Make a List

by Tanya Davis



my first record. a few weeks and little bit of money plus fear and doubt and love and poetry.


released May 19, 2006

Recorded and mixed by Don MacKay at Spaces Between Sound Studio in Halifax, NS

Mastered by J. LaPointe at Archive Mastering

Tanya - guitar, ukelele, bass, words
Don MacKay - mandolin, cello, electric guitar
Don Brownrigg - keyboard
Rose Cousins - backing vocals
Aaron Sinclair - drums, hands and feet


all rights reserved



Tanya Davis Montreal, Québec

Tanya Davis is a poet writer artist type living in Montréal. She puts words at the centre of her work, be it music or performance, and is ever exploring new artistic ideas and projects. She writes monologue and theatre, takes commissions, and gives poetic speeches sometimes, too. She is currently studying french, teaching herself the drums, and writing a book about union. ... more

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Track Name: Keep it on my fridge
Keep it on my Fridge

I could stretch more, complain less
be more dependable and stress less
I could confess my love to all the ones I've always wanted to
tell them what I'm thinking if they ever ask, be honest to myself
let my hard feelings pass
if the people that I love don't pass my feelings back

I could become that person who always looks serene
the traffic doesn't bother me
and neither do the bees
I could do more favours
help more old ladies cross the street
savour my chocolate and behave more neighborly
- I could do lots of things

engage strangers in conversations
make more offerings
donate portions of my wages to poor places that are worse off than me
I could do all of this and then some
write a list
keep it on my fridge
to keep my attention

But what are my intentions with this
is it about ethics
or having my name mentioned
a frame of reference
to guide my efforts
or a game that I am in
- and if I became that magnanimous person, maybe I would win?

Or maybe it's just a means to ease my conscience
make a list and the cross things off of it
so that in this messed-up world I could feel content

Well, I'd like to think that peace of mind is a selfless goal
but I guess it depends on how you get there
which way you go
and I would like to get there
spend some peaceful time before I get too old
and I might be walking in the right direction
but often
it's hard to know

Am I being too hard on myself
or not hard enough at all?
Do I have enough goals
the right mix of big and small
realistic hopes
or idealistic flaws?

I don't know all this
it's why I question it I guess
make commitments to improve
lists of goals I should pursue
and then self-reflect
to hold myself in check
and do the best that I could do
Track Name: Art

I wondered what would be the worth of my words in the world
if i write them and then recite them are they worth being heard
just because i like them does that mean i should mic them
and see what might unfurl

i think of the significance of my opinions here
is it significant to be giving them does anybody care
just because i'm into this does that mean i should live like it
and really do i dare

art, art i want you
art you make it pretty hard not too
and my heart is trying hard here to follow you
but i can't always tell if i ought to

so i pondered the point of my art in this life
if i make it will someone take it and think it's genuine
will they be glad that i did 'cause they got something good out of it
will they leave me and be any more inspired

i question the outcome of the outpouring of myself
if i tell everyone my stories will this keep me healthy and well
will it give me purpose, to this world some sort of service
is it worth it, how can i tell

art, art...
Track Name: The Drums
The way you wear your clothes
and how you eat your food
i like the way you think
i love you

and how you play the drums on top of every surface
and the rhtym that comes through your hands

and when you tie your boots up
and when you fold your t-shirts
i just like the way you move

and i like your freckles
and i like your muscles
and i like your sentences, too

you stride over to me and i'm watching you walk
thinking it is the best sight i ever saw
'cause when you come close to me my heart is always opening
and every time I am so enthralled

the accent in your voice
and all the words you use
i like the way you talk
i love you

and how you hold your arms out
when you're ready for a hug
and the way you bring me close to your chest

and when you study hard
and when you daydream harder
i just like the things you do

and i like your features
and i like your fingers
and i like your ideas, too
Track Name: Poetry

I thought about two things today
I thought about poetry
and I thought about you

and extensions of these two things
like, poetry about you
poems that you'd fit into

poetics that we enacted last night with such passion
and where that might in fact lead to
now that last night is through
and i sit here alone this afternoon
and i don't know where you sit or with whom

i thought of poetry i might compose
and where this might go between us now and how slow
i thought about not thinking about you
but that didn't seem to go like i wanted it to

so, i wrote a new poem
and you were my subjet
i wrote a true ode
and you were the subject
i wrote and i wrote
i thought about you and i thought about poems

i thought about these two subjects
Track Name: As I lay Sleeping
as i lay sleeping

i'm sleeping by myself right now
have nobody else to welcome me into bed or kick me out
on whom to lay my head or wrap my arms around
and this gets lonely

if only i had someone to hold me
i woudl give myself to them wholly
and they could console me if i needed that and in their embrace enfold me
but, as it is i go to bed alone, wake up lonely

and in between this my breath does not mix with that of any other soul
my hands clutch the pillow and my toes are cold
wind blowing out windows
and this is how my night goes

and i might recall a lover i once had with me underneath the covers
and how she felt and how we held each other
but i won't reminisce too long
else i bring nostalgia on and then i would be too far gone for plesant dreams

just lie there sad and empty while i am trying to be glad and not resent things
like this place in my head
this space in my bed
that is ready for somebody to take residence in

~~~ and i am hesitant
to share my head again
my heart and all its sentiments
~~~ but i would love to share my bed again
the air that i am breathing
as i lay sleeping
Track Name: This Sadness
This sadness

Can i make this a sweet sadness? The kind that gets me writing amidst it and my agony convinces my pen to keep printing and i am in it but not completely in misery

can i make this sadness productive, so i am glad for some of it and some good could come of it, am i that lucky or will it just keep me down?
I looked up sad in my thesaurus and guess how many synonyms i found..

i could be crestfallen, dejected, despondent, i could be woebegone or desperate or broken-hearted.. i think perhaps i am a coalescence and it's best if i just take this depression and get started

i could take this discontentment and make it work harder, it could be some sort of working martyr for my soul- searching cause. Aren't artists supposed to have emotional hardship, does this not serve to spur us on?

i'd like to think so, put down my handkerchief for a pen with good ink flow and then put down a new poem and then something insightful and pull myself out of the doldrums where i dwell and take this sorrow and make it worth my while.
Track Name: Potatoes

On Prince Edward Island the dirt is as red as they say
and the hills are rolling and so are the waves
and there are patchwork fields all over the place
and miles and miles of sand on which to lay
tourists leave this in the fall, come back to it in May

so what takes place on a tiny province in the snow
and what do the locals do when the tourists go
we dig those fields you admired as by them you drove
our tiny island with its red dirt roads
and all that iron helps our potatoes to grow

and then the cold comes in and the harvest is over
and we seal our windows up, stack wood for our fires
and we take off our screen doors and our summer tires
and we settle in for the winter, get nice and tired
and hibernate while the snow blankets our island

and when it storms hard enough we all stay in our houses
and we get some days off work and some power outages
and we have to slow down, candles and couches
until the snow stops falling, we all dig ourselves out of it
we make it through tough winters here, we are proud of this

you have to stay in a place through all the seasons to appreciate everything that it is

and spring is a long time coming in the gulf of the Saint Lawrence
and the trees are a long time budding and when they do it is so glorious
and the birds they keep us patient while we're waiting, singing us nice choruses
and soon enough we're all gathered up talking of how warm it is
we love our island, that's for sure it is

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