Poor Player

by Misner & Smith

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about

Misner & Smith's second full length album, released in 2008. Recorded at Bad Habit Recordings in San Francisco, CA in 2008. ©&℗ 2008 Misner & Smith/Scribble On The Wall Music. All Rights Reserved.

credits

released January 1, 2008

Sam Misner - Vocals and Acoustic Guitar
Megan Smith - Vocals, Upright Bass, and Mandolin

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about

Misner & Smith San Francisco, California

(my-zner) & smith
Misner & Smith’s music is a search for meaning. The songs yearn for connection, ache for understanding, relish in mystery, and rejoice in creation. In a world that often feels to be crumbling down around us, they dig deep, and find hope in simple things, in the beauty that surrounds us all. ... more

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Track Name: Poor Player
I am just a poor player waiting in the wings,
Clutching to the curtains, watching all the others sing.
Lift my inspiration from a scribble on the wall
Perhaps someday I’ll leave a scratch, my signature I’ll scrawl.
For now I’m but a poor player.

Louie brews her moonshine with a burn that makes you cough,
Slurs your speech and takes a week to finally sleep it off.
Lately now I find myself knocking on her door
First thing in the morning and by noon I’m back for more.
Nothing but a poor player.

Foggy days and matinees, fawning on a star
Who doesn’t even care to learn your name or who you are.
Understudy errands till you’ve proven you can stand.
Even then it might depend on how you shake their hands.
You know you’re just a poor player

I wonder what you’d think to do if crowds no longer came,
And all the scores that cheered before no longer call your name.
Fretting your position standing naked center stage,
Caught without your crutches on a foot-lit steel cage.
Would you be a poor player?

I am just a poor player waiting in the wings,
Clutching to the curtains, watching all the others sing.
Lift my inspiration from a scribble on the wall
Perhaps someday I’ll leave a scratch, my signature I’ll scrawl.
For now I’m but a poor player.
Track Name: Length of a Song
LENGTH OF A SONG

He’s here and he’s gone for the length a song
Where he sets her upon a throne
That can never be seen to be used by a queen
So she sits in between all alone.

Her king is consumed by the wars to be waged
Killing for God and the truths of the age
Leaving his queen condemned to a cage of gold.

He crafts his songs well, so that no one can tell
That the royalty’s been quite deceived.
But the jester is keen and can read in between
The lines that the troubadour weaves.

When the queen falls asleep her thoughts tend to leap
To a world where she’s just an unknown.
In the troubadour’s dreams her majesty pleads
And the guillotine looms in his bones.

The court is so stale, each one of them pale
As they stare down upon him like stones.
Two hearts are alive, that secretly thrive
On a love that is always postponed.

‘Round the campfire flames dice is his game,
And the numbers proclaim him a king.
But Fortune was cruel and she tipped like a stool
And left him a fool who could sing.

He sweeps up a handful of silver he’s won
“Worthless”, he thinks since his heart’s been undone.
Curses the stars and threatens the sun, he will fold.

He’s here and he’s gone for the length of a song.
Track Name: Buckeye Tree
BUCKEYE TREE

That’s my baby singing down to me
Hidden in the branches of a Buckeye tree
Sounds sweet, lord, it makes me cry
Tossin’ her notes to the eastern sky
Oh, how I wish she’d climb on down
But she’s got no interest in a life on the ground.

I’m down in the dirt she’s high in the air
Tree trunk feels like a straight back chair
I’ve tried and tried to bring her down with song
Life is short but these moments are long
She may not notice but I can’t leave
Wearing my heart on the edge of my sleeve.

She may come down soon one of these days
Thinking I’ll miss her is what makes me stay
I’ll still here steady through sleet and snow
I’ll hold the tree if a hurricane blows
Seasons pass right before my eyes
As her voice paints pictures on the eastern sky.

She dropped a necklace of white sea shells
Could’ve been a sign but I can’t tell
I love her now and I’ll love her when
The seasons come around to meet me again
She may not notice but I can’t leave
My girl singing up in this Buckeye tree.
Track Name: Wanderin' Fool
WANDERIN' FOOL

Put that needle back on that record babe,
And let's go out in the rain.
I'll put my suitcase back up on that shelf babe,
And show you the reason that I came.

I'm a wanderin' fool,
Or didn't you know?
I won't take nothin' for granted
And I won't leave nothin' for show.

Somehow the last time that I saw you,
The inches and feet seemed to stretch.
And all of my weight was a burden,
And all of my words were a mess.

I'm your wanderin' fool,
Or didn't you know?
I won't take nothin' for granted
And I won't leave nothin' for show.

Let me hear you sing, "ooh"
Let me hear you sing, "ooh"
One more time.

I think you better uncork that bottle babe,
And let this thing breathe for a while.
And I'll do my best to sit pretty babe,
And look like the sun on the Nile.

'Cause you're my wanderin' fool,
Or didn't you know?
Take whatever you're takin' for granted
And I'll take what you leave for show.

Let me hear you sing, "ooh"
Let me hear you sing, "ooh"
One more time.
Track Name: Cold Rain Fell
COLD RAIN FELL

Cold rain fell, full up was the well
But the water circled ‘round cabin doors
Spirits raised as she played her fiddle
And she played it till the middle of the morn

Guitars strummed the bass it hummed
Soon the sound of voices
Songs that night were filled with light
(And) drove off all of the darkness

The last three days we fixed our gaze
On the clouds, river and lightning
Walls are strong but won’t last long
If the noose of the water keeps tightening

Papa soon picked up his spoons
Mama frailed her banjo
Songs were prayers like Heaven’s stairs
Reaching high where winds blow

Her fiddle’s strain broke the rain
The flood fell away along the shore
Seven days they stood and played
Thunder always rapping at the door

Hickory flames danced and sang
Winds howled a warning
But all were calm and sang along
Deep into the hours of the morning
Track Name: Compose
COMPOSE

Sewn in the lining of her coat
Verses, sonnets and prose
And she knows
It’s all just ribbons and bows
Some rhymes are harder and sometimes it shows
I suppose

Rain in the middle of the day
Blue skies fading to gray
Whisked away She sets off with words to explain
All of the places her heart’s been since dawn
Yesterday

Calm, walking down the street she’s on
Aimless, wandering and strong
Life moves on
One moment here and we’re gone
Come ‘round to find out that it’s been a song
All along

Go to any other shore you know
Send me what you compose
Highs and lows
Weather of sun or of snow
Whether it wilts soon or whether it blooms
Like a rose

Sewn in the lining of her coat
Verses, sonnets and prose
And she knows
It’s all just ribbons and bows
Some rhymes are harder and sometimes it shows
I suppose
Track Name: I Will Find My Voice Again
I WILL FIND MY VOICE AGAIN

Though my skies are filled with rain
My heart is broken, my spirit is lame
I’ll sing in laughter, I’ll sing through pain
I will find my voice again.
Talking with a friend about hopes and dreams
Fears and love and mountain streams
Sittin’ in the sun in an old pair of jeans
Sometimes it all falls apart at the seams.

Walkin’ a mile up a mountain road
Lost in thought, held by the cold
Eagle up high cries praise to the day
Snatched up my blues and he carries them away.
Keep on walkin’ though my feet feel sore
I cannot feel the fears anymore
Catchin’ sixty winks on a Sunday drive
Glad to be breathin’, glad to be alive.

Top of the mountain sing a victory song
All my friends sing right along
Hold me up with joy and love
Heaven, Heaven ringing above.
Eyes wide open let the sunrise in
Fill my heart up to the brim
Keep on dancin’, never sit down
I can feel vibrations coming up from the ground.
Track Name: Greyhound Days
GREYHOUND DAYS

Greyhound starts crawling at quarter past nine,
Leaving this county now, so say the signs.
I look out my window but nothing I find
Can change my direction or settle my mind.

I’ve been wild and reckless and often been tame,
I’ve been proud and honest and sometimes ashamed,
Been clever and certain, free from all pain,
Sometimes so lost all I knew was my name.

The man sitting next to me chuckles and sighs,
Leans back his head and he fixes his eyes.
“Never trust comfort, it’s weak and it lies,
Have faith in the struggle, don’t rest till you die.”

The cross that he wears through a hole in his ear,
He says killed a prophet who then reappeared.
“Though I ain’t religious his message seems clear
Each eye that we meet, son, is only a mirror.”

Through Arizona the desert’s in bloom
At night all these cities seem haunted as tombs
Freight trains in Denver move down the line
While ghosts of the hobos drink red boxcar wine.

Depot to depot drifting along
Looking for somewhere to be and belong
Graced now and then with a phrase from a song
St. Louis this morning, by midday we’re gone.

The lands that I’ve traveled, the places I’ve been
Know all my secrets, my pleasures, my sins.
Weather vane forecasts lost in a spin
When life’s accidental and random as wind.
Track Name: Polly
POLLY

I am Polly,
Pretty Polly was my name.
I am not that devil's flame, turned your heart to cinders.

Poor young Polly,
Death is just another game.
Fortune spins to suit my aim, madness with my sending.

On that high hill up above the lights of home that night,
Ragged with your raging heart.
Prayers of mercy all were stuck up in my throat,
And the night grew deaf to my cry.

I am Polly,
Polly with a blood-soaked mane,
Battered to a faceless shame.
In your endless nights you'll hear my screams.

He tore at the walls with a keen desperation,
Hands up and pleading for some kind of sweet salvation.
But no peace, no saving light, for his soul's restless fight.

She was Polly,
Pretty Polly was her fame.
Lovely with a hallowed name, and I so undeserving.

My sweet Polly,
Killed upon my foolish eye.
Walk me to the scaffold high.
No comfort in my ending ...
No comfort in my ending.
Track Name: Rainday
RAINDAY (LYRICS BY LLOYD SMITH)

Not like Monday, Wednesday, Friday,
Or nothin' in between.
Got no worries, got no hurry,
It's kind of like a dream.
It's washin' time clean the face
Of stone and pine, give us grace.
It's rainday, rainday.

Top of rooftop splash and patter.
It's comin' down flat rock splatter.
Take it easy, have a walk.
Not to run, hear it talk.
It's rainday, rainday.

Sun and sparkle rainbow shine.
Pink and blue clouds are mine.

It's rainday, rainday.
It's rainday, my rainday.