Nobody's Flag

by Wes Weddell

supported by
Mike Votava
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Mike Votava OMG to the max!


Ten songs each inspired by a different piece of writing


released September 1, 2015

Wes Weddell: lead vocals, guitars, mandolin
Alicia Healey: bass, vocals
Brian Hoskins: organ, piano, electric piano
David Bush: drums & percussion

Moe Provencher & Aimee Zoe: harmony vocals (#4)
Bob Antone: fiddle (#10)
Samantha Boshnack: trumpet & flugelhorn (#10)
Horns arranged by Wes Weddell

All songs written by Wes Weddell
©/℗ Dusty Shadows Music (ASCAP)

Produced by Wes Weddell with Alicia Healey

Recorded at Jack Straw Productions: Seattle, WA; Doug Haire, engineer
Additional recording & mixing at The Winterblue Room: Seattle, WA; Alicia Healey, engineer
Mastered by Floyd Reitsma, RFI Mastering: Seattle, WA

Design & layout by Travis Young at & Wes Weddell - Photos by our families

Thanks to Jack Straw Artist Support Program, Geoff Larson & The Bushwick Book Club Seattle, Mom/Dad/Sis, Band & Guests, Jay & Jane Spencer, Nancy K. Dillon, Joe Jencks, Reilly & Maloney, Heather & Peter Garbes, & Friends/Family/Peers near & far. Still takes a village...
For Mary Lytle & Jane Titland

Lyrics & more at



all rights reserved


Wes Weddell Seattle, Washington

Wes Weddell hit the scene in 2001 with a grant to gather regional stories and turn them into songs. More records followed, along with the occasional award, increased sideman appearances, and the founding of a Seattle-area non-profit dedicated to creating community live-music spaces. No signs of slowing reveal themselves... ... more

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Track Name: Gray
I used to love the road for the stories
I used to think that I was meant to roam
The thing that I soon learned ’bout telling stories
Is that no one eats them up like friends back home

A rainbow is special ’cause it don’t happen every day
I’ll wish upon a star when I get down
To appreciate the sunshine you must understand the gray
Home is where I know my way around

You can spin that wheel that offers fame and fortune
You can chase that shiny light till you go blind
I’ll pat you on the back and push you forward
And you know right where I’ll be if you get tired

I still love the road for the people
I still set off now and then on down the track
I love to throw my arms around the great wide open
And now I love it just as much when I get back

There ain’t nothing like my city on a clear day
There ain’t nothing like the mountain in your face
There ain’t nothing like the water all around you
And that ain’t something that the rain can wash away
Track Name: Just Like Me
Smoke rising in the eastern sky,
Climbing higher as the day rolls by
Like a ladder to the afterlife
And the promised land

All the chimneys in the neighborhood
Hold the secret, and they hold it good
Are you sending up a piece of wood
Or something you’ll want back?

It burns....just like me

It can warm you on a winter’s night,
It can chase the shadows out of sight,
Or it can take away your heart’s delight
With a single blaze

Like a lover running hot and cold
All you want to do is hold it close
Why is it all the things that give the most
Can also take the most away?

It burns....just like me

It can pull you forward, it can push you back
From the darkest age to old Chicago town
Ash to ash, dust to dust, to now

There’s a ball a-burning way up high,
Makes the difference between day and night,
And it’s responsible for all earth’s life,
Or so they say

Someday when its race is run
It’ll finish with an explosion
And, I tell you, when my time is come,
I’m going out that way

It burns....just like me
Track Name: The Movie That Plays in My Head
There’s a movie that plays in my head every day
Mornings, evenings, and three matinees
There’s a million and one things I should watch instead
Of the movie that plays in my head

The hero’s a guy you might recognize,
He’s charming and handsome as me
And I cast him myself, I don’t trust no one else
To show you what you ought to see

The script is a gem, it’s just the right blend
Of witty and thoughtful and bright,
But when I act out the scenes with the folk on the street
Nobody else knows their lines

And that just won’t do, there’s too much at stake
When you live for the eulogy, not for the day
It’s safer this way, though it gets lonely sometimes,
But you risk everything when you bring in a co-writer
Track Name: The Stance
The window’s cracked and the lighting’s bad,
But I ain’t here for the view
I’ve come to test the theory that I’m someone
Every pair of eyes is taking in my size
And going three quick mental rounds
Wondering just where the hell I come from

Between the bells, when the gloves are raised
And I take my stance, I give it all away

My left hand says I’m from out of town
Front foot says I ain’t backing down
My record says I ain’t gonna win no title
Got a good right hook and a bad right knee
And I carry the weight of my family
They knock me down, and I love ’em still despite it
And I keep on fighting

The heavybag has seen better days
It’d be in the trash if it weren’t for tape
And sometimes I feel pretty much the same
Still I walk right through that door
Take my lumps and earn my score
Knowing I can’t really walk away

Oh, I got dreams, buddy, same as you,
But I ain’t reaching for the top—just another rung or two

There’s an old saying from the East
Fall down seven times, stand up eight
I’ve got a feeling inside of me that
Eight ain’t gonna win this race

I got two bruised ribs and a flattened nose
And I say to you: “That’s the way it goes”
I wouldn’t take it back or try to hide it
I fight for better, fight for worse,
I fight to break my family’s curse
I fight to shout out: “Hello, world, here I am!”
That’s why I keep on fighting
Track Name: Not Enough
On a branch-line siding in the middle of the night –
It don’t get much more out of the way,
And you can never tell just what’s inside
Of the boxcar waiting for its marching orders
Like the purgatory of a restless soldier
Who only ever wanted on for the ride

I remember the sound of the engine humming,
I’ll be ready for the whistle when the next one comes,
When you play the tape backward the train still rolls out of view
I remember each day that each war ended,
Remember the lines that we tried to defend, and
You can bet your life that I’ll always remember you

But that’s not enough
It doesn’t make it any better
Just to know how it ends
We’ve got to get there together
With the good times sweeter
’Cause we rolled around in the rough
I want to stand on the edge
With my hands on the wheel,
I want a good back story
And memories I can feel
I want to cut no corners
And hold each moment once,
But that’s not enough

In a hospital wing on the edge of town
They’ve got bright white lights and bright blue gowns,
And there’s a story of a lifetime lying in every bed
The tension lingers with a change in plans
As you cross your fingers and you wash your hands,
And you’re hoping just for the chance to do it again

Nothing is, ever,
But the world keeps turning
And they say it turns better
While you’re asking: “Why?”
And hearing: “Just because”
Grant me the calm
In the eye of the storm
Grant me the compass
To find my way home
Stare me down
Until I call the bluff
That’s still not enough

I dreamed last night I was taken away
On a flying ship, in the cargo bay
By a man who held his eye in the palm of his hand
He saw beyond the break of day
Ad knew that we would be okay
And asked me if I cared to understand
Track Name: To Have and to Hold
Is it really better? Is it worth the fight
If we end up together, and I’m still lonely through the night?
I guess it’s only fitting with these bread crumbs ’long the trail
The end circles the beginning in this twisted fairy tale

And when I’ve waded through the part that says that
We were meant to be, I start to
Wonder why I thought it would be easy

It’s too late now for me to go and change my plans,
But I can count the things I want upon my own two hands

To have and to hold, from this day forward,
For better or for worse, richer or poorer,
In sickness and in health, and in simply growing older
Take me now, keep me here till time do us part

I have heard it’s better to have loved and lost
Keep your memories forever, lose you heart to cover costs
’Cause everyone’s got old flames, and the one that got away,
But my one never left me, still my one couldn’t stay

And so I try to write my story while I’m stuck in my own purgatory
Wondering if Tennyson was right

It’s too late now for me to go and change my plans,
But I can count the things I want upon my own two hands

The grass is always greener on the other side of love
Makes no difference who or where or when
So it goes, and I suppose each one bears this cross alone
Maybe I’ll get luck in the end

It’s too late now for me to go and change my plans,
But I can feel it start to slip away like footprints in the sand,
Still I can count the things I want upon my own two hands
Track Name: Everything I Ever Wanted to Do
Everything I ever wanted to do
Seemed to make sense at the time
The call of adventure kept leading me on,
Pushing mistakes out of mind
I roped and I wrangled all over the range
Trying to do what was right
And everything I ever wanted to do
Seemed to make sense at the time

Everything I ever wanted to do
Has come with an unforeseen cost
I weighed all the risks and then all the rewards,
But sometimes my counting was off
I stand by my work and I hold no regrets,
I never called nobody ‘boss’
But everything I ever wanted to do
Has come with an unforeseen cost

Up in the morning and out to the pens
Catching the day by the horns
No time for questions or wondering why
Saddle the life that you know

Everything I ever wanted to do
Has only just lately been done
History books will not feature my name
After I’m long dead and gone
Triumph abounds, yet I’m a victim of fate;
I should have burned out ’stead of fading away;
Born ten years too early or ten years too late
Just trying to get farther along
But everything I ever wanted to do
Has only just lately been done
Track Name: Memory and Make-Believe
The film came out in ’39, longest ever at the time,
About a book about an old plantation
Atlanta-town was burning down, but sipping sweet tea in a ballroom gown
Made Clayton County feel like a vacation

Memory and make-believe are often one and the same
Frankly, I don’t give a damn for either
The good old days were grand if you had money, time, and land
And everybody seems to think they’d be there

In eighteen-hundred sixty-three the papers said he turned them free
The war was dragging on and it was bloody
Despite the things you might have heard, a careful look at every word
Showed it would not apply to everybody

We fought for justice, fought for hate,
Fought for these United States
Fought for land and industry and cotton
Answers ’bout who paid the cost,
And what was won and what was lost,
Might depend on who you choose to call on

So when a stranger slides up to the bar—don't much matter where you are—
And says: “I think just one more drink will fix me”
And talks about a way of life, a rebel stand, and sacrifice,
You might as well just let the band play “Dixie”

Who am I to say you wouldn’t be there...?
Track Name: Too Many
There’re too many cars on the road every day,
Too many planes in the sky
Too many heads that are nodding in rhythm
And not enough folk asking ‘why?’
Too many channels on my television,
Too many instant replays
Too many motives, and lately I’ve noticed there’re
Way too many people named Dave

There’re too many salesmen outside my front door,
Too many noses in the air
Too many recalls and too many strip malls,
Too much is medium-rare
Too many backrooms and too many smoke plumes,
Too many think they are saved
Too many stray dogs and too many high hogs,
And way too many people named Dave

Too many banjos and Canada geese
Too much macaroni, not enough cheese
Too many ballcaps and loaves of white bread
Too many reasons inside of my head

Too many moustaches, too many turns
Too much concrete and caffeine
Too many polo shirts, too many hopeless flirts
Too many empty green screens
Too many favors, I hate to belabor, and
Too many bad one-act plays / jesters & knaves
Too many onslaughts and too many hotshots,
And still too many people named Dave

Not enough Donalds and not enough Ronalds...
Track Name: One Year Older
The soldier’s been drinking, that much is clear
As he grins at the waitress and grabs at my beer
I don’t want no trouble, don’t want no scene,
But I’ve been down this road and I know where it leads
Outside the air smells like candy on fire
And the party is hot in pursuit of that pyre
I’m one year older tonight

They came ’cross the oceans, came from the east,
Came from old México: buscad y hallaréis
They built what they needed, took what was there
They made California that great Golden Bear, but
Outside the beaches and freeways and wine
Montana don’t own every inch of Big Sky
I’m one year older tonight

On the backsides of mountains and alleys between,
In the high-desert moonlight and the motels off-screen,
Dirt roads and dive bars like neon cathedrals
Ain’t nobody’s flag that can claim me right here

Sometimes at night when I’m lying in bed
Those old singing cowboys run ’round in my head
They say: “nice to meet you” and “will you stay long?”
And: “Look what went down once we passed the baton”
Outside the yucca throws arms to the sky
And begs for forgiveness, though I don’t know why
I’m one year older tonight...