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The Revolution Starts...Now

(click song for lyrics) Streams:
(Must have Real Player)
The Revolution Starts Now
Rich Man's War
F The CC
The Revolution Starts Now(Radio Version)
F The CC(Radio Version)
Revolution album cover
cover art:   Tony Fitzpatrick 

Liner Notes

The word "immediate" best describes the atmosphere around the studio as this record was being made in the late spring of 2004. The prisoner abuse scandal had just broken and the Bush administration, still reeling from the 9/11 commission hearings, was circling the wagons. The Democrats, for their part, were carefully (sometimes, in my opinion, too carefully) trying to sort out how best to press the advantage. Meanwhile, back here in Tennessee, me and my boys had a deadline to meet.

The most important presidential election of our lifetime was less than seven months away and we desperately wanted to weigh in, both as artists and as citizens of a democracy. All but two of these songs were recorded within 24 hours of the first line hitting the paper. We worked 12- and 14-hour days and in between takes and over meals we talked about the war, the election, baseball, and women, in precisely that order.

Maybe I am getting old.

Democracy is hard work. American democracy requires constant vigilance to survive and nothing short of total engagement to flourish. Voting is vital, but in times like these voting alone simply isnít enough. By the time some of you hear these songs the election will be over. Then the real struggle begins.

When the dust clears and the votes are all counted (weíre watchiní YOU, Jeb) it will be up to all of us- Democrats, Republicans, Greens, and independents alike-to hold whomever is left standing accountable for their actions on our behalf every single day that they are in power. The day after the election, regardless of the outcome, the war will go on, outsourcing of our jobs will continue, and over a third of our citizens will have no health care coverage whatsoever.

Like I said, itís hard work and thereís so much to be done. And there always will be.

The Constitution of The United States of America is a REVOLUTIONARY document in every sense of the word. It was designed to evolve, to live, and to breathe like the people that it governs. It is, ingeniously, and perhaps conversely, resilient enough to change with the times in order to meet the challenges of its third century and rigid enough to preserve the ideals that inspired its original articles and amendments. As long as we are willing to put in the work required to defend and nurture this remarkable invention of our forefathers, then I believe with all my heart that it will continue to thrive for generations to come. Without our active participation, however, the future is far from certain. For without the lifeblood of the human spirit even the greatest documents produced by humankind are only words on paper or parchment, destined to yellow and crack and eventually crumble to dust.

Yours for the motherfuckiní revolution,

Steve Earle

Fairview, Tennessee
May 2004

For Johnny Cash and Warren Zevon ó See you when I get there, brothers.


Produced by Steve Earle and Ray Kennedy for the twangtrust
Recorded and mixed by Ray Kennedy at Room & Board, Hermitage, TN
Assisted by Patrick Earle
Production Coordinator: Elisa Sanders
Guitar technicalities: Greg "Chief" Frahn
Mastered by Jim DeMain at Yes Master Studios, Nashville, TN

Steve Earle: guitars, mandola, organ, harmonica, harmonium, vocals
and The Dukes:
Eric "Roscoe" Ambel: guitars, vocals
Kelley Looney: bass, vocals
Will Rigby: drums, percussion, vocals
Patrick Earle: percussion

Emmylou Harris: Vocals on Cominí Around
String quartet on The Gringoís Tale arranged and conducted by Chris Carmichael:
Chris Carmichael: viola
David Angell: violin
David Henry: cello
Edward Henry: violin
Claps and shouts: Dukes, Chief, Dave Kissner,
Dave Nokken, Bruce Kronenberg

Emmylou Harris appears courtesy of Nonesuch Records

Cover Art: Tony Fitzpatrick and Firebelly Design Company
Art direction and Additional Illustration: Brad Talbott
Photos: Glen Rose
Management: Dan Gillis and Sarah Brown for Dan Gillis Management
Booking (US & Canada): Frank Riley for High Road Touring
Booking (Intíl): Paul Fenn for ASGARD
Business Management: Charles Sussman, Kurt Vitolo and Louanne Carter for Gudvi, Sussman and Oppenheim
Legal: Rosemary Carroll and Janine Small for Carroll, Guido & Groffman, LLP
Thanks to everyone at Artemis for moral support and baseball tickets. GO YANKS!

CP 2004 E-Squared, LLC / Sheridan Square Entertainment, LLC.
Manufactured and Marketed by Artemis Records, 130 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011.
All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws


The Revolution Starts Now

I was walkiní down the street
In the town where I was born
I was moviní to a beat
That Iíd never felt before
So I opened up my eyes
And I took a look around
I saw it written Ďcross the sky
The revolution starts now
Yeah, the revolution starts now

The revolution starts now
When you rise above your fear
And tear the walls around you down
The revolution starts here
Where you work and where you play
Where you lay your money down
What you do and what you say
The revolution starts now
Yeah the revolution starts now

Yeah the revolution starts now
In your own backyard
In your own hometown
So what you doiní standiní around?
Just follow your heart
The revolution starts now

Last night I had a dream
That the world had turned around
And all our hopes had come to be
And the people gathered Ďround
They all brought what they could bring
And nobody went without
And I learned a song to sing
The revolution starts now

Home to Houston

When I pulled out of Basra they all wished me luck
Just like they always did before
With a bulletproof screen on the hood of my truck
And a Bradley on my back door
And I wound her up and shifted her down
And I offered this prayer to my lord
I said ďGod get me back home to Houston alive
and I wonít drive a truck anymoreĒ

Early in the morniní and Iím rolliní fast
Hauliní nine thousand gallons of high test gas
Sergeant on the radio holleriní at me
Look out up ahead here come a R.P.G.
If I ever get home to Houston alive
Then I wonít drive a truck anymore

Iíve driven the big rigs for all of my life
And my radio handleís ďTrainĒ
Down steep mountain roads on the darkest of nights
I had ice water in my veins
And I come over here Ďcause I just didnít care
Now Iím older and wiser by far
If I ever get home to Houston alive
Then I wonít drive a truck anymore

Great God Aímighty what was wrong with me
I know the moneyís good but buddy canít you see
You canít take it with you and that ainít no lie
I donít wanna let Ďem get me Iím too young to die
If I ever get home to Houston alive
Then I wonít drive a truck anymore

Rich Manís War

Jimmy joined the army Ďcause he had no place to go
There ainít nobody hiriní
Ďround here since all the jobs went
down to Mexico
Reckoned that heíd learn himself a trade maybe see the world
Move to the city someday and marry a black haired girl
Somebody somewhere had another plan
Now heís got a rifle in his hand
Rolliní into Baghdad wonderiní how he got this far
Just another poor boy off to fight a rich manís war

Bobby had an eagle and a flag tattooed on his arm
Red white and blue to the bone when he landed in Kandahar
Left behind a pretty young wife and a baby girl
A stack of overdue bills and went off to save the world
Been a year now and heís still there
Chasiní ghosts in the thin dry air
Meanwhile back at home the finance company took his car
Just another poor boy off to fight a rich manís war

When will we ever learn
When will we ever see
We stand up and take our turn
And keep telliní ourselves weíre free

Ali was the second son of a second son
Grew up in Gaza throwing bottles and rocks when the tanks would come
Ainít nothiní else to do around here just a game children play
Somethiní Ďbout liviní in fear all your life makes you hard that way

He answered when he got the call
Wrapped himself in death and praised Allah
A fat man in a new Mercedes drove him to the door
Just another poor boy off to fight a rich manís war


This is the best time of the dayóthe dawn
The final cleansing breath unsullied yet
By acrid fume or deathís cacophony
The rank refuse of unchained ambition
And pray, deny me not but know me now,
Your faithful retainer stands resolute
To serve his liege lord without recompense
Perchance to fall and perish namelessly
No flag-draped bier or muffled drum to set
The cadence for a final dress parade
But it was not always thusóremember?
Once you worshipped me and named me a god
In many tongues and made offering lest
I exact too terrible a tribute

Take heed for I am weary, ancient
And decrepit now and my time grows short
There are no honorable frays to join

Only mean death dealt out in dibs and dabs
Or horror unleashed from across oceans
Assail me not with noble policy
For I care not at all for platitude
And surrender such tedious detail
To greater minds than mine and nimbler tongues
Singular in their purpose and resolve
And presuming to speak for everyman

Oh, for another time, a distant field
And there a mortal warriorís lonely grave
But duty charges me remain until
The end the last battle of the last war
Until that Ďmorrow render unto me
That which is mine my stipend well deserved
The fairest flower of your progeny
Your sons, your daughters your hopes and your dreams
The cruel consequence of your conceit

The Gringoís Tale

Begginí your pardon there stranger
You look like youíre new to this town
Weíre a long way away from the beach here
You wonít see many gringos around
Well I come from West Colorado
And Iíve wandered this world far and wide
Iíve lived for some years in the shadows
And my eyes are unused to this light
If you buy me a strong drink of whiskey
I will tell you the tale of my life
Itís long and itís sad but it fits me
And it may bring a tear to your eye

All the men of my family were solidiers
The hard fightiní straight talkiní kind
When my turn came all that was over
But Iíd already made up my mind
I was there when we blew though Grenada
And I still have to ask myself why
Then we took down that fool Noriega
Thatís where I caught the good colonelís eye
Well he asked me if I loved my country
And before I had time to reply
He regaled me with tales of past glories
I believed every one of his lies

So I left my old life behind me
Turned my back on my family and friends
And I did everything that they asked me
And I lost some sleep now and again
And I lived like a thief and assassin
I smuggled their poisons sometimes
Until I asked the wrong question in passiní

And the colonel himself dropped the dime
So if youíre ever in west Colorado
Tell the folks in Durango goodbye
Thereís a price on my head and I canít go
So Iíll just wait around here Ďtil I die

Condi, Condi

Oh Condi Condi begginí on my knees
Open up your heart and let me in wontcha please
Got no money but everybody knows
I love you Condi and Iíll never let you go
Sweet and dandy pretty as can be
You be the flower and Iíll be the bumble bee
Oh she loves me oops she loves me not
People say youíre cold but I think youíre hot

Oh, Condi, Condi
Oh, Condi, Condi

Oh Condi, Condi Iím talkiní to you girl
Whatís it gonna hurt come on give me a whirl
Shake your body now let me see you go
One time for me Oh Condi I love you so
Skank for me Condi show me what you got
They say youíre too uptight I say youíre not
Dance around me spinniní like a top
Oh Condi Condi Condi donít ever stop

Oh Condi Condi Canít you hear me call
Iím standiní in the street outside your garden wall
Pocketful of money belly full of wine
Condi in my heart and romance on my mind
Listen to me Condi donít be afraid
I come here tonight to chase your blues away
Iíll never hurt you Iíll treat you right
Oh Condaleeza wonít you come out tonight

Pretty little Condi precious as can be
Bet you never had another lover like me

F the CC

I used to listen to the radio
And I donít guess theyíre listeniní to me no more
They talk too much but thatís okay
I donít understand a single word they say
Piss and moan about the immigrants
But donít say nothiní about the president
A democracy donít work that way
I can say anything I wanna say

So fuck the FCC
Fuck the FBI
Fuck the CIA
Liviní in the motherfuckiní USA

People tell me that Iím paranoid
And I admit Iím gettiní pretty nervous, boy
It just gets tougher everyday
To sit around and watch it while it slips away
Been called a traitor and a patriot
Call me anything you want to but
Just donít forget your history
Dirty Lenny died so we could all be free

Cominí Around (with Emmylou Harris)

Early this morniní I was washiní my face
Thinkiní Ďbout goiní to town
Sick and tired of hanginí around this place
Waitiní on the blues to track me down
Bless my soul maybe Iím cominí around
Been lyiní low but maybe Iím cominí around

Iíve been runniní nearly all of my life
Far and as fast as I can
It may sound funny but Iím thinkiní this might
Be about right where I came in
Well I donít know maybe Iím cominí around
Got a ways to go but maybe Iím cominí around
Finally layiní my burden down

One fine day
Iíll be free
ĎTil it comes
Iíll go on

My heartís a little ragged but itís all that I got
So Iím gonna give it a try
Look out world Iím cominí ready or not
I donít wanna let you pass me by
Here I go maybe Iím cominí around
Iím a little bit slow but maybe Iím cominí around
Finally layiní my burden down

I Thought You Should Know

I been watchiní you watchiní me
I could feel your eyes from way across the room
But now that Iím holdiní you close I can see
Ainít no way Iím gonna get around you
I wonít tell you I donít need you tonight
I wonít pretend I ainít burniní inside
Your skin glowiní soft in the silver moonlight
The shadows where the promises hide
The bittersweet taste of your kiss
Itís all more than I can resist

If youíre thinkiní Ďbout breakiní my heart
You might as well just pick up your little black dress and go
Somebody else already tore it apart
And I thought you should know

Maybe this is all that you want
Maybe youíre just as lonesome as me
A shoulder that you can cry on
A warm safe place you can be
Someone to call in the middle of the night
When the ghosts in your bedroom wonít rest
Two arms to hold you tight
I promise that Iíll do my best
To give you everything I got to give
And keep your secrets for as long as I live

The Seeker

I was eight years old when my granddaddy died
He that showed me the signs I still miss him sometimes
Been a long time ago but his words still ring true
Whatever you do be a seeker

All these years I have wandered and wherever I roamed
I was never alone or forsaken I know
Somewhere way out yonder I know I will find
That a bright beacon shines for a seeker

You canít always believe your eyes
Itís your heart that sees through all the lies
And the first answer follows the first question asked
The mystery unmasked by the seeker

In a world full of sorrow, hunger and pain
Itís so hard to explain why Iím still traveliní
But thereís a new day tomorrow and maybe Iíll hold
Something brighter than gold to a seeker

All songs written by Steve Earle and published by Sarangel Music (ASCAP)

© 2003-2007 Clint Harris  (clint@steveearle.net) – All Rights Reserved
© 1995-2003 Lisa Kemper  – All Rights Reserved

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