REACH FOR THE STARS

Release: 2017

Players

ELAINE MAHON: Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar,
Harmony Vocals on tracks 1, 3, 6, 11 & 12

LON WILLIAMSON: Bass

GABE VALLA: Additional Guitar on tracks 2, 3, 9 & 14
Mandolin on tracks 2, 4, 5, 10 & 11 Mandocello on track 4

JASON THOMAS: Fiddle on tracks 6, 11 & 13

HANNAH ALKIRE: Cello on tracks 7 & 14

PENNY NICHOLS: Harmony Vocal Arrangements &
Harmony Vocals on tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12

SAM MAHON: Harmony Vocals on tracks 1 & 9

ELISABETH WILLIAMSON: Harmony Vocals on tracks 6, 9 & 11

Credits

Produced by Elaine Mahon, Lon and Elisabeth Williamson
Recording & Engineering: Lon Williamson, Gatorbone Studios, Keystone, FL
Additional recording: Elaine Mahon, Six Pelicans Studios, Gainesville, FL
Recording (cello): Butch Hause, The Ranger Station, Berthoud, CO
Mixing: Lon Williamson and Pete Winter, Winterstone Studios, Tallahassee, FL
Mastering: Pete Winter, Winterstone Studios, Tallahassee, FL
Harmony Vocal Arrangements: Penny Nichols
Additional Harmony Arrangements: Elaine Mahon & Lon Williamson
Instrumental Arrangements were collaborations between each artist, Elaine Mahon and Lon Williamson
Duplication: Oasis Disc Manufacturing, www.oasiscd.com
CD Design: Annie Capps, www.swampstreetdesign.com
Cover Photo: Original Image and text below by NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).
Photo of Elaine Mahon on back of package: Sam Mahon
Photos of Elaine Mahon inside package and booklet: Randy Batista www.randybatistaphotography.com
Management, Promotion and A&R: Kari Estrin, www.kariestrin.com
Gatorbone Records #GR0030 www.gatorbonerecords.com

All songs © Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI) except where otherwise indicated.

Click for Lyrics and Sound Clips

Lean Into Love

©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI)

Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Bass: Lon Williamson
Harmony Vocals: Sam Mahon & Elaine Mahon

Sometimes all we need to do is lean toward love in order to feel its power.

Lean into love, let your troubles go
Lean into love, love speaks to the soul

(Chorus)
When you’re lost in the dark, feeling you’ve lost your spark
No hope of finding your way
When you feel all alone, love can light the way home
Night always yields to the day, so

Lean into love, sometimes its hard to do,
Lean into love, love will lean in towards you

(Chorus)
Love doesn’t kill or maim, judge you or deal in blame
Love sees the whole in the parts
Criminal or insane, love sees us all the same
Love dwells in everyone’s heart, so

Lean into love, it lifts you when you’re low
Lean into love, and freely it will flow

(Chorus)
It’s more than a platitude, a shift in attitude
Listen, you’ll hear its song
Life is a symphony, love is a melody
Yours is a part that belongs

Lean into love, into itself it grows
Lean into love, ’til love is all you know ’til love is all you know

Look Up

©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI)


Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Bass: Lon Williamson
Electric Guitar and Mandolin: Gabe Valla

If I need to regain a sense of perspective, all I need to do is step outside and look up at the night sky.

The Milky Way is where we are
A garden planet, golden star
How did her life begin to be, can we unfurl that mystery?

This web of life the Earth has spun
So fine a work no man has done
Just a wink in geologic time, is life on earth an act divine?

(Pre Chorus)
I wonder like a child at this, yet here we are, we exist

(Chorus)
Look up, look up, let the Milky Way fill up your cup
Look up, look up, let a sense of wonder fill you up, look up

Billions of stars beyond the sun
Trillions of miles the nearest one
So maybe we are not alone in these spiral arms that hold our home
What will we come to understand?
Will we divine some master plan?
Will we come to know her worth and truly love our Mother Earth?

(Pre Chorus)
I wonder like a child at this, yet here we are, we exist

(Chorus)
Look up, look up, let the Milky Way fill up your cup
Look up, look up, let a sense of wonder fill you up, look up

(end)
Look up, look up, let the Milky Way fill up your cup Look up, look up, let a sense of wonder fill you up

Afterglow

©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI)

Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Bass: Lon Williamson
Electric Guitar: Gabe Valla
Vocal Harmonies: Penny Nichols & Elaine Mahon

This is recounting an experience my husband and I shared while camping on the Olympic peninsula in Washington state when I was pregnant with our son.

Come now, unknit your brow for me
Come over here and let’s sit silently
And watch the day glide into night
We’ll linger in the afterglow from the last rays of light

(Chorus)
Oh now I see
Oh now I see
We’re inextricably intertwined
Your heart with mine
Here we are upon this earth in orbit ‘round the sun
We shall go as one

Come here, let this moment be
A moonless night, a phosphorescent sea
Beneath these brilliant stars above
Within this womb of night awaits a child born of our love

(Chorus)
Oh now I see
Oh now I see
Oh now I see
We’re inextricably intertwined
Your lives with mine
Here we are upon this earth in orbit ‘round the sun
We shall go as one
Come now, unknit your brow for me

When My Mother Sings

© 2012 Lisa Aschmann/Nashville Geographic (ASCAP); Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI); &
Penny Nichols/2000 Smiles Music(BMI)


Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Bass: Lon Williamson
Mandocello & Mandolin: Gabe Valla
Vocal Harmonies: Penny Nichols

Lisa, Penny & I decided we wanted to write a song to honor the Earth. We each had fond memories of our mothers singing to us. The idea of Mother Earth singing resonated deeply with us and this song followed in the course of a day.

My mother is so beautiful, so easy on the eye
The storms that roll across her face eventually pass by
And when I lay me down to sleep, upon her green, green dress
And rest there in her loving arms that’s when I love her best

I love her when the thunder peals, she makes the mountains ring
With waterfalls and cranes that call, these are the songs my mother sings
The rush of rocky timpani, the crashing of her waves
Yet she can be as gentle as a summer’s day

(Chorus)
When my mother sings, when my mother sings
When my mother sings, I listen with my heart

The silence of her solitude, the flowers on her face
I long to keep her safe from harm, she is my saving grace
There may be other songs that sing the music of the spheres
But there shall be my mother’s songs, the ones I long to hear

(Chorus)

(Chorus)

You Are Not Alone

©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI)

Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Bass: Lon Williamson
Mandolin: Gabe Valla
Vocal Harmonies: Penny Nichols

I wrote this song for my son as a reminder that we are always here for him.

Life is like a ferris wheel
It can take you up to where you feel the wonder
When that wheel goes down again
It can take you back to where you’ve been, and under

(Pre-Chorus)
So when you’re in the lost and found
When you’re on unsteady ground, a broken heart you own
Even when you’re running blind
In my heart you’ll always find a place you can call home

(Chorus)
You are not alone, I want you to know, you are not alone

Some say life is like a dream
You’re floating headlong down the stream of slumber
Some say life’s a tragedy
That tears all of your hopes and dreams asunder

(Pre-Chorus)
So when you’re in the lost and found
When you feel you’re losing ground, a broken heart you own
Even when you’re running blind,
In my heart you’ll always find a place you can call home

(Chorus)
You are not alone, I want you to know, you are not alone

(Bridge)
Lay my baby down to sleep and may he dream of life
In the darkness let him see my love shines through the night

Life is like a melody sung just as pretty as you please, then thunder
Suddenly cacophony, a storm upon an angry sea, a hunger

(Pre Chorus)
So when you’re in the lost and found
When you feel you’re losing ground, a broken heart you own
Even when you’re running blind,
In my heart you’ll always find a place you can call home

(Chorus) You are not alone, you are not alone, you are not alone

Shine

©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI)

Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Bass: Lon Williamson
Fiddle: Jason Thomas
Vocal Harmonies: Penny Nichols, Elisabeth Williamson & Elaine Mahon

To be a creative artist is to live courageously, to open oneself up to the mystery.

Looking out, looking in
Looking back to where I’ve been
To here and now

Open heart, open mind
Open myself up to find
I’m free from doubt

(Chorus)
When I start breaking through the walls of fear I find
I fall through the cracks into a place where I can shine, shine, shine

Giving out, giving in
Give my all and then begin to live again

Take a chance, take my time
Take a leap of faith to find I’ve freed my mind

(Chorus)
When I start breaking through the walls of fear I find
I fall through the cracks into a place where I can shine, shine, shine

(Bridge)
One earth, one moon, a silver pearl, a heaven strewn with stars
One web, life’s design, her body blue, her mind divine, here’s where we are

(Chorus)
When we start breaking through the limits we’ve defined
We fall through the cracks into a place where we can shine, shine, shine
Breathing out, breathing in Breathing’s where your life begins Begin again

Denali

©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI)


Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Bass: Lon Williamson
Cello: Hannah Alkire
Vocal Harmonies: Penny Nichols & Elaine Mahon

This song arises from our family trips deep into Denali National Park. The veiling and unveiling of Denali’s face by the weather she creates around her makes her presence seem mystically regal.

Rising o’er the lowlands over 18,000 feet
She surpasses Everest in vertical relief
She thrusts her grand granitic dome into the Arctic sky then
Wraps the weather round her, disappears before your eyes

(Chorus)

When she lifts her veil to show her face It feels like grace, it feels like grace
She weaves her mystic spell in time and space
Then vanishes without a trace

The midnight sun is circling low, she steps into its light
Her pale face flushed with alpenglow, she is a wondrous sight
O’er the grand Alaska Range Denali reigns as queen and
All that gaze upon her know that she commands the scene

(Chorus)

More than forty climbers lie lost upon her slopes
It was not within her power to fulfill their dreams and hopes
When winter comes she’ll take them deep into the Arctic night
To dance beneath the polar stars and shimmering northern lights

(Chorus)
Then she lifts her veil to show her face
To gaze on all in her embrace
She weaves her mystic spell in time and space
Then vanishes without a trace

(Tag)
Denali, I sing
Denali, I sing
Denali, I sing … Denali

Rolling Home

©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI)

Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Bass: Lon Williamson
Vocal Harmonies: Penny Nichols

Coming home to the man I love after a long road trip.

The road ahead winds dark and long
The highway hums its simple song
I’ll be driving all night long

(Chorus)
Rolling home to you

Fill her up, pull my sweater on
Cup of coffee, make it strong
Darling leave the porch light on

(Chorus)
Rolling home to you

Through rafts of fog, round curves and bends
A purple sky, the day begins
You’re sound asleep when I roll in

(Chorus)
Rolling home to you, oh

(Bridge)
Back to the touch of your fingertips
The sweet warm wetness of your lips
Back to your body next to mine
Back to our arms and legs entwined, oh

Quietly I fall into bed
You pull me close then kiss my head
I roll into your arms outspread

(Chorus)
Rolling home,
Rolling home to you,
Oh I’m Rolling home to you

Rebekah

©2016 Eli McNamara and Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI)

Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Electric Guitar: Gabe Valla
Bass: Lon Williamson
Vocal Harmonies: Sam Mahon & Elisabeth Williamson

Eli and I wrote this song over the course of several days at Summersongs Songwriting Camp, where we had just met. The song arose from a dream Eli had the night before of her late aunt Rebekah.

Woke up last night, you were clean, clad in white
With lavender strewn in your hair
Mother kissed your two feet then blessed your two hands
Gently she laid you to rest

I was so young and you seemed so strong
You had a laugh like a queen
Now I wish for your song but now that you’re gone I
’m content with your voice on the screen

(Chorus)
Oh Rebekah, I’m hearing your voice in my own.
Oh Rebekah

With cascading black hair and a smile like spring
You effortlessly closed your eyes
Now that we’ve all been released from the pain
I’ll just keep listening

(Chorus)

(Bridge)
And I wasn’t told when you left this world
Over ten long years ago
But bitterness was laid to rest
When your song surged through my soul

(Chorus)

(Tag)
I’m hearing your voice in my own
I’m hearing your voice in my own
I’m hearing your voice in my own

Oh Rebekah

The Other Side of Midnight

© 2012 Lisa Aschmann/Nashville Geographic (ASCAP); Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI); & Penny Nichols/2000 Smiles Music (BMI)

Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Bass: Lon Williamson
Mandolin: Gabe Valla
Vocal Harmonies: Penny Nichols

This song started with an instrumental I had written years before, along with the chorus that stubbornly attached itself to it. It wasn’t until Lisa, Penny & I were working together that it dawned on me to present it to them as a song that was begging to be written. It didn’t take long for us to come up with the verses and a bridge once we starting sharing our experiences with insomnia. Working with these two brilliant women writers was tremendous fun.

Long day, so tired
Can’t sleep, too wired
Can’t work, can’t think

(Chorus)
And I know, I’ve got to find another way
Back through the other side of midnight
To the new day

Missed turns, closed doors
Blind alleys I’ve been down before
Loose words, deaf ears
In the dark with my worst fears

(Chorus)

(Bridge)
Mocking bird outside my window
Ever hopeful as he sings his song
Still sleepy I sink back into my pillow
While in the darkness he presses on

(Chorus)

Warm sun, cool skin
Welcome to the world again
Chorus in the oak tree
Sink back into a reverie

(Chorus)

Shadows Dancing

©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI)

Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Bass: Lon Williamson
Fiddle: Jason Thomas
Mandolin: Gabe Valla
Vocal Harmonies: Penny Nichols, Elisabeth Williamson & Elaine Mahon

Wrestling with the shadow self, the dissolution of a friendship, and learning to let go with love.

My mind keeps wanting to make sense of this
Was I mistaken, was there something I missed?
My thoughts keep running like a rat on a wheel
As if some piece to this puzzle will be revealed

(Chorus)
And I’m holding on tight, but I’m losing control
And the dervish dances by the devil’s hole
To the beat of my heart, in the fire of my soul
It’s shadows dancing, shadows dancing
Shadows dancing ‘til I let go

No easy answers here nothing to talk about
No genie granting wishes dispelling shame and doubt
Even though I cannot know what goes on in your heart
Alone we walk together through this jungle in the dark

(Chorus)
And you’re holding on tight, but you’re losing control
And the dervish dances by the devil’s hole
To the beat of your heart, in the fire of your soul,
It’s shadows dancing, shadows dancing Shadows dancing ‘til you let go

(Bridge)
The bridge is gone between us, the gulf is growing wide
We cannot reach other across this great divide

I could cry myself to sleep or I could scream and shout
For now I’m moving on, we’ll see how things work out
I hope that you’ll find a little peace in your heart
Here’s a little something I would like to impart

(Chorus)
When you’re holding on tight, but you’re losing control
And the dervish dances by the devil’s hole
To the beat of your heart, in the fire of your soul
It’s shadows dancing, shadows dancing
Shadows dancing, ‘til you let go

Sweet Florida

©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI)


Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Bass: Lon Williamson
Vocal Harmonies: Penny Nichols & Elaine Mahon

I love my home state of Florida. My heart is breaking over the way that her natural resources are being exploited and degraded by poor land management practices. Every citizen needs to take an active role in protecting that which nurtures and sustains us.

(Intro)
Poisoning the water, stealing from the well
The politics of poison it’s a bitter pill they sell
Power over water, oh the profits they will take
And leave your springs and rivers ravaged in their wake

Rowing down these waterways that course throughout my years
It’s so sad the state they’re in, I am brought to tears
I close my eyes imagining the way it used to be
When the eelgrass waved like mermaid’s hair, a glistening emerald green

Silent stands the heron as she watches from the weeds
Comes a cry, an osprey high in the cypress trees
Gators dozing on the banks, soaking up the sun
But trouble brews in paradise on this blue spring run

(Chorus)
If they could love you like I love you,
Feel your warm embrace
Oh Florida, sweet Florida,
In your beauty they’d find grace

Sharks and whales were denizens, ‘til your land rose from the sea
Then mastodon and giant sloth upon these banks convened
Now resting in the white sands of your rivers and your caves
The stuff of dreams, imagining the life borne of this place
Now the water’s cloudy, but not my memories
There’s no compare between what’s there and what I used to see
Algae, slime and hyacinths where eelgrass used to be
Where is the blue that I once knew, why this tragedy?

(Chorus)

(Outro)
Poisoning the water, stealing from the well
The politics of poison it’s a bitter pill they sell
Power over water, oh the profits they will take
The price will be your lifeblood, please don’t let this be your fate

Spring

©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI)


Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Bass: Lon Williamson
Fiddle: Jason Thomas

My entire front yard is a naturalized wildflower garden. It is my sanctuary and it is home to a remarkable amount of wildlife even though we live in town. It all started many years ago when we had to take out a dying laurel oak. That winter, I dug up all the grass and broadcast wildflower seeds everywhere. This is a song of the seasons as experienced in this garden.

Spring she comes on sudden like a cloudburst from the sky
A symphony of color and a feast for winter eyes
A waking dream bursting at the seams
New life abounds, lost joy is found
Hope always springs eternal from a field of fallow ground

(Chorus)
Saturated red, poppies fill my head.
The center’s wide, I fall inside a bee’s dream

Spring invites the trees and they arrive dressed in green lace
The clouds deliver rain and send a rainbow down from space
The dance begins, the birds and bees fly in
With joyous sounds and love abounds
Hope always springs eternal from a field of fallow ground

(Chorus)
Saturated blue, delphiniums greet you.
A Bunting lands near where you stand, the sun beams

Spring she is revisionist, she doesn’t mind my plans
I prepare the canvas with a shovel, rake and hands
And with small seeds brown that I cast upon the ground
Whole worlds are found, and dreams abound
Hope always springs eternal from a field of fallow ground

(Chorus)
Saturated green, so lush here by this stream.
The hardest hearts just burst apart and sing

Spring she doesn’t linger on the landscape when she’s done
She comes back to remind us once each new year has begun
And leave she must, to summer’s heat and dust
Cicada’s sound, the clock’s unwound
Hope always springs eternal, always springs eternal
Always springs eternal from a field of fallow ground

Reach for the Stars

©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI)


Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar: Elaine Mahon
Bass: Lon Williamson
Additional Guitar: Gabe Valla
Cello: Hannah Alkire

I wrote this for my son after he had experienced some big disappointments. It also speaks to my inner child about the importance of dreams and hope and reminds that the process of working towards our dreams is life itself.

(Chorus)
Reach for the stars and if you miss, the universe will blow a kiss
Reminding you, your dreams belong
And your reaching is a lovely note of longing in life’s song
Reach for the stars

When disappointment comes around
Your ship of dreams has just gone down
Your heartbeat has a hollow sound
The emptiness you feel’s profound
That’s the time to watch and wait
In darkness new dreams germinate
You’ll find new life, you’ll see the dawn
Tell your story, sing your song

(Chorus)

Now, when you strive to live your dreams
Hope finds a way, despite all things
Though off the beaten path you’ll stray
Life’s the journey on the way
You will bend, but you won’t break
You will learn from your mistakes
You’ll find joy throughout your days
You’ve got the will, go find a way

(Bridge)
I can’t say I know the way, the whys, the whens, the hows
All I know for certain is, all we’ve got is now

(Chorus)

Deepest love and gratitude

to my husband and son, John and Sam Mahon, for their unwavering encouragement and support during this journey. Heartfelt thanks to Lon & Elisabeth Williamson of Gatorbone Studios who did everything in their power to help me realize my vision for this project; co-writers Penny Nichols, Lisa Aschmann and Eli McNamara with whom it was an honor to collaborate; and to all the talented musicians involved in this project: Lon Williamson, Penny Nichols, Gabe Valla, Jason Thomas, Hannah Alkire, Sam Mahon & Elisabeth Williamson. Not only did you honor my vision for each song, you brought all you had to offer to the table and helped me to sculpt that vision. You are the brilliant stars that shine through each of the songs. Thanks also to Pete Winter for his wizardry in the mastering studio; Kari Estrin for encouragement and support through the process; Annie Capps for the lovely CD design; Sam Mahon and Randy Batista for the beautiful photographs, and to NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team for the beautiful cover image. Special thanks to some of my favorite songwriters who have provided invaluable feedback on these songs: Penny Nichols, Elisabeth Williamson, Brandy Kershner, Bob McPeek, Pierce Pettis and Buddy Mondlock; as well as to Florence Riggs and Vicki Ambinder for their insights and guidance.

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