Hello Cruel World

by Gretchen Peters

supported by
Steve Lawson
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Steve Lawson Gretchen's a consummate songwriter - has an uncanny skill for leaving out all the extraneous nonsense that would detract from the magic and emotion at the heart of The Song. But there's nothing overly clinical here, just exceptional, moving songs that draw you in and make you feel like you're not alone. Favorite track: The Matador.
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credits

released January 31, 2012

produced by Doug Lancio, Gretchen Peters & Barry Walsh
recorded at Studio G!, Nashville, TN*
*”Little World” recorded at Nigel’s House, Nashville, TN
all songs written by Gretchen Peters, except as noted
Engineered by Doug Lancio & Chad Brown
Assisted by Nick Newberry
Mixed by Doug Lancio
Mastered by John Baldwin

photography/art direction/design: Gina Binkley
hair & makeup: Neil Robison

Thanks: Barry Walsh, Doug Lancio, Rodney Crowell, Tom & Nadine Russell, Matraca Berg, Suzy Bogguss, Crystal Hochhalter, Paul Sawyer, Rebecca Kemp, Val Denn, Nigel Morton, Richard Wootton, everyone at Proper Records, Leslie Rouffe, Frank Liddell, Michael Emrick & Bill Hollings

www.gretchenpeters.com

For my two James

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about

Gretchen Peters Nashville, Tennessee

Gretchen Peters’ new album, 'Blackbirds,' features a who's who of American roots music: Jerry Douglas, Jason Isbell, Jimmy LaFave and more. But it's not the guests that make 'Blackbirds' the most poignant and moving album of Peters' storied career; it’s her ability to capture the kind of complex emotional moments we might otherwise try to hide and instead shine a light onto them. ... more

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Track Name: Hello Cruel World
Haven't done as well as I thought I would
I'm not dead but I'm damaged goods
And it's gettin' late
I'm a rusty hinge, a squeaky wheel
At the bad end of a shaky deal
Cursed by the hand of fate

And oooh - I'm a very lucky girl
Yeah oooh - hello cruel world

I'm a ticking clock, a losing bet
I’m a girl without a safety net
I'm a cause for some concern
You don't live this long without regrets
Telephone calls you don't wanna get
Stones you'd rather leave unturned

But oooh - the grain of sand becomes the pearl
Yeah oooh - hello cruel world

Some folks go the easy route
Numb the pain or put the lights out
Either way they got to go
Me I'm gonna stick around
In for a penny in for a pound
‘Cause I hate to miss the show

And oooh - I'm a very stubborn girl
Yeah oooh - hello cruel world
Track Name: Saint Francis
Saint Francis walking on the water
All his lambs have gone to slaughter
All the creatures who receive his grace
You can see them all in his haggard face

Saint Francis begging at your doorway
You want to let him in but what will the neighbors say
And you know you can't go on but you can't give up
And he answers you with his begging cup

Saint Francis sitting at your table
A cup of tea among the faithful
Behind a wall that's made of little lies
Much to your surprise you start to cry

By these wounds you will be whole again
By these signs you will know
You'll feel a stirring in your soul again
'Til sweet amnesia takes a hold

Saint Francis sleeping in the meadow
His halo is a raven's shadow
He's been sleeping for 800 years
In a potter's field full of sparrow's tears
And while we sleep and dream of heaven's gates
Down here on earth the old man waits
Track Name: The Matador
I threw a rose to the matador, not sure who I was cheering for
My aim was true, my heart was full, I loved the fighter and the bull
I loved like only a woman can, a very complicated man
I bound his wounds, I heard his cries, I gave him truth, I told him lies

His rage is made of many things: faithless women, wedding rings
Snakes and snails and alcohol, his daddy's fist thrown through the wall
Ah but he's beautiful when he's in the ring, the devil howls, the angels sing
Sparks fly from his fingertips and words like birds fly from his lips

Some man is lyin' in the dirt
Some woman's crying that he's hurt
But he's not alive without the thrill
Without the dance, without the kill
The lights go down, the people roar
They're cheering on the matador
And this is how the story goes
I knew it when I threw the rose

I come to each and every show; the woman in the second row
I watch them in their ancient dance and I know I never stood a chance
Cause while other demons prance and clown, it's vanity that takes you down
I thought that I could be the one, but I'm just another hanger-on

Some man is bleedin' in the dirt
Some woman's crying that she's hurt
But who are we without the thrill
Without the dance, without the kill
And he is bull and matador
And I'm the mother and the whore
And this is how the story goes
I knew it when I threw the rose

I threw a rose to the matador, not sure who I was cheering for
My aim was true, my heart was full, I loved the fighter and the bull
Track Name: Dark Angel (with Rodney Crowell)
I got no use for harps and wings
I got no time for foolish things
There is no heaven, there is no hell
There's only you, my dark angel

Your bleeding heart, your pilgrim soul
Your wounded eyes, that take their toll
Your ragged voice like a broken bell
Against the noise, my dark angel

And if there is no hereafter
And there is only here
Life is still a beautiful disaster
Ah but we both know that my dear

So let the curtain rise, let the great world spin
If it's all for show - let the show begin
Everybody's got something, something to sell
Except for me and you, my dark angel

There is no heaven, there is no hell
There's only you, my dark angel
Track Name: Paradise Found
I got a fine house, I got a deep well
I'm a woman who knows how to keep to herself
When your need is strong and the hour is late
Baby you got the key to my garden gate

Honeysuckle clings to an old stone wall
Just like Eden before the fall
From dust we come and dust we'll be
Love's the only thing gonna set us free

So open the doors and come inside
Nectar's in the blossom and the bee's in the hive
Oh daddy won't you ease on down
East of Eden, Paradise found

I worship no idol I seek no god
I don't believe in no holy jihad
I don't believe in original sin
I believe in the heat underneath our skin

When the Great Correction finally comes
Goin' back to the garden where we come from
Gonna sow our seed in the good sweet ground
And let our love come tumblin’ down
Track Name: Woman On The Wheel
There's a man out here puts his head in the mouth of a crocodile
Puts the whole thing in, takes it out and gives the crowd a great big smile
And they walk away with their illusions of safety safely intact
And they tell their little wide eyed kids it's only an act

There's a man out here throws knives at a target with a blindfold on
And the wheel spins round and the knives bear down ‘til they find their home
And I can feel the rush and the whoosh of every blade of steel
Cause I am the woman on the wheel

Sometimes I get lonely sometimes I get scared but most times bored
Sometimes I ask God please God just show me just what's behind that door
As if God was Monty Hall and this was Let's Make A Deal
And I am the woman on the wheel

Had a sweet little baby in Coeur D'Alene, he was an acrobat
Took me out on the wire, man I never knew love could feel like that
But in the end he was a man who couldn't keep his feet on the ground too long
In the end it's just another highwire act gone wrong

So it's on with the show and it's send in the clowns and the trapeze act
And it's more of the same and it's less of a game than a cold hard fact
And most times it's better not to ask myself how I feel
I'm just the woman on the wheel

I know what you're thinkin’ as the knives fly by and they find their mark
You're thinkin’ one false move and it's a real bad day at the amusement park
You wouldn't wanna be me but you need me just the same
To remind you what you stand to lose and what you stand to gain

They say I've got a death wish yeah but I don't think that's true
As far as I can see it's less about me and more about you
You see it ain't your fears so much as what your fears reveal
I'm just the woman on the wheel
Track Name: Five Minutes
I've got five minutes to sneak a cigarette
Five minutes to myself
Back behind the screen door of Andy's Luncheonette
And I ain't got time to worry bout my health
My boss Andy says I smoke myself to death
Andy he reminds me some of you
Back when you were Romeo and I was Juliet
West Texas Capulet and Montague

Now I don't think too much about you anymore
We weren't much more than kids
It was nearly twenty years ago I shut and locked that door
Now I've got five minutes
Not much time to reminisce

Most nights I come home from work and I pour a glass of wine
Sometimes it's three or four before I stop
And Jessie makes a sandwich if I sleep through suppertime
And she leaves me on the couch to to sleep it off
Now Jessie just turned 17 and she's wild as she can be
And there ain't nothin’ I can do
Last weekend she ran off to meet a boy in Tennessee
Just like I used to run to you

I gave her hell when she came home this afternoon
Mascara runnin’ down her face
Seems like history repeats itself, and it ain't up to you
And in five minutes
Your whole life can change

Now Andy he's good to me, and I can see it in his eyes
He'd love to take your place
But something deep inside me just withers up and dies
To make love to him and only see your face

Somehow I've let myself go gently down the stream
A fine example I have set
Between the workin’ and the livin’ and the ghosts that haunt my dreams
I've got five minutes and I'm gonna smoke this cigarette
Track Name: Camille
The moon had a fight with the parking lot light
And slunk off to hide in the clouds
Now it’s broken bottles, gravel and glass
Keepin’ you company now

In the heat of the moment he cried out your name
But the moment it didn’t last long
Ten minutes later he’s driving away
And you’re putting your pantyhose on

And you don’t want to cry, and you don’t want to think
And you tell yourself it ain’t no big deal
And you feel like a fool, and you feel like a drink
And you drink so you don’t have to feel
But you still do, don’t you Camille

All your affairs are like last night’s mascara
Darkening the lines ‘round your eyes
Seems like these days you’re just pickin’ up strays
You laugh and you say you’re no prize

And the sins of the fathers are not meant for daughters
But somehow you felt you’re to blame
And the ghost in your head and the men in your bed
They all look like they’re one and the same
Track Name: Natural Disaster
Weatherman says there's gonna be sun
Surely to God I'm not the only one
Who'd trade this day for a hurricane
Blow 500 miles across a landlocked state

Earthquake shook the California ground
Took a freeway out and some buildings down
Well I've never felt the earth move under my heels
But I got a pretty good idea just how it feels

I got pictures hangin' on the walls
A history that haunts these halls
Of you and me, before and after
A natural disaster

We tore through each other like an avalanche
You and me baby we were bound to crash
The higher we flew the harder we fell
From the hem of heaven, to the gates of hell

Like a landslide baby on a suicide run
No thought to the damage done
Headed straight downhill, faster and faster
A natural disaster

They say it was a miracle no one died
Just two people hurt and some wounded pride
Love takes everything in its path
And leaves you breathless in the aftermath

And there's a hole where your heart once stood
You know it won't kill you but you wish it would
Cause you don't want to face the morning after
Your natural disaster

Weatherman says no chance of rain
But I'm still waiting' for that hurricane
Track Name: Idlewild
They're in the front seat, he's got the radio low
And the moon hangs over Idlewild as the planes touch down
He is talking but she's not listening
She is thinking of her father who died when she was young

I'm in the back seat, they think i'm sleeping
But I am listening for the cracks between their voices in the dark
We are a family, we are a shipwreck
And we're picking up my grandma who is getting very old

And they think she's dying
But I think she's laughing
I think she's riding Halley's comet from Ft. Lauderdale to here
And when I see her
I'll keep her secret
We all have our secrets that we keep inside ourselves

They built this airport, but in a few years
They'll name it after Kennedy, the one who died today
And he will leave her, and she will suffer
And they will never really know each other at all

They think we're driving
But I know we're drifting
They think we're off on some adventure where the hero saves the day
We think we're special
We think we're golden
We think we're walking on the moon but we are dancing in the dark

We shoot our rockets, we shoot our presidents
We shoot the commies and the niggers and the Viet Cong
Everything changes, everything stays the same
And the moon hangs over Idlewild as the planes touch down
Track Name: Little World
Baby lock that old front door
Got a good red wine to pour
Cause the world is just too much for me tonight
I'm a soldier back from war
Too tired to care no more
And too sad to put up any kind of fight

But from here to the garden gate
Where the sweet wild roses wait
It's a little world

Between Jupiter and Mars
And these cold and icy stars
We oughta take what earthly comfort we can find
Cause it's a big and lonely world
And I'm a sad and lonely girl
It's easy to get lost out there sometimes

But from here to the garden gate
The path is small and straight
And it's a little world

Two spoons in a kitchen drawer
A dance on a hardwood floor
Two shadows move behind a darkened door
And there’s a dog with a juicy bone
A sigh from a saxophone
Only a fool would wish for more

From here to the garden gate
Is a world that we create
Just a little world