The Petal and the Page

by Young Legs

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04:12
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04:58
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02:51
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03:42
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about

buy/stream here: ynglgs.tumblr.com/tptp

the night has yet to fall.
do you follow your own shadow
once more into the mist?
or do you lift your face and turn?

Memories are stories that we tell ourselves to remember who we are. Love, heartbreak, longing, bitterness, peace - emotions evolve along with the lens through which we view the past.
I started writing most of these songs many years ago, capturing feelings both familiar and foreign to those that I feel now. So many real moments pressed like flowers into books. As I grew, I slowly became afraid of detaching from my past without realizing that I was in danger of being trapped within it forever.
Now aware of this recursion, I can both embrace the past and let it go. Kneeling at the mouth of darkness, where I've found myself so many times before, I can find a new path.

Finally following up The Fog and the Forest, this album offers two perspectives.
The past and the present:
The Petal and the Page.

read with me!
<3

credits

released December 9, 2016

Written, performed, recorded, produced, and mastered by Steven Donahue between 2013-2016, except where noted below.

THE PLAYERS
Matt Olsson - drums and percussion, tracks 1-9
John Donahue III - fiddle on track 1
Ezra Lowrey - fancy guitar on tracks 2 & 8
Ashley Simon - vocals on track 3
Josh Evensen - fancy guitar on track 5
Erin Lockett - trumpet on track 5
Danni May - piano on track 6
Zach Baransky - fancy rhythm guitar on track 6
Ben Karas - violin and viola, tracks 1 & 7
Paul Vanderwal II - cello, tracks 1 & 7
Taran Plamondon - french horn on track 9
Roni Seiler - violin, viola, and cello, track 10

Taran and Roni recorded themselves.

Main electric guitar on tracks 1 & 7-9 and vocals on tracks 5, 7 & 8 recorded at The Den with Matt Maroulakos.
Force ghost production consultation with Jeff Jones "The Jedi Master" on track 7.

Photography by Kelli McGuire.
Album design by Peter Donahue.

Endless thanks and love for countless more.

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Young Legs New Jersey

Sometimes fun,
sometimes sad,
always introspective.

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Track Name: Daffodil
am i to fix myself to this time alone?
like ivy so old that it holds together stone
my darling, i'd wait,
but i just can't stay here
so i'll lose you today and a little more every year

do i keep on until i have had my fill?
or rot in the dirt like some long dead daffodil?
my darling, you live
for the hope of a spark
but you cannot know the light if you've never felt the dark

dismissive of praise, yet denied any blame
destined to live neither proud nor ashamed
have you forgotten the promise you made?
the words are all there but they've started to fade
Track Name: Goodbye no. 99
i'm tired of spending all this time
getting rid of what i've got
and everything i'm getting now
is sick or made of rot
but don't think that i've given up
i cannot change my mind
i'd have a better chance at turning water into wine

it seems like we have said goodbye
close to a hundred times
and maybe right before we hit that mark
the count will cease to climb
and i can give up everything i want
and do all there is to do
but goodbye number ninety-nine will make its way to you

fold, fold, fold!
fold your hands and kneel
cry, cry, cry!
without a script can you still feel?
hide, hide, hide!
you hide your weakness with your strength
i don't know how you expect to survive
loving at arm's length

something in your binding changed
when i pulled you off the shelf
i had killed the boy you loved
and you nearly killed yourself
and i can't give up anything i need
and there's so much more to do
so goodbye number ninety-nine has made its way to you
Track Name: The Historian
how've you been? i hope you don't make a scene.
we get along so well-
until i bring up anything.
leave it be, this is just boring me
no one one the war
but i will write the history

tell me what love means to you
so i can disagree
darling, let's get temporary!

locked in place, decisions might cross your face
i say what's on my mind
i listen, but i don't reply
standing there, rain dripping from our hair
Tiersen tells me to go
through tears and sad arpeggios

tell me what love means to you
so i can disagree
darling, let's get temporary!
x2
Track Name: Schrödinger
please be gentle
i've lost a friend
when will your ghost appear?
i've been waiting at the end
give me some kind of sign
i'm seeing signs in every light
halos of warm yellow glow
in the frosted windows at night

now all my love is gone
let me rest

i miss you in my lungs
and the way you made me cry
like sweet april pollen
in the rain is how you died
when will your ghost appear?
are you here, or are you gone?
when will you haunt me?
will you be gone for long?

now all my love is gone
let me rest
Track Name: Typewriters
write me a postcard that makes you think of me
so i can think of you when you're thinking of me
when walking St. John's Wood, the streets and the fever,
the urge indescribable, terrible, beautiful,
writer your feet must have felt so on fire
like your heart and your eyes filled with tears and desires
and regrets and resolve and no focus at all,
just an angelic wanderer, never living at all

and when you're done being gone
let me know
that you're okay

life across centuries, loneliest exile!
you live inside typewriters, 180 vinyl shards,
lightbulbs and shower scars, polaroid paradise,
frescoes from Italy season your floor and your
arrows of apathy run through your flesh like some
bored St. Sebastian so fed up with feeling,
you're drinking the empathy drawn by your friends
busy feeling so full and so empty you're trying by
worshipping Sylvia, Mangum and Hemingway,
Newsom and writers of lovely and dreary things.
whisper their names in a soft hallelujah
while they should be praying to yours

and when you're done being gone
let me know
that you're okay
Track Name: Greetings from the Dead
it's been a couple weeks since you died
i think i'm taking it
rather well for the guy
who tried to save your life!
of course that's up for argument
you'd have never had the guts
to finish that cocktail
you would choke and then you'd bail

paisley wrists and circle scarves
lavender and lace
every track was on repeat
we would cry and stamp our feet
but now you're gone and i'm alone
and happier than sin
i wasn't glad to see you go
but then again, how would i know?

just like so many conversations
so many nights we wasted
so many times we could have smiled

some days, it's a battle
knowing you're not here
and sometimes i don't know
why i ever shed a tear
some days i forget
what it's like to feel at all
but some day, some day, some day
will mean nothing if
you decide to call!

would i care enough to answer,
or would it cost too much?
i assume it isn't free
to call from India to me
i'll make a dusty dozen from the
postcards that you send
saying, "Greetings from the Dead!
Hello! Namaste, shanti!"

some days, it's a battle
knowing you're not here
and sometimes i don't know
why i ever shed a tear
some days i forget
what it's like to feel at all
but some day, some day, some day
will mean nothing if you decide to call
Track Name: Ring of Salt
your jaw's been shut
since the day that you could talk
and you sat down
when you learned to run away
now you've a taste
for a different kind of waste
and you reap the fear
that you sowed yesterday

please be gentle
please be gentle when you go
give me the sad news
you'll feel better if i know
and we'll give each other better news soon

when you lay down
and the heat of summer sin
dries the grass
that you decide to lay upon
you'll peel your skin
and you'll light another grin
and watch the ashes
reach so desperate for the sun

have i found what i want?
am i satisfied with where i place the fault?
another broken heart
is pouring through my fingertips
and as it's falling it becomes a ring of salt

please be gentle
please be gentle when you go
give me the sad news
you'll feel better if i know
x2
Track Name: Pressed Flowers (Dandelions)
i sit along the bridge
i throw a stick into the creek
but it won't come out of the other side
just think of better days
they can bring to you a tear or two
the price you have to pay
to finally be satisfied
and i cannot forget
but i don't exactly remember

tuck away the years
left in a tome from your old home
when you find them again, what will you care?
i sit along the bridge
between today and yesterday
the river sings,
"You won't come out the other side!"
and i cannot forget
but i don't exactly remember

the memories are pressed together,
flattening with age
it's getting hard to tell
between the petal and the page!

between today and yesterday!

bring to you a tear or two-
because the binding tears or the water wears
what i wished would last forever
if i cast a light or i hold too tight
it'll crumble altogether
and so i will not forget
but i don't exactly remember,
yet.
Track Name: Matchbooks & Letters
i will wipe from my cheeks all the love that you gave me
but the ink from your letters will stain my face
and i leave all the words that i know will not save me
and those that remain will be my only saving grace.

and i'll fight through the rain and the floods of self-interest
clutching close your postcards and your darkest days
and i'll leave them on the curb for the morning to take them
i think that i'll appreciate the honesty of waste

i'll dry off the keys and i'll fire up the engine
and drive to the nearest place i once knew you
i'll look to the typewriters thrown to the water
how much indecision will they never come to know?

their fragile voices say, "LOOK DEEP INTO THE EYES THAT READ YOU."
in that most brief of moments, your heart will be stripped bare
all that you will know is love of life and no devotion
and death will rid the earth of worship and despair

i'll wake up late, stinking of fire
filthy with memory and dried up desire
because i stayed up all night, burning a bridge
with a match that i've been holding for so long

i'll run as the paint of the world runs before me
lifting all the lines between the blessed and the damned
the canvas underneath is like a dream after a nightmare
the comfort of the wool after the horn of the ram

read every line of every poem and every novel
die to all the music, and shave off all your hair
walk every step of every road in every country
you'll never find yourself if you keep looking there.

we'll walk from our lives in a blaze of translation
and sweep away each footprint that we ever left behind
and i'll wait by the pond for the evening to take me
and i won't look back
and a smile will crack...

i'll wake up late, stinking of fire
filthy with memory and dried up desire
because i stayed up all night, burning a bridge
with a match that i've been holding for so long
x2

and just because i'm happy
doesn't make it wrong
Track Name: We Are a Strange Loop
shadows shift as the sun sets slowly
a memory is a fading story
i feel that i've knelt here before
running from those i adore

humming through a loop so strange
endless melodies that change
i cling to hope and will leave behind
old feelings bound to words
and the binding in my mind

and the way i told you off
and how i thought i knew so much
all the poetry and prose
as brittle as a dried rose
and an agony ago,
i lost count of the goodbyes.
i don't think that this ink is meant to dry

shadows sing as the sun sets slowly
about a present, past and lonely
but maybe now the woods align
if i lift my face and turn
it could finally be time

i know this haunted wood is mine
and a part of me remains
all the poetry and prose
as brittle as a dried rose

but now i know what brought me here,
(pass me by)
and the spirits pass me by.
(think this ink)
i don't think that this ink-
(meant to dry)
the ink's not meant to dry

(yet to fall)
i know the night has yet to fall
(in it all)
i take comfort in it all
(it is time)
and it could finally be time
(have to find)
i have myself to find

it could finally be time
i have myself to find