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about

Recorded "live" in start to finish takes, including the thunder on Dragonfly. Just two mics in a beautiful room in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada - The Kirkwood House.

credits

released October 1, 2010

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The Littlest Birds Laramie, Wyoming

The Littlest Birds is the banjo-driven music of and Sharon Martinson, performing both solo concerts and currently with several duo and trio configurations. "Think instrumental virtuosity balanced by a breezy, backwoods soul, music that is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally soothing."
- Dan Bolles, Seven Days Weekly, Burlington VT, 2011
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Track Name: Dragonfly
Oh along the water
along the meadow's edge
I see you flying with the sunlight
I see you flying with the wind

Old dragon where are you going
Old dragon where have you been
Old wisdom of your wings
Tell me your stories of eternity

Dragonfly
how you come and go
short lived wonder
what did you know
of this high mountain pass

----x
Dragonfly
you're dead on the snow
how did you come so high
did you leave your seed child
in a mountain pool before you died
----x
(poem by Gary Snyder)

Now you're making love with another
together you go tumbling through the air
another sweet child of the valley is born
another sweet child born in the dragon's lair.
Track Name: Beat it down the line
This job I got is just a little too hard
Runnin' out of money lord I need more to pay
Gonna wake up in the morning lord I'm gonna pack my bags
Gonna beat it on down the line.

Goin' down the line, goin' down the line
Goin' down the line, goin' down the line
Goin' down the line, Gonna beat it on down the line
Goin' down the line, Gonna beat it on down the line

Yeah I'll be waitin' at the station lord when that train rolls on by
Goin' back where I belong
I'm going up north to that same ol' used to be
Way down in Joe Brown's coal mine

Coal mine, coal mine
Coal mine, coal mine
Coal mine, way down in Joe Browns coal mine
Coal mine, way down in Joe Browns coal mine

Yeah I'm goin' back to that shack way across the railroad track
Goin' back where I belong
Got a sweet woman lord she's a-waitin' there for me
That's where I'm gonna make my happy home

Happy home, happy home
Happy home, happy home
Happy home, that's where I'm gonna make my happy home
Happy home, that's where I'm gonna make my happy home
Track Name: Red rocking chair
I ain’t got no use
I ain’t got no use
For your red rocking chair
I got no sugar baby now
I got no sugar honey baby now

Who’ll rock the cradle
Who’ll rock the cradle
Who’ll sing my song
Who’ll rock the cradle when I’m gone
Who’ll rock the cradle when I’m gone

I’ll rock the cradle
I’ll rock the cradle
I’ll sing your song
I’ll rock the cradle when you’re gone
I’ll rock the cradle when you’re gone

Some rounder come along
Some rounder come along
With his mouth full of gold
Rounder stole my greenback away
Rounder stole my greenback away

I laid him in the shade
I laid him in the shade
Gave him every dime I made
What else was a poor girl to do
What else was a poor girl to do
Track Name: Never gonna get it right
The same cold wind blowin' against my window
The same cold wind comin' out of the dark night
The same cold wind keeps cryin' and cryin'
You're never gonna get it right.

Don't even try you're too old and tired
Don't even try you might as well lay down and die
Don't even try and don't you know,
You're never gonna get it right.

Never gonna get it right
Never gonna get it right no no
You're never gonna get it right and don't ya know
You're never gonna get it right.

The same old time keeps roundin' and roundin'
The same old rhyme "I can't never depend on you"
The same old story weary with tellin'
You're never gonna get it right.

Never gonna get it right
Never gonna get it right no no
You're never gonna get it right and don't ya know
You're never gonna get it right.
Track Name: Miles and miles
Oh this feeling is in my feet
Oh this walking's in my heartbeat
Oh this living's in my hands
Carry it with me on my back.

For Miles and Miles
Strip me of my trials
and Let me go.

Oh I've been worried and I've been restless
And I've been thinking that all the worst is
Yet to come, down on me,
Bend my will and bury me deep.

For Miles and Miles
Strip me of my trials
and Let me go.

Oh how this mountain fills my eyes
How it throws me right through the sky
into the air of another valley
into the time of a timeless day.

For Miles and Miles
Strip me of my trials
and Let me go.
Track Name: Elk river blues
Music by Ernie Carpenter
Words by Sharon Martinson

You dam my river
You flood my farm
You dam my river
You flood my home
I've got no other place I can go to
So forever will I roam.

The water's rising
The birds are flying
They're trying to get
To higher ground
I've got no other place I can go to
So forever will I roam.

*We took this land
From all it’s people
We took these people
From their land
They’ve got no other
Place they can go to
So forever will they roam
*new, unrecorded verse
Track Name: Oh my darlin'
Oh my darlin'
Oh my darlin'
Oh my darlin' do you hear me call your name

Gone across the mountain
Gone into the sun
Gone but I'm coming back again
When the rivers run.

Oh my darlin'
Oh my darlin'
Oh my darlin' do you hear me call your name

Gone out on the road
Dust in my face
Gone but I'm coming back again
When the rivers run.

Oh my darlin'
Oh my darlin'
Oh my darlin' do you hear me call your name

What a night just to hold you
What a night just to laugh
I've been gone too long
But I'm comin' back

Oh my darlin'
Oh my darlin'
Oh my darlin' do you hear me call your name
Track Name: Two dollar bill
Chorus
Lost all my money but a two dollar bill
Two dollar bill, boys, two dollar bill
Lost all my money but a two dollar bill
I’m on my long journey home

Cloudy in the West, and it looks like rain
Looks like rain boys, looks like rain
Cloudy in the West, and it looks like rain
I’m on my long journey home
Chorus

Black smoke arising, surely is a train
surely is a train boys, surely is a train
Black smoke arising, surely is a train
I’m on my long journey home
Chorus

Homesick and lonesome, feeling kinda blue
feeling kinda blue boys, feeling kinda blue
Homesick and lonesome, feeling kinda blue
I’m on my long journey home
Chorus

Startin’ to rain and I’ve got to go
Got to go home boys, got to go home
Startin’ to rain and I’ve got to go
I’m on my long journey home
Chorus
Track Name: Waterbound
Chicken crowing in the old pine tree
Chicken crowing in the old pine tree
Chicken crowing in the old pine tree
Down in North Carolina

Chorus
Waterbound and I can’t get home
Waterbound and I can’t get home
Waterbound and I can’t get home
Way down in North Carolina

Say old man I want your daughter
Say old man I want your daughter
Say old man I want your daughter
Down in North Carolina
Chorus

Tell me boy what you want her for
Tell me boy what you want her for
Tell me boy what you want her for
Why you want my daughter
Chorus

Share my bread and carry my water
Share my bread and carry my water
Share my bread and carry my water
That’s why I want your daughter
Chorus

If you don’t let her go we’re gonna run away
If you don’t let her go we’re gonna run away
If you don’t let her go we’re gonna run away
Away from North Carolina
Chorus

Old man’s mad and I don’t care
Old man’s mad and I don’t care
Old man’s mad and I don’t care
As long as I get his daughter
Chorus

Get up Jenny and let’s go home
Get up Jenny and let’s go home
Get up Jenny and let’s go home
Before the water rises
Chorus
Track Name: Walkin' river
Well this old walkin' river only rolls in the spring
yeah this old walkin' river only rolls in the spring
Nothin' but boulders to catch the falling leaves
This old walkin' river only rolls in the spring.

The cottonwoods lean on the willow and the birch sometimes
Yeah the cottonwoods lean on the willow and the birch sometimes
Hear their morning wind song as the sun warms up the sky
The cottonwoods lean on the willow and the birch sometimes.

Well a flood swept the canyon not too many years ago
Yeah a flood swept the canyon not too many years ago
It moved the mountains, tore out the road
A flood swept the canyon not too many years ago.

But the men and machines they worked all night and day
The men and machines they worked all night and day
They put back the mountains, rebuilt the road just the same
The men and machines they worked all night and day.

But the way this river talks you know it won't be long
The way this river talks you know it won't be long
Before she roars again, sings her swollen song
The way this river talks you know it won't be long.

So I'm just gonna sit and watch this river roll
I'm just gonna sit and watch this river roll
Let it float my mind, see what settles out below
I'm just gonna sit and watch this river roll.

Cause this old walkin' river only rolls in the spring
This old walkin' river only rolls in the spring
Nothin' but boulders to catch the falling leaves
This old walkin' river only rolls in the spring.
Track Name: Steam engine
I turned my back some 10 years ago
And hopped the tracks down to Mexico
Steam Engine, burning coal, I won't ride you no more.

Across this country, across this land
Children going hungry and workers going mad
Steam engine, burning coal, I won't ride you no more.

Tax the poor and give back to the rich
It's all trickled us down into this big ditch
Steam engine, burning coal, I won't ride you no more.

Out on the coast I'm away from the man
I find myself living on a wild piece of land
Steam engine, burning coal, I won't ride you no more.
Track Name: Spring '10
Blue moonlight shines down upon the green leaves
Flowers are budding but I know you're bound to leave
Me alone, but smiling
Alone, but free
Nothing lasts forever on this road rolling away from me.

Dreams are falling, like stars tonight
I know they're nothing but trouble but for now that's just fine
I ain't blind, I want double
I ain't blind, I just don't want to see
Nothing is forever on this road rolling away from me.

City lights and mountainsides
Ocean breeze and redwood trees
Familiar faces and empty spaces
Desert sage burns another page
Abandon expectations, expectations abandon me.

Spring is-a-blossomin', like a kiss upon your cheek
I'm drunk on your cold clear water but I know you're bound to leave me alone, but smiling
Thirsty but free
Nothing lasts forever on this road rolling away from me.

City lights and mountainsides
Ocean breeze and redwood trees
Familiar faces and empty spaces
Desert sage burns another page
Abandon expectations, expectations abandon me.
Track Name: Goin' across the sea
I'm going across the sea
stay forever more
Left my little darlin'
standing on the shore
Chorus
Won't you come and go
come and go with me
Fly away my pretty little miss
I'm going across the sea

Winds are howling low
winds are howling high
won’t you be my darling
til the day I die
Chorus

Would you give a nickel
would you give a dime
Would you give one dollar bill
Call your name as mine
Chorus

Donie, Donie, Donie
What makes your face so red
Working in the field, son
gotta fever in my head
Chorus

As my mama told me
It has come to pass
Roaming and a rambling girl
Be you’re ruin at last
Chorus