Roman Candle Wars

by Christmas Fuller Project

  • Streaming + Download




The fourth and final release from Arkansas-based Christmas Fuller Project. With autobiographical lyrics, thoughtfully-constructed melodies, and surprising tonal shifts that sound like the seasons, this is by far the band's most fully-realized effort.


released January 1, 2011

Recorded March 2010-April 2010 at Insomniac Studios (Fayetteville, AR) by Adam Putman.
Produced by Adam Putman and Christmas Fuller Project.
Mixed and mastered by Adam Putman.

Christmas Fuller Project: Tyler Ceola: piano/wurlitzer/rhodes; Brandon George: vocals/electric guitar/acoustic guitar; Cameron Heger: drums/glockenspiel/auxiliary percussion; Aaron Hopwood: bass/vocals

New Year and John Wayne written by Brandon George. Mother’s Arms, Mim’s Woods, and Belle Said written by Cameron Heger. Bloom, Bros. of the Ice Storm, Cyclone, Wyoming, Sixteen, and Mountain Goat Peak written by Aaron Hopwood.

Design by Cameron Heger and Aaron Hopwood

Additional Musicians: Anton Patzner: violin; Lewis Patzner: cello; Jack Teague: trumpet; Joe Wilhelm: trombone; Timothy Grace: organ; Adam Putman: guitars/keys/drums/claps

Thanks to the Father, Son, Spirit; our parents; Masie, for editorial and monetary contributions; Susanna, for excusing the late nights; Greg; Adam; our fans, for making us feel like a real band; the name Christmas Fuller Project, for making us not feel like a real band.

In memory of Mary Louise “Mim” Clay.




Christmas Fuller Project Fayetteville, Arkansas

Christmas Fuller Project was an indie pop/rock four-piece based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas. CFP formed in 2005 as an outlet for four singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalists to further craft their songs in a full-band setting. Over 3 iterations, the band included Brandon George, Tyler Ceola, Cameron Heger, Aaron Hopwood, and Nick Roland. ... more

contact / help

Contact Christmas Fuller Project

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Bloom
Late spring in the Ozarks is soul country.
I went to a park to see
my kid sister soaked in her clothes.

Dad held her back in his elbow,
turned to the mic to say what it was,
and laid her in the water of a portable tub.

She rose like a matchstick out of a book,
saying, I’d like to have the light,
I’m ready and I’d like to have the light.
Track Name: Mother's Arms
The first time I cried
as a man in my mother’s arms
I always assumed would be after losing life
or losing love, and I was right.

The first time I lied
to the face of someone I loved
I did so in hopes it was only for their good.
What man can say if it was right?

I’ve seen the war on TV screens and in my own decrees.
I’ve seen the end—it will begin with my own defeat.

The power lines
they arrived in 1889.
With them came a blade double-edged and sharp as knives.
And we all learned to swallow swords.

You can tell me that you knew
all along it wouldn’t last
if you’ll hold me.
I’m your child.
Track Name: Bros. of the Ice Storm
Through a cataract
pane, I see the street trapped
inside a chest cold dream.
The trees are chandeliers.

The guys are rowed and bagged
like U-Haul action figures.
The fireplace is out.
The cold could wake them all up soon.

Winter, winter! Broke the porch
and the porch pine tree. Made a glacier
from Maple Hill to Center Street.

The ice storm came on Monday.
This morning looks like Neptune.
Power in the street
is out from here to Dickson.

Listen to the oak trees
snapping all around us.
A boom booming power plant
shook us like a speaker box.

Winter, winter! Froze the pipes
and I smell like it. We threw our pizzas
on the deck when the freezer quit.

Bring me a log.
We don’t want to sleep like this.
Track Name: Cyclone
A hurricane died
on the hills of the Ozarks
while I was asleep
in my old bedroom
at my parents’ house.

I woke to the sputtering
growl of a chainsaw
stalking around in the dark backyard
and froze
like in a horrible film
until I rolled up the will
to run out of the room.

Dad was on the couch.
I nudged him on the shoulder,
and he said we’d have to go
clear off the road
so he could leave for work.

We sloshed up our hill
with lamps and a chainsaw.
Dad cut the limbs.
They brushed like wet dove wings
as I heaped them up
on the side of the road.
Sap gloved my hands
and stuck on my socks.
It would hurt Mom’s head
to smell the pine so fresh.
A sunrise over the horse fields,
startled-pink like a newborn.

The woodpile in the forest
meant I was alone.
I kicked that night coverless
and dreamt of a cyclone,
terrible and black.
Gathering my limbs
like twigs toward a nest.
Track Name: New Year
New Year's eve.
An hour is gone,
my friend is here.

I hate this place.
All I smell
s cheap light beer.

And I hope you know
that you are going
to drive tonight.

Nine PM.
We're at your house
just north of town.

I like this place.
Reminds me of
when you fell down.

And I hope you know
that you are going
to drive tonight.

Three AM.
I look around,
my friends are here.

I love this place.
Everyone welcomes
this new year.

And I hope you know
that I am planning
to drive tonight.
Track Name: Wyoming
A thousand miles done.
Let’s get us off this bus.

My cheek against the dirty window
to curb the heat, I watch
snow-floored Wyoming hills go past
in dead wind farms and power lines.

You remark on a cloud-veiled sun
bare as a morning moon.

Did you sleep since we last stopped?
I nod my head and stretch my arms.
Did you dream? You kiss my beard
and polish at my collar bone.

The other sky is clean and liquid
blue. So blue it stains
the Laramie peaks
blue like hands dipped in a toilet tank.

The sun glows in the clouds
like a soul inside a tree.

Touch my bones. They’re my estate.
I once dreamed a Second Coming.
All the stars were shaken free,
and I knew I’d see you soon.
Like how you knew I’d find your name
for that bright morning we had juice.
How you trust the love in me
when it took so long to say.

I see two towers of smoke embraced
like re-met lovers out in heaven.
I can be so hard to know,
but my heart is in your care.

A thousand miles left.
We’re only halfway home.
Track Name: John Wayne
Sodas, snacks, and magazines.
Befriending a familiar cash machine.
The machine John Wayne knew so well.

He could tell
he'd be doing this forever.
In a way I guess he did.
Drunks stroll in at two, business men at six.

Who is John Wayne?
I don't know, I never did.
Track Name: Mim's Woods
I summered ’93 off of Diana street at grandma’s house.
Weekdays I was dropped at the bottom of her flowered circle drive.
Me and two other boys split a set of fatigues, I got the boots.
Marched the dew into earth on our way back out the behind the yard.

Crossed the moldy bath, the 8x8 veggie patch, the tree we marked.
Adam walked out front, cleared paths with a pocket knife.
I brushed against jagged limbs, tore my sleeves to shreds, made up a few
stories of hunting wolves out in some fictitious uncle’s woods.

Hours in we heard an animal cry behind some brush.
We huddled close, eyes as wide as our mouths. Inched closer to the sound.
Saw one leg twitching fast and the other a stump, a coyote maimed.
Ethan ran, Adam put it to death with a rock. I was in between.

Now the paved roads cut into those trees.
I suspect the weight of it all has changed.
I could pass by every day for weeks,
and I’ll know it’s me who is not the same.
Track Name: Belle Said
Belle was her name
The first time that I saw her she was
reading the same book I brought to the park.
Lewis under the reds, the browns, the golds of an oak.

I wrote her letters
in my finest hand for a year.
She typed back from Washington D.C. all her fears
of “growing old with the wrong man,” of “those southern mores.”

Oh Belle! I could tell your heart was gold
underneath the cold precautions that you told me you did grow.
I proposed inside an old oak grove,
but you told me that you couldn’t love me.
I knew that it wasn’t so.

Belle said the rows
of houses would depress anyone
who had tasted life. I didn’t know what she meant,
but Belle was never one to throw out bathwater with care.

I told my mom and dad
Belle would be my one and only.
Over the heir-loom table, glassy eyes met.
A proud father’s words were all I needed to hear.

The twisting trunks outlined
by half a moon. The chilled breath.
Her seat on a stump. My shoes and knee in the mud.
She broke it all in my mind.
She broke it all in my mind.
Track Name: Sixteen
The lake was cold as crap.
Our last day we climbed the boathouse roof,
unfolding like solar panels on the wrinkled tin,
winter-pale on our naked parts.

We’d snickered through two horror films,
bought matching sweaters, sprayed fireworks
through malty evenings. Spent one night
on a bird-ruled island, where I made the announcement.

Ants were dying on the tin to finally feel the sun.
We arched like three seals on a shiny shore.

The day began to make its bed,
spreading out a thick, cold cloud.
We grabbed our shorts and ran.
The roof’s tinking echoed through the trees.

To decide you’re in love when you’re just sixteen.
Youth spent like cold spring rain.
Track Name: Mountain Goat Peak
Summer ’95, and the backseat
held all the pillows.
Me and Sister sat
imagining in Books of Three
as we left the state. I don’t remember
if we went through Kansas
or took the panhandle.
Fell asleep with hay bails
out my window
rolled up like Ho Hos.
I awoke as we teetered up the peak
in our Astro van.

That two weeks of Colorado cabin
was pencil drawings and Pit. No TV.
An untrained strum and a singing spring.
Snow won’t melt that high.

All along that peak
lived the moody mountain goats.
When we tried their trails
they kicked grass out of the ground.
Once we hiked and hiked up
past the timberline
for the twilight wedge.

We raced down the mountain
to beat out the dark.
My stomach got stuck
like a washing machine.
Dad gave me his back
and he carried me down.
I bruised both his sides
with my eight-year-old knees.

And on the Great Sand Dunes
I felt like Lawrence of Arabia.
Mosquitoes everywhere.
Dad and I ran down
while Mom and Meghan watched,
hand-billed and freckling.

We ate off metal trays
at Flying W Ranch.
Applesauce to hold it.
Spent the Fourth bundled in the van
for Air Force fireworks.

I’d like to live alone sometimes.
Come in for weekends.
Be a brother, find a girl
who feels the same.
Take our little boy to show
the sunset on mountain goat peak.