Robyn Landis

Robyn Landis

 Tucson, Arizona, USA
SoloFolkSinger/Songwriter

With more than 50 songwriting honors, John Lennon Grand Prize winner Robyn Landis shares heartfelt songs of depth and literacy, with gorgeous melodies. Her intense wordcraft is likened to Richard Shindell. A warm, soulful, passionate performer, her clear sweet intimate voice has just a bit of twang.

Biography

*2009 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist Showcase Selected Artist*

*2009 John Lennon Songwriting Contest GRAND PRIZE WINNER*

*2006 Woody Guthrie Folk festival First Place Winner*

*2012 Wildflower! Festival Songwriter's Contest WINNER

Robyn Landis is a gifted wordsmith and award-winning songwriter whose deft and powerful command of language has garnered repeated comparisons to Richard Shindell, Gillian Welch and Dar Williams.

Since her first recording in 2005, the NYC native has accrued more than 50 songwriting awards and honors nationally and internationally, in competitions and at festivals.

With unusual depth and literacy, Robyn delivers courageous and heartfelt songs with warm, unpretentious, intimate vocals that infuse her folk-pop-Americana melodies with warmth and feeling.

Respected for her unflinching honesty, fierce intelligence, and evocative poetry, Robyn uses song to tackle subjects ranging from war to weather to (what else?) love--not to mention adoption and dementia, betrayal and longing, friendship, child abuse, old sitcoms, and the environment.

Her eagerly-awaited second recording Many Moons, released May 2009, has guest appearances by Michael Lille, Mark Graham, Kat Eggleston, Larry Murante, Joe and Karena Prater (Cat Loves Crow), and Hans York; and features Paul Elliott on fiddle and Cary Black on bass.

Many Moons was one of the most-played records on folk radio in the last four months of 2009, reaching #16 on the folk-dj charts. With no publicist or special promotion, Many Moons caught the ear of more than 70 DJs across the nation.

"Robyn Landis radiates excellence with every word, every note and every song. Many Moons is clearly one of the most exciting projects released by a singer/songwriter in North America this year...This girl has what it takes--and then some!" writes DJ Dennis Brunnenmeyer, KVMR (CA).

Incredible, incredible writing--near perfect. I absolutely love this CD, " gushes Dan Maher of WA's Inland Folk.

Songwriting accolades have included Grand Prize in the international John Lennon Songwriting Contest, first place at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, second place in the Unisong International Songwriting Competition, finalist staus in the Wildflower! Festival Songwriter's Showcase, USA Songwriting Competition and the Great American Song Contest, winner of the Great Lakes Songwriting Contest, and honorable mentions in the prestigious Telluride Troubadors competition AND the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest songwriter's showcase. She was also a 2009 Falcon Ridge Festival Emerging Artist.

Indie-Music.com says, "Smooth vocals, like an earthy Laurie Lewis...Landis has won a lot of songwriting awards, and it's easy to see why."

She performed from 2001-2006 in the award-winning acoustic Americana duo Short & Sweet, and has opened for or shared the stage with such songwriting luminaries as Ellis Paul, Linda Waterfall, Jonathan Byrd, Michael McNevin, Kat Eggleston, Liz Longley, Laurie McClain, and Larry Murante. Her co-writing credits include Murante (2009 Kerrville New Folk Finalist/1999 Wildflower Songwriter's Showcase winner) as well as David Llewellyn (2007 Kerrville Winner/2008 John Lennon Grand Prize Winner).

Robyn studied guitar with the venerable Linda Waterfall, who says "The warmth of her voice and her intuitive connection are magnetic....Her passionate commitment to justice and the Earth won my heart."

Robyn has been an Honorable Mention, Semifinalist, Finalist or Winner in the following:

*2012 Wildflower! Festival Performing Songwriter Contest
*2012 Great Lakes Songwriting Contest
*2011 USA Songwriting Competition
*2011 Folk Alliance International Conference, Official Showcase Selected Artist
*2011 Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Contest
*2010 Great American Song Contest
*2010 Folk Alliance Region West Conference (FAR-West), Premiere Showcase Selected Artist
*2010 USA Songwriting Contest
*2010 Music City Songwriti

Lyrics

While Trees Fall

Written By: Robyn Landis

How we treat the least of us
reveals the beast in us
I don't like what I see
so I turn off the TV

They have nothing to say
They say it anyway
They send us shopping now
They tell us where and tell us how ...

They didn't take my calls
behind the whitewashed walls
My letters undelivered
while trees fall

I'm shouting all the time
The world should have been mine
I have to hand it over
filthy with another's crime

(chorus)
They want to get into heaven
through the eye of a needle
Let me in before the ones in suits can try
Can I be an angel
so I can ask some questions
Before I let them by
Before I let them by

While someone stalls for time
someone collects the dimes
We can't see without light
so why bother to do what's right

There isn't any hell
we don't already know so well
Like the one they're building
for the people they don't tell

They want to get into heaven
through the eye of a needle
Let me in before the ones in suits can even try
Can I be an angel so I can ask some questions
Before I let them by
If I let them by

(Bridge)
They never touch the earth
or they might feels its pain
If they could calculate its worth
theyÕd sell the rain

The world's all muffled screams
Razor blades in children's dreams
They don't know what it means
or why they feel ashamed

Every day I try to sing
Every day is reckoning
And wrecking everything
that moves or breathes or cries

They never take my calls
They haven't got the balls
They just have lies is all
while trees fall and fall and fall

They want to get into heaven
through the eye of a needle
Let me in before the ones in suits can try
just let 'em try
Can I be an angel so I can ask the questions
Before I let them by
SEE If I let them by

Let 'em by ...
I don't buy...
Should I let them walk on by...
I won't let them walk on by...

Winter Blues

Written By: Robyn Landis

This is it
nothing I can do
Winter is coming
And so are the blues

Blue like the dusk on snow
Blue like a twilight sky
Blue like the shadows
Blue make me ask why

chorus:
Night falls, the snow falls
We all fall down down down
Night falls, darkness falls
and robin won't call
Won't call or come around

Sun's always setting
Leaving us ice and stone
Summer's always leaving
Leaving me alone

Blue like a mountain
Blue like a day thatÕs done
Blue like cold fingers
Make me wanna run

... (chorus) ...

I make a fist
Try to hold the sand
I never get used to this
Coming up with empty hands

Blue like the ocean
Blue carried on that breeze
Blue tide turning
Bringing in the freeze

Night falls, the snow falls
we all fall down down down
Night falls, darkness falls
and robin won't call
won't call or come around
No, Robin won't call
call again or come around

This is it
Nothing I can do
Winter is coming
And so are the blues

Say Goodbye

Written By: Robyn Landis & Steve Amsden

Starting to say goodbye
Though it's not time
Starting to say goodbye
without a sign

I'm not taking chances
planning in advance
Say goodbye

Starting to let go now
so I'll be first
Starting to let go now
best to think the worst

I'm just practicing
Rehearsing well-known scenes
Say goodbye

Starting to walk on now
So slowly you can't see
Starting to walk on now
so quietly

When you do catch on
I could be long gone
Say goodbye

Lie here listening to the clock keep time
It's almost time
It could happen any time at all
You lie there sleeping
Do you know anything
Don't you know what's happening
Can't you read the writing on the wall

Starting to say goodbye in my head
Starting to say goodbye
Though nothing has been said

It's too soon to tell
But I'm preparing well
to say goodbye...

But if you catch me in the act
Maybe you'd bring me back...
Or say goodbye

When I Get There

Written By: Robyn Landis

Driving home real slow
Followed by a yellow moon
I'm thinking, thinking, always thinking
I'm headed somewhere soon

Driving home real slow
The road winds high and low
I meet the sky halfway
My wheels know where to go

Taking the long way again
I think these streetlights are my friends
Taking the long way again
not gonna stop till I'm really at the end

But I'll be there when I get there
I'll be there first in my dreams
I won't be home until I know
where these roads all lead
But I'll be there... when I get there...

Driving home real slow
Heart as black as the road
Heart as light as the sky
Some things I'm just starting to know

Driving home real slow
Everyone in bed--all those warm beds
My blanket is the heavens tonight
Don't want nothing else covering my head

Taking the long way again
I think these road signs are my friends
Taking the long way again
not gonna stop till I'm really at the end

But I'll be there...

And I'll ride the edge of that soft shoulder,
I'll feel the wind blow just a little colder
Think I'm gonna coast these back streets till I'm a little older

Driving home real slow
Night vision has kicked in
My senses are like radar now
I'm wide awake again

Driving even slower now
Shifting down still lower now
I'm crawling through these streets alone now
Only my heart can see me home now
Only my heart can see me home now
Only my heart can see me home
See me home...

She Don't Have Your Eyes

Written By: Robyn Landis

She has your humor
Shares our home
Has all our love
So not alone

She has your shoulder
when she cries
She has your name
But not your eyes

Has a full closet
in a pretty room
Whole bunch of friends
she walks to school

She has most everything
money can buy
Gave her the moon
but not your eyes

Things we don’t know and things we do
Some things we’ll never be able to
What does it matter, we gave life in our way
But don’t we wonder
whose eyes are they

She has a grandma
She has two aunts
She has five cousins
A dog named Chance

She has a family
All that implies
Her photo album
don’t have your eyes

Few branches missing
Will she miss them
And is her history
American

She talks like us
That’s no surprise
But other language
is in her eyes

When they ask “which one is yours”
What are they thinking of
They cast a doubt - we cast it out
No one is ever really ‘yours’ or ‘mine’

And we love her more than life itself
And we’re hoping and we’re dreading that so does someone else
somewhere
who has her eyes...

We tuck her in
We hold her hand
When her eyes close
come distant lands

Oceans away
She’s never been
She flies away
in search of them

She will have questions
Big as the skies
You know she will
‘cause she don’t have your eyes

I can pretend...
If I close mine...
Almost forget…
She don’t have your eyes

Jamison Brown

Written By: Robyn Landis & David Zink

Cold railroad trail
Old milking pail
Ten days no mail

Firewood's long gone
March coming on
Curtains are drawn

Where's my Jamie?
Where's my Jamie?
Where's my Jamie?

Ahhh, ahh, ahh ah ah

Floor's dusty cold
Bones are getting old
shouldering all the load

Doors locked at night
Gun by my side
Ready for a fight

Where's my Jamie?
Where's my Jamie?
Where's my Jamie?

Ahhh, ahh, ahh ah ah

Jamison Brown
Pride of the town
Bought my wedding gown

Where's my Jamie?
Where's my Jamie?
Where's my Jamie?
Where's my Jamie?
Where's my Jamie?
Where's my Jamie?

Ahhh, ahh, ahh ah ah

Hey Dog

Written By: Robyn Landis

Hey dog
where you gone?
You've been gone
way too long

Hey dog
Can't you see
No one's left
here but me

Another day is done
another friend has cut and run

Hey darlin'
Where you gone?
You've been gone
way too long

Hey darlin'
Can't you see
No one's left
here but me

The highway goes so far
I don't know where you are

Hey mama
where you gone?
You've been gone
way too long

Hey mama
Can't you see
No one's left
here but me

The boy I used to be
I feel your arms holding me

Hey God
where you gone?
You've been gone
way too long

Hey God
What were you thinking of
taking back everything I loved

Another setting sun
Another day I ain't seen no one

Hey dog....

(bridge)
This house don't seem the same
As when those kids were playin'
Out there in those ragged weeds
Now that field has gone to seed

And the paint is peelin'
I ain't feeling nothing
anymore

Hey dog
where you gone?
You've been gone
way too long

Hey dog
Can't you see
No one's left
here but me

Hey dog
Can't you see
No one's left
here but me

Leave You Behind

Written By: Robyn Landis

Driving all night
That's my new life
but all these miles don't get me far

Take a fast turn
throw you a curve
but you find your well-worn groove
back to my heart

I lost you once
I lost my way
You never go
though you won't stay

On my rear wheel
my taillights dim
You pull alongside and you're in

From town to town to town
I could follow this twisted low road down
Drive this wreck of a night right into the ground
still you'd steal back around
from the back of my mind
to the front of my heart
from the very first time
to the first time apart
And when I get anywhere I find
I did not leave you behind

Thin hangnail moon
old Dylan tune
shadows beginning to end

Pick any road
there's no going home
I will not lie in my bed once again

I shake you off
you jump back on
you won't let go
though you are gone

Through cold new land
you find my trail
trampling that dress and that veil

From town to town to town
I could follow this crooked canyon down
drive this wreck of a night right into the ground
still you'd steal back around
from the top of my mind
to my bottomless heart
to the scene of the crime
where it all came apart
And when I get anywhere I find
I did not leave you behind

bridge
Choked by words
you never heard
Should I stop and try getting them out
If they get unstuck
with that and some luck
would you follow if I turned it around?

You sit on my hood
I know it's no good
You're blocking my view of the road

All i can hear
is your voice in my ears
singing a song I hope no one else knows

From town to town to town
I could follow this hellbound highway down
Drive this wreck of a life right into the ground
still you'd steal back around...
from the back of my mind...
the very last time...

And when I get anywhere I'll find
did not leave you behind

I cannot leave you behind

I cannot leave you behind

You won't get out of my mind...

Dry Rain, Calm Wind

Written By: Robyn Landis, Larry Murante

I can't believe in you
You're not even real
You're the one who taught me not to feel

I should run the other way
as far as I can get
mmmmmm.... but I haven't yet

I am beautiful (there is beauty)
but you never see
It's just not in your vocabulary

There are things that I should say
Friends are placing bets
mmmmm.... i havent yet


Our love is like our shadow
just around the bend
It's like a dry rain
and a calm wind

There was a time...
but it didn't last
there were a thousand points
we never passed

I've known you forever
and it's like we've never met
No, we haven't yet

Our love is like a secret
you cannot tell a friend
Like a dry rain
and a calm wind

BRIDGE
Not enough rain for anything to grow
just enough to make a few tears
A pile of dry leaves
that the wind won't blow away
just circling and circling for years

You know everything
except for who I am
We are lost
and you don't give a damn

You take the love I give you
but there's something you don't get
No, you haven't yet

You take the love I give you
but there's something I don't get
No, I haven't yet

Our love is like a shadow
just around the bend
it's like a secret you cannot tell a friend
Like a letter
you never think to send
Like a dry rain
and a calm wind

Paul's Song

Written By: Robyn Landis, Larry Murante

Paul painted a flag on his garage door
I thought that meant I knew
his heart and mind
I made up mine
I made a joke
before I met this old soldier
But he changed it for me in no time

He looks kinda right, but he’s on the left
and he's better at the middle
than anyone I've ever met
He keeps his arms wide open
to the ones comin’ home
All those battered young women and men

Prechorus:
How could he wave old glory
like it was his friend
Why would he ever salute again

Chorus:
He didn't look away
He didn't look away
He just took those colors back
his way

Paul didn’t know the flag
before he went to war
Until his purple heart of gold
became an open sore
Well he drank for a reason
and when he gave up those demons
I think he found what those colors stand for

Prechorus:
How could he wave old glory
like it was his friend
Why would he ever salute again

Chorus:
He didn't look away
He didn't look away
He just took those colors back
his way

Bridge:
His corrugated stripes and stars
remind us of who we still are
It's not a blanket or a shield
It's raw and flawed and not all healed
He's got it where the neighborhood
can see he still believes it's good
He just took those colors back his way

Paul has a flag on his garage door
I thought that meant I knew
his heart and mind
But I was wrong
and that’s a fact
and if I could I’d take it back
Just like he took those colors
The way he took those colors
Like he took those colors back
his way

Lowlands

Written By: Robyn Landis


He stood near the ocean
time and again
Stared down the horizon
so far from him
He doesn’t like waves
never quite learned to swim
so he can’t go in

He goes right to the edge
lets the tide kiss his feet
it’s always too cold
and he makes his retreat
Spends his time on this quiet shore
while the sun sinks behind him some more

Chorus
He feels safe on dry ground
He knows where he stands
There’s just enough space for one man
He dreams of high flying
and sailing through clouds
but he lives down here now
in the lowlands

She was a wild cruise
too far out to sea
It was more of a ride
than he wanted it to be
Afraid he would drown
felt like he couldn’t breathe
so he set her free

But some nights he creeps back
to that beach in the dark
Remembers the salt
and the light of that spark
And life on this quiet shore
dims just a little bit more

But he's safe on dry ground
He knows where he stands
Feet firmly committed to land
He dreams of skywriting
and soaring through clouds
but he lives down here now
in the lowlands

The undertow of dreams
is stronger than it seems
He just can’t wake up enough
to remember what it means

He stands by the ocean
that one last day
Drawn to its edge
but he cannot stay
Intrigued by a song
he's not ready to play
so he turns away

He’s been right to the edge
let the tide kiss his feet
It was always too cold
and he made his retreat
Turned his back on this quiet shore
and the sun sank behind him once more

He's safe on dry ground
He knows where he stands
His heart has brooked no demands
He thought he might die
to get up in the clouds
so he lives down here.......
in the lowlands
in the lowlands
in the lowlands

Shrink The Sky

Written By: Robyn Landis, Janni Littlepage

Such relief
just to be
warm and dry
in good company

Quiet steps
boots on sand
spring is born
breathing in our hands

Given time
life unwound
so alive
without a sound

Clouds are chasing
trapped and free
lighter now
with you next to me

And we return
to where the sun and the clouds cross
I wish the wind would stop
And with you, my wish comes true and

Then I can turn
and face my life and the storms ahead
and those behind
One gentle smile
and you find mine
and we shrink the sky...

Barking crow
unexpected
echoes truth
you reflected

Wrap ourselves
around the world
through the miles
always find this pearl

And we return
to where the sun and the clouds cross
Again I learn
your love can carry any loss

And I can turn
and face my life and the storms ahead
and those behind
One gentle smile
and you find mine
and we shrink the sky...

Breath lace white roses
Blue jay joy chorus
Red wood stands stall
your spirit fills it all

And I can turn
and face my life and the storms ahead
and those behind
One gentle smile
and you find mine
and we shrink the sky...

Then I can turn
and face my life and the storms ahead
and those behind
One simple smile
and you find mine
and we shrink the sky
We can shrink the sky...

Plaid Black and Blue

Written By: Robyn Landis

PLAID BLACK AND BLUE ©2009

For days I don’t think about you
Then a vision of a shirt in black and blue

A forearm and a muscle flexing elbow to wrist
First part of you I dreamed of
Not the only thing I miss

At the end of the arm is a hand
with fingernails like crescent moons, and tan
That held a beatup Gibson and a glass of wine
and me, when you were mine

Will you wear that shirt with someone new
Fabric of our love
partly me and partly you
How can something so tiny feel so true
I can't explain how a shirt can make me cry
but you in that old plaid it made you mine

Whole days now I don’t think about that
Then a flashback on a shirt blue and black

Close my eyes and take a breath and I can almost smell
a wrinkled button down that’s tucked into your old brown belt

Will you wear that shirt with someone new
Fabric of a love
partly me and partly you
How can something so stupid feel so true
I can't explain how a shirt can make me cry
but you in that old plaid it made you mine

Sometimes I can’t believe there’s someone tugging at that sleeve
Looking for that promise that you will never leave
or unwrap the arms that bind her to you
with sleeves over muscle black and blue

Do you wear that shirt with someone new
Wardrobe of a love
partly me and partly you
How can something so crazy feel so true
I can't explain how a shirt can make me cry
but you in that old plaid it made you mine, mine, mine, mine
I gave it to you and it made you mine

Losing Sleep

Written By: Robyn Landis

LOSING SLEEP

Up all night for seven straight
Lord I know it's much too late
looks like I'm losing sleep over you

No book or pill or gin will soothe
the jagged edges of the truth
seems like I'm losing sleep over you

My eyes are too wide open
I'm staring into black
Questions drum in silence
and I hear and can't go back

But losing sleep's like losing you
You can't lose what you never had
"Losing sleep" makes no more sense
than you and I do
Losing sleep is just the same as losing you

Too many days I slept too long
closed my eyes to what was wrong
had to be asleep over you

To wake I'd have to take a look
at what I gave and what you took
so I just stayed asleep over you

Blinded in the glare of things
I knew but couldn't say
how else could I pretend you loved me
in the light of day

Now losing sleep's like losing you
You can't lose what you never had
"Losing sleep" makes no more sense
than you and I do
Losing sleep is just the same as losing you

I'm so tired but there are no more lullabies
to lull me off to slumber
pass years on all those lies

Losing sleep's like losing you
You can't lose what you never had
"Losing sleep" makes no more sense
than you and I do
Losing sleep is just the same as losing you

Roots

Written By: Robyn Landis

Give me the soil
give me the rain
give me the wide open plain
give me sky and the deep down below

Give me the food give me the sun
make me the favorite one
and I'll show you how much we can grow

And I would put down roots with you
I would plant my feet, stretch my arms so high
rising up, digging down
in the rich sweet ground
That's all I wanted to do
is put these roots down with you

Give me the space
give me the light
give me the timing just right
I'll bloom colors that you've never seen

Sing songs of nourishing sound
keep flower friends all around
glossy leaves shading me with their green

Give me the very best care
Grow us a family to share
Build a high earthen bed for our dreams

Add all the love you can spare
keep it all out in the air
and allow it to bend in the breeze

And I would put down roots with you
I would plant my feet, stretch my arms so high
reaching up, spreading down
in the soft damp ground
That's all I wanted to do
is put these roots down with you

Give me the seed
give me the start
give me a tender with heart
and I'll blossom for spring after spring

Keep me protected and warm
in the occasional storm
and we'll weather whatever they bring

And I would put down roots with you
I would plant my feet, stretch my arms so high
bursting up, seeking down
through the endless ground
That's all I wanted to do
is put these roots down with you
Put these roots down with you
Put these roots down with you
Put these roots down with you

She Don't Have Your Eyes

Written By: Robyn Landis

She has your humor
Shares our home
Has all our love
So not alone

She has your shoulder
when she cries
She has your name
But not your eyes

Has a full closet
in a pretty room
Whole bunch of friends
she walks to school

She has most everything
money can buy
Gave her the moon
but not your eyes

Things we don’t know and things we do
Some things we’ll never be able to
What does it matter, we gave life in our way
But don’t we wonder
whose eyes are they

She has a grandma
She has two aunts
She has five cousins
A dog named Chance

She has a family
All that implies
Her photo album
don’t have your eyes

Few branches missing
Will she miss them
And is her history
American

She talks like us
That’s no surprise
But other language
is in her eyes

When they ask “which one is yours”
What are they thinking of
They cast a doubt - we cast it out
No one is ever really ‘yours’ or ‘mine’

And we love her more than life itself
And we’re hoping and we’re dreading that so does someone else
somewhere
who has her eyes...

We tuck her in
We hold her hand
When her eyes close
come distant lands

Oceans away
She’s never been
She flies away
in search of them

She will have questions
Big as the skies
You know she will
‘cause she don’t have your eyes

I can pretend...
If I close mine...
Almost forget…
She don’t have your eyes

She Don't Have Your Eyes

Written By: Robyn Landis

She has your humor
Shares our home
Has all our love
So not alone

She has your shoulder
when she cries
She has your name
But not your eyes

Has a full closet
in a pretty room
Whole bunch of friends
she walks to school

She has most everything
money can buy
Gave her the moon
but not your eyes

Things we don’t know and things we do
Some things we’ll never be able to
What does it matter, we gave life in our way
But don’t we wonder
whose eyes are they

She has a grandma
She has two aunts
She has five cousins
A dog named Chance

She has a family
All that implies
Her photo album
don’t have your eyes

Few branches missing
Will she miss them
And is her history
American

She talks like us
That’s no surprise
But other language
is in her eyes

When they ask “which one is yours”
What are they thinking of
They cast a doubt - we cast it out
No one is ever really ‘yours’ or ‘mine’

And we love her more than life itself
And we’re hoping and we’re dreading that so does someone else
somewhere
who has her eyes...

We tuck her in
We hold her hand
When her eyes close
come distant lands

Oceans away
She’s never been
She flies away
in search of them

She will have questions
Big as the skies
You know she will
‘cause she don’t have your eyes

I can pretend...
If I close mine...
Almost forget…
She don’t have your eyes

Main Street at Midnight

Written By: Robyn Landis

MAIN STREET AT MIDNIGHT
© Robyn Landis, January 2010

This town has changed so much yet still so much the same
so small that it can barely contain
the ghosts that I can feel inside my chest tonight
the things that only they can explain

Black windows winking coldly at the mystery
By day they keep too busy to see
Tonight they are reflecting on a history
Years that played out on this street

My lone taillights
trailing down Main Street at midnight
closed and quiet
holding years in reserve
Now in plain sight
everything you pretend you don't remember
cause you don't have the nerve

Songs and kisses
a hundred near misses
an ending I didn't deserve
here on Main Street at midnight
it returns

Dead silence in the car that late grey afternoon
questions crowding thick in the air
crawling down a stretch of snow and streetlights
dreading the arriving nowhere

You took my hand and held it like a baby
you never took your eyes off the road
your skin was warm and dry and so familiar
there isn’t much else that I know

My lone taillights
trailing down Main Street at midnight
closed and quiet
as I slow through the curves
Now in plain sight
on a sidewalk that echoes
with the footfalls that memory serves

Songs and kisses
a palette of wishes
a heart that you didn't deserve
here on Main Street at midnight
it returns...

to...

(bridge)
Times and places
so complicated
nothing erases it all
Pain and love
and the girl I was
and the breathtaking height of the fall...

(inst. verse)

My lone taillights
trailing down Main Street at midnight
closed and quiet
holding years in reserve
Holding so tight
to a life we let go of
in an instant
without a word

Songs and kisses
hoping you're missing
something for better or worse
here on Main Street at midnight
I return...

Knitting

Written By: Robyn Landis

I wish someone would knit me something
Like my friends have
heirloom grace

Thick cable sweater
shield against weather
an itchy woolly warm embrace

It could be ugly
I wouldn't mind
I just want that fabric
behind me

Long hours Stiff fingers
Heart labor Fuzzy things
Something to remind me...

Aunt or mother,
sister cousin
Grandma made it all by hand
Furry woollens
By the dozen
Each one of a kind
It’s just a sweater
it’s just a cap
but I want someone to knit me something like that

Katie’s scarf is pink and green
it isn’t all that flattering
She wear it for her Aunt Gertrude
if I had Gertrude I would too

It says “stay warm” and “I love you”
and “wear your coat and mittens too”
and “you’re my girl’ “you look pretty in that”
“at Christmas I’ll make you a matching hat”

Aunt or mother,
sister cousin
Grandma made it all by hand
She could buy them
But she doesn't
she has time and love to spend
It’s just a sweater
it’s just a cap
but I want someone to knit me something like that

It wouldn’t be perfect
But that would be fine
It couldn’t be replaced
'Cause it would be especially mine

Stitches and yarns
weave and mingle
wrap around the lucky girl

Tie us together
shield against weather
A permanent hug in a cold cold world

I can bake, but I never knit
Maybe I should learn to do it
Give a fluffy gift to me
instead of yearning for what cannot be

And maybe I would make something for someone
who also lacks a thread like this
but still I guess I will always wish
for my very own hand me down family gift

Aunt or mother,
sister cousin
Grandma made it all by hand
It’s a language
made of color
generations understand
It’s just a sweater
it’s just a cap
but I want someone to knit me something
I want someone to knit me something
I want someone to knit me something like that

Bring Them Home

Written By: Robyn Landis


Many gentle pleading eyes
Every one a mother’s child
These are lives and who decides
who lives...

Many hearts in our backyards
beating fast and beating hard
Who will reach as deep and far
We are
That’s our part

And what would you give
so that they live
to make a wish come true
When all that they’ve known
cold and alone
now they need you
to bring them home

Heal the spirit heal the bones
let us leave no one alone
carry them to soft dry land
in our hands
it’s in our hands

so...What would you give
to let them they live
make a dream come true
Oh all that they’ve known
cold and alone
they need you
to take them home

No one’s so small to turn away
that is what they’d say
look into the eyes of truth
and do not look away


What, What would you give
so that they live
to make a wish come true
When all that they’ve known
cold and alone
now we need you
to bring them home....
home...

Late Blooms

Written By: Robyn Landis

LATE BLOOMS

i started as a seed
just like all the rest
then a random wind it blew me way out west

it took some kind of age
to reach this far off field
now I lie upon this earth anticipating some day’s yield

I thought summer’d be my season
I would bloom with all the rest
but growing has no rhyme or reason
farmer knows you can't expect

You only feed upon the ground
and drink up on the rain
and dry off in the sun
and take your breaths put down roots and wait


But at night among the quiet stalks
when June has come and gone
and the harvest is approaching
I stand strong but all alone
and I’m thinking
I am thinking...

When will I bloom
when is it my time
when will fruit and flowers open
show my colors let them shine
And the wind, and the wind
confers with stars and mother moon
and they whisper
and they whisper....
soon

Years they’ve come and gone
I’m naked as a start
watching other’s leaves
like tides pull at my heart

petals on the ground
floating out to sea
don’t know what slowed me down so
I beg the soil to tell me

And at night among the quiet stalks
when August’s come and gone
another harvest is approaching
I am ripe but all undone
and I wonder,
still I wonder...

When will I bloom
when is it my time
when will fruit and flowers open
show my colors bear what’s mine
And the wind, and the wind
confers with stars and mother moon
and they whisper
and they whisper
and they whisper...
soon

BRIDGE
Born in the desert
dreaming of green
fallow and fertile
what does it mean
i only want to grow
I only want to know
I only want to show my true nature

CHORUS

Because They Walked Before

Written By: Robyn Landis

Rosa
from your shoulders I can see the world
Supposing
I stay on the bus, just like you did girl

We place our souls where you stood
up front where we do most good

Martin
from your shoulders I can see the dream
Heartened by your words
I build on what you mean

We place our soles where you stood
Raise our voices like you would

Chorus.
Because they walked before me
I know where my feet belong
I will never stand still
when I see something wrong

Things can change, you proved it then
They can , they will again
And we cannot, we cannot pretend

Because you walked
I can too
and I do

Theresa
from your shoulders I can see the love
Helen, Nelson...
Nothing less than stepping up’s enough

We place our soles where you stood
if only you still could

Because they walked before me
I know where my feet belong
I will never stand still
when I see something wrong

Because they stood and spoke
said yes and said no
I know not to let go
Not be afraid
and if I am
I do it anyway

Rosa, Martin
From your shoulders I can see the world
Theresa, Helen, nelson
I can see the world

Because they walked before me
I can see the world

Grave

Written By: Robyn Landis

GRAVE

© 2012 Robyn Landis

I have always known
when to fly away
But it’s so warm now in october
Maybe I should stay

I’m a bit confused
My family is too
Are we in the south already
What’s a bird to do

I came crawling home
It was barely there
This piece of ice was in my family
For a thousand years

We’re in trouble now
Where’s a bear to go
I can't get this coat off and we’re
running out of snow

I have lost my place
Started a cascade
I have changed the wind
and the tide and the waves
Have we lost the race
Can our homes be saved
Doesn’t that man-kind know
We’re living on
its grave

The meadow where I live
Had no winter frost
Some bugs I’ve never seen came through
The seeds I eat were lost

I wander up the mountain
I can't take the heat
But up here in these rocky hills
There’s nothing I can eat.

I have lost my place
Started a cascade
I have changed the wind
and the tide and the rain
Have we lost the race
Can our homes be saved
Doesn’t that man-kind know
We’re living on
its grave

Sunburned child of mine
First time in the woods
I have brought you here to show you
Nature’s finest goods

Nectar sap and nettles
Mushrooms birds and leaves
Larkspur frogs and dakrest moss
Damp beneath our knees

Some parts have gone missing
I know I’m to blame
The greatest show on earth is closing
I am so ashamed

No one acts alone
1000 cuts will show
butterflies cause hurricanes
now we know

Please don’t lose the race
You can still be saved
Only if your kind can see
You’re living on
its grave

It’s grave
It’s grave

Discography

"Love And Other Words"
released November 2004, as duo "Short and Sweet."

"Many Moons" (solo CD)
released May 2009

• Winner, 2012 Wildflower! Festival Performing Songwriter Contest
• Winner, 2012 Great Lakes Songwriting Contest
• Finalist, 2011 Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Contest
• Official Showcase Artist, 2011 Folk Alliance International Conference, Memphis
• Premiere Showcase Selected Artist, 2010 Folk Alliance Region West Conference (FAR-West)
• Finalist, 2010 USA Songwriting Contest (Folk)
• Finalist, 2010 Great American Song Contest
• Finalist, 2010 Music City Songwriting Contest
• Finalist, 2009 Great Lakes Songwriting Contest
• GRAND PRIZE, 2009 John Lennon Songwriting Contest (Folk)
• SELECTED ARTIST 2009 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artists Showcase
• Finalist, 2009 Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Competition
• Honorable Mention, Acoustic/Folk Category, Unisong International Songwriting Competition, March 2009
• Honorable Mention, AAA/Americana Category, Unisong International Songwriting Competition, March 2009
• WINNER, WC Handy Music Festival Performing Songwriters Showcase, July 2008
• Finalist, KRCL/Founder's Title Folk & Bluegrass Festival Performing Songwriter Showcase, July 2008
• Honorable Mention, Telluride Troubador Contest (Telluride Folk & Bluegrass Festival), June 2008
• Honorable Mention, International Narrative Songwriting Competition, January 2008
• Alternate Finalist, Tumbleweed Music Festival Songwriting Contest, September 2007
• Top 20 Winner, Lyrics Category, 2006-2007 Unisong International Songwriting Competition
• Finalist, KRCL/Founder's Title Folk & Bluegrass Festival Performing Songwriter Showcase, July 2007
• Honorable Mention, 2007 West Coast Songwriters International Song Contest, June 2007
• Finalist, 2007 Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Contest, May 2007
• Honorable Mention, 2006 Singer-Songwriter Awards, January 2007
• First Place Winner, 2006 International Narrative Song Competition, January 2007
• Honorable Mention, 2006 International Narrative Song Competition, January 2007
• Honorable Mention, River Bluff Music Festival Songwriting Competition, September 2006
• Finalist, Finalist, 3rd Annual Williamsburg Live Songwriting Competition, August 2006
• FIRST PLACE, 2006 Woody Guthrie Songwriting Competition, July 2006
• Honorable Mention, Woody Guthrie Songwriting Competition, July 2006
• SECNOD PLACE, Acoustic/Folk Category, 2005 Unisong International Songwriting Competition, July 2006
• Top 20 Winner, Lyrics Category, 2005 Unisong International Songwriting Competition, July 2006
• Top 20 Winner, Acoustic/Folk Category, 2005 Unisong International Songwriting Competition, July 2006
• Top 20 Winner, Social/Political Category, 2005 Unisong International Songwriting Competition, July 2006
• Honorable Mention, AAA/Americana Category, 2005 Unisong International Songwriting Competition, July 2006
• Alternate Finalist, 2006 Solarfest Songwriter's Showcase, July 2006
• Finalist, KRCL/Founder's Title Folk & Bluegrass Festival Performing Songwriter Showcase, July 2006
• Honorable Mention, 2006 West Coast Songwriters International Song Contest, June 2006
• Finalist, Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Contest, May 2006
• Semifinalist, Peacedriven Songwriting Competition, April 2006
• Honorable Mention, Peacedriven Songwriting Competition, April 2006
• Finalist, 2006 Susquehanna Folk Music Society Songwriting Contest
• Honorable Mention, 2005 Billboard Songwriting Competition (three songs)
• Semifinalist, International Songwriting Competition, January 2006
• WINNER, Acoustic Category, William Robert Abate Songwriting Competition, September 2005
• Finalist, Tumbleweed Music Festival Songwriting Contest, September 2005
• Honorable Mention, Woody Guthrie Songwriting Competition, July 2005
• Semifinalist, UK Songwriting Competition, July 2005

Set List

I can play two full sets of original songs.
I also have interpretations and arrangements of favorites by Bob Dylan, Shawn Colvin, Lucinda Williams, John Hiatt, Patty Griffin, John Prine, Dar Williams, Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky, Gillian Welch, Nanci Griffith, Van Morrison, Tom Waits, Patsy Cline, Indigo Girls, Bruce Springsteen, Lyle Lovett, Kate Wolf, Julie Miller, Neil Young, Sarah Maclachlan, Kris Delmhorst, Tom Paxton, Townes Van Zandt, and many others.