Nine Pin - Lyrics

Paradise Fell
Kaia Kater

Paradise fell and the tenements grew/Swept my soul across the avenue
Paradise fell and the tenements grew/The tenements grew
Paradise fell and the tenements grew/The tenements grew

I’m a real live wire/I keep my suffering slow
You’re a child of fire/And the Holy Ghost
But we keep our hand close/And we play on out
 We let it play on out

In the mother’s breast and the father’s bone
In that city of gold with revelations unknown
Parts in temperance grey
You could live that way, you could live that way 

That needle rides high on the bruised up tracks
Like a bitter train along the saviour’s back
We repented in quiet
Silence in the Psalm, Silence in the Psalm

Paradise fell and the tenements grew/Swept my soul across the avenue
Paradise fell and the tenements grew/The tenements grew 
Paradise fell and the tenements grew/The tenements grew

I’ll dip you low and far into the depths of time
And scan the waves along the west coastline
‘Til you come up for air
Glory everywhere,glory everywhere

So who’s your maker now? Who’s your maker now?
The sultan King or the velvet sow?
Just keep on driving that wheel
And count your steps out loud, count your steps out loud

Weight of the withering vine in this concrete boat
Close your eyes and get your coat
Get you an honest job
At Peter’s gates, or a cigarette shop

Paradise fell and the tenements grew/Swept my soul across the avenue
Paradise fell and the tenements grew/The tenements grew 
Paradise fell and the tenements grew/The tenements grew

Nine Pin
Kaia Kater

These clothes you gave me don't fit right
The belt is loose and the noose is tight
I'm drunk out looking for a fight
I'm soft and heavy as the night
I'm soft and heavy as the night

I've drowned the leagues of thirty men
And I've borne the wrath of each of them
O Sugarcane and Sugarplum
And the evils of a setting sun
The evils of a setting sun

I'll be your nine pin, eight ball, seventh day, six pound, diamond quarter girl

Well the holy water caught my dress
And I fell down into a holy mess
O Lazarus here and Lazarus gone
Oh Lazarus won't you take me home 
Oh Lazarus won't you take me home 

It poured down from the mouths of babes
Locusts in a land of grey
I am wild-eyed and gone astray
Brother dear, bear me away
Brother dear, bear me away

I'll be your nine pin, eight ball, seventh day, six pound, diamond quarter girl
I'll be your nine pin, eight ball, seventh day, six pound, diamond quarter girl

Rising Down
Kaia Kater
 
Arise, Arise
To fight these dogs biting at my heels, arise
 
Awake, Awake
My God is heavy-handed, awake
 
Your cross, your cross
Is a symbol of my lynching, your cross
 
Fill me up, fill me up, fill me up,
I’m rising down
 
In this town, in this town
I am meat for the taking, in this town
 
But in my home, in my home
There are kings and queens and blessings, in my home
 
Fill me up, fill me up, fill me up,
I’m rising down
 
Your gun, your gun
Is a symbol of my lynching, your gun
 
But I won’t run, I won’t run
I will stand with my people, as one
 
As one

Harvest and the Plough
Kaia Kater
 
Baby O baby, I’ve been seeing you lately.
In carriage and in chariot, swingin’ low.
You were born out loud, harvest and the plough,
Did hold you hand in hand in this land.

Cut this thread in time, and dance with me and mine.
The waters come and go, and it’s slow, it’s slow.

We lived dawn ‘til dawn, raisins in the sun.
Hark, the angels sing, and we hum.
Flooded by the red, woken up and led,
‘twixt the banks and up the River Styx.

Leaf o’ the poisoned vine, take body or take mind.
Lullabies in soft and swelling night…

Cut this thread in time and dance with me and mine.
The waters come and go, and it’s slow, it’s slow.

I stay strong and heavy, ancient as the levee,
I think in waves and settle on the shore.
Cause baby O baby, I’ve been seeing you lately,
In carriage and in chariot, swingin’ low.


White
Traditional
This is a shape-note song that I first came to know through Emily Miller.  She and I adapted the tune for banjo and choir with the Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble in Fall 2015.

These fleeting charms of earth
Farewell, your springs of joy are dry
My soul now seeks another home
A brighter world on high

I'm a long time travelling here below
I'm a long time travelling away from home
I'm a long time travelling here below
To lay this body down

Farewell kind friends whose tender care
Has long engaged my love
Your fond embrace I now exchange
For better friends above

I'm a long time travelling here below
I'm a long time travelling away from home
I'm a long time travelling here below
To lay this body down...

I'm a long time traveling here below,
I'm a long time traveling away from home.
I'm a long time traveling here below
To lay this body down,
To lay this body down,

 

Saint Elizabeth 

Kaia Kater

Rise up and fall, Saint Elizabeth
I am king to your call in the mist
I am slave to your land and I will die by your hand, Elizabeth 

The Church it did call me, Elizabeth
To sing in salvation and joy
But the carriage is stained- I am broken and plain, Elizabeth

Take me up to your glory, Elizabeth
On white and screeching wheels
For the serpent has died and I remain by your side, Elizabeth

CHORUS 
Can’t you hear me calling from beneath?
With black and rotten teeth
White roses all around 
And covered on the- 

Can’t you hear me calling from beneath?
With black and frozen feet
White roses all around 
And covered on the ground


I’m the devil’s disciple, Elizabeth
Down down in depths of below
Tie me up on your cross, take me into your thoughts, Elizabeth

Let the earth fall around us Elizabeth
And let it sink into the valley below
Let them come and tear us free
We are bound eternally, Elizabeth

So stand with me now, Saint Elizabeth
Away from this mountain town
Take me into your breast
I am broken and blessed, Elizabeth

 

White

 

Ye fleeting charms of earth
Farewell, your springs of joy are dry
My soul now seeks another home
A brighter world on high

I'm a long time traveling here below
I'm a long time traveling away from home
I'm a long time traveling​ here below
To lay this body down

Farewell kind friends whose tender care
Has long engaged my love
Your fond embrace I now exchange
For better friends above

I'm a long time travelling here below
I'm a long time travelling away from home
I'm a long time travelling here below

To lay this body down...

 

Grenades Lyrics

1. New Colossus

Kaia Kater, acoustic guitar, lead vocals; Christine Bougie, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lap steel; Andrew Ryan, upright bass; Brad Kilpatrick, drums; Lydia Persaud, Meg Contini, Jill Harris, backing vocals

 

New Colossus teaches us the sacred math

Stalks the limits of my living room and cuts me clean in half

O time, time, the minute hand spins you round the plane                                                   

Spins the big machine as it descends again

 

Every tortured day a praying mantis green

Every hiss from you a glimpse into the creep

My limbs would split the wind to fractions of its shape                                                              

Split the big machine and leave you there to wait

 

Chorus

Speculator in the New Age town

Spoils the milk and boils the poppy down

Speculator do you crave a sign

When New Colossus comes for you

When New Colossus comes for you

 

Out the window trees bend down to kiss my thigh

I multiply and now the earth divides

You spurn me like a dog but now I double back

Dragging big machines and steady for attack

 

When I strike you, I’ll hit goddamn everyone

Like a queen with every hound and every son

Like girls who hike their skirts up high for greedy eyes

I’m the big machine that runs your acreage dry

 

Give it to me good

Backwards for me good

I’ll make a way from no way, good

 

Speculator in the New Age town

Spoils the milk and boils the poppy down

Speculator do you long to see

 

When New Colossus comes for you, when New Colossus comes for me

When New Colossus comes for you, when New Colossus comes for me

When New Colossus comes for you, when New Colossus comes for me

When New Colossus comes for you, when New Colossus comes for me

 

2. Heavenly Track

Kaia Kater, banjo, lead vocals; Christine Bougie, electric guitar, lap steel; Andrew Ryan, upright bass; Erin Costelo, organ; Lydia Persaud, Meg Contini, Jill Harris, backing vocals

 

You got saved at the hair parlor

Washed in suds and lye

Broke bread at the halfway house

Laid out to the side

 

I know ya, I know ya, ain’t I seen you before?

I’ve felt you on the ceiling and I’ve felt you on the floor

 

Chorus  

Ooh on the heavenly track (2X)

Ooh on the heavenly track

To the sun, the sun, the sun

 

This land is bare as

the palm of your hand

Its fingers at the collars

And the coattails of the damned

 

You know me, You know me, ain’t you seen me before?

I’m the comfort of the stranger

In the writings on the stall, on the stall

 

Chorus  

 

You shake the trees and feel the bodies tumble down

You paint your clothes and hang them on the line

They beat the city red with bloody siren sounds

And you’re on the ground, you’re on the ground.

 

Chorus  



 

3. Canyonland

Kaia Kater, banjo, lead vocals; Christine Bougie, electric guitar, lap steel; Brad Kilpatrick, drums; Andrew Ryan, upright bass; Lydia Persaud, backing vocals

 

In a freeway trailer the horses flash golden manes, you puff the vapor and blow it off the window pane

My heavy braids fall like ropes pulling softly at you, urging you to look in my direction

 

The dark-haired dusk flaunts her coral lips at sunset

you are fussing with the tape deck

I am teetering, pacing at the edge of you,

mining for a breach in your inflection

      

Chorus

In the Canyonland of rock

where the twitching jackal hides     

and the woman takes her time

takes her time

In the Canyonland of stone  

you can size me up and run

Come on, cleave me from your rib

I’ll be gone

 

There was a time when all I knew was all I wanted

When every crop was set ablaze.

Like the bird I have turned and pulled you into me, whistling all the themes to your resentment

 

Steady baby, steady on the hazard lights

The lizard crosses on the road

My broken oath is hanging from the dashboard face

and you are waiting to reload

 

Chorus

 

I see you breaking.  

Baby what for?

Baby what for?

Maybe for me

 

I see you breaking.  

Baby what for?

Baby what for?

Maybe for me

 

Chorus

 

4. (Power! Power! Power!)

Deno Hurst, spoken interlude


 

5. La Misère

Kaia Kater, lead vocals; Lydia Persaud, Meg Contini, Jill Harris, backing vocals

 

Comment joue le violon (la misère)

Avec la voix émue (la misère)

I know I know you (la misère)

And I know you know me (la misère)

 

Je dis pauvre-moi ca y’est!

Oh comme elle est grave la misère

Je dis pauvre-moi ca y’est!

 

Avec le pied cassé (la misère)

Avec la main levée (la misère)

I know I know you (la misère)

And I know you know me (la misère)

 

Je dis pauvre-moi ca y’est!

Oh comme elle est grave la misère

Je dis pauvre-moi ca y’est!

 

Comment joue le violon (la misère)

Avec la voix émue (la misère)

I know I know you (la misère)

And I know you know me (la misère)

 

Je dis pauvre-moi ca y’est!

Oh comme elle est grave la misère

Je dis pauvre-moi ca y’est!

Oh comme elle est grave la misère

Je dis pauvre-moi ca y’est!

Oh comme elle est grave la misère

Je dis pauvre-moi ca y’est!

Oh comme elle est grave la misère


 

6. Meridian Ground

Kaia Kater, banjo, lead vocals; Christine Bougie, electric guitar, lap steel; Brad Kilpatrick, drums; Anna Ruddick, electric bass; Lydia Persaud, Meg Contini, Jill Harris, backing vocals

 

Away to the east of the isle where the

median swells and they gut the fish         

The wharfmen sing, and beat the water beat the water so

               

We watch them shift from the timeworn

dance to the heated clash

Our sisters pray to raise us for better men

 

Chorus

On meridian ground                                                  

The half-breeds and the kids in bloom                

Drain the water from the room  

Fill it up again

On meridian ground

The half-breeds and the kids in bloom

 

My auntie died in a one-room house on the top road

With the candles cold, and a smile upon her face

We run inside and place our kites by her bedframe

She surges higher, the hills and the gullies fall

We swim out under the ships and flirt with pain like a mistress

Like the hemlock blade that bathes in the boiling tea

What a fool, what a fool can I be

 

Chorus

 

Midway through the hour

We send our blighted tongues to rest

Twin babies sick and dispossessed

 

Chorus

On meridian ground

The half-breeds and the kids in bloom

Drain the water from the room

Fill it up again

On meridian ground

The half-breeds and the kids in bloom

Drain the water from the room



 

7. Starry Day

Kaia Kater, banjo, lead vocals; Christine Bougie, electric guitar, lap steel; Anna Ruddick, electric bass; Brad Kilpatrick, drums; Erin Costelo, organ, percussion; Lydia Persaud, backing vocals

 

And now the final curtain                  

Turn your eyes up to the light

She with venom tongue, moves oceans

Pulls you out into the fight

 

And here you lie with belly open

With the lions round the flame

Who, with tender jaw unbroken

Drag you out into the plains

 

Chorus

On that Starry Day

On that Starry Day

 

Iron melted into ivy

Take your body to the land

Pile the small upon the mighty

Bring the moon down where you stand

 

Backwards now you dance to freedom

Lift your gutted lungs and sing

Break you now into the season

Lift your gutted lungs and sing

 

Chorus

            

You kiss ground and hear it rumble

You find beauty in the nerve

See the proud bow to the humble

And sink their feet into the earth

 

Backwards now with blade and beacon

Lift your gutted lungs and sing

Break you now into the season

Lift your gutted lungs and sing

 

Chorus

 

8. (Death of a Dream)

Deno Hurst, narrative interlude


 

9. Grenades

Kaia Kater, lead vocals; Christine Bougie, electric guitar, lap steel; Anna Ruddick, electric bass; Erin Costelo, organ, percussion; Brad Kilpatrick, drums; Lydia Persaud, Meg Contini, Jill harris, backing vocals

 

Surf the wave now, taste the metal on your tongue

March the dogs of war into the sun

Heave and cry out! Lo! The planes, they duck and punch

Melt the candy clouds and parchment lungs

 

Chorus

Two seasons invade

Tremor and sway

With hands on grenades

Drive the light from the shade

Like an orange blockade—

we always seem to get played

See the men on parade, see the men on parade

 

She splits the atom in the night, feel her as she churns

Sing to her trumpet trees and watch them burn

Heave and cry out! Call the priestess to the sound

Pluck the tyrant from the brim and watch him drown

 

Chorus

 

Rain heavy like carpet bombs, sweetgrass and lemonade

Fold the memory into your arms and whisper it away

 

Chorus

 

You can shout at the mountain but they’ve already crowned him

With his crowds of ten thousand, yeah they’ve already crowned him

You can shout and surround him but they’ve already crowned him

With his crowds of ten thousand, yeah they’ve already crowned him

You can shout at the mountain but they’ve already crowned him

With his crowds of ten thousand



 

10. Hydrants

Kaia Kater, vocals

 

Between the hydrant and the house fire

Above the gardens and cement

We cede the fight, we call a draw

And lean ourselves against the fence

 

Loving is easy, loving is easy

In a car to the coast

But tremors come quickly

To level the streets

And us, with the end of the world at our feet.

 

We lie in a twin bed, like two small sardines

And I whisper all of my feverish thoughts

Then you double over and kiss me with ease

And we float on like cosmonauts

 

Loving is easy, loving is easy

On your way to the earth

Comets come softly

To fracture the vale

And us, with the end of the world at our tail.

 

Six months together, and three months apart

Our cell phones, like two cups, a string and two hearts

Our voices are shaking, and we muddle the words

I listen outside for the birds.

 

Loving is easy, loving is easy

On the porches in June

But winter comes quickly

To cover the green

And us, with the end of the world at our feet

 

In the fortresses of solitude

I call to you from depths unmined

You hold me and we get in line

To drink another day like wine

You hold me and we get in line

To drink another day like wine.


 

11. Everly

Kaia Kater, guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals; Christine Bougie, electric guitar, lap steel;

Andrew Ryan, upright bass; Lydia Persaud, Erin Costelo, backing vocals

 

Everly don’t you mock what you feed on

Take the wings of the morning and fly

Everly I’m a tiny bough broken

and drowning up in the sky

 

Lately I seem to roll on these boulevards

Sinking into the night

Rolling on through the iron and ivy

ʼTil time out of mind

 

Chorus

Everly bear me neon fruit

Let it shine and shine and shine

The kingdom is flooding and I am too

Keep me close on the vine

 

I did dream we were pharaoh and bride

With the bounty laid at our feet

Everly dream the mango in summer

And the nightingale down in the deep

 

Salt mines bleed into fault lines and sting

Straighten up, uncurl your spine

Everly mine as I am to you

ʼTil time out of mind

 

When he comes, when he comes for me

I’ll be ripe as the lemon upon the tree

When he comes when he comes for me

I’ll be free, free

 

Chorus


 

12. The Right One

Kaia Kater, banjo, lead vocals; Andrew Ryan, upright bass, vocals

 

Come to me like you come to the sea

With bated breath on bended knee

On that bayou I’ll rise above you

And see the world as you do

 

Chorus

Let the right one in, Let the right one in

Take a step back home and breathe in

 

Take me out with gilded crown

Tell them all I’m sainted now

Look me up, look me down

Run your mouth about me now

 

Chorus

 

You’re sweet to me, You’re sweet and empty

Oh the quickening feet of mercy

Come and tell of the violent swell

And the little ones who raise hell

 

Chorus

 

In the bright and sunny east

I will be released

I will be released

I will be released

I will be released

I will be released

I will be released

Released

 

13. (Off the Plane)

Deno Hurst, narrative interlude

 

14. Poets Be Buried

Kaia Kater, banjo, lead vocals; Christine Bougie, electric guitar, baritone electric guitar;

Andrew Ryan, upright bass; Andrew Jackson, trombone; David Parker, French horn

 

Chorus

Poets be buried in tender marching feet

Buried as seeds and watered in the street

Chained to the fates of strangers facing all defeat

Poets be buried in tender marching feet

 

I had a daughter and I taught her all I knew

Fight in the gutter and love the work you do

How for to warn her of hatred hiding in the blue

I had a daughter and I taught her all I knew

 

I asked my father if this is all there is

A home that won’t claim you, a country that rescinds

You are your own saint, a center to hold, a life to live

I asked my father if this is all there is

 

They built my city on funerary ground

Raised a parade and marched it through the town

What is the mind but the sickness of time, it goes round and round

 

They built my city on funerary ground

These nights alone can grate on a wintry soul

Sunless migrations that settle every wall

But I am my own saint, a center to hold, a cannonball

These nights alone can grate on a wintry soul

 

Chorus