Love Letters

by Rosa del Duca

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Love Letters was written piecemeal over the span of a few years, when my band, Hunters, wasn’t recording or gigging. In true DIY spirit, I recorded everything on my own over the summer of 2015, as my first baby bump grew from “cute” to gigantic. Being pregnant as this album came to life was especially peculiar and exciting. I wondered how much the baby could hear, whether she’d grow up to play music too. I harbored the songs in the same way I harbored the baby’s kicking: like a fantastic secret. And I was keenly aware how both the album and the tiny person inside me would emerge and quickly become their own entities, no matter what my intentions. I hope you enjoy listening to these songs as much as I enjoyed creating them.


released November 15, 2015

Hugs and kisses to Nicholas Leither for unending inspiration, chops on the harmonica and for designing the album's artwork. Special thanks to Mark Zizzo and Mike Carnahan for Pro Tools advice and moral support. Much love to Will Decher and Leila del Duca for listening to early versions with keen ears.This album is dedicated to Itasca del Duca Leither.



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Rosa del Duca San Leandro, California

Rosa grew up in Montana before moving to California. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she works as a journalist, writes creatively, and makes music both solo and with her folkpop band Hunters.

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Track Name: Prison Break
She writes a letter, and then another
She writes another, another letter
They all tell her they feel for her
Such a waste of law enforcement resources

And when should they arrive
In time for visiting hours?
And what should they bring to see her
Does the prison allow flowers?

She gets a letter, and then another
From another, another sender
They all tell her they’re no stranger to danger
Loyal to a fault and always hit their mark

And what does she want or need
They’ll stock her commissary
There’s just one thing: could she
Promise to put in a good word when she’s released?

She writes a letter, and then another
She writes a letter to all the up and comers
Hello boys I owe you a thank you
For the simple little luxuries I’ve put to use
Piece of cake to find a guard to seduce

But as for the good word with the boss, I’m sorry
I’ll have nothing to do with it
I’ll be gone for good, wish me good luck
That I’ll be home soon

It’s just not the home I know
I guess I’ll be on the road
Or maybe I’ll take a boat
See the new world and the old
Me this new girl, in from the cold

I’ll be gone for good, wish me good luck
That I’m running home
I’ll be gone for good, wish me good luck
That I’ll find home soon
Track Name: Lonesome Dove
Lonesome Dove, she never liked the sound of and
Uptown guy, he took off his ring
Naiveté keeps her busy scheming and
Uptown man tries pretending he’s in love with her

Downtown the high rises
Have views of unending blue
The blue sky meets the blue sea
And the bombshell is blooming

Broken down, Broken up
She’s been broken down
Since the uptown guy
Let her fall off a high rise

Blue, blue is the sky meeting the sea
Blue, blue is all she’s feeling

Lonesome Dove, can’t seem to outrun
History’s meant for repeating
A year to the day back at the very same place
She tries her best to throw him away

His letters fall down the
Smooth tall walls high over the city
So why does it always seem to be
It her who’s falling?

Broken down, Broken up
She’s been broken down
Since the uptown guy
Let her fall off a high rise

Blue, blue, as far as the eye can see
Blue, blue is all she’s feeling

Don’t worry, I won’t leave her on a ledge over the city
I’ll have her come down the stairs, out the door, out into the street
Where someone’s bound to be paralyzed
In the blue eyes of a lonesome dove
Paralyzed in the blue eyes of a lonesome dove, are you
We’ll see what we can do, about this unending blue
Track Name: Watermelon Sugar
Sugar, sugar
Like sugar, sugar

I took binoculars, you took too much
You were banking that I wouldn’t notice
Half a mile in the badlands of red
Mud and sagebrush, cactus

In Painted Canyon buffalo still roam and
Hawks circle high on wind
The hills make mazes and you amaze me like
Richard Brautigan's Watermelon Sugar

So sweet, so sweet

You asked me to marry you with a ring
You had carved and polished, maple burl
I’d been saying yes to you for years
But with my eyes, I only wished you could hear
Now I’ll say it out loud in the land of lost buffalo
Where the hawks circle high on the wind
The hills make mazes and you amaze me like
Richard Brautigan's Watermelon Sugar

So sweet

We’ll make a great many things out of watermelon sugar here
The deeds were done and done again as my life is done in watermelon sugar
Track Name: That Summer
It started so early on a San Francisco morning
By the Bay and I remember when the sun hit your face
I was singing my songs to the drifters and the coffee sippers
Wandering up and down the pier that summer

From there we drove up north through the Redwoods past
Confusion Hill, to the land of mismatched clothes
Manifestos and bat cave houses, the woods painted on the walls
I was singing my songs to the artists and the sous chefs and the
Loopers and the daughters of ukulele strummers, that summer

You took me places
I burn to see around the bend
The diagnoses all say
I’ll never see you again
Quite the same
As that summer we were lovers, driving cross the plains
Through the mountains, down the rivers, around the lakes
To that next town and the next town, the next town and the next
The next town and the next town, I knew how to wear us down
That summer, That summer, yeah

The wind pushed us into Bozeman, the rain drove us out of Red Lodge
In Wibaux Montana, the floods were raging
And I was singing my songs to the absent fathers, oil riggers
Australian waitresses and fantasy writers, that summer

Track Name: True Wild North
It’s a feather in a living room
And the sense we know the way
There is no morning in the evening
No gatekeeper we have to pay

Maybe the sky starts at our feet
Maybe we love those long acres deep
I can find a man with a compass
From all directions I had to face
From all the demons I had to chase

Love remembers location
Location forgets affection
Affection minds no fences
And fences have no sway

It’s why we travel and how we explore
It’s why he took us back and forth
It’s what we do when we can’t do anymore
Back and forth to the true, wild north

He didn’t balk when we were artists
He let us try and let us fail
Never told us who we were
Taught me how to drive a nail

Who knew a nail could join us
Who knew that history would take ahold
Who ever said we had to listen
When they told us we’d get old

Time forgets the details
Details require space
Space is what we made here
Here is where I know his face

Track Name: Wikileaks
It all started in the green machine
She joined at just seventeen
After the world came crashing down
Thought she could help, and she believed

That’s not what happened at all
She stood guard spring summer and fall
Then her world went up in flames
All due to one tapped call

Start, start the saline drip, the saline drip
Drip down to the watchdog now

She knew some things that she should not
At least that’s what the agents thought
So they left her out on patrol
Hoping to god that she’d get caught

She found a small dark place
Started building a massive case
And when they came to take her out
They could find not one trace

Watch, watch the saline drip, the saline drip
The watchdogs are lapping it all up now

One thing remains when you’re hiding
You want to, you want to reach out
One thing’s a danger when you’re Anonymous
You want to take the mask off

She picks locks with bobby pins
She’ll come inside like a wraith in the wind
So ready to come unhinged
Writing love letters to Snowden and Manning

See, see me now, I’ll show you how
Call off your dogs for the night.

Love, love me now, I’ll show you how
Call off your dogs for the night.
The night, the night
I said call off your dogs for the night
Track Name: Abilene
She works overnight at a grocery store
The empty aisles play tricks on her mind
He stops by sometimes, half past five
Heading to his shift on the line

And he brings her wildflowers,
Goes to work to count the hours
And as soon as he sees her again
He’s asking

Would you leave Abilene?
Would you pick up and go
Don’t say no, Maureen

She’s heard those words before
Whispered soft from men in the store
Shouted loud from men on the street
Written on notes pleading to meet

She won’t fall for them again.
But every day he’s there, saying
Come away, the summer’s late
I’ve only got so much time to wait
Would you leave Abilene?
Could you pick up and go
There’s nothing here for you Maureen

The scene plays out, night after night
A week passes, then three then five
One day he comes hours late
Guilt written all over his face

He’s leaving town, can’t wait anymore
Not for the girl, with so guarded a heart
Outside, he shouts his goodbye
I’ll be back, write to me
When you’re ready to leave Abilene
Something takes over, she says
Wait for me

Wait, don’t leave without me
I’ve seen enough of Abilene
Let’s pick up and go, and I’ll follow
your lead

And that was the seed, he said, of me
and your mother Maureen
Track Name: We All Go Up the Mountain Alone Together
Here we go, step off on the right foot
Here we go, leave your fears behind
We’re all climbing toward a sense of an ending
It’s the climb of our lives

We don’t know what we’re going to find
Don’t know how many of these ties will bind
My path is not the same path as yours
None of us have done this before
So let’s hear it for:

We all go up the mountain alone together
Here I go on my own, but you’re with me
We all go up the mountain alone together
Singing the song I hope you’ll miss me
Please say you’ll miss me

Will you remember me, will I remember you
Will we remember anything?
I’d like to think that you’ll remember you, I’ll remember me
Part of everything

There are many footsteps where we go
So many people whose lives we’ll never know
We wonder if they all thought what we do now
Cause at the top you see there’s no way forward, but down

So let’s all go down the mountain alone, together
I’ll hold your hand for as long as I can
Going down the mountain alone together
Knowing exactly where we all land, some kind of never never land

We all go up the mountain alone together
Here I go on my own, but you’re with me
We all go up the mountain alone together
I hope when I’m gone you’ll miss me
Track Name: Raining for Days
It’s been raining for days and days
No sign of the sun, no sign of the moon
The house is flooded
All three rooms

I write you a letter
Dear --, how are you?
I’m caught in the storm
Such a very long downpour
Won't you send help if this reaches you

I’m floating away, pulled by the river
Can’t help leaving, when all I want to do is stay here with you

You answer my letter with a letter of your own
Dear --, I’m underwater too
But hold on I’m coming
I’m coming for you

I read your letter water up to my eyes
The house is breaking away, I’m saying my goodbyes
Goodbye town
I’m leaving all too soon

I’m floating away, pulled by the river
I can’t help leaving, when all I want to do, is stay here with you,
I’m floating away can’t resist the river
Can’t help leaving
When all I want to do is stay with you
Track Name: Itasca County
Another lap around the sun
This one nothing like the last one
Must be the 21st of June and
I don’t want to be anywhere but with you

Let’s pack our bags and go
To the place that we know
At the height of summer in the height of snow
You call it “the true wild north.”

Let’s take the pontoon out
Take a lap or two around
This lake that you crave
All the way from Californ-I-A
You and me make the best memories
Deep in Itasca County

You say it’s like the head and the heart
The great big very start
Of Ol’ Miss, Ol’ Mississippi
Just like the branches of a river
Someone thought to split the word
Veritas and there’s truth in this
A truth in Itasca County

Let’s put the snowsuits on
The ones from the 70s
They always make us laugh
Like the basement makes you sneeze
We’re as home as we can be
Deep in Itasca County