Ode to Joy

by The Nautical Miles

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released May 4, 2014

Corbin Murdoch: lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Simon Rotheisler: bass, vocals
Lucas Schuller: drums & percussion
Tim Tweedale: weissenborn, dobro, electric guitar, vocals
Rachel Tetrault: vocals

Dominic Conway: tenor saxophone
Debra-Jean Creelman: vocals (3,4)
Alison Gorman: trumpet
Ellen Marple: trombone
Tyson Naylor: keyboards
Lyndsay Poaps: vocals (9,10,12)

Produced by Jesse Gander and The Nautical Miles

Recorded and mixed by Jesse Gander at The Hive Creative Labs in Burnaby, BC
Mastered by Stuart McKillop at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver BC
Cover image uses the font TypographerWoodcutInitialsOne by Dieter Steffmann

Special thanks to Tyler Brett, Kerri Reid, and Adrian Robertshaw

All songs written by Corbin Murdoch during a residency at The Bruno Arts Bank in Bruno, Saskatchewan and arranged by The Nautical Miles

(c)&(p) 2014 Corbin Murdoch (SOCAN)



all rights reserved


The Nautical Miles Vancouver

The Nautical Miles are an adventurous roots music band from Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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Track Name: Be Embraced, Ye Millions!
Oh what fortune in friendship we’ve found. Oh, my brothers. Let’s raise our voices in joyous sound. Oh, my sisters. And let us be thankful for what love abounds, while we’re still searching for our love unfound. And while we are searching we can confide as brothers and sister in a love that is nameless and wild.

We were once lovers, we had a good time. Didn’t we Caitlin? We rolled around in love’s beauteous light. Didn’t we Caitlin? And now we are stronger for the love we shared; braver and bolder and better prepared. Maybe as lovers our time has expired but that don’t mean that our love can’t become something nameless and wild.

Still with our eyes fixed on the horizon. Aren’t we my brothers? Seeking the daughters of Elysium. Aren’t we my sisters? And when I have found the one I’ve been dreaming of, bright-eyed and blithesome, the sovereign of love, help make me sure of heart and of mind, and be deserving and willing to trust in something nameless and wild.
Track Name: All This Talk About Endings
Well, we burnt up our National fiction in the blazes of glory at the end of the story. Now it’s post-post-apocalyptic. Rewrites are pending. We can’t find an ending.

But all this talk about endings, it’s getting boring. We’ve been ignoring that eras we thought we long over are happening over, over and over.

Happening over, over and over again.

Tools used to measure our safety generate numbers. There’s safety in numbers. The sum of our National sadness indexed to inflation; a lost generation. And time marches steadily forward against our wishes; a campaign of inches. No, they won’t turn this into a movie. It’ll outlast our youth, it’ll outlast our beauty.

Sting in the tail of the story. We were all bitten, now the future’s unwritten. And it’s post-post-apocalyptic. Rewrites are pending. The future’s unending.
Track Name: Shadowside
Shadowside. A city built where plates collide. The suture where the mountain split.The future that our fathers built clinging to the shadowside. The tailings from the copper mines. A turbid blush upon the breeze. The bruises of our industry blooming on the shadowside.

The future comes a little faster. The kids grow up and court disaster. The future shifts, offers no reason. Changes its mind with every season.

Oceanrise. The prayers they had us memorize. The words our fathers would rehearse in the hours before our birth warned us of the oceanrise. Yet, somehow we were still surprised. Left us with a crippling guilt. The future that our fathers built lost beneath the oceanrise.

The future’s stacked in no one’s favour, sum of our toil and of our labour.

Feverfew. The promises of something new. Something seen in fever dream. The slow bloom of a vespertine. A meadow full of feverfew on the floodplain where our cities grew. The future that our fathers built lost now to the glacial silt. Scattered to the shadowside.

The future came. We stopped pretending. And dawn broke slow as childhood ending.
Track Name: Love's Little Sister
Hope was just here. So sorry you missed her. I saw her leave with Love’s little sister. You should have known it the night you caught her kissing on Fortune’s red-headed daughter.

Went out with my ladies, daughters of the eighties, children of the second-wave. Danced without our shoes on, woke up with a bruise on my neck I can’t explain away. And she said, “All I really want is a salty and responsive lover who won’t stay the night.” I gladly volunteered, took my cue and disappeared into the pixelated morning light.

All of you rich girls clutching your purses, sipping through straws and mouthing the verses. All of the poor boys, they all adore you. Gave it a shot but couldn’t afford you.

Woke up in the sunlight saw your future fading like the colour in your favorite jeans. Packed up all your shit and told your mother you were moving to the city for the music scene. Multiply your prospects by zeroes on your paychecks, still you end up in the red. Hours in the basement, yet somehow your Graceland’s Rhythm of the Saints instead.

Hope was just here. So sorry you missed her. I heard you never learnt how to kiss her. Love’s Little Sister, quite the sensation. I saw them leave here pink with flirtation.

Tomorrow always comes too soon. We danced all night in darkened rooms.
Track Name: A Nation In Silhouette
Came back a little light of purse with bangles around your neck. Came back with a nation captured in full silhouette. Where the women speak in whispers once the tourists are asleep, and the future sits in shadows tonguing brand new sets of teeth.

A nation silhouetted by the sun.

The capital keeps gathering up the Empire’s dispossessed. Memories have hardened to a tangle in their chests. The women hold the line and sweep the violence from the door. The future was a moderate, now it’s calling out for war.

You told yourself better go see the world while you still can. Rebels took the bridges out the day after you left town. Just try and tell them this is the end of history. They are driven by the promises of brand new centuries.
Track Name: Summerlegs
She moved across the dance floor like she was cutting copper, soft as spark and swift as oil underwater. Her summerlegs were shining and as she blew right past them there was just one question that the boys were asking.

She was smiling like there was something that I owed her. Felt fate’s secret centre shift a little closer. In her eyes was something deep and dark and dangerous, and suddenly the future it could not contain us.

She was sipping slowly on her Royal Jelly. A honey drunk was blazing deep within my belly. Her rivers wrapped around me, warm and phosphorescent. Kisses long and liquid, wild and adolescent.

In the golden glow of our first undressing ghosts of our former lovers came and gave their blessing. And as we fell together we felt a future blooming. Somewhere an orchestra had just finished tuning.
Track Name: In the Love of Joys Unknown
Another tenement we can’t afford to rent. Our streets tell tales of how the last election went in smashed auto-glass and purses been dug through. We’ve made our friends, some of whom like dancing in darkened rooms. We dance all night with the queers that we’re allied to. We make our moves. Sometimes they’re into it. Sometimes it’s a little bit hard to stop dreaming of countries where they kiss both cheeks as a greeting or receive you in prayer. As-Salaam Alaikum. But our winters are not spent exploring new continents. No now is our discontent packing our tenements into plastic bags.

Oh, in the love of joys unknown.

Most of our mothers are getting too old for this. These are the years that they would have happily missed. These are the days of worry and wonder. We fear the future like the poor fear the hospital. We can’t afford it, but it’s unavoidable. Promised the worst and offered austerity. But it’s not the first time we’ve been told the end is near. Now that it’s become clear we’ll start our families here isn’t it time to raise cups of kindness, to Old Lang Syne, sure, but also to tomorrow? We’ll bask in our triumphs and shoulder our sorrow together as one.
Track Name: Brothers in Arms
I worry about my friends. They drink more than they used to. But when they’re out drinking I guess I’m out drinking too. I worry about my love. Yeah, I guess that’s what you’d call this. I used to think it was mine to do what I wanted with.

Oh my brothers in arms, how’d we ever get so brave? Flirting with the Daughters of Fortune thinking we would get away unscathed. Oh, my brothers in arms, did you let her go a little too soon? Now she’s out all night with your contemporaries dancing in a darkened room.

I think I’ll be all right. I think I just drank too much. I just need to make it through to the next three-paycheck month. I think I’ll be all right. I just stood up to fast. She said, “we found love too young. No way it was going to last.”

Oh my brothers in arms, are we growing old too soon? All of the charisma that we purchased on credit now the payments are past due. Oh my brothers in arms, is it too late to start again? You were in the basement with your headphones on when history called out your name.

Love is a language we’re still trying to figure out. A long and uncertain waltz between our trust and doubt.

Oh my brothers in arms, does tomorrow come a little too soon? The future was the place where we hung up our doubts, but now the future’s out of room.
Track Name: St Petersburg
And this just in, late breaking news: the Soviets are on the moon. The future’s here and none too soon. We danced all night in darkened rooms.

They named a new holiday this spring to celebrate their election win. Took care to reroute the parade around the Musqueam blockade.

Red maple leaves at Rideau Hall. Red squares on sleeves in Montreal. The fire broke out when the police snatched Lady Courage off of the street.

Second generation of the occupation. Struggles no one noticed. Silence from the poets. Legislated endings justify the spending. No one else here bothers but you do it for your daughters.

The theatre of this proxy war. State-actors break character.

Latent Canadian ennui. Lord bring me back as Houdini. Easy to measure my success when failure means a drowning death. If only I could go back now, not change a thing, just write it down. A record for some future me of all the future used to be.

As of right now we haven’t heard what they’ll rename St Petersburg.
Track Name: Naming Rights
Hurry up and name the Nation, son. Confidence is fading. Quick before they abdicate the power to the government in waiting. Hurry up and burn the maps so that the next administration will never ever find the weapons we trained on the population.

Hurry up and burn the histories, the ones we had adjusted, before their case is heard by the appellate in the palaces of justice. Hurry up and strike an armistice with the leaders of the insurrection. Promise them a book deal and the film rights if they’ll surrendered their weapons.

What is it that we want to call this moment? If we don’t act now they’ll name it for us. Whoever gives up on the future first loses the right to say “they stole it from us”.

The military’s drawing up contingencies to the constitution. Academics are drawing up addendums to a political solution. Demonstrations drawing to a close, we’re waiting for the media’s reaction. Before the story even hits the editors are drawing up their retractions. The terrorists have filed an application to throw the streets into disorder. The unions are debating tactics but they’re stuck on points of order. The caucus whip is sending out a memo spelling out which way the wind is blowing. The Riot Act has cleared the senate but the riot just keeps on growing.

How much longer can our movement last now that we’ve told them that we’re not retreating. If we call general strike too many times the people they will simply stop believing.
Track Name: To Hazel
Your Father wrote to give me the news. You were due to arrive before the summer was through and they would name you after the colour of your mother’s eyes. I was worlds away discovering new ones. For something I read once by Pablo Neruda. I sat on the shoreline and wrote you an Ode to Joy.

We’ve settled into our friendships, figured out what a family is for. Oh, there is love in your future. Of this I am sure.

The future's uncertain but you're not alone. We'll be standing beside you until you're fully grown. Until you're dreaming of daughters of your very own. I could write you a list of things I’m sorry for. For all of our struggles, we could have done more. All I can offer you now is this Ode to Joy.

In Montreal they are banging on pots and on pans. Our love is so important, more than we understand. So dance us through fear and through courage, dance us through trust and through doubt. Oh, there is love in your future. I can assure you of that.
Track Name: The Lost Generation
At first we laughed it off as foolish when they told us of their plans, steadfast in our refusal to believe. But they continued meeting weekly in the forts they’d built in trees, and we began to take their threats more seriously. Even the youngest seemed possessed of an unwavering resolve. They just smiled and skirted questions expertly. And when we locked them in their bedrooms refusing them assembly they just waited out the sentence patiently.

We still don’t know why they felt they had to go.

Letter, literature, and photograph were all refused, deepening our anger and our hurt. Wild-eyed mothers pressed small keepsakes to their children’s chests, but they were left to fall, unwanted, to the dirt. They ignored the provocations of our provocateurs. Division and inducement were dismissed. Campaigns that we devised at townhalls espousing our values did not go over the way that we had wished.

For a year we kept our eyes fixed squarely upon the horizon. Tried to keep our hope from loosening its grip. And for a year we kept suspicion trained upon our friends and allies. Tried to find the Piper in our midst. We began resenting time, who’d pass and steal away our hours and then offer us nothing in return. I cannot say which one of us was first to strike a match, but I can tell you no one stayed to watch it burn.