Lay of the Land

by Dana Sipos

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Achilles Tenderloin
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Achilles Tenderloin What a lovely collection of songs this is--bursting at the seams with dreams of mermaids, earth walkers and tears hung out to dry. I can hardly wait to hear Roll Up The Night (April 2015), when it arrives Favorite track: Rain.
wonderdog
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wonderdog This is great! However, her 2015 album "Roll Up The Night Sky" (now on B/C) is absolutely fabulous.
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03:32
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03:56
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02:37

about

Lay of the Land maps out the landscapes of heart and country, with songs that travel along your spine to tingle your toes and tickle your heartstrings. Recorded with Juno-winning producer Bob Hamilton, tucked away in the Yukon wilds at Old Crow Studio in Whitehorse.

credits

released September 1, 2011

players: Dana Sipos, Ryan McNally, Bob Hamilton, Annie Avery, Jay Burr, Lonnie Powell, Marc Paradis, Sarah Hamilton, Patrick Hamilton, Andrea Bettger

produced by: Bob Hamilton

album design: Pearl Rachinsky

photographs: Batiste Foisy

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about

Dana Sipos Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Dana Sipos is an Canadian folkist who creates nuanced songs that are hauntingly hopeful and captivatingly calm, yet filled with a wild wind.
New album ROLL UP THE NIGHT SKY has been nominated for a 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award in Pushing the Boundaries category, celebrating innovation in creating new folk sounds.
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Track Name: Lucky Lady
Lucky lady lives in the lake of dreams,
she sews the morning together at its seams,
it seems a particular way to spend one's day.

Lucky lady lives half under-water.
Don't bother her none, she's got the lungs of a mermaid,
Saved herself, but couldn't save the one's she loves.

Sunken ships aren't as romantic as they seem,
algae climbs in through the window, substitutes your coffee cream.
I dreamed of being a pirates girl when I was young.

Does the bay take your breath away,
On that late night paddle to the shore?
Don't ask for more than what you're given honey,
you aint' nothing but a ripple, you ain't nothing but a ripple.

Lucky lady lives without the land,
spirits’ teach her to turn the water into hands,
she uses to move you, like your favorite song.

Wont' be long now, ice has cleared from the horizon,
keep your eyes on waves that break and tides that trail,
does your ship sail, or stay anchored to the bottom?

Does the bay take your breath away,
On that late night paddle to the shore?
Don't ask for more than what you're given honey,
you aint' nothing but a ripple, you ain't nothing but a ripple.

Lucky lady, lilts and tilts with the house she built.
Lucky lady, sways and prays through the waves.
Lucky lady, sinks or swims with her ship.
Track Name: Mercy
Oh have mercy on me, I didn’t mean to be so cruel.
So low down, so mean boned, the devil was making himself at home
in my hands, in my heart. I was lost right from the start.

Have mercy on me, I didn’t mean to fall for you like I did.
So I bid you farewell, down to the cellar of my heart you go,
‘Cause I knew loving you would be my undoing,
but I was blinded, I followed you down.

And all that we are left with now, are misgivings about how
pieces of paper, made of bark and burr, dictate how you love her.

Have mercy on me, I didn’t mean to play the fool,
and to stoop, oh so low, to break the cardinal rule.

And all that we are left with now, are misgivings about how
pieces of paper, made of bark and burr, dictate how you love her.
Track Name: My Graces
Just when you thought it was safe to come out of the woods.
Just when you thought it was safe, because you should.
Just when you thought it was safe just to keep it wild.
Just when you thought it was safe just for awhile…

I left my graces by the riverside, I left my graces by the riverside,
I left my graces with my dying breath.

Just when you thought it was safe to come out on to the streets.
Just when you though it was safe people you’d meet.
The morning is full of a mist that I don’t recognize.
The city is full of saints who won’t meet your eye…

I left my graces by the riverside, I left my graces by the riverside,
I left my graces with my dying breath.

Just when you thought they were giving it a chance.
Just when you found that old olive branch.
Tattered and torn and worn out on the ground.
Shattered and silenced and sold out by the sound of…

I left my graces by the riverside, I left my graces by the riverside,
I left my graces with my dying breath.
Track Name: Heavy Night
Oh have mercy on me, I didn’t mean to be so cruel.
So low down, so mean boned, the devil was making himself at home
in my hands, in my heart. I was lost right from the start.

Have mercy on me, I didn’t mean to fall for you like I did.
So I bid you farewell, down to the cellar of my heart you go,
‘Cause I knew loving you would be my undoing,
but I was blinded, I followed you down.

And all that we are left with now, are misgivings about how
pieces of paper, made of bark and burr, dictate how you love her.

Have mercy on me, I didn’t mean to play the fool,
and to stoop, oh so low, to break the cardinal rule.

And all that we are left with now, are misgivings about how
pieces of paper, made of bark and burr, dictate how you love her.
Track Name: Rain
You smell like rain, have you been hanging with the clouds again?
Turning yourself into the shapes that they make.
You smell like dust, have you been hanging with the stars again?
Sitting with them, sipping on their moonshine.

All this time, I thought you were an earth walker.
But really you’re just a stalker in the skies.

You smell like a storm, have you been hanging with the warm wind again?
Moving through me and moving through the trees.
And you smell like snow, have you been hanging with the winter again?
Falling softly, settling on the ground for now.

There’s no need to lie to me, I know where you’ve been,
your secret is safe as the wind.
Just want to know before you go, where you keep your ladder hidden,
Looked in the bog and I’ve looked in the glen.

You smell like a dream, have you been walking the seams again,
between waking life and waking dead?
And you smell like the night, have you been hanging with the shadows again?
Oh, when the light, dances on your skin, and it presses against mine, honey its divine.

All this time, I thought you were an earth walker,
but really you’re just a stalker of my skin.

You smell like dew, have you been hanging with the morning again?
Tips of blades of grass do glow.
And you know, you smell like wet earth.
Have you been hanging with the rain again?

There’s no need to lie to me, I know where you’ve been,
your secret is safe as the wind.
Just want to know before you go, where you keep your ladder hidden,
Looked in the bog and I’ve looked in the glen.
Track Name: Sea
I move through the memory of you like water,
wade through the much sought after bull rush groves
where the salt crystals grow.
I swear our skin was green as algae,
slick and slimy from time spent under the sea.

In the sea, in the sea, in the sea.

Our limbs grew fins, our skin grew scales,
as we sailed the mighty ocean floor.
I ran my fingers through your seaweed hair,
just to see how long it might take to get tangled up in there,
my lion of the sea.

We built a home of moss and stone
and were quite comfortable alone,
with our millions of neighbors.
We cut a deal with schools of fish to cut their classes,
to join us on our journey through the sea.

In the sea, in the sea, in the sea.

“Can’t you see,” she said to me,
she said, “honey, he’s a bottom feeder.”
I said I’d meet her if I chose to see the light,
but tonight its quite delightful down here.
Rebel son once, a rebel daughter twice,
ain’t it nice this unconditional acceptance?
New family tree is built of sand and soggy leaves
and the warm breath through the cool ocean breeze.

In the sea, in the sea, in the sea.

Darkest of nights and the deepest of days are spent studying the lines of our faces,
so as not to forget, when we’re both swept away.

I move through the memory of you like water.
Wade through the much sought after bulrush groves, where the salt crystals grow.
Track Name: Nested
He built a nest in her hair, buried himself there,
laid a welcome hat and hung his hat. At last a place to call home,
nestled in with the garden gnomes, and the fancy branches.
At last! a place to pass the winter time,
“there's never been a finer time to settle down,” he said.
 
He counted stars for the season, returning every evening to humble abode in her eyes
and the skies welcomed him like raindrops,
and the dew formed on his back like wings and he sung out loud, oh!
  
Building bridges out of dreams, he painted songs in the seams of her skin.
How do we begin again when time has left us behind?
I trade secrets with the wind, I trade secrets with the wind,
Do you trade secrets with the wind too?
 
Then the snow did surrender, spring fell into September,
he remembered all the promises he broke along the way.
And as the grass groaned underfoot, he up and took his leave
and the trees shook their branches in the breeze.
 
Building bridges out of dreams, he painted songs in the seams of her skin.
How do we begin again when time has left us behind?
I trade secrets with the wind, I trade secrets with the wind,
Do you trade secrets with the wind too?
Track Name: Oh my Darling
He kept his heart hidden under his sweater, knowing better than to trust the beat. Keeping all the heat in, and all the sweetness.

Then his yarn did unravel, travel up his sleeves and brought him to his knees, oh my darling!

So oh dear, if you please, the needle and the thread are in the cupboard overhead. They say it’s tricky business, darning all that distance,
sewing up the time and trying to keep our lines straight.
Ironing out the ache and mending all the longing, patching up the pain and
hanging our mistakes out to dry…

Oh my darling, did you pull your tears in off the line?
Oh my darling, how did you find the time to be so charming?

Do you forgive the leaves for falling? They tend to every autumn, leaving us so bare,
At least I put my faith that snowflakes will replace them, cover up our tracks if we ever try to look back…

Oh my darling, did you hang your anger out on the line?
Oh my darling, how did you find the time to be so charming?

We kept our faith with the fireflies, sealed up in a jar, on the window sill they lived… and I think of you still, and the songs you left that linger, draw figures in the dust, misunderstanding in the sand.

Oh my darling! Oh my darling. Oh darling, oh my darling.
Track Name: Ridge of Time
Keep your headlights low in the fog on a long country road,
where the row of cherry tree toss their blossoms to the breeze.
And the wine grows on the vine, reminding me of sweeter times,
when the family trees were sound, not rotten in the ground.
‘Cause the fault lines here run deep, through the stone and through the creek,
and the secrets we don’t speak of, can you hear them?
But the wedding bells are ringing, under a bamboo altar,
and the choir girls are singing, can you hear them? can you hear them?

We were better than, we were better then than we are now.
We are pushed up against the ridge of time and how?

And the lines are drawn in white, to separate what’s right
from all that’s wrong in this here world, can you see them?
And the seeds are planting down, reminding me of fuller times
when our love hung like the stars, do you see them? can you reach them?

We were better than, we were better then than we are now.
We are pushed up against the ridge of time and how?

And the bleeding hearts are yearning, for their own book of longing,
place the poems on the page, for the lovers and the deranged.
And a strange night had ensued, before the morning after,
and their laughter filled the skies, to their demons demise.
And their eyes were blue and bright, a simple moon, a luckless sight
to their iris’ delight, can you see them? can you read them?

We were better than, we were better then than we are now.
We are pushed up against the ridge of time and how?
Track Name: Birds of a Feather
Once upon a starry night, when the moon was full and his eyes were bright,
he waited on the raven’s call.
It won't be long, my dear, so take your worries,
take your fears and turn them into stardust in your palm.
No it won't be long, for you to hear the morning's song
rising from the mist to meet the dawn, ooh.

Birds of a feather, won't you flock together now, for the joining of these hands and of these hearts! Oh its just the start, for the dove and for her love as they take their places by the treetops. Oh my, aren't they lovely? See how deep their roots run, as the big and the low and the beautiful go.

Lift your heart from the cage of its ribs, as we usher in the age of love,
we usher it in just because.
And grow the grasses of time as it passes,
from the bottom of your spine, trace the lines of your lungs to your bones.
We are not alone. You are not alone. I’ll be your stream, you’ll be my stones.
We'll build a home where the redwoods roam.

Birds of a feather, won't you flock together now, for the joining of these hands and of these hearts! Oh its just the start, for the dove and for her love as they take their places by the treetops. Oh my, aren't they lovely? See how deep their roots run, as the big and the low and the beautiful go.

Lift your heart from the cage of its ribs, as we usher in the age of love,
we usher it in just because.
And grow the grasses of time as it passes,
from the bottom of your feet up through your toes.
Lord only knows that’s how these things go, couldn't change it if we tried.

Grow the grasses of time as it passes,
from the bottom of your feet up through your toes.
Track Name: Numi Numi
All through the winter, all through the night, I wait and wait.
By widow’s watch window for your light.
From the house by the sea for my love to return to me.

The springtime has her snow.
I have you and I watch you go into your life.
And from where I stand, you’ll find your wrong, you’ll find your right.

I didn’t mean to let you down,
I didn’t mean to go so far from town,
I know you love those songs I sing, now, numi numi.