KRISTIN ANDREASSEN
GONDOLIER
Liner Notes & Lyrics
Appearing on Gondolier:
Kristin Andreassen / lead vocal, guitar, piano, organ, body percussion, harmonica
Tom Ayres / guitar, bass
Stephanie Coleman / fiddle
Erik Deutsch / piano, Hammond organ
Rushad Eggleston / cello
Chris Eldridge / guitar
Nico Georis / accordion
Jefferson Hamer / harmony vocals
Lyndon Hardy / harmony vocals
Cassandra Jenkins / harmony vocals
Paul Kowert / bass
Frank Locrasto / piano, organ
Tony Maimone / banjo bass
Robin MacMillan / drums
Ruth Merenda / harmony vocals
Aoife O’Donovan / harmony vocals
Mike Riddleberger / drums
Ryan Scott / guitar 
Jacob Silver / bass
Alec Spiegelman / bass clarinet, clarinet, flute
Lawson White / drums, percussion
Chris Eldridge & Paul Kowert appear courtesy of Nonesuch.
Aoife O’Donovan appears courtesy of Yep Roc Records.
1. THE FISH & THE SEA
If I was a fish in the sea
How could I see the sea
How could I see the sea
If I was a fish in the sea
If I was the wind in the leaves
How would I feel the breeze
How would I feel the breeze
If I was the wind in the leaves
If I was a note in a song
I could feel short or long
Short or long
And what I feel could be wrong
You were never lost so you couldn’t be found
We were never stopped so we couldn’t be wound
Just a kernel of corn in a big corn maze
Doesn’t see no puzzle, doesn’t need to know the way
I was never nothing if not your friend
At the start and the middle of a world without end
If I was a fish in a tree
I would feel the breeze
Dry as autumn leaves
If I was a fish in a tree
When we get caught up in the air
That’s when we see the water down there
Now I know, I know I need it on my skin
I know I need it on my skin oh would you throw me
Would you throw me back in
Throw me back in
Throw me back in
Throw me back in
Kristin: electric guitar / Cassandra: harmony vocals /
Robin: drums / Chris: electric & acoustic guitar /
Jacob: bass / Alec: clarinet, bass clarinet & flute
2. LOOKOUT
One if by land, two if by sea
Three if by time, and that I would believe
The future’s camped out there like a sleeping army
Three if by time, four if by air
I’ll climb up in the steeple with a feather in my hair
And light the lamps that tell you what I see out there
I was always looking out for you
Would you let me be your lookout
I was always looking out for you
Will you be my lookout now?
A bird in the wind flies steady like a weathervane
A bird in a storm is a marionette on strings of rain
So you got pulled around by the hurricane
And with every revolution, it’s crawling up the coast
I got a flashlight and a flask, but I need a friend the most
You been up and down, tell me what you know
Chorus
Looking out for the right time
Holding on for the good time
One if by land, two if by sea
Three if by time, and that you should believe
The future’s marching on a sleeping army
Chorus
Looking out for the right time
Holding on for the good time
Waiting up for the right time
Looking out for the good time
Kristin: harmonica / Jefferson: harmony vocals /
Robin: drums, percussion & bass / Ryan: electric guitar /
Chris: acoustic & electric guitar
3. ‘SIMMON
You get a line, honey, and I’ll get a pole
Together we’ll go down to that old crawdad hole
Where we set down our blanket on the green  grassy ground
Catching catfish by the dozen and crawdads by the pound
I’ve got a memory, so strong
Of Indian summer and a corny old song, babe
August was hot, and the lake has gone dry
We’ll just stand on the banks and watch the old crawdads die
Raccoon chased the possum, oh look what they found
A black tree with bright fruit and the branches bowed down
I’ve got a camera, so new
It makes color pictures like only paints used to do, babe
You climb on up, honey, and I’ll stay right here
I’ll catch what you throw me, I can see it so clear
The fruit was exactly the color of the sun
As seen through closed eyes when the afternoon’s humming, babe
You ride the grey mare, and I’ll ride the roan
You ride the G Train, and I’ll just walk home
I’ve got a camera, so old
It takes old timey pictures where silver stands in for gold
You ate a fruit, it was perfectly round
And the color of the sun when it’s close to the ground
Don’t you remember it, when we were kids
The color of sunshine as seen through closed eyelids, babe
Kristin: guitar / Jefferson: harmony vocal / Stephanie: fiddle /
Chris: guitar / Paul: bass / Mike: drums / Lawson: triangle /
Erik: piano & Hammond organ / Alec: clarinet
4. HOW THE WATER WALKS
I hear, I hear, footsteps on the rocks
Oh not, that’s just the water, that’s how it walks
Down in the bunker, with the night watch on the shore
We try to sleep until we don’t try anymore
Dawn has barely broken when they call us up above
I’m thinking only of my life, sorry my love
Our guns are big as boats and their boats are small as birds
We are the hunter and the prey awaiting the word
As the cannons find the silence, you know I fear the worst
That someone will live to tell how I fired first
I feel, I feel the wind is pushing me around
But the wind is just the air when it’s falling down
Oh the wind is just the air falling down
Kristin: body percussion & piano / Rushad: cello /
Alec: bass clarinet, clarinet & flute
5. THE NEW GROUND
Here on the new ground, oh what will we grow
Here on the new ground, what seeds will we sow
I know, I know, I know
You know I loved the trees, it pained me to take them down
I traded them for sunlight and the bright new ground
Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go
Oh, the stones were heavy. It muscled up my back
A fence, a field and a house we made, the firewood neatly stacked
Hard row, hard row, hard row
Kneel down to the buzzard and bow to the crow
The earth is black as a bird’s wing and braided in corn rows
Just so, just so, just so
Kristin: baritone ukulele / Jefferson: guitar & background
vocals / Tony: banjo bass / Paul: acoustic bass /
Lawson: percussion / Alec: flute
6. AZALEA
It can get cold in Louisiana.
Colder than northerners know.
We can plug in the heat in the kitchen
But cold air finds the holes in the floor.
It can get cold in Louisiana.
Rice fields fields drawn in brown and grey ink.
But right there in winter, I’ll show you a flower
A cornet cast in purplish pink.
Azalea, I won’t fail ya.
After our party last weekend
When the band and the dancers had gone.
The rain and the flames and the mud and the boots
Together had conquered the lawn.
I thought on how everything transforms.
Fire to smoke, smoke to air, air to breathing.
I thought on how everything’s transforming me
But I’ll change like a tree, slow and even.
Azalea, I won’t fail ya.
Kristin: guitar / Ruth & Lyn: harmony vocals / Robin: drums / Tom: electric guitar & electric baritone guitar / Jacob: bass / Alec: clarinet, bass clarinet & flute
7. THE BOAT SONG
When I was a girl, I wished I was a boy
I had a dog, I wished it was a horse
We lived by the freeway, I thought it was the ocean,
Sounded like a seashell in my sleep in the night
I would go riding and I would go sailing
All the while bouncing a ball at the wall
And I was a gondolier, pushing through Venice
I was a tour guide of my own heart’s desires
Over there I’m a painter, over there I’m a builder,
Over there I’m a cab driver who knows every street
But I can’t find the bridge, or is it a ferry
Some way to cross over, some way to connect
No man is an island, but most of us choose one
There are islands for bakers and bankers
 and thieves.
And you row & row & row your boat on down the baby river
Row it oh so gently, as though life were but a dream
For some reason my dreams are all about water
It replaces the concrete, I can breathe it like air
Perhaps in a past life, I was a great swimmer
Or maybe in this life, I’m destined to drown
I’m destined to choose. So it’s been foretold
Sure enough, as I’ve chosen, my destiny is unfolding
Row & row & row your boat on down the baby river
Row it oh so gently, as though life were but a dream                   
But oh, I know, that dreaming is not living
So many lives there are to land upon,
The dreams just flow between
When I am an old man, I’ll wish I was a girl
I’ll wish I had parents. I’m sure that it’s true
I will want a tour then of my own heart’s desires
So many, so varied, all softened with time
No man is an island, but most of us choose one
There are islands for hustlers and mothers and kings
But the fearless explorers, they find secret passageways
Through melting obstacles. They move up
 and downstream
Saying look out for the rocks. Lean into the wind.
Look into your heart. Look out for your friends.
Hold fast to the oars. Maybe wait for the full moon.
Look up at the sky. Look down at your hands.
And row & row & row your boat on down the baby river
Row it oh so gently as though life were but a dream
But you and I know that dreaming is not living
So many dreams each night to lie upon,
And one life between the dreams
Kristin: organ, Wurlitzer & background vocals / Aoife: background vocals / Alec: clarinet, bass clarinet & flute / Robin: drums & percussion / Tom: bass
8. SUNNY ABOVE THE CLOUDS
Go on, would you tell me just a little bit more about that place
Go on, you’d rather be there even now, I can see it in your face
Go on, you took your hand from mine, you think  I’d hold you here
But don’t think I don’t remember what you whispered in my ear
It was sunny above the clouds
Sunny till the plane came down
If I don’t keep on moving I fall like rain on the ground
Sunny above the clouds,
Sunny till the plane came down
I fell without a warning, I didn’t make a sound
Go on, you’re not the only one gets jealous of the birds when they fly south
Go on, you’re not the only one who’s tried the taste of metal in your mouth
Go on, you heard me right, I’m enough like you to know you’ve mapped the entrances and the exits but the courage, it comes and goes
Chorus
Go on, at home we watch the sky and you say there’s sunshine way up there
So go, you’d take one look and then you’d fall
What would you hold onto but air
You’re right, with us down here there is no true and constant sun
We just have time, and we have weather
And some have faith
Don’t come undone
Kristin : guitar / Ruth: banjo & harmony vocal / Aoife: harmony vocal / Robin: drums / Chris: electric & acoustic guitar / Jacob: bass
9. THE APPLE SONG
 (ONE MORE TIME)
If there was an apple, it’s all gone now
Even the stem and the seeds, she don’t remember how
Once her skin was golden but she stayed till it burned
Fell asleep in the sunshine, you would think she’d learn
If you gave her sweet lemon pie, she’d ask for lime
If you gave her eight days a week, she’d hold out for nine
Now she says she wants to fall in love
One more time
If there was a garden, they’ve closed the gate
Our friend she is knocking, she knows that she’s late
Empty with hunger, she whispers with thirst
I know you don’t trust her, you saw her at her worst
When she begged for a nickel and you gave her a dime
And she still showed up on Sunday to drink the free wine
Now she says she wants to fall in love one more time
If you gave her an apple, she’d plant the seed
Kneel in the garden, get dirt on her knees
There would be sweet trees and shade if she had her way
Somehow I believe her when I hear her say
That she could be true, she could even be kind
Could see it through, finish the line
She could be true, she could even be kind
Do you think you could spare her one more rhyme?
Would you let her fall in love
She only wants to fall in love
Asking please to fall in love
Begging please to fall in love
Would you let her fall in love
One more time?
Kristin: guitar / Ruth, Lyn & Aoife: harmony vocals / Robin: drums / Tom Ayres: electric guitar & bass
10. SOME DO
Not every oyster hides a pearl
Some questions don’t want an answer
If you’re counting all the raindrops, some never find the thirsty grass
But some do
How bout me and you?
Not many horses run the Derby
Some clocks just don’t keep good time
If you’re counting every snowflake, not many find an outstretched hand
But some do
How bout me and you?
How many hearts go untested?
How many loves go untasted?
How many listened when they said
Only a love saved is wasted?
Not every river finds the ocean
Not all the oceans grow with time
If you’re counting every kindness, some never find a grateful heart
But some do
How bout me and you?
I have got a heart that’s untested.
I’ve got a little bit of love left untasted.
The wiser ones, I once heard they said
Only a love saved is wasted.
Only a love unspent is wasted.
Not every song becomes a favorite
Not all good books get read again
If you’re counting every raindrop, some never find the thirsty grass
But some do
How bout me and you?
Kristin: tenor guitar & harmonica / Chris: guitar / Lawson: tambourine
Produced, Recorded & Mixed by Robin MacMillan
Except Tracks 3, 5 & 10 Produced, Recorded & Mixed by Lawson White
Track 2 vocals recorded by Jefferson Hamer
Track 7 mixed by Adam Armstrong
Mastered at Engine Room Audio by Dan Millice
Woodwinds arranged by Alec Spiegelman
Body percussion on “How the Water Walks” choreographed by Sandy Silva
Executive Producer Chris Eldridge
Cover art Doug Chayka
Photographs Laura Crosta
Album layout Claire Taylor Hansen
All songs by Kristin Andreassen / Yellowcar Music, ASCAP
All rights controlled & administered by Yellowcar Music, ASCAP
Most of these songs were either started or finished in a cabin on Three Mile Island in Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. For the past few years, I’ve carefully guarded a week in June for a trip to this island where I write with a group of friends known as the Sub Rosa Collective. Thanks to all the musicians in that crew, and to the Passim Iguana Music Fund for supporting our work.
Thank you to all the artists who contributed to this project. I’m in awe of you
talents. Sincere thanks also to Molly Driessen, Brad Paul, Nick Loss-Eaton,
Paul Loren, Tom Krueger, Alex Marvar, Launa Schweizer, Buck McAllister,
Rob Rock, Amy Helfand, Lucas Miller, everyone who backed the album on
Pledge Music, my Miles of Music Camp “family” and my real life family,
especially Mom and Dad. Special double thanks to Aoife, Critter and Michelle.
Thanks above all to Robin MacMillan, whose suggestion that I make a record was
just the first of his many tireless and soulful contributions to this project.