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Leonore and Brian

Leonore and Brian are a folk duo with a jazzy vibe, playing original material. They compose songs individually, then arrange and develop them together. They have performed as a duo and with other musicians over many years.

This album, emerging from our seclusion during the pandemic, features Brian Dyer Stewart on piano, guitar, and vocals; and Leonore Hildebrandt on guitar, percussion, and vocals. Recorded at Brian’s home in Harrington, Maine, in October 2022.

Market Day

Please feel free to download any songs you'd like to keep on your device. Click the icon next to the song's title to download that song.
. Hoot Owl      

Hoot owl in a pine tree
Sings a mournful tune
Wonders where his love might be
Me I'm in this armchair
Joining his refrain
"Baby come back home to me"

I still feel your arms around me
Still see your hair hung low
Sometimes I think I'll lose my mind
My thoughts float out like bottles
In the ocean of the night
I'm lost upon the seas of time

Standing in the moonlight
Many years ago
Whispering sweet and low
You promised that you'd love me
And never let me go
Now I'm howling like that hoot owl in a night that's black as coal

The sun will shine tomorrow
Might find me in this chair
I really ought to go to bed
But something on the breeze tonight
Makes me think of you
Your voice goes round and round my head

2. Life Is a Circle      
Co-written with Bruce Wilkes in 1980.

Stay for just one more hour
Tell me your story again
Take this song to remember me
I'll see you in time, my friend

Life is just like a circle
Never reaching the end
Birth to death does it follow
Always to begin again

Love me just like your brother
There is nothing to fear
There is really no other
You have always been here

Take your time, there's no hurry
There is no place to go
Be as still as the mountain
And all will gently unfold

7. Moving Up      

Posted private property of big-shot man, fairyland
A splendid party, millionaire on medical marihuana
Light up with the leading lady, trickle down, tagalong
Say you simply love the house, the velveteen color scheme

Highland view, meet the right crew
To be free, come on with me

Band is playing indie music, get your kicks, funky licks
Now, don’t be shy and go sidle up, be glamorous, test your luck
Him and her, well they freely take it, get in line, kickback time
Deals are rarely made in heaven, give and take, here’s your break

chorus

Summer fever, out of town, upside-down chutes and ladders
Linger longer, hula hoop, a jazzy feel, cut a deal
Snag a handful of silverware, the never-know afterglow
We spin the bottle, see no evil, city hall, win them all

chorus

Razor shadow, fashion fizzies, wine and dine, dollar sign
Your golden image consultation, poker face, purple lace
Bluff and blunder, tiger claw, look under the table
When the party’s over, blackjack baby, gentlemen, taxi, taxi

chorus

2. Today and Tomorrow      

And today is nice with a breeze and an open sky
And the yellow old dog hangs out in the shade all day
And I’m fine by myself, but I don’t like to see you go
And I hope you are well cause I love you so

You’re moving to a place, I don’t know what to make of it
And you say we are cool, and you ask me to drink to it
And you’re quietly aloof when you talk of autonomy
And you’re half-way out when you smile at me

I know there are things you will want to do
But still I dare say I’ll be caring for you
You know there are places I may want to see
But still I do hope you’ll be caring for me

And you tour out of state, and you work as a journeyman
And your summer is wild, but you don’t need a master plan
And the river runs cold and fast, and we see it swell
And where we’re headed, who can tell?

I know there are things you will want to do
But still I dare say I’ll be caring for you
You know there are places I may want to see
But still I do hope you’ll be caring for me

So I’m having some wine and a smoke in the evening
And the stars in the sky have a way of appeasing me
And the big bear dances alone and he shakes his paw
And the night is alert and long and raw

The clock strikes twelve, the clock strikes two
Dawn starts to lift from a deep midnight blue
Today and tomorrow slide in and fuse
The night is howling, and I’m thinking of you

And today is nice with a breeze and an open sky
And the yellow old dog hangs out in the shade all day
And I’m fine by myself, but I don’t like to see you go
And I hope you are well cause I love you so

The clock strikes twelve, the clock strikes two
Dawn starts to lift from a deep midnight blue
Today and tomorrow slide in and fuse
The night is howling, and I’m thinking of you

8. Hammer      

To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail
To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail

For a man on a mission everything gets in the way
For a man on a mission everything gets in the way
And for the island in the ocean, alone with wind and tide
For the island everything washes on by

To a man with a stopwatch everything runs like a race
To a man with a stopwatch everything runs like a race
And the kids out on the blue team fight a battle head-to-head
The blue team, they all want to bust up the reds

But you and me, we know what’s going down
We don’t rate them at first glance
Give all a fighting chance
Even the mysterious ill-boding stranger in town

To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail
To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail

To a man with a bible everything’s testing his faith
To a man with a bible everything’s testing his faith
And the tiny newborn baby who is nursing at the breast
To the baby everyone needs a good rest

To a rock on the mountain everything else goes downhill
To a rock on the mountain everything else goes downhill
And the self-made little watchdog who prowls his Pleasantville
He’s standing his ground when everyone looks fit to kill

But you and me, we see what’s really there
We know when something’s new
Our memories are true
And when we swing that hammer, you better beware

To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail
To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail

6. Abiding Love      

There's no reason now to fear
Though there's trouble to last the years
We've known sorrow,
We've tasted joy,
We've shared love,
Abiding love

We've seen our children grow up strong
Find their own lives, where they belong
We've known sorrow,
We've tasted joy,
We've shared love,
Abiding love

We've wandered in the night
Bereft, bewildered, no hope in sight
Seemed like darkness would never end
But we held on to each other
Until a new day should begin

Sometimes we've drifted, stood apart
Been tired of living, with broken hearts
But come the morrow
Come the dawn
We've shared love
Abiding love

Yes, love is gentle and love is kind
Love endures, surpasses time
Embraces sorrow
Embraces joy
We've shared love
Abiding love

5. Really?      

Sun comes up, sun goes down
That’s what makes my day
One horizon, flat and calm
Helps me find the way

When you talk, I feel no doubt
Know just what you mean
Really?
In is in, and out is out
Nothing goes between
Really?
Girls are girls, boys are boys
Dress them pink or blue
And my need for certitude
Seems enough to make things true

chorus

Einstein flunked a math exam
All the bats are blind
Really?
Buddha’s known, a chubby man
Helps you to unwind
Really?
And I choose my taste for food
Organ meats are crude
To repeat such points of view
Seems enough to make them true

chorus

Sun comes up, sun goes down
That’s what makes, that’s what makes
That’s what makes my day
Really?

4. Front Page News      

I stood at the bottom, deep in the blues
Looked up from the bottom at the sky’s fine hues
There was a ladder, so I put on my climbing shoes

My friend I am headed for fortune and fame
I’m up here suspended, playing the game
American dream, here I come once again

Ah ah ah ooh, it will come true
Ah ah ooh, what’s there to lose
One more move and I’ll be
Wait and see, front page news

Some day I’ll count the flattering crowd
Yes, I will make it, I’m well endowed
People say, that one there can be so proud

Yes I hold on, I try to refine
You see, I long for that victory sign
And I believe we’ll all be better in time

Ah ah ah ooh, it will come true
Ah ah ooh, what’s there to lose
One more move and I’ll be
Wait and see, front page news

My sights are fading, the mirror goes dull
Oh, fortunes are fickle, I’m back to null
You say I’m lucky as hell, didn’t bust my skull

My friend it’s me, I always want more
I’m out on high street spinning my lore
Can’t you see me getting off the floor

Ah ah ah ooh, it will come true
Ah ah ooh, what’s there to lose
One more move and I’ll be
Wait and see, front page news

3. Down at the Station      

I should have known that this would happen
Have seen the writing on the wall
If you and I should ever tangle
That I would be the one to fall

You were near the nurses' station
Slowly rolling t'ward the door
I was lurching with my walker
Next I knew I's on the floor

Ooh la la put your hand in mine
Together there ain't no hill or mountain that we can climb
But we can still hear love's sweet chimes
We can still feel love (sometimes)
We can still share love, sweet love

I lay twisted round your wheelchair
My head buried in your lap
Who'd have seen a romance brewing
When you gave my head a slap

Mind you P's and Q's there buster
I'll push you swift onto the tile
There are better ways of wooing
Though you are a bit beguilin'

Chorus

Nothing broken was the good news
But how my heart did ache and pound
Somehow we made to the courtyard`
Though I couldn't hear a sound

We sat for hours without talking
Your hand resting soft on mine
Some things seem to thrive on silence
All hearts do open over time

2. Blue For the Rainbow      

Summer is a happy time, look around, it is a time for new creation
In the field the birds and bees, they resound in stupefied elation
Animals go and move about most their waking lives
Yes they’re making a mess of layered pathways

Cars are going here and there, stop and go, a metal army on the move
I try for some stability but nevertheless I’m bouncing in and out the groove
Summer is a happy time, the planet spins, and it’s okay when we are clueless
Heaven has a lovely hue, or it’s my eyes that fill the empty space with blueness

Blue for the rainbow, blue for the sky
Blue for the paths that went astray, woh, woh, woh, woh
Blue for the rainbow, blue for the sky
Blue makes my clouds drift away

I thought I’d stick around awhile but things came up that made me leave my home and neighbors
I heard of people getting caught, a silver net, and some are waiting for a savior
I’m holding on to the days of the week, but what’s the larger scheme
And who are the muted strangers in my dreams

Moving targets left and right, but still we dance as if the world is mostly stable
The field is lit by fireflies, you hold me tight, the night is cool and moist and sable
Summer is a happy time, the planet spins, and it’s okay when we are clueless
Heaven has a lovely hue, or it’s my eyes that fill the empty space with blueness

chorus

Once upon a time there was a wise queen who gave the ladies milk and honey
And she let the horses loose, they ran off to roam the wide and fertile prairie
Morning sun was a golden touch, keeping troubles at bay
If I were that queen I’d cherish every day

Yes, the famous novelist said, to create she needs a room of her own
A space to try her new ideas, a cocoon, let the voices come and go
Summer is a happy time, the planet spins, and it’s okay when we are clueless
Heaven has a lovely hue, or it’s my eyes that fill the empty space with blueness

chorus

Summer is a happy time

8. Angel Loop      

It seems that you are doing fine, but then you read the news
It’s more than you can take, it makes you sad and angry too
You step outside to feel alive, to shake the dreadful blues
A path round the mountain called the Angel Loop
It’s true that the angels aren’t dense like me and you
So use your sixth sense when you do the mountain loop

Among the rocks, a narrow trail that climbs up into blue
You see the mellow mountains rolling on beyond your view
You come upon some cattle, they stop and stare at you
They graze among boulders on the Angel Loop
It seems that those angels do scatter little clues
Cause wonders abound when you do the mountain loop

There’s cholla cactus, juniper, agave and gray oak
Sometimes there is heat and drought, sometimes mud and snow
You meet a snake, a hawk, a beetle and other leery folks
And sunlit, your desert town is nestled far below
The breezes are soothing, they help you to regroup
If doom should persist, do another Angel Loop

You walk around the mountain and you change your point of view
Your life is no more dismal, your face no longer droops
The pine trees smell so sweet, yeah they touch the heaven’s blue
The mountain won’t let go of them, the mountain carries you
So why would you leave the lovely Angel Loop?
And what will you do with your dusty walking shoes?
 

4. Numeric Bliss      

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten
Ten little fingers waving from two little hands
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten
Ten little toes just wiggling in the sand

Two eyes to see, two ears to hear
Two lips to sing a song so sweet
One nose to smell the flowers
One head to count the hours
One heart to love the people that I meet

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one
There's only one of you and only one of me
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three - oh what fun
To spend the day in numerical harmony

chorus

One plus one plus two plus two plus four more
Gets us back to ten which feels just fine
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one
One little question's lingering in my mind

Will you count and sing with me,
A million times, if that could be,
I just love to hear your happy voice
Throw our heads back like the birds sing
Warble and trill until the hills ring
We can make the very stones rejoice

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten
Ten little fingers waving from two little hands
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten
Ten little toes just wiggling in the sand

13. Until You Wake the Angels      

Buckets of rain have been falling
Rivers of tears have been shed
But the morning has come, the horizon is bursting with blue
Open the floodgates of freedom
Tear down the walls that constrain
Hope is rampant today, life is brimming and true

Soar, let the winds lift you higher
Roar the truth that's deep in your soul
Sing, until you wake up the angels
And then you sing some more

Feel how the spirit is rising
Feel the strength as we join our hands
Sometimes the past can be healed in the power of now
So let go the fears that confound us
Know that wisdom abounds
Every heart, every life will show us how

6. What Will You Reap      

Do you believe
All will be well when the birds return
Who knows tomorrow
How it will rise, what of its afterglow
Days are short, a colder breeze
Flowers fade into the earth, oh, oh, oh
Glad the one having a home at ease
Glad the one who can be kind and whole

Who’s awake, who’s weeping
Could a man play like a child again
Try the new wine and taste the sunlight
What will you reap, could it be wild and tame

Who will know your name
Who would give all for a day of fame
Who would act out of spite
Who will be sweet, sing you a lullaby
The land is calmly saving seeds
Silent dawn of a new season, oh, oh, oh
Glad the one having a coat to spare
Glad the one who can be free of fear

Who’s awake, who’s weeping
Could a man play like a child again
Try the new wine and taste the sunlight
What will you reap, could it be wild and tame

Who will hold your hand
When you depart to an unknown land
Who will sing your praises
When you arrive? What will your brother say
Golden fruit, harvest fair
Hungry hands gleaning a wheat field, oh, oh, oh
Glad the one having a meal to share
Glad the one whose bitter wound has healed

Who’s awake, who’s weeping
Could a man play like a child again
Try the new wine and taste the sunlight
What will you reap, could it be wild and tame

What will you reap, let it be wild and tame

3. Over and Over      

And some stay home, and some leave town, and some are dogged rovers
Tonight is cold, a winter’s chill, the seasons turn over and over
But who we are has stayed the same, life of a single note
The writer producing book after book is recognized for one quote
A melody knows but one refrain, it’s leaving over and over

And as we leave our house behind, we dread the dangers ahead
A person claiming self-defense has shot another one dead
The rain comes down, the streams fill up, the road is washed away
The strangest lies are holding sway, an idol’s last hurray
It helps me when I think of you and your kindness over and over

I’ve come to think that time contracts with summer’s bees and clover
A rainy day, we rest awhile, then the bustle starts over and over
And through it all a single sound, a deep and quiet tone
The joy to have you in my life flourishes on its own
And yet we part, we play it cool, and I’ll miss you over and over

The asphalt hums of hope, of change, there’s roadkill on the shoulder
The rear-view mirror holds the past, but how can I ever go there
The sky is wide, the miles go by, a road is never gone
The oak trees shake their lion manes, canopies under the sun
A melody knows but one refrain, it’s leaving over and over

This melody knows but one refrain, leaving over and over

11. Morning Will Come      

After the storm, when the stillness came on
We were shy in the closeness so new
Caught in the rain, we sheltered beneath a pine
For a moment the world was just two

Damp as two dogs, yet we lingered a while
You sang me a song about love unfulfilled
It was rain more than tears that ran down my cheeks
But in that moment my heart stood still

And I know that the morning will come
We'll spin off into worlds miles apart
But tonight I just want to lie by your side
Feel the rhythm of our twin beating hearts

As evening came on, we counted the stars
The sounds of the night made a chorus so calm
The deeper the dark, the wider our eyes and hearts
Your head on my shoulder, arms locked in arms

I'd forgotten that song, the sound of your voice
But this morning it came to me so strong and so pure
There's here and there's now, there's then and there's there
There's the mystery of how love endures

12. Dragonfly      

Once there was a dragonfly, the breezy meadow
By the brook a willow tree, and you a passerby
And it was on earth your time to breathe in the sweet air
You were one with cloud and bear and cave
Once there was a deeper blue, open for the night sky
In the field a wilder bloom and the morning dew
     Once there was a turning point, there was still a choice
     Once there was abundance, once were lives
Once you walked a winding trail high into the mountains
Where the pines are soft and green, once a spider’s web

Once there was a waterhole, the great savanna
And your tracks were stories laid upon the muddy land
And a child came out at dawn and painted in the sand
All the colors of the world were one
The morning was a golden bird, dazzling in the sunlight
And the lizard, cool and shy, would hide into the dusk
     Once there was a turning point, there was still a choice
     Once there was abundance, once were lives
Once there was a bee at work, blooms in light and shadow
Down a deep ravine, the stone was lush with trailing vines

Once there was a dragonfly, and you a passerby

1. Market Day      

Here is a mango, tender finger-licking mango
Here is a mango, tender finger-licking mango
Have a mango, have it at my mother’s stand, take your own sweet time
You won’t be sorry down-the-line

My mother sells mangos, my mother is sweet
You’ll love her cilantro, her favas and wheat
It’s steady, the family tree
Be ready for all you can see
The music plays, the lights are hung
My shoes are laced, the night is young

And some go to market, and some have their rum
And some get a paycheck, and some will have none
Have mercy, be strong and be kind
Your curses will be what you’ll find
And someone’s fighting, someone’s killed
My mother works the field we till

And everything changes, all the old tribes
The hats and the dresses, the rules and the vibes
It’s steady, the family tree
Be ready for all you can see
The music plays, the lights are hung
My shoes are laced, the night is young

A lifetime of trouble, a heaping of woes
I’ll try a new angle to see where this goes
Have mercy, be strong and be kind
Your curses will be what you’ll find
And someone’s fighting, someone’s killed
My mother works the field we till

Here is a mango, tender finger-licking mango
Here is a mango, tender finger-licking mango
Have a mango, have it at my mother’s stand, take your own sweet time
You won’t be sorry down-the-line

My mother sells mangos, my mother is sweet
You’ll love her cilantro, her favas and wheat
It’s steady, the family tree
Be ready for all you can see
The music plays, the lights are hung
My shoes are laced, the night is young
Be ready

9. It's Complicated      
Co-written with May Lily Lee in 2016

It's complicated, you say it's black or white
It's complicated, it's either wrong or right
You drive me crazy when you get so uptight
It's complicated for sure

It's complicated, you just can't make up your mind
It's complicated, you can't keep track of time
The world goes on while you're - running behind
It's complicated for sure

You treat your car like a long lost friend
You spend our money like there is no end
You have to have your way again and again
Oh, it's complicated

It's complicated - you don't let your feelings show
It's complicated, yet somehow I always know
And when you hold my hand, it's like a fresh hello
It's complicated for sure

It's complicated - I can't read what's on your mind
It's complicated, but somehow I always find
We fit together like two words that nearly rhyme
It's complicated for sure

You know just when to fill my coffee cup
(With You)
When I am down you're there to pick me up
(I feel so at home (With You)
And you know that love is always enough
(I'm even happy alone)
Though it's complicated

It's complicated, this life that we are in
It's complicated - you are yang - no I am yin
But through it all we stick together, thick and thin
It's complicated for sure
Yes, it's complicated

5. Coyote      

In a house close to the city, there’s a woman who works from home
And her dog is nosing around on the lawn when he sees a face like his own
Coyote of the prairie, coyote of the wild
Coyote in the green belt, coyote coming by

She can see its head in the bramble patch just beyond the garden fence
And she finds a hollow in the pile of leaves where it lay all through the night
     Coyote of the mountain, coyote in the rain
     Coyote of the desert, coyote of the plain

The woman is calling her dog in at night, she closes the door and the gate
Her windows are bright as darkness comes, and a wild thing lies in wait

They tell her to haze it, to make it go away
But how can she drive a wild thing from her heart

     Coyote in the moonlight, coyote in the sun
     Coyote in the open, coyote on the run

The joggers are out on the track today, the golf course gently slopes
And a Persian cat is asleep in the yard, suburbia doses on
     Coyote of the howl and yip, coyote free to roam
     Coyote in her backyard, coyote close to home

In the morning dew is falling, to the east the world comes alive
There’s a yearning for something, she can’t quite say, then thunder all through the night
     Coyote of the mountain, coyote in the rain
     Coyote of the desert, coyote of the plain

7. Life Is Like a Car      

Some say life is like a car, gas it up and drive it hard
When it's broke down in the yard, your driving days are over
Time will settle soft like dew and turn to rust what once was new
And just when grass starts pokin' through you'll find that you remember
Something that a friend once told when you were driving down the road
How she hoped when you were old her love you'd still remember

Your hand grips tight around the wheel
Your mind and heart through time go reelin'
And when you wake at last you feel the stars were never brighter
So keep our love close deep inside
Don't forget (sometimes) t' take it for a ride
When your mind is on the glide sometimes you'll remember

Some say life is like a song Oh so sweet but not so long
Just when you learn to sing along then the music's over
But sometime walkin' down the street your foot starts tapping out a beat
And suddenly a song so sweet is pouring through your heart

The tunes, the times, the stories shared the days together, souls laid bare
Are all the garment we need wear to walk toward a new day
Cause friendship wears just like a shirt wove of sorrows, joys and hurts
Who cares if there's a little dirt sure keeps you from the cold…

And when your field is overgrown
And wild things come to make their home
Scattered in amongst the thorns are the roses that we planted
And in the darkness of the night when joy and sorrow balance tight
A sudden breath, a sweet delight the fragrance of the rose

10. Out There      

Now it’s sundown, time to dance
When we move we’re in the flow of light and space
Chase the rainbow, high and higher
This tempo make you bouncy through and through
And the band is bold and steamy
And the troubles of the day begin to fade
So many riders on the highway
But tonight I dance with you

In the street, night is falling
And the sky is grey and cool
But the doors are flung wide open
Come on in and play the fool

Do me a mambo, do the slide
Do the cha-cha and the rumba and the waltz
Chase the rainbow, high and higher
The swing is what you do when you feel blue
Get on down and shake and yo-yo
When it’s off the cuff there’s nothing that is false
So many boats out on the ocean
But tonight I dance with you

Sometimes I feel lonesome, and the town is dark and dim
And the sailor at the harbor finds no home here
And the water laps high against the pier
And the river is wide and deep and clear
And a road’s leading off into the night so far
And on the air, there’s music

Do a free spin, carried away
The dance will take you out there, it’s a rave
Chase the rainbow, high and higher
We’re marvelous no matter what we do
As we go and sway and rock it
We feel our bodies’ heat, we clap and wave
So many trains come to the station
But tonight I dance with you

In the street, night is falling
And the sky is grey and cool
But the doors are flung wide open
Come on in and play the fool

Do me a mambo, do the slide
Do the cha-cha and the rumba and the waltz
Chase the rainbow, high and higher
The swing is what you do when you feel blue
Get on down and shake and yo-yo
When it’s off the cuff there’s nothing that is false
So many boats out on the ocean
But tonight I dance with you

So many riders on the highway
But tonight I dance with you

. First Love      

The storm has finally passed just as the moon is setting
Pale red sad orb tangled in the trees
Three AM I know just where my heart is heading
Remembering love that used to be

Funny how the very same few scenes and phrases
Always find their way into my mind
You said you would love me til the end of days
I said you would always be mine

Autumn in the breeze I can smell the apples
A chill in the air as the season settles in
Memories appear, fade away and dapple
Tides of the heart rise and fall again

First love opens up such a depth of passion
An arrow shooting straight into your heart
Breath and bones and ache enough to mold and fashion
A world that you will only name when it departs

The absence of the moon but how the stars are shining
The darkness kind, each memory so true
The pattern of a tune around my heart's entwining
Each note sings my love for you

. Back Home with Jesus      

Back home with Jesus and a bottle of rum
Talkin’ ‘bout heaven and the days yet to come
He thinks it’s mercy will finally hold sway
‘Cause judgment’s an old god, love’s the true way

He passes the bottle and sings me a tune
‘Bout loves that shone like the sun, sorrows hung low like the moon
We’re all looking for something, salve for our pain
Hoping for love that heals and remains

Kingdom come, we’ll be undone
Our flesh and bones turned to dust
So let’s love while we may
Be kind long the way
Learn how to share and to trust

Drink makes us quiet and we’re both so damn tired
Weary from living and unsure bout dying
He says he’s had a vision of how his life ends
He sees his sweet mama, her arms wrapped 'round him

Let’s light us some candles for the souls who have gone
But our tears start to flow, there’s not candles enough
The longer we live, the more loved ones we lose
But they burn like a fire in our hearts when we choose

Chorus

Many’s a traveler has crossed the divide
Maybe they've become angels, maybe they can fly
But those left behind just hold them in our dreams
We’ll have to cross over to know what it all means

Instrumental Chorus

Jesus slept over, but was gone come the morn
Places to go, new dreams to be born
He’s always loved best the coming of dawn
When hope springs eternal and day’s just begun

The heavens shone golden in the first rays of sun
I was healed, I was broken - I was all, I was none
Love flows like a river, there's no way to hold on
It fills up our souls and then it rolls on

Kingdom come we'll return whence we're from
To the music and pulse of the stars
Where the love that we've made
The hope we've conveyed
Will continue to shine from afar

. Rise and Sing      

I think I know what you mean how you ache in the morning
Was it something forgotten, a failure or just an aside
The sun may be shining but a voice deep within you is grieving
It's as if your lover were gone though she lies by your side

You feel like a little child, lost in the sorrow
Your heart longs for love but you fear it might never return
Life is so vast
The forces so strong, the current so fast
It's all you can do to keep yourself holding on

Rise now and sing, let your voice sound, take wing
Grace is never distant from a song
Let your soul be assured of the love in the world
It's lifting all before it like the tide

Your cherish so many, still you're afraid you will lose them
Like words to an old song, forgotten or faded away
The pathways ahead seem uncertain - it's so hard to choose one
Will you remember tomorrow the person that you are today

You feel like a little child, lost in the sorrow
Your heart longs for love but you fear it might never return
Life is so vast
The forces so strong, the current so fast
It's all you can do to keep yourself holding on

Rise, meet the day, let your song lead the way
Grace is never distant from our hearts
Other voices will join, new harmonies be born
Grace is never distant from our hearts
Rise and Sing

1. Wood Thrush      

When I first heard your song, the sky was aflame
Your voice so clear and strong, I was never the same.
It seemed my own voice had found its source
We were one river true to one course
When I first heard your song, I learned how to fly

When I saw your silhouette framed by the dawn
The golden days of summer just coming on
There was a fullness flowed into my heart
I was a journey ready to start
When I first saw you, I took to the sky

Where do you weather the storm
When trees sway and bend
How do you know where to fly
When the soft summer ends
What tune do you sing
When your fledglings turn to go
How do you find your way home

When I felt summer's lull beneath August heat
I knew your time here was almost complete
You were alone in your evening song
In the morning's quiet I knew you were gone
From the sorrow I felt, I sang my first song

. Heart in the Sky      

Gulls call along the bay,
Sun gleams on the mudflats - day's begun
Day's begun

The breeze upon the water
Moves boats along the waves - day's begun
Day's begun

Home, this is my home
Land where I come from, place where I'm going
Home, this is my home
Hands in the soil, heart in the sky

The cool of morning passes
Such stillness before after noon - the sun is high
The sun is high

Rows of corn, hills of potatoes
My fingers around the hoe - the sun is high
The sun is high

Your voice calls from the doorway
"Would you shut the chickens in?" - evening's come
Evening's come

Sometimes there's nothing more to say
That names the love I'm in -
Evening's come

. In My Dream      

In my dream, I see chestnuts in the April light
Blooms like torches burning bright
Free at last from winter's grip
Spring's kiss so sweet upon my lips
In my dream

In my dream our windows still open wide
Song and laughter spill from every side
Love and work and play and sorrows, too
Our home frames our days and lives
In my dream

I lay my burdens at the heart of Spring
The violence and terror of war, the suffering
Sick to my soul, harrowed by death still I hear her sing
Life will live

In my dream we hold each other soft and warm
The ordinary wonder of a summer morn
Free to have, to hold, to share another day
Time runs ahead forever and a day
In my dream

Peace will come, like Spring, again
Life will grow where death has been
Free at last from winter's grip
Peace will come again, I know
It's my dream

. Rise from the Earth      

Rise from the earth oh fallen seed
Rise and bring life once more
Weave your roots through the rock and soil
Rise and bring life once more

Hard were the winds of winter’s night
Hard were its frozen days
Hard was the ice that made your bed
Dim were the sun’s gold rays

Don’t spare your heart
Hope will have its say
Don’t spare your heart
Only love can bring blooms from clay

The season has turned - an endless dance
The sun gives her warmth again
The passion of life in excess flows
The promise of love begins

So rise from the earth oh fallen seed
Rise and bring life once more
Weave your roots through the rock and soil
Rise and bring life once more

. No Hate      

No hate can strike us down
No lies will turn us 'round
When we stand together
And hold each other true
No hate can strike us down

May we be spared the scourge of war
May we remember what our lives are for
To care for one another, see no stranger at the door
May we be spared the scourge of war

When did we forget our sister's face
See her as other, her humanity erased
We all rise and fall together, we share one sacred space
When did we forget our sister's face

Tyrants and dictators will rise
They may seem invincible but all meet their demise
Through all of history, it's only love that never dies
Love is the source of all our lives

. Just Another War      

Sleep, sleep, my little sparrow
Dream your wings can lift you high
Sleep, sleep - maybe tomorrow
We will have a warm, safe place to lie
But...

Don't say that it's for freedom
Don't claim honor where there is none
The trap's been laid, the soldiers paid, the guns are fully loaded
Another war has begun

Hush, hush, my sweet daughter
Be quiet as a mouse, we must hide
Hush, hush now, come into my arms
We'll hold each other til the raging storm is by
And...

Tell me, when did we start these fires
What fuel did we throw on to these flames
How did we come to fear each other
To forget each other's holy, sacred names

Don't say that it's for freedom
Don't claim honor where there is none
The trap's been laid, the soldiers paid, the guns are fully loaded
Another war has begun

Men build the tools of terror
Spend their genius and our fortunes on their wars
No peace is made, no soul is saved, no hearts and minds are won
Just another war's begun
Just another war

. New Year's Wish      

Thank you so for the gift of time
To forget for a while the yours, the mine
We shared the music as it rose and fell
Sometimes we sang the notes so well
Thank you so for the gift of time

Thank you so for your voice and heart
Your courage to rise again, to start
Always to turn toward the sun
To share your hope when I had none
Thank you so for your voice and heart

The music of the stars has turned to light
Though eons away, they bless the night
Such soulful solace, they point the way
Always there to guide us, come what may

Troubles brew on every shore
Division, fear like ne'er before
Peace is ridiculed as make believe
We seem hell-bent on war and greed
Troubles brew on every shore

Peace will come to the humble heart
With open hands let fear depart
Nations and creeds are false divides
We share one planet, one source inside
Peace will come to the humble heart

The music of the stars has turned to light
Though eons away, they bless the night
Such soulful solace, they point the way
Always there to guide us, come what may

A New Year's wish to each and all
To find our place in the rise and fall
The song of songs is everywhere
The earth, the stars, all creatures share
A voice for peace, the hope of all
A New Year's wish to each and all

. With You      

Baby's awake again - I think it's your turn
The last batch of pancakes all black and all burned
And what's this new word that the kids have just learned
Well I'm riding the waves with you

This month's money is already spent
We'll still be hauling water when we're aged and bent
Then there's that lovenote that the IRS sent
Just riding the waves with you

Hold on, open wide
Twirling along in the great dance of life
Balance and swing
Around we go
Just dancing these days with you

And in the dark times when nothing seems right
When the shadows are looming and we can't find the light
When we crawl to our lairs and hide from sight
Exploring these caves with you

Hold on, open wide
Twirling along in the great dance of life
Balance and swing
Around we go
Just dancing these days with you

When the last list is written and chores are complete
Your face in the candlelight kisses so sweet
Heart finding heart in life's rhythm and beat
Living these days
Exploring these caves
Riding these waves with you
 

. Holding on for Dear Life      

So I go to the fair with my son
Some cotton candy, some games, and some fun
His eyes are wide as two pies
He squeezes my hand "Can we go on this ride?"
There's a guy there strappin' us in
Over and under around we will spin
I mean a thrill seeker I’ve never been
But the door's slams shut and pow! we begin

Just holding on for dear life
Saying a prayer that it will all come out right
Faster and faster until only this moment's in view
A jumble of heart, mind and bones
Tossed to the fates, whirled in a cyclone
Hope I can find all the pieces when this ride is through

In a dream my life hangs by a thread
The city's in ruins, you envy the dead
Down an alley fear rolls like a ball
And I am the kingpin just ready to fall
There's these hoodlums there fencing me in
Faces all boiling with malice and grins
But just as the blows start to fall
I slip away and up over the wall

You could say it took us both by surprise
I was done with women and she done with guys
Cripes I'd known her for umpteen years
We'd shared our cup of blood sweat and tears
In a sliver of moonbeam she smiled
Like an earthquake, heart open, completely beguiled
We both tumbled blood-willing in love
Our hearts akimbo, we're yet to come up

5. Something Else      
Lyrics by Leonore Hildebrandt, music created collaboratively.

I’m on the road, it’s easy with my new navigation device.
A lady’s voice is coaching me “Turn right in point two miles.”
But oh, I miss the proper turn and now my lane is lost.
The urban sprawl is spreading on with asphalt and exhaust.

Her voice is never cross at all, she only says one word:
“recalculating” mm—hm   
“recal-cu-la-ting” mm—hm

It turns a deaf ear, turns a blind eye, sometimes it turns the other cheek.
And where it will end up is too hard to tell
for always it turns into something...something else.

We used to lead a wilder life as one with beast and plant.
We dined on apples, flowers, roots, we roamed the far-flung land.
Then came the gift of reason and a fine morality.
We dug and shoved and built and scoured. We dreamt of breaking free.

And when in doubt, we used our brains that’s why we now can say:
“recalculating” mm—hm
“recal-cu-la-ting” mm—hm

It turns in the grave, turns on its heel, it could well turn the gun on you.
And some are predicting a heaven or hell
but always it turns into something…something else.

The future seems a mess, you know, a human-made decline.
And cat and mouse and owl and frog are with us on the line.
But rather than to bring you down, I’d like to cheer you up.
So come on, Baby, let us swerve let’s get out of this rut

to find another passage way, it’s easy once you say:
“recalculating” mm—hm
“recal-cu-la-ting” mm—hm

It turns a new page, turns inside out, it’s bound to turn your head around.
It may turn out badly, it may turn out well
but always it turns into something...something else.
 

. Night Prayer      
Written during the fall 2015 Catie at the Cove workshop on Georgetown Island, Maine.

The wind has risen, stirs such sorrow in the sea.
The moon's revealed in a single thread of silver.
Bereft before the heavens, I get down on my knees
and pray for the mercy of the fallen.

There's hope enough from day to day;
dreams are dreamed, love is made -
there's beauty even as the house is falling.
But a warning sounds from deep inside,
a growing storm, a raging tide -
the world, just like the heart, can be broken.

I've run my share of races -
sometimes I've run away,
when sorrow's come and settled on my doorstep.
And even though its voice is strong,
this time I want to stay
and find a way to join into its song.

So hold me -
be it sorrow, be it joy.
Rock me like I'm your only love.

Kiss me -
surround me like the wind.
Let my heart finally know what it's really made of.

9. Hymnal      

In this dream I had last night
I saw my father dressed in white
I saw his brothers and a high-school chum named Hugh

They sang a hymn so sweet and low
It made my heart just open so
That I climbed a ladder to get a better view

And when I climbed up through the clouds
Their voices grew so loud
They shook the heavens til the sun shone down

And just then I found the a part
In the hymnal of my heart
And together we made this prayerful sound

Peace my friends
Where we start is where we end
Life is spun from every single dream
The gifts we share
The love and all the care
That's all that really ever will remain.

. Ida's Song      

We planted the fields as the May moon filled
As the new season burst into flower
How fragile yet strong the promise of seeds
How dependent we are on their power

And we've waited so long for the summer rains
For the waters that slake the land's thirst
Roots twine and weave, prepare to receive
The drink with which all life is nursed

So let the rains fall
Soothe our weary souls
Let the rains fall again

You were born in the full blush of summer
Just as the twilight had waned
Most beautiful child, we've awaited your smile
Like our fields have longed for the rain

Breath is life and life is hope
Tha love will find a way forward
Most beautiful child, wrapped in love
Welcome to the world

So let the rains fall
Soothe our weary souls
Let the rains fall again

1. Just a Little Rain      

Just a little rain, a gentle mist, an April shower
Just a little rain, to soften up the clay
Just a little rain, a northeast gale in all its power
I just need a little rain, to wash my blues away

Just a little song, a simple tune to say I love you
Just a little song, a flower from my heart
Just a little song, a busy bee hum just above you
Just a little song, hmm a little song

O so little time, to plant our gardens and heal our sorrows
O so little time, to stand upon the knoll
Faces toward the dawn, our hopes and fears upon the morrow
Til twilight sings its song of stillness to the soul

. Constellations      

Sometimes I wish that I could be a cloud
Reach beyond the borders that I know
Sometimes I wish that I could be a child again
Feel the innocence of oh so long ago

May grace and peace abide
May kindness keep her smile upon you
May truth walk by your side
And love shine bright

Sometimes I wish that I could steal the pain
Carry it so you could walk free
Sometimes I long so to see you again
To let time lose its way between you and me

Sometimes I know there is no separation
There's a light always shining in our souls
But tonight I want to reach out and find you in the dark
Stand together, watch the constellations roll

 

 

 

. So Much Can Be Observed      

In the morning of a summer day you hear the crows first
There's a counting in the spruce tree, must be coffee is served
A few new parents sing their cheer, giddy from the night watch
In the early morning so much can be observed

There's a warbler, a nuthatch, a phoebe, a crow
A goldfinch, a robin, a red-eyed vireo
There's a blue jay, a redstart, and a cat bird putting on a show

The very best music is sung just before the sunrise
Stretching and calling and singing to shake off the dew
One morning an owl was perched up upon the porch roof
It swooped silently just over my head and then off she flew

There's a warbler, a nuthatch, a phoebe, a crow
A goldfinch, a robin, a red-eyed vireo
There's a blue jay, a redstart, and a cat bird putting on a show

Feel the strength of a summer morn
Breathe the sweet fragrance as life is reborn

In the morning of a summer day you hear the crows first
There's a counting in the spruce tree, must be coffee is served
A few new parents sing their cheer, giddy from the night watch
In the early morning so much can be observed

There's a warbler, a nuthatch, a phoebe, a crow
A goldfinch, a robin, a red-eyed vireo
In the early morning so much can be observed

. Love Will Show You the Way      

Strange how the tables can turn
One day you've got that winning ticket in your hand
The next day, you get burned
You might be that vagrant on the street
His tin cup held up high
Tomorrow just one of the many people who pass him by

Some people hold onto power
Some people hold onto gold
Most people they're just barely holding on
In a world where they feel bought and sold

And when the darkness closes
And yhou despair that you will ever see the day
Know that it's only love will show you the way

The sun rises red as the blood on a Palestinian street
Squeezed from the pain of a people forsaken
Rage burns in the eyes of a boy that you meet
A pipe bomb is carefully strapped to his chest
He merges with the throng
Like a star he explodes and is gone

For some people war is held holy
For some it's just a calculated plan
For most, a nightmare recurring,
A dark terror that stalks through the land...

And when the darkness closes
And yhou despair that you will ever see the day
Know that it's only love will show you the way

The old woman sits in the last rays of sunlight
Remembering her years
She's know the rise, the fall, the births and the deaths
The laughter and the tears
Sometimes death is a familiar friend
Sometimes still an ashen fear
Sometimes they simply sit together and watch
As winter nears

Some lives flow like a river
Some lives they stumble and fall
Some people know they've a purpose
Others have no clue at all...

And when the darkness closes
And yhou despair that you will ever see the day
Know that it's only love will show you the way

. Spring Returns      

Look at how the blossoms burst from the shad trees
See how the violets know when to appear
Look at how the woodcock dances as the sun sets
Listen as the peepers sing their cheerful evening tune
Bathed in the glow of the rising moon
The geese echo from the marsh and say
Spring returns

The sun has risen high above the spruce
There's a fragrance to the plowed earth
Fertility long bound's set loose
There's a deeper sense that life is truly worth winter's cost
The depth of our longing, the reach of the frost
Our voices rise, as well, and say
Spring returns

May paints the world again with color
June explodes with blossoms in tree and field
July and August's bounty fills the cupboards
September brings on change again as summer starts to yield

Look at how the leaves twirl their colors in the wind
Listen to the crickets sing their last songs
The bones of the trees begin to show
Birds gather in flocks it won't be long before the frost
Wood smoke drifting like memories lost
Food and wood and hope are stored
Winter's here

October winds bring down summer's glory
November tucks the fields and trees to sleep
December through March lock the earth in slumber
April opens up the promise that spring will always keep

. Alone      

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

      -- Maya Angelou
 

9. Who Can Deny the Spring      

Who can deny the Spring
The way that a flower changes everything
The strength and the beauty it brings
Who can deny the Spring

Faith to move mountains in every seed
Patience through cold winter days
Courage to open when warmth finally comes
Strength to break through the clay

Who can resist the light
The tendrils of dawn from the darkness of night
Everything clear and brought into sight
Who can resist the light

Who isn't changed by love
The heart understood, welcomed home, beloved
The song of the soul is music enough
Who isn't changed by love

Life isn't one life but a weaving of lives
A garment that others have sewn
Stitched from their dreams, their struggles and joys
They walk with us as we make it our own

Faith to move mountains in every seed
Patience through cold winter days
Courage to open when warmth finally comes
Strength to break through the clay

Who can deny the Spring
The way that a flower changes everything
The strength and the beauty it brings
Who can deny the Spring
Who can deny the Spring

. One of These Days      

One of these days, one of these days
Standing together, we’ll banish the hate
Peace comes from justice - there’s a world full of grace
As we face the truth squarely, we'll find love's embrace

One of these days, one of these days
We’ll set free the prisoners and put violence away
Rage is a sign post that the world’s gone astray
We’ll need our strength and our courage in the coming days

Gone is the lie that everything’s fine
Truth’s long past due and now is the time

One of these days, one of these days
We’ll see eye to eye as anger gives way
To global compassion, undivided by race
We flow from one river - our source is the same

One of these days, one of these days
Standing together, we’ll banish the hate
Peace comes from justice - there’s a world full of grace
As we face the truth squarely love will heal us one day

One of these days, one of these days

. I'll See You Again      

You loved to ride down Williamsburg drive
When the cherry blossoms burst into bloom
You'd plant some pansies, open windows up wide
To welcome spring's breath into our rooms

And I'll see you again as crocus and hyacinth flower
When the fragrance of spring awakens and sings
That's when I'll see you again

We'd sup outside as the sun settled low
As the heat of the day found a lull
Catching fireflies as evening came on
Hearts at ease, bellies so full

I'll see you again when the honeysuckle scents the air
When the summer stars shimmer and spin
That's when I'll see you again

I remember us raking leaves down to the street
We'd roll and jump in the piles
As evening came on you'd set them aflame
How sweet the smell of those fires

I'll see you again when autumn leaves color and fall
When the hills are ablaze and the frost comes to call
That's when I'll see you again

Winter was just at its end
A mild and unusual season
You were ebbing away, your energy spent
You left us as nighttime came on

I'll see you again when the first snow quiets the dawn
When the wind is chill but the fire is warm
That's when I'll see you again

4. When I Was Young      

I had a lot to say when I was young
The urgency of fire, the gift to speak in tongues
All the passion of my soul in every word as it was sung
I had a lot to say when I was young

I remember when you came into my heart
Our love was like the sky at night, secrets now unlocked
We danced and twirled as galaxies no ending and no start
I remember when you came into my heart

We're travelers through time
A few stops 'long the way
With the lonesomeness that only travelers know
But we'll share a cup of kindness
Taste the tenderness of May
Keep vigil through the night before we go

Now colors overtake these ancient hills
It's the middle of October and the wind begins to chill
Tonight I'll make a fire, let my thoughts drift where they will
As colors overtake these ancient hills

7. Round and Round      

An apple a day keeps the doctor away
With bills I couldn't pay if he came
Seems like the darkest hour's here
Though the dawn is nowhere near
The only thing we have to fear
Is more of the same...and we go

Round and round
Sometimes up and sometimes down
Full, then hollow just like the moon
Time waits for none
We're old who once were young
The song is over 'fore we've learned the tune

Well the road to hell is paved
With good intentions so they say
One rotten apple can make 'em all go bad
People whose homes are glass
Shouldn't be the ones to cast
Words as sharp as rocks and twice as sad...and we go

Well a stitch in time saves nine
But it's too late to tend to mine
Sorrows have burst the seams and spilled everywhere
One good turn deserves some more
I guess that's what friends are for
To bring some hope back when you're in despair...and we go

9. Into Starlight      

I saw the evening turn into starlight
Cygnus the swan fixed in her flight
I saw the moon rise, a golden pearl
I saw her beams cut through the night

Shining down on me, down on me
Shining down on me, easing my sorrows
Shining down on me, down on me
Shining down on me, easing my woes

I heard the owl call to his lover
Soulful and melancholy his plea
I heard the fox call to his vixen
I heard the sirens out on the sea

Sing their songs to me, songs to me
Sing their songs to me, easing my sorrows
Sing their songs to me, songs to me
Sing their songs to me, easing my woes

I felt the wind rise from the south lands
I felt its heat feather and fray
I felt the pulse of time in the heavens
I felt the tide surge in the bay

Flood the moonlit shore, moonlit shore
Flood the moonlit shore, easing my sorrows
Flood the moonlit shore, moonlit shore,
Flood the moonlit shore, easing my woes

Sing their songs to me, songs to me
Sing their songs to me, easing my sorrows
Shining down on me, down on me
Shining down on me, easing my woes

I saw the evening turn into starlight

. People Gonna Rise      

People gonna rise, rise up in freedom
Rise like the phoenix from the ashes of fear
People gonna rise, rise up in justice
Speak truth to power til all nations shall hear

That we share one world, one sky, one sun that shines
We know one thirst for freedom,
Rising up together we’ll stand side by side

People gonna rise, rise up in mercy
Share the world’s riches, break prisons’ chains
People gonna rise, sisters and brothers
Bring forth their wisdom, their courage again

People gonna rise, shine like the morning
Break through the darkness and reach for the sun
People gonna rise, rise up in freedom
Lay down the weapons, the bombs and the guns

People gonna rise

. Crow Song      

Look at me, I'm a crow, and I want you to know
Just how happy I am to be me
My clan's all over the world, murders of crow boys and girls
From Labrador to the Coral Sea

We care about kin, that's when our tender selves kick in
Birds of a feather, through storms and through calm
I speak corvid and jazz, I caw and sometimes I give you the ras
I'm town crier and burglar alarm

Genus Corvus for those who do Latin
Born in the wild wood, don't need satin
Don't mean to brag but my IQ's off the charts
I'm adaptable, a problem solver
A constant improver, a constant evolver
I can figure the whole from just a few parts

I can fly like the wind, gather in countings with friends
I'm at home with the wild ones of this place
I am more than meets the eye, I'm mischievous and I'm sly
Though humans all look alike, I'll remember your face

Look at me, I'm a crow, and I want you to know
Just how happy I am to be me

. Common Prayer      

There was talk of angels singing
Stars aligned to point the way
Kings and sages gifts were bringing
Abiding peace to come and stay

A stable, starlight, pilgrims weary
A girl into a woman grown
Laboring 'neath winter's constellations
What child is this of flesh and bone

Bless our lives with life abundant
Let planets hush as birth unfolds
Heaven and earth are joined this moment
Love embodied, peace untold

Fill our hearts with living scripture
Let our voices speak, our truths be told
Only in the giving does grace stay with us
Only in our loving does peace unfold

There's truth that only longing fashions
Seeds within that time must grow
From our sorrows, cares and passions
A common prayer we deeply know

. Winter Light      

Here in the light at end of day
December still upon the snow
Deep winter hush upon the bay
Silhouettes etched in twilight's glow

The earth still turning
The heart still yearning
The breath of life so steady so slow
Here at the end of winter's day
Come Thou and rest my soul

Birches and maple now lay bare
The lushness of summer long distilled
Buried within the winter heart
The promise that Spring will fulfill

The earth still turning
The heart still yearning
The breath of life so steady so slow
Here at the end of winter's day
Come Thou and rest my soul

. Pearls      

She's got a thing about pearls,
spread out against all her gold.
She's elegance defined,
making us stop to behold

She's got a thing about pearls that
she scatters on the waves of the sea
on the fluttering leaves,
in the hearts of all who can see.

With every heron and gull who bathes in her light
She weaves a magic spell
The moment I saw her, that was the moment I fell

She's got a thing about pearls -
she likes to toss to the skies;
constellations shine,
reflected back to us through her eyes.

She's got a thing about pearls,
how they glisten and glow,
from the planets, the moon
She knows how to light up your soul.

3. Rise and Fall      

Let me just say that you surprised me
I'd forgotten how it feels to fall
The silver of the moonlight shining in your eyes
The fragrance of the flowers on the wall

You said you never cared that much for roses
But that moonlight, yes, had always been your guide
I remember how your voice so slightly trembled
How the moon held so steady in the sky

Rise and fall
The motion of the planets, the turning of the sea
Rise and fall
The story of the love 'tween you and me

Love doesn't always come by fire
Sometimes it's quiet like the tide
Now the heart is full and now it empties
Now the song begins and now it dies

Let me just say you still surprise me
I'm still learning what it really means to fall
I trace your heart on mine
The moon, the rose entwined
The fragrance of the flowers on the wall

. One Time One Place      
Lyrics and vocal by Maria Elena

Love has had a million names
And love more than one face
But I knew only you once in a dream
Drew close and yet we never kissed
No rings, no bells that chimed
And yet in other ways, you are still mine

We thought we had the time,
the future endless as the sky
Now eagles make us green
They own a love that lasts for life

And I don't live now by the sea
And I don't watch the stars
But I would bet that you still do
Wherever you are

And love it had a million names
And love more than one face
But dreams only one time
Only one place
Oh dreams they had one time, one place

. Still      

So here we are - our children have grown and gone
Life's lessons so painstakingly drawn
Vanish like frost with the day
Life - humbling, that much is sure
So little stands fast, is secure
The vagaries of time hold full sway

But still, you stir a song in my soul,
Weave all the strands to a whole
Gathering the joys and the sorrows
Love, though spun from threads so fine
In time makes the strongest vine
Holding us close though some strands are broken
In love still, here we are

Winter day - shuffle 'cross ice and snow
So much to do, so many miles to go
The late afternoon is golden
Who knew - that life would go by so fast
The future become the past
The newness of love grow old

But still, you stir a song in my soul,
Weave all the strands to a whole
Your kindness and courage amaze me
Love, though spun from strands so fine
In time makes the strongest vine
Holding us close though some threads are broken
In love still, here we are

You - glance back as you go out the door
I've known that gaze from afore
Even before we'd met
I love - that you are who you are who you are
That together we've come so far
That together we travel yet

. L-O-V-E      

L-O-V-E, Love
L-O-V-E, Love
L-O-V-E, Nothin’ but Love

Say what you will, love is a wild ride
Tumbles and thrills, free falls and land slides
Just when you think it must be over
Here's love

Moments will come, hearts beat as one heart
Harmonious drum, one ending, one start
When we can't even count the broken pieces you're holding
It's love

The last thing I remember thinking was
Yes I'll go dancing with you
Our hearts took to flight
Your eyes were the sky so blue
20 years flash by, phantasmagoria
We're battered and wide-eyed and stewed
But the music plays faster
And yes, I'm dancing with you

Three A.M. blues, doubt speaks so loudly
The paths that we choose, often so proudly
When the last notes are sung
Will the song that's remembered be love

Wrinkles and lines, inside and outside
Miraculous times, leap years and neap tides
Like a comet we blaze
Across the heavens of love

. Until You Wake Up the Angels      

Buckets of rain have been falling
Rivers of tears have been shed
But the morning has come, the horizon is bursting with blue
Open the floodgates of freedom
Tear down the walls that constrain
Hope is rampant today, life is brimming and true

Soar, let the winds lift you higher
Roar the truth that's deep in your soul
Sing, until you wake up the angels
And then you sing some more

Feel how the spirit is rising
Feel the strength as we join our hands
Sometimes the past can be healed in the power of now
So let go the fears that confound us
Know that wisdom abounds
Every heart, every life will show us how

12. Be Now the Voice      
Co-written with Catie Curtis at Catie on the Cove, 2018.

What voice will dare to sing
As fires rage and nations burn
We turn against each other
And each walks alone

Shine the light
Break this evil spell
Find the grace to stand up together

Be now the voice that sings out compassion
Be now the song that rises true above the flames
Be now the hands that hold,
The arms that enfold
And welcome the stranger home
We all need to feel a love that is real deep in our bones

Will there come a time
When we find each other once again
Bring each other hope
And shelter from the rain

Shine the light
Break this evil spell
Find the grace to stand up together

Be now the voice that sings out compassion
Be now the song that rises true above the flames
Be now the hands that hold,
The arms that enfold
And welcome the stranger home
We all need to feel a love that is real deep in our bones

The stars were always there
Waiting for the rain to lift
Constellations bright,
Sing a song so holy

Be now the voice that sings out compassion
Be now the song that rises true above the flames
Be now the hands that hold,
The arms that enfold
And welcome the stranger home
We all need to feel a love that is real deep in our bones
Not just for our own, a love that is real, deep in our bones

. Together In a Dream      

There's still a sip of brandy but I'm too tired to lift to lift the glass
We've stayed up till the dawn has come and night time's finally passed
We've said goodnight a dozen times but still we linger on
Here we are, together in a dream

We've known each other through the years, been confidantes at times
Shared our woes from fitfull loves that left us sad and cryin'
Always saw the best in us even when we'd lost our way
Here we are, together in a dream

Love must have a thousand ways
To find a path into our cautious hearts
One of its vines wound through the maze
And set its roots so deep in every part

And even with your leaving, a part of you remains
The sun is still behind the clouds, even when it starts to rain
You circle like a melody and fill me up with song
Here we are, together in a dream

 

. One of These Days Video      

One of these days, one of these days
Standing together, we’ll banish the hate
Peace comes from justice - there’s a world full of grace
As we face the truth squarely love will heal us one day

One of these days, one of these days
We’ll set free the prisoners, put violence away
Rage is a sign post that the world’s gone astray
We’ll need our strength and our courage in the coming days

Gone is the lie that everything’s fine
Truth’s long past due now is the time

One of these days, one of these days
We’ll see eye to eye as anger gives way
To global compassion, undivided by race
We flow from one river - our source is the same

 

One of these days, one of these days
Standing together we’ll banish the hate
Peace comes from justice - there’s a world full of grace
As we face the truth squarely love will heal us one day

One of these days, one of these days

. Safe Beneath the Stars      

I'll hold you close, all through the night
Wrapped within the darkness, safe beneath the stars
So much we've lost, driven to flight
So much is hidden in sorrow's deepest scars

Tell me again the names of your kin
Your sisters and your brothers, their daughters and their sons
Each one a flame, a prayer we will send
A song we must sing out louder than the guns

So far from home
So far from our people, from our land
So far away

I fear the morn, its restless tide
May tear us from each other, steal the solace we have known
Onward again, no place to hide
How will we remember the mercies we've been shown

So far from home
So far from our people, from our land
So far away

I'll hold you close, all through the night
Wrapped within the darkness, safe beneath the stars
Here in your arms, a moment's respite
Wrapped within the darkness, safe beneath the stars

. Phoebe      

Oh, little phoebe, sitting in the sun on a wire
Oh, little phoebe, lifting your song higher and higher

You skitter and skim, at home in the wind
You hover, then dart from the frame
Your song to your mate a relentless spate
Of notes that call out her name
Oh, little phoebe, how your life sparkles and shines
Oh, little phoebe, how your song warbles and climbs

Oh, little phoebe, switching your tail as you contemplate
Beetles and ants, spiders and ticks dinner on the wing - don't be late

Oh, little phoebe, I count on your faithful return
The promise of spring is the song that you sing the tonic our weary hearts yearn for

. The Question Now      

It's not a gun but it is loaded
It's not a fist and yet it's raised
It's not a bomb but it's exploded
Spreading fear most every place

Endless voices on the airwaves
Crusaders calling left and right
In the shadow of their churches
Who knows what prayers are prayed tonight

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ee How the temperature is rising
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ee How the truth is torn apart
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ee We must open up our hearts

People scanning all the omens
Count the profits, hide the costs
Screens can tell us our location
What they don't know is that we're lost

We lead our children to the altar
The knife so cold upon our hands
Though we hesitate and falter
We still obey the gods' commands

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee How the temperature is rising
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee How the truth is torn apart
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee We must open up our hearts

It's not a clock but it's still ticking
It's not a voice and yet it speaks
It's not the path we thought of picking
Some hands sow and some hands reap

In the night the stars are steady
Even as our planet spins and burns
The question now is are we ready
The question now is

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Will we open up our hearts

. The Light Goes On      

Astronomers tell us that the light we see from the North Star
Has traveled for centuries to reach our world
We see Polaris as it was when the Pilgrims landed
Neither of us knowing what time has since unfurled

And the light goes on
Breaks through the darkness and goes on
The light goes on

A hundred thousand light years is the span of our Milky Way
Hundreds of billions of stars spiraling together in space
From where I stand, it looks like a sash of palest silver
Girding the summer night in gossamer lace

And the light goes on
Breaks through the darkness and goes on
The light goes on

Tonight in the backyard, a galaxy of fireflies
Beacons of yellow green signaling for their mates
This one shines four furtive flashes, this a single arc
There's music in the silence as the heavens contemplate

How the light goes on
Breaks through the darkness and goes on
How the light goes on
 

. Late July      

Late July now, the fields are turning brown
Grasses heavy with seed bend to the ground
The sun's still high, how it's heat lingers into the night
But the wheel spins on
It's later when the dawn brings the morn
Hear the songs 'fore they fade away
Give thanks for the light how it fills our days
Abundance and loss are the prayers we pray
Late July

Tomatoes setting fruit, the squash in flower
The corn is pushing skyward, you can feel its power
The urgency to bring forth the bounty of life
And the wheel spins on
It's later when the dawn brings the morn
Hear the songs 'fore they fade away
Give thanks for the light how it fills our days
Abundance and loss are the prayers we pray
Late July

Our children grown, far scattered seed
Our hearts walking in the world, the truth of our creed
Beauty beyond anything we could have dreamt
And the wheel spins on
It's later when the dawn brings the morn
Hear the songs 'fore they fade away
Give thanks for the light how it fills our days
Abundance and loss are the prayers we pray
Late July

. Sage Advice      

Keep to the left, if you have a choice
Use your ears much more than your voice
Love will always shine through
Spring come ever anew,
Though the winter’s long…

Plant your garden, but not too wide
Leave room for wildness, even inside
Life and death are both friends
Each new start has its end
Just like a song…

Give yourself to the winds of loving
Plant your heart like a tree
Take the warmth that the sun will offer
Stand strong when the storms run free
Give away all the fruit you have ripened
May children swing from your boughs
When trouble like snow lays so deep around you
Deep in your roots hold life’s vows

See the forest, but know the trees
Live in wonder; live in peace
Let every star, every cloud
Every heart, every child
Show you the way

Arms around each other
Dance a circle round the sun
As every spring uncovers
Let the sap just rise and run
How I love the love that sparkles in your eyes
Spread your wings and let the spirit fly

Hands and hearts entwining
The very fabric of the soul
Constellations shining
Showing patterns of the whole
How I love the love that sparkles in your eyes
Spread your wings and let the spirit fly

Plant your garden, but not too wide
Leave room for wildness, even inside
Life and death are both friends
Each new start has its end
Just like a song…

6. Jenny Hold On      

Better hold on, Virginia, Jenny hold on
Better hold on, Virginia, Jenny hold on
Storms gonna rage, waters gonna roll
Times so hard gonna try your soul
Hold on, Virginia, Jenny hold on

Better hold on, Virginia, Jenny hold on
Better hold on, Virginia, Jenny hold on
Wrap your arms around the living tree
Gonna need your faith just to keep you free
Hold on, Virginia, Jenny hold on

Rain gonna fall, wind gonna blow all day
Lightening gonna tear the heavens wide
People on their knees and pray

Better hold on, Virginia, Jenny hold on
Better hold on, Virginia, Jenny hold on
Storms gonna rage, waters gonna roll
Times so hard gonna try your soul
Hold on, Virginia, Jenny hold on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Shadow      

I met with my shadow, alone in the rain
Walked up to my shadow, cold as pain
My shadow said, “One time, that’s all, never again”

The river is muddy, the water is high
The river is heavy with rain from the sky
No turning around in that current, hard as I try

I say it out loud, “Just one more chance”
I twist and I turn, it’s one crazy dance
The blues hangs around, I run into it all day long
But when is the time for one more chance

I traveled the globe to see old friends
I stayed at their houses, pitched my tent
When I came to the desert my shadow said, “Go and repent”

And one moon is empty, and one moon is full
A shepherd is sleeping, the dogs yip and howl
And I take to my heels with the sheep, shadow and all

chorus

I met with my shadow, alone in the rain
Walked up to my shadow, cold as pain
My shadow said, “One time, that’s all, never again”

When this is forgotten and the shutters are tight
When mothers are calling in the darkening light
Will my shadow go on to guide me into the night, into the night

10. Once I Knew a Kinder Land      

Once I knew a kinder land, soothing as the dawn
In the reaches of my mind, joyous but forgone

Land of hills and meadows, houses of open doors
Strangers meet, a nice hello, “Come in, a drink to share”

Flowers wink along the road, bird and bumble bee
And a friendly river flows to the shining sea

No one has to leave this land to hustle or to fight
It is easy to shake hands when the mood is light

Ah, sometimes I find them, the friends gathered at night
In my dreams, years gone by, shadows come alive

Once I knew a kinder land

8. Ukraine Pride Parade      

This year brings the people out, dancing in the street
Oh it is a happy crowd rolling out the beat
Father said, “Stay home and pray, the priest calls it a sin”
But I know that love will win at the Ukraine pride parade
It’s true, the shame is hard to lose when preachers rail against us
True, they speak of evil acts, of crimes more than horrendous

But we did it! Was a fun time, forty minutes in the sunshine
In riot gear, both left and right, police stood on guard as we waved
Yeah, we did it! Was a fun time, forty minutes in the sunshine
I saw a girl kiss another girl at the Ukraine pride parade

Last year we made plans to go, and the year before
Five militias named us foes, called for bloody war
Angry men lined up to raid, the mayor called it off
Oh the times were surely rough for a Ukraine pride parade
It’s true, we get a lot of frowns, distain both keen and raw
True, the countries north and south are run by hateful laws

chorus

This year brings the colors out, banners in the breeze
This year makes us feel so proud, rainbow family
Mother said, “I’m too dismayed. Stay home, there’ll be a fight”
Then she joined for human rights the Ukraine pride parade
It’s true, the only way it worked, more police than marchers
True, we had a lot of fear, these right-wing groups are harsh

But we did it! Was a fun time. Forty minutes in the sunshine
In riot gear, both left and right, police stood on guard as we waved
Yeah, we did it! Was a fun time, forty minutes in the sunshine
I saw a boy kiss another boy at the Ukraine pride parade

Ukraine pride, Ukraine pride, Ukraine pride parade!

. Abiding Love      

There's no reason now to fear
Though there's trouble to last the years
We've known sorrow,
We've tasted joy,
We've shared love,
Abiding love

We've seen our children grow up strong
Find their own lives, where they belong
We've known sorrow,
We've tasted joy,
We've shared love,
Abiding love

    We've wandered in the night
    Bereft, bewildered, no hope in sight
    Seemed like darkness would never end
    But we held on to each other
    Until a new day should begin

Sometimes we've drifted, stood apart
Been tired of living, with broken hearts
But come the morrow
Come the dawn
We've shared love
Abiding love

Yes, love is gentle and love is kind
Love endures, surpasses time
Embraces sorrow
Embraces joy
We've shared love
Abiding love

. Down at the Station      
I should have known that this would happen Have seen the writing on the wall If you and I should ever tangle That I would be the one to fall You were near the nurses' station Slowly rolling t'ward the door I was lurching with my walker Next I knew I's on the floor Ooh la la put your hand in mine Together there ain't no hill or mountain that we can climb But we can still hear love's sweet chimes We can still feel love (sometimes) We can still share love,  sweet love I lay twisted round your wheelchair My head buried in your lap Who'd have seen a romance brewing When you gave my head a slap Mind you P's and Q's there buster I'll push you swift onto the tile There are better ways of wooing Though you are a bit beguilin'  Chorus Nothing broken was the good news But how my heart did ache and pound Somehow we made to the courtyard` Though I couldn't hear a sound We sat for hours without talking Your hand resting soft on mine Some things seem to thrive on silence All hearts do open over time
. Love Will Show You the Way      
with Joyful Noise

Strange how the tables can turn
One day you've got that winning ticket in your hand
The next day, you get burned
You might be that vagrant on the street
His tin cup held up high
Tomorrow just one of the many people who pass him by

Some people hold onto power
Some people hold onto gold
Most people they're just barely holding on
In a world where they feel bought and sold

And when the darkness closes
And yhou despair that you will ever see the day
Know that it's only love will show you the way

The sun rises red as the blood on a Palestinian street
Squeezed from the pain of a people forsaken
Rage burns in the eyes of a boy that you meet
A pipe bomb is carefully strapped to his chest
He merges with the throng
Like a star he explodes and is gone

For some people war is held holy
For some it's just a calculated plan
For most, a nightmare recurring,
A dark terror that stalks through the land...

The old woman sits in the last rays of sunlight
Remembering her years
She's know the rise, the fall, the births and the deaths
The laughter and the tears
Sometimes death is a familiar friend
Sometimes still an ashen fear
Sometimes they simply sit together and watch
As winter nears

Some lives flow like a river
Some lives they stumble and fall
Some people know they've a purpose
Others have no clue at all...

. Mercy      
Co-written with Peepa Gilbertie at the Cove on Georgetown Island, 2015