David Massey

David Massey

 Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., USA
BandAmericanaFolk

A literate blend of folk, rock, and traditional music styles supporting rich stories - one reviewer says the songs "blow away" the likes of John Prine, James McMurtry and Todd Snider. (These guys are, of course, Massey's heroes, so don't believe the reviewer.)

Biography

Heavily influenced by John Prine, Todd Snider, James McMurtry, Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle, David Massey writes and sings a mix of folk and rock songs with country and bluegrass flavors. As one review says, "think comfortably faded denim. Dobro, fiddle and mandolin augment Massey’s six-string on original tunes, literate and generally wistful, that range from a prayer about Mideast conflict to musings about Pickett’s Charge in the Civil War."

Lyrics

High Defnition Day

Written By: David Massey

High Definition Day

Sitting here on a rainy day
Should be at work, but I got hooky to play
Nothing on the tube a man would want to see
I only got the basic cable, no DirecTV

The cats are just sleeping the day away
When they do wake up, they got nothing to say
They expect to be fed and a place on my bed
But they’re kinda skeptical about this life that I’ve led

So take me, please take me
Take me so far from here
Give me a great big bag of Tostitos, some kind of ballgame
And some beer
Yeah, take me, please take me
Take me so far away
Blue water, white sand and a wide screen
High definition day
I never meant to become a cliché
My life just kind of worked out that way
And I wish I had something profound to say
But nothing’s coming to me today

This classic rock station’s getting kinda old
I guess it keeps those classic rockers out of the cold
But I don’t think I can listen to Layla again
And even Stairway to Heaven is wearing kinda thin

So I got a little sports car, it looks pretty good
Impresses all the kids in the neighborhood
But the women don’t turn their heads to look at me
I guess I’m gonna have to get myself a Humvee

So take me, please take me
Take me so far from here
Give me a great big bag of Tostitos, some kind of ballgame
And some beer
Yeah, take me, please take me
Take me so far away
Blue water, white sand and a wide screen
High definition day
I never meant to become a cliché
My life just kind of worked out that way
And I wish I had something profound to say
But nothing’s coming to me today
So take me, please take me
Take me so far from here
Give me a great big bag of Tostitos, some margaritos
And some beer
Yeah, take me, please take me
Take me so far away
Blue water, white sand and a wide screen
High definition day

Angeline

Written By: David Massey and Zan McLeod

You've had such a sweet life
The times have been serene
But hatred always simmers
Angeline, oh Angeline

So now the drums are beating
The missiles soon may fly
And the little boy you've cherished
May have to die, may have to die

Chorus:

So take all your irony and throw it on the ground
All of the detachment and dark humor that you've found
There's evil here among us, and there's danger all around
Oh, Angeline, there's some sad times coming round
Oh, Angeline, there's some bad times coming down

You cried when he enlisted
So tall and brave and true
Sweet memories of his childhood
Came back to you, came back to you

And all the other mothers
Christian, Muslim, Jew
How will they find their children
When it's all through
When it's all through

Chorus

Come down to earth, sweet Jesus
Ah, Mohammed, we're on our knees
Save your children from each other
Won't you please, ah can't you please

Labor Day

Written By: David Massey

Labor Day is here again
Another summer is gone
Seems like Christmas was yesterday
Feels like something's going wrong

Nothing wrong with video games
Though they make my head spin
Just never thought I'd have to live like one
Never thought moving slow was a sin

Chorus:

Years spinning by like tires on ice
Get some shovels and some sand
We gotta get ourselves some traction here
We gotta make some kind of stand
I don't mind things moving on
The hands of time got to turn
But can't we just slow the damn things down
Some lessons take a while to learn

Round up all of those scientists
Get Bill Gates and his whole crew
Quit making everything so much faster, boys
Just ease up and catch the view

Can't you narrow the bandwidth now?
Go back to the old copper wire
I'll give up streaming video
To get back my old rope swing tire

Chorus

I'll surrender my cell phone, boys
I'll turn in my PC
If only summers could be long again
The way they used to be

Labor Day is here again
Another summer is done
I hope you've done your Christmas shopping
I hope you find time to have some fun
Yeah, I hope you find time to have some fun

The Drunken Letter

Written By: David Massey

Whiskey and cigars for all
Inside the metal shack
The sky was gray, the war was on
Tomorrow they'd go back

A cable from a brand-new mom
Her pilot had a son
He laughed, he drank, he cried a bit
He wished the war was won

He wrote a drunken letter then
He called her his lovely wife
He said he'd never felt such joy
In twenty-six years of life

Chorus:

"I'm a dad!" he told his mates
As he stumbled off to bed
A new day dawned
The war went on
Three months later, he was dead

A dad his son would never see
A fading memory
Just a drunken letter, pressed inside a book
That's all that's left for me

Chorus

Whiskey and cigars for all
Inside the metal shack
The sky was gray, the war was on
Tomorrow they'd go back

The Loneliness I've Known

Written By: David Massey

If I had a song for every time I've missed you
I could sing my way across this lonely land
If I could right a wrong for every time he's kissed you
You might have let me stay and hold your trembling hand
But even if I had those songs
Even if I could right those wrongs
I still wouldn't have you lying near at hand

Cause our time is too far gone
And the years run on and on
And the wind seems to blow so cold when you're alone
I always thought I was so strong
But time and trouble have proved me wrong
And I pray you never feel the loneliness I've known
The loneliness I've known

I wish I had a rhyme for every night I've longed for
You sleeping on the pillow next to me
And until the end of time, you would hear my song for
You whispered low like haunted poetry
But if I sang every sweet sad rhyme from the red-eyed dawn of time
I'd still just be singing to a memory

Cause our time is too far gone
And the years run on and on
And the wind seems to blow so cold when you're alone
I always thought I was so strong
But time and trouble have proved me wrong
And I pray you never feel the longing that I've known
The longing that I've known

If I sang a tune for every time I've dreamed you
Were walking in this autumn sun with me
Like a hopeless loon, I would always seem to
Be singing please for death to set me free
But when my legs no longer walk
When my tongue no longer talks
The wind'll still moan my mournful melody

Cause our time is too far gone
And the years run on and on
And the wind seems to blow so cold when you're alone
I always thought I was so strong
But time and trouble have proved me wrong
And I pray you never feel the emptiness I've known
The emptiness I've known

Just An Old Dog

Written By: David Massey

Just an old dog that died today
Just an old man with nothing left to say
And all the reasons don't really matter anyway
Every creature good or sweet's sure to pass away

Just a cold day, no sun to shine
He takes no pleasure in his food or in his wine
And all the years just blur together in his mind
There's a sad end for every good friend down the line

Chorus:

Yeah, a new sun rises every day
Children run and fall and laugh and cry and play
People kiss and fall in love and say they'll stay
While that old man slowly slips away
Just an old dog that died today

Just an old dream that finally died
Just a dead end on a lonely ride
A sweet muse called him
But in the end she must have lied
So he shut it down and just holds his ground inside

Just a blue world that slowly spins
A day begins and somewhere else a long day ends
And no one really listens, and no one makes amends
For our tears or for our fears or for our sins

Chorus

Just an old friend that finally died
Just an old man grown hard and cold inside
No one there to hold him
When he finally broke and cried
But as his tears flowed, some kind of new road opened wide

Chorus

Heathens (World On Loan)

Written By: Jason Byrd and David Massey

Green fields, yellow leaves
Gold sun above a row of trees
There's something about it I like to see
I get the feeling of the old country

Muscadines full of seeds
Farm tractor rolling down the street
Flat tops and violins
Peeling off an old Virginia reel

Chorus:

We run around it though
There's something we all know
We're all just heathens, living off the land, using what we can
Oh, but we don't care about it
'Cause if we did, we'd make it better known
It's a world on loan

Seasons come and seasons go
Sun shining on the still white snow
The old remember, the children grow
Spring rain falling soft and low

I couldn't tell you what to do
Wouldn't preach even if I knew
First light and morning dew
Always been there for me and you

Chorus

Bridge:

Now there's a calling I can almost seem to hear
An evening on a front porch swing
With winter gone now, and summer drawing near
Could it be the last tune this old world can sing

Chorus

Come What May

Written By: David Massey

Come what may, come what may
I think I'll be alright some day
Momma said hold what you've got
Don't try to be someone you're not
Now I'm out here on my own
Lord, I'm out here all alone

Chorus:

And you may say it's all my doing
And it's purely me to blame
If I should stay on this road to ruin
I would surely say the same
Yeah, I would surely bear that shame

Restless night, cold desert dawn
Nothing to do but just move on
I hang my head every now and then
But I stumble on with this load of sin
Don't you cry no tears for me
Just pray someday we'll all be free

Chorus

Come what may, come what may
I hope I'll be alright some day
Yeah, I hope I'll be alright some day
Alright someday

Note to Miss Grady

Written By: David Massey

The third of September broke rainy and cool
The kids wore their bright yellow raincoats to school
I hid by the drapes as I watched them walk by
No need for them to see an old woman cry
I taught their parents at that same wooden school
Yeah, I taught them their letters and that old golden rule
My classroom was bright 'neath the dark winter sky
As I stood at that chalkboard and told them to fly

Now they work down in those holes in the ground
Their faces all lined with the hard lives they've found
I begged them to run from these dark stony hills
But these coal mines have taken our souls and our wills

On August 14, the mines flooded again
The Lord must think miners are just made out of sin
Four men held out in a pocket of air
Well, they reached them but first the black water got there

In a clear plastic bag they'd each placed a note
To wives and to children some last words they wrote
The youngest had none, so he wrote to me
The lines that will haunt me till God sets me free

Now they work down in those holes in the ground
Their faces all lined with the hard lives they've found
I begged them to run from these dark stony hills
But these coal mines have taken our souls and our wills

"Miss Grady," he wrote "It was true what you said
You know I stayed in this hollow and just look where it's led
The water is rising, I'm scared and I'm cold
And we've nothing but ourselves and our faith left to hold

But bless you, Miss Grady, my brother is here
And my best friend and my uncle
To help fight the fear
We're hugging each other just to keep off the cold
You know we dug here for coal, but in the end we found gold

And yes, ma'am we'll die in this hole in the ground
All twisted as one in this hard death we've found
You begged us to run from these dark stony hills
But no coal mine can take a man's soul or his will
No, a coal mine can't take a man's soul or his will

Susie Came Home

Written By: David Massey

She tried so hard
She held on tight
But her mind was racing way too fast

Losing job after job
Wild eyed and scared
Just a frightened little girl running last

Chorus:

Susie, run and hide
All your dreams are gone
You never asked for a thing
But all you had is gone
And the doctors just don't understand what makes a mind go wrong
But you can't hold on
And it's just gone

Susie came home
In the early spring
Now she almost never makes a sound
She sits alone
Just trying to stay calm
Like a baby bird that's fallen to the ground

Chorus

So Many Roads

Written By: David Massey

We rocked 'em at the Half Moon, they were dancing everywhere
Well, there must have been at least a hundred people there
And Madam's Organ was a madhouse
they were jammed up on the bar
For a minute there, you know I felt just like a star
Now you've got the van all loaded,
got a gig in Charlotte town
Gonna drive all night and then bring that frat house down

Chorus:

Hey, but we've been down so many roads, and I'm so damn tired and low
Just want to sit and watch the wind move through the trees
So just drive away now, don't look back
I hope you get where you want to go
A man's got to take the best road that he sees
You'll just have to take that next road without me

We've played together so long now, your beat pounds in my veins
Man, I hear you in my wipers when it rains
But I'm thirty-five years old now, and we're not gonna win this game
We tried so hard, there's really no one to blame
I'll sing our songs till the day I die, I'll miss your harmonies
But this crazy life has finally brought me to my knees

Bridge:

Driving those dark highways, pushing hard to get somewhere
Dreaming about those somedays, going fast but getting nowhere
Late night conversations, singing songs just to keep awake
Always wondering which wrong turn to take

Chorus

Discography

Massey's debut CD, "Blissful State of Blue," was released on his Poetic Debris lable in June 2004. A number of the 13 original tunes have received airplay on college radio and in Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. A new CD, "So Many Roads," should be finished in early 2007.

Set List

Typical Set List for 2 1/2 hour full band show:

Friend of the Devil
Just An Old Dog
Note to Miss Grady
Blissful State of Blue
Things That He’ll Never Be
Knocking On Heaven’s Door (cover)
Labor Day
Making Memories
Wild Horses (cover)

BREAK

Ride With You
Someplace So Far Away
So Many Roads
What You See
Since You Took My Ring
Angeline
January Wind
Drunken Letter
High Definition Day
A Better Way
The Weight (cover)
All Along the Watchtower (cover)