MUSIC

"We don't usually think of a 12 string guitar and autoharp as being natural pals, but the combined solo and harmony voices with these not usually paired instruments is effective and even haunting... It is interesting material, vocally, compositionally, and instrumentally." - Nan Bovingdon
 
"These lyrics slay me and the harmonies make it a pretty kind of slaying."
- rorie kelly

"Our Lady of Perpetual Hammer" is a new collection of folk music written in 2020. The title is both a tongue-in-cheek reference to the creative titles given to the Virgin Mary in popular Catholicism, and a reference to Tomas Pueyo's 2020 Article, "The Hammer and the Dance." According to Pueyo, the first step to quashing COVID-19 is to smack it down hard with a blunt object. Later we can start to loosen restrictions, carefully adjusting a few variables at a time, in a sort of dance. The first step can feel interminable, especially when we are living through it, attempting to maintain our mental health. It can feel as though our freedoms are perpetually being hammered down, even if we know it's for the greater good. From the song, "Ceremony of Deconsecration" :

The ceremony's almost complete,

Banishing Our Lady of Perpetual Hammer,

I call upon the Lord of the Dance,

We gotta learn to move forward, move onward!

Lyrics

 

1. The ceremony's almost complete, Banishing Our Lady of Perpetual Hammer, I call upon the Lord of the Dance, We gotta learn to move forward, Move onwards, onwards! This place no longer means to me What it once meant, what it once meant, Deconsecration takes time and patience, Or we go up in flames, or we go up in flames We are bound to this idea, It's time to cut ties, Make some new connections, I am the queen of desire, Desire, desire! This place no longer means to me What it once meant, what it once meant, Deconsecration takes time and patience, Or we go up in flames, or we go up in flames If absence makes the heart grow fond, What happens when it's abandoned? If we just leave it alone, We'll never have to hear its cry, Its cry, its cry! This place no longer means to me What it once meant, what it once meant, Deconsecration takes time and patience, Or we go up in flames, or we go up in flames, Or we go up in flames, or we go up in flames

2. From every corner comes the call, Do your part for one and all, No longer standing free and tall, Fair to say you lost your nerve, Trying hard to flatten the curve, Even so, you don't deserve, To hide yourself away, hide yourself away, Hide yourself away, hide yourself away, Friends you thought were strong and true, Had your back, through and through, Now shut their doors against you, And that old hidden, silent ache, That you sloughed off so you could make A better life, it seems a shame, To hide yourself away, hide yourself away, Hide yourself away, hide yourself away, And when the ill wind passes by, And you remember how to smile, When the sun shines in the sky, You and I... Will find another way, find another way, We'll find another way, find another way

3. Wonder where I'm going, to tell you the truth, Wonder what I know about it, well I can't be sure, But if you can't trust me, you can't love me, If you can't trust me, you can't love me, Oh woah, oh woah, oh oh Oh woah, oh woah, oh oh As for my alignment, I am neutral and good, I am not beholden to anyone, but my motive is love, But if you can't trust me, you can't love me, If you can't trust me, you can't love me, Oh woah, oh woah, oh oh Oh woah, oh woah, oh oh While we're on the topic of innocence, who's to say that you're pure? But I know you, and I have faith, you've learned from your mistakes But if you can't trust me, you can't love me, If you can't trust me, you can't love me, But if you can't trust me, you can't love me, If you can't trust me, you can't love me, Oh woah, oh woah, oh oh Oh woah, oh woah, oh oh Oh woah, oh woah, oh oh Oh woah, oh woah, oh oh

4. Ooh, what fools are we? What fools we are! If we're listening, We'll hear the call, Ooh, what fools, ooh, what fools Trusting that the universal hunter in our souls Can tame the beast that lurks unbidden, Ready to devour us, mind and body, Thinking that the line we seek to stay behind Was ever more substantial than the footprints in the sand, Before the tide rolls in, Ooh, what fools are we? What fools we are! If we're listening, We'll hear the call, Ooh, what fools, ooh, what fools We shun the joyful beckoning of springtime glade, We do not heed our sense's longing, Logic dictates that we dwell in lassitude, We cast our eyes away from stars above, Denying Fate its rightful chance to guide us, So in fear we drop the outstretched, proffered hand Ooh, what fools are we? What fools we are! If we're listening, We'll hear the call, Ooh, what fools, ooh, what fools

5. The end of this, the start of that, The end of then, the start of now, We share everything, We hate everything else, Things are darker, but I'm lightening up, Depression's one hell of a drug, I'm in rehab all of the time, Is this sunset or sunrise? Feelings, food, bandmates, booze, Joints and germs and empty words, And my monsters Are your monsters Things are darker, but I'm lightening up, Depression's one hell of a drug, I'm in rehab all of the time, Is this sunset or sunrise? It's easy enough to give a well thought-out answer, But nobody knows if it's right, We all like to think that it somehow makes a difference, But all of our thinking just digs the hole deeper, Things are darker, but I'm lightening up, Depression's one hell of a drug, I'm in rehab all of the time, Is this sunset or sunrise?

6. You're the one who cemented my feminist leanings, 'Cause you held all the girls in such low regard, I remember correcting you in math class, You just wrinkled your nose at me, To the teacher who wrecked me: I'm mending myself, Though everything seemed broken, 'til I checked the seams, To the girl that I was, So many years ago: If you saw me in the mirror, Would it bring you some hope? You complained when we flashed too much skin, 'Cause we weren't insecure enough for your tastes, You made me scrub graffiti I didn't even write, So I took my first mental health day, To the teacher who wrecked me: I'm mending myself, Though everything seemed broken, 'til I checked the seams, To the girl that I was, So many years ago: If you saw me in the mirror, Would it bring you some hope? I don't know much about math anymore, But I've learned a few things about life, I don't care much what they say anymore, Gotta stand by your sisters and fight To the teacher who wrecked me: I'm mending myself, Though everything seemed broken, 'til I checked the seams, To the girl that I was, So many years ago: If you saw me in the mirror, Would it bring you, Would it bring you some hope?

7. Ask me how my day has been, Say I'm always in my head, Where do you go when the lights go out? What do you dream about? We choose to be afraid, and what to be afraid of, But we will prevail, we will prevail, We choose when to be afraid, we choose what to be afraid of, But we will prevail, we will prevail Life's a series of what nexts Say I'm always in my head, Guess I'm on the spectrum, but what else is there? What's the alternative? We choose to be afraid, and what to be afraid of, But we will prevail, we will prevail, We choose when to be afraid, we choose what to be afraid of, But we will prevail, we will prevail Maybe now I oughta quit, Tackle one vice at a time, Like an escape room, I can't get out, Haven't found all of the clues, We choose to be afraid, and what to be afraid of, But we will prevail, we will prevail, We choose when to be afraid, we choose what to be afraid of, But we will prevail, we will prevail