The Fire In My Head

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Shortly after moving to Santa Fe, I met Jono Manson. We were both bent over our toddlers at a playground. We might have both been wearing red corduroy pants. The connection was quick, but we didn’t talk music until the very end when Jono mentioned casually that he had a studio up in the hills north of town. I visited that studio a week or so later and knew quickly that he and I were going to be doing a lot of work together.

The studio was called the Kitchen Sink and was set into the mountains of Chupadero, about twenty minutes above Santa Fe. There’s nothing there except a little general store fifteen minutes away. It’s just an old adobe house Jono converted into a studio surrounded by sky and sage and cactus. (The studio has since moved into an incredible spot in downtown Santa Fe. I now can bike there. It’s amazing, though I do miss Chupadero.)

I had a batch of songs that I had written when I learned we’d be moving to Santa Fe and then some that I wrote after moving. The songs, like the title track, deal with the desert and the lack of rain. That was pretty overwhelming when I arrived. Still is.

Several, like the opening track “Back to Blue” and “Oh, The Hedges are High” look at getting older, evolving and maturing love. And I think all the songs probably address surviving hardship (“Song for the Road” is probably the best example of that). How do we find hope and joy in the face of struggle?

I brought in Bill Titus and Jordan Katz to the studio for a few days. The three of us had been touring heavily together and had worked out a sound that I was pretty into. Jordan, of course, plays banjo and trumpet; and Bill does things with a guitar that no one else I know does. We wanted this record to be different than my previous ones. Less polished. Less produced. We wanted it to represent what we were doing out on the road. We recorded it in three long days.

Mixing didn’t take a whole lot longer. The three of us played everything. Bill even sat behind the drums on “Song for the Road.”

I love this record. It’s intimate and very personal. As the title might suggest, I think it feels like you’re almost inside my head as you listen, or at least you’re inside the adobe room up in the mountains that we recorded in.–

Lyrics

Back to Blue
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2012

There’s a rising moon somewhere.
Autumn leaves are everywhere.
Could that have been a smile?

Yes, I know it’s been a while,
sometimes we’re lost out in the wild.
We’ve been looking up and down.

Do you hear that far off sound?
Like the birds are circling round.
Like the breeze is whispering.

All good things one day begin.
If I knew the words I’d sing,
I’d sing it loud so we hall could hear.

We have only this one chance. Let’s take it my dear. Let’s taste it my dear.

And some arrows miss the mark.
Sometimes the match won’t spark.
That’s not how the story ends.

No that can’t slow us down my friend.
We do the best we can to mend.
Stop the fighting, calm the fear.

We have only this one chance. Let’s take it my dear. Let’s taste it my dear.
Don’t let me waste it, please. Don’t let me waste it, please.

I see the light up in the sky,
see the light inside your eyes,
glowing like the moon.

There’s a way for me and you,
and the night turns back to blue.
There’s still hope, that’s clear.

We have only this one chance. Let’s take it my dear. Let’s taste it my dear.
Don’t let me waste it, please. Don’t let me waste it, please.

The Fire in My Head
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2012

Well you went to the desert,
went to the valley.
You went looking for something,
find who you could be.

Yeah when you went away everything changed.
Now I’m out here in the fields praying for rain.

So I went up to the rooftop.
I went down through the alley.
I went looking for something,
or someone to save me.

Yeah once I looked I couldn’t look away.
Now I’m out here in the streets praying for rain.

There’s a fire burning in my head. There’s a fire in my head.

Oh, there’s no rain tonight.
No rain in sight tonight.
There’s no rain tonight.
There’s no rain
There’s no rain

So I open the window,
hoping the breeze blows.
Birds going crazy.
I’m wondering how they know.

And I’m tearing out the pages once again.
I’m out under the sky praying for rain.

Cause there’s a fire burning in my head. There’s a fire in my head.
There’s a fire burning in my head. There’s a fire in my head.
There’s a fire in my head.
There’s a fire in my head.

Oh, the Hedges are High
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2012

We’re leaving
as the leaves turn again.
Do you see them?
See the green go to red.

And the wind blows
through our windows at night.
And you wonder
are we doing it right.

Oh, the hedges are high. And I can’t see the sky
How did you, how did I get here too?

There’s a whisper.
It’ll turn to a shout,
like a caged beast
that’ll soon be let out

Or a freight train
charging down from the heights,
Or a fighter
as the bell starts the fight.

Oh, the hedges are high. And we can’t see the sky
How did you, how did I, get here too?

If I could turn back the tide
oh my god, I’d try.
If I could wipe the tears from your eyes,
oh my god, I’d try. Oh my god I’d try.

But the hedges are high. And we can’t see the sky
How did you, how did I get here too?

And we’re older
Than ever before
And our children
They knock down the door

It’s a story,
but it’s not black and white
And I don’t know
it the morale is right.

There’s an ending,
but it isn’t in sight.
Until then
I’ll be holding you tight.

Cause the hedges are high. And we can’t see the sky
How did you, how did I Get here too?

The Well (Wait for the Rain)
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2012

Now everyone’s waiting for all this to change,
a savior to come or a great tidal wave.
Just off the horizon, “it’s coming,” they say.
They watch for a sign, they wait for the rain.
Still going and going, and isn’t it strange,
that one day we fall and one day we pay.
One day we fall, and one day we pay.

I been trying to hold on to something that lasts,
something with roots, or tied to some mast.
Cause we will all wake up our face to the glass
and wonder how it went by so fast.
All of the questions, too old to ask,
and what will we learn when all is this is past.

Now everyone’s fighting to not say farewell,
beckoned to buy and beckoned to sell.
And maybe there’s someone out ringing some bell.
I can’t hear the sound from all the yells.
Louder and faster, it’s harder to tell,
when the water’s all gone, gone from the well.

Shelter
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2012

Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2012

On my way back home,
feeling so alone again.
When I saw the light was on,
but everything was wrong
I thought I knew.

And in the school yard then,
I remember when you smiled.
The quiet in your eyes
still gives me butterflies,
you know you do.

All that we’ve been through,
don’t leave me.
I won’t leave you.
All that we’ve been through,
just be with me.
I’ll shelter you.

And I’m my father’s son,
trying to catch the ones who fall.
And all the ones you’re near,
seem to disappear,
no matter what you do.

I’ve been trying to hold it all,
like trying to build a wall with sand,
or a handful of cards,
and the wind is blowing hard.
Do you feel it, too?

All that we’ve been through,
don’t leave me.
I won’t leave you.
All that we’ve been through,
just be with me.
I’ll shelter you.

No matter what you do, I’ll shelter you.

Mother look at me.
I am trying to be so strong.
But all along I see
things that shouldn’t be.
Do you see it, too?

All that we’ve been through,
don’t leave me.
I won’t leave you.
All that we’ve been through,
just be with me.
I’ll shelter you.

No matter what you do, I’ll shelter you.
No matter what you do, I’ll shelter you.

 

Broken Crown
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2012

Sweeping all the leaves up off the step,
you found a ribbon,
and tied it in your hair.

It was just like the ones you used to wear
when you were younger
and turned all you touched to jewels.

I think that’s the same thing you still do.
Yes, I think that’s exactly what you do.
But all these pieces of a broken crown are all around.

Wo oh, I won’t let you go
so high to so low.

Lately I’ve been noticing the light
in the morning,
my body next to you.

I wish that you could see it like I do,
how you move me,
turn me on and on.

But the road’s as hard as it is long.
The road’s as hard as it is long,
with all these pieces of a broken crown all around.

Wo oh, I won’t let you go
so high to so low.

Look at all that washed up on the shore,
from all the shipwrecks
sea glass like sapphire,
the golden driftwood.
But now all the fog is gone.

My love for you goes on and on.
Kind of like the breeze blows,
kind of like the tide pulled by the moon.

Come on girl, sing me that old tune.
Yeah, come on girl sing me that old tune.
Let’s leave these pieces of a broken crown on the ground.

Wo oh, I won’t let you go
so high to so low.
So high to so low.
So high to so low.

Coming Home
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2012

Coming home.
I’m Coming home.
All this time, I’ve been trying to say those three words.

And now it’s here.
Now it’s here.
But you are shy, how do I tell you all I’ve been through?

These are the streets that I once knew.
There is the skyline, too.
I had a hope, it ‘s coming true.
I’m coming home to you.

Christmas time.
It’s Christmas time.
It’s all the same, but how I have changed, it’s a different world.

After all,
after all,
I know you’ve been hit, too, it’s been so hard for you.

These are the streets that I once knew.
There is the skyline, too.
I see the river froze clear through.
But I’m coming home to you.

Oh I’m still holding on. Oh I’m still holding on.
Oh I’m still holding on. Oh I’m still holding on.

In my mind,
in my mind,
there’s a war, and I’m not sure if it’s all over yet.

So stay with me,
stay with me.
Take it slow, please don’t go, we will make it on through.

These are the streets that I once knew.
There is the skyline, too.
I had a hope it’s coming true.
I’m coming home to you.

Oh please keep holding on. Oh please keep holding on.
Oh please keep holding on.
Cause I am coming home.

Song for the Road
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2012

Well, the river’s too full,
but the land is too dry.
When the floodwaters came
there was nowhere to hide

So I sing for the land,
for our fields washed away.
They flooded the grave
where my grandfather lay

It’s a song for the road.
Yeah I know it gets rough.
Don’t ever give in.
Don’t ever give up.

I sing for the child
who was watching the sky
when the twister roared in,
made the whole city fly.

Took the roof from the church.
Tore the roots from the ground.
Yeah when the twister roared off,
she had leveled our town.

So sing a song for the road.
Cause I know it gets rough.
Don’t ever give in.
Don’t ever give up.

Come on back from the ledge.
Come on in from the rain.
Here’s some things that won’t hurt.
Here’s some things that won’t change.

Like the afternoon light
when the clouds break apart.
Like the way that I feel
‘bout the good in your heart.

They can flatten a house.
They can flood all we see.
They can’t take the soul
from my family and me.

Sing a song for the road.
I know it gets rough.
Don’t ever give in.
Don’t ever give up.
Don’t ever give in.
Don’t ever give up.
Don’t ever give in.
Don’t ever give up.