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Songs For Flying (EP, 2019)

by Roland Satterwhite & North Sea String Quartet

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Prison Cell 05:47
I heard it said and I believe nobody’s really free without the chains of love he raised a bar stool over his head tried to strike another man dead I saw it happen, I was there my chest grew tight, but not with fear as the borders disappeared keep me in a prison cell father I believe you darlin’ I would never leave you I wanna kiss the ceiling addicted to the feeling on a tiny patch of sand barbed wire and an empty hand he knows just what to do the choices are so few as hungry shadows circle round dropping live shells on the ground there’s nothing left to say no perfect judgement day after victory, the death of your enemy wasn’t it he who set you free
pain in my shoulder, what could it be from my body is a prophecy of degradation it’s showing us all a lickin to come a crack in the wall, the path of the sun strip me naked, take off my make-up I’ll let you come in babe, you don’t gotta fake it a bottle of that stuff, I got a batch of here comes the rapture, a camera gonna capture it all our love will reach the sea spools of copper, built to unravel wound up so tight, on shifting gravel but it rings hollow, it feels so wrong down in basel in the shiny marble halls somebody tell me what to do now so easy to forget, when I’ve made no vows dive into a hurricane, tsunami flood my spirit, drown my body and I miss you, lover, I really do but only when I sleep alone, its true I guess I’m looking for something to spread my love beyond the bounds, oh its up its down it’s down inside the earth it hurts I don’t know how to work it out ohoh
Hello Yeah 04:31
hello, yeah you got nice hair, where you from I’ve heard of that nation but what’s your mother tongue listen will you listen to me I wanna talk to you cuz that’s what I do in the face of beauty and I find in you so much more than me you feel so far away your long laugh rising from your feet through the ground that does not bring me the same maybe it’s because I feel ashamed I’m falling for your pride in 1986 I lost a certain kind the day I asked my father why the black boys seemed on edge all of time now I won’t beat around the bush you bring a tingling to my eye and to my ears you bring a rush and lately only you can really make me blush and though I know you can’t I wish you would deliver me from this bitter ballast in my blood I’m casting off this brittle skin never woulda known could be outgrown without you walkin in
I’m a snail and I’m bold, I’m crossing a road even the hungry crow has a tear in his eye as he watches me try I got one eye in and one eye out one on death and one on doubt one on the sky and one on my heart cuz if I didn’t do that, I couldn’t even start on a journey like this. on this big old freeway six lane wide that’s like 45 minutes to the other side but I gotta cross or I’m gonna die I’ve already lost two of my family I watched them shrivel up in front of me a single drop of dew stopped me from shrivelling too now there’s just silence where their laughter used to be I know what you’re thinking: snails don’t laugh oh yes we do, it’s just like the laughter coming out of you as you watch your daughter climb into the swimming pool for the first time watching her grow, watch her turn from a little bun into a radiant sun start arguing with you about what should and should not be done pushing your buttons, touching your scars as you drive her to her swimming lesson across the park so you stop and you yell, and she starts to cry and you regret it right away and you wanna comfort her but you gotta drive and even if you knew, in that moment of shame provoked by your child who carries your name and even if you knew, in that moment of rage provoked by your child for whom you’d die just to save and even in you knew in that moment you snapped provoked by your child who’s become your best bet to let out your love in this indifferent world even if you knew in the moment that the tires of your car crushed my back, and snapped my shell and sliced my neck and the hope that I held fades to black even if you knew, would you even look back? at the tiny speck, on the grey concrete of the interstate? I don’t think you would cuz you don’t believe that a snail could be worthy of your love I’m a snail and I’m bold, I’m crossing a road soon the hungry crow will swoop down to dine and fill his belly with mine and the siege of Aleppo drifts by on your Facebook wall as your daughter finally learns the crawl
someone I remember took me for a long and dirty ride and when I hit the bottom, I forgot how to climb she said a lot of pretty things to me, and at the time, I’m sure it was no lie but her truth was no longer than the blink of my eye but I don’t regret a thing, so now I’ll sing if you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn if you don’t live it, it won’t ever take you home I loved someone who told me she loves me more than I can understand so much, she got wasted on the body of another man I couldn’t find the meaning, I couldn’t see the light until I heard it beating, my heart had reached the other side so once again I’ll sing if you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn if you don’t live it, you will never take it home if you don’t live it, it won’t ever make you sing if you don’t live it, it won’t ever mean a thing and i’m thankful for the journey and even for the pain and for the depth of the tenderness that only forgiveness brings so one more time, if you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn if you don’t live it, it won’t ever take you home
this is my autobiography, although it may seem premature everything that’s gonna happen to me already passed my door every sweet love affair, every triumph every shame the colors explode, and when they clear no no, they do not stain I think you know what I mean and in the words of my mother, a good man uses his humility and in the words of my lover, baby just give me what I need and in the words of my father, don’t think too much of status and wealth the bad man might reap profit and praise but the good man meets with the lord himself I keep trying to believe all the lullabies ever sung to me and in the words of S P Taylor, everybody knows it’s too late and in the words of my sister, Evie’s birthday’s on the 28th and in the words of Stephen Biko, either you’re proud or you’re dead it’s in the moves of Muhammad Ali, if you live on earth, you got to pay the rent yeah if you live on earth, you got to pay, I think you know what I mean momentary euphoria, hypnotised in the dance of death everybody is looking around, tryin’ to find what he does best and in the words of my daughter, daddy why’d you bring me here? I guess I’m craving something that will never disappear


Songs for flying is the outcome of a remarkable collaboration between Berlin-based singer and violist Roland Satterwhite and the Dutch North Sea String Quartet. Roland’s soulful songwriting gets embodied by his deep, compelling voice and the sensitive playing of the string quartet, resulting in breathtaking sincerity. The songs are about life and love, snails and dignity, about freedom and commitment; each of them able to give wings to the listener.


released January 9, 2019

All songs written by Roland Satterwhite.

Roland Satterwhite - plucked viola & voice
Pablo Rodríguez, Karin van Kooten - violin
Yanna Pelser - viola
Thomas van Geelen - cello

Recorded at Benedek Records. Berlin. October 2018
Jamie Collier | Recording engineer
Pablo Rodríguez & Roland Satterwhite | Mixing & design


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North Sea String Quartet Rotterdam, Netherlands

The North Sea String Quartet is one of the most versatile string quartets of the Netherlands. Their blend of world music, combining their own compositions with improvisation, could be defined as folk-fusion. These are strings that will make you move.

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