Axehandle Road

by The Orchards

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winter nights in an old stone house along the delaware river.

"the past is never dead. it's not even past." - wcf

recorded live to cassette.


released March 14, 2014

eric schwan matt lajoie dawn aquarius
with scioty brown
at hersey and the highland hobbit house
mixed by es and mlj
art by anne danae



all rights reserved


The Orchards Portland, Maine

The Orchards are the songwriting project of Pennsylvania native Eric Schwan, now based in Portland, ME and featuring a revolving cast of generous and talented folks who add textures and harmonies to the songs.

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Track Name: Dragon's Bones
razor sharp, there in the looming dark
my eyes to yours like they're moths
when we dream we meet in that frozen scene
and dissolve just like breath touching frost

holy mother mary, there's blood on the snow
i had no time to raise shields
he felled me with one single blow

on the shore, i kneeled down i prayed for more
as if time could be poured out like tea
from dragon's bones, i built you a royal throne
to behold what i was too blind to see

in the court of the pharaoh, the judgment comes slow
way down in our marrow
we thought we knew but we don't know

once we had love that we laid on our mattresses
we pulled it up, found it's seed and then scattered it
red running secrets with fingers like icicles
sail down the street and away like they're bicycles
rosehips and rye bread and sweet coriander
we measured out all of the tastes we were after
so hang out the laundry and hope that we live through this
when all that i wanted from you was forgiveness
Track Name: Rifle
fog on the river, so familiar
a rider did come, bearing my son
eyes and hair like a stranger

i raised my rifle up high

history lends me its scope
we'd hang ourselves with enough rope
as i take aim, who is to blame
it's gray like the horse and its ghost

i raised my rifle up high
i heard the morning bell chime
and i watched them pass by
Track Name: The Windows
tis the season for the taste of treason
when he made you just to break you into two
and scatter the ashes around the yard
when orion slew the lion, he loosed his arrow like a sparrow
across the winter sky
to the room where you were born
the windows in the room where you were born

and right when you began to turn away
he decided to stay

i made a voice that i could use to speak with you
to breathe some life into a stillborn baby
and in the moonlight all the statues came to life
when you touched them, skin pressed against skin
a rite we knew so well
your body became my altar
and the voice i used was echoes of your voice

and right when you began to turn away
she decided to stay

close the door, boy, these winters they can kill you
and i know something else that can too
light a candle in memory of your brother
don't forget how he died unlike any other
Track Name: Ghosts of the Revolutionary War
we are the ghosts of the revolutionary war
and our bones, made of sand and of stone
made of corn and of chrome on a land not our own
we are from somewhere else

we're not afraid of anything else
and we're not afraid of that
we'll sink our teeth in the back of their knees
and fell them just like that

and the chimes that we're hearing tonight
they remind us of when they had the noose round our necks
and we sang liberty
and the blood of a thousand of us
it sleeps on the ground outside of the gates
and they say 'none shall pass'
and the sun, it is opening up
from the back to the front everything that we want
is within reach, our destiny

so bridle your horse and come with an axe
we're marching in the streets
sycamore bones and a ten-ton stone
we're come to tame the beast

we are the ghosts of a revolution and a war
Track Name: Raise the Dead
she claims she cannot raise the dead
with empty bottles around a table
snow melting on stained glass
seabeard, the gap is widening
salt burns to ash
inside you there's a fire called your heart
it makes lips warm, makes blood hot
place your fire inside another
she claims she cannot raise the dead
but i don't believe her

songs cannot hold this
but they can glimpse it
Track Name: Shores
when we reach the shores of nockamixon
that is where we'll lay our weapons down
do you hear the birds of esther calling
the rush of wings is covering the town