Polk County Line - lyrics

songs c. 2011 Ryan Sheeler/SMG ASCAP unless otherwise noted




Polk County Line

These are 500 square miles of the most lonesome roads around
There’s a thousand cars out there just tryin’ to settle down
Every time I drive here I can’t help but cry
It feels like I’m crossin’ an electric fence…It’ll burn when I try

Now I drive the roads on the Polk County line I wish you were still sittin’ on my lap
Passin’ time in each other’s eyes like the rides we used to have.
What happens when the place you’re goin’ is the same place that you’ve been?
Does it matter what the road signs say when your heart’s out of things to spend

Summer just became a nightmare I ain’t never be gonna be the same
The problem is you and both know it didn’t have to be this way
Did you know I could have turned back …my engine light came on
We didn’t have to meet that day I should have turned around


I grew up not far from here, just up on 35
It’s funny the longer you live here the less you feel alive
These roads seem so familiar but I can’t always see
The map is different now there’s emptiness where love used to be



Daddy I’m here lyin’ on my bed in a house too dark and too cold
To stop 7 months of searin’ pain that hasn’t  grown old
I’ve talked to you ev’ry night since it happened I think you’re whispering
Maybe sins fuel the silence ‘cause  you haven’t said a thing           

(…so maybe I’ll tell it again)

It was another trip down ’35 that day the end of June
He didn’t know at all that it’d end way too soon

She is there brushin’ her teeth , he had his guitar and a smile
With one and a thousand dreams  ‘bout walkin’ down the aisle

It was just the two of us, sir -- lovers brilliantly disguised
‘cause somehow we didn’t see the other pair of eyes
Daddy, I know you smiled when you saw us two kids in love with rain
Livin’ life like a movie that keeps playing itself again

They loved and lost themselves together in the summer sun
Fought to the end and tempers flared when love should have won
Then she got scared and ran and three doors down cops arrived
Between the end of nowhere and the corner of Polk City Drive


As he left her house that day in the back of the police car
He saw his love walk across the lawn with new scars inside her heart
Tears they came like fountains when he found out what’d he’d lose
Love became a ghost when the day turned into the local news


Daddy, you were the witness to a crime that day
But it wasn’t any knife or gun it was words they didn’t say…


6AM to Nowhere

It’s the home of shattered dreams a place where hope goes to die
They’ll say its for the public good keeps ‘em buried under lies

The clock strikes to 10:30 end the day by watching TV
as the world goes by outside where their lives used to be

24 hours seems like a lifetime in here
As you slowly say goodbye to anything you held dear
Soon you’ll realize that they don’t really care
The clock’s part of the system and its 6AM to nowhere

Time stops for no one tryin’ to survive
Stop themselves from wonderin’ who’ll remember if they’re alive
Their worn-out faces tells stories of what’s left inside their cup
As they say old age is just a young man givin’ up


Johnny Fire

Last year was harder than he’d ever seen so many things went wrong
It started when his best friend drowned now he’s long gone
He’s only 17 years old in there with men two or three times his age
the ones of silent desperation all stuck in the same cage

The guys walked the upper aisle talking about their cases
Day after day, the toll it takes shows itself on their faces
But this one kept to himself ‘cept for once in a while
Soon a few of the guys named him Johnny Fire

“we were only having fun” – Playin’ ‘round and burned down a house
10 counts and sentenced him to juvy could have gotten a lot worse
waiting for his mama’s call, with the rest -waiting for their turns at the phones
I knew how scared he was so I tried to be his friendjust to help him know he ain’t alone

When life gets this dark it seems like there ain’t no redemption in here
Where silence won’t even be your friend feels like God himself aint’ there

Sir I ain’t guilty - they’ve got it all wrong
I ain’t got no record and don’t wanna be in here too long

They don’t understand it ain’t his heart that’s bad they just lost what’s free to find
Instead of rehabilitatin’ - the system left them behind

call him Johnny Fire…

It’s All Just a Game

Angry faces say so much, weathered hands they cannot hide
the scars inside of all these men living from underneath their pride
Yesterday’s dinner one more time the cards come out to play
Who’s gonna win it all tonight before its “lights out” again?

It’s all just a game -- Night turns into mornin’
Before it all starts again
Lay ‘em down one more time - See which falls, black or red
Don’t you know its all a game

…Goin on inside your head?...

Spades, diamonds, clubs and hearts trump each other when the medic calls
Time to take the nightly poison and wait to see one fall
Redemption flickers on the small screen; the bible study meets on Thursdays
Saving souls lockin’ them inside and watching the cards they play



Remember Me – Geoff Dresser
- c. 2008 Geoff Dresser ALL RIGHTS RESERVED used by permission

Remember Mercy, Remember your love
Remember not my sins
Remember compassion, Your lovingkindness
Remember Your promise to forgive

I confess I deserve to hang on the cross
The nails, the thorns, the shame
Abandoned to the grave
When Your kingdom comes…remember me


Just Beginning

He wasn’t more than 18 years old; I don’t remember his name
He walked in and sat down with us; hardened men twice his age
He said it was first time…like all the rest…got caught up in a fight
I wondered who his parents were. If they’re cryin’ for him tonight?

What’s between me and him I asked as the TV blared?
If our ages are so different, maybe it’s the prison we all share

Me I never planned on bein’ here, but I pulled a knife, the police came runnin’
Now I’m playin’ cards with some new friends my life’s endin’ and this kid’s
this kid’s is just beginning


What made me hurt so bad, was how he wanted to be like us. 
Its a new kind of Technicolor life when your days run out of luck
Something shook me so hard when I found out his age
Barely 18 and he’s way too youngto be livin’ in this place


Blood On The Lilies

What were your favorites? …it wasn’t a surprise.
I knew before you said it…you told me with your eyes
I stopped by the local shop and looked in all the beds
The Lady said “these are the only ones”; they were white with specks of red

I’ll always see them on your table your friends’ eyes opened wide
I knew you were happy I could tell by the way you cried
Do you know I still pray for you? I think about where you are
I stay awake every night and wonder what you keep inside your heart

Did you ever ask what happened and whose fault it was after all?
Was it something your grandma told you from her picture on your wall
I wanted to believe you at the end when you said you loved me
The distance in your eyes betrayed you and your last kiss guaranteed

When I left in the police car that day and all the colors faded into one
Its then I thought that those lilies meant you were leavin’ me all alone

So I guess all that’s left are flowers memories of love’s yesterdays
And maybe the blood on those lilies are the words we didn’t say


Highway 141

Interstate exit 10 miles outta here
Catch a new ride and dance with my fear
Turning off 1st Street where I bought my car
I found the devil’s silence wasn’t very far

I’m sorry sir, I lost control it’s the truth ain’t no excuse
The harder I try to keep it in, the pain inside wants loose
It’s my conscience I’m tryin’ to outrun
down this stretch of Highway 141

Looking ’cross the street I can see the city park
The county sheriff’s over there waitin’ in the dark
He’s watching me drive round the neighborhood
Minding my own business like a blameless man always would

You think I deceived you I’ll bet you have your doubts
I ain’t no believer if I’m driving by your house
By now you know it all she was your best friend
Told you all about me hurting her at the end

It scares me worse than it does you
so I drive and pray that my heartache isn’t true

Redemption Blues

Sittin’ here in the dark – wonderin’ what to pray
Lord why didn’t you save me – let me go through hell
I know you were watchin’ me when I fell

Sure this’ ain’t what it feels like to let go
Sure this’ ain’t what it feels like to let go
Sleepwalk talkin’, driving down the road

Write it on the road, where I hoped to die
Write it on the road, where I hoped to die
I spent so many hours – hanging my head and cry

Maybe I’ll go back out there tonight an’ drive those lonely miles
Maybe I’ll go back out there tonight an’ drive those lonely miles
Being alone aint too safe – I still wish I could see your smile


Lord tonight I’ve been praying for the things you used to say
Lord tonight I’ve been praying for the things you used to say
life’d be so much sweeter if you said loved me



They’re so neatly arranged, sitting near the chairs
Nestled in the bedroom, up and down the stairs
Friends and memories: Glossy 8 X10s
Graduations, weddings, and verses:  reminders of time well-spent

In her bedroom it sat there:  dust on it growin’ old
sitting on an old corner chair - a story waiting to be told
from frame split in two, just like her childhood was
in one she’s five; the other she’s thirteen - innocence defined and lost

Then there was the one of her and I she stuck in her cupboard door
The joy in that picture wasn’t in her heart any more….
She took it down in cold desire just before she left that night
She said she was just cleaning but I knew something wasn’t right

Those were memories he relived when he looked her window
And stood there reliving something that’s lost in the snow
that’s me living in the past…the safety in those frames
Feels better than a future without herbut it’s still the past all the same

He turned to walk away  when light caught his eye
A picture he’d never seen before; now he wondered why
The artist must have been the Master ’cause He drew them face to face
The years and anger faded and left was a picture of grace


Leave a Light On -words and music by Greg Ferguson
c.2001 Willow Creek Music ASCAP – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, used by permission)

Leave a light on for me; I don’t know if you remember
But we’ve gone by each other a time or two before
Leave a light on for me; I drive by this church so often
I pull up for just a moment and I look inside the door

Leave a light on for me ‘cause I’ve been a lot of places
And I’ve learned a lot of lessons and the lessons take their toll
Leave a light on – so I can look for what’s left of my soul

Leave a light on for me ‘cause my world keeps getting bigger
But my heart’s been getting smaller and it chills me to the bone
Leave a light on for me ‘cause I thought I had the answers
But now I’ve got these questions that won’t leave me alone

Leave a light on for me ‘cause I’ve always been a fighter
But I never knew how much of life was out of my control
Leave a light on - ‘cause now I can’t see where to go

I don’t know why I keep on driving by your door
I’m not exactly sure just what I’m looking for
Is there a candle burning in the hope of my returning?
Do you mean to shine a light…or to just keep out the night?
I wanna know…I wanna know

So leave a light on for me; shine it out into the darkness
So I can always see it in the corner of my eye
Leave a light on for me; so when I drive by tomorrow
I’ll believe the door’s still open and I might go back inside

Leave a light on for me – I’ve kept my distance from religion
But I always hoped there might be someone watching over me
Leave a light on and maybe this time…
Leave a light on and maybe this time...
Leave a light on and maybe this time...I’ll believe