Tim Keller, No Stranger to Wishes


 

 

No Stranger to Wishes

"...a subtle, well-crafted record that has elicited comparisons to performers as disparate as Hank Williams and Leonard Cohen."

-- Austin Chronicle 

LP $12, CD $12 (no graphics) or Cassette $8 -- includes shipping!

 

What the critics say

 Feature Articles

Where did Tim play?

Order

 
Tim's music is now available online from most national distributors, including CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, Google Music Store, Shazam, 24-7, Xbox Music, and others. Wherever you buy, look first at CD Baby for its comprehensive notes, editorial reviews, and song samples.
 


Sample Tracks

Spanish Johnny Listen
As If It Were Fun to Fall Listen
Martha Listen
Gone Listen
Sailing the Shiprock Listen
I'm On My Way Listen
Whiskers Listen
Across the Borderland Listen
Where a Young Man Knew Your Love Listen
Darcy's Song Listen
I Am No Stranger To Wishes Listen
 

 

Tim Keller, No Stranger to Wishes, New Mexico singer songwriter

Spanish Johnny

He followed the train to Moonstone
Colorado Mexican town
Across the sage and the dunes alone
Colorado Mexican town
The train to Denver cut the town in two
Crossing that line was a strange taboo
The town was still but the wind still blew
When Johnny lived in Mexican town
Moonstone Mexican town

At day he painted houses
Over on American side
They always wanted white paint
Johnny put it on with pride
At night he played his mandolin
Cantó del último amor
His wife prayed against the fire within
Johnny played like you never heard before
Johnny played like you never heard before

It lifts above the cottonwood
It drifts on a midnight wind
Spanish Johnny sings tonight
And he plays his mandolin
Can you hear the mandolin?

Johnny’s wife holds a conch shell
Says put this to your ear
When Johnny holds the conch shell
He believes the sea is here
His eyes on fire, he drinks and sings
Til I swear the mandolin glows
He fans the flames on the mandolin
Til he walks that door and goes
Down the tracks toward Mexico
For the desert he leaves Moonstone
In the night he leaves alone

It lifts above the cottonwood
It drifts on a midnight wind
Spanish Johnny sings tonight
And he plays his mandolin
Can you hear the mandolin?

~His wife waits patiently
She looks to the tracks to see
He always came home before
Days, weeks, or more
The train from Mexico brought him back
A lonely sound drifting down the track
The fires are out and the night is black
Johnny is in Mexican town
Tombstone Mexican town

It lifts above the cottonwood
It drifts on a midnight wind
Spanish Johnny sings tonight
And he plays his mandolin
Can you hear the mandolin?

©1987, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

Spanish Johnny by Jody KingJody King
swallows in southeastern Colorado
As If It Were Fun To Fall

Standing alone, standing tall
Throwing stones, watching them fall
Counting the times, counting them all
Knowing each one will hit the wall
If today is the day to jump and fly
Will the creek just seem to rise?

Falling, falling, falling down
Far below the last wall
Dizzy spinning round and round
As if it were fun to fall
As if it were fun to fall

Glorieta Mesa is a sight to see
The creek so far below me it’s etemity
I try to see coyotes but when they see
They turn their tails and run so silently
If today is the day to ride the wind
Will the creek feel soft as her skin?

chorus

She turned my head, she opened my eyes
I was laid low, she taught me to rise
But she had no time for compromise
Stopped on a dime and realized
I had climbed so high and stood so tall
As if it were fun to fall

chorus

~Standing alone, standing tall
Throwing stones, watching them fall
Counting the times, counting them all
Knowing each one will hit the wall
If today is the day to jump and fly
Will the creek just seem to rise?

chorus

©1987, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

 

Martha

I can see the new tracks
On the path up to the door
I can see two roses
Red and yellow on the floor
Martha’s been by here again
A message left for me and then
She walked back out the door

I have owned so many days
And still I have felt poor
I have tried so ways
And always wanted more
Martha’s been by here again
A message left for me and then
She walked back out the door

I can’t see what she sees in me
She can’t see me for long
She wonders what I see in her
And I can’t see past this song

The red and yellow roses
I have standing in a glass
A picture of her poses itself
On the window sash
Martha’s been by here again
I don’t think that she’d pretend
She’d come right out and ask

The red rose is for romance
I suppose that stands for me
Tall and firm but no  match
For what we want to be
Martha she’s the yellow rose
She loves it here but always goes
A flower being free

chorus

~But I can see the new tracks
On the path up to the door
I can see two roses
Red and yellow on the floor
Martha’s been by here again
A message left for me and then
She walked back out the door

chorus

©1987, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

 

Gone

In the spring, in the south, in her longing
In the wink of an eye she was gone
Gone from all sense of belonging
Gone as the train, moving on

Gone as the wind in the morning
Gone as the moon in the dawn
In the dawning of the day
She woke up and went away
In the light of the morning she was gone

Gone like the miles that lay behind her
Gone like the smoke on the wind
Gone like the daydream reminder
Gone like the girl she had been

~In her words, in her ways, in her wonder
In her eyes, there was always a light
That would light, lift,
And carry her from under
If she would, if she could, if she might

So she’s gone from the only place that knew her
Gone to somewhere something in her knew
If the twinkle in her eye meant something to her
The line from here to there must be true

chorus

©1987, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

 

 

Chico, New Mexico, Christina Boyce

Tim Keller, singer songwriter in Tulsa
Margi Enright
 

Sailing the Shiprock

I’m taking these old bones
Out to the red hills
Taking these feelings
Where there is no  trail
Taking this song
Wherever it finds me
Over the Shiprock
The wind in my sail

I’m leaving my friends
I leave them behind me
Closing my eyes
Just to rest this heart
No point in asking
But I hope you don’t mind me
Leaving tomorrow
To make a new start

The light beyond the mountain cross
Bathes these hills in flame
I will go as far as I can see
The night is gone, the dark is lost
Never be the same
I will go until the light finds me

~There’s only one way
To stand in four corners
That’s not a cipher
It's the place I will go
Four more directions
Than I can see from here
Winter is over
Safe from the snow

Over the red hills
It casts a long shadow
Penitent cross
Pays its penance for me
Facing the west
I can see los viejos
Sailing the Shiprock
So far from the sea

The light beyond the mountain cross
Bathes these hills in flame
I will go as far as I can see
The night is gone, the dark is lost
Never be the same
I will go until the light finds me

©1987, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

I'm On My Way

Season’s turning, creek’s on the rise
Birds on the wing, so am I
Jackrabbit’s running, seen twelve today
Season’s turning, the sun is burning
I’m on my way

I’m on my way, going where I’ve never been
Doing things I’ve never done
What a fine time to begin
I'm on my way, going where I’ve never been
Gonna  run and jump right in
I’m on my way

Sometimes it’s lonesome, going  by myself
But I know me  better than anybody else
So when you feel the season
Coming  round  again
If you ask me why I'm gonna go
Well, cause I never been

chorus

~There’s a fine line where sky meets land
I’ve got the wheel here in my left hand
Out past the rear view
I’m gonna shout! shout! shout!
I’m on my way, I’m here to say I’m headed out

chorus

©1987, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

Sunset in New Mexico, Chico Sunset by Tim Keller
boxcar photograph by Tim Keller, New Mexico
Whiskers

He’s a West Virginia railroad man
Keeping the roadbed level
Spends his days with a nine pound hammer
Spends his nights with the devil
He's the only hippie Southern redneck
On the Norfolk Western line
Work crew calls him Whiskers
No one calls him mine

Whiskers is the name they gave him
First day on the crew
Said “You gonna work for us, boy,
You gonna show us what you can do”
Said, “Give that boy a hammer,
We’ll find out what he’s like”
Whiskers, he rolled back his sleeve
Taught ‘em how to drive a spike

He loves to hear the whistle blow
Loves to see the freight train roll
He’s the hardest working railroad man
That’s what he loves to do
His big overalls they look too old
And they say his hair it hangs too low
But the men all call him Whiskers
And they’re glad he’s on their crew

Whiskers has a old-time banjo
Plays it all night long
Come Monday on that section crew
He’s singing old work songs
He’s been known to spend a night
Just staring at a bottle of beer
Prettiest sound  he’s ever heard
Is a freight train coming  near

chorus

~You’ve all heard about the mailman
In the rain and sleet and snow
Well, the railroad man is out there too
Making sure them freights will roll
And Whiskers, he won’t miss a day
Won’t miss a hammer swing
Listen to the sound of a man at work
Listen to the freight train sing

chorus, first verse and chorus

©1987, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

Across the Borderland

Dead end of a journey, the end of the Rio Grande
Stream and mud, snakes and blood
Form a line across the land
Somewhere south of Texas, north of Mexico
The people up and go any way they know
Across the borderland

Mario kissed Maria and the kids, said
“Don't worry, I’ll be alright
I’ve crossed that river so many times
I just know tonight’s my night
I’ll stay low in the water, I’ll hide down in the sand
I’ll find a ride on the other side
Across the Borderland

Thelma Burt filled a thermos
For her husband on the border patrol
Said “They always just keep coming, Joe
And, Joe, you fill up the holes
Every night they’re coming, I just don’t understand
Why they leave their kin and risk their skin
To cross the borderland

I mean, this ain’t no land of promise, Joe,
But Lord, they never stop
And the ones that make it all the way
to San Antone
Are they any better off than the ones that drop?
So why they just keep coming?
Why can’t they understand?
Joe, you turn ‘em in and they’re back again
Across the borderland”

~The water’s wide and muddy
When a light shines, you duck
The willows weep on the other side
Where you stop. . . and pray for luck
Mario’s down in the weeds, wishing he could stand
A road in the night sends a beacon light
Across the borderland

Old Joe spots a shadow on the road ahead
Walking tired and alone
Mario prays this will be the one
Take him all the way, San Antone
Part of no man’s country, part of no man’s plan
Thelma yawns as the morning dawns
Across the borderland

Dead end of a journey, the end of the Rio Grande
Stream and mud, snakes and blood
Form a line across the land
Part of no man’s country, part of no man’s plan
They keep coming on though the lines are drawn
Across the borderland

©1987, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

cattle loading chute near Aguilar, Colorado, by Tim Keller
Johnson Mesa church at sunrise by Tim Keller, New Mexico
Where a Young Man Knew Your Love

Thinking back on you
From this room without a view
My eyes play tricks upon the walls
They think they can see
Long hair in the breeze
Feel the sting where the cold river falls

Where the morning is young
Where the grass grows tall
Where the hawk on the high wind sails above
Where memories are born
Where memories end
Where a young man knew your love
Where a young man knew your love

Sunlight in your eyes
Winds begin to rise
Lay your clothes on the rocks where we play
Lay your laughter on the wind
Lay my head upon your skin
Lay my bets that you’ll never go away

chorus

~Now I see your face
In every little trace
In the coffee, in the songs, in the walls
The picture I see
Is one of you and me
In the spring
Where the cold river falls

chorus

©1987, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

Darcy's Song

Outside the swing is swinging
From a tree whose leaves are clinging
To the only sort of mother
Those leaves have ever known
The autumn wind is bringing in
The sound of one bird singing
The empty nest of autumn
The fledglings that have flown

Woodsmoke warming me
Blows from the chimney to the tree
And to the branch that holds the swing
The branch will soon be bare
Steam comes from this coffee cup
As thoughts of summer warm me up
I see the swing and hear her voice
It fills the autumn air

She’d say “Daddy, let’s walk to the creek
I want to get mud in my feet
And when we hear the train come
Can we wave at the engineer?
Can you push me on the swing?
Can we sing that song again?
Can we call coyotes?
Do you think they will hear?”

Darcy, can you see
What you mean to me
You’re the light comes in the morning
You’re the laughter without warning
You’re the only glow that’s in my eye
The only good that’s in goodbye
You’re all that I can say
And then you’re more

~As Billy cinched the saddle down
I watched your face lit up spellbound
You sat on top of Jesse
Like Jesse was the world
As we rode our red arroyos
Of the Ojo de la Vaca
You turned with the reminder
“Daddy, I’m your girl,”

Well, these seasons won’t stop turning
And my heart won’t stop yearning
For our Cañoncito summer
When we had each other near
Now look, here’s November
But always I’ll remember
The joy that I found in your voice
The time when you were here

 repeat choruses

©1987, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)
 

Darcy up the creek c1987, Canoncito NM

 

 

Darcy horseback in Canoncito, New Mexico c1986

camping, Chico, New Mexico, Christina Boyce and Peter Burg

 

I Am No Stranger to Wishes

You are the morning when I lie awake
You are the evening when I cry for your sake
You are the night when I lie awake without you
You  are the light when I open my eyes
You are the air at the end of the night
You are the wish that comes to me in a dream

I am no stranger to wishes
And dreams, I’ve known a few
But I’d trade every wish I’ve known
To enter your mind
A love there to find
Spend all of my time with you

Why am I glad just to stand at your door
And then lie awake and wish for more
No moment we’ve shared has ever escaped from me
More than the sand caressed by the sea
More than the snow when it falls on me
I’m under your spell, I don’t even want to be freed

chorus

~So many reasons to say why we part
But how can I reason with this longing heart
This heart that keeps me awake in the night without you
You are the wish that returns to me
You are the tear that falls so free
Whenever I dare to dream and wish upon you

chorus

©1987, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

 

 

The band consists of Tim Keller, Paul Glasse, Gene Elders, Mitch Watkins, Spenser Starnes, and Steve Meador. Harmony vocal duos are Janice & Elliott Rogers and Doug Hudson & Denice Franke. Recorded by Larry Seyer at Texas Motion Picture Services, Austin, Texas. Arranged and produced by Tim Keller. 

Photography by Tim Keller ©2009, 2016
TimKellerPhotography.com
No Stranger to Wishes graphic design by
Bonnie Bishop, Calligraphy by Shar Race, both of Santa Fe. Album photography by Michel Monteaux.