What the River Gave the Boat

by Mark Berube

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

     $10 CAD  or more

     

1.
02:51
2.
3.
(free) 02:31
4.
03:00
5.
02:53
6.
04:25
7.
03:05
8.
9.
03:53
10.
06:46

credits

released August 7, 2008

Mark Berube - piano, acoustic guitar, accordion, organ, prepared piano, voice
Matthew Rogers - percussion, acoustic and electric guitar
Michael Patterson - upright bass
String Quartet - Eric Edington-Hyrb (viola), Doug Gorkoff (cello), Marcus Takizawa (violin), Erin James (violin)

Produced by Matthew Rogers and Mark Berube
String arrangements by Matthew Rogers.
Recorded at Neighbourhood Studios, summer 2006 in Vancouver, Canada.

Mixed by Matthew Rogers and Shawn Hall.
Mastered by Vincent Cardinal at Studio Plasma, Montreal, Qc.

All songs written by Mark Berube.

tags

license

all rights reserved

feeds

feeds for this album, this artist

about

Mark Berube Montréal, Québec

Montreal based singer/songwriter. Band includes Kristina Koropecki (Cello/Autoharp/Voice)

shows

contact / help

Contact Mark Berube

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Cloudy Day
Pickin' up the pieces on a cloudy day

Hopscotch played and raindrops framed kissing all the sailors with the wet shoe stains a rusted tire in parking lot and a girl in cotton socks just stares at faces on posters on the telephone poles an old drunk man in panty hose the porchlights burn and the clouds are high and the liquor store's closed on Sundays

we're pickin' up the pieces on a cloudy day

Sun-stained bottles on the doorstep a John-Deere hat and a three-piece suit standing on the corner speaking traffic and waking up the neighbours with the gum boot slap there's an executioner with a coffee handing out condoms to saints and the porchlights burn and the clouds are high and the liquor store's closed on Sunday

we're pickin' up the pieces on a cloudy day

The dump truck's leaving all the rainbows and the ghosts are circling round town there's a checkerboard face on a downtown train sayin' his name is lost and found today and everyone's got a camera and invitations for their beds they're looking for those with convictions the kind the jail house folks would like instead and the liqour store's closed on Sundays

we're pickin' up the pieces on a cloudy day
Track Name: Pretty Little Bird (The Saint of Vancouver)
Well the rain comes down like confetti thrown out of some fat man's hand it hits the ground, and makes a sound and kicks the spit out of this small town but it has a pretty little bird

now the garbage tries to pass as graffiti and there's taxi yellow midnight sunlight there's a neon sign, that tells the time and spotlights a petty little crime seen by a pretty little bird

it thinks lalalalalalala... I'm a pretty little bird

There's a woman haunted by a back alley stalker a shadow-walker with a wooden cane she turns around and knocks him down and takes his cane as a crown then blows a kiss to a pretty little bird

Now the police car starts to go circus as they chase a running man down the street he climbs a fence, and things go tense as the guns come out and try to make some sense then they see a pretty little bird

they think lalalalalalalalala..... what a pretty little bird

There's a pizza joint on the corner on fire a 3 a.m. bonfire redder than a stop sign up goes the smoke, it's chased by ghosts running from the grease fire hosts and looking for a pretty little bird

Now the church has its congregation and they're standing on the church's front steps they look above, and see a dove having love without the glove with a pretty little bird

they think lalalalalalala...... what a pretty little bird
Track Name: Cowboys
White satin dress behind the drums she's playing hard the last samurai in a rock and roll band

her hair hangs down and draws the crowd as the band gets loud in a very foreign town

and it's all about to go to explode on the stage

the bass player spins around and screams

they're like a train with no remains from where they came and no past to blame

they're taking on the cowboys now on a Saturday night
Track Name: Tomorrow
Walking to the train station the 8 a.m. rush the sun paints the sidewalk the stores pull their shutters up the tables are unfolding in the market in the street their faces look friendly even in the morning heat and I wonder will they be here tomorrow

The station's looking busy the crowd is moving slow the sounds on the staircase follow the feet that go below there's graffiti on the wall about a punk band from Berlin I wonder if they're coming or if they've already been maybe they'll come back tomorrow

A woman reads the bible another does her nails there's a man that looks like Hitler with dreadlocked pony tails there's a baby that's crying and a man that shakes his head there's poetry on the billboard by some that is dead maybe they'll come back tomorrow

The train gathers speed the hands hold the bars the papers talk of Africa and sending a man to Mars there's a backpack that's sitting in the corner by the door there's a young man facing upwards with his back on the floor

and then the smoke began he had tomorrow in his hands
Track Name: Yebo Mama
Yebo Mama walking by the river a bucket on her head will she go for a swim today or go on home instead

Yebo Mama four kids around her feet a booth in the market place no time to feel alone he's been gone so long can't remember his face

Yebo Mama off to the funeral she's wearing her Sunday's best it's now the new social occasion as they lay their loves to rest

Yebo Mama you have yourselves a king and his fourteen wives he's forgotten about the bucket and he doesn't know or hear your cries

Yebo Mama you remember the day the white man came thought he was god to the ocean forcing it to by the rain

Yebo Mama the sun's going down the pot's on the flame you know it's hard to point a finger at a face without a name

Yebo Mama please keep going your the heart and the hand of a country with its head chopped off and blood that soaks the land

Yebo Mama walking by the river a bucket on her head will she go for a swim today or go on home instead
Track Name: Alarms Pt. 1
It's been three days I move in a haze walking back and forth

I clean the house I wash my face then I drive downtown

and I return to the place where the night took its shape and I look around

and I see your face... on the cover you are wanted by the police

The doctor's didn't have much hope said the pain in mom's throat would one day take her away

So you came after dark put in her your car then you disappeared in the night

I believe you took her up north where the good trees still grow now they've lost your trail

Now I see your face.... on the cover you are wanted for what you've released yes by the police

Did you think that you could change all that life has prearranged and be the one to break the mould and breathe some life back in it

Now I think the world will see what it really needs to see again and feel again and see a love that sets off alarms

a hospital is no place to die


I've got some time cause the train is late these songs are full of times like these

Well the night has a chill and the hands on the clock are patient and the thoughts in my head are having dirty conversations the kind that make us change phone booths into bedrooms

we have phone calls from phone booths from Moonbeam to old Berlin and I miss those morning bells with you in the morning

I've got some time cause the train is late these times are full of songs like these
Track Name: Old Berlin
I've got some time cause the train is late these songs are full of times like these

Well it's been 5 months since we parked in the car in a field and I watched the morning break over hill-tops and the side of your face now the station's getting empty just me and the telephones

but we don't know what to say so we talk about sunny day postcards and the politics of rain on wedding days and highway love now my phone card's getting empty and outside I can see the moon

we have phone calls from phone booths from Moonbeam to Old Berlin and I miss those morning bells with you in the morning

I've got some time cause the train is late these songs are full of times like these

Well the night has a chill and the hands on the clock are patient and the thoughts in my head are having dirty conversations the kind that make us change phone booths into bedrooms

we have phone calls from phone booths from Moonbeam to old Berlin and I miss those morning bells with you in the morning

I've got some time cause the train is late these times are full of songs like these
Track Name: War Without and End
I left my family to go and join the war told my 6 year old daughter it was her I was fighting for packed up my bags with a picture of her they call me a sergeant when I'm sober this is the war without an end

I took my dreams to the frontline met my comrades and drank some wine I led the charge into the smoke with the taste of glory in my throat this is the war without an end

this is the war without an end

now we've captured some enemy ground the price is clear once the dust settles down we gather our heroes and give them a cross with god on our side we accept the loss this is the war without an end

I take a breath as I hear of the ceasefire my boots have holes and my faith is tired I can't remember why I'm here and his paper fence won't make this disappear this is the war without an end

this is the war without an end

My 6 year old daughter asks me where I've been questions like these leave me empty I kiss her cheek and turn away as I hear the ghosts inside me say this is the war without an end

this is the war without an end
Track Name: Running Away
It's minus 17 the window's frosted up the wind is blowing reeds through the cracks in the doors

the CBC plays winter all static and violins the night is touched by flames dancing in the dark

it's been 2 years since I found you waving taxis down you were running from an anchor your heart couldn't bear you said 'running away will get me somewhere running away will get me somewhere'

The coals are belly dancers the fire place a stage the wind has been hijacked by a kinder softer ghost

we're in a place called nowhere it's minus 17 now the sails are full but there's no reason to leave

It's been 2 years since I found you knocking on airplane doors now you take off what hides us on the kitchen chair you say 'running away won't get us nowhere running away won't get us nowhere'
Track Name: Barber Shop
I saw golden age rock stars sweeping a Paris stage
it was another reunion tour trying to shake off the dust
with a broken broom and a nostalgic room
as if they're trying to get their histories carved into a library of setting books
just as the strings on a guitar slowly come undone
every rock star becomes a bedtime sun
fading in a room that grace got kicked out of
by a bouncer with a small head
but I buy their records in discount bins
and listen to them with the lights turned low
and when they come to town like exhibitions of the Roman Empire
I buy a ticket and stand in line and like the rest of us
I wonder what's been lost and what's been left behind

but there's one
I was in a book store and bought 'down the highway'
a one-eyed chronicle of the 60's in the New York
and how the carpets unrolled themselves outward

I caught the greyhound at 6am from Montreal
and I arrived in New York 9 hours later
'cause at the border I was stalled

next day I'm in a Korean restaurant on the corner of Broadway and 49th
the man across the table from me is a man from Northern India
whose hometown is 50 miles from the border with Nepal
he's going on and on about this song 'visions of johanna'
I say I've heard about it but I haven't heard it
I go on to tell him that tomorrow I'm going to check out Times Square
with the cock of his chopsticks
and the flick of his eye lids he tells me to beware

next day I get out of the subway station
and I move into the crowd
and all around me is electronic warfare
and tourists dressed up in paparazzi uniforms
and policemen dressed up in arms
and I think to myself that any minute now one
of these dumpsters just might explode
and that the fear in this place needs a haircut
but the barber shop is closed

.....

nous compterons toutes les fenetres qui se trouvent dans cettes rues nous compterons tous les fissures et les portes bonheurs la-bas nous ecrirous toutes les lettres qui ne reveront plus nous reveillerons tous les reveilleurs qui ont oublier la facon de rever ce soir nous ouvrons nos portes ce soir nous marchons sur la sole de la prison ce soir nous tirons tous les drapeaux et emballerons votre innocence dans un sac plastique brilliant

.....

I flip the pages of the phone book to try and find the perfect song
and when I dust the dust off the books of history
I find myself looking at all the things that went right
but find myself getting stuck in all the things that went wrong
then I spent a night with sara
after I saw her hitch-hiking on the side of the road
I picked her up we drove through mountain passes
close to the border where border guards
just want to make conversation before you pass on
by we were driving half way between the place where we'd already paid
and the place where we still owed
a no-man's land where shoulders to lean on were hard to find
these days I lie beside her
but sometimes I wake up and she's not there
later I find her in the newspaper headlines
sometimes among the pages that guide those who believe
in the gutters, among the broken windows
and the dream catchers that line these city streets
and we agreed that night to bless ourselves with highway love
as raindrops moved the dust off the bookshelves
stacked so high they held up the streetlights we'd already passed
and she said "If Hallelujah is the phone number,
you and I are the book,"
and that "there's music in the mountains close to the border
and visions of us in the distance
are closer than they appear"
she leaned over and whispered
"Have you heard about the story of what the river gave the boat?"
I said "No, I haven't"
She said "Don't worry,"
as she rolled down the window
and gave the wind a smile to carry to the next car down the road
"there's still a long way to go."