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by Gretchen Peters

baby you just slipped right through my fingers
baby took the words out of my mouth
i could start all over but the thing is
you were never something i could live without

you were always looking for the silver lining
i was always waiting for the rain
every now and then i need reminding
love is never really love in vain

this night will end
this heart will mend
and i’ll smile again
tomorrow morning
as right as rain
as pure and plain
i will rise again
tomorrow morning

if i have a soul i’ve never seen it
if i have a prayer why can’t i pray
i say that i’m alright but i don’t mean it
what i really mean is i’m okay


i dreamed i was a sailor on the ocean
i dreamed that i was lost inside a storm
maybe i can find a fair wind blowin
somewhere in the dark before the dawn

© 2002 sony/atv tunes, purple crayon music

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by Gretchen Peters

you fell out of the sky when you were 21
your bomber took a bullet from a german gun
did you think about your wife
your brief and tender life
did you pray to anyone?

how does it feel when you’re falling
can you hear sweet angels calling
is it empty up in space
did you touch god’s holy face
did you tremble, did you cry
did you fall or did you fly

you fell out of your life when you were 43
you saw her and you thought she was your destiny
you wandered from the path
and we cursed your aftermath
but that’s ancient history


you make it so damn hard to love you
i don’t know why i even try
and all i ever wanted of you
to take me with you when you fly

you fell out of my life one last time today
i held your hand and watched you as you slipped away
you cast your pilot’s eye to the endless open sky
and i sent you on your way

© 2002 sony/atv tunes, purple crayon music

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by Gretchen Peters/Bryan Adams

are you lonely – are you crying
are those teardrops in your eyes
is it more blues – is it bad news
is it a curse, or a blessing in disguise

did you leave him – do you love him
have you said your last goodbyes
is it over – are you sorry
could it be a blessing in disguise

it’s the scars that make you stronger
it’s the hard times make you wise
it’s the sweet things only time brings
that arrive like a blessing in disguise

clouds roll by and bring the rain
tears will dry, and ease the pain

let me be your silver lining
shining thru like a blessing in disguise
shining thru like a blessing in disguise

© 2001 sony/atv tunes/purple crayon music & badams music ltd.

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by Gretchen Peters

i can’t fight your dragons anymore
they no longer live behind your closet door
my magic’s lost its power to ease your mind
but if i could i’d slay them child of mine

what i wouldn’t give for just one day
when holding you was all it took to wipe those tears away
remember all the days we’ve left behind
and hold them in your heart, sweet child of mine

it fills me like a river fills the sea
holds me in its sway and sets me free
it reaches far beyond all tide and time
this love i have for you sweet child of mine
this love i have for you sweet child of mine

© 2003 sony/atv tunes, purple crayon music

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by Gretchen Peters

will i see you tonight
with the moon in your hair
your sad little smile
your poetic despair
will we meet on the freeway
under the sky
for a cool goodbye
there’s a crack in my voice
there’s a crack in my heart
the foundation is crumbling
i’m falling apart
and the cars on the freeway
are whistling by
like a cool goodbye
i’ve learned my lesson
i’ve been to school
you were the teacher
i was the fool
well how do you do it
baby what is your trick
you make it look easy
the kiss and the kick
a shrug of the shoulder
a wink of the eye
and a cool goodbye

© 2002 sony/atv tunes, purple crayon music

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by Gretchen Peters

imogene she lives in Reno
all alone with thirteen cats
every night she passes the casino
imogene don’t fool with that
imogene she drives an old Camaro
but she hardly ever takes it out
if it’s true God’s eye is on the sparrow
she’s got nothin to worry about

chorus: she says that’s life – that’s my life
well i get what i need and i want what i want
and the bills roll in and the money don’t

and somehow it all works out for the best
that’s life – that’s my life

imogene she don’t take chances
the girl’s got a level head
evaluate the circumstances
that’s what her daddy always said
then one night she passes the casino
puts a quarter in the slot machine
drops down – comes up cherries
way to go now, imogene


former high school football hero
knocks on her door like the sweepstakes man
she says i’m a former high school zero
now you want to be my friend?
you’re as dumb as a day old puppy
you ain’t as pretty as you used to be
here’s a quarter baby, go get lucky
put one in the slots for me – yeah

chorus: that’s life – that’s your life
well you get what you need and you want what you want
and the girls roll in but the right one don’t
and you do what you do and you fake the rest
and somehow it all works out for the best
that’s life – that’s your life

© 2001 sony/atv tunes, purple crayon music

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by Gretchen Peters

the altarboys are sneaking cigarettes
the friends and neighbors offering their regrets
the station wagons in the pouring rain
and all that water goin down the drain

a white lace dress for when i turn thirteen
and a bright red stain that wouldn’t quite come clean
walking by the football field
trying out my sex appeal
while all around the leaves are turning brown
this used to be my town

he waited by the swingset in the park
he tore at my new raincoat in the dark
and all that i could think about
was getting through and getting out
and how the night could fall without a sound
this used to be my town

i’m flying through the clouds as white as snow
i’m looking at the people down below
the whole world holds its breath for me
the priest evokes eternity
and everywhere the rain is pourin down
this used to be my town

© 2002 sony/atv tunes, purple crayon music

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by Gretchen Peters

when the fireflies start their dancin’ on the lawn
and supper’s on the stove and mama’s laughin’
and everybody’s working day is done

if heaven was a town it would be my town
on a summer day in 1965
and everything i wanted was out there waiting
and everyone i loved was still alive

chorus: don’t cry a tear for me now baby
comes a time we all must say good bye
and if that’s what heaven’s made of
you know i ain’t afraid to die

if heaven was a pie it would be cherry
cool and sweet and heavy on your tongue
and just one bite would satisfy your hunger
and there’d always be enough for everyone

if heaven was a train it’d be a fast one
to take this weary traveler round the bend
and if heaven was a tear it’d be my last one
and you’d be in my arms again


© 2002 sony/atv tunes, purple crayon music

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by Gretchen Peters

it’s friday night down in germantown
you’re ridin shotgun wearin black
just another friday night in germantown
but something tells me we ain’t goin back
mary’s glowin by the dashboard light
giving benediction to the lost
something’s stirring in the black black night
i guess every blessing has its cost

cho: do you remember graduation day
i burned like fire beneath your kiss
said you could see us somewhere far away
oh but baby not like this

i heard a siren and a shot ring out
but my mind would not believe
my plates expired and my taillight’s out
and you’ve got something up your sleeve

cho: i’m doin 90 toward the county line
and the rain is comin down
said you were on to something big this time
but it’s the other way around

it’s friday night down in germantown
the blood is pounding in my veins
just another rainy night in germantown
why does it always have to rain?

© 2003 sony/atv tunes, purple crayon music

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by Gretchen Peters

you blow in harder than a hurricane
i’m always standing in the pouring rain
sometimes it’s all that i can do
to keep from drowning in you

you come on softer than a summer wind
love me til i’m weak and then you’re gone again
and i ain’t got no anchor to hold on to
to keep from drowning in you

bridge: you always pull me under
while i’m trying to stay afloat
you bring the rain and thunder
i bring the boat

i used to come running when you’d cry for help
but this time around baby i gotta save myself
gotta keep my head above the blue
gotta keep from drowning in you

sometimes it’s all that i can do
to keep from drowning in you

© 2002 sony/atv tunes, purple crayon music

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by Gretchen Peters

i am an artist
i won’t crawl
i’ll paint a picture of my heart
and hang it on a wall
it’s my sweet release
it’s my masterpiece
hanging on a wall in a museum

you can hurt me
but i’ll fight back
i’ll rearrange the shadows and the light
til the colors turn to black
til my broken heart
is a work of art
hanging on a wall in a museum

and i’ll paint the golden summers
and i’ll paint the starry nights
and i’ll paint the bloody battles
and the refuse of the fight
like a message in a bottle
like a ghost beyond the grave
you’re looking for some meaning
but it’s my life i’m trying to save

i am a stranger
to myself
not living breathing flesh and blood
but dust upon a shelf
it’s my joy and my strife
it’s my lot in life
to be hanging on a wall in a museum

©2002 sony/atv tunes, purple crayon music

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1.Tomorrow Morning – Despite my occasional desire to be anything but, I remain a deeply committed optimist. What keeps me going is the promise of tomorrow morning.

2. The Aviator’s Song – Mostly a true story. Written for, and – I suppose – against, my father. As is often the case with fathers, it’s complicated.

3. Blessing In Disguise – I wrote this with my old friend Bryan Adams, who sings on it as well. It’s just a simple love song, and I love to sing it. It reminds me a little of Roy Orbison, J.D. Souther, and the Everly Brothers.

4. Child Of Mine – For my sweet girl, Caitlin.

5. A Cool Goodbye – This song, in its first incarnation, was recorded with only synthesized keyboard parts. Little by little we took out every synth part and replaced it with an acoustic instrument. In the end, that was all that was left. I wouldn’t recommend doing that on a regular basis, but that was the genesis of this recording. Now it sounds like a little French movie to me.

6. Imogene – For all the high school zeroes, who may or may not know that they will not always be the losers. Oftentimes it works out just the opposite way around.

7. This Used To Be My Town – This started out being about my hometown in New York. All the images are from my memories there. Somewhere along the way, the girl in the song appeared. During the summer of Elizabeth Smart and a seemingly endless stream of young pubescent girls who disappeared into thin air, this girl appeared in this song, and this is her story.

8. If Heaven – It would be nice to find out that after life on earth, with all of the world’s problems, the grief and the strife and the hate, all of these things would be waiting for you. I don’t know if it’s true, but it would be nice.

9. Germantown – I find myself interested in people who do bad things, but aren’t bad people. I think there’s a very faint, almost invisible line that is more easily crossed than most people imagine. The characters in this song have crossed it, and there’s no going back. Stranger than fiction: when I wrote this song I had no idea that I would be moving to a neighborhood in Nashville called Germantown.

10. Drowning In You – If you’re lucky you’ll experience this sort of relationship once in your life. If you’re really lucky, it won’t be the one that lasts.

11. Museum – After seeing Van Gogh’s paintings in Amsterdam, I read a couple of books about him. In a roundabout way that inspired me to write this song, which isn’t about any particular artist as much as it is about all artists.

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October 22, 2004

by Holly Gleason

Like Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams and the great Emmylou Harris, Gretchen Peters is a precocious talent. The tag for her work is alternative country but with a voice as haunting and controlled as this, she could sing anything put in front of her. Halcyon is jam-packed with gorgeous musical moments, particularly the beautiful Aviator’s Song and If Heaven. For years Gretchen was the backroom girl for a number of more famous names, but with Halcyon she reveals the ability to go it alone any time she chooses.

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Gretchen Peters

5 of 5 STARS – In a word, superb. Gretchen is one of USA’s best singer-songwriters, and this ranks as her finest moment. Refreshingly frank, even caustic. Thinking of buying the Alanis Morissette album? Get this instead.

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by David Lloyd

Gretchen Peters knows how to knock a tune together – she’s one of Nashville’s most respected songwriters.

Trouble is, until just about now (and despite a clutch of well received solo outings) she’s been one of the backroom boys, churning out bestsellers for the likes of Trisha Yearwood, Emmylou Harris and Bryan Adams.

Halcyon should give Peters a following all her own. It’s a masterly lesson in the art of effortless, fluid writing – with pared down arrangements and a lightness of touch that oozes confidence.

More restrained then her previous outings, Halcyon still packs an emotional punch, with the bittersweet ‘Imogene’ and ‘Tomorrow Morning’, both as intelligent as we’ve come to expect from this introspective mistress of rootsy, lo-fi country.

Eloquent as it is, Halcyon‘s narrative-heavy pieces don’t forget to deliver the melodies; Peters refusing to let her obvious ambition get in the way of a good tune.

A brave and beautiful collection.

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