Some Kind of Cure
2010

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A lot changed for me in the years I was writing and recording Some Kind of Cure. Jackson was born. We moved back to Brooklyn (actually, we moved while Sarah was pregnant). Then we moved to Corsica and lived on that magical island in a tiny village for a year. All of that led to the writing of Some Kind of Cure (as explained at length in the album’s accompanying book, 140 Goats and a Guitar), and because of all that, this album holds a very large and special place in my heart.

After Corsica, we moved back to Atlanta where I promptly got back together with the great Will Robertson and we embarked on a very long recording process. We both had young children and other projects, so we worked for short stints on and off for months. We had no deadline, apart from school pickups, and so there was something very luxurious about the recording. We could linger with parts and mixes. We could (and did) do countless tweaks and remixes. I love working with Will. We have a great deal of trust and mutual respect for each other. I think it comes across in these songs.

There are some very personal songs on this record. And some remain among my favorite songs (“Parachute,” for example). “The Blood and the Wine” is a double love song for Sarah and Jackson. “Winter Winds” is a meditation on what I’d want to leave Jackson with after I’m gone. “All those Ashes” is also about getting older with grace. “Homesick” is a love song as well for both my family and a far off home, influenced greatly by living abroad. “Marie” is about a death in the little village we lived in on Corsica.

My thoughts about Corsica hovered over the entire recording process. In fact, the album’s title track has the actual church bell from our Corsican village and the sound of village children playing. There’s even a little bit of Corsican singing buried in the mix.

By this point in my touring career, Jordan Katz had become a fixture by my side. His trumpet and banjo are key in this album’s sonic world. Will’s upright and piano playing are also centerpieces. Lex Price came back to play various stringed instruments. My new friend Kim Taylor sang the incredible harmonies (particularly on “Parachute”). We got Andrew Bird’s old drummer, Kevin O’Donnell to play drums. And my pal Peter Bradley Adams even played a little piano.

Looking back over my career, I think this was the first record where I really knew who I was as a singer and a songwriter. I was more confident in the studio. I trusted my instincts. My guitar playing was improving, and so we let that and my singing form the core of all these recordings. Often I played and sang without a click, and then the band overdubbed around those tracks. That was different than previous projects, and I think it ensured that the song stayed central to the production.

While I was recording these songs, I was working on my book. Working through those memories and teasing them out into something quasi literary was an incredible asset while recording. It helped me remember why I wrote the songs, and that comes through on the recordings.

Lyrics

George Square
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2012

She was walking cross George Square in the rain
I was high, I was so high in a plane
Trying to see through the clouds
Looking for places we’d been
Like a sign like a sunburst or the letters in her name

Oh no, don’t change, your hair for me now
I am on your side
No girl don’t don’t hide your hands from me now
I am on your side

She was walking quite slowly all alone
All the lights in the windows were aglow
But the statues they were so silent
With the rain splashing their heads
how bad she wanted to hear them tell her which way was best

Oh no don’t change, your dress for me now
I am on your side
Oh girl don’t hide your eyes from me now
I am on your side
I am on your side

We were back in George Square when the rain gave way
Something in how the spring comes so suddenly
And the dress she wore was yellow
And the rain was in her hair
How bad I wanted to tell her that I would always be there

Oh no don’t change, don’t change please don’t change.
I am on your side
No girl don’t hide your heart from me now
I am on my way down
I am on your side
I’ll be on your side

Independence
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2010

Oh it’s the 5th of July
I was walking the streets, everything’s over now
Everything’s still

There was still smoke in the sky
I was holding your hand, you looked so beautiful, your lips start to grin
Independence

I think that’s singing we hear
Heroes and burdens to bear Maybe there is hope now, light coming through

Feels like the first of the year
Eerie, we’re all trying to find, how to start over. Where to fit in
Now that it’s done.

independence

But all the colors were gone
Only ashes remained
Up to our anklebones, you pulled me close

This has been true all along
Oh we’re not free as we seem and dreams aren’t as simple after you win

independence
came and went

The Blood and the Wine
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2010

Tell me that you still remember
When we caught lightning in a jar

You have put the sway back in the grass
And you have put the fire back in me

There were times when you were hiding
And I know I’ve been hard to hold

But you have put the wine back in the glass
You have put the blood back in me

There’s a blue house in the distance
There’s a stream beside it, too

You have put the sails back on the mast
You have put the breeze back in me
Oh oh oh
Oh my word
Oh oh oh
Oh my word
Yeah, you have put the wine back in the glass
You have put the blood back in me

Parachute
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2010

Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba…
Driving back to massachuetts in your father’s car
Top down, we saw all the stars
I’ve been waiting for the fall to get back where you are
Top down and alk about it all
Top down. Top down.

Your heart is like a parachute it only opens when you fall
Ba ba ba ba…

Driving back to Massachusetts in your father’s car
Broke down, yeah we broke down
Lying back against the windshield, cars were blowing by
You cried, wrapped up in my arms, you cried. You cried.

Your heart is like a parachute, it only opens when you fall
Your heart is like a parachute it opens when you’re falling down
Look at me, I’m falling now, come let me pull you

Oh you and I
Autumn sky
Trying to see too far.

Oh Autumn Sky, you and I, trying to see so far.
ba ba ba ba ba ba ba

Driving back to Massachusetts
I believe this is who we are
I believe
Your heart is like a parachute, it keeps us both from falling down
Yeah, your heart is like a parachute, it keeps us both from falling now.
Ba ba ba…

Hope for Better Days
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2010

There’s a steel mill, shut down when spring came
My dad worked his life there
I was doing the same

Now I don’t know what to do with my days
The kingdom comes to workmen
So the preacher he says

And there’s voices, sometimes well you know
and the devil comes a knockin’
when the money gets low

Sing with me please. Oh da lee Oh da la Oh da lee.

Oh it’s not like I liked working there
the fire and the shovel
the smoke in my hair

Oh but lord, it’s all I know
I miss being needed
Having somewhere to go

And there’s voices, sometimes well you know
and the devil comes a knockin’
when the bottle gets low

Sing with me please. Oh da lee. Oh da la. Oh da lee.

There’s a woman who gave me the will
And her name is Gracie
She believes in my still

And my name is Joseph
But it could well be Job
I don’t mean to harm you
With the hurt that I hold

Cause it’s a story
Told around every bend
A man works his heart out
And is broke in the end.

So sing with me please. Oh da lee. Oh da la. Oh da lee.
Sing with me please. Oh da lee.

There’s a steel mill shut down when spring came.
Dad gave his life there, I was doing the same.

There was a steel mill shut down when spring came
I gave my life there
suppose I’d do it again.

Steel Mill
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2010

Oh to disappear.
Board a fast plane, never look their way.
We leave all of our fear, all their warnings,
And all that’s worn and frayed

All we save is hope for better days.
It’s all we have, hope for better days. It’s all we have. It’s all we need.

And when those lights appear, when we crest the hill, the city in our eyes.
Hand upon the wheel, and the pedal down, and everything alive.
And through the evening sky, I hear them say.

It’s on it’s way, hope for better days. It’s almost here.
So sing for me now. And I will sing for you.

And throwing your arm over my shoulder, believe me we pulled one over.
Leaving their world far behind, and now the lights are shining.

So sing for me now. And I will sing for you.

Some Kind of Cure
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2010

In the morning
Bells kept ringing
You were calling
No one’s listening

No one knew the reason why
No one knew the reason that they rang

At the table
You were crying
I was unsure
How to reach you

You opened up your arms
You opened up your arms to let me in

Corsica, I’m calling from over here
Sorceress, come conjure up some kind of cure

So hold me like you used to
Hold me like you would
Hold me like you know what I’m going through

Some have told us
Keep your distance
There are secrets
That we keep here

That’s as close as you will come
That’s as close as you will ever get

Corsica, I’m calling from over here
Sorceress, come conjure up some kind of cure
It’s dangerous to open up more of your soul (self)

So hold me like you used to
Hold me like you would
Hold me like you know what I’m going through
 

Shenandoah
Traditional with additional lyrics by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2010

Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear you, away you rolling river.
Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear you, away I’m going away cross the wide Missouri.

Tis seven long years since I last saw you. Away you rolling river. Tis seven long years since I last saw you. Away I’m going away, cross the wide Missouri.

Oh, Shenandoah, I love your daughter. Away you rolling river. Oh, Shenandoah, I love your daughter. Away, I’m going away. Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh, Shenandoah, I’ll never leave you. Away you rolling river. Oh Shenandoah, don’t want to leave you. Away, I’m going away cross the wide Missouri.

Soldier’s Song
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2010

Wo oh the weight of man. Come lift me up. Come take my hand. Wo oh the weight of man

All of the lines in the sand
And all that we carry
And all of our cares
And tell me how to prepare
Tell me how to prepare
For who here is chosen
Is he who is damned

Wo oh the ways of man
The dark behind
The brightest plan
Wo oh the ways of man

This is the strength in my hand.
This is the strength of my hand
This is all I can hold
I don’t care that you told me
That you think I’m wrong
This is a soldier’s song
And these are the sounds that we hear
Try to keep your head down
try to understand

Wo oh the wars of man
And why we fall
And why we stand
Wo oh the wars of man

These are the sounds in the sand
You try to block the screaming
You try to block the sky
This is a soldier’s cry
This is a young man’s cry
Cause no one wants to hear that
I’m afraid to die
This is the sound of my cry
This is the sound of my cry
So brother stand beside me
Brother help me stand

Wo oh the weight of man. Come lift me up. Come hold my hand. Wo oh the ways of man.
Come break me heart. Don’t take my hand. Wo oh the wars of man. Leave me here. Let go my hand. Wo the weight of man…

Marie
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2010

In a wounded town when the winds won’t blow
And the rain won’t fall but the clouds won’t go
There’s a fallen man hears a minor tune
There’s an empty bed in an empty room

With the shudders closed and the fire low
the winds won’t change and the stars won’t glow
there’s a lonely girl and her dress is torn
and a baby knows when her mother mourns

Oh Marie it’s not like me to fall apart
Oh Marie it’s not like me

A wounded town and the hill below
Rain won’t fall and the wind won’t blow
When a village turns into walls and woes
And a father’s hands can’t patch the holes

Oh Marie it’s not like me to fall apart
Oh Marie it’s not like me

And the old church roof caved in long ago
but the bell still rings, so sad and slow
When a body burns into smoke and soul
No, a father’s hands can’t patch that hole
A father’s hands can’t patch this hole

Oh Marie, it’s not like me to fall apart
Oh Marie, it’s not like me

Homesick
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2010

I don’t know how much this roof can hold
It’s oh so cold
It’s been snowing too hard I fear
Yes, I know that it’s pretty here
And the air is clear
but the year’s aren’t passing fast enough to stay
No I don’t want to stay this way
Not one more day
I’m calling out for you
I’m calling out cause

Homesick is hard…

There’s a place that the old man knows
Where the moon sits low
Where he sits and thinks things through
I have asked him if he’ll think of you
It may come true.
Been hoping that he can wish you here today
Maybe he can save us now
Though I’m not sure how
I’ve been calling out for that
I’ve been calling out

Homesick is hard when you don’t know just where it is that you call home
Come hold me close and don’t let go cause through it all, I love you so.

So holy riders from days gone by
Come back through time
Come find me, come quickly come hear the words I say
May the world be kind to you
And Jackson, too
that’s all I’m hoping for, that’s all that I’m hoping for

All those Ashes
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2010

There’s a river, here’s my bones, look at all those river stones
forming patterns on the shore, of the man I was before

Clothes now dripping off the line, stubborn sun don’t want to shine
if I could turn it back don’t know, I don’t know what I’d forego

oh no oh no

She’s the girl with the spools of thread, colors always in her head
She’s the one with the crooked grin, and thoughts all waiting to begin

And I’m the boy in the chestnut trees, I’m the boy still on his knees
I’m the one in the crumpled clothes , I’m the boy who comes and goes

Oh no oh no
Oh momma I’m fine, don’t worry all the time.

Oh that fire burned so fast, promises they couldn’t last
pictures in those wooden frames, faces now don’t look the same

And all the lessons that we learned, all of that too quickly burned
In the river down below all those ashes floated slow
All those ashes floated slow

oh no oh no
oh momma I’m fine…sweet river take me home

Rock me river here I am, come on take me back again,
Rock me river, rock me slow, take me where I’m meant to go
With all those ashes floating slow

Winter Winds
Words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing ASCAP 2010

All the things to say
On my dying day

You know the winter winds, will one day settle down
And all this talk of spring will push us off the ground

Oh I believe in you more than you can now know
If I could stay right here, I’d never let you go

This is an old refrain I used to sing to you
You had your mother’s eyes, you weren’t even two

When we left ft green you were still in our arms
We tried the best we could to keep you safe from harm

And in the end, in the end…

We crossed the Brooklyn bridge. We crossed the ocean wide.
We sold all of our things. We kept our open eyes.

More the century, took more than our blood and bones
More than just me and you to make this place our home

If you love someone, don’t be afraid to fall
What could it mean to win when you can’t lose it all

I know the stars they fall. Sometimes the sky falls too.
Sometimes a long freight train don’t stop for me or you

And in the end, in the end, keep your heart opened

Yeah this is an old refrain I sang when you laid down
Though it may sound the same, everything’s different now.

I know you’ll walk away over that mountain there
If I could go with you, follow you everywhere.

And there are things so hard. I wish they wouldn’t bruise.
Everyone that you love, you will one day lose.

And one day I’ll have to go, I’ll travel further still.
And I will not return no matter how strong my will.

But you know these winter winds will soon be settling
And even the sun will shine. One day it will be spring.

Oh it’s hard, I know to carry on
Go with grace. my son