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1. Best Medicine

 (Maya de Vitry)
 
Nothin’, my friend, is harder to leave
Than the sound of a town with ambition up its sleeve
But this is my Main Street, my red neon sign
And I’m just another record store, hanging on a vine

I walk like I’ve been kneelin’ on these Rolling Stones
Doctor tells me he can hear the Beatles in my bones
You never know the gold you can find out there 
Until you put the needle down and do some diggin’ in the air

Well, well, well
All I see is all I tell
And I never met a stranger to the bottom of the well
If the body is a temple
The soul is a bell
And that’s why music is the best medicine I sell

I’m slowin’ down, but time, she just flies
And the crows have come to land on the corners of my eyes
But I have seen beauty that has no name
Like where the moon meets the river, where the river meets the rain

    

2. Adelaide

(Maya de Vitry) 

Oh Adelaide 
I remember the morning
When you came 
in a bundle thin and white
On the endless plain
Found you lyin’ on the wayside
Read your name
I call her Adelaide

Oh Adelaide
I remember you dreaming
All the day
Why your mamma rolled that way
Well it ain’t your stain
You were born for the leaving
Hold your claim
She called you Adelaide

Find me a sword, find me a stone
More precious than this breath and bone
In these cold winds of Calgary, I love you like my own
Like my own and my only, Adelaide

Oh Adelaide 
How you danced on the prairie 
All alone
When the summer birds had flown 
Your love had grown
Sweet and round as the berries
Of your home
My only Adelaide

Oh Adelaide
There were tears on the willow
When she came
A lady thin and white
And the July rain
Framed your face in the window
She cried your name
My daughter Adelaide
    

3. Feathers and Bone

(Oliver Craven/Maya de Vitry)

When the working day is done
And the walls of kingdom haven't come
Lays her body in the sun
Imagines what she could have done
Imagines what she could have done

As the shadows rake the land
Takes a brush of hay into her hand
Paints a window in the sand
And gazes on the promised land
She gazes on the promised land

She got feathers and bone to free her
She got feathers and bone, believe her
She got feathers and bone to lead her
Out of the desert, into the night

With the lighting of the day
Like a fighting rose, she breaks the clay
Home again with words to say
She folds her wings and kneels to pray
She folds her wings and kneels to pray
To pray

    

4. San Antonio

(Oliver Craven)

Spent a little time at the Alamo mission
With the Spanish and the dogs on the street
I felt alright just sitting there wishing
You might find yourself among the likes of these

When you arrive come share the vision
Find a place to live outside of poverty
Guess you can try to be forgiven
Come shed the weight of the things you've seen
Whoa the weight of what you've seen

Spanish cries from the back of a mission in San Antone
Sleeping in a fifteen dollar room, I got a bed to spare
A child's eyes break water on a desert dry as bone
Whoa San Antone
San Antonio

You just might find whatever you're missing
A little bit of love in a place you ought to be
Water or wine, however you're living
Lights of the city, and a river to the sea
Lights of the city, a river to the sea

Out on the street
With holes in the shoes on his feet
If a saint walked by
You wouldn't even know his name

Love her or leave her, it's all the same
You got to go my friend, that's alright
But don't be surprised when she calls your name
Asking you to stay another night
Oh one more night
    

5. The Bells

(Maya de Vitry)

Rockabye baby Bethlehem stable
There’s a dog eared bible on the kitchen table
Of a Mississippi morning cotton plantation
And a Tarrytown underground railroad station

Abraham rises on a day decided
All six foot four in a house divided
And he cries cause he knows what the wind is bringing
Now the trees are down but the birds are singing

Muddy waters keep on rollin
And the bells are cracked
but they keep on tollin
Muddy waters keep on rollin
And the bells are cracked
but they keep on tollin

Bus pulls up, Montgomery station
She reads the law like an invitation
Now the oil is low but the lamp is burning
And the wheels are busted but they keep on turning

Break my bread, share my water
Take my hand and call me brother
The kingdom stands but the walls are leaning
At the edge of the water a king is dreaming

    

6. Never For Nothing

(Maya de Vitry)

Full moon rising on an early frost
I'm dripping from the rivers I never meant to cross
But I like the things I'm learning more than anything I've lost

And oh I have lost
Oh I have lost 
But not for nothing
Never for nothing

Like a sparrow in Paris perched on a rung
To the alleys of London and her underground lungs
For copper and bread and a beggars good thumb

Oh I have sung
Oh I have sung
But not for nothing
Never for nothing

Roots and rings are a promise of trees
But I'll hold you as dear as the shore holds the sea
And for you, pretty baby, my loving is free

My loving is free
My loving is free
But not for nothing
Never for nothing 

    

7. Pallet

(traditional, arr. The Stray Birds)

Make me down a pallet on your floor 
Make me down a pallet on your floor
Make me down a pallet soft and low
So I can sleep when I got nowhere to go

The way I been sleeping my back and shoulders tire
The way I been sleeping my back and shoulders tire
The way I been sleeping my back and shoulders tire
I'm gonna roll right over and sleep on the other side

I been travelin north where there's cold sleet and snow
I been way up north, there's cold sleet and snow
I been way up north where there's cold sleet and snow
And there ain't nobody gonna tell me where to go

Weary blues are everywhere I look
Weary blues, they're everywhere I see
Weary blues, they're takin' over me
And no one's had the blues like me

    

8. Stolen Love

(Oliver Craven)

You stole a little love
When you already had enough
You thought you were all alone
But I saw you pick it up

You borrowed a little time
With a whisper and a shout
Moving fast it gave a shine
But it cast the shadow of a doubt
It cast the shadow of a doubt

Now when she asks you, let her know
And when you have to, let it go
A stolen love
A stolen love
Just don't grow

You took it in your hand
Then you turned and you walked away
Now a bird with nowhere to land
You turned it to a stray
You turned it to a stray

    

9. Who's Gonna Shoe

(traditional, arr. The Stray Birds)

Who's gonna shoe your pretty little feet
Who's gonna glove your hand
Who's gonna kiss your red ruby lip
Who's gonna be your man

Papa's gonna shoe my pretty little feet
Mama's gonna glove my hand
Sister's gonna kiss my red ruby lips
I don't need no man

I don't need no man
I don't need no man
Sister's gonna kiss my red ruby lips 
I don't need no man

The longest train I ever did see
Was ninety coaches long
The only woman I ever did love
Was on that train and gone 

On that train and gone, boys
On that train and gone
The only woman I ever did love
Was on that train and gone

    

10. Black Hills

(Maya de Vitry)

I see your faces of your fathers 
Heavy are cold
Carved on your holy silver
Carved on your holy gold
But I will not be paid
In a tale untold
And that cottonwood wind
Can never be sold

I see the eyes of your fathers 
Stone and still
Carved on the ridge
Of my mother’s Black Hills
I see the eagles taking wing
On a white man’s will
But that dust don’t settle easy
Where the blood was spilled

White words on the wind
White words on the hills
White words
Black hills

I see the words of your fathers
Cracked hard and hung
Hovering low on the hills
Like a setting sun
Like an unrolled thunder
And a rain unsung
There’s a whisper on the wind
Of a word undone

    

11. Simple Man

(Oliver Craven)

I drag my plow from field to field
My back is nearly broken
But in my mind I been doing something right
Still my deeds seem to go unspoken

I am a simple man
Don't ask for nothing
Don't reach out for your hand
Let me die on my land

My father died when I was still young
That I had to make life on my own
I was sleeping in the woods, I was living on bread crumbs
Make a boy feel so god-awful alone

My mule has gone lame
And my work, work goes slow
These times bring me a little sorrow
Got no food on my table
No wood in my fire
And I pray some nights I don't wake up tomorrow

Well I can't feed my children anymore
And I hear death knockin' around my door
Let me die and grieve no more

    

12. Might Rain

(Maya de Vitry)

You’re the only one I see
Why, oh why won’t you dance with me
Dance all night in the fading light
Oh why, oh why won’t you dance all night

Wish that you could follow me
Wish that you could know the same old love
I wish that you could follow me
Might rain, might not
Might rain, might not

Dust a-risin’ ‘neath my feet
Landin’ on your rosy cheeks
Prettiest rose in the driest land
Oh why, oh why won’t you take my hand

Dark and solemn the northern sky
Like a parting lover’s sigh
Hollow winds cross fields of brown
Oh why, oh why can’t you hear that sound


    

Produced by The Stray Birds & Stuart Martin

Oliver Craven - Vocals, Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin

Maya de Vitry - Vocals, Guitar, Fiddle, Banjo, Piano

Charles Muench - Vocals, Bass, Banjo

Mixed by Stuart Martin & Oliver Craven

Engineered & Mastered by Stuart Martin

Artwork and Layout by Josh Gibson @ Giant Step Design

Photography by Doug Seymour