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God's Tattoos

by William Lee Ellis

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Actual compact disc packaged in jewel case with 4-panel booklet, shipped with care to anywhere in the world.

    Includes unlimited streaming of God's Tattoos via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Full Digital Discography

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of The Full Catastrophe, Conqueroo, and God's Tattoos. , and , .

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1.
Snakes in my garden Weeds in my crops Dogs in the chicken coop Feathers and barks My mind’s in the ash heap Body’s so cold Mind’s in the ash heap And I’m feeling like Job Got Satan on my shoulder Laughing like mad I feel like a fighter Knocked out on the mat My mind’s in the ash heap Body’s so cold Mind’s in the ash heap And I’m feeling like Job God’s in a corner But it ain’t mine Fight’s done been fixed And the bet is my life My mind’s in the ash heap Body’s so cold Mind’s in the ash heap And I’m feeling like Job My girl is in the audience Rooting for the other guy Rooting for the other guy And I’m on the ropes and She’s rooting for the other guy Mind’s in the ash heap Body’s so cold Mind is in the ash heap And I’m feeling like Job My mind is in the ash heap Body’s so cold Mind’s in the ash heap And I’m feeling like Job
2.
Thought you’d get a scratch or two Couldn’t get away, more waited for you It leaves its mark on all of us Broken skin, broken hearts The designs appear slowly in lines deep and blue Got yourself another one of God’s tattoos They remind life is over way too soon The scars that remain, the beautiful wounds It leaves its mark on all of us Broken skin, broken hearts Every one is different, every one is true Got yourself another one of God’s tattoos No matter what your name is or how fancy your moves Got yourself another one of God’s tattoos You can wear them like diamonds with pride Or keep them like secrets locked up inside You can wear them like diamonds with pride Or keep them like secrets locked up inside The designs appear slowly in lines deep and blue Got yourself another one of God’s tattoos The cuts are made for us, it’s the colors we choose Got yourself another one of God’s tattoos Every one is different, every one is true Got yourself another one of God’s tattoos
3.
4.
Oh Lord, search my heart Oh Lord, search my heart Oh Lord, search my heart So I know if I’m right or if I’m wrong Out in the desert, search my heart In the desert, search my heart Out in the desert, search my heart So I know if I’m right or if I’m wrong If I wound my brother, search my heart If I wound my brother, search my heart If I wound my brother, search my heart So I know if I’m right or if I’m wrong Should they take me, search my heart Angels take me, search my heart Angels take me, search my heart So I know if I’m right or if I’m wrong
5.
02:26
Go down John, go down John Go down John, write it down today John a-writing on the judgment day Go down John, go down John Go down John, see what you might see Jesus comin’ ’cross from Galilee Said it’s one, two, three, four horses Go down John, go down John Go down John unto the battlefield Bearing Jesus’ mighty cross and shield Said it’s one, two, three, four horses Go down John, go down John Go down John, write it down today John a-writing on the judgment day Said it’s one, two, three, four horses Go down John, go down John Go down John unto the battlefield Bearing Jesus’ mighty cross and shield Said it’s one, two, three, four horses
6.
We fumble when we're uncertain That's when we should be at our best Instead we draw a curtain And put courage to rest We lose what we hold too dearly And grow into what we can't shake I tell you these things sincerely It's the perfect ones who break Hold on to tomorrow But tomorrow may not come and what will you do then Lay down for tomorrow It's the dreamer's song, it's the lover's end It's what we find when we're not looking It's the joy of the mistake Hold me close while we're together It's the perfect ones who break
7.
03:30
If you have the heart to listen If you have the mind to hear Will you have the strength to follow When the call comes loud and clear Every road can’t be followed Every bridge can’t be crossed But you climb that highest mountain You will surely not get tossed If you have the heart to listen If you have the mind to hear Will you have the strength to follow When the call comes loud and clear Don’t look back when you hear it Don’t turn back, you’ll lose it all The ground will rise to meet you Take that step and you won’t fall If you have the heart to listen If you have the mind to hear Will you have the strength to follow When the call comes loud and clear Heed the passing of the Savior Might not come this way again Don’t mistake love for failure ’Cause this journey has no end If you have the heart to listen If you have the mind to hear Will you have the strength to follow When the call comes loud and clear Who out there knows their story Who can tell where it will end On a private path to glory Victory is round the bend If you have the courage in you If you have the voice to sing Will you be the one to rise When the call begins to ring
8.
Your charade takes on a glow Walking past the bums below What you’ve got is clear and plain They don’t even have a name Lo unto the Son of Mary He came into this world cold and weary Gather round, hear me clearly We come into this world cold and weary Fire warms the hearts of men Just as dogs eat crumbs any way we send This holy ghost needs to be fed Drop the sermon, let’s break bread Lo unto the Son of Mary He came into this world cold and weary Gather round, hear me clearly We come into this world cold and weary Is he any less a man Who lives on streets and scrapes the can Heed what your Good Book do say You can’t even glance his way Lo unto the Son of Mary He came into this world cold and weary Gather round, hear me clearly We come into this world cold and weary Sleeping in the rain and snow All God’s children got pride you know Don’t judge too hard or reprimand We’ve all pissed in our pants, my friend Lo unto the Son of Mary He came into this world cold and weary Gather round, hear me clearly We come into this world cold and weary
9.
Here Am I, Lord Send Me (x4) Don’t you hear my savior calling Tell me who will go and work today The fields are ripe and the harvest’s waiting Tell me who will bear the seed away Here Am I, Lord Send Me (x4) If you cannot speak like an angel If you cannot preach like Paul You can tell the love of Jesus You can say that he died for us all Here Am I, Lord Send Me (x4)
10.
Lord, I’ve been troubled, I’ve been troubled Troubled, Lord, till Jesus stole my heart Said I’ve been troubled, I’ve been troubled Troubled, Lord, till Jesus stole my heart Whatcha gonna do when the devil calls Say Satan don’t you bother me no more I’ve been troubled, I’ve been troubled Troubled, Lord, till Jesus stole my heart Whatcha gonna do when the Holy Ghost hits Said my eyes were cleansed by the clay and spit I’ve been troubled, I’ve been troubled Troubled, Lord, till Jesus stole my heart Where you gonna be when the trumpet sounds Praying for my sister on higher ground Where you gonna be when the trumpet sounds Tryin’ on my robe while the walls come down I’ve been troubled, I’ve been troubled Troubled, Lord, till Jesus stole my heart Lord, I’ve been, said I’ve been, God, I’ve been…
11.
12.
Lord above, devil below Each call out my name So do you my angel babe Billy it’s time to lay Tallest pine, brightest star One day will be gone Do not grieve for all you see Or woe this flesh and bone A day from now, a thousand years What of this remains What is life in the final hour Dust will write my name Lord above, devil below Each call out my name So do you my angel babe Billy it’s time to lay

about

William Lee Ellis sings of the Apocalypse, devils on his shoulder, and his search for spiritual meaning, combining a love for slide guitar, gospel blues, and roots rock with genuine reverence for shamans and sages ranging from Leadbelly and Mississippi John Hurt to Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung. Via twelve adventurously eclectic, often introspective tracks, Ellis roams a metaphysical no-man’s-land, where blues, gospel, acoustic pop, and even a rhumba beat underscore his quest.

Produced by Jim Dickinson (Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones), God’s Tattoos unwinds like an aural dreamscape that blurs the line between sacred and secular music. Ellis eloquently states his claim as a master musician and skilled lyricist who employs time-honored music forms to explore the common concerns of modern man – as exemplified by the title, which refers to psychic and emotional scars or “tattoos” we all wear inside. A unique listen that fits somewhere between Ry Cooder’s Into the Purple Valley and Buddy Miller’s Universal United House of Prayer, God’s Tattoos provides inspiration and sustenance for roots music fans of all persuasions.

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released July 11, 2006

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William Lee Ellis Memphis

"There's no one else playing exactly the same sort of music as William Lee Ellis," said legendary producer Jim Dickinson of the Americana/blues master acoustic guitarist. "It's as if he's invented his own sort of 'holy blues' genre."

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