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Hudsonville, MI 1956

This song is by La Dispute and appears on the album Rooms of the House (2014).

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There are bridges over rivers
There are moments of collapse
There are drivers with their feet on the glass
You can kick but you can't get out
There is history in the rooms of the house

After dinner, do the dishes
Mother hums, the coffee-maker hisses
On the stove, the steam a crescendo
The radio emergency bulletins
And everywhere, wind

You took the train down to Terre Haute
Indiana, visit family, your childhood home
Give your mother her grandkid and father a kiss
Put your luggage in your bedroom, in the kitchen, sit
With your husband still up in Hudsonville
Until the weekend when his shift ends at the furniture mill
Running water for the dishes and the coffee on the stove
Heard a warning from the corner, on the radio
And the glass starts to rattle in the window frames

So you went underground
Took the staircase down
To the cellar full of hunting equipment
Held your baby in your arms
Read the labels on mason jars
Try not to think about your husband in Michigan

Stay calm
Keep the radio loud
Take care, wind howls
Father piles blankets in the corner by the furnace
Mother lights candles
It's a miracle the baby doesn't cry

Back home, doing yard work outside
Husband being stubborn under dark skies
Saw the fence by the neighbor's shed split
Saw the kitchen windows start to bend in

So you went down
To the back steps then to the basement
There were bookshelf plans on the workbench
And a flashlight, shining bright all night
Try not to think about your son and your wife
And the lightning that scattered the night sky
And the wind bursts that tore up the power lines
At the workbench, in the basement
Where you sat and tried to wait out the night

You called for three straight days
Still with your family back home
Up in Hudsonville, the worst of the storms touched ground
And the phone lines were down
Turn the radio up, there's a woman
Who got thrown from her car into a barbed wire fence
She was six months pregnant, both her and the baby lived
You tried, but the line or
I remember those nights

I couldn't get through
To you when
Quiet storms came rattled the window panes
Couldn't keep a thing the same way
When the storm blew in
And the furniture rearranged
I can see lightning there
And a funnel cloud
And her mother said, "I
Swear I saw lightning in your eyes
When that call got through to the other side"

Stay calm
Keep the radio loud
Stay down
There are bridges over rivers
Sirens in the distant
Wind howls
Keep down

After dinner, do the dishes
Mother hums
Wires snap
Metal gets twisted
There's the rattle of the window glass
Bending in

Take the children down
Terre Haute
Stay calm
Keep down
At the workbench

And the coffee-maker hisses
Stay calm
Keep down
Turn the radio
There are
There are moments of collapse


Written by:

Jordan Dreyer, Chad Sterenberg, Brad Vander Lugt, Adam Vass, Kevin Whittemore

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