by Wayne Francis



released February 16, 2007



all rights reserved


Wayne Francis Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

contact / help

Contact Wayne Francis

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Wages

Well the wages of youth and those lost hands for hire
Are calling us home once again
He's squandered a fortune in years that were no one's to spend
And while songs of regret lie in weeds on the shoulder
Scattered sand of a dream world gone bust
As I look back I see the old highways now trail off to dust

Well the wages of love and those lost nights of wonder
See her stand in an angel's disguise
Waiting for those who might stray where that temptation lies
Wasting away all the goodness you've gathered
The feelings that surely can last
All for the touch of a stranger who's off like the past

And the wages of gold in its legend's illusion
Always beyond one more hill
The scenery's changed but that goldrush is running on still
Carried on in the darkness there, crossing the border
And into the city's grim streets
The miners in grandeur, the user's fall back in defeat

Well the wages of war and the men marching onward
Are leading us out in the chill
The campaigns you assemble where truth is the first blood to spill
All for the sake of those hungry for power
Carving their lines in the soil
As the weapons pour in, making jokes of our forefather's toil

Still the wages of sin are the coldest reminder
For each with our right to decide
Weighing the balance of nature and man's careless pride
For some a deterrent, for some only bother
We all search for proof they exist
Still we die with the soldiers the word of the scriptures enlist
Track Name: Market Square

Following the river southward
There beside the old abandoned line
Freight trains, coal and engineers would
Pound along the bottomland in vain to run on time
Sometimes in the darkness of a late night on the road
You still can feel it running side by side, its mighty load
Now only cattails grow

The train gets to the station
Market Square is silent waiting for the sun
The boys are home from overseas
Now mothers sleep and lovers feel the joy of what's begun
Out beyond the shuttle yard, the watchman passes by
Checks his pocket for the time another day will rise
A newborn baby cries, and the years have learned to fly

The night is streaked with neon light, the sky's betrayed for miles
The dealers and the needy vie for space out among the aisles
Don't take your love to Market Square, you'll surely be received
Into the arms of emptiness where youth is never retrieved

The headlights pass to mark the time, the weeks turn into years
The seasons change unnoticed, mirages come and then disappear
Don't take your love to Market Square, where shadows are drawing the lines
Between the home that waits for you and the dream you're hoping to find

Don't take your love to Market Square, the darkness and the cold
The song of springtime marches on but the roses never unfold
Track Name: Cloud Nine

On the road to nowhere big time
We took it on the chin
But we found the high road, road sign
Chased it down the last hairpin
There can be no one misleading us
Lay back your weary head and count down slow
It's getting time to go

The wildwood blossoms are opening
Through the city, town and countryfied mix
Wildwood blossoms, the sunny side
Of the street is nicely doing the trick
By the old gazebo counting down to liftoff so sublime
The wildwood blossoms are opening
Above and beyond cloud nine

On the crest of whitecaps crashing
It's down to sink or swim
But we caught the driftwood passing
And hang ten on the limb
There can be no one denying us
Our sea legs in the end come rain or snow
I guess by now you know, it's getting time to go

Track Name: At Home In The Aspen

Early Saturday morning dawns a soft hazy sunrise
Two young hands rub young sleepy eyes
Still with lunches to pack in the old brown knapsack
And then off to the wide open skies
And he meets his best friend where the road takes a bend
With fishing poles that itch to be castin'
Try their thumbs out for luck, great the back of a truck
Off for a day spent at home in the aspen
A day spent at home in the aspen

As the wheels roll along and the wind sings a song
They can picture the spot where they're going
Passing woodland and farm, free of wintertime's harm
Can't you feel the new season a-growing
Then to their secret path, they're the first and the last
There's ne'er been a time more worth passin'
Just the two mother's sons, out where the fast river runs
Off for a day spent at home in the aspen
A day spent at home in the aspen

But the years have now passed by the door
With the people and the places in store
But only in dreams can we capture
Those long lost days swept from the floor

There'll be fish at the mill run, sure as I've ever seen one
And the leaves in the trees above tremble
It's a nice change of pace, from being caught in a race
In a city where losers assemble
Drop a line in the pond for to keep dreaming on
And soon my old reel is a-laughin'
And that spinner unwinds, throwing spray from the line
Once again here at home in the aspen
Once again here at home in the aspen
Once again here at home in the aspen
Track Name: Undertow

It's a hop, skip and jump for you to go downtown
Takes a stubborn old mule then to bring you back home
Anyway it gets sliced you're left on the lowdown
Hear what I say, before you go your own way

The time you're wasting now's not coming back again
You know my friend, I'm on your side, I'm there for you
No sense in dwelling in the tangled undertow
Of what's gone wrong, that can't be just the way it goes

If you find that your dreams are tied in a logjam
And you can't find a soul who can blow them away
And the hopes you once had just drift with the flotsam
Hear what I say, before you call it a day


In the name of all the things you hold dearly
You can't turn your back on the place you call home
There will come a fine day when you see clearly
Hear what I say, before you throw it away

Track Name: Southpaw

It's a dollar down, can you spare the change
For the carnival tonight by the rifle range
It's a lot to ask of someone who can't shoot straight
Who sends secrets home in flags on the midnight freight
Try to keep your head down low until the nightmares break

If we could go back where we started
To the top of line and the century
The kind of game you're playing
It's enough to make southpaw freeze

It has been one long decline since the night you drove
Down south to steal the ballot boxes from the orange grove
The judges just duck and run everytime you throw
A knife in their direction or a body blow
Try your luck at selling snowballs to an Eskimo


Last dollar down, I'll try the gypsy's tent
To see if she might know where all our fortune went
She looked you up and down and said, "I just don't know
If it's spectacles you need or a change of clothes
Let me sleep on it tonight before the head count grows"

Track Name: Gold Dust Cowboy

As a one time working cowboy out of Thunder Whip
I don't take wooden nickels and I don't take lip
I don't remember anything I choose to forget
I left the range and cattle for a rock iron pick

Been six months in the saddle now to reach my stake
I'll trade my horse and bedroll for a panning plate
And it's either stand your ground or let them confiscate
You're a fool for being friendly when the others ain't

When spring break up in her good time comes around
The rocks and dust are turning into money back in town
The hotels and the barrooms and the card games and the chips
There's more than one good dance hall girl who loves to paint her lips
Oh, gold dust cowboy

Now the hard details of romance as you might have guessed
The outlaw courted mannequin so finely dressed
A thing you never had I'll wager can't be missed
When the train pulled out I crossed her off my lady list

I got bit with the fever and that's all she wrote
The cruel dust devil prairie can't keep dreams afloat
When the sun rose to reveal the Yukon's golden ghost
I counted every blessing I might need the most


A man in my profession should be keeping score
They're pushing in a road this way to mine the ore
One day you are a soldier in this freedom war
The next day you're just one more dime a dozen dinosaur

Track Name: Fine Country Living

It takes fine country living to help me refrain
From recalling the pain of what I believe
It takes fine country living to help me remain
In control of my fortunes and of someone deceived

It's a hard way to break, as I lie in my bed still awake
And hope that whenever I open my eyes she'll be there


If she finds someone's face, appearing each day in my place
And the grey light of dawn only comes to remind me she's gone

(Verse Instru)

Here the roads are drifted white, how are you and the city tonight
If you're dressed all so fine, then don't tell me the reason this time


There's a fire that's burning gold, tries in vain to diminish the cold
There's a storm in the air as I check all in need of repair
Track Name: Backroads

On backroads I am leaving, from where I go by evening
The lights are burning soft where I have been
For sunshine is returning, as thoughts are filled with yearning
For when I shall slip back to her unseen

And who's to say of what we have begun
Another chance will take me down backroads again to set us free

The children outside playing, with laughter so outweighing
Any random thought that tells them it could end
While in your room I'm lying, only wishing I was buying
Another hour that time would kindly send


Now the glasses sitting empty, with burning candle sentry
Two people lie embracing every glow
But morning hides in waiting, like a thief that's bent on taking
The truth within the shadows that we know

Track Name: Destined To Be

Lost in a daydream as summers slip by
Stay for none and they wait least for me
Going back to that place where the stars filled the sky
In love with those nights running free
Oh my Michelle, there's a stranger it seems
Waiting as destined to be
We took the sleeping roll down through the field
It's never that easy you see

Coming in past the cornerpost far down the lane
Although weathered still marking the way
The late show is hazy with voices so low
The pale moon holds promise of day
Oh my Michelle, there's a stranger it seems
Waiting somewhere in between
Long goodnights, doorsteps and kindness redeemed
It's never that easy you see

Farewell to the countryside portraits designed
And farewell aspirations revealed
Farmhouses watching like ghosts through the trees
Abandoned, their secrets concealed
Oh my Michelle, there's a stranger it seems
Waiting as destined to be
Boards on the windows stand witness to time
It's never that easy you see

Oh my Michelle, there's a stranger it seems
Helping on with your stockings and jeans
We took the sleeping roll down through the field
It's never that easy you see
Track Name: Distant Ships

There's a highway on the prairie
I'm on the shoulder in the dew, by the side of the road
Ashes piled up behind me and the future did not show
These late April days are colder, than those winter nights I'd found
Locked up safe within a moment with no fear of coming down

Taking refuge in the mountains
Finding solitude that screams to the ghost of the night
Raise a glass high for the future or to wash away the dreams
Fade out to another highway where I face the morning sun
If there ever was a reason, I've been out there finding one

Standing watch out on the forward deck
Or riding shotgun on the road
Keep an eye toward the open sky
The past can conjure tragedies until the systems overload

Distant ships lie in the harbour
Where the eastern tradewinds call, filling sails meant to fly
I'm on the continent's high border, painted feathers in the sky
There's some miles laid low behind me, more to travel come what may
Distant ships are calling homeward to long lost sailors gone astray
Distant ships are calling homeward when there's nothing left to say

There's a highway on the prairie
I'm on the shoulder in the dew
Track Name: After All

In my own way I will serve, thee I promise to be there for
Far beyond the spoken word, yet whose limits we prepare for
And I'll wait upon the morning, in the hope it finds me well
With the dawn detail emerges and I'm still standing after all

In my own way I sustain, the wheels' determined forward motion
Behind my back the shadows claim, the dreams who fall prey to erosion
And I'll wait upon the morning, in the hope it finds me well
With the dawn detail emerges and I'm still standing after all

In my own way I have seen, the son in time become a father
Where some might fail to come up clean, or find their way through storm filled waters
As we wait upon the morning, in the hope it finds us well
With the dawn detail emerges and to be standing after all

In my own way I recall, back to where the road divided
One to rise and one to fall, the years reveal how I decided
And I'll wait upon the morning, in the hope it finds me well
With the dawn detail emerges and I'm still standing after all