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Life's a Ball album cover by Mara Levi, 2002

Mara began building a rock and roll career at the ripe old age of 19 with indie-rock band, Kid Sampson. Mara studied music composition at Amherst College as Kid Sampson began to take off. After a short tour of duty in New York City, Kid Sampson took a break, and Mara began performing solo. The result is this album, Mara's first as a solo musician, full of songs written for the band, but never recorded with them. Kid Sampson guitarist, Jeremy Sosenko, makes several guest appearances on this album, as do Mara's sister and several amazing musical friends. 



Produced by Mara Levi, Jeremy Sosenko, and

Mark Alan Miller
Drums and Percussion: Justin Tomsovic
Backing Vocals: Emily Greene, Dina Levi, Jeremy Sosenko, Eric Feder, Mario Rojas, James Orsher,

Micaela Mendlow, Gwyneth Connell
Guitar tracking and Mandolin for

Better Days: Michael Daves

Electric Guitars: Jeremy Sosenko, Dina Levi, James Orsher

All other instruments: Mara Levi 

Mixed by Mark Alan Miller

Slaughterhouse Recording Studio
Mastered by Jeff Lipton, Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA
© 2003, Mara Levi


1. In My Head 

Safe was my mistake
but it took so long to make my mind, to break my mind away
now a fearless stand has washed away my hand
so I can't see, no I can't see, oh

And the rest is locked away
in a dusty room they lost the key to many years ago
so if I stand a bit prouder or I walk a bit longer
til I can take a break and relax and know it's not - it's not make believe

What about me, did I leave too soon
Hey, well these things they worked out better in my head
and here we go, here we go again
it seems like all the good stuff's already been said

Well the sadness stays contained
but it showed up so conveniently that night at your suggestion
from your prying eyes, now I am finally free
yeah, I don't need your therapy, oh

And thirty years from now,
these lessons we'll have learned and all these tears will have washed away
But now we're in the thick, and we forgot the trick
and now we're running home to change for company, oh


And we can go, we can go
well these things they worked out better baby
And we can go, we can go
with a clever little tune stuck inside our heads

Chorus (2x)

2. Take the Blame 

I know I mislead you and I was wrong and I 
could tell you felt a tinge of indecision in my arms
I was only selfishly betraying all the reckless deeds that sent a burst of life into my heart
I had the best intentions but, a fool, forgot to mention 
some details about convention and I sent you on your way
Now I'm forced to let you burn your bridge and then forget me and go elsewhere for the fullness I'd have given you for free

I will take the blame and I will let you have your way
But it should still suffice to say
that it was yours as much as mine, and in the end, it's not a sign
it's just a light along the way

I will let the days meander, still collecting grains of sand to weigh me down and make me stand alone
I have seen the world at sunset and I can make it look like fun yet all the stars are out before the kids get to the game
So I fly and bend beneath the pressure but to let it be would set me up for far more empty daydreams than before
Silent prayer was getting nowhere, other girls can pull of mohair and quick to wish the world were so fair I began to sing


Well in the light you hold you're anyone, you're everyone, your everything you need, oh it's here,
oh it's here

Like you always said, it's for the best and things are better when you don't know what you're missing and you safely walk away
This is not the end so take your time and be a friend and take your distance and pretend you knew a way to look ahead

'Cause I could be forever by your side, but you're too clever and I lied to let you get your chance to slip away
Well I am still a fighter so you take your broken light and whisper secret and delight underneath someone else's door
'Cause I am on your side, you can run and you can hide,
or you can let your tears run dry when you come along with me

We can seize our fate or lie in wait, or take that bait and go our separate ways


3. Hey Mister

Oh and all your dreams, love, my love I'm here

Hey Mister, been a while, we miss you on the TV when it's gray
Mister, been a while, you saved yourself for such a sunny day
Mister we've been waiting patiently for warmer sunny scenes,

Mister, get the picture, no more reruns on our TV screens<br>

We've been waiting for you, paying for your stupid facial creams
What's the deal, when's it time for the season to begin
Mister get the picture please

Hey Mister, what's the deal, we've taken all the time we dare allow
Mister, please appear, we're only working 8-4 and now
We've got so much catching up and raking in to disavow
Mister, please believe us, no one's going to keep us from you now


When the lines are so long, times are tougher every day, but still
you're the cream of the crop, and when you finally show well, oh,
what a moment it will be

Tired of all, I'm tired of all your lame, excuse me am I stepping on you?
Life's a Ball, life's a lonely story, save for glory in the spotlight

Hey Mister, don't deny, you call us and you hang up when we're home
While you sit and whisper, laughing at the time we spend alone
Mister, we've been waiting long enough to recognize a lie
and now we're storming to your door and we are hurt enough to cry

Oh the years they go by, dearly they fly, still there's time to buy
Where's the deal, there's still time
Before the season hits its peak, Mister there's still time to show

Oh and all your dreams, love, my love I'm here

Chorus plus:
Wait a while for a car door or a phone call from your other life, your other life<br>
Wear a smile, wear a cardigan and close it if it's cold outside this time 

4. So Sorry 

I sent my love to hell to hover endlessly in sight just thirty feet above
It's me she sees, I'm on my knees, I beg her to return with vague, half-hearted pleas
My chances blown, I rest - alone - well if angels can forgive, then angels deserve homes
My answers, lies, the truth I hide, well it's buried somewhere safe and it's buried me alive

Well these secrets I've held to myself, to my soul
so that when I'm with you, I'm alone
hey I'm certain they're darker than anyone ever will know

And I'm so sorry, and I'm so sad
And now it's over, and we've been had
Well it's the end, it's the end of a long, long day
and now all we ever do is say goodnight.

Good night, my dear, I've known for years - it's only in our dreams, it's never in our ears
So spend your sighs on worthy eyes, let sympathetic hours bring sympathetic cries
oh good night, oh good night, well it's terribly old, this fight
Hold on with all of your might, oh goodnight, oh good night

Those words, so sharp, are full of holes, they just express my fear, and leave you in the dark
But words, just words, are seldom heard.  I'm sorry I'm so far, and I'm sorry if I hurt you

Chorus (2x)



5. I'm Nothing 

Heaven sent, and heaven bent
Heaven knows you're on my mind
All is fair, and we don't care
and we say everything is fine

All we've seen is everything, and that's been hard to find

Silhouettes, and empty threats
Daylight darkens the sublime
Promised fates and uphill skates, and we know
We'll be there in time

All we've seen is everything, and that's been hard to find

I, I, I love you and 
I, I, I need you and
I, I, I'm nothing without you, without you

Hey, I can't clear my mind, these obsessions leave me so unkind
now I'm free and easy, with the breeze I'm rolling on, or falling in
And love, we can reminisce, we can disavow that forgotten kiss and
Sing ourselves to kingdom come
where all we've seen is everything, and that's been so hard to find


And I'll know as I go
I have seen you struggle, I have seen you win
And I will be sad and free,
It's a long companion that I leave behind
And oh my love, all your days
If I still remember, am I still that crazy, oh well

Chorus (2x)

6. Without Alarm 

Well I was perfect in my own way,
You couldn't hear but I was there
And my perfection looked at me to say,
nevermind the why and where

For all I gave I got a cigarette
A fleeting, formless cloud of air
And if I hid behind uneasiness
Well, it was yours that put me there

And so I took you to a movie show
To try to demonstrate my plan
You said you'd been there many years ago
And you lost interest in my hand

For all I saw, I got a photograph
A flattened keepsake drawn in sand
It's not your fault you walked right over me
I should have learned to take a stand

And yeah, I've taken it to heart and I've evolved 
to be a terror on the streets 'cause I've got no one left to beat

And I am power, I am pretense
I am confidence and defense
I am obstinance and eden and I'm passing you by
I am soft for all my armor, I am cold but I'm a charmer
I am rage without alarm and I will look right through your eyes

It seems that you've begun to wear me down
It's time I learned to face my fear
And in the end you'll say you stood your ground
Well that's not a  compromise, my dear

For all I care you could be anyone
These shadows tend to disappear
And if the world just isn't smart enough
Well, I've got a song for you to hear

Chorus (closing my eyes; settling the sky)

Pipe your dreams and learn to swim,
Open up and let me in
I'm not engaged, I'm on my guard, and
Fancy dreams are not that hard

Chorus (focused on the prize; look right through your eyes,
taken to those lies; not afraid to die)

7. No Difference 

What you remember of me you may not see
I changed the blinds to match my room
It makes no difference, it makes no difference
You will recall all that you want to hear

I know the poets only scoff at me
I know I shouldn't want their praise
It makes no difference, it makes no difference
Cause once it's asked of them they cannot give

And I will write a thousand songs for
And I will never ask the same
You take the credit and I will take the blame
It makes no difference to me

And someday soon I know the mirror will say
I am the fairest once again
It makes no difference, it makes no difference
If you weren't there to say that from the start

And movies teach us dreams we dare not see
Give us perspective on our own
It makes no difference, it makes no difference
Do you believe that it's a fantasy


And when you add it to my loathsome load
You steal my flame and burn my time
It makes no difference, it makes no difference
But this old sacrifice is moving on
Moving on

8. Better Days

Oh you're only on my mind
And you're only in my dreams
it seems

Well, it seems that the answer is the only thing we know
And we know that the dreamer is the only thing we own

I've been waiting for so long
Maybe waiting I'm alone

Well, alone, isolationism answers with resolve
and resolved, all the dreamers will be dancing on our own
our own and we know

that all we are is our own
And all we're armed with are superhuman chain-link fences
and all we are is alone
All we can do is just hold on for a while
We can hold each other's hands as we flash convincing smiles and we
hold on for better days ahead

I remain what I've become
And I remain when I'm undone,

Yeah, we are what the papers say, but the papers they don't know
they don't know what we're hiding,
what we're keeping for our own, our own

Chorus (undernourished expectations)

Oh there are better days ahead
That's what my sweet Aunt Betsy said
You hold your breath for me and I will play you revelle, oh
There are better days ahead

Yeah there are better days ahead
That's what my little sister said
You put your hand in mine and I will find you in my time
There are better days ahead

Oh, better days
There are better days ahead, yeah
You own your dreams, and your hat has run away with your head.

9. B-flat Ditty

Oh the answer's waiting here tonight
Oh the answer's only green and bright
And you know, these things will be all right
So hold your breath and smile until you're fine.

10. La Di Dee Da 


Oh, La di dee da di dee dum,
La di dee da di dee daaa dum
Oh, La di dee da di dee dum,
La di dee da di dee daaa dum

Well hello, they say, with a smile and a wave to the press box
Overexposure was never a crime
Endless and obvious, they'll do the job for us all
Ooooh, ooooh

Tread a new path and encur all the wrath of the masses
Songs about sadness just make me feel sad
No one likes tears, we've been crying for years in the hall
Ooooh, ooooh

Oh, La di dee da di dee dum,
La di dee da di dee daaa dum
Oh, La di dee da di dee dum,
La di dee da di dee daaa dum

Our fearless leaders say they'll not concede their position
Capital progress is making its mark
Still when they're shaken, we'll keep them from taking the fall
ooooh, ooooh

We'll have a ball, we'll write songs as they call for our censure
President Bush says he cares about me
Still we'll have fun as we're coming undone on the Mall
Ooooh, ooooh

We're still the heart of it all
Safer and stronger and braver
and La di dee da di dee dum
la di dee da di dee da dum

Oh, and we will always be
On our game, just in case you want to play
Like the old days

It's a new song today riding its way up the pop charts
Simon and Garfunkel, they had their day
Now we like icons who spit as they shine on the wall
Ooooh, ooooh

Everyone knows you can learn as you go in the Real World
Pedro and Puck changed us all top to toe
Still we contend we'll Survive til the end of it all
Ooooh, ooooh

We will always be
On our own with a store of supplies for ourselves
and our old friends

La di dee da di dee da di dee da di dee
La di dee da di dee la da dee da da di dee dum

11. Kids In the Cosmos
Too fit for this world and the rulers who ran it, our young heroes chose to depart
For the wide open arms of a far away planet whose cold winds could warm any heart
Their treacherous journey from here out to there would challenge their every conviction
Then they'd come to their home in the clear purple air and find 
truth so much stronger than fiction

The planet was covered in waters of green but for islands of soft summer sand
And racing the sunshine was chasing a dream - what a dream to be hand in hand
They'd open the doors to the pale, hardwood floors, their windows to moon upon moon
Then they'd sing to each other of long distant shores, and they'd
read to each other til noon

Singing, we might have gone long ago
But we stayed where we wanted to be
And you're only as brave as the tears in your eyes
And you'll always be longing for me

Now planets with waters of purple and green, they have monsters and wars of their own
And dreamers whose glory has never been seen sometimes take on
those battles alone
They face all their demons, their wills never bend, their armor the tears of the lonely
And then in the end it's the smile of a friend that says
"I knew you'd get here your own way"
Chorus (2x)

12. Sweet Misery

Oh my sweet misery won't you comfort me again
And take all my life from me, you are my only friend
You are my only friend

Hey well maybe when I'm famous you will see me on TV
Could that provoke your call
Cause I'll never get to tell you how you changed my life
You made a mess of it all
And I wonder what's become of you, how you look now that you're grown
If they let you get that far
And I have so many questions, but you left before I knew them
Now who knows where you are


It's an action figure keepsake that helps me recall
The games that we would play
And your tears would fall so silently, you would never share your pain
You hid it all away

And the lump in my throat is a constant reminder of your
Quiet perfection, of our effortless connection
What's been missing since you left me is our
Innocent laughter, what comes after?  All I know

Chorus (3x)  



13. I've Arrived

It's just an ordinary day
I've gone too far and I'm in trouble with the law again and
You tell me I have got a lot to learn, oh

It's just another screaming night
We've hit the wall all though we mean it for each other oh and
You tell me we've already hit the end, oh yeah, oh yeah

I thought a thousand things before I said a word
But only one or two got through
I know it's hard sometimes to live inside your head,
But I'm stuck inside of mine

If I'm late this time, I've arrived, I've arrived, I have arrived.
If I'm late this time, I've arrived, I've arrived, I have arrived.

It's just another dreary day
We're balled up tight and close, and frightened of the outside world and
You say it's me that's keeping you inside, oh

It's just that I've got more to lose
I'm hanging on and it's my life there in the balance oh and
You back away and let your kindness through, oh yeah
You do


And it's a free fall, yeah
It's a wonder we don't let each other go, 

I know I'll make it on my own
I've got this itch and I should be proud to let it stretch before me,
You've given me the strength to get this far, oh yeah
Thank You

Chorus (2x)

Hey Mr
10 La Di
Sweet M
I'm Nothng
I've Arrived
Without Alarm
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