Quartered: Songs of Palimpsest

by S. J. Tucker

/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $5 USD  or more

     

1.
2.
05:06
3.
04:15
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

about

What if there was a place beyond terror, beyond passion, where your obsessions come to life? Where your secrets walk the streets? Where the only law is desire? What would you do to get there? Past the edge of the world lies a city of the mind and of the flesh: Palimpsest
Let the music be your guide.

Palimpsest is the newest novel from Catherynne M. Valente, in stores 2/24/09. Quartered is its official companion album, and it will evolve and grow, a work in progress available via download only, as author and composer tour the United States together, across the season of Lent and beyond, from February 25 through summer 2009. Check back for new songs each week.

SONGWRITER'S NOTE JUNE 1ST 2009: "Lucia's song, 'Girl with the Lion's Tail,' is now available. Soon to come are 'The Train Suite II: Marginalia' and more. Keep checking back!"

credits

released February 24, 2009

All songs and these recordings written and performed by S. J. Tucker, with guest appearances by Catherynne M. Valente, Michelle Dockrey, and Betsy Tinney; all rights reserved. Special thanks to Catherynne M. Valente, Kevin Wiley, Tony Fabris, Michelle Dockrey, Betsy Tinney, and Ginger Doss.

tags

license

all rights reserved
Track Name: We Are Shangri-La
We raise and raze our city like the strangest house of cards, a ghost-breath mist of snow;
A ghost-breath mist of snow where no snow falls,
For we are Atlantis, and the town of Prester John.
Three weeks apart from never, we dance and do not fall.
We are Shangri-La.

History has dreamed of us. History has dreamed of this.
Those who know the way, many times return.
History has dreamed of us,
building up our city just to watch it burn.
We are Shangri-La.
BURN IT DOWN

We carry Goddess-dust upon our skin,
wherever we go, rising with bright feathers
in the Desert.
Blessed by the wind,
we dance, we thrive, we shimmer in the never-was.
We are Shangri-La.
Burn it down.

Relieving saddened sleep and fitful visions, we return.
We raise our city high, we watch our city burn.
We raise our city high to watch it burn.
Burn it down.
We are the mirage for those who dare to come and see.
The burning in our blood will set us free.
We are free.
We are Shangri-La.
BURN IT DOWN
We are Shangri-La.
LET IT GO

Words and music copyright S. J. Tucker 2007-2009; all rights reserved. Spread it like the pretty plague it is, folks. Dance and enjoy.
Track Name: November
Things which are gone in the morning:
confidence, women, true stories, kisses
Things which I was not expecting:
maps which appear on the skin
maps which appear on my skin.

Glories as yet unpredicted:
gone for the list falls away from me now
(my dress, my sail)
stranger things surely have happened
to women I will not become
(this story will surely destroy me)

The city's heart sings a song for November
as she walks down to the shore
(a dim welcome hum, the thrum of a heartbeat)
Wrapped in blue, hideous heartbreak surrounds her
Will she come home after all?

Stranger things surely have happened:
turning my rings around, drifting on breezes
Home's close as dreaming
but I can't remember how
I can't remember

The city's heart sings a song for November
as she walks down to the shore
(a dim welcome hum, the thrum of a heartbeat)
Prophecies, honeybees swirling around her
treading her careful way home.

Choices are made and casualties counted
(air can make me meaningless)
Falling like pages
when a book hits the wall
(shut my lips upon the list)
Turning my rings around, drifting on breezes
waking or sleeping, which way do I go?
(before the morning ruins this)

An old-fashioned underground lurking nearby
(patiently waiting)
in a dream not a dream
are we open?
(you have been quartered)
Turn the world upside down
(I am no good)
Turning my rings around
(at expanding, contracting)
Nobody knows the way home
I know the way home!

ooh,
my dress, my sail
ooh, wonderful kisses
and maps which appear on the skin
Maps which appear on my skin
Oh,
The city's heart sings a song for November
as she walks down to the shore
(a dim welcome hum, the thrum of a heartbeat)
Prophecies, honey bees swirling around her
Nobody knows the way home
I know the way home!

ah,
(Confidence, women, true stories, kisses)
Glories as yet unpredicted
in maps which appear on the skin
maps which appear on my skin...hm.

Words and music copyright S. J. Tucker 2008, 2009; all rights reserved, all wrongs dissolved.
Track Name: Casimira
I am your green wind
know me well
Every secret in this place
is mine to tell
I can send you to heaven
leave you lost in hell
you're all so very much alike
it's just as well

I will tell you all my secrets
softly in your ear
be careful what you wish for
you may not wish to hear
My name is Casimira
as was every name before
I watch your wretched progress
from afar. Come here, darling

I have kept a room for you
(do not question do not fight)
I have kept a room for you
(I'll make this city long for you)
I have kept a room for you
(you'll give it all away, for a few scattered nights)

You all go hunting secrets
'til there's nothing left
You ask it of the heavens
and the beggars in one breath
I sit back with the spiders
and I laugh myself sick
I watch you give it all away
You're all so much alike
I will help you see the way of things
and still your fall from grace
You'll have no more need for goddesses
unless you make me wait
When you find I've come to love you
do not question, do not fight
We have to cause a little pain
to shed a little light

I have kept a room for you
(do not question, do not fight)
(you're going to love it here)
(don't make me wait again)
how far will you go
how hard will you try
how much will you give
will you fall to desperation
I will give you the names
of those you must find to let you stay
Take the secret from my hand
I have kept a room for you.
Casimira dressed in green
won a war at age 13
They'll tell you that i wanted it enough
(will you give it all away?)
Do not make me wait again.

Dream yourself to death
Cry yourself to sleep
F*ck perchance to dream
I have kept a room for you.
Track Name: The Lovers' Aria (from Hieratica In Flames)
Love has come to my call
by my hand love will fall
evil silence my song
on the field of war
Love will be your guide until
you cannot hear it sing
Behind the lines they took him down
upon the field of war

With the face of a frog she is singing alone
as her enemies fall
on the field of war
With his wolf's paws for hands
ever he follows her song
Ever he comes to her side
on the field of war

Any tool of battle may be turned against its master
and music is a ready tool of war
If your own betray you for the song of what you are
be brave child though you sing no more
Song may rage
Streets may burn
Lovers cry
and never learn

A glorious song of war
reduced to a ghostly cry
He'll nevermore be at her side
oh, why!
No sound but the falling of tears
no way for him back to her now
in silence as fierce as the tide
oh why?

No sound but the cries of ghosts:
o my love
why did you fight?
In the ringing silence
you can never tell me now
No sound but the falling of tears:
o my love
why did you go?
in the deadly silence
you can never tell me now

In the days when the battlefields sang
In the days when the boulevards burned
Lovers then as now may cry
and never will they learn

Love will be your guide until
you cannot hear it sing
Behind the lines they took him down
upon the field of war

Love has come to my call
by my hand love will fall
evil silence my song--
Track Name: Girl with the Lion's Tail (Lucia's Song)
Don't look for home in me between the lines of this, our fairytale
Man cannot follow the monsters.
It's simple for you love but never for me
Nothing can be as it once was.

Call me a beast as you've always done
but one which can no longer love you
Look for me not, lover, I am long gone
how can you hope to follow?

You're meant to crawl
upon your knees
not steal my soul
or talk to me
nor beg me to come home with you
the last thing I would ever do
I am the place where air meets ice
escaping from your paradise
the girl with the lion's tail

I don't want to be the girl you tame
an oddity locked away somewhere safe
your one-heart menagerie, lonely

Give me back the girl I was, the beast I used to be
shedding the skin of this creature
You were never cage enough to keep the light inside
deny me the sky and I'm running.

A lion must keep something back for her own
if she's been let to live
I'd sooner run than waste away at home
You already have all that I had to
Give me back my broken heart,
the dress I wore in Ostia,
everything you took away
and soul-self replaced
Take away your holiness
your pleading and your crying eyes
and bring me back the girl I was,
untamed

Go cry your ave maria my love
cry me a river to hell
Hell or home its all much the same
your script your saint your cell

I don't want to be the girl you tame
an oddity, locked away somewhere safe
your one-heart menagerie, lonely
(ave maria, gratia plena)

ave maria, gratia plena, dona nobis pacem, amen
(If you don't feed what you have tamed
how can you ask it to love you?)
(give me this!)
(I don't want to be the girl you tame)
Your one-heart menagerie

Words and music by S. J. Tucker, 2009; all rights reserved, all wrongs undone.