Bells Will Ring

by John Donovan

supported by
/
  • Streaming + Download

    Purchasable with gift card

     

1.
02:54
1865 I'm up, I'm alive I'll be outside to greet you soon I see the golden kite I see the waiting light the crowing winter afternoon and oh, the city in the sand and oh, the mask in your hand 1864 We were so young and poor We gave our troubles to the sky We fell into the sea We fell under the trees We fell in love to pass the time and oh, the stars were everywhere and oh, the sunset on your hair 1865 The wind is in your eyes The earth is shaking under you and it's so very clear that there's nobody here who knows me better than you do and oh, my pockets full of thread and oh, the animals they fled and oh, your footprints by the stream and oh, a fire in your dream
2.
Somewhere after sunrise and before the end of time you were painting love on water when I heard your heartbeat chime In your right hand was a feather In your left hand was a flame and when I spoke to you, you were impossible to name I fell into an honest trap I fell right on the floor I was dragged out to the same place I've been dragged out to before Now that is where I'm waiting, thrown out in the rain, and that is where I'm finding you impossible to name I keep dialing the wrong number and you keep picking up I keep talking about something but you can't remember what Your eyes may be familiar, your face inside a frame, but here I am still finding you impossible to name If I had never known you, if our paths had never crossed, I never would admit it but I surely would be lost so I try to call out to you but my confidence is tamed and here I am still finding you impossible to name
3.
All of the voices throughout my life join together in one great sound and all of the roads I've ever taken come together and loop around And I never said I was a martyr but now that's all you talk about and all of the walls in this great city they know me well but the keep me out And all of the people I've never talked to hiss at me when I turn my head and all of the nightmares I haven't had yet are waiting for me to return to bed And I never said I understood you I just said that you've got what I want and all of the walls in this great city they know just how to disappoint And all of the things that will come after are all that I can think about Will you fall into my story or will you find a different route? Well I never said I would know the ending I never said I had a plan but all of the walls in this great city are growing higher as fast as they can
4.
Oh brother, brother Jonathan Brother Jonathan Tell me where did you go when the light was low Brother, will I see you again? Did you go, did you go down the long dirt road? Did you go down the long dirt road to the southern field where the angels kneel in the light of a silver glow? Or did you go, did you go where the poor boys play? Did you go where the poor boys play where the lightning hits and the mountain splits and the hours float away? Oh when you, when you return once more when you return once more the birds will sing and bells will ring from shore to solemn shore Oh brother, brother Jonathan Brother Jonathan Tell me where did you go when the light was low Brother, will I see you again?
5.
04:12
So farewell to you now So farewell to you So farewell to you now So farewell to you Don't you see, see the light burning out in the night? So farewell to you now So farewell to you And I may not have seen it right away but you're just like a stormy day And I may not have seen it right away but you're just like a boat floating away So farewell to you now So farewell to you So farewell to you now So farewell to you
6.
The West pins down the windy South in a sibling's grip and it can't slip out the sky runs back behind the clouds and I'm watching the clock again Hesitations like the floor a summer breeze swings the door and I think I'm alright but I can't be sure so I'm watching the clock again Hidden in the morning dew is a beautiful memory waiting for you You never told me but I know it's true you may never come back again Conversations overheard flock like every fearful bird and ring in every piercing word you may never come back again Well they took you in and they chained your wrists You were thrown around by a hundred fists After the springtime hit you never were the same again Up and down don't mean a thing I see you there, you hear me sing After the sky caved in you never were the same again And if I told you I was a stray would you send someone to take me away? You know you couldn't name a price I wouldn't pay to make you come back again 'Cause the things that stay moving when you're not around are driving me slowly into the ground and I'm hoping that someday you'll hear this sound and it'll make you come back again
7.
I saw a cloud it looked like you I sat and watched all afternoon until the wind took you away across the city I caught a plane as soon as I could I chased your cloud around the world until at last you stopped in Prague in the Czech Republic The city shone the moon was bright and then your cloud flew out of sight so I took a train and followed you west straight through to Paris Right when I got off the train my weary eyes were filled with rain and I couldn't see just where the rain was falling from I asked around no one had seen this cloud that I was following the rain stopped, the sky was clear and I walked downtown The sun rose that early hour I ventured up the Eiffel Tower and I looked for you every direction all morning long and I saw a cloud it looked like you I sat and watched all afternoon until the wind took you away across the city

about

In the early years of the United States, the personification of a typical American revolutionary (or of the nation as a whole) was a cartoon character named Brother Jonathan. He was eventually overtaken in popularity by the Uncle Sam character, who surfaced during the war of 1812. Still, Brother Jonathan kept an American legacy. During the Civil War (1861-1865), "Johnny" became common slang for a typical soldier who had gone off to fight. One of the most popular folk songs of the Civil War was "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."

On July 30, 1865, shortly after the Lincoln assassination and the end of the Civil War, a paddle steamer named Brother Jonathan took to the sea off the coast of northern California. It had been overloaded with gold and was precariously weighed down, so it was especially vulnerable to the large storm it soon faced. The ship went under after striking an uncharted rock, and took with it 225 lives and its huge cargo of gold.

That is what Bells Will Ring is about: loss, tightly-knotted irony, the consequences of passion, and the surreal conversations that are always taking place between past and future. But it is also about the cracks between these things, through which we find joy and relief and love.

"Let love and friendship on that day, Hurrah, Hurrah!
Their choicest treasures then display, Hurrah, Hurrah!"

Thanks for listening,
John

Bells Will Ring was recorded, engineered, and released by John Donovan in September of 2010. The album has now been remastered by TW Walsh (twwalsh.tumblr.com/discography).

credits

released September 29, 2010

Artwork by Katie Lochhead (kate.headloch@gmail.com)
Drums on track 6 by Ryan Soles
Trumpet on track 7 by Andrew Utz
Alto Sax on track 7 by James Buchanan
All else by John Donovan

Mastered by TW Walsh

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

John Donovan St Louis, Missouri

contact / help

Contact John Donovan

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account