Silk Purse (from a sows ear)

by Penelope Houston

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03:29
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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
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03:17
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
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03:55
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
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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
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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...
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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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