The Slight Variations

by Jono Manson

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released October 14, 2016

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Jono Manson Santa Fe, New Mexico

We weren't accomplished enough to copy the songs that we heard on the radio, so we had no choice but to make up our own”, says Jono Manson of his first band which he formed in 1968, at the age of seven. So began the career of this prolific singer/songwriter and veteran performer. ... more

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Track Name: Trees
1. Trees 
Words and Music by Jono Manson and Caline Welles

Trees are mostly made of air
Sometimes water, sometimes wood
Of nests and birds and flowering fruits
Until the winter finds them bare
 
Birds are mostly made of light
Sometimes feather, sometimes song
A morning tune a hollow bone
Against the sky when they’re in flight

The sky is mostly made of breath
Sometimes blue, sometimes gold
Of inhale, exhale, lover’s swoon
The rumbling thunder warmth of death

Death is mostly made of dreams
Sometimes nightmare, sometimes sweet
From which we wake, towards where we fall
Collected memory falling leaves

Leaves are mostly made of time
Sometimes dull, sometimes divine
Seasons 'round seconds swirl 
Life’s most cruel and simple crime
Track Name: Rough and Tumble
Rough and Tumble 
Words and Music by Jono Manson and Chris Barron

I started out shouting those Lynch mob blues
Another strato-bastard with something to prove
I hit the ground rocking with holes in my soles
All dressed up nowhere to roll

And it was rough and tumble
Rough and tumble

Its man bites dog in this hard assed town
If you don't wanna lose it .you'd better nail it down
You sharpen your razor from ten to four
And then you take your licks on the killing floor

And it was rough and tumble
Rough and tumble
It was rough and tumble
Rough and tumble

A shot in the arm, a kick in the pants
You'd better pay the piper if you wanna dance
I roll with the punches but I won't go down
Because I'm ripe and ready for another round

I am rough and tumble
Rough and tumble
Yes I am rough and tumble
Rough and tumble
Track Name: Wildflower
Wildflower 
Words and Music by Jono Manson and Joe Flood

Turn your face up to the sun
No flower sweeter than my wild one
Shining in the morning dew
I just can’t keep my eyes off you
Wildflower

This old life ain’t supposed to be
A bed of roses
We’ll put down roots wherever
That old wind blows us
All I know is wherever I go
I want to see my wildflower grow

Look out over the tall grass
All day long
Dance all night, dance all night
To the cicada song

Yellow, purple, blue and gold
You keep on blooming, and you never grow old
For you’re the mother and the child
Wrap yourself around me tangled and wild
Wildflower

This old life ain’t supposed to be
A bed of roses
We’ll put down roots wherever
That old wind blows us
All I know is wherever I go
I want to see my wildflower grow
Track Name: The Sea is the Same
On a hill, in a breeze
That blows from the sea
The hours do silently fly
With the sun, laying low
On the white waves below
The nightingale's voices
Do whisper, 堵oodbye”
How the hours do fly
Voices whisper goodbye

On a hill, 'neath a tree
She looks to the sea
With the eyes of a fisherman's girl
And blue turns to gray
With each drowning day
She watches him sail
O'r the edge of the world
And the blue turns to gray
He is sailing away

She whispers his name
Where wind is untamed
Where the waves always change
The sea is the same

On a hill, in his boots
Near the old trees deep roots
He meets her where she waits alone
Returning each day
From the cold, salty bay
To kneel in the flowers
That grow by her stone
She waits alone
As he comes home
She waits alone
As he comes home

She whispers his name
Where wind is untamed
Where the waves always change
The sea is the same
Track Name: Footprints on the Moon
Footprints on the Moon
Words and Music by Jono Manson 
When I was only eight years old, I woke one summer night
So I could watch the images in blurry back and white
The Zenith broadcast shadows that danced around the room 
As astronauts made history and footprints on the moon

And we did rise up, rise up
Lifting into flight
We did rise up
Burning through the night

In the moment of our triumph, in our finest hour 
At the apex of our glory and our fearsome power
Turning homewards we did lift off, leaving golf balls on the dunes
And our great flag proudly flying over footprints on the moon

And we did rise up, rise up
Lifting into flight
We did rise up
Burning through the night

And as the tides roll out and in, great cities rise and grow
The heavens gaze down silently at progress down below
With the tallest towers set ablaze, our fiddle plays its tune
Drifting ever upwards, past footprints on the moon

And we did rise up, rise up
Lifting into flight
We did rise up
Burning through the night

When the waters have all risen and life begins anew
The earth will keep on spinning, beautiful and blue
When our song has ended and our race is run too soon
Leaving nothing but a shadow and footprints on the moon

We will rise up. rise up
Lifting into flight
We will rise up
Burning through the night
Track Name: The Slight Variations
The Slight Varitaions
Words and Music by Jono Manson 
I wrote a song, and took two steps back
Before I know what hit me, it was a title track
I can't speed it up, it can't be transposed
I can't boil it down, with polyphonic prose
These are the slight variations
Sometimes it's hard to hear the changes
These are the slight variations 
I've got a big brother
When it was just us two
We used to make believe
The way that brothers do
Now he spends his days 
In the present tense
Just killing time
In self defense
These are the slight variations
Sometimes it's hard to see it coming
These are the slight variations 
Until there's nowhere left to run
These are the slight variations
Sometimes it's hard to see it changing
These are the slight variations 
I'm gonna sing my soul, and my rock and roll
And the back-porch blues
Just like there's nothing left to lose.
These are the slight variations
And you won't see it changing
These are the slight variations 
Until its all been rearranged
These are the slight variations
And you won't see it coming
These are the slight variations 
Track Name: What Would I Not Do
What Would I Not Do? 
Words and Music by Jono Manson and Caline Welles

What would I not do?
Under the sun for you 
I can't think of anything
When I see your face
It's everything
A million times I'd do it all
And then
I  would do it all again

What would I not do?
Under the stars for you
I can't think of anything
When I hear your breath
It's everything
A million steps I'd take
And then
I  would walk them all again

I would not leave you
I would not deceive you
I would not ever care
To have it any other way
Or take back a single day
If you were not there

What would I not do?
Under the earth for you
Can't think of anything
When I feel you move
It's everything
A million miles I'd rise
And then
I'd come back to you again
A million miles I'd rise
And then
I'd come back to you again
Track Name: Brother's Keeper
Brother's Keeper
Words and Music by Jono Manson and Caline Welles
Bridges were built 
To raise economy
Some flew off them
And learned astronomy
It's one for the money 
Who cares for the poor 
Watch them leap 
Then lock the door

Railroads were made
To move us toward the gold
Most have died
Or just gotten old 
It's two for the towers
No longer in the sky
Don't look for answers 
No one knows why

It's each one for themselves 
Let the others fall
For a price they'd sell their brother 'round the bend
But I will not lay down
If darkness comes to call
I will be my brother's keeper to the end

The steamboat chugs
Against the power of the moon
Medicine cooks
In the cradle of a spoon
It's three for the brothers
And the sisters in bed
Cardboard pillows
Underneath their heads

It's each one for themselves 
Let the others fall
For a price they'd sell their brother 'round the bend
But I will not lay down
If darkness comes to call
I will be my brother's keeper to the end
Track Name: So the Story Goes
So the Story Goes 
Words and Music by Joe Flood
Boy and girl walking down the street 
Suddenly their eyes meet 
Suddenly they fall in love 
Or so the story goes 
They start to see a lot of each other 
Become part of one another 
She's says she loves him and he says he loves her 
And so the story goes 

He works hard and one day he buys a ring 
Takes it on home to his sweet thing 
They set a date for the wedding 
Or so the story goes 
Until the day she says it must end 
'Cause she has found a new friend 
It feels worse than starting over again 
And so the story goes 

He tries to figure out how he wronged her 
He gives it up but the nights keep getting longer 
He searches every pair of eyes around every corner 
And so the story goes 
Why couldn't fate supply a happier ending 
Toward love and life forever wending 
Like a willow weeping into the river bending 
So the story goes
Track Name: When the Time is Right
When the Time is Right
Words and Music by Jono Manson Caline Welles

Two birds sleep in the dark of night
Their wings embrace the hidden light
All the while they're ready for flight
When the time is right
When the time is right

The ocean moans to the pull of tides
Moonlight heaves on the rolling ride
As she waits for wave and shore to collide
To choose a side
When the time is right

As the melting snow 
To the river flows 
Homeward down to the sea
As the mourning dove songs 
Rise and fall, then they're gone 
We will move on when the time is right
  
Angels watch from up on high
Illuminate the nighttime sky
A new star shines inside your eyes
Burning bright
The time is right

As the melting snow 
To the river flows 
Homeward down to the sea
As the mourning dove songs 
Rise and fall, then they're gone 
We will move on when the time is right
We will move on when the time is right
Track Name: Little Bird Song
Little Bird Song
Words and Music by Jono Manson and Caline Welles

Little bird song morning in the trees
All the little whistles all the blending melodies
Take me to the seaside, all the places you have seen
While you fly up in the sky with a view of everything

Little bird song, teach me how to sing
Show me what it's like to sail on tiny little wings

Take me through the seasons, feed me berries feed me corn
Show me how to make a nest that's comfortable and warm
Wake me in the morning in a home that's made of leaves
Of twigs and sticks pretty things from all your flying dreams

Little bird song, teach me how to sing
Show me what it's like to sail on tiny little wings

Little bird song morning in the trees
All the little whistles all the blending melodies
Wake me with the sunlight, say goodbye before you go
To someplace warm and beautiful before the winter snow

Little bird song, teach me how to sing
Show me what it's like to sail on tiny little wings
Little bird song, teach me how to sing.
Show me what it's like to sail on tiny little wings