How We Want to Live

by Lisa Bastoni

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released September 20, 2019

Lisa Bastoni - How We Want to Live

Produced by Sean Staples.

Recorded at Side Hill Sound (Waltham, MA).

Engineered by Dave Westner.

Featuring: Lisa Bastoni, Sean Staples, Mark Erelli, Rose Cousins, Naomi Sommers, Josh Kantor, Chris Anzalone, Dave Westner, Kit Buckley, Michael Bean, and Lula Wiles' Eleanor Buckland, Isa Burke, and Mali Obomsawin.

Drums, bass, and Lisa’s vocals were recorded by Dave Westner at Side Hill Sound, Waltham, MA. Isa Burke, Eleanor Buckland and Mali Obomsawin’s parts were recorded by Felix McTeigue and engineered by Brian Charles at Zippah Recording, Boston, MA. Rose Cousins’ vocal recorded by Daniel Ledwell at Echo Lake, Lake Echo, NS. Mark Erelli’s vocal recorded by Mark at home. Naomi Sommers’ vocal recorded by Lisa at home. All other recording by Sean Staples at Wesley Park Studio, Somerville, MA. 

Mixed by Sean Staples. 

Mastered by Dave Westner.


all rights reserved



Lisa Bastoni Northampton, Massachusetts

Lisa Bastoni is a Northampton MA-based singer-songwriter, and winner of the 2019 Kerrville New Folk Contest. "Americana of the highest order...along the lines of Gretchen Peters or Patty Griffin." (Maverick-UK)

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Track Name: Nearby
Written by Lisa Bastoni and Sean Staples
(c) (p) 2019 Sweet Ondine Music (BMI)/Wesley Park Music (BMI)

Everybody knows you til they don’t
Some things you can’t see when you stand too close
When you told me you were thinking of leaving town
I guess I always thought I could find you hanging our
And I never really saw it until now

You’re as close to me as a coat in the winter
The family feel of a Sunday dinner
The kind of love where you don’t even have to try
I was wasting time in all the wrong places
Sifting through a river of faces
I was busy looking at the stars in the sky
You were so nearby

And with every empty hollow kiss
Was a feeling of something that I might have missed
And now it’s finally coming into view
How there’s nothing I can say that you can’t see through
And there’s nobody that knows me like you do


And I’m sorry that it took so long to see
It was all there, right in front of me
So maybe you could wait awhile before you leave

Track Name: How We Want to Live
How We Want to Live
Written by Lisa Bastoni
(c) (p) 2019 Sweet Ondine Music (BMI)

We sent them off to school with the last of the summer peaches
Backpacks light and empty and their eyes full of dreams
With a wave and a sigh, as we turned to go inside
I said, “Did you ever think we would hear the house so quiet?”


We said we’d wait until the fall
Don’t look now but here we are
Are we ready to decide how we want to live

All your life you have heard the same advice
Don’t go with the girl from the broken home
That was years ago, when you took a chance on me
You said you needed to feel loved - I said I needed to feel free


When we send them off to college, or work, or war, or marriage
They’ll have backpacks full of visions of how love’s supposed to be
Well, it’s harder than it seems, but I hope that they will see
The times I was there for you, and the times you left the light on for me


Together or apart, tell me what’s inside your heart
Oh, we can wait until the spring
I think we’ll be alright til then

Track Name: Silver Line
Silver Line
Written by Lisa Bastoni and Sean Staples
(c)(p) 2019 Sweet Ondine Music (BMI)/Wesley Park Music (BMI)

I could have done the back and forth
I could have stayed up all night
I could have been there for you
I’d shovel sand into the tide
But you couldn’t even let me in
And that’s no way to say goodbye
Loving you is like falling down a silver line

I spent a long time thinking about what you said
Your words keep echoing in my head
You know I felt alone for such a long time
Hoping that things would change
Standing out in the pouring rain
You know you kept me waiting for such a long time

I could have left it there
Could have buttoned up the sail
I didn’t want to wake
Didn’t want to find these ashes in the mail
Didn’t want to walk away
Didn’t want to be like everybody else
Loving you is like falling down a silver line


But I never minded

Loving you is like falling down a silver line
Track Name: Never Gone to You
Never Gone to You
Written by Lisa Bastoni and Felix McTeigue
(c) (p) 2019 Sweet Ondine Music (BMI)/Kobalt (ASCAP)

You were a tender, crooked weed
To be tended on the weekend
Weakened by the pull toward the one
Who couldn’t stay
This is how you learned to love
The ones who treat you badly
Sometimes he says he loves you
Sometimes he walks away

Wasn’t anything you said
Nothing you did or didn’t do
Maybe he’s gone
But he’s never gone to you

He’s alive, he’s alive
He’s alive as a wildfire
Full of ashes and desire
When you’re tearing up the place
And you see him from afar
Sometimes someone shows you the pictures
He’s playing in a bar
With the lights across his face


White Cliffs
New Year’s Eve
Sixty-nine to seventy
He was young, what did he know
He was sent away from home

There’s a time to let it go
He’s just a man wit problems
And it’s not your job to solve them
And even if you could
He may never lay his eyes upon the child in your arms
Or see you make something from nothing
Turn something bad to good

Track Name: Beautiful Girl
Beautiful Girl
Written by Lisa Bastoni and Felix McTeigue
(c)(p) 2019 Sweet Ondine Music (BMI)/Kobalt (ASCAP)

A girl in the woods with a knife and a loaf of bread
Comes upon a pack of wild hungry dogs
She’ll use the knife to cut the bread
Making sure they’re all fed
And maybe save a little for herself
It’s alright to be gentle
And it’s alright to be kind
It’s alright to be brave and scared
I want you to know that I love you
More than anything in the world
I want you to know you are a beautiful girl

And when you were a baby
And I held you in my arms
We’d look out at the stars together
To the moon and back, I said
I tell you now so you won’t forget
So you’ll remember when the going gets harder


And someday when you’re older, and you feel a little lost
In the woods, with a knife and some bread
I hope you’ll build a fire, spread your blankets in the sun
I hope you’ll still see that there’s enough for you
And there’s enough for everyone

Cause it’s alright to be gentle
And it’s alright to be kind
And it’s alright to be angry
It’s alright to change your mind
And it’s alright to be fierce
And it’s alright to fight
And it’s alright to be happy
It’s alright to cry when you need to cry

Track Name: Take the Wheel
Take the Wheel
Written by Lisa Bastoni
(c) (p) 2019 Sweet Ondine Music (BMI)

I was down til you came back home
I was below the baseline
You carried me over a mountain so green
I saw you shine in a new light
There’s nothing like an old friend

You could make me cry or make me laugh
Like an old love letter or a photograph
I needed you to take the wheel
Saying I love you isn’t even close to what I feel

We can stay up all night
We can talk about the river
You can show me where it’s deeper than the sea
I want you to know - you’re a part of my soul
Or maybe that’s just the whiskey


I never had the words for what you meant to me
When I was sixteen, and you were seventeen

Track Name: Dogs of New Orleans
Dogs of New Orleans
Written by Lisa Bastoni
(c)(p) 2019 Sweet Ondine Music (BMI)

Hanging in the air outside your place
Clouds of sugar at a certain time of day
And all your neighbor’s dogs
Come to your front yard
You can try, but you can’t keep them away

All the dogs of New Orleans
Rolling over at your feet
I’ve seen you falling to your knees
To kiss the dogs of New Orleans

Would you forgive me if I stray
I’ve been lost, and I never felt so lonely
You don’t have to take me in
But I could use a friend
And I was hoping you might hold me


There’s a hole in your ceiling
And a gun in your top drawer
You don’t have to tell me
But what’d you do that for?
What’d you do that for?

Your tin roof trembles with the rain
I know I can’t stay but I’m so glad I came
Just to be by your side, happy to be alive
And satisfied for the moment

Track Name: Walk a Little Closer
Walk a Little Closer
Written by Lisa Bastoni and Sean Staples
(c)(p) 2019 Sweet Ondine Music (BMI)/Wesley Park Music (BMI)

It’s starting to snow, and it’s bitterly cold
And we’re walking through the woods along the stream
I don’t know why we’re walking so fast
I’m wishing it would last
The light through the trees is like a dream

Doesn’t make sense my dear
The feeling is loud and clear
As the ice cold wind blowing through
Doesn’t make sense my dear
I just want to stay right here
Let me walk a little closer
Closer to you

As we’re walking down the street
With the leaves beneath our feet
The smoke is rising from the chimneys along the way
All the way back to my front door
If I said I wanted more
I wonder what you’d have to say


Now the twilight is gone
And the night is coming on
Cold fingers feel like they’ve turned to stone
It’s about all that I can stand
Not to reach out for your hand
Tonight there’s no reason to be alone

Track Name: Workingman's Blues #2
Workingman's Blues #2
Written by Bob Dylan
(c) 2006 Bob Dylan, Special Rider Music
(p) 2019 Lisa Bastoni

There's an evenin' haze settlin' over town
Starlight by the edge of the creek
The buyin' power of the proletariat's gone down
Money's gettin' shallow and weak
Well, the place I love best is a sweet memory
It's a new path that we trod
They say low wages are a reality
If we want to compete abroad

My cruel weapons have been put on the shelf
Come sit down on my knee
You are dearer to me than myself
As you yourself can see
While I'm listening to the steel rails hum
Got both eyes tight shut
Just sitting here trying to keep the hunger from
Creeping its way into my gut

Meet me at the bottom, don't lag behind
Bring me my boots and shoes
You can hang back or fight your best on the frontline
Sing a little bit of these workingman's blues

Well, I'm sailin' on back, ready for the long haul
Tossed by the winds and the seas
I'll drag 'em all down to hell and I'll stand 'em at the wall
I'll sell 'em to their enemies
I'm tryin' to feed my soul with thought
Gonna sleep off the rest of the day
Sometimes no one wants what we got
Sometimes you can't give it away

Now the place is ringed with countless foes
Some of them may be deaf and dumb
No man, no woman knows
The hour that sorrow will come
In the dark I hear the night birds call
I can feel a lover's breath
I sleep in the kitchen with my feet in the hall
Sleep is like a temporary death


Well, they burned my barn, and they stole my horse
I can't save a dime
I got to be careful, I don't want to be forced
Into a life of continual crime
I can see for myself that the sun is sinking
How I wish you were here to see
Tell me now, am I wrong in thinking
That you have forgotten me?

Now they worry and they hurry and they fuss and they fret
They waste your nights and days
Them I will forget
But you I'll remember always
Old memories of you to me have clung
You've wounded me with your words
Gonna have to straighten out your tongue
It's all true, everything you've heard


In you, my friend, I find no blame
Wanna look in my eyes, please do
No one can ever claim
That I took up arms against you
All across the peaceful sacred fields
They will lay you low
They'll break your horns and slash you with steel
I say it so it must be so

Now I'm down on my luck and I'm black and blue
Gonna give you another chance
I'm all alone and I'm expecting you
To lead me off in a cheerful dance
I got a brand new suit and a brand new wife
I can live on rice and beans
Some people never worked a day in their life
Don't know what work even means

Track Name: Pockets Full of Sighs
Pockets Full of Sighs
Written by Lisa Bastoni
(c)(p) 2019 Sweet Ondine Music (BMI)

Sunrise, sunset
I got a feeling of something good
That hasn’t happened yet
A little bird flapping in my chest
Been there for days
Never seems to rest

I am a long way from home
I’ve got pockets full of sighs
And silent moans
I don’t need a souvenir
I can picture it so clear

Don’t touch the hottest part of the flame
I get a fever every time I hear your name
A little light flickering in my brain
And I think “What’s the harm in dreaming?”


It’s bittersweet, it’s incomplete
I don’t know why I came all the way down here
We can dance around these edges
Keep it inside the lines I drew
I don’t even know your favorite color
But I’m gonna guess that it’s blue


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