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by American Opera

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about

Recorded at Giant Robot Studios in Orland Park, IL

credits

released February 16, 2012

DEMO/LISTEN

Bright Lights & Amplifiers
Spoons & Knives
The Only Things That Matter To Me
What I Had
Lift Up This City

All music and lyrics written by John Bee

John Bee ~ vocals/guitar/bass/piano/organ
Sean Murphy ~ pedal steel/banjo/dobro/mandolin/accordion/organ
Nick Edler ~ drums/percussion
Michael Frigo ~ cello on Spoons & Knives
Guadalupe Martinez ~ additional vocals on Spoons & Knives and What I Had
Joe Bonham ~ guitar on Lift Up This City
Amy Brennan ~ additional vocals on Lift Up This City
Additional vocals, stomps, claps, and snaps by DJ Walano, Deanna Belos, Becca Murphy & Eric Mott
String arrangement on Spoons & Knives by Sean Murphy and John Bee

THANKS God, friends & family, Sean Murphy, Nick Edler, Michael Frigo, Lupe Martinez, Joe Bonham, Amy Brennan, Drew Conner, Aaron McCall, Joe Matteson, Mom and Dad, Cheryl Mapes, Matt Tunney, Garret Shetler, Aaron DeVries, and you.

SUPPORT Giant Robot Productions, Skye Photography & Design, Joe Photography, Omni Guitar Works, PupFresh, Under The Gun Review, AbsolutePunk, Alternative Press, Vince Dynamic, Squid The Whale, The Company We Keep, Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers, Mike Mains & The Branches, Wolves & Machines, sosaveme, The Early Morning, Jacob's Ladder, Sent By Ravens, Shapes & Colors, Fusion Shows, GBS Detroit, WQAC Alma, WDBM East Lansing, AM 1610 Hamtramck.

This is for Michael.

Recorded at Giant Robot Studios in Orland Park, IL
Engineered, mixed, and mastered by Sean Murphy

Copyright 2012. American Opera. All right reserved.
Unauthorized reproduction is a violation of applicable laws, but please share this with your friends.

www.AmericanOpera.net / www.facebook.com/AmericanOpera / www.twitter.com/AmericanOpera

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American Opera Brooklyn, New York

I sing songs about singing songs.

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Track Name: Bright Lights & Amplifiers
I walk a long and lonesome road,
The only things that I have ever known,
Is this old beat-up six string and a blue Ford van,
And my rock band…

I'm sorry Mama, I had to leave…
I hope one day you and Dad can forgive me,
For dropping out of school so I could go and play the fool with my best friends…

This life is my own…
I throw a dart onto a map and then I make it my home…
This life is my own…
And I will dance and sing atop this globe…

Father forgive me for what I've done…
I promise you one day light will shine from this son…
I know it makes you proud when this whole damn crowd sings my songs…

Mom and Dad, you gave me these hands,
And taught me how to be a man…
I pray when I have children I do right by you and fill them with God's grace…

This life is my own…
I throw a dart onto a map and then I make it my home…
This life is my own…
And I will dance and sing atop this globe…

I'm not coming home…
Bright lights and amplifiers are all I've ever known…

And I will dance and sing atop this globe...
Track Name: Spoons & Knives
The demon on my shoulder tells me that it's almost over,
Lost and cannot be found…
The angel whispers in my ear to repent and be sincere,
And take my place in the clouds…

But I know you know I won't tell the truth…
So don't you bother waiting,
There's no way you can save me,
I'm telling you that it's no use…

Dear brother, is it wise to ignore the whispers from the angels?
There's still time to break through…
So clean the spoons and knives before it's time to set the table,
Company's coming soon…

But I know you won't change anytime soon…
So I'll pull up a chair and I will watch you as you stare
At the sun turning into the moon…

Just when I thought that the sun was here to stay,
The rain washed it away…
'Cause even stars they fade away,
Long live yesterday…

Just when I thought that the sun was here to stay,
God took it away...
'Cause even stars they fade away,
Long live yesterday…

Love live yesterday...
Track Name: The Only Things That Matter To Me
I'll sit here and play guitar all day,
And never listen to a single word you say...
Rock and roll, church, friends, and family are the only things important to me...

I still remember everything we did when we were kids,
Like playing baseball at the park across from the Church of Bethlehem...
Playing catch with my older brother while my younger brother crowded the plate...

And I remember when mom and dad brought my baby sister home,
Us boys got Sister a teddy bear and Dad got Mom a rose…
Well I didn't know it then but now I know that that's what life's all about...

So I'll sit here and play guitar all day,
And never listen to a single word you say...
Rock and roll, church, friends, and family are the only things important to me...

I still remember everything we did when we were kids,
Like taking floats on Daddy's boat from the Saginaw Bay to the Zilwaukee bridge...
I'd look out at the water and swear that one day I'll buy a boat of my own...

And I remember when my brother Joe brought a six-string guitar home,
Started a band and booked a show at the coffee shop down the road...
I'd look up on that stage and swear that one day I'd start a band of my own...

Well just the other day my mom was lying in a hospital bed,
My sister held her hand and my dad he kissed her head...
Well I couldn't see it then but now I see that that's what life's all about…

And I can't wait to see the rest of the good life the good Lord has given to me,
Now isn't that what life's all about?
Yeah!

Well my older brother packed up his guitar and moved to Nashville, Tennessee...
And my younger one chased a girl to the Atlantic sea...
And my little baby sister got accepted into Michigan State...

So I'll sit here and play guitar all day,
And never listen to a single word you say...
Rock and roll, church, friends, and family are the only things that matter to me...
Track Name: What I Had
I stare holes through every girl I see,
I try to make them fall in love with me…
I spend my nights in between different sheets,
While you're home alone…

I know my heart belongs with you back home,
But it's with my body on this open road…
With other bodies I don't even know,
While you're home alone…

I spend my days without leavin' my feet,
Workin' two jobs so our two boys can eat…
I miss you lyin' here right next to me,
But you don't and you won't…

You say that all you need is one hit song,
Well how much longer 'til it comes along?
We need you here to keep this family strong,
But you don't and you won't…

You love me but I don't love you back,
It's hard enough to face this as a fact…

All that I want is to make a good life for us,
But you're stuck at home and I'm stuck on this stupid bus,
I'd give anything if I could make good on my promise to you…

I'm sorry I've been gone since May, (it's alright)
Six months ago yesterday… (it's okay)
I promise one day things will go our way,
And we'll be a family…

How much longer 'til you come back home? (I can't say)
When you're here promise you'll never go (I won't go)
Oh thank God, you know I love you so...
I can't say that I won't go…

I love you but you don't love me back,
It's hard enough to face this as a fact…

I'm so sick and tired of the things that fall out your mouth,
I'm packin' the boys up and then we're heading South,
To start a new life that is far far away from you…

Oh don't worry baby, in two weeks I'll be coming home to you,
Don't bother baby, can't you see? I need you to understand we're through…
Don't say that sweetie, trust in me, I'm turning that house into a home,
Just save it baby, I'm taking the children, don't pick up a pen or a telephone…

I love you but you don't love me back,
I love you but you won't take me back…

Don't worry baby in two weeks you'll be back out on your road,
Sleepin' around with those other girls,
Makin' them think they are your world…
Don't worry sweetheart, trust in me,
I'll take good care of the family,
I'll turn these sweet boys into grown men,
We'll never have to bother you again…

Dear God forgive me for what I've done,
I never realized what I had...
I just ask one thing for my sons,
Please give them a better dad,
One that's better than me...
Track Name: Lift Up This City
Well this little boy holed up in his room,
He's picking guitar, he's singing a tune...
He's licking his lips,
And he's licking his wounds for you...

He took to the fields to harvest this land,
With sweat on his brow and dirt on his hands...
He's planting his seeds,
And he's pulling his weeds for you...

He's up before the sunrise and out with the moon,
He kneels before his bed,
He drinks his wine, he eats his bread...
Maybe luck will come soon...
Maybe love will consume...

Well those little seeds, they started to bloom,
He cut down some trees to start building a home...
He's works alone,
He works his hands to the bone for you...

He's up before the sunrise and out with the moon,
He kneels before his bed,
He drinks his wine, he eats his bread...
Maybe luck will come soon...
Lord, won't you please help me soon?

Well this little boy started questioning his worth,
He built you a road, he built you a church...
With his hands raised,
All glory and praise to you...

He dropped to his knees and sang,
"God won't you come down?
Won't you come down from those clouds?
I think that I'm ready,
Yeah, my hands are steady...
I did what I could,
I tried to bring my brother back to church...
I'll keep this wound wide open no matter how much it hurts...
I did what I could with my family,
Our hearts are open and we're barely coping and…
If you had some time to come down today,
With hearts wide open I was really hoping that...

Oh my God, won't you lift up this city?
We need you...