- Song Of My Brothers
- Cross Country Waltz
- Ode To The Pretty Girls
- Sands Castles
- White Buffalo
- Blues For The River
- The Aliens Came In Business Suit
- 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.
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:firstname.lastname@example.org, 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..."