The Waking EP (2016)




In celebration of the 10th anniversary of 2006’s Strange Conversation, the original band from that album reconvenes to record six more songs drawn from classic works of poetry by Theodore Roethke, Gwendolyn Brooks, William Blake, Christina Rossetti, and William Butler Yeats. The songs touch thematically on the passage of time, death and redemption, and inspiration lost and found; all rendered with deeply-felt musicianship and Delmhorst’s warm voice and laid-back jazz phrasing.

LYRICS

All songs ©2016 Kris Delmhorst/Big Bean Music (ASCAP)


The Waking
(Lyrics: Theodore Roethke adapted by KD)

I wake to sleep, I take my waking slow
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear
I wake to sleep, take my waking slow
I learn by going where I have to go 

We think by feeling, what is there to know
I feel my being dance from ear to ear
I wake to sleep, take my waking slow
I learn by going where I have to go

Of those so close beside me, which are you? 
God bless the ground, I’ll walk softly there. 
And wake to sleep, and take my waking slow
And learn by going where to go

Great nature has another thing to do to you and me
So won’t you take the lively air?
Wake to sleep, take your waking slow,
And lovely, learn by going where to go

The shaking keeps me steady, I should know
What falls away is always and is near
I wake to sleep, I take my waking slow
I learn by going where I have to go
I learn by going where I have to go
I learn by going 

Hungry 
(Lyrics: Gwendolyn Brooks/KD)

I hold my honey and I hold my bread
In little boxes made up of my will
I close up tightly each little lid
And say Be firm til I return from hell

I am very hungry, I am incomplete
None can say when I may dine again

No man can tell me any word but Wait
I keep my eyes pointed in
Wondering how long is this my fate
And why’d these devil days ever begin 

I am very hungry, I am incomplete
None can say when I may dine again

What legs are left will take me home
What little heart I keep the memory of
I hope the taste I still remember
Honey and dreams, dreams and bread, bread and love

I am very hungry, I am incomplete
None can say when I may dine again

Jerusalem
(Lyrics: William Blake adapted by KD)

And did those feet in ancient times
Walk upon these mountains green?
And was the holy lamb of God 
Here on these pleasant pastures seen?

And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon these clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem built here
Among these darkened mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold
Bring me my arrows of desire
Bring me my spear, O clouds unfold
Bring me my chariot of fire

I shall not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand 
Til we have built Jerusalem
Here in this green and pleasant land

Uphill All the Way
(Lyrics: Christina Rossetti/KD)

Is the road uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night my friend.
And will there be a resting place?
A roof when the night begins.
Will the darkness hide it from my face? 
No you cannot miss that inn. 

Will I meet other travelers there?
Those who have come before.
Will they hear me knocking?
They won’t leave you standing at that door.
Will I find comfort, sore and weak? 
Of work you shall find the sum. 
Are there beds for me and all who seek?
Yes, beds for all who come. 

But it’s uphill all the way
And the journey’s gonna take all day

And is there room at the table there?
All may come to dine. 
Perhaps a glass to ease our cares?
Good strong ale and wine. 
And will they take me as I am?
None get turned away. 
And is there mercy for the damned?
Forgiven is yesterday. 

But it’s uphill all the way
And the journey’s gonna take all day

Is the road uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night my friend.
And will there be a resting place?
A roof when the night begins.
Will the darkness hide it from my face? 
No you cannot miss that inn. 

Inisfree
(Lyrics: William Butler Yeats adapted by KD)

I will arise and go now, to Inisfree
And a cabin build of clay and wattles made
Bean-rows will I have there, and a hive for the honeybee
And live alone in the bee-loud glade. 

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow
From the vales of the morning to where the cricket sings
Midnight’s all a glimmer, noon’s a purple glow
And evening full of the linnet’s wings

I will arise and go now, for always, night and day 
I hear lake-water lapping at the shore
While I stand in the roadway, or on the pavement gray
I hear it in my heart’s deep core

I will arise and go now, go to Inisfree
And a cabin build of clay and wattles made 
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee
And live alone in the bee-loud glade. 

When I Go
(Lyrics: Christina Rossetti adapted by KD)

When I go, my dear,
Sing no sad songs for me
Plant no roses at my head,
No shady cypress tree 

Be the green grass above me,
Showers and dew-drops wet,
And if you will, remember
And if you will, forget

I won’t see the shadows
I won’t feel the rain
I won’t hear the nightingale
Singing out like he’s in pain

I’ll be dreaming through the twilight
That knows no rise nor set
And maybe I’ll remember
And maybe I’ll forget