Welcome home again

DRAgtrsmashWith four days to go before it closes, the top eBay bid for Ryan Adams’ smashed Vancouver guitar stands at $530. Auctioneer Thomas O’Keefe has added a few more pictures of the wreckage, viewable here, the aftermath of a show described in Chapter 10 of “Losering.”

But the pictures I’m more interested in show the item Thomas is offering as an accompanying bonus, Ryan’s handwritten lyrics to a lost song called “Welcome Home Again.” It might even be more than one song, because the lyrics on the back side of the paper seem unrelated to what’s on the front.

Whether it’s one song or two, it looks like the handwriting I remember; and the sentiments are familiar, too. Dated Dec. 6, 1997, “Welcome Home Again” was never recorded or performed live as far as I can tell, and it’s obviously a rough sketch that needed work. Still, it reads like something that would have fit right in on Whiskeytown’s Strangers Almanac.

Expressing regret for things lost and bridges burned, “Welcome Home Again” describes the sensation of feeling like a stranger in one’s own hometown. And given Raleigh’s ongoing building boom, which has taken down many a Whiskeytown-era landmark in recent years, the line about “Businesses opened and businesses closed but it’s almost the same” sure does feel up to date.

Welcome home again, indeed. I can just about hear the song this might have been. Would be fun if Ryan came back to Raleigh someday and played this one here, but it will never happen. Maybe this is another job for Elliott Humphries?


DRAWHAWelcome Home Again

The voices have faded from the halls of the houses
where I used to live
And the mirrors reflecting are seeing the damage
I’ve caused since then.
Businesses opened and businesses closed but it’s
Almost the same
Almost the way that I dreamed that I left it but never the same
You try and never seem like a stranger
But you know you are in a way
In a way that just puts you in danger
In danger of just staying that way, welcome home
It just comes and it goes and nobody knows
And I never am welcome home again
All the pictures on the mantle, they become all the
People who I barely knew
And all the money that I earned became the
Streets where I turned to face the drugs that I do.
Businesses opened and businesses closed but
It’s almost the same
Almost the way that I dreamed that I lost
it but never the same.

You try and never seem like a stranger
But you know you need a way
In a way that just puts you in danger
In danger of just staying that way
Welcome home
It just comes and it goes and nobody knows
And I never will be welcome home again

DRAFlipsideAnd the flip-side, which I believe is a separate song (though it has no title):

Take me to the valley where the horses
And the stables are free of all the fences
I’ll be rested to the railing
Provided your ancestry demands another infamous
Heart to destroy like a thousand before
So take me to your leader
And I’ll take you to my gallon
I probably should’ve kissed you
But my spaceship hadn’t landed
Provided my misery demands another infamous heart
To destroy like a thousand before
If I’m not dreaming, then I’ve been drinking

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