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Heart Broken Open

by Robert Oakes

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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
Empty Chair 03:43
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...
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...
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
The Unknown 03:09
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...
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...
Gone 02:57
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
Secrets 04:00
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
Homeless 05:11
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?
Before Us 02:48
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 back before us
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
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
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
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


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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