Carry Your Heart

I'm from the Laurel Highlands
Where my mother gave me birth
My papa was a preacher
He worked the dry hard earth
He said there is a fountain
Flowing from Immanuel’s veins
Where sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilt and stain

Lose all their guilt and stain
Lose all their guilt and stain
Where sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilt and stain

The company store came to seek and destroy
Get a mortgage on your soul
But for every man who struck pure gold
There’s another who lost control
‘cause you can’t live without the money
But it makes us all go bad
You end up wishing and wanting
All the things you never had

Carry your heart, oh brother
Carry your heart, oh son
Carry them to the river and wash them in the flood

How you gonna feed your children
How you gonna pay the rent
How you gonna feed your children
When the money all got spent

Carry your heart, oh brother
Carry your heart, oh son
Carry it to the river and wash it in the flood


© Seth Thomas Crissman

If Only

If you had only told me that you loved me
I’d have stopped trying to be somebody new
If you had only told me that you want me
I would have stopped pretending it was true

If you had only told me not to go, babe
I would have never stayed away so long
If you had only told me not to come back
I would have known what you knew all along

If only
If only
If only you

If you had only asked a different question
I would have known the answer all along
If you had only asked for a suggestion
There’s no way that we could have been wrong

If only
If only
If only you

If you had only given me a reason
I’d’ve got this thing up off the ground
If you had only given me a season
I would have made it last the whole year round

If only
If only
If only you



© Adam Tobias Schmid and Gregory J. Yoder

Farewell to Shade

I am an old, old maple
And I have shaded this house since it was born
I am strong, I am stable
And I am beautiful, though weathered and worn

When I was born the trees stood ‘round me thick as thistle
My friends were hickory, locust, oak and pine
I was before the railroad’s whistle
I was before they hung the power line

Come sit beneath me now my child
The wind grows wild
But it will not blow you away
For I’ll stay straight and strong for as long as I can,
And when I’m gone
I’ll leave you with the memory of my shade

We grow old, we grow weary
We may be overgrown and covered with vines
Or we may be cut short before our time
At the whim of the man who hung the power line

Come sit beneath me now my child
The wind grows wild
But it will not blow you away
For I’ll stay straight and strong for as long as I can,
And when I’m gone
I’ll leave you with the memory of my shade



© 2014 Gregory J. Yoder

Mountain Mama

Tell me, Mountain Mama, how you look so fine?
In your overalls and a dandelion
Looking in the mirror is a waste of time
Tell me, Mountain Mama, how you look so fine?

Oh, away we go, dancing in the moonlight, heel to toe
Oh, take it slow; come on, Mountain Mama, away we go

Tell me, Mountain Mama, how you look so good?
Picking huckleberries, splitting firewood
Long johns looking better than they should
Tell me, Mountain Mama, how you look so good?

Oh, away we go, dancing in the moonlight, heel to toe
Oh, take it slow; come on, Mountain Mama, away we go

Tell me, Mountain Mama, how’d you get so sweet?
You’re the kind of girl you want your folks to meet
You make it hard to stand on my own two feet
Come on, Mountain Mama, how’d you get so sweet?

Oh, away we go, dancing in the moonlight, heel to toe
Oh, take it slow; come on, Mountain Mama, away we go

Come on, Mountain Mama, let’s take a chance
Meet me in the meadow for a moonlight dance
Running from your papa and his ordnance
Come on, Mountain Mama, let’s take a chance

Oh, away we go, dancing in the moonlight, heel to toe
Oh, take it slow; come on, Mountain Mama, away we go



© 2014 Seth Thomas Crissman, Gregory J. Yoder, Jackson T. Maust, and Adam Tobias Schmid

North Dakota Rag

Fresh oil, loose rock, miles and miles of blacktop
North Dakota never be the same again
Riggers come to town from miles and miles around
North Dakota never be the same again

Tiny roads all turning into highways
The wind always blowing and it’s never going my way
Heavy traffic running from the moment that the sun comes up
‘Til he hides his yellow face in shame
North Dakota never be the same

Uneven road will shake this heavy load
Seed potatoes scattered all across the throughway
Hate to see that prairie grass get eaten up so fast
Oil derricks usher in a new day

Tiny roads all turning into highways
The wind always blowing
And it’s never going my way
Heavy traffic running from the moment that the sun comes up
‘Til he hides his yellow face in shame
North Dakota never be the same

From Williston to Minot is where you’re going to find it
Black gold all around, black gold bleeding from the ground
And in Ray, Ross, and Stanley, you best be feeling manly
‘Cause that oil rigging crowd runs hard sun-up to sun-down

Tiny roads all turning into highways
The wind always blowing
And it’s never going my way
Heavy traffic running from the moment that the sun comes up
‘Til he hides his yellow face in shame
North Dakota never be the same

Fresh oil, loose rock, miles and miles of blacktop
North Dakota never be the same again



© 2014 Gregory J. Yoder

Just for You

I can smell the rain tonight
So I can wait for you
Storm is coming but that’s alright
You’re coming, too
I’ve been waiting all this time
Just for you

I can hear clouds moving in
Oh so steadily
And I can taste the roaring wind
Blowing you to me
I’ve been waiting all this time
Just for you

Just for you I’ve been turning around
And examining my footsteps in the soft ground
Just for you

I can feel the thunder, Lord,
Rattling my bones
Lightning dances ‘cross the sky
You’re coming home
I’ve been waiting all this time
Just for you

Just for you I’ve been looking up ahead
And watching the horizon where the sun turns red
Just for you



© 2014 Gregory J. Yoder

Twilight Stage

I’m not a pauper and I’m not a king
I sit on the banks of the stream
I’m just a drifter with gossamer wings
And you’ve been borrowing my dreams

So dance with me on the twilight stage
The stars just beginning to shine
We’ll move to rhythms of wind and wild sage
Two kites made of canvas and twine

I’m not a scholar and I’m not a saint
Most of my thoughts stay unheard
I’m just a painter without any paint
A poet without any words
You are a gypsy, and you are a cloud
Even the wind knows your name
I’m just a mortal who’s bound to the ground
An ember, a flickering flame

So dance with me on the twilight stage
The stars just beginning to shine
We’ll move to rhythms of wind and wild sage
Two kites made of canvas and twine

So dance with me on the twilight stage
The stars just beginning to shine
We’ll move to rhythms of wind and wild sage
Two kites made of canvas and twine



© 2014 Gregory J. Yoder

Sweater Weather

Come September, every year I remember
The cool nights, jeweled like stars reflected in an ember
A spark in the dark marks the start of a bonfire
Build them up high and then build them up on skyward
Flickering and bickering, the flames claim the thin tired
Dry leaves, long-sleeves mean autumnal dreams get inspired
And I been fired, I should say fired up
About sipping on the cider that is sitting in my cup
It’s sweet with the crisp that wisps on the breeze
You can keep the summer honey, I’ll take that sweater weather, please

Gimme that chill that makes the heart sing
La-di-da-di-da, yeah, the air’s got that zing
Gimme your hand and we’ll get warm together
La-di-da-da, yeah, it’s sweater weather

Red rover, red rover, send October on over
When the colors start to change it’s like I found a four-leaf clover
Feeling lucky that the Valley where I live comes alive
When the temperatures drop like a rock, I’m revived
Green goes to orange, green goes to red
Green goes to gold, see, it’s going to my head
That heady mix of autumn’s tricks, yeah it clicks
Quick, pick a stick, we’ll get our sticky lickin’ fix
Plump marshmallows oozing out the sides of my graham
Getting on my hands, yeah it’s sweater weather, man

Gimme that chill that makes the heart sing
La-di-da-di-da, yeah, the air’s got that zing
Gimme your hand and we’ll get warm together
La-di-da-da, yeah, it’s sweater weather

Who could say no to November?
Not me, uh uh, I’m a card-carrying member
Of the Sweater Weather Fan Club, if you in it put your hands up
Slip that sweatshirt over your head, then get on your feet, and, stand up
And dance it up in an old barn
In a legit sweater knit from that old yarn
Old-timey folk always say “Gol darn,
The fall is as pretty as a Rose of Sharn.”
And the trees look better, we can cook better
Curl up in a nook and read a book better
The air tastes fresher, sunset looks redder
Hey there ain’t no pressure, but you better wear a sweater

Gimme that chill that makes the heart sing
La-di-da-di-da, yeah, the air’s got that zing
Gimme your hand and we’ll get warm together
La-di-da-da, yeah, it’s sweater weather



© 2014 Gregory J. Yoder

Apiary

She’s a keeper of them bees
Their stingers, she don’t mind
She brings me to my knees
And treats me oh so kind
She’s the keeper of my heart
Got her honey in my veins
My baby is an apiary

She’s sweet as honey on the comb
With skin smoother than the ice on the pond back home
Oh, hand-in-hand, life ain’t so scary
My baby is an apiary

The city girls are slick
Like a pig that’s been greased up
But they don’t make my heart go tick
That’s not who I dream of
Oh the city girls are sweet
Like sugar that’s from the cane
But my baby is an apiary

She’s sweet as honey on the comb
With skin smoother than the ice on the pond back home
Oh, hand-in-hand, life ain’t so scary
My baby is an apiary

Oh the country girls are fair
When the moon is shining strong
And there’s plenty for all to share
When the sun has run along
Oh the country girls is neat
But their moonshine’s all the same
My baby is an apiary

She’s sweet as honey on the comb
With skin smoother than the ice on the pond back home
Oh, hand-in-hand, life ain’t so scary
My baby is an apiary



© 2014 Seth Thomas Crissman and Gregory J. Yoder

Wind off the Water

With dirt and seed and family
I sow in faith and trust that it will grow
With doubts enough to sink a ship
Floating on Lake Huron, I sow

But the wind off the water
Reminds me that I’m home
And I have reaped what I have sown before
In want or in plenty
We’ve learned to live contently
It’s amazing grace that I cannot ignore

Sons and daughters, mothers, fathers
We have loved, that love has made this home
Seeds of love, scattered far
Far from where we are, now we’re alone

But the wind off the water
Reminds me that I’m home
I’ve reaped what I have sown before
In want or in plenty
We’ve learned to live contently
It’s amazing grace that I cannot ignore



© 2014 Seth Thomas Crissman

Sing Me High

Down in the valley there’s a deep blue river
Up against the river, there’s a maple tree
On the branch of the maple, there sits a songbird
And the songbird is singing for you and for me

Sing me high, sing me low, sing me when the cold wind blows,
In the rain and in the snow; sing to me, O Shenando’

Out in the meadow there’s a stiff breeze blowing
It carries the jay-bird on back to his home
Jay-bird, won’t you tell me where I can find it?
The stiff breeze to blow me on to the Shenando’

Sing me high, sing me low, sing me when the cold wind blows,
In the rain and in the snow; sing to me, O Shenando’

Up on a mountain in western Virginia
My baby is waiting impatiently
And up o’er the mountain there’s a new day rising
And the songbird sings the story of all she can see

Sing me high, sing me low, sing me when the cold wind blows,
In the rain and in the snow; sing to me, O Shenando’

 

© 2014 Seth Thomas Crissman, Jackson T. Maust, and Gregory J. Yoder