The Ashen Grove

by Eli Wise

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1.
Sacrifice to the Dead (free) 04:27
Sailing from the west by the light in the fire Waiting for the wars to start Sailing from the west by the light in the fire Waiting for the boys to drop See you little soldier, tall against the bright sky See how the great wheel rocks See you little solider, your eyes pale like the devil When you see the great wheel stop. Thrashing through the brush, through the dust and the darkness Didn't know it would be so close Thrashing through the brush, through the dust and the darkness As we walk half men, half ghosts Say you see a thin line, God and the Devil pull Who do you trust the most? Say you walk a thin line earth, hell, heaven, time Turn away, bled free of remorse. And who will be the Sacrifice to the Dead? And who will be the one who remembers To tell the stories that are left behind So it's embers to ashes, drain your glass of wine. Flash back to innocence your girl made little sense Ready to feel the world Flash back to innocence your girl looks a little tense When all her gifts turn to coal in your hands Everything is fuel to burn, a fire spin a war churn Time to say goodbye Everything is fuel to burn a fire spin a lightning storm Sighted in the eastern sky, the eastern sky. Night falls every hour, then rushes away Dreams aren't for this world, I say.
2.
Said no more will I dream of ships and war Said no more will I look at isolation Said I will just stay home and get a job Just stay home and watch the light Just stay home, I will just silence my will Silence my - Don't fear this light under the door This light belongs to the city again Will I become this silence Will I be lost in an open world? Said no more will I not speak your name for days and days No more will I stand and stare at blood on the basement, all over the basement floor I will just sit and watch TV I will just keep my fingers still I will just quietly step out of the room when my head begins to pound Don't fear this light under the door This light belongs to the city again Will I become this silence Lost in an open world?
3.
War Crickets 04:49
Two brothers waiting on their mother outside of church, sunday at noon The oldest one stands shiftless in the dust The younger boy hears crickets from the lawn asks his brother, if he can go stalk them Meanwhile, the army recruiter leaning against the wall smoking a cigarette says, “any of you all looking for a job do you need a job?” The young boy's crouching in the grass Gonna keep still til the tall shadows pass Or they'll throw their voices like lead onto the delicate things he's trying to grasp 3rd week, in the desert sweat Getting sickeningly used to the look of the dead But at night he looks at the pictures his brother sent him 4th week shoots the wrong men dead and he stands in horror at the innocence bled He cradles his head, new troubles in his head Oh now the young man's lying in the dark says, I know God I have just a spark left How can I shield it from this heat? Young man praying in the dark says, Yes God I will play my part but I'm afraid if you don't use your power to make this stop Now the young boy hears the crickets from his bed says mama why do they make the noises they do? she says I don't know maybe they're trying to talk to you maybe they know something we ought to And mama, when's my brother coming home? She looks at the flags like flowers in the lawns She says, I hope not long. But the soldier's out on patrol Til an explosion throws his whole Unit to the ground The soldier, lying on the ground Says, mama there's chaos all around me. Why can't we hear the sound?
4.
Living in Your Mind (free) 03:48
5.
He Chose It Again (free) 05:33
6.
The Ashen Grove (free) 03:49
(The Martyr's March ) If you die and if you die you are bound for heaven I know the thorn, I know the vine you are bound for heaven, I - If you fall and if you fall your mother she'll gather up your body in a silken shroud and lift you from the Ashen Grove She'll take you to the river, down wash you in waters brown bury you with wooden crown and walk with white eyes Earth abounds but veiled in heaven's light If you fall and if you fall your father he'll gather all your wishes, silver on the ground and lift them from the Ashen Grove He'll take them up the mountain far Throw them as dust to stars Open arms to heaven's hearth A father's Utterings - blown apart.
7.
Grinning Dagger (free) 03:18
8.
Ships on TV 07:00

about

I began these songs during the Iraq War, from 2007-08. One of my best friends from high school, Alex Carbonaro, was in the marines and he went on two tours of duty. I've always been a pacifist but I also wanted to understand what he and others like him were going through. He was a good, kind, caring person. I read newspapers, talked with him when I could, and tried to imagine the inner lives of soldiers like my friend Alex.

He died just a few weeks after getting married and just short of his 28th birthday. The Ashen Grove and He Chose it Again deal directly with different aspects of the journey I went through with his loss and the dreams and visions I had.

War Crickets imagines a young boy whose older brother enlists.
Ships on TV was written after I watched a PBS documentary about all the ways that the Navy guys got along and got by. I had a bitter taste after watching it - the program made it all look so cheery.

Ships on TV also owes a great debt to Damon Waitkus, who created the percussion from his suitcase of found sounds and engineering expertise.

credits

released February 15, 2011

Eli Wise, Damon Waitkus, Luke Selden, Jim Kassis, Caroline Penwarden, Emily Packard. Mastered by Myles Boison

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Eli Wise Oakland, California

Mythology set to music by the Oakland band. Vocal harmonies, ethereal guitars, and driving rhythm.

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