Faraway City

by Valerie Orth

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1.
motherhood in a sleepy city doesn’t fit right on me still I often get this strange feeling I’m not where I’m supposed to be so I’m calling you in that faraway city to gimme my next line I’m calling cuz you make it sound so pretty when you tell me I’m just fine please tell me I’ll be fine I love the stories I make up about you and you paint me bigger than life you can dream up my fate much better than this bottle of red wine so I’m calling you in that faraway city to gimme my next line you make it sound better than reality when you tell me I’m just fine please tell me I’ll be fine write me in your song, I’ve already written you in mine find the words between the bricks on the buildings, between the cracks on the ceilings, up in the gray sky give me the rhythm from the other side and I will sing you the melody someone else will take care of our worries we’ll just live in song, we’ll just live in this song I’m calling you in that faraway city to give you your next line I know it’ll sound better than reality when I tell you you’re just fine I am calling you in that faraway city to give us our next line I know it’ll sound better than reality when you tell me I know you’ll be fine I know I’ll be fine I know we’ll be fine
2.
on a side road I’m broken down I’m on empty nowhere left to go now with you do you remember if you were broken too? I don’t get that when I see you I’m better now better than you ever knew so why do you still trigger me like I’m a handheld to you everyone says to let it go as if I didn’t think of that every time I let it go it keeps coming back stare in the mirror heard you’d be there too I bought three dresses hardly proof of my value I’m better now better than you ever knew so why do you still trigger me like I’m a handheld to you everyone says to let it go as if I didn’t think of that every time I let it go it keeps coming back I deserved more than this I have more than this now I’ll be done with you as soon as I know how still everyone says to let it go as if I didn’t think of that every time I let it go it keeps coming back
3.
04:24
we sent out the news alerts made headlines far and wide everyone lowered their flags half-staff and sighed I cried, all my friends cried with me I eventually stopped having those bad dreams finally started to breathe normally so what are you doing here looking at me with those precious blue eyes why now after my hard-earned healing why are you hugging me so tight? I set you on a boat, packed with bottles of our fantasies took one last hard look, gave one last hard push then watched you sail away I crossed the world’s longest bridge to climb the highest peak on the other side held mass then scattered our ashes which danced off like a thousand kites so what are you doing here looking at me with those precious blue eyes why now after my hard-earned healing why are you hugging me so tight? I scrubbed, washed you so damn good then hung you out in the beating sun bleaching you to a pale distant past just a lesson, another lesson, a hard lesson...
4.
I prefer to be mysterious but I slip up every time I don’t know the first thing about you but I’m telling you everything on my mind to… keep your gaze on me a little longer ‘cuz we both know that we won’t last beyond this song your move as smooth as a boy hitting puberty wide-eyed and eagerly you ask the dj in the bar blasts our one-song soundtrack still you’re harder to refuse than the rest so… keep your gaze on me a little longer ‘cuz we both know that we won’t last beyond this song our goodbye is near it’s as if i’m staring out from a departing train as if through my open window from the platform you’re runnin on, you grab my hand as if this song has lasted years and we suddenly discover our ever-after will never be together keep your gaze on me a little longer ‘cuz we both know that we won’t last beyond this song
5.
03:57
turn off the light keep our baggage out of sight see only my eyes, feel only inside remember the good tonight no need to say a thing forget before, don’t say what’s coming find solace in this rare silence let’s play in the forgiving darkness Relinquish just this moment Allow us one last night let’s idle on high water and disregard the tide sinking lower though we rock between a fairytale and the world’s end it’s just good to see your smile again Relinquish just this moment Allow us one last night you walked through my field innocent as Dorothy yet you see my wildflowers as Oz’s sleepy poppies will we ever get anywhere or will we just stare at the cracks in these stained yellow bricks, you ask still here you are purring up to me like a cat it feels better next to you it’s as simple as that… Relinquish just this moment Allow us one last night Relinquish just this moment Allow us one last night
6.
you sit behind your screen, till all you see is blurry, you lose contact with your right arm then your left, both legs turn to yarn whatever happened to your hips, your waist? disappeared, with your face, you become one-dimensional you can’t recall what it’s like to be full why don’t ya, get up get up get up now get up know who else is on your side get up get up get up now get up know who observes what you don’t see who tells the long-forgotten story who makes you feel, who makes you dance, who else feeds your movement you may be moving, shaking worlds around the sun, you may think you’re speaking for everyone but it takes a village to send a message It takes all of us to make a difference so, get up get up get up now get up know who else is on your side get up get up get up now get up know who observes what you don’t see who tells the long-forgotten story who makes you feel, who makes you dance, who else feeds your movement Move me, won’t you move me…
7.
safe in my play pen enclosed by barbed wire fence armed gates as if part of the defense but clearly I was born into the offense less than one mile from here sirens scream in fear you look like someone with a gun so the whole damn pig squad’s a-comin’ to ensure I’m safe in my play pen it’s another episode as predictable as daylight, as sure as black and white as black and white as black and white helicopter circles search lights probe your home they hired Mister Clean’s team to sterilize your street and leave no neighbor in peace it’s another episode as predictable as daylight, as sure as black and white as black and white as black and white (Mystic) Yo, I want you to hear me Black and white, day and night, our bodies hit that pavement You are safe inside, bullets fly, you wonder where the day went Privilege proceeds you, you rest above the class line, Gentrify the hoods, safety is your tagline I’m not invisible, I am not beneath you Dying for your comfort, tell me does this please you? Division divides who’s paying the price you flip it upside down, you would inherit or life you say, god she’s so angry cause I count the unnamed Rebel for the forsaken pray for all the unclaimed you see, Your silence is violence inflicted on the masses When we side by side it infuriates the master So, ally or enemy, are you a friend of me? Will you defend me in the struggle? Ally or enemy, are you a friend of me? (Would you die for me?) Will you defend me in the struggle? it’s another episode as predictable as daylight, as sure as black and white it’s another episode as predictable as daylight, as sure as black and white, as sure as black and white as sure as black and white
8.
03:46
one split second to imagine me without you scrambling for some solution uneasy breathing tears follow quickly oh, what can i say you’re already walking away i’m left wondering where did it all go? wondering, where did it all go? i’m throwing gold into a waterfall watching it all go exception to the rule that’s why i loved you when did you become another pop song? you’re playing magic first you’re ubiquitous next just dust swirls through me a cold front blows i’m left wondering where did it all go? tell me, where did it all go? you’re throwing gold into a waterfall you’re watching it all go do you forget it all or do you give it up? what about traveling the world together … building a home together … making history together … defying the odds together … honor, love respect … talking through it together … growing old together … dreaming big together forever and ever where did it all go? tell me, where did it all go? we’re throwing gold into a waterfall we’re watching it all go
9.
you followed the book exactly to make that model child I’d never be maybe it was the way the stars aligned that first night I saw the moonshine you must have known that one day, one day that I’d be grown enough to know that you are the ones I owe everything to you blew up balloons, stretched out streamers planned games for the other seventh graders you smiled when they shouted surprise I left as quickly as I arrived you must have known that one day, one day that I’d be grown enough to know that you are the ones I owe everything to under my bed I hid boys like liquor testing which one would make me sicker you became private eyes evidence rarely matched my alibi you must have known that one day, one day that I’d be grown enough to know that you are the ones I owe everything to all the years of grievances, all my resistance all the differences I claimed, as much as we really are the same Now I am grown enough to know that you are the ones I owe everything to
10.
03:46
make up a religion pick a region tell ‘em this is what it takes to keep the sun shinin to keep the rain fallin then you got worlds gone worlds no more two severed heads warning in blood saying this is what it takes to keep the grass growin to keep the spring comin then you got worlds gone worlds no more you call it bad weather, call it bad luck call it bad choices, but it’s not, no, it’s not bad weather, it’s not bad luck no, it’s not bad choices, it’s not their choice at all, in fact but don’t think they’ll lay down don’t think they’ll take it from behind they never have before now, and they won’t this time it’s just not in their tradition, no, no…. ‘cuz worlds rise up, worlds fight back, we rise up, we fight back we rise up, we rise up
11.
03:42
there’s a whole lot I can do tonight so much I can do without you I could pace myself to sleep, could write all night in misery I could throw a party for myself for finally walking out but I’m not waiting even magnets repel each other I am flames, you are water I am smoke you are the wind, ice, you are the sun and you’re breaking me down, breaking me down one particle by one but I’m not waiting I listen to the footsteps outside my door and through all this, I still wish they were yours, I still wish they were yours And now I am waiting
12.
03:12
show me what’s inside your toolbox show off all your colorful tools dig around, find the right one to use which one to fix this blown fuse? ‘cause everything needs a little fixing and everything could use a little tweaking and I could try to change it on my own but everything heals much better with more hope your art is a hammer your voice a nail, so pick a falling building where your heart cries then root down to rise up cause everything needs a little fixing and everything could use a little tweaking and I could try to change it on my own but everything heals much better with more hope show me your strength let me hear your sound be the change you want to see around everyone’s got the skills to share but we all got separated somewhere I dare you to splice our wires use your ladder reach a little higher cause everything needs a little fixing and everything could use a little tweaking and I could try to change it on my own but everything heals much better with more hope show me your strength let me hear your sound be the change you want to see around

about

Described by the East Bay Express as "a remarkable piece of work," this full length album includes Valerie Orth favorites such as reggae/ska song "Relinquish," funk-rock song "Waterfall," and cinematic "Why Now" with its glorious string arrangements. It features Scott Amendola (Charlie Hunter) on drums, Julie Wolf (Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls) on piano and organ, and Jon Evans (Tori Amos) on bass and electric guitar. Produced by Evans, it amply displays Valerie's range as composer, lyricist, and singer.

credits

released March 15, 2011

Written by Valerie Orth (ASCAP/ VLO Music).

Produced and recorded by Jon Evans at San Pablo Recorders. Mastered by Mike Wells.

Valerie Orth (vocals, guitar), Jon Evans (bass, electric guitar), Scott Amendola (drums), Mystic (rap on track 7), Jule Wolf (piano, organ), Lylia Guion (violin), Marcie Brown (cello), Bob Sanders (lead guitar).

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Valerie Orth New York

"There is an honesty to Valerie Orth's music that is both brilliant and heartbreaking.”

A prolific songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Valerie integrates live instruments with electronic sounds. Her latest EP, “Wake You,” carries the upbeat production and warmth of Sylvan Esso, the unexpected rhythms and percussion of Tune-Yards, and the dark vocals and trippy-ness of Portishead.
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