Sylvan Hour

by Allison Crowe

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04:46 video
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about

“Sylvan Hour is truly a masterpiece” says pioneering culture blog Muruch. (www.muruch.com/2015/05/allisoncrowe-sylvanhour.html)

Discover this music from a remarkable artist at a personal and creative crossroads in her life. “Sylvan Hour” is an album of songs bridging west and east, piano and guitar, then and now…

For fans of Allison Crowe at her purest, this is voice, one accompanying instrument – one take. Real-time performances in the sequence they're played and sung by Allison in a log-home on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada.

That afternoon the musician was in the midst of migrating from her birthplace of Nanaimo, BC, on Canada’s Pacific, to a new nest in Corner Brook, NL, on the Atlantic coast. Soon to fly east, Crowe bade farewell to those near and dear on western shores – including compatriot Kayla Schmah on Salt Spring, neighbouring Vancouver Island.

Decades earlier Schmah’s parents had made an epic trek to the Pacific Northwest from Central Canada – in a repurposed donut truck. Planting themselves in the Gulf Islands archipelago, they lived at first in a converted parachute in the woods. From the ground up the home-steaders then built a family dwelling out of Douglas Fir – their “sylvan castle”.

Allison and Kayla, as musicians had shared stages together from their teens onward (and, years later, becoming a film-scorer in Hollywood, Schmah brilliantly orchestrated and produced Crowe’s album “Spiral”.) Among the friends together on SSI this day was Ryan Adams (who, like Schmah was a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music and was en route to becoming an in-demand tv/film audio engineer in Los Angeles).

With mics and a laptop set-up in the living-room, Adams captured this set of the newest songs in Allison’s repertoire – originals including “Skeletons and Spirits”, “Running”, and “Silence” as well as a trio of covers (interpreting songs famously by Joni Mitchell, The Lovin' Spoonful and Aretha Franklin).

Also gorgeous, but differently so, essentially group versions of most of these songs were released near the end of that same year (2006) on Allison Crowe’s album “This Little Bird” (the title track a celebration of her migration). “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” is the sole sylvan session recording released before – it’s presented now within the full hour of music for all time.

Enjoy this most natural of talents – in this most natural of settings.

credits

released May 5, 2015

Voice, Piano & Guitar ~ Allison Crowe
Engineer ~ Ryan Adams

Recorded one hour in the sylvan castle of the Schmah family, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada

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Allison Crowe Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador

"Why music?" "Why breathing?"

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Track Name: Darling Be Home Soon (SH)
Darling Be Home Soon

Composed by John Sebastian
Performed by Allison Crowe

Come
And talk of all the things we did today

Here
And laugh about our funny little ways
While we have a few minutes to breathe
Then I know that it's time you must leave

But darling be home soon
I couldn't bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled
My darling be home soon
It's not just these few hours but I've been waiting since I toddled
For the great relief of having you to talk to

And now
A quarter of my life is almost past
I think I've come to see myself at last
And I see that the time spent confused
Was the time that I spent without you
And I feel myself in bloom

So darling be home soon
I couldn't bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled
My darling be home soon
It's not just these few hours but I've been waiting since I toddled
For the great relief of having you to talk to

Darling be home soon
I couldn't bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled
My darling be home soon
It's not just these few hours but I've been waiting since I toddled
For the great relief of having you to talk to

Go
And beat your crazy head against the sky
Try
And see beyond the houses and your eyes
It's ok to shoot the moon

So darling
My darling be home soon
I couldn't bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled

My darling be home soon
It's not just these few hours but I've been waiting since I toddled
For the great relief of having you to talk to
Track Name: Effortless (SH)
Effortless

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

I'm trying not to try so hard,
Makes me wonder if it's really effortless,
Or if I'm fooling myself?
'Cause if I have to put so much of me
Into trying not to care,
Where am I then?
I'm lying.

And do you see the way I walk away?
I never really know what I should say,
So it comes out wrong,
If it comes out at all.

So I straighten myself out,
I bring me back down,
"Don't be ridiculous,
You are so wrong."
But then I'm drifting,
On a wave of thought.
I get lost in the tides,
And I can barely recognize myself.

I don't mind,
'Cause do you see the way I walk away?
I never really know what I should say,
So it comes out wrong,
If it comes out at all.

So I try to act the way I would
If I was someone that wasn't me.
But you wipe that away, don't you?
And I am falling down,
I am tripping on words,
I am out of my mind.
You know, this is not like me.
I'm not usually happy, I swear.

And do you see the way I walk away?
I never really know what I should say
So it comes out wrong.

And I turn my back
And I don't look back.
I am unafraid...

...but really I'm just kidding.

I'm terrified,
And I think I like it.

And I don't care if I look ridiculous,
Trying to be effortless.
Track Name: A Case of You (SH)
A Case of You

Words & Music by Joni Mitchell
As performed by Allison Crowe

Just before our love got lost you said
I am as constant as a Northern Star
And I said, constantly in the darkness
Where’s that at?
If you want me I’ll be in the bar

On the back of a cartoon coaster
In the blue tv screen light
I drew a map of Canada
Oh Canada
With your face sketched on it twice

Oh you are in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you darling
And I would still be on my feet
I would still be on my feet

Oh I am a lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I am frightened by the devil
And I’m drawn to those that ain’t afraid
And I remember when you told me, you said
Love is touching souls
Well surely you touched mine
’Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time

Oh you’re, you are in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and you taste so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you
I could drink a case of you darling
And I would still be on my feet
I would still be on my feet

And I met a woman
She had a mouth like yours
She knew your life
She knew your devils and your deeds
She said
Go to him, stay with him if you can
But be prepared to bleed
You are in my blood, you’re my holy wine
You taste so bitter, baby, and you taste so sweet
I could drink a case of you darling
I would still be on my feet
I would still be on my feet
Track Name: There Is (SH)
There Is

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

Open up your door
I know we've both been here before
But there's a shadow fading here
A revolution on its way

Open up your mind
I know I've drowned in there before
But my wings are drying off
And I am ready to dive in
I am coming back again
To you

A way
There is a way
Out of this
There is

Give me a minute
I'll try to explain myself to you
I am the girl who is always with you
The one who's always watching

Give me a break I thought that you
understood this already
And I'm not trying to deceive you
I don't have that much time on my hands
And I am not going to leave you alone

A way
There is a way
Out of this
There is

I see you in the rain
and you are more beautiful
than I have ever seen

And when I walk I want you with me
And I see your smile above me
and I know, I know there is

A way
there is a way
out of this
there is.
Track Name: Phoenix (SH)
Phoenix

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

You didn't have to hurt me, you know
it wasn't entirely necessary
and I'm not sure how much of that you meant
and I'm not sure how far
it went

but that doesn't really matter now
I meant every word I said except for
one

maybe it all just paved the way
for what needed to happen anyways

and out of the ashes I rise
the one who can look up is the one who flies

and remember to never look back or down
don't crash into the ground

and I am not a saint, yeah I get that

I've had it explained to me far
too many times

but I do try, and I like to think
that one day I'll get back what I've
given

and you said that I would never be happy
and now that I am I wonder if
you'd believe me anyways

but that doesn't matter now
and to tell the truth I don't care what
you think

'cause out of the ashes I rise
the one who can look up is the one who flies

and remember to never look back or down
don't crash into the ground

I can't help you now, no I can't stop you
so go ahead, crash into the ground...
Track Name: Running (SH)
Running

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

Verse 1

Granted I've been a fool before
But I've never felt
So completely insane
I know I've been here before
But I never saw this
For what it really was and

Pre chorus:

I hope that I can get my point across
I hope that I don't lie dormant in the shadows now
I know that I am running as fast as I can
But I know that that's not very fast at all

Chorus:

I am trying so hard to be something
That I just end up being nothing at all
So watch me as I stumble now
Watch me smile as I hit the ground

Verse 2

Every time that I knew the truth
I would just pretend
That I wasn't hiding
I'd tell myself that it's alright
I know myself
I think that's all that matters and

Pre-Chorus:

I hope that I can get my point across
I hope that I don't lie dormant in the shadows now
I know that I am running as fast as I can
And I know that that's not very fast at all

Chorus:

I am trying so hard to be something
That I just end up being nothing at all
So watch me as I stumble now
Watch me smile as I hit the ground

Bridge:

I always expect this
I always see it coming
I love it when it's faltering
I love it when it's failing
I know that there is
Most likely something wrong with that
But it's a part of who I am

At least I think that it might be, anyway...

I'm trying so hard to be something
That I just end up being nothing at all
So watch me as I stumble now
Watch me smile as I hit the ground

I'm trying so hard to be something
That I just end up being nothing at all
So watch me as I stumble now
Watch me smile as I hit the ground...

As I hit the ground...

Watch me smile as I hit the ground
Track Name: This Little Bird (SH)
This Little Bird

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

This little bird
has a wander lust
Yes, I am going to see everything
I'm going to feel
I'm going to understand
something here
something good

In a land in a different ocean
same idea, but different sea
just to have you
lying next to me

Oh, I'll be dancing in the fire
You'll be laughing at the stars
We'll be shouting from the buildings
We'll be waving at the cars
that pass us by as we stand here
as time moves around us
we are steady in this moment
no, time doesn't seem to phase us at all

This little bird's
flying East
for the Winter
And you may think that
my navigational equipment
is out of order
but I know
exactly what I’m doing
and yes I know
exactly where I'm going

To a corner in the East
after travelling so far
just to be with you
just to be where you are

I'll be dancing in the fire
You'll be laughing at the stars
We'll be shouting from the buildings
We'll be waving at the cars

that pass us as we stand here
as time moves around us
we are steady in this moment
No, time doesn't seem to move us at all
from where we are

We are standing in this moment
no, time…

This little bird’s
gonna see
the good life has to offer
and how you can give your heart
and still feel free
Track Name: Skeletons and Spirits (SH)
Skeletons and Spirits

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

Take your sympathy and shove it
as for the pain,
well, I love it
I'll eat your words
I'll devour your soul
I will laugh like a lemur
as you crawl back into your hole

I won't deny you,
but I'll pay you no heed
And, if you keep stabbing me,
I will probably bleed
But, I'll pretend I'm a cloud
and my rain will surround you
And if you keep hurting me
I'll eventually drown you

And, yes I know
I'm a little bit off

But, you, you can't leave, you can't open the door
you think you're unique but I've seen you before
so run, run away from the fires that burn
you will do this again and again
but you will never learn

So keep looking down
as you crush me keep smiling
'cause I will get up
and there's no denying
that I am one of your punching clowns
you can keep on striking
but you can't keep me down

You always think that you
are fearless and right
but I think that you
are afraid in the night
of the ghosts, of the spirits
that crawl into your head
of the skeletons that'll haunt you
until you're dead

but, now, you can't leave, you can't open the door
you think you're unique but I've seen you before
so run, run away from the fires that burn
you will do this again and again and again and again

but, now, you can't leave, you can't open the door
you think you're unique but I've seen it all before
so run, run away from the fires that burn
but you will never learn
you will never learn
you will never learn
Track Name: These Words (SH)
These Words

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

Hold my fears, take them
I don't want to see them ever again

You may not see, but I'm disfigured
distorted in my own head

hold my eyes, I don't wanna see
the pain that I have caused myself

but I could have run away, I could have hidden myself
but I run faster when I confront

these words
these chains that break me
these ropes that bind me when I try to be set free
these words repeated heartlessly

these words kill me, they kill me

like my conscience, just not a part of me
little demons released implanted inside my mind
they call out to me, they bring me down
they drag me across the stones and into the fire

these words
these chains that break me
these ropes that bind me when i try to be set free
these words repeated heartlessly

these words kill me, they kill me

and I never opened up, you know
and I'm not sure I would have even if you let me
I told you everything
but you'll never get to see the best of me

these words
these chains that break me
these ropes that bind me when I try to be set free
these words repeated heartlessly

these words kill me, they kill me
Track Name: I Never Loved a Man (SH)
I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)

Words & Music by Ronnie Shannon
As performed by Allison Crowe

You're no good heart-breaker
You're a liar and you're a cheat
And I don't know why
I let you do these things to me
My friends keep telling me
That you ain't no good
Lord, but, they don't know
That I'd leave you if I could

I guess I'm uptight
But I'm stuck like glue
I ain't never, I ain't never
I ain't never, no, no, loved a man
The way that I, I love you

A long time ago I thought
You had run out of fools
But I was so wrong
And now you got one that you'll never lose

The way that you treat me is a shame
How could you hurt me so bad
Baby, you know that I'm the best thing
That you ever had

Kiss me once again

Don't you never, never, never
say that we we're through
'cause I ain't never, I ain't never
I ain't never, no, no, loved a man
The way that I, I love you

I can't sleep at night
I can't eat a bite
Guess I'll never be free
Since you got your hooks in me

Yeah, Yeah, ayeah
Yeah, yeah, yeaha
I ain't never loved a man
I ain't never had a man treat me so bad
So I, I'll tell you just what I'm gonna do

I'm gonna hold him
Gonna hold him, hold him

I ain't never loved a man

the way that I

I love you
Track Name: Silence (SH)
Silence

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

Silence
In the darkness of your soul
Following your call

Grey skies
Belong to me
Open my eyes

Rain falls
On you
On me
You cannot control
Where you are
supposed to be

Bring the winds
That carry you
Bring them to me

I will hold
This rebel light
This renegade sea

Rain falls
On you
On me
I cannot control
Where I am
Supposed to be

I wait in the dark
I carry these chains
I roam through this night

No I’ll not open the door
For you to be free
For you to take flight

Rain falls
On you
On me

We cannot control
where we
are supposed to be
Track Name: Now (SH)
Now

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

As I walk this hall alone I wonder
exactly why it is I'm leaving
when there's nothing there for me to return to
other than blind faith
with a lack of believing
and not to say that I have nothing
I have everything and I am grateful
but my head is trying to tell me something
in this state of mind I feel so hateful

and I don't understand
and I'm not going to try to because

now that I've seen it
I couldn't walk away no
even if I wanted to, yes
now that I've seen it
even though I'm leaving now
every bit of me is still there

well I am filled with a quiet resolution
and questions posed without solution
and in my realm of indecision
finally I feel as though I can see something
and though this beacon's ever flashing
Ii can't revisit without rehashing
when I'm stuck in where I created fear
I cannot fix myself from here

and I'm starting to understand
at least in this state I believe something
because

now that I've seen it
I couldn't walk away no
even if I wanted to, yes
now that I've seen it
even though I'm leaving now
every bit of me is still there

the amount of times
I've seen the edge
of my own head
is unrelenting
the floor falls out
and I am left with
thoughts that move
without consenting
when all I want is peace
and all I want to believe in
is knowing without seeing
and wanting without fear

now that I've seen it
I couldn't walk away no
even if I wanted to, yes
now that I've seen it
even though I'm leaving now
every bit of me is still there
Track Name: Circular Reasoning (SH)
Circular Reasoning

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

I
am running headlong into a train

and I
would like to give this thing a name
but for now,
I am just happy to be me

and I
can't believe I just said that

'Cause I have waited
so long for something
so ridiculously simple and
I can't believe that it is this easy but it is

I am walking down this street alone
but I don't care
I don't need somewhere to belong to
not with you in my mind

ya, you just make a little home here
but only if you want to
Lord knows I'm easy now

'Cause I have waited
so long for something
so ridiculously simple and
I can't believe that it is this easy but it is

You
you're a little light in my dark
and I can see you if I try hard enough
and while I work
to leave the life I led before
I realize I ran away
just so I could stay
but maybe with you somewhere, sometime

'Cause I have waited
so long for something
so ridiculously simple and
I can't believe that it is this easy but it is