by The Melobellies

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Based on the story, "True Believers" by Joseph North, "Free" tells the epic tale of the life of John Dooley, a man who tried to be free. Download this 12-song album at getFree.TheMelobellies.com


released July 8, 2016

Joseph North, Scott Swartzwelder, Hiawatha

Produced by Dayna Wittman
Mastered at West Street Recording
Durham, North Carolina USA

Album Design & Distribution by Geezer-Vision




The Melobellies Chapel Hill, North Carolina

A genre-bending tapestry of songs from the point-of-view of colorful characters transcending their every-day existence. On Plymouth Rock, The Melobellies paint pictures of love and loss, and great expectations against the ragged backdrop of the American Dream.

Sometimes a bit cheeky, often laced with sharp irony, the music of The Melobellies is easy to dance to, but made for listening.
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Track Name: Penetration Reggae
The crazy thing I’ve been into lately
Is doin’ the penetration reggae, I and I
Do the penetration dance

This latest thing is so wild and gassy
I’m penetratin’ Haile Selassie, I and I
Do the penetration with me.

I and I do the penetration reggae
You and I do the penetration reggae
Jah breaker do the penetration reggae

Sometimes I take my sky-piece off
And then I twist up a Macka-Splaff, I-and-I
Do the penetration dance

And then I shake my fly-piece up
But I never go to the baba chop, I-and-I
Do the penetration with me


[middle 8]
We sing and dance away our lives
What better thing for I to do
There’s no temptation for the wise
The simple truth of me and you

Words and Music Copyright © 2011 by Scott Swarzwelder
Track Name: Dooley
I was lying in a burned-out basement
Bound to machinations there
Voices pressed me for a secret statement
By acetylene torch glare

Someone cut me with a rusty razor
Someone drowned me on a board
Each time they shocked me with a turbo-taser
Just to bring me back for more

Dooley, Dooley, Dooley, Dooley
You're the first one who ever stole my heart
And the last one to ever get that far

When I couldn't guess the secret word
Then she snuck in and locked the door
They rolled me in a gas-soaked rug
And dragged me 'cross the cold stone floor

You know, I never should have let me love you
Low she whispered in our bed
And while you're takin' care of monkey business
Do try not to lose your head


She anointed me with jasmine oil
Just as they chucked me in the van
She begged me not to go and wept
And now we're flyin' 'cross the sand

Y'know they'll never dig your dodgy politics
This ain't no magic carpet ride
And you can keep all your atomic clocks
Because we'll always have the time


Words and Music copyright © 2010 Joseph North
Track Name: Golden Promises
I was born and raised in Memphis and I grew up on the street
with a pack of Luckies, electric guitar, and a feelin' in my feet
that, deep down, Daddy went to school with Elvis (although he can't recall the name).
He kicked his ass and he took his girl and taught him every chord he ever played.

And it rang out all night -- Rock-n-rollin' golden promises.
It's alright, Elvis, it don't mean a thing, no!

Can't say I ever finished high school. No matter what he said I couldn't dig the teach.
Daddy signed my card and I met the sarge' and he taught me how to hit the beach.
Somehow I made it home in one piece and I never even learned to read.
But I'm the one who can get the job done when a miracle is all you need

To make it all right -- Lock-n-loadin' golden promises.
It's alright. Pull the trigger hear them scream, yeah!


Well, I get up every morning. My wife she burns my daily bread.
I'm buildin' cars in the factory while the wheels are turning in my head.
Y'know someday I'll run for president and straighten out this godless land.
Round up the rag-heads, evil-doers and faggots maggots and take my people by the hand

Tellin' them it's alright, y'all been saved by golden promises.
If you're up tight, remember it don't mean a thing.
Y'know it's alright, y'all enslaved by golden promises.
Chained up tight, but it don't mean a thing.
Because it's alright; meltin' down them golden promises.
Come tonight, Honey, it's much bigger than me . . .

Words and Music copyright © 1987 by Joseph North
Track Name: Watchin' The World
Now don't it sound funny --
Someone like me livin' with someone like you
It takes a lot of money just to play the game

Arrivin' after midnight
Body like a board -- back bent to the frame
With thought to bringin' flowers -- then come the rain

Call me a tool
Say I'm just a suit, I used to feel like The King
Reclining in my office on the hundredth floor

I used to feel the future
In every handshake behind every door
Could tell you what's to come, but I can't say no more

And now I'm watchin' the world for a sign
Thinkin' this all is related
Watchin' the world turn around, lord I know, lord I know

Up here the air's familiar --
A comfortable chair, and gold athletic club card
I know some pretty girls you really got to meet

And through my clouded window
Up here the world below seems small and sweet
Look down on all the people shouting in the street

[refrain] + [solo thru verse] + [refrain]

Now don't it sound funny --
Someone like you livin' with someone like me
It takes a lot of money to conceal the shame

Words and Music copyright © 2011 Joseph North
Track Name: Green Ocean Blues
I was sleepin' until I heard your song
It was a wish but not a dream
Forgive me if I get the details wrong
If this ain't how it was, it's how it seemed to me

A straw pauper among the Titans of Steel
I was a kite -- you knifed my string
The exhilaration of release --
Worth risking everything

And many hearts embark for this dark place
To seek a sympathetic sign
And what they bought was not your fault
But only just a stitch-in-time -- in time

Green Ocean Blues, your stars are in my eyes
It's no surprise that you see more than I, Green Ocean Blues

Many vessels 'ground your tender shore
Seduced by silver, pearl and gold
Your siren song won't play too long
Before the quarters jam your jukebox and we're sold

Hard workin' men have come here before
Chained to the mast, drawn by the keel
I'm so gladly stranded in your rain
With my hands lashed to the wheel

Can you let me know when night will fall
Or if I'll see the light of day
Or if I just keep singin' someone else's song
To you, you'll stay -- you'll stay

Green Ocean Blues, your stars are in my eyes
It's no surprise, you see through my disguise
Green Ocean Blues, the colors in your eyes
It's no surprise, there's no bigger fool than I
Green Ocean Blues, the colors in your eyes…

Words and Music copyright © 2011 Joseph North
Track Name: Broken
Just like the movies
I was your knight shinin' through your dark
You were my queen of the rodeo
No hangin' fire -- only took one spark from you
That's how it starts -- 'n why we see it through

The summer nights in the twisted sheets
Magnolia breeze driftin' 'cross your skin
Then time stood still, or we forgot the time, or maybe time ran out
Still we can't speak about the things we knew

It starts with broken promise on your birthday
Broken axle on the interstate
Broken record on the stereo
Tellin' me over and over now, "Johnny be good."
We laugh it off and knock on wood

Collapse the sky and let the rain pour down
Babies come as surely babies grow
Money runs like muddy coffee pours -- keep addin' to the chores
How will it all get done -- nobody really knows

I broke my back to make a better life
It broke my heart to miss my children grow'n
"The invisible girl -- I'm married to her
Fadin' right before my eyes nearly every day,"
Cries the rodeo clown from his lawn mow'r.

When you ain't wrong, you know you're just not right
When you ain't dead, the dyin' go to work
You do the dishes but they don't stay done for long
You do the time but then the time gets gone

'Cause there's a broken swing on the playground
Broken screen on the back door
Broken heart slumped at the stove top
Fryin' up all of your eggs with a broken yoke
Babe, you just can't fix all the things we broke

Broken dishes in the kitchen sink
Broken hand and a hole in the wall
I know we're broke -- I checked my checkbook
Rackin' up all of them bills at the tradin' post
And like a kid, we only break the things that we love and treasure the very most

And it's just like the movies, Baby
That's why they break the glass after every toast
And Jesus couldn't fix all the things we broke.

Words and Music copyright © 2010 by Joseph North
Track Name: Meteor
It must have been something
Promulgated by some well-fed face on the tube
Congenially pumping
Every hand they shake then rinse with Astro-Lube

I'm waiting for the asteroid
To splash down and take my lovely dinosaurs
I hardly ever leave the house
Unless it's for a truly noble cause

Millions are watchin'
Bracing for their hero's fall -- love seeing the crash
When they could be shoppin'
For the new distraction -- baby, better cough up the cash

While I stand midst the ruins
Count the years we spent so carefully stacking the cards
And the slightest of movements
Brought them down -- now even Jesus gotta rake his own yard


And it musta meant something
Through my generosity -- the mortal coil of Man
Now the dog barks at something
I chain him up and practice 'til it's time to strike up the band

Now, once in a blue moon
I escape the gravity that keeps me in bed
And crawl toward the bathroom
Fill the tub and shit and thoroughly soak my head


Words and Music copyright © 2010 Joseph North
Track Name: You Fall
I shine -- my shoes
My white shirt and tie
You can't compete --
I'm a regular guy

Greet you at church
Not like those berks
Now just a word
Oh have you heard

It's just a shame
They can't be blamed
And who before God's grace
Go I -- and you fall

Buying the line
So short of time

No hair eschew
I look just like you

Trust in your ears
Owned by your fear

Closing your eyes
It's no surprise

That you fall
Under my spell -- and you fall

Words and Music Copyright © 2011 Joseph North
Track Name: In The News
What's the weather like at Annapolis?
Have you heard the one about the Eskimo kiss?
Where can I buy a stamp of that idol, Clay?
What's the price of stamps, anyway?

Y'know, I've seen dirty pictures of that debutant.
It's a shame they killed those boys in that Ethiopian restaurant.
And we should all skip our meals on Saturday
so we can belly up to that all-you-can-eat buffet.

You're breathin' in the news.

That poor banker-man just lost his job
got caught up in the riot of that angry homeless mob
bailout came too late to save their skins
serves 'em right for not memorizin' all the fine print.

How come poor folks get all the attention?
Wouldn't be so poor if they claimed all their exemptions.
Wouldn't be so poor if they deduct their expenses.
Some folks too broke to pay attention.

You're reelin' in the news.

And I don't get all this talk about change in the weather.
If they're so smart, how come they're all wearin' sweaters?
And I'd like to drive my big new Chevrolet
but have you seen the price of gas today?

Yeah, we'd be sittin' pretty if it wasn't for Iraq
sending over all them soldiers on that World-Trade attack.
Looks like all that's left is just to kill 'em all
and I don't care to know just how many of them fall.

You're grievin' in the news.

Now, who has time today to read about all the angles?
When computers make even simple thought seem new-fangled.
Can you believe those folks who say 'all you need is love'?
If we all vote the way the radio-fatman say, he gonna get us in the club!

You're dreamin' in the news.

Words and Music copyright © 2008 Joseph North
Track Name: Strange Path
Built this city on the hill
Yeah, I carried each stone
Just a-waitin' for the day
That I could call it home

And I waited in line
The day they handed out the keys
When my turn come 'round Man said
"Boy, don't think this key sets you free."

There's a strange path before me
Runnin' through the trees
A strange path before me, indeed

Worked my whole life bendin' steel
On that Pontiac line
Saved each penny that I earned
To make this ol' Trans Am mine

Now there's a big empty lot
Where the plant used to be
And a wal-mart super store
Sellin' 3-D TVs

So I stood in the aisle
Just a-watchin' all them screens
Won't be bringin' one home now
If you know what I mean

Saw a man beggin' in his suit
Though he wasn't on his knees
Askin' Congress for a bail-out
And to pass the tax breaks, please


So I finally got free
And met Saint Peter at the gate
He said, "I know that you want in
And I sure do hate to make you wait"

But I got trouble with some angry folks
Think they're the only ones allowed
Please come back some other time
Oh, goddamn this foolish crowd


Words and Music Copyright © 2011 Joseph North
Track Name: Unforgotten
We were down on the stairs
Shaken out of our chairs
Broken glass at our feet
Twenty flights to the street

By the light of Saba's cell phone
Out of touch and out of time

I saw the sky fall
I felt the floor implode
And fate unfold
And everything went bright

No matter where I go
No matter where I go
No matter who I see
I see...

Fear in the dark
When they raided the park
Cut your hair, get a job
Pepper-sprayin' the mob

Is this only the beginning
Or the beginning of the end?

Take only what you need
Or take all that you can steal
And count the ticking wheel
On military time

No matter where I go
No matter who I see
I see...

Fear walkin' home
With my hoodie pulled on
She had a short, short skirt
At the mall after work

And just around the corner
Here come that well-dressed Dead-end Man

He said, "Boy, you up to no good"
He said "'No' means nothin', girl"
Who will the public soon forget?

Look at me, now look at you

No matter where I go
No matter where I go
No matter who I see
No matter who I see

No matter where I go
No matter where I go
No matter who I see
Don't tell me I'm unforgotten.

Copyright (c) Joseph North, 2008.