Read This If I Don't Make It Home

by Gratiot Lake Road

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1.
the world ceases to exist just beyond the reaches of my headlights and tonight i am the only one once we were invincible driving around with our eyes closed all heart and sandstone at night the shadows come alive and they are vandals stealing all that we have as the sun goes down the ruins crack and crumble houses heave their final breath time takes from the young and old maybe i’m wasting mine spending my nights foggy eyed crying with the room spinning dark around i need to slow down last night i dreamt that i had died and everything faded to black as my body sank into the earth i could feel you pulling me from above you are always saving me no one saves me like you
2.
turtle in the pond robin in the tree i dance all day to the songs she sings the sun shines bright on our milky skin and the sea is calm despite the wind you told it to me once and i didn’t believe so you told me again and i still didn’t see but you stayed all night through the wind and rain and still you stayed when the morning came leave your light on leave it bright i need you more and more each night i don’t deserve the love i’ve received i take and take and never give lightning bug in the palm of your hand feet dug deep in the salty sand you know he won’t light inside a jar so you let him go with a wave of your arm there at the top we saw the whole world with its white cap waves and black sand shores maybe we took things we shouldn’t take but everything will return to its place praise the father praise the crook everything i ever took i swear i will give it back one day turtle in the pond robin in the tree there’s not much left for that bird to sing she sang as the tide came in on the sea she sang for you and then she sang for me you told it to me once and i didn’t believe so you told me again and i still didn’t see but you stayed all night through the wind and rain and still you stayed when the morning came
3.
we don’t sleep at night we just drive like maniacs but we sleep all day and rot away in our bed sheets and shameful childhoods we all live with the worst of regrets we’re not asking for forgiveness just that everyone would forget everything we’ve ever done we’ve all cloven hooves and we live like animals and rightly so for the world is full of creatures much worse than ourselves so i will stay indoors til i’m sure that it’s safe out there this home’s so full of all my thoughts someday they’re sure to scare me out but i’m holding out til then we’ve got stars for eyes we don’t see where we’re going to or coming from so we hurt the ones we love the most and we’re never quite sure why we do the things we do i’ve always tried to make it right but it always seems to make it worse
4.
To the Sea 03:22
across the bay i spotted lights and the chilling sound of silence filled the night we huddle in and you begin to play a melody i do believe that this isn’t what i dreamed but it’s better than i hoped i have learned to hope and we’ll all make our way to the sea where the waves will swallow our fears someday and when first light stretches on all the water and the sand we will see oh we will see that it wasn’t you or me who caused the night who made the light and we’ll all make our way to the sea
5.
Letters 04:55
fifty plain white envelopes i’m sorry i never wrote fifty plain white envelopes i’m sorry i never wrote to you we all think that our time is the only time that matters fifty plain white envelopes i tried to write but always choked never could put pen to paper always thought it better left unsaid we were driving in your car you told me not to go so far away you knew i wouldn’t listen always knew that i could never stay we all think that our lives are the only lives that matter fifty plain white envelopes yesterday i threw them out couldn’t bring myself to bear the weight of their condemning stares any longer we all think that our lies are the only lies that matter
6.
Raven 03:54
raven watching from the tree bring your weathered song to me i haven’t any time to sleep i haven’t any time to call upon the name in vain and wish that i was home again summer’s months how they do weep summer’s months are warm and weak oh i once was young and sweet kissing you between the sheets listening to the rain that beat each stone in the cemetery now we stand out on the water now we are the son and daughter of a long awaited storm of a chance to be reborn raven watching from the tree bring your weathered song to me i haven’t any time to sleep i haven’t any time to talk that old man winter down steal his thick and thorny crown make your home inside my hands you know he spares no creature from his wrath oh take me home i’ve been out here so very long and i’ve been doubting you and i feel ashamed oh take the wind remove this thin and fearful skin and make me whole holy and unafraid
7.
oh how the trees gather snow how they bend and break when the cold winds blow in this town perched beside the bay where chimneys billow smoke like some sad crude offering to the moon oh how my lungs fill with cold how it stings my eyes and burns my throat sending my love across the lake but how can i keep on shouting louder still against the crashing waves oh how the sun rises slow and aura is in flames colored red and gold and the bishop looks on across the bay arms outstretched and feet firmly planted in their place oh how i feel far from home how i bend and break when the cold winds blow i drive on around the lake calling to my love all i want to do is make it home to you
8.
Car Crash 07:08
chimneys smoke when winter comes they say each year they’ll quit but everyone knows how hard it is when the sun’s all hid behind those clouds birds all flying south and that first snow covers up the ground i startled you down by the water did you know i was startled too streetlights change when nighttime comes they turn themselves to light because everyone knows how dark it gets but who will be a light to them and how can they shine as bright when the darkness seems so heavy now i may never live to forget some of these memories dear caught in headlights thrown in the air on the roadside alive then suddenly so dead
9.
if you were to leave this earth without me i would not survive and all the labor of my hands would turn to ash and rust all my days would be the same without you and all my words be sighs until my bones began to break and my flesh returned to dust all that we borrowed will remain here our bodies our bones our homes and all that they contain our love and our laughter our wine and our whiskey our poems and our letters our mouths filled with honey gaping wide to catch the falling rain
10.
We Will Sea 01:30
11.
west virginia heading north from the coast fleeing all that hallowed ground and holy ghosts something in you told you this is all you’d need all your fears packed away and hiding in the backseat oh ohio you saw it coming all those battles lost and won but you never were the one to take the blame silly sinner did you think that you’re forgiven that your burdens never were for you to bear oh ohio west virginia while those storms rage on outside we’ll stay warm and dry and terrified nothing’s perfect but our dirty hollow homes are what we cling to all the more when we’re alone
12.
where do you go at night when the bars close down when the lights go out whose footsteps do you hope to hear on this cold street in this quiet town everybody needs someone to hold you when the night starts closing in and you feel forgotten i am a splintering oak when the cold winds come when my heart goes numb when all your letters and notes couldn’t give me hope couldn’t keep me warm everybody needs someone to hold you through those nights when your ghosts get to you and nobody knows you

about

recorded in livingrooms, bedrooms, and old churches in michigan and virginia between summer 2013 and summer 2014

credits

released November 21, 2014

gratiot lake road is
ben jensen (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, organ, vocals)
emaleigh jensen (banjo, vocals, words)
matthew radue (drums, percussion, electric guitar)
tony laux (bass, synth, rainstick)

featuring
dobro on tracks 07 and 11 and internal combustion engine on track 03 by ben lassiter
electric guitar on tracks 05 and 06 by matt bradley
electric guitar on tracks 01 and 05 by mike glass
recorded and mixed by ben jensen
mastered by eben louis mannes

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all rights reserved

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Gratiot Lake Road Newport News, Virginia

Gratiot Lake Road is the music of Emaleigh and Ben Jensen. (pronounced GRASH-it)

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