Workman Song

4 albums

Workman Song has all of the hallmarks of the well-kept secret, it’s just that the secret has been getting out. At the center of this peculiar labor of love is prodigious singer-songwriter Sean McMahon, his soul-stirring voice and his storytelling: a dialogue with friends, lovers, and God which forms a prolific body of work spanning the intimately folksy to the oddly psychedelic, drawing lines between Dylan, Bowie, Buckley, and the Dead. A native of Western Massachusetts, McMahon founded the project in Brooklyn in 2013 as a vehicle for his vision, an earnest, multi-faceted world of creative sub-plots, characters, and special guests. McMahon embodies the plaintive troubadour, soul laid bare; Ruben Smiley, the glam rock neo-con; Ion Zelig, the avant-electro-pop biblical archaeologist; or he is one of the Brothers McMahon, the classic live lineup which prominently features his brother — and Justin Vernon-approved organist — Griffin McMahon and an infinite setlist that shamelessly drops hits by The Smiths, Aerosmith, and Fleetwood Mac. If the story seems convoluted, it is, and will continue to be. Such is Workman Song. As a performer, McMahon, that rare combination of vocal powerhouse and guitar hero, is a powerful and unpredictable chameleon: a “half-ghost” with a “wraithlike presence,” a “shaman-esque leading man” with “casual…neo-psychedelic hippy swagger,” and even “that classic glam rock sex driven Robert Plant like force…with the voice of an angel and a screaming fisher cat combined.” McMahon, as Workman Song, has released 5 EP’s, 1 full-length mixtape, and has several singles on power rotation on Northeast radio. Recent festival appearances include Green River Festival, The Wild Honey Pie’s Welcome Campers, and The Outlaw Roadshow. He has shared bills with Big Thief, Margaret Glaspy, The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger, and even Carly Simon (“once, at a fundraiser — unexpectedly.”)

Music

20 songs
Song
Length
Actions
1
Now I'm On Probation Ion Zelig Vo.l IV
04:47
1
Now I'm On Probation (Instrumental)
Instrumental
04:45
2
No, It's Not Lamb
More: Lyrics
04:42

Lyrics:

I spilled my colors onto the floor like a newborn babe unto the earth. I thought that it was righteous, but no, it’s not. I watched your fingers dancing on my guitar. I watched the empires rise and fall. I watched as daggers rained down from the clouds. I watched your fingers dancing on my guitar. I spilled my colors onto the floor like a newborn babe unto the earth. I thought that it was righteous, but no, it’s not. I gave you apples from our old tree. I gave you wisdom under the sun. I gave you something that we could not see. I gave you You, and to me, you gave Me. I spilled my colors onto the floor like a newborn babe unto the earth. I thought that it was righteous, but no, it’s not. I laughed at my footprints swimming away. I laughed at preachers with nothing to say. I laughed with all the dead men ’til they were all out of breath. I laughed at my body for being made of flesh. I spilled my colors onto the floor like a newborn babe unto the earth. I thought that it was righteous, but no, it’s not. And I thought that a dream was never coming true. And I thought it was strange that Me, instead, is You. I thought that oceans only waved when I looked their way. And I thought that Jesus Christ was dead, but I touched His wounds and I saw His face. I spilled my colors onto the floor like a newborn babe unto the earth. I thought that it was righteous, but no, it’s not.
1
Crazy Girl (Instrumental)
Instrumental
04:42
1
It Must Be Rye (Instrumental)
Instrumental
04:56
5
Eden Lamb
More: Lyrics
02:42

Lyrics:

If indeed you are listening, why don’t you raise your hand? Show me what you’re feeling. Show me how you feel. I’m drowning in this country trying to get to the Promised Land. For I am offering water as we stand on this scorching sand. And I wanna find my brothers, and gather all my sisters. For we were dead on arrival, awaiting a calling voice or a hand. Well, if you would be the living, then you would let go your life. And listen to its voice. Pass along its song. I ain’t alone in this aching darkness. I’m staying warm in your light. If indeed you are listening, why don’t you raise your hand? Show me what you’re feeling. Show me how you feel. I’m drowning in this country trying to get to the Promised Land. I am waiting in a station for the train to take me home. And my friends, you’re all beside me. And I want to take you with me. The engine’s getting louder, so it must be time for us to go. So let us head home back to Eden. Forward is the way. And if we carry all the wounded, and stay pure as little children, then we will get through this night of darkness and be home by the break of day.
6
Jesse Winters Lamb
More: Lyrics
04:10

Lyrics:

Jesse Winters found himself alone at 12 o’clock. It occurred to him slowly that loneliness is a path he’d rather not walk. “Poor, poor Jesse,” he told himself, “he’s on his hands and knees! He’s got no pride!” Preparing a letter addressed to the friends and the foes that he happened to have known, he scrawled in ink what was torn in his heart: his tormented feelings and his woes. “Poor, poor Jesse,” he told himself, “He’s on his hands and knees! He’s got no pride! Ah!” He picked up a rifle, then he stuffed an envelope with his letter to world, and tied his boots with the laces that he once used to hang himself, but broke. “Poor, poor Jesse,” he told himself as he loaded up his ammunition. He dropped his letter then he started shooting at the sky in the city square. And as they dragged him away, he told them about the letter — to read it out loud at the fair. It said: “My name’s Jesse. I’m angry at God, I ain’t ashamed to say. And so at noon, I’m gonna shoot Him down from his throne in the sky in the middle of the day. And when He falls down from the earth, my friends, we’re gonna have a trial — for each and every tragedy and genocide and every single problem He has made. I’m hoping He’ll apologize. Do you think He’ll apologize? I don’t know. But I hope so. — Jesse Winters.”
7
Patient Like A Lamb Lamb
More: Lyrics
03:02

Lyrics:

I will sing of all the things I wish I could see in the world: a real idea, something new that hasn’t been done before; a brotherhood staked on the hearts of the people’s goodness; a spiritual force that don’t need no rules to make it worthless and dead. An isle redeemed, stable and free. Patient like a lamb. I will sing of all the things I wish I could see in the world: a new idea, a way of being that ain’t misunderstood; a faithful heart that need not be given, or taken, or taught, or unlearned; a candlelight at night that never darkens and always burns. And I think that I’ve seen such things in my dreams. So it must not be too far. So I’ll be patient like a lamb.
8
The Adversary And The Friend Lamb
More: Lyrics
02:11

Lyrics:

If I blind my eyes to my love, I cannot protect you with my hate. Maybe you are the Adversary and The Friend. And if I am at war with myself, and I am trampling down each border between us — well in that case, I may become extinct like a dead nation. And so, you would then conquer yourself. And when our flag is billowing over nobody — when that day comes, I won’t know where to begin. Maybe you are the Adversary and The Friend.
9
Varmit Lamb
More: Lyrics
03:13

Lyrics:

I’ll cut your throat if you’ll squeeze mine. I’ll shake your hand. Butterflies will fly out from our union, and they’ll see what we have shown. I ain’t asking about violations or how to stop. I’m bored to death, but now I’m not. So go refresh your mind on your broken soul. This country lane is stretched and older than the execution that removed your head. We ain’t on no diamond rainbow road, it’s just crust and mold that makes you think and do as told. But you’re so well-prepared that your destitute of all the words that could help the truth to blossom out from within you. We’d do anything to be near you! But you can’t see what you’re being shown. Yea, you’re just some asshole’s food, and you’re out of the loop with the shape of the droop of your own head swooping down. And you’re out of your mind because it’s running on time, and the fuel’s eaten up and there’s a clog in the line. So you tap the glass on your broken watch, and hope that what you are is all that you are — and it may not be enough, but it could keep the vomit down. Yea, the going could get rough, but you can’t keep this damn varmit down. I’ll cut your throat if you’ll squeeze mine. I’ll shake your hand. Butterflies will fly out from our union, and they’ll see what we have shown.
10
04:14

Lyrics:

You would think that love is dead This is for people with broken heads Word gets around People live in fear But the big baddest in town Is the person of the year You would think that love is war Which is what we’ve done before Word gets around People live in fear But the big bad baddest in town Is the person of the year They tell you at the party that the party can’t stop They tell you on the boat that the boat can’t be rocked They tell you what they tell you cause they ain’t telling you a lot They tell you at the party that the party can’t stop Round and round and round A circular cycle of fear But the big baddest in town Is the person of, the person of, the person of, the person of the year
1
Person Of The Year (Instrumental)
Instrumental
04:14
11
Some Bones Wolf
More: Lyrics
05:43

Lyrics:

In your heart there is a cemetery filled with graves, filled with memories. Your soul is a cup filled with anxieties, filled with anxieties. Your love is a well. Anyone can drink, anyone can drink. Well some -- some, some they say -- some bones are not yet dry. I know I've seen them walking, so I know that they're still, still alive. Why, o why? In New York there was an ambulance. The sirens wailed a song of circumstance. And a lonesome man listened from within, listened from within. A medic and a friend were the only ones with him, were the only ones with him. Well some -- some, some they say -- some bones are not yet dry. I know I've seen them walking, so I know that they're still, still alive. Why, o why? Into your loneliness, let a lover in. Bare all your sin -- she'll help you carry it. And when you make it to the door, you'll be welcomed in. You'll be welcomed in.
12
Song For When I'm Gone Wolf
More: Lyrics
05:10

Lyrics:

When my life comes to close, I want you to burn all my clothes. Goodness gracious! Nobody knows where my soul is going at the end of the road. When I finally close my eyes, that's alright, everyone dies. Goodness gracious! Heavens don't cry. No one -- not you, not I -- holds onto their lives. Because life is built to end. You get it while you can. Yes, life ain't made to last. But love is made forever, though life may go fast. When I can no longer hold your hand, all that I ask is that you still stand. O! Goodness gracious! I know that you can. I may not be here, but I'll still be your man. Because life is built to end. You get it while you can. Yes, life ain't made to last. But love is made forever, though life may go fast. When I'm no longer here -- when I'm gone -- and everything just seems so wrong, goodness gracious! Don't you wait too long. I am here, my love, I am here, I am singing this song. Because life is built to end. You get it while you can. Yes, life ain't made to last. But love is made forever, though life may go fast.
13
09:13

Lyrics:

Jealous they make me, the sinners and saints. They pray to their gods in their gardens of shame. And worthless the season that bears no good fruit. So truthless, so used, so passed over, nude. Naked on the baked clay of the desert. Chasing pleasures, chasing pain. It's all the same when you can't find your way. No excuses nor pardons, nor saving of face. Beauty is ugliest in the shadows of grace. Naked on the baked clay of the desert. All the trains on their tracks, they're teaching a lesson. Keep your foot off the tracks, let the wheels within wheels go round. Let it take you under the river and across the top of the city. Cross the bridge that God has built out of iron & water. Naked on the baked clay of the desert. So, foolish I follow on Jesus' narrow maze. I'm looking for water to quench my thirst and wash my face, and hoping for a dancer to help me along my way. She'll teach me how to help her without getting in my way. I'm thinking that I'd really like to see her now, naked on the baked clay of the desert. Take all my clothes off! Wash me in the water! Soon will come the wintertime and I'll be on my knees, begging for a blanket or a dream. And while the fall's still warm & crisp I'm dancing in the streets spending all my days on everyone. Lately I've been thinking about Jesus and his cross, the way it seems I'm living with these feelings. Everything so vivid, everything so good. Everything is so fucked up and painful. Bury me in my grave, I know I'm already dead, but I want my pain! I want my pain! Living in the world feels just the same, my spirit's joy is in my pain! I want my pain! That's the way. Who knows what this smile is for? It serves me just the same. Blooms from something beautiful. Now everyone around me is within their little worlds. Everyone within me is around me all the time. And I believe it's perfect 'cause it's so pitiful it's pure -- everyone around me singing "beautiful." Hearing all them singers singing all their songs, their voices light my way and make it simpler. Bury me in my grave, I know I'm already dead, but I want my pain! I want my pain! Living in the world feels just the same, my spirit's joy is in my pain! I want my pain! That's the way.
1
Bleed (Instrumental)
Instrumental
04:21
2
Bleed (Background Vocals)
Background Vocals
04:24
14
Easy (Explicit Lyrics) Ion Zelig Vo.l IV
03:38
1
Easy (Instrumental)
Instrumental
03:36
15
03:30

Lyrics:

O, don't you feel dangerous skirting along this sinister edge? O, to be in love again, staring into her pretty eyes. Friend, your job & your savings, your automobile, your concert ticket stubs, your Red Sox hat backwards: you know all the right people but you don't know what to say. You get along with all the prisoners but you never feel safe. You know all the right people but you suffer like a fool! Yea you're the prince of the party now, they say you're still cool. This heat can't be measured by this cup of sweat. After all, it's something you feel. La, la, la, la, I think it's safe to say I told you so. You fell in love before, you didn't fall too far, yea. O, to be in love again! Well, the roof caved in as you kissed her feet and you waltzed over to the bar. You know all the right people but you suffer like a fool! Yea you're the prince of the party now, they say you're still cool. Cool. O, to be in love again! O!
1
O, To Be In Love Again (Instrumental)
Instrumental
03:30
16
03:12

Lyrics:

This one's for the kids, 'cause they don't have any beautiful music. All they got is overpriced education, but they won't get paid to use it. And I know you all get high but your little brothers and your little sisters don't yet, and you're the apple of their eye, but you're just doing what the Man has shown you. You should try to be a better example for them all! You should be like Jesus Christ and grow a pair of balls! Idiots give speeches, radiation in the beaches. Not enough artistic pieces that make us more like Jesus! Not enough liberation, let's rise to the occasion. Too much violent action, too many hardline factions. This one's for the kids -- may God grant them protection. We should aim to make amends with enemies and friends! We should sing more pretty songs and stop glorifying sin! I could rant and rave about this on and on and on -- but this one's for the kids who all sing "La, la, la, la, la!" So spit out all the Babylonian Kool-Aid, la, la, la, la, la -- 'cause this one's for the kids who all sing "La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!"
1
This One's For The Kids (Instrumental)
Instrumental
03:12
17
Shame Wolf
More: Lyrics
06:02

Lyrics:

In all I’ve lost, what should I have retained? How am I not much better off this time around? Look at all I’ve done. Look at all that pain! Look at me, o look at everything, o soul of mine. I hear all the voices telling me, “It’ll always be the same.” Crooked ways they push my body through: crooked voices, crooked aim. Shame, shame, shame, tell me your sweet story now and I’ll surely pay the price with my pain, with my pain. Pain, pain, pain, you and my everlasting love are gonna bleed together now, writing my name, writing my name, writing my name. I know you’ve waited so long to walk along the wounded way, to find a secret you can make me stumble on. But I stumble so well, I can make it look like dancing, always leaving things to chance and no one else. Well that’s the dream we’re dreaming in our heads, it’s so dense, and it’s so strange. But that’s the way our bleeding wounds do heal. We’ll come out perfect through the pain. Shame, shame, shame, tell me your sweet story now and I’ll surely pay the price with my pain, with my pain. Pain, pain, pain, you and my everlasting love are gonna bleed together now, writing my name, writing my name, writing my name. O Holy Ghost, I tried to teach you right and wrong. Tried to keep you in a stack of books and lies. But now I see what I now see: see you looking through my eyes at everything, have a look around. Heaven and the stars all tumbled down, learned to die, then I arose. Beauty in a dream that looks like me lives within me — I’m her clothes. Shame, shame, shame, tell me your sweet story now and I’ll surely pay the price with my pain, with my pain. Pain, pain, pain, you and my everlasting love are gonna bleed together now, writing my name, writing my name, writing my name.
18
Struck From The Page Wolf
More: Lyrics
01:36

Lyrics:

You're bulging and disgusting. Cropped out of my frame. You're counting rings on my woodcut so you can keep track of all my pain. And you wanna call me liar, but you know that's what I am called. And you can't stand to say my name, you look past my eyes into the wall. You've been avoiding me all the weekdays, and now come the day of rest, you've come to tell me something -- well I'm already unimpressed. This day is no longer holy. The ink's faded from the page that called you to be friendly, that condemned your stupid rage. My pain is on a canvas and you took a photograph to chew on in your mouth, to digest and then pass. Well I am not like Jesus, and I am not very kind. I much prefer to push aside undesirables in my life. So with a sharpened blade and with a broken heart, I will command your image to darken and then fade from my art. And there will be no living memory when you are cropped from the frame, for I am etched into a woodcut -- but you are struck from the page.
19
04:59

Lyrics:

i will live a life engorged on the meat of spectacular experiences i will shoot on sight anyone who tries to take it away and they will evaporate into nothingness my mind is empty and capable of empathy with other empty minds my heart is dark my heart is bright it is empty and resonating full of second chances and first times but where o where will i sleep tonight? where o where will i sleep tonight? i pour myself some tea of lavender oh love eludes me baby I’m confused but i can’t help it because I’m chasing it through an emerald labyrinth hildegard von bingen baby teach me how to heal every broken heart with a medicine made from lavender i will never sleep at night i don’t need no sleep at night I’m in love with a little lady named lavender my body is a nexus of two thousand and sixteen points of christian convergence and this body is much more than a resurgence I’m the resurrection of the dead man and the woman pray for all the priests, just kiddin baby baby, pray pray for me, pray on your knees with your precious mouth wide open, hormones pumping lets get them little white rabbits jumping thank god there is no god above us to control us but who is there among us to console us? who will lead the humans in the chorus? lavender tea, pray pray pray pray pray for me
20
The World Has Gone Completely Mad (Explicit Lyrics) The Secret World Of Ruben Smiley
05:08

Lyrics:

The world has gone completely mad And I don’t care You can taste it in the water You can smell it on our breath The world has gone completely insane They lost their minds inside of their brains The world has gone completely mad But that’s alright Let ‘em fight The world don’t give a fuck ‘bout your shit So who gives a shit? Hey, it doesn’t really matter Fecal human waste of flesh The world won’t need to end if it ends Before we kill this ungodly suspense The world don’t give a fuck ‘bout your shit And it’s about time, Let ‘em die The world is overlooking the facts But relax You can tweet it on your twitter Once you figure out the superior source The world has gone completely mad No reason to feel sorrow or sadness The world is on the brink of collapse But relax -- listen to the sax
1
The World Has Gone Completely Mad (Instrumental)
Instrumental
05:41