karmal apple

by Penelope Houston

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about

"get down on your hands, you'll make a real nice chair, baby, you're worth a fortune in innocence and fear" With these opening lines Penelope introduces an album that captures her inestimable songwriting talent at it's most ironic, caustic, unflinching and emotionally forthright. Never the less, Karmal Apple sounds as juicy and delicious as the gorgeous unique folk pop she and her band are known for. This time with a fuller production crunch. The complex and subtle arrangements are played with an intelligent, upbeat, and almost off-handed feel that belies the depth of the subject matters.
European only release. Normal Records, Germany.

credits

released October 1, 1994

Recorded by Howard Johnston, mixed by Adam Munoz at Different Fur Studios, San Francisco.

Penelope Houston vocals, autoharp, melodica
Eliot Nemzer guitar
Kevin Mummy percussion and drums
Mel Peppas mandolin, guitar
Steven Strauss bass and vocals

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Penelope Houston Oakland, California

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Track Name: The Mermaid
the mermaid
lyrics by Penelope Houston/ music by P. Houston and Mel Peppas

remember back to when you met her
she's sleeping on the stair
she's your sister and your mother
hollow eyes and drowning hair
catch her hand in shallow waters
you found her floating there
buoyant faith that never falters
keeps her head above the air
but you're no life boat
hey where is your lifeboat?

her name is sorrow

she paints her room in murky colors
the saints are her disguise
check her pulse she's barely breathing
catch the death wish in her eyes
get back in your lifeboat, father
you've taken half a foot of water

her name is sorrow she sleeps alone

come and see her string of sailors
like scarabs on a pin
every one he swore he'd save her
trapped out on the ice so thin
call the names of those you're saving
she's not drowning only waving
their tattoos stretched across her skin

her name is sorrow
she sleeps alone

you call the names of those you're saving
she's not drowning only waving
their tattoos stretched across her skin
but you're no life boat
where is your life boat?

her name is sorrow
Track Name: Everybody S Little Dream
everybody's little dream
lyrics by Penelope Houston / music by P. Houston and P. Johnson

everybody's little dream
tell me who to be
I can make you happy

everybody's little dream
I hear them calling my name
but I swear I'm not the same girl

everybody's little dream
keep trying and trying
but my pockets aren't lined with
everybody's little dream

I only wanted to bring you my best
and it's not for lack of trying
maybe my best is hidden away
awaiting it's precious time

everybody's little dream
dress me up in white
the sun is always shining

everybody's little dream
there must be somewhere to go
where nobody will know me

everybody's little dream
keep trying and trying
but my pockets aren't lined with
everybody's little dream

and like the tracks of my tears
I'm following the path of least resistance
when you demanded to see my hands
you took away my second chance

and I'll never
and I'll never
and I'll never stand up to
everybody's little dream
Track Name: Flourish
flourish
lyrics and music by Penelope Houston

flourish the flowers and the tall trees
I'll tell you a story you'll never believe
I met a rich stranger
he came calling on me
we walked through the forest
down by shady grove
now that's where he sleeps

and last winter's storms have swollen the streams
and flooded the pathway
and last winter's storms will cover his tracks
across the wide field

and no one is waiting
none left behind
nobody's waiting to recall
last winter's squall

I cut off two fingers
both shining with gems
and planted them side by side
like two flowering stems
and all through the summer
I been watering them

and last winter's storms have swollen the streams
and flooded the pathway
and last winter's storms will cover our tracks
across the wide field

and no one is waiting
none left behind
no bodies waiting to recall
last winter's squall
Track Name: Fall Back
fall back
lyrics by Penelope Houston/ music by P. Houston and Mel Peppas

I can see all I need to see with one eye closed
in a world surrounding me with mumbling ghosts
They crawl the floorboards of these rooms that aren't home
Come Monday morning I'll be on my way
By Sunday morning I'll be overjoyed
The lamps are low the last guest gone
I find I miss my home inside your arm
I sweep the cake crumbs up
it's time to paint these rooms
Come Monday morning I'll be on my way
By Sunday morning I'll be overjoyed
Yeah, whoa whoa whoa

You're going to fall back
you're going to fall back in love with me yeah
You're going to fall back, you're going to fall back in love
You're going to fall back
you're going to fall back in love with me yeah
You're going to fall back, you're going to fall back in love

I can see all I want to see with both eyes closed
in a world surrounding me with mumbling ghosts
They leave their shadows on these walls that aren't home
Come Monday morning I'll be on my way
By Sunday morning I'll be overjoyed
Yeah, whoa whoa whoa

You're going to fall back
you're going to fall back in love with me yeah
You're going to fall back, you're going to fall back in love
You're going to fall back
you're going to fall back in love with me yeah
You're going to fall back, you're going to fall back in love
Track Name: Fall Garden
fall garden
lyrics and music by Penelope Houston and Eric Lefcowitz

what do you know about the last one
bout the one that you've replaced?
what would you do if you met him
in the station face to face?
is he unloved is he unhappy
are his eyes still wet with tears
or is it only your reflection
flashing through the evening air?

fall garden
see how it grows
see how it glows in the daytime madness
fall garden what do you know
when all that you know is bitter and sadness?

what do you want
is there a secret that you don't already own?
what will you do when the night falls
and there's no message on your phone?
I hear you whisper in the darkness
dawn will break and spring will come
I see a line of lovers calling me
and they echo one by one

fall garden
see how it grows
see how it glows in the daytime madness
fall garden what do you know
when all that you know is bitter and sadness?
Track Name: Happy Ending
happy ending
lyrics by Penelope Houston/ music by P. Houston and Mel Peppas

turn out the lights I hear them coming
turn out the lights I hear them coming
we're going to change your happy ending
rearrange your happy ending

believe in something
like the light, light that brought you
believe in someone you can never know
and you'll feel better
when they take the choice away from you
and you'll feel better not to be alone

wait for the reds of the coals are glowing
wait for the walls of the red sea parting
walk on the ice where the ice is melting
walk on the water the ice is breaking

believe in something
like the light, light that brought you
believe in someone you can never know
and you'll feel better
when they take the pain away from you
and you'll feel better not to be alone

turn out the lights I hear them coming
turn out the lights I hear them coming
we're going to change your happy ending
rearrange your happy ending yeah
Track Name: Redemption
redemption
lyrics and music by Penelope Houston

there's a heart that breaks
almost every single day
I call you, you've locked yourself away
now I recognize the man
I reach out and touch your hand
and wash away the years gone astray

I left the light burning through the night
out on the patio
and all my fires and desires are burning inside
your rusty prizes in the rain
lie out on the patio
like a blessing, like a gift, I'm your second chance

you made your happiness depend
on those broken needle ends
and lovers no riverbed could hold
but today the sun will rise
and bring the light back to your eyes
take my hand now, you're ready to know

redemption walk through me
redemption come to me
redemption walk through me
redemption come to me

all the moments that you kill
you say were strengthening your will
but lies and bitter ashes pave your road
the love that we had sown
is reborn inside your bones
and wedding weeds between the pavement grow

redemption walk through me
redemption come to me
redemption walk through me
redemption come to me
redemption walk through me
redemption come to me
redemption walk through me
redemption come to me
redemption
redemption
redemption
Track Name: Make Me
make me
lyrics and music by Penelope Houston

every time you touch me
everything goes away
yeah, you make me high

I wasn't going to fall in love with you
it seemed like such a foolish thing to do
but love, before you touched me I was
I was made out of wood
now I'm flesh and blood, flesh and blood
flesh and blood, flesh and blood
yeah, it feels good

I was stranded
I was drifting on the edge of a dream
sleepwalking through a burning house
my desire passed out in the street
and you carry me through
you carry me through
I don't have to fear it
I don't have to speak it
cause when my ship comes in
when my ship comes in
ship comes inside
when my ship comes in
brought me you

every time you touch me
everything goes away
yeah, you make me high
yeah, you make me high
you make me, you make me
you make me
you make me high
every time you touch me