What the Shed Looks At

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

She asks are you cursed, he says I think that I'm cured...

Josh Ritter just put out a new album. If you are unaware of who Josh Ritter is, then this should be a treat. He is honestly one of the greatest lyricists of the day and is finally getting attention in the mainstream with his song "Changes" being featured on some godawful show on primetime network tv that a lot of people watch.

Anyways, he has put out four albums and he is consistently getting better with every album. His latest album is called "So Runs the World Away".

Some choice songs:


Give me light for my lantern
Give me light for my lantern give me light
Be the light of my lantern, the light of my lantern, be the light
I need the light in my lantern, light in my lantern tonight

It's a hungry world out there
Even the wind will take a bite
I can feel the world circling
Sniffing round me in the night
And the lost sheep grow teeth
Forsake the lambs and lie with the lions

Where the living is desperate
Precarious and mean
And getting by is so hard
That even the rocks are picked clean
And the bones of small contention
Are the only food the hungry find

Where the thistles eat the thorns
And the roses have no chance
And it no wonder that the babies
Come out crying in advance
And the children look for shelter
In the hollow of some lonesome cheek

And the sky's so cold and clear
The stars might stick you where you stand
And you're only glad it's dark cause
You might see the master's hand
And you might cast around forever
And never find the peace that you seek

For every cry in the night
Somebody says, "Have faith!"
"Be content inside your questions"
"Minotaurs inside a maze"
Tell me what's the point of a light
That you have to strike a match to find?

So throw away those lamentations
We both know them all too well
If there's a book of jubilations
We'll have to write it for ourselves
So come and lie beside me darling
And let's write it while we still got time

So if you got a light, hold it high for me
I need it bad tonight, hold it high for me
Cause I'm face to face, hold it high for me
In that lonesome place, hold it high for me
With all the hurt that I've done, hold it high for me
That can't be undone, hold it high for me
Light and guide me through, hold it high for me
And I'll do the same for you, hold it high for me

I'll hold it high for you, cause I know you've got
I'll hold it high for you, your own valley to walk
I'll hold it high for you, though it's dark as death
I'll hold it high for you, and then gets darker yet
I'll hold it high for you, though your path is blocked
I'll hold it high for you, through the thieves and rocks
I'll hold it high for you, keep you safe from harm
I'll hold it high for you, until you're back in my arms

The Curse

He opens his eyes
Falls in love at first sight
With the girl in the doorway
What beautiful lines
How full of life
After thousands of years
What a face to wake up to
He holds back a sigh
As she touches his arm
She dusts off the bed
Where ‘til now he’s been sleeping
Under miles of stone
The dry fig of his heart
Under scarab and bones
Starts back to its beating

She carries him home
In a beautiful boat
He watches the sea
From a porthole in stowage
He can hear all she says
As she sits by his bed
And one day his lips answer her
In her own language
The days quickly pass
He loves making her laugh
The first time he moves
It’s her hair that he touches
She asks, “Are you cursed?”
He says, “I think that I’m cured.”
Then he talks of the Nile
And the girls in bulrushes

In New York he is laid
In a glass-covered case
He pretends he is dead
People crowd ‘round to see him
But each night she comes ‘round
And the two wander down
The halls of the tomb
That she calls a museum
Often he stops to rest
And then less and less
Then it’s her that looks tired
Stayin’ up asking questions
He learns how to read
From the papers that she
Is writing about him
And he makes corrections
It’s his face on her book
More and more come to look
There’s families from Iowa
Then one day it’s too much
He decides to get up
And as chaos ensues
He walks outside to find her
She’s using a cane
And her face looks too pale
But she’s happy to see him
As they walk he supports her
She asks, “Are you cursed?”
But his answer’s obscured
In a sandstorm of flashbulbs,
Rowdy reporters

Such reanimation
The two tour the nation
He gets out of limos
He meets other women
He speaks of her fondly
Their nights in the museum
But she’s just one more rag
Now he’s dragging behind him
She stops going out
She just lies there in bed
In hotels in whatever
Towns they are speaking
Then her face starts to set
And her hands start to fold
And one day the dry fig
Of her heart stops its beating

Long ago on the ship
She asked, “Why pyramids?”
He said, “Think of them as
An immense invitation.”
She asked, “Are you cursed?”
He says, “I think that I’m cured.”
Then he kissed her then hoped
That she’d forget that question.

Another New World

The leading lights of the age all wondered
amongst themselves what I would do next
After all that I've found in my travels around
the world was there anything left?

"Gentlemen," I said "I've studied the maps
and if what I am thinking is right
There's another new world at the top of the world
for whoever can break through the ice"

I looked round the room in the way I once
had and I saw that they wanted belief
So I said "all I got are my guts and my God
and I paused, and the Annabel Lee"

Oh the Annabel Lee, I saw their eyes shine,
the most beautiful ship in the sea,
My Nina, my Pinta, my Santa Maria,
my beautiful Annabel Lee

That spring I set sail as a crowd waved from shore
and on board the crew waved their hands
But I never had family just the Annabel Lee
so I didn't have cause to look back

I just set the course north, and I studied the charts
and towards dark I drifted towards sleep
and I dreamed of the fine deep harbor
I'd find past the ice for my Annabel Lee

After that it got colder the world got quiet
it was never quite day or quite night
and the sea turned the color of sky
turned the color of sea turned the color of ice

Till at last around us was vastness,
one vast glassy desert of arsenic white
and the waves that once lifted us sifted
instead into drifts against Annabel's sides

And the crew gathered closer at first for comfort
But each morning would bring a new set
of tracks in the snow leading over
the edge of the world till I was the only one left

After that it gets cloudy, but it feels like
I laid there for days and maybe for months
But Annabel held me the two of us happy
just to think back on all we had done

We talked of the other new worlds we discovered
till she gave up her body to me
And as I chopped up her main sail for timber
I told her of all that we still had to see

Then the frost turned her moorings to nine tails
and the wind lashed her sides in the cold
I burned her to keep me alive every night
in the loving embrace of her hold

And I won't call it rescue what brought me back
to the old world to drink and decline
And pretend that the search for another new world
was well worth the burning of mine

Sometimes at night in my dreams
comes the singing of some unknown tropical bird
and I smile in my sleep thinking
Annabel Lee had made it to Another New World

Yeah sometimes at night in my dreams
comes the singing of some unknown tropical bird
And I smile in my sleep thinking
Annabel Lee has made it to Another New World

Change of Time

I had a dream last night
I dreamt that I was swimming
And the stars up above
Directionless and drifting
Somewhere in the dark
Were the sirens and the thunder
And around me as I swam
The drifters who'd gone under

Time, love
Time, love
Time, love
It's only a change of time

I had a dream last night
And rusting far below me
Battered hulls and broken hardships
Leviathan and Lonely
I was thirsty so I drank
And though it was salt water
There was something 'bout the way
It tasted so familiar

The black clouds I'm hanging
This anchor I'm dragging
The sails of memory rip open in silence
We cut through the lowlands
All hands through the saltlands
The white caps of memory
Confusing and violent

I had a dream last night
And when I opened my eyes
Your shoulder blade, your spine
Were shorelines in the moon light
New worlds for the weary
New lands for the living
I could make it if I tried
I closed my eyes I kept on swimming

(rough seas, they carry me wherever I go)

Here are his for albums for download.

Golden Age of Radio

The Animal Years

The Historical Conquests of...

So Runs the World Away

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