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Sylvanus

by Ben Bruce

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about

"Sylvanus" is filled with songs I've written over the last few years. My songs come from many different inspirations: "Gnossos" is about a man I met while I was living in Austin, Texas, who was out on the streets but sure of his choices that brought him there. The name comes from one of my favorite books, called <i>Been Down So Long, Looks Like Up To Me</i>, by Richard Farina. The protagonist is a man named Gnossos Pappadopoulis, and he is "Exempt, for [he] does not lose [his] cool." So the line, "Before Exemption''s final call..." came from that book and gave the name to the whole piece.

"Green Bandanna" is an actual recounting of one of the early times I spent with my wife.

And then there are songs like "Moment," that came about because I really DID think it was time...

credits

released April 4, 2004

All songwriting credits: Ben Bruce
Recording / mixing credits: Justin Lizama / Solidman Studios

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about

Ben Bruce Seattle

Hey everybody! I’m Ben. I’m a singer and songwriter in Seattle, WA. I’m also a husband and father, a homebrewer, Web master and ideator. I help produce some of the Northwest’s most amazing parties.

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Track Name: Cowboy Lover
You say you found a man to put a ring on your finger,
Darlin’ don’t you know that he’s a deadbeat ringer,
and when he bought that thing it didn’t cost him at all…

You say he singled you out, and then he told you to linger,
Now you sit at home while he’s out dating a singer,
And you know this, and yet you still come when he calls…

Well, he’s a hard-hearted man using love as a cover,
But one man, you say, is as good as another,
Don’t you know you want a man who was raised right by his mother,
‘Cause there ain’t nothing better than a cowboy lover…

You say he treats you right, he put a rose on your pillow,
But later in the park, you’re ‘neath the weeping willow,
Crying to yourself about your circumstance, once again…

You think his interest in you makes him a mighty fine fellow,
But darlin’ that’s a choice and yours has always been yellow,
The way you see yourself defines your situation and I think it’s a sin…

Well, he’s a hard-hearted man using love as a cover,
But one man, you say, is as good as another,
Don’t you know you want a man who was raised right by his mother,
‘Cause there ain’t nothing better than a cowboy lover…
Track Name: Bad Dream
Well I had a bad dream last night
About a war that never ends
And if war means Death, and it surely does,
We ought to leave behind the way that was…

Oh… Cruel Dark, leave me be…
There’s too much sorrow, on too much T.V…
And if I close my eyes, well then I start to weep…
And I’m tired, so tired of sleep…

Well I had a bad dream last night
Our craft was going down
And the Captain’s making small talk
while the Steward serves a round…

Oh… Cruel Dark, leave me be…
There’s too much sorrow, on too much T.V…
And if I close my eyes, well then I start to weep…
And I’‘m tired, so tired of sleep…

And I’m tired, tired of sleep…
And I’m tired of my apathy…
Like the man said, I got to wake up…
Find my voice, yeah, I got to stand up…
Track Name: Green Bandanna
I met a girl, the other day
She caught my eye, yeah, she had a way
A man was singing while we had our first kiss
And then I laughed, oh, it’s bliss

‘Cause she’s a goddess in a green bandanna
She holds my soul in her hand
She says she’s scared but, oh she seems fearless
My god I’m glad to be her man

We lay in bed while it rained outside
It felt like heaven with her there by my side
We spoke of gods and a revolution
Looked in her eyes, I saw oceans

‘Cause she’s a goddess in a green bandanna
And I could be her right hand
She’s got worlds to move, and the fire’s burning
And I will help her if I can

She says she’s worried she may lose herself
I want to tell her I’ve worried the same myself
But they say feeling is the language of soul
And mine is smiling and playing rock and roll

‘Cause she’s a goddess in a green bandanna
And I will come when she calls
She says we’re friends from some former life
But I’m just glad to know her at all

‘Cause she’s a goddess in a green bandanna
She holds my soul in her hand
She says she’s scared but, oh she seems fearless
My god I’m glad to be her man
Track Name: Gnossos
I saw him sitting by the road,
his back was bare and to the wind.
I gave him something for the cold,
he shook his head, and then he grinned.

He said, “I had an old shirt once,
but I threw it away.
Oh Lord, ain’t it cold enough?
I could have used that shirt today.

But I can only really live life my way,
else I’m like a drunk without his wine.
So though I’m lost I’ll go my way,
Well I’m just living and life is fine.

Before I ride into the Light,
Once, before braving all,
Before Exemption’s final call,
Oh, to jump, and not to fall.

And when I die,
Have no regret and heave no sigh.
All great adventures have their time,
And I’ll never run from one of mine.”

We watched as the red sun died,
and he had nothing more to say.
But he looked me in the eye,
and ain’t that the best way?
Track Name: Rise
And if I go down… I may go down but my fist is raised…
And if I go down… I may go down but my fist is raised…
And if I think about it, I wonder why I ever played their game…

And if we go down… We may go down but our flag is raised…
And if we go down… We may go down but our flag is raised…
And if we think about it, we’ll wonder why we ever stayed…

Sometimes, you’ve got to jump, and pray for wings
While others, who can’t abide such things
Remain behind, and watching as you rise,
Will wonder, how you learned to fly…
Will wonder, how you learned to fly…
Track Name: Homesick
Driving past a sea of sunflowers,
I was reminded.

Reminded of Dorothy’s poppies,
I became.

Becoming sleepy all at once,
I dozed.

Dozing lightly in my chair,
I dreamed.

Dreaming of you, lady,
I sighed.
Track Name: Sexy Way
We were hanging, before the show,
and we’re listening to the radio,
and she walked by in a long blue dress,
and when she passed me I lost my breath, and said…

I really love, the way you move…
‘Cause it’s sexy way you groove…

I saw her dancing, in the show,
her hair and eyes, and her oh,
I made my way through the crowd to her side,
and when the music slowed I looked in her eyes, and said…

I really love, the way you move…
‘Cause it’s sexy way you groove…

And then the show ends, we make our way,
but I lost her in the crowd,
and now I spend my time, searching round the world,
and when I find her gonna say to my girl, well…

I really love, the way you move…
‘Cause it’s sexy way you groove…
Track Name: Self-Medicate
Baby left on a southbound, about an hour ago,
She said that it wasn’t fair, so she, yeah she let me go,
I could feel the blues, crawling down my spine,
Don’t know how to make it, without that southern girl of mine.

I guess you know how I’m feeling, yes, you know…

But I won’t go see no doctor, don’t want to hear how my troubles will end,
I’m going to find myself a bottle, I’m going to self-medicate again…
And I know it may take hours, and the price, it may be high,
I’m going to drown this pain and sorrow, else I feel like I’m going to die…

When I got beat down again, my leather jacket stole,
Doctor gave me some advil, said get some rest, and keep it cold,
now you and I both know that this little pill can’t make my throbbing wane
I got to find me another way, I got to self-medicate again…

I guess you know how I’m feeling, yes, you know…

But I won’t go see no doctor, don’t want to hear how my troubles will end,
I’m going to find myself a bottle, I’m going to self-medicate again…
And I know it may take hours, and the price, it may be high,
I’m going to drown this pain and sorrow, else I feel like I’‘m going to die…

Mr. bartender… Don’t give me no Dram Shop Law…
Just lost a woman, just lost the woman I adore…
Just need some place to think, can I sit here at your bar…
I guess you know how I’m feeling, yes, you know…

But I won’t go see no doctor, don’t want to hear how my troubles will end,
I’m going to find myself a bottle, I’m going to self-medicate again…
And I know it may take hours, and the price, it may be high,
I’m going to drown this pain and sorrow, else I feel like I’m going to die…
Track Name: Shaggy Dog (Live) [Bonus Track]
I don’t say we’re dead or doomed already
But you’ve seen the stars are all gone
Don’t you think it might be wise to steady
As the boat goes sailing towards dawn?

When she said she’s leaving me forever
I begged her please, please stay
At the very least, don’t say never
But she just went ahead and walked away

Now I ain’t nothing, I ain’t nothing,
I ain’t nothing but a shaggy dog…

Sometimes love is hard to measure
And you don’t even notice when you are wrong
And you think you’re just in love with pleasure
And you don’t realize until she’s gone

When she said she’s leaving me forever
I begged her please, don’t go
At the very least, don’t say never
But she just went ahead and walked away

Now I ain’t nothing, I ain’t nothing,
I ain’t nothing but a shaggy dog…
Track Name: Moment (Live) [Bonus Track]
Everybody take a moment…
Everybody take a moment…

And we’ll smile, yes we’ll smile…
Oh, it’s time for a happy song…

And we’ll dance, yes we’ll dance…
We haven’t heard one for far too long…

And we’ll sing, yes we’ll sing…
They say that troubles can make you strong…

So we’ll smile, yes we’ll smile…
I said it’s time for a happy song…
Track Name: Storm God (Live) [Bonus Track]
Sometimes I feel that I
was born up in the Sky
and I raise my arms

And then my friend the Wind
comes all blowing in
and She brings me higher

There’s yellow in the air
there’s thunder everywhere
and I feel the pressure

And then the Rain comes down
there’s Lightning all around
and I am a Storm God