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Lyr Req: Birches (Bill Morrissey)

08 May 03 - 11:31 AM (#948688)
Subject: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: Jenny Islander

It's a song less than 20 years old, I think. A man is headed up to bed, but his wife plans to stay up a bit. Before he goes, he reminds her to put more wood in the stove/fireplace and nags her about how it has to be oak because oak burns slowly and puts out steady, gentle heat.

"Oak," he told her. "Oak," she said.

So he goes up to bed, and she sits in the cooling shadows for a while and then quietly loads the stove with birch.

And the logs burned as sweet and hot as a July afternoon,
And the leaping flames saw nothing more than a young bride on her
honeymoon.

The birch burns quickly down, and as she goes up to bed,

She thought of love, she thought of time;
She called it even trade.

Anybody else been haunted by this song? Wish I could remember the words!


08 May 03 - 11:41 AM (#948691)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: MMario

couldn't find anything googling; I'd like to see the complete lyric - the fragment is intrueging interesting.


08 May 03 - 01:20 PM (#948753)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop

I've heard the song; don't know the title, but I think it's Bill Morrissey.


08 May 03 - 08:28 PM (#949022)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: Charley Noble

Whistle Stop-

You're correct. It's definitely a Bill Morrissey song and the CD should be around here somewhere. It's really well done.

Charley Noble


10 May 03 - 06:45 AM (#949817)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: Jim Dixon

Hasn't anyone figured out the title yet?


10 May 03 - 08:24 AM (#949847)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: Charley Noble

Odd, it's not on my 6 Morrissey CD's. I think it's called "Oak and Birch." The story is one of love gone cold with the husband going to bed early telling his wife to be sure to put oak on the fire so that it will last through the night, and she decides to stuff the fire place with birch.

Charley Noble


10 May 03 - 10:57 AM (#949935)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: Rara Avis

The song is Birches by Bill Morrissey. 1993 Rounder Records. I have it on a collection: Sleepy Hollow 25 Anniversary, produced by WXPN, Public Radio Station for the University of Pennsylvania. 1998 Greater Media Cable Philadelphia. You may be able to obtain a copy of the collection through the WXPN website. Perhaps Rounder Records has something also.


10 May 03 - 11:38 AM (#949957)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: Charley Noble

Well, that explains why I couldn't find it. Imagined being "stumped" by such a song. At least I wasn't barking up the wrong tree...

Charley Noble


10 May 03 - 03:17 PM (#950082)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: Rara Avis

Charley Noble, I'll leave the puns to you! It is a good song, isn't it? I always imagine a long-time married couple; he's grown impatient with age, she's wistful for the romance they once had.


10 May 03 - 05:45 PM (#950137)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: diesel

According to the link provided, the song is on one of the Bill morrissey albums:Night Train (1993)
Produced by Ellen Karas
Philo / PH 1154

No full lyrics just yet...

Diesel


10 May 03 - 06:35 PM (#950161)
Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: BIRCHES (Bill Morrissey)
From: diesel

Found this : If any help to you !Birches

Found on : http://billmorrissey.net/bmmllst1.html
and followed links into a discussion group etc...... Rgds Diesel

^^^
BIRCHES
Bill Morrissey
Key=Bb [Capo 3 - Play like G, Bm, Am, C D]
[These notations are used below. G=Bb, Bm=Dm, etc]


[G]They sat at each end of the couch, and [Bm]watched as the fire burned down.
So [Am]quiet on this winter's night,[walk] Not a [C]house-light on for[D]miles around.

Then he [G]said, "I think I'll fill the stove. [Bm]It's getting time for bed."
[Am]She looked up. "I think I'll have some wine. How 'bout [C]you?" she asked,
and [D]he declined.

"Warren," she said, "Maybe just for tonight,
let's fill the stove with birches and watch as the fire burns bright.

How long has it been? It's been quite a while.
Pour yourself half a glass and stay with me a little while."

And Warren, he shook his head as if she'd made some kind of joke.
"Birches? On a winter night? No, we'll fill the stove with oak.

Oak will burn as long and hot as a July afternoon.
Birch will burn itself out by the rising of the moon.

And you hate a cold house same as me. Am I right or not?"
"All right, all right that's true," she said "It was just a thought."

Then she said, "Warren, you do look tired. Maybe you should go up to bed.
I'll take care of the wood tonight." "Oak," he told her. "Oak," she said.

She listened to his footsteps as he climbed up the stairs.
Then she pulled a sweater on her and set her wine glass on a chair.

She walked down cellar to the woodbox. It was cold as an ice chest.
Then climbed back up with four logs, each as white as a wedding dress.

And she filled the stove and poured the wine, then she sat down on the floor.
She curled her legs beneath her, as the fire sprang to life once more.

And it filled the room with it's hungry light, and it cracked as it drew
air.
And the shadows danced a jittery waltz like no one else was there.

She stood up in the heat, and she twirled around the room.
And the shadows, they saw nothing but a young girl on her honeymoon.

And she knew the time, it would be short soon the fire would start to fade.
She thought of heat, she thought of time. She called it an even trade.


11 May 03 - 05:13 PM (#950628)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oa
From: Susan of DT

It is already in the DT, title: Birches


11 May 03 - 08:42 PM (#950715)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: Charley Noble

Diesel - Good work nailing it, and with the chords.

Susan - Amazing what's in the DT when one troubles to look.

Charley Noble


11 May 03 - 09:57 PM (#950739)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: diesel

Now why didn't I think of that ????


12 May 03 - 08:12 AM (#950911)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: Coyote Breath

I've got Birches on a CD collection (four disk) called "Roots Music, an American Journey" Can't find whose label right now. A wonderful collection of music with Norman Blake, Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, Dave Van Ronk, The Persuasions, Bela Fleck and many many more. My brother, bless his heart, gave it to me for Christmas.

CB


13 May 03 - 09:58 AM (#951728)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: Jim Dixon

"Amazing what's in the DT when one troubles to look"

Actually, it's a bit more complicated than that.

Jenny remembered
"And the logs burned as sweet and hot as a July afternoon"
but the song in the DT has
"Oak will burn as long and hot as a July afternoon"

Jenny remembered
"And the leaping flames saw nothing more than a young bride on her honeymoon"
but the song in the DT has
"And the shadows they saw nothing but a young girl on her honeymoon."

Jenny remembered
"She thought of love, she thought of time; She called it even trade."
but the song in the DT has
"She thought of heat. She thought of time. She called it an even trade."

Jenny was 100% right on the line
"Oak," he told her. "Oak," she said.
But the search won't work unless you delete the punctuation.

I'm not criticizing Jenny's request! She gave us way more useful information than most requesters do. But depending on which phrase you chose to search for, you might have found nothing.

Lesson: You've got to be creative in thinking of things to search for.


13 May 03 - 10:10 AM (#951731)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A married couple, their fireplace, oak
From: MMario

it's one of the "missing" tunes.


08 Sep 11 - 07:23 AM (#3219963)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Birches (Bill Morrissey)
From: GUEST,Andrew

If anyone stumbled on this old thread via Google, you can find the song on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xnp5E1Hm3Lw

This version is a little higher than the chords above (thanks, by the way!) -- I'm capoing at 6, although my guitar is often tuned down a half step or two, so your own mileage may vary


08 Sep 11 - 07:47 AM (#3219971)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Birches (Bill Morrissey)
From: GUEST,Andrew

ps: yup, I was tuned down a whole step. capo 4.