How The City Sings

by Sam Carter

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    'This is a bittersweet folk-electric concept album, influenced by his time spent in London, and the songs range from the slow and personal From the South Bank to Soho, which features exquisite viola work from Sam Sweeney, to the remarkable Drop the Bomb, which starts as a gentle ballad backed by the piano of Neil Cowley (of Adele fame) and ends as a furious electric guitar workout.’ **** The Guardian

    '‘…like one of his heroes Richard Thompson, Carter has the ability to enthral with just one climactic chord when he moves effortlessly into rock guitar mode and the jagged contrast with his softer side makes it all the more effective' fRoots

    Includes unlimited streaming of How The City Sings via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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    Get all 6 Sam Carter releases available on Bandcamp and save 15%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of How The City Sings, Live At The Union Chapel, The No Testament, Keepsakes, Here In The Ground, and Lumpy's Lullaby. , and , .

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about

Produced by Dom Monks and renowned pianist Neil Cowley, How the City Sings is the most personal album of Sam Carter's career, featuring 12 songs shot through with images and aspects of life in the nation's capital that are at times affectingly intimate and at others brimming with righteous rage.

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released April 8, 2016

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Sam Carter UK

‘Sam Carter is a brilliant guitarist and songwriter who combines the observational with social comment and personal reflection’ Songlines

2010 BBC Folk Awards Horizon Award Winner

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Track Name: From The South Bank To Soho
From the south bank to soho we stride through the night
And the fire between us never burned so bright
I pass her my jacket as we sidestep and twist
Through the streets and the masses but there's a turn we’ve missed

'Cos she’s a dream and still so young
With a whole world to discover
And I've been holding on in this town too long
I have to let her go because I love her

I’ve never felt such passion, I’ve never known such grace
As when we’re arm in arm and face to face
She says ‘oh take me home’ but I feel unsure
I can't think of this city as home anymore

I need to leave and begin to grieve
To make a change while I recover
It’s this wanderlust that bonded us
I have to let her go because I love her

Underground we stand between two platforms again
She'll soon be heading south while mine’s the northbound train
But I can't let it lie and she's clinging on too
I mouth a last goodbye as she slips from view

And if in time somewhere down the line
We come to run into each other
And she wants to know why I let her go
I had to let her go because I love her

How could I mend her? I was a broken man
How could she piece me together with those unsteady hands?
How at its worst was it all for the best?
How could it be such a curse when I felt so blessed?

I won’t pretend we were a perfect blend
It would’ve died one way or the other
But I feel regret and I won’t forget
How I let her go because I love her
Track Name: Dark Days
Dark days upon us again
Again and will we all survive?
Make it out alive?

Dark days upon us again
Again and will we all survive?
Make it out alive?
Goodnight and good luck

Dark shadows shift up ahead
Ahead of every step we take
And stalk us in our wake

Dark clouds adrift overhead
Get ready as the thunder sounds
It's time to hunker down
Good night and good luck

Helpless as we are there is still hope
There's hope
We won't give up or give in 'til the last penny drops

Dark days upon us again
Again and will we all survive?
Make it out alive?
Dark days upon us again
Dark days upon us again
Dark days upon us again
Track Name: Counting The Cost
Fruit flies hovering in my kitchen
What do they want with me?

Night time crashes in, I’m on my own again
I’m terrible company

And now I know what I’ve lost
And now I’m counting the cost
Helene

Soon I'll come to collect my things from you
Gotta go through with it

Like the spoils of war, hard won, struggled for
But what do you do with it?

And now I know what I’ve lost
And now I’m counting the cost
Helene
Track Name: King For A Day
Dream come true, how do you do
Waltzing through the city with you
Light me up, let me burn
I'll leave no trace, I’ll never return

Now my reign is over
Lost to memories past
I must have been in love
To think it would last

I was king for a day until you took back my crown

The mighty fell, it wasn’t to be
All that trust just lost at sea
Can I bear this load with you
This regal mess you’ve got me into

Shattered ever after
I will be the one
Trying to stem the tide
Now that you’re gone

I was king for a day until you took back my crown

Bow before the king
Track Name: Drop The Bomb
So I thought the whole thing through
Now there's nothing left to do
It’s time to set it off
It’s time to drop the bomb

Just a lone dissenting voice
Who can see no other choice
It’s time to set it off
It’s time to drop the bomb

Sure there's nothing for me here
But there's nothing left to fear
It's time to set it off
It's time to drop the bomb

I'll block out the cries and screams
Smash it all to smithereens
It’s time to set it off
It’s time to drop the bomb

Drop the bomb, drop the bomb
Blow it all to kingdom come
It’s time to set it off
It's time to drop the bomb

Break it up and tear it down
Raise the whole thing to the ground
It’s time to set it off
It’s time to drop the bomb

And I'm building something new
Where I'll get a better view
It's time to set it off
It's time to drop the bomb

Drop the bomb, drop the bomb
Blow it all to kingdom come
It’s time to set it off
It's time to drop the bomb
Track Name: The Grieved Soul
Come my soul, and let us try
For a little season,
Ev'ry burden to lay by,
Come and let us reason.
What is this that casts thee down?
Who are those that grieve thee?
Speak and let the worst be known,
Speaking may relieve thee.
Track Name: Our Kind Of Harmony
Well you floored me from across the square
A high note soaring out into the air
‘Cos I’ve been holding on to hear a voice like yours so long
You sound so good to me
You’re singing my kind of harmony

So I say hello and hold your gaze
You speak and it resonates with me for days
And now I’m wondering if you and I could start to sing
And the two parts come to be
Our kind of harmony

None of that throwaway three minute stuff
This is holy hymnody
Sacred and simple and more than enough
In the here and now, you and me
Our kind of harmony

And so we cease to sing alone
South of the river now we'll make a home
And when you’re tiring and the city seems a tuneless thing
Come on home to me
And our kind of harmony

And in the silent early evening light
I know what's coming and I know it's right
The Song of Solomon's got nothing on us when we get it on
It feels so good to me
Our kind of harmony

If in our closeness we clash for a time
As we sound in sympathy
We'll stick it out ‘til the two of us bind
Into one new melody
Our kind of harmony
Track Name: Taunting The Dog
We’ve been at this row for ten minutes now
And the end ain’t getting any nearer
Wring your hands all you like, you can scream and shout
But your point ain’t getting any clearer

Hold your fire, calm down, let me speak
I’m giving you one last chance to shut your mouth and keep me sweet

Now you’re taunting the dog, my friend
He’s shown his teeth before but you wind him up again
‘Cos you’re taunting the dog and then
You wonder why he comes back to bite you in the end

So I bite my tongue as you're foaming at the mouth
‘Cos the ground that you’re on is looking shaky
And I cringe as I watch your senses going south
You’ve got it arse about face, oopsa daisy

Hold your fire, calm down, let me speak
I’m giving you one last chance to shut your mouth and keep me sweet

Now you’re taunting the dog, my friend
He’s shown his teeth before but you wind him up again
‘Cos you’re taunting the dog and then
You wonder why he comes back to bite you in the end
Track Name: One Last Clue
Well I chew my pencil and I wrack my brains
Before I curse the clue for thirteen down
I’ve drawn a blank again
So I send a hopeful glance towards a friend

Say the word, say the word, when you think of it, spit it out

Now it’s got your back up and it’s got me riled
And now it tries our patience and for what?
This damn four letter word
The one that we both know needs to be heard

Say the word, say the word, when you think of it, spit it out
Say the word, say the word I can see it there in your mouth

I think you see things just the way I do, oh yes you do
And you feel things just the way I do, oh yes you do
And if our filthy minds think alike
Then help me solve this one last clue

It’s a case of love at first frustration
And now nine across has got us stumped
I just can’t pin it down
You’ve got something about you when you frown

Say the word, say the word, when you think of it, spit it out
Say the word, say the word I can see it there in your mouth

I think you see things just the way I do, oh yes you do
And you feel things just the way I do, oh yes you do
And if our filthy minds think alike
Then help me solve this one
I think you see things just the way I do, oh yes you do
And you feel things just the way I do, oh yes you do
And if our filthy minds think alike
Then help me solve this one last clue
Track Name: We Never Made It To The Lakes
Now that I don’t see you it isn’t the things we did I’ll miss
It’s the things we didn’t do before it came to this
So I’ll say it for all the difference that it makes
It’s a shame we never made it to The Lakes

Sure there were daytrips, walks in the wood and on the Downs
Weekends in cities and little market towns
But somehow we just couldn’t raise the stakes
It’s a shame we never made it to the Lakes

Over the Seven Sisters, and out to the sea at Beachy Head
That day the rain just missed us, and we showered in the sunlight instead
It’s a memory that outshines our mistakes
Still it’s a shame we never made it to The Lakes

One regret, one regret, in all the years I spent with you
One regret, one regret, that you’re not here to see this view

Now I’m standing here reeling on the edge of Windermere
And you won’t believe how much I wish you were here
In the end we didn’t quite have what it takes
It’s a shame we didn’t make it
It’s s shame we never made it to The Lakes
Track Name: Haringey Lullaby
Sleep little one, dream on, dream on
Sleep now your bed is safe and warm
Now your home is not a raging storm
Dream on little one, dream on

Sleep little one, dream on, dream on
Sleep now the worst has been and gone
As you rest in peace a world away
From sleepless nights in Haringey
Dream on little one, dream on

How can we let you lie
Without a lullaby?
When we now how you heard your last ‘goodnight’?
Dream on little one, dream on
Dream on little one, dream on
Dream on little one, dream on
Dream on
Track Name: How The City Sings
As the morning mumbles
As the sleepers rise
As the main road rumbles
As I rub my eyes

I can hear the city sing
How the city sings
I can hear the city sing
A million hymns

As the offie closes
As the streetlights spark
As the foxes scurry
Out into the dark

I can hear the city sing
How the city sings
I can hear the city sing
A million hymns

I can hear the city sing
How the city sings
I can hear the city sing
A million hymns

When we sing, can you hear
Pure delight, pure delight?
When we sing, can you feel
A joy that nothing can conceal?
When we sing, can you hear
Pure delight, pure delight?
When we sing, can you feel
A joy that nothing can conceal?

When my troubles chew me
And worry at my bones
May a melody renew me
A rhythm walk me home

I can hear the city sing
How the city sings
I can hear the city sing
A million hymns

When we sing, can you hear
Pure delight, pure delight?
When we sing, can you feel
A joy that nothing can conceal?
When we sing, can you hear
Pure delight, pure delight?
When we sing, can you feel
A joy that nothing can conceal?