Jacaranda

by Josh Garrels

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about

Jacaranda was written and recorded in the solitude of an old mansion, at the end of a gravel road, on the banks of the Mississinewa River in Indiana. Many years ago the same house was in the underground railroad as a place of refuge for escaping slaves, and later, in the 1920's, infamous bank robbers such as John Dillinger used the mansion as a safe-house in between their criminal exploits. In the tradition of using the home as a place of safe harbor for those on the move, the current owners Bill and Robin Lett invited me and my wife Michelle to live on the estate (which Bill affectionately calls "the pig farm") while recording this album. We took them up on their offer, and moved into the secluded manor as the summer months were drawing to an end.

As we watched the seasons change from summer to fall, winter to spring, we wrote, created and sang, all the while stalking the majestic Great Blue Heron along the banks of the river. The most recent season brought the death of a father, David Ramsdale, and the birth of our first child, Heron Selah Garrels.

Jacaranda is the name of a tropical tree, native to the jungle of Peru where my wife grew up. When Michelle moved to Indiana to marry me, she knew she would be "a jacaranda tree in Indiana, green-housed but sung to". This tree has become a strong symbol in this album, and in our family as well, of welcoming displacement as we wander the earth. - Josh Garrels

credits

released 23 September 2008

All songs written, performed, recorded, and produced by Josh Garrels
Words for "Jacaranda Tree" by Michelle Garrels
Art, design and handcrafted assembly by Michelle Garrels
All drawings by Gala Bent
Additional design and layout by Zack & Gala Bent

Mastered by Trevor Sadler at Mastermind Studio in Milwaukee, WI

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Track Name: Lake Yarina
Instrumental
Track Name: Don't Wait For Me
Please don’t wait for me
I lost my way again
I lost my job, I walked away
From the life that I was leading with my friends
When I was young I dreamed
Of a life that had freedom that had joy
Oh life it crushed my soul
With its cruel demands and fool’s gold

Please don’t wait for me
I lost my way again
I lost my house and my good name
When I found the road of my king
When I was young I dreamed
Of a life that had beauty that had joy
But now I lost my life
For the one I dreamt of as a boy

Please don’t wait for me
I ain’t coming back again
I cannot turn around
From the place I’m going to where I’ve been
Track Name: Season Of Rain
Praise the Lord, when it’s all gone wrong
Everything fades but our love shines on
Praise the Lord, when your hope is gone
Everything fades but our love shines on
Like waves on the ocean singing old songs
Like waves on the ocean breaking beyond

So faint the impatient can’t hear
The sound of the one without years
The culmination of every child’s tears
Form tide breaking on the eternal lands
Time stands still
In the moment when we are healed
I questioned if this was real
But then I opened up my heart and I could feel
The feather of a bird in the wind
Fire in the brush if we only
Speak when we must
A hush of heart will become a good treausure
Kept in a place without systems of measure
But as real as an undying love
We will discern what comes from above
Compared to that which could never be sustained
The season of rain will bring labor pain
But its end will be the most wonderful
Joy, Oh Lord

Praise the Lord when it’s all gone wrong
Everything fades but our love shines on
Praise the Lord when your hope is gone
Everything fades but our love shines on
Like waves on the ocean singing old songs
Like waves on the ocean breaking beyond
Track Name: Rabbit & The Bear
Run, run so fast
Over fields and grass
At last, at last
We escaped from the trap

With the rabbit and the bear
And the sparrows of the air
Come one, come all
The hunter is gone

And this is our chance
To crawl under the wire
Through the darkest wood
On up to the mountain of fire
Where everything is free
In the light of the sun
Where every creature sings
Oh Lord, you rescued us all

Don’t listen to the snake
For he lies and he takes
Your hope, your faith
Away from you

But when the lion comes around
With his claw and his crown
Follow, follow
His every move
Track Name: Centipede
Instrumental
Track Name: Zion & Babylon
Oh great mammon of form and function
Careless consumerist consumption
Dangerous dysfunction
Described as expensive taste

I’m a people disgraced
By what I claim I need
And what I want to waste
I take no account for nothing
If it’s not mine

It’s a misappropriation of funds
Protect my ninety percent with my guns
Whose side am I on?
Well who’s winning?

My kingdom’s built with the blood of slaves
Orphans, widows, and homeless graves
I sold their souls just to build my private mansion

Some people say that my time is coming
Kingdom come is the justice running
Down, down, down on me

I’m a poor child, I’m a lost son
I refuse to give my love to anyone,
Fight for the truth,
Or help the weaker ones
Because I love my Babylon

I am a slave, I was never free
I betrayed you for blood money
Oh I bought the world, all is vanity
Oh my Lord I’m your enemy

Come to me, and find your life
Children sing, Zion’s in sight

I said don’t trade your name for a serial number
Priceless lives were born from under graves
Where I found you

Say, my name ain’t yours and yours is not mine
Mine is the Lord, and yours is my child
That’s how it’s always been

Time to make a change
Leave your home
Give to the poor all that you own
Lose your life, so that you could find it

First will be last when the true world comes
Livin’ like a humble fool to overcome
The upside-down wisdom
Of a dying world

Zion’s not built with hands
And in this place God will dwell with man
Sick be healed and cripples stand
Sing Allelu

My kingdom’s built with the blood of my son
Selfless sacrifice for everyone
Faith, hope, love, and harmony

I said let this world know me by your love
By your love

Oh my child, daughters and sons
I made you in love to overcome
Free as a bird, my flowers in the sun
On your way to Mount Zion

All you slaves, be set free
Come on out child and come on home to me
We will dance, we will rejoice
If you can hear me then follow my voice
Track Name: Never Have I Found
I walked under the blood red moon
At night when wolves gather ‘round
And I’ve spent some time with the Devil
But never have I found

Another one like you
Oh Lord
Jesus

And I’ve tasted too many temptations
And I’ve been chased by a demon hound
Lord I just can’t be satisfied
Because never have I found

Another one like you
Oh Lord
And your love
Jesus
Track Name: Rejoice & Lament
Learn this lesson well, my friend
There’s a time to rejoice and lament
Every season will find an end
All will fade and be made new again

Standing on the rocks of the railroad tracks
Feet calloused, eyes open, sun beats on my back
As I gaze upon the unseen winds
And they are wandering, whispering
Wisdom that’s eternal
From the heart to the mind
To the hand to the journal
Now the kernel of the seeds in the cleft of the rock
And it’s watered by the winds
Having power to unlock and
Stop the clock of chronological logic
With its homogenized systems
That are dead and can’t dodge it
Being deaf to the voice of the Almighty One
Spirit illumines the dark like a fire
Revealing the way that was hidden but is higher
Now we must travel on the wings
That will never grow tired
Of searching the mysteries of God
I said Father the feathers of my wax wings
Fall away by the rising of the sun
And I have descended when I was undone
And I will ascend when your Spirit comes
Because what’s been done and overcome
Cannot be stopped by the power of any human
Like the number of sand we will stand
And we will fall, all
In the face of an eternal call
But those who call on His name
In the midst of the pain
In the guilt and the shame
And the world full of blame
And all the bloody stains
From the unjust gains
I learned all men suffer the same
Because we’re wayward sons
And all our jokes betray
Our foolish hearts and our selfish ways
But if we would turn to the Father’s grace
We would never be the same
This is an unseen land of a devastated soul
That’s prepared in contemplative silence
For the mighty working hand of an unseen Lord
To come restore this land from its violence
I said walk another mile
Stare across the fields of grain
This is how the prophets train

Learn this lesson well my friend
There’s a time to rejoice and lament
Every season will find an end
All will fade and be made new again
Track Name: Words Remain
Heaven and the earth will pass away
But your words all remain

And my hands are growing old
And weary with pain
Still I fold them to pray

To the one unchanged
Yesterday and today
Oh YHWH
I will try to stay awake
Take my last breath of faith
As I wait for you to come

Take me beyond
This land undone
Over the flood
By your word, spirit, and blood

It was prophesied long ago
Every word set in stone

Not one will pass away
Or walk alone
All that I own

Does not compare
To the love that we share
Please remember me

When the hour arrives
And you must decide
If you’ll wait for me to come

Take you beyond
This land undone
Over the flood
By my word, spirit, and blood
Track Name: Jacaranda Tree
Sitting on porches
Since Friday while the sky
Tilts like a watery glass

We wait for downpours
A drenching joy
A carnival sky

But what I don’t say
What I can’t say
Is that with this joy
Comes a mourning

Something left behind
Blue lined, teary
Mingled
I move on

All things will change
We wait for the rain
And the promise remains

Live life fully
Peeking through fingers
Slung in our hammocks
Cocooned

Skimming the water
Trapezed above time
We glide like slingshot angels

Belly up and
Floating we see
The promise in the sky

Up to Orion’s ribs
We climb this tree
And listen
For our pulse

All things will change
We wait for the rain
And the promise remains

I flung loosely
Into that world
I stayed heavily

I’ll be a Jacaranda Tree
In Indiana
I say
Greenhoused and sung to

I pray light will
Leak from out pockets
We’ll be drenched, overcome
At night the fireflies
Streamers at our sides
Silent flaming arcs of hope

All things will change
We wait for the rain
And the promise remains
Track Name: Little Blue
Who is like my child
Who’s so lovely and wild?

Oh, my little bird
By the river I have heard

My lover calls
In fall and spring
She says
Keep your eyes on heron’s wings
She’s coming soon
Let’s dance and sing
For the joy a new life brings

Strong and graceful, too
Like your mother
In red and blue

Love I never knew
Filled my heart
When I held you

My lover calls
In fall and spring
She says
Keep your eyes on heron’s wings
She’s coming soon
Let’s dance and sing
For the joy that her life brings
Track Name: Blessed Is He
You will not see me
Again until you can say
Blessed is He
Who comes in the name of the Lord
Yeshua
Amen
Track Name: Desert Father
When we were young
We walked where we wanted to
Life was ours

And now we’re old
We go where we’re told
The Lord’s Spirit calls

He’s singing
Follow my road to sorrow and joy
Be intertwined

And find
All things are under my wings
And rise
Given time

Oh my
Brother sun, sister moon
All children of light

Fly around the world
Let the glory be unfurled
All things are made new

We’re marching on
To a spirit song
That no man can cage

In lands of dead wood
That reject the good
From our old Father’s hands

But we run free
And weep gracefully
In a world
Dark and cold

Hold on
All you
Who wait by the blue shores
For Him

To part the water
Desert Father
Show us a new way

The impossible dream
Through the deep and the unseen
Carry us home
Track Name: The Original Spacefan
You left on a Saturday
In her hands you passed away
On seashores we laughed and played
Only months ago

And I know you tried so hard
To heal the space between our hearts
And now your work is done
For your daughters and sons

Swing low to the ground
For we have lost our father’s crown
Hallowed was the night
When the veil was torn
And your spirit took flight
From the world

We gathered the sticks and leaves
To set aflame our memories
Your family gathered around
To lay your ashes down

Sing treetops and clap your hands
For the grace in this sorrowful plan
That night when one candle remained
We whispered your name

Swing low to the ground
For we have lost our father’s crown
Hallowed was the night
When the veil was torn
And your spirit took flight
From the world
Track Name: Embarkation
Instrumental