Visitors

by Shaina Taub

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about

VISITORS
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I’ve always pictured my soul as this big old house on a country road, containing all kinds of rooms, doors and windy staircases. There’s a room for memory, a room where I hide things I don’t want to think about, a room to hold my lost love and new rooms I never knew were there until a light turned on suddenly one day. And I’ve always imagined my emotions as visitors to this house of my soul. Coming and going. Invited and uninvited. Sometimes bearing gifts. Sometimes bearing bad news. Often a bit of both. I’ve realized I must welcome them all, from the joyful to the devastating. I’ve also always thought of good songs like visitors, showing up at your doorstep for a couple minutes, sent to open and break your heart. Hearing one is like a visitation from some kind of higher power. I hope the songs on this record will come knocking on the house of your soul, offering some healing and joy, maybe even returning for regular visits over the years.

www.shainataub.com

credits

released December 16, 2015

All Music & Lyrics by Shaina Taub

Produced by Shaina Taub, Mike Brun and Dean Sharenow
Recorded by Dean Sharenow at Vibromonk, Brooklyn
Mixed and Mastered by Dean Sharenow at Steel Cut Audio, Brooklyn, NY

Album Design by Stephanie Layton
Album Photography by Sasha Arutyunova

For full arrangement, instrumental & vocal credits, see digital booklet

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Track Name: When
Another child
Another bullet
Another unfathomable day
Another trigger
Another reason to pull it
Another unthinkable cliche

Another tragic image of violence
Another moment of silence
Another TV news routine
A solemn leader on a screen

Another family in mourning
Another pundit scorning 
Another finger pointing
Another fighting over why it cannot wait
Then another dead-end debate
Til it happens again
Again
And every time, I sit and wonder when

Oh when, oh when will it ever end?
Oh when, oh when will it ever end?
Oh when, oh when will it ever end?
Oh when, oh when will it ever end?

I heard this school kid talking bout the shooting
And he said:
“People getting shot, like, every day. That ain’t never gonna change, man, you know?”
He was only twelve or so

What shall I say to a child of my own?
What shall I say when they ask why?
What shall I say when she asks when?

Oh when, oh when will it ever end?
Oh when, oh when will it ever end?
Oh when, oh when will it ever end?
Oh when, oh when will it ever end?

I saw an old woman down by City Hall
She must’ve been seventy or more
She held a sign in one hand
A cane in the other
And she heard us singing:
“When? Oh when?”

Then she took the mic and said:
“Oh when, oh when?
If not now, then when?
Oh when, oh when?
If not now, then when?
I’ve been marching a long time, and I will march again
For when, oh when?
If not now, then when?”

What shall I sing?
Another lamentation?
What shall I sing?
Another blues inside my room?
Or shall I sing
An anthem in the street
On repeat
Til my voice runs out
Shall I stare or shall I shout?

Oh when, oh when?
If not now, then when?
Oh when, oh when?
If not now, then when?
Oh we, oh you
If not us, then who?
We’ll try again
If not now, then when?

Oh when, oh when?
If not now then when?
Oh when, oh when?
If not not now then when?

Now!
Now!
Now!
Track Name: Still Young
I wanna go beyond the clock with you
Beyond the clock with you
Where there’s no time

I wanna go beyond the hours with you
Beyond the hours with you
While there’s still time

O let’s go where the years won’t find us
O let’s go where the years won’t know

Let’s go there while we’re still young
We’re still young
We’re still young
O we’re still young
We’re still young
We’re still young
O we’re still young

I wanna go beyond the days with you
Beyond the days with you
Where there’s no time

I wanna go beyond our lives with you
Beyond our lives with you
While there’s still time

O let’s go where the years won’t mind us
O let’s go where the years won’t show

Let’s go there while we’re still young
We’re still young
We’re still young
O we’re still young

Let’s go before we’re older and wiser
Before we grow up and apart
Cause I don’t wanna know how it feels not to love you
I’m not ready not to be young

We’re still young
We’re still young
O we’re still young
We’re still young
Still young
O let’s go
Let’s go there before we’re not so young
Not so young
Track Name: Hometown Fire
Did you hear about the fire?
Back in my hometown
There’s a house, there’s a house, there’s a house burning down
There’s a house, there’s a house, there’s a house burning down

They built the home when she was young
They let her dig a little dirt when they first broke ground
And now the cinders fill her lungs
As ashes dash her dusty relics down

Did you hear about the fire?
Back in my hometown
There’s a house, there’s a house, there’s a house burning down
There’s a house, there’s a house, there’s a house burning down, down

Down the dirt road she was gone
A pilgrimage to elsewhere on and on
She knew the smoke would last for years
And so she ran way from here after the fire
Back in my hometown
Where’s my house?
Where’s my house?
Where’s my house to be found?
Where’s my house?
Where’s my house?
Where’s my house to be found?
Found?
Found?

Home is made of time is made of home is made of time
Is made of home is made of time is made of home
Is made of time is made of home
Is made of time now
Is made of time now
Is made of time
Track Name: O Luck Outrageous
There’s an old cathedral on Second Avenue,
Tightly pressed between two buildings,
The stained glass peeking past bodegas.
It is as you are to me:
A thing of ancient beauty glowing among the pallor.

I walk by it and feel a heavy lightness rising in my shoes.
And every stranger is an angel for a second in ordinary glory ,singing:

O luck outrageous,
O pain courageous,
O cheerful, fearful life.

There’s an old piano in Washington Square,
A baby grand upon the concrete,
Concertos for the bums and tourists.
It is as you are to me:
A thing of ancient beauty ringing amidst the clamor.

I walk by it and feel a heavy lightness rising in my ear.
And every stranger is an angel for a second in ordinary glory, singing:

O luck outrageous,
O pain courageous,
O cheerful, fearful life

I descend to the subway as the local arrives,
And I hear the West Side Story minor seventh singing in the rails.
It is as we are to me, it is as we are to me:
A broken, searching symphony,
A lover’s plea for memory,
Ringing, singing:

O luck outrageous,
O pain courageous,
O agile, fragile soul

O luck outrageous,
O love contagious,
O cheerful, fearful,
O cheerful, fearful,
O cheerful, fearful life
Track Name: Honest Mistakes
Let us be more than honest mistakes
Let us be more than happy accidents
Let intention build our bones
Let us be more, let us be more than
Let us let us be less alone
Let us love the unknown

Let us be more than honest mistakes
Let us be more than happy accidents
Let intention build our bones
Let us be more, let us be more than
Let us let us be less alone
Let us love the unknown

Let us be deeper
Let us be wider
Let us be more than our little worries

Let us be kinder
Let us be wiser
Let us be more than our daily hurries

Let us be more than honest mistakes
Let us be more than happy accidents
Let intention build our bones
Let us be more, let us be more than
Let us let us be less alone
Let us love the unknown

I could, I could ask for the truth
I could, I could ask for my youth
I could, I could ask for it soon
But I would would be asking for the moon

So, all I will ask for is what I have given
Oh, all I will ask for is what I have given
Oh, all I will ask for is what I have given

In love, in love, in love
In love, in love, in love, in love

Let us be more than honest mistakes
Let us be more than happy accidents
Let intention build our bones
Let us be more, let us be more than
Let us let us be more unknown
Let us let us be less alone
Let us love the unknown

Let us be more than honest mistakes
Track Name: We Don't Live There Anymore
The home phone’s been disconnected
We don’t live there anymore
The moving truck went as expected
We don’t live there anymore

New folks will move in and paint over us
Over every uncompleted war
Cause we don’t live there anymore

The children grown, the parents parted
We don’t live there anymore
The scraps of twenty years discarded
We don’t live there anymore

Photographs in boxes lay defeated
Familiar wounds festering untreated
Debris from my analog childhood not so easily deleted

That jungle gym used to be ours
But we don’t live there anymore
The shouting matches used to burn for hours
But we don’t live there anymore

Now history is filtered through a broken lens
The locks have changed on every memory’s door
What actually happened to us all within those walls?
Well I guess we’ll never know for sure
Cause we don’t live there anymore

What a relief, what a shame
What a relief, what a shame
Yesterday will never be the same
Yesterday will never be the same
Yesterday will never be the same

We’ll never slam that kitchen door again
Cause we don’t live there anymore
The things we never said are in the den
But we don’t live there anymore

And they will gather dust far away from us
Eroding in yellow tile floor
Cause we don’t live there anymore
We don’t live there anymore
Track Name: The Visitors
The visitors come knocking at my door
Paying me a nightly call
Sorrow shows up early
While Worry paces up and down the hall
Fear comes around once a week, always trying to sell me something
And Envy gives me flowers from the neighbor’s lawn
The visitors come knocking at my door
I’m the mat they step upon

The visitors come knocking at my door
Some for dinner, some for tea
Loneliness can overstay his welcome
But I could use the company
Grief sleeps at my feet, next to Doubt
Don’t have the heart to kick them out
And Pity throws me parties now and then
The visitors come knocking at my door
Here they come again

Lord knows they’ve made my place a mess
But I love them anyway I guess
Why do the hardest feelings make the easiest guests?

Not like Trust, what a flake, cancels every plan we make
And Courage rings the bell, but then he runs away
And Hope means well, but I prefer her brother Dread
And Joy can be swell, but Misery’s better in bed
And Forgiveness is not invited anymore
Still she sits on my stoop, on loop saying:

‘I know you’re in there, let me in
You gotta come outside sometime
I know you’re in there, let me in
You gotta come outside sometime
I know you’re in there, let me in
You gotta come outside sometime’

You know the hardest feelings wanna be your guest
So when the visitors come knocking at your door
Be careful who you host
The ones who hurt the worst
Are the ones you love the most
Track Name: Joyful Noise
I’ve never been to church
But I am saved
I’ve never read a holy book
But I am saved
Cause I know that to sing is to pray
I may never know religion
But I have faith

I never learned to worship
But I am saved
Had me no bat mitzvah
But I am saved
Cause I know that to sing is to pray
I may never know the gospel
But I have faith

I celebrate holidays secularly
I believe we evolved molecularly
Don’t know who to thank for making girls and boys
But I will make a joyful noise
I will make a joyful noise
I will make a joyful noise

I never learned to worship
But I atone
Don’t know which way to mecca
But I atone
Cause I know if I sing
I’ll get home
I’ll get home

I confess I know no blessing but a song
I confess I know no blessing but a song
I confess I know no blessing but a song
I confess I know no blessing but a song

I haven’t got a savior
But I am saved
I’ve done my share of sinning
But I am saved
Because if there’s a god
She will say
That the music will redeem me
In my grave
Track Name: Reminder Song
Now preachers and teachers and scholarly brains
Have tried to provide a truth that explains
Why shit can go so badly
Well I’ve had a helping or two of the blues
But I go back for seconds and thirds cause I choose
To stomach sorrow gladly
For I have a theory that might sound crass
And to that hypothesis I raise a glass

Here’s to the chaos
The heartache and strain
Three cheers for agony
A toast to the pain
Hats off to everything that leaves a scar
For reminding me who my friends are

Though I’m not religious, I’ve always believed
There must be a weirdo up there who conceived
This magic, tragic planet
And so I’ll forgive ‘em for adding the parts
That savage and ravage our bones and our hearts
And hardens souls to granite
For when at the end of a harrowing day
You’ll see who shows up at your doorstep to say

Here’s to the chaos
The heartache and strain
Three cheers for agony
A toast to the pain
Hats off to everything that leaves a scar
For reminding me who my friends are

No it’s never gonna, never gonna end, no, no, no
It’s never gonna, never gonna end, no, no, no
Not the misery nor the company, my friend
So fill each other’s cup
And never give it up

Cause here’s to the hoping
When odds are a joke
Three cheers for foolish dreams
When everything’s broke
Hats off to every ‘close, but no cigar’

Here’s to the chaos
The heartache and strain
Three cheers for agony
A toast to my pain
Hats off to everything that leaves a scar
For reminding me
Who my friends are
Track Name: Room
There's a house in my head
Under permanent construction
I'm the lone architect of an imaginary house

There's a room for the dark things, the panic and the fuss
There's an attic for the past things that hang over us
There's a room for the elephants, a den for the ghosts
A parlor for when we pretend to be hosts
And a light I leave on every night in the blue
Cause I'll always save a room for you
Yeah I'll always save a room for you

There’s a house in my head
Under permanent construction
I’m the sole carpenter of an imaginary house

I’m building the place with sails, wheels and wings
Portable roots and detachable strings
Get back here and we'll live like moveable kings
Ancient and new
See the light I'll leave on every night til you do

Cause I'll always save a room for you
There will always be a room for you
So come home
Come home
We are home
Track Name: So Comes Love [BONUS TRACK]
words by ee cummings

Let them go
the truthful liars and the false fair friends
and the boths and neithers
You must let them go
They were born to go

Let it go
the smashed word
broken open vow
or the oath cracked lengthwise, let it go
They were sworn to go

Let all go
The big, small, middling
Tall, bigger, really the biggest in all things

Let all go dear, let all go dear
Let all go dear, let all go dear

So comes love