A Waterlogged Letter

by Uprooted

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09:12
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04:36
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12:03
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credits

released 02 July 2013

David Bryant - Guitar, Piano, Whispers, Wails, Bass, Glockenspiel, Melodica, Mandolin, Violin, Lyrics
Scott Davenport - Guitar, Banjo, Bass, Stairs, Morale
Anthony Inman - Drums, actual Bells and Whistles

Album art by Mackenzie N. Seal.

Recorded by Uprooted in three houses, March-June 2013;
mixed and mastered by Dave on a bright screen in a dark room.

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Track Name: A Letter Back Home
To A Sad Seafarer's Maiden,
it's been weeks since I've seen your eyes,
I've scoured the waves for some resemblance-
the way they crest, the way they die,
But the sea, you see, She hates men like me,
the sort that leave a lover home,
So the waves, the clouds, the creaking bow,
tell me I've left us both alone.

Can I break free of this siren's song?
Will I turn 'round to find you waiting
with eyes fixed far across the sea?
Will this crashing, salty spray
bring me back to you someday?
But for all your lies, my briny eyes
see at least adrift I'm free.
No, we're no more lost at sea
than we ever were on land
since you took me by the hand.

The captain says our faithful ship
is something like my heart,
but for all his age and wisdom,
he doesn't see he's made a farce.
The patchwork sails withstand ocean gales
and never bend or break,
but your winds, those sighs, your sparkling eyes
have proved too much for me to take.

But my love, don't lose your hope,
I know my heart will guide me home.
With each setting sun, the waves look more like your eyes.

The men use weathered scars and calluses
to mask their heavy hearts,
then they talk of their sad maidens,
of their own loves they've left apart.
O'er grog and gin, they'll spill their sins
until they start to drown
by enduring that same loneliness
you use to tie me down.

I could fill these pages end to end,
to you they'd be blank all the same.
I could send ten thousand postcards,
and still I'd never know your gaze.
I could set afloat one million notes,
and never know your touch.
Without you, I'm all that I have,
although I don't amount to much.
No, we're no more lost at sea
than we ever were on land
since you took me by the hand.

To A Sad Seafarer's Maiden,
were you ever really mine at all?
I've searched the stars for hope and answers,
the way they gleam, the way they fall.
I felt welcome there, in the cold night air,
more than I ever did at home,
now the sails, the ropes, my ragged hope
tell me for once I'm not alone.
Track Name: The Sailor
I still remember long ago, when we were young,
the lighthouse keeper had a funeral for his son,
still lost out at sea.
He told us of the day the ocean took his love away,
how we reminded him of them, he asked us if we would stay
to hear his story.
"He'd been young and he'd been strong," he said, and one look in his eyes
told me he'd already taken himself to another time
before his son had died:

"Times were hard, he'd been just barely getting by,
but he saw her at the market, and when he caught her eye
nothing else mattered.
He liked her hair, he liked her voice, he liked the way she smiled,
he asked her if she wouldn't maybe stay there for a while
to get to know him.
And they'd talk far into the night, and she made everything alright,
and every day she'd be waiting by the shore
for him to come home."


He said, "I still remember how the storm passed through, that day,
and the way she didn't scream when she was swept away,
and my son, how he'd deny that she was gone at all,
and the way he'd set adrift without a hint of gall;
and I remember how he'd spend his nights soaked in seafoam
waiting for her to drift by, to say he's not alone.
Until he called upon the tide to make a pact,
he said, "I don't care if it means my life, I want her back."
By dawn, they'd struck a deal, he'd set sail the last time,
not a soul dared follow under clouds all red, to find
that when the skies had cleared, they were no more apart-
They say he haunts the ships of men who live with heavy hearts."

My dear, they say it's just a legend, but what if it's true?
What if it's cursed, this ship, and all its wretched crew?
What if every one of us has already been drowned?
Do you think I'd even notice if this ship went down?
Sometimes I think I wouldn't, that I've been living my whole life
At the bottom of the ocean, but you've given me some light.
I made a promise to the old man that I'd stay with you,
but my words don't have quite the same weight that they used to.
I remember how, when he was done, he pulled me aside,
said "Listen, son", all shaky-voiced and teary-eyed,
then he whispered in a voice that only I could have heard,
"When my son looked into the storm, these were his final words:

He said, "I'm sorry for all of the things that I am not,
I'm sorry to the people that I've forgot,
I'm sorry to all of my friends that I've made bleed
and I'm sorry to the lovers that I've made leave,
I'm sorry for breaking down a little more each day,
and I'm sorry every single time I've gone away,
I'm sorry for the times I've made you turn your back
and I'm sorry if I ever try to make it back.""

And I remember how he clenched his fists, dried by the sea
and I remember you, in pieces, clinging onto me
and I remember all the things you've made me want to say,
all of them, things I wish I could forget each day:

My dear, I'm sorry you're the only one I want by my side,
and that you're the only thing that makes me feel alive,
I'm sorry to the old man that we left in tears
and I'm sorry that I can't confront my own worst fears,
I'm sorry if you ever got too close to me
and for twenty thousand messages, all lost at sea,
I'm sorry I apologize for all my faults
to you- you're all I have, and you're all I've got.
Track Name: O Captain!
O captain, my captain,
the ship is sinking,
my ears are ringing,
can you still guide us back home?

And captain, my captain,
Your men are dying,
Why are you crying
for one so many miles away?

You said, "Son, she left me long ago,
and I'm afraid that I now know
there's nothing for me here
on land or air or sea,
and in the waves, I've seen her eyes,
and those eyes, how I've watched them die,
in nightmares, weeping
as she's swept away from me,
now the creaking of the boards
as we're blown further off of our course
brings me the feeling that she's gone further away,
so raise the masts, this wretched sea
has no hope of ever stopping me
from finding her someday."

O captain, my captain,
the mast is ashes,
the sky is crashes.
Don't let us die out here alone.

And captain, if we set sail for the bottom of the sea,
who'll be there to wipe salt from the eyes
of the one I love, and when she dies,
will she still be there by the shores waiting for me?

You said, "There's more at work than you and I,"
And then you looked me in the eye, said
"I've been waiting all of
my life for this day."
You drifted back to long ago,
said, "Son, there's something you should know,
a captain's heart's not something easily-betrayed.
but when she died, I took a vow
that I'd get back to her somehow,
and in this storm, I think I've
finally found a way.
So raise the masts, this wretched sea
has no hope of ever stopping me
from finding her someday."

My captain, was it you or I
that hoped our voyage soon would fail?
We left home in a paper ship
with all our pages raised as sails.
The waves were colder than her touch,
the waves were colder than my heart.
The sky was ink I'd set adrift
to share all my most secret parts.

My love, I left you long ago,
I harbored heart and hate, and hoped
that I'd find something, here,
alone, out in the sea,
but in the waves I saw your eyes,
and those eyes, how they've been my life
since the first time they peered
across the way at me,
and now the breaking of the boards,
it brings me closer, still, towards
the feeling that you'll never get to hear me say,
"You, love, are all my hope and dreams,
the prettiest lass I've ever seen;
The one I'd want most by my side
when I get pulled down by the tide;
before I go, I hope you know
that I will always love you, so
don't let this last waterlogged note
rob you of all your heart and hope
of finding me someday."
Track Name: Hearts as Anchors
To a sad seafarer's maiden, my heart is with you, page by page,
I dropped my hope into the ocean, watched you carry it away;
Below the surface, I see clearer than I ever did before
That every heart's an anchor and we're tethered at the core.
Sleepless nights out alone by the waves I wished that,
to you, I could be anyone,
Since I'm not who I want, who you want me to be;
neither man nor lover nor son.
If you were a star, I would wish upon you
that someday your own wishes would at once become true,
and that somewhere among them, deep down in your heart,
you'd been wishing that we would never be apart.

I know that someday I'll be with you, maybe,
but I can't keep on sailing on masts
you build up with sad eyes and sad smiles and sad hearts and
I don't know if this thing can last.
I don't know if I can keep living this way,
so forgive my departure from you-
Know that you're always with me, in dreams and in days,
to ask the same is the most I can do.

I'm keeping close to no one, I'm setting sail for nowhere,
I'm a self-made shipwreck and your flashing lights are all I have left.

And someday when you're older, maybe you'll go walking on the beach
at sundown and the way the waves pull at your feet
will remind you of older days, and how we couldn't be,
all the reasons I left, and did I ever find an answer in the sea?
You'll dig up my old chest, waterlogged,
but open it and inside you'll see
this same heart, listen close, hear it beat,
hear it sing songs of days long ago, of you and me:
hear that same old refrain, how you kept me alive,
hear the story of the sailor, wipe the tears from your eyes,
and remember my captain, remember his crew;
love, hold my heart close to your own, because
it's you alone I wanted, and for you that I tried,
and for you that I've been searching for my entire life,
you were out there in the ocean, you were waiting there for me,
for you I set sail for the bottom of the sea.