These Old Hands

by Crys Matthews

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about

“Must be 10,000 miles between here and forgiveness.” — These Old Hands is about that journey.

The eighth studio release from singer-songwriter Crys Matthews, this album is a sharp departure from her pre-2016 saccharine love songs and her post-2016 social justice songs. “It is the most vulnerable I’ve ever been in my music,” Matthews says. From the title track, written about picking up where a love leaves off to the final track, written about familial complexities, Matthews is letting her listeners see behind what she calls her “titanium wall.”

Crys Matthews blends Americana, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass and funk into a bold, complex performance steeped in traditional melodies and punctuated by honest, original lyrics. Having been compared to everyone from Toshi Reagon to Tracy Chapman to Ruthie Foster, Matthews’ eclectic infusion of genres won her the 2017 NewSong Music Competition and extensive radio play.

credits

released October 11, 2019

Produced and mixed by Gar Ragland
Engineered by Kenny Harrington
Assistant Engineer – Dowell Gandy
Recorded at Echo Mountain Recording (Asheville, NC)
Mastered by Dave Harris at Studio B Mastering (Charlotte, NC)

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NewSong Recordings Asheville, North Carolina

Boutique singer-songwriter label, local in Asheville, NC.

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Track Name: These Old Hands
As I sat beneath a willow tree in Durham Park
I wondered how I'd ever pick back up where you left off.
Yeah, another break-up notch on this old love-worn belt,
I know it's just day two, but it's the worst I've ever felt.
Must be ten-thousand miles between here and forgiveness,
and I'm sick and I'm so tired so I walk two miles and rest.
I know you'll wake up one day wishing for these old hands.
Don't come 'round this time next year looking for your second chance.

And I don't want what you don't want to give,
that's not the way it works.
I'm no more broken now than I was then.
I've come through worse.
Still I can't think about the future --
day to day is so hard,
but don't you worry none about this,
this broken heart.

Well, honey, I guess I realize this is goodbye,
but please don't read between the lines if you don't see me cry.
Oh I barely have the strength to pack up one more time,
and I mean it when I tell you that this time it's the last time.
I know you'll miss these hands and what these old hands can do,
but maybe they'll hold my temper since they won't be holding you.
I think love's a two-way-mirror or something kind of like that --
I can't see you, but I swear, I feel you on the other side loving back.

And I don't want what you don't want to give,
that's not the way it works.
I'm no more broken now than I was then.
I've come through worse.
Still I can't think about the future --
day to day is so hard,
but don't you worry none about this,
this broken heart.

I said, 'oh no, how did I end up back here?'
It must be ten-thousand miles between here and forgiveness,
and I'm sick and I'm so tired so I walk two miles and rest.
And I said, 'oh no, I don't want to be in love alone without you.'

And I don't want what you don't want to give,
that's not the way it works.
I'm no more broken now than I was then.
I've come through worse.
Still I can't think about the future --
day to day is so hard,
but don't you worry none about this,
this broken heart
and these old hands
this broken heart
and these old hands
this broken heart.
Track Name: Missing You
Another loss, yeah another love is done.
And I don't think I've got the tears to cry much more.
All I know is that I loved you the best I could.
It wasn't enough and I wish I understood.
Now there were times when we fussed and fought,
but there were times when we made love until the sun came up.
All the while my love was true, and it's a shame you wouldn't stay -- oh I'm missing you.

Baby, I miss you when the rain is pouring.
And I miss you when the sun is shining bright.
I know I'll be alright when the morning comes,
but I wish I wasn't missing you tonight.

Every time I think, hey this might last
it never does, but it always hurts so bad.
And I don't know if this time was me or you.
It ain't fair, but I guess you did what you had to.
Now there were times when I let you down.
I just hope that they were really worth you walking out
'cause these old hands, baby, they're through, but it's a shame I can't say that I don't miss you.

Baby, I miss you when the rain is pouring.
And I miss you when the sun is shining bright.
I know I'll be alright when the morning comes,
but I wish I wasn't missing you tonight.

I know someday we'll both love again,
but the way I feel right now, honey, I just don't know when.
What hurt the most wasn't about you walking out on me.
It's that I know you still love me -- you're probably somewhere singing:

Baby, I miss you when the rain is pouring.
And I miss you when the sun is shining bright.
I know I'll be alright when the morning comes,
but I wish I wasn't missing you tonight.
Track Name: Easy
I wish I could give you what’s left of my heart,
but I think we both realize you deserve so much more.
Maybe in time I’ll forget what I’m afraid of. Maybe in time, you’ll walk through that door and say

Come on, baby – let’s sail away.
You know we both want out of here.
Seems like every time I’m close to love
I find some way to mess things up.
But I say not this time – no, not this time.
Let me make things right – it won’t hurt to try.
I’m so tired, and I’m looking for a love that easy.

I wish I could let go – just let go and fall. I know if I don’t you’ll go and I know that’s my fault. Maybe with time I’ll let you tear down these walls. Maybe with time I’ll walk through your door and say

Come on, baby – let’s sail away.
You know we both want out of here.
Seems like every time I’m close to love
I find some way to mess things up.
But I say not this time – no, not this time.
Let me make things right – it won’t hurt to try.
I’m so tired, and I’m looking for a love that easy.

Seems like your sweet love keeps hanging around.
And I thought for sure this time that I was down and out. Maybe this time
I won’t let you down.
Maybe this time
I’ll knock on your door and say

Come on, baby – let’s sail away.
You know we both want out of here.

Seems like every time I’m close to love
I find some way to mess things up.

But I say not this time – no, not this time.
Let me make things right – it won’t hurt to try.

I’m so tired, and I’m looking for a love that easy.
Track Name: It Was You
Eight years of love in the sun
have tattooed my devotion
on my hand where that ring went before,
but I don't wear that ring any more.
Bullet holes would be so easy to see —
my skin doesn't show bruises easily.
So when you say "it could have been worse"
do you mean for you 'cause this is killing me?

It was you to whom I gave my gentle heart,
all of me, right from the start.
Now I can't hear a word you say
and, if I could, would it make me stay?
I won't tell you 'everything is OK'
— I can barely stand to see your face.
I don't care what you do.
You broke us, not me. It was you.

Two months of reckless abandon —
I hope that we were worth your fun.
You said I was all you needed and more.
Was she worth it, worth losing me for?
Bruises fade and heal over time, (guitar stutter)
but I don't think that's true for this kind.
So when you say "it could have been worse"
do you mean for you 'cause I'm going out of my mind.

It was you to whom I gave my gentle heart,
all of me, right from the start.
Now I can't hear a word you say
and, if I could, would it make me stay?
I won't tell you 'everything is OK'
— I can barely stand to see your face.
I don't care what you do.
You broke us, not her. It was you.

Eight years of love in the sun…
Two months of reckless abandon...
Track Name: Rather Than
When it’s over, sometimes it’s hard to walk away,
but I know if I stay I’ll only hurt you,
and I’d rather leave than lose your love.
When it’s over, it’s so hard to part without regrets,
but this is for the best.
I’ll always love you.
Still sometimes love’s just not enough.

So for now I’ve got to go.
We both know we deserve more.
Don’t cry – it’s not the end.
I’d much rather lose my lover than lose my friend.

It’s a hard thing to know if you can trust your heart
when we should be apart – you know I’m right.
It doesn’t make sense just holding on.
Yeah, it’s a hard thing to say you’re too tired to try,
and I wish I knew why some people change.
Sometimes what’s right can feel so wrong.

So for now I’ve got to go.
We both know we deserve more.
Don’t cry – it’s not the end.
I’d much rather lose my lover than lose my friend.

I need to tell you, you’ll always be my true love,
but I just need too much of what you can’t give.
Believe me, I wish it wasn’t so.
But when I tell you I love you I mean every word,
every single word, and that won’t change.
I hope with this song you’ll always know.

So for now I’ve got to go.
We both know we deserve more.
Don’t cry – it’s not the end.
I’d much rather lose my lover than lose my friend.
Track Name: Ruby
Hey Baby Sister
Thought I’d drop you a line
How’s your life
Hope everything’s fine

Haven’t seen you since your wedding day
And now your first baby is on the way
And though we haven’t always felt like sisters
I drove all night just to hold and kiss her

To tell her all the things I never told you
And to show her I all the love I never got to show you

Will she have your smile? Do you have mine?
I think you about you all the time
And though we grew up miles and miles apart
Sweet sister of mine, you are the jewel of my heart

Hey Baby Sister, are you OK?
It’s been 18 hours since things got underway
Do you deal with pain better than I do
Is that another thing we have in common too?
We never got the chance to grow up as sisters
But we’ve done alright, all things considered

Thought I’d sing the things I never told you
I hope you feel the love I never got to show you

Will she have Dad’s nose, just like you?
Or his sense of humor the way I do?
And though we grew up miles and miles apart
Your little Ruby, will be the jewel of my heart

May she be sure and full of fight
May her light shine ever brighter
May peace always find her
And may her mother’s heart never tire (Ever higher)

May she one day grow to love me
The way we’ve grown to love each other
Either way I will love her
Cause she is my sister’s daughter
Oh sweet Ruby, you are the jewel of all our hearts

May it never ever feel like we are miles and miles apart
Oh sweet Ruby, you are the jewel of all our hearts