Collage

by ellen cherry

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1.
I am sorry that I said that I am sorry, so, so many times. You must forgive me as I wander on a path that is a circle, in my mind. I could tell you that I’m walking on a straight line, as I always planned. It never matters where I go because I always end up just where I began. Walking on a straight line: The saddest soul you’ll ever meet. Walking on a straight line. Guess I’ll just repeat. I have used up all my ink in writing novels of my wrongs and my regrets. This is helpful to remind me, and to never allow me to forget. If I let go what would I do with all these hidden heavy bags of shame? They are my First Place trophies to show you that I can be the winner of this game. Walking on a straight line; Sparked a flame so blue it burns. Walking on a straight line. It’s okay, I’ll never learn. Walking on a straight line: I could leave the past behind. Walking on a straight line. I roll the tape and I rewind. I could tell you that I’m walking on a straight line quickly as I can. It never matters where I go because I always end up just where I began.
2.
Sssssh Quiet Sssshhhh Quiet Shhhhhh Quiet Shhh Quiet The things I trashed in my distress The hopes I smashed oh what a mess There is time still to repair If I step I upon the bottom stair And if they sway or if they shift This is no ordinary gift A thank you rests upon my lip I make it up another step It makes me smile when I think how I thought: Oh, I’ve reached the bottom now I had miles left to go My path lost in the snow Sssssh Quiet Sssshhhh Quiet Shhhhhh Quiet Shhh Quiet All I trashed in my distress My hope I smashed, oh what a mess There is time to start repair I step upon the bottom stair And if they sway or if they shift This is no ordinary gift A thank you rests upon my lip And I take another step Sssssh Quiet Sssshhhh Quiet Shhhhhh Quiet Shhh Quiet
3.
Light a candle for the love we lost And the love we threw away I was crackling like a wire crossed On a dark and windy day Thinking about the things I said And all I didn’t say Even though it doesn’t matter Write a letter that I’ll never send To an address that never changed Can we have a new love story With words we rearrange? I promise I can learn to bend Just like I learned to stay the same. Even though I know it doesn’t matter We built a house of cards, with a losing hand. Another year has closed its eyes My days spent playing games Losing was my alibi It wasn’t me, it was the Queen of Spades The way it feels to tell that lie The way a candle feels the flame We built a house of cards, with a losing hand. Light a candle for the love we lost And the love we threw away I was crackling like a wire crossed On a dark and windy day
4.
This little bird, without a word, starts a song. You are the wire and you hum with desire to sing along. How can you help yourself, you want her? You cannot see the language of bees in the air. Invisible things that you never had noticed were there. How can I help myself? I want you. How can I? I know I help myself when I hold my breath and I eat my words. But I can fly away: Out through the window And into the street Onto the sidewalk Where you and I meet Up past the parking lot where we first kissed into the building where i was dismissed onto the stairwell where you held my hand up to the roof top we make no demands onto the lightning rod put on your wings here’s where we let go everything How can I help myself? I want you. How can I help myself?
5.
Last I’d heard you changed your course Rearranged everything Just like i was hoping for I don’t believe my eyes Cause I trust my heart You’d fall for anything Walking home in the dark I don’t want to know I don’t want to know I don’t want to know You’d better bet your life I’ve got a love unchained No one we’ve ever been before Stands in our way I don’t want to know I don’t want to know I don’t want to know Please tell me You found your way Please tell me We didn’t break So long since past When we held hands Tell me do you miss this Tell me do you understand I don’t want to know I don’t want to know I don’t want to know I don’t want to know (please tell me) I don’t want to know (please tell me) I don’t want to know (please tell me)
6.
Please forgive me don’t forget me Always worried don’t you let me Keep on breathing Keep on thinking Always writing always singing Heavy burden make it smaller Chin up back straight walking taller This is the dream of the frightened the scared The scolded the badgered the sad the unprepared Not a book or a bird or a gem that is rare But something dull that must abandoned Looking inward light is beaming Only sleeping never dreaming Let the season pass you by Let the knots become untied You might fear you’re left behind Had to be cruel to be kind This is the dream of the frightened the scared The scolded the badgered the sad the unprepared Not a book or a bird or a gem that is rare But something dull that must abandoned Keep on breathing Keep on thinking Always writing Always singing
7.
Hey Tyler, meet me in the street again. It’s 1981, and it’s 8AM. We can walk together down the block to the school. You’ll remember me and I’ll remember you. Hey Tyler, why don’t you ask the teacher for a pass? Or better yet, just meet me on the walk home after class. We can kick the dust up underneath the monkey bars. We can spend homeroom playing hooky and counting cars. It was my favorite thing to do: To walk right next to you. Let me quiz you on the planets and the stars, While we poke holes for lightning bugs, in lids of mason jars. You can ask me spelling words, written on my list. You can tell me secrets: what you want and what you wish. It was my favorite time, Walking with your hand in mine. Do you recall the cloudless sky and the little games? Or what you wrote inside my book next to our middle names? I remember walking slow. You were my favorite thing to know. Hey Tyler, it’s 1981, it’s 8am. Will you meet me in the street again?
8.
Call you up in the middle of the night Like a firefly without a light You were there like a slow torch burning I was a key that could use a little turning So tired that I couldn't even sleep So many secrets I couldn't keep Promised myself I wouldn't weep One more promise I couldn't keep It seems no one can help me now I'm in too deep There's no way out This time I have really led myself astray Runaway train never going back Wrong way on a one way track Seems like I should be getting somewhere Somehow I'm neither here nor there Can you help me remember how to smile Make it somehow all seem worthwhile How on earth did I get so jaded Life's mystery seems so faded I can go where no one else can go I know what no one else knows Here I am just drownin' in the rain With a ticket for a runaway train Everything is cut and dry Day and night, earth and sky Somehow I just don't believe it Runaway train never going back Wrong way on a one way track Seems like I should be getting somewhere Somehow I'm neither here nor there Bought a ticket for a runaway train Like a madman laughin' at the rain Little out of touch, little insane Just easier than dealing with the pain Runaway train never comin' back Wrong way on a one way track Seems like I should be getting somewhere Somehow I'm neither here nor there Runaway train never comin' back Runaway train tearin' up the track Runaway train burnin' in my veins Runaway but it always seems the same
9.
Maybe 03:31
Maybe I could spend two years feeling sorry for myself. Maybe I could shift the blame to someone else. Maybe I could give my love away. I’d give it all for free. Maybe I’ll forget again to save some of it for me. First, I filled my own two hands, with all my lonely tears. Then, I dug a canyon and filled it up with years. After all that time, the only thing I learned Was how to set a love on fire and how to watch it burn. Close your eyes. Take my hands. Hear these words. Understand. It’s no lie: there’s no plan. Fly like birds, ‘cause we can. Maybe you were wondering, or maybe you might know, How hard it was for me to stay; how hard it was to go. Remember when you said nothing? It came so easily. Maybe you had changed the locks. Maybe I lost my key. Close your eyes. Take my hands. Hear these words. Understand. It’s no lie: there’s no plan. Fly like birds, ‘cause we can. Maybe I could think your thoughts. Then I worry you’d be right. Maybe I could think all day and straight on through the night. Maybe I could spend two years, never standing still. Maybe you’ll forgive me soon. Maybe you never will.
10.
How could I let you be so mean? How could I let you sleep next to me? How I could I let you say those things? How could I let you be so mean? How could I fill a whole house with tears? How could you close your mouth for years and years and years? I want to write a new song of Love I want to be proved wrong and not give up I want to cut the diamonds from the rough I want to write a new song of Love I heard you found a good place to hide Where you could watch the stars collide Maybe you learned a new way to move Maybe I finally told the truth If I cut my lip with words I’ll pretend it really doesn’t hurt I want to write a new song of Love I want far away to be just far enough I want to make it through not just make it up I want to write a new song of Love And if you hear my voice you’ll know That I’m letting go I’m gonna write it all down by hand I’m going to learn to swim in quicksand I start to understand from the start I’m going to write it all down by heart I’m going to tangle close with fear I’m going to learn to dance for years and years and years I’m going to write a new song of Love I’m going to be proved wrong and not give up I want to cut the diamonds from the rough I want to write a new song of Love

about

New songs that I worked on with producer Matt Collen at CommSounds. I'm introducing them, One Song at a Time as a FB live show every Wednesday through the months of April and May as we social distance during the COVID19 pandemic. Join me at:

facebook.com/ellencherrymusic at 4PM on Wednesdays

credits

released April 1, 2020

All songs written by ellen cherry
Runaway Train written by David Pirner (licensed for PPD)
Produced and recorded by Matt Collen at CommSounds

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ellen cherry Baltimore, Maryland

Emmy nominated singer/songwriter ellen cherry (lowercase letters intentional!) is a full-time touring and working performer based in Baltimore, MD. In 2017, ellen presents a new touring project called Portraits in Song that marries her love of storytelling and her passion for history through songs and portraits of interesting women in history to increase love and empathy for all. ... more

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