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credits

released October 31, 2012

All words and music by Laura Dunn © 2011
except "Birthday Suit" by Laura Dunn, Brian Rady, Christian Appel and Harry Einhorn


Laura Dunn, banjo, vocals
Brian Rady, guitar, vocals
Kirk Siee, bass
Christian Appel, toy piano, clarinet, bass
Brigit Kelly Young, vocals, ukulele
Sarah Baum, accordion
Joe White, electric guitar
Ellen O'Meara, vocals, glockenspiel, flute
Monica Metzler, vocals


Engineered by Monica Metzler
Mixed by Daniel Miller
Mastered by Gus Elg at Skyonion

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Laura Dunn and the Ghosts of Xmas Past Portland, Oregon

with Bjorkish runaway melodies and surreal lyricism, Laura Dunn and the Ghosts of Xmas Past combine banjo-driven creepy folk music with opera singers, toy pianos and rattling chains.
She sounds like "Emmylou Harris singing in a haunted house" --James Duval, Virginia Omnivore
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Track Name: Old Weather
Old Weather

We stopped by the side of the road
to watch the red pines fall—
and along the yellow line,
I found a gray haired doll.

Turn off the radio
or give away it all—
please decide to grow old.

The clouds wrinkle as the sun leaves
the chains on our tires
make the snow’s skin crease.

Even in the spring the leaves fall,
please decide to grow old.

Don’t say you have a map,
I’m not sure you’re coming at all—
on most roads we follow signs
but I’ll feel through with my hands
like a blind man through time.

The world seems to be growing old too—
the mud dries into old leather.
They say we grow old together
but maybe I’ll just grow old with the weather.

Turn off the windshield wipers
and make the call—
please decide to grow old—
please decide to grow old.
Track Name: In the Desert Night
In the desert night,
I look for one color, one light—
the outline of you,
like boy-shaped headlights.

I've got a few dirty stars that fell
into my wishing well--
one is your silhouette reflected
in every coffee I've neglected
for your eyes—

So many colors in the desert tonight--
only one dusty moon glows
like that skin that I know--

I draw your face
in the dirt of empty landscapes
but there’s no sign or trace
of you--

In the desert slumber,
the ground was dry as leather.
We painted the road tops with our tire rubber.

I called for you again--
my voice a slack telephone cable,
a million grains of sand strewn across a deck table.

So many colors in the desert tonight--
only one gas stove ignites
like your sweet moan in the night.

I'll search the world for you--
I swear I'll search the world.

In Monet’s lilies,
in my neighbor's doilies,
in the plastic bags blowing down the avenue,
in every rivers' lost blue--

in every song I write this winter,
in the dust blowing through my air conditioner filter.

But until then--
Every time the sun rises and the sun sets,
I see your sweet color out there
where the sky ends.
Track Name: Doppelgänger Love
You live a thousand miles away
but I saw you on the hill this clear day.
Your eyes are kitchen marble blue—
you look like someone I once knew.

The night we fell and cracked the ice on the grass,
I knew you were never –never coming back—
So out of love (as they say, as they say)—
to other fish in the sea
but I want one the exact same species.

Doppelganger love, doppelganger love
with you I was sloppy, I’ll be more careful
with your copy.

He has your beard.
Give him your old shirt—
and when he moans, oh, it’s like digging up
a memory from dirt.

Doppelganger love, doppelganger love,
I lost you—I’ll find another one

If you never come back
can I make the sea out of a pothole?
If you never come back
I’ll fall in love with your double.

Doppelganger love, doppelganger love,
he’s not really the same, I’ll still call him
by your name.
Track Name: Ramon
Ramon, Ramon,
your trouble comes like a burst of startled crows.
Ramon, Ramon,
you smell of fire, smell like all that’s left of my home—

Ramon, this night’s made up of smoke and the wings
of a thousand crows.
Ramon, is it even night at all?

Winter night in a motel pool,
all I had was the heat of you hands,
and a man watching—you knew, you knew,
you wrapped me in your limbs like a mummy.
You took that pool water, watered your trouble,
till it grew, it grew, and I helped you.

Ramon, Ramon, there’s more city lights here than crows
in this world. More doors and roofs
than even you could burn.

All saints day in a yellow field—
our hair as pale as the polluted moon,
you lit a cigarette on the zipper of my dress
and the hillside burst into a startled red,
no ocean or dew could ever extinguish you—

Now Trouble and I wait on my apartment steps, for the M60,
for you.
Ramon, come back
for what you left with me,
and our family.
Ramon, without you, there’s nothing for us to do.

(Pieces of burning island, blinking New York City’s lights,
pieces of burning island, if you never answer—
why do we have the word why?)
Track Name: Storm Bells
The sky is the only roof left—
since I left you, went out,
to this city’s endless cement.

There’s a burn mark on the rug
where you slept. Don’t worry love,
fire isn’t something I forget—I forget.

I’ve gone out in the weather for awhile,
for I can be such weather myself.
I’ll huff and puff in a storm-sunk field
so I wont blow your house down.

Shadows won’t blow away in the wind—
I think matches give up on themselves.
Stars disappear. Sometimes I can hear
the city’s storm bells— I want you—
I still want you.

I’ve cried on chest hair.
I’ve cried on a wall’s wet paint.
I’ve cried so much, I’ve been told off by the rain.
She said “that’s my job, you’ve got yours to do—“
to make my way back home to you.
Track Name: A Book in the Wind
I watched as he poured his drink into the stream—
that red wine swam like a salmon spawning,
and where it swam, I found this dream—
I’d color life like a book so he’d stay with me.

How far can a foot sink in a dune?
Can’t tell, can’t tell—disappears too soon.
But I will wait on this moonless night
for just one planet to swim into sight.

I’ve done everything but I’m only a girl,
I don’t think that my baby likes it much in this world.

In a market in Vietnam,
noodles hung from our lips like an old gray beard.
We jumped on our eyeglasses,
growled at volcanoes,
but what will keep him here?

I’ve done everything but I’m only a girl,
I don’t think that my baby likes it much in this world.

At night in a garden of black flowers,
there was a party—and our whispers
blew away in the wind.
But somewhere off the coast of Chile,
you can hear my whisper where it landed,
saying, you open my eyes like a book in the wind.
Will you stay with me to the end?

I’ve done everything but I’m only a girl,
I don’t think that my baby likes it much in this world.
Track Name: Albuquerque
From a silhouette of a factory—
a silhouette of smoke
sways like drowned paper
and you go.

Running down these streets, not cars but clouds,
Leadville’s only sounds—
footsteps walking away.
Empty houses, tree branches gut cars,
and from a mountain, you can’t see that far.

You, you left me, for Albuquerque
but I thought this mountain stream
was the gray of your iris looking away from me.

Up here they’re making metal from the mountains
they pull down, and I make songs
with my face to the road you left on.

All my songs are fish in streams
heading down to you
in Albuquerque,
a town you can’t see
not even from this height.

You, you left me for Albuquerque—
you can’t hear a song from there,
just the smoke drifting through the air.

You, you left me for Albuquerque
and in a song through smoke,
I think I’m searching
for you