by devonsp

Hi guys.  I’m looking forward to hanging with the TRANZAC / Holy Oak Family Singers family tomorrow night on instagram and playing a few songs.  I chose these three and I thought I might post the lyrics here, in case anyone wants to read along or revisit later.  I’m also playing every Sunday at 1:30pm EDT these days, on my fb live page.


I don’t want to make you mad. I don’t want to hold you back. I’ll show my colours now.  You haven’t felt the fire inside.  You haven’t heard the stormy night.  I’ll show my colours now. I never said I could change.

I never said I could change the way I am like it was nothing.

I can be gentle when I’m trying to sell, generous when it serves me well.  I hide my colours well.  I wanna wear them on my sleeve.  The things you say, I wanna believe, but oh, my colours.  You don’t have to pretend if you don’t understand.

You should be afraid to dig that line.  But if you are brave, you might find blue under the robin’s nest, green to lie back against.  Find my colours.

I never said I could stay.  I never said I could stay and play this game like it was nothing.

(this song was very satisfying to help write.  there’s nothing like working on a song that’s already started, which this one was, by mike o’neill.  for me, it was about hiding behind a transparent personality…like, you act like you have nothing to hide, and you mostly do, but that transparent front covers the rest of it)


Snap Shudder

If you’re gonna run, run on the grass.  Don’t be anyone’s half a man.  If you’re gonna love, do it fast.
Do it if you have the chance.

When you were young, you were the star.  You wrote all the songs and drew the cards. Going up the rungs, looking through the bars…you started running on the hardest part.  Snap, snap, shudder.

It should feel good.  If you’re doing it right, it should feel like that one summer in the river.  How can I remember?  How can I be sure where we’re going?

How did you forget climbing up that tree?  not noticing the night til you couldn’t see.  Writing out her name big in the snow: the brown and green down on the ground below.  When we’re apart, I confuse who is my idea, and who is you…the smell of your mouth, the sound of your laugh…you can’t listen to a photograph …that goes snap, snap, shutter.  Still, it feels good, just knowing that you’re there, growing out your hair, frowning at your macbook. Honey, can you see where we’re going?

Maybe it’s a blessing, getting messy.  It’s a workout, getting burned out.  How’d we get here? Through a shit year.  We’ve been running fast.  If you’re gonna run, run on the grass.  Don’t be anyone’s half a man.  If you’re gonna love, do it for free.  Do it like you did to me.  Snap shudder.

(this was a request at a recent streaming show and it took a while to relearn…there’s a version of it on our patreon that is so beautiful, thanks to my Bernice friends who played on it.  a lot of the lyrics are about the pain/pleasure of nostalgia and the worry of looking ahead.  also how music can become less fun when you try to do it for money.  ahead of a music education meeting the other day, i was reading about how the more recreational your music experience, the more stress it relieves…no surprise!)


On Closer Inspection

No one’s moving; it’s one big lull.  Arms are hurting for something to hold. Legs are reaching to run, muscles moving on their own. On closer inspection, there’s something circling.  Something needs to be said.  What am I saying instead?

The bamboo’s triumphed. Buried trash. Nothing I planted is coming. Nothing I’m eating is mine. Washing and washing, my hands are dry.  On closer inspection, there’s something’s growing — some Solomon’s Seal, American ginseng.

Nothing doing; it’s a stagnant chapter.  I’m never gonna find myself, crawling behind this slowass tractor, slumping down a perfume greenbelt.  On closer inspection, there’s someone dancing: a chesty lady cloud, a little finger pointing up from the ground.

(the second verse of this new song was inspired by my friend Diane Cluck who planted a bunch of little native seedlings, thought they all died, and then discovered them still alive in the spring!  about the pace of virus times.  how are bodies are doing with it)