Through Train Windows

by Norine Braun

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1.
Sleeping Buffalo Sleeping Buffalo Won’t you tell me where to go See deep within my heart How the winds have torn apart the pain Time has blown away I got old since yesterday Ambling up the sacred path No one knows where I’m at I’ve been here before Humbled to ask for more Climbed to a leap of faith A gust begins to shape the way Clouds receded the valley is in view Raven’s crowing she’s battled and blue Over crescents withstanding Deep ridges hold truth
2.
I’m Going Home I’m lonely, lonely in this world of sin And there’s no one, no one sees the shape I’m in So I keep on walking down this long hard road And I pray I get there ‘fore the night turns cold I’m going home I’m going home I’m going home I’m going home My head held high The sweat runs slow Breathe in deep As I lift my load Set my sights To save my soul When I reach the shores of my second sight I will see the pearls bathed in earthly light The hand of grace will hold me tight My heart will open like the lotus white I’m going home I’m going home … ©Norine Braun an Alice Fraser 2018
3.
JERKWATER TOWN Born beside a whistle stop The Metis man became a carman top For forty years he rode those rails Said telegraph lines could tell us some tales Jerkwater town on horizon Jerkwater town we’re arriving Life was good with a one track mind He passed through dead ends to the end of the line Never got sidetracked with his nose to the grind Drooping poles lean departure of time Blew off steam with a cold brew Had some laughs and a tear or two it’s true The real McCoy won’t fool you On the right track with the whole 9 yards of view The whole 9 yards of view, whole 9 yards That’s the ticket to keep chugging along See tunnel’s end light my lifelong song Don’t sabotage or get derailed Streamline and focus this hell on wheels ©Norine Braun
4.
04:45
EXHALE Closer now Lean into me Exhale The breath of dreams And wonderment The pale Is whiter now The filament The veil Swooshes past The frailty The grail It lifts you to sight the feathery sky Give in to me The precious one The male Indigo The coloured one The rail Is wiser now The brutish son The gale Lifts you to sight the feathery sky Climb aboard serendipity Muse upon synchronicity Heed the lore ©Norine Braun
5.
CLIMBING TABLE MOUNTAIN I am climbing Table Mountain The wind swept rage is truly pounding All the deeds undone I’m counting All the words that stung are mounting I have reached the top I want to make it stop I’m howling My horse is watered and eyes me coldly He’ll take me down I will go boldly We’ll descend the glyphs I’ll fall and break my ribs I’m holy All the wounds I’ve held forever Get dispersed like they are feathers I saw the golden lights I heard their voices bright They were calling I am climbing Table Mountain … ©Norine Braun
6.
Heading Up North Heading up north Near Moose River Leave today Read the note Tucked under the wiper blade Snow dusted and entrusted I’ll see you someday Heading up North On the Polar Bear Express Railway Heading up north In orange autumn by the bay Like the wild birds migrating They never stay Winter’s coming On these wetlands Rivers freezing on up Heading up north To watch the flyway And get away Heading up north Heading up north Heading up north Summer’s sunshine Begins to fade Packed my long johns Got a wool toque Winter shades Grandma’s duvet with her brocade Guaranteed to keep warm Heading up north Before the ice storms close the way Heading up north With my stories For company On the cold nights When the frost bites Chilblains bleed Unforgiving is the landscape I will muse the days Heading up north Where I’m stardust and silver grey Heading up north Heading up north
7.
Moving On I’m a seeker here in the lonesome dawn Winding ever in the storm or calm Looking out the window for a sign or song Rumbling rails of a heart held strong I’m Moving On, I’m Moving On Water and fire flow to let it be I don’t have to do it under my own steam I will ask the agent if the pass is free To change my journey and arrive in peace I’m Moving On, I’m Moving On I’m Moving On, I’m Moving On Sun sinks slow as the twilight rounds Memories weave through long distant towns From sea to sea to sea is where I’m bound I’m Moving On, I’m Moving On I’m Moving On, I’m Moving On The station’s empty watchmen pulling freight Who climbs aboard must await their fate Trust in something that will make me well Tracks guiding onward will likely tell I’m Moving On, I’m Moving On I’m Moving On, I’m Moving On…. ©Norine Braun
8.
Rock The Rolling I get lonely on a Sunday night These itchy feet got to get it right yeah Take the train so I’ll get there slow you know Rock the rolling and we’ll smoke the flow Gonna find it, gonna ride the swell Uninvited but I’m a guest ouzel Traversed wide the great plain Took the dark pains Hid them inside The curtained wall You fooled them all Despite the insight Equal and appalled The dripping brow Lends a meaning for the tears Miles from here The conductor Enlightened us all The landmark Like a bulbous scar Thick and coarse Strangely a stranger on my own land You give me your weathered hand Gonna find it, gonna ride the swell Uninvited but I’m a guest ouzel Around Sioux Lookout The stories they told us How to run away from the freezing rain Down Tamarack lane You the only one To lose your leaves Off the page Falling, drifting, calling My name A thousand times I find myself Here back again Watching through windows Looking for friends Someone who sees me as I am And tells me that I can That my place here has a reason My time here is the season For letting go And this train I ride, this train I ride Is gonna find it ©Norine Braun
9.
02:42
OH CANADA Oh Canada the land where children dream Of the oceans, prairies, mountain streams Where their voices are seen and heard The stories of the first ones learned A healing of the heart For all who call her home How we get around to be perfectly clear Is that we’re often saying sorry when we do Transgress against We’re not the ones we once thought we were long ago We see our shadow through the cracks We’re owning up to the truths we found packed away Reconciling toward the light Longing to be peacekeeping co-operants Protect earth, air and life ©Norine Braun
10.
03:34
RUE ST. JEAN We will fly up to the sky tonight Up the funiculaire where we’ll delight In making music that will change our lives A drink with Lily and we’ll be alright Or maybe over at La Sacrilege They’ll play our music on the radio Our newfound friends make us feel at home Our broken French endears the francophone Walking on la Rue St. Jean Celebrating all night long Walking on la Rue St. Jean A quaff of Caribou and we’ll feel strong We strolled outside the old stone walls Heard the laughter join the minstrel calls We sang, cast in a golden light Our treasured moments passed into the night At the gateway to old Quebec Plains of Abraham takes us back Home fires burning alder black Inspires the dawn Marcher sur la Rue St. Jean….. © Norine Braun and ALice Fraser
11.
Crosses and Sweetgrass (Salvation) You say you came to show me How to keep me safe from harm Stole embraces from a future Wrenched from mother’s loving arms Yet still you’ll find me Your black robe swirling round Amid the sin and consequences You are rendered defenseless Crosses and sweetgrass I lie between them Watching distant clouds Roll on by and whisper gently The sages weren’t so saintly after all And this knowing now Is my salvation, salvation I ask you who is served here How to find unending love Mysteries we’ve yet to fathom Imponderable and far away And in the quiet moments A faceless grace will restore me somehow Enter a transmutation Your deliverance for the faithless Crosses and sweetgrass I lie between them Watching distant clouds Roll on by and whisper gently The sages weren’t so saintly after all And this knowing now Is my salvation, salvation ….. ©Norine Braun and Russell Wallace
12.
Heaven Only Knows How would it have been had I not been there Or maybe somewhere else at the time How would Mom and Dad have liked it Had I been a boy or just a man Heaven only knows the reason it ended up this way Heaven only know the answer our fears aren’t here to stay Nothing last forever we all learn that Sorrows can be castles in the dark Abandoned and alone falling earthbound Our destiny we forge here for ourselves Heaven only knows the reason it ended up this way Heaven only know the answer our fears get in the way Clouds float away They are no longer carrying rain Instead an array Of reds brush the skies Of the setting sun My setting sun The setting sun How would it have been had I not been there Maybe somewhere else at the time Nothing last forever we all learn that Our destiny we forge here for ourselves Heaven only knows the reason it ended up this way Heaven only know the answer our fears aren’t here to stay ©Norine Braun
13.
Through Train Windows Through train windows riding Through train windows ride the steel Through Train windows rolling Through train windows roll the wheels On this journey what will steal the show? Will you be first or the last to know? Leave them guessing when you have to go Itinerant, itinerant On this voyage will you sacrifice? For love or beauty you must name your price Built for comfort not for speed that’s right Magnificent, magnificent Panoramic odyssey delights From simple pleasures to the grand excites Leave them wanting more when you ignite Don’t say goodbye, Let’s sing all night Take the trek to where you want to be Don’t wait too long you won’t miss misery Time is now I know that you’ll agree It’s cosmic sent, Divine Intent On Citadel hill I found the will Demoiselle still I lifted the resting laurels Compelled by morals the paradox quarrels Thinking, shrinking how my life is a choral coral Foolproof hypothesis has built this acropolis Through disproof and self-confidence I see oppositeness Playing The Carleton a charlatan steeped in sub-consciousness Finding meaning our hearts convening Insightful blinding not seeing yet speaking while twisted tongues Let out air of gasping lungs watching the self outrun This uncertainty That no one knows for sure The ones who think they do perverse For I can never know all of me Consciously But this third class relic will play, dance, learn, live and love Keep my innocence above And ride the wheels of destiny ©Norine Braun

about

Through Train Windows was inspired by Norine Braun’s cross Canada Riding the Rails tour as Artist On Board the Via Rail with partner Alice Fraser last year. Travelling over 6000 kilometres from Vancouver to Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal and Halifax, Norine absorbed the ever changing vast and beautiful panoramas from the Rocky Mountains to endless prairies, boreal forests and Atlantic ocean. With no wifi and time to reflect on nature and the paradoxes of life, Norine met and communed with the diversity of fellow sojourners from all over Canada and around the world. Following the tour, as a Musician in Residence at Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, Norine wrote most of these compelling songs in her studio facing Sleeping Buffalo Mountain. So climb aboard, sit back and close your eyes let the rhythm of the train soothe and inspire while conjuring up feelings of nostalgia and dreams amid inner and outer landscapes.

credits

released December 7, 2018

Producer: Adam Popowitz

Mixing and Mastering: Rear Window Song and Sound Studios Vocals/Acoustic Guitar/Rhythm Guitar: Norine Braun
Lead Guitar/Bass: Adam Popowitz
Drums/Percussion: Elliot Polsky
Blues Harp: Huggybear Leonard
Keys and Harmony Vocals on Rue St. Jean and I’m Going Home: Alice Fraser Tenor Sax: Steve Hilliam

All songs, Words and Music by Norine Braun except
“I’m Going Home” and “Rue St. Jean”
Words and Music: Alice Fraser and Norine Braun.
“Crosses and Sweetgrass”
Words by Norine Braun, Music by Russell Wallace and Norine Braun

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Norine Braun Vancouver, British Columbia

Her signature funky folk-blues sound simply cannot be matched. Best listened to as loud as your neighbours will tolerate. Abortmag

Her music sounds like the union of Nick Cave with Patti Smith & City and Colour deep in the Canadian forests.
MTM

An imaginative display of fine musicianship, potent vocals and heartfelt lyrics, talent like hers doesn't exactly come around too often. Music Emission
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