FACING THE FLAME was

recorded and mixed at Chez Campbell and mastered at Record Time Studios here in St. John's, Newfoundland.   In some cases, we recorded as many as 28 tracks for a single song.   We thank Geoff Panting for his support as studio engineer and for playing organ and accordion, our fellow musicians Mike Stevens (harmonica) and percussionists Andrew McCarthy, Simon Miminis and Elliot Dicks for their contributions.  The cover art by Aurafidelite Arindam and CD design by Jessie Meyer are beautiful.

OUR NEW ALBUM is a thirteen tune collection of original songs written over more than 30 years.     What surprised us is that  these songs, written by two different people,  are all linked  by their  themes and strong images. We call this album Songs of Wonder and Experience because these compositions each have a way of looking at life and time from a richer, deeper perspective. We would love to know what you think about these songs, and which ones are your favourites. 

Song Words  

 

 

ONE MORE YESTERDAY

Words and music by Dave Panting

 

An ode to time and forces beyond our control.  

References to Greek mythology in this song come partly from Dave's years of playing

traditional Greek music with George Miminis and The Forgotten Bouzouki.

 

 

Roads take us where the sun sets

The wheels of life in gear

Find what's ahead's behind us

The landscape of the years

 

One more round in one more town

One more song to play

Tomorrow's gone and left us

One more yesterday

 

One wave upon another

We live our odyssey

As pawns of gods and monsters

The force of destiny

 

One more round in one more town

One more song to play

Tomorrow's gone and left us

One more yesterday

 

In darkness in the distance

Where heaven's thunder rolls

One glimmer of acceptance

A comfort to the soul

 

One day there won't be one more

There won't be one more day

Midnight sun and stars of morning

Will fade away

 

One more round in one more town

We just can't stay

Tomorrow's gone and left us

One more yesterday

 

 

HORIZONS

Words and music by Dan Rubin

 

This song came while we were recording the album. 

It connects the themes and images of the other songs

with the awareness that after all these years of travel and performing,

we are still moving on, reaching for the edge, still searching for what lies beyond.

 

 

Far away from here

Beyond all hope and fear

Live things eternal etched in memory

But the world keeps turning

And we are carried on

Always the horizons call to me

 

We’re sailors on the ocean

Setting off to find out

Whether things are really what they seem

Beyond the far horizons

Are lands we’ve never seen

We’re sailing back to where we’ve never been

 

Opening the eyes

Of wonder and surprise

We chart a course into the blue beyond

Across the endless deep

By the compass of our souls

We trust the sea to carry us along

 

We’re sailors on the ocean

Carried by the waves

Setting off to see what can be seen

Beyond imagination

Lie lands of ancient dream

Always the horizons lead us on

Always the horizons lead us on

 

 

THE PLUME

Words and music by Dan Rubin

 

In 2008 Dan flew to the Big Island of Hawaii for a last visit with his mother.  While there he stayed with friends

at Belly Acres, a land co-op near the shore, just a short distance from where red hot lava is flowing

into the sea. Where lava meets the ocean, a gigantic plume of super-heated steam rises to the clouds. 

This song celebrates the four elements - fire, water, earth and air - and the ceaseless destruction and creation

that is always part of life.   It is also a reflection on our reluctance to face what we are doing to this planet.

 

 

Like a bonfire blazing in the night

Sparks are rising, dancing with delight

See the Plume as it rises out of sight

To join the clouds

Gathered at its height

But you do not see the Golden Crown

Burning down

 

Like a great wave moves across the sea

The currents bring the bad news back to me

It’s as true as it can be

And we look, but we do not choose to see

How the rising waters start to drown

Burning down, burning down

 

All things that lives are made of earth

A simple story told in bits of dirt

Hunks of carbon hungry for rebirth

But we will not see what it is worth

‘Til the dry soil starts to crack and brown

Burning down, burning down

Burning down

 

Like grey feathers dancing in the sky

That twist and turn as they learn to fly

To raise the Feathered Snake on high

All things that live are born to die

Which it takes to clear

The fallow ground

Burning down, burning down

Burning down

 

So like a bonfire burning in the night

Sparks are rising, dancing with delight

Watch the Plume as it rises out of sight

To join the clouds gathered at its height

But you do not see the Golden Crown

Burning down

No you do not see our Golden Crown

Burning down, burning down

Burning down

 

 

FACING THE FLAME

Words and music by Dan Rubin

 

All around us we see clear evidence of how our industrial way of life is changing the atmosphere,

yet we still find it hard to face the threat that we have become to all life on Earth.

 

 

Living on the ring of fire

Staring at the hole in the sky

We’re all stuck in the weather

When we live and when we die

It’s all the same

When you’re facing the flame

Living on the edge

Of the ring of fire

 

Blame it on the man with the matches

Blame it on the hole in the sky

Blame it on whoever’s not here at the moment

But it’s really just you and I

And it’s all the same

When you’re facing the flame

Living on the edge

Of the ring of fire

 

Fire in the morning

Fire at the edge of the earth

Fire without warning

Fire is the death and the birth

Ring of fire. . .

 

We don’t know nothin ‘bout future

We’re just stuck in the past

We’re hangin’ on by our fingernails

And hopin’ that it will last

But it’s all the same

When you’re facing the flame

Living on the edge

Of the ring of fire

 

Facing the flame

Facing the flame

Facing the flame

Facing the flame 

 

 

ANSWERS

Words and music by Dave Panting

 

Dave's sometimes euphoric, sometimes melancholy, fascination with clouds inspired him to write this

haunting reminder of the restlessness of nature and our way of looking to the sky as the home of God

and source for answers to life's questions.

 

 

Everything begins again

After night has brought the rain

We can raise our eyes and see

Love is more than you and me

 

Can't you hear the angels cry

Clouds above us where we lie

Unfolding as the days go by

Answers written in the sky

 

Sailing on a ship of fear

Trouble's never far away

Cross an ocean full of tears

Love is next to you today

 

You never know, you never know

No, you never know the future

You never know, you never know

And so I'm asking you today

 

Can't you hear the angels cry

Clouds above us where we lie

Unfolding as the days go by

Answers written in the sky

 

And in the morning sun

Days will still be blue

When everything is one

I will leave my love to you

 

Can't you hear the angels cry

Clouds above us where we lie

Unfolding as the days go by

Answers written in the sky

Answers written in the sky

 

 

INDIAN ROPE TRICK

Words and music by Dan Rubin

 

Here comes the man with the basket.  He sets it down and begins to play the shehnai. 

As the winding nasal sound of double reeds resonates down the long, thin pipe,

from the basket rises not the sacred cobra, but the rope, stretching upward into the sky.  

The man climbs up the rope, and it falls back into the basket. 

We are left standing, mouths hanging open, staring upward.

A mandolin-driven blues, a wry comment on our need for speed.  

 

 

Reachin’ for the sky

Reachin for the moon

Did you ever get the feelin’

You were born too soon?

Did you ever get to wonderin’

Just where it all will stop

If we’ve climbed this high

And we haven’t reached the top

 

Keep climbin’

Even if it’s only in your head

Keep climbin’

Even if it’s only in your head

 

Now you’re rollin’ through the mountains

Doin’ ninety miles an hour

You haven’t got the time

To see the trees and the flowers

You know you could see more

If you were walkin’ on the ground

But it’s just too late

For you to slow down

 

Keep climbin’

Even it it’s only in your mind

Keep climbin’

But you know you left it all behind. . .

 

So you’re climbin’ that rope

That reaches to the sky

You climbed so far, you must be high!

You climbed so fast, don’t you know

You left it all behind

About all you got left now

Is that rope in your mind

 

Keep climbin’

Even if it’s only in your head

Keep climbin’

But you know you’ll only wind up. . .

Dead  dead  dead 

 

 

SAME OLD DREAMS

Words and music by Dave Panting

 

Dave remembers his childhood, those peaceful, sunny, summer days that seemed to stretch on forever.

Things were simple then as they were ever going to be.  A song about our longing for an idyllic time, pointing to our

ability to still reach that place in our imagination, even if nowhere else.

 

 

Away we go, to where we know

That peace and harmony

Roll into rhyme outside time

We find ourselves it seems

Driftin' back

Back to the same old dreams now

The same old dreams

 

Summer days eternal, float on your back

Circle in the water, fall into the sky

Green leaves echo zeyphr's blues

Silver dance of sun and stream

Driftin' back

Back to the same old dreams now

The same old dreams

Back to the same old dreams now

The same old dreams

 

Full moon horizon, twilight's edge

One by one the stars come out to shine

Firelight and shade, a reverie ballet

Endless variations on a theme

Driftin' back

Back to the same old dreams now

The same old dreams

 

Driftin' back

Back to the same old dreams now

The same old dreams

Same old dreams now

Same old dreams

Same old dreams now

The same old dreams

Back to the same old dreams now

Same old dreams . . .

 

 

NEWFOUNDLAND BLUES

Words and music by Dave Panting

 

Not really a blues, more a celebration of those things we know and live with, on this mighty island of Newfoundland.

 

 

It's a misty harbour day

In the morning Newfoundland grey

Until the sun burns through

I'm singin' Newfoundland blues

I got the Newfoundland blues

 

When the memories sail away

Across the years around the bay

Think about the yesterdays

Sea change and what can you do

With the Newfoundland blues?

 

How many tales will never be told

Now that the view's been bought and sold?

Hard stories leave your heart cold

Times as good as Newfoundland gold

Singin' Newfoundland blues

 

Listen to the old men talk

Women on the widow's walk

See the seagulls circle and cry

Souls of sailors in the sky

Singin' Newfoundland blues

 

How many tales will never be told

Now that the view's been bought and sold?

Hard stories leave your heart cold

Times as good as good old black gold

I got the Newfoundland blues

 

Now I've got no more to say

On this misty harbour day

Sit and watch the sun shine through

Turn the morning Newfoundland blue

I got the Newfoundland blues

I'm singin' Newfoundland blues

Yeah, yeah I'm singin' Newfoundland blues

 

 

HOW WE TOOK TO THE SKY

Words and music by Dan Rubin

 

While reading a book about early balloon flight, Dan was inspired to write this dreamlike piece.  

In the early 1700s, two centuries before powered flight, we were already looking down from on high,

seeing the world whole, our eyes filled with wonder.  

Perhaps if we could recapture some of that wonder-filled perspective,

we would find a deeper appreciation for

the thinly-stretched surface of this planet on which we live?

 

 

I wake within those walls of ice

I rise up from my bed

I see above me endless blue

A fire within my head

 

I see the huge balloon above

So like a flying horse

It pulls me from my slumber deep

To look down on the clouds

 

Below me only broken toys

In jumbled heaps down there

Below my boots the distant earth

I walk upon the air

 

I peer down from this parapet

Into the clouds below

I see the grey and white dissolve

As we a-drifting go

 

Is it not strange to float right here

Above the sea of clouds

How long can we remain aloft

How long is this allowed

 

To float above is like a dream

Within the endless sky

This is our chance to see things true

To look down from on high

 

To float above is like a dream

Suspended here on high

This is our chance to see things true

We’ve taken to the sky

 

 

GOODBYE AND GO

Words and music by Dave Panting

 

A work in progress, developing for the past thirty years.  

Reflections of endless days as a touring musician, on the road with various musical groups,

it looks to earth, water and air for its imagery.

 

 

Seaside eyes deep and honest blue

To the point where your living lies

Set our sails, it's goodbye and go

 

Roadside heart longs for you to roll

Down the line where your freedom lies

Turn our wheels, it's goodbye and go

 

It's goodbye my friends

Goodbye once again

 

Skyward high, space for you to fly

Round the sun, where your vision lies

Spread our wings, it's goodbye and go

 

It's goodbye my friends

Goodbye once again

 

Seaside eyes deep and honest blue

To the point where your living lies

Set our sails, it's goodbye and go

Turn our wheels, it's goodbye and go

Spread our wings, it's goodbye and go

 

 

HARD LUCK STORIES

Words and music by Dan Rubin

 

It’s not that we don't love country music, but sometimes them "hurtin' songs" get to be just. . .well, too much.

Dan wrote this tongue-in-cheek ballad to remind us that we need inspiration more than empathy.   

Mike Stevens contributed the gorgeous harmonica tracks that completed the mix.

 

 

All of your well-know Johnny-come-lately

Sing it to me softly ‘til I believe it songs

Are just the cries in the night of some overgrown children

Trying to forget that somebody did them wrong

 

And from over where the sunrise petals spreading

To way over there where there their suns are going down

It looks like a lake of take me back please

Won’t you listen to me mama, now that l’m fully grown?

 

And I say. . .

Nobody needs your hard luck stories

You know they all got their own

What they wanna feel is the power and the glory

Life must be worth more than a helpless groan

 

So why do spend your time agonizing

Putting down pen to paper in a pool of blood?

It’s a waste of time for a full-grown man

Or a woman to be making those pies out of the mud

 

If you’d open your eyes to what’s before you

You’d find there’s a thousand things that you could say

But you’d call it darkness with both eyes closed

Drifting in the night when you could be dancing in the day

 

And I say. . .

Nobody needs your hard luck stories

You know they all got their own

What they wanna feel is the power and the glory

Life must be worth more than a helpless groan

 

Those hard luck stories

They just . . . bore me

Why don’t you put them away?

 

 

CALIFORNIA HILLS

Words and music by Dan Rubin

 

Growing up in California, Dan remembers walking the gentle slopes of oak woodland that form the warm, beating

heart of that beautiful state.  He remembers his uncle Harold panning for gold in the Sacramento River.  

Just imagine what it would have been like, to arrive in 1849,

when those hills were still pristine, if you had the luck to discover they had welcomed you home?

 

 

Well there’s lots of gold in the California hills

Or so the rumours say

And I went there just to spend some time

And see if I could make it pay

And there was sagebrush, more than enough for me

And the grey hills stretch from the place I’m standing

To as far as the eye can see

 

California, your hills are full of gold

California, there’s treasure all around you there

Oh, that’s what I’ve been told

 

And the trail winds east from Sacramento

To the smaller towns

I followed that track with my pack of tools

Until I hit the higher ground

And it was hard goin’ and I walked ‘til my shoulders hurt

Then I panned some traces, so I staked my claim

And I started out sluicin’ dirt

 

California, this life’s just not for me

Let me warn you

Sluice box is the devils’ mouth

And gold is never free

 

‘Cause it’s days and weeks of shovelin’ ore

‘Til you can’t feel the shovel in your hand any more

And the sun pours down like fire on your back and neck

And so you shovel your way through half a ton

And what do you have when your work is done?

Maybe two or three ounces of dust

For all that sweat . . .

 

Well I don’t mind sweatin’, no I don’t mind workin’

So’s the pay is fair

But after five long months I had nothin’ to show

And Autumn was in the air

It was sunset on my very last day

And the last light spread across the ground

And when I straightened my back to look

There was gold just all around

 

Well it’s seven years since I came this way

With my pack of tools

I’ve seen lots of men give up and leave,

And you know, I think they’re fools

Yes, there’s gold here, I’m sure about it now

I’ve got a house and a wife and forty five acres

Of gold underneath my plow

 

California, your hills have brought me home

I started out a rovin’ boy and now I’ll never roam . . .

 

 

THE STORY

Words and music by Dave Panting

 

Looking back along the road travelled.

In the end, all we can really do

is try to understand and accept the truths of our own lives.

 

 

Hear the chimes, hours in your mind

The voices telling you you've got to find the time

Life stole away from you I think it's a crime

But that's how the story goes

That's how the story goes

 

Now and then I stop, take a look around

Stare at the broken road I cannot go back down

Thinkin' that if only I knew then what I know now

That's how the story goes

That's how the story goes

 

I wish that all our absent friends could be with us today

To reminisce and laugh and cry and sing and dance and play

With one more chance to get it right before it slips away

 

With all the sadness we must do the best we can

Through all the madness keep following the plan

Love livin' every day and try to understand

That's how the story goes

That's how the story goes

 

Hear the chimes hours in your mind

Voices telling you you've got to find the time

Life stole away from you I think it's a crime

But that's how the story goes

That's how the story goes

That's how the story goes

That's how the story goes

 

 

© Copyright, 2013, TANGLECOVE>   No musical instruments were harmed in the making of this site.

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