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lucy billings - carry the water

CARRY THE WATER

© Copyright - Lucy Billings / Sassy Time Records

 

Without pretense Lucy examines life’s questions and struggles as a keen observer with a soft heart. A voice that is powerful yet reassuring combined with lyrics that reflect our truths, Lucy’s songs will draw the listener in.

CD - $15.00

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TRACK DOWNLOADS

1. Carry the Water

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2. Wyoming

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3. God's House

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4. Canyon

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5. The Answer

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6. Edge of the Ring

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7. Courage

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8. Asking You Why

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9. Freedom

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10. The Here and Now

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11. What You Gonna Do?

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12. Not Far from Me

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13. State of Blind

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MUSICIANS:

Lucy Billings – lead and backing vocals, acoustic guitar

Harry Stinson – drums

Vince Santoro – percussion;

James T. Brown – acoustic and electric bass

John Jennings – piano and keyboards, stringed instruments, backing vocals, additional drums and percussion

 

PRODUCED BY JOHN JENNINGS.

 

LYRICS & TRACK INFO

1. Carry the Water

Lucy Billings and John Jennings

 

They rise in the dark and walk from the towns

On uneven paths and treacherous roads

They dip their buckets in rivers and streams

And carry them back on their shoulders and hips

 

Carry the water, mile after mile, day after day

Carry the water, dirty and muddy, all they can find

Carry the water, backbreaking work, women must bear

Carry the water, carry it home

 

Someone is digging a hole in the ground

Won’t be so far to carry their loads

They dance and they sing to the drilling machine

A prayer like a river that crosses their lips

 

Carry the water, up from below a whisper of hope

Carry the water, it’s more than water, it’s more like life

Carry the water, many more wells all over the world

Carry the water, carry it home

 

TRACK INFO:

 

Carry the Water [3:50] – Carry the Water is a swaying waltz inspired by Lucy’s sister’s experiences in Africa. Sparsely gorgeous vocal harmonies accent a story of the struggle for basic life necessities such as water.

 

 

2. Wyoming

Lucy Billings

 

Car was packed at 5 AM – we left the desert in the hottest part of the summertime

Freckle-faced kid sitting in the back of the Buick as it snaked its way up 89

A mile from town, we drove around a bend

Mountains filled my eyes and I’ve never been the same since then

 

[Chorus]

Wyoming, Wyoming, Wyoming

I don’t live in you, but you will always live in me

 

Many summers I returned – I had a lot of things to learn from that country

Crooked trails, cowboy loving, unbroke horses – nature’s forces shaking me

I was often scared and I cried a lot of tears

But I grew a spine that’s held me up through all these years

 

[Chorus]

 

Coffee cup sitting on the dash – on the road long before the early light

My guitar lying in the back of the Chevy as it snakes its way up 89

 

TRACK INFO:

 

Wyoming [2:47] – Lucy recounts childhood experiences in a mid-tempo, country-flavored tune with a lot of swing. Personal foundations are on display as Lucy delves into painful formations of youth, and the strength and resilience these instilled in her.

 

 

3. God’s House

Lucy Billings

 

You and your wife out for a drive down an old Virginia road

Little church caught your eye - few weeks later, the church was sold

Choir loft is now your bedroom – altar where you break your bread

Even though there’s a church down the road, the congregation would rather be here instead

 

[Chorus]

Still the people come to worship and they hope you’ll let them in

This may be the house you live in, but it’s still God’s house to them

 

People in the yard, knocking at the door – they want to come inside and see

Your wife’s annoyed ‘cause you invite them in and serve them coffee, cake and tea

The lady with the funny bonnet doesn’t like that church down the road

She thinks that they handle snakes on the sly – you say Ma’am, I just don’t know

 

[Chorus]

 

What did you do with all those pews? Found a place for them to hide

You never know when you’ll want to turn that house back into a church for a groom and bride

Son said Dad, I’m getting married – need a place for our big day

You say Okay, I’ve got a shed full of pews – I can set them up right away

 

[Chorus]

 

TRACK INFO:

 

God’s House [5:12] – God’s House was inspired by anecdotes of friends who bought a small gothic-style church and turned it into their home. These stories turned into a song that ruminates on elements of faith, home and the process of coming full circle. Inspiration abounds here, from the writing to the vocals to the quietly rhythmic arrangement.

 

 

4. Canyon

Lucy Billings

 

When I was a child, I ran through the desert so harsh and dry

Canyon cut through – ribbon of life

It ran so twisted and wide – I’d gaze at the hawks flying over

And I would say, I’ve got to find my way

 

[Chorus}

And I’ve got to cross that canyon

And show them what I can do

I’ve got to cross that canyon

Unbind myself and play it through

 

Years have gone by, canyon remains, now it’s inside of me

I stare across a great divide

It runs so twisted and wide – there’s another me on the other side

And I say, I’ve got to find my way

 

[Chorus]

 

TRACK INFO:

 

Canyon [3:36] – Growing up in Arizona, Lucy and her family took regular road trips all around the state. Canyon is a philosophical examination of those huge gaps in the earth, and how they became metaphors for life changes. The dreamy storyteller style, driven by a rolling piano is deceiving.

 

 

5. The Answer

Lucy Billings

 

I’ve been waiting for a signal, pathway lined with lights

Golden beacon, revelation, telling me what is right

 

Oh, I don’t know why I keep asking that same question

Answer is very clear to me

If I had to ask many years from now

What do you think the answer would be?

What would the answer be?

 

As a child I asked my father, what do you think I should be?

He said that answer is found inside your heart- it’s not up to me

 

Oh, I don’t know why I keep asking that same question

Answer is very clear to me

If I had to ask many years from now

What do you think the answer would be?

What would the answer be?

 

Many times we try to find a road map, someone else to tell us where to start

Look outside ourselves to find direction - we should look inside our heart

 

You don’t need to keep asking that same question- answer is very clear to see

If you had to ask many years from now

What do you think the answer would be?

What would the answer be?

 

I’ve been waiting for a signal.

 

TRACK INFO:

 

The Answer [3:38] – Sometimes the right course is visible to you, even if it runs counter to the expectations of family, society or even yourself. This folk/country mix is a standout track both for the vocals (lead and harmony), instrumentation, and for its simple truth.

 

 

6. Edge of the Ring

Lucy Billings

 

When I look into your eyes

I can see what you’ve been through

As you learn to trust again

That’s what I need from you

 

You look beautiful and bold

But you’ve got a timid heart

I’ve been held back by my fear

No other place for us to start

 

[Chorus]

Here we are at the edge of the ring

It’s hard to tell where I end and you begin

Too late to turn back now

Take a breath, collect ourselves, we’re going in

We’re gonna ride - moving through the fear

Ride - finding our faith

Ride - think we can believe

Ride - let’s show the way, show the way

 

If we’re riding on the rail

If we’re riding in the ring

If we’re riding down the bumpy road of life

We’re saying the same thing

 

[Chorus]

 

TRACK INFO:

 

Edge of the Ring [4:40] – Edge of the Ring is all about making things work, no matter how hard it might seem. This is a coming of age story with a gently cascading chorus, and a reminder that it’s never too late.

 

 

7. Courage

Lucy Billings

 

I’ve got a feeling I may be seeing

A whole new side of me

Heart is unfolding - no more holding back

Let’s see what I can be

 

If I could find the courage just to let my love shine through

Open arms beckon me to make that dream come true

 

I’ve got a feeling I may be seeing

A whole new world outside

A gate has been opened and I am hoping

I won’t hide

 

[Chorus]

 

I’m afraid of getting hurt

I’m afraid of time

I’m afraid of empty hands

And too much on my mind

 

I've got a feeling I can believe in

The gift that I can bring

I suppose that I am a rose

That blooms in spring

 

[Chorus]

 

TRACK INFO:

 

Courage [4:18] – Driven by universal themes of hope and trepidation in the face of change, Courage speaks to every one of us in the finest balladeer’s tradition.

 

 

8. Asking You Why

Lucy Billings and John Jennings

 

Bright sunny day, family of four

Out for a drive not looking for more

Than a day in the country, family time

Until a driver crossed over the line

The ambulance came – the family was gone

Except for one little boy left all alone

I’m asking you why

 

Bright Saturday in a southwestern town

People had traveled from miles around

They gathered together under the sun

Just one winter’s day except for the gun

And when it was over, lives damaged and lost

With no way to measure the cost

 

I’m asking you why- want to know if you care

Do I have faith in clouds? Am I praying to air?

I’m asking you why ‘cause I don’t understand

How so many wrongs could be part of your plan

So I’m asking you why

 

And you might say

We could have lost them all that day

Shepherds aren’t all in the fields

And love can make the devil yield

 

I would be different if I were you

I wouldn’t do half of the things that you do

So if I’m suspicious, it’s not my fault

But you can’t live a life with your heart in a vault

I don’t know your will – I don’t know your ways

I’ll try hard to follow, but you’ll hear me say

 

[Chorus]

 

TRACK INFO:

 

Asking You Why [5:20] – A mid-tempo melding of country and gospel, this articulate and expressive journey of faith and understanding begins on a personal level and becomes a universal question. Sometimes bad things happen to good people; Asking You Why is an attempt to understand why that will resonate with listeners and light up request lines.

 

 

9. Freedom

Lucy Billings

 

See the days on the calendar- are you going to make it?

In a place where you don’t belong- how much longer can you fake it?

At the end of the day when you put your fears away

And you take a flight of your own choosing

Be brave, take that step- you won’t regret

Do it for freedom, not for winning or losing

 

You think she was cruel to you – it will soon be over

When you walk out through those doors – that’s the last time you will see her

At the end of the day when you put your fears away

And you take a flight of your own choosing

Be brave, take a chance – now’s your time to dance

Do it for freedom, not for winning or losing

 

When someone rages through your life

You count your wounds and wonder why

But when the pain goes by, then you fly

 

At the end of the day when you put your fears away

And you take a flight of your own choosing

Be brave, have faith – it’s no mistake

Do it for freedom, not for winning or losing

It’s your life; it’s your life

 

TRACK INFO:

 

Freedom [3:55] – Difficult situations are easier to bear when you can see the finish line. That is the underlying theme of Freedom. What began as a bit of personal motivation to persevere has turned into a universal rallying cry. Don’t be fooled by the melancholy country/pop arrangement, this is a song of hope.

 

 

10. The Here and Now

Lucy Billings

 

Sun is sinking low - I’m putting on your blankets

Nights are getting colder - summer’s fading fast

I see that look on your face- you’re looking kind of wobbly

I wonder what next year will bring - I can’t think of that

 

I tell myself that we have another summer

Tell myself that we have another fall

I know that day will come when you make your way to heaven

Until your journey’s through, I only want to be with you

In the here and now

Here and now

 

Your lips are moving – I don’t hear the words

Something about the future – the last thing that I heard

I want to take you to the seaside and wrap you in a blanket

Freeze the waves upon the shore and whisper in your ear

 

[Chorus]

 

I tell myself that I have another summer

I tell myself that I have another fall

I know that day will come when I’ll make my way to heaven

Until my journey’s through, I only want to be with you

In the here and now

Here and now

 

TRACK INFO:

 

The Here and Now [5:04] – This beautiful ballad is a cautionary tale on fears of mortality and their ability to steal the joy from our present. The Here and Now was initially inspired by Lucy’s aged cat, but grew into a song about a friend and a horse. To prove the point of the song, the cat that inspired the song is still around two years later.

 

 

11. What You Gonna Do?

Lucy Billings

 

Sitting at the kitchen table in your undershirt

Three days of stubble, wondering what’s going on at work

You retired just last week - no more punching the clock for you

 

[Chorus]

Ooo, what you gonna do?

You, what you gonna do?

 

Your wife says, why don’t you go and put on some clothes?

Windows need washing and the lawn needs to be mowed

You never thought of that job as a refuge - now you need a place to run to

 

[Chorus]

 

You hate to admit it, but you feel a little lost

You got your freedom – what about the cost?

Somebody’s taken down the fences - open space closing in on you

 

[Chorus]

 

TRACK INFO:

 

What You Gonna Do? [2:23] – This funky, soulful and contemplative rocker tracks the transition from employment to retirement as a stark and sometimes painful one to make. The loss of purpose can be overwhelming; in much the same way a prisoner released back into society can feel suffocated by freedom.

 

 

12. Not Far From Me

Lucy Billings

 

Wish that you were here with me

Wish that you could help me find my way

Wish that you could hold my hand

You’re so far away

 

Had a dream I was a child

In your loving arms I lay

You warmed me with your smile

I woke up - you went away

 

I’m am frightened of that day

When dreams and memories fade

If I knew that you were watching over me

I’d be less afraid

 

I keep hoping for a sign

I’ve been searching each and every day

I really need to know

That you’re not far away

 

Confused and restless, I’m adrift

Tossing on a sea

If I could feel your loving touch

That would be enough for me

 

I think I should look inside

That place where you said you’d always be

And when I look into my heart

You’re not far from me

You’re not far from me

 

TRACK INFO:

 

Not Far From Me [3:55] – This poignant ballad is a heartfelt expression of love to Lucy’s mother who passed away over thirty years ago and yet is still as close as ever. If you’ve lost a loved one, this song will give you comfort and hope.

 

 

13. State of Blind

Lucy Billings

 

Drove to the center of town - saw your face

Did you take a wrong turn to end up in this place?

Can’t look in your eyes- afraid of what I’ll find

So I gun my engine and race back to the state of blind

 

I don’t know your name – I’ve seen you before

Under a cloak of shame with thousands more

The sacred spot of ground that you can’t seem to find

As you huddle on the outskirts of the state of blind

 

[Chorus]

We don’t have to look that far to find a war that we are losing

Trying to survive, is freedom an illusion?

When the tanks roll through the streets, who will save you?

 

About a mile away is the festival of lights

Not much shines down here - the dark of darkest nights

Decoys in the air – distraction for the minds

While the truth stays in the shadows in the state of blind

 

[Chorus]

 

Now I’ve lost my job – I hide behind my smile

Hoping that I’ll land something soon–wrestling with denial

How long can I go – will I fall below the line?

Can I linger just a little longer in the state of blind?

 

TRACK INFO:

 

State of Blind [3:51] – A ballad of social conscience about income disparity and society’s apparent inability to get its priorities straight. The imagery of pretty lights distracting people from the truth is simple yet powerful, and amazingly apropos.