Sunday, August 02, 2015

Crying For the World...

Crying For the World

Slipping silly into the street
Fresh from a four-star five-course fete
Six splits of wine between us
Cathedral looms, the steps are steep
But we’re laughing, light on our feet
Climbing, stuff a sawbuck in the poor-box

I got twenty dollars down on a conscience
And a Christmas Fund
Some adopted family is gonna have
… some fun
Excuse me, Happy Holidays,
Not Christmas
Not much warm and fuzzy

Goin' on between us

We never get the full names, it's designed
To protect all those involved
We contact them, they’ll ask for more

And we have set the resource ceiling on their cause
I bought a hammer once for Habitat
How can they compete with that?
Ah the moolah that I gave
The lives I've gone no miles to save

But my tears are all you need
For I love this life I lead
So, I’m crying for the world
I’m crying for the world
I’m crying for the world
And doing nothing
... nothing

Never known no worries, no

I've never been alone
Credit card and for emergencies,

And bail is one call home
Never thought on privilege
How it fell to me and why
When your grown-up work is faking it
And built on the Big Lie
You take that deal and take and take some more
And driving home, break down and cry

So my tears are all you need
For I love this life I lead
And I’m crying for the world
I’m crying for the world
I’m crying for the world
And doing nothing
... nothing


Oh, when your daytime job is faking it

And build on the Big Lie
You take that deal and take and take some more
And driving home break down and cry

And my tears are all you need
For I love this life I lead
And I’m crying for the world
I’m crying for the world
I’m crying for the world
And doing nothing
... nothing
 


NPR and BBC, your stories they all bother me
NPR and BBC, your stories they all bother me'

And I'm crying
For the world
Crying...
For the world 

Never thought on privilege
How it fell to me and why
Never thought on privilege
How it fell to me and why

Slipping silly into the street
Fresh from a four-star five-course fete
Six splits of wine between us

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Graveyard Of Dreams

Been having long conversations with a dead man 
He's standing in a room of my dreams 
It's got a table, a chair, a glass and a bottle 
And a cupboard full of "What does this mean" 
Uh-huh... Uh-huh... 

Been waking up way too tired, too all worn down 
From climbing up mountains, way above the clouds 
Parachuting from airplanes, riding canvas made of doubt 
Hitting the ground, hard, then tunneling out 
Uh-huh... Uh-huh... 

Whistling past graveyards, freeways, cars lined up like stones 
Charging into battle, and that slow retreat toward home 
Soldiers in a war that no one wants to wage 
And you know that it is only rest we crave 
Uh-huh... Uh-huh... 

Where does it come from 
Lord, why does it go 
How do you find it, again 
And when do you know 
When do you get too old 
What do you see 
Who do you blame 
For this graveyard of dreams 

Been having long conversations with a dead man 
He's standing in a room of my dreams 
It's got a table, a chair, a glass and a bottle 
And a cupboard full of "What does this mean" 
Uh-huh... Uh-huh... 
Uh-huh... Uh-huh...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day...

Well, here we go again, folks. It's Memorial Day. Seems the Memorial "just gets bigger as we go. Bales of memory like boats in tow." 

Memorial Day

It's Memorial Day
I'm goin' back to the old town
Back to the little white Church
Up on that Higher Ground
Gonna walk in the street
Gonna see the parade
Gonna smell all the flowers
Gonna visit the graves
On Memorial Day

And we'll talk about the kind of man
Who'd lay his life down
I've seen him on the street
He's from our hometown
The catch, the "gleam of glory bright"
Is seeded on the mound
Here’s hopin’ that the cause was just
‘cause the cost keeps comin’ round

On Memorial Day
Back in the hometown
Back at the big white house
Up from the old playground
Gonna sit on the porch
Sip lemonade
The sweet and the sour
Go together... these days

Dusk fallin' on this oak-lined street
My toddler trips across my feet
Comfort's arms don't keep
A Crescent Moon
From hangin' in the east
And I ponder on a way of life
That draws it's strength from war and strife
Demands the bloody sacrifice
And wonder
That there might be a better way

On Memorial Day
I'm goin' back to the old town
Back to the little white Church
Up on that Higher Ground
Gonna walk in the street
Gonna see the parade
Gonna smell all the flowers
Gonna visit the graves
Gonna sit on the porch
Gonna sip lemonade
The sweet and the sour
Go together today

...Memorial Day

© 2006, D. Dain

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Too Big

Too Big


Slippery slope, dominoes down  
Tear a brick from the wall of our movie-set town  
To patch a hole in the hull of a boat run aground
Full of hope that don't float, dreams that done drowned

We conjure our money right out of thin air
Backed by faith in faces with cool New York stares  
They’re talkin' the Bull and walkin' the Bear  
Treadin' where only derivatives dare
Aiaa, I... Aiaa, I...
Aaaaiii

We don't make anything, anymore
Not counting food for the world, fodder for war  
Clothes are from China, cars from Japan  
All too big to fail.  What don't you understand?

Capital cronies, all skull and bones  
Makin' the book on all of our loans  
They guild 'em with Gold, Man, and Sachs 'em like Rome
Bet it all on the red, hell, it’s only a home
Aiaa, I... Aiaa, I...
Aaaaiii

No safety, just a Lie too big to fail
Run the shell game, bail your buddies out of jail 
Leveraged debt is just the way of life
Grab the bonus, baby, run away and hide  

Stick and carrot, fake retirement plans
Most are left with empty, open hands
Lucky bowl of soup and sandwich and a 
“Please, please, Mister, if you can?”
Aiaa, I... Aiaa, I...
Aaaaiii

We don't make anything, anymore
Not counting food for the world, fodder for war 
Oh, and words, we make words - just watch 'em fly  
Hot air to flutter the flags 
On a Forth of July
Hot air to flutter the flags
Oh, flutter the flags
Aiaa, I... Aiaa, I...Aaaaiii
Aaaaiii

© D. Dain, 2009 



Friday, March 01, 2013

Fall Away

Call me home,
my own have never been that far from You
And I've been as all
since lilacs bloom, the stripers run and Summer's come
With only hope
I'm born into that Nature thing
Knowing right and doing wrong
I let it fall away

And I can't help
but think on where we used to be
Crying out to anything
Whistling past that fancy yard of our communal separation
We drive toward home
and all that all those left behind can say
Is that knowing right and doing wrong
We let it fall away

And call me home
But while I wait, I live here
Remember me
to my Dad, he won't forget
No matter how many
transient tears and sorrowful no mores get wiped away
It still springs
Oh, it still springs

"The least of these",
my arrival may be very unexpected
Having been nothing
but the subject of vague hope from just a few
Draw a line, Pretending to Belief to Destination
And it still springs
Oh, it still springs

Oh call me home
I've never been that far from You
Across the Vale,
of field and forest, river, mountain, wailing wall of waiting
It cannot be that far for me,
I'm counting
Still, knowing right and doing wrong
Oh, don’t let me fall away
Oh, knowing right and doing wrong
Don't let me fall away

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Clue

This song started from a comment that I heard Lucy Kaplansky make about her mom.
So... leave clues. Lucy's mom said to.

Outside of "Bell In My Chest", this is probably my favorite personal composition. And, it IS personal. Not an untrue word or wish.

You know who you are -- Love Love Love

Clue

I didn’t leave a footprint in the sand
I’m not by the ocean
Ya' might find one in the mud
I’m a stick – been stuck for years
Won’t be walkin’ on the Strand
I never made that kinda jack and those are not my people
Might be hangin’ with the band
They let me sing sometimes

And if you look for me, you’ll find me
Tho’ I never had one, I surely left a clue
If anybody knows, I’m certain that it’s you
‘cause you been there
It’s where I carry you…

Please, just no jokes ‘bout me
Drownin’ in my tears
‘cause there’s the very good chance
That this is true
We all have our
Worries, doubts, and wants and fears
And sometimes
Even deeper shades of blue
And when the clock is ticking
And you see it all so clear
Get right down to the matter
Count all that's truly dear; and...

All and all and all and all
Is Love Love Love
All and all and all and all
Is Love Love Love

And if you look for me, you’ll find me
Tho’ I never had one, I’m sure I left a clue
If anybody knows, I’m certain that it’s you
‘cause you been there
It’s where I carry you…
Oh, you been there
It's where I carry you

© Daniel Dain, 2006.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I Can't Remember, They're Just Names....

I Can't Remember, They're Just Names


I can’t remember, they’re just names
And I’m not tryin’ to change somebody’s mind
Got a little nit to pick
Couple tricks to try and I’ll be fine
Writin’ while I’m drivin’
It’s when I do the little thinkin' that I do
Caught here in the traffic
The only freedom of the road is solitude

Let's talk about this human stain,

Sad, sweet, short, conditional refrain
Follow all the rule of thumb
It all comes down to just one thing
An' if you’re the one a-listenin’
Why am I the one in pain?
Jus' how it's got to be
I don’t bother to explain

(And) Sometimes, if not always, it’s all me
If it’s your hat, why’s it hangin’ on my tree?
How you gonna walk a mile when the shoe don’t fit?
Take that trip and then you’ll see...

Maybe Rodney got it wrong
Can’t spin out when the give-a-damn’s gone red
Sometimes a curve is just a curve
And there’s a lighthouse in the cornfield up ahead
I know that you don’t care
Just in case, give it a wave before we’re dead
And I stopped meaning all that much
Just to keep the children fed

(And) Sometimes, if not always, it’s all me
If it’s your hat, why’s it hangin’ on my tree?
Hard to walk a mile when the shoe don't fit
Take that trip and then you’ll see...

I can't remember, they're just names
And I'm not tryin' to change somebody's mind

© Daniel Dain, 2006.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

I'll Come Back For You

I dig my way out of the scrum of stickers 
and begin my climb
I left the house, ostensibly to pick mushrooms, 
but failed in the attempt, as I found none 
after succumbing to the temptations of a 
new route, becoming tangled in a mess 
of these same stickers, and hampered by the 
slippery wet rocks at the bottom 
of the other end of the creek that 
runs along the back of the adjoining property,
I have to scramble my way back
onto the familiar territory
of the lower shelf of the ridge

I labor up the hill and almost miss
the two new falls of trees,
and it is strange to me, as I had been on that 
part of the trail only last Wednesday and I recall 
no storms that would have caused such damage
The lay of the land looks a little different, and 

here at fifty-two, I feel the mistrust of memory,
as if assailed by a long, slow attack of deja vu

It's after seven in the evening, and through the trees,
I barely see the ivory siding of our house,
and lug my overweight baggage through the shadows
up the path that feeds into the slope of our backyard,
past the tractor shed, the three-quarters full wood-shed
between the house and your studio, 
and up onto the back deck, where I take 
my muddy shoes and wet socks off
and leave them in the porch  

Entering, I catch  a whiff of the soup you have
simmering on the stove.  A bean mix, with bits of

herb from our garden, a little turkey sausage,
the ever-present and dangerous floating habenero,
a splash or two of wine
You claim you've been losing your hearing,
and there is some small evidence that it may be so
As I come up behind you, sitting at my office desk,
using my computer to grade papers,
I chuckle and touch your shoulder,
and still you do not turn
I lean in to sniff your hair, as I always do,
and I notice that you have not colored it,
and now I remember that I have come back 
for you a hundred times or more
I promised

Sunday, September 16, 2012


 The Mercy of the Wheels  - John Gorka

I heard a train calling
Through the middle of the night
I heard the whistle
And the mercy of the wheels
It's a hand to mouth existence
In a mouth to nothing world
I was longing
For the way I used to feel

I'd like to catch a train
That could go back in time
That could make a lot of stops
Along the way
I would go to see my Father
With the eyes he left behind
I would go for all the words
I'd like to say
And I'd take along a sandwich
And a picture of my girl
And show 'em all
That I made out ok


I heard a train calling
Through the middle of the night
And I wondered if I
Should have gotten on
Cause a train knows where it's going
And when it's time to go
And that it looks best
When it's already gone

I heard a train calling
Through the middle of a dream
And I wandered through the weeds
As it went by
Oh the trains they have the numbers
The nicknames and the nights
They know it's ok
To run away and cry

I'd like to catch a train
That could go back in time
That could make a lot of stops
Along the way
I would go to see me Father
With the eyes he left behind
I would go for all the words
I'd like to say
And I'd take along a sandwich
And a picture of my girl
And show them all
That I made out ok

I heard a train calling
Through the middle of the night
I heard the whistle
And the mercy of the wheels

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bad Man

This started as a rip on 80's Arena-Rock Cowboy songs, then I tried to bring that into a modern setting. This song is for the TV Evangelists, politicians, Hedge Fund and Health Care Systems managers, and predators of all kinds.... Here's the flash: you CAN sell your soul.


Bad Man


I conned an earmark trickle-down
Like tossin' offa shot a' Crown
Cooked the books, gone to ground
Slush-fund glory bound
Bought the vote, got your money
Been cheatin' like a Bear eats honey
I'm a bad, bad man
There's an angry mob and an old oak tree
Somewhere in God's Grand Plan for me

I run your HMO and retirement plan
I take the taken, skim the scam
When I cash out, I leave town
They're still addin’ up the tab

Raise your rates, deny the claim
Dish out dividends in pain
The blood on my white collar
Cancels out the promises I made

I got Congress in my pocket
So my lobby's in your wallet
Dress it up in God and Country
Don't let fact get in the way
An' I can Testify right in your eye
An' mean the end I Justify
Twist the Truth and take The Fifth
Down to Judgment Day

The investors always call for more
So I moved that money way-off-shore
Revelation Seventeen
Says sumpin' 'bout a "Whore"
Playin' shell games with the gains
Got no conscience, got no shame
Hey, what year is that Champagne?
Ill-fated orphans curse my name

No time to turn and wave bye-bye
At the dead-end street with the One-Way sign
Knee-capped by a baseball bat
The HMO don't cover that
Blindfold all the lies I told
In a trunk ride down a river road
No six foot deep, just a shallow hole
22-long and a burnin' soul
The Devil's Handshake
Devil's Handshake
Devil's Handshake
It's waitin'
The Devil's Handshake
Devil's Handshake
Devil's Handshake
It's waitin'
I'm a bad, bad man

© Daniel Dain, 2008.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Barney


Barney  (an excerpt from "Be No Cushion")

Barney
You must go now
And tell Andy
That Mayberry is dead
No more sleepy haircuts
Slow talks on slower

Golden afternoons
On a bench outside
A door that 

Doesn't open anymore
Oh Dear Barney
Times are such 
Just one bullet
Will not do

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Where The Sun Shines Through

Where The Sun Shines Through
Put me down
Where the grass is green
Down near close
Where I dreamed my dreams
Where a big ol' tree
Throws a big ol' shade
But where the sun shines through

Take me home
While you live life
Home with you
Is never Bye and Bye
And it is sweet
And it will be
Home

I can go
But I won't leave
Going's easy
And I BelieveAnd I've always been happy
Hangin' 'round
With you

So put me down
Where the grass is green
Down near close
Where I dreamed my dreams
Where a big ol' tree
Throws a big ol' shade
But where the sun shines through
Where the sun shines through

© DDC, 2006.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Done

Done


Summer falls and winter springs
I know this line don't mean a thing
I stole it from some guy I know
Writes some real good songs

He said "Winter springs and Summer falls"
I turned it round, made that call
I thought it made me sound real tall
... it didn't
Still, I... I don't wanna be done
I... I don't wanna be done

I know that time is not the friend
I sense the race is near the end
This old cliche, it don't have far to run
I... I don't wanna be done

There's an apple tree beside the porch
A paddock, barn, a willing horse
A good ol' dog, just wanna have some fun
I... I don't wanna be done

A parking lot, a parade
Line of people, cars with flags
Grassy field and trees and shade and sun
Memories, some are real
Too familiar with the way this feels
All that's left is left with Neil
And those Sugar Mountain days
And, I... I don't wanna be done
I... I don't wanna be done

I know that time is not the friend
I sense the race is near the end
This old cliche, it don't have far to run
I... I don't wanna be done
I... I don't wanna be done

Summer falls and winter springs
I know this line don't mean a thing
I stole it from some guy I know
Writes some real good songs

© DDC, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Promise Land

I like old-time country stores and churches, old hardware stores, old barbershops and old-time bars with tin ceilings. If I had my choice, a large portion of my time would be spent in those sacred places. And when one of them vanishes into the shadows of our past, our beautiful country dies a little more... along with what is left of my people's heritage.

A couple months ago I was driving through a little Ohio town and saw that one of my favorite country stores was gone. In the window was a sign advertising the space as the meeting place for a church.

Have you noticed, how in tough times, the small town stores vanish and many are replaced by the common but still strange phenomenon of the Non-denominational storefront Church -- you know, the ones with the full sentence-length names?

Well, whether it's a foxhole or Main Street USA, human nature doesn't change much, do it....

Who or what do you put your faith in? The power of the US economy? The government as an extension of the "good" in humanity? Your neighbors? Smooth politicos with big plans and promises they can't pay for and designs on your wallet? Your pitifully frail and fatally flawed human self? Or the God so big that he holds universes in His hand and so artful that He designed every strand of your DNA - and knows your every thought.


This is a rough. And, if you care to reference, you'll find numerous paraphrased (and twisted) quotes from MLK throughout:


Promise Land

I used to drive thru every week or so, past the stoplight at the Dew Drop Inn
Get some egg-salad sandwiches, mayo, pickle relish, mustard mixed right in
Local farm-raised Chocolate milk right from the Amish Friends
As an early lunch, it’s good hang-over medicine

I didn’t pass thru for a year or more, and the economy set in
Blue-collar blight hit all the hotspot gentrification
No matter who the blames goes to, changes come with the election
While we all play our little violin

And the Village Store is now the village store-front church
With a name from a list of promises made from a politician’s perch
On a stage so far removed from all the pain and hurt
That you can’t see the end of all the promises
You can’t see the end of all the promises

It’s the Pentecostal Church of The Holy Roller Sanctified
To the 13th and no longer secret Apostle Stan the Mortified
Praise the ego as the alter on which the future’s sacrificed
A long-lost verse and a smaller slice of Pie (The Day the Future died)

Hope and Change and Righteousness and Love and Peace all Come To Him
With the Seven Signs, Four Horsemen, Second Coming tacked right on The End
Sweet Mary Holy Mother of All Sinners Take me IN
Oh save me... Hymn Forty-three

Oh, promise us the Promise Land
Promise us the Promise Land
Command the deficit to part
Right through that big hole in your heart
Raise that dead electric car
Put down your jobs and follow him
Oh… follow him

Golden tongue and golden words fall on the floor and spin
Make you dizzy with a light that glows from who knows where-why-how-and-when
Struck down there by the Spirit that flows around, without, within
Testify and tell a lot in the silence of your friends
If empty suits can empathize, oh… let him


The arc of the moral universe is long, but not that long
When it slips the balance point and it all tips toward wrong
No matter all the unarmed truth and love we dare sing in song
If there’s no justice
And there’s no mercy
And nothing burning
But the urgency of now


Oh, promise us the Promise Land
Promise us the Promise Land
Command the deficit to part
Right through that big hole in your heart...


And the Village Store is now the village store-front church
With a name from a list of promises made from a politician’s perch
On a stage so far removed from all the pain and hurt
That you can’t see the end of all the promises
You can’t see the end of all the promises

You can’t see the end of all the promises

You can’t see the end of all the promises


Ah, promise us the Promise Land


© DDC, 2009


Friday, September 16, 2011

The Funeral Plan...


The Funeral Plan


Here’s the deal:
I get to be right just one more time
So dispense with the speechery

There's nothing you can say
John Prine hasn't said better
Cut to the chase,
Crank it up and play them:
The Twenty-two Songs That You Can’t Live Without
The order is important

And you people listen
While I drive the old jeep to the end of the road
I can smoke now. Flick the ashes out the window
There’s a half-bottle of bourbon under the seat
A cooler of good beer behind it
And if death is just a part of life
Then life is good

Listen
Just listen. I swear, just one more…
Oh, I forgot about this one
Who's driving?
Don't talk over the music
I'll make it loud enough
That you can't think of anything else
What else is there?
Gritty lyrics
In a back-country, four corner's bar
Up Jacob's Ladder, riding a simple melody
Down some full moon graveled track
That runs the ridge until it seems
To jump in between two rows of trees
And off into space

So listen
Then take them out there with you
When you go
Len - you remember the promise
Born To Live On Sugar Mountain

On the acoustic
In the parking lot
Sing it 'til I'm out of sight

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Could Be...

(I just found a song I wrote over twenty years ago...)

Could Be

Could be the way that I was raised
Could be that deep inside the truth took root and stayed
Could be these days when restless will runs free
Could be a song still carries weight
Could be the distance between right and wrong
Measures more than shades of gray
Could be my thoughtlessness has led to this
And I can't seem to find my way

Oh, still scared I'll be caught
One certain, summer sunrise
On the wrong side of the tracks
Standing there 'twixt good and evil ties
...Lot's Wife
Forever looking back

Could be good fortune and God's Grace
Could be His Hand that carries, cares and had me placed
Within the privilege of this wondrous land
From comfort's womb to righteous stand
To see the inside of their faith
Endless prayer for prodigal heartache
Witnessed all and given every break
And only Jesus blood can save

Oh, still scared I'll be caught
One certain, summer sunrise
On the wrong side of the tracks
Standing there 'twixt good and evil ties
...Lot's Wife
Forever looking back

Could be the way that I was raised
Could be good fortune and God's Grace
Could be His Hand that chooses, carries, cares and placed me in that Grace
Could be a song still carries weight
Could be the way that I was raised...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Funeral Songs... Everybody needs a list.

Subject to revision, I hope.

Funeral Songs

Elegy -Bruce Cockburn
Flying Red Horse -John Gorka
You’re On Your Way -John Gorka
Love Is Our Cross To Bear -John Gorka
If I Could Forget to Breathe -John Gorka
Kind Woman -Chris Smither (Richie Furay cover)

‘Til I Gain Control Again -Blue Rodeo (Rodney Crowell cover)
Dark Angel -Blue Rodeo
Know Where You Go/Tell Me Your Dreams -Blue Rodeo
Simple Song -Lyle Lovett
Family Reserve -Lyle Lovett
Glory of True Love -John Prine
Clay Pigeons -John Prine (Blaze Foley cover)
Bear Creek -John Prine (Carter Family cover)
Long Monday -John Prine
Festival of Friends -Bruce Cockburn
Last Night of the World -Bruce Cockburn
He Came From the Mountain -Bruce Cockburn
Southland of the Heart -Bruce Cockburn
All The Diamonds -Bruce Cockburn
The Color Green -Rich Mullins

Silver Garden -The Everybodyfields
Elegy -Bruce Cockburn

And Love You....

I was trying to channel John Prine. Didn't work, but I have no shame and it is sincere, so I put it down anyway.

Oh, my Sweet Bonnie. I wait forever...

And Love You

Before we make that move uptown
I want a chance to hold my ground
To stand right here another twenty years
And love you

Been walkin' circles, now I’m found
Been rescued from the lost dog’s pound
I’ve been redeemed and now I need
Time to feed on all the blessings

I’m grateful for the time we’ve had
Lord knows I don’t deserve all that
I've found the house where true love lives
Don't have to bust the locks and steal it

Tonight we’ll take a little ride
County roads in full moonlight
When I break and beg and pray for time
Just take me home and love me

You know I’ll follow you through thick and thin
Past the point where light grows dim
On though what most folks call the end
You are Love and love I carry

Before we make that move uptown
I want the chance to hold my ground
To stand right here another twenty years
And love you
Love you

© D. Dain, 2008.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Santa Blues

Santa Blues

(Daddy, is Santa real? Oh, Daddy, is Santa real?)

Son, Santa lived,
But Santa died
He was shot down right out of the sky,
Over East L.A. in '95
By a bunch of Crips, while in the midst
Of a Christmas Morning sleigh-ride-by...

Pushing all the bounds of fashion
Dressed all in Red with White-furred trim
Stocking cap, Ho-Ho-Ho's
Big-buckled belt and lumps of coal
Trespassing was his only sin
A fashion faux pas did him in

(It was a fashionista’s teachable moment)

Was it The Grinch who sold
The Crips that rocket launcher?
The graffiti'd missile found the steam
Off Rudolf's button-nose... and blew
The whole damn sleigh, presents and all
To hell or where bad children go

As he fell, this hero of rotundity,
This bright-red savior of the milk and cookies set,
Shouted "Merry Christmas, Peace on Earth,
The whole wide world's my bloody turf"=
Including all that's tagged with blue spray paint
And the airspace over East L.A."

And so my Son, the moral of the story,
For there is always at least one of those,
Is Look for the unspoken rules and lines
And notice when they change
And do not cross without good cause
And always look down-range
And best not be a fashion horse
Safety first and stay the course
Stick to brown and green
They're not so easy seen

(Repeat 1st Verse)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Route 50 -- a Protest Song...


Route 50

Lookin' cross this country, from my front porch I can see
Big four-lane runnin' one-way down toward Washington DC
Seems change is rarely good, an' it's oh so hard to bear
I remember all this open range, before Route 50 got my share

Rollin' thru my little town, shops all boarded up
One stop sign, one gas station, take my time, I got enough
My job moved all the way to China, seems Route 50 takes you there
Glance across the street, and I say a little prayer

(Chorus)
'cause if you're there, a-starin' at that Store-Front Mission sign
It says "God Bless America, She's runnin' out of time"
Jus' 'cause it's up there on the plaaastic, don't mean it's set in stone....
But some things were better left alone

I can’t remember when my taxes ever came right back to me
Got Congress in my pocket, and they rob me blind, you see…
Bunker Hill and Trenton - Lord, "The Sons of Liberty”
Might be we need to throw ourselves a brand new tea-par-tee
(Bridge/music same as chorus)
I'll wear my Ten Commandment t-shirt when they stand me up ag’in' that wall....
Still my country, still my land, no blindfold – that’s my call
Can't remember where you come from and you ain't goin' anywhere.…
We bear left on Route 50, the future's flyyyin' through the air

I have known for years that Pogo got it right
We have met the enemy, and he's sittin' here tonight
And if God can bless this country, Lord -- He can take it alllll away
And it takes more than a plastic sign to keep ourselves at bay

(Chorus)

© 2006, D. Dain

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Hope Springs...


Hope Springs


...even as The King flips his car and doesn't walk away,
the Tribal Elder is carried home from the hunt,
and eleven generations of farm slide across the auction block
Hope springs...

As the journeyman catches The Champ with that lucky left hook,
the World Tree catches a fungus and starts dropping limbs,
and we dig up our beginnings as our middle sneaks on past
Hope springs...

And we watch the sea rise, swaying in waves of All You Need Is Love
Love...

On a blue ball of clay with aging courtesan's fading charms
We wagered wrong, wandered too far off the farm
We discounted faith, amazing grace, ignored conscience's alarms
Hope springs...

Didn't think, crossed the brink, pausing only to re-arm
Counted greed a virtue, lied and said we meant no harm
And our posterity's a radio signal brushing by the last star of our
spiral arm
Hope springs...

It's diving past galaxies, lined up like standing stones
Straining at the reins and and racing down the long hall
Toward home

While we watch the sea rise, swaying in waves of All You Need Is Love
Love...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Marlin 39....

A short exchange between Chuck Hicks and myself spurred me to this. Revisions are probably forthcoming, but don't expect all the cliches to disappear.

Marlin 39

Dad had a rifle
A Marlin Twenty-two
Pre-war Model 39
Octagon and all re-blued
The design was old,
It never changed
Every part was tried and true
Tried and true

Long one down a squirrel' eye,
Groundhog on the run
Showed me more than I could learn
Still, he taught me some
Most of what I ken
‘bout people and their kinds
It came from him
Dad had a Marlin 39

The barrel had a full eight sides
Dad had a few sides too
Still no doubt and no mistake
Straight-shooter thru and thru
Walk the trap-line cold and wet
Skin and stretch and dry
Life is choices, good and bad
Do it right and die
Dad had a Marlin 39

(Chorus)
He grew up in the mines
Working at fourteen
Didn’t learn to shoot back there
It was a favor from the war machine
He didn't talk it up

But old photos show the change
Just knuckled down and went to work
Wouldn't sow or throw the blame
It’s a Greatest Generation thing

God will not forsake
His people when they call
And though He will correct you, son
His Promise stands to break your fall
He has a plan for every man

Love God, land and line
In meekness and obedience
Grow peace and peace of mind
Dad had a Marlin 39


(Chorus)

God will not forsake
HIs people when they call

© D. Dain, 2008.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Shaky....


Shaky

I got shaky hands and leaky eyes
Tired of shilling compromise
Of lying liars' lying lies
And the way we eat it up
The full debt due is dreck and doom
The end of days might be real soon
We’re slouching toward a ready ruin
And the fire door is nailed shut


We fenced the range where freedom rang
Where Woody, Jack and Utah sang
Shining cities felt the pang
Slid down the hill in doubt
Cloud floats over Harvest Moon
John Smith and Pocahontas too
Thanksgiving came and stayed and grew
Then the gravy all ran out

(Chorus)
Oh my hands
Oh my eyes
Here we stand

And helpless I
Wish wishes win
One last, once more
Please send a course to hold
A steady oar
Toward that distant shore


Farmer Brown - he plant, he grow
Run the race - he place, he show
Banker take it all, foreclose
Class warfare by a nose
The framers never could relate
We're reined in, tamed, been replaced
With ruthless change for change's sake

And it's further down that road

(Chorus, then 1st Verse)

Cross my heart, hope to die
Boots off, loved one by my side
No shaky hands, no leaky eyes
Burn it down and start it over
Burn it down and start it over
Burn it down and start it over

© DDC ‘08

Sunday, February 14, 2010

John Gorka cover: I Never Told You

As far as I know, JG never put this on anything but a couple bootlegs off of the monitor feed.

I Never Told You

Friday, November 06, 2009

Bell In My Chest

This might be the best song I have ever written. Everyone else thinks so. What an experience. Never want to go through that again. Wouldn't trade it, though.

I usually start with a single phrase or idea. In the "Lovejoy" mystery series by Jonathan Gash. "Lovejoy" is a "antique savant" who, when in the prescence of a genuine antique, feels "a bell go off" in his chest.

Bell In My Chest

I do my best work while I’m waitin'
On You to find I’m home
The map I gave You
Was designed to keep You close
But the cards that I’m a-holdin’
Are all I got to show
You make Your hearts up
All alone

When we talk I bend back Your words
And I look all underneath
I work on all the ciphers
While the promises I keep
And I keep my promises
Like I know just what You mean
And I take it all
Real slow


(Chorus)
I got this Bell in my chest
And it’s keepin’ me alive
Good intentions, road to Hell
And all the rest is just a lie
I got this Bell in my chest
And it’s keepin’ me alive
Believe me when I say
You ring it every time

And You, You seem to know
More than I do
While I… I’m just a-hopin’
Things improve
You keep this slice of You apart
You got a pie chart for Your life and heart
And a bar that I can’t
Walk into

(Chorus)

(Repeat either the 1st or 2nd verse)

I do my best work while I’m waitin’…
On You… to find I’m home

© D. Dain, 1999.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Crispy...


Crispy

Crispy ‘round the edges
Ten years on the road
Use-ta drink and then I didn’t
Al's back an’ says "Hello"

Ruby’s out just south of Raleigh
Holdin’ down the fort
Sippin' front porch coffee
While I chart another course

Mornin's I be wishin' I be back there on that porch
But I'm loadin'-in a van outside a motel way up north
Evenin' come I'm burnin' down the house
Tear a three-piece band like Sherman through the South
Tear a three-piece band like Sherman through the South

'times it's like a fog up in my brain
Things use-ta-be so clear, get lost up in that haze
An' the bitch is that I only know to do just what I do
Chasin’ down that single shot at fame
By knockin’ back a bottle full of blame


Crowd or no, we play the game
Three chords, the forth is just for show
Shame’s an almost empty room, you forget the ones who came
Even when they call you by your name
An' the bitch is - even then it ain't the same

Mornin's dream is back home with my Ruby on my porch
'stead I'm climbin’ in a van in a parkin’ lot up north
Ev'nin' come I'm burnin' down the house
Tear a three-piece band like Sherman through the South

Oh, mornin's dream is out there with my Ruby on the porch
But I’m drivin’ through a drivin’ rain to a juke joint way up north
Ev'nin' come I'm burnin' down that house
Tear a three-piece band like Sherman through the South
Yeah, ev'nin' come I'm burnin' down that house
Tear a three-piece band like Sherman through the South
Tear a three-piece band like Sherman through the South
Tear a three-piece band like Sherman through the South

Little crispy ‘round the edges
An' ten years on the road

© D. Dain, 2009

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Failed....

Failed

Red creek runs the hollow
Below the shotgun house on the hill
Next to the railroad trackin' toward the town
That like the mine done gone and failed
Failed, failed
Failed....

TV’s pickin’ up two channels
Charleston weak and Bluefield strong
The rest just went last winter
When the digital turned on

Molly left past two year now
Kinda put me in a crunch
Took the kid, the blame, and the free lunch
The truck is runnin' rougher
The ol’ John Deere needs a clutch

Money’s tight - hardly lasts the month
The Little One don’t write no more
The cards I mail come back
I miss her most, that crooked smile,
The light, the love the life I had

Had, had...

If there was gas to burn I’d turn the truck
On back the poacher path
Take a chance a fresh-cut Cherry'll pull me
Past this winter’s wrath

The Amish don’t ask questions
Furniture don’t talk
I’ll confess my sins in private
To Grandpa’s curly maple Cross

But there’s two beers, half’a bottle
Jim Beam on the porch
Rack of wood and coulda-shouldas in my mind
Hot Stove on the radio
Oh Lord, I miss ol’ Joe
Even Baseball failed us over time


An' the little one don’t write no more
The cards I mail come back
I miss her most, that crooked smile,
The light, the touch, the trust I had
Had, had...

Red creek runs the hollow
Shotgun house on the hill
An' the railroad trackin' toward the town
That like the mine done gone and failed
Failed, failed
Failed....


© D. Dain, 2008.

Star Spangled Banner

Star Spangled Banner (clik for audio)

A two-chord (Until the last four lines) take on our National Anthem.