Waking Hour (2002)

Released: November 5, 2002

1  The Tower
2  Momentum
3  Gravity
4  Daughter
5  Between
6  Say Uncle
7  Drought
8  Enough To Go By
9  Unwritten Letter #1
10  Eric’s Song
11  Soon Love Soon
12  Lullabye For A Stormy Night
13  Decade and One


Lyrics

 

The Tower

 
the one who survives by making the lives
of others worthwhile
she’s coming apart
right before my eyes
the one who depends on the services she renders
to those who come knocking
she’s seeing too clearly what she can’t be
what understanding defies

she says I need not to need
or else a love with intuition
someone who reaches out to my weakness
and won’t let go
I need not to need
I’ve always been the tower
but now I feel like I’m the flower
trying to bloom in snow

she turns out the light
anticipating night falling tenderly around her
and watches the dusk
the words won’t come
she carries the act so convincingly
the fact is sometimes she believes it
that she can be happy the way things are
be happy with the things she’s done

and yet I need not to need…

reach out, but hold back
where is safety?
reach out and hold back
where is the one who can change me?
where is the one

reach out, but hold back
where is safety?
reach out and hold back
where is the one who can save me?
where is the one?

I need not to need…

I feel like I’m the flower
trying to bloom in snow
the danger and the power
the friend and the foe
 
 
David Henry – cello, bass
Will Kimbrough – guitars
Vienna Teng – vocal, piano, wurlitzer
Craig Wright – drums

words and music by Vienna Teng
© 2002 Soltruna Music/ASCAP

 

Momentum

 
why am I walking barefoot
upon this road with no one around
I close my eyes to this decision
the night’s like coffee to my tongue
like waking up without a sound
I map the words out
maybe you will say them

would you help me rise up
touch my face and watch me try to breathe again
would you help me do this
burn down the final wall

overcome me baby
overcome me baby
overcome me baby
overcome me yeah
all I’m asking is to be alive for once

always I am mistaken
I look for love, I find a stone
of all the seasons winter befriends me
I come to you in friendship
and hold my breath against the snow
what are you thinking as I gaze into you

forgive me the confusion
forgive me as I realize my thoughts betrayed
you are the answer
cry and smile the same

overcome me baby…
 
 
Vienna Teng – vocals, piano

words and music by Vienna Teng
© 2002 Soltruna Music/ASCAP

 

Gravity

 
hey love
is that the name you’re meant to have
for me to call
look love
they’ve given up believing
they’ve turned aside our stories
of the gentle fall

but don’t you believe them
don’t you drink their poison too
these are the scars that words have carved on me

hey love
that’s the name we’ve long held back
from the core of truth

so don’t turn away now
I am turning in revolution
these are the scars that silence carved on me

this is the same place
no not the same place
this is the same place, love
no not the same place we’ve been before

hey love
I am a constant satellite
of your blazing sun
my love
I obey your law of gravity
this is the fate you’ve carved on me
 
 
David Henry – cello, bass, guitar
Vienna Teng – vocals, piano
Craig Wright – drums

words and music by Vienna Teng
© 2002 Soltruna Music/ASCAP

 

Daughter

 
well it’s you and it’s
me
me with a drink in my hand
the ice is tinkling like a wind chime
and late afternoon settles over the land
and you’re talking about things
interesting just slightly
and things that matter too much
to say any way but lightly

did you know you’re so beautiful
on the edge of summer
that years from now
I’ll cry to remember
how very close you were
knowing this will I reach for you
knowing this will I reach for you
the way you want me to

well it’s time to be wise
wise in the ways of the heart
to come out from under the covers
this voluntary state of apart
from the faces, oasis
in this Sahara of sorrow
these graces that hold me
it’s from you that I borrow
 
 
Vienna Teng – vocal, piano

words and music by Vienna Teng
© 2002 Soltruna Music/ASCAP

 

Between

 
we are not together here
though we lie entwined
to make room for the other presence
we both draw back in our minds
I have a prophecy
threatening to spill into words
this growing certainty
of Over

there once was a time I was sure of the bond
when my hands and my tongue and my thoughts were enough
we are the same but our lives move along
and the third one between replaces what once was love

freedom is being alone
I fear liberation
but something more alive than silence
swallows conversation
no pleasing drama
in subtle averted eyes
the swelling fermata
as the chord dies

 
there’s no denying we feel the third one
we do
I’m tired of hiding and so are you
 
 
Jim Batcho – drums
John Given – electric guitar
Eric Miller – programming, synths, guitar
Vienna Teng – vocals, piano

words and music by Vienna Teng
© 2002 Soltruna Music/ASCAP

 

Say Uncle

 
everyone agrees it came too soon
it was only meant to be an intersection
you kept fear of death in back pocket of your jeans
in the palm of your hand, affection

it came like a sudden gust of wind
leaving them, bewildered, to ask how
I recall last time we met you said we’d meet again
the irony is only bitter now


these days everyone cries “say uncle”
they want to touch your spirit lest it die
for this your sons and widow gather with us at the table
to form a healing circle for our new demise
these days everyone cries “say uncle”
I retrieve the memories quickly as I can
add them to the portrait we all draw in our minds
your body gone, we shall keep the man

 
I close my eyes and hope they do not fade
these remnants of a voice and of a smile
images of landscape cloaked in forest green
like your life unfolding mile by mile

a fierce embrace, a word of thanks
a cheerful whistle and hours in a van
somehow these pieces must bring back the man you were
though the ocean claims your ashes on the sand

chorus
 
 

Vienna Teng – vocal, piano

words and music by Vienna Teng
© 2002 Soltruna Music/ASCAP

 

Drought

 
summer move forward and
stitch me the fabric of fall
wrap life in the brilliance of death to humble us all
how sweet is the day
I’m craving a darkness
as I sit tucked away with my back to the wall

and the taste of dried-up hopes in my mouth
and the landscape of merry and desperate drought
how much longer dear angels
let winterlight come
and spread your white sheets over my empty house

summer move forward and leave your heat anchored in dust
forgotten him, cheated him, painted illusions of lust
now language escape, fugitive of forgiveness
leaving as trace only circles of rust

and the taste of dried-up hopes in my mouth
and the landscape of merry and desperate drought
how much longer dear angels
come break me with ice
let the water of calm trickle over my doubts

come let me drown
angels no fire no salt on the plow
carry me down
bury me down

and the taste of dried-up hopes in my mouth
and the landscape of merry and desperate drought
once I knew myself
and with knowing came love
I would know love again if I had faith enough
too far is next spring and her jubilant shout
so angels, inside
is the only way out
 
 
Jim Batcho – drums
John Given – electric guitar
Eric Miller – bass, synths, programming
Vienna Teng – vocals, piano

words and music by Vienna Teng
© 2002 Soltruna Music/ASCAP

 

Enough To Go By

 
I’m at your back door
with the earth of a hundred nations in my skin
you won’t recognize me
for the light in my eyes is strange
it was years ago, god knows
when you strained to tell me your whole truth
that you were not mine to save
that you could not change

would it be enough to go by
if we could sail on the wind in the dark
cut those chains in the middle of the night
that had you pulled apart
would it be enough to go by
if there’s moonlight pulling the tide
would it be enough to live on
if my love could keep you alive

I’ve built a lot of castles
built a lot of blazing speed-of-light machines
but it doesn’t matter, you know
they all crumble in the winds of change
so I turned back to breathing
I learned a few good reasons to cry
and I finally called home
praying you weren’t out of range

carry the weight
I’ll carry the weight of you, I swear
carry the weight
I’ll carry the weight of you

so will you let me come in
the mosquitoes have found me
and they’re crowding ’round my blood
at least offer me a drink
or a breaking of the ice
I’m wanting your anger
I only want to see if I can shake you out of sleep
and bring you out under this flooded sky
at any price

so carry the weight
carry the weight of me in your heart
carry the weight
carry the weight of me
 
 
David Henry – bass
Will Kimbrough – guitars
Vienna Teng – vocals, piano, far-off organ
Craig Wright – drums

words and music by Vienna Teng
© 2002 Soltruna Music/ASCAP

 

Unwritten Letter #1

 
nightfall we’re brushing
past your town
destination not you my one
the driver doesn’t know way down
how deep these bright-eyed feelings run
I’ve no intention of confessing today
I need to make distance awhile
but miles don’t make your image fade
they don’t erase this secret smile

everything reminds me
wet gray gold-lit street
shop displays near-lovers meet
I feel the grasp of your hand still
this your face now in the glass
breathing whisper what is this
bent so close we nearly kiss
although we never will

strange that there’s no hurtful need
used to be my only sign
on my mind would make me bleed
why is it that I’m feeling fine
why is it this warmth within
no candlelight that causes burn
memories of you begin
well welcome friends
glad you’ve returned

everything reminds me
music surging bedroom dance
crazy spinning sultry glance
I inhale your presence still
these your arms of daring grace
encircle me what pact is made
desire is your masquerade
want me you never will

you gave me truth I chose illusion
now we are used to this confusion
but I know
yes I know this story has to end
never groped for a connection
never hoped for more affection
for I know
I know I am your friend
only your friend
 
 
Jim Batcho – drums
Jacob Eisenstein – bass
Dave Kim – violin
Eric Miller – programming, guitar, keyboards
Vienna Teng – vocal, piano

words and music by Vienna Teng
© 2002 Soltruna Music/ASCAP

 

Eric’s Song

 
strange how you know inside me
I measure the time and I stand amazed
strange how I know inside you
my hand is outstretched toward the damp of the haze

and of course I forgive
I’ve seen how you live
like a phoenix you rise from the ashes
you pick up the pieces
and the ghosts in the attic
they never quite leave
and of course I forgive
you’ve seen how I live
I’ve got darkness and fears to appease
my voices and analogies
ambitions like ribbons
worn bright on my sleeve

strange how we know each other

strange how I fit into you
there’s a distance erased with the greatest of ease
strange how you fit into me
a gentle warmth filling the deepest of needs

and with each passing day
the stories we say
draw us tighter into our addiction
confirm our conviction
that some kind of miracle
passed on our heads
and how I am sure
like never before
of my reasons for defying reason
embracing the seasons
we dance through the colors
both followed and led

strange how we fit each other

strange how certain the journey
time unfolds the petals for our eyes to see
strange how this journey’s hurting
in ways we accept as part of fate’s decree

so we just hold on fast
acknowledge the past
as lessons exquisitely crafted
painstakingly drafted
to carve us as instruments
that play the music of life
for we don’t realize
our faith in the prize
unless it’s been somehow elusive
how swiftly we choose it
the sacred simplicity
of you at my side
 
 
Vienna Teng – vocal, piano

words and music by Vienna Teng
© 2002 Soltruna Music/ASCAP

 

Soon Love Soon

 
there’ll be a fire burning
in the temple of our peace
there’ll be a soaring voice for our silent pleas
we will hold our broken circle and begin to pray
we will find a black and white in the gray

and we will be as one god
and we will be as one people

we will find illumination in unnatural light
you will travel a thousand miles without leaving my sight
we will find we never knew hatred ran so deep
such a wide, wide chasm of faith to leap

but we will be as one god
and we will be as one people

there will be an evolution of the human soul
we will know that be a part is to be truly whole
we will know the pattern of centuries rise and fall
we will know that the fate of one is the fate of all

and we will be as one god
and we will be as one people
 
 
Jim Batcho – snare drum
Eric Miller – programming, synthesizers
Vienna Teng – vocals
Peter Wetherbee – percussion

words and music by Vienna Teng
© 2002 Soltruna Music/ASCAP

 

Lullabye For A Stormy Night

 
little child, be not afraid
though rain pounds harshly against the glass
like an unwanted stranger, there is no danger
I am here tonight

little child, be not afraid
though thunder explodes and lightning flash
illuminates your tear-stained face
I am here tonight

and someday you’ll know
that nature is so
the same rain that draws you near me
falls on rivers and land
on forests and sand
makes the beautiful world that you’ll see
in the morning

little child, be not afraid
though storm clouds mask your beloved moon
and its candlelight beams, still keep pleasant dreams
I am here tonight

little child, be not afraid
though wind makes creatures of our trees
and their branches to hands, they’re not real, understand
and I am here tonight

for you know, once even I was a
little child, and I was afraid
but a gentle someone always came
to dry all my tears, trade sweet sleep for fears
and to give a kiss goodnight

well now I am grown
and these years have shown
that rain’s a part of how life goes
but it’s dark and it’s late
so I’ll hold you and wait
’til your frightened eyes do close

and I hope that you’ll know…
everything’s fine in the morning
the rain’ll be gone in the morning
but I’ll still be here in the morning
 
 
Vienna Teng – vocal, piano
Tiffany Shih – vocal

words and music by Vienna Teng
© 2002 Soltruna Music/ASCAP

 

Decade and One

 
once when I was thirty-one
I woke in the dead of night
and heard the vastness of the snowfall outside
slipped downstairs in my bare feet
soon forgotten freezing
and pour a milk glass full
to wait out the tide

been a decade and one
been a decade and one my friends
a decade and one
since I

as the white went down
I thought of the child upstairs
I thought of the God upstairs
that I couldn’t believe
I thought of the chosen man
asleep on his side of the bed
how green becomes wood
in a family tree

been a decade and one
been a decade and one so soon
a decade and one
since I stood
so proud
and so unsure

ebony glowing by the window there
as always
fingers kissed the keys oh so tenderly
cool ivory returned in kind
I thought of anger and adulation
and the taste of dreams realized
and the waste dreams realized leave behind

a decade and one
a decade and one
I said out loud
a decade and one
and I am here
and I am here still standing
 
 
Vienna Teng – vocal, piano

words and music by Vienna Teng
© 2002 Soltruna Music/ASCAP