Track Listing

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1. Peace and Quiet

Hey there tragic one
I saw your ghost in Kensington
The sly sentry of the alleyway
A wounded soldier from the bad old days

And it took me somewhere
I haven’t been for years and years
Old appetites like souvenirs
I turned around, you disappeared

Into a street steeped in silence
The sweet peace and quiet

The lights never go down
A thousand shooting stars in Chinatown
Reflected in your eyes, electric blue
A kiss lingers like a deja-vu

But all the lovers crash
And echo under the overpass
They lie pinned beneath their memories
A million colliding destinies

Stain the street, pierce the silence
Ah, the sweet peace and quiet

We cursed a dishrag sky
We vowed to change the weather
You donned your widest eyes
I said “never say never”
And even though we lied
We swore we stay this way forever

And is it funny how you seem just like a rumour now?
A conversation that I overheard
The frail echo of a foreign word

And is it funny or sad?
Sometimes we just walk away
No bittersweet remembrance day
Why do you think that we do that?

To defeat peace and quiet
To cheat peace and quiet

If you don your widest eyes
I’ll say “never say never”
If you don your widest eyes
Time will change the weather
This time we’ll get it right

2. Kingdom of the Sun

Our love burns like the sun
It bears down on everyone
Like headlights at night
Or an old searchlight

Your blue house, seven miles to go
T-Rex on the radio
You got your blinds pulled tight
But it’s alright

‘Cause our days in the kingdom of the sun
Burn like a flame and then they’re done
Till the promise of something more
Is just the sunlight dancing on the kitchen floor

Twilight in the prison of the soul
Ignites a vision of the cold
And you wander around these rooms
Talking to the ghost of a woman that you thought you knew

So keep your friends and your family close
Those sad sacks and holy Joes
‘Cause when you’re losin’ the plot
And the rain won’t stop
Yeah, they’re all we’ve got

And the day turns to night
But it’s alright
Yeah, it’s alright

3. South Ontario

The price of gambling’s going up
That old racetrack’s comin’ down
When this whole town means nothing
I fuck off work and drive around

After Ginny’s gone to bed
And the kids are dreaming too
I get these visions in my head
I go downtown and look for you

‘Cause all these hotels in your eyes
And all these bus stops in my soul
They bled together for one night
In strip-mall south Ontario

You pressed your keys into my hand
I kissed the dirt road from your neck
Fifteen below or somethin’
And then I never saw you again

And nothin’s worse than nothin’
And some things end before they begin
Fifteen below or somethin’
And then I never saw you again

4. Small Victories

Take a morning pee
Drop some L.S.D.
And we’ll go trippin’ around Chinatown
We’ll get our Morning Buzz
Little cup of love
So safe and sound, freshly ground

These things mean more to me now than anything
These things mean more to me now than anything
Anything… ever did before

Smoke behind the church
Little fascist jerks remind me of our common cause
To buy a duffle trunk
And kill a nazi punk
And we’ll go bury him in my backyard

This spring is gonna be hard on everyone
This spring is gonna be hard on everyone

Small words of encouragement
In small hours of the night
Small wonder you feed my discipline
Feed my twenty thousand reasons to fight
Small change in your pocket
Small victory songs
Small steps in the right direction
Make more sense than a thousand big ones in the wrong

Hey Villasenor
Teach me to ignore the poison running through my veins
Little dirty girl
Spinning like the world
Indifferent, strange, pocket change

This spring is gonna be hard on everyone
This spring is gonna be hard on everyone

5. D.F.W.

Bite the hand that thrills ya
Give that ghost another round

I don’t remember who wrote
Was it St. Peter or St. Paul?
That into every life
A little shit’s gonna fall
I’ve been unfair
And you’ve been untrue
What the hell, what are we gonna do?

We wrote that book
That angry almanac
The words you should never say
Meet the things you can never take back
A sad sleight of hand
And cruel callous cracks
Hollow hollers and countless counter-attacks

I took a walk past your home
That old place on Virtue Street
Didn’t take me too long
It’s just eight houses, a lane and some trees
And why’s that street so small
It ain’t no mystery
It seems like living on virtue’s the hardest place you can be

I woke up on Sunday morning
With a freight train on my chest
Evangelically alone
Just me and that old infinite jest
Words can feel like stones
Words can be a noose
Godspeed D.F.W.

Words can take you home
Words can make you choose
Godspeed D.F.W.

6. Garden Song

Rain’s only good for gardens and songs
‘Cause when it streaks my face I’m only wet and alone
And what the weatherman fakes, my heart’s always known

The forecast is chilly
With a chance of down
Cold nights and bitter winds and pissin’ around
In the loveless streets of this cyclone town

Dave only shines when there’s women around
And Jane only cries when her defenses are down
And John’s getting high
And dad’s gonna drown

He waves his t-shirt semaphore-style
But there ain’t no lights for miles and miles
And the raft grins low
And Medusa smiles… to Gericault

You’ve been starred and feathered
Raised up high just to hit the floor
But if it don’t get any better
Then you’re right back where you were before

So your close up comes and the pressure’s on
But the camera sucks and the lighting’s wrong
Still you speak your lines and you carry on
And you hope that one day when the lights come up
And the credits roll
And the crowd erupts
And they’re on their feet
And they raise you up

They lift you high
And your sweet heart soars
And the sun beams gold
Through the lobby doors
Out into the street
Where a dream is born
‘Neath the traffic lights
And the telephone poles

And they’ll sing your song
And they’ll shout your name
And your old hometown
Well it’ll never be the same
And they’ll hand you the keys
And they’ll toast your fame
And they’ll fall to their knees
And they’ll bless the day

‘Cause they’ve seen your face
For the first time now
And they missed it before
But they don’t know how
And with tender hands
They’ll lay you down
In your garden of song

7. Saskia Begins

Most stars don’t come out ’til it’s dark
But one came early guided by her little spark
She smiled, starlight blazed across the sky
She came and she lit up all our little lives

Ah, ah, ah, ah
O’r the southwest sky
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Saskia arrived

Little acorn someday you will be
Tall and mighty as an old Acacia tree
Until then your folks hold you nestled in the lee
And they’ll take care of you just like they took care of me

Ah, ah, ah, ah
Blossoms fill the skies
Ah, ah, ah, ah
When Saskia arrives

Good morning Bent Street, shiny little pearl
There’s a soft new pillow
In the unmade bed of this big old world

Ah, ah, ah, ah
Warm against your skin
Saskia begins
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Come on dry your eyes
Saskia has arrived

And when she’s lost
And if she roams
Just let that squeezebox lead her home

Most folks turn out pretty much the same
But I reckon, now and then we need a little change
A tiny messenger smaller than a dove
We better listen to her postcards of eternal love

Ah, ah, ah, ah
Pound on every door
Saskia is born
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Sing it in their ears
Saskia is here
Ah, ah, ah, ah
What a lucky girl
Saskia’s in the world

8. Propellers

It’s so lonely dreaming
I think we all agree
So take your love, please make your love awaken me

The sky needs propellers
A shipwreck needs the sea
Don’t take your love, don’t take your love away from me

The hangman needs the gallows
A prison needs a key
Don’t take my love, don’t take my love so easily

The glaciers have receded
Our heros are deceased
Their suffering’s completed
Rest in peace

‘Cause nothing lasts forever
Except you and me
Don’t take your love, your sacred love away from me

A story needs an ending
So what’s it gonna be?
Don’t take your love, your scared love away from me
Don’t take your love, don’t take your love

9. Waitin’ On Something That’s Already Here

Oh, oh where’d you come from
You’re sittin’ in my kitchen with the radio on
A bit confused but it seems so clear
You’re waitin’ on something that’s already here

With your collar up and your eyes cast down
You never were too good at stickin’ around
And it looks like strength but it smells like fear
When you’re waiting on something that’s already here

Well you cut and you run
With your back to the sun

The days seem sad and strange somehow
LIke sleeping on the subway in your wedding gown
And the world’s a bride in a veil of tears
When you’re waitin’ on something that’s already here

Will the days seem long when your waitin’s done?

Hey Joe, where did you go?
Like a sad, slow soundtrack on the radio
You show up drunk and then you disappear
When you’re waitin’ on something that’s already here
Ah, you’re waitin’ on something…

10. Rome

Well I’m walking through the station
But I can’t find your face
Past the daughters of Sheba
And the puppets and parades
Under skies that have witnessed countless conquerors and slaves
Just another bloodless Monday morning in Rome

Ever bar’s a benediction
Every hiss rings like a phone
Every kiss a crucifixion
Every streetlight chaperone
And it’s biblically raining like a folk song on the stones
Singing all our thoughts these days lead to Rome

Vows of engagement
And dreams and amazement
But pidgeons and pavement is all you really mean

Through the long nights of ruin
To the mornings made of gold
We rise and we fall that way in Rome



Winnipeg Free Press
“…the allure of these songs lies in Ron’s lyrics and conversational, observational storytelling style. Every song harbours a memorable line or three, and his narrators are middle-aged romantics who pine for youth and loves lost and remembered.  I get these visions in my head and I go downtown and look for you, is a typical lament, while acknowledgement of what happens when the words you never should say meet the things you can never take back will be an evocation of time and place for many. Producer Joe Dunphy and the DGA do a splendid job of augmenting Hawkins’ tales, with strings, subtle horns, tasteful guitar all bringing colour to the palette without making it muddy, ponderous or overbearing. When Garden Songs is done, as it is all too quickly, you’ll find yourself playing it again to find out what else it might reveal. “ ~ John Kendle

Toronto/Winnipeg/Ottawa/Edmonton/Calgary Sun-London Free Press-24 Hours-Vancouver
“Armed with a sheaf of the Lowest of the Low leader’s bittersweet odes, lovelorn laments and sharp-witted ballads, they cut this disc live off the studio floor and mixed it all within a week. And why not?  With songs and performances this magnificently magnetic, anything more would have been a waste of time.”
~ Daryl Sterdan

Waterloo Record
“Here he is with his other ace band, offering a live-off-the-floor collection of ballads and mid-tempo material. It’s what Hawkins does best, where his lyrics are given space to sink in, where the richness of his voice really shines, where cellos and accordions bring out more in his material than loud electric guitars do. The new material shows that he’s certainly not in a slump.”
~ Michael Barclay

Wildy’s World/Amherst, NY
“The album was recorded over the course of one week, and highlights Hawkins’ brilliance as a songwriter and lyricist. It also shows off The Do Good Assassins ability to bring those songs to life….listeners newly introduced to Hawkins will be stunned by what they hear. Garden Songs is a must have album. I’ll give it 5 stars, without reservation.”

~Wildy Haskell

“The songs on this album were arranged and recorded in the space of a week, recorded live; it shows in the confident and laid-back energy of the band…an excellent ensemble. The intimacy of this album feels real, too; it’s a visit to Ron Hawkins’ musical neighbourhood.”
~Emily Zimmerman

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Garden Songs

Release Date : February 3, 2015
Artist : Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assassins
Format : CD, Digital Download
Catalog ref. : Yesboy