The Briars and the Brome

by Return To Normal

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released September 22, 2015



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Return To Normal North Judson, Indiana

Return to Normal is Corinne and Marty Lucas -- mostly acoustic oriented new folk with a theatrical and storytelling approach, rich tonal blends and a subtle infusion of jazz and soul elements.

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Track Name: A 21st Century Levee Moan
A 21st Century Levee Moan

I'm going where nobody knows my name.
I'm putting out the fire just to see it burn again,
I'm losing every face I thought I ever knew,
the only color I can ever see is blue.

I'm holding on to sand, dropping every gem,
I'm standing on the outside looking at my empty skin,
there never was a flag I really looked up to,
the only color I can ever see is blue.
All blue, it's blue, just blue.

My head's inside a jukebox in a road house bar,
my soul's a faded snapshot of a 1960's car.
My heart's been bruised a few times,
but it always seem to mend.
I'll sing this levee moan from now until the end.

Oh, I'm going where nobody ever call's me friend.
I'm drifting with the ashes scattered by the wind,
Oh I keep floating back to precious moments that we knew.
The only color I can ever see is blue,
all blue, just blue, it's blue.
Track Name: Kentucky Moonshiner
Well, I been a moonshiner for seventeen years,
spent all my money on whiskey and beers,
I go down to the holler and set up my still,
and I'll make you a gallon for a two dollar bill.

Then I go down to the tavern,
and drink with my friends,
no woman following me,
watching what I spend.

But I do love a pretty woman,
and how I wish she were mine,
her breath is as fresh as
the dew on the vine,
Kentucky moonshiner.

So I eat when I'm hungry
and drink when I'm dry,
if the moonshine don't kill me,
I'll live 'til I die,
God bless every moonshiner
you're all friends of mine.
May your days be as sweet
as your best batch of shine.
Kentucky moonshiner.

Seems I spent most all my days,
just a cooking up the 'shine,
never worked in no factory,
no dark, dusty mine,
I'm going down to the holler
going fire up my still
and I'll make you a gallon
for a two dollar bill.
Track Name: Celestial
tied to the soil,
quiet and still.
found my new heart,
down a well.
constant in darkness,
patient and waiting.
daybreak to dusk
never seen moving,
at the wrong time.
all is for all,
dollars for thievery
words of discovery.
true as stars.

no struggle,
no blame.
detached and unnamed,
beyond the game.

you were right here,
Track Name: The Briars and the Brome
the briars and the brome

the morning frost sparkled
on the briars and the brome
as they packed up the van
by a house in the corn
and they took what would fit
if it wasn’t too old
and they wore their tough skin
and took what they’d learned
and they never returned
no they never returned

and a handful of crows
watched atop a dead tree
when that screen door slammed shut in ’73
and a corn picker clattered
from a half a mile away
and then the crows scattered
into the November grey
and they never returned
no they never returned.

they lived in Las Vegas
until about ’81
dealing cards or whatever
would get the job done
after that, we kinda' lost touch
where they’re at
I just can’t say
old friends like the summertime
move on and they fade away
and they never return
no they never return

center pivot irrigation
rolls over their old yard
and they seem to leave it running
even when it’s raining hard
and the house was 'dozed down
and burned with the trees
and they never returned
no they never returned

now in a little cemetery
on a little sand road
many stones are toppled
and the grass don’t get mowed
‘cause those names ain’t familiar
to folks round here now
and they never return
no they never return.
Track Name: The Observer
A wave approaches,
it crashes,
it recedes.
Track Name: Old Uncle Cletus
I had an old uncle,
my old uncle Cletus
he had a place up on Painter Crick Pike
where he forayed for yellow root
for ginseng and bloodroot
where snapping turtles snooze
and water moccasins strike.

His daddy done drunk hisself dead
before he was born.
My poor uncle Cletus never
laid eyes upon him,
not one time.

But those women down by Celestine
they said that made him special...
like some funny kind of gift,
well, that's the way they saw it,
and those women down by Celestine
ain't the kind you get into a tussle with.

So they brung him up children
with the thrush, or the ague or lame,
the cross-eyed and nervous
mumbling nonsense, but to him
it was all the same.

And they walked together real slow
out to where the spleenworts grow,
don't know what they did out there --
nobody talked about it, that's for sure.
hours pass and they're strolling up the hill,
and like as not, that kid was cured.

Then those Celestine women,
they held hands, said a few words in German
the oldest one wrote something down
in a big leather book with gold binding.

I had an old uncle,
my old uncle Cletus
he had a place up on Painter Crick Pike
Where he forayed for yellow root
ginseng and bloodroot
where snapping turtles doze,
and water moccasins strike.
Track Name: Like Victory at Marathon
At the break of dawn
together we will march on.

So stoke the fire high,
and eat your belly full tonight!

We are far from home
in a dark and bloody land,
every face another stranger,
friend or foe?
--- no way to know.

At the break of dawn,
together we will march on,
we are few, but we are bold.
Remember Victory at Marathon.

We must never falter
in the swamp of the unknown.
We will triumph all together,
or each will surely die alone.

At the break of dawn,
we will sing our battle song.
We will make a legend,
like Victory at Marathon.

(I will be your armor,
you will be my shield)

like Victory at Marathon.
Track Name: The Bigerlow Boys
On one October morning,
I seen a wondrous sight.
Was the timber drover Bigerlow
a hailing from Detroit.
Watch her, catch her,
jump in her jujubajou.
Give her the sheet and let her go,
we're the boys to see her through.
You shoulda' heard her howling
when the wind was blowing free,
it was on a trip from Buffalo to Milwaukee.

On the first fine day in April,
we set out from Thunder Bay.
And boys, those blue-eyed Ontario girls
make it hard to sail away.
Ice flows, low-flow,
almost had to drag her through the Soo,
a cyclone wind played us for a toy,
it was springtime fun down in Illinois,
that water spot it spun us about
all the way up to Traverse Bay,
and the captain said
"boys that was a helluva noise,
but that's just how we earn our pay."

Then a fair wind to Toronto,
then to the docks at Buffalo,
then back out to Chicago...
Track Name: Coffee with Borges
Coffee with Borges

A long time before Starbucks,
and all the 'barista' jive
I drank a lotta' coffee
at "The Two Bit Rush"
a little college town dive.

With half a dozen round oak tables
each circled by a dozen unmatched chairs,
you'd sit right down with strangers,
cool jazz and lively conversation filled the smokey air.

I'd been to his lecture two days before,
so I recognized him right away
when he walked in through the door,
a studious gentleman in his late seventies,
grey hair and overcoat that billowed in the winter breeze.

His assistant showed him to a chair
at the table where I was sitting,
but he didn't see me there...
and I thought like,
"what do you say to Mr. Hemingway"?

Coffee with Borges.
(yeah, yeah, yeah)
Coffee with Borges.

Now there's seven billion human souls,
this planet is so very full,
and it seems they've all got a story to tell,
but here's the navigator of our collective dreams,
the polyglot translator, bending time,
with just the secret magic of his mind.

So I wanted to say something clever,
or at least express my respect,
ask him what in his long life
turned out to be worthwhile,
and what brought only pain, l
oss and regret...
but in the end,
I spoke not a single word,
remained invisible,
and unheard.

But there's still this little snapshot in my brain,
though with the passing time
it's pale and creased and blurred.

Coffee with Borges,
that's how I remember
Coffee with Borges,
(yeah, yeah)
Coffee with Borges.

A long time before Starbucks,
and all the 'barista' jive
I drank a lotta' coffee
at "The Two Bit Rush"
a little college town dive.