Two Thousand Pennies

by M Shanghai

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about

M Shanghai celebrates ten years together with the release of their fourth album, Two Thousand Pennies. Featuring a diversity of songwriting styles, powerful singers, and roots-inspired arrangements, M Shanghai provides a fresh take on contemporary American music.

credits

released October 9, 2012

Patty Hughes: bass
Matt Schickele: guitar
Dave Pollack: harmonica
Glendon Jones: fiddle
Hilary Hawke: banjo
Austin Hughes: resonator guitar
Philippa Thompson: fiddle, viola
Richard Morris: mandolin, guitar
Brian Geltner: drums, percussion
John Shanchuck: banjo
Harrison Cannon: bass

Everyone sings.

Produced by M Shanghai & Damon Whittemore
Recorded & Mixed by Damon Whittemore at Valvetone, NYC
Mastered by Richard Morris Mastering, Asbury Park, NJ
Artwork: Austin Hughes
Band Photo: Brian Geltner
CD Manufacturing: Groove House Records

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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: Sea Monster
SEA MONSTER

Sail a flat old world on a half moon sea
Legend that you still lurk deep beneath
Barely glimpsed your tail as it broke upon the waves
We scattered off the deck, the supposed brave

Oh sea monster have you made a fool of me?
In your bed beneath the open sea
In the past how we feared you having never really seen you
Now you're exiled to a child's wildest dreams

Voyage to a place unknown and remote
The candle has been blown out hours ago
Woozy with delight, tall tales under starlight
Telling of your jaws and crushing might

Oh sea monster have you made a fool of me?
In your bed beneath the open sea
Every mystery of earth has been discovered or explained
We're too arrogant to tremble at your name

The hunters came with spears
The sailors wielded knives
To bring the mighty monster down to size
So come and show yourself
Surely we'll be scared
Tear apart this ship just because you can

Oh sea monster have you finally gone to sleep?
In your bed beneath the open sea
How we used to be scared of those things we could not see
So your services we no longer need
Track Name: Made In The Dark
MADE IN THE DARK

Folks like us will one day return to dust
And blow away in the careless wind
Blind those eyes that are pure of sin
We were made in the dark
We crawl our way towards the light of grace
The devil shows up in the damndest place

Where does evil hide?
In the vein or in the wire
A cloud of vultures overhead
No longer shocked at what the newspaper says
The hawk will still prey on the do-nothing dove
We're a get-ahead beast with competitive blood
Talk of salvation, mercy, peace
There's no advantage to side with the meek
We were made in the dark
We crawl our way towards the light of grace
The devil shows up in the damndest ¬place

We took refuge on the tracks
Where the original sinners laughed
And threw St. Michael from a moving train
The sky broke open with knives of rain
But the rain it brought us new life
In childbirth a mother cried
My sons and daughters recognize
You have a lighthouse inside you that can save your life

We were made in the dark
My sons and daughters recognize
You have a lighthouse inside you that can save your life
Track Name: Leaving Oklahoma
LEAVING OKLAHOMA

Mamma I want to do something wrong
The years burn quickly and the days drag long
I'm tired of humming this gospel song
Toiling away my days
On a dusty crop under the seldom rain
The man I married he's like sugarcane
His sweet eyes gaze affectionately
At everyone else but me

I'm leaving Oklahoma
Across the mighty river bend
Trade the stars over Tulsa
For a piece of heaven in my hands

Mamma I want to do something bad
Quit my job and then I'll pack my bag
Leave tonight with another man
A man I barely know
He told me Friday that I was his girl
Ran his fingers through my unwashed curls
I closed my eyes and the room it filled with light
Stark as a brand new life

We're leaving Oklahoma
Across the mighty river bend
Trade the stars over Tulsa
For a piece of heaven in our hands

California, I need your rumors to be true
California, my blind faith is in you

We're leaving Oklahoma
Across the mighty river bend
Trade the stars over Tulsa
For a piece of heaven in our hands
In our hands
We'll soon have heaven
In our hands
Track Name: Shanghai Mountain
SHANGHAI MOUNTAIN

In the trees I find
Shadows tall as a pine.
As I climb, I see,
I wish I was a fish,
In a mountain stream.

Oooh oooh

If there’s sun on the path
Let’s put all our shadows in that.
Bring in the night
We sing,
Wish I was a bird
In the wind

Oooh oooh

If you lose love, beware
It can feel cold as the northern air.
So tonight, run with me
And we can be coyotes,
In the breeze

And the water laughs for free
As the shadows wrap around the trees
I wish I was, in the ground
So I could move like a rabbit
Not making a sound.
Track Name: Two Thousand Pennies
TWO THOUSAND PENNIES

The lunatics of summer singing silly tunes
With nobody to impress or please
They mostly tell the truth
I got two thousand pennies
To take you into town
Heaven knows as the warm wind blows
There's enough to go around

Fire in the mountain return us to dust
When everybody wants somethin' who's to trust?
Sidewalk of diamonds, my pockets full of rust
How is heaven gonna repay what this life takes from us?

The boss man is a raven with beady eyes of black
He wants all of us to pull the weight while ridin' on our backs
A dead-man's smile upon me
Peaceful as I lay
Everybody wantin' more
I got nothin' to send your way

Fire in the mountain return us to dust
When everybody wants somethin' who's to trust?
Sidewalk of diamonds, my pockets full of rust
How is heaven gonna repay what this life takes from us?

Darling there's a darkness back behind our eyes
And our skeletons are dancin' for the greedy enterprise
Punch the clock as twilight overtakes the day
All the turnstiles are windmills
Just for you the city waits

Fire in the mountain return us to dust
When everybody wants somethin' who's to trust?
Sidewalk of diamonds, my pockets full of rust
Girl I got two thousand pennies tonight to spend on us
Said I got two thousand pennies tonight to spend on us
Track Name: Marlene
MARLENE

say goodnight marlene
say goodnight, goodbye
say goodnight marlene
home to bed marlene

i am not your father
i am not your brother
i am not your lover
no need to yell at me

the pain has taken you over
covering like a quilt
the pain has taken you over
the kind that drink can't beat

goodnight, goodnight, goodbye
i'll get you, a car, I'll buy
you have the saddest of eyes

goodnight, goodnight, marlene
three men have left you at sea
now you're stuck here soaking with me
home to bed marlene

say goodnight marlene
say goodnight, remember
I am just a stranger
i can never leave
Track Name: Entropy
ENTROPY

Of all the Laws of Science
One sticks in my craw
It's Entropy, The Second Thermodynamic Law

The rusty wheel quit turning
The highway's gone to fire
This whole damn thing is hanging by a wire

Your ice cubes keep on melting
And sure as sun will shine
That lemonade you made ain't gonna turn to lemon wine

The rivers foul the ocean
Our mountaintops are sand
We idolize the work of human hands

Everything falls apart
Don't you see
Everything falls apart
Eventually
Everyone falls apart
Even you and me
Entropy
Track Name: Sleepin' Engineer
SLEEPIN’ ENGINEER

Hey scarecrow did you see that our train has missed the station?
Check the schedule; ask the porter what has gone awry
Three more stations fly by, all the passengers bury their eyes
In books and drinks and windows until someone finally cries

But the sleepin’ engineer doesn’t hear us
And the sleepin’ engineer doesn’t wake
We fear an early grave in the belly of a speeding train
Home’s warm embrace is fadin’ far, far away

Hey blackbird can you fly any faster; we are passing you
On our trip to nowhere, you’re invited to hitch a ride
The towns all look the same in a blur of flip card glory
There’s a million and one stories flashing right before our eyes

But the sleepin’ engineer doesn’t see this
And the sleepin’ engineer doesn’t wake
We fear an early grave in the belly of a hungry train
Home’s warm embrace is fadin’ far, far away

Hey moth why do you glide so close to burning candlelight?
Some would call your curiosity a suicide
She said, "we all perish any way, we could die on this train
And dancing with this gorgeous flame makes me feel so alive"

But the sleepin’ engineer doesn’t know this
And the sleepin’ engineer doesn’t wake
So we bust down the engine door
To find an open window and a note that reads
I’m off to see the world, you’re on your own
You’re on your own
You’re on your own
Track Name: Boxcars
BOXCARS

Riding in boxcars
Sleeping in rail yards
While my friends tell tales of fast cars
I got nothing and nothing's all that I need
And it’s freedom to me

Speeding past big stores
Them and their price wars
You take the low hanging fruit and I’ll take the main course
I’ve got stories, and stories they come cheap
And they’re freedom to me

I’ll go home when the west winds call me
I’ll find my way to that golden sea
Where there’s a ship filled with nothing that I don’t need
And it’s freedom to me

I know joy like it grows on trees
And it’s freedom to me
Track Name: Sailor's Snug Harbor
SAILOR'S SNUG HARBOR

I don't miss going out on the sea
The ocean isn't a friend to me
All she wants to swallow me
And pull me down

All those men that were lost to the waves
Haunt me, pleading they still can be saved
Can't remember how many days
I've lived on survivor's time

I feel much lighter now that I'm dry
Feet on dirt, with a bed by a fire
I cut a feather with every stride
And each step is steady

But the nights are always the same
Drowning in dreams, I'm back on the waves
And the sails have blown away

Leaving us adrift on the green
Tired and dried out and little to eat
Eye to eye with the sailor-soul thief
Taking us one at a time

I promised then if I was spared
I'd collapse in a comfortable chair
Snug and slippered, without a care
I'd never sail again

But the nights are always the same
Drowning in dreams, I'm back on the waves
And the sails have blown away

And I cannot go on in this way
Drowning in dreams, I'm back on the waves
Every night swallowed in a storm
And the sails have blown away
Track Name: Dillinger
DILLINGER

Square in the middle of the Mid-western plain
John the dispossessed came to carve his name
In the hearts and minds of American dreams
After speculators sold it all upstream
Gin bottle courage and a slight of hand
Playing cops and robbers he devoured the land
All the stiff-suited G-men lost on the chase
He left little else but legend in his wake

He thrashed right through the whispering pines
Slipped into dead of night
Under cold steel darkness they did wait
But Dillinger is already miles away

Little Bohemia where the gang took rest
Sleep with one eye open and a steel plate vest
A dozen feds showed up on a cold Sunday night
To surround the lodge, but only on three sides
Agents staked out at the window above
Firing rifles in their untrained gloves
They finally had Dillinger pinned to the wall
And they lingered through the long hush of the dawn

He thrashed right through the whispering pines
Slipped into dead of night
Under cold steel darkness they did wait
But Dillinger is already miles away

Monday morning when the fog did rise
All the innocent dead still had fear in their eyes
As the feds washed the blood off and hung their heads down
A new breed of lawman gonna come around

He thrashed right through the whispering pines
Slipped into dead of night
Under cold steel darkness they did wait
But Dillinger is already miles away
Track Name: Wrecking Ball Savior
WRECKING BALL SAVIOR

O these walls we live inside
Ain’t got much to do otherwise
But to stand in their place
Hold the living people warm and safe
It’s been five years since love has flown
From what used to be this tender home
Now what’s left of the empty halls
Just the ghost of a love gone wrong

O my savior with a wrecking ball
Be my guardian as I watch it fall
Tear this house down that I call my past
Most of what we fret about wasn’t built to last

Yet another restless night
All the stars are flirting up the sky
While the wind creeps through a windowpane
Come to wake me up and whisper his name

O my savior with a wrecking ball
Be my guardian as I watch it fall
Tear this house down that I call my past
Most of what we fret about wasn’t built to last

Gather ‘round and watch this house laid bare
Everyone loves a destruction when it isn’t theirs

O my savior, in ashes we will walk
Be my guardian through smoking clouds of chalk
Tear this house down, into blessed black
And tell that haunting lover I'm never coming back
Track Name: Zombie Zombo
ZOMBIE ZOMBO

Zombie, Zombo
Thousands of them, watch them go
Through the streets of downtown Chicago
Looking for your brain, yumma yumma

Vampire, vampo
Sleeps all day in a piano
Flaps around the light on the patio
Looking for your neck, yumma yumma

Yeti, Yeto
Two big feet, ten big toes
Himalayan sasquatch-y freak show
looking for your tent, yumma yumma
Track Name: O Lucy
O LUCY

Ravens over a twilight sky
O Lucy don't you weep
Where the river comes to rise
O Lucy don't you weep
I saw something shimmering beneath the water so deep
O Lucy don't you weep

The Devil and the Holy Ghost
O Lucy don't you weep
Told me who to love the most
O Lucy what to believe
But staring at the murky water it became strangely clear
Lucy, my fortune lay buried here

I dove right in to these dark waters
I'll miss you Lucy and all the sons and daughters
For when the river's mighty arm
Pulls me where the light no longer shines upon

The branches of the willow trees
O Lucy don't you weep
What if there is nothing on the other side for me
Just this quiet river that feeds the infinite sea
O Lucy don't you weep
O Lucy don't you weep