The Narrow Place

by Karen & the Sorrows

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1.
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
2.
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
3.
The Wire 03:59
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
4.
Nowhere 04:15 video
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
5.
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?
6.
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
7.
“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?
8.
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
9.
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
10.
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
11.
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

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”

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©2017 Ocean Born Mary Music (ASCAP)

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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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