Ash City

Ash City

by Alan Lewis Silva

Released 02/29/2016
Lusitone Records
Released 02/29/2016
Lusitone Records
Massive verbose folk-rock-grunge collection, including several ballads. Download the $1 digital album at
All songs copyright © 2016 by Alan Lewis Silva

1. Ash City

We built this city up
Because it’s what we make

From the cradle to the roots,
From the leaves
To the grave,
From the concrete lots
To the rooftops,

Who do you think
You are,
Trying to
Clean up

A free romance
Makes a heart strong

Let love in
And the world remake

To let your smell

Who do you
Think you are,
Clean up

Let him get distracted
Let him try to save a lady
Like a knight on a quest
For Ash City

Advice should be sound,
Pigs, crowns,
Faces’ data

Let love in
Let love in
Let love in
Let love in

Who do you
Think you are,
Tryin’ to clean
Up life?

2. Aviary Tomb

When death comes by your side,
And you’ve tried everything to get by,

When the setting sun
Won’t come back for you
For a while,

And the people that you know
Aren’t anywhere at all

You just gotta go
Down to the mall

Find the room,
And you check into
The aviary tomb

I think that I’m travelin’ the Seine
When I’m in Paris, but it’s Ridgecrest in the rain

When death comes,
Gonna make it last forever,
Like the time you fell for mercy,
And it crawled away,

But that’s okay

You just go to the mall
Into the back room,
And you settle into
Your aviary tomb

Open the window
Let’s let in the air
Let the smell of cedar
Fall with the fair

It’s the
Silhouette of silver
In the moonlight in you

Or is this just the calling of lost magic,
As you sputter around?

Looking for
Something other than you?

But you’ve just got to go to
The aviary tomb…

3. Badlands Abandoned

I used to work the copper mine,
But it's been rejected by the boss
As a place for me to work
‘Cause I punched-in late on the clock

Yeah, the mill's been abandoned
The rain puddles gently grow
The harvest fields are empty
The rain trickles as it stows

The animals in their hovels
To hide away and sleep
Until the weather changes
They like children dream of sheep

There might have been a villain
Who exercised power on my stay,
Told the boss to let me go
‘Cause he wanted time to play,

But it's just an illusion
Be careful ‘cause it is strong
When confronted with existing
In a place you don't belong

Yeah, the minin’ town is closed
The past is bein’ shut down
The mill’s bein’ sent to Asia
Where the ore is bein’ found

Yeah, the badland’s abandoned
Like a sickness given up
For green pastures a-plenty
And the quest for holy cups

My best friend on the job
Was an old black man I knew
Ever since I was a baby
He gave me my first shoes,

And no matter how sticky
Or dusty got my face,
He taught me how to wipe away the shame
That came from livin’ in that place

In the copper mine,
In the long-abandoned mine

For years I used to dream
For the culmination of my labor
When my bride and I would taste
What poets savor,

For the inside of the mine
Used to remind me of the flavor
Sweet of woman’s sweat
When my axe slid like a razor

The day I left the cave-ins
For the last worthless time
Was the first moment of my next life
Inaugurated with red wine,

Crimson for the colors
Of the sun as it fled
Across the horizon
Of the world of my bed

Yeah, the badlands are abandoned
Like a sickness given up
For green pastures a-plenty
And the quest for holy cups

My fingers used to grip
The tools of the caves,
Divin’ the charcoal wells
Even when I wasn't paid

The writin’ on my checks
Kept gettin’ sloppier
Until the bank teller told me
She would not cash them anymore

Yeah, the mine’s been abandoned
The mill’s bein’ put to rest
The work I used to love
Has sentenced me to death—

The situation’s the same
Across the world I've been told
How the lovers and investors
Don't care about the soul

Of a worker who likes to toil
In the scented engine pits
Of dead, organic fossils
To make their treasures and gifts

These old-fashioned sentiments
Threatened by the modern age
Are neither safe in their profession
On the song or on the page

Yeah, the badlands are abandoned
Like a sickness given up
For green pastures a-plenty
And the quest for holy cups

I'm sailin’ into the sunset
As if I had a choice
She promised to look after
Our precious girls and boys

Perhaps when they're older
They'll pause and wonder why
Their feelings are so low
When their mother’s getting’ high,

But that's a question for Plato,
Not a petty, shirtless man
Who tangos with the devils
That have forced the angel’s hands

Yeah, the mill’s been abandoned
On the abject road of fate
Where prisoners are tortured
On the way to outer space

I have done my duty,
Fulfilled the orders of the gods
That feast on human blood
In exchange for moments loved

On the altar of the dead
Where their bodies are laid bare,
I contemplate this role of mine
And my despair

Yeah, the badlands are abandoned
Like a sickness given up
For green pastures a-plenty
And the quest for holy cups

Yeah, the badlands are abandoned
Like a sickness given up
For green pastures a-plenty
And the quest for holy cups

Yeah, the badlands are abandoned
Like a sickness given up
For green pastures a-plenty
And the quest for holy cups

4. Ballad of Dan & Suzanne

Well, young Suzanne walked to the store
Just out of town,
But all that she had were paper hearts
That floated down

“Can’t buy whatcha need?” asked a strange young man
“Let me help you out. You’ll see what good use I am
“Good evening, my dear. You can call me Dan”

Well, joy drifts by about as much
As it will stay,
So they bought some food, and Suzanne,
She just said,

“Hey, buddy, would you like to walk home with me?”
And Dan just smiled and thought it all make-believe
And said, “Yeah. Why sure
“Would you take me home?”

So they spent their time together as the seasons
Began to shift
And they shot for a good life:
Hit or miss…

And they lived outside of town
In a cabin in the woods
Stuck with some useless hope
For the good
And it became just this
Strange story of theirs—

5. Ballad of the Amazon

You were eatin’ a piece of breadfruit;
I was smokin’ a cigarette;
We were in the middle of the Amazon;
You had just crashed the jet;

I was about to invest your shares,
But then I decided
I’d better off be naked
In the middle of the rainforest

That was when they decided
To have a war in China
With the
Local mobs

Nobody could tell who was on top,
So I requested the underdog

The rest you know is history,
But, until that time, I will agree
That up goes up
What goes down gets down

Give me some floss
Because I need to
Floss my teeth

Little do you know that I’m using this
To extract a disease
That will eat you alive
Worse than bacteria

Like that time you were in Armenian

They said, “You’d baaa remember
“The 5th of September
“At least once a year,”
And with that management,
They have built many years

I remember a long time ago
When I was in Canada
There was no food, no money,
And we lived in the forest

You said I’d have
To get a permit
Because I was livin’ like a hermit

6. Ballad of the Scorpion

She crossed the crooked desert
With no friend or companion
But a new way of thinking
Maybe all life’s new beginning,
And on the highway of the prophet
She met a blind man with a token,
And she asked him what was broken
She offered, “Let me fix it
“With my vagrancies and portents”
“Aye,” said he, “I know your heart is gone”

And “Oh, oh—” she said

She lie sleeping while a scorpion
Crawled on her breast
And stung her with the poison
Of loyalty and duty,
So she followed where it led her
Away it bade her
With no aid to her position,
But on a sacred mission
It took her to a temple
In the sagebrush and the thistle,
And she shat the last bald eagle
And threw it in the gutter, sayin’
“Nothing really mattered
“Everything must go”

She was a fool in the night
And glowing, she said, “Everything’s all right”

It’s a weakness and a strength—
You never can trust him,
But his eyes are like cold mercury,
And his paleness is ghostly
He took her to the water
With a promise and a smile
From his tin lantern,
And beside the ocean
Beneath a grove of poplars,
She made her pilgrim’s progress
It’s the process,
But it doesn’t really boast much sex appeal

He took her like a boxer takes the ring
Somewhere in the darkness he became she

There along the water,
On the slow, desert river,
His sermon almost spoken,
She with her wooden token, he said,
“I guess I’ve tamed you
“Love’s the greatest potion,”
But she knew then all was broken,
And she said, “I must be going,”
And he laughed to hard for laughing
Trying not to be angry
Saying, “Try to see it my way,”
Ravaging her body
And she asked, “Well, what’s the point?
“I have no eyes”

And, “O,” she called out
“Death’s a prison cell”

It all works out this well
Either way you go

For scorpions

7. Baritone Phone Call in Venice Masquerade

She said something’s comin’,
Something that don’t turn back,

Headin’ for us both,
Comin’ down the track

Wakin’ up in the morning
With the oak leaves on her bed,

Fall’s images of her
Running through my head

People say things are always changing
You’ll change this way,
And I’ll change that—

Though love’s a hard thing, mama,
It’s not a hard thing to take back
If you’re goin’ to the wasteland

8. Be Your Man

Want to see you,
Touch you,
And hold your hand
I want to go away

I want to be your man
Want to go away

I want to hear you
Laughin’ easy
Don’t cry

Want to know you
But I don’t like
What you like
What you like…
What you like…
What you like…

Want to be your man
Want to go away

We’ll live in the redwoods
Ride on the landscape
Like a magic rug

Love is the future
I want senses to be there
To be there…
To be there…

Want to be your man
I want to go away

I want to be happy
I wanna be happy
I don’t wanna be sad,
But I’m sad

I want to taste
I want to hear
I want to smell
The secret rose…

Want to be your man
Want to go away

We’ll live in the redwoods
Ride on the landscape
Like a magic rug

9. Big Bedroom in the Sky

Well, I was born in the Big Green Country,
And I left it then to take my life,
And I was a-striving,
Arrivin’ on the barren roadway,

Dreamin’ of the Big Bedroom in the Sky

I met the woman
Like an island at the table
For better or worse she let me inside

On the dark, green hill
Where we peered through windows,
We followed through the caverns
Of the sky

I’ve got to go now, baby
Don’t ask me why
There’s no good excuse
But to be careful in the rain
I’m rushing like a madman

Just to get to the Big Bedroom in the Sky—
It’s always now

There ain’t
No need

There ain’t no money more or less
There are some secrets,
But I ain’t confessed

Pepper Tree that bends while the branch’s blowed
Will never be again
Like sunshine in the Snow

The red sun sets
It makes a fiery wall
And the eyes of the blossomy ball
Where the doorman lies
I hope to meet you

In the great Big Bedroom in the Sky

10. Big Green Country

Well, I was born in a big green country
I left it then to make my life

Two roads
Separated in a wood
I chose the one
That had your footprints walkin’ down the lane

Well, I’ve got one heart
I’ve got one mind,
I’ve got one body,
Got to spend it

In the pursuit
That will end it

I came off the train
Been on it for three days
I came to L.A.—
Went outta my brain
But that’s, you know,
You’ve see seen it by now

11. Blue Roses

You look pretty fine today
Did you give me flowers?
It said I had a secret admirer
I was hopin’ it’d be you

No, don’t respond yet
There’s somethin’ that I’ve got to say about
Blue roses…

I think that they’re beautiful,
And if you
Gave me them
That you didn’t want to come forward

I’ll just say that I’ll be waiting in
The pagoda tonight
Beneath the stars,
And I’ll bring some wine on ice

Maybe in the future
We can get married
And live in a small
In the mystic valley I’ve
Been seein’ in my dreams
Again and again,
Like a re-run on T.V.

I’ve got some friends in the valley
They’re waiting for me
One is a shadow that wears a hat,
Who drinks apple tea
The other is
My non-descript woman
Who arouses my libido instinct

There’s not a thing to be jealous about
We’ll eat lots of golden trout

In the mountains of the California Sierras,
The land of my home,
In a mystic dream
Where we don
Fate’s robes
And walk along primitive roads
Heading for constellations—

So you’re sayin’ you didn’t give me the flowers
You’re sayin’ that it’s someone else
You’re sayin’ you still don’t want
A little of the power
Well, that okay, baby,
I knew who gave me the rose after all—

No, I didn’t give them to me
Although that’s very thoughtfully per…
Perceptive of you
(To doo-deuce)
Egotistic clues,

But, no, I know who sent it
It was a woman I knew a long time ago
Whom I really loved once,
But I can’t go that path again
Because I’m still dealing with the aftermath of the sins

So give me a red rose
Give me a golden carnation
Give me a patch of patchouli
And daisies
But not another blue rose,
Not another blue rose
It’s just magnifyin’ my woes

12. Blue Windows

He doesn't dream about guitars
He dreams of women

That are imagined as real
When then
And he imagines them
In his dreams

This is the basis of his existence:
And the instinct for survival

Are all that he possesses:
The availability of

Options and choices
Is a thing of the past:
In the New World
You can work on what makes you contest

It might not be
The most convenient
Means of organizing
Your livelihood,
But however he prays

For his companions that have not
Encountered these obstacles,
He prays for the ones who have,

Who must starve themselves for poetry
The trick is not to see logically,
But to ignore the message
When it
Does overcome you like death,

Like death
Pondering your being
As you fade eternally
Ignore the subject altogether
As you dissipate
See that for posterity
There is no posterity
You are dying

I would rather gaze
Through the windows
All covered with rain

13. Blueberry Hill

Once upon a blueberry hill
Was a marshmallow man
In a swamp
By the calendar lake
With strawberry toppings
And too many photographs
It was already famous
For everyone

Do you see them there?
They’re waving with their
Hooks in their hands
And their spectacled eyes
And their big noses

Do you see the magic carpet
Flyin’ through the air?
Do you know that it’s gotta be
Rainin’ somewhere?

In the desert
Of the great Mojave
Where the steppe meets the pyramids
And the experiments,

Take a whole walk with me
You slither like a serpent
Against the grain

The roads that lead to Rome
Are made for man
The paths that lead to God
We hardly understand

Can you become one?
Ye are gods,
But you’re not God

14. Blue’s Song

I got the blues. I can’t be satisfied
I got the blues. I can’t be satisfied
Gonna be with you, babe, until the day that I die

Come on, baby
Come on, baby, down—
Come on, baby
Ah come on, baby, down

I got the blues in the early mornin’ light
I got the blues in the early mornin’ light,
Drivin’ through the world, thinkin’ what I might

Come on, baby
Come on, baby, quick—
Come on, baby
Come on, baby, quick


Feelin’ like a brick wall, I listened to the dogs
Feelin’ like a brick wall, I’ve listened to the dogs
Tangled up, tortured like a hog

I got the blues! I’m goin’ downriver
I got the blues! I’m goin’ downriver
Ooh, I shake and shiver!

15. Bohemian Troubadour

Bohemian troubadour,
El hombre invisible,
Riding on some coattails,
Reciting the alphabet,
Inventing the Western world,

Bohemian troubadour
Wanting his poetry,
Fragile as a snowflake,
Harder than a riddle,

He warms the basement
He lives in an apartment,
Travels to the Andes,
Remembers the losses,
Wakes up with bed sores,
Changes the channel,
Likes to come over
He used to be a good friend to you,
To all of you!

Bohemia is not just a place
It is a state of mind
The evening is his mistress
He is mostly celibate

Troubadour of pageantry,
He knows of kingdoms and ladies,
And the audience forgets

Bohemian troubadour,
Yea, he’s still alive!
Some say he’s dying
He is still alive!

Bohemian, almost legendary,
He used to be famous
He wasn’t built for steel
Or to be like pennies in a bank

He’s livin’ in a country
He yearns for home
And the faces of friends
What some people want—
To live in a cottage,
But he’ll eat cottage cheese in basil,
Cookin’ onion and tomato
With an endless empire
Needing a guest
To fill the past

Bohemian troubadour
Bohemian troubadour,
El hombre invisible—

16. Boorhead Jones

His name was Boorhead Jones
He was a pirate
He hoarded the treasures
He lived in the tropical cove

Once he was a prince
Whose kingdom was usurped in Italy
He met the Himalayan monks
He lives on the planet Mars
He plays guitar, and he sings,
A gutter-prince Robin Hood
Who invented the wrist-watch

His name was Boorhead Jones
He was a pirate
He hid away in the casks
Treasure from his pillaging,
Pictures of exotic Jews,
Hoarder of treasure
In a tropical cove

He once was a prince

Boorhead Jones
Boorhead Jones
Boorhead Jones
Boorhead Jones, um

When you were
Through the wedding,
You felt your age
fasten your face,
Freezing your heart
And your eyes

The trees surrounding you with their leaves,
Falling, falling,
Downward spiral in the wind
You’re thrashing through them
With your cane, you’re striking
A piece of the wood, and a small child

Your cats are running away
They will not be tamed
You cannot train them

All songs copyright © 2016 by Alan Lewis Silva