Cardboard Ox (2015 EP)

by Cardboard Ox

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about

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Ross Lenzing at Lion Recording Studio in Cranston, RI

credits

released October 24, 2015

Tracie Potochnik: vocals, guitar, mandolin
Steve Allain: vocals, guitar, banjo
Amato Zinno: upright bass

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about

Cardboard Ox Providence, Rhode Island

Well-established as solo performers in their home state of Rhode Island, Tracie Potochnik and Steve Allain joined forces in the spring of 2014 when Tracie showed up on Steve's doorstep with her mandolin and said, "Let's write a song together!" The two have since formed a duo featuring sweet and soulful harmony, thoughtful musicianship, and delicately crafted lyrical storytelling. ... more

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Track Name: The Fisherman
Old Pete White could never erase
His pale blue eyes or the scar on his face
That runs below his left eye across his cheek
Only makes him look just a little more antique

Born and raised as a fisherman's son
One hand in the ocean and the other one
Grabbing on to whatever he could hold
Like a trap, or maybe faith or just fools gold

Living on his boat like a second home
A wooden frame on the water with a little chrome
And rust

And he can't believe it's been three years
The sea has taken all his tears
Damn those shores that hold him in
He'll never see that face again

Taught his son from the age of nine
How to haul a net and how to tow a line
Fishing's the only thing he's ever had
Passing wisdom to his son from his own dad

And that boy learned quick and he grew up fast
You don't have a choice if you want to last
Out on the North Atlantic Sea
Cause in this line of work there's never a guarantee

And you gamble and pray every single night
Cause you never know when your good luck just might
Run out

And he can't believe it's been three years
The sea has taken all his tears
Damn those shores that hold him in
He'll never see that face again

Whenever they'd ask him about his scar
Well he'd get real quiet and he seemed so far
Came across as being unaware
Either lost in thought or maybe lost in prayer

The people who knew didn’t bother to ask
About the scar or about the past
They all knew the story of old Pete
And the local townies all wanted to be discrete

He runs his finger across that mark
All day until the sky turns dark

And he can't believe it's been three years
The sea has taken all his tears
Damn those shores that hold him in
He'll never see that face again

Now the paint on the boat has gotten chipped and stale
With a sign on the front that says for sale
Track Name: Falling
Is this how it feels when something you never expect
Sings sweet the siren song until you dive into the wreck
And is this how it feels when your heart rattles in your chest
Like snake eyes on the table staring at your Sunday best

I don't know, I don't know
I don't ever want to know
I don't know, I don't know
I don't ever want to know

Is this how it feels when you try tilling frozen ground
But pray the seeds stay silent until springtime comes around
And is this how it feels when you go driving in the mist
And inch by inch you hope that home waits at the end of this

You tell me so, you tell me so
We don't ever want to know
You tell me so, you tell me so
We don't ever want to know

Cause it feels like flying
When you're falling

This is how it feels when your mouth is full of dirt
There's a secret and a switchblade inside of every word
And this is how it feels with the hand that we've been dealt
It's fine, it's fair, we're better off
Just keep it to yourself

And now I know, now I know
That I don't ever want to know
Now I know, now I know
That I don't ever want to know

That it feels like flying
When you're falling
Track Name: The Ballad of Ida
Well they brought me in to see her putting up her final fight
Oh and the shadows on her face were dancing from the candlelight
And I wished that I could give her any parts that I could spare
Because the broken parts she had were just too far beyond repair
And we stood around the bedside and we sang Amazing Grace
Cause that song would always bring the biggest smile right to her face
Well I didn't want to lose it and I tried with all my might
When she took my hand and smiled at me on that quiet, quiet night

A true matriarch well all the kings would bow down at her feet
She became a mother fairly young and drank her whiskey neat
Well it made her numb but it made her tough she never did lose sight
That love was still the greatest weapon, love could win the hardest fight
And she fought with both arms open for her neighbors and the poor
And she never turned away a stranger knocking at her door
She was socially adept, she was clever and polite
I remembered everything she was on that quiet, quiet night

Her husband was a farmer who was up before the sun
Oh and the daylight was his wristwatch she always knew when he was done
Then one year there was a problem, the government came by
And took the land behind the tree line but she saw right through the lie
And she marched to City Hall and told them all it's not for sale
So they held her in contempt and threw her in the county jail
Well she never backed down from the threats and in the end she won the fight
We reminisced about that story, on that quiet, quiet night

Her husband died twelve years ago but she stayed in their home
And even though she lived all by herself she never was alone
Cause au the good she did came back to her over tenfold more
And everyone took turns to visit or to bring her to the store
Now tonight she takes her final breaths it all just seems surreal
My emotions span across the board, I'm not sure how to feel
Just past eight o'clock her body becomes quiet in the light
Now she's made her way to the other side on this quiet, quiet night
Track Name: Other Side of Town
I don't miss the east side, not one little bit
I'm on the other side of town now, I escaped that tiresome shit
Rich white housewives in the park with cappuccino breath
Their kids are so well mannered until they trample you to death
I don't miss the east side, glad I got that off my chest

And I don't miss that hound dog barking in my neighbor's yard
Always howling out the window when the moon rose high and far
They never paid him any mind or took him for a walk
His lonesome cries could terrorize three surrounding blocks
I don't miss that hound dog he was dumb as a cardboard box

And I don't miss that black cat who came scratching at my door
Or that one old stubborn nail was always poking out the floor
And I don't miss the front porch swing where we would sit and sway
And watch the clear cool evening swallow one more sunny day

I don't miss seeing your face everywhere I went
Always showing off that new girl like you were president
It's just like I told you in those letters that I sent
My heart is mostly mended, maybe just a little bent
I don't miss seeing your big blue eyes everywhere I went

I don't miss the east side, not one little bit
I'm on the other side of town now, I escaped that tiresome shit
It was like a t-shirt that never seemed to fit
Or maybe that was me who started growing out of it
I don't miss the east side, not one little bit
Track Name: Under
The sky parted and the sea started to swell
When the waves rolled, they swallowed me whole
And nobody else could tell

Where I stood there was empty space
Every shadow had been erased
No blue eyes, no red mouth, no trace
One more girl gone away

Under, don't you weep
Under, rock me to sleep
Under, don't mourn for me
Now I'm under, five miles deep

Oooh, bury me
Bury my memory
Bury my memory

When I stopped doubting fins were sprouting right through my skin
The whales whispered, Oh my sister
Begin, begin, begin

Now forget everything you knew
It's just static and residue
There's no choice, this is what you choose
Fade into the blue

Under, don't you weep
Under, rock me to sleep
Under, don't mourn for me
Now I'm under, five miles deep

Oooh, bury me
Bury my memory
Bury my memory
Track Name: Face to Face
I want to reclaim all the years I spent inside a fog
I was a hammer desperately seeking out a nail
Then you came along, it's like our voices became one
And this story had begun and we set sail

I have a wide past like the Mississippi River
And it creeps up on those levees like a thief
So I decided that it was time to move to higher ground
What I lost and what I found was a relief

And all this time that we've been spending face to face
And all the things you've said have kept my head in a better place
And when those thoughts creep in and I begin
To feel like I'm losing the fight
Well I can just look across at you
And know that everything will be alright
Yeah I can just look across at you and it will be alright

We all have hard times can we conquer them with patience
But that clock keeps pushing back on everyday
Time is a killer, soon we'll be off to meet our makers
We're the movers not the shakers in this play

I'm not a gambler but I'm taking all my chances
Giving up the ghosts and the guarantees
And Lady Luck, well I won't be traveling with her
For my money you're much better company

And all this time that we've been spending face to face
And all the things you've said have kept my head in a better place
And when those thoughts creep in and I begin
To feel like I'm losing the fight
Well I can just look across at you
And know that everything will be alright
Yeah I can just look across at you and it will be alright

Well I thought I only needed sunshine I was so naive
But I started wilting heavy and I lost most of my leaves
The rain came hard and jarred my fragile frame until I realized
The struggle's only there to keep you alive

I want to reclaim all the years I spent inside a fog
I was a hammer desperately seeking out a nail
Then you came along it's like our voices became one
And this story had begun and we set sail