Sitting with Sounds and Listening for Ghosts

by sun riah

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03:36
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03:03
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04:01
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06:04
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03:39
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02:58
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credits

released July 21, 2017

All songs written and recorded by M. Bailey Stephenson. Songs mixed and mastered by Chris Harris of Hook Echo Sound.

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sun riah Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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Track Name: Grandma's Room and Trains in the Distance
I am listening deeply for you
in the cracks and crevices of this room.
Your daily tasks and quiet breaths,
I took those songs for granted.
But, can you hear me now?
I am sitting with the sounds
of all the words I should have said and
all the things you did
to fill this space.

When I grow up
I want to be an old lady
with lots of buttons.
I want to solve problems with
needle and thread.
When I grow up
I want to find
your face in mine.
I want the lines of your eyes
beside mine.

It’s night; you called my name.
I stood and faced your pain.
I stood and felt shame,
as you said my name
followed by the phrase,
“Proud of you.”

But am I worthy now
to carry on your mouth?
With time will I learn to see
all of you that lives in me?
Track Name: The Middle Room
Found me covered in glue,
when I needed you to
carry me to
the middle room.

Construction-papered my wounds,
You puzzle-pieced me anew.

Fell asleep in the car, and I woke up here.
Fell asleep at the bar, and I woke up scared.
Called you the next day, wondered if you would stay
my glue.

The bed post held the radio
that told us that the ghosts were coming,
that the wind was running our way,
so I ran away, left you to stay
my glue.

Fell asleep in the car, and I woke up here.
Fell asleep at the bar, and I woke up scared.
Called you the next day, wondered if you would stay my glue,
but the ghosts stole you.

The radio sang us the song of sirens
in the room where you first cried out,
in the room where you first tried out trust.

But the ghosts were coming, and the wind was running
But the ghosts were coming, and the wind was running
But the ghosts were coming, and the wind was running
our way.
Track Name: The Bridge
Get out grandma’s fancy shoes
and dance on the boarded bridge.
The sound of wood and soft shoe,
imagine I am Gene or Bo.
Music in my feet, music in the streets,
Begging, will you be my audience?
If not, then who will be my audience?
A row of empty garden chairs,
grasshoppers, and passer-by’s stares.

Get out grandma’s fancy dress,
and sing into the sidewalk stone.
Hear the bridge moan and creak,
imagine I am Etta or Judy.
Music in my mouth, music in the fields.
Begging, will you be my audience?
If not, then who will be my audience?
Will you be my audience?
Who will be my audience?
And, will you be my audience?
Who will be my audience?
A row of empty garden chairs,
birds and bees and wind and hare.
Still learning how to be
alone here.
Track Name: Papa's Workshop
Vise-clamp my hand
and walk to the park.
You taught me to
firefly-night-light the dark.

You smiled when you cried.
You smiled all the time.
Where is your smile tonight?

Walk to the train tracks
and collect memories of
railroad spikes and all that we could find.
Wish I could find the time...

that we walked to apple groves
and road bikes to the candy store
and bore trenches in the fields of grass
and watched the squash blossoms laugh at us
as they withered away in the summer heat.

We watched the earth meet the sky and fade to gray.
As the seasons change and my memory fades,
you will always light my way with
all that we crafted from all that we could
all that we crafted from all that we could
all that we crafted from all that we could
all that we crafted from all that we could
find.
Track Name: The Kitchen
When I learned that she was gone,
I steadied my hands and my heart
with the sound of chopping vegetables.
When I learned that he was gone,
I steadied my mind and kept track of time
with the feeling of knife to squash,
the steady pulse of work.

You said you showed love,
washing and drying the dishes together.
You said you showed love,
when you told me no.

He taught me to cook by his side.
He left me to cook for her when he died.
Now you both are gone, and I
confuse the two of you.

Lovesick lovebirds, how does one sing without the other?
Lovesick lovebirds, how do I learn your song
now that you’re gone?
Track Name: The Cellar
Dug a hole, climbed below
to hear your voice roar above me.

Fermented my love, and
bottled it up
to save for when
I come above

and see you
out of the blue
you ripped through
all that we grew and
planted needs.

Salted my skin, released my sins.
Let me sit and think about
all that we did.

Fermented my love, and
bottled it up.
Massage my salty parts,
let me dwell on my salty heart

that you stole
bottled and broke.
You ripped through
all that we grew and
planted needs.

You stole all that we’d sewn.
You ripped through all that we grew.
Left broken bits and shattered wits.
How can I mature past your sourness?

Dug a hole, climbed below
to hear your voice roar above me.

Fermented my love, and
bottled it up
to save for when
I rise above.
Track Name: Our Garden
Found a carton of smokes in the garden.
Who grew them there?
And the garden grew covered with cars and boats and things,
when you left it in our care.
Wonder what I should’ve done differently
to grow life there.
But the trees and weeds and things grew through
like some promise renewed,
stubborn, like you.

Strawberry plants and strawberry juice made strawberry soup from...
The mulberry tree made mulberry mead soaked dreams from...
Henbit, don’t quit, grow through this truce.
Uproot the brut we should have fended off for you.

Remember when you taught me to make a
corncob pipe?
You told me not to tell cause
times weren’t right,
though it was easier to find snipes.
You grew that corncob pipe in your garden.
Now it’s dead and laid to rest.
Do my best to search through this mess of things.
How did we make such a mess of things?
Should have done better by you.

Strawberry plants and strawberry juice made strawberry soup from...
The mulberry tree made mulberry mead soaked dreams from...
Henbit, don’t quit, grow through this truce.
Uproot the brut we should have fended off for...
Henbit, don’t quit, grow through this truce
Henbit, don’t quit uproot the brut
Henbit, don’t quit, grow through this truce.
Uproot the brut we should have fended off for you.

Found a carton of smokes in the garden.
Who grew them there?
And the garden grew covered with cars and boats and things,
when you left it in our care.
Wonder what I should’ve done differently
to grow life there.
But the trees and weeds and things grew through
like some promise renewed
stubborn, like you.
Learning to be stubborn like you.
Learning to uproot.
Learning to take root.
Learning to grow shoots.
Track Name: The Pasture
Listen to the sunset and watch the light show;
The red moon glows over this place that I call home.
I get the itch to roam when all feels lost and gone.

Listen to the sunrise and try to find
The words to convey the weight of your life on mine.
Who am I to even try? My words can’t do you right.

Listen to the sunset and watch the light show;
The red dirt glows as the sun lilts moon in tow.
There are words that fail to touch bone.
I long to know the words to show
you my love.

Like the weeping lovegrass that once consumed me,
your love will grow and surround me.
Your love will feed the life of things.
Your love will sustain me.

Listen to the sunset and watch the light show;
The red sun glows over this place that I call home.
The weeping lovegrass seems to know
how to love, cry, feed life, and grow.
Track Name: Grandma's Room and Prayers Goodnight
Now I lay me down to sleep,
Pray the lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the lord my soul to take.

You taught these words to me as I avoided sleep.
I would beg and plead
for more time
awake with you.

But can you hear me now?
I am sitting with the sounds
of all the words I should have said,
and all the words you did
teach to me.

When I grow up I want to be an old lady with lots of buttons.
I want to solve problems with needle and thread.
When I grow up I want to find your face in mine.
I want the lines of your eyes beside mine.
I want to wear your eyes with pride.

The softest cheek and the sharpest tongue,
I have been cradled by your love.
And now your words linger
here...

Now I lay me down to sleep,
Pray the lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the lord my soul to take.

You taught these words to me as I avoided sleep.
I would beg and plead for more time
awake with you.

But can you hear me now?
I am sitting with the sounds
of all the words I should have said
and all the things you did.

And now you come to me in dreams,
and I still beg and plead
for more time
awake with you.
Track Name: The Chapel
Don’t stop here.
There is something in the air
that keeps me near
but too scared to face your fear.

And I lost the sun,
so I begged you to come
back home.

but... but… but…but...

I found in the coroner’s perfume
that you were not who I once knew.
I searched for your soul in the room;
found it in a flower’s bloom.

And I thought I saw you there.
I swear it was you there.
I thought I saw you there, so
I stared.

But, I found in the coroner’s perfume
that you were not who I once knew.
I searched for your soul in the room;
I found it in a flower’s bloom.
Track Name: Listening to Changes
September and October, you stole my loved ones away.
April and May, you stole our faith.
Cold-hearted men, you stole my grace.
Mean, mad highway, you secured our fate
and I am here feeling all of this change.

I am listening to changes and learning to say goodbye.
Listening to changes and learning to say goodbye.

Listening to changes and learning to say goodbye.

Listening to changes and learning to say goodbye.
You were smiling when you said goodbye.

Listening to changes and learning to say goodbye.
I looked into your eyes and tried not to cry.

Listening to changes and learning to say goodbye.
And when I’m lost I think of this place and your face.

Listening to changes and learning to say goodbye,
as you said goodbye.

Listening to changes and learning to say goodbye.
I search deep inside myself to find your pride.