Middle Child

by Matthew Davies

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1.
Somebody dropped the reigns so the horse ran off again Nobody told us why all the meanings were implied Now he’s out there on the range without a penny to his name But still he’s got a smile on his face Because he get it while he can Yes he get it while he can No it may not come again He’s gonna get it while he can Summer came and went and they tried to reel him in And they tried to make him choose they did all that they could do But then he sided with his own and now he’s out there all alone But still he’s got that smile on his face Because he get it while he can Yes he get it while he can No it may not come again He’s gonna get it while he can When you’re out there on the edge You better take what you can get Because it may not come again You better get it while you can But now he’s gonna have to make a few decisions With the winter wind blowing at his door Now he’s gonna have to make a few decisions Will he welcome a helping had or wave it off You’ll never see him caught trying to do what others want He just wakes up every day and does it his own way So when you see him standing there smiling ear to ear You will understand what he represents Because he get it while he can Yes he get it while he can No it may not come again He’s gonna get it while he can When you’re out there on the edge You better take what you can get Because it may not come again You better get it while you can
2.
First Time 03:45
Coffee in the morning out of a thermos on the bus And another one at midday in the break-room with my boss And another one in the afternoon, but that one gave me pause It used to do the trick, but now it seems like nothing does Your glass of wine at suppertime is well within the laws But you smoked a joint and you still don’t feel like you have had enough Are you wondering why you can’t get high have you tied that stuff what you need is a first time buzz That first time around Wanna get high, don’t wanna come down Thinking about my first time because There’s nothing like the first time was So, I found a rollercoaster it was the fastest in the land And the first time around was a hell of a ride and the second not too bad But the third and the forth and the fifth and the sixth it’s all just run of the mill What I really need is a first time thrill Ho-hum, ho-hum, life is so mundane Ho-hum, ho-hum, nothing ever changes Ho-hum, ho-hum, everything just stays the same Ho-hum, ho-hum, I’m breaking away from the commonplace And now I’m moving on to something I haven’t tried before And I might be on the ceiling or crawling down on the floor But I’ll take my chance with the consequence you know I’ll follow thru Until I find something that’s new That first time around Wanna get high, don’t wanna come down Thinking about my first time because There’s nothing like the first time was That first time around Wanna get high, don’t wanna come down Thinking about my first time because There’s nothing like the first time was There’s nothing like the first time was There’s nothing like the first time… Nothing like the first time.
3.
Hero Plan 03:20
Chief of police in this low valley town Badge on my chest that I wear like a crown I Long to hear Virginias sweet voice once again But she’s buried in the ground and I’m stuck in this pen I had to burn it down to the ground you see That I loved that girl so desperately And I came with the flame as a game for to tell If the love that I had was mutually held Me and Virginia since before the seventh grade The many times she strayed but I loved her just the same I was gonna win her back like the time before last But now everybody laughs at my hero plan I had to burn it down to the ground you see That I loved that girl so desperately And I came with the flame as a game for to tell If the love that I had was mutually held I guess my love burned a little too hot I suppose I deserve this sentence I got I only hope Virginia knows why I did what I tried And when my flame burns out I’ll see her on the other side When my flame burns out I’ll see her on the other side
4.
Middle Child 03:07
Look up look down it’s the middle child Not quite as smart as his brother Niles Not nearly as tough as his sister. Why? Oh.. He’s the middle child Hear it is voice and you can see it in his eyes Not the type to brag and for the most part he’s resigned Getting in always fitting in to hand-me-downs A level headed thinker with his feet on solid ground Look up look down it’s the middle child Back in’84 when he taught himself the ropes Nobody showed him how he just did it on his own He watched the older kids and he stole all their tricks And then he watched the younger kids as they stole all of his Look up look down it’s the middle child Not quite as smart as his brother Niles Not nearly as tough as his sister. Why? Oh.. He’s the middle child Maybe you’re the baby Maybe you’re the first Maybe you’re the only child But if in the order of birth You’ve been stuck in the middle of the group Maybe this song is speaking to you Look up look down it’s the middle child Not quite as smart as his brother Niles Not nearly as tough as his sister. Why? Oh.. He’s the middle child
5.
Wild Heart 03:31
I was on the porch just thinking Might have been the teat I was drinking Maybe it’s the birds up in their trees Calling out in the morning breeze Maybe it’s that look you gave me You know that you can drive me crazy And I feel like I’m a dog at the end of his lead Foaming at the mouth and grinding his teeth Time to take this wild heart and tame it again This wild heart need reigning back in This wild heart gonna tame it again Gonna blame it on the coal black raven Blame it upon the drugs that I was taking Blame it on the full moon or the lack of sleep That’s bringing out the beast in me Wild Heart Wild Heart Wild Heart Wild Heart Wild Heart Wild Heart I was on the porch just thinking Might have been the teat I was drinking Maybe it’s the birds up in their trees Calling out in the morning breeze
6.
Hawkeye 03:27
Night has turned to day Snippers are on the hillside Buried my face In a dugout shell of my hard times Line ‘em up you’d say Giving orders from up on high If this river rise again I’ll try to keep myself dry Something slipped away Vanished like the fireflies It’s hard to explain With a heart that was stopped a tongue that was tied Line ‘em again No mercy from your Hawkeye Only hope the rain will compromise the sightline Night has turned to day In a single ray of sunshine Waving my white flag Giving up on the firefight
7.
Wino 03:55
Everybody knows you’re drinking alone again Though I’ve tried to break the cycle I know I can’t win You’re falling out with all of your friends and there’s a cloud hanging over your head Everybody knows you’re drinking alone again 
I went down to my local corner bar I talked with Jim and Jody for an hour maybe more Jody wants to help if she can, but Jims got a price on your head Everybody knows you’re drinking alone again So when the bottle gets dried up When the bars have all closed down When the party is over and done Are you still hanging around I pounded on the for outside your house All the neighbors want to know just what it’s all about But they don’t know the pain you bring they don’t see the heads that roll when you swing Everybody knows you’re drinking alone again Oh wino Oh I know Oh wino I know it’s always somebody else’s fault So when you come back from you latest woe-is-me Asking for forgiveness and begging please, please Spare me the excuse man I’ve been there and I’ve done that Everybody knows you’re drinking alone again Everybody knows you’re drinking alone again Everybody knows you’re drinking alone again Everybody knows you’re drinking alone again
8.
Empty House 03:22
Supper time in an empty house Straight from the pan right to the mouth Yes I can do whatever I want Turn the speakers up ’til my ears are shot In an empty house Nobody speaks or tries to take my bread I sleep until noon and then don’t even make the bed Yes I can do as I damn well please Throw the windows open wide and crank the air-conditioning In an empty house Room to room Nothin’ moves Nobody breathes It’s just the mice and me Supper time in a empty house Straight from the pan right to the mouth Super time in an empty house
9.
All Day Long 03:17
All day long thinking about my savior All day long wondering what a man is made of Flesh and blood and the lies that we make up I raised my palms to the sky and I gave up Gotta get a little more time some wrongs I’ve got to right Lord give me just a little more time All day long thinking about my savior Left my home waved to my friend and neighbors Cut my song on the highway’s razor Raised my pals to the sky and I gave up Gotta get a little more time some wrongs I’ve got to right Lord give me just a little more time All day long thinking about my savior All day long wondering what a man is made of Flesh and blood and the lies that we make up I raised my palms to the sky and I gave up Gotta get a little more time some wrongs I’ve got to right Lord give me just a little more time I need a little more time I need a little more time I need a little more time Give me just a little more Gotta get a little more time some wrongs I’ve got to right Lord give me just a little more
10.
Too Late 05:26
Tonight like a creature of habit I’ll roll to my left side in bed I’ll reach for a hand but I will not grab it It’s too late and I missed my chance I should have told her that I loved her in the moment Why’d I let the time slip right past And now I’m climbing on the cliffs of atonement With forgiveness just out of grasp It’s too late too late I waited to long Too late with flowers too late coming home Now it’s too late to win her back It’s too late I missed my chance I should have told her that I loved her in the moment Why’d I let the time slip right past And now I’m climbing on the cliffs of atonement With forgiveness just out of grasp So all you lovers out there Listen to me when I say Your hesitating procrastinating Is gonna catch up with you someday and it might be It’s too late too late I waited to long Too late with flowers too late coming home Now it’s too late to win her back It’s too late I missed my chance It’s too late too late I waited to long Now it’s too late my chance is gone

about

Why “Middle Child”? Well, I am one, I’m raising one and there’s a song on the record with that title.

It’s summer in the Wisconsin. I rode my bicycle the six city miles to my studio this morning. Through the gentle Sunday morning silence of our Eastside neighborhood. Down the path that follows the coast of Lake Michigan. Onto the deserted downtown streets. Past a bar under the highway overpass(just opening or never having closed from the night before) Due west on the final stretch surrounded by sleeping factory buildings, tired sex workers and the unapologetic grime of National Ave.

The sun pours in the large windows of the studio on the south-east corner of a converted factory building and the piano keys, amplifiers, microphones and champagne sparkle drum kit seem so peaceful on a morning like this. It’s here on the fourth floor, with a view of the modest Milwaukee skyline, I recorded “Middle Child” over the past few months. For better or worse, I made every sound that you’ll here on these ten songs. The recordings vary sonically, from the multi-layered reverb-y sound of songs like Hero Plan and Wild Heart to the folksy jangle of Get It While You Can and Hawkeye. Empty House is the most minimal piece. Just me at the piano with a harmonica.

Some of these are dream songs. Some are confessions. Others are completely fictitious. They are about wanting what cannot be had. Having what you want and discovering it’s not what you need. Creating a past in the holes of memory and looking forward with optimistic enthusiasm.

credits

released October 1, 2020

All songs written by Matthew Daives
Mixed by Shane Hochstetler
Mastered by Carl Saff

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Matthew Davies Wisconsin

Matthew Davies' music rustles with an aura of mysterious familiarity—like stories, tones and melodies broadcast from a never-to-be-finished map of America.

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