From The Air

by M Shanghai String Band

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1.
From The Air 02:36
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
2.
Anita Jean 03:43
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
3.
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
4.
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
5.
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
6.
Black Forest 03:07
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
7.
Vivian Girls 02:41
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
8.
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
9.
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.
10.
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
11.
Happiness 03:29
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
12.
Second Hand 01:57
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
13.
14.
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
15.
Goodnight (free) 05:40
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

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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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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