5. 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

LYRICS

CLICK ON ANY SONG TITLE

 

1. 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 Mexic

And 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

2. 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 baseball 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 carry 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 Willie Mays

3. 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

 

4. 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

She said that all too often in the past

 
 

6. Home Away From Home Again

 

Found the key where you said it would be

nderneath the welcome mat

Opened up that creaky door

And 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 -

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

And 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

And to the best cafe & a nice little park

 

So I turned the night light out 

And I lay down in my very own bed

Fell asleep with a smile on my face 

And 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...

 

7. 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

Every time 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

With 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

Hhis 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 sure

 

They led me out to the stables

Where that mercy killing would be done

I was thinking about what might’ve been

And 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

8. 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...

9. 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 a lot 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 cemetery, 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 a lot more of those tombstones than there ever were before

People dying 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 will 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

 

10. 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

Amost 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

 

11. 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 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

12. 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

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©2018 Chuck Brodsky  |  BMI