Cradle of Light

by Nealon

Released 2016
Released 2016
Folk and swing, genuine heartbreak, twin slides, and a little hope in a moonshadow.
  • 02:56 Download Story Lyrics
    Domestic Life

    “Madam,” muttered Adam, “you got something up your sleeve?”

    “I’m famishing for knowledge,” answered innocently Eve

    “I’m starting to despair of finding spouses for our sons

    And if ever we have daughters, they’ll grow up to be nuns”

     

    Domestic life’s been contentious since the garden

    Your best hope lies in petition for a pardon

    Leaving a long legacy of kindred and affines

    God draws straight with crooked lines

     

    Two parents sitting nervous with the teacher at the table

    “Academically he’s strong,” she said; “it’s not that he’s not able

    I’m just concerned that he won’t learn to be a keeper of his brothers

    Sacrifice is nice, but Cain don’t play well with the others”

     

    Abraham the businessman didn’t let no pharaoh scare him

    He called his wife his sister and had her join in the king’s harem

    But cautioned in a dream that Abram’s scheme was just baloney

    King gave her back with grace and tact—restored their matrimony

     

    Joseph dreamed a bit too much of leadership and bravery

    His brothers threw him in a ditch and sold him into slavery

    But later he forwent revenge because he understood

    What kin intend for evil ends, God can turn to good

    © 2015 Dave Nealon

  • 04:54 Download Story Lyrics
    Lightning over Hampstead

    Lightning Over Hampstead

    © 2015 Dave Nealon

     

    a few hands of cards in the kitchen

    till we move to the porch rocking chairs

    out over the mainland electrons

    blazing trails through the dark atmosphere

     

    the sky laying siege to the coastlands

    illumines a fortress of cloud

    and each strike a new revelation

    exposing our shadow and doubt

     

    reflecting together in silence

    intermittently midnight and noon

    like the waves breaking on our dark island

    spraying live oaks that shelter the dune

  • 03:27 Download Story Lyrics
    Cradle of Light

    Cradle of Light
    (c) 2015 Dave Nealon

    Look out the window at the mountain silhouetted
    By the afterglow of another day I missed
    Personal filmfest playing moments I’ve regretted
    Always stalking me with memories and what-ifs

    Chorus
    Crescent moon won't you rock me in the cradle of your light?
    I’m consumed by restless worry in the watches of the night
    I got promises to keep and the road ahead won’t let me sleep
    Won’t you rock me in the cradle of your light?

    Nothing’s in focus; I can’t think or keep from thinking
    Of the friends that I allowed to slip away
    Chances I squandered are just rusted chains no longer linking
    And I didn’t accomplish anything today

    Bridge
    Lunar tranquility, a little less gravity
    Gives us a lift to assist our climb
    Pale luminosity just out in front of me
    A giant leap for all mankind

  • 03:04 Download Story
    Keep Moving
  • 03:35 Download Lyrics
    Floodgates

    Someday shall the landed abandon their mansions
    Escape from the lion to meet with a bear
    With wailing arising from vineyard and pasture
    And weeping in anguish above the town square

    Let justice open her floodgates
    Let mercy rush like a stream
    Let captains leave off exploitation
    For now shall the land be redeemed

    Your God is not blind to tight-fisted offenses
    Corruption and bribery, ill-gotten gain
    Afflicting at will the already hard-pressed ones
    By taxing their very last straw-bale and grain

    Let justice open her floodgates
    Let mercy rush like a stream
    Aggressors desist their oppression
    For now shall the land be redeemed

    The day of the Lord will bring ruin and darkness
    To systems of mischief, malfeasance, and crime
    So seek only service with generous hearts and
    The truth shall prevail in the fullness of time

    Let justice open her floodgates
    Let mercy rush like a stream
    Let sinners pursue only goodness
    For now shall the land be redeemed, redeemed

    Enough of your offerings! Have done with your music!
    Away with your worship! It’s worthless and muted
    By perjuries pounding, pounding, pounding
    Pounding on poverty’s door

    Creator who clusters the star constellations
    Who dashes the fortress to clumps of cold clay
    Who pours out the waters of rivers and oceans
    Shall banish the midnight and call forth the day

    Let justice open her floodgates
    Let mercy rush like a stream
    Let warlords lay down their weapons
    For now shall the land be redeemed

  • 06:00 Download Story Lyrics
    Long's Hope

    Long’s Hope
    Copyright 2014 Dave Nealon

    The forest edge and half in shadow
    A roadside respite on winding hill
    Limestone and moss and scattered violets
    In patterns stitching a graveside quilt

    A one-room school long years abandoned
    In slanting stanchions of evening light
    Acre of rest and restoration
    Unchiseled headstones, the cusp of night

    Lend me your vision, light from your eyes
    Brave hope of winning, eyes on the prize

    A child slave till Lee’s surrender
    Rendered a scholar at Hampton Roads
    Under the Oak Emancipation
    Till education calls you back home

    Against long odds at Long’s Hope chapel
    The former chattels now own the land
    You born in bonds now serving freely
    Primers and prospects in children’s hands

    Bold from the ocean home to the mountain
    Climbing above abuse and disgrace
    They say for courage there’s no accounting
    But you reckon promise in every face

    Gray clapboard walls, white painted lumber
    Yet few remember the history here
    The silent bell no more recalling
    The tolling memory, sweet-bitter years

    For you a birth, new-laid foundation
    Risk and potential, and half in light
    For me repose, a contemplation
    And half in shadow, the cusp of night

  • 04:53 Download Story Lyrics
    Descend Into Sorrow

    Descend Into Sorrow(Dave Nealon, December, 2011) 

    Lest the holly and ivy in an ancient appeal
    Should convict their caretakers of willful neglect
    You have gathered the families for a holiday meal
    Traded stories and presents and paid your respects

    It’s another safe Christmas that works out alright
    In ambiguous balance of value and cost
    So you tend to the children to see through their eyes
    But even they’ve gone nostalgic in a vague air of loss

    Descend into sorrow on the year’s longest night
    For the people in darkness have seen a great light 

    When the glow of the street lamp erases the stars
    Like the rush of the wind all but muted by cars
    Or the crash of the ocean when it’s hushed by the din
    Of the clash and confusion of the discord you’re in

    If your eyes were just blind there would be no disgrace
    But you insist that you see so your darkness remains
    Through the vast, empty vacuum of parsecs of space
    Flies the bright solar wind to illumine your face

    It’s a pale imitation—the lights on the tree
    Raging stars power planets distant light-years away
    But at Mercury sunset into nocturnity
    An entire year passes before the new day

    You’ve got power and plumbing, an electronic grid
    Why should you feel ashamed of aught that you did?
    Too involved to be lonely, too well-loved to be sad
    You’re too full to be hungry, too polite to be bad

    There’s nurse for the dying; there’s a purse for the poor
    There’s a dance for the aged and aching and sore
    The traditional revels of music and lore
    In the home of the drifter there’s a truce for the conscripts of war

    Descend into sorrow on the year’s longest night
    For the people in darkness have seen a great light

  • 04:20 Download Story
    Harbinger-of-Spring
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    The End of All Things

    I feel so low
    My body’s slow
    Just let me sleep
    Here on the ground
    Outside the house
    A warm sunbeam
    A summer dream

    A streak of light
    The end of time
    Hear how the blackbird sings
    At the end of all things

    I once had plans
    Back to the land
    Now all that’s gone
    I see the past
    In shattered glass
    What have I done?
    Who’ve I become?

    A streak of light
    The end of time
    Hear how the sparrow sings
    At the end of all things

    At the end of all things let’s stand together
    At the end of all things imagine life gets better

    It’s not so bad
    We still can laugh
    Between the cries
    We’ll work it out
    What life’s about
    Glad this hard time
    Is yours and mine

    A streak of light
    The end of time
    Hear how the thrushes sing
    At the end of all things

    Copyright Dave Nealon 2013

  • 04:52 Download Lyrics
    Together for Good

    A little girl in ruby red shoes slowly walking down the aisle
    Feeling lonely in her grieving and looking up, she sees you smile
    Now her face begins to brighten, inspiration on her brow
    And she asks if you’d be willing to be her new grandparents now

    Blessings to you! Good to see you!
    Glad you’re here, Have no fear
    This here will sadness will work out as it should
    I’m convinced God works it all together
    Together for good

    We met for lunch there at the diner. I’d just that minute lost my job
    Nobody else I’d rather talk to to reinforce my trust in God
    Pennsylvania, Carolina, Shenandoah Valley views
    Everywhere you work the harvest, reassurance and good news

    Blessings to you! Good to see you!
    Glad you’re here, Have no fear
    This here will trouble will work out as it should
    I’m convinced God works it all together
    Together for good

    A different kind of circuit preacher. I guess that’s just the way he’s wired
    And she nourishes our courage like funny cake and shoofly pie

    I’d just heard the grim prognosis, and the news wasn’t good
    How much time left wasn’t certain; doctors done all that they could
    But you two were right here with me; helped me struggle with my grief
    Prayed with me to see God’s mercy and guide me to a trusting peace

    Blessings to you! Good to see you!
    Glad you’re here, Have no fear
    This here will setback will work out as it should
    I’m convinced God works it all together
    Together for good

  • 04:35 Download Story Lyrics
    Comfort in Me

    Just before the morning you stepped into my dream

    With welcome like it was your place all along

    As if I’d just arrived there and you were biding time

    All I know is you made me feel at home

     

    I’m just a lovesick spaniel fetching frisbee in the park

    It’s the only way you’ll get some space to breathe

    You’re wondering how to train me and multitrack my thoughts

    I’m living in your laugh I hide beneath

     

    Then I woke and found that you had tunneled through the years

    And left for me a message under glass

    Swam across the currents; crowned the tadpole with your kiss

    Graced us like a dewdrop glazing grass

     

    Well, I had a chance to take you to the concert on the lawn

    Oh, but I was stuck up in my head

    Would have been my honor if I knew what honor was

    It’s a concept that I’ve still not mastered yet

     

    You forgave me

    Mercy saved me

    I ride the waves from those early days

    with the breakers towering high above my size

     

    Told us that it sounded like we’d made a happy life

    Kicked the door to insight from the jamb

    Your catalytic comments shocked the failure from our frame

    I never said I’m sorry but I am

     

    Decades in the distance tracing parallel paths ahead

    Moldering like the basement of my mind

    Unexpected warmth and debts forgiven unconfessed

    Your vindicating voice came through so kind

     

    I don’t think I mentioned—strange thing about this dream

    Something you did caught me off my guard

    The way that you disarmed me—laid your head against my neck

    You drew comfort where there’s self-inflicted scars

     

    You saw something in me that I could never see

    Left to me an honor I can’t earn

    I had nothing left to give, no advice on how to live

    Taught me what I’d long refused to learn

     

    You forgave me

    Mercy saved me

    I ride the waves from those early days

    with the breakers towering high above my size

  • 04:16 Download Lyrics
    Hidden Inscription

    Unchiseled headstones laid beneath the pines
    Unknown departed, but I see which one's mine

    The time's upon us that was long foretold
    The rain is falling, and the wind blows cold

    I gained perspective perched upon this hill
    Lie down beside me, reckon someday you will

    Go down, old Hannah, don't you rise no more
    You keep on sleeping till judgment day's for sure

    You think I'm sleeping in an unmarked grave
    Hidden inscription; Jesus knows my name