Dear Wormwood

by The Oh Hellos

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Dear Wormwood acts as a volume II to Through the Deep, Dark Valley. While Through the Deep, Dark Valley is about the protagonist’s past, Dear Wormwood is about the character’s future. The duo explains, "This album is a collection of letters, all written by a single protagonist and addressed to a single recipient, a conversation to which the listener is an observer as a relationship gone wrong reaches its breaking point - the words and music are at times affectionate and bittersweet, at others resigned and resolute."


released October 16, 2015

All songs written by Maggie and Tyler Heath, with the exception of Danse Macabre, written by Camille Saint-Saens (Public Domain)

Produced by Maggie and Tyler Heath

Mixed and mastered by Charlie Kramsky.

Special thanks to Austin Norman, Chris McLeod, Drew Griffith, Joey Chance, Joshua Heinlein, Matthew Hagerman, Nathanael Smith, Reagan Smith, Charlie Moore, the Collection, Family and Friends, the Goodness Sakes, Noble Sun, Parlours, Penny and Sparrow, and Those Know-It-Alls & Their Mighty Causes for lending their voices to this album.


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The Oh Hellos San Marcos, Texas

Please visit our website for physical merch!

The Oh Hellos began in a cluttered bedroom, where siblings Maggie and Tyler Heath recorded their self-titled EP in 2011. In the fall of 2012, the sibling duo released their debut full-length record Through the Deep, Dark Valley, an album full of regret and redemption, which they wrote, recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered themselves. ... more

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Track Name: Bitter Water
Oh fair and flighty love
My aerolite above
The only dove I see
Could you love me more
If by the sun and moon I swore
That I would never flee?

I still taste you on my lips
Lovely bitter water
The terrible fire of old regret is honey on my tongue
I know I shouldn't love you
But I do

I feel it in my soul
I feel the empty hole
The cup that can’t be filled
I feel it in my blood
In the fire and the flood
The beast that can't be killed

Even now you mark my steps
Lovely bitter water
All the days of our delights are poison in my veins
I know I shouldn't love you
I know

I am not a fool entire
No, I know what is coming
You'll bury me beneath the trees I climbed
When I was a child
I know I shouldn't love you
But I do
Track Name: There Beneath
There beneath the willow tree
I learned a lot about the way of things
I learned that everything (the wind, the leaves) has breath inside
They were pointing ever east
To see the ever-turning aeon cease
Their wills were ever bent on waiting with all their might

I know (I know)
I know this
There is beauty in the way of things

There beyond the palisade
I saw the morning lead a cavalcade
They made a marvel of a display
And it made me cry 'o lai'

O lai (o lai)
O lai lord
There is beauty in the way of things
Track Name: Exeunt
I was all alone, we were young, you were like wine
Heady as the fog rolling in o'er the hillside
Lovely as the song in the air as the wind blows
Opiate as the cold of the frost on the windows
Lo, the rose is gone from my eyes (so deceiving)
So, my little dove, I'm afraid I am leaving

Now, I am not the fool I was when I was younger
Crocodile eyes, I have seen how you hunger
Fluttering your lashes, like ashes and embers
Warm and bright as fire devouring timber
No, I cannot trust what you say when you're grieving
So, my love, I'm sorry, but still: I am leaving

Even when you hunt me with ire, relentless
Batter down my door when you find me defenseless
I will not abide all your raging and reaving
I have set my mind and my will: I am leaving
Track Name: Caesar
Hear on the wind how the pendulum swings
Feel how the winter succumbs to the spring
Over the palisade morning will break
Rise up to meet it, oh sleeper awake

Gather the soldiers, the heir to enfold
Crown him and give him a scepter to hold
Sound every horn as the columns extend
Up to the hill where the king will ascend

Look to the sky where the sign will be shown
Heaven and earth and the king on his throne
Look to the sky where the sign will be shown
Track Name: This Will End
No, I am not afraid to die
It's every breath that comes before
Heartache, I've heard, is part of life
And I have broken more and more

But I can hope how this will end
With every line a comedy
That we could learn to love without demand
But unreserved honesty

If I am not afraid to die
And you are crouching at my door
And suffering is all there is to gain in life
Then what is all this waiting for?

I can see how this will end
In all its bitter tragedy
I'll give you all I have to spend
And you'll give nothing back to me

And I will wait for this to end
The back and forth, the battery
For you, at last, to comprehend
The kind of love of which I speak
Track Name: Pale White Horse
Down they fell like the children of Eden
Down they fell like the tower
As the land relinquished her ghost

Heed the sirens, take shelter, my lover
Flee the fire that devours
But the sight held me fixed
Like a bayonet against my throat

Neither plague or famine tempered my courage
Nor did raids make me cower
But his translucent skin
Made me shiver deep within my bones

It was a pale white horse
With a crooked smile
And I knew it was my time

It was the raging storm
Of a foreign war
And a face I'd seen before
Track Name: Where Is Your Rider
Was it you 'mid the fire and the ember?
Were you there to bedevil and beguile?
See, your face wasn't quite as I remember
But I know that wicked shape to your smile
Bury me as it pleases you, lover
At sea, or deep within the catacomb
But these bones never rested while living
So how can they stand to languish in repose?

He has thrown down the cavalry as gravel sinks
And as the stone founders underneath the sundered sea of red and reed
The shadow of Hades is fading
For he has cast down leviathan, the tyrant, and the horse and rider

Where is your rider?

He will hold with all of his might the armies of night,
Still as boulders laid to the side 'til we pass by
He has hoisted out of the mire every child
So lift your voice with timbrel and lyre
"We will abide, we will abide, we will abide"
Track Name: Soldier, Poet, King
There will come a soldier
Who carries a mighty sword
He will tear your city down, o lei o lai o lord
O lei, o lai, o lei, o lord
He will tear your city down, o lei o lai o lord

There will come a poet
Whose weapon is his word
He will slay you with his tongue, o lei o lai o lord
O lei, o lai, o lei, o lord
He will slay you with his tongue, o lei o lai o lord

There will come a ruler
Whose brow is laid in thorn
Smeared with oil like David's boy, o lei o lai o lord
O lei, o lai, o lei, o lord
Smeared with oil like David's boy, o lei o lai o lord

O lei, o lai, o lei, o lord
He will tear your city down, o lei o lai
Track Name: Dear Wormwood
When I was a child, I didn't hear a single word you said
The things I was afraid of, they were all confined beneath my bed
But the years have been long, and you have taught me well to hide away
The things that I believed in, you've taught me to call them all escapes

I know who you are now

There before the threshold, I saw a brighter world beyond myself
And in my hour of weakness, you were there to see my courage fail
For the years have been long, and you have taught me well to sit and wait
Planning without acting, steadily becoming what I hate

I know who you are now

I have always known you, you have always been there in my mind
But now I understand you, and I will not be part of your designs

I know who I am now
And all that you've made of me
I know who you are now
And I name you my enemy

I know who I am now
I know who I want to be
I want to be more than this devil inside of me
Track Name: Thus Always To Tyrants
Let me die, let me drown, lay my bones in the ground
I will still come around when the time for sleep is through
Over hill, over dale, through the valley and vale
Do not weep, do not wail, I am coming home to you
Every tomb, every sea, spit the bones from your teeth
Let the ransomed be free as the revel meets the day
Let the valleys awake, let them rattle and shake
In the wind that remakes all that time has worn away

To and fro, I will not follow
Where you go, I will not also

I will look for you as the sun rises higher
When the dry bones dance with the timbrel and lyre
There's a wind alive in the valley
It will fill your lungs, if you'll have it

Where I go, will you still follow?
Will you leave your shaded hollow?
Will you greet the daylight looming,
Learn to love without consuming?