Gaps in the Stories

All songs by Denise Glover © 2018 Blue Poppy Music, BMI except Any Old Time (Jimmie Rodgers, Peer International Corp) and Blue Sky (Dickie Betts, Unichappell Music Inc)

Photos in Italy and Switzerland by Saveria Avantaggio and Dawn Glover. Studio photo by David Lange.

Produced by Julian Smedley

Recorded and Engineered at David Lange Studios

Mastered by Ross Nyberg

Denise Glover – vocals, flat-top guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin

Julian Smedley – arch-top guitar, violin, viola

Cary Black – bass

Bob Knetzger – dobro, pedal steel

Jeff Busch – percussion

 

Gaps in the Stories

Based on a line from Margaret Atwood’s book The Handmaid’s Tale, this song is for all those that have been overlooked, forgotten, or otherwise silenced. It has been especially inspired by #MeToo.

 

We are the gaps in the stories

The ones beyond the horizon where nobody sees

Not the chosen few

We lie in the shadows, and we watch you

 

Put away, used up, then thrown away

Told when to speak, what to wear and eat, and how to play

But power is corrupting you

Out of the shadows we march, our time long overdue

 

And oh how we’ll rise

With fire in our bellies and hope in our eyes

Never more to be shut down

Never more going underground

 

Filling in the gaps in these stories

The forgotten ones will be heard and seen

 

Denise Glover – vocals, flat-top guitar

Julian Smedley – arch-top guitar

Cary Black – bass

Jeff Busch – percussion

 

Mary the Forgotten One

This song is centered on an alternate history of Mary Magdalen, as told by Elizabeth Cunningham in her series, The Maeve Chronicles.

 

I am traveling in the badlands

Got the power of life in my hands

I’ve come far to see him again

Withstood tidal waves and violence of men

 

I am Mary, the forgotten one

History has done me wrong

I was a healer to him

But they said my love was only sin

 

As we stood under the burning tree

I blamed him and he blamed me

As the flames grew high I flew away

But now I know I should have stayed

 

When you feel the power of stars in your hands

Then you can heal the broken hearts and bodies of men

 

When they dragged him through the streets

I yelled out, “No! Please take me!”

But they would not hear, that were sure he was the one

They said God had no daughters, only a son

 

Denise Glover – vocals, flat-top guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin

Julian Smedley – violin

Cary Black – bass

 

Whiskey and Loneliness Don’t Mix

I’ve got Jesus in the back seat, and Buddha on my dash

Been looking for a part-time job, to try to earn some cash

But I ain’t had no luck this week, so I’ll get in my car and drive

Leave all my worries behind

 

I’ve been through 44 of these 50 states, in less than one year

It’s hard to keep the names straight, there’s ringing in my ears

I’ve simplified my life you know, it was no easy feat

I’m in the most control of myself when I’m in the driver’s seat

 

But I’m getting tired of running around

I’m sick of landing in a cheap motel in every other town

Settling down with me these days, it just don’t seem to stick

And I’ve learned that whiskey and loneliness don’t mix

 

I had my head stuck in a bottle once, for how long I don’t know

It seemed to help me through the lonely days, and get on with the show

But from high above I saw myself nearly drown, and then I knew

On the road I’d find me a friend or two, and my drinking days were through

 

Denise Glover – vocals, flat-top guitar

Julian Smedley –  viola

Cary Black – bass

Bob Knetzger – pedal steel

Jeff Busch – percussion

 

Any Old Time (Jimmie Rodgers, Peer International Corp)

I just received your letter, you’re down and out, you say

At first I thought I would tell you to travel on the other way
But in my memory lingers all you once were to me             
So I'm going to give you another chance to prove what you can be

Any old time you want to come back home                          
Drop me a line and say, no more you'll roam                      
You had your chance to play the game fair
But when you left me, sweetheart you only left a love who cared

 

Now that you’re down, I’m going to stick by you

If you would only tell me your roaming days are through
You'll find me here like the day you left me alone

Any old time you wanna come back home

 

Denise Glover – vocals, mandolin

Julian Smedley – arch-top guitar, violin

Cary Black – bass

Bob Knetzger – dobro

 

Medicine Man

This song is based on my experiences working with doctors of Tibetan medicine in China. Thank you to Tawni Tidwell for the Tibetan translation of a Buddhist interpretation of the English lyrics. Chants included are of/for the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Chenrezig, and the Medicine Buddha, Sangye Menlha.

 

Medicine man

In your cabin up so high

Tending your flock

As the prayers float on by

 

Medicine man

With all that you know

Show me the way

And I will surely follow

 

All might have changed in that moment

Healing the sick, staring into souls

Pulling out heat and restoring light to dark hollows

 

Lha rje sman pa

Shes yon bsten pa yis

Khyed lam ston shog

Khyed kyi rjes sub dag ‘brang gi

 

I must have dreamt you in the night

‘Cause in the morning you weren’t there

Were you just another figment of my mind

Gone wild in the high mountain air?

 

Denise Glover – vocals, octave mandolin

Julian Smedley – arch-top guitar

Cary Black – bass

Bob Knetzger – pedal steel

 

Crazy Ideas

What would you do if I broke my promise to you?

What would it take to bring us back from blue?

 

These crazy ideas in my head

You know I meant what I said

When I promised that I would be true you

                                                                                   

What if I lose my mind like so many people do?

Would you hold me at night, and sing me through?

These crazy ideas

All built on fears

Of losing my tie to you, my dear

 

Denise Glover – vocals, flat-top guitar

Julian Smedley – viola

Cary Black – bass

Jeff Busch – percussion

 

Bailey

Bailey Holt lost her life in a school shooting in Benton, Kentucky on January 23, 2018. She was only 15 years old. I read about her, I saw her picture online, and I cried. And then I found out that I am related to her. In writing this song, I tried to capture my own reactions as well as to consider what this must be like for Bailey's loved ones. This kind of tragedy has to be unbearable for any family. My family experienced its own tragedy (the sudden loss of my mother) some years ago, so I can relate to the pain. I hope this song brings comfort to Bailey's family, and to others that have experienced similar traumas.

 

Bailey, I never knew you

But I could trace a line from me to you on a family tree

And now your journey’s over

The angels sing to you sweetly

 

Flowers blossom, raindrops fall

Some things in life make no sense at all

But I pray that there’s a bigger plan than I can see through all these tears

 

Bailey, I saw your picture

Your beautiful face is forever in my mind’s eye

Your kindness will live on

In the hearts and minds of your loved ones left behind

 

Flowers blossom, raindrops fall

Why you had to leave us this way makes no sense at all

But I pray that there’s a bigger plan than I can see through all these tears

 

Bailey, Bailey

You will always be, a precious gift from God, our sweet Bailey

 

Denise Glover – vocals, flat-top guitar

Julian Smedley – viola

 

Castaway With You

I have never been able to walk a very straight line

I have tripped and stumbled to the left and the right

With so much on my mind

But when I met you I knew that we could find

A way to leave this unenchanting road behind

 

So let’s sail the ocean blue

We could catch a ride on a wave of youth

It won’t matter if we end up marooned

 ‘Cause I want to be castaway with you

 

All this pushing and shoving, it just don’t suite me right

I’d rather be squeezing and hugging you, all through the night

Yank me out of the rat race, I won’t complain

I’d follow you all the way from Hawaiʿi to Maine

 

We might capsize

We might not even survive

But don’t you think we ought to give it a try?

See what’s out there to find

 

Denise Glover – vocals, octave mandolin

Julian Smedley – arch-top guitar

Cary Black – bass

Jeff Busch – percussion

 

Nothing

Your saying nothing, surely means something

I’d give anything to hear you speak your mind

 

Your doing nothing, surely means everything

I’d give anything to see you fly

 

The thing is, I need to know

Are you gonna stay, or are you gonna go?

I can’t hold on very much longer

 

Your going nowhere means you’re not somewhere

I’d go anywhere with you anytime

 

Denise Glover – vocals, mandolin

Julian Smedley – arch-top guitar

Cary Black – bass

 

Papa Francesco

Papa Francesco, I left your flock many years ago

But I’ve been thinking I might come back

Don’t know if you’d call me convert, it’s be more like a revert

I might come back if you get rid of them priests that are perverts

 

Papa Francesco, you seem to be the one that knows

What we need is to spread around the wealth

It could be so easy, if people weren’t so greedy

Otherwise the filthy rich are all going to hell

 

Francis is your name, social justice is your game

Will the animals gather around you, will you stay tough on climate change?

Will you accept all orientations, will you let women be ordained?

Will you be Francis in practice or only in name?

 

Papal authority don’t mean that much to me

But I like the messages, you’re spreading around

And I know there are lots of folks that put their faith in the Pope

So as far as I’m concerned, you ought to stick around

 

Denise Glover – vocals, flat-top guitar

Julian Smedley – arch-top guitar

Cary Black – bass

 

Elijah

It’s hard these days to find decent pay

All them factory jobs, they’ve moved away

Across the border where the labor is cheap

Companies are making big profits to keep

 

Like off to war, but you’re going for cold hard cash

This world is changing ever so fast

But you and I are getting left behind

Trying to catch up, and keep up with what the market’s buying

 

Elijah, will you stay true to me

When you board that great big ship that’ll take you far across the deep blue sea

Will I still hold that special place in your heart, where you said I’d always be?

Elijah, don’t let this turn you away from me

 

When you get there your home may be less than meek

And grandma told you to always turn the other cheek

But if they grind you down low enough

You’d better rise up and call their bluff

 

What happened to the dreams we had?

Such a simple life, how could it all turn bad?

Somehow our lives are out of our hands

The strings being pulled by the corporate man

 

Denise Glover – vocals, flat-top guitar

Julian Smedley – arch-top guitar

Cary Black – bass

Bob Knetzger – pedal steel

 

Stand Up Straight and Tall

Inspired by the 2016 US presidential election.

 

I’m on the edge of my seat, been weeks I cannot sleep

Tomorrow’s Election Day in our land

But this angst I feel, sure enough it’s real

I need somebody to hold my hand

 

Which way are the chips gonna fall?

Will we go back 50 years, or are we gonna stand up straight and tall?

Love must win in the end

And equality and justice, my friend

 

It didn’t turn out like I’d hoped, it all went up in smoke

Smoke and mirrors, I’d say

I’m trying to understand, how that vile, vile man

Could hold any promise for America today

 

Should we head for the border?

Will our land be abused by supposed “law and order”?

My head is spinning around in a confused state

But I just know I cannot turn to hate

 

So I’ve signed many a petition, it’s become my nutrition

I call my congressional representatives every day

This anger I feel, sure enough it’s real

But I hope and pray that our goodness does not fade

 

Denise Glover – vocals, flat-top guitar

Julian Smedley – arch-top guitar

Cary Black – bass

Jeff Busch – percussion

 

Listening

Based on an NPR podcast of the same name.

 

You can find the brightest minds in the darkest place

That box she just couldn’t fit in

Let her heart lead the way

But how they’d make her pay

Four walls, no light, but she could still hear  

 

If you listen long and hard enough

You might get to place

Where the outside moves in

All barriers fall away

Space opens, you can really hear

 

Gunshots everywhere, no safe place

He walked the streets at night, his color shining white

Ears open, mouth shut, hand stretch out long

He could really hear

 

Denise Glover – vocals, flat-top guitar

Julian Smedley – viola

Cary Black – bass

 

How Easily We Are Fooled

Phantom rivers, floating ice sheets

Red dirt, popcorn

Into the rain our course leads

How easily we are fooled

 

Choppy stream, blurred lines of charcoal

I see entire cities

Built of vapor aerosol

How easily we are fooled

 

Beaches of clouds

Traces of footsteps on the land

Alpine lakes staring like the eyes of God

Moon steady as the North Star

 

As the distance grows

All features fade away

Distinctions that mattered before are gone

Contours flatten along the way

How easily we are fooled

Denise Glover – vocals,  mandolin

Julian Smedley – arch-top guitar

Cary Black – bass

Bob Knetzger – pedal steel

 

Blue Sky (Dickie Betts, Unichappell Music Inc)

Walk along the river, sweet lullaby

It just keeps on flowing, it don’t worry ‘bout where it’s going, no

Don’t fly Mr. Bluebird, I’m just walking down the road

Early morning sunshine, tells me all I need to know

 

You’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day

Lord you know it makes me high when you turn your love my way

Turn your love my way

 

Good old Sunday morning, bells are ringing everywhere

I’m going to Carolina, won’t be long ‘til I get there, no

 

You’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day

Lord you know it makes me high when you turn your love my way 

Turn your love my way

 

Denise Glover – vocals, flat-top guitar

Julian Smedley – arch-top guitar

Cary Black – bass

Bob Knetzger – dobro

 

 

Pathways

All songs © 2016 Blue Poppy Music, BMI

All lyrics and music by Denise Glover, except for “Your Face,” lyrics by Glen Avantaggio

Produced by Julian Smedley

Recorded and Engineered by David Lange at David Lange Studios

Mastered by Ross Nyberg

 

High Plains Drifter

 

I have to drive 3,000 miles to get my mail

The postman said it won’t do this time you got to get over the county line, no fail

I’m running out of road, I’m running out of time

My windshield’s cracked, I’m drifting over the line

But I’ll make it through this storm like so many times before

‘Cause I know how to survive

 

Every minute that passes is another mile on the highway

I lost all my money to the keepers of the land, they sure knew how to read my hand, not my way

I’m running out of road, running out of dimes

What lies ahead I have yet to find

But I’ll make it through this storm like so many times before

‘Cause I know how to survive

 

Now I’m a high plains drifter in the desert of life     

No matter how long I stay here, I might not get it right

But I’ll try

 

I have to drive 3,000 miles to get my mail

The postman said it won’t do this time you got to get over the county line, no fail

And I’m running out of road, I’m running out of time

My windshield’s cracked, I’m drifting over the line

But I’ll make it through this storm like so many times before

‘Cause I know how to survive

 

mandolin, vocals – Denise Glover

guitar, harmony vocals – Don Share

bass – Cary Black

dobro – Bob Knetzger

fiddle – Julian Smedley

 

 

Self-Righteous Fool

 

I spent twenty long years doing time

I’ll spend twenty more just trying to find

A place where I belong

Somewhere to sing my song

But for now I’ll just roll on down the line

 

I’ve burned so many bridges before

Never looked back as I went storming out the door

I want all that to change

It really should, at my age

But for now I’ll just roll on down the line

 

But please don’t try to save me

I have my own sense of internal glory

It’s not like the pride we learned in school

But it’s the only way to be a self-righteous fool

 

Somehow, out on the open road

I breathe better, my mind clears from under the load

I don’t stay anywhere long

In my soul it just feels wrong

So for now I’ll just roll on down the line

 

But please don’t try to save me

I have my own sense of internal glory

It’s not like the pride we learned in school

But it’s the only way to be a self-righteous fool

 

flat-top guitar, vocals – Denise Glover

arch-top guitar – Julian Smedley

bass – Cary Black

pedal steel – Bob Knetzger

fiddle – JP Wittman

 

 

Pietracatella

Named after my maternal great grandmother’s natal village in Italy, a place I fell in love with upon first encounter.

 

It’s a long climb to the top

Where the saint is buried, deep in the rock

Where the mountains roll

And the fields are gold

It’s a long climb to the top

 

I can hear the church bells chime

They are marking time in Marinelli design

And the children play

All along the way

While the church bells, they chime

 

This village is my home

I have come back, never more to roam

The night brings sweet lullabies

To my ears

Come the morning light, you will find me still here

 

In the meadows way up high

Life and death exist side by side

And the faces I see

Some of them look like me

I have missed them all through the years

 

This village is my home

I have come back, never more to roam

The night brings sweet lullabies

To my ears

Come the morning light, you will find me still here

 

mandolin, lead & harmony vocals – Denise Glover

bass – Cary Black

guitar – Julian Smedley

fiddle – JP Wittman

accordion – David Lange

 

 

Suspended

 

Out here on the horizon

In between layers of white

Rain streaks down in the distance

Like dripping paint

I move through time so swiftly here

And yet all is still

I am suspended

In the body of a bird of steel

 

Back there on the horizon

I left you in a state

Not knowing which road you’ll take

More sleep or to suddenly awake

If you were up this high

You would not ever want to come down

You’d be suspended

Forever, above the ground

 

Is it a beginning or an end?

Will the orange fade soon?

When will it begin again?

 

Out here on the horizon

In between layers of white

Rain streaks down in the distance

Like dripping paint

Time moves so swiftly here

This high above the ground

I am suspended

Why don’t I fall down?

 

flat-top guitar, vocals – Denise Glover

arch-top guitar – Julian Smedley

bass – Cary Black

pedal steel – Bob Knetzger

percussion – Jeff Busch

 

 

Deep History

 

I met my cousin at the top of the ridge

He told me all about our family lineage

5,000 miles from where I was born

Lies the foundation of our family home

 

Our paths may form a crooked line

Our future selves may be so hard to find

But as water flows in great circles, of this I can be sure

All of our paths emanate from the same source

 

If you go back far enough, into deep history

You’ll find we all share the same family tree

Why all this warring and killing, like we are not kin?

Embrace your enemy, make him your friend

 

Our paths may form a crooked line

Our future selves may be so hard to find

But as water flows in great circles, of this I can be sure

All of our paths emanate from the same source

 

They call her Eve, but she wasn’t from no man’s rib

She is everyone’s Mama, and she was African

History that’s more than skin deep

Our humanity, we must keep

 

Our paths may form a crooked line

Our future selves may be so hard to find

But as water flows in great circles, of this I can be sure

All of our paths emanate from the same source

 

mandolin, lead & harmony vocals – Denise Glover

guitar – Julian Smedley

bass – Cary Black

drums – Ben Smith

percussion – Jeff Busch

chorus vocals – Saveria Avantaggio, Dawn Glover, Denise Glover, Julian Smedley

 

 

Your Face

My husband wrote this lovely poem for me, and I made it into a song for him.

 

Your face

How boundless rich in beauty God must be

To calmly spend a fortune in one place

 

Your face

The angels come to learn humility

By gazing at the moonlight on your face

 

The days that I remember

Are the days that I remember looking at your face

 

Your face

For the ocean all the rivers yearn

Around your face the stars above us turn

 

Your face

How boundless rich in beauty God must be

To calmly spend a fortune in one place

 

guitar, vocals – Denise Glover

viola – Julian Smedley

 

 

If I’d Been Born in Another Place

 

If I’d been born in another place, I never would have seen your handsome face

If I’d been born in another time, you would never have been mine

So let us thank the stars above tonight, dance ‘neath that evening light

Oh love, my heart I give all to you, please don’t ever make me blue

 

If you’d passed me by that summer day, to each other we’d have nothin’ to say

If I didn’t call you on the telephone, I’d be here singing all alone

So let us thank the heavens above tonight, kiss ‘neath that evening light

Oh love, my heart I give all to you, you could never be untrue

 

So let us thank the stars above tonight, dance ‘neath that evening light

Oh love, my heart I give all to you, please don’t ever make me blue

 

mandolin, lead & harmony vocals  – Denise Glover

guitar, harmony vocals – Don Share

bass – Cary Black

banjo – Allan Walton

fiddle – JP Wittman

 

 

Along the Path (Dreams of Emptiness)

Based on the Buddhist concept of śunyata.

 

I have been diving down deep

I’ve been following the path

There are so many things I have yet to see              

                                                                                   

Your island and my autumn are so far apart

But there is a common place where we go

Mind knows no limits

 

I dream of emptiness

And in this emptiness all things are contained

The wise, the ignorant, all of the suffering

Find release

 

The teachings stand on high

And yet they are right inside

There is no other place for them to be

 

I dream of emptiness

And in this emptiness all things are contained

The wise, the ignorant, all of the suffering

Find release

 

flat-top guitar, vocals – Denise Glover

arch-top guitar – Julian Smedley

bass – Cary Black

viola – Julian Smedley

percussion – Jeff Busch

 

 

A Song for Firefighters

The tragedy of September 11, 2001 had immeasurable repercussions. Many people suffered and many are still dealing with the after-effects of the events, very importantly including first responders. My father and brother were career firefighters (now retired); I dedicate this song to their work and sacrifice—for which I am infinitely proud—and to that of their brothers/sisters-in-uniform, especially those that are still struggling with the trauma of 9-11.

 

It was a day, just like any other

Until those flying bombs hit the towers up high

I ran to the station, grabbed my gear, and I said

“Brothers, we must ride, ride, ride”

 

It was a call, not like any other

An inferno, so many lives gone at one time

As the steel buckled, the ground shook, I hit the wall

My back broke, my spirit almost left me

 

I’ve pulled you out of a burning house

I’ve walked through flames at your door

So don’t look sideways at me now

I’m struggling picking myself up off the floor

 

It was a year not like any other

Every other day we buried a brother

I searched my soul, I searched the world, I could never find

One good reason why

 

I’ve pulled you out of a burning house

I’ve walked through flames at your door

So don’t look sideways at me now

I’m struggling picking myself up off the floor

 

flat-top guitar, vocals – Denise Glover

arch-top guitar – Julian Smedley

bass – Cary Black

pedal steel – Bob Knetzger

fiddle – JP Wittman

 

 

Heading Home

 

The clouds come and go here, most of the people do the same

Another day in this city, I’ve got a headache again

And suddenly I wonder if I am losing my way

 

I left my home, and sweet love much too far behind

I dream every night I’m back in the pines

Standing straight and tall, pure and green, blowing in the breeze

 

They say when you’ve reached realization

All doubts disperse, and light is revealed      

And then they say there’s nothing to reach

It’s all around you, I try not to lose sight

 

I am traveling the country, many miles pass before me

It will only be a day or two, and I will be home with you

The air is so dry in here, I feel my nose starting to bleed

But there is something beautiful in this way

Stretching time across 3,000 miles

 

And time moves on, and on, and on

And my thoughts go on, and on, and on

And my love for you goes on, and on, and on

 

I am heading home

 

flat-top guitar, vocals – Denise Glover

arch-top guitar, viola – Julian Smedley

bass – Cary Black

percussion – Jeff Busch

 

 

© 2016-2018 by Denise Glover. Proudly created with Wix.com