REACH FOR THE STARS

by Elaine Mahon

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about

“Reach for the Stars is, at the least, worth multiple listens, and is deservedly at best, on the forever playlist. It should be on every folk deejay’s playlist in 2017!”
~ Victoria Parks, WGRN, Columbus, OH ~

In Elaine Mahon’s newest release, REACH FOR THE STARS, she does just that! Mahon, a Ph.D in Astronomy, lets her astronomical perspective shine through in this cohesive collection of personal songs. REACH FOR THE STARS continues to build on the universal themes of life, nature and love that Mahon explored through story and myth on her 2013 release RISE. With this new release, Mahon steps into her mastery as a songwriter - with songs that will be recalled again and again in one’s memory.
Mahon weaves her stories throughout the release with tracks like Lean into Love, a sweet and powerful song of how to reach out for love. Love is also explored from a familial point of view and sung from a mother’s perspective as in Afterglow, You Are Not Alone and Reach for the Stars. Bringing in her affinity with nature and science, Mahon celebrates her love of the Earth. Listen to Look Up, the beautifully crafted When My Mother Sings, Denali and Sweet Florida, an environmental call to action for her home state. Listen on and you’ll hear from a road weary traveler, of journeys through grief and uncertainty, and of redemption and hope found in a field of fallow ground.

REACH FOR THE STARS is Elaine Mahon’s second release through the Gatorbone Record label. Elaine’s vocals and delicate fingerstyle arrangements on acoustic guitar are complemented by accompaniment from the same array of talented musicians that played on her 2013 release, RISE: Lon Williamson (bass), Gabriel Valla (additional guitar, mandolin and mandocello), Jason Thomas (violin), Hannah Alkire (cello), Penny Nichols, Elisabeth Williamson, plus her son Sam Mahon on harmony vocals.

credits

released February 3, 2017

All songs © Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI) except

Track 4 "When My Mother Sings"
©2012 Lisa Aschmann/Nashville Geographic (ASACP), Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI) and Penny Nichols/2000 Smiles Music (BMI)

Track 7 "Rebekah"
©2016 Eli McNamara and Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI)

Track 11 "The Other Side of Midnight"
©2012 Lisa Aschmann/Nashville Geographic (ASACP), Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing (BMI) and Penny Nichols/2000 Smiles Music (BMI)

THE MUSICIANS

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
Produced by Elaine Mahon, Lon and Elisabeth Williamson

CREDITS

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

ABOUT THE COVER IMAGE:
Object NGC 2174, Monkey Head Nebula, Sharpless Sh2-252
In celebration of the 24th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (on April 24, 1990) astronomers have taken an infrared-light portrait of a roiling region of starbirth located 6,400 light-years away. The Hubble mosaic unveils a collection of carved knots of gas and dust in a small portion of the Monkey Head Nebula (also known as NGC 2174 and Sharpless Sh2-252). The nebula is a star-forming region that hosts dusky dust clouds silhouetted against glowing gas. Massive, newly formed stars near the center of the nebula (and toward the right in this image) are blasting away
at dust within the nebula. Ultraviolet light from these bright stars helps carve the dust into giant pillars. The nebula is mostly composed of hydrogen gas, which becomes ionized by the ultraviolet radiation. As the interstellar dust particles are warmed from the radiation from the stars in the center of the nebula, they heat up and begin to glow at infrared wavelengths. The image demonstrates Hubble’s powerful infrared vision and offers a tantalizing hint of what scientists can expect from the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. Observations of NGC 2174 were taken in February 2014.

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about

Elaine Mahon Gainesville, Florida

With her 2017 release, REACH FOR THE STARS, Elaine Mahon has written a collection of songs that evoke a sense of wonder while inspiring hope and offering empowerment. Mahon's songs reflect her perspective as an astronomer, while remaining deeply rooted in the natural world we all live in. Mahon performs solo at festivals, venues and house concerts in Florida and throughout the Southeastern US. ... more

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Track Name: Lean Into Love
Lean into Love
©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing, BMI
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 and 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
Track Name: Look Up
2. LOOK UP
©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing, BMI

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
Track Name: Afterglow
3. AFTERGLOW
©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing, BMI

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
Track Name: When My Mother Sings
WHEN MY MOTHER SINGS

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

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 thatʼs 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 summerʼs 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 motherʼs songs, the ones I long to hear

(Chorus) When my mother sings, when my mother sings

When my mother sings, I listen with my heart

(Chorus)
Track Name: You Are Not Alone
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing, BMI

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
Track Name: Shine
SHINE

©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing, BMI

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
Track Name: Denali
DENALI
©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing, BMI

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) 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

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

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

Denali, I sing
Denali, I sing
Denali, I sing … Denali
Track Name: Rolling Home
ROLLING HOME
©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing

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
Track Name: Rebekah
REBEKAH

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

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

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

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
Track Name: The Other Side of Midnight
10. THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT
© 2012 Lisa Aschmann/Nashville Geographic, ASCAP;
Elaine Mahon/ Six Pelicans Publishing, BMI;
& Penny Nichols/2000 Smiles Music, BMI

Long day, so tired
Can’t sleep, too wired
Get up, get a drink
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)

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)
Track Name: Shadows Dancing
SHADOWS DANCING

©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing, BMI

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
Track Name: Sweet Florida
SWEET FLORIDA
©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing, BMI

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

(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
Track Name: Spring
SPRING
©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing, BMI

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
Track Name: Reach for the Stars
REACH FOR THE STARS
©2016 Mary Elaine Mahon/Six Pelicans Publishing, BMI

(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) 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

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) 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