Welcome to Struggleville

by Vigilantes of Love

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about

The album that broke us nationally! Big sound, huge.I was humbled & honored to have GREAT playing by Newt Carter, David Labreye and Travis McNabb-one of the finest VoL bands that ever existed! Incomparable!

produced by Jim Scott

credits

released May 16, 1994

Bill Mallonee: acoustics guitars, vocals, harmonica
Newton Carter: Electric guitars, vocals
David Labreye: bass, vocals
Travis McNabb: drums, percussion
Joey Huffman: keys

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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: Welcome to 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: Aftermath
oil turns to rainbows on rain slick city streets
young paper boys and bourbon cabbies stand in sharp relief
salvation army brass band strikes up by the bank
that's now empty of all currency who am i to thank

palm readers and politicians make promises galore
hollywood spreads her legs like a two bit whore
offering numbness to the masses who fear the market crash
well out there in the stable something coming down fast

well churches they're empty and the businessmen curse their luck
there's a little bit of truth left out there but it may not be enough
to save a world where everyone's demons are their best friends
if you cannot cast them out you learn to live with them

oil turns to rainbows it's my last will and testament
been casting out my skeletons scraping off the excrement
salvation army brass band strikes up by the bank
that's now empty of all currency who am i to thank
Track Name: Resume
teddy please don't make me go up that hill
rough rider like to get himself killed
now it sure don't look like a vacation spot
all got malaria the weather's too hot

the white house is calling
i'm sure we're gonna charge today
yeah looking good on my resume

mister hoover i come to collect my dough
the kids are starving and the bank foreclosed
i would sell my purple heart if i got a good offer
the steel saber rattle of douglas macarther

now the union man come up here to organize
make the rich man hear my cry
mr getty and carnegie and vanderbilt
if i talk to much my blood will get spilt
Track Name: Babylon
well sweetness i love it when you wrap me up
i'm a drowning man down the third time
twenty-one gun salute in your flag of mercy
preparing my body for burial at sea

so put your tongue in my ear
through this veil of tears
whisper what's gone wrong
the world she's a babylon

coming in from the coast it's a bad northeaster
waves banging rocks with migraine vengeance
building up the tower unlocking all the secrets
the pride of man is so contentious

see here this is no pleasure cruise in the south pacific
i'm bailing ice water up to my neck
titanic's captain said that God couldn't sink her
you might say he learned a healthy respect
Track Name: All Messed Up (Nowhere to Go)
said God is my hope
and God is my strength
a very present help in trouble
we will not fear
though the earth may shake
and the mountains reduce to rubble

i could have told you you was on the wrong track
i could have told you about the knife your back
i could have told you about the people you see
all of those friends were just your enemies
honey i've never seen you look like that before
you all messed up no where to go

got the venom of asps
right under your lips
and a curse on everyone's head
you got the death rattle twitch
and a rattlesnake's bite
spit a secret right off the tip of your tongue

said love is my reason
and love is my strength
a very present help in trouble
so take the true and the real
and the false and the fake
and the mountains reduce to rubble
Track Name: VET (Free Download)
standing in front of the black wall
with lots of names carved in
trying to make a little bit of sense of it all
where do i begin
most of us shared so much
never ever having met
it's too much to remember
how could i forget

past is always present
present is no friend
afraid of what lies underneath
scratch below my skin
taking inventory
at the surplus store
lines up in the cross hairs
outside my front door

ah take me down saigon river
ah take me down to the china sea
put myself unreservedly
in the stars and stripes forever
i got a little cauterized brain and a heart
shot off at the knees

if you got a good home to go to
it's cool i guess i'll say
homeward bound and we touched down
there at the jfk
i'd liked to forget that moment
there's the curse of video tape
screaming and all the clenched fists
spit rolling down my face

late at night tv's on
the kids are off to bed
under the haze of the cathode ray
step out of the cargo bay
women and children take them out first
the whole thing feels so hopeless
smile or a handshake and lookout baby
here comes the plastic explosive
Track Name: I Can Explain Everything
everybody got a secret that they've been sitting on
the candid among you say their's feels like an atom bomb
these things i know are delicate could do you some harm
got to have some friends working on the bomb squad

i said i know his passion and the suffering and pain
oh if you give me a honest minute and i'll explain everything

now everybody got some stuff they've been trying to cover up
pressed for conviction it'd be more than enough
doctor is in surgery is free
use no anesthetics but it's all guaranteed

well come a little closer to the cross i'm nailed upon
God's Son's dying next to me other guy's got a bad tongue
something broke down one hour ago
soldiers throw the dice treachery explodes
Track Name: Runaway Train
hear the whistle blowing
train pretty close to leaving
deal with your ghosts
got to deal with your demons

going down to the freight-yard
going down in the pouring rain
gonna play some sad guitar
stand out in the hurricane

i will grab a runaway train
grab a runaway train
only two tracks take you out of here baby
now one will make you crazy one will make you sane

i'm going down to the five and dime
gonna trade my merchandise in
broken dreams all my money-making schemes
romantic notions my might-a-beens

going down to the graveyard
with a pick ax in my hand
gonna dig down in that georgia red clay
dig down into the promised land
Track Name: Sympathy
you could live in the shadows
you could call them your friends
but then all they'll allow you
is a scantily-clad skeleton

i anticipate your deep concern
believe me all my bridges burned
long ago i reveled in that loathsome deed
so from upper rooms and empty tombs
love's fallen down on me
so you see i do not need your sympathy

got a tongue like a serpent
and you speak with a hiss
and you lie through your gold teeth
and your friends they're pathetic

saw you out among the patients
when they took you all out for a walk
you tried to grab me through the chain link
but my dad says i really shouldn't talk
Track Name: Cold Ground
well headlights kick the darkness of some back road of alabama
this time there'll be no news team no ap or upi cameras
well car door opens he's kicked to the ground
no one's gonna hear those hideous sounds

it's a long time waiting 'til the justice kicks in
i wanna work for my wife and pray for my kids
leave this world a little better than i found
in the cold ground

yes legislature won't change hell's march in the human heart
it's been such a long time since i've seen the Spirit moving around these parts
up from the blood of abel under the earth
crying to the Lord every drop screaming worth

there's a man in a field with a bullhorn and a sixth grade education
and he's feeding us all his twisted ideas of some kind of race relations
he's got his finger on the trigger he's been known to use it
got his boot in my gut Lord i'm sweating bullets
Track Name: Last To Know
i don't know what was going down
in the dark recesses of my soul
if you see something amicable
darling i would be the last to know

outside a train station in birmingham
let the rain wash my boots caked with coal
well i heard you needed me back in athens town
ah but darling i would be the last to know

i heard your daddy he don't like me much
'cause i come from the wrong side of your moat
if he could i know he would steal my crutch
but then darling i would be the last to know
Track Name: Bitter Price to Pay
some are painting on the canvas
to show the way they feel
some are filling up notebooks
to tell the same ordeal
i could walk through the door
but the truth gets in the way
and your's is a bitter price to pay

some are talking on the radio
or from a satellite dish
beaming to my front lawn
every dream and wish
i put a bullet through my tv
at the point blank range
and your's is a bitter price to pay

now i know i'm a bad man
without a leg to stand on
laying down my alibis
laying down my guns
got blood on my hands
and oh by the way
your's is a bitter price to pay

i been taking out the trash
of my twisted little heart
it was long overdue
but i was coming apart
you're the life of the party
got nothing to say
but your's is a bitter price to pay
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