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Laura Nyro




Music World  →  Lyrics  →  L  →  Laura Nyro  →  Albums  →  Christmas and the Beads of Sweat

Laura Nyro Album


Christmas and the Beads of Sweat (1970)
1970
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Morning, come for the windows of the street, selling red watermelon, five cents a piece.
Merry boat on the river, freedom. Fresh dreams to deliver, freedom.
Over and over and over, I call out your name.

God standing on the brown earth. ‘Get up,' Mama hollers.
Shooflies in the doorway, white dove's gonna come today, white dove's gonna come today.
Oh, what a morning, I feel so good. Oh, what a morning of brotherhood.

Hold me by the light. Kittens run the neighborhood through. Ragamuffin boys.
All the world is new by the light of day.
Give with your heart and love will come to you.
Kids come in all shapes and colors to the cool morning dew.

Merry boat on the river, freedom. Fresh dreams to deliver, freedom.
Over and over and over and over and over and over.
God standing on the brown earth. Lovelight in the morning.
Shooflies in the doorway, white dove's gonna come today, white dove's gonna come today…

. . .


You took my heart, misery. You taught me blues.
Well I got a lot of patience baby, that's a lot of patience to lose. I'm crying.
I'm mad at my country, now I've been treated bad
when I was a freeport and you were the main drag.

Broken blues, I just don't know. Little bird flying by my window, take me when you go.
I looking at these times and its bound to drive me mad.
When I was a freeport and you were the main drag.

What did I do? Everybody's putting me down, I keep running but the law kept coming around.

So fare thee well, happiness, cause I've got blues
and I got a lot of patience baby, that's a lot of patience to lose.
I'm a woman and this is my due time, I've been treated bad.
When I was a freeport and you were the main drag.

. . .


Invitations to my party, send Jones an inviting card.
He got his mean streak from the gutter, got his kindness from God.

Now tugboats paint the river, carry coal to the city in white dock liners.
Happiness on the uptown side at my party in the morning tide.
Oo, la, la, la, blackpatch. Oo, la, la, la, blackpatch. Oo, la, la, la, blackpatch.
In blackpatch, in blackpatch.

Clothespins on wash ropes, window to window tie.
socks and bells and nightgowns, tassels in the morning, tassels in the morning sky.

People are you ready (ready ready)…

Womanchild on the side street, flashing in blackpatch.
Lipstick on her reefer, waiting for a match.

. . .


Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat
Been on a train
And did you hear the whistle blow?
Been on a train north
Baby did you hear the whistle blow?
I saw a man take a needleful of hard drug
And die slow.

Been on a train
And I'm never gonna be the same.

There's a bright light in the north wind
Gonna bring you home
Mister there's a bright light in the north wind
It's gonna bring you home
He said: "Sweet darling woman
Leave me alone".

Been on a train
And I'm never gonna be the same.

You got more tracks on you baby
Than the tracks of this train
You got no guts, no gospel
And you got no brains
He said: "I got just one thing
Gonna soothe my pain?"
No, no
Damn you mister
And I dragged him out the door
Damn you mister
And I dragged him out the door.

He died in the morning sun
And I ain't going north no more.

I suspect there's a train
Going north in a month or two
I still hear his words
He said: "There's nothing left to say or do"
But mister you were wrong
And I'm gonna sing my song for you.

Been on a train
And I'm never gonna be the same.

. . .


When this old world starts getting me down and people are just too much for me to face,
I climb way up to the top of the stairs and all my cares just drift right into space.
On the roof, it's peaceful as can be and there the world below can't bother me.

Let me tell you now, when I come home feeling tired and beat,
I go up where the air is fresh and sweet (up on the roof).
I get away from the hustling crowd and all that rat-race noise down in the street (up on the roof).
On the roof, the only place I know where you just have to wish to make it so.
Let's go up on the roof (up on the roof).

At night the stars put on a show for free and, darling, you can share it all with me.
I keep a-telling you, right smack dab in the middle of town,
I've found a paradise that's trouble proof (up on the roof).
And if this world starts getting you down,
there's room enough for two up on the roof (up on the roof).
Up on the roof (up on the roof), come on, baby (up on the roof), come on, honey,
up on the roof, up on the roof.

. . .


Market in the cool white mornin'
Merchants sell while women buy
Milk, tobacco, soap and matches
Sweep the floor
While the dishes dry
Spring whispered in her ear
Like soft Mediterranean wailin'

Sleepy woman by the window
Dreamin' in the morning air
Of the one who takes her sweetness
By a chinese lamp upstairs

The steam of china tea
You could hear the woman sing
In the soft flames of spring

Spring has swept the scarlet side streets
Winds caress, undress, invite
Upstairs by a china lamp
They softly talk in the cool spring night

. . .


Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat
Where is your woman?
Gone to Spanish Harlem?
Gone to buy you pastels?

Where is your woman?
Gone to Spanish Harlem?
Gone to buy you books and bells
Beneath Indian summer?

Take my hand now
There is a land now
In the treasure of love.

Jade and coral
Perfume from Siam
In the treasure of love.

To your fingertips
To the summer sunset
In the treasure of love
In the treasure of love, in the treasure of love.

Light the night
Oh, light the night
Come my way
Light the night.

Come to me baby
You got the look that I adore, that I understand
My pretty medicine man
My pretty medicine man
Got pretty medicine in his head
For you I bear down
Soft and burning
In the treasure of love
In the treasure of love
In the treasure of love, love.

Where is your woman?
Gone to Spanish Harlem?
Gone to buy you pastels?

. . .


cold jade wind
not an angel in the sky
just cold jade restless wind
somethin's comin' I know
to devastate
my soul
I pricked my fingers
on the thorns
and this rain is a rainin hard
this sky's gonna beckon mariah
to match my soul
rain in the river
rain in the river
rain on the river banks
down my neck
beads of sweat
rain on the highway
running clear cross new york
a windsong through the barren trees
wild lavender heather
by the railroad sways
listen to the wailin'
of the rain in the river
rain on the river banks
roll, roll
river rock his soul
she's callin you
rainclouds
rainclouds
roll, roll
river rock his soul
she's callin you
rainclouds
rainclouds
down his neck
down his neck
down his neck
beads of
beads of beads of
beads of sweat
five boys standing on the banks of theriver
waiting for the virgin snow
searching for a miracle
a pearl in an oyster
and we all looked up to god
although he is the color of the wind
listen to the wailing
of the rain in the river
rain on the river banks

. . .


Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat
Come young braves
Come young children
Come to the book of love with me
Respect your brothers and your sisters
Come to the book of love
I know it ain't easy
But we're gonna look for a better day
Come young braves
Come young children.

I love my country as it dies
In war and pain before my eyes
I walk the streets where disrespect has been
The sins of politics, the politics of sin
The heartlessness that darkens my soul
On Christmas.

Red and silver on the leaves
Fallen white snow runs softly through the trees
Madonnas weep for wars of hell
They blow out the candles and haunt Noel
The missing love that rings through the work
On Christmas.

Black panther brothers bound in jail
Chicago seven and the justice scale
Homeless Indian on Manhattan Isle
All God's sons have gone to trial
And all God's love is out of style
On Christmas.

Christmas in my soul
Christmas in my soul
Christmas in my soul.

. . .


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