To Evening Lands

by Luke Gullickson

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This album is a labyrinth. At its gate is perched a lapwing who bids you follow it down the crooked pathways. You might remember this bird from its few beautiful appearances in James Joyce's Ulysses, the story of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom. It might symbolize keeping one's secrets, as a lapwing's nest is always carefully hidden.

As you trace the paths you might lose the lapwing ahead, and find yourself alone. You might think of Daedalus, the great engineer of Greek myth, who built a labyrinth for King Minos to imprison the Minotaur. The story of Daedalus' subsequent escape from Crete, on a pair of homemade wings alongside his doomed son Icarus, is well-known. But few remember how Daedalus came to Crete, as an outcast from Athens. He'd taken an apprentice, his nephew Perdix. Warped with jealousy at Perdix' superior genius, Daedalus pushed him from the top of the Acropolis. But Athena, goddess of the city, saved Perdix by turning him into a partridge in mid-air.

So Perdix flew away, that day. But partridges still make their nests low to the ground; they remember too well the terror of the fall.

I found these songs in Wyoming in March 2013. My gratitude extends to the Ucross Foundation, for taking care of them until I got there, and for treating me so well while I wrote them down. The hills are full of songs.

"Across the sands of all the world, followed by the sun's flaming sword, to the west, trekking to evening lands." -- JJ

Luke Gullickson, piano / voice
Ellen McSweeney, violin / voice

music & lyrics by Luke Gullickson
arranged by Luke Gullickson and Ellen McSweeney
recorded & produced by Ben Hjertmann and Luke Gullickson
cover art by Emily Howe

© 2014 by Two Labyrinths Music (ASCAP)


released April 8, 2014

2LR 000

℗ 2014 by Two Labyrinths Records
PO Box 10185
Albuquerque, NM 87184


2LR is a division of the Two Labyrinths Institute for Sound and Symbology.


all rights reserved



Luke Gullickson Albuquerque, New Mexico

Musical maps and labyrinths

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Track Name: Little Bird
Little bird with a golden key
Little bird, you fly faster than me
Little bird with a blue paintbrush
Little bird, it's no race, there's no rush

Little bird at my fingertips,
Ain't the sunlight carved up in strips?
Though you don't play the harp no more
Little bird, won't you pull the rug off the floor and dance?

It ain't a crime. Toss the village kids a dime. Sing a song to make them pray.
Just run. Make a scene. Point a mirror down the hall of gasoline.
Both will wash away.

Little bird with a golden key
Little bird, you're a mystery to me
With your blue Honduran scarf and your leather case,
Ain't you just a vision in this place?

Sitting chirping above my door,
Must I come out and scare you off once more?
When the lights are low and the sooth's been said,
Little bird, I know you'll crawl out of my bed and fly

To pretend that we're not the weak, that it's not the end of our Grecian holiday.
The sun turns the page, the lowing of the cows will set the stage,
Both will wash away.
Track Name: Fall
Shadows by the doorway
Paintings on the wall
Flickers in the night sky
Petals watch them fall

Petals by the doorway
Shadows on the wall
Paintings in the night sky
Flickers watch them fall

Paintings by the doorway
Flicker on the wall
Petals in the night sky
Shadows watch them fall
Track Name: The House
In my dreams there's a house
Set as wide as the plains
It's a simmering sight when I catch its dim light through the rain
Though its walls they stand tall
The wind cuts right through
It'll make still the tide but you have to decide what to do
It'll unspin the thread 'til the face of the meadow is blue

As the fog settled in
We were out on the swing
With a chill in the air as you whispered of terrible things
And the stories I told
They were some of them true
Our two paths did collide and we had to decide what to do
Can't unsay what I said 'til the breath of the meadow is blue

In my dreams there's a house
Set as wide as the plains
And my grandaddy said that the plans could be read in the grains
And it's empty and clean
Never dust on the loom
It springs up from the sight of the pale morning light in your room
All the leaves will glow red and the arms of the meadow will bloom
Track Name: The City
Ash flakes float from the welkin's moat in a tune he wrote up on Broadway.
The gale awoken, a screen door broken, a vesper spoken at mid-day.

The pallid tawn of the old salon with its story drawn on the ceiling -- home's a cloak of the winter folk and there's always smoke lingering in the air, in the trees, in the prairies cut to the lees.
The queen bats her eyes, the burning lands will arise.

I learned to talk on the coal sidewalk where the doors don't lock and the string breaks. The river packed as the bridge was cracked, only the birds react, a lapwing makes the wind and the rain seem a sunset seen from a train.
They realize the burning air will arise.

Before the playhouse closed Mr. Lill composed and we all supposed that the wiretap would smell like a diving bell and the oneiric spell of the lyre would send a crackling sound across the toneless plane of the ground.
We still revise, the burning earth will arise.

He feels it sear on the coldest day of the year.
We still revise, the burning earth will arise.
Track Name: Sophia
Sweet Sophia with a crooked smile
Put down the book and look at me awhile
You see creation from your chair
As though it weren't a yellow world out there
Come show me all your sheepskin shirts
I'll show you exactly where it hurts

St Augustine was a crooked man
With a snake tattoo and a sheepskin tan
He saw creation in a feather pen
As though in Jesus was a why or when
She's crying over all his shirts
He knows exactly why it hurts

The Holy Ghost is a fickle beast
It's played my guitar four times at least
From where it comes, can't say I know,
But when it leaves my cabin, it leaves me low
As though the last ones will be the first
In the place within me where it hurts

Sophia disappeared into the deep blue sky
The eagle don't know where and I don't know why

Sweet Sophia with your grin so deep
You haunt my songs, you haunt my sleep
Creation's just a crooked scheme
The world it's just a yellow dream
Your snakeskin savior, your threefold thirst
Will tell you exactly where it hurts

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