by Gretchen Peters



Live from Glema Mahr Performing Arts Center, Madisonville, KY


released August 22, 2005



all rights reserved


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


contact / help

Contact Gretchen Peters

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Track Name: Museum
i am an artist
i won’t crawl
i’ll paint a picture of my heart
and hang it on a wall
it’s my sweet release
it’s my masterpiece
hanging on a wall in a museum

you can hurt me
but i’ll fight back
i’ll rearrange the shadows and the light
til the colors turn to black
til my broken heart
is a work of art
hanging on a wall in a museum

and i’ll paint the golden summers
and i’ll paint the starry nights
and i’ll paint the bloody battles
and the refuse of the fight
like a message in a bottle
like a ghost beyond the grave
you’re looking for some meaning
but it’s my life i’m trying to save

i am a stranger
to myself
not living breathing flesh and blood
but dust upon a shelf
it’s my joy and my strife
it’s my lot in life
to be hanging on a wall in a museum
Track Name: Circus Girl
I work the high wire in the center ring
Defying gravity, that's my thing
Guess I never wanted no regular life
I couldn't stand to be nobody's wife

Some people tell me that I'm livin' their dream
But things in the circus ain't what they seem
Believe me darlin' it's a lonely world
It ain't easy for a circus girl

Nobody knows you when you come to town
You're somebody's hero or you're somebody's clown
And you hope like hell that it'll be enough
Cause you're nobody's baby when the sun comes up

Bridge: You can dazzle 'em with beauty
Make 'em laugh until they cry
You can give 'em the thrill of a lifetime
But they always say goodbye

It's just that sometimes I get so tired
Of goin' nowhere on that little wire
I'd like to plant my feet on solid ground
But God have mercy it's a long way down

So I climb that ladder right on up to the sky
I don't look down and I don't ask why
And just for a moment I'm on top of the world
Just for a moment I'm a circus girl
Track Name: Like Water Into Wine
Baby open up that bottle
Come and lay down by my side
I don't have no special reason
Just this ache I feel inside
I wanna lose my inhibitions
I wanna lose those words we said
I wanna drink my fill of you babe
And let it go right to my head

Tonight I want to hold you
I wanna look into your eyes
I wanna watch these broken dreams turn into memories
Just like water, baby
Just like water into wine

Don't wanna think about tomorrow
Don't wanna count my last regrets
I can't hate you anymore babe
And I can't love you any less

Sometimes I've been ungrateful
Sometimes you've been unkind
But all the pain and sorrow and all the bitter tears
They're just water, baby
Just water into wine

So baby open up that bottle
Come and lay down by my side
I can't think of one good reason
We should not be satisfied

Jesus walked upon the water
Healed the sick, the lame, the blind
We are miracles of science, we are accidents divine
We're just like water, baby
Just like water into wine
Track Name: Souvenirs
I set out like Kerouac
In my American car
Carryin' a dream and a road map
Deep in my American heart
But where's them mountain majesties
Where's those waves of grain
Billboards from sea to shining sea
Man, it ain't the same

I've been searching for the promised land
But it's just another neon come-on roadside stand
Little tin toys that fall apart
That's all they got here
I come all this way to find my heart
All I get is souvenirs

They got Mount Rushmore on a cup
Everybody needs one of those
For a dollar more they'll fill it up
You can drink out of Lincoln's nose
They got the hard rock t-shirts
They got Elvis too
Sooner or later mark my words
They're gonna get you


Baby I believed in you
I thought you believed in me
I thought we had a love that's true
Not a close facsimile
Now I don't want your dime store ring
Turns my finger green
I don't want your dimestore love
I want the real thing

Track Name: Main Street
Right through the middle of our town
A two lane, two way highway comes rollin' down
It used to be quite busy around here
But then they put a mall out there and the freeway came last year
Nobody stops here anymore, they're only passin' through
Nothin' much to look at, and there's nothing here to do
Just an old newspaper blowin' at my feet
Down on Main Street

Old Mr. Arnold finally sold the store
He started out on Main Street back before the war
He says business wasn't booming anyway
He says he and that old neighborhood have seen their better day
But he remembers how it was in 1945
When they marched out all the boys who made it home alive
And the girls were throwing roses at their feet
Down on Main Street

Down on Main Street
They're sellin' memories real low
Goin' out of business
Everything must go

Like old forgotten faces without names
The storefronts and the sidewalks and the boarded window frames
And there's the corner record store
Where I discovered rock'n'roll so many years before
But now I walk these empty streets and I listen for that sound
I listen for the rhythm in the heart of this old town
I listen for the slow and steady beat
Down on Main Street
Track Name: You Don't Even Know Who I Am
She left the car in the driveway
She left the key in the door
She left the kids at her mama's
And the laundry piled up on the floor
She left her ring on the pillow
Right where it wouldn't be missed
She left a note in the kitchen
Next to the grocery list

It said you don't even know who I am
You left me a long time ago
You don't even know who I am
So what do you care if I go

He left the ring on the pillow
He left the clothes on the floor
And he called her to say he was sorry
But he couldn't remember what for
So he said, I've been doing some thinking
And I've been thinking that maybe you're right
I go to work every morning
And I come home to you every night

And you don't even know who I am
You left me a long time ago
You don't even know who I am
So what do I care if you go
Track Name: The Secret of Life
Couple of guys sittin' around drinkin' down at the Starlight Bar
One of 'em says, you know I been thinkin' - other one says that won't get you too far
He says this is your life and welcome to it - it's just workin' and drinkin' and dreams
Ad on the TV says "Just do it" - hell if I know what that means...

The secret of life is a good cup of coffee
The secret of life is keep your eye on the ball
The secret of life is a beautiful woman
And Marilyn stares down from the barroom wall...

You and me, we're just a couple of zeroes - just a couple of down-and-outs
But movie stars and football heroes - what've they got to be unhappy about?
So they turn to the bartender, "Sam, what do you think - what's the key that unlocks that door?"
Sam don't say nothin', he just wipes down the bar and he pours 'em a couple more

Cause the secret of life is in Sam's martinis
The secret of life is in Marilyn's eyes
The secret of life is in Monday night football
And Rolling Stones records and Mom's apple pies

Sam looks up from his Sunday paper - he says boys you're on the wrong track
The secret of life is there ain't no secret and you don't get your money back

The secret of life is gettin' up early
The secret of life is stayin' up late
The secret of life is try not to hurry
But don't wait, don't wait...
The secret of life is a good cup of coffee
The secret of life is keep your eye on the ball
The secret of life is to find the right woman
The secret of life is nothin' at all

Repeat first verse
Track Name: Revival
I went walking one night on tupelo street
All the way to the county line
Heard a sidewalk sermon and a blind man preach
And written on a cardboard sign

Revival, revival
This lamb has gone astray
Revival, revival
Gonna wash your sins away

Now I have done everything that I know to do
But you left a hole that I just can’t fill
And if God can forgive me baby why can’t you
But I guess you never will

Revival, revival
This lamb has gone astray
Revival, revival
Gonna wash your sins away

Baby you were my weakness and my saving grace
My salvation and my sin
And I would give anything just to see your face
Just to see your face again

Revival, revival
This lamb has gone astray
Revival, revival
Gonna wash your sins away
Track Name: Over Africa
Under Kilimanjaro
She guards her young
And she speaks to the darkness
In the mother tongue
She waits and she watches
All night long
She calls to her lover
And she sings this song:

 I will be there for you whatever comes
I am as constant as the beat of drums
My love is stronger than the noonday sun over Africa
Over Africa

It's a force of nature
It's the power of need
Love will heal you, baby
And it'll make you bleed
But I will be patient
I will bide my time
I will be waiting
Like a mama lion


Between love and money, between pride and sin
We are just wild things underneath the skin
In the cradle of creation we were made this way
Bound together 'til our dying day

It's the law of the jungle
It's the ancient truth
Live by the senses, baby
Die by the tooth
But I would walk through fire
I would swim the sea
Long as I live and breathe
You belong to me

Track Name: This Used To Be My Town
the altarboys are sneaking cigarettes
the friends and neighbors offering their regrets
the station wagons in the pouring rain
and all that water goin down the drain

a white lace dress for when i turn thirteen
and a bright red stain that wouldn’t quite come clean
walking by the football field
trying out my sex appeal
while all around the leaves are turning brown
this used to be my town

he waited by the swingset in the park
he tore at my new raincoat in the dark
and all that i could think about
was getting through and getting out
and how the night could fall without a sound
this used to be my town

i’m flying through the clouds as white as snow
i’m looking at the people down below
the whole world holds its breath for me
the priest evokes eternity
and everywhere the rain is pourin down
this used to be my town
Track Name: American Tune
Many’s the time I'v been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and I’ve often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
But I'm all right, I'm all right
I'm just weary to my bones
Still, you don't expect to be bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home

I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
or driven to its knees
But it's all right, it's all right
We've lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road we're traveling on
I wonder what went wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what went wrong

And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age's most uncertain hour
and sing an American tune
But it's all right, it's all right
You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day
And I'm trying to get some rest
That's all I'm trying to get some rest
Track Name: On A Bus To St. Cloud
On a bus to St. Cloud, Minnesota
I thought I saw you there
With the snow falling down around you
Like a silent prayer
And once on a street in New York City
With the jazz and the sin in the air
And once on a cold L.A. freeway
Going nowhere

And it's strange, but it's true
I was sure it was you
Just a face in the crowd
On a bus to St. Cloud

In a church in downtown New Orleans
I got down on my knees and prayed
And I wept in the arms of Jesus
For the choice you made
We were just gettin' to the good part
Just gettin' past the mystery
Oh, and it's just like you, just like you
To disagree

And it's strange but it's true
You just slipped out of view
Like a face in the crowd
On a bus to St. Cloud

And you chase me like a shadow
And you haunt me like a ghost
And I hate you some, and I love you some
But I miss you most...

On a bus to St. Cloud, Minnesota
I thought I saw you there
With the snow falling down around you
Like a silent prayer
Track Name: When You Are Old
When you are old and tired and gray
And wear your overcoat on sunny days
When your brave tales have all been told
I'll ask for them when you are old

When you are old and full of sleep
And death no longer makes you weep
When your body aches with cold
I'll warm your heart when you are old

And you'll still be the same to me
A comfort and a mystery
And I will be old too, you see
I'll need someone to comfort me

When you are old and pale and gaunt
And a gentle hand is all you want
I will give you mine to hold
I'll be here when you are old