Phantom Memory: The Musical

by Daniel DeWitt

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'Stomach On The Growl' is part 1 of the album 'Phantom Memory: The Musical'. It is a semi-fictionalized account of my life (roughly two years of it, anyway).

But more than that, it is an album about humility. Which is not to say that I consider myself to be very humble. I've never directly said any of the things the narrator of 'Outlaw' says, but I've probably lived them out more closely than I'd like to admit. I think that's why I had to write these songs.

For a very long time I thought I knew what I wanted, I thought I knew what was best for me. I thought music could save me. Music was going to lift me out of my boring, obscure, mundane existence, and into one of respect and power. But that was a lie. Music is one of the most potent forces in this world, but it is only a sign post. It is a beautiful container.

Part 2 of the album, 'Rule of Love' is, like part 1, a somewhat exaggerated account of the last few years of my life.

'Stomach On The Growl' ends with the protagonist giving up on his dream. He says goodbye to one life, not really knowing what will come next. Part 2, 'Rule Of Love', answers the question "now what?"

It turns out that the answer to that question is more questions. A lot more questions. But eventually those questions give way to, not really answers, not exactly, but acceptance. 'Rule Of Love' is about the journey of sanctification. It is about taking your place beneath the power of something far greater, far better, and far more fulfilling than anything you can conjure up with only your hands and your mind and your striving.

Ultimately, it is an album about submission.


released June 4, 2013

Recorded on nights and weekends (and a couple mornings, some afternoons) from February 2011 to May 2012, at my house in Tucker, GA, and at Veritas Church in Atlanta. I mixed it in June and July at my home and on my lunch breaks at work.

The drums were recorded at Favorite Gentlemen Studios in October 2011 by CJ Ridings. Andy Lee played them.

Taylor Fletcher plays lead guitar on "The Vultures Are Circling" and let me borrow just about every piece of recording equipment he owns.

Extra vocals on "You Do Not Betray" were provided by Henry DeWitt.

Chris Griffin mastered this record on July 30th, 2012.

Special thanks to Taylor Fletcher for letting me borrow tons of recording gear, and for building me some great pres and a fuzz pedal.

And thanks to my wife Mackenzie. She heard these songs more than anyone else (other than myself), in repeated, five second chunks, for six months. She deserves a medal.

To all of my kickstarter backers: thank you for believing I still had something to say.



all rights reserved


Daniel DeWitt Atlanta, Georgia

Daniel's been playing rock and roll since 2002, first with the sort-of grunge, sort-of blues rock band Winston Audio, and now on his own. His new album Tent Of Meeting, is a collection of spirituals and hymns, reimagined as electro funk jams. It's available now. ... more

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Track Name: Outlaw
I am an outlaw I break all the rules
They ain't followed by no one but fools
Fools who love, fools who respect
That king is oppressive I am no subject

I am an outlaw all my desires fulfilled
Don't have to have patience
Or pick up the bill
Don't have to answer to no one above
I'm doing just fine with conditional love

Trouble maker
Selfish taker
When will you ever learn?

I am an outlaw a remorseless thief
I'll steal your trust with my tongue and my teeth
I'll tell you a story, so good that you won't know what's real
I'll take your emotions I'll steal how you feel

I am an outlaw I need my space
Don't care bout forgiveness don't care about grace
You can keep your ten commandments I only need one
Thou shalt not conform, my own will be done

Self protector
greed director
Capstone rejector
when will you ever learn?

I am an outlaw don't tell me what to do
Gravity's nothing I'll break that law too
You can try to knock me down, try to throw me out the door
But I'll just fall up, leave your jaws on the floor

I am an outlaw the rules don't apply
Though I grow older I don't wanna die
It's just another rule that I spurn
Like all of the bridges I've burned
Track Name: Maryann's Having A Baby
maryanne's having a baby
maryanne's having a kid
she's got stories to tell but she's keeping them hid
that child'll never know my face or my name
I'm standing all alone and I got no one else to blame
maryanne's having a baby and I am staying the same

maryanne's having a baby
and I threw our friendship away
not for anything I did or said or didn't say
all it took was busyness and lovers in the wings
to make a gap of time so wide when you look your eyes they sting
but maryanne's having a baby, she ain't got time to care about those things

Turn around to catch me when I fall
Turn around to catch me when I fall
Just turn around, turn around

maryanne's having a baby
like so many of my friends
and I'm just playing guitar, treading water in the deep end
their cups are running over, it got no where else to go
they're watering their legacies, they're reaping what they sow
maryanne's having that baby, and I wanna know what she knows
Track Name: Nothing To Do
Is there nothing to do, nothing to do
nothing to do for this?
nowhere to run, nowhere to hide
nothing to say to apologize?
I just sit on my hands, sit here and wait
this wasn't the plan, was not our fate
is there nothing to do?

cannot escape, cannot erase
cannot replace what I missed
cannot begin, don't want to start
don't want to speak of where I've been
you cannot depend, when push comes to shove
I'm no kind of friend, I'm no one to love
Is there nothing to do?

If you can't take me back
can't forgive this attack
If love is what I lack
then is there such a man exists to speak on my behalf?
Track Name: The Vultures Are Circling
well the vultures are circling
death is on their minds
the vultures are circling
death is in their eyes
well we all want a piece of that rigor mortis pie

it's hard to explain, hard to compare
you were never one of us, you were never there
yeah those vultures are circling
they've got a dinner to prepare
such a slim, small portion for everyone to share

the vultures are circling
always on the prowl
the vultures are circling
the wind begins to howl
and it's mixed with the sound of sixteen stomachs on the growl

time to make a decision, no time to be thick
"isolate the injured, quarantine the sick"
well the vultures are circling
and I'm falling like a brick
if it's time for a sacrifice, please just make it quick

the vultures are circling
it was bound to happen
the vultures are circling
mutiny the captain
"if we all can't reap the benefits, well nobody can have him"

well they dive to the left, swoop to the right
keep one eye on the ground and keep one in the sky
yeah the vultures are circling
hard to deny
when you love those vultures- gotta eat to survive
Track Name: Two Dollar Beer
I don't want to pay the price of genius
Seems it's getting steeper every year
My friends are losing focus
And searching for their souls
At the bottom of their two dollar beer

I don't wanna go to Minnesota
And make a record no one wants to hear
if all our conversations are negative in nature
and all we drink is two dollar beer

Lay down
lay down
it's upon us now

I don't need another flash of genius
as soon as it arrives it disappears
sick of the anxiety
can taste it in my mouth
metallic like that two dollar beer

(I don't want to wear that crown of glory
Now that I am older I see clear
I'd rather drink the good stuff
Enjoy it oh so slow
Instead of shooting two dollar beer)

I don't want to pay the toll for success
Do believe I'll find another career
So go with God my friends and
the next time you go drinking
pour me out a two dollar beer
Track Name: Meant To Be
If a song a man will sow
You raze the walls like Jericho
For seven days the trumpets blow
I will wait for faith to grow

Circle round the outer rim
live without but soon, within
always end where I began
Lord, all I need is your divine hand

If it's meant to be
If it's prophecy
if your trust is free tonight
if it's hard to dream when you can't fall asleep
and I can't fall asleep
well slip me something in my drink

with your power you raise the dead
turn these useless stones to bread
it is not by bread alone
and purpose lives in every stone
Track Name: Dive In
Come down to the river dive in, dive in
Come down to the river dive in
Come down to the river and He will deliver
the arrows in his quiver, dive in

Don't sleep in the garden my friend, my friend
Don't sleep in the garden my friend
Don't sleep in the garden
be watchful and guard Him
He asks, you disregard Him my friend

Dive in Dive in Dive in
Come alive again my friends
I know you don't know
how deep His love goes
but you never can know
'til the day you dive in

Come back to the pasture come in, come in
Come back to the pasture come in
Come back to the pasture the gate's got a latch, sure
but it's open and He'll capture you again

better days to be found
don't you hesitate
Levitate me, surround me
keep me sane

Someday we'll be together in the end, in the end
Someday we'll be together in the end
Someday we’ll be together, reunited without fetters
Track Name: Start My Car
The pistons, Transmission
Need perfect Conditions
Still need your Permission

Lord will you start my car
Lord will you start my car
Well you know I believe in combustion engines but
Lord will you start my car

the gas line will unwind
if I treat her unkind
no peace will I find

The tires Conspire
To go where I require
But only if you desire

Maybe I am the driver
maybe it's my hands on the wheel
maybe I'm a survivor but
You know the road, just the way it feels

The mirrors are nearer
The objects are clearer
You speak to the hearer
Revealed to the seer
Bless the believer
Track Name: You Do Not Betray
Even as I fall, even as I wander
even as I dance away from your side
even as I carry all my burdens
in a paper bag

even in my highs, even in my glories
even as I dance away from your stripes
even when I'm wary of my instincts
slow to react, you never look back

cause You do not betray
no You do not betray
from my birth 'til Judgement Day
no You do not betray

even when I die, even as I pass away
even when the pain is fresh in my sky
even when nobody understands it
through my darkest days, you do not betray

(come on come on come on) I'm in a spiral
(come on come on come on) the disease is viral
(on come on come on)
I need a shot in the arm, come quickly to break the spell
I got a story to tell my doctor, yeah he can make me well

even when the knife is placed
and my back is turned away
you do not betray
Track Name: Phantom Memory
goodnight world, I'm turning in for the night
you can be fooled, but you gotta pay for the right
it's gotta be said, that I don't wanna fight
so I've got a choice, here or the other side

I've been a joke, I've been a bad punch line
I've laughed 'til I choked, choked on the warning signs
I've been a disease, acted like I felt fine
I've done the routine, I've had my eye on the prize

So I played the game in the name of phantom memory
holding on to the pawn I made myself to be
reality fades but the half-life image never goes away
so I limp through the days

“Oh what a shame, oh what a waste of time
barely a taste, barely an appetite
I think it's a sin, should be criminalized
I hope you're in pain, hope you can't sleep at night

Hope you lie awake and you taste that phantom memory
holding on when it's gone, can't bring yourself to concede
I've seen your fate, it's a picture that you're never gonna paint”

what can I say about this world? It bends your knees it breaks your back
you pray to the god of progress, pray to the god of the fast track
O great Stone of Stumbling, oh mighty Rock (and roll) of offense
knock me down with your truth, it's the only one that makes any sense- I'm alright

I won't play the game for fame or phantom memory
I'm moving on toward the dawn I never thought I'd see
into the grave three days and the image never goes away
knocked down but he could not stay a phantom memory