Éist le mo Scéal (Listen to my Story)

by Caera

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about

Éist le mo Scéal (Listen to my Story) is a collection of original songs, written and arranged by Caera and performed in English and in Irish. This album shows Caera’s growth since her first albums in 2004, as a songwriter, composer, arranger, and harper. It features songs about Caera’s personal experiences, including child abuse and other domestic violence, sexual assault, homelessness, family alcoholism, and other potent issues in the lives of many people. It also features songs from Caera’s spiritual side, which are not specific to any one religion, but show the strength to move through these issues and see the beauty available in life.

credits

released November 1, 2006

All songs written and composed by Caera, except ‘Drinking as Teenagers’ – tune traditional (Fighting for Strangers), lyrics and arrangement by Caera; and ‘Rós Rós’ – tune original medley or traditional tunes, lyrics and arrangement by Caera

(p) & © 2004, 2005, or 2006 Grá is Stór (ASCAP)

Michelle Herrera provides backing vocals, viola, and/or frame drum on ‘Rós Rós’ and ‘Journey’. She is a co-founder of the New England Sound Healing Research Institute – www.neshri.org

Cover art by Jane Starr Weils – www.janestarrweils.com
Caera’s harp was made by Muis Dreamsinger of Dreamsinger Harps – www.dreamsingerharps.com

All songs recorded by Rob Ignazio at Porter Square Studios and Sherwood Forest Recording Studio, except ‘One Small Drop’ and ‘Éire mo Chroí’ recorded by Chris Faris at Porter Square Studios
Produced by Caera

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about

Caera Seattle, Washington

From haunting Celtic lullabies, through laments of intense grief and pain, to songs of healing and hope, Caera’s music always contains an authenticity that can be hard to find in today’s music, or even in today’s world in general. Powerful soprano vocals blend with the bell-like tones of her brass-strung Gaelic harp to create music that carries people through life, dreaming or fully awake. ... more

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Track Name: If Lancelot Could Have Loved Elaine
If Lancelot could have loved Elaine as she did love him
They wouldn’t have lived in so much pain, being tortured from within
Elaine gazing at Lancelot
as he looked out to Camelot
each wanting more, and each could not
obtain the one thing they sought

If Lancelot could have loved Elaine and not Guenevere
He could’ve loved openly, without shame; without distress or fear
His heart would dance to hear Elaine sing
or see her hand in his wedding ring
He’d love his own wife, not that of the king
and the whole court would be approving

If Lancelot could have loved Elaine, the comforts they could’ve had
A burning passion free from shame to make all their hearts glad
content to live on his own plot
with wife and family as his lot
supporting Arthur at times, but not
as the driven champion of Camelot

If Lancelot could have loved Elaine with passion from his heart
If his love could have been obtained and not torn him apart…
But a desirous heart cannot be led
to treasure what is here instead
of that which it has long coveted
Great alchemists never made gold from lead

If Lancelot could have loved Elaine as he loved Guenevere
He would have been a different man, with standards less severe
A man who had less lofty goals
and was content with common roles,
not driven by an unsettled soul
that only rarely felt whole
Track Name: One Small Drop
one small drop
falls from high in the sky
one small tear
grief and pain reappear
each drop falls
each then makes their way
through the earth
as through birth, to where the river flows...
and falls....and bends....and winds

carving bowls out of stone
cleansing ages of dirt
wearing down anything in its way

one light spray
joining millions of drops
cleansing the air
making magic everywhere it falls...
and rises.... I fall...now I rise

carve out the pain from my heart
cleanse my ages of grief
wear down fear that still lies in my way
rush through my anger and pain
pour into my hollow stone
carry new life to an old wounded soul

one small drop...
Track Name: The Darkest Night
1) It was never easy being a child
with a heart of joy, and then hurt, sore, and wild
No one understood me or anything I loved
and I needed their love

Chorus:
Could it have been different? Could you have cared?
Could I have grown up knowing someone would be there?
There’re shadows all around me, so I take to flight
and fly into the light of the darkest night

2) My mother chasing babies, my father ruled by fear
His explosive temper often caused us tears
so I’d go out in nature with the birds and trees
since adults couldn’t take care of me

3) Once when I was five, someone forced me naked in the dirt
I didn’t know who to run to when I was so strangely hurt
I decided to go home, like I thought I should
but that came to no good
My father filled with fury and took it out on me
being only 5, there was no where else I could flee
This new attack made certain the damage dug in deep
and then he left me to sleep

4) ‘Next time someone fondled me under my dress
I knew not to tell; I didn’t need any more distress
For years it continued; I faced it all myself
I knew I couldn’t get help.

5) 21 years later my molester-cousin’s ill
I figured I would wait for the tumor to kill him
There was just one problem – a voice that couldn’t wait
The silence had gone far too late

6) So 21 years later I finally told my mom
She had still remembered that first time all along
Then she told me something I had never known –
I hadn’t faced it alone
Both she and my father had gone out to see
The mother of the teen-neighbor who first molested me
They really had believed me but didn’t know what to do
and never told me, and I never knew

7) Now I sometimes wonder what went through my father’s head
That he’d beat his child and send her to bed
then go to confront the one who’d hurt her first
Which one hurt worse?
Track Name: You Can't Take my Body if I Don't Have One
A young girl can’t stop eating
until her mother is thrown out
and then she can’t eat

a strange sensation
not a feeling ‘cause there is none
no hunger, no anger, no sadness, no pain, no grief
(no strength for a voice to speak)

Only nothing within her
she gets thinner and thinner
there’s not much left to her
she wanted to go with her mother
no one can hear her
and she can’t either
but inside her is a voice who says
“You can’t take my body if I don’t have one”

a teenage girl becomes a woman
and loathes the shape of her body
she wants you to see through it
she wants to not weigh more than music
she’s hit and she’s running
she’ll outrun what she’s becoming
outrun this fuller body
that You can’t take if I don’t have one

a young woman is dying
her body can’t process food right
even eating constantly she’s losing
still losing weight, and losing this fight
she’s losing everything, losing her life
she still can’t hear the voice inside, who says:
“You can’t take my body if I don’t have one”

A strong will kept her going
She’s been singing and writing
What’s been hidden is now showing
And her world’s started brightening
She went seeking new choices
And discovered new voices
With love she can face the voice inside who says
“You can’t take my body if I don’t have one”
Track Name: Amhrán na Gealaí (Song of the Moon)
Tar anseo. Tar chugamsa.
Éist le mo ghlór. Éist le mo scéal.

Bhí mé ón talamh. Anois tá mé sa spéir.
I bhfad ón talamh, a féachaint ar mo ghrá.

Chaithím solas ar an talamh, Casaím amhráin do na mara.
Leanann na tonnta mo ghlór, ag rince le mo scáil.

A’ gclóiseann tú mé fos? Ar uaigneach leat mo ghlór?
Tusa mo ghrá. Tusa an stór m’ amhrán.

Feach anseo. Feach ormsa.
Éist le mo ghlór. Éist le do ghrá.

Translation:
Song of the Moon

Come here. Come to me.
Listen to my voice. Listen to my story.

I was from the earth. Now I’m in the sky.
Far above the earth, looking at my love.

I cast light on the earth. I sing to the seas.
The waves follow my voice, as they dance with my reflection…

Can you still hear me? Did you miss my voice?
You, my love. You, the treasure of my song.

Look here. Look at me.
Listen to my voice. Listen to your love.
Track Name: Drinking as Teenagers
A long time ago you were my closest friend
And I wouldn’t have believed that would ever end
We were like partners trying to get by
In a house full of children with adults who made us cry
With beatings, thrashings, groundings, and more
But when they’d yell they could tear right through ya
We’d fight and we’d shout but we couldn’t get out
Oh poor Johnny what’ve they done to ya

What made you first begin drinking as teenagers?
When we were all trapped in a home – source of all danger

Well the social workers decided to leave us there
And the situation only got worse each year
One time you nearly smashed our sister’s face
Through a window when we’d been left alone in that place
And I thought you were scared and hadn’t known it would break
I didn’t see what was coming through ya
You used to think but how much would you drink?
Oh poor Johnny what has happened to ya?

What made you first begin drinking as teenagers?
When we were all trapped in a home – source of all danger

When I was 17 they threw me out in a fight
And gave you my room to make it look alright
Less than one year later they threw you out too
16 years old and there was nothing we could do
It was hard to find safety or a place to sleep
But other unwanted kids spoke to ya
You’d all spend the night trying to cope with this plight
Oh poor Johnny what’ve they done to ya?

Who left you out all night drinking as teenagers?
Who left you without any home, source of new danger?

Now it’s more than 10 years since we were thrown out
Some would say that’s enough to turn your life about
But you’re still out drinking almost every night
What they did to you was wrong but what you’re doing isn’t right
You can’t hold a job, you can’t hold a drink
You can’t stay sober when your child is coming to ya
It feels like each day you go further away
Oh poor Johnny what has happened to ya?

What makes you spend all night drinking with teenagers
When you could be safe at home, free from all danger?
Track Name: The Challenge
Chorus:
Can you face your own decisions that got you to where you are?
When you look up do you just see clouds or can you see your star?
When the night is clouded over and the road has been too long,
Can you only hear the noise outside or can you hear your song?

Do you ever feel creative – the urge to make something true?
Can you move with inspiration as it pours itself through you?
Can you feel the core inside you that is beauty, bliss, and love?
Can you feel it deep within you, not just outside or above?

Can you dream without repression? Can you make those dreams come true?
Can you actually accomplish things that you set out to do?
Can you look at what you’ve done after you know you’ve done your best?
When the struggle’s finally over, can you enjoy success?

Chorus

Can you reach through your anger to connect with other souls?
Or does fury keep you locked out from relationships and goals?
Can you open up and feel your pain and still find strength to rise?
Can you open up and face your fear and move beyond its lies?

Do you feel many emotions? I mean more than just a few.
Angry, hurt, scared, sad, and happy – no, there’s so much more to you.
The deepest of the oceans skims the surface of your heart.
Just remember why we all were given feelings from the start.

Chorus

Can you trust another person, or the universe at all?
Can you lean on someone else’s strength when you’re about to fall?
Can you ask for help and guidance? Can you listen when it’s there?
Can you believe anyone who tells you that they care?

Can you let someone love you? Feed you? Work toward dreams with you?
Can you slow down and stop running when you see love coming through?
Can you feel love for another, and express it when it’s true?
Can you feel that love reflected from the one you gave it to?

Chorus
Track Name: I Never Cried
1)
My graduation from high school wasn’t what it should be
With my high grades, scholarships, and honors society
All it was to my father was opportunity to hurt me and my mom

He’d tried to stop her from coming but she came anyway
So bent on hurting her he left and took me away
I never got a chance to say goodbye or stay in touch with my classmates

Chorus:
I couldn’t win no matter what I tried
And those who said they’d help had only lied
And all the rivers of compassion dried, but I never cried

2)
My mom he’d thrown out years ago most selfishly
Now I was done with school and he was done with me
I was thrown out to fend for myself out on the streets without any support

I went to a friend, but feared for her so tried another
Her public housing said I could not stay with my mother
Lawyers, shelters, and social workers couldn’t bother – no one would help me

3)
I went to my church thinking someone there would surely help me
After all, I’d sung and read for them faithfully
Since age 14, and weren’t they the ones who taught me God’s love for the poor

But when I told them, they looked away or looked sharply at me
Said “Maybe you shouldn’t talk about that here” so cruelly
And that was all my support from this community that I’d given so much

4)
My high school friends had a party on the beach
I went to have some fun and to get some relief
I met a boy who’d been thrown only two weeks before me

He and his friends invited me out to a movie
I stayed the night, and learned music to soothe me to sleep
I tried to call my friends and tell them but they wouldn’t speak to me again

5)
In the midst of this, I was still thirsting for knowledge
I’d gotten scholarships to help me pay for college
But didn’t pay enough to cover all my costs or live through the summer

Too young for a lease also meant too young for living wage jobs
To pay the bill, I had to piece together 5 jobs
The lack of sleep caused seizures as I worked more hours per day than my age

6)
No bed, no room, and Mom’s old couch was too small and broken
I laid on a floor, on my back with my arms open
Got some small sleep when my body matched my emotions and felt crucified

But still some nights it was too hot and I just couldn’t sleep
No a/c, no fan, and frankly no relief
I’d lie there sweating and stressed ‘til time for work unless the music soothed me to sleep

7)
At work I got compared to another young woman
Who got thrown out because she got her belly swollen
But she still got a home with the grandmother of her child to be

I wasn’t pregnant, and my father didn’t know I’m gay
In 11 months he threw two more kids away
And never faced any consequences he just got away with everything
Track Name: I Finally Cried
One night in college when I could not sleep
The phone rang and I was shocked to hear my father speak.
“What are you doing up?” I asked surprised.
He said “I’m not. Your grandmother just died.”

Somebody my size who could hand down her old dresses to me

I’ll have no chance to ask her which county of Ireland she was from; my father had forgotten

They are looking for her will; I’m probably not in it

She won’t see me graduate or get her 5x7

Will Mike miss her and how she spoiled and favored her youngest grandson?

How long will my grandfather last?

Will her husband and children resent me and my siblings who told our truth and stood by it?

Too late to call anyone
I looked to the cards I had laid down
Puzzling over my beginning and end
The part that I could not comprehend
To begin with The Magician – a master
But then end with The Fool, could be disaster.
Then I saw my own heart had been lost
I’d gotten by these hardships but with a high cost.
Then the tears welled up and over as I cried
When I first realized long ago my emotions died.
Track Name: Shattered
It’s a shame about the dolphin
It could have been such a nice gift
A pink and gray stone carving of a dolphin
Brought back for me after a long trip
I like dolphins ‘cause they’re gentle and playful
They often represent healing
But this was all demands, it was too painful
And you never understood my feelings
(I guess it was defective)

I’d tried so hard to tell you what I was feeling
Using words, songs, workshops, and more
But I never could get you to start seeing
I’m fragile, and I’m not your little whore
So I took three stones you gave me, but loved so dearly
You used them as an excuse to tear me apart
And shattered them so you could see more clearly
What you had done to my heart

Shattered like my heart that felt shattered like your stones and felt shattered ‘til we were apart. Now the fragments are my own.

The desert rose broke in three pieces
I like it better now
Three small roses are a lot less imposing
Than one big stone and your scowl
If only you could give freely
And see that love is worth more
Than any gift or money; you know really
What you had was never yours.

I’d tried so hard to tell you what I was feeling
Using words, songs, workshops, and more
But I never could get you to start seeing
I’m fragile, and I’m not your little whore
So I took three stones you gave me, but loved so dearly
You used them as an excuse to tear me apart
And shattered them so you could see more clearly
What you had done to my heart

Shattered like my heart that felt shattered like your stones and felt shattered
‘til we were apart. Now the fragments are my own.

The rose rock was better guarded
It didn’t lose even one piece
It bounced and headed for the garden
And hid there ‘til we made peace
My father used to give me rose rocks
But he battered me too
Did my heart stay in one piece, but with the door locked
And shatter when I opened it for you?
Track Name: Rós Rós (Rince Síóg) [Rose, Rose (Fairy Dance)]
Curfá:
Rós, rós, ceansa ‘is fiáin; dearg, bándearg, buí nó bán
Dathanna mar éiri nó luí na gréine. ‘Bhfuil easpa grá ag éinne dhuit?

Tá do bhachlóige do na síóga mar milseoga do dhuine óg.
Lasann spreagthacht in ár súile ‘s tosaímid damhsa dhóibh.

Cosnaíonn do dhealga ár mbrúnna ‘s gcaisleáin ach ní dochar duinn iad
Cuireann siad daoine uainn ach is breá linn iad.

Agus nuair atá tusa faoi bhláth tá tú i do dhraíocht féin.
Tugann daoine grá dhuit ‘s is cuimhin siad ort go deo.

Translation:
Rose, Rose (Fairy Dance)
Chorus:
Rose, rose, tame and wild; red, pink, yellow, or white
Colors like sunrise or sunset. Does anyone not love you?

Your buds are to the fairies like sweets to a young person (child)
Excitement shines in our eyes and we begin dancing for them

Your thorns protect our dwellings and castles but they do not harm us
They drive people from them but we love them

And when you are in bloom you are magic itself
People love you, and they remember you forever
Track Name: Éire mo Chroí (Ireland my Love)
Éire mo chroí, tá mo chroíse bronach.
Éire mo chroí, tá mo chroíse ag caoineadh.

Tháinig mé chugatsa ag iarraigh muintir ‘is baile
Ach níl baile agam fos, ‘is níl muintir ‘am ach roinnt cairde.

Agus cá bhfuil mo ghrá ghil? A’ bhfuil sí anseo? A’ bhfuil sí ann ar chor ar bith?
Agus ‘bhfuil sí in ann mé a cloisteáil? A’ bhfaighfeadh muid a chéile?

Tá sé breis ‘is dhá bhlian ó thosaigh mo ghrá dhuit
Ach níl mé níos gaire dhuit anois ná bhí mé an t-am sin.

Éire mo chroí, tá mo chroíse ag caoineadh.
Éire mo chroí, tá mo chroíse ag briseadh.

Translation:
Ireland my love, my heart is sad.
Ireland my love, my heart is crying.

I came to you wanting a family and a home
But I still don’t have a home, and I have no family but a few friends.

And where is the love of my life? Is she here? Does she even exist?
And can she hear me? Will we find each other?

It’s been more than two years since I first loved you
But I’m not closer to you now than I was then.

Ireland my love, my heart is crying.
Ireland my love, my heart is breaking.
Track Name: Journey
Water horses, white horses, wild horses
Eacha uisce, capaill bhána, capaill fiáine
In the crest of the wave, in the clouds in the sky, in my eyes as we soar so high

One red and pink patch of clouds looks like a mesa or Uluru
With its shadows and its cliffs that jut out into the light
With its ridges, and layers, and height
Towering over the desert, the stones and the shrubs that spread out to the edge of the sky

Is that land below? Or a dark, dense cloud below the white, fluffy clouds close to me?
A sandbar in the water through the mists, or a hole in the clouds, through the cirrus? Water patterns on sand, wind patterns on the sea, or cloud patterns in the sky below me?

Is that land ahead? Looks like an island in the sky on a sea of clouds stretching to the horizon.
Tracks in the snow, footprints in the sand, impressions in the clouds (or sea or land)?
Ridges in the clouds, waves and ripples on the sea, rolling hills across the scenery…