Silk Purse (from a sows ear)

by Penelope Houston

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03:29
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03:16
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03:17
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03:55
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about

Return to Sender (a side project from Normal Records in Germany) was a mail-order-only label that printed limited numbers of each CD, packaged in nicely designed digipaks. They released 3 collections of obscure material from me. All of them are out-of-print and getting harder and harder to find. Silk Purse is RTS number 2.

credits

released June 1, 1993

Penelope Houston and Her Band
Tracks 2-5,7-9 recorded by Howard Johnston at Different Fur Studios, San Francisco.
with Eliot Nemzer guitar; Kevin Mummy percussion and drums; Mel Peppas mandolin; Steven Strauss bass and vocals; with Beth Custer clarinet , Josef Brinckmann accordion, Federico Gil Sola percussion on track 9.

Tracks 1 & 6 recorded by Peter Eckart, Olde West Studios, San Francisco.
with Pat Johnson, Steven Strauss, Alan Goldsworthy on drums, and Kevin Donahue on accordion

Track 10 recorded live at Quasimoto in Berlin, October 1992 with The International Slackers featuring Pat Johnson, Mel Peppas, Mo Jaksch on bass, and Hansi on drums.

Tracks 11 to 13 recorded live by Pat and Penelope on "the Head" a binaural system in Ron Gompertz's garage 11th street, San Francisco.

Photo by George Westcott. Design by Olaf Meyer.

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Penelope Houston Oakland, California

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Track Name: Corpus Christi
In the beginning there was a void
except for the written word
But I was born in such foolish times
my guilt is guaranteed
now I don't want to burn in hell
John told me that I would
unless I went down to the water
my sins purged in his holy blood

see how they run, sheep to the fold
see how they fall, corpse from the cross

now I got my bleeding heart
and I wear my crown of thorns
and argue with the old men
about the tapestry was torn
I got to sacrifice my ego
it's such a small price to pay
I'm waiting for the resurrection
gonna find out what Christ would say

see how they run, sheep to the fold
see how they fall, corpse from the cross

read another bible story
I've got to find the truth
sending loads of telegrams to God
prove my faith is absolute
I'm going down, down on my knees and pray
maybe I'll buy a talisman
oh, something's got to save me
on the judgement day

see how they run, sheep to the fold
see how they fall, corpse from the cross
see how they run, sheep to the fold
see how they fall, corpse from the cross
kyrie eleison
Track Name: Nina
I lost my head down in West Virginia
to the blackest eyes and the softest lips that a body knows
it wasn't love that was stirring in her
it wasn't love that would lay her low

I lost my head on a Virgin Island
she buried her in a dark graveyard
where a thousand men and a dozen women
lay down their lives
left behind their hearts

Nina's flown away
I knew she'd never stay
she was a wild seventeen
I told her take my heart with you
and take my lover too
I know I'd do the same if it were me

I lost my head on the seas of China
she flew away like a little bird
that the trade winds blow
her beauty shines but that cannot save her
from a sword that struck my heart many years ago
that the trade winds blow

Nina's flown away
I knew she'd never stay
she was a wild seventeen
I told her take my heart with you
and take my lover too
I know I'd do the same if it were me

Nina's flown away
I knew she'd never stay
she was a wild seventeen
I told her take my heart with you
and take my lover too
I know I'd do the same if it were me
Track Name: Fallback
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: Just Like A Man
Worms and water that's all I need
Love and attention a pound of birdseed
Tie me down to a styrofoam nest
White picket fence and a bullet proof vest

You're just, just like a man
You're going to save me from myself if you can
Just like a man
You want to take me back to the promised land
Just, just like a man
You say you try, try try to understand
Just, just like a man

You tell me
"Stool pidgin sitting duck fly away home
Helpless little chickadee now don't you roam
Never, never get away from what you are
An appetite for love in a bell fruit jar"

You're just, just like a man
You're going to save me from myself if you can
Just like a man
You want to take me back to the promised land
Just, just like a man
You say you try, try try to understand
Just, just like a man

Worms and water that's all I need
Love and attention a pound of birdseed
Tie me down to a styrofoam nest
White picket fence and a bullet proof vest

You're just, just like a man
You're going to save me from myself if you can
Just like a man
You want to take me back to the promised land
Just, just like a man
You say you try, try, try to understand
Just, just like a man
Track Name: On Borrowed Time
Don't tell me, I already know
To follow where you want me to go
Don't tell me, I already know
To follow where you want me to go

Take me to the alter you can your do what you please
Jesus knows money doesn't grow on trees
Drop your penny candy down the well of hope
Your innocence is swinging from a ten foot rope
in the breeze

Don't tell me, I already know
To follow where you want me to go
Don't push me, I already know
To follow where you want me to go

To my father's garden, down the primrose path
Take me to the banks I can follow your laugh
You promised me a river, it's a dry creek bed
The Amazon is burning, the Black Seas dead

Watch out for the undertow, the tide is turning
never look back, see my bridges all burning down
on my knees and pray the following line
You can't buy heaven on borrowed time
You can't buy heaven on borrowed time
You can't buy heaven You can't buy heaven, no

You got to stop
You better look around
Going to listen
Put your ear to the ground

Don't tell me, I already know
To follow where you want me to go
Don't touch me, I already know
To follow where you want me to go

Barefoot in the kitchen, never cut off my hair
Had so many children got to hide them somewhere
Broom is in the closet going to sweep up this world
you'll never find heaven if you silence this girl

Watch out for the undertow, the tide is turning
never look back, see my bridges all burning down
on my knees and pray the following line
You can't buy heaven on borrowed time...