Laborsongs & Barkingdogs

by Dietrich Strause

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released April 1, 2011

All songs by Dietrich Strause (c) 2010
Produced by Hassan Estakhrian & Dietrich Strause
Recorded at Wonderdog Studios in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
“Wild Eyes” recorded and mixed by Joe Stewart at Hummelvision
Studios in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Mastered by Nick Zampiello and Rob Gonnella at New Alliance East

Original paintings by Virginia Wagner
Layout design by Asa Ivry-Block

Dietrich Strause (vocals, guitars, piano, organ, trumpet)
Aaron Walker (drums)
Hassan Estakhrian (bass, vocals)
Rachel Kelly (violin)
Laurence Scudder (viola)

Thank you to Hassan Estakhrian, Aaron Walker, Rachel Kelly, Laurence Scudder, Billy Beard, Jim Larkin, Virginia Wagner, Asa Ivry-Block, P Bradley Robb, Tom Bianchi, Jeremy Gottlieb, Jeff Morrison, Nancy Scott, 36 Goodrich, Dan Flaherty, Lorna & Jon,
Jim Kenniff, and Mark Kopp. Special thanks to my friends, my family,
Roger and Lisa Strause, Elizabeth & Emma, my grandparents,
my parents, my sister, and Ryann Milne-Price.



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Dietrich Strause Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Track Name: Brickyard
I never saw your hair so red
I never saw your hair so red
like water through the brickyard close to where you lived
I never saw your hair so red

I never saw you dressed so plain
I never saw you dressed so plain
that quilted skirt between your knees got wet in the rain
you took it off and looked so plain

I never saw you dance before
I never saw you dance before
in spite of all that summer with our feet still on the floor
I never saw you dance before

Meet me at Bakers field
meet me at Bakers field
we'll shoot rockets to the night with first base at our heels
meet me at Bakers field
Track Name: Jean Louise
Wake up Scout there’s something smoking the trees
the nightingales are fleeing and the mad dogs in the street
Papa’s got the answers and your brother thinks he knows
the neighborhood’s on fire the camellias are frosted cold

Jean Louise I’ll tell you that your bare feet are still too loud
for sneaking through the garden you’ve got bells on your ankles and the belfry’s in the ground
lilacs and violets and a shotgun blast
the mockingbird's in whispers like the sky before the flash

The neighborhood is lit up bright
and all the town is shooting wild
Run along Jean Louise while you’re still a child
Run along Jean Louise while you’re still a child

Teacher’s got an apple and trouble put a rose in your hair
last night your heard people fighting on the courthouse stairs
the jury got their man the judge had little to say
there’s a finch in your hand Scout you better let it fly away

Lightening in the morning and thunder in the afternoon
rain in the evening and you’ll be a woman soon
there’s a sparrow in your pocket it fell from the willow tree
everyone has got something that’s keeping them from being free
Track Name: Wild Eyes
Born on a whim in a hold weathered hymn
in the sparks that fell from the moon
We aged in the light as it traced in the sky
in silver, gold, red, white, and blue

The promise of a car to bring dust back from Mars
we’d drive around until we get rich
Instead I’d take you home and park along the road
and huddle close to keep it lit

We thought it would stay like this forever
with all of our might and our wild open eyes together

Living by chance and dying in our plans
to make it to the edge of the earth
In the best of our days at sail on the plains
our fortunes in gusts of dirt

Each morning we wake to the tide of the bay
we wake to the salt in the air
Our labor songs, the barking of dogs
the anchor tame in our stare

Sunk in our beds and braided as threads
like the reeds you wove in your hair
Our howls and our hopes at the ends of our ropes
broken but babe we don’t care
Track Name: Fire
Across the fence they're hunting in the grass
at the top of the hill mama's dressed in black
Hike up your skirt and climb the tree
you always look so good looking down at me
The sound of a wheel pushing through the mud
the smell of the rain and the fury of the flood
What we drank in the cellar it still burns my nose
pass out in the sun to feel it dry our clothes

Tonight the sky's on fire
I wonder if it will spread
Tonight the sky's on fire
Go on and wonder, go on and wonder

For so long we were young and full of our days
robed in the fields and the sound of your name
At night in the chapel at the tip of our tongues
tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow will come
The curls in the wind and the ash in your hair
we couldn't stay forever with this heat in the air
The smoke in my eyes as you're trying to leave
lets go back to the woods and we can climb the trees

Tonight the sky's on fire
I wonder if it will spread
Tonight the sky's on fire
Go on and wonder, go on and wonder

It's half past three by the chimes on the Charles
remember we were found playing in the water
I'm holding to your letter with a ticking in my pocket
flat irons dragging us down to the bottom
Have you ever seen a river thats frozen to a crawl?
one that even Jesus Christ himself couldn't thaw?
Looking over at the beauty of the nothing below
did you hear that I'm waiting for you to come home?

Tonight the sky's on fire
I wonder if it will spread
Tonight the sky's on fire
Go on and wonder, go on and wonder
Track Name: Susquehanna
High on the river when I saw you back when
you threw it all in at the banks and the bends
the Susquehanna slows when it gets to the end

I’ve come to hear the feign of your will
the grain in your voice and the still in your eyes
filling your pockets with sharp little pills
I’ve come to see if you’re still alive

You lifted your head when I came to the door
strung up the walls and collapsed on floor
your lizard boots and bells the lace of your clothes
I put up your picture but it still wasn’t home

So cling to me like the bible you got
or shoot me dead with that gun that you bought
I’ve come to learn we all can’t be sought

Your blood is still running though its not as fast
pushing you down the Chesapeake on through
everything dies and it don’t come back
before I die I’ll come back you
Track Name: New World
Since the Conestoga fire, and the raid from Paxtang
Fulton Hall’s been haunted by a wailing beneath the stage
Somewhere in the woods the boys are making way
from the West End where I sleep I can hear it call my name

There are bells in the steeple of the downtown Trinity
one for faith, for manifest, and one for destiny
They rang through the prison, they rang on Christmas Eve
when we were young we’d hear them ring in William’s old growth trees

It’s a new world

Don’t you remember when the boys came from the north
and burned their way from Paxtang to break down the prison doors
That Sunday morning service broke up by the siege
you were on the corner looking out in to the street

I’ve got a feeling about how the west was won
not for land, silver, gold, but the thrill of the gun
Though I stand before you, in the new age that has come
somewhere in our hearts there’s still a beating settler’s drum
Track Name: Emma
You always got your nose in something your eyes get wide when you know whats coming
they’re green but the speed you’re running makes it hard to tell
You hold your breath when you hear your name and always made your words so plain
you’re different but it’s all the same I’m lonesome as hell

Stretched out on the kitchen floor summer with your hair cut short
wondering what you’re waiting for it’s too soon to go
All the birds and all the trees know where they will always be
when the wind comes to take the leaves Emma you’ll be home

You face the cold and I’ll face the wind
it won’t be long until it’s warm again

You never cared for making sense or the diamonds of a chain linked fence
like the space between your skin and dress there’s a diamond on your chest
Emma I found you in the bells hanging to that ringer well
it takes an age to find yourself we all could use some rest

Across the pond and down the road through the graveyard’s staggered stones
the grass lies between your toes and you’re doing well
I remember you in the yard, your dress, the dust, the packed up car
on our backs beneath the Badland stars as if we just fell
Track Name: Ohio
We drove all day around the Great Lake
September has never seen such heat
You read out loud to keep me awake
as the rain filled up the streets

Ohio, its weary light
the way you look in the dark
At night we slept like stones lie still
laid to rest in the arch

December weather comes much too soon
I called up from the bottom stair
The thought of winter in your room
at the top, your back was bare
Track Name: Muddy Run
You must have been in the sun, you were dry to the bone
let me take you in the rain, where the mud turns to gold

We got lost in the glen, in the wild laurel’s hold
running through the stream, where the mud turns to gold

We followed the sound, of the rattle of the wood
and in the cover of the mouth, of the bridge I held to you

We climbed the truss above, now you can’t remember when
every car that passed below, shook like hell but felt like heaven

If you don’t come back for me, come for the glow in the ground
and the hills and alchemy, and for the fortune of the sound

You must have been in the sun, you weren’t looking well
we’re going to the field, where the rain breaks the spell