Still The Birds

by Darryl Purpose

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about

Still the Birds press – what folks are saying:

“…there’s no end to the superior songs and equally adept performances, a combined bounty that’s more than capable of taking Purpose out of the shadows and soaring like those birds he name-checks in the title.”
~ Lee Zimmerman, NoDepression

“Yes, Darryl Purpose sounds like James Taylor. And, yes, he has an amazing backstory…These songs are so good they eclipse all that. Purpose has a rare flair for writing memorable mellifluous melodies, and on ‘Still the Birds’ he pairs them with marvelous lyrics by Paul Zollo, who has written a rhyming dictionary and shows it by pairing ‘Halloween’ with ‘gabardine.’ Purpose’s folksy tunes enchant thanks to their surprising twists, such as the octave-and-a-half leap in the chorus of ‘When Buddha Smiled at the Elephant.’ Elsewhere he sings about gangs, devotion, Dylan Thomas, and wars today and two centuries ago. Keep this up, and someday folks will say James Taylor sounds like Darryl Purpose.”~ Steve Wine, Associated Press (read the whole review in The Washington Post, ABC News, Yahoo News, Daily Mail)

“This is absolutely superb work from one of a kind. ”
~ Jim Hynes – Elmore Magazine

“His duet with Eliza Gilkyson, ‘The Meaning of My Love,’ …shares subtle similarities with the John Prine & Iris DeMent’s duet ‘In Spite of Ourselves,’ more softly played and articulated emotionally by Darryl and Eliza…”
~ Chris Kresge

“Whoosh! It sweeps you right up. Big guy. Big heart. Big songs. Thank you Darryl Purpose and Paul Zollo for some beautiful art.”
~ Marilyn Rae Beyer – WUMB

“Fascinating, ingratiating, controversial, interesting, deep and somewhat off-center…”
~ Soundwaves

“All 11 of the songs here, written by Purpose and his partner Paul Zollo, are intriguing, the words filled with brilliant imagery while Purpose’s laid-back, warm vocal style imbues the whole album with an underlying sense of deep compassion for the human condition. Get this album and listen with care. If you like lyrics that demand attention and that will make you think, Purpose is going to make you very happy.”
~ Rhetta – Making a Scene

“Way too accomplished an album for the indie world, if this roustabout can wrangle and corral the audience this set deserves, fireworks will ensue. Well done.”
~ Midwest Record blog

credits

released May 6, 2016

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about

Darryl Purpose Nederland, Colorado

www.darrylpurpose.com/bio

Darryl went to Las Vegas when he was 19 and became a professional card player, which he still calls the 'only real job I've ever had'.

He has toured extensively and released 7 albums. His second album produced by Billy Crockett at Blue Rock Studios will come out in 2016.

The sometimes social activist always has a compelling story to tell, in words and in song.
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Track Name: Prince Of The Apple Towns
Prince of the Apple Towns
purpose/zollo

Over songs of saints and martyrs / From Swansea to Crymlyn Bog
He’s been alive one thousand years / With eyes of sea and fog
Down the green and golden pathways / Among horses and cows
A huntsman and a herdsman / Under the apple boughs

CHORUS: In our songs of salt and barley / In our temporary crowns
In the sun that’s young once only, Prince...
...of the Apple Towns He was the Prince of the Apple Towns

Famous among the foxes / With songs carved out of soap
Where the children of the harvest / And the spellbound horses lope
In the shadows of the Mumbles / He ran his heedless ways
Tipsy from salvation’s bottle / Onto the fields of praise

CHORUS: In our songs of salt and barley / In our temporary crowns
In the sun that’s young once only, Prince...
...of the Apple Towns He was the Prince of the Apple Towns

BRIDGE:
In a song of New York City in winter windfall light
At the old White Horse Tavern, he sang the sun in flight
A boy as mad as birds after the birth of simple light
In his cups and all alone, Into that good night

Where his heart is still a bird’s nest / In a three-piece suit of spades
And the moon is always rising / Over hummingbird parades
And Swansea bells keep ringing / Unbound by gravity
In his chains forever singing / Like the sea

CHORUS: In our songs of salt and barley / In our temporary crowns
In the sun that’s young once only, Prince...
...of the Apple Towns He was the Prince of the Apple Towns

Prince...
...of the Apple Towns He was the Prince of the Apple Towns
Track Name: When Buddha Smiled At The Elephant
When Buddha Smiled at the Elephant
purpose/zollo

Morning in blue forest, War’s dark aftermath
Bones of beasts and humans, Down the cypress path
An elephant came charging, New moon on the rise
Full of crazy anger, fire in her eyes

She was drunk with sorrow, And water laced with wine
Crashing trees and temples down, all along the line
Her great feet shook like thunder, lightning in her gaze
Every second stretched, into a thousand days

CHORUS: And the whole wide world was singing, Of man and war and art
When Buddha Smiled at the Elephant, With His heart

But Buddha was the gentle rain, that fell over the land
He held the mighty elephant, like a lotus in his hand
The elephant stood frozen, like she had turned to stone
Such a force of kindness, the beast had never known

And so she swept away the dust, from her master’s feet
As Buddha beamed with loving kindness, down the broken street
Her giant tears came falling, down like crystal rain
When the Buddha came, to wash away her pain

CHORUS: And the whole wide world was singing, Of man and war and art
When Buddha Smiled at the Elephant, With His heart

Instrumental verse

Buddha on his daily walk, to take alms for the poor
Came to tame an elephant, with love instead of war
The miracle of true love, like a constellation shone
Such a force of kindness, the world had never known

CHORUS: And the whole wide world was singing, Of man and war and art
When Buddha Smiled at the Elephant, With His heart

CHORUS: And the whole wide world was singing, Of man and war and art
When Buddha Smiled at the Elephant, With His heart
Track Name: Hours In A Day
HOURS IN A DAY
purpose/zollo

He’s shining up his rifle as the coffee starts to perk
He’s scanning over headlines as the neighbors go to work
(It says) Another postal worker with a gun has gone berserk
And started shooting everyone he knows

He remember how his father taught him everything he knew
Why the wind would blow and why the sky was blue
And how he once met Lyndon Johnson and said, “I didn’t vote for you”
And Lyndon Johnson punched him in the nose

CHORUS: And there aren’t enough hours in a day
there aren’t enough hours in a day
there aren’t enough hours in a day... ....to finish anything

He was afraid of being photographed like aborigines
He was afraid of being captured by the North Vietnamese
And when his little brother volunteered for service overseas
He was trying to turn water into wine

He bought a razor for this father and some roses for his mom
And then he split just like an atom splits up in an atom bomb
Cause the thought of spending Xmas in some hole in Viet Nam
Was enough to make him cross the borderline

CHORUS: And there aren’t enough hours in a day
there aren’t enough hours in a day
there aren’t enough hours in a day... ....to finish anything

Thirteen years of driftwood and Canadian debris
Thirteen tired horses on the road to Calgary
Until the day that Jimmy Carter granted amnesty
He lived under a bridge at Reindeer Lake

He put old bones together like an archeologist
He found old fossil records where ancient lives exist
And how easily it shatters in the clenching of a fist
When he took all of the grief that he could take

CHORUS: And there aren’t enough hours in a day
there aren’t enough hours in a day
there aren’t enough hours in a day... ....to finish anything

He drives clear through Alberta without any alibi
And as he crosses over he sees logos rushing by
Big electric billboards that are busting up the sky
The sky that never hurt no one

In the middle of Nebraska he finds the watertower
And all his guns are loaded and all his grapes are sour
On the Richard Nixon Freeway going 90 miles an hour
He wants his fifteen minutes in the sun

CHORUS: And there aren’t enough hours in a day
there aren’t enough hours in a day
there aren’t enough hours in a day... ....to finish anything
Track Name: The Nearness Of You (Red Garland)
The Nearness Of You (Red Garland)
purpose/zollo

Stars are working overtime, the full moon is on fire
Miles swings at taxis with a huckleberry briar
John Coltrane is laughing and Philly Joe is too
And Red Garland’s playing Stardust on a piano painted blue

Pack of Viceroys, orange peel, empty birdcage swinging
On any day in Harlem Lady Day just might be singing
Bird is playing crazy fast, his sax fresh out of hock
And Red’s at the piano like the inside of a clock

CHORUS:
And the sun is lemon soda But the bebop moon is blue
And Red Garland’s at the piano Play-ing the Nearness of You
Playing the Nearness of You

Born in Dallas Texas in the midst of prohibition
His daddy worked on elevators his mama on a mission
To educate her only son, to shine his only shoes
And Red’s at the piano discovering the blues

Fire engine, Hershey Bar, big radio bringing
Big band jazz from Hollywood, the sound of Ella singing.
Once he was a welterweight, a boxer in the ring
He got knocked out by Sugar Ray before he learned to swing

CHORUS:
And the sun is lemon soda But the bebop moon is blue
And Red Garland’s at the piano Play-ing the Nearness of You
Playing the Nearness of You

Instrumental Verse

So take your sorry mittens off and let your hands be chilly
With Bird and Fats Navarro at the Downbeat down in Philly
Miles said play sparse and quiet, like Ahmad Jamal
Ain’t no need for a riot, Red, leave your work boots in the hall

CHORUS:
And the sun is lemon soda But the bebop moon is blue
And Red Garland’s at the piano Play-ing the Nearness of You
Playing the Nearness of You
Track Name: Darryl Purpose w/Eliza Gilkyson - The Meaning Of My Love
The Meaning Of My Love
purpose/zollo

She forgets such simple things
Her cowboy boots and angel wings
The trellis where my memory sings
But I love her so

She’s so deep inside the mire
Wrapped up in foil and chicken wire
She has got to be the world’s worst liar
But I love her so, but I love her so

CHORUS: And the helicopters fly above The human things we’re all made of
Honey, don’t you know anything About the meaning of my love?

The sky is black, the grass is brown
She stands me up when I am down
And leaves me cold in this cartoon town
But I love her so

Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Nothing broken, only sprained
She’s sketchy and so scatterbrained
But I love her so, but I love her so

CHORUS: And the helicopters fly above The human things we’re all made of
Honey, don’t you know anything About the meaning of my love?

She is sunshine, she is shade
She’s sweet and sour like lemonade
She thinks moonlight is retrograde
But I love her so

She never fell far from the nest
The only coast she knows is west
She’s shallow and so self-obsessed
But I love her so, but I love her so

CHORUS: And the BETTER ANGELS fly above The human things we’re all made of
Honey, don’t you know anything About the meaning of my love?
Track Name: Evergreen Avenue
Evergreen Avenue
purpose/zollo

Evergreen Avenue, East L.A. / Every day is revolution day
Church bells chime a song a death / Down narrow lines of crystal meth
Black Cadillac and a blue Mustang / Shooting smack with the Breed Avenue gang
Bullets fly and ricochet / By the old boneyard where the bodies lay

In a crimson cape like superman / Waiting in the wild where the world began
Laying low in the dismal dusk / Like a hot tamale in a new corn husk
Mixing up the grits and the lard by hand / He's an empty pocket in a promised land
Jack old cars on crack cocaine / Driving all alone in the carpool lane

CHORUS:
Santa Ana's whirl in waves
Across the tombstones and the graves
Life and death is all we have
Forevermore on Evergreen Ave

Evergreen Avenue, Christmas morn / Chili relleno and the barleycorn
From 18th down to Chinatown / Cruising with Gabachos as the deal goes down
The sky is black and the moon is red / From Candlemas to the Day of the Dead
But the sky will be red, the moon will be black / When Mexico steals California back

CHORUS:
Santa Ana's whirl in waves
Across the tombstones and the graves
Life and death is all we have
Forevermore on Evergreen Ave

Evergreen Avenue, 3 AM / Shadows know what you think about them
Flashbacks fast as phantom jets / His heart remembers what the flesh forgets
And the flesh forgets what the spirit learns / That the world goes crazy right before it burns
And his blood ignites like gasoline / As he says a prayer to St Augustine

Chorus:
Santa Ana's whirl in waves
Across the tombstones and the graves

[Santa Maria, Madre de Dios, Ruega por nosotros pecadores
Ahora y en la hora, de nuestra muerte. Amen]

Life and death is all we have
Forevermore on Evergreen Ave
Forevermore on Evergreen Ave
Track Name: Everywhere At Once
Everywhere At Once
purpose/zollo

The passage through the canyons
The motion of the heart
The bridge of true companions
That never falls apart

Sometimes love feels far away
Although it’s always near
Love is everywhere at once
Though we are only here

Ever since the world began
I’ve been in love with you
When the world told us lies
Our love was always true

The sunlight in your shining eyes
Your amazing grace
Love is everywhere at once
Though we are in one place

BRIDGE:
Everywhere at once, love is
Everywhere at once
Although we are standing still, love is
Everywhere at once

instrumental break

And we circle around the sun
And somersault through space
And love is everywhere at once
Though we are in one place

Everywhere at Once - Love is...
Track Name: Baltimore
Baltimore
purpose/zollo

Through the shimmer of the river, you can see the lights of harlem
And the ghosts among the salt piles along the FDR
You can hear the heavy footsteps of the overworked and weary
Once upon a midnight dreary he was standing where you are

He wandered through Manhattan searching for his true beloved
Even though her worldly burden long lay buried in the earth
He sacrificed his scruples in an attempt to resurrect her
In the fundamental rhythm of death and birth

CHORUS:
Edgar Allen Poe lived his last days in the Bronx
He lived his last days in the Bronx But he died in Baltimore
He died in Baltimore, in Baltimore

And in a raging fever, He was sure he saw her spirit
Among the ghosts and phantoms forever between trains
Her face was pale and hollow, but her eyes lit up in flashes
And the snow flakes on her lashes fell upon on her harbor chains

And he heard the holy music in the bells of New York city
Where the loneliness and pity took him to the tavern floor
And in a frail whisper he said tell me pilgrim shadow
Why do we aim for Eldorado just to die in Baltimore?

CHORUS:
Edgar Allen Poe lived his last days in the Bronx
He lived his last days in the Bronx But he died in Baltimore
He died in Baltimore, in Baltimore

They found him in a coma, his clothes had all been stolen
Replaced by black alpaca and ragged gabardine
All the people in the tavern, they swore that he left sober
Even though it was in October, only days from Halloween

No one ever did discover the seeds of his destruction
Whether alcohol or opium, typhus, or TB
Or maybe he got shanghaied on some street obscure and lonely
Haunted by dark angels only, down to the sounding sea

CHORUS:
Edgar Allen Poe lived his last days in the Bronx
He lived his last days in the Bronx But he died in Baltimore
He died in Baltimore, in Baltimore
Track Name: Sheena's Dog
Sheena’s Dog
purpose/zollo

Must be midnight in the Bowery now
But here it’s only nine
I’ve been watching as the sun goes down
On Santa Monica & Vine
I’ve still got her paperbacks and comic books from 1995
And I would drive my car to Sheena’s house
If I still knew how to drive, And if Sheena was still alive

CHORUS:
The moon’s behind a billboard now
And the streets are full of fog
And time is just a bone we saved
A bone we saved for Sheena’s dog

Sheena had a Cavalier
It was the best car she could afford
She kept it in her daddy’s barn
Where the grapes of wrath were stored
Seven sheepdogs in the chicken coop spilled into fields of corn
Seven weeks went by the sun came up
And Sheena’s dog was born, Sheena’s dog was born

CHORUS:
The moon’s behind a billboard now
And the streets are full of fog
And time is just a bone we saved
A bone we saved for Sheena’s dog

bridge:
Sheena’s dog was big and gentle
With ears that fell from side to side
I think I’ve grown more sentimental
Ever since that old dog died

She was making movies then
Once I was her movie star
I was playing Woody Guthrie songs
On Geronimo’s guitar
And we would harmonize at barbecues in her hillside backyard
And we’d walk all the way from Echo Park
Down Sunset Boulevard, with Sheena’s dog
Sheena’s dog Sheena’s dog
Track Name: Shiloh
Shiloh
purpose/zollo

Seven swallows flying low
through the mist of April rain
Though the war was long ago
ghosts of the battlefield remain
So haunted is the choir hymn
Shadowlands of calico
And over them the swallows skim
And all is hushed at Shiloh
All is hushed at Shiloh, Shiloh


Rebel soldiers at the gates
April, 1862
The bloody war between the states
Between the sons of gray & blue
Here on these fields three thousand died
Shot down like the buffalo
Here on these fields of pilgrim’s pride
Around the church of Shiloh
Around the church of Shiloh

INSTRUMENTAL BRIDGE

Warriors in shrouds of ash
Coats of oak and buckthorn roots
Lincoln in his stove-pipe hat
Standing tall in goatskin boots
Says: “We were conceived in liberty
Four score and seven years ago
We died for all men to be free.”
Across the fields of Shiloh
Across the fields of Shiloh

Shiloh, Shiloh.
Track Name: The Birds
The Birds purpose/zollo 69

Still the long December night
Still this farm in dappled light
Still the scarecrows stuffed with straw
Still the well from which we draw

Still the sound of horses near
Still the songs of yesteryear
Still new apples on the branch
Still the silent avalanche

CHORUS:
Still the birds, Fly on high
Still they fly, sky blue sky
Soar above, the world of men
Still the birds begin again

Still the leaves turn red and gold
Still the young becomes the old
Still the promise of the Spring
Still love shines in everything

Still old soldiers pass away
Still new souls born every day
Still the songs of love are sung
Still the heart is always young

CHORUS:
Still the birds, Fly on high
Still they fly, sky blue sky
Soar above, the world of men
Still the birds begin again

Still the tale of time is told
Until we step beyond the fold
Far beyond this world of men
Ready to begin again

Still the birds...