The Beaten Sea

One Album

In a city worn to boredom from the alternative glut of the mid 90s, it is fitting that musical authenticity in Dallas would find purpose again roaming from house to house like a hobbled ghost. The Beaten Sea know that they're privileged to be part of this new undertaking, lugging that old spirit around in a banjo case in a city over which looms the forgotten specters of Robert Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson. The bearded, booted Beaten Sea are a country band. They have several years of music-making ahead of them and several dozen writers to encumber them with unnecessary adjectives, but for now country is apt enough. Country is a true, American art that Nashville drugged and violated and lobotomized until it danced voodoo-like in a designer tank-top. The best country songs, Jamie Wilson asserts, were written by those who had lost the country. That's what The Beaten Sea achieves on this album — getting back to the search for a purity that, as Wilson sings, just ain't pure no more. The Beaten Sea are not the first or only band to go mining for country dust beneath all those Dallas parking lots. They're just the best to do it lately. I won't hear that The Beaten Sea don't believe in actual ghosts. Their self-titled debut album would convince the most rational skeptic. They believe in ghosts of dead loves, prophetic crickets, and humming sirens. The Beaten Sea believe in the flames of damnation that people run alternatingly to and from. The characters in their songs tiptoe through a shaky world held together by a whispery grace that most often touches us with the business end of an axe. The Beaten Sea know that skin is for touching, trees are for chopping down, fingers for chopping off, man made for toil, fists made for beating away nightmares. It all happens within the sounds and words of the ordinary, made alive with the supernatural, like a chorus of mystic clodhoppers. The writer Harry Crews once posited that the simplest Southern conversation is theological. Dallas is not the South and none of the members of the Beaten Sea are from Georgia, but their music wears the same habit. Whether they are reciting Apocalypse or channeling Dostoevsky's dialogue with the Devil, The Beaten Sea's songs sweat with God-talk, wrapped in the timeworn melodies of American music at its purest.
- Dick Sullivan, D Magazine

Music

13 songs
Song
Length
Actions
1
Turn Out Empty The Beaten Sea
More: Lyrics
03:25

Lyrics:

In the dry summer days when the crickets all play and you know that they all call for you I'll be there with a green-eyed glare giving you the stare that you need You mustn't be blue I could have love in me too It just might take a few years to find it And if I have it in me and I don't turn out empty I swear that you'll be the first to know 'Cause the days they vanish like smoke and down to your bones you're a-burnin' 'Cause the vastness of the sea it don't match what you need And I'll here you cryin' out to me So don't make up your mind It will only take time 'till you're cryin' and grabbin' for the air, babe But I see you're resolved so I'll give it my all to wait for you to fall to the floor 'Cause I remember the way that my father would say an early grave is the work of a beauty and I ain't never been hurt but I do take his word though I really, really, really, really don't want to be alone
2
Doctor's Not Gonna Cure Our Ills The Beaten Sea
More: Lyrics
03:53

Lyrics:

Doctor's not gonna cure our ills Preacher's not gonna bend out wills Mother's not gonna set us still for long Father told me he's got a plan If that don't work, we'll burn the land I wish I gave a damn, but I don't So if you're gonna leave, don't go far These distances can break my heart Don't you worry one second more I told you once and once before I whispered through your bedroom door, it's alright So if you're gonna cry, cry in my arms You can't be loved and not be harmed I tell you so you aren't alarmed when you are So if you're gonna leave, don't go far These distances can break my heart Doctor's not gonna cure our ills Preacher's not gonna bend out wills Mother's not gonna set us still for long Father told me he's got a plan If that don't work, we'll burn the land I wish I gave a damn, but I don't So if you're gonna leave, don't go far These distances can break my heart credits
3
Grave Clothes The Beaten Sea
More: Lyrics
02:39

Lyrics:

You saw me in my grave clothes The first day we met For forty days I trembled For forty more I wept We carved our letters on an oak tree And around those letters carved a heart And around that tree we built a white picket fence Outside the fence we kept the dark Now fences don't keep out the darkness And darkness can't discern the thief The thief who'd sneak into our garden And chop down our oak tree When I hear that oak tree fallin' I'll come lookin' for that man As you stand there cold and crying With the axe blade in your hand
4
More: Lyrics
03:47

Lyrics:

You said you're leaving I'll see you in the morning And that is just one more thing That ties me to a place Though you cry now All I can think is just how Those damp gray lines they have bound Your eyes upon your face It's a hard way but it's our way When you return Tell me of your travels The angels and the rabble And how they sang the same You'll say you missed me I will say I missed you Then you say you love me, It's all that we can do It's a hard way but it's our way My words are weapons My success, it is regression My joy, it is depression I'm leaping just to fall Will we share a tombstone Will I go in the ground all alone If so, will you remarry? Will you marry me at all?
5
More: Lyrics
02:56

Lyrics:

I've got a hatchet at my heel To lay me low He aims to, he aims to lay me low I felt it in the womb Overcame He took my blood and then he took my name He took to the air With each breath He filled his lungs until there was nothing left I've got a hatchet at my heel To lay me low He aims to, he aims to lay me low
6
Weight Against the Weather The Beaten Sea
More: Lyrics
04:19

Lyrics:

I've put my weight against the weather, I laid my hands upon the wheel. But they're only holy harlots, so I try not to feel the winds blow, the winds blow. And the weeds turn to the city, and my mind turns back and sees you climbing into my bed with the dirt brushed off your feet. Winds do howl, winds do howl. Ooh, ooh. And if the heart's a lonely hunter, then the eyes are lying thieves that keep me from your fingers, climbing up my sleeves. Winds do howl, winds do howl. And your naked shoulders tell me that I'm awfully close to sin. Praise the good Lord that your hover doesn't know where you have been. Winds do howl, winds do howl. Ooh, ooh. And there were roots down in the river, back when I was just a boy. And there was something pure within me that just ain't pure no more. Winds have howled, red winds have howled. Ooh, ooh.
7
Serpent Song The Beaten Sea
More: Lyrics
02:36

Lyrics:

The serpent bit my heel and I bruised his head Though we were not dead, we were dying "It's how it's gotta be," that copperhead said As we fell to the red ground, writhing So I sand a tune to charm that old snake That I might make my escape The snake, it seemed, had heard the song once or twice And decided I needed advice "My bite, it will hurt but not harm you." So I sang my song and sang it in vain It didn't ease my pain or my cryin' Just then the serpent turned and wiped up my tears Said "Nothing to fear," he was lying So I stared into his eyes for a spell To contemplate heaven and hell I heard him talk about when grandfather fell And when he got to the parts that I knew I knew he had changed them to hide you I told that serpent that "I see through your schemes, You get behind me, I'm not buying." The snake just smiled and said, "I'll do as you please, For a small fee I'll be complyin'." So to the scene of the original crime The serpent and I went this time I still don't know what that snake hoped we would find But here's what I saw: the rise and the fall And my grandfather walking just like I am
8
Living With Your Ghost The Beaten Sea
More: Lyrics
03:08

Lyrics:

You're the seemliest stranger I know If you were to leave me I would never know, you see 'Cause I have been livin' with your ghost Sometimes the story's stranger than the truth But at times like these, the truth is of no use to me A ghostly love with have to do Sleep, sleep You know I've seen you come, I've seen you go Like a bone-chillin' wind Through my thoughts, without, within You're leavin' my heart so cold Mama, she will sing her lullabies Her breath keeps the rhythm Her lips will keep that song in time I listen as she sings and father cries Sleep, sleep They tell me I can see you in my dreams Your arms, they can hurt me But the visions can't embrace me So I'm groaning when I wake and when I sleep Sleep, sleep
9
One Last Night for Birthpains The Beaten Sea
More: Lyrics
03:38

Lyrics:

I dreamt, I dreamed the Nazarene Gored him in the dead of night The body of a broken wife She was left standing there clean And her lack of clothes, her mannequin pose It was all elected pain Direct attempts to hide the shame and now it's the only thing that shows The holy wars the prophecies' whore Mystery, the mother's name A cup of gold, the blood of saints Scarlet beast from the ocean floor I looked upon a sky that boasts Fury for the fruit of wombs Jackals crying in their tombs An anger fit for the nation's hosts And the scalpel blade, the liar-sage Cut the fattened like a calf But seven trumpets clear a path Peels of thunder burn and empty cage
10
It's a Long Ways The Beaten Sea
More: Lyrics
05:10

Lyrics:

It's a long ways that's holding me down And I'm holding on to you But the onliest way for me to be all day Is alone with the loneliest tune And the rain's been falling down Ain't we all fallen, too? And the prettiest of girls in this whole fallen world Left to pine with the grittiest of blues So me and the boys we'll start making some noise and together we can make it all pretty We will stomp where we stand with our bottles in hand Make the best of this god-awful city Somewhere, someone once told me That alone is only letting go and the surest of things that this crazy life brings is a comfort in the lowest of lows So me and the boys we'll start making some noise and together we can make it all pretty We will stomp where we stand with our bottles in hand Make the best of this god-awful city So me and the boys we'll start making some noise and together we can make it all pretty We will stomp where we stand with our bottles in hand Make the best of this god-awful city So me and the boys we'll start making some noise and together we can make it all pretty We can stomp where we stand with our brothers in hand Make the best of this god-awful city
11
Sugar Land Blues The Beaten Sea
More: Lyrics
03:33

Lyrics:

I've been writin' tragedies in my bed With broken lovers that hurt in my head But they don't seem to come alive or my ink just lets 'em die like burdens that I know I need to shed And I'm hopin' that I can wake up Feel both the joy and the sorrow we sup Because the comfort creeps and it lulls me right to sleep The burdens that I choose to keep are a crutch The blank page is waitin' for the ghost of that woman that I love the most O how she terrifies! Mixes truth right in with lies Don't know why she hides her cries From coast to coast So now I'm waitin' for that midnight train to take me away from these hollow and tame Above me in the dead of night I can see that ever-lovin' light Shinin' down to give me sight And to ease my pain
12
Lonesome Tune The Beaten Sea
More: Lyrics
02:57

Lyrics:

I've been searching for that lonesome tune The one I hear when I've been thinking about you The lover's theme that comes on strong But never lasts for long And I've been sounding notes in my despair Hoping that I might find you there But as each note fades, and they always do I have yet to find the strain And it makes me sing even more It makes me sing even more Silence taunts me from time to time In between that sighing rhythm and rhyme And in that quiet old refrain I start to sigh again Oh, the lies I have told myself Now I tell them to the wishing wells And the echoes answer me in song With my own melodies And it makes me sing even more It makes me sing even more O, my song it is the peacock's tail Proud as hell with heaven on its trail It calls to you in golds and blues But those feathers never flew Someday You'll sing just like the whipperwhill Someday, baby, you surely will And we'll throw our dirt against that wall And see what sticks and falls And it makes me sing even more It makes me sing even more
13
It's Hard To Resist The Beaten Sea
More: Lyrics
04:28

Lyrics:

O the sirens sang for me today sang for me today sang for me today O the sirens sang for me on the other side of town As he laid me down to sleep I prayed down to sleep I prayed down to sleep I prayed As he laid me down to sleep I could not make a sound Well I wasn't there so it's not for me to say not for me to say not for me to say I wasn't there so it's not for me to say he didn't raised me from the ground Pout and part your lips before I go lips before I go lips before I go Pout and part your lips before I go down to the valley of death