What We Feel

What We Feel

The sunny warmth of a pearl white sandy beach

Something you just know was meant to be

I hope you get to feel that

The gift of giving what you don’t have to give

Gratitude for another day to live

I hope you get to feel that

It’s what we feel

That makes the memories

It’s what we feel

That gives us history

The part that’s real

It’s what we feel

The stomach drop of a roller coaster ride

Knowing without a doubt that you did right

I hope you get to feel that

The joy of seeing an old friend you once knew

Taking the moment that’s in front of you

I hope you get to feel that

It’s what we feel

That makes the memories

It’s what we feel

That gives us history

The part that’s real

It’s what we feel

Stop and take it all in

When you look back one day

That’s how you’ll know where all you’ve been

It’s what we feel

That makes the memories

It’s what we feel

That gives us history

The part that’s real

It’s what we feel

That makes the memories

It’s what we feel

That gives us history

The part that’s real

It’s what we feel


 

Country Boys Don’t Wear Thongs

Country Boys Don’t Wear Thongs

 

Well, she left me for a GQ dude

Who models underwear for L.A. photo shoots

What the attraction was I couldn’t see

She said he had more Vogue than me

That he was confident enough in his masculinity

To indulge his inner femininity

That may be

But you won’t catch me

Paradin’ in the locker room

Over at the YMCA

In anything but boxer briefs, okay

Man, some things are just wrong

Yeah, country boys don’t wear thongs

She said she’d come back if I’d go out on a limb

And try to be a little more like him

I told her if that’s the deal breaker

He could just go on and take her

Since he didn’t mind the sheer downright impracticality

Of fabric in that one locality

And so you see

You won’t catch me

Paradin’ in the locker room

Over at the YMCA

In anything but boxer briefs, okay

Man, some things are just wrong

Country boys don’t wear thongs

Yeah, I reckon it takes all kinds

But I won’t be plowin’ with my John Deere

In skimpy little Calvin Kleins

Naw, that ain’t happenin’ here

You see, you won’t catch me

Paradin’ in the locker room

Over at the YMCA

In anything but boxer briefs, okay

Man, some things are just wrong

Country boys

Don’t you see, you won’t catch me

Paradin’ in the locker room

Over at the YMCA

In anything but boxer briefs, okay

Man, some things are just wrong

Country boys don’t wear thongs

No, country boys don’t wear thongs

That’s just wrong

Fifty Acres and a Tractor

Thomas got his heart broken in a big way the summer after we graduated from college. He fell for this girl who had her own little mini-farm outside of Athens, Georgia. She was cute, and mostly sweet, but I swear I think the real reason he lost his head over her was because she could drive a tractor better than pretty much anybody either of us had ever seen. She’d drive into town on Saturday mornings and take it through the Hardee’s drive-through for coffee and an egg biscuit. She eventually broke Thomas’s heart by telling him she could never marry a musician. She wanted a farmer with no interest in ever leaving Georgia.

I tried to cheer him up by writing a song about it. Not sure it worked, but here it is anyway.

Fifty Acres and a Tractor

First time I saw her

She was drivin’ down highway twenty-nine

Tires flingin’ red dirt

She was workin’ that John Deere ‘n lookin’ fine

Had to pull my truck over

Sat there on the shoulder

While she rolled on by

Wavin’ that cute hi

Yeah I was taken

Oh I was shaken

So I asked around

Our little bitty town

(Found out she’s got)

Fifty acres and a tractor

That don’t really matter

She’s got the sway of a Carolina cornfield on a windy day

The lure of an Alabama morning in the month of June

A sweet little honey

Mama didn’t raise no dummy

Naw, what I’m after ain’t the

Fifty acres and a tractor

One truth I’ll sure own

It’s what every man wants down deep inside

A place callin’ him home

On the kind of land that’s real hard to find

Plenty peaks and deep valleys

Views that give a heart ease

From a front porch swing

With a hinge that sings

Grows a nice garden

Crows who guard it

An old mule or two

Make it ring out true

(got all that in her)

Fifty acres and a tractor

That don’t really matter

She’s got the sway of a Carolina cornfield on a windy day

The lure of an Alabama morning in the month of June

A sweet little honey

Mama didn’t raise no dummy

Naw, what I’m after ain’t the

Fifty acres and a tractor

yeah

wh-oa-oh

Might say wow to the plow

Oh, I mean to tell you now

That PTO’s got a whole lotta go

Be hard to say no

(to her)

Fifty acres and a tractor

But they don’t really matter

She’s got the sway of a Carolina cornfield on a windy day

The lure of an Alabama morning in the month of June

A sweet little honey

Mama didn’t raise no dummy

Yeah, the main attractor ain’t the

Fifty acres and a tractor

Fifty acres and a tractor

Hammer and a Song

Thomas and I decided at some point in this musical journey of ours that we didn’t really care what we had to do to keep singing and writing in our lives. We both agreed that armed robbery was out of the question, and we both agreed that hard work sometimes has its own reward. One summer during college, we worked with a crew of guys building houses for some folks in need. It was kind of great doing that during the day and getting a chance to see what a difference we could make with something as basic as a hammer and nails.

And it was also great to go play music at night. We felt like we’d earned it. And that just made me love it even more. Here’s a song we wrote based on what we learned that summer.

Hammer and a Song

What You Took From Me

So this song started with a memory of my dog, Lucy, something I hadn’t let myself think about for a long time until one night I found myself parked outside a county pound with CeCe Mackenzie. CeCe’s hound, Hank Junior, had gotten picked up and taken there, so we waited outside the gate until they opened the next morning.  When I was growing up, my Lucy got out of our backyard, and we looked everywhere for her. Days later, we learned that her life had been taken at the county shelter. I guess I’ve never really gotten over it. The unjustness of it. Life isn’t always just or fair.

Somewhere along the way, this became a song about a drunk driver causing the death of a man’s wife. Songs often work out like that for me. Start out as one thing and end up with more than one meaning. I love that about music.

Click here to play:

What You Took From Me

What You Took From Me

By Holden Ashford

So I gotta a few things I need to say

Cause I never thought my life would turn out this way

Do you ever think about the choice you made

And what those who loved her have had to pay

Chorus

What you took from me you can’t give back

You took the sun

You took the stars

You took the ground beneath my feet

Man, you even took the air I breathe

Everything, that’s what you took from me

The roses she planted still bloom each spring

Now and then I sit in our old front porch swing

I look for her in places we used to go

They say the heart forgets but it just ain’t so

Chorus

What you took from me you can’t give back

You took the sun

You took the stars

You took the ground beneath my feet

Man, you even took the air I breathe

Everything, that’s what you took from me

Somewhere in all of this

Forgiveness has its place

But if you’d know then how this would feel

Would you have skipped that last drink

Never taken the wheel

Chorus

What you took from me you can’t give back

You took the sun

You took the stars

You took the ground beneath my feet

Man, you even took the air I breathe

Everything, that’s what you took from me

Oh, you even took the air I breathe

Everything, that’s what you took from me

 

Up There

Here’s a song I wrote for my buddy Thomas. He lost his younger sister to cancer when he was twelve. He’s often told me about how he could only find peace in picturing her doing the things she loved to do. That Heaven had to be that kind of place. I have to believe it is.

I wrote this song about a father and his daughter to give Thomas some distance from the words. Even so, he sings it like his own truth.

Up There

Up There

The day we brought you home I was so darn proud

Flew a hot air balloon over our house

Showered flower blooms in a rainbow from the sky

Honey, that sure made your mama cry

When you were five we took you to the county fair

Rode the carousel with the wind in your hair

Now at seven you’re askin’ what’s it like in Heaven

I’ve been thinkin’ real hard about your question

It’ll be like this up there

Little girls don’t have a care

Rain’s nothin’ more than butterfly kisses

Pain’s somethin’ that a pony ride always fixes

Cold watermelon every single day

Big parks where kids can run and play

Old oak trees throwin’ summer shade

It’ll be like that up there

You can’t hold sunshine in walls this cold and grey

I’ve been prayin’ about that night and day

They say you’re just waitin’ on me to let you go

But honey I’ve gotta make sure you know

It’ll be like this up there

Little girls don’t have a care

Rain’s nothin’ more than butterfly kisses

Pain’s somethin’ that a pony ride always fixes

Cold watermelon every single day

Big parks where kids can run and play

Old oak trees throwin’ summer shade

It’ll be like that up there

I open the window like you asked me to

Let that soft breeze drift on through

Honey don’t you worry I’m gonna hold your hand

And I’ll be right beside you till it all begins

It’ll be like this up there

Little girls don’t have a care

Rain’s nothin’ more than butterfly kisses

Pain’s somethin’ that a pony ride always fixes

Cold watermelon every single day

Big parks where kids can run and play

Old oak trees throwin’ summer shade

It’ll be like that up there

It’ll be like that up there

It’ll be like that up there