Visitors

by Shaina Taub

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1.
When 04:59
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!
2.
Still Young 04:17
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
3.
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
4.
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
5.
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
6.
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
7.
The Visitors 04:11
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
8.
Joyful Noise 03:57
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
9.
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
10.
Room 02:13
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
11.
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

about

VISITORS
____

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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Shaina Taub Brooklyn, New York

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