Head Full Of Hair, Heart Full Of Song

by Pyeng Threadgill

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about

Pyeng Threadgill: vocals/wurlitzer
John Shannon: electric & acoustic guitar
Derek Nievergelt: electric & upright bass
Tyler Wood: clavinet/B3 organ/piano
Kassa Overall: drums

Derek Nievergelt: vocals on "Head Full Of Hair, Heart Full Of Song"
Amma What: vocals on "BlackMagic" and "Heart Beatin' Fast"
Amma What, Nhumi Threadgill, Luna Starr Threadgill-Moderbacher and Mieke Hutt-Nievergelt vocals on "Drums Are Here To Save You Now Reprise"
Martha Redbone: vocals on "Pick A Bale Of Cotton"

Pyeng pre 5 years old appears courtesy of Mom & East 6th Street Recordings

credits

released July 19, 2018

All words & Music by Pyeng Threadgill, Copyright 2018, except for "Trav'lin All Alone" and "Pick A Bale Of Cotton". "Pearlie" played by John Shannon, Derek Nievergelt and Kassa Overall. "Cotton Candy" played by John Shannon and Derek Nievergelt. All songs co-arranged by each specific ensemble, except for "Trav'lin All Alone" original arrangement by Brandon Terzic, Tim Keiper and Pyeng Threadgill.

Produced by Derek Nievergelt and Pyeng Threadgill.
Recorded by Tyler Wood & Derek Nievergelt with assistant engineer Colin Mohnacs at GB's Juke Joint, Long Island City, NY (January, 2018).
*except for "I Went To The Water" recorded by Derek Nievergelt at Orange Fish Music, Brooklyn, NY (2016).
Background vocals for "Black Magic", "Heart Beatin' Fast", "Jacaranda City", "Head Full Of Hair, Heart Full Of Song", "Pearlie" and "Drums Are Here To Save You Now Reprise" recorded by Derek Nievergelt at Orange Fish Music (2018).
All songs mixed by Tyler Wood at Sauce Farm Studio, NY (2018).
All songs mastered by Kevin Blackler at Blackler Mastering, Brooklyn, NY 2018.

Photos: Aria Isadora
Hair Art: Thema Taylor of Natural Edgez
Make-up: KeKe Cifferello
Clothing Design: Royal Jelly Harlem
Graphic design: Luisa Muhr

Thank you ALL for helping to MAKE this record!!! You make my heart beat. Thank you to my gorgeous band and crew of collaborators, my mom, dad, stepmom, Eileen & Johannes. Thank you to my husband Nikolai always on the chair, always “on my side":). This album is dedicated to all my ancestors but especially the women in my family who may not have always been able to give voice to their power, pleasure or pain. May your voices ring! And to my daughter Luna may you always shine like the sun, moon and stars. You got it all in you. Xoxo

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about

Pyeng Threadgill New York

Described as “charmingly eclectic" by St Louis Today Pyeng Threadgill sings ‘New Porch Music’ crafting an intimate journey through folk and Jazz with Afro- electronic inflections. In the midst of developing her fourth solo album and a multimedia project entitled "Head Full of Hair, Heart Full of Song", Ms. Threadgill shines a light on hair, adornment, and ancestry, and the power and pain therein. ... more

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Track Name: Cotton Candy
COTTON CANDY

When I was I was a little girl
my mom used to say
"Your hair is just like cotton candy!..."

soft
light
full
Cotton Candy

moonbeams
sticky
sweet
pink
Cotton Candy

dreamy
lofty
plush
Cotton Candy

thick
knotty
resilient
Cotton Candy

cozy
Black
Cotton

transformational
Candy.
Track Name: Head Full Of Hair, Heart Full Of Song
HEAD FULL OF HAIR, HEART FULL OF SONG

Got a head full of hair and a heart full of song
Nobody told me change could take so long
Got a head full of hair they say
Ain’t gonna let thoughts get in my way

Got a head full of hair and a heart full of song
Good thing that love can be so strong
Got a head full of hair hey hey
Mind keeps mixing up what my heart say

Oooo

If I did alright, but it came out wrong
Wouldn’t be standing here singing this song
Picking out my truth day by day
Many mixed messages coming our way

Oooo
Track Name: Black Magic
BLACK MAGIC

I've got my witches brew
I've got my spell for you
I've got your remedy
It waits inside of me

A rush comes over me
A rhythmic melody
A myth I am to be
A legacy
You press repeat
I will you now

I've got a sacred charm
I've got muscles in arm
I've got my grandma's look
I've got this catchy hook

A whisper in the trees
And a drink of holy leaves
A myth I am to be
A legacy
You press repeat
I will you now

A chant I write each day
To wash all negative away
And conjure good to stay
It's my mama's way
You met her yesterday
Said “everything’s gonna be okay”

The things that I can't touch and I can't see
The stories that have been given to me
These are a few of my favorite things

The things that I can't touch and I can't see
The stories I've imagined and believed
These are a few of my favorite things

The things that I can't touch and I can't see
The stories that have been given to me
These are a few of my favorite things

These are a few of my favorite things
These are a few of my favorite things
These are a few of my favorite things…
Track Name: Pearlie
PEARLIE

My maternal grandmother’s name was Pearlie Rice Jones. She got the Jones name from my grandfather when they married. Born in Marshall, Texas on December 30th 1918.

Growing up I would visit my grandmother and my other relatives living in Chicago, Columbus, GA or later St Louis.

Pearlie, she was quiet and thoughtful. She liked to do crossword puzzles and eat sweets like prepackaged cinnamon rolls and candy and she kept all kinds of things hidden in various plastic bags...within plastic bags.

When she walked she would sway kind of like someone coming back from the local bar as she would go to ride the bus, shop for groceries and always buy the paper. Once home she would sit on the porch decorated with reading glasses and ask us riddles like “what’s another name for a sweet pepper?” or “where do flamingos fly?” as her pen or pencil would flap it's wings along the black and white newspaper sky.

I spent a lot of time watching my grandmother sitting in the living room or alone in the kitchen. Unlike my paternal grandmother, she didn’t’ talk a lot but she would make these motions in the air as if she was pulling her hair out of invisible rollers, or untying braids and then taking things out of her mouth, maybe things she wished she’d said, and then sewing it back up again. To a child it could have looked like someone making shadow puppets. A butterfly, a dog, an alligator. But I knew better. I had a degree in grown ups. So I would stare at her trying to figure it out and she didn’t mind my staring. Every so often she would knock her knees together like Dorothy clicking her heels to go back home.

My mom said that she did try going home once. When she was much younger. After being lured by my grandfather’s sweet talking. She wanted a free pass home. Trying to get away from his temper and habit of taking without asking. But her parents said no. She wouldn’t tell them what he had done, so they wouldn’t agree, said she had to go back. And just like getting a poor move on a board game she kept on playing. After attending Prairie View College with a degree in home economics and science she went on to be a dutiful...house wife…and mother of 6.

And I would stare because I could and to be honest I thought she was funny and fascinating. Now I look at all of those old pictures of me as a baby in Marshall, Texas and all that stillness and all that wind. Wind blowing dust. Dust settling in corners we think we’ve cleaned and that dust we hope will keep things hidden and that dust to protect us from the sun cracking open our skin. Now I wonder what was my grandma doing in with those crossword puzzles? Was she just trying to kill time? or fulfill a need to answer unanswerable questions? or had she finally cracked the code that most of us are still trying to crack holding the answers at the crossroads of 12 down and 8 across.
Track Name: Drums Are Here To Save You Now
DRUMS ARE HERE TO SAVE YOU NOW

...drums are here to save now!
drums are here to save you now!...
drums are here to save you now
oh yea
oh yea
drums are here!
drums are here!
drums are here!...
Track Name: Loose Change In My Shoe
LOOSE CHANGE IN MY SHOE

I’ve gotta build a thick skin
Don’t let the dirt in
They say it’s sink or swim
Wooh oh oh oh oh

When I was born I shone bright
Power was out I brought the light
They say my dreams will take flight
Just watch where you go at night

Loose change in my shoe
Loose change in my shoe ooo ooo
Throw stones in my view
Close range I see you ooo ooo

Loose change in my shoe
Loose change in my shoe yea
Bark, bite at my hue
Laugh, still I heal you ooo

I’m full and possibility
There’s hope dancing round my tree
Ancestors I’m waiting to meet
And change at my feet

The beat goes
And the street knows
While the leaf blows
This time around
The night owl
Will sing us back

Loose change in my shoe
Loose change in my shoe ooo ooo
Throw stones in my view
Close range I see you yea

Loose change in my shoe
Loose change in my shoe yea
Bark, bite at my hue
Laugh, still I heal you ooo

Change at my feet
Change at my feet
Change at my feet yea
Change at my feet yea
Change at my feet
Change at my feet
Change at my feet yea
Change at my feet yea...
Track Name: Four Hours
FOUR HOURS

Four…hours
four hours
four hours
four hours
it’s hours
and ours
it's ours
four hours
and ours and ours
it’s hours
and hours
and ours and hours…
Track Name: I Went To The Water
I WENT TO THE WATER

I went to the water
Didn’t want to wet my hair
I went to the water
Didn’t want to wet my hair
Just couldn’t go there
Didn’t want to go there

I went to the water
I met my twin there
I went to the water
I met my twin there
She caught my eye
Gave me a long long stare, oh yea

Clear, clear my mind
Sweet, space and time
If any parts was lost,
They’re in me, you’ll surely find

Spotted a rainbow
No umbrella that day
I spotted a rainbow
And no umbrella that day
Well I took to the rainbow
‘Cause we all gonna get wet anyway, anyway

And it’s gon’
Clear, clear my mind
Sweet space and time
If any parts were lost
Right here they’ll be easy to find
If any parts were lost
Right here they’ll be easy to find
If any parts were lost
Right here they’ll be easy to find
Track Name: Little Creatures
LITTLE CREATURES

...they come to me
they're like these little creatures...
Track Name: Jacaranda City
JACARANDA CITY

I was born by the
Jacaranda tree
purple haze
lining every street

What a place of
natural beauty
like my face
still so hard for you to see
to see

We sit
Half the day
Each part
Perfected
Each braid
Uniform
Our genius neglected
We sit
Half the day
Each part
Perfected
Each braid
Uniform
Our genius neglected

In these
fertile valleys
thousand rivers
and screams

Keeps the land
so green
even winter
it sings
even winter screams

We sit
Half the day
Each part
Perfected
Each braid
Uniform
Our genius neglected
We sit
Half the day
Cater to
Each wave and coil
I bloom
Wating for ya’
To catch on
All we taught ya’

Read my riddles
They’ve been woven
Secret language
Bent, not broken
My line
It caught
The dirt
In your look
Brushed off
The crown
You grabbed
You took

I am fine
throw sticks
and I’m Divine
I always draw
outside your lines
I was born by the
Jacaranda tree
tho I’m native
they still question me
such a place of
natural beauty
like my face
still so hard for you to see
like my face
still so hard for you to see
like my face still so hard for you to see
Track Name: Missing Mississippi
MISSING MISSISSIPPI

What business do I have talking about Mississippi?
What’s a girl like me from New York City got to do with Mississippi?
All I know is what I heard from my grandmother, sayin’ that she heard there was lots of Threadgills in Mississippi. A whole town full…named Greensville or Greensboro. Feel like she kept switching between the two. And you know when somebody’s gone missing…like a WHOLE line of your ancestors, just like a tribe standing in line at the airport but instead of meeting their relatives they get surgically lifted into outerspace never to be seen or heard from again…except for these faint whispers, nightmares, and fantasies...

My great great grandfather was named Henry Threadgill and he went missing. I mean he was around in the end dying of cholera or cancer or some other disease in Chicago but we don’t know where he got his beginning. Somewhere in the middle of his tale he and his brother get split and he’s the one who heads up north.

And that’s part of what’s got me missing Mississippi. That trace of my history winding down a long unknown river that soon everyone will have forgotten. Well, that and…missing parts of fathers like soldiers' limbs spread on a battlefield and no one cares to put them back together again so that you can actually know one another.

I really want to meet Morgan Freeman some day because I heard he knows a lot about Mississippi. Told my dad once that there was a famous music teacher there by the name of Threadgill. I’d like to think that his parts and pieces that are lingering in our thoughts and fingers and voices helping us to write out our song. And that when I get an inspired interdisciplinary approach to teaching some musical concept like a G major seventh chord, that it’s him and a cup of the elements helping me to move kids to keep on enjoying music and wanting to learn and wanting to play and wanting to practice. So I think those are some pretty good reasons for missing Mississippi. Don’t you?
Track Name: Heart Beatin' Fast
HEART BEATIN' FAST

I’ve been raisin’ it
wastin’ and bravin’ it
I’m still makin’ it
gracin’ and blazin’ it

I’ve been raisin’ it
wastin’ and bravin’ it
I’m still makin’ it
gracin’ and blazin’ it
Oh, whatcha gonna do?

Heart beatin’ fast
Hidden in my sleeve
Talkin’ to my past
Walkin’ my path
From dawn to eve
Roads crossin’
Tip toein’
Holdin’ myself back

I’ve been raisin’ it
wastin’ and bravin’ it
I’m still makin’ it
gracin’ and blazin’ it
I’ve been raisin’ it
wastin’ and bravin’ it
who will dare?...only you
I’m still makin’ it
gracin’ and blazin’ it
Oh, whatcha gonna do?

Truth on my back
Lookin’ for a map
But seeing at last
Ahead of the pack
Surrendered…and rendered in black
Standing up to the mast

I’ve been raisin’ it
wastin’ and bravin’ it
who will dare? only you
I’m still makin’ it
gracin’ and blazin’ it
oh, whatcha gonna do?

I’ve been raisin’ it
wastin’ and bravin’ it
I’m still makin’ it
gracin’ and blazin’ it
Oh, whatcha gonna do?

I’ve been raisin’ it
wastin’ and bravin’ it
who will dare?...only you
I’m still makin’ it
gracin’ and blazin’ it
Oh, whatcha gonna do?

Oh whatcha gon’ do?...
Track Name: Trav'lin All Alone
TRAV'LIN ALL ALONE

I’m so weary and all alone
Feet are tired like heavy stone
Trav’lin, trav’lin all alone

I’m so weary and all alone
Feet are tired like heavy stone
Trav’lin, trav’lin all alone

Who will see and who will care
Bout this load that I must bear
Trav’lin trav’lin all alone

Prayers are sent from heaven above
‘Bout my burdens woes and love
Head bowed down with misery
Nothing now appeals to me
Trav’lin trav’lin all alone

I’m so weary and all alone
Feet are tired like heavy stone
Trav’lin trav’lin all alone

Who will see and who will care
Bout this load that I must bear
Trav’lin trav’lin all alone

Give me just another day
There’s one thing that I must say
Friends are well when all is gold
Leave you always when you’re old

I’m so weary and all alone
Feet are tired like heavy stone
Trav’lin trav’lin all alone
Trav’lin trav’lin all alone
Trav’lin trav’lin all alone
Track Name: Secret Parade
SECRET PARADE

Secret parade
secret parade
secret parade
secret parade

You need a remedy
I'll be that remedy
between the fruit and the vine
open your mind
you need a remedy

Secret parade
secret parade
secret parade
secret parade

We got chemistry
you and I got chemistry
impossible to confine
oh step up
take your time
we got chemistry

Got you so close
got you like this
making you know
know all your bliss
we are

Got you so close
got you like this
making you know
know all your bliss
we are

You need a remedy
I'll be that remedy
between the spaces and lines
open your mind
you need a remedy

Secret parade
secret parade
secret parade
secret parade

Got you so close
got you like this
making you know
know all your bliss
we are

Got you so open
open like this
making you know
know all your bliss
we are

Secret parade
secret parade
secret parade
secret parade
Track Name: That's All
THAT'S ALL

That's all...


















PICK A BALE OF COTTON

Jump down turn around, pick a bale of cotton
Jump down turn around, pick a bale a day
Jump down turn around, pick a bale of cotton
Jump down turn around, pick a bale a day

Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day
Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day

Me and man gotta pick a bale of cotton
Me and my man gotta pick a bale a day
Me and my man gotta pick a bale of cotton
Me and my man gotta pick a bale a day

Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day
Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day

Me and my friend gotta pick a bale of cotton
Me and my friend gotta pick a bale a day
Me and my friend gotta pick a bale of cotton
Me and my friend gotta pick a bale a day

Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day
Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day

Me and my ma’ gotta pick a bale of cotton
Me and my ma’ gotta pick a bale a day
Me and my ma’ gotta pick a bale of cotton
Me and my ma’ gotta pick a bale a day

Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day
Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day

Jump down turn around and pick a bale of cotton
Jump down turn around, pick a bale a day
Jump down turn around and pick a bale of cotton
Jump down turn around, pick a bale a day

Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day
Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day

Me and my pa’ gotta pick a bale of cotton
Me and my pa’ gotta pick a bale a day
Me and my pa’ gotta pick a bale of cotton
Me and my pa’ gotta pick a bale a day

Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day
Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day

Ain’t we all gotta pick a bale of cotton
Ain’t we all gotta pick a bale a day
Ain’t we all gotta pick a bale of cotton
Ain’t we all gotta pick a bale a day

Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day
Oh Lordy, pick a bale of cotton
Oh Lordy, pick a bale a day

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