True Love and Water

by Erica Buettner

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1.
Crying won't get you a dime, but you won't get a dime without crying life's greatest balancing act is to sell fewer tears than you're buying At the fountains of sorrow, you don't make a wish, everyone learns how to swim like a fish You save all your pennies for a luckier tide If wishes were horses then beggars would ride But we will stay afloat drop our hearts like anchors and rock like the boat My love was born with gills A cavernous space that creates, restores, and refills In the city the walls learn to talk, screaming slogans in neon and chalk, people cast their beliefs like a stone that betrays but won't leave you alone And the cars all fly past in a hot, metal flash, it's the speed at which moments belong to the past The flood that keeps coming and alarms that won't ring are the reasons that I started time travelling I am with you in heart and in mind I am with you in and out of time We are rising and rolling like waves through the dust and the grind and the grime You told me that time functions just like a coil and bodies are roots if they just pierce the soil so let us lie down in the soft, fertile ground and stare up the center of time going round We will stay afloat drop our hearts like anchors and rock, rock like the boat My love was born with gills, a cavernous space that creates, restores, and refills
2.
Let's go up the hill and fetch a pail of water, We'll hold it to the lips of all the sons and daughters Your parents called you Jack, my parents called me Jill They've given us the pail, they've shown to us the hill The path is steep and winding, the sun is hot and unabiding, but there, there is the well! There is the well and our bucket sinking, It comes up brimming, and we keep on drinking Little Jack is acting wild, He's made me a crown of flowers (I've never seen him like this) He's splashing me with water We've been dancing here for hours He takes me in his arms, and in this tender thrill, I marvel at my chances, I'm so happy to be Jill True love and water For both of our lips True love and water For both of our lips He has a lovely voice, I adore to hear him sing He's forgotten he's a peasant boy, he's acting like a king He's promising me castles and pleasure manifold He thinks the town will shower him with silver and with gold When we bring True love and water To every son and daughter True love and water For all of their lips He's running down the hill, he seems to have forgotten our task because the water keeps on spilling and he's pulling me too fast He says come on, lovely Jill, the sun is going down We've got to show the world, show them what we've found It's written in the stars, it's written in the stars This true love of ours It's written in the stars Little Jack's foot hit a root in the ground He went tumbling, tumbling, tumbling down as written, Written in the stars He had my arm, he holds it still As I stare up at the dizzy sky and wonder why I'm Jill True love and water Were lost in the spill So very close To the bottom of the hill
3.
You're sorry about the weather, and you don't know why you always feel the need to apologize For things that are way out of your control Instead of just facing the conflicts you're erasing, let time do the trick, it's the best medicine You see yourself talking like you're outside watching he asks if you have any secrets and you say no, I'm as clean as snow But the pressure never ceases it's survival of the species and just to love somebody can leave you all in pieces Sometimes to stand up straight you've got to first bend down shake off your hero's stance and remove your crown I liked you better the way you almost were. Every word you utter is carried by the tide and ripples into places you might have tried to hide, fear of reaction is good incentive for distraction When johnny walker said you could start playing dead he really meant to kill the voices in your head And if you live a little lower and fly under the radar, you might forget the reasons you didn't want to stay here Sometimes to stand up straight you've got to first bend down shake off your hero's stance, and remove your crown I liked you better the way you almost were.
4.
05:25
Learning is a small sting, is a small burn on the tip of the finger, it's a warning, a bitter taste that lingers on the tip of the tongue But the soul, infinite vessel has no tiny edges safe to expose, for what it wants, it goes, and when it goes it really goes Headstrong, headlong plunge... and godspeed to anyone who follows The green space that we started in, we ruined in its entirety but what's divine in you, and what's divine in me, is still up to you, is still up to me We planted seeds of that fruit you shouldn't eat, and it turns out the tree's just like any other tree nurture it and it flourishes nurture it and it flourishes nurture it and it flourishes And the soul, infinite vessel has no tiny edges safe to expose, for what it wants, it goes, and when it goes it really goes Headstrong, headlong plunge (and godspeed to anyone who follows) when it goes follow when it goes
5.
02:56
Outer limits Pure desert Should I have followed you? For the Northern Lights You see them in your dreams This vision Dangles at an arm’s length Stay awake We’re trying to survive Though the ice is cracking we are still alive Stay awake Don’t let yourself go numb Feel and feel Until all feeling’s gone In the very source of cold We will make a space for warmth Digging like the arctic dogs We’ll burrow our long bodies down We’re out here For beauty Alluring siren’s song We’re out here For symbols Milk and honey Just a little further When we find it We’ll sleep a thousand years Let our hair grow around us Spin a tight cocoon Metamorphosis To evolve beyond our fears Wake up light and fly With the shifty moon In the very source of cold We will make a space for warmth Digging like the arctic dogs We’ll burrow our long bodies down
6.
We turned all our sharp parts inwards kept our shell from breaking open Our love was an idea safe and sound and softly spoken Ever since I've had a beak I've wondered what a beak is for What I meant to be a gentle peck Struck fast and hard right to our core First there was a bright, tiny point of light Then there was a fissure that grew into a crack and under all the pressure a part of us was shattered The feeling told us wholeness was never coming back We must learn to fall before we learn to fly It's a test of faith for my love and I Some try to stop us they pluck out our feathers while they're combing our wings and some try to warn us not to trust doting hands with our most fragile things All the red leaves shiver overlooking the Hudson River in their fragile spines I see the lines of my tired hands I've been fortune telling them they'll have long lives and children deep inside I know we're all bracing for the fall We must learn to fall before we learn to fly It's a test of faith for my love and I
7.
The cars are rattling serpentine shaky vertebrae in the highway's spine They're winding toward the electric fence that sprawls across the borderline When you meet the guards wear your thickest skin but when we embrace, please make it thin It's too easy to lose feeling in the kind of world we're living in Maybe I come from you Maybe you come from me too It's 5AM on the borderline and this no land's man is the man of mine We do have faith for each wall they build we can build a taller ladder We do have faith that there is a point where a wall too tall will shatter We're only heading where we were heading all along We are trangressing every line that our hands have drawn It's 5AM on the borderline and this no land's man is the man of mine
8.
All these hollowed, out empty towns in the empire dying fast The last flicker of neon light leaving empty bulbs of glass too fragile for this world All these hollowed, out empty folks like outlines in pavement chalk Eyes all narrowed down to slits from light too hot to be let in Hot as the push of needles Hot as the fast food grease Hot as the nothing left Hot as the big release Hot as fluorescent ceilings Hot as the neighbor's gun Hot as the children launching their Waxy-winged flight towards the sun My land I try my best for you I follow my own pen, I choose my own route I follow the brightest star I follow the brightest star The body electric The body electric electric electric Through cracks in the blacktop the grass is still growing I spin like a searchlight I spin like a searchlight I want to be part of that energy flowing I know that it's urgent It's urgent it's urgent Through cracks in the blacktop the grass is still growing I spin like a searchlight I spin like a searchlight I want to be part of that energy flowing I know that it's urgent It's urgent It's urgent Through cracks in the blacktop the grass is still growing I spin like a searchlight I spin like a searchlight I want to be part of that energy flowing I know that it's urgent It's urgent It's urgent
9.
00:48

about

“Such a simple idea so perfectly realised, with the weight of a female Leonard Cohen wrought through the tune, interlaced with a gossamer beauty as fragile and electrifying as a gentle caress” – Simon Holland, Properganda

“A graceful, intelligent songwriter and a beguiling singer, Buettner...is a song poet, and listening to the way her lyrics glide with such non-chalant ease through these remarkable songs somehow summon to mind, unbidden, that old Jack Kerouac line about ‘beat’ being the shortened form of ‘beatific’”. – Steve Hunt, fRoots

"The...New Englander has created something special during her exile in Paris...her journey through self-awareness and discovery is a captivating delight"DAILY MIRROR

Ginsberg-ghosted Parisian-beat-music - For Folk’s Sake

credits

released April 4, 2011

Words & Music by Erica Buettner
Except A Tale of Norstein by Stefanos Kotsanis

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Erica Buettner New York, New York

Erica Buettner is a singer-songwriter who moved to Europe at the age of 20 and spent the following twelve years winding her way through Paris all the way to the shores of Portugal before returning to New York in 2016. After surviving triple negative breast cancer and putting her music career on hold, Erica's long-awaited second album, The Book Of Waves, was released in October 2018. ... more

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