LYRICS AND LINER NOTES

 

"Dream On" CD: our sixth studio album

Anya & Robert Recordings #5107

Recorded July 17, 18, and 19, 2017

by John Kilgore at John Kilgore Sound & Recording NYC

Mastered by Alan Silverman, ARF Mastering NYC

Anya Turner: vocals

Robert Grusecki: piano, vocals

All songs by Turner & Grusecki (ASCAP) All rights reserved

Total running time: 50:49

CD jacket design: Aaron Morishita

Front cover photo: Carol Rosegg

Back cover photo: Julie Turner

Names, characters, places, events, and incidents in these songs and stories are either products of the authors' imaginations or used in a fictitious manner.

 

 

LINER NOTES

 

DREAM ON is about our belief in the human spirit, the idea that language matters, the sense that music can uplift, and the conviction that two kids from the Midwest at the age of sixty-six have something to say and can still say it. And we believe that all of this can be expressed through the art of piano/vocal music. Thematically, more often than not the songs we hear in the mainstream are about sex: wanting to have sex, having sex, or wishing you hadn't had sex. We cover that and a few other topics that also might be of interest to people.

 

The making of DREAM ON was an experiment from start to finish, beginning with the decision to film the recording sessions. The CD and soundtrack were recorded and filmed in a small recording studio in midtown Manhattan over the course of three days without the use of headphones, with the piano lid open and with the two of us facing each other in the same room. Typically, our CD recordings have been a collection of songs. But when we perform our live shows we often use monologues to introduce the songs. So, on this CD we decided to include some of those spoken setups. There is a definite order to the album and sometimes there are segues from one song to the next. The recording has an arc; it is a fifty-minute journey best experienced in one sitting and unshuffled.

 

LOOK UP! was written as the opening number for a four-character revue of our songs. It is another musing on the effects of technology in our lives, a favorite topic of ours (Cell Phone, My Virtual Friend, Anywhere But Here). SPRING FORWARD was written to open a choral concert of our work, performed by the National Asian Artists Project's forty-voice Broadway Community Chorus presented by Baayork Lee, Artistic Director. WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL/CAITLYN are two songs about gender, love and empathy, joined together by a monologue about early awareness of difference and how to honor that. HOW DO I LOOK? is about the tyranny of physical appearance for women. Enough said. PERFECT – After one of our shows, a listener asked us if we had ever written a song about our relationship. We thought about it and wrote this one. The TALK SEQUENCE begins with TEXAS 1969 and continues through GIVE ME THE SHTRENGTH (yes, the misspelling is intentional). This is a six-track montage about language, pronunciation, nomenclature, verbal tics, trendy expressions, and general silliness. FATHER FLYNN/SISTER ANDREA – As the monologue asks, "Where does belief begin?" THE EYES OF YOUTH – Our nephew recently graduated from college and we were thinking about how, at our age, we've seen and experienced things he will never know about and, at his age, he will see and experience things we will never know about. But right now, at this moment in time, we're in it together. I LOVE THIS TOWN – We've written about our adopted hometown many times (Ordinary People, Greetings From Yorkville, Ev'ryone's A Star In New York, Pedicab Guy, Manhattan Canyons). This is our latest entry. WHAT HAPPENS is about loss of all kinds and how we cope. DREAM ON – The title song is the mantra we carry inside us that gives us the courage to continue to create.

 

 

1. LOOK UP! (4:04)

© 2014 Turner & Grusecki

 

Looking at life

From the same old angle

Staring at screens

Blue in the face

 

Searching for love

In the cyber tangle

Gotta be cool

Keep up the pace

 

Disconnect the gear

Face the thing you fear

 

Look up

Look up

And if you do

Something wonderful might come to you

Out of the blue

 

You wake

You sigh

You wonder why

All the joy you have ever known

Has flown

 

Look up

The world is beautiful

Embrace the here and now

We only have a little while

And how I'd love to know your eyes

And memorize your smile

 

Look up

Look up

Come out and play

If you do you will find your way

Out of the rain

Out of the gloom

Out of the pain

Out of your room

There's so much to do           

Look, it's you

Out of the blue           

Look Up!

Out of the blue

 

2. SPRING FORWARD (3:18)

© 2015 Turner & Grusecki

 

Winter is done

And the sun's

Come out to play

Spring forward

 

No need to mope

Now that hope

Is on the way

Spring forward

 

Now we have daylight at five PM

That's a wond'rous thing

Light makes me happy and no longer

Suicidal

 

I won't complain

If the rain

Screws up my hair

Spring forward

 

Changing the clock

Is a shock

But I don't care

Spring forward

 

How can I sleep when my brain's on fire

Dreaming of a fling

Flings are the thing and I want one

This spring

 

Buds are bursting

Flowers are in bloom

Bees are buzzing too

Here I am with

Pollen up my nose

Tearing off my clothes

Dancing naked in the meadow

 

Tra-la-la-la

Tra-la-la, La-la-la-la

Spring forward

Tra-la-la-la

Tra-la-la, La-la-la-la

Spring forward

 

Now is the season when birds and bees

Let their hearts take wing

Love, crazy love I will find it

This spring

 

(Repeat bridge)

 

Now is the season when birds and bees

Let their heart take wing

Music and laughter and all the best

Passion and wit living life with zest

Love, crazy love I will find it

This spring

 

3. WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL (2:05)

© 2016 Turner & Grusecki

 

When I was a little girl

My hair was all a-curl

When I was a little

I was a little

I was a little girl

 

When I was a little sis

I gave each boy a kiss

When I was a little

I was a little

I was a little sis

 

When I was a tiny teen

Betwixt and in-between

I spent a lot of time in my imagination

When I was a junior miss

No more could I dismiss

The feeling I was headed t'ward

A transformation

 

When I was on my way

To who I am today

I always knew (did you know too?)

That I was a little girl

I knew the truth back in my youth

That I was a little girl

I knew inside I could not hide

That I was a little

I was a little

I was a little girl     SEGUE

 

4. CAITLYN (3:18)

© 2015 Turner & Grusecki

 

I have never been what I seem

I have never lived what I dream

But I think I have the perfect scheme

To make it better

 

If I rearrange this and that

Simply add a curve where it is flat

Then despite the lies and tittle-tat

It will get better

 

This is where one journey ends

Here's to change and here's to friends

Do I have to make amends

Not with you

Not with you

 

I will take a bow when I awake

And we'll see what news a girl can make

If I lean on you each step I take

I hope it won't bore you

 

And who will be the first to see

The brand-new reconstructed me

I will never be the way I was before

 

(Instrumental & Vocalise)

 

Wish me luck

And let me go

Through an open door

 

I will lose a life of shame

I will choose another name . . . Caitlin

I will never be the way I was before

 

5. HOW DO I LOOK? (3:06)

© 2016 Turner & Grusecki

 

How do I look

Do I look fat

Do I look skinny

Do I look old

Do I look tired

Do I look pretty

 

How does my silhouette compare to

All the dames in this fair city

All of whom are wond'ring

How do I look

 

How 'bout the hair

How 'bout the clothes

How 'bout the make-up

Is this my life

Think of the time

These questions take-up

 

And as I pass by every window

I can see a sad reflection

Of all the years of asking

How do I look

 

Never mind the things I'm thinking

Never mind the things I feel

I am like a ship that's sinking

Losing touch with what is real

 

Stop and take a look around you

Open up and you might find

Happiness that will astound you

Humankind

 

I'm not a chick

I'm not a babe

I'm not a starlet

Why should I spend

The rest of my days

Dressed like a harlot

 

What if I occupy my time with

Looking out for other people

That feels better

Now

How do I look

 

6. PERFECT (2:52)

© 2016 Turner & Grusecki

 

When you love someone as long as I have

As I have

As we have

Then you have to let each other grow

 

After years and years of patient loving

And caring

And sharing

There is one important thing I know

 

Perfect, not me

Perfect, not me

Better to lower expectations

Banish the OCD

Obsessive-compulsed, not we

 

Oh, what a trip

Joined at the hip

No need to stage an intervention

Our imperfections seem to be

Perfect for you and me

 

(Instrumental)

 

Bending so we don't break

Plenty of give and take

 

Perfect, it's not

Perfect, so what

Nothing on earth is ever perfect

Love is the hardest thing to learn

Perfectly

This is know

Perfect will have to go

 

TALK SEQUENCE:

7. TEXAS 1969 (1:56)       

© 2017 Turner & Grusecki    SEGUE

 

8. TALK (0:55)        

© 2016 Turner & Grusecki

 

Talk, talk, talk, talk

Chitter and chattering

Beep, cheep, mumble and moan

"Ahpple"

 

Talk, talk, talk, talk

Jibber and jabbering

Gas, sass, grumble and groan

"Shtreet"

 

Yip, yap, mutter and

"I was like and he was like"

Flip, flap, stutter and

"She was like and we were like"

Spit, spat, sputter and

"Like and like and like and like"

Blib, blab, squibble-dee-geek

"Whatever"

 

Blah, blah, yak, yak

Twiddle and twaddling

Buzz, buzz, yammer and shout

"So cyoo!"

 

Yah-da, yah-da, yah-da, yah-da

Tittle and tattling

Cling, clang, stammer and spout

"What's it abow?"

 

Prattle

"Buh-en"

Rattle

"Clin-en"

Burble

"Manha-en"

Gurgle

"Ahpp"

Honk, honk, squawk, squawk

Blither and blathering

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Talk           SEGUE

 

9. THE NAME SONG (1:34)

© 2016 Turner & Grusecki

 

"Stop talking. Eyes forward, please.
Thank you!"

 

Madison, Addison, Logan, Quinn

Parker, Peyton, Morgan and Flynn

Stacey, Casey, Campbell, Chase

Harper, Hunter, Dylan and Jace

 

Skyler, Tyler, Taylor, Paige

Brody, Cody, Toby and Sage

Darby, Darcy, Bryce with a "Y"

Rory, Cory, Rhys with an "H"

And a "Y"

 

Oh, how they named me

The day my guardians claimed me

They instantly framed me

Upwardly mobile are we

Their motive, though tender

Did often cause them to render

A name without gender

Utterly neutral are we

 

"Quiet. Holding hands now. Keep to the right."

 

McKenzie, Mallory, Meredith, Gale

Courtney, Kelsey, Kendall and Dale

Adrian, Avery, Jamie and Jo

Emory, Emerson, Bo with an "O"

 

Charlie, Harley, Farley, Blaine

Dakota, Lakota, Cheyenne and Rain

Lindsey, Leslie, Bailey, Blake

Chapin, Chandler, Dalton, Drake

Spencer, Sidney, Sawyer, Meade

Alex, Barrie, Carrie, Reade

And Apple

 

"Just sayin' . . ."

 

Oh, how they named me

The day my guardians claimed me

They instantly framed me

Upwardly mobile are we

Their motive, though tender

Did often cause them to render

A name without gender

Utterly neutral are we

Upwardly mobile are we

Totally maimed are we     SEGUE

 

10. APP (1:26)

© 2016 Turner & Grusecki

 

I've had an app implanted in my brain

And I'm glad to report

I'm so much happier

This tiny app lodged deep inside my brain

Controls all my thoughts

So life is snappier

The app is to insure

That day by day

I only use the words

Successful people say

 

Look

That said

As it were

No problem

If you will

Absolutely

Drill down

Hit it hard

 

Kill it

Frankly

True story

Believe me

In a heartbeat

Bring it on

Enough said

Full stop     SEGUE

 

11. SHALLOW BITCH (1:27)

© 2016 Turner & Grusecki

 

How I long to be a shallow bitch

A very shallow bitch

If I were then I could bump along

In sheer oblivion

 

How I long to go out shopping

Leisurely stopping at every sale

Thinking shopping till I'm dropping

Constitutes the Holy Grail

 

How I hope this drastic change in me

Goes off without a hitch

I don't want to think so much

Make me stupid

A shallow, shallow bitch     SEGUE

 

12. GIVE ME THE SHTRENGTH (2:35)

© 2016 Turner & Grusecki

 

Give me the shrtength to keep on going

To shtring along

To carry on

Help me find the answer

Though I am lost

And hope is gone

 

Tell me shtraight up I'm not a fool

To beg for love

Down on my knees

Please don't misconshtrue my meaning

Can't you see this keening

Is keeping me alive

 

This exshtraordinary shtruggle

All the balls I juggle

Oh, give me the shtrength to shtrive

 

"Oh, Lord!  Keep me strong.  Don't let me go ashtray.  Even in these shtrange times."

 

Please shtrip away my sorrow

Let me steal or borrow

The power to survive

 Please keep me in the saddle

Join these worlds I shtraddle

Oh, give me the shtrength to shtrive     (END OF SEQUENCE)

 

13. FATHER FLYNN (2:38)  

© 2017 Turner & Grusecki     SEGUE

 

14. SISTER ANDREA (5:10)

© 2016 Turner & Grusecki

 

Who made me

You-know-who made me

Why did you-know-who make me

To know him or her

To love him or her

To serve him or her

In this world and the next

 

Sister Andrea, all in white

New to her vocation

Came to teach our fourth-grade class

And guide our education

The prettiest nun I'd ever seen

When most nuns looked like gophers

But Sister Andrea was young and hip

And wore black penny loafers

 

When I was nine the world was mine

And safely prepubescent

The things I learned at church and school

Were not yet obsolescent

When I was young the skies were hung

With stories they would tell me

How angels flew and devils too

Could heaven or to hell me

 

Heigh-ho

Whada ya know

A small indoctrination

Ho-heigh

Whada ya say

A child's imagination

 

Sister Andrea taught us well

Nothing could curtail her

Fervent, passionate 'til the spring

When she became much paler

The time was Lent when you repent

The sins you'd never say-a

Good Friday in the afternoon

So strange was Sister Andrea

She closed the blinds and locked the door

Sayin', "Don't mean to delay ya.

But you're old enough to know the truth."

So said Sister Andrea

 

"They don't tell you how they hurt him

How they tortured him and left him to die

His young body, strong and perfect

Stripped and naked for strangers to see

Nails and hammers, whips and lashes

A spear through his side, a crown made of thorns

No one helped him, no one saved him

Though I couldn't save him

He knows me, he wants me, he loves me

In this world and the next"

 

Sister Andrea, all in white

True to her vocation

Wound up in the looney bin

For a well-deserved vacation

That summer my mother began to drink

In her private purgatory

And the woman next door hung herself

But that's another story

 

It hurt more than a smidgen

Losing my religion

 

Heigh-ho

Whada ya know

A small initiation

Ho-heigh

Whada ya say

A child's education

 

15. THE EYES OF YOUTH (4:07)

© 2016 Turner & Grusecki

 

Now

Caught in the middle of life

I can see in either direction

Me

Rocked by the riddle of life

Here in my shell

Wistful as hell

 

And you

Only beginning your life

Paint me the picture you see

Tell me what happens tomorrow

Something that speaks of truth

Is there a dream I can borrow

Seen through the eyes of youth

 

I look at people streaming by

With tattoos and day-glo hair

I watch the world go dreaming by

Plugged in to who knows where

So much ambition

So much drive

Without a hint of fear

No inhibition

So alive

I almost disappear

 

Now

Here at the crossroads of life

Somewhere between young and old

Sing me a song that's uplifting

Something not too uncouth

Capture a culture that's shifting

Silly and wise

With hope in disguise

Seen through the eyes of youth

 

16. I LOVE THIS TOWN(3:08)

© 2017 Turner & Grusecki

 

I love this town

I really do

I love the guy with the speakers on his bike

Blaring Piaf in the Park

Where women kiss

And men hold hands

 

I love the block down the street

Where someone built a birdhouse

One for ev'ry tree

Each house as diff'rent as can be

All twenty-three

 

I love the crack in the sidewalk

There, where a tiny seed can grow

Close to the ground where

No one else can see

Like the Ailanthus

Tree of heaven, on you go

Growing wild

And free

 

I love this town

I mostly do

I love the folks on the bus

Who discuss each op'ning

On 'the great white way'

They have their say

About Broadway

 

I love the father and the son debating

Which athletic program to pursue

Football or ballet

"Son, I'll love you either way

But I would choose ballet"

 

I love the millions of people

Working to find a way to thrive

Living together

Fighting ev'ry day

Yes, it's expensive

I don't know if I'll survive

If I can

I'll stay

 

I love this town,

I think I do,

It's like a lover who has turned you inside out

And now you don't know where to go

Too fast, too slow

But even so

 

I love the crazy cabbie

Shouting in the street

A word

That he can make into a verb

An adjective

Or noun

"Fuck you, you fucking fuck!"

I love this town

 

17. WHAT HAPPENS (3:27)

© 2016 Turner & Grusecki

 

What happens when something goes

Something stops

Something is no more

What happens when something dies away

 

That something that is no more

Once was all

All that love can be

What happens when something cannot stay

 

Why not hold on for one more day

And make a wish on one more star

Why can't we start again

Keep trying even when

The journey seems too far

 

What happens to all the life

All the love

All the precious time

How can it be here and then be gone

 

Remember the shining hours

Full of love

Full of song

And let the melody play on

 

I want to hold you in the dark

And find a way back to the light

Why does it have to end

Can't we at least pretend

Today won't fade from sight

 

What happens to who we are

What we do

All our crazy dreams

The time that we have may soon be gone

 

Remember the simple things

Life is short

Art is long

And let the melody play on

Play on

And let the melody play on

 

18. DREAM ON (4:01)

© 2016 Turner & Grusecki

 

The mother rocks her baby

And sings a simple song

The story is an old one

The melody is strong

The baby feels the rhythm

Deep inside the song

A gentle lullaby

 

The baby keeps on growing

Learning how to play

Discovering a new world

With bumps along the way

The mother hides her worry

That's what mothers do

While they sing their song

 

Dream on

And hear the lullaby of life

You're worthy of your dreams

Dream on

And share the lullaby of life

Even when it seems

No one cares

Dream on

 

The child becomes an artist

Creating something new

A gallery of portraits

That speak to me and you

But there are other voices

Tearing down the art

Singing loud and strong

 

Dream on

There is no lullaby of life

Your dreams will not come true

Dream on

Grow up and face the facts of life

Don't you know the truth

No one cares

Dream on, dream on

 

Fads and fashions quickly come and go

You're hot and then you're not

Trendy soon becomes the status quo

In or out, so what

Do what you've been doing all along

Prove the critics wrong

Listen to your song

 

Dream on

And hear the lullaby of life

You're worthy of your dreams

Dream on

And share the lullaby of life

Forget how hard it seems

Dream on

And on and on and on and on

Listen and believe in your song

Dream on, Dream on

On and on

Dream on

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR DREAM TEAM:

Michael Alberti

Greg Anderson and William Tuthill

Anonymous

Peg and David Barnhart

Don and Joan Bernardi

Frank and Betty Birney

Eleanor Carney

Britt and David Cryer

Meg Dooley and Pater LaVigne

Mary Ellen Duchin

Deborah Eckols

Miriam Fond

Jim and Brenda Grusecki

Bill Hopkins

Jerry Levine

Eleanor McCabe

Jeanette Price

Ellis Santone

Leslie Silverman

Mary Smith

Patti and Alan Specht

Mary Ann and Bob Tuerk

Matt and Jill Turner

Otto Wahlberg