From The Air

by M Shanghai String Band

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about

Recorded live at the fabled Bearsville Studio in Woodstock, NY

credits

released May 29, 2007

Harrison Cannon: bass, vocals
Austin Hughes: guitar, resonator guitar, vocals
Philippa Thompson: fiddle, saw, spoons, accordion, vocals
John Shanchuck: banjo, vocals
Matt Schickele: guitar, piano, vocals
Richard Morris: mandolin, octave mandolin, vocals
Rose Thomson: guitar, vocals
Jean Rodd: vocals
Corin See: vocals and lead clucking
Peter Schickele: background vocals and lead clucking

Produced by Richard Morris and MSSB
Engineer: Jeremy Backofen
Assistant Engineers: Kristin Mueller, Joel Guilbert
Engineer (Devil You And Me): Travis Harrison
Mastered by Will Quinnell @ Sterling Sound
Artwork: Austin Hughes

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about

M Shanghai Brooklyn, New York

Since 2002, this Brooklyn collective's roots-based, original songs and joyous performances have created a fiercely loyal word-of-mouth following. They invite you to celebrate the release of their new album, "Bedlam", and to visit them for their monthly first-Saturday performances at The Jalopy Theater www.jalopy.biz ... more

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Track Name: From The Air
FROM THE AIR

I've heard them claim there's no new beauty, only resay what's always been
Take to the sky, over the cloud sea that a hundred years ago we'd never seen

If the weight's strong when you're grounded, rise above into the clear
Watch the big things getting smaller and the small ones disappear

When you're rising over treetops, over clouds, there's no shade
Like the view from the highest mountain, but the mountain isn't there

I have glided over cities, over mountains, sea & shore
If you ask me how they do it I would answer 'I don't know'

What a beautiful land from the air
What a beautiful land from the air
Track Name: Anita Jean
ANITA JEAN

The riverbank Ohio saw prosperity’s arrival
But the road to fortune ran between the graves
Blame the coal, blame the clay
Or chimney’s belchin’ darkness into day
The potter boys would break to watch
The swaying of her hips, the tick- tock
Hypnotized their body clocks to chime
Sing out young Anita Jean
The brightest gem that Hancock County ever seen

Anita Jean with style and grace
Sail above an ordinary place
Into the starlight that blinds your way

The local gals surrendered
While Anita ached for glamour over common sense
“It’s for common folk”, she claimed
Waiting for a Pittsburgh Errol Flynn to say, “You’re better than this place”
The county boys were charming, handsome, plain, polite, and worthless
So she played ‘em like a rubber ball and jacks
When a city prince came- through her whitewash he saw decades of black

Anita Jean with style and grace
Sail above an ordinary place
Into the starlight that blinds your way

Anita Jean, destroy their gaze
With the whispered promise of another place
Another universe unfurls
How to be more than you think you are worth in this world
In this world
Track Name: Another Day On The Train
ANOTHER DAY ON THE TRAIN

We were trying to figure out our lives
The moon was eclipsed by the sky
The train came and carried me away
And carried me back the same day

My thoughts are on a distant satellite
My thoughts are on a distant satellite
Carry me back into the night
Carry me back into the night

I was getting tired of all the lies
But half the people didn't seem to mind
And the train came and carried me away
And carried me back the same day

They keep getting richer by the mile
And we seem to sacrifice our lives
And if the train won't carry me today
I guess my broken back is here to stay

My thoughts are on a distant satellite
My thoughts are on a distant satellite
Carry me back into the night
Carry me back into the night
Track Name: Bus Called Cemetery
BUS CALLED CEMETERY

And maybe the ghost of you will keep on dropping by
Like in the opium days and those vibrant nights
While I ride the bus they call cemetery
I’m lost but you keep on finding me

You never were Mr. Right, only Mr. Right Now
Through an invisible heart the wind does howl
Spin me one more waltz in your quicksilver arms
We’ll love like we’re already gone

Close my eyes tight
You flicker in a spotted suit of white
Moon kills the sun at last
I was mad about you but not stark raving mad

And maybe we’ll wave hello to Miss Marie Laveau
St. Louis 1 2 3 - singin’ out from below
While I ride the bus that they call cemetery
I’m gone but you won’t set me free

Close my eyes tight
You flicker in a spotted suit of white
Moon kills the sun at last
I was mad about you but not stark raving mad

O honey your name was ghostwritten upon my heart
But it wasn’t you - I knew that from the start
Maybe you’re still around walking these dirty streets
I blow a farewell kiss to thee
From a bus called cemetery
I’m lost, but don’t you try and find me
Track Name: No Home In This World
NO HOME IN THIS WORLD

When the storm clouds are blowing through, you will know
That you have no home in this world
When the darkness does bury you, you will see
Light for your long journey
Lost like an orphan broken, you have no home in this world
Glory the gates be open, Heaven hold you sacred pearl

When the great sickness takes your name, you will know
That you have no home in this world
When the tall cities burn in flames, you’ll know
Heaven is where you can turn
Cast to the deepest ocean, you have no home in this world
Glory the gates be open, Heaven hold you sacred pearl

When the famine spreads far and wide, you will know
That you have no home in this world
Locust swarm, the 4 horsemen ride, you’ll know
Your savior stands by your side

Lost like an orphan broken, you have no home in this world
Glory the gates be open, Heaven hold you sacred pearl
Cast to the deepest ocean, you have no home in this world
Glory the gates be open, Heaven hold you sacred pearl
For you have no home in this world
Track Name: Black Forest
BLACK FOREST

No one is here, there's nothing to see
Haven't heard a bird or felt a breeze
Stay calm; bad dreams begin, and usually end
Black Forest is deep and we're drowning

Climb up a tree as high as you dare
Shouldn't there be sky up there somewhere?
Stay calm; maybe it's night or clouded by rain
Black Forest is deep and we're drowning

Starting to feel circles and spins
Shouldn't we remember where we've been?
Stay calm; pick up the crumbs and drop them again
Black Forest is deep and we're drowning

Memories of home are fading with time
Wasn't there a feeling called delight?
From now on: darkness for air and footsteps for friends
Black Forest is deep and we're drowning
Track Name: Vivian Girls
VIVIAN GIRLS

Carry on my Vivian girls
Find your way in this treacherous world
Lifted from a magazine and dropped into the war
May your paper doll armies endure

Black-eyed soldiers on the wild
Haven’t slept now in 500 nights
Underneath a blue sky I see terror in your eyes
In these troubled times the innocent must fight

Caught between 3 firing lines
Guns and mortars blaze through the night
Pouting in the face of danger only to escape
To a wilderness of butterflies and snakes

Danger lurks my little lamb
Even you cannot save this broken land
Dirty spoon for eating and a dirty glass for wine
Seems we all hide a meanness in our smile

Strange things are goin’ down
God almighty no longer around
Luck is a solemn word for ignorance my child
Let us leave this place lest we die
Track Name: Under The Riverbed
UNDER THE RIVERBED

I’m up at dark beneath God’s grey sky
These days I never see the light
Before I go, under the riverbed
A pick or shovel fits me right

Lower me down the tombstone chamber
Some 20 feet below the sea
We strike that hole, under the riverbed
You can’t whistle or barely breathe

A cursed cough under the riverbed
From the company doctor not a sound
The whispered rumor, bad news from Brooklyn
Twelve more men have fallen down

The sand hog holds a brass token
I carry number 45
In case I’m found, under the riverbed
My body can be identified

It’s a long way down the riverbed
Where I toil away my days
In the cold hard ground, under the riverbed
To build this bridge over my grave
To build this bridge over my grave
Track Name: Manhattan Lover
MANHATTAN LOVER

Well I've had boyfriends from many different far away places
And when they would visit me here in Brooklyn
They would stick around for awhile.
But you, you just can't seem to wait to get back over that Manhattan Bridge
Back to where the yellow cabs play.

Manhattan lover, you won't go out of your way
You'll never come to Brooklyn
And Brooklyn is where I want to stay.

I ain't that far on the Q train, I promise you
You have nothing to fear
And those skyscrapers look so much prettier from here.
Come on over, see the trees, spend some time and breathe in the air.
But I ain't going to work three jobs just to pay your car fare.

Manhattan lover, why won't you see things my way
I want to love you, but you live so far away

What if I was as stubborn as you
You'd never see me and I'd never see you too.

Manhattan lover, you're living over there
That old East River is too big a cross to bear.
Manhattan lover, you're a stuck up twit
But I'm not budging either, so let's just end this.
Track Name: Devil You And Me
DEVIL, YOU AND ME

Morning light bled through every crack
God don’t owe us more than that
Soon the saloon was just a dirty room
Picked my head up off the bar
Under a looming question mark to see
A waking girl whose head still rested on my knee
Well they call me Crazy Daisy Lou
The ingénue with a knife n’ skull tattoo
Used to getting what I want- don’t matter much from who
Last night heat wave Houston, Texas
Could make the sweetest girl get restless
When my ball and chain walked in on me
Gettin’ spicy and reckless

We got trouble don’t you know
In the long shadow of the Diablo
We got grave misfortune on the rise

Daisy Lou was married, yeah I knew
And I was too, so two bads made a good
The angels closed their eyes for an hour or two
I’d let her dear husband explain about last night
Except that bullet in his brain
Was making thinking for him a bit of a strain
Well I don’t how that bullet got there
It takes two to work my revolver
Me and you are now totally screwed
We were out the door and on the street
When up pulled a bicycle built for three and damn
A willing driver man and two empty seats

We got trouble don’t you know
In the long shadow of the Diablo
We got grave misfortune on the rise
Devil, you and me - On a bicycle built for three
We will ride, ride, ride, until our souls catch fire
The Devil, you and me - On a bicycle built for three
Track Name: Happiness
HAPPINESS

You say money can buy happiness
But look at what money can't buy
I say money makes us neglect
The way we open our eyes

And I know the way that we play
Makes all my problems go away
And I know the joy that I feel
Comes from the way that you smile at me

I know money can't buy happiness
Look at the way that you walk
I say money buys emptiness
Look at the way that you talk

And I know the way that we play
Makes all my problems go away
And I know the joy that I feel
Comes from the way that you smile at me

I know money can't buy happiness
But I can put you to bed
I want the best for you honeypie
I long for the dreams in your head

And I know the way that we play
Makes all my problems go away
And I know the joy that I feel
Comes from the way that you smile at me
Track Name: Second Hand
SECOND HAND

To think that we looked up at the same perfect time
Of all the stars up there you're the only one that shines
Some say that first sight will end when it began
If it's true, then we'll enjoy the second hand

I don't know you or me, I don't know anything at all
We couldn't add a thing at all to where we are
Some say that time beats a drum without a damn
If it's true, then we'll enjoy the second hand

I'm swaying with your breath while you pull me along
Each moment a life completely, song after song
Some say the dancing will end without a band
If it's true, then we'll enjoy the second hand
Track Name: Tic Tac Toe Chicken
TIC TAC TOE CHICKEN

Ladies and gents, roosters and hens
Listen to the tale of way back when
In New York Chinatown mine was the only head intact
Too famed to be eaten - Too smart to be beaten
Humblin’ good men with a scratch of a hen
TIC TAC TOE CHICKEN…
I reckon you don’t know half of what you’re missing
TIC TAC TOE CHICKEN…
Scratchin’ out a living now that’s something

Place your bets, baby I'm no pet
Feed me my lines - feed me feed me your dimes
She stares you down with a pensive look
You realize ya just been took
Too famed to be eaten - Too smart to be beaten
Fowl play is a dish served best uncooked
TIC TAC TOE CHICKEN…
I reckon you don’t know half of what you’re missing
TIC TAC TOE CHICKEN…
Victory’s mine to boast when you’re the roast

Take another turn whether you can ruffle my feathers
I'm up for the challenge, armed with wings and beak
Three tries: try, try, try to break your losing streak
What force is really in control?
The brain of a chicken or binary code
Who knows which way I'll go, Xs or Os
TIC TAC TOE CHICKEN…
I reckon you don’t know half of what you’re missing
TIC TAC TOE CHICKEN…
Three in a row, take home the dough
TIC TAC TOE CHICKEN…
To tell you the truth to lose my goose is cooked
Track Name: Goodnight
GOODNIGHT

Goodnight - Reptile turn out the light
The sleepers go for a wild and aimless ride
Goodnight - Goodnight to the telescope girl
Shows you a glimpse of her world
And reminds you just how far away you are

Goodnight - To a boy named Sam, goodnight
Where the sky touches the sea
Just construction paper, you and me
Goodnight - To the plastic flamingo light
Lit up and ready to fly
Only as far as the plug-in wire

Don’t you know it all will pass in time?
Through our fingers all is left behind
Don’t you know it all will pass in time?
Which means what’s mine for now is mine

Goodnight - To the halos and horns, goodnight
To the velvet rope in the sky
What if the magic eight ball was right?
Goodnight - To the dinosaur bone display
We all get our turn someday
My artifacts trapped on magnetic tape

Don’t you know it all will pass in time?
Through our fingers all is left behind
Don’t you know it all will pass in time?
Which means what’s mine for now is mine

Goodnight - To the delicate sheets of ice
Stretched over frozen seas
More frail than you, more frail than me
Are we