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The Habit of Fear

by Midway Fair

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    Our 2022 album on compact disc.

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1.
Falls the last night of snow Settle careful and slow One two one Cover up and go Cover up and go Cover up and go There'll be no wind for weeks There'll be no sun today Thaw to thaw One to walk away One to walk away One to walk away Buried in aquamarine Become a little strip of green Six by two Frozen but serene Frozen but serene Frozen but serene
2.
You are hunted from birth A deer in the throng A lion without a pride What keeps you alive Is not the will to survive Or the will to be free It keeps your mind clear The habit of fear You’re a bird with no song A winter-stripped tree In the moment before the dawn What keeps you alive Is not the will to survive Or the will to be free It keeps your mind clear The habit of fear We all fall from the nest, break free from the herd Hunger and thirst in the dust But somehow we find from the last to the first What we can and what we must What keeps you alive Is not the will to survive Or the will to be free It keeps your mind clear The habit of fear The habit of fear
3.
Dyslinguany 04:38
When they pulled you from the water You'd been in it for an hour And you shivered unconscious in the summer heat And your shirt clung close to your chest Wrinkled hands and blackened feet And they took you home, south to Tennessee It was days before you wakened Indignantly shaking And asking for our mother even though Now you spoke a different language Born inside your twisted ribcage And we couldn't understand a single word Ooh Ooh The next night you came to dinner With your hair arranged in tatters And you taught us your new words for salt and beef You asked for something for me to hand to you But I couldn't understand you And your crying that night kept me from sleep When the neurologist examined you She said maybe in a year or two Though she said maybe it would be a little less So our conversations vanished Because all I spoke was English And I missed you more than you could ever guess Ooh Ooh I wanted to walk home from school in silence But you kept saying something unpleasant And I was mad because I didn't have the right to be rude And that day you gave Gail flowers Tasted bitter and sour Whenever someone comprehended you But mostly I remember Mostly I remember Mostly I remember In the first snow in December You pushed me from the top of the hill And when I fell and you said sorry And I knew that you said sorry That's the first I knew what it means to understand Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh
4.
The words you said in your pretty head Weren't the same as what you said Each night's the same retread since the day you wed And you missed your chance again And the drum that pounds is a heartbeat's sound In the still and empty space Where what little you found of the common ground Is gone and never replaced One gave you the chance to admit for once You're afraid to stay at home So you put up with one like you've always done Or risk your being alone And the drum that pounds is a heartbeat's sound In the still and empty space Where what little you found of the common ground Is gone and never replaced And you fought to save every inch you gave When they came to stake their claim to your name And you fought to save every inch you gave But every way you turn's the same Every way you turn's the same Every way you turn's the same So it isn't worth even one more word When the time has come to part For what little they saw of the grace and awe Of your still beating heart And the drum that pounds is a heartbeat's sound In the still and empty space Where what little you found of the common ground Is gone and never replaced
5.
White Noise 03:42
It started simple, threw out one thing at a time Last night's dinner, some unworn old clothes We started simple, how'd it all get out of hand? Who knows, who knows White noise The constant background whispers White noise It can all be done without We are all scattered in the end Isn't that what scares us most That everything gets lost As times got leaner, we had less and less to give But we gave it anyway, willing and uncowed Destroyed the baggage, it all seemed a waste of time Who knows, who knows White noise The constant background whispers White noise It can all be done without We are all scattered in the end Isn't that what scares us most That everything gets lost I won't let your love be wasted, please don't be a waste of mine I won't let your love be wasted, please don't be a waste of mine I won't let your love be wasted, please don't be a waste of mine I won't let your love be wasted, please don't be a waste of mine White noise The constant background whispers White noise It can all be done without We are all scattered in the end Isn't that what scares us most That everything gets White noise The constant background whispers White noise It can all be done without We are all scattered in the end Isn't that what scares us most That everything gets lost
6.
In and out of reverie What will and will never be In his mind he's thirteen He's a king and she's a queen They roll on (Ooh) Da da da da da da Down the hill to Mary Street On his handlebars his girl Sunlight in her curls And she's ringing his bell She's a hard act to follow His today and his tomorrow They're waist deep in the water She's a queen and he's a pauper They walk on (Ooh) Da da da da da da Down to wade in the the stream Her fingers laced between Sunlight on her skin And she's ringing his bell Concentrate on the moment (Concentrate on the moment) Concentrate on the moment (Concentrate on the moment) Be a child at play In and out of reverie What will and will never be In his mind he's thirteen He's a king and she's a queen They roll on (Ooh) Da da da da da da Down the hill to Mary Street On his handlebars his girl Sunlight in her curls And she's ringing his bell They walk on (Ooh) Da da da da da da Down to wade in the the stream Her fingers laced between Sunlight on her skin And she's ringing his bell She's ringing his bell She's ringing his bell She's ringing his bell She's ringing his bell
7.
Hold Tight 03:11
Keep both eyes on the road There ain't much farther to go I think I got him in the gut just before you were hit Somewhere out in the desert Hold tight, little brother, hold tight Hold tight, little brother, hold tight Keep one hand on your wound Don’t worry the blood'll stop soon I saw a sign for an exit and it’s not too far to town Keep praying we don’t break down Hold tight, little brother, hold tight Hold tight, little brother, hold tight Keep your head in the game I can’t have you give up on me I’m sorry you're involved and I went back on my word But I swear I won’t touch it anymore Hold tight, little brother, hold tight Hold tight, little brother, hold tight Hold tight, little brother, hold tight
8.
My hands are not on the wheel My hands are not on the wheel You'll be the one to steer I am not in control I am not in control When you're near When you're near Your hands are drawing the thread Your hands are drawing the thread You'll be my soul and breath I am not in control I am not in control When you're near When you're near I am not in control I am not in control When you're near When you're near In a river muddy and wild In a river muddy and wild Give in and shake like a child I am not in control I am not in control When you're near When you're near
9.
I was still young when I drove the plow Her hair was like fire when we took our vows Violets in spring, apples in the fall Tomatoes in summer, and home again all I made a bed on a pallet on the straw Raised four walls, then a son, and then one more Violets in spring, apples in the fall Tomatoes in summer, and home again all I pulled the cart straight on the row And I built a fine fire from the coal We sowed our hearts, but desire won't grow here and The wheat burned like gold in the fields The fallen fall like leaves from the trees You can talk as you please, but no one talks of peace Whisky and bread, apples in the fall Tomatoes in summer, and home again all I pulled the cart straight on the row And I built a fine fire from the coal We sowed our hearts, but desire won't grow here and The wheat burned like gold in the fields And I pulled the cart straight on the row And I built a fine fire from the coal We sowed our hearts, but desire won't grow here and The wheat burned like gold in the fields Harden the bone, harden the marrow Make this body a shield from an arrow Harden the bone, harden the marrow Make this body a shield from an arrow
10.
All my life I've been a gardener This year the lilac won't grow And the rose is devouring the arbor And the cypress trees will bow to see me go Once I thought it'd be fire Once I thought it'd be cold But it turns out we just get tired It turns out we just get old Marigold to make the sour wine My Bella Donna make me go to sleep Keep Rosemary to remember me by And baby's breath to make my Mary weep Once I thought it'd be fire Once, I thought it'd be cold But it turns out we just get tired It turns out we just get old Once I thought it'd be fire Once, I thought it'd be cold But it turns out we just get tired It turns out we just get old
11.
I was there in Rotterdam just as he pulled the trigger Cassandra fell screaming to the ground It was no place for a firefight, and in my hesitation He disappeared at a run into the crowd We'd lost Francis in Moscow but Guillermo traveled with me It was the two of us now against The Marquis He was deceptive and clever in his manners and his mind And an undisputed master of disguise But his face is etched in my mind And there's only so long you can hide No man can last forever I'll keep the promise from the night he killed my wife No man can last forever and revenge will not consume my whole life But he slipped the through the hands of the authorities in Holland We lost track of his activities 'til August When Gui deciphered the communique from Berlin And I disappeared in a haze of rage and dust But Gui called my cell that morning from the hotel Thought he'd solved the disappearing act We'd been together since the cold war and in the moment of his death I heard the sickening catch of his breath And his phone fell after a pause No one else has given this much cause No man can last forever I'll keep the promise from the night he killed my wife No man can last forever and revenge will not consume my whole life But I thought I caught a glimpse on a cloudy street in Prague Moving fast against the Vltava's shallows Swimming through the crowd, like an eel through black water But when I turned the corner he was gone But the word on the street was he took the first train Headed due west, overnight to Paris And I lost four hours to sleep that I swear I couldn't spare But I saw him from the bridge across the Seine What kind of heart beats In the black breast of the beast? He stepped from the cabs doors, lit a cigarette Ran his carefully considered nails across his cheek And he stopped and held his breath and he looked me in the eye Exhaled a silver ghost into the breeze What kind of heart beats In the black breast of the beast? And I felt the cool steel pressing close against my palms The February cold froze my sweat What kind of heart beats In the black breast of the beast? No man can last forever I'll keep the promise from the night he killed my wife No man can last forever and revenge will not consume my whole life No man can last forever I'll keep the promise from the night he killed my wife No man can last forever and revenge will not consume my whole life
12.
I am a brigand To the toil of the plow and the soil No more shall I return I am a thief, my friend Among the holm oaks and alders In a kingdom of my own I am a hunter Scars and blood run through memories I must take what I can find For my mission's rebellion, my fate I've severed From the one I left behind I polish my boots with mulberry roots Hidden high up in the pines Oh how oh why oh how What have I come to now I long for my love Like a warm breeze through olive trees But I cannot change my mind You were my only Bright as an orange in May Sweet as a cherry wine For my mission's rebellion, my fate I've severed From the one I left behind I polish my boots with mulberry roots Hidden high up in the pines Oh how oh why oh how What have I come to now For my mission's rebellion, my fate I've severed From the one I left behind I polish my boots with mulberry roots Hidden high up in the pines Oh how oh why oh how What have I come to now Oh how oh why oh how What have I come to now Oh how oh why oh how What have I come to now
13.
I'm not very good at long goodbyes So don't act so surprised If I can't say when I'm going away Or how long I can stay by your side But while I'm here You'll have all my love, my dear Whether we know it or not That's all anyone has to give We don't all walk well on narrow roads We're travelers of all different kinds Some enter crying and some enter still And some hold on long past their time But while I'm here You'll have all my love, my dear Whether we know it or not That's all anyone has to give I don't want to break the spell But all dreamers must give in and wake If I close my eyes, you won't open yours No matter how long I wait But while I'm here You'll have all my love, my dear Whether we know it or not That's all anyone has to give Whether we know it or not That's all anyone has to give

about

The Habit of Fear is our fourth full-length album. It’s an exploration of terror and respite, with lyrics often drawing on magical realism or covering vast swaths of time.

credits

released October 15, 2022

Co-produced by Jon S. Patton and Chris Freeland

Jon S. Patton: Guitar, vocals, bass, piano, drums, engineering
Joe Scala: Guitar and vocals (7, 9, 10, 11)
Rick Veader: Bass and vocals (7, 9, 10, 11)
Chris Hamilton: Drums (7, 9, 10, 11) and vocals (11, 13)
Chris Freeland: Drums and percussion (2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 12), engineering
Kristin Jones: Cello (1)
Tim Kaye: Piano (4)
Jen Parde: Meditation bowls (1)

Mixed by Chris Freeland at Beat Babies Studios
Mastered by Mat Leffler-Schulman at Mobtown Studios

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Midway Fair Baltimore, Maryland

Pretty music about ugly things.

Want more? Check out Baltimericana!

“Reminds me a lot of Fairport Convention [...] The playing and craft are exquisite.“ ~Jon Worley, Aid & Abet

For the most part, timeless [...] like a group of minstrels found electric guitars and wrote an album over the course of 500 years.

~John Powell, www.Angelica-Music.com, July 18, 2011
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