ABOUT THIS BIG

GHOST
The sunrise/It came up like it went to bed with a black eye/And everyone in this town walks ‘round in waltz time/Meanwhile I just lay there like a landmine/She sighed/And said she might be leaving for a long time/I said that’s no way to say goodbye/Can we try that once again?/This time I won’t cry/I’ll just move on/Like smoke on the wind/Move on/There’s no need to pretend/Move on/Like the ghost of an imaginary man/This time/I won’t lay awake at night afraid of goodbyes/We’ll just cut that cord between us with a sharp knife/And then fade away like phantoms of a past life/And we’ll move on/Like smoke on the wind/Move on/There’s no need to pretend/We’ll just move on/Like ghosts of an imaginary man 

SETTLE DOWN
I just got into town/But don’t lock up your daughter/Ain’t gonna stick around/I’ll be leaving tomorrow/Just how hard can a heart get broken?/Tell me how long do the bars stay open/My car looks beat but it’s never been beaten/Tires worn down and it’s over-heating/Feet so fast that I can’t stop running/So fill that glass up and keep them coming yeah/And you can tag along if you want/But I gotta make one thing clear/Yeah I might settle down someday/But I ain’t gonna settle down here/So sitting right there at the table beside me/A babe so bad I‘d need a bible to guide me/We got along fine/Had a couple of cold ones/Band was on fire/They were playing the old ones/She got so hot on the dance floor later/Bumpin’ and grindin’ with a teenage waiter/Hard to judge when the bass starts thumpin’/It don’t mean much but it oughta mean something yeah/And you can tag along if you want/But I gotta make one thing clear/Yeah I might settle down someday/But I ain’t gonna settle down here/And you can tag along if you want/But I gotta make one thing clear/Yeah we may settle down someday/But we ain’t gonna settle down here

MISERYVILLE
Standing on the side of the interstate/Waiting for that first drop of rain/A hole in my pride/As deep as it’s wide/Her last words stuck in my brain/She found a man who would settle down/One who would swear not to stray/Her kind of man/The kind with a plan/I wish I could remember his name/Her future’s so bright/It’s gotten so bright I can’t see/Everything’s just right/She’s just where she wants to be/It’s just that her plans don’t include me/Most of my life I’ve played solitaire/Most of the time I never win/Half way through’s when I start cheating/Though the game just keeps repeating/Always glad to start it again/Now that I’ve found her/Now that I feel like I’m home/Now that I’ve kissed her/Feel like I don’t need to roam/Well I wish I could say that I found her alone/So don’t include me/On that fine summer day/In that sweet little chapel/Where you’ll throw it/Where you’ll throw it all away/Still by the side of the interstate/One or two miles down the road/Half a mile out of Miseryville/That’s the one place I don’t need to go/Now that it’s over/Now that I know that we’re through/Now that it’s finished/Now I know just what to do/Well I’m turning around to head home to you

YOU’RE GOING DOWN
If I could add up the lies that you told with your eyes/They would show what a fool I can be/Hope when the going gets tough I’ll forget all this stuff that I’ve seen/But you’re still walking in with that innocent grin and the side that you’d like me to see/And though I ought to be flattered/It just doesn’t matter to me/You’re going down this time/No matter what you do/If it ain’t happened yet/You can bet that it’s gonna be soon/You’re going down this time/Your innocence won’t last/‘Cause guess what/Everybody takes a cut when the buck gets passed/You’re going down right now/To that part of town/Where no one has a shit to give/You’re going down right now/But I’ll show you around/’Cause that’s the place/I used to live/You’re going down this time/No matter what you do/If it ain’t happened yet/You can bet that it’s gonna be soon/You’re going down this time/Your innocence won’t last/‘Cause guess what/Everybody takes a cut when the buck gets passed

ONLY ONE
Don’t ever change/I can see that you’re addicted to the strange/Go on and change your name/Now their polite applause don’t sound the same/I guess that’s what’s wrong/That’s what’s wrong with fame/And yet today/You stand there watching all your heroes play/Looks like one more night you might get blown away/I guess some things change/But some things stay the same/You can sweat/Till you know all that they do through and through/But don’t forget that none of them can do what you can do/Don’t complain what this old world might not have done for you/Should be plain/This old world only made one of you/There’s only one of you/Don’t ever change/The way you walk out on the world’s stage/And don’t act your age/Or everyone will run to turn the page/To find every word’s been slightly rearranged/I guess time/As well as crime/Don’t ever pay/You can sweat/Till you know all that they do through and through/But don’t forget that none of them can do what you can do/Don’t complain what this old world might not have done for you/Should be plain/This old world only made one of you/There’s only one of you

MY MARIE
Before you said your goodbyes/You told me I’d see the light before I died/That was a lie/’Cause now that it’s said and done/Just want to say you were nearly like the sun/You were the one/How did it seem when you were drifting out to sea?/And what did it mean when you had seen the last of me?/Tell me my Marie/So there I was walking lame/Just thinking this lonely street’s no lover’s lane/They ain’t the same/The city’s not cold but grey/The summer rain washes half the dirt away/But here I’ll stay/How is it 7 million people fill one mile?/I wondered if any one of them could paint your smile/Well I’d like to try/Yes that’s the end of that life brother/And this is where it starts/So tell those girls in New York City/To hang on to their hearts/Before you said your goodbyes/You told me I’d see the light before i died/That was a lie

CALL IT YESTERDAY
So come to me in the rain/Soaked to your skin/You could leave a puddle on the floor/I want more/I wanna let you in/Come to me in shame/For the things you’ve done/We can spend time/I don’t mind/I wanna hear what makes you run/Fresh as the fruit you get in southern California/But don’t peel it all off yet/You look so pretty with a little bit on ya/But don’t waste your time/Taking back the things you say/You’ll only give yourself away/No sense regretting/You’ll just get in your own way/That’s why they call it yesterday/Safe as a house on fire that’s standing by the water/Sound like a breath exhaled/From the ruby red lips of the devil’s daughter/Come to me right now/No time to waste/You could slow it down/You could show me how/You could set the pace/Lay yourself right down/On that big brass bed/Let me see if I can exorcise the demons in your head/Cool as a cucumber out floating in the ocean/Hot as a chili pepper/Sizzling on the beach in her suntan lotion/But don’t waste your time/Taking back the things you say/You’ll only give yourself away/No sense regretting/You’ll just get in your own way/That’s why they call it yesterday

GOT ME GONE
Now I must apologize to all my friends down at the bar/Who might begin to realize they just don’t see me anymore/I did not have to stop my partying/And having too much fun/It’s just I’ve got this girl I started with/And that girl has got me gone/She’s got me gone around the bend/Got me reaching for the stars/Got me meeting all her friends who never hang around in bars/Got me seeing all those movies where not very much explodes/Got me shaking like a baby from my head down to my toes/Now if you ever start to wonder why I’m always on the run/I’d say it’s just this spell I’m under/Yes that girl has got me gone/Now there’s this pretty little home up on this pretty little hill/I used to like to live alone but now I’m glad I never will/I just love to taste her cooking more than any restaurant/I swear that girl’s just so good looking/Yes that girl has got me gone/She’s got me gone around the bend/Got me reaching for the stars/Got me meeting all her friends who never hang around in bars/Got me seeing all those movies where not very much explodes/Got me shaking like a baby from my head down to my toes/If you ever start to wonder why I’m always on the run/I’d say it’s just this spell I’m under/Yes that girl has got me gone

YOU NEVER SAW ME COMING
I didn’t crawl through the driving rain/Never sailed on a stormy sea/And if you like a story where the hero gotta go through hell/Well that’s a story don’t apply to me/But if you cut me you could see me bleed/And if you love me I won’t let you down/You’ll see a lot of good and bad in this sad old world/But now there’s something better coming around/So listen good and open up your eyes/‘Cause I ain’t gonna tell you twice/You never saw me coming/You never knew my name/You saw the building burning/You never felt the flames/You never saw me coming/I know what’s on your mind/Somebody unexpected/Came here before their time/You never saw me coming/Give me a shot today/I’ll take it/Tell me what I should say/I won’t fake it/World get out of my way/While I make it through/Now I stand before you here all alone/Guess I’ve said all that I’ve got to say/But before you tell me how I ought to head on home/I’ll tell you why I’m never going away/It doesn’t matter if it’s me you choose/I didn’t come around to lose/You never saw me coming/You never knew my name/Now that the party’s over/Girl you’ll never be the same/You never saw me/You never saw me/You never saw me coming

CITYMAN
Welcome to the great white way/Open every night and day/Come on to the wild, wild east/Where you should not expect the least/You want it?/Well they’ve got it here in spades/You can’t cut it?/Here they use a sharper blade/Yes you’d better get it while you can/Cityman/When I was maybe nine or ten/My daddy took me by the hand/He led me to the promised land/Now I’m older, wiser too/Now I know just what to do/I want to make as much as you/To have enough for every open hand/Cityman/Cities come and cities go/Every thousand years or so/There’s one thing we may never know (Down beneath the dirt and stone) is just where we might be tomorrow (Nothing left but broken bones)/So when they come to dig us out/Yes they’ll know what it’s all about/He had a dream/He had a plan/He lived one life did Cityman/Had to have as much as he could stand/Standing right there in the finest city in the land/Cityman

ON MY LINE
This one wants me/That one needs me/Baby believe me you’re the next one on my line/One wants romance/One wants to dance/This is your last chance to be next one on my line/My friends they fuss and whine how life has let ‘em down/Why should I waste my time with all these girls around?/My friends complain ‘cause I take all I can stand/Well am I to blame that I was born a handsome man?/This one wants me/That one needs me/Baby believe me you’re the next one on my line/The girls are lining up when I come into town/I know they’re lining up so I can knock ‘em down/If god had wanted me to wear an angel’s wings/Why did he fill this world with all you pretty things?/This one wants me/That one needs me/Baby believe me you’re the next one on my line/I’ll try to see that you’re the next one on my line/Was up to me you’d be the next one on my line

CAUGHT IN THE ACT

PACK IT IN
I’m gonna pack it in and take it on the road pretty baby/Pack it in and take it on the road/Well I was hoping for a break but now I’ve had as much as I can take/Gonna pack it in and take it on the road/Now I don’t see no stairway to the stars honey baby/I don’t see no stairway to the stars/I play out in the bars at night but no one really treats me right No I don’t see no stairway to the stars/I’m gonna pack it in and take it on the road pretty baby/Pack it in and take it on the road/Well I was hoping for a break but now I’ve had as much as I can take/Gonna pack it in and take it on the road/I hope that you will miss me when I’m gone pretty baby/I hope that you’ll miss me when I’m gone/But I feel if I don’t roam how am I ever gonna get back home/I hope that you will miss me when I’m gone/I’m gonna pack it in and take it on the road pretty baby/Pack it in and take it on the road/Well I was hoping for a break but now I’ve had as much as I can take/Gonna pack it in and take it on the road
 
THIS TIME
There’s a scent upon the wind/I detect it once again/It’s like a heady mix/of rotting leaves and cinnamon/See it sneaking through the trees/hear it rattelling the leaves/I know it must bring summer/right down baby/to its knees/And you’re a rabbit on the run/and I’m a man without a gun/Still you’d best keep running/watch out baby/here it comes/This time I forgot to lose my mind/I tried to toe the line/I didn’t care much/what was yours/or what was mine/This time I climbed right up on the wall/But I forgot to fall/it’s such a shame/that you don’t even care at all this time/It’s too late to go back home/but I been gone away so long/So when you’re treading water/what could possibly go wrong?/Then you wash up on the shore/like you lost it in the war/Because you couldn’t stand/the hail of bullets any more/This time I forgot to lose my mind/I tried to toe the line/I didn’t care much/what was yours/or what was mine/This time I climbed right up on the wall/But I forgot to fall/it’s such a shame/that you don’t even care at all this time/You can stare at the stars/and the stars fall down/You can know where you are/but you can’t be found/You can reach for the sky/but you’re still on the ground/There’s a scent upon the wind/I detect it once againthat heady mix/of rotting leaves and cinnamon/And you’re a rabbit on the run/and I’m a man without a gun/Still you’d best keep running/watch out baby/here it comes
 
THE THING ABOUT LEAVING
She came from the land of the sun and the sand/she always had dreamed of the sea/she boarded a plane with a suitcase of pain/and she settled down right next to me/left all of her old life behind her/she’d swept it away like a crime/the thing about fate you can’t count on it landing on time/if life is a promise/then life is a lie/when she said hello/i knew she was thinking goodbye/see i took a job out in phoenix/it didn’t work out like I’d planned/i’d turned down some offers to take it/it turns out i wasn’t their man/if life is a promise/then life is a lie/i thought it would work out/but i don’t work well 9 to 5/you take what you’re handed and smile/but know what you’re holding might just last a while/the lights had come upthe wheels had gone down/it was time for this airplane to land/she looked out the window and tightened her grip on the armrest right next to my hand/her fingers mistakenly touched me/they found their way right to my heart/the thing about leaving/is knowing what time to depart/if life is a promise/then life is a lie/when we said hello/we knew we’d be saying goodbye
 
LITTE DARLING
It occurs to me that you and me was always meant to be/Little Darling/You walked into the room I kind of swoon so I sat down and wrote this tune/ Little Darling/I’ll take the time to make you mine/you’re gonna find that you been on my mind/Little Darling/Don’t you know its time to go/I think a little voice just told you so/ Little Darling/Does it feels so good/that you want it so bad?/Would you kindly let me pick up the tab?/ Little Darling/Let’s take a step outside/to my ride/I wanna show you what I got inside/ Little Darling/You take the wheel/I wanna feel/what it’s like when I don’t have to deal/ Little Darling/There’s a little bar/with a band/and they pour them with a heavy hand/And the clientele/all understand/what it’s like when you’ve got nothing planned//You say your last man/was the best you ever hard?/Well would you like to meet the next one you’re gonna have/Little Darling
 
HARD TIMES
Well everybody’s looking so down today/There ain’t nobody got a good word to say/The rich folk are gonna get their own damned way/It’s just how we do it in the USA/Now you tell me everything’s going wrong/And I’ll try to put it in a brand new song/The one thing bad about living this long/You see a lot of sorrow going on/We’re so blind to true crime/While bullshit makes headlines/Babes cry and dreams die/While profits grow sky high/When all of your red wine’s just dust in the wind/The hard times will come round again
 
THE SHELF
And so it’s back up on the shelf/I'll pour myself a drink while I congratulate myself/She’s all but gone/Just one more trip for three more boxes/And I’ll be on my own/Come see the king of cobwebs counting up his wealth/I’m back up on the shelf/When I was young I’d take some blankets/And build a castle with some chairs/I had a private little clubhouse/Inside the closet by the stairs/You couldn’t find me anywhere/And so it’s back up on the shelf/But don’t you fret about me/‘cause I’m drinking to my health/How smart am I?/When you get to be my age/You’ll find a better place to hide/But you could come around and be somebody else/You want to get me down/Well you just have to ring the bell/I’m back up on the shelf
 
OCCASIONAL PLAYBOY
You bought a ticket this morning/You headed out west with the sun/It certainly came with no warning/But maybe it’s best that you’re gone/Cause I found out quicker than lightening/That nothing could strike me again/And living alone might be frightening/But right now that sounds like a plan/I’ve lived with some women/I’ve lived with someone/And mostly they treated me kind/I might be an occasional playboy to some/But right now I’m biding my time/Yeah she bought a ticket this morning/She flew on a bat out of hell/And though I see dark clouds are forming/I don’t mind the things they foretell/I’ve lived with some women/I’ve lived with someone/And mostly they treated me kind/I might be an occasional playboy to some/But right now I’m biding my time
 
WILL I EVER BE THE MAN?
I’m wishing right now that my dad was around/but daddy isn’t here now/I’d say look at me now/I’m the toast of the town/Come watch them put the toast down/But isn’t it fun/to drive in a run/and win it for the home team?/But this just in/the visitors win/so wake up from a good dream/When I found a rough road/I took it/There ain’t another driver gets the better of me/I got dealt a band hand/I shook it/Keeping all the cards so nobody could see/So why is everybody always staring at me?/Will I ever be the man that my old man would want me to be?/It’s harder to pray/to a god that you never can see/Still I pray that it’s only a dream/That there’s a hole where a heaven should be/I’m wishing right now that my dad was around/I’d want to take him downtown/sit him right down/and buy him a round/to get a little know-how/When I found a rough road/I took it/There ain’t another driver gets the better of me/I got dealt a band hand/I shook it/Keeping all the cards so nobody could see/So why is everybody disappointed in me?/Will I ever be the man that my old man would want me to be?
 
NO LONGER IN THE FAMILY
Take a last look out the window/Shut the door in the garage/Load the last box in the wagon/And head on out of Dodge/When you’re closing up the castle/Where you lived so many years/Well you ain’t no human being/If you don’t shed any tears/‘Cause that house is no longer in the family/Everybody just moved on/There’s a dumpster full of memories/Somehow that seems wrong/Yeah that house is no longer in the family/Should have sold it long ago/The funny thing about the market/Is I guess you never know/So take a last look in the window/One more glance around the yard/Roll the car out of the driveway/And hit that highway hard/Driving south through Carolina/Left New England far behind/Lots of places I could wind up/But just one place on my mind/‘Cause that house is no longer in the family/Yeah, everybody just moves on/And what was once the house you lived in/Is now someone else’s home
 
WALKING HOME
i could tell by the way that you said hello I shouldn’t stay/there are times when i know you too well/so I grabbed my guitar and I headed for the local bar/‘cause i heard that they got something to sell/and it’s a ways cross the town/but the walk it doesn’t get me down/don’t you know why they call me the breeze?/it’s a year to the day I was speeding down the motorwaywhen the cops confiscated my keys/women with their arms wide open/call me crazy/always hoping/all those men you could have married/are they handsome? yes they’re very/see them all achieving excess/building muscles/leasing lexus/yes they’re all remarkable men/but me i‘m walking home again/i‘m walking home again/I feel my face just split the wind/i‘m walking home again/there’s a beat to the street/i can feel it underneath my feet/like the heart that you wear on your sleeve when i get to the door/i know what it is i’m walking for/it’s a home that i never could leave/you’d be waiting/sleeping soundly/soon you’ll have your arms around me/whispering that all’s forgiven/give me strength to go on living/ask me how they liked my playing/if they did they weren’t saying/where’d you think i’d rather have been?/Because here i‘m walking home again/i‘m walking home again/I feel my face just split the wind/i‘m walking home again
 
BACK IN TOWN (AGAIN)
There’s a river to the west/of the town I think I know the best/and a home up on the ridge/you can see just as you cross the bridge/though it doesn’t look the same/it’s a bit run down and that’s a shame/when I left it for a year/where’d the whole damn decade disappear?/I was roaming round the country/living life without a care/and it took a little longer than I’d planned to get somewhere/when I got to California/they had stopped me in my tracks/so I came home to New England though they didn’t want me back/I’m back in town again/like the dust inside that devil wind/back in town again/like a wheel that lost the will to spin/back in town again/to a woman that I can’t recall/back in town again/like a rolling stone that hit the wall/There’s an ocean to the east/of the town I think I like the least/you can smell it in the air/when the cries of gulls are everywhere/it’s a dark and deadly sea/that could some day be the death of me/so I’ll skip that misery/of being someone I could never be/You can wander round the world a while/there’s an awful lot to see/there’s around six billion people/but there’s only one of me/you pick any place to settle down/you can pick one on a whim/so I settled for this smaller pond/it’s where I learned to swim/I’m back in town again/like the dust inside that devil wind/back in town again/like a wheel that lost the will to spin/back in town again/to a woman I don’t know at all/back in town again/like a rolling stone that hit the wall
 
THE FIVE MILE RIVER LAMENT
Won’t you lay me down/on that 5 mile river/tie a stone/to my feet and head/sink me down/in that cold, dark water/make my final resting place that river bed/because I lost my love on that cold, dark river/when she sailed away with her sailor man/so here i’ll stay ‘neath the deep, green water/until the day that she sails home again/in the dead of night/when the moon ain’t shining/when the bullfrog moans/and the tall grass sighs/‘neath the river’s flow/there i’ll lay dreaming/lord that river’s song is just my lullabye/so take care my love/if your e’re returning/keep your eyes sharp for the rocks and shoals/don’t you dare look down/in that cold, dark water/you might end up beside my aching soul/so won’t you lay me down/on that 5 mile river/tie a stone/to my feet and head/sink me down, down, down in that cold, dark water/make my final resting place that river bed (3X)
 
WHEN YOU COME AROUND
Innocence is gone /and I laid out in the sun too long/crying/she left everything she owned/and nothing of mine/and now there’s just too much time/all we had/is just a photograph i keep under the mattress/and now the dishes in the sink remind me of you/but now I know what to do/when you come around /you’ll see why I let you down/there was so much you could do/now she looks better than you/when you come/around /you’ll see what you lost I found/the man you thought you would see /he don’t look nothing like me/when I woke up in the shade/I felt good enough to reassess the damage/now I know that I can get by without you/I wonder what the hell you’ll do/when you come around /you’ll see why I let you down/there was so much you could do/now she looks better than you/when you come around /you’ll see what you lost I found/the man you thought you would see /he don’t look nothing like me/ooh the living is easy /now that summer has come/oh you know I’m not lying /now the cotton is high enough to hide in/when you come around /you’ll see why I let you down/there was so much you could do/now she looks better than you/when you come around /you’ll see what you lost I found/the man you thought you would see /he don’t look nothing like me
 
MEMORY
been down /down on the bottom /i’m not ready/true love tore me to pieces /so unsteady/been lost /out on the ocean/no more money/still can’t/get it in motion/help me honey/tell me/how many times/have i been this lonely?/since she/told me that I was her one and only?/spent time/all that i had  and i’ve still got nothing/one time/i had all the answers/now tell me something/why look for love when it takes to long/why take the time out to find it/why drink the liquor when it tastes too strong/can’t get your memory back/when it’s gone away/gone away/like birds that could not fly/far away/the days have all gone by/but it might have been nice/if it it had not been just like last time/next time/could be the last time/that’s for certain/next time/i’ll know the way that the world is turning/won’t be a place in my heart that keeps on hurting/won’t behome all alonewith a candle burning/can’t look for love cause it takes to long/and i don’t have the time to find it/won’t drink the liquor when it tastes too strong/can’t get your memory back/when it’s gone away

©2018 Richard Keith