By the Grace of Dynamite

by Hemlock Smith

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1.
County Fair 03:03
County Fair I met a girl at county fair Kissed her among the thyme I had to touch her silken hair I had to make her mine Oh Lord, what was I doing ? I fell under her spell I met a girl at county fair Now she hates me just like Hell. I met the girl on Christmas Eve Her belly firm and round She turned her back, prepared to leave But did not make a sound Oh Lord, what was I doing ? The guilt ! This awful stench ! I wed the girl on Christmas Eve Now she hates me like the French ! I met a girl at county fair Her hands caressed my chest Her eyes just had the strangest glare Our lips then did the rest Oh Lord, what were we doing ? Disgrace is where we fell I met a girl at county fair We suit each other well. I met a girl at county fair We suit each other well.
2.
Celebrate 03:35
Celebrate They’ve all come to celebrate An hour or so to illuminate The doom that awaits them as soon as they’re back home The gloom Where feeble candles shimmer Along silent, lonely dinners And hopeless dawns where the thoughts forever roam They’ve all come to celebrate An hour or so to anticipate The doom that awaits them as soon as they’re back home The gloom Where hardship rhymes with dying Forever weak, forever trying To say your prayers when you know you’re all alone… Oh Celebrate… Celebrate… Celebrate… Celebrate… Oh Celebrate… Celebrate… Celebrate… For when the clock strikes twelve Cinderellas flee in a dash For when the clock strikes five Back to the field, the mine, the ash We’ve all come to celebrate An hour or so to contemplate How our lives could be if we stood a chance Just a glance ! At brightly coloured futures Illusions hardly nurtured… If there is no doubt---how it all turns out… Well, then let’s--- Celebrate… Celebrate… Celebrate… Celebrate… Celebrate… Celebrate…
3.
Across the Rio Grande Whatever the cost for you and me, my dear I’ll pack my things and go Whatever the cost for you and me, my dear I’ll pack my things and go Oh, I’ll fly Oh, I’ll fly right across the Rio Grande. If they lock me up or gun me down Another bareback’s come to pay My spirit will rise and ride the sun All the way to Santa Fe Oh, I’ll fly Oh, I’ll fly right across the Rio Grande.
4.
Gropiusallee 01:13
(instrumental)
5.
Mr. Philips 01:54
Mr. Philips Mr. Philips Steady on his way home Mr. Philips With a burger in his pack Mr. Philips Always the saint among the neighbors He did not kill them Never saw the attack. Mr. Philips Mr. Philips Mr. Philips
6.
Baudelaire, Brussels, 1866 Let us love gently. In his lair laid low, Ambushed in shades, Love strings his fatal bow. I know his ancient arsenal complete, Crime, horror, lunacy — O my pale daisy! Are we not suns in Autumn, silver-hazy, O my so white, so snow-cold Marguerite? (Sonnet d’Automne—Charles Baudelaire, as translated by Roy Campbell, 1952) *********************** If my sorrow came to vanish And my fears would go to sleep Oh ! Find a paradise untarnished And some happiness to keep This could be the most beautiful day in my life This could be the most beautiful day in my life So far… So far… If my troubles came to reason Would my anguish fade ; in time ? I could have a change of season And finally find a perfect rhyme This could be the most beautiful year in my life This could be the most beautiful - This could be the most beautiful year in my life So far… If my sorrow Oh, my sorrow Came to pass How long for a beautiful How long for a beautiful I long for a beautiful day in my life How long, for a beautiful How long, for a beautiful How long, for a beautiful day in my life ?
7.
By the Grace of Dynamite I found a dynamite cap – on the railroad track And it blew up in my face. I lost my sight – and everything – that day – it seemed But what I found was - grace.
8.
Still, the Waters We anguish that the moon Might shoo away the sun We ponder and we swoon When all is said and done And through our open doors The winds of change will blow For richer or for poorer Noone shall ever know And still the waters Still the waters Flow Still the waters flow And may our inner stream Of consciousness arise In every wondrous dream The devil’s in disguise What will the river bring ? What will the future show ? We shiver as we sing We die just as we grow But still the waters Still the waters Run Still the waters run… Still they run… They run… And still the waters Still the waters Flow. Still the waters flow.
9.
Blacks and Whites Would you play some chess with me ? Blacks and whites, for all to see How it all comes down to this Nothing here – in life is free. Won’t you play some chess with me ? Blacks and whites are plain to see, the Longer game, the fewer pawns Nothing here – will last till dawn. Would you talk it through with me ? Blacks and whites are all we see In this shaded universe Nothing here is- neither wish nor curse. Won’t you talk it through with me ? Blacks and whites won’t do for me Neither sad nor glad to sing Queen is lost – on goes the King. ********************************** A Single Breath, this Futile Bird (instrumental)
10.
Fall Back on my Feet Oh if I fall back on my feet I’ll let you know I’ll leave a message or a card right at your door But I won’t talk about all the things that I’ve been missing – since you left me – If I fall back on my feet I’ll let you know Oh if I fall back on my feet I’ll let you go I won’t be the dusty carpet on your bedroom floor And I won’t say a word about the times when I wasn’t breathing– since you left me – If I fall back on my feet I’ll let you go – I’ll let you go….
11.
(instrumental)
12.
Bury the Dead Bury the Dead And let them be Don’t let them come back And pull at your sleeve Sign them off And then close the lid Don’t let the yearbooks Loosen your grip Close the door And hear yourself breathe Don’t let them whisper In your ear while you sleep And I know it’s hard… Yes, I know Oh I know it’s hard… Yes, I know… Oh, I know… Bury the Dead And let them rest Sing when your sorrow Puts you to test Scatter their ashes Beneath a tree And then let it grow For the shade it will give Bury the Dead But remember their names The eyes of your children Will carry their flame And I know it’s hard… Yes, I know Oh I know it’s hard… Yes, I know… To bury the dead… -to bury the dead… To bury the dead… -to bury the dead…
13.
(instrumental)
14.
(only the "F" word)
15.
It’s all a Game Someone’s great lake is another man’s pond Someone’s tall brunette is another man’s blonde Someone’s feather is another man’s chain Someone’s loss is another man’s gain. Someone’s cold wind is another man’s breeze Somebody’s itch makes another man sneeze Someone’s black coat is another man’s vest Somebody’s worst is another man’s best. And it’s all It’s all a Game Someone’s corner is another man’s line Someone’s paycheck is another man’s fine Someone’s garment is another man’s fleece Someone’s battle is another man’s peace. And it’s all It’s all a Game Someone’s silence is another man’s talk Someone crawling helps another man walk Someone’s yearning is another man’s bore Somebody’s truth is another man’s lore. Someone’s calling is another man’s fear Someone’s “far away” is another man’s “here” Somebody’s rise is another man’s fall Someone’s “nothing” is another man’s “all”. But it’s all It’s all a Game
16.
I found my baby dying I found my baby dying In the parlour ; home on parole She wore her silk pyjamas I couldn’t count the holes I found my baby dying And the silver on her ring Was like a stern reminder Of the damn fool I have been I found my baby dying And now they’ll come for me I shan’t move, I’ll stay beside her There’s nowhere I’d rather be Than with my baby Than with my baby Than with my baby
17.
The Hollow Bells Oh, we dance To the sound of our trembling hearts break It’s the biggest mistake Yet, we dance… Yes, we dance To the hum of our solitudes cling Even cornered, we sing And we dance It’s Romance… It’s the sound of despair As we cry in the streets It’s our cold blooded murders It’s our biggest defeats In the silence to come When we can’t carry on We long for the days, when We danced and we sung, oh… Renaissance Is a word that I don’t understand If we’re born then we die And it’s out of our hands Yet we dance and we sing Let the hollow bells ring And the dead all join in As we dance As we dance We give in to a fleeting sensation of joy And the boys all like girls and the girls all like boys, oh… Circumstance Is the rule that allows him to strike The sure-footed demon Or God, if you like And we dance To his beat Let the hollow bells ring And the dead all join in As we dance And we dance…

about

Mostly written and designed in Michael Frei’s cellar, the album features a great many acoustic sounds that were mainly recorded live, reminding you of the sound recording techniques that were used before the Second World War, before the studio era. The golden rule was: a piano, a microphone and a singer. To bring the record into the modern age, ambient soundscapes (as well as some soulful guitar playing) were tastefully woven into the mix by Fred Merk, who produced the record and co-wrote most of the tunes. Also collaborating were Andy Ellison (Steel Guitar, from Nashville, Tennessee) and Jean-Samuel Racine on Clarinet. The tracks were then mastered by Husky Höskulds, well known sound engineer from Los Angeles, who has worked with such greats as Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Fantômas and Solomon Burke.
Calm and melancholy, these new songs by Michael Frei were captured in the raw, without a net. They most certainly represent his most painfully honest secret garden, revealing all and holding back none.
The lyrics will introduce you to a young Moondog, to Charles Baudelaire shortly before his death and to peasants holding fairs during war, starvation or the plague. But mostly, you will meet a whole bunch of haunted souls, caught in the turmoil of time flying by too quickly.

credits

released August 22, 2016

Mixed and Produced by Fred Merk
Mastered by S. Husky Höskulds

Michael Frei: Vocals, Piano, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Philips Philicorda Organ, MicroKorg Synth, Roland Digital Drummer CR-1000, Percussion
Fred Merk: Acoustic, Electric and Slide Guitars, Vocals, Ukulele, Pianetta, Glockenspiel, Harmonica, Flute, Percussion, Cassette Recorder, some Synths, Field Recordings
and Sonic Treatments
Andy Ellison: Pedal Steel Guitar
Jean-Samuel Racine: Clarinet
Philippe Simon : Trumpet

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Hemlock Smith Lausanne, Switzerland

Hemlock Smith come from Lausanne (Switzerland). Since 2002, they’ve released 6 regular albums with intelligent pop, as well as 2 soundtracks for silent film and 2 collaborations with Noise duo Les Poissons Autistes. Fronted by singer-songwriter Michael Frei, Hemlock Smith's distinctive voice is complemented by the ambient guitar playing of Fred Merk and the delicate piano work of Emilie Roulet. ... more

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