White Buffalo

  1. Song Of My Brothers
  2. Cross Country Waltz
  3. Ode To The Pretty Girls
  4. Sanctuary
  5. Sands Castles
  6. White Buffalo
  7. Water
  8. Blues For The River
  9. The Aliens Came In Business Suit
  10. Stop The War

The musicians are:

  • Rod MacDonald--guitar, vocal, harmonica
  • Mark Dann--bass, guitar, vocals
  • John Kruth--mandolin
  • Howie Wyeth--drums
  • Seth Farber--organ
  • Steve Eriksson & Nikki Matheson-harmonies

 

 


White Buffalo is dedicated to Frank Fools Crow, the Sioux medicine chief whose photograph is on the cover with Rod.


 

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White Buffalo
White Buffalo
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White Buffalo was recorded in 1984 and 1985 by Mark Dann in his bedroom in Brooklyn. The group had to time the takes to avoid the sound of planes flying in and out of JFK International Airport. It was first released in 1985 on the Autogram label in Germany (including two different songs, "Hard Times" and Landlord Blues"), then in 1987 on the McDisk label in the US. In 1989 it was released nationally by Mountain Railroad Records.

In 1992 the Swiss label Brambus released the first CD version, which added three songs: "A Sailor's Prayer" and "Every Living Thing" (which had earlier appeared on the LP No Commercial Traffic), plus "Routine day In Paridise." In 1996 Gadfly Records of Burlington, VT, re-released the original US edition of ten songs which are below.

The original masters were re-mixed for the CD releases; though the music is the same, the sound fidelity is much better on the CDs. This recording is currently available in LP form ($20) or CD ($15) from Rod MacDonald, Box 2152, Delray Beach, FL 33447; and in CD (European version--$20 US) from Brambus, Box 44, Chur 7000, Switzerland email:brambus@access.ch, or (US version) Gadfly Records, Box 5231, Burlington, VT 05402 (802) 865-2406 e-mail: gadfly1

The musicians are:

Rod MacDonald--guitar, vocal, harmonica

Mark Dann--bass, guitar, vocals

John Kruth--mandolin

Howie Wyeth--drums

Seth Farber--organ

(1986 LP, cd 1990 Gadfly/Brambus Records)

 

White Buffalo was recorded in 1984 and 1985 by Mark Dann in his bedroom in Brooklyn. The group had to time the takes to avoid the sound of planes flying in and out of JFK International Airport. It was first released in 1985 on the Autogram label in Germany (including two different songs, "Hard Times" and Landlord Blues"), then in 1987 on the McDisk label in the US. In 1989 it was released nationally by Mountain Railroad Records.

In 1992 the Swiss label Brambus released the first CD version, which added three songs: "A Sailor's Prayer" and "Every Living Thing" (which had earlier appeared on the LP No Commercial Traffic), plus "Routine day In Paridise." In 1996 Gadfly Records of Burlington, VT, re-released the original US edition of ten songs which are below. The original masters were re-mixed for the CD releases; though the music is the same, the sound fidelity is much better on the CDs.

This recording is currently available in LP form ($20) or CD ($15) from Rod MacDonald, Box 2152, Delray Beach, FL 33447; and in CD (European version--$20 US) from Brambus, Box 44, Chur 7000, Switzerland email:brambus@access.ch, or (US version) Gadfly Records, Box 5231, Burlington, VT 05402 (802) 865-2406 e-mail: gadfly1.

 


 

Song List & Lyrics

There's no home in this world anymore for a gentleman
an inmate in a tuxedo
strolling with indifferent partners beneath the chandelier
looking for someone to bleed to
but I would be your gentleman if you would only let this ragged heart please you
and there would be laughter, there would be shame
there would laughter in a gentleman again

Come riding riding riding
come running for your life
come take this song of my brothers
come take this healing knife

There's no home in this world anymore for a saint
with a salesman to franchise his sandals
to heal the faithful and hear all their complaints 
in the theaters of Los Angeles
to stand in the garden and ask for nothing
 there's nothing that would ever be more dangerous
there will be robes and gowns, there will be saints
there will be magic clowns dressed for the masquerade

My brothers are the ragged bones of volcanoes
piled as the walls of loneliness
my brothers are the scattered chunks of tombstones 
like weeds on abandoned mountains
my brothers are the windows of the hurricane 
that open on everyday heroes
there will be brutal times, there will be grace
there will be diamond eyes, the lights of an eloquent face

But there's no home in this world anymore for a wanderer,
a waistcoat a bow and arrow
a pioneer on the trails in the hills of Cumberland
riding logs on the river Ohio
but I seek another highway where they 
learn to heal the wings of a wounded sparrow
come stand before this fire, glowing on your skin
come take these searching eyes somewhere they've never been

There's an old barn outside on the far edge of town
where the ladies keep dancing so fine
their smiles touch their ears,
their dresses the ground
they got all their men in a line
and I thought for a second how fine it would be
to get dancing and feeling so free
take a few turns and get me a girl
and bring one of those smiles home with me.

But it just looked too easy
just too easy to be right
and I'm out on the road walking alone
one step ahead of the frost
and your baby ain't no baby anymore
he's doing the cross country waltz.

I had a lover, she walked thru my dreams
til one day she drifted away
and I got me a letter when some months had gone by
saying "Come back, I'll do what you say,"
but in a city I found a new wheel spinning round
like a carnival half of the time
and though I'm walking alone now and counting my dimes
I think I'll just let her go by.

I got me a letter yesterday from home, saying
"How long you think you'll be gone?"
as I looked at the sun, it was warming my hands
that letter fell down on the ground
'cause there's riverboats and drifters and a silvery moon
and the people they all ask your name
and if you never left home you'd never have to go back,
but once you go back you can't stay.

See the pretty girls out walking, a banquet for the eye
dressed in their finest colors, their faces how they shine
but don't let 'em catch you looking, they'll just think you're uncool
'casue the pretty girls don't like to be stared at
though there's exceptions to every rule.

And all around the streets
lovers in the park
going home to turn down the sheets
kissing in the dark.

Oh hear the pretty girls talking, their voices trill and flow
"It's so hard to find a good man these days, they're all such creeps you know"
but don't let them catch you listening, they'll just know you're a fool
'cause the pretty girls always have boyfriends
though there's exceptions to every rule.

Ah look at the hungry men standing, staring out in the street
hanging around in groups of four and five, saying "hey, hey, mmm mmm how sweet"
but don't let them get you to turn around, you'd only make them drool
and you wouldn't like that kind anyhow
though there's exceptions to every rule.

Oh hear the pretty girls breathing a cool breeze in the air
see all the men out on the sidewalk, imagination everywhere
but sometimes the pretty girls go for something a little less usual
and fall in love with other pretty girls
though there's exceptions to every rule.

I'd like to give a welcome to the Shah of Iran
Ferdinand Marcos, Nguyen Ky of Vietnam.
The United States extends you a hearty welcome hand; 
why do we send back Rosalita and Roseanne?

Oh, I know their governments have become our cause.
We sell them their weapons, we finance their wars;
and when the innocent escape to our fine peaceful land,
why do we send back Rosalita and Roseanne?

I believe in the Bible, I've seen where it reads
when a hungry one knocks, give him something to eat.
But with so many hungry how can we take them all in?
And when they're standing at youur door, how can you send them away again?

But hey, did I ask for the Shah of Iran,
Anastosia Somosa, President Thieu of Vietnam?
Let's hear it for sanctuary, how about a hearty hand?
and why do we send back Rosalita and Roseanne?

I took down an old volume of your letters to me
and laid them out read just yesterday
and though I tried to regain the feelings you named,
I couldn't bring them back in any easy way

So I built me a castle on the sand
I made them towers with my own hand
and just when you believe you made them strong enough
they go washing out to sea
when the waves get rough
(last verse: when the game gets rough)

So I took to the highway with a craving for the land
for people with a solid way of life
and I passed many a mile having good times all the while
but I couldn't turn my back on the city's silver lights

I took me a season by the oceanside
I took me a cottage far from my home
and I would nightly dance the sand to the diamond moonlight band
til the morning came and caught me dancing all alone

So I come to you with roses, I come to you again
I know we are just castles on some shore
and though the night be filled with darkness, I shall not close my eyes
til these petals fall down, forgotten to the floor 

They say you've got to lose before you can win
they say you've got to choose before you can give in
and you've got to cut loose to get back again
and it's a long way back home

they say you've got to fall before you can land
they say you've got to crawl before you can stand
and you've got to lose it all to get what you planned
and it's a long way back home

(chorus)
and it's a long way, a long way back home
when you're standing on some place you've never known
and I might see you where the rivers flow
like me you're looking for white buffalo

they say you've got to die before you can live
they say you've got to cry before you can give
and you've got to say goodbye to get back again
and it's a long way back home

they say you've got to seed what you're going to grow
they say you've got to need what you're going to let go
anf you've got to believe what you're going to know 
and it's a long way back home

(chorus)                               

so I say to you farewell for we will meet again
in the hottest flames of hell I could only call you friend
and when you hear that final bell, do not ask whose round you're in
till you've found your way back home

People will talk, friends will be shocked
say "How in the world do you do?"
Women will walk up to you and squawk
"Baby, wanna try something new?"

How you gonna take it, what are you gonna do
when it happens just like you been expecting it to?
How you gonna take it, what are you gonna do
ain't it gonna change your life?
You can't carry that load yourself, you go to stop on the road for water
You can't carry that load yourself, you go to stop on the road for water

The woman you love, she been waiting on you
you're gonna come around just like she knows you can do
those bums on the street with their outstretched hands
you're gonna take them all to dinner just because you can

The feds will do audits, your phone will be tapped
non-fiction writers will go through your trash
gurus will quote you, waiters rip off your lines
they'll name a turnpike rest stop after you when you die

She lay down in my arms and talked to me about her boyfriend
who she'd just walked out on 'cause he had too many girlfriends
and she said "You can stay, you can stay all night long
and if it's okay, I'll leave my clothes on"

And it's blues for the river
blues for my mind
blues for the true loves 
we leave behind

I woke up to the pounding of a jackhammer in the street
I reached around but she'd gone out of reach
an alarm clock was ringing as she sat down next to me
ran her hand through my hair and said "Hey it's time to leave"

Now all through the day I meet pretty ones
I don't give myself away 'cause I know who I want
but she wants another who loves another one tonight
so I sleep in my clothes and I leave on the light

The aliens came in business suits, that's why nobody knew
perfect haircuts looking smooth, just like me and you
they looked so much like they belonged, nobody looked their way
The aliens came in business suits, business suits, business suits
The aliens came in business suits
it was a fateful day

The aliens came in business suits, we thought they were our friends
short haircuts, white shirts and ties, the women and the men
they said "Business is our business", that's how they defined their ground
The aliens came in business suits, business suits, business suits
The aliens came in business suits
and took no money down

The aliens came in business suits they elected one of their own
nobody voted for him but everybody took him home
well, he did look good on camera, had a kind of handsome face
The aliens came in business suits, business suits, business suits
The aliens came in business suits
and took every parking space 

The aliens came in business suits and they invented megatons
they divided the whole world up in half and to each half they gave one
and they said "You better watch yourselves or there'll be nothing left but bugs"
The aliens came in business suits, business suits, business suits
The aliens came in business suits
it was like some ugly drug

The aliens came in business suits and they fooled us all the while
they gave each of us an ID card and put our faces in a file
well, they looked so much like they belonged, no one raised a fuss
The aliens came in business suits, business suits, business suits
The aliens came in business suits
the aliens were us

The general said "You're young I guess you don't understand
we've got to have these things in case it gets out of hand."
I say "What if they are like you always got to be on top?
Isn't there some way to end it, isn't there someplace to stop?"
"What if everyone thought like you?" the general said to me
"Oh what a vulnerable country we would be.
What if everyone thought like you?" the general said to me
I say "There would be some peace..."

The broker said you're young I guess you don't comprehend
These people all walking around got to have some money to spend.
And how can there be any money if we don't sell the things we can build?"
I say "Why don't you build something else to use without having to kill?"
"What if everyone thought like you?" the broker said to me
"Oh what a poor nation this would be.
What if everyone thought like you?" the broker said to me
I say "There would be some peace..."

Stop the war, stop the war, stop the war within yourself
and you won't need to fight with someone else

The newsman said "You're young I guess you don't see the light.
It ain't what goes on during the day, it's what goes out to the people at night.
The poeple, they like a good show, how can you deny them their due?"
I say "What does that say about us and what does that say about you?"
"What if everyone thought like you?" the newsman said to me
"Oh what a boring world this would be.
What if everyone thought like you?" the newsman said to me
I say "There would be some peace..."

To help us all through these times, these cds are $5 (minimum 2 cds/$10

No Commercial Traffic (NCT) / And Then He Woke Up (TWU) / Into The Blue (ITB) / Recognition (R) / A Tale Of Two Americas (TTA) / After The War (ATW)

---Songs Of Freedom (SOF), Later That Night (LTN), Beginning Again (BA), or archival cds/dvs are $10 each. "Live In Germany" (DVD)