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Safely Down: The Songs of Jason Jackson

by Various Artists

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Cup of joe, smoking break Claims the clock's clicking jive Paper passage will not bother To wipe the sleep out of my eye I wish I had another moment for the song out in the car I'm going down for the count to count the petals in the park CHORUS: These lazy days are all that's wasted with no fear This southern comfort's gonna get the best of me Another day Cement river, take me to Magic Mary, my proving ground Ride it well till I get off Singing songs along the way I wish I'd listened to the children of the sun I wish I'd listened to the poets blessing everyone (CHORUS) Lord don't let me be crucified In my backyard, in my hometown Just three graces, give me hope Give me sex, get me saved At the circus, falling waif down Upon my bended knee Over backwards, far away From what I want and what I need (CHORUS)
Time and time I listened to the hateful things they said Wanting to resurrect in me something that should be dead Wanting to deliver me, wanting to make me clean I don't like the circus rings where they laugh at me CHORUS: 'Cause I'm the elephant man I don't know what it's like To see the sun When it's high and bright I just have to hide I'm just a circus freak, trying to make ends meet Won't you throw me just a penny please I don't complain, you see I travel a lot for free My dried up bones would fetch a hefty fee (CHORUS)
It's not enough that you give me kisses It's not enough that you say you're missing me Tell your heart I'm the one It's not enough that your eyes are on me If in your mind, I'm not the only one Tell your heart I'm the one I may be lonely, I'm no fool It's not like I didn't breathe before I met you Tell your heart I'm the one CHORUS: In the beginning, we were just fancy friends You had a lover, I had a band The time we spent together seemed to get out of hand Now we're more than friends It's time for me to know if I'm the one The subtlety is killing me I need an answer, tell me honestly Will you tell your heart I'm the one (CHORUS)
Did you see The way I looked at you The other night when I told you How frustrated and confused The voice inside my head Makes me feel when I see you And I don't have the words to use To explain my point of view And I tell myself I'm getting stronger every day And I know it's true Half the time Armed with pen in hand To the paper I do fly To construct a frantic answer To the questions kept inside A poorly written song With a softly faded rhyme And words that cannot answer All the problems they describe And I tell myself She loves me more and more each day And I know it's true Half the time
I've got a Cadillac with lots of gas in it Let's go to the riverside Back seat's big enough for six of us Just you and me's taking a ride Way down by the riverside I've got a gun, let's go shoot something I've got a gun, let's kill something Dog or a squirrel, it don't matter If it keeps moving, we'll shoot it again Way down by the riverside I'm going fishing like a good country boy should With a stick of dynamite in my hand My baby, she's gonna help me She keeps her blasting caps in her old snuff can Way down by the riverside I don't know how I lived through my childhood With things blowing up in my face Me and my baby, we'll get us some young'uns And we're gonna let 'em do the same damn thing Way down by the riverside
I've taken some time To show you my pain Now I'll take some time To see it doesn't stay the same CHORUS: Excuse me, but lately I've seen your light And it's shining on us now Like a million candle president I saw your face shine Shine like the full moon And I took Orion's sword And I fought that bull for you (CHORUS) So let's go back home And see what's on our TV set It's all Monica all the time The president's cigars are the best (CHORUS)
Leave my picture out till morning Hang my hat back on the bedpost, too Put my bottle back on the wall, my love Put my coat back on the door with my shoes CHORUS: When the light is shining through your window I'll pack these things up and leave you here But for now, let's put that thought to bed Let me see you in the morning My mind's a mess and we're both confused Can't we sleep on it and see one more dawn Let me tell you in the morning I love you Please don't make me feel like I've already gone (CHORUS)
Don't follow your eyes Don't follow your eyes They'll fail to protect you Deceive and defect you And don't compromise With your appetite It never will fill you It only will kill you And don't be surprised If I never lose my faith And don't be surprised If you're stuck standing 'round With a gleam in your eye And don't trust your mind Warped out of time It threatens to test you Fool and molest you Don't trust anyone Even your next of kin They won't testify for you They may even spy on you And don't be surprised If I never lose my hope And don't be surprised If you're stuck in a shelter With pain in your eyes
CHORUS: Everybody likes a pretty girl A pretty girl is all you need And if I had a nickel For every pretty girl I've seen I wouldn't work another day In this giant throbbing corporate machine I'd be on a plane by sundown Playing steel guitar in this band I'd find me a pretty girl to go And let her make up all the plans (CHORUS) And if I had a dollar For every pretty girl I've met I'd load up every jukebox With Pop-A-Top and Tennessee Jed I'd plant 'em all down the highway Like Johnny Appleseed And if one of them pretty girls starts dancing I'm gonna take her home with me (CHORUS)
She's a lesbian My sister and her car Wears patchouli extract And dances in a bar They say her boyfriend killed someone When he was a Marine But I think it's just a lie His gun looks really clean CHORUS: Southern belles don't wear long black veils In the springtime when it rains And I have failed to make friends outside of jail 'Cause I've forgotten everybody knows my name I got tattoos on my elbows Where they say it hurts the most I got rings on all my fingers And diamonds on my toes I got a mirrored headboard Martini sunrise breath I don't know why I want to live alone I bore myself to death (CHORUS)
Don't be afraid to need someone I'm not afraid to say I need you I was sitting outside in the pouring rain Getting wet and wondering what to do I'm sick and tired of old hand-me-downs Just like all the rest People cry saying not much I got I won't settle for second best So play me a song my piano girl Sing of sunshine and waves on the shore And don't take me if I'm second best Only you know if you deserve more Lines of cars on the interstate People look the same Are they happy where they're going now And is it them to blame I never could sing love songs right I try to sing them the best I can do Sometimes I wonder if anyone's home Sometimes I swear to god I want to hang up on you Is it all superficial lies Oh, I love you, too Do we say what we mean, do we mean what we say Or is it just something to do
Now I have been sailing Up north where it's cold I've grown and I've grown But I'll never grow old I've seen things I hope No one else has to see And maybe in spring You'll go sailing with me I've been 'cross the ocean I've had lots of beer I've had lots of good times A long ways from here But Amsterdam's beauty's Not all that I need And maybe in spring You'll go sailing with me CHORUS: Go sailing with me Go sailing with me And you'll see the things That I want you to see Go sailing with me Go sailing with me And maybe in spring You'll go sailing with me I've spoken two tongues That you may not know I've been through the storm And I've been to the show I've made my own table But not to have tea And maybe in spring You'll go sailing with me I've listened to all That my friends have to say I want to go back To that place far away We'll both have our tickets To cross the great sea And maybe in spring You'll go sailing with me (CHORUS)


For most of you, this will be the first time you have ever heard these songs. However, for those of us who knew Jason, these tunes are old friends, reclusive hermits whose warmth and personality stayed fixed in our ears long after we'd first heard them. Often years would go by without a peep from these playful and engaging melodies, wrought over so many hard-fought years. But upon their occasional return, at gatherings and sporadic jams, it was as if we had only heard them yesterday.

And when Jason left us so abruptly three years ago, we began to fear that we might never hear them again. So we contacted friends and family, collecting what scraps of tape and paper we could, reconstructing these gems and polishing them to present to the world, in hopes that although the man himself was gone, the best parts of him would live on. It is our deepest hope that we have fulfilled that mission, and that you will pass these precious flights of musical fancy on to future generations.

Teach them to young musicians. Play them at parties. Let them sing to you in your darkest hours. Appreciate their uniqueness in a way that Jason himself often could not.

And don't be surprised if you find that one day you miss Jason Jackson every bit as much as we do.


released November 12, 2014

Produced by John Hampton and Matthew Broyles

Executive Producers - Jeff Jackson, Janet Fluitt, and Fetzer Mills, Jr.

Special thanks to Melissa Vardas, Lee Parkinson, Kay Andrews, Patti Gibbs, Mauria Dillard, Randall Clark, Mike Taylor, Jeff Gibbons, and Barb Foster for making this possible.

Mixed by:
John Hampton (tracks 1-4, 6-11, 14)
Adam Hill (tracks 5, 13)
Matt Ross-Spang (track 12)

Recorded by:
Ardent Studios with engineer Robbie Randall (tracks 1-4, 6-11, 14)
Nick Choate (track 5)
Sun Studio (track 12)
Eagle Audio and Rotary Eleven Studio (overdubs)

Mastered by Kevin Nix at L. Nix Mastering

Clay Anderson - bass
Jeffry Simms - drums, percussion, backing vocals
Ed Rogers - guitar, vocals, Wurlitzer
Matthew Broyles - guitar, vocals, bass
Beth Brown - violin, vocals
Mark Williams - cello
Paul Shapera - keyboards
Nancy Giammarco - backing vocals
Tony Drewry - banjo and vocals on track 5
Adrian "Doc" Cook - electric washboard and vocals on track 5
David "Blackie" Graham - upright bass on track 5
James Dunn - guitar and vocals on track 13

Artwork and layout by Matthew and Janell Broyles

Photos courtesy of Preston Faggart and Janet Fluitt

Big thanks to Jason Bell for helping out in a pinch. We'll get you next time.




Jason Jackson and the Ne'er Do Wells Fort Worth, Texas

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