Five Feet Small

by Gillian Grogan

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about

"Five Feet Small" lends a 50 minute sojourn in the soulfully styled folk stories and reflections of Cambridge artist Gillian Grogan. The 12-track solo album was written throughout her final years of studies at MIT and various travels in search of environmental and sustainable solutions. Gillian recorded each intimate, single-take track not in a studio, but rather in a set of public and private locations around the New England area to capture the most special and serendipitous moments.

Thanks to Mom, Dad, Ben and all the wonderful hosts along the Five Feet Small summer tour path!

credits

released July 30, 2015

Songs written and performed by Gillian Grogan.

Title track features Chris Chronopoulos on mandolin and Gabriella Martini on vocals.

Mix-free mastering by Ben Bloomberg.

Artwork © 2015 Gillian Grogan.

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about

Gillian Grogan Cambridge, Massachusetts

Full-bodied folk in a mossy chalice. What more could you desire?

"An unforgiving tuggin' at your roots, no matter where you come from, her lyrics wash over you like gentle reminders of another life you haven't had yet." -Woven Collective ... more

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Track Name: The Clock
the clock hand fell to six and never left
the sun sat high and slightly to the west

he ran round in circles
she danced through the ripples
and so they tried, tried to start that clock


the time was lost, the kids they never slept
they broke the laws and bounced from bed to bed

and even though it’s nothing
it feels as though it’s something
so they tried, tried to start that clock
through the night, they did never stop


but oh yes they
tried, tried to start that clock
through the night, they did never stop
in the dark, there were questions of
what it meant, meant to be in love


from dusk to dawn, they lived in lightless sin
dressed in their drawers, they left behind where they’d been
and all night long they whistled to the moon
a question for the sun and sky so blue

then he got down on one knee
but she kicked out his footing

oh yes they tried, tried to start that clock
through the night, they did never stop
and in the dark there were questions of
what it meant, meant to be in love
Track Name: Mindful Matter, Silent Sounds
in the midst of every color,
every sound
to be so still
it takes a lot
you’ve got time to kill
you’ve got years of your life
you’ve got everything you could want
you’ve got time, my dear,
you’ve got years for fun

in the face of every message,
every post up on that wall
it takes a lot
close your eyes and ears
to those who’ve lost heart and
remember the child from the start
look inside, my dear, ‘till you reach
the heart

don’t bother whining how the
grass’s been growing greener over there
just take a walk
if you leave today,
get up and roam away
you can have the say that you want
though it’s hard to say goodbye,
to those who you love
it ain’t forever
it’s just for so long, my child,
your story’s just begun

somehow from the middle of this crowd
i find the world’s just not so loud
it’s not so loud
silent sounds,
as opposed to ornery vocals
from ornerier locals, abound
though the cities screech
with fancy machines
and other means to bring them sleep
by the end of the week,
and i’m not weak for thinking
i’m not weak for slowing down
just to hear the silence of the sound
Track Name: Connie
connie, my darling

the years how they flew

but the days, how they moaned

oh, i been away from you




connie, sweet connie

i belong with you

at the end of the road

it’s you i want to be growing next to
Track Name: C'mon Old Friend
c'mon, sweet willy, won’t you walk on down my road?

i got places to see, and i don’t want to see ‘em alone.




well c'mon, lord henry, won’t you read this book by me?

we got lessons to learn far beyond what the eye can see.



c'mon, loretta, won’t you break this bread i baked?

‘cause the seasons done changed, and all my friends done moved away.



c'mon, old friend, won’t you lead me by the hand?

‘cause i’m open of mind, and i’m loose, i’m loose, oh, of the plan.
Track Name: Five Feet Small
like petals from the trees take the breeze,
i’m falling to my knees, singing through my teeth.

you might find it strange, working day to day,
taking home your pay for the time they stole away.
maybe you gone on and bought something fun,
but that don’t make up for the person you’ve become.
no booze, no words, no drugs, no love
can change who you’ve become once the deed is done.

i know right from wrong, and i’m pretty strong,
but i still don’t understand what makes a man tall.
is it written in his blood? did it come with his home?
is it measured in mind? or is it measured in soul?

am I five feet tall?
or am I five feet small?
when I stand on my own,
can you see me at all?
Track Name: Sycamore
i wish i had a lemon tree
a place up there that feels right to me
but lemon trees don’t grow ‘round me no more

i wish i had a walnut tree
‘cause walnuts they taste so damn good to me
but walnut trees don’t like our soil, oh no

whoa no, where should i go?


i wish i had a sycamore tree
a place up there where i ought to be
sycamores and me, we go way back for sure

‘fore automobiles and other nice things,
fancy new haircuts and shiny rings
i was born with sycamore in my blood

oh yes, my blood is good.
Track Name: Silver Lake
rain’s been coming down for hours
smoke and fire spinning shadows
heads hiked in with dread and doubt
none of that remains with us now
aloft this bow

pass the bottle until you don’t
roasting apples until they won’t
pitch a sail, and we’ll fly away
off this mountain into the lake
into the lake

we saw silver and gold
we felt slivers of hope

miles above the grind
stories overhead you’ll find
stones upon stones up from there
the height to which we gladly climb
we’ll climb

less is more among the leaves
so leave your things below the breeze
air smells different off the ground
passing through, a phantom sound
and we are neither lost nor found

we lay in peace, our souls well fed
while the wind shakes our bones like a water bed

blessed by the freedom of the Greens
we wear our stories on our sleeves
but you are the leaf that left the leaves
and if in one place you must be,
better to be of the trees
plucked from the branch, you float
swept by the dance that somewhere’s blowing

we saw silver and gold
we felt slivers of hope
Track Name: The Rising
softly spoken, underneath
subtle language
subtlety
colors on the breeze, just colors on the breeze
and of all of the bones in all of the seas

painted fingers, painted keys
paint memories haunting
of all of the men
of all of the foreign
she picked the one person

comes the rising
comes the time
from the knees
the slaves to the weary spine
what nonsense is coming? it don’t feel so hot
of all of the answers
no question’s for naught?

under the threat of sacred pace
of feelings that haven’t greatly changed
of doing something new
not new in the sense that it’s never been seen or done
just new in the sense that it’s
fresh to one’s core
maybe only ever softly spoken before
it’s just new
it’s new
it’s new
it’s new
but it’s not new
it’s a bore
tedious
nothing more than recurring
the tide’s always returning
the same old tracks idly blurring

tips grow green
veins won’t bleed
trunks may brown
skin may fade
unhidden constants yearn to shake, rock ‘n roll, remain and change
shake :: rock ‘n roll :: remain :: change
and of all of the dancers,
whose story will play?
Track Name: Sun Don't Shine
one of the two things you tried to show me is finally, finally with me
one of the two things that you tried to show me is finally sinking in

two of the three things you tried to teach me are finally happening
two of the three things that you tried to teach me are here
and not going nowhere

the only thing you ever told me is
that i was loved
and i’d never be lonely
the only thing you ever told me is
that i was loved

g r a n d ma
i guess it was too far to ask you to come
and the sun don’t shine so bright when you’re not around
and i have to take some time
i have to take some time to figure out
what i’m supposed to do without you now

one of the few things you tried to help me with is finally, finally finishing
one of the few things you tried to help me with is finally coming to an end

some of the things that i’ve found on my own,
that i wish i could share, oh, i wish i could share with you
some of the things that i’ve found on my own i intend to share
like a breath with the air

the only thing you ever told me is
that i was loved
and i’d never be lonely
the only thing you ever told me is
that i was loved

g r a n d ma
i guess it was too far to ask you to come
the sun don’t shine so bright when you’re not around
and i have to take some time,
i’ll have to take some time to figure out
what i’m supposed to do without you now
Track Name: In The Rafters
on the walk back i found evidence i done you wrong
never did ask, just assumed that you wanted it all
so many mistakes that i had to make
i wanted to please you…
never thought that i’d leave you…

in this apartment, i learned what it means to feel love
but love with conditions and clauses could never be enough
a common misconception and my misguided affections
i wanted to feel good…
didn’t know what the deal was…

under the bed, i deposited history
laid it to rest, but there’s no telling when it’s coming back for me
if i walk today, what stands in my way?
don’t know what i’m doing…
don’t think that we’re through and…
this feeling won’t leave me…
but i fear it’s deceiving me…

up in the rafters, the ladies stand watching their men
subtly in raptures, do they understand what they have?
Track Name: Demons
i don’t know if you want to know me
what i know is that it ain’t free
in this head
i battle with demons
they know so much more about me

all i need is some kind of quiet
i figure everybody’s got needs
johnny at the bar needs some kind of whiskey
mary jane needs some kind of weed

all i’m asking for is some quiet
so i can take my hands to my knees
hollow out this house full of memories
sitting ‘top my neck haunting me

matters of deciding require quiet
concentration and peace
chopping wood to sit by a fire, then
falling down some rabbit-hole sleep

woken by a flame spread too quickly
out of its cage and up past my knees
burning down this house full of memories
smoking out all my disease


yeah, i don’t know if you want to know me
what i know is that it ain’t free
in this head
i battle with demons
they know some much more about me
Track Name: Fair William's Mourn
Summer fell’n autumn woke
He war left a’ murnin’
Lady cawed him to the door
‘n sing’t the day is dawnin’

Sing’t the day is dawnin’


Ay a’ hear yer fair lady song
‘n a’ ken the day is dawnin’
My lady lou is lang ‘n gane
‘n nou a’ lie ‘n murnin’

Nou a’ lie ‘n murnin’


Willie war the nigh’ e’er lang
na day ‘twad ken such sorrow
Yer Lady Lou ‘s lang bin gane
Ay tho I bring tha’ morrow


Ay a’ hear yer fair lady song
‘n a’ ken the day is dawnin’
My lady lou is lang bin gane
‘n nou a’ lie ‘n murnin’

Nou a’ lie ‘n murnin’


Stand ye up, man, hear my plea
Come walk by me this morn’
Lady lou didna teuk frae thee
Whit coud be yers by ther neist muin


Ay a’ hear yer fair lady song
‘n a’ ken the day is dawnin’
My lady lou is lang ‘n gane
‘n nou a’ lie ‘n murnin’

Nou a’ lie ‘n murnin’



Stan’ ye’ up fair lad, fair lad
Fer I brung by me this a’way
Frae o’er yonder dowie den
Fair Maiden of tha’ hollow


We’re rade o’er thaim high, high hills
‘n throu them fields o’ thorn
Come up upo’ thaes fauch ‘ol fell
Come tae yer dreary door


We left ahin not’ta once not’ta twice
But thrice oor pecks in gold
We left’em by not’ta one not’ta twa
But three my young’ns grown

Three my young’ns grown


Ay a’ hear yer fair lady song
‘n a’ ken the bonnie lass
My lady lou is lang ‘n gane
The daurk shanna e’er pass

The daurk shanna e’er pass


Willie lay’d by day, by day
‘n woud’na open tha’ door
No lady woud he e’er allou
ta’ plead ‘a him na’mair

Ta’ plead ‘a him na’mair


Willy lay’d by night, by night
All lay’d out in his best
His whittl’d heart sits naer ta’ him
A’white an’ lay’d ta’ rest

A’white an’ lay’d ta’ rest