Hear the City

by Casey Stratton



released February 4, 2011


all rights reserved



Casey Stratton Grand Rapids

Formerly signed to Sony Classical, Casey Stratton has experienced the corporate side of music in full force. His 2004 album "Standing at the Edge" received high critical praise from the likes of Billboard, People and USA Today. His song "House of Jupiter" reached #1 on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Chart. Now independent, Casey has released 28 albums and much, much more. ... more

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Track Name: Turning the Page
Waiting for gravity to take hold
Corner of West 4th street and my soul
This is a frequency I know
Watching the people come and go

This is where it began so long ago
How could I know how much would change though?
But it all did

Signed my name and entered a dream
Built up a world from dust and sand
Gave it all of me
But nothing looked like it should have in the end

Turned the page and went off the map
I was so surprised by the final act
So I buried my head in that fateful sand
And the tiger laid down to rest
And turned his attention to healing the wounds

So say you understand
And take me back to where I belong
And say there is a way
A dawning day
Another song
Track Name: Hear the City
Up from the train
Sidewalks icy
I made my way
East on 9th street
A portrait framed
Steam was rising
The dark betrayed
The eight o’clock hour

Music was made
In a dimly lit ballroom
I thought of LA
When I first heard those songs
A warm embrace
The comfort of an old friend
With a kiss-stained face
I went back to the bar

And outside the snow reflected in light
Candles in the windows brought peace to the night

I said my goodbyes
When the show was over
Back into the night
And the piercing cold
Made the second right
And the city came back to life
Hurried toward the train

Strangers packed together on the subway
A forced sense of avoiding each other’s gaze

125th street
Back in Harlem
Digging for keys
At 1 am
Windy tears were freezing
As I rounded the corner
I smiled, recalling the night

“Tomorrow it’s here” I thought as I
Reached over and turned out the light

Hear the city
Never sleeping
Hear the city
Track Name: Inside Out
No need for translation
You understand me perfectly well
Needed this conversation
I’d lost some of my confidence in Hell

When it played out
I thought I’d failed
I said out loud
I felt derailed
But I can find
A way back out
I can’t be sure
But something is inside out

You said things I’d never thought of
I sometimes can’t get out of my own way
Too often I beat myself up
Too often feel the loss right out of the gate

I needed this
Rallied my spirit

And years ago, pulled myself up off the floor
I would not be silenced by their sound
If I did it then, I can surely rise again
Not a question of if but only when
Track Name: Transpose
Known you all so long
But still there remains a forward motion
Picked up where we left off
With a shorthand
We waited far too long
To recreate that infamous performance
Knew it all along
We’re connected

I always knew you well
I always could foretell
That we would stay this close
That we could easily transpose

Bring me another drink
I just want to savor the moment
I wouldn’t even think
Of leaving yet
I’m never very far
From the northern woods that brought us all together
Wherever you are
I am there

I never thought I’d be so drawn
To anyone, to anywhere
But here I am, and here you are
We’ve come so far, these rising stars
Track Name: Questions
All we express
What does it mean?
Take it all in
Explore all the scenes
Paint on a canvas
A sculpture displayed
An urban photograph
Memories saved

Pastoral scenes
Of beauty and light
Captured a world
Much different than mine
Yet still we find
They speak to us
A universal world in the art

But how do we see?
And how do we know?
How do we create
And make these ghosts?
What does it mean
To the world as a whole?
Our stories told?

Shape and form
An object or sound
A guiding narrative
From something found
Making something from nothing
To feel less alone
Yet an artist’s vision
Is only their own

Maybe the point is to ask the questions
Maybe what it’s worth
Is inside the human mind
And where we find a connection
Yet still I wonder why
We must create
Where does the impulse come from?
And why do others decide
We don’t deserve that life?

All we express
But what does it mean?
And what is an artist
And what is a dream?
It’s a question of knowledge
And a question of craft
A question of passion
And the questions asked
It’s a question of talent
And a question of faith
A question of feeling
Combined with technique
And if you have to ask
Then you’re on the right path
It’s the ones who don’t
Who cannot understand
Track Name: The Library
Many paths all leading to the same place
Sacred books, a guide to saving grace
Hundreds of years displayed through pages of text
Each word painstakingly scribed from one to the next

Wandered down the halls feeling the history
Marbled walls and frescoes on the ceilings
Rooms and rooms of knowledge, stories told
The beauty in the construction, reverence of old

So much here to find and learn, can we listen?
What connects us separates us for no reason

If we wanted to make real change
We’d remember what makes us the same
Read the wisdom that’s there and is plain
So much knowledge to gain
Open our minds – step inside

We have all we need to know
So why do we push so hard to show
That only we know which way to go?

There is so much pain – so much war in this world
There is so much fear – so much hate in our souls
We will dominate only when we go to the source
Lives inside of every one of us under every stone
Under every stone
Track Name: Valentine
I know we have been estranged
Look and see nothing in your gaze
But I beg you – can we try one more time?
I’m not ready to leave this life
That we have made
It’s not only us here to save

So please don’t leave me here tonight
Don’t leave me here tonight

Don’t go just yet

I know time has not been kind
But once, you must remember, happier times
Can we get back there or maybe at least try
To make this work, you and I
I don’t want the end of us to look like this
Track Name: We Want It All
Caught in the weather
Snow covered everything
I felt much better
Back for the brass ring
Close to an answer
In love with Hudson Street
All of us together

We want it all
Ambition that’s blinding
The sound of the fall
Had left me unwinding
Answered the call
Then found you were hiding
But we want it all
With a silver lining

If I return here
Will I find a path forth
I am myself here
Tapping into the source
I feel it’s right

Nothing that’s worth anything
Is ever easy
I’ll keep on trying
In hopes of freeing
A contented feeling