The High Country

by Richmond Fontaine

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about

Produced by John Askew / Recorded at Type Foundry and Scenic
Burrows, Portland, Oregon / Mastered by Jeff Stuart Saltzman

credits

released 05 September 2011

Dan Eccles: guitar
Dave Harding: bass, guitar, vocals
Sean Oldham: percussion, keyboards, guitar, vocals
Willy Vlautin: vocals, guitar
Deborah Kelly: vocals
Paul Brainard: pedal steel
Ralph Huntley: keyboards, accordion
Collin Oldham: cello, cellomobo
John Askew: keyboards, vocals, scenic sounds
Matt Moore: Claude Murray
All Songs Written by Richmond Fontaine
All Songs BMI Winner’s Casino Music

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about

Richmond Fontaine Portland

Richmond Fontaine was formed in 1994 at Portland Meadows racetrack in Portland, Oregon as songwriter/vocalist Willy Vlautin and bassist Dave Harding pored over the racing form and talked music between races. The two took their mutual love of Husker Du, Willie Nelson, X, The Blasters, and The Replacements and started playing music together. ... more

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Track Name: Inventory (A Confession at Arlene's Paperback Exchange)
I’m just fucked, Arlene. I don’t have any guts...

Her father was a logger and he was always out
of work. Her mother hardly said a nice word, ever.
Then the girl got pregnant by a kid she knew,
and she waited a long time before she told him.
But they got married anyway, even though she
didn’t want to. They lived in a trailer home that
was way out and alone.
Then the kid, who was also a logger, got his leg
crushed by a falling tree. He hardly ever worked
after that. And the girl, she miscarried in the
eighth month and that’s really late and hard.
And after that the kid just quit talking to her.
She got a job in an auto parts store. All the guys
there kept hitting on her and bothering her
‘cause they all knew her husband and they didn’t
like him.
This is up near Clatskanie, which is in the mid-
dle of nowhere. After work she’d take long walks
by herself on the logging roads. And each night
she’d go home and make dinner for the kid and
then she’d watch TV with him.
And no one knew how it was for the girl. Then
finally one day the girl disappeared. For a while
it was in the papers and on the radio, but no one
ever saw her again. No one ever knew what hap-
pened, not even the police, who were sure it was
the kid but could never pin it on him.
That’s all I got so far, Arlene.
Track Name: The Chainsaw Sea
In the trees, in the trees,
there’s a bar called the Chainsaw Sea
Where Claude Murray drinks Rainier
and lives on speed
He stays in the back room with his wife Melanie
Below the concrete is buried
the fat man from Mississippi and
A hooker he met in Clatskanie
who was on her knees one night in the
Eagle Lodge bathroom and started laughing at it
In the trees, in the trees
there’s a bar no one wants to see
Hidden in 300 acres
owned by a speed freak, Angus King
He ain’t left his house in St. Johns since 2003
He opened the bar in the seventies
when he left the army addicted to speed
They pulled all his teeth in 1993
The Chainsaw Sea
The girl from the auto parts store was crying,
on a logging road sobbing
From the hill Claude was always watching
every week the girl broke down
looking over a clear cut valley
His heart all it did was ache
making his mind shake
Then he’d beat Melanie
and Melanie would sing, ‘Harder’
Track Name: Let Me Dream of the High Country
It’s time for him to get up
But he won’t until he’s late
Then he coughs and yells, ‘Oh fuck’
He bangs around and turns on all the lights and
Yells at me for misplacing the keys
That he always leaves some place he can’t find
High Country, please let me dream
He slams the front door
and his truck coughs away
I have an hour until
It’s still dark and the bed is now free
It’s mine and not his
Not in a home that his mother owns
Stuck on some logging road
I’m saving, but until
High Country,
please let me dream of the High Country
Track Name: The Mechanic's Life (It Ain't Always Wrong to Give Up and Run)
My dad got sick so I moved back to town but
Month after month it started grinding me down
I should have just stayed away
he never liked me anyway
Even when he was sick
There are so many churches here
and it’s always raining and
At home no one says anything at all,
and what ain’t seen
Is how to be when you feel like
you’ve been set in concrete
I can’t stop thinking about you and the way
you were on the phone that night
Your voice suddenly fell apart with the sound
of his truck coming home
You said once we both had eyes that were dying
But maybe we ain’t dying
Maybe we’re just meant to be
It’s all a wreck and we both know it’s true
But what if you could leave with me and
I could leave with you too
It ain’t always wrong to give up and run
Track Name: The Meeting on the Logging Road
Let’s meet on the logging road
No one has to know
We’ve been fighting this for a year
But now it’s clear we’re meant to be
But if you want to spend your life
treading on breaking ice
Then I’ll leave you alone,
but I know you hate it here
‘Cause all it does here is rain and
The logging trucks are driving me insane
I’m gonna leave
You ain’t stuck you’re just scared
The whole world falls apart from fear
But that ain’t me and you
So tonight lets meet in the safety of the trees
We’ll walk together alone
on some old logging road
Make our plans to get out of here
Track Name: The Eagles Lodge
Behind the Eagles Lodge we were hiding
Friday night while everyone
was in the bar drinking
For ten minutes we went missing
I kissed your face underneath the broken awning
Please let’s just go,
Please let's go before it’s too late
Why oh why do I get so scared I think I’m dying?
All I want to do is drown with you
while they’re all watching
The ships in the river they’re all passing
they’ll take us away
Like misfit cargo they’ll let stay
But please go, I hear his voice so go,
they’re all coming out to smoke
Track Name: Lost in the Trees (Featured on KSAW Logging Radio)
It was getting dark in a sea of trees
Everyone was tripping except me
Amber couldn’t quit talking
‘cause she was on speed
Kevin was listening to a mix tape
of Judas Priest
Crystal couldn’t stop laughing then she
took off her clothes
We were all pretty fucked up
Crystal was laughing and then she weren’t
Her clothes were on a pile by the cooler
but she weren’t
I screamed her name ‘til my voice broke
But she was gone
We went for help but we couldn’t find
the logging road
We couldn’t remember how far
Man, we couldn’t find the car
It began to rain and night came
I tried to start a fire but the lighter ran out
and Amber went insane
Kevin told her to shut the fuck up
and then Amber started crying
She said we were all gonna die,
she said we were all going to die
Things really fell apart then,
things really fell apart
I screamed her name ‘til my voice broke
I screamed Crystal ‘til my voice broke
But she was gone
Track Name: On a Spree
Claude Murray stayed up for three days
He was in love, he didn’t know what to do
He was going raving fucking mad
Even his wife knew something was wrong
They parked outside the girl’s house
Until the one legged kid finally left the house
They followed him along the logging roads and
In the darkness the kid’s truck broke
Claude’s wife jealous and crazed also up for
three days shot the kid in the face
See, all along she thought
he was in love with the kid
She started singing,
she started singing with glee
His wife had the strong back
She dug the hole,
under the Trees,
she dug the hole
Claude’s patience came undone when
she was only half done
He shot her in the back of the head
And the Trees started laughing
‘cause they knew
Claude hadn’t shoveled since ’82
He was coughing and sweating
and sweating and coughing
He thought he was dying
and the Trees sang with glee
Track Name: I Can See a Room
I can see a room, a place for me and you
The windows aren’t painted shut
and the sheets are new
We won’t bother anyone and
everyone will just let us be
In the city and we’ll have enough money
So that our lives, they’ll be almost easy
You’ll walk me to work and
pick me up in the evening
We’ll walk along the avenues and
have dinner at any place we choose
And all the scars I have I’ll no longer see
They won’t even be a distant memory
I can finally see a place for you and me
Track Name: The Escape
He saw the girl as she walked down the road
With a suitcase, a flashlight, and all alone
He followed her to town where she stood alone
In the back of the auto parts store
Then a man came under blankets of rain
They embraced, they embraced, they embraced
Claude was enraged he called Angus King
Said if he didn’t come
he’d burn down the Chainsaw Sea
Muddy and wet his wife’s blood on his chest
He pulled out a knife
The Trees from the mountains they all screamed
But the girl couldn’t hear anything but
Claude’s raving and he raved and he raved
The girl held her love dead on the street
His throat cut, his eyes missing
She cried and cried and cried
Claude was insane screaming in the rain,
screaming ‘Melanie’
Angus King drove up and saw the wreck
Pale as a ghost he shot Claude Murray
in the head
The girl she ran down the road
But he threw her in the car and headed for the
logging roads
And the Trees cried no, please, please let her go
Angus King began shaking at the sight
of the Chainsaw Sea
He began hitting himself in the face
and he couldn’t stop
He told the girl to run,
he told her she better run