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Lyrics...

A number of journalists have referred to Rees as a "Wordsmith,"  and his focus on narrative is evident not just in the songs he writes, but in the larger thematic albums he produces. His songs often encapsulate distinct worlds inhabited by memorable characters....  Here are lyrics from his most recent release, Tattletale...

Mickey Mouse Romeo; Under New Management; Call It Done; Hatter's Song; Nobody Said; In the Arms of Tanya Vanessa; Can't Remember; Carolina Wren; Blue; Tattletale; Lost In Translation

Walt could have created this guy you’re fixated upon 

As of late, my old friend

To the moon this buffoon your heart sends 

Where’s it end? Where’s it end? Where’s it end?

 

There’s a chorus of voices alarmed by your choices

Too distracted, you hear not a word

Yet we all see this match as absurd 

Fly away! Fly away, Little Bird!

 

He’s a puffed-up pretender - No heart - just bravado and show

You never remember the tells that these dandies have told

But we know 

He’s just a Mickey Mouse Romeo

 

His lines are impressive, and sometimes suggestive of wit 

But the jokes never hit

And I wonder what you see in it 

I myself am a much better fit

 

Not a puffed-up pretender         I’ve heart not bravado to show

I never remember the tells that those dandies all tell

But you’ll know 

I’m not a Mickey Mouse Romeo

 

I’d give all my eye teeth for the style that is that Dandy

If it could get you to glance over at the heart of me

With those eyes that you invest

In that foppish handsome mess 

I must confess my jealousy

 

©2022 by Rees Shad & Shadville Music

 

No stoplights in this red light                      

Just green lights all in a row

It’s the fashion everybody sings in songs      

Tumbling out of your radio

It’s an easy smile on an easy girl        

A lotto number played around this world

Reach out a hand to touch a golden curl 

To find ya gotta pay to play on that tilt-a-whirl

 

The whores are running the cat house and the pimps are all standing in line

and the johns are jonesin’ for a taste of something 

johns have needed since the dawn of time.

                

They’ve thought to manufacture passion 

Now they can reproduce the essence of smile               

And we just grin and bear while they yank our hair

To push us up and down the miracle mile

 

The whores are running the cat house and the pimps are all standing in line

and the johns are jonesin’ for a taste of something 

johns have needed since the dawn of time.

 

So they got action movies on the TV 

That you were thinking was the six o’clock news

You elected the man the party placed in your hand 

To give you proof that you had gotten to choose

 

They call it art when people don’t understand it 

They call it Jazz when they pretend that they can

They dress up like the whore you bought two nights before 

And call it pop if you don’t point out the scam

 

The whores are running the cat house and the pimps are all standing in line

and the johns are jonesin’ for a taste of something 

johns have needed since the dawn of time.

 

Now the question that you’ve got to answer

Are you a whore, a pimp, a john or all three?

Then you’ll ask yourself the next question    

Which one of these would you rather be

Cause we’re living in a free market system

We’re buying what we once got for free

And it’s the basis of this that makes you pay for a kiss

The more you pay the better it’s gotta be                        

 

The whores are running the cat house and the pimps are all standing in line

and the johns are jonesin’ for a taste of something 

johns have needed since the dawn of time. 

 

 

©2022 by Rees Shad & Shadville Music

 

Call It Done

Ours was a grand affair             

But it didn't turn out as planned 

For better or for worse 

We’ve always stayed together 

Never ever came undone

Despite the doubts of everyone 

 

Now here we are fragmented pieces    

United only in our name 

Sharing nothing but the blame 

Always these pointed fingers     

Deflecting focus from ourselves 

Mostly pointing at the shame 

 

We've got to do more; overcome this thing 

If there's any hope to carry on 

How can we just throw it all away?     

All this progress 

Are were willing to call it done?                  

Really willing to call it done? 

 

It's such a dark thing

Hiding from each other 

What we have in common after all 

How do we come to stand here 

Denying we’re sisters and brothers 

Focused on building up the walls 

 

Is it easier to stay in darkness?        

Not even labor for a flame 

Simplify the pain with blame?

Always with these pointed fingers      

Deflecting focus from ourselves 

And turning from the shame again 

 

We've got to do more; overcome this thing 

If there's any hope to carry on 

How can we just throw it all away      

All this progress 

Are were willing to call it done?                  

Really willing to call it done? 

 

Ours was a grand experiment    

Didn't always turn out as planned

For better and for worse 

But when we work together           

We always seem to get stuff done 

And shine a light for everyone 

But not here in this darkness     

No there ain't no burning flame 

And I'm afraid we're all to blame 

Just throwing accusations                  

Rejecting basic decency 

And the world looks on ashamed 

 

We've got to do more; overcome this thing 

If there's any hope to carry on 

How can we just throw it all away?

All this progress!

Are were willing to call it done?                  

Really willing to call it done? 

I’m not willing to call it done.

 

 

©2022 by Rees Shad & Shadville Music

 

Hatter’s Song

Scratch the surface and you’ll see what’s under there

What ever comes to light might be a cross to bear

The bliss of ignorance much easier to take

You can sleep through life or you can choose to stay awake 

 

Maybe you’ll wake up and realize you took it all in stride

Or did you shake up?               

Angering souls who sought to hide?

The things that really matter.              

Too tough to talk about in casual banter

Did you hold their eye too long?                  Mad as a hatter

 

I said hello, and you seemed both anxious and amused

Like it’d been awhile since someone’s talked to you

You just kept shuffling, like the sidewalk might be sly

Set there to trip you up, you never gave reply

 

Too much to take up

Had to be somewhere else it seemed

Far off expression. 

Which of us real and which one dreamed

When you figure that out

Come by the house and we’ll drink ‘till we pass out

Perhaps I’ll even sing this song?                  Oh, what a clatter

 

The hatters gave their minds for fashion

Unmade by their own stock and trade  

What caused this hatter here?    

What sacrifices made?

 

Maybe you woke up a man who had taken life in stride

Perhaps that shake up               

Shook out the things I hoped to hide?

The things that really matter.              

Too tough to talk about in casual banter

Did I hold your eye too long?             Mad as a hatter

 

©2022 by Rees Shad & Shadville Music

 

Nobody Said

 

Nobody said that Spring was easy

It never behaves as you’d expect

The frost can come on in an instant

Or the deluge can roll on in

Nobody said that Spring was easy                         

Nobody said.

 

Nobody said that we’d be easy

We wouldn’t behave as lovers do

Jealous hearts can beat the loudest

Unfiltered words that we can’t undo

Nobody said that we’d be easy                    

Nobody said.

                            

And we all know

But never dare to tell

‘Cause that would break the spell

What chance have we instead?

To bloom or fall off dead?                 

Nobody said.

 

Nobody said the end comes easy

The heat of summer here and gone

We’re left with colors that anticipate the cold

And lonely winter unforetold

Nobody said the end was easy                              

Nobody said.

         

Nobody said that Spring was easy                

Nobody said.

 

 

 

©2022 by Rees Shad, Sal Maneri & Shadville Music

 

In the Arms of Tanya Vanessa

 

In the Arms of Tania Vanessa   

Empty echoes of choices made

In the Arms of Tania Vanessa   

Canyons of grief and river silt stains

 

When the elements themselves had turned against them

Misleading waters seductive and calm

Like all of the others before then.  

The lies that they’d told them

Why now did they trust?

 

In the Arms of Tania Vanessa   

Only possessions are left to embrace

In the Arms of Tania Vanessa   

Grasping to hold 

What was lost in this place

 

A journey of promise, betrayal, and hardship

Fueled by love for each other    

Y una vida mejor

In all of the lies that they’d told them

Like this river

why now did they trust?

 

In the Dreams of Tania Vanessa

Empty echoes of choices made

In the Dreams of Tania Vanessa

Canyons of grief and river silt graves

 

 

 

©2022 by Rees Shad & Shadville Music

 

Can’t Remember

 

I can’t remember what that flowers called

On the trellis outside your room

But I swear to hold you in my arms

Next time that flower blooms

Next time that flower blooms

 

I don’t recall the words you sang to me

Out the window of that room 

But I swear if you sing it like a prayer

I’ll surely be coming home soon

Pray I’ll be coming home soon

 

Can’t remember what that bird is called

Nesting in your house’s eaves

But like your voice, its’ song is here with me

That’s where this love of ours blooms

It’s why I’ll be coming home soon

 

I can’t remember what that flowers called

Or the trellis… or your room

I lose these things but never lose your voice

In my memories I’m coming home soon

I’m always coming home soon.

 

 

 

©2022 by Rees Shad & Shadville Music

 

Carolina Wren

 

Carolina Wren woke me up this morning               

Up this morning with the sun

Carolina Wren woke me up this morning               

Up this morning to get my day begun

 

Sweet little bird got a song like freedom                

Song like freedom from a hollow tree

Sweet little bird got a song like freedom                

Sounds like freedom when it comes to me

 

As you’re sleeping, I get dressed.        

I touch your cheek with one last caress…

 

Went downstairs and got the fire started                

Fire started for my bread          

Went downstairs and got the fire started                

Made my coffee so as to clear my head

 

As you’re sleeping, I get dressed.        

I touch your cheek with one last caress…

As you’re sleeping, I move on.  

I hope your heart’s touched by that bird’s song….

 

Carolina Wren saw me off this morning                

Off this morning from the back porch swing

Carolina Wren saw me off this morning                

Off this morning with his song to sing

 

As I travel, as I roam, 

I’ll hear that song in my dreams of home

As you’re sleeping, dream of me, 

As I’ll dream of you endlessly

 

Carolina Wren woke me up this morning               

Up this morning with the sun

Carolina Wren woke me up this morning               

Up this morning to get my day begun

 

 

©2022 by Rees Shad & Shadville Music

 

Blue

 

You make me blue

You make me blush

When I’m with you         

No need to rush

I’m a gentleman and quite polite         

But when we are alone at night

You do the things you do

And, Babe… you make me blue

 

I’m quite respectable by all accounts

I am presentable                      

I never slouch

I’m cheery even when it rains

And some say that I might have brains

And I never speak my mind unless with friends

I’d never wish to be untoward 

I don’t wish to offend

 

 

But when we’re alone              

Just me and you

I lose these inhibitions              

It’s a passionate exhibition

I don’t hold back when we’re in the sack

It’s what you make me do

Because, Babe…you make me blue

 

You make me blue

You make me blush

When I’m with you         

No need to rush

I’m a gentleman and quite polite         

But when we are alone at night

You do the things you do

And, Babe… you make me blue

 

©2022 by Rees Shad & Shadville Music

 

Tattletale

 

Can’t keep your cards to your chest

Can’t see a cop and not confess

It’s your disposition.  There Ain’t a confidence you’ll keep

Buy an anniversary present and offer that girl a peak

 

You Tattletale                

Can’t keep a secret to yourself

Tattletale              

Display it on your mantel shelf         

Your telltale heart beats to reveal 

The things that others could conceal   You Tattletale

 

Nothing is hidden. You ain’t got no sleeves 

Just tattoos of secrets… often ‘bout me

Open door to visitors that should have been left closed

No secret’s safe. Your impish ways leave my secret life exposed 

 

You Tattletale                

Can’t keep a secret to yourself

Tattletale              

Display it on your mantel shelf      

Your telltale heart beats to reveal 

The things that others would conceal   You Tattletale

 

Unsafe with secrets; no use for camouflage 

Can’t hold your breath or hide a step; demanding my triage         

 

You Tattletale                

Can’t keep a secret to yourself

Tattletale              

Display it on your mantel shelf

Your telltale heart beats to reveal 

The things that others would conceal   You Tattletale

 

©2022 by Rees Shad & Shadville Music

 

Lost in Translation

 

Lost in translations

we often question what we mean 

By those words of love

 

Lost in translations

We often question what we mean

By the words that are whispered in the dark

 

I can’t make it up to you

No, I can’t even try

When these strained translating hearts can lie

 

Hold my eye and ask me 

If I’d die to save our love

And I won’t blink at all

 

I’m a true believer

You think has deceived ya

I have no reason to lie

 

You can’t make it up to me

No, you can’t even try

When your strange translating heart denies   

my true love

 

©2022 by Rees Shad & Shadville Music