Old Stomping Grounds

by Thom Coombes

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If there's any truth to endings and beginnings being the same thing, then maybe an album is place where songs go to die for the artist and are brought to life for the listener.

These songs were hiding like skeletons in my closet, coming out on drunken nights to mingle and dance in the living room with other various ghosts, when no one  was looking.

So this album is their cemetery and their ceremony; their wake and their wedding. May they rest in peace, and dance in your hall when the feeling is right.


released June 1, 2017

Recorded 2014 – 2017 by Thom Coombes and George Newman. Mixed/Mastered by George Newman.

Thom Coombes: Guitars, Vocals, Ukulele, Banjo, Bass (03, 06, 07, 09, 16)
Aley Waterman: Keys
Steve Maloney: Drums, Percussion, Vocals (04)
Ilia Nicoll: Violin, Viola
Leon White: Bass (01, 02, 04, 05, 08, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17)
Janet Coombes: Harp (12)
Scott Royle: Harmonium (17)
Wyatt Hirschfeld Shibley: Saw (03, 16)
Al Tuck: Vocals (09)
Allie Duff: Vocals (08)
Laura Jean Fraser: Vocals (01, 04, 06, 07, 13, 16)
Len O'Neill: Vocals (01, 07, 12)
Meghan Harnum: Vocals (09, 12)
Meghan Hollett: Vocals (08, 11, 16, 17)
Chloe Edbrooke and Sharna Brzycki: Gang Vocals (16)

All songs written by Thom.



all rights reserved


Thom Coombes St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

not me. not now.

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Track Name: Follow the Coast
I was in my car. I was driving alone thru empty towns and lonely roads.
I was thinking of everyone with the moon behind me, and in front the sun.
I had an old favourite mixtape on; one made for me in hopes of return.
On that stretch of road just outta sight, I drove all day, and then I drove all night.

If you ever wanna come back home
get on that road, follow the coast.
You know I'll be there alone.
So be there alone.

That was back when everything felt new.
Nowadays all my tapes are chewed.
Are these all things which disappear
in some rear view mirror?
Track Name: Above the Flood
Mistakes I keep making keep on taking their toll,
and pass by with a sigh and say "we're getting old."
They fall in love thru no fault of their own,
and ask for forgiveness or to leave us alone.

I've got this friend who has been living on the road.
He keeps telling me that all phones lead to home.
Yesterday feels like a lifetime ago.
You can never move on if you're never letting go.

When things get rough
and the crowds start to shove,
I'm always above the flood.
Track Name: Love Seat
Out on a limb, we went all in on a whim and moved in together.
It was dangerous but lucky for us there was enough of what it takes to make the tough get better.
Thrifty ways of making ends meet -I'm looking for a love seat on the side of the street.
Then you ask me if it's tasteful or tacky. We go with the latter but you know it don't matter to me.
Cause we don't need to get everything just yet.
We got postcards atop of the fridge with no magnets.
So and steady it's coming along, building up like the snow that's coming down.

Looking for a love seat on the side of the road, turning this house around into a home.
So slowly, but that's the only way that I've been settling down.
Bar hopping, yard sale shopping -we don't need to go out.
Go walking thru old stomping grounds we keep talking about.
So, build a blanket fort and put on a sweater. It's better than having the heat on.

It's easier if we were to see no harm in looking for the charm hidden in this spur.
Track Name: In Another Room
I used to live without a priority.
I could never tell if that was good for me.
I said "I'm sorry, it comes with the territory."
Life is sweet, but it's a short story.

Now, in another room there's a safe spot
with a window I can open and a door I can lock,
but the clock is turning tricks every second time it ticks.
Knowing this, stay as long as you want.

I got bored with what I couldn't afford to pay.
So unimpressed with the best of my day.
A good place to rest is a bad place to stop.
I test the waters just to tell them apart.

And it's hard.
Track Name: History Books
Our history books have a page in common,
and it looks like time will soften,
but far too often it's just forgotten.

You wrap your head around mine,
wind your fingers up thru my spine.
We get tangled up and entwined.

You got big plans, you could go anywhere,
in the Fall or sometime next year,
and every memory is just a souvenir.

Thoughts of you kept me up all night.
Half were good and the other half were right.
Delusional dreams distill delight.

If you ask me now if its better
to have loved and lost than to have never,
I'd say you could pay the cost or regret it forever,

Because it's a history that makes my life richer,
And it's a mystery and I already miss her,
And it all comes down to one little picture.

One of these days all I'm gonna have
is a photograph
to remember you as,
even though I don't need a photo booth kiss
to remember this
half as well as I have.
Track Name: Tourist Town in the Winter
Been packing forever. I'm never ready to leave.
Time came on quicker than I could believe.
Then I wonder 'what am I to do with these?'

This old crucifix fixed to the wall,
I never look back on or pray to at all.
When I take it down I fret and I stall.

You were going thru the motions and I was only there.
You're a broken record. I'm a broken record player.
We talked of nothing while pretending to care.

I'm a tourist town in the winter.
You're a city that never sleeps.
There's nothing here for me but memory.
Track Name: A Matter of When
You're not afraid of the end of the earth.
You say death is a form of rebirth.
When time stops it'll move in reverse.
It's a probable fate, but that don't make it a curse.

If time and space expand like a rubber band
then one day it's gonna snap and come back into your hand,
and everything that has ever happened
will unhappen, then happen again.
It's just a matter of when.

The fortune tellers are the sellers of day dreams.
They know its easy to kill time with the mind at ease.
They put their palms together or get on their knees,
and put their faith in a better place
or one where they would rather believe.

You can spend your whole life a lot like cash,
collecting things that you'd rather not have
as a means to make the time pass,
but spare time and loose
change put to good use
burn twice as fast.

What if you're right and tonight is our last night here?
Would you cry? Would you care?
Would you think of where
you could have lived your life differently
or where you're gonna spend eternity?
If you live a life that you'd want to relive
then it's best to invest in all the time that you give.
Track Name: Hard to Tell
I tossed every penny down the wishing well.
I have just as many secrets I can't tell.

I wished upon every star; each one I could see.
I think they're a little too far; just outta reach.

Cause I am still waiting for them to come true.
I am debating telling you.

God helps those who help themselves.
I got this frame on my shelf.
It just won't do. No, I want you.
Today I'll tell you how I feel.
Today I hope that you'll agree

Cause I am still waiting for them to come true.
I've got it all planned out now. I'll tell you.
Track Name: In Good Hands
I'm in good hands wherever I go.
I'm in good hands just so you know.
Cause I know how you worry but ain't nothing's gonna hurt me.
"I'm in good hands" said a letter to home.

Things don't go right all of the time.
But I've been trying to keep my spirits high.
So fill up your cup, deal or ante up.
I've been looking for a way to kill time.

I've been sleeping in the back of a van,
spending time with the boys in the band.
When the van breaks down you can't turn around.
It's out of the fire and back into the pan.

I'm in good hands wherever I go.
I'm in good hands just so you know.
Cause I know how you worry but ain't nothing's gonna hurt me.
I'm in good hands but I still miss home.
Track Name: Little Jokes
I’ll let you know in good time that I’ve been working on the perfect punch line.
I’ll tell you when it's good and ready, slow and steady, if you let me.
If you take your time then you’ll be fine, but if you jump the gun then you cross the line.
Stuck in a rut when it’s nettles or muck, if you pass the time then you pass the buck.
It’s only at the end of the day when the irony comes into play.
Cross my fingers, knock on wood, the universe unfolds as it should.
If what’s out of sight is out of mind, then what feels right is be hard to find.

If we’re going where the days are gone, then the little jokes and the false alarms
bend your ear and twist your arm, then come back here when we’re gone.
No truer words were spoken, than the ones you said when you were joking.
Something about how, way back when, things work out in the end,
And if they don’t give it time; it’s a practical joke and you’re at the punch line.
I felt the blood leave my face,
Then rush right back like a tidal wave.
Felt my heart skip a beat,
I jumped right up onto my feet.
If you push your weight with a lever
Repay the favour to the great deceiver
Track Name: After the First Frost
After the first frost,
Some get found and some get lost,
Between the cold and the dark,
And trying to find light from a spark.

If the only thing that you may learn
Is that you're not as strong as you thought you were,
Then you may as well just head home,
Because you wont learn a damn thing at all.
It's gonna be a long haul.

Now, I don't know where, but you might hear
That when all the leaves disappear,
And the only thing left to the trees
Is the frost on the dogberries, it means
It's gonna be a long haul.

Now that the harvest is done,
You should have finished what you begun,
Cause it's either a famine or a feast,
And all hard work to say the least.

It's gonna be a long haul.
It's gonna be a long haul,
After all,
After the first frost,
We’re all lost.
Track Name: Road to St. Anthony
They say that it's a two day drive,
But you can make it in one if you try.
Took the day to get to Rocky Harbour
Making good time, got a few more hours.
I waved to the scare-crows
On the farms on the side of the road.
Stopped into a diner and gas station,
got a coffee and a conversation.

Don't get too lonely,
On the road to St. Anthony.

Well, It gets colder up here,
Gets dark early this time of year.
October orange and November blue,
Haunted by a harvest moon.
Past the twisted tuckamore,
In the distance I could see Labrador.
Step out of your car,
and you know just how far you are.

Forget about the city,
On the road to St. Anthony.

Like a branch of driftwood,
Keep rolling to the road.
When you climb up to the barrens,
You’re almost there if you keep steering.
There, at the end of the line,
You can find a lighthouse and look behind
And by this time, your road
Is covered in snow, so take it slowly

Drive across this country,
And forget about the city,
And don't get too lonely,
On the road to St. Anthony.
Track Name: I'll Meet You Halfway
Remember that time you got kicked out of your house.
You took my bed and I took the couch.
Remember that time I needed a ride,
And I had to call you in the middle of the night.

I drink black coffee and you smoke cigarettes.
We only talk about the things that we regrets.
We drink enough wine until we forgets,
From noon til the moon finally sets.

Anywhere, any day, and I will meet you halfway.
Track Name: Helping Hands
I know a boy with a four-leaf clover.
He's wishing that his summer wasn't nearly over.
His hair is tangled, and as rough as wire
and smells like campfire.

He went out into the woods,
Didn't come back til he understood.
Reaching out with helping hands;
They're no good if you don't understand.
I don't understand.

It’s either heaven or it’s hell
When all the days are parallel.
I tore apart a piece of paper,
lackluster and lost love letters taped back together.
And I just sat there in a chair,
in your house for the first time in a year.
With a cup of tea and a table between
old friends, you and me.

But I took a gesture as a personal attack.
I got confused between white and black
Reaching out with a fist full of ash;
You don't know how I want it back.
I want it all back.

My head was full of doubt.
It was nothing new that I could do with out.
With sunglasses, a beard and your hair cut short
Still sporting that same sports coat
Now we talk as if we just met
But I used to know your silhouette.

I can be found in between
the ocean and the evergreen.
Reaching out with numb hands;
They're no good if you can’t hold back.
I can't hold back.
Track Name: Missed
I missed you before we ever met.
I missed you and I didn't even know it yet.
Maybe it's just leftover fear,
but I still miss you when you're right here.

I missed you before we ever touched
the surface of this that I miss so much.
I missed you before we ever kissed.
I missed you when there wasn't much to miss.

When the lights go out I think about some crazy things.
As I wake up I ask myself did I make this up, or is it a dream?

I missed you way back when,
in dark corners of my life where love has never been.
Looking thru my old yearbook
I miss you everywhere i look.

If i love my past, how's it fair to ask for more?
With what I have i can't go back to the way it was before.

I missed you like the point I'm trying to get across,
but all this yearning I can't just turn off.
And even tho I know you're next to me,
I still miss you in my memory,

Where I drift and drought in a wish washed out yet even still
up til now I think of how I can't help but feel I missed out.
Track Name: For Those Who've Come and Gone Away
There is a reason why I'm leaving.
I can remember every little thing.
And I'm never gonna come back ever again.

I've looked the devil eye to eye.
I said hello, and said goodbye,
And I'm never gonna come back ever again.

We pulled up our anchor. We set sail.
Drifting from the danger in ourselves.
We're never gonna come back ever again.
Track Name: Epilogue
All of your life changes are the turnings of the pages of a book .
Characters and story lines hide out and find the time to develop everywhere else you look.
Each chapter ends with laughter, hope or disaster always ending faster than it took.
While your fair-weather friends are trading trends and trying to claim your work.

Sub-plots and vacant lots occupied what I thought was white noise.
The sound that I was hearing started appearing to sound more like a voice.
But I was over analyzing something symbolizing nothing at all,
For the chapter I was reading was just graffiti on a wall.

Been in and out of a fog, drowning out the monologue bogged down in my head.
Ease my mind with the time it takes and we can our make ends meet in the end.
The dialogue came naturally to both you and me when we first met.
It was knowing you were showing a side you often hide instead.

Comedy and irony fight over me and hide around the corner with a twist.
Growing up and growing pains remind me of the trains that I missed.
I like the days better when they roll together like a well written poem.
I'd be home sooner if I'd sooner be home.

When ideas turn to vapor or are washed down the sink, I'd rather run out of paper than run out of ink.
The pages I was turning began to bore me. A man without a journey is a book without a story.
Be that as it may, at the end of the day everything is epilogue anyway.
Everything is epilogue either way.

So fill your boots and give praise, plants your roots and dig your grave deeper in the ground.
Your head to toes will decompose, you’ll give your dirt back to the earth, and never be found.
But don't expect the credits to roll up as the curtains fall down.
Don't expect the credits to roll up as the curtains fall down.