Heart Broken Open

by Robert Oakes

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released May 15, 2009

music and lyrics by robert oakes
copyright 2007–2009 robert oakes, jr.

co-produced by robert oakes and thom soriano

recorded at:
off the beat-n-track studio, sheffield, ma.
muddy angel music, richmond, ma
first mark music, richmond, ma
and at a number of home studios

engineered at obt by will curtiss and will burns
with input by todd mack
engineered at muddy angel and first mark by justin hillman

mixed by d. james goodwin with thom soriano and robert oakes
at the isokon in woodstock, ny

mastered by garrett haines at treelady studios, turtle creek, pa

art and photography by kate smith
layout and design by robert oakes

the musicians

joy askew : : vocals
clayton colwell : : electric guitar
john de kadt : : percussion
justin hillman : : acoustic guitar and backing vocals
jalal wade hines : : acoustic and electric guitars and e-bow
anne legene : : cello
jason loughlin : : electric and slide guitar and backing vocals
eric martin : : violin, viola
david nagler : : string arrangement
robert oakes : : vocals, piano, synths, acoustic guitar,
electric guitar, bass, bamboo flute, percussion, dulcimer
lisa parise : : backing vocals
luthea salom : : vocals
jason schultheis : : drums
josh smith : : percussion
kate smith : : backing vocals
thom soriano : : bass, electric guitar, programming, loops and samples
vinnie zummo : : atmospheric and solo guitars, lo-fi vocal fx



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Robert Oakes Tyringham, Massachusetts

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Track Name: An Innocence Inside
this cuts much too deep to keep my mouth shut
we need to own up to what's been done
there may never be a way to heal this but we need to feel this
or we won't move on

there were many times we let our fear and anger overtake our love
the broken trust and hurtful words
often felt, if not seen or heard
that damage done deep underground

but it could not kill the light inside us
it's still bright and clear through time and tears
and we have to keep alive this innocence inside
it means more than anything

all i know is i love you too damn much
to just sit and watch you lose your light

so, we may need to separate
to keep ourselves from going cold
and we have to decide coz there's an innocence inside
that means more than vows and rings
Track Name: Empty Chair
i see her reading, waiting in that empty chair
i see a life now left unlived in that empty chair
and now it's only the breath of my memory
that keeps that life alive

so, like a man returned to earth, i find myself
living in a life i made despite myself
and though it seems so real, i know the way i feel
leaves me no choice but to go

coz i won't be here just to be here
i can't let another day just disappear
if i'm gonna be here, i want to be here
living fully present and aware

i may stand where i am, but i am rarely where i stand
we're hand in hand, yet here i am a stranger in familiar land
i play my part, i know my role
but who knows who i really am?

so, i won't be here...
Track Name: You're Not the One
she said, i want it to feel pure again
it was only early on then but it felt much more like an end
she said, i don't want to be alone
but this just won't work; i need you to go

she said, it isn't like it used to be
and this is isn't what i wanted or what i dreamed my life would be
she said, i love you as you are
but could you be a bit less of what you're not?

you're not the one that i used to see
when i was a little girl, as i'd fall asleep
you're not the dream that left me undone
the little light that came to me before the sun
no, you're not the one

one day i'll find
the love that i left behind
instead of this cold, hard gaze you give

you're not the one...
Track Name: Heart Broken Open
heart broken open
silent waves on the water
are so much louder than the audible
waves break
my heart
and i can't turn and walk away

from the book of a dead man
i read aloud at his headstone
his words break
my heart
and i can't turn another page

so, we wait on the shoreline
shaking and shivering with our eyes sun-blind
so many spirits gone to god knows where
so little time, so little time

there is something in this bedroom
while you're sleeping, it is watching me
wide awake
and i can't make it go away

mind is racing, body sleepless
i toss and turn with thoughts of creeping
light-eating night
and i can't make them go away

so, i wait for the sunrise
to bring an end to this long, lonely dark night of the mind
so many spirits gone and lost their way
so little time, so little time
Track Name: The Unknown
there is a silent space between
each word
between what we say and what we mean
what is said and heard

it's so hard for us to speak
our truth
because it leaves us feeling weak

but you and i can speak in silence
we share this fear of the unknown
but keep this fear from becoming violence
i know we both feel so alone

we fill our heads with big ideas
to make us feel strong
and then we prize them more than life
even if they're wrong

but if you stare into the sun
it will blind you
to all the colors of the world

but you and i...
Track Name: Long Long Time
everything is far away and long ago
and i'm a ghost, i'm not where i belong
it's been a long, long time
since i felt strong

when i wake up, i go and make my face again
so, no one i know will ever know how i really feel
it's been a long, long time
since i felt real

and all this time outside the brutal battle's been raging
o, the ignorance and the senselessness of it all
i feel shell-shocked and shattered
bruised, beaten, battered
down deep inside my soul
o, the world seems so unsafe for such a fragile thing

everything is far away...
Track Name: Gone
one night, one moment in two lives
a fire in the sky, a bursting of light
here and then it's gone

i was out of time, confined to my fine mind
when you woke me from sleep, you broke me down deep
you were here and now you're gone

but in that time, i wanted to love again
i opened my heart and let it all in
we drank the wine and felt skin upon skin again
and for that moment in time, i wanted to live
i really wanted to live again
Track Name: Secrets
and she stands surrounded by a mystery
i know that i will never really understand
and her secret life will always seem to me
to be a bird that is never quite in hand

but there are secrets i can never know

and i speak in suggestion and metaphor
i lead her through a never-ending labyrinth
through a hall, wall to wall with a million doors
through my mind's clutter, stutters and babbled hints

but there are secrets she can never know

and we walk hand in hand underneath the night
aware of words that are never on the tongue
and in the space in the sky where there isn't light
there is a void that is never understood

but there are secrets we can never know
Track Name: Homeless
the tears come now when i drive
when it's just me and that voice and my inner eye
on everything we used to be
and everything we couldn't be

and i can still see your face
and feel that pain no one knew about but me
and knowing how alone we were
and how alone i know you feel with it now

i just cry because i feel how alone we both were in the dark
and how we tried to make it real
and how we tore it all apart
because we needed to be alone with our loneliness
how could we make a home if all that time our hearts just felt so homeless?

now, i'm up and down the highway
i'm never really here, i'm never really there
i'm in the world but not of it
and it hurts so much to love it
because i know i have to leave it
and sometimes it seems so soon

and i just cry because i feel
how alone we are in the dark
and how we try to make it real
and how we tear it all apart
because we need to be alone with our loneliness
how can we make a home if all our lives our hearts just feel so homeless?
Track Name: Before Us
how do i go on feeling unknown?
after so many years, i find myself here on my own
and i'm trying to feel something i used to feel
so somehow i can know that i'm still real

there's no way to fall back to innocent sleep
my eyes are wide open to the secrets that we couldn't keep
and i'm trying to heal from all the time that i couldn't feel
anything but numbness and unreal

and i'm trying to remember who i was
before us

but time just makes memories of days
it's so long ago now, i hardly remember the way
before us
Track Name: The Silencing
these sad, soft eyes
that want to cry
you've been so alone
i feel it too, i know

i see in you
a soul so true
and it hurts my heart
to see you pulled apart
making choices
out of doubt and fear
with their empty voices
silencing you

i gave too much
to get their love
it never was enough
i never felt the touch

i'll learn to stand
i don't know when
but i will be damned
to do it all again
making choices
out of doubt and fear
with their empty voices
silencing mine

and time is passing me by
this is the time of my life
and now that i've made it mine again
i'll never let it get away from me

i see in you
a soul so true
you've been so alone
i feel it too, i know
Track Name: Lost and Profound
when you go away, there's nothing i can say
i'm alone again

at the end of day, the sunlight slips away
in the dark again

i opened up so i could know all i could know
but i didn't know that i could go so far from home

i was simple, safe and sane, but something wicked this way came
and i can't live with this
now i know why ignorance is bliss

i opened eyes so i could see all i could see
but i didn't see that i could be so far from me
and you

falling like the rain on the far, dim, distant plain
sleeping in our beds, the rain falling in our heads

we're all alone with this
Track Name: World Weary Love
we've been through a lifetime
in this love, we've lived and died
we've seen through worldweary eyes
we've been outside looking back inside

where do we go from here?

i look at those lovers in the park
who don't seem to see the day is turning dark
when they do, will they just run and hide,
hide inside, afraid to look outside?

where do we go from here?
why do we go from here?
how can we go from here?

nothing cannot undo what's done
it can't stop what we've begun
now we can make up for the time
we lived without the love of our lives
Track Name: I Just Wanted You To Know
i remember a streetlamp reflecting
off a thousand tiny waves in a parkside stream
and i remember the feeling inside me
like the way the world fades when you fall to dreams

you gave so much to me
you helped me so much to see
in your light, i learned to grow
and i just wanted you to know
i thank you

when we were together, with you standing beside me
i believed i could do anything
and when you'd lay your head on my chest and breathe softly
our love was such a gentle thing

you gave so much to me
you helped me so much to see
in your light, i learned to grow
and i just wanted you to know
i thank you