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by John Baker

  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

    The album download currently includes eleven completed tracks (the top eleven in the list), plus some bonus basement tracks. The finished album will include a twelfth song ("Bad Neighbor Blues"), which I'm still recording.

    You'll be given the choice to download mp3s, or high-resolution audio files.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $7 USD

    You own this




I'm working on songs for a CD to be released later this year. In the meantime, I post them here. The first eleven on the list are finished and included on the album download, or individually. The album download also includes some "basement tracks."


releases December 10, 2019

All songs composed by John Baker.
See individual tracks for song credits.
Mixed and mastered by Hill.


all rights reserved



John Baker Battle Ground, Washington

I'm a solo performer and songwriter in the Pacific Northwest.

If you like what you hear, please share my music with your friends, and come to one of my concerts if you're in the area.

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Track Name: Desiree (Take the Night Train Down)
--- Letter dated May 14:
Take the night train down. I miss you so. It's cold and lonely in this town. I'm tired of hiding out in cheap hotels and running place to place. Its been eight years, I don't think anyone would recognize my face.

~ Frank

--- Letter dated June 20:
Take the night train down. I'd come back home, but the investigator thinks I'm dead and gone. I'm happy the insurance money comes in every month. I just wish you'd come down here and maybe share it with me some.

~ Frank

--- Letter dated August 7:
Take the night train down. I miss you so. Its cold as bones in this ghost town. We should be lying on the beaches of Cancun just like we planned. You say there's been a change of plans but, honey, I don't understand!

~ Frank

--- Choruses

[If you don't want the fruits of sin
Stay out of the devil's garden, then.
What's that sound? is that a whistle I hear?
Talk of the devil and the devil appears!]

[Clickety-clack-clickety clack-coming...
Smokestack lightning and the wheels are humming.
Track Name: Mania
My baby’s calling on the telephone,
It’s three weeks since she disappeared from home.
She calling some East of Kathmandu.
She stopped her meds, there's nothing I can do.

The doctor said there might be days like this,
But this is eight times in a year, at least.
One day shes lying low, then flying high.
She’s draining all the family savings dry.

My baby loves plastic.
She's sociopathic.
My baby loves plastic.
But she’s gotta come down.

There's charges for the Crown Plaza Resort, gold jewelry, carpets, Nepalese airports, fine food, fine wine
(I watch the bills compile).
Shes spending rupees like they’re out of style!

There's no reason why
I endure all these ups & downs.
(I hold too tight to dreams.)
No more lithium.
No more money.
The mania fades away....

My baby called again last night, collect.
She called from somewhere south of Bangladesh.
She cried her MasterCard was all maxed out.
I’m sure she’ll get along just fine
Track Name: Strange
Inspired by Mary Shelly's classic novel "Frankenstein."

Reanimate me, I just need a spark.
Give me words for this silence,
Give me light for this dark.
From bits and from pieces.
From boneyards and death
You brought me to being.
You filled me with breath.

Strange in the darkness,
Strange in the sea,
Strange in the spark that electrified me.
Stranger in a stranger place.
Stranger in a stranger place.

I've tried to do good things.
I've learned right from wrong.
But I live in the shadows,
And hide in the dark.
All men hate the wretched; they all turn away
No one can lock eyes on a face that's so strange.

Strange in the darkness...

Theres Elizabeth for you, but there's no one for me.
I asked you to create a companion you ignored my plea.
So I leave you for now, but hear what I say:
I swear I'll return on your wedding day.

Stange in the darkness....
Track Name: Southbound
Packed my bags, I’m headed southbound
There's really not much that I need.
Friends say I should stick around some,
But there’s nothing here for me.

Boss man boarded up the factory,
Walked away with 6 weeks pay.
Now I’m out here raking asphalt
For a 50-dollar day.

And it doesn't really matter where I run to,
Cause the big wheel keeps on turning round and round.
And it doesnt really matter what I do or what I say;
I just can't seem to slow this big wheel down.

Heard there’s good work down in Austin.
I heard they pay an honest wage.
Leaving tonight I’m headed southbound,
Maybe I’ll be back someday.

Every workday starts out black as pitch,
And every workday ends the same.
You stand there talking 'bout the rut we're in
Year after year, but nothings changed.

I packed my bags, I'm headed southbound
There's really not much that I need.
Friends say I should stick around some,
But there's nothing here for me

And it doesn't really matter where I run to,
Cause the big wheel keeps on turning round and round.
And it doesnt really matter what I do or what I say;
I just can't seem to slow that big wheel down
Track Name: Mary Madeline
Mary Madeline took her seat on the DC-7,
Held her ticket tight --- thirteen hundred miles to Redmond.
"Too late for second sight...
I hope I'm doing this right.
I hope."

Back in San Jose, friends on the phone exchanging stories,
How she quit her job, and put everything that she had in storage.
"Who knows what's in her head...
Goodbye is all that she said..."

You can cry and shake your fist to stop the wind.
You can wonder where does time go.
Or just turn off of the road that brought you in,
Start all over again.

Somewhere over Oregon, she felt her heart cry out for him,
But all he really loved was a car and a track and a race to win.
"I tried to make him see...
Some day he'll forget about me..."
Some day.

Mary Madeline searched for the ground through the mist and the aether,
And then the clouds broke through,
and the whole wide world stretched out beneath her.
But tears had made her blind.
So hard to leave it behind.
So hard.

You can wish and hope for time to change the past.
You can pray for some commitment.
Or you can walk right out the door that let you in,
start all over again.
Track Name: Vampire
Moonlight casts the same dark shadow on my wall.
I hear your footsteps and I feel the midnight call.
Doors and windows locked up tight against the chill...
I'm not taking any chances!

You said that he was evil, wicked, mean, and cruel;
Your back against the wall, would I please help you through.
All you needed was a healthy substitute;
Someone else to sink your fangs in.

Get away from my door I can't take it no more!
Her words say "Sleep. Just look deep in my eyes."
Where is the sun? How long can I run and hide?
Night after night, a vampire right at my window!

I tried to help you in your time of misery
But all you wanted was a way of using me.
Now I see right through your selfish little plan...
Did you think that you could fool me?

Somewhere, somehow, sometime he's gonna find the truth.
A wooden stake is all he'll need to run you through.
What you gonna do when there's no one left to bleed?
Unprotected in the daylight...

(Chorus repeat)
Track Name: Crazy Man
Look out kids, the crazy man is back in town!
Builds himself up by cutting everyone else down.
Ever so efficient, and so surgically clean.
Doze it to the ground, then sell off lots at "Forest Green".
Look out!!

You never really see the crazy man, but he's out there,
Dumping in the river, and belching in the air.
Living in a mansion at the edges of the sea,
Built from teeth and bones from all the poor and the hungry.

Crazy man is telling us more lies,
Mirrors and the smoke behind his eyes
Everything he ever did or said was just to keep us from the truth.
We don't have to buy the stuff he sells,
Pour a little more poison down the well,
We don't have to wait until we're drowning.

50,000 species hacked from rain forests each year.
200 acres burned each minute we stand here.
The planet weeps where ever crazy man has been;
Raining black tears, oil is the sorrow of machines.

(Repeat chorus)
Track Name: Yellow Dog
Yellow Dog on a yellow night, howling at a yellow moon
Barking up a cedar tree at a fiery eyed raccoon
Running all the black cats down
Tabby tigers too
Gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha ooooo

Would you fetch a willow stick, if I throw it hard
Would you come back when I call and stay here in the yard
I don’t think you understand a single word I say
You here what you wanna hear and I guess thats OK

Yellow Doggy — get your ball and bring it back to me
Yellow Doggy — when I call your name
Leave behind your sheddy hair
And all your circus fleas
Just bring all your doggy love to me.

I bet you could learn to dance and hop on your hind feet
Balance things upon your snoot or maybe even speak
Yellow Dog roll over, Yellow Dog play dead
Sit, stay, heel, wait, drop it, go to bed.
Track Name: I Miss You So Much
I'm independent.
Don't need anybody, I'm OK on my own.
A solo engagement, living is easy when you're living alone.
But as much as I know I can make it as one,
I'm starting to think maybe two is more fun.
As I walk through this world I'm enjoying the view,
But the world is much nicer when I share it with you.

I miss you so much.
Your kiss and your touch, everything that you do.
I miss you so much.
I miss you so much I don't know what to do.

You gave me a picture.
Us in the orchard, my arms around you.
I thought it would help some, but it only reminds me that I'm missing you.
So I fix myself dinner and talk to the walls,
Put the clothes in the dryer, feed the cat, make some calls.
Trying to keep my mind on the things that I do,
But I'm losing my focus; my mind is on you.

Summer to autumn.
Autumn to winter and winter to spring.
Then back to summer. Who could imagine the changes they bring?
Do the flowers miss sunshine? The birds wait for spring?
(I imagine they cherish what each moment brings.)
Though there's only one moment in time and in space,
I'm counting the hours 'til we're in the same place.
Track Name: You're Not Alone
On the south side ,down the road
They’re using lessons that he taught them;
how to hide out in the cold.
Lock it away, we should have known.
Maybe the rust was really medicine they pumped into our home.
(But its all right 'cause a half life’s overblown.)

They been boozing, calling names
swimming in their little ocean, in an inky sea of games
mobilizing far and wide
I can’t believe so many minions would swallow up the lies.
Get a rock to hit a jaw to ...
Let ‘em lie.

Look outside.
Is that the sun again?
The same as yesterday?
No one nailed a wretched cloud above your home?
Shine a light if you see shadows.
Shout a warning at the dark.
If you ever feel abandoned or alone ... you’re not alone.

Bees are swarming! Get 'em out!
Take them on down the road and turn 'em loose,
but here they ain’t allowed.
Another light year, led by the nose.
Room by room they try to sell us on a rose that never grows.
Get along now.
That’ll light ya.
Let it go.

Get inside and guess again.     
He's got a lousy set of rules there that’ll let the rooster in;
Beady eyes, an empty head.
I can’t believe the stupid things he did, the stupid things he said.
Shoulda locked him in a room, hung by a thread.
Track Name: Jay Tower
Please don't help me remember.
Don't give me more clues.
I feel better off far from the memories,
Miles from the facts and the news.
But when I look in your eyes, I can just see a trace;
Like frost on a window a breath could erase.
And if I open the door for you,
What if it all rushes through?

I saw planes in an orange sky.
I saw jungles in flames
I heard noises like lightning, like thunder,
Like concrete falling like rain.
So don't wake me from slumber,
I'd rather forget.
And I'd rather be empty than full of regret.
But could you teach me to hold on
to just all the sweet things in life?

Some might say I'm a weak man,
But they don't realize,
That there's only so many things one man can see
'fore he just shuts his eyes.
And you ask me to put all the pieces in place,
But the puzzle belongs to the whole human race
And if we don't work to solve it
Then maybe we're all hypnotized.
Track Name: True Love
Another September, another semester,
He helps her load boxes, a bookcase, and sweaters,
And he wonders 'bout boys she will meet
and if she might change.
He holds her forever and forces a smile,
She pulls out the driveway, he stands there awhile,
Then he goes back inside, but inside feels
empty and strange.

Just like a summer breeze
Just like the autumn leaves
Just like the lessons we learn
Just like a harvest moon
Just like a favorite tune
True love will always return

He loads up his duffle, its time to be leaving
To fight in a war he no longer believes in.
But they promised him college for free,
and he finally gave in.
With a second tour starting and promises fading
He wonders how long she can withstand the waiting.
But inside he knows he will hold her forever again.

(repeat chorus)