The Storm in Our Head

by Kathleen Dunbar

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1.
Everybody Knows By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar everybody’s down here everybody knows everybody comes here cuz everybody goes everybody’s flyin everybody’s high everybody wants some nobody’s askin why everybody’s lonely everybody’s blue everybody wants somebody to tell them I love you nobody got a sweetheart nobody got a song nobody got a body to keep their body warm—yeah we all want the good stuff we all want what’s fine I want what you want you want what’s mine is anybody sayin that anybody’s cool we should all be laughin cuz everyone’s a fool—yeah you found lady love you dance her through the town you know you want to parade it all around your baby’s singing you’re singing too that crazy wild love has got a hold on you—yeah the Delaware brother he done axed me tall and fine he relaxed me we took it crosstown we took it slow we found it comin and we found it on the go he had a halo it was ten percent he didn’t know where the other ninety went he said I give it to you girl you give it back to me the train done left the station and the ride ain’t free look for an exit hope for a sign don’t hurt my gunarm my aim is fine if the waitress likes you your coffee’s free she calls you honey her honeybee
2.
Paper Wrappers By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar they’re lonely, the curled ones paper wrappers at the edge of dawn you’re smoky, like a foggy mirror I try to see you but you won’t get clear yeah, yeah, yeah, nobody home yeah, yeah, yeah, all alone I wanna be the shadow, dreamin on your pillow I’d tag along—singing a song for you, singing a song I’m a sad girl, don’t wanna cry started knowin now I wonder why I can’t find words for how I feel like a lost toy with a broken wheel yeah, yeah, yeah, nobody home yeah, yeah, yeah, all alone it wouldn’t bug me if you would up and hug me let me tag along—singing “ a song for you, singing a song a worn out boot got a sorry sole road’s comin up through the empty hole I fall in love when I don’t expect a superhero couldn’t stop the wreck yeah, yeah, yeah, nobody home yeah, yeah, yeah, all alone this is the part where I get a broken heart let me tag along—singing a song for you, singing a song everywhere, everywhere, everywhere you go I go everywhere, everywhere, everywhere you go I go everywhere, everywhere, everywhere you go I go everywhere, everywhere, everywhere you go I go an orphan with no bunny bear everybody got a honey and I wonder where mine is, how I ended up I got a heart like an empty cup yeah, yeah, yeah, nobody home yeah, yeah, yeah, all alone I got a smile for you—you ain’t got a clue let me tag along—singing a song for you, singing a song for you, singing a song for you singing this song
3.
Sweet Carline By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar his shirt was red, his shirt was red I saw that shirt when he was dead but he took off that shirt when he lay with Carline in her bed, uh-huh he broke the window, he broke that glass he fell right out the window, he run fast he could not run fast enough Carline’s man he caught him up at last, uh-huh the gun was black as a devil’s back had an old long barrel, the gun was black when you shoots a man uh-huh you never can take it back, uh-huh INSTRUMENTAL CHORUS he fell in the field by the apple tree apples fell down on him when she found her man, Sweet Carline she wept upon her knees, uh-huh them dogs’ll bite, them dogs’ll bite they set those dogs on him that night when they caught him up, the chain they had for him it held him tight, uh-huh in Johnson City, where trouble’s been you can find her lover and her man in the old graveyard you can hear them both call out for Sweet Carline, uh-huh INSTRUMENTAL CHORUS lord lord, this life is hard bide your time with me till the moon go dark then take you a little candle, yeah, and make you a little spark, uh-huh I’m gonna dream, I’m gonna dream they won’t let me be when I dream well you know my name, my name is Sweet Carline, uh-huh
4.
Better the Devil You Know By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar one hell of a night I saw you first people can die from that kind of thirst your velvet skin and golden hair I whispered your name like a prayer held you in my arms I drowned in your kisses I got high on your charms I got a heart broken in two oh baby that’s all I got left of you a fly in honey, I’ll never be free I drowned in the sweet trap you set for me I used to be happy that was before you left for another— I ain’t happy no more go slow don’t stop let me taste your sweetness drop by drop I got the lie cuz nothin was true baby that’s all I got left of you spill me water, like dice in a game oh shake out my body till I got no name I’m just a match you took and struck I burned up on you babe, that was my luck for shame for shame love and hunger well they’re really the same the laugh when you found somebody new baby that’s all I got left of you I pulled my gun when you turned to go you shoulda stayed with the devil you know I got an old dog, color of dirt he’ll howl when they hang me like he was hurt I know I know I should have released you but I couldn’t let go I got the door that you walked through baby that’s all I got left of you
5.
Accordion Song By Kathleen Dunbar and Gawain Matthews Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar and Gawain Mathews when we meet I hold the candle when we part put out the flame far from home I’m bought and sold kisses bitter, love the name when you ask I do not answer words you speak I do not know keep me in the cage you fashioned say you’ll never let me go lai dai dai-ee-dai lai dai dai-ee-dai lai-dai dai-dai lai-dai dai-dai lai-dia-dai-daiiiiiiii-dah-ee-daiii love I wear a little dress of gold and red how sweet and wise I lead you to my bed laugh and dance, how deep the sin spell is cast—we both fall in I’m your bird, oh-ho you bid me sing ‘pon the cage I beat my wings sky your blue eyes, close and cool crumbs of love like broken jewels midnight’s hush, how cold the wind turn the key—the dark pours in at the window—don’t ask why drop your hands and let me fly
6.
Quilt Song 04:02
Quilt Song For Missouri Pettway and the Quilt Ladies of Gee’s Bend By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar sew this quilt sow in the field ain’t no stopping no matter how ya feel workin all day so damn hard come home love rest in my arms love my man love him true love him in the mornin and the whole day through body and soul sure feels right my sweet love is the reason for my life take this pocket never seen a dime only thing in it my love’s fine hand scrap from his shirt his old blue jeans sew it my way with love in the seams sewing in a rhythm my family and friends stitchin in a circle beginning to the end sew this quilt when it’s done gonna wrap it around me and him—oh sick through winter then came the dawn they buried my love in the cold hard ground his laugh like music stole from me I still listen for that sweet sound miss my man miss him true miss him in the mornin and the whole day through body and soul ain’t nothin right my sweet love was the reason for my life take this pocket never seen a dime only thing in it my love’s fine hand scrap from his shirt his old blue jeans sew it my way with love in the seams sewing in a rhythm my family and friends stitchin in a circle beginning to the end sewed this quilt now it’s done gonna wrap around me what’s left of him—oh
7.
Burnt Sugar Hill By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar I had love in a palace but the palace burned down moved across the tracks to the other side of town I had love in a shack shook it like a storm started out cold but love made us warm I ate evil things I walked in bad shoes I had second clothes and my principles were used I had a lover the lover was in jail he messed up my life so I wouldn’t throw his bail Chorus I’m gonna save my soul with your sweet love sweet as the angels and the stars above I’m gonna save—save baby gonna save my save my save my baby gonna save gonna save my soul tell me who’s your boss tell me who pays the bills who cleans up after and who makes the spills if it’s wet in the water wet is what you find if it’s dark everywhere then you must be blind I was technically alone but I kept an open mind scrounging round the edges to see what I could find down at the corner what should I see but your own sweet self lookin at me Chorus and then we go down a road not knowin where we’re lightning strikes from above just like that you’re in love my mojo was workin it conjured up yourself an angel from heaven a devil straight from hell thought I was in trouble it was love I was in shoulda known better but I fell in love again I had my red dress on cause I like to advertise ain’t no mistakin the message in your eyes you was leanin on the fronta my Cadillac grill with your thumb pointing up to Burnt Sugar Hill Chorus
8.
The Storm in Our Head By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar the gas station job’s what he had she’s hopin she saw in him more good than bad she left school and she had their son how do you get that old when you’re still that young? she felt like she never was young his beauty was like a dark poem till he landed his fist and she wouldn’t go home she fell down the stairs and she broke tears were her words and pain what she spoke pain, pain what she spoke Chorus let’s all sing the storm in our head! can we sing till it clears and we’re shinin instead? if it happens the garden’s ploughed under the road will we still smell the flowers while carryin the load? la la la-la-la la la-la la-laaaa the devil he left her his clothes bein naked she took em to keep out the cold an angel tried to lend her his shoes I can’t walk with you angel cuz I always lose angel you take back your shoes the color of heartbreak is blue it’s the color of love when the love is all through beauty’s the shape of a rose beauty’s more sweet cuz the thorns that we know breathe cuz of the thorns that we know Chorus she prayed at her bedside for dreams before her whole life fell apart at the seams when she’d rest, when she’d sing, when she’d sleep she’s still diggin the hole that is grave-digger deep the hole that is grave-digger deep when you love you fall under the waves if you never fall you can never be saved sometimes it’s grace sometimes luck when a hand reaches out and you take it up and you, you take it up Chorus
9.
Blind Man’s Waltz By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar inside the darkness it’s velvet and deep I feel the stars in my bones and I weep I walk on ice every day that I move reckless as nightmare and fickle as love I cannot carry color and shade in my fingers the shape of your dear face is laid my hands are my eyes to my hands I am bound I send you my love with a touch and a sound Chorus flight of a bird I feel in my dreams movement unfettered in colorless wind I’d not give the diamond I’ve found for your eyes what I’ve mined of myself in the dark is my prize bitter as poison and selfish as prayer the hell of the heart when there’s no kindness there I judge not your face your beauty my dear is your sweet whispered word and the salt of your tear Chorus love is the balm for our own trembling bones when we’re afraid what is kind takes us home we hunger for comfort all of us blind darkness our supper and longing our wine
10.
I Make Prayers To This Place By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar I make prayers to this place, and the song that I heard my heart broke open at the singing of a bird the sky is as blue, as blue as your eyes I always love hard, but I seldom love wise Chorus I try to hold on I turn around and I find it’s all gone there’s angels and devils won’t leave me alone makin bets on which road I follow back home life’s precious as a flower, only lasts a while what I give of my heart, is captured in your smile may I forgive myself, that’s the hardest thing to do for all that I’ve done, for all that I will do Chorus oh the top of the valley is the end of the hill one starts up where the other one spills my poor heart aches for what I ain’t got it can’t stop wishin for what I am not Chorus on a long branch the red bird sleeps her eyes closed upon her dreams when I die I’ll take with me, the same as I gave the love that I poured and the friendship I made Chorus in the windy woods the tall trees lean top to top touchin like candles passin flame the kettle’s on the boil, the cups set for tea I give love to you and you give it back to me Chorus
11.
Blue Tattoo 04:02
Blue Tattoo By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar her fortune told her honey is sweet but the bee stings she looked at him a broken angel a blue tattoo a smile and a scar all he’d done a tangled noose on all he loved a cult of shame will find you when you stray too far he met her on the freeway goin highspeed he pulled her over with his eyes a blind man’s waltz of rhythm and pain was the song he played bottom of the barrel he gave himself with kisses and brine the two of them burned in a double bill that he couldn’t pay Chorus he breathed a sigh, so deep and soft when night fell, like a velvet cloth a search called off, he disappeared in the nick of time bein alive, with another breath another day, outrunning death felt like kindness, sweet and weird and a kind of crime he fell from grace the devil in his ear said he’d make it up you don’t make it up when you cross that bridge and you rob your soul a thief’s hands make a thief’s heart you seal the deal you won’t get to heaven they changed the locks on the keys you stole Chorus
12.
Cello Song 02:20
Cello Song By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar lost in swirling snow like my childhood globe shaken to a whirl-white glow I fell into your world I fell in love with you on this winter’s day it’s true like a feather from the blue I fell in love with you Chorus I want to dance I want to cry I want to sing I want to fly I want to kiss I want to fall I want to fly I would fly right there through the sparkle diamond air I’d turn into a girl—you’d turn there you’d turn and you would find me there and you would fall in love I love the wind that drives the snow snowflakes on the coal black crow stars on her wings that glow I want to be that free I want a sky to fly in deep and wide and very high in you’d see me and sigh and fall into my world Chorus
13.
Charlie Bill 03:31
Charlie Bill By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar I did the Tennessee Waltz with a man with a gun he told me hang on honey and we’ll have us some fun let’s get out of this dump and I’ll show you the world cuz it happens to be that I’m on a man on the run he said a si-tu-a-tion is what I have got I’m on the far side of Mars where the fire is hot ol’ Johnny Law thinks I’m good as caught well that’s one thing baby I can tell you I’m not Chorus the angel got the wings not me angel got the wings to fly away and be free oh the devil got a chain, he put the chain on me devil put the chain on me I like a little risk, I like to use a disguise I find it pretty handy for the time that it buys when the men in black come and give me the eye I tell em ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies I said Charlie Bill I’ll gladly give you my help I find I’m in a little trouble myself cuz the local D.A.’s got it in for my health this ain’t no kind of life if you stay on the shelf Chorus he said I like your style and I dig your red dress bet those long legs run fast away from a mess he looked me up and down, he said oh my my my desire for you’s the only thing I’ll confess been around the world me and Charlie Bill be it drinkin’ or diamonds we pursued the thrill in a runaway train with the whistle’s shrill if the law don’t get you then the high life will Chorus
14.
Take You 03:31
Take You By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar the very kiss that makes time stand still is what starts it up again you’re burnin, burnin, burnin for the key to love but your gonna get the chain you want the mojo and the sayso you want sweet honey and perfume you’re singin, singin, singin about love but you’ll sing sorrow real soon ohh, oh oh oh you think I’m heaven-sent, an angel but I wear the devil’s black I’ll take you, take you, take you up to heaven but you’ll see hell before you’re back I cannot stay here by the shade tree I cannot stay here by the well I gotta, gotta, gotta keep on goin and that’s all that I can tell ohh, oh oh oh there’s a man in my dreams that I got to meet when I sit beside him I’ll lose my ramblin feet he’s the doctor of love the medicine man when the sickness don’t kill ya the cure surely can there ain’t no day without the night babe there ain’t no right without the wrong you suffer, suffer, suffer with the sweet pain it’s what you wanted all along oh take your sorrow to the river and with the water wash your shame keep lookin, lookin, lookin for the one who will sweetly call your name ohh, oh oh oh there’s a man in my dreams that I got to meet when I sit beside him I’ll lose my ramblin feet he’s the doctor of love the medicine man when the sickness don’t kill ya the cure surely can he says take off your coat you don’t need your dress I can’t be more naked or more of a mess I keep tellin myself just a little bit more when I die from too much I’ll know what dyin is for the life that I had I threw it away when I’m gone bring some whiskey to pour on the grave call down the lightning the thunder and rain you can write on the stone here lies an angel in chains
15.
Red Bird 03:57
Red Bird By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar I come down from old cold mountain I was a child without no home there are wings on birds in the mountain there are wings on birds who have flown I had no ma or pa to love me I had no one to ease my way I had my body ripe as a pear when I needed money my body would pay Chorus when the rain is through I’ll be gone when the rain is through I’ll be free sage smells sweet and the moon is bright I see and I hear spirits in the night they come to claim me many the men who pass through this town askin for Red Bird by that I am known I wear a red dress not for my pleasure I wear a red dress it’s all that I own here come the riders so dusty and wild the range and the bottle is all they call home to pay for the women’s sweet flesh till the mornin they ride through the rain and the lightnin storm Chorus I don’t give my laugh or my whiskey for free till I met a cowboy beside me he lay eyes like the sky and hair gold as sun he told me my love I’ll take you away he sat playin cards by an evil-eyed stranger who shot my love I can still hear the sound the stranger’s horse I’ve stolen, I’m ridin when I hang by his hand will you cut me down Chorus and I fly and I fly and I fly and I fly I fly and I fly and I fly and I fly and I fly and I fly through the night I fly and I fly and I fly and I fly and I fly and I fly through the night I fly and I fly and I fly and I fly and I fly and I fly through the night I fly and I fly and I fly
16.
Snake Charmer By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar I have handled snakes. Bet you didn’t know that. I have pulled out whole baskets full of them in the company of a preacher man. And lo, look at what this woman can do when the faith of god is moving in her when the power of Jesus is represented, he’d say. And all I did really is pull off the top reach my hand in and talk to that wicker bucket full of poison saying calm yourselves now, ladies and gentlemen (meaning the snakes, not the audience) here come my two arms like snakes themselves and we are going to get all wound up around one another and have a little fun. We are going to put on a show for the gentle folks of this audience who have come to see wonder and hope revealed in outrageous acts. Jesus is who they’ll pin it on as he is the common and acceptable vehicle to drive the dreariness out of their days and souls. Me, I don’t give a damn about Jesus one way or another. I don’t even care about the preacher man. He took me to his bed whispered about the power of god and such as he was working at me with his own version of glory. He wasn’t bad (considering it was hard times) but I’ve had better, more wild and tender. I knew a cowboy who was also an Indian who could calm a horse by laying on his hands and speaking. And if you ask me, that is where the spirit lives in the laying on of hands on people and creatures so that their fears blow away like powder in a wind and they don’t have to fight anymore for tenderness and the one with the laying-on hands does not require their souls in return but offers his touch as an act as automatic and healing as drinking water or breathing and can do it with a vision of someone who can say it can be like this, and knows it. That is what I believe and that is the truth. But I was low on money and that is one thing that will compel a person into all sort of acts. So, there was the preacher man and there was I standing in front of the pickle barrel in the one store in town on a day hot as a furnace. Why are you here, child, he said but I knew he meant woman, really by the way he looked me up and down. I said I am here in this Godforsaken town wondering what I will do for sustenance. Godforsaken indeed, he said there is money to be made if—if you have the talent. Now I have plenty of talent looks being one of thing and a whole armful of others I learned from my kin and luck and my body. I could go pretty far if I didn’t always hold myself back by small thinking. You know, the kind of poverty view that can only see itself through the end of the month, or week, or day. If I could see bigger I could find a place to stay and a man to do it with and we’d make a bed to lie down in and get up in for as many breakfasts as two lives could hold. But my problem is small seeing so I ended up with the preacher in the second best hotel, told him about the snakes after we had finished. He said, I knew you would be of profound use in the service of God. Well, first I had to get the snakes and being summer they were all about on the hot desert. I gathered them up in a sack I kept handy and took ‘em back to town, careful they didn’t have the chance to bite the horse and I stowed them in Indian baskets. We traveled and I am the one who drew them in one-third of the money was for me two-thirds to him for the wagon and tent and the audacity of his oration. Now, the preacher knew he was not the lure to keep me long. I went on for a while because it felt better than worse and it was lucrative. But when I figured I had enough money (for what I didn’t know) I got up one morning while the preacher slept and I had been dreaming about the cowboyindian with the hands that were true and I made a wish on the dawn star in his sweet name. That is, the last star of night. That is, the breakfast star. I wished me a bigger picture. I emptied the snakes out of the sack when I got out of town and stowed the sack in the saddlebag next to the money (out of habit) and I rode with the memory of the eyes of the cowboyindian for sustenance (they were hazel) thinking, this time I am crossing more than the dirt river. By god, this time I am going into Bigger.
17.
We All Love You By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar we all love you we all see that you shine turn around, see that we’re smiling take your hand, put it in mine don’t forget when you are hurting all the love that is around when your world is topsy-turvy we’ll help you turn it around your heart is where your spirit lives it’s shining like gold that’s what it gives it gives a gold that we all see shine it’s not the place you expected to be it’s kind of weird all the things that you see I know it’s hard, I know you’re scared it’s the biggest adventure that you’ve ever dared you’ve got a body and sometimes and it hurts you get confused, forget the words the same thing happens to everyone some way one day rain, the next day a sun-day sun is shining bright through rain it makes a rainbow dance down the lane it brings a gold that we all see shine remember us here when you feel lost when you get confused and the signal gets crossed it’s a magical mystery tour that you’re on we’re here when you come home from where you’ve been gone you’re in the middle of lots of unknown you stand in one place and the words have all flown fly away far and they’ve left you alone and you don’t know up from what is down we all love you we all see that you shine turn around, see that we’re smiling take your hand, put it in mine we all love you we all remember you well we bring flowers and smiles they speak of love – that’s what they tell we all love you we all see that you shine turn around, see that we’re smiling take your hand, put it in mine sometimes you cry, sometimes there’s pain sometimes you laugh, you make a funny face with the love your sweetness brings just remember you have wings

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The Storm in Our Head is the second album by San Francisco singer-songwriter Kathleen Dunbar. Touching, humorous, spellbinding storytelling—her songwriting brings you into the irony, the tragedy, and the possibilities of life: 16 songs and 1 story-poem.

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released March 23, 2012

All songs by Kathleen Dunbar
Except Accordion Song by Kathleen Dunbar and Gawain Mathews
Arranged and Produced by Gawain Mathews and Kathleen Dunbar
Engineered by Gawain Mathews Music Studio
and Bond Bergland/San Pablo Recorders
Recorded by Gawain Mathews Music Studio
and Bond Bergland/San Pablo Recorders
Mixed by Gawain Mathews Music Studio
Mastered at Trakwork by Justin Weis
Photos by Tamarind Free Jones
Art Direction/Design by Joseph Feusi and CDDesign
P & C Sing Like a Bird Music/ASCAP

Kathleen Dunbar/Songwriting and Vocals
My band, The Better Devils, is: Gawain Mathews/guitars, banjo, mandola, keyboards, accordion, percussion, backing vocals, Dan Feiszli/bass, Dave Tweedie/drums, Mary Pitchford/fiddle, Rich Armstrong/trumpet, trombone, backing vocals, Vicky Ehrlich/cello, Joe Bagale/backing vocals

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Kathleen Dunbar San Francisco, California

You may notice my songs are about angels and devils, birth, life, death, about creation and crumbling destruction—the troubles we humans get ourselves into and the choices we make—some of them funky, some of them ending in the dark, others rising into the light of morning. Touching, humorous, spellbinding storytelling—my songs brings you into the irony, the tragedy, and the possibilities of life. ... more

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