Red​-​Winged Blackbird Man

by Mike Mangione & The Kin

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1.
Lonely is the shadow lit by the moon Heavy is the burden that comes too soon The fields are hot and heavy and filled with stone I’m going to work the land of my father ‘till the seed has been sown I’m going to make it rain somehow I’m gonna make it rain somehow On the fields of evermore My hands have learned from watching, my heart from pain When the bundle falls we’ll burn ‘em all to refine the yield again My cracked hands hold the rhythm I walk the furrow with an offering I cant wash my hands too often boys on account of the burn and sting I’m going to make it rain somehow I’m gonna make it rain somehow On the fields of evermore Mercy come and hold me now and get behind the plow Mercy come and hold me now get behind the plow Mercy, mercy hold on get behind the fields of evermore
2.
Lover, will you pardon me Will you let me sing to you Can you hear me singing In the moment of decision I tremble dear I pace the steps that fell from where I’ve come Nothing here can save me now Just say the words I’m yours But can you love me falling I remember when, I could rest with ease I could love and please my brother Did I please you And the strength of emotions Can make a man divine To sacrifice himself for love, but they also make me crazy Nothing here can save me now Say the words I’m yours But can you love me falling Can you love me falling Because I need I need I need I need Through the veil your heart bleeds to mine
3.
Cold cold ground, don’t you ever come around Cold cold ground, don’t you ever come around I heard a songbird hanging from the willow tree I was tongue tied and stumbling on a whisper in my teeth I threw back my head boys to catch the bird to see As the branches we’re swinging there was no one there but me Cold cold ground, don’t you ever come around Cold cold ground, don’t you ever come around I dreamt of you girl, singing out my song Nothing between us, my words upon your tongue We were flesh to flesh babe, I traced you with my trembling hand When I awoke I was nothing of a man Cold cold ground, don’t you ever come around Cold cold ground, don’t you ever come around Everyone suffers, everyone steals No one can tell me not to feel this way I feel So I’m leaving Kansas, I’m leaving my memory I’m running west girl, where the ground meets the sea
4.
Weather and stone, we reach for protection Weather and stone, an echo of rejection Weather and stone, let your water heal You gonna make me lose my mind, going to make me feel Weather and stone, Every prophet needs protection Weather and stone, the rock hollowed by the water’s direction Weather and stone, they claw and they scream You gonna make me lose my mind, going to make me tear the seam ’cause I wanna be someone, I want to leave this town Dust on an open road, I’ll float above the ground Where the flowing waters bound And the singer’s song is sound Where my hang ups are falling down With the cares I throw around Fire and stone, burn me and the troubles I’ve known Fire and stone, wind my flesh around the truth of the bone Fire and stone, purify the death I’ve grown You gonna make me loose my mind, gonna make me run back home Cause I wanna love someone, I want to hear my name Beyond the city limit line, only words remain But someone else feels the same And their touch will cure with pain Lips that set my chest aflame To burn this heart of shame And I have no one but myself to blame For the weeds that choked the grain And we’ll surrender before the weathers aim And with the rock it will reclaim
5.
Roll along the river in a police car Though the water flows you won’t get very far She rocked my soul and taught me to swim But a rock sinks fast and I’m wearing thin Fields of brown and sky of grey butterflies have all been chased away Nothing left here to say But am I in love with you or what I think is true She knocked me right between the eyes Yeah I got a burn in my belly that I realize She left me hanging not once but twice Now I got a burn in my belly and it’s feeling nice Amber waves and fields of grain There must be joy around the corner cause I’m feeling pain I fight myself to keep me sane So am I in love with you or what I think is true Lights are flashing red and blue Well moments pass, and this one too Every day we breath we have to choose I got a burn in my belly and so do you Yeah I got a burn in my belly and so do you
6.
I was born from my mother with a second wind so that’s when my thoughts turn on I can balance charm on a barbed wire with a mouth like a golden gun That horizon there been smokin’ for an hour now It’s best I get moving on Something about you I can’t run from It keeps me from going wild They sell low grade goods for a high price They don’t want the man they want the child That horizon there been smokin’ for an hour now If I die I might regret it for awhile You stood on a flame in a white dress I got blood dripping off my hands I aint no phoenix rising I’m the red winged blackbird man That horizon there been smokin’ for an hour now we should run while we can All is quiet on the western front My feet are shuffling on my grave I’ll take a bullet for beauty baby mama They might even call me brave That horizon there been smokin’ for an hour now If we move we might be saved I think I’ll go back to the Midwest In those fields where I can see I don’t think its that I ain’t forgotten you It’s you ain’t forgotten me That horizon there been smokin’ for an hour now I think its time I go see my family
7.
I can’t even hear no more and nothings coming back I took the low one cause the high road was painted back Seventeen when I left my home, running from nothing Cigarettes and alcohol swaying to my mood The ground will rise to slap you while your dancing with its moon Whats to lose when there’s no time to think And I have been drinking Oh American Martyr She was running from something big and I had found a car We’d spit out drunken dreams, how she would be a star She gave me fever, I kept her warm at night I called her my baby There was nothing like the next town always something to see But he liked her dancing then she forgotten me Around a pole she makes enough to eat Hell I didn’t know she was hungry Oh American Martyr It must have been Warrensburg or the town before that He held a job for me tapping tanks and fixing flats I brushed my teeth in a meth bed bucket And dreamed of my baby The cracked riddled windowpane could blow back your hair A unisex bathroom with names scratched everywhere Its hard to build a dream on a rotting frame….he said at least I’ve been trying
8.
Well things grew tired and we left there quick We couldn’t find a place to stick Circling ‘round from town to town where the money was coming in And the times were right for a sabotage Hearts were heavy as the wounds were large We ached to move but we were really starved for something to keep us still We’d say someday somebody, somewhere somehow Somewhere somehow Someday, somebody Someday We could eat so much that we would get sick Jimmy had the money but his money was quick And the music grew heavy it was all around we started to go deaf The back stage betties held the curtains wide Truth was a flake and he often lied I found truth was nothing but a passerby who believed what I wanted Id say someday, somebody, somewhere somehow Somewhere somehow someday somebody Someday She could move around her room off her instinct Played her music where the boys would drink And her lace hid nothing but the truth that she had everything to lose She was from the west where the sun laid down Her feet burned for familiar ground I held her hand and her body was found as I whispered her her name I said someday, somebody yeah somewhere somehow, somewhere somehow, someday somebody
9.
There was water in the air when the verdict came Three men are hanging out on county cane They said don’t give a damn about the men we hanged Because they were looking for trouble and their trouble came His mother stayed standing by her baby’s side And I can handle anything but that look in her eyes As the storm came coming her baby died I took my boys hand and pushed him off inside. I can’t explain everything I saw When the water fell I felt it fall I held the feet of a Nazarene My hands are stained I want them clean It had to be three when I heard them call That storms coming lets remove them all His mother’s knees fell to the ground And the sky was the color of a wedding gown The soldier walked up to the condemned mans side To test his wounds to assure he died When his spear came up the sky it cried The earth moaned and split open wide I can’t explain everything I saw When the water fell I felt it fall I held the feet of a Nazarene My hands are stained I want them clean I remember what the third man said in his dying prayer You took him in and you affirmed him there In those last words I echo his plea When this storm is through will you remember me
10.
It was many years ago when the signs did show And the people all reacted the same With each year that past, the longer it last One by one we lost our titles and names You could see in our eyes the memories had died The stories never started the same We searched for some reason and the changing of season As we’d dream for home once again Father take hold of your son’s hand Mother to your daughter remain Brother hold dear your sister in fear For those days we’re returning again Contradiction will reign when your led by insane And the base of the well will run dry They torture the weak and turn their cheek An eye for and eye as were all going blind We fight to protect live to die with respect They say we’re free to choose all but the same But the echo it grows as we yearn for the rose And we dream of home once again Mother take hold of your sons hand Father to your daughter remain Sister hold dear your brother in fear

about

Mike Mangione & The Union is a touring group that combines a folk-rock sound with an orchestrated string section, soulful vocals and literate sensibility. "Time Out Chicago" has aptly described Mike Mangione & The Union as, “a more atmospheric take on folk-rock.” Their first album, Tenebrae (2008), was warmly received in the press. "All Music Guide" selected their work as an “Album Pick," "New York Magazine" spotlighted the band, while "Blurt Magazine" referred to the “tear-stained folk, Memphis-styled gospel and bluesy-flavored pop” as “luminous.” In 2010 they released Offering on their own imprint, RODZINKA Records, with sync and digital licensing by DUALTONE Records. They average 100+ dates yearly and have toured as far as Asia, Europe, and Canada. On September 3rd, 2013, they will release yet another album, Red-Winged Blackbird Man, produced by Grammy-nominated producer, Bo Ramsey (Lucinda Williams, Greg Brown, Iris DeMent).

credits

released September 3, 2013

Produced by Bo Ramsey
Engineered by John Svec, Iowa City, IA
Mixed with Tom Tucker, Minneapolis, MN
Mastered at Yesmaster, Nashville, TN
Cover Art by Ruthie Hoctor

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Mike Mangione & The Kin Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mike Mangione & The Union is a touring group that combines a folk-rock sound with an orchestrated string section, soulful vocals and literate sensibility. In the fall of 2013 they will release their third studio album, Red-Winged Blackbird Man, produced by Grammy-nominated producer, Bo Ramsey (Lucinda Williams, Greg Brown, Iris DeMent). ... more

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