When I Rise

by Samuel Lockridge

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JOSHUA EHRMANN Sam has more soul than 43 black men from the 1930's combined...not really, but he has a lot. This record is proof that a vulnerable heart, no matter how bruised or scarred, is a beautiful thing.
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released March 10, 2012

Recorded and mastered by Chad Wahlbrink from December 2011 to February 2012.




Samuel Lockridge Kentucky

Kentucky folk singer, Samuel Lockridge caresses his strings and lets fly his haunting voice to craft earthy soundscapes that are all at once gentle and powerful. His weeping melodies and soul-churning lyrics encompass the natural beauty of his native Appalachia and invite the listener into a meditative stillness. ... more

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Track Name: Heart of Silk
When I rise
Let me rise
Like a bird
With no regret

When I fall
Let me fall
Like a leaf
With no regret

I will go farther than those hills
Farther than the seas
Close to the stars to beg my Lord to return to me
The soul I had of old,
Of when I was a child
Ripened with ledgends,
A feathered cap and a wooden sword
Fighting to see the wild restored.

Everything that has breath moves my bones
To bow my head upon he mossy stone
But not bow down in submission
‘cause I don’t need permission
to exist, resist, or die,
or ask for reasons why.

The year that I became a man
I pulled my head out of the sand
And saw the sun awake a sleeping earth
And ask her to return to Him.
The year that I became a man
I learned to work with my own hands,
I lit a fire and watched the smoke
Carry all my carbon cares away.
Track Name: Red River Prayer
Carry me, old river, down thee.
No borders here, no white man’s line drawn in the sand.
Adorn me in blankets of green.
You know the dirt delights to kiss your naked feet.
Don’t you know the wind longs to play with your hair.
Children sing while you still love to sing.
Like summer cubs, bless the deep and hallowed night in the moonlight.
Elders, speak to the young that you see
of a time when starlight cast your shadow on the ground,
before they paved Eden away and built a town.

A doe of the wood looked into my eyes,
her fawn at her side all sprinkled with white.
They were not afraid but sung to me low
a song that perhaps my ancestors did know.
Track Name: Lady, I
Lady, I won’t tell you anything you don’t already know,
but lady, when my eyes dry,
and spring is in my hair again,
and skin has turned to scar;
no more boulder in my chest
or visions of you slumbering upon another’s breast;
I will rise up like the dawn
and sing again with open palms.

Lady, I’m your brother.
Covenant older than sin, I’m not your master, I’m your friend.
Lady, meet me in the bluegrass.
We will sit beside the water and we’ll never make a sound
as we listen to the waves – O, the beauty of our Mother!
We are cradled in her arms,
just as we were before, so many years ago, shivering barren on the floor.
O, how my tears froze to your lips
as we shook like frightened fawns
in a winter we never should have known.

No more weeping or gnashing of teeth.
Any wrong you do now is not done unto me.
Track Name: Hangman
Dead leaves from the gutter
in a pile on the driveway.
They are drying in the sunlight.
They are waiting to be burned,
when their verdant veins turn brittle
and the memory of their branches
is as withered as your faith in God
and hollywood romances.

The pendant that she gave you
to wear around your neck,
now the same color of decay
as the debris out in the driveway,
left a ring of copper-green
on the skin above your sternum,
and you tried to wash it off
but it’s a deeper kind of burden.

So curse the fates all you want to.
That won’t fill that hole inside you.
Wake up sleeper. Don’t be afraid to be alone.
You’re not alone.

So now you tell yourself at night
you’ll be wiser when you’re older,
but now you’d forsake the Kingdom
for a kiss upon her shoulder,
and you try to think of Jesus
but the only thing that comes
is the way she felt in summer
like a teardrop in the sun.

Some say He was a wise man
or just another martyr
who took the easy way around
getting out of bed tomorrow.
You don’t need to understand
why He was thinking of you,
with every nail, with every wound,
why He was crying out with you,
but He was.

So storm the gates all you want to.
That won’t fill that hole inside you.
Rise up hangman. Take a deep breath.
O, how we’ve missed you.
Every time we die and come back to life
our roots run deeper, our fruit tastes sweeter.
We bear new seeds from times of need
most painfully redeemed.
You’ll see.
Track Name: When the Walls Come Crashing Down
As the wind does whisper once again
into our willing ears,
a voice speaks soft, “the hour is near
when the walls come crashing down.”

When the earth is red, and sea is black,
and sky has all but vanished,
a single seed will choke our greed
when the walls come crashing down.

If trees should bear their fruit no more
and bears cease to find honey,
you cannot eat or drink your money
When the walls come crashing down.

When man does shed his brother’s blood,
when woman serves but one purpose,
the day has come for everyone
to watch the walls come crashing down.

When kings and paper gods are slain,
laid to rest in salted ground,
O, how we’ll dance to that thund’rous sound
when the walls come crashing down.

Though many are the nights we’ve cried,
the sun comes in the morning.
So have no fear of the wild, my dear,
when the walls come crashing down.
Track Name: Moth to a Flame
Had I but some leather or twine,
I’d tether the chimes of my mind
that their clanging might cease.
As a moth to the flame I’d fix my gaze
and wither away in the fire,
wither away in the fire.

But the torturous night and the cold, I am told,
will refine me like purified gold,
refine me like purified gold.

I still carry you around my neck.
Though you haunt my dreams,
those chimes sing, “morning is nigh.”
Track Name: At the Doorstep
Come down off that cross of yours.
Give us a king we can fight for.
Come down off your mountaintop.
Show us signs we can see and touch.
Son of God, I think you owe us that much.

“Have some tea to warm the chill of night out of your throat
and sit here with Me for a while.
You won’t hear My voice booming down from the skies,
but neither do you dream with your eyes.
You know not from whence it comes,
or to where the wind is blowing,
but you feel it when its there
like fingers passing through your hair.”

It was not You who turned this bread of life
to ash in my mouth,
only my fiery tongue.
You see, my memory has a tendency to fail
when I need most
to render my heart unto Thee.
Chamomile reminds me,
no philosopher-king with words can sing
the song of the Wild One’s heart
– the One who sings,

“Tell Me, where were you
when the heavens birthed the earth from the womb
and the Spring of Life opened its mouth?
Don’t forget your origins, My child, My love, My bride.
I know this just doesn’t seem right.
Through the honeybees and apple trees,
the darkest nights and stormy seas,
your Papa is calling you home.
You don’t have to keep starving alone.”
Track Name: Woodland Hymn
Though stormy skies shook the trees
of clinging leaves, I sat beneath.
O, who has taught the spider’s legs to spin
even then, even then?

Such thin and fine gossamer thread
now formed a halo above my head.
Before the night was done, I did intend
my heart to mend, my heart to mend.

I saw a red and white mare
with eyes as blue as the Aegean.
She told me, “Hands and lips are for praying,
so sing with me, sing with me.”

She said, “If you must weep, my dear,
weep not for darkness, weep not for fear.
All things that rise and fall shall pass away
at break of day, at break of day.”

A wolf cub pawed at my cheek
and bade me, “Nestle down and go to sleep.
The howls you hear at night that raise your hairs
are only prayers, only prayers.”

So, long I laid beneath those limbs
and listened to the woodland hymns,
‘til pale dawn’s light first whispered through the wood,
and I understood, I understood.

Silent One, behind my eyes, breath of life,
unseen gaze, peering out from every face.

No living thing, how wild or tame,
alone can bear the darkness and the rain.
The One who taught them each their harmony to sing,
rise up in me, rise up in me like steam.
Track Name: Hair In the Snow
I cut all the hair off my head
and I burned your scent from my bed
the night you told me the whole dirty truth
and I scattered the ashes for you.

And with one eye on the horizon
and the other one dragging behind,
I took off in the only direction I knew
would keep me away from you.

But everyone sees through my disguise
‘cause everyone bleeds and everyone dies.

An old man on the road gave me water
with tired but twinkling eyes
and when I asked him where it was I went wrong
he said,
“you don’t know what kind of journey you’re on.”

So for once I swallowed my pride,
and it felt just like choking on ice
– so rough at the start, but the warmth of the Heart
quickly melted it all into love.

And O, I could breath for the first time in years
a love so much more real than my own tears.

I always stay up late in the winter,
‘cause I cry whenever it snows.
And the icy moon says things I can’t understand,
but I still like to listen, you know.
Yeah, I still like to listen, you know.
Track Name: Wine In the Sand
My wineskin burst where the hide dried
and rotted through
and bled all the wine I cherished to the sand.
Though I brought it as an offering,
crushed from my own vine,
a new woman needs new wineskins for new wine
– a good man with calloused hands and a quiet mind.

“Son, all the keys you hid away aren’t yours to keep
just in case you need to peek through her old doors.
All the offerings you burned were not for Me,
but release her like the sea and you shall be released.”

While you were blazing trails like mad-eyed John in the wilderness,
locust wings and drops of honey in his beard,
I still worshiped my old chains,
heaping ashes on my head,
your memory like ragged sackcloth for my bed.
How long shall I fake life, pretending I’m not dead?

“You’re not fooling anyone, My son.
Now lace up your boots, there’s work to be done.
The dark you know is not meant to stay.
As wine lost to the sand, this too shall pass away.”
Track Name: Ash In the Dirt
I look in the mirror, but for the life of me,
can’t remember what I look like once I leave.
But I recall a photograph of me
laughing on a greybeard’s sturdy knee.
He said, “there’s no stream flowing to the sea
that doesn’t need the help of every cloud and leaf.”

Awake! Awake! Shake yourself from the dust!
Arise! Arise! With fire in your eyes!
We were feeding on each other like snakes
eating ourselves alive.
No wonder we were starving,
reaping only what we’d sown.
Teach us to work with our own tender hands.
We water and we plant
but only You can make things grow.

But sometimes my hands remember her hair
and I can’t help but smile.
And sometimes my bones remember her laugh
and I can’t help but listen.

Its true, I’ve been babied my whole life.
No right of passage in an age as fast as light.
But when I rise above these city lights,
I’ll be a living man for the very first time.
And the dew clinging to my fingertips
will magnify the life in everything I touch.

Alive! Alive! O, child of the wild!
O, Mother Hen! Gather Your children!
My brittle mind was wearing so thin,
though sharpened like a spear.
But the woods are all ablaze,
how can I not sing in praise?
Sing out at dawn and at eventide,
“soften me like clay, unrelenting as the grave!”

She’s more than just auburn and dreamy gold eyes,
she is You in disguise.
I’m more than my jealousy, pain, or my pride,
I’ve been given new life
by the One who said gently, like ash in the dirt,
“tell Me where it hurts.”
Track Name: When I Rise
When I rise
Let me rise
Like a bird
With no regret

When I fall
Let me fall
Like a leaf
With no regret