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Sweet Old Religion

by Pharis & Jason Romero

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Sweet, sweet, sweet old religion, the bearers of love to their knees Sweet, sweet, sweet satisfaction, knowing I’ve got all I need The burdens of time weigh so much lighter on my mind The oldest of stories and newest of days gives meaning to lovers entwined Loving is magic though easily tragic I see by your window a dreamer in darkness, thinking of far away lands Holding a mirror and gazing away You hold the power, the glory the right, in giving your heart away Don’t give it up without any old fight
A stitch in time to leave the coat all sewn, covers his weary back And the silvery line of evening sky brings an end to the herald age Darkness lies on the wings of a dove, white against the black It flies to the fields where the yellow bellies grow, sleeping alone and sad Sleeping alone and sad, sleeping alone and sad It flies to the fields where the yellow bellies grow, sleeping alone and sad Sadness strikes like two front fangs, turned to poisoned blood The years roll by and the little people say, “there’s a change, a coming flood” The dam won’t break, the river won’t freeze; where’s the change in that? I see by the light of the evening sky, a star is trying to shine A star is trying to shine, a star is trying to shine I see by the light of the evening sky, a star is trying to shine A shining star in the night’s black cloak, a thread of glowing might I wonder where the little ones are going to pray, wishing upon this night A wish for love, a wish for peace, a wish for coming joy Until this darkness turns to day, I’ll close my eyes and cry Close my eyes and cry, close my eyes and cry Until those dreams comes true these days, I’ll close my eyes and cry
I love my old wanderer, I do, I do; I love my old wanderer, I do And when he goes wandering I’ll go wander too ‘til the sun rises up and o’er the hills I’ve left a good old many behind, so long, I’ve left a good many behind The losers and weepers and the crying old fools living where I left them still Honey and sugar in a big old pot, melting on an open flame Salt and powder in another spot, giving it all the same I love my old wanderer, I do I do; I love my old wanderer, I do I’ll take my time where I please, I will, Lord I’ll take my time where I please And give it with plenty of love my friend; my old friends, my lost ones, my new My mother said always be kind, my love, my mother said always be kind And I’m good to the very last breath I draw, and sweet to the very last word
See the barely shifting, sands of time, there’s ebb and flowing from your door to mine There’s ebb and wander, reason and rhyme; I’m a salted cowboy in the old world style I’m a rambling rover, with far to go, I’m headed up country, over hills I go And when I’m wandering, where no one knows I’m the happiest cowboy in God’s green grove I’m the happiest rambler, without you here, far ahead I see your shadow on the hills I stay well back, out of love and fear; no more will I chase you, no more I will With time comes loving, with time comes tears; I learn each time you leave my arms It’s a passing feeling for you, not me; so I wander behind, I wander afar
When I was young and seventeen, I left to find the age old dream It is true every boy will know one day he’ll leave his momma’s home Broke my back on the mountainside, left my heart on this mountainside I’ve punched these holes in the rocky ground, and I dug with only the dark around I had a good boss but he died too, and everyone since has been a fool Dark and cold on the mountainside, breaking our backs on this mountainside And every night I sleep with you, in dream and sometimes nightmares But pennies come and nickels go, and years go by still nowhere close And I’m trying to leave the mountainside, getting off this damned divide Working for what might be left, trying to make a long lost self On the the trails of hopeful lives, that never quit so I keep trying And I broke my heart on the mountainside trying to cross this damned divide
The Salesman 04:31
The single mind is fading fast Going with the last golden hour Heard you looking for a new way of living in the past Listening to the old folks listen to the radio He says one thing, she says another, they’ve got a whole new plan Tear it all down to the ground then start all over again Start all over again Please mister salesman, I’m going half insane On a TV screen a man keeps calling out my name BYO the family’s still intact Love, love, love, love, keeps coming back I haven’t stood so still in years Listening for the sound of coming rain Clouded skies are you my friend, or something to fear? When’s it all coming down? Here’s what I know: I’ve got two good hands, in the middle is a heart beating strong Circle up and speak your mind, build us a brand new song Hmm, a brand new song
Take it easy and slow, in these short days, as you best know All the rivers and gentle pines are whispering sure and quiet You are a shining light, a shining light I wonder with all my heart where love goes when times get hard Does it wander and does it roam ’til it finds in you a home You are a shining light, a shining light When the moment gets dark and heavy you know you are not alone You are a shining light Take your troubles and take your trials; ride that train babe, slow and wild You’re a rocket, a gleaming star, singing hymns in a one man choir You are a shining light, a shining light When the moment gets dark and heavy you know you are not alone You are a shining light Shine on my friend
You are the best thing, the very best babe A shining star above a dark and stormy night There were no more late night phone calls Lying on your pillow with a smile But there’s just one thing I can’t help wondering As I lie awake and dream of days to come How someone like you could want someone like me To be just the very someone I am I could be stronger, more daring Arise like a phoenix from all flames Be cruel when I need to, and love all who love you But it’s a sin oh and it’s a terrible lie To pretend to be someone I’m not So I’m sending to you this little prayer Please let just me be just your love
I am a self described time waster with nothing on my mind but living in a big old world Of paint and powder, lucky golden rings Black pearls and hula girls, and always someone’s thing I hold it close to be a rambler, I hold it close to be nobody’s own So I say to you all here in this old town I’ll see you when the next big thing comes around Can I just get a little bit more, just get a little bit more Till the hard times come a-knocking at my door Leave the garden gate open, old pal of mine Leave the garden gate open, old pal of mine The times are moving, the times getting dark I haven’t heard a wink or nod from round these parts I haven’t seen the gallery of light since I took down your photo from the mantel of my mind You could be close to heaven on this earth I wouldn’t settle for less than what you’re worth A gamble when you say yes, and one when you don’t I keep on shaking my head, old pal
Come On Love 03:43
We are your children, running in the back days Riding on the airwaves of the morning news I’m ready for love babe, ready for sadness Though here comes gladness, just a-passing through The road is long, the road is wide Come on love, come on light Slow down, make time Those Sunday drivers, slow and steady Like the wheels on the bus babe, we keep a-going round It’s the beauty of ages, the living stardust The feeling knowing when the springtime’s coming round We keep on climbing, keep on revolving Reaching out with the love for all in mind Well my babe you’re magic, and you light my darkness I’m a richer woman and my heart keeps getting high
Oh my girl in the time you were born There was nothing like you and I knew you were the one I was born in a time of familiar things You were born when the apples stopped blossoming in spring There’s a river below the house you were born It flows in the summer and in the winter both When you feel that the weight of the world has come I will take you to listen to its watery song Babes, mothers, fathers, written all the same Leaving this old world behind, shine all the way Oh my girl Stars in the sky are shining for you I wish upon their ever changing evening news I wish upon the wind and the evening sky I wish for you to one day know how much I love my child Then you’ll be a mother with children of your own And feel the wild blue waters calling you back home


With Sweet Old Religion, Pharis & Jason Romero return, literally, from the ashes. Since the release of their 2016 JUNO Award winning album, the artists and celebrated instrument builders found their guitars, banjos and livelihood burned to the ground in the middle of the night. Gratitude for the stunning array of help, a second child, and a year off touring & recording united into the ideas, feelings and melodies that have become Sweet Old Religion. The record carries a wide spread of their influences, from early 1920s jazz, blues, and country to ‘60s songwriters like Levon Helm and The Band. Their deep love of old music, rural life, and archaic banjo tunings are the undercurrents; the desires for love, connection and community flow throughout. Engineered by John Raham at the Romero’s home in Horsefly, BC, with producer Marc Jenkins and guests including a choir of family & friends, Pharis & Jason are at their most free and most together on Sweet Old Religion. The songs form a constellation that tells an ancient and archetypal story visible to anyone who looks up at the sky on a summer night. And to all those who listen it whispers down below: “Slow down, dig deep, and love your neighbor.”


released May 18, 2018

With Guests:
Patrick Metzger - Bass & Baritone Guitar
Marc Jenkins - Pedal Steel
Josh Rabie - Fiddle
John Raham - Drums
John Reischman - Mandolin

Shining Light Chorus:
Cole Patenaude, Marin Patenaude, Ciel Patenaude,
Brent Morton, Marc Jenkins & John Raham

Produced by Marc Jenkins
Engineered by John Raham in Horsefly, BC
Mixed by John Raham at Afterlife Studios in Vancouver, BC

Additional engineering:
John Raham at Afterlife Studios in Vancouver, BC - Drums, Mandolin, and Shining Light chorus
Brett Huus at Sound Strations Audio Productions in La Cross, WI - Fiddle
Brandon Hoffman in Williams Lake, BC - Shining Light chorus

Mastered by Dan Weston

Art design and layout by Pharis & Jason Romero
Photography by Rick Magnell (www.magnell.ca)
Booklet cover by Ciel Patenaude


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Pharis & Jason Romero Horsefly, British Columbia

Pharis and Jason started out playing a lot of trad old time music, and after six duo records their singing, songwriting and the sounds of their instruments have moved into the forefront. Their newest record is Tell ‘Em You Were Gold, featuring the tones of their hand-built banjos on original songs and traditional tunes.
They've won three Juno awards and seven Canadian Folk Music Awards.
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