"Desert Dreams"

Rick's Swan Song

In June 2021, when Rick was about to undergo surgery for esophageal cancer, we set out to record some previously unrecorded songs that were dear to our hearts. He was not strong enough to go into a studio, so we recorded them at home. Don Turney, of DKS Productions, took the raw tracks and mixed and mastered them for us. We received the mix back from Don on October 6. Rick and I listened to the full album that evening together with his daughters, Flea and Chrysta. Rick gave the project his thumbs up and died a few hours later in my arms, in the early hours of October 7, 2021.
 

He was the love of my life, and I will miss him so terribly.

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Please enjoy clips of each song along with a complete copy of the lyrics.

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Another Run at Love

I have no issues with the past – what’s done is done.
The loves, the work, the broken dreams…
Some battles lost, some battles won. 
Is this contentment?  Is this success?
If Life’s a story – I must confess….


There’s no agenda for today – just hour to hour
Another round trip for the sun,
Another petal fallen off the flower.
Is this enough for me? Is this a mess?
Yes, it might be fun to take another run at love….

 

It’s no fun eating on your own – can’t taste the food.
The wine is sour, the jokes are dull.
You always end up saying something rude.
Am I that lonely bear?  Is this the wood? 
Yes it might be fun to take another run at love. 

© Rick Jones

 

On the Road with You

Its Friday night,  i just got home

Car’s all packed, we’re ready to go

Two guitars, and  a suitcase of dreams…..

 

The sun is setting the hills on fire          

Birds are gathering on the wire,

We’re not quite sure where we’re heading to

On the road with you.

 

I’ve seen rainbows cross the desert floor

Mighty waves pound the Pacific shore    

Ten rooms of pianos in a tiny Mexican town.                              

A green flash at the ocean as the sun goes down

On the road with you.

 

Tonight the road stretches on ahead

Aim for the stars, I thought you said

Searching for something you’d never see

Tomorrow some small desert town

We play guitars as the sun goes down

Watch the mountains turn to blue

On the road with you.

 

I’ve seen ballerinas dance in the dunes

Canoed under a rainbow to the call of the loon

Ghosts spring to life on a warm Canadian night

Angels like butterflies, ghostly white.

On the road with you…….

© Valerie Neale

Thunder

Sitting in the dark with his heart on fire,

Didn’t know if it was hatred or deep desire.

But whatever it was her face was there

Like a dream on ice her long black was shining.

 

Back in the bar he could hear the crowd

It was Friday night they were very loud

If he went back in it could all go wrong

Maybe the cost was more than a song unwinding

 

She left the door ajar a crack

His soul slipped out and he wanted it back

He turned and stumbled back into the bar

Behind him the sound of a starting car

And he wondered.

Still sitting there in the neon dark,

Saturday morning with a charcoal heart,

 Maybe it wasn't her old Ford truck

 But he knew that ancient gearbox grinding

 

He'd been through all this crap before

He stared at the beer & grease on the floor

Then the waitress came in and then back out the door

And the Budweiser clock said 10 to 4 and it was blinding

Somebody left the door ajar

His soul flew out and jumped in that car

And it squealed away to the purple hills

Past the Joshua trees and the dead stamp mills

And it thundered.

He can still be seen in the Eagles Drift

Near the pinball machines the sands are shifting

Across the original road to town

A lonely cop with his girlfriend's dog he's minding

 

Nobody remembers that summer night,

Not even him in this afternoon light

It’s all gone away with the desert wind,

The beer’s still cold and only his sin reminds him

Somebody left the door ajar

His soul flew out and jumped in that car

And it squealed away to the purple hills

Past the Joshua trees and the dead stamp mills

And it thundered

© Rick Jones

Desert Dreams

Pictures runnin’ ‘round inside my head

Sittin’ here watching the valley turn red

Outside my eyes the world is blue

All I ever do is think about you                                      

Waitin’ for a star to fall – light up the desert like a fireball

  

We were drawin’ pictures in the sand last night

Friends’ faces  in the pale moonlight

I looked at you and your eyes were sad

I hoped I hadn’t gone and done something bad

Waitin’ for a star to fall – light up the desert like fireball.

 

Desert dreams  ……

  

Long way up the marble halls

Slow like water the marble falls

Wish I could run the film in reverse

This forward time is such a curse

Waitin’ for a star to fall – light up the desert like fireball.

  

Desert dreams …

© Rick Jones

 

Strange

I was punished, not by my fellow employees, not by the gods or the court

I was punished my central control, Cencon we call it for short

I was punished, punished for singing a love song and using my scan as a drum

Instead of research on time warps for the epic struggle to come

 

And I woke up somewhere else, wearing somebody else’s face

Singing with somebody else’s voice, I was a member of the human race!

I looked around, and found a few small differences

Between your world and mine

Love to you was just a word, to us it was sublime

Strange that you still go to war, strange that goods are bought and sold

Strange that you have rich and poor

Strange that you grow old!

 

I was punished. Pain must not be inflicted

I was punished in a most humane way

They just sent me off to sleep for forever minus a day

And I woke up somewhere else, wearing somebody else’s face

Singing with somebody else’s voice I was a member of the human race!

 

I looked around and found a few small differences

Between your world and mine

Love to you was just a word, to us it was divine

Strange you slaughter fish and birds

Strange you call another ‘king’

Strange that you still dream of peace

Strange that you still sing!

© Rick Jones

 

Boy in the Blue Caravan   

 

Twelve years old, my world was two miles square

Jump on my bike, and ride who knows where

Down through the park and across the stream

Looking for life…….. In search of a dream

 

Came to a wood where the air was cool

There stood a boy with eyes like pools

He held out his hand with a cheeky grin

I laid down my bike and followed him in …..

 

The boy in the blue caravan …..     

                                            

Dive through the hedge to the other side

Queen Anne’s lace stands four feet high

Down a track beside the wood

In a shaft of light, ……..the caravan stood

 

Warm and enticing as a candy bar

The door to the caravan stood ajar

Visions of Narnia through the door

But I didn’t go through, so I never saw more….

 

The boy in the blue caravan....

 

Draw me a chariot, draw me some kings

Draw me a unicorn, with bright golden wings

He drew them all, and then some more

A heart split in two….., a key to a  door…..

 

The wood’s still there, but the field has gone

Big glass buildings catch the sun.

Did I dream that beside the wood

By the hole in the hedge ……….the caravan stood?

 

It shone like a jewel, reflected the sky

Queen Anne’s lace stood four feet high

His eyes like pools and his puckish grin

Would I have seen Narnia if I’d gone in?

  

With the boy in the blue caravan ……

© Valerie Neale

 

Pretty Houses in Heaven

 

Let me tell you a story – about trust and devotion –

About crossing life’s ocean – about music and love;

Miraculous skyscapes – true hearts in commotion,                                         

The language of liars, the hawk and the dove.

                                   

Here we have Laura caught up in a love-trap,         

Whipped by emotion – climbing alone.

Here we have children – torn between parents

Sides have been taken – the rules set in stone.

                            

How does it happen? Pretty houses in heaven,

Families at table – laughter and joy,           

Suddenly broken, suddenly silent

Limbs all akimbo like a castaway toy?

 

She was shining and happy – sure of tomorrow,

Raising his young ones – mother and child

He was her hero – riding tall in the saddle;

Strong and  protective – handsome and wild.

 

Where do they come from? The girls with agendas

That scent of an angel – those come-again eyes?

Sent from perdition to test the most steadfast,

Then to tear out your heartstrings and say their goodbyes?

 

How does it happen? Sure hearts and sweet music,

Voices in concord – raised in sweet song

Suddenly broken, suddenly silent.

You pick through the  ruins to find out what went wrong.

 

 Let me tell you a story – about fate and connection,

About a heart’s misdirection – for reasons unknown.

Harmonious circles and the songs of a madman

Echo down through the redwoods – and strike to the bone.

 

Will the circle be mended? – will the lovers remember

The path through the forest – to that place in the heart?

Will there be justice -  in the eyes of the goddess?

Will she show him the target? Will she hand him the dart?

 

How does it happen? - pretty houses in heaven

Songs of reunion – peace in our time –

Pray for the morning – pray for sunlight and music

Pray for the lovers – the tune and the rhyme!

  

Pretty houses in heaven, pretty houses in heaven

Pretty houses in heaven…….. that used to be mine.

© Rick Jones

 

Petals on a Bough 

There she stands, like the summer of our childhood

Like the promise of redemption

Like the mother who would always show me how

Like the petals on a bough…….

 

Hear her song, like the morning of creation

Like a battlefield in silence

Like the sweetness of the loam behind the plow                                           

Like the petals on a bough

                       

And the words are like arrows in your heart 

And the tune tears your memory apart

And the voice of the woman, takes your fear and your sorrow

Its already tomorrow  in your mind

There she stands…..

                       

There she stands, and i think i smell redemption

Just a hint of printed cotton

And a long lost love that skitters ‘cross her brow   

Like the petals on a bough

           

Hear her song                                                                     

Its an echo in the forest, and it sings of summer sadness

The final hope that loving will allow

Like the petals on a bough

 

And the words are like arrows in your heart

And the tune tears your memory apart          

And the voice of the woman, takes your fear and your sorrow

Its already tomorrow  in your mind

And you can no longer borrow any time

There she stands…..

©Rick Jones

 

The Anniversary

Headed east from San Diego, slicin’ through the rain –

Looking for the mission, just to see that place again.

Sing our favorite duos in the stormy Monday morn

To the valley where the rainbows are born.

 

Twenty years and lots of tears have flown into the past

No one knew and no one cared how long this love would last

Just another double-act, the edges slightly worn

To the valley where the rainbows are born.

To the valley where the rainbows are born

 

Santa Ysabel, remember?

Santa Ysabel, remember?

Santa Ysabel, remember?

The valley where the rainbows are born

 

Just a simple grove of trees planted long ago

Shade for the souls of many folk – I wonder where  they go?

Here they lived their stories, the saviour and the horn

In the valley where the rainbows are born.

 

Once we felt like strangers now it feels like home!

Like the trees our roots take hold never more to roam!

Unexpected flowers  in the desert so forlorn

In the valley where rainbows are  born.

 

Santa Ysabel, remember?

Santa Ysabel, remember?

Santa Ysabel, remember?

The valley where the rainbows are born

© Rick Jones

 

Bristlecone Pine

I’m as old as a bristlecone pine

But my fingers are still workin’ fine

So I’m playin' a tune with you in mind

It’s a way to forget and a way to unwind

I forget that I’m playing alone

I’m as old as the bristlecone.

 

I’m as old as the bristlecone pine

But I still like a glass of good wine

Can't believe all the lovin’ I got

Can't believe that I never got caught

And my future's as bright as bone,

I'm as old as the Bristlecone

 

Crusty and dusty and set in my ways.

Gettin' fatter, singin' flatter

Lovin’ these wonderful God given days.

Dreaming of you, I never get blue.

 

I’m as old as the bristlecone pine

But my feet are still walkin’ the line

Don’t remember the times that I sinned

Or the loves blown away in the wind

The proverbial rolling stone….

I’m as old as the bristlecone.

© Rick Jones

My Old Friend

You're as cozy as an old worn sweater.

You're as comfy as my favorite pair of shoes                                  

I love to bury my face in your shoulder.

Feel your warmth and feel the smell of you.

When the first light of dawn slides through the blinds

Three cats on the bed, you open your eyes          

The mocking bird sings night has come to an end,

And we say  “good morning darling, hello my old friend.”

                         

I love it when you fold your arms around me.

I love the way you ease me when I'm bruised.

With your comfort I feel so much better.

It's a recipe to chase away the blues.

The morning's light first picks out your face

Kick the cats off the bed, stretch to reclaim your place                   

Close your eyes you don't want the night to end

But first say  “Good morning darling. Hello my old friend.”

 

It’s been a long long time since you came into my life

We've had a lot of laughs and we had our share of fights                    

But we've had so many loving afternoons and nights.....

 

You're as easy as that old worn armchair,  

I like to curl up in and read on a Sunday afternoon

You're as warm as that old wool blanket.

Wrap me up safe in my cocoon

The night rolls  in, you've got that look in you eye

Three cats settle in, purr their lullaby

Before we close our eyes and sleep descends,

We say “Good night darlin’ sleep tight my old friend”

© Valerie Neale                      

 

When You Walked Through My Door

(Rick Jones final words...) 

 

Oh it’s hard to write a song about a broken heart

When your heart’s not broken anymore.

All those shattered pieces seemed to come back together

When you walked in my door.

 

 

We sailed on troubled waters through some wicked old storms

And my heart washed up along the shore.

Then you waded from the waters of the Ocean of Love

And walked right through my door.

 

 

And my troubles seemed to lift right off my shoulders.

And I didn’t have to worry anymore.

It might as well have been a band of angels

When you walked through the door.

 

 

Oh it’s hard to write a song about forsaken love

Or a marriage strewn across the floor

Cuz  we’ve been goin’ steady now for the twenty-odd years

Since you walked through my door.

 

And maybe all the sailing hasn’t been real smooth

And I still have some stuff I'm struggling' for

But its easier to stand and look Life straight in the face

Since you walked through my door.

 

 

And my cares just seemed to melt into the morning

And life no longer strikes me as a chore

It might as well have been a band of angels

When you walked through my door.

© Rick Jones

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