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Civil Dawn

by The Pharaoh Sisters

  • Streaming + Download

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

      $10 USD


  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    12" record on 180 gram vinyl with lyric liner notes and photography by Amy Badgett Beck.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Civil Dawn via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $27 USD or more 


Thunder and calm That’s how you came In through the door Of the immanent frame Scrubbing our feet Turning over tables Cups of cold water Born in a stable You came with a sword Then laid it down Crushing the empire With a mocker’s crown Sweet little baby Bundled and swaddled The devil embarrassed The innocent coddled Thy will be done Your Kingdom come Healing wings Righteous sun
Awake my soul to the sun I’m not ready God Make me ready God Anoint my lips with praise Help me sing to you All day sing to you Turn my gaze to you Jesus Help me drop to my knees Re-enchant me to your ways Lord Father of Light, Father of Love Make me feel the breeze To know your Spirit’s here And inside of me Though your light has come I keep my face down As if I can’t see
Lonely Sea 05:02
Sometimes I like to rip a page out a book And pretend it’s a letter to me Then I remember how He swallowed the flood I’ve got a friend in this forlorn Friendless deep Dark is the cup, but it sparkles and it glares Back at me when I stare into it Like a lover who is not a friend I need a friend, won’t you rescue you I am a shipwrecked vessel slumbering here At the floor America’s lonely sea But my Lord he drank that shipwreck up He pulled my hull right up to be free I kick and scream 'til the waters fill the void I might suddenly be un-buoyed Then I remember how He swallowed the flood I’ve got a friend in this forlorn friendless deep
If it keeps on snowing On Death Canyon Shelf It’s my own fault I drink this cup alone Alone is how I will be found Madrone limbs on the ground, on the ground The moss is smoking on the pyre’s mound Lashing tongues, shovels and guns To cut a fellow down I was right, but alone now Well it’s nice to be The sharpest shooter in town Well it’s lonely too Bad water from a broken well Alone is how I fear I’ll be found
Pilgrim Song 03:41
We are walking to Zion Out of Babylon On a journey to a sacred place Not sacred for religion Not sacred for tradition Sacred ‘cause we’ll dwell with our God Emerging from the wilderness A clearing in the trees A city on a mountain’s what we’ll see A tent dwelling people Strangers in the woods Now citizens of an unshakeable city Fires smoke and billow The curse thunders ‘round He suffered hostility The curse’s pressure weighty We battered his side Smote him to the ground Christ to the Cross, The Spirit To us, take me to liberty! We ache for an island Like John the Revelator’s In the Spirit, resting in our Maker We’re desperate for a broom tree A land of milk and honey A sabbath from the buzz and pageantry
Eastern Rift 04:41
Where there is a shadow There is light behind Tabernacle A love maligned A curtain saddled on the hilltop The scapegoat in the cradle Your blood on the table The eastern rift of my forefathers I thought myself a righteous man But the gap was cracking wider And the debt was getting higher Until the lion was crowned in briars Nod’s land was squalor Hezekiah’s Hollar Take me to Zion The undeserving scion
Do you stare through the trees At our little houses? And wonder why we fluster so much? From an airplane every front door And every window Is tiny speck of light, but it’s our whole world We’ve reached beyond the angle Of repose, trying to do too much Songs of ascent up a hill eroding Boredom, medication, isolation You calm my soul You calm my soul Like a nursing a child We self-medicate, but We are not okay Bored all day staring at blue light Keep it together, keep it together Keep it together, You’ve done nothing wrong, You’re a good person...but are you? Hello, hello, keep my heart low Lord Let not my eyes, be lifted too high On things not for me Make my eyes to see a sky like a sea That I missed while I stared Hunched in chair and clicking on nothing
You built us a house On a mountain and it won’t Budge, overlooking a River, clear and cool You ask for nothing Yet I still won’t pack to move The King of the Earth Stacked the logs, for the Serfs. A righteous flame Fueled by shame He burned his own flesh For a new Kingdom’s sake It was me at hiding in those bushes In the Garden of Eden It was me at the base of Sinai Kissing that Golden Calf It should have been me going up That mountain with Abraham, But instead it was you It should have been me going up That mountain at Calvary But you’re the one with the wounds We stand at the edge Of a promise like Pisgah’s Gate, but our Death does not Await, sleep we Won’t, life is our estate
Taste and see the Promised milk and honey Come to the Table Take the cup, and from his body eat Come to the Table Come to the table let us Sup and sing Pilgrims though we be in this Strange, strange land Our God is King Ten kings come And the same ten kings will go Come to the Table The lamb has conquered, let us follow him Come to the Table No more thirst or hunger in the land Come to the Table Rise up hearts and toast the jubilee Come to the Table
Homecoming 02:52
For now we reside in the desert It once was glacier fed lake The purple dusk, the brush and the lush But that was an ancient day Fevers come on, but they fade here We’ve mapped most of this landscape The cleansing we try’s not effective Baptizing with smoke from the sage We’re on the trail to our new home Thistles and thorns in our way A pioneer man with sun scorched hands Guides on a trail he’s blazed They say we were born in a garden And they say we will live there again It’s a place where our baby’s heartbeat Can be heard on a sonogram The water’s for thirst not for bathing And coals for the bread that you bake Home is an evergreen forest Home’s where your tears are allayed


released January 20, 2020

Austin Pfeiffer - Acoustic Guitar & Vocals
Jared Meyer - Acoustic Guitar & Vocals
Kevin Beck - Lap Steel & Electric Guitar
John Daniel Ray - Upright Bass
Thomas Pendergrast - Cello
Amy Badgett Beck - Harmony Vocals
Elizabeth Ottenjohn - Harmony Vocals

All songs written by Austin Pfeiffer

Recorded in Winston-Salem, NC

Engineered and Produced by Kevin Beck
Mastered by Matt Tuttle at IAS Studios

Art Direction & Design by Travis Lintner of Authentic Design
Photography & Cyanotype by Amy Badgett Beck

The Pharaoh Sisters (ASCAP)


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The Pharaoh Sisters Winston Salem, North Carolina

Seated in the foothills of Appalachia, we are related to no one, are beneficiaries of no tradition, and no one asked us to carry on anything. Aloof and uninvited, we press on. Our music blends the cowboy sensibilities of our Western-roots with the Appalachian traditions of dark imagery and moody stringed instruments from our current home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. ... more

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