THIS SONG WAS INSPIRED BY SOMETHING I READ ABOUT THE 'HUMAN-NESS' OF A CERTAIN JEWISH GUY FROM A COUPLE MILLENIA AGO:

                                                              CARPENTER

I DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS / I’M NOT SURE I BELIEVE / I AM WHAT THEY THINK I AM

I CRAVE A SIMPLE LIFE / I WANT A HOME AND A WIFE / THEY WON'T EVEN LET ME BE A MAN

 

ALL OF MY CHOICES / HAVE NARROWED DOWN HERE / ALL OF THESE VOICES IN MY EAR

ALL OF THESE HANDS OUT / GRASPING AT STRAWS / WILLING THEIR SAVIOUR TO APPEAR

AND THEY'RE…

BLEEDING ME…BLEEDING ME…BLEEDING ME…TILL I’M DRY, TILL I’M DRY

 

LIKE AN IMPOSTER / I AM SO UNPREPARED / TO BE WHAT THEY SAY I AM

I FEEL ALONE AND WEAK / WAITING TO BE REVEALED / WILL I BE LIFTED OR BE DAMNED

 

WHY DO I JUST GO ALONG / WHEN I WANT IT TO BE DONE

CAN I REALLY BE THAT STRONG / TAKE THE WEIGHT OF EVERYONE

TAKE THE WEIGHT / TAKE THE WEIGHT OF EVERYONE 

 

I DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS / I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT MEANS / AM I A SPIRIT OR A MAN

ONE VOICE IS DOUBTING ME / AND ONE VOICE IS LEADING ME / AM I A LION OR A LAMB---  

 

 

 

 

PRETTY SELF EXPLANATORY, I THINK:

WHAT I WAS GIVEN 

WHAT I WAS GIVEN AS A BOY - I’VE HAD TO EARN AS A MAN - & THOUGH I’VE HAD THE BEST INTENTIONS - I HAVE NOT DONE ALL THAT I CAN

FOR WITH ALL THAT I’VE RECEIVED - I FEEL I SHOULD ACCOMPLISH MORE - THERE IS THIS BRIDGE OF EXPECTATIONS - NEVER MAKES THE OTHER SHORE 

I HAVE COME HERE TO THIS PLACE - IF I’VE COME ANYWHERE AT ALL - WHERE THE ONLY DREAMS THAT MATTER NOW - ONCE WOULD HAVE SEEMED SO SMALL

CAUSE IN THE WAY THAT IT CAME AT ME - LIFE DIDN’T GIVE ME ROOM TO DODGE - I WAS SWEPT OFF OF MY COURSE - I WAS STRIPPED OF MY FAÇADE 

THIS GROWING UP IS NEVER GOING TO END – TRUTH IS THAT I’D DO IT ALL AGAIN

 

THERE WILL NEVER BE AN ENDING TO THIS STRUGGLE, TO THESE TRIALS, AND THIS IS LOVE

 THERE IS NO ENDING TO THIS LOVE, OUR LOVE

 

THERE WILL NEVER BE AN ENDING TO THIS STRUGGLE, TO THESE TRIALS, AND THIS IS LOVE

 THERE IS NO ENDING TO THIS LOVE, OUR LOVE

 

RESPONSIBILITY, YOU KNOW IT’S DRAGGING ON ME - I WAS SURE I WAS SPECIAL,  I WAS BOUND TO SUCCEED

ALL THESE COMPLICATIONS, ALL THESE PEOPLE IN NEED – ALL THESE VELVET SHACKLES - NEVER LET ME GET FREE

MAYBE I’LL BUY A MIDLIFE CAR - THAT’S IMPRACTICAL AS HELL – MAYBE I ‘LL ROLL OUT WITH THE TOP DOWN - LEAVE THE CHIPS LAY WHERE THEY FELL

I WON’T NEED A DESTINATION - JUST A MAP AND OLD MOTELS - TAKE THE BACK ROADS LIKE MY DAD DID - THROW AWAY MY CELL 

THE TRUTH IS THAT I’VE PUSHED MY CHIPS ALL IN - TRUTH IS THAT I’D DO IT ALL AGAIN

 

THE ONLY LIFE YOU’LL EVER HAVE’S THE LIFE YOU MAKE—IT NEVER GETS EASY, BUT IT GETS EASIER TO TAKE

 

WHAT I WAS GIVEN AS A BOY - I’VE HAD TO EARN AS A MAN - THOUGH I HAD THE BEST EXAMPLE - SOMEHOW HAD A DIFFERENT PLAN

OR WAS IT WRITTEN IN THE STARS - OR HAS IT ALL BEEN IN MY MIND - WAS IT SOMETHING I’VE FORGOTTEN - OR SOMETHING I STILL HAVE TO FIND...I STILL HAVE TO FIND …

 

CHORUS:

 

(I WANT TO DRIVE OFF IN A ‘VETTE , SAY A 1963 / I WANT TO ROLL OUT WITH THE TOP DOWN / LET THE SPIRIT CARRY ME

DON’T NEED GARMIN OR MAGELLIN / JUST THE ANCIENT STARS ABOVE / ALL MY APOLOGIES / TO THE PEOPLE THAT I LOVE)

 

 

 

 

 

 EVERYBODY HAS A STORY OF PAIN:

                                                        HEY, AMY

 

HEY AMY– I KNOW YOU BEEN HURT…HEY AMY – WE'LL MAKE IT WORK

ASK ME ANY QUESTION – I WON’T LIE...NEVER NEEDED ANY ALIBI  

HAD A LITTLE TOO MUCH TO DRINK / BARELY AWARE OF THE TIME / A TINY FEELING THAT I SHOULD CALL /BUT IT WASN’T IN THE FRONT OF MY MIND

I KNOW IT’S LATE AND I KNOW I’M DRUNK / I KNOW HOW THOUGHTLESS I’VE BEEN / AND YOU KNOW I COULD LIE TO YOU / AND SAY IT’S NEVER GONNA HAPPEN AGAIN

THAT’S NOT THE WAY THAT I BUILT MYSELF / I LOOK THE MIRROR RIGHT IN THE EYE / I KNOW YOU'RE THINKING OF SOMEONE ELSE / YOU KNOW I'M JUST NOT THAT GUY

AMY I’M JUST NOT THAT GUY 

I'M NOT THE PERFECT GUY  /  NOBODY CAN BE /BUT IT'S OVER A YEAR NOW, AMY / IT'S TIME TO TRUST ME / MEN ARE ALL NOT THE SAME / SOME OF US ARE TRUE/BELIEVE ME - WOMEN CAN BE AS BAD

 AMY, I'VE BEEN CRUSHED, TOO

I DON'T KNOW WHAT OUR FUTURE IS  / BUT I KNOW I WON'T LIE / IF YOU'RE THINKING I'M SOMEONE ELSE / YOU KNOW I'M JUST NOT THAT GUY…AMY I’M JUST NOT THAT GUY

 

EVERYBODY'S GOT A STORY OF PAIN /  EVERYBODY HAS THEIR SCARS / EVERYBODY HAS A HISTORY, AMY / THE FUTURE IS OURS 

YOU KNOW I’M IN ALL THE WAY / IF YOU LET US SURVIVE / IF YOU LET ME BE WHO I AM / AMY I CAN BE YOUR GUY 

YOU KNOW I’M IN ALL THE WAY / IF YOU LET US SURVIVE / IF YOU LET ME BE WHO I AM / AMY I CAN BE YOUR GUY

 YOU KNOW I CAN BE YOUR GUY

 

 

 

THE MOST AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SONG I'VE WRITTEN...SO FAR:

TURNED

 

THEY SAID I WAS A REBEL I JUST QUESTIONED THE RULES - MY PARENTS DIDN'T GET ME BUT THEY HELPED ME GET THROUGH

THEY NEVER EVER WAVERED AS I CRASHED THROUGH SCHOOL - MAN, MY PARENTS WERE SO COOL

EVERYBODY'S COURSE WAS SO EASY TO SEE - GET MARRIED - HAVE KIDS - MAKE A FAMILY

SPEND YOUR LIFE WORKING FOR THE DOW COMPANY – BUT THAT NEVER WAS FOR ME

 

I LOOKED OUT AT THE ROAD FROM 17 - IT WASN'T AS INVITING AS IT SEEMED

 

SOUGHT A HIGHER POWER - COULDN'T TAKE THE LEAP - FINALLY DECIDED IT WAS ALL UP TO ME

LOOKIN FOR A WAY NOBODY ELSE COULD SEE - ALL ALONE BUT I WAS FREE

LOOKIN BACK 20/20 - WAS THE FORTUNATE ONE - A YOUNG, WHITE, AMERICAN - THE OLDEST SON

SO MANY CHOICES NEVER GIVEN TO SOME - BUT NO MAP TO READ FROM

 

I LOOKED OUT AT THE ROAD FROM 22 –  WASN’T GOING WHERE I WANTED TO 

 

SO I TURNED SOMEHOW AND I NEVER TURNED BACK /  FOUND MY OWN  WAY OFF OF THE BEATEN TRACK

WELL I TURNED SOMEWHERE AND I NEVER TURNED BACK / I JUST TURNED... 

WELL TURNED SOMEHOW AND IT TURNED OUT ALL RIGHT / WENT A LONG WAY OFF BUT I NEVER LOST SIGHT

YEAH, I TURNED SOMEWHERE AND IT TURNED OUT RIGHT / I JUST TURNED...

AND I HAVE NO REGRETS…AND I AM NOT LOST YET...

 

IT’S EASIER AND HARDER WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR OWN RULES / THE FIX WAS NEVER IN, BUT THE VIG IS NEVER DUE

GOIN ALONG TO GET ALONG ‘S THE EASIEST ROUTE /  TRIED BUT IT’S UNTRUE

FACED A LOT OF DOUBT, FACED A LOT OF SCORN / USED TO OPEN WOUNDS BUT IT DOESN’T ANYMORE

MADE A FEW BAD MOVES THAT I HAD TO ANSWER FOR / BUT I NEVER WOULD CONFORM

LOOKING AT MY LIFE FROM WHERE I STAND / feeling LIKE A VERY LUCKY MAN

 

CAUSE I TURNED…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I KNOW A FEW FOLKS WHO'VE SACRIFICED ALMOST EVERYTHING FOR THEIR ART:

 

HOME

 

IT’S THE PEOPLE I HAVE KNOWN / THE WONDERS I'VE BEEN SHOWN / WHAT I BRING LEAVES ME MORE  /THAN WHAT I TAKE

FINALLY REALIZED THE COST / OF ALL THE TRACKS THAT I HAVE LOST / AND ALL THE HEARTS THAT I HAVE CAUSED TO ACHE 

 

I’VE BEEN HANDLED LIKE CLAY / I’VE BEEN KNEADED, I’VE BEEN THROWN

NOW I'M MOLDED / INTO A FRAGILE GRACE

I LONG TO GO HOME / BUT THE PEOPLE ARE ALL GONE

AND HOME IS MUCH MORE THAN A PLACE

 

I WENT AWAY / I WENT AWAY / I STAYED AWAY TOO LONG

STAYED AWAY / NOW IT’S MUCH TOO LATE

SAVE THIS LONELY CHRISTMAS DAWN

 

 

ALL THAT I’M SURE OF, THESE DAYS / IS TROUBLE, LUCK, AND LOVE / THE OLDER THAT I GET THE LESS I KNOW

TROUBLE BRINGS ON DOUBT / I HAVE SEEN THAT LUCK RUNS OUT / AND FOOLISH WAS THE BOY WHO LET LOVE GO

                                     

FELL INTO THE ARTISTS TRAP / OF THE LEFT SIDE OF THE MAP / AND TRIED TO GROW NEW ROOTS IN SHAKY GROUND

NOTHING OUT HERE LASTS / I COULDN’T CHANGE THAT FAST / SINCERITY FOR SALE IN TINSEL TOWN

 

 

 

 

 

INSPIRED BY THE DOCUMENTARY 'WAR TORN'...MY NEPHEW ,STAFF SEARGENT BRENT GRABLE, HELPED ME AVOID AN EMBARRASSING MISTAKE IN THE LAST VERSE. BRENT HAS SERVED 3 TOURS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN:

RECOIL

I GREW UP ON A LITTLE FARM  /  NO SLAVES, NO RAGE TO TAKE UP ARMS

BUT THEM YANKEES MEANT TO DO US HARM  /  OR SO I WAS TOLD

MA SEWED ME A GREYISH SHIRT / I LEFT MY OWN RED GEORGIA DIRT  /

WE’D DO THOSE BLUES A WORLD OF HURT  /  AND STILL BE HOME BY FALL

 

5 YEARS ON - BACK HOME AT LAST  /  OUR BRITTLE PRIDE LIKE SHATTERED GLASS

I THINK ABOUT WHAT LATELY PASSED  /  I CAN FIND NO PEACE

CAN’T THINK ABOUT THE THINGS I’VE DONE  /  HOW THEY WERE SOME  MOTHER’S SONS

JUST PULL THE TRIGGER ON MY GUN  /  THE SEARGENT SAID TO ME

DID NOT FEEL ANYTHING….BUT RECOIL

 

I ONLY DID WHAT I WAS TRAINED TO DO

AND PEOPLE SAID I WAS A HERO

DIDN’T KNOW THAT I’D BEEN WOUNDED, TOO

BY THE RECOIL…OHH, THE RECOIL

 

JUST EIGHTEEN AN UNFORMED MAN  /  DRAFTED OFF TO VIETNAM

A WAR WE DIDN'T UNDERSTAND  /  HALF A WORLD AWAY

THE SEARGENT SAID TO US  / THERE IS NO RIGHT THERE IS NO JUST

THERE ARE JUST TWO THINGS TO TRUST  /  THE GRUNTS ON EITHER SIDE

THERE IS NO JUST THERE IS NO RIGHT   / THERE’S JUST THIS MOMENT, JUST THIS FIGHT

JUST SHOOT THAT MAN THERE IN YOUR  SIGHTS  /  FOR IT IS KILL OR DIE

 

 

THERE IS NO RIGHT THERE IS NO WRONG  /  THE SEARGENTS KNEW THAT ALL ALONG

THEIR TRAINING WE RELY UPON  /  SAYS WHEN YOU PUT THEM DOWN

DO NOT FEEL ANYTHING ….BUT RECOIL

 

FATHER PLEASE DON’T THINK I’M WEAK  /  IT’S JUST THAT I CAN’T SEEM TO SLEEP

HONEY WHEN I WAKE UP CRYIN  /  I FEEL THE WORRY IN YOUR EYES

I HAVE THESE PICTURES IN MY MIND  /  I’M TRYIN TO LEAVE THEM ALL BEHIND

THE THINGS I’VE SEEN COME BACK IN DREAMS  /  THE THINGS I’VE DONE JUST STAY WITH ME

 

LAID OFF IN 2001  /  MY MARRIAGE WAS ALREADY DONE

MY CHOICES NARROWED DOWN TO NONE  /  WHEN THE TOWERS FELL

VOLUNTEERED AN ANGRY MAN  /  SENT OFF TO AFGHANISTAN  /  OUR LEADER SAID HE HAD A PLAN

GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME

 

5 YEARS LATER HERE I’M STUCK  /  SEARGENT SAID I DON’T KNOW WHAT

THE FUCK WE’RE DOING IN IRAQ  /  BUT KEEP YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN

 

SAYS:

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS INNOCENT  /  BUT DON'T SHOOT FIRST - AND DON'T FORGET

WE HAVE THESE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT  /  AND WHEN THEY PUT US DOWN

DO THEY FEEL ANYTHING….BUT RECOIL

 

I ONLY DID WHAT I WAS TRAINED TO DO / AND PEOPLE SAID I WAS A HERO

 DIDN’T KNOW THAT I’D BEEN WOUNDED, TOO / BY THE RECOIL…OHH, THE RECOIL

WE DID THE DAMAGE WE WERE TOLD TO DO / OUR LEADERS TOLD US THAT WE NEEDED TO

DO THEY CARE THAT WE’D WERE DAMAGED, TOO

BY THE RECOIL…OH- THE RECOIL, OH -THE RECOIL, OH -THE RECOIL

 

 

 

 

 

 CHRIS MICHALEK WAS ONE OF THE VERY BEST HARMONICA PLAYERS I'VE EVER HEARD, AND HE WAS MY GREAT FRIEND. HE DIED  UNEXPECTEDLY OF A CEREBRAL HEMORRHAGE AT THE RIDICULOUSLY YOUNG AGE OF 37-  BEFORE HE HAD THE CHANCE TO TRULY MAKE HIS MARK IN THE MUSIC WORLD. HE HAD AN OUT-SIZED ONLINE PERSONALITY AND HE INFLUENCED MANY OF THE BEST YOUNG HARP PLAYERS IN THE WORLD TODAY...BUT HIS RECORDED OUTPUT WAS SPOTTY AND ONLY SCRATCHED THE SURFACE OF HIS TALENT . HE WAS ALWAYS INTO THE 'NEXT' THING HE WAS GOING TO DO, BUT HE NEVER SEEMED TO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER  MUSICALLY.  ON THE DAY HE DIED,  HIS LAST FACEBOOK POST WAS  " 7 a.m. , AND DARK AS DARK CAN BE"

 

7 a.m.

 

7 a.m. …AND DARK AS DARK CAN BE…….NOW IS FOREVER FOR ME / ONE BRILLIANT FLASH……THEN ETERNITY……ALL I AM EVER GOING TO BE 

MY HEAD IS SPINNING WITH MUSIC UNPLAYED / MY HEAD IS SWELLING WITH MUSIC UNMADE 

I’M ALREADY FINISHED  ...BUT I’M ONLY HALF DONE / WORK ON MY MASTERPIECE HASN’T BEGUN

 

PEACE, PEACE......PLEASE

 

I WAS THE FUTURE …. NOW I’M A MEMORY…..JUST ZEROS AND ONES LEFT OF ME / GIFTED AND CURSED…FOREVER CAUGHT IN BETWEEN

GRACE THAT IS HEARD / BUT NOT OFTEN SEEN 

I ALWAYS THOUGHT I WOULD MAKE IT IN TIME / A NUMBER'S BEEN CALLED AND THAT NUMBER IS MINE

MY TIME WAS COUNTED BUT THE TEMPO WAS WRONG / I WAS BARELY IN, NOW I’M ALREADY GONE 

 

I’M  A CANVAS, STRETCHED AND BLANK / THERE’S A PALETTE RIPE WITH PAINT / BRUSHES SCATTERED ON THE FLOOR

I’M A STORY, RICH AND TRUE / STILL UNWRITTEN, OVERDUE / AND THE AUTHOR OUT THE DOOR

 

7 A.M. ….AND DARK AS DARK CAN BE…..THIS MORNING ARRIVED SILENTLY / EVERYTHING STOPS…..THEN THE MUSIC GOES ON….ALL THAT IS LEFT HERE OF ME

 

PEACE, PEACE......

 

 

FOR ALL MY TROUBADOR FRIENDS. IT IS TOUGH PLAYING ONE-NIGHTERS IN BARS FULL OF APATHETIC AUDIENCES WHO STILL THINK IT'S FUNNY TO REQUEST 'FREEBIRD'...BUT DREAMS DIE HARD, AND SOMETIMES THEY EVEN COME TRUE (RARELY, AND IT 'S USUALLY NOT BASED ON TALENT):

 

MILES FROM NOWHERE

 

MILES PAST NOWHERE, SO MANY MILES TO GO / THESE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS OUT ON THE ROAD / SURE DO TAKE A HEAVY TOLL

I’VE GOT A DOZEN REAL GOOD REASONS /  WHY I SHOULD HAVE STAYED AT HOME / JUST A DOZEN CRUMPLED SINGLES

TO GET ME WHERE I NEED TO GO

MY BROTHER’S DOING VERY WELL WITH HIS INSURANCE COMPANY / SAYS HE HAS A JOB WAITING FOR ME

 

THIS LOUSY WEATHER / WELL IT NEVER SEEMS TO CLEAR / I’M SURE IT’S SUNNY SOMEWHERE / A THOUSAND MILES FROM HERE

AT LEAST AT THIS NEXT VENUE / THEY ALWAYS TREAT ME WELL / THEY HAVE A GOOD P.A., STAGE AND LIGHTS

& I CAN WALK TO MY HOTEL 

BUT IT’S SCARY HOW AT HOME I FEEL, HANGING AT THE BAR / I HAVE TRAVELED A LONG WAY BUT NOT COME FAR

 

 I’LL GIVE IT ONE MORE YEAR OF HOPING THAT MY SHIP COMES IN / SOMETIME’S I THINK MY SHIP’S BEEN LOST AT SEA

I HAVE ALL THESE SONGS I DRAG AROUND THAT I STILL BELIEVE IN / DOES ANYBODY STILL BELIEVE IN ME

 

THIS LIFE I CHOSE TO LIVE / WHEN I WAS NO MORE THAN A BOY / HAS BROUGHT A CHORUS OF INDIFFERENCE

& A MEASURE MORE OF JOY

AND THE STORIES I CAN TELL YOU / WELL - WE COULD LAUGH THE NIGHT AWAY / BUT THEN I HAVE TO GET BACK UP

& FACE THE BRAND NEW DAY 

IT’S A LIFESTYLE THAT CAN WEAR YOU DOWN / AND LEAVE YOU FACING DOUBT / WHEN YOU’VE GOTTEN SO FAR IN, YOU CAN’T GET OUT

 

THERE IS JUST ONE THING THAT I DO WELL / SING MY THOUGHTS IN MELODY & RHYME

I USED TO LOVE THE STORY / NOW IT’S GETTING HARD TO TELL / & I’M THINKING THAT I MIGHT HAVE CROSSED A LINE

& I WONDER IF I’VE WASTED ALL THIS TIME

 

MILES FROM NOWHERE / WITH SO MANY MILES BEHIND / & MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP / OF DIS-CONNECTED LINES

& THE ROAD THAT I HAVE TRAVELED / IS THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED BY / & THAT MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE / AS I TRY TO READ THE SIGNS

BUT AT THE CLUB LAST NIGHT THERE WAS A GIRL / LISTENING SO CLOSELY / & THAT WAS ALL IT TOOK TO RAISE MY HOPES

 

  

IN A MINOR WAY, I'VE BEEN ONE OF THOSE HOPEFUL TROUBADORS...I SPENT A LOT OF TIME DRIVING FROM TOWN TO TOWN WITH MY MUSICAL BROTHERS AND SISTERS - AND IT'S HARD NOT TO HEAR THEIR PHONE CONVERSATIONS WITH THE FOLKS BACK HOME:

 

IN A LITTLE WHILE

 

IN A LITTLE WHILE- I’LL BE HOME AGAIN / STILL AWAKE WHEN THE SUN PEEKS IN

AND I’LL WATCH YOU SLEEP AND I’LL BE CONTENT / FOR A LITTLE WHILE 

JUST A LITTLE TIME – IS THE MOST WE GET / NONE GET MORE – SOME GET LESS

FIRST KISS TO OUR LAST CARESS / SO LITTLE TIME

 

I’LL HOLD YOU CLOSE - FOR A LITTLE WHILE / YOU’LL STIR IN MY ARMS - WITH A SLEEPY SMILE

I'LL NAME ALL MY FEARS / SLOW THE SPEEDING YEARS

WE’RE ONLY JUST HERE  / FOR A LITTLE WHILE

 

IN A LITTLE WHILE / BACK IN FROM THE ROAD / THE SHOWS WERE GOOD / BUT I SO MISSED HOME

STILL SOMETHING IN ME HAS TO GO / FOR A LITTLE WHILE

 

THERE’S SO MUCH TO SAY / IF I CAN FIND THE MUSE / IF I CAN SHAPE THE WORDS I CHOOSE /

 WHAT TO LEAVE IN, WHAT TO LOSE / SO MUCH TO SAY

 

HAVE I BEEN GOOD / DID I DO WELL / I'M NOT THE ONE ….WHO CAN TELL 

 

THERE IS SO LITTLE TIME / AND NO CERTAIN PATH / TO GET IT RIGHT TO MAKE IT LAST

 WISH IT DIDN'T GO SO FAST / SO LITTLE TIME 

JUST A LITTLE WHILE / IT’S THE PRICE WE PAY / HOW I REGRET MY WASTED DAYS

AT LEAST RIGHT NOW WE’RE ALL OKAY / FOR A LITTLE WHILE