Born For These Times (unmastered)

by Benjamin Blake

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released April 19, 2018

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Benjamin Blake Portland, Oregon

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Track Name: Satisfied
You wake up in the morning and you hate yourself
Like a disgraced king with his hollow wealth
Watch the smoke rise from peasant fires
But you’ll be safe in Versailles for a while

Rumors of plagues and rumors of war
Rumors of heaven and rumors of souls
As your car sets sail off the edge of the cliff
You think “There must’ve been a reason for this”

And it makes you shake with an unborn faith
Like a cry in the wild, like a tunneled escape
You quit your job on your cigarette break and you fly
You don’t need to know the meaning of life
Just the open road and a fire by your side
You lay your pack out under heaven and call it satisfied

You put a prayer to the wind and a friend you found
You didn’t know what you had till they put him in the ground
You swear sometimes you think you see his face
Flashing past across the interstate

Do you feel love when you’re by yourself?
Or do you always need to give it to somebody else?
Another lover to walk out your door
And leave you like you were before

And it makes you shake with an unborn faith
Like a cry in the wild, like a tunneled escape
You quit your job on your cigarette break and you fly
You don’t need to know the meaning of life
Just the open road and a fire by your side
You lay your pack out under heaven and think you must have died
You lay your pack out under heaven and call it satisfied
Track Name: To Murder A King
I wish that I'd known you before the war
Before you earned the scars that I know you for
I wonder what you dreamed of as you scrubbed their kitchen floors

I see your face in every public square
Where gallows hang and smoke fills the air
There was a time I could have loved you there
Then they called your name, you said "I'll see you in a hundred years"

And last night I dreamt of murdering a king
Cut into the roots of everything
Power doesn't retire and it doesn't resign
Kings lose their heads, they lose their minds
Last night I swore I saw you through the trees

I see your name every now and then
Beneath a headline or painted on a subway train
I think I finally understand what you meant when one night I asked you why you loved the war
When hope is gone and we don't know what we're fighting for
You said, "Life is a battle, love is a chore, and the weavers of the dream are the ones who win the war.”
Track Name: Keep the Highway Closer
On a bed of leaves, we shared the dreams of a life that we would complete
We parted ways but said the End of Days was always where we’d meet
And I keep my friends close
But I gotta keep the highway closer
Good goddamn, who’d have faith in a man
Who can’t pay for what he’s selling?

In tears we laid on the bed we made that looked something like a shallow grave
To hearing you crying inside of your four post night while I just acted like it wasn’t my fault
For holding my lover close
But leaving the back door open
Good goddamn, who could love a man
Who’s afraid of what he’s after?

There was a promise made from the lights of the stage
Was it freedom or just 15 of fame?
I go to work every day but I still can’t explain why I never really loved what I do
And I keep my obligations, it’s true
But I keep my fantasies closer
Good goddamn, who’d give voice to a man
Who can’t say just what he’s after?

There’s a place I know at the end of the road
If we keep walking, we’ll step right out of time
From what I know of you, friend, you’ve got good intentions
And I’ve always seen a light in your eyes
And I keep my friends close
But I always keep the highway closer
Good goddamn, will you befriend a man
Who’s trying to turn you on to what he’s after?
Track Name: Trash Collectors
The sunrise blesses the trash collectors as a new day pours into our lives
The world we fell asleep to yesterday was gone as soon as we closed our eyes
And when you were young you knew you’d be the one to bring this crazy world back to its senses
But you’ve had to carve your house out in it now and you’re rushing to it’s defenses

Once upon a time you were the highway kind, the wind was the only blanket you needed
To witness every crevice with honest eyes was your job and, man, it kept you lean
You’d blow into a town built on a burial ground, suburbs dotted the hills like sheep
You’d feel the fires burning on Main Street and sleep out in the trees like a refugee

But now you sing the same song day to day cause it works and you've got bills to pay
You rent out a house with other families around, you say "the shepherd, man, well he's ok"
You stare out onto the landscape now, times have changed and so have you
You feel written out of the future, and old for a world so new

Some days I believe I'm fixing to leave this world, but that feeling just fades into the next
Some nights out here are sleepless, some are like eternal rest
When your number is called and the pieces fall, I hope you burn just as bright as the sun
I hope the trash collectors know they're carrying away pieces of a chosen one
Track Name: On Bended Knee
A Roman soldier says to his boss “I got a feeling I can’t shake
Ever since we pinned that lunatic on the cross,
every night I lie awake
Having visions of a great serpent sleeping in the roots of a burning tree
And a movie called the end of the world and the main character is me
Heaven knows that I dream about murder even when I’m down on my bended knee”

The mistress says to the bridegroom “Just apologize to yourself
No one here believes your lies as much as you yourself.
Besides, I’ve never met a man who could put a ring on me
Cause I’ve never found that love is a reason not to be free
And I see the way your eyes wander even when you’re down on your bended knee”

Satanic verses on the men’s room wall
Hieroglyphics on the second stall
Forgotten thoughts of lost souls scrawled from the ceiling to the floor
And if I stare in this mirror any longer I’ll forget that I have a name
The Colorado River runs from the faucet to the drain
Sometimes I wonder what I’m running from when I’m down on my bended knee

The silence shattered by a mission bell, the sun muted by a cloud
The goat they’re gonna sacrifice for the feast is talking clear and loud
And the Padre pulls a book off the shelf called “The Dark Side of Our Lord”
As the maids pull the sheets off the clothesline, getting ready for the storm
You ever wonder who you’re talking to when you’re down on your bended knee?
Track Name: The Dark Side of the Light
Dive into the river like an old familiar lover
But the fool’s gold you’ve been earning is like stones in your pockets
You’re not swimming
The sorrow inside you fills you up light nightfall
Blinded by highbeams you die in your daydreams

You steal me from the earth and show me it’s as empty as the sky
You steal me from myself and show me the dark side of the light

See the mark of Cain on the one that you love
Stare into those eyes, they’re not afraid of a little blood
Sometimes your love flows out you from your veins into the earth
Sometimes you are the killer, sometimes the mother giving birth

You steal me from the earth and show me I’m as empty as the sky
You steal me from myself and show me the dark side of the light

This table that I sit at is like an inn along the highway
And I’m the old innkeeper, I’ve been here forever
Sometimes a weary traveler comes to join me at my table
But the night’s my true companion, she loves me and she scorns me

She steals me from the earth and shows me its as empty as the sky
She steals me from myself and shows me the dark side of the light
Track Name: Essence and Form
The way the sirens call the sailors
The way the shepherd calls the sheep
The way the ocean calls the burning plane
The way that you once called to me

The way the ground calls to the falling
The way the sunlight calls the seed
The way the lonely call the lonely
The way tomorrow beckons me

I don’t know how I met you
But I remembered you from before
I saw an ancient face in a modern crowd
I knew the essence but not the form

The way an instant turns to wonder
The way that wonder turns towards skin
The way that skin turns towards routine
Till every move I make turns you away again

The way the fire leaves the ashes
The way the green grass leaves the hay
The way a building goes abandoned
The way we parted yesterday

The way a village leaves a ruin
The way a tree leaves a snag
The way a loved one leaves a corpse
The way the essence leaves the form

Is that a routine or a mantra?
Are you here, or just taking up space?
Are we making love, or are we making porn?
Is it the essence or the form?

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