Talkin' Fishbowl Blues

by Queen Esther

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1.
03:43
Promise Me Could you promise me a little more time To turn the clock back in my mind ‘Til the spring collapses and you are mine And the world disappears/and everything’s fine The pretty flowers sing to me They grow inside me carefully You put them there so I could see Everything you promised me CHORUS: Until your voice stops ringing/in my head Until I stop feeling close to you/for what’s unsaid Until there’s no more reasons/to remember somethning you’d say Until there’s no more yesterdays/That’s when you’ll go away BRIDGE: Until/Until Until I see you again Until/Until Until that great getting up morning again Could you promise me another way To see you again without delay I fall asleep to get to you right away But could you promise me another way
2.
03:19
Shine All I want to do is shine for You And live my life underneath Your sun You know that my heart is true But there are moments when I come undone I tend to fall down under the weight When they ride on my mistakes They can say what they will They can do what they may CHORUS: But I'm gonna shine/shine Shine all the time I shine because You are mine Sometimes I don't know what I'm gonna do And I don't know what I'm gonna say But You love me and I love You, too So it doesn't matter anyway When I fall down in Your arms I don't care who's right or wrong When I'm with You I know that's where I belong BRIDGE: Since I don't know when It's always been You and me I guess that means that we're just meant to be Just You and me
3.
Talkin’ Fishbowl Blues I left my fishbowl in the hands of so-called friends And when I returned, I found all of my goldfish drowned New York City stress level don’t turn me into what I hate the most I been running around I been chasing the sky Ducking the clouds trying to stay dry I been laughing at fate trying to stay awake Trying to get some sleep on a sleepless street Oh, my loveless landlord says that all my neighbors complain And the walls of ears have been hearing it all for years New York City mind your business Next time I will smash your stereo I’m a blooming weed from an ugly seed Sprung out of the mouth of a careless freak I’m the sensitive kind, need my peace of mind And my real estate is blown sky high After forty hours you can barely keep your wit It’s a party town but the wake up times ain’t it New York City money magnet Send your sacred cash cow to the slaughterhouse I been out in the world I been up in the sky I was riding on clouds just to keep alive And you’re laughing at me trying to stay awake Do you get some sleep on a sleepless street?
4.
Taster’s Choice We used to turn on a dime And then you’d turn on And then you’d fall into me I used to hold you in my arms And wish that we were meant to be You used to dance with me slow in the kitchen with your wake-up When you knew I had to go You had to turn on turn on turn on/to live Do you remember when we’d sleep the time away We’d talk all night and then you’d say We could sit and talk forever/and never see the light of day I used to wonder if you would ever find a way CHORUS: Not to turn on turn on turn on Turn on turn on turn on Turn on turn on turn on/to live We were going nowhere and we were happy when we got there Because we both really wanted to stay But when I finally wanted to get somewhere and you could not be moved I knew I’d have to be the one to walk away You looked so happy to see me I could hardly tell You’d been gone so long and been through so much hell And you said you could feel things you never thought you’d say But there are moments when you turn and taste again CHORUS: You have to turn on turn on turn on Turn on turn on turn on Turn on turn on turn on/to live
5.
03:58
LOVE Love’s a funny thing/that can make you feel so high Love’s an awakening/that can make you live or die Love can make you sing the saddest goodbye Why I’ll never know but I know you know it’s so Love, love me do/but don’t make me wait too long You might miss the moment that could last our whole life long Love disappears/and you don’t know what’s wrong Why, you never say does it have to be this way CHORUS Oh, love goes and love comes again Love finds a way/you never know when When love passes by/Say hey love Love, love, love Love will live between us/until our dying day Real love never dies/no matter what we say No matter what you think/your heart wants you to stay Why does what I say make you want to run away? Love can really break you until you start to bend When it finally shakes you/you never really mend Shows you what you’re made of/until you depend On love to make you over until the very end
6.
04:27
So Real I’m gonna get a gun to kill my pride Tell my feass to step aside Let my anger take a backseat to what I really feel Because my love is you is so real I’m gonna sink the past into a sea of regret Watch it drown in the waves of a revierie I’m gonna hold on to all the good things I remember best Because my love for you is so real CHORUS: It’s real/So real My love for you is so real Some day later on/when all the hurt is all gone You’ll know my love for you is so real Tomorrow is another day That’s always on it’s way Back to you/Back to me/Back to love I know someday you’ll try to say All the things you can’t conceal They’ll be buried alive in the blues you’ll sing Because my love for you is so real CHORUS/OUT
7.
New York City I danced with a day-job demon/so pleased to see me Then I jumped through hoops and rings/Just trying to do the right thing I couldn’t see it for the hell it was/when I got here and that’s because My heart was open and my eyes were closed/to the stench coming down the road Sleep-walking sister slinging salutations in a blue hue singing Wha’cha gonna do/if it’s CHORUS: Too wrong to be all bad for you Too right to be good all the way through Too soon to be what you thought you knew Wha’cha gonna do Maybe the deal went down/the day before yesterday Maybe it’ll all fall over/no matter what I do or say Maybe if I last a little longer/there’ll be hell to pay Maybe if this don’t break me/I need to be on my way Sweet swinging sounds of suffering And I’m suffocating as I’m slipping and sliding Wha’cha gonna do/if it’s CHORUS: Too wrong to be all bad for you Too right to be good all the way through Too soon to be what you thought you knew Wha’cha gonna do SOLO Sleep-walking sister slinging salutations in a blue hue singing Wha’cha gonna do/if it’s
8.
Leave Me Alone You say you wanna stay/wait and see what happens Countin' on fate to fix all our problems Whatever's wrong will disappear like magic In a pink cloud of happiness But I won't live in a fantasyland Where everything is fine 'cause you ain't got a plan You should have done way more than try to understand CHORUS Leave me alone/leave me alone/why you messin' with me? Leave me alone/leave me alone/go on, I’m setting you free Leave me alone/leave me alone/we weren't meant to be Leave me alone I ain't got the time to sacrifice myself To your heap of problems and your nonsense Whatever's right disappeared like magic In a black cloud of funkiness What we had could only stop and start 'Cause when things went wrong it wasn’t ever your fault You couldn’t recognize and do way more than talk and grandstand BRIDGE: Understand/my love life is not a rinse cycle This back and forth has caused a big wrinkle I can't ignore I need a man like a fish needs a bicycle Put a flounder on a tricycle and watch her go Go ‘head and leave me alone
9.
Get It Right This Time I thought about what we were And all of what we thought we had I thought about the things we did The way we hung on ‘til it all went bad I thought about the ties that bind us How they tried to rip right through us Nothing was enough to kill This feeling in my heart/breaking I think about the friends we lost And found and lost again I think I’m glad I never Gave way and fell off the deep end I think I’m happy knowing Time ain’t showing on me But what I got to give Lives in me forever And keeps me free CHORUS: Time won’t hold up for you Better try to keep up before you get left behind Time won’t slow up for you Better not wait and see Do what you gotta do to get it right this time
10.
That’s the Way of the World It’s the longest line that runs between what was and what could be It’s the longest road that takes me back to things I couldn’t see It’s the longest time to wait ‘til I’m the one who won’t believe That the happiness I left behind is right in front of me CHORUS: That’s the way of the world It’s the shortest way to get to where I once belonged and knew That the shortest time would pass me by ‘til all my dreaming grew Seems the whole world changed and so did I/had nothing left to lose Feel the ground that’s shaking as the wheels are turning I’m swinging and singing the blues
11.
03:20
Help Me I know how to swim but I’m drowning Can’t seem to help what I’m feeling Everyone sees me free-falling Watches me crash through the ceiling Up through the ground I am soaring Everything in me is roaring Twisting into me so sweetly Breaking my heart so completely CHORUS: Help me to say no Help me not to want more Help me to let go Help me to walk out that door Day break and night time is falling Comes to me without any warning Punch-drunk enough to contain me My hopes can never sustain me Feeling the weight of confusion Happiness is an illusion Smiling to keep on romancing The danger I keep second-chancing I’m too numb to care for you I’m too cold to feel what you do It’s too late to face the truth between us What we had won’t see us through CHORUS
12.
Stand By Your Man Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman Giving all your love to just one man You’ll have bad times/and he’ll have good times Doing things that you don’t understand But if you love him you’ll forgive him Even though he’s hard to understand Oh, say you love him/and be proud of him ‘Cause after all, he’s just a man CHORUS: Stand by your man Give him two arms to cling to And something warm to come to When nights are cold and lonely Stand by your man And show the world you love him Keep giving all the love you can Stand by your man

about

“Not really a blues album, yet aptly tagged as ‘Black Americana,’ Manhattan-via-Austin super-side-woman Queen Esther melds roots. pop and R&B in a way that Lucinda Williams, Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow never could on their best days.” - Amplifier Magazine

"Maybe you've heard Queen Esther singing the blues with James Blood Ulmer or Elliott Sharp. Maybe you saw her singing jazz in the theater production of Harlem Song. Either way, her proper debut album Talkin' Fishbowl Blues will take you by surprise. This record ROCKS! In her bio, she described her sound as "If Keith fired Mick and decided to let Tina Turner front the band with Gram Parsons riding shotgun," and that's actually right on the mark. There's a decidedly Stonesy swagger to many of these tunes with just a touch of twang, and Queen Esther shows herself to be just as versatile a vocalist as Tina, covering not only the lead vocals but nearly all the background vocals as well. She's got a great voice (four octave range), and maybe it's her theater background, but all her vocals (even the backing vox) are filled with passion and brimming with personality. She even adopts something close to Mick's country honk for the title cut. Queen Esther writes about what she knows: mostly being a young woman transplanted to New York City and relationships, but she's a keen observer and turns some great phrases throughout. The band is rock & roll basics: guitars, bass and drums -- and more guitars, and they play with just the right mixture of being together but playing loose. Jack Sprat's production is crisp but not glossy, and there's a freshness to the performances that implies they didn't play these songs to death hoping for the "perfect" take. There are guitars all over the place, including some tasty lap steel on "Taster's Choice," nice wet sounding tremolo guitar on "Get It Right This Time" and patented Keith Richards' riffs on "Talkin' Fishbowl Blues." "New York City" is built on an irresistibly funky groove, with sassy backup vocals and twangy slide guitars all over the top while Queen Esther just belts it out. But just when you think you might have Queen Esther's "Black Americana" sound figured out, she offers up the a cappella, gospel-flavored "Help Me," where she sings at least four parts, harmonizing with herself. Then she turns around and gives a straight reading of "Stand By Your Man"(!), even supplying her own cornball country choir for the backing vocals to close out the album. You'll have to set your preconceptions aside for this one. Queen Esther is active in the theater and performance art worlds, sings the blues, sings jazz with the JC Hopkins Biggish Band, and now has offered up a great rock & roll album. Is there anything this woman can't do?" - AllMusic.com (4 out of 5 stars)

credits

released September 30, 2004

Jack Sprat - producer

Queen Esther - vocals
Jack Sprat - percussion, guitar
David Lee - percussion, guitar
Marvin Sewell - guitar
Kelvyn Bell - guitar
Josh Roy Brown - lap steel guitar
Boo Reiners - bass, tic tac bass, guitar (acoustic/electric)
Tom Rickell - bass
Booker King - bass
Robert Warren - bass
Sebastican Steinberg - bass
Andy Sanesi - drums
Glenn Reynolds - drums
Clayton Craddock - drums
Craig Dreyer - flute
Ron Sunshine - harmonica
Sylvia MacCalla - background vocals

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