The Rabbit

by Rose Polenzani

supported by
Ian Whulj
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Ian Whulj Rose captured my ears from the very beginning, years ago now, with "Shake Through to Ugly." Every CD she releases contains soul-stirring songs, both lyrically and musically.

"The Blue Seed" is the instantly catchy feel-good track in this set.

"Alligator River" is the sonic embodiment of harmony - pure, gentle, and sweepingly powerful.

- Favorite track: Alligator River.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in an environmentally friendly Digipack and beautiful original cover art by Peter Lalish. Inside: full-color 6-panel insert featuring lyrics and drawings of swans, illustrations by Rose herself.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Rabbit via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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We recorded this album all together in one room, live-in-studio, on August 22, 23, and 25, 2010.


released August 23, 2011

Engineered by Matt Malikowski at Q Division Studios in Somerville, MA.
Mixed by Gary Maurer at Saltlands Studio in Brooklyn, NY.
Mastered by Jonathan Wyner at M Works in Cambridge, MA.
Produced by Rose Polenzani.
Cover artwork by Peter Lalish.


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Rose Polenzani Somerville, Massachusetts

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Track Name: Seven Swans
In between the river and the sea
no one knows what village they are from, no one moves to cross or stay
so I float I paddle along
and I don't pretend to know my fate
til I see the seven swans

Am I right or am I wrong?
Do I wander, do I have a home?
Do the angels seek me where I roam,
roam along?

When the seven swans arrive
feed them tea and tremble pie
stroke their brilliant beaks and sigh

this old man was ninety nine and
he said such a long goodbye
that I left before he died
and just because ya see me that way
doesn't mean I can't be strong
I was made to love someone

somewhere in my hand I held your face
somewhere in my womb I held your fate, held until its dying day
Track Name: The Blue Seed
On a day that I like
I'm burnin' the blue seed
I'm burnin' the blue seed
I wanna see the green flames
I wanna see the green flames
I wanna call my neighbor names
like Loosy Lucy
Come on, yellow canary

Well, my baby gave me the boot
and I'm singin' a happy tune
I'm singin' a happy tune
for a million happy days
I don't hear no sad songs
I just hear the cars and trucks
and there ain't no cat is gonna cross this road... ain't no cat is gonna cross this old broadway

Well I don't have a job
I just sit on the porch
I just sit on the porch until
they come to take me away
I don't feel no heat on my heels
I just feel the cool breeze
feel the cool breeze blowin' on
a summer day…
Track Name: Living in a Country
Living in a country
where the dogs can fly
I've gotta face my fears and
become a love sign

Creepin' on the barnyard
with a willow in my hand
I'm gonna tie one on and
take my stand
before I fall I stand

I stand, I sign, I cry
for youth will rule and change you
in time

Standing in the way of
the lovers in the light
I'm gonna take my ten years
and fight. and if I die, I might
Track Name: Pretty Black Ship
Underneath the things you say
I climb on board a pretty white ship
but she flies a black flag
the pretty white floorboards on the upper deck - there I'll lay you down my love, and one time to your face
I'll say my love

and on our backs you let me lie beside you without touching you at all
and we look up at the stars and to the stars I say, “all is well between us”

I gather all of my hopes together
and I hope that I can keep them with me. I stitched up a pretty white flag for the journey, and I hope that I can
carry out my plan.

cuz underneath the things I say
I climb on board a pretty black ship
but she flies a white flag
a pretty white flag
Track Name: Old Woman
Not a mother, Not a daughter
Not a sister, Not a nun
Old woman, hold on
You’ve been traveling a long long time
Just to hear somebody talking to someone
Old woman, hold on

Under the water, there is a road
And on this road you will meet
All of the great philosophers
Who ever did drown before me

And they used to speak of a golden gate
and worry that a man might lock it
Old woman hold on
Do you hear my voice,
Do you see my face,
Am I just another man who’s talking?
Old woman hold on

Don’t let a troubled ghost
Play with your darkest hour
You’re loved more than most
Who’ve traveled half as far
Beloved by this coast
Betrothed to some strange wave
You’re loved more than most
Whose hearts were twice as brave

Under the water, there is a light
And by this light you will see
All of the great seekers
Who ever did long to know me

And they used to speak of a golden thread, And tell a body hold on to it
Old woman hold on
There ain’t no use in talkin’ to the dead
Cuz they don’t wanna tell their secrets
Old woman hold on

And I will hold you when you go
Track Name: The Skin and the Body are Blind
God gave me this trouble
and I guess he got the right girl
God knows I deserve it
For I so love the world
the world and all of its pettiness
my pettiness and my pride
The world the world the world
the world is big and wide

God gave me this body
and sweet shade from under the vine
and in my place of retirement
I imagine the privilege is mine
to sleep so sweet and protected
while others should beg and pine

the skin and the body are blind
the skin is wrong, I know
I know that we belong
to the one who sees our souls

God gave me this singing
and I sing every day
and one day I'd like to thank him
by having something nice to say
oh I'd like to sing one selfless
sentence before I die

to sing it loud and high
I know that we belong
to the one who sees our souls
Track Name: The Hardship
Ain't nobody gonna tell me how that light rose, over the hill over the snow
over the water, oh
into the water I've fallen
into the hill I've flown
under the snow I've shaken
into the water I've fallen

And I wanna rock
my baby to sleep...
I wanna knock
my cheek on his cheek...
and that is the hardship
God meant for me

Bring me a penny oh faithful
throw me a rope divine
pull me ashore my angel mine
into the bottle I've fallen
into the bottle I've flown
into the river I'm taken
into the water I've fallen

and if I should fall too far awy
I had nothing to say, and if that light should crest the waves, I had someone someone someone to pray for me - I'm gonna knock my cheek on his cheek.

and I'm carrying on, I'm carrying on
and I'm singing my song, I'm singing my song
Track Name: The Veil
When people come to recognize
their hands are not their hands
their wicked grins and childish laughs
say "I am a driven man"

And the veil is drawn across their faces
darkness cries for the feast of the simple soul

when lovers climb on board the ship of fools and sail out on the sea, nobody sees what happens on their long

And the veil is drawn across their love
darkness cries out for imagined sorrow
Track Name: The Lawn and the Sky
I like to be by myself
when I’m sad, I don’t trust
the people round here want to build me up, make me feel like a good woman
a good woman is something, man
I’m not saying that I’m bad
I just want to feel sad
til I come around

And when I come around
all of my thoughts are gonna fall down
gonna make a joyful sound
you wait, I'm gonna bless this town, bless this town, bless this town
so I go into the dark
into the dark with noone near
I want to listen to my fears
sing me a song my loves
sing me the song that you sang to me
when I was just a kid
I want to cry just like I did
til I come around

and I swing out over the sand
over the great green circle of grass
where is my lover now
that I’m in the straps
holding onto the chains
I thought I saw him run past me
caught a little light on his eye
and his eyes are dark and kind
and I fix a little hope on them
and the hope comes tearing out
and I’m tearing down on the ground
and I’m tearing at the lawn and the sky
at the lawn and the sky
Track Name: Calculation (Ten Babies Walking)
Ten babies walking
Twenty babies walking
Into the high
Heavy fields of cotton
Where in the wooly
World will I go
When all my babies go

I won’t let you go
two ladies sighing
twenty ladies sighing over my sweet
tender baby’s bonnet
heave ho my heart so close to my bones
hear how those ladies moan!

one fellow singing
twenty fellows singing
under my eaves
wake up little children
harmony rattles your bones
and helps them to grow
see how my baby’s grow
Track Name: This Bitter Heart
This bitter heart
Can’t even be grateful to you
Better not take this cup up and drink

Is it truly you, bearing gifts on the crimson tide? Is it truly you
Bare and cold on a hill so high?
Is it true?

This bitter heart can’t even be loyal to you, better not take my cross up and drive

But I’m drawn to the golden road
People say that it’s straight and narrow
but it’s not.

And who learns to live in your love?
And who sees the sign of the dove?
And who is ever good enough?

This bitter heart
can’t even say sorry to you
better not sweep this dust from my eyes

But I long to see you clearly
People say if I pray you will hear me
But I want to hear you
Track Name: Dead Rabbit
Hey ho, there’s a rabbit I found dead in the road
And I went fishin’ down on three mile
I caught a little grey fish. He laid down cold and shining on a hill of ice

And you rang me up on the island
Still clanging from the bells
You hadn’t seen or felt but heard them echoing

And I’ve been tryin’ to tell you
Not everything can be alive
Track Name: Alligator River
I found my path in life
so let me have my sweet time
I found my sweet time
take me to the river, I wanna see
take me to the river to see something pretty

To see the boats on the water
To see the lights on the water
To see my face on the water
To see the birds on the water

two cups of Caroline
oh alligator river let me taste your wine
I drink it down and I’m feeling fine
now take me to that river, I wanna see
take me to the river to see something pretty

I kick off my walking shoes
and bend myself to the river blue
away with me and away with you
I want to see
See something pretty

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