Hilo

by Brother Joshua

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of The Harp Family Hymnbook: Volume II, Live at Bring Your Song, Hilo, Last Days, and The Harp Family Hymnbook: A Collection of Revised Hymns. , and , .

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about

A collection of Appalachian-inspired folk tunes grappling with the brutality of life on the hard road to redemption.

credits

released November 20, 2015

All songs written or adapted by Brother Joshua (except tracks 4 & 11, arranged with John King). Tracks 1, 7 & 9 are traditional. Track 11 is based on "I'm Going Home" (282 in the Sacred Harp songbook). Track 12 was written by Ellen Compton. Rhythm guitar, harmonica, banjo-guitar & lead vocals by Brother Joshua. Piano on track 4 written & played by Matt Kurtz. All other sounds by John King.
Photos & art by Brother Joshua.
Recorded, arranged & produced by Brother Joshua & John King.
Mixed by John King.
Mastered by Spencer Martin.

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Harp Family Recordings Canton, Ohio

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Track Name: Wave the Ocean
Wave the ocean, wave the sea
Wave that pretty girl back to me
Wave the ocean, wave the sand
Wave this time and wave again
Wave the ocean, wave the shore
Wave this time and wave no more
Wave the ocean, wave the sand
Wave this time and wave again
Track Name: Girl of the Ohio
Here I stand on the riverside, oh oh oh
Here I stand on the riverside, oh oh oh

Watch my body go floating by, oh oh oh
Watch my body go floating by, oh oh oh

oh oh oh

Branches limp from silent trees, oh oh oh
Birds pass mournfully for me, oh oh oh
I reach my hand into the stream, oh oh oh
But my hand won’t cling to anything, oh oh oh

Find a rope
Pull me in
Wash the mud from my lily skin

Kiss my brow
Comb my hair
Lift my soul into the air, oh oh oh

Mother, say a prayer for me, oh oh oh
Sister, play your tambourine, oh oh oh
Father, sing a song for me, oh oh oh
Capo 3 in the key of G, oh oh oh
Track Name: Sir Johns Run
Come and save my soul/ Come and save my soul
Take me down to the river grounds and save me, save my soul…

My brother and I were born/ Brother and I were born
In an old gray shack under clouds of black on the shore of Sir Johns Run…

We’d play our fiddles loud/ Play our fiddles loud
We’d play our fiddles loud and we’d draw a crowd at the mine near Sir Johns Run…

My brother gave me my name/ Brother gave me my name
He called me Moses, said I arose like a beautiful, righteous flame…

I had turned 21/ I had just turned 21
When we went to work where the devil lurks
in the mines near Sir Johns Run…

I heard the foreman shout/ I heard the foreman shout
I heard the foreman shout and without a doubt
The timber came down with a mighty sound
They worked for hours trying to dig us out
I saw the lamplight bulb go down, down, down, down

When the smoke had cleared/ When the smoke had cleared
I heard my brother’s prayer in the cloudy air
The last words of his I’d hear…

Come and save my soul/ Come and save my soul
Take me down to the river grounds and save me…
Take me down to the river grounds
And save me, save my soul…
Track Name: The Old Engineer
I drove this train for 45 years/ I drove this train for 45 years
That lonely whistle is still in my ears
Still in my ears/ Still in my ears

They turned my soul to iron and coal
They turned my soul to iron and coal
My weary mind, I can’t control
I can’t control/ I can’t control

The bend in the rails
Like the bones in my back
They say John Henry himself laid these tracks
I’m taking it home like Casey Jones
Like Casey Jones/ Like Casey Jones

My great-grandfather’s grave
Lies outside of town
You can see it from the tracks
When the leaves are all down
He worked the mines for most of his life
Like I work this line/ Like I work this line

They’ll take my gloves and they’ll take my hat
They’ll take my shovel and close down my tracks
But I’m taking their train/ I’m taking it back
I’m taking it back/ I’m taking it back

Now throw on the coal, I’m out of control
Throw on the coal, I’m out of control
I’m gonna take my load into the great unknown
Into the great unknown/ Into the great unknown
Track Name: Thorough Joy
Peals of thunder, mystery; a creation, violent, formed
A child dead and gone; awakened as a storm
Unrelenting majesty in a fury sounds its horn
A light for the forlorn, a path to be reborn

Sight and sound have left their mark
But there’s much that we don’t know
We’ve ate but we’re not full
We’re tired and un-consoled
Light is crashing into dark, it’s out of our control
And the blindness in our souls, heal and make it whole

A broken heart, untethered, shouts an utterance in ire
The sins of its desire
A truth as real as fire
A voice that softly severs pounds in answer to the crier
With words shaper than iron
That could shake the world entire

A creature formed in darkness
Hurls itself into the light
A beauty born of strife, the miracle of life
A mother’s gentle likeness
From her arms, has taken flight
To feel the sting of night
To live beyond her sight
Track Name: Railroad Bill
Railroad Bill, sitting on the hill
Never worked a day and he never will
Ride…

Railraod Bill, so mean and so bad
Stole all the chickens that the poor farmer had
Ride…

Railroad Bill, waiting on a train
He’s swinging his watch on a golden chain
Over the ridge, over the range
It’s the long black smoke from an East bound train
Ride…

Railroad Bill, riding on the tracks
Carrying his money round in big, brown sacks
Ride…

Railroad Bill, 20 feet tall
He spoke with the voice of a black bird’s caw
And it’s ride…

Railroad Bill, waiting on a train
He’s swinging his watch on a golden chain
Over the ridge, over the range
It’s the long black smoke from an East bound train
Ride…
Ride…
Track Name: The Spider and His Bride
He carved you a ring to marry you
He brought you diamonds and silver
And set them by your shoes
He placed the ring on your finger
That’s when you knew
He carved you a ring to marry you

He built you a carriage to carry you
To that home in the forest he made with his tools
But you died on the way
And his heart died too
He built you a carriage
To carry you

He spun you a web to bury you
Made of fine linen, and lace that was blue
In a grave in the valley
He lowered you
He spun you a web
To bury you
Track Name: Hilo
If I should die and be buried at sea
A mermaid’s sweetheart I would be
Johnny’s gone to Hilo
Johnny’s gone to Hilo

My Johnny’s gone
What shall I do?
Track Name: Shout Upon the Waters
I’m gonna sing of Your holy power
I’m gonna sing it in my darkest hour
Oh hallelujah, my eyes have opened
Hallelujah, Thy Kingdom come

I’m gonna shout upon raging seas
Sing it while the blood runs out of me
Oh hallelujah, my will is broken
Hallelujah, Thy will be done

I’m gonna sing of Your holy fire
Shout it til my very breath expires
I’m gonna shout it til the earth gives way
Sing it so the whole wide world will say
Hallelujah, my eyes have opened
Hallelujah, Thy Kingdom come
Hallelujah, my will is broken
Hallelujah, Thy will be done
Track Name: Farewell, Vain World
Farewell, vain world, I’m going home
My Savior calls and bids me come
And I don’t care to stay here long

Sweet angels beckon me away
To sing God’s praise in endless day
And I don’t care to stay here long

I’m glad that I am born to die
From grief and woe my soul shall fly
And I don’t care to stay here long

Bright angels shall convey me home
Away to New Jerusalem
And I don’t care to stay here long
Track Name: Do Not Despair
I was so lonely and I was so sad
Along came my Savior and he said to me
Do not despair, for I will be there
Do no despair, for I will be there

Do not despair, no do not despair
Do not despair for I will be there
Do not despair, for I will be there
That’s what he said to me

We walked along and he said to me
Come follow me, for I will be there
I will be there wherever you go
Do not despair, for I will be there

Do not despair, no do not despair
Do not despair for I will be there
Do not despair, for I will be there
That’s what he said to me

I was so lonely and I was so sad
When all of my friends deserted me
I hung on the tree for all of your sins
Do not despair, for I will be there

Do not despair, no do not despair
Do not despair for I will be there
Do not despair, for I will be there
That’s what he said to me
That’s what he said to me