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Roll Up the Night Sky

by Dana Sipos

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released April 30, 2015

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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: Dana Sipos, Paul Cressman - Old Sins
Take me outside, to the edge of the lake,
where our lives and memories lie, fragmented and at stake.
Frozen in time, frozen in line,
Undeveloped photographs of the mind.

So fare well, fare well, fare thee well, fare well.
Holes in the ice are filled with longing and doubt.
Sweet release comes when you feed it to the bottom, feed it to the bottom

Old sins and new beginnings scattered to the north wind.
Cast off your snake skin and draw out all your suffering.

So fare well, fare well, fare thee well, fare well.
Holes in the ice are filled with longing and doubt.
Sweet release comes when you feed it to the bottom, feed it to the bottom.
Track Name: Morningside
‘Morning time,’ said the morning-side to his comrades in the trees real high.
‘But if your mind’s made up, that’s fine,
We can settle it when the suns’s low in the sky.
‘But I haven’t anywhere to go,’ piped up the spring peeper,
‘so I better stay close to home,
Besides, my wing’s been clipped to the bone.’

So I rested my case and she rested her bones,
In a quiet grassy place by the side of the road,
And it snowed that night and reminded me of home.

‘The flight you take is the flight you make,’ reminded that fine morning-side,
‘But if I was you I’d be most inclined, take the wind up on his offer of a free ride.’
So you spread your wings wide and I spread mine,
And we took a deep breath and we leapt to the skies,
But were quickly recognized through our feathered disguise.

So I rested my case and he rested his bones,
In a quiet grassy place by the side of the road,
And it snowed that night and reminded me of home.

The red winged black bird met me at the corner of the world to come.
Said, ‘you’ve been undone so many times I want to find out
Who you are and where your family comes from.’
So he drank my past, like the finest of wines,
And he ate up my history like he’d never been so hungry.
Then he looked me in the eye and we made our goodbyes.

So I rested my case and we rested our bones,
In a quiet grassy place by the side of the road,
And it snowed that night and reminded me of home.
Track Name: My Beloved
My beloved, my beloved.
Go down to the river, that’s where you’ll find her, my beloved.
Bathed in cedar and in pine, with cherry blossoms in her hair.
There you’ll find the sweetest sound when love is cultivated in the ground.

The gardens and vineyards of your life will bear the sweetest fruit.
The rafters of your home will be the stars that shine above you as you roam.

My beloved, my beloved.
Is to me, like the waves that sing so softly to the sea.
You’re my morning sun, my evening sky,
You’re the gentle calm accompanies the moon rise.

Your eyes depict the beauty and the blessings and the journeys to come.
The song of song belongs to you two.

My beloved, my beloved.
Go down to the river, that’s where you’ll find her, my beloved.
Bathed in frankincense and myrrh, with almond blossoms in her hair.
The open lakes and open skies of north Ontario shines in their eyes.

The gardens and vineyards of your life will bear the sweetest fruit.
The rafters of your home will be the stars that shine above you as you roam.

My beloved, my beloved, my beloved, my beloved.
Go down to the river, that’s where you’ll find her, my beloved.
Track Name: Portraits
Last time I saw you, you were a puddle on the floor.
Seeped into my stockings, seeped under the bedroom door.
Cracks in the floorboards are filled with our sweat and tears.
We pose for a portrait, it watches us throughout the years.

Lay bare your body there,
Remove all your cotton and wool.
Untangle your tangled hair.
Lay bare your body there.


Peel back the birch bark, reveal the secrets in the sap.
Sink the sweetness in your skin and begin to shed all your winter skin.
Take the low road home, down the steady stone path.
And if it leads you to the riverside, drink your fill and be satisfied.

Lay bare your body there,
Remove all your cotton and wool.
Untangle your tangled hair.
Lay bare your body there.
Track Name: Shadows
Shadows for eyelids,
Broken down shutters for lips.
Spine aligns to allow time to travel through…

The broken open windows of your chest.
Rest awhile on this isle of expectations unrealized.
Eye of the storm, we were reborn that night when our ships sailed,
For the east coast, to make the most of those western gales that blew,
That blew our windows right off their hinges.
They rattled and they shook and baby, we shook too.
Light came in through the cracks and settled like dew on your skin.
Turned our faces to the sun and we remembered to begin,
To begin the tales that tie us together.

Shadows for eyelids,
Broken shutters for lips.
Spine aligns to allow time to travel through.
Track Name: Night Sky
Be still, oh wounded heart, be still, wounded earth.
You part your wounded waterways like hair cascading on your pillow in the morning.
Crack open wide the sun, paint your face yellow with its yolk.
The jokes on us as heat creeps down our arms, pools in our elbows.

Roll up the night sky, replace the stars with your fire eyes.
Roll up the night sky, hang the moon in your bedroom.
Hang the moon in your bedroom.

This is a love song for the refugee,
Working nights to make it in your brand new country.
You left your stories seeping in the soil,
As your toiled with the barnyards and the cherry trees.
She told me baby, hang your worries out to dry,
I've been on this line now, for so long now, I'm just a bird on a wire.

Roll up the family history, soak it in brine.
Roll up the family history, leave it out to dry.

Roll up the night sky, replace the stars with your fire eyes.
Roll up the night sky, hang the moon in your bedroom.
Hang the moon in your bedroom.
Track Name: Road to Michigan
Long road to Michigan.
We lost our way, lost our faith,
But found our heart again, in the glove compartment.
Endless stretch of highway and roadside cafe’s,
We found your saviour on his very best behaviour,
In the back, stocking salt and pepper shakers.

God fearing country,
Found in long forgotten corners, and washed out to the sea.

Same old song, same old story, same old streets, same old poetry,
Same old snow, same old broken, same old.
Those songs you sing to us, they turn to lovely dust,
When they leave your lips, adorn mine with a dusty kiss.

Hush now sweet child.
Close your eyes, rest your head, this will go away, for awhile.
Care for your own on the shores of the big water,
Or risk loneliness and a sudden departure.

God fearing country
found in long forgotten corners, and washed out to the sea.

Same old song, same old story, same old streets, same old poetry,
Same old snow, same old broken, same old.
Those songs you sing to us, they turn to lovely dust,
When they leave your lips, adorn mine with a dusty kiss.
We'll be gone before we are missing,
From the lonely streets of Michigan
Track Name: Holy People
Call upon the holy people to oversee,
Overseas there’s a war raging, but that just won’t compete,
With the war raging, there’s a war raging, in the lids of our eyes.

We are much older now then we were when we were born,
Take all the knowledge acquired and toss it out to the storm,
There’s a storm raging, a storm raging in the seams of our skin.

Where do you keep your deepest of hearts?
On the strangest of nights, the sun sets in your eyes.
Are you rolling in the deep when the coast becomes clear?
I saw your face, dear, emerging from the fog.

Bury your past in corner plot there in your garden green,
Water, then watch all your misdeeds and misdoings turn to seed,
Then rise up, watch them rise up, and feed you and yours.

Where do you keep your deepest of hearts?
on the strangest of nights, the sun sets in your eyes.
Are you rolling in the deep when the coast becomes clear?
I saw your face, dear, emerging from the fog.

Take all your tiny, tiny things,
Tie them oh tie them with a tiny string,
Ride them, ride them on your tiny bicycle,
And then try as you might to leave them all behind.
Track Name: A Coronary Tale
We were much younger then,
when we stitched our hearts to our outstretched wrists
held gently in our palms
filled with stones from dried up river beds,
not yet filled with broken words unspoken.

A cautionary tale, a coronary tale,
are your chamber doors open, darling, are they veiled,
from the blood red blood and it’s blood red flow,
stowed away behind ribs and skin and bones,
Beat goes on and still the beat goes on.

Ovid watches closely through the sorrows.
will your lover still love you tomorrow?

Worse than murder, more harmful than a poem,
turned to dust just after he turned to stone.
A stolen foot and a broken bow,
shivers in the trees and shakes in the shadows, in the shadows
Beat goes on and still the beat goes on…

Beat goes on and still the beat goes on.
Track Name: A Lighted House
Meet me where the fire burns.
Flames are being fanned by the longing and the yearning.
Fall is creeping in, keep your fire light through the night.

Meet me where the river bends.
Let her tributaries carry you home again.
Trout are hiding out and the morning fog sits so heavy.

Meet me where the moon rises high.
I’ll know my way there by the lighted house in your eyes.

Meet me where the wild things are
I've sailed the seven seas and I've camped among the ancient trees.
Roots are running deep and the soil coils beneath our feet.

Meet me where the tall grass grows.
By the eastern banks of the pecan grove.
Streets are lined with song and the string bands playing all night through.

All those times we lay by the banks of the bay learning how to listen,
turning the shapes in the sky to the shapes we’d been missing.

I’ll meet you where the moon rises high.
I’ll know my way there by the lighted house in your eyes.
I’ll meet you where the moon rises high.
I’ll know my way there by the lighted house in your eyes.
Track Name: Girl in the Mirror
You said a ghost lived in your rooming house,
Then I saw her that night, she gave me an awful fright.
You said my darling that isn’t to be feared, she smiled at me in the mirror.

They say that Nova Scotia’s known for the spirit’s that roam the streets,
For the spirits that roam the high seas.
Since that explosion in 1917, when the bodies laid rest,
And the soul’s were setting free.
Who would have known you’d set free too? Who would have known you’d cut loose?

I recall that strange night in Halifax, the rain railed against the window pane,
And your own pain was quiet.
I loved you then like I never had before,
Not even when we camped out in the earth’s core.

Your spirit sails the great Kakisa, perhaps you made it to India,
Where the red and the gold colour your soul.
One day I’ll make it back to that old rooming house, to see if you’re near.
Perhaps you visited your folks on the coast, left a message with the girl in the mirror.
Track Name: Full Moon Sinners
Polish your full moon sins until they’re but stars on the horizon.
Polish your seashell sins until they’re but sand on the bottom.
Throw them into the fire, they’ll be ashes by the morning.
Leave them on ash island, they’ll turn to the forest floor.

And the night birds sing along, as you’re sining your sinner song. Sing low.
And the silence is in agreement as your wrap her around your shoulders,
And the smoke seeps into your skin and it draws out all your suffering,

From the first light to the evening
from the first frost to the spring
from his first breath to his last
to those old countries stories we sing.