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Communion In The Ashes

by M. Lockwood Porter

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1.
This city that I live in is pounding like a drum. It sounds like electricity with the faintest human hum. These gates and walls divide us. We have no common hymns. Sometimes the dread’s so heavy, it feels like a phantom limb. When the bridges are all been burned And they’re warring over matches, Let’s hold a new communion in the ashes. When the fire came, we could smell it coming. The flames were moving fast and everybody started running. Some folks didn’t make it. Some lost all they had. But I’m glad I didn’t lose you even though it got so bad. When the bridges are all burned And they’re warring over matches, Let’s hold a new communion in the ashes. There used to be a blueprint for dignity and hope, But the threads have all unraveled at the end of this old rope. So Goodbye San Mateo. And Goodbye Golden Gate. I hear that they were beautiful, but we were born too late. If you’re feeling lost and lonely, and afraid of what’s to come, I hope that you won’t drop out, give up, or get numb. Just find a drum to beat on. Pick up the guitar and strum. It don’t matter what you look like. It don’t matter where you’re from. When the bridges are all burned And they’re warring over matches, Let’s hold a new communion in the ashes When the bridges are all burned. Let’s congregate the masses. Let’s hold a new communion in the ashes.
2.
I’ve been waiting for something It’s been a pretty long time I’ve been living in a prison of my own design I wish I had some better answers Wish these stars, they would align I’ve been waiting for something, waiting for a sign Waiting for a sign I’m so tired of waiting Waiting for a sign I’m so tired of watching while my life is fading I’ve been laying in the darkness Trying to claw my way out I’ve been hoping I can harness my will to kill the doubt Are these blues a passing feeling? Or are they something more malign? I’ve been waiting for something, waiting for a sign Waiting for a sign I’m so tired of waiting Waiting for a sign I’m so tired of watching while my life is fading I don’t know if I’ll survive another year I don’t know if I’ll survive another year But I know I want you We’re tough enough to take it But this ain’t no way to live Some shit has gotta change, something’s gotta give We grit our teeth by daylight And we drown our nights in wine We’ve been waiting for something, waiting for a sign Waiting for a sign I’m so tired of waiting Waiting for a sign I’m so tired of watching while my life is fading 
I don’t know if I’ll survive another year I don’t know if I’ll survive another year But I know I want you
3.
Broken Light 02:57
I was trying to run and hide Thought my soul could run on pride I thought that I could make it through the night With a broken light They rob us with distraction and they spoil our art False prophets preach their poison and pollute our hearts I can wait upon your judgment and ignore your grace But deep inside, I long to see your face I was trying to run and hide Thought my soul could run on pride I thought that I could make it through the night With a broken light The moment that you’re born, you’re on the gambling floor The only way to beat the house is to head for the door I don’t give a damn what all your cards portend I’m gonna live just like a bluebird on the wind I’ve been racing in the streets I’ve been fighting with my sheets I thought that I could make it through the night With a broken light I had no wings to fly with, and I had no light to see There was beauty all around me, but all I saw was me I can hear the morning bell I’ll flip the bird to last year’s hell I think I’m finally doing something right I was trying to run and hide Thought my soul could run on pride I thought that I could make it through the night With a broken light
4.
I was thirsty and you filled my cup I had a dream but then I blew it up I made you cry, but you know I’d never lie to you I spent the winter living underground I was alone, I barely made a sound You tried to reach me, there was nothing anyone could do I’ll never love another one like you You loved me when I didn’t have a clue You loved me when I couldn’t pay the rent You loved me when I didn’t know what love meant Do you remember the last Fourth of July? I won’t forget it ‘til the day that I die The kind of love that feels like static, well it’s magic to me Nobody loves you when you’re down and out And I know even you have had your doubts But you still wrap me in your arms and show some faith in me I’ll never love another one like you You loved me when I didn’t have a clue You loved me when I couldn’t pay the rent You loved me when I didn’t know what love meant At first, you were a mystery Well, your eyes, they blew a kiss to me And now there’s all these years of history between us two I wanted love that felt like city lights Or rock and roll and summer nights I’m trying hard to get it right, I don’t know what to do I’ll never love another one like you You loved me when I didn’t have a clue You loved me when I couldn’t pay the rent You loved me when I didn’t know what love meant
5.
I still remember skipping stones upon the muddy banks of youth That’s when the wildness flowed within me like an artery of truth I used to guide my car down barren highways late into the night In pursuit of some salvation or a brilliant flash of light It’s been an Odyssey upon the sea of capital and fear Where the market and the state conspire to grind you in the gears But now the freedom’s buzzing ‘round me like the wisdom of a child I never thought it’d take so many years to get back to the wild Once I went to the revival to get closer to the Lord But only found the serpent preacher spreading sickness with his words At first, I listened to his story and it helped me to get by But I was just listing all the things I want to do before I die Well, every father’s generation plots how its sons will be killed Yet always Isaac follows Abraham so calmly up the hill But there was something stirring deep inside those years I was exiled I never thought it’d take so many years to get back to the wild I can’t tell you where this dirty path I’m walking on will lead It’s all covered up in brambles, and it’s overgrown with weeds Well, now the days are full of danger, anxiety and doubt But I know we’re all born with flames inside the world wants to blow out So I’ve been grinding down my jaw, and I’ve been tightening my chest I’ve been revealing all my deepest fears and saying it’s in jest But all this silent desperation's just the cost of being free Behold the reckoning for violence too invisible to see I see the ministers and the managers they prepared for this in school I see another comet coming and they’re all loading up on fuel I see the publicists and prophets stand there sneering in the void I see the waiters and the drivers watch and wait to be destroyed I see the beast inside its cage and hear it roaring at the sky I see that there are ancient passions in our blood that never die I see a hastening reparation for the nature we defiled I never thought it’d take so many years to get back to the wild
6.
I woke up one morning and the sun was gone The air was filled with ash and there were dead birds on the lawn No trace of you, baby, or a single friend No sound from the radio or car engines on the wind So I walked 3 miles to work and I sat down at my desk Passed the day in silence, then I walked back home to rest That’s what I do each morning once I’m dressed It’s lonely sometimes, but I know I’m blessed To be alive I got up one evening and the moon was blood The water started rising, and the house began to flood So I grabbed a book of matches and my warmest coat Paced around the cul-de-sac and saw my neighbor’s boat Now I float around this town every day in total dark Pass the time by counting all the treetops in the park Just like Noah and his ark Though I may never disembark I’m alive I woke up this morning and the stars had fell It looked like Independence Day but felt just like hell I had no one beside me for the fireworks I pretended you were with me, but that only made it worse Now the sky is falling, and it’s such a sight to see I hope you’re out there somewhere thinking of me Our short time was almost heavenly It’s lonely but I know I’m blessed to be Alive
7.
It's a bitter wind with nothing to hold onto You keep one eye on the clock, but it never slows There were days that weren't so empty Now they're a distant, fading memory Will they ever come back? No one really knows. So here upon this staircase we go winding Ever upwards, blindly through the night I stand here holding mysteries While the world's repeating history And I just wish we'd one day remember it right Now the world’s become a screen that screams of comfort from the fear With a stream of lies so loud and overwhelming to our ears It was built while we were dreaming, and we never would have chose it Now the dream is dead, and everybody knows it Now there’s panic as the edifice is crumbling The illusion of security has dimmed Some have turned to hate and numbness But I’ll be marching down Columbus Trying to build a new world with my friends Now the world’s become an endless wall of cameras and guns But there’s not a single mirror to reflect what we’ve become If there’s wool that’s pulled over your eye, it’s my duty to expose it The dream is dead, and everybody knows it We may see no culmination in our lifetime No triumphant climax, no tidy denouement We must strip away these stories Kill our heroes, trade the glories For a peace made with one’s back against the wall My eyes are wide, my heart it keeps on beating The blood and air keep rushing through my lungs You can try to crush my spirit But there's still hope, and I can hear it "When they kick at your front door, how you gonna come?" Well I’m done with pointless poetry I’m gonna say what I really mean We’ve got to learn to love each other before we turn into machines Our redemption song can topple walls, but first we must compose it The dream is dead, and everybody knows it
8.
You tell us that we're wasteful - we spend money we don't have And then expect someone to save us when we're in the hole so bad That we can't cover all the debts that we took on when we were young. Well, what else would you expect when you don’t mind buying the guns To fight a war we don't need? To watch your children bleed? You’ll do anything for greed. You’ll do anything for greed. You call us wasteful but you put a ransom on our lives With a bootstrap fairytale that your hunger crucified. Now we’ll keep working ‘til we die and never get a decent wage. You’ve got some nerve to say my generation ought to act its age. Sold us your dope and your speed. You’ll watch your children bleed. You’ll do anything for greed. You’ll do anything for greed You're not a model, not a mentor, you're not worthy of respect. You're just a virus that keeps looking for a new host to infect. Sold us your dope and your speed. You’ll watch your children bleed. You’ll do anything for greed. You’ll do anything for greed You’ll do anything for greed. You’ll do anything for greed. You’ll do anything for greed. You’ll do anything for greed.
9.
I will do no more a-prayin’ I will dig the dirt myself Cause if the sky don’t stop a-rainin’ We may not have much time left We’ll keep planning for the day when We can spread out all the wealth By and by, by and by, by and by I will do no more a-hoping I will get out on the street I’ve grown weary of this coping And I feel so incomplete When the floodgates start to open I want to have a front-row seat By and by, by and by, by and by I don’t need no silver bullet, I don’t need no magic wand We’ve got to forge the future with our bonds There’s a better world a-coming, somewhere up beyond By and by, by and by, by and by I don’t need no silver bullet, I don’t need no magic wand We’ve got to forge the future with our bonds There’s a better world a-coming, somewhere up beyond By and by, by and by, by and by I will do no more a-prayin’ I will dig the dirt myself Cause if the sky don’t stop a-rainin’ We may not have much time left We’ll keep planning for the day when We can spread out all the wealth By and by, by and by, by and by
10.
I started out in pain My skin washed by the rain Lost my faith, traded God for work Now the work, it never ends And I’ve been losing all my friends And the pain I started with still somewhere lurks Now I’ve got to get myself back To where I went astray There’s no point in regretting But I do it anyway This fear won’t control me This fear won’t control me This fear won’t control me, control me today Goddamn that broken spell That’s been making our lives hell And poisoning the well of imagination They want to rank our lives Make us sharpen all our knives We’ve gotta root out all the lies that built the nation Now we’ve got to get ourselves back To where we went astray If you’re ever frightened All you’ve got to say is This fear won’t control me This fear won’t control me This fear won’t control me, control me today
11.
My words are on the wire, but no one’s on the other end of the connection Everybody says we’ve come so far but no one questions the direction It’s so hard not to look away To more than just get through the day It’s hard to find the time for reflection We’ve been searching for the truth, looking in the cracks of the stories that we’re told Casting our eyes downward, sifting through the dirt to find the gold I fear the consequences will Catch up to us before we kill The curse that’s kept us spiritless and cold We built a world in our own images We destroy the things we need to hide our blemishes We keep our faces hidden from the sun But there’s nowhere left to run You can feel the tension rising just like the vibrations of a bell That’s tolled eleven times. We hold our breath and wait upon the twelve Don’t trust that their machinery Can alter fate so easily You can start again. That’s the tale they try to sell We built a world in our own images We destroy the things we need to hide our blemishes We’ve got to do this for our daughters and our sons Because there’s nowhere left to run

about

M. Lockwood Porter's Communion in the Ashes is a rallying cry for the hopeless and heartbroken, its lyrics set to a soundtrack of anthemic heartland rock & roll. This is a record that addresses our modern-day social problems from a perspective of hope, encouraging those who listen to focus on activism and community-building rather than despair. Throughout Communion In The Ashes, Porter’s electrifying “dystopian gospel band” explores how frightening our world can be. With its Springsteen-sized catharsis, though, Communion in the Ashes offers listeners something new: a soundtrack with which to rise up, rebuild, and renew. Call it protest music if you'd like. Call it a political album if you must. Whatever the description, Communion in the Ashes packs the strongest punch of Porter's career, capturing not just one man's reaction to the present day, but an entire community's opportunity to better their own tomorrows.

credits

released March 29, 2019

Guitar, Vocals, Written by, Produced by – M. Lockwood Porter
Design and Layout By – Joseph Casey
Original Artwork – William Schaff
Bass Guitar – Bevan Herbekian
Drums, Percussion, Engineered by, Mixed by – Peter Labberton
Guitar, Vocals – Jeremy Lyon
Vocals – Tracey Holland
Keyboards – Jeff Hashfield
Mastered By – JJ Golden
Recorded At Origami Recording Lounge, Chico, CA

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