Oh Quiet World

by David Berkeley

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berkeleywalker
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berkeleywalker How do I count the ways?! This is DB at his best. This be dear to me! Favorite track: Beside the Shuttered Doors.
Vjeko
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Vjeko Gonna Win the War is beautiful, looking forward to the full album!
belindab
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belindab Gonna win the war is so beautiful and a song of hope in these strange times...
mark skinner
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mark skinner Perfect prayer for 2020:

"After it all may we not be the same.
Yeah when we come back may we come back changed.
Let us be washed in the pouring rain." Favorite track: Beside the Shuttered Doors.
/
1.
Get up in the early light, let’s sneak downstairs While both of our boys are still in bed. The hours are ours again, like way back when Oh and the world sits still awhile. Put on the coffee, let’s go back in time Back when we first woke side by side. You held me so close to you, yeah we both knew Oh how the world sits still awhile. When we start again Go sweet, go slow. When we start again, be kind. Don’t forget the heart's what’s keeping time. Oh while the world sits still awhile. Remember the days before the boys got big Rocking them chest to chest to sleep All of the city lights, those sleepless nights Oh how the world sits still awhile. Remember the farm, you wore that dress you made, All of the back porch thunderstorms Or the morning in July and the western sky Oh and the world sits still a while When we start again Go sweet, go slow When we start again be kind Don’t forget our hearts are keeping time Oh while the world sits still awhile There are some things that I don’t want to lose When all of the engines turn back on. How all of the colors shine, in your eyes and mine Oh while the world sits still awhile Yeah time is a racehorse when you’re looking back I hear the boys now on the stairs All of the love we made, the love we gave Yeah it makes the world sit still awhile. Let’s let the world sit still awhile.
2.
Oh to be in the heart of the land when the sign comes from above. Oh to see in the heart of a man, when he gathers all he loves, When he gathers all he love. What’s the game if we all will lose, tell me what have we turned into? And would you change if you had to choose If the hardest parts come true, when the hardest parts come true? Has the world gone crazy or just weary of us? Has the world gone crazy or just weary of us? We’ve lost your trust. Please don’t give up. Please don’t give… Oh to be with Violet Baudelaire before the smoke rose and filled the sky. Oh to tie a ribbon in her hair, tell her all will be just fine. Oh to find a castle in the air, hold her trembling hand in mine, Hold her trembling hand in mine, Hold your trembling hand in mine
3.
All of your heart is made of sky and earth and stars and rain. All of my heart is made of sky and earth and stars and rain. Don’t be afraid of the world. It still shines and it still twirls. Don’t be scared. See how the sun’s sure to rise, And the whole world comes alive. Don’t be scared. All of our hearts are made of sky and earth and stars and rain. See how the trees hold their ground, And they spread their shade around. Don’t be scared. Hear how the birds fill the air. They’re still singing without a care. Don’t be scared Cause all of our hearts are made of sky and earth and stars and rain.
4.
The city is silent like a ghost on the cobblestones. Even the church bells do not ring. The winds they are blowing off the coast down the alleyways, Sweeping beside the shuttered doors. Oh quiet world, maybe now we’ll know what we really need. I need to know you’re fine. I couldn’t see it all before. We couldn’t see we wanted more. After it all may we not be the same. Yeah when we come back may we come back changed. Let us be washed in the pouring rain. Now all we want to know is when This too shall pass, And when we can be who we used to be. Cause we don’t know how to bow or bend Until things really get bad. Maybe it’s time at last. I couldn’t see it all before. We couldn’t see we wanted more. After it all may we not be the same. Yeah when we come back may we come back changed. Let us be washed in the pouring rain. Last night the moon rose over balconies All silver and wise. Ever the quiet face of change. If we can get through this then maybe We can get through it all. Give us another chance. I couldn’t see it all before. We couldn’t see we wanted more After it all may we not be the same. Yeah when we come back may we come back changed. Let us be washed in the pouring rain. Oh quiet world, maybe we can change.
5.
Gonna win the war Gonna hold it down We’re coming back for sure Gonna win this war It’s just a waiting game It is not the end And no one is to blame It’s just a waiting game Oh, Child we’ll be fine. Don’t be worried. I’ll hold you tonight in my arms I know that it’s hard. I know that you’re scared. Alone can feel so dark. I know that it’s hard. The enemy’s unseen. It’s different from before. We keep the space between The enemy unseen. Oh, Child we’ll be fine. Don’t be worried. I’ll hold you tonight in my arms. Oh, momma I’m fine. Don’t be worried I’ll hold you tonight in my mind. Gonna win the war. Gonna hold it down. We’re coming back for sure. Gonna win the war. Spring is coming soon. It slips inside the walls. It’s bigger than these rooms. Spring is coming soon.
6.
Walking on a tightrope And I know the winds blow hard. Worrying a wrong step could make you fall so far. Trying to keep your head straight. Trying to hold back fear. Feeling all alone there, Like you might just disappear. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t be so hard. And who do you lean on When all that you thought you knew Starts to recede now Starts to just fade from view? Yeah what do we heed now when everything has to wait And what to believe now When maybe you lost your faith? Don’t be so hard on yourself Don’t be so hard I know you’re scared that you might fall. We’re only human after all, And all of us now we feel so small. If only we had a cannonball to fire. You’re walking on a tightrope. Well, maybe I’m walking, too. Try to be brave now There’s nothing more we can do. Baby come down now. You know that I’m just like you. We can be stronger believing all that’s still true. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t be so hard.
7.
May every step remind us that our life’s a wonder. Oh heart of mine let the light back in. Let it shine.
8.
The plaza is empty now. I’m lost in Madrid. The fountains don’t flow. Footsteps don’t sound. Drinks do not pour When no one’s around. And I’m on a platform now. I wait for your train. But I know it won’t come. The whole world’s delayed. There’s dust on the tracks, and you’re miles away So sing with me now. Let’s pretend you’re lying in my arms once more. Don’t be afraid. Shadows pass, and we’ll be back again, I know. Time’s like a stubborn child Refuses to budge I beg it to race it stomps on the floor It drags both its heels Deadbolts the door So sing with me now. Let’s pretend you’re lying in my arms once more. Don’t be afraid. Shadows pass, and we’ll be back again, I know. It’s four in the afternoon. But what is this day? I’d shatter the glass. I’d run the red roofs. I’d break down the walls To get back to you. So sing with me now. Let’s pretend you’re lying in my arms once more. Don’t be afraid. Shadows pass, and we’ll be back again, I know.
9.

about

David Berkeley was living in Madrid for the year with his wife and two boys when Corona swept through Spain and the world locked down. They managed to get on one of the last flights back to America in mid-March. They fled the city with barely enough time to pack and clean their apartment. Though they didn’t really have room for it, at the last minute, David grabbed the half-century old Spanish guitar he had bought secondhand on the outskirts of the city. It was lucky he did, for it was on that guitar that he wrote all the songs for his shimmering release, “Oh Quiet World.”
With their home rented out through July, David and his family self-quarantined in a friend’s empty house near the Rhode Island coast. He set up a makeshift studio in the attic and began writing and recording songs. “I had a begun a few melodies on that old guitar while we lived in Spain,” David says, “but it wasn’t until after we left that I could make any sense of them. I wrote a song a day that first week back. That’s not normal for me. I guess nothing in this time is normal. Songwriting gave me a way to process some of my fears and frustrations. It gave me a purpose, something small I could contribute.” Not surprisingly, these songs are his most intimate, supported by his wife and children’s singing and the most barebone arrangements with touches of horns, accordion, banjo, and harmonica. But they are also some of David’s most comforting, empathizing with the struggles of this time while still finding the virtues and even gifts in the forced pause. Like much of David’s catalog (he has released eight albums and authored two books), “Oh Quiet World” manages to find hope through hard times.

“Oh Quiet World” comprises eight original songs and one cover of a traditional Jewish prayer for healing. The “Mi Shebeirach” is a perfect choice for this moment. “This is a song that has meant a great deal to me throughout my life, but I had never considered covering it. I guess it took something like Corona to help bring to the surface that which is deepest in us.” Although the an eerie uncertainty hovers over all of these songs, the collection manages to uplift. “Spring is coming soon,” David sings on the inspiring second track, “Gonna Win the War.” “It slips inside these walls. It’s bigger than these rooms. Yeah, Spring is coming soon.” David’s wife, Sarah Davis, and their kids sing on the album’s sweetest song, “Stars and Rain.” It’s a children’s song played on ukulele reminding us that “all of our hearts are made of sky and earth, stars and rain.” Another standout track is the chantlike “Let the Light In.” David sings eight vocal parts with the ethereal mantra about feeling the wonder in every step.

credits

released June 22, 2020

Oh Quiet World

All words and music by David Berkeley
Straw Man Publishing, ASCAP 2020

With the exception of Mi Shebeirach
Music by Debbie Friedman
Words by Debbie Friedman and Drorah Setel
TK Publishing

Produced by Will Robertson
Recorded by David Berkeley in Newport, RI; Will Robertson at Gallop Studios in Brookhaven, GA; Jordan Katz in Los Angeles, CA; and Bill Titus in Farmingdale, NY.
Mixed by Will Robertson, Gallop Studios, Brookhaven, GA.
Mastered by David Glaser, Airshow Mastering, Boulder, CO.

Cover art by Sarah Davis

David Berkeley: Vocals, Guitars, Ukulele, Harmonica
Will Robertson: Mandolin, Accordion, Upright Bass, Cello, Keys
Jordan Katz: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Bill Titus: French Horn
Sarah Davis: Vocals
Jackson and Noah: Vocals

www.davidberkeley.com

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David Berkeley Santa Fe, New Mexico

The San Francisco Chronicle calls Santa Fe-based songwriter and author David Berkeley a “musical poet,” and the New York Times praises his “lustrous, melancholy voice with shades of Tim Buckley and Nick Drake.” He was a guest on This American Life, and has released 7 studio albums and 2 books. He is also half of the wildly creative Trans-Atlantic costumed duo Son of Town Hall. ... more

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