Paper Sun

by Kim June Johnson

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about

“It’s letters in the mail, a garden in bloom, kids asleep in the back seat during a long car ride. It’s memories and emotions and the stuff that our subconscious takes in and turns to echos of something in our head that we just can’t put a finger on.

The words are poetry. The tunes that accompany them simple and light. They have a way of sounding like something we’ve heard before, a long time ago, even when we’re hearing them for the first time.”

-Lori-Anne Poirier, Kelowna Daily Courier

credits

released 19 November 2011

Kim McMechan: voice, acoustic guitar, piano, melodica
Colin Linden: electric and acoustic guitars, dobro, banjo, cello, drums, backing vocals
John Whynot: pump organ, piano, bells, wurlitzer, percussion
Adam Matta: voice percussion
Produced and mixed by Colin Linden
Engineered and Mastered by John Whynot

words & music by kim mcmechan (except Calgary words by kimmcmechan and michael peters)
produced by colin linden
recorded and mastered by john whynot
recorded in July 2011 at hipposonic studios, vancouver

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about

Kim June Johnson

Kim June Johnson (previously Kim McMechan) is an award-winning singer & songwriter and poet who performs with an ever- changing line-up of musicians. Her third solo album, Canvas & Clay, is scheduled for release in the May 2014 and was produced by Marc Atkinson (the Bills). She currently splits her time between Kelowna BC and Hornby Island on the West coast of Canada. ... more

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Track Name: how things are
Mid-summer with the doors all open.
I forgot to take out the trash again.
The new white curtains I bought on Tuesday
blow into the empty room.
The peas and parsley, they died an early death
and the tomatoes look anemic on the vine.
But I’ve got daisies by the dozen
and Snapdragons by the wall.

This is how things are.
The empty swing set in the back yard.
The Maples holding all the light.

I planted fire-red Poppies in April.
Left for a week and they wilted.
You are gone again, but coming home soon
and I watch the half-moon climb.

This is how things are.
From here I see three stars
and someone’s voice floats across the dark.

Mid-summer with the doors all open.
A grey moth flickers at the lamp on the wall.
I wonder when we’ll go out walking.
Maybe when August rolls along.

This is how things are.
The crooked swing set in the back yard.
The Maples holding all the light.
Track Name: calgary
It was that open window
and something aching in my head.
Something ain’t right when you can’t get out of bed.
It was that old grey carpet
and the phone call at 2 am.
I can’t believe I fell for that again.

Goodbye baby
It’s too soon for you to tell
but I’ve learned my lesson well.
Wait and see.
Next time you think of me
I’ll be half-way down the road to Calgary.

It was the rain on the driveway
and you pulling out again.
It was the smell that was left on your skin.
It was the radio playing
a broken-hearted little tune.
I packed my bags in the dreary afternoon.

Now I’m pulling onto the highway
and the trees are blurring by
and I hate to say it
but there’s not one cloud left in the sky.
Track Name: early spring outing
In the late morning
we drove to the water.
What a time it was
After that long winter!
We watched as rainclouds
gathered along the hills
but the rain just passed us by,
Oh, the rain just passed us by,
Oh, the rain just passed us by.

Later, with chowder
at the small bakery
we sat by the window,
the light nearly blinding.
Two sweet old ladies
smiled as they passed
and waved you a goodbye,
and waved you a goodbye,
and waved you a goodbye.

Back on the highway
The rain started down
and I felt my life
in its pure, perfect timing.
And I heard you sigh
And say: I like today.
And I said So do I,
And I said So do I,
And I said So do I.
Track Name: parachute
I sit by the window, cup warm in my hands.
Outside the sky is the color of sand.
I’m so tired of being stuck inside,
all closed up, I want to open wide.
It’s time I left this barren ground.
I’ve been here too long and it’s wearing me down.
It’s time I found another road.
It’s time I pulled my parachute out.

Everybody talks of tragedy,
The world is dying they say, Can’t you see?
But I’m looking out at the sparrow on the line
and the wind that’s blowing the back yard pine.
And now the light is full, clear across the hills.
Winter is coming and I’ve got the chills.
But it’s time I left this winter coat.
It’s time I pulled my parachute out.

Been down this road a hundred times,
it just goes on for miles and miles.
But I think it’s time that I moved on,
what’s done is done, what’s gone is gone.
I want to leave this weary world behind
like the blackbirds sailing off across the sky.
I can’t keep living with all this doubt.
It’s only ever tired me out.
And there’s a little girl spinning in the back yard,
I want to open like that—it’s not so hard.
It’s time I remembered what it’s all about.
It’s time I pulled my parachute out.
Track Name: you sent me a letter
Walking West along Bernard,
thinking about you and how you are.
Walking up the path to the bridge,
thinking about you out where you live.

You sent me a letter that said you’d love the fall this year.
You sent me a letter that said the sun’s been shining here.

Doesn’t it seem like a lifetime ago
when I crashed your car after that show?
I still feel that city beneath my feet,
the winter’s hard cold and the damp summer heat.

You sent me a letter that said you’d love the fall this year.
You sent me a letter that said the sun’s been shining here.

But I’ve spent way too many years
looking back to see if the coast was clear.
Track Name: first loved
Look for me,
I’ll be coming down the road.
The war is done
and they’re sending us soldiers home.
Will it be like before?
Will it be like I remember?
Will it be the way you swore it would be,
like when you & I first loved?

Darlin’,
I remember those harsh words we spoke.
Let’s not keep
any burden too heavy to hold.
Let it be like before.
Let it be like I remember.
Let it be the way you swore it would be,
like when you & I first loved.

I’ve seen loss
and I’ve seen so many things taken.
There’s no time
for any living to be wasted.
Track Name: long drive home
Waiting for Christmas.
We drive as the sun
lights the backs of the hills
blue and gold.
The ice on the river
looks just like candy, you say
and your eyelids slowly close.

I want you here with me always,
asleep in the backseat against the door
on this long drive home.

The clouds form a line
across the horizon.
Streaks of pink as the day closes up.
A train whistles loud
as it passes
and there, the streelights at the edge of town.

I want you here with me always,
asleep in the backseat against the door
on this long drive home.
Track Name: blackbird sitting on the line
Blackbird sitting on the line,
My lover’s gone again, he left me without a dime.
And just when I thought that things were going fine.
Blackbird sitting on the line.

Blackbird sitting on the line,
I was so cold to him, I was so unkind.
He was the best man I thought I’d ever find.
Blackbird sitting on the line.

Tell me, what do I do this time?
What do I do this time?
You’re out there singing your song
while I’m in here crying.
Blackbird sitting on the line.

Blackbird sitting on the line,
I’ve been so careless, I’ve been so blind.
I told him I was sorry, told him I was trying.
Blackbird sitting on the line.

Blackbird sitting on the line,
Now I’m so lonesome, so broke up inside.
How do I get me a little piece of mind?
Blackbird sitting on the line.
Track Name: next three days
It’s an early summer day.
‘Til Wednesday you’re away
and I’m watching the roses bloom.
The heron, it keeps flying by,
crossing above the telephone wires
and I think it’s a sign that something’s coming soon.

You waved as you rode away.
Gonna right all my wrongs in the next three days.

The spring was mostly clouds and rain,
all the days just blurred away
and I’m sorry I forgot to say Thank you.
But all I need is one good sleep
and the clouds will blow away in me
and then I’ll know exactly what to do.
Track Name: long dark summer
Watching the rain on the windows.
Watching the light on the floor.
Watching the kids on the sidewalks play
as I lean against the kitchen door.
The roses in the garden are all in bloom
but it don’t matter anyway
‘cause I am here and you are there
and you won’t be coming home today.

I dream of the day when I’ll look up
and see you coming down the road.
It’s been a long, dark summer here
and I feel tired and old.
I dream of the day when I’ll look up
and see you coming down the road.
Will you pick me up and spin me around
and never let me go?

Remember the day at the station
when we danced out in the rain
and everybody watched us
while they boarded the train?
Well, tell me nothing’s changed love.
Tell me we’ll dance that way again soon
when you get home here next to me
in this little empty room.
Track Name: all along the highway
Signs for cherries all along the highway
from White Lake, north to home.
Sunflowers line the crooked fence rails.
It’s a long and winding road.
Smokey haze from the summer’s fires.
I long to see the bare, bright sky.

Maybe this year I will change my life.
I’m tired of this traffic and this dust.
I won’t let this highway take me from you.
All this smoke won’t get the best of us.
Smokey haze from the summer’s fires.
I long to see the bare, bright sky.