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Unzip The Horizon

by Moira Smiley

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1.
Mother Of Invention 1. Oh, what a pretty thing it is I’ve been looking for it all my life All my life I’ve been looking for this thing that I see And here it now is, and I don’t know what to do with it. And I…feel like I’m gonna break it Or put it away and forget about it Oh what a tragedy that would be I feel like I am supposed to be The mother of a new invention I never built no bicycle I never got no horse I never got no locomotive But I do have YOU of course I’ve got you of course 2. Train pulls into the station Train conductor tells me that it’s my stop The place I longed to be all those years but was not And here I now am, I don’t know what to do. I feel I wanna run away Or get back on that train - take me away! Oh what a tragedy that would be I feel like I am supposed to be The mother of a new invention Never gonna say that it hurts Never gonna cry… Never gonna say how it hurts cuz…Here am I here am I
2.
Bellow 04:32
BELLOW CHORUS: Sometime, anytime you wanna bellow at the sky - Call on me, call on me We’ll unzip the hori-i-i-i-zo-o-o-on with our voices. Chant: Unzip the hori-i-izon with our voices VERSE 1 Question: You ask me why I sing softer now, and did the world beat me down? Cuz back then I sang hard, I sang proud, but where are the edges now? STORY: Ukrainian summer before the revolution. I sat at the knees of the grandmother Her daughter told me we could lift the veil between the worlds by singing. We were sat outside in the dawn light of the midsummer feast and the short night. Singing to the dead so they’d bless the crop, bless the young, bless the year CHORUS We’ll unzip the hori-i-i-i-zo-o-o-on with our voices. Sometime, anytime you wanna bellow at the sky - Call on me, call on me We’ll unzip the hori-i-i-i-zo-o-o-on with our voices. VERSE 2 Answer: This is the way we call the unknown, and lift the veil to the other side We’re singing to break the walls down the walls down. Throwing the gate open wide BRIDGE 1: Every breath I take has been taken before Every note’s been sung……… Who can I sing them all again for? Baba, Baba Baba…. BRIDGE 2: Please don’t give up - please don’t lose that sound So many people fought to gain that ground Please don’t give up – please don’t hide your voice So many people did not have that choice. VERSE 3 She told me the power of song was in the unison. She gathered her friends all around her And they pierced the sky with a call - one melody from many voices And from then til now, I remember, when the year is fat, and full of shadows. I’m singing to the dead so they’ll bless the crop, bless the young, bless the year. Chant: Unzip the hori-i-izon with our voices
3.
Refugee 03:07
Refugee In your world I’m a refugee In your world danger all around me, all around me, all around me In your world I’m not free, I must flee, I must flee Bring me shelter, I will not harm you Bring me shelter, please Bring me shelter, I will not harm you I would shelter you I am only what you are. Imagine your unbreakable world was broken, No more rules to protect you 2. Who was I? In my world I was standing strong In my world my heart did belong And now it’s gone – there is only longing, only longing, only longing Bring me shelter, I will not harm you Bring me shelter, please Bring me shelter, I will not harm you I would shelter you I am only what you are. Imagine your unbreakable world was broken, No more rules to protect you Refugee
4.
Rotary Phone 03:38
Starting a new phrase. Making a new plan Making some new sound Tho’ I may be burning it down I can’t care, I can’t care, it’s on fire Daily it burns me down One more ring around the old oak tree, go where you’re gotta go. And it’s one more ring around the old oak tree, oh, will you watch it grow with me? Will I settle down one day? I really can’t say I’ve got a mind like a rotary phone – slow it goes up, it’s slow coming down Listen for some polyphonic dial-tone when you call on me. But I’ll listen when you call me, call me, call me I’m seeing your sweet face. You give me your brightest smile You give me my reason to be Tho’ I may be gone awhile You & me, you & me, we’re on fire You & me, you & me, we’re on fire Daily you burn me down. Will you settle down one day – you really can’t say Cuz you’ve got a mind like a rodeo – one more time round with your lasso Listen to those wild horses when they’re calling you, calling you. Listen for those wild horses cuz they’re calling you, calling, calling Calling, calling, they’re calling you Calling, calling, they’re calling me
5.
Wiseman 03:38
WISEMAN God gave the wisemen a long gray beard, and told him to walk on the land. Wise man, he comes with a golden tongue, and a question in each hand. Why must I wear a long gray beard? And why must I walk on the land? When all my life I've been penniless and poor, such troubles I could barely stand. Was it my youth that kept away the peace that I have today? Or was it my love for wife and child who now in the Earth do lay? My love, my love kept me through storms, and nothing in the world did I fear. And though she is gone, her spirit lingers on, and is with me as I travel here/far and near. I'll walk my way… with my long gray beard, up to the high gates above. And tell every friend and stranger that I meet that I found heaven in love.
6.
I just had a stranger give me everything in a single glance. We did a one step dance, and stumbled on. Between two blinks a lifetime shouted out its name in a single blast - first breath to the last, and we were gone. And I walk on because he asked me to And I kneel down where the flickering lights of the city rise up on the water And I look up because I feel too much. Am I heavy or am I weightless? Am I burdened, am I blessed with that moment burning heavy in my chest? In the air between us there’s a trembling It’s an honesty - it’s an injury we’ve known too long. Stranger, could you hold me in your tenderness? We can travel light in some gentle night where we belong.
7.
SING ABOUT IT It’s so sad We don’t understand each other yet How can this be when we’ve been living together so long? So close to each other’s beauty? It’s so sad. It makes me feel so bad. I’m not gonna stand for it anymore. Gonna sing about it Gonna sing it when it makes me cry – when I’m uncomfortable & don’t know why When I am guilty of the laissez-faire – my ignorance of you laid bare I’ll talk to you before I raise my hand, so/and you can call on me to make a stand Am I responsible? Are you responsible? What are we responsible for? I wanna look up from my own concerns, reach across the chasm of what I never learned So wide, so full of burning – your eyes are turning to me now…saying it’s time – it’s way past time - to step outside the echo echo echo echo… chamber Stop pretending it’s alright, stop pretending this is not my fight.
8.
WORLD WILL NOT PAUSE The world will not pause, will not pause Keep up, little one. Don’t fall down Once, in the house of the little one there was a daydream That kept no time. Time was suspended, and gentle in the night. But twice, twice came the alarm sound, the alarm sound! And it cried out fear, so the little one ran, so the little one ran Til she could not hear. Run, how we run, how we run, how we cry How we pour down rain under the clear blue sky Sure, the world is broken – it will never get better It will never get better. It will never get better than this. We gotta daydream like a child, a little one runnin’ wild We gotta trust the world. We’re gonna let it all go by. Throw our arms into the sky And trust that they will tell us when it’s time to say goodbye.
9.
1.I met my father all dressed in yellow Take heed take warning, daughter And the light was soft and strange around him There are many things to know. 2.Hello father, how can you be here? Take heed take warning, daughter You have been gone for these 3 years There are many things to know. 3.And such sweetness in your smile Take heed take warning, daughter Do you bring good news from the dead? There are many things to know 4.Oh father oh father, I could not trust you I had no warning, father You anger closed the door of my young heart There are many things to know 5.But as I dream you in sunny yellow Take heed take warning, daughter I know my heart can open wider There are many things to know I look across at my young father, unsure of what to do or say My fear tells me I must ignore him. My loves & labors take me away. But as I close my cloak of labor, I catch his eye once more in case And there is laughter coming through me. And there is laughter on his face. 6.Oh he looked up, yes, he laughed with me I need no warning, father And in that laughter, sweet forgiveness
10.
Our Time 03:48
OUR TIME Our time is near, but not to die. For we must rise, for we must rise. 1. Our time is near, but not to die And not to give up when we have no will to try Though we are low, thrown to the ground It’s on the ground, the seeds of us are found Here, on this ground the seeds of us are found Our time is near but not to die For we must rise, for we must rise Though we are low, thrown to the ground Here on the ground the seeds of us are found My time is glad, though I do weep For all the secrets that we keep. Though we may fear, and we may doubt, We must remember joy, and sing it out
11.
DISSATISFACTION D-I-S-S-A-T-I-S-F-A-C-T-I-O-N Dissatisfaction, you’re a strange drug. You don’t give me pleasure - you don’t give me love Dissatisfaction, why you gotta rule me, why you gotta rule my mind? P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N Perfection, you’re a cruel lover You won’t even kiss me, but you hover Oh, perfection, why gotta use me, why you gotta use my heart? But I’m not going down your road to ruin Your road to ruin is not mine. D-I-S-S-A-T-I-S-F-A-C-T-I-O-N. P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N I know you’re trying to protect me You know the world is a hard place, and you’re here to redeem me. Oh, my sweet uneasy, no matter how you love You’re only gonna pull me down. But I’m not going down your road to ruin Your road to ruin is not mine.
12.
Worried Now 03:37
13.
I'm So Glad 03:05
I’M SO GLAD I’m so glad, I’m so glad You let me take you away from your troubles for a little while. And I know we’re walking on the wire right now But we’ve gotta build the fire in the belly We’ve gotta feed the fire in our bellies We’ve gotta feed the fire in the belly sometime(s) Cuz your fire might change my mind Your fire might make it better Your fire might soften my heart Your fire might make it better
14.
Hey, little boy! Who made your leather britches? Mama cut 'em out, and Daddy sewed the stiches. I keep 'em by the bed, cuz I've got no other britches.

about

Moira left her life in Los Angeles, and went nomadic for 2 years to tour with three bands, tUnE-yArDs, SOLAS and Jayme Stone’s Lomax/Folklife Project. The lonesome freedom of this time was the midwife to this album and songbook. Unzip The Horizon is about seeing down to the origins of anxiety, and up into the freedoms we ignore. The album title comes from a trip Moira took to Ukraine where she learned from older traditional singers that some songs were powerful enough to lift ‘the veil’, and communicate with the dead/ the unknowable. With 14 songs, and guests that include Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Leah & Chloe Smith of Rising Appalachia, Darrell Scott, Seamus Egan, Jayme Stone, Anna & Elizabeth and Sam Lee, it’s an unapologetically personal, solo record from a woman whose voice and writing has called so many others to sing.

credits

released April 7, 2018

SOUND MAKERS
Moira Smiley - Vocals, Accordion, Banjo, Piano, Prepared Piano, Percussion, Body Percussion, Field Organ, Keyboards, String Arrangements
Sola Akingbola [Calais Sessions] - percussion [3]
Laura Bohn - vocals [8]
Charlie Campagna - guitar [5,10]
Krista Detor - vocals [3,14]
Pilar Diaz - ukulele [1]
Seamus Egan - percussion [2,4,5]
Dena El Saffar - violin, viola, josa [5,8]
Merrill Garbus [tUnE—yArDs] - vocals [2]
Elizabeth LaPrelle [Anna & Elizabeth] - vocals [9]
Sam Lee - vocals [5]
Jens Linell - percussion [7,14]
Vanessa Lucas-Smith [Calais Sessions] - cello [3]
Steve Mascari - bass [2,7,8,11,13]
Joseph Phillips - bass [1,3,5,6,12]
Rekan Ibrahimi [Calais Sessions] - percussion [3]
Chip Reardin - percussion [2]
Anna Roberts-Gevalt [Anna & Elizabeth] - vocals [9]
Darrell Scott - vocals, piano [11]
Chloe & Leah Smith [Rising Appalachia] - vocals [3]
Jayme Stone - banjo [4]
Kristen Toedtman - vocals [7]
David Weber - percussion, keyboards [2,12,14]

All Songs by Moira Smiley. (Except Track 12 & 14: traditional songs sung by Sidney Hemphill Carter, recorded by Alan Lomax, and arr. by Moira Smiley)
Copyright (C) & (P) 2017, Moira Smiley Music, ASCAP.
Produced by Moira Smiley & David Weber
RECORDED & MIXED AT AIRTIME STUDIOS BY DAVID WEBER
with Additional recording in Canada and the UK
Mastered by Chip Reardin, with Additional Mastering by David Weber & Bob Rice
Photos by Michael Wilson. Drawing by Taylor Ashton. Graphic Design by Ben Tousley.

Thanks to my family, David Weber, Krista Detor, and Seamus Egan for being so present in the making of this song collection. Thanks to each musician on the record - you are each a hero to me. Thanks to tUnE-yArDs, Solas and Jayme Stone’s Folklife for on the road inspiration. Jayme Stone, Ben Tousley, Bob Rice, Kathy Kuzniar, Tuffet Schmelzle, Monica Campagna, Kevin Atkins, Ron Kadish & Rock, Paper, Scissors for visual and word. Peter Hastings, Alexandra DeFurio for the beautiful ’Refugee’ video. John Allen, Bella LeNestour, Jean Nelson, the Devlins for shelter. Luc Kleiner for songbook aid, and the choral community - especially The Los Angeles Master Chorale - for support.

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Moira Smiley Bristol, Vermont

Moira Smiley is a Singer / Composer. Touring & writing with the finest in various worlds of music, she brings clarity and visceral emotion to any song she sings. She accompanies herself on banjo, accordion, piano, and hand & body percussion. She's toured with Tune-Yards and Solas among many others. Moira recently sang with Tune-Yards on Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. ... more

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