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Two Sides Of A River

by Lianne Smith

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*** The Magpie Hunter *** Magpie oh magpie, in your sheltered tree Far away on a branch, now looking down at me And though you’re hidden from my searching eyes, I know where you are by the sound of your cry. Out from the shadows, now you’re flying overhead Are you looking for a silver ring to pretty up your bed? Then down to the grasses and hedges there you speed Attracted by something that glitters with greed. But soon those feathers of glossy black Will be lost in the darkness of this hunter’s sack. I’ll tighten the string of this bow and arrow Then straight through the gristle of flesh and marrow. One for the gold you willingly gave Two for the roses each one for a grave Three for the sins of a wayward son Four for the trigger on a silvery gun Five for the fools and the actors and actresses Six for the promises, promises, promises And seven is seven to have and to hold Then bury the secrets that never were told. Magpie oh magpie, you’ll never do me harm When I see your black wings, I’ll sound the alarm When I hear your harsh cry, I’ll sound the alarm.
-- Marianne Was Tired -- Marianne was tired, on a Wednesday morning Was she really dreaming these alarms going off in her head? Try to tell these troubles, to a fortune teller She forgets to mention, she knows who you are, where you’ve been Ooooooh, Marianne ... She had joined a circus, as a bareback rider, And she wore a costume, of silver, and sequins, and gold Acrobatic dancing, while the horns were playing, And the crowds were cheering, as she circled, again, and again, in her silver & sequins and gold Ooooooh, Marianne, Marianne ... A handstand, then an arabesque, in the spotlights red and blue She comes down in a falling wave, Hold on tight, Marianne Marianne was nervous, she began to worry Marianne was tired / Marianne was tired
The Thief 04:33
*** The Thief *** I went down to Georgia, used the back roads every day Counted headlights on towards midnight, Counted cows and Sonic Drive-Ins during the day. 20 miles will get you nowhere, when you’re trying for 64 64 will get you somewhere, multiply by 10 and add a thousand more. I found out, yeah I found out too late I found out, yeah I found out too late. Well, he could not be trusted, with my guitar or my life Told me stories that were twisted, Spread them out so smooth with the blade of a butter knife. Took from me my last five dollars, and 22 more cents When a thief decides to rob you, You’ll be wondering how you’ll ever pay the rent. 60 seconds, then an hour, 24 make up a day I waste them all while I keep driving I could use a map but never find my way. Well there’s sweetness in the summertime, And cold winds in the fall Eat that berry when it’s ripening, You’ll be crying when you get no fruit at all. I stayed on, yeah I stayed on too long I found out, yeah I found out too late.
*** The Ballad Of Sad Endings *** I’ll tell you a story, but first for some others from books I have read in the past. I’ll tell you the plots and even the endings I’m warning you now, so you can leave if you want. The first is from Rolvaag, a Norwegian immigrant who set his sad tale out on the Great Plains the story of Beret, the wife of Per Hansa, who was caught in her brooding and longing for home but madness descends from her dreams of the ocean how cruel and so desolate in far North Dakota there’s worse than cold weather out on the Great Plains. She couldn’t go / Turn the page She couldn’t stay / Turn the page She never found her way. He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope, a writer of graces and women’s sad fates, and two stubborn people who were caught in their battles there’s final forgiveness, but it comes too late. For death is most obstinate, what we cling to can kill us Dear Reader, Dear Reader, do you think he was right? He was right / Turn the Page She was right / Turn the page They never could agree. And now for my story of two lucky people and a packet of diamonds they found in the street but the one who was carrying, let the packet fall open and the diamonds were scattered far out of their reach. They went then to live on two sides of a river and though there’s a bridge, well they could not get over. And now for my ending, but this I won’t tell you ‘cause it’s to sad to say, it’s too sad to say. Yes, it's too sad to ..... say.
Sugar 03:07
** Sugar ** Glisten brown, butter cream Finger lick, delicious dream. Round and smooth, shiny drop Tongue melt, sticky friend Peppermint glow. Sugar, Sugar, Ahhh ... Creamy cold, vanilla curl Tantalize, a salty swirl Butterscotch glow ... Sugar, Sugar, Ahhh ...
Hit & Run 05:10
** Hit & Run ** I came up on a twisted scene A hit and run, two cars between One went sideways, the other swerved, It was a straight-away, no highway curve. Down on the pavement, a muddy coat The collar was red from a bloody throat. The witness total was two or three Conflicting stories, that don’t agree The car was red, no an icy blue, An old corvette, no a 2002. A cloudy night or was it clear? The car and driver disappeared. - - No sight, no sound, no evidence, - - You had the right of way, that’s your defense. A plan laid out, one couldn’t prevent Just make it look like an accident. The way it happened on the driver’s side It might even look like suicide. You can fool your friends and your enemies, It’s a list so long, what a comedy. Fool the cops and the deputies, Even fool yourself, but you can’t fool me. Ah you think you’re clever, with your alibis But I can cross your whens, and dot your whys. You like to play with words, so now conjugate, "I’ve got the last four digits of your license plate."
Bicycle 03:09
** Bicycle ** You in front, and me behind You on the pedals, I’ll just ride, Goin’ nowhere ... My hands on your shoulders, wind in our hair We’ll ride down the block, towards the lights of the fair Dizzy, laughing / Dizzy, laughing Ferris wheel, with its pink and yellow glow It goes up high and comes down low But we won’t stay long, it’s just a waste 'cause it might go around, but it stays in place Not like your bicycle / Not like your bicycle Spokes are clicking, now here we go Just passed a store, we don’t even know Spinning silver / Mesmerizing Just us two, now we’re picking up speed We might miss this town but we won’t miss this street. Look out, Look out you better swerve Head for the left or we’ll hit the curb On your bicycle / On your bicycle ... We’re not goin’ home, we’re gonna ride all night So pick yourself up and hang on tight!
** Old Times’ Sake ** Sit down beside me, I won’t get upset. We’ll talk about the weather for old times’ sake We’ll talk about books for old times’ sake I want to Don’t want to I want to I’m wearing this dress for old times’ sake I’ll look at you for old times’ sake I want to make you don’t want to make you blue ..... Makes no difference, if this is wrong or right What’s the difference, in a silent, starless night I’ve got stories to tell, I’ve got secrets ... Come on and stay here, and sink back in the grass If we don’t think, then maybe this won’t pass Do you think that it’s right? Do you think that we might? I’ll play some old songs for old times’ sake I’ll mess up the words, for old times’ sake Hey, don’t forget this Just forget this Hey, don't forget this too ..... I’ll listen to you for old times’ sake I’ll have my doubts for old times’ sake Hey, don't touch me, Come on and touch me, Hey, don’t touch me, Come on and touch me ....
** Saturday ** Nearly noon, should I stay in bed? Think about, what was left unsaid What the hell, I’ll stay in bed. But if you wish, what I’m wishing for, Ring my bell, it’s the 2nd floor I’ll grab my coat, lipstick and keys Now I’m jumping stairs, in twos and threes. 'Cause Saturday, that’s the day, I’ll be free! Yeah, Saturday, that’s the day, ring 203! A block or two of these city streets, Like a keyboard walk, where I can press delete, Helps me forget, the night before 8 million reasons, outside my door 'Cause, Saturday, that’s the day, I’ll be free! Yeah, Saturday, that’s the day, ring 203! If you wish, what I’m wishing for, Ring my bell, Oooh ... oooh!
Snow 03:35
** Snow ** December night and darkness follows me The air so cold that I can hardly breathe The clouds leaning low The wind starts to blow. At first the snowflakes, ah, the way they fell Round and round, I couldn’t see too well A glittering white, I’m blind with delight. Just an inch, and then it’s to my knees Now here’s the part where I began to freeze 'Cause I didn’t know It was 20 below And I’m out here lost in the snow. How long it’s been, well it must be years A frozen girl and all these frozen tears Hard as a stone Numb to the bone But I’m coming in from the cold.


The funding for these recordings was donated by Kickstarter backers. Thank you backers!


released March 15, 2012

Produced by Anton Fier

Recorded & Mixed by Yohei Goto at One East Recording
Basic track for Thief recorded by Don Piper at Between the Trains
Horns recorded at The Magic Shop; Asst. Engineer, Kabir Hermon
Digital mastering by Scott Hull at Masterdisk
Photos & Design: Stephen Spera www.stephensperaillustration.com

Lianne Smith - Vocals & Guitar
Anton Fier - Drums & Percussion
Tony Scherr - Electric & Acoustic Guitars, and Bass (Bass synth on 7)
Neill C. Furio - Bass on 2, 5, 6, 7, 8
Larry Saltzman - Guitar on 2, 5, 7, 8
Irwin Fisch - Strings on 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10
Doug Wieselman - Horn arrangement & Saxophones on 9
C. J. Camerieri - Trumpet on 9
Joe McGinty - Minimoog on 6, Piano on 8
Lara Meyerratken - Background vocal on 4
Matthew Caws - Background vocal on 5
Leah Siegel - Background vocal on 9

All songs © Lianne Smith; BMI


all rights reserved



Lianne Smith New York

I write songs about standing in the middle of the road and wondering which way to go, about how others cheat us and how we cheat ourselves, about free-wheeling, bicycle riding, look-ma-no-hands exhilarations, and how it feels to say goodbye to summer.

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