11 String Confessions

by Brad Elias

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about

Thank you for listening. This album is a collection of songs written from August 2015 to June 2016 and recorded from April to June of 2016. It was originally “music as therapy”, but turned into a redefinition period in my life. I have come to embrace rough-hewn beauty and the communication power lyrics can wield. I envisioned a 4-piece band (although the drums take 3 passes for me to sequence), and tried to retain as much of the organic performance as was possible with my limited skill. As such, when the high G string on my Takamine 12-string was lost in a capo accident just prior to recording, I decided it would be my main instrument. I had a supportive group in the Songmakers – small successes and huge encouragement. Thanks to Luke for the photos. My goal was just to create something with the tools I had and find joy. Goal accomplished. Next!

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released July 5, 2016

Brad Elias

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Track Name: My Own Life
I don’t primp. I don’t preen.
I don’t do what is expected of a modern human being.
Shouldn’t drink. Shouldn’t smoke
Should be fast asleep by 10 PM like decent working folk.
But if I stop running, you know I’ll die.
And if I stop laughing I’d probably cry.
‘Cause it’s My Own Life!

Never planned. Never saved.
Never had a thought of what I’d do the far side of the grave.
Living life off the hook.
Living loud & loose & wild & free and never by the book.
‘Cause if I stop running, you know I’d die.
And it looks like falling but feels like flying.
‘Cause it’s My Own Life!

It doesn’t matter if you live forever
If you never get to have your way.
It doesn’t matter if you’re dumb or clever
All accomplishments will fade away
So I’m living for today!

Just enough to survive,
Just enough to prove to someone that I sometimes am alive.
Never stop for a breath.
Never wait until tomorrow to go headlong to my death.
‘Cause if I stop running, I’d surely die.
Gotta do some crackin’ before you fry.
And it’s not like failure if you don’t try.
‘Cause it’s My Own Life!
Track Name: One More Chance
My expectations may be higher than your function;
So this is our dysfunction – you can never satisfy.
Recommendations turning in to obligations
Leads you to consternation if the bar is set too high.
And all I can mutter in reply

Give me one more chance to fail.
I’m pretty sure I’ll let you down.
I’ll forget some small detail in the plan.
Give me one more chance to fail.
I’ll make the worst of what’s around.
Trust in me to no avail, if you can.

Your motivation can not be called into question;
But at the least suggestion, you foul up the follow-through.
It’s your intention to complete to satisfaction
But by my sour reaction you can see this will not do.
All that I can seem to say to you

Give me one more chance to fail.
I never mean to let you down.
I’ll forget some small detail in the plan.
Give me one more chance to fail.
I’ll be the least of what’s around.
Trust in me to no avail, if you can.

Give me one more chance, give me one more chance,
Stuck in a rut on the run wheel.
Just a second chance at a second chance –
Never forget it’s a done deal.
We’re doomed to repeat this defeat.

But give me one more chance to fail.
Just count on me to let you down.
I’ll forget some small detail in the plan.
Give me one more chance to fail.
I’ll make a mess of what’s around.
Trust in me to no avail, if you can.
If you can. I know you can.
Track Name: Don't Coddle Me
Don’t Coddle Me
Don’t coddle me if I don’t play the part
Don’t coddle me if I don’t laugh so hard
Don’t coddle me if I’m not joining in
I’m checking out so stop checking in
Don’t Coddle Me

I can’t figure out how to get through one day
Without listening to all the advice you say
It’s not that I’m mad – you’re well-meaning folk
You want to repair a thing that ain’t broke
Don’t Coddle Me…

If I seem aloof, it’s not because of you
I’m just better off out of your happy crew
I’m not your damn project, a ship gone aground
This isn’t a frown you must turn upside down
Don’t Coddle Me…

I’m not a terrorist,
I’m not a communist,
I’m not a hypnotist,
I’m nothing on your list
It’s not a deep depression,
Or some micro-aggression
It’s just my rest expression.
I feel fine! Don’t Coddle Me…

I’m the kinda guy who likes to work alone
Don’t start panicking when I don’t get the phone
If you can be patient, I might open up
But ‘til that happens, a smile is enough
Don’t Coddle Me…
Track Name: Happy Part
Don’t know how the battle starts
Can we skip down to the happy part?
Stop the damage to our hearts
Gotta skip down to the happy part.

It’s true in ev’ry storytelling
Tougher times are more compelling
We don’t need more tears and yelling now.
Modern life is so demanding
We all need more understanding
And sometimes a happy landing.

Guess it’s how things fall apart
Can’t we skip down to the happy part…

It’s just frustration I’m relating
But you find it irritating
And react by escalating now
We will learn to solve this riddle
Trying not to be so brittle
And approach the happy middle

Thought that we were way to smart
Can’t we skip down to the happy part…

When we see where life has brought us
What has our division got us?
Can we learn what time has taught us now?
When relationships need mending
More forgiving, less contending
And perhaps a happy ending.

Disappointment off the chart
Can we skip down to the happy part...

Wish we knew this from the start…
Track Name: The Meaning of Life
Some devote their lives to a cause
Like animal or human rights.
Some choose to put the world on pause
And go party into the night.
Some try to fix our human flaws
With the words they speak or write.
But the way I figure it
That’s not the Meaning of Life.
It’s just by livin’ it
You get the Meaning of Life.

Some make the collection of wealth
As the only thing that will excite.
Some say if you still have your health
Then everything else seems alright.
Some say just be true to yourself
And the rest can just go bite.
But the way I figure it
That’s not the Meaning of Life. It’s just by …

Some say there is a god above
She needs help from the pure and the right.
Some think when push comes to shove
We’re just critters who walk upright
Some say we’ve been fashioned to love
So hold on with all of your might.
But the way I figure it
That’s not the Meaning of Life. It’s just by …

Some folks value family
Their work and friends bring delight.
Some strive to be all they can be
For fashion or fitness or fight.
Some value party loyalty
Gotta stick to the left or right.
But the way I figure it
That’s not the Meaning of Life. It’s just by …

So it’s just like John Lennon said,
“Whatever gets you through the night.”
‘Cause the way I figure it
Life is the Meaning of Life. It’s just by …
Track Name: Tell Him the Truth
I got girl in Birmingham
She wanna have a sugar man
He got dough like Donald Trump
She goin’ to take him for a chump
But when she fin’ly sees me there
No one can ever quite compare
It really ain’t fair so –

Tell him the truth, dear lady
Tell him the truth and walk away

I got girl in Tennessee
She wanna boy instead of me
Hair in gunk and smirky smile
Retro punk and metro style
But when she’s in my warm embrace
It’s something that she can’t replace
So tell to his face, “Boy!”

I got girl in Montgom’ry
She wanna muscle man, not me
He got bod as hard as rock
She loves to oil the jumbo jock
But when I make it back her way
She’ll drop his muscle right away
You know he can’t stay, hey

One girl is not enough – I need three
But one’s enough if it is me
I’m all that you need.
Track Name: Never Doing That Again
When I was younger
I had a hunger
Went to the kitchen of the lady next door
I found the liquor
It made me snicker
And pretty soon I was face down on the floor

But I’m never doing that again
No, not the next time
I learned my lesson once again
Just like the last time
You think I’d have more sense but then
I’ve had a lifetime
Of never doing that again

I went to college
To gain more knowledge
I had a roommate who said he grew his own
Said I could try it
Don’t have to buy it
And pretty soon my face had turned into stone

I started dating
Why was I waiting
I met a girl who showed the meaning of life
I loved to do it
I took right to it
And pretty soon I had acquired me a wife

We bought a mansion
It’s all the fashion
The prior owner was a vampire they said
The mausoleum
Thought I could see him
And pretty soon he changed me to the undead
Track Name: Talking to the Air
I’m getting home a bit too late
The spoon and plate
A place for one
The pasta is already done
The sauce may run
But still tastes great
You know I got your favorite cheese
They hadn’t had that brand for weeks
Ah, me

It seems I’m talking to the air again
Just as if you are there again
It’s like we used to share back when
We cared and then
It had to end
And no matter how the tempest blew
The words we spoke would pull us thru
But now I find I’m talking to the air again

There’s nothing on the tube tonight
Just something light
To make me smile
I haven’t seen this for a while
The comic style
Is sheer delight
Remember when we saw this first
It’s like a different universe
Ah, me
Track Name: It Won't Kill Me
I’ve got a few friends
They give their advice to me
They say the world’s gonna end
From robot technology
Or a meteorite
Or growing monopolies
But they’re not getting it right
They fret trivialities

There’s the cyber attack? Well, it won’t kill me.
And the Government’s whack? But it won’t kill me.
Wall Street react? It won't kill me.
So why obsess on these that won’t kill me?

I might die from a heart attack or cancer or a lung disease
Die from stroke or from an accident or diabetes
But what you’re concerned about is really quite remote from these
So why do you want to add to blossoming anxieties?

The numbers don’t lie
Statistics are evidence
I know we’re all gonna die
It one thing no one prevents
We may not know how
Some risks are just low per cents
But, hey, they’re in the news now
So they are what makes us tense

Poison in the mail? Yeah, it won't kill me.
Politics for sale? But it won't kill me.
Aeroplane fail? No, it won’t kill me.
So why obsess on these that won’t kill me.

I might choose to start changing all the little things that I control
Like go take a walk instead I pick up the remote control
So I’d rather focus on the threats that have a minor role
It makes me forget ‘bout my inevitable funeral

Hormones in the bread? Well, it won’t kill me.
Terrorism spread? But it won’t kill me.
Immigration dread? No, it won’t kill me.
So why obsess on these that won’t kill me.
Track Name: Writ in Stone
The best is never chosen
The right does not prevail
The winner is ambition
And the winner writes the tale
Waste time on how we don’t agree
Ignore how we’re the same
Rejecting possibilities
But always finding blame

I can’t adopt your vision
Perspective is my own
I chose my own direction
‘Til I find an answer
I may find strength beside you
I may go on alone
It’s not that I reject you
I just want an answer writ in stone

We read each word and letter
As blessings or as curse
We try to force the better
But appear to make things worse
We yearn for some stability
Imagined or in truth
Admit with some humility
We’ve made up our own proof

What was once written deep into my heart has blurred
‘Till I don’t recognize that one redeeming word

You can’t enforce religion
It’s something each must own
Your faith is your decision
If you found an answer

We can’t adopt your vision
Perspective is our own
We chose our own direction
‘Til we find an answer
You may find strength beside us
You may go it alone
You know we still respect you
We just want an answer. Looking for an answer
Never be an answer writ in stone
Track Name: Tell Your Own Story
When you were young
Your dad and mum told you to chase
Your dreams – I see you’re still chasing
It’s all adrift
Your life won’t fit into this place
It seems – I see what you’re facing

There’s the story that’s defined by the
scars & the pain
And the story that’s sung in the fire & the rain
And the story that reverberates in your brain
But you can do a rewrite on each refrain

Tell your own Story
One where you win
Tell your own Story
How lucky (happy, blessed) you’ve been
Think your life is full of misery (mystery)?
(Take a break from your reality)
You can make an alternative history
Tell your own Story
Now to begin

You got this far
It’s been real hard and now it’s fair
To say – You barely survived it
The truth has died
Or shoved aside or maybe scared
Away – You’re there to revive it

There’s the story that’s told in your DNA
And the story that told to you everyday
And the story that’s told in the cards that play
But it doesn’t always have to be that way

You can choose what you believe
You can believe that you can choose
You can call your loss a win
‘Cause what you meant to do is lose