Pilgrim

by Red Collar

supported by
Scott Blackwell
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Scott Blackwell This is about as indie as I get. Reminds me of Gaslight Anthem, in the way you find yourself wondering what genre to put them under. Favorite track: Rust Belt Heart.
Greg Bishop
Greg Bishop thumbnail
Greg Bishop Reminds me a lot of The Hold Steady with more singing rather than speaking. Favorite track: Used Guitars.
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1.
04:44
2.
05:22
3.
03:57
4.
5.
03:27
6.
04:37
7.
04:19
8.
9.
03:56
10.
04:11
11.
05:02

credits

released March 3, 2009

Produced and mixed by Brian Paulson

Assistant Engineer, Nick Peterson

Recorded at Track and Field Studios and various houses and highways in Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina
Mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering - Chicago Illinois.
Keyboards and additional vocals by Andrew Blass.

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Red Collar Durham, North Carolina

a Rock and Roll public service announcement

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Track Name: The Commuter
This new morning with the sun on my face. But when I return sunlight replaced.

Gotta a job that pays for the garage for the car that picks up the kid that watches the kid while I work this job. Get on the road.

When the morning comes, gotta run. Till the day is done, gotta run.
Track Name: Radio On
I don’t dream anymore or maybe I forget
Or do I turn off the music when angels dance that duet?
Can I remember the tune? It was so long ago
So I turned on the radio but it’s lies in disguise
Spies incognito on a transistor rainbow
I can’t connect, it’s all static

So I live just to give as they take and they break me
Heart full of sorrow, I beg and I borrow
Till my Yesterdays become Todays
And my Todays are Tomorrows
There’s such pain in dreaming, in the failure of attempt
But the sting of disappointment is less than the pain of regret
I won’t regret one single thing anymore

Smash the radio
Take back my radio
Turn on my radio
It’s my radio

I’m going to smash the radio and its charlatan hymns
Defining the difference of what is and could have been
We’re so alone, we’re such hungry ghosts
Saying sayonara, good-bye, adios
I’m so sick of the cool and sick of the cost
I’m tired of my heroes always being lost
They can’t remember the tune, but I do

Scream and shout, let it all out
We can’t go back, can’t turn back now
All of you cynics and your closing doors
I believed you once but not anymore
To the losers and dreamers, all you in-betweens
Tonight we’ll be legends, we’ll be kings and queens
Track Name: Tools
Oh fuck! Not this shit again!
I had a map and a plan but I’m lost, I’m lost
Follow mother’s advice or daddy’s course?
They thought they knew love before the divorce
It just goes to show, no one really knows

Now when man became man he invented four things:
Tools, then Fire, then The Wheel then Working
And all of these things served him well
Building the roads to Heaven and Hell
So what advice to discard and what to remember?
This should stay with you forever:
From the highways you build to the back roads you’re on,
They will be here long after you’re gone
Track Name: Rust Belt Heart
Ghosts of glories reign here, clothes are shadows of former selves. Unsealing mother's eyes, the pigeons take flight as Monsignor’s ringing the church bells. Cinder-block car beneath the snow, my family wants and I want so much more than my wrinkles show. And the neighbors they've gone away. Dark house, all the drop-outs they play inside. I can't afford to stay, I can't afford to say goodbye.

The sad refrain that you won't ever make the grade. Tear it apart my rust belt heart.

Screams in the kitchen, all the bedroom tension. They're sending us home one week before we get pension. "Clean out your locker, gentlemen, we wish you the best" and then they watched the men walk down the suicide steps. Mother claws and scratches, she works part-time. All these steel-toed boots in the unemployment line. I have to remind myself I'm a good man. Tears remind us of what was or what may be like friction squealing unoiled machinery.

The sad refrain that you won't ever make the grade. Tear it apart my rust belt heart.
Track Name: Stay
This will be your last night in Carolina
You saved up your strength like pennies for a rainy day
But the Almanac is calling for clear skies
And when you saved your strength you spent the time that it takes
And that’s time that fits in fate’s equation
X and Y’s, minus then multiply

Hey come on, let’s go, go, go
Stay

Creditors are calling and the auditors they say,
“The invoice for change is more than you can pay”
You cashed out luck and bought your destination
Now you want to cop out and blame it on the rain
Destiny’s got little to do with weather
Burn your ledger! Make up your mind and stay!

Hey come on, let’s go, go, go
Stay

I know you want to go, just stay for a little while
Fall on our swords, down here where the water goes
Track Name: Pilgrim
Last year my name struck fear, I was hungry, starving and I ruined careers, they’d say my name and I made them millions. Turf or dirt, the high stakes purse, I was king of the cards filling sports writer’s verse. I was a conqueror! Glory, it’s freedom or so they taught me but at Honeydew Downs I saw a hundred doves set free and I thought maybe only the opposite was true. Now the gun will crack and with the snap of a stick and we’ll run and they’ll judge us in quarter mile clips. They’ll say my name, and they’ll say it’s over

I’m at the starting gate while they smoke cigars and sip champagne. I got to play their game from the Derby to the Preakness to the Belmont Stakes, Bye-bye

Busted and broken with saddles on back, they caress our manes and etch our names in plaques. It’s why you’re bred kid but not why you’re born. Losers will be penned and caged, humiliated, then the bolt gun face. It’s a horror, their love for you. Remember the dust we’d kick up in the Western Plains? We’d run just to run not for some gamblers gain but you got blinders. You’re a slot machine! You see the low white fence where the hangdogs debrief? Past the evergreens, it’s where we should be. Oh I can see it and I call it destiny!

I’m at the starting gate while they smoke cigars and sip champagne. I got to play their game from the Derby to the Preakness to the Belmont Stakes. Bye-bye and the bravos will fade, they’ll take off the cloth and drop the charade. They won’t cry and they’ll justify saying “All bright lights, fade and flicker and die”

My name is Pilgrim and I'm going home!
Track Name: Hands Up
Got my Bachelor’s, got my Master’s,
I got my Doctorate, yes I’m a go-getter
Cocaine and caviar, oh I’m bona fide
An old man says, “Buy you a scotch son?
When I was young I used to buy it by the case.
But here’s to the new face!
Here’s to the rat race!
Here’s to thirty years in my briefcase!

Get your hands up
Don’t keep your mouth shut
Forget the precedent
Break that shit up

Got your new ride, the company ride!
And oh boy you’ll get your rhythm
But are you driving? Were you ever driving?
Or are you being driven?
Here’s your limousine with your chauffeur, sir
They make you feel like you’re in control
With a secretary and your stock options
But then they’ll swallow you whole

Get your hands up
Don’t keep your mouth shut
Forget the precedent
Break that shit up

There was a time when the world was mine
If I just stayed on track
When I answered the call, I wanted it all
But now I just want it all back

Now you’re a fine man, but I was a fine man
And you won’t know what’s started until it’s done
Your decisions are not your decisions
Because they come from above
The only question you’ll ever be asking is
If you’re so smart, how can you be so dumb?
Education and your wall of degrees
But have you taken Plea Bargain 101?

Get your hands up
Don’t keep your mouth shut
Forget the precedent
Break that shit up

There was time when the world was mine
If I just stayed on track
When I answered the call, I wanted it all
But now I just want it all back”
Track Name: The Astronaut
This is my old playground where the swing set would launch me to the sky. “All hail the astronaut! Don’t bail Mister Astronaut!” I take my life and press rewind to where I’m looking forward and not behind before the innocence lost, before the price the cost

I need a change

Now I’m floating over cloud covered islands but all I can see is my little girl. I remember my Momma calling, “Time to come on home! Wash your hands, sit down to eat, say your prayers, now go to sleep. He’ll be home late”

But I stay awake

See-saw and I’m all alone
Oh Momma I don’t want to go home
Track Name: Tonight
Why think about the past and all the things held dear when the best thing about the future is that it’s never here? Do you remember your future? Oh it came too soon but you were young and blind, you’d never see or catch the glance of mortality

These days and days, the soft defeat: the long drive home, a bitter retreat. Act One and then One, One and then One with no climax or denouement. This bed I made, the toss the turn with creaky springs and a mattress worn, a cold sweat fear, I sleep in doubt such is the nightmare roundabout

But all of this is what you get when you broke a promise you swore be kept to a dreamer, a believer, an idealist. Now the hands of fate shake and twist your arms

The heart it aches and the heart it longs to only be where it belongs. It took a choice to get here and that’s all it takes to change. Tonight, it all ends and start tonight
Track Name: Used Guitars
I guess this means we’re not on our way. But the wants that I wanted are the wants that I had yesterday and there’s a boy looking for a great buy. Just another boy with a dream, he'll be quick to realize:

That we were made, to fail every day and maybe what we want is just too much to ask. I once reached for stars but now I sell these used guitars and I wish you all the luck, that I never had

This one's from a songwriter, she left on some business matter. This one’s from a family man who went on to start another. This one’s from a guy who grew up...or gave up. They always said what he had to say was silly anyways, he said:

We were made, to fail every day and maybe what we want is just too much to ask. I once reached for stars but now I sell these used guitars and I wish you all the luck, that I never had

It was all just a past time anyway, wanting to make you dance. Or was there a fear in what I had to say? Or maybe just circumstance? Here comes that boy with his great buy. One more boy, one more dream

You're gonna fail every single day but all the things you need can't be bought here anyway. Reach past my stars and smash all these used guitars cause all the luck that you ever had died when you were born.

We can’t be everything we wanted to be.
Track Name: Catch a Ride
Hey babe you wanna catch a ride? I got a long, long way to go. Climb on up and step inside. I know what you’re thinking but your thinking just ain’t right.

Famous first words and famous last words: I ain’t gonna cut you up. Show me one road and I’ll show you a lonely road, I’ll tell a story to pass the time.

There was a man who worked all his life but had such a long, long way to go. Shut down the plant when he was 45. He killed the man who sent him home now he’s doing 40 years to life.

Famous first words and famous last words: Only the strong survive. But you show me one law and I’ll show you another law if all the laws of nature apply.

So my old man is on the inside at the end of this lonely road. Regrets? I know he got them but them other guys I saw them smiling on court TV and I swear they don’t got one ounce of apology.

Famous first words, famous last words. I ain’t saying that he was right but you show me one side, there’s always another side and there’s a better man in jail than most that live on the outside who just catch a ride.