Karen Kamenetsky & Friends

Karen Kamenetsky & Friends

 Mount Olive Township, New Jersey, USA
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Karen Kamenetsky Friends - musical food for the heart, the brain,and the soul.

Biography


Karen Kamenetsky has been singing other peoples songs for decades, but only recently began writing her own. In 2009 she fulfilled a long-time desire to create a tribute to her sisters life with a song.
That song opened the floodgates and Karen has been writing haunting melodies and lyrics of action and inspiration ever since. Her songs are the evocative musings of a woman who has reached a certain age; insightful riffs on life and loss, love and politics from the perspective of someone whos on the far side of fifty and not afraid to say so.
The tracks on her first CD, Every Day Matters, range from folksy political commentary to heartfelt love songs, from an amusing take on growing older, to a tribute to the venerable Jersey tomato.
With a warm, clear voice and a unique finger-picking style, Karen takes you from laughter to tears and back again. Her friends, Phil Riff Landis on guitar, Renee Paddock on violin, and Clark Paddock on bass, add layers of rhythm and harmony that keep Karens songs running through your mind long after the music stops.
This lady has found her voice and people have begun to take notice. Karen was nominated for a 2013 Jersey Acoustic Music Award award in the Top Folk/Americana Act category.
In 2012, Karen recorded Sing With Me, a Cd of songs for children and families that includes, some "green" songs, some sing-alongs, some songs inspired by Torah and Talmud texts, even a lullaby.Karen and friends are in the studio again in 2013/14, recording a Hanukkah EP for release in 2014 and beginning work on Karen's newest CD; working title, "This Place I Love".

Lyrics

Grandpa's Tree

Written By: Karen J. Kamenetsky

Grandpa’s Tree
Music & Lyrics by Karen J. Kamenetsky (2012)

I came home from school one day and I saw my grandpa in the yard.
He had his shovel in his hand and he was working hard.
Dirt was flying, he was smiling; he said, “I have one thing to say,
If you want your grandchildren to sit in the shade, you’ve got to plant that tree today.”

And I said “Grandpa, you’ll be long gone before that tree is grown.”
I said, “Grandpa, I’ll be sittin’ in the shade alone.”
I said, “Grandpa seems like a crazy thing to do.”
He said, “My grandpa planted a tree for me and I’m planting this one for you.”
He said, “My grandpa planted a tree for me and I’m planting this one for you.”

He took that seedling from its burlap sack, placed it gently in the ground.
He said, “Son, you know I won’t always be around.”
The sun was shining, he was smiling, he said, “I think that you will find,
There are some things that we do, not for ourselves, but for the ones that we leave behind.”

And I said “Grandpa, you’ll be long gone before that tree is grown.”
I said, “Grandpa, I’ll be sittin’ in the shade alone.”
I said, “Grandpa seems like a crazy thing to do.”
He said, “My grandpa planted a tree for me and I’m planting this one for you.”
He said, “My grandpa planted a tree for me and I’m planting this one for you.”

Now Grandpa’s seedling has grown into a tall and sturdy tree.
I sit beneath it with my granddaughter on my knee.
When the sun is shining, I see him smiling; I tell her just what he would say,
“If you want your grandchildren to sit in the shade, you’ve got to plant that tree today.”

And she says “Grandpa, you’ll be long gone before that tree is grown.”
She says, “Grandpa, I’ll be sittin’ in the shade alone.”
She says, “Grandpa seems like a crazy thing to do.”
I say, “My grandfather planted a tree for me and I’m planting this one for you.”
I say, “My grandfather planted a tree for me and I’m planting this one for you.”

Older Than I Thought I Was

Written By: Karen J,Kamenetsky, Kamenetsky

Older Than I Thought I Was
Music & Lyrics by Karen J. Kamenetsky (2010)

I woke up this morning and I’m older than I thought I was, I’m older than I ever thought I’d be.
I looked in the mirror, I said, “Is this even possible, I’m looking back at half a century.”
And I’ve got bags and I’ve got sags, and I’ve got wrinkles where they didn’t used to be,

And I’m not the woman I was when I was seventeen.
And I know some things today that I wish I had known back then, like:
Nobody has perfect hair,
You’re more than the clothes you wear,
And they airbrush all those photos in the magazines.

I woke up this morning and I’m older than I thought I was, I’m older than I ever thought I’d be.
I looked in the mirror, I said, “Is this even possible, I’m looking back at half a century.”
And I’ve got bags and I’ve got sags, and I’ve got wrinkles where they didn’t used to be,

And I’m not the woman I was when I was twenty-four
And I know some things today that I wish I had known back then, like:
Men are from another planet its true,
They don’t want to talk about their feelings with you,
And we can’t live without them, but they can’t live without us more.

I woke up this morning and I’m older than I thought I was, I’m older than I ever thought I’d be.
I looked in the mirror, I said, “Is this even possible, I’m looking back at half a century.”
And I’ve got bags and I’ve got sags, and I’ve got wrinkles where they didn’t used to be,

And I’m not the woman I was when I was thirty-nine.
And I know some things today that I wish I had known back then, like:
It’s not over when you find that first grey hair,
You can refuse to act your age if you dare,
‘Cause you’re as old as you feel, not in your bones, but in your heart and your mind.

I woke up this morning and I’m older than I thought I was, I’m older than I ever thought I’d be.
I looked in the mirror, I said, “Is this even possible, I’m looking back at half a century.”
And I’ve got bags and I’ve got sags, and I’ve got wrinkles where they didn’t used to be,

And I’m not the woman I was when I was forty-five.
And I know some things today that I wish I had known back then, like:
Life doesn’t always go the way you planned.
Time slips through your fingers like sand,
And you should do one thing that you love every day you’re alive.
And I’m gonna do one thing that I love every day I’m alive.
I’m gonna do one thing that I love every day I’m alive.
Yes, I’m gonna do one thing that I love, every day I’m alive.

My Tomato

Written By: Karen J. Kamenetsky

My Tomato
Music & Lyrics by Karen J. Kamenestky (2011)

My tomato doesn’t have a first name, so I decided to call him Tom.
I saw him sitting in the grocery store, I said “Tom, Where are you from?”
He said, “Its January, did you think I grew outside in New Jersey?”
“I was doing just fine in California, ‘till they ripped me from the vine too early.”
I said: “Tom, I think we have a problem. ‘cause…”

I want my tomatoes to come from New Jersey.
I want them to ripen on the vine.
I want to get them at the farm stand, the day they bring the harvest in,
I don’t want to eat any other kind.
And Tom Said,

“I spent the last five days in the back of a truck, with a flat of strawberries and a case of Romaine,
All so you could pretend that the seasons don’t exist, which by the way, I think is insane.”
He said, “It’s January, why don’t you eat a rutabaga or a red potato?
I was bred to store and ship, so I’m mealy, pale and tasteless, I’m no Ramapo!”
I said, “Tom, I have to agree because…”

I want my tomatoes to come from New Jersey.
I want them to ripen on the vine.
I want to get them at the farm stand, the day they bring the harvest in,
I don’t want to eat any other kind.
And Tom Said,

“You knew this day was coming and you could have been prepared, it’s not that hard to do.
There are many ways to preserve a tomato, canning, freezing and drying just to name a few.
And then in January, you can pull a jar down off the shelf and break the seal,
Take some roasted Romas out of the freezer, have sun dried tomatoes at every meal.”
I said, “Tom, I have to agree because…”

I want my tomatoes to come from New Jersey.
I want them to ripen on the vine.
I want to get them at the farm stand, the day they bring the harvest in,
I don’t want to eat any other kind.
Any other kind,
Any other kind.

Back In The Game

Written By: Karen J. Kamenetsky

Back in the Game
Music & Lyrics by Karen J Kamenetsky (2010)

Some days, you want, entirely too much from me.
Every way I turn you're standing between where I am and where I want to be.
I try my best to ignore you and pretend that you just aren't there.
I don't want to sink into bouts of self-pity that leave me standing in the corner
Crying this just isn’t fair.

Starting today, I am gonna stand up to you.
I’m off the bench; I am back in the game.
I'm gonna do everything I set out to do,
And if I don't, well, I won’t let you take the blame.

I used to believe you held all of the cards, nothing was mine to control.
Now I can see the way I've been used and I want back everything that you stole
Every hour that I spent believing, the dreams I had built were all gone,
Every minute I thought you had gotten the best of me, and left me sitting in the corner,
Trying to find the strength to go on.

Starting today, I am gonna stand up to you.
I’m off the bench; I am back in the game.
I'm gonna do everything I set out to do,
And if I don't, well, I won’t let you take the blame.

These days, I know, you can make it hard for me but I can push through
It’s all up to me, I can give up or I can live the way I want to in spite of you.
Not every day will be easy; no one promised me a life without pain,
But this time around, I am calling the shots, and I say, throw everything you’ve got at me,
I’m gonna celebrate instead of complain.

Starting today, I am gonna stand up to you.
I’m off the bench; I am back in the game.
I'm gonna do everything I set out to do,
And if I don't, well, I won’t let you take the blame.

Wrong Thing

Written By: Karen J. Kamenetsky

Wrong Thing
Words & Music by Karen J. Kamenetsky (2011)

I would never intentionally do anything to hurt you,
Last thing I'd ever want to do would be to cause you pain.
Lately I'm an expert at opening my mouth before my brain's engaged,
I say I'll stop but then I do it again.

And every day I promise to do better,
Every night I pray for forgiveness for the foolish things I've said.
I get what love thy neighbor is all about,
But sometimes when I open my mouth,
The wrong thing comes out.

I get up every morning and I remind myself to be kind.
My mother taught me to say nothing if I can't be nice.
Lately it just seems like I say one thing and you hear something else entirely.
Maybe I should repeat everything twice.

And every day I promise to do better,
Every night I pray for forgiveness for the foolish things I've said.
I get what love thy neighbor is all about,
But sometimes when I open my mouth,
The wrong thing comes out.

If I've done something without thinking to insult you,
Been insensitive or downright cruel,
Let me take this moment to reassure you that I am not that person,
I fully understand the Golden Rule.

And every day I promise to do better,
Every night I pray for forgiveness for the foolish things I've said.
I get what love thy neighbor is all about,
But sometimes when I open my mouth,
The wrong thing comes out.
The wrong thing comes out.
The wrong thing comes out.

First Glance

Written By: Karen J. Kamenetsky

First Glance
Music & Lyrics by Karen J. Kamenetsky (2010)

Every time I see your face, I know, this is where I’m meant to be.
I knew it all those years ago, first glance; you’re the only one for me.

I wasn’t looking around every corner for my one and only, the love of my life.
I wasn’t expecting to be swept off my feet, and go tumbling, head over heels,
You were my fairy tale prince, tall, dark, mysterious.
I looked into your eyes and I thought I saw a future for us.

Every time I see your face, I know, this is where I’m meant to be.
I knew it all those years ago, first glance; you’re the only one for me.

You stood beside me when grief overtook me and sorrow so painful seemed too hard to bear.
And you shared my joy when children arrived and came tumbling into our lives.
You are my fairy tale prince, tall dark, mysterious.
You are the rock I cling to, and you made a future for us.

Every time I see your face, I know, this is where I’m meant to be.
I knew it all those years ago, first glance; you’re the only one for me.

I’m not the person I was when I found you; time and life’s burdens have taken their toll.
I need you to lean on as we walk life’s path, so I don’t go tumbling, head over heels.
You’re still my fairy tale prince, tall dark, mysterious.
I want to grow old with you; I think I see a future for us.

Every time I see your face, I know, this is where I’m meant to be.
I knew it all those years ago, first glance; you’re the only one for me.
Every time I see your face,
Every time I see your face I know.

My Father's Garden

Written By: Karen J. Kamenetsky

My Father’s Garden
Music & Lyrics by Karen J. Kamenetsky (June 2010)

My father plants his garden in the spring and he watches it grow.
He tucks those tiny seeds into little pots of soil all in a row.
Just the right amount of water, just the right amount of sun, a little pinching here and there,
He coaxes green things from the earth and soon there's bounty everywhere.

And from him I learned two of the truest things I know;
Living things need loving care and you reap what you sow.

My father tends his garden through the summer when the days are long.
He knows which plants to leave alone and which ones need support to grow straight and strong.
A wire cage for each tomato, stake tied to each fragile stem, a trellis for each trailing vine;
He trims and shapes the roses and keeps the creeping phlox in line.

And from him I learned two of the truest things I know;
Living things need loving care and you reap what you sow.

My father puts his garden to bed for the winter when the leaves are turning red and gold.
He wraps the fig tree in its blanket to protect it from the winter’s cold
He digs up tuberous begonias, brings in every green tomato, leaves crab apples for the deer
And before the first snow falls, he’s planning for next year

And from him I learned two of the truest things I know;
Living things need loving care and you reap what you sow.

Civil Conversation

Written By: Karen Kamenetsky

Civil Conversation
Music & Lyrics by Karen J. Kamenetsky (2010)

Just like Tom Paxton, I’ve been around this land,
And what I see, frankly, terrifies me, I just don’t understand,
How we went from disagreement, to violence and rage,
We let talk show hosts convince us, we can never be on the same page.
People calling themselves patriots are talking about revolution.
Well, this is my country too and I say we find a better solution.

So take a step towards the middle from the left or the right
Let’s have a civil conversation,
About what you and I can do, whether we’re red or we’re blue,
To make a difference in this great nation.

We’ve got children going hungry, bridges that are falling down,
People without jobs; people losing their homes, in every city and every town.
Now, instead of blaming those who do not vote the way you do,
Why don’t you stop, take a look around; see if you can re-build a bridge or two
One nation indivisible, torn apart we’re not as strong.
How can we ever defeat our enemies if we can’t even get along?

So take a step towards the middle from the left or the right
Let’s have a civil conversation,
About what you and I can do, whether we’re red or we’re blue,
To make a difference in this great nation.

You don't have to agree with the government, you don't have to agree with me
You have the right to your own opinion, that's why we call it a democracy.
Sometimes it’s hard to find the common ground when all we see is red and blue,
But I suspect I want some of the same things that you do.
I want a safe place to raise my children, a chance to do some good in this world,
And feeling of pride in my heart each time I see our flag unfurled.

So take a step towards the middle from the left or the right
Let’s have a civil conversation,
About what you and I can do, whether we’re red or we’re blue,
To make a difference in this great nation.

For hundreds of years this democracy has been the envy of everyone.
No, it’s not perfect yet but it’s the greatest experiment ever begun.
Fight for what you believe in with your vote and with your voice,
Don’t let anyone convince you that hate is the only choice.
Let's work ‘till all of us feel pride every time that flag's unfurled.
Like Gandhi said, we have to be the change we want to happen in this world.

So take a step towards the middle from the left or the right
Let’s have a civil conversation,
About what you and I can do, whether we’re red or we’re blue,
To make a difference in this great nation.

401k

Written By: Karen J. Kamenetsky

401K
Words & Music by Karen J. Kamenetsky (2011)

I can't keep worrying all the time.
Lately the market seems to turn on a dime.
One day it looks like I'm a millionaire.
Next day the profit’s disappeared into thin air.

My 401K tanked again.
I can't retire 'till I'm a hundred and ten.
My portfolio looks worse every day.
I'm gonna party anyway.

I can't keep listening to this doom and gloom.
When the news comes on I just walk out of the room.
Don't want to hear about the latest decline.
“Ignorance is bliss” suits me just fine.

My 401K tanked again.
I can't retire 'till I'm a hundred and ten.
My portfolio looks worse every day.
I'm gonna party anyway.

Now some people say I'm crazy,

And they just might be right,

But if we're all headed for financial ruin,

I say we have a good time tonight.

I can't keep watching all my stocks go down.
Wall Street is not the only game in town.
If this thing turns around before I get old.
I'm gonna take my money and buy gold.
I'm gonna party anyway.

My 401K tanked again.
I can't retire 'till I'm a hundred and ten.
My portfolio looks worse every day.
I'm gonna party anyway.
I'm gonna party anyway.
I'm gonna party anyway.

So Much

Written By: Karen J. Kamenetsky

So Much
Music & Lyrics by Karen J Kamenetsky (2011)

I fell so far so fast, they said it wouldn't last
Now here we are more than thirty years passed.
We've been together longer than we were apart.
I'm just as crazy for you now as I was at the start.

And my heart still soars, each time I see your face, hear your voice; feel your touch.
I still want you so much, and I still need you too. I still love you so much.

They say that love's passé, fidelity’s so yesterday,
Hook ups and one night stands are how it is today.
Nobody stays together, it really breaks my heart.
I'm just as crazy for you now as I was at the start.

And my heart still soars, each time I see your face, hear your voice; feel your touch.
I still want you so much, and I still need you too. I still love you so much.

And I can’t explain what you see in me, why you stay
Nobody else in the world makes me feel this way

And my heart still soars, each time I see your face, hear your voice; feel your touch.
I still want you so much, and I still need you too. I still love you so much.