The Narrow Place

by Karen & the Sorrows

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credits

released August 25, 2017

All songs written by Karen Pittelman

Recorded and mixed by Charles Burst at Seaside Lounge, Brooklyn, NY

Mastered by Paul Gold at Salt Mastering, Brooklyn, NY

Album design by Elizabeth Daggar, Electrofork

Karen Pittelman: vocals, acoustic guitar
Elana Redfield: pedal steel guitar, electric guitar
Tami Johnson: drums
Gerard Kouwenhoven: bass, backing vocals

With:

Julia Read: fiddle

J.B. Flatt: Hammond organ and Wurlitzer

Tara Lynne Mallon: backing vocals

Charles Burst: bass on “Back Down to the Dirt”

Sonia Alexander, Anya Rous, Eli Oberman, and Ariel Speedwagon: backing vocals on “The Price of the Ticket”

karenandthesorrows.com
©2017 Ocean Born Mary Music (ASCAP)

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Karen & the Sorrows Brooklyn, New York

Trailblazin', heartbreakin' queer country.

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Track Name: Back Down to the Dirt
How many times did I
See the signs
But I told myself why
Not give it one more try

How many times with these
Same little plans
With these
Same little hands
Singing oh no, this is different

How many times
Must the bottom fall out?
How many times
Must the walls get torn down?

Till I make my roof the sky?

Build your house up
Oh you made it strong
Made it last the storm
But it ain’t over

Till the wolf comes
With his mighty curse
With his heart of hurt
And blows it
Back down to the dirt

Out with the straw
Out with the sticks
I started again
And I went with the bricks

Closer to you
Or just closer to hell?
Well I bricked the windows
So it’s hard to tell

Bolt the boards
Still the bottom falls out
Shore the walls
Still it all gets torn down

Oh just make your roof the sky

Build your house up
Oh you made it strong
Made it last the storm
But it ain’t over

Till the wolf comes
With his mighty curse
With his heart of hurt
And blows it
Back down to the dirt

Now baby who’s afraid
Of that bad wolf?
I should have been afraid
Why weren’t we afraid?
Now baby be afraid
Of that bad wolf
Track Name: Can't Miss What You Never Had
There’s the way things are
And the way that they could be
I got pretty good
At living in between

All those people on the tv screen
Playing out my favorite dream
Made it seem like something we could touch
A home, a family
Our own little magnolia tree
But it was just something we watched

And you say
Can’t miss what you never had
But I do

I was living on fumes
But now I miss the smell
That oilcan shimmer of hope that says
You never can tell

Now you’re running as fast as you can
Away from this never-never land
Where no pixie dust ever made us fly

But I’m still on my window sill
Watching the night sky
Wishing I were wishing you’d arrive

And you say
Can’t miss what you never had
But I do

All these what ifs and wonderings
All my hoping that something
Could make this wish true

Can’t miss what you never had
But I do
Track Name: The Wire
Hold your breath beneath the reeds
Still the wire it will find you
See it clawing up the leaves
Its light burning through the trees

You will lose everything

Will you make it through unseen?
Or become their precious thing?
Whisper wait into the wire
But it won’t wait, it won’t wait
It won’t wait

You will lose everything

How long, how long
How long till it’s your turn?

Let me be
Not consumed but burn

How long, how long
How long till you learn

That you will lose everything
Track Name: Nowhere
How much further out can the outside be?
Nothing but this desert far as I can see
I remember how the Red Sea used to sing
I remember how it swallowed everything

Let the compass spin
Turn me round again
Doesn't matter if it's here
Doesn't matter if it's there
Any place without you is nowhere

I was split when I was known
Always one half in danger, one half home
Scarred my tongue to keep my secret safe
Now my secret's all that I can taste


Let the compass spin
Turn me round again
Doesn't matter if it's here
Doesn't matter if it's there
Any place without you is nowhere

All these bones
On the other shore
How my sister sang
But I don’t sing no more
Track Name: Take Me for a Ride
We can’t say we’ve just begun
No, this ain’t our first time
We can’t blame it on we’re young
I see those laugh lines

Why don’t you drive by tonight
Come take me for a ride

Let those clock hands spin round round
Let that big sun fall down down
Let me take you on the town
Don’t care what those folks say

I don’t even have one doubt
Wanna kiss that pretty mouth
And then keep on kissin’ south
Cause you’re still the girl I dream about

All these years and I’m not bored
Oh no, baby
Cause oh my lord, here comes my girl
In a flatbed Ford

Why don’t you drive by tonight
Come take me for a ride

Let those clock hands spin round round
Let that big sun fall down down
Let me take you on the town
Don’t care what those folks say

I don’t even have one doubt
Wanna kiss that pretty mouth
And then keep on kissin’ south
Cause you’re still the girl I dream about

Ride, ride, ride
C’mon, cowgirl
Ride, ride, ride
If we don’t then who will?
Track Name: The Man Who Loves You
I know this world don’t treat you right
Day in, day out, it’s a fight
I know you dream of an escape
Some superman to kill the pain

I wish that I were born that strong
Wish I could wave some magic wand
But I can hold you all night long
Ain’t that enough?

I am just the man who loves you
I can’t grow no wings
Fly you away from things

I can’t clear the clouds above you
But I can stand this ground
Won’t be turned around
Cause baby I’m the man who loves you

If I’m the rock and not the rain
If I’m the dirt, not the flame
If I’m the bass note underneath
Not some high, sweet melody

If all that glitters lets you down
If it can’t block the next day’s sun
Baby, I’ll still be around
Ain’t that enough?

I am just the man who loves you
I can’t grow no wings
Fly you away from things

I can’t clear the clouds above you
But I can stand this ground
Won’t be turned around
Cause baby I’m the man who…

When it’s dark, when everything
Falls apart
Still sees your pure, clear, perfect heart
Track Name: The Price of the Ticket
“Later, in the midnight hour, the missing identity aches.”
—James Baldwin

Write your notes back to home
In an alphabet they can’t read
Save your change for the phone
But no line could ever reach back

To a person that you’ll never be
To a country that you’ll never see
To a language that you’ll never speak

La dai dai…

Did you fall so far?
Somewhere they never dreamed
Did they make you the star
Of a story that never rings true

About a person that you’ll never be
And a country that you’ll never see
In a language that you’ll never speak

La dai dai…

If they held us down, hold me up
Hold them down to hold us up
Did I hold you down to hold me up?
When will we just rise up?
Track Name: Walk Through the Desert
When they write what has happened here
It will seem so clear, like we knew
All that loss, all the haze and fear
It will disappear like the truth

I don’t know why but I
Walked through the desert all night
Walked through it all my life
And I don’t know why

There’s a fire on the mountaintop
But in my black heart only smoke
What I’d give for the flames to stop
For this god to turn back to ghost

I don’t know why but I
Walked through the desert all night
Walked through it all my life
And I don’t know why

Why throw it all away?
What if we could have stayed?
All that we’ve done is trade
A grave for grave
A plague for plague
Track Name: Do It for Myself
You say don’t wait
We all make our own fate
Take what you gotta take
To get to what you need

Be your own girl
Captain of your own world
Show ‘em how you stay alive
All alone at sea

So if you won’t turn back and
Take me in your arms and
Say I was always the one

If you won’t listen to your heart
Pick up that guitar
And write me this song

Guess I’ll do it for myself

Why should I miss
Worrying and wondering
Now I ain’t got nothing
To worry bout but me

And all these dreams
I thought you dreamed too
Now it’s just me who
Has to believe

So don’t you turn back and
Take me in your arms and
Say I was always the one

Don’t you listen to your heart
Don’t pick up that guitar
Don’t write me this song

I’ll just do it for myself

And oh who needs this part?
Oh take me back to the start

You say don’t wait
We all make our own fate
Take what you gotta take
To get to what you need
Track Name: I Was Just Your Fool
Every heart
Like every stage
Has the same stock parts
The one in distress
The hero to the rescue
And the villain lurking in the dark

Oh I wasn't sure
Which part you'd choose for me
If I wasn't your star
I hoped I'd play a lead

But I was just your fool

Is this one of those plays
Where only the fool is
Free to tell the truth?
Why should I care?
If you don't love me
Than what good does that truth do?

Someone rewrite this script
Turn its world upside down
Put a poor child on the throne
And make the queen love the clown

Cause I was just your fool

Tear up these rags I wore
Tear out the page
Tear down this sad, cheap set and
Burn down the stage

I won’t be your fool
Track Name: Everything We Had
I was writing this song
For a long time before now
But I kept changing the words
Because I didn’t want to know them

I didn’t want to break your heart
I didn’t want you to break mine

But if you gave everything you had
And I gave everything I had
And it wasn’t enough
What could ever be enough?

If we’ve got nothing left but loss
Oh my darlin, don’t you cry
Let the music stay with us
River deep and mountain high

I know I’ll always have your heart
And you’ll always have mine

But if you gave everything you had
And I gave everything I had
And it wasn’t enough
What could ever be enough?


All of our wrongs
All of rights
All of our darkness
All of our light
Every star we couldn’t see in the cold dark night
Everything we had

And if I broke your heart
And if you broke mine

It just wasn’t enough