Darkest Hours

by Fox and the Bird

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about

A folk-pop band with gang vocals and layered harmonies, Fox and the Bird is a choral collective of rotating songwriters and singers. The band’s characteristically rich, up-beat orchestration is hitched to banjos, accordions, ukuleles & fiddles to form the foundation of a sound reminiscent of hard times and high hopes.

Fox & The Bird's latest album, Darkest Hours, is a sorrowfully appropriate title for an unapologetically bare-bones, brutally honest folk album. From lyrics chronicling the confusion of lost love in “Ashes” and “Bend” to commentary on the darkly violent tendencies seen in human nature as presented in “Habit” and “Valley,” the album laments hardship, poverty, death, loss… those moments in life when the darkness seems most impenetrable.

But while Darkest Hours is a heavy follow-up to the band's debut Floating Feather, lyrically, their characteristic rich, up-beat orchestration carries us through the darkness with an innate sort of joy and hints at the light that inevitably follows even our darkest of hours.

Fox and the Bird continues to produce and self-release its albums, touring and always committed to music that is made on back porches, in living rooms and on the streets.

credits

released 14 January 2014

(c) Fox and the Bird 2014

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about

Fox and the Bird Dallas, Texas

Fox and the Bird is a folk-pop band hailing from Dallas, TX with gang vocals and layered harmonies. The band is a choral collective that's seen a rotating cast of 15 songwriters & members since they hit the scene in 2008. They continue to produce and self-release its albums, touring from time to time and always committed to music that is made on back porches, in living rooms and on the streets. ... more

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Track Name: When I Was Young
When I was young, when I was a boy I tried to have fun
Then the world was cruel to me and now I’ve become
A lowly beggar sitting in the sun.

Look at my life, learn from my mistakes and find a good wife
Someone who will love you till the day that you die
A girl who sings the sweetest lullabies

Penniless now, sleeping underneath a bridge across town
If I gained an ounce of luck I’d lose it somehow
My hope is dead my dreams are in the ground

This is the end, dying on my own without any friends
Not even and enemy to make my amends,
Given the chance I’d do it all again
Track Name: Wreck of the Fallible
Oh the broken the lowly and the poor
Were gathered and loaded at the shore
To cast off beggar, thief and whore
To a lonely road

This mother her situation grim
Held her child close and leaning in
Was praying dear father I have sinned
So the boy, he must go

They say, "O…"
Why have we been rejected by our own…
Was it wrong to expect that in their darkest hours
You were ever really there at all…?
But when the bell tolls
On that gray morn...
Would you cut your ties and run?
Here's to the wreck of the fallible

Oh the rudderless travel where they will
For seven generations in the swill
To eat but never to be filled
Just remain afloat

And battered, arriving at the spot
Awakened after years of being lost
These men they're not worried what it cost
They just dive down below

They say, "O…"
Why have we been rejected by our own…
Was it wrong to expect that in their darkest hours
Were you ever really there at all?
But when the bell tolls
On that gray morn...
Would you cut your ties and run?
Here's to the wreck of the fallible

Just stay another couple of days
Floating all alone among the waves
And stowing what others throw away
For the few you could save
Track Name: Saints
What saints we are
Why don't you try to start by telling me
All of who you are
I will listen, I will help you, I will understand

You can pray with me
I'll be the miracle you've always wanted.
Maybe we can be
Best of friends, best of times, you'll get the best of me

I won't bring you down
Not even when you turn your back on me
I won't shut you out
I'll be honest, I'll be patient, you can count on me

So what if you are
So what if you aren't who you claim to be
So what if you are
Will you question, will you suppose it, will you let us be

Isn't it perfectly clear what I intend and
Isn't it perfectly realistic to pretend that
We're all the same, trying to escape the blame

And if I’m perfect would you love me even more
and if I told you that that these perfect traits that you adore
were all a rouse for you

So what if we are
So what if we aren't who we claim to be
So what if we are
Will you question, will you suppose it, will you let us be?
Track Name: Valley
A southern man sings a tired song,
Of those that work when the days are long
Of friends that once stood forty strong,
But stepped aside to sing this song:

Oh come to the valley of the shadow of death,
When the beast comes out and the sky grows red,
We’ll carry on and we’ll beat our chest,
And we’ll see if it’s as bad as father had said

The powerful, they intimidate.
They say the years are long and our time is great.
But have we left too much to fate?
Cause with the setting sun our days grow late.

Oh come to the valley of the shadow of death,
When the beast comes out and the sky grows red,
We’ll carry on and we’ll beat our chest,
And we’ll see if it’s as bad as father had said

A southern man sings his final song,
He says “Save me…”
Never join them in their throng.
“Just leave me…”
But if the world is vast and the years are long,
How come no one here can see it all?

So we went to the valley of the shadow of death,
And the beast came out, and the sky it grew red,
And we carried on and we beat our chests,
And it was every bit as bad as our father had said
Track Name: Habit
Hearts break at dawn, in cities, on our streets and in our homes.
Hearts break at night, like aging and the dimming of our sight.

I am an old man, without capacity to change.
I am an old man, and I have one foot in the grave
But I have this habit! I have this habit and it’s violence.
Come stand beside me, come stand here with me or be silent.

I am a killer, it’s just the way that I was made.
My father broke down and left me lying in the shade.
And I picked up habits- like this habit that is violent.
And I’ll keep working here, until I have paid my penance.

I am a prophet, a man who spoke the holy words.
I built this furnace and brought my baggage there to burn.
But I still have habits, God I’ve habits and they’re violent.
It’s mostly hidden from those who sit in prayer and quiet.

I am a father and I have children in the house.
I have this dream of just skipping town or walking out.
She see’s this habit, says I’ve a habit and it’s violence.
I’ll beak their spirits before I put out this fire.

Hearts break at dawn, in cities, on our streets and in our homes.
Hearts break at night, like aging and the dimming of our sight.
Track Name: Dallas
Have you ever seen Dallas from a DC 9 at night?
Well Dallas is a jewel yea Dallas she’s a beautiful sight
Dallas is a jungle but Dallas gives a beautiful light
Have you ever seen Dallas from a DC 9 at night?

Dallas is a woman who will walk on you when you're down
But when you’re up she's the kind you want to take around
Dallas ain't a woman to help you get your feet on the ground
Dallas is a woman who will walk on you when you're down

I came into Dallas with the bright lights on my mind
I came into Dallas with a dollar and a dime

Well Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes
A steel and concrete soul with a warm hearted love disguise
A rich man who tends to believe in his own lies
Yeah Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes

I came into Dallas with the bright lights on my mind
I came into Dallas with a dollar and a dime

Have you ever seen Dallas from a DC 9 at night?
Well Dallas is a jewel yea Dallas she’s a beautiful sight
Dallas is a jungle but Dallas gives a beautiful light
Have you ever seen Dallas from a DC 9 at night?
Track Name: Heading East
These city blocks, this empty room
The stars on the back of your arms,
the envy and the guilt and the charms of youth

I love her the most when she’s feeling good,
Talk of putting money in jars
To hide the fact that I’m growing far from you

Cause you know that I’m Heading East
It’s how it’s gonna have to be
But when the devil comes a knocking well you know I’m not going to answer anymore

Come to grips, you’re growing old
A coffin is a bag for your bones,
But still I hope we’re buried in rows you’d say

The loveless always linger alone
The winter it’ll chill to the bone
But I would rather freeze all alone than stay

Cause you know that I’m heading east
That’s how it’s gonna have to be
You gotta keep your head up straight my love
Cause no one’s gonna see you if you duck and run
You are alone.
But when the devil comes a knocking well you know I’m not gonna answer anymore
Track Name: Bend
Oh I’ve a bucket of tears
I’m wondering what I’m to do with this?

You tip your hat, acknowledge that,
There’s a bend in the road up ahead

We had 5-acres, a tractor that kept the lawn.
But now you’re not here, there it sits with no one to drive it on.

Still we haven’t heard from you…

She watched the leaves while they were changing color.
Like me, she wept. But her without complaining to others.

You tip your hat, acknowledge that,
There’s a bend in the road up ahead

Still we haven’t heard from you…
Track Name: Ashes
Knowing there was a sight to see, and climbing up the lowest tree,
We strained our eyes beyond degree and knew we were alone.

Lighting up that altar stone, no dial on the telephone.
The silent hours made it known that brighter days are yet to come.

“To exist separately is not the way it’s supposed to be,
If in the end you’re on your own, well I don’t want to let you go alone”

On the road in bright of day, few are those that pass this way
And fewer still have much to say,
They’re pointing this way, pointing that way

The strangest few will travel out with pack and journal, map and route
They’re left with time to laugh about the emptiness of days

To exist separately is not the way it’s supposed to be
If in the end you’re on your own, well I don’t want to let you go alone

There’s got to be a better way to say the things I meant to say
If not tomorrow or today, then maybe by the end I’ll finally break

Third verse:
The saddest wolves in shepherd’s cloths
Have touched the sorriest of foals,
Repent! Repent! And be restored – you’re the part and I’m the whole

Oh what of those that lose their minds?
when hell and consciousness combine,
leaving just their eyes behind – a glassy silhouette

To exist separately is not the way it’s supposed to be
If in the end you’re on your own, well I don’t want to let you go alone

There’s got to be a better way to say the things I meant to say
If not tomorrow or today, then maybe by the end I’ll finally break

There never was reasoning to keep the world the way it’s been,
If in the end we disappear and all our scattered children are left here.

If in the end you’re not around. A trail of tears left on the ground.
“Don’t worry” I will say aloud… “for ashes to ashes, we all fall down”
Track Name: Counterfeit
Did I lose my lord in the marketplace?
Did I make of myself a disgrace?
I left it all behind. Out of site, out of mind.

Did I lose control in the dark?
Were those my tears at the start?
I turned my back on them.
I’ll never learn to swim.
Track Name: Rough Darlin'
Oh darlin', if I may be so bold
As to ask you for a walk beneath the pale moonlight.
Oh I wouldn’t say that I believe in ghosts,
But a holy shiver has cut my spine in two.

Biting our tongues for so many years,
It’s been quite a few since I held you near.
Oh are words are shaken, Oh are throats are dry.

Slowly, trembling… I kiss your lips,
Brush your cheek, oh my knees are weak.

Do you still love me? Do you still love me?
Track Name: No Man's Land
He took his chances and he ran
Out from the hills to no mans land
Oh my lord life was hard, back then

Oklahoma sky was his roof.
Tore into the earth it brought him food
Oh my lord, life was hard back then

He said oh,
Life can be hard
But oh,
Hard can be good
So he built his home where no one else would

I follow in his footsteps in my dreams
Memories of my old bedtime stories.
Oh my lord, life seemed good back then

He said oh,
Life can be hard but
Oh,
Hard can be good
And he built his home where no one else would

I felt my heart beat!
I filled my lungs deep
In no mans land
And then like my forefathers I took a chance
Track Name: Dreamers
All you dreamers without any dreams
All you players without any teams
Al you keepers without any goals
Take it slow...

You teachers without your degrees
You preachers without any sheep
You miners without any gold
Take it slow...

Cause I know you'll find it real soon

You disciples without any Lord
You Workers without any chores
You bearers without any load
Take it slow...

You sayers without any nays
You members without any praise
You families without any homes
Take it slow...

Cause I know you find it real soon