Happy Birthday Harry

from by Hana Zara

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lyrics

The river rose is wasted and everybody’s swimming
And everybody’s singing carry on, carry on
And harry’s upstairs sucking nitrous oxide from a can
And watching river roses twine up both his hands

And he says he misses Arizona and he misses Montezuma
And he’s gonna leave new England just as fast as he can
Says whether I go winging like a swallow or crawling like a rodent the rivers gonna pull me back again

And New England’s gonna drown me, gonna freeze me up and drown me
New England gonna set the living shiver in my bones,
See I’ve been drinking since I got here and I got here 27 years ago

And no matter how the cards show their faces
And no matter how the dice hit the table
And no matter how the women lift their skirts a little higher
We’re all tired and getting older every year
And I can’t reckon why they spend their money here
Because the river rose is wasted and everybody’s swimming
And everybody’s singing carry on carry on
the river rose is wasted and everybody’s swimming
and everybody’s singing carry on

and last week is was my birthday, the balloon is in the corner
holding onto nothing and floating shoulder high
the balloon says happy birthday, I can almost hear it singing
happy birthday harry, happy birthday harry

And no matter how the cards show their faces
And no matter how the dice hit the table
And no matter how the women lift their skirts a little higher
We’re all tired and getting older every year
And I can’t reckon why they spend their money here

Caroline’s a lady but she’s bad at conversation,
Can’t get her to say nothing more than hey and how are you
And she’s fine, she says I’m fine, with a river in her eyes
Can’t say nothing or my baby’s gonna cry
So we go drinking from the bottle and floating down the river
And swimming through the evening till the evening turns to black
And she sings just like a sparrow when she’s on the verge of leaving
But she’s quiet as the snow when she comes back
Yeah she sings just like a sparrow when she’s on the verge of leaving,
But she’s quiet as the snow when she comes back

And lately there’s a lift inside my limping
And lately there’s a swagger in my sadness
And lately there’s a hollow on my sunniest of days
Because the river rose has bound me to this place
Yeah the river rose has bound me to this place
And the river rose has bound me to the slowly churning water,
The river rose has bound me to this place

And no matter how the cards show their faces
And no matter how the dice hit the table
And no matter how the women lift their skirts a little higher
We’re all tired and getting older every year
And I can’t reckon why they spend their money here
Because the river rose is wasted and everybody’s swimming
And everybody’s singing carry on carry on
the river rose is wasted and everybody’s swimming
and everybody’s singing carry on

credits

from The North, released March 19, 2015

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Hana Zara Burlington, Vermont

be calm, be kind, ask yourself who you are and live from there.

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