Alameda Lyrics

“Alameda” album lyrics
All songs written by Jefferson Hamer

1. Alameda

I was born and I was raised
Where the valley meets the bay
All I own I carry around
Guadeloupe, San Jose
I haven’t had a place
since Alameda moved away
I’ve got nowhere to go
I’ve got nowhere to stay
But all along the freeway
The houses that we built
Where lemon trees once grew in rows
Beneath the golden hills

When I lived with Alameda
We could walk to Diridon
Drive up the peninsula
Head out to Ben Lomond
The fog rolled in the valley
As the sun set in the west
I pressed a turquoise to her palm
And held it to her breast
Up on Montebello mountain
Diablo burning bright
She told me she was leaving
And the day it turned to night

I’ve got a friend in Monterey
I’ve known him all my life
He was hiring hands for the market stands
It was almost harvest time
But all across the valley
The fields were brown and bare
It hadn’t rained in a hundred days
There was no work anywhere
We sat and drank Modelos
And talked of better times
But not of Alameda
The one thing on my mind

Now every night I wonder
Will this one be the last
I’ve got nothing they could take away
But they might not stop and ask
It’s dangerous in the open
It’s hard to trust your friends
The police keep us moving
I wish they’d just take us in
I hear there’s work in Gilroy
I aint got no wheels
I think I hear Alameda say
(dig in with your heels)

2. Moving Day

They took their names down off the front door
Pulled the sign down from the drive
And they packed the plates and the glasses
Wrapped newspaper ‘round the knives
Made the rounds to their best neighbors
Just the ones who knew their names
Had a beer out in the backyard
Took the pictures and left the frames

And they packed a few belongings
And left the rest behind
In bags out on the corner
For the Wednesday truck to find
Left at dawn the next morning
For a long hot two day drive
With nothing but each other
That was left of their old lives

No one knows them where they’re going
No one knows what they might find
Just the wild eye of the city
To watch over them at night
Who knows if they’ll stay together
Or if they’ll go their separate ways
But they never loved each other
Like they did on moving day
No they never loved each other
Like they did on moving day

3. Vagabond

There was moonlight on the water
When you left your family home
Just you and your sworn brother
Until you found yourself alone
So you walked along the border
Steering wide of every town
Wondering who your friends were
And where to settle down

Vagabond, you’re welcome here anytime

You finally made a dollar
Now it’s two you’ll have to spend
And you found yourself a lover
Just to lose another friend
You might not trust the honeybee
Once you felt the hornet sting
But when someone throws you a lifeline
You hold on to the string

Vagabond, you’re welcome here anytime

4. Busker

The sun comes up, it’s morning on the square
The silver girl is waking up for a long day at the fair
Rolling out her costume, she shuffles into town
And the children gather round, throwing pennies, throwing pounds
Since the curtain fell, on the circus of the sun
She’s living in Salt Hill, in a blue Westphalia ’81

Mary plays a teardrop, a teardrop mandolin
Her band waits at the border, for the man to let ‘em in
Piper he was finished, and about to pack it in
He heard a rattle in his tin, it was Mary threw it in
Saying ‘here’s one for the busker, he could use a friend’
‘It takes one to know one, we should start a band’

One for the busker, and one for the band
One for the piper with his pockets full of sand
One Hari-Krishna, a drum in his hand
Whisper on willow, lone willow tree
And see the bright dream does not vanish

The sun is high, high above the square
Sam slept in ’til noon, there’s no room anywhere
He goes to the seaside, and walks the promenade
And he fell in time with the second line, of a Dixieland parade
Behind the blues man, and the buccaneers, and yogi on his chin
Silver says ‘over here, my show is about to begin’

One for the busker, and one for the band
Sing us Hallelujah on the Takamine tan
One in the bunkhouse, one out in the van
Whisper on willow, lone willow tree
And see the bright dream does not vanish

The lights come up above the stage
And we’re all down in the old town with our pockets full of change
Mary’s band is playing hand-me-downs
Until it’s last call for the road, we all have another round
And Sam sleeps solitarily, beneath the bright moonbeams
Piper sleeps with Mary, but the silver girl is with him in his dreams

One for the busker, and one for the band
One for all, and everyone, a quarter in the can
One for the new kid, better watch out old man
Whisper on willow, lone willow tree
And see the bright dream does not vanish

5. Champlain

One bright summer’s morning, in the long year of ’01
I couldn’t face my workplace, so I chased the northern sun
Where the highway 89 divides the state in twain
Somewhere in the valley of Samuel D. Champlain

My Loyale started smoking, just as I turned for home
The corner store was open, so I asked to use the phone
She said ‘you missed the bus, and we both know there’s no train’
‘Why don’t you come and stay with us tonight by Lake Champlain’

She took me to her father’s house on the ferry landing road
Walked me up the driveway in a dress her mother sewed
She said she was a singer and was trying to make a name
Out beyond the valley of Samuel D. Champlain

We sat out on the back porch and sang a midnight song
I joined in on the chorus like I’d known it all along
She was leaving in the morning, how could I refrain
From going on a tour with the Lady of Champlain

We went to California, no money for our beds
Crossed the northern border, Stan Rogers in our heads
Rode the Anacortes ferry through the Oceania rain
Ten thousand miles and back again with the lady of Champlain

Late night in the guest house she packed up in a rush
I don’t know if I said too little or if I said too much
You never know how good things were ’til they end and then it’s plain
I never could stay mad at her, the Lady of Champlain

6. Vision

Go on, realize your vision
Go on, take it by the hand
No one will keep your candle burning
Brighter than you can

You’ve wandered searching for your footsteps
And your heart a cruel master has been
You thought the river ran against you
It was waiting for you to dive in

Every day has been in preparation
Your lifetime is about to begin
So go on, realize your vision
It’s your world to build
It’s your hand to lend

I’m here to help you find your vision
For I can see things you cannot see
I’m here to help you paint your portrait
And I need you to do the same for me

All of your friends are behind you now
In a soft bed tonight you will lay
So go on, realize your vision
Tell us what you’ve learned
At the end of the day

Go on, go on, realize your vision

7. The Man In love With Everyone

Here’s a story of the man in love with everyone
He thinks that he’s the man you want to be
Does he tell you that you’re so pretty
Prettiest face in all of the city
Only gonna show you just what you want to see
It’s the story of the man in love with everyone

It’s a different story for the man in love with only you
He hears your name said aloud in every room
Walking down the avenue so wide
He thinks he sees you on the other side
And you’re somewhere else, but never far from his view
It’s not so fun for the man in love with only you

But you get things done with the man in love with everyone
He’ll tell you that you did everything just right
He’s got a friend he’d like you to meet
You look good together walking down the street
Don’t waste a minute, he’ll forget it in a year or two
You get things done with the man in love with everyone

But the passion of the man in love with only you
It’s a bridge you’ve got to cross, you’ve got to burn
When he takes your hand with a trembling touch
You ask yourself, am I worth this much
Don’t mean to be cruel, I guess you’ll have to learn
To forget about the man in love with only you

8. Wolves

Don’t let the wolves
Crowd around your door
Tell ‘em they’re not welcome any more
Tell ‘em they must have the wrong floor
And all the howling is just a bore

Those things you said
Can’t box you in
The clothes you wear, and the places that you’ve been
If you miss them, there will always be more
Wild wolves, to crowd around your door

I’ve been in your shoes
I’ve been in theirs
I’ve waited weeks now at the bottom of your stairs
Get dressed, nightfall is coming
And all around the house, wild wolves will soon be running

You could wait forever
In the tallest tower
Your fine yellow hair growing longer and longer
Or draw the curtains, unbolt the door
And choose the one you most adore

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