Middlemaze

by Erin Tobey

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credits

released June 3, 2016

// Recorded in spring and summer of 2015 at Russian Recording, Bloomington, Indiana
// Written by Erin Tobey
// Performed by Erin Tobey (guitar, bass, organ, recorder), Matt Tobey (bass, guitar, synth, organ, percussion, background vocals), and Jeff Grant (drums, percussion, background vocals)
// Engineered, mixed, and mastered by Mike Bridavsky
// Assistant Engineering by Kyle Houpt
// Additional vocals on ALL OVER THE WORLD by Kate Duneman and Jonathan Cargill
// Additional guitar on INFINITY SONG by Mike B.
// Front cover: ICON PAINTING by John Berry (Oil on canvas, 84x84”, 2012, johngberry.com)

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Erin Tobey Bloomington, Indiana

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MIDDLEMAZE, out now from Let's Pretend Records.

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Cover/background art by John Berry

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Track Name: I'm Young
I’M YOUNG

Every time I whistled in the wind
to move the trees,
never saw the, never felt the breeze
Every time I covered up my eyes
to set the sun, it would be done

I’m young
I could move a mountain
stone by stone
It may take all day
but that’s a sacrifice I’d make

Oh Mom, don’t call me
God, Mom! Don’t call me

I could open doors for you,
don’t even need a key
Trust me, babe,
they’ll let me in for free
I’m a firecracker but don’t
come near me with a spark
I like it dark

I’m young...

My love is a deep, abiding love
It lives on the dance floor of the club
My love spans the
length and breadth of time
It lives until it dies

On reflection, I could see that
I’m a product of my time,
if I reflected
Track Name: Medicine Garden
MEDICINE GARDEN

Let us in, Medicine Garden
There is poison flowing
through our veins
Maybe we could lay down
in the shadows of your boughs
and let it drain

Too many broken parts
Too many teflon pans
It’s hard to know where to start
Might have to start over

Seed the clouds and make it rain!
Babe, I know it’s hard to change,
but seed the clouds and make it rain

Too many bees sip from frozen flowers
then hide away below the storm
Climb out into the future where it’s warm

Too many withered hearts
Too many empty hands
It’s hard to know where to start
Might have to start again

Seed the clouds and make it rain...

Fear is easy
Everything else is hard
Fear is easy
Everything else is
Love is hard
Track Name: Leaf Pile
LEAF PILE

Leaf pile burning on
the side of the road
The carbon wanted to be free
in the wind
like it was on the tree

Put us all to sleep
Golden corn husk sleeping bags
we’ll be tamales in the spring
I can’t wait ‘til then

Several local murders
in keeping with the season
where everything dies,
everything dies, everything dies
Only some are born again
(Not the humans)

The only time we sit around is
every single day,
staring at our own brains
The mind reflects the eye,
reflects the mind, reflects the eye
in an infinite hall
like the TV at the mall

I am calling for the last time
I’ll be resting my eyes
Track Name: All Over the World
ALL OVER THE WORLD

All over the world,
people are settling for and in
places where they belong,
and don’t belong
Right and wrong

Turn on your lights
so we can both see
You creep like a ghost,
drafting behind me
It’s hard now,
but it could be harder
You can go – you’re free

But my body’s so big,
it rests like a bolder
So when I’m asleep,
use love like a lever
and roll me down
Send me back to the other town
and clear the path for thee

You could go anywhere
or you could run this town
Get all the thieves to share
Are you happy now?

All over the world,
people are struggling for and with
things they don’t control,
and can’t control
What’s the goal?

I will stay here, in isolation
I’ll struggle against my own
sense of frustration
with my back on the land
Is that something you understand?
Is this what you planned?

You could go anywhere
You could be president
Get all the fools to bow
Are you happy now?

All this and more could be yours
So take it if you want to
Take it if you want to
Want to?
Track Name: Lonely Daughter
LONELY DAUGHTER
Cry, lonely daughter,
while your mother’s away, far away
Baby remembers bein held,
bein held every day

Mama singin,
“Baby mine, don’t you cry”
Mama singin,
“Baby mine, don’t you cry”

Grown girl is gone to find a baby,
stop the lonely, make her smile
She has lots of money
so the baby will be healthy
It won’t cry

Sigh, jilted daughter,
you were the pride in your day,
back in the day
Pleasing the mother with your sweet,
with your sweet, sassy ways

Who will wash your hair
and who will dry it?
Who picked out that
ugly dress that you have on?
You’ll be a mess, I guess,
until you find that loneliness
like a kernel in your sneaker
Pry it out

Mama, let the baby cry
It won’t die
Mama, let the baby cry,
It won’t die

A good girl cuts the strings
and goes away
and brings the baby
by and by
Track Name: Work It Out
WORK IT OUT

If it is not knocking,
do not let it out
If it is not crying,
do not try to work things out
If it is not pretty,
then do not make out
If what’s burning is not yours then
do not put the fire out

If you cannot see it,
do not seek it out
If you cannot bear to listen,
do not hear it out
If your house is good enough,
why venture out?
If your room has what you need,
why bother going out?

Because why go out? Stay in
when the world is full of men
And so why go out at all when like
none of them will call?
So just stay home in your bed
and just hide your head instead
because without them you’re
no good to anyone

Let it out
It’ll sicken if it stays
Let it out
You know we will feel
much better this way
Work it out if we
have to talk all night
Say what’s wrong
but make sure to say
what is right
Track Name: Flotsam in the Wake
FLOTSAM IN THE WAKE

Micah, your pens are like lenses
Natalja, your hands are like birds
Justin, your songs are like
drowning then breathing,
like speech before words

I could be in a primordial sea
growing legs where
my fins used to be,
with you the brew that my
new cells use like glue
We all need a bigger hand to hold onto

We see the transparent vision
We feel the transparent form
We breathe before our mouths open
We spoke before we were born

Because we were there when the first big hole did tear,
points ascribed to what
once was nowhere
So we will make, we will mend
more than we break,
because we remember being
flotsam in the wake
Track Name: Baby Monitor
BABY MONITOR

Check it once and check it twice:
the baby monitor of the world is alight
But this baby never is sleeping
It’s crying and screaming and then
it seems to stop breathing so
go up and check it again!

But there’s no life in your device
It looks at you with a dead stare
Don’t ask it how it is doing
It only does things the one way
It can’t make a choice and it
cannot ever change

O! my dreams
can’t follow me to bed
I lose them on the way
when I outrun them
O! my eyes
can’t focus on your face,
your features all replaced
by a likeness

Constant contact is a vice
when just a tender touch
on my hand would suffice
I don’t have to know
where you’re going
You don’t have to call when you’re there
As long as you’re home before morning, babe,
I don’t care
Track Name: Swallow the Pill
SWALLOW THE PILL

Would you swallow that pill?
Because I will, I will
Could you hang on to that hand?
Because I can, I can
And could you stay here
with me for a while,
always knowing that it’s
not our bodies’ style
to live forever?

Death to death and death to life,
I’m here with you tonight
Death to death and death to life
With lightning in the sky
Death to death and death to life
I’m here with you tomorrow night

To those who mock and scorn us,
I’ll tell them what I know,
and this is what I know:
that someday our love will die
just like everything dies
Everything dies

But it’s not just you and me,
I’m married to the mystery
and I love it, too
just like I love you
Track Name: Infinity Song
INFINITY SONG

When will it end?
Will it end?
Will it?
The only sky that I can see
is spinning to infinity
through windows wide
But here inside my darkened room,
with solid walls and solid roof,
I’m finite

Will you be the one to
pull me through?
Savior's Son, like all the
ones before you?
And when we’re free,
where will we flee
to make the sleeping something
set inside us wake?
Because, darling dear, if you are there,
the ribs around my heart
will still a prison make

There is one thing I have yet to try
Jailer, turn the key and bleed me dry
Incapacitate me, free my mind
and the rest will follow
then leave without a trace
so that I can forget
I didn’t do it on my own