Athens

by Ross Wright

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about

"Athens" is Ross Wright's fourth solo album. It is based on Paul's message to the people of Athens, Greece in Acts chapter 17.

credits

released November 18, 2014

Written, performed and produced by Ross Wright*
*"Eyes On You" written and performed by Rebekah Rafferty

Featuring (alphabetical):
Mike Abbamonte – vocals on 'Soldier On'
Jeremy Adams – photography
Jared Boggess - design
Jason Breneman – percussion on 'Soldier On'
Jason E. Call – lead vocals on 'Don't Know How to Love'
Jason Carter – djembe on 'Soldier On'
DJ Coles – vocals on 'Soldier On'
Lil Harris - spoken word on 'Introduction'
Kevin Hazelgrove – guitar on 'We Turn to Mud Under the Rain' and 'To Be Made Over Again.'
Melissa Hazelgrove – vocals on 'A Thousand Pieces' and 'We Turn to Mud Under the Rain'
Garth Jenkins – electric guitar on 'Soldier On'
Logan Jones – vocals on 'Athens, Pt. 2'
David Lege – electric guitar and vocals on 'One Six'
Matthew Prousalis – bass guitar on 'Athens, Pt. 2'
Rebekah Rafferty – vocals on 'Soldier On', keys and lead vocals on 'Eyes On You'
Jamie Storm – electric guitar on 'Don't Know How to Love'

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Ross Wright Richmond, Virginia

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Track Name: (Hallelujah Chorus)
Some days, feel like my heart is sitting on a busy road
Wear it on my sleeve, guess it fell off, here we go
Always a risk when you decide to leave it exposed
Like tryin’ to write poetry ‘stead of vanilla prose
It’s a killer though, will I will or won’t
Cause’ you know I got critics who love to be critical
But I’m giving love, I’m spilling blood
So if you ain’t spilling yours, save it for the judge

I know the enemy is out to kill and destroy (3x)

Voice in the back of my mind, sounds just like mine
Telling me every time, everything is fine
Telling me tomorrow’s gonna be the better time
Right now, take a load off, let it slide
But I don’t wanna be smack at the back of the race
A fat waste, lackadaisical, last place
I want people to know when they look at my faith
Imma be the first to the finish, Imma break the tape

I know the enemy is out to kill and destroy (3x)

But listen up
I know the author and finisher of the story
I know the final score, I know the coming joy
So if it’s tough right now we gotta keep it going
When the sun comes for us (hallelujah chorus)

Keep on keepin’ on (5x)
We don’t choose our scars yet we still get ‘em
But we can shoot for stars while we still livin’

Now I lay me down
It’s over for the life I wanted / A better one has only started
Now I lay me down
I’m done for, I’m ended / Hands up and my heart surrendered
Track Name: Introduction
People of Athens. I’ve noticed your hearts reach for something eternal; a higher power; a purpose; a reason for breathing. I’ve seen the many gods and idols you worship. You even pray to the shrine of the Unknown God, so as to honor what you haven’t yet found. This unknown God… let me introduce him to you.

He is the maker of the heavens and the earth, the giver of life, the lover of souls, a father and friend. He was before all and will forever be. In him we live and move and breathe. He created all life and allows kings to rise and to fall, nations to be built and to crumble, hearts to wander and to be redeemed. He holds the fabric of the world together. He is the fabric.

He doesn’t live in a building or a book. He isn’t a statue, static and powerless. He wasn’t created by man… He is the creator. He’s ever present and all powerful and eternal.

Reach.

Athens, I beg you to reach.

You’ll find something curious about this God… THE God. Though he is beyond comprehension and without comparison, majestic and mysterious, he is not distant, as you might imagine. He is not far away. He is present.

Reach, Athens. Reach out.

He is near.
Track Name: Athens, Pt. 1
Running on the edge of the world
I’m making my case
I’m never too far, I see it now
Reaching out and shaping our hearts
O’er Infinite space
Wherever we are, we need it now

Athens, if you will
Hearts be still
Tonight we will live again
Athens, if you reach
The mystery
Not too far from any man

Listen people, gather round
I notice you reach for every breeze
That travels by
Grasping at eternal straws
You think that it’s alright
But I know you need a love divine

Athens, if you will
Hearts be still
Tonight we will live again
Athens, if you reach
The mystery
Not too far from any man

Written on every heart
Mysterious way
The word of the one eternal spark
Whisper of the unknown God
Invisible one
We live and we move and here we are

This is love
This is what
You were always meant to be
Athens, if you run
The race is won
Lean into the victory

People of Athens, check your pulses, you're still breathing
Devout to all but the truth, take it from a heathen
Idols on parade, burying your face, digital fever
But my God doesn't get mad, he gets even
Greater than the pain of an empty soul still reaching
Greater than my doubt so I can believe while he's still teaching
And I promise you this, if you're still seeking
Then He is close by, Yahweh, inhale, breathe him
Track Name: Athens, Pt. 2
I look around me and I
See everybody Looking up
Can't put their words around it
I think I know what they're looking for

Imagination firing
Everyone is looking for the silver lining
Well I don't have the miracle drug
But I've felt the miracle

Love is not far, no matter where you are
Reach out
Even if walk broken hearted in the dark
Reach out

There in the fables, read
Between the lines, you will find it
It's written on our skin
Don't ever need a reminder

We need a hand
We're looking to the skies for the super man
I don't have the answers
But I found love

Love is not far, no matter where you are
Reach out
Even if walk broken hearted in the dark
Reach out

Reach out
You held your arms down by your side
Pick them up and come alive
Reach out, your redemption is on the move
Loves already reaching out to you

Reach out,
Love’s already reaching out to you
Track Name: Soldier On
It’s hard to recall when you lose a battle
That the war is won, it’s already won
When it’s dark in you heart let a brother remind you
That we have the sun, it’s already dawn

(Keep on fighting), keep on fighting
Soldier on for the war is won
(Keep on fighting), keep on fighting
Til the work is done for the war is won

It’s hard to remember what we’re fighting for
Ain’t it all for naught if it ain’t all for love
Kings fall, nations crumble
But we march to the beat of a higher drum

(Keep on fighting), keep on fighting
Soldier on for the war is won
(Keep on fighting), keep on fighting
Til the work is done for the war is won

When it’s all said and done we’ll live in love
So don’t lay down your arms, open them up

It’s hard to recall when you lose a battle
That the war is won, it’s already won
When it’s dark in you heart let a brother remind you
That we have the sun, it’s already dawn

(Keep on fighting), keep on fighting
Soldier on for the war is won
(Keep on fighting), keep on fighting
Til the work is done for the war is won

Keep on keepin’ on
We gotta keep on keepin’ on
Track Name: Everybody Ought to Know
Grace, how you walk
So delicate on the block
I’ve turned to stray
But you never turn me away

Can I restart?
I know that I’ve broken your heart
I’m broken apart
And I’m mended in who you are
(Turn it up)

Always new, still the same
Everybody ought to know your love by name
In your light I am changed
Everybody ought to know your love by name

Grace, I’m so blind
Fix my eyes on love of a different kind
Oh to see other creatures the way you look at me
(Turn it up)

Always new, still the same
Everybody ought to know your love by name
In your light I am changed
Everybody ought to know your love by name

Now that I’ve found you, oh
I can’t go back to the old
I’ll step to the ledge and more
I’ll go over
I won’t take my eyes off you
I won’t take my eyes off you
I won’t take my eyes off you

Take my heart and turn it up

Always new, still the same
Everybody ought to know your love by name
In your light I am changed
Everybody ought to know your love by name

Like the sky after rain
Everybody ought to know your love by name
Like a treasure I’d die to claim
Everybody ought to know your love by name
Track Name: Thousand Pieces
The hymnal is stained with tears
An empty row where she cried
She hasn’t been there for years, she tried
She came in looking for answers
To questions everybody asks
But she wasn’t one of them, left and never went back

I have to remind myself she’s out there
I have to remind myself she’s out there
And you are Lord of all

He walks concrete and dirt, scraping for a single bite
His next meal isn’t a sure thing tonight
He doesn’t think about his soul
He just wonders if he’ll live the month
God, what does it mean that he’s hungry and I’m not?

I have to remind myself she’s out there
I have to remind myself she’s out there
And you are Lord of all

Break my life into a thousand pieces
Break my will into a million parts
Take it all and make a picture of your heart

(You are Lord of all)
Tonight, be with the ones who need you
Grant me grace to reach for the ones I can reach to
(Lord of All)
Tonight, be with the ones who need you
Grant me grace to reach for the ones I can reach to

Break my life into a thousand pieces
Break my will into a million parts
Take it all and make a picture of your heart
Track Name: Eyes On You
Ever wonder why the rainclouds look the way they do?
Ever wonder why it saddens you?
Ever wonder where the roses go when the petals start to fall?
When they’re dying on the grave they rest upon

When the world is spinning and you don’t know where to fall
My arms are open to you, my arms are open
When you feel like no one sees your heart is dying all along
My eyes are on you, my eyes are on you

Ever see yourself in children when they don’t know right from wrong?
Let he who’s blameless cast the first stone.
Do you think that your hurt is hidden far away?
But you’re begging, silent, crying for transparency

When the world is spinning and you don’t know where to fall
My arms are open to you, my arms are open
When you feel like no one sees your heart is dying all along
My eyes are on you, my eyes are on you

When you offer up a smile and hope they see right through
I’ll always want to know what’s hurting you.
Choosing roads you know that you don’t wanna take
You know I’ll always be right at arm’s length

When the world is spinning and you don’t know where to fall
My arms are open to you, my arms are open
When you feel like no one sees your heart is dying all along
My eyes are on you, my eyes are on you
Track Name: Don't Know How to Love
I grew up with some great examples of how to give love out
Ate it up like Cap'n Crunch you know it gave me crunch mouth
If my gums weren't hurtin' baby, it wasn't workin'
If my heart ain't spurtin' maybe my love is worthless
So can I give it out, give it up, live it out
While others live it up, now what gon' be my livin' 'bout
Will I leave my mark when I'm all done singing out?
(Jason E. Call)
Now tell the people what we singin' bout

Laughin’s for the babies, dreamin’s for the child
And high ideals for the college boy with blinders on his eyes
Wisdom for the old man before he sails to other side
I guess I’m caught in the middle and I realize

I don’t know how, I don’t how to love
I don’t know how, I don’t how to love
I’ve taken so much
I’ve had more than a couple lifetime’s enough, but I...
I don’t know how, I don’t how to love

We’ve all been guilty of living like we’ll never grow old
But a couple of days in the real world can make a love grow cold
(Can make a love grow cold)
How do we keep the fires burning when we know it’s bound to get dark
I guess I gotta get up
It’s my turn to give everything I got

I don’t know how, I don’t how to love
I don’t know how, I don’t how to love
I’ve taken so much
I’ve had more than a couple lifetime’s enough, but I...
I don’t know how, I don’t how to love

I’m asking for your spirit, beggin’ for your song
I can almost hear it after thirty years along
Show me how to reach out, help me to see
The beautiful way you’re reaching out to me

I'm all done trusting in what man's made
Show me how to love everything that your hands made
If I can't live it, don't matter if I sing it
God, you brought me so much love now show me how to bring it
Track Name: Way You Are
Colors run over everyone
Lightning strike announcing that you’ve come
Stars shine bright for
Oceans cry for…

The way you are
The way you are

Lightning strike without warning
Red sky in the morning
No formula can…
No method explains

The way you are
The way you are

You’re the mystery I’m longing for
You’re the contradiction my heart adores
You’re the complication I couldn’t see
But my heart is at home so you just be
You just be
The way you are
Track Name: One Six (freestyle)
Roll it over, new day, reset the stop watch
They tell me “get in the game,” too much stop, watch
Dribbling in circles like I’m running down a shot clock
Too afraid to throw it up, solid D, shot blocked

You didn’t know? Then lemme tell it to you first
Sunday had me feeling bad, Monday got me feeling worse
String of really bad luck got me feeling cursed
Gambling my life away, knowing it don’t reimburse

And the bright colors of Christmas came off the tree
Now winter’s here and everything is dead and bleak
Need a shot of life, feeling weak
Bruised up from choosing poor on this losing streak

And bills creep, seeing red, wallet reeling
Whatever money bought me then, now it’s panic feeling
Can’t believe I whine about the Senate dealings
When I broke glass a long time ago, debt ceiling

And new year’s resolutions, I wrote a few
Six days in, I broke a few
It’s a new year, but nothing’s new
Guess that why the newspaper saying everybody’s blue

And the cold’s setting in and the weather man
Said tomorrow’s temperature is gonna break the records and
A high of 10, whatever man
Couple of days, it’ll be warm weather again

But the holidays left me with deeper chill
Got what I wanted under the tree, but deeper still
I need a life that goes deeper, but it’s all uphill
And when it keeps getting steeper, what, you grin and deal?

Aftermath, silent night, after that
Nothing but pain when you try your hand at looking back
Hindsight ain’t 20/20, for some it’s gloss
But Christmas for others is just reliving loss

There used to be another stocking hanging by the fire
Now every single year your heart’ll be reminded
And tears are ok, I heard ‘em say
But who really wants to break down crying on Christmas Day?

Maybe your loss is of another kind
A childhood you never had and you can’t find
You see pictures of a happy family in green and red
And wonder what it’s like to have a feeling that you’ve never had

And Jesus is the reason? You know, his birth?
Then what’s the reason we ain’t got a speck of peace on earth?
Here’s your glad tidings… Nations fighting
And senseless violence demeaning what a life is worth

I look at monsters and tell myself I’m nothing like ‘em
But in my heart a storm’s raging, category 5’in
I feel like God is testing me, that’s normal, right?
But why he gotta keep testing me every single night?

I don’t love me, I need acceptance
I crave a love that’ll resurrect me to my senses
My instinct is to push you out, it’s senseless
Because I’m begging you to please break down my defenses

Alright, the truth, this track and why I’m on it
Soul vomit coming up from a year of wanting
Wish I knew where I was coming from or where I’m going
I hope it’s not out of reach, ‘case God knows I want it

“First day of the rest of your life”
And I feel like I’ve left behind the best of my life?
Been a year of my broken heart detesting life
Juxtaposed by warm greetings and festive lights

And I confess to you I’m just not right
And becoming a person that I just don’t like
I’m in the tunnel, what I wouldn’t give to see the light
January cold, man, I feel blue tonight

(It's all over but the shoutin')
Track Name: We Turn to Mud Under the Rain...
Complications
It's like my soul wants to be dry
I'd take the life out of any good time
Trouble breathing
It's like my lungs are on fire
Been running away from anything resembling life

Do you see the rain clouds
Should we take shelter
What if the healing
Pours from the heavens

Oh, Do you feel the rain drops
Could we go out and let it fall on us
To wash away all we are
Oh, From dust we came
We turn to mud under the rain
To be made over again
Track Name: Lead (Find Me Where I Am)
I was called out and now they know what I am
I was ruined for all to see
But you stepped up and drew a line in the sand
You drew a line in the sand for me

You find me where I am but you won’t leave me here
You fill my lungs again and I breathe
You take me by the hand to places I’ve never been
You find me where I am
Then you lead

I remember you said “Go child, go and sin no more”
And I stood up on my feet
And when I go now I know don’t walk alone
I walk as a child of the risen Son
I’m the found and freed and forgiven one

You find me where I am but you won’t leave me here
You fill my lungs again and I breathe
You take me by the hand to places I’ve never been
You find me where I am
Then you lead

Lead me through the darkest midnight
Lead me through the clearest day
Lead me to the living waters to drink your grace
Lead to a place of brokenness until your love is all that I have left
I’m so glad you didn’t leave me
Now its my joy to let you lead me

You find me where I am but you won’t leave me here
You fill my lungs again and I breathe
You take me by the hand to places I’ve never been
You find me where I am
Then you lead
Track Name: Athens, Pt. 3
Til all is said and done, our kingdoms crumble up
Til all the dogs of war fade with the ash and stone
Til every single fire is sparked by love’s desire
Til all is said and done, this is my final song

Love ain’t easy and we’ve so far to go
I can’t wait ‘til it’s all we know
Love ain’t easy and we’ve so far to go
I can’t wait ‘til it’s all we know
The battle rages but our hearts will hold
I can’t wait til its all we know
Love ain’t easy and we’ve so far to go
I can’t wait ‘til it’s all we know

Love is not far, no matter where you are
No matter what you’ve done
Love made you a daughter, love made you a son
And we will rest and we will run
Where it’s all we know

And I can’t wait ‘til it’s all we know
And I can’t wait ‘til it’s all we know