Take Me to the Desert

by Ellen O'Meara

Released 2013
Released 2013
This folk/americana record is captivating with its haunting melodies and honesty. It explores themes of life, sorrow, loneliness, wanderlust, and unrefined faith.
  • 04:23 Lyrics
    Grey Eyes

    Grey eyes
    And her name was all she wrote
    Caught in her sleep on the morning greyhound

    Where'd she go?
    No one knows
    And the wind moans like an old piano

    She wanted you to know
    That the angels beat the demons in the end
    And she'll see you
    Time and again

    And she told me
    While your brain is growing
    To feed you with milk and honey

    Maybe then
    You'll ward off her grey eyes
    And take on golden ones instead

    And together
    We will hold on to that fire
    I recall
    She had a little light left inside her
    And I swear
    You look just like her

    She wanted you to know
    That the angels beat the demons in the end
    And she'll see you
    Time and again

    She wanted you to know
    That the angels beat the demons in the end
    And she'll see you
    Time and again

  • 05:02 Lyrics
    Carolina

    Foothills Appalachia

    Have swallowed up my mind again

    The wind speaks in foreign tongue

    And only I can understand

    Her whisper when she beckons me

    To sell my soul to her poplar trees

    When I die I'll be in Carolina

     

    I used to slave the city streets

    But who's name was I makin'

    It drove me into misery

    A state I hadn't chosen

    So I gave two weeks and I hung my tie

    Once a suit, now I'm naked

    I will die in peace in Carolina

     

    I had a box where I kept my pain

    So it wouldn't weigh upon me

    I lugged it around all my days

    And I burned the golden screw key

    So I set off for the Outer Banks

    And watched by little box drift away

    I have found my peace 

     

    Disease got the best of me

    But I don't need your prayers

    My dear, it's not a tragedy

    'Cause I am free as ever

    A passing life can be so sweet

    When my true north takes me out east

    I will die in peace in Carolina

     

    The sting of death is dulcified

    When I am with my loved ones

    The dogs down here know my eyes

    They are my true companions

    They taught me to set fear aside

    And howl hallelu to the mountain night

    I will die in peace in Carolina

     

    They taught me to set fear aside

    And howl hallelu to the mountain night

    I will die in peace in Carolina

  • 03:43 Lyrics
    Top of the City

    When you think of it

    Up high on the lonesome hill

    Send me your love

    I'll pass it along

     

    This ol' weather vane

    Tellin' lies again

    But I feel the pretty blue breeze

    It won't ever lie to me

     

    Power lines

    Treat the birds all right

    My hands are tied

    To my back tonight

    And isn't it a peculiar sight

    For to see the top of the city

     

    I knew you well

    And I loved you well

    Now I'm just a bird on a thin black wire

    And I wish you well

     

    Power lines

    Treat the birds all right

    My hands are tied

    To my back tonight

    And isn't it a peculiar sight

    For to see the top of the city

     

  • 04:19 Lyrics
    Take Me to the Desert

    It's been a while

    Since winter's seen the songbird

    It's been a while

    Since I could hear what you heard

    And a smile

    Spoken like a kind word

    Could heal my broken heart

    Could heal my broke heart

     

     

    It's been a while

    Since I was on my knees

    It's been a while

    Since I was bold to speak

    But I'm on my knees again

    I'm on my knees again

     

    Take me to the desert

    I'm lookin' for the songbird

    I'll bring her back to winter

    When the wind is cold and unforgiving

     

    Take me to the desert

    I'm waitin' on a kind word

    I am on my knees again

    And the winter wind is unforgiving

     

    Peter wrote

    Himself as a warning

    And so it goes

    That people stop believing

    That there's a place

    Where the sun is always shining

    It'll heal the broken hearts

    It'll heal the broken hearts

     

    Take me to the desert

    I'm lookin' for the songbird

    I'll bring her back to winter

    When the wind is cold and unforgiving

     

    Take me to the desert

    I'm waitin' on a kind word

    I am on my knees again

    And the winter wind is unforgiving

     

  • 05:02 Lyrics
    Wilson Street

    I used to close my eyes

    And you'd be right there to kiss me

    I used to say goodnight

    And you'd be right there hold me

     

    This ugly compromise

    Has brought me back to Wilson Street

    All there is where you once lived

    Are lonely ghosts and concrete

     

    Movin' on isn't for the meek of heart

    By the night of a love so pure

    And all my days haunted

    All my days are haunted

     

    You held your head up high

    To see the sun is shinin' free

    And you held my breath

    That I might keep my lungs from drowning

     

    While I would hide my face

    Fore I let somebody see me bleed

    But you're bleedin' all the time

    Thick and red and honestly

     

    Movin' on isn't for the meek of heart

    By the night of a love so pure

    And all my days haunted

    All my days are haunted

     

    Drove a week and back alive

    Headed down to Wilson Street

    I stand alone dignified

    In an empty building

     

    I'm a fool with big brown eyes

    Talkin' to the ghosts I meet

    Who say there's nothin' left of you

    For all you had you gave to me

    All you had you gave to me

     

    Movin' on isn't for the meek of heart

    By the night of a love so pure

    And all my days haunted

    All my days are haunted

     

  • 03:34 Story Lyrics
    Sisters of Mercy

    O the sisters of mercy

    They are not departed or gone, 

    They were waiting for me

    When I thought that I just can't go on

    And they brought me their comfort 

    And later they brought me this song

    O I hope you run into them 

    You who've been traveling so long

     

    Yes, you who must leave everything 

    That you cannot control 

    It begins with your family 

    But soon comes around to your soul 

    Well I've been where you're hanging 

    I think I can see how you're pinned

    When you're not feeling holy 

    Your loneliness says that you've sinned

     

    Well they lay down beside me 

    I made my confession to them 

    They touched both my eyes 

    And I touched the dew on their hem 

    If your life is a leaf 

    That the seasons tear off and condemn 

    They will bind you with love 

    That is graceful and green as a stem

     

    When I left they were sleeping 

    I hope you run into them soon

    Don't turn on the light 

    You can read their address by the moon 

    And you won't make me jealous 

    If I hear that they sweeten your night 

    We weren't lovers like that 

    And besides it would still be all right 

    We weren't lovers like that 

    And besides it would still be all right

     

  • 04:36 Lyrics
    Annie

    Somethin' like a carnival

    We're separate hearts on a carousel

    The marching band is harmonious

    In a crowded room of loneliness

     

    My mind is playin' tricks on me

    All the while, I believe

    I'm happy in a fancy dress

    While I waltz around with loneliness

     

    My suitors may think I'm a dainty little things

    'Cause I paint on my smile in a shade of pink

    But give me a gun and I'll never miss

    'Cause I learned how to fight with loneliness

     

    O, I ain't a believer

    We will ever meet again

    But if we do,

    I'd have no problem settin' fire to the sand

    And we'd run away

    With all that money burnin' holes in our hands

    And they'd say 

    Annie gone and done it just the way that she had planned

    And they'd say

    Annie isn't lonely anymore

     

    Change the tune to Boxcar Willie

    And look at the moon on an ol' trapeze

    Swingin low, the first night we kissed

    When I fell in love with loneliness

     

    O, I ain't a believer

    We will ever meet again

    But if we do,

    I'd have no problem settin' fire to the sand

    And we'd run away

    With all that money burnin' holes in our hands

    And they'd say 

    Annie gone and done it just the way that she had planned

    And they'd say

    Annie isn't lonely anymore

     

  • 05:27 Lyrics
    Weep Not for Me

    So long, mother

    I'm goin' away to sea

    I'll return with the changin' season

    Weep not for me

     

    Send my best to miner's daughter

    Who's goin' away to the city

    She will come to know and love another

    I will keep her in my dreams

    I remember skin fair as the mornin'

    I will keep her in my dreams

     

    And, lo, the wind and waves will throw me

    The beacon light beaten by the storm

    Siren callin' out to tell me what my name was

    I will find my way back home

    Soil can never separate us

    I will find my way back home

     

    So long, mother

    I'm goin' away to sea

    I'll return with the changin' season

    Weep not for me

    Soil can never separate us

    Weep not for me

    Weep not for me

NOTES
Ellen O'Meara is an emerging singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas. In 2011, she picked up a guitar for the first time and started to write. "I felt compelled to create," she says. "I knew there was something meaningful brewing in my head and I needed to write it down. I felt an overwhelming inspiration to tell stories in my own way...I started by taking what I love about raw folk music, simple narratives with structure and purpose, and combining that with what inspires me about poetry, metaphor, and symbolism," she continues. At year's end, Ellen had written a handful of notable songs and dove head first into the recording process. Take Me to the Desert (May 2013 release) includes several of her earliest songs.

The album was produced, recorded and mixed by Darwin Smith. The recording features Ellen's elegant songwriting framed by a selection of Austin's finest musicians. Her music is simple but emotionally articulate and is complemented nicely by the album’s lush arrangements. Her music has evoked comparisons to such greats as Gillian Welch, Townes Van Zandt, and Leonard Cohen, whose “Sisters of Mercy” she covers on the record.

"Several years ago, my brother introduced me to Townes and I fell in love with his songs. His music led me to Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris, Woody Guthrie and many other pioneers who have inspired me," reflects O'Meara.
"I'm fascinated with the paradox that a person's life can be full of pain and sorrow, and all the while full of hope and light. I've seen this in myself and I write about it all the time."

Musicians featured on Take Me to the Desert include: Ellen O' Meara (guitar, keys, lead & background vocals, banjo, organ, wurlitzer electric piano, banjo, percussion), Darwin Smith (moog snyth, wurlizter electric piano, background vocals, guitar, baritone guitar, dobro, organ, clave), Kullen Fuchs (melodica, vibraphone, trumpet, horns), Roy Coon (clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone, flute), Dony Wynn (drums, percussion) Tony Rogers (cello), Nick Arbuckle (upright bass), Kim Deschamps (pedal steel) and Katy Gurley (background vocals).