Play Me A Time

by Ayla Nereo

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1.
The bridge it is exploding in my sight A waterfall of hammers drowns my sighs Black and white, you walk on up, Heart of steel your boots tip-touch Reach on out so you can clutch The bleeding pink of the clouds in the sky. [So won’t you cry my life tonight? Won’t you let me live in your eyes? The water’s coming up so fast Don’t blink back your weeping past Clear it out and make it last And please cry out my life.] The hammers have all gone home for the day Bridge the gap, then walk away Don’t leave me high up here alone It’s a secret I’m afraid of showing Take my hand and point me home And I’ll be on my way, I’ll be on my way… [Chorus] So go to sleep now, hammer baby, time to dream Daddy’s going to build you so many things You’ll balance on his bouncing knee He’ll tell you all the things you’ll be And one day all his life you’ll see In the bridge, as it is falling. [Chorus]
2.
03:38
Lend me your ear and I’ll tell you a tale A man who still whistles on the waves up ahead Listen to the waters as they sing his long-awaited story He rose up one day to feel that things were long past due Looked inside, saw shadows of places he’d be going to He looked behind for a moment, then said, “I will not look that way again.” [So roll the land to where I lay, lady Fist still raised to the sky Hand to your heart, you’ll remember me in tales as they Carry me on by, as they carry me on by…] The man set out for his city cast in gold Bade farewell to his mother, said, “take care at home.” He kissed goodbye his darling, said, “We’ll one day meet again.” He sailed through the bay, out to a stormy night Armed with his father’s pistol strapped to his side To face the open sea he had to take the roughest waves as his ride [Chorus] He stood his ground out on the open deck Through sheets of rain, the wheel he set direct ahead And the wave that brought him over was the best and biggest he had ever seen. So child as you take a ride out on the open sea Don’t be afraid when you do hear the song that he did leave Out on those waters his tale will be floating at your side. [Chorus]
3.
In the moonlight one dark night was shown, oh darkened dead-eye, when the shadows did move and the wind did moan, oh darkened dead-eye, and the wind did moan – oh ooh ohohoo down in the Hollows Cove. Underground was a sound and the earth did rise (oh darkened dead-eye) boundary broke and the souls awoke up to the night oh I could see them plain in sight – oh ooh ohohoo down in the Hollows Cove… On the wind they flew, the wind they flew – ooh woohoo ooh and with silver sighs, the sivery moon they cut in two and from their eyes fell the tears, fell the tears like evening dew to the earth from where they’d come and be pulled soon. On the wind, on the wind they did soar (oh ooh ohohoo) to the homes that they’d left on farthest shore (oh ooh ohohoo) to the ears of their child’s sleeping child (“listen darlin’) “I shed this tear for the fear you have at your side, little darlin’ so – “Sleep sweetly, sleep sweetly, don’t you wake till the morning light I have come to take all that troubles you I have come to rest at your side sleep sweetly, and dreaming, may these two arms you feel and peaceful, replace here, the fear that wakes you from sleep this one night of the year, I will bury it I will bury it, bury it deep, so sleep sweetly, sleep sweetly, for I’ll bury it, bury it deep –” The shadows moved and the wind did moan the child woke, the child woke but did not feel alone and open ear he did have when whisper spoke “In your dreams I’ll come and with your fears I go to bury them deep, deep, deep down in the soil so don’t you be afraid of Hollows Cove, child…”
4.
there once was a child he thought his smile had been lost in a storm it had washed away his home and toys and things and all that was left was a dream every night in his sleep his room was whole again and his blanket was ripped in that place just the same and his favorite bear was in his arms and they danced round the room and he laughed in his sleep as the bear smiled and said to him, “please twirl me one more time and don’t stop spinning me please swirl me in your mind so I can be a colored painting that you’ll look upon spin spin with me…" I saw a girl last night she was standing in the light in a corner of the room she was waiting for a hand then a boy came over and he asked her to dance the people all stopped to watch them they were moving up and down to the waves of the song they were moving in time with each other then the girl looked at him and she knew what it was and she smiled as she said to him, “please twirl me one more time and don’t stop spinning me please swirl me in your mind so I can be a colored painting that you’ll look upon don’t stop looking…" I heard a story bout a man he came up with a plan for flying he showed it to his wife then he said, “now darlin’ why are you cryin’ so?” and she whispered in his ear “I’ve a fear that you won’t come back down to this ground” and he said, “I’ll always come back to you just help me this once to get higher up” and he kissed her and he said, “please twirl me one more time and don’t stop spinning me please swirl me in your mind so I can be a colored painting that you’ll look upon” and he was up and gone… there once was a woman lying in bed with her husband’s head upon her shoulder he said, “my darlin’ you sound so faint don’t tell me it’s time I just can’t take this” and she told him, “please don’t worry dear there’s nothing to fear in moving on but there’s one thing I’d like to ask of you” and he said, “just tell me darlin’ I’ll do anything, anything” and she said, “please twirl me one more time and don’t stop spinning me please swirl me in your mind so I can be a colored painting that you’ll look upon” and she was off and away…
5.
Mother Mother play me a time when I was four years old you sewed me a tail and I swam through the sea to your arms when I got cold and you sang and you sang and you sang to me ‘bout a whale who could swim through the sea – close your eyes now go to sleep (go to sleep, go to sleep, close your eyes now go to sleep) Father father play me a time when I was only eight please open the lands of trumpets and kings in books where I am safe and you sang and you sang and you sang to me ‘bout a girl who could fly on her wings high above and see everything (everything, everything, who could fly and see everything) Brother brother play me time when I was only twelve we shouted our dreams from our fingers that reached to the top of every shelf and you sang and you sang and you sang to me ‘bout a game that we played on a stage thought the lights would never fade (never fade, never fade, thought the lights would never fade Misilala play me time when I was seventeen let’s talk by the stairs ‘bout worries and cares and lives we hope to dream and you sang and you sang and you sang to me ‘bout a tear that you’d lost as you ran from the weight of somebody’s plans (as you ran, as you ran, from the weight of somebody’s plans) Darling darling play me a time when I was twenty-one we sat upstairs but we where back there to a time we’d never known and you sang and you sang and you sang to me ‘bout a dance as you sat next to me closed our eyes till we could see (closed our eyes, closed our eyes, closed our eyes till we could see) Please oh please won’t you play me a time for I am just now here I have so long to hear your lovely song now whisper it in my ear and you sang and you sang and you sang to me ‘bout a time where the people held on to their smiles and their eyes opened up like a child’s (like a child’s, like a child’s, and their eyes opened up like a child’s) like a child’s, like a child’s, and their eyes opened up like a child’s!
6.
04:17
Lulu lived her life like a child wrapped up in arms that she kept all around her then one day she passed by a man who smiled as she held out her hand to him And he said, “that’s very nice but no thank you, I’m doing fine all alone here, doing fine on my own here.” And she looked into his eyes for that lonely part but no, he wasn’t lonely, just alone and as she turned and walked away she wondered, “maybe I can change that way.” Lulu she packed up her bag opened the door and tipped her hat to him then she said, “ah my dear, I’m so scared, I can’t bear to sail this ship on my own. I need some sign ‘long the way, I need someone to hold my hand to point me where I should be goin’.” And as he turned and walked away she was looking at his face she was waiting for him to stay to turn back to the place they knew And she looked into his eyes, he said, “goodbye, now you’re alone but don’t feel lonely on your own across the sea I’ll still be near to you.” A hundred days ‘cross the sea she was gone she walked by herself to search for her home she walked by herself till one day a boy caught up to her side he held out his hand but she shook her head and just smiled (she smiled, she smiled, she smiled) and she said, “that’s very nice but no thank you, I’m doing fine all alone here, doing fine on my own here.” And he looked into her eyes for that lonely part but no, she wasn’t lonely, just alone and as he turned and walked away he wondered, “maybe I can change that way.”
7.
Robertson woke from a distant sleep the misty crystals of his dreams had washed away with the turn of the moon left him alone in his wood paneled room with only the fiery furnace roar and the sound of silence at his door it burned at his ears till he turned and ran down the banks of the canyon he flew with the sand down he kept going till water met land and he saw the Morning Mainsail. He dug in his heels and stopped up short for never before had this ship been afloat never before behind his home had there been such a subject of tales past told the white of the canvas lit up his face smoothed out the lines, the worries erased, the air it guided up to his side he turned his head and let out a sigh then inhaled the canvas air so light it filled him up till he brimmed at the eyes then leaving his shoes to the whims of the tide he stepped onto the Morning Mainsail. The knots untied and the sail unfurled the breeze brought to him blustery words “to sail the ship you must let go of the wheel at the bow you so tightly hold” and though he cried “oh save my soul!” he dropped his hands and crouched down low; the ship it tumbled, tossed and swam over the riverbed rocks it ran on the floor of the ship he knelt with his hands covering over his head in fear that the Morning Mainsail would shatter. Then sudden and swift the rocking ceased the billowing wood and the creaking breeze the wheel stopped spinning and turned to the right and Robertson raised his head so slight he saw the canyon walls pass by the roots that led to the higher pines he saw his wooden shingled home heard his fiery furnace groan the ship was anchored on the wind and high up further till his house disappeared till only a speckled dot was his roof and only a whisper was the furnace soot and he whispered out loud till it turned to a shout “I’ve woken to see myself dreaming!” Collected from toys and grandma’s china the dusty sands will roll down the canyon to meet the great wide rivers winding the air that tosses and blows their landing down with the churning charging muses to meet the fork where water chooses there on the banks that the river made the generations of children wave the evening stars will blink and fade as the Morning Mainsail lands.
8.
Will you come to Caerphilly o'er the free boundless ocean Where the waves are seen far off in thundering motion, Where the mermaids are seen as the fierce tempest gathers And a song in the wind sings dear land of our fathers. Will you come, ‘cross the sea and the stories so deep, will you come to Caerphilly ‘fore it’s gone? Will you come to the land of old kings and young princes Of lords they have found alive in stone faces Where one drove armies and another drove rain And whose valleys remain still beautiful as they left them Will you come, ‘cross the sea and the stories so deep, will you come to Caerphilly ‘fore it’s gone? Nearby there’s a tower and an abbey of poems, The walls held up battles and blood still is on them The walls held in prayers that have spread through the valley, From those crumbling pieces you still hear them whispering Will you come, ‘cross the sea and the stories so deep, will you come to Caerphilly ‘fore it’s gone? You can see an old city, and the rooms of a castle The marble and wood and every thing on a pedestal, Worth more than the lifetime of the man who carved them Ten years with his son, and they didn’t write his name down Will you come, ‘cross the sea and the stories so deep, will you come to Caerphilly ‘fore it’s gone? The cathedral still stands, fifteen centuries made it, A crater of green where the bomb finally landed Where the soil’s made holy by the blood of each true man And time is in pieces that fall from the ceiling Will you come, ‘cross the sea and the stories so deep, will you come to Caerphilly ‘fore it’s gone? Will you come and awake our lost land from its slumber The hold we must break, but the links we’ll remember And the air will sound out with new songs that will greet you While the shore will hold shadows and folk tales to meet you Will you come, ‘cross the sea and the stories so deep, will you come to Caerphilly ‘fore it’s gone?
9.
As I passed by Tom Sherman’s barroom Tom Sherman’s barroom so early one morn I spied a young boy all dressed in his buckskins Dressed like a picture, all fit for his grave [So beat the drum lowly and play the fife slowly beat up the death march that carries me along take me to the prairie and fire a volley o’er me for I’m a young cowboy dying alone] “Once in my saddle I used to go dashing Once in my saddle I used to ride high But these things are behind me, left there behind me My brother, he fell in my arms” the boy cried [Chorus] Someone please write to my grey-headed mother Her heart to the flag, her hand placed in fear Then to the other far dearer than mother Who will bitterly weep when she finds I am here [Chorus] Quick cast me a net, my hours are leaving I’ve felt the cold lead in my side where I lay Oh mother, my brothers are falling around me They say I’m a cowboy, and dying today [Chorus] Oh bury beside me my gold-colored medal My ring in my hand and gun at my side Over my coffin lay a bottle of brandy That the cowboys may drink as they carry me down [Chorus]
10.
04:06
Do you remember Old River, as you run so fast, as you run so far? Do you remember Old River, as you run so fast, as you run right past? Did the shores that you flew by go by in a blur Or did you see the little children there On the banks as they played in the afternoon light In the wake of your water as you did run on by… Do you remember Old River, as you run so fast, as you run right past? You passed by a hill so sturdy and calm The land lit up with homes in it’s arms The land lit up in the half-moon light You carved out a mountain as you ran on by that night… Do you remember Old River, as you run so fast, as you run right past? So many things you’ve seen Old River they didn’t go by too quickly for you to catch your sweet memories for you to hold your moons and mountains for you to wash the many ankles of the children as they play and as they splash and as they tumble round and laugh and as they skip and as they jump and as they dance and as they run on by… Do you remember Old River, as you run so fast, as you run right past? Now you’ll remember Old River, remember everything, remember as you dream…
11.
I saw you were standing there a fistful of sand said you’d never leave from this place where we had played for three long afternoons The broken sticks were bent and covering a roof of gold we’d had imported from Spain let’s keep on playing for three more days And you saw me like a starling swimming through the leaves they’re turning colored shades and you turned me into yesterday Armed with an oath, “I am no enemy” they’re hiding with swords and waiting to break at the seams but I can see right through their cloakscreens So take my hand and take my bow and string a straight line that will let them know that we’re piling sand up round our home of gold And you flew me like a firefly lightning in the eyes it’s bursting into flames and you burst me into yesterday Now the bell is ringing for you to be leaving this day with the moonbeams moonbeams hid me there, ‘hind the stairs, ‘till the next day we’ll cover out eyes ‘till we know we’re safe and away… And you flew me like a firefly lightning in the eyes it’s bursting into flames and you burst me into yesterday I saw you were standing there a fistful of sand said you’d always be in this place let’s keep on playing for three more days
12.
02:25
Moving down the empty hall, no on can see me at all I poke my sides to see if it is true Linger past your open door, invisible but still I’m sure If you stay awhile then I can start telling you Keep my eyes like polished stone, waters brim but I must hold The sadness dam from all breaking loose Finger tight in broken cracks, hold the heartbreak hope that lasts Stay awhile so I can stop needing you Solemnly I swear it false, do my very best to toss A beating heart to waves that roar and soothe But when the nighttime rolls around I fish it out and hold it sound Stay awhile, see how a heart remains true… And in the morning sun of ice you’ll ask me once again with dice To roll another round that I will lose I’ll hold your head up like a tree, steady you though you don’t lean Stay awhile and I’ll keep on feedin’ you And later when you come around I’ll fall into your arms as planned, And for a moment wish to never move But just as planned you’ll break away, and I’ll inhale your memory Stay awhile so I can keep breathin’ you (Stay awhile I’d like to keep breathin’ you…)
13.
it’s four twenty-two and her head is full of rocks and clouds she’s not something new but she still hopes that she can make him proud and though she’s got a lot to say she just can’t get herself to say it out loud with everybody talking it’s so hard to pick out just one voice from a large crowd but maybe if she says his name from across the room he’ll turn because he can hear it above all else he keeps himself floating just a couple inches above her head and though she stretches out to reach him she just can’t make it and holds herself instead she dances with the wind as she sways while looking up at the moon that he promised her on a black and white afternoon on a dark quiet morning in a white room he traced her nose with a finger, then he cut her heart in paper and put it on a mobile so it could move she’s been sitting on her nest for so long she forgot she had wings and one day she realized it was getting late and she should test out these things she’s been practicing her flying all along by jumping off of a swing but everyone needs a hand while they’re learning to fall and everyone wants someone to make them feel tall she made a wish on a flower that she would dream once through his eyes ‘cause life ain’t something till (your) somebody calls no life ain’t something till (your) somebody calls you…
14.
Uncover your head and wipe out your eyes The sleep that disguises the dreams that you cried In the sunshiney morning you don’t want to go outside Where the street will try to tip you (tip, top, tip, top…) So put on your coat and slide down the stairs Past a room where there’s sleeping and being nowhere You realize then that your heart’s still in there Got to take it ‘fore you step outside (outside… outside, outside, outside…) And out in the day your eyes tear up Cause there’s so much around you as you take your first step And though you blame it on the brightness of the sun up top You know you just want to be sharing this… So roll back into bed and swallow your sighs And don’t think about the times when you had someone at your side Just close it off and let yourself go drifting through the night Where your dreams will carry you out of this Yeah your dreams will carry you out of this…
15.
my sheets were cold tonight had to leave them for a dying fire burn up time for dreams lovely soul, you’ve gone to sleep silence empty house I cannot breathe you’ve said too many nice things can I keep spinning to your turns can I just fall back in your open arms and when you ask, I’ll always sing you a song bout a girl who tried to live inside a dream won’t you speak, she wants to hear all of it, everything go to sleep, cause morning will come sooner than you think… give me a book to read talk me your mind and let me see what’s crashing round inside of you the fire hasn’t gone out yet so can we climb the fire escape we’ll see just as far as we want to get can I keep spinning to your turns can I just fall back in your open arms and when you ask, I’ll always sing you a song bout a girl who tried to live inside a dream won’t you speak, she wants to hear all of it, everything go to sleep, cause morning will come sooner than you think… looking up at the ceiling they listened and there wasn’t time to catch the feet kicked out from under me then I caught your eyes, please can I keep them with me for a future time they’ll help me when I try to fly can I keep spinning to your turns can I just fall back in your open arms and when you ask, I’ll always sing you a song bout a girl who tried to live inside a dream won’t you speak, she wants to hear all of it, everything go to sleep, tomorrow will come sooner than you think… go to sleep, cause morning will come sooner than you think… won’t you speak, she wants to hear all of it, everything now you see, a girl who’s trying to live inside a dream…
16.
Just as the sun was falling into place that’s when they woke to a sky of different shades that’s when they saw all of the age upon their face to walk the road through, pass on what they knew – then the lines could be erased. She packed up a song in her bag to hum them through He built up hearts out of sand for more than two He said he’d spread them, said he’d let them all to the wind (yeah) “And ‘cross all the world I’ll feel your heart still. “Cause the road we walk isn’t paved, my dear and the fork ahead is drawing near while the river beside is flowing with tears” So they looked up to the sky. “What do you see?” she cried to the clouds “There is a storm coming soon,” he said with a frown She took his hand, traced out a shape in the air “It’s only the whale in the sea up there.” And as the sea rained down they stood ‘neath the branches of oak and watery wood a fish fell down from the sky near his foot he said, “I never believed these stories I heard but my eyes are now open wide.” The stones of the path were shined with the rain reflecting the road on their faces the same he picked up two stones, placed one in her hand the other he skipped, saying, “That’s where we’ll land.” And on they ran in the raining night Flying by houses closed up and quiet Then up ahead they saw a light walked to the window and peered inside And their faces pressed up to the window pane the people saw them, they smiled and waved they said, “please come inside, now won’t you stay? We’re going to dance, to dance this night away..” And as they moved their feet in tune the frames on the wall spun ‘round the room the pictures inside were stories they knew the tales that measured out time as it flew pointing her hand at a black and white face she said, “I wish we could stay in this place makes me sad, these things gone past” “But oh,” he said, “Look at all we’ve had. At least I’m in that picture frame at least we shared that time the same but East of us it’s almost dawn we’d best move on ‘fore this beautiful night is gone.” They left with an empty frame in their hands they held it up to those behind, every child and man they framed the river of tears silvery sparkling clean and the whale of the clouds flying two golden wings “Now what do you see?” she cried to the ground “There is a fork in the road a comin’ round” He looked to the left, but his hand was pointing right Then he raised up the frame, placed it over their eyes And in the frame they saw between the grass overgrown and the whispering weeds “No set way home but let’s see where this leads We won’t walk alone but the path we will leave We won’t walk the same but near enough to be seen Just keep an eye on the nearby winding stream And keep a foot on the ground as it flies by beneath ‘Cause we’re really not so far apart as it seems And on my walking soul you can always lean And with you walking beside I’ll always be in the stones and the hills and the trees and the fish in the sea in the clouds and the fork and the frame and in all of my dreams” And they closed their eyes and stepped.

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Ayla's first album, written and self-recorded in her room in 2005.

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released January 5, 2006

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Ayla Nereo Nevada City, California

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