Don Auber

Don Auber

BandAmericanaFolk

Biography

He is a writer living in Athens, GA. His songs have been called conversations between Lead Belly and William Faulkner over absinthe. Don Auber’s compositions are a working mythology of Americana, with guitar work a hybrid of bluegrass and country blues, and lyrics owing equal debt to master songwriter Townes Van Zandt and the Southern Gothic literary work of Cormac McCarthy. Born in West Virginia, his roots are deep in Appalachia though the songs spill over landscapes across the continent. Dark fables of indiscernible time where the human animal struggles in godless lands bereft of borders or laws. This is the backdrop of Don Auber’s first release, New American Folk Songs, Volume 1.

Lyrics

Hammer and the Anvil

Written By: Don Auber

The sun peeks through the pines,
this morning I'm travelin'
The paths cross like spiderwebs as I follow
My friend I wish we had not met
with so few days to go
From Atlanta to Virginia,
you must have moved too slow

Swaying in the breeze my friend,
what a price we pay
Hold on mam and help me dig his grave
Should we find a roof today, should we find a bed?
Son, if we don't get moving soon
we too will be swining dead

I'm breaking rocks in the morning
and I do it all for you
My hands ache in the evening
and I do it all for you

My shadow is rising, blood runs down my legs
the thorns grab and pull me back again
No tracks on this railroad, there is no train to ride
Now the daylight has risen, we find a place to hide

So tell the southern blacksmith to hold another day
His hammer and his anvil I'm between
The next miles are crucial
past the Applachan mines
I got trouble back in Savannah,
lighting up the Georgia pines

I'm breaking rocks in the morning
and I do it all for you
My hands ache in the evening
and I do it all for you

The sun peeks through the pines,
so long I have been traveling
These paths cross like spiderwebs as I follow
My friend I wish we had not met
with so few days to go
From Atlanta to Virginia,
you must have moved too slow

You must have moved too slow
My friend, you must have moved too slow

Solace

Written By: Don Auber

I am the son of a farmer,
born with callused hands
We had an ox that died in drought
and then I plowed the land
I thought I drew the shortest straw
I dwelled on my loss
But good luck or bad it was
too soon to find the cost

Father came down from the fields
on one April day
He found five stallions running wild
we brought them in to tame
Then my plowing days were done,
I felt like I was free
And if it was bad luck or good
it was too soon to see

So meet me after midnight
and bring your vinyl records
I'll provide the whiskey
and the wine
We'll discuss the Waste Land
and laugh at death together
Take solace in our chances
That things will turn out fine

I drove them horses 'cross the fields
and I was alone
when I snapped a leg beneath a hoof
and barely made it home
I spent the summer on my back
with questions on my mind
if it was bad luck or good
I could not decide

Then one early August morning
I heard a knock upon the door
The State collecting able men
to take them off to war
But I was no use to them
so they kept marching by
and I can't comprehend this world
so I refuse to try

So meet me after midnight
and bring your vinyl records
I'll provide the whiskey
and the wine
We'll discuss the Waste Land
and laugh at death together
Take solace in our chances
that things will turn out fine

We will take solace in our chances
that things will turn out fine

Colonel Cyrus

Written By: Don Auber

His eyes are fierce this morning,
"I think it's time," said the Colonel
in his rocking chair, coffee in his hand
"Bring me the list of allies and all the burried money
we'll arm the starving peasants
and we'll bribe the printing presses,
give a stick to the masses
to push against the others
we will drink the wealthy's blood
and feed their entrails to the buzzards."
Cyrus was a master, he'd survived assasination
twenty, thirty times he has eyes just like an eagle

Cyrus sent in motion his twenty third rebellion
from a shack deep in the jungle
without electric power
he had allegiance from the farmers
and was loyal to the writers
he had two dozen children
to step right in behind him
And when they tried to kill him
with poison in his coffee
Cyrus only laughed and said
that it would make him stronger
He said "all the horses you could tie
to both my feet and hands
would not rip me from limb to limb,
it would spread me across the land."

I shall not yield
I shall not yield
they cried, from the hills
throughout the countryside

It was the peak of summer when the peasants dropped their shovels
the unspoken signal when the moon
was full above them
then with reckless abandon and rusty machates
they stormed the republic
without a thought of mercy
Cyrus led the massacre at mighty fort Dixon
he later took the bridges, cut his losses in the city
all were left to suffer and
absorb the wrath of time
as the righteous and the wicked
can blur the painted line

I shall not yield
I shall not yield
they cried, from the hills
throughout the countryside

Cyrus calmly swam in the blood of the rebellion
the seasons made a circle
and with his chances even
he marched on a road of bones
to negotiate at sunrise
no sense in victory when no one's left alive
and in the end it was the same
as every time before
nothing ventured, nothing gained,
the wicked fact remained
Cyrus sent back in hiding
and the despots held at bay
Indeed the meek may inherit the earth,
just not today

I shall not yield
I shall not yield
they cried, from the hills
throughout the countryside

Discography

New American Folk Songs, Volume 1

Set List

Original Songs:

The Hammer and the Anvil
Solace
The Coffin Builder
Last Harvest
Virgil & Riley
August 12, 1978
Tales of Blood and Thunder
Diamonds & Coal (Requiem for the Miner)
Three Thieves
Shoemaker Blues
The Mesa Collapse
Bakersfield
When the Birds Come to Feed
Colonel Cyrus
Traveler
Build a River
The Ballad of Mason Fields
Laudanum Blues
Reckoning
Smoke & Steam
Kerosene Eyes
Thick as Chains
Distance Within Distance
Scarecrow
Belltower Clock
Old Father Ocean
The Dark Horse
Kingdom of Sand

Covers:

Lungs (Townes Van Zandt)
John Barleycorn (traditional)
Wayfaring Stranger (traditional)
Off to Sea Once More (traditional)
Jockey Full of Bourbon (Tom Waits)
Ruben & Cerise (Garcia/Hunter)
To Live is to Fly (Townes Van Zandt)
Gallis Pole (Leadbelly)
Mountains of the Moon (Garcia/Hunter)
Pancho & Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)