Medicine For a Ghost

by Tam Lin

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about

Tam Lin has a new album! It’s called Medicine For a Ghost, and it’s our most ambitious project to date -- a lush, sweeping record about memory, trauma, and healing, a carousel of stories, guitars, strings, rhymes, horns, and synths. We’re so happy to have you on board with us as we set sail on this amazing voyage!

credits

released November 13, 2013

Medicine For a Ghost
Tam Lin

Released 12 November 2013

Paul Weinfield: vox, guitars, synths
Ryan Mackstaller: electric guitars
Ward Williams: cello
Adam Platt: piano, organ
Benjamin Wright: bass
Keith Robinson: drums
Mario McNulty: percussion
Elizabeth Weinfield: viola da gamba (tracks 1 & 2)
Julianna Takacs: harmonium (tracks 1 & 6)
Michael Shobe: trumpet (track 9)

All songs written by Paul Weinfield (Tam Lin Music Publishing, BMI, 2013)
Recorded at Electric Ladyland Studios and Alice’s Restaurant, NYC
Produced, recorded, and mixed by Mario J. McNulty
Mastered by Dave McNair at Dave McNair Mastering
Mixed at Incognito, NYC

www.tamlinmusic.com

Album design by Syrie Moskowitz
Cover photograph by Brittany Markert

With immense gratitude to: Atash Yaghmaian, Sophie Gloeckler, Kristin Diable, Syrie Moskowitz, Dante Damien Dalli, Peter Doobinin, Tony Conniff, Eugene Moss, Renee Razzano, Ankeen McGuire, Henry, Joyce, Vera, and Saralena Weinfield, Christine Berl, Missy Hernandez, Samson Lahti-Parsell, Erin Lunders, Yvon Nives, Lynne Greene, Melissa Pierce, Kusansha Hertrich, Azin Shamma, Julie Kathryn, Taisha Barton-Rowledge, Benedikt Strebel, Siobhan Weiss, Gabriel Klavun, and so many, many others.

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about

Tam Lin New York, New York

Tam Lin is making an album! Medicine For a Ghost: a lush, sweeping record about memory, trauma, and healing that will help in the fight against sexual violence. Learn more at: www.indiegogo.com/medicineforaghost

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Track Name: Flame Within the Sun
I lost my sweet Simone when I was only twenty-three.
I saw she was changing, so I asked her to marry me.
And whether I really meant that, I still can’t really say.
But I could not keep from crying as I watched her walk away.

But she said, “Hey love, you forget so easily!
Hey love, don’t you know you are a part of me?
One day you’ll understand how two can still be one.
You are hidden in my heart like a flame within the sun.
Hidden in my heart like a flame within the sun.”

That night, I was awoken by a wedding in the street.
I saw seven grooms on horseback carrying golden sheaves of wheat.
And among them was my sweet Simone in a bridal dress of white.
I cried down from the window, but she just rode into the night.

And I said, “Hey love, you forget so easily!
Hey love, you said you’d always stay a part of me!
I may not understand how two can still be one,
but I’ve kept you in my heart like a flame within the sun.
Hidden in my heart like a flame within the sun.”

And I got so good at waiting,
waiting for the things that never come to call.
I’ve become nothing but my patience
and that there, that’s the hardest part of all.

I saw my sweet Simone in a dream the other night.
Her hands were cracked and wrinkled and her hair had all grown white.
And she nursed a little baby that she held upon a knee.
But when she raised it up into the light, I saw that it was me.

I see love! I finally understand!
I see love is not a woman or a man.
And all the years I’ve wasted waiting for someone to come,
love was hidden in my heart just like a flame within the sun.
Hidden in my heart like a flame within the sun.
Now I’m free to be the light that I had always hoped would come.
Hidden in my heart like a flame within the sun.
Hidden in my heart like a flame within the sun.

Words and music copyright of Paul Weinfield/Tam Lin Music Publishing (BMI, 2013)
Track Name: Golden Apples
While you were still sleeping, I dreamed a wonderous dream:
I walked across a meadow with Anna Nazarene.
And the wounds of desire that I thought had long been healed
were blooming deep inside me like the flowers of that field.

And she showed me golden apples hanging heavy from the trees,
on boughs all bent and broken with the weight of memories.
But I felt like a beggar to be standing in front of these
treasures I could not carry home.

I reached out for her body, but she turned away in shame.
She said, “I am not here. I am nothing but your pain.
And the wounds of desire that you want so much to feel
are all that stand between you and a love that’s really real.

And she showed me golden apples hanging heavy from the trees,
on boughs all bent and broken with the weight of memories.
But I felt like a beggar to be reaching out for these
treasures I could not carry home.

When are you going to quit your dreaming?
When are you going let your mind be clear?
When the morning sun comes screaming,
it will say, “When are you going to turn?
When are you going to turn?
When are you going to turn,
turn to what is here?”

Well I’ve fought so hard for love, but I think I see at last
that what I thought was love was just a war waged on the past.
So if I wake up crying, honey, hold me in your peace.
Cut me from my garden. Help me find release.

Oh I know the golden apples are still hanging from the trees,
on boughs all bent and broken with the weight of memories.
And I know I’m still a beggar, but I will not stoop for these
treasures I cannot carry home to you.

Words and music copyright of Paul Weinfield/Tam Lin Music Publishing (BMI, 2013)
Track Name: Medicine For a Ghost
There’s a shadow that comes to kill me.
In my dreams, he’s dressed in a coat.
And I grab him by the throat till he stops moving.
But then I always want to help him,
to bring the light back to his eyes,
to tell him I didn’t realize what I was doing.

People say, “You deserve to be well.”
They say, “Paul, you deserve that most,
but you give all your medicine to a ghost
so who can help you?
Who can help you?”

And when I wake up, the women are crying,
as they were when I was young.
I kiss them one by one. I say, “Good morning.”
I wish I could make them better.
Then maybe this time they wouldn’t go.
That’s a sad thought, I know, but it’s the one that keeps returning.

People say, “You deserve to be well.”
They say, “Paul, you deserve that most,
but you give all your medicine to a ghost.
You give all your medicine to a ghost,
so who can help you?
Who can help you?”

And I can’t tell what I feel sometimes.
I can’t tell kindness from disease
or my love from wanting to please.
I can’t tell myself a single honest word.

Well I know I deserve to be well.
Well I know I deserve that most,
but I give all my medicine to a ghost.
I give all my medicine to a ghost.
All my medicine to a ghost
so who can help me?
All my medicine for a ghost.
All my medicine for a ghost
so who can help me?
Who can help me?

Words and music copyright of Paul Weinfield/Tam Lin Music Publishing (BMI, 2013)
Track Name: The Leopard
I went to the doctor. She asked how I was.
I said, I’m feeling just fine.”
She said, “Boy, you’ve got to stop holding things in.
You’ll do damage that way in time.”
She had a picture of a leopard hanging on her wall.
It was running through the jungle so free.
I said, “All right, I’ll take whatever it is you’ve got.
Give it to me straight. I’ll give it a shot.”
She said, “All right, repeat after me …”

“Darkness, please stay.
Don’t run away.
I see you hiding year after year.
Darkness, please stay.
Don’t run away.
Don’t go till I know why you’re here.”

When I was a boy, I had a stuffed leopard.
It soaked up my tears and my drool.
Its eyes fell out, then the lining tore.
Then one day I found it gone after school.
I was thinking about my doctor as I got back home.
It was getting dark, and I turned on a light.
Then I remembered this time when that man hit my mother:
I heard the crack of a cup and the scream of my brother
and I ran through the darkness and hid in the covers
and the leopard was waiting to carry me off through the night …

… It spoke. It said:
“Do you see the jungle you’ve been carrying inside you, my son?
Do you see the jungle, full of creatures so desperate and dumb?
And none of them knows what it is that they need.
And none of them knows why it is that they feed.
They just feed.
On and on, they just feed.
When the jungle gets hungry it eats itself.
When the jungle gets tired it wets itself.
When the jungle gets angry it cuts itself.
When the jungle gets lonely it fucks itself.
And you are not outside of that circle of pain!
No, you are not outside of that circle of pain.
You are not outside of that circle of pain.
It goes on, it goes on in the back of your brain.
You get it now?
You get it now?
You get it now?”

I went to the doctor. She asked how I was.
I said, “I don’t really know what to say.
I’m a boy and a leopard, locked in a man.
I think I’m killing myself day by day.”
She smiled and she said, “You’ll be all right.
Don’t try to keep it all straight in your head.”
Then she gave me the picture hanging on her wall.
She said, “Your pain is nothing but the lies you tell.
So don’t lie … and remember what I said …”

“Darkness, please stay.
Don’t run away.
I see you hiding year after year.
Darkness, please stay.
Don’t run away.
Don’t go till I know why you’re here.
Don’t go till I know why you’re here.
Don’t go till I know why you’re here.”

Words and music copyright of Paul Weinfield/Tam Lin Music Publishing (BMI, 2013)
Track Name: Pisces
You make me dream, little Pisces,
dream what’s out of reach.
I see myself when I was younger
with my mother at the beach
and I feel the waves.
I feel the waves come to carry me.
And I forget to say I love her:
I just swim past my mother to the sea.

I can’t read you, Pisces.
You wear a watery mask.
Do you feel what I am feeling?
Would you know how to ask?
But you feel the waves.
You feel the waves, as you wrap your legs around me.
You never say you love me.
You just swim through my body to the sea.

And the moon in your eyes
has such a lonely, lonely pull.
You make me feel so empty.
You make me feel so full.

Are you leaving, Pisces?
Going somewhere far?
I used to think love was impossible,
but then I look and here we are:
feeling the waves
as they were and always will be.
And I know love is everywhere
as we swim through each other to the sea.

Words and music copyright of Paul Weinfield/Tam Lin Music Publishing (BMI, 2013)
Track Name: Flowers of Hell
In the middle of life’s journey,
you found yourself on a mountaintop.
The world was clean and empty
as you stared into the drop.
Discovering that danger
has a way of turning darkness to light,
did you reach for the flowers of hell
that bloom so beautifully bright?

Oh they loved you at the college
and your poems made all the women cry.
But you ran out of words,
and you ran away to figure out why.
Walking into your own weakness,
climbing volcanoes at night,
did you reach for the flowers of hell
that bloom so beautifully bright?

And in your dreams you see a woman
beheaded by a faceless man.
And though you try your best to stop them,
you find that you never can.
And when you wake you realize
you are both that woman and that man.
And there is no one who can help you
on this mountain off the coast of Japan.

In the middle of life’s journey,
you see that you have never had a home.
Searching for a place to end up,
all you ended up with was another poem.
Did you struggle as you slipped
or did you fall without a fight,
reaching out for the flowers of hell
that bloom so beautifully
that bloom so beautifully
that bloom so beautifully bright?

Words and music copyright of Paul Weinfield/Tam Lin Music Publishing (BMI, 2013)
Track Name: Jonah
When the storm tore down the city,
I had some friends I tried to call.
But all my kindness just left me hurting.
I felt like a burden on them all.

Something big has swallowed me.
It chokes me like a weed wrapped round my throat.
Last night I saw cars float through the rain,
and an angel inside me awoke.
I listened to him, and he spoke:

“Jonah, Jonah,
No one deserves your mercy like you.
No one deserves your mercy like you do.
So comfort yourself through the storm.
Don’t torment yourself any more.”

When the Lord told me to rise
and face the ones who’d done me wrong
I felt so scared of losing you forever.
I’ve never been much good at moving on.

I’ve been hiding from you in the city.
I’ve been living the my heartache will not show.
But the Lord, he sent his hurricane
and it’s plain there is no place I can go.
And his angel keeps whispering low:

“Jonah, Jonah,
No one deserves your mercy like you.
No one deserves your mercy like you do.
So comfort yourself through the storm.
Don’t torment yourself anymore.”

I’m not asking you to make me better.
Just let me hate you.
One day I’ll love you for real.
Don’t you know that all I wanted was you?
You who could reach me.
You who could teach me what I feel.
You know what I feel.

“Jonah, Jonah,
No one deserves your mercy like you.
No one deserves your mercy like you do.
So comfort yourself through the storm.
Don’t torment yourself anymore.”

Words and music copyright of Paul Weinfield/Tam Lin Music Publishing (BMI, 2013)
Track Name: The Other Life
My name is Augustino.
I think you know me well.
We met in 1419
just outside the gates of hell.
There was snow in the Devil’s courtyard
and I covered you with a cloak.
It was only for a moment,
but I still hear the words that I spoke:

I said, “Remember to remember
the small but steady flame
that always is the same
whether you win or lose.
There is a life inside of this life
like a candle inside a storm
and if you remember to remember it,
that other life will always keep you warm.”

My name is Quetzalcoatl.
I’m the god who came from the East.
You worshipped me in the jungle
when you were the daughter of a priest.
But your jealous father cursed me
and I fell through the freezing sky.
It was only for a moment,
but you held me as I died.

And you said, “Remember to remember
the small but steady flame
that always is the same
whether you win or lose.
There is a life inside of this life
like a candle inside a storm
and if you remember to remember it,
that other life will always keep you warm.”

Past the sound of our hearts breaking,
past the hurt we could not forgive,
past the torment and the aching,
there’s another life that’s waiting for us to live.

My name is No-One-Really
and I’m not sure why I’m here.
I have pictured us for so long,
but that picture fades more each year.
But there’s a bend up in the river
where we’ll meet again somehow.
Maybe only for a moment,
but we’ll repeat our wedding vow:

We will remember to remember
the small but steady flame
that always is the same
whether we win or lose.
There is a life inside of this life
like a candle inside a storm
and if you remember to remember it
the other life will always keep you warm.

Words and music copyright of Paul Weinfield/Tam Lin Music Publishing (BMI, 2013)
Track Name: Phoenicia
Sometimes I think I’ll leave Phoenicia
when the maple boughs are buried in the frost,
but I wait the winter through like a signpost for you
if you ever realize you are lost.

I’ve been thinking of our first summer in Phoenicia
when the sunlight fell like coins into our hands.
Our means then were poor, but inside I felt so sure
that our love was as strong as our plans.

They say dreamers are like trees:
they can’t do nothing at all …

I saw the future coming for us in Phoenicia.
I saw a vineyard and a house for you and me.
But your older brothers frowned on the love we had found,
and they came to take you down to Albany.

They say dreamers are like trees:
they can’t do nothing at all.
But with my feet in the earth and my head in the sun,
you can come lean on me, honey,
when your city days are done.
Don’t you know I’ll be here standing tall?

Now the pockets of my overcoat are empty
and I spend the passing hours gathering wool.
There’s no food upon my shelf, but I trust myself.
My faith has always kept me full.

So I light a candle for you in Phoenicia,
just in case you should ever feel alone.
In the darkness of your night, you can follow its light
to the place where you’ll always have a home.

They say dreamers are like trees:
they can’t do nothing at all.
But with my feet in the earth and my head in the sun,
you can come lean on me, honey,
when your city days are done.
Don’t you know I’ll be here standing tall?

Words and music copyright of Paul Weinfield/Tam Lin Music Publishing (BMI, 2013)
Track Name: Ship of Light
In the Carolina darkness,
I feel a sudden peace.
The wind sings in the trees
and I think of you, the friend I knew, sleeping far away.
You kicked me when I was down,
but that don’t matter any more
because I’ve reached the open shore
and from my room I see the moon dancing ‘cross the bay.

It’s a ship of light,
coming to carry me away …

The dark cicadas sing
beneath a mackerel sky.
They echo my goodbye
to everything I could not bring or carry on my way:
The praise I never got
for the music that I played,
the money I never made –
I’m setting all that free
into the silver sea.
I’m letting my forgetting hold me in its tender sway …

Because my ship of light
is coming to carry me away …
My ship of light
is coming to carry me away …

When you saw me on the corner, I was playing for change.
I knew pretty soon I’d leave the city.
And you said, “It’s sad to see the hard time you’ve been through.”
I said, “I don’t know exactly what that means to you.
I just know the beauty I love is the beauty that I do –
so you don’t have to look at me with pity.”

Now my lonely lantern flickers
in the roaring of the gale.
This song to you is frail
yes, but it is true, and that will do until some other day.
Don’t you know that all I wanted
was to be loved as I am?
No, I do not give a damn
about who you hoped I’d be
because I know you’re just like me,
struggling to be free
to love your destiny.
So I hope that you will see
that though I’m gone tomorrow’s dawn will find our love okay …

Because that ship of light
is coming to carry us away.
That ship of light
is coming to carry us away.

Words and music copyright of Paul Weinfield/Tam Lin Music Publishing (BMI, 2013)