The Names of Things

by Karen & the Sorrows

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credits

released 27 May 2014

All songs written by Karen Pittelman.

Recorded and mixed by Charles Burst at Seaside Lounge, Brooklyn, NY. With additional engineering by Jon Altschuler.

Mastered by Paul Gold at Salt Mastering, Brooklyn, NY.

Cover and back photos by @gothamr

Album design by Elizabeth Daggar, Electrofork

Karen Pittelman: vocals, acoustic guitar
Elana Redfield: pedal steel guitar, electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
AJ Lewis: bass, banjo, backing vocals
Tami Johnson: drums

With:
Benjamin Leavitt: Hammond organ on “Black Box” and “One Hand in Debt,” Rhodes on “The Names of Things”
Jim Altieri: mandolin on “Asleep at the Wheel”
James Wilson: piano on “Just a Little Heartbreak”
Rima Fand: fiddle on “Tender Buttons”
Kurt Leege: bass on “Tami’s Broken Bones”
Robert Maril: cello on “Star”
The Queer Country Family Band: backing vocals on “Star”

www.karenandthesorrows.com
©2014 Karen & the Sorrows

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Track Name: Around the Bend
Around the Bend

Everyone wants you to say
That it was meant to be, that you’re better off this way
Cue the sun after the rain
And reveal the sweet surprise that was just gift-wrapped in your pain

I’m not tryin’ to poke a hole in your romantic fantasy
I’m sure that my misfortune has no bearing on your destiny
No, I wouldn’t mind to wind up as your proof of happy ends
But for now it’s looking dark around the bend

Everyone wants to believe
That there’s a purpose to the fall of every lonesome leaf
Cue the ledger in the clouds
Where it’s written down in stone how it all magically works out

I know that I’m supposed to say I think this life has got some weight
That it can’t just bust wide open till it’s all been blown away
And maybe there’s some cosmic scale that’s balanced in the end
But for now it’s looking dark around the bend

Is that a sliver of light up ahead?
Or just some desperate mirage?
Don’t make me get my hopes up yet
If it’s the headlights of some oncoming car

Everyone wants you to be
Even better than before, your wounds sewn up expertly
Like some Frankenstein of fate
Reanimated with the bits of all your best mistakes

If the future’s flying toward me on some cheerful bluebird’s wings
Why does it feel more like I woke the hive and all its angry stings?
I know you’d like me to confirm that sorrow turns into a friend
But for now it’s looking dark around the bend
Track Name: Asleep at the Wheel
Asleep at the Wheel

Well we gave it a hell of a fight
We screamed and we talked and we cried
Till we had to admit that calling it quits
Was the only thing we hadn't tried

So you gave me one last farewell kiss
And I promised that I would be brave
That I'd do my best to go it alone
And I'd smile when I thought of your name

But last night I woke up in your headlights
And my heart was racing to go
So I snuck out like some teenaged girl after dark
And we sped off back out on the road

It's time to wake up now
This isn't real
Stop driving by my house
Asleep at the wheel

It's hard to remember the exit
When it's years of to have and to hold
When your foot is still on the pedal
But baby your arms have gone cold

And tonight I woke up in your headlights
And my heart was racing to go
But I know we ain’t got no business
Being back out on the road
Track Name: Just a Little Heartbreak
Just a Little Heartbreak

My old friend, forgive me if I cross the line
If it’s not for me to say
But I fear we might be running out of time
And I’d rather risk you hating me if it might keep you safe

I know you don’t want me to know
But I’m begging you to finally let go

It’s just a little heartbreak
Nothing you can’t handle
So hold your head up and walk out that door

It’ll be lonesome
But you can manage
Your heart needs so much more
I know it’s love but this ain’t what love is for

You say you can’t just turn your back upon a vow
You remember how it used to be
But can’t you see that was then but it ain’t now
And the past you share don’t mean that you can’t leave

I know you’re scared to go
But you don’t have to do it all alone

It’s just a little heartbreak
Nothing we can’t handle
So hold your head up and walk out that door

It’ll be lonesome
But you can manage
Your heart needs so much more
I know it’s love but this ain’t what love is for
Track Name: The Names of Things
The Names of Things

You had a plan
And your plan was just to run
Simple as it seems
Turns out you’re the lucky one

While I circle around
I can’t land nowhere
I can’t bear to touch ground
But I can’t breathe in this air

Once the song and what you sang were still the same
And the words still stood by what they named
And the rain still called itself the rain

You burn the library down
And ride off into the sun
Leave it all behind
Just your horse and favorite gun

While I watch from the woods
I wonder what I would have saved
It don’t do no good
Better learn to love the flames

Once the song and what you sang were still the same
And the words still stood by what they named
And the rain still called itself the rain
Track Name: One Hand in Debt
One Hand in Debt

Are you gonna get what you need
Wrapped up in a bow just like you dreamed?
Are they here to lay the table
Or are they here to feed?

Sing it to the sky if you dare
Did you think the clouds would care
About your little box
About your little bow
About your little dream?

If you’ve got one hand in debt
And the other in vain
But you can’t turn back yet
This could be the only way

But they’re gonna make you pay

Here’s a little match for the dark
Here’s a pretty mask for your part
Hope you come out right
Hope you come out strong
Hope you come out clean

If you’ve got one hand in debt
And the other in vain
But you can’t turn back yet
This could be the only way

But they’re gonna make you pay

Watch your back, little darlin’
Look how the stars are falling
What will you do if your debts are all called in?
Track Name: Black Box
Black Box

I called off the search today
Packed my black box dreams away
There is not some missing piece
You are not some mystery
Rummaged through each word I knew
Wasn’t even one that made it through

You are just a stranger, I am just a ghost
There is no remainder, nothing left to know

There’s no book of why
No secret diary in the sky
Time to set your decoder down and let it slide
Just say good-bye

Where does all that’s unsaid live?
Can I go and visit it?
Somewhere on the moon? Somewhere undersea?
Somewhere up so high
The air’s too thin to breathe?

There’s no book of why
No secret diary in the sky
Time to set your decoder down and let it slide
Just say good-bye

The heart’s a brutal force
No set anchor, no set course
Mutinied and lost at sea
You’re not coming back for me
Track Name: Tender Buttons
Tender Buttons

I say it’s cold, you say it’s winter
I say are you lonesome, you say you don’t mind

But still, night after night
Maybe you will, maybe you’ll write
Until dawn
Asleep at your desk with some tangled-up mess
That I’m supposed to type

You said just bend
But everything broke
You say I’ll mend
But it goes so slow
And if you can’t stay
Why don’t you go?

You say it’s spring, but it feels like winter
And if I am lonesome, I pay it no mind

Because night after night
Maybe you will, maybe you’ll write
Until dawn
Asleep at your desk with some tangled-up mess
That I’m gonna type

You said just bend
But everything broke
You say I’ll mend
But how would you know?
And if you can’t stay
Why won’t you go?

And if you can’t stay
Baby, don’t go
Track Name: Tami's Broken Bones
Tami's Broken Bones

Round and around and around and around we all go
Where this is ending oh baby I hope that you know
You say what more could you need than a horse of your own?
But if this is a carousel, how will we make it a home?

You take my heart
But you just keep the darkest part
So if you can’t shine for all to see
Please just burn for me

If I am clumsy, it’s only because I am lost
Burnt by the ash of a cigarette someone else tossed
And if all the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Still couldn’t do it then why would you dream that you can?

You take my heart
But you just keep the darkest part
So if you can’t shine for all to see
Please just burn for me

Oh darling, why?
You toss and turn
Oh darling I
Can’t seem to learn
Track Name: Star
Star

You could wait your whole life for what’s safe
Board the windows up and walk away
Or let the cards be played
Again

And if the dark is a given, so’s the light
I see them both there in your eyes tonight
But there is just one sky
One end

If I wander off too far
I’ll still know just where you are
The city lights are bright
But they can’t hide your star

If my ship gets washed away
I won’t even be afraid
The ocean’s black but I can
Map it by your star

What if this world doesn’t want us here?
Uses all its might to make us disappear?
My love shines just as strong
And clear

If I wander off too far
I’ll still know just where you are
The city lights are bright
But they can’t hide your star

If my ship gets washed away
I won’t even be afraid
The ocean’s black but I can
Map it by your star