Night Bird Singing

by Pippa Hoover

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02:44
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02:33
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credits

released December 14, 2018

Written by Pippa Hoover.

Pippa Hoover - lead vocals, backing vocals, cello
Kate Rhudy - backing vocals
Anne-Claire Niver - backing vocals
Joseph Terrell - guitar, backing vocals
James Wallace - percussion, piano, organ, accordion
Alex Bingham - bass, banjo
Josh Oliver - banjo, guitar
Andrew Marlin - mandolin

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Jerry Brown at Rubber Room Recording Studio in Chapel Hill, NC.

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about

Pippa Hoover Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Pippa Hoover is a Chapel Hill-based singer-songwriter and cellist with sharp lyrics and soulful sound. Her songs are introspective, off-beat, and express a deep love for the natural world. Her sound features catchy melodies, classical-inspired cello solos, and hints of country, 60’s girl band pop, and R&B. ... more

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Track Name: Hometown
The heat pooled mirage-like on the asphalt
Yellowing the fields where red winged blackbirds
Sitting spaced like sentries on the fence posts watched us
As we rolled away

The wallflowers and mustard seeds where drying
And I couldn’t stay to see them back again next year
But a purple sweat pea sprout still lived, its tendrils entwining
‘Round the railroad tracks and tumble weeds

I used to stand over the interstate
High above the ranch homes and the mini vans
I laced my hands in the chain link fence with longing
Watched the haze drift with the delta breeze

I know why dreamers scorn this place
Lemmings swarm the strip malls and the high school halls
But I hold my mind on the fringe patches of beauty
So I have no hate for my hometown
No, I have no hate for my hometown

Black widows still nest inside the pump house
Blackberries still tangle up the drainage ditch
The blacktops still shimmer in the summertime, though I’m long gone
I have no hate for my hometown
No, I have no hate for my home town
Track Name: Everybody's Working Hard
You’re living like a king now ‘cause you earned it
Dining fine and jetting off
Hiring help, and relishing
Your sovereignty

You bootstrapped from the bottom; you deserve it
And nothing makes your blood boil like the whiny kids these days
Good for nothing beggars all too soft to make their own way

You never used a crutch
You never took a handout
You never needed luck

Huh …

Tell me again how hard work turns lead into gold
‘Cause everybody’s working hard
Still eating scraps and wearing rags against the cold
Everybody’s working hard
We’re slothful, selfish, and spoiled?
Why don’t you take off your tinted monocle
There’s grit under our fingernails and blisters on our soles
Everybody’s working hard

I’ve seen your face on boxes of Monopoly
And you weren’t born on Baltic
With no houses and no money
You get out of jail free

Snow White and Cinderella: no more fantasy
Than this rags-to-riches fairy tale you tell to keep us shamed
My finger’s raised to burst your bubble and to point the real blame

Tell me, who paved your roads?
Tell me, who taught you your times tables?
Who made your bed and your home?
Did you do all alone?

Tell me again how hard work turns lead into gold
‘Cause everybody’s working hard
Still eating scraps and wearing rags against the cold
Everybody’s working hard
We’re slothful, selfish, and spoiled?
Why don’t you take off your tinted monocle
There’s grit under our fingernails and blisters on our soles
Everybody’s working hard

Tell me again how hard work turns lead into gold
‘Cause everybody’s working hard
Still eating scraps and wearing rags against the cold
Everybody’s working hard
We’re slothful, selfish, and spoiled
Picking up your slack and taking pennies for our toil?
There’s grit under our fingernails and blisters on our soles
Everybody’s working hard
Track Name: Dobroselsky Park
Snow sifted like powdered sugar
On the broken amusement park
Paths cut by cross county skiers
Gliding through Dobroselsky Park

Russian champagne and boxed wine in my veins
And a call on the telephone
I’m going home in the still lingering dark
Still lingering dark

Juice carton bird feeders swinging
With flutters of yellow and red
Stage ruins tagged and graffitied
The sidewalks deserted and dead

Hopped off the fence with a guilty conscience
And a call on the telephone
I’m going home in the slow, trickling dawn
Slow, trickling dawn

Crowds carrying roses, tulips
Clogging Egorov street
Tarps piled with bright gold mimosa sprigs
Petal confetti strewn under my feet

Dumping my allies, severing ties
With a call on the telephone
I’m all alone in the full, tingling sunlight
Full, tingling sun
Track Name: Black Hole
I want your love, I want it orbiting me
Spiraling trajectory
Circling, accelerating
Closer ‘till we touch

I want your love, I want to see it slowly
Gaining instability
Knocked off course and headed toward me, faster, till we touch

‘Till there’s a flat picture of your love
Suspended at my surface, but
It’s scrambled up to much to recognize

I want your love, I want it yielded to me
To my singularity
Pulling you relentlessly
Closer ‘till we touch

I want your love, and I want your surprise on
Piercing my event horizon
Now you’re in my heart
And you aren’t ever getting out

‘Till there’s a flat picture of your love
Suspended at my surface, but
Inside I’ve crushed it all into a dot

Come closer, please
I’m dark and intriguing
Don’t you want to discover
All my mysteries?

Come closer, please
You have to come inside
To see the light
To know the truth, to die

I want your love, I want to burst and overflow
I want it setting me aglow
But oh, I don’t want you to know
How I treat it
Where it goes
Track Name: A Grace You Don't Deserve
I won’t translate my guilt into eloquence nor
Will I sing my repentance again for you for
It’s a grace you don’t deserve
It’s a grace you don’t deserve

You won’t suffer the words of the girl you abhor
Though you damn me for sins you’ve committed before
It’s a grace you don’t deserve
It’s a grace you don’t deserve

We were molten and smoking and spitting debris
But I trusted your imminent solidity
And that trust was not returned
And that trust was not returned

Now I’m igneous rock, but since you think I’m sand
I won’t offer the love and forgiveness that stands
It’s a grace you don’t deserve
It’s a grace you don’t deserve

I won’t humor you further, you’re nobody’s god
You’re a blasphemous brat with a righteous façade
Your ears are waxed thick with judgment and pride
Your eyes: lensed in high contrast filters, and dried
Your mouth preaches peace, dribbles hate out the side

Your bitter silence blew furious, scattered the mists
I see un-shrouded the sickness I missed
Your false compassion condemned my heart, now its dismissed
Once I esteemed you, now pity persists
'Cause I’ve been loved better by criminals, strangers, and atheists

Still my patience and charity never decayed
I won’t tear down the forsaken temple we made
The doors are all open, a pew’s in reserve
It’s a grace you don’t deserve
Track Name: Nothing to Offer
Standing on the sidewalk with a cardboard box of bits
Just quit another job I probably could’ve lived with
Coming in early to do more than I’m told to
Though I know I’m not wanted

My bank account is draining, my wallet’s getting thin
I have to live and eat, and no money’s coming in
It’s time for letters and resumes of white lies
Though I know I’m not wanted

I’ll crunch any sum or lemma set in front of me
I’ll pick up new systems quick and teach my students patiently
Set me up alone, shut in an office out of sight
And I’ll put in whatever time it takes to get my job done right, but

These days smarts and sweat don’t sell
Just good cheer sells, and boosts in morale
But I don’t whistle while I work
And I don’t smile much
So I’ve got nothing to offer

These days smarts and sweat don’t sell
Brains and honest work go rancid on the shelf
I don’t joke around at lunch time
or speak sweetly
So I’ve got nothing to offer

It’s time for letters and resumes of white lies
I've got nothing to offer

It’s time to paint myself up pretty, put a front on
Fake I’m something softer
Track Name: Hummingbird
Hummingbird with a torn-off wing
Struggled by the side of the road
In the gravel and dust. I stopped,
Scooped her up and hurried home

I laid her in a bed of flowers
Lilacs and buddleia
And I made a dish of sugar water
And hoped and prayed

Hummingbird with a torn-off wing
Feathers still downy and gray
I felt her warmth and her heart beat
So swift and scared against my hands

I laid her in a bed of flowers
Fuscia and trumpet vine
And I made a dish of sugar water
And hoped and prayed

I laid her in a bed of flowers
Lilies and red hibiscus
And I made a dish of sugar water
And hoped and prayed

Hummingbird with a torn-off wing
I left to let her rest on her own
I came back to a stiff and dry
Little body with its spirit gone

I laid her with a tiny gravestone
Beneath the walnut tree
And I cried about creation’s cruelty
And grieved the life
I didn’t save
Track Name: Garden Spider
She made her way here on a thread in the spring wind
She dangled, shaky, from a twig, started settling in
Garden spider on a thread while those
Worms turned the earth down below

She spun her web with precision and symmetry
The dew and sunlight lit up her craft and artistry
Garden spider spun her web while those
Worms turned the earth down below

She waited still above the marigolds and lilies
The orange blossoms brought the butterflies and bumblebees
Garden spider waited still while those
Worms turned the earth down below

She caught those hapless flying things and quickly they succumbed
As she wrapped them up in sticky silk and shot them up with venom
She feasted on antennas, wings, felt strong and justified
She knows that when you want to grow, something has to die

She ate the gnats, mosquitos, fireflies, and aphids
She ate the crickets, tiger swallowtails, and katydids
Garden spider ate them all while those
Worms turned the earth down below

Her stripes grew brighter, bolder, she doubled daily
The garden creatures trembled, humbled by her might and beauty
Garden spider, bright and bold while those
Worms turned the earth down below

But one day her web hung limp and vacant, center gaping, gone
A blue jay tittered on a treetop, the garden life buzzed on
You can work and build, get bad and big, progress and grow
But anyone who’s anyone eventually gets swallowed

Garden spider’s dead and gone, worms keep
Turing the earth down below
Track Name: October
Early fall
A cold drizzle turns to frosty flurries
Tumbling and twirling in the glimmer of the street lamps
Humming pedal tones against the northwest hiss
Below the rustle of the
Last few wrinkled desiccated leaves


First snowfall
All the gutters clogged with sooty slush
With decomposed debris mixed up or frozen to the asphalt
All the students wear bright colored rain boots
So they won’t get wet and washed out
Graying to translucent spectral shades

October iced over
This is not the autumn I know
Geometric snowflakes floating
Sharp precise and beautiful

October iced over
This is not the autumn I know
Glassy branches, curling ice forms
Alien and beautiful

Halloween
All the trick-or-treaters dressed as skiers
Gathering and gorging to prepare for hibernation
We are headed for a hard, cold winter
So we’d better spend it dreaming
Underneath a comforter of snow

October iced over
This is not the autumn I know
Piles of prismic crystal powder
Glittering and beautiful

October iced over
Let’s spend winter dreaming
Underneath a comforter of snow
Dreaming underneath a comforter of snow
Dreaming underneath a comforter of snow
Dreaming underneath a comforter of snow
Track Name: Sally's Song
I came here skinny, patchy, and scrappy
With burrs and spider webs caught in my fur
I came here half-starved, freezing, and tired
Meowing my desperation at your door

You gave me canned tuna and I was grateful
You made me a bed in the back of the barn
And after some time you found me beautiful
You started to think that we could get along

That I’d come when you called
That strange sounding new name that’s not mine
That I’d sit in your lap or I’d sleep
Curled cozy and content at
The foot of your bed

But I’ve been handed down
Passed on like a present no one really wants to keep
So I’ve already learned
Not to trust the hand that feeds me

Now we’ve been spending so much time together
And I happily let you touch me sometimes
But you still can’t believe I startle so easy
Still can’t believe I won’t come any closer

I’ve been kicked, I’ve been caged
So I bolt at the first sound of stomping
Or the touch of two hands. I retreat
To a low, dark place with strong walls
And no easy way in

I may close my eyes and purr now
I may squirm with pleasure when you touch my cheek
But I’ve already learned
Not to trust the hand that loves me

So I keep my claws out
And I sharpen my teeth
But most importantly, I keep my legs strong
So I’m always ready to leave
Track Name: Land of My Dreams
Summer’s starting, and the heat it swells
As the green leaves grow in thick where all the blooms fell
Couples lay out on the shaded downs
Me, I got a vision there’s a place I have to go leaves brown

If you’re coming, then walk by my side
If you’re staying back, then kiss me goodbye
I’m going into the thicket
And right through the thorns
To look for the land of my dreams

Some folks root down in the earth they know
Or they tumble through the flatlands as the winds blow
Others follow where the river flows
Me, I’ve got a vision and no matter how I’m pushed and pulled I’ll go

If you’re coming, then walk by my side
If you’re staying back, then kiss me goodbye
I’m going down through the canyon
And over the falls
To look for the land of my dreams

If you’re coming, then pick up your cross
It’s gonna be a grueling pathway to walk
Our feet might get bloody
Our shoulders may tear
Our little hearts could give out
Before we even get there

But in farmlands, in quaint peaceful towns
In golden cities, I will not settle down
I’m going straight up the mountain, and into the storm
To look for the land of my dreams

I’m going into the thicket
And right through the thorns
Down through the canyon
And over the falls
Straight up the mountain
And into the storm
To look for the land of my dreams
Track Name: Snake in the Sun
I was born in a thicket of saplings, creepers, and thorns
Twisted together so close that I’ve rarely seen the dawn
Since then I’ve been cutting a path as best as I can
Though brambles trip up and trap me and nettles sting my hands

Ahead, I can’t see through the swelling mist and fog
Through the darkness that just gets deeper further on
Behind, all the shapes and colors I’ve seen before smear
Warp and fold in on each other, ‘till finally, they disappear

So stand over me if you’re warm and bright
And I’ll stretch out like a snake in the sun
Make all these shadows fade in your light
And I’ll slither away from you when I’m done

I’ve got a light, but it flickers so weak and dim
I shrink from the breezes that might blow it out, so it’s low on oxygen
And it’s sickly flame won’t thaw out my freezing hands
Or light up a circle around me, so I’m not sure where I stand

So stand over me if you’re warm and bright
And I’ll stretch out like a snake in the sun
I’m stiff and cold, let me soak up your light
And I’ll slither away from you when I’m done

So stand over me if you’re warm and bright
And I’ll stretch out like a snake in the sun
I’m stiff and cold, let me soak up your light
And I’ll slither away from you when I’m done

I’m stiff and cold, let me soak up your light
And I’ll slither away from you when I’m done

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