Rough Edges and Ragged Hearts

by Linda McRae

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about

This recording marks the first collaboration between my husband James Whitmire and myself. Words can’t express my love and gratitude for everything you have brought to my life James: the most important of all being yourself. Thank you for giving me a safe place to be me.

Thank you Marc L’Esperance for your brilliance, sensitivity and for everything you brought to this recording. I’m very proud of what we’ve created.

Thanks to all the fabulous guests whose soulful sounds you hear on this recording.

Thanks to all the McRaezie’s for supporting our Kapipal project. This recording would not have been possible without you! If you’ve not heard of our campaign and would like to contribute please visit www.kapipal.com/roughedges

If you’ve always wanted to take a class or start a new project just do it…it’s never too late! Thank you to the Songwriter’s Association of Canada, American Banjo Camp, Bryan Fogelman and REO Songwriting Camp, and my teachers, Brad Leftwich, Ken Hamm, Pat Pattison, Steve Seskin, Kathy Mattea, Jon Vezner, and Ginny Hawker and Tracy Schwarz. I can’t thank you all enough for your inspiration and encouragement!

credits

released October 11, 2012

1. Rough Edges & Ragged Hearts (4:29)
2. Deck of ’52 (4:18)
3. Supper (3:10)
4. Three Midnights (3:19)
5. In The Valley Below (3:52)
6. Geppetto’s Boy (2:55)
7. Higher Ground
8. Ramblin’ Man (3:46)
9. Four & Twenty Blackbirds (3:54)
10. Doin’ Life Without Parole (2:35)
11. Be Your Own Light (4:00 with edit)

Produced by Marc L’Esperance & Linda McRae
Mixed by Marc L’Esperance

Tracks 1, 9, 11 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10 5, 8
The songs were written by:
Tracks 9, 11 L. McRae 42 RPM (Socan/BMI)
Track 1 by L. McRae 42 RPM (Socan/BMI), & A. Mader (SOCAN)
Tracks 2, 3, 4, 6, 10 L. McRae 42 RPM (Socan/BMI) & James Whitmire, 42 RPM (Socan/Ascap)
Track 7 by L. McRae 42 RPM (Socan/BMI) & Joe A. Green, Cinch Buckle Music, (Ascap)
Track 5 by Charlie Stephenson
Track 8 by Hank Williams Sr.,(1923-1953 - Public Domain)

Recorded and Engineered by Marc L’Esperance at HEAVYOSONIC, Vancouver, BC
Additional Recording:
Ray Bonneville recorded by Justin Douglas at Shine Studios, Austin, TX
Doug Cox recorded himself at The Closet, Cumberland, BC
Gurf Morlix recorded by Andrew Crosby at Rootball Studio, Austin, TX
The Sojourners (Marcus Mosely, Will Sanders and Khari McClellandand) and The McRaezie Choir directed & recorded by Marc L’Esperance at Vancouver Live Sound, Vancouver, BC with thanks to Andrew Smith

CD Concept and Design: Saveria Renucci
Inside photo of Linda taken at Kathryn’s Space, NYC by James Whitmire
Photo of James Whitmire taken at What’s Cookin’, London UK by Danny Garton
Executive Producers Paul Deman and Charlie Stephenson

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about

Linda McRae Kingston Springs, Tennessee

Linda's soaring, honest vocals hold nothing back. She nails a song to the wall. This gifted singer/songwriter/musician and holder of 3 platinum albums, plays clawhammer banjo, acoustic guitar, accordion and porchboard, combining old-time sounds with universal themes of heartbreak & redemption offering an intriguing sepia postcard from the past that is vibrant and alive in the present. ... more

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Track Name: Be Your Own Light
Be Your Own Light © Linda McRae

This world is dark, no walk in the park
just like Noah and his ark you’ve got to be your own light
you’ve got to have faith when you can’t tell night from day
when you can’t find a way to keep the thieves at bay
you’ve got to be your own light

Chorus There's no doubt about it
there's no doubt about it
there's no doubt about it
you’ve got to be your own light

If your vote’s not counted you can’t drink from that fountain no
you’ve got to climb that mountain so you can see your light
go out and make some noise when you find you’ve got no choice
put down your toys the world needs your voice
and it sure could use your light

Chorus There's no doubt about it
there's no doubt about it
there's no doubt about it
you’ve got to be your own light

Live your life the way you wanna among the flora & the fauna
tell lies if you’re gonna and watch what happens to your light
then when you meet your maker as a giver or a taker
you won’t be thrown in the baker if you be your own light

Chorus There's no doubt about it
there's no doubt about it
there's no doubt about it
you've got to be your own light

You won’t be thrown in the baker when you meet your maker
If you be your own light
Track Name: Rough Edges and Ragged Hearts
Rough Edges & Ragged Hearts (© Linda McRae/Al Mader)

I’m starved for affection don’t strive for perfection
just someone to catch me should I fall
the band’s finished playing outside it’s still raining
I look around and there’s no one at all

CH Rough edges and ragged hearts
come together just to fall apart
where living is a dying art
rough edges and ragged hearts

My ears are ringing when I wake next morning
the phone in it’s cradle is silent as hell
but maybe this evening I’ll find redemption
dancing with the demons that I know so well

CH Rough edges and ragged hearts
come together just to fall apart
where living is a dying art
rough edges and ragged hearts

I’ll wear my scars like a well-worn dance floor
I’ll wear my hair up so I can stand tall
the music surrounds me like the arms of a lover
just because my world spins does it mean I must fall

Single file, ladies chain, bend the line, promenade
roll away, half sashay, you turn back, separate

CH Rough edges and ragged hearts
come together just to fall apart
where living is a dying art
rough edges and ragged hearts
Track Name: Deck of 52
Deck of ’52 (© Linda McRae/James Whitmire)

He lived life like he played cards but the deck had grown colder
January one he bet all he had and felt her hand upon his shoulder
when he drew the ace of spades all 3 had come before
his chances numbered 52 and he had played them all

CH On the day four aces flew to heaven
his words turned to gold

Nothing in his pack but his second record outside Pinky’s he hitched a ride
the ride ended before his work did he was a guitar slinger no one could deny
when she spread her wings around him on the day they laid him low
his white angel who'd always been there with him took him home

CH On the day four aces flew to heaven
his words turned to gold

The sun burned out in Galveston all his childhood memories
he didn’t know his mother or the words they told him they’re no longer his stories

Shut the rubber curtain block out the light he’s in his room drinking Bali Hai wine
with Lightnin’ Hopkins and Bobby Dylan it don’t matter if it’s day if it’s night

CH Because today four aces up in heaven
turned his words turned to gold

The outlaw jacks cried a silent tear for a friend they couldn’t save
and if by chance you had listened close you could almost hear them say

we could have had him any day
we only let him go so wrong
out of kindness I suppose
Track Name: Three Midnights
Three Midnights (Linda McRae/James Whitmire)

I bought a house with no windows
it’s crumbling and showing scars
built on a street called Misery
where everything I touched fell apart
a house not fit for man nor beast
where no one ever really wants to stay
couched with shame, so unforgiving
a place you own but never give away

I bought a house by lying and stealing
black as the poison in my veins
I spent all my pride and got back no change
soaked to the bone with years of pain
I thought my house was so unique
and that I held the only key
but that key so many times been sold
unlocks the door to purgatory

CH Oh Lord give me back my sanity, my home my family,
Lord give me light

And now my house is vacant
within it walls lies my past grief
so if you walk by and it catches your eye
keep on walkin’ it don’t come cheap
for it’s a house made of fire and brimstone
and the souls that have gone before
nightmares in the basement, sorrow in the attic
and it’s darker than 3 midnights in a jar

CH Oh Lord give me back my sanity, my home my family,
Lord give me light
Oh Lord, I fell down on my knees, I asked and I received
Now I see the light
Track Name: In The Valley Below
In The Valley Below (© Charlie Stephenson)

I grew up farming, charming, down in the valley, Kellys and Sallys
Sowing and hoeing, growing, behind our mare Mabel, food for the table
we saw some hard times but we wanted no one’s pity
we made ends meet painting barns with “See Rock City”
in the valley below The Brow

I grew up learning, yearning, down in the valley, for love in back alleys
dying from trying, lying, to tame my wild horses, of my unwise choices
I read of a man named Cain in bible studies
I raised that man up on the weekends with my buddies
in the valley below The Brow

CH In the valley below, you’ve got Friday hoedowns
In the valley below, blue ribbon jams
In the valley below June brides leave town
For a night on The Brow

Came time to leave home, half grown
I failed my hard courses off to the armed forces
ten thousand yes sirs, no sirs, soon I was able, goodbyes to Mabel
I shipped overseas to some god-awful places
stood my outpost protecting all those back home faces
in the valley below, The Brow

CH In the valley below, you’ve got weekend cookouts
In the valley below, fresh market sprouts
In the valley below gents take their wives
For a night on The Brow

Now I gaze out my window into the valley below
where I faced with my Kelly all that life had to throw
though weathered and worn like these old barns we remain standing
built so long ago when times were less demanding

In the valley below, the lights are glowing
In the valley below, west winds are blowing
In the valley below, never tire of going
For a night on The Brow
Track Name: Geppetto's Boy
Geppetto’s Boy (© L. McRae/J. Whitmire)

I’m a real live girl not a marionette
the boy I love’s my greatest joy
don’t tell lies, if you tell lies my momma said
your nose will grow like Geppetto’s boy

when I am with my love and even in my dreams
he’ll hear the truth in my voice
I am flesh & blood & when I fall I bleed
a real far cry from a wooden toy

CH Geppetto made his boy with love and with wood
yet root and branch it was destroyed
my love’s made of truth and all things good
I won’t end up like Geppetto’s boy

I’m not a puppet I don’t come with strings
and without strings true love can last for life
I will give my heart as I take the ring
that joins us as husband and wife

CH Geppetto made his boy with love and with wood
yet root and branch it was destroyed
my love’s made of truth and all things good
I won’t end up like Geppetto’s boy
Track Name: Higher Ground
Higher Ground (© Linda McRae/Joe A. Green)



Like a hearse the freight rolled slow into this frozen town
like a corpse Rodrigo lay spirit staring down
like a star the bright light called but the medics brought him ‘round
grabbed at the gate he’ll have to wait to get to higher ground

Like a leaf his body shook rolled up there in my hall
like a dog he sat and begged for food and alcohol
like a friend he broke my bread ate it up and drank it down
cried and confessed he’s on a quest to get to higher ground

he said, “I blow the concrete and I do some masonry
but not now that the bottle is bent on killing me.
Lord, I know that I am drowning just like this quicksand sinking down
each day I pray for an easier way to get to higher ground.”

Like the tide he came around for food and conversation
like the wind he blew this town without a destination
like a brand he etched my mind now I hope he’s homeward bound
gathering grace to run the race to get to higher ground
Track Name: Hope It Lasts Through Supper
Hope It Lasts Through Supper (© Linda McRae/James Whitmire)

I have a boy I really love
think he loves me too
we’ve made a commitment to each other
I just hope it lasts through supper

We do the things that lovers do
while smilin’ at each other
he’s not ready for anything long term
I just hope it lasts through supper

CH Supper I still hear my mother
“if you don’t finish up there’s no desert”
lover there’ll never be another
I just hope it lasts through supper

For six months it’s been high and low
our friends are wearing frowns
we’re just trying to get our neuroses down
I just hope it last through supper
Tomorrow will be another day
so after breakfast if we're still sane
we’ll see if the commitment still remains
I just hope it lasts through supper

CH Supper I still hear my mother
“if you don’t finish up there’s no desert”
lover there’ll never be another
I just hope it lasts through supper

It’s an hour at a time
to expect more would be a crime
love him so and wish he was mine
I just hope it lasts through supper
Track Name: Ramblin' Man
Ramblin’ Man (Hank Williams Sr.)

I can settle down and be doin' just fine
and then I hear an old frieight rollin' down the line
then I hurry straight home and pack
and if I didn't go I believe I'd blow my stack
I love you baby but you gotta understand
that when the Lord made me He made a ramblin' man

Some folks might say that I'm no good
and that I wouldn't settle down if I could
but when that open road starts to callin' me
there's somethin' o'er the hill that I just gotta see
sometimes it's hard but you gotta understand
when the Lord made me He made a ramblin' man

I love to see the towns a-passin' by
and to ride these rails beneath God's clear blue sky
so let me travel this land from the mountains to the sea
for that's the life I believe He meant for me
and when I'm gone and at my grave you stand
just say God’s called home your ramblin' man
Track Name: Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Four & Twenty Blackbirds (© Linda McRae)

Who momma who
is the old woman living in a shoe?
so many children she doesn’t know what to do
who momma who?
she feeds them broth but hasn’t any bread
she whips them soundly, sends them to bed
doesn’t she love her babies like you do?
Who is she momma? Who?

What momma what
makes the wind blow in the treetop?
when the wind blows the cradle will rock
what momma what?
when the bough breaks the cradle will fall
down will come baby, cradle and all
what makes the wind blow why doesn’t it stop?
What is it momma? What?

Where momma where
shall I wander because someone’s waiting there?
In his lady’s chamber up and down the stairs
where momma where?
he met an old man who wouldn’t say his prayers
he took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs
I don’t like these stories they're making me scared
Where is he momma? Where?

Why momma why
were 4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie?
sing a song of sixpence and a pocket full of rye
why momma why?
When the pie was opened and the birds began to sing
wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king
but when the pie was opened I know I would have cried
wouldn’t they have died? Why?
Wouldn’t they have died? Momma why?
Track Name: Doing Life Without Parole
Doin’ Life Without Parole (© Linda McRae/James Whitmire)

I met a boy he called me a thief
he said “I hardly know you and you’re stealing from me”
he should have paid attention cause when he turned around
I stole a little piece of his heart for me

Whatever I want he says I can take
there’s nothing so important there’s nothing he needs
excepting my love and that he’s a keeping
and ‘95 to life that’s what my sentence should be

the day of my sentencing is November 28th
I know they’ll throw the book at me there is no escape
I've fallen hard I’m forevermore his thief
It’s ‘95 to life without parole for me

No time off for good behavior no early parole
the crime was stealin' all his heart and soul
the judge found me guilty on his testimony
‘95 to life for stealing a heart that now belongs to me