Songs from the Valley

by Mike Roy

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    Mike Roy personally screenprinted the cases for his second album, which also includes a fold out booklet containing all lyrics, liner notes, artwork, etc. A very nice little package indeed. Limited run, will not be repressed after they're gone. Comes with immediate digital download for free.
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05:11
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06:03
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05:18
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03:40
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04:09
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about

Mike Roy's second album was written in a much shorter span of time creating a more cohesive batch of work, both lyrically and sonically.

credits

released 05 December 2003

All songs written by M. Roy
Album arrangements by M. Roy and J. Conlin
Recorded by Jeff Conlin at various seedy locations
Mixed and Mastered by Ryan Simms

Guitar, singing, and harmonica by Mike Roy
All other sounds by Jeff Conlin

Except:

Pedal Steel by Neil Eber
Accordion by Michael Lambright
Violin by Ellen Baumann

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about

Mike Roy Raleigh

Born outside of DC, raised in MD, college in Baltimore, made a record there, moved to TN, wrote a record there, moved back to MD recorded 2nd record, went on tour with J Roddy Walston & The Business, met future wife in NC, moved to RI for two weeks, went back to DC to meet up with future wife, moved to NC, married wife, had 3 kids, just finished 4th solo album called Mike & Eileen Chapter One. ... more

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Track Name: Birds Taken for Granted
...

When I see your face
And I see your face look away
I just don’t know
But I know there aren’t words to say
But I try so, not to burden your patient wings
With this snow

Cause you can’t fly straight
With a burden on slender bones
I wish I’d known the weight of that
Which I’d carelessly thrown and that it’d make
You lie on the cold stone, feeling pain

Cause you beat so hard
Beating with all your might
But you’re loosing ground and you’re
Cursing the gift of flight
With a harsh sound and you know that it’s just not right
And you’ve just got to give it time

So I lift you up
And take hold of your tiny wings
And I pray that some day when this songbird sings
I’ll be there to say
I’m so sorry I hurt you then
So glad that I’m here today

...
Track Name: Old Scratch
...

In the wheat field he makes his plan
He waits encoiled, concealed, for the lazy farmhand
To make retreat there food in his hand
But his naked heel will be his poor life’s end

Oh he lies

In the streets he sure can blend in
Same shirt, same tie same blood on his hands
And he knows just the places you give in
He don’t even have to try, he just lends you a hand

Oh he lies

In the meadows, streams and drylands
He moves much slower there, chained feet, chained hands
In the church-house, much time there he spends
Chasing the truth out, turning man against man

Oh he lies

There are choices here my friend
There are cuts there are ties there are fences to mend
But what it takes is so great a demand
To give up what you hold so tight in your hand

Oh for life

...
Track Name: Baltimore
...

The car is moving but the trees are still
I been drowning for weeks, I’m drowning still
And all I see is bad

The wind is colder than I’ve ever felt
The sun seems weak, could it ever melt
I never wanted spring so bad

This smell of cigarettes and sweat
Can’t get away from it
And this city feels the same as it always did
But I wish that you were here


This darkness rides again


I don’t think you’ve ever been to Baltimore
It’s grey and bent like a broken door
Without you nothing’s the same
Steeples to the unknown gods,
I will tell you their names…


Can I take much more

...
Track Name: The Gypsy
...

Maybe she just doesn’t know, maybe she just can’t see
There’s nothing I can do with these crooked flames
The ones behind her eyes where they cannot be touched
She thinks only in rhyme but she thinks too much

She’s been taught to dance in beauty and in time
Body bathed in grace could never be mine
Hungry and full, in the cold and at night,
Now as young, then as old, with all of her might

She’ll dance… on and on

The day is long for her tribe, so much is unsure
Like where will food come from tonight and when will there be more
Loyalties must be few, we’ve got our own mouths to feed
And wars to march unto, and reasons to bleed

She watches the old women move, so graceful and free
When the long day is through, when that air is fit to breathe
Her garment’s pure as the snow, lips as red as the seed
Of love she has barely known, but she knows what she need

And she’ll dance… on and on
Never alone

Oh child I can’t hold you down, there’s no strength there's no arms
You could break any chains, you could loose any bonds

And dance… on and on
You’ll dance never alone
The beat of the drum is calling you home

...
Track Name: Pink Sky at Night
...

The sky is pink tonight over layers of black and grey
The branches traced in white
And you’re a hundred miles away

The pink sky’s in the clouds tracing soft round shapes of blue
And in the snowfall’s silent sound
I’m two hundred miles from you

The silver in the dark has stripped everything left bare
And I’m feeling the depth of far
In this three hundred miles here

I could scream for hours I know
And no one would hear your name
Falling down deaf with the falling snow
On this four hundred mile terrain

I can’t make this change, no matter what I say
No matter how I strain
You’re still five hundred miles away

So Lord I’m asking You, cause I know You hear me anyway
That somehow I’d feel so near
At six hundred miles away

...
Track Name: Fair One
...

You tears, purest prayers I’ve ever known
You eyes have seen what one can never own
This taste, its sweetness lingers on
Oh bliss, your eyes weeping with the dawn

The kiss you never gave me leaving in the rain
Does still constrict my breathing all the same
The touch, never felt, keeps me breathing through the pain
This heart, still beating, pounds your name

Your sad eyes haunt me like a dream morning’s chased every trace away
You skin, so pale, leaves me bleeding for another lonely day
But it’s your heart, softly beating, that’s drawn me to your door
Oh will I knock, will you unlock,
I long to hear so much more

...
Track Name: The Killer
...

There’s blood on my hands
There’s blood on your heart
They’ll call it suicide among friends
They’ll write it on their chart

But I’ll know it was homicide

You’re breathing now,
But you’re breathing slow
And the blood is pouring out
From where the blade did go
From where the blade came out


The ambulance coming, but it won’t get here in time
Too many miles of open road
Sure enough when it arrives it’ll find you lying
And it’ll find me from the blood trail left behind

I’ve got no place left to go
Nothing left to see
Everyone I’ve ever known
Eventually gets cut by me

And my mind can’t stop my hand


Only one thing left to do
One heart left to slice
Lord I’m asking You
Please take my life

Cause I am a broken man

...
Track Name: You Are Dead and Gone
...

Girl I can’t, you know I won’t
Walk this road all alone
It’s been so hard for so long
Sharp the rocks you tread upon
I’ve seen the flesh, I’ve seen the blood
And you are dead and gone

Curse the sky you crooked branch
Shout it loud your crippled hands
My broken teeth my broken bones
Have fallen from this mouth of stone
You took it all and gave me none
And you are dead and gone

How dare you Lord, how dare you now
How can you plan to work this out
You broke yourself and took it all
Why did you have to make her fall
Why does this blood taste like stone
Why is she dead and gone

Lord I can’t, you know I can’t
Carry this load with these broken hands
I leave my arms pulled from my chest
And leave this heart on your breast
Please have it all, and leave me none
Let me be dead and gone

...