tear me down
released june 2002

all songs © 2002 shelley miller
except every day shine © 2002 karen stockwell/shelley miller


Hey, Hey Hallelujah

Hey, hey, hallelujah
You've been talking to God tonight
Said he might stop over for dinner
Throw in a pot roast, and do your make-up right
Hey, mama, won't you tell me a story?
Not now, go put your pj's on.
Count your sheep or watch some TV
Mama's got her good church dress on.

Hey, hey, hallelujah
You've been talking to God for weeks.
Say your prayers and be a good girl,
Never mind that the kitchen sink still leaks.
And all the dirt under God's fingers,
He still ain't got your car working right.
Say your prayers and wait for hours
For him to come home, so very late at night.

Hey, hey, hallelujah
You've been talking to God for years.
But he's never home and your baby's grown,
So pack your bags and get set to disappear.
Yeah, pack your bags and get set to fly from
Here, here, here, he never hears you
Here, here, here, he never hears you
Here, here, here, he never hears you
Here, here, here, he never hears you
Here, here, get set to fly from here.

Hey, hey hallelujah.
Hey, hey  hallelujah


Seasons

It's two in the morning
Warmer than it was an hour ago
That's the funny thing about seasons
How they sometimes get everything backwards

And if I rub up against you like this
Is it love, is it passion
Or just a pretty way of saying sorry

Tell me this, what do you see in me
Half full as I am
Tell me this, what do you see in me
Half full as i am
Half full as i am to you

What is it that drives me to this
I want to touch you like I touch nobody else
And then stop you from touching me
As you would

No, just wait a little longer
Lie here, let me watch you breathing
And we are both of us sweaty
Just a shirt shy of naked

Tell me, what do you see, what do you see in me
Half full as I am (to you)
Tell me this, what do you see in me
Half full as I am
Half full as I am to you

You break over me like waves
Like weeds in the dirt lot
Across from the schoolyard in the second grade
Where I went running unsteady
And fell for the love of falling
Where I laughed without thinking
Laughed without making a sound
Without making a sound
Without making a sound
Oh, what is it that drives me, that drives me to this
Without making a...


Happy Accident

Just another happy accident
Caught you passing on the right side of my heart
I wasn't looking, but there you are
I was shoring up my blindside
Sure enough that all those things they say aren't true
About love and all that stuff
Then out popped you

But i'm not the kind of girl
Who sits playing games with my heart
And you're not the one I thought I'd find
Hanging around in these parts

Just another allegation
I'm not half as strong as I used to
Not used to you and all the things
This says about me
Steel my arms to the promise
Steel my eyes to the thought that this might work out
Gotta steal myself back
Gotta steal myself back from you

'Cause I'm not the kind of girl
Who sits playing games with my heart
And you're not the one i thought i'd find
Hanging around these parts

When you're tired and falling
And all your dreams come tumbling down
Who'll be there waiting by your side?
She says, just still all your running thoughts
And run to me and I'll be
All the strength you need
To make it through somehow

So this is just another passing love song
Caught your eyes like a greedy treasure in my heart
Might throw them back now
If I knew where to start
But i'm not running, I'm not hiding anymore and I'm not
Oh I'm not running, I'm not runnin anymore


Swoon

Don't ask for me at the counter,
I'll be gone
Don't wait for me by the window,
Its not my fault you had to be so strong

In your own way,
In your own dark light
I could have opened up and let the weight unshift
Unsettle like a furious flight

Like riding top down in the summer rain
Feet unsteady, pedal slipping
I could have held you in from the shotgun
I could have held you, who knew you'd be so strong
I could have held you, who knew that you'd be so small
Just like a bump on my finger,
a bruise from where we hit the wall

Ohh...

You held me steady in the empty room
I cut my hair against the mouth of June
Nothing could touch me, you said, nothing at all
And still I turned away, my face to the wall

Under the skin of the sheets, I felt the pedal stick
In the raw release, felt the engine click

Nothing could touch me, so you drove all night
Under the petty sins and the starless light
Of a highway, empty open road
Better that than the empty, broken girl
You left behind, to wake against the wall
To reach out for you, reach for nothing at all

Ohh...

I should be strong enough
In the heat of shame I believed you,
Surrendered to the pain of not wanting to need anything

You'll never find out, I would have never told
How far I fell down, how I felt so old
To be silenced like the unmarked scar
Where the engine slipped in your mother's car

But I'll be gone
I'll be gone
I'll be gone
I'll be gone
I'll be gone


Every Day Shine

She tells the future
By listening one note at a time;
By following raindrops
And pulling her clothes in from the line in time.
She tells the future by remembering her dreams
Mysteries unfolding smooth as sheets

She tells the future
By looking at the clouds;
By watching shapes and shadows as they wash across the ground.
She tells the future
By searching through the stars
For movements not expected
Brighter lights, reaching back through time.

And she tells the future
By dancing in the light
And letting every day, letting every day shine.

She tells the future
By calling on her friends
Returning messages not left on answering machines
By knowing what should and should not be said
She tells the future
By living out her dreams
By washing dishes and windows
And mending scraped up knees

And she tells the future
By dancing in the light
And letting every day, letting every day shine.

She tells the future
By dusting all the photographs
By keeping the phonograph
By remembering the words her mother told her
Once upon a time:
'It'll be all right now, baby
It'll be all right, just close your eyes,
It'll be all right, now, baby
Singing one note at a time


Like I Am

Listen up baby, I've got something to say
Hold on, it might take a little while
I'm never one to take a chance
I always risk the consequence
But this time i want to tell you
What's on my mind is set on loving you
But my body won't appease
I don't want to be your broken toy
Falling down on my knees
I don't need you to pick me up
Just try to understand

I may be tired and low
I may be tired and low

But love me like a woman
Love me like I am
Love me like a woman
Love me like I am
Like I am

You say it's so hard to see what the problem is
How do you know it's not all in my mind?
Maybe if I try more, try less
Stop keeping score
Someday you'll come home
And I'll be closer to finding out
The reasons you love me
And that you'll never leave
I'm still sitting in this cold, cold room trying to believe
In anything more than the questions
That wake me up every night

They keep me tired and low
They keep me tired and low

But you still love me like a woman
You love me like I am
You still love me like a woman
You love me like I am
Like I am

It's 3 a.m., I'm lying awake
Holding onto the sheets with all my life
You're lying next to me
Turning under the weight of your own history

I don't know what I can do for you
What I can do for me
I don't want a pill to make me feel better
But some days I can't feel a thing
But your arms around me
Yeah, we're laughing even though

We're so tired and low
Oh, we're so tired and low
You know we're so tired and low
We're so tired and low

But you love me
Yeah, you love me
Oh you love me like a woman
You love me like I am
Oh, you love me like a woman, a woman baby
So I'll love you the best i can
The best I can
The best i can
The best i can


Tear Me Down

Tear me down
Build me up backwards
It's the only way to know
Tear me down
Build me up backwards
It's the only way to understand

You see, I had a dream
That he did what he wanted
And followed me back to the light
And when I awoke again, I was just shaking
And nothing you do can make me feel alright

Tear me down
I don't know who I am

Hold on, hold on, you say
We can be stronger
Than the monsters in your bed (you said, you said)
But I'm not, and I just start shaking again
You see, I had a secret
And I put it in my pocket
With some stickers and a handful of change
But the rain made it rust
And it cut me up inside
And I'll never been that free again

And I don't know where I've been

And you say eenie-meenie-miny-mo
Catch me by my fingers, by my toes
And if I holler, let me go

So there were two little girls
Playing jumprope games after dark
Singing 'Miss Suzie said'
Under the bare bulb of the streetlight
In the corner park
Singing ollie-ollie-oxen-free,
Mother may I take
One step home now
I want to come home now

I don't know where I've been
Tear me down if you want to understand


328 Miles

When I wake, it's you on the telephone
And when I sleep, it's you on my mind
You call from 328 miles down the coast
Say you're lonely, but it's alright

And I would lay down my arms
Restless as they are
To sleep silent in the shadow of the moon
And I would lay down these dreams
Though they're all I ever thought I wanted
To be honest for a single night with you
To be true

Dust stained coffee outside of cleveland
Another nine hours to get to the Falls
And when I get there,
Who's going to meet me
Oh, but I always said that I'd be
The one to make it on my own

But now I'd lay down my arms
Restless as they are
To sleep silent in the shadow of the moon
And I would lay down these dreams
Though they're all I ever thought I wanted
To be honest for a single night with you
To be true

I cut my fingers on the letters
I cut my feelings to the bone
I always swore my thoughts would come
A little too late
But now I wished I'd watched
Them all come undone
I cut my fingers on the letters
I cut my feelings to the bone
I always swore that I would just run away
But now I want to run back home

So I count the cracks beneath my footsteps
Long for the rooms I know
Like a song I know by heart
How could I go away and leave it
Or pack it up in the name of starting over
Of starting over

And I'd lay down my arms
Restless as they are
To sleep silent in the shadow of the moon
And I would lay down these dreams
Though they're all I ever thought I wanted
To be honest for a single night with you
To be true

When I wake, it's you on the telephone
And when I sleep, it's you on my mind
You call from 328 miles down the coast
Say I'm growing, but that's alright


Happiness

Tightrope walking again
Over the same words
We never say anything at
Always talk about it later
Look cute,don't make a sound
We never say much
But at least we don't fall down

'Cause nothing's as contentious as our happiness
And nothing makes me want to fight you more
And nothing makes me happier than lucky, lucky you
Always coming back for more

We're on the same plane
Feeling the same emotions going down, down, down
Caught on the same page
I say I'll race you to the end
We never say much but at least we don't fall down

'Cause nothing's as contentious as our happiness
And nothing makes me want to fight you more
And nothing makes me happier than lucky, lucky you
Always coming back for more

Catch a cricke, catch a ghost on your tongue
It's all the same, doesn't matter now
Just wrap me up in pretty pop songs
Say we'll talk about it later
All we talk about is how we'd rather shout about it

'Cause nothing's as contentious as our happiness
And nothing makes me want to fight you more
And nothing makes me happier than lucky, lucky you
Always coming back for more

Don't make a sound
Don't make a sound
Don't make a sound
Just smile pretty
Try not to fall down


Follow

Lead me anywhere and I am bound to follow
Chase these burdens out of town
Throwing pennies in the fountain don't bring anything
But empty pockets and a day closer to drowning
Come feed me secrets from your fingers like a child
And I will warm in wait of you
Come lap your heels at the edge of the water
Pretend we've build a boat for two

Follow you, across the earth across the sky
Follow you, don't ever want to say good-bye
Follow you, and when I lay me down to sleep
Follow you, I pray the Lord this love to keep

Some people tear you down in pieces
Some will wear you down in parts
Some people don't believe that there's ever time for a second start
But I've seen rain come down
Like dreams between your fingers
And the sweetness of the sky
Is the only thing that lingers, and I will

Follow you, across the earth across the sky
Follow you, don't ever want to say good-bye
Follow you, and when I lay me down to sleep
Follow you, I pray the Lord this love to keep

We chisel bullets through the sky
And laugh through empty eyes
We count each sacrifice as the price of barely getting by
But we have more than these arms can ever hold
You've got to take the chance
And baby, let your wings unfold
And I will

Follow you, across the earth across the sky
Follow you, don't ever want to say good-bye
Follow you, and when I lay me down to sleep
Follow you, I pray the Lord this love to keep


Mama's Brand Spankin' New Redneck Boyfriend

Looks like we're spending Christmas
With mama's new redneck boyfriend
They like to go fishing, get drunk and play cards
And when he's off parole,
He's gonna take her to Vegas
Until then, it's just beer and basketball

Oh, mama, don't let him treat you too mean
And before I visit, be sure to tell him
I'm a vegetarian
So he won't need to shoot me a turkey this year
And maybe you should also warn him
That your daughter's half queer

'Cause my mom's got a brand spankin'
New redneck boyfriend
They like to go fishing, get drunk and play cards
And when he's off parole,
He's gonna take her to Vegas
Until then, it's just beer and basketball

My mom spent her last life cavorting with bigwigs
While my dad made the big bucks
Down at old IBM
But now she's got her own truck
She spends her weekends at Wal-Mart
And she laughs about used-to-being one of 'them'

'Cause my mom's got a brand spankin'
New redneck boyfriend
They like to go fishing, get drunk and play cards
And when he's off parole,
He's gonna take her to Vegas
Until then, it's just beer and basketball

And my mama, she asked me, what would you like for Christmas
You know, you've been my best baby
For twenty five years
And I said a fish mounted trophy, well that could be pretty nifty
But can I please just stay with grandma this year

'Cause my mom's got a brand spankin'
New redneck boyfriend
They like to go fishing, get drunk and play cards
And when he's off parole,
He's gonna take her to Vegas
Until then, it's just beer and basketball
I said until then, it's just beer and basketball