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If It Were You

from Americana by LILLI LEWIS @folkrockdiva

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Lilli Lewis' third recording with iconic indie producer Mark Bingham "Americana" on compact disc in a 6 panel digipack with lyrics

    Includes unlimited streaming of Americana via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Streaming + Download

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about

I’ve got two songs about immigrants and refugees here, “If It Were You” came after hearing a news report about bodies found in a river who were thought to be attempting to immigrate to the states through Mexico. I was arrested by the idea of dying that way on your way to trying to find something better. The melody and chords are spun from the child’s point of view, simple chords on a windy journey...I always imagine a daughter following her father, her innocence in the lilts and cadences. The second verse tries to meet that kind of desperation by recalling what it was like in my father’s house around the time my mother chose to make her own escape. When that verse was written, I never imagined singing this any place anyone would hear it… But now I sing it as a gift to myself… More and more I’m finding healing in transparency these days. Another one graced by Gina Forsyth, this time on fiddle and acoustic guitar.

lyrics

I don’t know anything about what it would
Take to make a father pull his
Daughter out of school and say
“Today we’re going far away
Never to return if God is willing

We will cross more than 1000 miles
Before our journey’s over through the
River, over hills. There will be
Moments when you feel you can’t go
On a moment longer, but you’re
Stronger than you think
You must be stronger than you think you are
One day you’ll understand
That sometimes in order to survive
You risk it all.”

Can you tell me how the tide becomes
A beast that swallows bodies whole
Bodies and their babies become
Fodder for the ratings and
Discarded long before it became
Possible to name them all
Impossible to name any of their names at all?

I can’t tell you what to think
I can’t tell you what to do
All I really think I’m wondering is
What if it were you?
I’m reminded of the night my mother
Finally left my father ‘cause he’d
Hit her in the head
The night he’d climbed back into bed
After she’d let him know she knew he’d been unfaithful.

She took both the blame and burden with her
When she left his home along with
Me, Michelle and John
We were glad to have him gone
But the dark dreams of those years
Went on much longer than you’d think
And they got stronger when I left for school
I never understood
Why I just couldn’t make my body
catch up with my mind

Can you tell me how the night becomes
The only solace possible
Solace til the sadness becomes
Louder than the madness and
The madness becomes meaner than
The moment it was born of and
The many moments more,
much bigger than I could recall

I sure can’t tell you what to think
And I can’t tell you what I'd do
All I really think I’m wondering is
What if it were you?

credits

from Americana, released October 29, 2021
Gina Forsyth - Fiddle, Acoustic Guitar
Wade Hymel - Drums, Backing Vocals
Kenny Murphy - Bass

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LILLI LEWIS @folkrockdiva New Orleans, Louisiana

Lilli Lewis bears a progressive, provocative, and conscientious presence paired with a love for music that began before she composed her first song on the piano at age three, Lewis is a modern day Renaissance woman, who, when in full gear, conjures the likes of Big Mama Thornton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Odetta, and Janis Joplin. ... more

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