Sew the City cover.jpg

Come On Home (M. Friedman)

There are stars, there is music but where are you? I am calling you home tonight
I can see through the fog to what I have to do
I’ll light the fire so it’s burning bright

You’re the grass on my feet neath the summer’s moonlight show
I am calling you home tonight
You’re the light in the house that comforts me so
I’ll light the fire so it’s burning bright

Come on home to me darling
Like a bird to its tree
You’ve been roaming this earth like some trick on me
Come on home

There are friends round the fire singing songs of old
I am calling you home tonight
I can see through the smoke keeping out the cold
Come round the flames while they’re burning bright

Apples (M. Friedman)

Through the woods I’ll walk with you
The moon from the night still up
Aching are the words I have 
To speak out loud does not feel like enough

Yellow leaves rain from the shade
Breaking each wall down
Til it’s you and I, the oak and the sky 
And all this peace I’ve found

I’ll be yours forever if you want
Falling even deeper
Being that much sweeter
Like apples on the ground

Whirlybirds fall endlessly
Without a sound they land
After weeks of weightless patience
They return to the dirt and sand

We will travel side by side
Return to who we are
Your hand like earth in mine
Settles roots for something more

Fortune has found me resting under the apple tree
You’re the wild fruit that blooms
This time around I pick you

Sweet Morning (Sacred Harp arrangement by H.S. Reese, 1859)

The happy day will soon appear
And we’ll all shout together in that morning
When Gabriel’s trumpet you shall hear
And we’ll all shout together in that morning

Sweet morning, sweet morning
And we’ll all shout together in that morning
Sweet morning, sweet morning
And we’ll all shout together in that morning

Behold the children marching home
And we’ll all shout together in that morning
And all the angels bid them come
And we’ll all shout together in that morning

Nostalgia (A. Friedman)

Nostalgia shakes her hair out, it’s thinning and it’s white
Traversing mental pathways in daytime and in night
She lives inside her memories, she hides behind their slopes
Connected to the present by a long and fraying rope

Oblivious the rope grows taut and tension pulls her chest
The chasm between form and mind expands and manifests
The worn cord holds together by a small unraveling thread
And just before it breaks she wakes and this is what she said:

Ah, ah, all the nameless colors are on parade

The rocks are like a rainbow, been reigned into earth
The greens and blues match her boots, bring extraordinary worth
To the moment’s simple poetry, its verses and its bliss
Where everything’s a more beautiful shade of what it already is

The winter branches blooming, their buds are made of ice
And Christmas trees through windows seem like fiction’s paradise
Beneath its frozen surface the pond cracks and forms a star
And looking up, Nostalgia sees the heavens as they are

Ah, ah, all the nameless colors are on parade

Nostalgia shakes her hair out, it’s thinning and it’s white
A tattered rope falls from her palm, a relic of her flight
From the world’s exquisite beauty to the safety of the past
When sky and earth and blinding light, the present brings her back

Roll Away (M. Friedman)

The carpet is gone, it’s rolled up on the lawn
They took it away with the dirt of the day
The blue it once was has long since turned gray
From the living

My grandmother rolled it out many years ago
Long before I landed in this world I know
When after the war it was a newly glorified house-piece
For the kitchen

Roll away, roll away
Never come back no more
Roll away, roll away

Three little kids they all learned to crawl
In the room with the carpet, the house’s true core
And all the meals were eaten sinking deeper into the floor
Of the kitchen

In winter the ground was a blanket of sorts
Feet walking naked on carpeted warmth
And in summer so hot, the floor’s cleanliness was not
Stunning

The kids grew up and all moved away
My two grandparents spent no time in dismay
Hosting many times a year on that carpet so dear
In the kitchen

Now I’m in this house with my own children three
Climbing up the branches of the family tree
The dirt beneath beneath my feet quite literally holds the key to all my anguish

The carpet is gone, it’s rolled up on the lawn
And the new floor shines like a popular song
The air we now breath has a distinctly fresher feel
And the stories live on in the wallpaper’s peel


Unquiet Grave (Child #78)

The wind doth blow today my love
With a few small drops of rain
I never had but one true love
And in the cold grave he has lain

I will do much for my true love
As any young girl may
I’ll sit and mourn all on his grave
For twelve months and a day

The twelve months and a day being up
The dead began to speak
Oh, who is this sits on my grave
And will not let me sleep?

Oh it is I, my love, sits on your grave
And will not let you sleep
I crave one kiss from your cold sweet lips
And that is all I seek

You crave one kiss from my clay cold lips
My breath smells earthly strong
If you had one kiss from my cold clay lips
Your time would not be long

Down in yonder garden green, love,
Where we used to walk
The fairest flower that ever bloomed
Is withered to a stalk

The stalk is withered dry my love
So must our hearts decay
So make yourself content my love
Til God calls you away



Little Bit Like Me (M. Friedman)

When will I feel like a child again?
I can’t see through your eyes anymore, or
What can I do to feel settled in 
To this always changing score?

You are lost you are free, you looked a little bit like me
You could see through it all to what you’d want when you were tall
And I’d say I’m doing fine though you’re not always on my mind

How can I try and incorporate your ever widening dream, or where can i walk in each endless year
To create your beautiful scene?

Driving north for the hundredth time
The window fogs in my mind 
I fill up my car with my hard earned dimes
And the edges become even more defined

Til I Die (A. Friedman)

A brighter sun took the sky, and it was warm for November
Charlotte sat on the porch, nail polish like a cherry in her hand

Each coat of paint deeper red, fanning fingers as they dried
Leaning back in her chair and smiling like a thousand July’s

Even though I’m old, she said, this great world opens wider
And every day an endless color palette to inspire
So I’ll keep on, I’ll keep on living, I’ll keep living til I die

She raised a family on Long Island, lost a daughter, bore a son
Who ripened in the remnants of a war where grief rebuilt the walls

She wrote stories, dressed in violet, wove her loss inside the lines 
Of jokes she told that wrinkled up her eyes, igniting from the inside

The sparkling jewels upon her hands 
made visible made visible her heart

A darkened sky stole the sun on that day in November
Charlotte rose from her chair to greet the coming night


Sew the City (A. Friedman)

If I still lived just fifteen miles from your door
I wouldn’t have to write this song still wanting more more more
So I’ll watch these old home movies, make my wall your hall of fame
and I’ll hear your voice in the back of my head and listen to you saying

Sweetheart, little darling, grab your coat the night’s still young
And these two Chicago queens will sew the city round her seams
And this dance will keep on circling the sun

Back at Central Cafe in the evening
The waiter bring the soup, you say “ain’t he cute cute cute?”
And for dessert it’s tiramisu and the stories of your lives
And the promise that you’ll wait with me till the train arrives

And I’ll be here for breakfast when the sun comes up
And if you let me borrow the Cadillac I’ll take it slow slow slow
As autumns pass and summers roll and these evenings fade from orange to gold
I pray that I too will be young when I’m old

The Fiddle and the Drum (Joni Mitchell)

And so once again
My dear Johnny my dear friend
And so once again you are fighting us all
And when I ask you why
You raise your sticks and cry, and I fall
Oh, my friend
How have you come
To trade the fiddle for the drum

You say I have turned
Like the enemies you have earned
But I can remember
All the good things you are
And so I ask you please
Can I help you find the peace and the star
Oh, my friend
What time is this
To trade the handshake for the fist

And so once again
Oh, America my friend
And so once again
You are fighting us all
And when we ask you why
You raise your sticks and cry and we fall
Oh, my friend
How did you come
To trade the fiddle for the drum

You say we have turned
Like the enemies you've earned
But we can remember
All the good things you are
And so we ask you please
Can we help you find the peace and the star
Oh my friend
We have all come
To fear the beating of your drum

Come on Home
Apples
Sweet Morning
Nostalgia
Roll Away
Unquiet Grave
Little Bit Like Me
Til I Die
Sew the City
The Fiddle and the Drum

dusk . mia friedman

my bed is empty
my body knows
blueness of dusk gently grows

no i won’t look back
won’t you crawl through my window
on light’s able arms
nestle your hands in my palm

no i won’t look back

i’m just a poor girl
money have i none
i’ve got silver in the moonlight
and gold in the sun

may awakes and i feel the yawn
the sweet purr of earth
gently passing through birth

no i won’t look back

it is me and the tulips
the crocus and i
we’ll wait here until you pass by

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old man . ariel friedman

inspired and loosely based on a poem by e.e cummings

suppose life is an old man carrying flowers on his head
death sits in a café counting money eating bread
suppose life is an old man wearing trousers has a beard
to death he sells the flowers gold and orange they appear

suppose love is a young girl with a slender solemn face
writes her stories scribbles closely and finds nothing to erase
suppose love is a young girl pressing words into a book
while death waves from the shoreline where the bait fell off his hook

listen dear, the dagger and the spear
will bring the darkness just as sure the morning sun will appear

suppose grief is a lady spinning thread beside her loom
while joy is in the kitchen sweeping dust out with her broom
suppose grief is a lady warming soup upon the stove
brings the ladle to her lips and finds that laughter’s being sewn

by and by it’s this life we ask reply
but he’s cutting flowers devouring hours
watching as twilight steals the sky

suppose faith is an old man calls his children all the time
suppose doubt was just his neighbor waiting on the other line
suppose faith is an old man while his garden surely blooms
to death he hands old roses for the new ones making room

by and by it’s this life we ask reply
but he’s cutting flowers devouring hours
watching as twilight steals the sky
he’ll bring the darkness just as sure the morning sun will appear

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godspeed the plough. bennett konesni

let the wealthy and great roll in splendor and state
i envy them not i declare it
i eat my own lamb my own chicken and ham
i shear my own fleece and i wear it
i have lawns i have bowers i have fruits i have flowers
the lark is my early alarmer
so jolly boys now, here’s god speed the plough
long life and success to the farmer

i wake every morn to the dew on the corn
when the light hasn’t quite touched the sky-o
to the lowing of cows and the grunting of sows
and a mare with a glint in her eye-o
there are deals to made, there are debts to be paid
to feed madam credit, the charmer

i think everyday of my girl far away
of the riches she’ll find in her travels
of the sharp foreign smells and the barbaric yells
and the fine silty loam and the gravel
but they can’t be as just spending some time
in the field in the dusk in the summer

of all that i love under heaven above
these are the best of them all
the smell of the land and the touch of your hand
as it grips soft and warm close to mine
and your voice like a bell, well it casts quite a spell
an arrow to pierce through the armor

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all the wandering. mia friedman

better i find you alone after miles of unchartered land
and out of the silence i can hear what’s been right in my hand

you camped under vast skies of texas
you sung near the glaciers up north
you rode on the back of the desert her breath was a force

won’t you plat me a tune by the fire
of all you saw and learned
for what does it make you yearn
by and by, it’s you and i again

you climbed down the hills from braidwood
you walked o’er the great harbor bridge
to sit in a café and sip as life poured in

you were seen watching the daylight
spill out of a grey melbourne sky
the sunlight and stories seeped your skin
without asking why

now here we sit in our living room
as autumn sweeps over the world
i pick you up and hold you
and relax as my fingers curl

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reason . ariel friedman

i don’t miss that you refused to fight
and i don’t miss the mattress on your floor
in the loudest quiet of the night
i find that i don’t miss you anymore

it’s not that something shifted in our lives and
it’s not new love’s inevitable decay
even though you wouldn’t think it twice
our humanity burst through the shiny overlay

the path is so much greener on the other side of reason
where a boulder’s like a feather in your hand
i will lay me down my intellect build with heart and bone
so to find my way out of this house of stone
i will find my way out of this house of stone

it’s better that i cover your terrain
alongside you is the myth i’m not alone
though kissing you was silver lined with pain
your body never really felt like home.

i don’t miss holding you with need
or every hollow promise in refrain
remembering that i must plant my own seeds
and that the more you lose the more you gain

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darling please . mia friedman

you and i were married in the darkest night
the lake and the leaves were silent
and the road before us light

fall on your knees
fall darling please

the chairs were all full but no one spoke
your hand brushed my hand
and both our hearts broke

please learn who i am, my joy
meet me here when the night is dark
and the sun is rising new

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out of stone. ariel friedman

with a chorale by j.s. bach

take me take me for the one that you love.
take me as the sun from above takes the sky
we are poets, you and i

let be let be in the bed where we lie
let be though it’s easy to pry and to stir
and to seek with a sigh

says she says she with a tender reply
says she catch the words then we’ll cast them in dye
we are colors, you and i

in a hungry hollow dome
lovers carve things out of stone
like a firefly who’s not enough to see by
they’re the kind who’ll shake the town
rip the jewels off of their crowns
but by this time tomorrow they’ve said goodbye

says he says he with a hand to her breast
says he we are no more the best than the dust
no more lovers than lust

says she says she this is all we can lose
says she we had time love and now we must choose
let us circle the clues

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on your own . mia friedman

my mama said go find comfort in the hills
the quiet meadow where your mind will be still
follow the trail where the drinking water’s sweet
settle somewhere where the sun and mountain meet

when you arrive a welcoming sun will beckon you to the field
your love will be carried on angel wings
unwrap your hand from your shield
surrender to the sweetness of all that you hold
i’ll stand behind you and watch it unfold

you should leave me for now
ive taught you all that i know
now its time for you to listen on your own

if you find sorrow if you find tears
know my heart breaks for you
and if you dream sweetly and joy appears
i’ll laugh and bow my head too

for you are my angel but ill be your guide
my hand gently holding your hand by your side

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gkeeping my heart warm . ariel friedman

i’ll call you soon tell you sweetly
that i still swoon that you complete me
though i’m away from you i’ll tell you true

another man caught my attention
he held my hand it was my intention
to end it there and then but i couldn’t walk away
to you i’ll say

that you’re my baby and when i dream of you
and all the ways you do i’m yours
back-home baby, while it’s you i adore
he’s just keeping my heart warm

after the show a backstage meeting
it sure ain’t love but worth repeating are the kisses he gives
they rain right down on me but i can see

that you’re my baby and when i dream of you
and all the ways you do i’m yours
back-home baby, while you’re my sweetest thorn
he’s just keeping my heart warm

and when he’s gone i’ll be all yours, love
the crooked dawn is just as pure, love
with you and him both walking in my world
but i’m your girl

and you’re my baby and when i dream of you
and all the ways you do i’m yours
back-home baby, let me drink my fill
i will love you still
i’m yours

he’s just keeping my heart warm.

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ain't no ash will burn . walt aldridge

i have seen snow that fell in may
i have seen rain on cloudless days
some things are always bound to change
there ain't no ash will burn

love is a precious thing i'm told
it burns just like west virginia coal
but when the fire dies down it's cold
there ain't no ash will burn

you say this life is not your lot
well i can't be something that i'm not
we can't stoke a fire that we ain't got
there ain't no ash will burn

in every life there comes a time
where there are no more tears to cry
we must leave something dear behind
there ain't no ash will burn

there is one lesson i have learned
there ain't no ash will burn

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dying californian . sacred harp

lay up nearer brother nearer
for my limbs are growing cold
and thy presence seemeth nearer
when thine arms around me fold

i am dying brother dying
soon you’ll miss me in your berth
for my form will soon be lying
neath the ocean’s briny surf

i am going brother knowing
that my hope in god is strong
i am willing brother knowing
that he doeth nothing wrong

hark i hear my savior speaking
lord i know his voice so well
when i’m gone oh don’t be weeping
brother hear my last farewell

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