Way Beyond the Maze

by Drew James

Released 2007
Road Tested Tunes
Released 2007
Road Tested Tunes
A songwriting cross between Tom Waits and John Prine -- as sung by Gordon Lightfoot accompanied by unplugged instruments.
  • 02:57 Lyrics Hands Up!

    Hands Up

    Drew James © 2007


    All night train

    I’ll see it in the morning light

    All night train

    I’ll see it in the morning light


    Hiding high above the blind

    In a Smith & Wesson dream

    When the whistle blows and the engine slows

    I’ll jump through a cloud of steam

    It ain’t far from car to car

    I can make it in one leap

    Crawling ‘round without a sound

    To where the rich men sleep


    Hands up

    Hands down

    Hand it over

    Arms bound


    (Repeat chorus)


    I hear the wheels and smell the steel

    Rise through the crack of dawn

    Wait and wait till I hear the brake

    Then through the air I come

    At 5 o’clock I pick the lock

    Into first class I creep

    But the plot’s undone when I see a gun

    Pointing back at me


    (Repeat refrain)


    Out of luck like a sitting duck

    Cause in the train car that I chose

    Were cops escorting wards of the court

    In their orange prison clothes

    They chained me up with two handcuffs

    And now I’m doing my time

    The bars of a cell sound like railroad bells

    When you bang your head and cry


    (Repeat chorus)

    (Repeat refrain) (X2)

  • 03:28 Lyrics You Can Cry to Me

    You Can Cry to Me

    Drew James © 2006


    When blue skies look cloudy from your eyes

    And the wind from the mountain smells of rain

    When your shadow in the sand seems your only friend

    And tonight even that one won’t remain


    When the spring leaves start falling from your trees

    And the blossoms’ summer colors turn to brown

    When your birds refuse to sing and it seems you’ve lost your wings

    And you feel like you’re sinking into the ground


    When sad and lonely’s all you see

    You know you can cry to me


    When your sweet dreams won’t get out of their beds

    And your secrets all run naked far and wide

    When the answers that you seek grow more distant with each blink

    And you couldn’t chase them faster if you tried


    When your wise men are all made out as fools

    And the words you live by all go up in smoke

    When you realize though you do not regret things that you do

    You still regret the things that you don’t


    When a gentle shoulder’s what you need

    You know you can cry to me


    And when your stars regain their wishes once again

    And your back is finally to the wind

    When all your tears are finally through

    Can I come and cry to you?

    Can I come and cry to you?




  • 03:58 Lyrics Thicker Than Blood

    Thicker Than Blood

    Drew James © 2006


    I stand wounded at the edge of night

    Cryin’ to the moon can’t you make it right

    As the mad rain falls down and the whiskey wind it blows


    If the devil calls out my name

    I got nowhere to lay the blame

    Sixty years of trouble is all I have to show


    And my blues flow down like a river

    Blues flow down like a river

    Blues flow down like a river

    Thicker than blood


    A burdened mind makes it hard to stand

    I live in the broken promised land

    I’m never gonna make it up to the top of the hill


    Can’t repent cause it’s too late

    My last horse has left the gate

    And it’s pulled up lame at the door of the bonemeal mill




    I’ve got one more thing to say

    Before I slowly drift away

    There may be things

    That you think you would never do


    That’s how I used to feel

    Till my fate turned like a wheel

    If it can happen to me it can happen to you


    And your blues will flow like a river

    Blues will flow like a river

    Blues will flow like a river

    Thicker than blood


    (Repeat last chorus)

  • 03:52 Lyrics So Long

    So Long

    Drew James © 2005


    When it came time

    To make up my mind

    The choice was clear

    I can’t make it from here


    Chance must be thrown

    Into the unknown

    I was ready to leave

    When your words I received


    As I go away

    You say so long

    While I’m gone

    One hope will remain

    For the day you’ll say

    It’s been so long

    Welcome home

    Then I’ll stay

    So looong


    So long, So long


    The songbird’s wing

    Has no freedom to bring

    Till he can be shed

    That cage in his head


    Then he can fly

    And there’s no roof on the sky

    It’s just him and his dream

    Nothin’ else in between



    Verse vamp


  • 03:51 Lyrics You're So Good for Me

    You’re So Good for Me

    Drew James © 2007


    The signs along Columbus Avenue

    Will light up my way tonight

    I can’t stop and talk to my friend down the block

    I’ll just shout out that I’m doing fine


    When I reach the doorway in front of your place

    I’ll count my way up the stairs

    I’ll knock as my heart pounds the seconds I wait

    Until you’re standing there


    You’re so good for me

    You are my style

    Since we met

    I’ve been wearing this smile

    I have it made

    When you’re by my side

    You’re so good for me

    You’re so good for me


    The moon will paint the sidewalk we take

    From your house to Pier 39

    I’ve reserved a booth for me and you

    We’ll order your favorite wine


    As we watch the fishing boats float on the bay

    I’ll slip my arm round your waist

    Then I’ll pull you tight when the time seems right

    And I know just what I’ll say




    When that bottle of wine’s almost empty

    I’ll pour the last glass for you

    Then I’ll place in your hand this engagement band

    How I hope that you will say too




  • 04:59 Lyrics Way Beyond the Maze

    Beyond the Maze

    Drew James © 2006


    I’ll meet you on the straight line way beyond the maze

    Breathing in the fresh air high above the haze

    When we hear the answers will we be amazed

    There along the straight line way beyond the maze


    Abraham, Isaac and the holy ghost

    Tied up satan to a hitchin’ post

    Left him in the hot sun scratchin’ at the dust

    But he broke loose now he’s comin’ after us




    Stella heard the thunder blowing in the breeze

    Turned her eyes to heaven and she fell upon her knees

    The rain came down in a mighty flood

    And buried her world in a sea of mud




    Sodom ruled his land with the pistol and the sword

    Grew his army to a mighty hoard

    But his generals never heard his battle cries

    Cause he was brought down by a pack of lies




    Donald built a prison on an island in the sea

    Well beyond the borders of common decency

    He swore to the people that his methods were humane

    Then half the population was marched away in chains




    Daniel saw a vision at the blind crossroads

    The apparition said there’s a message to be told

    Daniel wept as the spirit moaned

    Be careful of those devils wearing Jesus’ clothes




  • 04:36 Lyrics The World is Perfect

    The World is Perfect

    Drew James © 2007


    We sit in the Café Jalesco

    Where each conversation’s an echo

    Of when the times were carefree

    And our dreams were so real

    Before the Hydes all escaped from our Jekylls


    I walk to the jukebox on cue

    The same way that I always do

    I’ve worn out the keys

    Playing that tune on A3

    The world is perfect except for you


    Sometimes you live and you don’t learn

    You see all the signs and still don’t turn

    Your shadow just gets longer when the sun’s going down

    Until your chances with the nice girls are gone


    We share the same table for three

    Little Jimmy, Big Joe and me

    Where once told stories

    Of conquest and glory

    Until they became too hard to believe


    Now each sentence begins

    “If I had it to do over again…”

    You can fill in the rest

    Because no second guess

    Will ever change anything in the end




    As that song plays over and over

    I wonder how I ever let her go

    Now each kiss I’m unable to give her

    Leaves another open wound on my soul


    The world is perfect except for you

    The world is perfect except for you

    Almost perfect can feel all wrong

    When your chances with the nice girls are gone


    The world is perfect except for you

    The world is perfect except for you

    I just kept on playing that same old song

    Until my chances with the nice girls were gone

  • 04:00 Lyrics Every Daydream

    Every Daydream

    Drew James © 2006


    Someday I may finally write

    My perfect love song

    The one that melts the stubborn hearts

    As I sing


    But every angle that I’ve tried

    Just seems to go wrong

    Maybe milk and honey lines

    Just ain’t my thing


    Some feelings can’t be described

    Like the one you give off with your eyes

    The one you never vocalize

    But somehow lets me know

    I am number two to none

    Underneath your golden sun

    Honey you know that’s the one

    That can bring every daydream back home


    The poets’ words can never touch

    Your skin in moonlight

    The painters brush can never stroke

    The way your lips can please

    The beauty of their works of art

    Cannot be denied

    But to come close to the real thing

    Takes a masterpiece




    I can swear

    When you're near

    What I hear

    Is my perfect love song



    I’ll keep bringing all my daydreams back home (X2)

  • 03:43 Lyrics Stumbled on the Truth

    Stumbled on the Truth

    Drew James © 2006


    We can see

    But it’s way too bright

    We’ve turned a blind eye so long we’re just not used to this light


    We can speak

    But words can’t make it right

    They all fall in and out of our deaf ears here tonight


    We danced around and around each lame excuse

    Until we stumbled

    We stumbled on the truth


    I can reason

    But I can’t comprehend

    Why this wound we suffered is not the kind that time can mend


    I can wish

    But I just can’t pretend

    The last lines of our story will somehow have a rainbow end




    The clock sets foot on midnight at our foolish masquerade

    The band strikes up the final tune they have left to play

    If we keep our masks in place for just a little while more

    I’ll take your hand for one last dance out there on the floor


    “Once more for the old times” can be our lame excuse

    It’ll be just like before

    Before we stumbled on the truth



  • 04:32 Lyrics Love on the Outside

    Love on the Outside

    Drew James © 2006


    I waited but I couldn’t take it

    It felt like someone else was walking around in my shoes

    On your island my demons were silent

    But now you’re gone and I’ve nothing else to lose


    You'll pass always through my heart’s hallways

    My portrait of you still hangs upon my wall

    Its colors fading and time’s erasing

    The hope that someday soon

    Like a bolt out of the blue

    Mine’s the next number that you’ll call


    I continued to place my faith in you

    When your promises were only made out of straw

    Expectations without foundations

    Leave you hanging even after you fall




    You kept your feelings in when love got on the outside

    The game was lose or win and I guess you felt that was alright



    Mine’s the next number that you’ll call

    Colors fading

    Time’s erasing

    Is it goodbye

    When love is on the outside

    Love is on the outside


  • 04:36 Lyrics Goodnight Cowboy

    Goodnight Cowboy

    Drew James © 2007


    He made his bed by the roadside

    Where he dreamed his American dreams

    His boots once of shiny black leather

    Were now coming apart at the seams


    The coyote howls in the distance

    Were closer than ever before

    Completely surrounding his position

    No place seemed safe anymore


    Goodnight cowboy, goodnight

    Ride like the wind reach high like the eagle

    Above the hills and the treetops to the brown dusty plains

    Your saddlebags empty of gold and of silver

    As the autumn sun bows to the oncoming rain

    You must search for the hopes of tomorrow


    Wrapped in a circle of darkness

    Feeling so tired and alone

    The promise of a brave hero’s welcome

    Was the lone star above him that shone


    His rifle was loaded with questions

    His enemy’s straw men in rags

    His orders read “It’s all or nothing”

    His defense worn thin as his flag




    He stared at the moon and he wondered

    Which way he came down this road

    His past was unclear as his future

    Clouded by the lies he was told


    For all his commanders and generals

    Thought truth paved the road to defeat

    So when war began claiming its victims

    Truth was the first one to bleed


    They claimed he was felled by the enemy

    And they buried the evidence well

    But you can’t keep truth long a secret

    Cause time will eventually tell




  • 04:19 Lyrics I'm on Your Side

    I’m on Your Side

    Drew James © 2007


    You can stop me if you’ve heard this one

    I might have sung it here once before

    Our time together’s grown so short and precious

    And I sure don’t mean to be a bore


    But I couldn’t let you slip away

    Without taking the time to say

    A parting word or two

    Something you can take away with you


    You know that I’m on your side

    I hope our auld ang seins won’t just get left behind

    There’s so much to live

    And I have so much more to give

    I’m on your side, I’m on your side


    Soon we’ll go our separate ways

    Different lives in different places

    And brand new thoughts will fill your head

    And take the place of these words I said


    But somewhere deep inside your heart

    These words might cling to just a little part

    And on some quiet night or afternoon

    You’ll recall an old familiar tune


    I’m on your side

    I hope our auld ang seins won’t just get left behind

    There’s so much to live

    And I have so much more to give

    I’m on your side, I’m on your side

    I’m on your side, I’m on your side


    You can stop me if you’ve heard this one



Award winning songwriter Drew James, a San Francisco native, began writing and performing his own songs in 1996. He performs his solo act all over the west coast, primarily in the bay area, including the Bread and Roses concert series.

Drew’s songs have received airplay in the U.S. and Europe. His 2007 acoustic CD release "Way Beyond the Maze" is an intimate set of songs, including the Great American Song Contest award winner "You Can Cry to Me" and the 15th Billboard World Song Contest award winner “Thicker than Blood.” This CD is very representative of Drew's acclaimed solo acoustic performances.

In 2006 he released “The Last Second Chance,” recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley backed by outstanding musicians. The new CD, produced by Bruce Kaphan, was submitted for Grammy consideration. It was also featured at the Toofy Film Festival in Boulder, Colorado.

His first solo recording “As Far As I Know” features 14 of Drew’s original songs. He has also appeared on Shuteye Records’ “United State of Americana” compilation CD. That CD made it to #53 on the Americana Music Association charts in 2005.

“On his The Last Second Chance CD (2006), Drew James has created his own music realm, attractive and hospitable to any Real Music lover, no matter his or her genre preferences. Strictly speaking, the album is recorded in a folk-rock key, but there's so much True Blue feeling in every track that they sound "more Blues" to me than many of the "canonized" 12-bar standards. The arrangements and performance are tasteful and natural, and the production is simply perfect (a George Martin level work done by guitarist Bruce Kaphan). To those yet deciding whether to buy or not this CD, I'd say it'd be one of their best investments, a "long term" one - the more you play this record, the better it sounds. Drew James' music world is a place to stay - "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave".”
- Paul Bondarovski, Midnight Special Blues Radio

“As Far As I Know subscribes to traditional roots songwriting, but bends the rules slightly by subverting traditional sounds with intimate singer/songwriter blues tones” – Ryan Hoffer, Shuteye Records A&R

Award Winning Songwriter


Out to Lunch - New CD!

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