Aim for the Center - Live from Bellingham

by Erika Lundahl

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about

"Aim for the Center" was recorded live at the Bellingham Alternative Library, in Bellingham, Washington as part of an educational evening & benefit concert for the Lummi Youth Canoe Family.

Special thanks to the Western Washington Students for the Salish Sea for hosting me, and creating an earth-centered space.

xoxo,

Erika

credits

released February 16, 2018

Guitar & vocals: Erika Lundahl
Drums & backup vocals: Doug Indrick
All songs copyright to Erika Lundahl
Recorded at The Bellingham Alternative Library
Mixing & Mastering by Doug Indrick at Rolling Crone Records

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all rights reserved

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about

Erika Lundahl Seattle, Washington

Erika Lundahl is a musician, writer and activist based in Seattle, WA. She employs her classically trained voice and distinctive "tapping" guitar style to create an enveloping, atmospheric musical space. Her poetic, often autobiographical lyrics employ "poignant and powerful imagery" combined with a modern and individual style of storytelling to deal with contemporary social issues. ... more

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Track Name: Aim for the Center - Live
Follow me follow, into the hollow
huntress, hero of the underground
you carry in your collarbone
a wisdom i will never know

so go, go go, go with the caribou
wade into, into the ocean
follow the cry of the lonesome canary
on down the mine shaft, flare of the car crash
read of the epitaph, read of the end

aim for the center again
aim for the center again
aim for the center again

There are worse places to be,
than stuck in a traffic jam, driving through mountains
sky blue and gold rush, radio reports on secret prisons
white helmets and unsung saviors, valve turner
and corporate favors

I'm wondering where I can put my trust in,
in a world so broken and busted, oh turn it off
you said just enjoy the scenery, when else will we be here,
we might as well be here, come back to me friend

aim for the center again
aim for the center again
aim for the center again

Our car passed over the 45th parallel,
drew a line between Equator and the North Pole,
it's raining hard now, raining hard
the weather man says, please try to stay in,
please try to stay home

well we're trying, we're trying, we're trying to get there
we're trying, we're trying, we're trying to get there
we're trying, we're trying to get there

but this storm's got me worried
for my friends and my family
father he tested the generator says it works fine
call me later now, when you arrive,

oh, oh, oh
so go, go go, go with the caribou
wade into, into the ocean
follow the cry of the lonesome canary
on down the mineshaft, flare of the car crash
read of the epitaph, read of the end

aim for the center again
aim for the center again
aim for the center again

The oil trains pass, black snakes on the sunset
the cows eating grass they got pipelines on under them
river beds, truck beds, oil and grain
what it takes to feed this growing machine
will be buy, barter, steal or lend
will aim for the center again,
aim for the center again.
Track Name: #YesAllWomxn - Live
He tells me what to look for
he tells me to watch out
with his eyes on my bear shoulders
he says he'll look over me
then he wonders why I don't call him back you see,

you see I got this clever explanation
for my very strange behavior
I'm out of town forever, I got married by the river
to my life, I will be my own wife,

I will be my own, I will be my very own
I will be my own, I will be my very own

See there are people who will love you
like a hurricane hits
and there are people who will love you
like you're the thing that they can't quit

but when I call my lover crying
to tell him my bad dream
you can rest easy knowing
it was your face that I seen and it was no dream

So if one man more tells me how he's
going to watch out for me tonight
I'm going to down 4 shots of whiskey straight
and get in my first bar fight
I'm going to down 6 shots of whiskey straight
and get in my first bar fight
I'm going to down 8 shots of whiskey straight
and get in my first bar fight

he says I got to love more
then I got to watch out for danger
He tells me to button up
and when I don't he hoots and hollars
this is a strange world, ain't it?
And getting stranger by the hour
But I will walk the streets at night
because I just can't be bothered.

He tells me what to look for
he tells me to watch out
with his eyes on my bear shoulders
he says he'll look over me
then he wonders why I don't call him back you see,

you see I got this clever explanation
for my very strange behavior
I'm out of town forever, I got married by the river
to my life, I will be my own wife

I will be my own, I will be my very own
I will be my own, I will be my very own
Track Name: Mercy - Live
If you go home love
Pray you have mercy on your family
Draw water from your history
Daughter sense the mysteries
That lie behind the stone
A round robin of song
cacophony of home

I was always slow to catch on the the sermon
Songbirds and the city rustling
Hustling souls on second avenue

Oregon to Oklahoma
Trace the spiral line
Ineffably designed
Soldier in a civil war
Fought from the losing side
Blood of me and mine
Blood of me and mine
Blood of me and mine
Blood of me and mine
Cacophony of skin and bone
Seeds as they were sewn
Daughter sense the mysteries
That lie behind the stone
When my reckless body
Wings to a southern bird becomes
Births from a bell still waiting to be rung

I was always slow to catch on the the sermon
Songbirds and the city rustling
Hustling souls on second avenue
Track Name: Lands Shift - Live
Lands shift and cities sink
sandcastles prove atomic laws
that we're all made of the same stuff
cut from that same cloth of cosmic undoing
and the wind will take our sails into the fog
oh the wind will take our sails into the fog

Each of us a good organ in a sick body
Each of us just trying to get by
Each of still waiting for that last savior
when none of us see through our own disguise

oh I could be free from the wailing
I could be sensible
I could be another pebble in the water
i could be none of it at all
none of it at all

Angela said to Amy we must act
as if there is hope
and Amy said well Angela, if there's anyone out there
you would know
because daylight is rising on the Nazarene river beds
beer cans are battered and scattered by the road
the kings and politicians are still writing their own history books
and the apostles are asleep in the olive grove
the apostles are asleep in the olive grove.

I could be free from the wailing
I could be sensible
I could be another pebble in the water
i could be none of it at all
none of it at all
Track Name: Jack Be Nimble - Live
Don't fight the way they want you to
Color in the lines won't get your due
You got to go to the far out edge
Lean in to the love, lean in to the dread
They got paddy wagons at the court house
Where they are counting on you to be
So, occupy them airports, start praying
In the Wells Fargo Lobby

Jack be Nimble, Jill be quick
We'll jump over the candle stick
The flame is higher than it's ever been
If we don't give it a go, the fire might win

The fire might win, the fire might win, the fire might win
The fire might win, the fire might win, the fire might win

There's no one coming to save us, but ourselves
So, tighten up those bootstraps
Pull the history books off the shelves
We got a new play book, a new playbook
But first you got to play
Won't do no good spinning circles
To bring down a God that's got no name

So Jack be Nimble, Jill be quick
We'll jump over the candle stick
The flame is higher than it's ever been
If we don't give it a go, the fire might win

The fire might win, the fire might win, the fire might win
The fire might win, the fire might win, the fire might win
The fire might win, the fire might win, the fire might win

Where the wind whips and the sun is red
I've spent days just hanging my head
Want to tear down this door
Everything that ever came before
Won't do no good, fire and rain
Enlisting in the army of a hurricane
In a hurricane, in a hurricane

So Jack be Nimble, Jill be quick
We'll jump over the candle stick
The flame is higher than it's ever been
If we don't give it a go, the fire might win

The fire might win, the fire might win, the fire might win
The fire might win, the fire might win, the fire might win
The fire might win, the fire might win, the fire might win
The fire might win, the fire might win, the fire might win

Don't fight the way they want you to
Color in the lines won't get your due
You got to go to the far out edge
Lean in to the love, lean in to the dread
Lean in to the love, lean in to the dread, lean in to the love, lean in
Lean in to the love, lean in to the dread, lean in to the love, lean in
Track Name: God's World - Live
GOD'S WORLD

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay
Track Name: The Poison and the Medicine - Live
Thank you for coming today.
No one else I know can heal me this way
You traveled hill and dale
city by bus and city by rail
now you're back in her arms again
my own holy grail

I drink you in, salt water and cinnamon
I drink you in, salt water and cinnamon
the poison and the medicine

You carry what you carry is no business but yours
you conceal and feel safety and I pray you are
you carry what you carry grows heavier each time around
I pray for the day when we all may lay our arms to the ground

But until then, salt water and cinnamon
until then, the poison needs the medicine

I try to be brave in the face of all that could give
right out from under my feet you know, nothing is solid
I try to be brave in the face of all that could give
but I have been known to fall prey to my own
stompin' and cryin'

I drink it in, salt water and cinnamon,
I drink it in salter water and cinnamon
the poison needs her medicine

My body already known more than I ever did
hungry for truth she will fast in the face of falsehood
my body already knows more than I ever can
she's a giver and taker of untold joys and sufferings

I drink you in, salt water and cinnamon,
I drink you in, salt water and cinnamon
the poison, and the medicine
Track Name: Brambles - Live
BRAMBLES
Lyrics by Erika Lundahl

Rain barrels full, the gardens wild with brambles
Kettles on, the stories we tell ramble on and on

On your feet there’s so much to unravel
On your feet, there's so much to unravel

Salted streets and skin heads with their bibles
Water’s rising, and the houses and rivers are rivals

January come and gone
Up north our neighbors are burying their stillborns
The air is dirty and the land is torn
But we’re still breathing so we’re stitching up a love song
Stiching up a love song

Help me to believe that we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for
Smoky skies bring me to my knees
The orchards filled with apple trees

Go down to the river, thank you please
I’m scared I don’t know what this means
What this means

I've been asleep but morning is breaking into dawn
No time to weep, all of us broken still belong

Grave Digger, Oil tanker
Law Maker, heart breaker
Aren’t you tired of selling this as dignity?
Aren't you tired of selling this as dignity?

Air is dirty and the land is torn
But we’re still breathing so we’re stitching up a love song

Air is dirty and the land is torn
But we’re still breathing so we’re stitching up a love song

Rain barrels full, the gardens wild with brambles
Kettles on, the stories we tell ramble on and on
and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on
Track Name: Exiled - Live
EXILED

Searching my heart for its true sorrow,
This is the thing I find to be:
That I am weary of words and people,
Sick of the city, wanting the sea;

Wanting the sticky, salty sweetness
Of the strong wind and shattered spray;
Wanting the loud sound and the soft sound
Of the big surf that breaks all day.

Always before about my dooryard,
Marking the reach of the winter sea,
Rooted in sand and dragging drift-wood,
Straggled the purple wild sweet-pea;

Always I climbed the wave at morning,
Shook the sand from my shoes at night,
That now am caught beneath great buildings,
Stricken with noise, confused with light.

If I could hear the green piles groaning
Under the windy wooden piers,
See once again the bobbing barrels,
And the black sticks that fence the weirs,

If I could see the weedy mussels
Crusting the wrecked and rotting hulls,
Hear once again the hungry crying
Overhead, of the wheeling gulls,

Feel once again the shanty straining
Under the turning of the tide,
Fear once again the rising freshet,
Dread the bell in the fog outside,—

I should be happy,—that was happy
All day long on the coast of Maine!
I have a need to hold and handle
Shells and anchors and ships again!

I should be happy, that am happy
Never at all since I came here.
I am too long away from water.
I have a need of water near.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay
Track Name: Yes I Will - Live
YES, I WILL
Lyrics by Erika Lundahl

Do you need to walk your own path?
Do you need to study the anger in your breath?
Do you need to carry your buckets up the hill?
Yes I will, Yes I will, Yes I will, Yes I will

Do you hold the shivering song bird in your hand?
Did you sing the psalms that ring from childhood?
Did you drink the wetting water until you had your fill?
Yes I will, Yes I will, Yes I will, Yes I will

Did you open up the ocean and look deep in?
Did you dip your bucket in and then again and again?
Did the salt start to ring around the edge where all was still?
Yes it will, yes It will, yes It will, yes It will

Did you sit all alone and start crying?
Did you face the truths that you have been denyin’?
Did you sit there so long, that your thoughts began to spill
Yes they will, yes they will, yes they will, yes they will

Open, yes they will open.

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