Spuyten Duyvil

by Joel Henry Little

supported by
Calle Falksten
Calle Falksten thumbnail
Calle Falksten One of 2018 s finest albums. Å quite remarkable album by a remarkable young talent. If names like Jimmy Webb,Harry Nilsson,Stephen Sondheim, seventies songwriters in general and more modern names like John Southworth gets you going you need to check out this album. They do make em like that anymore. Favorite track: Being There.
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credits

released August 24, 2018

All music composed, arranged and performed by Joel Henry Little except violin on See / Saw by Amy Dulsky Little

Mastering by Franck Zeisel

Cover by Joel Henry Little (from a picture courtesy of NYPL: The old landmarks of N.Y. Spuyten Duyvel Creek).

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Life is a Minestrone Records Paris, France

Since 2014 Life is a Minestrone is releasing compilations of the best unknown artists found on Bandcamp

lifeisaminestrone.bandcamp.com

Now with the release of "Sputyten Duyvil" by Joel Henry Little it is becoming a label
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Track Name: Spuyten Duyvil
"All aboard to Tarrytown!"
(Croton-Harmon farther down)
Then those charming, chiming sounds.
The usual delays...
These lines have seen better days!

"Have your tickets ready, please!"
I could barely stretch my knees -
The squall retired to breeze -
A slowly diving scaup -
And then a sudden stop.

And so are hearts assailed,
A train has been derailed,
With four more lives curtailed.
Just hear me out…

I recall that farewell strain,
So resplendent in the rain;
So valiant in vain.
And though the creek's been paved,
I hear it out in the waves

From my half-moon in the trees
(Mise en scene as Deco frieze),
I see it all with ease:
The horrors of this town
(The trumpet-man who drowned).

And to this day remains
That ol' familiar pain.
Sometimes I can't explain -
Just hear me…

[Spuyten Duyvil,
I know I will
Live it again] (x2)

It was February 5th
When, adjoined by kin and kith,
He rose to meet the myth
I hardly even knew...
But what's a boy to do?

Are we truly all alone?
Will they reap what we have sown?
Or catch what we have thrown?
Though devils lie in spite,
Just hear me…

[CHORUS]

And with our manitou intact,
We singled up and doubled back,
For maps can never know the land,
And I will never understand.
Shantih
Shantih
Shanti

[CHORUS]
Track Name: See / Saw
Blinding lights, dizzying heights, and those smiling frowns...
Oh big sister, couldn't you let me down?
Hold the line, have no fear, put your trust in me;
First I saw, oh brother, now you'll see.

Later on, when the storm came in,
You told me, "Quit your worrying,
It's not all this or that,
The pendulum swings back
Like a seesaw."

Little life, miniature things, little falls and springs...
In our little village, we're queens and kings.

All the wonder of growing old -
We do precisely as we're told.
And now I see
How it dies:
Bark and it flies,
Kick and you''ll rise
On a seesaw.

You hardly distinguish spring from fall.
You barely remember me at all.
But there are only so many words
And I'd hate to think you could wear 'em out,
I'd hate to think you could wear 'em out.

I thought about calling all today.
I thought of a million things to say.
But there are only so many words
And I'd hate to think you could tune 'em out,
Neglect or reject or impugn 'em out.

Back in our paint-covered smocks
(Remember the faint smell of the phlox?)
With our quaint little box;
Though pueblo it ain't, more like a...

How can we ever get back?
Can we reset
Back to the sweets and the swans
And the swing sets,
The seesaws?

The world isn't all that is the case.
I see it in every single face.
But there are only so many words
And I'd hate to think you could wear 'em out (x3)

Blinding lights, dizzying heights, and those smiling frowns...
Oh big sister, couldn't you let me down?
Track Name: Oh Shorakkopoch
Old cars and candy-colored skies
And rainy days.
We'd sit and catalog the tides
And chart the waves.

(Oh Shorakkopoch)

Down on the ol' Muscota Marsh
Under the bridge,
We thought to walk until we saw the stars
Behind the ridge.

(Oh Shorakkopoch)

We knew the time of day,
We knew the things to say.

When we returned to Spuyten Duyvil,
They'd had enough and I'd had my fill.
I'd had my fill.

Remember how they pulled us aside,
Told us to run?
And how we rose to meet the tide
When it was done?

(Oh Shorakkopoch)

We knew the time of day,
We knew the things to say.

When we returned to Spuyten Duyvil,
We'd made an almost-perfect spiral;
I saw the blood run over my hills.
I've had my fill...
Track Name: Everyone! Everyone!
We tried to lift it up above our heads;
It fell in slow-motion.

(Everyone! Everyone!)

We hollered so as not to be misread;
It stirred no commotion.

(Everyone! Everyone!
Turn around! Look what we've done!)

Please don't be afraid,
Look at all we've made.
This is a sign,
This is a barricade.
Everyone! Everyone!

Please just listen.

And after twenty years, you'd think we'd learn
There is no salvation.

(Everyone! Everyone!)

It's all an exercise in taking turns,
For each generation.
Track Name: Being There
So it goes,
We lose ourselves in lines and rows
In ties and bows,
Aligned, easy to find,
Cornered in twine
Bordered around our plots
Without a thought,
Until, by sheer force of will,
We break and take one more pill
And all the noise goes away
(And all the choices you've made).
Floating around in the air,
Ain't it just like being there?
Like being there?

[It's a battle between our senses
And the impulse to build up fences.
It's the illness of 20 million,
Not a matter of opinion.
Try to listen and try to reckon
With the horror of passing seconds.
It's a living and breathing nightmare,
Every moment of being there,
Of being there.]

Though the chances are slim,
Let us begin:
Turn on the TV set
And just forget
The eyes above and below
That follow wherever you go,
And try not to be so afraid,
So upset and dismayed;
Life is a state of mind,
Play your game, you'll be fine.
Just like TV,
I see them but they don't see me.
Floating around in the air,
Ain't it just like being there?
Like being there?

[Chorus]
Track Name: Count Every Day
In my suit and polkadot tie
'Neath the star of David,
How ashamed I was not to cry,
Like we weren't related.

Such is life, the life we know,
Nestled in the undertow:

We float in the waves
Of the sea time forgave,
And I'm not afraid.
I'm not afraid;

I count the days
By the stones on their graves.

אני לא מבין‎ יהוה [God, I don't understand]
Thought I had much longer
With them here to see and be seen;
Has it all been squandered?

Many gifts are wrapped in shame.
In the end, we're all the same:
Trapped in the frame
(The perpetual game);
When the debts are reclaimed,
They forget your first name.
There is no one to blame.
There is no one to blame.

ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו [Blessed are You, Lord our God]

Blessed are they who will count every day.
Track Name: Elsinore
Hello, little Dane
Always tilting out of frame.
You will never know the pain,
But I know you.
I know you.

Rising in the dark
A thousand arrows miss the mark.
Come, we're dancing in the park.
Things are very hard
But I know you.

[I know you] (x4)

Silence once again.
I'm a pig outside the pen.
Could it be I've found a friend?
Like the air at night,
Like a dying light,
Pulled with all my might.
I know you.

[Chorus]
Track Name: Arms Akimbo
With a breath, I alight,
Vowing never to return to that height,
Nor those ghosts in the park
(All those dim reflections hiding in the dark).

Oh how I lost control!
How it took it's toll!
How I dug a hole and jumped in, arms akimbo!
Is it limbo?

Could you please take the wheel?
'Cause I'm struggling to determine what's real,
And the air is like cream -
All alone, it's like I'm drowning in a stream…

I saw my life unfold,
I felt the dread take hold,
I heard each word that was told to me -
Could you just listen?
Will you listen?

[Oh how I wish I could be there,
Happy to breathe in the free air,
Reading the signs - what do we care about all that?

Stay with me, don't be afraid.
(Listen!)
Think of the progress you've made.
(Listen!)
Everything's fine, you're okay.
Just keep breathing...]

I met death yesterday,
But I didn't have a clue what to say.
Chain reactions of shame:
Oh my God, they must've thought I'd gone insane!

The tea is overboard.
Florestan's been floored.
There is no accord where there is no good reason.
There's no reason…

[Chorus]
Track Name: Honor Thyself
Another Hanukkah where after all, I feel remiss...
But for the wherewithal, I know there's more to life than this.
There in the mountains, there you feel so free;
I light a lamp in search of honesty.

Believe the things they say, for every dog will have its day -
The glory of the Lord in variegated shades of gray.
Honor thyself per ardua ad astra
Honor thyself, beware the crows that caw.

[Open your ears to the call,
You don't have to answer at all!]

In beatific glee, or, realistically, in glad
I think upon the days when there'll be good things to be had -
You'll be the grail and I'll be Galahad!
I know, I know that life can't be so bad.

[Chorus]
Track Name: Better Angels
Look homeward, better angels.
Look what I see:
One million lives in danger
And a house divided in three!

You'd never believe
Just how misguided we can be
All by some guy we saw on the T.V.
How could it be so easy?

It's been there like a cancer
For all these years,
With nicknames and easy answers,
All the while, confirming all your fears.

Please try to stay tuned;
Don't be distracted by the wounds
(Or all the tactics and the goons!)
How could we be so used?

How could we ever be
More than we wanted to see in others?

How could it be so easy?

This is no bildungsroman.
This is no creed.
This is no tidy lowdown.
All I want is decency.
Track Name: Change Comes Slowly
Take heart,
Take heart,
Others will not deride you.

Take part,
Take part,
There is a world outside you.

Someday,
Someday,
We will know hearts of plenty.

Yahweh,
Yahweh,
We are not one but many.

O Almighty!

We know privilege and we know cups of tea.
We know shepherds and we know fealty.

Who can know the good a flower can bring?
Who can know the love in everything?

Amen

Alone,
Alone,
No one alone is holy.

Like stone,
Like stone,
My, how the change comes slowly.

O Almighty!

I don't know you, and you must not know me.
I'll sing praises, albeit out of key.

Who can know the good a flower can bring?
Who can know the love in everything?

Amen
Track Name: Sunday in the Park Alone
The art of fits and starts, and bits
Of letters you write but can't submit:
"The teetotaling drag and the drunk, fumbling hag
Laugh at a thought had by both (though it be sad),
'Now, who'd-a thunk that
They'd go on living like that!'"
Living like that…

A Sunday in the park, alone:
A fate, so etched in marble stone.
Lo-lauda-lu-lay, what a beautiful day!
But I've nothing to say...
I've nothing to say,

Besides it's alright to feel low,
And it is my rite to say so,
And I will let it be known,
And I'll moan and I'll groan,
"I don't wanna be alone!"

I'm well aware I'm here 'n you're there,
Yet words all seem like wastes of air.
O say can you see what's become of me,
Facing life so vacantly, like a loose grouping of fleas:
Untethered, unseen,
Ever living between
(The careful careen).

This is our fate and our dole:
Life is the fight to stay whole.
But the battle is fun
And more easily won
While loving someone…

Oh, silly me! No, it didn't have to be that way!
Lo, tenderfeet, all your prayers won't keep the heat at bay!
Go back and hear every word that you have feared to say!
No park, nor lea, can repeat the feelings we have made!

I had a dream I was drowning in a stream,
And then I scend:
This is not the end...

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