Play It Pretty For Atlantis CD cover
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release date:

September 29, 2012


Play It Pretty For Atlantis

JW Player


Steven Bates - Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin
David Hayes - Electric and Acoustinc Bass, Background Vocals
Roger Fritz - Slide Guitar and Dobro, Background Vocals
James Preston - Drums and Percussion, Background Vocals

Special Guest Musicians:

Bill Bottrell - Acoustic 12-String Guitar and Electric Rhythm Guitar on "Swimming To Jordan" and "Gone, But Not For Long"
Gene Parsons - Pedal Steel Guitar on "Gone, But Not For Long"
Ralph Humphrey - Drums on "Gone, But Not For Long"

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Calvin Turnbull at the Old School Studio in the Hamlet of Caspar on the Mendocino Coast, CA. 2012

Cover art by Hugh Dignon

All Songs written by Steven Bates

Read the press release

Read Release

Watch interview with Alan Ahtow

Watch Interview

Songs & Lyrics

Ally Tonight
The moon is cold
and the sun's not up
I'm drinking from my
favorite cup
I'm deep in love,
I'm out of luck
Won't you please counsel me
The tide has turned,
I missed my boat
My thoughts have taken flight
Won't you by my ally tonight

The clock's not ticking,
time stands still
Dimension's come for
the lonely kill
The siren sounds,
I pay my bill
Paper tiger hunts for me
Time has turned
her dragon's tail
Will be clear in the early light
Won't you be my ally tonight

We are working with
such slight of hand
Of heart, of blood, of soul
And I will never let it go
So play it fair and play it right
We all know
there's one good fight
Won't you be my ally tonight

These earthly angels
sing to me
Voices just like silver string
They whisper of some victory

Won over those
who just can't see
That the earth itself
one day will be gone
Same as all we live
our small lives on
See it's all a part
of getting it right
Won't you be my ally tonight
Backs Against The Wall
The killers lie and criticize
Swear upon their
mother's eyes
That nothing has been
changed inside
To let them be so
ruthless and hateful

With willful hand
they don the mask
And take apart
the sacred truth
To forget in fact
to cause the harm
That most everybody else
lacks and I'm grateful

- chorus -
I can feel it all over you
And all I know I know is true
And tonight the stars
don't shine on the city
Even for the ones
who answer the call
For if tonight makes your life
feel a pity
You're not mistaken,
your back's against the wall

When someone comes
to show the change
With no protection
from the scorn
That's hurled upon
this newest thing
By cowardice
masquerading as bravery
My country the government
Has gone along
with fearful threats
And schemes designed
by inferior men
And I do not expect them
to save me

- chorus -

When poets for
a thousand years
Try to rectify the cloud
Of shame that's spawned
by ignorance
While the bars
overflow with laughter

But who can blame them
for their fate
They're just trying to escape
And trapped with
nothing to compare
After all it's so rare
to really know
what you're after

- chorus -
Fool's Gold
I'm sitting here
in a light so clear
And if I stand here long
enough I will disappear
Church bells ringing
in the old big top
No one's succeeded yet
to make it stop

I got my companion and
she's made of steel
She whispers in my ear
what is not and what is real
Clouds are moaning,
silver and gray
Some folks trying to take
the best things in us away

- chorus -
You know you gotta get
that horse back up on her feet
Still got a hundred miles
to ride before we sleep
Boys, they're throwing out
a scrap or two
Save it for when we're old
People buying up the world
with fool's gold

The blood runs cold and
the fever runs high
I can see the wind blow
right through your clothes
All this backwards progress
cuts right to the quick
Too much love of money is
bound to make you sick

- chorus -
Green Pearl
Walkin' through the
green fields of our world
Rising sun shining over the
edge of this pearl
Another day another hassle
designed to make you bow
Down to the castles
Forget the miracle of
existing at all

Nobody here could make up
someone like you
You are as unique
as you are true
There ain't no time
for phony nostalgia
There's just this time,
they call it right now
And you're going into it
whether you like it or not

I've wasted time getting
hung up about money
I've tasted the times when
all that I had was my name
Come here closer let me get
a better look at you honey
Remember the time
when you were free
from the game
So remember,
remember now

I'm taking back the beginning
I'll take back the end
I'm giving back all the
white noise they send
We got the joy,
we got the power
It's up to us
in these final hours and
What you gonna do
about it right now?

Reach out your hand,
nobody wants to feel lonely
Even the most powerful man
in the world needs a friend
It's all been done,
nothing left to de 'cept do it
Nothing to lose because
one day we're gonna be dead
So remember,
remember now

I'm sick to death
of all these lies
and all of their lyin'
I got my heroes and
I want my angels, too
I count my blessings
on all ten fingers
I got the sword that
was given to me
and I'm not afraid
to use it at all
Insider's Blues
Well the company's
gone public
Let's have a parade
Everyone bow down
to the culture we made
If you can rip it from the floor,
You can apply it to your trade
Switchboard's lighting up
with the dead and underpaid
And honey you say one
thing then you do
something else instead
I love the way you live
But I would not want to
live inside your head

The matter's in
the hands of kings
There ain't no one
else to blame
I can see my breath
in here they got
no power to fan the flame
Someone tells a joke
I've heard a
thousand times before
I'd step outside and
get some air
but I can't find the door
And I just called to say
I'm staring at the ceiling
over my bed
If it were the last piece
of real estate
I wouldn't want to live
inside your head

It seems you're bound
for glory what else
could you do
And it would not make a
difference if you only knew
Your badge is made of silver,
your guns are made of gold
Ain't it grand to see
your one and only life unfold
And you swear it's
not stupidity makes you
Walk where angels
would be ashamed to tread
I woke up in flames
this morning
Thankful I don't have to
live inside your head
Make-Up Songs and Break-Up Songs
Well we all had our
easy way with you
We all have our cup
and the sea
Oh how I listen, yeah
Lord how I listen
To All the ways that they
wanna be

- chorus -
And baby I call on
your dogs in the dark
Crying alone you've
seen me before and
The light never stops shining
Yeah the light I know so well
And I count the ways
you make me feel like dying
Singing make-up songs
and break-up songs
While the world is
going to hell

There is blood
on the bark of a golden tree
The moon
a monster's electricity
Oh how they're running yes,
Lord how they run
toward all the things
that they were
never meant to be

- chorus -

Well we all have our
easy way out of here
Rolling past the robots
that have no fear
Lord how I listen yes,
oh but I won't forgive them,
For all their tired and
lonely repetition

- chorus -
Hey San Francisco
Don't want no hate
we don't want no war
Seen it my whole life
kicking down my door
People tryin' to
make you think
like they believe
What we got right here
they could never receive

- chorus -
Hey San Francisco,
still go some flowers
in your hair?
Up there playing
electric guitar
For all the hungry people
out there

She's my baby
she's my heart's desire
Her ideas set my mind on fire
She comes in colors
you never seen
One look at that lady and
you'll know what I mean

- chorus -

I've walked your streets
I've walked your stone
I've been surrounded
by angels
I've been all alone
We're diving deep,
we're swimming till dawn
Gonna rock and roll
till these days are all gone

- chorus -
Gone, But Not For Long
The curtains of the night
Throwing shadows on
the the evening light
The sun is going down
one more time my friend
All that needs an ending
begins to end
You can watch them gather
on a frozen beach
The tallest by a shoulder
begins to preach
But no one really hears
a word he says
Started out living but
now it's dead

- chorus -
And she says to me
there's a place that I know
Where love falls
from the trees,
it's beyond the pale
And your free
from what's going on
When your gone
but not for long

Marching down
a golden street
Milk may have turned
but it's just as sweet
Every single color
walking hand in hand
Facing down the dealers
all across the land
Our lady sings a high
and lonesome tune
There's gonna be a
reckoning sometime
'round noon
Trouble gonna shine
like an evening sun
They don't ever stop
even when they've won

- chorus -

The ship is going down
not without a fight
The captain's run aground
the beacon light
Shining through the
stars for all to see
What we are is not
all that we could be
Standing at the rail
at the evening's close
Eternity's in jail
that's how it goes
The world is half awake
and it's half asleep
No matter how you swim,
long as you dive deep

- chorus -
Shine Your Light
Shine your light on me baby
Taking me straight out
of nowhere
Slow hand dancing
circling the light
of the moon
You roll the dice
everybody tells you
don't go there
Keep on thinking
you past is gonna
catch you too soon

Rippin' -- and running--
that double ought line
Down the freeway
Trouble is tailin'
it will not overtake you
You need some space,
you're needing just
a little leeway
Freezing air crashing
as all of the stars turn to you
And she asks me,
"Do you like how I move?"
I'm in love
but I don't know who
She says, "You like it when
I'm thinking of you?"
Yes I do

Climbing up the grade
looking for some kind
of truth sir
Come down the
mountain tablets
shining silver and gold
I don't really mind
being one more holy loser
Never really got off
doing exactly what
I was told
Everybody's trying
to get clean
But they're stuck
inside a giant machine
You ask me if I think
it's obscene
Yes I do

All of the jacks
behind on the rent
to their boxes
Telephone, TV,
power shut off too
Everybody's runnin'
as fast as they can
out to nothing
Have I told you lately
it's a pleasure to be
riding' with you
A Love Song (for those with ears to hear)
You come on the heels
of the night
In your dark velvet flight
With your braids and
your pearls
Dancing and whirlin'
Like a cold rain of stars
and your Spanish guitars
You woo me and you dream
your Avalon schemes
And who among these
could control you
And all that we see
is alone with you
And your strawberry heart
does not own you
And who'd refuse me
my desire to be
in love with you

Well you take with your feet
the melodious streets
You sway and you play,
your bells and your stage
With your eyes like a fire,
or a pharoah's golden dust
Tell me who
could protect you
Tell me who
would you trust
And who among these
could deserve you
And your wild
diamond dreams
preserved for you
And your bold honest heart
does not throw you
And who'd refuse me
my desire to be
in love with you
New Clear Beach
We could see real clear
the road to come
If we could clean out
our hearts and ears
But beneath the heat
of our old yellow sun
It's hard to change
how the old dogs hear

She will preach
from a nuclear beach
For her child's life
she will fear
She may not have
the reach
Of the boys
on Wall Street
But the power of love
will reign here

So here's another song
for the way
That it's gone forever
and a day
I'm here to say
that a change is near
And if it's not for
a long while
Then we'll kill ourselves
in style
All the while begging
someone to hear

Maybe we can
change ourselves
Every little bit can help
I've always felt that
the sun was so near

Maybe we can
change ourselves
Every little bit can help
I've always felt
that the sun was so near
Swimming To Jordan
Wrestling the angel
in plain view
In the middle of the street
Really messes with
that nice suit,
Leaves everything incomplete
The apartment's alive
with interior light
A mystery in the
Shakespeare night
Couples race toward
each other in their
endless plight
And the last of the
debutantes says,
"It's alright
We'll make up
a whole new
game tomorrow"

Charles Darwin running
in the monkey night
Papers in his hand
Big ships gunning
in the dawning light
More poor folks land
They look like fireworks
in the starry sky
I know they're dead
but they seem alive
The emperor speaks
and the people abide
And about this time
Jesus says
"Ah do I have to live
my whole life
Based on someone
else's sorrow"

Egypt's sand is
burned to glass
By all the minds
without vision
Music's band is
laid to rest alongside
constant indecision
Capricorn is rising again
The ghost child
drives this train
The painted lady
denies her revenge
And the man
with the abacus
tries to rearrange
The list of those
with so much to borrow

Swimming to Jordan
in these rock and roll shoes
While Atlas tries
to lift the moon
"Ah he's just showing off
to all of you"
Comes the
disembodied voice
of Little Girl Blue
The traveling salesman
pulls off his ring
And the sky overhears
As one more boy
believes he is king
And everybody hears
the ding dong ding
Of the bell tolling
for someone tomorrow

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