Please Don't Tell Me How to Dance

by Cindy Ruenes

Released 2018
Released 2018
Highly personal yet universal concerns expressed in harmony and accompanied by an eclectic mix of instruments and arrangements.
  • 03:49 Story Lyrics Please Don't Tell Me How to Dance

    Daughter, sister, wife, mother

    Always defined in terms of another

    Dancing the steps I’d learned as a child

    A dance choreographed by others

    Chorus

    After all these years, finally growing up

    After all these years, I’m able to say

    Don’t show me the steps I need to take

    Let me be someone other than who you create

    Don’t dismiss me and let me take a chance

    Please don’t tell me how to dance

    Please don’t tell me how to dance

     

    Always the good girl, always have a smile

    Always willing to go the extra mile

    Willing to stand up for everyone but me

    It’s about time, finally

    Chorus

    After all these years, finally growing up

    After all these years, I’m able to say

    Don’t show me the steps I need to take

    Let me be someone other than who you create

    Just support me and let me take a chance

    Please don’t tell me how to dance

    Please don’t tell me how to dance

    I have my own dance!

    Please don’t tell me how to dance   

    Please don't tell me how to dance

     

     

      

  • 03:45 Story Lyrics Aimless Knowledge

    Maybe tomorrow or later today

    She’s just about to motivate, there’s nothing in her way

    Walking through the narrow streets on paths of those before

    She’s feeling inspiration, just walking out her door

    Chorus

    All alone, but she’s not feeling lonely

    She’s aimlessly walking, yet she knows just where she’s going

     

    It’s gray outside and every day it’s rained

    But colors make it warm and rich and passion is ingrained

    Everyone is animated, speaking with their hands

    There’s drama in their conversations, expressing their demands

    Chorus

    All alone, but she’s not feeling lonely

    She’s aimlessly walking, yet she knows just where she’s going

    Bridge

    Freed from life’s banality

    Again she’s found her way

    She’s taken from here what she needs

    To keep her fears at bay

    Chorus 

    All alone, but she’s not feeling lonely

    She’s aimlessly walking, yet she knows just where she’s going

     

     

  • 03:27 Story Lyrics Un Salice Piangente

    E’ sabato         

    Mi siedo alla mia tavola da cucina

    Mentre guardo fuori  dalla finestra vedo la pioggia che cade

    La neve ha cominciato a sciogliersi  la settimana scorsa

    Quasi tutto e’ ancora bianco         

    Ma alcune piante stanno diventando  sature con i loro colori di primavera

    Un’albero che e’  particolarmente bello  e’ un salice piangente

    Quest’albero e’ piccolo ma illumina il nostro giardino intero

    E per questo piccolo albero bellissimo, so che la primavera arrivera’…. Presto

     

    Un salice piangente

    Un salice piangente 

    ____________________________________

    Translation:

     

    It’s Saturday

    I sit at my kitchen table

    While I watch outside my window, I see rain falling      

    The snow started to melt last week

    Everything is still white

    But some of the plants are becoming saturated with their colors of spring                     

    One tree that is particularly lovely is a weeping willow

    This tree is small, but illuminates our entire garden.

    Because of this small, beautiful tree, I know that spring will arrive….. soon. 

     

    A weeping willow

    A weeping willow

     

     

     

  • 05:51 Story Lyrics The Stronger Sex

    Chorus

    Giussepina, Hazel and Shirley

    My grandmothers and my mom

    You, like me and women before us

    Have thought that we’re not quite enough

     

    Giusseppina... 

    Coffee scented kitchen from the grinder on the wall  Warm milk at bedtime

    Never smiling, but never angry

    Extreme sadness and heavily “Italianed” English

    She left all she'd known to come make a home with a man she barely knew.  

     

    Hazel...            

    Walnut vanilla cake and green bean casserole  Everything in its place

    Always smiling and rarely cranky

    Intuitive, gentle and heavily "Bostoned" English

    She lived the life of the consummate wife of the consummate family man.

     

    Shirley...

    Intoxicating scent of her motherly perfection   

    Calm in the midst of chaos

    An artist, a nurse and my anchor

    Warmth and love and beauty and laughter

    She raised 5 of us alone, with a man never home, just being a good doctor’s wife.

     

    Chorus

    Giussepina, Hazel and Shirley

    My grandmothers and my mom

    You, like me and women before us

    Have thought that we’re not quite enough

     

    Bridge

    You were told then, and we still hear now that we are the weaker sex  

    We don’t like our bodies, we’re not quite “enough”.    

    But how can that possibly be?

    Because if you look at it at its most rudimentary level

    Aren't we the ones that sustain the lives of our species before they're born?

    If our bodies are capable of that, then how can we be the weaker sex?

    How can we not cherish our bodies?  How can we not cherish ourselves?

    How can we not cherish our bodies?  How can we not cherish ourselves?

     

    Chorus

    Giussepina, Hazel and Shirley

    My grandmothers and my mom

    I wish you knew then, what I have learned now

    I wish you knew then, what I now know                       Repeat and fade

     

     

     

  • 04:46 Story Lyrics My Four Brothers

    Chorus

    The first things I learned about boys and men

    I learned from my four brothers

    I didn’t realize ‘til I left home

    That they set the bar so high

     

    From them I learned  

    That men are sweet                 

    They love to compete

    Men are kind   

    Men are loving

    They cry as often as they laugh

    I learned they like to make you laugh in church 

    And other quiet places                       

    They’re loud and they’re rambunctious

    They’re creative and they’re strong

     

    Chorus

    The first things I learned about boys and men

    I learned from my four brothers

    I didn’t realize ‘til I left home            

    That they set the bar so high

               

    From them I learned

    Men are teachers

    Men are students   

    And can be your best friend

    Chorus      

    The first things I learned about boys and men            

    I learned from my four brothers 

    I didn’t realize ‘til I left home

    That they set the bar so high

     

    I learned that men take care of you        

    They nurture you

    And they treat you with respect and that men and women are pretty much the

    same …

     

    I thank you brothers  for teaching me to appreciate men 

    And to not be bitter towards men and

    To enjoy men

    And it’s a good thing that mom always taught us to forgive….

    Repeat last line and fade

     

  • 03:02 Story Lyrics Symbiosis

     

    She is loud and confident, practical and stoic

    He is shy and emotional, a dreamer and a poet

    They love to make the other laugh

    They both have strong convictions

    Both energetic and intense neither like restrictions

    Chorus

    She thinks: Give me your drama

    He thinks: Give me your common sense

    She thinks: Give me your quiet

    He thinks: Give me your confidence                  

     

    They fell hard when they met

    A mutual attraction                         

    From there they learned about each other’s

    Hopes and needs and passions

    They have a common basic love of things to them important

    Their goals and dreams are shared as one

    But the paths they’ve taken different

    Chorus

    She feels: Give me your drama

    He feels: Give me your common sense

    She feels: Give me your quiet

    He feels: Give me your confidence                        

     

    Entangled with each other always taking and receiving           

    She brings him all the things he needs

    He gives her what she’s missing

    She takes too much or gives too little

    He leans on her too often

    But when her walls come down, his heart is opened

    Their pasts’ sharp edges softened

    Chorus

    She says Give me your drama

    He says: Give me your common sense                       

    She says: Give me your quiet

    He says: Give me your confidence

     

  • 04:02 Story Lyrics Within My Reach

    Too many changes

    My thoughts are dark

    Friends feel like strangers

    So afraid

    My head is in the clouds

    My heart is alone

    I want to run and hide

    From the pain

    Chorus

    Greens and reds and purples

    Harmonies abound

    Beauty and melodies surround me

    All within my reach….within my reach   

                          

    The ground falls away

    My heart keeps sinking

    My head is in turmoil

    I  can’t stop thinking

    Bridge

    I can’t stay like this-Have to make a change-I can’t stay like this-

    Have to make a change 

     

    Finally find relief                     

    Finally gain control                 

    No more obsessive thoughts and feelings       

    I can’t seem to feel

    And that feels so good

    No more crushing thoughts of sadness

    Moving away from madness

    No way to travel from my head to my heart

    Bridge

    But I’m not staying like this-Had to make a change-I’m not staying like this-Had to make a change

    Chorus

    Greens and reds and purples

    Harmonies abound

    Beauty and melodies surround me

    All within my reach… within my reach...Oh within my reach

     

     

  • 04:05 Story Lyrics The Potato Eaters, Boating Party, Bacchus and Mona

    Chorus

    Van Gogh, Renoir, Caravaggio, Leonardo

    Gave life to the works they created

    Connecting completely with those whose stories they told

    With perfection, rendered by hand

     

    Dark room, dark clothes, sullen faces

    Their meal consists of potatoes

    Poverty as darkness; monochromatic light

    What must their lives have been like?

     

    At the opposite end of the spectrum I see

    A luncheon of a boating party

    Leisure, pleasure and bottles of wine

    Expressive color and light help define

    The comfortable lives that they led

     

    Bacchus is provocative, pink-faced and tipsy

    The God of ecstasy and wine

    Angelic, but earthly; fingernails dirty

    Certainly far from divine

     

    Intimate knowledge, flawless depiction

    Of Mona with the mystical smile

    Is there a greater connection to the model that posed?

    Perhaps it was a self-portrait he composed

    Bridge

    I’ve heard that masterpieces are really self-portraits

    Perhaps this is why….

    Chorus

    Van Gogh, Renoir, Caravaggio, Leonardo

    Gave life to the works they created

    Connecting completely with those whose stories they told

    With perfection, rendered by hand

    Connecting completely with those whose stories they told

    With perfection, rendered by hand 

     

     

     

  • 03:46 Story Hands (feat. Brian Pearson)
  • 02:31 Story Lyrics My Name Is Mom

    The second first name I was given I share with many others

    The name is not exclusive, as it’s given to other mothers

    But I’m the only one for you, so the name is uniquely mine

    I fell in love the days we met; we’ll forever be entwined

    Chorus

    I’m always here for you

    I’ll listen when you need me to

    It’s unconditional, it never ends

    Because my name is mom 

     

    There were times when you both were young, I wanted to change my name

    The days when you called out all day long, “Mom, Mom, Mom…”

    But now I look back at those sweet days, with memories held close to my heart

    And though we live under separate roofs, we’re never far apart

    Chorus

    I’m always here for you

    I’ll listen when you need me to

    It’s unconditional, it never ends

    Because my name is mom

    I’ll always be your mom

     

     

     

     

  • 03:51 Story Lyrics Lost and Found

    I lose my mind late in the springtime

    I can’t find my way back ‘til the fall

    The months in between are a surrealistic dream

    Set against the backdrop of sunshine and greens

    Chorus

    I tend to feel sad when I’m supposed to feel happy

    I feel cranky when I’m supposed to feel good

    Perhaps it’s the “supposed to” that makes me rebel

    And feel  the opposite of what I “should”

     

    I lose my smile in early December

    It always returns by New Year's Eve

    The weeks of preparing and caring and sharing

    Veils an undercurrent of melancholic brooding

    Chorus

    I tend to feel sad when I’m supposed to feel happy

    I feel cranky when I’m supposed to feel good

    Perhaps it’s the “supposed to” that makes me rebel

    And feel the opposite of what I “should”

     

    January through May, September through November

    I’m elated, creative and productive

    The rest of the time, I’m in hot pursuit of Cloud 9

    But I keep getting lost on the way

    Chorus

    I tend to feel sad when I’m supposed to feel happy

    I feel cranky when I’m supposed to feel good

    Perhaps it’s the “supposed to” that makes me rebel

    And feel the opposite of what I “should”

     

     

     

  • 04:07 Story Please Read the Letter (feat. Brian Pearson)
  • 04:21 Story Hallelujah
NOTES
This is Cindy Ruenes' first full-length album.

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 60’s and 70’s, Cindy Ruenes was immersed in the culture that produced folk/psychedelic music and anti-war demonstrations and songs. Her love at an early age of “the San Francisco Sound “ prompted her to start playing guitar at age 8, adding her voice to her music at the age of 10. Cindy has played music off and on throughout her life. For several years she only occasionally played, concentrating instead on college, nursing school, working as a nurse and raising two children. She shared her love of music with her children, but only began playing her guitar on a regular basis in 2003, when she started taking guitar lessons. She added the classical guitar to her repertoire in 2006. In 2012, after raising her two children she decided to concentrate her efforts on writing and performing music. Today, her music still evokes the music of her roots. In addition, she credits Joan Baez, Stevie Nicks, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, the Counting Crows and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young for influencing her musical style.
Putting her energy into singing and songwriting has been a powerful way for her to cope with life's many challenges.
Music has always helped her see the beauty in the world. She hopes this album will do the same for you.