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Letitia’s banjo introduction and world-weary soprano set up this lament about the time pressures of modern life. “When I was living in Baltimore but and commuting every day to D.C.,” Letitia explains, “I would come home totally exhausted and unable to be a daughter, a girlfriend or friend. It made me think a lot about all the folks who must commute much further to more than one full time job. The song questions how we can liberate more of our time and energy from the rat race and put them towards higher purposes.” The images about stepping in line, thundering trains and whistle warning all come from her many hours on a commuter train platform. If the foreground of voice and banjo, made spookier by studio echo, suggests a vanishing slower pace, the rock band in the background suggests encroaching modernity. Tom adds the harmonium and Will the slide guitar.

lyrics

Oh my dear you look so tired in the pale morning light
Chin hung around your chest and all those bags hanging from your eyes

Oh step in line, step in line
Oh step in time, step in time

The lines on the calendar are the bars on my cage
This train thunders through my weeks and all the years bulldoze through my dreams

We’ll find a way out of this prison baby with only the shirts upon our backs
Green pastures of plenty are waiting outside

My path is laid out there before me, and my back a sheet of steel
All my breaths now whistle warnings, blow me by, and stand you clear

credits

from Parts & Labor, released February 27, 2015
recorded & mixed by Alex Champagne of Scenic Route Recordings at Negative Space Studios. TL on harmonium, WMW on slide guitar.

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Letitia VanSant Baltimore, Maryland

Letitia VanSant & the Bonafides are a Baltimore & Washington, DC -based quartet that straddle the boundary between acoustic string band music, roots rock, and the confessional folk of a singer-songwriter.

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