Unfinished Houses

by Esther Golton

supported by
Jerry Rockwell
Jerry Rockwell thumbnail
Jerry Rockwell This album is a true masterpiece of songwriting, dulcimer playing, arranging with a kind of chamber music feel (as on "Emily"), and ace production. You will feel Alaska in all her chill and raw natural beauty! Favorite track: Emily Has Compassion Fatigue - 3 Blind Mice Cover.
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about

Unfinished Houses, Esther's debut studio production, is an unconventional delight. The dulcimer surprises you, sometimes playing jazzy chord progressions that seem impossible for a non-chromatic 4-stringed instrument. The flute improvs are both lush and spare. Esther’s voice is vivid, pretty, and pronounced. These songs encompass heartfelt stories. poetic soundscapes, and quirky philosophical musings.

The CD contains contributions from a variety of musicians including a moving harmony and layered guitars by Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzman on “Keli Mahoney”... a song memorializing a well-loved Alaskan bush pilot with whom Karen and Pete flew around Denali.

credits

released September 12, 2007

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about

Esther Golton Pennsylvania

Esther Golton creates music that satisfies the quest for something delightfully different & diverse. Her voice is "silky smooth, precise and winsome." Add an unusually intricate use of the mountain dulcimer, stunningly fluid flute, & melodic, colorful writing, strengthened by formal studies in flute, jazz & composition. Peter Mulvey has praised her work as "solid, beautiful, vibrant...inspiring. ... more

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Track Name: Reasonland - Antje Duvekot cover
In Reasonland, the emperor came down
To the water's edge
Said I don't know where I'm bound
I've got emeralds and rubies sewn into my gown
But I am sadder than the diamonds in my crown

Chorus:
So will you lay me down in a fiddler's cloud
And float me out to sea
Let my aching head be still
Let me surrender to your will
Float me out, deliver me

A mighty king came down to the sea
Said I have won every battle that I please
I've got a hundred-man battalion
They all fall down at my feet
But there’s a songbird who will not sing for me

Chorus

I wanna fly out to your center
I wanna sink down into your gold
I wanna go down without my dagger
I wanna shed these clothes

The preacher's wife knelt down by the waves
Said for your love and salvation I have prayed
I am a tired tightrope dancer
I wanna go no more this way
Just give me something, a penny for my faith
Track Name: Going To Shadu
We kept a rope hidden under the brush on the hillside
Sneakin' in at dusk, we were going for a wild ride
Hitchhiker tangled tail, swatting at the deerflies
Gimmee a leg up Celia, I'm sitting so high

Honeysuckle summer air, wrap your hands in golden hair
Arms along his sleek neck, nothing like a back so bare
Click your tongue, squeeze the legs, heels dig in, nostrils flair
Galloping up that hill, rope for reins, we don't care

See ya later Mom, I'm going to Shadu...

Climb on up, find a perch on that worn-out wooden post and rail
Sittin' there for hours, watchin' daisies... Well,
Celia says “Let's jump that fence,” I smile a one time “What the hell”
It's dark enough, we won't get caught, just don't tell”

See ya later Mom, I'm going to Shadu...

Before the stunt we agree if someone comes we'll hit the trees
I'm on the ground, pull off a rail, crickets chirp, no hint of breeze
Celia's up, a hoof stomps loud, announcing our bold decree
Suddenly bright headlights glare, the moments freeze...

We're hiding in the bushes, not breathing
But we're very much alive
Shadu's gone back to grazing
As the car pulls out the drive
We're giggling at the sky...

See ya later Mom, I'm going to Shadu...
Track Name: The Hoedown Philosopher
A hoedown philosopher wrote to the newspaper
After he’d wronged a girl, left her cryin’
His letter to the editor, which never was published,
Said only this: Life must be filtered.

Chorus:
Nobody promised us crystalline clarity
Nobody modeled us simple sincerity
There’s only one murky conclusion that I can see
Life must be filtered

It’s just like the story of Alice in Wonderland
She didn’t understand all the madness
She jumped down the rabbit hole, came back a different soul
Muttering that life must be filtered

Chorus

I’ll hitch up my skirt with a Cheshire Cat grin
I’ll ditch the White Rabbit and dance with his twin
And when I am thirsty I’ll fill up my bottle
And drink to the truth that a filter can’t throttle
I’ll drink to the truth that a filter can’t throttle

Chorus

Like Alice, I’m wondering just what has come over me
This is a rather strange hoedown philosophy
But there’s only one murky conclusion that I can see
Life must be filtered

Yes, this is a rather strange hoedown philosophy
Life must be filtered
Track Name: Happy All The Time - Danny Schmidt cover
Written by Danny Schmidt http://dannyschmidt.com

I remember on the days when I was happy all the time
Of the forest and the fray but I was happy all the time
And the honeysuckle buds all dripped the sweetest love
And I never lost the taste ‘cause I was happy, I was happy all the time

I lived inside a log but I was happy all the time
With the lizards and the frogs but I was happy all the time
And I always ate at dawn and I always slept till dark
I guess I worked too hard but I was happy, I was happy all the time

I danced beneath the moon ‘cause I was happy all the time
With the beavers and raccoons cause I was happy all the time
And the sycamores would chaperone and flash approving teeth
And herons cheered me on ‘cause I was happy, I was happy all the time

Bubble baths and parties I was happy all the time
With berries and Bacardi I was happy all the time
Is it darkness that inspires us, or passion that requires us
To have to stay so loose to be so happy, happy all the time

A river of retsina I was happy all the time
And though the bank was sorta seedy I was happy all the time
So I piled high the stones until the river kindly rose
Well dam it all cause I was so damn happy, happy all the time

I took the time to breathe ‘cause I was happy all the time
Among the root buds and the weeds cause I was happy all the time
But the peat moss and the leaves took turns with both my feet
Until my toes took root and I was happy, I was happy all the time

I begged upon the seasons I was happy all the time
To strip my rhymes and reasons I was happy all the time
And the winter rained like razors and the summer burned like bees
And my skin grew thick as bark ‘cause I was happy, I was happy all the time

There was fire in the forest I was happy all the time
To cleanse our closets for us I was happy all the time
And my branches were the first to embrace the scalded earth
And my middle opened wide ‘cause I was happy, I was happy all the time

Now there’s a girl inside my chest and she seems happy all the time
Untethered and undressed and just so happy all the time
And all the frogs and all the lizards tell her tales of droughts and blizzards
And the soil ‘neath her toes just feels so rich
And just so happy
Track Name: Unfinished Houses
In the city of unfinished houses
Candles are chasing their flames
The windows are dusty and frameless
And plywood holds onto its stains

In the city of unfinished houses
We residents flicker and flare
Our eyes become blind to the careless
Untended mistakes everywhere

We live in unfinished houses
Shelfless, trimless and bare
Emptiness echoes around us
You see, fire cannot burn without air
Track Name: Emily Has Compassion Fatigue - 3 Blind Mice Cover
Written by Lyndon J Connah, Alex Grayson and Garry Wonfor AKA 3 Blind Mice

Emily, can you hear the dodo call? Remember me?
See the doormat has a new disease
Pizza eats a million trees
Emily, the sky is finished with us and the sea
Is bruised and swollen with the memory
Of every god-forsaken anchovy

Chorus:
Emily I know you love blindly
Emily I know you think kindly
The gentle breeze of summer in your hair
And so to the news the world is dying
The pundits decree we all start crying
But Emily’s in love and does not care

Emily’s so in love the world’s not there

Emily, God alone in broken heaven calls to me
What in hell on earth is come to be
He weeps; we leap to reap his prophecy
Emily, Emily, Emily
You know I love you too and that it’s killing me
Please give me strength to know a way to feel
I either watch the news or make the meal

Chorus

I heard on the news the world’s undone
And we’re all on our way to kingdom come
But Emily just made a cup of tea
Emily can we live minutiae
I won’t believe the sky is holed
If you can disbelieve the poisoned sea
Emily I’ll love you if you love me
Track Name: Louise
In the end if I should know the green that springtime grows,
The sheen of moon on snow, the trees auburn and yellow,
I would have lived a good life, oh a good life

And in the end if I have found that straight things can be round,
The music in all sound, the feel of fertile ground,
I would have lived a good life, oh a good life

Louise she’s a dancer on trapeze
You should see her, she flies with ease
Her long brown hair, swingin’ through the air
She has her own dance company
Yeah, the critics love her
Strangely now, she doesn’t care

I got some news back in July
We were all surprised, they said
She’s got a tumor in her head
She was only 31, I was the same age
So much doin’ to be done

Oh Louise
You got me thinking

She has a short time to live well
I asked her what she wanted
“Learn more dances” she said
“And maybe simplify my life,
So I’ll be ready
All this stuff I own is meaningless”

The doctors say that when they’re done
It’s possible that she’ll be mute or blind
It depends on what they find
Conversation might be gone, no comprehension
Take my life, don’t take my mind

Oh Louise
You got me thinking

Philadelphia’s so far
I can’t just hop there in my car
I don’t know what to do
Send a letter write a song
It all seems trivial and wrong
I guess she’s alone… me too…

Louise
You got me thinking

And in the end if I have found that straight things can be round,
The music in all sound, the feel of fertile ground,
I would have lived a good life, oh a good life
Track Name: Love Is Easy
Love is easy when it’s you and me
It’s breezy as bubbles in the air
From our very first kiss on the porch that night
We were a magical pair

Love is easy for you and me
It pleases me to see the ways you shine
Let’s build a house together
Let’s garden till we’re sore
Then we’ll tango like tulips ‘cross the floor

BRIDGE:
Our friends are kind of jealous
They ask “Don’t you ever fight?”
“Not too often. Things are mellow.”
There’s only one topic we like to avoid:
Should the paint in the kitchen be that particular shade of yellow?

Love is easy when it’s me and you
You can tease me when I’m surly, or blue
It’s no wonder we gave birth to the cutest kid on earth
Our wedding day is making even Sorrow smile too…

I’ve never felt less lonely, I’ve never felt more free
This love has made us rich with its simplicity

Our love is easy
Our love is easy
So easy when it's you and me
Track Name: Sugar
Hey there, Sugar. Do your thing. Paint the red to gray.
I’m feelin’ bad, so lay me down and kiss my cares away.
I want to feel your soothing touch, your sweetness on my tongue
Deliver me from gravity my delicious honey bun.

You put your arms around me, you whisper in my ear.
You fill my mind with candied thoughts and then you disappear
A temporary rescue from the wily ways of men
I say thank you, Sugar, you have saved me from this world again.
Track Name: All The Room I Need
I have all the room I need
My bed is wide enough for three
I can stand up tall and stretch my arms up high
I can step outside and wander through the trees
I have all the room I need.

I have all the light I need
It’s dark outside but I can read
One small flame will let me gaze upon your face
That always was enough for this old human race
I have all the light I need.

I have all the time I need
Life is long and rich and green
I’ll walk slowly till I’m old and bent and gray
Then I’ll smile a knowing smile that says “It’s all okay”
I have all the time I need
I have everything I need
Track Name: Primordial Soup
Lyrics by Bela Bodnar and Esther Golton, Music by Esther Golton

The teacher said I came from Primordial Soup
You know that really threw me for a loop
It might have been tomato, or maybe potato
With a dash of lightning juice

The preacher said I came from Adam and Eve
Poof! The human race, they did conceive
Had to be incest right off the bat
But the preacher, he don't talk about that

There's more in the pot than DNA
There's a kind of sweet and salty essence that comes to play
These ingredients are all my own
Mysterious spices mixed with flesh and bone

I don't know the recipe
To make a woman like me
Maybe the secret's in the sauce
Or maybe it's just in the toss

Pass that bowl Scott..... What kind of dressing do ya got?
Track Name: Fog
Pull the shades down
No moonlight, cold shadows
Bitterness and sorrow
There’ll be fog tomorrow
Track Name: Keli Mahoney
We stood in line
We said hello
We didn’t know about tomorrow
A perfect sky
Lit up your eyes
You cracked a smile as we waved goodbye

Fly away through the snow covered hills
Unafraid
I see you smiling still

Silver wings
The runway’s clear
What’s behind the clouds, you merry pioneer?
You belong
To this wilderness
Safe and strong, you raised the bar for all of us

Fly away through the snow covered hills
Unafraid
I see you smiling still