How Dark It Is Before The Dawn: Press and Lyrics

How Dark It Is Before the Dawn

 

How Dark It Is Before The Dawn” by Starlings, TN is easily the most crushingly sad album I’ve heard this year. It’s also on the shortlist for “Most Depressing Album I’ve Ever Heard,” right up there with every one of Elliott Smith’s records and “And Now That I’m In Your Shadow” by Damien Jurado.

Starlings, TN’s folk, Americana and alt-country mix skews toward the stark and empty school of arrangement, but that’s not what makes this a mega-downer. Plenty of guys are optimistic with nothin’ but a guitar. What makes this so devastating is the brutal, effective lyrics and overall sense of doom that permeates the words and music.  Even with the scant glimpses of optimism throughout (see the title), this is almost unbearably sorrowful.”- Review in the Oklahoma Gazette

 

Lyrics

Not Even This Pain
Music/Lyrics: Steven Stubblefield

If you see the light is on come on inside you know I’m home knock once and let yourself in.
These days I’m staying up late. I broke the clock and the window shade’s got a story all to his own. Knock once you know I’m home.
All my instruments are collecting dust. On the strings a coat of mold and rust and the bird out my window has forgotten her song. And the bed has gone to see a therapist, doesn’t care for all my promises of faith, hope, and love. Just says it’s over, move on, I’m done.

If you see a light shining on my face
Would you let me know cuz tomorrow got away.
Nothing last forever in this world, not even this pain.

There’s a painting of a forest hanging on the wall. The trees got trees but the broken log’s just waitin’ for a limb to fall. The gnome in the garden just stares at the lawn. The fruit is rotten and the mangy dog’s got fleas and a busted paw. Somehow he manages to still move on.

If you see a light shining on my face
Would you let me know cuz tomorrow got away.
Nothing last forever in this world, not even this pain.

Two Sisters
Music/Lyrics: Steven Stubblefield

I gotta good old story about two sisters who never cried.
One rides shotgun while the other always drives.
They got an old man in the back seat just waitn’ for his pleasure ride.
He paid top dollar to be held up by two whores with a knife.

You’re gonna hurt someone, hurt someone with that blade.
And I’m afraid that the someone you might hurt is me.
It wasn’t long ago on Bourbon street the sisters found their misery,
Wrapped tight in a tourniquet and drowning in Jim Beam.
When good ‘ol men provide the means and you stay so drunk that it all seems a dream.
Show dick respect, cuz the sisters need a little more than sympathy.

You’re gonna hurt someone, hurt someone with that blade.
And I’m afraid that the someone you might hurt is me.
You’re gonna hurt someone, hurt someone with that blade.
And I’m afraid that the someone you might hurt is me.
Yes, I’m afraid that the someone you might hurt
Is me.

Missouri
Music/Lyrics: Steven Stubblefield

The girl that I love has gone away and I don’t know what to do with my day.
I sit by the phone and pine the hours away.  Close to my heart your memory stays.
I miss your touch, your hand on my heart, when we kiss I feel my heart skip.
Your loving embrace is close to home, as close to home as I have ever known.

And you’re in Mississippi while I am in Missouri.
I know your love is true as can be.
But, while you’re away I’m in misery.

How any man could let you go is something I hope to never know.
If you’ll take my hand and know this love I’m sure we’ll be blessed by God above.
My love is true I wanna be your man and no one can love you like I can.
So, if you believe like I think you do, you’re the only one can take away these blues.

And you’re in Mississippi while I am in Missouri.
I know your love is true as can be.
But, while you’re away I’m in misery.
But, while you’re away I’m in misery.

Family and Friends
Music/Lyrics: Steven Stubblefield

Saying goodbye is never easy.  Can be the hardest thing you’ll ever do.
And as the evening fades into darkness, I’ll remember to say goodnight to you.
In our lives the one thing that’s precious.  Is the time that we have with those we love.
Our daughters marry and mothers go to heaven.  I hope to see you again someday soon.

Someday soon, I’ll tell you that I’m sorry.  Someday soon, it’s time to be a man.
After all, the love god has given, comes from family and friends.

In the autumn years we get rough around the edges.
And as winter comes our hair turns white as snow.
For the measure of a person comes from not what he has taken.
But, the lives that he touches as he goes.

Someday soon, I’ll tell you that I’m sorry.  Someday soon, it’s time to be a man.
After all, the love god has given, comes from family and friends.
After all, the love god has given, comes from family and friends.

Burnin’ Barrel
Music lyrics/Steven Stubblefield

Well, I’m whiskey drunk and mean as hell.  I turned 18 and got my own wheels.  I headed straight for the line of old Louisiane.  I turned that dry county sand to dust in the air, wheels spinnin’ crying boys cryin’, spinnin’ and cryin’.  And as the tears rained down the dust turned to mud.  With every breath I breathed it filled up my lungs.  I was dyin’, boys dyin’.

Now momma’s dead and daddy’s gone.  They left me here all alone.  And grandpa is sick, he can’t fend for himself.  I’m the only one left here to help him out.  He’s goin’ blind boys blind.  He’s also dyin’.  And of all the old folks there’s just him now.  There ain’t no young’uns so here I am bound to just die boys die.

Well, dig a whole and build a box out of pine.

I picked a fight with the devil just last night.

And grandpa said that after he’s dead and gone to put his body in the burnin’ barrel and feed the dog his bones.

Now, my old lady split a few months back.  Said she was gone and she ain’t lookin’ back.  It was my understanding that I did lean.  More whiskey, more drunk, and more mean. I’s gone boys gone, like Faustus gone.  And what could turn my life around?  Yeah, what could keep this southern boy from the ground?  I was dyin’ boy’s dyin.

Well, dig a whole and build a box out of pine.
I picked a fight with the devil just last night.
And grandpa said that after he’s dead and gone to put his body in the burnin’ barrel and feed the dog his bones.

 

Haunted
Music/Lyrics: Steven Stubblefield

Well, spring has come and I’m on the road.  I’m running from a life I never have known.  I’m haunted.  I’m haunted by your love.
I gotta new job shaking peaches from a tree.  They’ll be enough money for you and me.  But, I’m haunted.  I’m haunted by your love.
Some days I feel I can’t go on and I don’t know how to be alone.

The preacher man says life will go on.  If you’re suffering God know is it all.  But, I’m haunted.  I’m haunted by your love.
The catfish are jumping in the pond.  For the one that is lost there is more to come.  But, I’m haunted.  I’m haunted by your love.
Some days I feel I can’t go on and I don’t know how to be alone.

I’ve got plenty regrets for the things I’ve done, the people I’ve hurt and the love I’ve ruined.  But, I’m haunted.  I’m haunted by your love.
And I’ve been told you can’t live in the past.  But, that don’t help much living breath to breath.  But, I’m haunted.  I’m haunted by your love
Some days I feel I can’t go on and I don’t know how to be alone.

Well, spring has come and I’m on the road.  I’m running from a life I never have known.

Can’t do nothin’
Music Lyrics/Steven Stubblefield
Well, you can’t do nothin’ but sit and watch the creek rise, sit and watch the creek rise, sit and watch the creek rise, you can’t do nothin’ but sit and watch the creek rise. It’ll carry your house away.

Now, go get your shovel gonna sand bag the levee, we’ll sand bag the levee, gonna sand bag the levee.  Go get your shovel gonna sand bag the levee.  To keep that water at bay.
Well, you can’t do nothin’ but sit and watch the creek rise, sit and watch the creek rise, sit and watch the creek rise, you can’t do nothin’ but sit and watch the creek rise. It’ll carry your house away.

And now they’s a bunch of thunder and lightnin’, thunder and lightnin’, thunder and lightnin’.   Now they’s a bunch of thunder and lightnin’.  Gonna make my house rattle and shake.
Well, you can’t do nothin’ but sit and watch the creek rise, sit and watch the creek rise, sit and watch the creek rise, you can’t do nothin’ but sit and watch the creek rise. It’ll carry your house away.

Well, that means my friends way down in Bogalusa, way down in Bogalusa, way down innnnnnnnnnnnn boogggaaalooooooooooooooooooooooosaaaaaaaaaaaaa. That means my friend’s way sown in Bogalusa, seen the pearl river bust her banks.

Well, you can’t do nothin’ but sit and watch the creek rise, sit and watch the creek rise, sit and watch the creek rise, you can’t do nothin’ but sit and watch the creek rise. It’ll carry your house away.

 

Into This Night

Lyrics Music/Steven Stubblefield

Into the night we will go. We’ll go down to the water to cleanse our souls. And here’s to new beginnings but not regretting the past. Hold on for this love will last. Into the night we’ll go.
Into the night we will go jumpin’ head first into the unknown. But, with great ease I can say that I’ve not been down this path. These feelings we feel surely ain’t chance. Into the night we’ll go.

And you’re the one, I know.
How could I know? How could I know?
And you’re the one I just know.

So, into this night we will go.
Into the night we will go. Oh, when we’re not together I miss you so. My body aches just like I have the flue. I’m walking around not knowing what to do. Into the night we’ll go.
Into the night we will go to never again have to walk this world alone. We’ll spend our lives going that extra mile and I’ll do anything just to see you smile you know. Into the night we’ll go.

And you’re the one, I know.
How could I know? How could I know?
And you’re the one I just know.

So, into this night we will go.
Oh, into this night we will go.
 

How dark it is before the dawn
Music Lyrics/Steven Stubblefield
 
Well, I’m shaking like a leaf that’s low in the trees and blowing in a march wind.
Oh my love, my dove, spring has come, can you tell me where you’ve been.
And if it rains or shines, it’s day or night, I just can’t live in this skin.
Oh, cuz I’m tired and alone, with no place to go, how can I begin again.
Oh again

And how dark it is before dawn.  And now the tears are fallin’ one by one
I’m down In the valley where the grass grows tall.  Oh, how dark it is before the dawn.

I thought if I changed you’d stay, instead you went away, and now look what I’ve become.
Oh it’s how I amazed ,at the tornadoes wake, for all the wrongs I have done.
And how could one be convinced, of all the things that are missed, by never seeing the sun.
Oh, but I know if I go, down the road that I know, there is no life could be won.
That could be won

And how dark it is before dawn.  And now the tears are fallin’ one by one
I’m down In the valley where the grass grows tall.  Oh, how dark it is before the dawn.

Well, I’m shaking like a leaf that’s low in the trees and blowing in a march wind.