American Hymn

by Toot Sweet

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about

All songs and interludes written by Mary Spencer Knapp 2013*

Recorded, mixed & mastered by Oliver Ignatius of Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen, Brooklyn, NY 2014

*In A Cold World and Cleaned Up include excerpts from the poetry of Emily Dickinson and T.S. Eliot (see individual tracks for details)

credits

released February 18, 2014

Mary Spencer Knapp - vocals, accordion, piano, organ
Benji Marx - upright bass, electric bass, electric guitar, mandolin
Jesse Maynard - drums
Alex Carter - tenor saxophone (2, 8)
Marc Orleans - mandolin (5, 6)
Hannah Sloane-Barton - violin (9)
Tyler Kaneshiro - trumpet (11)

Album cover photo by Manuel Laqui
Album cover designed by Caleb Shea Sillars

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about

Toot Sweet New York, New York

THE SOUL CABARET:
the scene is set for a disaster, now tell me...

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Track Name: Sometimes
Sometimes
You'll find
You'll find
I was unkind
I was unkind
I was unkind

But then
So nigh
You'll cry
And show me why
You took my side
You took my side

Doubled over seven fold
Hustling to barricade the cold
I'm your well
You dig me deep
Toss the coins
Upon my cheek
My wishes to keep, yeah
My will to speak

Sometimes
I'll cite
Our plight
That we were slight
So full of spite
Immune to light

But then
I'll know
And we'll grow
Into the light
To set it right
To take this flight

Ooh la la
Ooh la la
Ooh la la
Ooh lala Ooh lala
Ooh lala Ooh lala
Track Name: In A Cold World
In this short life
That only lasts an hour
How much, how little
Is within our power

La-ba da ba-da-da-da
Ba-da da-da-da
Da la da da-da-da
La-ba da ba-da-da-da
Ba-da da-da-da
Da la da da-da-da

Keep it close, hold it dear
Hush now not a tear
Morning dawns we sing our songs
Of good life and cheer

La-ba da ba-da-da-da
Ba-da da-da-da
Da la da da-da-da
La-ba da ba-da-da-da
Ba-da da-da-da
Da la da da-da-da

How how much
How how much
Power?

For thine is the kingdom
(How much)
Is the power
(Power)
And the glory
Track Name: Roses
Break of day I pick my plots
Brilliant schemes will come to naught
Night descends I turn my poses
Lay my plots with hollowed roses

Come the day which plot still stands
The one to which I lent pure hands?
Loathe to wager on my soul
Fearing light of smouldering coals

Fear now not for days be mild
Stealing time for fleeting smiles
Night will come to challenge stride
For in the dark impulses ride
Steeping life with heartfelt crimes
To trudge with us in light

Empty plots no crop to graze
I deigned to wander through the haze
To noble gardens gently grown
Where I did lay 'mong blessed roses
Track Name: Dark Road
Running down the same dark road again
Feels like it's the millionth time I've been
Nothing left to fix though I know I've hardly tried
No one left to blame and I know the reason why

Are we ever breaking through?
Oo-ooh have you changed or was it always you?
Oo-ooh what's left for me to do?
But to believe in a man I thought I knew

Feeling our hearts slowly turning into ice
Revealing a conceit that always hid behind our eyes
Can't get through your bitter spleen to where it all began
Guess I'm running down the same, same dark road again

Are we ever breaking through?
Oo-ooh have you changed or was it always you?
Oo-ooh what's left for me to do?
But to believe in a man I thought I knew

Running all the way back home again
Cause all you're giving me is a hole in the head
Planning my next move can't remember where I stand
Guess I'm running down the same, same dark road again

And at the end of the day
I'm just trying to feel alright
I've got to run far away
From the dark black roads of our minds
Track Name: American Hymn
How beautiful the twilight skies
Unfolding o'er the fields
Affecting wistful sentiments
To which my body yields
America, America
Vous etes ma reverie
With fruitful lands and hills so grand
From sea to shining sea

Anticipation
Transitory Elation
Find Consolation
In the American Hymn

O Beautiful are all my dreams
That see beyond the years
And terrible are all the ones
That spur my latent fears
America, America
What do you vest in me
Transient cares or earth and air
And music hearted sea?

Anticipation
Transitory Elation
Find Consolation
In the American Hymn

Merciful Hearts
Kneel before you
Cry out to you
Implore you
Track Name: After The Storm
The skies are settling
Troubles out at sea
The ocean waves
Surrendering in stride
The cooling breezes
Brazen with their charms
Caress these waters
With sweet remembered songs

The storms have passed
And now we can begin
To seek the shores
Where fires light the skies
We'll sift through waters
Thirsting for new meaning
We'll trove the evenings
Where fires light your eye

Soon as the evening treads
My baby lays me down to bed
Track Name: Cleaned Up
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together headpiece filled with straw

Between the essence
(We)
And the descent
(We)
Falls the shadow
(We)

We
We
We

This is the way the world ends
(We, the way)
This is the way the world ends
(We, the way)
Not with a bang
But a whimper