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The Prettiest Bird

by Susan Pepper

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1.
Be Here Now 03:02
Be here now, be here now Mama can you see me, Mama are you listening to me? Be here now, be here now The cellphone is beeping, the cellphone is beeping Tell me are you present, in the moment of the minute Be here now, be here now Facetime is calling, facetime is calling Tell me can you shut down, can you go outside and be found Be here now, be here now The sun is rising, the sun is rising Tell me can you taste it, can you savor its golden rays Be here now, be here now The world is turning, the world is turning Tell me are you living, are you alive in your own skin Be here now, be here now
2.
Deep Creek 03:47
She was hard hearted when his love was true Now they’re down in the ground but their song rings true Adieu adieu to all my friends Be kind to Barbara Allen (Chorus) Cryin a deep creek over you A story of lovers who can’t be true Cryin a deep creek over you Your spirit flowing through these woods Cryin a deep creek over you Poor Barbary Allen and Willie Moore One parent mourns while the other weeps For her diamond eyes ever sleep Willie’s gone without a word But his love still rumbles on the earth (Chorus) There were two sisters who loved one man Now all the fiddle plays is wind and rain Have a husband fine and a baby child Not a single girl but it’s a lonely world (Chorus) It’s a trap to think my God’s some man On hallowed ground I’ll firmly stand There’s room in my heart for everything When the clouds dip low my soul will sing (Chorus)
3.
Analo 03:21
Blue ridge steeples, mighty oaks Frame a canopy over his home Each year he gathers a thousand more stones He's found something better than anybody could own (Chorus) He's lived there all of his life Singing about Brown Mountain Lights In the old loghouse on January nights Oh-- Death, John Henry, Omie Wise He’s lived there all of his life Two humble mules plow the rocky clay Plants his tobacco about the twentieth of May Sets it by hand on the slopey terrain It ain't easy, he goes on the same (Chorus) Bridge When the dark wind whines a mountain lion cries he gently sings an old timey lullaby…. Come with me, he says with a smile I'll take you to the mountaintop, we'll sit awhile I'll tell you about them who've- crossed over the shore Of graves and railways beneath this ancient floor He's lived there--all of his life Momma and Daddy, he's laid to rest And all the old folks abandoned in death Who will squeeze his hand when he sings his last breath? All of the younguns done gone away and left He's lived there--all of his life (Chorus)
4.
The reddest rose will wither and die The prettiest bird away shall fly The whitest cloud passes on by And so my love shall you and I The sun lifts up so full and ripe Purple orange streaks on the sky Soaring so high with an eagle’s pride No time to stop and wonder why Each is born a labor of love Fire water sweat and blood It clings to its nest like a turtle dove until it enters in the flood (Bridge) Bound to fly away, bound to fly Bound to fly away, bound to fly Bound to fly away, bound—to fly Oceans rise and mountains fall Across the pines a hoot owl calls A baby’s born and an old woman falls We pray and pine for time to stall A golden globe on a sea of blue drops and paints a wondrous hue These bookends that bind us, me and you We live each day so false and true The reddest rose will wither and die The prettiest bird away shall fly The whitest cloud passes on by And so my love shall you and I And so my love we’re bound to fly
5.
6.
Will the postman bring me a letter when my heart won’t pitter patter? And will the telephone ever ring without a burning in my brain, oh? (Refrain) When will you ever give up? When will you ever give up? When will you ever give up? Will I ever rest in my bed when I won’t touch your soft face? And will a love song ever play when I won’t hear your deep voice, oh? (Refrain) Will a golden moon rise when I won’t see the glow in your eyes? And will my lips meet against another’s when I won’t swallow your name, oh? (Refrain) Now I reveal to you one last secret my darling you are prisoner of my song Fly now into the darkened sky and show me starlight at dawn, no. I shall never give up I shall never give up I shall never give up.
7.
Sweet Air 02:10
Snow gleams over mountain streams I breathe deep and I know peace in the wood (Refrain) I breathe deep I breathe deep I sing—sweet air That renews you and me You walk in the garden lane Ripe rose hips light the way Humming bird suckles the breeze You sip nectar from the trees You breathe deep…etc. We plunge into rippling waters They carress and flood our skin We’re consumed by this overwhelming gem We breathe deep…etc. Let it be that the generations will see The cleansing power of the land And the sun and the moon Which grip us by both hands We breathe deep…etc.
8.
9.
Screen 04:06
We had it made, you hung the laundry on my line The hours came alive winding round that crooked path Turning over every stone to see what we could get After the sun went down, we’d play in the dark Didn’t need distractions to keep us from our hearts I knew our old ways could ever stand these times (Chorus) Now he’s in love with his screen, holds all of his dreams He’s in love with his screen and he’s gonna lose me Then she come along with her slick looks and quick wit Everytime I speak he’s gotta look up from that queen So hard to pull away from that intoxicating thing Everything is flashing like I’m stuck in a tv Let go of that machine or it’ll multiply by three Show me our old ways can ever stand these times (Chorus) I am a lover of the things of the Earth I may be out of date and not the new, hottest model But honey I’ve got legs and can pull on a throttle Now it’s her or me, and I’m not gonna compete Darling you can’t love two and still be true to me How could our old ways ever stand these times? (Chorus)
10.
If you’re on the gloomy line, get a transfer If you’re inclined to fret and pine get a transfer Get off the track of doubt and gloom, On the sunshine track there’s room Get a transfer, get a transfer (Chorus) Get a transfer, woo Get a transfer Get a transfer Get a transfer If you’re on the worry train, get a transfer You must not stay there and complain get a transfer The cheerful cars are passing through and there is lots of room for you Get a transfer, get a transfer (Bridge) There’s no time to cast blame There’s no time to disdain But there’s still time, yea it’s always time To get on board If you’re on the grouchy track, get a transfer Just take a happy special back get a transfer Hope on the train and pull the rope, That lands you at the station hope Get a transfer, get a transfer (Chorus & Repeat Chorus)
11.
I just wanna a baby child Even if it’s cryin, my baby My bright eyed baby child Soon as I find a good lovin man Soon as I find a good lovin man Been seventeen years I was still a single girl Been seventeen years still a single girl Been seventeen years still a single girl Wonderin where to roam in this wild world Wonderin where to roam in this wild world Moved into town looking for a partner Moved into town looking for a partner Moved into town looking for a partner Five years later, still a single girl Five years later, still a single girl I’ve got some time I’ve got some money… Could spend them both on a brand new baby Spend them both on a brand new baby I eat I eat no other soul to feed Eat and eat no other soul to feed… Dreamin of a family table… I just want a baby child Even if it’s crying my baby My bright eyed baby child soon as I find a good lovin man soon as I find a good lovin man
12.
Shenandoah 01:51
Standing on Shenandoah rocky top, I realized I’m so lucky it’s absurd Cause I’m as wild as a deer, free as a bird Wild as a deer free as a bird Bow your head unto the earth you are connected reach your hand into the sky you are connected There’s no worry there’s no hurry you are connected Everybody everything is waiting for you are connected Hold your hand unto your heart It is beating The pulse of life a flowing river You are connected There’s no worry there’s no hurry You are connected Everybody everything is waiting for you Are connected Standing on Shenandoah rocky top, I realized I’m so lucky it’s absurd Cause I’m as wild as a deer, free as a bird Wild as a deer free as a bird
13.
Looking Up 03:17
I’m looking up not just ahead I’m looking up not just around I’m looking up at the stars above I’m looking up at a mountaintop I’m looking up stuck on the ground I’m looking up no way around I’m looking up but I’m dreaming still I’m looking up at a rocky hill (don’t rush) (Chorus) Those mountaintops are calling me Out of my mind, out of my head Those mountaintops are calling me To know my heart and follow its lead I’m looking up at a ridgeline choir I’m looking up at this holy hour I’m looking up where angels sing I’m looking up where heavens ring (Chorus) Those mountain tops are calling me Out of my mind, out of my head Those mountain tops are calling me To know my heart and follow its lead I’m looking up not just ahead I’m looking not just around I’m looking up at the stars above I’m looking up at a mountaintop
14.

credits

released October 3, 2020

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Susan Pepper North Carolina

Susan Pepper is a grassroots musician, performer and educator dedicated to sharing heartfelt songs old and new and building community through song. She performs unaccompanied ballads as well as songs with banjo, dulcimer and guitar. Her repertoire is informed by her older mountain musician mentors. Her compositions draw inspiration from old music, stories of individuals, nature and the sacred. ... more

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