Still The Birds (2016)

by Darryl Purpose

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1.
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
2.
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
3.
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
4.
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
5.
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?
6.
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
7.
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...
8.
Baltimore 05:29
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
9.
Sheena's Dog 05:00
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
10.
Shiloh 05:32
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.
11.
The Birds 03:29
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...

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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Darryl Purpose Nederland, Colorado

Darryl went to Las Vegas at 19 and became a professional blackjack player, which he still calls the 'only real job I've ever had'. He is a member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame.
Since 1996, he has toured extensively and released 8 albums of original music.
Darryl's last two albums spent weeks at #1 on the RMR radio charts. Next Time Around and Still The Birds
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