23 Steps

I discovered this simple 2-chord tropical sounding pattern a few years ago. I have a mild number obsession. I don’t know where the whole coffee thing came from. I drink it but it’s not my religion or anything.

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Water Over Stone

When writing about deep emotional trauma inflicted by those we should have been able to trust it helps to keep abstracting until there are no emotion words left, only the images they evoked.

Late last year memories of some childhood trauma surfaced and messed me up for a while.

Music is a safe way to rage at people.

http://www.freeimages.com/photo/river-1258831

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Every Happy Love Song

seems like every happy love song sounds the same
them country singers are the ones I blame
I hear those pretty tunes of moons and junes and pretty soon
I’m hoping for a minor key and just a little misery

seems like every happy love song sounds the same
I think those britpop singers are to blame
you know those tears will start so they can rhyme with broken heart
and I’m hoping for a minor key so they’ll politely disagree

seems like every happy love song sounds the same
I’ll bet all those old jazz singers are to blame
you can bet their sorrow will still be around tomorrow
and I’m hoping for a minor key and maybe epic tragedy

why does every dance
involve taking a chance?
amazing that a light
can brighten up the night
and that star
down at the bar
is gonna go far

seems like every happy love song sounds the same
maybe those folky popsters are to blame
do they really think that girl will ever rhyme with world?
and I’m hoping for a minor key and lovers who are absentee

seems like every happy love song sounds the same
I think I know exactly who to blame
I hear those pretty tunes of moons and junes and pretty soon
I’m hoping for a minor key and just a little misery
seems like every happy love song sounds the same

performance notes
D A
G D
E A


If it Ain’t Broke

young folks seem to have a mind
to fall in love and find the kind
of love that young folks think is heaven sent
but after they’re no longer blind
they wake up to a frame of mind
wondering where on earth their heaven went

he looks at her and wonders if maybe this thing is busted
she looks at him and wonders if he couldn’t be adjusted

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it
I thought we had a good thing going
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it
Better leave well enough alone

we’ve seen it one too many times
in cowboy songs and poet’s rhymes
how men and women don’t see things the same
he suspects she’s keeping score
and she suspects he’s keeping more
in the locker room than he’s bringing to the game

she calls it encouragement for him to do his best
he calls it something else and wishes she’d give it a rest

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it
I thought we had a good thing going
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it
Better leave well enough alone

the moral of the story is
(you knew there’d be one; always is)
young love isn’t always on its toes
she thinks he’ll change; he hopes she don’t
she always does; you know he won’t
and how they’re gonna make it, heaven knows

a boy and girl in love will surely do all that they can
but it seems to work out better with a woman and a man

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it
I thought we had a good thing going
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it
Better leave well enough alone
Why don’t you leave well enough alone?
I suggest you just leave well enough alone

performance notes
tenor guitar
capo 2
play in G
prechorus goes to A
not Am


With the Radio On (the original)

From 2006, one of the first songs I ever wrote. I still perform it, though quite differently from this version. Like, I change chords and stuff.

Back in 2003, Best Beloved and I left Phoenix at 4 in the morning after being awake since 6 the previous day. We drove to San Francisco. By the time we got there we’d been awake 44 hours.

Parts of the trip were fantastic. Though I’d owned Michael Nesmith’s Tropical Campfires for a few years, this was the first time I ever paid attention to it.

Three years later a single moment of joy on that road trip turned into this song.

Lyrics

Flyin’ down the highway with the radio on
Singin’ just as loud as I can to my favorite song
Well it might be Nez or Bob or Van
But I always try to sing it just as loud as I can
Flyin’ down the highway with the radio on

You pull out the map every once in a while
And I glance at you and you glance and we share a smile
And the sun glints through your golden hair
And I can’t believe my luck that we’re there
Flyin’ down the highway with the radio on

You feed me a fast food fish sandwich, it drips on my shirt
I slurp green circle logo iced mocha, try to stay alert
Like Newtonian bodies in motion we stay
Cause we hate to slow down ‘less there’s no other way
Flyin’ down the highway with the radio oh

Big fast car and a snappy tune And you right by my side
Cup o’ joe and a bite to eat Man, what a ride!

Finally stop for some greasy home cookin’ in a roadside cafe
Settle up and head for the door glad to be on our way
Drive into a sunset we wish we could frame
Settle in for a night that’s just more of the same
Flyin’ down the highway with the radio on
Flyin’ down the highway with the radio on
Flyin’ down the highway with the radio on