Three New Songs from July

We had a blue moon last month. Don’t try to tell me there’s nothing supernatural about that, because I wrote three new songs – it can’t be a coincidence! For someone who writes twelve or less per year, this is a lot for one month!

Two out of three of the songs are below for your listening pleasure, but if you want to hear the third, you’ll have to come see me play live! Tomorrow night, I’ll be playing at the Eddy Pub in Saxapahaw from 7:30pm-9:30pm. I hope to see you there!

Now, on to the songs:

“Princess”

“Young and Sweet”

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

New Video: “Everybody’s Working Hard”

I wrote a new song! I made it my goal to write twelve songs again this year, and this is my seventh. That means I’m ahead of schedule. Yay!

This one’s a bit political, which is atypical for me, but it’s about topics I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: income inequality, the wealth gap, and the rags-to-riches narrative.

Basically, I’m getting tired of wealthy people claiming that hard work and sacrifice are the only factors in their success, and that poor people stay poor primarily because of bad choices and laziness. Everyone I know is working hard. That some have become wealthy while others remain less so seems to me to have a lot more to do with privilege and dumb luck than with work ethic. So I wrote a song about it. I think the lyrics explain my position more eloquently than I ever could in prose, so take a listen!

There are also some cool non-political things going on in this song: I put in some fun harmonies, and I used the word “monocle” in the chorus. (I smile inside every time I sing it, ’cause it’s so silly!) Watch the video below, and let me know what you think in the comments.

 

Lyrics

You’re living like a king now ‘cause you earned it

You’re dining fine and jetting off, hiring help, and relishing

Your sovereignty

 

You bootstrapped from the bottom; you deserve it

And nothing makes your blood boil like the whiny kids these days

Good for nothing beggars all too soft to make their own way

 

You never used a crutch

You never took a handout

You never needed luck

Huh …

 

Tell me again how hard work turns lead into gold

‘Cause everybody’s working hard

Still eating scraps and wearing rags against the cold

Everybody’s working hard

We’re slothful, selfish, and spoiled?

Why don’t you take off your tinted monocle

There’s grit under our fingernails and blisters on our soles

Everybody’s working hard

 

I’ve seen your face on boxes of Monopoly

And you weren’t born on Baltic with no houses and no money

You get out of jail free

 

Snow White and Cinderella: no more fantasy

Than this rags-to-riches fairy tale you tell to keep us shamed

My finger’s raised to burst your bubble and to point the real blame

 

Tell me, who paved your roads?

Tell me, who taught you your times tables?

Who made your bed and your home?

Did you do all alone?

 

Tell me again how hard work turns lead into gold

‘Cause everybody’s working hard

Still eating scraps and wearing rags against the cold

Everybody’s working hard

We’re slothful, selfish, and spoiled?

Why don’t you take off your tinted monocle

There’s grit under our fingernails and blisters on our soles

Everybody’s working hard

 

Tell me again how hard work turns lead into gold

‘Cause everybody’s working hard

Still eating scraps and wearing rags against the cold

Everybody’s working hard

We’re slothful, selfish, and spoiled?

Picking up your slack and taking pennies for our toil

There’s grit under our fingernails and blisters on our soles

Everybody’s working hard

Everybody’s working hard

Everybody’s working hard

Everybody’s working hard

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Hear the New Recording of “Garden Spider”

Remember back when Guitarist Scott Frey and I recorded “Footprints”? Well, we’ve done it again! This time we went the straight up folk route with “Garden Spider.” Click the player below to hear it for yourself:

 

Garden Spider

cello/vocals: Pippa Hoover guitar/engineering: Scott Frey

 

I must confess, “Garden Spider” is one of my favorites out of all the songs I’ve written. And it’s not just because of the cheery melody or because I get to sing about cute garden bugs. “Garden Spider” has a deeper message that gives me comfort anytime I start feeling like I’m stuck, unproductive, or just generally failing at life.

The song juxtaposes the story of the spider, told in the verses, with the story of the worms, heard in the refrain.

The spider starts small (though from a position of privilege – she is a spider, after all), and works with care, purpose, and intelligence. She creates beauty and gains power and success. She doesn’t worry much about the means to her ends – she has no qualms about eating the smaller garden creatures to become who she wants to be.

The worms, on the other hand, are much more humble. Throughout the song they work diligently at the same menial task, never striving to change their world or their position. Though they are neither beautiful or glorified, their work is vitally important to the garden ecosystem.

The question is, who is the better role model, the spider, or the worm?

And the answer is neither. The spider gets eaten by a blue jay, and the worms, though they survive through the end of the song, will undoubtedly be eaten by a robin. Spider or worm, the outcome is the same.

The lesson I take, then, is that it doesn’t matter whether you are creative, driven, and ambitious, or passive, humble and content. It doesn’t matter if you do great, spectacular things or mundane and underappreciated things. Everyone comes to the same end, so the pressure is off and you can be yourself. Though it’s a morbid thought, it makes me feel better.

I think all of us feel guilty at times for not being who we think we should be. I know I feel like a failure for not being more spider-like: for not making the money I’d like to make, for not making my creative dreams realities (I’m still working on that first album …), for watching TV for a few hours when I should be working on something productive.

But whenever I have those thoughts, I remind myself that it doesn’t matter. It’s ok to be a spider or a worm or whatever garden creature you happen to be. Nobody comes out ahead in the end.

So next time you’re worried that you’re not working hard enough, accomplishing enough, or being who you wish you could be, listen to “Garden Spider.” It just might lift your spirits.

Now I’m curious – do you identify more with the spider or the worm? (I’m a spider myself, but I’m still a little one!) Leave your answer in the comments.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Surprise! I Made a Rock Song For You

For the past few months, my friend Scott Frey and I have been working on recording a few of my songs. We just finished “Footprints,” and we’re ready to share it with you.

This song is a little different from my usual style. Scott likes my more rock-oriented songs the best, so we went all out with that approach. There’s a kick-ass guitar solo and everything!

Click on the player below to check it out, and leave a comment letting me know what you think.

Footprints

cello/vocals: Pippa Hoover; guitar: Scott Frey; percussion: Scott Frey and Pippa Hoover

Lyrics

I’m not going to move from where I’m standing
The earth under my feet still moves
Sinks and shifts and blows away
I don’t want to break up all the footprints that surround me
The last remains of all my friends

There was a time when the living walked around me
There was a time when I thought of walking too
But these treacherous sands threatened to knock me off my feet
And I won’t fall.

My desert life is simple. It is hot and then it’s cold
If I stand still and hold my breath I’ll never be alone
If I choke to death, or die of thirst
I’ll be a ghost in a skeleton
But I’ll still be the most solid thing around here

I have more than I need to remember
In the prints of their shoe soles and the
Shapes of their heels and toes
The reality never measures up to the memory
I’m sure they don’t wear the same shoes now

There was a time when the living walked around me
There was a time when the living grew bored
Certainty never scared me, but it frightened them away
And now they’re gone.

My desert life is simple. It is hot and then it’s cold
If I stand still and hold my breath I’ll never be alone
If I choke to death, or die of thirst
I’ll be a ghost in a skeleton
But I’ll still be the most solid thing around here

I could leave this place and reclaim all the friends that I’ve known
Find all the oases where undoubtedly they’ve gone
They’d show me lives so rich and beautiful
Like flashlights on the horror:
I’m bleached and dried and already eroded

Better to stay where I look solid
Let everyone else dissolve first
Fade flat with the months and years
Or let us fossilize in a meteor blast’s
Blanket of a – ash. Friends forever.

I hope you enjoyed our little foray into rock territory, but if you’re missing the folksy stuff, stay tuned for the release of the EP I’m making with Phil Pacetti – it’s almost done!

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

The First New Song of 2015 Is Here

This year, I challenged myself to write at least 12 new songs before 2016. I’m happy to report that I’ve written song #1!

The new song is called “Nothing to Say to You.” I think it’s one of my best, but the subject matter is a little heavy. It deals with gross boundary-violating behavior and misogyny, and contains two words super clean-speaking people might consider “bad.” If you’re still down to listen, check out the video below, and leave a comment letting me know what you think.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Pippa Hoover Duo and Honey Magpie Play at the Corner Tavern Open Mic Night

Two weeks ago, both of my projects, Pippa Hoover Duo and Honey Magpie, played at the Corner Tavern Open Mic Night.

One of the hosts caught a clip of Pippa Hoover playing “Folksong #1”:

 

And though we didn’t get a clip of Honey Magpie playing, we did get a cute picture of the band together:

IMG_1451

From the left: Jenny (violin, vocals), Pippa (cello, vocals), Carl (guitar, banjo), Rachael (guitar, keys, vocals)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

I need your help to win indi.com’s Original Song Challenge

I entered my song “Swimming Pool” in indi.com’s Original Song Contest. I’d love it if you’d help me win! Here’s a video of the song if you need a reminder:

 

 

To vote for me, just visit the link below and click “vote.” You can vote once every 12 hours, so vote as many times as you can.

Click here to vote for me

Voting ends January 5th, 2015 at 3:00pm, so don’t wait!

Thanks so much for your support!

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Watch us Play “Sally’s Song”

I’ve been trying to catch “Sally’s Song” on video for months now (mostly because it’s my boyfriend’s favorite) and it finally happened! Check out the video below to see Gary and me playing it at Mystery Brewing Pub in Hillsborough, NC.

 

Lyrics

I came here skinny, patchy, and scrappy

With burrs and spider webs caught in my fur

I came here half-starved, freezing, and tired

Meowing my desperation at your door

 

You gave me canned tuna and I was grateful

You made me a bed in the back of the barn

And after some time you found me beautiful

You started to think that we could get along

 

That I’d come when you called

That strange sounding new name that’s not mine

That I’d sit in your lap or I’d sleep

Curled cozy and content at

The foot of your bed

 

But I’ve been handed down

Passed on like a present no one really wants to keep

So I’ve already learned

Not to trust the hand that feeds me

 

Now we’ve been spending so much time together

And I happily let you touch me sometimes

But you still can’t believe I startle so easy

Still can’t believe I won’t come any closer

 

I’ve been kicked, I’ve been caged

So I bolt at the first sound of stomping

Or the touch of two hands. I retreat

To a low, dark place with strong walls

And no easy way in

 

I may close my eyes and purr now

I may squirm with pleasure when you touch my cheek

But I’ve already learned

Not to trust the hand that loves me

 

So I keep my claws out

And I sharpen my teeth

But most importantly, I keep my legs strong

So I’m always ready to leave

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Birthday Presents for You!

Today’s my birthday, and I’m giving you presents!

My first gift is two demos of some new songs, “Snake in the Sun” and “Ghosts in the Attic.” These are the earliest and most lo-tech recordings I will ever make of these songs: both are just me singing and playing guitar through my computer speakers. Go take a listen – and let me know what you think! I think the vocals came out pretty darn good, but if my guitar playing sounds questionable, remember that I am a cellist first! Here are the links:

 

Listen to “Snake in the Sun”

Listen to “Ghosts in the Attic”

 

My second gift is a free download of two of my songs – “October” and “God’s Gift to Girls.” The download page will only by up for a week, so hurry up and click here to get the songs!

 

Thanks so much for your support!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather