Autobiography of a Dead Man

by Jeff Hayward

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Performed, recorded and mixed by Jeff Hayward in his cabin in Kootenay Bay, British Columbia.

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released October 25, 2013

All songs written by Jeff Hayward.

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Jeff Hayward Kootenay Bay, British Columbia

Jeff Hayward lives on the shores of Kootenay Lake in the southern interior of British Columbia. He grows vegetables, keeps bees, and occasionally writes folk music.

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Track Name: The Night
Things are getting tougher and I don't know why
A man can't barely get himself a piece of the pie
This country's taken down by Nurget Stadnick and Mom
I swear to god above I'll get what's mine or die trying, come on

The way this town is running man its making me sick
but there's very few problems that a shotgun can't fix
Your life is pretty short and the night is long
so kiss you wife and kids and go to war with these pricks, come on

Some men fear what they can't understand
others forget they ever had any friends
I'm a motherfucker knows right where I belong
But she's the type of woman puts a shake in my hand, come on

Drive all night hide out in the day
The bikers never find us down Mexico way
All their careful plans are blowing up like a bomb
You know they better get down on their knees and pray, come on
Track Name: Prison Song
Throw me under those rolling wheels
cause I'm done working your tobacco fields
Lash my wrists to the whipping tree
out behing Kent Penitentiary

Interrogate everyone I've spoken to
cause I'm done working on your paving crew
Throw me in a hole where I can never see
in the basement of Kent Penitentiary

Its a long long way up from the bottom
Its a long long way up from the bottom

You can tell me I got a cross to bear
you can chain my legs cut off my hair
You can tell me I'm never gonna be free
but I won't die in Kent Penitentiary

Its a long long way up from the bottom
Its a long long way up from the bottom

Throw me under those rolling wheels
cause I'm done working your tobacco fields
Lash my wrists to the whipping tree
out behing Kent Penitentiary

Its a long long way up from the bottom
Its a long long way up from the bottom
Track Name: Logging Town
Looking back was something we never had
and my dad did his best with what he had
Like driving logs downstream
Dad and me were never in control as we seemed

So we left that town
where my mother drowned
and to the road we were bound
until that cop tracked us down

The old logger lived like he should have been dead
Guess some folks just have those thoughts in their heads
Like smoke in the air or an old man's despair
you could tell that he was burning somewhere

So we left that town
where my the kid from canada drowned
and to the road we were bound
until that cop tracked us down
Track Name: Her Blood on My Hands
I was just in high school barely old enough to drive
I ran around went wild was just thrilled to be alive
She was two years younger she was such a pretty girl
I took her out on the town man I promised her the world
but it all ran through my fingers like our happiness was sand
now her face is in my dreams and her blood is on my hands

She told me it was over that we were just young and having fun
I said 'babe we had a good run' and went and got my father's gun
Daddy he came home and he seen just what I done
He looked deep into my eyes and he said son you better run
It was all an accident none of this was planned
now her face is in my dreams and her blood is on my hand

I said to the warden 'man you gotta understand
I always tried to do what's right I tried to be a man'
The warden he said 'son you better start praying while you can
you got her face in your dreams and her blood is on your hands'

I stood there on them gallows my clothes were soaking wet
I had mortal fear inside my chest and a rope around my neck
the hangman he strolled over stood beside me on that deck
He said 'why you look so nervous boy? the fun ain't even started yet'
'Well mister' I said 'good luck I hope you sleep like babies can
when my face is in your dreams and my blood is on your hands'

Her face is in my dreams and her blood is on my hands
Track Name: Time
Momma, I wanted to make you proud, but it seems like its too late
You told me one day all my dreams would work out, my life didn't out that way
Now I've lied so much don't know which are true, can't believe what a mess I've made
But I remember every single night, every time I made you cry

Every single day I'm in here, the world outside keeps running on
While I sit frozen in stone
And everyone that cares about me, are living still they're moving on
And I do my time alone

Maybe one day when they open these doors, and these chains come off my legs
I'll finally figure out what my life is for, and feel the sunlight on my face
I'm Saul of Tarsus and I've fell from my horse, but I'm still waiting for that change
New understanding, something new to work for, and a brand new name

Every single day I'm in here, the world outside keeps running on
While I sit frozen in stone
And everyone that cares about me, are living still they're moving on
And I do my time alone
Track Name: Canoe
First light in this mountain valley
Walk this empty parking lot
and I can almost hear your heartbeat
In this town that time forgot

Cause we both know that nothing is gonna last
so come paddling with me

We slept last night beneath the stars
sleeping bag and a bottle on wine
I finally showed you my scars
and how they mark the passing time

Cause we both know that nothing is gonna last
so come paddling with me

Time keeps sliding by
like me and you
in this old canoe
What are we gonna do?

So when it comes my time to die
and my spirits going free
take my body up the mountain side
and lay me down beneath the trees

Cause we both know that nothing is gonna last
so come paddling with me
Track Name: De Beauvoir's Dead
Come on gals get your hair did up
get made up with your neckline down
boys are there with come-ons in a cup
Come on gals lets go downtown

Everybody's different everything has changed
the roles we used to live are getting rearranged
Who gives a shit? no cares about you wits?
All we wanna see is if you got a pair of tits

Oooo modern woman

You like your job though you don't make as much as me
Pad your bra with your philosophy degree
No one heard a goddamn word you said
Miley's on the cover and de Beauvoir's dead

Oooo modern woman
Oooo modern man
Track Name: Lessons
Goodbye to the creek and to playing hide and seek
goodbye to the streets where laughing children meet
over by the jungle gym where I first kissed a girl
goodbye to the neighbourhood that was my whole world

I've spent my whole life trying to learn how to be myself
and every time I lied I was being somebody else
but this ain't no storybook and it ain't no tv show
and that's a hard thing to learn but its part of growing up

That's what my daddy taught me the day he died
and maybe we weren't close but he never said goodbye

He grew up too fast and got married way to young
three kids and a mortgage and too little time for fun
he didn't have what he wanted and he didn't want what he had
if it were me I'd be moving on if it ever got so bad

That's what my daddy taught me the day he died
he left me there alone to wonder why

That's what my daddy taught me the day he died
and daddy I'm not perfect but I'll try
for you
Track Name: Take Me Back
My grand father hung his belt from his bones
he was made from muscle and from blood
His back it was strong, and his work it was his own
his hands made hard from rocks and mud

Take me back take me back
to the place where they layed my family's bones
Take me back take me back
so I can work a little place of my own

My grand father farmed, this land it was his home
he lived by the shovel and the plow
These hills and two strong arms, the only things he ever owned
but he was happy and his country heart was proud

Take me back take me back
to the simple country life I've never known
Take me back take me back
and let me start a little family of my own

I want to feel the sun and wind, I want to taste the earth and soil
leave the offices and freeways far behind
I'll feel the weather on my skin, suffer days of honest
and know simple truths instead of complex lies

Take me back take me back
to the place where they layed my family's bones
Take me back take me back
so I can work a little place of my own
Take me back take me back
to the simple country life I've never known
Take me back take me back
and let me start a little family of my own
Track Name: Winter of 1865
It was the winter of '65, on the run with my brother
Just trying to stay alive from one day to another
We'll see the end of a rope for what we done to our mother
To cross the border's our only hope, trade this life for another

We only did what we had to do
but between you and me we enjoyed it

We busted into an old farm stead to get some food and water
Shots were fired we lost our heads and put the family to slaughter
It wasn't really our fault, they made a fuss and a bother
But what makes me sick with guilt is what we done to their daughter

We only did what we had to do
but between you and me we enjoyed it

Cold days and blood soaked nights with desperation to guide us
But soon the border was in our sights, it seems the worst was behind us
My brother cracked and he lost his fight, said he hoped they would find us
I cut his throat as he slept that night before his weakness defined us

I only did what I had to do
but between you and me I enjoyed it
Track Name: Sweet Lydia
I found you down by the sea couldn't believe the way you looked at me
All you were wearing was the evening breeze and a string of lillies
We built a boat from our love unfurled the sail under the stars above
We climbed aboard and off we shoved thought we'd be enough

But there's a storm burning in my heart and I don't know which way the wind will take us
And I can see rocks all around and I'm afraid they're a-gonna break us
And if this is a dream I don't know if I want you to wake us
But I can see rocks all around and I'm afraid they're a-gonna break us

You say so much with your knowing smile but I was a foolish child all the while
Let my insecurities run free and put you on trial
I know your heart and I know this ship you know the ocean and all its tricks
we know the word before they've passed our lips we've planned this trip

But there's a storm burning in my heart and I don't know which way the wind will take us
And I can see rocks all around and I'm afraid they're a-gonna break us
And if this is a dream I don't know if I want you to wake us
But I can see rocks all around and I'm afraid they're a-gonna break us

So here we are lying out on the deck its never easy but I'm doing my best
Want you to know in case our ship gets wrecked with you I've been blessed
I might wander and you might stray we might get lost we might lose our way
Let tomorrow morning bring what it may just love me today

But there's a storm burning in my heart and I don't know which way the wind will take us
And I can see rocks all around and I'm afraid they're a-gonna break us
And if this is a dream I don't know if I want you to wake us
But I can see rocks all around and I'm afraid they're a-gonna break us

Ooooh-ooooh-ooooh sweet Lydia
Ooooh-ooooh-ooooh my love
Track Name: Coming Home
North Alberta, get this pipeline on the ground
minus 35 and the sun ain't comin out
lord have mercy on this working stiff
the money's good but this ain't no way to live

Drink myself to sleep most ever single night
Send money to my family I hope that they're alright
I don't know why I bought that fuckin truck
Four more years of payments until then I guess I'm stuck

Coming home, I can't wait to put this town behind me
Coming home, where I love how you wake up beside me

I really thought Fort MacMurray would pay off
But this morning half of us got laid off
I'm sorry baby I'll look for work again
You know the market hits a low spot now and then

Coming home, I can't wait to put this town behind
Coming home, I'll hide all the anger inside me

coming hoe, I can't wait to put this town behind me
Coming home, where I love how you wake up beside me
Track Name: Autobiography of a Dead Man
I was born with a gun in my hand got my first pair of shoes from a dying man
They say a poor man ain't got nothing to lose but all I've ever had is what I've taken
I've been arrested I've been battered and bruised the laws of god and men I've forsaken
Ain't got no soul ain"t got no woman to hold I'm a fading yellow picture of a dead man
I've dreamed of gold but my skin is growing cold I'm a fading yellow picture of a dead man

Since I learned to walk I've been hopping trains I'm a slave to the booze and the cocaine
Always knew I'd end up outlined in chalk dying young and leaving no one to miss me
That don't bother me none got three dollars in my sock I got pistol and a litre flask of whiskey
Have a good long look in my eyes see the darkening of the sky I'm a fading yellow picture of a dead man
My bullet's what your life buys as I feed you dirty lies I'm a fading yellow picture of a dead man

I'm gon' take the low road man and you go take the high and I'll kill all those standing by the wayside
Those credit cards and cubicles will kill you in the end as cable tv holds you in its zombie spell
But all you yuppy hypocrits and all your fancy friends are gonna meet with me again one day down in hell
See what your prayers bring as I spread my fiery wings I'm a fading yellow picture of a dead man
Take off your rings you can't bring any of your things I'm a fading yellow picture of a dead man

I've dreamed of gold but my skin is growing cold I'm a fading yellow picture of a dead man
Ain't got no soul ain"t got no woman to hold I'm a fading yellow picture of a dead man
Track Name: East Hastings Street
Got no place to get outta the rain at least no place that I can see.
Got a sister who lives in Surrey but its been years since she trusted me.
I ran out of weeks at the shelter they won't give me no place to sleep.
Got a couple bucks in my pocket so I'm wandering East Hastings Street.

There's been a couple times in my life when I was thinking that I might get clean.
Always came crawling back like a snake moving through the weeds.
It doesn't matter much what I want because there's only one thing that I need.
A couple hours in a filthy room down at the end of East Hastings Street.

There's a building around the block with some copper wire I can steal.
If I can manage to get it to the wreckers they'll give me a pretty good deal.
The cops came they knew what I was doing broke my ribs and kicked out some of my teeth.
Now I'm shivering on the floor of my cell down here on East Hastings Street.

It was three weeks of pain and madness and waiting for the demon to leave.
Cold sweat drowning me in my bed feel the monster feeding on me.
Not much of a defense for myself I had the motive the intent and the deed.
Not less than 300 days until I'm back on East Hastings Street.