Defend The People

by Alex Cook

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about

Alex Cook's 2011 release, Defend The People is a battle cry for spiritual confidence. Like the title says, these songs make a point of defending our right to know ourselves as God's creations. Confident and defiant, these songs rock in the best way.

credits

released December 7, 2012

Alex Cook: Lead vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica, and accordion
Wayne Ingram: Lead guitars, keyboards, and bass on tracks 1 and 4-9
Dave Cordes: Bass on tracks 2, 3, 10, 11, and 12
Griffin Wright: Drums and percussion
Heather Leilani Nation: Vocal Harmonies
Jessica Hays: Flute on "Saved By Beauty"
Carl Catron: Tenor Sax
Derek Beckvold: Baritone sax
Nigel Taylor: trumpet

Produced by Wayne Ingram and Alex Cook
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Wayne Ingram at The Keep in Boston, MA, 2011.
Cover art by Alex Cook
Design by Sarah Nichols

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Track Name: The People (To The Hilt)
The People (To The Hilt)

The people raise their children, The people love the sky
They swim in swelling oceans, The people work and try

The people sing the songs, That fill the atmosphere
The people live on earth, The people cry their tears

The people tell the stories, The people shoot the hoops
The people laugh together, The people spice to soup

The people write the poems, They give each other gifts
And in their hearts the all know, That love can heal the rifts

The people's hearts are moving, They invented prayer
The people sense eternity, Despite the senseless air

The people's names are written in the holy dome of stars
We all defy the jailer, Slipping right between the bars

The people love to think, We explore the universe
In boats we call ideas, We rise above the curse

The people fly in airplanes, The people wash their clothes
The people are a wonder, And everybody knows

There's nothing to do but live
There's nothing to do but give
It all up and go for broke
Feel the fine words that the Spirit spoke
Take a sledge hammer to fear and guilt
And live this life like a sword—to the hilt!

Come on people, come on people (x4)
Climb the mountain, Leap the wall
Let down your burden, And if you fall
Then jump back up and brush off the dust
Pour in the oil and wash out the rust
The people are rising, you can't hold them down
Cuz life is within them, they cannot be bound

There's nothing to do but live
There's nothing to do but give
It all up and go for broke
Feel the fine words that the Spirit spoke
Take a sledge hammer to fear and guilt
And live this life like a sword—to the hilt!

The people are inventors, The people love to dance
They'll start to celebrate, If you give 'em a chance

The people are intelligent, The people see the sights
The people made the laws, The people fly a kite

The people are not leaving, The people will not die
The people have got soul, And that's the reason why

There's nothing to do but live
There's nothing to do but give
It all up and go for broke
Feel the fine words that the Spirit spoke
Take a sledge hammer to fear and guilt
And live this life like a sword—to the hilt!

Come on people, come on people (x4)
Climb the mountain, Leap the wall
Let down your burden, And if you fall
Then jump back up and brush off the dust
Pour in the oil and wash out the rust
The people are rising, you can't hold them down
Cuz life is within them, they cannot be bound

There's nothing to do but live
There's nothing to do but give
It all up and go for broke
Feel the fine words that the Spirit spoke
Take a sledge hammer to fear and guilt
And live this life like a sword—to the hilt!
Track Name: If You Wanna See 'Em Shine
If You Wanna See 'Em Shine

You're like a treasure chest
I can see the gems sparkle when you do your best
You're filled with life, you're filled with life
And if you wanna see 'em shine
Be what you were made to be
And if you wanna see 'em shine
Don't be afraid to be free
And if you wanna see something fine
Be the best you can be

You're like an art museum
The thing you got, they’re gonna cry when they see 'em
You got soul, Oh, baby baby you got soul
And if you wanna see 'em shine
I hope you do what you love
And if you wanna see 'em shine
Listen to the voice from above
And if you wanna see something fine
Do what you're proud of

You're like the weather in the sky
They can ask you any question and you sure won't lie
You tell the truth, with your life you tell the truth
So if you wanna be sincere
Live by your heart and your hand
And if you wanna be sincere
Speak so that I understand
And if you wanna be sincere,
You can!

We're all like the moon in the night
All the beauty we possess comes from the sun's light
The sun is Love
The sun is Love
And if you wanna feel it shine
Open up your heart
And if you wanna feel it shine
Open up your heart
And if you wanna feel it shine
Be a work of art!
Track Name: Mind Of The Holy One
The Mind Of the Holy One

I don’t hold up the universe
I don’t hold up this day
I don’t hold together the moon and the stars
I don’t release the sea's rolling waves
I don’t open the eyes of a baby child
I don’t rule the beasts as they run
But I drink in the beauty that's pouring forth
From the Mind of the Holy One

I don’t carry any burden of being alive
That weight is squarely not mine to bear
I don’t believe that fear can last forever
When the open door to heaven is prayer

I don’t wonder if the riches of life will be mine
I don’t worry for the light of the sun
But I drink in the beauty that's pouring forth
From the Mind of the Holy One

Oh, that Mind is a mountain
Whose glory fills the sky
And that Mind is a waterfall
From whom all ideas fly
Whose water is supply
Whose well can never run dry

I don’t hold up the universe
I don’t hold up this day
I don’t hold together the moon and the stars
I don’t release the sea's rolling waves

I don’t open the eyes of a baby child
I don’t rule the beasts as they run
But I drink in the beauty that's pouring forth
From the Mind of the Holy One
Track Name: Walk On The Water
Walk on The Water


I'm on the journey of my life and I don’t know what I'm gonna see
But each and every step I know was meant for only me
So I put one foot in front of the other, listening to my Father Mother
Speaking to his sons and daughters
Saying don’t be afraid to step out of the boat and walk on the water

I used to be afraid but now I'm not anymore
Because its normal for the Lord to take you where you've never been before
He said that we would do the things that he could do and greater
So excuse me if I sound like a traitor
But I'm turning my back on these rules and all these worldly schools
That tell me God may be real, but really don’t be a fool
They will tell you that you're made of nothing but atoms and dust
And that this life is propagated by nothing but animal lust
And that this world is run by chance and that this chance is just
Can this really be the voice that I'm expected to trust? NO!
But the voice of Life is out there and you don’t need to fear it
'Cause it's saying better things and if you try you can hear it
the walls fall down when we draw up near it
'Cause this life was made by God and baby, God is a Spirit

You know, I never knew that I would find myself here
I never knew that here was anywhere until the Lord made it clear
The clutches of the world were getting brutally severe
Made me open up my ears, try to hear something new, ya know?
And go and do, like some kind of pioneer
And then through my tears I heard an angel song
It said Oh oh….

And now I know that nothing's really how it appears
They used to thing the world was flat but now we know it’s as sphere
And in the same way, you're gonna hear folks complain
That life is lame, you're to blame, you should be ashamed
But really you should be sincere, you should persevere
'Cause God is rolling out the red carpet like it’s a movie premiere
And the only ticket you need to see the movie of the year is to
Give up your fear, come on, give up your fear.

I'm on the journey of my life and I don’t know what I'm gonna see
But each and every step I know was meant for only me
So I put one foot in front of the other, listening to my Father Mother
Speaking to his sons and daughters
Saying don’t be afraid to step out of the boat and walk on the water

Anything that tells you that you know all there is to know
You've gone all there is to go
You flowed all there is to flow,
You're wrong, 'cause there's another song so deep and beautiful it'll make you weep
It goes on and on and on
There's always more, there's always something to explore,
There's always something tapping on your shoulder that you just can't ignore
Problem is, we think we know it all
We'd rather go to the mall, throw up walls, keep thinking small,
But when the inner voice comes along and says it's time to walk on the sea
We say "What? Who? Me? It can't be! I've never seen it before!"
And all the while God is rolling His eyes,
Filling up the skies, Crushing lies
Yelling, "Surprise!"
Everything's a million times better than you thought it was
You can walk on the water 'cause
There's no law against it!

I'm on the journey of my life and I don’t know what I'm gonna see
But each and every step I know was meant for only me
So I put one foot in front of the other, listening to my Father Mother
Speaking to his sons and daughters
Saying don’t be afraid to step out of the boat and walk on the water
Track Name: Helium Heart
Helium Heart

Life is a balloon that can never come down
What on earth can gravity say to helium?

I was sailin' up over my little town
Lookin' out upon the beautiful fields and I was feelin' 'em.

And I can really say it was my favorite part
Flyin' up and up with a helium heart
I wanna go, I wanna fly

The sky is up above us like an open door
Cuz baby, we're not tied, tied, down to the dust

Soon, soon, little balloon, baby you're gonna soar
And leap up into the wind in a wonderful gust

And I can really say it was my favorite part
Flyin' up and up with a helium heart
I wanna go, I wanna fly

Cuz I'm a balloon and I'm gonna rise
I'm goin' straight into the clear blue skies
They tell me I can't, but surprise, surprise
This helium heart was made to fly, yeah yeah

And I can really say it was my favorite part
Flyin' up and up with a helium heart
I wanna go, I wanna fly
Track Name: Sing Your Song
Sing Your Song

You heard a voice inside your heart when you were a little girl
You sang it and you danced it and you shone it like a pearl
And you would not give it up for all the riches in the world
So baby sing, cuz you got the eyes to see

And then they tried to take your voice with insults, rape, and lies
And then instead of melodies your throat was filled with cries
But now my dear your time has come, you learned that you ain't shy

So mama sing, cuz you got the eyes to see
Inside you is a window, and oh, it's open wide
The music of your life and everything you adore
Is pouring out, and we wanna hear more

So baby, sing your song
Of all the places you've explored when in your heart a lion roared
Sing your song
There's a treasure in your lungs and it was meant to be sung

The earth is filled with riches that sing to your open ears
That tell you stories deep and close that no one else can hear
And so your mountain rises, flashing in the face of fear
Oh baby sing, cuz you got the eyes to see and the ears to hear

The people, dear, are hurting, and blindly limp along
Building precious towers on foundations that are wrong
And when they fall and dash our hopes we need a purer song
So baby sing, cuz you got the eyes to see and the voice, the voice, the voice

Inside you is a window, And oh, it's open wide
The music of your life and everything you adore
Is pouring out, and we wanna hear more

So baby sing your song
Every path that you've explored when in your heart a lion roared
Sing your song
You've got a message to bring so baby get up and sing
There's a treasure in your lungs and it was meant to be sung
I never felt so strong as when I heard you sing your song
Track Name: Saved By Beauty
Saved By Beauty

Some lives have been saved by supermen
Some lives have been saved with a touch
Some lives have been lifted from the very jaws of death
And gently returned, breathing breath

Some lives have been saved by bravery
Some lives have been saved with a word
Some lives have been preserved by a servant doing his duty
But mine was saved by beauty

And her voice sings true and clear to my little boy ear
Singing songs whose perfect words are the bright wings of birds
And my soul, having heard its sweet verse and refrain….
Can no longer fear pain, forgot how to complain
So now let Beauty rain on us all

Beauty's soft-falling rain stills the tempest of pain
Making us sure that there really is purity
Grace and security, meant for us all
And her mountain decrees that death fall to its knees
While God's voice like a breeze sings on
Track Name: What Is Real
What Is Real

What is real?
What’s really gonna last?
What won't crumble away when all my precious hopes are cast?
On what can my little heart rely?
Is it up in the sky? Can I see it with my eye?

I'm askin' what is real?
What's gonna stick around?
Am I just a body that's gonna end up in the ground
Or, am I something more?
I feel it in my bones, right down to the core

Spirit is the real thing, just like we suspected
The foundation of it all is the stone that the builders rejected
So don’t get fooled
All the things that the senses demand
All the fear and the lust and material trust are gonna turn to dust in your hand
Because they're nothing, and you don't want 'em
We're gonna miss out on the real things if we hang our hopes on 'em

What is real, are the treasures of the spirit
There's enough to go around and you don’t need to fear it
Cuz they're so good, and their so bright
They'll make you feel all warm inside like you're doin' everything right

I'll tell you what is real, and lighter than a feather,
Good ideas, they're gonna last forever
They won't give up, and they can't break down
Cuz they shine, shine, through the centuries, and from town to town

Because Spirit is the real thing
Just like we suspected
The foundation of it all is the stone that the builders rejected
So don’t get fooled
All the things that the sense demand
All the fear and the lust and material trust are gonna turn to dust in your hand
Because they're nothing
And you don't want 'em
We're gonna miss out on the real things if we hang our hopes on 'em
Track Name: Alive
Alive

I'm alive, I ain't gonna lie
I'm alive, I ain't, gonna die
Cuz he has opened up the door
And no man can close it
You can't close it,
No no no

I'm alive, can you hear what I say?
I mean, nothing in the world can really take me away
Cuz he has opened up the door
And no man can close it
You can't close it
No no no

I'm alive, do you know what I'm speakin' of?
I mean great God made me from his holy love
He reached down from above and with his lip did say
"You are alive!
And it can be no other way"
He made me healthy, wealthy, worthy and wise
I got nothing to lose but a big pack of lies

Like the night is dark
Like the day is bright
Like a river deep my soul longs for the light

Like a fish in the sea
Like a bee in a hive
Like every little thing from the east to the west
I'm alive!
Track Name: Pharisee
Pharisee

Don’t be a Pharisee, don’t be a Pharisee
You can't get to heaven just by following the rules
Don’t be a Pharisee, don’t be a Pharisee
There's so much more to life than what we learned in school

We got to loosen up, we got to let go
We got to explore, we need to want to grow
We got to feel real life and get into the flow
Because there's more, more, more… ya know?

Rigid and frigid, that's how the human mind thinks,
Tryin' to prove it knows it all even the kitchen sink
And when assumptions get shaken it acts like a fink
And then it starts to sink, and shrink away
Because it wanted to stay and be the king of the day
And give a little wink and say

"you know, I did it the right way –
I'm squeaking clean, I got that lustrous sheen,
I demean my self the way I'm supposed to demean-
Look at my pretty life, it's a well-oiled machine,
A reliable routine (But it's really a smokescreen!)
I got it all together, yeah, I think I'm pretty clever,
But I can hear my house creak in this stormy weather…"

Don’t be a Pharisee, don’t be a Pharisee
You can't get to heaven just by following the rules
Don’t be a Pharisee, don’t be a Pharisee
There's so much more to life than what we learned in school

Life only moves at God's command
We can't stand in His presence making petty demands
And, the human mind has to be willing to expand
Because it's pitiful foundation is built upon the sand
We need to be flexible, not intellectual
A life that never changes may be safe, but ineffectual
Cuz it's the hear that burns when a new lesson learns
And when we find new eyes it's incredible
Life! It's surrounding us, it's astounding us
And when we start to explore it stops confounding us
So look around and see what you can see
And don’t forget that you were born free
Born to think, born to feel, born to be real
With a mighty destiny that you were born to reveal
God is alive doing his perfect will
He did it centuries ago and He does it still
Love will not be cooled by an icy chill, or a threat to kill
Or be fooled by facades and frills
So my friends, we got to be real
Cuz Christ comes not to destroy but to fulfill


Don’t be a Pharisee, don’t be a Pharisee
You can't get to heaven just by following the rules
Don’t be a Pharisee, it's kinda like heresy
There's so much more to life than what we learned in school

Don’t be a Pharisee, don’t be a Pharisee
You can't get to heaven just by following the rules
Don’t be a Pharisee, you're makin' an error, see?
There's so much more to life than what we learned in school

Don’t be a Pharisee, don’t be a Pharisee
You can't get to heaven just by following the rules
Don’t be a Pharisee, it's awfully embarrassing,
There's so much more to life than what we learned in school
Track Name: We're All Going To Heaven Together
We're All Going To Heaven Together

We've all got some chasms to cross
We've all got to bow our heads down to the floor
We've all got some wishbones to break
We've got to find the courage to make our escape

We've got some awful dragons to slay
And some clinging ghosts that don’t want to go away
We've got some wicked things we need to see our way through
But till the end of time it's me and you

Because we're all going to heaven together
We're all going to heaven together
We're all going to heaven together
In one band, we're going to the promised land

This one thinks he's the best
Nose up in the air and puffing out his chest
Another one's jealous crying tears of rage
Well, the world's a stage, come on,
Let's walk out of the show

We've gotta let hatred go like water through a sieve
We need to learn and learn again, learn how to forgive
It’s gonna take some living, and it might almost take forever
But one of these days….

Because we're all going to heaven together
We're all going to heaven together
We're all going to heaven together
In one band, we're going to the promised land

God, through our groans
You are the power, to raise up seed from these stones
Oh, LOVE, You are the light
That reaches the cold, stony heart, in the death of night
We’re in your hands
We're in your hands, oh!

If I'm up on my high horse and I got no use for you,
I'm blind, blind, I'm a fool
If you want to shut me out and slam the door in my face
You may as well shut the door on the whole human race, because

Because we're all going to heaven together
We're all going to heaven together
We're all going to heaven together
In one band, we're going to the promised land
Track Name: Zoo (Spread Your Wings)
Zoo (Spread Your Wings)


You're not your money or your house or your friends or your car
You're the only one who knows who you are
You're not your job or your phone or your mood or your clothes
You're not any of those

Cuz you're something else entirely
Thank God this world is filled with variety
If you want to stop feeling anxiety
Why don't you show us who you really are?

Cuz, life is really like a zoo
God made you a zebra, and him a kangaroo
Over here we got a tiger, and there a cockatoo
Thank God we're different, thank God we're not the same
But there's that same old voice tryin' to make you feel ashamed
It says, "who are you? You're not special.
You can't sing, you're not beautiful. You better be dutiful
In doing the things that I tell you
In buying the things that I sell you
You say it doesn’t make you happy? Oh well
You got nowhere else to go
Cuz imagine how alone and afraid you're gonna feel
When your friend's words cut to the bone
and you're living in a world with a wound that can't heal
but my my friends.. that voice ain't real.
Everybody's different – that’s the deal.
There's lions and horses and squirrels and apes
Everybody's tryin to make their escape
In fact the question still remains that we been askin through the ages
How to we walk out of these cages?

You're not your money or your house or your friends or your car
You're the only one who knows who you are
You're not your job or your phone or your mood or your clothes
You're not any of those


Cuz you're something else entirely
Thank God this world is filled with variety
If you want to stop feeling anxiety
Why don't you show us who you really are?


What do you love? what do you want to know?
Don’t try to fool somebody cuz it's not a show
I hope you show me who you are cuz I really want to know
You're precious to me, like a treasure trove
And honesty is your spiritual power
When YOU stand up all your fears will cower away
Here today, gone tomorrow
Takin with them all the weight and the pain and burden of sorrow
There's no other way than to look into your heart
And there's no way to begin other than to start
Because there is where you find your real riches
Your sincere desires and your dearest wishes
Swimming like fishes in a beautiful pond of all the things that you're fond of
Bound in a bond of love
Don’t be conned by the push and the shove
Of that devilish voice tryin to keep you in prison
You don’t need to even listen when that devil is hissin'
Or else you'll be missin' the point
And that's to spread your wings
Let go, of all the things that cling, let's go
Come on and spread your wings and show
Us all the beautiful things you know
And then you cut those strings and grow
And let your free voice sing
It goes "so long! See ya later! I gotta go. You can't tell me who I am
Cuz you don’t know.

You're not your money or your house or your friends or your car
God made you a superstar
You're not your job or your phone or your mood or your clothes
You just goes where you goes where you goes where you goes


You're not your money or your house or your friends or your car
God made you a superstar
You're not your job or your phone or your mood or your clothes
God only knows, God only knows, God only, God only, God only
God only knows!
Track Name: I Can Hear The Marching
I Can Hear The Marching

Open up the doors and the windows of the house
For the army of the Lord is coming
His legions fill the hills and they do just as he wills
I can hear the awful glory of their drumming

Open up the doors and the windows of the house
For the angel of the Lord does now approach
He will let not one thing stand that was not made by God's own hand
All flesh feels the fire of His reproach

And I can hear the marching of the army of the Lord
He is coming, He is coming, feel no fright
Only render up your lives, trusting ever in His grace
Which will come like a thief in the night

Open up the doors and the windows of the house
For his sentinels are presently arriving
They fill the sky with light, burning everything in sight
While the creatures of his hand are gently thriving

Open up your windows for the Lord is at the door
He will enter this your house, which he owns
Open up your hands and reveal all that you have
Because nothing will be left of these old stones

And I can hear the marching of the army of the Lord
He is coming, He is coming, feel no fright
Only render up your lives, trusting ever in His grace
Which will come like a thief in the night

The Lord comes to destroy without mercy on the wrong
Like a hunter with his eye upon the quarry
And as we stand and gape, we learn to love is to escape
And always for our good and to his glory

And I can hear the marching of the army of the Lord
He is coming, He is coming, feel no fright
Only render up your lives, trusting ever in His grace
Which will come like a thief in the night

Come O Glory, to this, my house, burning from the south unto the north
You are my savior and by your fire, you cause me to come forth
I am saved by fire, I kiss the holy cross
God's glory is revealed, it fills the mountains and the fields
Light is all around, my savior came and found me
And nothing but his love can I feel.