The Ride of Our Lives EP

by Steve Robinson

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about

On The Ride of Our Lives, Robinson further betrays his closet-folkie leanings, relying mainly on acoustic guitar arrangements, with a dash of mandolin and a sprinkling of viola and fiddle (courtesy of Nashville's string guru, Tim Lorsch) for good measure. Also along for the ride are Ditchflower, Ed Woltil (guitar, keyboards & programming), Chuck Darling (drums) and Steve's 14-year old daughter Emma who adds her sweet voice to two of the tracks.

Replete with wistful imagery from his formative years in northern England, these songs recall old family ties and reflect on the grey areas inherent in the old adage: You can never go back home.

The lyric from the EP's CSN&Y-tinged psych-folk opener, Come Back , recalls a fateful decision to leave the country of one's birth ("Places to go, love to take or to leave; big consequences we never conceived...") and wonders if a return is possible, while Riddles contrasts days of innocence with the disappointment often felt when revisiting your old childhood haunts as an adult ("Feel your heart break back in the neighbourhood; the faces we make sometimes stay that way for good").

"Is this a bloody midlife crisis record?" - you may be asking. Hopefully not. While the CD's second track is a fiddle-fuelled waltz, ominously titled Middle of Life, the song's lyric is more celebration than commiseration ("Watch me jump in to the middle of life!") and the lilting title track that closes the set is a life-affirming study of the ongoing relationship between two families growing up on either side of the Atlantic. So while there is a little looking back, Robinson also appears to be looking forward, as well just having a good old look around.

"Nice, but I really like Mumford & Sons" - Mrs Robinson

credits

released 21 October 2011

Produced and Recorded by:
Steve Robinson at Parlor Games, St. Petersburg, FL
Additional Recording by:
Ed Woltil at Tune Tree, Largo, FL
Brian Merrill at Studio B, St. Petersburg, FL
and Tim Lorsch at Fiddle About, Nashville, TN
Mixed & Mastered by:
Brian Merrill at Studio B, St. Petersburg, FL
“Bed of Nails” mixed by Steve Connelly
at Zen Recording, Pinellas Park, FL
Sleeve Design by Ed Woltil

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Track Name: Come Back
I'd come back if only you'd let me in
I'd be there bearing roses
I'd endeavour to crawl upon hand and knee
While you all stare down your noses

I have changed like you
Rearranged and new
I'll show you proof
When I come back to you

I'd come back if only you'd change some things
I'd be there without warning
Bring back pennies, steam trains and Slade Alive!
I'd be there there by the morning

You have changed like me
Rearranged, I see
I'll tell the truth
When I come back to you

Places to go, love to take or to leave
Big consequences we never conceived
Time on the clock ticking over
So far away is much closer
Than we might believe

I'd come back if only you'd talk to me
I would answer your questions
Why did I go? How could I let you down?
Funny that you should mention...

We have changed, it's true
Edges frayed and unglued
We'll know the truth
When I come back to you
Track Name: Middle of Life
My glottal stop gives me away
A storm in a tea cup with nothing much brewing
I never liked that Earl Grey
The things that you say, sometimes they get in the way
Of things that you're doing

Demons with ducks in a row
Singing along to the songs that you're playing
I never listened in school
The things that you do, sometimes they get in the way
Of things that you're saying

Things to remember and things to forget
But no time for all this regret and reliving

So much ahead of you, so much behind
Keeping your balance while walking the wire
Flying your flag, any colour you like
Happy as sin in the middle of life

My knife and fork give me away
They're in the wrong hands and my manners are fading
Searching for that silver spoon
The things you don't do, sometimes they get in the way
Of changes you're making

People to hold on to, people to let go
And time for all this forget and forgiving

So much within you and so much without
So much to learn from, whisper and shout
Rough 'round the edges but softer inside
Getting stuck in to the middle of life
You know where you've been, in the middle of life
Watch me jump in to the middle of life
Track Name: Bed of Nails
There are those who think I'm a man on a mission
A man with a vision or two
There are those who would laugh at my fear of decision
I think it's funny too

And I've been a lot of places
And I have seen a lot things
And I wonder why I know nothing

If I don't open up enough
Twist the knife deep in my gut
Lucky loser loves to fail
I'm on the edge so push me in
pain and pleasure breaks the skin
I'm happy here beyond the pale
On my bed of nails

There are those who think I'm a man of ambition
A slave to a master plan
There are those who view me with doubt and suspicion
And I quite understand
'cause I've been a lot of places
And I have seen a lot of things
And I wonder why I know nothing
And I've known a lot of people
And I did a lot of things
And I made them cry and all for nothing

If I don't open up enough
Twist the knife deep in my gut
Lucky loser loves to fail
I'm on the edge so push me in
pain and pleasure breaks the skin
I'm happy here beyond the pale
On my bed of nails

(Whatcha gonna do when the sun goes down?
Whatcha gonna do when the nighttime comes around?
Here it goes again
Here we go again
Here it comes...)

Happiness is the best revenge
As you climb down from the fence again
Takes the wind out of their sails
Go to sleep on a bed of nails
I'm happy here
Happy here...
Track Name: Riddles
Good times, clean rhymes and riddles
Be kind, don't lie or
Fiddle about (don't shout!)
We'll tell you what you need to know
Not what you want to hear

Listen to me
I sound just like you

Old ways, long days to dally
New toys, old boys
Carrying on, with bells on
Tell us what we need to know
Not what we want to hear

Listen to you
You sound just like me

Feel your heart break
Back in the neighbourhood
The faces we make
Sometimes stay that way for good

Good times, clean rhymes and riddles
Track Name: The Ride of Our Lives
Two little girls from the county of Kent, freed from the shadows of war
Out of the darkness, into the sunshine, free to be children once more
They'd grow up together, lives together bound
Hands across the garden, streets and towns

Well, kiss and tell, pigtails and inkwells, daisy stems in jam jars
Turned to dates upon roller skates, and friday nights at The Star
Mary met an American, stole her heart away
Jean she fell for a northern boy, down from Lincolnshire way

Old country, new love, lives entwined
Godparents, bridesmaids and best man smiles
"Everyone hold on tight" they said
Soldiers to brand new brides
"Everyone hold on tight" they said
"We're in for the ride of our lives"

Before too long, us kids came along, and we too would all become friends
We played in the haze of long summer days, and we thought that they never would end
Off to the Isle of Sheppey in a Singer Gazelle
A cold dip and a warm pop, on the pebbles and shells

Funfair reunions, arcade smiles
Hands across the water, oceans wide
"Everyone hold on tight" we'd say
Atop of the carpet slide
"Everyone hold on tight" we said
"We're in for the ride of our lives"

Well, we grew up fast and memories past, sit safe on the picture book page
See how they've grown, these kids of our own, now it's their turn up on the stage
A sadness full of beauty takes my breath away
I wish they knew each other, like we did back in the day

Sisters and brothers, hopes and fears
Fathers and mothers dry the tears
"Everyone hold on tight" we say, as they prepare to fly
"Everyone hold on tight" we say
"You're in for the ride of your lives"