Burn the Tapes

by Norma MacDonald

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1.
03:06
2.
3.
4.
04:16
5.
6.
02:52
7.
8.
9.
04:00
10.

credits

released June 8, 2015

Musicians:

Norma MacDonald- acoustic guitar, electric guitar on 5, vocals
Adam Fine- electric and upright bass
Benn Ross- drums, percussion
Phil Sedore- cello on 3&9, lap steel on 7, accordion on 10, bg vocals on 4&8
Dale Murray- pedal steel on 1&9, electric guitar on 4&7, acoustic guitar on 8
Matt Myer- piano on 3&7, organ and trumpet on 5
Dan MacCormack- banjo on 2&4, mandolin on 10
Charles Austin- electric guitar on 4&8
Erin Costelo- accordion on 8
Andrew Sneddon- dobro on 6
Gabe Minnikin- duet vocals on 7, bg vocals on 2&4
Kim Harris- bg vocals on 1,2,3,4&9
Gabrielle Papillon- bg vocals on 1,3&9
Carmel Mikol- bg vocals on 2&4

Produced by Norma MacDonald

Engineered by Phil Sedore at Mountian Road Studio, Upper Musquodoboit, NS
Additional recording by Charles Austin, The Echo Chamber, Halifax, NS

Mixed and mastered by Phil Sedore

Photos and graphic design by Corey Isenor

All songs by Norma MacDonald (SOCAN 2015) *except 5- words by Ronok Sarkar, music by Norma MacDonald

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about

Norma MacDonald Halifax, Nova Scotia

Norma MacDonald likes Gram Parsons records, potato chips, talking to strangers, David Lynch movies and swimming in the ocean. Her fourth album, "Burn the Tapes" was recorded over 13 months in rural Upper Musquodoboit, NS.

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Track Name: Company
No I won’t cry, you know it’s not like me
Pull up a chair, pour me another drink
At the edge of the water, at the edge of the world
Thought I’d always be your small town city girl

But time gets rolling, and what will be will be
But I sure do miss your company

We dangled our legs over the edge
A silent, secret, sacred life long pledge
At these dizzy moments, at these dizzy heights
Every pack was empty come daylight

But time gets rolling, and what will be will be
But I sure do miss your company

We’ll pretend it’s end of summer blues
We’ll be alright and I’ll see you soon
Track Name: Blue as a Jay
I’m never lost for something to say
I’m bold as a gull and blue as a jay
A sky that turns from sun to gray
I’m bold as a gull and blue as a jay

And oh, can I take you home
Can I stay with you til the morning
And why oh why does this feeling die
And these lonesome blue some a-callin’

Well darling I’m not made of stone
Spent too many cold nights alone
I’m over before I begin
A soft heart with hard feelings

And oh, can I take you home
Can I stay with you til the morning
And why oh why does this feeling die
And these lonesome blue some a-callin’
Track Name: You Can't Carry it Around
Strangers on a train to a town you never knew
Watching for the greenest oceans of the fields
And you want to take it all and try to pin it down
And you want to sing the notes that ring without a sound
But you can’t carry it around

Talking in a voice like an old cathedral bell
Waiting for a chance to pour your heart not made of stone
And you want to wear it like a jewel in your crown
And you want to shout from mountains all you’ve lost is found
But you can’t carry it around

Dreaming on a plane over water black as night
Someday you’ll paint portraits of castles in the dirt
But you won’t let this moment kick you when you’re down
‘Cause you’ve loosened the chains an inch that held you bound
And you can’t carry it around
Track Name: Old Song
Heaven knows I’d take the blame for you
For every lonesome streetlight you shot out
Nothing’s really been the same for you
Since you put your faith in someone who walked out

But there’s something I been trying to say
Please don’t take it the wrong way

It’s an old song you’ve been playing too long
So why not try to lead with something new
It’s an old song you’ve been playing too long
It’s time you put to bed
That tunes been in your head
And wake up easy singing something new

Heaven knows your kind of circumstance
Keeps kicking at your heart night after night
But my darling I think it’s time we danced
To something a little more upbeat tonight

I’m not saying you should burn the tapes
I’m just saying let’s see what difference that it makes

It’s an old song you’ve been playing too long
So why not try to lead with something new
It’s an old song you’ve been playing too long
It’s time you put to bed
That tunes been in your head
And wake up easy singing something new
Track Name: Before We Say Goodnight
It could take a while til the night grows dark
And we stumble on the remnants of what’s really on our minds
All the hand-me-downs, the spirits and their callings
So let’s just wait a while before we say goodnight
The midnight sky still glows and theirs words in the distance
And things that can’t be said against the hours of the day
But you and I both know there’s no sense in arriving
So let’s just wait a while before we say goodnight
Like some bandit lost in darkness seeking shelter at your door,
From the shipwrecks and the sailors, from the dockyards in the morning
The lonely and the bored and the sufferers of wonder
You can watch them come and go like specks across the sky
But you and I are here and nothing’s really lasting
So let’s just wait a while before we say goodnight
The boot heels on the road upon the snow that’s falling
I could slip away to where the dead and I belong
But there’s still a song to write and I’d rather not be walking
So let’s just wait a while before we say goodnight
Track Name: Daysleeper
I've become a daysleeper, a cracked and rusted gatekeeper
And you've become a hedge better, a worn and faded old sweater
Baby I’m sorry I didn't mean to let it go
Baby I’m sorry, oh I still love you so

I was once a head turner, a ready spark a barn burner
You were my first and last chancer, a steady hand, a slow dancer
Baby I’m sorry I didn’t mean to let it go
Baby I’m sorry, oh I still love you so
Baby I’m sorry that this room has grown so cold
Baby I’m sorry, oh I still love you so

Time’s an indelicate machine, can make you hard can make you mean
Can bury your love in the ground, but it can bring it back around
Baby I’m sorry I didn’t mean to let it go
Baby I’m sorry, oh I still love you so
Baby I’m sorry I spun my tracks down in the road
Baby I’m sorry, oh I still love you so

I've become a daysleeper, a cracked and rusted gatekeeper
But time has helped me see better, that you’re my favourite old sweater.
Track Name: Lighten Up (with Gabe Minnikin)
My heart is heavy like old books in a trunk
That I read back in high school
While my friends got drunk
Been dragging behind me since I was a kid
I should’ve left some behind me
Oh but I never did

My heart is aching like that tooth I lost
After that misunderstanding
In the church parking lot
Oh how I pushed it, how I worked it loose
But some things they hold rooted
Sometimes there’s no use

Are you too late to lighten my load
I got stones in my pockets
From these holes in the road
Shoulder this weight and settle my mind
Nothing good ever comes easy
But I know you tried

My heart is lonely like a child in the woods
Surviving on kindness from wild animals
Scared of the daylight, still so free in the night
My heart is just hoping you’ll make it alright

Are you too late to lighten my load
I got stones in my pockets
From these holes in the road
Shoulder this weight and settle my mind
Nothing good ever comes easy
But I know you tried
Track Name: Accidental Guest
I’ve been saving pennies for some time
Waiting my turn, standing in line
I worked so hard I thought I’d go insane
Then you came along and said my name

Maybe you’re lost
Maybe you’re found
maybe you pulled your own roots right out of the ground
Maybe you’re right
Maybe it’s best
To live your life just showing up like you’re some accidental guest


Nothing comes from nothing so we’re told
But if it’s nothing you want, the I guess you’re gold
Closed your eyes and jumped out of the boat
Why sink or swim when you can float

Maybe you’re lost
Maybe you’re found
maybe you pulled your own roots right out of the ground
Maybe you’re right
Maybe it’s best
To live your life just showing up like you’re some accidental guest
Track Name: To Nebraska
All the things I swear I would've asked ya
But instead I kept it all inside
Down the basement listening to Nebraska
As the winter ‘round us slowly died

It made you feel alright, it made you feel better
It made you feel someday instead of never
It made you feel nothing ever goes too far
As you lie there looking at the stars
The cold wind’s blowing, my heart’s on fire

Pay attention to the signs of warning
That’s what they told me from the start
Everything looks clearer in the morning
As the cold hard light fills up the dark

It made you feel alright, it made you feel better
It made you feel someday instead of never
It made you feel nothing ever goes too far
As you lie there looking at the stars
The cold wind’s blowing, my heart’s on fire

Quietly the pieces come together
Though I know I’m still missing a few
All these subtle changes in the weather
Make me wonder if you ever knew

It made you feel alright, it made you feel better
It made you feel someday instead of never
It made you feel nothing ever goes too far
And now I don’t know where you are
The cold wind’s blowing, my heart’s on fire
Track Name: Hard to Get Back
I’m going back somehow
Through the forests where I used to hide
Where the grasses they have grown so high
They can’t see how fast we’re running
I’m saving up my words
To use as currency against the wind
When it tries to blow us back again
You know it always tries to blow us back

Back in the day we used to say
You can’t stand still if it’s not in your bones
And we were right
And chased the lights
But I never thought it’s be so hard to get back home

I know I’ve been somewhere
Places that I never dreamed I’d go
Silent rivers never seen the snow
But we never were the wiser
And now the years take hold
And I need you to remind me
To erase or to define me
Take me to that lonesome hillside by the sea

Back in the day we used to say
You can’t stand still if it’s not in your bones
And we were right
And chased the lights
But I never thought it’s be so hard to get back home

And you defended this ideal
While I raged against the setting of the sun
Now that I finally know how it feels
Take the bullets from your gun and say that I’m the only one