Lyrics & Credits — John Lucas (2022)

Volume 1 released August 7, 2020
Volume 2 released July 22, 2022

All songs written by John Lucas Kovasckitz
Produced and mixed by Everett Hardin
Mastered by Carl Saff
(Volume 1 mastered digitally by Everett Hardin)

JLK - vocals, acoustic guitars, piano, whistles
Everett Hardin - cello, upright bass, vocals, additional wizardry
Luke Skaggs - fiddle, banjo, lap steel, electric guitar
Erin Deuel - BGVs
Noah Kovasckitz - Guest vocalist on “Manna or Poison”
Caroline Hardin - violin, viola
Everly Hardin - Production assistant, synths on “Where All New Life Begins”
Ben Loughran - sound design on “Ghost in My Own Body”
Guest artists: Andy Squyres, Taylor Leonhardt, Nicole Tester, Sarah DeShields
Taylor Leonhardt’s vocals engineered by Lucas Morton

Group vocalists on “Doing the Best We Can” - Sarah DeShields, Kevin DeShields, Andy Squyres, Taylor Leonhardt, Nicole Tester, Amanda Opelt, Everett Hardin, Caroline Hardin, Wade Walker, Erin Deuel, Glenn Deuel, Erin Banks
Group vocal asst. engineering - Glenn Deuel / Deuel Studios

Album design - Judson Kovasckitz
Photography - Rudy Kovasckitz

Volume 1 recorded in The Cozy Owl - many thanks to Jason and Kimberly English for opening the space.
Volumes 1 & 2 recorded in Boone, NC.

Everybody’s slaving just to get ahead
Yeah everybody’s slaving just to get ahead
But you’ll never be free if you’re chaining those behind
Or if you’re selling your soul on the dotted line

I ain’t selling my songs to the record man
‘Cause their radio stations won’t reach this land
I ain’t moving to the city and changing my name
You can keep your money you can keep your fame

You can gain the whole world
But it’ll cost your soul
Oh everybody dies
Clinging to fool’s gold
Give me what’s real
What doesn’t rust or fade
Come hell or high water
Come judgement day

I’ve seen the rivers rise and overtake their banks
Like cities that crumble under bombs and tanks
Empires come and empires go
Oh you can dam the river but you can’t stop the flow

I ain’t fighting your wars in god knows where
How much sorrow can the whole earth bear?
How many flags we all gotta fold
Before the empires are buried under blood and gold?

You can gain the whole world
But it’ll cost your soul
Oh everybody dies
Clinging to fool’s gold
Give me what’s real
What doesn’t rust or fade
Come hell or high water
Come judgement day

Give me my job at the corner store
And I will sell liquor ‘til we close the doors
We can keep the lights on just fine
And I can pay the rent on time

Give me my garden and the morning dew
And give me my wife with her worn out shoes
Give me my son with his toothy grin
And I would live this life again
Oh I would live this life again
Yeah I would live this life again

You can gain the whole world
But it’ll cost your soul
Oh everybody dies
Clinging to fool’s gold
Give me what’s real
What doesn’t rust or fade
Come hell or high water
Come judgement day

Mister loosen that tie
And don’t bother with your tent
Oh I expect there’ll be a few stars tonight

My soul don’t need no savin’
And I reckon everybody in this town’s
Been saved a few times before

We all drink a little whisky
And we all play a few cards
But the Holy Ghost runs free in these hills

-

We’ve got four chords and the gospel
If you want to sing a few hymns
While the children dance barefoot in the grass

We’ve all seen our share of sorrows
We’ve all learned to give and to borrow
Our barn’s been full and our barns been bare

They say a cord of three strands
Ain’t easily broken
Oh we’ve got four chords and the gospel, babe

My dear, everything moves so fast
It all moves so fast these days
But come in real close and dance real slow
And maybe time will change its pace
Maybe we can sing time to sleep
Just for tonight
And we can tiptoe and slip outside
Before he wakes the morning’s light

And like carolers on Christmas Eve
We will call on those held dear
And we will pass the spirits among us
And we will toast the coming year
It will surely come before we know it
And the next upon its heels
But within this life is splendor tangled
Like Christmas lights unreeled

My dear it’s still
A wonderful life, a wonderful life
My dear it’s still
A wonderful life

My dear let’s toast the sorrows
And the dreams left unfulfilled
For this life is a blink and a whisper
But look at all that we have built

Look at all the friends we have to share with
Look at all the hope that we have dared with
Look at how far we’ve leapt
And how far we’ve come

My friends it’s still
A wonderful life, a wonderful life
My friends it’s still
A wonderful life

Come banging through the kitchen, babe
And rattle all the pots and pans
Girl you’re my favorite distraction
From the wars in every land
Come crash into my windowpane
Come startle me in my cage
Oh sparrow of freedom, wake me from slumber
And remind me to turn the page

Oh our wild boy
Come kicking out of the womb
Remind us that pain may last for the night
But our hearts will always have room

Oh sweet song of joy
Come rise again in our chests
Pour your bottle of fine aged wine
And pull up a chair for our guests

Oh joy, come and dance with us tonight
Oh sorrow move the table
And break out the candles for light
Oh peace bring your fiddle
And the banjo with a few good strings
And set our mouths to singing
And set our feet to dancing
With the Giver of all good things

Oh I’ve known too many men
Who’ve been hung with the Bible Belt
Oh a hammer can build a home or crack a skull
With enough hands you can twist most things
You can kill two thieves with the King of Kings
But it ain’t murder babe if there’s a crowd

-

Oh you can ship a boy off to war
Without telling him what he’s fighting for
For everyone outside the wall’s an enemy
Narrow the gate to the promised land
But bend your knee and raise your hand
And you’ll be counted righteous among the weeds

-

Oh judgement day is coming soon
For the witches, sinners, and infidels
Oh the hangman’s tied the noose and called the dogs
Truth sometimes is who shouts the loudest
With the boldest tongue of the scriptures calloused
While Jesus whispers, ‘they know not what they do’

Faith ain’t having all the answers, babe
Or even a glimpse around the next bend
Faith is getting knocked down hard, babe
And learning how to get out of bed again

Faith sometimes builds a boat in the desert
Faith sometimes walks on angry seas
Faith sometimes holds your hand through the night
Or washes your feet with bended knees

-

Faith is believing that love is stronger
Than kings and princes who divide and conquer
Faith is laying your body down
And believing new life will come up from the ground

I ain’t lost my faith, boy
It’s stronger now than it’s ever been
For I have learned how to dance in the dark
And that’s where all new life begins

Let new life begin in me
Let new life begin in me

Man this year’s taken the life out of me
Or maybe it’s been the last two three
But I’m still standing
Doing the best I can
Yeah I’m still standing
Doing the best I can

From the first familiar taste
Of that ol’ snake’s apple whiskey
You know the ground came up,
Oh a-rushin’ on up to meet me
Honey I’m stumbling
But I’m doing the best I can

Oh I’ve been doing doing doing
Doing the best I can

Honey would you lean in close
And tell me I’m doing alright
Tell me that this ol’ heart
Has still got a dog in the fight
We’re still standing
Doing the best we can
Yeah we’re still standing
Doing the best we can

Oh we’ve doing doing doing
Doing the best we can

Hey there ma’am, can I ask your name
And where you’re headed quick as a flame?
For three long years I’ve been here pumping gasoline
And I swear you’re the prettiest girl I’ve seen

You say you’re on to Georgia in morning’s light
Then you’re off around the world soon as you book a flight
Well I ain’t ever been on an air-o-plane
But I swear I flew when you said my name

Oh I just knew there’d be a spark on you
Well I’m covered in gasoline, baby I’m through

How would you feel ‘bout someone like me
Taking on the world with someone like you?

I’ve been waiting my days for a moment like this
For when life says honey this ain’t one you wanna miss
For when time says son I can’t hold still for long
Open your eyes I ain’t ever steered you wrong

So I know it’s crazy but here’s my hand
Oh will you take it, can I be your man?
Oh I ain’t ever seen clearer in all my days
Give me that hand let’s start us a blaze

Oh I just knew there’d be a spark on you
Well I’m covered in gasoline, baby I’m through

How would you feel ‘bout someone like me
Taking on the world with someone like you?

Oh I ain’t ever seen clearer in all my days
Give me that hand let’s start us a blaze
Oh I just knew there’d be a spark on you
Well I’m covered in gasoline, baby I’m through
Yeah I just knew there’d be a spark on you
Well I’m covered in gasoline, baby I’m through

Man I spent so long tryna prove myself
But you can’t please everyone
And a man’s gotta look his own self in the eye
Before his days are done

And I’ve read the good book
For twenty-five years, man
But everybody holds it different
And how’s a man to hear
When cheap talk is so loud
And the Holy Ghost gets to whisperin’?

Man the church signs say they’ve all got the truth
But one man’s truth is another man’s lie
And if your loving god
Sounds like an angry drunk
Have you ever stopped to ask why?

Oh if your good book
Tells you to throw the first punch
Then go ahead, honey, and swing
And I’ll turn the other cheek
And I’ll keep walking
Yeah I’ll turn the other cheek
And I’ll keep walking

Yeah I’ve walked a few miles
I’ve seen a couple towns
But I ain’t got a place to call my own
And maybe it’s funny, but by holding no deeds
This whole world becomes my home

I was born in the Bible Belt
East the Mississippi
And I moved to the hills when I was young
You gotta travel light when you’re living on your feet
But I ain’t ever left my mother-tongue

I’ve found love in the river, and love in the hills
And love in the mystery of the night
And if I’m aiming for hell like you say in my roaming
Then I welcome the fires without a fight
Oh I welcome the fires without a fight

Oh if your good book
Says this is your land
Well then I ain’t gonna argue the point
And Jesus and I will wander on someplace else
Oh Jesus and I will wander on someplace else

You are my favorite book
On a rainy day
You are the blanket
That takes my chill away

You are my happy thought
When I’ve forgotten how to fly
You are my rainbow
In a cloudy sky

You are my mountain top
Coming up through the mist
You are my favorite song
My lips have ever kissed

And when I need a joke
You always split my sides
You are my favorite place
Where I can go and hide

What I have to give, I give to you
Oh what I have to give, I give to you
Oh love is a dance made for me and you

I’ll be your pillow soft
When you need to dream
And when you’re falling apart
I’ll come and stitch your seams

I’ll be your firefly
On a summer’s night
I’ll be your songbird
In the morning’s light

And when sickness comes
I’ll be your cup of soup
I’ll be your suitcase
When you need to fly the coop

Oh when I need a hand
Yours always comes through
Oh how I love the stars
That brought me to you

What I have to give, I give to you
Oh what I have to give, I give to you
Oh love is a dance made for me and you

Oh my darling
Did you hear me calling?
I knew you’d pluck that fruit one day
Oh I tried to guard you
Perhaps I starved you
For too long babe, who’s to say?

This world holds sickness
Death and evil
But don’t go thinking that’s where she lands
I ain’t got proof
But I’ve got a feeling
That love and sorrow are holding hands

Honey don’t hide your face from me

This world ain’t fair
I don’t have the answers
And mind the snakes that say they do
But I know that love is
Stronger than poison
And love’s the fire that sees you through

Maybe love needs a trap door
To let you know ain’t trapped for
Eternity without your say
Or maybe God is young
Like the child before me
And we’re all finding our own way

Honey don’t hide your face from me
Don’t hold no shame
For knowing evil
And losing your way from time to time
When you were born
God our Mother
Said you were good and She ain’t changed Her mind

You are made of stardust
You are made of mystery
You are made of hope and not of fear
Oh my darling
Oh my constellation
You let me know that heaven’s near

Honey don’t hide your face from me

I don’t want to be a ghost
In my own body
I don’t want to be a ghost anymore

When I’ve starved myself
‘Til I’m skin and bones
So my demons can’t get a taste of me
There you are at the fire cooking
Breakfast by the sea

Are you God, or are you a ghost
Or are you a man like me?
Teacher-prophet I don’t want no religion
But baptize these bones in the sea

I don’t want to be a ghost in my own body
I don’t want to be a ghost anymore

Shake the shark’s teeth from your feet, my darling
Spin with the dance of the wax and wane
Plunge your head into the icy depths
Be reminded of the blood within your veins

When you’re tired and low and your crops won’t grow
Come and find me cooking by the sea
And I’ll wake the dead and remind your ghost
It can always have a meal with me

I don’t want to be a ghost in my own body
I don’t want to be a ghost anymore

Mister, mister, can you stop for me?
I ain’t got much besides this guitar
Back a ways you’d find what else I own
In the trunk of that damned old car

Don’t know what blew but it’s smoking like hell
And man it sure don’t sound good
It made it clear it ain’t going no further
Oh there’s fury beneath that hood

It dragged my bones all the way to California
But it sure ain’t taking me home
So if you’ve got a spare seat and you’re headed east
Mister, that’s where I’m going

I’m aimed for a holler in the hills of Appalachia
No sir, you wouldn’t know the name
It’s prettier than heaven, and where I met the world
But it ain’t got no other claims to fame

I left my holler true to find my fame and fortune
On this here California coast
But to tell truth lonely shots of rye whiskey
Was what I seemed to find the most

Hollywood don’t want me, the radio won’t play me
I guess I ain’t their kind
And singing on the street man sure gets lonely
When nobody pays you no mind

I ain’t sorry that I tried it, I ain’t sorry that I came
I ain’t sorry that I bet it all
But in the words of Kenny Rogers, ya gotta know when to fold ‘em
And I ain’t got the money left to call

So I’m headed on home to a girl that I’ve been writing
Oh she don’t care I ain’t no star
You got to know when to hold 'em
And I ain’t held her in an age
And that’s why I was speeding in my car

It’s funny sometimes you gotta go so far
To find again the place where you were born
To remember how it smelled, to remember how it felt
To remember the cloth from which you’re torn

So I’m aimed for a holler in the hills of Appalachia
No sir, you wouldn’t know the name
But it’s prettier than heaven, and where I met the world
And where I’m going again

You run yourself ragged
‘Til you’re black and blue
Honey, can I take a few troubles from you?
By the look in your eyes
I’d say you’ve got a few to spare

Give me your famine and flood
And your rumors of war
Put down the paper
And walk out the door
Find yourself some shade and a warm patch of sun

Lay your head down
Honey, lay your head down
And I’ll take the weight of the world for awhile
Yeah I’ll take the weight of the world for awhile

I’ll feed the kids that are growing like weeds
While you search for honeysuckles in your bare feet
And I’ll bring you a biscuit and coffee in an hour or two

Trouble never followed me to the back wood
Or down by the creek, I think it’s understood
There are places you can go
Where you can always be free

Lay your head down
Honey, lay your head down
And I’ll take the weight of the world for awhile
Yeah I’ll take the weight of the world for awhile

And when the shadows stretch long
You can find home’s path
And I’ll light a candle
And I’ll draw the bath
And you can wash the worries from your bones

And when the water has cooled
I will carry you to rest
Oh lay your weary head upon my chest
And I’ll watch through the night no trouble comes your way

Oh I went to gather manna
In the cool of the morn
When the dew is still virgin
And the sun’s just been born

And I picked me a spot
Just as fair as the rest
And not before long
Was I caught in their nets

Oh, are we to starve
In the promised land?

The fields are all fenced
They’re all guarded night and day
But the kids are all hungry, man
We’ve got to find a way

If we just had a few acres
We’d grow healthy and old
Oh I ain’t putting no more bodies
In the earth that’s been stol’d

No, I won’t starve
In the promised land

Stillborn Moses on the river
Open for all
While they’re burning the fruit
Cause the profit’s too small

Oh but Jesus still got cattle
On a thousand hills of green
Unless the bank’s got ‘em too
I ain’t surprised by a thing

But no, we ain’t gonna starve
In the promised land

The breast of mercy is bared
To the lips of the poor
Come and drink your fill
There ain’t no lock on the door

Can’t nobody own
The land of the redeemed
There ain’t no slave or sharecropper
Servant or king

Christ within all
Ain’t no trespassing sin
Can poison the wine
When there’s mercy within

Oh field of mushrooms
Are you manna or poison?
Sometimes, my god,
It’s so hard to know

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Least that’s what the grave-diggers say
But I don’t know how much longer
I can walk before the buzzard’s prey

A man could live forever in this valley
If he just had the strength to stand
Oh the sorrows I could tally
But I could dream anew on this land

Oh field of mushrooms
Are you manna or poison?
Sometimes, my god
It’s so hard to know

Oh little forest flower
Are you my cabin by the stream?
Are you my strength to pass the hour,
Or are you part of heaven’s scheme?

Oh field of mushrooms
Be you foe or friend
Oh manna or poison,
I will join you in the end

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Prof. An Powlowski

Last Updated: 10/23/2022

Views: 6337

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. An Powlowski

Birthday: 1992-09-29

Address: Apt. 994 8891 Orval Hill, Brittnyburgh, AZ 41023-0398

Phone: +26417467956738

Job: District Marketing Strategist

Hobby: Embroidery, Bodybuilding, Motor sports, Amateur radio, Wood carving, Whittling, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Prof. An Powlowski, I am a charming, helpful, attractive, good, graceful, thoughtful, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.