songs my mother sang

by Jennifer Leonhardt

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sandy stromberg I've been following Jenn for years. She is amazingly talented, proud to say I own all her albums!!! <3 Favorite track: Let Me Fly.
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    A collection of reinterpreted traditional folk songs and spirituals.

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of modigliani hands (single), songs my mother sang, waterbug anthology 9 (single), sovereign, the united state of americana (single), minstrel's daughter, gods & nations, and heyday EP. , and , .

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about

"After a prolonged absence, Jennifer Leonhardt has returned with a truly moving album." Adobe&Teardrops

Recorded with a live band in mostly one takes in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles as a live, Irish wake-style tribute to the life of Patti Jeanne Mason Harris Gilmartin (December 21, 1945 - December 28, 2012). All errors are intended and part of the living quality of the session.

credits

released May 15, 2013

Produced by Jennifer Leonhardt
Engineered at Breakfast Studios in Highland Park by Dave Bow and Max Dameron
Mixed by Aaron Gilmartin
All songs are traditional compositions and are public domain, except for "Sisters of Mercy" by Leonard Cohen
Jennifer Leonhardt: vocals, acoustic guitar
Juliet Tondowski: vocals
Aaron Gilmartin: vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, banjo, ukelele
Dave Bow: vocals, acoustic & electric guitar, cowbell
Max Dameron: percussion
Album photos taken by Judy Gilmartin Packer taken in Washington DC in 1966 and by Georgie Altenbach in Denton TX 1964.

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Jennifer Leonhardt Los Angeles, California

A serious girl from Ft Worth contemplates the Uni-verse

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Track Name: One Vacant Chair
We shall meet but we shall miss him
There will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him
While we breathe our ev'ning prayer.
When one year ago we gathered,
Joy was in his mild blue eye.
Now the golden cord is severed,
and our hopes in ruin lie.

Chorus:
We shall meet, but we shall miss him.
There will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him
While we breathe our ev'ning prayer.

True, they tell us wreaths of glory
Evermore will deck his brow,
But this soothes the anguish only,
Sweeping o'er our heartstrings now.
Sleep today, o early fallen,
In thy green and narrow bed.
Dirges from the pine and cypress
Mingle with the tears we shed.

Chorus
We shall meet, but we shall miss him.
There will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him
While we breathe our ev'ning prayer.
Track Name: Bright Morning Star*
Bright morning stars are rising,
Bright morning stars are rising,
Bright morning stars are rising,
Day is breaking in my soul

Oh, where are our dear mothers?
Oh, where are our dear mothers?
They are gone to heaven shouting
Day is breaking in my soul

Oh, where are our dear fathers?
Oh, where are our dear fathers?
They are in the valley praying
Day is breaking in my soul

Oh, where are our dear sisters?
Oh, where are our dear sisters?
They are gone to heaven shouting
Day is breaking in my soul

Oh, where are our dear brothers?
Oh, where are our dear brothers?
They are in the valley praying
Day is breaking in my soul
Track Name: Bury Me Beneath the Willow
My heart is sad and I'm in sorrow,
For the only one I love;
When will I see her, no, no never
'Til we meet in heaven above.

Bury me beneath the willow,
'Neath the weeping willow tree;
When I lie beneath the willow,
Maybe then you'll think of me.

He told me that he dearly loved me,
And how could I believe him untrue?
Until an angel softly whispered,
"He has proved untrue to you."

So bury me under the weeping willow,
'Neath the weeping willow tree,
When I lie beneath the willow,
Maybe then you'll think of me.
Track Name: As I Went Down in the River to Pray
As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol' way
And who shall wear the starry crown?
Good Lord, show me the way

O mothers, let's go down
Let's go down, come on down
O mothers, let's go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol' way
And who shall wear the starry crown?
Good Lord, show me the way

O fathers, let's go down
Let's go down, come on down
O fathers, let's go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol' way
And who shall wear the starry crown?
Good Lord, show me the way

O sisters, let's go down
Let's go down, come on down
O sisters, let's go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol' way
And who shall wear the starry crown?
Good Lord, show me the way

O brothers, let's go down
Come on down, don't you wanna go down?
O brothers, let's go down
Down in the river to pray
Track Name: Balm in Gilead
There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

Sometimes I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
O, but then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again.

Chorus
There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

If you cannot sing like angels,
If you can’t preach like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus,
And say He died for all.

Chorus
There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.
Track Name: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Refrain:
Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Refrain
Track Name: Let Me Fly
Way down yonder in the middle of the field
Angel workin' at the chariot wheel
Not so partic'lar 'about workin' at de wheel
Just want to see how the chariot feel

Refrain:
Now let me fly (x3)
Into Mount Zion, Lord, Lord

I got a mama in the promised land
Ain't gonna stop till I shake her hand
Not so particular about shaken her hand
But I just wanna see that promised land

Refrain
Now let me fly  (x3)
Into Mount Zion, Lord, Lord

Meet that hypocrite on the street
First thing he does is to show his teeth
Next thing he does is to tell a lie
The best thing to do is to pass him by

Refrain
Now let me fly (x3)
Into Mount Zion, Lord, Lord
Track Name: May the Circle Be Unbroken
I was standing by my window
On a cold and cloudy day
When I saw the hearse come rollin'
For to take my mother away.

Chorus:
May the circle be unbroken
By and by lord, by and by,
There's a better home a-waitin'
In the sky lord, in the sky.

I told the undertaker:
"Undertaker, please drive slow,
For that body that you're holdin'
Lord, I hate to see her go"

Chorus:
May the circle be unbroken
By and by, oh, by and by,
There's a better home a-waitin'
In the sky, oh, in the sky.

Well I followed close behind her,
Tried to hold up and be brave,
But I could not hide my sorrow
When they laid her in the grave

Chorus:
May the circle be unbroken
By and by lord, by and by,
There's a better home a-waitin'
In the sky lord, in the sky.
Track Name: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah

Sister help to trim the sails, Hallelujah
Sister help to trim the sails, Hallelujah

Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah

Jordan's river is chilly and cold, Hallelujah
Chills the body but not the soul, Hallelujah

Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah

Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah
Track Name: Song of Solomon
For lo, the winter is past
the rain is over and done.
The flowers appear
on the earth
and the time of the singing of birds
is come
and the voice of the turtle
is heard.
Track Name: Sisters of Mercy
Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone.
They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can't go on.
And they brought me their comfort and later they brought me this song.
Oh I hope you run into them, you who've been traveling so long.

Yes, you who must leave everything that you cannot control.
It begins with your family, but soon it comes around to your soul.
Well I've been where you're hanging, I think I can see how you're pinned:
When you're not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you've sinned.

Well, they lay down beside me, I made my confession to them.
They touched both my eyes and I touched the dew on their hem.
If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear down and condemn,
they will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.

When I left they were sleeping, I hope you run into them soon.
Don't turn on the lights, you can read their address by the moon.
And it won't make me jealous if I hear that they sweetened your night:
We weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be all right,

We weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be all right.
Track Name: Joshua and Moses
Joshua fit the battle of Jericho x3
Joshua fit the battle of Jericho
and the walls came a-tumblin' down

You can talk about the men of Gideon
You can brag about the men of Saul
But there's nothin like good ole Joshua
and the Battle of Jericho (that mornin)

Chorus
Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho x3
Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho
and the walls came a-tumblin' down

Good mornin, Sister Mary
Good mornin, Brother John
Well, I want to stop and talk with you,
want to tell you how it came along

Chorus

Go down, Moses
way down in Egypt's land,
Tell ole Pharaoh
to let my people go.

When Israel was in Egypt's land,
Let my people go
Oppressed so hard they could not stand,
Let my people go

Go down Moses,
way down in Egypt's land,
tell ole Pharaoh
to let my people go.

Up to the walls of Jericho
he marched with spear in hand
Go blow them ram-horns, Joshua cried
cuz the battle is my hands (that mornin)

Chorus
Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho x3
Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho
and the walls came a-tumblin' down
Track Name: Bill Bailey
Won’t you come home, Bill Bailey?
Won’t you come home?

I cried the whole night long
I’ll do the cookin’, honey, I’ll pay the rent
I know I done you wrong

'Member that rainy evenin’
I throw you out, with nothin’ but a fine tooth comb
Well, I know I’m to blame, now... ain’t it that a shame
Bill Bailey, won’t you please come home?

Won’t you come home, Bill Bailey?
Won’t you come home?

I’ve cried the whole night long
I’ll do all the cookin’ honey, I’ll pay the rent
I know I done you wrong

Remember that rainy evenin’
I throwed you out, with nothin but a fine tooth comb?

I know I’m to blame, now... ain’t it a shame
Bill Bailey, won’t you please come-
Bill bailey, won’t you please come home?
Track Name: Prayer for This House*
May nothing evil cross this door,
And may ill-fortune never pry
About these windows may the roar
And rain go by.

By faith made strong, the rafters will
Withstand the battering of the storm.
This hearth, though all the world grow chill,
Will keep you warm.

Peace shall walk softly through these rooms,
Touching our lips with holy wine,
Till every casual corner blooms
Into a shrine.

With laughter drown the raucous shout
And, though these sheltering walls are thin,
May they be strong to keep hate out
And hold love in.