Battle the Anxious Thought

by Alex Koman

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about

It's incredible what a ride down Railroad Grade Road will inspire, along with a little family history and some therapy. Thank you for taking me on the bike trip, Sarah, and thank you, Mom and Dad, for your patience and participation during the writing and recording. Glen, you rock! Thanks a lot for being here, brother, and for supporting me! Much love!

I am so lucky to have worked with such great musicians, and I am grateful for their contributions, their influence and their creative performances on this album. They pushed me to grow musically, to learn new strum patterns, and they inspired things I wrote on the record I didn't think I could execute on the electric guitar. Thanks to Michael Kuehn for coming in and giving me lessons and fresh perspective that helped me to finish the project. Thank you, everyone, for uplifting me and helping me out along my journey!!!

credits

released October 11, 2017

Music and Lyrics - Alexander Emerson Koman
Producer - Alexander Emerson Koman
Recording Engineer - Aubrey Shamel
Recording Engineer - Alexander Emerson Koman
Recording Engineer - Steven Dickerson
Mixing Engineer - Alexander Emerson Koman
Mastering Engineer - Paul M Sammes
Vocals - Alexander Emerson Koman
Acoustic Guitar - Alexander Emerson Koman
Electric Guitar - Alexander Emerson Koman
Keyboard - Alexander Emerson Koman
Bass Guitar - Aubrey Shamel
Drums - Steven Dickerson

Thanks to Jason Scott Faylen for his help setting up the mixing session and for giving me tutorials on mixing full band productions with live drums.

© 2017 Syrup For The Stars Music

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Alex Koman Winston Salem, North Carolina

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Track Name: Andy Coleman Sic
My good friend was hanging with frat boys
And my roommate was steady with my ex-squeeze
So I was working the desk to distract myself
Whenever that “Andy Coleman” would ring

Flashback, 10-3-1969
On a blind date in college
The band was loud
And I was resigned

The man I was set up with
Knew everybody present, he
Was partying before I arrived
It was all a little unpleasant

I just wanted for the night to end
But I never thought I wouldn’t hear from him again

‘Cause my good friend was hanging with frat boys
And my roommate was steady with my ex-squeeze
So I was working the desk to distract myself
Whenever that “Andy Coleman” would ring

He’d call for other ladies
And I’d get them on the hall phone
Asking them out on dates
But nor was I alone
Yet despite those other people
Our courtship wasn’t through
We had something viable
It wasn’t long before we knew

‘Cause our matchmaker had asked me
To give him another chance, she said
It was just the circumstance that took away the romance

Well, my good friend was hanging with frat boys
And my roommate was steady with my ex-squeeze
So I was working the desk, secretly hoping
That “Andy Coleman” would ring for me

Fast-forward, we’ve been together
Almost fifty years
I accepted his proposal and learned to spell his name
So our love would persevere

My good friend said bye to the frat boys
My roommate didn’t end up with my ex-squeeze
I married an extraordinary man
‘Cause Andy Koman gave me

My good friend said bye to the frat boys
My roommate didn’t end up with my ex-squeeze
I married an extraordinary man
‘Cause Andy Koman gave me

My good friend said bye to the frat boys
My roommate didn’t end up with my ex-squeeze
I married an extraordinary man
‘Cause Andy Koman gave me a ring
Track Name: Stumbled Upon
Riding by the river, we reminisced
It was a bright, blue, beautiful Tuesday
On Railroad Grade Road to the mercantile
Talking about things that have come our way

We pulled aside and tiptoed in the water
Didn’t matter that the stones beneath us were slippery

I used to think I was running from the past
Looking back on what brought me down
But I can focus on the present and laugh at myself
Because I stumbled upon right now

“Dang, that water’s cold!”

Done taking pictures in the H2O
We mounted our bikes for home
Back to the barn beside the restaurant
Where there were things I wanted to let you know

We pulled aside and got out our cameras
Didn’t matter that the dust came up from the cars

I used to think I was running from the past
Looking back on what brought me down
But I can focus on the present and laugh at myself
Because I stumbled upon right now

“Who imagined, years ago, we’d be here!”

I used to think I was running from the past
Looking back on what brought me down
But I can focus on the present and laugh at myself
Because I stumbled upon

I used to think I was running from the past
Looking back on what brought me down
But I can focus on the present and laugh at myself
Because I stumbled upon right now

Because I stumbled upon right now
Track Name: Redefining Isolation
Talking to my therapist, who says I’m okay
But guilt from my past keeps me ashamed
We all make mistakes from time to time

Down on myself, keeping the blame
Feeling unworthy like a glutton for pain
The whole church thing didn’t work out for me

But if you don’t find forgiveness within
The doctor says to make peace with yourself
You might just need a new definition

Got my music, got my video games
Got my TV shows and software to code
Not around people a lot of the time
They call me the cat man, but I’m alright
‘Cause I’m changing what it means to be lonely
I’m redefining isolation
‘Cause this is where my thoughts are stationed
I don’t wander to dark places, ‘cause that’s where I’m alone

Talking to my parents, who understand
My lack of self-esteem makes me feel I’m not a man
They’ve both done stupid things too

I keep beating up the younger me
Deserve to be punished for my bad deeds
The Jesus Christ thing didn’t work out for me

But if I don’t find forgiveness within
I told them to make peace with myself
I might just need a new definition

Got my music, got my video games
Got my TV shows and software to code
Not around people a lot of the time
They call me the cat man, but I’m alright
‘Cause I’m changing what it means to be lonely
I’m redefining isolation
‘Cause this is where my thoughts are stationed
I don’t wander to dark places, ‘cause that’s where I’m alone

I just need a little ray of light
To make me focus on the moment
That is my current life

Got my music, got my video games
Got my TV shows and software to code
Not around people a lot of the time
They call me the cat man, but I’m alright
‘Cause I’m changing what it means to be lonely
I’m redefining isolation
‘Cause this is where my thoughts are stationed
I don’t wander to dark places, ‘cause that’s where I’m alone

That's where I'm alone
Track Name: Metronome
You say there’s not enough time to talk
You say there’s not a moment for us to get together
You’re breaking my heart when you walk by me
I know you’re not free, but that doesn’t mean you’re busy

‘Cause for the record, you’ve got a whole sixty seconds
You can count the clicks, or you can make the clicks count
Life is like a metronome, ‘cause you get to set the tempo
You’re a performer, so make your world slow down, down
Make your world slow down, down, down

You say there’s not a chance to relax
You say there’s not an opportunity to catch up
You’re breaking my heart when you watch me plead
I know you’re sorry, but show me some sympathy

‘Cause for the record, you’ve got a whole sixty seconds
You can count the clicks, or you can make the clicks count
Life is like a metronome, ‘cause you get to set the tempo
You’re a performer, so make your world slow down, down, down

‘Cause for the record, you’ve got a whole sixty seconds
You can count the clicks, or you can make the clicks count, yeah

Life is like a metronome, ‘cause you get to set the tempo
You’re a performer, so make your world slow down
For the record, you’ve got a whole sixty seconds
You can count the clicks, or you can make the clicks count
Life is like a metronome, ‘cause you get to set the tempo
You’re a performer, so make your world slow down, down, down
Make your world slow down
Make your world slow
Track Name: Quartet
Feeling alone
But then hearing your voice
Having each other
But not when we were boys

Talking ‘bout books and games and
Boredom toys
Pop rocks and music, our brother
And sister, in a way that was prudent

I have some siblings out there
Whom I’ve never met
They are a part of my story
We make a quartet

Sitting at home
Talking on my phone
We are connected
Somewhere in our bones

Talking ‘bout work and women
And rumoring
Thankful for people
Who rescued you and me

I have some siblings out there
Whom I’ve never met
They are a part of my story
We make a quartet

I am your twenty-five percent
I am your twenty-five percent
You are my missing pieces
We make a quartet
We make a quartet
We make a quartet
We make

Having each other
But not when we were boys
Track Name: Just Shy of a Couple Meters
Just shy of a couple meters
Just shy of a couple meters

We dropped our daughter off at her friends’ to play
And headed to Greensboro on the 23rd of May
It was already Wednesday, and we couldn’t spare a minute
But we had to stop for directions at a chiropractic clinic

Arriving at the adoption agency just in time
Our case worker took the clothes we brought, and soon called us inside

A beautiful room
With a beautiful bassinet
With a baby boy in the white outfit
She said he was a fussy eater
But he ate well for us, and now he’s
Just shy of a couple meters

Just shy of a couple meters
Just shy of a couple meters

We got a phone call about a week to ten days before
My wife hung up and told me, “I think our baby’s been born!”
On the 21st, we were told we could come tomorrow
But I had surgery that whole next day to follow

So, we made an appointment and showed up just in time
Our case worker took the clothes we brought and soon called us inside

A beautiful room
With a beautiful bassinet
With a baby boy in the white outfit
She said he was a fussy eater
But he ate well for us, and now he’s
Just shy of a couple meters

Just shy of a couple meters
Just shy of a couple meters

My wife was worried if we were the least bit tardy
Our little one would go home with another party

A beautiful room
With a beautiful bassinet
With a baby boy in the white outfit
She said he was a fussy eater
But he ate well for us, and now he’s
Just shy of a couple

A beautiful room
With a beautiful bassinet
With a baby boy in the white outfit
She said he was a fussy eater
But he ate well for us, and now he’s
Just shy of a couple

He ate well for us, and now he’s
Just shy of a couple

He ate well for us, and now he’s
Just shy of a couple meters
Track Name: Broken Barn
Abandoned on the side of the road
The wind picks up, and I’m breathing in memories
Pictures that aren’t mine, from decades left behind
And folks sitting in the chairs by the table upstairs

The red tin roof casts shade over the ghosts
It ain’t rainin', but I hear the pouring water boast

‘Cause beneath the face of the broken barn
And the weathered wood where the glory stood
There’s a story of a farmer and the seeds he sowed
He conquered the elements to provide for his own
Today, I feel his spirit in the overgrowth

Cars drive by, and boy, they go slow
Still, kicking up the dust and the rust above the window
Tears in my eyes, imagining the times
And the lives of the family who loved this man so

The storms pass by and cast shadows on the fields
It ain’t rainin’, but there’s relief here that heals

‘Cause beneath the face of the broken barn
And the weathered wood where the glory stood
There’s a story of a farmer and the seeds he sowed
He conquered the elements to provide for his own
Today, I feel his spirit in the overgrowth

As I go biking down the road
I feel his soul run through my spokes
As I go biking down the road
I feel his soul run through my spokes

As I go biking down the road
I feel his soul run through my spokes
Track Name: Bottle Rockets
A stone facade faces the tennis courts
In the upper window, on the side of the dorm
Was my dad’s room in college, which sunset brings to life
You can see his ghost
Setting firecrackers off at night

Like bottle rockets
The ones he launched decades ago
Reappear each day
In the afterglow

I am resting at the entrance to the stadium
And here to spectate a specter whom I love
Those dimples must deepen as the radiance careens
Because his smile sparkles
All the way across the street

Like bottle rockets
The ones he launched decades ago
Reappear each day

Like bottle rockets
Like bottle rockets

Like bottle rockets
The ones he launched decades ago
The ones he launched decades ago

Like bottle rockets
The ones he launched decades ago
Reappear each day
In the afterglow
In the afterglow
Track Name: Wares for Sale
Going to the bakery
Looking for refreshments
The hours posted on the sign read
“Monday closed, Tuesday maybe”

A gentleman said come in anyway
I can’t sell you anything
But you can see what we have on display

‘Cause it’s not just food
It’s souvenirs
It’s more than pastries
And elephant ears
There’s not a tart
That can measure up
There is no eclair
That compares to all our wares for sale

That compares to all our wares for sale
That compares to all our wares for sale!

Walking down the aisles
Seeing what they had
I thought just how thirsty I was
And I needed something bad

The gentleman started chatting
‘Bout the instruments he made
And engaged in conversation, I forgot why we came

‘Cause it’s not just drinks
It’s banjos and strings
It’s more than you’d guess
Not just lattes
And espressos
There’s no beverage
You can put in your cup
No soda pop I swear
That compares

He says, “I’ll tell-you about it all, and you’ll come back for everything”
He says, “I’ll tell-you about it all, and you’ll come back on Wednesday”
He says, “I’ll tell-you about it all, and you’ll come back for everything”
He says, “I’ll tell-you about it all, and you’ll come back on Wednesday”
He says, “I’ll tell-you about it all, and you’ll come back for everything”
He says, “I’ll tell-you about it all, and you’ll come back on Wednesday”
He says, “I’ll tell-you about it all, and you’ll come back for everything”
He says, “I’ll tell-you about it all, and you’ll come back”

‘Cause it’s not just meals
It’s the shopping that heals
It’s more than the staff
Even more than I brag
There's no other building
That contains a better store
No inventory bigger than
Yours truly’s

‘Cause it’s not just antiques
And china and trinkets
Not just children’s toys
And old signs to enjoy
I feel there’s something mystic
My, those price tags are artistic!
There’s no other kind of flair
That compares to all our wares for sale

That compares to all our wares for sale
That compares to all our wares for sale
Track Name: Battle the Anxious Thought
Alive on my biking trail
I don't think about if it's real
All I have is right here, right now
For sure

But it tells me if I'm standing still
A voice inside against my will
Everything is to be worried about
All down

I need to overcome and ride
Serotonin, please quiet my mind

Death is my preoccupation
It stops me wherever I go
Lonely, grieving, aching
And how it hurts

I'm gonna cut it with every mile
The cord to the discord I birthed
Nothing is worth hearing it cry
Unbind

I want to overcome and find
Chemicals to help me unwind

It takes work to rid the pain
It's a perk for me to stay sane
I'm just a cyclist about to brake
To break

I’m going to battle the anxious thought
Return the idea I’ve bought into
Fight it with happiness
Armed only with bliss, with bliss

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