A Plea For Dreamland

by Jason Myles Goss

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James Brady
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James Brady I love how Jason can draw from a single life event and turn it into a beautiful song. I understand that many songwriters, if not all, do the same thing. But there is something special about Jason. It tells me that everything that happens in Jason's life, no matter how small, means something to him, and he takes nothing for granted. I wish we all thought the way that Jason does. Thank You for your music. -Jim Brady Favorite track: Put A Record On.


Pirate ships, rail yards, skee ball machines, blackberry brandy, and the Coney Island boardwalk—these are just some of the sights, sounds, and smells found in the dimly lit thoroughfares of A Plea For Dreamland, Jason’s third full-length album and first since relocating to Brooklyn. From the opening track it’s clear that this change of scenery (along with four years between records) has brought about many changes in Jason’s singing and songwriting, with many new influences at hand. Here Jason is heard singing in a notably lower, more resonant voice, with lyrics that are more acutely poetic, darkly playful, and, at times, just plain quirky.

“When I moved from Cambridge to Brooklyn, I began writing a lot. I bought this notepad for scheduling temp jobs and I ended up scribbling all over it, whatever came into my head. It was fun then piecing these characters and various threads together, without worrying how they related to me or where they would end up.”

As the title suggests, these songs evoke a feeling of somewhere else—the ballroom of a seaside hotel, a bus station in Meridian, Mississippi, or a dingy car on the Coney Island Wonder Wheel. We find places and characters who are far from perfect but are making their way nonetheless. This is a common theme that runs through the album, with Coney Island taking center stage as a place where the bizarre and fantastical comes face to face with the grit and grime of city life.

“Dreamland was one of the earlier parks in Coney Island, which ended up burning down in 1911. It had the usual thrill rides, but it also had world exhibits like imitation Venetian canals, Alpine landscapes, and a massive Tower of Pompeii. It was like this magically bizarre land from far away. I was taken in by how Coney Island, over time, has become this beautifully wounded corner of the world. Its this place that’s totally laid bare, unapologetic, and equal parts tragic and magic. When we began recording, I wanted the songs to sound magical but also have that dog-eared and exposed feeling."

A Plea For Dreamland, released in June of 2009, was recorded at Glass Eye Music (Brooklyn, NY), Ceramic Lady Studios (Cambridge, MA), Austin’s Studio (Somerville, MA) and Great North Sound Society (Parsonsfield, ME); and was mixed by Rafi Sofer at Q Division and mastered by Ian Kennedy at New Alliance East. It features Joel Arnow (Heather and the Barbarians, Julian Velard) on drums, Zack Hickman (Josh Ritter, Mark Erelli) on bass and pump organ, Austin Nevins (Josh Ritter, Anais Mitchell) on electric guitars, lap steel, banjo, and glockenspiel, and Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Langhorne Slim) on keys and vibes. It was co-produced by Jason Myles Goss, Austin Nevins, Zack Hickman, and Joel Arnow.


released June 15, 2009

Copyright 2009, Jeswaldo Sounds (ASCAP)



all rights reserved


Jason Myles Goss Brooklyn, New York

Jason releases his fifth album entitled, This Town Is Only Going To Break Your Heart, a gutsy and earnest collection of songs which pull together many of Jason's disparate musical influences. It is an album about the towns we love, the towns that shape who we are, and about kids growing up to have kids of their own. It's about learning to carry for them what our parents tried to carry for us. ... more

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Track Name: January
January hits you like a ball and chain
Like cigarettes in the pouring rain
Singing Hail Marys for all the Februarys that I’ve got left

Well I’m Marching after hours in the desert sand
And April’s just a flower in the devil’s hand
May I drive you through the city so big and so bright
Watch June through the window wrapped in neon lights

I’m haunted by a sadness in this heart of mine
July is electric like a bottle of wine
And August keeps crying and she don’t know why

She’s dreaming of September in a wedding gown
Well October’s never over it just hangs around
And all the embers burn in November skies
I watch them die like soldiers in lullabies
December is a heaven that the angels hide
December is a heaven that the angels hide
Track Name: Put A Record On
Put a record on babe and let me see you shake it
'Cause I’m singing this song like someone’s trying to take it
Well the weather outside is cold and its making me lonely
And all these battle lines are a thousand rhymes removed

Well they busted up the windows and they broke them all over Broadway
So turn the radio loud ‘cause we got no heroes here
Keep on preaching to the choir 'til this fire rages underneath the doorway
Put a record on and sing it loud as they break through the walls

Ooh, I can see the mortar blasts
Ooh, Johnny grab the quarters fast
‘Cause Mary is blowing wind across the moor
And it’s rumbling against the door
So sing it loud above the palisades

Put a candle in the window and run like hell ‘til you make it
Let the melody ring like a hurricane in your ear
Oh these chariots are swinging down in Egypt land
Oh Lord let me die with a hammer in my hand
'Cause I ain’t leaving and I ain’t giving in
I ain’t giving in
So put a record on...
Track Name: Mississippi Red
I climbed out instead, through the back windows of your Chevy
Mississippi Red, like a bourbon you feel so heavy
Hanging in the air, like the flicker of your cigarette
Curling ‘round your hair, like the silver of your butterfly barrettes

Let me share your
Let me share your
Let me share your bed
Mississippi Red

Your daddy wrote you a letter that said you better not come back home no more
Because the bright lights of the city and temptation’s got you headed in the wrong direction
You hopped a train in Meridian, with your head dead set on those Hollywood skies
And now you’re running from another Casanova blackening your bluebird eyes

Let him share your
Let him share your
Let him share your bed
Mississippi Red

You’re dancing real slow
You hear the hollering of a drunk in the front row
You put the make-up on, you put the make-up on
But now there’s something wrong, there’s something wrong
Well honey now where else can you go?

Oh shake it like a fireball burning bright but under motel lights you’re looking so older
You bought a ticket for a bus back home, you’re growing so tired of looking over your shoulder
Take it down, oh take it down
Queen Jezebel won’t you swing those hips around
Won’t you stay around, to light the lonely and the pretty like the moon over this city

Let them share your
Let them share your
Let them share your bed
Mississippi Red
Track Name: Brooklyn
You were always the best at leaving the rest up to chance
Well tomorrow is a photograph album but tonight is the dance
So leave your light on babe because I’ll be escaping soon
And fall into my arms like a daisy falls into June

Though I know I only call you when I’ve been drinking
I watch you roll away like a wave, trying to save me from sinking
Oh well Brooklyn has eyes and they shine like a light in your room
With the ghost of another lover you left howling at the moon

Hey, she holds me like a lover
Hey, and she steals me when she goes
…and she goes, and she goes

She sings “Hey, Hallelujah”
And in the morning she’ll be weeping
But if truth defines my love, I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Track Name: Peace of Mind
Peace of mind, I’m trying to find
Just one more day, not one behind
I try to walk through the fire, live close to the rind
I keep losing myself trying to find peace of mind

Peace of mind, I try to define
Its like juggling knives when your eyes have gone blind
Well I can’t see the difference between the cruel and the kind
I’m lost in the mire, looking for a sign

Somewhere in the kingdom, they talk of silver, talk of gold
All these voices and no wisdom
There ain’t no wisdom truth be told
And now there’s nothing to hold on to
And you don’t even care
You’re running but you don’t want to
And you’re gasping for air
Moving through the crowd, I’m trying to find my way

Peace of mind, I’m walking down the line
Down a street full of sirens and no vacancy signs
Am I dreaming of love or am I knee deep in lies?
Am I staring at the real thing, or some clever disguise?

I saw it flashing on my TV screen
I watched the killers chase the clowns
They were shooting pistols made with magazines
Firing their gossip all around
Now is there anybody out there?
Is there anyone at all?
A thief, a judge, or a millionaire
A local hero we can call?

And I’m still haunted by the sounds out on Desolation Row
I see Baby Blue, he’s got his arms out and his chin tucked low
He’s swinging hammer in the fairgrounds, shouting that he will never die
He jumped the stage and pulled his mask down and they dropped the curtain on the fly
And then he was outside, he could hear the crowd, they were breaking down the door
They were screaming out for more

Peace of mind, I’m trying to find
I’m trying to find, this peace of mind
Track Name: Judas
Judas thinks the world of you
He’ll steal your heart in the dark and he’ll pierce it through
For silver, gold, and diamond rings
No one bleeds like me when Judas sings

And like a wicked wind rumbling at your door
He’ll be charging like a devil in the holy wars
And like a spear dug deep in a soldier’s side
Like the thorn in the crown where the blood has dried

That’s where you will find Judas
Calling you a liar
Saying you can’t do this
Dragging you down in the fire

So play a fiddle for Rome
I’m standing on my own
Oh Judas, you’re the one
You’re the one, you’re the one
Who will fall
Track Name: Coffee and Wine
Coffee in the morning and wine at night
If I have coffee and wine everything is alright

Oh it was just a little bluebird swinging on a vine
Won’t you listen to that bluebird singing so fine

Oh give me coffee in the morning and wine at night
Its just that coffee and wine make my days so bright

But sometimes you wake up with a case of the blues
And all these gray skies make you get your hours confused

And then its wine in the morning and coffee at night
Oh darling keep filling my cup until the morning light

Oh won’t you listen to that bluebird, still swinging on that vine
Singing day and night, keeping my head so light all the time

So, give me coffee, no pour me some wine
Something to keep me feeling right
Oh darling, keep filling my cup until the morning…
Keep on filling my cup until the morning….

Keep on filling my cup until the morning light
Track Name: June
Hold on with your lights on
Keep your hands warm
Because the radiator is broken

You try ways to see those highways
But every blast of thunder
Pushes you further under

When every man in the street wants to know your name
Sleeping dead on your feet on a crowded train
And every morning you wake to the same things again
Lying cold and lonely

June, soon, please come and save me
I know who you are, I know who you are
In this crowded room I lost what you gave me
In the darkness please wake me
June, won’t you sing when I’m gone?

I’ve got this coupon for a cup of coffee
I’ve got half a mile left to go
And as long as I’m breathing, I won’t ever believe in
What they say about these winter gates
Where all we love disintegrates
We fall up in arms for hearts that break
I’ve seen it all

Like a satellite that burns into oblivion
I’m a good man but I’ve found myself here again
And in the evening the walls keep on closing in
Moving oh so slowly

June, soon, please come and save me
I know who you are, I know who you are
In this crowded room I lost what you gave me
In the darkness please wake me
June, won’t you sing when I’m gone?
Track Name: There's A Light Up Ahead
There's a light up ahead
There's a light up ahead
Will it bring me home or far away to roam
There's a light up ahead

I spent most of my better days
Chasing all your love away
With reckless hearts and renegades
I staggered deeper in the dark

I grew tired of that anchor chain
Working fish boats off the coast of Maine
"Oh this ocean will drive a man insane"
Captain Ahab once said, lying awake in his bed

But there's a light up ahead
There's a light up ahead
Will it bring me home or far away to roam
There's a light up ahead

If I could see past that thin line then I would know
If it is better to be scattered by the light above or swallowed by the darkness below
And then I heard the voice of Gabriel in an instrument of war
And he was howling out a country blues I never heard before
Could he reach us anymore?
Was he calling us to shore, howling out loud

And that's when I knew we were out of luck
A force eight gale with that anchor stuck
Spinning that wheel, I fell when it struck
I heard a rumbling below
I had to let it all go
Track Name: Flying By Your Window
I am not your long lost lover
I am not your only friend
If you look up in the sky my brother
You will see me coming ‘round the bend

You will hear me over church bells ringing
Through sacred windows streaked with violet
Because Heaven is not a place we fly too
Its an engine with two wings beside it

From darkness to the light of morning
I fly because I am a pilot
And this plane is the love I leave with you
Its my heart that pumps so deep inside it

And I’ll keep you safe, watching over you
And I’ll keep you safe, watching from above
And I miss you, I see your shadow in the kitchen light

I’m flying high above my hometown
And I’m looking down so I can see it
I see hardworking people looking for a sign
That angel wings will carry them home when they need it

And I’ll be flying by your window in the night time
And in your sleeping dreams I’ll be landing
And if you look up at the sky at the right time
You’ll see me circling above the balcony where you’re standing

And I’ll keep you safe, watching over you
And I’ll keep you safe, watching from above
And I miss you, I see you turning off your bedroom light
Track Name: Dive Bars
I don’t want to drive fast cars, drink champagne or smoke cigars
I’ll smash a hole in this guitar, singing songs in these dive bars

Now Mary’s yelling in the backyard, she’s tired of looking at the bright stars
Noboby gives a damn who we are, down in the darkness of a dive bar

Down in the darkness of a dive bar
Down in the darkness of a dive bar
Nobody gives a damn who we are
Down in the darkness of a dive bar

The flesh is willing but the spirit is gone
Like dead soldiers with their swords still drawn
At last call we’ll sing the last song
And when we leave we’ll leave the lights on

No mother Mary’s falling into the street, and Chester’s leaning on the edge of his seat
They raise a glass to tragedy and defeat, but they ain’t nervous they’re just bad on their feet

Down in the darkness of a dive bar
Down in the darkness of a dive bar
Nobody gives a damn who we are
Down in the darkness of a dive bar

Down in the darkness of a dive bar
There ain’t no piano or pinot noir
They get you drunk and tow away your car
Down in the darkness of a dive bar

Look up at the stars, won’t you Mary
Track Name: Do Right By You
I fell asleep on the back roads
I got myself in a jam
I’m running low on tobacco
And I don’t know where I am
Remember dancing in the ballroom of a seaside hotel?
You were dancing all alone, yes I remember well

I don’t care nothing for love songs
They’re too pretty and too bright
Just sing me something full of rain water
Something I can howl through the night
Oh we were running through the tunnels like two robbers on the run
You gave me one last chance to make right what I done

And I want to do right
Just want to do right
Right by you

I tell myself it’s the last year
I’ll keep hanging on
I break away, I end up back here
It must be where I belong
I left you standing in your doorway shaking in a Tuesday rain
But now I’ve fallen off track and so I’m crawling my way back again

And I want to do right
Just want to do right
Right by you

And now I’m waiting by this pay phone back behind the station door
And I remember you were dancing in the dark light of that ballroom
Rolling like a wave that strayed too far from shore

And I want to do right
Just want to do right
Right by you
Track Name: Chester Copperpot
Chester Copperpot, thanks a lot
You know a good man is surely hard to find out here
I’ve been weeping in the parking lot
I’ve been weeping for the ones who disappear
Did you really disappear?

Well it started out as a memory
I watched them drag you down by the bottom of your feet
You said, "I think these pirates got the best of me
I can see their daggers in the eyes of everyone I meet,
I’ve suffered terrible defeats"
And I hang my head

Ooh sweet silver dollar, but I know that help is on the way
They take me down below the water but I try to be brave

Chester Copperpot drank a lot
He would sleep by the rail yard and hide inside his coat
He never quit when the times got hard
He wore a pair of black laces in a pair of brown leather shoes
He had nothing to lose

Some of us stand with our face to the fire
But all of us breathe the smoke
Love, will always get you in the end
Unspoken, lost not broken, love
Did you take me for a fool, I’m a shipwreck swimming back to you

Ooh sweet silver dollar, but I know that help is on the way
They take me down below the water but I try to be brave

Well I try to be brave, I try to be brave
You’re my sweet silver dollar, you’re my sweet silver dollar
Track Name: A Plea For Dreamland
Watching the Cyclone at Coney Island, watch it roll away
Didn’t win no prizes in Coney Island, wasted all my pay

Well the Boardwalk was a mess, she was fumbling with her dress
Dealing pills from a plastic bag, she really looked fantastic
She was washed out like a summer rain

Smile at the camera I don’t understand why you never want to stay
You blinked when I took it but you said "just look, its much cooler like this anyway"

Without a smile or a laugh, just a faded photograph
And this blackberry brandy, I’ve had enough
Did you have to buy the cheapest stuff?
I guess you’re waiting for me to walk you home

And you can always count on me to hide away all you want to see
I probably owe you an apology anyway
But somewhere up above you see there’s someone looking down on me
From a ferris wheel swinging out to sea, where the cold wind blows your lost and lonely heart far away

Dancing in front of a skee ball machine, the lights are shining bright
You rolled for the hundreds but missed every one, now I’m your only ticket tonight

We’re sipping brandy in the dark, while they’re closing down the park
They hose down the sidewalks at quarter to four, I’ve got a room up the street with a view of the shore
Where you can hear the waves like they’re crashing just for you
Just for you...

You can hear the waves crashing just for you, until morning comes
With the waves, crashing just for you, sleeping in your jeans with the waves
With the waves