Running After Midnight

by Black River Sanction

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $8.99 USD  or more




released June 1, 2013

All songs written, arranged and produced by Howard Lawrence and performed by Black River Sanction.



all rights reserved


Black River Sanction

Alternative Rock Theatre. A unique blend of art rock, jazz, electronica and psychedelia that relies heavily on mood and textures to propel thought-provoking lyrics into the deep recesses of your consciousness. It's also the creative output of a certifiable madman, albeit one with something to say. ... more

contact / help

Contact Black River Sanction

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Running After Midnight
Living in this world alone
Keeping all the pain inside
Fortifying walls will stop them cold
Backing down is just suicide
Deadbolt the doors
Staving off intruders you mark the line
Others cross if they're feeling lucky

You wanna live like the king who stole the crown
You wander everywhere searchin for higher ground
Reset your compass
Navigate the course
No conscience
No remorse
And when they find you [they never will]
Make the whole gang suffer—it's what you're all about
Running after midnight when the lights burn out

Dying in this world alone
Enemies you can't reveal
Situations pave the road you'll follow
Tell us what you feel
Racing down an uphill course
Changing direction when taken by force
Who took the risk believing in miracles?

Erase the memories to flee your troubled past
Take cover—there's rubble beneath the blast
Will you do what you're told?
Or let them drill your head full of holes?
Better learn to steal…
…these terms are unreal
Counter pending offers with pennies for a pound
Running after midnight while the leaves turn brown

How do you know which way to go?
Caught in a trap trying to shake a bad rap
Backstabbers all the way…
They'll drown you in the sea of shame
Then make you beg for mercy to clear your name

Rolled nickels and dimes you pledge to leave behind
Clothes never returned in the bags of rags you burn
Tickets in hand you sneak right by the doorman
Repaid in the end with dementia and gout
Running after midnight till the sand runs out
Track Name: Mars Landing
How long?
Who's there?
It's cold
I'm scared
We torched streets together but felt so alone
Always in trouble—we tripped on our own
Everyone predicting we'd barely survive
But we were not prepared for this…

Red in my eyes
Dust in my ears
Here I can taste it
The loss of innocent years
And now I'm saying things I don't really mean
Like how much better I am
Is all this a dream?

The summers here are hot enough to melt glass
But when the sun goes down my sense of relief fades fast
…it never lasts
Stretching new limits I'm out of control
Choking off this boredom with drugs and rock n' roll
If word got out that I was running sideways and confused
I'd never hear the end of it—no one has a clue

Capturing time
Pictures for you
No one to harm now
Just a cool ocean view
So why'd I come this far to keep us alive?
Too many people were calling your name
When you were calling mine

My best ideas have been rejected countless times
They demonize my choices expecting I'll act in kind
…well that ain't kind
Why can't they see I'm fighting back tears?
I landed on this side of Mars to placate my fears
The captain's advice I squander every day
When a man rolls the dice the child drifts away

This frightening idea occurs to me
I pray in the dark to a God I'll never see
So here's my confession to those keeping score
The truth about Mars?
She's taught me to love more

Pinned to the wall I learned to fight
Echoes in the distance restore me at night
You caught me when I fell—when my heart was burning
When I get back will the world still be turning?
Track Name: Tachycardia
Feel the haze closing in
A megawatt invasion
The buzz chills your fingers
Try to squeeze it off but it lingers

Doctors call for a round of tests
Probe my brain and scan my chest
When all I need is a potion
To set the wheels back in motion
This stranglehold is gonna choke me
My last attack nearly broke free

Sometimes I feel a slow burn inside
Like a four-alarm fire tracking up and down my spine
Weak defenses wringing my senses dry

Book myself a front row seat
For the summer concert season
But then a sense of doom takes hold
The back of my neck turns ice cold

It never stays away long enough
For me to know which end is up
Gimme a decent warning
I'll be crashin till three in the morning
My girl's convinced I’m lazy
This damn routine's makin me crazy

Here it comes and comes again…
Can't catch my breath
Fight or flight hangs in the balance
This fear of imminent death

You can blame yourself forever
And blow your shell-shocked brains out
But they won't forgive and won't forget
How you caved and took the bailout

Even now when the worst is over
The pitter patter fills my chest
Not a heart condition but a signpost
The symptoms lie like a talk show host

Test results don't get disclosed
To ease the pressure before it blows
Just a message on my smartphone
Emergency numbers—still unknown
My self-esteem floats away in the water
As reason and rhyme get slaughtered

Sometimes I feel a slow burn inside
Like a four-alarm fire tracking up and down my spine
Pointless dread get outta my head
Track Name: Hypnosis For Theatre
There he goes to the house of strangers
He used to live there in constant danger
Keeps the darkness locked away
Head face down
Now he's in the halls of magic
Shhhh…don't make a sound

Stretched out on the couch glazed eyes wide shut
Tells a wild tragic story
Feels the burn in his gut
The doctor tries to wake him but he's just too drugged to hear
Obsessed with all he used to be
A captive of his fears

There he stands in the house of strangers
It's unfamiliar—they rearranged it
A look of panic fills his eyes
Hits the floor face down
Breathe deep for the next half-hour
Shhhh…let's go another round

Stranded in a lime-green desert
Chased by dogs through the woods
Unprepared for the final exam
Would scream for help if he could
His doctor takes him deeper than instincts would suggest
But this case seems untreatable
This patient is possessed

Doctor—I'm a wreck…here's your check
Now can you help me here?
You and I both know all too well
I've been gettin it wrong for years and years
How can I cut through these chains?
Can I file a claim?

There he goes from the house of strangers
Crushed and torn apart from the flood of changes
Speeds away…
Can't look back
Wants to die face down
This time try to let yourself go numb
We're goin way back now…
Let's count off…1—2—3—to the ground!

A grown man cries for the pain of his youth
He doesn't waste time in the search for truth
Vows not to punish the kids in his dreams
But he'll never break the cycle
It's not as easy as it seems
Track Name: Ramshackled
You believe in polarized fiction
Spreading lies to keep us down
You're deep in the zone of mass deception
Trying to hide this hole in the ground

How can we be sure of your actions?
Why not let us confirm it ourselves?
I'm not inclined to offer you traction
Aggressive war gaming never ends well

Don't pretend you're only here for one season
Just to buy a bigger house by the sea
We're the pawns in a ramshackle system
Designed to fool either you or me
Track Name: Punishing Hard Drive
The news is out
They say it's not good
Your hand was in the cookie jar stealin from the hood
Why are you still running?
When do you think you'll show?
That look on your face says they're never gonna know

Now you're in danger of losing an empire
That took so long to build
You're holding onto dead weight
That shit'll bring you down
Don't take us for granted man
We're standing our ground

Life don't mean a thing
With your gut busted open or your head in a sling
You eat what you kill—sometimes it comes up
It trips the alarm but not before you've had enough

Under false pretenses
I signed the dotted line
Sniping was my big mistake
It taught me I was blind
You were so committed then
We brought them to their knees
But the aftermath cost everything we'd built overseas

Somewhere there's a prisoner donning his disguise
The master of the castle looks down
He watches as the prisoner tiptoes towards the gate
The guards can't stop him—it's already too late

Words don't mean a thing
When twisted up like pretzels or chewed up like chicken wings
Sew a pig's ear all covered in mud
Even a cow can't make fresh milk from cud

Hey wait a minute people
Whaddya think I'm made of stone?
Sure I tripped myself up a little here and there
But I was only spreading God's word—was I alone?
You're calling me a Jesus freakin guy
Well look what I put up with?
The mystery is why

When history's rewritten
And the bums are long gone
They'll bargain for a bigger block of someone else's lawn
We'll celebrate the empty rhetoric purged of all detail
And leverage our future on a fool's coattails

It's easy to be enthralled by a rags-to-riches story
From the backstreets to Wonderland sells
And each time we're suckered in we take a nosedive
Over the icy cliff…
This we call a punishing hard drive
Track Name: Heed The Red Shadow
It can numb your feeling
Make you think you care
It can leave you reeling
Are you almost there?

If your hope is fading
Let your conscience sleep
The red shadow awakens you
When you plunge too deep

Unhinged (they watch him closely)
On the run (from a frightening memory)
He left home (didn't even say goodbye)
With a loaded gun
Drew a line (he's afraid to cross)
In the desert sand
If he made it back home alive again
He'd be a better man

Tread carefully until there's proof
You can't trust what you read
Don't look to them to reveal the truth
They'll cut and let you bleed

Make believe you know what's right
And then it all becomes clear
The red shadow restores your sight
When total darkness draws near
Track Name: Morphine Evidence
When he flies he sleeps and he dreams…
Found on the bed
A note
A bottle
It said she was really wrong
He was scared
He fled to her home alone
She was there
She was dead
Track Name: Thanks4thinkiname
I'm your brother lemme get near you
I can be your best friend
We can chill out
Lemme teach you my new game
You get two while I take ten

I'm your mother let me protect you
I know what you're thinking
Your faith in me will surely destroy you
Grab your vest this ship is sinking

Maybe I don't show it much but I do appreciate it
That thing you do it makes me run and hide
And the way you prop me up
I really hate it

Stand back—you're crowding me
You gotta learn to leave me alone
Just take what's yours then be on your way
The noise here is haunting me—it's deafening
I'm not a drone!

She is all I want
But can't trust my feelings or reasons for love
Afraid to take chances or make a new start
Who'll take the blame when our world falls apart?

I'm your sister let me adore you
Tuck me in at bedtime
I don't care if you're losing your marbles
When I grow up will you still be mine?

I'm your father—how can I reach you?
You know what I'm after
All I need is emotional rescue
Give it up boy—come down from the rafters

It's gotten hard to say but I do appreciate it
You fucked me up where it counts inside
And now that I'm here on my own
You really hate it

Get back! You're shadowing me
I'd love to disappear and I've tried
My getaway plans have been upgraded to urgent
Go find yourselves a hero coz this one died

She is all I have
But we ignore our feelings and reasons for love
Never take chances to open our hearts
Will anyone warn me if she falls apart?
Track Name: Water Over Wine
Who will save what's left of me?
Let's turn it up and get tight together
Set the house rules aside
This bottle's gonna trash me and throttle me blind
So hold on…
I've never been accused of choosing water over wine

Let's go now
Wait a minute
Let's go!
Wait a minute [won't you please?]
I've got another round or two
Where are my car keys?
There's blood on my shoe
Life is so much sweeter when they're not pouring water over wine

Will you give me a piece of your mind?
I'd rather you wait till we're alone together
It's been another wasted day
My boss gave me the finger and two weeks' pay
Maybe I'm crazy but I won't chug water over wine

Let's go now
Wait a minute
Let's go!
Wait a minute [pretty please?]
I need another shot or three
Come back and holler when I'm down on one knee
Woman, you know how hard I've tried to chase water over wine

All men feel the heat
Some men taste defeat
Good men come around
When shit turns upside down
New rhythm…
Think twice…
Then give it to em

There's less to the story than meets the eye
Just gimme a chance to make it sound more better
Patience—you gotta have faith
Things are gonna take a little time and space
Don't say I promised you I'd ever drink water over wine

Let's go now
Wait a minute
Let's go!
Wait a minute [woman please]
I'm begging you for just one more
Help me pull myself up
I'm nailed to the floor
Sometimes I wonder why I don't explore water over wine
Track Name: Against Our Will
It's on my mind
It's in my bones
Why can't we just bury the stone?
We let them tear our world apart
Makes you wonder what's in our hearts

We're subdivided
Losing touch
This us and them is all too much
Locked-and-loaded corrupts the soul
The fighting takes a wicked toll

This started out with so much promise
People came to learn our ways
They crashed the ports and jumped the fences
Some fought hard to let them stay

While up on stage the rants grew louder
Until they couldn't even hear themselves
We watched them close their eyes in battle
The thrill of war had cast its spell

As crowds took sides they crushed the spirit
Trapped inside a ghost-filled room
We're stuck again with vexing choices
Desperate now to crawl back in the womb

You told me to run like hell that's true
I lost my bearings without you
They tied our hands
We swallowed the pill
Leaving behind a legacy
Against our will
Track Name: Hole In The Wall
Here I am
A man pleading guilty as charged
The perfect life I was searching for
Could never have surfaced on Mars
And in the years since my return
This wasting of energy and time
Kept holding me back from running with you
But that's just the least of my crimes

I can do it
I can change
I can do it right away
Whaddya say?
In the darkness when the eyes fall
Just show me the hole in the wall
I'll crawl straight through
That's all you have to do

Stay with me
Promise you'll finish your task
The sharpest knife in the kitchen drawer
Will carve your face into my mask
And when I blink I'll look your way
These memories will be there enshrined
Together we can find peace running again
No longer wasting our time