Annie & Riley

He was sitting under a tree
with a journal on his knee
and writing another line
Up walked Annie Jean
with hair so fine and clean
to talk with him under that Georgia pine

She said, “Hi, I’m Annie Jean
You know my friend Kathleen
We all are in the same English class”
He said, “Hi, I’m Riley”
then he looked down shyly
as he pulled out a couple blades of grass

He was awkward around the young ladies
She asked him if he had plans for Sadie’s
He looked at her and asked “What’s that?”
“It’s a dance, silly” she responded
On his “OK, I’ll go with you,” they bonded
Then walked up his closest friend Matt

Riley gave Annie the number to his cell
They exchanged emails as well
She said she’d call him later on that night
As she got up and said her goodbye
Matt asked Riley if he was high
To Matt, it didn’t see quite right

Annie & Riley went to Sadie’s and Prom
Their relationship was very calm
but it changed as some eventually do
Annie was driving late that summer eve
The other car, it didn’t weave
And Annie’s life was through

Riley graduated the following year
and couldn’t choose school or a career
So he ended up working on a farm
At night he’d go to a cafe’
and he’d stay late writing away
He just didn’t want to do anyone harm

Riley still goes back to that Georgia pine
every year with a nice bottle of wine
and thinks about what could have been
He ponders on the plans they made
that afternoon, in the shade
and the fountain’s reflection shining on her skin.



You Should Be With Me (Steak ‘n Shake Song)

Well, I’m sittin’ here in Steak n Shake
Pickin’ on a four-dollar meal
And I’m not sure if you’ll ever
Feel the way I feel

My pockets are all empty
But my stomach’s full for now
And I’m dreamin’ of you, girl
I gotta figure out how

To make some money
So you will date me
I feel like such a fool
It’s so upsetting
That I’m letting
My depression rule
I know I can make it happen
I know you’ll one day, see
That I was made for you
And you should be with me.
You should be with me

I see you there in Steak n’ Shake
And I’m wondering who’s with you
Who gets to hold your hand
Maybe it’s time you knew

That you’re the boy of my dreams
You’re the one who makes me laugh
Every time I see you anywhere
I wanna take your photograph

We could take selfies
We could go skating
We could study after school
It’s so unnerving
I’m here observing
Why do you tolerate her ridicule?
I know I’d be so better than her
She’s treating you like a nobody
Baby I was meant to be with you

And you should be with me
You should be with me


My First Time at Prom


Senior Prom ’87 – With Michelle Argentine

I met her in my Drama 1-2 class
She was wearing a mustard colored sweater
I had never noticed her around school before
Life there suddenly got better
There were girls I had crushes on
But this one stole the cake
I knew I had to take the chance
Our future was at stake

I took her out to lunch one day
I was so nervous and insecure
When I got the courage to ask her
She said she wasn’t quite sure
She had to run it by her Mother
I was floored she didn’t say yes right away
But when she gave me her decision later
Inside, I was screaming, “Hooray!”

She said she’d love to go to Prom with me
A good friend was designing her dress
Why I had no competition for her attention
was anybody’s guess
This was before I knew about fashion
Before Google, AOL, and
What an adventure it was my Junior year Spring
My first time at Prom

I picked out a pretty cool tuxedo
The colors were pink and white
Made reservations and got a corsage
Man, I thought I was so bright
I was at her doorstep on Valentine’s Day
with a ton of balloons in my hand
I was so anxious and excited
for the special date we had planned

I couldn’t wait to go to Prom with her
All my friends would finally see
I wasn’t some geek who couldn’t get a date
A girl wanted to go out with me
She could have gone with someone else
Like Harry, Dick or Tom
What I treat I thought it would be
My first time at Prom

When I drove out to her parents’ place
I was freaking out in my mind
I thought I’d get some big lecture
But her family to me was too kind
She looked like the angel I knew she was
Dinner on the wharf wasn’t too bad
This date was shaping up to turn into
The best one I ever had

We decided to stroll down the Boardwalk
And a jealous guy started yelling at her
And we rode on the rollercoaster for fun
But my mind started to stir
On the drive home I got verbal
I misunderstood what was said
When we said goodnight, I got no kiss
She just opened the door and fled

So our experience of going to Prom that Spring
was a special night I won’t forget
The next year we went to two more dances
Now I’m married to someone else without regret
I learned a lot about women from sweet Michelle
How I can’t just blow up like a bomb
Whenever I’m talking to my wife or daughters now-
I think of my first time at Prom-
I think of my first time at Prom.


Lyrics Notes:  Totally true story!  In 1986, I went to Prom with Michelle Argentine and the first time kinda went haywire. What I didn’t realize during the experience was that she was not currently seeing the jealous guy, he was just a guy from her past. That was totally different – I thought that guy was her then-current boyfriend.  It was too confusing and I got really upset. The following year, thanks to Michelle Lazo, it seemed like we patched things up and Michelle Argentine and I went to not only Sadie Hawkins together but my Senior Year, 1987 Prom in Monterey, CA.  My Grandma let me drive her Buick. That was a much better experience and I am grateful to both Michelles for what I would call the most wonderful date I had experienced up to then.  I’ll never forget what one of her questions to me was that night… “What is your vision of America?”  Haha… I guess I’d tell her now that where I live now is smack dab into what I think is a good representation of America…. Normal, IL.  I know she is happy wherever she is.


Your Freshman Year

You were an eager beaver during your freshman year
Ready for the good times, wrapped up in fear
It was a time of change, it was a time to explore
It was a time to open every metaphorical door
A door of experience, a door of new romance
A door of truth during your first dance
You had to study but you wanted to play
During your freshman year, you lived day after day

Bridge 1

With goals in your heart and large lust in your soul
A night with someone you liked and you lost all control
You were slightly derailed by this new love you found
So much so you couldn’t focus when they were around

Chorus 1

Stars were in his eyes, you longed to touch
That guy, that crush you wanted so much
During your freshman year
And oh, you look back on it now
Now that you’ve got a girl of your own
And oh, the many mistakes you made
All the ones that made you feel so alone
The ones that show you how much you’ve grown
You see it in her when she doesn’t want to hear
What you went through during your freshman year
What you went through during your freshman year

Verse 2

You played football, baseball or ran in track
Thought your buddy was loyal to you behind your back
You caught him with that girl you pined for
It was there you had to slam that metaphorical door
That door called experience, that door of new romance
That door filled with truth during your first dance
You decided to study instead of going out to play
during your freshman year, you lived day after day

Bridge 2

With goals in your heart and spite in your soul
All because someone you liked lost their self-control
You were slightly derailed by this new boy she found
But then you would focus when you got off the ground

Chorus 2

Stars were in her eyes, you longed to touch
That girl, that crush you wanted so much
During your freshman year
And oh, you look back on it now
Now you’ve got a teen son of your own
And oh, you see the mistakes you made
All the ones that made you feel so alone
The ones showing you how much you’ve grown
You see it in him when he doesn’t want to hear
What you went through during your freshman year
What you went through during your freshman year

Back to Chorus 1 then end.


I Know What You Did In High School

I know what you did in High School
I know who you really were
You were filled with gallant bravado
But you were also very immature
You made fun of everyone behind their backs
and you fondled almost all of those girls
I know what you did in High School
You stole my Mom’s freshwater pearls

I know what you did in High School
I know how, where, when & why
I know when you were telling the truth
and when you were telling a lie
I know all about that one night
when everyone in your house went to bed
And how you climbed out the window
I never believed what you said

Told the cops you were at your girlfriend’s place
That was a fabrication, you weren’t with her
‘Cause she and I saw you on Martinelli Street
She had been wondering where you were
I asked her if she wanted me to turn around
She said, “No, let’s not make a scene”
If we did, she said you would have lost your mind
She told me how you were always mean

I know what you did in High School
and all the girls you hurt so bad
Each one of them privately confided in me
They all said you were very sad
One of them was wearing my Mom’s necklace
Then I couldn’t deny what was true
I know what you did in High School
The thief who broke into our house was you

The thief who broke into our house was you.

2016, Revised 2017.

Troubled Teen

A troubled teen
so in-between
a hard place
and a boulder
A bubbled teen
feeling unclean
Needing much more
than a shoulder
Troubled teen
Troubled teen

The best part about her is buried
way deep inside her battered heart
She has no longing to be a star in sports
and no discipline to learn how to be smart
Her wardrobe is the cleanest thing about her
She’s always wearing the latest color and style
And a key thing to understand about her goal is
That all she wants to do is show her smile

A troubled teen
Party machine
Each day she’s
getting bolder
A bubbled teen
Acting obscene
but longing for
someone to hold her
Troubled teen
Troubled teen

I hope someday she will see the beauty in her
That she’ll stop playing with that fire
And nurture that small girl who was abandoned
by becoming someone she will admire
And I wish her well on her journey to the future
May she feel the warmth of sunshine everywhere
and takes responsibility for all she’s creating
by focusing on just being a breath of fresh air

She’s waiting for someone to save her from herself
There’s a little one inside her feeling alone
You could compare her to a puppy who was kicked so much
then rewarded by the aggressor with a bone

Troubled teen
Beauty queen
Acting mature
but not older
A bubbled teen
inside a magazine
Hidden underneath
my work folder
Troubled teen
Troubled teen
Troubled teen
Troubled teen


Crush Mode

I was thinking of her as I was rushing to my Science class
then I knocked into her and she dropped her schoolbooks
There’s a shoebox at home in my closet filled with memories
I’m so amazed at her looks, her personality and how she cooks

She told me he’s dating a good guy, his name is Bruce
I happen to be good friends with him & know him very well
We play tennis together and she’s been to our matches a lot
and this has become my personal extra special Hell

Crush mode
I don’t stand a chance
With my nerdy glasses
and I don’t know how to dance
Crush mode
She likes Bruce more than me
I’m a prisoner of her mystery
Crush mode
Crush mode

I see them in-between classes at school, holding hands
Holy crap, she’s wearing his jacket and a big smile
They’re just too cute together, it almost makes me sick
I’m so jealous of them and their romantic lifestyle

They aren’t as solitary as I am after school every day
I go to movies and walk the sidewalks quietly alone
If I try calling any girl to try to get to know her
She’ll only text me back from her trusty iPhone

Crush mode
On somebody who doesn’t know
But I respect her so much
and the fact she has a beau
Crush mode
I need to get over it soon
And sing a different tune
to get out of crush mode
Crush mode
Crush mode

Maybe somebody’s got a thing for me too
and she wishes, hopes & prays that I knew
Here’s to her, whoever she may be
’cause being in crush mode is not a fun reality

Crush mode
On someone who doesn’t know
But I respect her so much
and the fact she has a beau
Crush mode
I’m sure I’ll meet someone soon
Date someone who likes me back
and sing her a special tune
We’ll no longer be in crush mode
Crush mode
Crush mode.