Lyrics

Unseasonably Cool:

Chance to Explain

An answer to your question- “Too much of me…”

Or in retrospect, a suggestion- “Not enough of me…”

“Sometimes, you’re just modest enough to be vain.”

Thanks for assuming- I presume you’re right-

“Won’t you take my hand and walk me home tonight?”

Chance to explain myself-

Can’t seem to settle down-

Can’t seem to believe the myth that this is all there is to be found.

Chance to explain myself-

Can’t seem to find the ground-

Can’t seem to explain the sound of falling thunder all around…

Late Fight

A desperate late night phone call, a friend I thought I’d left behind

Tells me she’s been thinking about those wild and crazy times—

She doesn’t like the way we left things, but I tell her that I’m fine…

She’s quiet for a moment, but it seems to ease her mind—

I wonder if she knew it, as soon as I picked up the phone

By my late night desperation

I ain’t never comin’ home

No one mowed the yard the day we left it; no one came to check up on the mail

No one topped the gravel in the driveway up that spring

Or picked up that ol’ pear tree where it fell

No one cleaned the gutters out that summer, the rain got in and it buckled all the wood—

And no one saw the hole I punched right through the hallway door,

The night you said I wasn’t any good…

I remember the night I called you, how you sat there like a stone

I cried out in desperate anger:

I ain’t never comin’ home

Now I’m standin’ out here starin’ at a forest, right where the old homestead used to be—

And even the trees have faded to whole new range of colors—

Saffron, brown, bright red and tangerine

And my hair is gettin’ gray around the temples, and even I can feel the comin’ of the cold…

One more desperate late night phone call

This one to my momma—I gotta tell her—

I ain’t never comin’ home.

Train Song

In my clever imitation of a life of moderation, I never seem to get the accent right

For my sloppy misbehaviour, my smile is my saviour

It’s the way I’ve tricked and charmed my way through life

But that train just keeps rolling through the station

With no patience for me or my devil’s smile

It’s Unseasonably Cool out here this morning—

And I’ve sacrificed my comfort for my style

The train’s on time, I guess I’m the one who’s late— The lights are flashing, I’m standing at the gate

Outside the station, I guess I’ll have to wait—Or find another way to you… I missed the train again,

I’m feeling blue

Why should you always have to wait on me?

It’s not the life I want, It’s not the man I want to be-

When we’re side by side, it’s easy to keep up-

When I fall behind, my mind decides to try and trip me up-

The train’s on time, I guess I’m the one who’s late— The lights are flashing, I’m standing at the gate

Outside the station, I guess I’ll have to wait—Or find another way to you… I missed the train again,

I’m feeling blue

You know I really oughtta stop with all this self-recrimination-

I’m the only one to blame for being in my situation-

The train is only here because somebody laid a track

And once it’s rolling through it’s just too hard to roll it back-

Trains’ll just be trains, I guess I’ll be me too—At least until I find myself—

Another way to you…

The train’s on time, I guess I’m the one who’s late— The lights are flashing, I’m standing at the gate

Outside the station, I guess I’ll have to wait—Or find another way to you… I missed the train again,

I’m feeling blue

I missed the train again-I’m feeling blue

I missed the train again …

I’m missing you…

Me and Nicole

I was thinking about freedom yesterday—

and a travellin’ song I used to love to play

That said “freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose”

might’ve been a life I wanted once, but it’s not a life I’d choose—

What kind of fool would trade all his tomorrows, for one single yesterday?

If freedom means you’re only free from sorrow, it may cost nothin’ – but it’s still too much to pay.

I spent a year or two of my life, out there on that road—

I like to travel light, but even ‘light’ gets to be a heavy load.

I set my pack down in California, like all good travellers do—

it was somewhere near Salinas, I finally met you…

I met you in a restaurant in the Abigail hotel—

I had almost given up on love, but I figured what the hell;

I’ll have at least one more adventure before I pack it in—

Who knows when a chance like this might come along again?

We packed up ol’ Johnny Cash, and a little house on wheels—

Headed out from Oakland, ended up in Oxford Mills.

There was a girl before I met you, maybe two or three,

who could have been a song to sing like ‘Me and Bobbie McGee’

Love like that burns hot and fast, but it doesn’t last that long, I’d rather have a story than a  song…

Love like that burns hot and fast, but then the night gets cold…

I’d rather have a story… like me and my Nicole

What kind of fool would trade all his tomorrows, for one single yesterday?

If freedom means you’re only free from sorrow, it may cost nothin’ – but it’s still too much to pay.

God Particle

There’s a God Particle that describes who we are

There’s a millionaire tourist and he’s flying to Mars

There’s a habitable planet and it isn’t too far—

I guess we’ll be leaving here soon

There’s a nanotech solution to contain a plasma field

There’s new nuclear fuels with incredible yields

There’re asteroids to mine and moon water to steal—

I guess we’ll be leaving here soon

And when we finally burn all the oil

And there’s no life left in the soil

And the oceans are starting to boil,

Is that when we’ll finally leave?

On our rocketship to the stars…

When God gave us this rocketship earth

Did he know it was really a hearse?

When he installed the gears did he curse;

‘Cause he forgot… to include… reverse?

Flying through the cosmos at a million miles an hour,

There’s a billion particles in every petal of every flower

When the numbers get too big, they lose all their power

Beth’s song

There’s a girl I know that likes to sing along, sits at the front of every show-

When the guitars start their ringing-and everybody starts their singing-

She hears a harmony that no-one else can hear

She hears his voice, she hears his voice-

She hears his voice and she doesn’t feel alone

Sometimes in the evenings, there’s a place she goes downtown-

there’s laughter and the bands get up to play

There’s a memory of a song there and it lingers in the rafters-

if her eyes are closed, she can almost see his face

She hears his voice, she hears his voice-

She hears his voice and she doesn’t feel alone

There’s a guitar in the corner—It’s a bookmark in her pages

And the dust begins to settle on the strings—

One day she goes to move it, she picks it up and strums it—

And to her surprise, she begins to sing—

And she hears her voice (she hasn’t heard it in a long time)

She hears her voice (and it sounds like coming home)

She hears her voice (and the harmony that joins it)

She hears her voice, and she doesn’t feel alone

Don’t Burn Your Bible

Don’t burn your Bible; just to stay warm there’s more to survival than that—

You may need the heat, but you’ll need the book more, if you lose your place on the map—

Don’t build your bridges, just to cross streams, be sure that you’ve got somewhere to go—

It’s a hell of a time, if we enjoy the ride, but it still feels real nice to come home…

And when you fly away, don’t fly too far, that urge only lasts for a little while—

If you fly too far, there might come a day, where your whole life can turn on a smile—

And you oughtta smile, and you oughtta pray—and you best not let sweet moments slip away—

I guess that all I really need to say is “I love you”

And don’t put all your existential blues into one basket,

the only one that’s big enough to hold them is your casket—

We’ll all be there soon enough, there’s’ no call to make the ride more rough,

And if you ever need a thing from me, just ask it…

If you fall off the wagon that you hitched up to a star, remember you already learned to fly—

The ground is far below us, don’t look down, you’ll just get nervous-

spread your wings and look up at the sky…

And you oughtta smile, and you oughtta pray—and you best not let sweet moments slip away—

I guess that all I really need to say is “I love you”

Pretty Good Person

She got married young, but she got lucky

Managed to find herself a pretty good man

They met at the Training Union at the First Baptist Church in Bryan

He said, ‘I’m not perfect, but I’ll do the best I can’

She said ‘Together, we’ll make a pretty good person,

Together we could have a pretty good life

If you will promise to be a pretty good husband,

I will try to be a pretty good wife’

I asked your sisters for some stories to tell about you

They’ve been with you through all your triumphs and all your trials

A frog catching dog, a black birthday cake, and that sister kissing blunder—

The stories they remembered were the ones that made them smile.

Not to say it’s always been just easy, but you’ve figured out a  trick to make things last—

You try not to let the sun set on your anger, you fight fair and you don’t dredge up the past.

And together, you make a pretty good person,

You asked me to write this song and that’s a pretty good line.

If we’re all honest, we’ll admit, sometimes you pick at each other, just a little bit,

But we all know you’d rather smile and have a pretty good time…

There are some pictures on the hall wall in the stairwell

That tell the story of a life that’s been well lived;

You’ve each lost a brother, a father, and a mother—

But you’ve still got each other and all us kids.

And together, you make a pretty good person,

I look back, and I know what she said was true—

Because together she and he, made my brother, my sister and me

And we’re, none of us, perfect either, but we’re pretty good too.

Together you make a pretty good person,

And now 50 years have passed since you said ‘I do’

But you still get up to dance to that old Hank Williams song…

“Today I passed you on the street, and my heart fell at your feet,

I can’t help it if I’m still in love with you”

Sober

Here I come down again, I wonder what faces I’ll see?

Am I falling off of this wagon, or is the ground coming up to meet me?

When I look at my life through the glass of the bottle,

I don’t always like what I see—

There’s a lonely old road out there a’callin’ for travellers—

Sometimes it’s a’callin’ for me…

Sometimes I’m restless and sometimes I’m angry,

Sometimes, I just can’t let things be—

Sometimes when I’m drunk on my whisky and venom

Sometimes, I’m just ready to leave…

And sometimes I’m terrified; I don’t want to be alone.

I don’t want to wander down, some lonely old road

I just want to settle down; I don’t want to be alone—

I just want to stay home—But it sucks to be sober.

Two days to recover, for every one night of fun

With white wine to wash down the pain—

Sometimes it’s a good thing that I don’t own a gun—

Sometimes, I could go either way…

And it sucks to be sober, so I keep getting high

When I’m hungry or angry or bored

I can’t find a line for some man in the sky

But I can sure find my way through the floor

And sometimes I’m terrified; I don’t want to be alone.

I don’t want to wander down, some lonely old road

I just want to settle down; I don’t want to be alone—

I just want to stay home—But it sucks to be sober.

Peter Murphy

I tried to love you, like I was supposed to, but I didn’t have the heart-

Our expectations were too high, and I couldn’t play my part-

I should have told the truth about my restless nature, been honest from the start-

But I didn’t have the guts to fight you and it tore our lives apart-

Then I had a funny thought today, I hoped you met Peter Murphy

It’s what you said you wanted; I hope you met Peter Murphy…

There’s a child that I dream of that was born of our shared hearts

And his life was so amazing; I wish I could have played a part-

Forgiveness is a word that’s thrown around a lot these days

But it’s made of stronger stuff than just some other turn of phrase-

Then I had a funny thought today, I hoped you met Peter Murphy

It’s what you said you wanted; I hope you met Peter Murphy…

We were just young and foolish is what I tell myself these days-

And the fact is, we were young, but we were smarter than I say-

It’s been hard, but I’ve forgiven you, it’s not something

I was ever sure I’d say…

Then I had a funny thought today, I hoped you met Peter Murphy

It’s what you said you wanted; I hope you met Peter Murphy…

I hope you’re happy…

Driving Back

Driving back from your house, never thought I’d see the day-

Let you drag me down, push me away

Driving back from your house, never thought I’d be alone,

Never thought I’d have to learn, now I guess I know…

This used to be our house, our home

Now I’ve got no place left to go, but on, and on I must go…

But on, and on, I must go.

Used to be the one to lean on, now I guess I’m learning how

To stand on my own two, for who am I to lean on now?

Driving back from your house, I took a turn somewhere

Found another road, another way back home.

The only constant I have known is change,

Deny the comfort lie, embrace the strange

On, and on, I must go.

Bonfire:

Walking Sam

Walking Sam was an old black man

That used to wander through my neighborhood;

My daddy used to give him work,

A little money if he could.

My daddy was a good Christian man—

He didn’t do it ‘cuz he thought he should,

He didn’t want a chance to try to change the world,

Just a chance to do a little bit of good.

Walking Sam, do you need a hand?

Walking Sam…my daddy seemed to understand.

Mrs. Brooks, she was the secretary

At my daddy’s little office downtown,

Mrs. Brooks, she was an elderly lady,

And she didn’t have much family around.

My Mama cooked a big Sunday lunch,

We’d invite Mrs. Brooks around—

At Christmastime, she was a member of the family,

Her, and every other person in town, including:

Walking Sam, do you need a hand?

Walking Sam…my daddy seemed to understand.

Ruby Goins was my grandmother’s cook,

Turned out to be her best friend too—

When my grandmother passed, we kept an eye on her friend,

Now she’s a member of the family too.

You can say what you want about the people of the South,

We sure say what we think about you—

But we folks know it ain’t about what you say—

It’s about what you do (for your…)

Walking Sam, do you need a hand?

Walking Sam…my daddy seemed to understand.

Lone Star Beer

I don’t miss: hot days or rattlesnakes,

Guns or right wing Christian freaks,

My ex-girlfriends turning up,

No a.c. in my pickup truck,

And I do miss—Lone Star Beer…

I do miss: the spicy food—

But not the heartburn after,

I don’t miss the hangovers,

But I do miss the laughter,

And I do miss—Lone Star Beer…

I don’t miss the lonely years,

I don’t miss smokin’ cigarettes

Texas hold’em poker…

Losin’ bets,

But I do miss the music and I do miss my mom, and I do miss—Lone Star Beer…

I don’t miss George W.,

For that matter, George H. W.,

I don’t miss the fascists,

I just miss my friends—

And I miss the enchiladas all smothered in cheese,

But I don’t miss the getting no peace,

I miss the music and the friends that I made—

Almost as much as the chicken fried steak…

And I do miss—Lone Star Beer,

Yes, I do miss…

Fields Of Orange

I’ve waited my whole life just to love you

now I don’t even know your name

how can I be the man that I’m supposed to be, when I can’t even find the photo in the frame

of those fields of orange

of those fields of orange, where I ran to you

I’m feeling the sun beat down on my neck

and I’m remembering how to run

wondering if I can find my way back to where I was far away before this other life begun

on those fields of orange

on those fields of orange

and when I saw the hill approaching,

I told myself it was the end,

but when we reached the crest I saw the next hill coming and I knew that we were really starting over once again…

We’ve already made it through some valleys

And we’ll find our way through this one too,

I only hope that when we reach the bottom we will find another field of orange to run towards each other through

through these fields of orange

through these fields of orange where I run to you…

West Texas Man

It’s hard to be a good man in West Texas,

But I’m doing the best that I can—

Drink the beer, but not the bourbon,

Fight your fights, but don’t start ‘em,

Some wild nights might be OK,

But don’t drink in the day,

And remember to be ready to lend a hand

It’s hard to be a good man in West Texas

There’s a dry and fierce heat

That makes the cactus and mesquite

Grow up through the cracks in your soul

And you can’t stand on your feet, you swallow your defeat

And admit you’ve got a hard row to hoe…

She was always gonna be a big project,

But I loved her—and I thought, that I could…

Be the thing that she needed

But in the end, well I conceded,

She’s still out there somewhere, and I’m gone…

Oh, It’s hard to be a good man in West Texas

There’s a rattlesnake underneath every stone

There’s a bar there—and there’s oil,

But there ain’t too much for soil,

It’s sure hard to make anything grow…

Best Thing

I hear a harmony to every word you say,

I wanna write sweet songs about you every single day

Let me walk beside you, hold your hand but not to guide you

Whisper truth but not to teach you, just to reach you…

You are the best thing that ever happened to me

I wanna sing sweet songs about you, think that I can’t live without you,

Since you showed up in my life and said ‘I’m home’

Life I lead before you, I always knew that I’d adore you,

Now I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be alone

Another Way to Smile

Be careful of the characters you play;

They’ll follow you home, they’ll get in your way.

Be mindful of the company you keep;

The one you let go, may trouble your sleep.

Don’t build your house upon a shifting sand,

The rain will come—it will not stand.

And no matter how long we chase the sun—

The rain will come, all around—

And we’re all tied together on this lifeline,

When one of us falls,

It pulls us all,

Towards the ground.

So don’t give up—please get up—

Even if for just a little while—

Find yourself another way to smile.

I saw a sapling in the yard and I chose to cut around it—

Now the trunk is strong and hard and nothing like I found it—

I saw a man both young and strong and always on the go—

Years for him were hard and long and now his head hangs low—

I’ve seen the summer pass to fall, fall breeze to winter wind—

I’ve seen my young tree standing tall and then nothing once again.

And no matter how long we chase the sun—

The rain will come, all around—

And we’re all tied together on this lifeline,

When one of us falls,

It pulls us all,

Towards the ground.

So don’t give up—please get up—

Even if for just a little while—

Find yourself another way to smile.

Starting Over

It’s so easy to cling to your tired old notions.

As you bob on a ring, out in an ocean—

That’s full of the proof, that you were wrong all along—

And when you start to sink, and when it’s all gone—

Don’t be afraid, it’s not the end,

You’re just starting over…

You tie a small string, to everything

So you can reel it back in, you won’t lose it again…

But it still gets away, because nothing is real—

It’s just what we’ve, agreed to believe…

Don’t be afraid, it’s not the end

You’re just staring over…

All The Time

When I was younger, I used to believe

I could be anything I wanted…

Now I’ve grown older, I’ve come to see,

What I want, is to be, what you need.

I’ve been ecstatic; I’ve been a fool,

I’ve been a rock, yes and I’ve been an island—

I’ve never regretted, one minute with you,

I look back—I still catch myself smiling…

Remember when you asked me, where it was that I was going to?

You were wondering, what it was that I wanted to do—

I said: ‘You’re the place I’m going to…’

I’ve got all the time in the world, for you.

I’ve got all the time in the world…

So head’s up, there’s two sides and light always wins

A single candle can drive out the dark

C’mon up, we’re waiting, this is where it begins,

You be the bonfire an I’ll be the spark.

So she waits, by the gates to the stairs and she stims—

She’s just waiting for her turn to start…

C’mon up, we’re waiting, this is where it begins,

You be the bonfire and I’ll be the spark.

I’ve got all the time in the world for you…

I’ve got all the time in the world.

Newark

Just can’t seem to get out of Newark,

Something just keeps pulling me back—

I keep tryin’ to leave, Oh, but just can’t believe,

There’s just nothing left for me here—

I just can’t seem to get out of Newark

A patent leather life at ‘the Pru’

Down at four corners on a Saturday night—

Sunday morning, back home to you—

And part of me thinks that I’ve settled for all this—

And part of me knows that’s not true—

And all of me knows that you’re part of me now,

I can no more settle for the lines on my face,

You can’t come in second if it isn’t a race—

I just can’t seem to get out of Newark

Monday morning up for the train—

For my job at the airport where I tell all the passengers—

‘I’m sorry that your flight is delayed,

I’m sorry if your life feels like running in place…’

Fire Song

When the luck ran out, we were out on the lawn

Watching it go up in flames—

I was riding hard towards the south of the sun—

I was losing my grip on the reins.

For a week or two in the midst of it all,

I thought I was going insane,

But you held your vigil and you lit your candle

And waited for me ‘til I came—

And now I’m here where I belong,

I don’t want to be with no-where else,

Yeah, I’m here where I belong—

Holding me close and no one other…

There’s a picture somewhere that tells the story,

Much better than I ever can—

I’m young and strong and my hair is long

And I’m holding the world in my hand.

But my eyes in the picture tell a different story,

They’re sad and they’re narrow with fear—

They’re looking out hard over this horizon

And praying that something is here—

When the luck ran out, I was out on the lawn,

I was acting like I didn’t care—

I was riding hard towards the south of the sun,

I was feeling the wind in my hair—

I’m an old man there with a map in my hand,

To everything I’ve left behind—

But the route ends here—

And from the map it looks clear

That I took the right turn every time…

Uncle Don

Here’s a song for my Uncle Donny:

The last time I saw you alive,

You said that you were getting ready—

To ride along the Great Divide.

Well, you always were ‘the odd one’—

That’s the kindest way to say—

You’re weird as a three cent penny,

But we loved you just that way…

Canvas tents and flintlock muskets,

A magazine mail order bride,

Boy Scout camps and model airplanes—

And riding on the Great Divide.

You were a young boy’s favorite uncle…

Handmade gifts don’t go out of style,

You never threw away a thing; you never knew what you might need,

To make somebody, somewhere smile…

But you didn’t want to be a burden,

So you learned to live life light—

With your wits to keep you warm, and if you needed something more,

You’d find it on the Great Divide.

But you learned to live so lightly—

That the wind swept you aside—

If you’re calling after Donny, he’s out there somewhere wandering,

Riding on the Great Divide.

Thank You Friends:

To my friends back in Bryan,

When I thought I was dying,

You gave me your time,

And I want to say:

Thank you friends, thank you for your time.

A shout out to the West Coast,

San Francisco and Oakland,

Emeryville—oh, I miss you still…

Thank you friends, thank you for your time.

To my friends back in Austin,

Where I got lost and

Where I got found—

If you’re still around…

Thank you friends, thank you for your time.

Now I’m up here in Kemptville,

You’ve welcomed me home,

Given me family—

Like I’ve never known—

Thank you friends, thank you for your time.

Thanks to the guy

That opened your mind,

You helped me survive

A really tough time…

Thank you friend, Thank you for your time.

Thanks to the girl—

Gave me the world—

Gave me your time…

Oh God, I want to say

Thanks you friend, Thank you for your time.