LYRICS

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1. 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

11. 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

 

©1998 Annie Gallup

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2. 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

Ahe 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

3. 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 sherif 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 sherif, 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

 

4. 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?”

 

5. 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

And 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...

 

6. 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

Wxchanged 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

And he high fives with the fans

 

They give Radio report cards

And 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

7. 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...

 

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. 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

Adonnybrook, 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

Adonnybrook, 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!”

10. 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, Wifi, and DVR’s
Some of them have GPS’s inside their hybrid 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
And 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 &
And 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
 
 

©2018 Chuck Brodsky  |  BMI