Three Beautiful Ponytails

by Theory Expats

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Theory Expats is a collaboration between Sadie Gustafson-Zook, Andrew Pauls, and Ethan Setiawan. Three Beautiful Ponytails is their second album.

This is their second comeback from saying they weren't going to play together any more. They like to compare ourselves to that old movie that now you kinda hate, but thought was really great way back when. And now when you see it, it evokes this kind of pleasant nostalgia. Hope you enjoy!


released January 6, 2017

Sadie Gustafson-Zook: banjo, violin, vocals
Andrew Pauls: banjo, guitar, vocals
Ethan Setiawan: mandolin, guitar, vocals

Recorded by Les Gustafson-Zook
Mixed and mastered by Ethan Setiawan
Produced by Theory Expats
Design by Sadie Gustafson-Zook
Photography by Gwen Gustafson-Zook, Susan Miller Setiawan, and Laura Thomas

Kansas City written by Andrew Pauls and Ethan Setiawan
Australia written by Andrew Pauls
Wayfaring Strangers and By The Waters traditional



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Theory Expats Goshen, Indiana

Theory Expats are a folksy swingin' band based in Goshen, Indiana featuring Andrew Pauls, Ethan Setiawan, and Sadie Gustafson-Zook. They draw their backgrounds in folk, bluegrass, jazz, swing, rock and pop into a rich musical vision with acoustic instruments, thick harmonies and technical chops. After taking music theory together and playing sporadically, they formed a band in August 2014. ... more

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Track Name: Australia
Verse 1:
Woke up with a headache at half past ten
Oh no, what can I do? You know I can’t be late for work again
Can’t find my left shoe, and none of my socks are clean
I’m out of coffee, I can’t function if I don’t have my caffeine
As I was driving steam was rising from the hood of my car
And then I hear about a storm while I am tuned to NPR
Lightning and thunder, oh I wonder, if I’ll get to work
And if I don’t, oh I know my boss is gonna go berserk

Been one of those days that makes you cry
Hide under your covers, you’re asking, “why?”
Wanna move away, far away

Verse 2:
I got to work and then I realized it was Saturday
Forgot to put coins in the meter and my car got towed away
I started walking home and then I got sprayed by a skunk
What did I ever do to him, that furry, stripy little punk
I lost my keys and on my knees I cried when I got home
Oh God, what have I done? Am I some kind of modern day Job?
I spilled tea on my laptop when I wrote this song
I should have stayed in bed today, the world is out to do me wrong.

Things are funny when they happen to someone else.
But just keep in mind, it could always be worse.
And if it’s the worse that it ever could be, then you know you should probably
Move away, far away,
Track Name: Wayfaring Stranger
Only going, only going, only going, only going home
Only going, only going, only going, only going home

Verse 1:
I am a poor wayfaring stranger
Wandering through this world of woe
And there’s no sickness toil or danger
In that bright land to which I go

I’m going there to see my mother
I’m going there no more to roam
I’m only going over Jordan
I’m only going over home

Verse 2:
I know dark clouds will gather ‘ore me
I know my way is rough and steep
But beauteous fields lie just before me
Where God’s redeemed their vigils keep

Verse 3:
My earthly body will soon expire
And lay me down in the old church yard
But I’ll be filled with earthly fire
And I’ll go singing, singing home to God
Track Name: By The Waters
By the waters of Babylon
We sat down and wept, and wept, for thee Zion
We remember we remember we remember thee, Zion

The days are dark and it feels like it’s getting colder
The dirt is piling up so high sometimes I can’t brush it off my shoulder.
Days are warmer for some, the levels keep on rising
And the devastating impacts on the poor and the week are somewhat surprising.
Like a white man’s burden, yeah, tryin’ to command the marginalized.
Forget the others except when it’s stylish do a fly by.
We blame systems, government apartheid they’re our alibi, but maybe this time we should look inside realize that it’s just you and I

In a world where women are expected to be smitten when treated like a kitten, when a girl who was raped can’t escape the fate, ‘cause the big boys vote that orthodoxy trumps her humanity when those who live differently, love differently, look differently are projected as the enemy, something’s gotta give, but they’ve taken enough already- so we weep