Lori Lieberman, Collected Works 1972​-​2015

by Lori Lieberman

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about

This collection of songs, videos and photos are an abbreviated representation of Lori Lieberman's contribution to a world of ever-changing music. One thing remains clear and unswerving-- the artist's integrity, thoughtful and thought-provoking lyrics, and re-imagined songs that highlight both her arranging skills and musical sensibilities over a career that has spanned four decades.

Leonard Cohen came up on stage in one of her concerts and sang “Bird On A Wire”. Don McLean invited her to be a part of his documentary, “American Troubadour,” Judy Collins called her a gifted songwriter. Highly regarded among her peers and younger artists alike, this legendary artist has gone on to record LP after CD, gleaning the respect of an ever-changing industry, and a loyal and devoted base of fans.
Best known for Killing Me Softly”, written during her Troubadour days in Los Angeles when her girlfriend, writer Michele Willens, took her to a Don McLean concert, she developed her producing and arranging skills into a career that has spanned over fifteen albums. A true full circle moment occurred a few weeks ago, when she met Don McLean for the first time at his concert in Los Angeles, where he credited the song to Lori Lieberman, and sang its inspiration, “Empty Chairs”, to her.
Born in Los Angeles but raised in Switzerland, among Lieberman’s early musical influences were Francoise Hardy, Tom Rush, Cat Stevens “and anything from the States I could get my hands on”.
After attending University in Boston, she signed her first record deal with Capitol Records. The next five LPs on that label included some of the leading studio musicians: Larry Carlton, members of the “L.A. Express”, Sneaky Pete, Merry Clayton, The Waters, and the late pianist, Joe Sample. She toured the U.S. with Randy Newman, Billy Joel, Leonard Cohen, John Sebastian and Rick Nelson, to name a few.
As the music business changed- from acoustic to disco, Lieberman, somewhat disillusioned, spent time away from music- and retreated to the hills of Malibu to raise three children. With no intention to return to the scene, she continued to write in secret over the next ten years. But it was the idea of audiophile, Joseph Cali, who brought her back, by recording her with his then partner, engineer, Mark Levinson, as a two mic live experience.
She was nominated for the Golden Note Award for excellence with “A Thousand Dreams”, on Pope Music, followed by two CDs within the next two years. Her “Home Of Whispers”, and “Gone Is The Girl”, became staples of the Audiophile community, who embraced her stunning songs, warm vocals and rich orchestrations. Rich Warren, of WFMT Chicago, named “Home Of Whispers” as his number one, most recommended CD of that year.
Five CDS have followed on the Independent label, Drive On Records, plus a Blu-Ray special edition of her most recent CD, “Bricks Against The Glass, which was mixed by the Grammy Award winning Darcy Proper and Ronald Prent of Wisseloord Studios in the Netherlands. All are co-produced with Joseph Cali, and are arranged and orchestrated by Lori Lieberman. From her original compositions, to her unique and interesting versions of songs by some of our most beloved songwriters- (Emmylou Harris, The Bee Gees, Paul Simon, etc.), she has been featured on Sirius Radio’s “The Loft”, and her concerts, both solo and with a band, have included the famous Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam, City Winery, The Grammy Museum, and her retrospective concert at Carnegie Hall .

www.lorilieberman.com

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released December 25, 2014

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about

Lori Lieberman California

Leonard Cohen came up on stage with her and sang "Bird On A Wire". Don McLean invited her to participate in his doc, to tell her story of "Killing Me Softly". Judy Collins calls her a gifted songwriter. With her 15th CD release, she will be in concert at the Grammy Museum Oct. 19th for a special evening and retrospective of her lengthy catalogue. ... more

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Track Name: Letting Go
Letting Go
Track Name: Girl Writing A Letter
Girl Writing A Letter/ Lieberman/W. Carpenter

A thief drives his car to a museum
His knife, it is shiny and black
The guard says, “I’m sorry we’re closed now
Tomorrow you’ll have to come back”

“But I haven’t got all evening
There’s something I need to have”
“Art is for pleasure, not possession
Where are you going with that?”

And he finds the Dutch Masters
He finds the Vermeer
The “Girl Writing A Letter” in the painting is there
And he knows what he’s doing
He knows it by heart
And the Girl Writing A Letter
Waits there

And he slices the canvas on one edge
From the bowls to the sun on the floor
And the girl doesn’t hear this
No she doesn’t notice
She’s writing her letter
Writing her letter
Just like she’s done for years

And she doesn’t hear him until it’s too late
Now he’s in the picture and he sits down and plays
Her favorite sonata, and it makes her heart race
And he’s playing for her
And he plays, and he plays and he plays


And the Gardner Museum is empty
Only her and the man she just met
But she feels like she’s known him forever
And it’s a feeling she’ll never forget

So when he hands her the knife
Well she cuts
And the paintings fall out of their frames
And when he says, “Roll them up”, then she does it
And she tapes the guard’s mouth with his tape

And he gives her the wheel and he says,
“Come on, drive-- the night is all ours”
And she takes Storrow Drive
And nothing else matters while she’s on the Mass Pike
She’s got a beer in her free hand
She’s in love
She’s alive

And he’s found his Dutch Master
He’s found his Vermeer
And the “Girl Writing A Letter” is sitting so near
And he knows what he’s doing
He knows it by heart
And the Girl Writing A Letter
Is his…



Adapted from the poem, “Girl Writing A Letter”, by William Carpenter
Track Name: Something Of My Own
Something Of My Own / Lieberman

All I need is something of my own
A locket to wear made of shiny moonstone
As pale as the clouds are before a good rain
And a picture of someone who whispers my name

All I need is somewhere of my own
Made of brick or of tin, someplace I can call home
With a lamp and a bed and a taffeta chair
And the sound that my heart makes
When he climbs the stair

And I’m waiting for you
Feel me waiting
And I’m praying for you
Hear me praying
And I’ll still be here
For you

All I need is someone of my own
With eyes that won’t wander and a heart I can hold
We’ll lie in the darkness and he’ll kiss my hair
When I wake in the morning, he’ll still be there

All I need is something of my own
A chair and a heart and a moon-colored stone
As pale as the clouds are before a good rain
And a picture of someone who’ll whisper my name
Track Name: The Agreement
You can say what you say
But you know what you know
You can put out the fire
But what do you with your smoke
You can laugh ’till your heart breaks
‘Til you’re sick of the joke

It was something, something again
A little agreement between his father and him
When he’d act more like a daughter than a son
His dad would hum

“And it will be our little reminder,” he’d say
“So people won’t call you those kinds of names
And you won’t walk around this city in shame
No son of mine”

And every day he would hear it
His father’s voice like an echo wherever he’d go
Was he laughing too softly or running too slow

It surrounded him like a cold winter chill
Like a black fly buzzing that wouldn’t be still
“I’ll be your cure, and I’ll be your pill
And if you can’t control yourself then by God I will”

And every night he would feel it
His father’s voice like a siren, it always was there
Criticizing his walk and the way he touched his hair

“You’ll thank me in the end
You’ll thank me in the end
You’ll thank me in the end”

Years go by and the memories change
He’s got a wife and a son, and another on the way
And he sits with his paper on the five o’ clock train
Sees a stranger on the platform, and he looks into his face

And the moment is endless
Like a lie, like an ache
And he wants to go with him
More than he can explain
And he holds out his hand
And the train pulls away

It was something, something again
A little agreement between his father and him
Track Name: All Over Again
All Over Again
Lori Lieberman

She’ll act as if nothing is wrong
She won’t bend and life will go on
She’ll say that you’re better off gone
Yes she will

And her friends, they don’t know what to say
She’ll tell them don’t stand in her way
And she’ll show you one of these days
What you’re missing

She waits at the schoolyard
Brown leaves are blowing
She cries out for someone
And screams out for something

The days have no light
The nights have no end
She gets up and does it
All over again

She’ll go out but how will she act
Which sweater, the brown or the black
If she keeps movin’ and never looks back
She’ll be fine

And nothing comes from her
No one can change it
Whatever she feels or whatever his name is

Her days have no life
The nights have no end
She gets up and does it
All over again
All over again

She waits there halfway between
What was and what’s not meant to be
Like a moth between the door and the screen
Will she fly

She’ll act as if nothing is wrong
And she’ll do as she likes all night long
And she’ll say that you’re better off gone
And maybe she’ll believe it
Track Name: Monterey
Monterey
Lori Lieberman
I grew up like an airplane just floatin’ and fallin’ away
Spent my life like a speeding train, rollin’ in and pullin’ away
Now I wonder, will you be home to me
And I wonder what do you hold for me
Monterey
Monterey

I’ll hang out by your cinder blocks
Just a foreigner burned by your sun
I’ll park my car on your graveled rocks
And shoot B-B’s at your lizards with my gun
And wonder, is there someone in me
And wonder, can you see anything
Monterey
Monterey

I’m nobody now
I’m all of them now
I’m nobody, nobody, nobody now
Well maybe on your streets I’ll find my way
Monterey
Monterey

He couldn’t manage my kind of joy
And he just couldn’t handle me crying
So he sailed away with his fishing pole
Just to see what came up on his line
Now I wonder, was our love meant to end
And I wonder, is my luck round the bend?
Monterey
Monterey

I’m nobody now
I’m all of them now
I’m nobody, nobody, nobody now
Well maybe on your streets I’ll find my way
Monterey
Monterey
Track Name: Hallie
Hallie
Lori Lieberman

She was everything to me
More than a sister ought to be
Long ago, I just don’t know anymore
Seemed like winter all year long
The sun burst after she had gone
Mama cleaned and Dad just screamed at the door

Hallie don’t, Hallie don’t leave this way
Don’t matter now what people say
Hallie don’t, Hallie don’t let me go
Just turn that car around and come back home

She was everything to me
A place for secrets, a place for dreams
Somewhere safe, she was somewhere safe you could go
Well I don’t dream much anymore
For fear or boredom, I’m not sure
Is she calling me, will today be the day

Hallie don’t, Hallie don’t leave this way
Don’t matter now just who’s to blame
Hallie don’t, Hallie don’t up and leave
I’m waiting by our signpost, come for me

You can only take so much
Only give so much
Only do the best you can
And it chills you to the bone
It’s the only thing you know
And I’m waiting, I’m waiting
Come home

Sometimes I think it’s not so bad
Might not be perfect, but it’s all we had
Hallie’s gone and she’s moving on anyway
Well if she calls me I will say
I’m doing fine and life’s okay
It’s just the nights, you can’t trust the nights

Hallie don’t, Hallie don’t leave this way
Don’t matter now what people say
Hallie don’t Hallie don’t forget me
Just write to me how it feels to be free
Free….
Track Name: Takes Courage
Takes Courage (L. Lieberman)

Takes courage, it takes a lot
To trust someone, to give your heart
To hold on, to let it go
To walk away, to walk alone

A thousand trials in a single day
We’re humans in our human race
We stay, we leave
We rejoice, we grieve
We take a path when the road’s unclear
The ups and downs year after year
When we believe tomorrow comes we’ll start again

Courage, more than I thought
Not just medals of honor, Lancelot
Takes courage to face each day
To get lost in a storm and find your way home

We lose, we win
We give up, we give in
Take a path when the road’s unclear
Ups and downs year after year
Still we believe tomorrow comes, tomorrow comes

We’ll start again
Even though our hearts are breaking
Start again
When there are still more tears to cry
On and on this world will keep on turning
From a little light, comes a little light
Shine a little light


We jump out of airplanes
We run into buildings filled with flames
And hold on through hurricanes
And ask for courage, and pray for strength

A thousand days, a thousand trials
A thousand ways, a thousand miles
We let love in even if it hurts again and again
Walk away and say good-bye
Start again one more try
And we believe tomorrow comes
Tomorrow comes
Tomorrow comes

Take courage, take heart
Take courage, take heart
Give a little light, shine a little light
Take courage, take heart
Track Name: Rise
Rise L. Lieberman, Jet D’Eau Music, BMI

Rise up, clap your hands raise your fists and make some noise
Clap your hands
Stand tall, take a stand
Put your money where your mouth is
Clap your hands

You can’t do it on your own
I’m by your side you’re not alone
Step by step tomorrow’s another day
Another day
Rise

Rise and clap, speak out and stand up
Rise and clap, speak out and stand up
Rise and clap, speak out and stand up
Rise….

Find your crooked road
Carve your path and set it straight
And on you’ll go

If you lose your way
I’ll be there and I’ll remind you
I will find you

You can’t do this on your own
I’m by your side you’re not alone
Step by step, tomorrow’s another day
Another day
Rise…

Rise and clap, speak out and stand up
Rise and clap, speak out and stand up
Rise and clap, speak out and stand up
Rise….

One, two, three, double right beside you
Four, five, six, triple right behind you
One, two, three, double right beside you
Four, five, six, triple right behind you

Rise and clap, speak out and stand up
Track Name: Cup Of Girl
Cup Of Girl L. Lieberman, Jet D’eau Music, BMI

Well you take a cup of girl
Share a tablespoon of world
For some color don’t forget parental strife
Add an ounce of opportunity
And a touch of promiscuity
Let her simmer gently on an open fire
And watch her rise

Then you scrape away integrity
And you meddle with her sanity
When you bring her to a boil, lower the flame
Then you mix two parts dishonesty
With one part ingenuity
It’s a tried and trusted fool- proof recipe
For a singer who can’t speak

So you take a cup of girl
Hide a tablespoon of world
Add a German car for long hot summer nights
Where you’ll wipe a little dirt off
And take her little shirt off
And you earn her trust up on Mulholland Drive

Then you rifle through her diary
Write some words about her family
Write a song about the times you made her cry
Then you mix two parts absurdity
With one part ambiguity
Give her fountain pens for legal stuff to sign
For a singer who won’t mind

Time goes on
You thought it was gone
You never thought this road would unwind
And suddenly the lines converge
And the lanes, they merge
And you never thought she’d have the nerve…

So you broke this cup of girl
But she grew wiser in this world
And forgave herself so many different things
She knows truth is all that matters
And that greed just makes you fatter
And she’ll speak anytime she feels the need
Take your money, take your credit
Take your secrets along with it
You could take it all but not her memory
She has choices to choose with
And a voice and she will use it
She no longer rides a pendulum that swings
And she’ll sing….
She’ll sing
You take a cup of girl….
Track Name: Bricks Against The Glass
Bricks Against The Glass by L.L.
We were young
We were dumb
We would follow
We would jump
For a dime
For a time
We were broken
We were blind
We were searching
For a cause
We were nowhere
We were lost
We were lost

To a thing we would cling
Stumbling and faltering
All in vain, nothing gained
Down into the kitchen drain
He was everything I loved
Love was everything I feared
So I made a mess of that
And I had to disappear

And the summer came
And the winter too
The birds flew south
Like they always do
And I followed…

And I never meant to make you cry
Guess I never realized
Never asked
Why we were searching
Throwing bricks against the glass

Looking back, looking back
I was hopeless just a hack
Just a sheep who would leap
Over anything that’s steep

He was everything I loved
Love was everything I feared
So I made a mess of that
In the rearview mirror

And the summer came
And the winter too
The birds flew south
Like they always do
And I followed…

And I never meant to say good-bye
Guess I never realized
Or never asked
Why you were searching
Throwing bricks against the glass

Now I think of you
My friend in armor
And I look for you
My own safe harbor
And I pray for you
Wherever you are
In the skies above
In the shooting stars….

And I never meant to say good-bye
Guess I never realized it could never last-
But I know you’re somewhere
Throwing bricks against the glass
Throwing bricks against the glass

We were young
We were dumb
We would follow
We would jump
For a dime
For a time
for a time…
Track Name: Truly
Truly by L.L.

Truly
Unbelievable
Truly
Unmistakable
Unbelievably
True

Always
Unforgettable
Always
Unsuspectable
Unpossessable
You, you

I don’t need your photograph
For me to picture you
I don’t need a phonograph
To move me like you do
To move me like
You do

Touch me
Undeniable
Touch me
Indescribable
Indefinable you

Leave me
Unexplainable
Leave me
Guess I’m breakable
You’re un-chainable
You

I don’t need your photograph
For me to picture you
I don’t need an autograph
To show my love for you
To sign away my love for you

Leave me
Unexplainable
Leave me
Guess I’m breakable
You’re un-chainable
You

But truly
Unbelievable
Truly
Unmistakable
Unbelievably true
Track Name: Lottery
Lottery
By L.L.


Should have made the call
Seen the writing on the wall
Twenty-twenty crystal clear
Looking back I didn’t want to hear
You shut it down
I just kept pretending, pretending
It was you and me
And it would always be

Well he said to me “love’s a lottery
A game you play, a game, a game”,
Wish I’d listened better then
Before I gave my heart again
“It’s a game, a game
All or nothing, baby
All or nothing
A game, a game”,
One day I will learn
One day…

Should have known it then
Instead I kept pretending, defending
Everything’s okay
It’s what I did
I looked the other way
And I didn’t see
All the lies he told me
He sold me
For a crumb or two
When you’re used to nothing
I guess that’s what you’ll do

And he said to me “love’s a lottery
A game you play, a game a game
Lose or win, no guarantee”
His words keep coming back to me
“It’s a game, a game
All or nothing, all or nothing
A game, a game”
One day I will learn….

Water rolling underneath our bridge, our bridge
Water rolling waves above above my head
Down down, down
What have I come to
Oh round, round, round
Who can I run to
Oh now it’s all or nothing
Black or white
It’s either him or me….


Well I don’t believe
Love’s a lottery
I don’t believe
It’s a game, a game
You leave it in the rain it rusts
Let it burn it will turn to dust
No, no
All or nothing, all or nothing
There’s got to be something,
Something in between
For me

Love’s no lottery
Love’s no game you play
Love’s no lottery
Love’s no game….
No lottery
Track Name: Water
Water English lyric, Lori Lieberman, 3JS

He was like the flood last winter
That you couldn’t keep away
Crashing up against my fortresses
Until I watched them break

I was driven by his outbursts
I surrendered to his rage
My shores were soaked and battered
Nothing ever kept me safe

Water, water, can you tell me
How am I to live with this
I’m just a slave to your disorder
His destruction, my unrest

Water, water can you help me
Stay away and hold him down
Long enough so he can’t find me
Flying free on higher ground
Finally free on higher ground

I pretend I’m in the lowlands
I’m protected by the walls
Where a hundred years have come and gone
And still somehow they’re strong

Between the veins of silver-grey
Here in my waterland
His fits of fluid anger
Can’t uproot me where I stand

Water, water, can you tell me
How am I to live with this
I’m just a slave to your disorder
His intention, my unrest
Water, water, can you help me
Stay away and keep him down
Long enough so he can’t find me
Flying free on higher ground
Finally free on higher ground
Track Name: Three Days
He hit the ground
And hurt his head, hitting a stone
Before his eyes went black
He was on a fast track, never looked back
The doctor said
"Better sit down, hear what I've got to say
Part of your brain's shut down and it's not coming back

Three days
That's all the space that's left in your head
Three days..."

Deja vu
Is all he gets, a spinning wheel
He can write down the facts
But not the way he used to feel
When he wakes up
With a clean slate, no mess in his mind
"Did we make love last night
Or did I forget we're caught in a fight?"

Three days
That's all the space that's left in his head
Three days
To make a note, write it down
Who you love, start again
Three days

Wish I could be like that
Get it all out of my head
So I would not live in the past
Nothing to regret, nothing to forget
Write down all things I guess
Keep it simple, avoid mental mess
So I would not live in the past
No one to forgive, no need to forgive myself

Three days
That's all the space that's left in my head
Three days
I can't remember last week's heartbeat

Three days
All the space left in your head
Three days
To make a note, write it down
Who you love, start again
What's your dream, where you from
Do you miss anyone
Do you know
I can't remember last week's heartbeat, beat, beat....
Track Name: Burden And Gift
My Burden And My Gift Lieberman/Waldman

You were my burden and my gift
You were the storm before it lifts
A sign along the highway that I missed
You were the chance you were the risk
The tears that fell, the perfect kiss
You were my burden, you were my gift


I took a walk
Where I could see the fault line
I saw the place where ragged edges meet
It made me think about us
The rocks were so much like us
Just one misstep we’re tumbling to the sea

You were my burden and my gift
You were the storm before it lifts
A blessing, a shadow, a wish
You were the chance, you were the risk
You were the piece I couldn’t fit
You were my burden, you were my gift

We walked a crooked road, with no direction
A landslide tore away our very hearts
We never saw it coming
Still we wound up frozen
Like shells you find on lonely mountaintops


You were my burden and my gift
You were the storm before it lifts
The invitation I finally could resist
You were the chance you were the risk
I see it now for what it is
You were my burden, you were my gift
Track Name: Stand For You
Stand For You

Lost, if you're lost I won't stop till I find you
If you're weak, cannot speak
I'll sing, I'll sing for you
Cause I'm on your side wrong or right
If you're scared I'll comfort you
No matter what it takes

If you're down on your knees
If you freeze don't hesitate
Ask cause I know in the end
Tables can turn and it could be me
Just as easily
I know you'll be there

Come, lay your body down
I'll be there for you
all we've got is now
I will pull you through
Day or night I will fight
It's what we're meant to do
If you're falling down
I will stand for you

Just close your eyes, it's all right
Leave it all behind
Let it go, let if fly
Cause no one can break it
What we have is sacred
And there was a time
When everything is fine
There will come a day
Won't happen overnight
You're not alone, you're not alone...

Come, lay your body down
I'll be there for you
all we've got is now
I will pull you through
Day or night I will fight
It's what we're meant to do
If you're falling down
I will stand for you
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