Crosses

by Viking Moses

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    Debut concept album as Viking Moses, recorded 2002, originally released 2006.

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about

I met Emma for the first time in Chicago, 2001. Our friend Jason introduced us over pizza on a cold and rainy winter night. We didn’t see each other, didn’t speak a word again until the end of the following summer, when we ran into each other in Bloomington, Indiana. We fell in love on the railroad tracks, and didn’t part for three months.

“Crosses” is my story of our joining, my bowed head to the power that brought us together this brief moment in our lives, for the love we learned, and for the challenge to part ways and move on.

The first two songs on this album were our own renditions of church songs we’d learned when we were little. She showed me “I Love the Fishes...” and I showed her “Michael Row the Boat Ashore”. We changed the words around a bit and added our own verses to make the songs ours. We’d borrow our friend Ryan’s toy guitar and duck into congregations every now and again and sing these together. We painted our names on his guitar.

“Country Gown” and “My Husband’s Hand” were written while we traveled together. We spoke our own language and celebrated our own holidays. “Dancing By The Water Day” was a holiday we came up with on November 1st, while we danced and watched boats go by on the Merrimac River in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

The writing of the rest of this album started when Emma and I parted for the first time, and I stayed with a family in a small village in the Rheinland of Germany. “Whet Stones At Both My Sides” and “Delighted” were written there. The song “Little Arms” was finished the following spring in Las Vegas, Nevada while I was under the care of my own family there.

I went to Chicago, soon after. Spencer gave me shelter, where I wrote ”Crosses” and “Fingernail Moon”. Kate found me work at a tavern called the Hideout. While I was working as a runner there, they offered us a show. The three of us quickly and carelessly threw together the arrangements of these songs as you’ll hear them now. For this show, I used Ryan’s toy guitar, the same toy guitar Emma and I painted our names on, the same toy guitar we took to the church. Spencer played the upright piano in the back of the bar. We all sang.

We loved the recording of this performance so much, we asked our friend Kris to record it arranged and delivered the same way. The Hideout was very kind, and allowed us to bring the huge tape machine in to the bar before the doors opened one day, and record this album.

To deliver these songs to you as honest and heartfelt as we could, we recorded them live to tape, (the only overdubs being piano and bass for sound and location reasons.)

Thank you for taking the time to find something new, or if you were like me, allowing something new to find you!

truly,
Brendon Massei

credits

released February 14, 2006

Personnel:

Engineered by Kris Poulin at Lab East Recording Scenario, Chicago, IL in May, 2002. Additional recording at Hideout Tavern, Chicago, IL.

Performed, produced, and arranged by Brendon Massei (nylon guitar, singing) with Spencer Kingman (piano, singing) and Kate Urcioli (bass, singing).

All words and music written by Brendon Massei (except where noted).
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP.

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license

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Track Name: Still My Home
"Still My Home" by Viking Moses

If she sees me on her way, then forever in love we'll stay. When she meets me with her tears, I will give to her all my years.

I won't shush her when she whines, no I won't ditch what trouble finds. She may weep, yes, she may moan, but as she cries, she's still my home.

words written by Brendon Massei.
music set to the traditional song "Michael Row The Boat Ashore".
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP
Track Name: Little Emma's Smile
"Little Emma's Smile" by Viking Moses

I love the fishes, they swim around me! God made the fishes and God made me. I love the sun, it shines on me! God made the sun and God made me. Or when the rain comes, falls on me, I love the rain God pours on me!

I love the buzzing of the honeybee! God made the honeybee, and God made me. I leave the sleepy bear where he be! God made the sleepy bear far from me. And I love Emma, her smile so free, God let little Emma's smile find me!

Additional words and arrangement by Brendon Massei.
Set to a traditional English hymn.
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP.
Track Name: Country Gown
"Country Gown" by Viking Moses

Dance to me in a country gown. This knife in my hand, I'll take and put it down. And I'll spin you, and pull you to the ground, surrounded by our laughs that watch from all around.

As we get up, walk faced toward the sun don't dare think about what might be to come. Just look here, and no there's no need to run. There's no need questioning or ending what's begun.

Words and music written by Brendon Massei.
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP.
Track Name: Georgia
"Georgia" by Viking Moses

(instrumental)

music written by Brendon Massei arranged with Spencer Kingman.
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP.
Track Name: My Husband's Hand
"My Husband's Hand" by Viking Moses

A child off playing, I take my husband's hand. It pulled us to the dirt when I dressed my best for him, and shushed my mouth for laughing. Two gentle fingers press my lips the moment he fakes a strait face.

He turns to eye the children, I promise him a few, and this lights him right up, and I am frightened, a child off playing, and I take my husband's hand.

Words and music written by Brendon Massei
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP.
Track Name: Dancing By The Water Day
"Dancing By The Water Day" by Viking Moses

It's Dancing By The Water Day, Synti comes along, and we waltz on a world that is calm. We waltz on a world that is calm. When night bows her head to the coming day, and a rising light is born, we will watch as the boats move along. We will watch as the boats move along.

It's Dancing By The Water Day, our movements though the air push away all doubt and fear. Yes, they push away all doubt and fear and install in their place faith and comfort, and a drive that's ready and strong for when our bodies aren't near. Yes, for when our bodies aren't near.

It's Dancing By The Water Day, our bodies draw close, then break away. and when they do they cry and pray for Dancing By The Water Day!Yes, it's Dancing By The Water Day, Synti comes along, and we waltz on a world that is calm. We waltz on a world that is calm. When night bows her head to the coming day, and a rising light is born, we will watch as the boats move along. We will watch as the boats move along.

Words and music written by Brendon Massei.
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP.
Track Name: Carolina
"Carolina" by Viking Moses.

(instrumental)

Music written by Brendon Massei arranged with Spencer Kingman.
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP.
Track Name: Crosses
"Crosses" by Viking Moses

Without love, life is gone. Without life, love goes on and on.

So take me in your arms, bring me back with ivory horns. Then break me in you arms. Break my pride in all its forms.

Without love, life is gone. Without life, love goes on and on..

Crosses aside the road, across he's eyes, across he's nose, across he's little toes. Crosses stand in rows and rows and rows and rows and...

Without love, life is gone. Without life, love goes on and on.

Words and music written by Brendon Massei
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP.
Track Name: Whet Stones At Both My Sides
"Whet Stones At Both My Sides"

I still sniff at the pillow where my love's head lied next to mine some days ago, but how should I know where the love goes?

Whet stones at both my sides, on the floor the clothes I wore when she last saw me with her eyes, with her soft eyes hardly fastened to mine.

"This dance ends here," and with these words she sentenced me to the loneliness I fear, "but have faith, my darling! You must have faith, my darling, cause we will wait till you use this parting to find yourself, to find my darling!"

But I am just an empty house when you're gone, an empty body, I'm nothing strong. It's when you're here, you're my blood moving along, so I will wait lifeless until you get home.

"Then," she said, "you'll just continue to wait. I can't be your life, I can't be your blood, and if there's nothing in you, then there's nothing to love, so there is nothing you have worth waiting for. But have faith, my darling! You must have faith, my darling, cause we will wait till you use this parting to find yourself, to find your darling!"

It's when she said this, I could see standing long, my little self, there, waiting for me. Now, with myself, I am never alone, so I sing smiling till you come home, have faith, my darling! You must have faith, my darling! I could no longer wait, I could just use this parting to find myself, to find your darling!

Words and music written by Brendon Massei.
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP.
Track Name: Virginia
"Virginia" by Viking Moses

(instrumental)

Music written by Brendon Massei, arranged with Spencer Kingman.
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP.
Track Name: Little Arms
"Little Arms" by Viking Moses

When you hold my little arms, when you hold my little arms, wrist down, you show me just how little I, you show me just how little I really am. And so I find a little space in you to call my whole world when you're gone, and watch it stretch my little days, each little day is stretched a lifetime long.

And Georgia is a long, Georgia is a long way now. And Carolina is a long, Carolina is a long way now. And Virginia is a long, Virginia is a long way now. And tomorrow is a long, tomorrow is a long way now.

And Emma is a long, Emma is a long way now. Yes, Emma, you're a long, Emma you're a long way now, but when you hold my little arms, when you take these limbs so frail and small, we'll forget these lifelong days and wrap our selves into a little ball.

Words and music written by Brendon Massei.
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP.
Track Name: Fingernail Moon
"Fingernail Moon" by Viking Moses

It's night and the fingernail moon brings me to dance through your room. Make me home make me home soon.

Come, my dear child. I only ask for a smile to make all life worth the while.

And when I can dream no more, I wake to be found on all fours, blessed to be here on this floor.

The unrighteous man follows his own folded hands, while he waits for some whispered command.

But I knew from the start to follow the beat of my heart back to dreaming and right where you are.

Words and music written by Brendon Massei.
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP
Track Name: Delighted
"Delighted" by Viking Moses

I lie on my back as she moves the whole world. No one may know how I know her. Still, in my arms I might hold small girl. Still, in her eyes I might move her.

And it's home, home, I'm delighted that she's home! Home! I'm delighted that she's home! Home! I'm delighted that she's home! Home! I'm delighted!

Words and music written by Brendon Massei.
c. & p. Broken Porch Music, ASCAP
Track Name: Home
"Home" by Viking Moses

(instrumental)

Music arranged by Brendon Massei with Spencer Kingman, based on the traditional hymn "Michael Row The Boat Ashore".