're gonna give You a front row seat
heard a sneer outside the garden
salutation so well heeled
"final stop no points beyond struggleville
welcome all you suckers to struggleville"
Track Name: Real Down Town
hey look at me now
i've been impaled on the horns of your sacred cow
well there's a train wreck up ahead
yeah i was given up for lost given up given up for dead

hey come and see what i have found
in your real down town
in your real down town
in your real down town

well the core of my problem
is this driving the nails and all
but you know that possession
is nine tenths of the law

better take stock of where i'm going
by where i have been
oh now sweet Lord Jesus
come wash away these sins

hey look at me now
still impaled on the horns of your sacred cow
now there's a train wreck in my head
but darling your love keeps me so well fed
Track Name: Blister Soul
yeah you got this place you go
it's just a trip before the fall
way past the fevered pitch
just a spit from the wrecking ball

said you woke up this morning
said you woke up under a curse
i've heard the blues are bad
but this is something worse

and the ambulance driver
well he tips his hat and stares
and he asks you in a grave voice
can i take you anywhere

yeah the thing we cannot speak of
too painful to behold
oh this blister soul

there's a smaller place you go
where there's hardly any sound
where the deals have all gone sour
and the house of cards comes down

and the damage is costly
it's beyond all dollars and sense
you can't measure it with graphs and charts
or any instruments

yeah the thing we cannot speak of
the secret we all know
oh this blister soul

yeah from the trumpet blast
i hear the banging drum
yeah from once upon a time
to the kingdom come

and the thing that's yours for free
is the thing i need the most
oh stifles every boast
stifles every boast

yeah the thing that's hard to speak of
but the secret we all know
oh this blister soul
Track Name: Double Cure
yeah today i'm sick of all i am
today is my setback
first i swear i love you
then i stab you in the back

i wanna drink out of that fountain
on a hill called double cure
i wanna show you my allegiance Lord
yes i wanna be a son of Yours

so tired of all my toys
they never last for long
they keep beaming dreams and wishes
to a big dish on my front lawn

bet you all have got a story
you're just aching to tell
haven't we thrown our coinage
down the wishing well

so go and call your neighbor
proceed with all due haste
go grab your wife and sweet family
see there is no time to waste

we're gonna drink out of that fountain
on a hill called double cure
i wanna show you my allegiance Lord
yes i wanna be a son of Yours

ask me why i love Him
He gave riches to this poor
yes and i will one day see that face
over yonder shore
Track Name: And You Drown
stumbled into this car crash
i crawled out of it and drowned
leaving me somewhat paralyzed
at least from the heart down
everybody knows something
yeah that's long since gone wrong
everybody know something
ah but they're not letting on

and you sink without sound
in those arms and you drown
and you drown and you drown

i think i've got it down now
let me repeat back what i've heard
"first there comes the subject
then there comes the verb"
mother teresa well i wanna be there
when you get your reward
me i'm writing these scrap notes
down here in the terminal ward

i hear that this is an election year
and i suppose it's true
big world gonna get
what little it has coming to her
i looked over my shoulder
yeah and hit the pedal fast
in an effort to elude
my rapidly approaching past
Track Name: Tempest
watching the tempest stir in your soul
watching the tempest stir in your soul
we are storming the battlements
razing the arguments

got your letters here by my bed
got these visions of you in my head
we are storming the battlements
razing the arguments

one down i don't know
how i lost my way
two down now she knows
all my yesterdays

watching her secret side come to life
watching her secret side come to life
we are storming the battlements
razing the arguments
writing the installments
Track Name: Skin
now i'd seen him despondent
a few times as of late
sometimes the answer that love gives
is the hardest one to take
i know he was prone to paint
the voice of his own fear
so vincent he picked up the blade
and he put it to his ear

look at yourself in the mirror
you're all rumpled red stubbled and gaunt
you walk a dead end path in a dry corn field
and now this morose response
your princess she don't wanna see you
no your princess she don't wanna hear
so vincent he picked up the blade
and he put it to his ear

now look if you're gonna come around here
and say those sort of things
you gotta take a few on the chin
you talking about love and all that stuff
you better bring your thickest skin
sometimes you can't please everyone
sometimes you can't please anyone at all
you sew your heart onto your sleeve
and wait for the ax to fall

you there with the paint box
you there with paper and pen
me i got this blunt instrument
i'm gonna play on 'til the end
and you know you come with empty hands
or you don't come at all
you deal your best hand out in the marketplace
and let the chips fall

the package it comes wrapped up
there is a lesson here
vincent he picked up the blade
and he put it to his ear

now look if you're gonna come around here
and say those sort of things
you gotta take a few on the chin
yeah you're talking about sin and redemption
well you better wear your thickest skin
sometimes you can't please everyone
sometimes you can't please anyone at all
sew your heart onto your sleeve
and wait for the ax to fall
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
Track Name: When I'm Broken (See What Happens)
left your bags in the hall your harsh light ghost
came in full needing the most
after withdrawing all your savings

you were playing a game where there were no winners
your credit is bad and nobody's lending
this time the rules they are not bending

when i'm broken see what happens
arms wide open see what happens
when i'm broken see what happens
see what happens to me

should've known better coming 'round with your needs
your mouth full of roses heart on your sleeve
only love just begging to stay

you're bring in nothing and it's all that you got
you're rest assured it's more than enough
only love just having the last say

gotta stay clear of the star-on machine
venom and bile a venting one's spleen
oh yeah you know what i mean

throw us all in a van and see if we care
a little beat up worse for the wear
oh yeah see how we tear
Track Name: Glory and The Dream
only heard a few stories
really only seen a few works
tractor paints on plywood
covered with verse

you see so much
see not much at all
but we're treading down serpents
and we're breaking the fall

if a picture's worth a thousand words
what i've seen is what i've heard
the image writhes flickers on the screen
distance grows wide between the glory and the dream

you may be out there on the river
with your bridges all burned
cannot swim a stroke
'cause you never learn never learn

sure some wear it like a badge
or a noose around their neck
but call me home early Lord
i swear there's nothing to protect
Track Name: Hopeless Is As Hopeless Does
atlanta sixty miles to go on a ghost-green sign
athens another seventy-five there on the backside
yeah no brass band triumphant heard
flying home to love maybe crawling's a better word

a bed of nails you can lie on if you want it
always an ax to grind with your name upon it

hopeless is as hopeless does
i love you i love you well just because
that's to say if i drown
let's no go into that now
eyes on Him i am found
there's a cross before the crown
hopeless is as hopeless does
i love you well just because
i love you well just because

yeah i fell asleep when you needed a friend
you were sweating blood and talking about violent ends
ah we're pulling swords talking real loud
pledging allegiance yes us bunch of cowards
Track Name: Earth Has No Sorrow
it's time to get the lash it's time to get the rope
sharpen the razor grab the microscope
it won't be pretty when they cut the tether
sometimes you lose your address to find your shelter

why is joy something i must steal
starving skeletons looking for a meal
out in the graveyard the church bells peal
earth has no sorrow heaven can't heal

i bought a crap detector it emptied all my savings
it's got a hair trigger feel for the slightest provocation
not there to spill blood or judge out of line
it's just a modern convenience to save you some time

johnny says to sarah as he takes her by the hand
"i hear angels 'cross that river in beulahland"
the waters are cold and they're deep my friend
i'm going down down down and coming up again

i'm checking my closets since i don't know when
surely life is more than learning how to live with your skeletons
wind swing low whisper in my ears
wind swing low dry these tears
Track Name: Undertow
i got an idea in my head
i been kicking it around for days
i've been trying to make it quit
but it won't go away
now the girls are gonna hate it
when i turn the cameras on
i've been trying to get away
from the night watchman

reason dies collapsing
under its own load
if i can't reach you from the shoreline
i'll watch you sink below
into the undertow

you've been stealing all my children
and raping them repeatedly
it's not a one time thing
you do it instinctively
i put landmines in my front yard
and i bought a wicked beast
i put bombs in all your letters
to brighten the correspondence

i'm gonna rip out my heart
i'm gonna sew it on my sleeve
i'm gonna preach the gospel
on the corner of the street
i will be pulling you no punches
if i'm up against the ropes
let me show you all the carnage
on the killing floor
Track Name: America
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
america

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: 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: River of Love
well your spirit is strong
but i'm a nervous wreck
there's something about you
that's so fragile and delicate
if i could wrap up your innocence
i'd have it done quick
keep it from the wolves
of this present darkness

trade your crown of thorns
for a crown of joy
i was wearing my weariness
like a badge of glory
you're trading your secrets
after nothing remains
i was checking my pockets
and counting my change

now the words in my ears
the winds up above
i will shed my skin
when i jump right in
to this river of love

you get moved by the Spirit
but i'm so out of touch
you're down on your knees
but i'm down on my luck
you're doing your labors
in the fields of the Lord
working hard at nothing
in this cheap room and board

well your spirit is willing
but my flesh is weak
used to make my pronouncements
now it's harder to speak
and dig up a word
that is good for the soul
'cause down in these mines
there's a lot of fool's gold