Hunger

by Robinson & Rohe

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credits

released August 15, 2017

2017 Jean Rohe (Laundry Line Music, BMI), Liam Robinson (Liamerica, ASCAP)

Jean Rohe (acoustic guitar and singing)
Liam Robinson (banjo, accordion, piano, brushes, and singing)
Hannah Read (fiddle)
Christopher Tordini (bass)
Kyle Morgan (resonator, acoustic, and electric guitars, additional vocal “Safe Harbor”)

Produced by Robinson & Rohe
Recorded by Danny Blume at Old Soul Studio
Mixed by Todd Sickafoose at Earycanal
Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music

Art by Andrew Benincasa

Thanks to the Robinsons and the Rohes; to Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology and Blue Mountain Center for the gift of time and space; to the residents and visitors of Yggdrasil for companionship and spiritual nourishment (especially Andy Benincasa, Nikki-Lu Asselin, Sara Joy Marquez, Jess Serrante); Kathleen Sullivan and Blaise Dupuy, Michael Moricz, Mike Olson, and all the kind people who have fed and sheltered us on our journeys in exchange for a little music.

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Robinson & Rohe Brooklyn, New York

Jean Rohe and Liam Robinson were brought together a decade ago by a love of American folk song. In 2013, they began collaborating as cowriters, developing a repertoire of original music that now lives alongside the old songs they hold dear. Their performances evidence their care for fine song craft, detailed arrangements, and elegant harmonies. ... more

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Track Name: Shine
Shine
Words and music by Liam Robinson

So many jewels are awaiting your ear
For whom do you shine, Love, for whom do you shine?
You hold each one up as you gaze in the mirror
For whom do you pine, Love, for whom do you pine?
What do they whisper as you draw them near?
You say that you’re mine, Love, but are you just mine?

Each little jewel is a secret untold
For whom do you shine, Love, for whom do you shine?
You remember the story of each one you hold
For whom do you pine, Love, for whom do you pine?
Is it silver for some while others are gold?
You say that you’re mine, Love, but are you just mine?

One gem shines in the glimmering day
And another one glows in the shimmering night
Do you wear the same one in the sun’s golden rays
As you do in the moon’s silver light?

So many jewels were here before I
For whom do you shine, Love, for whom do you shine?
Some etched in truth and some cast in lies
For whom do you pine, Love, for whom do you pine?
This beauty beheld in so many eyes
You say that you’re mine, Love, but are you just mine?

One gem shines in the glimmering day
And another one glows in the shimmering night
Do you wear the same one in the sun’s golden rays
As you do in the moon’s silver light?

After an evening there comes a new day
Will you be true, Love, will you be true?
And in this new dawn can we find a new way
If I shine for you, Love, if I shine for you?
Can I believe in the things that you say?
You say that you’re mine, Love, but

Am I the one that shines in the glimmering day,
And the one that glows in the shimmering night?
Can I shine for you in the sun’s golden rays
And again in the moon’s silver light?
Track Name: Louisa
Louisa
Words and music by Jean Rohe

Louisa, little Southern town
The green hills wear their hazy crown
In the evening I go walking as the summer sun goes down

Louisa, I left everything
For your green hills, for a wedding ring
I'm a dreamer, I'm a foolish dreamer with a sad, sad song to sing

O, Louisa
What have you done?
Now I'm a prisoner of my icy jealousy
I shoulda never left my home up North for your warm Virginia breeze
O, Louisa, you made a broken girl of me

Louisa, full of Southern belles
They'll smile bright and they'll wish you well
But you can see it: they're hiding something; what it is, you can't quite tell

Louisa, he caught me in his snare
With his sweet laugh and his golden hair
But Louisa, his wandering eye–-this Northern girl could not compare

To Louisa
What have you done?
Now I'm a prisoner of my icy jealousy
I shoulda never left my home up North for your warm Virginia breeze
O, Louisa, you made a broken girl of me

And I'd go, you know I'd turn and head back homeward
Back to my land of snow
And I've tried, but he's the only one for me
O, Louisa
Louisa
Louisa

O, Louisa
What have you done to me?
I shoulda never left my home up North for your warm Virginia breeze
O Louisa, you made a broken girl of me
O Louisa, Louisa, Louisa.
Track Name: Hunger
Hunger
Words and music by Jean Rohe and Liam Robinson

We were children then
We drove across this country with the windows down
We stopped for gas and ice cream in these reservation towns
The curving mountain lanes and the asphalt arrow running through the plains

We were lovers then
We drove across this country with the windows down
We touched those heavy stones that hold this nation to the ground
The rocks that have endured; great paperweights for freedom’s written word

But these awesome peaks
Are not monument enough for our hungry thoughts
We must raise a stone for each brave act, for each war fought
As if memory’s great ship without these tethered weights would set adrift

And we wondered if our love would endure the certain pain
And if this land could withstand the crimson stain of our hunger

We were dreamers then
We drove across this country with the windows down
We stopped for gas and coffee in these migrant worker towns
We touched those heavy stones and the greatest lakes this ancient Earth has known

But these torrent streams
Cannot cool the burning of our open pores
We must turn our greedy mouths up to the drinking gourd
From sea to thirsty sea, these mighty rivers yearning to be free

And we wondered if our love would endure the certain pain
And if this land could withstand the iron chains of our hunger

We are older now
We drive across this country with the windows down
We stop for gas and bathrooms in these slag heap company towns
We buy some pretty stones and fill our tank with prehistoric bones

These fossil lakes
Are the inkwells for a novel of our times
We scratch with furious hands to soothe our feverish minds
Though the ink is running dry, we still insist to write upon the sky

Oh, this spacious sky
Is not poetry enough for our swelling lungs
We must write a thousand songs to carry on our tongues
Our thoughts will burn so bright we can white the stars out from the sky at night

And we wonder if our love will endure the certain pain
And if this land can withstand the endless strain of our hunger

Will we be lovers then?
Will we move across this thirsty land of trading posts?
And stop to stretch our tired legs among the hungry ghosts?
As o’er the Earth we roam, the past will live inside these heavy stones

But these pilgrim rocks
Are not elegy enough for our aching hearts
We must plant a stone for every soul when it departs
Until every shady grove is a grinding mouth of molars set in rows

And we’ll wonder at how our love endured the certain pain
As we are swallowed by the land again
Oh the hunger
Track Name: For a Moment
For a Moment
Words and music by Liam Robinson

They tore up the asphalt to repave the street
And revealed the old trolley car tracks
Two bright lines of steel that emerged from the pavement
Like fossils dug up from the past
We could see them
We could touch them
Just for a moment and then they were gone

The power went out on the fourteenth of August
And the children of Brooklyn saw stars
Orion’s bright arrows were raining from heaven
As radiant beams from afar
We could see them
We could touch them
Just for a moment and then they were gone
We could see them
We could touch them
Just for a moment and then they were gone

The cloud cover lifts, the kaleidoscope shifts and a red velvet curtain is drawn
The silence is broken, the truth it is spoken one moment before it is gone
That’s when I see it
That’s when I feel it
That’s when I know it
Just for a moment

You sat on the bed, you buttoned your shirt as the stars faded out of the sky
And there in the doorway you switched on the hall light and something had changed in your eyes
I could see it
Just for a moment and then it was gone
Just for a moment, and then you were gone
Just for a moment and then we are gone
Oh, we can see it
We can feel it
Just for a moment and then we are gone
Track Name: Safe Harbor
Safe Harbor
Words and Music by Liam Robinson

Safe harbor
You were taken by a storm
The people of this town cannot stay here anymore
And you say
You could see the warning signs in the rearview
You could hear that warning bell behind you
Oh, but you could not hear it then

The wind cried and the tide rose,
But we can’t live in hiding and we fight for what’s ours until it goes
‘Till it’s gone

Safe harbor
You were taken by a storm
Just look at the sky, my love and I, we can’t stay here anymore
And I say
I could see the warning signs in the headlights
I could see that flickering storm in the dark night
Oh, but I could not show you then

Well the wind cried and the tide rose,
But we can’t live in hiding and you fight for what’s ours until it goes
‘Till it’s gone

My lover,
I left you like a storm
This hurricane heart of mine cannot stay here anymore
And I say
My bags are packed and my car’s out back and I’m a-leavin;
You heard the back door slam and you started believin’
Oh, ‘cause you could not hear me then.

Well the wind screamed and the rain fell and the mud rose and the flood came,
But you fight for what’s yours until it goes
‘Till it’s gone
Track Name: Can't Fall Asleep
Can’t Fall Asleep
Words and Music by Jean Rohe and Liam Robinson

The breeze and the curtains are doing their slow dance
Darkness descends on the big world outside
You’re lying beside me and I watch your breathing
Your eyelids, the face that I know

I can’t fall asleep when I’m by your side
But I don’t want to wake up alone

The quiet of nighttime is our tiny haven
From the noise of the street and the cares of the day
I want to protect you from all the world’s troubles
With shelter in my loving arms

I can’t fall asleep when I’m by your side
But I don’t want to wake up alone

I see you in springtime, the May that I met you
I see you in winter, the end of our days
I kiss you softly, you smile in your slumber
It’s summer and I’m by your side

I can’t fall asleep when I’m by your side
But I don’t want to wake up alone
No, I don’t want to wake up alone
Track Name: Pretty Saro
Pretty Saro
Traditional, adapted from Jean Ritchie

Down in some lone valley in a lonesome place
Where the wild birds do whistle and their notes do increase
Farewell, Pretty Saro I bid you adieu
And I’ll dream of Pretty Saro wherever I go

My love she won’t have me so I understand
She wants a freeholder who owns house and land
I cannot maintain her with silver and gold
Nor buy all the fine things that a big house can hold

If I were a merchant and could write a fine hand
I’d write my love a letter that she’d understand
I’d write it by the river where the waters o’erflow
And I’ll dream of Pretty Saro wherever I go

Down in some lone valley in a lonesome place
Where the wild birds do whistle and their notes do increase
Farewell, Pretty Saro I bid you adieu
And I’ll dream of Pretty Saro wherever I go

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