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Supporting Musicians:

Lon Williamson
Lis Williamson
Kelly Mulhollan
Donna Mulhollan
Robert Bowlin
Steve Klinck
Susan Douglass Taylor
Freebo
Rob Ickes
Jason Smith
Gary Brown
Michelle Slayton

 

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To purchase with a check,
please send $15 plus $3.50 (US) or $13.50 (international) shipping (per CD) to:

Jack Williams
P.O. Box 846
West Fork, AR 72774

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your order.)

Far Away, Long Ago is my second collection of songs which is a mix from past and present, original and cover, traditional
and brand-new. In keeping with a wish to recapture my unrecorded older material, there are two songs from 1974, balanced
with three from 2015-16. The older material includes two re-recordings of songs from my 1994 CD, Dreams of the Songdog,
along with a pop standard from 1946, as well as a few tunes, upgraded from my rock and roll "dark ages"; old wine in new bottles.
The covers are by Dayna Kurtz, Jack Hardy, Henry Gross/Jack Lawrence, and a revisitation of a folk song, "John Henry".

Song List:

1 .JOHN HENRY 3:58
2. DREAMIN' 2:47
3. AIN'T I A WOMAN (Jack Hardy) 3:14
4. I'LL BE DAMNED 3:05
5. MY LIFE'S COMPANION 3:31
6. VALLEY OF STEEL 4:11
7. I DON'T SING THE BLUES 3:31
8. NEVER SAY GOODBYE 4:24
9. BANKS OF THE EDISTO (Dayna Kurtz) 3:12
10. TURNING AWAY 3:54
11. TUESDAY AT THE CANDLELIGHT 2:59
12. FAR AWAY, LONG AGO 3:28
13. SAIL ON 4:20
14. SING-SONG WORLD 3:39
15. TENDERLY (Jack Lawrence, Henry Gross) 1:51

Lyrics:

1. JOHN HENRY

When John Henry was a little bitty baby
Sitting on his daddy’s knee
He picked up a hammer and a little piece of steel
Said this hammer’s going to be the death of me

John Henry said to his sweet little mama,
Says "A man ain't nothin but a man,
Before I let that steam drill beat me down,
I'll die with a hammer in my hand”

John Henry went up to the mountain
Looked one eye right up the side.
The mountain so tall, John Henry so small,
He set down his hammer and he cried

John Henry had a pretty little wife
Her name was Polly Ann
When Johnnie took sick and he had to go to bed
Polly drove that steel just like a man

“John Henry” cried the captain
This mountain is caving in
John Henry just laughed at the captain and said,
That’s nothing but my hammer sucking wind

Now, every, every Monday morning
Before that little blue bird sings
You can hear John Henry
from a mile or more
Hear John Henry's hammer ring

Well John Henry drove into the mountain,
His hammer was strikin' fire
He drove so hard he broke his poor heart
And he laid down his hammer and he died

They took John Henry to the graveyard
Laid him way down in the sand
Every locomotive comes rolling by
Says there lies a steel-drivin' man

2. DREAMIN'

I'm dreamin' of a new world
Where time don't move so slow.
I'm dreamin' of a new world
Where time don't move so slow.
I'm dreamin' of a new life
Where the past don't hurt me so.

I'm dreamin' of your brown eyes
And the love that made them shine.
I'm dreamin' of your brown eyes
And the love that made them shine.
The tears fell all around me
When leavin' crossed your mind.

I'm dreamin' of an oak tree
With roots deep in the ground.
I'm dreamin' of an oak tree
With roots deep in the ground.
I'm wishin' I'd been a good man
Who could never let you down.

I'm dreamin' of my mama,
She knew I was untrue.
I'm dreamin' of my mama,
She knew I was untrue.
She hurt me with her last words:
That girl's too good for you

3. AIN’T I A WOMAN (SAID SOJOURNER TRUTH) (Jack Hardy)

Ain’t I a woman, said Sojourner Truth, Ain’t I a woman
Ain’t I a woman, said Sojourner Truth, Ain’t I a woman

I can bear the lash, I have borne the lash
When none but Jesus heard me
I’ve borne 13 children, most of them sold
Sold off into slavery

I can eat as much, I can work as much
As any man can when I can get it
I’ve plowed and planted, and gathered in the barn
And look at me, I’m a woman

If the very first woman turned the world upside down
And all of those women together
Could turn this world back right-side up
Then the men just better let ‘em

There’s a man over there says shut  my mouth
‘Cause Christ was not a woman
I got only one question for that man
Where did your Christ come from?

He came from a woman
He came from a woman
Came from God and a woman and there weren’t no man
Man didn’t have a thing to do with it

Ain’t I a woman, said Sojourner Truth, Aint I a woman
Ain’t I a woman, said Sojourner Truth, Aint I a woman

4. I'LL BE DAMNED

I drove a ragged mile,
The moon above my car,
Just to ask your perfect friends
Just how you really are.
They said "She's up for sale,
Her faith is gone for good."
"What faith?" I asked, they replied,
"That rock where you once stood."

You raised your hand to speak,
A light went off somewhere.
I watched your message vanish
In the frozen air.
No one could melt the silence
That rose out of my mouth.
I left you in my power and I
Drove off, heading south.

CHORUS   But I'll be damned if I believe
That I could cause such pain!
You've got your freedom
And your good name.
And I'll be damned if I'll be
Made to question what I am!
But if I'm wrong this time...
I could be wrong this time...
If I've done you wrong this time,
I'll be damned.

I guess I stayed too long
On the outer fringe of love.
The safety of your harbor
Wasn't sweet enough.
Now I can’t name the danger
That robs me of my peace.
I can't feel your tenderness,
My walls are much too steep.

5. MY LIFE’S COMPANION

There is a long-forgotten valley
Within a god-forsaken land
No water flows down from the mountains
No sign of Nature’s healing hand

There is a house with no foundation
Above a grave that held no bone
Beneath a tree that gave no shelter
Beside a river made of stone

But there’s a vision over yonder
And words of love that soothe my ears
Could it be my life’s companion
Come back to me after all these years

No swallow flies above this valley
No serpent crawls beneath the ground
No butterflies, no lovely flowers
No source of light has yet been found

I walk alone along this valley
I search in vain to see the sky
There is no cloud to mark my passing
There is no moon to hear me cry

6. VALLEY OF STEEL

Asphalt lays across the city tonight
Like a chain upon my heart.
Four-lane ribbons through towers of light
Designed to keep us apart.
Maybe it's a symbol of progress;
Maybe it's a sign of life...
I don't know. It's unreal.
You left home to be somethin' you're not;
You left wounds that would not mend,
To the valley of steel. To the valley of steel.

Children laugh across the river tonight
In a land lost in time.
We were innocent in our golden  years
And I swore you'd be mine.
Maybe something changed inside you.
Maybe someone called your name...
I don't know. It's unreal.
One day shy of seventeen
You were gone out of my life
To the valley of steel. To the valley of steel.

Down where the night and the city collide
Burns an uncontrollable fire.
Down through the caverns and canyons below
Runs a river of desire.
Maybe it's the fire of longing;
Maybe it's a river of love...
I don't know. It's unreal.
How did I come to love you so much,
And why did I let you go
To the valley of steel? To the valley of steel.

7. I DON'T SING THE BLUES

I don't ride the spirit subway
When there's a much higher road to use.
I don't ride the spirit subway
When there's a much higher road to use.
I don't look for trouble,
And I sure don't sing the blues.

I got a face white as sheetrock
And a voice like Howard Hughes
I got a face white as sheetrock
And a voice like Howard Hughes
I can't sing like John Lee Hooker
Ain't got no bidness singin’ the blues

Roll over, Beethoven,
Tell Tschaikovsky the news
Roll over, Beethoven,
Tell Tschaikovsky the news
There's a white guy here from Boston
He says he knows how to sing the blues

I got a worm that whistles
I got a worm that sings
I got a worm that whistles
I got a worm that sings
Got a white bread education
Didn't learn one blessed thing

Roll over, Muddy Waters,
Tell Reverend Davis the news,
Roll over, Muddy Waters,
Pass Bookbinder the booze
I was born in Carolina,
But I sure don’t sing the blues.

8. NEVER SAY GOODBYE

Standing on the mainline
Waitin' for my ride to come
A chilly rain is fallin'
My hands are cold, my mind is numb
It's anybody's highway, rollin' through the plains
Statues of the weary, thumbin' in the rain
A beaten race of people
Tired of standin', doomed to run

Crazy eyes are gleamin',
A stranger holds a light to you.
Neon walls are screamin',
She always seemed so right to you.
The mattress looks like heaven, lyin' on the floor.
Somebody else is watching, just outside the door.
One moment's terrible pleasure...
The stranger says, Good night to you.

I’ve got to beat this demon down,
Find myself a brand new town.
When that last train leaves, babe,
Ride it all the way to the sky...
Never say goodbye, Never say goodbye.
When that last train leaves, babe, Never say goodbye.

You're locked up in your memory,
Things ain't like they used to seem.
You don't fit the master pattern,
You're just a flicker on a silver screen.
You've talked to all the people, practiced being kind,
But they're busy being careful, beautiful and blind,
And they're lookin' right through you
As you break out all the windows of their dreams.

9. BANKS OF THE EDISTO (Dayna Kurtz)

I've been lazy, I've been overfed
I've been thinking too much with my head
I was dreaming about the life you led
On the banks of the Edisto

On the banks of the Edisto
Where the sweet gum and the cypress grows
I want to know what the cypress knows
On the banks of the Edisto

Where'd you go, when you died my friend
Do you see us, did your soul ascend
And I listened, for his answer then
On the banks of the Edisto

Heaven's here where the barred owl cries
Where the smile meets my sweetheart's eyes
I'll be right here taming dragonflies
Only heaven I need to know

10. TURNING AWAY

When it feels like the end of the line
And your heart beats way out of time,
And your ivory tower crumbles before your eyes,
When the light that always shines true
Somehow isn't shinin' on you,
And your house don't feel like a home
You can come into mine.

When your bankbook forfeits your last,
And the movers drive away with your past,
And you cast your fate to the chill of the driving rain,
You'll awake and not find me there,
You might believe I don't really care.
I'm just not the kind
Who can easily share in your pain.

I will not be turning away.
I will not be turning away.
When the light that always shines true
Somehow isn't shinin' on you,
I will not be turning away.

I'm the wail of a train passing by.
I'm the high vapor trail in the sky.
I'm the wake of a south-bound ship out on the gulf.
I'm sailing the tears that you cried,
I'm riding the winds of your sigh,
I'm just not the kind
Who can easily offer my love.

11. TUESDAY AT THE CANDLELIGHT CLUB

Tuesday night at the Candlelight.
My courage is risin' and my future is bright.
I'm sorry, my friend, if your car won't go...
There's someone inside here I'm dyin' to know...
I'm dyin' to know.

Toolin' ‘round in my '49.
Dancin' like a crazy man in three-quarter time.
I'm too tired for lovin' but I'm flush with the glow
Of someone inside here I'm dyin' to know...
I'm dyin' to know.

Winding away down the broken back stairs
Out into the air...it's so crazy.
Never you mind if we run short of time,
I've got love on my mind and I'm lazy... I'm so lazy.

Oh, what a Tuesday, 1962.
I'm goin' to heaven and I'm goin' with you.
I'm not very old, but I'm wise for my years,
And there's someone inside here,
She often appears
Like a song, like a bird, like a dream,
Like a Tuesday at the Candlelight Club.

12. FAR AWAY, LONG AGO

Last night I had a dream
I took a ride somewhere
Guided by a moonbeam
Honeysuckle in the air
I stood upon a hillside
Saw people down below
Moving like the ebb tide
Far away and long ago

Saw the house that I grew up in
I saw me as a kid
I saw what I believed in
And the amazing things we did
Saw Mama in the backyard
Singing sweet and low
Saw Daddy in the big war
Far away and long ago

I was born a dreamer
That's all I've ever known
I dreamed I lived forever
Then I felt the wind blow

I heard a cuckoo singing
Hidden in the trees
Heard a schoolbell ringing
And it brought me to my knees
Saw an engine in the trainyard
I wondered where it longed to go
I saw me in a boxcar
Far away and long ago

I stand before the seasons
I serenade the past
I need no rhyme or reason
To love what cannot last
For now my dream has ended
The wind has ceased to blow
The future is suspended
Far away and long ago

13. SAIL ON

Sail on, sail on, silver dream
Sail on, sail on, tonight
Sail on, sail on, across the sea
So high, so fine, so bright

Dance on, dance on, movie queen
Dance on, dance on, tonight
Dance on, dance on, the silver screen
So high, so fine, so bright

I dreamed a setting sun, a blue lagoon
The shore grew white below the August moon
Scented breezes blow the night into the dawn
Island comfort me, Sail on
Island comfort me, Sail on

Sing on, sing on, mourning dove
Sing on, sing on, tonight
Sing on, sing on, of hopeless love
So high, so fine, so bright

14. SING-SONG WORLD

Here’s one for the money
And one for love
And one for the hungry
Seems we never get enough
Here’s one for the dancer
And one for the chef
One for your Mama
And one for yourself

Here’s one for the falcon
And one for the duck
One for the troubadour
Sleepin’ in a truck
Here’s one for the beauty
And one for the beast
One for the choir-boy
And one for the priest

It’s a sing-song world
The music never ends
[Everyone can be a friend]
The moon and stars go ‘round and ‘round
A sing-song world

Here’s one for the lily
And one for the rose
One for the honeybee
That stung me on the nose
Here’s one for the future
And one for the past
One for the moment
Slips away so fast

Here’s one for the Hatter
And one for the Hare
One for the Dormouse
Who really isn’t there
Here’s one for the crescent
And one for the cross
And one for the wanderers
Who never get lost