The Lost Tapes: 1982​-​1992

by Kristina Stykos

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about

It’s an old cliché that sometimes you need to lose something before you really appreciate what you’ve got. In considering Kristina Stykos’ The Lost Tapes 1982-1992, that sentiment proves doubly true. First, as the Vermont songwriter writes in the album’s liner notes, discovering the collection of discarded demos and unreleased tracks that had sat gathering dust in various closets over the past 30 years was like being reintroduced to old friends, and it brought back a well of emotions she had thought long-buried. Dan Bolles, Seven Days

credits

released January 1, 2011

All songs by Kristina Stykos © 2011 Thunder Ridge Music, BMI
Recordings by Kristina Stykos, except for two additional songs from the same period: track 13 produced by Bela Fleck at Lemco Sound, Lexington, Kentucky (1980) and track 4 recorded by Horace Williams during a rehearsal at Little Castle Studio, Starksboro, Vermont (1986). Remixed by Kristina Stykos at Pepperbox Studio, Chelsea, Vermont.
Studio shots of Kristina by Marion Ettlinger.
Package design by Darryl Garland, www.red-garland.com
Mastered by Oscar Zambrano, Zampol Productions, www.zampolproductions.com
For more information: www.kristinastykos.com; www.pepperboxstudio.com
Thunder Ridge Records © 2011
Dedicated to my children: Freya, Wilder and Anna

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about

Kristina Stykos Chelsea, Vermont

Kristina is a music producer, recording engineer, songwriter, performer and landscape gardener based in Vermont. Her recording studio, Pepperbox Studio, is solar, wind and generator powered. She has engineered & produced over 20 albums for herself and clients. Her songwriting and composing have been supported by the Ucross Foundation and Brush Creek Artist Residency in Wyoming. ... more

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Track Name: It's a Long Way Home
IT'S A LONG WAY HOME

my soul is shining
in the small of your hand
and even though i can’t see you
your fingers are warm
my shelves may be empty
my days spent alone
my memories may not be so happy
but at least you’re at home

it’s a long way home

you don’t have to come here
if you think i’m untrue
but i won’t grow tired
of waiting and watching for you
or tired of asking
or tired of pain
or tired of feeling
and being the same

it’s a long way home

there’s a pathway through these mountains
i can feel it in my bones
but the way has been hidden
and my footprints turned to stone
so i’ll wait here at this outpost
throwing logs on the fire
watching hope rise from ashes
with only one desire

it’s a long way home
Track Name: Looking for an Angel
LOOKING FOR AN ANGEL

isn’t it time for the voice to speak
but how will you hear through this madness
so deep in your life you can hardly see her
into not feeling you keep yourself busy
it covers the hunger

looking for an angel

hasn’t it been a colorful and lonely journey
how can you stop when we’re so nearly there
you’ve scattered your heart in a hundred places
over and over it’s nothing for nothing
losing your senses

but you know she will repair you
‘cause that’s what angels do
holding your dreams for an angel

you’re so afraid of finding love
you just let this passion play control you
you’re holding your fears in a paper cup

waiting for an angel
combing the skies for an angel
holding your dreams for an angel

carry your pain to the edge of the darkness
let it fall away like rain into the waters of her ocean
unlock your soul and she’ll accept you
her silence is stronger than your foolish resistance
her answer is simply

a reason for living
enter the arms of an angel
wake in the arms of an angel
wake in the dreams of an angel
Track Name: It's Hard to Believe
IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE

its hard to believe all the trouble i’ve seen
the broken lives and empty dreams
it’s hard to believe when faith a term
the shell of some fine thing long forgotten
it’s hard to believe when love is gone
after all of the melting in pleasure
and it’s hard to admit now that we were wrong
thinking of ours as forever

it’s hard to accept when pain becomes real
and even your best friend is no consolation
it’s hard to accept the way we must feel
as if all our lives were initiation
and it’s hard to remember where we belong
when doors keep on opening and closing
it’s hard to remember when we were strong
and our voices reached out to all men

world of wonder world of woe
keeper of the night and the dawn
will we ever ever know
where the love has gone

so you say to yourself it’s time to define
it’s time to get back in control
you sit by the window you wait for a sign
you dream about someone who could fill the hole
and somehow you manage to rise up
with no one there to see
tomorrow will be a better day
and someday you’ll be free

world of wonder world of woe
keeper of the night and the dawn
will we ever ever know
where the love has gone
Track Name: Married to Hope
MARRIED TO HOPE

one star two lives
falling from the sky
dreaming still that holding will
bind them fast forever

now she’s gone your loving wife
you looked to her and you made a life
but when you finally gave your soul
you found yourself alone

heal me my lovers say
touch me in that special way
teach me what I could not learn
find my heart now

all the loss and all of the pain
has surely made its mark on you
but deep inside i can see you through the eyes
untouched and true

a storm of love will track you down
and strip your soul and make you whole
and a sadder thing you’ll never know
than when that love decides to go

after all this each true love each kiss
i’m married to hope again
time after time the answers are mine
hidden in the fall

heal me my lovers say
touch me in that special way
teach me what I could not learn
find my heart now
please find my heart now
Track Name: Here is a Morning Star
HERE IS A MORNING STAR

now the voice is louder telling me to seek the solace of the sea
i’ll go to find some peace of mind after all that’s changed in time
I hear beyond the cries of gulls a song that i’ve been dreaming of

i want to live - want to live with you
want to love you
want to live – do you want to love me too

here is a morning star my love
sea anemone my love
every day in every way i will be there wild as the ocean
show me the way i am devotion
fill up your life with me

when i lose the light of you life is an empty shell
ocean will your tides to flow and bring the power back to each cell
take the salty rain of tears take my hopes dispel my fears

i am lost - teach me to love you
want to love you
put your arms around wherever we go

here is a morning star my love
sea anemone my love
every day in every way i will be there wild as the ocean
show me the way i am devotion
fill up your life with me
Track Name: Settle for Paradise
SETTLE FOR PARADISE

here we are on an island
but land is all we see
i just want to hold on to this dream
false though it may be

we have swept up tears together
we have sworn to stay free
but how long can we live forever
without having reached the sea

now through the days of a dream i have made
i’m walking just trying to see
combing the length of my life
for an unspoken word
for a song in a shell
for an empty place my heart can dwell

would you settle for paradise
if here were there
seemingly the doors are open
if only i knew where

now through the days of a dream i have made
i’m walking just trying to see
combing the length of my life
for an unspoken word
for a song in a shell
for an empty place my heart can dwell
Track Name: I Will Fly Home One Day
I WILL FLY HOME ONE DAY

i would like to love you but i find it’s rather hard
i would try to hold you but I can’t reach that far
where is the road where is the star
hungry and torn we have traveled so far

i would like to help you and i’m doing all that i can
maybe you would trust me if i were a stronger woman
but right now i’m searching i’m looking for my heart
and sometimes i break my stride and i let you down

but i will fly home one day
the grace of god willing me forward
and i will win for us a world of love
and in that love we will stay

where is the road where is the star
hungry and torn we have traveled so far
right now i’m searching looking for my heart
and sometimes i break my stride and i let you down

but i will fly home one day
the grace of god willing me forward
and i will win for us a world of love
and in that love we will stay
Track Name: Underneath It All
UNDERNEATH IT ALL

i don’t care what you do
i will always see behind it
in spite of you

you can play play the fool
but i will always love
what’s hidden inside of you

i’ve been looking for a real man
it might be you
but i cannot live your lies
you been drinking down the dark side
turning from the light
it seems there’s nothing i can do
it’s sad but true

now i don’t care what you say
‘cause you’re just going to say it
anyway

it’s not my place to ask you why
the only thing that seems to reach you
are the tears i cry

i’ve been looking for a real man
it might be you
but i cannot live your lies
you been drinking down the dark side
turning from the light
it seems there’s nothing i can do
its sad but true

how will i find you in the lonely hours
if you’re wandering in a dream
what if i need you or have i lost that right
could you leave the night to find me

ladies man your cup is full
but i know things about you
no one ever will

and i don’t care who you see
‘cause underneath it all
i know your love’s with me
Track Name: Let It Go or Let It Stay
LET IT GO OR LET IT STAY

raise your hopes up a little higher
your love is true but your heart’s a liar
i saw you looking back her way

she is lonely god knows she’s had her share
but if you need her you know she won’t be there
a fragile star in the frozen air you can’t hold her

she will always ache inside of you
you will find some peace in time
the love you had should help you on your way
let it go or let it stay let it stay

in the shadow of this rainy night
she will hurt you if you try to fight
but you don’t have to hide her face from me

i will give you all of the space all of the time you need
to be faithful to your memories
but i won’t let your heart bleed alone

i have memories too
far too deep to voice them
but my despair is through
and I’m reaching out to you
Track Name: Island in the Sunrise
ISLAND IN THE SUNRISE

are you looking for a river
for a ship to sail forever
for a guiding light that never
will grow darker in a storm
are you looking for a sister
the one who never left you
in ragged clothes and whispers
she is calling out your name

this night i hear your voice
but sunrise you’ll be gone
sometimes i wonder why
leaving me is always on your mind

and the people come to listen
so you fill their rooms with a joyful sound
they savor every measure
until the river has run dry
now you’re rolling down some highway
your loneliness in rhythm
to the miles and miles you’ve driven
to the strumming of your songs

this night i hear your voice
but sunrise you’ll be gone
sometimes i wonder why
leaving me is always on your mind

sleeping now your silence won’t be broken
I would be a fool to force my way inside
how many times have we lost sight of love in the night
have we landed on an island all alone
in the sunrise

we are waiting growing older
do you think that it’s over have you left me in your mind
i’m just looking for a brother
in simple words i’m asking you
to open up your heart and let me ease your pain

this night i hear your voice
but sunrise you’ll be gone
sometimes i wonder why
leaving me is always on your mind
Track Name: I Still Keep the Heart
I STILL KEEP THE HEART

it’s time to take a hard look
can’t just fix it when the heart won’t go
late last night a good friend told me
this is only talking it can’t bring you closer to what you know

so many things i do in confusion
because i made up my mind to find a way
as if something would come of this aimless longing
oh but it keeps me from throwing what’s left away

i still keep the heart that you gave to me
on a string like the color of the car we owned
i still listen to the pidgeons in the silo at night when i‘m home alone
i don’t ask why - it takes my heart too long that way

all i want is one more song
to talk about the way you loved me
even if I’m wrong
and all I want is to think you think of me
only now and then of course but
faithfully

what’s gone I value like diamonds
and feel its worth increase with my empty hand
harder still for me to hold the present moment
hard to trust the letting go that love demands

i still sigh like the lover of a distant star
in the arms of the lover who would set me free
i still wander in the murmur of the wind at night as if i’d lost what’s me
i don’t ask why - it takes my heart to long that way

all i want is one more song
to talk about the way you loved me
even if i’m wrong
and all i want is to think you think of me
only now and then of course but
faithfully
Track Name: I Can't Go Home
I CAN'T GO HOME

i can’t go home
my place has worn away
something’s gone
i sleep alone
i walk the streets unguarded
something’s wrong

well times may be hard
but friends can be harder
food may be scarce
but nothing’s worse than heartache
i don’t want to complain
i just want something to move me on

the city lights
they don’t look pretty now
where are the stars
why do I work in this factory
i never see the sky i can’t even breathe now
for all the cars

well times may be hard
but i can be harder
this living is a lie
and my heart can tell you why
i got to be leaving
if i’m not learning i’m gone

i can’t go home
my place has worn away
something’s gone
Track Name: Before I Go
BEFORE I GO

tonight our thoughts are tied together
my friend could we put we put our hearts together
the house is old and empty put your arms around me
could we take the time
and can we be honest and kind
i feel sure we will try our best tonight

welcome welcome friendly stranger
put your worries down on my kitchen table
come inside before the snow
and let me love you before I go

and if it’s cold tonight take my old sweater
we’ll go out on the porch and sit together
i have a song to sing you I hope that it will bring you
many more inside
tomorrow we’ll go for a drive i got wheels
we can ride through the country fields in the morning

welcome welcome familiar stranger
come and tell your story at my kitchen table
tell me where you’ve been my brother
i’m sure it’s a place that I know
come let me love you before I go
Track Name: The Distant Thunder
THE DISTANT THUNDER

fly maker of mercy let me fly
earthbound standing alone
searching the skies for my home
oh i hear the distant thunder

sending up sailors on false wings they come down
into the cities of iron, pleasure and cold
but the dove of peace was placed here in this ground
and the prayer for rain was hidden in the heart
the days are dark now waiting for the heart

fly maker of mercy let me fly
earthbound standing alone
searching the skies for my home
oh i hear the distant thunder

walking for years on the roads that go nowhere
we are jaded, unkind, hungry and torn
now we’re burning in the house where we were born
every flame another desire where is the one who can put out this fire

fly maker of mercy let me fly
earthbound standing alone
searching the skies for my home
oh i hear the distant thunder
Track Name: Do You Want Me To Stay
DO YOU WANT ME TO STAY

do you want me to stay
it’s dark here when the flame goes down
i seen you looking out the window at the rain
i’m sorry that your angel’s back down on the ground

please forgive me my cynicism
you know i been a bride
i put my heart and my soul and my body in it
then i took a ride

what was it we were supposed to learn in school
why wouldn’t they let us out to see they sky
well deep in my homeroom i heard that blues woman singing
she said love has no pride

welcome to patience baby
we might be here a while
please let me stay
we’ll look into this heavy weather
until the stars do rise

my feet were useful a hundred years ago
they were rooted in a vineyard where people moved slow
now my legs are trembling and i’m coming up from below
hold me like that vine brother drink my wine

patience welcome darling
we might be here for a while
please let me stay
we’ll look into this heavy weather
until the stars do rise

you can see what it is that i’m thinking
and this thinking is insane
i just want to go back to the darkness
and feel the gentle rain

now I would never tell a lie
it’s just that my truth seems to change and change and change again
sorry to say you cannot trust in me
but you can love me like I love you baby can’t you see
Track Name: I'm a Stranger Here
I'M A STRANGER HERE

the land was lost here
a sacred ghost cries here
he said it’ll cost ya
he wanted to rip me off

i heard him clearly
though he did not speak to me
i thought he would like me
but my thoughts were cheap

yeah you’re right i’m a stranger here
he thought so too
i ain’t never going home again
how ‘bout you?

thirty-two dollars to fix my car
in a northern montana reservation body shop
i saw the sky

white woman you piss me off
i drove into the sunset
he was his own boss

yeah you’re right i’m a stranger here
he thought so too
i ain’t never going home again
how ‘bout you?

come to wyoming
i bought him a postcard
i bought a pack of camels
i smoked them all in the car

just an old canyon
and a roadside bed
those nights put an end to
the things he did

yeah you’re right i’m a stranger here
he thought so too
i ain’t never going home again
how ‘bout you?

it was a hard
hard black road
it had a cold cold
white line down the middle

there was a house there
there was a home there
children laughed and cried there
one two three

yeah you’re right i’m a stranger here
he thought so too
i ain’t never going home again
how ‘bout you?

the one in the photo
she was very discreet
the one that looks like me apologized
she was sweet

one picked him flowers from my garden
now there’s one in our bed
i remember when we bought it
in a hurry to be wed
Track Name: Lift Your Heart
LIFT YOUR HEART

sleep little one
soon light will be coming
sleep little one
soon light will be coming

every day
the sun does rise
and it smiles
into your eyes
and i look
at you with love

close your eyes
angels surround you
close your eyes
all good things bless you

every day
we’ll wake up new
and all our friends
are waking up too
lift your heart
so i can hear
the singing

now you can fly
feel yourself floating
deep in the sky
beautiful ocean

every day
the spring runs clear
you can fill
your cup right here
and i will wash
away each tear
come on
Track Name: When the Leaves Come Down
WHEN THE LEAVES COME DOWN

when the leaves fall
i will love you more
when the leaves fall
i will keep you warm

when the leaves fall
when the leaves come down
when the leaves fall
when the leaves come down

when the nights are cold
i will light a fire
when the nights are cold
i will welcome welcome you inside

when the snowflakes dance
and the fairies are flying
when the snowflakes dance
i will be your bride

when the moon comes round
i will share what’s mine
when the moon comes round
oh how that moon is gonna shine

jesus was a man
and he taught us to be kind
jesus was a man
we can find love
we will find love
Track Name: Why'd It Have to End This Way
WHY'D IT HAVE TO END THIS WAY

baby baby tell me true
what is it i feel from you
can’t you see how i cry
this girl she wants to die
why’d it have to end this way

every night i watch you go
tail lights undertow
can’t you see that i know

every night i watch you go
tail lights undertow
can’t you see that i know
gonna miss me when i go
why’d it have to end this way