False Foundations

by Rachel Marie

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Kerr Griffin
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Kerr Griffin Intricate and prolific, Rachel Marie is the latest iteration of a proud tradition of speaking truth to power in music but with a delicate sense of self-awareness and accountability. Her faith is apparent but she doesn’t pound you over the head with it, instead she invites you to meet her in the conversation. Incredibly refreshing. Favorite track: Hello, Stranger.
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1.
Not Okay 04:26
Feet firmly planted in a false foundation, I am standing up straight for all to see I will let you in; my walls are thin, and things look different on the inside of me I am a home that I have built out of paper and pain Limbs stretched to their limit, holding up walls against the rain And most times I stay standing I who do the standing Because I thought I had to be a fortress, but you look at me and say That my effort is blessed and you’ll invest in this mess Blood and sweat and tears, and that’s okay And I am not okay, and that’s okay I spend all my time clinging to a life that I don’t know what it takes to maintain This is not a place of rest, just stress, and all I know is to self-sustain With wallpaper peeling, carpet stained, wood rotting through I curl up in my center, but my center’s rotting, too Burdened and weary Dark and dreary Because I thought I had to be my own rock; well, you look at me and say That I can’t do this by myself, and you’ll be my somebody-else That I will always need some help, and that’s okay I am a fixer-upper of a human life Not equipped with the required skill to heal it I have prayed so hard for this light to warm instead of burn And God, it’s such a joy to feel it To build a home out of love, and not of paper And I know not everybody needs a savior But I thought I had to be a fortress; well, you look at me and say That my effort is blessed, and you’ll invest in this mess Blood and sweat and tears, and that’s okay And I am not okay, no I am not okay I am not okay And that’s okay
2.
Rededication 02:45
Mmm, when Jesus comes, where will I be? Just a little sheep, feelin' a little weak, fallen on my knees I hear him ask, "Did you feed me? Did you come to my side? When I was sick and tired, did you let me inside?” And I cry, "Lord, I've tried, but sometimes I just don't know.” So when the world needs more love, I will give it, And when the world needs more Christ, I will live it, And when I stumble through your way, I'll forgive it today Mmm, when the angels come, what will I see? Blinding faces, or saving graces, or light in endless streams? Or see a world that's been prepared since the beginning of time For all the least of these brothers and sisters of mine And sheep of all colors and kinds and they're all yours So when the world needs more love, I will give it, And when the world needs more Christ, I will live it, And when I stumble through your way, I'll forgive it today I’ll be a witness to the kindness I believe in And the justice I could never serve Finding strength and taking comfort In a love no one could ever deserve So when the world needs more love, I will give it, And when the world needs more Christ, I will live it, And when I stumble through your way, I'll forgive it today
3.
Fences and attitudes keep us apart Compromise tends to wear thin He heard her knocking’ at the door of his heart But in the end, he could not let her in It happens too often when it happens to you Too often, it’s happened to me And I’ve been the villain, and I’ve been the victim And I’ve been the blind referee And I’d like to quit lookin’ for paradise Or find it, one of the two But I can’t and I won’t and I can’t understand How the best is the best you can do It’s a hard thing to hear when a friend puts you down It’s a pretty bad feeling to fight Like an outlaw with orders to get out of town Oh my, ain’t it cold out tonight Mostly it’s misunderstanding I guess Mostly it’s nothin’ at all And you never miss August or the smell of fresh hay ’Til November when the snow starts to fall And I’d like to quit lookin’ for paradise Or find it, one of the two But I can’t and I won’t and I can’t understand How the best is the best you can do And they tell me eternity still is the same After you’ve cut it in two But I can’t understand, no I can’t understand How the best is the best you can do
4.
Hello, stranger, can I give you what I have? I don’t have all that much, but I don’t need it all And I was taught by the stories of a Middle Eastern man That I should give when I can Especially in dangerous times Especially when everyone is drawing lines And building walls And I want to believe that in this country No one has to take the fall And I will pledge allegiance to this flag When there is liberty and justice for all Hello, stranger, can I offer you my time? I don’t have answers, but I can lend an ear I believe that your anger is justified And that we’re all made weaker by fear But I understand if trust is hard And I understand if you’re just too scarred Because the problem looks just like me And I want to believe that in this country No one has to take the fall And I will pledge allegiance to this flag When there is liberty and justice for all I take a long look in the mirror I'll tell you what I see I am not a perfect Christian I am not a perfect feminist I am not a perfect pacifist And I am not a perfect friend So while I can’t demand perfection We can demand that the killing end And I want to believe that in this country No one has to take the fall And I will pledge allegiance to this flag When there is liberty and justice for all
5.
“This isn’t the real him,” you say and you grin The way you do when things are falling apart Because the one thing you know, that you really have to show Is that you gave that kid your whole, entire heart And you’re remembering a time when you two didn’t cheat and lie Though what time that was, you can’t really say You've been conditioned, babe He showed you his face and gave you words like "love" and "keep" and “stay” So when that same face feeds you lies and distance And all those pretty words get stained Your mouth still waters “You don’t know him like I do,” you say – and it’s true But if it’s all the same to you, we’d rather not Because as long as we’ve cared, as as long as we’ve been here The back and forth, the broken motions haven’t stopped There’s some sick, twisted reason; honestly thinking you’re even If your hearts have strayed the same amount of times You've been conditioned, babe He showed you his face and gave you words like "love" and "keep" and “stay” So when that same face feeds you lies and distance And all those pretty words get stained Your mouth still waters Fireball and cigarettes won’t get the mess to leave They just blur it all and make you think it’s easier to breathe And you wake up knowing what you’ve always known That you need to be fine Alone But you've been conditioned, babe He showed you his face and gave you words like "love" and "keep" and “stay” So when that same face feeds you lies and distance And all those pretty words get stained Your mouth still waters
6.
“I had hoped to see you sooner, but I never thought we’d see each other here” “So tragic; he was way too young,” “No man should lose his only son” “Thanksgiving just won’t be the same this year” I wish that you were smirking in the corner hearing what they have to say And I wish that your absence weren’t the reason they’re all here today It’s colder in your father’s eyes than it is outside And I know I need to breathe but I keep holding it Thinking maybe you’ll come through the door and it’ll all be like before That maybe it’s a dream and we’ll wake up from it You’ll be smoking on my patio and worrying our mothers And I’ll like to think that, quietly, we understand each other Yeah, usually our crew is festive, but today I’m wearing black on black on black It’s a strange, strange reunion you’ve called for, cuz So many lives you led, so many lives you changed How strikingly wrong that you’re the one who has been shortchanged I’ve heard Great Uncle Al sometimes lies down on his cemetery plot Just to see if he’ll fit Yeah, he’s a little off his rocker, but we all are, and it’s high time we admitted it Now this shouldn’t have been Al, but it sure as hell shouldn’t have been you Sure as hell or somewhere darker, nobody had prepared themselves for you It’s a strange, strange reunion you’ve called for, cuz I think the biggest one I’ve seen, for good reason And we didn’t bury you in Allegheny County, but we raised you up in Cleveland You tested every limit (you learned it from your dad) And yours was one of the freest spirits that this family had You flew nests and you hopped fences And you were coming to a sense of where you’d been And who you’d be And where you’d go And when you fell, it was by no fault of your own It’s a strange, strange reunion you’ve called for, cuz Reminding us all just who and how to love And how no matter how many times we say it, it can never be enough
7.
Midnight has taken its dusty toll And the summertime has taken on a chill I look at the phone – nobody home I feel like dyin’ and I guess someday I will And there ain’t nothin’ up but the ceiling No one to ask, “Where were you?” Nothin’ at home but this feeling No one and, no, nothin’ new When she was with me, when love was mine Yes, I believe somehow it wasn’t right But that won’t help me to pass my time Or from needin’ me somebody here tonight ’Cause there ain’t nothin’ up but the ceiling No one to ask, “Where were you?” Nothin’ at home but this feeling No one and, no, nothin’ new Life does get painful, life does get old When it leave you all alone and standing’ there Love does get empty, love does get cold And it would be a lie to say that I don’t care That there ain’t nothin’ up but the ceiling No one to ask, “Where were you?” Nothin’ at home but this feeling No one and, no, nothin’ new.
8.
We were covered in paper cuts Words that dug deeper every time Lingering fumblings towards love Pushing too far, crossing thick lines And we'd give and we'd give and were nothing And we'd tell each other that that's not okay But we'd both just keep hoping the paper cuts would change Because givin' up givin' ourselves just don't come easy I thought I had one truth That I was never closed I get my heart ripped out and I love and I trust And I bask in the blows Because I'd rather feel a sting than feel nothing I'd rather come down crashing than not move at all And somehow I decided it's always better to fall Because givin’ up givin’ourselves just don’t come easy I always reconcile; I always let people walk right back in The paper cuts never heal, so we crack and we break and it starts with the skin I have never known how to avoid and I don't want to learn I have never given up hope, but the openness slowly started to burn You were livin' on coffee and cigarettes And I was livin' on wine and black tea And we were both gettin' by on tellin' each other, "Tomorrow I'll wake up and live for me” But there were too many late nights Too much of not being quite alright And a problem we both have with always loving ghosts You would come home every night fading And I'd come home pretending to be free And we'd fall asleep every night tellin' each other, "It's different, I'm different, you'll wait and you'll see This is the last time I'm letting him back in This is the last time I'm letting him under my skin Yeah, he's almost got me givin' up second chances And third, and fourth, and fifth, and hundredth chances” But givin' up on givin' ourselves don't come so easy
9.
Saturday is much too long in coming Or so they say, but anyway I'm not counting In her back yard She's got that engine humming to my guitar How she loves that car Three-fifty horses running And, sure, I'm hanging 'round for more than the view When she takes me down on Ocean Avenue​ Rosie's a friend of mine She loves her Mustang and summertime Yellow daisies and dandelions Lying in the Sandy Hook sunshine She's like poetry that doesn't rhyme Smoky kisses and valentines Limoncello and Italian wine Rosie's a friend of mine I can't see What she thinks she's doin' messing 'round with me Quite possibly, she's got something brewin' But for my time, it's a mystery worth pursuin' How she looks so fine She steals me blind The girl may be my ruin So what I'm hanging 'round like fools in love do When she takes me down on Ocean Avenue​ Rosie's a friend of mine She loves her Mustang and summertime Yellow daisies and dandelions Lying naked in the noon sunshine She's like poetry that doesn't rhyme Smoky kisses and valentines Limoncello and Italian wine Rosie's a friend of mine
10.
Too Soon 03:30
There's a scene I painted, or maybe two or three Your tiptoes met a canyon that would take you from me And you knew you could fly, and I knew you could die And your mind wouldn't let you be I still wake up sometimes thinkin' it's a nightmare That something so dark couldn't take such a brilliant soul And I want you to know that you're still shining And that I still don't feel whole ​And I wanna cry, "Babe, what have you done?" But I know And weren't you the one who said, "Don't let your friends go too soon"?​ Well, you know, I think if love conquered all we would've done it by now Before the sand in this glass ran out Or before the glass was shattered on the floor And it shouldn't be that we don't see Or choose to see things clearly Until the girl in the ground is yours And it shouldn't have to matter whose daughter she was Or whose sister she was or whose lover she was She was human and, goddammit, that's enough And if your prayers let you off the hook And you won't look at where the killer lives Then I think you need a different kind of love​ And I'm crying, "Babe, what could I have done?" I just don't know And I'm torturing myself, honey When did I let my friend go?​ And what's thirty seconds versus thirty hours? We're all so tiny anyway – it wasn't that long God didn't even blink and somehow you're not hours But you can't be lifeless, you're so damn strong​ And I'm crying, "Babe, what can be done?" I need to know 'Cause we've laid our roses down But I can't let my friend go
11.
Let Me Bee 02:56
We couldn’t have known We couldn’t have dreamed With our bodies and words trapped in teenage time What would be On a quest for a love that would not give us up To hold us when we couldn’t stay standing We didn’t know what we were planting I am with you at your core You are mine and I am yours For worse or for better I’ll love you forever I promise to I promise you, I do I promise you, I do The biggest of hearts The smallest of seeds Sown in the soil of our skin and souls Planted deep You have always been there underneath it all Helping me bloom when we only knew rain We didn’t know how we would rise up Again and again and again I am with you at your core You are mine and I am yours For worse or for better I’ll love you forever I promise to I promise you, I do I promise you, I do Most days I don’t know if I’m feeding this world If I’m a seed or a weed or a bee But I love you and I like you And it’s never been in spite of you The friend you have in me That you wake up every day and let me be I am with you at your core You are mine and I am yours For worse or for better I’ll love you forever I promise to I promise you, I do I promise you, I do
12.
She said, “I think I’ll go to Brooklyn” with a ticket in her hand But the world drove her to Cleveland by way of Bethlehem And she sobbed in hotel rooms and on buses and on couches on the way A sense of obligation, a weighty family name A drive to share the moments after everything had changed But even as a chorus it feels empty to say “I love you from where I still am” She said, “I think I’ll go to Boston,” but the world had other plans It drove her back to Bethlehem, bus tickets all be damned And the love and the need and the fear and the grief gripped her heart A fierce and tested loyalty, that same great family name A black hole where a stellar light has always been the same In a world where we’ve never lived without you, we say “I love you from where I still am” From a world where beautiful, young people die And grown people can’t find safe places to cry A world without a man who shook my hand and loved me into who I am Me and thousands more Who are proud and aching and sore And say, “I love you from where I still am”

credits

released May 5, 2018

All songs written by Rachel Marie Schachter except:
"Lookin' for Paradise" and "Ain't Nothin' Up (but the ceiling)" by Bill Schachter
"Rosie's a Friend of Mine" by William James Hall

Rachel Marie Schachter: vocals, guitar
Bill Schachter: acoustic bass guitar, harmonies
Diane Perry: violin
Sylvia Schwartz: violin ("Lookin' for Paradise")
William James Hall: Hammond organ, guitar, percussion

Produced by and engineered by William James Hall, Dragonfly Alley

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Rachel Marie Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Rachel Marie follows in a tradition of unapologetically forthright women folksingers, with songs that hearken to "overstuffed lines of Tori Amos, philosophical turn of Indigo Girls, and lilting vocals like Joni Mitchell." The social awareness of folk meets the introspection of the singer-songwriter tradition with a moderate dose of snark. ... more

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