Paper Boats

by Ed Woltil

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about

Acclaimed singer-songwriter from The Ditchflowers steps out with his melodically rich, lyrically nuanced solo debut. Music to Eat calls Paper Boats "literate and intelligent…a fresh-sounding collection of folky pop rock" and its songs "marvels of construction…each a 3 or 4 minute work of art."

The Ditchflowers have been featured on NPR's Open Mic and in Performing Songwriter magazine. Eric Snider of Creative Loafing has called their music "Exquisite…sweet, timeless pop"while Quentin B. Huff of popmatters.com wrote that "“Every song exhibits supreme musicianship and an insightful yet earthy lyricism.”

Built around Woltil's sumptuous acoustic guitar work and emotively supple voice, Paper Boats brings Woltil's writing and soulful delivery to the fore. As with his Ditchflowers work, Woltil’s McCartney-centric tendencies are in evidence, but many of the songs here also hearken to American influences such as Paul Simon, Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson and Jimmy Webb. Rounding out the 12 new songs to a baker’s dozen is a fresh take on an old Ditchflowers favorite, Boys from Carried Away.

credits

released February 20, 2014

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Ed Woltil St. Petersburg, Florida

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Track Name: Algebra
Everything is algebra, algebra, algebra
Everything is algebra but life gets in the way

All the world is x and y
the answer works out every time
but I keep searching for some sign
to get to point b from point a.

Everything is algebra, algebra, algebra
All of life is algebra, but hearts get in the way

Sorting through the plans I plotted
every factor in its slot, except the
promises that I forgot
to keep along the way.

Everything is algebra, algebra, algebra
Everything is algebra but words get in the way

Rows and rows of fingers and toes
don’t add up any which way
and if the answer’s up to me
then all we can do is pray.

All the world is algebra, but we get in the way.

Line by line your equation looks fine
until I lurch into the fray…
If anyone can break algebra
count on me to lead the way.

Algebra is greek to me
but your blue eyes, they speak to me…
If algebra really is the key,
well, then who am I to say?
I guess everything’s OK.

Everything is algebra, algebra, algebra
All of life is algebra but we get in our own way.
Track Name: Random Access Memory
Sweetest memories from out of nowhere
breeze across my mind’s eye
Halcyon summer sky.
Back to present tense, I clench my teeth against
the wind and the ice,
reveries put to flight.

I may nod and smile, but I want to cry
and I’ll be the one laughing at the funeral
I’m a random access memory kind of guy.

That momentous day, the grand occasion
you want me to recall,
I can’t replay at all.
But what’s crystal clear is sitting near you
on the river one night
counting the fireflies.

Ask me when it was; well now, let me see…
please don’t ask me where, don’t interrogate me
I’m a random access memory casualty.

A quarrel from years ago
still rattling round my head
but I can’t for the life of me
remember what you just said
what was it you just said,
I can’t get it through my head.

In a cheering crowd, I stand and stare
I was just elsewhere momentarily my
random access memory caught me on the fly.

I’m a random access memory kind of guy.
Track Name: Hiding in Plain Sight
In 1’s and 0’s the data flows
this is how we roll.
In an endless freefall zone
I feel so alone with my old dumbphone

Grant me cyber grace
I’m falling through space
floating at the speed of light
We are everywhere and barely there
hiding in plain sight.

Lost and found, the network's down
how do we connect?
Can you peek beneath the lid
Read my face in lights winking on the grid

Here in cyberspace
I’ve fallen from grace
floating at the speed of light
I am everywhere and barely there
hiding in plain sight.

We had twin dreams
and we woke up afraid midstream
two thousand miles in between.

Sending password prayers
in bits through the air
streaming homeward in their flight
We are everywhere and virtually nowhere
ever hiding in plain sight.
Track Name: If Somebody Loved Me
I see you walk on air
humming without a care
I recognize that look about you.
And I know what you’re feeling ‘cause I’ve felt it, too.
Notice my past is tense,
your heart was on the fence
now I’m left behind to puzzle it through
and my heart is still reeling though I should pursue

Someone who loves me like I love you
Someone who loves me like I love you
Someone who loves me like I love you
now I know the price of buying into
a dream that never can come true.
Pardon my long dog face
You tried to leave no trace
but it’s all too plainly written in view
and I don’t have the power to hide it from you.
I hope that I could show more
common sympathy for
an old friend whose heart has started to unglue
even if that someone should turn out to be you someday, too.

If somebody loved me like I love you
If somebody loved me like I love you
If somebody loved me like I love you
I hope that I could forget you someday
and stop clinging to these hopes of one day

drowning out the voice of reason
hounding me to this self-treason
haunting, wanting you…

Someone who loves me like I love you
Someone who loves me like I love you
Someone who loves me like I love you
now I know the price of buying into
a dream that never can come true.

now I know the price of buying into
a dream that never can come true.
Track Name: Someone Else's Life
I woke up this morning haunted by a dream
of an honest man without a plan or a scheme
Can I be candid? I’m stranded in someone else’s life.

I rushed to the bathroom, looked myself in the eye;
the mirror was no clearer to help me see this guy
Woke from a dream into a dream
of someone else’s life.

Hey, Mr. Postman, there’s no forwarding address
for the man who’s been replaced
by this disgraceful hot mess
My crystal ball is muddy
so the rest is anybody’s best guess.

Life is a mystery, a clue or two at best
and sometimes we play our cards
too close to the vest
I guess I’m folding,
I’ve been sold into someone else’s life

Those dreams of one day finding fortune and fame
all on my own fine terms, not playing anyone’s game
they fade into Monday in the din
of dingy corporate shame.

Old dog, new tricks, I’ll tread water somehow
Long haul, quick fix, feet don’t fail me now
Well, how did I get here, livin’ someone else’s life?

While I wasn’t watching, I failed to see
I turned into who I pretended to be
The ruse has cost me, I’m lost in someone else’s life.
And when at last the fateful day does arise
and the whole tableau goes passing before my eyes—
hey, something’s wrong here…
that’s somebody else’s life.

I don’t belong here…
driven to the edge and wedged
into someone else’s life.
Track Name: Illinois Sunset
Love is a place; in the dream
we are standing face to face.
Do we dare hope it’s there
waiting somewhere?
The world is not too wide
for you to step outside
and find your way.

Illinois sunset
light up the sky and fly, little wing, fly
Illinois sunset
pack up your dreams and fly, little wing, fly.

Love is a time; the cliché
still holds sway and we are blind
looking for what’s in store
around the corner
but when you least expect
the moments to connect,
your clock will chime.

Illinois sunset
strike up the stars and fly, little wing, fly
Illinois sunset
pack up your dreams and fly, little wing, fly.

Goin’ down the road in a moving van
just the sketch of a plan
and a prayer to make this right.
Suddenly you’re there
in the middle of somewhere
walking up a flight of stairs straight into his life.

Hearts throughout time
down the line
pass the beat along in song.
Now it’s time
for you to shine,
sing your life—
and if it feels like time for you to fly
then fly high.

Illinois sunset
light up the sky and fly, little wing, fly
Illinois sunset
pack up your dreams and fly, little wing, fly
Illinois sunset
strike up the stars and fly, little wing, fly

little wing, fly…
Track Name: The One and Only Anderson
In the morning when I rise
and rub the sleep out of my eyes
my little sidekick licks my face
to say we’ve got a new day to chase.

The one and only Anderson
The one and only, the one and only one,
The one and only Anderson
Oooh, the one and only Anderson.

He only stands about shin high
not the world’s most handsome guy
but he puts up with my vagaries
I guess I’ll keep the little bag of fleas

The one and only Anderson
The one and only, the one and only one,
The one and only Anderson
Oooh, the one and only Anderson.

We spy a rabbit on our walk
and Andy barks out his warning loud and clear
to let that bastard know that he’s not welcome here.

We play the game where I put down his food
then spring back before I lose a hand
I teach him things but he just doesn’t understand

Except for phrases like ‘Good boy’
or ‘Take a walk’ or ‘Get your toy’
but when I tell him to ‘Come’ or ‘Stay’
he tends to up and run away.

The one and only Anderson
The one and only, the one and only one,
The one and only Anderson
Oooh, the one and only Anderson.
Track Name: Open
Everything you say, everything I do
all we can imagine
In between a breath, glimpse a secret path
following the passion
Here in the dark we lie broken wide open.

Man within the boy, boy within the cell,
cell inside the petri
Long division trick, soul arithmetic
halfway where you meet me.
hope beyond hopelessly hopin’ to open.

Oaths of the heart left unspoken.
Fall through the dark like a token.

Did I see a trace pass across your face
hiding in the open?
Pass protected file, coded in your smile,
will the code be broken?
Aimlessly, shamelessly hopin’ you’re open.
Track Name: The Shortest Distance (Between Two Hearts)
Sister’s walkin’ home from work alone
tryin’ to talk sense into her old cell phone
and daddy’s drifted off again, ain’t been home for days.
Mama shouts as she walks out the front door,
late for work again, that’s just one more,
and junior’s still in bed—lately he’s lost in a haze.

The shortest distance between two hearts
The shortest distance between two hearts
The shortest distance between two hearts is love.

Sister breaks down at the corner store
counting out change, she thought she had more
wonderin’ when and if she can ever rise above.
Junior cuttin’ through the alleyway
out of work since the beginning of May
and every day feels more like push comin’ down to shove…

The shortest distance between two hearts
The shortest distance between two hearts
The shortest distance between two hearts is love.

Please R - E - C - E - I - V - E my love
Please G - I - V - E, won’t you please, sweet love.

Sister’s late out on a Friday night
on the phone, crossin’ against the light
never saw the taxi driver turnin’ right, slow-mo…
Junior sleepin’ in an ER chair,
when she comes to he wants to be right there,
why does life got to be so unfair, who knows?

The shortest distance between two hearts
The shortest distance between two hearts
The shortest distance between two hearts is love.

Please R - E - C - E - I - V - E my love
Please G - I - V - E, won’t you please, sweet love.
Track Name: One in a Row
I have a jar without a lid
I have a jar without a lid
I have a jar without a lid
I can’t believe what my sister did
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no
I wouldn’t mind, but that’s one in a row

I have a cat with one green eye
I have a cat with one green eye
I have a cat with one green eye
The other eye got lost in a fight
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no
I wouldn’t cry, but that’s one in a row

Rivers run and colors bleed
Mountains peak, but what do they see?
Chickens squawk, parrots talk
And lemmings lead
…Well, it’s just the first one and it ain’t much fun

Now, I have a fence made of gingerbread
I have a fence made of gingerbread
I have a fence made of gingerbread
the dog ate the gate and fell down dead
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no
It’s more than enough, it’s just one in a row

Rivers run and colors bleed
Mountains peak, but what do they see?
Chickens squawk, parrots talk
And lemmings lead
…Well, it’s just the first one and it ain’t much fun

Now, I have a car with one flat tire
I have a car with one flat tire
It might be true that I’ve still got three
but they’re really not much good to me
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no
It’s just my luck, that’s one in a row.
Track Name: Foul Weather Friends
Every goodbye is bittersweet until we meet again
I’m bound to feel incomplete and useless until then.
And I confess I’m overblessed to count you as my friend
I’m quick to stress and to make a mess and slow to make amends.

Tonight I slide upon thin ice, I don’t know where I stand
I nod and smile and I make nice, extend the old gladhand.
No one is wise to my disguise, I look OK to them
But you look right into my eyes and see me as I am.

We’re only as debonair as our last dumbassed pratfall
in the all too public eye.
We’ll weather the storm together ignore every catcall
and stand up with our heads held high
foul weather friends, you and I
foul weather friends, you and I
foul weather friends, you and I.

Every goodbye is bittersweet until we meet again
I’m bound to feel incomplete and useless until then.
I’m quick to stress and make a mess and slow to make amends.
but I’ll muddle through til I’m back with you,
my fair foul weather friend,
my fair foul weather friend,
my fair foul weather friend.

We’ll weather the storm together
foul weather friends, you and I.
Track Name: Boys
I’ll never breathe easy again
no one to answer to, free as the wind
close my eyes & count up to ten
then ready or not, here I come

Up with the dawn & out the door
hit the ground running to see what’s in store
dig up some fun, then dig up some more
‘til sinking sun sends us back home

but I will run with you forever
if I have my choice
In our hearts, you & me, we will always be boys

Barefoot brigade with bloody nose
swing from a vine and we drink from a hose
just where we’ve been, well, nobody knows
lost episodes we’ll never tell

but I will run with you forever
if I have my choice
In our hearts, you & me, we will always be boys

Swimming in the storm
running with the pack
breathless through the orange grove dragging
contraband in a sleeping bag

I guess we’re old & it’s a drag
out in the cold & left holding the bag
while our kids run round playing tag
screaming so free out on the lawn

but I will run with you forever
if I have my choice
In our hearts, you & me, we will always be boys.
Track Name: Dance With Me One More Time
The minute hand marches forwards
beginning its midnight climb
come out on the floorboards
and dance with me one more time.

The band is lagging
and it’s past the waiter’s bedtime
but we’re unflagging
so dance with me one more time.

The air brims with sweetness
the moonlight’s sublime
a nightbird is warbling
in 3/4 time.

Tomorrow I’m sailing
for some far exotic clime
and words they are failing…
so dance with me one more time.
Tonight is treasure
so would it be such a crime
to steal one last measure
and dance with me one more time?

Come out on the floorboards
and dance with me one more time.