Hamdulillah

by Tyler Matthew Smith

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credits

released October 14, 2011

Produced by Brook Reeder and Tyler Matthew Smith
All songs written and arranged by Tyler Matthew Smith except: Hamdulillah, lyrics by Caroline Moriarity Sacks and Tyler Matthew Smith; Seams of My Soul, music by Chris Kelly and Tyler Matthew Smith
Seams of My Soul based on the words of Parker J. Palmer
Be the Change based on the words of Mahatma Gandhi
Cover art, River Runs Deep, by Daemian Hawthorne
Album photography by Jeff Fielding
Album design by Johnny Selman
All songs © 2011 Tyler Matthew Smith

Engineered by Rudy Haeusermann at Eagle Rock Studios in Los Angeles, CA; Nick Testa at Stout Recording Studio in Oakland, CA, and Devil’s Tail Audio in San Francisco, CA; Brook Reeder at Universal Audio in Felton, CA; Robert Preston at GetReel Productions in San Francisco, CA; Evan Bautista at Lil’ Jimmy’s in San Francisco, CA; Bob Lindner at Studio Bob in San Francisco, CA

Mixed by Brook Reeder and Tyler Matthew Smith
Mastered by Mark Chalecki at Little Red Book in Los Angeles, CA

Musicians:

Tyler Matthew Smith—vocals, tenor and alto saxophone, flute, acoustic and electric
guitar, piano, percussion
Adam Farley—drums
Wayne Miller—acoustic and electric bass
Chris Kelly—acoustic and electric guitar
Al Torre—electric guitar
Kiyoshi Foster—electric guitar, slide guitar
Ryan Leonardo—percussion
Brook Reeder—vocals, guitar, keyboard, percussion
Yohei Shikano—dobro, keyboard
Turi McClean—violin
Scott Valenzuela—viola
Pawel Walerowski—cello

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Tyler Matthew Smith San Francisco, California

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Track Name: Hamdulillah
A man walks out in the morning
not breathing very well
he's living without loving and he works without a dream
Though these lights are shining all around him he's standing in the dark
every step going nowhere
his feet keep sinking in the sand

But the sun will come out
and shine upon the backs
of all the weary-eyed wanderers
just trying to make it through today
And the sun will come out
and shed a little light on fate's well-worn path
as ambition paves the way

Distracted from what's here what's now
distracted from what she feels
she looks to tomorrow as the moment fades away
And this weight on her shoulders shades her face like a cold afternoon
every step going closer to a darker shade of grey

But the sun will come out
and shine upon the backs
of all the weary-eyed wanderers
just trying to make it through today
And the sun will come out
and shed a little light on fate's well-worn path
as ambition paves the way

Hamdulillah...
Track Name: Power of a Smile
Walkin' down the street, the people that you meet
they all need something to help them carry on
and your countenance, it amounts to it
it'll tear down walls without saying anything at all
One thing leads to another
and this could lead to brotherhood
If we all just try
to see each other through a mother's eyes

Oh the power of a smile
to move mountains
like the heart of a child
swelling all around you
take a chance, and catch somebody's glance
make it last for a while
oh the power of a smile

Sometimes this world seems like nothing but trouble
and i just wish I could get away for a little while
but you can bring me back with something so subtle
make me feel like I can walk that final mile
And there's a loneliness in each of us
but it doesn't have to hurt so much
There's a cure so pure it's gonna make you wonder
what's all this fuss

Oh the power of a smile
to move mountains
like the heart of a child swelling all around you
take a chance, and catch somebody's glance
make it last for a while
oh the power of a smile

Those lips don't even need to be parted
when I'm down and broken hearted
that's when all I need to see, oooh
is those twinkling eyes lookin back at me

Oh the power of a smile
to move mountains
like the heart of a child swelling all around you
take a chance, and catch somebody's glance
make it last for a while
oh the power of a smile

make it last for a while, the power of a smile
make it last for a while, oh the power of a smile
Track Name: Shining Dancer
You make my life beautiful
like the moon kissin on the water
I knew as soon as I saw that shining dancer this was gonna be the start of something good
and the lights in the city like stars
tonight's gonnna be an on night you ain't never gonna believe it
the way that warm wind's blowin
and if I wake up tomorrow and I haven't accomplished all of my intentions
I know you're gonna be there to call attention to all the little things I do

You make my life beautiful
from the morning time until the day is done
and I'm so glad that we found each other and now we can spend a little time together
You make my life beautiful
even when I don't know where you are
cause I got my arms around you whether you're near or if you're far

Oh and you're sensible
I mean you got a sense 'a all that bullshit swarming around and tearing us down
more than we oughta be
oh and you're ecclesiastical
at least the way you're attracted to the kind 'a people who laugh like we do
making light of the things that we endure
and the ides make me look at my life
and wonder if I need something new
but as July turns to December you help me to remember what a lucky fool I am.

You make my life beautiful
from the morning time until the day is done
and I'm so glad that we found each other and now we can spend a little time together
You make my life beautiful
even when I don't know where you are
cause I got my arms around you whether you're near or if you're far

You make my life beautiful
like the moon kissin on the water
I knew as soon as I saw that shining dancer this was gonna be the start of something good
cause you make my life
Track Name: Waning Light
What ever happened to the days when kids used to go outside and play
Now it seems like all they do is sit around playing video games
Maybe I'm just old fashioned and this world is passin' me by
and maybe things aren't so bad, these are just different times

Oh but, how long are we going to carry on this way before we go too far
How long are we going to isolate ourselves
before we fall apart

I like homemade ice cream on a summer night
and the silhouettes of children dancing in the waning light
I keep searching for a reason or a rhyme
Maybe I was just meant for another time

What ever happened to grace and civility, the more I look the less I see
when our children can't go to school together unless you agree with me
I've got myspace and you've got yours, like if we build a fence tall enough we can end our wars
But we're blinded by the walls of this utopian myopia, divided we are bound to fall

Oh but, how long are we going to carry on this way before we go too far
How long are we going to isolate ourselves before we fall apart

I like homemade ice cream on a summer night
and the silhouettes of children dancing in the waning light
I keep searching for a reason or a rhyme
Maybe I was just meant for another time

I like homemade ice cream on a summer night
and the silhouettes of children dancing in the waning light
I keep searching for a reason or a rhyme
Maybe I was just meant for another time
Track Name: Mystic River
Luke tells a tale of Simon, and the teacher from Nazareth
invited in for dinner, though doubting whom he was with
For as they sat together, they were joined by a woman of sin
who was known to earn a living giving pleasure to village men
Oh she fell to her knees and upon the teacher's feet she wept,
with tears of sorrow to wash them clean and silky hair to dry them with
Though anguished by the years of a kind of life that she had led
Through bleary eyes she looked up at him and said,

She said ooooh mystic river
let the currents take me down, in this body I am bound
She said ooooh raging river
where the jagged rocks reach out, is where the eddies can be found

As the teacher blessed the woman's head, Simon looked on in doubt
for he had grown accustomed to casting women like her out
But Jesus turned around and to the pharisee he said
'son I think you've missed the point, what this is all about
for one who's seen the sand laid bare by a lowering of the tide
has uncovered new pieces of their heart where love can often hide
and if you too can free the peace that's tangled within your own heart
then your tower of security might fall apart'

but you'll say ooooh mystic river
let the currents take me down, in this body I am bound
you'll say ooooh raging river
where the jagged rocks reach out, is where the eddies can be found

From the mountains to the valleys the water runs below
cascading through open fields from peaks of frosted snow
and if ever I should find my way to crawl upon the shore
I will know the meaning of its peace by what has come before

And I'll say ooooh mystic river
let the currents take me down, in this body I am bound
I'll say ooooh raging river
where the jagged rocks reach out, is where the eddies can be found

and I say, let the water run down
let the water run down
let the water run down
all over me, all over me
Let the water run down...
Track Name: Colors
Oh I hear the sound of children crying
over the roar of a million standing silent
but let us heal our broken hearts
and mend them end to end
see the whole among our parts and lend a helping hand

Can you hear me?
calling on you
together we can change this world

Oh to laugh and play and dance the night away
under starry skies where we can lie
in another place
while soft voices carry on into the dawn
let the colors bleed among them from a mourning sun
who's day it would be
to take with care each fractured piece and make the world as one

Can you hear me?
calling on you
together we can change this world
Track Name: Be the Change
Put a power plant down by the drinking pool
now they're wondering why these kids ain't learnin' much in school
cell phone towers on every corner just so they can hear
more young people gettin' cancer each and every year

You see when Jesus Christ walked the earth he told his disciples
to turn the other cheek, pay no mind to your enemy
But those who followed didn't see it that way
and I still got bloodshed showing on my doorstep even to this day

Sometimes it seems like I don't have the means to beat it
but I got to rise up and try even though

It wasn't me who pitched that bottle to the side of the road
It wasn't me who took a Bible and threw it like a stone
It wasn't me who saw this world and tried to make it all my own
But it's up to me to be the change I want to see

This beautiful creation is sacred
at least that's what it should be, a place for me and for you
But we got these multi-national corporations
calling dibs on every little thing just like they was in grade school

Sometimes it seems like I don't have the means to beat it
but that's when I got to rise up and try even though

It wasn't me who pitched that bottle to the side of the road
It wasn't me who took a Bible and threw it like a stone
It wasn't me who saw this world and tried to make it all my own
But it's up to me to be the change I want to see

Cause if I don't who's it gonna be
to make this a place I want to leave to my children
There's a higher route than where we're going to
all we need is for each of us to believe

It wasn't me who pitched that bottle to the side of the road
It wasn't me who took a Bible and threw it like a stone
It wasn't me who saw this world and tried to make it all my own
But it's up to me to be the change I want to see
Track Name: Seams of My Soul
Upon a stone, it was built God's earthly home
Grounding truth to all of man's deep unknowns
though hard as a rock I find no place where I can etch my own
so I look to the inquiring minds
guiding reflection of open ended questions through art and science
but they don't give me any resolution to what I should believe
what becomes of me when flesh and blood are gone
they don't give me no definition of what is right and wrong

But if I can hold this tension, that's tearing at the seams of my soul
will my spirit grow stronger than simply doing what I find comfortable

These days, we seek solutions in the black and white
not in the shades of gray where consensus often lies
branding truth to what the many say
so even if it spilled from honest lips
the few they would not drink
finding flaws that don't exist but for distaste of otherness
and so the divide it grows twice as wide
torn by the need to pick a side
and then bludgeon the opposition into submission though it only hardens the position for which they fight

But if I can hold this tension, that's tearing at the seams of my soul
will my spirit grow stronger than simply doing what I find comfortable
and will my mind grow wiser finding truth in both sides at play
or will my thoughts spiral downward with every idea that blows a different way

Deep inside, the clock of Adam ticks away my time
wondering whether it will ever take root
the fruited tree that grows within my mind
thought the love I feel is unrefined
oh the pain of uncertainty in ground laid unclaimed
leads me to seek a love that is more well-defined
And the quest it blinds me
to tie a knot eternal entwines me
binding sated hearts from ever flying free

But if I can hold this tension that's tearing at the seams of my soul
will my spirit grow stronger than simply doing what I find comfortable
and will my mind grow wiser finding truth in both sides at play
or will my thoughts spiral downward with every idea that blows a different way
Will my heart grow larger and burst open like a flower in bloom
or will it shatter into a thousand pieces, scattered about an open tomb
Track Name: Green Eyes Grey
When the autumn leaves had fallen, something in the way she called felt like rain
with the gusts of Old Man Winter,
the season's litter turned brittle, bound to break
though I've been through this before, there's nothing I can say

We take a walk down a windy lane
stop and talk to try to ease the pain
what's yours is mine
Though I'll stand just a little bit closer now,
knowing your spirit's sinking down
all you need is time
But I'll pick you up off the floor and we'll weather this storm together

As flurries of snow pile over
and bury from toe to head
sure as the spring's sweet clover
lies underneath on a soft green bed
I will kindle the fire, sit beside you
until the flame melts away
the chill that is frozen inside you
turned your green eyes to gray

These blustery gales have blown the wind out of your sails
off to clearer skies
But if she even knew what she was leaving behind
to have your face when the sun won't shine
All the world's silver and gold couldn't write the tale that you would've told

And flurries of snow pile over
and bury from toe to head
sure as the spring's sweet clover
lies underneath on a soft green bed
I will kindle the fire, sit beside you
until the flame melts away
the chill that is frozen inside you
turned your green eyes to gray
Track Name: Wednesday's Song
Afraid of saying the wrong thing
So you say what they want to hear
Now you're stuck doing all the wrong things
and it makes it even harder to bear

Now you're hiding out with a fist clenched inside
twisting everything around so tight
waiting for it all to subside
when what you need is truth's tale told right

If you can let it all wash away
you might wake up to a brand new day

You got to get yourself out in it
the world was made to live
There' too many people walking 'round in fear
You got to give it all you have to give

Put on your prettiest face for a first date
mind made up about what to be that day
Oh but love it don't really work that way
it's gonna find out who you you are no matter what you say

If you can let it all wash away
you might wake up to a brand new day

You got to get yourself out in it
the world was made to live
There' too many people walking 'round in fear
You got to give it all you have to give

Will this song fall on welcome ears
Oh I want it to come out just right
so I bottle it up waitin' 'till I feel like I have something to share
Until what I have to share fades slowly out of sight

If I can let it all wash away
I might end up waking to a brand new day

I got to get myself out in it
the world was made to live
I'm tired of walking 'round in fear
I got to give it all I have to give