Spinning & Weaving 

Dear Listener,

 

Thank you for listening to my handcrafted songs and music. I hope you enjoy the journey these songs take you on and that they help rock your soul during these tumultuous times. ~ Thistle 

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Warrior's Lullaby

Thistle on nylon string guitar and voice

Matthew Sanborn on nylon string guitar, electric guitar, and acoustic bass

Production by Matthew Sanborn

This song was inspired by my experiences in recent years. Throughout all that has happened, I have had the best friends this world could ever bring to me as we collectively go through the dark night of storms and turmoil on our land. We need to sleep, rest and care for ourselves as we journey on. Climate change is imminent in this song. May the song be a cry for more warrior sisters to come forward to fight and heal. I modeled the song after Winkin’ Blinkin’ & Nod, a poem and song my childhood pastor taught me while I was growing up on the west side of Madison.

Lyrics: 

 

What was I thinking when I spoke the truth in a world swimming in lies?

Did I think a boat would come to carry me through or a bird would take me a flight?

The Sun above sucks the waters dry!

Only salt remains of tears

and though it hurts to put my face up to the sky, I sing a warrior's lullaby

 

Sleep, sleep, sleep through the night

Steer your ship across the skies

Stars and Moon are your peaceful cocoon

cradling you through the dark night

 

Where would I be without friends like you? The ones who dared to hear my cry!

And how could it be that we'd come to know the green world through a warrior's lullaby

The Earth and Sky speak to me of rain that washes us all away!

Last night I had a vision that sustains my warrior's lullaby

 

Sleep, sleep, sleep through the night

Steer your ship across the skies

Stars and Moon are your peaceful cocoon

cradling you through the dark night

 

However many fish you find in the sea, nothing can stop the power of light.

Rays of gold beam down upon the earth leaving her floors cracked and dried

Goin' home we are each on our own sailing across the starry skies and 

to the bone, my words help us to roam singing a warrior's lullaby 

On the Edge

Lyrics and music by Thistle Pettersen

Thistle - steel-string guitar and vocals

Steve Tyska - trumpets

Matthew Sanborn- electric guitar, electric bass, drums, & 12 string guitar 

Produced by Matthew Sanborn

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The triumphant trumpets at the beginning of this song are a reminder that warriors celebrate victory when we love the land and cooperate and collaborate with Nature. This song was inspired in part by reading Lierre Keith’s book The Vegetarian Myth in which she describes the cycles of life and how all of life involves death and lots of eating. I am the Coordinator for a Community Garden in my neighborhood and a few years ago, I noticed white thistles growing on the edge of it in a patch. Those thistles growing on the edge were also an inspiration for this song.

Lyrics:

 

With the Sun shinin' down on me as I walk to the garden to be with all my friends

There's the birds and the bees, then all the plants I see, thistles grow on the edge

 

On the edge of a garden, on the edge of a place, seedlings have hardened, becoming food is their fate

 

It's a place for us to gather where tensions fall away and there's beauty spinning spiders' lace

cuz the worry and the pity and all our stupid games have no bearing if we come to work a space

'

On the edge of a garden, on the edge of a place, spirits have hardened, becoming food is our fate

Cuz we all are blood and bones, even plants that grow and get mowed.

We're made of stardust, each one of us!

 

I wake again at dawn and come back to this song, the earth beneath me as I walk

cuz you're never really far from the place that's home to all high above in the stars and beyond.

 

On the edge of a garden, on the edge of a place, spirits have hardened, becoming food is our fate.

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The Garden Song

Lyrics and Music by Thistle Pettersen

Thistle - Vocals, and guitar

Matthew Sanborn - acoustic bass, accordion, shakers 

Produced by Matthew Sanborn

I have been coordinating that community garden for a number of years now and I like to write songs about it. This one I used with children in a dance troupe who sang and made up dance moves to it for a performance. I like how the people living in the neighborhood are compared to squirrels. I just saw a guy on a bike in my neighborhood today who was talking to the squirrels, imitating their chatter. This is also a song to let people know that this is my town! I belong here, just like all the yard signs around Madison that say “You belong.” I know they are talking to me.

Lyrics:

 

Out back behind the dumpsters, we grew ourselves some food!

Broccoli, beans and carrots, you know our lives are good!

Neighbors coming together in the neighborhood

Out back behind the dumpsters, we grew a little food!

 

The squirrels they are a climbin' up and down our many trees

then out onto the hire wire searchin' for their next tea!

Some squirrels like to write songs and others to gather nuts

still others enjoy the patio, the fireflies light us up! Oh yeah! The fireflies!

 

And me I've travelled far and wide but I've finally settled down

back to the place where I grew up, you know this is my town!

So thank you for bein' my neighbor, by the land we are bound

Out back behind the dumpsters! We grew on common ground! 

Spinning & Weaving

Music by Thistle and Matthew Sanborn 

Lyrics by Thistle and Elizabeth Miller 

Thistle - vocals and guitars

Matthew - acoustic bass, electric guitar, and synthesizers 

Produced by Matthew Sanborn

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Time to get groovy with spiders, webs, and radical feminist culture. I feel so much gratitude for my sister, Elizabeth Miller, in writing about this song. She commissioned me to write it as part of the anthology she put out by the same title, Spinning & Weaving published by Tidal Time Press. She also wrote me a stream of consciousness of words that I used in crafting the lyrics of this little ditty. At first, I titled it Dross Into Gold as I often do with my songs, naming them by the final theme introduced. But through time, it became clear that this song, the title track, should share the wonderful title of Elizabeth’s book.

Lyrics:

 

The spider jumps to her web then dances round and round above my head

dark closets, bookcase near the door! I hear laughter, spinning, and weaving

Fear no more! Fear no more! Fear no more!

 

Then I'm sailing between the threads, high above my head, web glowing, now 

I'm one with the thread, Silk spinning above my bed

 

I hear voices weaving textiles from texts. a tapestry of sound, a tapestry of song!

Ancient melodies from our mothers who've gone, spinning a song, weaving, weaving

all night long, all night long, all night long

 

Then I'm sailing between the threads, high above my head, web glowing, now 

I'm one with the thread, Silk spinning above my bed 

 

The sun comes up, the spider's web glistens and in my heart to my sisters I do listen

Spinning & weaving dross into gold, spinning & weaving dross into gold, me and my sisters, 

we are bold! Spinning & weaving dross into gold

Wolf

Music and Lyrics by Thistle Pettersen

Thistle - Lead vocals and guitar

Lara Julian - harmony vocals

Matthew Sanborn - electric guitars, electric basses

Produced by Matthew Sanborn

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I wrote this soon after an unpleasant event in the Twin Cities the Fall of 2012. It was the start of a long journey. Everything is round. Everything. The roundness of a woman’s belly when she is ripe with child, the roundness of the world, the roundness of the cell, the cyclical nature of time, and the spherical nature of the atom. We are One. May we all be blessed with the strength and fortitude of our ancestral matriarchal roots.

Lyrics:

 

There's a wolf staring at me from the corners of my mind

She is panting and growling and howling

"Why don't you see me?" and "Why won't you feed me?"

 

Her eyes glow in the dark, and after a while, she paces back and forth

and I ignore her, and she is ignored

"Why don't you see me?" and "Why won't you feed me?"

 

It runs so deep and it runs so dry! I am trying to get wet when there's nothin' left inside

 

The forest calls to me in the Springtime, melting the corners of my mind

Everything is round! Everything is round! Everything is round! 

City of Angels

Music and lyrics by Thistle Pettersen

Thistle - guitar, and vocals

Matthew Sanborn - electric guitars, electric bass, drums, synthesizer

Produced by Matthew Sanborn

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I lived in California for a while. I hitch hiked down the coast to a party/festival in the Los Angeles area one Summer. This is about the ugliness and fakeness of tinsel town, yet how it is part of our world, and I was drawn to it. I spent most of my time in northern Cali when I was there from 2005-’06, but I will never forget L.A.

Lyrics:

 

Thrown into the arms of strangers from the moment you are born

Gone are the tribal arrangements, the fabric of life is torn

but then the City of Angels calls me home

The City of Angels rocks me home

 

The strength of a single soul stays aflame in my heart

But the strength of a single blow rips the threads apart

til the City of Angels calls me home

The City of Angels rocks me home

 

Where does your hope lie?

Is it lying to believe in the power of a union?

One with life and the seed

The City of Angels calls me home

The City of Angels rocks me home

and into the night skies

Mad World

Music and lyrics by Michael Andrews

Thistle - guitar and vocals

Matthew - acoustic guitars, electric guitar, electric bass, drums, synthesizers, & bongos 

Produced by Matthew Sanborn

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This one reminds me of high school and growing up in the 1980’s. I love the music, love the lyrics, and I love that I live in MadTown, USA.

Lyrics:

 

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces

Bright and early for the daily races

Going nowhere, going nowhere

Their tears are filling up their glasses

No expression, no expression

Hide my head, I wanna drown my sorrow

No tomorrow, no tomorrow

 

And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

The dreams in which I'm dying

are the best I've ever had

I find it hard to tell you

I find it hard to take

When people run in circles it's a very, very

Mad world, mad world

 

Children waiting for the day they feel good

Happy birthday, happy birthday

made to feel the way that every child should

Sit and listen, sit and listen

Went to school and I was very nervous

No one knew me, no one knew me

Hello, teacher! Tell me, what's my lesson?

Look right through me, look right through me

 

And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

The dreams in which I'm dying

are the best I've ever had

I find it hard to tell you

I find it hard to take

When people run in circles it's a very, very

Mad world, mad world

Enlargen your world

Mad world

O’ Anna

Music and lyrics by Thistle Pettersen 

Thistle - guitar, and vocals

Matthew - acoustic guitar, acoustic bass 

Produced by Matthew Sanborn

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This song is for my dearest Anna who died in the Spring of 2017 after I walked with her for the last time to Tenney park where I used to put out my yoga mat and do yoga while she wandered nearby in a little wooded area.

Lyrics:

 

You are perched in the grass like a droplet of dew

I'm a flower right next to you

Stretched out on my mat reciting haiku

this moment captured with you

 

And the stars up above, hidden in the blue, and me, right here next to you

O' Anna, O' Anna, O' Anna my true love true (2X)

 

You went to your grave on the wings of a maive

the lilacs in bloom just for you

Down in the grass it's earthy and new

a green morning for me and for you

 

And the stars up above, hidden in the blue, and me, right here next to you

O' Anna, O' Anna, O' Anna my true love true (2X)

Eye of the Storm

Music and lyrics by Thistle Pettersen

Thistle - guitars and vocals 

Matthew - acoustic guitar, electric bass, drums, synthesizer

Produced by Matthew Sanborn

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This is my Covid 19 song. I wrote it early on during the Pandemic when I was literally sanitizing the mail before I took it inside. The storm is the climate chaos beginning to happen all around us as we march forward into the future and the ‘calamity’ is Covid. My solution is to speak out and do some positive work around loving each other and Nature. Though, there is a bit of a defeatist attitude in this song for sure, like no matter what, we are headed for further disasters and epidemics but let's sing as we go!

Lyrics:

 

Lickin' my fingers as I put honey in my tea

Isn't it funny how everything's changin'

Yeah humanity is rearrangin' it seems and so is the storm

 

The earth is worn down, I am forlorn clown cleanin' up the City!

Isn't it pretty? All the passersby, my how time flies in the eye of the storm!

 

I enjoy my tea, then I sanitize the jar, I take it that far

cuz I love thee. But what about humanity? 

A calamity on hand and we can't even stand on the land hand in hand 

cuz that way we'd all die, o' here am I in the eye of the storm!

 

What if the tundra melts? It's not really "what if", it's happening

and then we're gone. So why not sing a song about everything wrong

then go out and plant some seeds?

That's what we need, worship of the ground! So let's hear a sound for the seeds!

Give me reprieve as I grieve in the eye of the storm

My Name

Music and lyrics by Thistle Pettersen

Thistle - acoustic guitar and vocals

Matthew Sanborn - acoustic bass, synthesizers

Produced by Matthew Sanborn

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This is my way of thanking my parents for caring for me and standing by me through all of my triumphs and trials. Without their loving kindness and guidance, I am not sure I would have had the fortitude to withstand the challenges presented to me in Madison.

Lyrics:

 

It was a journey to my childhood through the west side of town

I made it on my bicycle to lay my papers down

on the desk of an employee in this great nation of ours

I made it on my bicycle to lay my papers down

 

for my name, for my name! I travelled through the rain, for my name, for my name

 

I had my passport and id card, plastic bags on my feet and

I pedalled through the wilderness of these wet urban streets

The grasses growin' greener, you could hear their joyful sound

as I pedaled throught the wilderness of the west side of town

 

for my name, for my name! I travelled through the rain, for my name, for my name

 

And the stars shine brightly at night!

The darkness is overwhelmed by the light

and in this life I choose to fight!

For the light, for the light, for the light

 

If you're lucky enough to have parents, kind, like mine

They will always know you as their child

I couldn't have made it this far without the kindness along the way

May we all be blessed with safety and the power to name

Would a rose by any other name smell so sweet? I changed my name, 

but I'm still the same. For my name, for my name I travelled through the rain

Turtle Song

Lyrics and music by Thistle Pettersen

Thistle - guitar, and vocals

Matthew Sanborn - electric guitar, electric bass 

Produced by Matthew Sanborn

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 I wrote this to promote the Green Party as a viable third party in the United States. I hope we can get it together and break free from the two-party system that forces us to “choose” between the lesser of two evils, the Democrats or the Republicans.

Lyrics

 

What did the little turtle do? She swam swam, but when she saw the donkey blue, she snapped him in two...

What did the little turtle do? She swam, swam, but when she saw the elephant red, she snapped off his head and he bled into the blue blue river.

Brokedown Palace

Music and lyrics by Grateful Dead

Thistle - guitar, and vocals

Matthew Sanborn - acoustic guitar, electric bass, piano, and vocals 

Produced by Matthew Sanborn

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Somebody in Garberville, California taught me this song, by the Grateful Dead, when I was on the road on my bicycle back in 2005 - 2006. I played it live on my nylon string guitar with my bare hands for this recording. It’s a recording I would like to hear on my deathbed, please. Enjoy and Fare you Well!

Lyrics:

 

Fare you well my honey. Fare you well my only true one.

All the birds that were singing have flown 'cept you alone

 

Gonna leave this brokedown palace on my hands, on my knees, I will roll roll roll

Make myself a bed by the waterside

In my time, in my time, I will roll roll roll

 

In a bed, in a bed, by the waterside I will lay my head

Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul

 

River gonna take me, sing me sweet and sleepy

Sing my sweet and sleepy all the way back home

It's a far gone lullaby sung many years ago 

"Mama Mama many years I've come since I first left home!"

 

Goin' home, goin' home by the waterside I will lay my bones

Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul

 

Gonna plant a weepin' willow on the banks green edge it 

will grow grow grow

Sings a lullaby near the waterside

Lovers come and go, the river roll roll roll

 

Fare you well! Fare you well! I love you more than words can tell!

Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul