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Gut It to the Studs

by Letitia VanSant

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bob631 Leititia has a true gift for writing and performing songs packed with meaning and emotion. Each song on this album (and her other albums) tells a story that is very personal and makes me think about life and its greater meaning. "The Field" has kinda become a sort of daily prayer to be the best person I can be and grateful for what I have and care about others. And "Gut It To The Studs" introduced me to Wendell Berry. Planning on reading some of his quotes :-) Favorite track: The Field.
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As my mother lay dying she called me to her side My time draws near my dear so listen close my child Someday you will find yourself on some beaten path Some well-traveled highway with deep and narrow tracks You'll wake up and realize you don't like where it goes Land of broken promises and streets of fool's gold All of your companions will fear the unknown You will have to travel light for you will go alone Though I cannot see I know the path's in front of me Though I cannot see I know just where I'm bound Woods will be so deep and thick you won't know what's ahead So dark that you can't see beyond your next step You'll look up at the heavens your map in the stars Yes my dear you'll be guided by the compass in your heart When you reach your new home on some sunny day Slowly others will follow on the trail that you made On their dark journeys they won't be so afraid For you traveled not by sight but by your certain faith
Like sand caught in my bedsheets it is rubbing raw my chest Makes me pace in all these circles, wakes me nightly in a sweat These darker hours before the dawn are where I keep my regrets My mind says everything is fine but my heart chomps at the bit Is it wrong to want what I want? To find what's right gotta gut it to the studs Well something here is not quite right yeah something's all messed up I am knocking down the walls tonight gotta gut it to the studs I know that I must sacrifice all the sentimental stuff Gotta get the wires a-running right 'fore the dry wall goes back up There are people risking all they have in fragile little boats But me I lay here in my bed reading Wendell Berry quotes Well he has something figured out, yes he knows how to hope And that's a skill that I might need in a fragile little boat Have we got the gumption to believe that we could start anew It could be called naeivety or the foolishness of youth But only fools can sleep in homes with the cracks a-running through Yes we must build from the very studs something level something true
Oh my friend I can only stand at the edge of your sadness And let the sorrow lap against my feet And I can't walk that lonesome valley for you I can only sing you to sleep Oh and I can't speed the coming of the dawn I can't dredge the murky depths of your soul I can't change that we all die alone I can only drive you home Oh my friend I can only hold up this mirror And hope it answers some of your desire And I can't help that the winter's dark and long But come sit by my fire How many times has my shoulder been cold And passed a stranger struggling on the road Or the pain of friends have I sometimes ignored Well here's my hand to hold And at the beach they'd fly the kites so high The fragile threads connect them to the sky And down below are watching you and I With tender hearts and longing in our eyes
I feel beneath my feet this stairway of stone My mission calls me down these ancient catacombs Won't be long before the torch dies Nothing but darkness for my eyes This task I must complete alone Too many years I've been walking in my sleep My actions guided by these forces unseen I'll wait forty days and forty nights My demon hiding out in his disguise I came to look him in the eye There is a hole down in the heart of every man Its hunger swallows everything in its path I will learn its face and I will learn its name and I am taking back the reigns My fear of famine transformed to a selfish greed Of this shameful sin well I do guilty plead Stole more than I begged or borrowed Caused others a world of sorrow I came to tame this reckless beast If every man has this fear down in his soul Then left unchecked it will rule the whole world I will learn its face and I will learn its name and I am taking back the reigns
Bluebird 04:01
A bluebird came to stay with me, it taught me how to see All the meaning in the ether and the city's poetry My life's pieces fit together like the notes in a melody The future shimmered like the dawn across an uncomplaining sea Bluebird oh come back to me, oh please One day I woke and it was gone Did it die, was it never there at all Did I frighten it with my awfulness Did I ne'er deserve its song Disenchantment spread its dull gray haze Over all my restless days Storms they scattered what was left of my pathetic trophy case Made a model in its likeness out of paper tape and string But then the downpour left it all a mess of soggy memory And so I watch the cloudy skies for a sign of its return Breadcrumbs scattered at my window I am sad and taciturn
The Field 04:26
My soul is a field where love may grow Though it hasn't in a long while But I'll pick up my plough and I'll pick up my hoe For the soil is rocky and dry Oh let me feel the sunshine Oh let me feel the rain Let me remember in the leaner times That I'll reap what I've sown once again Let me find all the hard lumps of clay in my heart Let me soften them with my own hands Let me dig down a well to the water's source Let it flow, and nourish the land Let me take down the fences that keep others out Let them come and take what they need Let us sit at a table and eat our fill And be grateful for tomorrow's seed
You can't drink from a glass that's been broken You can't turn the shifting sand back into stone You can't shut a door once it's open You can't stop her from traveling alone Let her wild heart roam Cause there's fever in her bones Well yours is not the beauty you've beholden Though you wish you had a little to call your own Whatever you thought you had was stolen You can't stop her from traveling alone
Dandelion 03:38
They paved over this paradise before you were born Left an asphalt desert of strip mall stores It's like your only purpose is to buy what they sell Toss your every precious penny down a bone dry well Searched for your story but You have no memories of the roots you need to grow How can you dig deep enough When parking lots are covering up All the sacred ground In a moment of despair you looked at your feet Saw a rebel dandelion pushing through the street Closed your eyes and blew the petals with a breathless ease Watched your wishes carried off by a restless breeze It was thus that you discovered you're a sower of seeds That will someday bust up the concrete You feel a single raindrop the heavens are opening up You're part of a greater plan The roots buck the pavement the leaves are escaping They'll liberate this land I know you have sown a thousand seeds I know they can set this hard earth free I hope that someday we'll all be free
Sundown Town 02:43
Some people say this city is block by block Some places you should go and some you should not Let your nightmare guide your footsteps Let your fear draw the map Oh, better safe than sorry With a gun against your back Roll up your windows and lock your doors Perhaps it is a fiction but it's one you can't ignore Go back home and sleep soundly on the right side of the tracks They don't want your dreams to linger with the cold hard facts It's a sundown town oh people like you they shouldn't hang around Won't take long to figure out oh people like you they shouldn't hang around Well if you try to find me I'll be safe here at home I want maximum security, I detest the unknown There are thousands out there like me All nestled in their shells We'll watch others fight for freedom From the safety of their cells


released February 2, 2018

Produced by Alex Lacquement
Co-produced by Don Godwin and Letitia VanSant
Recorded and mixed by Don Godwin of Airshow, Takoma Park, MD
Mastered by Randy LeRoy of Airshow, Takoma Park, Md


Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.



Letitia VanSant Baltimore, Maryland

Letitia VanSant is a singer-songwriter from Baltimore, Maryland.


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