L​(​ife) I​(​s) a G​(​ift) H​(​old) iT​(​ight)

by Joseph and His Ghost

supported by
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

      name your price




Written, performed, recorded, and produced by Joseph Crabtree at
© all(W)e(A)re(R)ecords

Album art by Katie Dixon


released December 3, 2013

All words and music by Joseph Crabtree



all rights reserved


Joseph and His Ghost Ohio

Hello there, I make, play, record, and produce music. I am a self taught musician, and play all the instruments for this project. I've been writing songs for a long time, and I love it with all that is in me. I hope you enjoy hearing the sounds that I've enjoyed creating.-Joseph ... more

contact / help

Contact Joseph and His Ghost

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Splinter Spine(It's All Fine)
As the passing of time decided to throw
Up a hand in poor gesture of hello
I returned with a nod and a smile
And he took me back to when I was a child
Needing a good spot to hide my tooth
Was I really this afraid of losing my youth?
Well, I don't know if I can think back
But, I'm sure somewhere, I lost track
Of just how much my wooden spine can pack
Before it starts to splinter and crack
Sending signals up to my brain
And yeah, I may have felt some pain
But, who has the room to complain now?
When the sun can still shine as it rains
Maybe all these tiny pleasures
Are all that's holding me together.
Track Name: Atom's Apple(I For an Eye)
Staring into the sun
Until the colors become
One with themselves
As my vision swells
Now all I can see
Is the absence of me
These hands and thoughts
Are nothing but spots
Darting side to side
Like they once tried
To settle down
Now just float around
Like the molecule I am
A spec without a plan
A wreck of a man
But I'm doing the best I can
With so much shit to write
In such a short time
Nothing ever feels right
Within the walls of my mind
I let this mess fall out
Learn a little more about
What has held me here?
For nearly all my years?
My own foolish ways?
Or former friendly frays?
Of who I thought I was
When I believed in love
Oh, how long ago that's been
Long enough not to love again.
Track Name: Shape a Sound(Scrape the Ground)
So let me begin
With something to grin
To(two) chords
Oh no, wait, there's three
An awkward melody
Oh no, there's more?
Yeah, four
Is that enough?
Do you like me?
(doesn't matter)
I do it for me
Yes, I do it for me
I do it for me
It gets me by when I
Am with friends or alone
Singing this in my home
Or the street or the woods
We'd do it more if we could
But for now it's just me
But soon enough there will be
Someone else playing C
Sharply shaping this sound
Scraping the ground
I hope we crawl together
Learning the ropes
Of how we can cope
With the reality
That there is no forever
So for now I sing
So for now
I feel better.
(shape a sound, scrape the ground)
Track Name: Old Man Winter(Crooked Teeth)
Killed some time with a cure sticky sweet
Like a cat sleeping in the street
Without a care to compete
Just a new friend for death to greet
And if he gives me his hand
I'll say "Carry me like a man"
So I'll show
My stained, crooked teeth
While I've still got
Feeling in my cheeks
And some words to hum
Hold or to speak
Turned it up, got turned down
So I fuck, fuck, fucked around
Until I blindly fumbled and I found
A far more heroic way to drown
Into Atlantis where a king wipes his chin
He smiles at me and says "You've got nothing to defend"
So I'll show
My stained, crooked teeth
While I've still got
Feeling in my cheeks
And some strings to strum
Thumb or become.
Track Name: Devils(Young Man, You Are Mine)
When the rays through the trees
Threw themselves at me
I felt reborn, yet dismissed
For the devils I kissed
So sincere above the brow
They just possess me now
Always forcing me to play
And before bed they say
"Be it, your dismay
Young man, you are mine
But, wait
In due time
Some distant day
You will find
The rhyme
To keep us at bay"
And with such encouraging words...
With such encouraging words
I sang exactly what I heard
And watched their humongous heads
Float against the shore
Where they will discretely instead
Be plotting a new war
And it wasn't until then
That I could truly comprehend
There is always a war
Waiting to begin.
Track Name: Can I Be Your Light?(Little Lady)
All the people
Blissfully kissing
But I keep cool
And keep listening
For a swift miss
Wishfully whistling

By a fountain
I caught her sitting
She's well rounded
But, oh, so skinny
Reading a book
Our eyes had not met
Before she took
Out a cigarette
Can I be your light, little lady?
Do you mind if I call you baby?
Be what you may
But don't say
(don't say maybe)
Just take my hand
Sing a song with me
One and two and
Three, four, it's easy
(1, 2, 3, 4)
Together we can create
A life so good, it's great
Pack your bags, don't hesitate
Don't make we wait
Think of all the memories we can make
With time as short as the breaths we take
Dream girl, never make me wake
(never make me wake)

Sleep on, young man
Yes, I will take your hand
Come with me and I'll show you doors
Where love liquidates and pours
Over us as if it were rain
You and I are truly one in the same
Let me take you somewhere new
You didn't know you already knew
If you wake, where do I fly to?
If you were to die, I die too
Hell, who am I? Without you.
Track Name: To the Only Two Who(Know Me, Need Me)
Shelter me father, I can't build these words
To save my soul, let alone cast a curse
I've become a joke with no reaction
And I need you to say "Sometimes shit happens"
Now don't be a fool, boy, and don't imagine
Your dreams like you will always have them
Or they will have you locked up like an addict
Begging for light, no, know you can't have it
We all once got mixed up with the magic
And we're still basking in the habit
Comfort me mother, my head is on fire
From falling asleep wherever I feel tired
Waking up with a new observation
The brain finally left the station
Now don't feel so lost, son, just put on your cross
Your bones are here to stay but the rest of you rots
We all once got messed up with our thoughts
Now all we can do is pray it stops
To the only two who
Know me, need me
The two who used to
Show me, feed me
I love you.
Track Name: Mother's Mother(Like No Other)
Every right now and then
I watch my sorrows win
And on them cloud covered days
I'm busy filling up ashtrays
Half choking on a lung
From all these songs I've sung
Thinking how your blood it
Still somewhere stains a bucket
In a tangled, tough corner
Someone should somehow warn her
Not a single drop deserves
To be outside that heart
No, not hers
She had such kind eyes
Anyone could love her
And I'm sure that many have
Far too many to do the math
Oh, how I wish
We didn't have to miss
My mother's mother
While she walks a new path
But grandpa's bound to make her laugh
I can't imagine how happy they are
To have finally traveled so far
She was a poet and a dancer
He raced cars and died of cancer
But I feel assured their dreams were the same
Just like they hated losing a game
There's nothing but beginners luck
Around them now
And only we have to feel the pain
Of not having their healing words around
But a sunshine smile on a cloud covered day
Let's me know you're okay
So I'll empty the ashtray
'Cause I'm one pack closer to you someday.
Track Name: Warm Yellow(Stomp the Ground)
I want to be warm yellow light
Pouring over you during nights
You don't seem to feel just quite right
Settle down, there's no need to fight
The world is only what you make it
So take it
For what it's worth
The earth is nothing but dirt
Us, and were
Somehow spinning in the
Many questions
No answers found
So I shape a sound
And stomp the ground
I want to be warm yellow light
Pounding down on everything in sight
When you complain about the rain
You just can't find your inner light
Shining, even though you can't see it
You gotta be it
For you
The world is only what you make it
So take it
For what it's worth.
Track Name: Bright Outside(Must Be Sunday)
As I stand under what I do not understand
A sunny, spring sky clearly painted by hand
I feel as if I'm shown something more
Something only I could never choose to ignore
Oh my god, I can't believe I can see
So I know you can't believe in me
But I thank you anyway
For casting me in your play
And with no lines to say
The present past away
Running a race
Spinning in space
I'm lying in place
With light on my face
My worries erased
I can no longer hate
Take the food from my plate
I don't need it anymore
I found a new garden to explore
With a weathered wooden gate
To a house with no door
And I'm suddenly sure
This little nothing will be
The eternal something for me.
Track Name: A Song to Never Sing(LIGHT)
Just a normal morning
Not a hint, no warning
A phone call from a friend
How could this have happened?
Just the night before
I swear, I could have swore
I would see you today
But not at all this way
White roads sent a truck through
A guardrail then into
A tree close to a pond
I can't believe you're gone

On that day we found out
Friends piled in my house
These walls were once so loud
We are all quiet now
Thinking no way, no how
Could one of us go down
So soon and out of sight
Did you put up a fight?

Out of time, no measure
Just bright, sunny weather
Wherever you will go
Though you sleep in the snow
I helped friends carry you
To the hearse and then to
That, dear god, awful tent
Where your wife and parents
Sit and share tears with us
As we do what we must
Fare thee well, dear friend
I hope we meet again

Are you here, near, or far?
Is it gorgeous where you are?
Do we become dust or a star?
I stare off into the skies
My friend, I need no replies
I just need light in your eyes.

Big Ear Willie's Silly Sea(Sing Along Song)

All these notes
Sailing in boats
Off to a land
We can't understand
Oh, now I see the seashore
Oh, how I need to see more
The wind has carried
Off those we buried
To a deeper abyss
But you know we still miss
Our friend across the sea
But someday the light will set us free
So let's sing along to a silly sea song
We're not far from where we belong

Hey hey, ho ho
We sing as we row
So slow
Towards the light
Life is a gift
Hold it tight.