Stay a Long Time

by Jacob Miller

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Songs from the summer, 2015

All songs written and performed by Jacob Miller
My landlord Pat lent me the baritone ukulele used on "Die"
Beautiful cover art by Destini Powell


released October 24, 2015



all rights reserved


Jacob Miller Grinnell, Iowa

slow music for slow feelings


page artwork by destini powell

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Track Name: Keeper
Come home soon, you are missed here,
come home soon I can't think clear when you're gone and laughing wild
and knowing I'm slipping down

The hives are buzzing in the summer heat,
the lavender bush is full of bees, though you turn from them
like you turn from every loyal thing

I pull the bucket from the drying well,
the water's black and hot as hell, still I pour it over my head
and hope it washes out the poison from my eyes

Moon comes up over the windowsill,
river's empty and the clouds are full
you told me burn the hives of honey bees,
for the faithful they are never free,
and I'm outside with a gas can and I'm outside of myself
Track Name: Fair Winds
us two, we stole this leaking boat from the shipyards of our fathers
in the dark we fled towards the open sea, burning all who tried to stop us
we called things by their own true name, and left our language to rust

The clouds are full of wander and stars, your eyes are glazed with slumber
It's a lonesome night beneath the silver sky, won't you lay beside me again?
there's a distant country where we are bound, where they speak with the tongues of lovers
where words have lost the weight of time, and can't kill or claim for owning

the breakers high and white, the moon behind a cloud,
we sail the cold, dark ocean
we may lose and meet our end, but you're my captain and my friend,
where the fair winds blow is our homeland

somedays your hands over mine are like a heron landing on water
and when I taste your mouth in mine I know I've found dry land
though today the waves are high and white and toss our ship towards shallows
tomorrow the winds, they will return and gather in my hands
Track Name: Sister/Lost
When I left that winter city,
I had to leave some things behind:
Dad's old medals from the war,
the crueler thoughts of a foolish mind
that grew sharp as swords in my darker dreams,
taught me how to kill the time.
but the lies I built could never last,
for the future can't outrun the past

then I got lost
for a while

there was once a boy I loved
and I became in love a child
I said, dear, my heart is true
he said, what you call truth is cruel
so I went home across the waves
and the past became an open vein
and a child cannot understand
why all he's kissed has turned to sand

I had a sister when I was young
she breathed too deep the fire's tongue
I never said I love you dear
as all the stars in the Great Bear's arm
and her poor little ghost sings poor little songs
I gather like coals to light the dawn

In dreams I take her hands in my mine
and carry her down to the waterline
but the rivers are dry and seas have turned
to ice as cold as the truths we learn
Track Name: Die
Well, take all you want to, I will not be home again,
and the gold has done me nothing but harm, my friend.

Change if you want to, I still have memories,
still, when you're cussing me out won't you do it gently?

I'll be gone for a long time, straighten things out then I'll stay,
won't you try and get better, won't you try and get help with the pain?

Well, die if you want to, be a damn coward to the end.
When you rise from the grave, dripping with earth, I will say,
"Well, you've been sleeping on train tracks and staring straight into the sun,
but I can't forgive this, the stupidest thing you've done."
Track Name: Long Ago
I who am not weary, I who can't believe,
I who followed rivers but never once found the sea;

I who have no memories, I who am without time,
I who never found a mountain with a top that I could climb;

well, I, I, I gave it all,
for a long awaited change in the wind,
for the bright, pearly clouds,
but most of all, for that sweet, sweet rain
coming down.

I who called you darling 'cause I forgot your name,
though our bodies get much older, the feeling has never changed;

I who longed for gardens and fairest season of all,
the sweetest flowers live in memories I cannot recall;

Now and then I walk the darkness of the hallways where I have lived;
there are no names or faces left in this empty, passing gift.
For the rivers led me nowhere and the mountain refused my call,
but the precious earth is soft and wet in the fairest season of all.
Track Name: Sugar Maple
You'll be combing your hair in the sugar maple branches
'til the sugar maple branches fall
and a cool calm wind comes a rolling in
'til I've forgotten all

but I don't think about any old thing
I don't think about fall
so if you don't mind I'll go back inside
and lay my head down 'til you call

You look pretty and fine in the sugar maple branches,
so far away from the world,
until you drop down without a sound
kickin' my shins 'til it hurts

but I don't care if I'm black and blue,
I don't care if I break;
I want to feel the breeze in the tall silver trees
that quiver with sunlight and grace

Well, I'll be waiting my turn for those sugar maple branches
'cause I've got nothing to prove;
no reason to lie, no desire to hide,
no, I just want to be like you.