On the Porch

by C. Willis Carden

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about

This is a unique lo-fi collection of songs and sounds written and recorded over two years on porches and in a garage; everything is done with one guitar and vocal only, with all the blemishes one can expect from an assembly of first-versions of songs. And I am not certain, but I believe this is the first album made entirely of songs recorded through an iPhone.

credits

released November 5, 2010

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C. Willis Carden Utica, Kentucky

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Track Name: Jolene
this is not a good time for a girl to be mine
all i can take is a picture or two
to keep by the bed in the unlikely event of the rapture

the traffic is eastbound and i'm heading west
with a bucket to gather what little rain falls
and i'm hoping it won't be enough to keep a person hydrated

they'll say that he was a mighty good man
when he wanted to be
but all i want is to get shot and die

so take up your arms jolene
you've got one in the barrel for me
quietly tracing your name on my hip
the time has come for my surrender
Track Name: In the Winter, When the Old Man Finally Froze (take 1)
i remember in the winter, when the old man finally froze
beneath the bridge it got too cold to live
and no one came calling so he stayed that way for good
no flowers laid before his frozen feet

i've been up, sometimes i'm down
the good lord will provide
sometimes i'm up sometimes i'm down
the good lord will provide
Track Name: No One Will Remember This
would you be my sweetheart
if i had some money?
would you be my darling if i could
find a decent job?

if i had twenty dollars
i'd buy you a necklace
like so many pretty things you had
and put away

i'd be proud to know it was ever
on your neck

in a moment of great passion
and severe intoxication
i'll write and send a letter to you
telling of my love

twenty years from now
i guarantee you won't remember
a faded note you folded up
inside a magazine

i'd be proud to know it was ever
even read

when the wintertime comes creeping
like a dog up to your doorstep
and trouble now is just a flickering
light that soon will pass

i hope you will remember
there was one that loved you truly
i hope you will remember
it was me that loved you best
Track Name: The Memory, A Parking Lot
our love was born
as a ribbon in her hair
and died a coward's death
still hoping

somewhere past the county line
and the rides we used to take
tracks the only proof
it ever happened

sing one for mama
sing one for pa
true love a vision
for their dreaming

can't get the thing you want
can't hold on to what you need
mine was brazen
and long-legged

the memory is a parking lot
for beat the fuck up cars
that used to be shiny and new
the end is the beginning
the beginning is a lie
and in between it's just the blues

the ceiling fan is spinning but
the house is burning down
oh how quietly it passes

the memory is a parking lot
for beat the fuck up cars
that used to be shiny and new
the end is the beginning
the beginning is a lie
and in between it's just the blues

the ceiling fan is spinning but
the house is burning down
Track Name: You Would Have to Be
i like the way you got your makeup on
i like the way you got your makeup on tonight
it's alright

i like the way you got your hair did up
i like the way you got your hair did up tonight
it's alright

you got some money and a bottle of wine,
i bet you do
you wanna take me on and spend some time,
i bet you do

i like the way you make your body bend
twist and turn and make your body bend tonight
it's alright

i like the way you got another man
i like the way that you got other plans tonight
it's alright

you got some money and a bottle of wine,
i bet you do
you wanna take me on and spend some time,
i bet you do

well you're a sweet thing, i like the way you're thinking
but thinking won't get you real far
you would have to be so much better looking
to go for a ride in my car
Track Name: You Are My Favorite Thing
you are my favorite thing my baby
you are my favorite thing
you take a walk in poor man's shoes
and put the wealthiest to shame

you are my favorite thing my baby
won't you take me where you stay my baby
just don't go away, don't go away

you play a clever game my baby
you play a clever game
running off with all my money
all the property i claim

you play a clever game my baby
i'd give you everything my baby
just don't go away, don't go away

you'll put me in my grave my baby
you'll put me in my grave
heart's too broke for mending and my
soul could not be saved

you'll put me in my gravy my baby
right there i will wait my baby
just don't go away, don't go away

put me in a box i'll wait for you
till kingdom come and go
put me in a box i'll wait for you
you're the only song i know

put me in a box i'll wait for you
do you understand what i'd go through
just to be with you
to be with you
Track Name: Radio Bed
in my mind you're still around
in my mind you were only kidding
we drank too much, best head to bed
in the morning all is forgiven

go to sleep in your radio bed
fast asleep in your radio bed
the rhythm beats footsteps in my head
fast asleep in my radio bed

the surface drawn is connected to
stupid shit i don't want to remember
trouble restored is trouble new
stupid shit i don't want to remember

go to sleep in your radio bed
fast asleep in your radio bed
the rhythm beats footsteps in my head
fast asleep in my radio bed

divvy the spoils, so ends the war
restless dreams and all this running
the ground will shake and swallow up
restless dreams and all this running

go to sleep in your radio bed
fast asleep in your radio bed
the rhythm beats footsteps in my head
fast asleep in my radio bed
Track Name: Love Me to Walk Me Back Home
the sun coming up in western kentucky
the field was all lit up and green
i head for the creek i fell in as a boy
when mama got mad i was covered in mud

love me to walk me back home
i've been out picking up sticks bottles and bones
lost in the weeds grown thorny and tall
love me to walk me back home

it was many a time lord how i remember
dirtying the clothes my grandmother made
we'd listen for fear that the neighbors might catch us
sneaking over to pick daffodils

love me to walk me back home
i've been out picking up sticks bottles and bones
lost in the weeds grown thorny and tall
love me to walk me back home

i took a girl to lay in the sunshine
i told her i'd make her my wife
but all of my plans amounted to nothing
just a polaroid left in my mind

love me to walk me back home
i've been out picking up sticks bottles and bones
lost in the weeds grown thorny and tall
love me to walk me back home
Track Name: Another Month of Oxygen
your transmission hasn't been received
*pop pop* the radio is fuzzy
and all that we can see is static on the screen
say something so we'll know that you're still breathing

the noises coming out
are strange and unfamiliar now
so if you would oblige let us know that you're alive
say something so we'll know your heart is beating

(it must be cold in space)

your wife would like to say
it's been a pretty day on earth
your children send their love they know you're miles above
they know you're far away from home

(it must be cold in space)

so if you plan to return
and bring back what you've learned
you better hurry up, we're getting worried
Track Name: Wears Me Out
i hear lots of rules and prescriptions
lots of explaining but no excuse
maybe this is not the way people love on silver screen
i don't know what i'm doing it wears me out

it wears me out, it wears me out
i don't know what i'm doing
there's no telling what i'll do
it wears me out loving you

when grandma died they put her place on auction
the house was old but the land was good
though i had no money i still threw in my bed
i don't know what i'm doing it wears me out

it wears me out, it wears me out
i don't know what i'm doing
there's no telling what i'll do
it wears me out loving you

i may have a daughter in kentucky
i hope she got better raising than i did
i'd send her a card, buddy
if i knew where she lived
i don't know what i'm doing it wears me out

it wears me out, it wears me out
i don't know what i'm doing
there's no telling what i'll do
it wears me out loving you
Track Name: Mary, Is He On Your Mind?
she never locks the door
and the window's never latched
it's nearly 15 years
since he went to war

she stays up late by the table set
in her nicest dress
mary, is he on your mind?

there's a table by the door
for letters that don't come
outside the grass
grows wild and tall

in between prayers
she sews a winter coat
mary, is he on your mind?

the countryside is still
the yankees never came
but all the town
has long since moved away

the harvest season waits
as if by god's command
mary, is he on your mind?

churchmen say "behold:
the righteous shall be saved"
but until then
a patient heart will wait

her hands grow old
but they don't tremble, they don't shake
mary, is he on your mind?
Track Name: Get You There
when in the past you were wrong
and all of your friends were all gone, long gone
i was the one that helped you get along
and i'm gonna get you there

preacher man on the tv
says there's a home where we'll happy be
but isn't it just too much to believe?
it's not gonna get you there

out to the bar after work
to tend to your wounds from the morning's hurt
isn't it sweet, your daily rebirth
i'm gonna get you there

she said that she cared but she lied
she wasn't there when you cried and cried
it's better to stick with what's true and tried
i'm gonna get you there

mama get the medicine, fever's rolling up again
what am i gonna do?

turn off the phone and the light
we're settling in for a long cold night
what's over is gone and what's right is right
i'm gonna get you there

you were a ghost when she came
you were a ghost when she went away
at the bottom of the bottle, a soft refrain:
"i'm gonna get you there"
Track Name: Rest Me in the Country, Rest Me in the Town
all the traps were set
before you even arrived
the oceans came apart to make the land
and man took him a bride

in my mind i'm dying

your carelessness did cut me
with every cold embrace
the anger in your heart, dear
on such a pretty face

in my mind i'm dying

rest me in the country
rest me in the town
rest me 'neath a railroad bed
so i can always hear that sound

rest me 'neath a mountain
rest me by the sea
i will await my savior
just like mama told me

in my mind i'm dying
Track Name: Maybe Then
since you don't know what you're doing it for
you'd better stop while you're ahead, i would
given the chance to let it go this time i would

when the church bells sound in a little town
lets a man know he's alone, i do
given the chance to do it right this time i would

all my friends would answer when i called
then all my friends would answer
then all my friends would answer when i called
Track Name: If I Had Twenty Dollars
everybody talks about a great big world
a great big god and a great big paycheck
when we get where we're headed to
everybody talks about drink too much
smoke too much, swear too much
everybody going to the gym to get in shape

but if i had twenty dollars
i couldn't pay my bills
so i'd probably buy my girl a necklace
if i had a truck
i'd fill it full of beer and drive around
until i was satisfied

everybody talks about find the one
fall in love, tie the not
living is too hard to go alone
everybody talks about buy a house
get a loan, pay it off
send your kids to college when you're old

but if i had twenty dollars
i couldn't pay my bills
so i'd probably buy my girl a necklace
if i had a truck
i'd fill it full of beer and drive around
until i was satisfied


everybody talks about getting old
-and that makes sense, i guess
given the state of the affair
Track Name: In the Winter, When the Old Man Finally Froze
i remember in the winter when the old man finally froze
beneath the bridge, it got too cold to live
no one came calling and he stayed that way for good
no flowers laid beneath his frozen feet

i've been up and i've been down
the good lord will provide
sometimes i'm up sometimes i'm down
the good lord will provide

when the bottle's knocked over and the bar tab finally paid
he'll make his way beyond the door and say
things he'll never remember when he wakes
about his mama, about the pearly gates

i've been up and i've been down
the good lord will provide
sometimes i'm up sometimes i'm down
the good lord will provide

it's early morning and the road we have to take
has paved the way for us to be old
it starts out steady but the path we're on will fall
over the mountain, into the deep unknown

there we were and away we went:
look at how the time goes by
scared to tell your mama there was something that you did
look at how the time goes by
Track Name: These Little Things
under the light how you would hold your cigarette
little things, little things keep me up at night
and the way you'd hold your grievances anyway, quietly

knowing all i wanted was one good word

when you get a chance look at some old photographs
little things, little things keep me up at night
and the way we'd hold our pleasantries anyway, anyway

all you ever wanted was to know for sure