And Now We Sing

by Olenka and the Autumn Lovers

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"[And Now We Sing] demands constant listening and becomes more rewarding each time through, a trend I don't expect to stop." -Chromewaves


released September 1, 2010

recorded by Andy Magoffin at The House of Miracles.
additional recording by Simon Larochette at The London Music Club.
mixed by Simon Larochette and Andy Magoffin.
mastered by Joao Carvalho at JCM.

artwork by Sara Froese.
photography by Patrick Schmidt.
design by Sara Froese, Andrew James, and Olenka Krakus.

produced by Olenka Krakus.
all songs written by Olenka Krakus.
arranged by O&AL.



all rights reserved


Olenka and the Autumn Lovers London, Ontario

Olenka and the Autumn Lovers are Folk writ large. Adding orchestral instrumentation, country twang and Eastern European flourishes to intricate and heartfelt folk-pop, they make worlds collide. In their brand of the people’s music, they mingle wistful reflection with aggressive social commentary. ... more

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Track Name: Odessa
Oh Odessa,
Winter’s coming and
your mother’s hungry.
Watch her apron
twirl around the city streets,
“Can you spare a…”

Oh Odessa,
Winter’s coming and
your father’s desperate.
Hear him crying
in the pantry over bills.
Isn’t life a thrill?
Will you dance the night away?

Oh Odessa,
Winter’s coming and
your brother’s weaker.
Hear him wheezing
into pillows in the night.
Doctor says it’s…

Oh Odessa,
Winter’s coming and
your sister’s pregnant.
Watch her belly
grow a little every day.
Try to look away.
Stay away until the morning

Days, I’ve been watching you for days.
We can run away.
Steal away until the morning.
Oh, Odessa…
Track Name: Clean
If I broke into your heart
with a paperclip and pin
and a tiny violin,
would you let me stay?
I would keep the place so clean.

I’d come with curtains and a rug,
a box of records and a glass of wine.
Would you let me stay?
Just a couch, a night and day.
I would not get in the way.
I would keep the place so clean.
Track Name: East End
Take me to the east end:
the dirty part of the city
where all of our friends live,
love, drink, and die.

A lifetime of happiness in
a poor man’s meal,
a prostitute’s kiss,
a bellowing child,
and your eyes.

A lifetime of happiness in
a second-hand shirt,
a hole in the wall,
the broken down van
of the band.

Take me to the east end:
a dirt road by the harbour
where all of the lights shine,
hopeless and brave.

A lifetime of happiness in
an argument,
a thunderstorm,
a can of soup,
and a song.
Track Name: Motel Blues
Sea in my hair.
Gasoline in my veins.
The disease got me deep
in my bones,
since I left you alone.

Rain in the east.
And there’s rain in the west.
And there’s rain in my lashes
like stones,
since I left you alone.

And I drive.
I drive to forget I’m alive.

Lover, oh lover,
I don’t want another.
I’m sorry I left you alone.
Track Name: Go
You left in the morning.
You left on your own.
Your brother said, “sorry.”
Your mother said, “call me.”
Your father said, “go.”

The road wasn’t easy.
It wasn’t too long
before you were bleeding,
lying and cheating,
and selling your soul.

You built up your barriers.
You built up your walls.
You curtained your windowed eyes,
deep and sinful.
You furnished your no’s.

They took you for dinner.
They took you for drinks.
They took you out shopping,
shaking and hopping,
so shimmy and wink.

They took all they could, yeah.
They left you with nothing.
You put on a show.
You let your eyes roll now.
You let your eyes wander.

You let your mind go.
Track Name: Mary's Song
Altogether in the square
raising arms into the air
’neath the dignitaries,
children move in harmony
chanting slogans 1-2-3,
trimmed in ribbons, decked in bows.

Mary of the mountainside,
arms akimbo, gaping wide,
watches keenly as the
flock she’s tending gently sways,
grazing through its pleasant days.
Sheep and children bowing low.

Flags and ribbons, smiles and guns.
Children move in unison.
Voices rising to the mountaintops
where glassy-eyed
Mary’s flock is roaming wide
Mary singing heart aglow.
Track Name: No Coins
They taught me how to count my coins,
to compound interest,
and they taught me how to multiply,
to add, subtract, divide, and conquer.

They did not teach me how to sing.
There were no coins for instruments.
I taught myself to sing from registers
and old machines.

And now we sing.
Track Name: Lark
in the breeze,
in the lanes.
I went out today
to meet you in the park.
What a lark.

by the gate,
don’t be late.
I’ll be wearing
a blue ribbon in my hair,
and we’ll go to the fair.

We’ll ride the Ferris wheel…
We’ll have fun.
Track Name: Sparrow
“Come here sparrow, come here bird.
Rest upon my bended knee.
I’ve a story I must tell you
’bout my truest love and me.”

“No, I know the story well.
How your lover bleeding fell.
How a tearstained face was turned.
How a lover’s song was spurned.”

“No you don’t know it at all.
It wasn’t I who caused the fall,
but how they love to place the blame
on lonely women without names.
How they love to place the blame.
You think you’ve heard it all before:
the handsome hero and the whore.”

“Well I’ve heard quite enough today.”

Then the sparrow flew away.
Track Name: Shame
I can’t tell you who to be.
It’s not up to me, it’s you.

You can’t tell me what to do.
Maybe I like feeling blue.

Through the branches I can see
all the fallen leaves,
but you don’t notice anything at all.
What a shame to miss the view.
Track Name: Berlin
What a time, in 89:
we drank our fill of Russian wine.
Your laughter rang through alleyways
and set my heart ablaze.

I worshipped you in worn-out jeans,
in frigid flats with old latrines.
The city lights, they seemed to gleam
more brightly in those days.

Now twenty years have come and gone,
but still your laughter lingers on,
and weary eyes of dogs and men,
they fill my thoughts again.

Not much has changed, for all they say:
the rich still rule; the poor still pray:
I see them kneeling everywhere these days,
and where are you my friend?

What a time, in 89:
the world was ours, and you were mine.
We sang until the wall came falling down:
what an awful sound.
Track Name: Mama's Bag
Mama’s got a brand new bag.
It’s the nicest one she’s ever had.

Now, Mama’s got to clean that kitchen ’fore he come home.
Or he gonna throw a tantrum.
Won’t leave her alone.
Mama gotta make that kitchen
nice and clean.
Mama’s got the nicest bag
I ever seen.

Mama’s friends with Sally-Anne.
Sally helps us any way she can.

She got Ma a real nice apron
for cooking stew.
A cast iron pot for coffee
and porridge too.
She got me a real warm blanket,
’cause Winter’s close.
Of all of my Mama’s friends,
I like Sally most.

Mama’s got a brand new bag.
It’s the nicest one she’s ever had.
Track Name: Louise of Littleville
Tragedy befell Louise of Littleville: her lover died of suicide, and yet she carried on as brave as any mouse could be.

The suitors came from far and wide, and each declared a blazing love that would abide, but sweet Louise, she cried and asserted stubbornly,

“I will not wear a buttercup for you. I will not dine on wine and cheese with you. I will not share my life with any other love. He worked his tiny hands unto the bone. He died despairing, wretched, and alone. I will not rouse my heart, ’til we reunite above.”

Poor Louise’s family, they shook their heads and pleaded ceaselessly, “Oh daughter, there is so much more to see in this fascinating world. Your nest is derelict and disarrayed. Alone you sit in darkness every day. It breaks our hearts to see your sadness, silly girl.”

“You didn’t care when he was still alive. You didn’t care to help us grow and thrive. You didn’t care; you calmly left it up to fate. We worked our weary hands unto the bone. We tried. He broke. He died. I’m left alone. You didn’t care, and now it simply is too late.”

“Oh my love, I’m sorry, sorry.
Oh my love, come save me, save me.
Oh my love, forgive my weakness.
Oh my god, it’s hopeless, hopeless…”
Track Name: Sweet Little Road
Sweet little road in the country,
I been waiting for someone to take me
down its winding and lazy-day curves,
and I been waiting for someone
to take me down.

Sweet little road in the country,
where the trees smell of flowers and honey.
I been waiting for someone to take me,
and I think that it might just be you.