Dreaming Myself Awake

by Michael Van

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The songs on this album are mostly a record of insights on the journey of awakening, but there are no hypnotic mantras or gentle bells to calm your fears and melt your stress away.
No, the self truths I have seen are shocking and each one represents a little destruction of the ego. And so these songs are delivered with the raw twang and directness of an old country song, steeped in the Americana tradition, for my path is an American path. My meditation like the meditation of an old cowboy riding the trail alone for too many years who has seen that all words are lies and now has nothing left to say. But he might still play song by the old campfire.


released September 23, 2013

Special Thanks to Larry Lawson my favorite old cowboy and a positive creative force on this album and in the universe. Thanks to all who contributed their time and energy to this project and made this a rewarding adventure, in particular: The Movers: Alan Bond, Kit Eakle, Sean Caffey and Mark Cheley. Special guest: Bruce Kaplan from the Folk Unlimited Orchestra, Rick Ward, Noah Duvernell, and Sara Remington.

Michael Van: Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Organ, Harmonica,Tele on (#1, #3, #12), Bass Guitar (#11, #13), Drum programing, (#2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12)
Copyright ©2012 Michael VanArsdale
Arranged, Produced, Recorded and Mixed by
Michael Van. Mastered by Jethro Dehart.



all rights reserved


Michael Van San Francisco, California

Michael Van comes from Georgia and dishes up the twang with a bit of deep introspection, exploring the lines between love and fear, self and no self, and the plain truth of reality. Alan Bond (of Dark Hollow) brings his famous mandolin leads and strong vocal harmony to the mix, while local legend Larry Lawson (from Blue Lizard) holds the bottom. Together they form the Movers. ... more

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Track Name: Let The Music Take You Home
Let the Music Take You Home ©2009 Michael VanArsdale

Take the road to the river, you don't have to turn around
Turn your back to the city, put your feet to the ground
when you hear that whistle blow and you know it's time to go
when the mountains sing that lonesome song, just let the music take you home.

Look for an answer in your money, try to find meaning in her eyes.
Get them all to call you honey, try to be last one to die
If you hear that fiddle call, you to that Shenandoah Valley waltz
If the thrill is really gone, just let the music take you home,

Oh, get back to Georgia, Oh, take back your soul
Oh, sing it like you mean it, Oh, let music roll
Take that last train to the southland or just let the music take you Home.
Track Name: Across The Universe

Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass, they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me

Jai Guru Deva Om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes
They call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letterbox
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe

Sounds of laughter, shades of earth are ringing through my opened ears
Inciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns
And calls me on and on across the universe
Track Name: 99 Percent False Identity
99 Percent False Identity Michael VanArsdale 1999

My life is mostly spent recovering from accidents
In spite of all my good intents, sincerity turns to pretense
To find a face in a crowd, a drop of water in a cloud
Only occasionally is the real me allowed to see

Where in the forest was the tree, whatever happen to the best of me
Where is the pearl in all this sea, seems like 99 percent false identity

No one seemed to notice that I’ve been taken over by some alien
Do they really think I act like this all the time
I think it all got started when I began to pretend
that I was so much bigger than my self

In the land that I’m from they teach you haw to be a son
But when it’s all been done no one knows what you’ve become
Is the sky black or light blue, am I false or untrue
Now that I’m coming through, don’t want to be like you

I’m looking for that one good try, before I’m on my back and looking at the sky
Who was I trying so hard to be, looks like 99 percent false identity

Where is the forest was the tree, whatever happen to the best of me
Where is the pearl in all this sea, seems like 99 percent false identity
99 percent false identity
Track Name: No Chance of Rain
No Chance of Rain ©Michael VanArsdale

61 degrees and warming all through the day
No chance of rain, for the bay
No chance of rain,no chance of anything
Unpleasant about, a gentle wind from the south
And a cumulus cloud or two

Sun rising in the east and wondering across the blue
No chance to hide his face from you
No chance of rain, no chance of feeling pain
the gray skies are gone and the winter is done
feel the love a shinning up through

well I don't have much to say
(everybody just keeps on talking anyway)
I'm just grateful for this day
(just might get down on my knees and pray)
If the sun will shine for me (let it shine, let it shine)
I will try my best to be here before it leaves

61 degrees and warming all through the day
No chance of rain, for the bay
Track Name: Sly Man's Pill
Sly Man’s Pill ©1997 Michael VanArsdale

So you say you’re gonna change your mind
I’m not gona make the same mistakes or commit the same old crime
Well I’m never gona waste my time, I’m never gona be so blind
I’m never gona fall for a woman that makes me feel this way again
I’m gona get in shape, I’m never gona hesitate
My New Years resolution is to complete my evolution.

To see myself as I am, to see the world as it is
I wonder if I ever will, take that sly mans pill.
Yes, I wonder if I ever will

Imagine that, even though I changed my mind
It seems I make the some mistake and commit the same old crimes
Well I’m just wasting time, I’ve never felt so blind
I keep having these same old feelings again and again.
Where do I stop this train, all the scenery looks the same
I feel like I’ve been here before, but I don’t what to come back no more
Track Name: New Horizon
New Horizon 4/13/1991 ©1991 Michael VanArsdale

Wake me up tomorrow morning and point me to the sunrise
You know I got to get going if I'm gona make it before I die
Even though I love you, I can hear those old whinning wheels a callin
Let be take one more trip beyond that New horizon.

People ask me what are you looking for
I will know it when I find it
Can't sit around and wait for love to come to my door
But I believe I see it shinning
Somewhere out there, beyond that new horizon

Some people say they'll live forever
but I see myself just running out of time
They like to think they're better, but just like me they're blind
Darkness and confusion are waiting for me, When I close my eyes
but I might see a little light shinning beyond that new horizon

Hey brother can you spare a dime have you got the time
to take me on my way to find, peace of mind
I know if I just keep moving I'm bound to find,
The end of this long road of tears, it's been so many years
Track Name: Everybody But You
Everybody but you © Michael VanArsdale

Everybody’s got a radio station; everybody’s got a TV show
Everybody’s got a song to sing, everybody’s got something they know is true
Everybody but you, everybody but you, knows just what to do

Everybody knows what it’s about but, you’re still holding out
What all the other people despise, you think it could be otherwise
Than what they do, everybody but you
everybody but you, everybody but you
everybody but you, knows just what to do

Even when you try to step in line, you’re still dancing to three quarter time
They all seem to be marching in a que
What’s the matter don’t you hear the drum, don’t be marching to a different one
We all know just what you should do, everybody but you
everybody but you, everybody but you
everybody but you, knows just what to do

I’ve been looking round and I just don’t see
Anybody here that I want to be
Track Name: Just a radio
Just a Radio © 2000 Michael VanArsdale

I had something to say, but I've been singing around it
I had something to say, just on the tip of my tongue, but when I look it is gone
and the signal comes in late at night, static and voices from a far away site.

I had something to say, and this time I'm just gona shout something
I had something to say, maybe I'll just start singing
and see what happens right here and now
Do you know how it feels to wear this thorny antenna crown .

I'm just a Radio, tuned in to where I don't know
Playing songs made of static and snow, I'm just a radio.

Don't try to change the station, I've only got one and it's always on
I've got to tell what I know, even without proof to show,
I'm just a radio, receiving on mystic channel 22,
I'm getting secret codes in foreign tongues, I hear something but it doesn't come

I got something to say, but it's not too clear and not too precise,
dream remembered and fading in light,
I've got something before I quit. It's not what you say but how you say it.
Track Name: Wanderer
I have been a Wanderer © Michael VanArsdale 1978

I have been a Wanderer, I've wandered across the land
I have been a Wanderer, I lost my true loves hand
She did not understand

Wanderer, Oh Wanderer, you wander much too far
Wanderer, Oh Wanderer, wander to my arms

I have been a sailing man, I've sailed across the sea
I have been a sailing man, but my baby don't love me
she said it could not be

I have been a fighting man, fighting for the right
I have been a fighting man, I won my true loves hand
now I never leave her sight
Track Name: Rage Against the Night
Rage against the night Michael VanArsdale ©2001

I guess you think it’s hard, like having some disease
But it don’t feel much like freedom when you’re down on your knees
And the souls of dead men haunt me and the angels call my name
But the gods of distant longing still hold me to my aim

Rage against the night, still crawling toward the light
But thick as mud the sleep of dead men hold my feet from flight

I guess you think it’s lonely, nobody hears your song
But you’re not the only one working in the dark
The hip hop high heeled hardened hearts
They don’t give you a chance before you start
The jaded teeners with their thornless crowns,
Noses up and minds locked down, dismiss your ageing frown

Rage against the night, still crawling toward the light
But thick as mud the sleep of dead men hold my feet from flight
(Don’t sleep tight, don’t go down into that good night
Thick as mud, thick as mud)
Track Name: Dreaming Myself Awake
Dreaming Myself Awake ©Michael VanArsdale 2003
You know I’ve been cultivating a sense of detachment for some time
And it’s gotten to the point where it all seemed kinda fine
But then I loose myself in trying some self important scheme
When I try too hard to do some good and wind up feeling mean

I’ve been a saint; I’ve been a free wheeling spiritual being
Flying in the clouds with angels all around
I’ve been a saint; I’ve been unfettered by the cares of ordinary men
But every now and then, it all seems like a big mistake
And I’ve been dreaming myself awake

Well I used to look for reasons, now I just take things as they fall
When life starts looking gloomy I don’t fuss and fret at all
But if I let some evil thought come festering around
I loose my equanimity and come crashing to the ground

Well I don’t know in my life, if I’ve ever been that good
But sometimes I’d like to get beyond those should haves if I could
And take care of those little things that fall into my hand
Stop thinking I’m so special and be an ordinary man

I've been dreaming of awakening and I've been awakening to the dreaming cause I've been Dreaming, Dreaming myself Awake
Track Name: I'm Not Dead
I’m Not Dead ©Michael VanArsdale 1997

I’m sorry what did you day I’m drifting in and out again
Your lips are moving but my eyes are glazing. What is the meaning
of that pattern on the wall, must be Chinese or something
Fascinating imaginating has taken me away

But I’m not dead, I’m just sleeping
I’m not dead, don’t throw me away
I’m not dead, I’m still breathing
I’m not dead, I’m just sleeping

I love you when I remember to remember you
Remind me please to remember me when I forget to be. Don’t
walk away, walk away, walk away, when you can’t take it anymore
Maybe I need a little mouth to mouth or pumping of my heart

Something is nagging, back of my mind. Something forgotten,
I’ve got to find. Wait for me here I’ll return to you in just a while
All of the signs leading me back to your smile.