Steel Bridge Songs Vol​.​11

by SteelBridgeSongfest

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about

This collection extending over eleven volumes (and counting!) represents a decade-long collective labor of love. What started with the desire to save a bridge from destruction has evolved into an activist art project involving hundreds of creative souls, all paying playful tribute to the mighty steel bridge and to the community that lives and works in its historic setting. Never at a loss for new inspiration, Steel Bridge culture and its outpouring continues to flourish year after year - and Vol.11 might be the best batch of bridge songs yet! Deep thanks to all the musicians, volunteers, contributors, and attendees who've supported Steel Bridge Songfest and made this work possible!

credits

released June 11, 2016

Recorded June 7-13, 2015 by Steve Hamilton, Dan O Stoffels, Derek Brady, Teve Mith, and Barrett Tasky in Sturgeon Bay, WI at The Holiday Music Motel / Tambourine Collaboratory. Produced by pat mAcdonald, the engineers, and the artists themselves. Administrative assistance by melaniejane, our Air Traffic Controller, with help from Teresa Young. Mastered by Steve Hamilton at Makin' Sausage Music (Milwaukee, WI). Design by Greg Welsh. For more info about Steel Bridge Songfest, The Holiday Music Motel, and Steel Bridge Radio (where you can hear these songs streaming 24/7), please visit our websites: HolidayMusicMotel.com, SteelBridgeSongfest.org, SteelBridgeRadio.com

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Track Name: What Does It Take?
There’s a town named after a fish that’s obsolete
With an interesting bridge on Michigan Street
So interesting in fact that it inspires music
But the problem folks have is that they tend to confuse it with
Two other bridges in town but they’re foolish
The Michigan bridge is the crown jewel it’s
By far compared to those, the most artistic
And when they tried to bulldoze it people went ballistic
They wrote songs
And their efforts in the race to save it did
Those other ones
Could never replace their favorite bridge

What does it take to write a song about a bridge?
What does it take to write a song about a bridge?
First you need a bridge
But you got to write about the right bridge
Not the bridge on the left
Wrong bridge, wrong song, move along

What does it take to write a song about a bridge?
What does it take to write a song about a bridge?
That other bridge is wrong. It’s not the right one.
You don’t wanna write about the Oregon one
Wrong bridge, wrong song, move along

What does it take to write a song about a bridge?
What does it take to write a song about a bridge?
If you think you’ve found a bridge that works for you
But that bridge is on 57/42
Wrong bridge, wrong song, move along

First you need to know which bridge you’re on
A teenage girl who can sing the song
A hot shot picker who can strum along
And a really good drummer

It’s imperative that it’s that very bridge and
Your coordinates are flawless and most
Of all it’s important to understand
When there’s a lot on the line and the
Life of a bridge is at stake, well what does it take?
It takes a really good drummer
Track Name: The Jesus Gonna See You Naked
Gotta get across, now
Carry that cross, now
Gotta carry that cross to the other side

Gotta keep dry, now
Gotta keep dry now
Gotta keep dry, when the waters rise

Gotta move it on high now
Gotta move it on high now
Move it on high, when the waters rise
Move it on high, when the waters rise

The preacher man says that the Jesus gonna see you naked
The preacher man says that the Jesus gonna see you naked

Gotta keep faithful
Gotta keep faithful
Gotta have faith in a higher plan

Gotta hear the music
Gotta hear the music
Gotta let the muse flow on through
Gotta let the muse flow on through

The preacher man says that the Jesus gonna see you naked
The preacher man says that the Jesus gonna see you naked

If you wanna get to heaven
If you wanna get to heaven
You gotta pay the cost to save the lost
Track Name: The Singing Bridge
Over the bay I stand so tall
My arms they rise up and they fall
A heart of gold and eyes of steel
And I will help this town to heal

Sing for the water, sing for the sun
Sing for the neighbors, and for everyone
Sing so sweetly, gonna hear you swoon
Give a holler back and I’ll sing it with you

Aahhh aahh ahhhhhh a ah ahhhh a ahhhh ah ahhha ahhhhhh
Aahhh aahh ahhhhhh a ah ahhhh a ahhhh ah ahhha ahhhhhh

Under the sky that’s oh so blue
Carry the weight to help you through
The splashing waves they feed my soul
You hear my song as the wheels roll

Sing for the water, sing for the sun
Sing for the neighbors, and for everyone
Sing so sweetly, gonna hear you swoon
Give a holler back and I’ll sing it with you

Aahhh aahh ahhhhhh a ah ahhhh a ahhhh ah ahhha ahhhhhh
Aahhh aahh ahhhhhh a ah ahhhh a ahhhh ah ahhha ahhhhhh

If I disappeared what would you do?
Would you sing for me, like I sing for yoouuuuuuuuuuuuu?

Sing for the water, sing for the sun
Sing for the neighbors, and for everyone
Sing so sweetly, gonna hear you swoon
Give a holler back and I’ll sing it with you

Aahhh aahh ahhhhhh a ah ahhhh a ahhhh ah ahhha ahhhhhh
Aahhh aahh ahhhhhh a ah ahhhh a ahhhh ah ahhha ahhhhhh

Sing for the water, sing for the sun
Sing for the neighbors, and for everyone
Sing so sweetly, gonna hear you swoon
Give a holler back and I’ll sing it with you
Track Name: Hanky Panky
When you’re sailing out to sea
I hope you don’t forget
I’ll be sitting here blue
Saving all my Hanky Panky for you

You went away with my heart
When the ship departed
Now what else can I do
Saving all my Hanky Panky for you

I’ll wave from the Bridge
And blow you a kiss
And write you love letters every day
I’m gonna miss
The taste of your lips
And the way you move, that sailor sway
Track Name: Bebo and Palu
In the video nightmare
In the video dream
Better turn your lamps up
Because things aren’t what they seem
Bebo first saw Palu
On the bridge looking down
Studying the cold blue water
For a wave in which to drown
You can burn your money
If you need some light for seeing
If you have no money
You can still make a video dream
Bebo said to Palu
It’s a fine day for a swim
I know just the place to go
If you feel like diving in
Palu went with Bebo to a place called Tambourine
They sang this song together in the video dream
Bebo Palu la la la la la
Palu said don’t look away
Don’t lose me in the noise
You’ll find yourself so far astray
That you can’t hear my voice
But Bebo had a video nightmare
And Palu had a video dream
Now Bebo lives all alone Bebo lie lie lie
And Palu sings a lonely song Palu la la la
Bebo lie lie
Palu la la la
Come on shake your Tambourine
And build this video dream
Sing what you want to be singing
Bring what you want to be bringing
Bebo Palu la la la la x4
Track Name: Steel Bridges Don't Burn
We can stand together, we can stand apart
Though, it’s a miracle we stand at all but we’ll never fall

We will always be unified, even if we’re not side by side
The bridge we’re building may block our view, but in the end it will be me and you

Chorus:
Steel Bridges don’t burn
Steel Bridges don’t burn
Steel Bridges stand firm through the fire that burns as the water goes by

We’ll learn to stand together
We’ll always come around
We are going to need each other
To stay on higher ground

Chorus x2

They unify, connect two sides rising over the tide
Track Name: Cross That Bridge
Holding on when the world turns upside down
Working hard to keep our feet on the ground
On the way to finding what was lost
There will always be another bridge to cross

We’ll cross that bridge when we get there
We’ll cross that bridge with our love

Sometimes what should be right is wrong
There’s a part of you that knew it, all along
When it seems that nothing turns out right
Remember even the darkest tunnels end in light

Don’t even give it a second thought
You can win the battle before it’s fought
Before it’s even fought
Track Name: Workin' the Waterfront
She’s a rusty old working tugboat
Pushing and shoving and keeping the others alive and afloat
Without her they might wander, go astray
But she’s keeping them straight on course, out of harm’s way
She sends them out to sea
Out of the bay
And into the light of day
They will travel far, far away

Chorus:
Working the waterfront
She’s there when you’re in need
Working the waterfront
She got a soul so deep
Working the waterfront
You better believe
She’s an engine with a strong heartbeat
She’s working the waterfront

Now she’s in drydock, all but forgotten
She’s been neglected, but she’s defiant and unbroken
This old man still sees her in her glory days
Still strong, still beautiful in every way
She sends me out to sea
Out of the bay
And into the light of day
And I will travel far, far away

Chorus

Some say no harm in putting the past on the shelf
But I say when we lose the story, we lose ourselves, we lose our way
And the truth is the soul of this town is on the bay
And that’s where it’s gonna stay

Double chorus
Tag
Track Name: Downbound
Keeping the green light on our right
Through this cold and foggy night
Winter frosty winds they blow
Dead ahead the seaway…
It’s time to go

We’re downbound
Through the locks and lakes
Batten those hatches down
And we’re on our way
We’re downbound
To the ocean waves

A kiss goodbye and cast away
We’ll be back in sixteen days
Leaving with ore and back with grain
I can’t wait to see your face again

We’re downbound
Through the locks and lakes
Batten those hatches down
And we’re on our way
We’re downbound

Calling now ship to shore
Take the helm and stay the course
Guide me down and safely home
Back to your loving arms once more

We’re downbound
Through the locks and lakes
Batten those hatches down
And we’re on our way
We’re downbound
To the ocean waves

We’re downbound
We’re downbound
Track Name: Save Yourself
Say you got your head up
But the world won’t let up
So tell ‘em it’s a set up
And you’re the catch of the day

Maybe you’re the hunter
Maybe you’re the hunted
Put the baby in the bunker
Hide the silver away

So – start running
Keep running
Heads up honey there’s a cold war comin’
In your head
It’s redemption
It’s the only way you know how to…

Save yourself
A hundred ways to play the fool
Save yourself
You can play god and the devil too
You can play god and the devil too

Burning all the bridges
Drowning in your riches
Words get twisted
You got nothing to say

Read me my Miranda
Fed me propaganda
Smokey and the bandit
What’s the truth anyway?

So – start running
Keep running
Heads up honey there’s a cold war comin’
In your head
It’s redemption
It’s the only way you know how to

Save yourself
A hundred ways to break the rules
Save yourself
Play it dirty, play it cruel
Save yourself
A hundred ways to play the fool
Save yourself
You can play god and the devil too
You can play god and the devil too

Save yourself
A hundred ways to break the rules
Save yourself
Play it dirty, play it cruel
Save yourself
A hundred ways to play the fool
Save yourself
You can play god and the devil too
You can play god and the devil too
Track Name: Death's Door
Once again we set sail for death’s door
Will we wake up in our beds
Or wash up on the shore

We’re united tonight but I’m sure
One of us falls to our fears
Like we’re going to war

Somebody knows how this ends
Is it here on the sea
Where no olive branch bends

Alive
Just get out alive
Wait for the bridge to appear
Wait for me darling dear
Alive
Get out alive

She rode out what we had
On a slow heartbeat
We’ve not had a casualty yet

Carry me o’er
Threshold death’s door
Track Name: Burning Sun, Ocean Song
Burning sun, lovely one
We’re all from, burning sun

Summertime comes, days are long
Sand sparkling in the sun, shine on me now
Everyone, having fun
Now the ocean song, has begun
Track Name: Ashes
You built your city
On stones from my quarry
And you made a beggar out of me

We rented the ledge
Borrowing trouble
Smoldering steel, smoldering steel
Embers to ashes

Two orphan songbirds, from the same litter
Recycling sorrow in song
Choking on smoke, we found our way back to each other
Hellbent on fixing our nest

We rented the ledge
Borrowing trouble
Smoldering steel, smoldering steel
Embers to ashes

Can we fly with our hearts still attached
Trusting your love to bring me back
Can we fly with our hearts still attached
Trusting your love to bring me back, to you

Smoldering steel, smoldering steel
Embers to ashes
Smoldering steel, smoldering steel
Embers to ashes to you
Track Name: Never Gonna Let It Go
How do you sparkle and fade
With grace as we wither away
The tree is now fifty feet tall
Just a seed that took root in fall

Never gonna let it go again
Never gonna let it go… ah

Picked a blue bonnet and it turned into dust
Like a flatbed in the tall grass that’s all covered in rust
Some will turn to water
Some turn to wine
In the eyes of your daughter
See the minutes and lines

Light and sound
Beautiful – underground
Sweet hometown
Through my eyes I have found you again
Track Name: Two Shots Shy of Dead
Chorus:
You like tears and I like pain
A good excuse to drink again
Can’t bring me to my senses without wine
Gin will make a man too tough
Too much beer is not enough
But the blood of Christ at a discount price
Is the only way to make me cry

We woke up in Milwaukee
Went to bed in Sturgeon Bay
I guess we didn’t want to be at home
The sign above read Pigsville
Nothin’ more to say
They told me the high life
Would treat me a different way

Chorus

Cross the devil’s river
Hitchhikin’ up to Trivers
On Highway 43
The 30-pack from Sheboygan’s getting’ low
The night’s getting’ clearer in the rearview mirror
As the miles keep rollin’ on
Hit the Crazy 8 in Tisch Mills
We’re livin’ in a drinkin’ song

Chorus

Did a bit of sloppy kissin’ at the Steelhead Saloon
Washed-up alewives waftin’ on the breeze
By the time we got back to Sturgeon
We were two shots shy of dead
We bent down to kiss the ground
Booted off the bridge instead

Chorus

I said the blood of Christ at a discount price
Is the only way to make me cry
Track Name: Bridge to My Heart
Slinging rivets all day long
Fire to light a workman’s song
You laid the track and I followed you
You pulled me back as I fell right through

You were a bridge to my heart
A lone bridge to my soul
You were a bridge to my heart
But the saltwater tears turned it to rust

Over the side, a long drop in
You threw a line and reeled me in
Pressed my chest, and cleared me out
You brought me back from the demons of doubt

You were a bridge to my heart
A lone bridge to my soul
You were a bridge to my heart
But the saltwater tears turned it to rust

Paper sailboats riding in
I look inside and find it’s time to begin… again and again

The days were sweet, the nights were long
Memory seeps when the harbor’s calm
Tears they rust, all the rivets away
They lay in ruins at the bottom of the bay

You were a bridge to my heart
A lone bridge to my soul
You were a bridge to my heart
But the saltwater tears turned it to rust

You were a bridge to my heart
A lone bridge to my soul
You were a bridge to my heart
But the saltwater tears turned it to rust
Track Name: Sturgeon Bay
Sturgeon Bay, don’t you know how bad I wanna stay?
Am I insane? For feeling lonely when I drive away
But you never hold me back or stop me
When I turn around and walk away
Why would you let me walk away

Door County, tell me are you still my girl?
Do you miss me like I’ve missed you
You’re the reason why I’m comin’ home
I’m on my way to, the old secret place we used to play
I still remember that day

Can we party on the bridge tonight?
Meet me at the Holiday
I promise I won’t start a fight
Who bows down to who
Doesn’t matter
Because we’re all the same
We’re all the same

I know I won’t get to stay
Home here in Sturgeon Bay
Even though everywhere
That I go
I can still see your face
I’m still longing for the sweet embrace
There is nowhere I would rather be
Than this starry little city
Where everything is so close to me
You are always there
When it is needed the most
But you let me come and go
As I so please
It’s all gone with the summer wind
I can’t stand to leave you again
I can’t stand
To leave you again

Sturgeon Bay
Do you know why I wanna stay
I feel insane and lonely
Every time I drive away
Track Name: We Have It All
We have everything we need
Promise these things
When I reach don’t pull away
When the tide turns stay

Coast to coast you keep me safe
Our hearts beat with the waves
We float out the ocean shore
We have it all
Track Name: Straight to Your Door
Walking alone, skipping a stone
Not gon’ be lonely no more
Setting a chart that leads to your heart
Follow it straight to your door

Tell your old man I don’t give a damn
I’m taking you out on the town
Dog days are done, you need some fun
Someone to show you around

It’s been so long since I heard your song
Can’t get you out of my mind
I’m telling you I intend to be true
‘Til we reach the end of the line

I’ve had bad days, my crooked ways
But that ain’t me anymore
I’m setting the chart that leads to your heart
Follow it straight to your door
Track Name: Steely Gates
Verse 1 -
Crossing thru those gates,thru those Steely Gates,
over Sturgeon Bay.
Such a long day, come a long way.
now I'm here to stay.
Say what you want to say
play what you want to play.
At the holiday.
Leave it all behind, funk what's on your mind.
let The fear fade away.

Chorus- don't you ever give up, you can always get down. Got to do what you love, spread the light all around.

Verse 2-
Word gets around, gets around in a small town,
the music's making waves
Say it loud, shout it out now.
Can't deny it's time for change.
Play what you want to play
say what you want to say.
At the holiday...
Feel the vibe we're all just one tribe,
We are family!

Chorus -

Say what you want to say
play what you want to play
We are family!
Track Name: Spin
Here’s my take
We are the bridge
We come together like this
We get the spins
Go to bed and wake
Then do it all over again

Fame and fortune are not up to us
Our lives are a set of circumstances that align in some way
And reveal the road ahead

My spin, from a man of my age and disposition,
Is that it’s a controlled social experiment, and a kind of sacrament

Different inspirations expose the diversity of each group

Encounters with the unexpected stretch us
They draw out parts of us that we are meeting for the first time

The spinning bottle is a portal of sorts to the unexplored
A southern door
A bridge from my comfort zone to the construction zone

Together we collect, collaborate, connect, and celebrate
All these songs we make

These self-discoveries are always life changing
They can be delightful, they can be intimidating,
Uncomfortable, courageous
Each one crucial to our development as musicians

Spinning is expensive
And I have limited time to spend
Yet I let me actions travel from my brain to my limbs
Through my spine
And I spin

Each take is different
Each is significant
That’s what makes these spins so magnificent

Each spin brings us closer to the best version of ourselves

I’ve got my lanyard
I’ve got my pen
And that’s my way in
Spin.
Track Name: A Bridge to Forever
Let’s build a bridge to forever
Forever’s where I want to hold you dear
A monthlong would be nice
A hint of paradise
But ever thirty years would not suffice, oh baby
So let’s build a bridge to forever
Forever’s where I want to hold you dear

Let’s hop a train to forever
Forever is the only game around
We’ll ride the sleeping car
And gaze at passing stars
I’ll kiss those lips that ever will astound me
So let’s hop a train to forever
Forever is the only game around

Chorus

I know it’s just a word that often can be heard
On radio or at the movie show
And though it sounds naïve
I truly do believe
Eternal bliss is right before our noses

So let’s build a bridge to forever
And when it’s done we’ll drive across, my dove
Cause forever
Baby I said forever
Forever is the only place for love!

Chorus

Forever’s often said by fools who have no head
No heart to feel just what this word can mean
But let me tell you girl
My heart’s been in a whirl
And every day’s become eternal spring, can’t you see that

We should take the bridge to forever
Cause I will swear by the sun that shines above
That forever
Baby I said forever
Forever is the only place for love