Still On The Hill

ozarkinfolk duo

Lyrics


Chaos & Calm
by Still on the Hill (2002)

Scarecrow
Track #1
Words and Music by Donna Mulhollan

Out in the field the corn grows tall,
when the sun burns hot and the hard rains fall
That Scarecrow, he don't smile at all.
He gets out his banjo and he plays a tune,
the way his pappy taught him to ... 
Soldiers Joy, Sally Ann, Old Joe Clark,
Give the Fiddler a Dram

Well an ornery old crow ... big and black,
landed on that Scarecrow's hat
The Scarecrow didn't think much about that
Then the crow tucked a fiddle up under his chin,
played a brand new fangled tune for him
The Scarecrow just shooed him away,
said "I don't like the way you play!"

Chorus
Scarecrow ... Scarecrow
"Come down off your hanging post," cried the big ole black eyed crow
Well a year and a day, flew on by ... the crow came back for another try.

Though the Scarecrow seemed about to die.
His hat was tattered, his britches were worn,
his pole was cracked, his shirt was torn
A mouse built a nest, in his chest,
but the banjo still hung around his neck!

So the crow pulled out a mandolin,
and played a sad, sweet song for him
But the Scarecrow screamed at him again ... 
"Never have I heard that song"
in his dying breath he said "You git along"
The Crow he up and flew away ...
the Scarecrow's songs were lost that day.


Words On Birds
Track #2
A poetry collage by Kelly Mulhollan

Word fragments by Paul Dunbar, Wallace Stevens,
And misc. Native American song translations

Native American
First to come, I am called
Among the birds, I bring rain
Crow is my name

Paul Laurence Dunbar
The robin sounds a beggar's note
where one the nightingale has heard
but he for whom no silver throat
it's liquid music ever stirred
deem robin still the sweetest bird.

Native American
Red bird, Oh Red bird, soon in the morning
Red bird, Oh Red bird, soon in the morning

Wallace Stevens
I do not know which to prefer,
the beauty of inflections
or the beauty of innuendoes,
the blackbird's whistling or just after.

Native American
At dawn, may I roam?
Against the wind, may I roam?
At dawn, may I roam?
When the crow is calling, may I roam?


River Red
Track #3
Words & Music Donna Mulhollan


Out in Oklahoma lived a feisty ole man known as River Red, tho it weren't his real name.
Staked a claim by the riverbank, government tried to take it away, but 
he gave them a hell of a fight ... cuz River Red had squatters rights.

Every Friday evening, he'd stand out by the road, waiting for somebody take him into town.
Gonna spend time at the Black Hawk Saloon, spinning the girls round and round
great guns for a man his age, Red could dance the night away.

River Red, River Red ... rigged some pulleys to his bed,
when the Illinois was rising high, kept his ole bones dry

Where he got his money from, no one really knew, he'd borrow from his barber
once in awhile, pay back every dime Ôfore the week was through, with a handshake and a smile.
The town folk trusted him, cuz Red was such an honest man!

River Red had a stroke, several years ago, one January evening, bitter and cold.
Couldn't carry water, couldn't carry wood...couldn't even keep the fire stoked,
though he gave it a hell of a try ... he froze to death in the heart of the night


What I Believe
Track #4
Words & Music Donna Mulhollan

I used to believe I'd come back as a flower or a tree
or maybe a stream ... I used to believe in that dream
I used to believe, fate had control over me
but I control my own destiny ...

Nobody knows how the real story goes
what's there in the hereafter?
There's only today to find your own way
fill your world full of laughter.
That's what I believe

I used to believe in a world way beyond, now I know
it's all here inside, sometimes it's dark, sometimes light.
And If I was good, I though I could never know pain,
but nothing can grow without rain.

I used to believe God would strike me down if I strayed
from the path I was on, now I can see I was wrong
I used to believe, everything must stay the same
but something inside me has changed



Beautiful Butterfly
Track #5, Words by Donna Mulhollan
Music by Kelly Mulhollan

Beautiful butterfly, out on a limb
on a platform way up high
in the branches of that redwood tree
that reaches to the sky.
Well she named the tall tree Luna
and she gave a solemn oath
that she'd never touch the ground
till she saved the ancient growth.

Oh oh, beautiful butterfly
out on a limb ... held on so tight
to the branches of that redwood tree
in her courageous fight

Well the lumber company said,
"This is lunacy, we'll do any we can
to get her down from that tree!"
The helicopters flew close,
their wind was hard to take ... 
they shined their spotlights down
all night, keeping her awake.
Then they blasted her with air horns
and they tried to starve her out.
The loggers stood beneath the
trees and shouted obscenities.

Well, she saved 2 acres, of thousand
year old trees. but of course there was a fee,
of fifty thousand greenbacks
for the lumber company ... .
but those 2 long years were not in vain
cuz she opened up our eyes
to realize we're all cocoons
just hiding butterflies.


Could I Borrow That Arrow
Track # 6
Words and Music by Kelly Mulhollan

Could I borrow that arrow, that has pierced you tortured heart
& set your precious songs apart from all others?
Let me knee down beside you, free it gently from your chest
set your weary mind to rest for a moment, for a moment

Rest assured that all your sorrow, was not wasted, nor in vain
for your words will still remain ... for all others
and those weary words have walked, through the hearts
of so many singers and the power they possess
forever lingers

Well, I felt that arrow's wind, so close it cut me passing by
and I long to feel its presence before I die.
Could I borrow that arrow, that has pierced your tortured heart
and set your precious songs apart from all others?


Sleepless
Track #7
Words & Music Donna Mulhollan

Are there any insomniacs out there?
Have you ever tried those foam rubber earplugs
that block out the snoring and barking dogs,
but do nothing to shut up your mind,
then, when you finely start to unwind..
is it usually on your stomach,
ignoring your chiropractor's warning
about a stiff neck in the morning?
Have you tried those subliminal tapes,
the ones with the hidden messages like:
you're getting sleepy, you're getting drowsy?
Don't those over the counter pills
make ya wake up feeling lousy??
Well, I've tried a dozen mattresses
like the Princess and the Pea ... 
but none of them were comfortable to me.
So I got acupuncture needles stuck
all over my body, up and down my back
but nothing seems to work so I guess
I'll face the fact..that it's probably
my destiny to spend my nights

Sleepless ... .sleepless
can't get no rest, I'm sleepless

Usually don't need 40 winks, settle for 2 or 3
but the sandman never hangs around
restless girls like me.
Chamomile tea might help me some,
specially spiked with a shot of rum ... 
Oh ... oh oh..I'm sleepless

Throw the pillow over my head
toss and turn and toss ... 
the shadows underneath my eyes
are from the sleep I've lost.
All the remedies Ôneath the sun
not a single one has helped me none
Oh oh oh I'm sleepless

I retire at a decent hour, but I can't shut off my mind.
Little Bo Peep loaned me her sheep
I counted 89 ... my eyelids are a movie screen
flashing red and flashing green
Oh oh oh I'm sleepless

I read medical journals for hours upon hours
till I'm finally bored to tears..so I grab my
little pillow filled with hops & flowers
place it on my eyes and BREATH
in the aroma, hoping it will send me
into some sort of coma, but it usually
doesn't, so I heat up some milk ... 
throw in some toast, I find that
comfort food helps me the most ... 
but it's probably my destiny to spend
my nights

Sleepless ... sleepless
can't get no rest I'm sleepless
ZZZz z z z z z z z


Crane Wife
Track #8
Words & Music by Donna Mulhollan

My path is lined with eggshells
about a half a mile thick ... 
to keep the weeds of insecurities
from overtaking it.
I'm walking softer than I should,
to keep the shells intact ... 
but with every single step I take,
I feel the eggshells crack.
and beneath those shells
the shifting sands are pouring
through the hourglass,
if I turn the glass onto its side
can I slow down the sands of time???

I'm dancing ... just like a crane
dancing, calling out your name.
Please, lay your warm red carpet down
beneath my feet, so I can walk the path
with you and my poor heels won't bleed.

Let me be your crane wife,
I'll leave my fields of green,
lay right down beside you
in the forest and the trees.
Let me be your crane wife

I'm lying all alone, by the side of the road
with an arrow in my wing ... 
take me to your nest ... 
teach me how to sing
and I will weave for you a silken robe
to keep away the winter cold ... 
so soft and downy white
and I'll pluck my finest feathers
out and I'll place them in the loom
and I'll sing for you each night


If Wishes Were Horses
Track #9
Words & Music Donna Mulhollan

Time is running out Hickory Dickory Dock
better do something said the ticking clock
Mother Hubbard's cupboard is bone bare
she don't qualify for corporate welfare
And Little Miss Muffet's curds and wheys
have been irradiated and nothing is safe
the world's gone to hell in a big ole handbag
so Hey Diddle Diddle, get the fiddle and play.

Wish I coulda helped the Crooked Man
walk a crooked mile ... wish I'da helped Humpty
back up on the wall, wish I coulda saved the
Blind Mice from the carving knife ... 
but if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring
can't get out of bed cuz of agent orange..
all the Kings horses and all the Kings men
couldn't put him back together again.
And that old woman who lives in a shoe,
what's an old woman like her gonna do?
when they do away with social security
she'll probably have to live in a sock on the street

Wish I coulda helped Bo Peep find her sheep
Wish I'da help Jack N Jill up the hill.
Wish I'd freed all the blackbirds from the Pie,
but if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

That rich little piggy went to the store
to fill his castle up with more and more
and the rich get richer and the poor get poor
but when it's all said and done
that poor little piggy gets none!

I wish that life was a fairy tale ... 
I wish it had more reason than rhyme
I wish all our wishes had wings to fly ... 
but if wishes were horses ... .beggars would ride.


Dance Song
Track #10
An ancient Moroccan poem
Set to music by Kelly Mulhollan

She burst into dance ... 
Though none of us knew her name
She burst into dance ... 
Her hair streamed loose,

For her I sold an apple orchard
For her I sold a field of olive trees

She burst into dance ... .
Her necklace of pearls glittered
She burst into dance ... 
With a flower of a smile

For her I sold my grove of fig trees
For her I sold all my orange trees

 

Did you know???
The instruments on this song are
the mandolin, African finger Piano
and an anklet made out of goat toenails
as the percussion sound.

It's about love at first sight!!!


Train of Thought
Track #11
Words & Music Donna Mulhollan

My train of thought keeps rolling on, pickin' up steam as it moves along,
is there an engineer around who can slow my thoughts down?

Chorus
My baggage car is full of pain from the clutter in my runaway brain
I'm speeding, like a downhill train ...
I wish I could jump this mental track.
My train of thought keeps coming back

My train of thought just might derail, my brakes have begun to fail,
conductor I'm going way too fast, I'm afraid I might crash ... (Chorus)

Looking through the windows of my mind
Thoughts keep on flying by ... 
there's a red light up around the bend
could I slow it down by then?


Moon of the Popping Trees
Track #12
Words & Music Donna Mulhollan

"Moon of the popping trees ... 
please don't make a widow maker of me,"
cried the pine ... to the night,
as a man walked below her gathering kindling there
in the icy snow, in the frost air
and the moon...never uttered a word,
as the sound of the creaking branches were heard,
and the pine held on with all her might,
though her branches were heavy with the frozen ice
and she cried ... "Oh moon, of the popping trees,
please don't make a widow maker of me!"

Ya ha e hi ya, ya ha e hi ya
He ya e yo ey e-e-e
He I yo e----yo
He I yo e ----yo

"Moon of the popping trees ... 
please don't make a widow maker of me,"
cried the man, kindling in hand.
But the pine could not hold on for a moment more
And her branches crashed to the forest floor
And the wind ... sent down a blanket of snow
To cover the man so no one would know..
And the pine, she wept, big silver tears
To honor the man, lying there and she cried,
"Oh, moon of the popping trees..
why'd ya make a widow maker of me.

Did you know?
The Lakota tribe of North Dakota call
the month of February the
Moon of the Popping Trees because
the branches get so heavy with snow and
ice that they often break off. These
falling branches are sometimes called
Ôwidow makers'. Over the past years,
I've had 3 encounters with these
Ôwidow makers' ... the last one being the
morning that this song was birthed.
The chant in the middle is a Lakota
spirit song, given to everyone to
sing when a soul parts this world.