You Should Have Seen Your Face

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Weird Hyper Kid

There he is on the school playground
He’s a messy, artsy, weird hyper kid
Draws cartoons of witches and monsters
Doesn’t care about stuff he did

Like the time he told the teacher off
And got suspended for three days
He was put in the front of the classroom
And he just sits there with an empty gaze

Weird Hyper Kid (Oh, so hyper)
Weird Hyper Kid (So hyper and weird)
Weird Hyper Kid (Oh, so hyper)
Weird Hyper Kid (So hyper and weird)

He already has the knowledge
He’s got the brain power to succeed
To fill him with useless information
Is giving him what he doesn’t need

He’s smarter than all the other students
But they just see what they wanna see
To them, he’s just some weird hyper kid
But he should be a hero to you & me

Weird Hyper Kid (Oh, so hyper)
Weird Hyper Kid (So hyper and weird)
Weird Hyper Kid (Oh, so hyper)
Weird Hyper Kid (So hyper and weird)

Loves comic books and very crazy music
He stays up late to research on the internet
He’s concerned about the environment
He’ll come up with a cure for cancer I’ll bet

Likes Stephen King & Agatha Christie
Watches all those reruns of Quantum Leap
Goes to ComicCon with his doting parents
Collects autographs he’ll cherish & keep

Weird Hyper Kid (Oh, so hyper)
Weird Hyper Kid (So hyper and weird)
Weird Hyper Kid (Oh, so hyper)
Weird Hyper Kid (So hyper and weird)
Weird Hyper Kid (Oh, so hyper)
Weird Hyper Kid (So hyper and weird)
Weird Hyper Kid (Oh, so hyper)
Weird Hyper Kid (So hyper and weird)

April 9, 2018

The Songs We Wrote That Summer

The first one we wrote, it was when we met
It was a Meet Cute you and I will never forget
It had humor involving food staining your dress
and us laughing hysterically as we cleaned the mess

The second one we wrote on our coffee shop date
We could have cut it short, but we stayed late
I was too shy to kiss you before you opened your door
It just seemed to me like you didn’t want anything more

We waited a bit before we wrote another one
But the third time was with friends and it was fun
The four of us got together, wrote it in a dive bar
where we all had some beers, you got out your guitar

The songs we wrote that Summer
We went all-in on and did our best
They were filled with emotion and were sincere
And I thought you were pleased how we progressed
But as we wrote more, they started sounding the same
The candle we once were then had a burned out flame
Now sometimes I wonder whatever became
of you and all your ambitious dreams
And those songs we wrote that Summer
with with all those lovely and romantic themes

That time we went to the local Beach Boardwalk
Intimate conversations evolved from our small talk
We shared our deepest hopes yet romance didn’t grow
We just couldn’t move forward, we were at a plateau

Yet I’ll never talk badly about them or you, dearest
‘Cause I cherish those nights we passionately kissed
You filled my notebooks and life with our history
but what it will all mean to others is a mystery

The songs we wrote that Summer
we went all-in on and did our best
They were filled with emotion and were sincere
I thought you were happy with how we progressed
But as we wrote more, they started sounding the same
The candle we once were had a burned out flame
And though I wonder why they became what they became
All our ballads and those youthful dreams
Those songs we wrote that Summer
I’ll listen for you singing them in the ocean and streams

Hope I’ll hear you singing them in the oceans and streams.

March 31, 2018

I Just Want My Brother Back

We would go down to the creek and dip our feet in
Those were just little walks but are good memories
I remember he was the one who told me about
them busy hummingbirds and bumblebees

He’d let me go through all his records and tapes
I’d spend hours studying the liner notes and learn
from all the lyrics – those verses, bridges, and hooks
One favorite was by Kansas, “The Point of No Return”

Now I look at those Polaroid snapshots from our youth
like the one where I’m smiling but missing a front tooth
And I know I have to cope with a very brutal truth
I just want my brother back
When he got into that experimental biplane
I didn’t know that I’d never see him again
That energetic man he was before he went insane
I just want my brother back
I just want my brother back

He’s the one who kept it together and made it through school
Learned three languages and multiple intensive college degrees
Meanwhile, I’ve struggled with odd jobs earning minimum wage
Yet he’d probably say for me, life was a breeze

And I review his yearbooks, remember all his good friends
The ones who knew him more intimately and better than me
I talk with my kids who loved their old Uncle so much
I worry that he’s more accomplished then I’ll ever be

Now I look at those Polaroid snapshots from our youth
like the one where I’m smiling but missing a front tooth
And I know I have to cope with a very brutal truth
I just want my brother back
When he got into that experimental biplane
I didn’t know that I’d never see him again
That energetic man he was before he went insane
I just want my brother back
I just want my brother back

I’m not equipped to handle being the responsible one
I was never the son who knew just about everything
All I could ever do is write these crazy little songs
And muster up the courage to remember them and sing

If I could have traded places with him that night
I would have done it faster than a healthy heartbeat
Instead, I’m the one who takes him for ice cream
and that former genius thinks it’s a special treat

And I watch all those home movies with him in the dark
Sometimes I take him to go fishing at Pinto Lake Park
He thinks he might catch a huge Great White shark
I just want my brother back

I just want my brother back.

March 29, 2018

Preppy Coastal Town

Whenever she looks over to him, her lips part
And he’s thinkin’ bout his favorite go-kart
Instead of payin’ attention to her come-hither look
He’s hidin’ behind a NASCAR History book

She wants him to talk to her ‘bout his muscle car
And dreams together, they’ll go wide ‘n far
But he’s pining for the redhead in our class
He likes her crimson lipstick and her sass

It’s a typical love triangle in this preppy coastal town
where a girl’s expected to go to an Ivy League college
then graduate, meet a boy there and settle down
Where the young men follow in their father’s footsteps
They’ll buckle up, get good grades, pick a sport
Party, sow their oats, ‘n not be a Beta clown
Then find a proper girl from the big city
Who’ll say I do in a satin and lace wedding gown

But the boy’s not into all that, he’s a rebel with a plan
He’ll get a GED and get out outta here while he can
She doesn’t know he’s going into the Army infantry
I only know all this cause his best friend is me

I’ve liked the same girl I’ve known for quite a while
I like that she plays sports and has a country style
She doesn’t feel the same, she likes the quarterback
Little does she know a teacher’s had him in the sack

It’s a typical soap opera story in this preppy coastal town
Where a girl’s expected to go off to an Ivy League college
then graduate, meet a boy there and settle down
Where the young men follow in their father’s footsteps
They’ll buckle up, get good grades, graduate
Sow their oats, make some mistakes but rebound
Then marry, have an affair & divorce in their 40’s or 50’s
& end up with a fatty liver from all that Tanqueray & Royal Crown

They’ll all end up with fatty livers from Tanqueray & Royal Crown
In this scenic, messed-up, rich-rich, coastal preppy town.

March 1, 2018

The Songwriter’s Daughter

She’s got a way of looking at the world
Like no one else I’ve heard of or met
Her eyes are windows to a universe
I don’t think I’ll want to forget

I know we’re just dating right now
And I don’t have much to my name
But I have this feeling in my heart
That I’ll never ever be the same

I think I’m falling for her
Oh, falling for that sweet girl
I think I’m falling hard for her
The town songwriter’s daughter

She’s got a great smile & funny laugh
She takes me places I’ve never been
Like the diner out by those tracks
She’s comfortable in her own skin

She must have gotten it from her Mom
Who has grown slowly fond of me
Wherever we end up goin’ together
Is exactly where I want to be

And I think I’m falling for her
Oh, falling for that sweet girl
I think I’m falling so hard for her
The town songwriter’s daughter

He’s taught her well and she’s happy
She’s an open book and completely free
She’s fascinating and she’s beautiful
She’s so refreshing and low-key

The music in that girl’s humble soul
Comforts me like cool fresh water
Hope she always knows she lights my world
Not just ’cause she’s a songwriter’s daughter

And I know I’m falling for her
I’m falling for that sweet girl
I’m falling so fast & hard for her
The town songwriter’s daughter
The town songwriter’s daughter
The town songwriter’s daughter

February 25, 2018

Lyrics Notes: So the deal with this one is it’s inspired by the old country cliche and the phrase “Farmer’s Daughter.” I know a popular song is the Love Nostalgia Song… So I’ve heard variations like “The Blower’s Daughter” by Damien Rice or even an old one I happen to really love, “The Mortician’s Daughter,” by Freedy Johnston. I always think I wanted to invent a new one so this is about as inventive as I can get – to imagine what it would be like to fall in love as a college student with a songwriter’s daughter. An interesting twist is that instead of living where songwriters are a dime a dozen, they live in a one-songwriter town. Almost like a glimpse into one of my daughter’s future boyfriends, you know? It was a fun exercise, probably one of my better attempts at a character song. I love coming up with characters and coming up with a concept from a perspective that’s much like my own or someone I relate to because I’ve been there. Hope you like it!

Sweet Tea Sunset

Sweet tea sunset
With her by my side
Out on the front porch
Our smiles are wide
The kids are playing
before it gets dark
Sweet tea sunset
and this trailer park

Most of our family
say we’re not rich
They look at our home
and start to twitch
But we love it here
It’s ours alone
It’s so calm here
in this time zone

Sweet tea sunset
and us holding hands
Spotify streaming
our favorite bands
What we worked for
was life undismayed
Sweet tea sunset
like art by Kincade

Happy to be here
Friends are closeby
in this great town
We look to the sky
that’s like a painting
every single night
Sweet tea sunset
An amazing sight

Sweet tea sunset
An amazing sight

February 18, 2018

If This Ain’t Winnin’, Losin’ Ain’t So Bad

Heard through a friend of mine the other day
I was brought up in a Facebook conversation
A girl I haven’t seen since we graduated in ‘87
Resorted to assumption and speculation

She said I was pathetic ‘n unsuccessful
And I’ll be one until I pass away someday
I gotta say I giggled for a little while
At our reunion, here’s what I’ll say

If this ain’t winnin’, losin’ ain’t so bad
I’ve got a family who loves me very much
I’m a dedicated husband ‘n Dad
We live simply ‘n enjoy our friends
And we’re happy more than sad
If this ain’t winnin’, losin’ ain’t so bad

I heard she inherited millions of dollars
From her folks who sold Real Estate
And I’m sure she’s really thrilled with
Her sudden fortune and amazing fate

Been takin’ vacations ‘round the world
And has a place on a big plot of land
Meanwhile, I’ve been chasin’ my dreams
With my songs and a country band

If this ain’t winnin’, losin’ ain’t so bad
I’ve got a family who loves me very much
I’m a dedicated husband ‘n Dad
We live simply ‘n enjoy our friends
And we’re happy more than sad
If this ain’t winnin’, losin’ ain’t so bad

We write songs that come from our hearts
And play them wherever we’re able to
The crowd likes our well-made music
We’re constantly writin’ somethin’ new

I’d say we make a pretty darn good livin’
Entertainin’ people who come see us play
It may be a different life than she has
But I wouldn’t want it any other way

If this ain’t winnin’, losin’ ain’t so bad
We’ve got great fans who love us a lot
It’s a life we wished one day we’d have
Our kids respect how hard we’ve worked
I’d say our lifestyle’s awesome ‘n rad
If this ain’t winnin’, losin’ ain’t so bad

If this ain’t winnin’, losin’ ain’t so bad.

February 17, 2018

She Did Her Thing

Inspired by Vivian Maier

They found a bunch of photographs
taken by someone from the past
Little did they know the value of them
would increase so flippin’ fast
There were pictures of characters
There were self-portraits too
There were shots of children playing
and the finders knew just what to do

They cleaned ’em up and made a site
The artist became famous overnight
Her name was Vivian Maier
She did her thing and she did it right

Even though she made little money
doing what she loved to do
That didn’t stop her from trying
It’s like inside she deeply knew
one day her art would be found
for all to see after she passed away
and the moral of Vivian’s story
is whether you write songs or plays

Don’t listen to all the haters
or doubt in your head at night
Just think of Vivian Maier
She did her thing and she did it right

If you stopped creating what you create
No one will enjoy what they deeply need
Your artistic vision could inspire
or at least become a vital seed
that weaves into someone’s brain
and grows into something completely new
that won’t cure terminal cancer or the flu
but it serves as food, water, and glue
She did her thing and so should you

She did her thing and so should you.

2018

Lyrics Notes: Inspired by the Vivian Maier story, but also by a couple of other things I could not quite fit in here. One was that I had met a gal here in Bloomington-Normal who was an artist – her name was Katie Reid. She was fantastic and she did her thing while she was alive. The other person who inspired this was Phil Harrington. I got off the phone from a good conversation we had and thought I would incorporate that into something fresh. Hope you love it.