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Keep Your Silver Shined

by Devon Sproule

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1.
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
2.
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
3.
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
4.
Let's Go Out 02:53
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
5.
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..."
6.
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
7.
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?
8.
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?
9.
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
10.

credits

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

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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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