When the River Meets the Sea

by Rose Polenzani

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about

In the spring of 2006, Rose Polenzani and Session Americana went into Hi-n-Dry, a large, one-room recording space in Cambridge, MA, and the former home and studio of the late Mark Sandman (Morphine). Operating on a limited budget, they'd made a plan to split the cost of the studio, producer, and engineers for four consecutive days. By taking it in turns to record their songs, they worked together on individual projects (Session completed their e.p. "Beertown" over the four days), and both used Hi-n-Dry for its intended purpose: live-in-studio recording. Each of the songs captured here were introduced to the band and special guests roughly an hour before they were recorded live to multitrack. All of the musicians were free to play any of the studio's instruments, from a grand piano to a toy piano, and from over a dozen guitar. The resulting musical arrangements stand as unrepeatable works of chance, friendship, and artistry.

credits

released October 1, 2008

Produced by Billy Conway. Sound Engineering by Matt Malikowkski, except track 11 by Tom Dube. Dana Colley acted as engineer for some tracks. Mixed by Matt Malikowski at Hi-n-Dry and Camp Street Studios. Mastered by Ian Kennedy at New Alliance. Music and Lyrics by Rose Polenzani except for #6, by Paul Williams, and #11, by Sharon Lewis.

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Rose Polenzani Somerville, Massachusetts

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Track Name: Queen Anne's Lace
Don't talk to me no more
I saw the reprise on your face,
it's like I'll never change -
still just as tall as the fence.

And I wanna run

Don't look at me no more
I broke my last good smile for you,
it's like I'll never have
what it takes to be your friend.

And I wanna run

I waver
waver like the body
body of a queen anne's lace in the wind
and she blows me
blows me like the devil
devil tryin' to make this sister a win

And I wanna run

I tremble
tremble like the flower
flower on a queen anne's lace in the breeze
and he holds me
holds me like a brother
brother, come surround me please

Your summer days have come.
They shine on everyone.
In time, they'll say that I was wrong,
but we still won't get along

And I wanna run

Don't talk to me no more.
Track Name: Song of the Stars
inspired by the novel Momo by Michael Ende

The leaves on the trees,
they're pushing out brown,
they're song's out of tune
with this digital town,
it's clipping and it's breaking up,
and the sidewalk just doesn't sing the same.

oh my loved one won't you lay yourself down
in the middle of my loving eardrum;
you'll hear the softest
song of the stars,
the time passing by,
the time that is ours,
the song of the sky.
Track Name: Some Way
No need to push me away.
I recognize this day
I see your sad, small fist –
I know you’re leaving.
All of my friend were right
that I held on too tight.
There must be some way
There must be some way
There must be some way
through this.

It wasn’t the words you said,
it was the sweet witness.
you made a new life climb
up with your speakin.
Now there’s no room for your love.
You must have had it tough.
There must be some way
There must be some way
There must be some way
through this.

All of this girl is gone.
I’m just a child of God –
though sometimes it seems your love
was sweeter than Jesus.
But when I kneel down, my Lord,
He never plays either/or.
There must be some way
There must be some way
There must be some way
through this.
Track Name: Sarsaparilla
He comes to me on bareback,
with a parcel of a spur and a ring.
He says, "the horses they don’t run for me
since you’re gone."

Pull another chair up,
for Friday wasn’t so long ago,
and the press of your jean on my knee
still shows.

Cowboy hat and long black hair,
red and purple wagon...
Sarsaparilla, hear my prayer,
ride me ‘til I break in.
Cowboy hat and long black hair...

Too bad about the capsize, baby.
I heard it in town.
Did you drive out your last tank and love
chasing a runaround?

We’re lucky there were no children
to tie us to the post.
You tell me what you mean by lying
so close.

Cowboy hat and long black hair,
red and purple wagon...
Sarsaparilla, hear my prayer,
ride me ‘til I break in.
Cowboy hat and long black hair...

I’m a sucker for a needy rider.
I’m a slow jane.
I’m the one who takes the nightwatch over
your pain.
Track Name: The Soft Parts
Hold on, Daddy, to the red boat.
Raise the bodies from the salt sea.
Bullet-heavy, you can let 'em go.
Don't you worry 'bout the big light.

I see him comin' in the darkness.
It's the captain, he's a mean man.
So I dive overboard
and go swimmin' with the cold ones.

And all, all my friends,
they say love, love is hard.
So I hold on to the soft parts.

At the edge of the cape, there's a woman and a man.
There's a woman and a man, and a young girl.
She's a young boy, she's a cray-fawn.
And her love pleats the white sheets.

I would raise for you all the friends I've left.
I would loose for you all my father's nets.
All my father's knots I would tear with my teeth
for your open mouth and it's sweet relief.

And all, all my friends,
they say love, love is hard.
So I hold on to the soft parts.

Hold my hand, I see the blue
of the police, and they want me
to give it my best ID.

How could I know where my body had gone?
I thought you held me in your arms,
but my head floats with the red boats,
with the flashlights and alarms.

And all, all my friends,
they say love, love is hard.
So I hold on to the soft parts.

My throat is up and in my eyes
and my tongue cricks back in it's raw room.
Hear me whisper what I told her:
"I'll be rising soon."
Track Name: If I Could Hit You
So you’ve gone away,
gonna take all the sorry things
you never said to my face
down into the grave.
And I’m not angry, I’m not mad,
I’m just missing all the arguments
we never had.

If I could hit you as hard as I wanted,
I’d have kissed you softer when you died.

The moon is full tonight,
it's big and round and white like a blind man’s eye,
like I don’t care how dark it is,
the good Lord sees what’s in my heart,
and I should have made it right
while I had the chance to try.

If I could hit you as hard as I wanted,
I’d have kissed you softer when you died.

One star falls on the gravesite,
someone loves you tonight,
and it ain’t me.

Tell me that I’m wrong,
take me back when I was 21,
turn me right around the dial,
walk me backwards down the aisle,
tell me I’m alone
and no one came to take me home.

If I could hit you as hard as I wanted,
I’d have kissed you softer when you died.
If I could hit you as hard as I wanted,
I’d have loved you long and said goodbye.
Track Name: Push Me If I Snore
Boy, I don’t want to lose you.
Push me if I snore.

Boy, I don’t want to lose you.
Push me if I snore.

If I snore, if I snore,
well, there’s bound to be a cure,
and I’m willilng to make a change.
Baby, please don’t close the door.
Track Name: Paying a Visit
Paying a visit to the glass-eyed man,
he plays those parts on me that make me well.
I have no fear from him and none from you
as you open your heart to tell.

“Fool, with the pretty blue ribbon,
Fool, with the party dress on,
I could have told you what the crowd would say
when you opened your mouth to sing.”

Paying a visit to the pink-eyed man,
he plays those parts on me that make me soft.
I could have told you what the crowd would want,
but you opened your eyes to see.

They could never have loved you.
They could never have kissed you,
praising those parts of you that fill your grave
and demanding what you already gave.

I keep pushing my soul through a needle’s eye.
And the glass eyes they stare back at me.
They say, “relax, be soft, you can let it all out,
if a baby you choose to be.
Track Name: You Were Drunk
Well, I thought I'd be okay
Walking on my lonesome way,
Til you came to the neighborhood bar,
And while Timmy played guitar,
Won me with a smile so bright
That I thought I'd be alright.

And you kissed me one sweet night,
And you pulled me close and tight,
Then you told me one sweet lie,
And I knew right then that I
Was a poor man's answered prayer -
You were drunk and I was there.

Oh, my God,
Oh, my heart.
I'm no maiden fair,
You were drunk and I was there.

And a better girl than I
Would have hung you out to dry.
But I took you to my bed,
And I crumbled when you said,
"Baby, please don't make me wait...
please...."

Oh, my God,
Oh, my heart.
I'm no maiden fair,
You were drunk and I was there.

And a better man than you
Would have seen the ugly truth.
Would have known that I really liked you.
Would have known,
Would have never come home,
Would have never tried,
Would have never lied
to my heart.

Well, I thought I'd be okay,
Maybe good love would come my way,
Then you told me one sweet lie,
And I know right now that I'm
Just a poor man's answered prayer -
please...

Oh, my God,
Oh, my heart.
I'm no maiden fair,
You were drunk and I was there,
You were drunk and I was there.