Hope & Other Casualties

by Mark Erelli

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1.
Here & Now 03:29
Cobblestone pillow Newspaper sheets Ten below zero Sleeping on the street Someday we all will have a home A place to come in from the cold Somewhere so high above the clouds Why not here Why not now Pastures of plenty For the tired and poor Still too many hands empty Behind the golden door (Chorus) Someday we all will live the dream There'll be no cracks to fall between Somewhere where everyone will have enough But here and now It's up to us Someday we all will be at peace And all of our suffering will cease There's more than enough to go around Why not here Why not now Why not here Why not now Why not here Why not now
2.
Behind the house where I lived Back when I was a kid I played G.I. Joe beneath the tall pine trees I'd fight imaginary wars Til my mom called from our back porch I'd come home covered in that pine pitch from my head down to my knees Too big to wrap my arms around Surely older than I could count Must have been there since the Mayflower crossed the sea They'd seen blizzards, hurricanes Summer droughts and freezing rain Those pines would live forever Least that's how it seemed to me Now what's become of the old pine woods It's all gone and there's a brand new neighborhood All for a buck they cut down all those trees They subdivided all of my fondest memories When those trucks came for my woods I did everything I could And I waged my war when school let out that June I ripped down flags and pulled up stakes But what difference can one boy make Them pines still fell like thunder on a summer afternoon (Chorus) I never became friends With the families that moved in They were different from us or so it seemed I grew up and moved away I just go home on holidays But those tall and tangled pines they're still falling in my dreams We all the want the greenest lawn A country club where we belong And an SUV to get us there in style But we don't keep track of what's been lost We can't calculate the cost When there's no place left for a boy's imagination to run wild So what's become of the old pine woods It's all gone and it's gone for good All for a buck they cut down all those trees They subdivided all of my fondest memories
3.
Snowed In 03:39
The weatherman warned me Stay off the road tonight If you know what's best Mercury is falling There's a storm rolling in From the Midwest He called for two feet of snow So I turned off my radio I'd heard enough I'm gonna drive all night To be snowed in with the woman I love Forty miles an hour From Connecticut to Maine That's as fast as I can go Hazard lights flashing On the cars spinning out By the side of the road You might think I'm crazy But if you ever met my baby You'd know why I'm out here in this stuff I'm gonna drive all night To be snowed in with the woman I love When we wake up in the morning And they haven't cleared the streets And everyone is digging out after the storm Honey call in sick instead Climb back in bed I know a thing or two bound to keep us warm I had a couple close calls White knuckles on the wheel And my nerves are frayed But she's gonna throw her arms around me Flash those baby blues And all my worries are just gonna melt away Now I'm pulling in the drive I should be glad to be alive But she is all I'm thinking of You know I drove all night You know I drove all night You know I drove all night To be snowed in with the woman I love
4.
The Only Way 04:30
I read the paper I watch the news It seems there's only pain and sufferin' And there ain't nothing I can do It's so senseless I feel defenseless So small I could shut my windows Bolt my doors But if I don't feel safe enough To speak my mind anymore Then what's the use I've nothing left to lose No further to fall (Chorus) So I'm gonna love I'm gonna believe I'm gonna dream But I'm gonna roll up my sleeve And give everything until there's nothing left to give That's the only way that I know how to live It was a nightmare No tongue can tell The streets of New York City Looked just like the gates of Hell In a flash The smoke and the ash Falling down like rain But they circled wagons They gathered round As they bravely pulled our brothers And our sisters from the ground And I know I owe them more Than to be afraid (Chorus) Why seek vengeance? What comes of war? I know freedom has a price But it doesn't keep score It's too much to swallow It's left me hollow After all this time All this time I won't tell you What to believe But I'm too young to be so cynical And too old to be naive Every action Breeds a reaction So let this be mine
5.
It's written of in papers, books and magazines For centuries, adventurers set sail In schooners, clippers, sloops and brigs and barquentines O'er the deep blue ocean to prevail Believing their dominion of the great salt sea They'd snare the fish and smite the mighty whale But for every man who lived to boast his victory A score or more were thwarted by the gale (Chorus) As evening's curtain falls upon me like a shroud I'm thinking of their cold, eternal sleep Beneath the waves far too many souls to count Lost out in the darkness on the deep There always will be men who sail the ocean blue But the romance is a thing of history In these hard times a man just does what he has to Providing for his wife and family Not long ago just off the coast of Provincetown They found a radio beacon bobbing in a field of debris Three days they did search but they never found The crew who worked aboard the Candy B
6.
The American flag is tied to a fence on an overpass With a homemade sign written in red, white and blue It reads "Welcome Home Jason Miller, Private First Class" And I don't even know him but I'm grateful for any good news What's become of my country torn by contradiction The spirit of freedom propped up by a culture of fear Where it's unpatriotic to protest or even to question Have we learned nothing from history or the last couple years And the rain pours down On the fallow ground And the fruited plain as barren as the sand Is it not within our will How long must we wait until The seeds of peace find purchase in this land He stood on the deck and he said we'd accomplished our mission He twisted the facts 'til he knew it would pass for the truth Vengeance can fill any fool with conviction But he can't wash the blood of the fallen from his cowboy boots (Chorus) I will not be shamed into silence by partisan thunder I won't fall in line and march to the drums on the wind How many more daughters and sons will we see plowed under How much longer must we wait 'til the harvest comes in When the sun shines down On this hallowed ground And the fruited plain so bountiful and grand Is it not within our will How long must we wait until The seeds of peace find purchase in this land Will the seeds of peace find purchase in this land?
7.
Undone 03:39
Trouble come falling from a pure blue sky Went down to the well but the well was dry Wasn't nothing but a bucket and a hole in the ground I pitched myself like a penny thrown But my wish just echoed off the cold grey stone Wasn't even 'nough water left to drown I'm too weary to believe A change is gonna come Shelter me or leave me here To wither in the sun Undone I tried to give more than I took I heard the word and I read the book And I listened close for to hear my Saviour call But as the lightning flashed and the thunder broke I couldn't help but wonder if I missed the joke Did you prop me up just to watch me fall (Chorus) I'm too weary to believe A change is gonna come Shelter or forsake me here Like your only son Undone
8.
Seasons Pass 03:40
Daffodils and tulips Now surely they're a sign That lemonade and mint juleps Can't be far behind Love, there's a touch Of sweet perfume on the wind We made it through the winter once again Love is just a simple seed Underneath the snow Come some sunny day we've all we need To blossom and to grow Love, open up Feel the sun on your skin We made it through the winter once again There will be times when you feel so down All your hopes and dreams seem to go underground You look around and you don't see much to believe in The winter always feels like it's gonna last But the die is never cast There is no rhyme or reason Babe, it's just a season And seasons pass So let the winter shake the naked trees Through every frigid gale Baby, have some faith the summer breeze Will come and fill our sails Love, let's not dwell On days that have been We made it through the winter once Those dark and dreary winter months And we'll make it through the winter once again Once again
9.
It was a dry and dusty summer day When that wagon train pulled in Just three hours 'til the matinee Was scheduled to begin As the razorbacks unloaded the flats A crowd did gather to see The elephants tow the wagons back To that empty lot on Barbour Street And the canvasmen they dug right in 'Til on that spot where nothing had been You could see the bigtop from miles around When the circus came to Hartfordtown The circus it was front page news Back in 1944 Everyone was grateful for any excuse To forget about the war The sun beat down on the menagerie In the cages the animals paced There was orangeade and cotton candy And a smile on every kid's face Each mother and father, each boy and girl They couldn't wait to see the greatest show in the world You could barely hear the orchestra they cheered so loud When the circus came to Hartfordtown There were polar bears and panther cats With great big fangs and claws The lions did a balancing act To jubilant applause Then the spotlight played on a platform set So high up in the air That everybody held their breath And prayed a silent prayer All eyes were glued to the man on the wire So nobody knew when the tent caught fire Too slowly it dawned on the sold-out crowd When the circus came to Hartfordtown The fire drew air and began to climb The audience leapt from their seats There was a stampede for the exit sign Some fainted from the heat There were heroes who did their best to help The children escape the flames And the others who managed to save themselves They survived but were never the same Some still remember how the animals cried But there weren't any animals inside Over 100 people trapped when the tent burned down When the circus came to Hartfordtown As a boy I lived on Barbour Street Four blocks from the circus show I begged my parents, I got down on my knees But they would not let me go For they had grounded me for two weeks straight Now I can't even remember why But I know the first time that I ever prayed Was when I saw that black smoke in the sky And the war it was over in a year I guess But the people in my town didn't cheer like the rest It still breaks our hearts to remember now When the circus came to Hartfordtown
10.
We are passing this world on to our kids From the moment that they climb out of their cribs We try to teach them well Show them they are loved But in the end all we can do is hope our best is good enough For they'll witness how this life Can be so beautiful and cruel We can't shelter them forever But if we show them all the tools They might leave this place in a little better shape than me and you We are only passing through Passing through Passing through We are only passing through We been watching this world from our living rooms It's been near 40 years since we walked on the moon This big blue ball is shrinking and I don't know if that's good But for better or for worse now this whole world's our neighborhood There's no place left to run to Where you can stay above the fray We all need to learn to get along And not just get our way Not only for each other but for our children's children too We are only passing through (Chorus) I wonder sometimes what will I pass on And how much can one voice do with just a song Sometimes injustice and indifference Are all that I can see But I refuse to let my hope become the latest casualty So I'll sing of love and truth And try to practice all I preach And If I can't change the world I'll change the world within my reach What better place to start than here and now with me and you We are only passing through
11.
God loves everyone Like a mother loves her son No strings at all Unconditional Never one to judge Would never hold a grudge 'Bout what's been done God loves everyone There are no gates in heaven Everyone gets in Queer or straight Souls of every faith Hell is in our minds Hell is in this life But when it's gone God takes everyon Its love is like a womb It's like the air from room to room It surrounds us all The living and the dead May we never lose the thread That bound us all The killer in his cell The atheist as well The pure of heart And the wild at heart Are all worthy of its grace It's written in the face Of everyone God loves everyone There's no need to be saved No need to be afraid Cause when it's done God takes everyone God loves everyone

about

On Mark Erelli's 2006 album, Hope & Other Casualties, he raises the bar with an unapologetic and timeless collection of deeply personal and affecting songs. Effortlessly balancing songs of love and protest, resignation and redemption, Hope & Other Casualties is a brave and searingly honest tour de force which cements Erelli's reputation as one of today's best young singer/songwriters.

“Erelli addresses tough issues (war, development, love, post-9/11) with the grit of John Hiatt and the melancholy beauty of Ron Sexsmith.” --Washington Post

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released March 7, 2006

Produced by Lorne Entress & Mark Erelli

Mark sings and plays acoustic, high-strung, National steel, baritone & electric guitars, harmonica, dulcimer, lap steel, mandolin, banjo, orchestra bells & celestaphone

Lorne sings and plays drums, percussion, bass, dulcimer, high-strung guitar, jaw harp, reed organ & keyboards

With very special guests:
Bruce Bears - Wurlitzer
Kris Delmhorst - vocals
Jeffrey Foucault - vocals
Paul Kochanski - upright & electric bass
Shane Koss - keyboards, drum loops
Lori McKenna - vocals
Jerry Miller - mandolin
Peter Mulvey - vocals
Johnny Sciascia - upright bass

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Mark Erelli Boston, Massachusetts

"You know those artists who release a great first record and then have enormous trouble following it up with anything as interesting? Yeah, that’s not Mark Erelli." -Red Line Roots

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