Bienvenue, New Hampshire

by EJ

supported by
Frederick Moe
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Frederick Moe Sufjan Stevens should have continued with his 50 States project ... but since he didn't we have this wondrous recording by EJ revealing the heartstrings of my native state. Bienvenue, New Hampshire features nine tracks of pure indie folk pop bliss, including an homage to the now gone Granite State symbol Old Man of the Mountain. Exceptional vision, songwriting and musicianship from first note to last.
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04:07
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credits

released July 21, 2015

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EJ New Hampshire

Musician, Filmmaker,
New Hampshire-ite, Sufjan disciple.

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Track Name: Londonderry
Brought to the new world
You, raised from a seed
You grew in my fields
Your roots digging deep

Soon picked up your feet
To explore in my woods
Seemed you’d never stay
Maybe you never should

(Mammoth road, Town Common, Lion’s Hall, Library.
August heat, Old Home Days, Fireworks, Grand parade)

The sun on your face
Is a slow ticking clock
(Tire dragon, Paws or Tails, Rocket ships, Class upstairs)
You’re afraid to be trapped here
When the time stops
(Nutfield Store, kick the can, Beaver Lake, Rec Program)

My borders are thin,
They couldn’t contain
(LAFA Fields, Rec Courts fights, Skateboard park, Playground rights)
You crossed them to seek
What I couldn’t explain
(Jump for Heart, Gym classes, Town Meeting, School dances)

When you’ve forgotten this, my heart
When you pretend not to have loved
I will still wait for you, as I have always done
You can still come back to reclaim what you have lost

Years pass I still wonder
If you will come back
(Marching band, football games, pep rally, tailgating)
To reclaim what you lost
When you picked up and left
(Apple trees, orchard view, farmer’s tan, Harvest moon)

But when your sun sets
I’ll welcome you home
(Bonfire night, sledding hill, hot cider, Mack’s Apples)
May you rest in my fields
Where you once had grown

I will still wait for you, as I have always done
You can still come back to reclaim what you have lost
Track Name: Dover, the Garrison City
When spring had carried me north
On winter’s dying breath
Just like its fathers’ before
We settled in this mill town

When you still believed in everything
Wasn’t it beautiful?
You stitched your heart to my sleeve
I wore it til you grew cold

When the leaves slowly change
When I can’t see your face
When I can’t settle down anymore
With you here

When blinding summer hit my face
Your garden shaded us
Oh moonless night and chilling rain
My joints would freeze with rust

When the lake lined red in the night
You were afraid to fall
A match strike caught in my palm
Your shout extinguished its call

When the leaves slowly change
When I can’t see your face
When I can’t settle down anymore
With you here

When you lowered me to the earth
My face pressed to the grass
Pocket my skeleton keys
Locking your weight to my chest

When lines are painted between
Our houses, even, odd
I’ll never cross them to track
White footprints into your room

When the leaves slowly change
When I can’t see your face
When I can’t settle down anymore
With you here
Track Name: Son of the State
Now that you’ve gone
The mountains cast
A shadow long

Now that you’ve grown
Your face falls lined
With aging roads

Building a path back home
Following veins red with stone

What is it you were seeking
Far away from my rivers blue?
What wishes did you cast in
The shores of a water new?

Now that you’ve looked
With wandering eyes
With hands that shook

Now with my blood
I offer this:
My oldest love

Come to me, son of the state
Quiet and calm I will wait

What is it I was lacking?
Measure me up against your chest
Is there treasure to be found there
In the hill carving to the west?

Come to me, son of the state
Quiet and calm I will wait
Track Name: For Meredith, Always Faithful
We swim in the dark
We swim in the dark
As lake water rose
As lake water rose

Morning bell calls to the hill
Over the field to the cross
We know you’ll keep watch
We know you’ll keep watch

Allelu, Alleu, Alleu, Alleluia
Praise Ye the Lord

Storms roll in over the blue
Climb carefully in the trees
Your hands raise me up
Your hands raise me up

Allelu, Alleu, Alleu, Alleluia
Praise Ye the Lord

When I’m gone will you forget
The songs and the light that we knew?
Peace be unto you
Peace be unto you

Allelu, Alleu, Alleu, Alleluia
Praise Ye the Lord

Praise Ye the Lord (Alleluia)

(Grace and peace be unto you)

Praise Ye the Lord (Alleluia)
Track Name: Fall of the Old Man of the Mountain
Our father won’t speak now
We can’t ascend to his
Steeply carved memories

His love would erode away
We couldn’t feel his
Aphanitic heart beating

We are not who we are
We are not who we are

Our father grew colder
His face hard as
Igneous mountain stone

He wanted to go on
We didn’t notice
The cracks start to form

We are not who we are
We are not who we are

Our father one night
Fell through the dark
Of his fractured insides

We are not who we are
We are not who we are
Track Name: Durham
Gold night, empty trees bow
Uncertain dark, ever enshroud
Cold moon, paling blue light
Bonfire heart, betraying, ignite

Blood lost, swollen in place
Emptying lungs, motionless face
Numb chest, figure of speech
Silent and old, climb in the sea

We both knew better than
I couldn’t let go
Benevolent means without
Incomplete thoughts stand
If never a compromise
Stifling guilt seep
Stiffening bones allow
Never awake, sleep

Warm your eyes
Rouse your mind
Thaw your veins
There’s still time
Don’t lose faith
Stand up straight
Look ahead
You can’t wait

I want to be well,
I want to be well,
I wanted to end the fight with myself

But I needed it all
I needed it all
I needed it all

But I needed it all
I needed it all
I needed it all
For myself
Track Name: Great Bay (Before and After)
Your throbbing heart would beat right through you
Just to reach me
Just to reach me

If my chest is empty will you fill it?
Will you try to?
Will you try to?

You’ll crack this cage to lay beside me
In the darkness
In the darkness

You’d build a nest and make a home here
Let the light in
Let the light in

I’ll watch your seasons change in pictures
Letting mind stand still
And I’ll race the summer back to reach your heart
Before it turns, unfilled

You lead me west to warm our hearts up
When the cold came
When the cold came

When summer ended it was me then
Not to fly home
Not to follow you

I’ll watch your seasons change in pictures
Letting mind stand still
And I’ll race the summer back to reach your heart
Before it turns, unfilled
Track Name: Queen City Royalty
Fourth of July
Steady my hands
Aligning my sight

Strawberry pie
Junebugs and clouds
Sun slips behind

Lilac and birch trees
Fireworks fall
On neighborhood streets

Campfire faces
Averting your eyes
I’m ready to leave

Look to the sky
No gold can stay
In New Hampshire

Years become blurred when
Standing in haze
Remaining the same

Remonstrate with me
Hours behind
The days we were named

Look to the sky
No gold can stay
In New Hampshire

When I return to
Nothing at all
But everything’s changed

Will we still talk through
Under the stars
When I’m not the same?

Look to the sky
No gold can stay
In New Hampshire
Track Name: Bienvenue, New Hampshire
If ever a consequence was made too clear
Threnody falls not on deaf despondent ears
Monadnock, I've called you home, you lonely ghost
It’s well known adamantine is soft to those
Who’ve lost themselves in grand design
Oh, Rockingham, you were my best friend
It’s not your fault all things must end

It never occurred to her the rebel twin
Bellicose a soul to bear a cardinal sin
Emerson, you spoke of more thy founder’s truth
And promise long morrow to these mortal youth
Who’ve fought in vain for love for shame
Oh, Yankee farmer, don’t you bother
Bienvenue, New Hampshire


Shed my thoughts of vanity
Substitute my wants for needs
Disavow my wars and crimes
It’s no use live free or die
Give my best most of the time
It’s no use live free or die
It’s no use