Charleston

by Ben Fisher

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about

Produced by Noah Gundersen
Recorded and Mixed by Floyd Reitsma at Studio Litho
Mastered by Ed Brooks at RFI

credits

released 04 February 2014

Ben Fisher: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Wurlitzer
Noah Gundersen: Electric Guitar
John Roderick: Vocals
Gabriel Mintz: Vocals
Abby Gundersen: Violin, Cello, and Vocals
Andrew Butler: Organ
Micah Simler: Bass
Faustine Hudson: Drums
Steve Norman: Pedal Steel

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Track Name: Mason Jar
What's your name?
I swear you came to me in a dream
Wearing the brightest colors I'd ever seen
I think I'll call you Mary
And who's that boy?
Shoveling snow in my grandmother's yard
Drinking cider from a mason jar
That's my father before me
Don't rush spring
It'll come when winter's done ruining things
It's been cold but there are songs to sing
And I've got someone to sing them with me
And so we'll paint the town
A different color the next time around
When I can tell you about the glory I've found
Yeah, but you'll only hear me laughing
This is Saturday night
In the mind of a man whose skin is too white
After a winter without any light
Dreaming of someone thinking of me
Track Name: Dreaming & Doubt
If you'd done what you said you would do
You'd be a paperback writer
But you struck out lookin'
Filled up with doubt
So you set all your pages on fire
And if papa hadn't listened to the traveling man
He coulda packed up shop and retired
But he's pushing eighty
Works six days a week
My old man's never looked so tired
Remember that boy with his head in the clouds
When her head would rest on his shoulder
When she skipped away
Not a tear in her eye
It left him feeling fifteen years older
There's a time for dreaming
There's a time for doubt
Always know which way you're leaning
There's a time for dreaming
There's a time for doubt
Time and love, don't wear me out
Time and love, don't wear me out
Time and love, don't wear me out
Track Name: Magnolia Lane
Do you still live on Magnolia Lane?
Or have the lizards all run away
They used to scurry up your red brick wall
Drenched in the island sun
It was a sticky sweet and sultry summer
Striped shrimp boats went sliding on by
They used to haul their catch from the ocean floor
Fisherman sleep by the seagull's cry
And I don't know Mary
But if I did
I'd tell her take a right at the light to the door
She'd come out of that car
Wearing a dress
That I swear I'd seen before
Well that beach frosted over
For the first time in fifty years
The wood of the shrimp boats rotted and peeled
They tried to cast their nets to bring home dinner
But all they dragged up was sand and shells and fear
So do you still live on Magnolia Lane?
Or have the roosters gone quiet for good
And is Mary standing with a smile on her face
In the spot where Magnolia once stood
And I don't know Mary
But if I did
I'd tell her take a left at the light to the shore
And drive her car
Straight into the surf
In those rags she always wore
Track Name: Hyde Park
There's a bird's eye view from the top of the Sears Tower
And the Hancock Building is a jealous middle child
And plastic bags float high, high above the loop
And parrots cross the Illinois skies.
And the chilly winds off Lake Michigan
Will blow your feathers through the air again
Loose ones fall into little girls' hands
It's warmer far away from here
Where the ice and snow won't be among your fears
Florida sunshine is gold
But the Windy City's home
Turning tourists' heads
A flash of green when they expected grey instead
And shivering in nests high in the leafless trees
And for those that live round Hyde Park
They know your call in the mornings
And your cry in the dark
And they smile when they see you floating on the breeze
And the chilly winds off Lake Michigan
Will blow your feathers through the air again
Loose ones fall into little girls' hands
It's warmer far away from here
Where the ice and snow won't be among your fears
Florida sunshine is gold
But the Windy City's home
Track Name: Dublin Blues Pt. 2
I've been listening to a lot of Guy Clark
He's a little country, a little twang
He's got a song called The Dublin Blues
That sometimes I will play
After I get home from dinner and drinks
And things are moving slow
And now I'm making a list of things I would tell you
If you hadn't let me go
And I've been reading Philip Roth
He's got one hell of a pen
You didn't like him the first time around
But you ought to try him again
Yeah, but all book pages are black and white
And I'm feeling pretty grey
And I'm making a list of things I would tell you
If only you had stayed
Oh, I'm walking slow by the mailbox
Hoping for a word
Oh, something like,
"Darling I'm sorry, this ain't what you deserve"
Now, I've been planting a few little flowers
And I'm baking my own bread
And I go running every morning
To try and clear my head
Yeah but the flowers froze
And my bread won't rise
And the running's just for show
And I'm making a list of things I would tell you
If you hadn't let me go
I'm making a list of things I would tell you
If you hadn't let me go
Track Name: Charleston
I've spent many nights in Charleston
Where Spanish moss hangs from the trees
My first son was born here
And he doesn't want to leave

But this house is full of failure
And empty memories
So pack up kid it's time to go
There's so much you should see

If you compare it to Alaska, Charleston is ancient
If you compare it to Los Angeles, Charleston is bare
If you compare it to your mother, Charleston's an angel
But over the din of comparisons, Charleston's always been there

Feels like I've spent
More than twice my life here
Cause time slides along so slow

And I know you wish your mama
Would come along with us
But it's time to go, it's time to go

If you compare it to Alaska, Charleston is ancient
If you compare it to Los Angeles, Charleston is bare
If you compare it to your mother, Charleston's an angel
But over the din of comparisons, Charleston's always been there

When someone asks us where we're from
We'll always know the answer
Cause home is something you don't just erase

But I been feeling kinda rough
And they say it might be cancer
But I'm not going until I leave this place

If you compare it to Alaska, Charleston is ancient
If you compare it to Los Angeles, Charleston is bare
If you compare it to your mother, Charleston's an angel
But over the din of comparisons, Charleston's always been there
Track Name: Rare Desert Rains
Tell me oh tell me, tell me my son
He is your brother
What have you done
O Grandson of the Pharaoh
With all of your turquoise
And all of your gold
Moses clutched his staff in his fist
Looking to Canaan
The home he'd just missed
He died on the mountain
But left them a song
Had no idea they'd hear it so wrong
And the rare desert rains
Fall on the land
But they'll never get you
To walk hand in hand
Jonah didn't do time in the whale
For you to blow each others' children to hell
God promised Noah fire next time
You keep it up and you're next in line
Will a burning bush or a miracle night ride
Get you at this point to change your mind
Land's the same all cross the earth
Frozen tundra or a virgin birth
And the rare desert rains
Fall on the land
But they'll never get you
To walk hand in hand
And the rare desert rains
Fall on the land
But they'll never get you
To walk hand in hand
Track Name: Fred McDowell
They buried Fred McDowell
In a three piece silver suit
And Bonnie bought the marker for the grave
Picked cotton all his life
And then he picked up the guitar
So others could walk that road that he paved
So keep your lamps trimmed and burning
Keep your lamps trimmed and burning
Keep your lamps trimmed and burning
Some were born to wear the slide
Like a ring forged for a king
And some were born to sit for hours and play
Wouldn't it be strange
To turn on the radio
To hear the Rolling Stones playing your songs
You see, they bought that three piece suit
As a token of their thanks
For helping the blues carry on
So keep your lamps trimmed and burning
Keep your lamps trimmed and burning
Keep your lamps trimmed and burning
Track Name: Cast Your Line
Where she leads me I do not know
But it's fishing season and it's time to go
Where the salmon jump and the waves are high
Where threadbare clouds go rolling on by
Cast your line in with mine
And I don't know if it'll sink or float
But if you never try it you’re gonna miss the boat
And don't ask me what you'll pull out
It could be an old tire or it could be a pretty rainbow trout
Cast your line in with mine
She's out there sailing and I am here on shore
I could keep what I have or I could ask for more
And you're gonna have to kill a worm or two
And you can't be squeamish cause a fake one won't do
Cast your line in with mine
Being landlocked is no way to spend your days
Land’s dry and dusty It's got no breaking waves
So take your pole and meet me at the dock
Where all the cormorants sleep and go to flock
Where those fished before us fished for all their lives
Fished for their dinners and fished to say goodbye
Cast your line in with mine.
Track Name: Last Call
The day started slow
Like so many others
You had a smoke
You woke your brother
By noon you were gone
With so many others
They took you out
They called your mother
And though people are bringing flowers
And candles to send you through the night
It's just last call
It's just last call
It's just last call
And maybe you're scared
Cause you've never been there
But you've got a hand
To hold cross the way
We've all gotta go
We've all gotta follow
Will you send signs
Like snowstorms and sparrows
And though people are bringing flowers
And candles to send you through the night
It's just last call
It's just last call
It's just last call
And now they're moving round the block
There's two fiddlers on the roof
They're looking for an answer
They're looking for some truth in all of this
In all of this
And though people are bringing flowers
And candles to send you through the night
It's just last call
It's just last call
It's just last call now.
Track Name: Charleston (Reprise)
If you compare it to Alaska, Charleston is ancient
If you compare it to Los Angeles, Charleston is bare
If you compare it to your mother, Charleston's an angel
But over the din of comparisons, Charleston's always been there