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Bon Courage (2013)

by Ben Shaman

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Remember when you got high for the first time? With your friend from the bad neighborhood? Laughed so hard at your school uniform Said man this shit is good! Remember when you got laid for the first time? Thought that you were a man? Felt so good even if it didn’t last long Said now I understand! Remember when everyone hated the president? Then it was “yes we can” Tried to give a shit by watching the news Said here’s my opinion! Remember when you skipped church for the first time? Forgot where you come from! Felt so good to know you were right Said god is opium! Remember deciding what to do with your life? Seemed so important back then Gotta make livin it don’t matter how Said I just want to be happy man! Remember when you were smarter than everyone Had an answer for everything Closed the book and took a look around Said everybody’s just like me!
Tell your sister I said hello Tell you sister I said hello Cause I seen her last night At the pool hall with the lights down low Tell your sister I said what’s up Tell your sister I said what’s up Cause when I seen her last night She acted like she wanted some Tell your sister I said good morn Tell your sister I said good morn Cause I left her last night Just before the breakin of dawn Tell your sister I said hot damn! Tell your sister I said hot damn! Cause I never can say nothin Way that she be howlin!
Discotheque bout to wreck your mind Americana callus keep it cauterized A hand in your pocket on a buckeye seed A good luck charm is all you need But you try to make the best of everything Even when it ain’t what you thought it would be You left your heart Somewhere far from reach Disappear and hear the pool balls crack Betcha five dollars he never come back Windows down the sun is too In the arms of mother nature it’s almost true Far from reach Rocks on the mountain and sands on the beach Far from reach Lousiana jambalaya to the Georgia peach
Daydrinkin' 03:20
Daydrinkin’ Gonna get me tired Daydrinkin’ Gonna get me so so so so tired Go to bed with my head still spinnin When I wake up I be alright Daydrinkin’ St. paddy’s day parade Daydrinkin’ At the st. patricks day parade Capitol street yo feet be draggin Think it’s time for another drank Daydrinkin’ Ain’t got no worries at all Daydrinkin Ain’t got no worries at all Just thinkin bout daydrinkin Bout to make me quit this song
She got a brand new apartment in town with a riverview And a discoball in the living room There’s a bar called Chez Colette, it’s down below Everybody loves to say hello But the other night She told me that she’s sad inside It breaks my heart But I think she’s off to a better start Happiness, I hope you find it Happiness, Or somethin like it She’s got a job and it ain’t the best but it pays the rent And she’s young and she’s intelligent I tell her she can do whatever she wants and don’t despair It’s not too late, baby girl I swear The river’s high But it’ll go back down in a while The current’s strong Keeps that river movin along Happiness is a funny thing Like a blues song that we sing in a major key Here’s to hopin that we find it eventually And for every blue note, a happy memory
Family 02:55
Momma had a baby and the baby was me Named him Benjamin as you can see Moved back to Ackerman, Mississippi 3 kids later, was a family Family is somethin that you can’t replace Got some pretty good friends, but it ain’t the same Brothers and a sister and a mom and dad If I lost everything I know I’d still have my family Momma is a teacher and she taught us well We was four little heathens but we turned out swell Surely have to say that’s where I got my start She put a book in my hand and love in my heart Daddy is a hard-workin business man Taught me the meanin of discipline But he’s quick with a joke put a smile on your face Made me the man that I am today Well my brothers and me you know we used to fight But we grown up now, we get along just fine And my kid sister, she turned out alright One day we’ll get together talk about old times
Nightfall 02:25
You can take the night bus home It runs into the early morn It’s cheaper than a taxi ride Though it takes more time There’s a whole lot goin on You live a day and then it’s gone You do so much but you ain’t done much at all And it’s nightfall The iron that is in you blood Was forged upon a distant sun Billions of years ago But you don’t feel that old You’re a modern Sisyphus Live to work and work to live You think too much but you don’t think much at all And it’s nightfall There’s a party at Liz’s place You could go or you could stay You try to make sense when it don’t make sense at all And it’s night fall
Justine 03:21
Justine, Justine I met you just in time I met you just, met you just in time One more minute and my heart woulda turned to ice Justine, Justine The two of us are two of a kind The two of us, the two of us are two of a kind Just look in the mirror, honey you and me side by side Justine, Justine I want to be your guy I want to be, want to be your guy I’ll be your Mississippi llama pretty mama gonna treat you right Justine, Justine I met you just in time I met you just, met you just in time Soon I’ll be leavin, but I’m still here tonight Justine, Justine Won’t you sing with me tonight Wont you sing with me, sing with me tonight Me and you are gonna sing until the mornin light
Was a metal head, a student of history Met the president up in D.C. Got his picture took and put up in a frame But he had muddy, muddy water in his veins Was a girl from Jackson, lawyer’s daughter Played the violin like a fish in the water But she got knocked up and gave that kid a name Cause she had muddy, muddy water in her veins Was an immigrant from south of the border Left his wife and kids for bricks and mortar Still sends them money, but somethin in him’s changed He got muddy, muddy water in his veins Was a lamb of the lord who just didn’t buy it She figured she was different, kept it quiet Sang “glory, glory” all the way to the grave Cause she had muddy, muddy water She had muddy, muddy water, They had muddy, muddy water in their veins
Well I heard a little somethin down in New Orleans Down in New Orleans Yes they tell me of a man lived a hundred years Lived a hundred years Said tell me what’s the secret to a longer life They said all you gotta do is not die Well I went to see the Pope at the Vatican At the Vatican And I told him all about my life of sin My life of sin Said what must I do to get to Heaven? He said, boy, just do the best you can (whistle solo) Well I climbed up a mountain in the land of Tibet In the land of Tibet I found the Dalai Lama just a’ sittin there Just a’ sittin there Said tell me Dalai Lama, what is true happiness? He said mmhmmhmmmmhmmmhhhmmmmm
Nighttime in the Everglades The grass starts to move There’s a tremblin round your ankles Cause the python’s comin for you The python’s low lyin He’s low lyin, don’t let him get a hold He’ll break every bone in your body And then he’ll swallow you whole Fifteen hundred dollars For the man who kills the most The great python hunt of 2013 is on Some say he’s a menace Some say he’s straight from hell Even gators won’t go near it Although there never was one lived to tell You can cut him up with your machete Put a bullet in his head Don’t matter how you do it Only python that’s good is dead You know the white coats couldn’t do it They said Go get em boys, it sounded like fun What started out as population control Was a blood bath by the time it was done
Water and light In a hotel pool on a starry night In this web of refraction, what spidery fate Hath wove us together? We are one in this place. I wanna be everything All at once All at once Body and mind Hard to believe that we’re machines inside In the water our cells divide Them dancin lights keep us occupied I wanna be everything All at once All at once No one’s got a room And no one can drive Everbody’s half half half half tonight
Mercy 03:44
We are weak, fallible Fragile little things Condemnations get thrown around Way to easily Gotta have mercy on your kin Mercy on your enemy Gotta have mercy on your best friend When he says somethin you know he didn’t mean We are held accountable For everything we do or say Ain’t no getting around it It’s just the price of liberty Can’t undo what you did Pardon don’t mean shit Can’t unsay what you said But we ain’t gonna crucify you for it We are frightened, paralyzed By mistakes we’ve yet to make Takes courage just to raise your hand Courage from the moment you wake Everybody’s scared I swear it ain’t just you Gotta have mercy on your fellow man Cause lord knows you need it too Gotta have mercy on your kin Mercy on your enemy Gotta have mercy on your best friend When he says somethin you know he didn’t mean
Hey, little sister Tell me where have you been Last time I saw you was I can't remember when Hey, little sister I thought we were friends If you call this friendship, consider it the end I'm callin' you out (cause you never call me) I'm callin' you out cause you never call me Tried you on your Twitter Hastage WTF Sent you an Instagram in sepia no less I know you saw that message My iPhone don't lie You sure hurtin' my feelins, why can't you just reply? You better call her out if she don't call you!! You tell me, well the telephone You know it works both ways Don't even give me that, honey, I've been callin' you for days Tell me you've been busy Well how could I have known? You might as well be dead I wish you'd pick up that phone...
Womb Envy 02:39
Dreamin' 01:12
Taratata 01:09
Lullaby in B 01:57


Collection of songs written and recorded during my time in Tours, France from fall 2012 to spring 2013.


released July 9, 2013

Thanks to Élodie Merlin for her permission to use the disco ball picture.




Ben Shaman New Orleans, Louisiana

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