Dusty Stages

by Grady Milligan

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03:55

about

I am honored and humbled. This project has been shaped by a season of trial, triumph, failure, and growth. I hope the joy and sadness in these songs speak to you and remind you of what is permanent.

credits

released 14 August 2015

I want to say THANK YOU to so, so many of you. This album literally wouldn't have happened without the contributions people made towards recording cost. You are a part of this thing. My wife, friends, church, and community have really pulled me forward and taught me so much in these last 2 years. Below is a list of more folks that offered their talents to these songs. I hope you enjoy everything. All glory to the Father.

Christ - inspiration, healing, provision, & life to sing about
Brandy Milligan - my favorite human being
Patrick Kicklighter - recording, production, bass, electric guitar, drums, constant encouragement & hard work
Paul Katzman - mastering and production www.paulkatzman.com
Chris Hickman - drums and bromance
Chris Campbell - drums and broship
Kate Trube - vocals on Seasons & Father
Brian Harris - keys on Thorn & Stone
Tommy Allen - bass on Stone
Jonathan Jay - keys on everything but Thorn & Stone
Will Rudder - electric guitar on Dorky Love

Grady Milligan - songwriter, vocals, guitar, banjo, bass, being blown away by how fun this is

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Track Name: Seasons
Wind, blow swift the present past me
To the core I've withered in this chill
Frozen is the shield
That weathered weather fierce
Now exposed, the cold beckons me sleep

Fall, sweet with the scent of color, crooning
Fell so lovely, beckoning me to bed
Oh how false her touch
To rot my flesh did turn
Vibrant was the pallor of shame

Joy I knew
With Summer near
Late I mourn
The warmth I spurned

Roots hold fast
Let winter scoff
Stand we must
Til Spring returns

Soft in the rains, It comes
Fragrant, the dead will bloom again
Green ends the reign of pale
Life from the dirt will rise

Sun, shine upon me
Not in vain will you glow
To you shall go all my glory
Winter, by thee, overgrown
Track Name: Stone
Harden your Hearts
Foolish Children
Let Flesh and Blood
Be made Stone
Turn from My love
As you're free to
But know that my heart
Bleeds for You

Run to the arms
Of your Harlots
Build up the walls
Of your homes
Silence the song
Of my calling
But know that I'll weep
When you fall


My love
Will you stay in flame
Not made for you?
Grace won't save
What you don't ask Him to

Kings you've enthroned
Steal your children
Priests burn your wives
At your word
Idols take joy
In your anguish
But still you place hope
In their laws


My love
Will you stay in flame
Not made for you?
Grace won't save
What you don't ask Him to


Death I have died in your stead
Seeks to wed the soul I've cultivated
For what I hold in my hand

You've but to taste and to see
That I heal the burns you've learned to listen to
Son, I want you home!


Let the Truth sink so much deeper
Past the roots that drain your vision
Shed the weight of what you lived for
Breathe the promise
Seek and find the Way
Track Name: Father
If there's any worth in an old man's words
I've a few that I would share
Trust in dependence, like the birds
And compliment her smile and hair

Forgive the grievance, lest it should grow
Abundance blooms when excess dies
Outdo them all in the mercy you show
Kneel to the ground to reach the skies

Love will find, when you seek
Glory's home where you are weak
Be brave in battles already won
And know that I'm proud to call you, Son

Your mother gave more than I can say
You were so young when she sailed for home
We did our best for the higher way
In hopes that seeds of grace be sown

Blood was shed for the blood that flows
Between our veins, for the life we live
There's a silent song in the breeze that blows
We can only keep what we're willing to give


OOOhhhhhhh Oohhhhhhh
You are my joy
Though eye to eye we may not see
Forgive me any pain I wrought
You're worth much more than you believe
Track Name: Dorky Love
I wish I could go back and see you
for the first time again
To watch me painfully miss
the hints that bounce off my face

You gently cozied up to me
I couldn't talk cause you were hot
My comfort level with girls
is like Shaq's with a free throw

The way I dressed was appalling...
Nothing's changed, though you've tried
So many families of peach fuzz
murdered off my face

I still think farting is funny
and even good for your health
I didn't shower much at all
the year that we first kissed

But you got me to get you, 'til we got through
to the place where our love got some rings and tattoos
You said yes, so I'll say yes to
This dorky love that I've found in you

You walk with grace for a step,
then trip or stumble for two
I love the moment of panic
when you order food

You're quiet natured and gentle
You sling a punch like a dude
I doubt you love me like you love
CS Lewis or Tolkien

You pester cats and get bitten
Your love for dogs can get weird
at least a month of our marriage
has been in video games

You say the nerdiest things
But with the prettiest lips
And promise to stay up late
But fall asleep watching netflix

And you got me to get you, 'til we got through
to the place where our love got some rings and tattoos
You said yes, so I'll say yes to
This dorky love that I've found in you

Your obsessional viewings of Lord of the Rings
Are rivaled by my need
to recite every word of the Lion King
or wish my life was Dragon Ball Z

We look strange to the world
But I have been set free
By the wondrous Love that you give to me
Track Name: Thorn
I will bury you again
I loathe your touch but hold you closer than a friend
My will to flee, each time you breathe, fades like the sand after the shore...
Then I awake to devastation that is yours

You sing so out of key,
and yet so loudly that I listen by default
The fault I find in clashing chords smothers the royal melody...
Within the noise I lose the root, my song is yours

Thorn in my side,
With a face like mine,
You've torn from my sight
The name that was my pride.
Hope recedes. This darkness breeds.
My heart, my heart, you've won.

I cannot do that which I want,
The weight of fear has kept me shackled to your taunts.
In rich deceit, you tend the weeds that drink what courage I had sown...
This wretched silence of my soul, to be alone!

Thorn in my side,
With a face like mine,
You've torn from my sight
The name that was my pride.
Hope recedes. This darkness breeds.
My heart, my heart, you've won.

I've never known myself in Truth,
for you have burrowed tooth and claw.
To the marrow, I've been soiled,
ravaged by the thought
of death and plague you've made to spread.
But only my hands bleed with red.
All I've loved you've taken as your own
Track Name: The Littlest Lion
The Littlest Lion did dream a little dream
Of a land on the edge of a day
And his little lion feet skipped along to the beat
Of a strange little flame in his heart

From a cozy little cottage on the edge of the wood
Did the hero of our tale embark
And stark was the dark of the bark of the trees
When the cub stole away from his home

And harsh the were the scowls of the bats and the owls
Toward the lion that cried in the night
While he sobbed and choked, curled up by an oak
The cub prayed hard for the morn

When the sun rose up again
Some hope the light restored
For the Fox had heard the Lion's plight
And warmed him in his den

Now wise was the Fox in the ways of the world
And quick was the cub to learn
Of the old and the new and the deeper truths
That were free to the ones who seek

And many a day did pass in the warmth
Of dusty tomes and lore
But the lion's soul called him to roam
So the Fox bid him farewell

On wintry hill forlorn
The lion braved the chill
Then met his mentor's kin, the Wolf
And learned from Wolf the more

Now the thrill of the hunt ran deep in the blood
Of the Wolf and his family
On battlegrounds fierce, the Lion fought
Til his enemies feared his roar

But the honor of the pack was thicker than the stench
Of the vermin that the Lion slew
And the freedom won for the innocent beasts
Was pardon for lives cut short

But though, in fame, he grew
The Lion lacked a mate
Until, from regions ne'er explored,
A Beauty did appear

In a trance from a power never felt by the Cub
Did he race to the Beauty on the shore
To the radiant glow of her countenance fair
His life did the Lion pledge

By the sea did the lovers breathe deep in the spray
Of the waves that shone in the sun
And the fire in the heart of the Lion burned
In the depths of his Beauty's eyes

Then after seasons long
Into the West he flew
And to the gold horizon
He called his only Cub

The Littlest Lion did dream a little dream
Of a land on the edge of a day
And his little lion feet skipped along to the beat
Of a strange little flame in his heart
Track Name: Son
When words like ashes fall
On this war-torn soil
No more healing do I feel
Than if no one spoke at all

These wounds too deep have grown
In my silent speech
For who could save this corpse
By his own word sown

O o oh O o o oh

So I won't sing a song
That you've heard before
But I'll bow my head
While You mend this robe I tore

By what merits am I free
In this leper's skin?
How does a prisoner shed
All he knows to see?

In whose words live the dead?
Pardoned from worm's law
Toward that boon, please swiftly row
Lest I rot long in this bed

O o oh O o oh

So I won't sing a song
That you've heard before
But I'll bow my head
While You mend this robe I tore

Dare I raise a fool's request?
Not with one pence earned
But with desperate need I kneel
Wilst Thou give this sinner rest?

And As poison from me drains
I do find, still warm,
Thine own Word I craved too long
My true home in flesh so slain

How can I sing a song
When His love hath penned
All the world's hope, this
That a Son, Himself would send
Track Name: Hymns & Hootinannies
From the bowels of cathedrals
Sacred bells toll out
A pedigree of productions
That we've built from the ground up...
But I wonder whose ego we're boosting?

On the stage with the touch screens
Progress can be found
Catering to the masses
With revolution turned up...
Deafening all the sheep that we're losing

The problem with the hymns and the hootinannies
Is the unfocused babble of misguided folks
That try to shove God in the nooks and the crannies
Of preconceived notions that cause us to choke

But one contrite heart
In a crowd of argumentative people
Could hold the untapped spark
Reconnecting the praise to the steeple

Toss a rock through the window
Stained glass on the ground
Clog the pipes of the organ
And let pretension fall down...
Will you sing with the whore and the leper?

Pull the plug on the light show
No one makes a sound
Cut the strings of the guitars
And have the mosh pit bow down...
Will you pray if the silence is better?

The problem with the hymns and the hootinannies
Is the unfocused babble of misguided folks
That try to shove God in the nooks and the crannies
Of preconceived notions that cause us to choke

But one contrite heart
In a crowd of argumentative people
Could hold the untapped spark
Reconnecting the praise to the steeple

Cause petitions do not always bloom to fruition when
Thrown up begrudgingly in obligation
So give to the lost what religion has stolen
And be the redemption for those not yet broken
Unspoken our hearts lie awaiting a shock
But the lightning has crashed and the thunder like clockwork is ticking
Track Name: First Upon The Field Of War
First upon the field of war
Far from safety His to claim
Stands my King with Sword in hand
Bold before the coming storm

Vast the loathsome darkness spreads
Strong in greed of godless men
Still, with purpose wavering not
Calls the King, His few to arms

As the tempest beats the shore
Flesh and steel with fervor clash
Countless fall or flee my Liege
Matchless is His wrath out-poured

Long the fires of battle rage
Drawing breath but few remain
Faint, I lend the Foe my guard
Swift he deals a crippling blow

Blood and hope, entwining, spill
Death, the fatal strike, prepares
Yet with devils still in hand
Did my King trade life for me

Piercing light consumes the ground
Justice, far too great to bear
Rising, evil thus destroyed
Victory, claims my glorious Lord!
Track Name: Dusty Stages
When all the tattered banners fall from lofty rafters long forgotten

Silence will invade the fort and hall

When every seat is barely filled with memoirs of our conquest

Lust and praise misplacing where we stood



So now we, wretches raised to beacons, hope for legacy so nameless

Praying you remember who we're not

And if we, naught but clashing cymbals, earn more than a rude attention

Please don't cry on dusty stages long



For my advice, as finite as these fading lights, will recede into the closing night

Perhaps you'll see, that all the show was not for me, maybe you will find the hope you need