Confessions of St. Ace

Produced by Gary Burnette and Rob Seidenberg

Guitar, Vocals, Harmony Vocals, Pump Organ: JWH
Guitars: Gary Burnette
Keyboards: Tim Lauer, Jeff Roach
Bass: Mark Hill
Drums: Greg Morrow, Steve Brewster
Percussion: Eric Darken
Pedal Steel: Al Perkins
French Horn: Jennifer Kummer
Harmony Vocals: Georgia Middleman, Mark Ivey, Michael Mellett, Big Kenny, John Rich
Lovesponge:
Kristin Wilkinson – viola
John Catchings – cello
David Davidson – violin
David Angell – violin
Steve Earle – Vocals and Mandolin on Our Lady Of The Highways
Jimmie Dale Gilmore – Vocals on Bad Dream Baby

Additional Musicians on People Love To Watch You Die:
Chris von Sneidern – Harmony
Scott McCaughey – Mellotron, Sleigh Bells and Tambourine
JWH – Electric Guitar Solo
Martin Feveyear – Percussion

Produced by Gary Burnette and Rob Seidenberg
Recorded and Mixed by Joe Baldridge
Recorded and Mixed in ten days in Tennesse at:
The Bennett House, Franklin (13/14th Sept 99)
Second Engineer: Shawn McClean
Dark Horse, Franklin (15th Sept 99)
Second Engineer: Rob Evans

Treasure Isle, Berry Hill (8th – 14th Nov 99)
Second Engineer: Dan Leffler
People Love To Watch You Die: additional recording and mix by Martin Feveyear at Jupiter Studios, Seattle, WA (14th Jan 00)
Arranged by Gary Burnette, Rob Seidenberg and JWH
String Quartet arranged by Kristin Wilkinson
Mastered by Brian Gardener at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Los Angeles (2nd Feb 00)

Photos: Carol Hodge
Design: Hammi
Set Design: Jack Hodge
Horticulturalist: Jim Sangster
Annotations to the lyrics: Wesley Stace, Christopher Stace
Management: Andre Goode at Fountainhead Management (Fountanhed@aol.com)
Representation: Steve Martin at The Agency Group, NYC
JWH and the RSPCJWH can be reached at P.O.Box 460717, SF, CA, 94146, USA or by writing to jwh@armory.com or visiting www.wesweb.net and www.johnwesleyharding.com

All songs written by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Music, Inc (ASCAP) except Bad Dream Baby written by Harding/McCaughey (Plangent Visions Music, Inc. (ASCAP)/ MacNor Music/Bug Music (BMI)) and People Love To Watch You Die written by Harding/Seidenberg/McCaughey/Baruck (Plangent Visions Music, Inc. (ASCAP)/MacNor Music/Bug Music (BMI), Mokshastrom Music (ASCAP)

Thankyou: Rob Seidenberg and Scott McCaughey, Gary Burnette, Joe Baldridge and everyone involved with the making of The Confessions, Andrea Goode, Peter Barnes and all at Plangent Visions, Abe Baruck and everyone at Hollywood Records, Steve Martin, Phil Jacobs, Madina Salaty and everyone at TAG, Jim Musselman and Josh Michaell at Appleseed records, Barbara Mitchell/Deluxxe Media, Pete Gerald, Diane Schroder, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Lloyd, The Minstrel In The Galleries now known as The English UK, Pete Jenner, Nigel Hinton, David Lewis, Rose Auerbach, Bob Whitfield, Martin Hollander and my family.

HUMBLE BEE (Harding)
Vocals, Harmony Vocals, Guitar: JWH
Guitar, Harmony Vocals: Gary Burnette
Piano, Organ, Harmony Vocals: Jeff Roach
Bass: Mark Hill
Drums: Greg Morrow
Harmony Vocals: Georgia Middleman, Mark Ivey, Michael Mellett

SHE’S A PIECE OF WORK (Harding)
Vocals: JWH
Guitar: Gary Burnette
Wurlitzer: Jeff Roach
Bass: Mark Hill
Drums: Greg Morrow
Harmony Vocals: Ken Alphin, John Rich

PEOPLE LOVE TO WATCH YOU DIE (Harding/McCaughey/Seidenberg/Baruck)
Vocals, Feedback Guitar, Harmony Vocals: JWH
Guitar: Gary Burnette
Piano, Hammond Organ: Tim Lauer
Mellotron, Sleigh Bells, Tambourine: Scott McCaughey
Bass: Mark Hill
Drums: Greg Morrow
French Horn: Jennifer Kummer
String Quartet: Lovesponge
Harmony Vocals: Chris von Sneidern
Choir: Georgia Middleman, Mark Ivey, Michael Mellett

I’M WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING (Harding)
Vocals: JWH
Guitar: Gary Burnette
Keyboards: Tim Lauer
Bass: Mark Hill
Drums: Steve Brewster
Percussion: Eric Darken
Harmony Vocals: Georgia Middleman, Mark Ivey, Michael Mellett

SAME PIECE OF AIR (Harding)
Vocals, Guitar: JWH
Guitar: Gary Burnette
Hammond Organ: Tim Lauer
Pedal Steel: Al Perkins
Bass: Mark Hill
Drums: Greg Morrow
Percussion: Eric Darken
Harmony Vocals: Georgia Middleman, Mark Ivey, Michael Mellett

OLD GIRLFRIENDS (Harding)
Vocals, Pump Organ: JWH
Guitar, Pump Organ: Gary Burnette
Hammond Organ, Rhodes: Tim Lauer
Bass: Mark Hill
Drums: Steve Brewster
Percussion: Eric Darken
Harmony Vocals: Georgia Middleman, Mark Ivey, Michael Mellett

BAD DREAM BABY (Harding/McCaughey)
Vocals, Harmony Vocals: JWH
Vocals: Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Guitar, Garbage Can, Plastic Chair, Music Stand: Gary Burnette
Keyboards: Tim Lauer
Bass: Mark Hill
Drums: Greg Morrow
Clave, Ray Gun:Joe Baldridge.

GOTH GIRL (Harding)
Vocals: JWH
Guitar: Gary Burnette
Guitar: Neddy The Goth
Keyboards: Tim Lauer
Bass: Mark Hill
Drums: Greg Morrow
Percussion: Eric Darken
Harmony Vocals: Georgia Middleman, Mark Ivey, Michael Mellett

YOU IN SPITE OF YOURSELF (Harding)
Vocals, Harmony Vocals, Organ, Guitar: JWH
Guitar: Gary Burnette
Keyboards: Jeff Roach
Bass: Mark Hill
Drums: Greg Morrow
Harmony Vocals: Mark Ivey, Michael Mellett, Duane Jarvis

OUR LADY OF THE HIGHWAYS (Harding)
Vocals: JWH
Vocals and Mandolin: Steve Earle
Accordion and Harmonica: Tim Lauer
Pedal Steel: Al Perkins
Bass: Mark Hill
Drums: Steve Brewster
Percussion: Eric Darken

AFTER THE FACT (Harding)
Vocals: JWH
Guitar: Gary Burnette
Mellotron, Percussion: Jeff Roach
Bass: Mark Hill
Drums: Greg Morrow

TOO MUCH INTO NOTHING (Harding)
Vocals: JWH
Guitar: Gary Burnette
Morse Code: Joe Burnette
Mellotron: Tim Lauer
Bass: Mark Hill
Drums: Steve Brewster
Percussion: Eric Darken
String quartet: Lovesponge

Humble Bee

Once upon a time
I could have had it all
A princess with a price on her head
Or the prince who’d climb her wall
But when pride has it in for someone
None of us can check the fall
Now I’m humble as a bumblebee
I’m getting used to how things have to be
Just another mumble
Buzzing round and round in rings
So afraid that I won’t be king

This is the sting, I still want everything
Here is the twist, you’re on my list and
Here’s what I mean, you’re still the queen
And I want you
Now I wonder
If I will ever be
The lighthouse in a sea of shadows
That you were when you shined for me
When I was going under
You knew when and where to be
Now I’m as good as Ebenezer after his conversion
I’d give all my goods away with no coercion
I’d give almost anything
Just to hear the hum of your wings
This is the sting, I still want everything
Here is the twist, you’re on my list and
Here’s what I mean, you’re still the queen
And I want you, honey, I want you
I was as ’umble as Uriah
Just before his tumble
But I fumbled for the best of me
Amongst the jumble
Heaven knows where we went wrong
Don Quixote or Donkey Kong
This is the sting, I still want everything
Here is the twist, you’re on my list
Here’s what I mean, you’re still the queen
And I want you, honey, I want you
I want you

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

She’s A Piece of Work

Some things look hard and then they’re not
Like getting on a tightrope and falling off
But there’s never been anything harder than losing her
She’s so demanding, so intense
Her expectation of the ordinary is so immense
Better take her at her word
It would be easier to give up than live up to her
Such ludicrous perfection isn’t found on earth
And for anyone who said that love was easy
I said, for anyone who said that love was easy
She’s a piece of work

She’s up and down, she’s round the wheel
She’s governed absolutely by the way she feels
That’s a lethal combination in a small house when it rains
We sit around, then it pours
Me, I’m so addicted to the great indoors
And she wants to shine again
She’s the only person I have ever met
Who makes me feel I haven’t tried hard yet
And for anyone who said that love was easy
I said, for anyone who said that love was easy
She’s a piece of work

And for anyone who said that love was easy
For anyone who said that love was easy
She’s a piece of work

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

People Love to Watch You Die

People love to watch you die
And wonderful to tell
People you have never met
Claim to know you well
People love to watch you die
Dig your dignity
One guy said ’he’s better dead
Than how he used to be’
They’ll sell the souvenirs
And the relics of your tears
They build a little shrine, wait until it shines
They love to watch you die and you know why

People love to watch you die
It gets them sexually
And then they smoke a cigarette
And make a cup of tea
People love to watch you fry
They love to throw the switch
They’ll either have you crucified
Or burn you as a witch
They send bouquets of flowers
And then stare at space for hours
They build a little shrine, wait until it shines
They love to watch you die and you know why

People love to watch you die
Then give your family hell
They call it grief but it’s just a relief
And they know that full well
People love to watch you drown
The symbol’s what they need
They’d rather not see you at all
Than watch your hair recede
And just to watch your pain
They’d bring you back to life again
They build a little shrine, sing you Auld Lang Syne
They love to watch you die and you know why

Music and lyrics by Harding/Seidenberg/McCaughey/Baruck (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP/MacNor Music/Bug Music, BMI/ Mokshastrom Music, ASCAP)

Featured track—hear the whole thing

I’m Wrong About Everything

You win the argument
At the end of every night
I never know the perfect time
To hit the bedside light
Then we lie awake
Watch headlights climb the blinds
I want you to know what’s going on
In my mind
I thought I was immortal a little while ago
I thought that I was right but now I know
I’m wrong about everything
I think that I can sing
And when you hear the song, you’ll wanna sing along
I’m wrong about everything
Think I know what’s happening
I think you’ll like our song, but I’m wrong

The colours fade to grey
And I’m left with black and white
Don’t know why I try
To fight with what is right
The truth is on our lips
It looks like time to tell
But you know I could be wrong about that as well
I thought a happy ending was more or less assured
I thought a little warmth could win the war
I’m wrong about everything
I think that I can sing
And when you hear the song, you’ll wanna sing along
I’m wrong about everything
Think I know what’s happening
I think you’ll like our song, but I’m wrong

I’ll do the best I can
To be your lover man
I’ll stand corrected
Just to be elected
I’ll do what I can do
To get up close to you
Listen.... Sh......
I’m wrong about everything
I think that I can sing
And when you hear the song, you’ll wanna sing along
I’m wrong about everything
Think I know what’s happening
I think you’ll like our song, but I’m wrong

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Same Piece of Air

Yesterday we were the best of friends
Today we can’t get back again
Time has crept in crevices
And patterns down the wall
We could paint over the papered cracks
Tomorrow they would all crack back
Who are we to try to stop the fall?
There’s no reason to worry
There’s no reason to care
There’s no reason to wonder
It’s not going anywhere
And we used to love to share the same piece of air

We behave like real human beings
Who eat, then wash the dishes clean
But I have held you in my arms
And tried to read your mind
And maybe baby if we both relax
The axe that grinds behind our backs
Will wear itself to nothing over time
There’s no reason to worry
There’s no reason to care
There’s no reason to wonder
We’re not going anywhere
And we used to love to share the same piece of air
We used to breathe in and out together
Every one second lasted forever

There’s no reason to worry
There’s no reason to care
There’s no reason to wonder
We’re not going anywhere
And we used to love to share the same piece of air

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Old Girlfriends

Could they call your name much louder
Those sirens on the shore
Arresting your attention
Standing easy by the door
Deny them if you want to
Defy them if you dare
Just when you thought you’d shelved them
In the cupboard marked ’Beware!’

Out of the then, Into the now
Ghost who’ll make the most of every morsel you’ll allow them
Though we know you’ve changed so much since then
They’ll get you in the end
They’re your old girlfriends

Do you think you could avoid them
As you skim from page to page
These permanent reminders
That you never act your age
There’s traps in every dedication
Bombs in every drawer
Strands of hair (Unfair! Unfair!)
Now tripwires on the floor

Out of the then, Into the now
Ghosts who’ll make the most of every morsel you’ll allow them
Though we know you’ve changed so much since then
They’ll get you in the end
They’re your old girlfriends
(Ladies from Hades)

There are habits that we cast aside
And ones we can’t unlearn
Some crap we do not deserve
But most of it we earn

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Bad Dream Baby

She had a criminal conversation with the devil
On the back seat of a burned out Toyota Camry
She said she’d finally found a way to start a family
But not one soul could conceive that she was on the level
And the strange thing was she didn’t seem to care
He got what he came for and left her to kiss the air

But the baby burned like bitumen inside her
That inhuman son of a bitch never even called her
The doctor said, ’It’ll be some kind of daughter’
She dreamed she gave birth to a thousand spiders
Who crawled up to her ear and called her mother
And whispered words of wonder from her other love
There There, There There
It’ll be all right, It’s just a dream
A bad dream baby

The days flew by like petals on a flower
Until the hour she screamed out with a vengeance
The busy father could not be in attendance
Although he sent his people to the baby shower
And her tiny eyes were brighter than the sun
And shone upon her mother more than anyone
There There, There There
It’ll be all right, It’s just a dream
A bad dream baby

Now when mother dreams her dark and handsome stranger
Good daughter brings her messages and money
Changes dirt and dust to bread and honey
The dowager’s reward for peopling the manger
And that little girl is growing in this world
You can tell she’ll always be her daddy’s girl
You can tell she’ll always be her daddy’s little girl
It’ll be all right, It’s just a dream
A bad dream baby

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding and Scott McCaughey (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP/ MacNor Music/Bug Music, BMI)

Goth Girl

Goth girl
What are you wearing today
Black again
Goth girl
It’s such a fine day in May
But you think it’s raining
One day I’m gonna kiss the lipstick off your mouth

Goth girl
Why so afraid of the sun
Do you hate the light
Goth girl
You should be out having fun
And home by midnight
I can’t see your eyes behind your bangs
As you sit there on the wall and bare your fangs
At men like me but
One day I’m gonna kiss the lipstick off your mouth
I’m gonna kiss the lipstick off your mouth
Goth girl

Goth girl
Who is the guy on the leash
Does he wash dishes
Goth girl
He looks like Pete Murphy to me
Oh yeah he wishes
I know he’s appropriately frail
But I bet he can’t afford to take you to Nine Inch Nails
I’ve got two tickets
One day I’m gonna kiss the lipstick off your mouth
I’m gonna kiss the lipstick off your mouth
Goth girl

Goth girl
I know you’re supersmart
You’ve turned your bad habits into art
Your fake black magic accessories
Have cast a real spell on me

Goth girl
When will I see you again
It’s been two weeks
Goth girl
I asked the rest of your friends
But they don’t speak to me
One day I’m gonna kiss the lipstick off your mouth
I’m gonna wipe the lipstick off your mouth
Goth girl
Goth girl
Undead undead undead

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

You In Spite of Yourself

What have they done to you darling?
What did you let them do?
Cos I can’t believe they’d get that far
Without some assistance from you
Did you offer scant resistance
When the black light turned to blue?
Was it everything you dreamed of?
Did you think you’d still be you
In spite of yourself?

What have they done to you, darling?
How’d they get away with that?
When you saw their funny mouse suits
Did you know that they were rats?
And I think, I know, I’m sure you were
Aware of every ruse
You’ve even changed your name
Maybe that’s why you’re confused
In spite of yourself

Through a crack in your disguise
Your eye is peeping through
And it’s like sunlight through the curtains

What have they done to you, darling?
Who are they anyway?
Give us their addresses
We’ll hear what they have to say
We revile the things we hate
But give credit where it’s due
And you’ve had a big fakeover
It could be a big improvement
But I guess that you’re still you
You in spite of yourself

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Our Lady of the Highways

I’m here in Philadelphia
She got caught down in DC
It’s a wretched night, it’s raining
But she’s coming up to meet me
There’s nothing I can do
By the time she gets halfway
She’ll be tired of 95
The spray off those trucks sucks
I hope she gets through alive

Our Lady of the Highways
Keep my baby straight tonight
Guide her safely down the road
Keep her always in the light
Let the sad moon looking down on me
Shine bright as she comes here
’’Til Our Lady of the Highways
May appear

Sometimes the weather’s worst
When you have some place to be
Like the time we drove to Boston
In the snow from New York City
Frozen to the bone
And we saw the planes fly high above
On metal wings and prayers
And tried to find some radio
Hoping one day we would be there

Our Lady of the Highways
Keep my baby straight tonight
Guide her safely down the road
Keep her always in the light
Let the sad moon looking down on me
Shine bright as she comes here
’’Til Our Lady of the Highways
May appear

And I guess she always gets here
Heaven knows just how she does
And that statue of our Lady
Is crying tears of love

Now I’m in San Francisco
A town too hard for love
She’s driving from Seattle
800 miles above me
Why are we apart?
So please don’t let the fog roll

Heavy on that Highway 5
I want her here so soon
But I want her here alive

Our Lady of the Highways
Keep my baby straight tonight
Guide her safely down the road
Keep her always in the light
Let the sad moon looking down on me
Shine bright as she comes here
’’Til Our Lady of the Highways
May appear

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

After the Fact

There is a room that you just now walked out of
It has everything in it but you
There’s a mirror that knew what you looked like
And a door that has ruined the view
There’s a carpet depressed by your footsteps
A hallway which echoes their sound
There’s an arrow that points to the exit
And a lift that goes no further down, no further down

There’s a stage play that shows every evening
With no prompter, no plot and no lines
The actors don’t know what they’re doing
They improvise all of their lives
And the action’s all happening offstage
Where the props meet the actual things
Someone saw you with a gun in your hand
I heard the report from the wings

You say you’re leaving
When I know that you’re gone
After the fact, you’ll be back
But long after the song

If ever I try to run after
The ceiling reveals the sky
The carpet is pulled out from under
The walls disappear in the flies
Behind them, the lenses of cameras
They all want a piece of us now
The story behind the unmaking
The what and the why and the how
Excuse if I choose not to bow

You say you’re leaving
When I know that you’re gone
After the fact, you’ll be back
But long after the song is gone
After the fact, you’ll be gone
But long after the song

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Too Much Into Nothing

I’d love to get inside your head
And let’s be blunt
There are other words
That rhyme as well
But that’s just the way I am
Understand
That I am underneath your spell

Am I reading too much into the way you touch me?
When you brush by, it’s much too much
Am I reading too much into nothing?

I know all the codes and signs
Yours and mine
I read the words between your lines
Who knows what’s you’ll do next?
I’ll reflect
Anything you choose to shine
Am I reading too much into the way you touch me?
When you brush by, it’s much too much
Am I reading too much into nothing?
Am I reading too much into the things you do?
And do they mean the same to you?
Am I reading too much into nothing?

Am I thinking too hard about the things you say?
A glance can last me one whole day

Am I reading too much into the way you touch me?
When you brush by, it’s much too much
Am I reading too much into nothing?

Am I reading too much into the way you touch me?

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Radical Gentlemen press photo by Carol Hodge

JWH press photo

The Our Lady of the Highways monument is located off I-95 somewhere between Washington DC and Delaware.