The Earth and All That is in It

by Roe Family Singers

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released December 15, 2008

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Roe Family Singers Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Roe Family Singers are a Good-Time, Old-Time Hillbilly band from the Mississippi-headwaters community of Kirkwood Hollow, MN. Led by wife & husband Kim Roe (Best Female Vocalist, City Pages/Village Voice) and Quillan Roe (Accident Clearinghouse), the band blends characteristic old-time sound with rock & roll urgency and influence. ... more

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Track Name: The Buckeye Tree
The Buckeye Tree
The sun was shining; it was so sunny
and through the trees blew a warm breeze
I hugged my baby up close to me
underneath the buckeye tree
I said, “Now, listen, listen to me:
“It all is right, as right can be
”So stay right here, right here with me
”underneath the buckeye tree”

She said, “Now, listen, listen to me:
”You know my love it runs deeply
“but the city is calling me
”from underneath the buckeye tree”

When I awoke, awoke did me
there was no one close to me
I was all alone, alone was me
underneath the buckeye tree
Track Name: Shallow Grave
My poor husband I laid him low
when I cut him with my knife
My husband counted many a foe
and among them me his wife

I dragged his body right out the door
to bury him in the ground
and as my muscles getting sore
he was only two feet down
I walked back to my kitchen door
as the rain fell from the sky
but I knew that it was just my Lord
as the tears fell from His eye

Then there was this terrible sound
of a banging upon my door
and throwing open that wooden gate
there lied my husband’s corpse
His cold, cold eyes they held my own
as I heard a wailing plea
then I realized that they were my own
saying, “Please, Lord, forgive me”

So if you’re going to dig a grave
make sure you dig it deep
for a shallow grave will rise them up
when the Lord begins to weep
Track Name: The Snowy Downs
They came from the trees that night
grey shades amongst the black trees
with hunger on their lips
in snow drawing ever nearer
Hard cold had killed all their prey
they were starving in the mountains
Hunger drove them down our way
They leapt upon all who found them
So drawing my darling close
I raised and leveled my shotgun
and squeezing the trigger oh, so tight
wouldn’t fire not even to falter
They fell upon us with speed
my throat was tattered and torn
My whip sang out with greed
I lived just barely till the morning

My darling screamed once my name
as they dragged her back into the black trees
I heard her moan out in pain
then the howling was all that reached me
My Heart Took to the Earth
There was a flock of birds calling over my head
and as they flew my heart took to the sky
and as I opened my mouth to sing along
O!
Track Name: My Heart Took To The Earth
There was a flock of birds calling over my head
and as they flew my heart took to the sky
and as I opened my mouth to sing along
O!

There was a wave that was rolling to the shore
and as it crashed my heart took to the sea
and as I mingled within those fathomless arms
O!

There was a forest that spread out
before my eyes
and as it grew my heart took to the Earth
and as my heart put roots deep into the soil
O!

There was a deer that was standing in the glen
and as he stood my heart took to the trees
and as a calm settled down over my heart
O!
Track Name: All I Need
When you’re lying close on me
I can feel your heart beat
That is all I need
Eyes of fog and skin grows wet
I can feel your breath
That is all I need

Fire it burns and ice is cold
Could we two together grow old?
That is all I need
Hell below and Heaven above
you’re the woman I love
That is all I need

That is all I need
Track Name: Woe Is Me
Woe is me! O, I say (O, Lord, she’s crying)
Woe is me! O, I say (O, Lord, she’s crying)

Used to live out on my land
Bank came out took what I had

Had a boy just 6 months old
He done died out from the cold

Ain’t no more a loving wife
Left that cheating man of mine

Got no home, no baby, O!
I got no love, I’m all alone

What good is this life I have
I look around it’s all so sad
Track Name: White Horse
I had a boy, a sweet young boy
growing in my womb
but the junk that I put into my veins
made my flesh his tomb

White horse, white horse
galloping through my veins
I’m a slave to that old white mare
since she took the reins

When I can’t sleep at night it’s the weed I like
When I can’t wake up it’s the speed
and if you’ve got $10 I’ll turn a trick for you
I got a habit to feed

But don’t you look down your nose at me
don’t you scorn my vice
for money-grubbing avarice
can, too, destroy your life

Now Jesus said before He died
“Let him without sin cast a stone”
but every man that I’ve ever seen
is sinful to his bones

But don’t cry for me, don’t shed no tears
because this is the life that I’ve chose
and if my corpse gets to looking sad
it’s just cocaine to powder my nose
Track Name: Brave New World
When the big machines block the road
and Industry spills our brains
I pray to God above that I still have a name
Not a machine part, but a heart

When we’re digitized and compressed
into sixteen little bytes
I pray to God above that I still come to rites
of decomposition in a grave
and not in some file no longer saved

So when the big machines block the road
and Industry spills our brains
I pray to God above that I still have a name
that I can give you and our child
in this brave new world that doesn’t smile
Track Name: Upon God's Mystery
I sing for the dead
the ones who passed before
and pray that they wait for me
upon far Jordan’s shore
I pray they look upon me
wherever they may be
and grace me with their presence
upon God’s Mystery

I sing for the dead
sleeping under ground
who wait for the ringing
of the judgement bell to sound
and when it finally sounds out
peeling o’er the air
then they shall rise up
and find their judgement there

I sing for the dead
risen to the sky
or burning in the brimstone
or stuck in the by-and-by
I pray they look upon me
wherever they may be
and grace me with their presence
upon God’s mystery
Track Name: Lizbeth Brown
Lizabeth Brown, Lizabeth Brown
shot her old man right down
“He beat me up, he knocked me down
”Twas self-defense,” said Lizabeth Brown
Lizabeth Brown lit out of town
“Ain’t no man gonna lock me down”
Bullet in her side to weigh her down
Lay down and died, poor Lizabeth Brown

Devil man came unto her
with horns on head and legs of fur
Said to her, “Like what I see!”Lizabeth Brown won’t you marry me?”
“The hell I will,” said Lizabeth Brown
“No boogie-man gonna tie me down!”All you men, from hoof to crown,
“you’re all the same,” said Lizabeth Brown

The Lord He came to Lizabeth Brown
“On what you did I do frown”
“But your old man, poor Lizabeth Brown
”he weren’t no good. In peace lie down”
Lizabeth Brown unto Him said,
“No, thank you, Sir, I’ll not be dead”She got right up and walked around
a free woman, that Lizabeth Brown

Lizabeth Brown, Lizabeth Brown
shot her old man right down
“He beat me up, he knocked me down
”Twas self-defence,” said Lizabeth Brown