…when she dances it goes and goes

Eve is a twofold mystery.” ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 “If there hadn’t been women we’d still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girlfriends.  And they tolerated it and let us go ahead and play with our toys.” ~ Orson Welles

After yesterday’s pean to timid/impudent young men I thought it best to select something that relates to the youthful years of humanity’s better half, because in the words of Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Maiden herself,“The cocks may crow, but it’s the hen that lays the egg.”

According to singer/songwriter, Vanessa Carlton, today’s selection is about “the journey of one girl and her perception of her environment and how she starts out as a wide-eyed person, but everyone gets hardened by life, but not necessarily to the point where you can’t feel anymore.”

Born in 1980 in Milford, Pennsylvania and an alumna of the School of American Ballet, Carlton began performing in Manhattan clubs and bars while a student at Columbia University.  Her break came when she met a record producer at a singer-songwriter circle meeting, who invited her to make a demo. The demo led to a recording contract and her 2002 debut album, “Be Not Nobody” (featuring “A Thousand Miles” which reached Number Five on the Billboard Charts) was certified platinum (a million record sales) in less than a year.

Co-written with singer/songwriter, Stephan Jenkins (who also produced it), “White Houses” was included on Carlton’s second album, “Harmonium” in 2004. Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac played acoustic guitar on the track after Jenkins happened to meet him outside the studio and invited him to join the session.  “He just came in, played this great riff, recorded it and then he left.  It all happened very fast and turned out amazing,” said a bemused Jenkins.

Although not a commercial success upon its release, “White Houses” has grown to become a “cult classic” among teenagers (I can attest to that).  Better still, it provided the inspiration for “Building White Houses,” a 2004/5 drive to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity.


White Houses

Crashed on the floor when I moved in

This little bungalow with some strange new friends

Stay up too late, and I’m too thin

We promise each other it’s ’til the end

Now we’re spinning empty bottles

It’s the five of us

With pretty eyed boys girls die to trust

I can’t resist the day

No, I can’t resist the day

 Jenny screams out and it’s no pose

‘Cause when she dances she goes and goes

Beer through the nose on an inside joke

And I’m so excited, I haven’t spoken

And she’s so pretty, and she’s so sure

Maybe I’m more clever than a girl like her

Summer is all in bloom

Summer is ending soon

 It’s all right and it’s nice not to be so alone

But I hold on to your secrets in white houses

Maybe I’m a little bit over my head

I come undone at the things he said

And he’s so funny in his bright red shirt

We were all in love and we all got hurt

I sneak into his car’s cracked leather seat

The smell of gasoline in the summer heat

Boy, we’re going way too fast

It’s all too sweet to last

It’s all right

And I put myself in his hands

But I hold on to your secrets in white houses

Love, or something ignites in my veins

And I pray it never fades in white houses

My first time, hard to explain

Rush of blood, oh, and a little bit of pain

On a cloudy day, it’s more common than you think

He’s my first mistake

Maybe you were all faster than me

We gave each other up so easily

These silly little wounds will never mend

I feel so far from where I’ve been

So I go, and I will not be back here again

I’m gone as the day is fading on white houses

I lied, wrote my injuries all in the dust

In my heart is the five of us

In white houses

 And you, maybe you’ll remember me

What I gave is yours to keep

In white houses


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