Songs

Bells

I really don’t blame him he chose not to call
he’d been there for hours crouched in the hall
he sent me the message my heart tore in two
said someone was dead he said it was you

there should have been bells
so everyone would know
’cause the silence is killing me
since you had to go

Why didn’t I see you were so lost?
Would have done anything, paid any cost
But I never asked, and you never said
And some days I wish, it was me instead

there should have been bells
so everyone would know
’cause the silence is killing me
since you had to go

no matter how black there’s always hope
but it’s hard to see at the end of your rope
in the middle of love now there’s a hole
silence so loud taking its toll

there should have been bells
so everyone would know
’cause the silence is killing me
since you had to go


She Was Gone

one day she was crawling on the floor
in a pale green onesie
everything she found straight in her mouth
or up her nose
one day she was crawling on the floor
and the next day I looked down
and she was gone

one day she was riding her tricycle
backwards around the yard
getting madder by the minute
’cause it didn’t work
one day
she was riding her trike
and the next day I looked out
and she was gone

one day she was painting her nails
in alternating polka dots
foreseeable fuchsia and lavender
different each hand
one day
she was painting her nails
and the next day I looked in
and she was gone

every time I turn away
five years gone like yesterday
and every time I look at you
my little girl’s gone and turned into someone new

one day she walked down the aisle
I wanted to cry but I tried to smile
we had a dance and some cake and champagne
all of us together
one minute
she was there
and the next, I looked back…


What Will I Do with These Gifts?

sun glowing gold on the tree in the yard in the
morning when I first wake up
the toast and the tea and the butter and jam
as I have a slice and a cup
over the meadow a hawk soars and glides
the sun on his wings as he drifts
splashes of blue in among all the clouds
I watch and I ask myself what will I do with these gifts?

Birds sing the sun to bed from the sky
Warbling for all that they’re worth
Then it’s grey in the morning with no hint of blue
Raindrops splatter the earth
But the storm blows away leaving the rainbow
That’s there every time that it lifts
Every color that I’ve ever seen
Within, and I ask myself what will I do with these gifts?

You’re here with me and I look in your eyes
And see them reflecting love
The sun and the storm and the colors and birds
And life are all gifts from above
The more I reflect on the things I’ve been given
The more my attitude shifts
Every night every day every moment
It’s right that I ask myself what will I do with these gifts?


Wildlife

took the kids for a ride to see the wildlife
they were all whining about being bored
so I took away their electronic devices
and loaded ’em up in my old Ford

they wondered where we were headed
kept asking if we were going to the zoo
I said it was a surprise and they’d find out
wasn’t what they expected, ‘tween me and you

I pulled onto the highway south of Fairfield
went down 84 towards Teague
I’ve done this drive up in South Dakota
but that’s way out of my kids’ league

“Now, off to the right you’ll see an armadillo
thought his armor’d protect him from a car
and he rolled up in a ball and hopped a bit
and the car rolled on, and, well, there you are.”

“Up here on the left is a family of squirrels
chasing nuts on the wrong side of the road
and further along there’s couple snakes
and they were chasing what might have been a toad.”

“And over there down in that ditch
is a deer who crossed when he shouldn’t.”
Asked ’em all how they liked the tour
They might have tried to answer, but, well, you know

When we got home they were kinda quiet
two of ’em went and cleaned their room
the oldest one took out the trash
youngest was on the patio with a broom

Their mother wondered what was going on
wondered why the kids were all so quiet
I told her I took ’em for a drive
and she said sometime she oughta try it


The Way You Do

You know everything I think and everything I do
Everything I say before it’s spoken
You could see it all Back when I was small
You could see the ways that I was broken

You can see inside me See the things I’m not
See the things I want to try to be
I don’t understand It’s beyond my reach
How it is that you can really see me

No matter where I go
Up above or down below
Even in the darkest night
You’re the brightest light

All the ways you love me All the ways you care
Like trying to count the grains of sand
You know when I’m anxious When I lie awake
I feel the gentle touch of your hand

You know I mean no harm I try to do what’s right
I slip and fall and hurt myself, and you
But I know you still see How very hard I try
In everything I think and say and do

No matter where I go
Up above or down below
Even in the darkest night
You’re the brightest light

Back when I was small You could see it all
I was broken but you could see right through
You know that I’ll keep trying For as long as I may live
Someday I’ll see myself the way you do


This Will All Make Sense

Had a dream
Had a dream last night
Had a dream last night and it gave me a fright
Now why do you think that is?

There’s a fish
There’s a fish in the sea
There’s a fish in the sea looks nothing like me
Now why do you think that is?

Ate a peach
Ate a peach with a stone
Ate a peach with a stone and it made me groan
Now why do you think that is?

Kissed a girl
Kissed a girl who could twirl
Kissed a girl who could twirl and it made my toes curl
Now why do you think that is?

Like the wigwam and the tipi
I gave you present tents
You’re thinking somewhere down the line
This will all make sense

Ran a mile
Ran a mile down the aisle
Ran a mile down the aisle and I fell in a pile
Now why do you think that is?

Saw the sun
Saw the sun on my run
Saw the sun on my run and I ran till I won
Now why do you think that is?

Like the time I took your dollar
Cause I didn’t have no cents
You’re thinking somewhere down the line
This will all make sense

Took a nap
Took a nap in my cap
Took a nap in my cap with a wooly earflap
Now why do you think that is?

Made a bet
Made a bet you’d forget
Made a bet you’d forget what I haven’t sung yet
Now why do you think that is?

Like the time I wandered through your yard
and then you took offense
You’re thinking somewhere down the line
This will all make sense

Found the end
Found the end my friend
Found the end my friend and that’s all I penned
Now why do you think that is?


Check the Map

by a certain age should have more sense
I’ve seen it all a dozen times, done most of it twice
on the path for fifty years I know where to go
then I lose my mind and lose my way and wander off again

check the map to see where I went wrong
not the first time I’ve had to sing this song
dying of thirst
should have checked it first
I know I should have known it all along
should’ve checked the map before I went wrong

singing birds in the branches overhead
see something tasty just out of reach
a step or two is all it takes to satisfy the urge
then turn around no idea where I am

check the map to see where I went wrong
not the first time I’ve had to sing this song
dying of thirst
should have checked it first
I know I should have known it all along
should’ve checked the map before I went wrong

look around and realize you’re lost
look ahead and recognize the cost
and know you’re not the only one who’ll pay

I’ve had this map all my life
got it from my father when I was young
I put it in a drawer forgot it for too long
best to keep it handy for when I get off the path

check the map to see where I went wrong
not the first time I’ve had to sing this song
dying of thirst
should have checked it first
I know I should have known it all along
should’ve checked the map before I went wrong


Everything Every Day

clouds push in front of the sun
then the rain falls, so that’s okay
soaks the dirt, runs off down the street
work done, they drift away

and then we get the sun
warm and dry and bright
even days when it’s too hot
always darken to night

everything every day
comes along and it goes away
good or bad, it’s what you make it
how you think is how you take it
paint the clouds, dance in the rain
not much to lose, whole lot to gain
love it all, find a way
everything every day

a million years ago when I was young
so many things I wasn’t allowed to do
these days, a million years old
I’d rather not if it’s all the same to you

everything every day
comes along and it goes away
good or bad, it’s what you make it
how you think is how you take it
paint the clouds, dance in the rain
not much to lose, whole lot to gain
love it all, find a way
everything every day

it’s my nature to grumble some
even when I know I’ve got it good
but I try to recognize how good I’ve got it
be thankful for it all, like I should

everything every day
comes along and it goes away
good or bad, it’s what you make it
how you think is how you take it
paint the clouds, dance in the rain
not much to lose, whole lot to gain
love it all, find a way
everything every day


This Is Not a Song

I decided not to write a song
as you can tell that didn’t last long
got stuff to do and I don’t have time
for chord progressions, rhythm and rhyme

inevitability
my idiosyncrasy
my predisposition
family tradition
music is integral to me

that stuff I got to do won’t do itself
put that song back up on the shelf
but just try telling that to my poor brain
like facing down an oncoming train

inevitability
my idiosyncrasy
my predisposition
family tradition
music is integral to me

pressure builds up in my head
oozes out and starts to spread
gets down in my fingers pretty soon
nothing else to do but write the tune

inevitability
my idiosyncrasy
my predisposition
family tradition
music is integral to me


Try

hardly ever me that’s done the leaving
hardly ever me said goodbye
but I’m still on my own
left here all alone
and it doesn’t even seem to matter why

but I can’t take another leaving
I can’t take another useless goodbye
I know that you can’t promise
you won’t ever go away
but I can’t take another goodbye
so promise me, at least you’ll try

I thought that you and I would be forever
Thought that you and I would see the end of time
but I fear you’ll hear the call
ticking down the hall
and you’ll fade away like the midnight chime

but I can’t take another leaving
I can’t take another useless goodbye
I know that you can’t promise
you won’t ever go away
but I can’t take another goodbye
so promise me, at least you’ll try

I hear you laugh and tell me that you love me
I feel your arms around me every morning, every night
I know I’ve got it far too wrong
far too many times
but I hope that you and I will be alright

but I can’t take another leaving
I can’t take another useless goodbye
I know that you can’t promise
you won’t ever go away
but I can’t take another goodbye
so promise me, at least you’ll try
promise me, at least you’ll try