Buttons & Keys

by Adrienne Anemone

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released March 3, 2012

The Brilliant Musicians on this album:
Skip Akin (banjo on track 2, 5, 10; glockenspiel on track 3, vocals on track 5 & 12), Pierre Choucroun (glockenspiel), Manda Clair (accordian), Ian Cook (live drums) Ryder Cooley (singing saw), Sandra Covin (accessory guitars), Chris Farrell (mandolin), Mollie Fischer (cello on tracks 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12; glockenspiel on track 9; vocals on track 3, 12), Storm Garner (violin), Jerold H. (ghostly vocals on track 11), Aimee Norwich (basses, prepared piano, keyboards and synths, programming, pedals, string arrangements on tracks 1,4,11,13), Aimee Norwich and Valerie Kuehne (cello on tracks 4,11,13), Jess Rowland (piano on track 1) Collin Smith (electric guitar), Laura Vuksinich (glockenspiel and metal percussion on tracks 6, 13), Rachal Winard (violin arrangements and performance on track 6).
Aimee Norwich - co-production and recording on tracks 1,4,6,11,13 (2011).
Matt Smith - co-production and recording (tracks 2,3,5,7,8,9,10,12) at HotTracks!!! Recording Studio, Austin, Texas (2007).

Album Art:
Alina Postula (design, drawings), Jon Wasserman (photographs)

So much gratitude to Bethany, Khattie, Abe Louise Young, Claudia, ghosts, trees, bugs and womyn in the woods for inspiring me to write these songs.



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Adrienne Anemone Brooklyn, New York

Adrienne Anemone, former ringleader of Mimicry Records' The TunaHelpers, is the lullaby banshee that visits Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter and guitarist, Adrienne Sneed, in her slumber. Operatic vocals and gentle guitar pickings tug at the listener's heart through thoughtful ruminations on fear, Christianity, child abuse, eating disorders, witchery, bravery and utter despair. ... more

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Track Name: Sarah Winchester
Ride to the west with your men and tool chest
bring your hammers and heartaches and glue
spirits ride in the dust of our trails
and they bite at the heels of our boots
over your face a black veil of lace
ensnaring your demons like flies
your baby is all gone and your sweetheart died young
but your gold towers up to the skies
brass bullets shine and wink
in their shadowy chests they speak
howling, “You are the one with your gold and your guns, murdering families! We’ll find our way back to thee!”
as the hammers stay beating their nails
I’m still keeping them off my trail
building doors in the floors under rooms that lay bare
except for a lone lock of hair
my little one you will live there
pray they choke on the saw-dusted air
climbing stairs stepping up to nowhere
Track Name: Mrs. Wright
I have many children
they hide behind the walls
some are round as peppermints
some have no shape at all
skin dusted with cinnamon
eyes purple raisin holes
they used to run for days and days
but now they are too old
after communion is fed
I fall asleep in my bed
and dream of nothing at all
a single spoon to fed them full
of breadcrumbs, water and salt
without a stove to warm my meals
I’ll cook you in my mouth
and if there’s a demon to remove
by God, I’ll beat it black and blue
isn’t that what your father told me to do?
one night from the belly of my pillow
there sprung a dream of weeping willows
bending over me
and from the lookout of this tree
squirrels and sparrows
sang off-key:
say goodnight
Mrs. Wright
wicked witch
broken stitch
on the hem of a mast
sinking ships and heart attacks
oh the horrors that came
when you opened your eyes
and the terror remains
from the morning she died
the abysmal echo
of a voice that said no
please don’t trade scales for skin
we don’t want the devil in
when the morning crowned her skin
broke the spell we’d fallen in
squirrels and sparrows hid their tails
neighbors squirmed as mothers wailed
we shook our heads and hung them low
oh no oh no
you were our mother
you should have known
now I dream of tiny hands and feet
that point and pinch and refuse me to eat
oh how they grew
with a fury that flamed my wounds
‘til that old house caught ablaze
each and every soul doomed
Track Name: Boys and Girls
Boys and girls
mice and squirrels
bow your heads
and straighten your curls
quiet all your quick tongues
hold your bodies small
fold your praying hands
and give the greatest song of all
oh holy, oh holy,
holy hallelujah amen
oh holy, oh holy
we will not be frightened
boys and girls
his Calvary
trading toys for artillery
his truth is marching on
let the children right our wrongs
his truth is marching on
we are weak but he is strong
his truth is marching on
hear the children sing this song
oh holy, oh holy
voices sending angels a’ soar
oh holy, oh holy
hallelujah this is our war
we’ve a mission
we’ve permission
from the lord’s almighty law
sending evil down a river in a basket made of straw
Track Name: Jelly Bean
Seeds and water
for to bake them a daughter
stirred up with a stick of cinnamon
a bowl turned from ironwood
held the dough until you stood
and sought to fill yourself with what was good
but angry mouths are dripping kerosene
sneering, “Oh Jelly Bean, what will fill your belly up this time?”
twigs and twine
8 bottles of wine
even the kittens and the mice
hide at feeding time
so with his lumber and her thunder
they built a home to tuck you under
and away from shadows rising in the night
but the wood will rot
if it is not taught
to hold it’s family tight upon a lightning’s strike
hammer and nails
and puppy dog tails
won’t keep you safe from the great white whale
chop chop the wood and count its rings
see a strong oak curl into ribbons of shavings
some woods will split like bricks of mud
some splinter and sweat and cry out blood
some peel and fold like gypsy moth wings
that rock-a-bye back to earth
and build a nest in the spring
soon you will do this very thing
as they watched her grow
Lumber and Thunder began to know
a shapeless shadow resting in her eye
pins and wires held her head still
as she was told to go to bed
beneath a ceiling made of rabbit fur and eyes
Thunder handed her a bone
so Jelly wouldn’t be alone
and a scraggly dress done up in shiny stones
well Jellybean gave quite a show
flaming hoops and red lassos
orbited her throat as it would sing
all eyes on the glow of my big round bone
you make think me small
but when I am grown
I will be known
but jealous Thunder came
and shook the crowd
to satisfy her belly growl
their ghosts cooked up a vengeful stormy cloud
thunder and lightening split the sky
into shards of blackberry pie
seeing the mess that she was in
Jellybean began to spin
until all of her colors soiled her pen
still she crafted an escape
through a painting on a wall
of a lady who agreed to share the shade of her parasol
finding she had fled her pen
poor lumber’s heart fell broken
and when his eyes did open salty seas spilled over
lungs went pale
as tears set flow
with a heave and a ho
the wood let go
chop chop the wood and count its rings
rock-a-bye back to earth on wood chip wings
some woods will split like bricks of mud
some splinter and sweat and cry out blood
some peel and fold like gypsy moth wings
that rock-a-bye back to earth and fall apart at the seams
way down in the Spring I’ll be waiting
Track Name: Gather Your Children
Gather your children

tell them not to bite
for the way we've gone
 seems oh so wrong 
so just sit tight
for tonight 
mean people will tell us to go 
they frown without moving a muscle
 they're making our mouths
move up and down 
to the tired old talk of their sounds
right here
is where
we fold our fears
and lay down
all of our frowns 
the road
we'll make
will keep us safe
and friends will see us again 
our homes
are right here
buried in our backs 
all of us know we are loved 
we don't have to feed ourselves much 
right here
is where
we fold our fears 
and lay down
all of our frowns
the road
we'll make
will keep us safe
and friends will see us again
making our homes
in our backs
Track Name: Mulberry Tree
Said the squirrel to the tree
I just couldn’t agree with you more
your fruits would be sweeter
if you hadn’t happened to meet her
but I’m coping you see
I’ve grown bark
I wear leaves
I am strong
still it’s hard in the winter
the days are so cold and so long
come to me
I’m lonely
I’ll feed you fruits
if you only sit still by me
the earth feeds
soil and seeds
to mend
to give
to grow
at the top of a hill
on a white window sill
she will wait
for the queens courtyard grounds
to put on the sun’s crown
her love is a sweet little cumbersome shape on the wall
and the wall is of granite stone
heavy and cold and tall
oh come to me
I’m lonely
I will feed you fruits
If you only sit still by me
the earth feeds
soil and seeds
that swell and split their bellies
why can’t I give until I burst
ripe mulberries look down from their tree
shiver’n and shakin’ so terribly frightened to leave
but not a fox nor wolf has detected the fear on their leaves
in fact the ground below them is the loneliest place they could be
oh come to me
I’m lonely
the grass grows high
and I fear it will swallow me
copper nails and salted roots
the crimes I dream
as I pursue my belief of you
still the earth feeds
soil and seeds
that swell and split their bellies
why can’t I give until I burst
Track Name: Buttons
Your baby’s tucked under
by salty sea foam lovers
that hide her ears and eyes
to sailors cries
and drag her slowly under
Track Name: Keys
Hold on to your hats and your heads
she’s opening wide
she’s sucking up air
and she’s spitting out monsters from inside
400 nails
to build her a boat
went sliding down her throat
safety pins, silverware, bottle tops
she won’t stop till she tears
are you well
sea Shell
swing your hips
abandon ship
tiny cry
swallowed up inside
nurses can’t shut her jaw
hide your children
hide your face
pills and needles
won’t puncture this voyage
as she sails farther away
till her belly’s too heavy
and she sinks like an anchor
and rises a savior
and the sea
is filled
with awe
sails will catch your breath
pull you to your death
hunger rots the hull
is she trying to save us all
you aren’t well
here’s a spell
are you cured
who can be sure
here’s your cup swallow up
round her waist
around the sea
bellies ache
with buttons and keys
ring around
your tiny throat
the faces will sink
and she will float
Track Name: Knitting Needles
listen for the bell you’ll learn it well
the doctrines of our handsome gaol
better hold your tongue and mind yourself
less you spoil your health
chained to the wall of a concrete tomb
voices in the hall warn of infinite doom
maybe I pinched some pennies but there really wasn’t any other way to feed the babies crying dawn til morn’
when you hear the bell it’s time to tell
the harms that brought you to our gaol
the lord is here to see (and so are we)
that your punishment is fit
I was shorn like the lamb of the antichrist
all my dresses tossed away to be eaten by the mice
is it really necessary to be kept in a cold and scary place
because I chose to end the wretched life inside my belly
when the bell does sound we’ll come around
matrons and doctors of the town
we really want to see you hysterically
so do put on a show
knitting needles drew me an excellent plan
I could lose this baby but still sew gloves for that one’s hands
life is hard and cold and if I’s to as I’m told we’d be
buried six feet under snow and hunger hopes and spirits wrecked asunder
without a blessing on our soul
the evening bell tells you to bow
confess your sins and repent them now
meek as a child we’ll mold you mild
break your wills and bend your smiles
you had better put away those feminine wiles
for we all know that you murdered your child
Track Name: Lolite
One little death
one broken body
scatttered like seeds from the plow
left all alone
on an island unknown
shippwrecked from family and home
from high on a hill I stood fearless until
from beneath me a rumble awoke
then the earth heaved a sigh
and my path broke like pie
and I cried as I feel from the sky
what am I to be?
tangled bones among the tree roots
what will be my name?
sulfur, iron, silt and clay
where is it I'll go?
is it far beneath the earth?
Lolite! find the light!
once my heart stopped
birds flew down from treetops
and they clipped my long hair with their beaks
weaved into their nest
to warm robins breast
my tresses served considerably
the beetles marched over
to demand a look over
and decided I looked good enough to eat
I will feed your family
thumbs knuckles and toes
plant me in a garden
red blood for your rose
drop me in the ocean
but where will I rise?
Lolite! Find the light!
the foxes there were three
took my ankles and a knee
and they rolled them back home happily
and all the fear-laiden muck
wrapped in veils in my gut
were taken and tossed into the sea
all the while I lay still
gazing up at that hill
as the creatures sang blessings to me
bless you
flesh aged to wood
and there a tree stood
blood boiled to magma
spilt from a wounded mountain
bones crumbled to sand
but where will they land?
Lolite! find the light!
rest on my eyes little window to the sun
rest on my eyes little window
come out of my pocket
don't leave me all alone
come out of my pocket little window
rest on my eyes
don't leave me all alone
come out of my pocket little window
Track Name: Time
Open up your pockets
she’s giving it away
beautiful ladies blushing roses in their cheeks
tracing all your birthday wishes
with painted toes in the sand
all your enemies are dead
we’ve eaten up their bodies
the witch and the stepmother,
the neighbors, the older brother
we’ve taken out their eyeballs
we’ve floated them to sea
but oh, there’s time
she’s building machines out of snow
wires and sealing wax
she’s filling up the holes as she goes
the witch and the stepmother
the neighbors the older brother
we’ve taken out their eyeballs
we’ve floated them to sea
but oh there is time
she’s holding her head in her hands
the places we’ve been
seem broken and bent
they haven’t really helped us at all
open up your pockets
she is giving it away
beautiful gifts
giving beautiful feelings
to everyone who hears
what she sings
Track Name: Roses
Her roses are in bloom
thorns to pierce your doom
help help help help
their petals trick my skin
flesh is all I am to them
rip rip rip
rip me in two
falling to the ground
that is where the worms have found my brains!
mangled under them
I’ll leave my bones to choke their roots
till they fall down down down
back into the earth
Track Name: Kindling
As the fire burns
the kindling sings
where will I go now
and what will I be
my darling
you are farther along
than you can see
but its hard to see
the night says I’m all alone
and the stars are pointing fires
telling me that I’m wrong
rains are coming soon
oh how will I find my way to you
my hands are lined
with treks over great lands and greater seas
follow these lines
and find yourself beside me
but the storm cloaks the yellow moon
I can’t see the ground beneath my shoe
if the storm cloaks the yellow moon
then we’ll pick a star and follow it’s tune
give to me your arms that carry
bodies we will burn and bury
use my ears to catch the songs
of diamonds cutting holes in the dawn
fall fall fall
through the mouth of the dawn
until we find our bodies gone