Musica Millefolium

by Lightnin' Seed

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about

“The closer you look the more magical and magnificent and mysterious something is. It's our problem that we don't look close enough, not the problem of the universe, not the problem of science and chemistry that we don't look close enough.....but when we do look close enough and when we come to appreciate what the chemistry symbolizes, what in fact it is.....then we are always brought down into mystery.”

-Bill Mitchell, 1947-2007

Lightnin' Seed is Mark Gunnery and Brenna Sahatjian.

Lightnin' Seed would like to thank Merlin Pohl, Christopher Buckingham and Kendra Larson, Charlene Mowery-Pizzadili and Jimmy Combs, Joshum Hardy, Rebby, Adhamh Roland, Daniel Mathews, Harriet, all our patient Kickstarter contributors, Lilu, John Prine and Iris Dement, Digable Planets, Greg, Annie, Stefanie, Andrew, Ryan, Leah, Dendron, Riot Folk, Rebecca Snow, Larken Bunce, Sarah Van Hoy, Herukhuti Williams, and YOU!

Most of all the plants, “cuz you're doin' somethin I could never do.”

In memory of Marcella "Sali" Grace Eiler.

“Caught a light sneeze caught a light breeze caught a lightweight lightning seed.”

-Tori Amos

credits

released October 31, 2013

Brenna Sahatjian: Vocals, guitar, cello, keys
Mark Gunnery: Vocals, guitar, cigar case dulcimer, bass, drum machine

All songs written by Brenna Sahatjian and Mark Gunnery

Recorded by Brenna and Mark in Baltimore Summer 2010 and by Christopher Buckingham and Kendra Larson in Portland Winter 2011.

Mixed by Mark

Mastered by Andrew Eppig.

Cover art by Joshum Hardy

CD packaging design by Stefanie Mavronis

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about

Lightnin' Seed

Lightnin' Seed is Brenna Sahatjian and Mark Gunnery. They sing songs about herbs, storms, and natural phenomena. They are both members of the Riot Folk Collective and are DIY herbalists, artists, and writers.

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Track Name: Stone Root
I've been admiring you for some time
always swayin' in the breeze as I'd walk by
I thought you were nettles the first time I saw you
but it turns out they call you “horse balm”
who knows where these names come from
like mine's Brenna but I always wanted it to be
something else like francis or franky
but thats what my family named me
Back when I was a baby
and you come from a family of mint
deadnettle lemon balm skullcap catnip
a far flung family well-fostered
ya'll grow tall and prosper
you got those sawtooth leaves
that sit on a square stem growing opposite

You stay east of the rockies most of the time
just like the fireflies
and the prickly ash and the sweet gum tree
and catalpa and kentucky coffee
and I'm just so hella west coast
I never had a chance to get this close
to you or the chiggers that hopped on me
when I went out to pick your leaves
cuz word is you got powers
way beyond the beauty of your late summer flowers
and the song you whispered in my ear
for the groundhog the goose
and the fox and the deer

Stoneroot, stoneroot
It's plants like you that help me give a hoot
cuz it was all just green to me
a mysterious sea of unknown leaves
Stoneroot, stoneroot
its plants like you that help me stay astute
cuz it was all just green to me
a mysterious sea of unknown leaves
Track Name: Keep My Tincture Good And Shook Up
I can't always stick around in this sleepy one horse town
Sometimes I gotta stick my thumbs out and go
Out and go go go out and go go go
Sometimes I gotta stick my thumbs out and go

When I'm gone you can crash in my bed I just ask
Keep my tincture good and shook up while I'm gone
Keep my tincture good and shook up keep my tincture good and shook up
Keep my tincture good and shook up while I'm gone

You might call it Klamath weed and whack it underneath your trees
Or watch it bloom on St. John's Day
On his day day day on his day day day
Yellow flowers on St. John's Day

Oscar Wilde said Salome wanted his head
Well I just want to pick at his warts
At his warts warts warts at his warts warts warts
I just picked some St. John's Wort

She put his head on a platter but I don't see how that matters
Cuz these little flowers keep my head on right
Head on right right right head on right right right
Hypericum you get that head just right

Keep my tincture good and shook up lest that mold go and build up
Like it's done everywhere else in my house
In my house house house in my house house house
Those little black spores are putting me out

But when I come back home to you we can take a dropper or two
And go out dancing all night long
All night long long long all night long long long
We'll go out dancing all night long

Keep our booties good and shook up keep our booties good and shook up
Keep our booties good and shook up all the time
All the time time time all the time time time
Keep our booties good and shook up all the time
Track Name: Ballad Of The Rocky Mountain Pines
A carpet of flame on the forest floor
the pines just watch with a calm gaze
around here they get these kinds of storms
the lightning comes without the rain
but these trees are wise ones
they got a plan for when the fire comes
pitch flows to fill the holes
when the flames get in past their thick skin
but, 100 years, no fire comes
to clear the way for saplings in full sun
in the shade the spruce and fir come up
and the old pines die of blister rust

Baby bear, I swear, we used to eat like fucking kings
the treasure troves of pine nuts we stole from the squirrels
but we never felt like thieves
baby bear I swear there used to be so many pines
but in these pine ghost forests we gotta wonder how
we're going to survive

white bark pine bent down on the desert floor
so stressed they can't even make cones
are they bent down giving thanks to birds
who brought their seeds out here to be sown?
They know they would've had to crawl back
one generation at a time
but nutcrackers carries seeds
and buried them in the burnt ground to hide
they emerge the forgotten cache
like eggs that hatched with no mama tree
to live a life of prostrate thanks
to forgetful mama birds who always leave

Baby bird the word is please Stick around
the rocky moountains need you
when the fire finally burns them to their ground
baby bird I know it's slim pickin' in the pines
In the pines, in the pines, will there be pines
If you fly out of rocky mountain high?
Track Name: Summertime
I go out to the woods when I'm looking for some wisdom
I reset my head to the gentle chaos rhythm
Of the snow melt moving cold and clear down the creek
And I listen to the calls coming from the birds' beaks
Everybody's chilling on an early summer day
I get down on the ground and a toad jumps away
Mosquitoes circle round like vultures where I sit
And I really hope I don't get bitten by a tick
A spider crawls up and I say "hi!" 
I don't squash it with my foot I just let it pass by
A bee buzzes up and stops on my knee
I say "thanks for pollinating flowers and fruit trees
You're doing something I could never do
Cuz that pollen makes ah-ah-ah-ah-choooooo!" 
I'm a little allergic but I like it outside
I don't have a car but I still got a ride
A little blue toughy mountain bike
Handlebars are crooked but that's alright
I don't care a bit, it's totally ok
Cuz you know that I swing to the left anyway
So I walk that trail and I deviate 
And the path I take ain't exactly straight
And I laugh and write and dance and sing
And watch all the freaky people do their beautiful thing
In the summertime

I'm out of school but I still gotta learn
Cuz I'm hot for knowledge like a mental sunburn 
So I read in the heat with a book on my knees
In the breeze by the flowers that some may call weeds
Let me tell you how dandelions spread seeds
They just shake them off and they go where they please
And they fly wherever the wind's gonna blow
And that's just like how ideas grow
A seed gets planted in someone's mind
And it germinates and it takes its time
And a little bit of green pokes out
Of the ground and it turns into a sprout
That grows into a big idea
That gives its seeds up to the air
And it gets to flying and it gets around
And it gets itself into new ground
And if you give it some love and patience
New ideas will bloom with crazy variations
This is how creatures evolve 
And this is how the world revolves 
And if there's a problem then there's always a solution
Cuz the only constant in the world is revolution
So it you got some ideas that you wanna see grow
Shake em off, let em go
In the summertime.
Track Name: In Spite Of The Drought
She thinks tanglin' my stalk Is funny
They call her a weed but they sell her for money
She'll wack you out if you eat her seeds
She swears like a sailor when she's growin' her leaves
But she's my viney, I'm her twiny,
She's never gonna let me go

Ain't pollinated since the moon passed Uranus
I caught him once with his pistil in my stamens
He gets fly with the birds and freaky with the bees
Down and dirty with the horn worm sleaze
But he's my trellis, I don't get jealous
I'm never gonna let him go

Folks they call her morning glory
or hedge bindweed, I just call her horny
She wraps herself around my cage
Trumpet flowers right up in my face
She takes a hoe'in and keeps on growin'
She's never gonna let me go

He just loves rubbin' off his oils
pops one off he sprays ketchup on the soil
He's pretty acidic but he gets things done
turns carbon dioxide into oxygen
His heirloom heiny is juicy and finey
i'm never gonna let him go

In spite of the drought, We'll end up bustin' some seeds out
Against all odds, we're volunteerin' for sunshine
Some critter found your round red fruits so tasty
Dropped a log now there's a dicot pointing up to the sky
Track Name: A Storm During Drought-Time
With the sunrise came a storm.
Clouds climbed in, made the moring dark.
"We've been waiting," sing the leaves.
"For you to get here from the sea, we're thirsty."
Only half the rain that was due fell to us in July and June.
But with the sunrise came the storm,
clouds climbed in made the morning dark.
Track Name: Devil's Club
He calls me to the woods in the stormy weather
He's got his own ways to make me remember
Thorns in my skin and they're starting to fester
That's how I know we're always gonna be together
They call you bad cuz you're down in the dirt
But I got a good trowel and I don't mind the work
The devil's on my side leaning on a spiky cane
I got ashes on my tongue I got fire in my brain
I gotta fight with thorns for the branches that I love
I wrestle fallen angels in the devil's club
I got no illusions about the way that you been up in me
Obsession lust and gluttony 
Addicted to the company
Honey it's the truth I got a sugar tooth
And I wanna bite into
The devil's kiss bitter on my lips
And it's got me
Tops me stops me from getting too sloppy
Keep a loose grip on
And good is good for nothing if there isn't something
Just a little bad
Track Name: Never Before Seen
I wanted to wake you, It seemed you had a bad dream.
What with the way you sweat and shook,
what with how terrible you looked,
and you were swollen at your seams.
And I had just sewn you up,
put you to bed and then I tucked you in.
But we're just full of these tremors and quakes.
It doesn't matter if we're asleep or awake.
Like giving birth to something everyday
that was just born to perish and decay.
But do the dreams hide in thte folds?
Where they're forgotten unless written down or told

I wanted to know you but I wasn't even close.
You see there's something there that's broke.
A little flower that gets choked from sun and air
by the weeds that grow easily,
they just pop up you didn't even plant the seed.
And here I tended and toiled like a fool.
I thought to survive tht's what we had to do
but now I know that you don;t have to work.
you could always just settle for what's in the dirt.

God I want to break through but i just keep hitting walls,
the little bird hits glass and falls,
and was she trying to fly to her reflection?
And if it had been a real bird,
I'm sure she would've know to swerve.
She would've loved me for my nerve.
i had a dream I was in the woods,
shimmering snow and shimmering birds.
Silver feathers glowing blue and green,
and they were birds that I had Never Before Seen,
I Had Never Before Seen.
 
Track Name: To A Fish
Summertime and we gotta get out 
Of the stuffy musty nasty house
So we go down to the creek 
Where little fish nibble at your feet
And make you scream and make you holler
Make you jump out of the water
You dry off then you're hot again
So you put your hair up and jump back in

A wild run of salmon and bass
And fried lake trout come swimming pass
And pull you in the current quick
And swim off smoother than an oil slick
You grew a tail and shiny skin
Scales and gills and Arturo fins
And now you hang out with your fish friends
And you're never gonna have to poop in a ditch again

I seen leeches on beaches and private eyes
Hair and Nair on American thighs
I seen jumbo jets and little birds
Dropping turds like two cent words
I seen the good get better and the bad get worse
I seen dragonflies mating on shepherd's purse
I seen government spying through a satellite dish
But I never seen a woman turn into a fish

Summertime and I gotta get cool 
And I got no AC and I got no pool
So I go down where the water flows
Something starts kissing on my toes
It's the prettiest fish I ever seen
With big brown eyes looking coy at me
And before I can wonder who it is
It's gone to do it's fishy biz
Track Name: On The Blackened River
You can feel the fire as devastating
but then the forest is resilient and full of seeds.
On the blackened river, rowing away,
constantly fighting the anchor's weight
and wanting so badly to stay.
All around are the ruins of the green cathedral
and the ghosts there they tell you that it is all healable,
but you barely believe.
So full of promise that you feel you might burst,
roots so drunk with life but still dreaming with that thirst
that first sent them to searching and reaching towards sustenance.
Your ancestors burned down, you grow as an altar to them.
All around there inside you are a green cathedral.
The young shoots and the vines they show you that you are healable,
But you barely believe