Cities of Snow

by Lea Grant

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credits

released November 10, 2013

Vocals, keyboards- Lea Grant
Drums- Jason Slota
Basses, lap steel- Jesse Cafiero
Organ, keyboards- Robert Shelton
Organ on Russian Dolls- James Riotto
Mallets- Andrew Maguire
Trumpet- Darren Johnston
Cello- Erin Wang
Backing vocals & whistling- Rebecca Eiseman
Backing vocals- Alanna Taylor-Tobin

All songs written by Lea Grant except for "She Moved Through the Fair" (trad.)

Produced, recorded & mixed at Tiny Telephone by James Riotto
Mastered by Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering

Made possible by 171 generous people.

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Lea Grant San Francisco, California

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Track Name: Cities of Snow
Ran through the snow and got ice in our shoes past the circular driveway filled with subarus on our way down to the riverbed... to the crystal purity of the riverbed

Then I think it's getting late & I shouldn't make them wait
Ice begins to sting my cheeks like birds with a thousand sharp beaks

We build and we outrgrow
The homes we love and know
I think it's time to let go
These cities of snow

I came up here to lose my blues and try wearing someone else's shoes and someone else's fleece to keep me warm. Well, it may be a blizzard here with carcasses of frozen deer but I assure you in LA it was a storm... it was a storm

Fog began to sting my eyes, blinding as a lullaby
Sotto voce whispering sweetly
I began to fall asleep

Oh, nothing moves me here
Smoke in the atmosphere
You say that you want what's best
Oh, that's the tyranny of kindness

We build and we outrgrow
The homes we love and know
I think it's time to let go
These cities of snow

I remember on New Years' Eve the snowflakes fell like a white cloud, like a magic spell. We were in the living room with our backs against the wall sifting through sorrows like the buried leaves of fall.

Well, I have learned to hesitate. I have learned to hibernate here
Beneath the Rocky Mountain peaks, where you listen and nobody speaks.

We build and we outrgrow
The homes we love and know
I think it's time to let go
These cities of snow...
Track Name: Blackberry Wine
We took a walk in the August rain
Lightening in the sky and inside my brain
Picking pink columbines and wild plantain
Lightening in the sky and inside my brain

Time is a strange bird of prey
I pray it leaves you with me til I'm old and grey
Blackberry wine, end of the summer time

You grew your hair down to your waist
Your lips grew pale, your thoughts came unlaced
You mortgaged your body to give us life,
Put down your paints, you became a wife

Time is a strange bird of prey
I pray it leaves you with me til I'm old and grey
Blackberry wine, end of the summer time

Thunderclouds are breakin'
Barrels are being shaken and we're lost
Lost in the past
And we've been fakin'
Love's a fermentation that when poured
Breaks the glass

Blackberry wine, end of the summer time
Whoa I'm losing my mind
Trying to keep what was once mine
Track Name: Jackhammer Lovesong
The crows are singing uh uh uh oh
And the jackhammer sings his lovesong
To a vacant sidewalk
As we are waking up

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

You can't tempt fate
She has no will
She'll go where you tell her to

Well we fell asleep wearing yesterday's clothes
Predisposed to disclose what we already know
But let's forget it all, grab our bikes and go
Before the fog patrol

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

You can't tempt fate
She has no will
She'll go where you tell her to

They're still building all their buildings, all their buildings
All their buildings, all their buildings,
All their buildings will house people.
Half those people will house people.

You can't tempt fate
She has no will
She'll go where you tell her to
Track Name: Closed Circles
You walked away carrying a silver platter
Of all the dreams and things
you had gathered
Somebody told you
What you want, didn't matter

And if you ever return
And if you ever pass this way again
I've got your keys on a ring
I've got your keys to sing in
I've got your keys on a ring
I've got your keys to sing in

You are just the repetition of the refrain
Just the record spinning around again
So, you dropped the needle
You can pick it up
Put it back to the beginning of the end

And if you ever return
And if you ever pass this way again
I've got your keys on a ring
I've got your keys to sing in
I've got your keys on a ring
I've got your keys to sing in

I always wanted to love you
I bent my metal just to let you in
And I got caught in the middle
Of this keychain bargain
Some closed circles
Never open again
Some closed circles
Never open again

And if you ever return
And if you ever pass this way again
I've got your keys on a ring
I've got your keys to sing in
I've got your keys on a ring
I've got your keys to sing in
Track Name: One Daniel Down
One Daniel down. Not a pauper, but he sure don't wear no crown.
Waiter, there's tears here in my stupid eyes
I couldn't see it through

Whoa, oh oh. One Daniel down. Whoa oh oh.

Too many frequencies coming in. I can't see outside my cockpit
and I'm wishing to God I was not the pilot.
But I guess it's not to late for me to quit.

Whoa, oh oh. One Daniel down. Whoa oh oh.
Track Name: Bees in Our Basement
We fingerpainted the plans we planted
Our trees were barren but for some seedy hearts
Fingers bloodied with pomegranates
We tried to cover up all our scars
The bees in our basement were hiring replacements

Our mothers spoke and drank tea for hours
While I sang in the microphone
And we kissed and ate passionflowers
Rolled around in our overtones
The bees in our bonnets were churning out sonnets

Oh, I want to love you, truly
And there's no way I can explain what you do to me
Oh, I want to love you, truly
But you change your name again
You don't like The Shins and you're not who you used to be

In forests and restaurants you fashioned the breeze into an orb
enveloping us...
Puncture it with a word and wound your pride as fragile as a beard and as easily removed

I'm finally learning that love is lawless
and her arrows are seldom true
While she empties and stocks your wallet
with burning embers and feverfew
The bees in their boxes smoked out by our foxes

Oh, I want to love you, truly
And there's no way I can explain what you do to me
Oh, I want to love you, truly
But you change your name again
You don't like The Shins and you're not who you used to be
Track Name: Russian Dolls
You are concentric circles in a disturbed lake
and I was your rock, your sunken keepsake

Oh, we are like Russian dolls
Always trying to fit in
Oh, inside of each others'
Painted skin

The sky opened and down I fell
Just a drop of rain trying to fill your empty well

Oh, we are like Russian dolls
Peeling back layers of selves
Oh, we are like Russian dolls
Shedding our whistles and bells
Track Name: Life Vest
We are born on the crest of a wave
and we have crashed before this
Bodies beaten down by the ocean
Eyes burning with the salt of emotion

Slow, slow the russet moon worked us o'er
Like tidal flow

Oh, God have mercy on me
Sometimes I'm strong
But sometimes I'm weak

I recklessly unzipped my chest
Pulled all the contents out of my life vest
I was hoping you might be impressed or at least
Take what you loved and then sew up my breast

Slow, slow the russet moon worked us o'er
Like tidal flow

Oh, God have mercy on me
Sometimes I'm strong
But sometimes I'm weak

The mast was of good timber
But the wood began to splinter

Slow, slow the russet moon worked us o'er
Like tidal flow

Oh, God have mercy on me
Sometimes I'm strong
But sometimes I'm weak
Track Name: Flightless Birds
These years have ripped the feathers
from your chest
Amid this colder weather
I know it's hard to rest

We don't have to stay here
among flightless birds
We've got a map of this catacomb
You know the walls are just made of words

Oh, I don't want to tell you what to do
I trust you, I trust you, I trust you

You say you love the desert
You love the bright night sky
The powder fine red dirt
Like a runway into the sky

Oh, I don't want to tell you what to do
I trust you, I trust you, I trust you

You're not afraid of flying
You can read this terrain
But you've given up trying
To pilot this airplane

Oh, I don't want to tell you what to do
I trust you, I trust you, I trust you
Track Name: She Moved Through the Fair
My young love said to me,
My mother won't mind
And my father won't slight you
For your lack of kind.
And she stepped away from me
And this she did say:
It will not be long, Love,
'Til our wedding day.

She stepped away from me
And she went through the fair
And fondly I watched her
Move here and move there.
And then she made her way homeward,
With one star awake,
As the swan in the evening
Moved over the lake.

Last night she came to me,
She came softly in.
So softly she came
That her feet made no din.
As she laid her hand on me,
And this she did say:
It will not be long, love,
'Til our wedding day.