As Long As You're Here With Me

by JP Houston

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02:08

about

As Long As You’re Here With Me was originally released in 2006.

At the end of 2001, I fled Toronto for greener pastures. I rented a farm house in the hamlet of Ben Miller Ontario. That’s where I would spend the next several years writing and recording this album. The place had kind of a haunted, romantic feeling. The house was just across the road from Treble Hill, and backed onto acres of cornfields. The same cornfields where 100 years earlier a little girl named Verna Sallows met her pet crow.

One night after supper at the farmer’s house, his Mrs brought out a big old book. It told the history of the area. Flipping through the pages, I landed on the photo of a young girl having tea with a crow. The story goes that she befriended the bird and taught it to talk. The crow spent the winters in the house with the family. In the summers it would follow her where ever she went. He would sit on the sill at the school house and heckle the teacher. When mom was doing chores, he would steal the clothes pegs to make Verna laugh. They were an inseparable, misfit pair. They were still at it a century later, taking the time to haunt many of these songs.

The record hasn’t been available for a few years. I remixed a couple of tracks, and did a little re-mastering. Throw some cash in the donation tin. I’m gonna suggest $5. Feel free to put in more... or less if you’re a heartless bastard (no, no... steal it if you’re broke.)

credits

released April 1, 2006

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about

JP Houston California

I play piano, sing songs and host my radio show American Parlor Songbook

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Track Name: Fat Tuesday
All you wonderful twits
come on, come on, come out
with all your sick secret bits
come on all you crips, crawl out of your cribs
tonight, it's alright, succumb, come on, come out

All you lonesome misfit weepers doping up the dead
ditch the crutches and come stumbling instead
All you cracked up witless mumblers talking to yourselves
Burn some bridges you sons of bitches
scream at someone else for once

All you wonderful twits
come on, come on, come out
with all your sick secret bits
come beating your kids, come telling your fibs
tonight, it's alright, succumb, come on, come out

All you hooch hot bloodshot swillers crawling home to bed
flip the wagon and come out of your head
All you hush hush key-swap swingers sucking on your thumb
burn some bridges you sons of bitches
come on, come undone for once

All you wonderful twits
come on, come on, come out
with all your sick secret bits
Come on all you whips, come spitting your quips
tonight, it's alright, succumb, come on, come out

Let all your torches burn bright, we're storming the streets tonight
Burning the constitution, singing hail mary, absolution!
Is everyone lit? We are torching this ship and starting from the top again

All you wonderful twits
come on, come on, come out
with all your sick secret bits
come on all you crips, crawl out of your cribs
tonight, it's alright, succumb, come on, come out
Track Name: Stormfield
Snow flakes falling on an old hotel
Pennies pitched in frozen wishing wells
This cold town could use a coat from Norm Rockwell
but he just doesn't sell like he used to

Records turning on a gramophone
danced us sweetly 'till the dawn sun shone
These deaf ears could use a bar of Silvery Moon
but they can't write a tune like they used to

Years muddle by, days ebb and flow
The pace don't get faster, your feet get too slow
Hand me a harp, a bucket to kick
My flame's lost it's fury, let someone else worry
but hurry, even time is getting old
and I don't fit in the fold like I used to
Track Name: Tugboat
Hey tugboat, heart strings hitched in tow
Say tugboat, you needn't sink so low
Pick me ups that I might say, I wouldn't, though I could
J.E.S.S.I.C.A they are just understood

Hey tugboat, I'll pick up the slack

Hey bookworm, hung on threads you spun
Say bookworm, spin and slip undone
Syrup coos that I could swoon, I haven't, though I've tried
J.E.S.S.I.C.A they are just understood

Hey tugboat, I'll pick up the slack

All things understood hold weight any doubt can't budge
These things, knock wood, will spite any grudging person
who is judging you all wet, and holds you back
Hey tugboat, I'll pick up the slack

When toils put the soot stuck in the stack
Hey tugboat, I'll pick up the slack
Track Name: We Make A Murder
Lighting matches in the cornfield, my crow's gonna follow the smoke
Silhouetted on the auburn in coal as he's hurrying home

Oh no, it's no crow, it's all that I need
I'm alright, alright, as long as you're here with me

Cut my tongue in two, and cawing, my girl and me coo at the clouds
Fetch a coat down off the clothesline, it's cold and the sun's going down

Oh no, it's no crow, it's all that I need
I'm alright, alright, as long as you're here with me

You and me we make a murder
Oh holy no, I will never let them make you let me go
a ways away, as black as coal, I swear it's so

Oh no, it's no crow, it's all that I need
I'm alright, alright, as long as you're here with me
Track Name: Stardumb
Pin pricked skies pour pinhole stars
and map a million dreams on them
To the coast in broke down cars,
star bound they'll find they've gone star blind

Star lit starlets, blank stare harlots
From Houston to Harlem
they've all gone stardumb

Sparkling wine in high heeled shoes
bubbled up with hopes in toe
But big apple's got a bruise
And stardust gets lost when you've been star crossed

Star lit starlets, blank stare harlots
(shuffle and two step, I'm hustling...)
From Houston to Harlem
(...to get my welfare check, and smoke some crack)
they've all gone stardumb

Turn tail and run from
Sun sets on hills, streets paved with gold
or so they were told, but they're fading
as dreams often do
Wading, shallow and true
Weighted, baited, found let down
Star bound, they'll find they've gone star blind
Track Name: Softly At The Start
Don't tremble be nimble to sum up this trick
assemble with thimble on thumb, it may prick
Grasping what's gasping inside of these men
is a slight out of sight of the height of your ken

But this ain't armageddon, man
it's history repeating
Don't fall all in your first time 'round
the mystery is fleeting
Fais do-do, go softly at the start...
Track Name: The Aughts
...Slave slave slave, turn the key, punch in, work the doldrum day
shake shake shake in your bed at night, tell yourself you're safe
"I'm safe, I'm safe"

It mumbles and scratches and whispers and waits
but it's nothing, so if I don't see it, it ain't
It's twisting and tying and tightening and taut
But it's not coming true...

Sway sway sway to your ebbing heart ticking time away
Thump thump thump in your chest tonight, pray you will be saved
"I'm saved, I'm Saved!"

It rumbles and thunders and shudders and shakes
It's something, but if I don't see it, it ain't
It's striking and sparking and smoking and hot
and it might all come true...

So what if the sun don't come in the morning
I'd just have the stars shining on me all day
Who cares if I stay, so what if I die
burns like the light shined in our eyes, daylight

Don't tremble be nimble to sum up the trick
you assemble with thimble on thumb, it may prick
because grasping what's gasping inside of these men
is a slight out of sight of the height of your ken
and it's all coming true in the end
Track Name: Laid In Your Palms
I thought I'd see us packing up and trading pines for palms
Broadviews for Vines... we're just trading pines
Still, I could see us selling all our things for wings out to the coastline
Can't you? To cluelessly coo...

Take me California
Quell the quake until it calms
Sway me California
laid in your palms

Can't you see us waking up to calling birds instead of blizzards, my dear?
Say we could do this year
I can just see us rolling through the hills on wheels made out of sunshine all day, to cluelessly say...

Take me California
Whistle dixie in my ear
Sway me California
Don't leave me here

There's crow, and he's cawing a curse on a bridge
with a match in his mouth, and the book in his wing
He cooing, calls me to coax me to cross out to him
Crawling out, I see stars through the cracks underneath
Then he cackles and he strikes up the match in his teeth
Then he bursts into sparks, he's a sign and it says "JESUS SAVES"
then the ground starts to shake, and the waves roll in

Fuck you California
Whistle dixie out your ass
When the big one come to stone ya
crash baby, crash...

Still, I could see us washed away out in the waves
To blindly surf you, that is where I'll be
To blindly surf you sinking in the sea
Track Name: That's Gold
That's gold, just then that you spoke
Write it down and sell it Cyrano
That coal you hold, polished as a diamond should be told

Butter crops come yellow drops our hearts in stereo
Ember top sunsets and stops above Lonesboro Road
That's gold

That's time, just then that you took
Wind it up and bait another hook
That line you'd drawn won't come back with nothing hanging on

Summer ends where August bends, and bows tied round a sign
at Treble Hill, where Jesus Christ walks on Ben Miller Line

That's time babbling out from the river's mouth
It becks we are not much to speak
Just a lap on it's tongue, folding the skyline
The last part of sun holding the twilight
that always is, and never was
is all we are
That's all