Roots & Bells

by Town Hall

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1.
2.
03:41
3.
4.
03:51
5.
04:11
6.
04:19
7.
03:17
8.
04:16
9.
02:09
10.
11.
12.
03:48

credits

released 15 April 2012

Be sure to also download our free EP "Sticky Notes & Paper Scraps" & our cover EP "Town Hall Plays The Classics, Vol. 1" right here on Bandcamp!

All songs written & arranged by Town Hall (©2012)

Produced by Mason Jar Music & Town Hall
(MasonJarMusic.com)

Recorded & Mixed by Dan Knobler & Jon Seale at Mason Jar Music in Brooklyn, NY

Mastered by Alan Silverman (ArfDigital.com)

Town Hall is:

Stefan Weiner: Vocals, Mandolin, Piano (track 13)

Phoebe Ryan: Vocals, Guitar (tracks 5 & 8,) Omnichord (track 1)

Jesse Kranzler: Guitars, Banjo, Vibraharp, Glockenspiel

Drums - Ian Chang *
Bass - Spencer Zahn

Orchestration by Gabriel Gall (track 2), Jesse Kranzler (tracks 4 & 6), Ian Davis (tracks 8 & 10), & Kris Nolte (tracks 11 & 12)

Flute & Alto Flute - Mike McCoy
Clarinet & Bass Clarinet - Aleks Karjaka
Clarinet - Adam Price
Violin - Rebekah Durham
Viola - Trevor New
Cello - Char Prescott

Trumpet - Corey Dansereau
Trombone - Jon Hatamiya
Tenor Sax - Jas Walton

Vibraphone - Kyle Brightwell (track 9)
Piano - Gabriel Gall (track 8) & Kris Nolte (track 12)
Auxiliary Percussion & Sounds - Jason Burger
Organ, Wurlitzer, Clavinet - Matt Porter
Synth/Sounds Abound - Adam Schatz (track 3)
Background Vocals - The Fine Root Choir

Honeytone - Dan Knobler
Tel-Ray - Jon Seale

Artwork & Layout - Alysha Colangeli

*plus additional band arrangements on track 12

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Track Name: Mary A. Longden
mary a.
mary a. longden
the only woman who never died
on the grave where her husband lies
her name is there
but the stone's still bare
where that second number should be

mary a.
mary a. longden
born in 1865
st. peter said to have another go
hades told her the river was full
so she’s still alive

but she still lives much the same as she did back then
pumps water from the well every morning
there's a lesson here, there’s a lesson here
'cause all the woman want to know is how she keeps her old skin so smooth
what pills does she take
what creams does she use
every morning

mary a.
mary a. longden
scientists stand on her porch
knocking come on, come on, mary
tell us how you live so long

ah ah ah ah ah ah!
but she still lives much the same as she did back then
pumps water from the well every morning
there's a lesson here, there’s a lesson here
'cause all the women want to know is how she keeps her old skin so smooth
what pills does she take
what creams does she use
every morning

mary a.
mary a. longden
many say her tale is tall
those with eyes that are too small
but the grave says so
and that’s all I know
Track Name: Swim Team
what's that boy hiding walking about town in his swimming suit?
there's been no water here for a million years, or maybe more

no public pools
not even a bathtub
he thinks he's so cool
so why won't he show us?

we saw him teaching himself how to swim
on the kitchen floor
we saw the bowls that he'd fill to the brim
spring water from the store

tin foil medallions shining around his neck, he wears them every day
he thinks he's the captain of the school swim team
it's hard not to laugh

'cause there's no public pools
no swim team for miles
we think he's a fool
always all smiles


we saw him bellyflop onto the bed, again and again
tv tray diving board, arms above his head, he gracefully descends


he spent his money
bought a ticket
one stop more
off the bus he gets
a lake a thousand miles away
sittin' in that dusty coach all day

this is where he was born to be
he tastes the air, the humidity
the water surrounds his toes


and it's finally his time
he's taking off his clothes
no more of that dry livin'
he is goin' swimmin' now

ba ba da da da
ba ba da da da
ba ba ba

ba ba da da da
ba ba da da da
ba ba ba ba
Track Name: Fix This House
the basement has been flooding for years
let's bring those heavy boxes up the stairs and dry them out

give the walls a fresh new coat of paint
open all the windows, let the sunlight in again

weed the garden, polish silverware
brush away the cobwebs, we are almost getting there

we will fix this house
with our own four hands
from the inside out
you and i will mend

we clean out the closet of old clothes
tattered, no longer fashionable, oh, how we've grown

find a pair for all those single socks
we're doing laundry, look how much we've got in common now

all the time lost, never talking
our poor house just went on rotting
but its not too late
we're almost getting there

we will fix this house
with our own four hands
from the inside out
you and i will mend

we will fix this house
before summer ends
from the inside out
we will try again

no more sweeping dirt under the rug
swallowing what we really want to say
no more hiding the story behind
those pictures we never liked anyway
no apologies on a post-it note
inconspicuous on the fridge
just tell me how you have been doing
all of these uncomfortable years

someday our work here will be done
but for now, let's keep at it
we're almost getting there
Track Name: Good Boy
mother always called me her good boy
shows you just how little she knows
i started as a baby breaking toys
now i'm looking for something bigger to throw

na na na na na na
na na na na na na

started a fire on my neighbor's lawn
only 'cause i had nothing to do
he ran out screamin' 'cause his cats tail got burned off
i said, "you better watch out, or i'll do the same to you!"

na na na na na na
na na na na na na
na na na na na na

there was a kid in school, called me a freak
whipped him up so bad that he could barely speak
he kept on fighting, so i tied him to a tree
in the middle of the woods
the police couldn't find him for a week

na na na na na na
na na na na na na
na na na na na na
naaaa naaaa naaa

i am proud of what i have done
mama's boy, but i have my fun
i do what everyone else wants to do

so fill the bag with everything that you've got
stay right there, don't you pull no hero shit
don't you test me, you know i was born bothered and hot
give me all your money
or the lady right here
is gonna get it
Track Name: Small
there are times when i consider all the things i've done
and looking back now, i may have been wrong
but i did it my own stubborn way
only way i knew how

and since then i've taken some blame for my faults
but there's so many inside all of these bloody vaults
it's almost impossible
to trace their start

sometimes all i remember
is what i taught to myself
with no help from anyone
i guess it doesn't really help

i feel so small
i may be invisible

and each morning when i rise, i fill up your cup
it's my way of apologizing, i'm working on a better one
you're absent you're gone
sitting right across from me

and every now and then, you'll come back
you'll blink your little eye
staring at me, thinking, wishing maybe i'd just die
but i'm staying here for you
it seems right to do

sometimes all i can remember
is what i taught to myself
with no help from anyone
i'm sure it doesn't help anyone

i feel so small
i may be invisible

and when i fall, i fall like any man would
and when i fall, i fall like any man would
and when i fall, i fall like any man would
when i fall, i fall like any man
Track Name: Rockefeller
mr. rockefeller, can I borrow your suit?
got a date tonight
going out on the town
so i gotta dress right

found a hundred dollar bill
in the sewer drain
now, i could save and ration it out
but i'd rather spend it all
spend it all in one place

some sleep on the curb
i find that absurd, i sleep in the park
always knew my luck was turning
but this proves it, money's meant for burning

found myself a payphone
got me a reservation
so prepare the other patrons
for the coming of the king

cut my beard on a campbell's can
carved my name on a park bench
skinned me a rat, made me a hat
if you want to be royalty
you gotta do that


rockefeller
i've been watching you
studied your habits
every type of fork knife and spoon


hostess took one look at him
waving Franklin in his hand
she denied him at the door
you're not welcome here old man

i will sit right here until they let me in!
thought one hundred bucks could buy you anything!
i will sit right here until they let me in!
thought one hundred bucks could buy you anything!
Track Name: Alright
alright, i won’t fight it
alright, i won’t fight it

i'll learn to love the wires in your eyes
all the miles of pipes buried underneath the ground

'cause lips made red by artificial dyes
never taste quite right
like what it says on the box

but we didn’t read it anyway
with headphones in our ears all day
while everything in the world went chrome
we forgot our primary colors
we forgot the peach in our cheeks

alright, i wont fight it
'cause everyone seems to like it

look into my cereal bowl
milk and nuts and bolts, but i go on eating
bland, so i add more salt
and ignore that my mouth is bleeding

'cause i can get a transfusion, easy solution
life gets better
zap it in the microwave to invigorate
life gets better

ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah

alright, i won’t fight it
alright, i won’t fight it
Track Name: Charlie
she looks like an angel in a cloudy cradle
passed out on the bed in your room
your sweet little darling
all she knows is falling
down the stairs
or in love

so charlie got a tattoo on his wrist
hoping that she'd stay there like his skin
and i'm dying to know if i could win
with a heart like hers
with a heart like hers


she looks like Diana with a leopard in her hands
as she leaves holding all of her laundry
your sweet little moon beam
all she knows is moving
down the street
or in her sleep

so charlie got a tattoo on his wrist
hoping that she'd stay there like his skin
and i'm dying to know if i could win
with a heart like hers
with a heart like hers


she looks like an actress in her yellow sundress
as she smashes the bugs in her apartment
your sweet little lady
all she knows is fading
like a t-shirt
or a friend

so charlie got a tattoo on his wrist
hoping that she'd stay there like his skin
and i'm dying to know if i could win
with a heart like hers
with a heart like hers
Track Name: Underwater
stumble down to the water's edge
shed our clothes in a frenzy there
flash of lightning, but we don't care
rivermud in our hands in our hair

hold your breath
underwater
we will stay here
till we drown

evolution was quite a thing
pretty flowers and birds on wing
whisky flask turns the clock around
we will be fish by the dawn

hold your breath
under water
we will stay here
till we drown

they say our parents were once like us
went outside with holes in their socks
then decided their dreams were all talk
got jobs and stayed safely ashore

hold your breath
under water
we will stay here
till we drown
or grow scales
gills and fins
swim away
never be found
Track Name: The Strongest of Hands
hey, i missed you all day while you were at work
i painted this picture for you, can't you tell?
it's the bird that flew inside our house last week

that bird was stubborn but you rescued him with care
i kissed you on the cheek with feathers still in your hair
you looked just like an indian chief

you are my protector, you are my stone wall
you make all my troubled seem so awfully small

the strongest of hands
opening up any jar
hot sand at the beach
you carry me to the car
in your arms
so safe
from monsters i fear
you keep the coast clear
i'm never afraid

at the country fair nearing summer's end
you proved to me you were the mightiest of men
holding the hammer in your hand

you hit the target and the bell it rang so loud
soon competing with the cheering of the crowd
you look just like the head of state

you are my protector, you are my stone wall
you make all my troubled seem so awfully small

do do do do do do
do do do do do do do!

you say come along
and i will follow
you tell me right from wrong
and whole from hollow
you are the wisest one that i will ever know

the strongest of hands
opening up any jar
hot sand at the beach
you carry me to the car
in your arms
so safe
from monsters i fear
you keep the coast clear
i'm never afraid
Track Name: Just Watching My Breath
one day I'll bear your last name
and I'll write it after mine

photograph the children
matching sweaters in a line

the mountain air will rid you of
the broken glass collecting in your spine

don't you see this humble life with me
would be just fine?

we shed our shoes deciduously
for boots warm enough to brave the snow

walk slow with your arms around me
no darkness follows down this path

the kindling that we found is burning
our children softly wakened by the sound

and while the world is quickly turning
our little house stays firmly in the ground


you don't know me yet
i don't know you yet
me finding you here
is my daunting task
this city's too fast
just watching my breath

don't you see this humble life with me would be just fine?
spend your days with me amongst the pine

when I find you
i will take you far away
when I find you
i will take you far away
when I find you
i will take you far away
when I find you
i will take you far away
when I find you
i will take you far away
when I find you
i will take you far away
when I find you
Track Name: Food
i used to have two stomachs, one for dinner, one dessert
the first would fill up quickly and the second always growled and gurgled
that news is old. those papers fuel for charcoal fires
so i eat to remember

daddy made us dinner whenever mama came home late
sat at the head of the table when he thought no one was looking
a man can cry, he can sincerely empathize,
and a woman can bring home the bread

i live in the city now
i fend for myself

i cook family-sized meals for my family sized appetite
i eat for two to keep me company
but the thing that I'm still missing is somebody to complain to
about the trivial things

i go to any supermarket, they all look the same
i can imagine the exit will open on a familiar parking lot
and we'll drive home through the massachusetts hills
with our trunk full of groceries