Music From The Rainbow Sparkle Palace: Vol. 1

Home is where the heart is. Part ode to home, part rebel cry, part love letter, Music From The Rainbow Sparkle Palace: Volume I is the sweet first bit of honey in the jar.

Credits

Deepest gratitude to my right hand man, the artist known as, "My dear friend Sam Gleaves." I become a better woman just by thinking about you. Thank you for your epic patience and generosity, mad skills and glorious heart.
Thank you to my parents for their encouragement. I literally wouldn't be here without you.
Thank you Abby Embry for bodacious album cover conversion and for being the best friend a gal could ask for. I want to be like you when I grow up.
A loud "THANK YOU" to Susan Haik, who loaned me the dulcimer off her lap and taught me to play "Boil Them Cabbage" in 2016.
Thank you Tyler Devall for sharing your mad musicianship and irreplaceable support during re-recording and mastering. Thank you for being the greatest muse this side of the grave.  
Thank you Betty Wray for your beautiful generous heart.
Thank you Rachel Dorroh for your encouragement and steadiness.
Thank you Jim Spencer for your mad recording skills in our weird makeshift studio in the woods.
Thank you Robert Rorrer, Jane Mecham, Sandra Davis, Mirra Shapiro, Jacob Mudd, Faye Adams-Eaton, Andri Kukas, Amy Williams, Josiah Kaiser, Kennett Payne, Deborah Payne, George Strange, Sarah Belanger, Dave Harmon, Nancy Naumer, Leah VanWinkle, and so many more.
Thank you, gorgeous muses with your stealthy fairy wings, and how you wake me frequently with gifts of song to throw my name on.
Thank YOU for having the heart for art, for allowing music to move you. It's the most radical form of resistance I know.

1. Mermaid Song

Rainbow Star - ukulele, vocals
Music and lyrics by Rainbow Star


The true story of my birth/near death.


Lyrics
I used to live in the sea of my mother's body
And there I dreamt so peacefully of all of creation
All of creation
And maybe I regretted having signed on for this again
Not this again
And when came time to be set free
Oh, how I kicked, but I did not scream
Cold and bloody, I did not breathe
I refused to breathe, I refused to breathe
I refused to be one of you
I am an angel, I am a fish
I am a mermaid and I belong in the sea of my mother's body
Somebody said, "We got a sick one."
"Well, hit her!"
"That didn't work."
"Well, stab her!"
"Well, that didn't work."
"Well, hold her. Show her it's a warm place here
It can be good as home.
Show her that here is good as home."
It was the first time I committed suicide
Well, I tried, oh, I tried
I didn't want to wake up
I didn't want to wake up
I didn't want
I didn't want
I didn't want to wake up
I didn't want to wake up
I didn't want
I didn't want
Oh, the moment I was born, said, "Send me back!
I prefer a heart attack to this place.
All the lights, all the bright lights and everyone afraid."
There's a little mermaid who lives in me
And longs only for the sea of my mother's body
The sea of my mother's body


2. Pyramid Song

Rainbow Star - Ukulele, chimes, vocals
Music and lyrics by Rainbow Star


Obsessed with ancient Egypt since a child, a combination of dreams and 'coincidences' convinced me I must go. This song came about, and a few months later I was there, at the base of the pyramids.
I nearly died there, and never got to set foot inside.
My trip ended 2 weeks short, and the US Embassy was called to get me home.
A psychic has since asserted that I would have died had I gone inside the pyramids.
I'm not convinced, nor settled on the idea of never returning.
There's nothing more magical on the planet than those massive mysterious monuments.


Lyrics
I wanna go to Egypt
Not the modern-day kind
Not the kind I can travel to from no jet plane
I can get there from my bedroom but
I wanna be there
To kiss the pyramid
I wanna lie in a sarcophagus
Wanna wanna lie in a sarcophagus
I wanna eat the sand
Feel the grit between my teeth
As my ancestors did, I swear
Give me a DNA test, I'm there
Don't tell me it's not safe for a woman these days
'Cause I wanna die in the pyramid
I wanna die in the pyramid
I wanna die in the pyramid
Some say it's a proper death for a servant to a pharoah
Some say it's an honorable death for a servant to the pharaoh
I wanna die in the pyramid
With sand between my teeth
And wings on my back
I wanna die in the pyramid
I've got a straight shot to Orion
He was always my protector
Now I can join him in the sky
With our swords sheathed
There is never a fight
Some say it's a proper death for a servant to a pharaoh


3. Ophiuchus

Rainbow Star - dulcimer, vocals
Sam Gleaves - fiddle
Music and lyrics by Rainbow Star


The first song I wrote on dulcimer.
During its creation, I shared the chorus with the friend who inspired the song, and he asked how I knew that he'd gone skinny-dipping the night before in the reservoir. In February.
Some things cannot be explained.


Lyrics
My love was a snake one time
My love was a bear
He was purely numb inside
We were such a tragic pair, I tell you
We were such a tragic pair
‘Cause my love’s deep and my love’s wide
My love’s truly there
And bless the man who thinks he can handle the pow’r of love I share
Oh brother, can you handle what I share
He’s his own kind of nightmare
Running through the field naked
And they’re catching up too quickly for him to breathe
There he goes into the river where they’re never going to find him
No they’re never going to find him in his own dream
If the stars were so aligned, if it was meant to be
Why do I not trust this guy, why is he not in love with me?
I ask you, why’s he not in love with me?
‘Cause something broke when he was a child
Someone cut him deep
And he still carries it all inside
All the scars so red and beat
He’s his own kind of nightmare
Running through the field naked
And they’re catching up too quickly for him to breathe
There he goes into the river where they’re never going to find him
No they’re never going to find him in his own dream

He’s running away from what he can’t see
Running into a cloud of misery
Running away, oh but I can see
My baby you leave yourself lonely
Oh, my baby you leave yourself lonely
He’s his own kind of nightmare
Running naked through the forest
And they’re catching up too quickly, he can’t breathe
There he goes into the river and they’re never going to find him
No they’re never going to find him in his own dream



4. Please Come

Rainbow Star - guitar, vocals
Music and lyrics by Rainbow Star


Contrary to common misconception, this song is about my cat.
He was gone for days and I was worried. Unbeknownst to me, he'd been shot in the neck. Luckily, he survived, and this became his conjuring spell. It still works to pull him from the woods when he gets an extra wild hair and is gone too long.


Lyrics
I ain't never loved no one like you
Wherever I am, you are too
And no one ever before was true
But something is wrong
Ya been gone too long
What is keepin' you from me?
Oh, you know I can't help but worry
What is keepin' you from me?
I hope you're on some great adventure
I hope you're safe on an adventure
I hope you're comin' home soon from your adventure
I ain't never cried so hard in my life for any stupid man
I ain't never cried so hard in my life for any stupid man
I ain't never cried so hard in my life for any stupid man
Without your innocence
Without your innocence
Without your innocence
I'm sorry I couldn't save you from the world
I'm sorry I couldn't save you from the world
I'm sorry I couldn't save you from the world
It's a big bad world out there and they don't love you like I do
They don't love you like I do
Please come back to me
Please come back to me
Please come back to me
You’re gone too long
Please come back to me
Please come back to me
Please come back to me
Please come
Please come
Please come
Please come
Please come


5. No Shoes

Rainbow Star - dulcimer, vocals
Sam Gleaves - fiddle
Music and lyrics by Rainbow Star


Inspired by dirty floors (the work of my three cats) and the late dulcimer queen, Jean Ritchie, who died in 2014 at her home just around the hill from the Rainbow Sparkle Palace.


Lyrics
No shoes in the house, if you can help it
No shoes, no shoes, if you can help it
My broom so old, worn ragged
My body's a-achin', gardenin' all day
So please dear, when you come near
If it ain't too much trouble
No shoes today
And no news in the house, if you can help it
No news, no news, if you can help it
My heart so weary, carryin' the world's burdens
My hope's a-fadin', too many people hurtin'
So please dear, when you come near
If it ain't too much trouble
No news today
And no blues in the house, if you can help it
No blues, no blues, if you can help it
You know I'm sunshine all day outside for everyone else, my love
But deep inside, a darker side needs some rest
Please dear, when you come near
Long as it ain't trouble
No blues today
No blues today


6. Dyin'

Rainbow Star - ukulele, vocals
Music and lyrics by Rainbow Star


When you turn 31, you start thinking about death all the time, but in a good way.


Lyrics
I think about dyin’
All the time
But I’m really not
The suicidal kind
Oh, no, I’m thinkin’ about death in a healthy way
Thinkin’ about how realistically
I could die today
Tell my mother
Well, I love her
And feel free to release all them songs
Everybody’s gonna love ‘em now that I’m gone
Tell my sister
Mix my ashes with glitter
And if I don’t make it to the pyramids, girl, you goin’
I don’t care if you don’t wanna go
You’ll thank me later
Somebody please take care of my cats
You know they’re my favorite things in the whole world
And somebody’s gonna really enjoy my tiny house when I go
Don’t miss me, I’ll be floatin’ in the ether
I’ll be swirlin’ around every little thing
And you, and everything you love and know
Well, it’s only winter for a while
That cold won’t last forever
And it’s only summer for a while
And in the sun we’ll be together
I think about dyin’
All the time
But I’m really not
The suicidal kind
Oh, no, I’m thinkin’ about death in a healthy way
Thinkin’ about how realistically
I could die any day


7. Berea

Rainbow Star - banjo-dulcimer, vocals, chimes
Sam Gleaves - fiddle
Choir of singers - Rachel Dorroh, Sam Gleaves, Jane Mecham, Andri Kukas, Sandra Davis, Faye Adams-Eaton, Mirra Shapiro, Jacob Mudd
Music and lyrics by Rainbow Star


The first single on MFTRSP: Volume I. A music video featuring my lovely hometown can be found on YouTube.
Warren May, Berea's own nationally acclaimed dulcimer maker, challenged me to write "A Berea song... a Kentucky song," in his dulcimer shop one day. I walked out of the shop and ran into a friend, a constant occurrence in this teeny town. That evening, as I sat plucking my banjo dulcimer, voice ringing off the hills in my little holler, the chorus arrived.
A choir of friends joined Sam and I at the geodesic dome we recorded in, on Pine Valley Drive, mentioned in this song, which my father named in the 80's. One singer was a childhood neighbor who still lived in Pine Valley Drive.
The circles in life do get smaller and smaller as one gets older.


Lyrics
My daddy named little Pine Valley Drive
It wound round the mountain my first years alive
Well, I grew up amid the hills
Down in a valley where our mama raised our food
All in the creek all day, my sisters and me
Oh, we never knew how good, just how good
No, we never knew how good, just how good
(Chorus)
Oh, Berea
In the fertile ground is where they'll lay me down
In the place that I call home
Oh, Kentucky
Don't ya know I'm feelin' pretty lucky when
I'm findin' friends on every street I roam
Oh, sweet home
Home sweet home
When I was nine, the family business got closed down
And dad heard some whispers from people in town
And I will never forget it, that hot summer day
They called us all round the table, said we're moving away
They called us all round the table, and we're moving away
Chorus
So I grew up in the suburbs, went to college in the city
Did some travelin' overseas, but it didn't sway me
'Cause at the end of the day I ran back to my forest
To my old Kentucky hills, and I never want to leave again
Chorus


8. Amazing Grace

John Newton - lyrics and arrangement
Rainbow Star - dulcimer, vocals


Variation on the original by John Newton.
The first song I taught myself on dulcimer, sung here with a feminist twist. If God needed a gender, of course She would be a woman.


Lyrics
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see
‘Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace my fears relieved
And how precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed
The Lord has promised good to me
Her Word my hope secures
She will my Shield and Portion be
As long as life endures
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come
’Twas grace that brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun


9. Aquarius

Rainbow Star - dulcimer, vocals
Music and lyrics by Rainbow Star


The song truly woke me up, as they often do.
Lyrics
I woke up ‘cause I was tired
Havin’ fits the whole night through
Grabbed a drink and went to bed
Hopin’ to stop dreamin’ of you
X2
And oh dear, I cut it down
What mighta grown so tall
Couldn’t take you wantin’ sometimes
When I just wanted all
Just a little bitty kiss
Took the world under my feet
Threw it high and spun it round
Til the only thing that I could see were blue eyes
And blue skies
Your blue eyes
And sunflowers in the Palace
Sunflowers in the Palace
We’d plant sunflowers in the Palace
Sunflowers
And on high, in lofty clouds
That barely graze the hills
If I just close my eyes
Then we’re together still
I woke up ‘cause I was tired
Havin’ fits the whole night through
Grabbed a drink and went to bed
Hopin’ to stop dreamin’ of you


10. Hundred Miles

Rainbow Star - dulcimer, vocals
Tyler Devall - guitar, vocals
Music and lyrics by Rainbow Star
Unwilling to arrive at a concert early, I sat in my hammock with my dulcimer to pass the time. This song came out, and I spent the next 2 hours perfecting it, missing the performance. It was worth it.
Lyrics
I walked a hundred miles to get back home
I walked a hundred miles to get back home
It was not that hard
It wasn’t hard at all
‘Cause I was only thinkin’, I was only thinkin’ of you
(x2)
Sometimes I wander far
And I don’t know how to get back again
But if you wait around
Oh, I just might
Oh, I just might


11. Little Bird
Rainbow Star - dulcimer, vocals
Tyler Devall - guitar
Music and lyrics by Rainbow Star
A true story.
Lyrics
Little Bird
Little Bird
Sound so sweet but you're far away
Little Bird
Little Bird
Sound so sweet but you're far away
Little Bird
Little Bird
Sound so sweet you're so far away
Little Bird
Little Bird
Sound so sweet but you're so far away
I hear you in echoes and I can't find you
Amidst the trees
I hear you in echoes from the valley
I crouch here quiet, Listen
I hear you echo from the valley deep
Crouch quiet, Listen
I hear you echo from the valley deep I crouch quiet
Listen
I hear you crying Echo
From the valley deep I crouch quiet, Listen
Little Bird, little Bird, stay
Little Bird, little Bird, stay
Little Bird, little Bird, stay in one place
I will track you, I will find you and keep you safe
O little Bird, little Bird, stay
Little Bird little Bird stay in one place
Why would you cry for me
And then fly far from me?
Little Bird little Bird stay
Little Bird little Bird stay in one place
It's either magic or its tragic
My darling I can't see you again
It's either Magic or it's tragic
My starling I can't see you again
Little Bird little bird stay
I will find you
Keep you safe

12. T

Rainbow Star - ukulele, vocals
Music and lyrics by Rainbow Star
Another song that woke me.  Originally had 16 minutes of verse.
Lyrics
The first letter of your name makes two lines
Perpendicular
One intersects the other
The other moves on
The other moves on
What is this unending fantasy
I spent less than a month with you
It’s been six and you still won’t leave me
Since I, I left you but you were already gone
You said you were there
Sometimes it looked like you were there, it looked like you were there
But just to my eyes
I felt you floating in the ether
I felt you floating in the ether above our heads
I wanted to reach up and grab you
Pull you back into your body
Into your body, here on Earth with me
And you separate my layers
And I cannot abide
In all the ways I want you
And all the ways I’ve tried
In all the ways I want you
And all the ways you hide
And all the ways I want you
And all the ways I’ve tried
The first letter of your name makes two lines
Perpendicular
One runs right into the other
The other runs back and forth and back and forth and back and forth
Back and forth forever
Back and forth forever


13. Blue Skies

Rainbow Star - dulcimer, vocals
Music and lyrics by Rainbow Star
For my kitty, Cowcat.
(Kitty love is true love.)
Lyrics
I was born to leave the city
My heart too fragile there
I ran away somewhere green and pretty
The woods, so quiet and bare
And I was quite alone
A little haunted alone
Until you came along
With your little kitty song
And I knew
Chorus
The only thing that makes me smile is
Blue skies and you
The only thing that makes me smile is
Blue skies and you
Oh you little kitty fluffball, you’re my sweetheart
When I call you’re running from the woods
All the world on me, I can’t breathe but you’re the lightest thing
My dandelion seed
White spring days
My mind all in a haze
Don’t wanna be
No human bean
You come to me
You know what to do
Chorus x2