Debra Fotheringham

by Debra Fotheringham

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about

Debra Fotheringham’s singular acoustic style incorporates the rhythmic sensibilities of jazz with smooth vocal precision. Her self-reflective lyrics resonate deeply, exhibiting a maturity that speaks to the human condition. From the wanderlust of “Across Oceans,” to the ineffable nature of language in “Eloquence,” and the percussive explosion of “Fire,” Debra explores a wide range of emotions through her poetry and music. Backed by standup bass and brushes—with highlights of djembe, vibes, fiddle, and keys—songs such as “Temporary,” “Build Me a Road,” and “Waiting,” lay bare the graceful artistry of her versatile voice and lyrical dexterity.

credits

released May 9, 2007

All songs written by Debra Fotheringham
Produced by Giles Reaves and Debra Fotheringham
Recorded at Annex Recording, Draper, UT
Engineered by Rob Duffin and Giles Reaves
Mixed by Giles Reaves
Mastered by Bob Ohlsson at Audio Mastery, Nashville, TN
Photography by Russ Dixon
Design by Isaac Stewart and Debra Fotheringham
Portuguese translation by James Krause

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Track Name: Temporary
You asked if I was temporary.
Looking back, I too, should have queried.

I leaned against my car to feel
the reassurance of its steel.

A little at a time,
A little every day
That's how we fall away.
A little less resolve,
A little less truth,
unravels me and you.

The night is gone.
Your words stain the sidewalk.
Now it's only steel that holds me up.

How do words that we confide
end up turning into lies?

Chorus

Say it plainly now.
No metaphors.
Don't make me find the truth
Inside your words.

Chorus
Track Name: Across Oceans
He gave his notice and packed his bags.
Felt the stone around his neck.
Smelled the salt of a 1000 oceans.
He never looked back.

Doesn’t matter where,
As long as they’ve got waves.
Doesn’t matter with whom
Or to whom you pray.
It never mattered, anyway.

Chorus:
Cause he doesn’t see colors,
And he doesn’t see creeds.
He sees only one shade when somebody bleeds.
He only sees friends
When he rides across oceans.

He left New Zealand and faced the world.
With no phone, no façade.
He’d find a board and a bed in the States.
The rest he’d leave up to God.

Doesn’t matter where,
‘long as they’ve got waves.
Doesn’t matter with whom
Or to whom you pray.
It never mattered, anyway.

Chorus

He hitched from SoCal to Vegas
Just to catch my show.
A Mormon, a Muslim, and an atheist.
Same destination, same road.

Doesn’t matter where,
‘long as they’ve got waves.
Doesn’t matter with whom
Or to whom you pray.
It never mattered, anyway.

Bridge:
Bali, Maui, Gold Coast, Mexico.
What’s beyond that next wave?
Do you know?
By yourself but never alone.
Wherever you go becomes home.

Chorus
Track Name: Build Me A Road
I live in a town with no roads.
There’s an inn where nobody ever goes.
Every door is rusted shut.
Every house is fenced in, but…

No one knows who lives next door.
No one knows what a telephone’s for.
Outside there’s not a sound.
No footsteps ever hit the ground.

Build me a Road,
Cause I can’t live Alone.

I grab the doorknob and twist.
I am sure it must get better than this.
The land is bleak; it’s laughing at my gloom.
Just one step and I’m back inside the room.

For there’s no road on which to walk.
They, long ago, were shut and blocked.
There’s no path to take my feet.
No dirt, no rocks, no paved concrete.

Build me a Road,
Cause I can’t live Alone.

How I’d love to run right through
This dying town, straight to you.

Build me a Road,
Cause I can’t live Alone.
Track Name: Waterfall
Don't be scared
I don't bite.
But I might consume you.

You knew this
as we walked along
and I was silent.

The river drifted on by.
It was closer to you than I
had ever been.

You said to me, "You are a waterfall, and I could drown in you."

You would talk.
I'd watch your hands,
but I could not meet their demands.

I'd part my lips.
I'd want to speak,
but my words failed me.

All you heard was the cold,
and the river drifting near the road.

You said to me, "You are waterfall, and I could drown in you."

How many times will I hear,
whispered softly on the air,
before you disappear...

"You are waterfall, and I could drown in you."
Track Name: Eloquence
Words seem to make so much sense
When they're on paper.
Arranged in straight, orderly, comprehensive rows.

They've got rhyme; they've got rhythm;
They're alliterated, and sometimes even clever.
But expose them to air and there's nothing there;
They're just simple, hollow words.

Chorus:

I wish that we could feel the words
And you would know,
In a glance. if by chance,
I wanted you to.

Inside my mind I can be eloquent.
But when it comes out, it’s all irrelevant.
Just making noise.
Words I thought were contemplative just come
out twisted, jaded.
And then I'm lost.

What I'm trying to explain just comes
out as vain, lost again.
Maybe if I wrote it down
You would know what it is I've found, maybe.

Chorus-

Bridge:

Speech doesn't come to me very easily
So if I can't look you in the eye,
It's all my tongue's fault.

I feel for those who don't speak. We're labeled
rude, stuck up, a freak.
What a mess.
But really it is just that we don't know what it
means to be effusive.

However, it seems to me that gifts have been
given prolifically to one and all
Some can talk and some can't.
Some can jaw some haven't
that "on-the-spot" eloquence, that makes me
wish that we could

Chorus-
Track Name: Tattered Crown
Your face is covered in mud.
There’s only one way and it’s down.
You’ve long since ceased brushing off your feet,
you’ve even tossed your tattered crown.

But how can you notice
when everyone is covered too?

You walk around with your hands out.
You’re half alive, half dead everyday.
Your life is a mass of riddles.
You’ve trouble choosing flesh or decay.

But how can you decide,
When everyone’s stuck choosing too?

There is a better way.
Just scrape off your mud today.
Not everyone’s feet are pointed down.
So, pick up your tattered crown.

You’re comfortable with your mess.
It takes too much for you to change.
Too many issues to address,
makes your head swim with pain.
But how can you change,
When no one else is changing too?

Cloaked misfortune follows you.
You say it’s just your bad luck.
But without your little gift,
you’re gonna be counting every buck.
But you’re not alone, babe,
cause everyone is counting too.

There is a better way.
Just scrape off your mud today.
Not everyone’s feet are pointed down.
So, pick up…your tattered crown.

Look around, look around, look around,
It’s not your skin.
Stop thinking, stop thinking if you smile,
someone else is gonna win.
This is not a competition.
Track Name: Summer Rain
I don’t keep pictures on the wall,
Cause I’ll be leaving in the fall.
That’s the lie the keeps me sane.
It’s my hope of summer rain.

It’s been so long and I’ve felt so lost.
Four summers gone and there’s nothing here but dust.
I’ve been so strong.

But I need a sign of summer rain
Don’t need it all
I just wanna see clouds again.
I know there’s Hope and
I know there’s Love
I just get so dry.
Fill me up.

I like to wake before the sun.
Shines on all I haven’t done.
All I see is all I fail.
The empty walls that I can’t fill.

I know I do a few things right
But all of that stays buried in the night.
I’ve been so wrong.

Chorus

I’m just one quiet little girl
Lost in this overwhelming world.
I used to think that I was weak
If my emotions made me weep,
But now it’s only rain I seek.

Chorus
Track Name: Waiting
Watching shadows slither ‘cross the wall.
Listening for sounds out in the hall.
I’m waiting for happiness to arrive.

I thought that he would come around,
and lift me off this cold, hard ground.
But I’m still waiting for happiness to arrive.

He sent me a rose, but it wilted.
Bought me a Perrier, but I spilt it.
How could happiness be so cruel?
He’s disregarding all my rules.

Looking at the dust caked on the shelf.
Wishing I could sweep it off myself.
But I’m waiting for happiness to arrive.

All of my possessions are gone,
And I’ve never, never felt so picked on.
I’m waiting for happiness to arrive.

He sent me an answer when I wanted a lie.
Sent me a “how” when I wanted a “why.”
How could happiness be so cruel?
He’s disregarding all my rules.

The sun is moving on and on
The chance to act has come and gone
And after all the tears I’ve tasted
I’m left with the shadows of everything I’ve wasted.

Watching shadows slither ‘cross the wall.
Wondering if they’re really there at all.

I’m waiting for happiness to arrive.
When will I stop waiting for happiness to arrive?
Track Name: Fire
You live your life; you play it slow,
and then one day you let it go.
The fire flies; your fingers move;
The sparks fly hard; you feel it groove.
Submersed you are in the feel.
You feel the wood start to peel.
You feel the wood start to peel tonight.

You cry, you laugh, you shake your head.
This is fire; this is lead.
Oh I love this
My skin vibrates with the sound
Spinning round, upside down.
This is what I was born to do.
I will miss you.

Jungle rhythms beating might,
under cover of the night.
Pounding of the humid sky,
In ancient lands you'll hear this cry.
Echoed through the deepest caves,
Snaking rivers, shadowed glades
From your ancient people it came.
Where do you think you got your name?

Fire, Fire burning bright
Feel this heart; feel this light
Oh I love this.
My skin vibrates with the sound
Spinning round, upside down
This is what I was born to do
I will miss you; I will miss you

Rhythm is a tongue
Understood by everyone
Its pulsing takes you higher
Consumes you like a fire

You live your life; you play it slow
And then one day you let it go
The fire flies; your fingers move
The sparks fly hard; you feel it groove
You are submersed in the feel
You feel the wood start to peel
You feel the wood start to peel tonight.

You cry, you laugh, you shake your head
This is fire; this is lead
Oh I love this
My skin vibrates with the sound
Spinning round, upside down
This is what I was born to do
I will miss you

Rhythm is a tongue
Understood by everyone

Its pulsing takes you higher
Consumes you like a fire.
Track Name: You Are Truth
More than your smile
More than your touch
More than your eyes
More than late nights staring at the skies
Beneath it all—you are truth

When we talk
When we laugh
When we cry
It’s more than love that’s in your eye
Behind it all—you are truth

When I trip
When I stumble
When I slide
It will be within your stride
Beside me—you are truth

Portuguese Verse:
E em você
Não posso contar o que adoro
O que me faz amarte mais
É atrás de tudo—você é verdade

(In English)
And in you
I can’t count the things that I adore
But what makes me love you even more
Behind them all—you are truth

When we’re free
From the fetters of time
In forever, so sublime…
You will always be truth.