Unified Folk Theory

by The Giving Tree Band

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10 trees will be planted for every 1000 units to absorb CO2 gasses and pollutants created in the manufacturing and shipping process and $2 from each sale will be donated to Hand In Hand USA.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Tom & Tobi Staudacher and their family. Their friendship and kind support are special blessings to us.


released December 4, 2007

Produced by Eric Fink

All songs engineered, mixed, and mastered by Eric Fink
Recorded at Coyote Studios of Crooked Creek Records - Yorkville, IL

All music is entirely acoustic and was performed by The Giving Tree Band:

Bob Salihar - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Slide Dobro, Harmonica

Eric Fink - Upright Bass, Vocals, Fretless Acoustic Bass, Dulcimer, Piano, Penny Whistle, Ukulele, Tambura, Tibetan Chime

Todd Fink - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Banjitar, Classical Guitar, Tambourine

Patrick Burke - Mandolin, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Cello, Slide Dobro

Thanks to our guest vocalists:

Elisabeth Blair:("Don't Say Goodbye" and "That Don't Make It Easier")
Sheela Chandrasekhara: ("Oh My Mind")

Artwork, Layout + Design: Ana Klimiuk
Label: Crooked Creek Records



all rights reserved


The Giving Tree Band Yorkville, Illinois

"A traveling band must be able to channel their hometown and aura into a space. It's sometimes difficult to conjure the backroads and nature so often sung about in Americana music. The Giving Tree Band has mastered this quintessential aspect of performing live. They are able to accomplish what great writers have long proven..." Appoet.org ... more


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Track Name: One Life At a Time
You lost your calculations and you lost your math
All your makeup and your history came off in the bath
You threw away your compass and you threw away your map
Tell me do you need a guide to travel in these lands
‘Cause if we tied some logs together we could build a raft

Empires were built by kings oh so long ago
And then they were destroyed again
Why we do not know
Once people rode on horses now they live on other stars
We read of them in history not knowing who they are

Well the mysteries of life will boggle the mind
We’ve been traveling this universe one life at a time
Track Name: Do It Well
I don’t listen to advice
I leave it by the roadside
Obey your heart
Make up your own mind

Do what you do and do it well
But don’t follow your demons into hell

I dug that well real deep
So it won’t run dry
Search for the truth
Leave out the lies

Do what you do and do it well
But don’t follow your demons into hell

I’m not proud of everything I’ve done
Even though it was a lot of fun
Track Name: Sunshine Baby
If I had me a bike
Well I’d ride and ride
And still never be satisfied

If I had me a boat
Well I’d sail and go
‘Til the wind had no strength left to blow

If I had me your love
I’d be nothing but true
‘Cause you know that is all I can do

I’d give you all of my time
For as long as I live
‘Cause you know that is all I can give

Sunshine baby oh won’t you wait for me
And how many times must I ask
Before your love is mine
And how many days must pass away
Before you treat me kind

If I had me a plane
Well I’d fly away
Out of the sky so blue

I’d take the sun from the day
And the moon from the night
And I’d hand them right over to you

If I could live in your dreams
For as long as they be
Well you know that they all would come true

And I’d be so low in flight
Like a moth to the light
I’d keep flying right home to you

If I had me a car
Well I’d drive near and far
If only to be by your side

Wear whatever I had
You know I’d let it all pass
‘Cause you know that it wasn’t meant to last

And the mountains may fall
And the seas dry up
As all things must fade away

So we must cherish and love
That is sent from above
Until our dying day
Track Name: West Coast
Well I was moving to the west coast
Now life won’t let me go

I gotta pretend that it didn’t matter
Pretend that I didn’t try
I gotta pretend that when you leave me
I’m not gonna cry
What was the question
There’s no answer I know

I hear that the weather’s better there
Much warmer than we are
I hear that the air and water are cleaner
And at night you see more stars

What was the question
No answer I know

Where are you right now
My best friend knows
Maybe life goes longer than we know

Well I was moving to the west coast
Now life won’t let me go
Track Name: Recess
All I have is vague and fleeting
What we lose is real as the night
How are you of such convictions
Are you not just as confused as I

Let me delight amidst the shadows
I can’t live in your republic, see
Paint those roses on my windows tonight
The morning brings us all the truth I need

Cast your fears aside
Leave your doubt behind
When you’re lonely
When you’re sad

I know you’ve it all before
It’s easy to ignore
When you’re lonely
When you’re sad

Remember, it ain’t that bad

My assays at escaping suffering
Have only brought me that much closer to the pain
For you can only fill your cup until it spills
Or sharpen your knife until it’s dull again
Track Name: Honey Bee
I gotta stop believing in my nightmares and my fears
‘Cause this is the loneliest I’ve felt in years
Call up the warden, you gotta ask him please
Oh won’t you set your prisoner free

Because I still love you honey bee
You know that I still love you

I wanna take you places that you’ve never been
I wanna show you things you and I have never seen
If you need a reason to get outta town
Well I’m the one that you should call
Track Name: Nothing At All
I’m singing about nothing at all
I’ll sing it from winter to fall
I’ll sing it in the morning sun
I’ll sing it when the day is done

I drink from a coffee cup
Now I know which way is up
That coffee’s gonna make me fly
That umbrella’s gonna keep me dry
For there ain’t nothing that I am thinking of

Got a melody in my head
I’ll sing it as I lay in bed
Oh it’s a rainy day
But I’ll sing the clouds away

Gonna get me a bite to eat
Gotta get up on my feet
I’m heading straight downtown
Got time to wander ‘round
For there ain’t nowhere that I have got to be

Those clouds are starting to move
No more rain coming down on my roof
Oh it’s a sunny day
But I got nothing to say

Sitting round and feeling fine
With the moon in the sky so high
Now it’s time to say goodnight
Turn off the fan and hit the light
For I just sang this song’s last line
Track Name: True Love
I’m searching for true love
That’s all I do, love
Searching for true love
Long as I live

And if I find it
I will not spoil it
I’m gonna do the best I can

If it’s you, dear
I will be true, dear
If it’s you, dear
I’ll be a happy man

For I’ve counted
Every moment
Since you let go of my hand

I’m searching for true love
That’s all I do, love
Searching for true love
Long as I live

Well they’ve stolen all of my possessions
And I feel as I lost all you gave
And those rings forged out of silver
Fit my fingers but they fell off while I played

Now precious stones are just a symbol
And that symbol’s gonna last me all my days
Days and hours just like wilted flowers
Have been thirsting since you went away
Track Name: How Can You Know
As they ran me out of Illinois, I headed for the west
Hoping I could find a place where the sun would lay to rest
Along the way so many things would make me lose my breath
But I pressed on to find a better way

Oh how can you know
I wanna go where the wind’s gonna blow

We stopped along this roadside joint and I was at my best
I ordered me a plate fries but it didn’t past the test
The waitress there she smiled at me and I could have stayed there my whole life
But I was gone before the mountain night

Looking through the needle’s eye when someone robbed us blind
I wondered how another man could do things so unkind
An experience like that in life might make you sing the blues
But I was happy I had nothing left to lose

All my life been waiting for a change
The wind’s gonna blow my blues away
And I’m gonna sit on the dock of the bay
Just waiting for a change

We sat back down to have a drink as the wind picked up some dust
Could have made my home right there but my heart craved wanderlust
In the gypsy’s way we packed our things and made that place my dream
And I was gone as quick as I came in

Flowing with the Russian River and headed for the coast
With beauty such as this in life I really had to boast
It seems to me there’s proof right here that God exists on Earth
Tomorrow we’ll be in my place of birth

Falling out of Covelo and I thought I’d left for dead
The only thing I ask of you is a pillow for my head
Time’s running short or running long and I gotta get some rest
For I’ll be gone before the morning air

Swimming with the ocean tide with dolphins by my side
I felt something stinging me but it was just my foolish pride
And never had I seen the sea ‘til I saw it through your eyes
I’ll meet you on the beach of butterflies

Cutting back through Reno and the desert sun was hot
Searching only for true freedom but I asked myself a lot
How can it be the more I want the less I seem to gain
The less I have the more I understand

Broken down and busted flat with nothing else to prove
Ten miles just outside North Platte and we got those railroad blues
The rodeo might keep us here but luck will have it all
And we’ll push on at least ‘til Omaha

Staring at those glacier peaks it made me feel small
I realized what I thought was big was really nothing at all
With arms stretched out I hugged the Earth and gently kissed the sky
Knowing I would see it by and by
Track Name: Room Full of Boxes
Living in a room full of boxes
Filled with the remnants of my life
Try so hard to unpack them
Even though I know it's never gonna feel like home

My friends are out in the bars drinking
And here I am with my guitar
Some of my lovers live in the mountains
And others live on other stars

Staring at the ceiling for an hour
Thinking about the lovers that I'll never call my own
At nighttime I dream of flying
From place to place from mountain to sea

Back home in bed is where I'm lying
With no lover's arms to comfort poor me

Yesterday they tore down the homestead
The house let out a cry when the wrecking ball fell
Shrugged it off like it didn't matter
But I wanna send all of them bankers straight to hell
Track Name: Shadow Puppet
Well I’ve been broken down
But I have seen the light of the day
And it seems so far away
Now I can only pray
That it’s never as far as it seems
But that’s only in your dreams

That’s why I play this old guitar
It never takes me very far
But if I pick on it awhile
It’s sure to bring a smile
Now what you hold is true
But the truth is up to you

I’m like a shadow puppet dancing in the dark
No one to hold me
No one to be alone with me
Track Name: Alabama Road
But you’re driving down some Alabama road
I wish you were back here at home

Peaceful dreams I dream at night
Asleep in my baby’s arms
Soft and warm and safe from the storm
‘Til the morning when I wake up
But it’s raining outside and it’s the middle of the night
You’re nowhere in sight
But you’re driving down some Alabama road
I wish you were back here at home

In the morning time you know I wake up
Make coffee for myself
Life used to feel just like heaven
But now it don’t go so well
If I ain’t drunk, then I must be stoned
For calling you up on the phone
But you’re driving down some Alabama road
I wish you were back here at home

It’s a good thing I keep myself busy
Or I’d probably go out of my mind
Honey bee if you come back to me
I’ll only treat you kind
Well I’ll bring you beer and I’ll bring you wine
You’ll bring me peace of mind
But you’re driving down some Alabama road
I wish you were back here at home
Track Name: Oh My Mind
Do all of our thoughts form a single dream
And all of our words a secret prayer
If all of our deeds make one sacred rite
Then oh my mind, what do you fear

Oh my mind, be good

I can change the world if I change myself
Peace on Earth lies deep within the peaceful man
My life, my breath, my wealth are yours
I’ve been searching for the sun with the light of a lamp

Oh my mind, be still

How long have I danced like this
Caught in the corridor
In a costume of anger, passion and lust
I don’t wanna dance like this anymore

Oh my mind, be free
Track Name: Focus On Change
The world doesn’t have to be this way
Keep positive what you do and say
Let your negativity melt away
Your voice and actions influence today

Focus on peace and focus on love
Let inspiration rain down from above
Don’t lose hope thought it might sound strange
Let’s not wait, let’s try to change

All the world’s problems
All the world’s pain
Can be solved by us today

Don’t ignore the pain or the suffering
Keep your mind focused on change
Recognize your thoughts, realize what’s happening
Open your heart for this world today
Track Name: All My Life
All my life I learned what it was to lose
So I put down my frown and smiled
And I lived my life for awhile

If they wanna get you
Then they’re gonna get you
Just don’t let them push you around
If they wanna get you
Then they’re gonna get you
Just don’t let them bring you down

When we are born, we all have the same purpose
When we are gone, we all end up the same
We’re going through life, you know we don’t know how far
But I know what it means to stray

All of our time, we spend with haste and confused
Treating it all like we got plenty to lose
And we all must part as friends in the end
And it’s never too late to mend

All of our lives they tell us how to feel
They tell us who to love and they tell us who to kill
And if we do it all right, then we can gain the whole wide world
Well woo-hoo
Track Name: Don't Say Goodbye
Don’t say goodbye
Don’t say farewell
For I’ll always love you
Oh the truth I will tell

In the nighttime I pray
To the sweet Lord above
One day you’ll return
And again be my love

Now I long to see you
Look deep in your eyes
And all I ask darling
Is a bit of your time

But you cast me aside
And you drive down the highway
And mourn all the day
And cry the whole night away

I wonder if you
Will ever long for me
And the cry through the night
And feel sad and lonely

And if you do
Please try to remember
All the good times we had
Memories are forever
Track Name: Wild Girl
Wild girl, you’ve been living on the trail
Living off the land, braving rain and hail
When you gonna come back to my cabin
Sit down by the fire, be my love again

Wolves have been howling at me in the night
Knowing you’re not with me, not by my side
I need your strength and I need your protection
Walking in the moonlight, out in the wild
Track Name: Complete
I got my wallet and I got my keys
Got my guitar, got my strings
All I need is you and I’m complete

Well you know there’s magic in your eyes
The kind that you cannot disguise
The reason I can’t tell you any lies
You know there’s magic in your smile

The kind that always drives me wild
The reason that I’ve loved you all the while
All the magic you got there
The kind that makes all boys stare
The reason that you turn heads everywhere
Track Name: Guardian Angel
I had a guardian angel
Taking me home last night
With a touch so warm and gentle
But her face was out of my sight

I had a guardian angel
Keeping me in control
Keeping my hands on the wheel
Making sure I reached my home

Today feels just like a new life
With brand new breaths to take
And an angel that held me close
I have only her to thank

I had a guardian angel
Watching my every move
With a powerful eye over me
She mapped out the path I used

I had a guardian angel
Holding my very hand
Keeping me close inside her arms
Enabling me to stand
Track Name: Riddle of Love
All of them sweet smelling roses
I brought to you one evening
Well they’ve all died and they wilted away
Never shall they bloom again

Just like them sweet smelling roses
Our love has wilted away
But when the sun shines in the springtime
You know they’re gonna bloom again

Many men have all tried in vain
To understand the riddle of love
But I’m willing to try once again
With the help of the good Lord above

Well I’ve been saving all of my money
And I’ve been spending all of my time
I’ve been pining over you my dear
You’re always running round in my mind

Just like the money that I’m saving
Saving all my love just for you
Looking forward to the time
We’ll be hanging ‘round just us two

Down in the hills of Virginia
Where I’m gonna go down someday
Down there I’ll build my home and I’ll no longer roam
I’ll live out the rest of my days

Just like them hills in Virginia
We’ll roll on forever more
Looking forward to a time
You’ll be hanging ‘round my cabin door
Track Name: Hit the Road
I packed up all my books
I packed up all my clothes
Ready to hit the road
Don’t know where life is leading poor me
Now that I don’t have a home

Well I looked high and I looked low
For lovers to care for me
You know I’m longing to find me a pretty little girl
With a heart so true and free

I pray that the good Lord sends her to me
Pray that he sends her soon
‘Cause I’ve been out all night with the dogs in the moonlight
Howling at that old moon

Well the bees are making honey
There’s leaves upon the trees
The birds have begun to sing
Somewhere in this world you know there’s gotta be a girl
Looking for a fella just like me
Track Name: Idle Company
When I was a young boy singing
My momma said to me
Speak softly son you’ll find you’re in the company of thieves
Who’ll steal your heart and rob your mind
They’ll leave you cold and blind
Lifeless searching for yourself when you question are you kind

And it’s your life that you must live
It’s your love that you got to give
It’s your soul that you must find
Until the end of time

I met him at the crossroads where heaven spoke to me
Said watch out for the devil, babe, in the event that you should meet
He’ll tempt you with his golden eye
He’ll smile and watch you cry
He’ll strip you of your form to nothing more than do or die

It’s your strength when you are weak
It’s your hope when all is lost
It’s the truth that you must seek
No matter what the cost

Well it’s been some time with my pride aside when a voice came over me
It’s said cautious of yourself, my dear, and your idle company
They’ll take you to a place you’ll find
Disease, it breathes, it dines
And wasting all your life, in time you’ll find it such a crime
Track Name: Where Am I
Where am I to lay my head
After all those things were said
Through test of soul and twist of fate
Diseased into such state of grace
And I can’t find no peace of mind
Disturbing space and losing time
And I can’t find no peace of mind

And if you lose your way

Where am I to rest my bones
When I’m sad and all alone
Through filtered light the darkness shone
Well I’m tired and I can’t find my way home

And if you lose your way

Bring me right back home again
Right on through the changing wind
Bring me right back home again

Where am I to stop and fall
When I cannot hear the call
But if you listen to it all
You’ll hear the sound of a singing guitar

And if you lose your way
Track Name: That Don't Make It Easier
Every love song on the radio was written just for you
And every time that I go to sleep, you know I wish that it wasn’t true
You’re not in my life right now, guess that we’re all through
But that don’t make it easier to stop loving you

Well we spent some of the best days of our lives together
Making love to you girl, in this world there’s nothing better
Sorry about the times I was not true to you
But that don’t make it easier to stop loving you

Now sometimes this old world seems like such an evil place
Thinking about the good times puts a smile upon my face
I tried so hard to fix things, now there’s nothing I can do
But that don’t make it easier to stop loving you
Track Name: Ever Since The Day
I don’t want all these attachments
Don’t wanna live my life this way
The wonderful dear lights in the Ozark mountains
Have been calling for most of my days

Well if we live for day to day
We can cast our fears away
Calling me for most of my days

Long live the man up in the mountain
Living life closer to the Lord
Breathing in the highest altitude
We’ll never have to worry anymore

Well if we live for day to day
We can cast our fears away
And never have to worry anymore

Peace and prosperity to people
Living on this old planet Earth
I’ve always prayed for peace on Earth
Ever since the day of my birth
Track Name: Lonesome Road
Even a man who’s righteous and free
Knows not the time nor the place it will be
He can’t decide, he just must believe
That following you is all that he needs

‘Cause it’s a long way from the bottom
Satisfied I will never be

I’m going down that lonesome road
All that I have and all that I own
Shall not save my immortal soul
I’m going down that road alone
My spirit has left and my body runs cold
I’m going down that lonesome road
And I know I will be gone

All of my life’s been struggle and strain
Leading to nothing to hardship and pain
Through a glimpse of divine, my ego’s been tame
And now I long to live once again

Standing before the gates of the man
Striking me down with the palm of his hand
All in all I finally understand
And I know I will be home
Track Name: Reflections (Of My Soul)
What do you see when you turn out the light
Your deepest thoughts through eyes so bright
And a lifetime with you in just one night
Emotions trapped that I still hold
It’s just the reflections of my soul

Tangerines and trampolines
Could it be we’re all obscene
Or could it be I haven’t seen
The true joy that pure love brings
In the shadows of my heart you will find the love I hold oh so
It’s just the reflections of my soul

I hold on tight and don’t think twice
Perhaps it’s love that is my vice
It’s the things in life that go unseen
That are better left untold
I’ve been unsung for quite some time
But it was out of my control
It was just the reflection of my soul

Light the play of the sun and the moon
My mind reflects the light of my soul
Track Name: Soul Bird
Guru, you are a mighty river
And I am a tiny stream
But you know the way to the ocean
So I will follow you
So I can reach the ocean too

Guru, you are the perfect tree
And I am a tiny fruit
Through your love and grace I can ripen
So I’ll remain attached to you
And grow to be a tree too

Guru, you are a blazing sun
And I am a tiny moon
It’s only your light I’m reflecting
So I bow and pray to you
That I might be self-shining too

Oh my beloved, bless me
To desire the truth
And be attached only to you

Oh my beloved, guide me
Across the ocean of life
To the shore of the divine

Oh my beloved, free me
From this cage of mine
So the soul bird can fly
Track Name: Wheel Man
At my death, will I need to be forgiven
When I’m dead, am I bound to be forgotten
When I die, will I long to live again

So many miles and so many paths I have walked
So many days and in so many ways I was lost

When I prepare, will you dance for my attention
When I part, will you pain for my protection
When I leave, will you long for my affection
When I’m gone, will you want me back again

So many miles and so many paths I have walked
So many days and in so many ways I was lost
So many times I’ve cried and I tried to belong
When we doubt, will we stand for our beliefs
When we fear, will we fight to be received
When we war, will we pray for all mankind

So many miles and so many paths I have walked
So many days and in so many ways I was lost
So many times I’ve cried and I tried to belong
But all of my time on this wheel, I’ve wanted off

At the end, at the eve of our destruction
At the end, when there’s nothing left to crumble
At the end, when it all has turned to rubble
At the end, will then we live in peace
Track Name: Freedom
I have no house, windows or floors
There are no obstacles, there are no doors

I have no car, no motor or bike
There are no roads but I go where I like

All I have is freedom
It keeps me warm
It takes me where I wanna go
It does no harm

I have no father, wife or family
There is no one to please, no one gets mad at me

I have no friends, no lovers, no pets
Talk about freedom, that’s as free as it gets

All I have is freedom
It brought me up
It teaches me lessons
Shows me love
Track Name: Blessed are the Peacemakers
I feel my luck is changing now
And the summer sun is fading fast
All my troubles are behind me
God only knows if it will last

I can’t be what they all want me to be
And it’s been months without the rain
I know everything is everything
So I guess I’ll stay the same

If you wanna change your life
Don’t be afraid to seek the truth
And when you ask what will become of me
You will know that you are free

Blessed are the makers of peace
For you are a child of God
We all must strive for unity
Not just send out our regards