On A High Hill

by Anna Fritz

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about

Spring, 2016

These songs were recorded in a living room in Northeast Portland, Oregon. It was raining. We recorded them live, meaning I played the cello and sang at the same time. These songs wanted to stand naked, unadorned, showing you their true selves. I tried to listen and honor that intention.

I hope these songs inspire you to take loving, direct action to protect the land that gives us life and to help create a more just world. I hope that you return to these songs, as I do, when you feel beat-down and alone and hopeless. I hope they lift you up and carry you back to a sense of wholeness and willingness to serve Life in the unique ways you are called.
with love,
Anna

The concept of this album was planted in my heart and watered lovingly by Noah Kleiman. Original artwork by Anna Garwood. Design by Vivian Reidler Gerritsen. Additional assistance from Tom Fritz.

This album was kickstarted by 297 generous people who support independent music! My gratitude to each and every one of you.

www.annafritz.com

credits

released October 14, 2016

Anna Fritz - cello and vocals

Produced by Ji Tanzer.
Recorded and mixed by John Askew at Scenic Burrows in Portland, OR.
Mastered by Bruce Winter at The Pantry, Norfolk, CT.

All songs written and arranged by Anna Fritz c2016 except:
Ella's Song by Bernice Johnson Reagon (Workshop Productions Inc / Songtalk Publishing)
Paradise by John Prine (WB Music Corp. / Walden Music, Inc.)
Balm in Gilead - Traditional / Anna Fritz
On a High Hill draws from "May the Circle Be Unbroken" by Habershon/Gabriel

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about

Anna Fritz Portland, Oregon

Anna Fritz is a cellist and folksinger based in Portland, Oregon. She has released two solo albums: Wake (2005) and The Gospel of Tree Bark (2013), which explores themes of spirituality, gender identity, and connection to the natural world. Her work combines rich layers of cello with lyrics sung in a clear, simple vocal style. ... more

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Track Name: Morning Prayer
Morning Prayer
by Anna Fritz

Good morning earth and sky
wind and rain and sun.
Thank you for this life
a new day just begun.
Track Name: By the River
By the River
by Anna Fritz

chorus:
Meet me by the river
where they won’t hear our voices.
Lately there’s been trouble
and we can’t be too careful.

Your people came here begging.
We offered you a home.
I took you in to my own bed,
I loved you as my own.

CHORUS

I heard them on their horses,
riding in the stream.
They lay two women down with hatchets
in a bloody nightmare dream.

CHORUS

This forest is my body,
the raging stream my blood.
You can drag me off or kill me dead
but I belong to this here mud.

CHORUS

Your people took my elders,
my sisters and my child.
If you have any love left for me
you’ll let them all run wild.

CHORUS

outro:
This land is my only home.
My body, of sand and stone.
I eat from the fertile ground.
The ground eats when I lay me down. X2
Track Name: Balm in Gilead
Balm in Gilead
- Traditional / Anna Fritz

chorus:
There is a balm in Gilead
to make the wounded whole.
There is a balm in Gilead
to heal our broken souls.

If you can see the damage,
the injustice and the pain,
you must speak with all your courage
‘til we find harmony again.

CHORUS

Sometimes I feel discouraged,
as if my work is all in vain
but the spirit of the people
revives my soul again.

CHORUS
Track Name: Leave it in the Ground
Leave it in the Ground
by Anna Fritz

Coal, oil, gas
none of these shall pass.
Leave it in the ground
and turn the trains around. X2

Cascadia is a place of great power.
We stand at the mouth of the river,
rooted to the land and its people,
we turn the trains around. X2

Coal, oil, gas
none of these shall pass.
Leave it in the ground
and turn the trains around.

We are a people awakening.
We are a people reclaiming.
We are a people demanding:
turn the trains around! X2
Track Name: On A High Hill
On a High Hill
by Habershon / Gabriel and Anna Fritz

On a high hill I am standing
with my chest bared to the sunshine
as a hawk flies high above me,
making circles in her own time.

May the circle be unbroken
by and by, Lord, by and by.
There’s a better way of living
on this earth, friends, if we try.

No more hurry, no more worry,
no more struggle, no more strife.
On a high hill I am standing
with my only precious life.

May the circle be unbroken
by and by, Lord, by and by.
There’s a better way of living
on this earth, friends, if we try.

On a high hill we are standing,
faces raised up to the sunshine.
We are grateful, we are joyful,
blessed family stretching through time.

May the circle be unbroken
by and by, Lord, by and by.
There’s a better way of living
on this earth, friends, if we try.
Track Name: Lay Down My Burden
Lay Down My Burden
by Anna Fritz

I ask for a story of my people
from long ago, across the water.
Don’t know just where I come from,
aching for knowledge of the way.
Longing for belonging,
for the teachings of a people, of a land,
for an ancient way of knowing.

I lay down my burden on the bank of the river.
I step into the current and flow to the ocean.
I rise from the water on the breath of the ancestors.
I blow on the embers and reignite the fire.
Then I dance the dance of freedom and weep the tears of sacrifice.

And in my blood is conqueror, oppressor, rapist, and slaughterer
And in my blood is famine, displacement, orphaned, and wandering
And in my blood is grandmother, truth teller, plant knower, rain drinker
And in my blood is grandfather, earth tender, loving protector

I lay down my burden on the bank of the river.
I step into the current and flow to the ocean.
I rise from the water on the breath of the ancestors.
I blow on the embers and reignite the fire.
I dance the dance of freedom and weep the tears of sacrifice.
Then I lay down my burden on the bank of the river.


OUTRO

PART ONE:
The ancestors are watching me, they give me wings to fly. X8

PART TWO:
I fly. X4
Track Name: Big Strong Legs
Big Strong Legs
By Anna Fritz

PART ONE:

These are my big strong legs.
They hold me up, up in the world.
These are my big strong legs.
They hold me up, up in the world.

This is my big strong heart.
It holds me up, up in the world.
This is my big strong heart.
It holds me up, up in the world.

These are my big strong friends.
They hold me up, up in the world.
These are my big strong friends.
They hold me up, up in the world.


PART TWO:

Whole and perfect as I am,
since my birth.
Naked beauty as I am,
child of earth.
Track Name: I Hold You Up
I Hold You Up
by Anna Fritz


I hold you up in the light of God.

I hold you up in my own heart.

I hold you up in the healing light.

I hold you up ‘cause the time is right.