Letters Home

by Bri-anne Swan

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1.
A vandal of the linens you were swift But results were deep and lasting Just wait until the morning you’ll forget But you’ll never leave the show Where you go she will follow To the end and to your grave In the chase your hunger trapped a swallow To the debt of both our days Have you seen my ghost? Does she haunt you where you grieve the most? Have you seen my ghost? ‘Cause I drink with yours beneath my clothes And I sleep with yours though no one knows Nostalgia never got me very far And you’re not trembling near enough Counting off your missteps coin by coin Is the way she always knows Where you go she will follow To the end and to your grave In the chase your hunger trapped a swallow To the debt of both our days Have you seen my ghost? Does she haunt you where you grieve the most? Have you seen my ghost? ‘Cause I drink with yours beneath my clothes And I sleep with yours though no one knows (instrumental) In the chase your hunger trapped a swallow To the debt of both our days Have you seen my ghost? Does she haunt you where you grieve the most? Have you seen my ghost? ‘Cause I drink with yours beneath my clothes And I sleep with yours though no one knows
2.
Autumn’s grief With the last of the leaves In the harvest sun Falling fast This weighted branch hangs over us We’ll hold the shadows close Neglecting what we know Stealing threads from strangers beds To weave a mat for sleep A lonely foreign gleaner humming softly at your feet You’ll shield me ‘til the morning Still I crave the warmth and light A candle is a protest every night A candle is a protest every night There’s a case for our time in this place You’re tired and so am I Of the lines we’ve been assigned This weighted branch hangs over us So cast your soiled cloak Of linen turned to smoke Stealing threads from strangers beds To weave a mat for sleep A lonely foreign gleaner humming softly at your feet You’ll shield me ‘til the morning Still I crave the warmth and light A candle is a protest every night A candle is a protest every night These fields and trails aren’t of my home But still they can nurse the life we’ll sow Enough to forget his burning pyre But not enough to strike and light desire Stealing threads from strangers beds To weave a mat for sleep A lonely foreign gleaner humming softly at your feet You’ll shield me ‘til the morning Still I crave the warmth and light A candle is a protest every night A candle is a protest every night A candle is a protest every night
3.
Now & Then 03:37
I think this time you've said enough To make me want to leave this place Still I keep coming back for more of The same to fan the dying flame Here inside these walls that seem To move a little closer every day There must be a way out of This crazy game we play out to the end Let us just pretend a while Think about the good things now and then I think this time that was the best time That we two had ever known We tried the handle of the house Upon the shore and found the open door Once inside we found a curious moonbeam Doing dances on the floor We were only playing like two children Who had stayed away from school Two of us could not be wrong Heaven knows who keeps the golden rule I think this time we've learned enough To know that nothing is the same But still the pounding of my heart Hasn't changed and leavin's so strange Here among my thoughts of you I find a gentle longing to be free There must be a way out of This crazy game we play out to the end Take away the in-between Think about the good things now and then We will see the day when you Or I will stay or face up to the end Let us just pretend a while And think about the good things now and then
4.
An expanse of stars Lives above my head Lives above my head And I’m below And this willow’s stream Will flow into the sea Eventually While I’m behind If I loved you more Would you love me more? Here the sparrow builds A home to lay her young A home to lay her young It’s what she knows In her nest she wastes Her song an aural maze Of multiplying days As the sand If I loved you more Would you love me more? I could love you more Will you love me more?
5.
The Wolf & I 02:28
My body’s aching and the wind has claimed me I feel the frozen crystals in my bones The road is lonely as the forest sleeps It’s just the wolf and I He said I’m pleased to find you on my journey I’m awfully famished and you’ll do just fine My belly’s empty and I’m close to fainting Won’t you climb inside? Hostage or pact I know this place The offer’s sound But motive’s laced Still I can’t stand the frost A deal in struck A tiny cost So now the wolf is full and I’m not lonely He’s had a feast, I’m sheltered from the cold But only one of us will make it home It’s just the wolf not I It’s just the wolf not I
6.
It was twenty years ago When I laid here all alone Slowly freezing to the bone As the river inched through ice and snow The hiding was the way I lived Where all the words were mine On the far side of the moon between the pines I would never say I’m lonely ‘Cause I don’t even know your name All the memories come back slowly and mostly they face This solitary place Through the blanket of the night You were cold and I was numb I don’t remember what was said Just the rush of guilt when you were done Your footprints marked a shallow course That traced my swift decline On the far side of the moon in halted time I would never say I’m lonely ‘Cause I don’t even know your name All the memories come back slowly and mostly they face This solitary place (instrumental bridge) It was twenty years ago When I laid here all alone Slowly freezing to the bone As the words were slowly cast in stone Your footprints marked a shallow course That traced my swift decline On the far side of the moon there was no crime And I would never say I’m lonely ‘Cause I don’t even know your name All the memories come back slowly and mostly they face This solitary place That time has not effaced This solitary place
7.
Sinking down to the city’s gate Descend the mount and wade through viscous air Until the oxygen stays prayer If every voice in this town was still The rocks would shout, the pebbles chatter on They’d whisper secrets changed with dawn But I wish before the fall Writing still etched on the wall With either the wait or the news The saddest words drop when time is swift I’m stiff and weep but lean towards his kiss On leveled path, but still bemused But I wish before the fall Writing still etched on the wall With either the wait or the news Of ways we’ve been here before Desperate with blood on the doors And still all I long for is you Whistful I’ve been calling for you Caught between the wilderness and stone All alone All alone
8.
Still I Love 03:36
I heard the stars fell for you So I studied their dreams But nothing was left in the morning Except ashes and steam I think of you only when I’m placed Where we set the fire Still I love Still I Love I read you left for the north So I wrote you in ice Returned as the sky inked you name With the pigment of lights Connected the dots but not the game That’s just how it goes Still I love Still I Love Our time with the weight’s been left estranged The flight of our years has bruised the change From when we were fire Still I love Still I love Still I love Still I love you
9.
Sugar Snow 03:26
You know you're finished when your bones are aching You know it's over when your nerves can't take the strain It's tough to stand up when your heart is breaking It's hard to give up on the life you've known A young man's body doesn't last forever An old man's mind can't believe how time's flown past It's not you've ever longed for something better It's just you've never thought it'd get this far Trudge the sodden fields See what the maples yield And count the sweetness in the pail Before you reap the seeds You still have mouths to feed And hands to pay and so you hope for the sap to flow With one last sugar snow You know the soul and pain of every acre The children don't because we left so long ago The city promised we'd have something better The city makes up bleed with what we owe Trudge the sodden fields See what the maples yield And count the sweetness in the pail Before you reap the seeds You still have mouths to feed And hands to pay and so you hope for the sap to flow With one last sugar snow
10.
Burn it Down 03:13
Lay me down Onto the salted ground But hold on tight ‘Cause there’s a spark I’m ready to let go Of the weight we’ve held so long Time and again we said we’d burn it down Tie the catch and light the match Then send the foxes out Watch the sky ignite into a storm There’s no turning back now as we chase the rusty tracks And shake the fading lights Of this town All our days Are plotted on a maze Stay on course But when you can’t just crush your own escape With the force you’ve held so long Time and again we said we’d burn it down Tie the catch and light the match Then send the foxes out Watch the sky ignite into a storm There’s no turning back now as we chase the rusty tracks And shake the fading lights Of this town Glancing fast towards towards the skies We'll watch the dust and fumes float by Intentions left exposed We’re heading south The last place left to go Tie the catch and light the match Then send the foxes out Watch the sky ignite into a storm There’s no turning back now as we chase the rusty tracks And shake the fading lights Of this town
11.
Only room for one inside this town He laid it on the line Nothing but the sun to hide our tracks We’ll take it as a sign I’d do it all again for you I’d say the words, I’d give it all, I’d bear the time Water from despair, a tiny heel Can mark where others kneel The wild and the tame can’t walk the same They barter different deals I’d do it all again for you I’d say the words, I’d give it all, I’d run the miles Now a journey pressing lips against a stone For a pharoah’s daughter in a land that’s not her own This land is not my my home Never room for two inside this vow He laid it on the line Raging at the way we sigh a name It might as well start now I’d do it all again for you I’d say the words, I’d bear your bones I’d do it all again for you In this land that’s not my home This land that’s not my home This land is not my home

credits

released June 25, 2015

Produced by Mitch Girio, Bret Higgins and Bri-anne Swan

Engineered and Mixed by Mitch Girio at Slaughterhouse 754 in Toronto

Except: Strings and violin, engineered by Glen Gummerson; Hammond and Piano, engineered at Canterbury Studios in Toronto

Mastered by Richard G. Benoit, Vancouver

String arrangements by Bri-anne

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Bri-anne Swan Toronto, Ontario

The music you'd hear if Joan Baez and Regina Spektor met up with Gordon Lightfoot in the forest for a mug of hot chocolate.

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