19 Questions

An old friend hasn’t been speaking to me and when I asked why, the answer was confusing. I asked again and it got more confusing and distressing. I finally suggested that maybe we weren’t good for each other and should move on to less complicated friendships and they said “Sounds good!” (Including the exclamation mark.)

I’ve accepted that it’s not always me, that I’m not necessarily a blundering oaf socially, but I’m sad today, about this friendship and one I’d wanted to write about this year which gets rolled into this one as part of the same bundle of hurt.

Lyrics

how do you know what someone wants?
what does it take to be loved?
what can you do to make them stay?

who gets to take? who needs to give?
why is it so? when does it change?
what can you do when they’ve gone away?

how can you see it coming on?
what do you do to see the truth?
who do you trust if not a friend?

why do we bother? what’s the point
when does it end? where do you go?
who do you turn to in the end?

and how do you know that’s true?
and what can you ever do
to stumble past the last miscue?
how do you move on from two
now they’re them and you’re you?
I ask cause I don’t have a clue


Here Before

It’s one of the 5 gloomy days of the year here in southern Arizona and that makes me gloomy. Coming home from airing up the tires in the van I was struck by the deceptively disconnected details in “All Around the World”, the last song on Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” These pictures came up on their own, images from a hard time in each of my lives which I combined into something that never happened, but it feels like it did.

Lyrics

Winding through a tiny sliver of West Virginia
It was late and we needed gas in the worst way
Between Ohio and Pennsylvania lost in the dark
We got in at 11, had to leave before the break of day

I’ve been here before and I got through
maybe because I didn’t know what else to do
it’s a shame
no one’s to blame
that’s how it’s always been for me and you

so sick I was hallucinating
tingling all over and sweaty, I was a mess
desperate for something, I still don’t know what
and I cried out for you, and then I fell asleep I guess

I’ve been here before and I got through
maybe because I didn’t know what else to do
it’s a shame
no one’s to blame
that’s how it’s always been for me and you

instead of asking me to leave you left me here
alone and empty, lying on the floor
and I’m lost in the dark and sick to death
but we both know I’ve been here before

I’ve been here before, I’ll get through
maybe because I don’t know what else to do
it’s a shame
no one’s to blame
that’s how it’ll always be for me and you


The Note

I don’t like writing sad songs. I understand that some folks want to (as someone said to me) “experience the full range of human emotion” but I’ve had all the sadness I’ll ever need, I don’t have to go searching for it.

Continue reading “The Note”



The Ballad of Ed Tom Bell

Sheriff Ed Tom Bell in “No Country for Old Men” spends a lot of time talking about what’s wrong with the world, and making a lot of sense.

Please note: I’m apolitical. I see a lot wrong with the whole world, not just one country, and the ‘country’ McCarthy referred to in Bell’s monologues was the region he lived in, not a geopolitical entity. I’d hate for anyone to think I had a bone to pick with any particular person, place or thing. But if you read Cormac McCarthy, stuff like this is bound to leak back out eventually.

I intentionally sang it in too low a key to get the sound I wanted.

Continue reading “The Ballad of Ed Tom Bell”


Good Ol’ Manly Cry

(Copying some FAWM songs here so I have them all in one place.)

Guess you’ve been gone
Long enough
Cause I’m alright
Only two times that miss you
One’s day, the other’s night
Sunshine reminds me of your hair
In the dark, I almost think you’re there
Think it’s time I sat down and had me
A good old manly cry

Fixed you breakfast
Just this morning
Like I used to do
Perfect bacon and fried potatoes
Scrambled eggs for two
I must have left it there half the day
Then I got mad and threw it all away
Think it’s time I sat down and had me
A good old manly cry

Think it’s time I sat down and told myself
You’re really gone
Think it’s time I sat down and realized
That from now on
Won’t be cooking for two
But I’ll be wondering
What do I do?
Think it’s time I sat down and had me
A good old manly cry

Took a sick day Last week
The boss wondered what was wrong
Whatever it was I mumbled sounded like something
From a whiny country song
I spent
The whole day
Looking out the window at the dust the settled as you drove away
Think it’s time I sat down and had me
A good old manly cry

Think it’s time I sat down and told myself
You’re really gone
Think it’s time I sat down and realized
That from now on
Won’t be cooking for two
But I’ll be wondering
What do I do?
Think it’s time I sat down and had me
A good old manly cry

Guess you’ve been gone
Long enough
Cause I’m alright


All My Fault

when you wake up in the morning do you think of me
do you ever wish that you could have what used to be
It’s a little more than idle curiosity
Did you ever open up your eyes wide enough to see?

chorus
I worry about you almost every day
I wonder if you wonder why I went away
And whether you could hear the things that I have to say
but it was probably all my fault anyway

Do you talk to all the people that we used to know?
or are you MIA just like a UFO?
if this line of question doesn’t seem apropos
remember I’m the guy who used to love you so

chorus
I worry about you almost every day
I wonder if you wonder why I went away
And whether you could hear the things that I have to say
but it was probably all my fault anyway

you always thought that we could never get along
and I know it’s not my place to say I think you’re wrong
and now it’s far too late because it’s been so long
so maybe we’ll pretend that this is just another song

chorus
I worry about you almost every day
I wonder if you wonder why I went away
And whether you could hear the things that I have to say
but it was probably all my fault anyway


Not True Enough

chorus
you asked me if I loved you
I wasn’t lying when I said yes
the way my hands are shaking as I write this letter now
it wasn’t quite true enough I guess

verse 1
I came in from the wilderness to live with you in town
you craved that faster life and brighter lights
your hand slipped out of mine when you were dancing
wasn’t long before I slipped out of your nights

chorus
you asked me if I loved you
I wasn’t lying when I said yes
the way my hands are shaking as I write this letter now
it wasn’t quite true enough I guess

verse 2
I was rough and it got rougher
the more I tried the worse it got
my head and hands and heart could only do so much
a man can’t be what he’s not

chorus
you asked me if I loved you
I wasn’t lying when I said yes
the way my hands are shaking as I write this letter now
it wasn’t quite true enough I guess

bridge
love is not love if all it wants to do
is change a man ’cause he ain’t good enough
it shouldn’t bring a tempest down as Billy Bard would say
and block out all the stars a sailor wants to see above

verse 3
there’s a cabin out up on the mountain
built by a man who thought he was in love
I’ll go there and I’ll try to find the peace I used to know
’cause whatever I feel now just ain’t enough

chorus
you asked me if I loved you
I wasn’t lying when I said yes
the way my hands are shaking as I write this letter now
it wasn’t quite true enough I guess

performance notes
banjo
D G A
bridge Em