Cities of Snow

by Lea Grant

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1.
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...
2.
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
3.
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
4.
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
5.
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.
6.
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
7.
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
8.
Life Vest 05:13
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
9.
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
10.
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.

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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