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Two Pencils and a Photograph

from by Anna Tivel

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lyrics

before i left, i wasn’t anyone
a poor laborer’s lonely son
and i dreamed of women, gold and guns
but they were only dreams

then called a cause that needed me
my sleight of hand and my strong belief
for the west it reigns in a sinful beast
that threatens everything

but swing that hammer, it’s an awful shame
to watch a paper fall, from a stranger’s hand
where’s the glory in all of that
couple pencils and a photograph

the day i left, my mama cried
but i was proud to go, proud to fight
and a blood red sun rose in the sky
and i bent my body east

i found my brothers in the sand
all that artillery and promising
and we bravely faced the task at hand
to cut and kill the beast

took a plane, fulfilled my place
a crowded market and an office space
and the heat of heaven, that metallic taste
and i watched that paper fall

i came to slay, i came to serve
my weapon’s weight against the written word
and i cried out allah and he cried my lord
heaven help us all

credits

from Heroes Waking Up, released May 20, 2016

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about

Anna Tivel Portland, Oregon

Anna Tivel's wide-eyed celestial folk songs belong in a similar
ballpark with Anais Mitchell, Gregory Alan Isakov and Laura
Veirs, where gentle picking plucks among occasionally
unconventional sounds and a gorgeous voice tells stories of
life in a world of natural wonders. The resulting music is
incredibly honest, lyric-driven, and deeply affecting.
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