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Keep Your Silver Shined

by Devon Sproule

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released April 16, 2007

All songs by Devon Sproule © 2007 Compost Café Music except "Eloise & Alex" (Paul Curreri) © 2007 Merdaloy Music and "The Weeping Willow" (Trad.) (ASCAP)

Produced by Jeff Romano

Mixed by Jeff Romano at Greenwood Studio
Mastered by Bobby Read at Small World Studio

Cover and booklet photos: Gus Powell
Back photo: Andy Acquaro
Cover design: Andy Friedman
Art Direction and Layout: Jessica Perilla, Andy Friedman and Paul Curreri

Special thanks to Jeff Romano, my esteemed friend and producer; this is as much yours as mine.

To the musicians, so accomplished, so cool, such an honor: Randall Pharr, Jeff Romano, Spencer Lathrop, Paul Curreri, John Winn, Keith Ganz, Charlie Bell, Aaron Binder, Morwenna Lasko, TJ Johnson, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Matty Metcalfe and especially Nate Brown.

And for their essential support, then and now: Paul Curreri, Jeff Romano, Jessica Perilla, Richard Guy, Andrew Calhoun, Davy Rothbart, Andy Friedman, Gus Powell, Jeff Ladd, Andy Acquaro, Bill Baldwin, Keith Morris, Maria Curreri, Dave Inman, Browning Porter, Danny Schmidt, Jessica Baucom, Danele Cousins, Logan Blanco, Ann Mercer, Gordon Sproule, Ira Wallace, Twin Oaks Community, Gar Ragland, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jimmy the Dog, Tom Phillips, and my favorite band: Matt Curreri & The Exfriends.

Keep Your Silver Shined is dedicated to my husband, Paul Curreri, for his tireless help and encouragement during the making of both this and Upstate Songs.

Devon Sproule uses Seymour Duncan pickups


all rights reserved



Devon Sproule Charlottesville, Virginia

north american music with weirdo roots. ds was raised on eco-villages in ontario and virginia. she works with tin angel records and tours solo and with a band (bernice from toronto when possible!) in europe, n america, and australia.

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Track Name: Old Virginia Block
If my ears hear a sigh of that shiny red violin
Clear by the Rivanna, down in the Blue Ridge
By the dog bags and trash
By the bottles and cans
And the dead beat brown grass
And the packed dirt, in the Blue Ridge
Then my home must be around another good old Virginia block

If my ears hear a note on the cello, so low
Then a double stopping bow
From my headphones, in the Blue Ridge
Out walking at noon
Appearing under the white of the daytime moon
Keeping my big blue balloon
In my tight fist, in the Blue Ridge
Then my home must be around another good old Virginia block

If my ears hear the sound
Of a slate rock on the ground
Clicking the drops of the rain coming down
Along a front walk, in the Blue Ridge
The rim of dirt on the brim of a brow
The skin of sweat on the handle of a plow
Miles and miles of tobacco in the south
From a back road in the Blue Ridge
Then my home must be around another good old Virginia block

I've got family in Canada, family in New York
I've got friends in every other place I've played
But I can't keep from planting all my plans of family stuff
Down between the weeds in the red dirt clay

Where my ears hear a hundred bees
Riding that upwarding breeze
A veil and a bucket by a pair of oak trees
Just another blonde kid, in the Blue Ridge
It's all to make a pattern of love
To roost a lava field of white doves
With just a pitch fork and a pair of thick gloves
For your whole life, in the Blue Ridge
The pick up and go
The bent back and the grunt-chucked coal
The gleam of your white underclothes
In the back seat, in the Blue Ridge
The pile of bacon by a couple fried eggs
Kiss marks and hearts on a picnic table leg
The quartet fretting on up in my head
On my long walk, through the Blue Ridge
And my home comes up around another good old Virginia block
Track Name: Keep Your Silver Shined
We got the last of the apples
Rosy just from the weather
An orchard map spread out green and red
A ten-cent yellow hat
Rotten fruit kicked off the path
Our hands in our pockets, and our pockets in our pants

Racing out ahead to be the reddest heart beat beating
Out on the scene busting blood through a young body
A puddle with a jacket cap
A picnic in a mountain pass
A taste of summer coming back

A summer swam by a foggy dam
A Poughkeepsie scam around a mountain bend
The season changed, the best of us changed
The rest of us stuck behind to keep the silver shined

A piano in a window bay
A straight back with a ribboned braid
Blue Ridge brick in an almond shade
A chin on a worn-out wrist
A magnet with a grocery list says
My, oh my, my toes get tired
But I don't let on, or let go - I sing along

Back home I've got a couple friends
We drink together on the weekends
We keep our nails trimmed and our fingers tough
I've got a felt hat collection
A dresser drawer to put my pants in
What, oh what more could a woman want?
I want an overhaul for my guitar
A claw foot tub and a shiny car
Piles of fruit and a fully stocked bar
Money for a flight out west
Cute shoes and a vintage dress
Big, new houses for all my relatives

I want to land in a tugging hand
A youthful bed with a youthful plan
I want to wait and take my time
All my time, to keep my silver shined
Track Name: 1340 Chesapeake St.
The bruise on my knee is almost gone
Honey's flown to Madison
Phyllis starts a watercolour
Gutters flood a spread umbrella
The burner's up and the flames is high
The water's gone, the pot is dry
But there's a basement full of wine
And nights to remember

Of a slow talk had up a sidewalk, taking its time
Walking up Chesapeake, our white house on the right

Next door they're throwing junk away
All the furniture out in the rain
They've finally put the old lady away
So I took her silverware
Her books and her kitchen mop
Her hangers and her pans and pots
The dresser where she kept her clothes
It looked as though she lived in alone

There's much to hear while our four ears are still young
If we shout it out, we'll have more years yet to come

Tonight the moon will turn around
All the way back behind the clouds
Folks will lower their telescopes
Drive their wives and kids back home
Their eyes will block with mud and milk
Their eyes inside with blindness filled
And the moon will hide & seek until
There's no one left to wonder why

The rug will soak, the screen will glare
He'll come and summer will be here
We'll kiss and cross the swamp
The boat will wait down at the bottom
The sun will set late in the day
The sun will take its face away
But my love, his face will always stay
Right beside mine
Track Name: Let's Go Out
There's nothing in the fridge, nothing in the cupboard
The jelly jar is empty, and I'm plum sick of peanut butter
A groundhog ate the lettuce right out of the ground
Honey, let's go out

There's nothing on the TV. The picture looks like hell
We've watched all of the moves up on the move shelf
I'm sure there's a jazz band playing in one of the bars downtown
Honey, let's go out

Last night we were swingin', we had the music up loud
Our house felt like the center of the world
But oh my we slept late and the day just slipped away
And now the evening has found us without a comb or curl

We've hung around the kitchen, lingered in the hall
Upended all the bottles up on the pantry stall
I'll take a stingy pour at Miller's over no pour at all
Let's go out, let's go have a ball!

When we met it was December
And though the jokes you told were splendid
The serenade had ended by January
When you wooed me in June, it was by a different tune
In spring came the ring and now we're calling up our parents

Let's get 'em all together, on some sunny hill
You can say "I do", and I will say "I will"
All the bells will rings and all the kids will shout
When we go out
Track Name: The Well-Dressed Son to His Sweetheart
Lady, put on your pretty blue eyelids
Pucker up your pretty pink lips
Get a grip on that bristly chin
Get a grip and then move on

Man, hook a bell to your favorite fling
Save up for a glittering ring
Serenade her with a crook in your knee
Color her in with a blush on her cheek

Saying "You want gold, I've got golden hair
You want cowboy verve, I've got my share
You want a bird, I'll sing a song
You just want a peck on the cheek, I'm gonna move it along

So put on your pretty blue eyelids
Pucker up your pretty pink lips
Keep a hold of that trembling flower
Keep a four leaf clover in the kitchen in a jar

Sit a ways from her shaded face
Don't give her the hand until she's laid down her last ace
Write her letters from a post on the pier
Write 'em better than she'll ever hear

Go and watch her cut up a rug in a Sunday night bar
Then consent to walk and not drive if it's not far
Save your pennies and take her out right
Save the corks from your choicest nights

If you want one long night, I'll keep the sun from view
If you want to make a daytime record, I'll come wake you
To the grass that has grown long in this thundering haze
To the chest and full lung being left in your wake
To the pestering loved one to be loved anyways
And the well-dressed son to his sweetheart, saying

"Put on your pretty blue eyelids
Pucker up your pretty pink lips..."
Track Name: Eloise & Alex
Eloise and Alex
Brushing off their knees
"Humbly, this we ask you..."
Then kissed and went to sleep

Carriages of nest eggs
Ghosting off the treetops
Justifying bright side
From out there in the night

Plucky little numbers
Partners thick and thin
I hear the word sierra
Whenever I see them

Eloise and Alex
Invite the outside in
If I ever stepped in trouble
I'd say I'd been with them

In the cataract of the evening
They sit with rain upon their feet
& entertain some lowdown
Soft and privately

Eloise and Alex
So patient in their love
It's difficult to gather
What they can't get hold of
Track Name: Does the Day Feel Long?
Red cabin, red dusk
Red chair sitting in the last of the sun
Baby, does the day feel long
Watching the screen blow in and the hummingbirds warm?
The lake goes silver, the sailboats lean
The fire escape's made of wood
Upstairs window waving green
To a throat too full to sing any good
In a shake of a tail, another year will be over
Feels like it's just been a Spring and a Summer
Baby, does the day feel long
Watching the sun spread out thick on the warn out lawn?
On the blue and beat up dock
By the curl of the bay when the suds spread out
On Earth, who could fish out a shinier haul?
In the summer sun with the days so long
The next catch seems like a long time coming
You don't gotta say what's troubling you honey

All my thinking back has been
Strung up between two tall trees
Some kind of language learned in the country
Grapes filled with a million seeds each
A wasp along a wooded walk
A pump house overgrown
Baby, does the day feel long?
Outgoing, with a brown leg and a beautiful gun

Say "Land ho!" from your lip's fine boat
And barnacle of teeth below
Baby, does the day feel long
When you can barely see the shoreline from the ship's top crow?
So you say "Hey, can you hear me?
My land, come near me! My love, my song
Don't leave me alone!"
And the day, the day feels long
When the fog lifts to show the mountains
and to show a red cabin in a red dusk
And a red chair sitting in the last of the sun
Baby, does the day feel long
Even after it's dark and day is already gone?
Track Name: Dress Sharp, Play Well, Be Modest
What with the warm weather
And the rum and ginger
With a whole half a lime
Why not hold off on the walk home?
Find us a bottom to top the night

Shooting bottles off the back deck
Take all the fooling that you can get
With just a penny in your purse
It ain't the traveling that's tough
It ain't the working that hurts

If you dress sharp, play well
Be modest and keep good what you have
When you're warmed up in a wood room
What could be better?
What more could you use?

Than the front table at our favorite bar
Starr Hill Amber and Sandy Grey's guitar
Just look at those fingers fly!
Three cheers for the hometown
But my heart for the traveler's wine

Making 'em talk about nothing
Or what happened last year
Her head on his Tennessee sweatshirt
Not a cloud in the sky, not a negative word
Not a passerby

And so you gotta dig you a hole
Before you put your fence in
Go it alone
Before you let your friends in
Quit a party once in a while
Hold out for that warm weather
Fill your glass and keep trying

To dress sharp, play well
Be modest and keep good what you have
Warmed up in a wood room
What could be better?
What more could you use?
Track Name: Stop By Anytime
Stop by anytime
I've got the bookshelves loaded
And the back yard's green and blooming

Stop by anytime
Let the humidity curl your hair
And the mulberries stain your toes

A wasp on the pillow in the hideaway bed
A whippoorwill whistle to a spooked city kid
Dry leaves catching 'round the camping fire pit
Quicker than a rippling lake

If you could come around, I could take you out
To see the bugs in the big woods shine
So stop by, stop by anytime

Stop by anytime
The roommates are all doing fine
With summer colds and summer deadlines

Stop by anytime
To let another hour of news decide
If it's wrong to keep calm, or if it's wrong to fight

Cat bells jingle in the middle of the night
Fruit flies drown in the un-drunk wine
Cracked blue china in the rack going dry
Older than a rowing boat

If you could come around, I could show you down
To where the knots of the day untie
So stop by, stop by anytime

Stop by anytime
With a little bit of small talk and a straight spine
Before my good thumb gives up its good try

Stop by anytime
Why have you stayed away so long?
Come keep company for a while

Two skinny cousins in a sunfish race
The rope through their teeth and the sun on their face
Rounding the buoy at the back of the bay
Lighter than a skipping stone

If you could come around, I could show you how
To make the most of a lonesome night
Just stop by, stop by anytime

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