Necessary Angels

Released January 1, 1994 | Discovery

The album that changed everything! To produce Necessary Angels, Sara had to buy back the rights to her own music and become a truly independent artist — with the help of the necessary angels, her fans! (Thanks, everyone!)

“Shadowboxing” is Sara’s second-favorite song ever. “The Best of Times” is glorious, as is “Tiger in A Teacup Town”; “The Place Where the Garage Used to Stand” is fun and fast-paced.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS by Sara Hickman (Le Petit Bonheur/BMI)

SHADOWBOXING by Sara Hickman (Le Petit Bonheur/BMI)

THE BEST OF TIMES by Sara Hickman (Le Petit Bonheur/BMI)

SISTER AND SAM by Sara Hickman (Le Petit Bonheur/BMI)

TIME WILL TELL by Sara Hickman (Le Petit Bonheur/BMI)

EYE OF THE STORM by Sara Hickman (Le Petit Bonheur/BMI)

OH, DADDY by Sara Hickman (Le Petit Bonheur/BMI) and David Batteau (Stamp Incorporated)

ROOM OF ONE’S OWN by Sara Hickman (Esta Chica Music/BMI/Music Corporation of America/ASCAP), Music by Sara Hickman and Gerald O’Brien

TIGER IN A TEACUP TOWN by Sara Hickman (Le Petit Bonheur/BMI)

SLIPPERY by Sara Hickman (Le Petit Bonheur/BMI)

JOY by Sara Hickman (Le Petit Bonheur/BMI)

THE PLACE WHERE THE GARAGE USED TO STAND by Sara Hickman (Le Petit Bonheur/BMI)

  • Sara Hickman – Guitar (Acoustic), Flute, Guitar, Percussion, Arranger, Guitar (Electric), Vocals, Vocals (bckgr), Choir, Chorus, Producer, Harmony Vocals, String Arrangements, Remixing, Art Direction, Mixing, Illustrations
    Adrian Belew – Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Mandolin, Calliope, Guitar (Electric), Vocals (bckgr)
    David Batteau – Guitar, Vocals (bckgr)
    Jim Cocke – Organ, Keyboards
    Mike Daane – Bass
    Carl Finch – Accordion
    Glenn Fukinaga – Bass
    Ethridge Hill – Trumpet
    Bradley Kopp – Guitar (Electric)
    Danny Levin – Cello, String Arrangements
    Tony Levin – Bass
    Mitch Marine – Drums
    Jerry Marotta – Percussion, Drums
    Darcy Matthews – Vocals (bckgr), Choir, Chorus
    Brad McLemore – Guitar (Electric)
    Paul Pearcy – Percussion, Drums, Hose whirled about head
    Pierce Pettis – Guitar (Acoustic)
    Mark Rubin – Bass (Upright), Bass (Upright)
    David Sancious – Piano, Keyboards
    Chris Searles – Percussion, Sound Effects, Tambourine
    Tommy Taylor – Drums
    Brad Young – Vocals (bckgr)
    Mark Hallman – Percussion, Vocals (bckgr)
    Rafael Gayol – Drums

    Amy Atchley – Choir, Chorus
    Richard Weiss – Choir, Chorus
    Johnny Gordie – Chorus
    Mark Hallman – Choir, Chorus
    Dominic Matthews – Choir, Chorus
    Genevieve Matthews – Choir, Chorus
    Ian Matthews – Choir, Chorus
    Kris Mckay – Choir, Chorus
    Pamela Miller – Choir, Chorus
    Morgan Wommack – Choir, Chorus

    Paul Fox – Arranger, Producer
    Joe Gastwirt – Mastering
    Tony Fielding – Make-up, Hair Stylist
    Cyndy Goodman – Clothing/Wardrobe
    Mark Hallman – Producer, Engineer, Shaker, Remixing, Mixing
    Marty Lester – Engineer, Remixing, Assistant Engineer, Mixing
    Allan Queen – Assistant Engineer
    Mike Reiter – Assistant Engineer
    Kevin Smith – Engineer, Mixing
    Lynn Sugarman – Photography
    Ed Thacker – Engineer, Mixing

  • Pursuit of Happiness
    Hiding and seeking
    Thinking and Speaking
    Wanting and needing
    And loving and leaving

    In your pursuit of happiness
    I see you running yourself to death
    In your pursuit of happiness
    Dont forget to count your blessings

    Hiding and seeking
    Thinking and Speaking
    Wanting and needing
    And loving and leaving
    Hiding and seeking
    Thinking and Speaking
    Wanting and needing
    And loving and leaving

    Go for the gold
    Straight for the glittering gold
    Forego the silver, forget the bronze
    Stick to your guns, look to the skies
    Break a sweat, better yet
    Break your back
    ‘Til your dream’s realized

    In your pursuit of happiness
    I see you running yourself to death
    In your pursuit of happiness
    Dont forget to count your blessings

    Hiding and seeking
    Thinking and Speaking
    Wanting and needing
    and loving and leaving
    Hiding and seeking
    Thinking and Speaking
    Wanting and needing
    and loving and leaving

    Work your way to the top of the heap
    You’re living a dream and there’s no time to sleep
    Invest what’s left of yourself
    Do it alone without anyone’s help
    If at first you don’t succeed
    Practice makes perfect
    Ambition builds greed
    You’re addicted, indeed
    Burn, baby, burn, feel the burn
    You’ve been so eager to climb
    The ladder
    You’ve bought into those loving lies
    Life has been passing before your eyes

    In your pursuit of happiness
    I see you running yourself to death
    In your pursuit of happiness
    Dont forget to count your blessings

    Hiding and seeking
    Thinking and Speaking
    Wanting and needing
    and loving and leaving
    Hiding and seeking
    Thinking and Speaking
    Wanting and needing
    and loving and leaving


    Shadowboxing
    Shadowboxing with the moon
    It’s a tiny pearl in God’s eye
    Every step I take
    Every swing I make
    Brings me closer than I was before

    Shadowboxing with the moon
    The night’s silver cup pouring down on me
    The ebb and tide
    Of day and night
    Keeps me wanting
    so much more
    Keeps me wanting…
    Ooooh oh

    Shadowboxing the night sky
    Do you remember moon, it used to be just you and I?
    Then Desire stepped in the ring
    She made you seem less challenging
    But, that was all
    a lie
    Please save me from the sky!

    Take time to step back and reflect
    I’m doing the best I can do
    And when we’ve outgrown these gloves
    We’ll be ready for dancing shoes

    Shadowboxing by myself
    For tonight the moon is just a sliver of herself
    Last week I won the round
    The sky he saw me take her down
    But she’ll be back to box… some more
    I’ve seen that grin before


    Best of Times
    This the best of times
    Some say the worst of times
    I guess it all just depends
    Which glass you’re drinking from
    This is our only chance
    To reverse a dance
    That was started so long ago

    This is the best of times
    Look beyond the signs
    Don’t let yourself be scared
    Don’t let them make you numb
    This is the final day
    Each and every day
    We can return to the love
    That we keep running from

    I see only beautiful faces
    Hands eager to hold

    So when I see you down
    I want to pick you up
    I want to make you laugh
    And remind you of the best of times
    Living right before your eyes
    So, when I see you down
    I want to pick you up
    I want give you hope
    And remind you of the best of times
    Oh, we’re living in the best of times

    These are the best of times
    Yours and mine
    We can never forget
    How blessed we are
    And though the sun may set
    When we least expect it to
    Remember all the times
    Life was so sweet with you
    And in the end it will seem
    Life rolled by like a dream

    So when I see you down
    I want to pick you up
    I want to make you laugh
    And remind you of the best of times
    Living right before your eyes
    So, when I see you down
    I want to pick you up
    I want give you hope
    And remind you of the best of times
    Oh, we’re living in the best of times

    These are the daily trials
    Yet every once in a while
    Clouds all disappear
    Making everything else clear
    When our emotions grow cold
    Tide of winter takes hold
    Don’t give in to sorrow so soon
    When the spring could arrive by this afternoon!

    So when I see you down
    I want to pick you up
    I want to make you laugh
    And remind you of the best of times
    Living right before your eyes
    So, when I see you down
    I want to pick you up
    I want give you hope
    And remind you of the best of times
    Oh, we’re living in the best of times


    Sister and Sam
    1967
    Sam is sixty-one
    Sister’s in the kitchen
    Making dinner for everyone

    White frame house in Heflin
    On a tree lined street
    The buzz of gossip fills the air
    As the neighbors line up in the summer heat

    Sister’s skinny and she’s lost her hearing
    Sam is short and so’s her sight
    She wears the bottoms of bottles for glasses
    And her voice is like dynamite

    So, I try hard to remember
    What we grow up to forget
    And I have grown to love these women
    And my summers near Birmingham

    Pickin’ snap beans out in the garden
    Bead of sweat droppin’ down your neck
    There’s fried chicken and potatoes
    Hot rolls and ripe tomatoes
    Outside I hear those chickens peck

    Evening’s calling for a country walk
    Cicadas hummin’ the trees to sleep
    Hand in hand my aunts and I are counting the stars
    Reflecting off of our bare feet

    So, I try hard to remember
    What we grow up to forget
    And I have grown to love these women
    And my summers near Birmingham

    And I used to think:
    Did either kiss in the moonlight?
    Or feel the hot flame of a hand on her breast?
    Oh, maybe someday a child will wonder over me, too
    As I am laid to rest

    I open rusty trunks to find
    Letters, and dolls, and photo frames
    Yellowed faces but no names
    It hurts to think this is my past
    Lying here, scattered in my lap
    And no memories can come to mind
    When you’re sitting where the past has been left behind

    So I try hard to remember
    What we grow up to forget
    And I have grown to love these memories
    And my summers near Birmingham


    Time Will Tell
    Clocks keep ticking in this town
    You walk towards the bell
    Too much heartache fills your heart
    And your soul, as well
    Dancing with the devil’s voice
    You race for relief
    Somehow, somewhere
    You made this choice
    And only time will tell

    Waltzing up to past mistakes
    Pour yourself some juice
    Too much thinking going on
    Shake these voices loose
    All your anger
    All your fear
    All your laughter and bitter tears
    Too much wanting
    Hidden here
    And answers never seem quite clear…
    But only time will tell
    Only time will tell


    Eye of the Storm
    Tonight I read the questions
    The tears on your face
    You wonder how long I will love you
    If your heart is safe

    Well I don’t remember
    What I should say
    ‘Cus it’s been too long
    Since I felt this way

    Someone broke the locket
    By forcing the key
    Someone said they were a poet
    With no words to say

    And I don’t remember
    What you should say
    ‘Cus it’s been too long
    Since you felt this way

    And all I remember
    Is the eye of the storm
    You got caught up in the hurricane
    Oh, and I stayed safe and warm

    You should separate
    The rose from the thorn
    I’ve learned to watch for the wolves
    Dressed in sheep’s clothes
    We’re in for nasty weather
    You’re not reading the signs
    I see lightning and thunder
    I hope you’ll protect yourself this time

    And I don’t remember
    What I should say
    ‘Cus it’s been too long
    Since you felt this way

    And all I remember
    Is the eye of the storm
    You got caught up in a hurricane
    Oh, and I stayed safe and
    All I remember
    Is the eye of the storm
    Losing yourself to the wind and rain
    While I stayed safe from harm
    And all I remember
    Is the eye of the storm
    You got caught up in a hurricane
    Oh, and I stayed safe from harm


    Oh, Daddy
    Drove her home to the south side
    He lived on the west side
    He explained the best that he could
    “Oh, your momma and your daddy
    Were drawn to a flame
    But, we burned up like so much dead wood.”

    Oh, daddy
    Oh, daddy
    Where did we go wrong?
    Let’s throw out these ashes
    We’ve carried so long
    Oh, daddy
    Oh, daddy
    Let’s settle the score
    It don’t make a difference
    What happened before

    Now Lila’s memories of daddy
    Were pictures so fractured
    Slides of an incomplete tour
    Oh, the heart of a daughter
    Aching with anguish
    Is a heart that can never be cured

    These old accusations
    These questions that burn
    About past relations
    She never will learn
    Memories so painful
    Like sticks or like stones
    Shattering the remnants
    Of your heart and bones

    Oh, daddy
    Oh, daddy
    Where did we go wrong?
    Let’s throw out these ashes
    We’ve carried so long
    Oh, daddy
    Oh, daddy
    Let’s settle the score
    It don’t make a difference
    What happened before

    Now Society whispered
    Cruel thoughts in her head
    Claiming daddy did something
    Untrue
    And those stories stained hard
    And hardened her heart
    Lila began to believe in them, too

    Daddy’s shoulders were shaking
    He cried tears of thunder
    At the questions she threw in his face
    A good father he’d been
    All those long loving years
    He listened as they were erased

    These bold accusations
    These questions that burn
    About past relations
    That never occurred
    Memories so painful
    Like sticks or like stones
    Shattering the remnants
    Of your heart and bones

    Oh, daughter
    Oh, daughter
    Where did I go wrong?
    Let’s throw out the ashes
    You’ve carried so long
    Oh, daughter
    Oh, daughter
    Let’s settle the score
    It don’t make a difference
    What they said before


    Room of One’s Own
    Shaking her drunken head
    Full of pearls
    Eyes tired from fighting an unseeing world
    She took the book
    From the shelf
    And handed it down smiling to herself
    A sharing of secrets

    She told me to read
    This vernacular seed
    Days passed between us like so many
    Fallen leaves
    Something inside
    Could not be denied
    I heard her voice
    True and tried
    Wanting to warn me not to forget

    And all that she wanted
    Was a room of her own
    A place to create her heart’s
    Burning song
    All that she wanted was a chance to leave
    More than her name in stone
    More than her name in stone

    A dream is a gift
    Hard work and love
    She said,
    “If you get stuck ask for help from above.”
    She warned me that life
    Would give me a try
    It held no remorse in passing me by
    If I ignored the call

    Her fingers stiff at the piano
    Recalling melodies I did not know
    She took a bow to the applause in her mind
    An encore performance that madness designed
    I felt a tear fall, ooh
    I felt a tear fall from my eye

    And all that she wanted
    Was a room of her own
    A place to create her heart’s
    Burning song
    All that she wanted was a chance to leave
    More than her name in stone
    Oh, more than her name in stone

    The smell of death dated her breath
    Old-fashioned drinks laced with regret
    She’d courted fame but they’d never met

    I took a walk when I finished the book
    Feeling inspired
    She was weak when I saw her working in the yard
    I promised to follow the path she’d begun
    I promised to sing the songs she’d never sung
    And I smiled to myself as I told her

    All that I want is a room of my own
    A place to create my heart’s
    Burning song
    Oh, all that I want is this chance to leave
    More than my name in stone
    Oh, more than my name in stone


    Tiger in a Teacup Town
    Tigers usually live in a jungle
    And you did
    Until you moved into town last summer and
    Started asking questions
    Oh, life was just a pleasant game that we all played
    Until you tried to tell us we were living charades

    You weren’t afraid to speak your mind
    Or show your true colors
    And though they seemed like friends whenever you were around
    Behind your back they’d laugh and they’d call you a clown
    They were building you up just to tear you down

    Now you’re a tiger in a teacup town
    How does it feel, how does it feel?
    Now you’re a tiger in a teacup town
    Now now now now now

    When they started building the red cage on wheels
    I knew where you were headed
    I watched their eyes grow dark
    Whenever you passed by

    You’d say “good morning”
    And wag your tail
    To who’d ever notice
    I guess you didn’t mind
    Eating your lunch alone

    And as they sipped their tea
    Acting so politely
    You were living your life too far out on a limb
    They grew to hate your nature and your beautiful skin
    They were fragile with the fear
    ‘Cause you’re not like them

    Now you’re a tiger in a teacup town
    How does it feel, how does it feel?
    Oh, you’re a tiger in a teacup town
    You better watch where you sit down
    You’re a tiger in a teacup town
    They’re gonna lock you up and throw away the key

    But deep inside
    You’re gonna eat them alive
    With the strength of your own memory

    One morning I was called to have tea
    With the neighbors and friends
    I guess I started asking too many questions

    I guess it escaped me
    I guess I had closed my eyes
    But the look on their faces
    Started to fill me with fear

    They said that you’d left town
    And tried to console me
    And it was then I knew that you’d been taken for sure
    For underneath my feet was the feel of your fur
    And the room was spinning….
    Endlessly
    Then it hit me

    I’m a tiger in a teacup town
    How does it feel, how does it feel?
    Oh, I’m a tiger in a teacup town
    Now now now now now
    Oh, I’m a tiger in a teacup town
    I’m a tiger in a teacup town


    Slippery
    Closing
    My eyes
    Looking but not seeing
    Here in the darkest room
    I have ever been in
    Slippery things slip through my fingers
    Keeps me wondering

    I’m searching
    For something
    Gnawing at my soul
    Here in this bottomless pit
    My stomach is grumbling
    I sure hope that I don’t quit
    Before I find peace of mind

    Oh, I can believe in myself
    Like never before
    Oh, something within me
    Is leading me to
    An open door…

    Life just keeps getting faster
    But I refuse to speed up
    I won’t allow myself to be blown around town
    Like a broken down paper cup
    I’m gonna sit right down
    On solid ground
    And remember what sitting is for
    What’s the sitting for?
    What is sitting for?

    Opening
    My eyes
    Finding what I was searching for
    Here in the brightest room
    I have ever seen
    Oh, slippery things slip through the night
    Passing me by
    In the strangest dream
    La da da da di da da da da da da


    Joy
    A grocery cart for a car
    A broken curb for a pillow
    No house, no kids, no pets, no bills
    Just a husband with an angry scar

    Her face was kissed by the night
    And I’m a slice of the moon
    I gave her my toaster oven
    On a frozen afternoon

    Her mother named her “Joy”
    It was the last word from her lips
    How strange a woman with not much more than a name
    Can find such happiness

    Living on the streets she don’t mind
    Everyone she meets has no time
    To be kind

    I can search for days up and down
    So afraid she won’t come around
    And I find
    If I stop looking
    There is Joy to be found

    She would visit our dumpster
    Collecting empty bottles of beer
    I gave her an electric blanket
    On the hottest day of the year

    Joy can shop in the rain
    And she makes dinner in the snow
    Joy finds things in places
    I’m too scared to go

    Living on the streets she don’t mind
    Everyone she meets has no time
    To be kind
    I can search for days up and down
    So afraid she won’t come around
    And I find
    If I stop looking

    Nothing is hers, she says:
    “There is nothing we really own”
    And she ignores the fences
    Society’s sown

    Summer fell into fall
    And fall grew into spring
    There was never another word from Joy
    And I knew it could only mean

    Living on the streets she don’t mind
    Everyone she meets has no time
    To be kind
    I can search for days up and down
    So afraid she won’t come around
    And I find
    If I stop looking
    Oh, if I stop looking
    There is Joy to be found


    The Place Where the Garage Used to Stand
    I thought I’d grow up to build
    Underwater cities
    We thought you’d be a runway model
    ‘Cause your face was oh-so-pretty
    Girl Scouts, soccer, softball, boys
    Sneaking out you better not
    Make a noise
    Jane scraped your arms with her
    Red fingernails
    Frisbees flew like summer sails, and

    Here is the place
    Where we made our future plans
    In the days of my childhood
    Here is the place where
    The garage used to stand
    And it stood and it stood and it stood
    And it stood in my old neighborhood

    John killed a lime-green tree frog
    With a single blasted Black Cat
    First heard of some secret
    Family jewels as
    You kicked Tim for calling Barbara fat
    Summer dresses, swimsuits, shorts,
    Tried to gain access to all their forts
    One of the boys lit a loaded match
    The garage went down in seconds flat, and

    Here is the place
    Where we made our future plans
    In the days of my childhood
    Here is the place where
    The garage used to stand
    And it stood and it stood and it stood
    And it stood in my old neighborhood

    Mom is whistling,
    “Time to come in!”
    Summer’s fading
    School year begins
    “Eat your dinner. Did you wash your hands?”
    School is ending
    And it’s summer again
    Life was easy to…
    Life was easy to…
    Life was easy… to understand

    Here is the place
    Where we made our future plans
    In the days of my childhood
    Here is the place where
    The garage used to stand
    And it stood and it stood and it stood
    And it stood in my old neighborhood