Ranchers for Peace

Ranchers for Peace


Ranchers for Peace are Charles & Ray Duncan, a father/daughter duo from the Central Coast of CA with a fresh take on acoustic folk-rock they’ve termed “neo-hippie protest music.” Thoughtful songwriting, heartfelt harmonies, and jangly guitar/harmonica unite for a re-birth of that change-the-world attitude heard blowing in the wind during the Summer of Love.


By now you’ve caught on that the Ranchers for Peace are not actually involved in the livestock business. We manage no acreage other than whatever square footage of stage we happen to occupy at any given moment. Our kind of ranching is done in the same dimly lit, borderless region where songs come from, where worldly concerns combine with empathy and -- on a good day -- become audible. In other words, while our ranch isn’t exactly a real place you can find on a map, you can often hear it plain enough: at our shows, on our 2012 EP “Tell All The World,” and in the Autumn 2012 edition of Sing Out! Magazine which spotlights our single “W.A.B. (Walking Around Black),” our response to the senseless killing in Florida last winter of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.
And sorry, but the “peace” we’re for isn’t exactly real either, in the sense that no such thing actually exists. But it is more than merely metaphorical: it’s a conceptual reference point, like north or east, toward which we can steer. This is because peace, like happiness, is not something that can be directly invoked, but is instead a by-product that only arises in the presence of other favorable conditions. It is therefore our mission on this here ranch is to advocate for such conditions, and to join our noise with the long tradition of folksingers, bards, and troubadours who have done the same.


Hobby Horse

Written By: Chas. Duncan

When the lights go out
on this circus of hardware
The last bucket of nails is going to be
An arm and a leg and then some

It’s a dead-end road
And they don’t take credit cards there:
Look what this hobby horse has now become

The Jesus of cool
can pretend he don’t mind it
A hungry dog, he don’t care
if his dinner is plain or handsome

There’s a big Eight Ball
With humanity behind it
Aw, look what this hobby horse has now become

A Japanese watch
won’t feed the four billion
But just one day’s tears would fill
Every municipal stadium

Ten thousand die
Each time we bank another zillion
Aw, look what this hobby horse has now become

When God was born
could he picture what we’re stuck with:
Such a beautiful Stone he made
for us to whittle History from

But Disneyland
was the best we could come up with
Aw, look what this hobby horse has now become

Favor From The Rain

Written By: Chas. Duncan

Maybe this rain
will carry our sins away
and lead us to a brighter day
away from this pain
Where anger and mistrust
Are swept away and justice
And compassion will remain

We ask this favor from this rain

Maybe these eyes
Will finally look around and see
A place where any child can be
Kept free from the stain
Of prejudice and hate
That strangle the tall gates
Of Freedom in their wicked chain

We ask this favor from this rain

Let it fall on every rooftop
And wash every street
Let it swallow every raging fire
And cool the heat

Maybe one heart
Will open all its windows wide
And let the light it holds inside
Pour out and show plain
Why our hearts should never be
Shut tight by fear when we
Need all the love they can contain

We ask this favor from this rain

Down a crooked road we’ve come,
Brother ring that bell, Sister bang that drum:

We need this favor from this rain

Five Miles To Water

Written By: Chas. Duncan

Over eight pounds a gallon
And a can will take five
And they’re hauling water to stay alive
And it isn’t thought proper
For the men or boys
But the girls and women, they have no choice

Before the sun comes up
They’re on that muddy track
Five miles to water and five miles back

So: a fifty pound child
And her forty pound load
on her bare feet walking a lonely road
Could be soldiers waiting,
Or men with guns,
Who could have their way while water runs


When they’re filling their Gerries
Where their animals go
They can carry home more than they know
‘cause it might be muddy
And sometimes it smells
But when baby’s thirsty there’s nowhere else


L.A., London,
New York or Rome
You got hot and cold running right in your home
Yeah, and all the while
In these other worlds
There’s a system running on little girls


(last) Daughters of one same mother
White or brown or black
Five miles to water and five miles back

Tell All The World

Written By: Chas. Duncan

When right meets right
The truth gets lost somewhere
Tell all the world, it’ll still be there

When wrong meets wrong
Hope goes to who knows where
Tell all the world it’ll still be there

:Tell all the world: (3x)
It’ll still be there

We eat our fill
Does hunger disappear?
Tell all the world it’ll still be here

Can freedom breathe
Without an atmosphere?
Tell all the world it’ll still be here

:Tell all the world: (3x)
It’ll still be here

Between the mortar and the stone
Of politics and lust
There lies the sweetest love that’s known
The love that’s pounded into dust

The final god
Sits in his lightning chair
And he waits for us
To free our measly prayer
Our time is short
But Time itself don’t care
Tell all the world it’ll still be there

:Tell all the world: (3x)
It’ll still be there

Mercy Island

Written By: Chas. Duncan

You can’t walk
to Mercy Island
until the tide
is running low

But when you hear
the seabirds crying
you will know
it’s time to go

And every step
along the causeway
and every mile
will take their toll

But the light,
it shines a long way
to the bottom
of your soul


EP: "Tell All The World" -- June 2012

Single: "W. A. B. (Walking Around Black)" -- Autumn 2012 edition of Sing Out! Magazine (& compilation CD)

Set List

Hobby Horse
Gunfight on the Beach
Deportee (Guthrie/Hoffman)
Cancel the Sun
Five Miles to Water
Corporation Farm
Walking Around Black
Favor From the Rain
Tell All The World
Mercy Island
Built This City
Not Alone