Some Days I'm a Lion

by Tyler Stenson

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    12-track LP by Tyler Stenson (2012).

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about

Above all, this is an empowering album about belief in self. Penned by an award-winning singer/songwriter of "elegant folk" music, this 12-track creation blends melodic acoustic sounds with ever creative lyric and a digestible hint of pop.

credits

released October 19, 2012

Recorded at Yellow Room Recording in Portland, OR.
Produced by Peter Rodocker and Tyler Stenson.
Engineered by Peter Rodocker.
Mastered by Nettleingham Audio in Vancouver, WA.

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about

Tyler Stenson Portland, Oregon

Tyler Stenson is singer/songwriter in Portland whose music is elegant at its core. Twice-named Portland's "Songwriter of the Year" by the Portland Songwriters Association and recently named "Best Male Artist" at the Portland Music Awards, Stenson's music is refreshingly reminiscent of classic singer-songwriter greats such as James Taylor and Cat Stevens. ... more

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Track Name: This Too Shall Pass
So, you've fallen behind—
Oh, no, not again.
And you can see that you are
Hard-pressed against a wind
That hits just like a hammer
On a nail that's bent—
Oh no, not again.
Oh no, not again.

Oh, I know these days are hard
And I know it’s hard to last
But, believe you me,
Just sturdy up your heart
And this too shall pass.

If there are wars being waged
But they're not your voice
And if good love has gone away
But it wasn't by choice—
If it's out of your hands
But you just can't let go
And if there's a whole lot on your mind
But a whole lotta no one to show...

Oh, I know these days are hard
And I know it’s hard to last
But, believe you me,
Just sturdy up your heart
And this too shall pass.

So, you’ve fallen behind—
Oh, no, not again.
And you can see that you are
Hard-pressed against a wind
That hits just like a hammer
On a nail already bent—
Oh no, not again.
Oh no, not again.

Oh, I know these days are hard
And I know it’s hard to last
But, believe you me,
Just sturdy up your heart
And this too shall pass.
Track Name: Leaves Blow By
Oh, give me a dime
For each year of my life
That lasted uncomfortably long
And I'll be as poor as an orphan
That spent his life knowing
That there's nowhere he really belongs.

Cause the world as it spins
Creates such a wind
That nothing is safe from the ride
You can stare at the face
Of the wind as it races
And causes the decades to die
But my, how they fly...

Leaves blow by.
Leaves blow by.
Oh, much like the years and the people inside,
The leaves blow by.

Now, stronger is Heart
Than a gun on the run—
That's something I’ve learned like a Song
Because a bullet can kill
In an instant at will
But heartbreak is forever long.
So, hold on to love

Because leaves blow by.
Leaves blow by.
Just like the years and the lovers inside,
The leaves blow by.

And Heaven is a Moon
That is selfish as glue—-
It pulls on us just like the tide.
All you can do is hope
That it pulls on you slow
So you can make much of your time—-
Cause my how it flies.
Leaves blow by.
Leaves blow by.
Oh, much like the years and the people inside,
The leaves blow by.
Track Name: The Arsonist
I was tired of always tasting
All of that dust you were kicking up—
I just never liked how it looked
Upon my white skin.
Oh, I swear (and I would testify)
That you just love the run around...
Baby, why build a bridge
If you're just going to burn it down?

Bind me not to the velvet of your gown.
Chain me not to your grounds.
Set me free—
But may your answers long leave you bound;
Baby, why build a bridge
If you're just going to burn it down?

There are reasons to believe
That I am enough for anyone
And that the Arsonist in you
Is just a cold heart trying to get warm.
So, while you’re building fires that burn like Hell,
Hallelujah! I've been lost and found...
Baby, why build a bridge
If you're just going to burn it down?

Bind me not to the velvet of your gown.
Chain me not to your grounds.
Set me free—
But may your answers long leave you bound;
Baby, why build a bridge
If you're just going to burn it down?

Little bit by little bit
My nerve is starting to turn
So, it won't be long now
Until I'm the one that lights
That bridge's burn
And it'll light up
Like that orange Western sky on the Fourth of July
Or like a comet tail that finally found its stride—
Cause I've been a pawn for way too long
And now, I'm proud traitor to your crown—
Baby, why build a bridge
If you're just going to burn it down?

Bind me not to the velvet of your gown.
Chain me not to your grounds.
Set me free—
But may your answers long leave you bound;
Baby, why build a bridge
If you're just going to burn it down?
Track Name: Often & Much
I've been drifting for days on the blue
And that horizon is telling the truth—
It says, the land is a lonely distance from this view,
But there is a lighthouse cutting through
Because you're my hope.
You're my sail.
You're my crutch.
So, my head returns to you often and much.

I've been saving up all of my time
And sorting buffalo nickels from dimes
And I've been reading books
(Just to learn from those lines)
But those words don't rhyme
But you're my hope.
You're my sail.
You're my crutch.
So, my head returns to you often and much.

So, pull up the anchor—
Release the white doves
And set sail for the sun
And pray this gale
Will guide that sale
To the one I love
Because you're my hope.
You're my sail.
You're my crutch.
So, my head returns to you often and much.
Track Name: Best Laid Plans
Best laid plans fail
And wrong winds catch sails
But that don't mean you lay down
And lose your boat to the treacherous sea.
No, you must believe:
That which might have been, can yet still be.

I've seen a beautiful sky turn gray
As I stood by watching weather change
But that don't mean the Sun is long-gone
And all of our Hope should leave.
No, you must believe:
That which might have been, can yet still be.

The greatest place ever known fell down.
It was the Fall of Rome--
But I've seen the Vatican and Coliseum
Under a summer's gleam
(And it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen)
So, I'm telling you,
That which might have been, can yet still be.

Those best laid plans fail
And those wrong winds catch sails
But that don't mean you lay down
And lose your boat to the treacherous sea.
No, you must believe:
That which might have been, can yet still be.
Track Name: Lover Things
I think back to the Garden's first days,
And the reason that a woman was made,
And believe it was an "up above" gesture to say:
So long Emptiness, hello Sweet Grace.

But it seems the words have changed
And all their meanings have faded away—
But, when I say, I love you,
I mean it the same way as it was made.

Cause you and I want nothing to do
With the constant bending that sorrow brings.
No, you and I want nothing to do
But lover things.

So, let's forget about the failed love we see
And how the world is a brand new machine
That drags the lovers through the mud
And all other things that are so far from you and me.

Cause you and I want nothing to do
With the constant bending that sorrow brings.
No, you and I want nothing to do
But lover things.

Oh, it seems the words have changed
And all their meanings have faded away—
But, when I say, I love you,
I mean it the same way as it was made.

Cause you and I want nothing to do
With the constant bending that sorrow brings.
No, you and I want nothing to do
But lover things.
Track Name: Easy, No
There's 2,200 miles and 22 days
Between you and me—
It don't sound like much
But it's a hell of a weight
And it just might burry me.
So, don't tell me it's easy
Because in all of history
They've never seen hard times like these.

Like the 1930s in the Dust Bowl,
When they fell on hard times,
Was it easy? No.
Not one bit.
Like the Pioneers walking in the winter snow,
With their backs to their homes,
Was it easy? No.
Not one bit.
But love is patient.

So, the days just pass by
Slower than wine and brittle as bone—
And if it don't sound like much
Then you must not know love
Or the hole that it leaves behind when it goes.
So, don't tell me it's easy
Because in all of history
They've never seen hard times like these.

Like the 1930s in the Dust Bowl,
When they fell on hard times,
Was it easy? No.
Not one bit.
Like the Pioneers walking in the winter snow,
With their backs to their homes,
Was it easy? No.
Not one bit.
But love is patient.

Love is patient.
Love is patient—it must be.
Love is patient.
Love is patiently waiting for me.
Track Name: Devil Came Knocking
"There is a fork in the road
Leading where the soul goes;
Heaven above or hell below."
Then, with a grin, the Shadowed Salesmen said,
"... And the first to die is the lucky first one going home."

The Devil came knocking at my door today
And tried to sell me something kind
But I had heard it all before
(And didn't want to hurt no more)
So, I didn't pay him no mind.

I don’t care where my bones lie when I go
Or what the words might say on stone
And if you ask me if I would like to be the last to die,
NO, cause then I'm the first to be alone.

The Devil came knocking at my door today
And tried to sell me something kind
But I had heard it all before
(And didn't want to hurt no more)
So, I didn't pay him no mind.

But he's persistent as the beating of the heart in your chest
And he don't stop until you've signed that dotted line.
So, when I looked him in the eye and said, "I'm not your guy,"
I saw the rage build in his eyes and his horns rise.

He snarled like a beast engulfed in misery
And I remained stone cold in the face
Because in a world as dark as this, I am unimpressed
With a lone devil and briefcase.

So, he came back with an army of his Broken Hearted
To try and strong arm me into the deal
But when you show up uninvited and bring with you the fight,
Oh, Devil, your problems just got real.

So, when the Devil came knocking at my door today
I think he thought he'd worn me thin
'Til I invited him inside and delighted in his cries
As I showed him I'm darker man than him
And now he won't come knocking again.
Track Name: Head & Heart
Look at me walking this tightrope wire
And hovering above a red-hot coal fire,
Split down the middle with a definite seam—
Looking for a place where the Head and Heart agree.

Because lately, it seems I find no rest—
My Head is on my shoulders, but a mile from my chest
And my Heart pumps blood, but it just won't bleed—
Always pining for a place where the Head and Heart agree.

Head and Heart oh please,
Could you finally make your peace?
Do me right oh please,
And take me to the place where the Head and Heart agree.

Oh, nothing hurts more than a one-man war;
Both sides would die, but who knows what for?
Killing in the name of a nameless greed—
Man, there's gotta be a place where the Head and Heart agree.

Head and Heart oh please,
Could you finally make your peace?
Do me right oh please,
And take me to the place where the Head and Heart agree.

Gonna stick out my neck and let it be
A bridge to the place where the Head and Heart agree.
Track Name: True Royal Blue
With every song I write
I try to picture just what color it could be.
It's the best way that I know
(To pair the words with the notes that I sing).
So, my love songs turn out red
And all my sad songs are a melancholy hue
But, since I've yet to write that perfect song,
I have yet to use a True Royal Blue.

Because it's a color like no other;
It has been mixed just for the majesty of sky
And those perfect circled isles
That rest softly in the oceans of your eyes
And the bluebird on the wind,
Beautiful and elegant in what they do.
Oh, what shame to be caged—
That does no justice to a True Royal Blue.

So, when those shadows start to bite
And reduce us down to black and white,
Let the music chase away those dreadful grays
And let us pray some color stays.

I am a peasant here by birth
(No part of me was colored like a king)
And although I'm just a subject,
You are my Queen.
So, if I offered you some bread
And sang a song that I had written just for you,
Would you lie down beside me
And watch this simpleton progress from gray
Into a True Royal Blue?
Track Name: That I'll Know You...
I've gotten good at being alone
Through the Valentines and the mistletoe
(Though I've tried to find my heart's muse)—
Oh, that I'll know you when I see you.

I've pictured it a thousand times,
My hands have run the length of your spine,
Down to your thighs, to your glass shoe...
Oh, that I'll know you when I see you.

So, shine sun, shine
And burn brighter than the others
So that I might see your brand of beam
And want another and another.
I cannot call your name
Because I don’t know who I’m calling too...
Oh, that I’ll know you when I see you.

It's not that I have never loved,
It's that my timing has been a victim
Of the Winds of Change—My, how they blew.
Oh, that I'll know you when I see you.

So, to My Love I haven't met,
Where for art though Juliet—
You see, I switched the lines
But the play reads true.
Oh, that I'll know you when I see you.

So, shine sun, shine
And burn brighter than the others
So that I might see your brand of beam
And want another and another.
I cannot call your name
Because I don’t know who I'm calling too...
Oh, that I'll know you when I see you.
Track Name: My Love, My Love
My Love, My Love,
You've got me up against a wall
But, like a rodeo clown,
The blood and bruise are part of the call.
Some days I'm a Lion
And some days my spirits crawl
Across the floor, to you, who started it all...
My Love.

It's a head game Honey.
It's easy to believe that I'm a foolish fish
Inside a starving sea
That just might swallow me whole
(Or give me just what I need).
So, be kind to me My Heart—
My Muse—
My Queen—
My Love.

My Love,
Don't count me out just yet
Cause my day will come.

God damn you siren!
You crawled into my bed
And if I walked away,
You would just do the same to my head—
And your pedal steel would haunt me
Like the Ghost of a Melody
That a deaf man misses most.

My Love, my love
Don't count me out just yet
Cause my day will come—
This I know,
Because there's a flower
Buried in my chest
That continues to grow.
My Love, my love
Don't count me out just yet
Cause my day will come.