steve smith, chris sanders and hard road
desert night music

SIGNS ALONG THE ROAD

THE SAME FOR YOU

Steve Smith and Chris Sanders
(Desert Night Music BMI 2009)

Common sense will tell you to stop right at the door.
Don’t go running out behind them, they’ve got to get it on their own.
Out in the world they find themselves as soon as they are grown
Or old enough to make their way with the lessons learned at home.

Chorus:
It was the same for you when you were young, you remember oh so well.
There were voices in the distance calling but only you could tell.
Some said come back my one, some said come along,
Some will go unanswered, no matter where you roam.

What lies just over yonder hill, what’s ‘round the river bend?
Never loose your way back home and you never cheat a friend.
Travel light and swiftly but don’t miss where you have gone.
Tread through darkness quietly and through the fields before you sown.

Chorus

Well, the brothers and the sisters, it’s a story still untold.
If you keep them close to you, their loyal love you’ll hold.
With so many miles between you, the time seems longer still.
Before you know that time is gone and come to test your will.

Chorus

STEADFAST DELIVERANCE

Chris Sanders and Steve Smith
(Desert Night Music BMI 2009)

Back up and push, back up and idle, raise up and take a look around.
The bridge from here, it is no longer the way to take us where we’re bound.
I stand before the moment I must choose, no looking back, no time to lose.
I hear the Old Ones calling out my name, “Girl, no use in pushing through.
Go around.”

Black is the night, black is the Bible, black is the rain that’s coming on.
Black is the fate of my survival on the day that I returned to find you gone.
I never thought that I’d have one more chance of saving me saving you.
I hear the Old Ones calling out my name, “Girl, no use in pushing through.
Go around.”

We made a pledge, so thin a promise, and tonight I keep my vow:
Steadfast deliverance, here and now.

Grab the wheel, hit the throttle, feel the lurch, we’re going down.
Hang on ‘cause it’s a scramble to find our way to solid ground.
Another night, another washed-out bridge, a few more mountains left to move.
And still the Old Ones calling out my name, “Girl, no use in pushing through.
Go around. Go around.”

ALL THINGS LEFT BEHIND

Steve Smith and Chris Sanders
(Desert Night Music BMI 2009)

I know so much about you, and you think I don’t see.
I found out long ago, you’re just so much like me.
We think such things in life we harbor all along,
Skeletons and fantasies from days long past gone

Chorus:
Talk about love, talk about time,
Talk about all things left behind.
Talk about darkness within the light,
Talk about all things wrong or right.

Dreams just out of reach, it’s all part of the chase.
Demons have been released from inside of their case.
Words that you lived by, no longer mean the same.
I dropped everything when you called out my name.

Chorus

Never mind your conscience: that voice in your ear.
It all comes down to what you crave and what you might fear.
You’re lookin’ for an answer and try as you might,
It’s not as easy as you wish it was,
It’s not as easy as you wish it was,
It’s never easy.

Runnin’ down through the woods, I thought I heard you say,
“How did you end up here? You must have lost your way.
Even in darkness you can set your course
But turning in circles, you’ll never find true north.”

Chorus

YEAR OF JUBILEE

Chris Sanders and Steve Smith
(Desert Night Music BMI 2009)

Throw back the curtain. Welcome the light.
This is the end, the end of the fight.
Brothers and sisters, an Almighty Decree: Year of Jubilee.

Seven times seven, weeks turn to years.
The question is: who’s your master here?
Brothers and sisters, an Almighty Decree: Year of Jubilee.

Open my eyes that I may decipher signs along the road.
Dawn’s early light, this day of reckoning
And stories must be told
Or seeds won’t grow.

There’s a time to lean the shoulder to the plow
But the Liberty Dance is calling me now.
Brothers and sisters, an Almighty Decree: Year of Jubilee.

THESE ARE THE HANDS

Chris Sanders and Steve Smith
(Desert Night Music 2009)

You wrap your arms around me as armor into the night.
Your fingers’ serenade brings all music into life.
And as far as I can tell, yours are the strongest hands I will ever know.

Chorus:
At the end of the day when the sun goes down,
These are the hands I love the most.

Long have I wandered ‘til I found your welcome embrace.
And the touch that made me new again makes me strong to run the race.
And as far as I can tell, yours are the sweetest hands I will ever know.

Chorus

You reach up and we lift you in your mama and papa’s love.
No need to fear the future, we’re together and that’s enough.
And as far as I can tell, the most trusting hands I will ever know.

Chorus

ISABELLA

Steve Smith and Chris Sanders
(Desert Night Music BMI 2009)

Isabella, come to me (Isabella).
Isabella, come to me. When at my side I’m so at ease.
Isabella, come to me (Isabella).

Isabella, your dark eyes (Isabella),
Isabella, your dark eyes, they tell me truth. They tell no lies.
Isabella, your dark eyes (Isabella).

Isabella, where you been (Isabella)?
Isabella, where you been? You’re watchin’ for those railroad men.
Isabella, where you been (Isabella)?

Isabella, talk to me (Isabella).
Isabella, talk to me and tell me how our world should be.
Isabella, talk to me (Isabella).

Isabella, when you sleep (Isabella),
Isabella, when you sleep I see you in your dreams so deep.
Isabella, when you sleep (Isabella).

Isabella, make me smile (Isabella).
Isabella, make me smile and lay with me for just a while.
Isabella, make me smile (Isabella).

LINK BY LINK

Chris Sanders and Steve Smith
(Desert Night Music BMI 2009)

Link by link, let those rusty shackles fall.
Link by heavy link, just lay ‘em down.
Your back is bent so low, you can’t see which way to go,
So raise your head and let those rusty shackles fall.

Link by link, can you leave that weight behind you?
Link by heavy link, the weight unwind.
For what have you to gain from this old ball and chain,
So raise your head and let those rusty shackles fall.

Every trial, every torment is a link upon a chain.
You drag it on behind you, gettin’ heavier every day,
Until you drop those ancient shackles down by the riverside
Where saints and angels comfort you and love can’t be denied.

Link by link, feel your burden growin’ lighter.
Link by heavy link, you’re growin’ light.
And there’s no reason why you can’t just up and fly,
So raise your head and let those rusty shackles fall.

NEVER-ENDING WIND

Chris Sanders and Steve Smith
(Desert Night Music 2009)

From the Minnesota flatlands to the wild Dakota breeze
I’ve seen many things in many hands to harness what was free.
Time and time again, he said, I’ve happened on this dream:
I open up my door to find three prophets come to me.
Three prophets come to me.

My uncle Robert Page was there, his visionary mind
In war and peace his expertise surely turned the tide.
He drew me close to greet me like when I was a child.
He filled my ear with destiny and filled my heart with pride,
Filled my heart with pride.

Chorus:
Ezekiel saw the wheel way up in the air.
A little wheel in a big wheel turnin’, it caused me to declare:
The big wheel runs by faith alone like a never-ending wind
And the little wheel runs by the grace of God in the life I owe to Him.

There stood Isaac Newton and this he said to me:
“The laws that I have given you shall be your prophecy.
The power of the wind, my son, awaits your wise command.
Push comes to shove, the wheel goes ‘round and light will fill this land.”
Light will fill the land.

Chorus

Then came to me a vision not long before I woke.
Ezekiel stood on a thundercloud and these few words he spoke:
“A tall Dakota windmill, a strong Dakota wind,
A mighty wheel within a wheel will bring light to this land.”
Light will fill the land.

Chorus

KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

Chris Sanders and Steve Smith
(Desert Night Music BMI 2008)

All I have is $50, this old beat-up car and seven kids.
All I know is that the time is coming soon
When his demon awakens to rise and kill us all,
I’ve been scared but never like this.

I depend on the kindness of strangers; I depend on the Lord to provide.
I depend on the Virgin at the foot of my bed.
She tells me I’m good, she tells me I’m strong
And she tells me tonight is the night.

Silently crawl through the window. Carefully close all the doors.
Look back and watch for a light in his room.
If he sees us leavin’ we’ll all pay the price.
We won’t be his prisoners no more.

It’s midnight. We’re stalled on the highway and Phoenix is so far away.
A cold wind bears down as I cry by the road.
My children, they shiver. Oh God, what have I done?
Help us, oh help us, I pray.

Who knows our fate in this moment?
Who knows the places I have been?
Who knows until a knock upon the door leads us to freedom
Or let’s the demon in!

Oh, officer, please take us to safety. No, don’t you take us back to town!
What if he finds us hiding in this hotel room?
We huddle in a corner. A knock comes at the door.
It’s a kind man returns for us now.

I depend on the kindness of strangers; I depend on the Lord to provide.
I depend on the Virgin at the foot of my bed.
She tells me I’m good, she tells me I’m strong
And I tell her I’m glad I’m alive.
Yes, I tell her I’m glad I’m alive. I’m alive!

Selections FROM MEET ME BY THE RIVER

MEET ME BY THE RIVER

Steve Smith
(Desert Night Music 2005)

Meet me by the river down by the sandstone bluffs.
We can spend our time alone, and let the sun watch over us.
When we are together, there never is time enough,
Make the best of what we have, of our forbidden love
No more is a secret; they know we’re both so much in love
But a Cherokee man and a white girl, to them could never be.

Horses slowly grazing throw back their careful heads.
Danger is approaching, your brothers I do fear.
As they came out from the bramble and pushed you to a side,
They turned their rage upon me; I shot the first one down.
Time seemed to be frozen, my love and I and he,
He was left to stop me, to end all of our dreams.

With one arm around his sister, he said it just could never be.
You better run from Oklahoma before they hang you Cherokee.
As I rode out for my safety, you pledged your love out loud to me.
They shipped you on that long train, to some family way back east.
Coyotes howl is endless, I’m longing now for you to see
And a black-haired child in Jersey cries out from his momma’s knee.

Meet me by the river…

STATE OF GRACE

Chris Sanders and Steve Smith
(Desert Night Music BMI 2005)

I wait for the early morning light, a mountain of worries to climb,
A burden so heavy, I find a slave who is shackled to his pride.

What shall I do on this night? The harder I push, the more I slide.
The rocks they roll out beneath my feet. I fall to my knees, my hands they bleed.

Chorus:
State of grace, shine your light, carry me o’er this great divide.
Lift me up and set me free. Lead me from darkness into peace,
State of grace.

But stumble I do and carry on. These depths I tread, I hear your voice.
What kind of prayer this night I seek? Lead me from darkness into peace.

Chorus

Look not behind, look not afar, look unto me and you will find
The light you seek, the hill you climb, revealed in dawn the light inside.

Chorus

LOOK NOT BACK

Steve Smith, Wayne Shrubsall, Susan Polka
(Desert Night Music 2005)

I have traveled over mountains; I have crossed those valleys wide.
I have come through yonder narrows; a story now I will you tell.

The sun goes down upon our bounty, a dozen years of toil and love,
Just a night like any other but know not I your faith was lost.

I awoke as you were leaving in the late hour of the night.
I followed close but not to warn you. Of where you lead I do not know.

Across a field I never wandered a cabin there I did not know.
A candle’s light was softly burning and through the door I saw you go.

So I walked back and I lay frozen on the warmest summer night.
When you returned was early morning just before our final dawn.

Not a word from you was spoken of your journey through the night.
What drove you from me to another, it matters not now if I know.

So I walked out on you in darkness, you were lying in your dreams.
I look not back for I am leaving or I may ne’er the strength the go.

When you listen for my footsteps as I have those of your own,
You will know I’m not returning as your steps returned untrue.

I have traveled over mountains; I have crossed those valleys wide.
I am searching for a true love, for a love I yearn to keep.