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12 Ways To Live (2007)
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Select Song to view lyrics:
1. Believe In Me
2. Mad Intuition
3. Railroad
4. Bayou
5. 7th & A
6. Every Pulse
7. Your Fire
8. Georgia
9. Omaha
10. Good Enough Reason
11.Election Year
12. Secret Song

1. Believe In Me

The CD you left on my pillow the day you flew away
I've been listening to it for hours I've been learning how to play
Every single note every aching refrain so I could sing 'em back to you
Next time you won't get on that plane

The letter you wrote me from the beach with the sand stuck to the page
Has been sitting by my bed and my bed is just a cage
Where I think of you and the other seeds I've sown
Where I breathe deep and low, where I'll never, ever call home

But I know I can do this a little bit more
I know I could fight it down to the floor
If you would only believe in me

This distance we've been fighting, open hands tempting fate
There's a memory inside of me and it keeps us both up late
Night talking 'til we're sighing - we've got nothing left to say
We surrender to exhaustion and the break of another lonely day

But I know I can do this a little bit more
I know I could fight it down to the floor
If you would only believe in me

We count the days, we count the hours
We count the days
Baby I'll count meteor showers
We count the days we count the ways in which we are
Learning to fall, we're learning to fall

So that silence we were pacing the night we both got mad
Was just a dirty fog descending telling us we had
We had, we'd better pay attention to this road that we chose
We'd better read the signs we best not follow too close

But I know I can do this a little bit more
I know I could fight it down to the floor
If you would only believe in me
(repeat)

Emily White: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocal; Scott Lamps: electric guitar, bass, vocal; Jennifer Jones: drums; Brianna Lane: vocal
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2. Mad Intuition

We've got mad intuition
She always knows when it's gonna rain
We ride through the stomach of the city
Holding piles of memory on an underground train

And the lights go out we pretend it's night
She's always right
(repeat)

We cut through all of the noise
Windows are open to the sounds of steel
She says we've got to make a living
Find a way to sell the things we feel

And the lights go out we pretend it's night
She's always right
(repeat)

And we know songs are just like dreams
Every story is the singer's no matter what they sing
She'll paint her own face a thousand times
I'll rewrite every line

And the lights go out we pretend it's night
She's always right
(repeat)

Emily White: acoustic guitar, vocals; Scott Lamps: baritone guitar, bass; Jennifer Jones: drums
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3. Railroad

I have loved you like a songwriter loves a railroad
You have splintered, you have shaken, I have not lost my faith
And I have loved you like a folksinger loves a railroad
I have pulled you to my ground, I have tied you down

And my hands are sore from prying open all your doors
And my hands are cold and cracked 'cause I have been out here
Trying to make you take it all back

You've been waiting with your one eye fixed on that switch
Trying your best to keep still, hoping your love for me won't spill out of your seams
And you're all straight lines and slow turns toward a goodbye
And I've been sitting here in the dark waiting for the sun's first mark in the sky

And my hands are sore from prying open all your doors
My hands are cold and cracked 'cause I have been out here
Trying to make you take it all back

You find a thin edge and you drive, a thin edge and you drive it

But I have loved you like a songwriter loves a railroad
You have splintered, you have shaken, I have not lost my faith in you

Emily White: acoustic guitar, vocal; Scott Lamps: baritone guitar; Jennifer Jones: drums, squeakies
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4. Bayou

Down on the bayou just south of here
A marsh so green you can taste your fear
They saw you comin' and they boarded up
The sound of hunger and the smell of flood

The wetlands shivered as they stared her down
The only stoplight left on the edge of that town
The ocean swallowed and looked to the sky
Their edges faded and the weathermen stood by

Chorus: Oh my love
Oh my dear
When I get to heaven I know I will surely cry
For all the beauty I left here*

She was eight years old just old enough
A better climber so they sent her first
For three long nights she dreamt of rust and cups
The shingles fell off one by one but she never gave up

(Chorus)
Oh my love
Oh my dear
When I get to heaven I know I will surely cry
For all the beauty I left here

They carved up the city to make more room for ships
The old Mississippi was just sick of it
The washed-out marshes didn't have their say
Like every other disaster it's the people who pay
Like every other disaster it's the people who pay

And oh my love
Oh my dear
When I get to heaven I know I will surely cry
For all the beauty I left here

Emily White: acoustic guitar, vocals; Scott Lamps: acoustic guitar, baritone guitar; Jennifer Jones: drums
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5. 7th & A

You are standing at 7th and A
With a list of all my faults
It must get tiring carrying that around all day
Watching snow melt under salt

And I remember the last time I saw you
Five years ago in the city where you live
I remember it's the last time that we spoke
I did something you just can't forgive
I did something you just can't forgive

And just in case you were wondering
I've grown up now too
Every time I drive to your town
I won't think of you
I won't think of you

So it was two am and we were telling stories
Down at the river where the edges blur
Do you remember all the stones we sank there
That muddy water never said a word
That muddy water never said a word

As much as friends can count you counted for me
I thought you'd never be the one giving up
It's four years out of this and I'm still saying sorry
For what I don't know and enough's enough
Yeah, now I know enough's enough

'Cause just in case you were wondering
I've grown up now too
And every time I drive by your house
I won't think of you
I won't think of you

So there are some things that water can't tell you
For which water just doesn't have the words
If what was frozen in that river you had told me
I wish you'd tell me what I did wrong

Emily White: acoustic guitar, vocals; Scott Lamps: bass; Jennifer Jones: drums
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6. Every Pulse

My shirt and I spent the night on your floor
Looking up into space and I adore you more
Every time I fight it

With every pulse I felt my heart move the air
I could have died from all that weight lying there
And if you decide
I'll be on your side

And I wrote you a little song, a little song
I only play it for the living room
I've had this little dream, a little dream
It's how you're meant for me
It's how you're meant for me

My shoes under your bed look so old
Listening to all the things I want to know how you show
Every joy inside you

'Cause I've seen your eyes pave the sky in grey
I never know if it'll shine or rain
But if you decide
I'll be on your side

And I wrote you a little song, a little song
I only play it for the living room
I've had this dream since I was 12 years old
It's how you're meant for me
It's how you're meant for me

Emily White: acoustic guitar, vocal, vibraphone, wine glass, vent, found objects; Scott Lamps: vibraphone
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7. Your Fire

Let's meet for coffee
We'll go somewhere public
I'll wear the dress you can't take your eyes off of
I promise I will not mention that we were in love

And feel free to bring her
I'm coming alone
But I'll be on my best behavior -I'll try to be nice
iId really like to meet her - your soon-to-be wife

'Cause I know your fire so well
It's like I lit that spark myself

You'll order for me
Like you always did
We'll keep the table between us you'll talk about work
I'll look out the window you'll look down at your shirt

And she'll be the sweetest
Person I've met
Yeah and I'll make some joke like I'd marry her myself
Everyone'll get quiet while the waitress asks if we need help

'Cause I know your fire so well
It's like I lit that spark myself

Of all the history no one denies it
I got the rolling pin, you got the fire
So mine all your metals, take out your pliers
Make her a ring, be sure not to confine her
Be kind

We use polite hugs
You hold on too long
Yeah but around every bend for us a new day begins for us

'Cause I know your fire so well
It's like I lit that spark myself

Emily White: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocal; Scott Lamps: bass, keyboard; Jennifer Jones: drums
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8. Georgia

Empty hotel room, Atlanta, Georgia
You left me here just an hour ago
Bedspread is torn and the sheets are dirty
I never asked what you came here for

TVs are glowing in all of the windows
Like little fireflies trapped in jars
They've got their ice they've got their white towels
And I'm the one wondering what happened to stars

I just watch the moon
And pray that I find my way home soon
I just watch the moon
I try not to blame you

You, you with your white horse
Ride down to Georgia
You think you can save me from all of the hard stuff, the hard stuff
I don't need a savior now, I don't need a savior
I don't need a savior now, I'll just resent you anyhow

In my empty hotel room Atlanta, Georgia
I never asked what you came here for
I turn out the lights, I open the window
I try to remember what I came here for

I just watch the moon
And pray that I find my way home soon
I just watch the moon
I try not to blame you

Emily White: acoustic guitar, vocal; Scott Lamps: bass, keyboard; Jennifer Jones: drums
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9. Omaha

In the middle of January I pulled out all the stops
I crashed our car somewhere in Nebraska
I told you this is where we give up

Snowdrift angels on the side of the driveway
It's February fourteenth
I tried to leave all my leaving behind me
I'm eating now and I still feel weak
I feel weak

The wind is howling like it's hungry for something
And I'm desperate now as the Ides of March
I only call you when I know you'll answer
And it bleeds you dry
I say baby, please, try

I saw it coming with April's showers
They washed away half our lawn
Strangers waded down flooded sidewalks
And you looked strange framed in the sky of Omaha
Omaha

And the wind is howling like it's hungry for something
And I'm desperate now as the Ides of March
I only call you when I know you'll answer
And it bleeds you dry
I say baby, please, try
Just try

So it dried out and you forgot my birthday
I got fucked up alone
I tried to leave all my leaving behind me
I tried baby but this is not home
It's not home

Emily White: acoustic guitar, vocal; Scott Lamps: bass; Jennifer Jones: drums, suitcase
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10. Good Enough Reason

I walk around my house with no shirt on
I leave every single light on
You say it doesn't look like I've got a reason to go on
And I know it's nothing more
Than what I've felt before
Still I have a hard time convincing myself

But you love me
In my orange sweatshirt and my ripped up jeans
Yeah you love me
And that seems like a good enough reason to me

I grew up with my mom who adored me
In a southern Baptist family
And our deviation was nothing short of bravery
And at times I barely breathed
For fear of unleashing
Some sort of devil within me

But she loved me
With my loud music and my questioning
Yeah she loved me
And that seems like a good enough reason
To believe that it's not your fault
Everybody stumbles, yeah everybody falls apart
And if you leave now you'll never see how this love could change almost anything
Almost anything

So what if I let this sink down to the deep of me
I just guzzle down misery
Like there's not a single person out there who needs me?
And I could just resign
To saying I'm not fine
No, I'm not fine

But you love me
In my orange sweatshirt and my ripped up jeans
Yeah you love me
And that seems like a good enough reason to me

Emily White: electric guitar, vocals; Scott Lamps: bass; Jennifer Jones: lap snare, drums
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11. Election Year

We got a brand-new park 'cause it's election year
New sidewalks for the wheelchairs
They cleaned up the needles
Look at 'em bent over backwards
And now it's your turn to vote

All the buildings went condo before election year
Now we can barely afford to live here
They built up that highrise
Blocked out our sunlight
Now it's our turn to vote

It's all Starbucks and tanning for election year
A few try to preserve what we share
At the new park for the white kids
The local politician is telling us why we should vote
For her

'Cause everyone's got questions this election year
And no one's answers are clear
What stores will move in
What out and when?
And mostly, how can we vote

With only one name on the ballot this election year
No one else allowed on out of fear
We might get someone who sees
You can't put lipstick on need
And we still know how to vote

Emily White: acoustic guitar, vocal
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12. Secret Song

Put your palm right here
Where I'm leaking
Turn me into stone
All the better for the keeping

I will write you in
Write you into my story
You will beg the brave
And they will revel in your glory

So don't tell a soul
No, don't tell a soul
Don't tell a soul
No, don't tell a soul

I have counted days
Counted backwards 'til it numbed me
I have prayed the same
Prayers the mothers prayed before me

Lay me down to sleep
Cover me in quilts of grieving
The stillness of the sound
Oh, the terror of unraveling

So don't tell a soul
No, don't tell a soul
Don't tell a soul
No, don't tell a soul

We wait for darkness now
We wait for shadows that come like armies
Who will not break their vows
And though it's quiet I know you're with me

'Cause I can feel your skin
I can feel you within me
I can feel your skin
I can feel you within me

So don't make a sound
No, don't make a sound
No don't tell a soul
Don't tell a soul

Emily White: acoustic guitar, vocals; Scott Lamps: keyboard
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