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American Novella

by Anna Tivel

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Written by Anna Tivel
Produced by Shane Leonard
Engineered by Brian Joseph
Mixed by Shane Leonard
Mastered by Huntley Miller
Artwork by Chris Frisina
Design by Vincent Bancheri

Anna Tivel - guitar, vocals
Ben Lester - pedal steel
Courtney Hartman - electric guitar
Jeremy Boettcher - bass
Shane Leonard - drums, synth
John Dehaven - trumpet


Margaret doesn't leave the house, she's almost at the end
Of an American novella, an exhausted heroine
She watches TV in a tracksuit on a metal rolling bed
Waits for someone to come back with orange juice and medicine
She doesn't fall asleep and when she does she has a dream
An endless stretch of beach and something rotting at the end
She walks forever just to lay beside that seal in the sand
Drags her feet and makes a pattern, lets the ocean draw it in

Just across the fence, we're planting flowers, making love
Our naked bodies full of breath and big ideas and pumping blood
We watch the ambulance come over to get Margaret once a month
From the floor where she has fallen on the white linoleum
Hours stretching out across the yard and down the street
I want a baby but I'm scared to let it grow inside of me
Where there's been only emptiness and truths I struggle to believe
Oh but emptiness is easy, I know there is more to be

Margaret in the halflight, all the kids around the bed
The walls all full of photos, faded corners, fingerprints
Breathing slow and even slower, telling jokes and holding hands
While a thousand words unspoken break like waves over their heads
Margaret, listen, don't be frightened, don't be sad to finally go
I see your wild eyes and your white hair, and I'm hoping that you hold
All that magic I imagine weaving through an older soul
Silver strands of silver memory, all that struggle, all that love
I hope it finds you when you're sleeping, something easy, something warm
Walking down that stretch of beach to find the seal finally gone
Swimming out toward the horizon, with the barnacles and foam
Leaving you beside the water, feeling free and beautiful


released April 18, 2023
© & ℗ 2023 Mama Bird Recording Co.
under license from Anna Tivel


all rights reserved



Anna Tivel Portland, Oregon

Anna Tivel's 6th studio album, "Living Thing" will be released May 31 on Fluff and Gravy Records

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