Noah Zacharin

Master Guitarist and Musician

'A Startle of Wings' (lyrics for all 14 songs)

morning comes on/through the fog I check my legs they both seem to move right/anew it begins/commerce and hammers hungover lovers caught in the headlights//it’s so good to be here/with a river of love inside me/so many are gone/and the morning comes on//used to be beside me/sometimes I think it might be lying in the next room over/listen to its breathing/in its dreams we’re rolling hot in the clover//there’s leon and lily/a laundry line staring at a laundry basket/love can grow wild/when you have coffee and the question and the courage to ask it//and it’s so good…//see that young girl/you wouldn’t know it to look but her heart has been broken/there’s a young man/you might not think so but his cup is often out of hopin’//and it’s so good…//sun’s hard on your tears they don’t burn off when they gather in the small hours of the morning/I won’t tell you about mine but I’ll for the right to know when I'm lonely//it’s so good…//stains in the memory/friends I don’t know which road in the wood has been taken/so long since I've seen you/I can only pray for us all when I've awakened//no slamming of doors/no racing around yelling honey where are my clean shirts/state of high flies its blue/song sparrows come in close when I sit quiet

 

one time in twenty’s plenty darling if you fall in love/do it for jesus do it for G-d above/there’s a pine tree with the sweetest resin in the darkest wood/we can go for a little while or we can go for good//smoke your cigarette look me in the eye/show me your silhouette I’ll try to draw that fine line/open up your heart do it just for me/do it for yourself little darling we’ll make some cool history//thirteen dreams I had I recall but a single one/we were skipping stones and each one traveled on and on and on/I looked across the water I called out your name /woke to a single strand of hair threat of thunder in the vacant rain//one time in twenty’s plenty darling if you fall in love/do it for jesus do it for the devil in the mud/one time in twenty’s plenty darling if you fall for real/I hear what you’re saying now tell me what you feel

 

speak to me now I wish you would/I've lived on the mountain on the song of birds/I ache to answer you from out of the wood/so much to tell so much I’ve heard//I’m hidden here beyond the red/mix black with blue is what you get/spirit’s kind dream in a buried kiss/music found by the dowser’s fingertips// wake me in the wood/singing always made me feel so good/wake me in the wood & wire/voice coming down the line rising up in heart’s desire//never has so little meant so very much/feel my pulse quicken beneath your fingers’ touch/dawn sweeps across the chosen sky/so much goes on beyond the human eye// you remember my raven hair/you remember how I was always there/you don’t know how much I've wept to see my children grow/to tell them all the things they need to know//you know the way of the bone/cleaned by wind wind blows through on its own /what you left gets gathered by the breeze/sweet flute notes flutter beautifully// wake me now…//like the cage around the bird/the lamp around the genie/eclipse between the moon and you/the ache round what you mean to me//I’ve waited for darkened rooms/stars above quiet song below/a bit of mist between frozen tears/one bird in the slumbering mahogany//wake me slowly now and do it kind/touch me gently tip of finger on lid of eye/kind of chilly now but I don’t mind/been sleeping for a long long time//

 

whatcha wanna tell me/whatcha wanna do/x2/you better make your mind up baby/you better hurry up and choose//you got something (cold and twisted)/tugging at your sleeve/you got something blowing a blizzard/in your veins and you can’t sleep//look at your body/you’re thin as a rail/twitchin’ and a ramblin’/ripped as a storm tossed sail//what’s that voodoo magic/what you burning when I’m not at home/what was my lock of hair doing there/with my fingernail that black cat bone//I got this smile on my face/whenever I sing this song/cause I love to hold my old guitar/knowing that you’re gone//you long gone in the morning/never liked your coffee the way I do/you long gone in the nighttime/my bed was never big enough for you//I remember how you said (whispered) my name how you liked your love/a bottle of red wine on the table/your hands in white satin gloves//sing glory hallelujah/strum it on the old banjo/singing auld lang syne in double time/watching you go//whatcha wanna tell me

 

it’s not about your girl it’s not about your guy/not about the poison left behind/to summarize: the flesh is a precious little lie/all things fall apart in time//see the buildings start to tumble down/the river swelling up with salt/a broken doll the killer’s hands cannot be found/each one says ‘it’s not my fault’//it’s over and late/a broken heart a busted gate/it’s over and past/what don’t come and what don’t last//the oracle has spoken smoke from the prophet’s mouth/greed and garbage where the elders used to dance/a ring of orphan keys a rusted door and one way out/a hole in the sky the size of france//it’s over…//I hope some cure is rolling down the line/I pray it gets here soon/something going on in that court on high/it’s still cold and it’s still raining and it’s june//it’s over…/…it’s over and done/falling leaf and setting sun

 

sunrise over the barn old hound in slow steep howl/never knew he mourns lousy neighbours and I know it now/all roads lead to ruin so I lie back in my own heat/fresh bread and coffee smell like flesh burning in my sleep//my thoughts are darker than they’re deep/from an old abandoned well/stick around I’ll write the end of this small town novel//fix that broken glass torn screen whines on rusted hinge/bloodshot eyes roll past the finish line of another binge/sweating alcohol I lunch on pickled eggs/and a dozen smokes on the porch/this year’s schoolgirls are the youngest yet//my thoughts are darker//oh my sweet relief I got to cash you before five/I got nothing to offer same as what I got to hide/and all you wanna know about me you can get from what my enemies say/there’s notches on my barrel all I'm afraid of is walking away//my thoughts//you start out bored you get used to the running creek/you get used to the smiles for every thief and whore and thug and cheat/I looked in every window and I know who loves his wife/I know who tells the dirty little lie I know who lives the dirty little life//my thoughts/blue steel oiled and racked someday my Sunday bell will ring/the paddies stripped me down love hung the rest on a wicked west wind/keep a bottle by the bedside an orphan key around my neck/a few pale blue forget-me-nots grow where I last stole someone’s breath//my thoughts

 

I can tell you how I'm feeling/nothing seems right/the kettle’s boiling over/it’s the middle of the night/it’s a dream that I can’t wake from/even in the light of midday//I'm perfect for you you’re perfect for me/in every way//I can finger in the socket/I can hand upon the stove/I can head upon the train tracks/o hear that whistle blow/I can speak for the flames/licking my ankles like waves//I'm perfect for you//I'm tired of talking/when you’re not near/you know what I'm saying/is not smoke or veneer/call me when you’ll come through/that’s the deal ‘round here babe//I’m perfect for you…//don’t worry ‘bout the hard times/we’ve seen the last of those/this tree will never ever bend again/no matter what sweet wind blows/it’s gonna be a great ride/like the loving we made//I'm perfect for you…//there’s someone at the window/counting all the stars/tracing constellations/doesn’t see they’ve moved so far/got lovers got hunters/all kinds of beast and they all say//I'm perfect for you…

 

next time you see this man/tell him what you want and when/summer and winter in his hands/doesn’t always know which one to send//to find a word that’s true/sky says: speak your truest name/I don a cape of blue/sea myself and sky are the same//every hour of every night/ starlings wishing they were stars/hear them all through the night singing/how’d you get so cold and far//one two three four five/number my left and my right hand/laugh and then you cry/things don’t always end up as you planned//a stone thrown through your song/you had to walk cause you felt bad/someone touched you wrong/or didn’t want what you had//every hour//another simple song/another smoldering straw/another road to gone/lit by the distant star

 

one more night stayed up late/looking for love where there was none/there was a fevered touch and hearts that raced/in all that breath there was no oxygen//what will you do with your hour/and how is your sleep so untroubled/how will you stay warm through the winter/now the fields are cut down to stubble//one more night…//now fall back but don’t fall too far/find some arms and call them ‘lover’/find a wall of water that won’t tumble down/a shooting star that will last forever//one more night…//will come a time of nothing to drink/no fragrance in waking or dreaming/no zephyr wind blows sotto voce on the skin/and bloodhounds lose the trail of meaning//one more night...

 

happy new year baby/though you’re no baby of mine/everyone’s gone home now/and if we’ll ever have it now’s our time//a little secret in a little light/forbidden breath at the end of the night/we won’t tell though we’ve done no wrong/between you and me and this first dawn//it’s not a game of hide & seek anymore/you’ve found the place I conceal my heart/count down from ten and here you are/close as shiver and desire//a little secret…//you say ‘close your eyes and reach out your hand’/you stand beyond my touch/statue in the shadows and your gown half-off/it was all you said you’d give but it was so much//a little secret…//happy new year baby/it’s getting cold outside my door/it was nice to see you baby/now you’re my drug and I only want a little more

 

in the murdered rain in the graveyard hour/as a huddled rock beside the radiant flower//declare your love//in the fields of snow where the battle’s fought/and the red red rose where the soldier dropped//declare your love//on the streets of plague by the carts of death/the church bells black use your dying breath//declare your love//declare your love to the burning flame/declare your love to the passing train/declare your love on the blade of Cain/declare your love//in the beggar’s rags in the regal cloak/in the battered town where the bombs explode//declare your love//in the midnight hour with the strength of ten/when your strength is gone then even then//declare your love//by the waters deep under ash-white stars/tiny speck of soul little scrap of heart//declare your love//declare your love for the rites of spring/declare your love like a mad blind king/declare your love for anything//declare your love//on the humble eve by the simple stream/upon a fallen leaf as you float to sea//declare your love//on the harp & lyre to the Holy King/on the whisky glass toast the drunken spring//declare your love//on the mountaintop where the word is Om/the snow falls soft on a man alone//declare your love//prepare for love with a suit & tie/prepare for love with your skirt hiked high/prepare for love with what’s true inside/prepare for love//on the day of the saint with the tunic soaked through/blood and tears and the faint drum tattoo//declare your love//on the day of the saint if the sun be dull/declare your love if it shines at all/declare your love//in never more and once again/in everyday and forever amen//declare your love

 

something ‘bout some trouble you caused or you tried to avoid/the day you handed her a string of pearls and promised her a baby boy/something ‘bout some wisdom you searched for but did not find//gotta walk a big footstep/gonna leave a faint footprint behind/ /something ‘bout the moon and sun one’s always there when the other’s not around/this little world keeps turning your heels keep wearing it down/something ‘bout some wisdom says the balance is so delicate and fine//gotta…//might be some holy gate a little Persian smoke/words from a monkey skull or from a man dangling from a rope/might be a little wisdom vivid visions of the blind//something ‘bout a heavy heart nine dollars and a half a tank of gas/tornado coming takes a moment to suck up all your past/something ‘bout some wisdom in the cursive script of the vine//gotta…//might be a tiny prayer a sestina if you got the time/a stroll in a winter wood snowfall covering up the crime/might be a little wisdom an ounce from a ton of ore refined//something ‘bout the children laughing blonde saplings in the rain/the way their voices sing through time as you bend to tuck them in again/something ‘bout some wisdom running down the mortal spine//gotta…

 

my heart ascends a bare and a hidden tower/I carry a sweet bouquet to hand my love next May/it’s breezing like fall the leaves are coming down/dry things with one thing left to say//lay by my side/lay by my side/lay by my side right now//I’ll turn my voice into a curl of smoke/I’ll fill a room with ferns and shells and wishing star tails that never fade/and butterfly wings to cool your dreams at night/carry you home when you wake//lay by my side…//beside your breathing the moon’s the only sound/bell of a baritone sax playing for the midnight flower/and I’d be vain as the weather if I thought I brought you here/I just watch the unfolding of the hours//lay by my side…

 

I woke like a lark with a song on my tongue/the way that I sometimes do/it was a simple waltz that a child could hum/I knew I would write it for you/daylight shone down and I lost it/I lost my little tune/I would gladly give it up/if I hadn’t already lost you too//waltz with me through the hours/my arm around your waist/your head on my shoulder/one-two-three our hearts and our steps in place//now this can’t be right to be given a gift/the next minute it’s taken away/seems like a flicker a flutter ago/we danced the new day awake/daylight shines down on my losses/I no longer fit in your arms/and someone is there when I call you/how’d you dance away so fast and so far//waltz with me…/woke like a lark with a song on my tongue/I wanted to write it for you

 

So Much Work to Be Done (for Guy Clark)

this whisky made it through the winter

it’s still got a bite

I lift one to the master

farewell farewell goodnight

too many losses for my fingers

hands can’t steady anyone

here on crumbling mountain

there is so much work to be done

 

I was driving my particular darkness

radio voice placed him in the past

the whole world dimmed a little

Texas stars at half-mast

can’t blame the constellations

the spirit or the son

on a one-lane road of moonlight

there is so much work to be done

 

I don’t have much to hold me here

no pistol pony wife or kid

but I got a sweet cabin and a guitar from Austin

and what little good I did

and if I get another morning

I’ll know it by the sun

angling in on a whisper

there is so much work to be done

 

he wore denim and a Stetson

had a chisel a pencil and a grin

master with a job don’t ask how or why

he just asks ‘what’ and ‘when’

so play it on your daddy’s dobro

or fire off a 21-gun

there’s salt in the Rio Grande

and there is so much work to be done

 

 

words and music © Noah Zacharin

Ten Tons of Road

there's a blue cloth on the table

a pint or two to hold it down

you know how the wind blows wild

in the dim light of this town

there's a pair of hands I've held

a pair of eyes in which I've drowned

where's the paradise I've been shaken in

when love made the sirens sound

 

ten tons of road beneath my wheels

a million miles of skies above

cannot take me far enough

to ever forget our love

 

I keep a couple of pieces of gravel

in the heel of my left shoe

they remind me as I travel

of each step I took away from you

there's a carving in an old oak tree

my sweet edge pen-knife made

where are you my darling

it's cold here in the shade

 

ten tons…

 

now the tulips they are opening

as the daffodil begins to wilt

the crocus it's just history

see this house I've built

I wanna know everything

I wanna love everyone

and when you come to me and my money's gone

I'll buy you drinks with gold of the sun

 

ten tons…

 

 

Noah Zacharin

Red Red Bird

oh my darling sometimes you feel so far away

I got the stumble of an infant child

the embrace of a man of clay

and you work to find sweet water

a place where you can pray

oh my darling sometimes you feel so far away

 

but my heart is a red red bird

soars above the dust and dirt

sings a song you never heard

my heart is a red red bird

 

nothing we can count on to face the rising flood

best we get might be to hold each other

slip together in the mud

taste the racing water feel the cooling of the blood

nothing we can count on to face the rising flood

 

my heart ...

 

nothing in the word can put the leaf back on the tree

or colour the ghostly outline of those

who hover just out of reach

teach me how to find this better hour that you see

nothing in the word can put the leaf back on the tree

 

my heart ...

let your heart ...

make your heart ...

may your heart ...

 

 

words and music © Noah Zacharin

Ready to Fly

when you hear the trumpets blowing

angels fill the sky

you know the hour’s approaching

you’re off to the sweet by and by

the Lord Who lives in heaven

is waiting for you to fly

are you ready to fly

 

did you drink your time like water

flowing beneath a tree

and the sun that shone upon you

did it give the branch its leaf

or did you grow bare and rootless

live under a pale blue sigh

are you ready to fly

 

when you hear the trumpets…

 

sometimes your prayers go unanswered

your days go rushing by

your back is bent your heart is sure

there is nothing left to try

just go a little deeper

to reach the One Who lives on high

are you ready to fly

 

when you hear the trumpets…

 

I know my feet may stumble

and stones are in my way

His hand will reach to guide me

and I all I have to say

is Lord won’t you help me

I’m coming now cause You say it’s time

and are you ready to fly

 

when you hear the trumpets…

 

 

words and music: Noah Zacharin

Moon On My Side

in my hollow moments when everything's gone still

the room it's like a sea-shell dry of the ocean's swell

and in these hollow moments when everything seems gone

touching your name like a warm wind brings 'em back again

 

won't you tell me why

anytime of night

standing by the window I got the moon on my side

won't you tell me when

anytime before the dawn

I lay me down with your warm name feel like nothing's gone

 

the air is dark with night-time ground is hard with snow

ain't nothing in between them ain't nowhere that I can go

in that barren landscape when everything seems gone

breathing your name like a quiet psalm brings 'em back again

 

won't you tell me why…

 

don't you worry 'bout time it blows away like any cloud

and it flows like every river clear as crystal merging then and now

and in that crystal stream I see everything will be returned

when I'll give your name to the silence that watches lovers burn

 

now I can tell you why

anytime of night

standing in the window I got the moon on my side

I can tell you when

any time before the dawn

I lay me down with your warm name know that nothing's gone

know that nothing's gone

know that nothing's gone

 

 

words and music by Noah Zacharin

Lester Brown

bowler and a tie

silk and satin guy

fine italian shoes it's lester brown

you hear the ladies sigh

you know the reason why

word is out lester's back in town

 

and when he walks by

twirls a stick and winks an eye

the ladies blush like springtime on the rose

steaming apple pie

evening drawing nigh

won't be long before the sunset hour glows

 

instr.

 

there’s a sweet magnolia breeze

catbirds in the trees

a little sugar with your lemonade

you can curtsey if you please

hear the cornet melody

lester's back on the basin street parade

 

and when he walks past

it happens all so fast

he lights ‘em up like match to gasoline

and the setting sun's outclassed

at how that lester lasts

dusk to dawn he shines on New Orleans

 

 

 

Words and Music © 2016 Noah Zacharin

Gonna Drown

something ‘bout the mood I’m in

see the sun sinking down

something ‘bout some place I wanna go

on the dark side of town

 

washed up here all thirsting

got some splinters got some nails

I got a message in a bottle

only love can fix the hull and fill the sails

 

I’m gonna drown my sorrows in whiskey

gonna drown that whiskey in beer

gonna drown my aching head for an hour or two

in anyone who is near

 

like an ancient zen brass bell

the sodden heart does ring

and all the secrets you can’t bear to tell

are so easy to song

 

gonna drown…

 

sipping on kerosene

chewing on coal

I’m gonna slow dance with all the wrong I’ve done

I’m gonna grind it into gold

 

gonna drown…

 

 

words and music Noah Zacharin

Find My Baby

the clock is ticking but I got no time

the hook is sinking but I got no line

 

to find my baby

got to find out where she’s gone

I got to find my baby

got to find out where she’s gone

 

looked in windows and I’ve peeped in doors

searched in places I ain’t been before

 

to find my baby…

 

well you live a moment live a life

no difference ‘tween the two

and it’s all too long and all too fast

when no one’s next to you

 

birds are singing as if nothing’s changed

bees are buzzing like she’ll come again

 

got to find my baby…

 

 

words and music Noah Zacharin

Feel Like a Jukebox

(with the Record Scratched)

I sometimes think my luck should change 'cause I stand up here on stage

boot-heels tapping the rhythm of the sad and the sweet love songs I play

I sometimes wish my heart could ring clearer than the guitar string

'cause I'm not common' through 'cause I know when I go I'll be going home alone again

 

and I feel like a jukebox with the record scratched

singing' th', singing' th' singing' the same damn lines

won't someone take me home

won't someone hold me warm

won't someone lie to me and whisper tonight they're mine

 

I always watch the lovely faces planted like seeds in the dark

and wonder which one will grow a flower of love to place in my heart

but I always catch the wilting of smiles the fading of interested eyes

as soon as I'm done with all of my songs and they turn the house-lights up bright

 

and I feel like a jukebox…

 

now I try to figure the reason why I get silence for a lullaby

and hands of the deepest darkness to hold me and rock me into the night

I try to whistle and believe a change comes like a wave to sweep me away

but the tide ebbs faster than the speed of sound and the moo begins to flicker and fade

 

and I feel like a jukebox…

 

 

Noah Zacharin

Waiting On Your Love

I wake at the crack and the creak and the least of sounds

hammer my heart shut and hope the dark will take us down

it’s not that I’m alone

I am not alone

only sometimes I think I was made to wear that crown

 

cause I’m a broken nail and a tale of treachery

a stroke of lightning and a kite caught in a tree

a fine knife edge a madman on the ledge

the lover looking for the lover looking for me

 

still waiting on

waiting on your love

I’m still waiting on

waiting on your love

 

I’m a Calder junkyard sculpture draped in skin

totalled sum of all the people I have been

and if I forget a night a name

the noises she made when she came

I’ll remember in the right light right wind

 

won’t you lead me won’t you lead me to your door

see I’ve been there so many times before

with a loosened belt a shining emerald ring

raven round my neck with a radiant wing

 

still waiting on…

 

those birds that sent singing: let me in

they tap on the glass sing: let me tell you where I been

past rooms where the nearly-buried howl the newly-coupled moan

we’re all just looking for a home on the head of a pin

 

it’s been so long so very long

been so lone so very very very long

now I'm a half an ounce of habit from your doorstep

a fool as I paper-cut my heart on song

 

still waiting…

 

 

 

Words and Music © Noah Zacharin

Sick At The Heart

sick at the heart

and I don’t know what to do about it

ferris wheel got pretty lights

I got rusted quarters in my pocket

and she stands at my right hand

like cotton candy

sick at the heart

 

I can’t look at the roses

I see them torn from the earth and bleeding

locust in the wheat field knows

from birth we are starved for bread and blessing

when the lights grow dim

we begin to learn our lesson

sick at the heart

 

nothing adds to one hundred

they should have used ray charles’ piano for his casket

all the drunken masters

smear sienna ochre and umber on canvas

the jug is cracked

the light is jagged and refracted

sick at the heart

 

sick at the heart

I said it once it was so easy I say it once again now

bang the pipes at midnight

why won’t the gods just let us sleep ah just keep the noise down

I write these words to cross them out

and forget ‘em

 

 

 

music and lyrics © Noah Zacharin

Nothing I Can Do

you love your mama and your papa

you love your sister too

you used to love me like the stars above

now there’s nothing that says you still do

 

and all of the snow and all of the sun

and all the wild places we haven’t been to

still blow and burn shiver and mourn

they tell me there’s nothing I can do

 

you love piano the old time hymns

I can see it in the grace of your hands

you love big dogs you love big oak trees

and every little gift that each new day sends

 

and all of the snow…

 

my love grew up where roses grow

where roses grow tangled in the hedge

my love she go to another heart

and thorns are all that are left

 

and all of the snow…

 

 

 

 

 

music and lyrics © Noah Zacharin

 

In The Heather

I used to walk in the heather

counting the crows on the line

counting back days when I first met her

and wishing that she were still mine

 

keep on walking and don’t look back

to where the city’s in flames

believe there’s water just over the hill

and flowers that bloom from her name

 

roll me over and rock me to sleep

I pray my mind my memories keep

if I should lie about any heartbeat

 

you sing at the speed of sound

you see at the speed of light

you can step as slow as you’re bound to

you still pass through the night

 

roll me over…

 

I used to walk in the heather

combing out my long hair

hoping one day I’d forgive her

now I’m just glad she’s there

 

 

 

music and lyrics © Noah Zacharin

In Love Again

 

look at the stars up above

they are no one else’s stars

they watch us making love

and the birds will sing

when it’s morning again

and they think that we’re in love again

 

you know the way the pale heart sings

so mournfully ‘til suddenly

it finds its wings

flies from branch to branch

to celebrate a second chance

thinks that we’re in love again

 

what a little mystery you’ve become

your canvas is a dozen shades of blue

and where sweet mystery did you come from

where do you go when you slip from view

 

on this cool night come lie with me

where shadow and moonlight

weave in harmony

and remember back when

it was all before remembering

and think that we’re in love again

don’t you think that we’re in love again

 

 

 

 

music and lyrics © Noah Zacharin

Echo

okay I’ll be quiet I won’t say a word

anyway anything I say is something you’ve already heard

alright I’ll be quiet I’ll be a good little boy

there’s a bare branch wants my leaf and thread so you don’t want my joy

I won’t share my joy

 

he who dies last dies with the most stories to tell

you die with your boots on you can get away fast at the final bell

all around my window the dark calls so clearly

gonna keep my little light gonna keep it here with me

I won’t share my joy

 

I won’t share my joy with any flickering candle wick

I won’t beg you to listen that won’t make this beauty stick

I said I would be quiet now here’s where this path has led

you wanna feel the sunlight step in to my garden bed

 

kind of a resolute calm kind of a stickman grin

I kind of know what’s going on I’m sorry ‘bout your broken wing

you say apples and oranges I say delicious tangerine

I see you haven’t got the time for all the things my hands have seen

I won’t share my joy

 

though my mouth may fill with bees my heart be a knot of asps

I will not speak a single one I only speak when I am asked

I said I would be quiet I mean what I say

credo of the echo is live to sing another day

 

okay I’ll be… I won’t say…

 

 

 

 

 

music and lyrics © Noah Zacharin