"THE CUP OVERFLOWS" LYRICS
All songs by Molly Pinto Madigan

SEVEN TEARS

 

“Hey, my girl, what’s the matter here?
I don’t know what you’re looking for, but

I’ve swallowed seven of your tears,
Seven sugared spheres that you seaward poured.
And I could love you.
 

“Hey, my girl, I don’t know his name,

But I know I could love you more than

Him who put all that pretty pain
In those tarnished, tasty tears you bore.

I’ll show you what to do.

Be my bride: let me love you.”

 

“Hey, my love with the sweet refrain,
I don’t know what I’m hungry for, but
I’ve watched my life drip down the drain,

And the ocean’s an open door that I

Fain would fall into.
So, I’m inclined to love you.”

 

“Hey, my girl, don’t you pine away
For some pirate upon the shore.
Come toss your pockmarked heart to the waves.

Let it drift down to the ocean floor.

Yeah, you know what to do.
And how I will love you.”

“Hey, my love, your song sure is sweet,
Every moment I love you more.
Will brine be my bridal winding sheet
As all thoughts for the man who came before
Fade away into
Your clear eyes: sea-blue.”

 

“Hey, my girl, landlocked in your pain,
Lost in lies that your sailor swore...”
“I’ve loved him too long and in vain;

You’re the lover that I’ve been looking for.
So, I will go with you.

Hear my prayer: be true.”


THE CUP OVERFLOWS

 

Yeah, I can’t sleep through the night.
The full moon is far too bright;
It soaks through my sheets,

Cold as milk,
So carelessly spilt,
Staining my grandmother’s quilt
Like his scent stains me...

And oh, and oh, and oh,
The cup overflows,
The cup overflows.

Can’t eat.
Can sing but can’t speak.
His thoughtless touch on my cheek,
The weight of his name,

On my tongue.
His breath in my lungs.
His hot breath inside my lungs,
But still I can’t breathe...

‘Cause I’m filled to the brim,
With longing for him,
With longing for him

And I don’t know what I’m to do,

It’s burning me through,
It’s burning me through.

I’ve only thoughts for him,
I’m filled to the brim,
I’m filled to the brim...

And oh, now surely it must show.
How could he not know?
How could he not know?
The cup overflows...


WORMWOOD

 

O, it’s bitter grows the wormwood, gray,
And cheerless is the springing thyme,
For my own true love came home today,
Home to a bed that isn’t mine.

O! The wormwood grows a bitter silver-gray,
But bitterer am I.

O, I thought to make my true love stay,
With posies sweet and garlands fine,
But the lily blooms but for a day;

So, too, did his brief love decline.

O! The wormwood grows a bitter silver-gray,
But bitterer am I.

O, he swore he never would betray
Me when he kissed me in the thyme.
But the truth’s a bed wherein I cannot lay;

He’s someone’s love but isn’t mine.


O! The wormwood grows a bitter silver-gray,
But bitterer am I.

 

So, it’s fare thee well, love, and a day.
My heart remains among the thyme,
For my own true love came home today
To arms he loves far more than mine.


O! The wormwood grows a bitter silver-gray,
But bitterer am I.
O! The wormwood grows a bitter silver-gray,
But bitterer am I.


WOLFSBANE WINE

 

Pour me the wine,

Oh, it’s bad this time,
Oh, it’s bad this time.

And to make it stop,
I would drink it to the drop,
I would drink it down, drink it down dry this time.

Always the wine,
Always that pretty cup of poison wine,
Oh, I’m always reaching for that poison wine.
Always the wine,
And nothing’s sweeter than that bitter wine,
Oh, I’m always reaching for that wolfsbane wine.

 

Slip me the glass,
And I’ll drink until I sleep at last,
Oh, I’ll drink it down, drink it down fast this time.

To quiet the need,
I would drown my heart in bitter weeds,
Drain that liquor down, liquor down neat this time.

Always the wine,
Always that pretty cup of poison wine,
Oh, I’m always reaching for that poison wine.
All bleach and brine,
But nothing burns as sweet or tastes as fine,
Oh, I’m always reaching for that wolfsbane wine.

Pour me the wine,

Oh, it’s bad this time,
Oh, it’s bad this time.


Always the wine,
Always that pretty cup of poison wine,
Oh, I’m always reaching for that poison wine.
Oh, I am blind,
But nothing’s sweeter than that bitter wine,
Oh, I’m always reaching for that wolfsbane wine.


BRIGADIER

 

You appear, my brigadier,

And I have waited overlong

For you to steer your privateer,

Your sea-tossed vessel cliff-side, drawing

 

Near . . . Oh, blood for blood now I can

Hear . . . Your heart-drum hungry in my

Ear.

 

Balladeer, you’ve wandered here

Where roses grow so redolent

This time of year, but do not fear

The sting of thorn-prick soon will

 

Disappear . . . It will not linger, sharp and

Sear . . . I’ll kiss it clean for you, my

Dear.

 

So austere, my brigadier,

Come meet me where the willows weep their

Verdant tears upon the piers,

A-bustling with parasols and

 

Seersucker suits, the

Junketeers . . . Don’t see the truth we’ve known for

Years.

 

Have no fear, my balladeer,

Come meet me where the hazels lean in

Close to hear the words that we are

Trading now like stolen

 

Souvenirs . . . They will not tarnish, I’ll

Revere . . . that look of love you give me,

Dear . . . Oh, blood for blood now I can
Hear . . . your heart-drum in my hungry
Ear . . .


KELPIE LULLABY

Silver bells and cockleshells and winking whelks of pink and grey, my love,
Chime and ring, my babe, to sing you home upon the waves.

Fly away, fly away, my own true love.

Stallions sleek that bray and bleat with voices fey and agenbite, my love,
May think to snare your soul so fair that bobs upon the night.

Fly away, fly away, my own true love.

So, sail to sleep on currents deep with blankets bladderwrack and brine, my love,
And all the beasts that haunt the seas wouldn’t harm a babe of mine.

Fly away, fly away, my own true love.

 


TAKE MY BREATH
 

I never thought I’d rue the day
He took my frosted breath away.
He took and took; I could not pay
For love.

In his T-shirt, all salted sheen,
I prayed his sweat would wash me clean,
I prayed he would prove evergreen
In love.

Away, away, my weary love.
Away, away, I’m weary, love.

Away, if you can hear me, love,
Come take my breath away.

Maybe I thought forbidden fruit
Could quench the greedy thirst of youth,
Could quench this scorch that won’t be soothed
With love.

 

Away, away, my haunted love,
Away, away, I’m haunted, love,
Away, that’s all I wanted, love:
To take your breath away.

Now as the tide licks at my jeans,
I pray the sea will wash me clean,
I pray he will remember me
With love.

So, garland my grave with baby’s breath,
To show my love I love him still in death,
Bleached bone and nothing left
To love.

Away, away, my lonesome love,

Away, away, I’m lonesome, love,
Away, the stone-cold ocean, love,
Will take my breath away.
Will take my breath away,
Will take my breath away.

RED-CHECKERED SHIRT
 

Come on, baby, lay you down on my bed,

I’ve got a world’s worth of worry running wild in my head.

Oh, you’re weary, yeah you’re wearing your hurt

Just like a patch on the pocket of your red-checkered shirt.

 

So, my lover, let me lighten your load,

Shrug off your shirt that smells like cigarettes and dust from the road.

But, darling, don’t misunderstand,

I’ve got a thing for a wild-hearted traveling man.

 

And the winter’s long,

Oh, the winter is so long...

 

Come, my robin, with your red-checkered shirt

And boots that track in the crushed leaves and pine-forest dirt.

Come to me, crowned in brambles and thyme,

I’ve got a throat full of heartache and a rambling mind.

 

You’ve stories untold on your skin

That smell of evergreen echoes blowing down from the mountain.

This longing: it’s hitting me bad

To see you there with that wolfish smile and red-checkered plaid.

 

But the winter’s long,

Oh, the winter is so long...

 

Oh, sweetheart, it just isn’t fair:

Your silhouette in the doorframe, with snow in your hair.

But, darling, don’t misunderstand,

I’ve got a thing for you, honey, and I want you to be my man.

 

Come on, baby, lay you down on my bed,

The world is hard and you need a soft place to lay your head.

Love, I’m weary, yeah I’m wearing my hurt,

Just like a patch on the pocket of your red-checkered shirt.

But the winter’s long,

Oh, the winter is so long...

ONCE UPON A TIME

 

Once, I loved a man

With hair like raven,

With long and gentle hands,

Oh, his hands....

 

Laid down my sorrow.

His blue eyes breaking,

With far too few tomorrows,

Tomorrows...

 

Once upon a time,

His smile stayed with me

And oh I knew my mind,

Knew my mind...

 

No need to convince;

He came in quickly,

Like some fair fabled prince,

Fabled prince...

 

Without him, our fairy tale grows dim,

The ivy: toss and twine (he was mine)

Without him, I'll wear my throat thin,

My song a stilted rhyme: he was mine.

 

So, I'll take to the briar,

Grow bones of winter.

Oh, I'll be blissful wild,

Blissful wild...

 

Dine on the west wind,

Drink down the ocean,

And make my body thin,

Body thin...

 

Without him, I'll wed this mountain.

A love of stone and pine will be mine

Without him, I'll wear my throat thin,

My song all brackish wine: he was mine.

 

Up on the hillside,

Faithful to no one:

A feral, crow-crowned bride,

Crow-crowned bride.

 

I'll wear my hair long,

With twigs to tangle

And singing still my song: is he gone?

 

Without him, I'll make this mountain

My paramour of pine (he was mine).

Without him, I'll wear my throat thin,

My song a stilted rhyme: he was mine.


VERNAL SUN

 

Hannah, dear, don’t pin your always
On a long, fallow field.
We’ll shed our salted skins come springtime
And teach our frostburned hearts how to heal,
Teach our hearts how to heal.

Black-mud meadow, where’s your longing?
Where’s your birchbud grove?
Pinestrewn-sister, spring’s unfurling,
And half the heartbreak is knowing to let go,
Knowing to let go.

Can we bear this longing?  Can we hold out for the thaw?
To the restless heart February feels like the longest month
Oh of all,
Longest month of all. 

Hannah, dear, don’t pin your always
On a dream already gone. 

Barefoot freedom brings a longing
And limbs will learn to trust in the warmth
Of the vernal sun. 

Can we bear this longing?  Can we hold out for the thaw?
To the restless heart February feels like the longest month
Oh of all,
Longest month of all. 
 
Hannah, dear, don’t pin your always.
 


WILLOWWOOD

 

O, tempt me not, my honest love,
To Willowwood in vain,
Where whispers tremble in the boughs
And innocence is slain.

Forsake me not, my honest love,
For’s sake that died on tree,
For through the wood you call me on,
And I would certain be.

And if you go, my honest love,
It’s I will ask the wind
If she has known your burning breath

Or touched your sun-gold skin.

And if you go, my honest love,
It’s I will ask the rain
If she has bathed your tousled hair
Or known your salted taste.

And if you go, my honest love,
Our breastbones beat in vain,
For I have known the pyre of love
And welcome, dear, the flames.


ROCKWEED
 

Rockweed, red; limpets, blue:
I love you.

His ship sailed into view,

And I knew:
That love at last I’d found

Boots of black Spanish leather
In the heather-

Covered dunes.

Braid my hair with gull feathers,

Foam-white feathers,

For my sea-spiced groom.

Rockweed, red; tides of blue:
Always you. 

Sealskin sloughed, augers strewn
For my groom,
For him to whom I’m bound.

Always you.
Always you. 




WILDWOOD BRIDE LYRICS
All songs by Molly Pinto Madigan

 

BLOOM

 

My love, leonine,

Lay me in the pines.

Never let me go;

My heart swoons so slow.

 

Wreathed in larkspur lace,

Ripe for your embrace,

Singed and scorched with song,

I would drink the dawn, for

Love.

 

Come to me, to me,

Froth-borne on the sea, love

Turn your sails towards me

And bloom.

 

Rose and columbine:

If you will be mine,

Take me in the briar,

Thorn-pale with desire, with

 

Love. 

 

Come to me, my swain,

Through the gilded grain,

Through meadowsweet-swept plains

In bloom.

 

Myrrh and mellow musk:

You outshine the dusk.

Larch and lupine, fair:

Darkling, do I dare to

 

Love?

 

Through the birchwood glade,

Bowing boughs of jade lead

Where our love was made

To bloom.

 

My love.

 

 

HERE COMES THE NIGHT

 

Oh, lover, this longing...
Torn and tarnished, two for two.
Screen door singing with moth wings...
And I'm so lonesome without you. 

On and on, here comes the night,
But it just isn't right, this shade of blue.
On and on, lost in your song --
Lord it has been so long, since I've seen you.

Oh, lover, this longing...
It's got me broken, through and through.
Streetlamps sighing with moth wings...
And I'm here sighing without you.

On and on, here comes the night,
But it just isn't right, this aching blue.
On and on, lost in your voice,
As if I had a choice in loving you.

Oh, lover, this longing...
I'm so lonesome without you.

 

TO YOU

 

This fond heart has, from the start,
Marked time in red and blue.
And 'til we meet, each brazen beat
Is leading me to you.

Home to you...

Through fields bold with poppies gold-
enrod and feverfew.
Through foxglove, my lonesome love,
My heart calls out to you.

On the sea, he calls to me,
Skirling bruit and brine: my lover you are mine.
Endlessly, he calls to me,
On ocean dark as wine: my lover leonine.

And soon we'll meet on some stark street,
Some midnight burnished blue.
And until death each brimming breath
Will bring me back to you.

Home to you.

 

SIREN

 

In the end, they welcome their fate
When the sun goes down, sun goes down
And on a salt-stung outcrop, I wait
For my love to drown; he'll go down...

The crested crabs, what do they care
For him whose hair they've picked thread-bare,
For him whose wastrel beauty echoes, echoes cold and fair?

And fickle fish, they pay no heed
To him upon whose flesh they feed
To him who slumbers with such beauty, bedded in the weeds.

So, I love them so....

The ocean calls her own to her breast
When the tide goes down, tide goes down
To sacrifice the ones you love best
And they always drown; they go down...

 

And tangled jellies give no thought
To him in whose ribcage they're caught
To him who dreamed of beauty and it's beauty that he got.

And barnacles pay little mind
To him upon whose bones they bind
To him whose pearl-picked teeth blaze beauty, beaming through the brine.

So, I love them so,
I love them so.
I love them though
They always go.
And even though
I love them so
They always drown. 

In the end, they welcome this death
When the sun goes down, tide goes down
Praising love with each bubbling breath
As my lovers drown; they go down...

And I want their hearts,
Oh, I want their hearts. 

So sing your songs for those that sleep
On scalloped biers, three fathoms deep
As I smile lighthouse, waiting for the one that I can keep.

And, sure, I know I love them wrong
But death is short and love is long
And down among the moon snails, their pale heartbeats flicker on

So, I love them so,
I love them so.
I love them though
They always go.
And even though
I love them so
They always drown. 

 

TWENTY-FIVE

 

Drizzle down, October rain,
And I'm older still.
Slake this hot and hungry ache
That only rain can fill.

Drizzle down, October rain,
A year older now.
I would frame this silver day
If only I knew how.

Twenty-five flown summers, summers...
Countless winters still to come...
Drizzle down October rain and teach me to move on.

Drizzle down, October rain,
My breath fogs the glass.
I will watch and I will wait
And try to make it last.

Twenty-five flown summers, summers...
Countless winters still to come...


ON THE HUNT


When tufted tales of day dwindle to smoke-ring sighs;

When fire flickers on your skin,
My golden one, my child, forged in the summer skies,
The fox is on the hunt.

Don't close your eyes without me,
Don't close your eyes without me.
The fox is on the hunt. 

When tawny trails of gold link your wild heart to mine;
When kestrel calls your love away,

My darling one, my child, caught in the span of time,
The fox is on the hunt. 

 

When August heaves a sigh, beckoning to July;
When apples ripen in the sun,

Then oh, my babe, my child, tell me love never dies.
The fox is on the hunt.

 

DOLDRUMS


January's got me low,
Adrift in all this cold New England snow.
I'm low.
Cradled in a coat of down,
The sunburnt summer's nowhere to be found.
I'm down.

Oh, the fire is burning...

Winters here, they pinch and pierce,
And Massachusetts storms blow something fierce.
So fierce, but
You have August in your skin,
This breath, this blaze of touch to wrap me in.
Come in, for

The fire is burning low.

You came bolder than July,
A lion-hearted love I couldn't deny,
And I
Will take a cup of cheap earl gray,
Well chase these winter doldrums far away,
Away.

Oh, in the summer sun, I call you.
In the sun...

The city's hushed and deep with snow,
The night is soft; there's nowhere left to go.
Don't go.
Fireside with family,
Come suck at cards and own at Jeopardy
With me, for

The fire is burning low.

You know when you smile that way,
You take my breath and all my words away.

 

POMEROY

 

Oh, with a sigh through the dry pitch pines,
Dusk stalked its prey, warning day: she's mine.

Blood on the moon, poplars swooned and swayed
As her lantern heart watched them part, she prayed.

Raspberry roots from his boots did shy,
As she raised a hand to the man with fox eyes.

Where you walk, I will follow.

The mountain moaned, oak limbs groaned; he spoke.
And his bourbon grin smacked of sin and broke

On her skin, let's begin, there's no walls can keep me in...
My cabin, come on in!  What good's love without some sin?

His fiddle bow laid her low, his wine
Made her head spin, 'til she grinned.  You're mine.

Through cat-clawed briar, through fall fire, he led
'Til her eyes grew wild as she smiled and said,

"Where you walk, I will follow.
To the dawn, I will follow you."


SWANSONG

 

My dear, you're here,
Whispering the brushing boughs like May, eyes gray.
My dear, you're here,
Blistering as August's brightest day, sharp and fey.

My dear, I'm here,
Lost upon a cobalt swathe of night, first flight.
My dear, I'm here,
Drowning on a closed-mouth sea of white, frothed and bright.

And at first, there was death,
And moth wings fanning sweet breath,
But the night birthed so much more.
For memory is a door in a dark sky.

 

My dear, you're here,
Haloed in the halogen of dawn, eyes drawn.
My dear, you're here,
One fell swoop, the striking of a pawn, swansong. 

And how things have changed:
The foxgloves fallow, unclaimed.
And two hearts chain-linked in gold,

With one love-fall foretold in a dark eye.

You've got me singing
You say love's a fire, fire that will never fall
And you say love's a fire, I don't recall, I don't recall.
You say love's a fire, fire that will never fall
And you say love's a fire, and if I loved you once, I don't recall.

 

My dear, you're here,
Tintyped with the tainted taste of rain, untamed.
My dear, come here,
Plaintive paladin, come shining swain, yet unnamed.

And oh, cavalier,
The city swoons when you're near.
All the ruched roads, veined in tar
Unfurl smooth where you are, and I remember.

But still, I'm singing:
You say love's a fire, fire that will never fall,
And you say love's a fire, I don't recall, I don't recall.
You say love's a fire, fire that will never fall,
And you say love's a fire, I don't recall, I don't recall.
You say love's a fire, fire that will never fade
And you say love's a fire, that we can save, that we can save.
You say love's a fire, fire that will never fail,
And you say love's a fire, it's no avail, it's no avail.
You say love's a fire, fire that will always burn,
And you say love's a fire, that will return, that will return.
You say love's a fire, even if I don't recall,
And you say love's a fire, and love I knew you once before the fall. 

 


STAR-SPANGLED
 

My radio is restless – more doomsday ripening
In a crowded August sky, heartbreak blue,
And as the summer’s freckled freedom is tightening,
Dwindling low, I will turn to you.

When autumn’s gash and gold wanes, when spruce-stained sunlight
Dapples only on asphalt and concrete,

When faithless are the kings who come in the dark night,
Oh, my love, have faith in me.

And all the stars growing dim –

God, it’s grim: the news on that blood-spattered screen,

So come and take my breath, my heartbreak, my cold hands.
Touch-to-touch: that’s all I need.

 

And when the TV’s cold, clear eye won’t quit crying,
And the gunshots scream their wildcat bloom,
The headlines hit me hard, my love, but I’m trying,
With heavy heart, to turn to you.

And all the stars growing dim –

God, it’s grim: the news on that star-spangled screen,

So come and take my breath, my heartbreak, my cold hands.
Touch-to-touch: that’s all I need.


KNOW YOU WELL

 

Don't, don't you leave,
I can't breathe -- this swelling,
This fleeting bloodstone beating...
I know you well.

Look from the ledge:
Soft as sedge, the snow-
Frosted panes.  Love, it wanes,
But love, it grows.

Love it grows, love it grows...

When you come home
From the foam and brine,
The slant mile of your smile,
Your salt kiss on mine...

Your kiss on mine, your kiss on mine...
Oh, I know you well.
Your kiss on mine, as warm as wine...
I know you well. 

 

The ocean will keep.
Twice as deep: my heart,
Knelling low, cold as snow,
And if we part...

If we should part, if we should part...
I know you well.
If we should part, be still my heart...
Oh, I know you well. 

When August heat
Shivers sweet through pine
Trees, September will remember
When your heart was mine.

Your heart was mine, your heart was mine...
Oh, I know you well.
Your heart was mine.  No, I'm not fine.
I know you well...

 

WILDWOOD BRIDE

 

Met a wildwood man
And I met him in the clover

Sure, I met this man; he took me by the velvet hand
And he said, "Come be my lover,"

And he said, "Come be my bride.

 

"For if you were mine,
I would love you like no other.

Yes, if you were mine, I'd take you where the ravens fly,
And you'd be my one true love.
Yes, you'd be my always bride."

 

"When shall we two wed?
With two rings of gold and silver?
Oh, my love," I said, "tell me when we two shall be wed,
For it's then I'll be your lover.
And it's then I'll be your bride."

 

"Who needs rings of gold?
Who needs rings of gold and silver?
Pledge your love to me under this spindle canopy
And be my wildwood lover,
And be my wildwood bride."

Crowned in dogwood leaves,
Crowned in eglantine and heather,
Crowned in dogwood leaves, all dappled in the darkling eaves,
He swore to be my lover,
And I became his wildwood bride.


Oh, he laid me low.
Laid me low in fields of clover.
Lover laid me low, and took me where the ravens go,
And made me his true lover,
Oh, he made me his wild bride.

My love loves me best,
Loves me true and like no other.
Sure, he loves me best, and when we take our final rest,
They'll lay us down together,
For I'm his wildwood bride.

Copyright 2015 Molly Pinto Madigan.  All rights reserved.

 

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