Dickinson's Christmas Carol

by Grey Anne

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"Dickinson's Christmas Carol" is a concept EP that combines traditional holiday tunes with Emily Dickinson poems. This is its second annual release, with a continuing effort to make small improvements to the content and recording quality.


released December 10, 2011

Performed, recorded, and adapted by Grey Anne.
Poems by Emily Dickinson.
Dedicated to the late Marilyn Lee.



all rights reserved


Grey Anne Portland, Oregon

Originally hailing from Anacortes, WA, Anne Adams has been a mainstay of Portland music since 2003, playing under the monikers "Per Se" and "Grey Anne," and collaborating in electronica duo "Sweater." A trailblazer of the earnest, theatrical folk era that followed ironic indie rock, she's more recently expanded her endeavors to include work on the film Coraline, dinosaur tarot and arts journalism. ... more

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Track Name: Hope Is a Thing w/ Feathers
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all

{Hope, hope, hope is the thing w/ feathers
Hope, hope, hope never stops at all}

And sweetest in the gale is heard
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm

{Hope, hope, hope is the thing w/ feathers
Hope, hope, hope never stops at all.}

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

{Hope, hope, hope is the thing w/ feathers
Hope, hope, hope never stops at all.}
Track Name: Because I Could Not Stop for Death
Because I could not stop for Death,
he kindly stopped for me
The carriage held but just ourselves
and immortality

He slowly drove, he knew no haste,
and I had put away
my labor, my leisure too,
for his civility

[It was just ourselves and immortality]

We passed the school where children played
their lessons scarcely done
We passed the field of gazing grain
We passed the setting sun

Or rather, he passed us--
the air grew shivering and chill
through my gown, only gossamer
my tippet only tulle

[as we passed the children playing at the school]

We paused before a house that seemed
a swelling of the ground
The roof was scarcely visible
the cornice but a mound

Since then 'tis centuries
but each feels shorter than the day
that I first saw the horses' heads were toward eternity

[It was just ourselves and immortality]
Track Name: A Narrow Fellow in the Grass
A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him,--did you not,
His notice sudden is.

The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen;
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on.

He likes a boggy acre,
A floor too cool for corn.
Yet when a child, and barefoot,
I more than once, at morn,

Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash
Unbraiding in the sun,--
When, stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled, and was gone.

Several of nature's people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality;

But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.
Track Name: A Bird Came Down The Walk
A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,--
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, splashless, as they swim.
Track Name: Thunder Hurried Slow
The wind began to rock the grass
With threatening tunes and low,--
He flung a menace at the earth,
A menace at the sky.

The leaves unhooked themselves from trees
And started all abroad;
The dust did scoop itself like hands
And throw away the road.

The wagons quickened on the streets,
The thunder hurried slow;
The lightning showed a yellow beak,
And then a livid claw.

The birds put up the bars to nests,
The cattle fled to barns;
There came one drop of giant rain,
And then, as if the hands

That held the dams had parted hold,
The waters wrecked the sky
But overlooked my father's house,
lust quartering a tree.

A thought went up my mind today
that I have had before
but did not finish some way back
I could not fix the year...

nor where it went
nor why it came
a second time to me
nor definitely what it was
have I the art to say.

But somewhere in my soul I know
I've met the thing before
It just reminded me, 'twas all
then came my way no more.
Track Name: I Went To Heaven
I went to heaven,--
'T was a small town,
Lit with a ruby,
Lathed with down.
Stiller than the fields
At the full dew,
Beautiful as pictures
No man drew.
with People like moths,
with mechlin frames,
with gossamer work
And eider names.
Almost contented
I could be
'Mong such unique