The Revenant

by Ben Ashman

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes disc in a sleeve and paper case with original artwork. Also includes an eight page booklet with photographs and details about the recording. Each copy individually hand-folded, glued, stapled and stamped.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Revenant via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $10 USD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

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

    Album booklet download included with purchase.

      $7 USD  or more


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 3 Ben Ashman releases available on Bandcamp.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of The Revenant, 1054530, and Sunshine. , and , .

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Ashman is a scholar of the dead tongues of rock: Hammond, mandolin, sax, cello - dozens of instruments and musicians are engaged in this reflection on the eternity of human experiences, citing Kepler and St. Augustine, witch doctors and grandparents.

A product of five years of writing and recording, The Revenant features over twenty musicians and forty minutes of original music. Songs range in style from 70's rock to musique concrète. The album explores the ways in which people and events from the past are part of the present, drawing subject matter from literary works, historical events and personal experiences. Through the tonewheel organ, double bass, clarinet, harp and brass the listener is led to look for eternity in the fleeting nature of relationships and mortality.


released September 18, 2012

Musicians: Ben Ashman, Sam Ashman, James Bahleda, Andrew Cech, Matt Craig, Colin Croom, Matthew Emmons, Dave Frush, Brett Greenwood, Jordan Hull, Kevin Hundley, Sean Hundley, Garret Johnson, Joseph Kuhlman, Corbin Marsh, Chris Mengerink, Julie Morgan, Chris Ott, Angela Perley, Caleb Powers, Jesse Remnant, Jamie Rymers, Emily Vargas and Mike Wenstrup



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Ben Ashman Washington, D.C.

"Across the River" music video released!

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Track Name: Love Letter
Track Name: Night Mirrors
Where do you suppose
you'll go to bed
when the real bears come?

Tell me
it's time for bed
little bear.

The rabbits read
Goodnight Moon
back in the warren.

Who will read
to them?
Rabbit moms.
Track Name: Reverend Edwards
I love it when you read the Bible,
at least a chapter every night
gentle admonitions, strengthening convictions:
you are doing what is right.

Words of peace from the mount
words of comfort from the plain
a righteous yearning and a thirsting.
Is that really what I mean?

Do I really want to be good,
or just love what I see?

Day by day I'm getting older
my medial inusla getting colder.
Dopamine and oxytocin
just don't mean what they used to.

Reverend Edwards,
you say I have salvation from an angry God.
I'll be saved by a word
three thousand years of Egyptians never even heard

Track Name: Leo Frank
They took me down to the police station
I didn't do anything
I didn't do anything
Don't think for a moment
that I doubted myself
or believed what they said to me
Truth shouldn't be put to a vote
the jury can't know what I know
how else can I say no?

Just one Saturday afternoon
will last for years
last for years
Fifteen minutes in the court room
will echo for eternity
God help humanity!
The same papers visiting me
will print pictures in July
of me hanging from a tree.

They're coming to get me
to take me from my bed
they already sent a man with a knife.

Out of the prison
into a car
from Midgeville to Marietta in the dark.

Men on either side of me
masks on their faces
say "Did you do it?
Did you do it?"

Oh, Lord.
Oh, Lord.

We get out by a tree
beside the old mill
Judge Black with a table and a rope.

A bag over my head
and a rope 'round my neck
they say "Did you do it?
Have you anything to say?"

Not to you! Not to you!
Take my ring to my wife.
And let me write a letter to go with it.

Oh, Lucille.
Please believe me.
I've ne'er been quite so well known
as for this deed.

But believe me, I am not guilty.
No virtue of mine stayed my hand,
I'd just never betray you, Lucille.
Track Name: Johannes Kepler
Born to a father
who left me for war
got my good name
but the money's all gone

Variola vera
made my hands weak
racked by disease
I can hardly see

Don't think this left me
without any means
with my mind I perceive
a cosmic mystery

I can tell you your future
it's written in the stars
of love and good fortune
battles and wars

Numbers describing
the heavens above
(are) a damned sinner's sign
of God's perfect love

Papist believers
got nothin' on me
their dead end religion's
not the God I seek

The heavens make more sense to me
planets trace perfect elipses
lines go to infinity

They took
my mother
for a witch in the war

This world
has fallen
from grace

I see
no perfect
circles in space

Six children dead
my wife buried deep
the Almighty's purpose
is a secret He keeps

Great man on his death bed
papers in hand
says "Let me not seem to have lived in vain!
Let me not seem to have lived in vain,
let me not seem to have lived in vain!"

Track Name: Margo
Margo, I know, I don't live here at all
but it's not that far away, it's not that far away.
Scarce do I think of that the place that I'm from
it's not that far away, it's not that far away.

Margo, we have reason enough
for leaving this behind.
Airplanes and telephones may be too much,
even for the good that we find.

You know it takes seven minutes to fall asleep
it took eighteen men for you to get to me
I don't live here, it's just a city
on the Hocking, the Potomac or the Great Miami.

Track Name: Across the River
I have loved women before
they have all left me here
don't mean nothin' no more

I am looking for something to depend on
somethin' that won't just move on
leave me here and be gone

There is something for me out there
I see it just across the river
the lights are promises I hear
from my window it makes me shiver

I thought all I wanted was for someone to hold me
but now I'm re-evaluating my priorities

Don't misunderstand me, I know it won't be the same
but whatever will be missing
I won't miss the pain

Track Name: Good Friday
Track Name: Beneath a Rougher Sea
Think of when we were young
you say
but her eyes are looking past you into the sun

Now is not then, then is not now
she says
there is nothing, nothing more to say

Oh man, how I've longed to take you by the hand
Oh man, what's forgotten is not lost
it has brought you to stand where you stand
Oh man, how I've longed to take you by the hand
Oh man, you find yourself so alone
Oh man, oh my Lord
Track Name: Reed Jones
bought me a life I could not sustain
in an effort to be human
I created all my pain

Lord have mercy dare I strike you
all else I have the right to

I will die beautiful
I will die beautiful

Beautiful I will die
Track Name: Tolle Lege
Track Name: The Revenant
Selections (spoken):
I was born and grew up in a little town of about eleven hundred people. After graduation you took whatever job you could find. . .
My grandmother, my grandmother grew up not too far from here. . .
Even in those days, in the forties and fifties, they called 'em coffin nails and had all sorts of names for tobacco . . .
My mother was in her twenties, I don't know. . .
. . . Well, grandma lived to be ninety five and she smoked!
. . . my dad and three brothers and Mary were playing cards. . .
She was taking creative writing, I was just taking plain old english. . .
I joined the US Air Force, can't say as I enjoyed it 'cause you sat . . .
. . . The paper was handed back; it was a poem I'd written on loneliness. .
. . . If there are ashes in it, close your eyes. . .
(When Jesus wept the falling tear
in mercy flowed beyond all bound
when Jesus groaned a trembling fear
seized all the guilty world around)
It was February. . . riding along, the snow was, you know how it does, it goes across and swirls
When it's cold it doesn't lie in one place, it just keeps going.

These things, they can make me to suffer, but if it's not my time to leave this world I won't. Because God is there for me.
Der Herr ist mein Hirte. . .
Once upon a time. . .
. . . you won't be the same . . .
. . . dein Stecken und Stab. . .
. . . one built a house of straw, and one built a house of. . .
You see our book, the Qur'an, is funny, you know? Even is written . . .
. . . and the bad gods. . . the bad ones, those who disobey god. . . and even them who kneel. . .
. . . and then, and then the pigs ran away. . .
open up the door! No. . .