Alone on a Saturday Night

by John Bowman

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released March 5, 2014

The Musicians:
John Bowman: guitar and lead vocals
Tobias Meis: bass
Kristine St. Pierre: harmony vocals
Mark St. Jean: harmonica
Hollis Morgan: dobro
Greg Jeeves: piano
Margot Lange: violin

Vocals and guitar recorded by Gregg Gorrie at Pistachio Studio, Aldergrove, BC

Recording of all other instruments and vocals, plus additional mixing, and all mastering, by Hollis Morgan at Constant Sound Studio, Ottawa, ON

Photos by Mitch Bowman and Diane Bowman
Cover design by Mitch Bowman



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John Bowman Vancouver, British Columbia

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Track Name: Alone on a Saturday Night
Alone on a Saturday Night July 2011

Been playing for hours working on a new song
Music sounds right but the words are all wrong
I know what I want I can hear it in my head
But my voice is singing something else instead

Trying to figure out how to play the notes right
Just me and my guitar all alone on a Saturday night
Just me and my guitar all alone on a Saturday night

Playing up on stage in some noisy bar
No one can hear me I can’t hear myself
I try my best to give it all I’ve got
Cause someone might be listening while the others talk

Trying to figure out how to play ……..

Pouring out my heart
Into the words on the page
Hoping people like it
When I play it on stage
It might be a love song
Or a story about a dream
Or a tale about something I lost
In some place I might have been

It’s getting late night is almost done
I think this song just might be the one
It’s got everything that I want to say
All put together in just the right way

Trying to figure out how to play …….
Track Name: Burning All the Bridges
Burning All the Bridges March, 2012

I used to look out my front window and watch the birds in the sky
And wonder what it would be like to have the freedom to fly
I made a choice to live a life where I sacrificed my dreams
And I’ve tried to make the best of it but I’m running out of steam

I’ve packed all the things I need
Burning all the bridges behind me
I’m leaving for a different place
Where I can be the person that I was born to be

I got married fifty years ago to a man I rarely see
He always finds some place to go to get away from me
There was a time I used to miss him, there was a time I used to care
But I can’t keep up this masquerade when there’s so little time to spare

I’ve packed all the things ….

It took me many years just to find the strength
To stop putting off my freedom for some other day
But I don’t wonder anymore how it feels to spread my wings
And fly away. Now I can fly away

Now I sit out on my front porch where I can hear the ocean waves
And no one tells me what I got to do so I can do just what I please
Now my friends and neighbours visit me so we can share a laugh or two
We play card games late into the night maybe have a drink or two

I’ve packed all the things…….
Track Name: Like I Used To
Like I Used to November 2012

I don’t worry about all the things I can’t change
Like I used to
And I don’t see the world through a black and white view
Like I used to

I still wonder if there’s any end to the sky
And I try to sort out the truth from the lies
But I don’t take for granted the time passing by
Like I used to

I don’t make any statement with the length of my hair
Like I used to
And I don’t shout at the world that life isn’t fair
Like I used to

I still wonder if there’s any end ……

As I try to make sense of a world spinning round
I still search for the wisdom that I should have found
And my dreams aren’t as big as they once used to be
But the weight on my shoulders grows lighter each day

I don’t try to pretend that I’m someone I’m not
Like I used to
And I don’t measure myself by the things that I’ve bought
Like I used to

I still wonder if there's any end...
Track Name: Barrel of a Gun
The Barrel of a Gun January 2013

In the classrooms and the factories you can feel the gunshots ring
And when the thunder’s over, you can hear the angels sing
As you’re running for your life you can reflect on what you’ve won
This freedom that you have from the barrel of a gun

We’re the self-appointed guardians of what is right and wrong
We beat up third world countries to show them we are strong
In Viet Nam and Afghanistan we left behind a smoking ruin
Trying to impose our will from the barrel of a gun

The gap between the rich and poor grows larger every day
As we cut back on the help we give to those who couldn’t pay
And those that crack beneath the strain of another setting sun
Will go out in a blaze of glory with the barrel of a gun

As we bury all the children the people ask for change
As the politicians argue, they sell more guns every day
As schools look more like prisons, to protect our little ones
From the culture that we built, with the barrel of a gun
Track Name: All Around the World
All Around the World October, 2012

There were no roads we wouldn’t travel
There were no hills we wouldn’t climb
But days were short, and work was hard
And we couldn’t find the time
So we raised our kids and made our home
So that somewhere down the line
We’d see the pictures from our dreams

We’d go all around the world
All around the world
Just me and my girl
We’d go all around the world

We dreamed of sailing on the oceans
Writing our names across the sky
We’d make our lists and plan our trips
And look forward to the day
When we’d explore the trails, and ride the rails
And take the time to play
To see colours ripple in the sky

We’d go all around the world ….

We waited ‘til we could retire
We waited ‘til the kids were grown and gone
And years passed by like birds that fly
We waited for too long

With her ashes in my pack, I go from town to town
When I find a quiet place she’d like, I spread a few around
Sometimes I can feel her smile and I know I’m not alone
And her spirit gives me the strength to climb these castles made of stone
I see the beauty through her eyes
As we go all around the world ……..
Track Name: Background Noise
Background Noise May, 2012

Took my first lesson, I was eight years of age
From a white-haired old lady, who taught me to play
So I practiced my scales and played some old songs
And sometimes I heard my mother singing along

I’m just background noise for the talkers and the drinkers
Elevator music for the movers and the shakers
If I make a mistake in this song, will anyone know?

When I was fifteen, I played in a band
Packed my Wurlitzer organ in the back of a van
And we’d try to look cool on the high school gym stage
And I played with a joy that I can’t find again

Now I’m just background noise ……

But someone would know, and that would be me
Cause I know how the music should be
So I’ll play the big finish, put all my heart in it
Like I’m on a big stage, and the crowd is amazed
And they’re standing and calling my name

I got my big break when I sold a few songs
To be used in the soundtrack when the TV is on
And sometimes at night I’ll turn on the screen
To watch some old rerun and hear those songs again

I’m just background noise ……
Track Name: Hard Way to Live
Hard Way to Live August, 2011

She was a young girl
Looking for a ticket out of home
So she found a young man who made her feel
So wonderful
Then they built a family one by one
And she quit her job to take a different one
Sent the kids to school each morning
While he went to earn his pay

It’s a hard way to live
When you’re feeling so alone
When you’re hoping what he tells you might be true
It’s a hard way to live
When the night is almost gone
And he’s miles away and you’re wondering who he’s holding in his arms

Soon they got a bigger house
In a better neighbourhood
And they saw less of each other
As he worked all that he could
There was less and less to talk about
More and more to say
Before you knew it the time had slipped away

It’s a hard way to live…….

Now the kids have grown older
Moved out and on their own
He’s still working such long hours
Never happy when he’s home
And the trust she had when they made their vows
Was from a different time
She won’t ask him if he’s faithful
She doesn’t want to hear him lie It’s a hard way to live……
Track Name: Only Man for You
The Only Man for You December, 2012

I didn’t call you
Because you asked me
You said there’s nothing more to say
I never missed you
Just like I told you
But this pain won’t go away

I’m not the only man whose held you in the night
But when you were in my arms you know it felt so right
Now that you’ve gone away I don’t know what to do
Cause I thought I was the only man for you

The night I met you
Thought I was happy
I didn’t know the meaning of the word
You took me with you
Into your dark eyes
Gave me a glimpse of a better world

I’m not the only man whose held you ….

If I was stronger I’d keep coming back for more
But I still remember the way you looked at me when you closed that door

I never see you
Only your picture
I couldn’t bear to throw it away
I hear you moved on
To another city
Guess there’s no reason for you to stay

I’m not the only man whose held you ….
Track Name: I Would Save It
I Would Save It August, 2012

When I was young and independent
All I wanted was to face the world alone
That was all before you came into my life
Now everything I do is better shared with you

If I could gather all our love, hold it in my arms
I would save it, in my heart for you
If I could capture all the beauty in the light of a setting sun
I would save it, in my heart for you

I don’t ever have to sit and wonder
How I’ll face a world that can be cold
Cause I’ve got you with me through the day and night
The gifts we share together can’t be bought or sold

If I could gather all our love …

There’s been times when life has knocked me down
And you’re there to put my arms around
And I hold on, I hold on
We’ve shared the beauty of a summer day
Found a place where we can steal away
On our own, away from the rest of the world

As time goes by our love grows stronger
The wind and rain won’t break the bond we share
And when you need someone to hold when times are rough
You’ll never have to search too far, you’ll always find me there

If I could gather all our love.,..
Track Name: Morning Train
Morning Train September, 2012

As the curtain rose, we step into our roles
Stand in our place, inside the station gates
Try to find a place where we can sit awhile
Maybe a familiar face, or a friendly smile

I’m waiting, waiting, on the morning train
To take me where I’ve got to be
Waiting, waiting on the morning train
And it’s bleeding the soul right out of me

We read our books and play our songs
And hope this day won’t last too long
Conversations float down the aisles
Last night’s TV shows, and all the latest styles

I’m waiting, waiting ……

I’m riding the rails but they aren’t leading me to freedom
Just an office where I sit and stare at a computer screen
The money’s so good that I don’t think I can leave it
But my time is counting down, turn my back and it’s gone

As daylight fades, I catch the last train home
I fight to stay awake, although my eyes are closed
The cell phones ring, and the earbuds sing
Until the morning comes, and we do it all again

I'm waiting, waiting......
Track Name: River Guide
River Guide October, 2012

My river has a story that I learned over the years
Didn’t read it in a book, wasn’t taught it in a school
The river was my class room, it taught me where to go
Showed me all her secrets, now I can drive her like a road

I’m gonna row this raft through the rapids, feel the water splash my skin
We’ll come out the other side and do it again
I’m gonna row this raft through the rapids, no other place I want to go
It sets me free; it makes me whole

They come from all the cities, and many different towns
And they try to get away from all the stresses they have found
So I take them on a journey, with the river as our guide
And I try to find the safest place to take them for a ride

I’m gonna row this raft …..

At the end of a long day, I unload the raft pack the gear away
And I wonder what they’re doing back home
There’s a price I pay to be on this road
When I’m floating down that river
There’s no sacrifice I wouldn’t make to be with her

There are jobs that pay more money, and I’ll have to get one soon
When I’m sitting in my office, I’ll be thinking about the moon
And all the shooting stars I saw that night in the sky above Paradise Lodge
And I will get back there some day to hold those paddles in my arms

I'm gonna row this raft.....
Track Name: If You Don't Know by Now
If You Don’t Know By Now January 2012

When I saw you from a distance
You were like a shining star
I hoped to get to know you
Find out who you are
After many years together
I’ve come to know you very well
We’ve taken some long and lonely roads
For the stories we could tell

If you don’t know by now
That I love you with all my heart
If you don’t know by now
When I’ve tried so hard to show you how
If you don’t know by now
If you don’t know by now
If you don’t know by now
Then you will never know

If I had never met you
I guess I’d carry on
I’d lie in bed and dream about you in my arms
I’d never give up hoping
That you’d come into my life
And fill the empty space as my partner and my wife

If you don’t know by now …..

Now we grow old together
As we sail upon the sea
Through stormy nights and sunny days
You’re right here with me
Now we move a little slower
Take some time along the way
As we spend less time out working, we’ve got more time to play Chorus
Track Name: Room Down the Hall
Room Down the Hall April 2011

There’s a room down the hall
Where I go when I sleep
Wake early in the morning
From the noises on my street
There’s a desk and a chair
And a picture in a frame
All the rooms beside me
Look pretty much the same

But my life is so much bigger
That these four walls I can see
There’s a dream that’s got my name on it
And it’s waiting to break free

I once had a house
That had many rooms
It was too big for me to hold onto
Had a wife and two kids
Wasn’t ready when I did
They don’t look much like the picture that still sits beside my bed

But my life is so ……

Open windows let my spirit fly
Open doors lead to a world outside
Keep riding that big ferris wheel to where it takes me

Don’t have time for religion
You can save your prayers for me
No one ever gave me nothing
I wouldn’t take it any way
I go to work in the morning
Walk the streets until dark
Tell myself I’m looking for something
When I find it I’ll know what

But my life is so much bigger.....