John Whoever and Who Are They

WHO YOU ARE

Who you are is what you find when who you were stops looking

Used to be a rich man, Working on a suntan

Whichever way the wind blew, I knew I’d come out on top

Sleeping in a silk shirt, Rolling in the paydirt

Hoping it would never ever stop

 

Who you are….

I was on a soul search, landed in a toll church

Baby they can save you,  take you far as you can pay

Had me hummin’ like a Hindu,  groovin’ like a guru,

Shoutin’ hallelooyah, zipadee Boodah day

 

Who you are….

Are you cruisin’ down the main drag,  shakin’ off the jet lag

Feeling like it’s not right, not quite what it’s meant to be

Sweatin’ through the hot night,  living in the spot light

Everything’s so bright you just can’t see

 

Who you are…

 

MAYBE JANE CAN EXPLAIN   

Sleepless boy,  clueless girl

Keeps his head in a swim and swirl

He’d buy her an ocean to give her one pearl

Hand her the world on a platinum tray

 

Manners and maneuvers, maybe Jane can explain

Who has a clue how to play this game?

 

Catch her eye, but do not stare, Work your way over acting unaware

Just say hi, double dare, Act like you don’t care when she turns away

Manners and maneuvers…

 

Puzzles and charades   seem meant to muddle his mind

She dodges and evades and hides     what she wants him to find

 

Bubbles will burst, clouds explode, rain pour down and roads erode

The map that leads to love’s abode is a cipher and a code so we feel our way

Manners and maneuvers…

SPINNING IN THE DARKNESS

It’s been so long, my love, since I have looked into your eyes

Since I have held your hand in mine

It was on the night we met,   I saw two stars fall from the sky

And on my bed I dreamed of you

 

Spinning in the darkness

Fumbling for the string of the ceiling light

Thinking it was madness

Knowing it was right

 

Come with the morning light,  come to the arms that held you close

Come in the way you came before

We lay there through the afternoon, our shadows faded from the wall

I woke up like the moon, so high and blue

 

LOVE WITH ABANDON

Anywhere you travel, any road you take

There’s always someone drivin’ with one foot on the brake

Always playin’ safe,   always holdin’ back

You swear they’re gonna stall   on the railroad track

 

But we can love with abandon,  and live with integrity

We can open up and let it be

 

This fellow’s got a future,  this fellow’s got a plan

Got his ass on his barstool, got his scotch in his hand

And all the other bastards, that’s what’s got him stuck

They tie up all the money,  they’re born with all the luck

 

She’s painting the walls of her retail jail

She wants to have it all but she’s afraid to fail

Her dreams are on the shelf, unshared and unknown

She sits there by herself like she’s carved in stone

But she’s not alone

 

There’s a light that shines on us  as we blindly roam

And guides our feet to see us safely home

 

Does anybody here know the human heart?

Torn in two directions till it breaks apart

Animal and angel, both shrieking for release

Unless they come together in one beautiful beast

The pretty rebel angel consulted the cards

What could the gypsy say except “Life is hard”

“And everyone has felt it’s more than they can take.

It’s not the hand you’re dealt, it’s the play you make.” 

 

Sometimes it seems like everyone I meet

Thinks they’ve lost a battle and gone down in defeat

But maybe there’s no battle, and no one has to fight

We only have to turn around and face the light   It’ll be all right

 

FAR FROM YOU

Driving this car through the valleys, the hillsides are shrouded with mist

The sun must be high but the afternoon sky shows only a pale yellow disc

And lining the interstate shoulders, the deer lie like fallen soldiers

Summer has never felt colder--I’m far from you

 

Stopping to rest in a churchyard, straining to read the old stones

I push through a door; there’s dust on the floor, but I’m not completely alone

I think I might hear a bell ringing, and spirits around me are singing

The words of a hymn, but I’m thinking, I’m far from you

 

People collect in a diner like pennies dropped into a well

They laugh and they fuss, they joke and they cuss about life in this circle of hell

I have no argument with them, it’s just not my corner of heaven

I’m up and I’m out and God bless them, I’m far from you

 

Mile after mile on the highway, till it feels like I’m spinning the earth

The radials hum, the mile markers sum up the cycle of death and of birth

Time seems to creep, but it flies on, I am just keeping my eyes on

An ever-receding horizon--I’m far from you

 

U.S. WAIL 

I want to send a note to you

I want to send a note to you

Won’t have to write a word

Sendin’ it by the U. S. Wail—well now

 

Tell me that it’s just not true

Tell me that it’s just not true

The story that I heard

The sad and sordid tale

 

Tell me how you knew

The cruelest thing to do

You stole my heart  and left no clue

 

Do you see what you’ve done to me

See what you’ve done to me

Like some abandoned child

Nothin’ left to do but wail

 

There are things you refuse to see

Some things   you refuse to see

Won’t say you done me wrong

Won’t see me lay back and wail

 

PIG MAN  

I hate that guy, can’t stand that guy

Walks around town with his nose up high

Everybody digs him but I can’t see why

He’s a pig, he’s a pig, he’s a pig

 

He’s chatting up the women, he’s got some nerve

Grabbing the attention that really,  I deserve

I know one when I see one—a coyote and a perv

He’s a pig, he’s a pig, he’s a pig

 

He’s a pig-man, he’s a pig-man,

His ego’s so dang big—oh

but when you call the man a pig-man

Man, it’s hurtful to the pig

 

He amuses himself,  that much is plain

But doesn’t he drive you all insane?

Toots his own horn, but here’s the refrain:

He’s a pig, he’s a pig, he’s a pig

 

He’s never thought a clever thought

You think he’s hot—I say he’s not!

What’s he got that I ain’t got?

He’s a pig, he’s a pig,  he’s a pig

 

RIVER OF WINE                

Down by the river with a few guitars

We drank a few bottles and howled at the stars

On a midnight swim with a head full of wine

I felt myself sinking for the very first time

 

How many times do you gotta go down

Before you know you’re about to drown?

Somehow, somewhere I crossed that line

Now I’m never going back to the river of wine

 

Spare me the story of the trouble I’ve caused

Don’t wanna talk about the love I’ve lost

Sometimes drunk but always blind

Swimming and sinking for the second time

 

Life is strange—when  times were bad

We drank to forget the worries we had

But we drank away the good times too

Any excuse to drink would do

 

Sometimes when you’re thinking you

are drinking it, it’s drinking you

Like a dying fish on the dry hot sand

You just want back in the water—and…

 

You live for years beneath the tide

Till you can’t remember the other side

You call your enemy your best friend

While it drags you down to the bottom again

 

APPLE IN MY POCKET

The apple in my pocket was tapping at my thigh

Asking me to walk it and hold it to the sky

Red against that cool blue, cradled in my hand     

Autumn breeze embrace me, Chill me if you can

 

The apple in my pocket was begging for a ride

Out the door and lock it,  don’t go back inside

Leave that book unfinished, housework half-begun

Autumn breeze embrace me,  I’m drinking up the sun

 

The apple in my pocket     was nudging me around

Who am I to knock it?  I cannot put it down

It’s just a sweet temptation tugging at my sleeve

Autumn breeze embrace me like Adam kissing Eve

 

HANDFUL OF DUST

Keep working     House to build and the bills to pay

Keep mowing     Grass growing quarter inch every day

Keep showing     Earning power on display

But there on the car is the first spot of rust

 

You can say what you want, you can do as you must

It all comes around to a handful of dust        

 

Keep moving    Don’t look over that shoulder

Keep running   Try not to look any older now

Keep hustling   Love can’t get any colder

Than lying in bed   with the vestige of lust

You can say what you want….

 

Keep climbing   Is someone standing in your way

Keep on cheating   It’s just another part of the game you play

Keep winning   You can think about losing another day

The day you look back for the love you have missed

You can say what you want…..

 

And all that I need is a friend I can trust

A hand I can hold when I throw down the dust

 

SOMETHING IN MY EYE

Will you come with me?   Can we climb the hill above our town

See the edge of the world,   Watch it turning as we dance around

When I look at your face    Lifted to the sky

There’s something in my eye   Something holy in my eye

 

Every tree on the hill        Stretches skyward like a hymn of praise

And the setting sun     Slings light that sets the field ablaze

Cry of hawk overhead     Shreds the sky

There’s something in my eye    Something holy in my eye 

 

So won’t you come with me        Won’t you run with me? 

Wonders and signs await an open mind   We don’t know what we’ll find

Wait and see

 

When the gathering dark     Wakes the streetlights in the sleepy town      

They’ll mark the way             As we make our careful progress down

Or maybe we’ll be lost in the starry sky

There’s something in my eye    Something holy in my eye

 

HOPE TONIGHT

It’s dark       The night has swallowed up the moon

Our every step’s a step of faith across the dunes

It’s dark      There’s darkness every way we turn

So many people cannot love and will not learn

 

But there’s hope tonight        There’s a promise of light

There’s a star on the rise        In the western skies

There’s hope tonight      It’s shining bright    Before our eyes     In the western sky

 

It’s cold   It’s not the winter wind or frost

It is the sense that somehow all of us are lost

It’s cold   Cuts like truth right to the bone

We may be three but we must travel on alone

 

It’s hard      It’s hard to make each move on trust

The path before us    shimmers through a cloud of dust

It’s hard     to give up asking how this ends

But we can join our hands and journey on as friends

There’s hope tonight

SONG LYRICS FROM THE ALBUM WHAT ON EARTH

 

CRYSTAL BALL

 

Everything can look so dark  in the middle of the night

It all feels so hopeless but then in the morning light    I believe

I think that I can see         Why the river flows,       Why the wind blows free

 

Is there any earthly thing, could change the way I feel

I  cannot know the future but I know our love is real, and I believe…

 

We may not always get along    when what seems right to me is wrong for you

It’s not black and white, we don’t have to fight this stupid fight

We can circle around, we can dig a tunnel through

And I‘ll be there for you

 

Some folks claim to know the hidden meaning of it all

With tea leaves or with tarot,  with I ching or crystal ball

but I believe…..

 

 

I WONDER WHO YOU ARE

 

I see you in the crowd  but all alone

When I meet your gaze   My feet are turned to stone

Yet all I want to do   Is make my way to you

I wonder who you are

 

Suddenly the face    I never saw before

Appears in every window,  steps out from every door

If there’s no other way    I’ll walk right up and say

I wonder who you are

 

So come out to the street   Let’s be done with dark and smoky bars

How could that be the right way to begin

When something in your eyes   tells me this is written in the stars

Oh open up your heart and let me in

 

The silence that’s between us  Is just a fragile wall

If I can say one word,   I will have said it all

I know that you can see    The truth will always be

I’ll wonder who you are

 

FATHER TO THE MAN

 

I’m still that boy, pretending he’s a soldier with gun and bomb

The teenage son fighting through a family Vietnam

I’m’ still that boy, working out his own inner peace

To share with other people if he can

I’m still that boy, but I hope that boy will be father to the man

 

I’m still that boy, thinks he’s found true love in second grade

The high school boy, frozen by a smile, he’s so afraid

I’m still that boy who believes that heaven is waiting

If only he could reach out for your hand.  I’m still that boy….

 

I’m the boy who rises from his bed before the dawn

Shakes off the sickness and pulls some blue jeans on

Picks up the savings circulars and staggers round the town

The same dark streets he wanders half the night

 

I’m still that boy, with visions of God in the swirling dust

The wayward boy learning to keep faith as he’s breaking trust

I’m still that boy whose dreams are drifting high in the rafters

While the preacher proclaims a holy plan.  I’m still that boy…

 

I’m still that boy, digging with a spoon in the garden dirt

The buried boy, digging through the past for the seeds of hurt

I’m still that boy, standing at the grave of his papa,

The one he may never understand.

I’m still that boy, but I hope that boy will be father to the man

 

 

AMRITA

 

 Amrita talks through the night     She’s got a friend on the phone

And if she handles it right,  she’s not left alone

She’s locked in her room      They’ve hidden the key

They imprison this girl to protect her from me

 

Refrain:  But all she wants is somebody near her

                 All she needs is someone to hear her

 

Amrita thinks it’s all right, you can come on inside

But please don’t stand in the light, there’s so much to hide

Her papaji said, the man she will wed

Is the first and the only who’ll get her in bed, but all she wants…..

 

Up to my knees in the snow   on a cold   winter’s night

Keeping my eyes on her window     I wait for her light

 

3Amrita spins in her sleep    Yes she tosses and turns

Wondering which world to keep, and which one to burn

She comes from the east, she comes from the west,

She comes in whatever position is best, but all she wants…..

 

 

COLUMBUS

 

We have lived so many years    like a land-locked country

And we have been afraid        It is so easy to feel afraid

When you hear that wind blow       

And you cannot turn back or end your journey

Will you remember what the old sailors know?

The only wind that serves you is the wind you put behind you

 

We’ll go on like Columbus     Searching the seas ,   adventurous

Not really knowing the new world,  just leaving the old world behind

 

Not every day is calm    And our hold is full of sorrows

It’s not as if we do no wrong   It is so very easy to do wrong

But you can ask for compassion

And have it shown to you in the measure that you show

Let the past   be cast into the sea

To vanish with our wake, and the empty ocean will not remind you

 

 

GOOD GIRL

 

She stands at the mirror    Studies her own eyes

So much there to value        So much easier to despise

Abandoned in her crib         She was locked into a cage

Brought up to be a good girl    She grew up into rage    

 

It doesn’t take disaster        to bring her down to tears

Any little worry                      So many are the fears

So many are the echoes        of wounds from long ago

Barbed and poisoned arrows     that never let her go

 

Well it all brought her down       Until one night she found

There was something so sweet     in the pain

Now there’s no kind of pill      That can bring her   the thrill

Of an evening   of anger    and shame

 

And all these angry spirits      Are trailing her around

They never show their faces     No they never make a sound

They cower in the corners        They creep behind the walls

They slip between her footsteps    And laugh to see her fall

They laugh to see her fall

 

 

HAPPILY EVER AFTER

 

The mitred man said, Go set Zion free

Ten thousand children marched into the sea

They’ll tell you anything, they say if you do this you’ll live

Happily ever after

 

Korean ladies patch the bitten nails

Our anxious fathers scrape and claw for sales

They can sell you anything, they say if you buy this you’ll live

Happily ever after

 

We listen to a hundred million lies

That work on us with every angle, come in every shape and size

They color and they shade the truth, and all the while they’re plucking out our eyes

Happily every after

 

He lives with that girl, he knew she was the one

Steps out with this girl, itching for some fun

He’d go with anyone, he thinks if she loves him he’ll live

Happily ever after

 

 

BANNER OF LOVE

 

Low light of evening   filters through the trees

Here comes that feeling , that  brings me to my knees

Wind rustling grass    Echoes the sound of you passing  by

I come undone          I melt like ice in the summer sun  

I’m overwhelmed by you

 

Yellow rays of music      Drift across a field

Verdant rows of sweetness    promising to yield

Yield to your touch      I want you so very much that I, I come undone….

 

What is it in an   angle of light, that angels can be seen

And we can hear the harmonies, yes, in the drone of a distant machine

And should there be a bird, cloud, moon, up above

That thing is a seaside pilot    towing a banner

Towing the banner of love

 

Who is that hiding   at the edges of this place

Twilight surroundings    whisper and embrace

Lost in our game     While mothers and lovers call our names

We come undone….

 

 

FOOLS

 

We never hear the curtain falling on our past

This time we’re certain will be different from the last

With each caress    We remember less   Fools

 

We go wandering like babies in the wood

No way of knowing what is right or what is good

When the sun goes down   We’ve just circled round   Fools 

 

Innocence becomes us too well

Like paradise before we fell 

 

Time will  introduce us to regret

Leave us dogged by memories, and yet...and yet

 

We never hear the curtain falling on our past

This time we’re certain will be different from the last

One day before   We say nevermore     Fools

 

CAN’T BELIEVE

 

She could show me a smile like she’d throw me a bone and I’d retrieve

So I only hope she got nothing up her sleeve

Cause I can’t believe

I can’t believe, I …..can’t believe the way she loves me now

 

Well I will admit that I readily submit to being deceived

In the hope of having this –loneliness—relieved

But I can’t believe (etc.)

 

She’s long on legs but short on kindness

A genius in the art of looking mindless

She plans it all and works it so her      highness

Can keep me on my knees—oh!

 

I don’t know if I really wanna change her policy

As long as she don’t run right over me, but I can’t believe (etc.)

 

No one else is fool enough to save me                                                                   

From this undisputed queen of maybe

Who gives me just enough to keep me crazy,

She keeps me begging please….please…..

 

I can’t believe

 

 

GARDEN GATE

 

This world of children,  sad and beautiful

Huddled and hiding   the hurts that we feel

The slights and the scars, dark nights and distant stars

The wounds refuse to heal

 

Where in this garden, vast, unsearchable,

Might we find refuge, an end to our fears

A tree glowing bright, flowing free with warmth and light,

A place to hang our tears

 

CHORUS:  And this is the crack where the light gets in

This is the creaking garden gate

This is the place where the veil wears thin

This is the time to watch and wait

 

I had a friend who slipped away from time

She swam in circles in the pool of her past

I heard she was dead, I remembered how she’d said

“I love you” first, and last     Repeat chorus

 

We went to sort through the treasures of her days

Amid the wreckage were icons of grace

We haul from the heart   one small work of art

And fling it into space        Repeat chorus