"Skies and Shadows"

all songs c. Ryan Sheeler/Highway 30 Music ASCAP unless otherwise noted



Class Reunion (November ’91)

Dedicated to the families of Chris Trevino and Susan Pelletier, and

to the Class of 1992 at Mundelein High School, Mundelein IL

I didn’t really find out ‘til I read the old headlines
From the city paper; now its class reunion time
I didn’t know him too well and I didn’t know her at all
It was just months after I left town as summer changed to fall

Life took me away from them by the summer’s end
I lost touch with most of them but I still kept some friends
So I don’t know how cold it was that November day
I read it in the papers; 20 years replayed

Times passed quickly and the smiles fade away
Laughter turns to memories those memories always stay
But this time it was different; one act changed it all
We all aged 10 more years when they buried them that fall….

Pictures in the yearbook and the articles that I found
now I know two are missing and two families cheated out
it’s 20 years later and my friends all look the same
Time heals a lot of things except for all the pain

we all met at a local bar and we talked the night away
while the slideshow clicked and the memories stayed
I just know we lost something…. Somehow, someway,
Prayers will enter in where there are no words to say…



Walk Across the Room

He saw her yesterday; 20 years ago they sat in the same class
And worked the same old fast-food college job

It’d be easy to write another song to say
“I love you so much…what’s your name?” – never play that game

How many times do you wish you’d just walk across the room
And meet someone and watch the smile on their face bloom
We all need love, but we never ask for it to come our way at last?

They never did go out '‘cause he never took the step
It’s easier to be afraid than to worry about regret

The unseen chains of fear will fall away

when you connect with someone who’s feelin the same.

Sometime it’s not about what you saybut what gets said to you
Listenin’ to what’s inside your heart tellin’ you the truth


Late Spring Rains (Alachua County News)


Alachua County, sunshine glowing in the mist
the early morning dew doesn’t show the evidence
Of the days and weeks left behind -- on the road life

followed out of here
Nothing left on earth could wipe away the tears


And there was so much to do, spring rains came late that year
5AM came every day … when the sun appeared
A farm field in Ohio seems like such a strange place
For a family like this, to vanish without a trace


Sometimes you can’t believe what you read
Dug a little deeper and answers become clear
Several thousand miles and 20 some odd years
It read like a story no one could believed

The call you hope never comes is the one he got today
His life changed forever when they were miles away


Springtime on the farm, the weeds were blowing around
Waiting for them to come home, and lift his spirit off this ground
While he waited, dad milked the cows and started to bail the hay
Thinkin’ to himself he’d see them all again someday


Just a week or two ago, his wife and daughters left
to go way down South and have some fun
As the family car took off, well, sir, maybe they never knew
they’d never see the Harbor View sun

Route 62 was their dinner stop, meet a stranger along the way
Next thing, they were on his boat for a spin out on the bay


One week later in the bay; two miles down the road
Somethin’ floating in the water, somethin’ thrown overboard
The call was made to the family and everyone’s fears had come true
Nothing left to say, nothing left to do.


Meanwhile back in Ohio they gather at the local church
Sit in the pews and watch the memories … end before the last verse

It’s so easy to sing “how great thou art” and sit quietly in the aisle
But it’s just about impossible to deal with the questions “why”


It’s too cold when you wake up and dreams leave your mind too soon
you don’t know whether to cry or run out of the room
The dad asked how he lost his family and the city wondered why
God didn’t keep them safe or maybe it’s all a lie


Was He too far off to care anyway?
Maybe prayin’ ain’t enough --- empty words won’t say
The sun sets on the beach like a tired reader’s eyes
Lookin’ like a postcard sent too late to say goodbye


Fields and Footsteps

We drove away from the church, up the streets north of town
Past the veteran’s hospital to that field of brown

We listen’d to them play the Taps as it echoed in the sky
Tears rolled down our faces, and we said our goodbyes.

Those who wear silent badges of tears that hide their scars
Sometimes they won’t hold your hand but they’ll give away their hearts

Men who never talk about what it means to fight and die
And yet are willing to do just that for you and I

The honest love and toughness in my grandpa’s eyes
made me think we take for granted the meaning of a sacrifice
Freedom isn’t free I know; from footsteps in far-off fields
Now I’m learning just what it is a story like that reveals

“on behalf of a grateful nation”, left so much more unsaid
Thank you for your service and the way that you led

We remember all your prayers and all of your stories too
But I would give that all away, for another day with you


Stealing Paradise

– words and music by Todd Teske (2013)

I’ve taken more than I can count
A debt that only seems to mount…each time
So much more than I can pay…

Now I’m reaping my reward
The only thing I can afford … and still
It’s not enough - It’s not enough

It feels like stealing paradise
As he turns to find my eyes
And in his agonizing cries
I hear “You’ll be alright” -- “You’ll be alright”
And then – he dies…this man – he dies…

Sin is Sin and Pain is Pain
Black is Black like midnight rain… on me
That falls on me…once again

Watercolors mix to brown
Every color washing down…the drain
And I wish my pain…would do the same

CHORUS: … And then – he dies…this Jesus dies…

Dangling from this Roman tree
Why he’d even look at me’s .. not clear
What’s he doing here? …he’s not like me….

“Remember me” I dare to say
Half expecting him to turn away
But I hear him say… “with me today…”

CHORUS: … And then – he dies…my Savior dies…

c. 2013 Todd Teske ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Be Forgiven

Maybe we don’t how far we’ve fallen and a lot of us don’t even care
Maybe that’s the problem not realizing we’re there
You see it all the time on the streets and in the news
People livin’ their lives - tradin’ down for grace refused

But I don’t wanna live that way, divided heart or not
I want the hope in sharing what You’ve got

May we be forgiven and our heart be truly free
Take away the blindness, so we can really see
thousands turn to you from sea to shining sea
(May we) be forgiven …and make it true inside of me

We wear a mask to hide ourselves - more fragile than we let on
The stress piles up so far – it seems all my faith is gone
But I open up my heart – to the touch of your hand
The questions don’t mean so much, and I start to understand

PC 2
You’re more than just a picture…greater than we know
You loved us all enough to let us go

I wonder what would happen if people really new
How very close to them you are
Would they recognize your voice
Knocking on the door of their hearts?



c. 2013 Highway 30 Music ASCAP – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Skies and Shadows

Wrestle all your life with fame - does anyone really care?
They build you up and knock you down
Or is it really just hidin’ some kind of fear
Where are your friends – silently in their corners

It’s another banner week of disappointments, ups and downs
Of thunderstorms and sunshine; doors slam shut, others open
maybe you’ll believe or just ask why

Up from the sky – down to the ground
Lord, burn it down, turn it around
Set this pride on fire and break my heart
Let me live this freedom out escape this shadow game

Now he sits in the driver’s seat of a life goin’ nowhere fast
Never really found the love that seems to last
Where is he going? Where are we going?

I wanna run like a child, happy and free
And don’t wanna chase after things
White clouds, even rainy days
I’m just walking down this bridge - with a smile on my face


Gold Wedding Band

-Lyrics by Nathan A. Baker / Music by Ryan Sheeler

In a dimly lit corner of a barroom on Main Street
Beers and whiskey shooters about had me beat
I wasn’t looking for fun, but I never run from a pretty face
when she sat down beside me it made my heart race

I saw the light reflect on her left hand
This wouldn’t be right she’s wed to another man
I saw the twinkle in neon,, she wore a gold wedding band
I bought her a few drinks as I sat and listened
Told her to take time to think to reconsider her mission
Gold on her hand glistened I thought of him again
Sitting home worrying about where his wife’s been


I called her a taxi we said our goodbyes
with no need for embarrassment or contrived alibis


Yes, I saw the twinkle in neon, she wore a gold wedding band


Moon over Texas

for Sgt Bryan Cream (USMC) and his wife Amie

I caught a plane to the next job, watchin’ the night go by
Lost my heart waitin’ for someone special to arrive
I was holding on to this dying dream

that I knew who was best for me
I was chasing my own paradise not knowin’ where it’d be

Black skies line my past as I watched the moon over Texas shine
I knew I wouldn’t be just flying through another lonely night.
The look in your eyes shook me right out of my wildest dreams
Maybe unanswered prayers are more than they seem

When I saw you first I knew I’d lay my dreams to rest
Love never needs to speak a word when two hearts connect
If you knew how much I prayed each night,

asking God to fill my needs.
True happiness was answered when I got down on my knees.


Suppose I called you from so far away

just to say how much I love you
I couldn’t wait to say I’m coming home very soon

People say how God brought them together

and how it must’ve been in the stars
Well I’ve learned a lot of lessons

I know He’s led me to where you are
Every day when that moon goes by the more I have to let go
forget about the past mistakes and lean into loving you more