Lyrics

Sketch by Terra Nova Rubacha

 

The Lyrics to Chuck's Albums:

Tulips For Lunch
Color Came One Day
The Baseball Ballads
Last of the Old Time
Radio
Letters in the Dirt
A Fingerpainter's Murals

 

Tulips For Lunch
all songs written and copyrighted by Chuck Brodsky (BMI) 

The Curse of the Billy Goat

"Billy Goat" Bill Sianis
Had box seats to game four
Of the '45 World Series
Cubs versus Detroit
One seat he would sit in
The other was for his kid
A goat by the name of Murphy
Who the Cubs had always admitted

That day an usher wouldn't let them
To their box at Wrigley Field
So directly to the owner
PK Wrigley he appealed
The answer came from Wrigley
It was final and succinct
He said there'd been a few complaints
Some people didn't like the stink

Sianis, he was livid
His face was turning blue
He went out past the turnstiles
Onto Waveland Avenue
The vendors on the sidewalk
Say he raised his arms up first
And with his hands above his head
They say he placed The Curse

Just then a cloud passed over
From the lake a chilly wind
Anybody within earshot
Woulda had goosebumps on their skin
The skeptics say baloney
The poets make up verse
60 some years later
They still blame it on the curse

Those two box seats bore witness
As the Tigers took the game
Like they would games five & seven
The Cubbies came up lame
Ol' Billy Goat Sianis
Got the last word, Holy Cow
He telegrammed Mr. Wrigley
Asked him “Who smells now?”

It stared at Leo Durocher
Stared right at his lip
And Leo stood there staring back
With his hands upon his hips
On the top step of the dugout
A cat the color of a hearse
They blew a nine game lead in '69
People say it was The Curse

They were playing for the pennant
In 1984
Against the San Diego Padres
They only had to win one more
To advance to the World Series
But they slipped into reverse
And when Durham flubbed a grounder
People blamed it on the curse

Most recently, 2003
And just five outs away
When a Cubs fan tried to catch a foul
While the ball was still in play
The lockers had been plasticised
But the bubble had just burst
The Marlins drank the champagne
People blamed it on The Curse

Just ask someone in Boston
How long it took to break
The Curse of the Bambino
With its annual heartache
And every time it happens
It just feels that much worse
They say there's always next year
And that might be the curse

______________________________________________________________________

Old Song Handed Down

An old photograph, it's in your eyes
The treble clef, the key, the ties
Would there be any more of you?
In the family line who played music too?
Did you stray a little from the score?
Did you ever try to add anything more?
Did you ever try to make things up?
Just little riffs & stuff?

What kind of music did you play?
The kind that makes hard times go away?
Ancient tunes that were passed along?
Was anybody writing songs?
Did people think of you as odd?
Did they think it came from the devil or G-d?
Did they ever tell you to keep quiet?
Did you suffer when you had to deny it?

People probably didn't play guitars
There wouldn't have been any popular stars
Who'd come around, who you'd have heard
There was no way to spread the word
Nobody had a radio
Record player or a stereo
No Ipod and no tv
No cassettes and no cds

You had a violin and you had a bow
How far away did you have to go?
To get where no one else could hear
So you could play it loud and clear?
Did you have such a secret place
Where you could go and know the Grace?
A river bank or a favorite tree
Somewhere you could just be free?

As I go from town to town
Small glimpses are all that I've found
Would you recognize these sounds?
Are they like the old songs handed down?

When you used to sit & play
Would everyone and everything go away?
Was there anyone else who understood
Anywhere in the neighborhood?
Or anywhere else for miles around?
The next little village, even the next town?
Did you ever see the city 50 miles away?
Did you ever get to hear an orchestra play?

In the village market or the few little shops
Could you get a new string if one ever popped?
Your first violin, who gave it to you?
Was it handed down, was it made for you?
Or did you get to go and pick it out?
In the local shops were Jews allowed?
Did your parents have to sacrifice for years?
Was it music to their ears?

If we could just sit one night under the stars
The same constellations, the very same Mars
Not talk about neocons, or about czars
All I want to do is pick the guitar
You can tune up that fiddle & rosin the bow
If you want we could give it a go
I only really know 3 or 4 chords
I slide this capo thing up the fingerboard

I wonder who you'd be today
Or I'd be back then and what we'd play
A gypsy tune, a Russian waltz
One of mine or something classical
For now I'll blow kisses, for now I send love
And if you can listen from somewhere above
I hope you can hear that it comes from a place
An old photograph, a familiar face

As I go from town to town
Small glimpses are all that I've found
Would you recognize these sounds?
Are these the old songs handed down?

______________________________________________________________________

A Toast to the Woman in the Holler

Catherine's boyfriend played saxophone - Catherine wanted a flute
There was one in the window of the music store - that happened to be a real beaut
But Mummy couldn't afford it - this much Catherine knew
Still, she stood there a few minutes dreaming - knowing it wouldn't come true

Christmas time was coming - and Catherine had the blues
Her Mummy asked her what she wanted - Catherine didn't tell the truth
She knew there wasn't the money - not even for one to rent
The only thing Catherine really wanted - was to play an instrument

Catherine cried for a month in her bedroom - when she had to quit the school band
The woman who lived in the holler - heard about this secondhand
And the goodness gathered within her - and fluttered like butterflies
She in a vision released them - and she watched them take to the skies

And on a very cold night in December - maybe the coldest night of the year
The woman who lives in the holler - cried a few secret tears
For the last few moments of glory - and the glories that had been before
And the times it had been there to rescue her - she set her flute down by the door

People whisper about her - the locals say she's a witch
Though she'd be the first to come help them - if they ended up in a ditch
The candles she lights at her altar - they burn as a gesture of love
The kind they talk about in the churches - yet they know so little of

It was one day just after Christmas - and Catherine wore her new hat
Her mom brought her out to the holler - the woman was there with her cats
Catherine had no idea - but someday maybe she would
That what she would soon be receiving - was being given for a greater good

So here's to the future of music. - and here's to the power of song
And here's a toast to the woman in the holler - for passing these things along

The case was covered with stickers - and words.that this woman had scrawled
From the magic places she'd been to - trinkets from her own Mardi Gras
And it all meant nothing to Catherine - it wasn't her story to tell
She'll have her own words and stickers - should she ever fall under the spell

So it's Catherine's turn now to hold her - here's hoping she'll learn how to play
Maybe she'll drop by the holler - to visit this woman some day
Maybe she'll come with her boyfriend - the one who plays saxophone
Maybe they'll play for the woman - a few things they made up on their own

So here's to the sweet gift of music - here's to the power of song
And a toast to the woman in the holler - for passing these things along

______________________________________________________________________

The Great Santa Snowball Debacle of 1968

It was the 15th of December
1968
Franklin Field in Philly
The subject of debate:
Did the Eagles' fans boo Santa
Beause they thought that he was drunk?
Because his costume was in tatters?
Or because the team just stunk?

The coach was Joe Kuharich
He clearly had to go
The homemade banners hanging up
They all were saying so
They hung him from the flagpole
In effigy that day
An airplane pulled a sign
That told him where to go away

It was the last game of the season
The team would finish 2 and 12
The snow was really falling
The cheerleaders dressed like elves
Norm Snead threw interceptions
The runners gained no ground
If it wasn't for the booing
There wouldn't have been a sound

The gun went off at halftime
But the field had too much snow
To go on with the regularly
Scheduled halftime show
The guy who would play Santa
Never even left his house
He'd phoned a little earlier
To say that he could not get out

And there was Frank Olivo
A 19 year old fan
In his Uncle Charlie's Santa suit
With a fake beard in the stands
Did someone from the Eagles
Come & promise him applause?
If he'd just run out on the field
While the band played "Here Comes Santa Claus."

There probably was some drinking
If you measured the whole scene
There were the usual bare chested guys
With faces painted green
By the time our Frank Olivo
Had hit the end zone running
The first of what would be a couple hundred
Snowballs started coming

One knocked off his glasses
One knocked of his beard
A couple of them made his
Phony eyebrows disappear
He gave the crowd the finger
And stood there like a giant
“You'll all get nothing for Christmas”
He yelled out in defiance

In the safety of the tunnel
He scooped snow out of his ears
The Eagles marketing director
Asked if he'd come back the next year
Frank Olivo answered,
“No, I don't think so
Because next year it might be bottles
If there isn't any snow”

______________________________________________________________________

The Point

When I was a little feller
Ping pong table in the cellar
Every night just after dinner
He used to let me be the winner

The ones I could get over the net
He'd pretend he couldn't get
Deliberately he'd hit them wide
But only barely miss the side

Everything he'd hit real soft
He would turn it on & off
But just to show me that he could
He'd hit one almost through the wood

My dad, he was the champion
Me, I was his only son
He taught me everything he knew
And I've shown him a thing or two

He played the ball with lots of spin
Taught me how to serve like him
I was eleven, maybe ten
Starting to play a little better then

Then I started talking trash
Finally he'd met his match
Sixteen, maybe seventeen
Taut as the net that was between us

He'd slam one & I'd slam one
He'd slam one & I'd slam one
He'd slam another, I'd slam another
Back & forth, attacking each other

It was spin and counterspin
Neither could let the other win
Things could never be the same
When I learned to beat him at his game

Now we play like gentlemen
Volley back & forth again
Neither of us keeping score
We don't need to anymore

Now I don't want to slam at all
I don't want him to have to chase the ball
Let's just keep this thing in play
That's the whole point anyway

______________________________________________________________________

Death Row All-Stars

Where the Rockies meet the Plains
Towns rose up to meet the trains
Frontier justice handed down
Rawlins was that kind of town
They'd hang somebody now & then
Make some shoes out of their skin
Put them up there on display
Reminding folks crime didn't pay

Wyoming built a state pen here
For the worst of men to spend their years
Tom Horn had been the last to hang
Before the shortstop Joseph Seng
Now all my teammates, one by one
And each of us a mother's son
Will follow to the gallows pole
Lord have mercy on my soul

The day that Warden Allston came
He hung a picture he had framed
Of Connie Mack, his eyes ablaze
Sitting with his World Champ A's
He ordered balls & bats & gloves
To form a prison baseball club
Teams from all across the west
Would testify we were the best

Practice in the prison yard
Concrete diamond, pocked and scarred
I only lived to crush that ball
Somewhere far beyond the walls
To places I won't ever see
Go on ball, you go for me
Give those lawmen all the drop
Keep on rolling, never stop

On game days homemade banners hung
The streets were full, the bells were rung
The Carbon County Volunteer Band
Played for people in the stands
Dark blue flannels trimmed with white
They fit just fine, baggy or tight
Compared to wearing prison blues
They kept us off the working crews

1911, 1912
Trophies on the warden's shelf
We went 39 & 6
Against a clock that always ticks
The warden bet on us to win
So did the judge, the two were friends
Our executions would be stayed
Depending on how well we played

Yesterday I struck out twice
Lay all night on a bed of ice
The warden called me in this morn
Asked me for my uniform
Offered me a cigarette
Told me that my date's been set
Tomorrow, should the sun still rise
I would be the most surprised

This here 5 x 7 cell
At the old Crossbar Hotel
I'll leave things just the way they are
The photographs, the baseball cards
Whoever has to take them down
There's one of me out on the mound
Send it to my Mama, please
And say I died from some disease

______________________________________________________________________

The Unreliable Taxi Company

The Unreliable Taxi Company, call him if you want
It's just Bob & his cab is probably sitting out in front
Of one of the local taverns in a little Michigan town
But The Unreliable Taxi Company might not want to be found

The Unreliable Taxi might take off Saturday night
Even if he plans on working & you never know, he might
But not if there's a poker game or something on tv
You'll have to find another way to where you want to be

If you go out drinking thinking Bob'll take you home
Be prepared ‘cause every now & then he'll leave you on your own
You can either walk back or stay right where you are
Until he can come & take you, or drive you to your car

The Unreliable Taxi parked in a dark & quiet place
It'll be a couple of hours before Bob can show his face
He'll be driving in the morning, he'll be glad to take you then
It'll be a couple of hours - it's hard to say just when

The Unreliable Taxi Company, call him if you will
He's never had an answering machine & he surely never will
Maybe you'd be better off to get yourself a bike
The Unreliable Taxi, you can call him if you like

But The Unreliable Taxi Company might not answer his phone
Even sometimes when he's only sitting around at home
Maybe you can reach him - he might even show
He might even be on time - it's something you don't know You just never know

The Unreliable Taxi Company sleeping at the wheel
No panic to the locals, it's really no big deal
Even when it's noon & his cab is still out front
Nobody wants to wake him, you can try it if you want

The Unreliable Taxi, you see him around town
You might even see him driving somebody around
If he needs the money & if he isn't drunk
If he hasn't locked his only set of keys inside his trunk

______________________________________________________________________

Mary the Elephant

In the Sparks Brothers Circus
They smoked only cheap cigars
A two bit travelling circus.
10 to 15 railroad cars
With a not so high high wire
And some leaks around the tent
Educated sea lions
And four or five elephants

In the Clinch River Valley
A little mining town
Not too far from Kingsport
There's no one still around
That can tell it like it happened
And just stick to the facts
Not get mixed up with legends
Or start filling in the cracks

Red was Mary's handler
They'd hired him that day
He'd rode in on a box car
And he just sort of stayed
He got a job as janitor
At the Riverside Hotel
Until the circus came to town
He bid everyone farewell

He knew nothing about elephants
But what was there to know?
They were big, they were dumb
And they walked kind of slow
They had trunks for grabbing peanuts
And to stuff them in their mouths
He figured that was pretty much all
You need to know about 'em

So they handed Red a stick
For the afternoon parade
Only once did he whack Mary
It was his only mistake
She wrapped her trunk around him
Threw him to the ground
Stepped upon his head
There were children all around

Now contrary to the rumors
She was never tried
She never was convicted
Of any homicide
She never went to prison
No one sentenced her to hang
Like the storytellers told it
And the singers often sang

It was front page in the papers
From Statesville to Little Rock
From barbershops to filling stations
Mary was the talk
Sparks Brothers Circus
They just couldn't be going around
With such an unpredictable creature
They would have to put her down

It's said they fired bullets
But it was too small a gun
They tried some electricity
But she wasn't even stunned
It was all done in the spirit of
Good clean family fun
In the entertainment business
You give the people what they want

They shipped Mary in a railcar
To Erwin, Tennessee
They advertised a hanging
3000 came to see
The ringleader announced
It would be in the railroad yard
When the matinee was over
And there'd be no extra charge

They left her hanging half an hour
Till somebody got her down
The people got their money's worth
Pity the poor clowns
Who weren't really smiling
When they dumped her in a grave
That had been dug by a steam shovel
And was as big as a cave

The town won't put a marker
Above where Mary lies
They don't want the attention
Or lawsuits to arise
She never went to prison
No court sentenced her to hang
Like some storytellers told it
And some singers often sang

______________________________________________________________________

The Man Who Blew Kisses

The man who blew kisses stood out in the crowd
He wasn't so tall & he wasn't loud
I couldn't tell you how he was dressed
But of everyone there I remember him best

The man who blew kisses was simple & free
He never considered how people might see him
He walked on the water & swam through the air
No trepidation & without a care

The man who blew kisses lives in a home
He isn't allowed to go out on his own
Wherever they take him he's happy to go
He loves everybody & lets them all know

The man who blew kisses, blew them at me
It tickled my heart & it buckled my knee
It made my voice crack & it righted all wrongs
I blew kisses back at the end of the songs

The man who blew kisses in front of the stage
Knew nothing of jealousy, nothing of rage
Nothing of prejudice, nothing of shame
He'd never been broken, never been tamed

The man who blew kisses, he misses some things
But he was catching my drift, he had air in his wings
His head was a' rocking, he was clapping his hands
He was stomping his feet, he was doing a dance

The man who blew kisses eats tulips for lunch
And probably rainbows but that's just a hunch
Sunshine & pixie dust mixed in his punch
Daisies for breakfast he eats by the bunch

The man who blew kisses will blow them at you
He blows them at anyone, no matter who
And I thought to myself in the middle of all this
That the song I was singing was but a kiss

In The Beginning (by Nick Annis)

In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth,
and the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon
the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters."
It's an oral history, passed down, word of mouth, from father to son.
From Adam to Seth, from Seth to Enos, from Enos to Caanan, for 40 generations
a growing, changing story, passed down, word of mouth, father to son.

Till Moses finally gets it down on lambskin.
But lambskins wear out, need to be copied.

So you have a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy
of an oral history passed down through 40 generations.

From Hebrew it's translated into Arabic. From Arabic into Greek.
From Greek into Latin. From Latin into Russian, from Russian into German,
from German into an Olde form of English that you could not read.
Through 400 years of evolution of the English language to the book we have today.
Which is:
A translation of a translation of a translation of a translation of a translation
of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy
of an oral history passed down through 40 generations.

You can't put a grocery list through that many copies, translations and re-tellings
and not get some big changes in the dinner menu when the kids make it back from Superfresh.

And yet people are killing each other over this written word.

Here's a tip.

If you're killing someone in the name of God...
you might be missing the message.

______________________________________________________________________

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

Liar liar, pants on fire
See you squirm, see you perspire
Not a word you say is true
There's never been one out of you

Smoke & mirrors, bait and switch
You and your friends are getting rich
Picking pockets, pulling strings
And other more dispicable things

Liar Liar, pants on fire
Preaching only to the choir
Photo op in front of the steeple
How did you manage to fool these people?

Talk the lingo, dress the part
Even put your hand on your heart
Bomber jacket, emperor's clothes
You can't even reach the end of your nose

Liar liar, pants on fire
Chain of command doesn't get any higher
Orders come down from the top
Punish the guy who pushes the mop

Throw away the key and forget about bail
The likes of you ought to rot in jail
Guilty! Guilty of the highest crimes
And the lowest ones at the very same time

Liar liar, pants on fire
Teleprompter, hidden wire
Who's this G-d that speaks to you
Who would authorize the things you do?

Bend the rules, twist the facts
Make excuses, cover your tracks
Why won't you let anybody see
The flag-draped coffins on tv?

Liar liar, been found out
Whistleblowers talked about
How you classify & cook the books
For the benefit of a bunch of crooks

______________________________________________________________________

Two Left Feet

There was one certain girl I was hoping to meet
Would have asked her to dance but for my two left feet
She wasn't sitting with anyone else
I was just sitting there all by myself

I said I didn't dance, I have two left feet
To this other girl, standing over me in my seat
Besides it wasn't really my kind of beat
And this wasn't the girl I was hoping to meet

I wasn't attracted, not on first glance
She wouldn't go away, I didn't want to dance
She lifted me up to my two left feet
My eyes went to the girl I was hoping to meet

I was thinking I could make a break for the door
But she pulled me out there onto the dance floor
The band started in on an old fashioned waltz
She didn't lead so I did by default

It was awkward enough, those very first steps
I stepped on her right toes and then on her left
Evading her eyes I tried to be discreet
Keeping tabs on the girl I was hoping to meet

Her hand on my waist made me relax
She moved it up to the small of my back
Touching a nerve, I shot her a glance
She said “I thought you told me you couldn't dance

She pointed down at my right foot
Going to all the right places, wherever I'd put it
She followed me when I spun her around
And when I dipped her all the way down

The way her hair fell back, and hung to the floor
The way we locked eyes then, and forevermore
The thing about beauty, and I don't know why
Sometimes you don't see it ‘till it pokes you in the eye

The one song ended & another began
We exchanged names and applauded the band
I guess I never did let go of her hand
For the next couple hours we danced & we danced

Now we go out dancing every Saturday night
She dresses up and she's quite a sight
This was the girl I didn't want to meet
But that was the guy with two left feet

______________________________________________________________________

Ballad of DB Cooper

He was carrying a briefcase
When he stepped aboard the plane
Northwest 305 from Portland
On the tarmac in the rain
Dressed in loafers & a dark suit
Underneath an overcoat
A white shirt & a black tie
That was loose around the throat

It was Thanksgiving eve
Back in 1971
He had on a pair of sunglasses
There wasn't any sun
He used the name Dan Cooper
When he paid for the flight
That was going to Seattle
On that cold and nasty night

They taxied to the runway
And then took to the sky
Cooper let a little
Bit of time go by
Before he called the flight attendant
And told her to stay calm
But that inside his briefcase
He said he had a bomb

Two hundred thousand dollars
In 20 dollar bills
A plane, a crew, some parachutes
& No one would get killed
They landed in Seattle
The authorities complied
All the passengers were let off
The crew remained inside

The plane took off for Portland
Just Cooper & the crew
It wasn't quite an hour
When he bid them all adieu
But first he tipped each one of them
Two thousand bucks apiece
He was such a nice man
They later told the police

Out a little service doorway
In the rear of the plane
Cooper jumped into the darkness
Into the freezing rain
They say that with the windchill
It was 69 below
Not much chance that he'd survive
But if he did where did he go?

Some guy who lived in Oregon
By the name of DB Cooper
Was arrested and interrogated
By a couple of state troopers
It wasn't him who did it
The lawmen had no luck
But the papers ran the story
The name DB Cooper stuck

It was on a family picnic
8 or 9 years later
Six thousand muddy dollars
Found by a 2nd grader
On the banks of the Columbia
Which would've been on his route
Authorities confirmed
That it was part of Cooper's loot

Whoever DB Cooper was
Today is still a mystery
The only unsolved skyjacking
In aviation history
No one's ever tried to claim
The very large reward
No one's ever seen him since
He bailed out the door

Divers search the river
Every summer still
For an article of clothing
Or a twenty dollar bill
A briefcase or a wallet
With some kind of ID
To determine who this DB Cooper
Might actually be

______________________________________________________________________ 
Color Came One Day

all songs written and copyrighted by Chuck Brodsky (BMI) 


The 9:30 Pint

It's not so big a town and I know all of the locals
Some come in to read newspapers some forget their bifocals
Strangers find a home here - trust me I have seen all kinds
9:30 in the morning is when I start pouring pints

The 9:30 pint it can set the morning right
For the one who just got off after working all night
It's a stop along the way as he makes his journey home
Before he pulls the curtains closed and disconnects the phone

The 9:30 pint for whomever wanders in
It's not for me to wonder or ask where they might've been
If they passed out in the bushes or if they caught a couple winks
I don't make it my business to know why they need a drink

If you've been at it all night & you just have to have one more
Or if you need a cup of coffee I'll be happy to pour
If you just need a place to sit to warm up or unwind
I'll be right over here pouring these 9:30 pints

The 9:30 pint - perhaps to start a person's day
Who am I to judge?  And who am I to say?
If they leave here happier than when they first come in
I'll be here tomorrow morning should the punter call again

The 9:30 pint is one I'm glad to pour
I'm grateful for the business that comes in through the door
So what're you having sir?  Now...what's it gonna be?
I can tell you're not a local - are you from across the sea?

So top of the morning to you - it's another fine day
I turn away no one - I have bills to pay
See that pub across the street...the one up top the hill?
If I don't pour the early one - you can bet they will

So before you rush to judgment & condemn a decent man
Allow me to introduce myself & offer you my hand


I'm just your friendly publican & you're very welcome here
I open at 9:30 - you don't have to drink a beer

______________________________________________________________________


The Ballad of Stan Rogers and Leo Kennedy

Hardly anybody goes to visit Leo
All but forgotten except by a few
I heard somebody speak so fondly of him
Made me wish I knew him
I got directions to the church yard
I took a walk on up the hill
That overlooks the Stan Rogers Folk Festival
The year that I was on the bill

It was in the local Lions Club
Which was the backstage dining hall
Saw a picture there of Leo
Framed & hanging on a wall
Such a good hearted fellow
So say all the people I know who knew him
It had to be someone who loved the man
Whoever the artist was that drew him

Leo in his uniform
Pins & medals decorate his vest           
Rolled up shirtsleeves & a funny hat  
Tilted slightly to the west
I figured maybe he was there
To keep a watch over the place
Smiling on everyone
He had a real familiar face

If you're up in Canso, Nova Scotia
It's just a flat stone on the ground
He lies just next to Lumsden
You might have to look around
It's a simple little marker
Two hands clasped in prayer
I sat down beside it
And said a little one there

I'd only heard about Stan Rogers
Now it was time to listen to him
His songs brought back to life again
By people I know who knew him
And I thought about a campfire
And the Texas morning light
And that feeling that you leave with
After being there all night

So I'm saying farewell to Leo
It was nearly a quarter ‘til...
The Ballads of Stan Rogers
I'd been enjoying from the hill       
“Stay for another song, son“
I thought I heard somebody say
For one more song, and I had to smile...
Before I walked away

______________________________________________________________________


Seven Miles Upwind

The trees up here are all a sicky brown
It's not for lack of rain - it's in the mist that creeps around
Every night when most people are asleep
It slinks across the valley - and into everything it seeps

There's a paper company - seven miles upwind
I sit outside on a summer's night - it irritates my skin
I get a little dizzy - sometimes my lips go numb
I wake up in the morning I can taste it on my tongue

The paper company employs this whole damn town
It'd wreck alot of families if it ever were shut down
The last city council meeting went to hell
Neighbors turned on neighbors - people were starting to yell

The river's fish you cannot eat
You don't swim in the water - you don't even dip your feet
Downstream the people made a stink
Fed up with being treated with a nod-nod & a wink-wink

The local paper company burns my eyes
Coming from their smokestacks - you can see the vapors rise
Jobs...that's all you need to say around here
Babies'll let you kiss them and a marching band appears...jobs...

 “No cause for concern,” say company personnel
“We operate within the law,” they say about the sickly smell
“I can personally gaurantee they'd pass inspection”
Says the paper candidate the company ran in the most recent election

Paper company security - thanks me for my call
They will file a report - as they're required to by law
Then they ask me for my name - and my address
Why they'd want to know that - is anybody's guess

Paper company puts a burning in my nose
I have to come in off my porch - pull all the windows closed
Maybe I'm just a little too sensitive
Maybe I ought to find myself another place to live
Said the note I found tacked outside my door

______________________________________________________________________

             
G-ddamned Blessed Road

For the kindness of strangers - I often give thanks
Some have fed me and clothed me - some have filled up my tanks
Some have taken me inside - of their humble abodes
Given me sanctuary - on this G-ddamned Blessed Road

It all fit in a backpack - with a sturdy metal frame
My map had routes to everywhere - I highlighted some names
I could've walked to China - I had that light a load
Nearly weightless when I set out - on this G-ddamned Blessed Road

I banded with some gypsies - they had a little camp
A garbage fire to keep warm by - from the cold & from the damp
They taught me about honor - and they handed down the code
Which I have always tried to live by - on this G-ddamned Blessed Road

Magic happens sometimes - and things will just appear
Some gone in an instant - but their memories are dear
My heart it gets heavy & my legs they get bowed
Hauling all my riches away - on this G-ddamned Blessed Road

The picture was in black & white - until color came one day
It was almost as if right before my eyes - the truth it became grey
Answers turned to questions -  I put my faith in the unknown
And I trusted it to lead me - along this G-ddamned Blessed Road

Alot of good books have been written - you can read every one
You can take notes and recite quotes as proof that you got your reading done
So many interpretations of the words of The Ultimate Poet
Who inspires me to write my own - on this G-ddamned Blessed Road

The distance was far greater - sitting face to face at home
Than it would have been from almost anywhere - if we'd been talking on the phone
I told her that I loved her - with a lump in my throat
Got in my car & drove away - down this G-ddamned Blessed Road

Now the world is at your fingertips - all you have to do is choose
Certain games you'll still play anyway - even though the odds are that you'll lose
So call it an adventure then - just the latest episode
Where you let yourself be tempted - on this G-ddamned Blessed Road

Billboards tell you where to go - others tell you what to do
So you're left with having to decide for yourself - what might be right or wrong for you
My one and only question - is how to know how to know?
With all the answers people have for you - out on this G-ddamned Blessed Road

______________________________________________________________________


Miracle in the Hills

Being from the outside they were met with some suspicion
This couple from the city where they call themselves physicians
When mountainfolk got hurt or sick they mostly went untreated
They'd come to see the Doctor and his wife were sorely needed

Word came in on horseback that somebody was sick
“Doctor, get your saddle bags & come a' riding quick”
15 - 20 miles, he'd follow them back home
There was no electricity and no one had a phone

No bridges crossed the river except where they laid rails
There weren't any roads back then & barely any trails
That didn't stop the doctor from the little mountain town
In western North Carolina from going & making the rounds

Doctor went a' riding through the wind and through the rain
If someone out there needed him, if someone was in pain
He saved a few from dieing but a few, they got away
He delivered lots of children & he loved to watch them play

Dr. bought an old junk dynamo that weighed more than a ton
They hauled it home by wagon & the doc got it to run
They moved it to the creek & from the house he ran a wire
Flipped a switch & there was light & all the folks came to admire

Now everybody was pestering the Doc to hook ‘em up
But that old dynamo of his couldn't put out juice enough
He did some reading up on it while riding on his horse
He figured maybe he could make it work by rewinding the core

But they said you just can't do it - GE told him so
They wouldn't sell him parts to rebuild his dynamo   
So he mail-ordered a forge and he made the parts himself
And the Doctor brought electricity to everybody else

Doctor's wife assisted him - she was a doctor too
When he didn't need her there was other work to do
She won people over - a little at a time
With the miracles that happened while the Doctor went a' riding

Dr. Mary Martin Sloop taught the mountain folk to read
Got folks to send their kids to school, which was no easy deed
They soon outgrew the building - the little one room shack
So it was added on to and soon they outgrew that

Dr. Mary Martin Sloop started lobbying the state
To build a brand new school where the kids could graduate
She wrote a bunch of letters and she made a real good case
She even went to Raleigh where she pleaded face to face

The roads down from the mountains to the cities were so rough
Farm wagons couldn't make it to the markets with their stuff
No way to make a living, no good route in or out
On the east side of the Blue Ridge heading north or south

Dr. Mary Martin Sloop again went to the state
Got people writing letters & she met with the legislature
She got a bill pushed through for 50 million dollars
It wasn't long ‘til they were trucking beans and taters from the hollers

The little town of Crossnore saw the road & school get built
The women learned to weave and make the most exquisite quilts
Dr. Mary Martin Sloop had another thing to tell ‘em
She found a shop in Raleigh that was sure that it could sell ‘em

They sold all the quilts and rugs that these women could produce
Money started coming in - they put it to good use
Places where the wind got in they could afford to seal
A little extra cornbread at the evening meal

And so while Doctor went a' riding - curing people's ills
Doctor's wife stayed busy performing other miracles
And to the town of Crossnore there came a better life
Love and admiration for the Doctor and his wife  

Inspiration for this song was found in the autobiography of
Dr. Mary Martin Sloop, “Miracle in the Hills”
(Copyright 1953 McGraw-Hill.  Library of Congress
Catalogue Number: 52-13467  07-058226-2)


______________________________________________________________________


Trees Falling                                                                
                                 
See where they're putting in a Wal-Mart
See how they level the field
The community banded against it
But there was a backroom deal
Trees one day begin falling
Bulldozers tear up the grass
Just down the road from the superstore
Shopkeepers are boarding up glass

See where they're gonna put that highway
They're talking about 8 lanes
Running it right through a neighborhood
Invoking eminent domain
Trees one day begin falling
Bulldozers clear away bricks
A neighborhood is divided
Alternative plans are nixed

See where they're gonna build a ballpark
It's a developer's dream
We give him $500 million
Or else we might lose our team
The money'll come from the city
We'll vote on it until the day it passes
All of our local schools
Will have to do without music classes

See where they're putting in those mansions
Clearing out a bunch of these woods
Putting in a gated community
Where security'll be real good
Trees one day begin falling  
To open up mountain views
They put in a road to the waterfalls
And now they charge admission to it

Say you live out in the country
Up a steep mountain side
A holy little oasis
Nothing but peace & quiet
Trees one day begin falling
Somebody's moving in
Building a house right on top of you
He says he wants to be your friend

Trees one day begin falling
Bulldozers clearing a path
For a really different future
No brakes - just stepping on the gas

______________________________________________________________________


Claire & Johnny

Claire, she loves Johnny
And Johnny, he loves Claire
Of all the places we could start
It's as good as any right there
Johnny signed the order
They took his lovely Claire
They're going to make her better
But it was more than he could bear

What other options were there?
What else could Johnny do?
She was the most beautiful woman
That Johnny ever knew
But Claire sometimes got ugly
She had Johnny in a vice
She could get so mean all of a sudden
After being so nice

Claire, she loves Johnny
And Johnny, he loves Claire
The way she was behaving
Johnny, he got scared
Sometimes it would be hours
That she would sit & stare
Some voice that wasn't her's would speak
But she just wasn't there

Johnny felt so low down
He needed cheering up
He had to get out of the house
So he headed for the pub
That's where we got to talking
We had a pint or two
He asked if I might write a song about it
I said I'd see what I could do
   
Claire, she loves Johnny 
And Johnny, he loves Claire
Even with her cussing at him
Lord, how she could swear
Even with her throwing things
Some that really hurt
Even when she'd speak
Those unspeakable words

Claire is being cared for
They keep her in a room
Under medication
Every day she's groomed
Sometimes she notices the flowers
Among whatever else she sees
And then she'll turn to Johnny
And ask, “Who brought me these?”

Claire, she loves Johnny
And Johnny, he loves Claire
Although she may deny it
Says what Johnny did wasn't fair
She tells Johnny she hates him
He strokes her lovely hair
Of all the places we could stop for now...

______________________________________________________________________


The Room Over the Bar

The room over the bar has a funny kind of smell
Your feet stick to the carpet, what it is you can not tell
The curtains, you can't close ‘em and the toilet won't stop running
The lights they kind of flicker - there's a banging in the plumbing

The room over the bar - number 213
Not particularly large, not particularly clean
It's supposed to be a king bed but it's not even a queen
On a nightstand are some dusty & outdated magazines

The room over the bar is the one without a view
You can't open up the window & there's no light coming through
There's a great big concrete wall you can look at if you want
The rooms that have a view - they're all around the front

The room over the bar is the one they give musicians
It's the one they haven't fixed up ‘cause it's only for musicians
There's at least a couple burn marks on almost everything
You lie down in the bed & you feel each one of the springs

The room over the bar you'll find hairs on the sheet
A broken down remote, and you can't turn off the heat
A towel small as a washcloth and a shower that just dribbles
The tv with 3 channels on the ceiling, on a swivel

The room over the bar - you hear everything below
All sorts of filthy language - must be where all the cussers go
Some words I never heard before - and some I haven't heard since
I've used a few myself - but one or two of ‘em made me wince

The room over the bar has a guitar player below
He's got people singing - all the songs that people know
The sound is all distorted & it's turned up way too loud
There's some really awful singing going on there in the crowd

The room over the bar - it's never gonna close
You've got to get up early - but that's just the way it goes
They quit serving at midnight but the last one leaves at four           
And then you toss & turn for a couple hours more

______________________________________________________________________


Forest Hills Sub

The sign says Forest Hills - it was recently defaced
I guess there was a forest here - before they built this place
With these cookie-cutter homes - with the lawns all manicured
All the cars are waxed and polished - as are all the kitchen floors

It's a wholesome kind of place - that's what they'd have you believe
There's a flag at every house - and a few overachieve
We have a child prodigy - and a couple of folks do art
And a little neighborhood baseball team that plays with lots of heart

The letter to the editor - I read in last week's paper
Was written by that knucklehead - who used to be my neighbor
Talk about intolerance - those people he calls heathens
‘Cause they don't believe the same things - that this knucklehead believes in

Now I know for a fact - a certain so & so reads porn
A package sent to him once - was delivered to my door
I didn't hand it over - no, I kept it to myself
If we should ever have a problem - well, it's up there on the shelf

There was a Pakistani family - that lived just down the block
As soon as they'd replace the glass someone would throw a rock
I don't think it was children - though children can be cruel
Whoever it was that did it - they broke the Golden Rule

People read the Times - and they watch the tv news
They receive it like the Gospel - they've all fallen for the ruse   
They all have their opinions - but none of them have clues                   
There's a patriotic silence - there are no dissenting views

The school we have here couldn't teach a monkey how to climb
And Evie's neighbor maintains - that to homeschool is a crime
I think she's a moron - I told Evie on the phone
Tell her it's none of her goddamned business - in the gentlest of tones

They know him as the garbage man - but I know him as Anthony
Their trash he turns to beauty - some could profit from it handsomely
These little works of art - that he would sprinkle on their lawns
Would end up in the trash again - as soon as people saw ‘em

Katy burned some leaves - and that's against the law
The cop who showed up first said they had gotten 20 calls
They wrote her a citation - but it just went up in smoke
They put her in a squad car - it made for 20 happy folks

And each 4th of July - it's the same tin foil parade
Waving from a flatbed - while a band behind them plays      
All of our local sponsors - and all the block captains too
Party hats & streamers - all red, white, & blue

But just below the varnish - and under the veneer
Behind the smiling faces - and all of the good cheer
You've got your petty jealousies - and all your different feuds
Gossip and suspicions and people who are rude

The sign says “Forest Hills - A Wholesome Kind Of Place”
Now I'm not saying by whom - but it was recently defaced
So let the credits roll - and you can use my song
My guess is that for Hollywood - it's a few seconds too long

______________________________________________________________________


The Goat Man

Traffic would get backed up
When the Goat Man came around
And the tv cameras picked him up
Some miles out of town
In his tattered, sooty overalls
And his greasy railroad cap
Going no place in particular
With a wagon full of scrap

Ches McCartney was a farmer
When the Depression hit
He had some land in Iowa
‘Till the bank foreclosed on it
So he took to cutting timber
For the WPA
‘Till a mighty tall tree fell on him
And crushed his arm one day

They found him underneath it
They thought he'd met his maker
‘Till he woke up in the funeral home
And that shocked the undertaker
The big tree left him crippled
But he swore one thing for certain
That he would never sign up for the dole
He would never be a burden

Some folks might've quit right then
After all that had occurred
But Ches still had his Bible
And he still had his herd
So he built a couple of wagons
And he hitched ‘em to his goats
And they all just set out walking
Down the old two lane roads

North they'd go in springtime
South when it got cold
The Goat Man kept on walking
‘Till he was 85 years old
All through the Carolinas
Virginia & DC
Georgia & Alabama
All across Tennessee

It was every year, or just about
That the Goat Man came around
Camped a couple of nights in somebody's field
On the outskirts of a town
The people would flock to see him
Afraid there was a fire
‘Cause he made alot of black smoke
Burning little scraps of tires

Yeah, the people would flock to see him
And then he'd have ‘em collared
Sell ‘em postcards for a quarter
3 of ‘em for a dollar
You'd laugh about it later
Down the road a couple miles
How he took you for a quarter
But he left you with a smile

The Goat Man preached the Gospel
But he changed a couple of words
He was the cussingest preacher
Anybody'd ever heard
And if you needed preaching
Come Sunday 4 o'clock
The Goat Man gave a sermon
Whether anybody was there or not

The things most people slave for
The Goat Man he rejected
It was for the good of others
All the money he collected
He didn't have much use for it
Himself, he used to say
He walked a hundred thousand miles
Giving all of it away

The Goat Man had a bushy beard
With bits of food stuck to it
If you had some fat to chew
He'd sit with you and chew it
He didn't bathe for all those years
You wouldn't just not notice
You might even catch a whiff of it
Looking at some old Goat Man photos

Now the Goat Man had a favorite goat
It's name it was Old Bill
For 30 years they walked together
Up & down the hills
Old Bill got to stop pulling
He earned his right to ride
His last days in the wagon
While the Goat Man walked beside him

The roads all got too crowded
And the cars all got too fast
The Goat Man parked his wagon
And he put his goats to pasture
It was somewhere down near Macon
In a nursing home
Where he found himself a sweetheart
They say he might've worn cologne


Inspiration for this song came from the book “America's Goat Man”
(1994 Little River Press) by Darryl Patton, Little River Trading Post, Route 1, Box
85-A, Leesburg, Alabama 35983  (205) 523-7667

 Further inspiration was found in the video
“Goat Man - The Life & Times of Ches McCartney"
(2000 Sub Rosa Studios - SRSPEC 9001)


______________________________________________________________________


Dangerous Times

There's terror in our midst         
They could be one of us         
Behind you in the line               
Beside you on the bus            
Wearing camouflage                 
They might be wearing suits     
The terrorists among us              
Might be wearing army boots    

These are dangerous times
People are afraid
No looking back at history
To see how enemies were made
Some dictators are bad
Some dictators are good
That's a hard one to explain
But I wish somebody would

So let us all agree
Let us not dissent
Let us not ask questions such as
Where our freedoms went
We'll just fly fly the flag                    
Sing G-d Bless America          
Question people's patriotism                    
Who don't join in the hysteria

These are dangerous times
And so we lose our rights
While these terrorists among us
Do their dirty work at night
There isn't time to read
The contents of the bills
That Congress votes for anyway
Up there on The Hill

There's terror in our midst
It wears the good disguise
Fools alot of people
They seem like such regular guys
Rewriting all the rules
You don't have any say 
In fact they even count on you
To look the other way

There's terror in our midst
All over the tv
It's what's behind the words
That scares the daylights out of me
The twisting of the facts
The stretching of the truth
The terrorists among us
They manipulate the news

So let us all agree
Let us not dissent
Let us not ask questions such as
Where our freedoms went
We're going to build them schools
We're going to build them banks
We're going to build them pipelines
From their fields to our tanks

My heart goes out to Johnny
Sent off into war
They convince him it's for freedom
That he'd lay his life down for
My thoughts are often with him
I pray he comes home safe
And I pray for every innocent
Laid early in the grave

These are dangerous times
You might be overheard
Using one of whatever they've defined
As being a dangerous word
What if they don't like your songs?
What if they don't like your books?
What if you fit a profile
Based solely on your looks?

They listen to us talk
They read the things we write
They watch us all on cameras
They know where you were last night
They know where you stopped for gas
Which magazines you bought
Back in 1984
This was all just crazy talk

So let us all agree
Let us not dissent
Let us not ask questions such as
Where our freedoms went
Let's have a look inside those pockets
Let's have a look inside that purse
Let's have a look inside that glove box
Or someplace maybe worse

And who was in your house
While you weren't home
And looked in your computer
And through everything you own?
What did they want to know?
Which websites do you visit?
What have you learned about them?
They want to know - what is it?

So let us all agree
Let us not dissent
Let us not ask questions such as
Where our freedoms went
We'll just fly fly the flag
Sing G-d Bless America
Question people's patriotism
Who don't join in the hysteria
 
______________________________________________________________________


Al's Ashes & Me 

(In memory of Al Grierson, 1948 - 2000) 
http://www.surfnetusa.com/celtic-folk/artists/algrierson.htm

Welcome Home, Al, said the sign at the gate
I got there early, Al got there late
Together we entered and greeted our mates
Al - he was back in Texas

Al's ashes & me, we've been for a drive
To places he loved while he was alive
Back at the ranch, on the day we arrived
We saw almost all of his favorite people

Al's ashes & me, been making the rounds
Out in the country & into the towns
Trying to find some higher ground...

Al's ashes & me, we sleep in motels
Where we have to be out by 11 or 12
Al could do better describing the smells
‘Cause Al, you see, he was a poet

I get the bed & Al gets the floor
My jeans in a pile over by the door
There's always a bible in one of the drawers...
And a remote control for the tv

Now I might appear to be eating alone
A table for two, I sit on my own
But looks are deceiving, the truth it be known
Alone but for the roses

Al's ashes & me had a brush with the law
At the airport the metal detector went off
I emptied my pockets, and the first thing they saw
Was Al, and I had to do some explaining

Al's ashes & me on the Donegal shore
We walked in the sand and the ocean roared
Him in my pocket, me trying to keep warm
In my coat, but Al had a red bandana

Al's ashes & me, we sat in a pub
The Cobblestone Bar, in the Smithfield part of Dublin
Al on the wagon, me raising my cup
“To Al,” I says to the barman 

I introduce Al to some of my friends
Not all the time just every now & again
I guess you could say that it really depends
On how it feels at the moment

Al's ashes & me, we wish you were here
We'd show you the sights & bring you good cheer   
We're hoping to see you later this year
Lord willing...

______________________________________________________________________

Lyrics for the album 
The Baseball Ballads

all songs written and copyrighted by Chuck Brodsky (BMI)


The Ballad Of Eddie Klepp

The war had finally ended and America had changed
It had beaten back the nazis but the Jim Crow laws remained
There was talk of staging marches & talk of civil rights
There was talk about a Negro playing baseball with the Whites

He walked into the clubhouse and the card players quit playing
Everybody stopped in the middle of whatever they were saying
It was just like when the sheriff walks into the saloon
He said, “My name is Eddie,” as he looked around the room

“This man’s here to play baseball,” the manager said to the team
“We’re all gonna have to live with this...aw, that’s not what I mean...
You know what I mean” - and they all did...it went without saying
The card players looked at their hands and they went on with their playing

They ran him off the field before a game in Birmingham one night
Made him sit up in the grandstand in the section marked “For Whites”
In his Cleveland Buckeyes uniform, it was a new twist on the law
The marshalls kept their eyes on him and the hecklers ate him raw

Eddie Klepp, he should’ve run the bases in reverse
A White man in the Negro Leagues, that had to be a first
He could not ride the same busses, or stay in the same motels
He could not eat in the same restaurants, you couldn’t have mixed clientele

So while Jackie played for Brooklyn and wore the Dodger Blue
Eddie crossed the color line, the one without a queue
A White man in the Negro Leagues, might as well have been a Jew
Now you mention the name of Eddie Klepp and most everyone says, “Who?”

______________________________________________________________________

Gone To Heaven

His uniform was baggy - he had gigantic feet
His hat was always cock-eyed & he had but a few teeth
And a schozz as big as Baltimore - and a heart as big as Devon
Max Patkin made the children laugh - and for that he’s gone to Heaven

Max Patkin, he was Vaudeville - last of the old time clowns
Funniest looking fellow - that ever went from town to town
With the kind of face that he himself said - only a mother could love
With his loosey-goosey limbs - and his floppy leather glove

Max Patkin worked 3 innings - they let him coach first base
He’d call a meeting with the batter - and then kiss him on the face
Then he’d do his chicken walk - and then his geyser bit
Where he’d take a sip of soda - tilt his head back and spit

Max would leave ‘em howling - then be slumped upon his stool
With his back against a locker - filling the whirlpool
Dirtied up and sweaty - down to his stockinged feet
He’d give the clubhouse boy 5 dollars - to scrape the mud off of his cleats

The Clown Prince of Baseball - did 5,000 gigs
For 50 years he shared the bill - with circus dogs & talking pigs
And by the 9th inning - he’d be back at the motel
With an early morning wake-up call - and the next night he’d be someplace else

The towels in every motel room - they all smell like chlorine
From the Rookie Leagues to Triple A - and all points in between
And all those hotshot prospects - who ever were Big League bound
He saw ‘em on the way up - and some on the way back down

Oh, to be a clown these days - you’ve got to have thick skin
A flask in your back pocket - or a bottle of aspirin
The drunks sometimes’ll getcha - or the team that did not win
It’s tough to be a clown these days - you’ve got to have thick skin

Max Patkin loved the children - and the children, they loved him
His body would fall apart sometimes - but he’d patch it up for them
He never, ever, not even one time - sold an autograph
A funny man, Max Patkin - he made people laugh

The times changed on Max Patkin - along came Rock & Roll
They blare it from the speakers now - if ever there’s a lull
And some guy in a chicken suit - is circling the bases
With a corporate logo on his back - and in 1 or 2 other places

If there’s a St. Peter - sitting at the gate
He probably saw Max play sometime - and wiped clean Max’s slate
That corny old routine - dated back to 1947
Max Patkin made the children laugh - and for that he’s gone to Heaven

______________________________________________________________________

Lefty

Lefty’s in the minors, got his shoulder packed in ice
He’s trying to hang on there against all that good advice
Used to throw that sinker but that sinkerball went south
And then they started calling him for going to his mouth

Lefty holds the record for most strike-outs in a game
Once upon a time he really threw a ball of flame
Some wish he’d gone gracefully when his time finally came
They put Lefty on waivers but nobody laid a claim

It’s a Godalmighty shame - he got too old to play the game
Where he made himself a name - and they call him Lefty

Lefty wore the pinstripes for a good number of years
The bleacher bums all loved him - they were tanked up with their beer
He used to throw that heater, but the radar does not lie
And now when Lefty lays one up there you can kiss that thing goodbye

It’s a Godalmighty shame - he got too old to play the game
Where he made himself a name - and they call him Lefty

Now they’re calling him from Cooperstown - out on the bullpen phone
Some little field in Bumfolk where the grass is overgrown
It’s the bottom of the 7th and a runner just got on
And they’re calling for a lefty...but Lefty’s not the one

There’s a capital “L” in Lefty, so say it with respect
He’s Senor Lefty down in Mexico & he’s Lefty in Quebec
He could smoke you, he could fool you, throw a curve around your neck
He could paint one on the corners, he could fill the upper deck

It’s a Godalmighty shame - he got too old to play the game
Where he made himself a name - and they call him Lefty

______________________________________________________________________

Dock Ellis’s No-No

It was a lovely summer’s morning
An off-day in LA
So thought one Dock Ellis
As he would later say
His girlfriend read the paper
She said, “Dock, this can’t be right...
It says here that you’re pitching
In San Diego tonight”

“Got to get you to the airport”
And so off Dock Ellis flew
His legs were a little bit wobbly
And the rest of him was too
Took a taxi to the ballpark
An hour before the game
Gave some half-assed explanation
Found the locker with his name

Time came to go on out there
Down the corridor
The walls were a little bit wavy
There were ripples in the floor
He went out to the bullpen
To do a bunch of stretches
Loosen up a little
Throw his warm-up pitches

All rose for the national anthem
People took off their hats
Fireworks were exploding
The cokes were already going flat
Dock was back there in the dugout
So many things to watch
Some players spit tobacco juice
Others grabbed their crotch

The umpire hollered, “Play Ball!”
And so it came to be
Dock’s Pirates batted first
And when they went down 1-2-3
Dock’s catcher put his mask on
And he handed Dock the ball
It was 327 feet
To the right & left field walls

The Pirates took the field then
And Dock stood on the rubber
He bounced a couple of pitches
And then he bounced a couple others
You might say about that day
He looked a little wild
The lead-off batter trembled
Nobody knew why Dock Ellis smiled

You walk 8 and you hit a guy
The things that people shout...
Especially your manager
But he didn’t take Dock out
Dock found himself a rythym
And a crazy little spin
Amazing things would happen
When Dock Ellis zeroed in

Sometimes he saw the catcher
Sometimes he did not
Sometimes he held a beach balll
Other times it was a dot
Dock was tossing comets
That were leaving trails of glitter
At the 7th inning stretch
He still had a no-hitter

So he turned to Cash, his buddy
Said, “I got a no-no going”
Speaking the unspeakable
He went back out there throwing
Bottom of the ninth
& He stood high upon the mound
3 more outs to go
He’d have his name in Cooperstown

First up was Cannizzaro
Who flied out to Alou
Kelly grounded out for Dean
The shortstop yelled, “That’s two”
It must’ve been a mad house
The fans upon their feet
The littler ones among them
Standing on their seats

Next up would’ve been Herbel
But Spezio pinch-hit
He took a 3rd strike looking
And officially, that was it
It was a lovely summer’s morning
An off-day in LA
So thought one Dock Ellis
As he would later say

______________________________________________________________________

Letters In The Dirt

Me & you, we never booed Richie Allen
I never understood why people did
He hit a homer every time he stepped up to the plate
That’s what I remember as a kid

Richie in the field out there by first base
The target of some mighty foul words
With his shoes he’d scrawl between the pitched
“B-O-O” in great big letters in the dirt

Philly fans, they’ve been known to get nasty
When Joe must go, they’ll run him out of town
I saw Santa get hit by a snowball
And then get hit again when he was down

Me & you, we never booed Richie Allen
Even if he did sometimes strike out
I was too young to read the papers
To know what all that booing was about

That big collapse of ‘64 was ugly
They blew a lead of 6 and one-half games with 12 to play
Some might say their fans were justifiably angry
World Series tickets printed up in vain

Philly fans, they’ve been known to get nasty
When Joe must go, they’ll run him out of town
I saw Santa get hit by a snowball
And then get hit again when he was down

Going back to old Connie Mack Stadium
You teaching me the rules of the game
We root-root-rooted for the home team
Thhose other people shoulda been ashamed

This was before the days of the million dollar contracts
Before the days of the artificial grass
He stood a bit outside the lines which made him fair game for those times
Richie Allen never kissed a white man’s ass

Me & you, we never booed Richie Allen
No, we’d pound our mitts & we’d yell, “We want a hit”
How could they call a guy a bum after he’d just hit a home run?
That didn’t make any sense to a kid

Now I’ve since found out all these days later
Now I know alot more than I did
And if back then you knew, Daddy, why all those other people booed...
Thanks for letting me have my heroes as a kid

______________________________________________________________________

Bonehead Merkle

September 23rd
19 Hundred & Eight
Cubs against the Giants
Giants at the plate
Bridwell came to bat
There were two outs & two on
It was the bottom of the 9th
The infield it was drawn

Two weeks left in the season
It was a classic pennant race
The Giants had a one game lead
And the Cubs were giving chace
Polo Grounds were rocking
Score was tied at one
Moose McCormick was on 3rd base
He was the winning run

Which brings us to Fred Merkle
Whose name would soon be cursed
He was the other runner
He took his lead off first
Bridwell drilled a line-drive
Out into right-center
McCormick could’ve walked home
And the Giants were the winners

The Polo Grounds erupted
Thousands rushed the field
The players all ran for their lives
Fans right on their heels
& Merkle was halfway to second
By the time McCormick scored
But then Merkle made a bee-line
Straight for the clubhouse door

Now the door to the clubhouse
Was in the outfield wall
Merkle never did touch 2nd
And the Cubs retrieved the ball
The throw back to the infield
Reached the wrong couple of hands
& Giants coach McGinnity
Threw the ball up in the stands

And after a long deliberation
The Ump ruled Merkle “out”
It would take too long to clear the field
Of the unruly crowd
And since night games were unheard of then
And it would soon be dark
He called the game a 1 - 1 tie
And would have to sneak away from the park

Giants manager McGraw argued
That this Rule 59
Never was enforced
And so why should it be this time?
But only two weeks earlier
It ran on all the wires
The same play happened to the Cubs
And to the very same umpire

But none of the New York papers
Deemed the story fit to print
And so it was that thanks to them
Their team was ignorant
But all throughout the Baseball world
And elsewhere people knew it
A runner has to touch his base
And Merkle didn’t do it

So the matter was turned over
To the Baseball powers-that-be
Who upheld the Ump’s decision
& they ruled prophetically
That if the season were to end
With the Cubs & Giants tied
They’d have to replay “The Merkle Game”
So First Place could be decided

Well, they replayed “The Merkle Game"
And fee-fi-fo-fum...
The Giants lost the pennant
And Merkle was the bum
The papers let him have it
They gave it to him good
They ran the kind of headlines
That only New York papers could

They dubbed him “Bonehead” Merkle
They made up Merkle words
One might “pull a Merkle”
And “to Merkle” became a verb
Some would yell “touch 2nd, Bonehead”
When he stood on first
Little kids yelled “moron”
And the older kids much worse

It haunted him his whole life
Until 42 years later
In front of 35,000
Former Merkle haters
Back there at the Polo Grounds
For an old-timers game
There was a long standing ovation
When they announced Fred Merkle’s name

______________________________________________________________________

Moe Berg: The Song

Moe Berg the catcher - good field and no hit
Somehow he lasted 19 years - ‘till his knees made him quit
He never really played much & he never really cared
He was happy just to hang around with a uniform to wear

Moe Berg the Princeton graduate - went on to study law
Got his degree from Columbia - all the while playing ball
He caught the eye of the Dodgers - who were trying to sign a Jew
Who might help ‘em sell some tickets - in The Bronx & Yonkers too

Moe Berg the professor of the bullpen joked with pitchers
Reading them the newspapers he used to have delivered
He spoke to ‘em in Russian, Japanese & French
He was the greatest scholar that ever rode the bench

Moe Berg & The Babe, they went over to Japan
With a team of touring all-stars giving clinics for the fans
This was back in the 30’s as the world prepared for war
Moe took a lot of pictures - nobody knew what for

Moe Berg the secret agent - never even told his mom
Of his mission to determine if the Germans had the bomb
He learned to speak good physics - without hardly a lisp
He infiltrated lectures with the German scientists

Moe Berg the walking riddle - would put his fingers to his lips
If you recognized him on the street - he’d nod & whisper “shhhh”
He kept a lot of secrets - no one will ever know
He knew a lot of people - but nobody ever knew Moe

Moe Berg the beloved - he had the gift of gab
The moocher, the celebrity - he never paid the tab
He could get in at the ballpark - with his lifetime player’s pass
He could eat up in the press box - someone always filled his glass

Moe Berg son of an immigrant - brought his father shame
All that education - then to play a child’s game
Moe made it to the Majors - but his dad would never go see him
Moe’s baseball card is on display at the CIA museum.

Long after he’d retired - there was still Moe Berg the myth
He rode into the sunset hanging sadly onto it
Appearing on a game show - as the mystery guest
Some say disappearing - might be what Moe did best

______________________________________________________________________

The Unnatural Shooting of Eddie Waitkus

Ruth Ann Steinhagen, who was an office typist
Went to a baseball game at Wrigley Field
With a couple of her girlfriends, it was innocent enough
Ruth Ann’s future though that day would be revealed

Some girls she didn’t know were yelling, “Hey you, funny face”
To a player who was within shouting distance
And there stood her Adonis in the form of Eddie Waitkus
Who was blissfully unaware of her existence

It was April 27th of 1947
Ruth Ann blew a circuit in her brain
The 27th of every month would be the anniversary
Of the time she first saw Eddie Waitkus play

Every Saturday & Sunday she would ride the El to Wrigley
Sit halfway up the line behind first base
Cause that was his position and those were the closest seats
Where she could have the best view of his face

Ruth Ann collected articles & photographs of Eddie
She slept with pictures of him in her head
She learned some Lithuanian, to better understand his roots
Made a shrine to him beside her bed

Ruth Ann’s world was shattered the day Eddie was traded
To Philadelphia & for many days she cried
She wrote him letters often and she phoned & left him messages
But never once did she get a reply

On the north side of Chicago, the Edgewater Beach Hotel
When the Phillies came to town that’s where they stayed
Ruth Ann made her reservation a month ahead of time
On her calendar she ticked off every day

A room service daiquiri & a couple of whiskey sours
All three of which she nervously consumed
While waiting up for Eddie who was out late having dinner
After starring in the game that afternoon

Ruth Ann bribed a bell hop to leave a note for Eddie
Urging him to come up to her room
1297-A, Ruth Ann wrote on hotel stationary
That had the faintest trace of her perfume

“It’s extremely important I see you as soon as possible...
It would be to your advantage to let me explain”
It was very nearly midnight and the Phillies had a curfew
Eddie just kept staring at the name

Ruth Ann was the same name of the woman Eddie dated
But what on earth would she be doing in town?
She surely would’ve phoned first before coming to Chicago
Eddie rang the elevator down

A tall girl answered the door, said Ruth Ann stepped out for a minute
Eddie sat down by the window in a chair
Ruth Ann said, “I’ve got a surprise for you” - it was a pawn shop rifle
Eddie stood up & said “Baby, what have you got there?”

“Baby, why’d you do it?” asked a bleeding Eddie Waitkus
Over him a lifeless Ruth Ann stood
“You’ve been bothering me for two years,” Ruth Ann said to Eddie
“And if I couldn’t have you then nobody could”

Ruth Ann phoned the desk clerk to say she had shot Eddie
That’s probably why he didn’t bleed to death
“Baby, why’d you do it?” he kept asking from the stretcher
Struggling for every precious breath

Ruth Ann told the detectives how she’d planned on stabbing Eddie
And how then she would’ve taken her own life
But when Eddie sat down in the chair a stabbing was impossible
So she used the rifle instead of the knife

Ruth Ann did three years in a mental institution
They set her free when they said she was cured
And after four operations Eddie Waitkus did recover
At least you see his name in all the old boxscores

But Eddie took to drinking...
He turned into an angry man
People often wondered, and there were a bunch of rumors
Just how well he knew that crazy star-struck fan

______________________________________________________________________

Whitey and Harry

Moonlight on the mountains
North Carolina two-lane
Trying to find a ballgame
No matter how bad the reception
Whitey, man, I miss you
When I listen to the Phillies
And there’s Harry going on without you
Harry...good old Harry

Radio under my pillow
Kept me up on school nights
The ballgames from the west coast
Wouldn’t start until eleven
Whitey, man, I miss you
When I listen to the Phillies
And there’s Harry going on without you
For the first time since I was seven

We wore red, the thousands of us
Who’d come to say goodbye & pay their last respects
This tough town really loved you
I saw grown men who wept

Bats & spikes & flowers
Made a shrine around your casket
And I signed in in the guestbook
As the line filed past it
Whitey, man, I miss you
When I listen to the Phillies
And there’s Harry going on without you
Harry...good old Harry

______________________________________________________________________

Lyrics for the album 
Last of the Old Time

all songs written and copyrighted by Chuck Brodsky (BMI)


The Boys in The Back Room

The boys in the back room
Who use to run the city
Anyway they wanted to
They were stealing from the kitty
Stomping out their cigars
Any place they wanted to
What you could go to jail for
They could do in front of you

The boys in the back room
Sat on the commissions
That were supposed to regulate
Factory emissions
Toxins in the air
Toxins in the water
These were our protectors
They were sanctioning the slaughter

The boys in the back room
Didn't like attention
Drawn to their activities
Which the paper never mentioned
Thanks to the editor
Who was a good ol'  friend of theirs
So was the police chief
And also the developers

The boys in the back room
Went golfing every Sunday
They had a game of pinochle
That happened every Monday
Tuesdays were the meetings
Where the public was invited
Where they went through all the motions
But no wrongs were ever righted

The boys in the back room
On Wednesdays traded favors
They had a secret handshake
And other such behavior
They fixed traffic tickets
Granted exemptions and waivers
Awarded city contracts
To associates and neighbors

The boys in the back room
Were desperate to hold on
Assassinating characters
Of whoever might've told on them
But the day did finally come
When they stood before a jury
Some were sent to prison
It was a one paragraph story

The boys in the back room
Who just used to make the rules
Any way they wanted to
They thought they still had the people fooled

______________________________________________________________________


Take it Out Back

Ashes from the woodstove filling up the bucket
Spilling out the top, so where am I gonna chuck it?
Take it out the back door to where I never mow
Find a little spot that no one'll ever go to

Take it out back and dump it in the river
Take it out back and throw it in the woods
Take it out back and chuck it down the hillside
Keep the front yard looking good

That old tv - it quit on me brother
Ten years ago - I got me another
First one's sitting out by the porch swing
With the fridge and the stove and a bunch of other things

Take it out back and dump it in the river
Take it out back and throw it in the woods
Take it out back and chuck it down the hillside
Keep the front yard looking good

That rusty old car - it's got no motor
If it had any gas I'd try to explode her
Hubcaps, hoods, and old transmissions
Take 'em to the river - gonna make for good fishing

Take it out back and dump it in the river
Take it out back and throw it in the woods
Take it out back and chuck it down the hillside
Keep the front yard looking good

The food in the fridge - it's all turned green
And the chicken bones that have been picked clean
Some on the counter - some on the floor
Let's take 'em out the back door

Take it out back and dump it in the river
Take it out back and throw it in the woods
Take it out back and chuck it down the hillside
Keep the front yard looking good

______________________________________________________________________


3rd Dead Cat

When you get off of the interstate
When you get off of the interstate
When you get to the end of the ramp
Turn left & then go basically straight

You're gonna go several miles
You're gonna go several miles
You might start to wonder after a while
But you're gonna go several miles

You've gotta go over the gap
You've gotta go over the gap
You might not find it on just any old map
You've got to go over the gap

There'll be a field of corn
There'll be a field of corn
It's at the end of that field of corn
That is, if the weather's warm

Look for the 3rd dead cat
It's just past the 3rd dead cat
Just past the one that's especially flat
It's just past the 3rd dead cat

Turn right at the gravel road
Turn right at the gravel road
Soon as you see it you're just gonna know
Turn right at the gravel road

If you get to the church turn back
If you get to the church turn back
Do a U-turn if you get to the church
The one with the historical plaque

Go up & around the red shack
Go up & around the red shack
Take a look at what they've got out back
As you go up & around the red shack

Drive right through that pack of hounds
Drive right through that pack of hounds
They'll all get up from their lieing down
To play chicken with you so don't go around 

Now that gravel road's gonna split
That gravel road's gonna split
Keep left where the gravel road splits
So you don't go off in the ditch

At all of the forks keep left
At all of the forks keep left
Don't go right at any of the forks
You might end up an unwelcome guest

Brace yourself for the hill
Brace yourself for the hill
Take a deep breath & summon your will
Brace yourself for the hill

All the way to the top
Go all the way to the top
Don't forget to breathe, put down your pop
And whatever you do, don't stop

You'll find the key on the ledge
You'll find the key on the ledge
There's wood on the porch, beer in the fridge
You'll find the key on the ledge

It's just past the 3rd dead cat
It's just past the 3rd dead cat
The one that looks like a welcome mat
It's just past the 3rd dead cat

______________________________________________________________________


40 Years

40 years of Jack Williams
Y' mean you can turn out like that?
Not too big for your britches?
And not too big for your hat?

Let me tell you about Jack Williams
He's got at least 500 songs
Now some of 'em might end a little too soon
But not a one of 'em is too long

40 years of Jack Williams
Travelling all around
You might not have ever heard of him
But I betcha he's played your town

40 years of Jack Williams
Y' mean you can turn out like that?
Not too big for your britches?
And not too big for your hat?

Mel Bay would've been jealous
Jack would've done him proud
He probably knows alot more chords
Than ought to be allowed

One time Dickie Betts was down
Nursing a broken hand
So Jack that night played lead guitar
In the Allman Brothers Band

40 years of Jack Williams
Y' mean you can turn out like that?
Not too big for your britches?
And not too big for your hat?

40 years of Jack Williams
Man, that says alot
I like him both for who he is
And as much for who he's not

No leather jacket, no rhinestones
No make-up on his lips
He surely ain't no dancing fool
Wiggling his hips

And something else about Jack Williams
He's a gentleman through and through
As Southern as a whipporwhill
And boiled peanuts too

40 years of Jack Williams
Y' mean you can turn out like that?
Not too big for your britches?
And not too big for your hat?

40 years of Jack Williams
He's made the best of friends
All along his travels
Everywhere he's been

And on the Edisto River
These friends from far and wide
Gathered for to pick & grin
And to eat & to be outside

Celebrating 40 years of Jack Williams
A man I'm glad to know
We've had our conversations
Then it was time to go

40 years of Jack Williams
Y' mean you can turn out like that?
Not too big for your britches?
And not too big for your hat?

______________________________________________________________________


Bonehead Merkle

(inspired by an article written by Chris Christensen 
that originally  appeared in Elysian Fields Quarterly Magazine)


September 23rd 
19 Hundred & Eight
Cubs against the Giants
Giants at the plate
Bridwell came to bat
There were two outs & two on
It was the bottom of the 9th
The infield it was drawn

Two weeks left in the season
It was a classic pennant race
The Giants had a one game lead
And the Cubs were giving chace
Polo Grounds were rocking
Score was tied at one
Moose McCormick was on 3rd base
He was the winning run

Which brings us to Fred Merkle
Whose name would soon be cursed
He was the other runner
He took his lead off first
Bridwell drilled a line-drive
Out into right-center
McCormick could've walked home
And the Giants were the winners

The Polo Grounds erupted
Thousands rushed the field
The players all ran for their lives
Fans right on their heels
& Merkle was halfway to second
By the time McCormick scored
But then Merkle made a bee-line
Straight for the clubhouse door

Now the door to the clubhouse
Was in the outfield wall
Merkle never did touch 2nd
And the Cubs retrieved the ball
The throw back to the infield 
Reached the wrong couple of hands
& Giants coach McGinnity
Threw the ball up in the stands

And after a long deliberation
The Ump ruled Merkle "out"
It would take too long to clear the field 
Of the unruly crowd
And since night games were unheard of then
And it would soon be dark
He called the game a 1 - 1 tie
And would have to sneak away from the park

Giants manager McGraw argued
That this Rule 59
Never was enforced
And so why should it be this time?
But only two weeks earlier
It ran on all the wires
The same play happened to the Cubs
And to the very same umpire

But none of the New York papers
Deemed the story fit to print
And so it was that thanks to them
Their team was ignorant
But all throughout the Baseball world
And elsewhere people knew it
A runner has to touch his base
And Merkle didn't do it

So the matter was turned over 
To the Baseball powers-that-be
Who upheld the Ump's decision
& they ruled prophetically
That if the season were to end
With the Cubs & Giants tied
They'd have to replay "The Merkle Game"
So First Place could be decided

Well, they replayed "The Merkle Game"
And fee-fi-fo-fum...
The Giants lost the pennant
And Merkle was the bum
The papers let him have it
They gave it to him good
They ran the kind of headlines
That only New York papers could

They dubbed him "Bonehead" Merkle
They made up Merkle words
One might "pull a Merkle"
And "to Merkle" became a verb
Some would yell "touch 2nd, Bonehead"
When he stood on first
Little kids yelled "moron"
And the older kids much worse

It haunted him his whole life
Until 42 years later
In front of 35,000
Former Merkle haters
Back there at the Polo Grounds
For an old-timers game
There was a long standing ovation
When they announced Fred Merkle's name

______________________________________________________________________


Gone To Heaven

His uniform was baggy - he had gigantic feet 
His hat was always cock-eyed & he had but a few teeth
And a schozz as big as Baltimore - and a heart as big as Devon
Max Patkin made the children laugh - and for that he's gone to Heaven

Max Patkin, he was Vaudeville - last of the old time clowns
Funniest looking fellow - that ever went from town to town
With the kind of face that he himself said - only a mother could love
With his loosey-goosey limbs - and his floppy leather glove

Max Patkin worked 3 innings - they let him coach first base
He'd call a meeting with the batter - and then kiss him on the face
Then he'd do his chicken walk - and then his geyser bit
Where he'd take a sip of soda - tilt his head back and spit

Max would leave 'em howling - then be slumped upon his stool
With his back against a locker - filling the whirlpool
Dirtied up and sweaty - down to his stockinged feet
He'd give the clubhouse boy 5 dollars - to scrape the mud off of his cleats

The Clown Prince of Baseball - did 5,000 gigs
For 50 years he shared the bill - with circus dogs & talking pigs
And by the 9th inning - he'd be back at the motel
With an early morning wake-up call - and the next night he'd be someplace else

The towels in every motel room - they all smell like chlorine
From the Rookie Leagues to Triple A - and all points in between
And all those hotshot prospects - who ever were Big League bound
He saw 'em on the way up - and some on the way back down

Oh, to be a clown these days - you've got to have thick skin
A flask in your back pocket - or a bottle of aspirin
The drunks sometimes'll getcha - or the team that did not win
It's tough to be a clown these days - you've got to have thick skin

Max Patkin loved the children - and the children, they loved him
His body would fall apart sometimes - but he'd patch it up for them
He never, ever, not even one time - sold an autograph
A funny man, Max Patkin - he made people laugh

The times changed on Max Patkin - along came Rock & Roll
They blare it from the speakers now - if ever there's a lull
And some guy in a chicken suit - is circling the bases
With a corporate logo on his back - and in 1 or 2 other places

If there's a St. Peter - sitting at the gate
He probably saw Max play sometime - and wiped clean Max's slate
That corny old routine - dated back to 1947
Max Patkin made the children laugh - and for that he's gone to Heaven

______________________________________________________________________


He Came To Our Town

He came to our town
For maybe an hour
The streets all got swept
And they planted some flowers
Babies he kissed
To the people he waved
And he stopped
At a Civil War General's grave

He struck just the right pose
He hit just the right chord
When he spoke of the family
And then of the Lord
He addressed the concerns 
Of the common man
And he spoke of the glory
Of this mighty land

He had just the right color
His smile was fixed
His wardrobe assembled
From a bagful of tricks
He had gobs of make-up
Caked on his face
Starch in his collar
Every hair was in place

His wife stood beside him
His daughter did too
And behind them, a flag
With the red, white, and blue
Balloons from the rafters
Fell to the floor
Oh, Happy Days
Were gonna be here once more

He could sell you a war
He could revoke your rights
And still come off as your friend
In the camera lights
He'll run negative ads
If he has to to win
He'll go back on his word
He'll shed his old skin

He said all the right words
Quoted Bob Dylan songs
He sounded hip
Even though he quoted them wrong
His closets were cleaned
And his history revised
So his record would be spotless
To most people's eyes

I wasn't touched 
By this guy in the least
He was no savior
Nor was he the beast
I have to admit
That they staged a good show
It was all reminiscent 
Of four years ago

He came to our town
For maybe an hour
The streets all got swept
And they planted some flowers
Babies he kissed
To the people he waved
And he stopped
At a Civil War General's grave

And after an hour
They whisked him away
Things went back to normal
Over two or three days
The homeless returned
To living outside
And the flowers that got planted
All wilted and died

He came to our town
For maybe an hour
The streets all got swept
And they planted some flowers

______________________________________________________________________


How Beautiful She Looks

"How beautiful she looks" - I heard people say
"Her hair is majestic, perfect that way...
Oh, what a looker she was in her day"
And that's how she'll be remembered

She picked out her casket, the music, the preacher
The dress she would wear, and the highlights to feature
The words on her headstone, and the silk underneath her
And I promised I'd make her up pretty

Her head in my hands, they were trembling so
This hair that I combed, that would nevermore grow
I put a bow at the end of the braid
Keeping the promise I'd made

"How beautiful she looks" - I heard people say
"Her hair is majestic, perfect that way...
Oh, what a looker she was in her day"
And that's how she'll be remembered

Why was she taken, so young, and this way?
I doubt if I'll learn before my dieing day
And who'll do my hair, and who'll make up my face...
A stranger, or someone who knew me?

"How beautiful she looks" - I heard people say
"Her hair is majestic, perfect that way...
Oh, what a looker she was in her day"
And that's how she'll be remembered

______________________________________________________________________


In The Country

I love it in the country
At night you can see stars
You can pull somebody's leg
& tell 'em "Look, there's Mars"
And they can pull your leg right back
& tell you yeah they know
And that that one there is Neptune
Yeah that one hanging low

I love it in the country
When people wave hello
When you're driving by them
People you don't even know
I can't help but smile
Where in the city maybe I could
& as I head on down the road
I can't help feeling good

I love it in the country
Listening to the birds
You sit out there long enough 
You start picking out the words
I swear I heard what sounded like
The Gettysburg Address
From a little Lincoln Sparrow
With a white patch on its breast

I love it in the country
There's a different set of laws
Where the only answer that you'll get                      
Sometimes is "just because"
Where it's do unto others
And it's live & let live
You screw up on that stuff
Folks are real slow to forgive

I love it in the country         
The things that people say
I might could write a book on it
& I might just will some day
Ask a simple question
Somebody might bend your ear
You ask for directions
You can't get there from here

I love it in the country
My neighbor raises sheep
Pigs & cows & chickens
On a hillside where it's steep
At night you ought to hear it
When the bulls have been let out   
I lay in my bed thinking 
How I'm glad I'm not a cow 

And how I love it in the country
At night you can see stars
You can pull somebody's leg
& tell 'em "Look, there's Mars"

______________________________________________________________________


Restless Kid

I was a restless kid
I was a restless kid
I'll probably never mention 
Some of the things I did
I was a restless kid

On a slingshot I was good
On a slingshot I was good
There were some people 
Back in my neighborhood
Who didn't think I was so good

I wasn't nice to my sister
I wasn't nice to my sister
Of all the people I've ever done wrong 
I can't forget to list her
I wasn't nice to my sister

I had a bb gun
I had a bb gun
I shot a friend of mine in the leg 
From her brother I still run
I had a bb gun

I was no teacher's pet
I was no teacher's pet
Substitutes especially 
Some might not have forgiven me yet
I was no teacher's pet

I knew how to destroy
I knew how to destroy
I invented some new ways
After all, I was a boy
Who knew how to destroy

I had a frisky pup
I had a frisky pup
I would do my homework 
And she would chew it up
I had a frisky pup

I can still taste the soap
I can still taste the soap
Irish Spring especially
And the kind that came on a rope
I can still taste the soap

I was a restless kid
I was a restless kid
I'll probably never come clean 
About some of the things I did
I was a restless kid

______________________________________________________________________


Schmoozing

Hey, isn't that so-and-so?
Over there at the table
Isn't she the head of SuchandSuch Productions?
Sitting there with what's his name
From what's that record label?
Excuse me while I make my introductions

Schmoozing, schmoozing
Check out the smooth technique I'm using
Schmoozing, schmoozing
Smiling, shaking hands, and boozing

Everyone who's anyone
& others not invited
Were gathered for the party by the pool
I'm a friend of so and so's
That's all I had to say
They said any friend of so and so's was cool

So I'm schmoozing - schmoozing
Watch me work the room, I'm cruising
Schmoozing, schmoozing
Smiling, shaking hands, and boozing

Your name tag's flipped around
How can I tell if you're important?
General pleasantries I will exchange with you
My cheek muscles are tired
How 'bout that rain we had last night?
I heard there was a chance of rain this evening too

Schmoozing, schmoozing
Remembering all these names is so confusing
Schmoozing, schmoozing
Smiling, shaking hands, and boozing

Have you tried the bean dip?
And who's party is this?
And is everyone a songwriter here?
Who's the big cheese over there
Everybody's sucking up to?
And hey, man, where'd you get the beer?

Schmoozing, schmoozing
I wonder whose expense account they're using
Schmoozing, schmoozing
Smiling, shaking hands, and boozing

______________________________________________________________________


Lyrics for the album 
Radio

all songs written and copyrighted by Chuck Brodsky (BMI)


On Christmas I Got Nothing

My family never roasted chestnuts - on an open fire
Never went around the neighborhood - singing carols with a choir
Never went to Midnight Mass & sat on cold hard pews
My family - we had different views

I never had to be good - just for goodness sake
On Christmas Eve I didn't try to keep myself awake
Listening for sleigh bells - or looking for a mouse
Santa always skipped over our house

   Jimmy got a train set with a shiny new caboose
   Billy, an erector set, with nuts & bolts & screws
   Tammy got a kit for making cheese fondues
   But on Christmas I got nothing - 'cause we were Jews

We never put up trimmings 'cause we never had a tree 
I wouldn't know a mistletoe from a torpedo's knee
I never sat on Santa's lap - but hey, if Jesus was a Jew...
Wouldn't that make Santa be one too?

I used to hate when it was cold enough for Christmas to be white
Never hung a wreath of holly - or strung the yard with lights
Those other houses looked so pretty - but the electricity they must've used!
We lit candles - 'cause we were Jews

   Annie got a bright red pair of kangaroo shoes
   Kathy got some soaps & an assortment of shampoos
   Even Buffy's dingo got some brand new rawhide chews
   But on Christmas I got nothing - 'cause we were Jews

Sometimes we ate chicken - and sometimes we ate lamb
Sometimes we ate turkey - but we never had a ham
I never did like eggnog - or those wine & cider brews
We drank Mogen David - 'cause we were Jews

   Jenny got a bike she had to wait 'till Spring to use
   Tommy from across the street - he got his front tooth
   Joshua got a horn so he could learn to play the blues
   But I already had some...

______________________________________________________________________


Bad Whiskey

Bad whiskey killed young Tom Greene
Bad whiskey from the still
From out behind the chicken shack
Just atop the hill
His friends were coming over
Like they would to quench their thirst
Before any of 'em showed up
Tom thought he'd taste some first

Tom Greene, he was well liked
Even by the law
Oh sure, he had his run ins
But no real character flaws
The sheriff kept the keys
To the lockup on the table
Where a sober man could reach 'em
Just as soon as he was able
 
Bad whiskey killed young Tom Greene
He cooked the stuff himself
He'd gotten into bottling it
For everybody else
They don't know what got into it
Or how long it took to die
His thirsty friends, they found him
When they came for their supply

   Tom Greene's whiskey
   Put a good shine on the moon
   They kept some underneath the counter
   In all the reputable saloons

Some nights there'll be a light on
In Tom Greene's old little shack
Smoke comes from the chimney
The snow won't have any tracks
There's been no investigation
The sheriff, he won't step inside
They say the man went sober
The day young Tom Greene died

Bad whiskey killed young Tom Greene
Though his was usually good
People'd come from miles around
To get some if they could
But ever since Tom left us
Most folks have dumped their stash
The odd bottle that might turn up
Will still fetch a bunch of cash

   Tom Green's whiskey
   Put a good shine on the moon
   They kept some underneath the counter
   In all the reputable saloons

______________________________________________________________________


Blow 'em Away

Every morning I commute
Mild mannered man in a business suit
I want to get home at the end of my day
But there are all these other cars in my way
I pull up behind one...pull out my pistol...
And I blow 'em away

I'm driving my car & I want to go fast
But there's a slow car...won't let me pass
I flash my lights & I honk my horn
I have to consider him warned
I pull up behind him...pull out my pistol...
And I blow 'em away

Jesse James behind the wheel
It's high noon in my automobile
You can call me crazy...you can call me sick
Just let me get where I'm going to quick

Son-of-a-bitch...he cut me off
Three whole lanes he cut across
Made me mad...made me swerve
Son-of-a-bitch, he got what he deserved
I pulled up behind him...pulled out my pistol...
I blew him away

Motorcycle driving between
The backed up traffic...right between the lanes
Y'know, to me...that's an act of war
I saw him coming...I opened my door
Knocked him over...pulled out my pistol...
And I blew him away

Jesse James behind the wheel
It's high noon in my automobile
You can call me crazy...you can call me sick
Just let me get where I'm going to quick

Little red sports car...flying past
Made me jealous...he went so fast
I gave him the finger...I thumbed my nose
Took me fifty miles for me to get close enough
To pull up behind him...pull out my pistol...
And blow 'em away

Little old lady...bless her heart
Walking her poodle across the boulevard
It was wearing a red knitted sweater and a red knitted hat
Its name was Fifi...or something stupid like that
I said, "Here Fifi"...pulled out my pistol...

______________________________________________________________________


The Come Heres & The Been Heres

The come heres and the been heres - they don't get along
I'd been there 15 minutes - and I knew something was wrong
The waitress wasn't friendly - and neither was the cook
Until I asked how far it was - to the town of Stony Brook

The come heres live in cabins - the been heres live in shacks
They'll say hello in passing - talk behind each others' backs
White collars versus rednecks - horses versus mules
The city kids they come here - make the teachers look like fools

The come heres come with laptops - nintendo, vcrs
Some of them have telephones - inside their foreign cars
They want to make no smoking zones in all the public places
They want to pass an ordinance outlawing turkey races

The ancestors of been heres - they came here early on
When there were just the Indians - and once they were gone
They claimed themselves the new world - there was lots to go around
Carved up a bunch of properties & they built this little town

Now the come heres nearly have the votes to make one of 'em mayor
In the last election they won half the council chairs
They took over the school board and outlawed the morning prayers
They're teaching evolution and sex education there

The come heres have their pussycats and their little white french poodles
The been heres have their hound dogs - with names like Yankee Doodle
The come heres like to watch the ducks and sometimes they will feed 'em
The been heres like to shotgun 'em & take 'em home & eat 'em

The been heres do their drinking in a been here owned saloon
But in that brand new micro-brewery there's a separate dining room
Only at the K-mart or the Wal-mart do they mix
They think of one another as carrot nibblers & hicks

The come heres keep a coming - new ones every day
They come for second chances - the new world, as they say
They buy & sell these properties - for unheard of amounts
The come heres keep a' coming - building up this little town

The come heres and the been heres - two towns that overlap
You wouldn't even see it - by just looking at a map
I was there at Christmas time - when a tree was just a tree
And you couldn't tell whose kids were who's - sitting there on Santa's knee

The come heres & the been heres - there's talk about a fence
The whole town is divided - half for and half against

______________________________________________________________________


Creepsville

I was low on gas - I was ready to stop
Get a room for the night - exit 13 coming up
Sign said Creepsville...
Gas, food, lodging, and a hospital

Out of state plates - that's probable cause
They'll stop you on the exit ramp - start making up the laws
Creepsville - whatcha doing in Creepsville, boy?

Creepsville Motel - I was checking in
"You want the room with the peep hole?"
The clerk asked with a grin
Creepsville - clean sheets & a place to lay your head
...uh huh...your head

There's a topless pawnshop - next to a topless church
Next to a topless casino - where you can lose your shirt
Creepsville - bottoms up at the topless club in Creepsville

Rest rooms in Creepsville - there's nothing you should touch
You've got to hold your breath - got to use your shoes to flush
Creepsville - you're in a hurry to get in but to get out you're in a rush

Seen black-eyed children with their black-eyed ma
Learning family values from their red-knuckled pa
Creepsville

Bought my gas in the morning - I was leaving town
Left my wallet at the filling station - some guy flagged me down
He said, "Hey buddy...you forgot this"
When I opened it up... there was nothing missing
Creepsville - if there be one good soul in Creepsville...

______________________________________________________________________


Hockey Fight Song

I'm going down to the Garden - with a couple of my buds
Gonna sit up in the cheap seats - I wanna see a little blood
I wanna get my money's worth - eat some dogs & drink some beers
Yell all night at the referee - "Go on you bum, get outta here!"

I wanna see a hockey fight - a donnybrook, a little brouhaha
And if our team should score tonight - we all can yell "Hoorah! Hoorah!"

I didn't come to see Gretzky - I didn't come to see Lemieux
Or any of those other pretty boys - and all that fancy stuff they do
I came to see the Hanson Brothers - take on Dave "The Hammer" Schultz
Drop their gloves & do the tango - beat each other to a bloody pulp

I wanna see a hockey fight - a donnybrook, a little brouhaha
And if our team should score tonight - we all can yell "Hoorah! Hoorah!"

Send in the goons, coach - c'mon, get rid of these clowns
Let's kick some ass, team - hey you, in front, yeah you, sit down!
I wanna see the benches empty - garbage raining from the stands
Wanna see 'em climb the glass - start a little something with the fans

I wanna see a hockey fight - a donnybrook, a little brouhaha
And if our team should score tonight - we all can yell "Hoorah! Hoorah!"

My boy's a hockey player - my boy, he's pretty tough
I'm awfully proud of my boy - he ain't afraid to mix it up
You shoulda seen him whup that Nichols kid - gave that boy a bloody nose
Shoot, by the time he's ten years old - my boy'll be ready for the pros

I wanna see a hockey fight - a donnybrook, a little brouhaha
And if our team should score tonight - we all can yell "Hoorah! Hoorah!"

______________________________________________________________________


La Migra Viene

The mornings were chilly
The air was crisp
As a Striped or a Red
Or a Golden Delicious
A couple of tortillas
Coffee with rum
By the time the sun came up
You'd have half a bin done

The trees were like temples
Was a holiness to 'em
You'd pick out the bottoms
& Then all the way through 'em
Up on a ladder
Out on a limb
The trees were like temples
I liked being in 'em

Fernando amazed me
He was the quickest
18 bins 
In a day he could do
I got 9 once
But that was with big fruit
I worked only as hard as
I needed to

Sometimes, though
On the nicest of days
Somebody would whistle
And my friends would run away
They were yelling...

La Migra, La Migra
La Migra viene
Andele! Andele!
Run! Run!
They leapt from their ladders
To the next nearest orchard
Spreading the word
That La Migra was coming

My Spanish was stiff
A little too formal
I cracked 'em up
& They taught me to cuss
And you can bet I was cussing
When they all went a' running
You can bet I was cussing
At the big yellow bus

The vans brought 'em in 'till the
Bus was all loaded
Sometimes whole families
At least you'd have thought...
They'd be back the next week
Up on their ladders
Giving new names
The next time they got caught

Sometimes, though
On the nicest of days
Somebody would whistle
And my friends would run away
They were yelling...

La Migra La Migra
La Migra viene
Andele! Andele!
Run! Run!
They leapt from their ladders
To the next nearest orchard
Spreading the word
That La Migra was coming

______________________________________________________________________

Moe Berg: The Song

Moe Berg the catcher - good field and no hit
Somehow he lasted 19 years - 'till his knees made him quit
He never really played much & he never really cared
He was happy just to hang around with a uniform to wear

Moe Berg the Princeton graduate - went on to study law
Got his degree from Columbia - all the while playing ball
He caught the eye of the Dodgers - who were trying to sign a Jew
Who might help 'em sell some tickets - in The Bronx & Yonkers too

Moe Berg the professor of the bullpen joked with pitchers
Reading them the newspapers he used to have delivered
He spoke to 'em in Russian, Japanese & French
He was the greatest scholar that ever rode the bench

Moe Berg & The Babe, they went over to Japan
With a team of touring all-stars giving clinics for the fans
This was back in the 30's as the world prepared for war
Moe took a lot of pictures - nobody knew what for

Moe Berg the secret agent - never even told his mom
Of his mission to determine if the Germans had the bomb
He learned to speak good physics - without hardly a lisp
He infiltrated lectures with the German scientists

Moe Berg the walking riddle - would put his fingers to his lips
If you recognized him on the street - he'd nod & whisper "shhhh"
He kept a lot of secrets - no one will ever know
He knew a lot of people - but nobody ever knew Moe

Moe Berg the beloved - he had the gift of gab
The moocher, the celebrity - he never paid the tab
He could get in at the ballpark - with his lifetime player's pass
He could eat up in the press box - someone always filled his glass

Moe Berg son of an immigrant - brought his father shame
All that education - then to play a child's game
Moe made it to the Majors - but his dad would never go see him
Moe's baseball card is on display at the CIA museum.

Long after he'd retired - there was still Moe Berg the myth
He rode into the sunset hanging sadly onto it
Appearing on a game show - as the mystery guest
Some say disappearing - might be what Moe did best

______________________________________________________________________

Our Gods

We worship our gods - we buy souvenirs
Admire our trinkets - in front of our mirrors
A hat with a cross - a shirt with a star
The names of our teams - tattooed on our arms

We're given our gods at the moment of birth
The gods of our fathers- all others be cursed
At the earliest age - we memorize verse
The gospel - as it is written

We swear at our gods - curse our rotten luck
From the side of the road - when we self-destruct
We ask them to save us - to get us unstuck
From the muck we get ourselves into

Temples of stained glass - hand cut stones
We build for our gods - such magnificent homes
We visit sometimes - but we don't stay long
Not when the football games are on

We make deals with our gods - to win back what we've lost
In our pants pockets - our fingers are crossed
Lord, give us this day - make these prosperous times
Help us - to cover our crimes

We go to the seers - say, "Show us the script
That our gods have left for us - stashed in some crypt"
"Ah, secrets," they say - "what has never been told...
Yours...for a pile of your gold"

We kill for our gods - we wage holy wars
Assassinate presidents - burn down bookstores
Massacre children to - settle old scores
Yelling, "Our gods are great!"
 
Our gods must be proud - of the blood on our hands
And the way we go conquering - far away lands
In the names of our gods - may the glory be theirs
Let the spoils & the plunders be ours

We serve our gods - in such humorless ways
Rituals we do - laws we obey
Sometimes in between we pray
But how often do we say "I love you?"

______________________________________________________________________

Radio

Anderson, South Carolina - TL Hanna High
The people there will tell you - ask any passerby
About the kid who speaks in gibberish - folks'll tell you, "Shoot...
Wasn't nothing but a little love and attention gave voice to a mute"

Who stood with his transistor - pressed against his ear
Picking up certain frequencies that only he could hear
There was this little man inside it - perhaps his only friend
The only one who'd talk to him - the only one back then

Coach Jones barked, "Come here, boy!" to this kid up in the stands
Who was mimicking him loudly - making gestures with his hands
The players on the football team exchanged uneasy glances
You jumped when Coach said to jump - but oh, how slow the boy was advancing

Coach Jones was pulling on the drawstrings on his hood
The kid, he spoke in gibberish -Coach, he understood
Lamb imitating lion - it sure looked like easy prey
But this is not what happened - no, it went the other way

This kid they nicknamed Radio was 18 going on 6
The team needed a water boy - and so the job was his
Coach convinced the principal to bend a couple rules
He'd pick up Radio every day - on his way to school

Everywhere that Coach Jones went his lamb was sure to go
They tried him out in Special Ed but his marks were too low
The kid's now in his 50's - his hair is sprinkled white
For 30 years he's come to school - he cannot read or write

Come Football Fridays - they let Radio be the star
He falls in with the marching band and then with the color guard
He jumps when the cheerleaders jump - with pom poms on his hands
He cusses like the coaches do & he high fives with the fans

They give Radio report cards & they give him varsity letters
They let him wander freely in his TL Hanna sweater
He visits all the classrooms - and whenever there's a test
He whips out his box of crayons - he tries his very best

Everyone knows Radio - the townspeople adore him
The students pat his head just like their parents did before them
Anderson, South Carolina...folks'll tell you, "Shoot...
It wasn't nothing but a little love and attention - gave voice to a mute

Circle (by Annie Gallup)

I don't mind sleeping in the straw
Or washing in the pony's trough
And I don't miss the life I left
I've no regrets for running off
There's endless work behind the scenes
It's dirty and it's hard
I spend far more time in ripped up jeans
Than in my sequined leotard

But nights when everything goes right
I stand in a circle of heat and light
And I have the power to change the dreams
Of everyone in this shabby tent
Make them believe, if not in magic,
In money well spent

I'm not the best in the business
But I earn my applause
There are risks you know, these tigers have teeth
But no claws
And right away I was so good with them
I never thought of going back
I could smell the anger in their sweat
I could coax them to attack

And nights when everything goes right
They leap through a circle of heat and light
With the power to change the dreams
Of everyone in this shabby tent
Make them believe, if not in magic,
In money well spent

We were driven out of Beaumont
When the Lazy "J" complained
And we tore her down, packed her up
In a stubborn Texas rain
And standing by the trailers
While the dogs and roosters load
I think about a dark-eyed poet
I met along the road

But nights when everything goes right
I stand in a circle of heat and light
And I have the power to change the dreams
Of everyone in this shabby tent
Make them believe
In magic



______________________________________________________________________


Lyrics for the album 
Letters in the Dirt

all songs written and copyrighted by Chuck Brodsky (BMI)


The Hands Of Victor Jara

The hands of Victor Jara
Were chopped off at the wrists
But still they point a finger
And they raise a mighty fist
There is a revolution
It might be in your backyard
It might be some place like Chile
Or it might be in your heart

The voice of Victor Jara
Was cut out at the tongue
But that does not stop the singing
Songs need to be sung
He sang about his people
They were not the priveledged few
And nothing that's dictated
Will ever ring as true

The blood of Victor Jara
Will never wash away
It just keeps on turning
A little redder every day
As anger turns to hatred
And hatred turns to guns
Children lose their fathers
And mothers lose their sons

The soul of Victor Jara
Hangs on a white cross
Life was his religion
Not for sale at any cost
He defied the generals' orders
By not singing their refrain
In front of all those frightened people
He did not give his life in vain

The hands of Victor Jara
They're strumming the guitar
Down in the Paris Metro
Or in front of the Kerrtry Store
And they hold onto a promise
That torture cannot break
Truer than the average, the hands of Victor Jara
They do not shake

______________________________________________________________________

The Ballad Of Eddie Klepp

The war had finally ended and America had changed
It had beaten back the nazis but the Jim Crow laws remained
There was talk of staging marches & talk of civil rights
There was talk about a Negro playing baseball with the Whites

He walked into the clubhouse and the card players quit playing
Everybody stopped in the middle of whatever they were saying
It was just like when the sheriff walks into the saloon
He said, "My name is Eddie," as he looked around the room 

"This man's here to play baseball," the manager said to the team
"We're all gonna have to live with this...aw, that's not what I mean...
You know what I mean" - and they all did...it went without saying
The card players looked at their hands and they went on with their playing

They ran him off the field before a game in Birmingham one night
Made him sit up in the grandstand in the section marked "For Whites"
In his Cleveland Buckeyes uniform, it was a new twist on the law
The marshalls kept their eyes on him and the hecklers ate him raw

Eddie Klepp, he should've run the bases in reverse
A White man in the Negro Leagues, that had to be a first
He could not ride the same busses, or stay in the same motels
He could not eat in the same restaurants, you couldn't have mixed clientele

So while Jackie played for Brooklyn and wore the Dodger Blue
Eddie crossed the color line, the one without a queue
A White man in the Negro Leagues, might as well have been a Jew
Now you mention the name of Eddie Klepp and most everyone says, "Who?"

______________________________________________________________________

She's Gone

She's gone, gone, I let her slip away
She was getting restless, there was nothing I could say
Except so long, so long, it's alright, it's ok
I'll miss you when you're gone, then I looked the other way
And she was gone, gone, she was far too gone
To hear me when I called to her, but maybe it was wrong of me
To make her stop & turn around for one more last goodbye
Didn't mean to make her sorry, didn't mean to make her cry

At the San Francisco airport, with the baggage all checked in
We took one last look at each other and she kissed me again
And then we nodded in agreement that this really was the end
Shook our heads in disbelief and we fell apart again
She was gone, gone, I let her slip away
I could've run off with her but instead I chose to stay
Right here with my true love - held tight to my chest
And if I had to choose again I might do the same I guess

    There's a warmth here - I take comfort
    I take solace, to my own self I was true
    Couldn't ask her to stay - even a little longer
    She was going places I'd been to

She's gone, gone, it's just me and my songs
Should've seen it coming, should've seen it all along
But it's alright, it's alright, it's alright
We each did what we had to do, and that makes it alright

    There's a warmth here - I take comfort
    I take solace, to my own self I was true
    Couldn't ask her to stay - even a little longer
    She was going places I'd been to

______________________________________________________________________

No More Mr. Nice Guy

I used to be a nice guy - with a capital N
You would've liked me - I was everybody's friend
But no more...Mr. Nice Guy...no more

I tried to be like Ghandi - spreading universal love
I'd turn the other cheek - and all that masochistic stuff
But no more...Mr. Nice Guy...no more

I graduated charm school - I was first in my class
But that didn't quite prepare me - for always finishing last
No more...Mr. Nice Guy...me first

I used to read Miss Manners - with a notepad by my side
People'd walk all over me - I used to let 'em slide
But no more...no more...now I stick my foot out...and I watch 'em fall

I'd stoop to pick up hankies - I'd hold open doors
On the elevators - I'd push everybody's floors
But no more...no more...this car's full

I'd say "Yessir," I'd say "No Sir" - treated people with respect
I used to be soft-spoken and politically correct
No more...no more...no friggin' more

    Hey, I can be a meanie - let me give you some advice
    Better listen up good - I'm not gonna say this twice
    No more...no more...aw heck...I said it twice...I'm really sorry

Just look at who's on top - you'll see, they're all a bunch of jerks
The way they lie and cheat and steal - that's just how society works
No more...Mr. Nice Guy...no more

I'd buy drinks for the ladies - they'd all say I was sweet
But then someone like Paul Schatzkin would come & sweep 'em off their feet
No more...Mr. Nobody...no more

Gonna get me a black leather jacket - a skull and bones tattoo
A big old pair of stomping boots - gonna get a nose ring too
No more...Mrs. Nice Guy...no more

Yeah, I can be a meanie - let me give you some advice
Better listen up good - I'm not gonna say this twice
No more...uh uh...uh uh uh

______________________________________________________________________

Bill & Annie

We stopped for peaches at a little roadside stand
Man said his name was Bill, I said "I'm Chuck and this is Annie"
He said Annie was the one & only true love of his life
They met at his wedding but by then he had a wife

It was during the reception in the Spring of '64
She, his newlywed's best friend, followed him out the ballroom door
Maybe his ring got smaller, maybe his finger swelled
Maybe he'd made a big mistake, and maybe time would tell

Bill asked, "Do you feel what I feel?" and Annie said, "I do"
Bill was at a loss, wondering now what should he do
He did what he had to, he'd just taken a wife
She would take good care of him for the rest of her life

Bill & Annie fought the urge, they saw each other often
She was there in black the day Bill's wife lay in her coffin
By then she'd gotten married, by then she'd moved away
She'd asked Bill for his blessings and he'd said it was ok

Bill said, "Taste the peaches," and he cut us each a slice
They were a little on the small side, but they sure tasted nice
"Do you think I did the right thing?" Bill asked, though I knew he knew
So I answered with a question, I asked him, "Bill, do you?"

Bill said, "Annie, pleased to meet you, it was nice to meet you Chuck"
And Annie & I, we drove away in Annie's pick-up truck
With a box of twenty peaches, a homegrown tomato too
And a couple of things to think about, and every now and then I do...I do

______________________________________________________________________

Letters In The Dirt

Me & you, we never booed Richie Allen - I never understood why people did
He hit a homer every time he stepped up to the plate - that's what I remember as a kid
Richie in the field out there by first base - the target of some mighty foul words
With his shoes he'd scrawl between the pitched - "B-O-O" in great big letters in the dirt

    Philly fans, they've been known to get nasty
    When Joe must go, they'll run him out of town
    I saw Santa get hit by a snowball
    And then get hit again when he was down

Me & you, we never booed Richie Allen - even if he did sometimes strike out
I was too young to read the papers - to know what all that booing was about
That big collapse of '64 was ugly - they blew a lead of 6 & 1/2 games with 12 to play
Some might say their fans were justifiably angry - World Series tickets printed up in vain
 
    Philly fans, they've been known to get nasty
    When Joe must go, they'll run him out of town
    I saw Santa get hit by a snowball
    And then get hit again when he was down

This was before the days of the million dollar contracts - before the days of the artificial grass
He stood a bit outside the lines which made him fair game for those times - Richie Allen never kissed a white man's ass
Me & you, we never booed Richie Allen - we'd pound our mitts & we'd yell, "We want a hit"
How could they call a guy a bum after he'd just hit a home run?  That didn't make any sense to a kid

Now I've since found out all these days later - now I know alot more than I did
And if back then you knew, Daddy, why all those other people booed...
Thanks for letting me have my heroes as a kid

______________________________________________________________________

Talk To My Lawyer

I was walking outside of City Hall - I slipped & I had a terrible fall
It was negligence on the part of I don't care who
I fell so hard I was seeing stars - dollar signs and men from Mars
And the man who helped me up said I ought to sue
(He was a lawyer...he was all out of breath)

Once I had an accident - not too bad, just a little dent
A new Mercedes hit me from the rear
Man got out in a 3 piece suit & asked if a thousand dollars would do
I said, "Well, let me think for a minute here"

    I'm gonna talk to my lawyer - I might have whiplash
    I might have trauma - let's not talk petty cash
    I've got a witness - to put a hand on the Bible
   Jury jury, hallelujah - you might be liable

My Momma said to Uncle Jim, "I just don't know what's wrong with him...
That son of mine is a no-good big wazoo"
Well, I have never overheard such a bunch of slanderous words
I'll tell you Momma, I've got a mind to sue

    I'm gonna talk to my lawyer - Momma, that was vicious
    Defamation of character - wrongful and malicious
    I've got a witness - to put a hand on the Bible
   Jury jury, hallelujah - you might be liable

I was trying to open up my map - when I spilled some coffee on my lap
How was I supposed to know it was going to be hot?
I went back to that fast-food place, to the manager with the happy face
I said, "I want the name of whoever brewed that pot"

    I'm gonna talk to my lawyer - I think I've got a pretty good case
    All I need are some crutches - maybe I'll put on a neck brace    
    I've got a witness - to put a hand on the Bible
   Jury jury, hallelujah - somebody's liable

______________________________________________________________________

Sweet Little Lou

She came all the way to Jonestown, she was just a little girl
Ended up in California for to make it in this world
She left behind believers, they were onto harder stuff
Couldn't get herself to swallow what she knew was in that cup...she knew she knew

Her face was soft & tender then - it was warm to the touch
You only had to look at her and right away she'd blush
She was everybody's angel - lilywhite and pure
Nobody who knows her now would say that anymore, it just wouldn't be true

She fell in with the hookers and she learned alot of tricks
Like who to see for money, and where to get a fix
She can make you happy, if it's happy that you want
She'll do anything for you, if the money is up front...anything for you

    That's her in the doorway - her face is poorly lit
    You would not see 'till later - the places she'd been hit
    One of these days...but today just is not it
    A john comes up and offers her a hundred and she spits

She got herself a hotel room on Broadway two blocks down
From the hotel room she uses when she really goes to town
It's not the California that she ran away to find
But it's no worse & no more perverse than the place she left behind...Sweet Little Lou

______________________________________________________________________

Until You Can Forgive

So suddenly you're trembling, with a flash flood of tears
And a flashback to a night so black, a little girl disappears
The pictures are returning, and it's safe to say you see her
You can go now if you have to, if that's what it takes to free her

It's a tattered old illusion, and faded is the glory
Hung up on your father's flagpole, as you return to the yard
Where he touched you as a child, only now you see it clearly
And you hate the man who once upon a time you loved so dearly

    Until you can forgive - but not what's been done
    Until you can forgive - the innocent one
    The little girl...afraid to speak
    Shadows in the hallway, tears rolling down her cheek

It comes to you in nightmares, and in the middle of sweet dreams
It robs you of your innocence, and it makes you feel unclean
You can damn him if you want to, you can wish upon him death
You can trample on his grave, if he is already dead

    Until you can forgive - but not what's been done
    Until you can forgive - the innocent one
    The little girl...afraid to speak
    Shadows in the hallway, tears rolling down her cheek

Now you back away from danger, is it too close or too real
When you lay down with your lover and this trust you don't yet feel?
I will still be here in the morning, I will hold you through the night
But I will not whisper in your ear that everything's gonna be alright

    Until you can forgive - but not what's been done
    Until you can forgive - the innocent one
    The little girl...afraid to speak
    Shadows in the hallway, tears rolling down her cheek

______________________________________________________________________

Missing Each Other's Cues

There was a knock at the door - after a call on the phone
He coming out of the blue - she being home all alone
He'd been a long time at sea - it couldn't help but show
She said, "Well, come on in" she said, "Welcome home"

He said, "How do you do?" & she said, "Long time no see"
He said, "I've been thinking about you" & she said, "Oh, you remember me?"
He said, "If only you knew...I could never forget"
She said, "Oh, but I knew...from the first time we met"

It was a late, late night - there came the first crack of dawn
And a big burst of light - through those curtains she'd drawn
He said, "Hey, I've gotta run" & she said, "I understand...
Well, it's sure been fun" - and they both shook hands

He ain't no Romeo - and she's no Juliet
This ain't no picture show - this ain't no movie set
She doesn't know her lines - he cannot play his part
She cannot read his mind - he cannot find her heart

He says, "I'll find my way" & she says, "I'll find my way too"
But what he really means to say is "I wish I could stay with you"
She doesn't know what to think - he doesn't know what to do
They say all the wrong things - they keep missing each other's cues

______________________________________________________________________

Long Story Short

Well you sure can talk - you go on & on
And it makes me wonder - where all the time has gone
You don't hear me sigh - you don't notice when I yawn
We sat down at dinner time - and now it's almost dawn

Make a long story short - look how you've bent my ear
Around the back of my head - are you that unaware?
I've been polite all night - some of my thoughts were malicious
Like I wish you'd bite your tongue - so hard you'd have to go get stitches

Uh huh, oh really?  Well you really don't say! 
I really wish you wouldn't - but I'm not listening anyway
I'm getting tired of your voice - my ears are pretty well numb
Can't even hear myself think - it's like electrical hum

To make a long story short - you might say I'm perturbed
Why don't you get to the point - why don't you skip a few words?
Why don't you take a deep breath - why don't you cut to the chase?
To make a long story short - why don't you shut your face?

And did you ever wonder why - I never seem to be home
No matter when you try - reaching me on the phone?
Thank God for answering machines - they are the answer for you
The way they cut you off - after a minute or two

I do return your calls - but I've got my timing down
I call when you're at work - or when you're out of town
We play telephone tag - and every time you're "it"
And I hear my telephone ring - I back away from it

So make a long story short - you long-winded one
How long, how long - will this sentence run?
All you talk about is yourself - and everything you've ever done
Make a long story short - you long-winded one

______________________________________________________________________

The Goodbye Kid

The Goodbye Kid checks his watch
The hour is late and the night is hot
He wipes the sweat from off his brow
"What time is it?" you ask, and he says, "Now"

The Goodbye Kid - on his arm is a coat
In case it gets cold, and he clears his throat
The speech he'd prepared - you were expecting to hear
But then he whispers, "I love you" in your ear

"I can't leave without these" - he reaches under your chair
And picks up his keys - says, "I don't know how they got there...
And how I wish I could stay - at least another day more"
Says the Goodbye Kid with one foot out the door

The Goodbye Kid - he's been around the block
Looking for a parking place - couldn't find a spot
That's him out there - with the hazards on
The Goodbye Kid, and he can't stay long

    Did you get too close to the Goodbye Kid?
    Did he leave too soon?  Or was it you who did?
    Did you take your heart back behind closed doors
    And listen 'till you couldn't hear the sound of his engine anymore

The Goodbye Kid checks his map
Inside his head that's upon your lap
He holds your hand while he plans his route
Those places & those dates are so absolute

The Goodbye Kid - he's a one man band
Towns a nobody goes - he does a one night stand
A hundred nights in a row - they always end like this
They even start sometimes with a goodbye kiss

The Goodbye Kid - he's thinking of you
And you say, "Sure...and all those other girls too...
So where ya' calling from?" - He says a Texaco
The Goodbye Kid calling to say hello

The Goodbye Kid - he leaves a rose
A little bud with its petals still closed
"Would you tend to it - and see that it lives?"
Reads the little card signed by the Goodbye Kid

    Did you get too close to the Goodbye Kid?
    Did he leave too soon?  Or was it you who did?
    Did you take your heart back behind closed doors
    And listen 'till you couldn't hear the sound of his engine anymore

The Goodbye Kid...checks his watch

______________________________________________________________________


Lyrics to the album 
A Fingerpainter's Murals

all songs written and copyrighted by Chuck Brodsky (BMI)

Lefty

Lefty's in the minors, got his shoulder packed in ice
He's trying to hang on there against all that good advice
Used to throw that sinker but that sinkerball went south
And then they started calling him for going to his mouth

Lefty holds the record for most strike-outs in a game
Once upon a time he reaally threw a ball of flame
Some wish he'd gone gracefully when his time finally came
They put Lefty on waivers but nobody laid a claim

    It's a Godalmighty shame - he got too old to play the game
    Where he made himself a name - and they call him Lefty

Lefty wore the pinstripes for a good number of years 
The bleacher bums all loved him - they were tanked up with their beer
He used to throw that heater, but the radar does not lie
And now when Lefty lays one up there you can kiss that thing goodbye

    It's a Godalmighty shame - he got too old to play the game
    Where he made himself a name - and they call him Lefty

    Now they're calling him from Cooperstown - out on the bullpen phone
    Some little field in Bumfolk where the grass is overgrown
    It's the bottom of the 7th and a runner just got on
    And they're calling for a lefty...but Lefty's not the one

There's a capital "L" in Lefty, so say it with respect
He's Senor Lefty down in Mexico & he's Lefty in Quebec
He could smoke you, he could fool you, throw a curve around your neck
He could paint one on the corners, he could fill the upper deck

    It's a Godalmighty shame - he got too old to play the game
    Where he made himself a name - and they call him Lefty

______________________________________________________________________

The Ballad Of Me & Jones

Jones & I were classmates back when we were kids
He lived around the corner, had the same friends as I did
I traded my Marv Throneberry for his Yastrzemski and his Mays
Now he can't believe what those baseballl cards are worth these days

Jones & I ran neck & neck in almost every race
In every high school track meet we took first and second place
I'd have to say he's faster now, but strictly off the cuff
Long gone are the days when I was trying to keep up

Jones went to the Ivy League & me I went to State
We got the same degrees, but they don't carrry the same weight
Jones, he climbs the ladder & he's almost to the top
Me, I ride the elevator up & down & up & down & up & down & up...

    And now I can only guess if I might ever cross Jones' mind
    Does he ever stop to wonder, does he ever look behind?
    Me, I'm looking forward to that place around the bend
    When we can catch up with each other's lives like a couple of long-lost friends

Jones, he got married early on in life
He's got beautiful children, he's got a beautiful wife
And what more could I ask for than to know that kind of love
Well...maybe just one or two things from some of Jones' stuff

Jones has all the gadgets, gets his electronic thrills
Remote control on everything in his house up in the hills
Me, I'm like that tortoise, carrying my shell
I keep on moving, but it's sometimes hard to tell

    And now I can only guess if I might ever cross Jones' mind
    Does he ever stop to wonder, does he ever look behind?
    Me, I'm looking forward to that place around the bend
    When we can catch up with each other's lives like a couple of long-lost friends

At our 25th reunion, if Jones & I should meet
Over by the punchbowl with the dips & stuff to eat
I wonder how he'd take it, and the look upon his face
If I'd write my name & number on the back of Willlie Mays

______________________________________________________________________

Acre By Acre

My father's father was a hard-working man
Spent his whole lifetime working his land
He plowed with a jack-ass and he built with his hands
The balcony where the auctioneer stands

    Acre by acre, it all disappears
    3 generations and 70 years
    The cows & the chickens, the tractor & the barn
    Big money buying up all of these farms

My own father worked a 12 hour day
From sun-up to sundown, the wheat, corn, and hay
I worked right beside him & I learned from his ways
He taught me to sweat & he taught me to pray

    Acre by acre, it all disappears
    3 generations and 70 years
    The cows & the chickens, the tractor & the barn
    Big money buying up all of these farms

I knew one day that it all would be mine
I'd pass it on down to my own son in time
When my Daddy died back in '72
I stepped into his boots, I knew just what to do
I had me a dream & I took out a loan
Interest rates then, they were still pretty low
I planted my seeds but before they could grow
They came telling me I had to pay what I owe

    Acre by acre, it all disappears
    3 generations and 70 years
    The cows & the chickens, the tractor & the barn
    Big money buying up all of these farms

______________________________________________________________________

Maria's Lament

Jesus was drunk when he roughed up Maria
He kicked down the door, he was looking for a fight
The children fell asleep beside their mother
Maria whimpered all through the night

Jesus took the car & he took all the money
A six pack of Bud, and a change of clothes
He left Maria with the kids in the trailer
I heard he went back to Mexico

    This was not the first time that he'd struck her
    And I hate to say that it's probably not the last
    This time she swore she's never gonna take him back again
    She said that all too often in the past

Maria stayed in the trailer all morning
Maria stayed there all afternoon
There was a welt on her cheek that Maria was hiding
In the shape of a purple crescent moon

At work the next day nobody was talking
So I made up the words to Maria's Lament
And at dinnertime that night nobody was hungry
Everybody just stayed inside their tents

    This was not the first time that he'd struck her
    And I hate to say that it's probably not the last
    This time she swore she's never gonna take him back again
    She said that all too often in the past

Maria's mother lived down in Porterville
That's an orange picking town
The apple season was just about over
And I myself was California bound

I'd bought an old Dodge van with my apple money
And I offered them a ride on down the coast
I loaned them all the bus fare back to Porterville
When in Sacramento I'd take a different road

We drove down the coast mostly in silence
Maria held the baby and she cried
There was little Isabella trying to comfort her
Me, I wanted to talk, but my tongue was tied

Came a letter with the money from Maria
And a photograph of Jesus & the kids
Maria, she was there, behind the camera
Makes me wonder about the bruises it must've hidden

    This was not the first time that he'd struck her
    And I hate to say that it's probably not the last
    This time she swore she's never gonna take him back again
    She said that all too often in the past

______________________________________________________________________

Home Away From Home Again

Found the key where you said it would be - underneath the welcome mat
Opened up that creaky door & was greeted by your chesire cat
Tiptoed going up the stairs to the room that you call mine
You left a little night light on so I wouldn't stumble blind

I put my stuff down over in the corner
Same place that I always do
Saw you'd left me a stack of towels
And extra blankets like you always do
The pillows, they were piled high
You'd already made the bed
You left a note where you knew I'd see it
But I already knew what it said

    There's food in the oven - I only have to heat it up
    Whatever's in the fridge - I should help myself and eat it up
    Coffee in the freezer - filters in the cabinet
    Anything I find in the cupboard...not to be shy about having it
    I'm home away from home again...home away from home again

You drew a map of the neighborhood - showed me where to catch my train
All the way to San Jose & then back to Jamaica Plain
You said you'd be gone early in the morning - but you'd be back home by dark
You left directions to the post office & to the best cafe & a nice little park

So I turned the night light out & I lay down in my very own bed
Fell asleep with a smile on my face & sweet dreams in my head
I was home away from home again - with a cat purring at my feet
Home away from home again - and you sure do make it sweet

    There's food in the oven - I only have to heat it up
    Whatever's in the fridge - I should help myself and eat it up
    Coffee in the freezer - filters in the cabinet
    Anything I find in the cupboard...not to be shy about having it
    I'm home away from home again...home away from home again

Found the key where you said it would be - underneath the welcome mat...

______________________________________________________________________

Happy Little World

You might catch me sleeping on a soft featherbed
Where the moss grows green & heavy - that's where I lay my head
Frogs and things are croaking - the river 'round me swirls
On an island...in my happy little world

White knights do ride horses and do battle for the hand
Of the fairest maidens in this enchanted land
I give 'em happy endings, the guy always gets the girl
Her hero...in his happy little world

So and so, she's gone now - that's an oft-recurring theme
My outlook still is rosy though it's not like I had dreamed
That Lady Luck would brush my face with her long, soft, golden curls
And then leave me...in my happy little world

Things, they could be better - things, they could be worse
I've ridden in an ambulance but never in a hearse
Tragedy makes front page news in the Daily Morning Herald
I'll take the funnies...back to my happy little world

And when I have a penny - I'll often make a wish
Throw it in the river - and out'll jump a fish
Sometimes I'll just dive right in and I'll come up with a pearl
From the oyster...of my happy little world

So let that sourpuss be sour - I don't give a damn
And shoefly, he don't bother me - I'm as happy as a clam
I march behind the majorette, with the baton that she twirls
It's halftime...in my happy little world

You can call it an asylum, but who's to say what's real
Don't you hate it when somebody tries to tell you what to think & what to feel?
I'm spraypainting graffiti & fingerpainting little murals
In the schoolyards...of my happy little world

So if you catch me sleeping on a featherbed so soft
With angels singing over me & my head upon the moss
Stand back with your warnings, and the heresies you might hurl
About a doomsday...in my happy little world

______________________________________________________________________

Unbridled Reins

There lived an old horse trainer - who used to work for the man
Who owned about 25 stables - on 25 pieces of land
Whose name was Mr. Hardy - the trainer's name was Gus
Hardy's business was racing - and he owned the 2 of us

Gus, he hated racing - it was the horses that he loved
Everytime Mr. Hardy would come around - he'd pretend like he was being tough
He called him Heartless Hardy - cussed him underneath his breath
For the breeding of the horses - and the running them to death

    My father, he was famous - he won the Triple Crown
    Mama won 5 ribbons - at a horse show back in town
    I sold for a million - on the day I was born
    I was going to be a champion - Mr. Hardy was sure

Well, they pumped me up one morning - withh something the officials would never detect
I remember that cold steel needle - spending a lifetime in my neck
I never knew that race was fixed - only that I was supposed to win
The jockey was tall in his saddle - his breath was stinking of gin

He pushed me a little bit too hard - I stumbled & I shattered my leg
Mr. Hardy called in a specialist - who said I'd never race again
He said my promise, it was broken - Mr. Hardy, sipping on champagne...
Ordered me out of my misery - but I was too numb to feel any pain

    My father, he was famous - he won the Triple Crown
    Mama won 5 ribbons - at a horse show back in town
    I sold for a million - on the day I was born
    I was going to be a champion - Mr. Hardy was surema

They led me out to the stables - where that mercy killing would be done
I was thinking about what might've been - & all that I might've won
Thinking about being put out to pasture - when my time might've finally come
And remembering how before I could walk, they were teaching me how to run

I saw they were going to shoot me - I don't know why they would
I couldn't run any more races - so I guess that made me no good
Mr. Hardy handed Gus the rifle - Gus, he cried & he stroked my mane
That was the last thing I remember - before Gus unbridled my reins

    My father, he was famous - he won the Triple Crown
    Mama won 5 ribbons - at a horse show back in town
    I sold for a million - on the day I was born
    I was going to be a champion - Mr. Hardy was sure

______________________________________________________________________

Blow 'em Away

Every morning I commute
Mild mannered man in a business suit
I want to get home at the end of my day
But there are all these other cars in my way
I pull up behind one...pull out my pistol...
And I blow 'em away

I'm driving my car & I want to go fast
But there's a slow car...won't let me pass
I flash my lights & I honk my horn
I have to consider him warned
I pull up behind him...pull out my pistol...
And I blow 'em away

Jesse James behind the wheel
It's high noon in my automobile
You can call me crazy...you can call me sick
Just let me get where I'm going to quick

Son-of-a-bitch...he cut me off
Three whole lanes he cut across
Made me mad...made me swerve
Son-of-a-bitch, he got what he deserved
I pulled up behind him...pulled out my pistol...
I blew him away

Motorcycle driving between
The backed up traffic...right between the lanes
Y'know, to me...that's an act of war
I saw him coming...I opened my door
Knocked him over...pulled out my pistol...
And I blew him away

Jesse James behind the wheel
It's high noon in my automobile
You can call me crazy...you can call me sick
Just let me get where I'm going to quick

Little red sports car...flying past
Made me jealous...he went so fast
I gave him the finger...I thumbed my nose
Took me fifty miles for me to get close enough
To pull up behind him...pull out my pistol...
And blow 'em away

Little old lady...bless her heart
Walking her poodle across the boulevard
It was wearing a red knitted sweater and a red knitted hat
Its name was Fifi...or something stupid like that
I said, "Here Fifi"...pulled out my pistol...

______________________________________________________________________

The Ghost Of Mrs. Addison

The old house needs a painting after all the winter floods
You can see it on the window ledge, there's still a trace of mud
Everybody's pushing shovels, they're all digging in the dirt
I didn't come to cause them trouble but I know the truth would hurt

No one's heard from Abraham in over 30 days
There's talk in Mama's Restaurant that he got swept away
But I cannot believe them and I refuse to mourn
He's been looking to get out of here since the day that he was born

The windows of the steeple have been covered up with wood
'Cause there is not too much faith no more in this old neighborhood
And I have to keep explaining it to all the folks I knew
That I'm only here to see my Pa, I'm only passing through

Everybody asks me how I've managed where I've been
All the friends of 2nd cousins and all the next of kin
I get alot of  "Good to see ya's" and the "Won't you please come in's"
But I can tell from every handshake who's lying through their skin

I stopped by the cemetary, I came to pay my last respects
To the one who'd live forever, he died of a broken neck
From the weight upon his shoulders, man he finally hung his head
So I laid a wreath above him for the honest life he led

There's alot more of those tombstones than there ever were before
People dieing so much younger now, there's not much hope anymore
And I can't tell anybody how I've seen a glimpse of death
Nobody wants to hear it & I shouldn't waste my breath

The ghost of Mrs. Addison, she was haunting me last night
People say that she's still living, but her face is much too white
She used to be my teacher, she retired to collect
But it's been almost a year now since she last received a check

People talk of hard times in the government reports
In the newspapers & the radio & the television shorts
But it's been that way a long time here & I guess it willl go on
...Tomorrow I'll be gone

The old house needs a painting after all the winter floods
You can see it on the window ledge, there's still a trace of mud
Everybody's pushing shovels, they're all digging in the dirt
I didn't come to cause them trouble but I know the truth would hurt

______________________________________________________________________

Red Skies And Red Waters

Red skies and red waters - soon to be black and blue
The sun's going down now - and I'm going down too
I've been so high - I've been so high on you
Red skies and red waters - soon to be black and blue

Sirens are approaching - turn them all back around
If anything here's on fire - let it burn to the ground
I could beg you don't leave me - I could beg you to leave me alone
Sirens are approaching - send them all back home

Well I have been in your shoes - they led me here & there
Had myself some good times - even grew my hair
Those same shoes took me walking - a most comfortable pair
Walk on, walk on, walk on if you dare
Walk on - shoes like those are rare

Well, I must've been sleeping - had a sweet little dream
When I managed to wake - the ache was unforeseen
I can't tell you what's right now - nothing would be more wrong
Red skies and red waters - what I thought was the dawn

______________________________________________________________________

We Are Each Other's Angels

I hope I see you later - 'cause it's time for me to go
That's my ride that just pulled over - and it sure was good to know you
So go answer your calling - go and fill somebody's cup
And if you see an angel falling - won't you stop and help them up?

    We are each other's angels - we meet when it is time
    We keep each other going - and we show each other signs

Sometimes you'll stumble - sometimes you'll just lie down
Sometimes you'll get lonely - with all these people around
You might shiver when the wind blows - and you might get blown away
You might lose a little color - you might lose a little faith

    We are each other's angels - we meet when it is time
    We keep each other going - and we show each other signs

Thank you for the water - thought I was gonna to die out here in the desert but you quenched my thirst
Let's break a little bread together - I've got a little Manna - it was a gift
From someone who was passing by and offered me a lift

    We are each other's angels - we meet when it is time
    We keep each other going - and we show each other signs

______________________________________________________________________

Fighting

I was seeing all these stars - and my jaw had just been jarred
I had never been hit so hard - I didn't know where I was
But this ringing in my ears - had all but disappeared
I was on my knees but now I'm standing up
Standing up...standing up...I was on my knees but now I'm standing up

If I fight & still I lose - then no matter how you choose
I will stand here in these shoes - and with these kid gloves
I will wipe my bloody nose - change back into my clothes
And my head would not hang low for having fought for your love
For your love...for your love...my head would not hang low for having fought for your love

    For that love that I have known - to the core & to the bone
    It was holy...it was holy
    Now I don't fight to be king - but to be champion of the ring
    That you might wear on your finger for always

And if I fight & I get beat - though the prize would be so sweet
I would go down in defeat but I'd be the winner
And if you should fall to me - how much sweeter it would be
To have earned the victory - hey, I'm a contender
Contender...I'm a contender...so don't count me out, I'm a contender

    For that love that I have known - to the core & to the bone
    It was holy...it was holy
    Now I don't fight to be king - but to be champion of the ring
    That you might wear on your finger for always

So it's a risk I can't not take - and it's a choice you can't not make
Could be the big break, the one shot at the title
And if all I need to win is to be still standing after ten
Then if I go down...I'm gonna go down fighting
Fighting...fighting... if I go down...I'm gonna go down fighting

    For that love that I have known - to the core & to the bone
    It was holy...it was holy
    Now I don't fight to be king - but to be champion of the ring
    That you might wear on your finger for always

ARMITAGE SHANKS

A couple of pints’ll gonna usually do you
Doesn’t take long to go right through you
Make room for more, empty the tanks
Off you’re gonna go to the Armitage Shanks

You hope & you pray there won’t be a queue
An “out of order” sign or a surprise for you
That won’t go away when you turn the crank
When you finally arrive at the Armitage Shanks

***Armitage Shanks, Armitage Shanks
Let us be grateful, let us give thanks
May we never regret the drinks we drank
Praise be the name of Armitage Shanks

One too many’ll give you the spins
Make you a little weak in the shins
Here’s to the one whose sorry head hangs
Over the side of the Armitage Shanks

Sometimes they’ll tell you it’s just for customers’ use
You ask real nice and they still refuse
You would give all the money you’ve got in the bank
If they wouldn’t be so stingy with their Armitage Shanks

***Armitage Shanks, Armitage Shanks
Let us be grateful, let us give thanks
May we never regret the drinks we drank
Praise be the name of Armitage Shanks

It’s the last song before the break
You can’t sit still and your kidney aches
Just a wee bit longer while I fill in some blanks
Then you’ll appreciate even more the Armitage Shanks

And now as you sit there - listening to me
You’ve been drinking pints - and you all have to pee
Wouldn’t it be a pretty good prank
To have 65 verses of Armitage Shanks?

65 verses to Armitage Shanks
65 different ways that we could give thanks
I know for you that there’s only one
I’m gonna end this song soon - and then you all can run

Meanwhile, don’t think of rivers, don’t think of creeks
Chase away thoughts about pipes that leak
Or faucets dripping, or balloons going “bang”
Until after you’ve been to the Armitage Shanks

Armitage Shanks, Armitage Shanks
Let us be grateful, let us give thanks
May we never regret the drinks we drank Even in places where it’s really rank
Praise be the name of Armitage Shanks

Know how to spell Mississippi?
M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I……..P-P……..I
That’s how you spell Mississippi
M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I……..P-P……..I