Picardy

by Ben Smith

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1.
Hey, brother take a walk with me I know the night is falling But we're as ready as we'll ever be We'll make a stop for your sister your mother and your father will see how we wake up the neighbors and take to the streets cause the future ain't what it used to be That's why we walk we walk when we need to believe That's why we walk sometimes it takes a group to lead Hey, sister take a walk with me I know the light is fading but it won't always be We'll make our way through the country and we'll sing to keep good company then we'll go to the city and take to the streets cause the future ain't what it's used to be That's why we walk we walk when we need to believe That's why we walk sometimes it takes a group to lead The road is long for everyone mothers, fathers, daughters, sons And I know, I know that you are with me And I see the ones who came before me, lining up Hey, Everybody take a walk with me I know the sun is rising And shining right through the trees The crowd is growing in front and in back of me so let's walk together and take to the streets cause the future ain't what it's used to be That's why we walk we walk when we need to believe That's why we walk sometimes it takes a group to lead
2.
You're always doing whatever you've been told staying quiet and under control you're still repeating every cliche keep trying to find yourself instead of looking the other way Be not simply good, be not simply good It's hard to quiet down each and every voice it's easy to feel like you don't even have a choice but maybe the answers are not inside your head maybe they're circling round outside instead Be not simply good, be not simply good You better be good for something something better be better than you You better be good for something something better be better than me Sometimes it feels like everything's a fight everybody's telling you you better pick a side you can't solve the problems of the world in a day but don't they know no one's a world away Be not simply good, be not simply good You better be good for something something better be better than you You better be good for something something better be better than me
3.
Waiting for love that's a stupid thing a stupid thing to do Like it would come and look for you Don't hold your breath life is life or it's death so what you living for? don't make a long story short? Stop wasting your time with love songs that rhyme stop wishing upon every star Don't be a wreck try recklessness instead Stop whimpering at the door Stop wearing holes in your floor Tell everyone that you're done playing dumb you're better than that you're done (with) feeling trapped Stop wasting your time with love songs that rhyme stop wishing upon every star Don't you sit there and talk to me like I'm some wretch like my chariot keeps swinging right over the fence Let's go for a ride We're two of a kind I might not be the one who you see in your dreams I'm coming apart at every seam and what's falling out this glitter & doubt Get on with it, man as soon as you can stop looking for the door not everything's a metaphor Wear your heart on your sleeve gotta give to receive it's as simple as that everyone of these cliches are facts Stop wasting your time with love songs that rhyme stop wishing upon every star Can't you see, it's written all over my face a moment of clarity, not a charity case you see it, too it's mirrored in you I know you don't need no rescuin' you don't need a tower to jump out of your skin but if you do then I need it, too so let's not be the ones who are so faint of heart that they crash and they burn before they ever start my heart's on my sleeve and it's looking at me so I won't wait for love, not for anything No voice from above, no chariot swing I've waited enough, I'm not waiting for love
4.
I shot myself in the foot, playing Russian Roulette I shot a couple messengers, delivering regrets I've been shooting at the moon each and every night I shot a dirty look at the dawn's early light Well, I know, I know it's a long shot for your heart but there's little light for this shot in the dark Every ricochet from every parting shot feels like a flimsy Western filmed on the back lot There's no fish left in the barrel none for me to shoot my Wanted poster's fading just an unwanted brute Well, I know, I know it's a long shot for your heart there's a ghost of chance Well, I know, I know it's a long shot for your heart but there's little light left for this shot in the dark I'm always shooting first and asking questions later I'm such a fool to think that I could be your narrator the only shots I've called are the shots at the bar I'm shooting for the moon no matter what the chances are Well, I know, I know it's a long shot for your heart there's a ghost of chance Well, I know, I know it's a long shot for your heart but there's little light left for this shot in the dark
5.
When I was a young I held my words close to the vest and practiced every line All of them cued up and waited for the right time But when I saw you nouns made way for verbs and the huddled up like birds around the house And when you looked back the words took flight struck out for the night and hastened on and they made wild accusations later that night they found shelter atop a white pine the house below still is shuttered nothing uttered there for so long but if you and me find the stone, find the key it's ours until we die I'll carry you right up the stairs, girl and pull down the blinds and we'll make wild accusations black an blue can turn shiny and new in a room with view for a while birds and words will sing in thirds their song will carry on for miles I'm sure the sunlight will confess and profess and confess, shining through your dress on the line But I'm done with these beautiful guesses now that you're mine and we'll make wild accusations
6.
Went for a walk down Franklin St. turned at the park where we used to meet Made it to town But no one was there I said your name but it hung in the air cause Saturday Night Has a Lonely Sound Nothing to see, Nobody's around I can't believe the sun goes down that far Got in the car and just drove for a while the map says an inch should feel like a mile I checked in the mountains I looked by the sea but every shadow cast looks just like me cause Saturday Night Has a Lonely Sound Nothing to see, Nobody's around I can't believe the sun goes down that far there's no songs on the radio not even static between stations not one bird has been heard please help this heart find one vibration cause Saturday Night Has a Lonely Sound Nothing to see, Nobody's around I can't believe the sun goes down that far
7.
My love, next to your love leads to our love just you wait and see But their love, needs more of our love to grab a hold of it starts with you and me And his love, next to her love is more aware of the love all around in spite of the way of those that spite us (you know who you are) just stop your looking for signs love is here all the time open your heart to the world, little girl little boy find some joy find it wherever you can My love, next to your love leads to our love just you wait and see There's no would of and no could of and no should of it's just meant to be cause some love's better than no love what are you scared of can't you let it be just look up to the sky, love it's not unheard-of it's all around you just stop your looking for signs cause love is here all the time open your heart to the world, little girl little boy find some joy find it wherever you can
8.
the storm is coming from far off of the shore started by a sunken, drunken commodore it's spinning like a top and eyeing up the land nothing will ever escape its command I'll batten down the hatches you run out to the store we'll head down the basement and declare a war open up a bottle of some wine the wind will knock the needles off the pine we'll drink and stack the bottles like a shrine --- we'll pop the champagne; we're riding out this hurricane now its made landfall and the birds have flown away nothing could change our mind we're here to stay there's flooding in the streets the cars are floating by we're counting all the flashes lighting up the sky I feel it closin' in-- the eye of the storm there's only you and me to keep each other warm open up a bottle of some wine the wind will knock the needles off the pine we'll drink and stack the bottles like a shrine --- we'll pop the champagne; we're riding out this hurricane
9.
03:51
I hear what you're thinking each and every line I keep hoping you'll figure it out this time But I'm not holding out much hope your lowest even has a line We're used to how you think of yourself every time Maybe you should call your folks up on the line I'm sure they'll finance your movie at the scene of the crime I have trouble figuring out what's worse your dirt or your shine you're living proof that a good man is hard to find Wake up can't feel a thing, I'm numb all over Call it off everyday is a hangover Shut Your mouth before you fall down any lower You keep saying that you have some great design but every step is a leap backwards for mankind the only thing you're making great again's the curve of my spine there's no body left on the sidelines Wake up can't feel a thing, I'm numb all over Call it off everyday is a hangover Shut Your mouth before you fall down any lower Stop it all all this indecent exposure
10.
04:37
A lie from a friend or the truth from a stranger is the same in the end You're always in danger of finding out something you knew was true But what if I'm both? I'm the friend and the stranger and nothing I say, nothing will change her She'll tender an offer not so tenderly blacken my eyes hold my face in your hands for a while there's no disguising there's no saving grace in saving face steady your heart with your steady hand steel your nerves and all you command and brace for the shudder that's coming on But what if my heart becomes fist and starts shaking what if my hand can't unmiss what it's breaking I'm not letting it go, I won't let go blacken my eyes hold my face in your hands for a while there's no disguising there's no saving grace in saving face all the rest drops to the ground my eyes fall there and don't make sound sometimes seeing ain't believing when love is blind watch my ears fall like ash to the ground they settle in a corner my teeth come unbound and they chatter on the floor like a bag of dimes blacken my eyes hold my face in your hands for a while there's no disguising there's no saving grace in saving face
11.
It's the middle of a long July there's not a cloud in the sky on my way down south to see you got your letter memorized my heart's capsized I'm lost at sea without you I drove all night I drove all day and every song on the radio pulls me close, closer to you Won't you be my Blanche DuBois? We'll dance our way through Mardi Gras I'll shield the light from your eyes Let me take you by the hand we'll twist just like an ampersand and dance across the boulevard you're my little sweet dream a paper doll behind the screen a moth that's drawn to the flame I feel the change in the air the rain feels like a prayer I've finally found my way to you Every night Every day You don't have to rely on the kindness of strangers any more Won't you be my Blanche DuBois? We'll dance our way through Mardi Gras I'll shield the light from your eyes
12.
I've stood right here for a hundred years in the sun and the snow and the rain Cut from a rock and forged in a storm like some Southern Charlemagne A perch for the birds, a shade for a child A symbol, a shame, and a curse I finally know what it's like to serve a master whose heart is perverse There's two men here, the one that once lived and the one that they've cast in their hearts But neither of us is worth all the fuss cause neither’s a great work of art It's a foolish man who gives into hate who thinks torches can light up a shrine Light a candle instead and pray for the dead Change the world one heart at a time There's two men here, the one that once lived and the one that they've cast in their hearts But neither of us is worth all the fuss cause neither’s a great work of art Well, the night has come and the stars are all out and I'm carrying my hat in my hand Don't blame my horse, it's my own remorse No statue can forgive a man

about

In music theory, the picardy third--also known as the “happy third”--is an altered tone that turns a sad piece of music into a happy one. It brings a hopeful resolution where the listener was expecting resignation. In the key of C, it’s the difference between an E flat and an E natural. It’s a sigh of relief.

In a more general sense, this is what music does for us: it raises our spirits, one note at a time. It’s a quality we find in our closest friends and one we hope to find in our community and country. In a time of such loud division, wouldn’t it be great if our greatest impulses got the picardy treatment, guided by an elevation towards compassion and respect--and ultimately, love?

To a certain extent, that’s what the songs on Picardy are all about.

You’ll find plenty of love songs in this collection, but I hope I’ve taken them one step farther this time. It’s not enough just to love. You’ve got to love recklessly and with abandon. You’ve got to love in spite of yourself and despite the odds. You’ve got to love in the face of hate even. And you’ve got to share that love as widely and as often as possible. Love without action is just warmth--and that’s not going to cut it.

I hope these 12 songs provide you some temporary elevation.

Thank you to: Joel Metzler, Matt Magarahan, Tim Celfo, Sean Hoots, Brad Hinton, Tommy Bendel, Jessica Parker-Smith, Marc Umile, Steve Hanna, Cody Cichowski, Tommy Joyner, Jamie Lokoff

credits

released September 4, 2018

All songs by Ben Smith (Franklin Pointe Songs, ASCAP)

Ben Smith -- vocals, piano, acoustic and electric guitars, synths
Tim Celfo -- bass
Brad Hinton -- acoustic and electric guitars, lap steel
Sean Hoots -- acoustic and electric guitars
Thomas Bendel -- drums on tracks 3,7,9,10,11
Matt Magarahan -- drums on tracks 2,4,5,6,8,12

Produced by Ben Smith and Joel Metzler
Engineered and mixed by Joel Metzler at Milkboy The Studio, Philadelphia
Additional recording at Franklin Pointe Studio, West Chester, PA
Mastered by Philip Shaw Bova, Ottawa

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Ben Smith West Chester, Pennsylvania

West Chester, PA songwriter Ben Smith's songs sound good in both your front parlor and your back barroom---all Tin Pan Alley piano and a fading choirboy voice.

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