by The Whale & The Warbler

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Recorded January - June 2013

Recorded at Central Presbyterian Church in Geneseo, NY with other tracking done in various bedrooms in Geneseo and Oneida, NY.

"Thanksgiving was recorded in a church, and this recording environment is undoubtedly present in the album's feel. It's like autumn leaves falling, like watching a crowd of people while completely alone, like a wedding, like the anticipation of change. It is at once somber and jolly, lively and soothing. The abundant, occasionally dissonant brass (and very occasional swing) is what sets it apart from so many other folk albums. It mumbles and it crashes, and will make you feel all sorts of things"

-The Choir Croaks

"Thanksgiving brings the end of a season of yearning. Days will slow; things will die, but not yet. New relationships, wherever they are, hold true, old rituals have made it to another year. Things are ok. Today is a holiday…."

-The Rochester Insomniac

Keep up to date with our new shows!


released September 19, 2013

Engineered by Jameson Dunham & Dan Lynch
Mixed by Dan Lynch
Mastered by Dylan Snyder
Artwork by Tracey Scaro
Written by Conor McCann & The Whale & The Warbler

Conor McCann - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Noise

Steve Rosenzweig - Trumpet, Piano, Gang Vocals

Emily Cirincione - Viola, Vocals

Alex DiPaola - Bass, Vocals

Rob Wojcikiewicz - Drums

Andy Patt - Trombone

Dan Lynch - Guitars, Gang Vocals, Noise

Billy Lynch - Gang Vocals (Tracks 8, 10)



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The Whale & The Warbler Rochester, New York

The Whale & The Warbler is an evergrowing swing-folk family based out of Rochester, NY. A combination of folk, swing, and thunder claps - the Whale's music is a tribute to the art of story telling and the sheer fun of jumping around to cymbal crashes.

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Track Name: Mary & the Carousel (Winter)
Winter's come to wrap the world in white, and before she shuts her eyes, she'll turn us both to ghosts. But Mary I'll stay here until the Spring, with bells and songs to sing, to warm you to your bones. The carousel will wrap us in its light, make the world alright until the spinning starts to slow. Then all the swirls will slowly take their forms, as barren trees reborn, left empty for the coast. An then we'll go through the trees, the every falling snow.

So hold tight to your horse and I'll hold mine, we'll be there in due time, as fast as they can go. The pace is picking up too much to see your eyes still next to me; the spinning never slows, until it glows, and we melt away the snow.

My knees are weak, your eyes are up at me. I'm too sick to speak. To red with scarlet snow. White, she's yours, be sure to hold her tight, kiss her head good night, and see that she finds home. I'll watch her float to the sky, where she won't cry, I know.
Track Name: Sap
I took that walk up the hill to your corner, and I climbed the tallest tree I've ever seen. I hope you don't mind the sap on my fingers, because I sure as hell love the dirt on your feet. I'll eat every vegetable that you'll cook me, and I'll keep your bicycle oiled and clean. I'm growing a beard for your fingers to run through, tomorrow I'll find you that acre of land. Please make me medicine so I'm less lonely. I'll hang up your dress when you're too drunk to speak, and tomorrow I'll wake up and you'll say you're sorry, I'll cough up phlegm and get sit lost in your teeth.

I still climb trees, I still smell like pine needles. I drink your tea when I can't fall asleep. I hope you don't mind the sap on my fingers, because I sure as hell love that dirt on your feet.
Track Name: Tennessee's Shrinking
Davey Crocket,

Where will you go now that the elections here over? No one wants you around. They're all scared of your temper, you're rifle, you're whiskey breath. All your talk about Indians is making them restless. Tennessee's shrinking, you're no longer welcome. 'Cause you're a colt when you're drinking, cause you're a danger to everyone. You should head west to Texas, into San Antonio. Fight for your republic, with the cowboys and blood red stone.

When the coyotes start coming, shoot them straight in the heart. Because they'll do the same to you if you let your guard down. Davey, they will do the same to you.

The darkness keeps coming from behind the pueblos. All the buzzards keep circling to swoop in when you let go, so don't let go, Davey. Don't you die at the Alamo. Someone still loves you through the drinking and cold shoulders that you gave us when you left here, with a gun on your back.

You've got strong hands, but your hearts made of glass. It's such a big heart, but it's weighing you down.
Track Name: Silver Heart
I left my boy back in West Virginia, I told him:
"Son, don't forget your Dad. He's in a cell down in old El Paso and he won't be back until the rebels come. Tell your mother it's best to be faithful, God's still watching at time's like these, in his trees twist the little spirits of all them cowboys who just won't leave. On my neck her little heart sits. It shines like silver, it's cold as stone. When I hold it I feel her weight shift, I feel her wings spread, I feel her folds"
Track Name: Mary & the Carousel (Spring)
It's Spring, all the oak trees are rearing their leaves, they're bursting with green. It's so sweet to see. In weeks, when the mynabird's gathered her seeds, when your scents off of me, I'll be able to sleep. I'll be free, from a field where you rose up from me, from the yellowish gleams, from the spinning and screams. So I dream, in the grass with its purples and greens, that you're still here with me, that you still feel the breeze. But I know that I'll see you before we both get too old to sleep in the stars and let summer come in with its glow.
Track Name: Bannerman's Island
Follow me, we're going south along the winding Hudson. Hold tight to the river's bends I found a little island there where we'll be safe from all the foxes still and waiting. They're licking at their spit-soaked teeth, they feel our little bodies breath. We'll leave them in the dancing shadows of the pine trees, in the wind atop the mountain's peak, with our worries and our stash of seeds. We'll let the waves absorb the sounds from all the earthquakes, the echoes that keep you awake, the crickets and the quiet. And you can be the queen of all these flies and spiders, the old stone and its thunder, the castle's finally ours, my dear. With my sword I'll try to fight off all the freight trains. I'll keep you safe from lightning. I'll wrap you up and stop your shakes.

We'll be safe here on Bannerman's Island.
Track Name: The Black Bear & The Labrador
I packed my whole dresser drawer, the leather leash and left with a backpack on my back to find my darling labrador. I threw open April's doors and took her on my tongue, felt her paw prints in the mud, and headed for the hills I saw across the backyard's forest. All the maple trees are tapped and sap is pouring out. So snout down to the spout, I followed her until all the trees had grown one-hundred feet around and bent back on themselves. The canopy got thicker and I followed that yellow tail straight on into forever.

Not 'til the only beast we'd seen stepped out from the mist, big, heaving, and spitting spit, that my girl came close. In a fit of hope I stood tall as every tree and spread out my green jacket, but the black bear just stared back. I felt her break the collars clasp, my girl throws her weight around, and she threw it on his back. Teeth down into his neck, he threw off, it all dissolved as the labrador, her battle lost, turned back into a plant, a little glowing lilac. Her one-thousand purple hands still hold my heart and shake it.

Hold my heart and shake it.
Track Name: Thanksgiving
Why does each Mynabird fly when I’m close?
I’ve got clean fingers; I’ve got green thumbs.
And I know it gets cold so I built you homes,
with seeds for your stomach and gold for your throat.
If you let me then I’ll bring you in from the snow,
wrap you in blankets and my daddy’s coat,
the green one that he doesn’t wear anymore.
But it still keeps out winter, and I can’t leave you out there alone.
I found your nest in the arms of an oak,
with brown leaves and eggshells, clovers and holes.
So I took it in to the desk in my room,
glued it together, and left it on the sill.
Now my window’s open for when you get cold,
I’ll make more room once your family comes,
and with baskets of berries and mountains of moss,
you will never go hungry as my light pulls you in all the moths.
Mynabird, it’s sad to see you’ve left home,
Thanksgiving’s coming, soon they’ll be snow.
I’m sorry if I did anything wrong,
if I’m why you’re leaving, if you’re out there alone
and get hungry and swallow that lump in your throat.
If it’s weight in your belly proves too much to hold.
And the growing and shrinking of your glowing soul proves too big for your body.
Track Name: Mary & the Carousel (Autumn)
Autumn's come and now the reds are taking over all the trees. I'm feeling lighter now that the ghosts have found their way out through my teeth. Soon I will be free and I can finally feel your warmth on me, your little rays of light through me.

I just want to go to sleep.
Track Name: Song For A Seed
As the light in you begins to glow, as we push your seed into the soil, know that I would die a thousand times before I let you die alone. Your mother, she's got wings like doves. They shine as they both lift her up. But her heart was sick with lack of love for garden's left beneath the snow.

She called me on the telephone that night. She cursed your sleeping body and she cried. I swear I'll stop the shaking soon as I can get her calm.

I used to write your mother songs, filled with sinking ships and loss of love, but each word I wrote upon the page was never how I felt at all.

But I sat with her until you started to show through her pale white sin and layered winter clothes. Each time she'd cry I'd tell her how a garden's meant to grow.

She left upon your death that May, from your browning leaves and new born face, and although your leaves may never green I swear I'll water you until the Spring.