How We Lived

by The Midnight Sons

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about

I’ve been told that some people enjoy writing songs. I don’t. When I write a song, it’s because I have something weighing me down that I can’t get out any other way. That’s why even the happiest of songs on this album (“When”) has a title that yearns for answers. The songs for my family aren’t all sunshine and roses because we’re not all sunshine and roses. I list off my greatest fears in life in “Leaving Song, Pt 3” because you can’t really start off a conversation with, “You know what freaks me out most in life?” There’s not a good way to work that in to conversation. So it goes into a song.

That’s not to say that I don’t love these songs. I cannot imagine my life without them. But the process that creates them is not necessarily fun. I suppose listening to some of them isn’t necessarily fun either (sorry about that). For that reason, I feel odd putting these songs out in the world. It feels like I am releasing a dangerous monster onto society, one for whose actions I will be held responsible. If you don’t like it, well, that’s on me.

It also feels like I’m releasing something that I’ve held in captivity back into the wild; these songs came to me, and now I’m giving them back to the massive world from which they came. But it’s only right that I let these songs travel; these songs are about traveling, unraveling, stopping, starting, and all of the herky-jerky moments in life that aren’t classifiable. I contradict myself a lot in this album, but that’s okay. You’ll know what I mean. If you don’t, you can ask me. -SAC

credits

released December 21, 2009

SCATMS is: Stephen Carradini (piano/vocals), Jeff Hinton (bass) and Ryan Martin (percussion).
Carli Lewis: vocals on “When,” “Kenya Song,” and “Amos 5:14.”
Laura Bartlett: vocals on “While We’re Living.”
The Sons are joined on “Brother: Joe” by The Oh Dark Thirty: Laura Bartlett, Janelle Breeding, John Calvin Abney III, Jeff Hinton, Carli Lewis, and James Metelak.
“It Froze Me” originally by The Mountain Goats on Nothing for Juice. Thanks, Mr. Darnielle.

Recorded and engineered by Justin Blasier at Under Ladder Studios, Enid, OK.
Additional parts recorded by John Calvin Abney III at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

These songs could not have been written without support and/or inspiration from: Joe, John, Mom, Dad, Laura, Carli Lewis, B Burns, Janelle Breeding, Team X, Kendall Brown, Emma Richardson, Sarah Mitchell, Melody Hollifield, John Darnielle, AFI, Job, Brent Baldwin, PC Hance, Kyle Smith, John Calvin Abney III, Justin Blasier, Nathan Lauderdale, Daniel Rusco, Lindsey Brewer, various terrible boyfriends my friends have had, my future wife, my future crew, my future agent, the photographers at Penney’s, that woman who is probably still fighting with her husband about “that thing at the stoplight,” and various employees who evicted us from stores at the mall.

Glory to God in the highest, who redeems and heals me through Jesus Christ.

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The Midnight Sons Raleigh, North Carolina

Stephen Carradini and whoever else is around play songs that don't get very loud at all.

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Track Name: Brother: Joe
Brother, I know this life is hard
Even with God, it’s no walk in the park
I’m proud of you in every way
Distance won’t make that go away.

My love for you will never change
My love for you won’t go away
My love you will never change.

I think you’re funny, I think you’re smart
You love people down in your heart
It’s hard to show that love some days
I know, I’m exactly the same way.

Brother, I won’t forget the time
We drove around all night.
Storefront windows in shopping malls
We caused a mighty fright.

Popping up from the trunk inside my van
It was all right.
Busy Bee at the Fun House; scores were always
Really tight.

These things I remember.
Track Name: Brother: John
Oh, every time I’m home and I see you’ve grown
I get all swoll inside and
Oh, you will never know, how it feels to crow
“that’s my brother,” swoll with pride.

Oh, every time I’m home and I see you’ve grown
And I get all swoll with pride
And oh, I hope that you know
No matter where we are going, I’m with pride; with pride.
Track Name: It Froze Me
I saw you in the blazing light
When the lotus caught fire
in the middle of the night

And it froze me

I saw you coming closer real slow
You grabbed hold; I let go.
And I saw you in the blazing light
I saw you; I saw you, all right

And it froze me
Track Name: When
I am anything, everywhere
All at once all the time (whoa-o)
I am anything, everywhere
All at once all the time (whoa-o)

And I can’t slow down
And I don’t want to

My questions all circle back around to God
This one takes a little bit longer
I feel like I’m always running
And I don’t know where I’m going
And I don’t want to.

Finding, trusting, giving in; it never ends
One step after another

God you’ve let me see
The way I want to be
When will I be it,
And not just speak it?
Track Name: Job Praises God
I know that you can do all things
No plan of yours can be thwarted, oh no.
I know that you can do all things
No plan of yours can be thwarted, oh no.

You said, “Listen now, and I will speak.
And I will question you, and you’ll answer me.”
And, oh, my ears had heard, but now I’ve seen
Now I’ve seen.

Therefore I despise my own life and I,
I repent in dust and ashes
And give it up to you
Give to whom it came
Give it up to you
Give it all away.
Track Name: Kenya Song
I lay down at your throne
And I declare that I’m yours alone
Lord, here I am, send me
But I still shake when you say what I’ll be

This is my Kenya song.
This is my Kenya song.
Lord, I am asking,
can you make a boy like me be useful?
This is my Kenya song.

I’m just a normal girl
Trying to find my place in this world
I still fight jealousy.
I’ve still got sins of which I want to be free

This is my Kenya song.
This is my Kenya song.
Lord, I am asking,
Can you make a girl like me be useful?
This is my Kenya song.

I like the comforts of home.
But all this stuff is all that I’ve ever known.
Two cars, some debt and a boat.
I lose my soul, but I keep my vote.
Won’t have it.

This is my Kenya song.
This is my Kenya song.
Lord, I am scared,
but you can make a man like me be useful.
This is my Kenya song.
Track Name: Leaving Song, Pt. 3
Never thought I was crazy
Always thought I was sane
I thought I kept my brain
I thought the others were to blame
But now I see that it’s me that
Has caused this pain

I’ve got an ax, I didn’t know
I’ve got a knife and I will throw it all away
Because I’m not listening to what you say
I am freaked out because I’m leaving,
I’m going away.

I hope when I am far away
That someone close to me will say
I really miss him and I wish that he was here today
That way I’ll know I didn’t manage to screw this up.

I am afraid of my own death
I am afraid of going deaf
I am afraid of being alone ten years from now and
I’m afraid of spiders, afraid of heaven and its
Unending line.
Track Name: While We're Living
I sometimes want to know where I’m going
Cause faith is hard when the debt is growing
I get selfish and I forget
My friends and my family, my God and my sin

I don’t bring innovation
I don’t bring aspirations
I bring what I got and
It’s not a lot
I bring what I got
It’s what you gave me

God I want to follow you
But I don’t know what I should do
All these people telling me
All these things that I could be
It’s a small, easy prayer:
Use me somewhere, I don’t care
It’s a hard thing to bear:
Use me somewhere I don’t care

I get impatient, I force your hand
It never works, I am a normal man
I agonize over the petty things
I punish myself, yeah I jump through rings.

I don’t bring righteousness
I don’t bring any of this mess
I bring what I got and
That’s not a lot
I bring what I got
It’s what you gave me.

Replacers and users, they hurt my friends
They shake my faith, they shake it till it bends
And I don’t know when they will see their ends
But God has promised us amends
While we’re living.
Track Name: You're a Mess
I know your life is hard
Oh yes, I see it in action
But his chemicals still get a reaction
You cut your nose off to spite your face
Knowing full well it’s in no better place

And you’re a mess.

You’re with him again, will you never learn
When things are hard, it’s to him you turn
You’ve got a soul but you try to forget.
Cause when you’re with him, you numb it.

And you’re a mess.

And I know exactly how it feels
It feels so bad.
It feels like you won’t get back
All those things you had.

But God is not a liar
Cause he’s not a man like me
God has promised good to us
The impatient never see.

And it gets so hard
To say God is good
When the world is so bad
I wish I could

And it gets so hard
To say God is good
When I hurt so bad
I wish I could.

Are you still good?
Are you still good?

And I am wrong; you are still good.
You always were, you always would

And I’m a mess.
Yeah, I’m a mess, I guess.
Track Name: My Prayer
Oh God, I’ve been wandering on this road
I’ve got your flag on my shoulder and it’s unfurled
I know this place will never be my home
I couldn’t find it if eighty years I roamed
And tonight, I’m gonna lay my head somewhere else
But it won’t be the end
I will wake, there’s so much more to go
I will continue on my road toward home

I’m always going home.

Oh God, I will never be alone
I’ve got you by my side all while you’re on your throne
I’ve been praying for someone to walk beside
Who’s got your heart, a flag, a brain, could I
Be so bold as to ask for the very best
I know you’ve promised it, so I am not distressed
But God my soul is heavy underneath
I bear my cross, when will I find relief?

When will I find relief?
I’m always going home.

Oh God, you’ve given me some dreams
I’ll be whatever you want, but this I want to be.
I see myself traveling the land
I see myself in a little band
I see myself living with a wife
I see myself living free of strife
I see myself singing really loud
I see myself singing to a crowd
I see myself teaching them bout you
I see myself rolling with a crew
I see myself writing all these books
I see myself taking second looks
At all these things that I really believe
Because the truth, the truth will set you free
And now I know, I know without a doubt
That I will win, yes I will make it out

I will make it out
I’m always going home.

Oh God, disappointed once again
Oh God, I’ve lost my way again
Oh God, please come and rescue me
Oh God, cause I am on my knees

Oh God, please keep my family safe.
Keep all my tired friends awake
When they are out there on the road
Let all the ones who don’t know you, know.
Amen.
Track Name: Amos 5:14
We’ve got the movies
And we’ve got TV
I see too much of
Everything and now

I still can’t see you
Although I want to
And it’s no wonder
I forget you; I’m

Out the door and into the world
Because I make bad decisions
And the consequences, they throw me
Out the door and into the world
Because you can’t feel forgiven
Till you’re living like you are

Here, here I am, facing everything.
These giants are before me.
How? How can I find the truth in all the lies?
Oh, show me.

You are so good to me.
Track Name: Leaving Song Pt. 4: For Parents
You have been my home
You have been my family
But I am leaving now
Gotta be who God wants me to be

You have been my nest,
You have been security
You have taught me well
Oh yes, of this there's surety

And please be don't be offended
When I say "My parents' house"
Cause I love it there
I've never lived anywhere else

And I will cry when I wave goodbye
And I am on my own
But you're always with me

You have been my home
You have been my family
But I am leaving now
Gotta be who God wants me to be
Track Name: Survival
David wrote more psalms in a cave than a palace.
Guess he had it harder than I did.
DJ AM convinced us all he had a callous.
Guess it tore the day he died.

Where does my mind go?
Where does the time go?

Hallelujah.
Hallelujah, anyway.

Kitty Genovese, she screamed and screamed and screamed.
No one rushed up to her side.
Aron Ralston cut his arm off with a pocketknife.
I guess he just had to survive.

Where does the time go when it’s gone?
Where does my mind go, when it’s gone?

Hallelujah.
Hallelujah, anyway.

And I know everyone must die
But Hezekiah had it right
He said, “God, I know I’m sick,
But I’m not done here.”
There is love still to be shown.
And I’m not ready to go home
So I pray for time
Oh God, please let me stay here.”

Hallelujah.
Hallelujah, anyway.