All These Dotted Lines

by Beverly Stokes

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1.
2.
04:12
3.
4.
04:26
5.
05:20
6.
7.
03:46
8.
05:22
9.
04:48

credits

released May 10, 2016

All songs written by Beverly Stokes, BMI Music

Beverly Stokes -vocals, acoustic guitars
Brooks Miner - piano, electric piano, organ
Jeremy Chatzky - electric and upright bass
Michael Hunter - drums and percussion
Hank Roberts - cello on 1, 3, 5, and 6
Joe Novelli - astral slide guitar on 4 and 7
Anna Coogan - backing vocals on tracks 2, 7, 8, and 9
Mary Lorson - backing vocals on tracks 2 and 8
JD Foster - backing vocals on track 1

Produced by Anna Coogan
Engineered and mixed by Rich Bennett at Acme Hall Studios in Brooklyn, NY
Additional Engineering by:
Matthew Saccuccimorano at Marshall St Studios in Ithaca, NY
Brian Dozoretz at Ithaca College School of Music in Ithaca, NY
Additional mixing by Matthew Saccuccimorano at Scaramanga Industries in Ithaca, NY
Mastered by Matthew Saccuccimorano at Scaramanga Industries
Production and Packaging by Pat Burke
Artwork and Graphic Design by Mickie Quinn

Astronomy Plate image from the 1728 Cyclopaedia

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about

Beverly Stokes Ithaca, New York

A singer-songwriter with roots in the classical tradition, Beverly writes songs that embody "an extraordinary mixture of poetry and observation, a gentle lyricism that seems to arise simply, organically from [their] experience and observation."

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Track Name: In the Morning
Solar storms, constellation girl
All these dotted lines, where do they lead?
Telephone poles walking you home
Oh they line the street like sentries and I can’t breathe

In the morning you will know me
Better than you know me now

Campfire coffee in metal mugs
All the smoke in the air, behind our teeth
Lightning bugs lighting up
All the darkness in between us and I can’t breathe

In the morning you will know me
Better than you know me now

All that 3AM madness wasted on sleeping
Making up for time lost in the light
That thin air country, that shallow breathing
Oh that memory that warms like a fire

In the morning you will know me
Better than you know me now
Track Name: July
The day that I died, the last day of July
Been on my haunches all week, just waiting to leap
On the time I could sit by you
We were Friday and free, had an hour to be happy
But I was only there for you, the bar was just an excuse
And I bought a drink I didn’t need to spin my head and feel the heat
On the day that I died

The EKG line went flat
When that little girl smiled and you smiled back
And I knew I was in trouble,
Yeah I heard the ringing start

And my body raised the pitch into a shout
My little heart she beat til she gave out
The final chord rang out all drums and bells and harmony
Oh and you and me, the last day of July

The day that I died was a Friday night
Playing ping pong in the back yard
With black flies and PBR
At a picnic table making cautious conversation
Trying to keep my eyes from staring, trying to keep my hands from shaking
And I’d have thrown my cards away to force the hands of time to stay
On the day that I died

The death sentence came without a word
Just that dress and those shoes that you wore
Oh I knew I was in trouble
Yeah I heard the ringing start

And my body raised the pitch into a shout
My little heart she beat til she gave out
The final chord rang out all drums and bells and harmony
Oh and you and me, the last day of July

Play Taps for me, bury me at sea
I don’t mind, in your hands I’ll rest
Play Taps for me, bury me at sea
Oh I don’t mind, in your hands I’ll rest in peace
In peace
Track Name: Sault Ste Marie
We walked the old pier in Sault Ste Marie,
Long after we first met
Long after the first dream
We walked you dropped a coin in a well
Whispering what, what was it I wanted here?

Your family stories: your mother marked time,
Your father he painted the carousel horses
I was a watercolor, you were the stream
All the rain in my coat, the stars in their courses

I am peeling back the husk I was wrapped in
It is taking me years
But in time I’ll stand here before you
With no shame, and no fear
And say what was it I wanted
What was it I wanted here?

Out on the old pier in Sault Ste Marie,
You wore binoculars
What did you want to see?
I was fishing nearby, you had no idea
With all the play in my lines
I fashioned a memory
Track Name: A Train
My mind’s like an A Train barreling for Brooklyn
Packed with screaming children and one flickering light
I keep on my headphones, turn em up too loud
And look all around for something, or someone, to quiet me down

I should’ve known better than to live in the city
My heart beats too fast as it is already
Gonna put down my roots in a town surrounded by hills of blue
And stop writing songs about you

I won’t stay out past midnight, take a crack at the good life
Instead of careening down the boulevard like a loose cannonball
Spend most of my time staring out this window
Waiting and watching to see anything new

But that black walnut tree will know just what I’m thinking
And granted the power I’m sure he’d be winking and saying
It’s gonna take much more than a change of view
To stop writing songs about you

Gonna build me a table, invite strangers to dinner
And over long conversation, and good wine, I’ll make me some friends
We’ll talk about traveling, the weather and women
And maybe the minefields of past lives will come up once in a while

Some of them will tell me to run to the Bible,
Others will tell me to run straight for the Bottle
The wisest among em contend that Time, alone, will do
Yeah they say that some day, it’s true
I’m gonna stop writing songs about you
Track Name: Bite Back
Cold black building of glittering steel
Do you know how you’re making me feel?
Cigarette ash, red highheels
Do you know how you’re making me feel?

Come a little closer, show me your teeth
Stand where I can see you or get the hell away from me
Do you wanna draw blood do you wanna play sneak attack
Well I’m down to fool around but you should know baby
I bite back

Shooting them smiles like a batting machine
Do you know what you’re doing to me?
Throwing them curves behind the scenes
Do you know what you’re doing to me?

Come a little closer, show me your teeth
Stand where I can see you or get the hell away from me
Do you wanna draw blood do you wanna play sneak attack
Well I’m down to fool around but you should know baby
I bite back

Just a fly in your web but you know I’m not anymore
Just a card in your hand but you know I’m not anymore
Just a pawn in your game but you know I’m not anymore
Just a puppet in your play but you know I’m not anymore

Go ahead and run away
Yeah I’ll cross your mind someday
Go ahead and run away from me
I’ll do plenty with your memory

Come a little closer, show me your teeth
Stand where I can see you or get the hell away from me
Do you wanna draw blood do you wanna play sneak attack
Well I’m down to fool around but you should know baby
I bite back

Cold black building, but I bite back
Shooting them smiles, but I bite back
Just a fly in your web but you know I bite back
Just a fly in your web but you know
Track Name: Paper Lanterns
I've been sweeping up the corners of my heart,
Hanging paper lanterns in the dark
Lining all my sets of Russian Dolls in a row
for you to open up, if you want

I've been running my hands over personal histories
Scars like pins on a map, bee stings, scraped knees
And a long straight line of a surgical knife
Do you have anything to show me?

You played all the strings with your thumb
Singing imperfect harmony at a hum
But the light around you is dancing with 24 karat dust
You can do no wrong

And some holographic version of you
Is the only one listening to these rivers of speech in my head
running rapids and chutes through my bed,
With a current that bears for the sea,
Sped on by the wondering
of do you wanna know how I take my coffee?

Because I've been piecing together the shards of my good luck
And letting the sun in where most of the windows were stuck
The doctors say my heart pumps too much blood
I think it's ruined me for normal love

You played all the strings with your thumb
Singing imperfect harmony at a hum
But the light around you is dancing with 24 karat dust
You can do anything that you want
You can do no wrong.
Track Name: Rodeo
Still kicking around this shoebox town
There’re shops I don’t go in much anymore
Like flowers pressed in a book
Open once a year to look then put em back up on a shelf

I showed up with my suitcase
And woke up six years later after a heavy rain
And I found that the terrain,
The whole geography had changed and I had too

Razor wire memories, they know just where to cut.
I don’t need any enemies, I hurt myself enough
Why remember
Why remember at all

I was just some Rodeo
Looking at that bull with lover’s eyes
At 20 years she let me ride
Oh and bucked me to the side eight seconds later.

Not much left from those years,
Just a pair of spurs that never seemed to work
And that necklace that was hers,
That for years I wore, I think it’s around here somewhere

A silver star belt buckle and a turquoise ring
Who knew I’d be brought to my knees by such a little thing
Why remember, Oh I remember
Why remember, remember it all

Time ever brings me forward
Just a pilgrim searching for an honest wage
And though that bronco had me down
There’s still a little fight in this old town, I think I’ll stay

But the flowers picked for every girl
Who came and went still rope me to the ground
Johnny Jump Ups, Hollyhocks,
Bleeding Hearts, Forget-Me-Nots how I recall

The fields where they were gathered and the freshness of the blooms
Their fragrance should be long gone but I’m drunk on their perfume
Why remember, Oh I remember
Why remember, Oh I remember
Why remember they know just where to cut
Why remember I hurt myself enough
Why remember, remember at all
Track Name: Electrified
Electrify me, take me home where I belong
I’ve got all the bells and whistles, plug me in and turn me on
Electrify me with all the dance you do
My body’s just a wire you can run your current through

And ooh, do you see that light?
Oh, baby I burn bright
Yeah, fire in the sky
Oh my my

Electrify me, blast me into smithereens
Light a match and drop it here on this smear of gasoline
Electrify me, wheel that flamethrower around
I’ll be your midnight fire alarm reduced to ashes on the ground

And ooh, do you see that light?
Oh, baby I burn bright
Yeah, fire in the sky
Oh my my
We’re all electrified

Do you burn for me like I burn for you?
Track Name: Small Towns
Caroline, she's shining like a jewel
and sun in the afternoon is her finest gown
Greyhound line, she knows that I'm almost home
there's a lightning-struck sycamore at the edge of the town

and I'm longing for nothing and everything at once
and the road bends like a question that answers itself with

small towns and big churches
I can see their steeples rising just over the ridge
and no matter what I happen to believe in
sometimes the wheels on the road ring just like a hymn

Now I've been running on gas station coffee
Just another vacancy light on a road motel
and the cars they fill me up but no one ever turns me off
and then I've got an empty lot and no one turns me on

and I'm wishing on nothing and everything at once
somewhere between what am I doing and oh God, what have I done
the road, it reaches up like an outstretched hand
that fills itself every 20 miles with a sweetcorn stand

and a small town with big churches
I can see their steeples rising just over the ridge
and no matter what I may happen to be believing
some days the wheels on the road ring just like a hymn