The Songs

The Ballad of Joe and W.T.

This song describes a group that lost a member to drug use. It struck me that people did not change as a result. Those same old ways can drag you down.

It’s a shame, that love is first that’s sold
Cause you can hide it, disguise it, til it grows older now
Some may say, love’s luster lights the heart
But my old friend, my old Man, has got you now

You’re nothing, but a memory hard and cold
You lived your life in strategies and lines
The big surprise didn’t come as one to you
(You) had the only dry eyes when I laid you down

There won’t be any you, at Momma’s table
I wasn’t kiddin you with lies
All those debts have been replaced
You won’t be the last to die

Joe laid W.T.’s box home inside the ground
Thinkin he knew how to better himself
But old ways, of livin drag you down
Just one less man, when the pipe came around

All the bills would hide for the night
The crawlers on the stove seemed at home
The plastic clicked on the old cheap fan
My cigarette clutched in my hand

What if, our in-laws could see us tonight
Just like little children pleasuring ourselves
That hot cocaine has burned a hole in me
We pretend to love but we didn’t learn from W.T.

There won’t be any you, at Momma’s table
I wasn’t kiddin you with lies
All those debts have been replaced
But you didn’t have to die.

Arranged by Allie Moss
Written by David Gardner ©2017

Saturday Night in Queensbury

Saturday Night in Queensbury is about the fading middle class and how families and children are impacted. The song came to me as I observed a man named Tarvin bagging groceries at the Price Chopper in Queensbury, New York. If we start—or continue—to believe that our neighbors’ problems don’t impact us, I think our personal share in the American Dream gets smaller.

Tarvin bags the groceries in the new service factory
His clothes aren’t washed his fingers tarnished Saturday night in Queensbury

Abrasions aside, he might have something to say
Of fading middle America and the way it wakes the day

It’s not just here but anywhere schools are squeezed kids without care
Curiosity and colored pencils Saturday night in Queensbury

Roll away, seems like it might
Fade away, seems like it might
Roll away

He’s too heavy and not my brother compartmentalized as other
Dividing lines between us are the thoughts that rule the airwaves

How bout an acknowledgement that whatever reason indiscriminant
Brings him to there and me to here in symbiotic atmospheres

We the people must instill deep inside our children’s will
Opportunity and purpose Saturday night in Queensbury

Written by David Gardner and Cris Gardner ©2017

Rockfield

Rockfeld is a love song to my family and speaks to the most beautiful place on earth, our family farm. Many people feel the same way I do about their property.
It grounds me. I paraphrase a line from my Uncle Paul that all you have to do to remember how loved you are is, “look up in the same dark night as so many before you.”

The hands that till the lands down at the Bruce Place
Are the hands that cook a meal and open up to greet you
The grass so high sometimes in the middle of the old road
(You) Have to drive to the side just to stay in line

Long after hard work and drinkin of older generations
You might say the dust even settled down
In three long years the dust was gone altogether
All that was left was a big place, and one small man

He’s gonna bring back all the bright colors to Rockfield
He’s gonna clean all the memories away
Gonna rearrange the cold Winter’s sadness
Into something he might understand

It’s come time to mend all of the fencing
That will allow the cows to walk where folks don’t live anymore
The graveyard stones have all laid down by the old creek
Where I spent many a night

If you ever need to be reminded
Of just how many stars there are
Just look up in the same dark night as
So many before you

Arranged by Allie Moss
Written by David Gardner ©2017

What About My Problems

What About my Problems describes a guy that had it all and pissed it away me and me again. We all know that guy.

He had a job interview the other day
They said I like your style son give you benefits and 401K
Maybe throw in a company car American Express
He said that all sounds kinda pretty good

but have I told you lately...

What about my problems
What about my problems
What about my problems

He had some friends that gave him shelter form the storm
They said you can come out and hang out where it is safe and warm
But early on Christmas he was still there and I couldn’t believe it
I said man you gotta go. He said

have I told you lately...

He met a girl with the sunlight in her eye
She said I’m not complicated I just like to spend some time
She said I like holdin hands and drinkin cheap chardonnay
He said that all sounds kinda pretty good

but have I told you lately...

Arranged by Allie Moss
Written by David Gardner ©2017

Pierre Blues

Pierre Blues is a song about a cross country trip.

I pulled into Pierre I was drinkin gasoline
Pulling out all of the stops just like you’ve never seen
Well I pulled it up on to the curb and what did I see
It was a pretty little baby with some big brown eyes and she was lookin at me

You got my heart on fire baby we gotta go
You got my heart on fire baby we gotta go

Smoke and liquor burned a hole in that long Dakota highway
She said baby we can do this your way but I know you’d like it my way
She pulled out my big guitar and proceeded to sing
It was a crazy little number called the Badlands Boogie and I was digging her thing

I turned south in Chicago lookin for that Nashville skyline
She had her feet up on the dashboard pumpin out a Memphis bass line
She turned to me and said hey baby let’s take it slow
It was right about then at 110 that my engine started to blow

Written by David Gardner and Chris Anderson ©2017

Blue Ridge Fine

Blue Ridge Fine is the most autobiographical song I ever wrote. It is a love song about growing up in the best place on earth among some of the best people I ever met. Locals will understand the reference to the Riverside (Riverside Lunch actually—I used Grill because it was hard to rhyme the word lunch with anything relevant, but I’m open to suggestions).

I’m gonna tell you bout a place that enriches the soul with education and beauty and the work of old
Mountains that cradle the Shenandoah Valley where we were born with both grace and family

My Brother’s paper route up past St. Clair where we ate chili dogs and imitated Ric Flair
With a Sears guitar I became a man while my Daddy drove a dump truck and sang in a band
(The Vagabonds)

With Janice and Alex Green in tow we’d hike up the path to Sugar Hollow
Not a care to be found and an ice cold beer I dropped outta high school in my senior year

I hauled rebar for concrete foundations pounded nails and had conversations
Bout how we looked forward to Friday night where we could get tore up and look for some of that

Blue Ridge Fine

As I found my self all over this world I never seen more beautiful girls
Than the ones I grew up with in Charlottesville that pulled their hair back and gave you chills

That aint all they weren’t afraid to be bright philosophize all day and love you all night
I pity the people with the clouded eyes that don’t appreciate this here

I married a girl from the UVA adopted two kids and moved away
We find ourselves outside of DC the strangest shit you ever did see

Donald Trumps tryin to evict Barack Obama puttin down all races and everyone’s Mamma
I don’t take kindly to lyin eyes that disrespect this here

My Mom still lives in the old neighborhood where the trees are green and the birds sing good
Me, I just missed another train tryin to get to work and back again.

I’d like to return to the rolling hills near the Riverside (and I mean Grill)
When it’s time to die I think that I will take my last recline near this here

Arranged by Allie Moss
Written by David Gardner ©2017

Spencer’s Robin’s Nest

Spencer’s Robin’s Nest is about a young family member in Spencer, Virginia. She had taken ill and we were terrified. I was struggling with the “why” part of it all. Will she rise to heaven or stay here and achieve remarkable things? And if she stays, won’t it really be the blink of an eye before we are wondering if she will take care of us?

Well we won’t always know where you are
And we won’t always know how you feel
But there will always be a home for you
In Spencer’s robin’s nest oh in Spencer’s robin’s nest

We give you pony pastures all trimmed with blue and gold
But childhood’s blind ambition can leave you cold.
Will you be Jacob’s daughter? Will you take Amelia’s flight?
Will you reach another planet and look back back at me at night?

What will you name your daughter?
Will you let her get a cat?
Will you always make time to see me
No matter where I’m at?

Well we won’t always know where you are
And we won’t always know how you feel
But will there always be a home for me?
In Spencer’s robin’s nest oh in Spencer’s robin’s nest

Arranged by Allie Moss
Written by David Gardner ©2017

Dodge Van

Dodge Van is about meeting a person unlike any other and not having the capacity to recognize it. Why do we try to talk ourselves out of what we see, whether it be happiness or danger? I missed an opportunity but, thankfully, I did not give up.

I went out like the common man
Got into my old Dodge van
Rolled right out of the warehouse phase

Well it aint no big surprise
I aint got no gentle mind
If I had a mind well I might stay

I just wanted to be near you and I don’t want to go away
I just wanted to be near you and I want you for myself

I went back that day
You had up and moved away
All those locks were changed upon your doors

Then I went up to your neighbor
Asked her about your behavior
Popped the tab on a 1554

Written by David Gardner ©2017

Irish Smoking Song

Irish Smoking Song originated at 5:15 am while leaving for a shing trip with my cousin, Ed. We had stayed up late the night before drinking beer around his outdoor camp fire, a ec onately known as The Garden of Bliss, and my head hurt a little. The only thing I could do was try to get in character and this little Irish/Pirate diddy came to me. Ol Green Boy is Ed’s small rough-looking thirty-year-old bass boat. But if you’ve ever been lucky enough to fish in Ol Green Boy you’d know that there is no better craft known to man or woman.

Good morning sunshine and pack me a bowl
Make it hearty and do not withhold
Cause we’re goin fishin it’s true and we’re drunk
Cause we’re goin fishin and then we’ll get drunk

With a hidey-ho we’re goin fishin
With a hidey-ho a fishin are we

Push out Ol Green Boy and hop in the boat
Put on your worm and pass me a smoke
Cause we’re goin fishin it’s true and we’re drunk
Cause we’re goin fishin and then we’ll get drunk

Arranged by Ed Gardner
Written by David Gardner ©2017

Song for Beth

Song for Beth is about a girl I met before I got married. The song describes how the simplest things in life, when done with someone you care about, can be perfect moments. And how just thinking about someone can make you happy.

Woke up in a heated bedroom realize that the night has long since passed
But you get up before the sun windows open breeze is blowing in

I light a cigarette alone run a cold shower through my head
Waitin for a birthday cake a smile and enough’s been said

Think about a trip to the river and just wastin time together
Wishin we were young forever but we can’t be so

There aint nothing we can’t cry through, girl
There aint nothing we can’t laugh about it
It’s all because we are

Maybe a baseball game a movie or maybe something new
We’ll help each other to calm for what we’ve just been through

...Let’s dream away the afternoon

Listening to some local band cuttin the rug throwin back a few
As night air blows us separate ways but it’s not for long so

Written by David Gardner ©2017