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©2019 by Rachel Marie.

Photos by LTV Photography unless otherwise noted.

Rachel Marie

snarky yet melancholy folk-pop poetry

Lyrics

 

Ain't Nothin' Up (But the Ceiling) 

written by Binomial Bill Schachter

Midnight has taken its dusty toll
And the summertime has taken on a chill
I look at the phone – nobody home
I feel like dyin’ and I guess someday I will

And there ain’t nothin’ up but the ceiling
No one to ask, “Where were you?”
Nothin’ at home but this feeling
No one and, no, nothin’ new

When she was with me, when love was mine
Yes, I believe somehow it wasn’t right
But that won’t help me to pass my time
Or from needin’ me somebody here tonight

’Cause there ain’t nothin’ up but the ceiling
No one to ask, “Where were you?”
Nothin’ at home but this feeling
No one and, no, nothin’ new

Life does get painful, life does get old 
When it leave you all alone and standing’ there
Love does get empty, love does get cold 
And it would be a lie to say that I don’t care

That there ain’t nothin’ up but the ceiling
No one to ask, “Where were you?”
Nothin’ at home but this feeling
No one and, no, nothin’ new.

Beauty for Ashes

written by Rachel Marie Schachter

I’m making ties
Through this thread we are connected
Bound in openness that reaches through my skin
And made me realize
That lately I’ve been breaking ties
And tying chains around my heart
To keep my mind from reaching
All the fear that lies within
And now you tell me I’ll be fine

It might be tough
Is my weary soul enough?

I’m seeing eyes
In a mirror I have crafted
Not quite empty, but they’re dimming
Something lacking as I realize
That I can’t fix a broken man
But another must fix me
As I let go
And loosen all the chains holding me back
And now you tell me
My own tears help heal my wounds
Will my broken voice come through?

I’ll trade you fear for comfort
And weakness for compassion
I’ll lay my hurting body down 
Trade me beauty for ashes

The Bell Tolls

written by Rachel Marie Schachter

I had this vision when I was a little girl

Of my daddy walkin’ me down the aisle

And givin’ me his grin

Before he’d step aside from the bride for a while

And you’d step out from the back of the room

Lookin’ sharp in your suit and your tie

And you’d pass out the cookies and chocolate milk

And you’d laugh and you’d smile and you’d

Cry a little, well

Who’s cryin’ now?

The last time I saw you in this church

Wasn’t supposed to be in this casket today

You’re supposed to watch when he gives me away

And you know what I mean, not from heaven

I traded a white dress for black

Didn’t make the choice and I can’t take it back

And I hope God really needed you

‘Cause Lord knows I could use you right now

Right now

My faith bends, doesn’t break

But it’s hard to pound back into shape

When you’re taken away and I never did say

Just how much I love you

when I thought you were stayin’

Sure, you were withering away

But who wants to admit they might lose something great?

‘Cause I know you would give me the world

So please know

I’ll always be your girl

Chances

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


Soft words, spoken in poetry

Tattered and broken, weathered and worn

A soft breeze, winds blowing faster

And shortly thereafter, these pages are torn

On this windy day, my words float away

But here you stay

Are you here to stay?


'Cause here between

Awkward glances and missing chances

I'm waiting for you – I'm waiting for you

To move me, for you to make your move

And here in this moment of weakness

I realize I have nothing left to prove

And nothing left to lose


Soft words, spoken in helplessness

Screaming inside, can you see in my eyes

That my heart's turning tables, I try to keep stable

But it's not so easy when chances roll by

And you just chase them away

Do you have to play these games?


'Cause here between

Awkward glances and missing chances

I'm waiting for you to – I'm waiting for you

To choose me, for you to make your choice

But no matter how much I scream, no matter how desperately

You cover your ears so you don't hear my voice

So you don't hear this noise


And here between

Awkward glances and missing chances

I've decided that I won't hit the ground

You won't keep me down

I won't buy this, no I won't be silenced

I'll keep singing until you hear my voice

'Til you don't have a choice

 

Drown

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


I should hate you

Why don’t I hate you?

Tears of rage have stung my eyes

you’d think I’d have some more despise for you

But life goes on

How can you go on?

I’m sure you’re not thinking of me

Wherever you and yours may be

And on the day we parted ways

“I’m sorry, so so so sorry” was all I heard you say

But you and I both know the lies

Would never have kept coming if regret was in your eyes


‘Cause there’s no remorse, and I’m still alive

Without much force, and without much drive

Most drown in love, but I’m still alive

‘Cause this pool was never deep enough to dive


It’s over

Is it over?

Could you offer me a smile?

I haven’t seen yours in a while

But I’m not aching

Is your heart aching?

Were you floating in this sea

Or were you deeper in than me?

But ‘cause I’m not just what you thought

And you were never honest, you became just what you fought

And even though I miss you so

Had I never seen your eyes again, I never would’ve known


‘Cause there’s no remorse, and I’m still alive

Without much force, and without much drive

Most drown in love, but I’m still alive

‘Cause this pool was never deep enough to dive


I’m a much better actress than I’d given myself credit for

I really thought that I was trapped, I’d gone and locked the door

But it’s so easy to fall away

This ledge seems not so high to me today


So I keep digging deeper in until I feel you in my skin

I will scream and I will cry, I will bleed and I will die

I will laugh and I will live, I’ll give all I’ve got to give

Until I finally hit the water in the ground

And solemnly, without a sound

I’ll drown my love and back away

In awe of what I’ll never ever say

That you’re not sorry, and it’s not okay

But I won’t let myself drown in you today

From Where I Still Am

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


She said, “I think I’ll go to Brooklyn” with a ticket in her hand

But the world drove her to Cleveland by way of Bethlehem

And she sobbed in hotel rooms and on buses and on couches on the way

A sense of obligation, a weighty family name

A drive to share the moments after everything had changed

But even as a chorus it feels empty to say

“I love you from where I still am”


She said, “I think I’ll go to Boston,” but the world had other plans

It drove her back to Bethlehem, bus tickets all be damned

And the love and the need and the fear and the grief gripped her heart

A fierce and tested loyalty, that same great family name

A black hole where a stellar light has always been the same

In a world where we’ve never lived without you, we say

“I love you from where I still am”


From a world where beautiful, young people die

And grown people can’t find safe places to cry

A world without a man who shook my hand and loved me into who I am

Me and thousands more

Who are proud and aching and sore

And say, “I love you from where I still am”

 

Grey

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


Dazed and dreaming, stumbling through the cold

Letting go of everything I'd been told

Was harder than it sounded

And it sounded pretty hard

Grey clouds form and down the grey snow pours

Tainted as my grey heart 'cause nothing seems as pure

As it used to

And it's harder to believe


It's hard to believe that love can live alone, uncompromised

When the love that I believe has left your eyes

And you walk away the way you always do

And it makes me wonder if I make it that much easier to


Scared am I of tearing at the seams

Snow melts silently with all my dreams

The life I want so badly

A life that's so surreal

Reading into every little word

Thinking what I wish for is absurd

Makes me think I can't achieve this

Or anything at all


I don't know why I feel so lonely when I play this part

The more I come close to you the more I pull apart

I want to melt your ice-cold stare, your ice-cold heart

But I don't know where to start

 

Guitar Song 2

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


I’ve been listening so intently

That I forgot the question, forgot my place

Or was that the question? Where I stand?

Whose say I need, whose go, whose grace

I must not have it – no one hopes for what they know they have

What they can see

No one asks the questions that have already been answered

Except for me


I’ve always had a hard time

Taking anything I don’t feel that I’ve earned

And after nineteen years of asking answered questions

I haven’t learned


You’d think that, stubborn as I am

I’d realize the truth I have

And that it isn’t yours to judge or take, or validate

Or use to trace my path (sometimes I sing past it depends on how I feel I don’t know)

And yet I keep on searching others’ eyes and hearts

And I’ve been digging deep

And I rise with sparks that were never mine, but somehow satisfy

But I can’t keep


I’ve always had a hard time

Holding much of what rises within myself

And after twenty years of sparks so worth my time

I’m still asking for help


I’ve always had a hard time

Defending myself

And after all this time, if you won’t hear a bit of it

I’m done begging for your help

(for your help, for your help)


Hear Me Now

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


My soft voice drowns in the laughter

And mischievous smiles of the demons she faces

But still, faithful, following after

Through every curve, the melody traces

And I pray that she hears me now


She toes the edge, a steep canyon

They all stand beside, but they don't hold her hand

And when a breeze blows in and she's no longer standing

They defend the wind rather than save their friend

And I pray that she won't stay down


Well I'm tired and sore from this tug of war

It's a mess and I rest for a while

But you know these ropes aren't tied, won't hold you

Just gotta choose which side to hold on to


My hand's out soon as you come around

Whenever you hit the ground

And I've found

You'll make it back somehow

And I pray that you hear me now

 

 

Hello, Stranger

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


Hello, stranger, can I give you what I have?

I don’t have all that much, but I don’t need it all

And I was taught by the stories of a Middle Eastern man

That I should give when I can

Especially in dangerous times

Especially when everyone is drawing lines

And building walls


And I want to believe that in this country

No one has to take the fall

And I will pledge allegiance to this flag

When there is liberty and justice for all


Hello, stranger, can I offer you my time?

I don’t have answers, but I can lend an ear

I believe that your anger is justified

And that we’re all made weaker by fear

But I understand if trust is hard

And I understand if you’re just too scarred

Because the problem looks just like me


And I want to believe that in this country

No one has to take the fall

And I will pledge allegiance to this flag

When there is liberty and justice for all


I take a long look in the mirror

I'll tell you what I see

I am not a perfect Christian

I am not a perfect feminist

I am not a perfect pacifist

And I am not a perfect friend

So while I can’t demand perfection

We can demand that the killing end


And I want to believe that in this country

No one has to take the fall

And I will pledge allegiance to this flag

When there is liberty and justice for all

 

 

I Called to Say Goodbye

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


There’s a man breathing down my neck

‘Cause I won’t tell him what he wants to hear

‘Cause I can’t pretend to know the answers to these questions

Especially after these long years

And he keeps tellin’ me he just wants to help you

‘cause you’re such a nice kid

As if I don’t, as if I didn’t, as if I never did

As if I should be ashamed

As if I’m not hurting


And I don’t know what to feel anymore

‘Cause all I’ve felt lately is tired and stressed and worn

And torn into pieces

Tears rolling, rolling for years of this

For the feeling that years of our best efforts were dissolved

All by one lousy phone call

All by one stupid, lousy thing

You promised me you wouldn’t do

You promised me

How many times have you promised me?

It Is

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


It’s like I’m choking, like I’m underwater

Like I’m breathing without taking in air

Like I can't escape this fear without crawling out of my skin

And like I love someone who somehow isn't here

Like everything is far too bright and nothing is its size

I didn't know that you had built a dam, but now it’s opened wide

And I am shrinking, and I can't weather this storm, I

I can't even try

And you won't try


And you won't answer

Is this over?


This twirling, swirling, trembling, it used to be good

When this was new and I had no reason to doubt you

But now that stain from my tears will never leave my couch

And I collapse every time someone asks about you

I’ve never ended up on the floor before

With my laugh too loud and my skirt too short

But this is just how much I hate to be

Without you

And now I doubt you


And you won't answer

Is this over?


I close my eyes and wish that I were seventeen

When everything you'd ever done was beautiful to me

When you were shy and I

Wouldn't take no for an answer


And you won't answer

Is this over?


When I close my eyes, you sing to me

Maybe if I close them hard enough, you'll hear

You'll remember that you meant it,

you’ll remember that you loved me

And that crazy boy who loved me will be here

But I open my eyes and I still can't find him

Some spark, some light, has suddenly been dimmed

And you can't see it and I, I’m spent and I

I can't even try

And you won't try


And you won't answer

Is this over?

 

Just Another Girl

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


Last time we talked about it, we decided it was best

You didn't want me to be just another girl

When we went back into our own separate worlds

And in my own frustration, I look at what we've got left

My frustration is drowned in your smile

And I forget about that decision for a while


These days I'm not afraid of being just another girl

I'm not afraid of being someone you won't see

I'm afraid that I'll relive all of the pain you put me through

And I'm afraid that you'll mean everything to me


But I'm sure I'm worth more than just another girl

Yeah, I'm sure I'm worth more than just another girl


When I think about it, it all makes sense

And I think that it's all gonna work out fine

When you hands are linked with mine

And in the moment, it all seems so intense

And I don't wanna wake up the moment it's gone

I don't wanna discover that I was wrong


These days I'm not afraid of being left out on my own

I'm not afraid of having nothing to believe

I'm afraid that we'll grow closer than we ever have before

And that I'll be bent and broken when you leave


But I'm sure I'm worth more than just another girl

Yeah, I'm sure I'm worth more than just another girl


I've been told if you're not sure that I'm worth more than just another girl

That you're not worth my time, but see, you are

'Cause if I wanted to let go, I would have done it long ago, 'cause baby

you're my hope and you're my star


I'm sure I'm worth more than just another girl
Yeah, I'm sure you know that I'm worth more than just another girl

Keep on Shining

written by Rachel Marie Schachter and Hannah Graser


Will you stay ablaze for me?

'Cause the sun won't hold

Its gaze upon this street

And it feels so cold

Once upon a time, you'd shine so bright

But your light just wouldn't stay

And suddenly, you're two feet

And a million miles away


Baby, when darkness falls around you

How can I relight your flame?

This match is damp and it won't light

But things can't stay the same

Stop this sighing, crying

And keep on shining


When you dreamed of what you'd be

You know, you were right

You're staring into the image

Of what you had in sight

You are who you are, and it's beautiful still

So don't put up a fight

And if she doesn't see you shine

She isn't worth the light


Baby, when darkness falls around you

How can I relight your flame?

This match is damp and it won't light

But things can't stay the same

Stop this sighing, crying

And keep on shining

Lead, Paper, Paint & Tea

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


Sleep is my release these days

And my guitar sits on its stand un-played

And in my dreams, I wonder if it misses me

As much as I miss my ebony and ivory keys

What a strife

To realize I have too much of a life to have a life


And I've been wondering what it's worth

Living the day-to-day this way

When in the end, all I've got is an appointment

And nothing of importance to say


I love this road, but I hate the lines

I drive so hard and so fast that I can't see the signs

It's a blur, and I swerve every once in a while, so unsure

So many opportunities, so many roads, and oh, so little time


The clock strikes two and then strikes three

As time just flies away from me

The way it seems to do every day

And it's a wonder I'm keeping on this way

Lead, paper, paint and tea

My mind swirls with science and history

But where's the music gone? I don't know

Two months and I've got none to show


I love this cage, but I hate the bars

It's nice to have somewhere to go, but I can't see the stars

I'm so small and so scared, I feel so tired and so unprepared

And this contemplative silence is broken by the sound of speeding cars

That drive to where you are, whatever, wherever you are

 

  

Let Me Bee

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


We couldn’t have known

We couldn’t have dreamed

With our bodies and words trapped in teenage time

What would be

On a quest for a love that would not give us up

To hold us when we couldn’t stay standing

We didn’t know what we were planting


I am with you at your core

You are mine and I am yours

For worse or for better

I’ll love you forever

I promise to

I promise you, I do

I promise you, I do


The biggest of hearts

The smallest of seeds

Sown in the soil of our skin and souls

Planted deep

You have always been there underneath it all

Helping me bloom when we only knew rain

We didn’t know how we would rise up

Again and again and again


I am with you at your core

You are mine and I am yours

For worse or for better

I’ll love you forever

I promise to

I promise you, I do

I promise you, I do 


Most days I don’t know if I’m feeding this world

If I’m a seed or a weed or a bee

But I love you and I like you

And it’s never been in spite of you

The friend you have in me

That you wake up every day and let me be


I am with you at your core

You are mine and I am yours

For worse or for better

I’ll love you forever

I promise to

I promise you, I do

I promise you, I do

 

 

Let Me Down

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


Just look at us today

Did you ever see it working out this way?

You make it easier to smile

Now I know it isn't fair

That in the frosty cold of winter air

I chose to walk alone that mile

And I wonder if I hurt you

And I wonder if you thought I'd desert you


But if I had one answer to one question

One hint, just one suggestion

If you could turn this thing around

Would you let me down?


You missed me every time

And I missed your hints between the lines

But she said I'd marry you someday

Do you believe this superstition?

Or that all my words were lost in transmission


I never know just what to say

And I wonder if you still want this

And I wonder if just one kiss


Would give me one answer to one question

One hint, just one suggestion

If you could turn this thing around

Would you let me down?


You sing with me and that's

All I ever wanted

Memories of you and me

They, they leave me haunted

I'm sorry I didn't see you

When you could've seen something too


I love your eyes

They show me everything you disguise

And it makes it easier to hear

And all you've done for me

Is more than you could ever see

You just need to know I hold you dear

And I wonder if you're feeling tough

And I wonder if that's just not enough


But if I had one answer to one question

One hint, just one suggestion

If you could turn this thing around

Would you let me down?

 

 

Lookin’ for Paradise

written by Binomial Bill Schachter


Fences and attitudes keep us apart

Compromise tends to wear thin

He heard her knocking’ at the door of his heart

But in the end, he could not let her in

It happens too often when it happens to you

Too often, it’s happened to me

And I’ve been the villain, and I’ve been the victim

And I’ve been the blind referee


And I’d like to quit lookin’ for paradise

Or find it, one of the two

But I can’t and I won’t and I can’t understand

How the best is the best you can do


It’s a hard thing to hear when a friend puts you down

It’s a pretty bad feeling to fight

Like an outlaw with orders to get out of town

Oh my, ain’t it cold out tonight

Mostly it’s misunderstanding I guess

Mostly it’s nothin’ at all

And you never miss August or the smell of fresh hay

’Til November when the snow starts to fall


And I’d like to quit lookin’ for paradise

Or find it, one of the two

But I can’t and I won’t and I can’t understand

How the best is the best you can do


And they tell me eternity still is the same

After you’ve cut it in two

But I can’t understand, no I can’t understand

How the best is the best you can do

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Looking for Light

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


A little town of Bethlehem bore me

I was borne in the bubble of my mother's loving womb

A path had been made in the wilderness for me

Through the darkness that consumed

So in my little city people loved who they loved

Their color was vibrant and everyone was someone I could trust

But I very quickly learned that love still has to fight

And that the people who uphold the rules are only sometimes right

I want to think we're better off now than we were then

But my Bethlehem is broken and so is my Jerusalem

 
Oh, there are people in darkness

We are in darkness

But within us all there is light

There are people in darkness

We are in darkness

But within us all there is light


Are we a nation built on liberty and justice?

Are we a nation built on rule and law?

I hear children blindly pledge themselves, declaring indivisibly

That all these things exist, in fact, for all

But will strength forever lead to strength, and crime to crime?

My God, when will you save the people?

Because after all this time

You told your leaders they were hypocrites, and you were killed for what you said

Now if you said "Please, just leave me alone" you'd still end up dead

We are a nation of unclean, whitewashed tombs

Standing strong and proud as we rot through.


Oh, there are people in darkness

We are in darkness

But within us all there is light

There are people in darkness

We are in darkness

But within us all there is light


So I follow the star to South Mountain

Where my reckless teenage nights were born

Where I was a grenadier, a dreamer, a prayer

Where I once had hope that this world could be fair

That our love could glow brighter than a star of steel

And that a nation's wounds could heal 


Oh, people in darkness are looking for light

People in darkness are looking for light

We are crying, pleading, still proceeding

Guide us to perfect light

 

 

Monopoly

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


I watch your shiny car go by

From my little orange cell

And it feels like home, feels like home to me

'Cause I've missed it here, though I miss you well

Last time I was out of here

This pity of a jail

I passed by your estate and I took a chance

But I couldn't pay the bail


So now I'm back to where I started from

And I never passed "Go" 'cause I couldn't outrun

The voices in my mind telling me to find another way

So here I am today


I never learned to play this game

The way it's supposed to be

'Cause there's just too much, too much strategy

And this silly deal seems unreal to me

'Cause now you've turned out all my lights

And it's much too dark to see

The dog ran off with my "Get Out Free" card

And you still have the key


So now I'm back to where I started from

And I never passed "Go" 'cause I couldn't outrun

The monsters in my mind telling me you'd never come around

'Cause all your lies would pull you down


My old friends come to visit here

And we gossip through the bars

And they said they'd heard, heard around that you

Had gone and switched my cards

So please don't think I didn't know

Don't think I didn't see

They said you'd hurt me, said you'd hurt me

Said you'd hurt me


You have not won this monopoly

No, you don't have that kind of control of me

'Cause you can't keep jerking the cost

Of the things you've gone and lost


So now I'm back to where I started from

And I never passed "Go" 'cause I couldn't outrun

The fire in your eyes telling me to rise above your voice

It seems I had no other choice

 

 

Not Okay

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


Feet firmly planted in a false foundation, I am standing up straight for all to see

I will let you in; my walls are thin, and things look different on the inside of me

I am a home that I have built out of paper and pain

Limbs stretched to their limit, holding up walls against the rain

And most times I stay standing

I who do the standing


Because I thought I had to be a fortress, but you look at me and say

That my effort is blessed and you’ll invest in this mess

Blood and sweat and tears, and that’s okay

And I am not okay, and that’s okay


I spend all my time clinging to a life that I don’t know what it takes to maintain

This is not a place of rest, just stress, and all I know is to self-sustain

With wallpaper peeling, carpet stained, wood rotting through

I curl up in my center, but my center’s rotting, too

Burdened and weary

Dark and dreary


Because I thought I had to be my own rock; well, you look at me and say

That I can’t do this by myself, and you’ll be my somebody-else

That I will always need some help, and that’s okay


I am a fixer-upper of a human life

Not equipped with the required skill to heal it

I have prayed so hard for this light to warm instead of burn

And God, it’s such a joy to feel it

To build a home out of love, and not of paper

And I know not everybody needs a savior


But I thought I had to be a fortress; well, you look at me and say

That my effort is blessed, and you’ll invest in this mess

Blood and sweat and tears, and that’s okay

And I am not okay, no I am not okay I am not okay

And that’s okay

 

 

October

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


This was supposed to be October

But the leaves refuse to fall

I've been waiting for a change

Haven't we all?

The colors fade from this portrait of you and me

As I grow tired and strained

The leaves stay green in the trees, teasing me

Saying, "it's never going to change"

I need a fresh start and some fresh air without you


But it's still humid and warm

You're off becoming something as I sit in my backyard

Waiting for poetry to form


Then the leaves fall, and you fall away

And the wind hits my face

And though I'm tired, I am inspired by a new light

On this so familiar place

October comes with grace


This was supposed to be a new leaf

But it seems every one's the same

I don't know how to get a fresh start

When everyone here knows my name

This new song sounds wrong to the ones who know me

But I have grown

And though the sound of my voice is not the same

It's still the voice that you have known

I can feel it, a call to be new

And I can finally see

That I have come to some kind of understanding

And there is gold in the trees


Then the leaves fall, and you fall away

And the wind hits my face

And though I'm tired, I am inspired by a new light

On this so familiar place

October comes with grace


You were made for more than this home and your guitar

And these keys could never take you very far

There comes a time for every leaf to change

And the same old October comes in a new way

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Peacemakers

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


"Wouldn't it be amazing," she said

"If we could really stop the hunger

Make everyone aware, make everyone care"

So we held our signs

And our faith in human kindness high

And the people on the highway stared


Reach out; speak out

There's nothing left to cry about

When you know those smiling eyes

Are because of you


"I know I can do it," she says

"I'm gonna stop the war

And restore the peace in these poor old streets"

So we hang our signs

From the poles that hang the telephone lines

And say "peace be with you" to everyone we meet


Reach out; speak out

There's nothing left to cry about

When you know those smiling eyes

Are because of you


We have people to care for

We have damage to restore

We know that doing something good

Is only doing what we should

We have a marvelment to stand for

What more could we ask for?


Reach out; speak out

There's nothing left to cry about

When you know those smiling eyes

Are because of you

 

Rededication

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


Mmm, when Jesus comes, where will I be?

Just a little sheep, feelin' a little weak, fallen on my knees

I hear him ask, "Did you feed me? Did you come to my side?

When I was sick and tired, did you let me inside?”

And I cry, "Lord, I've tried, but sometimes I just don't know.”


So when the world needs more love, I will give it,

And when the world needs more Christ, I will live it,

And when I stumble through your way, I'll forgive it today 


Mmm, when the angels come, what will I see?

Blinding faces, or saving graces, or light in endless streams?

Or see a world that's been prepared since the beginning of time

For all the least of these brothers and sisters of mine

And sheep of all colors and kinds and they're all yours


So when the world needs more love, I will give it,

And when the world needs more Christ, I will live it,

And when I stumble through your way, I'll forgive it today


I’ll be a witness to the kindness I believe in

And the justice I could never serve

Finding strength and taking comfort

In a love no one could ever deserve


So when the world needs more love, I will give it,

And when the world needs more Christ, I will live it,

And when I stumble through your way, I'll forgive it today

 

 

The River

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


Just let it go, watch the river flow

Full of life and love and all things new

They'll never know if you don't let it show

What you've done, where you've been, who are you?

The water here is so calm and clear

That when I look to the floor I can see right through

Like I see through you


Look at where you are

It's not very far

From where I'm standing now

If you can find it in your heart to change


I know it looks cool, but don't be fooled

Babe, you'll get burned right up, it's just not safe

You think it looks fun; you're not the only one

But I don't want to see you get washed away

Come back to the pool 'cause those rapids can be so cruel

And when I'm not being angry I'm so afraid

Why can't you just stay?


Look at where you are

It's not very far

From where I'm standing now

If you can find it in your heart to change


We used to be standing on the same ledge

You didn't used to be so close to the edge

You used to listen, but you don't

Hear me anymore

You seem to have made your choice

And I seem to have lost my voice

'Cause I've screamed and screamed

But there's just no cure


You could wade in the stream; this water's clean

It'll take your sin and make you new

If you stop rolling your eyes, you might be surprised

'Cause everything we told you here was true

I'm all out of breath, and this is all I've got left

And I'd hate to think that I've lost you too

After all we've been through 


Look at where you are

It's not very far

From where I'm standing now

If you can find it in your heart to change

Rosie's a Friend of Mine

written by William James Hall

Saturday is much too long in coming

 Or so they say, but anyway I'm not counting

 In her back yard

 She's got that engine humming to my guitar

 How she loves that car

 Three-fifty horses running

 And, sure, I'm hanging 'round for more than the view

 When she takes me down on Ocean Avenue

 Rosie's a friend of mine

 She loves her Mustang and summertime

 Yellow daisies and dandelions

 Lying in the Sandy Hook sunshine

 She's like poetry that doesn't rhyme

 Smoky kisses and valentines

 Limoncello and Italian wine

 Rosie's a friend of mine
 

 I can't see

 What she thinks she's doin' messing 'round with me

 Quite possibly, she's got something - brewin'

 But for my time, it's a mystery worth pursuin'

 How she looks so fine

 She steals me blind

 The girl may be my ruin

 So what I'm hanging 'round like fools in love do

 When she takes me down on Ocean Avenue

Rosie's a friend of mine

 She loves her Mustang and summertime

 Yellow daisies and dandelions

 Lying naked in the noon sunshine

 She's like poetry that doesn't rhyme

 Smoky kisses and valentines

 Limoncello and Italian wine

 Rosie's a friend of mine

 

Second Chances

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


We were covered in paper cuts

Words that dug deeper every time

Lingering fumblings towards love

Pushing too far, crossing thick lines

And we'd give and we'd give and were nothing

And we'd tell each other that that's not okay

But we'd both just keep hoping the paper cuts would change

Because givin' up givin' ourselves just don't come easy


I thought I had one truth

That I was never closed

I get my heart ripped out and I love and I trust

And I bask in the blows

Because I'd rather feel a sting than feel nothing

I'd rather come down crashing than not move at all

And somehow I decided it's always better to fall

Because givin’ up givin’ourselves just don’t come easy


I always reconcile; I always let people walk right back in

The paper cuts never heal, so we crack and we break and it starts with the skin

I have never known how to avoid and I don't want to learn

I have never given up hope, but the openness slowly started to burn


You were livin' on coffee and cigarettes

And I was livin' on wine and black tea

And we were both gettin' by on tellin' each other,

"Tomorrow I'll wake up and live for me”

But there were too many late nights

Too much of not being quite alright

And a problem we both have with always loving ghosts


You would come home every night fading

And I'd come home pretending to be free

And we'd fall asleep every night tellin' each other,

"It's different, I'm different, you'll wait and you'll see

This is the last time I'm letting him back in

This is the last time I'm letting him under my skin

Yeah, he's almost got me givin' up second chances

And third, and fourth, and fifth, and hundredth chances”

But givin' up on givin' ourselves don't come so easy

 

The Self-Worth Song

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


Green really isn't your color

Your envy isn't justified

Just wait until you've heard the lies and

Seen how this weak tint grows duller

As time goes on and passions fade

There are choices hashed and options weighed

And I guess I'm just not that beautiful

Not as tall or as small as those girls on TV

I wonder if it would be too much to ask

If you'll sit and stay with me


Oh, it's true

I love you


Dance with me, my friend

It doesn't have to mean a thing

I just need a place to swing

Between all I resent

And everything that makes me fly

If only you could take me higher

I wish your arms would stay

Here on my waist for a time

Why do you always go away?

You want what's yours, not what's mine


Oh, it's true

I miss you


Memory holds me to you

Nostalgia clings me to your own

The emptiness that I called home but

You've been so much less than true

And being last in this line hurts

When all along, you've been my first

But I guess I'm just not that beautiful

Not as tall or as small as you wished I would be

I wonder if it would be too much to ask

If you'll go, just let me be


Oh, it's true

I won't wait for you

Soar

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


I sit alone on a dusty floor

In a hazy light so calm and pure

I only wish I could be sure

That someday I will soar

'Cause my soft, smooth skin is growing rough

And my easy right is getting tough

And it seems I'm never good enough

Anymore


But if I fly too high, will the sun burn my wings?

And if I reach the sky, will my lungs still sing?

It costs a lot for everything I ever wanted

It costs a lot for everything I ever wanted


The blinding lights on this empty stage

Fill the yellow tint of this empty page

And I think that it would show my age

To lay down here and cry

But I'm scared these seats will never fill

And this stage will stay alone and still

And all I'll have is that I'm still alive


But if I cry too long, will I crash all too soon?

And if I sing this song, will it carry across this room?

It takes a lot to sing over all the noise

It takes a lot to sing over all the noise


And if I sing I will risk my heart

And if you hear these words I'll risk being torn apart

And if I fly I will risk the fall

But if I don't sing I'll risk never being heard at all


I sit alone on a dusty floor

In a hazy light so calm and pure

I only wish I could be sure

That someday I will soar

 

 

Static

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


I thought I was too strong to ever falter

I thought I was too young to burn away

She told me to stop and smell the roses

Strange advice for such a rainy day

And though I searched, the wind tore down

The only flower I could find

And as the petals close, so does my heart

So does your mind


My heart's afraid of being torn

Your mind's afraid of being wrong

But maybe if we just stopped closing

We'd know just where our hearts belong


So I scream through the storm

And I sing with all my soul

And I smile a smile so warm

It keeps me safe from all this cold

If you speak truth over the static

I'll hear you loud and clear

And if you listen

I can fight away your fears


I've never been the kind to kiss in secret

I've never been the kind to kiss and tell

I've never been the kind to kiss at all

You know this, you know me very well

I've never like that gesture

So lightly viewed

But maybe I could kiss you

And you'd like it too


It's always so complex and hard

This can't come easily

But I just want to take your hand and

Finally become free


So I scream through the storm

And I sing with all my soul

And I smile a smile so warm

It keeps me safe from all this cold

If you speak truth over the static

I'll hear you loud and clear

And if you listen

I can fight away your fears


I see rainbows in the night sky

And rainstorms sing to me

I feel beauty in the earth

And I hear angels in the seas

You may say that I'm a dreamer

But this love's real to me

This love sets me free


So I scream through the storm

And I sing with all my soul

And I smile a smile so warm

It keeps me safe from all this cold

If you speak truth over the static

I'll hear you loud and clear

And if you listen

I can fight away your fears

 

 

Strange Reunions 

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


“I had hoped to see you sooner, but I never thought we’d see each other here”

“So tragic; he was way too young,” “No man should lose his only son”

“Thanksgiving just won’t be the same this year”

I wish that you were smirking in the corner hearing what they have to say

And I wish that your absence weren’t the reason they’re all here today


It’s colder in your father’s eyes than it is outside

And I know I need to breathe but I keep holding it

Thinking maybe you’ll come through the door and it’ll all be like before

That maybe it’s a dream and we’ll wake up from it

You’ll be smoking on my patio and worrying our mothers

And I’ll like to think that, quietly, we understand each other

Yeah, usually our crew is festive, but today I’m wearing black on black on black


It’s a strange, strange reunion you’ve called for, cuz

So many lives you led, so many lives you changed

How strikingly wrong that you’re the one who has been shortchanged


I’ve heard Great Uncle Al sometimes lies down on his cemetery plot

Just to see if he’ll fit

Yeah, he’s a little off his rocker, but we all are, and it’s high time we admitted it

Now this shouldn’t have been Al, but it sure as hell shouldn’t have been you

Sure as hell or somewhere darker, nobody had prepared themselves for you


It’s a strange, strange reunion you’ve called for, cuz

I think the biggest one I’ve seen, for good reason

And we didn’t bury you in Allegheny County, but we raised you up in Cleveland


You tested every limit (you learned it from your dad)

And yours was one of the freest spirits that this family had

You flew nests and you hopped fences

And you were coming to a sense of where you’d been

And who you’d be

And where you’d go

And when you fell, it was by no fault of your own


It’s a strange, strange reunion you’ve called for, cuz

Reminding us all just who and how to love

And how no matter how many times we say it, it can never be enough

 

 

TCS

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


My lungs are as dry as the winter air we breathe

And they're crumbling inside me like a crisp pile of leaves

Have you ever stopped to wonder how sick you would feel

With leaves just settling in your gut?

But I can't say a thing 'cause you're that thing that I can't have

But if you'd take a moment to stop being so attractive, maybe

This phase would pass and I

Wouldn't feel so stuck


But I don't know why

I can't just let, let this one slide


I wonder if it's strange that when your fingers play those keys

I'd like to think that you would think of serenading me but

I just want to harmonize

Until I'm out of breath

I'd serenade you now, but that'd be awkward and inappropriate

So I'll just stay a safe distance away and serenade myself

Unless you'd take the time to come and listen

But I won't hold my breath 'cause I know


It might take a good deal of time

Before you'd even consider what it would mean to be mine

 

There is Love

written by Rachel Marie Schachter


I’m at a loss, for words, for feelings

Grasping time and space

But can’t remember where

And what I’m supposed to be

Because we flew right past the twenty-ninth

And I slept through New Year’s Eve

Now where am I? And we are you?

And where is “we”?

Between these rocks and stars and seas,

Between my savior and his blood,

Where do we fall? Where does “we” fall?

Where falls love?

Is it scattered? Is it shattered?

Is it here?


I have wept so many times

For those broken and falling

Reaching, grasping, empty-handed

When they won’t believe the love I feel

But never cities, never nations

Not the state of humankind

But the burden of humanity is heavy and it’s real

Between two cities feigning peace,

Between the soldiers and their guns,

How many walls? How many fall when all is done?

When will it be done? What can be done? 


One wise father preaches friendship

Like that’s gonna fix this mess

But maybe friendship’s all we have

We can’t afford anything less

We’ll leave behind what we have seen

It’s so easy for us to go

But there are those who’ll never leave

And there are those who’ll never know

Between the newscasts and the stories,

Seas below and planes above

We’ll spread the good news that, somewhere, there is love

There is love

Too Soon

written by Rachel Marie Schachter

There's a scene I painted, or maybe two or three

Your tiptoes met a canyon that would take you from me

And you knew you could fly, and I knew you could die

And your mind wouldn't let you be

I still wake up sometimes thinkin' it's a nightmare

That something so dark couldn't take such a brilliant soul

And I want you to know that you're still shining

And that I still don't feel whole

And I wanna cry, "Babe, what have you done?"

But I know

And weren't you the one who said, "Don't let your friends go

too soon"?

Well, you know, I think if love conquered all we would've done it by now

Before the sand in this glass ran out

Or before the glass was shattered on the floor

And it shouldn't be that we don't see 

Or choose to see things clearly

Until the girl in the ground is yours

And it shouldn't have to matter whose daughter she was

Or whose sister she was or whose lover she was

She was human and, goddammit, that's enough

And if your prayers let you off the hook

And you won't look at where the killer lives

Then I think you need a different kind of love

And I'm crying, "Babe, what could I have done?"
I just don't know

And I'm torturing myself, honey

When did I let my friend go?

And what's thirty seconds versus thirty hours?

We're all so tiny anyway – it wasn't that long

God didn't even blink and somehow you're not hours

But you can't be lifeless, you're so damn strong

And I'm crying, "Babe, what can be done?"
I need to know

'Cause we've laid our roses down

But I can't let my friend go

You've Been Conditioned

written by Rachel Marie Schachter

“This isn’t the real him,” you say and you grin
The way you do when things are falling apart
Because the one thing you know, that you really have to show
Is that you gave that kid your whole, entire heart
And you’re remembering a time when you two didn’t cheat and lie
Though what time that was, you can’t really say

You've been conditioned, babe
He showed you his face and gave you words like "love" and "keep" and “stay”
So when that same face feeds you lies and distance
And all those pretty words get stained
Your mouth still waters

“You don’t know him like I do,” you say – and it’s true
But if it’s all the same to you, we’d rather not
Because as long as we’ve cared, as as long as we’ve been here
The back and forth, the broken motions haven’t stopped
There’s some sick, twisted reason; honestly thinking you’re even
If your hearts have strayed the same amount of times

You've been conditioned, babe
He showed you his face and gave you words like "love" and "keep" and “stay”
So when that same face feeds you lies and distance
And all those pretty words get stained
Your mouth still waters

Fireball and cigarettes won’t get the mess to leave
They just blur it all and make you think it’s easier to breathe
And you wake up knowing what you’ve always known
That you need to be fine
Alone

But you've been conditioned, babe
He showed you his face and gave you words like "love" and "keep" and “stay”
So when that same face feeds you lies and distance
And all those pretty words get stained
Your mouth still waters