Like a Canyon (2017)

1. Like a Canyon

Color me like a canyon when the sun is hanging low down in the west
Color me like a canyon and let the red and green and blues run down my legs 
Color me like a canyon 
Color me like a canyon and keep me in your eyes 

Color me like a cottonwood tree on the driest days right before the monsoon 
Color me like a cottonwood tree lookin brittle and broken but I’m just waiting for the right amount of rain to bloom 
Color me like a cottonwood tree 
Color me like a cottonwood and keep me in your eyes 

You could see all of my colors 
My shadows, my creases, and my folds 
And if we just keep looking at each other 
Heaven only knows 

Color me like the New Mexico sky when the ebony and the lavender collide 
Color me like the New Mexico sky and cut holes with your razor blade to to let the light shine thru from the other side 
Color me like the New Mexico sky 
Color me like the New Mexico 
Keep on tearing holes in the sky 
And keep me in your eyes

 

2. Little Birdie

Whatcha gonna do little birdie Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna eat some berries and crack some nuts 
Swallow some seeds and dig a worm up 
Build your nest out of sticks and leaves 
Sing a sweet song in the morning breeze 

Whatcha gonna do little birdie Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna fly away? 

Whatcha gonna do little oak tree Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna drink some water and stand up tall 
Change your color when it turns fall 
Stretch your branches way up high 
Dance in the breeze when it blows by 

Whatcha gonna do little oak tree Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna grow so tall? 

Whatcha gonna do little rock Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna hold somebody’s memory 
Skip across the waves headed out to the sea 
Be the firm foundation of somebody’s house 
Lay in the ground so the plants can sprout 

Whatcha gonna do little rock Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna lie so still? 

Whatcha gonna do little children Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna eat some berries and crack some nuts 
Swallow some seeds and dig a worm up 
Build your nest out of sticks and leaves 
Sing a sweet song in the morning breeze 
Are you gonna drink some water and stand up tall 
Change your color when it turns fall 
Stretch your branches way up high 
Dance in the breeze when it blows by 
Are you gonna hold somebody’s memory 
Skip across the waves headed out to the sea 
Be the firm foundation of somebody’s house 
Lay in the ground so the plants can sprout 

Whatcha gonna do little children Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna fly away? 
Are you gonna grow so tall? 
Are you gonna lie so still? 

Whatcha gonna do little birdie Whatcha gonna do all day

 

3. Late 70s Ford

The party’s dying down could you give me a ride? 
I’ve been looking for a reason to get inside 
Of your ‘78 Ford Ranchero 
You said ‘c’mon honey I can take you home’ 

Well there’s no headliner, thing sounds like a tin can 
And we’re riding real slow across the desert sand 
And the moon so bright it’s like a black and white movie 
You said ‘c’mon honey slide closer to me’ 

Rusted out late 70’s Ford 
Reminding me what the bench seat’s for 
I’ve got a foot on the dash, got a foot on the floor 
Of a rusted out late 70’s Ford 

Momma always said be careful out there 
But on a night like this man I just don’t care 
Cause you’re shifting with your left hand, steering with your knee 
Cause your right arm feels so right around me 

Chorus 

Sayin’ goodnight must of took two hours 
Between the moon and the stars and the creosote flowers 
And the dust and the rust and the sweat on the vinyl 
And the foot on the dash, foot on the door 
Fogging up the windows yeah we’re falling on the floor of a 

Chorus

 

4. 53 Years

She said ‘you fit me like a glove’ he said ‘you fit me like a mitten’ 
They ain’t always been in love but tonight they’re feelin smitten 
It’s been 53 years since they walked down the aisle 

When she was just a little girl she dreamed of a handsome prince 
But she ended up with Earl and she hasn’t looked back since 
Since it seemed convenient she just stuck around 
He kept her laughing, she fell in love with what they found 

And now the fire’s down to embers but it’s hot just the same 
And the mountain’s slowly crumbling to the sea 
And the stars are burning out way up in the Milky Way 
But new stars are being born everyday 
I hope it’s always gonna be that way 

Now he’s still whispering the lines that use to always make her blush 
But she’s heard so many times it doesn’t give her quite the rush 
That it use to, but she still likes to hear 

Their hair is gray with speckled strands, their eyes are sparkling in the light 
They still go walking hand in hand, they’re still kissing goodnight
And it’s been 53 years since they walked down the aisle 
It’s been 53 years, he still loves to make her smile 

Chorus

 

5. Adaline

Adaline why are you facing the wall 
You took your sweet time and then you took it all 
I broke down in the kitchen when you made the call 
Adaline why are you facing the wall 

Adaline I’ve been a lonely lost man 
But you danced with me on the Virginia Beach sand 
And I led to the left buy you pulled to the right 
Adaline where are you sleeping tonight 

I was never there to see you worry, you were worried 
But I’m not the kind who worries anyway 
And I’m not a man who tends to hurry, never hurries 
But I’m rushing home today 

Adaline why are you facing the wall 
You took your sweet time and then you took it all 
I broke down in the kitchen when you made the call 
Adaline why are you facing the wall 
Adaline why did you love me at all

 

6. Eli

Oh Eli it seems we’ve got some things in common 
At least we’ve got some ground to build on 
Cause we both come from the great state of Ohio 

Oh Eli being with you reminds me of my family 
Takes me back to places I use to be 
Maybe we could spend some time together here in the middle of nowhere 

File it in my memory somewhere between coincidence and me and you 
File it in my memory with hometowns and brothers and a corner booth 

Oh Eli don’t you want to meet me at the party 
You could brings that stray dog and stand in the corner 
But I saw you bust it loose last Saturday night 

Oh Eli don’t you want to come and take me dancing 
Maybe you’re just too young for real long romancing 
But I sure appreciate your enthusiasm 

File it in my memory somewhere between coincidence and circumstance 
File it in my memory between roller blades and ping pong and a swing dance 

Oh Eli remember that night we were in hot water 
You tried so hard to stand your ground 
But that man he would have killed us if we didn’t run 

File it in my memory somewhere between coincidence and someone I use to know 
File it in my memory with next time just back out real slow

 

7. Fishing Line

Well I ain’t got much but I’ve got time and I keep the bait on the fishing line 
Sitting down by the river by the shady pine, honey you can find me there all the time 

Oh they say there’s a price to pay for everything under the sun 
Oh I pray that some fine day my paying time is done 
Well I ain’t got much but I’ve got time and I keep the bait on the fishing line 

Well I plant me seeds row by row, I tend my garden but the crops won’t grow 
So I pray for the sun and fear for the snow, I work in the rain with a shovel and hoe 

Please watch over my garden I don’t want to see it fail 
I put so much of my heart in and I really want to eat that kale 
Well I ain’t got much but I’ve got time and I keep the bait on the fishing line 

Well I went to the kitchen, what was there, opened up the cupboard and the cupboard was bare 
All we found were the tortoise and the hare, a little bear cub, and a broken chair 

Mary Mary quite contrary how can this all be 
I called for my pipe and I called for my bowl but nobody brought it to me 
Well I ain’t got much but I’ve got time and I keep the bait on the fishing line

 

8. We are Rocks

Back bones and xylophones, a sidewalk sewer grate 
Tombstones, your funny bone, calcium carbonate 
Fingernails and tulip snails and boats on the Puget Sound 
Empty rain pails, if all else fails I’ll see you in the ground 

We are rocks, we are rocks, we are rocks we are water and soil and air 

Copper pennies for a mountain top to burn the coal at any cost 
Gold nuggets not to let it stop to look away while a life is lost 
Cut the trees shoo the birds and the bees so we can drink from a soda can 
Aluminum is deep and diggin’ ain’t cheap can you think of a better plan 

We are rocks, we are rocks, we are rocks we are water and soil and air 

Iron rich blood shed, another body full of lead, drillin’ for a little oil 
Them old dinosaurs turned into new wars and fightin’ on a sandy soil 

We are rocks, we are rocks, we are rocks we are water and soil and air 

Silver flute, the tin man suit and matchbox cars and steel strings
Gold medals and bicycle pedals we’re all made of the same things 

Back bones and xylophones, a sidewalk sewer grate 
Tombstones, your funny bone, calcium carbonate 
Fingernails and tulip snails and boats on the Puget Sound 
Empty rain pails, if all else fails I’ll see you in the ground 

We are rocks, we are rocks, we are rocks we are water and soil and air

 

9. That's Enough

The day before christmas I got a box in the mail general delivery up in St. Clair’s Pier 
An alpaca sweater the colors of a winter sunset and it might be the only present I get this year 
And that’s enough 

The lights out on main street are flickering 
The children in the church pew are snickering 
The mothers and the fathers are all wondering if that’s enough 

I don’t know if my ex-boyfriend loves me anymore but I’ll take responsibility for my part 
I don’t know if he still loves me anymore but I’m no longer afraid for the safety of my heart 
And that’s enough 

The lights out on main street are flickering 
The children in the church pew are snickering 
The preacher ten minutes into his sermon is wondering if that’s enough 

Christmas eve, it’s 5 degrees below and you’re the only one in this town I halfway know 
And the snow is piling up on the doorsteps and the sidewalks and the wind is blowing a piccolo thru a crack in the window 
And there’s a sofa in the living room by the fireplace but there’s a big bed up the stairs 
And we lay together under the comforter, under the canopy and you run your fingers thru my hair 
And that’s enough 

The lights out on main street are flickering 
The children in the church pew are snickering 
The bodies in the bedsheets are entangling 
The snow’s falling soft like dancing figurines 
And everyone’s wondering if that’s enough 

The day after Christmas I hang the spare key on the nail and my boots hit the concrete 
I’m all wrapped up in the warm colors of a sunset sweater and they’re taking the lights down on main street 
Cause that’s enough

 

A Sense of Place (2015)

1. Yellow, Red, and Gold

I’m lying in my bed the room is getting cold
The sugar maple leaves are turning yellow, red, and gold outside my window
I can hear the wind blow
 
And woah is me, I need to walk away from this place
 
Hang on tight the moon is bright and the crops are in a row
and if we work all thru the night we’ll harvest everything we’ve grown
for so long the days are shorter and the nights are not so far away from
Taking the days over and when it’s over we just can’t stay her anymore
 
And woah is me, I need to walk away from this place
 
I’m lying in my bed the room is getting colder
The sugar maple leaves, their color keeps getting bolder till it all turns brown
Till it all falls down
Till it all falls down
Till it all falls down

 

2. Cincinnati

You always dreamed we'd build a raft and float on down to Mississippi
Like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
It never seemed quite attainable to me but you said
"Baby, let's just start building"
 
But I could never see that far away
And you could never stay that close to me
 
I built a boat and I sailed on down the river
You built a boat, you took it all the way to New Orleans
I built a boat but I got stuck in Cincinnati
Well I'm never going to be your Mississippi queen
 
Well I got a job and I've been working in a little cafe
Overlooking the waters of the Ohio
Sometimes I'd like to hear the blues down on the bayou
Sometimes I think maybe it's my time to go
 
But I could never see that far away
And you could never stay that close to me
 
I built a boat and I sailed on down the river
You built a boat, you took it all the way to New Orleans
I built a boat but I got stuck in Cincinnati
Well I'm never going to be your Mississippi queen
 
I could never live your dreams for you
You could never make mine come true
You sold me a ticket but you never really had me
Cause you know I kind of like Cincinnati
 
I built a boat I got stuck in Cincinnati
Never wanted to be your Mississippi queen
 
Cause you had the dream we'd build a raft and float on down to Mississippi
Like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

 

3. Bakersfield

I’m passing thru Tehachapi and I’m headed down to Mojave
I left Bakersfield by the morning light thought I would stay forever but it didn’t feel right now
Barstow’s just down the road, it’s always been a place I thought I’d like to go
Apple Valley ain’t so far away, I gotta find a place where I can stay
 
Chorus:
Cause I ain’t going back to Bakersfield
I can’t feel the way she wants 
And I can’t feel the way I want to feel for her
 
We use to stay up late, we’d stay out all night, And hear the Bakersfield sound under the neon lights
Merle Haggard was playing those heartbreak songs, we were so in love but then something went wrong
And I don’t know why but I just broke down, like a steel guitar in that lovesick town
Now every country song that made me feel at home started to make me cry feeling so alone
 
Chorus

 

4. Into the Desert

Don't follow me into the desert, there's no water way out there
And I have brought myself a canteen, but I did not bring any to share
And when the sun goes down at night you're going to want something heavy to wear
Don't follow me into the desert, cause I won't be there
 
My love cannot be bought, sold, traded, or found
My love, don't tie me down
 
There is a bird's nest that contains my heart, it's hidden tangled in the ironwood tree
Crafted from the thorns of a cactus, so you must enter so carefully
But when you settle in to find it, when your eyes are adjusting to see
I will have hatched and I have grown, and I'll be flying free
 
My love cannot be bought, sold, traded, or found
My love, don't tie me down
My love
My love
 
Don't follow me into the desert, there's no water way out there

 

5. Carry me Away

Carry me away, carry me away
Take me down to the water, to the river
Carry me away, carry me away
Take the sins of this poor girl, lay um down, and just forgive her
 
 
I ain’t been livin’ like I should I’ve been holding back I’m tired and my heart is bound
I ain’t been diggin’ deep enough, in fact I’ve been drying out on this solid ground
Oh you know I hope you’ll be coming around so you can
 
Chorus
 
We’ve been carrying that ball and chain we’ve been working too hard we’ve been clocking in and out
That boat’s been tied to the dock, it’s just dying to rock, think you know what I’m talking about
Well I think you know what I’m talking about, why don’t you
 
Chorus
 

6. Seeds

I plant my seeds down an old dirt road
Walk away for a year and I wonder if their gonna grow
Maybe they will die without my loving care
Or maybe they will root in and take hold be growing everywhere
 
Hey you never do know when you let things go
If  they gonna root if they’re even gonna show
Hey you never can tell when you walk away
What you’re gonna find if you come walking back someday
 
Chorus
Maybe we should daily tend our garden
Or maybe we should just throw seeds in to the wind 
Maybe after the rain I’ll be less hardened
To the thought of you blowing away again on the mercy of the wind
 
We make our love on the open road
Walk away for a year and I wonder if its gonna grow
Maybe it will die without my loving care
Or maybe we will carry it in our hearts maybe we can take it everywhere
 
Hey you never do know when you let things go
If  they gonna root if they’re even gonna show
Hey you never can tell when you walk away
What you’re gonna find if you come walking back someday
 
Chorus
 
Maybe there’s a reason some seeds have wings
Maybe you were meant to fly across the sea
Maybe after the rain I’ll set you free
And maybe someday you’ll blow back to me
Blow back to me 
On the mercy of the wind…
 
We make our love down the old dirt road
Throw our seeds into the wind and we see what grows

 

7. It's Alright

Well pour me some coffee sit down at the table
Hey d’ya hear about our good friend Mable
She gone to school Now she’s got a job back here
 
While you and me are just losin’ our minds
We been sittin’ round here just wastin’ time
Or sittin’ down at the river drinking beer
 
And I don’t really know where to go from here 
But it’s alright
 
It’s the first day of spring so why don’t I feel it
Wanna take of my jacket, stretch, and reveal it
But old man winter it seems he wants to stay
 
Well I want to wake up want to warm my hands
Want to search those far off distant lands
Well I know there’s going to be brighter days
 
And I don’t really know where to go from here 
But it’s alright
 
Cause once I was broke down on the side of the road
And up pulled a man he didn’t have any nose
It really put my perspective into place
 
Cause I’d rather be stuck with a broken tire
Than find that all my times expired
Or lose any kind of organ off my face
 
And I don’t really know where to go from here 
But we’re alright
 
Now we've still got sunday's paper scattered on the table
And I heard about our good friend Mable
She hates that job she’d rather be hanging out here
 
So we’ll call her up when she’s got the time
Maybe you and me we could ease her mind
Go down to the river and drink ourselves a beer
 
And I don’t really know where to go from here
Back down to the river just to drink a beer sounds alright
 
And sometimes just alrights okay 
And that’s okay
 
Yeah sometimes just alrights okay 
We don’t have to save the whole wide world in just one day

 

8. Roger

Oh Roger, you painted pictures til the day you died
Saw the pattern on the wing and the ring around the eye
They thought you’d live forever well atleast you tried
 
Oh Roger, so much in the life of just one man
With a love in your heart and a paintbrush in your hand
Well you could change the way we’re gonna see this land
 
Chorus:
I want to see the world thru an artist’s eye
See the pattern on the wing as a bird takes flight
And go peacefully in the middle of the night
 
Oh Roger, you left a flycatcher with a colorless wing
Put your paintbrush down for the night, such a simple thing
You didn’t know that you wouldn’t be finishing
 
Oh Roger, when I take to the field and I step in to the sun
I’ve only got so much time in this life, I just got one
Well I better get started or I’ll never get done
 
Chorus
In this life there’s so much to do
Well you kept your eyes open just to see it thru
Kept your back to the wind and away you flew

 

9. My Galaxy

I tried to write you but the postman won’t deliver
Outside of this atmosphere so I wish you’d reconsider
Coming back to town, coming back down
 
So I set up the telescope out in the backyard
I’ve been checking out the Pleiades, Venus and Mars
But I don’t see your face, anywhere out in space
 
And you use to be So close to me
You use to sleep in my bed
And I didn’t need a telescope to see
If you were in my galaxy, anywhere close to me
 
I look thru the eyepiece, I’m finding Orion
And the nebulus and Sirius and space debri flyin
And the satelites, they all seem so close tonight
 
Then I turned the glass two degrees to the south
Just to catch you in the distance walking right out
Of the milky way, 24 thousand light years away

 

10. Upstairs Apartment

In the time when the sun and I were high
It grew to sweltering for you and I
In that upstairs apartment so we’d sneak down to the lake of hope and have a swim
Come back to town when the lights grew dim
We might have burned to death that summer with the heat risin’
We burned the eggs, out of distractions                
We broke that futon with a passion
 
I’ll tell you one thing for certain that was there and then
And I’ll never go back and I’ll never be the same again
It’s where I met Marley and mushrooms, hand-rolled cigarettes
Public radio, Blues Traveler, double city sunsets
Where we’d watch from the road and say good-bye as the sun sank past the horizon line
Then climb up the cliffs to the east and watch it one more time
Watch the sun going down over a sleepy college town , goin’ down
 
We watched the fireworks of the Fourth of July   
Sat on the roof, you tell me close my eyes  
Can I see bombs falling all around me
You say this is what the whole world has to hear everyday so we can be free
 
I wanna hide, wanna go inside
Of the nest we made, in the place we played
to the room we stayed, in the bed we laid
We did not own it, we just out grown it
We did not own it
 
I’ll tell you one thing for certain that was there and then
And I’ll never go back and I’ll never be the same again

 

 

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