Lyrics

The 45th Parallel

A Blue Sky Turned to Rust (Hanson)

There was copper there for countin’ in the shadow of the mountain,
so we settled near the river’s edge.
There were more than fifty houses for the miners and their spouses—a church up on the ledge.

Candled helmet. Pitch black mine.
Down into this pit, we climbed.
Pick and hammer. Drill and hoist.
We tapped the twisted channels with our points.

Rooftops and timbers hit. Kegs of nails and barrels split.
Warnings of the reckoning to come.
Visits to the settlement by those who know the Great Spirit
and the heartbeat of the drum.

Chorus:
I remember Queen Anne’s Lace—
the curve of your face.
It’s forever August in this place,
and you’re gone without a trace.

The pastor heard the plea by those who traveled up the mountain road
and called his flock together with a toll.
"We must depart this sacred ground or harm will come to all around,”
said the pastor to his frightened fold.

Light a candle. Place the Bible
on the table near the children’s beds.
Tend the garden. Work the mine.
Scrub the floor, and make the daily bread.

On a clear day late in August, a blue sky turned to rust.
Gravel banks began to slide.
Can't say we weren't warned of this—black cloud like a fist.
Sand and stone stifled every cry.

Same time in the village square, the pastor said a little prayer
with tender loving care.
That cloud it stretched from north to south and east to west
and gathered up the rest.

Chorus:
I remember Queen Anne's Lace—
the curve of your face.
It's forever August in this place,
and you’re gone without a trace.
Gone without a trace.

Backcountry (Hayes)

big deer and black bear
fat goose and tall moose
sharp ax and backpack
blaze orange wool cap

wild running rivers
cold weather shivers
rough trails before me
splinter and sliver

base layer under
I wish I was younger
put on the rain gear
I hear the thunder

saw blade and new knife
marry a nice wife
go to the forest
carve out a fine life

leaves in the road hide
critters from eye sight
I stepped on a frog’s
leg on his left side

trailheads and trail-mix
firesteel and feather-sticks
tinder from birch bark
bear bag before dark

mud on my ruck sack
big mounds of moose scat
high hills and mountains
hours to get back

backcountry camping
I like what I do
If you ever try it
you might like it, too

Emily Dickinson (Hanson)

You ask of my companions, Sir,
hills and the sundown and a dog
who strolls along with me
in woods and fields thick with fog.

I do not cross my father’s ground
to any house or any town.
My friendships are in letters, Sir,
for this is what I most prefer.

Chorus:
Open me carefully,
for I am only stardust.
And, you are the wind that rocked the grass.
And, you are the one who
brought down all the leaves,
and blew straight through this cotton dress
with the buttons on the sleeves.

Upstairs in my corner room,
I have a table with a drawer.
Here I write of life and death
while all around us is the War.

I’ve tended flowers all my life
and pressed them in this heavy book
and labeled each with Latin names—
these plants that grow beside the brook.

Chorus:
Open me carefully,
for I am only stardust.
And, you are the wind that rocked the grass.
And, you are the one who
brought down all the leaves,
and blew straight through this cotton dress
with the buttons on the sleeves.

I’ve had a threat I've told to none
and withered from its bitter wrath,
so I’ve written down my final wish—
the clothes, the flowers, and the path.

First, place me in this cotton dress.
Then, lace my neck with violets.
Circle ‘round the garden gate.
These friends I leave are my estate.

Chorus:
Open me carefully,
for I am only stardust.
And, you are the wind that rocked the grass.
And, you are the one who
brought down all the leaves,
and blew straight through this cotton dress
with the buttons on the sleeves.

Chorus:
Open me carefully,
for I am only stardust.
And, you are the wind that rocked the grass.
And, you are the one who
brought down all the leaves,
and blew straight through this cotton dress
with the buttons on the sleeves.

Saugerties, New York (Hanson)

Yellow, gingham, cafe curtains and aprons on the wall.
I have wandered down a side street to a Kitchen named after a girl.
I am empty bowls and dried-up wells seated under pressed tin tiles.
And, I wonder is this river a ribbon between us and all these miles.

In the village, lights blink on and sidewalks swell with crowds.
I have waded through the water with its branches and its bottles all around.
I am dusty books and parchment pages and poems that I’ve never written down.
I could fit among the knickknacks and trinkets in this fact’ry town.

Chorus:
Oh, I could pull you into this small-town scene.
Grease the chains and the gears of this old machine.
Rent a one-bedroom dream on Partition Street.
Wear your six-string ring over my heart beat.

My east-side room, it glows with light in the hazy morning shine.
I have slumbered in a lighthouse weathered by the “American Rhine.”
I am crystal water and ocean brine and a river that flows two ways.
I get wrecked and sometimes rescued by whatever they call “love” these days.

Chorus:
Oh, I could pull you into this small-town scene.
Grease the chains and the gears of this old machine.
Rent a one-bedroom dream on Partition Street.
Wear your six-string ring over my heart beat.

Old-time theater down on Main Street. Early evening rain.
I am passing by a poster of two lovers embracing near a train.
I am romance movies and big-screen drama and New York-neon signs.
If I bottle up my love for you, would this liquid fire shine?

Chorus:
Oh, I could pull you into this small-town scene.
Grease the chains and the gears of this old machine.
Rent a one-bedroom dream on Partition Street.
Wear your six-string ring over my heart beat.
Wear your six-string ring over my heart beat. 

River Street (Hayes)

Down on River Street,
there’s an open flag that hangs
where the drinkers can go
to get a drink they know.
The locals all stop on in
for their beer, wine, whiskey, and gin.
It’s just another day down on River Street.

Chorus:
Oh, this river rolls on.
Though I’ve nowhere to go, I’m gone.
Yeah, this river rolls on,
and I’m gone, gone, gone.

Upstairs lives Mary Lou.
She likes Magic Hat and merlot, too.
She works behind a barand drives a silver car.
Across the street, there’s a window shop.
It stands beside a vacant lot
along the river’s edge.
It’s the perfect spot.

Chorus:
Oh, this river rolls on.
Though I’ve nowhere to go, I’m gone.
Yeah, this river rolls on,
and I'm gone, gone, gone.

Andrea stopped in today.
She was with her kids, Ryder and Sway.
She was looking for a job
but was turned away.
Commuter trains pass all day.
They run from Boston to Portland, Maine,
and you can catch one over there
in Railroad Square.

Chorus:
Oh, this river rolls on.
Though I've nowhere to go, I’m gone.
Yeah, this river rolls on,
and I’m gone, gone, gone.

Chorus:
Oh, this river rolls on.
Though I've nowhere to go, I’m gone.
Yeah, this river rolls on,
and I'm gone, gone, gone, gone.

The 45th Parallel (Hanson)

Early Fall—Up North Atlanta in the pines
between the North Pole and equator,
we are toes upon the line.
Two blocks west—of the only light in town,
John serves up the coffee
and the best pie around.
On this long road that we’ve traveled,
when the antlers turn to bone
we were ragged and unraveled,
and this town it felt like home.

Forty-five—for a night down at the motel,
but it’s carseats and a flannel
just west of Thunder Bay.
Full Corn Moon—shines on the dashboard of the Honda.
We are hearts a’way out yonder
on the highway.
And, the moon it glows like embers
in the branches of the pines
in this small town in September
on this parallel line.

Chorus:
Yeah, let’s take the long way home.
Turn up the radio. Ride the backroads slow.
Oh, the towns they slide right by,
and it’s just you and I. We can take our time.

We’ve been shaped—by the river and the glacier.
Our story’s written in the landscape.
We share an icy past.
All I knew—lay forgotten in the leaf pile—
blowing wild around our ankles—
racing by too fast.
And, the geese are on the flyway
to the Gulf of Mexico.
How they navigate the skyway,
I guess I’ll never know.

Chorus:
Yeah, let’s take the long way home.
Turn up the radio. Ride the backroads slow.
Oh, the towns they slide right by,
and it’s just you and I. We can take our time.

Early Fall—Up North Atlanta in the pines
between the North Pole and equator,
we are toes upon the line.

Ann Arbor to Up North Atlanta (Hanson)

I took the life line north across the heart line.
Left the cities in my mirror for the great, tall pines.
There is a sign there that marks the place where
this town is connected to my home.

It’s a long, slow drive up here on the 75,
and this road is playing tricks on my mind.
Gas-station coffee and the wind upon my face
are the only things keeping me awake.

Chorus:
And, if I could, you know I would
rest upon your road.
I’ve got a heavy load riding on my name.
Tuck me into your hand-knit heart.
Light my weary way.

More than a thousand wrecks have been counted
on these rough, inland seas.
Oh, we are lightning for a moment, and then, we are
just stardust on the breeze.

Chorus:
And, if I could, you know I would
rest upon your road.
I’ve got a heavy load riding on my name.
Tuck me into your hand-knit heart.
Light my weary way.
Oh-oh, tuck me into your hand-knit heart.
Light my weary way.

Fly Fishing the Big Hole (Hanson)

I’ve missed these skies and the Rockies by my side.
It’s a Big Sky Country where the mountains shine.
So, don’t mind me. I’m just laying out my line.
I know these waters. I can fish without a guide.

I’ve missed this land and working with my hands
on the Big Hole River where the tall trees stand.
Got this here bottle. Gonna fill it up with sand.
Gonna bring a little sparkle to my sweetheart and …

Chorus:
You can fish upon the ranches if you promise you will close the gate.
And, it’s “hello” to Montana. Grab your gear, and don’t be late.
I’ve been blessed with rainbows, with graylings, and with browns.
Another year on the river in this western town.

I can feel it in my bones. My heart skips like a river stone.
I’ve fished with friends. Now, I fish alone.
Wherever I may go, it’s a great land I’ve known,
and in the morning, I’ll head out on my own.

Chorus:
You can fish upon the ranches if you promise you will close the gate.
And, it’s “hello” to Montana. Grab your gear, and don’t be late.
I’ve been blessed with rainbows, with graylings, and with browns.
Another year on the river in this western town.

I’m watching for the rise though the current here is swift.
Laying out my line and following the drift.
Nothing’s on my mind, when I’m playing a fish
with a hand-tied fly. Oh, this life is a gift.

Chorus:
You can fish upon the ranches if you promise you will close the gate.
And, it’s “hello” to Montana. Grab your gear, and don’t be late.
I’ve been blessed with rainbows, with graylings, and with browns.
Another year on the river in this western town.
Another year on the river in this western town.

The Storm (Hayes)

a flicker of an oil lamp
and a sliver of a moon
a generator humming
it’s an old familiar tune

an early storm this year
has crippled many towns
the heater that I cleaned
will come in handy now

Chorus:
it blew in from the sea
brought down the power lines
and, all the troubles on my mind fell away
as I worked to keep the flame alive

outside my front window
I watch the falling snow
as the wind begins to whistle
and the currents start to blow

I have enough supplies
to last throughout the night
the forecast is saying
there is no end in sight

the long wicks I keep
I’ll burn them way down low
and when it’s time to sleep
I’ll dim the lantern’s glow

waiting for the linemen
up north it could take days
but, that’s alright with me
I kind of like it this way

Chorus:
it blew in from the sea
brought down the power lines
and, all the troubles on my mind fell away
as I worked to keep the flame alive

coffee at 5 am
brewed on an outside grill
it’s dawn the next morning
there is no power still

Letters from the Road

Flashing in the Dark (Rose Island Lighthouse) (Hanson)

I’m 18 acres of wild country here
With wild summer roses in my hair
I weathered the winter in wind and snow
Oh, that old North wind did blow

I’m swaying with the rockweed in this liquid frontier
I can hear the buzz of boats humming in my ears
There are those who care for me
In this bay near the mouth of the sea

Chorus:
But, I’ve been flashing in the dark
Sending out a signal to another heart
Got messages in bottles floating over waves
But, there’s miles and miles of ocean,
And I’m just another soul looking to be saved

My edges are ragged and rougher than most
But, I fit just like a puzzle piece into your coast
Well, the water is wide, and the currents are swift
I’m just another casualty of the continental drift

Chorus:
But, I’ve been flashing in the dark
Sending out a signal to another heart
Got messages in bottles floating over waves
But, there’s miles and miles of ocean,
And I’m just another soul looking to be saved
Another soul looking to be saved

Drinking to Distraction (Hanson)

Well, I should have heard you rev your ride
When you pulled your engine up beside
In your silver hubcap hot-rod ride that day
Stars blinking on to be my guide
Technicolor sky stretched out so wide
I never saw you steal my heart away

Now, I sit here in this Country bar
Instead of in the back seat of your dream car
Fogging up my brain—instead of windows

Chorus:
Been drinking to distraction
Losing all my traction
Folding like a suitcase full of worn-out clothes
Can’t let go, oh

And, it’s that speeding, hollow highway sound
Travlin’ through my tires on the ground
We’re always lost before we’re found, my friend
And, I’ve been known to fool around
On that roller coaster ride of rebound
But, I never leave those heart strings as loose ends

Now, I sit here in this Country bar
Instead of in the back seat of your dream car
Fogging up my brain—instead of windows

Chorus:
Been drinking to distraction
Losing all my traction
Folding like a suitcase full of worn-out clothes
Can’t let go, oh

Well, somewhere in this heart of mine
Or in the bottom of this glass of wine,
I’ll find another reason to stop missing you
Can’t keep waiting for you to ring my line
It’s the middle of the night says the clock with its chime
It’s that lonely witching hour when I let those
memories through

Chorus:
Been drinking to distraction
Losing all my traction
Can’t let go
Drinking to distraction
Losing all my traction
Can’t let go, oh

The Rock and the Echo (Hanson)

Deep waves are breaking
Must have seemed I had a heart worth taking
Here with the weeds under the water,
I am the mermaid’s daughter, and …

Chorus:
I’ll pull you in by your heart
I’ll pull you in by your heart

Caught between the rock and the echo,
I’m the climber from so long ago
Looking out for the lover
Ever caught in currents and the mist below, oh …

Chorus:
I’ll pull you in by your heart
I’ll pull you in by your heart

Oh, I’ll sing you the sweetest song
Slip you visions as you row along
We could swim with the river to the sea
As long as you give your love to me

Lost all my reason
This river keeps flowing season after season
Bring on the weather
Wash every trace of love from this place, and …

Chorus:
I’ll pull you in by your heart
I’ll pull you in by your heart
I’ll pull you in by your heart

One More Glass of Wine (Hanson)

There are no lights along the road
This river rolls to the sea, I’m told
Pull on your coat. It’s getting cold
The leaves have turned from green to gold

Hear that wind blow through the pines
I like to cross the yellow lines
Tell all my friends I’m doin’ fine
So many hills left to climb

Chorus:
Let’s have another glass of wine
Before we fall and rise in time
One more glass before I pull your heart to mine

You could have me for a Country song
Play your guitar, and I’ll sing along
Can’t remember why this love is wrong
I was home one day. Then, I was gone

This candle burns like the Northern Lights
I used to sleep all through the night
I could drift off without a fight
Now, these old ghosts won’t leave my sight

Chorus:
Let’s have another glass of wine
Before we fall and rise in time
One more glass before I pull your heart to mine

Chorus:
Let’s have another glass of wine
Before we fall and rise in time
One more glass before I pull your heart to mine

Chorus:
Let’s have another glass of wine
Before we fall and rise in time
One more glass before I pull your heart to mine

Truck Song (Hayes)

I got a new truck
Three-hundred bucks
I got it from a friend
It’s got a little bit of rust,
but I think I can trust it
to get me down the road again

After registration,
I went for an inspection
(The) inspector had a lot to say
He told me ‘bout his ‘75 Plymouth Grand Fury
then he gave my truck the OK
“That’s the New Hampshire Way”

I got a new truck
Great little truck
Hubcaps still intact
With the bodywork I’m doing to it
then it shouldn’t look like
a rolling heart attack

Light Desert Tan that’s the color of my truck
8Q the color code
With a new alternator and rubber all around,
It puts me into road-trip mode
Yeah, it puts me into road-trip mode
“Woo-hoo”

I got a new truck
Three-hundred bucks
I got it from a friend
It’s got a little bit of rust,
but I think I can trust it
to get me down the road again

Black Cat Cafe (Hanson)

I’m searchin’ for the Black Cat Cafe
I’m somewhere near the banks of the Danube River
I’ve left behind the gold duvets
and the dark, paneled walls
for the black of the night
and the sparkle of the city

Chorus:
Let’s meet and have a drink and talk about
the ancient past—the missing link and what
you think about treasures found in distant lands
Come take my hand and lead the way
I’m searchin’ for the Black Cat Cafe

I’ve got this map, but I don’t know how to read it
I wish the birds on the bridge could show the way
Ah, but now I see that they’re just bronze—
a legend from mythology. I’m still on my way—
just wait at the Black Cat Cafe

Chorus:
Let’s meet and have a drink and talk about
the ancient past—the missing link and what
you think about treasures found in distant lands
Come take my hand and lead the way
Bring me to the Black Cat Cafe

The Last Orange (Hanson)

Well, I was ruined in this dark
They say once I had a heart
Now, it’s just some broken, mixed-up part
This is how the heart works
A ticking time bomb under our shirts
Wired to the get-away car

Chorus:
So, my core turned to iron
My heart exploded like a star
I could not hold myself against these forces
(I) was a black hole being born,
A tall building in a thunderstorm,
A dark soul that you can’t reform
This is how the heart works

You have such a pull on me. Please remember me
At least something’s calling me even if it’s only the road
We keep orbiting each other. Like a planet and its moon
But, I knew you once. We shared these rooms

Chorus:
So, my core turned to iron
My heart exploded like a star
I could not hold myself against these forces
(I) was a black hole being born,
A tall building in a thunderstorm,
A dark soul that you can’t reform
This is how the heart works

All that’s left are some random pictures and a tape cassette,
the last orange, and empty rooms chock-full of regret.
And, who am I kidding? It’s time to start liv’n outside my mind.
Twenty years later, gonna hop that freighter, leave it all behind

Chorus:
And, my core turned to iron
My heart exploded like a star
I could not hold myself against these forces
(I) was a black hole being born,
A tall building in a thunderstorm,
A dark soul that you can’t reform
This is how the heart works
This is how the heart works

Boxcar Betty (Hanson)

I’ve slipped into the boxcar
with my rucksack and some wine
There sounds the highball whistle,
and we’re rushing down the line

Cold steel’s creeping through
my clothes into my loins,
but my hands are warm from
carving pictures on these coins

There’s a cross on the signal post
Gonna find some “angel food”
And, the sign of the cat
maybe get me in the mood

It’s a code that you learn
when you’re riding on the rails,
when you’re squatting down in boxcars,
and following the trails

Chorus:
Well, I’m no Boxcar Betty,
but don’t wish me no harm
I’ve got no home or fam’ly
I’m just trying to stay warm

Gonna sleep on the beach
with a fire at my side—
feel the pull and the release
of the endless ocean tide

At the first light of the morning,
I’ll be on my way again—
slipping into boxcars
and sleeping now and then

There’s a cross on the signal post
Gonna find some “angel food”
And, the sign of the cat
maybe get me in the mood

It’s a code that you learn
when you’re riding on the rails,
when you’re squatting down in boxcars,
and following the trails

Chorus:
Well, I’m not tough like Betty,
but don’t give me no grief
My aim is strong and steady,
and I’m full of faith and belief

Chorus:
No, I’m no Boxcar Betty,
but don’t wish me no harm
I’ve got no home or fam’ly
And, I’m just trying to stay warm

Sweet Celia Ann (aka Mattie Earp) (Hanson)

She worked the tables at the local saloon
Made her money getting cowboys loaded in the fading light of the afternoon
He was a law man from a frontier town
He could settle a hoorah without ever hitting the hammer down

She wore a feather in her long, golden hair
Her smile could spark a fire in a holy house of common prayer
He took her by her small hand and brought her to his home
He promised her his true love—His heart never more to ramble and roam

Chorus:
Once upon a time in the Wild, Wild West,
Gamblers and gunmen put their courage to the test
If you woke up in the morning, you were truly blessed
And, you lived another day in the Wild, Wild West

They traveled off together as a husband and his wife
They followed the cards and the chips and the money as a way of life
But by the springtime, he had found another girl
She had to put that feather back into those fading curls

Chorus:
Once upon a time in the Wild, Wild West,
Gamblers and gunmen put their courage to the test
If you woke up in the morning, you were truly blessed
And, you lived another day in the Wild, Wild West

She awoke one morning in a dusty, one-room shack.
Beside her was a stranger—How did her life get so off track?
So, she sipped some laudanum from a tarnished, silver spoon
Evermore to slumber ‘neath the shadow of a golden moon

Chorus:
Once upon a time in the Wild, Wild West,
Gamblers and gunmen put their courage to the test
If you woke up in the morning, you were truly blessed
And, you lived another day in the Wild, Wild West

Chorus:
Once upon a time in the Wild, Wild West,
Gamblers and gunmen put their courage to the test
If you woke up in the morning, you were truly blessed
And, you lived another day in the Wild, Wild West

The 43 (USS Tappahannock) (Hayes)

I received your long, long letter today,
and I was glad to hear you’re doing okay
I left Virginia ‘round the middle of August,
found myself at Aruba Bay

We took a load of oil and headed for Cologne,
through the blue Pacific’s great unknown
With a stop in Panama, and through the canal,
wishing all the while I was home

Your kid brother helped the wounded,
stood watch over twenty-five dead,
saw U.S. blood spilled on U.S. decks,
in the battle at Espirito Santo

We dropped the hook, New Cadelonia Island,
and there we fueled the fleet
Then off to Aukland for another load,
after two days this trip was complete

Pago Pago to the Fiji Islands,
our crew made many long trips
The merchant tankers filled the 43,
then we gave our fuel to the fighting ships

Your kid brother helped the wounded,
stood watch over twenty-five dead,
saw U.S. blood spilled on U.S. decks,
in the battle at Espirito Santo

Late October and our big moment came,
we were sent up to New Hebrides
We met the USS San Francisco,
the best that ever sailed the seas

We took a load of oil and headed for Cologne,
through the blue Pacific’s great unknown
With a stop in Panama, and through the canal,
Wishing all the while I was home

In the Blue Room (Hanson)

Under starlight comes the big night
I’ll gently rock you ‘til dreams fill your eyes
In the blue room shines a full moon
Sleep now my darlings until the sunrise
You’ll be there soon by the gold moon

Chorus:
Just steer your ship to the hip of Orion
Slip past the dog and the bear
Fly through the fish—make a wish on a shooting star
Glide by the crab with great care
Drift by the bull if you dare

May the black dome guide your way home
Just let the stars be your map in the sky
I’ll be right here in the green chair
When you awaken I’ll be by your side
You’ll be here soon in the blue room

Chorus:
Just steer your ship to the hip of Orion
Slip past the dog and the bear
Fly through the fish—make a wish on a shooting star
Glide by the crab with great care
Drift by the bull if you dare
Come home and I’ll meet you there

Letters from the Road (Hanson)

I’ll send you letters from the road
And postcards from motels
This heart beats out S.O.S in code
In the Winter light, I skid through snow

The wipers are my soundtrack
I’m just looking for a little love back
But, the road ahead is coal black
Held on here by gravity
Do you ever think of me?

Chorus:
And, it’s a long way
to drive in one day
Two-lane highways
and truck-stops, “Hey,
are you going my way?”
“What do you say?”

This road is never ending
Do you feel the love I’m sending?
This heart of mine needs tending
I’m fading like the station, oh
playing on my radio

Chorus:
And, it’s a long way
to drive in one day
Two-lane highways
and truck-stops, “Hey,
are you going my way?”
“What do you say?”

Chorus:
And, it’s a long way
to drive in one day
Two-lane highways
and truck-stops, “Hey,
are you going my way?”
“What do you say?”

Strawberry Moon

Follow This Highway (Hanson)

I’m leaving.
Gonna pack my car.
Gonna drive real far
down the blacktop tar.

I’m travelin’.
Gonna see the sights.
Gonna drive all night.
Keep the headlights bright.

Gonna make some real plans.
Gonna see some new lands.
Take a steady hand
home.

Chorus:
Follow this highway
through the canyon where the red rocks glow.
Wind through the forest.
Trace the rim edge where the pine trees grow.
And, this is what I know
gonna make this my home.

I’m watchin’
the eagles fly,
the clouds drift by.
Gonna be a blue sky.

Still drivin’.
Gonna be there soon.
Gonna beat the moon.
We’ll have the afternoon.

Gonna make some real plans.
Gonna see some new lands.
Take a steady hand
home.

Chorus:
Follow this highway
through the canyon where the red rocks glow.
Wind through the forest.
Trace the rim edge where the pine trees grow.
And, this is what I know.
This is what I know.
This is what I know
gonna make this my home.
Gonna make this my home.

Strawberry Moon (Hanson and *)

Boarded an eastbound train
in South Bend, Indiana,
near the golden dome of Notre Dame.
We passed the southern beaches
of Lake Michigan in June
carved from glaciers long ago.
There were sleeping children
near the Mohawk River
and stars above the great canal.
I’ve hauled some barges in my day.
Know every inch along the way.
There was nothing you could say.

Chorus:
So, rock-a-bye now don’t you cry.
I’m gonna sing you a lullaby.
*The Dream Man’s coming in his train of cars
with moonbeam windows and with wheels of stars.
So, hush you little ones and have no fear.
The man-in-the-moon is the engineer.
The railroad track is a moonbeam bright
that leads right up into the starry night.

New York’s narrow lakes
look like fingers on a hand.
When the ice retreated, there were deep scars
upon the land.
Took a deep breath when we crossed the state line.
The night porter left a bottle of wine.
Waved from my window to the pines.
We road through the Berkshires in the
early hours.
And, if I were a painter, I would paint those flowers
in Cadmium Yellow and Phthalo Blue.
But, colors run and flowers fade.
And, clouds roll in and cast a shade.
Best call it an even trade.

Chorus:
So, rock-a-bye now don’t you cry.
I’m gonna sing you a lullaby.
*The Dream Man’s coming in his train of cars
with moonbeam windows and with wheels of stars.
So, hush you little ones and have no fear.
The man-in-the-moon is the engineer.
The railroad track is a moonbeam bright
that leads right up into the starry night.

The wise Algonquin nation
kept track of the seasons.
They gave each moon a name.
Inching towards the railway station,
minutes from our destination,
seven hundred miles from where we came.
Time moves not by months but moons.
Strawberry is the one for June.
Hidden treasures tangled in the ground.
Harvest in the silver light.
We made our journey through the night.
Rocking on the rails so safe and sound.

Chorus:
So, rock-a-bye now don’t you cry.
I’m gonna sing you a lullaby.
*The Dream Man’s coming in his train of cars
with moonbeam windows and with wheels of stars.
So, hush you little ones and have no fear.
The man-in-the-moon is the engineer.
The railroad track is a moonbeam bright
that leads right up into the starry night.
Rock-a-bye now don’t you cry.
I’m gonna sing you a lullaby.
Rock-a-bye now don’t you cry.
I’m gonna sing you a lullaby.
Rock-a-bye now don’t you cry.
I’m gonna sing you a lullaby.

*(Nursery rhyme by R. P. Weston, F. J. Barnes, and Maurice Scott, 1913 - “Hush, Here Comes the Dream Man”)

Lighthouse Keeper (Hanson)

I will never leave the sea.
She’s been good to me.
I’ve made a life here on this ledge
in a lighthouse on the edge.

Toss my net out on a wave.
Reel in what Neptune gave.
Light a fire on the rocks.
Gather driftwood for the box.

Chorus:
I am a lighthouse keeper,
and I live alone.
I will walk these steps
and work these hands to the bone
polishing the glass,
polishing the glass.

Keep the brass bells shining bright.
Trim the wicks and oil the lights.
Warn the tall ships to steer clear
if the storm clouds should appear.

Chorus:
I am a lighthouse keeper,
and I live alone.
I will walk these steps
and work these hands to the bone
polishing the glass,
polishing the glass.

I am rising with the tide.
I am going with the flow.
I am turning like a gear.
I could scream, but no one would hear me.

Chorus:
I am a lighthouse keeper,
and I live alone.
I will walk these steps
and work these hands to the bone
polishing the glass,
polishing the glass.

Full-Moon Night (Hanson)

Chorus:
Uncover me.
Discover me.
It’s a full-moon night.
I’m a heavy stone.
(And), I’m here alone
Shining in the light.

Glaciers carved the canyon floor.
Rivers cut the valleys.
And, I once lay beneath an ancient sea.
Uncover me.
Discover me.

Rock me gently in your cradle.
Sift the gravel from the gold.
I may be old, but I’m timeless, you’ll see.
You’ll see the beauty in me.

Chorus:
Uncover me.
Discover me.
It’s a full-moon night.
I’m a heavy stone.
(And), I’m here alone
Shining in the light.

Turn me over in your hand.
I am a gift from this land.
Oh, and, though you may melt me down and wear me like a band,
You’ll never really change what I am.

Chorus:
Uncover me.
Discover me.
It’s a full-moon night.
I’m a heavy stone.
(And), I’m here alone
Shining in the light.
Shining in the light.

Five-Point Star (Hanson)

We’ll stand in the grove—No shoes on our feet
And, those who have come—Will fasten a ribbon
Of silk or of linen
And, bind—your hand to mine

We’ll dance to a tune—Of pipes and of strings
We’ll join our right hands—Then circle around
One foot on the ground
It’s corners right and back to the bar

Chorus:
Pass ’round the ale—cakes and sweet things
Here in this field—We’ll put on the rings
The wheel of the year—is turning again
The leaves are all orange and gold

Dancers join hands and weave in and out
Spinning around and turning about

*That Love is all there is, Is all we know of Love.
And a heart without love—cannot live and grow
Smolder and glow
Catch fire and spread through the soul

Chorus:
Pass ’round the ale—cakes and sweet things
Here in this field—We’ll put on the rings
The wheel of the year—is turning again
The leaves are all orange and gold
The leaves are all orange and gold

* (From “That Love is all there is” by Emily Dickinson)

Sparks (Hanson)

There’s something like thunder rolling over these hills.
It’s feeding the hunger—chasing the chills.
It’s driving out—any last bit of doubt.
It’s charging the air—and changing despair.

Chorus:
Now I can see you standing there.
My heart’s in need of some repair.
But, with a little bit of tender care,
We could spark this love affair.

There’s a strong wind blowing down this way.
It’s clearing the clouds and freeing the day.
Ignites the ember—fans the flame,
I’m warmed by the glow. Do you feel the same?

Chorus:
Now I can see you standing there.
My heart’s in need of some repair.
But, with a little bit of tender care,
We could spark this love affair.

Chorus:
Now I can see you standing there.
My heart’s in need of some repair.
But, with a little bit of tender care,
We could spark this love affair.

Ocean-Born Mary (Hanson)

Mary is rocking in her favorite chair.
She is thinking of another.
While the flames flicker on her long, red hair—
She reflects upon a treasure.

Mary was widowed at an early age.
She had four sons and one daughter.
They moved in with another, and she earned her wage—
From the Captain who had named her.

Chorus:
It was your destiny to be
Born upon the sea
Named by a man with a cutlass sword
Once your mother gave her word.

Mary was married in a green, silk gown.
There were flowers on the fabric.
Embroidered by a woman in a far-off town
With fine hands so sure and quick.

The cloth was a gift on the day she was born
when her vessel, fair, was boarded.
Her mother made a promise and an oath was sworn—
The name, Mary, was recorded.

Chorus:
It was your destiny to be
Born upon the sea
Named by a man with a cutlass sword
Once your mother gave her word.

There is a story of a windy night—
Shovels digging in the earth.
A chest was carried and bolted tight—
Could be something of great worth.

One night, Mary came home to find
The house was dark and silent.
She ran to the orchard in the field behind.
Lord, his end had been violent.

Chorus:
It was your destiny to be
Born upon the sea
Named by a man with a cutlass sword
Once your mother gave her word.
Once your mother gave her word.

Roll with the Tumbleweeds (Hanson)

Chorus:
I’m gonna roll with the tumbleweeds across this prairie,
Rock in the saddle ’neath a hazy, harvest moon,
Reel in a dust storm with a cloth pulled ’cross my face,
Rest with the horses beside a rushing stream.

Come and sit by the fire and warm your dusty hands.
Where ya from? Oh, just north of here in the Badlands.
There are slopes there so rugged and so tall,
And, the sagebrush flowers in the early fall.

Sometimes, the northern lights set the evening sky ablaze.
Have you ever seen those brilliant blue-green rays?
When they flicker like a flame. Never look the same.
Never to be claimed.

Chorus:
I’m gonna roll with the tumbleweeds across this prairie,
Rock in the saddle ’neath a hazy, harvest moon,
Reel in a dust storm with a cloth pulled ’cross my face,
Rest with the horses beside a rushing stream.

Once, I let a lasso capture my wild, wild heart.
Then, I traded it in for a chestnut mare and a wooden cart.
Left my love for the open range. Finally, made a change.
Isn’t love strange?

Chorus:
I’m gonna roll with the tumbleweeds across this prairie,
Rock in the saddle ’neath a hazy, harvest moon,
Reel in a dust storm with a cloth pulled ’cross my face,
Rest with the horses beside a rushing stream.

When the Moon Shines on the Chrome (Hanson)

Well, it’s another sleepless night.
Gotta make it there by dawn.
Left my heart back there in Abilene.
So many miles already gone.

It’s another night alone.
The one I love is on the road.
Far and distant as a memory.
Haulin’ ’round some kind of load.

Chorus:
And, on a clear night such as this.
When the moon shines on the chrome.
My mind wanders to the things I miss.
And, all my thoughts are thoughts of home.

Eighteen wheels spinning ’round and ’round.
Going past the county line.
The days are long, but with every mile,
I’ve always got you on my mind.

Chorus:
And, on a clear night such as this.
When the moon shines on the chrome.
My mind wanders to the things I miss.
And, all my thoughts are thoughts of home.

Wish I could close the space between us.
Hear your footsteps at the door.
Find a way to bring you home to me.
See you walk across the floor.

Chorus:
And, on a clear night such as this.
When the moon shines on the chrome.
My mind wanders to the things I miss.
And, all my thoughts are thoughts of home.
All my thoughts are thoughts of home.

The Charm (Hanson)

Just off the coast of this rocky shore.
Deep down under these crashing waves.
Buried beneath this soft, white sand.
Lies a locket from a pocket—
A story steeped in lore.

There was a girl. There was a boy.
There was a full, round moon.
There was a ship. There was a trip.
He would come home soon.
A parting kiss. A long embrace.
And, just in case. A good luck charm.
Arm in arm. And then apart.
She gave him—her heart.

Chorus:
Once there were pirates on the rolling sea.
Thunder and lightning were a mystery.
Fleets of trade ships sailed into history.
Can you sift through the wreckage
to find treasure in me?

There was a storm. The masts were torn.
The ship was lost—one afternoon.
At this she wept. But he was swept—
Gently to a small lagoon.
A cast away. A distant land.
And in his hand. A good luck charm.
Safe from harm. He watched alone.
For a ship to bring him home.

Chorus:
Once there were pirates on the rolling sea.
Thunder and lightning were a mystery.
Fleets of trade ships sailed into history.
Can you sift through the wreckage
to find treasure in me?

There was a man—too old to stand.
There was a waning moon.
There came a ship. Another trip.
He would be home soon.
He saw her face. A state of grace.
And in this very space.
Arm in arm. They gave the charm—
A final resting place.

Chorus:
Once there were pirates on the rolling sea.
Thunder and lightning were a mystery.
Fleets of trade ships sailed into history.
Can you sift through the wreckage
to find treasure in me?

Diamond Pond (Hayes)

We took historic route 3 up to 26
where the sledders from the small town
were up to their old tricks.
Along the icy road were signs of yesterday
for the snow again had fallen in its old familiar way.

We melted snow for water when supplies ran low that day,
and the frosty wind upon our cheeks could not prevent our stay.
Millie runs the yarn shop. Hamp maintains the plow.
And, when heavy snow keeps you there, he’ll tow you out somehow.

Chorus:
Up here, the air is clean,
and the black of night and its chilly bite give way to days unseen.
With the bluest skies and trees of white,
the hush of Diamond Pond leaves us breathless with delight.

The fire in the woodstove turned the chimney to a glow
while the temperature outside fell to twelve below.
The trails were neatly groomed from Whipple Ridge to Sugar Hill,
and the sledders from the small town fought back against the chill.

Chorus:
Up here, the air is clean,
and the black of night and its chilly bite give way to days unseen.
With the bluest skies and trees of white,
the hush of Diamond Pond leaves us breathless with delight.

Chorus:
Up here, the air is clean,
and the black of night and its chilly bite give way to days unseen.
With the bluest skies and trees of white,
the hush of Diamond Pond leaves us breathless with delight.

Stonewalls & Fences (Hanson)

This farm is bordered by stonewalls and fences.
Cows roam the great, green fields
Contemplating future meals.

(And) this land is guarded by cold, rushing water,
A river, deep and wide,
Waves, too fast to catch and ride.

And, in the early Spring
When maples swell with sap,
(We’ll) light the fire, form a ring,
Heat the stones, and drop them in.
Close your eyes, and make a wish
In the sweet, sweet water.

This life is lived behind tall trees and
Mountainsides,
A forest, thick with pine,
Rocks, too steep and slick to climb.

Let’s gather together,
And watch the sunset bloom.
Hang our clothes from the branches,
And dive, dive under the moon. Oh,
Oh, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm …

This farm is bordered by stonewalls and fences.
Let’s roam the great, green fields
And let our senses reel,
Feel our senses heal.
Oh, woh, oh, oh, oh …