always a river

by Ryan Lee

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04:26
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about

Ryan Lee was stuck...disconnected, unfulfilled, lost. But an unexpected love showed up and quickly propelled him into an exciting new world full of bold adventure, creative rebirth and wideeyed optimism. During this time, Ryan found a new voice and a bright spark of creativity that led to the passionate, poetic songs on his latest album, always a river. This fresh collection of songs tells the story of a year in the life of singer/songwriter Ryan Lee; newly free, honest and alive.

Ryan has now developed a stage show, including journal style narration and video projections, that creatively carry the audience through this lifechanging chapter of his life.

MORE INFO HERE: www.ryanleemusic.net/alwaysariver

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released February 1, 2013

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about

Ryan Lee Minneapolis, Minnesota

Newfangled folk music full of humanity & heart.

Creative, versatile, charismatic and adventurous, Ryan Lee is a musical storyteller, a folky innovator, a guitar-wielding poet; the artistic offspring of Woody Guthrie, Tracy Chapman, Rufus Wainwright, Joni Mitchell and Cat Stevens. ... more

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Track Name: ABANDON
one slow drip…delivering relief that makes a stomach scream…loud
broken sleep…with every twitch I feel your spirit fighting
surrounded by floral hope, springtime kaleidoscope
you will walk away triumphant
relax that furrowed brow…I am here, sword drawn and confident
but when the angels bring you recovery
my heart will walk away with a new discovery

how could I so carelessly abandon such a guarantee
how could I so selfishly bid farewell to my sure thing

beeps and clicks, tocks and ticks…vitality waits around the corner
so hold my hand…let this winter break free and carry this disease with her
and when the angels bring you recovery
my heart will walk away with new company

how could I so carelessly abandon such a guarantee
how could I so selfishly bid farewell to my sure thing

warm winds bring the family out of hibernation
so be a good boy…and do as they say, my sweet patient
Track Name: WITH A WOLF
long before this crimson glow, love had done a number on us both
circling each other for some time, the pride of the flesh kept us fine
but backstage at the funky, funky show, you took a spotlight of your own
when you whispered…
this is bound to happen, you will see
yeah, your soul is crying out for me…but I say

my love lies with a wolf at its side and I hate to see the white of its teeth

nights in the city that care forgot, we shared a heart for the ones never given a shot
while I stumbled dances for the crowd you watched from the side with tears like a mother, so proud
sent from above like our down syndrome love, glances turned to stares…and you declared
this is bound to happen, you and me
safety won’t help shake it, wait and see…but I say

my love lies with a wolf at its side and I hate to see the white of its teeth
and all hearts know that their greatest foe is a keeper with a fairytale for a dream

I’ve been in control far too long…let the shots call themselves from now on
happy off the market, so we thought…so foreign…still familiar
this is bound to happen, you will see
the weight of his world can’t hold you tenderly

my love lies with a wolf at its side and I hate to see the white of its teeth
and all hearts know that their greatest foe is a keeper with a fairytale for a dream
Track Name: TOWARD THE SUN
beside myself, truth I must admit…these words of jumping ship will harm us both
beyond repair…call me crazy, call me on your carpet baby…this criminal is ready to speak
so here’s my molotov, my heart found favor with another
and as this cocktail drops an unbelievable wave of shock you’d better duck and cover
‘cause it’s all over but the shouting

every soul needs light, but mine’s been wastin’ away in the afternoon shade…out of sight
and I am not the pure and perfect one, but my branches are still bent toward the sun

dyed in the thickest wool, nothing left to say, give me the scarlet A, while you remain
beyond reproach, just call me liar, call your crowd and light the fire…no time to explain
by now you must think my heart is a drunken sailor out on leave
but captain, I’ve been lost in your sea, believe me

every soul needs light, but mine’s been wastin’ away in the afternoon shade…out of sight
and I am not the pure and perfect one, but my branches are still bent toward the sun

your anchor deep, but I’m raising sails
my blame to keep, admit defeat and vanish like a vapor
I guess hearts can shred like paper
it’s my fault…all my fault…sound the trumpets, I have run this into the ground

my soul screams for light…swing these gates open wide

every soul needs light, but mine’s been wastin’ away in the afternoon shade…out of sight
and I am not the pure and perfect one, but my branches are still bent toward the sun
Track Name: MIGRATE
I will send you waves, from afar…feelings unspoken, lives could be broken
devotion, hold my ground…white mimics gather, a thousand wings fluttering
tears of joy, upon returning…one party over, abruptly sober
no colored scales on my dark body…scared and frail, now blindly defending

gone are the days of fragile displays, now my glass wings are frantically fluttering for you
missing your face, I’m counting the days…time for these winds to just carry me home

anything go, seasick yet hopeful…years alone, one long migration
at both ends, you burned your candle…a sky full of mirrors will not stop this adventure

gone are the days of fragile displays, now my glass wings are frantically fluttering for you
missing your face, I’m counting the days…time for these winds to just carry me home

look to the sun, you’ll see what I’ve done
thought we were safe, but all creatures migrate
Track Name: SIMPLE
no need to rush, the weight of the day is over…the night is finally ours, my sweet
hottest day in history, sweat beads drip from the August moon
cross the bridge, get us to the water quickly
far from the street, we leave our cares with our clothes in the sand
life can be an angry beast, medicine lake, now I understand
I have no desire for the finer things
just a poor man’s swim with our naked skin is my luxury

we are in need of nothing
we are in need of nothing
we are in need of nothing
forever simple, forever at ease

midnight in the marsh, windows open wide and skyscraper high
rustic and warm, just like a Walden hideaway
red hot blues, the darkest of coffee and chocolate
a single candle burns beside our bedspread picnic, the perfect date
we have no desire for the finer things
just a poor man’s feast, with a love so sweet

we are in need of nothing
we are in need of nothing
we are in need of nothing
forever simple, forever at ease

I have no desire for the finer things
just my poor man’s love and life in these lungs so I can sing…so I can sing
Track Name: INSIDE THE HUSH
your warm hands, my pale skin…I don’t care if we ever see daylight again
my fingers graze your lower back…your fervent touch, our bodies under attack
oh how I live for these moments
your fingers trace my stubbled face…as the smoke of cedar fills this simple space
no sunrise to ruin our awakening

oh what a perfect escape…love in my dirty practice space
their rock and roll fights my bedroom folk, but I wouldn’t choose any other place
as long as you just tell me you’ll stay

these hands seek no wealth, no property
all that I need is this dusty old gear surrounding me
when I left him and needed a new Berlin
this precious gift, furnished from the thrift, took me in
so lie down with me, can tonight be the first of many

oh what a perfect escape…love in my dirty practice space
their rock and roll fights my bedroom folk, but I wouldn’t choose any other place
just tell me you’ll stay

oh if those heavy metal boys knew what is going on
inside the hush, we practice our new love
lofted above guitars and drums and microphones
inside the hush, we can’t get enough

oh what a perfect escape…love in my dirty practice space
their rock and roll fights my bedroom folk, but I wouldn’t choose any other place
just tell me you’ll stay
Track Name: WISH
do I really have to go, hard pressed to find a reason to join the cold
so warm inside your cabin
give me just another moment, wrapped inside the blanket of your body
the blanket of your body
time to hit the open road, loving arms await me
their domain knows me alone, never a single question
thirty-five years full of holiday cheer, still no invitation for my plus one

underneath this winter sky, I just can’t seem to say goodbye

let the snow fall, let the drifts just build a wall ten feet high
blow you blizzard wind, so cruel that even the bravest won’t begin to drive
stranded for the holiday, we could really celebrate
I’ve got you to keep me warm, so bring on the storm

autumn did its best to just hang on through mid-December
and I have done my best to just digress and keep it all together
but this forever bachelor has been taken by surprise
and this hornet’s nest within my chest just will not be denied

let the snow fall, let the drifts just build a wall ten feet high
blow you blizzard wind, so cruel that even the bravest won’t begin to drive
stranded for the holiday, we could really celebrate
I’ve got you to keep me warm, so bring on the storm

like the constellations, validation is just so hard to find
and family is a broken line…will we tiptoe and stumble till the end of time

underneath this winter sky, mother nature, father time
please don’t make me leave my love behind

the snow is beginning to fall, the drifts will soon become the walls we hide behind
stranded for the holiday, with gratitude we will celebrate
I’ve got you to keep me warm, surrounded by this brutal, beautiful storm
Track Name: IMMIGRANT
lead us to the wreck, many years of calm but now we crave the storm
toss us to the mess, keep us hungry, keep us dirty, keep us poor

this green underneath our feet, this springloaded soil…a world without end
here within this peace, keep us gypsy, keep us burning, keep us immigrant

we tie these sheets together while the village sleeps
we throw our rope over the barricade
set fire to this tower of ivory
we are reckless, we are frenzy, we are free

take us close to trouble, catapult us deep into the dangerous
side by side we struggle...keep us hungry, keep us dirty, keep us burning

we tie these sheets together while the village sleeps
we throw our rope over the barricade
set fire to this tower of ivory
we are orphans, we are gypsy
set fire to this tower of ivory
keep us hungry, keep us dirty, keep us free
Track Name: SOWING / WEEPING
sweetheart, if you need me I’ll be in the garden…tilling the soil
for anger, my silence will not be mistaken…every reason to recoil
another day on eggshells, you promise it will soon be worth it
but time will tell, not every seed will break the surface

our first foray, this tender world of cultivation…have I jumped another gun
both of us uncertain, no chemicals for germination…bring the midday sun

forget about the morning frost, wash our hands and pray for mercy
what cost, this primitive summer should be easy
spirits lift, but not every seed will break the surface
promise it will soon be worth it
every seed will break the surface
promise it will soon be worth it

sweetheart, if you need me I’ll be in the garden
Track Name: DEAR LIBRA
I’m the wide-eyed boy, spectator…you the fearless one, aviator
I don’t know how, with reckless abandon, you dazzle the crowd
I watch from the cheap seats, awestruck and jittery
a sea of fans all gasping aloud

so cool and captivating, like an Egyptian walk in the eighties
roaring applause while you freefall

but I won’t hold you down…so while you soar the clouds
can you keep an eye on me, while you walk on your wing
my roots are petrified like the oldest angel oak
will you write my name in smoke, so I will know
write my name in smoke, so I will know

always called myself a dreamer
but these virgo eyes need to learn to look past the mirror
now thanks to you I’m starting to believe in giving in and letting go
and watching you I know, wild abandon beats control
wind take this caution away quickly

I won’t go down without a fight, like Alex Forrest with the knife
I get a little stronger every time you break the atmosphere

and I won’t hold you down…so while you soar the clouds
can you keep an eye on me, while you walk on your wing
my roots are petrified like the oldest angel oak
will you write my name in smoke, so I will know
write my name in smoke, so I will know

watching you I know, wild abandon beats control
wind better take this caution away quickly

I’ve spent life on the ground, but now I’m ready to soar in the clouds
so please keep an eye on me, I’ll try to walk on your wing
no longer petrified, it’s time to start the show
I’ll write our names in smoke, so you will know
I’m gonna write our names in smoke, so everyone will know
Track Name: SPARK
I will give my voice to the breeze…spread it like the dandelion seeds
I will give my voice to the breeze…carry it a million miles, across the farthest sea

I will build a tower that can reach the sun
march us all to heaven as I beat my drum
I will build a tower that can reach the sun
scatter me among the jellyfish when I’m done

I’m a new creation in this peaceful isolation
I have found my spark in the darkest of the dark

I will give my voice to the breeze…spread it like the dandelion seeds
I will give my voice to the breeze…carry it a million miles, across the farthest sea

I’m a new creation in this peaceful isolation
I have found my spark in the darkest of the dark
I’m a new creation in this peaceful isolation
I have found my spark in the darkest of the dark
Track Name: NATURE BOY
we march these trails, boundless wind in our sails
path wide open now
we scale the cliffs and throw all our things down
with every cast, we drive the past into the ground
fever broken now
oh my nature boy…this earth is ours to enjoy

we wash in the lake, these icy waves hold no shame
you’re my nature boy…my body yours to enjoy

here we stand, feet at the starting line
a pistol shot but the trophy is already mine
no horizon will divide your heart and mine

we hunt the forest, we shake the trees
we lie on the hillside and bathe in the breeze

oh my nature boy…this earth is ours to enjoy

here we stand, feet at the starting line
a pistol shot but the trophy is already mine
no horizon will divide your heart and mine
sundown…rebirth
Track Name: ALWAYS A RIVER
from the cold north woods
to the muddy delta heat
through the hands of god
to the temples in the east

we were drawn to the water
guilt and pleasure swirling in the shallows
we were pulled to the edge
lady luck always swimming below the surface
we both fell
hard and fast like the current we worshipped

where does it start
where will it end

never an answer…always a river

from the banks of the rock
through the chippewa flow
to the caves in the sea
we found hope by the water
hearts on fire as we walk by the mill city ruins
we found truth in the fiction
skin begging for a touch while we cross the stone arch
we found love for each other
saint anthony was standing watch on the other side

when did it start
when will it end

never an answer…always a river

from the cold north woods
to the muddy delta heat
through the hands of god
to the temples in the east