Migrant Birds

by Migrant Birds

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credits

released May 23, 2019

Lyrics and music by Spencer Ayscue
Performed by Migrant Birds
Mixed and produced by William Evans in Charlottesville, VA
Additional vocals by Maddie Ramey, Ben Hardie, Zach Blount, Jasmine James, Jack Milford, and Sergio García
Cover art by Emily Jessee

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Migrant Birds Winston Salem, North Carolina

Migrant Birds is an indie folk outfit fronted by Spencer McNair Ayscue and Tara Lancaster Logue

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Track Name: Appalachian Spine
Making my way down the Appalachian Spine
I see the remnants of a half-forgotten time
Barns and bones and cigarettes line the way
Tractor tires strewn along the road

Railway veins carve the lonesome cliff sides
River mumbles sounds like tired moans and sighs
I see the iron ribs and the rotting wooden bones
of old coal towns too long left alone

Ain't it such a shame
to see the land I love out rusting in the rain.
Suffer not this strife
Now sing the stones, let’s bring these mountains back to life

The mines dig deep like a needle into skin
And corporate windows block more light then they let in
As the mountaintops are slowly worn away,
I hear the spirit yearn for yesterday

Ain't it such a shame
to see the land I love out rusting in the rain.
Suffer not this strife
Now sing the stones, let’s bring these mountains back to life

Long ago they say a man took on machine
In Big Bend tunnel there his hammers they still ring
I know it may seem tall the task we have at hand,
but Old John Henry, he was just a man

Ain't it such a shame
to see the land I love out rusting in the rain.
Suffer not this strife
Now sing the stones, let’s bring these mountains back to life

But still I know
These mountain people hold a love for things that grow
Turn back the knife
Now sing the stones, let’s bring these mountains back to life
Dig deep the roots, let’s bring these mountains back to life
Now raise the cry, let’s bring these mountains back to life
Track Name: Little Hangman
Staring down the barrel of eternity
Twelve years gone and still bound to thee
The pain in my ankle guess it’s just as well
Cause the chain and the shackle I put there myself

You a bird of the air, I'm a fish of the sea
Tried to grow a pair of wings but it just won’t be
As you float between the blues like an albatross
I’m just a scared, gaunt sailor here aiming my shot

And I keep writing songs, even though it kills
Drained like a little river through the hills
And I cut that bowstring a time and again
But I’m still no match for that little hangman

Like the pump of the blood, I knew it then
You and me were just synonyms
But sharing a meaning doesn’t make us the same
Yeah the perfect matching pieces rarely have the same shape

So I dove like a hawk and I fought like hell
But fighting yourself never turns out well
Still I know you like the desert knows the shifting dunes
'Cause the who you are won’t be who you are soon

And I keep writing songs, even though it kills
Drained like a little river through the hills
And I cut that bowstring a time and again
But I’m still no match for that little hangman

Well I know you’re not a bird, don’t belong in the hand
And the jail of a bush you never could stand
But you can’t put a heart on lay-away
So I guess I’ll go ahead and put mine in the grave

And I hope it’s just imbalance of the chemicals
And there ain’t no such thing as being in love
But staring down the barrel of eternity
I know the arrow of time will never point to thee

And I keep writing songs, even though it kills
Drained like a little river through the hills
And I cut that bowstring a time and again
But I’m still no match for that little hangman
Track Name: Lost Art
Oh, to know the Earth in my footsteps
Oh, to know the air in the breeze
Oh, to know my friends in the roads and bends
Through hallways drawn in trees

Oh to know, oh to know
Oh to know, oh to know

Well, the thunder rumbles the mountains
And the flashbulbs light up the sky
But up the mountain spine walk your feet and mine
We remember a time gone by

Oh to know, oh to know
Oh to know, oh to know

Well, the walking art is a lost one
Flashing colors cover our eyes
But down the rocky road we will come to know
One another, Earth, and sky

Oh to know, oh to know
Oh to know, oh to know
Track Name: Suffer Me Not to Fall
I lost track of the weight on my back
And the stones caught in my shoes
And I walked all the way from the Evergreen State
just to sing the temptation blues

Burn the devil from my shoulder
The days pass, but I’m not getting older

Oh, let me feel the sting
What a fragile, mortal thing

I left home with a fire in my bones
and a hammer in my hands
But little did I know of the winter and snow
and famine of northern lands

Sloth and sleep and distance and apathy
I’ve lost sight of the race set in front of me

Oh, save me from myself
Like a clay jar high on a shelf
What treasures within?
Commitment worn thin.
Oh, suffer me not to fall

Now I need to wake up from my sleep
and take fate in my own hands,
to follow the snow to the places I know
while the faith I’ve built still stands

Oh, Death where is thy sting?
What a fragile, mortal thing
To be fretted away on the wings of today
Oh suffer me not to fall
Track Name: Tsar's Last Waltz
Alexi, I can’t stop the bleeding
All the power that I hold ain’t enough to stop the cold
Alexi, you gotta try to sleeping
'Cause the hand of the Dark’s reaching in for your spark
And the shadow of the Fall is roaming these halls
My son close your eyes
And know that I’m here by your side

My darling, I can’t stop the bleeding
Cold rooms with empty beds, vacant eyes in distant heads
My darling, these days I’ve been thinking
about walks in the snow in thirty below
about sunnier climes in 1889
My wife you should be here with me
But who is this woman I see?

My people, I can’t stop the bleeding
All these bullets and swords filling hospital wards
My people, the counsel I’m seeking
is a wolf in sheep’s clothes and everyone knows
That his tongue is a snake but my son I won’t forsake
This charmer would sit on the throne
His guile chills me down to the bone

The blood, it runs down my fingers
And I can’t find a sign if it’s theirs or its mine
But still, my thoughts they all linger
On all of the ways that I’ve hastened this day
On the price of the crown when the walls tumble down
I hear a trumpet blast
This waltz may be my last

My darling, I can’t stop the bleeding
Seems the walls of my land were built upon sand
My darling, I find myself sinking
As revolution sweeps in and brings us to an end
Oh, these whispers of freedom mean and end to my kingdom
I love you wherever we are
This man don’t look much like a Tsar

Oh, Alexi, just know that I’m sorry
I was not enough of a man to fetter death’s hand
Now it’s just you and me, here resting in peace
And forever we’ll stay marching on through the gray
My son you won’t bleed anymore
Track Name: I Hope I Never Feel This Way Again
Well, I’ve left my roots in more than half a dozen places
Between here and the Pyrenees
And I’ve worn out my soles and broken both my laces
As if I had become the walking tree

But what are all these roots for if they’re constantly uprooted?
What value in the travel in the toil?
Well, my spirit is a pilgrim and it always keeps me moving
and digging just to find the perfect soil

What are all these roots for anyway
If they never have the time to dig in?
Well, I stand by what I said when I left West Virginia
I said I hope I never feel this way again

So who’s the gardener of my feeble leaves and branches?
Who rips me from the dirt year after year?
Well, I’m afraid that I have had my share of chances
That the gardener greets me daily in the mirror

So, maybe I’m a sadist or maybe I’m a wanderer
Or maybe I’m a migrant bird
Or maybe I’m a pilgrim with a mind made to ponder
And feet made to tread across the world

What are all these roots for anyway
If they never have the time to dig in?
Well I stand by what I said when I left North Carolina
I said I hope I never feel this way again

But what a gift to live a life with things worth missing
Oh, what a blessing in the ache
And, oh, how clear when we hear that train a-whistling
Become all of the ones we have at stake

What are all these roots for anyway
if they never have the time to dig in?
Well I stand by what I said when I left Old Castilia
I said I hope someday I’ll feel this way again

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