I Still Believe

by peter la grand

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1.
I dreamed about you again last night. Your wild hope in the morning light. Your crooked smile and your poetry, playing baseball in an open field—all the things that are still haunting me. Brother, are you still holding on to visions that we had when we were young? Do you remember all the promises written down in so many books? Words that meant so much to me. I still believe all the stories you told to me. Are you listening? I still believe in you. Bunkbed Nights, lazy saturdays, walden pond winter escapades, typewriters and cigarettes, redwing boots and cowboy hats: a partial list of ingredients. Sometimes I feel your ghost right behind me seeing all the things I want to see: streets covered with candles, mad farmers in overalls—shouting hallelujahs from the trees! I still believe we are shadows of who we are meant to be, fighting just to breathe. I know all your history. We all fall apart from time to time. I still believe in you.
2.
Circle 05:31
Set aside your work today What can you hope to gain? You have done all that you can do Here, a bottle of wine for your worries and for mine We have nothing to prove Open your arms if you want to be held See the summer flowers bloom smell the air’s sweet perfume hear the wind dance through the trees taste the lovers mouth in yours all good gifts given for us We are beggars but we are free Open your arms if you want to be held Sit down in this circle here and open your arms if you want to be held We’ve been looking for so long for a place to belong We are blind and we are scared For tonight let’s give up and let the morning come to find us Tonight I want to be held Who among us can add an hour? What can we do but believe? and let tomorrow worry about tomorrow and receive Open your arms if you want to be held Sit down in this circle here and open your arms if you want to be held
3.
Prodigal 04:59
Prodigal This is the road I have chosen, I haven’t made it far It takes all my strength just to crawl I see them staring at me I hear their calls I fell a long time ago, yeah I got lost It’s the same old story, but this one’s mine to tell There was a girl I loved and she loved someone else Then there was only the bottle between me and death And I’ll do anything to get away from that You may not believe it, I was the favorite son I had everything and I blew it all I don’t know how I came to be this lost This is my last chance to make it back I left with it all To hide my broken heart And I burned bright to try to lose myself But I could not finish the job If you see my father don’t tell him where I am I just have to make it this once on my own I’m just trying to make it, make it home I just want to make it, make it home I just want to make it, make it home
4.
Michelle 05:08
Michelle At first light I can see the snow high on the mountain As my bus makes its way down Hastings street it is my one consolation I see her every time I come, every time it’s the same conversation “Can you spare some change?” “Michelle not today I’m sorry I have none” I know more about her history than I really care to “I have two children you know,” she says, “ but they took them both away” “I was only seventeen when I first felt the needle My boyfriend said it takes your troubles away and I believed him” Holding on to a life in pieces, she still smiles everyday She has family she says to me way up there past the mountain She was raised up to believe she shares a soul with that land “Up there in the lakes and trees is what it must be like in heaven still way down here that spirit speaks to me in the wisper of the wind” Holding on to a faith in a mountain, so close but too far away The dying light of the sun each day, it rests high on the mountain I hold her name up to that place that she still believes in That spirit she says lives up there, I hope is strong enough to rescue One who is lost but still believes with the faith of a child O Michelle may your faith move that mountain. May you find your way home.
5.
Backroads 04:40
Backroads We took our time, we took it all slow We drove past the highway and took the back roads We listened to country and old gospel songs We listened to Mahalia Jackson and you sang along Now you won’t even answer my calls You must have found someone better to hang around It’s up for discussion because there are no rules This bond is strong and love endures But silence is deadly, indifference kills So if you want this over just don’t say a word Now you won’t even answer my calls You must have found someone better to hang around I felt your anger—but I was so slow I never noticed that I was the source Like David for Jonathan is how I felt for you I wanted only your dreams to come true I never guessed you didn’t want me around I waited so long for you there in the dark I hope that you have the best life of all I hope that you are still singing along
6.
When the trumpets sound O mother I’m dying every day I understand why you spoke those hard hard words to warn me of my ways O father Did you live your dreams? You tried to follow your heart in all you did you gave up every thing Soon enough we will have to part Your journey done, mine at the start But we’ll meet again when that trumpet sounds when that trumpet sounds O brother Let’s share this night I need to hear your voice fill up this room to know that it’s alright O sister Will you lie next to me Some nights I feel so alone and cold inside You’re all I can believe Soon enough we will have to part But you will always be in my heart We’ll meet again when that trumpet sounds that trumpet sounds O Father can you hear up there? You have provided everything I need but I still despair And soon enough my time will come and I will rest my trials done But I’ll rise again when that trumpet sounds when that trumpet sounds

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released May 11, 2012

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