Lyrics

Album: Flaws

Red Mittens

————————

It’s a long, long way from this party to Idaho

It’s a long, long way (even longer in my condition)

from this party to my house at the end of the street

and I don’t sound cool, I don’t sound smart, I don’t sound awesome

I don’t even sound like a freak

And all I ever do is mix up the words in my brain every time we

Yeah yeah! Yeah yeah!

Yeah Yeah!

Yeah!

I wanna tell you I love Franny and Zooey

I wanna tell you I’m making a skirt out of neckties

I wanna tell you I love your nose

And all I do is sit way back in the bleachers

and I watch your body

and I’m away from you by rows and rows and

Yeah yeah! Yeah yeah!

Yeah yeah!

Yeah!

I can’t even say your real name in front of my friends

It’s almost too painful

So, I gave you a fake name: Red Mittens

And every time you walk by our locker my best friend

makes this groan low in her throat

It’s pretty embarrassing, but she’s really sexy

so it works on her

And then one day after class, you left your things

And I got to be the one

I got to be the one to eventually give back your coat

Ahhhhhhh

Yeah yeah! Yeah yeah!

Yeah yeah!

Yeah

What you have is grace

What you are is grace

And your mouth has grace

And your hips have grace

Even the slump of your shoulders has grace

Yeah yeah! Yeah yeah!

Yeah yeah!

Yeah!

 

Gain Their Grace

——————————-

Did I think I would not discover?

I had hoped, but I didn’t dare

In all the missed subways, every time I look sideways

Your face still haunts me there

It was a cold June day in the forest

There was a shrill sort of hum in the air

You led me down the path

I guess I never looked back

‘Cause your face still haunts me there

Oh no I’ve never done anything so bold before

No I never called anybody out like this

I’m gonna buck up and brave up

I don’t think it was something I made up

Are you gonna hit me tonight or will you give me a kiss?

There were no schedules then

I guess our fear gave it a flare

In all the dropped calls

And the fierce, empty halls

Your face still haunts me there

And your voice next to me in the morning

The deep bells a call to prayer

And your whispered electricity

And it’s unfair grip on me

Your breath still haunts me there

Oh no I’ve never done anything so bold before

No I never called anybody out like this

I’m gonna buck up and brave up

I don’t think it was something I made up

Are you gonna hit me tonight or will you give me a kiss?

Are you gonna hit me tonight or will you give me a kiss?

Oh the fall of the evening light

Has a cruel, honeyed effect

All mistakes gain their grace

And the longing leaves me a wreck

Oh no I’ve never done anything so bold before

No I never called anybody out like this

I’m gonna buck up and brave up

I don’t think it was something I made up

Are you gonna hit me tonight or will you give me a kiss?

Are you gonna hit me tonight or will you give me a kiss?

 

Just Like It Used To Be

—————————————

What will you do?

What will you take with you?

Now that the moment is here

Now that the moment is gone

Bright the edges of the leaves

Dark the earth underneath

Cold the wind that’s at your back

Warm the reticence of your memory

Come to me (I’m asking)

Come to me (I’m asking)

Come to me

In the fall out, in the wake

In the recess of your heart

Shake, shake, shake it off

Shake, shake, shake it off

Shake it off and come to me

I swear it will be alright

I swear it will be just like

Just like it used to be

Your clothes are hangin’ off you, babe

And the shadows of your mind

Have broken the dam again

To flood the black lakes under your eyes

It’s a calm acceptance

One that I don’t get to watch

Gonna take a terrible leap

And give you something you don’t want

And give you something you don’t want

Come to me (I’m asking)

Come to me (I’m asking)

Come to me

 

This Time

———————-

It’s the coming of the meltdown

All my promises are stackin’ up

I can hold the threads

But lose them all if I look up

Your kisses this morning

So clean, so warm

Gather me in your good sense

I don’t like my own storm

I never learned to ride a horse

I never learned to sail a boat

But I know how to travel

When to sink and when to float

But this time, this time

Oh this time, this time

This time I’m askin’ you for your help

I’ve got the routine down

The routine of The New Routine

And the great American novel

Comprised of lists and unread magazines

Your hands this evening

So steady, so sure

Gather me in your patience

While I remember what it’s for

I never learned to ride a horse

I never learned to fly a plane

I thought I knew how to travel

When to take off, when to remain

But this time, this time

Oh this time, this time

This time I’m thankin’ you for your help

I’m giving up

I’m going straight

It’s both Hell and the Fourth of July

And I’m all scared

Everything I’ve said

Is gonna turn out to be a lie

 

Samurai

———————

You crawl across me and clock the alarm

You stay sprawled over me, heavy and warm

We both wish the time was not the time

It’s so common, it’s so common

We bitch about the drivers and we bitch about the lights

Busy picking battles, getting licked in the fights

When I see you beaten and so low

I have a window to play the hero

And I know it’s gonna sound kinda weird but

Lately I’ve been getting through this

By pretending that I’m a

Samurai!

It’s been a long day doing what we don’t wanna do

So we hit a double to do what we wanna do

And we end up in the bar, deep in our cups

It’s so common, it’s so common

Half-crazy from lack of sleep, punchy from the drink

Gettin’ down on all I’ve done, headin’ for the brink

When you see just how it’s gonna go

It’s the way you know how to keep the glow

And your loyalty comes crashing into me

With it’s ferocious and gorgeous light

I can see that you’ve become a

Samurai!

Remember the conversation we had over Spanish coffees?

We told each other what we loved about each other

And ourselves

Remember how we woke up feeling the next morning?

So free and so light

It was the death of the fear of

mediocrity

We felt uncommon, we were uncommon

You and I, we were born to be

Samurai!

 

Brighter

——————-

They, they said (as if it came naturally)

You would change

You would find a new way to be

They, they told you right to your face

You would become

Something they couldn’t control

And you took control and became

my hero

What is left of who you are?

More than imperfect, fading, fading stars

And they, they told you

there was nothing they could do for you

Sent you home

Said goodbye

And you decided to be bigger than that

To be brighter, to shine

Well, you win the prize

The prize

My love, my light

My love, my light

My love, my light

My love, my light

 

No Power

———————-

Wait, what?

Wait

You want me to do what?

I’m not getting it

Wait, what?

Wait

You want me?

Can you please repeat that for me?

Wait, what?

Wait

You want me to do what?

I, I, I’m still not getting it

Wait, what?

Wait

You want  me to do what?

Oh

I guess I never really knew you until now

I guess I never knew myself until now

When?

Now

Oh

I guess I never really knew you until now

I guess I never knew myself until now

I always wanna say yes to everyone, everyone

I always gotta say yes to everything, everything

I always have to say yes every time, every time

So much so that I forgot the power of no

What?

No

Oh

No Oh No Oh

I guess I never really knew you until now

I guess I never knew myself until now

When?

Now

Oh

 

Cincinnati

———————-

I left home when I was seventeen years old and

I found work as a nanny

I love the taste of baby kisses and I

Hate the smell of applesauce

The twenty-five-year-old son came onto me

On Midsummer’s Eve

And that was it

I thought I was in love

And we moved to Cincinnati

Where I failed to find placement as a nanny

And he kept us going with a job collecting parking fees

In Cincinnati

Oh whoa whoa

We played house in the crappy part of town and we

Warmed our hearts with whiskey

It mostly ended up with a fist through cheap apartment walls

And a make up fuck and the smell of puke in the morning

And I began to long

For the scent of applesauce

And I began to wonder

Just exactly what my mother thought of me

In Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Cincinnati

Cincinnati, I think I’m in Hell

Cincinnati, Cincinnati

You taste like Hell

The wonderful thing about second chances is they

Mostly come when you’re least willing

And there’s a vision

Of your mother in the Greyhound stop

It’s enough to stop

Your heart

Your heart

Cincinnati, Cincinnati

Cincinnati, you were only me

And all the parts I didn’t want to see

Burn in the fires of Hell

Cincinnati

Thank my mother, thank me

I burned in your fires of Hell

Cincinnati, Cincinnati

You can go to Hell

 

No Blame

———————-

No winter in sight

Entirely too much light

It’s all so exposed

BMX tires on the dirt path

And following in the wake

An ancient Greek parade

Of barefoot four-year-old girls

All the light falls your way

Falls your way

All the light falls your way

Falls your way

All the shop doors closed up tight

Long before night

It’s after college time

Gone for holiday

Gone after May Day

Gone, gone, gone

Gone, gone, gone

“The ball I threw while playing in the park

has not yet reached the ground.”

All the light falls your way

Falls your way

All the light falls your way

Falls your way

You have a chance

Leave the dream

No blame

 

Blue Sky

———————

My breath recalls the cold

My lungs crave the rush of the air

My teeth clamp and hold

The insides of my cheeks lay prisoner there

The comfort of the flask at your hip

It warms and it burns

But it always grows stale

With every loaded, lovely sip

We secure our rent inside the whale

For years I dug for

Blue sky deep in the ground

I turned the key in the door ’til it

Twisted all the way ‘round

But I’m still standing on the front porch

With my shovel in hand

I guess I must like where I stand

My brother calls with the same old line

The flash of his hubcaps glint in the drive

We pull out the bed and we all say that we’re fine

Just pretend that he’s not barely alive

He said

“I didn’t mean to write another sad song.

I didn’t mean to fall down again at your feet.

I thought the drama of the moment was all

Heavy and wrong

But you said

‘Feather soft,’

you said

‘Sweet.’

For years I dug for

Blue sky deep in the ground

I turned the key in the lock ’til it

Turned all the way ‘round

But I’m still standing on your front porch

With my bottle in hand

I guess it was mine to command.”

Folding paper cranes for the party tonight

We’ve got the string but we forgot the tacks

The air grows heavy and humid as we lose the light

Fireflies sign autographs with their blazing tracks

It’s just so easy to forget while we’re here

And all the same to ascribe it to so much seriousness

My brother grins across at me as he cracks open his beer

I throw him a grin back and a wink

And drop my righteousness

For years I dug for

Blue sky deep in the ground

I turned the key in the door ’til it

Turned all the way ‘round

But I’m still standing on the front porch

With my shovel in hand

Laughin’

‘Cause it’s not the way that I planned

I’m laughin’

‘Cause it’s not the way that I planned

 

Acknowledgements

———————————-

This record would not have been possible without the great guidance and generous spirit of our friend and engineering wizard, John Askew. We’d also like to thank Sammy for his presence and the bolstering quality of his insistent purring.

Dave Jones, you have ever been our constant support on this journey of making art come to life, and this record is no different. Thank you.

Inger, we hold your hours of orchestrating camera, computer and calm professionalism in the highest honor. Thank you for making our exact vision of the album cover a reality.

Nichelle, thank you and all of the folks at The Mews for letting us commandeer their pool.

Ivan and Jonah, thank you for making it fun and for letting us put a bunch of girlie stuff on your faces. Your crazy smiles beneath those ice cream cone towels were nothing less than rad.

Thank you to Krist and Pete for agreeing to let us into the cool kids’ club.

Sarah Soards, yours is a luminescent kind of joy. Thank you for standing in the audience and for always singing along.

Rebecca would like to acknowledge some of the influences for her lyrics:

The bridge of “No Blame” belongs to the poem “Should Lantern Shine” by Dylan Thomas.

The last lyric of “No Blame” references Joni’s Mitchell’s explanation for the title of her eighth album, Hejira. In the film Painting With Words and Music she describes how she wanted a word that meant “running away with honor.” She chose “hejira” because it meant “leaving the dream; no blame.”

The chorus of “Blue Sky” owes it’s inspiration to “Toki-no-Ge” (Satori poem) by Muso Soseki.

“Brighter” is for Jill Neary, whose friendship has surpassed the realm of physical existence.

You taught me how to draw imperfect stars and I miss you every day.

From my lighthouse to yours.

Thank you for listening.

 

All songs copyright Rebecca Sanborn, 2016


(c) 2017