A Kind of Revelation

WHERE TO BEGIN

By Joel Van Horne

 

Where to begin?  

With the spring time coming around again

We were drenched in color, it was all we had for medicine

 

Through melting snow

We could see the green begin to grow

Every seed of summer was waiting for the wind to blow

 

And the cold will come again

Like the whole thing never happened

Like the story hadn’t passed the point of no return

We may never learn

 

Where were you when

We were still naïve and innocent?

Clinging to each other, not a tired root in the loose sediment

 

But who wants to know?

Every current has an ebb and flow

And you never know when the uplift will turn to undertow

 

Maybe I’ll be better then

Like the whole thing never happened

Like the story hadn’t passed the point of no return

We may never learn

We may never learn…

 

 

SIRENS OF THE SEA

By Joel Van Horne

 

Morning came golden like the universe was holding kerosene

And Apollo flicked his cigarette

All proud and mighty, trying to bluff out Aphrodite with the queens

But she always has the bigger bet

 

Like the Sirens of the Sea were singing for me

 

There’s no use in hiding that the trident of Poseidon was your crutch

Like everything you touched was water

Out on the high seas, trying to catch a glimpse of Pisces in the rough

But she spit out everything you brought her

 

Like the bells of the St. Marie were ringing for me

 

Like a seaborne symphony was suddenly sounding

And our hearts were the timpani quietly pounding

 

 

STONE AND CLAY

By Joel Van Horne

 

If only this train was bound for glory

If only this heart was made of gold

If only these words could tell the story

Of the kid that kept from getting old

 

But these pages will burn and blow away

And their ashes will turn to stone and clay

 

If only this train was bound for glory

If only these eyes could see it plain

The dust that settles in the early morning

Will be buried by the evening rain

 

But these pages will burn and blow away

And their ashes will turn to stone and clay

 

Nothing is carved in stone

Nothing is carved in stone

Nothing is carved in stone

Nothing is carved in stone

Nothing is carved in stone

Nothing is carved in stone

 

 

GIANTS

By Joel Van Horne

 

Among the giants, I was lying just to try and measure up

Playing David and Goliath, acting like there never was

Something that separates the mighty from the broken winged dove

And I might find it out there hiding, if I was looking hard enough

 

I’ve spent enough time up against the ropes, just praying for the bell

So I know when to pick the stone up, and when to run like hell

 

While all the swarms, they swam the channel, I was standing ankle-deep

Paying dearly for admission, while they were getting in for cheap

Clinging tightly to the guard rails, watching lovers take their leap

Singing “I won’t wet my coat tails”, trying to steal a few more feet

 

And I learned it all from listening to the nocturne of the trees

So I know when to put my fists up, and when to whisper please 

 

Out on the prairie I was praying for a baptism by rain

For all the cherry trees to tremble in some kind of biblical refrain

Like from the moment the first drops fell on my face, I’d feel a change

And then my eyes would train their focus on the words and not the page

 

But I was taking it all for granted, like the sky would never dry

So I know when to take it all in, and when to close my eyes

 

Among the giants, I was lying just to try and measure up

Buying time before they noticed there’s just no way I’d make the cut

Looking straight-faced in the line-up, holding out my empty cup

When a giant dropped his coin in, before my hand could close it shut

 

I’ve seen a flower find its footing in the barren desert soil

So I know when to let it die down and when to bring it to a boil.

 

 

PASSING THROUGH

By Joel Van Horne

 

Suddenly, the spring was the summer

Out of the blue, everything was another color

Looking through the glass at you

 

I could see my own reflection

Next to you, looking back in the same direction

Then your train pulled out of view

 

Was it everything you thought?

Cut the cold hand from the knot

(and forget what you were taught)

Back when silence didn’t ring

But it just somehow seemed to sing out

If it was something I could bring back now…

 

Bathed in a light that seemed everlasting

Until the night it was bright red, flashing blue

I guess we’re all just passing through

Guess we’re all just passing through

We’re all just passing through

 

CAMINO REAL

By Joel Van Horne

 

 

Morning came blurry to watery eyes

Westbound I-80 as the drunken crow flies

We rang every bell down Camino Real

And sang every sad song ‘til every star fell

 

And it’s coming in waves down this royal highway

I can almost make out your name in the constellations

Cause there’s all kinds of ways that the notes find their staves

Just look at all those words on the page getting lost in translation

 

Clouds hug the coast like their leaving for good

And Vollebekk’s calling “she’s just like a book”

She promised she’d warn ya if it wasn’t enough

But old California’s been calling your bluffs

 

And it’s coming in waves down this royal highway

I can almost make out your name in the constellations

And there’s all kinds of ways that the lost can be saved

Just counting all those cracks in the pavement, looking for salvation

 

 

GHOST OF KEROUAC

By Joel Van Horne

 

One of these days I’ll wake up

And one of those waves will catch the light just right

The storm will break up, and the heavens will ignite

 

One of those things they told us

Would never come true just went ahead and did

And the light that holds us turned us back to wide-eyed kids

 

Like a dead poet come back, like the ghost of Kerouac

Like the ocean you’ve been staring at

Is just a photograph she gave ya

And the shores that you swore you were standing on 

Were just a story that you’ve been telling wrong

And you’ve been dwelling on the last line

Like it’s somehow gonna save ya

 

One of these days I’ll wake up

And all of these words will fall right in to place

Just for the sake of giving time a little space

 

One of these days I’ll make up 

For all of the breath I’ve wasted on the rain

And the space I take up won’t be taken in vain

 

Like a dead poet come back, like the ghost of Kerouac

Like the ocean you’ve been staring at

Is just a photograph she gave ya

And the shores that you swore you were standing on 

Were just a story that you’ve been telling wrong

And you’ve been dwelling on the last line

Like it’s somehow gonna save ya

 

 

MINER OF THIS HEART

By Joel Van Horne

 

Miner of this heart, black with soot and dark with stain

Been pushing up these empty carts, been betting on these empty veins

Miner of this heart, breathing in what could one day kill me

Playing every part of this bittersweet symphony

 

But oh, every once in a while

Oh, I can hear the violins

Slowly, the light comes shining in

And the low flame that flickered turns to sunlight on my skin

 

When the stars are veiled, or just altogether imagined

When it’s hard to tell whether what you got’s even worth having

And the only thing turning gold is the leaves in autumn

And it’s hard to sing when you’re standing all the way at the bottom

 

But oh, every once in a while

Oh, I can hear the violins

Slowly, the light comes shining in

And the low flame that flickers turns to sunlight on my skin

 

 

A KIND OF REVELATION

By Joel Van Horne

 

I remember when a song was a kind of revelation, some sort of magic

In the low light, listening close, trying to hear Beethoven’s ghost, come through the static

Out of sight and out of mind, hid away for someone to find, up in the attic

Dust if off and watch it glow, take it back to when it all wasn’t so automatic

 

Now the angels huddle around the upright in the corner of the room

Like they’ve stumbled on the sweetest song, just to play it out of tune

Hear the preacher call out promises that nobody believes

Yeah, we’re climbing up the treetops, just to fall down with the leaves

 

Were we making up everything?  And now we’re waking up from a dream, like it never happened

Scan the stations and turn the dial, can we fake it just for a while? and try to imagine…

 

That the angels crowd the streets and croon in a perfect harmony

And I’m not out here, frozen like the words I couldn’t bring myself to be

All the preachers drank their Matadors and passed out in the park

Where the light won’t be mistaken for a flash out in the dark

Covenhoven (self-titled)

YOUNG AT HEART
Joel Van Horne

I've always been young at heart 

Right from the very start 
Dreaming of where wild things are 
And hitching my wagon to stars 

I'm pinching my hands 'til I'm sure that I'm still alive 
Watching the sand slip through my fingers, I've been 
Abandoning safe bets for fleeting highs 
Hoping the ocean won't take what's materialized too soon... 

I've always been an old soul 
Empty has always been full 
Lost is my own kind of found 
And silence, my favorite sound 

I'm pinching my hands 'til I'm sure that I'm still alive 
Watching the sand slip through my fingers, I've been 
Abandoning safe bets for fleeting highs 
Hoping the ocean won't take what's materialized too soon...

A LOVE SINCERE
Joel Van Horne

In the summer of my seventh year 
I was overcome with a love sincere 
Quiet forests around the still blue waters 
There before us, a single moment taught us 

We will always know where the tall grass grows 
And the sun makes a window in the clouds, where the shadows fill with light 

In another life I was a flower in a meadow 
Sipping soil in the hills of Colorado 

We will always know where the clocks hands slow 
Where the wild winds blow 'cross the Medicine Bows 
We were young and bright eyed 
Standing still and tongue-tied 
Hearing music for the first time 
Symphonies conducted by the swaying grass on the hillsides... 

Staring in to dying embers, forever we thought we'd be the flames 
We promised we'd remember, and like the evergreens we would never change...

MISSING PARTS
Joel Van Horne

Light a fire, this cold night has only just begun 
And I'm a liar for when I told you that soon we would see the sun 
I require a better reason than running just to run 
So light a fire, and we just might escape this web we've spun 

Somewhere out there in the dark 
I still believe we'll find our hearts 
And all we'll need's a tiny spark 
To get 'em started and all our missing parts 
Will be put back again 

Only just yesterday we were slowly dying 
Yeah, the rust was covering up the truth that we were trying 
It's not enough to chop the tree and burn its bleeding limbs 
When the dust settles, it's you and me still stuck beneath our skin 

Somewhere out there in the dark 
I still believe we'll find our hearts 
And all we'll need's a tiny spark 
To get 'em started and all our missing parts 
Will be put back again... 

I will love you like the kids do 
no one else has a clue 
I will love you like the kids do 
cause no one else has the slightest clue 
I will love you like the children do 
no one else has a clue 
I will love you like the kids do 
cause no one else has the slightest clue

WHO COULD CALL ME WRONG?
Joel Van Horne

It's gonna happen, like it or not 
Look all around you, the fire has caught 
It's moving up through your ceilings and floors 
No time to look through your closets and drawers 

Out of the windows, with the black smoke 
Goes the last hope of ever going back 
You couldn't hold on, I wouldn't let go 
But who could call me wrong? 

Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust 
Sometimes the last thing you want to do is the first thing you must 
No use in dreaming of joining the choir 
When you've been living in a building on fire 

Out of the windows, with the black smoke 
Goes the last hope of ever going back 
You couldn't hold on, I wouldn't let go 
But who could call me wrong? 

The ground gave out and down it came 
And all our tears couldn't drown the flames

THESE TEETH
Joel Van Horne

These teeth were made to cut, I 
Have not forgotten but I 
Don't use them like I should, I 
have let them go dull 

The sharp blade I'm holding on to 
It was made to cut and tear through 
All that would stand and try to 
Tame my animal 

I'm perched up high, scanning the plains 
Through these bloodshot eyes, cold as the falling rain 

There's an old black car coming up in the driveway slowly 
And he's holding up a sign for me 
Singing 'who you are is only what you remember of me' 
Can't put my finger on it, I turned my head but never saw anything 

There are white lines on westbound pavement 
And bright signs shouting destinations 
It's no surprise then if I should decide just to see what's there 

And there's an old ghost walking out there somewhere 
Along the coast of the middle of nowhere 
And I've been closer than most might think to becoming his heir 

I'm perched up high, scanning the plains 
Through these bloodshot eyes, cold as the falling rain 

There's an old black car coming up in the driveway slowly 
And he's holding up a sign for me 
Singing 'who you are is only what you remember of me' 
Can't put my finger on it, I turned my head but never saw anything

MY SEARCH PARTY
Joel Van Horne

I've been clinging to the life raft under me 
I've been lost out on the open sea 
I've been waiting here to meet my search party 
While you've been standing, all this time, right in front of me 

No matter what, however near or far 
No matter where you are, I will always be close to you 
Whichever way you take, no matter where you wake up 
I will always be close to you... 

I've been hanging from this limb, about to give 
Looking down with only seconds left to live 
I've been searching for a way to cut me free 
While you've been standing, all this time, right in front of me 

No matter what, however near or far 
No matter where you are, I will always be close to you 
Whichever way you take, no matter where you wake up 
I will always be close to you...

HATCHET
Joel Van Horne

Won't you steer the wheel steady 
And lead us home, leave the last city far behind 
Out there's a stillness standing ready 
Like a treasure for a lucky few to find 
We'll fix our gaze in one direction 
So our veins don't become tired and destitute 
I found my fuel to be no different 
From the water feeding up thirsty willow roots 

Slip down deep in a dream, make it last 'til it seems like the truth 
Moments are passing too fast now, see my last hours die like the spring flowers of my youth 
And all too soon I will be following suit 

In a dear and distant memory, forever our bones belong to a day on down the line 
And like the mirror ponds and meadows, our heads and hearts in shadows of the pines 
We'll take our moments like the monarchs, and our songs will all have sweet and bitter ends 
And like the rusty cans and ruins, we'll become dust and dandelions on the wind 

Slip down deep in a dream, make it last 'til it seems like the truth 
Moments are passing too fast now, see my last hours die like the spring flowers of my youth 
And all too soon I will be following suit 

Swing the hatchet, aim for the roots 
Break the branches and pile them to the roof 
It's all we have, this chance to start again 
So strike the matches, before the rain begins 
In broken fences, I found the frames 
To put my portraits and carve my names 
To places out past where our eyes can never see 
I promise to look for you if you say you'll look for me...

FOREST FIRE
Joel Van Horne

Blank, my paper folded up for flight 
But gravity just pulled it down 
All soiled and worn, a leaf reborn 
To feed the swarms, and I sold it out 
Then sank with all the buoyancy of breath 
As it's exiting my heavy chest 
When all is set a'blaze despite the ways 
You try and change its progress 

When chance lit the forest on fire and leveled all we'd 
Come to love and admire, up through the black floor 
Green stems grew up higher, and from that day we knew 
That flowers would bloom... 

Loose the knot and cut us from the cloth 
These nets that caught our hungry stares 
And showed us sight so plain, as right as rain 
The joy and pain of breathing air 
So open up your lungs and fill them up 
The songs I have sung, they started there 
And this, our hallowed ground now burning down 
The fate our hearts were bound to share 

When chance lit the forest on fire and leveled all we'd 
Come to love and admire, up through the black floor 
Green stems grew up higher, and from that day we knew 
That flowers would bloom...

ONE NIGHT
Joel Van Horne

Maybe we could get lost 
Yeah, we could be across the borderline 
By this time tomorrow as the sun goes down 

I heard they've got a place there 
That no one's bought or claimed their own 
Just the endless open world with no one around 

I just want to feel like we're the last two people alive, for one night 
A long way from home, surrounded by the simple unknown, for one night 

Honey, we've been spending 
All our time just ending days 
In an all too ordinary kind of way, of late 
And honestly, I miss you 
I wanna see your face all framed 
By the starlit skies, and see the ocean in your eyes 
As we wait for the sun to rise 

I just want to feel like we're the last two people alive, for one night 
A long way from home, surrounded by the simple unknown, for one night 

One day divides us, the lights fade behind us as we drive through the great wide open 
Northbound as far as this solid ground can take us, 'cause we're alive
And our eyes are wide with a hope in 'em

MY PARADISE
Joel Van Horne

I'm leaving this morning, for I don't know where 
Why? I'm not exactly sure, or even if I care 
There's been a knocking on my door, but when I look no one's there 
But the air untamed, unbridled, and unaware 

Long forgotten, good and lost 
No trail's been trodden, no range has been crossed 
Time's been frozen, veiled in ice 
This might be my paradise 

I could wear my fingers down to the bone 
Playing and singing, bound for nowhere known 
Up above the tree line, surrounded by sky and stone 
It might be that finally I have found a place to call my home 

Long forgotten, good and lost 
No trail's been trodden, no range has been crossed 
Time's been frozen, veiled in ice 
This might be my paradise, yeah this might be my paradise...


© 2013 - Joel Van Horne (BMI)  All Rights Reserved.
 


 
 
 

"The Wild And Free"

PAST LIFE
 
In a past life, in the last light of a
Summer twilight, we were standing above the
Grand Canyon, holding on to each other
Hand in hand, we were awestruck by the colors
 
Then you asked me if I had another chance
Would I pass you by… never give a second glance?
Well I would do it all over, I would do it all over
I would do it all over, I would do it all over
 
SEE YOU IN THE SPRING
 
I’ll disappear into the trees
To parts that no one ever sees
And if you hear the faint release of my voice
 
Know that I will sing much louder in the spring time
These melodies that cling to life in the winter
Will blossom with the columbine and aster
When snow’s left lingering…
 
And we’ll be blinded by the daylight
Yes, we’ll always find it hiding right in the place we left it
Just hibernating…
 
I’ll disappear out on the open ocean
This sober fear and drunk devotion
Are all that I’ll be taking with me, by choice
 
But know that I will sing
It loud and clear, cause you found me here
And this sound will steer us home
 
See you in the spring, I'll see you in the spring...
 
BLIND SPOTS
 
With all our pains replaced with scars
Like planes mistaken for the stars
We set out hungry like some borrowed drifter’s appetite
 
Colored push-pins stuck in paper maps
And spinning globes, like turning laps
Had us all believing that we were satellites
Cause see those blind spots are beautiful
And I’ve got to see them for myself, not
Through someone else’s lens
Oh, this passenger plane will be our traveling train
But either way we won’t be chained up again
 
And we’ll be pavement-chasing troubadours
Up through the peaks and down to the shores
Cause every place we’ve never seen before’s still waiting
 
Let’s go always where the weather’s changing
Forever leaving, never saying goodbye ‘til the music’s playing
Off the pages…
 
Cause see those blind spots are beautiful
And I’ve got to see them for myself, not
Through someone else’s lens
Oh, this passenger plane will be our traveling train
But either way we won’t be chained up again
 
THE WILD AND FREE
 
I’ve been closing my eyes to see
All the places I’d rather be
We belong in fields of wildflowers
Just losing count of all the days and hours
 
Let’s tell everyone we’re leaving
Just vanish for no good reason
I heard there was better breathing
Out there in the wild and free, cause there is a child in me
 
I’ve been pacing this same old trail
Feels like I’m chasing some unholy grail
We belong to a wild, untethered wind
With our fates like feathers, weathering what ever’s up ahead
 
Let’s tell everyone we’re leaving
Just vanish for no good reason
I heard there was better breathing
Out there in the wild and free, cause there is a child in me
 
I hope these holes in our clothes
Will help us keep from growing old
And let the cold in just enough
To keep us holding on to who we love
And I know this heart was meant for something more
And I know we’re farther gone than ever before
And it all just came into focus
And now we’re standing in the rain, just letting it soak us
 
Let’s tell everyone we’re leaving
Just vanish for no good reason
I heard there was better breathing
Out there in the wild and free, cause there is a child in me
 
LANTERN
 
Well, it’s the way it goes like the hungry crows
Combing the endless highway graves
And like the drifter throws up his thumb and goes
Hoping to find the high he craves
 
And like the ocean shows us what she knows just
Down below the waves
When you’re both the captain calling out and the crewmen crawling out
Just looking up, amazed
 
Isn’t it always the things you try for can float just out of reach
Just a mirage that fades out moments before breaking through the breach
 
Well I guess you pick your poison, and mix the oils and
Water like it will
'Cause it’s a drink of joys and pains and toils
Only the lucky ones can spill
 
And if you feel like running from the fate that’s coming for you
Well you might just get in line
When you’re both the engine turning and the sparkplugs burning out
With just one more hill to climb
 
Isn’t it always the things you try for can float just out of reach
Just a mirage that fades out moments before breaking through the breach
And wasn’t it fall then winter, spring then summer twenty times at least?
And doesn’t it all feel like the perfect sunrise, but your back’s turned to the east?
 
So raise your glass with me
These days are passing us by
No use in asking why
'Cause we’re all fastened to the mast, and
Last I looked, we’re just casting hooks in the wind
Like something is bound to bite
Like the moth is bound to the lantern's light
 
GO EASY
 
Go easy on me, dear
I’ll be there soon
For three seasons, gone wayfaring
But I’ll rest come June
 
And if I leave a sign behind me
Will you try to come and find me?
Through the pines and the snow
Through the tall grass and woodlands
Will you follow my footprints?
To the place that only we know
 
Go easy my darling one
The sea is calm now
There’s no pleasing our restless bones
Save chasing the sun
 
And if I leave a sign behind me
Will you try to come and find me?
Through the pines and the snow
Through the tall grass and woodlands
Will you follow my footprints?
To the place that only we know
 
Follow all the traces that we left
All over the places that we used to know
With only a path through the pines
We could go back and find what we lost
Somewhere along the line
 
SCARS (WHAT WE'RE MADE OF)

 
You wear those scars like proof
That you have lived the truth
'Cause we are meant to fade
It’s what we’re made of
 
A fragile fleeting turn
A candlestick that’s burning
And I’ve been learning how to wake up, to wake up
 
And so, it’s like you’ve always been told
The fire won’t keep you from the cold
But it can glow enough to save us
And though it’ll flicker and spark
The light won’t keep you from the dark
But it will show you what you’re made of, what you’re made of
 
Do you remember when we were ten and still trying
To pretend that we would never be older
Well I remember the cut and I saw your blood and you were crying
All of a sudden we were a little bit colder
 
And so, it’s like you’ve always been told
The fire won’t keep you from the cold
But it can glow enough to save us
And though it’ll flicker and spark
The light won’t keep you from the dark
But it will show you what you’re made of, what you’re made of
 
With parts in disrepair, and the fix was temporary
We were speeding on the spare
With our hearts just spilling out, it was all that we could carry
We were needing proof beyond the shadow of a doubt
 
And so, it’s like we’ve always known
We’ll all be reaping what we’ve sewn
And we won’t be keeping what we’ve saved up
And these scars are proof that we were here
That we were young and free of fear
And we grew old enough to find out
What we’re made of
 
THE MEDICINE

 
Do you remember the first time
Somebody told you to forget everything you know?
Like it was all in the last life
And now it’s time to move on and let it go
 
Well I guess we should’ve known better than to question it
I guess we should’ve known better than to swallow the medicine
We should’ve known better than to shut it out
I guess we should’ve known better than to let it in
 
It could’ve been us in the backseat
It could’ve been us just keeping to ourselves
Like it was all in a daydream
And we can almost remember how it felt
And the way we looked out the windows
And saw the world pass through our reflections
I never thought we could lose our way
I never thought we’d be asking for directions
 
We should’ve known better than to question it
We should’ve known better than to swallow the medicine
I guess we should’ve known better than to shut it out
We should’ve known better than to let it in
 
It was the last thing I heard you say
That it’ll happen anyway
No matter what you do or say
It’s gonna happen anyway.

© 2015.  All lyrics by Joel Van Horne (BMI).