Ocean​-​Born Mary

by Karen & the Sorrows

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    ***Please note that this is a song cycle, so the four parts are interconnected and flow into each other.
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    Get all 4 Karen & the Sorrows releases available on Bandcamp and save 20%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Guaranteed Broken Heart, The Narrow Place, The Names of Things, and Ocean-Born Mary. , and , .

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released June 28, 2012

Karen Pittelman: vocals, acoustic guitar
Elana Redfield: pedal steel, electric guitar, vocals
AJ Lewis: double bass
Tami Johnson: drums

Additional backing vocals on All the Oceans:
Charles Burst, Tara Lynne Mallon, Tami Johnson, AJ Lewis

All Songs Written by Karen Pittelman

Recorded and Mixed by Charles Burst at
Seaside Lounge, Brooklyn

Mastered by Paul Gold at Salt Mastering, Brooklyn

Jacket Design by Jay Harlow


all rights reserved



Karen & the Sorrows Brooklyn, New York

“Like Gram Parsons, Pittelman peels away the superficiality that much of country music has embraced and looks deep into its soul, its history, and its stories and makes it all her own….You do not want to miss this album.”—No Depression


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Track Name: Part I: Persephone
I was born upon the sea
On a ship bound for America
And though my mother fled a famine
Her hunger bled into my heart

It’s a birthright that I bear
Even in this life beyond the flesh
The pound and strum, the beat and hum
The hunger song of my heart

It’s calling
From the underground
Oh the sweetness of the falling
Darling, take me down

Was I spared or was I marked?
Was I called to haunt or called to grace?
No milk could chase that darkest taste
The hunger sown into my heart

Could it be this
Could it be just one lonesome kiss
Will you take me down?
Could it be this
A drop of poison for my lips
Will you take me down?
Track Name: Part II: Caged Bird
How do I keep it safe?
Lock everything away
Keep it from the light

How do I make you stay?
Boarded and bricked away
Keep you in the night

Hold on to me

If you might not come back to me
Why should I ever set you free?
If you don’t belong to me
You still should be mine

If my heart’s a cage
Then at least that keeps you safe
If I clip your wings
Don’t try to fly
Why don’t you sing?

Oh to be so adored
Isn’t that what we’re for?
What else could you need?

Everything here is yours
Everything but that door
That belongs to me

Hold on to me
Why won’t you hold on to me?

If I clip your wings
Don’t try to fly
Why won’t you sing?

If I clip your wings
Don’t cry
Just sing
Track Name: Part III: A Plague on Your Houses
A simple rhyme to seal the new
Something borrowed, something blue
But the ending’s not as clean
Something hard and something mean

So tunnel down into the dirt
Or raze the city, salt the earth
Buried deep without a sound
Or ashes ashes on the ground

Doesn’t matter what you need
Choose the leaf or choose the seed
One is just a hard-shelled dream
One is broken by a breeze

So make a map of where it hurts
Make a list of which is worse
And let it all come tumbling down
Ashes ashes all around

If I don’t feel it I won’t go
If the sky is falling down
I’m still rooted to the ground
No one’s going home

My heart tells me so
Tied down to the mast
If this ain’t gonna last
Baby, you should know
I won’t go down alone

Take it back, take it back
Track Name: Part IV: All the Oceans
Is there something I should say?
Should I wish my crime away?
I am not ashamed
I didn’t see another way

Am I left just holding bones?
Did I make this grave a home?
If it’s hell to haunt these walls
Well, at least I’m not alone.

All the oceans
The deepest well, the longest rain
Couldn’t wash this need away

All the armies
The darkest cell, the longest chain
Couldn’t ever make you stay

They say let him rest in peace
How much can just one girl need?
But I don’t care how long you stay
If you’re only gonna leave

Love is good but blood is better
Some things have to last forever