I Am The Forest

by Mayor Byrne

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My lofty attempt at a concept record about trees, which began as a seed (the bass line in track 1), and was nurtured to health with the help of some very talented folks (mentioned below).


released July 3, 2014


Kevin Moritz: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar(^), Piano, Drums, Percussion

Michael Moritz: Vocals, Acoustic/Electric Guitars, Lap Steel, Ukulele, Drums(¹), Programming

Daniel Natoli: Bass

Recorded & Engineered by Michael Moritz @ Accidental Plan Studios, Nashville, TN

All words and music © Moritz
except track 10 Blaze Foley



all rights reserved


Mayor Byrne Nashville, Tennessee

Mayor Byrne is the solo project of Kevin Moritz. He is a singer-songwriter currently residing in Nashville via Chicago.

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Track Name: Preserve ¹
Your father planted me, and left me here to live and die with other trees. I was meant to give his grandson steady work when he was fit and able, and become someone's mantelpiece, a desk, or an end table.

But wouldn't you know our Mother, she had different plans? She kept me safe, and warm, and from undeserving hands. Now I'm left alone: a tree out in the woods left to fell out on my own and do nobody good...

I am a forest. I am the trees, and when I fall down hard, no one can hear me.
Track Name: Forestation
The prairie's back. The grass is high and full of rats and snakes. I will travel through the winding trails, perspirating (sp). A river bends and rushes through a hollow limb. Oh God, it's you. I'd like to think you regrew, but I know better.

Still I bless your wooden mark: the stump you left. And through that bark I still see a piece of you. A couple hundred rings shine through.

Thick and thin, we carry on. Broken limbs and heavy hearts. Through the winter we endure, hibernating. The warmest sun will shine again. Leaves of three, and four, and ten: a million branches blur into one. Forestation.
Track Name: My Wooden Brother, Rest in Peace
I always thought that you would stand. I didn't plan on a Libyan. At once erased without a thought to how you survived the drought.

Visited with mass appeal. Replaced your roots with bars of steel.

My wooden brother, rest in peace.
Track Name: Seeds of Doubt ¹
What have we done? What are we doing? What are we to know? Are we at one? Are we feuding? How long do we grow?

This is a trail of tears. Don't you know we stand on hallowed ground? Our ancestors planted us in this land. They fell and made a sound that no one could hear.

Seeds of doubt spread throughout our loves; our lives; our land. Live without a shadow. Cling to one another's hands.

And when I fall, please do not cry. It's for the greater good: old growth and all that came before and marked this brotherhood of solid wood.
Track Name: Christmastime in Washington
Black Friday rolled around, and on 92.1 the holidays began with "Deck the Halls." All the indie kids were grim as their parents ushered in the season hanging tinsel on the walls.

Daddy said, "Hey kids, come on! Let's jam in the station wagon and pick a tree out from the forest glen!" All the children sing as if their Santa Claus is not a myth: it's Christmastime in Washington again.

Pine needles line the floor as a husband carries out the door the tree they gathered around on Thursday morn'. By Saturday the light came down in tangles all across the town, and everyone forgot the savior born.

My wooden brother, rest in peace. Your memory will never cease. As long as I am living, I intend to remember you through summer, spring, and fall until the winter brings Christmastime in Washington again.
Track Name: The Killing ^
I woke up today and found three young men trampling through my home. They broke my arms, smashed my legs, and left me there alone. If these limbs could speak, you'd see you're killing me.

Three years ago, a couple carved a mediocre heart with their initials and a promise not to die upon my bark. If these limbs could speak, you'd see you're killing me.

A haphazard cigarette scares me half to death, because once it goes, there is just no amount of human breath or water to prevent the killing. See?
Track Name: Young Tree
I once was a young tree. I knew everything. They had nothing on me. I grew like a weed. I wanted to believe that I would never be cut down so ruthlessly, but woe is me.

I once was a sapling. I knew everything. I had one or two rings going on fifty-three. Everybody saw what everybody seen: cut down so ruthlessly. Woe is me.
Track Name: Songbird
Songbird, sing out on high. Your mouth says things I'd like to hear, but I'll never know or understand it, so I'll grow.

Songbird, I bless the sticks in your nest and your children while they rest with their feathers tucked underneath your breast.

Songbird, your home in my branches is so cold. I wonder why you didn't go way south, but know I'll keep you comfortable.
Track Name: Leave the Trees (Meredith)
So there I was among the trees, wandering just as I pleased. I never thought that I would leave. No pun intended. A lady left me standing; wobbly knees. I knew I'd fall: the fact that she's a million heartaches left in the weeds. So I sat down and wrote in reeds:

Meredith, now who you with, and why can't it be me? I've waited long and now it's time for me to leave the trees. Meredith, what's your wish? I'll grant you one for free. It shouldn't be a problem if it involves being with me.

Should she come with me, well, then I'd build a house of logs for them: the trees we've added to our glen. A family tree. God Bless. Amen.
Track Name: Living in the Woods in a Tree ^
Met a kinky little woman with crazy hair, big brown eyes, and a faraway stare. Mama's wouldn't think we'd have made a pair, but now we're living in the woods in a tree.

Some folks think we're a little deranged. That's the way it is; probably never will change. We don't care because you gotta be strange when you're living in the woods in a tree.

Cook our breakfast whenever we rise. Play a little music for the butterflies. Say pretty things looking into our eyes. Laughing in the woods in a tree.

Got a couple friends we can go and see. Some got kids that'll sit on your knee. I love her and she loves me. Sleeping in the woods in a tree.

Gonna have a party when our boat gets here. Try to have some food and a pail of beer. Dance with the people that we live near. Laughing in the woods in a tree.

Both a little shaky with the other sometimes. Maybe because of things we should have left behind, but we'll watch our steps as we start to climb to the house in the woods in a tree.