Sheba

Sheba

cleanshoes's picture
Artist Favorite

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Liner Notes: 

This song is based on a true story. An aunt and uncle of mine were exploring a remote area of southern California several years ago, and came upon an abandoned trailer. Inside, they discovered a journal that had been kept about ten or eleven years prior by a woman named Sheba. She would have been in her 70s at the time, and lived alone in the desert without running water or electricity. It's incredibly bleak, but it's also a fascinating account of someone on the margins. Some research has turned up a few facts about her life (she died two years after the journal was written), but as of yet, my aunt and uncle have been unable to locate her family members or anyone that might have known her.

I, of course, thought it was great fodder for a song. I've taken some artistic liberties, but much of the detail comes from what Sheba wrote. The "slabs" is a reference to Slab City, and the "radio man" is Art Bell of Coast to Coast AM, of which she was fond. The rest speaks for itself.

I sent the song off to @JūS, and he did amazing, amazing things with it. I can't thank him enough.

Acoustic guitar and vocals: @cleanshoes
LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE: @JūS

Lyrics: 

They called me the queen of the desert
under the wide open sky
I came as a young girl to reign
over a land left out to dry

But time isn't kind to the drifters
and the lonesome souls like me
when the calendar says it's a holiday
I don't even know what that means

Soon I'll go up the mountain
either that, or out to the slabs
when you're the queen of the desert
one day you wake up and there's nothing left

It's hotter than hell by mid-morning
the wind blows like the devil all night
a comet's heading for earth, said a radio man
and I think that must be why

The dogs fight and they keep on dying
that's fifteen I've buried since May
even the rattler living under the washtub
gave up and went on his way

Soon I'll go up the mountain
either that, or out to the slabs
when you're the queen of the desert
one day you wake up and there's nothing left

Now I drive sixty miles to the city
just for water and to collect cans
one day some old junkie pushed me down
my leg hasn't been right ever since
you know I love it out here
but I've lost my damn patience

Soon I'll go up the mountain
either that, or out to the slabs
when you're the queen of the desert
one day you wake up and there's nothing left
when you're the queen of the desert
one day you wake up and there's nothing left



Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.

Comments

AndyGetch's picture

Such a wide and open soundscape. The lyrics trigger an epic cinematic backdrop. Super collab!

ductapeguy's picture

So big, so lush, so epic. These last two collabs have been fantastic. You two should consider recording an album as a duo. Your chemistry is magical.

Robyn Mackenzie's picture

Dreamy and nostalgic. Astounding vocals, and the guitars sound amazing together. I love this!

metalfoot's picture

Wow...
wow.

Just amazing, you two. I'm in awe.

The liner notes, as often they do, add an extra layer of intrigue and depth to the lyrics of this song. Great work.

Heid's picture

Oh wow. Absolutely enchanting.
It only took about 20 seconds to get goosebumps from this one. The harmonies are gorgeous, the instrumentation is perfect. The silky texture! Oh my god, it's so smooth and beautiful. I'm definitely going to have to save this one to a playlist. Fantastic work!

sph's picture

This is amazing! You wrote and performed a really great song. And the production is fantastic. Brilliant how the arrangement gets small around the 3 minute mark to open up to that wide open sound again. Top!

barbara's picture

This stellar collab just made my evening! I have been loving everything each of you do on your own, but this combination of talents is something else! A treat to hear! I love the story behind the origins of this intriguing portrait, as well as the details you chose to include, like the rattlesnake under the washtub. I’m so glad you two decided to collaborate!

ayeahmur's picture

Wow! What a wonderful story. I mean even the fact that her name is Sheba is enough to prick up the ears of the storyteller in you, right?
I don't even have a favourite thing about this. It's simply wonderful, wonderful work from both you and @JūS.

Gwyn Jones's picture

Superb! Gorgeous production and a story as captivating as the mellifluous vocals...an absolutely brilliant collab!

wobbie wobbit's picture

this is gorgeous all round.interesting concept beautifully written and performed and all the music arrangement is so spacious and perfectly placed. really enjoyable. top class collab

ampersandman's picture

Just wonderful, brilliantly played and sung. A beautiful sonic atmosphere coupled with touching lyrics. Nifty production work by @JūS.