When I Go Home

by Sonya Cotton

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ryhisner Sonya Cotton has one of the great voices of our age, though few have had the pleasure of hearing it. This is her best album. Great production (courtesy of Chris Kiehne, another superb but little-known artist) and some awesome, somewhat unconventional, instrumental flourishes, as on "Yuba." Can't recommend this one enough. Favorite track: Time Shows No Care.
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1.
War 03:53
Now that I'm home from the war I'm a changed man from before You ask me a riddle and you tell me a rhyme and you wonder at the distance behind my smile There are ghost limbs hanging they are swollen and aching they are sounding the siren, they are calling for mercy but nobody is watching, nobody is listening no one can hear your calls Now that I'm home from the war I don't clasp my hands together no more You talk of the order, and your faith in a plan and all the good that will come if you believe that it can But I don't ask God for nothing and I am haunted by the dimming and I am haunted by the suffering in the eyes of the dying but nobody is watching, nobody is listening no one can hear your calls And I once was like you always looking for signs in the shapes of the water, in the colors of the sky But now I am sure we are here all alone there is cold air above us and there is cold ground below And there is no blessing there is no protecting there is no white light shining down from above and nobody is watching, not a soul is listening no one can hear your calls Now that I'm home from the war I'm a changed man from before
2.
Our story was long but who holds it now? Lines have been broken I barely hear your name spoken aloud Time shows no care Memories disappear Time shows no care For those who had hoped I'd find blessings here or solace in meant to be or some kind of peace through the years: Time shows no care No, it don't dull despair Time shows no care Last night I woke by the light of the moon down by the river, five long years later seeing clear and true: Time shows no care And you're gone forever Time shows no care It's lonely
3.
Strawberries in summertime you were all in white I ran over fields proudly to your side you were mine I don't want to say goodbye The sound of your shoes in the morning your voice there at my door You let the air in and you open the blinds you lay your hand in mine oh I don't want to say goodbye Tell me it's gonna be alright 'cause I don't want to say goodbye California, Washington a country in between But I believed and you believed you'd join me here in three years time I don't want to say goodbye Tell me it's just a dream tell me it's going to be alright tell me lies 'cause I don't want to say goodbye
4.
The cabin on the lake, the eastern summer heat the sloping, winding woods and the dogs running free the piano playing soft the old familiar tune and there at the window, calling me home was you One with my blood and the scent of the land I knew where to wake, I knew how to use my hands beholden to none and a daughter to two there was summer and autumn, winter and spring, and you Lord, bring me back to the life that I knew When you first saw me and gave me a name it was for the sound and the way that it rang Not for the martyr and not for the saint: a witness of torment, destined to die of heartbreak No, this wasn't the way it was all meant to go Our story was stolen from us years ago Now every morning I wake feeling blue No joy is as deep, no vision as sweet without you Lord, bring me back to the life that I knew
5.
Yuba 04:10
On the banks of the Yuba River by the water clear and warm I beheld the rocks and the river snakes and I swam from shore to shore By the banks of the Yuba river I received the dreaded call that began the slow unwinding of the life that I had known From the mystery comes beauty from the mystery comes strife every moment at the mercy of a force we cannot describe But it gives and it takes our lives Do you remember where we walked along the Delaware? Across the bridge and through the town along the Raritan Canal The water was murky, the water was still the coldest of winters upon our heels it was not heaven but it was ours under the autumn eastern stars One year passed and I returned again to the Yuba's bouldered slopes with a heart heavy with sorrow but a heart of stubborn hope But in that golden land of promise in that land so far from home once again I heard the dreaded words this time that you were gone When I left the Yuba River I was half the woman I was before And my heart is ever weeping for what I lost on that day by the shore
6.
Rest My Head 05:05
Oh, to rest my head upon your knee Such a simple plea, and yet will never be to once more rest my head upon your knee The train it slows, it quickens and it slows and I see two horses penned up in the snow on a plot of ground with no room to turn around what I wouldn't give to set them free and once more rest my head upon your knee And it's the same shape with the same lonely heartbreak It's the same damn road, cruel and long it’s the same place that they ain't coming back from But I don't want to cry or holler like a child I just want to rest upon you for a while I open up the paper and I read of the plastic island ever-growing in the sea the baby albatross dying slowly on the rocks with a belly full of our debris what will it take to finally let them be? And once more rest my head upon your knee And it's the same shape with the same lonely heartbreak It's the same damn road, cruel and long it’s the same place that they ain't coming back from But I don't want to cry or holler like a child I just want to rest upon you for a while I finish up my coffee and I dream of our days in the museum in Washington, D.C. trying just to place the memory of your face... but the whistle blows and I get up to leave beside me sits the cold and empty seat where I would rest my head upon your knee And it's the same shape with the same lonely heartbreak It's the same damn road, cruel and long it’s the same place that they ain't coming back from But I don't want to cry or holler like a child I just want to rest upon you for a while
7.
My heart lives in the breathing summer nights and my heart lives in the oak wood floor My heart lives in the footsteps in the hall and the gentle morning knock on my bedroom door My heart lives in a lapis blue ring My heart lives in the perfume sweet as spring My heart lives in the fragments of a life that stubbornly and painfully refuses to die My heart lives on a placid Sherman lake and my heart lives in a Towson yard My heart lives in a Lambertville canal and a house in a tree under eastern stars My heart lives in a love so fierce and bright My heart lives in a kitchen filled with light My heart lives in a house overthrown by a stranger with no reverence for what stories came before My heart hides in the cracks in the walls and my heart yearns for an old escape My heart cries for the slowness of death and the pain in the eyes and every mistake My heart hardens every passing year My heart has left little room for tears My heart lives in a body turned to ash now scattered over flowers in the old farm land
8.
Bloodroot 03:35
Warming weather melting ground fruitless hunting swimming around and around Dissolution of your home of all you've loved and all that you've known And you are starving and we are watching and we don't know what to do Oh, put the bloodroot to your chest Please try everything you can though we may not stand a chance There's so much life left in you still there is faith and there is will And all the love inside of me won't it lead to anything? We need you We need you The world will dim without you So put the bloodroot to your chest Please try everything you can though we may not stand a chance Warming weather I watch you drown watch your body go into the ground I do not want to say goodbye
9.
The warm embrace the sweet hello the sweeping song on the radio the pretty dress, the peridot, the fullest moon: it all points back to you The loyalty to family the reverence for the living the miles crossed, the honest words, the coffee brewed: it all points back to you And will I see you again on the day that I go home? Will I see you again when my life here is done? Could it be that time will bring me back to your side? Will I see you again when I go on home? The tearful eye the long goodbye the flapping wings in the open sky the sparrow's call, the cardinal, the heron blue: it all points back to you And will I see you again on the day that I go home? Will I see you again when my life here is done? Could it be that time will bring me back to your side? Will I see you again when I go on home?

about

This album is dedicated to my mother, Karen Imparato Cotton
(b. 1951 - d. 2009)

credits

released January 10, 2017

All songs written by Sonya Cotton
except Time Shows No Care - written by Sonya Cotton and Chris Kiehne
All songs orchestrated by Chris Kiehne
Produced by Chris Kiehne and Sonya Cotton
Recorded by Blake Henderson in Oakland, CA and Chris Kiehne in Towson, MD
Mixed by Blake Henderson
Mastered by Jonathan Kirchner
Cover Photograph by Ryan Muir

Performed by:
Sonya Cotton - acoustic guitar and vocals
Chris Kiehne - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, piano, vocals
Derek Piech - upright bass, bass guitar
Patrick Campbell - drums
Mike Sempert - piano on Don't Want to Say Goodbye
Andrew Brennan - electric guitar on Lord, Bring Me Back
Leif Karlstrom - mandolin tremolos on When I Go Home
Gabe Dominguez - vocal harmonies on Lord, Bring Me Back, Rest My Head, and My Heart Lives
Kelly McFarling - vocal harmonies on Time Shows No Care, Rest My Head, and My Heart Lives

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Sonya Cotton Salt Lake City, Utah

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