You Should Have Seen Your Face (2nd Draft)

It was a moment I’ll never forget
That summer sun had already set
The sidewalk was a little wet
You should have seen your face

When we bumped into your old flame
You said you couldn’t remember his name
And he thought you were playing a game
You should have seen your face

When he explained to you who he was
And where you both went to school
The apartment where you and he
had been settling down
The places you used to go
The people you used to know
All things you never told me
like why you bought a wedding gown

We must have stood there for an hour
As he reminded you of your favorite flower
Of your favorite restaurant on Gower
How what was so sweet became so sour
But the memory of his love for you
you couldn’t (or wouldn’t) place

But you should have seen your face
You should have seen your face

April 16, 2018

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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

Chocolate Covered Banana

Bartender, I’ve had a really rough week
The slopes here have been hard on me
I was wonderin’ if you could be so kind
to fix me one of the house specialties

I know you know how to make it
I’m sure you’ve done it before
And if you make it right for me
you will absolutely score

Give me a Chocolate Covered Banana
and baby, I don’t mean the drink
Cover it with extra syrup
Do it with a smile and a wink
Give me that Chocolate Covered Banana
It’s just what I need I think
It’s your Chocolate Covered Banana
Baby, I don’t mean the drink

I’ve come to this club several times
You know me very well
I love the way you comb your hair
and I’m turned on by how you smell

I love how you flirt with me
So I thought I call you on your bluff
Oh I know once I have it
I’ll never get enough

Give me a Chocolate Covered Banana
and baby, I don’t mean the drink
Cover it with extra syrup
Do it with a smile and a wink
Give me that Chocolate Covered Banana
It’s just what I need I think
Give me your Chocolate Covered Banana
Baby, I don’t mean the drink

Give me your Chocolate Covered Banana
Baby, I don’t mean the drink.

2009, Revised 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!

It’s What You Did Right

For Barbara J. Gray (Mom)

You worked so darn hard
Raising us kids to be good
During those younger years
You both did the best you could
We were rambunctious as hell
Rebels of our neighborhood
But you accepted the call
and you understood
important things in life
like how we’d end up to be
This is how I deeply feel
about what you’ve taught me

It’s not what you did wrong
It’s what you did right
The house was clean
You protected us three
We were all warm at night
You’ve loved us with all your might
Forgiven us after every single fight
Mom, it’s not what you did wrong
It’s what you did right

Dad was off at the salt mines
So busy there to pay all our bills
And when Winter came to our city
You guys brought us to the hills
Where we could play in the snow
Where we could live a different life
You also knew being our Mother
Was just as vital and important
as being a loving housewife
This is what I sincerely see
You were not just our coach
You’ve been a great referee

We sure had our differences
You and I didn’t always get along
But you gave me a fresh start daily
You’re like an inspirational song

And it’s not what you did wrong
It’s what you did right
I always think of you now
When I don’t have a clue
How to remain calm and polite
Sure, sometimes you were uptight
But you’ll always be my leading light
To me, it’s not what you did wrong
It’s what you did right

Oh no, it’s not what you did wrong
It’s what you did right.

February 19, 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.

When I Got a Whiff of You

I was in a diner on a Tuesday at noon
Saw you waiting there alone to be seated
You were so cheerful and happy to see me
We had lunch together and you treated

You talked about what was going on
and I told you what I was up to
We found out our schedules were open
and we chose something we could do

Something happened there with you
I can pinpoint when I felt so much joy
It was as I hugged you and had my nose
in your soft hair & thought “Oh Boy”

When I got a whiff of you
I remembered everything again
When I got a whiff of you
All I thought of was back then
Your young eyes & pearly whites
Those romantic summer nights
When we’d go out to Pinto Lake
and share a chocolate shake
Your innocence I didn’t take
All that drama we went through
Something was quakin’ in me
when I got a whiff of you
When I got a whiff of you

We got in your car & you had me drive
Decided to see a screwball comedy
I don’t remember the plotline at all
I was thinkin’ of what we used to be

We held hands again, it was sweet
Nothin’ like kids do these days
As you watched the movie screen
I was thinking of all the ways

I’d express those familiar feelings
My heart and soul was in overdrive
I forgot how good you were to me
Every second there, I felt so alive

And when I got a whiff of you
I remembered everything again
When I got a whiff of you
All I thought of was back then
Your young eyes & pearly whites
Even the unfortunate fights
That one time you wanted steak
You hated your birthday cake
And later I got bit by a snake
But we still kissed in the canoe
All that flooded my memory
When I got a whiff of you

When I got a whiff of you.

January 23, 2018

And Then I Met You

I knew girls who were so nice
but not many went out with me twice
All I was dreaming of was paradise
And then I met you
There were those who I got to know
and they didn’t go with the flow
So I was searching high and low
And then I met you

You were different
You were funnier
Oh, so much funnier than me
But you loved my humor
You loved my romantic inclinations
and that night we didn’t disagree

All those girls who I met
tossed me like a used cigarette
I was filled with pain and regret
I walked into the Buena Vista all wet
I was down to my last gutsy bet
I was there to meet a different brunette
And then I met you

You were so quirky
You were classier
Oh, so much classier than me
But you loved my cologne
You loved my little observations
You were the one, turns out I’d need

I was there and she was late
In fact, she blew off our date
but I’m a firm believer in fate
I thought she was my soulmate
The one who’d appreciate
my proposal on the Golden Gate
And then I met you
And then I met incredible you.

January 8, 2018