Night Bird Singing

by Pippa Hoover

/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more

     

1.
Hometown 02:32
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
2.
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
3.
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
4.
Black Hole 02:09
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
5.
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
6.
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
7.
Hummingbird 02:44
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
8.
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
9.
October 02:33
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
10.
Sally's Song 04:01
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
11.
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
12.
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

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.

license

all rights reserved

tags

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

contact / help

Contact Pippa Hoover

Streaming and
Download help

Report this album or account

If you like Pippa Hoover, you may also like: