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Songs I Swore I'd Never Sing

by Benjamin Tod

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Can you give me all I need the innocence and purity I crave I’ve been climbing desperately to a mountain top I haven’t seen for days An honest life I simply can’t sustain Coming home today All that’s left inside of me couldn’t bring an heirloom seed to bloom I’ve only kept enough to plead for something that I can’t believe is true My goodbye may not be when you choose Coming home soon Follow me through empty streets and bridges burned for hell to heed my fate I never wanted you to see the evil I could never keep erased Patient like a diamond in the slate Coming home late Something pulls me from the clay I can’t make another day alone I can’t even speak your name are you just a thing to claim and hold Notarize my deed and watch me go Not coming home
I thought that I made a brother today And while we were talking you swore from the grave No one can fill the crater I made A chill came between us and he walked away Chorus: I’m smoking in your old chair The clothes that you left are all worn and teared Our twin bayonets lie asleep on the shelf And I still search for you in everyone else I bottle my hope when I meet our kind Grill him with tests and look for the signs Laughter grows empty when always I find He’ll never be what we had in mind Chorus Fiery loyal tempered in grit Built like a blade on an outlaws hip Not made for today but together we fit You’d think that by now I’d be over this shit
I’m at the mouth of a big big river and I’m surely gonna drown I guess I’d like to taste that river and how far I’ll go down Now I see it in your eyes, you know where I’ve been And where I haven’t it’s just a habit It meant nothing at all Chorus You’ll find me at the bottom Of a raging river or a bottle Grace will lead I will follow Faithfully ‘til tomorrow Lord knows I’m a liar I’m at the mouth of a big big river and I know that it’s sink or swim I’m drunk enough to test that river and how deep I’ll get in Guess I used to have control Now I don’t know What I’m thinking it’s just the drinking It meant nothing at all Chorus I’m at the mouth of a big big river and I’m surely gonna die But if I do or if I don’t we’ll meet on the other side Guess I used to feel alive now I’m paralyzed But I still feel it in my heartbeat It means nothing at all Chorus
Has it been a while 3000 miles And a ghost haunts the fabric of my flesh Works me like a file and shapes me like a child ‘Til I let go because there’s nothing left Chorus: You know me I’ve always believed In some sacred dream but now I see That I am weak and incomplete And all I need is a new beginning Something ain’t right in Talkeetna tonight I’m afraid that the shadow that I cast Will load the dice and dim these northern lights Crack a pane on the window of my past Chorus
Mercy Bark 03:22
The most important shot you’ll ever take is the one you never want The reaper came a week too late for my only son My boy we were runnin' free ‘til February come Now you can’t walk or breath and you're begging for the gun Chorus: Being a man is giving dignity and grace Even when you're killing a love you can’t replace Oh Copper dog of all that’s sacred we erase You will be the part of me that I forever chase. That old dog was the stoic prince of all he smelled or seen How I grinned from ear to ear saying he belonged to me Now how the hand of time grips him like a thief All my pride took a ride into eternity Chorus Oh how the mothers speak of strangers taking burdens that are hard I have no choice you see for I am he and he is me and I will follow him into the dark With all my heart a mercy bark Chorus
I’m thinking tonight of my entire life as a whole And what it might mean if I ever get back in control Alone and forsaken by everyone I’ve ever known Hell I even abandoned myself some years ago Chorus: And I’m hardly holding on In the dark before the dawn I’m living clean oh I’m getting redeemed on this land But it ain’t what you think it’s the toil of a much braver man Lately I weep at the strangest things we understand Like every new line that’s defined on the back of my hand Chorus Don’t call it religion when I seek salvation inside It’s just surrendering all of yourself to this life Man it gets lonely seeing the spite in their eyes Before they walk away being blinded by any old light Chorus
No one knows the kind of weight we both choose A thousand miles to smile and try to stay in tune The fame we made has no escape and it tears our marriage in two Try and stay thankful for it all Salvage what is left when the curtain falls Chorus: I don’t want a life without you Are the tears worth the gold if we don’t make it through We go on in ten but we ain’t talked in days Neither one believes what the other has to say The agent says this is our only chance to play their evil game Line ‘em up let the carnival begin Feast upon our hurt it’s all we have to give Chorus I won’t sleep tonight I can’t keep from crying Countless people care but who the hell am I In the end I’m just your husband and I’ve vowed to give my life When all the bright lights dim and dark I’ll only be judged by how I held your heart Chorus
I ain’t got a song to write but I’m grasping straws and not feeling right I guess I’ve got nothing left Now I miss all those wild time when the chemical had me swallow pride And let me be somebody else Chorus: Stand up tall and learn to fight In the face of all you writhe No one here gets out alive Wear your tears with open eyes Let go of all you hide Are you living life or too terrified to try I got letters I ain’t never sent couldn’t tell you why they’re all torn and bent I guess they’re for myself Happiness is like a highway sign you can catch a glimpse but it ain’t yours or mine They’re left as beacons for help Chorus
Wyoming 05:16
Well men like me probably die alone With some broken dream on a dusty road And it may be sad but so is everything that’s true Well if life’s a gamble then I bet the table on a pair of twos Chorus: And the sun's probably shinin’ in Wyoming And the moon she’s casting diamonds on a low lying stream And when my soul is finally set free You can burn my body in a prairie breeze By candle light paper and ink I wrote my final wish killing a drink And I thought of you it happened more times than a few I stared down a barrel and I wasn’t able to follow through Chorus When I’m gone please remember me For my blue eyes and the songs I’d sing Forget the bad I did all that I could do If I could take it back I would in fact and give it all to you Chorus
Your arrow ain’t sharp but age made deadly your aim If I kill or get killed my dear would you love me the same As I get older I realize that time has a way And the patience you build in your youth will discern how you age Chorus: Some song I swore I’d never sing from years before I held a dream My pages worn like oaths I keep I’ll die between the paper and the ink This journal ain’t mine but it’s filled with my misery Passed down by a friend who was taken too soon to complete Bound in the blood of living like we were deceased Now I live with the debt that it easily could have been me Chorus So lay your head easy and don’t shed tears for me We are given this life but nobody said it was free Chorus


This album is precisely what the title indicates. ‘Songs I Swore I’d Never Sing’ is a collection of writing from a decade ago running until a week before recording that for ten different reasons I chose to never sing again.

Some songs were simply more personal than I was comfortable with releasing and got stuffed into the pile of notes that will soon reach the ceiling. Some songs were too pretty and out of style for me. Some songs seemed too vulnerable and naked. A couple felt too painful to even record, but somehow managed to end up here.

I am damn proud of this record and all that it means. I pray that it inspires some artists to create something meaningful for a change. I hope that it inspires you to live in truth and face the mirror you’ve been avoiding.

-Benjamin Tod


released March 9, 2022

This album was recorded in October of 2021 in Nashville Tennessee at Black Matter Mastering & Recording by Sound Engineer Dan Emery using a Shure SM81 and an Audio Technica AT4033A. All songs written and performed by Benjamin Tod using a 1949 Gibson J-45. Front cover photo by Tim Duggan. Layout and design by Cud Eastbound.


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Benjamin Tod Kentucky

Benjamin Tod is a songwriter born in Sumner County, Tennessee. His songwriting pulls from over a decade worshiping the road and the bottle.


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