LOVE OR FREEDOM - songs around the world

by Diana Rosalind Trimble

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about

This is a selection of songs written and recorded between 1989 and 2014, with various artists in a number of different locations in the USA and Europe, and some solo works. Many, not all, these songs also appear on this site within the collections they were originally part of, however they have been remastered for this collection. The unmastered versions, therefore, are no longer available for free download although you can still stream everything for listening.

It was an interesting project to go back and listen through 25 years of songs and try to find a group that simultaneously represented key collaborations in my life, while also coming together cohesively as a collection in its own right. The mainstream music industry always counsels against eclecticism, possibly one reason I never fared well there as I am not interested in sticking within the boundaries of a single genre in order to "define" my sound. At the same time, I agree that it can be jarring if a series of songs are too wildly divergent.

My first short-list was about 28 songs, some of which had been salvaged from cassette tapes, some of which were not properly mastered, some of which were alternate recordings of songs that had been on CDs in the past. Throughout my life, in whatever financial situation I find myself, I have been lucky enough to usually have access to proper recording equipment. So most of my music has been well recorded. Nevertheless, some old recordings just didn't stand up production-wise so the first cut removed anything of inferior sound quality even if documenting an interesting or better performance.

From there, I got to a first draft of 16 songs, which on later listening swung too far in the direction of homogeneity. Curiously, I found that when the vibe, instrumentation, and production were similiar there was also a similiarity of lyrical content that didn't work for me. The texts I use, whether written by myself or others, are just as important as the melodies and arrangements, and so I had another listen back to songs outside the original 28 that felt more representative of me as both a writer and appreciator of poetry.

This final list of 17 tracks feels like it matches my personality and showcases a range of moods and styles that are all a part of my mixture. Some are funny, some are sad, (I think my specialty may turn out to be funny plus sad) some are defiant, some a bit philosophical; there is electronica, alternative rock, American roots, medieval-sounding folk, art song, a bit o jazz....but I think it somehow works.

I'm going to continue this project of remastering older tracks and putting them in collections with current material and so I'm sure that the songs dropped from this group will find their way to another album in the future.

But for now, this is my first retrospective: Love or Freedom. The title comes from some of the lines of River, by Larry Beckett, which I'd originally been intending to hold back for a future collection of all Becket-worded works. Its inclusion here not only opened up the whole collection and helped me change my approach to the overall set, but really provided me with the perfect title, which I had been struggling over. In the context of River, the phrase "love or freedom" represents a choice, as it often can and perhaps has in my own life. But taken as a phrase by itself, it is more ambiguous and could even suggest that the two words are synonyms.

Bittersweet ambiguity is a flavour I quite like, and I hope all who listen do too.

One final note: the days of vinyl and listening to albums in their entirety may be largely behind us and of course everyone is free to listen however they like, but my special request to anyone reading this is that you kindly, at least once, listen to the whole work from beginning to end in a single 74 minute sitting. To get the full, mind movie, immersion experience.

Thanks to everyone who helped me pull this project together over the years, all the players, engineers, producers, studios, co-writers, and especially to those friends and supporters who donated money to finally finish it!

Love,

DIANAROSA,
November 2nd, 2014
Alsace, France

credits

released November 2, 2014

Individual Credits are listed track by track.

Mastering by Kai Schlünz, Katapult Tonstudio, Karlsruhe, Germany

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about

Diana Rosalind Trimble New Orleans, Louisiana

After being discovered by Bobby McFerrin as a young vocal improviser in San Francisco, I continued to sing and write in experimental performance ensembles that remain important in the history of the 80s & 90s Bay Area arts scene, followed by one decade of tangling with the music biz in LA & NYC (read Little Tiger on here), then another in Europe, always making records of collabs along the way! ... more

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Track Name: Single Mix Female - Song of the Sea (UK, Germany)
Song of the Sea

oh mermen oh whisper to me
oh mermen swim across the moonlit midnight sea
oh mermen whisper in the wind across the waves
oh mermen sing my name i’ll be your s-s-slave
oh mermen i stand here upon the lonely shore
oh mermen your arrival is what i am waiting for
oh mermen won’t you whisper in the wind a song for me?
a song of the sea
send and receive
are you reading me?
oh mermen how the waters roil and seethe
and how i wish beneath them i could breathe
to dive beside the dolphin with a pounding in my chest
then to your castle in the sand to take watery rest
oh mermen won’t you change me
like the vampire seals his love?
for one sea kiss from your salt lips
i’d gladly leave above
for the song of the sea
send and receive
are you reading me?
cuz i’m sure i can hear...your song of the sea
Track Name: River (Germany)
river (words by larry beckett)

oh listen and you’ll pick up what
i hiss in syllables of water;
all i wear is bubbles of air:
i’m at the bottom of the river.

kiss me i slap, slap me i kiss,
i’ve had enough of love me tender,
old nights, with the double-crosser:
i’m at the bottom of the river.

love or freedom, i had to choose
the half moon said, and i forgive her;
i got the ghost or woman blues:
i’m at the bottom of the river.

the lovers sway under the sails
and look into the stars and shiver;
the boat slips on, its wake is gone:
i’m at the bottom of the river.
Track Name: The Bards of Now - Measureless (SF Bay Area, USA)
measureless (after meister eckhart)

into the sea all rivers flow
but the sea will never overflow
on to their destiny the rivers go
to the sea, to the sea
to the measureless sea
to the sea...to the sea...to the sea
Track Name: Aether - The Beloved (San Francisco, New York, USA)
the beloved (after rumi)

the beloved is a face
the shape of which (a music)
held in memory can never be (which intoxicates)
distorted
the beloved is a much-read book
in the turning of whose pages
a new discovery is always made
the beloved (and at this banquet)
the beloved (i hold this face in memory)
the beloved is a music
which intoxicates but does not terrify
(turning pages turning pages)
in which all moments are lost
except for this one except for this one except for this one
Track Name: Lil Tiger - Never is My Cake (San Francisco, USA)
Never is My Cake

live, work, know, growl...
bleed green worry, seep secret dirt
sip a blue glass smile like broken candy
wanting and waiting all the while...

and you
you are never here enough
and like every fool
never .....is my cake

i wait
snow wishes melt ...it doesn't ring
take a hold of almost and pluck its little wings
with my sober teeth i chew on hope
and suck the maybe-marrow underneath

and you ....(chorus)

sip a blue glass smile like broken candy
wanting and waiting all the while...

and you ....(chorus)
Track Name: Dianarosa and Gold Lounge - Livin' in a Golden State (UK, Italy, France)
Golden State

and our state is only golden for a moment of grace
like the sun on the horizon just before it melts....into the waves

cruisin’ around with the top down, won’t stop for captain bringdown
palm trees swayin’ in the breeze
takin’ the long way around town
no wrong way when you’re just runnin’ around
no expectations, free of guarantees
in a golden state...a golden state

and our state is only golden for a moment of grace
like the sun on the horizon just before it melts....into the waves

takin’ a moment to kick back, reflect, no rush
relaxing sound of soothing melodies
takes me away from the mad crowd
seat back, bass up, crank it up real loud
gimme summa dat smooth groove salad please
in a golden state...a golden state

and our state is only golden for a moment of grace...
Track Name: Lil Tiger - February & the Mayfly (San Francisco, USA)
February & the Mayfly

words tears palaces fireworks
contours of the body coastlines curved by time's erosion
all will be gone
as goes the mayfly
war rain innocence
long eyelashes
fame joy
february and the mayfly

sieze all there is
and hold it and then
release it
see all there is
to hear to taste to feel
because you know
it's only temporary
it'll all be over
nothing lasts forever
whatever it is
sieze it and release it
feel it all and let it
go
Track Name: Dianarosa, Craig Walker and Joules - Paris Snow (London, England)
paris snow

from the notre dame
to the seine
from the notre dame
in the rain
you said you'd be there
by the station
and i hung around
for far too long

and the dead bells sound
like the sound of the rain
and i keep running away
paris in the snow
makes me feel alive again

to the gare du nord
for a train
to the gare du nord
leave again
said you'd be there
at the station
but you disappeared
like a song
and paris in the snow
is the greatest feeling i know
paris in the winter
brings me back to you

my eyes had fingers
that touched your face
that my eyes had fingers
to touch your grace

minutes pass, hopes fade
never thought i'd feel this way
after only a moment or two

paris in the snow makes me
feel alive again
after only a moment or two

it was just a moment
in the paris snow
it was just a moment
but even so...
in that moment, frozen forever
in the paris snow
Track Name: Lil Tiger - A.I. (San Francisco, USA)
A.I.

human wants to be a god-man
and make a man-machine
certain he can someday somehow
make it do something
more than think

i wonder, can he make it feel?
i wonder, would it lie and steal?
could it ever re-invent the wheel?
i wonder, can it ever be real?

scientist, philosopher
mechanic of the soul
tries with pliers and
copper wires
to build a living doll

i wonder, can he make it cry?
i wonder, would it wonder "why"?
could it ever fall in love and sigh?
i wonder, can he make it die?
i wonder, can he make it feel?
i wonder, could it ever be real?
Track Name: Shimmer - All Night Driving Song (Los Angeles, USA)
gettin' on to sunset
soon the prince of the sky
is bedding down
ocean in the distance
tide turns away from town

city hummin' like a crazy jewel
coyote moon rising overhead
i know i'm gonna be there soon

i'll drive, i'll drive, i'll drive
all the night
i'll drive, i'll drive, i'll drive
all the night

headlights shinin' on the cat-eyes
only take the blue highways

pickin' up the tijuana stations
and the money-preachers
cracklin' radio
that's the sound the road makes

i'll drive, i'll drive, i'll drive
all the night
coyote moon risin' overhead
i know i'm gonna be there soon

headlights shinin' on the cat-eyes
only take the blue highways

gettin’ on to sunset
soon the prince of the sky
is bedding down
Track Name: Free Parking (Nevada USA, Germany)
we get free plays on the jukebox
on a slow day at the bordello
and vanity gets the hula hoop
slides it ‘round her hips,
wearin’ a silky kimono
and then we get bombed
on dom perignon
puff a blunt out on the back patio
do a little ‘ho’ hoodoo
to bring the dudes in
heard a parkin’ convention
or a rodeo’s in town
tomorrow

her house name is primadonna
and her ex is an executioner
when he gets called to quentin
she tells the kids
come on, we’re goin’ to california!
and they meet at a place in alameda
free parking cold beer hot tacos...
...drunken yellin’

how can ya do
that thing you do?
oh yeah,
well what about you?
and hey
at least i never have to borrow

free parking
dont forget to
validate your ticket
or they will make you pay
when you wanna exit
free parking
dont forget to
validate your ticket
or you’re gonna have to pay
when you wanna exit







niko’s half lakota nation
raised on the reservation
her “ina” worked in a casino
callin’ numbers
in high-stakes keno
saw her play 21 this one time
we ditched a shift
and took a limo to reno
she was like a force on fire
slappin’ down cards sayin’
hit me baby!
when she had 17
hard act to follow

free parking .....(chorus)

oh the workin’ girls yeah we know
it aint about the libido but
the life in the parlour
it’s a secret world
when it’s nothin’ but the jukebox
drinks all around
and us girls


arabia is tellin’ her story
in her pink boudouir
before the parlour gets busy
started out square
but now she’s the ruler of the line-up
old school legendary
once had a trick when a fire broke out
told the ‘fighters

hey hold up i aint ready
just lemme have a minute here
to get his credit card
authenticate it
otherwise it’s all for nothin’
and i might feel
the sorrow

free parking .....(chorus)
Track Name: Yellow Starspiders (Los Angeles, USA)
Yellow Starspiders

burn, you yellow starspiders
all out of control and fucking blazing like madgadgets
wicked you punk globe flares
pink up the mooncalf night!

i got the horrors
got the heavy tail-dragger notion
of your sadly untimely demise
unfortunate yes but unexpected?
hardly

not a horsefeather more
than the thread of some likely yarn
becoming unravelled
stitch by pearly stitch
like the weave of a
dawn-doomed love
oh what is more true
than that time-is-running-out gasped declaration of a finite passion

dulcet whispered
like a low wind-flute's saddest goodbye
obscured by sunrise
go ahead, burn and die yeah...so,
i'll remember your pretty
cop-out and ah... the misty look
on your disastrous disappearing teenage faces
as you made up your silly minds
not to even try
or give half a damn
about bursting into real life

what would you say?
what do you say now
when i dare you to go supernova
transmogrify
turn into gold and be glorious
live to be 99 live to be
just live
fire don't have to die
you yellow starspiders
Track Name: Polymorphia - Down, Vain Light (San Francisco, USA)
Down, Vain Light (after John Dowland)

sweeter to die, oh than have this waiting
this waiting for the night to take me from the light
and leave me sleeping
ah sweeter to be away nowhere
down, vain light!
shine you no no more no more no more
ah! sweeter than dahlias to have no name
no time, no - world to go on living in, light to keep me seeing
the shame of living in a world without love
down! shine you no more
vain light, shine you no more
no night is dark enough
for we whose souls despair of living joyless

oh if i must live
show me the place where the dark shadows
and night's blackbird hide from vain rays
hah! sweeter to die than wait wait wait wait
wait for the night far from the light
blackbird, sing your sad song - gladly i'd be blackbird
no night's dark enough for we whose souls despair of light
down, light! shine you no no more no more
vain light shine no more
Track Name: Single Mix Female - Crazy Rumours (UK, France)
Crazy Rumours

you in the back
step in the fold
lissen up son
cuz you gonna get told

i’m on a roll
on my lyrical road
gonna drop it down solid
like a bar o gold
is this thing on?
check - one-two!
en dey-ey
akout akout!

listen to listen to listen to listen to
listen to listen to
all o’ the crazy rumours

those people blaggin’
‘bout thing they don’t even know
their chin a-waggin’
all the day

well i aint braggin’
to you when i say i know
they are just gaggin’
for dirty things to say

i know
it turns them on
to spread their lies around
i aint gonna take it
not lying down

i got my dancin’ boots
i got my crystal toot
i got my invitation to the ball

you never broke my heart
don’t even try to start
no crazy rumours
boy you got some gall

ya never even touched me honey
not deep inside
how would you know
if it’s true
that i cried all night long...?

everybody know
that’s just a crazy rumour
just another crazy rumour
oh everybody know
all about the crazy rumours
just another crazy rumour
just a crazy rumour
*

i aint ashamed
of the path behind
may have been twisted
but i got here fine

all what you heard
forget everything
just be here now and
hear me now sing


you in the back
yeah i’m talking to you
en dey-ey
akout akout!

listen to listen to listen to listen to
listen to listen to
all o’ the crazy rumours

*
some people hate me
why should i care anyway
if they don’t rate me
where’s the shame?

they implicate me
seem to go out of their way
to try and bait me
by handin’ out the blame

i know
it turns them on
to spread their lies around
i aint gonna take it
not lying down

i got my dancin’ boots
i got my crystal toot
i got my invitation to the ball

you never broke my heart
don’t even try to start
no crazy rumours
boy you got some gall

ya never even touched me honey
not deep inside
how would you know
if it’s true
that i cried all night long...

if you believe them
i am already dead
i was found naked in the grass
like spiders weavin’
this stuff don’t come from they head
they just be talkin’ out they ass

everybody know
that’s just a crazy rumour
just another crazy rumour
just a crazy rumour
everybody know
all about the crazy rumours
all about the crazy rumours
crazy rumours
don’t listen to the crazy rumours
don’t listen don’t listen don’t listen
don’t listen
don’t listen to the
crazy rumours
Track Name: Lil Tiger - Aint That The Way (San Francisco, USA)
i can hardly remember you
and you used to be my measure
against which i weighed experience
the basin in which love
was tallied and weighed
but the cicatrix your leavin’ left
is starting to...fade...

aint that the way aint that the way
aint that the way aint that the way
oh the sorry folly of our silly feelings

and how is it that i have gained this passage
on the ferry of forgetting?
down the river "lethe"
where the past dissolves
into particles of nothing

aint that the way aint that the way
aint that the way aint that the way
oh the sorry folly of our silly feelings
Track Name: Shimmer - Here Comes That Feeling (Los Angeles, USA)
every breath i take
tastes like icing on the cake

this time i'm winning
fell all the way back
to the end of the pack
now i got a chance
at a fresh beginning
and this time i'm feeling
it'll all turn out

here comes that feeling
just like taking off in a plane
every little piece of the plan is coming together
laughing out loud
cuz i'm back in the game
and this time i'm winning
can't stop grinning
never gettin' dizzy
even though i'm spinning

spinning like a kid on a carousel
and it's only because
what was was and
because i went through
all that hell
lived through almost dying
suffering and sinning
now i'm just winning on my living
every breath i take
tastes like icing on the cake

here comes that feeling
just like taking off in a plane
and every little piece of the plan is coming together
laughing out loud
cuz i'm back in the game
and this time i'm winning
can't stop grinning
never gettin' dizzy
even though i'm spinning

i'm just lucky to be
spilling rhymes into the breeze...
here comes that feeling
just like taking off
Track Name: Single Mix Female - Birthday Cheer (UK, Germany)
birthday cheer

be of good birthday cheer
for another year
you’re still here
that’s something worth a celebration
another circuit around the sun
another circle now begun
another challenge
another triumph
a few more tears
maybe a little fun
fun fun fun fun

have fun in the shadow
eat cake and drink champagne
raise a toast to the shadow
cuz you’re still here
another year
be of good birthday cheer
my dear

be of good birthday cheer
for you’re still here
another year has gone
and so have many gone on
some friends have departed
and new lives have started
another circuit around the sun
another circle now begun
it’s a celebration

so have fun in the shadow
eat cake and drink champagne
raise a toast to the shadow
cuz you’re still here
for another year
be of good birthday cheer