Let me make it plain as day.


The river whispers in my ear

I have hardly a penny to my name

The heavens have never seemed so near

All of my body glows with flame

The tempest struggles in the air

And to myself alone I sing

It could sink me then and there

I can hear the echoes ring

I try to find one smiling face

To drive the shadow from my head

I'm stranded in this nameless place

Lying restless in a heavy bed

Tell me straight out if you will

Why must you torture me within

Why must you come down from your high hill

Throw my fate to the clouds and wind

Far away in a silent land

Secret thoughts are hard to bear

Remember me, you'll understand

Emotions we can never share

You trampled on me as you passed

Left the coldest kiss upon my brow

All of my doubts and fears are gone at last

I've nothing more to tell you now

I walked by tranquil lakes and streams

As each new season's dawn awaits

I lay awake at night with troubled dreams

The enemy is at the gates

Beneath the thunder blasted trees

The words are ringing off your tongue

The ground is hard in times like these

Stars are cold, the night is young

The rocks are bleak, the trees are bare

Iron clouds go floating by

Snow flakes falling in my hair

Beneath the gray and stony sky

The evening sun is sinking low

The woods are dark, the town is too

They'll drag you down, they'll run the show

Ain't no telling what they'll do

Tell Ol' Bill when he comes home

Anything is worth a try

Tell him that I'm not alone

That the hour has come to do or die

All the world I would defy

Let me make it plain as day

I look at you now and I sigh

How could it be any other way


no live performances yet

"TELL OL' BILL" was recorded in 2005 for the soundtrack album of the motion picture "North Country". In August 2006 an hour's worth of studio outtakes of this gem has surfaced, some of which feature quite a different approach than the fine officially released take, which clearly seems to have been recorded at the end of the studio sessions.

In October 2008 one of those alternate versions was included as track number six on disc one of "The Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs: Rare and Unreleased 19892006"