The Leaves

by Short Hand

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1.
Hopefully 03:11
You have the facts but use the facts to change your mind Because nothing is right when the light changes You have the lack of all you know, you know, you know, you know Growing like orphans in orphan cages But hopefully, in a house beneath the leaves, we don't have to think You've got your losses, we've all got losses by the ton A pile of them in the corner room You’ve got your crosses, we've all got crosses by the score Causing more or less a real sense of doom And in between we breathe, hopefully
2.
It turns out time is no joke The days roll by like a wheel down a slope And what you think you know it turns out you don't In summertime The birds in the air flight away More or less like arguments I wanted to make It's better not to say what you better not say In summertime In summertime, when school is out And the kids come home In summertime, whatever goes on Just goes on and on and on and on And the truth of ever-fading youth Turns up in the mirror like a drunken tattoo You stare at it ‘cause it stares at you In summertime Sometimes words feel funny in your mouth So you try not to say them to yourself or out loud You used to say something you wouldn't say now In summertime It turns out time is a joke The days push by like a wheel up a slope And what used to fit suddenly won't In summertime
3.
Driving down to one point Or another on a map Sound for sound the smallest ounce Of worry like a trap Like trees in the woods Towns and towns roaring Like a motorcycle gang The face in the mirror contorts And it always looks the same Like trees in the woods Storm on the highway The family is huddled in the car Windshield wipers wipe your eyes Clouds beneath the stars Like trees in the woods The map of the past The skeleton key in the clock The person you were a lucky fossil In a lucky rock Like trees in the woods
4.
Son House 03:36
Don't mind people grinning in your face Don't mind what they say or they may not say Don't mind that they won't give you a place to stay But bear this in mind: Gotta do like Son House Gotta do like Sun House all the time Don't mind people passing by your door Don't mind when that won't leave you alone Don't mind when they pretend they’ve never known You can brush the dust from your shoulders and shoes You can let the dust slip right past you You can dust for love in the future
5.
People Talk 04:17
Are you going to change What are you gonna stay the same? People talk People talk for hours and hours (days, years) And yea you're getting ideas Like wind in a field And yea you're blurring treetops When the world just stops And yea you're a memory From a still distant future And yea you're getting by Till you turn off the light A shadow situation Is a shady solution Some night made of bone That you grow from a stone
6.
10,000 Miles 07:55
First as suffer you go looking for an answer Because you know without an answer You don't stand a chance And you get gone 10,000 miles away or more Sure as a lover of trust and hope you're open To understanding something Blowing in the wind And you get gone 10,000 miles away or more Looking through an e-mail a brother in the forest hacking out a highway With Paula in a room And you get gone 10,000 miles away or more A weird little luster shines off cobwebs in the window In the corner of the kitchen You're not distracted by the sun And you get gone 10,000 miles away from more Flat on your back in darkness staring at the ceiling A flicker from the TV Like a kite about to fly And you get gone 10,000 miles away or more The more you try to move the more you see you’re sleeping The more your dreams are leaving Concrete in the leaves And you get gone 10,000 miles away or more A fierce little beating in the sky like a heathen A quickness in the breathing Like some soldiers you’ve seen And you get gone 10,000 miles away or more Sure there's a moment, a pattern on a green street A motion from the doorway That satisfies the eye And you get gone 10,000 miles away or more First when she answers there's nothing much to speak of But it doesn't last forever And soon a switch turns on And you get gone 10,000 miles away or more
7.
The Leaves 03:10
If you were my girl in 1984 With hair-sprayed hair and legwarmers Pleated pants and penny loafers We’d go together to the dance In your basement we'd watch TV I'd brush your face and touch your knee With soft pink cheeks and glossy lips We’d kiss and kiss and kiss and kiss And when it's past curfew We’d talk on the phone, barely whispering I tell you my secrets and You’d to move through me Like the wind through the leaves It was good enough in 1995 To leave flowers underneath your windshield wipers To hold your hand on the airplane To touch waste and breathe your name And in case we forget Before the kids and All the work that comes with them Our Doc Martins and nights drinking The houses we made love in beneath the leaves Time moves fast, a slippery sled I play guitar, you slide in bed Our children hum with excitement Each creeping toward their own basements And making sense of making out Changes as you change and the feelings mount And what is not guaranteed Is the shadows on the house from the leads Me and you, the teenagers, A dog, a job, a car, and a neighborhood What couldn't be in memories Happens in a future through the leaves
8.
So Far Off 03:10
I'm praying (my hands in the air) Like crazy (‘cause I'm just a kid) But what else is there to do With your mojo except voodoo? I'm faking (I’m so bad) And fading (it's all past) But what else is there to youth Except everything that you lose? Hanging in the darkness Above the lost car The imperfect parent in The incomplete stars But o god, so far, it's so far off I'm waiting (o why not) I'm saying (o please now) But what else is there to truth Except hearing what you want to? And plowing toward nowhere In the lost car The imperfect instinct In the incomplete heart But o god, so far, it's so far off And the water parting For the lost car The imperfect eyesight In the incomplete dark But o god, so far, it's so far off
9.
The storms of change in the storms of same The rains that went and the famines that came Beloved times past from a long time past Could've passed by fast but they last and last I couldn't give up if I tried So I'm gonna try even harder this time The man you are in the man you forgot Both of them eyeing the man you are not That human that's painted deep in the cave Is 4-legged form with a sapiens face I couldn't quit if I tried So I'm gonna try even harder this time When I was bred the moon went red The dead rose up and the rest played dead What little I was and what little I knew Got littler still the more that I grew I couldn't forget if I tried So I'm gonna try even harder this time The sky turns black and the grey fades away The stars are alone in a great star-scape Pulled from the heart like a sock from a shoe A history that's false and a future that's true I couldn't forget if I tried So I'm gonna try even harder this time
10.
I had the luck to fall in love With a girl straight from a dream I had the luck that some how she Also fell in love with me And it happened easily And too quickly Like leaves from the trees and fall We had the love, in other words, Children we couldn't believe We had the luck to watch them grow Wings as wide as the sea Almost too easily And too quickly Like leaves from the trees in fall Almost too simply Effortlessly Like leaves in the trees in fall All the darkness in the past All falls away in a dream And all the hurt and all the work, Everything falls, everything leaves Like leaves from the trees in fall I had the luck to get old enough And get some therapy I've had the luck again and again And more love then I need Almost too easily And too quickly Almost too simply Effortlessly Almost nothing But really something Like leaves from the trees in fall
11.
I wanna fly a checkered flag and sale around the world But O, some dark star pulls on my hurt heart forcing some dark matter I wanna trace a perfect lace and see what is an space But O, some dark star pulls on my hurt heart forcing some dark matter I wanna throw a certain dart that always hits the mark But O, some dark star pulls on my hurt heart forcing some dark matter And O, it seems too far to pool so hard forcing some dark matter I wanna guide a purple kite through every single night But O, some dark star pulls on my hurt heart forcing some dark matter
12.
But one thing can go wrong A lifetime of heartache In a 3 minute song I haven't rode the rails With anybody named Slim But I’d still like a friend now and again I can't be satisfied Or become what you are I can't breathe for your lungs Or pump for your heart Floodwaters rise In the basement But I’d still like a friend now and again Now and again Sonny Boy Williamson Is nobody's friend, just Mr. Williamson But I’d still like a friend now and again A light in the eye A tooth in the dark The start is a bite And the end is a bark The fruit of the tree in time Will fall from the limb But I’d still like a friend now and again
13.
When traveling a highway filled like bones with marrow When opening the window you breathe in new air While tires spin tirelessly the horizon reinvents itself Your blood changes color and you become a new someone When traveling a high road filled like bones with sorrow When opening the door you breathe in new air As life spins lifelessly the horizon reinvents itself Your love changes others and you become a new someone When traveling a highway filled like love with bones When opening a window you breathe in new hope As tires spin tirelessly the road reinvents itself Your love takes courage and you become a new someone
14.
The idea is that you rise up out of the fog The cars in the city, tucked up under the darkness With Harry Houdini escaping A small piece of string in Houdini's shirt sleeve A hat in your hand you disappear into a dot The storm through the window, the water, the clock With Harry Houdini escaping From a locked milk can come Houdini's fingers The idea is that everything old was once knew Into the classroom the teacher, the distance, the students With Harry Houdini escaping The problem of history, ta-da! Harry Houdini The idea is that truth is something you choose You cut through the jungle, the foot you slip into the loop With Harry Houdini escaping In a moment of weakness, Harry Houdini The idea is a nightlight, a nightmare, and a trapdoor The past you imagine, a mirror, a bathroom, a bathrobe With Harry Houdini escaping
15.
A friend on the phone blares like a car alarm His words like yards of yarn, the going, the gone Fall whimpers, here comes winter At first you think your veins have turned into snakes Your eyes light fires around the room and your leg shakes It's November, here comes winter Death ain't no friend you want to visit again and again You can't rattle death like a baby with a tin can Kick the fender, here comes winter What happens in this world happens to happen without fail In the dirt the devil takes up roots with his tail You remember, here comes winter
16.
Wallflower 02:15
I'm a fool to want you I'm a fool to think you might care Spend my whole life thinking about you And now I find your not even there I'm a fool to care but I am a wallflower I'm a fool to need you I'm a fool to write your name on my wall Spent my whole life looking for you And now I find you're not there at all I'm a fool to call but I am a wallflower And what do you suppose, I will ever grow out of these clothes? I'm a fool to love you I'm a fool to dream of your bed Spend my whole life making wishes And you're gone when I turn my head It's my fault, after all, I'm a wallflower
17.
The kids all show up, like they've got no other choice And their parents all get old just like the rolling stones And a sliver in time flashes in their eye All the miles you've forgot, though you've walked and walked and walked It's really mostly not a very interesting plot A sliver in time, all the kids roll their eyes The girls in junior high, they still cheer on the guys When the coach on the sideline he crouches like a tiger Just a sliver in time to him doesn’t seem right The kids all show up, like a feeling in the gut And their parents all stay quiet like stones around a fire Just a sliver in time that you toss onto the pile In the mirror you see a beard, in a child something near In an instant you can fear year after year after year And sliver in time slices right through this life
18.
Pony Ann 04:13
I've always been a stones throw From what I needed to know Always rowing a row boat And never reaching dry land I've never been any good At quitting when I should Or saying what I could about Pony Ann In the midst of a still night With a moon like a stop light With a heart like a car I Drive as far as I can I've always been sure of who I was Known the effect and cause I've been a man but I could've been Pony Ann Pony Ann, Pony Ann In another world that's exactly who I am Though I always answer to Short Hand I sometimes hear the name Pony Ann I could always pull the windows shut Leave the curtain so just a cut Of sunlight bounces off the ceiling fan Or somewhere on a distant train With my head on the window pane I could close my eyes And dream of Pony Ann I'm just a human being Got no way of seeing the past Or the future or what is at hand But I'm also and artist So I'm good at faking it And I'm faking it good for Pony Ann
19.
She was an artist, she could paint and she could write She hope to win an NEA or a Guggenheim She submitted her best work again and again But each letter that came back told her she didn't win. She was poor but not in spirit, the world's not easy on an artist She tried twice as hard as anyone and her work was among the finest The odds just didn't matter, she knew her ship would come in But all that ever happened was she didn't win The more it seemed that others won, the more it seemed she lost The more it seemed she wanted it, the more it seemed to cost Application fees alone made her head swim She seemed to drown every time she didn't win One day she said forget it, I'm not applying any more She kicked the chair beneath her feet and swung about the floor The MacArthur that she dreamed of would never ever be sent And as she died she wondered why she didn't win Every artist is an island and every island must survive Every storm that blows in from the sea want to leave with a life All of us our face-forward in a vicious wind All but her she's gone away because she didn't win
20.
Face The Day 04:48
There’s a train that swims through this town like a fish Everybody know which side they're on, everybody gets it And the wind that blows my hair around, The rain that falls on these streets Hands in my pockets and feet getting wet, Concrete sitting inside my head and yet I'm going to face the day I'm going to get up and face the day again Every year a new way of disappearing begins Every day a new fear looks in the mirror and grins And even stone statues lining the bridge that I strolled Across with Scott in Paris, have a way of living It's hard to describe, there's no life at first And then there is I'm going to face the day I'm going to get up and face the day again There's danger in the ocean and danger in the air There's danger in the future and danger everywhere Sirens in the nighttime are just reminders That danger’s not afraid to crawl Danger’s not afraid of getting ground up into gravel Danger’s not afraid of nothing at all I'm going to face the day I'm going to get up and face the day again

about

This is a mid-career, double album. There’s some piano, some acoustic and electric guitars, a Rhodes keyboard, harmonica, a dobro, drums, a little glockenspiel. There’s a lot of nice weather in these songs and also a lot of time passing. It’s like a wooded neighborhood.

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released January 1, 2016

All music, vocals, and lyrics by Shorthand P. Davis ©2016

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Short Hand Muncie, Indiana

Short Hand figures that it's easier to learn to play an instrument than it is to find someone who can play it. He also figures that it's easier for him to do the writing, recording, mixing, artwork, and anything else that might need to be done. In the end, a set of sounds collect themselves into different shapes one might call "albums." Some sound like this and some sound like that. ... more

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