The Old Days

by The Mammals

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100% OF BANDCAMP PROCEEDS FROM THIS SINGLE will go to support the incredible work of the BARD PRISON INITIATIVE, which enrolls over 300 incarcerated students full-time in programs that culminate in degrees from Bard College (Ruth's alma mater) and has worked to transform the relationship between education and criminal justice in the United States.

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written by Ruth Ungar Merenda

Sometimes you have to wonder where the time has gone, like Ollabelle Reed when she sang, “ Wondering where the years of my life have flown.”

I think about Bard College when I sing this one. See photo of me in my freshman dorm circa '93 on the landline probably scaring up some kind of trouble. Consider this a shout out to my theater pals from those intense and formative years.

We were the ones who created whole worlds of reality in a funky old black box with old dimmers and one time a sand box the size of the stage and second hand smoke permeated everything and I learned words like jodhpurs and cyclorama and it felt like a big demented family that I never wanted to leave. In some ways I never have.

It feels crazy to be putting out these mixes so rapidly and simply. I hope that you guys are enjoying them! I just blasted this final mix in the house and both our kids started dancing around and saying they really like the song. "I like this one, Mom" said Willy, so that felt good.

I love Konrad's drumming on this tune, particularly on the last verse. Ken plays the perfect keys on this and sculpted the chords that turned into the bridge. It feels like a happy Bangles moment to me. Opal specifically praised the bridge just now, "My favorite part is that part you were working on a lot." "The bridge, Opal?" "Yeah, when you say ‘I got my family got my guitar’ it sounds like Aoife’s band!” “Yeah Aoife sings on that part!” “Wait when did Aoife come to the studio?”

You're right, Opal, that harmony was tracked in NYC by Robin MacMillan and I love it too. The rest was all tracked at our studio with Adam at the helm during the Sunshiner sessions. This is a live lead vocal take in the same room with the whole band and it was actually interrupted by Opal coming into the room at the very end. You can hear her saying, “Look, Mommy, I made this for you!” as she holds up a proud glitterglue creation. That kind of says it all.

Time can be a mystery but I’m singing from a very grateful place on this one. I thank you for leaving me here.

In memory of Bill Driver, Natalie Lunn, and Hubie aka: Pahu Kier Van Riel



Who took the old days who took the parties, who took the college hangover
Who took the headache who took that mistake, the one I made over and over?

I thank you for leaving me here
I thank you for leaving me here

Who took the heartbreak who took the earthquake, who took the constant reminders
Who took the drama the sad cyclorama, who took off all of my blinders?

I thank you for leaving me here
I thank you for leaving me here

Who took the freakout who took the self doubt, who took the nights full of longing
Who took the worst times who took the first times, all those attempts at belonging

I thank you for leaving me here (I thank you, thank you)
I thank you for leaving me here (I thank you, I thank you)

I got my family got my guitar, I’ve got sunshine and laughter
Got the best damn band in this ol land and we live to raise the rafters
This train’s so steady I will be ready, I wonder if the next town will
Up on the hilltop I see the next stop, but who knows what’s on the downhill

I thank you for leaving me here (I thank you, thank you)
I thank you for leaving me here (I thank you, I thank you)
I thank you for leaving me here (Aaaaahhhhh)
I thank you for leaving me here


released December 15, 2018
Ruth Ungar Merenda: vocal, guitar
Mike Merenda: guitar, harmony vocal, tambourine
Konrad Meissner: drums
Jacob Silver: bass
Ken Maiuri: keys
Aoife O'Donovan: harmony vocal

Recorded by Adam Armstrong at Humble Abode Music, West Hurley, NY. Additional tracking by Robin MacMillan at Faraway Sound, Brooklyn, NY. Mixed by Adam Armstrong at Humble Abode Music.


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The Mammals Woodstock, New York

"Some of the best folk-rock music you will ever hear.” - TapeOp

“The Mammals tell stories that are at once topical and timeless, bearing a message of hope and empowerment with a modern string-band sound.” - FreshGrass Festival ... more


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