Alan at the Station | Photo: Coleman Rogers

CREDITS: ANNALS OF MY GLASS HOUSE

Alan Williams: lead vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonium, percussion, string arrangements
Darleen Wilson: acoustic and electric guitar, harmony vocals
Greg Porter: bass, harmony vocals
Ben Wittman: drums, percussion
Fabio Pirozollo: percussion on "Astronomy," "Mystery" and "Moonlight Mile"
Jerry Leake: percussion on "Clean," "Light in the Window," "Mystery," and “Light”
Anne Elise Thomas: qunun on "Adrift," and “The Heart That Failed”
David Gutierrez: orchestral drums on "Light"
Kevin Barry: lapsteel on "Velvet Indigo" and "Heartland"
Marissa Licata: first violin
Maximillian Haft: second violin (Bound and Heavens)
Stephanie Skor: second violin (Lumens)
Rose Wollman: viola (Bound and Heavens)
Helen Sherrah-Davies: five-string violin (Vigil and Lumens)
Catherine Bent: cello

Produced by Alan Williams
Bass and drums (Ben Wittman) recorded by Roy Hendrickson, assisted by Aki Nishimura, at Avatar Studios in New York City.
Strings recorded by Antonio Oliart at Fraser Performance Studio, WGBH in Boston.
Fabio, Jerry, and Anne Elise recorded in their homes by Alan Williams with the Backpack Mobile system. All other performances recorded by Alan Williams at The Aviary (Mach 1 and 2).
Mastered by Mark Donahue at Soundmirror in Jamaica Plain, MA.

Photography by Julia Margaret Cameron

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THOSE BEAUTIFUL WORDS

BOUND (Annals of My Glass House, Disc 1)

THOSE BEAUTIFUL WORDS
By Alan Williams © 2008 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

It's been a long time since I welcomed you in,
And buried your treasure map under my skin
And worshipped a face that was lit from within,
By love

And walking the streets holding on to your hand,
With the words pouring out like the hourglass sands
I'm riding a wave that I don't understand, 
So fleeting

So tell me, tell me, tell me what I'm feeling

'Cause language will falter and fall from our grasp,
And the vacuum of space is a silence so vast
It's the distance that tells us that something has passed, 
Between us

Of all of the wonderful lessons I've learned
When a song has been sung it can not be unheard
And though I've forgotten those beautiful words

I still remember, I still remember, I still remember, 
What they mean

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PRODIGAL SOUL

PRODIGAL SOUL 
By Alan Williams © 2008 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

Well I set out in search of things too dumb to mention
But I lost my way, I lost my nerve
I didn't notice, wasn't paying much attention
Will my prodigal soul return?

I set a match to everything that once had mattered
But some bridges can't be burned
I'll find my way back home by the wreckage I left scattered
When my prodigal soul returns

Forgive me for the road I'm on
Forgive me where everything went wrong
Forgive me for being gone so long

So put an end to all the rumor and conjecture
I got what I deserved.
Now after many one-too-many misadventures
Will my prodigal soul return?

Yeah I, I will
Return.

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WISHFUL THINKING

WISHFUL THINKING
By Alan Williams © 2008 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

Tomorrow cannot come soon enough for me
Tonight I'm as sure as I will ever be
I waited for answers and the answers never came
I cast out my demons, now there's no one else to blame

And nothing is ever good enough for me
The surface is never all there is to see
I reached out for something and I held it in my hand
But when I looked closer, I began to understand

That when I thought I'd found it
When I thought I'd found it
It was just wishful thinking
Wishful thinking 
Wishful thinking of you

The night has opened it's secrets up to me
In darkness, the stark relief of clarity
We slip into focus then we slowly drift apart
Lost in the depths of our unfathomable hearts 

And when I thought I knew her
When I thought I knew her
It was just wishful thinking
Wishful thinking 
Wishful thinking of you

Do all of us wonder just how long we can endure
While falling together both unsteady and unsure

That when we say I love you
When we say I love you
Is it just wishful thinking
Wishful thinking 
Am I in wishful thinking with you?

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ROSES

ROSES
By Alan Williams © 2008 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

Lying with my eyes to the sky
Watching stars and satellites go by
Lonesome as a song, lonesome as a song
On the radio.

Lying with my ear to the ground
Waiting that engine to come round
Making make-believe, making make-believe
I don't have to go.

But oh, flowers in my head
Roses for my bed
In summer
Hanging by a thread
Something good she said
Is coming, coming soon.

I'll make believe I'll leave it all behind
An emptiness, never hard to find
Promises and lies, promises and lies
And the drifting snow.
Staring at the shadows on the wall
Waiting for the icicles to fall
Only killing time. Only killing time
Til it's time to go.

But oh, flowers in my head
Roses for my bed
In summer

Hanging by a thread
Something good she said
Is coming, coming true.

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BROKEN SILENCES

BROKEN SILENCES
By Alan Williams © 2008 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

Taken in by her unspoken words
Singing as she tries not to be heard
Conjuring a world out of thin air
A terrifying burden she must bear

Broken silences will echo in the deepest dark
Broken silences will guide me to her heart

How can so much sadness be so sweet 
And all of the joy so incomplete
Searching for a reason not to cry 
The beauty of the moments passing by

Reaching for a dream she can embrace
That love is enough to fill the space

Reaching for a dream she can embrace
That love is enough
Could be enough
Might be enough to say
That love is enough today

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DREAMING

DREAMING
By Deborah Harry and Chris Stein © 1979

See lyrics on www.deborah-harry.com

ASTRONOMY

HEAVENS (Annals Disc 2)

ASTRONOMY
by Alan Williams © 2009 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

The starting of the day, you feel the first sun rays
Full of possibility 
Rising out of bed, she's foggy in the head
Floating in tranquility
Coffee in her hand
The things that she has planned
Spring to life like flowers from a seed

Off and on her way, she's making out ok
The morning train pulls slowly in
She'll leave the grand parade, for the tools of her trade
A telescope and fountain pen

Look into the lens
See how the light bends
Stretching to infinity

Astronomy – discoveries
Astronomy – the mysteries
Astronomy – of what will be
Astronomy – wait and see

She's moving down the aisle, I look her way and smile
Through the window from my seat
Relativity is all the same to me
Parallel lines never meet
Measuring a space
Too big to calculate
The chance and probabilities

Measuring the space
Too deep to contemplate
Stretching to infinity

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LIGHT IN THE WINDOW

LIGHT IN THE WINDOW
By Alan Williams © 2009 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

The comet forms an arc that radiates so brightly
It burned a hole into the sky
From out of nowhere soon to disappear forever
With just the faintest of goodbyes

The light in the window
Tells me your home
It beckons to me
But I'm light years gone

The core is frozen and the surface is on fire
It rages silently in space
A bullet fragment ricocheting through the cosmos
And vanishing without a trace

The changing orbits of two bodies still in motion
A chance collision in the dark
The core is frozen and my surface is on fire
And I am vanishing

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CLEAN

CLEAN 
By Alan Williams © 2009 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

Cold and still like a frozen ocean
Skating past in the slowest motion
Molten steel like a burst of autumn
Falling fast and there is no bottom

Blood on my hands, blood on my hands

Help me now, the sky is falling
Sing to me of dreams
Hold me now, the earth is trembling
Tearing at the seams
Caught up in a current
Rushing headlong to the sea
But all the water in the river
Will not wash me clean

Accidents, chaos and disorder
Lying still, fear will take me over
Violence, sharp and mystifying
Bends my will, still I won't deny it

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ADRIFT

ADRIFT
By Alan Williams © 2009 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

So we rode into the night 
'Til the sun vanished from sight 
Falling back to follow your lead 
'Til your trail is all that I believe

In this state of grace, no one stands alone
We will breathe as one, flesh and blood and bone

Take the boat out on the sea
As the sky begins to bleed
Drifting out far from the shore
Find the strength to let go the oars

In that empty space, nothing stands apart
I will disappear out beyond the stars

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MYSTERY

MYSTERY
By Alan Williams © 2009 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)\

Midnight, silent as a photograph
Silent as a mirrored glass
In pieces

A whisper, floating on an ocean breez
Floating on a wave that keeps
Its secrets
but I don't want to look in the eyes of heaven
I don't want to see what I can't believe
I don't want to run to the arms of Jesus
I just want to keep the mystery

Mystery calls, floating over garden walls
Floating like a wordless song
Surrounds you

And time stops, frozen like a broken clock
Frozen like the rain that drops
Around you

Search light, soaring in the dead of night
Soaring like a wing to guide
The starless

And time flies, high above a metal sky
High above the space that hides
The darkness

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MOONLIGHT MILE

MOONLIGHT MILE
By Mick Jagger and Keith Richard © 2009 ABKCO Music Inc. (BMI)

Sorry, we can't offer their lyrics.

NUMBERED DAYS

Vigil (Annals Disc 3)

NUMBERED DAYS
By Alan Williams © 2009 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

Wait another night for the morning light to appear
Watching time unravel, extinguishing the years
Keeping to myself my solitary sins
From beautiful companions nameless to the end

But who will wait for the light fading away
And who will stay for the counting of numbered days

The ghosts of my life scattered by the winds
A broken line of disenchanted lovers and friends
Their faces disappear and memories take wing
Flying like a bird in my bed about to sing

But who will wait for the light fading away
And who will stay for the counting of numbered days

The future steals the past like a thief in the dark
And every memory ends with a question mark

So I wait another night, wait another year
Letting time erase, 'til my conscience is clear

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SOFTLY, LIKE AN AMEN

SOFTLY, LIKE AN AMEN
By Alan Williams © 2009 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

Strange are the hours
In the late autumn showers
When the mist rises up from the field
Under death's spell
I will lay as i fell
Waiting for all that will be revealed

So far away
As the night follows day
She will turn down the lamp that once burned
There in the dark
She will know in her heart
That her true love will never return

Turning the night out

Sweet were the nights
In the soft candlelight
When the fires were lit in our hearts
Come to me now
In the dream's solemn vow
That all lovers are never to part

So far from home
I am lost and alone
And the darkness has swallowed me whole
Tell me again
Softly, like an amen
Let your words come envelope my soul

The blessed peace
Of the gentle release
Let your prayer come to carry me home
Tell me again, softly like an amen

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MATTE KUDASAI

MATTE KUDASAI
By King Crimson, © 1981 Universal Music Careers obo "EG Music, Ltd." (BMI)

Sorry, we can't offer their lyrics.

THE HEART THAT FAILED

THE HEART THAT FAILED
By Alan Williams © 2009 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI))

Now that the lights have dimmed and silence falls like a hymn
The arms of a broken man reach for an open hand
Longing to be restored, the bottle already poured
Moments that never pass bring my lips to the glass

Drink to the poison curse
Drink to the miracle cure
Drink to the memory
Drink to the remedy

A remedy – bitter and pale
A remedy – nursing a heart that failed

There's something familiar here, the fragrance of bitter tears
Burns in the finest grain and echoes in soft refrains
And now that her eyes are dry, the song of her last goodbye
A kiss that will quickly fade, a lingering serenade

A serenade - broken and frail
A serenade – sung to a heart that failed

Suddenly opened doors and footsteps upon the floor
The arms of a younger man reach for an open hand

Waltzing across the yard, a tango beneath the stars
Stepping through centuries, living in memory

A memory – faded and veiled
A memory – held in the heart that failed

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SO NEAR

SO NEAR
By Alan Williams © 2009 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

I have loved you it’s true
I have wondered aloud at the grace
Of a bird as she flew
With a wave of her hand
Never touching the ground where I stand

Every gesture she makes
Every movement a storm leaving
Scattered debris in its wake
But a delicate touch
I remember that much

I love you still
Although the years fade into memory
I love you still
Your distant kiss still feels so real to me
So near to me, so near

A promise was made
You embodied my ideal of heaven
But now it’s betrayed
Still your words remain clear
And your voice never seemed so near

There’s a choice I must make
To follow your footsteps
And relive the same mistakes
So, though it may not be true
This is how I will choose to remember you

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AU REVOIR

AU REVOIR
By Alan Williams © 2009 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

Thank you for your muted response
And turning from a loved one into a stranger
I'm learning not to say it all at once
Learning how to recognize the danger

Thank you for the hollow in your voice
Your delicate and eloquent appraisal
I'm listening as if I had a choice
Of hearing something other than betrayal

Au revoir, mon ami
We've come to a parting of the ways
Au revoir, mon ami
In your eyes I recognize
There's nothing left to say
More or less
Less is more
Au revoir

Thanks for the resistance in your touch
Your love for me withheld in hesitation
I've learned to live with needing it too much
So, I'll take the distance as my consolation

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VELVET INDIGO

Lumens (Annals Disc 4)

VELVET INDIGO
By Alan Williams © 2010 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

So  I am waiting for the morning sun 
And I am waiting for my time to come
I'm waiting for that starting gun
For the sound, like a thunderclap
Stops my heart, and starts again
Infinite lines on the road map
Take a running leap 

And, go – Bounding out in the velvet indigo
And, go – Finding out in the velvet indigo

And I can see it in your eyes you've waited too
And I have heard the voices that are calling you
And I have witnessed miracles out of the blue
In the night, when the fire is out
With the cold creeping in 
Cast aside your coat of crippling doubt 

Just let it go – Wrap yourself in the velvet indigo
And, go – Release yourself in the velvet indigo

'Til the night, comes to take you in
When the darkness starts to fall
Catch the light that you're breathing in

And, go – Diving down in the velvet indigo
And, go – Lighting out in the velvet indigo 
And, go – Dissolving into the velvet indigo
And, go – Exalt yourself in the velvet indigo

Go

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CAN'T HELP MYSELF

CAN'T HELP MYSELF
By Alan Williams © 2009 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

I can't help myself, from falling down
Can't help myself, when you're not around
Can't help myself, I know it's true
Can't help myself, but what can I do?

Can't help myself, my weakness is strong
I've paid any price to sell myself short, for so very long
Can't help myself, I know that it's wrong
Drawn to the light, can't stay away, I'm hopelessly gone

I can't help myself, I'm upside down
Can't help myself, I'm all turned around
Can't help myself, I'm inside out
Can't help myself, absolutely in doubt

Can't help myself, I'm trouble bound
I laugh 'til I cry, feel so uptight, I'm coming unwound

I can't help myself, from falling down
Can't help myself, when you are around
Can't help myself, too much, too soon
Can't help myself, I'm over the moon

I can't help myself, it's sad but true
I can't help myself, and I don't want to!

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HEARTLAND

HEARTLAND
By Alan Williams © 2010 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

Maria sends a telegram
To let me know that nothing lasts
Open windows, closing doors
And all that was, is no more
And never will

Maria, I don't understand
Your words refuse an open hand
“Give me a chance," I will implore
Like every man who came before
And ever will

Light out for the heartland
Far as eyes can see
There's no place for me

Maria loved the sound of trains
The smell of grass in summer rains
Washing away the dirt and dust
The dream of spring we come to trust
'Til winter comes

Maria, I was halfway there
Turning down the road we shared
Everything, or none at all
You had a choice and made the call
Thy will be done

And all the things you left behind
The remnants of a troubled time
Photographs of fishing boats
With empty nets and unread notes
That said it all

Light out for the heartland
Yearning to be free 
It's too late for me

Light out for the heartland
Skies are growing dark
It's too late to start

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NEVER MAKE ME CRY

NEVER MAKE ME CRY
By Christine McVie © 1979 Universal Music Careers (BMI)

Sorry we can't offer the lyrics.

LIGHT

LIGHT
By Alan Williams © 2010 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

Lightning strikes, cold winds blow
Water will rise above the seeds we sow
The evil we see, the evil we are
The soul a massive black hole, swallowing stars
Innocence lost, the pure defiled
Every monster once some mother's child
Release the soul, let it take flight
So in the darkest heart, let there be light
Let there be light!

Down in the hole, the plots and schemes
The acid tongue, the mad corrosive dreams
Thick is the air, and filled with dread
From all the tortured logic in your head
A terrible fate, the nightmare plan
The itchy trigger finger, murderous hands
But locked away, hidden from sight
In the darkest heart, there must be light
There must be light.

Lightning strikes, cold winds blow...
Beware the fear, its grip is tight
Beware the hearts of darkness, follow the light
Follow the light, let there be light

Amidst the cries, the endless grief 
Clinging to one last faltering belief
Whisper a prayer, deep in the night
Someday the darkest heart will find its light

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MORNING GLORY

MORNING GLORY
By Alan Williams © 2010 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

Worlds are blooming, just outside your window
A menagerie of petalled rainbows
Like little prizes under the skies of blue
A garden full of morning glories

But you won't see them, inside the shades are drawn 
Another shadowed gray day is dawning
Tears are flowing from your eyes of blue
There's nothing you can do about them

Rain clouds are forming, and pouring
Nothing left to do, but let them
Cool the tired earth below
Where birds will sing of flowers growing

And life continues, in the sleepy village
Days will pass into the evening stillness
A fond adieu to the sinking skies of blue
The moon has come to tell you stories

Dream worlds will hold you, enfold you
Let the midnight hour awake you
Tumbling from your slumbers
Where the comfort of my arms awaits you

And in the dawning, when the sun is rising
There's a brand new light, on your horizon
Wondrous surprises, open your eyes of blue
“Good morning, little morning glory"

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CATCH ME

CATCH ME
by Alan Williams © 2010 Under a Metal Sky Music (BMI)

Catch me, I'm falling, falling for you
Catch me, I'm falling, falling for you
So many years apart, together, so few
So catch me, I'm falling, falling for you

And I'm over my head, over my head
Over my head in love with you

I made resolutions, more than a few
I made resolutions and broke them in two
They're so overused these words, so tried and true
But catch me, I'm falling in love with you

Yes, I'm over my head, I'm over my head
Overly overwhelmed and overjoyed 
By you 

So tell me you're falling, tell me it's true
Tell me you're falling, I know what to do
Now, don't keep me waiting, it's long overdue
Just tell me you're falling 
And I'll follow you