Lori Lieberman with the Matangi Quartet The Girl and the Cat

by Lori Lieberman

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1.
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
2.
Empty Chairs 04:32
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
3.
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…
4.
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
5.
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
6.
Hallie 05:54
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…
7.
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….
8.
Exhibit A 04:59
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
9.
Woman 04:51
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
10.
Traveler 04:13
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
11.
As Long As 02:52
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
12.
Broken 04:13
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…
13.
Like Blue 05:52
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

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. She has performed worldwide, with two sold out concerts at Carnegie Hall-the last, in 2019 with the Matangi Quartet from the Netherlands to celebrate her 19th album, “The Girl and the Cat”. ... more

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