Lori Lieberman with the Matangi Quartet The Girl and the Cat

by Lori Lieberman

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about

My new album, “The Girl and the Cat” with the Matangi Quartet.
It’s a project that has meant so much to me over the years that it’s taken me to bring this to fruition- it began with the seed of an idea to do a project with the gifted string ensemble with whom I’d worked years ago. And then, I began to write, with them in mind, songs that open up to showcase their artistry in large open sections. I reached out to cellist, Stefanie Fife, and asked if we could do the string arrangements together.
It took two years to record both in LA and in the Netherlands- back and forth- engineered by Joseph Cali in LA, in the Netherlands, by Hans Ravenstein, in 192, and when it was ready, mixed by the legendary Bob Clearmountain, who fit me into his schedule in between Springsteen and the Stones.
The songs are from my life- my challenges-all ones that have turned into gifts along the way. I hope you will listen and join me on the road- beginning with Carnegie Hall on Oct. 4th, and Concertgebouw on Oct. 7th- all with the Matangi Quartet, who will be traveling with me…

credits

released September 6, 2019

strings arranged by Lori Lieberman and Stefanie Fife
Produced by Lori Lieberman
Mixed by Bob Clearmountain

Engineered by Joseph Cali in the US
engineered by Hans Ravenstein, Studio Groenland, NL
Mastered by Darcy Proper, Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum
Lori Lieberman vocals, piano, guitar
Matangi Quartet, string ensemble from Holland
Trey Henry, upright bass
Brian Kilgore, percussion, timpani
Matt Chamberlain, drums
Jason Orme, electric guitar on "Woman"
Jaap Kwakman 3JS, acoustic guitar
Jeff Driskill, woodwinds

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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: You Can't Take It Back
You Can’t Take It Back
(Lori Lieberman, Jet d’Eau Music BMI)
Piano and guitar, Lori Lieberman, Matangi Quartet, upright bass Trey Henry,
strings arranged by Lori Lieberman and Stefanie Fife

You can’t take it back once you’ve thrown a stone
Can’t take it back once you let it go
Change your mind after the fact
But some things you can’t take back
Some things you can’t take back

You can’t put it back once a match is lit
Watch it burn, all of it
If you’d only stopped at that
But some things you can’t put back
Some things you can’t take back

I know, I’m aware
Made some blunders, had my share
Even though I took the blame
I would have lost him anyway

You can’t stop the hurt once it starts to bleed
Can’t un-learn, can’t un-see
Cover over all the cracks
But some things you can’t put back
Some things you can’t take back

I know, I’m aware
Made some blunders, had my share
Even though I took the blame
I would have lost him anyway

You can’t take it back once a lie is spoken
Can’t put it back once trust is broken
Different ways a heart can snap
Some things you can’t put back
Some things you can’t take back

You can’t take it back once you let it go
Can’t hold on to melting snow
Though you’ll wish for what you had
Sometimes you can’t look back
Cause you can’t put it back
Some things you can’t take back
Track Name: Empty Chairs
Empty Chairs
By Don McLean (Universal, Inc. OBO Music Corp. of America
and OBO The Benny Bird Company Inc.)
(Lori Lieberman, Jet d’Eau Music BMI)
Piano, Lori Lieberman, Matangi Quartet, guitar, Jaap Kwakman, upright bass Trey Henry,
strings arranged by Stefanie Fife


I feel the trembling tingle of a sleepless night
Creep through my fingers and the moon is bright
Beams of blue come flickering through my window pane
Like gypsy moths that dance around a candle flame

And I wonder if you know
That I never understood
That although you said you’d go
Until you did, I never thought you would

Moonlight used to bathe the contours of your face
While chestnut hair fell around the pillowcase
And the fragrance of your flowers rest beneath my head
A sympathy bouquet left with the love that’s dead

And I wonder if you know
That I never understood
That although you said you’d go
Until you did, I never thought you would

Never thought the words you said were true
Never thought you said just what you meant
Never knew how much I needed you
Never thought you’d leave until you went

Morning comes and morning goes with no regret
And evening brings the memories I can’t forget
Empty halls that echo as I climb the stairs
And empty clothes that drape and fall on empty chairs

And I wonder if you know
That I never understood
That although you said you’d go
Until you did, I never thought you would
Track Name: Girl Writing A Letter
Girl Writing a Letter
Lyrics by Lori Lieberman, based on a poem by William Carpenter, “Girl Writing A Letter”, music by Lori Lieberman

(Lori Lieberman, Jet d’Eau Music BMI)
Piano, Lori Lieberman, Matangi Quartet, woodwinds Jeff Driskill, upright bass Trey Henry, percussion Brian Kilgore
strings arranged by Lori Lieberman and Stefanie Fife


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…
Track Name: Martha and Me
Martha and I are two of a kind
Different in every way
Different hair, different politics
Different things to say
She lives in the suburbs, I live in the city
We’re joined by our loss
The secrets we share

Martha and I have kids the same age
We go somewhere fun each year
They like to scuba, she likes to windsurf
I watch them from my beach chair
On the drive home the kids have on their headphones
We can finally let it all go

We talk about our dreams that ended that day
The sky filled with smoke and everything changed
When our Dave and Tommy ran into the flames

They were men of Squad One
Brothers and sons
Husbands to us
Fathers to our young
Bonds that ran deep like the bluest of seas
Like family
Like Martha and me

We arrive at the hotel and carry the bags
While the kids run around and play in the grass
The air on their skin, waving like flags

They were men of Squad One
Brothers and sons
Husbands to us
Fathers to our young
Now nothing’s the same and it never can be
In our hearts, eternally

Still we lift up our glass for what’s yet to be
Here’s to them and to bravery
And to Martha and me
Track Name: The Girl and the Cat
Along with the cat, went the girl
How silly of me to think I could keep her
I walk past her room and cover my eyes
Put in the trash, her needles and lies

And along with the trash went my world
How silly I looked crying there at the curb
The cat’s heart gave out, the girl went away
In my mind, it was one and the same

In a dream she comes to me
Puts her arms around me once again
She is happy, she is whole
She’s my girl and she is home at last
Reminds me it’s my birthday, “I’ll get you anything you want”, she says
“Just tell me what you want”



I want you back, I want it back
Give back the past, let’s start again
I want you, I want you
Sitting on the sofa watching Oprah when it sort of was our thing
The girl, the cat, and me

Months go by and the years they go
I hear that she’s clean now and starting to show
I hope that she’s found somebody to love
Who’ll make her feel she’s good enough

In a dream she comes to me
Puts her arms around me once again
She is happy, I am whole
She’s my girl and I am home at last
Reminds me it’s my birthday and she’ll get me anything I want, she says
“Just tell me what you want”

I want you back, I want it back
Bring back the past, love me again
I want you, I want you
Sitting on the sofa watching Oprah pull a wagon full of fat
Me, the girl and the cat

Get out of bed, it’s time to go
Time to move on
Get out of bed, it’s time to go
Time to move on
She’s not coming back
She’s not coming back...

Sitting on the sofa, even Oprah’s moving on to other things
Gave all her cars away for free
And I’ve got her list of books to read
The chair, the lamp, and me
Track Name: Hallie
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 matter now what people say
Hallie don’t, Hallie don’t let me go
Just turn that car around and come back home

Well 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
Come for me

You can only give so much
Only take 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 say it’s so
You said you’d wake me when you go
Hallie don’t, Hallie don’t forget me
Just write to me how it feels to be free
Free…
Track Name: Blue in London
I’m blue in London
I’m blue in Paris and in Rome
I should have stayed home

I’m blue in Memphis
I’m blue in Cleveland, Ohio
No matter where I go

I tried to get away and leave myself behind
My troubles packed their bags
Stayed with me all of the time
All of the time
Sitting on my shoulder
Sipping on a bottle of wine

I’m blue in Berlin
I’m blue in rainy Amsterdam
What if I am
Nobody seemed to care if I lost my mind
My better judgment failed to talk me off that wire
Off that wire
And the wind is blowing
And there’s no controlling it
And it’s just a matter of time

How he loved me how he did
How I lost him, how I did
Now I wonder if I’ll ever stop crying

I’m blue in LA
I’m blue in San Francisco too
What can I do
I tried to get away but didn’t get too far
I couldn’t let go of the pain inside my heart
In my heart
It just keeps on bleeding
Somehow keeps on beating
You could say it’s state of the art



How he loved me how he did
How I lost him, how I did
Now I wonder if I’ll ever stop crying

I’m blue in London
I’m blue everywhere I go
Should have stayed home
I ought to be home
Going home….
Track Name: Exhibit A
It doesn’t matter now
Doesn’t really matter to me
Who you’re with or where you go or what you do
It doesn’t matter to me now

I used to be a spec
A spec of dirt that hid outside your window
A beggar looking into a life she’ll never have

You say “Wait a little longer
Hold on, things could turn around”
And I say, “doesn’t really matter now”.

Well you can’t hurt me now
You’ve taken all there is to take
Broken- nothing left to break
You can’t hurt me now

I’ve given you a name
I’ll call you “Exhibit A”
So many like you walking the world
And the world waits for you

You say “Wait a little longer
Hold on, things could turn around”
And I say, “doesn’t really matter now”.

Like a bird I played for you
Sang for you
Should have noticed when you shot me down
You didn’t feel a thing
Picked myself up off the ground
Oh, it hurt at first
It hurt at first
But it didn’t last for long…


You say “Wait a little longer
Hold on, things could turn around”
And I say, “doesn’t really matter now”.

It doesn’t matter now
Doesn’t really matter to me
Who you’re with or where you go or what you do
It doesn’t really matter now
Who you’re with or where you go or what you do
Doesn’t matter to me now
Who you’re with or where you go or what you do
It doesn’t really matter now
Track Name: Woman
it's not who you are
Or something you did
Things went too far
And you kept it hid
You pushed it down
Felt less than whole
As time moved on
Didn't tell a soul
Now for your daughters you will take a stand
And for your sons you'll show them how to be a man

Now for your daughters you will take a stand
And for your sons, you’ll show them how to be a man

Woman
Strong and fragile
As it unravels
Complicated
Woman
No one can shame you
No one can blame you
Nobody but you can doubt yourself

How could you know
You couldn’t see
You weren’t alone
There were more
There was me
We pushed it down
Felt less than whole
Till finally
We couldn’t let it go

Now with our daughters, we will take a stand
And with our sons, we show them how to be a man


Woman
Strong and fragile
Endless battle
Long awaited
Woman
No one can shame you
No one can blame you
Nobody but you can lose yourself

There’s no choice
This I know
Keep it in
Let it go

Woman
Strong and fragile
Take off your shackles
They are weightless
Woman
No one can chain you
No one can save you
Nobody but you
Nobody but you
Nobody but you
Can free yourself
Track Name: Traveler
I can board a hundred airplanes
and for a while I can forget, I can forget
Drive a hundred miles with the windows open
See how far I get, how far I get
But there you are again
And here I go again

I thought I was over it, didn’t see
I thought I was through with it
But it wasn’t through with me
The emptier I feel the more I miss you
And the more I miss you
The emptier I feel

I can ride a train across a hundred cornfields
But I can’t get away
I can’t get away
Wake up with a stranger and I don’t know why
I ever play this game, ever play this game
Cause here you are again, and there I go again

I thought I was over it, didn’t see
I thought I was done with it
But it wasn’t done with me
The lonelier I feel the more I need you
And the more I need you
The lonelier I feel

Wish that I could be more like you
You never doubted yourself
Once you walked away from me
Never saw you turning back

I thought I was over it, didn’t see
I thought I was through with it
But it wasn’t through with me
The more I close my eyes the more I see your face
And it never goes away

I thought I was over it, didn’t see
I thought I was through with it but it wasn’t through with me
The more I have to go, the more I can’t forget
And the more I can’t forget
The further I will go
Track Name: As Long As
Long as the wind it keeps on rolling
And the leaves will fade to brown
Long as the farmer’s seeds are sowing
And their flowers paint the ground
Long as the mills they keep on turning
And the sun will shine its light long as I see you in the morning
Everything will be all right

Long as a flame it keeps on burning
And the sparks float to the heavens
Long as a child will keep on learning
And a heart will keep on yearning
If the robins keep on singing
And their voices fill the night
Long as a love once lost is found again
Everything will be all right

Long as the seasons keep on changing
Summer into fall
As long as the oceans keep on flowing
And moon tells them where they’re going
Long as the winter keeps on coming
April slowly melts the ice
Long as I see you every morning
Everything will be all right
Track Name: Broken
Wish I had the answer
I’d take that much
When did you lose the feeling
When were we not enough
In that moment, an ordinary day
Where was I when you threw it all away

And oh, everything changed
Oh, everything changed

When you stopped loving me
Did it happen overnight or a little at a time
When you let go of me
Looking back I guess
You were gone before you left
Broken…

Are you sleeping soundly
Since you lied to my face
Said, “believe me” and I didn’t hesitate
In that moment, my ordinary way
Did I hang on despite the pain

And oh, everything changed
Oh, everything changed

When you stopped loving me
Did it happen overnight or a little at a time
When I stopped being me
Looking back I guess
I didn’t want to face myself
Because I was broken long ago
Broken

Wish I had the answer
Give me that much
When did you lose the feeling
When was I not enough
In that moment, an ordinary day
Did I miss the things you couldn’t say

And oh, everything changed
Oh, everything changed

When you stopped loving me
Did it happen overnight or a little at a time
When you let go of me
Looking back I guess
We were a fragile thread
And we were broken long ago
Broken
We were broken, now I know
Broken…
Track Name: Like Blue
Oh to be like Blue
Lying by the fire, everything is new
Waiting by the door if there’s a walk in store
A squirrel to chase around the frozen glen
Then home again

Oh to be like Blue and wake up
Push the button and press reset
Say good-bye to what can never be
Let go of the things not meant for me

Cause in the end I’m told these are the things that really matter
How we lived, how we loved
And did we find the answer
With grace, with hope, with heart
And if you didn’t say “I love you”
Take a breath and say it now
Then say it once again

Oh to be a bird
Flying high above this vast and troubled world
Just searching for an insect or a worm
And it’s another day to start it all again

Oh to be a bird and wake up
Push the button and press reset
Say good-bye to what can never be
Let go of the things not meant for me

Cause in the end I’m told these are the things that really matter
How we lived, how we loved
And did we find the answer
With grace, with hope, with heart
And if you didn’t say “I love you”
Take a breath and say it now
Then say it once again

I wrote this song for you
I wrote this song for you
I made this song for you

Oh to live on earth
A momentary gift that’s ours from birth
A temporary time to make a mark
To light a match and leave a spark

Oh to be on earth and wake up
Push the button and press reset
Say good-bye to what can never be
Let go of the things not meant for me

Cause in the end I’m told these are the things that really matter
How we lived, how we loved
And did we find the answer
With grace, with hope, with heart
And if you didn’t say “I love you”
Take a breath and say it now
Then say it once again

If you didn’t say “I love you”
Take a breath and say it now
Then say it once again

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