Rivers ( Vol V of The Gods The Gates and The Sweet Waters)

by Roman Rhodes and the Born Again Pagans

Released 2014
Multifolkal Music Inc.
Released 2014
Multifolkal Music Inc.
Folk-Roots West at its World inspired best: A rich, deeply lyrical, multi-instrumented, magically unified melange of Alternative Folk, Canadian Singer-songwriter with Classic 60s Rock, Asian, Americana Country, Jazz, Pop & Blues highlights.
  • 05:48 Story Lyrics Silver Rivers (Tanabata)

    Silver Rivers (Tanabata)
    © Roman Rhodes, 2011

    Silver Rivers snake down mountains at night.
    Mist rises mysterious in the cool moonlight. 
    Hills silhouetted against the river of stars.
    A town lit on the riverbanks, houses, temples, bars.            
     Do you know where you are?
     Do you know who you are? 

    Weaving blind down to the sea, the mouth, the bite. 
    Dark waters rolling darker in the city of lights.
    Beneath these cool waters, algae, jetsam stone and sand.
    The life of another lost and drowning man.
             Do you know who I am?
            Any idea who I am?

                And we all need some loving on the go.
                We all need some loving as we roll           
                Down this silver river of life.
                Won’t you be my lover for tonight?

    Tonight is Tanabata, the 7th of July.
    I’ve waited all year for this night to come on by.
    The river of stars is so clear in the sky.           
    Come on take my hand and let us unite!
             Do you know who we are?
             We’re all shining stars!

       The sky’s so big, it goes ever on.
       I feel so alone most the time, why?  What’s wrong?
       I’ve got all I need, yet this emptiness carries on.
       Why do you hold back the river of love for so long?

    Chorus 2:
               And we all need some loving so let it flow!
               We all need some loving come on let's go!
               Let’s float together down this river of life!
               Won’t you be my lover for tonight.






  • 03:28 Story Lyrics Canyons of the Soul: Regrets

    Canyons of the Soul: Regrets
    © Roman Rhodes, 2009

    There are loves I’ve never had in the canyons of my soul.
    They linger in the shadows like a garden full of moles. 
    They burrow in my longings and lay there hidden still.
    They chew the roots of calm and leave me unfulfilled.   

    There are loves I’ve left behind in the caves of my heart.
    They are blessed in my mind, but still I had to part.
    Their hurt is a hollow, like the shaft of a mine
    Bored into my soul for some gold they couldn’t find.            

    Chorus:  There are sorrows and regrets and mistakes not made yet.
                  They disturb and make me fret, but I know I must let them all go.
                 When will the rains come? When will the winds blow?
                  When will the river run and cleanse this old arroyo?

    There are paths never taken in the Canyons of my past:
    Avoided, unknown, un-awakened, can I walk them all at last?
    Trails of curiosity, avenues of desire,
    Highways to fulfilment that promised to take me higher.

  • 05:47 Story Lyrics The Green Hills (Tara)

    The Green Hills (Tara)
    © Roman Rhodes, 1996 /Rewrite ©, Roman Rhodes 2009 & 2013


    I've been living in a grey town
    Where the dark don't come when the sun goes down
    and the siren’s scream is the only sound                 
    that sings you to sleep when you lie down.

    I've  been dreaming bout the green hills
    far from where the money kills
    and the waters run deep, clear and still
    and you hold me against the night chills
    like a good lover's arms, wanting nothing
    but freedom from harm, wanting nothing.                 

    (Om tare tuttare ture sva.)

    I been longing for a rushing stream
    where salmon spawn among trout and bream,
    and the falls aren't too high to leap,
    you can jump right into your big dream.

    But I've been living in this modern town
    where the only rushing is the kind that wears you down.
    and bits of papers can bring a good person down
    and keep their dreams from getting off the ground.
      like a bad lover's arms, wanting everything
      out of fear of harm, taking everything.

    I've got to escape this grinding light:
    This stabbing knife of doubt
    into the soft night of my soul.
    I want to hide away in some dark place
    Where I can be alone, and make my space
    and have the time to grow.
    (Om tare tuttare ture sva.)
    How can I fulfil my life?
    When I'm being picked apart & pushed around,
    put down, pierced & passed over,
    pinned & wriggling in a bowl (with my trousers rolled).
    Of cement canyons, no earth beneath my feet.
    Too many signs around, too much noise along this street.
    No stars above, to guide me to the far goal.
    Ah the center's lost, no way to be whole.  

    I been thinking 'bout these hard times
    & the kind of life I'd like to find
    where I can keep my soul and not lose my mind
    amongst all the condoned crime
       of society gone wrong; taking everything;
       gone so damned wrong; leaving nothing

    oh, I've waited so long for the place I'd rather be, 
    among the nightingale's song, far from all this anxiety,
    chasing nothing.  Oh to be secure in the arms,
    of the beauty :of your green hills:.

  • 05:00 Story Lyrics Never End

    Never End.
    © Roman Rhodes, 2013

    It’s seems like forever,
    Thought I’d never get to feel this way again.
    The evening comes,
    the river runs; I don’t want this day to ever end.

    This morning It’s true
    I didn’t even know you. You’re what they call a godsend.
    My misery
    washed down river from me. I don’t want this day to ever end. 

    Chorus: Rolling river rolling on.
               Washing love and life and dreams away from me.
               Or is it that  I’m just holding on
               To the way I think things ought to be?

    If we walk real slow
    As we go hand in hand to the river’s bend?
    Will reality
    Stay away from me? I don’t want this day to ever end.                 

    I’ve listened to
    Your cares and dues. Oh, how my heart did rend.
    I’ve eased your pain,
    Made you smile again. I don’t want this day to ever end.     

    Repeat Chorus + Instrumental

    The grasses brush
    Your thighs. Your blush with golden rays do blend.
    Your smile fades                 
    The sun-gilt glades. I don’t want this day to ever end.                 

    If sand and rocks
    Could only talk, I’m sure their voices they’d lend
    To my refrain,
    They’d sigh and say, I don’t want this day to ever end.                 

    Repeat Chorus

    But with the river’s flow,
    I’m sure you’ll go back down to the city of men.
    And reality
    will take you from me; I don’t want this day to ever end.


  • 03:20 Story Lyrics Waiting for the Tragedy: Animae

    Waiting for the Tragedy (Animae)

    © Roman Rhodes, 2009 


    We’re all waiting for the tragedy to come.

    Squeezing the tube of life for a last bit of fun.

    All our dreams and plans are on the run

    from the men who rule the world and make the guns.

    :When we’re waiting, oh, waiting for the tragedy to come:


    Living in a constant state of fear.

    Exhausted by others’ wailing and tears.

    Hope to drown the noise with more beer.

    But drugs don’t stop the facts or change the gears.

    So you keep on escaping, waiting for the tragedy to come.


    And will you still have all your pleasant dreams

    With your heart made of globs of plasticine,

    Stuck with all the things you do that are mean?

    Like leaving ‘em waiting with their rowboats by a stream.

    Like leaving ‘em waiting, leaving ‘em waiting for you to come.


    And when the tragedy finally arrives

    And you’re panicking with the crowd to stay alive,

    Floating in the sea like a toy in side a tub,

    Will you be watching for the little boats of love?

    Watching, waiting for the little boats to come.


    Wars and illness robbers, rapists, priests.

    Have nothing to say to save me in the least.

    I won, lost, left and been bereft of love

    Now I stand on the deck waiting for the dove.

    I’m waiting for the little boat to come.

    Yeah, I’m waiting, waiting for your love.

    Yeah, waiting for you little boat of love.   Magic love, your love.



  • 06:07 Story Lyrics The Way It Seems

     The Way It Seems

    © Roman Rhodes, 2011


    The things that seemed good, I thought they would stay that way.

    Things that seemed free now, woe is me, seems we have to pay.

    Things that I was sure were right and pure turned out so wrong.

    The dark of night that once gave me a fright             I now welcome on.


    The pain and loss I have come across brought some deeper joy.

    The things that were broken now seem but the tokens of a little boy.

    The things that seemed wrong, later on proved alright.

    And beauty was born from things that were torn and set alight.


    And now I know that I am blind,

    and have been this way a long, long time.

    And all the rules and all the lines

    thoughts within my mind are but a dream,

    writ in water, we are fodder in this stream;

    And nothing is the way things seem.


    The things I’ve done-- number one: leaving you--

    Scarred my soul, no longer whole, but what can I do?

    Other ways did not appear before me then or now.

    And it ain’t no life when you don’t know your own mind anyhow.


    We met too young and you clung to some ideal of me.

    And as I grew, you clung to the peel of me.

    And skinned right bare, I flew new born aware to another shore.

    I failed perhaps, but life is craps, or some game of that sort.


    And now I know that I am blind,

    and have been this way a long, long time.

    And all the rules and all the lines

    Are writ in the water of this stream.

    And as I row my boat through this dream,

    I realize: nothing is the way things seem.


    Times I cheated you like you cheated me are the times we talked the best.

    And the times I treated you so well, you treated me like hell, like the rest.

    Sorry if I was confused, but there were times you abused me so.

    My heart was bruised most by your refusal of my growth.


    And now it seems I’m Mr. mean who left you all alone.

    But we agreed in vows to always help the other’s seed grow.

    In your fear, you forgot my dear and tried to control my life.

    And my every dream became a scheme to leave you my wife.


    But things aren’t what they seem! I still support your dreams.

    In truth it’s really you who left me, When you tried to stop me being!                                                            


    Now the spiritual books give me dirty looks and say I’m to blame.

    But walk in my shoes and pay my dues and you’ll see a different game.

    I tried my best, I failed and I left, but I still love thee.

    And you just hate and blame your fate on me.


    And now I know that you are blind,

    For love once lived lasts for all time.

    You’re out of sight but not out of mind.

    So leave your hatred behind!

    No reason we can’t be feeling fine

    Go girl, go and chase your dreams

    For nothing’s the way that it seems!


  • 05:41 Story Lyrics The Dys Nile (River of Denial: All Our Past Is Gone)

    The Dys Nile
    (River of Denial; All our Past is Gone)
    © Roman Rhodes. 2008 & 2013

    1.  He had seven-car garage and a one-room house.
    Shared the bathroom with Mickey Mouse.
    Wiped his arse with Donald Duck,
    straight out back went all the muck.
    Down to the River with Finn and Huck,
    Where the chickens now crow and the rooster cluck.

       And there's no way this simple song
       can reveal all that's been lost
       All,  all our past is gone, (buried under the new Chemlawn.)
       We've been double-crossed.

    2. Now Disney's in denial of everything it steals and stole,
    But now the copyright cat is in the bag, they want to keep the fruit in the bowl.
    But if the gift is never shared, everything disappears,
    The fruit rots, the cat suffocates and all that's left is fear.

       And do you own the alphabet and do you own the blues?
       And do you own the breath I breath, and the walking in my shoes?
       And do you own my way of life, I know you already own the news!
       And will you own my DNA or just the family jewels?

    3. Now the poor, they say if shit were gold, the rich would own your hole.
    They'd put a lock where the sun don't shine and make you pay to go.
    They'd spike your feet to the old barn floor and stuff you full of feed
    And make you watch commercials that told you this is what you want and need!
    And if blood were gold it goes without saying, they’d simply make you bleed.

    4. Now the flow of the mind and the flow of life
    These two are joined like man and wife.
    When you hold on to things you get stuck.
    You silt up the river with all your muck.
    So much crap in the water, the river can’t flow.
    When the river turns black Jack then we all must go.

     5. And maybe there’s no coming back
    Or maybe we're born again into this little shack.
    And the mess we left is the mess we get.
    Gimme, gimme did you learn your lessons yet?

     6.The worse kind of poverty there is, is the poverty of mind.
    That puts excessive luxury above what’s deep inside.
    But if we share then there's enough and everyone's full of joy
    If were all just rich enough, then there's no need to steal, hoard or destroy.
    You can ride your bike to work, turn your garage into a library. 
    And fill your mind with the light of life and set your spirit free.

  • 04:06 Story Lyrics Way Down the Merry River

    Way down the Merry River
    © Roman Rhodes, 2008

    Way down the Merry River

    Along the needy shoals,
    I lost sight of my self
    And rowed for petty goals.

    Way down the Merry river,
    where the body becomes a bowl,
    Where the bowl becomes the ocean,
    And the sky becomes the soul. 

    I've marched through all the marshes.
    I've bent around all the bends.
    I've pined "how soon it's all over!"
    And whined, "when does it ever end?"

    Chorus 1
    So row, row, row, or else you're gonna drown.
    Go, go, go or fear will only take you down.
    Know, know, know, your little self at last.
    Be, be, be before the journey's past.

    (Instrumental) Splash, splash, splash: see your little world at last.

    Dream a dream inside a dream
    of a dream of a dream of a dream.
    Breathe your breath to your level-headed best.
    Still, nothing's as it seems.

    I wake to find a world of symbols and signs that can tell
    Me anything I want them to: is this heaven or hell?
    The best of all possible world's: it's true as long as you understand,
    Perception is at the heart of everything, between the salt water and the sand.

    Chorus 2
    So row, row, row your boat and watch it all disappear.
    Merrily, merrily, consciously, warily: nothing's ever here.
    So row, row, row your boat down this little stream.
    And know, know, know yourself, nothing's as it seems.

    Way down the Merry River the one is always near.

  • 04:20 Story Lyrics Damn the Dams

    Damn the Dams
    © Roman Rhodes, 2012

    Everybody’s judging others,
    now everybody’s fudging on everybody else.
    They’re not looking or listening.
    They don’t see essence glistening.
    They only see the shelf.

    You put your pigeons in your box.
    You take each and every word I talk,  like a boat from a river to a lock.
    You deconstruct each letter
    To pretend that you are better. To this conversation’s blood you are a clot.

       It’s laziness that causes this mess
       Of relations come undone.
       But if you’d allow a few mistakes,
       You’d see that were all one.

    You take so little time to understand my rhyme,
    That you misconstrue everything I meant.
    You’re so hung up on form, that a word can cause a storm,
    And turn beauty into something quite bent.

       You can’t step into a river twice,
       so don’t think words that I spoke so nice,
       are the same as some curse you heard.
       I might be befriending you,
       so don’t go ending this before you do
       me the flipping of the bird.

    Dam your dams, oh, listen to me man,
    Rivers, words and minds must be free.
    Everything you’re holding back is giving you a heart attack,
    And causing us more misery.

    In your fear you cower in the groups that give you power,
    'Cause you think you’ll rise above the flood.
    But cultures rise and fall and the ones that build the dams and walls
    Are the ones that crumble from a lack of love.

          Its fear and greed that cause this need
          And bring out God and gun.
          But if you’d share, take time to care
          You find enough for everyone.

     Bridge:  Take the time to listen to the last word
                Tune your mind to hear the meaning unheard.
                Take the time to get the gist coming from the soul.
                Don’t just take the wind out of my sails.
                Don’t go sink the boat, don’t just simply bail.
                Don’t damn up the river before reaching the goal.

    You put your concrete thinking blocks
    In the current of this river and damn the flowing of the soul.
    And you never understand the goodness in these waters,
    'Cause you focus on bed and banks and not the whole.

                Communication is a river, a bit of take, bit of give her,
                Let it flow, just let be.
                You don’t give energy, you just give shock.
                To the flow of this water you are a rock,
                blocking the current to the Sea.

    Damn yours dams, oh listen to me man:
    Rivers, words and minds must be free.
    Everything you’re holding back is giving you a heart attack,
    And causing us more misery.

     Rep chorus

    Don’t damn the flowing,
    Or we’ll stagnate and never flow into the sea.
    Keep the talk going,
    Won’t you row this little boat along with me.


  • 02:37 Story Lyrics Rivers of Love

    Rivers of Love
    © Roman Rhodes, 2014

    Only rivers of love can be saving us now.
    Hope this little song of mine reaches you somehow.
    Touches your hearts and make you see:
    Without the earth we cannot be;
    Gives us life with every breath we breathe,
    Treat her like a deity.

    Wake up each day and take a vow.
    To protect and cherish this golden bough
    All the food you eat, the water you drink,
    Comes from the teat of this holy cow!

    We’ve made such a mess with all our greed.
    Soils of poison and waters that bleed.
    Clean it up or we’re chow.
    Only rivers of love will be saving us now.

    We’ve got to change our basic creed.
    We take too much, yet leave millions in need.
    Treat all as one great family,
    We need to plant the loving seed.

    Cause war will only be our end.
    Turn you enemies to friends. 
    Turn your fights into powwows.
    Only rivers of love will be saving us now.

    Cause war will make us all extinct.
    You know were trembling on the brink
    Turn your weapons into ploughs,
    Only rivers of love will be saving us now. 

    End: Only rivers of love will be saving us now.

  • 04:53 Story Lyrics The Orbit: The Pass By (Amaterasu: Eclipse of the Sun)

    The Orbit: Part 1: The Pass By
    (Amaterasu: Eclipse of the Sun)
    © Roman Rhodes, 2012

    When you coming down the to rainbow?
    When you gonna play in the sun?
    When will you realise the darkness touches everyone?

    There ain’t no use crying about the night time, 
    the way the earth spins around itself.
    There ain’t no use crying about the shite times, 
    think of something else.

    When you coming down to the waterfall?
    When you gonna jump in the stream?
    When will you swim in the lake, my love?
    When will you know what I mean?

    There ain’t no use in crying about the spinning 
    of the earth around the sun.
    There ain’t no use in  crying about the winter
    and when it comes.

    And if the heavens can not rain for ever and a day,
    Why do you think your tears and pain will never go away?

    Now I’m kneeling in the dojo, trying to find the mojo  I left behind.
    The cold hard floor pains my feet, out side is rain and sleet,
    But inside this pain suits me fine.
    Helps focus my mind and face the walls and the grind.

    And I want you to fly with me  this long night in my arms
    It don’t matter what others are thinking, we’re not doing any harm.
    If we make each other happy what does it matter what we do?
    As long as it is mutual, ain’t nobody’s business but me and you.
    In the morning you can walk, and I can too.


  • 04:30 Story Lyrics Rivers Run

    Rivers Run
    ©Roman Rhodes, 2006

    Rivers run down mountains.
    Rivers run to the sea.
    Run in evaporation
    And in clouds above you & me.
    Rivers run in rain
    And run in rivers again.
    And spirits run like rivers run
    In streams of constant change.

    Spirits run in bodies,
    In breath and word and names.
    Spirits run in families
    In strands of D.N.A.
    In animals, rocks & trees;
    in smiles & laughter.
    And gods run like sprits run:
    In everything and ever-after.

    Gods run in histories,
    In emotions and ideas.
    And Gods run in energies
    Like winds through oak leaves;
    Like strings of electricity;
    Like currents in your brain.
    And rivers run like gods run:
    Through elements like rain.


    Rivers down mountains.
    Spirits run to the sea.
    Gods run in evaporation
    all around you & me.
    They run in rain.
    And run in rivers again.
    And everything is eternal
    :Only external forms change.:

Folk-Roots West at its World inspired best: A rich, deeply lyrical, multi-instrumented, magically unified melange of Alternative Folk, Canadian Singer-songwriter with Classic 60s Rock, Asian, Americana Country, Jazz, Pop & Blues highlights.
RIVERS is the natural follow up to the excellent Emergent Sea:

"Only when folk music is spiced with exotic sounds from the rest of the world does it transcend its roots and become vital again. Such is the case with Roman Rhodes and the Born Again Pagans, a band that uses folk as the first stroke of a paintbrush to realize their collage of jazz, psychedelic, and world music. There's no point in classifying them; it's best to swim in the wild waves of their [last] album The Emergent Sea and surf on the layers of visionary storytelling. "
(From Jazz Corner Review of The Emergent Sea).
Radio Indy said of the Pagans Music:
Roman and his Pagans deliver spirited and decidedly spiritual, tunes that celebrate life and nature with a keen inventiveness, both musically and lyrically. "The Emergent Sea" offers an excellent showcase for the skills and influences of players with origins that stretch from Scotland to Japan and sundry points in between, but what ultimately makes Roman Rhodes and the Born Again Pagans' CD so effective is the cohesive, well balanced, and accessible music at its core. (Radio indy)

Jazz Times:
For a band so plugged into the ‘60s, Roman Rhodes and the Born Again Pagans also feel utterly contemporary. This is mainly because Rhodes turns a blind eye to stylistic boundaries; on their latest album “The Emergent Sea,” they navigate through an assortment of varied inspirations including folk, psychedelic rock, world music, and jazz. However, the group somehow manages to stitch together their eclectic tastes in a seamless flow. It shouldn’t work but somehow the band manages to pull it off.

and All About Jazz:
On the surface, Rhodes' work may recall the similarly sun-tanned acoustic pop of Jack Johnson; however, Rhodes is more adventurous and unpredictable, making listeners true believers of these Born Again Pagans.
In a sense, the Pagans are the real Beach Boys because their songs truly capture the cleansing escapism provided by the surf. In a world enveloped by negativity and anger, the Pagans remind us of the beauty around us.

And of their first album RIPE: IME wrote: "A feast for the ears, mind and spirit."

RIVERS is the first out of a now in production 6 volume CD set entitled THE GODS, THE GATES AND THE SWEET WATERS.
First of the SWEET WATERS couplet: RIVERS and RAINS, RIVERS delivers a decidedly more jazz-blues and world feel to the Pagan's repertoire, though all the 60s and celtic influences remain strong.

The incredible line up of musicians includes:
ATSUSHI AKAZAWA: the Japan born, Celtic and Asian strings specialist from Kyoto, whose violin, bazouki, guitarlele and sanshien paying add a definite Irish music flair and Asian undercurrent to the tunes.

MORAY CRAWFORD: on Drums and percussion and harmonic. From Scotland, Moray adds a mix of celtic, Jazz and punk and traditional-rock rhythms to the album. Moray leads his own punk rock band, My-T-Hi has played in dozens of bands in the UK and Japan, including jamming with the world famous Osaka Women's band Shonan Knife.

PAUL FLEISHER: on Jazz Sax, bass clarinet, flute and piccolo. Paul is a New York city born, Japan living, Jazz musician with a number of albums to his name, has played with Joan Baez, the Doobie Brothers, Elliot Randall, and was part of the original band for broadway musical Jesus Christ Superstar. He has recorded with Kenny Barron, Bob Cranshaw and Al Foster. Again Paul's inventive and inspired winds bring both a magical 60s and sultry jazz feel to the album.

JOHN HULATON: on trumpet: Hawaiian born composer, voice actor, radio announcer, came to Japan with the Hawaiian
orchestra and stayed. He has professionally composed all genres of music, but specializes in classical and jazz. Jazz Pianist Dr. Phillip Strange and Drummer Larry Marshall devoted a special filmed live tribute to his music in Osaka in 2010.

TETSUO KONDO: Bass is a regular in numerous jazz bands around the Kansai area. He add a warm and creative wood bass and driving dancing electric bass to the CD.

ROMAN RHODES: From Quebec, Canada, is the founder and songwriter for the Pagans. Over 200 songs to his name, he has written for the Canadian celtic band Orealis and professionally produced plays, and had his songs sung by choirs at the World Parliament of Relgions in Spain. Rhodes provides guitars, both electric and acoustic, guitarlele, banjo, bass and keyboards on this album. Again he fuses a wealth of influences into a complete unified whole, on his mission to bring back the concept album to new heights, and reinfuse meaning into contemporary pop music. With more powerful and distinctive vocals, this album aspires to top the Emergent Sea, with songs both accessible and unique.


See Roman and the Pagans also at:

YouTube -- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpjbcUCW9YZT-NDVz6T4d_Q Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/BornAgainPagans?ref=profile CD Baby -- http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/romanrhodesandthebornaga