Old Man Winter, Vol. 3

by Ben Smith

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released 16 November 2013

Number three in the annual Old Man Winter series

Songs recorded and mixed at Milkboy Studios, Philadelphia
Engineered, mixed, and mastered by Joel Metzler
Additional engineering by Karl Peterson

Thank you to Matt Magarahan and Tim Celfo for their continued friendship talent for this series and countless others.
Thanks to Brad Hinton for his considerable talent and taste.
Thanks to Joel and Karl who make recording something to look forward to.

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Ben Smith West Chester, Pennsylvania

West Chester, PA songwriter Ben Smith's new record, "Crooked Earth" mixes piano and guitar with strings and horns, accordions and choirs. The result sounds both traditional—at home in some front parlor or back barroom—and sophisticated, something overheard echoing down a chamber hall. Songs cover gangsters and love potions, stones and bayonets, runaways and rumors, and the 7 Wonders of the World. ... more

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Track Name: Santa's All In
Santa wrote his resume
his shop was in a disarray
used a snowglobe for an ashtray
wants to leave it all behind

He thought that he would try his luck
his savings fit a coffee cup
he's tired and he's had enough
of all this stupid cheer

hitch a ride to the desert
trades his suit for a sweatshirt
it’s got to get better
This year Santa's all in

The flashing lights the ringing bells
it's like some sort of Christmas hell
surrounded by the ne'er-do-wells
they’ve got nowhere else to go

everyone has got white hair
everyone fills up their chair
it's like Santa's sitting everywhere
but no one knows it's him

He started with the penny slots
three lemons and a jackpot
Lady Luck and Jack Frost
are putting on a show

this year it's not snowing
three kings are showing
the stack is growing
this year Santa's all in

The queen of hearts, the Ace of Spades
by midnight wearing lampshades
making nice with all the chambermaids
and staying up till dawn

The cocktails and the cigarettes
he's checked the odds, he's placed his bets
he's doubling down on all regrets
he's never going back
Track Name: Christmas Down The Shore
It's late in the evening and I'm done with dreaming
the boardwalk lights got me seeing stars
it's the bleak of midwinter, the snow's just a shimmer
and the shepherds are walking the beach in their scarves

it's just you and me and the roar of the sea
it's harder to tell the snow from the sand
the cold of December is all I remember
the taste of the salt and the touch of your hand

This time of year, there's nobody here
the lifeguards have gone home for good
No one can find us in all of this whiteness
it's Christmas down the shore

It's all a ghost town but we're the ghosts now
floating down streets and right through the walls
And I'm sure I saw God on the promenade
but he looks so tired from the curtain call

this blessed event, when we climbed up the fence
no one in line for the carousel
there's 5 golden rings caught in the swings
and the sunlight can't come to break up the spell

Chorus

Now on Christmas Eve, I still believe
in the tides and the swells and in you and the moon
I know that star, that's your face in the dark
and it's lighting the path right into the dunes

it's just you and me and the roar of the sea
it's harder to tell the snow from the sand
the cold of December is all I remember
the taste of the salt and the touch of your hand

Chorus