Who Shall Bring Him To See What Shall Be After Him?

from by Jean Rohe

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about

A stranger in an airport once told me, in a language I was only just learning, “Life and Death are two beautiful twin sisters. You understand this word—'twin sisters'? Right now I am madly in love with Life. And one day I hope I'll be madly in love with Death. When it comes time.”
Forgetting you're in Kindergarten, I often answer your endless questions with a blunt and unsettling truth. I know immediately by your wide eyes that I've gone too far. I want to protect you, but even more, I want to show you anything in this world you care to see. You rare one who would ask, you who will search deeply, often fruitlessly, restlessly, endlessly, finding your only true comfort in uncertainty.
This is our passionate love affair with Life, Little One. Oh, we ask after her sister, certainly we do, but our hearts belong to Life alone. We embrace her each day, not tenderly, as I embrace you now, your eyes heavy with sleep, but tenaciously, fiercely, unwavering in our adoration.

lyrics

May there always be sunshine, always be blue skies
Always be Mama, may there always be I.

Little child, your questions are enormous
And little child, my words don’t seem to satisfy
You ask, “Why was I born? Why will I die?
Oh, why don’t you know, oh why?”

Little child, your path is for the curious
The way is paved with rare and heavy stones
Far too many to turn in this lifetime
So the questions will only grow

Go ahead, I cannot follow with you
The stones are there to be turned by you alone
There’ll be happiness and much sorrow
For a boy who just needs to know.

And all I know for sure, nothing lasts forever
But everything that’s here has been here all along
Planets born of dust, and the moon pulls the tides along the shore
Suns will die, continents slide
And a heart beats in a chest
Pulse pumps an ancient tune
Music fills a room, till the people are singing, their dances ringing
Calling, oh they’re calling, to the silent sky.

Halla, halla, halla ya…

And all I know for sure, nothing lasts forever
But everything that’s here has been here all along
Planets born of dust, and the moon pulls the tides along the shore
Suns will die, continents slide
And a heart beats in a chest
Pulse pumps an ancient tune
Music fills a room, till the people are singing, their dances ringing
Calling, oh they’re calling, to the silent sky.

Don’t lock it up, now
Go and we’ll follow
Wash your head in the river
And call me tomorrow

And who shall bring me to see what shall be after me?

credits

from Jean Rohe & The End of the World Show, released November 27, 2014
Jean Rohe – mandolin, guitar, lead vocals
Ilusha Tsinadze – acoustic and electric guitars, dobro
Christopher Tordini – acoustic and electric bass
Liam Robinson – accordion, keyboards
Skye Steele – violin
Rogério Boccato – percussion
Richie Barshay – percussion
James Shipp – vibraphone and percussion
And everyone sings.

Ljova Zhurbin – viola on 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11
Dave Eggar – cello on 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11

Tony Hdez – radio announcer on 4

All songs by Jean Rohe
Produced by Jean Rohe & Liam Robinson

String arrangements on “Fisherman”, “Pacific Street”, “Water”, and “O Bright Star” by Liam Robinson.

“Who Shall...” incorporates part of a Russian children's song in translation, “May There Always Be Sunshine (Пусть всегда будет солнце)”.
Field recording in “Umbrella” from Uskudar, Istanbul, Turkey, 2011.

Recorded by Chris Bittner at Applehead Studios in Saugerties, NY
Additional recording by Oliver Straus at Mission Sound, Brooklyn, NY, and Aaron Nevezie at The Bunker Studio, Brooklyn, NY.

Mixed by Todd Sickafoose at Earycanal

Mastering by Alan Douches at West West Side Music

Illustrations by Melanie Chopko
Photo by Jen Painter
Layout and design by Ilusha Tsinadze

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about

Jean Rohe Brooklyn, New York

“A sure-footed young singer-songwriter,” in the words of The New York Times, Jean Rohe has been captivating audiences for years with her one-of-a-kind narrative songs. Her writing concerns itself as much with the internal world as with the external. Her latest record, Jean Rohe & The End of the World Show, won three Independent Music Awards in 2014. ... more

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