Farther Now

by Jacob Miller

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"I often speak of you, but the you is always me"

Songs from Fall and Winter, 2013

All songs written and performed by Jacob Miller
Acoustic guitar and melodica on loan from Spider Rain
Recording equipment courtesy of Floor #2 Productions

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released August 15, 2014

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Jacob Miller Grinnell, Iowa

slow music for slow feelings

IA & MA

page artwork by destini powell

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Track Name: Child
I can't tell where I'm going
or if I'm still welcome where I'm from,
but I can sit here all day,
I can watch this river run.

I don't know if I'll ever move,
I'd just meet somebody down the way;
They might keep me company for a little while
but I will just miss them someday.

See, the river sleeps, it washes bones,
it falls down into the night.
Sometimes in dreams I see you
but I've lost touch with all this light.

But the old road calls me down,
it says, you must walk now, you must go
you cannot stand inside a memory
when there's a world you've yet to know.

And all these people I have known
now burn inside my mind;
the few that I have left
and the ones that have left me behind.
They are glowing so brightly now
that they have fallen out of sight.
I could keep walking on,
they'd still be doing alright.

So tell me river, tell me road,
what mysteries have you now?
I can see the illusions starting to corrode,
all these seeds just broken boughs.

What will it ever mean,
to be caught in this moment, in this skin?
Is there somewhere in these hours I could stand in between,
will I ever be ready to begin?
Track Name: The Great Bear
We rode our bikes out in the heat wave
because there was nothing left to say.
All the miles of empty highway
watched as we ran from burning days,
as we left the fury of the lakeside,
went up above into the hills.
There we loved our muddied bloodlines,
thin and tangled, weeping still.
We saw the town all laid out below,
asphalt turning soft under the sun,
and all the roads with their forking paths
where we knew someday we would have to run.

We made shapes then
of the cat and the dove.
You were the Great Bear,
that was more than enough.
And there were new songs
we'd sing in the wind at dawn,
and I'd like you to hold me now
but the shapes we made are gone.

But when night fell on our heat wave
we were bent down praying to the radio.
A man swore through the static that meteors would fall
lighting up the sky, a cascading glow.
We'd see Andromeda die just one last time,
watch Ursa roar, her coat wreathed in flames,
and Orion would chase her blazing form with arrowed stars
and we'd watch and let the fire write our names.

But then it came and it was nothing
just the curtain night and all its painted stars,
and we felt nothing but sadness for the cold dying light
that had come to reach us from so very far.
Track Name: Little Hurt
My friend, you're standing before me
and I'm watching how this road turns.
We keep riding buses, riding trains,
but someday this is all gonna burn.

They took my life in boxes,
buried it above the bedrock,
You gave me a key
with a name written on it
but there's nothing left to unlock.

Was there something in these years
I was supposed to find,
your words or some grace,
a lucky silver coin?
Now, my friend, I am falling behind.

This is all circumstance,
our paths through the dust.
I keep coming back here,
just do what you must.

The sun's going down,
turn the music up between us.
So many lovely things
I wish I could still trust.

There was something in these years
I was supposed to find:
you walking
across the leaves.
Now, my friend, I am falling behind.
Track Name: The Gold Rush
Is it true that there's no need to speak
or is there just nothing to say?
I'd hope that you would tell me now
if I'm standing in your way.

Everything's less than parallel,
you wouldn't know the way I live.
The names you give to others now
I haven't learned how to forgive.

At the end of every empty night
I've drifted further than before,
less and less of who I was,
sinking right through the floor.

All this damn devotion
makes us see things that aren't there.
I've been so long, you're not the same
I wish I didn't care.

I spent the summer underground
clawing in vain for gold,
spilled some tears on the rusted earth
felt like I was growing old.

I lost my mind up in Oregon,
Sacramento stone tore my hands.
Pacific gulls, they keep screaming out
now you've gone down to Jefferson's land

I know these quiet hours
will never compare to your lighted house;
you belong in other places now
among the gaslamps of the south.
I blew my money in the gold rush
and you have struck it rich,
at least it all came quick

All this damn devotion
makes us see things that aren't there.
I've been so long, you're not the same
I wish I didn't care.
Track Name: Fourth of July
I was alone all day on the fourth of July,
woke up to an empty house and a vacant sky.
I kept calling and calling, "This is where I am",
either no one could hear or they didn't understand.

The future was shaking, my jaw clenched tight,
I was burning down, I couldn't feel alright.
I saw no reason to stay, but had no place to go
so I lay down for a while, I listened to the undertow.

The fourth of July was a hopeless day;
that was the summer everything slipped away.
All around me lay an empty life, so
I bared my bones before the stars and stripes.
There was something about loneliness that Vonnegut said
I couldn't remember, so I wrapped a flag around my head.

I was living underwater on the fourth of July,
and they just kept on pouring fire into my empty sky.
Track Name: Walking Home
Home was a burning light you had strung up inside you,
and where can I stand this night if not beside you?
Here's our fragile trust, love, fear, and devotion,
our land of rivers is running out into the ocean.

Here we are making paths in the glimmering dust
as our diminishing past sinks through the dusk.
And as our memories turn to living tombs,
I can't forget your words from old quiet rooms.

All these gleaming chords of memory and time,
life's bound to longing, yours ain't bound to mine.
Though I can't help but try to keep walking home
with these hopeless words laced through my bones.
Track Name: Window/Ride
Summer was a wasted hour,
Autumn, your fading hand,
now Winter's roots, biting deep,
Spring, come, I can't.

A moment lost, Time's gone again,
I cannot make it stay.
Nation wider than airlit paths,
where does your distant station wait?

Behind the glass, we rode the earth,
incubating slow.
Stone's to hearth, warm your touch,
simple hours, unknown.

Unready legs, my shoulders bend,
airplanes crowd my skies.
You know I'll be slow to walk,
I only know the vacant ride.

Now and then I'm treated to
the diminishing returns of grace,
a quiet hand against my brow,
choices I can't make.

I tend to think you'll have to wait for me
if I never learn to drive,
but your eyes seem so cold behind the glass
as you pass me at the light.
Track Name: Rest
Man built the highways, and he made himself lonely,
I came crawling west with a blade at my side.
Now we've tried in vain
to find a lost common ground,
I can feel the moon's crooked knife at my throat.

At night I lay down beside my anger,
I dream alone of a way out of here.
Rising frustration, choke
the life out of me.

Now we sing through telephones, we make each other lonely,
you hold the size of your life up above me.
I have spent all my chances,
my silver coins and luck, the dust of youth.
Light flowing out across the water;
these years won't be saved by the truth.
In watching you, I became a stranger,
we tend to distance, such is nature.

I'm tired now, I've tried, I've been at this my whole life.
I'd like to lay down, I'd like to rest.