Songs of Susannah: Music is my first language





All lyrics are copyrighted by Susannah M. Rolfes except, "I Never Saw A Moor," by Emily Dickinson and, "Who Has Seen The Wind," by Christina Rossetti (both of which are in the public domain).

Please check back, because I have written several dozen more songs with lyrics that are not yet online.

Read the stories behind the songs.

A Voice in the Wind
Always
Apprehensions
Apprehensions (Extended Version)
Backstage
The Dark Horse
Disappear
Distant
Don't Go
Elevator
Empty Place
Gatita
Going Home
Half Sick of Shadows
Hallway
Hanukkah
Heaven Comes Between Us
Hiatus
Hold On
Honeysuckle Tree
How Great It Is
How Many Days
I Hear a Bird
I Never Saw A Moor
If I Knew Then
If Nothing Else
Is It Just Me?
The Light in the Darkness
The Lost Library
#metoo
My Father Cheats At Solitaire
One of Us
Poisoned Summer
R'lyeh
Reality
Ringtone
River Swans
(What Caused the) Silence?
Silent Struggles
Singing in a Damaged Voice
Student Housing
The Swallow
36
Through the Night
Tied to the Beauty
Trail of Tears
Understand
The Way Home
What Lies Ahead
When I Come Here
Where's The Door?
Who Has Seen The Wind
Winter's Day
Without You
Wonder If I...
Wond'rous Star (a carol)
Writing A Song For You
You Inspire Me
You Meant The World To Me


A Voice in the Wind

I hear a voice in the wind.
I hear a voice beckon in.
I hear a voice in the wind.
1999. A song for a new millennium.

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Always

You said you loved me,
I believed you blindly.
But now, things have changed.
I'm feeling so strange.

You said to me
Your love flowed
Like a raging river doth.
So easily did it cease,
You never loved me.

You said you loved me.
You hypocrite!
For now I can see
The emptiness of your words.

I will always
Remember, from now on,
When things look perfect,
They're the first ones
To fall apart.

You said to me
Your love flowed
Like a raging river doth.
So easily did it cease,
You never loved me.

You said you loved me...not.
1997. For J.


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Apprehensions

I thought that there was nothing left.
I thought I'd left it all behind me.
I felt apathy,
Nothing more.
Then, you came.

Am I still in love with you?
Still in love, am I still in love?
Am I still in love with you,
Still in love with you?

I thought that there was nothing left here,
And I thought I'd left it all behind me.
I felt apathy,
Nothing more.

Am I still in love with you,
Still in love with you,
Still in love?
Am I still in love with you?
Still in love with you?
1998. For J.


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Apprehensions (Extended Version)

I thought that there was nothing left.
I thought I'd left it all behind me.
I felt apathy,
Nothing more.
Then, you came.

Am I still in love with you?
Still in love, am I still in love?
Am I still in love with you,
Still in love with you?

I've lived for several years without you,
And I felt that I no longer need you.
I've been by myself
Since you left me.

I'm staring out the window,
Standing here, I wonder,
Still in love?
Am I still in love with you,
Still in love with you?

I thought I wanted to be friends.
I thought my love for you was over.
I was over you,
I no longer cared,
Then, you came.

Perhaps our story's not yet over,
More to write,
More history to live,
Am I still in love with you,
Still in love with you?

I thought that there was nothing left here,
And I thought I'd left it all behind me.
I felt apathy,
Nothing more.

You said that you'd like to talk,
And walk around the park.
You didn't show.
And I wonder why I'm crying,
If I didn't care.

Your car was sitting in the drive.
I knew that you were inside.
I knocked on the door.
I knocked louder.
No reply.

Am I still in love with you,
Still in love with you,
Still in love?
Am I still in love with you?
Still in love with you?
1998. For J.


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Backstage

You've always seen me
Centerstage.
Wearing a mask,
Playing the part.
I've worn
So many masks,
At times I forget
My true face.

But now,
I cast it all
Aside,
Now,
You can see what's inside.

Welcome to backstage,
Where I can be me.
Welcome to backstage,
Here where all the
Secret fears,
The joys, the tears
Come falling out,
They come falling out.
Welcome to backstage.

Here, behind the curtains
And the sets,
They look so real
To you,
Where you sit.

Welcome to backstage,
Where I remove my mask.
Welcome to backstage,
You'll meet me at last.

Here I am no longer
Centerstage.

Welcome to backstage.
Welcome to backstage.
1997


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The Dark Horse

Here I am,
Once again,
Feeling sad,
And oh so lonely.

But I pray
You'll send me a friend,
And we can talk,
And then,
It will be OK.

My life is an endless
Chain of sorrows,
And my dreams seem to
Fade into the night,
But I know
That it will be alright
Somehow.

A friend will come,
A friend will come to me.

Here I stand,
Sad again.
I am tired
Of being lonely.

Here I pray,
I pray for a friend,
And we can talk, and then
Everything will be OK.

My life is an endless
Chain of sorrows,
And my dreams seem to
Fade into the night,
But I know
That it will be alright
Somehow.

A friend will come,
A friend will come to me.
1994


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Disappear

Disappear, like you want me to,
Disappear, like I always do.
Disappear, from being with you,
Disappear, like I always do.

Disappear, I know the way.
Disappear, I've seen this play.
Disappear, and fade away.

Fly away,
Some other day.
There's another way,
Without you.

You have a way of making the impossible mundane.
You have a way of making the sacred profane.
You have a way of making the logical insane.
Oh, you have a way.
Oh, you have a way.

Disappear from beneath the skies,
Disappear while my spirit dies.
Disappear, like I always do,
Disappear, like you want me to.

Disappear, hide myself away.
Disappear, though I want to stay.
Disappear, this catastrophe
Disappear, will not let me be.

Disappear, disappear.
Disappear, disappear.
2018


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Distant

Why are you so distant?
You seem a million miles away.
Where have you gone?
Will you return?

What's happened that
You're a million miles away,
Even when you are
Sitting here right next to me.

Even as I touch your hand,
You're a million miles away.
Even as you speak my name.
You're so troubled,
What's wrong?

Where are you?
Where are you?
Where are you,
Where did you go?

You seem oh so distant,
You seem a million miles from me.
What has gone wrong?
Please, speak to me.

What's happened that
You're a million miles away,
Even when you are
Sitting here right next to me.

Where are you?
Where are you?
Where are you,
Where did you go?

Where did you go?
Where did you go?
Where did you go?
1996. For J.


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Don't Go

Don't go,
Don't stay this way.
Don't tell me that
The talk we had
The day before
Yesterday
Was the last talk
When you knew my name.
Please, Mom, don't go.

Tell me that you know what year it is.
Tell me, can't you name our president?
Tell me that you still know who I am.
Please, Mom, don't go.
Don't go,
Don't stay this way.
Don't tell me
That the talk we had
The day before
Yesterday
Was our last talk
When you knew my name.
Please, Mom, don't go.

Tell me, don't you know what I just said?
Tell me, can't you tell me where you are?
Tell me you remember who I am.
Please, Mom, don't go.

Don't go,
Don't stay this way.
Don't tell me that
The talk we had
The day before
Yesterday
Was the last talk
When you knew my name.
Please, Mom, don't go.

Don't go,
Don't stay this way.
Don't tell me that
The talk we had
The day before
Yesterday
Was our last talk
When you knew my name.
Oh, please, Mom, don't go.
Please, Mom, don't go.
2018


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Elevator

You're my elevator.
I was so alone.
Then you came to me,
And you lifted me up here.
I was so depressed,
I wished I would just die.

Then, you lifted me,
Raised my dead spirit.
Now, I am happy.
You came just in time,
And, oh, you changed my mind,
About my worthless life.

You're my elevator.
I had hit the bottom.
I don't want to die anymore.
Then, you came to me,
You came just in time.
Now, I am happy.
You came just in time,
And, oh, you changed my mind.

You're my elevator.
Elevator, love.
You have lifted me up here.
And, oh, how I thank you.
You're my elevator.
Elevator, love.
1997


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Empty Place

From the start,
You were my friend.
And I thought
That it would never end.

But now,
You are not there,
And I think
It just isn't fair.

And I ask why,
Why are you gone?
And now, there's an empty place in my heart,
An empty place in my heart.

I recall all the
Piano recitals in which we played,
And I recall
The Fine Arts Academic Team Meets,
And I recall
You playing in your band,
The song you wrote.

And now, there's an empty place in my heart,
An empty place in my heart.

For I thought from the start,
That I would be there for you,
If you needed me,
And I thought from the start,
You'd be there for me, too,
But things have changed.

I had a friend,
His name was Chris.
I thought he'd be
My friend forever.
I had a friend,
His name was Chris.
He's gone from you,
He's gone from me,
Forever.

I recall the day in which you died,
I didn't know.
And I recall...you.
And I recall sitting down to cry.
I felt an empty place in my heart
That never went away.
1994. For Chris (1978-1994).


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Gatita

La gatita,
Hola, hola,
Hola, y ¿cómo estás?

La gatita,
Hola, hola,
Hola, y ¿cómo estás?

Canta, Gatita,
La la la!

Canta, Gatita,
La la la!

La gatita,
Hola, hola,
Hola, y ¿cómo estás?

La gatita,
Hola, hola,
Hola, y ¿cómo estás?

Translation:

The little she-kitten,
Hello, hello,
Hello, and how are you?

The little she-kitten,
Hello, hello,
Hello, and how are you?

Sing, little she-kitten,
La la la!

Sing, little she-kitten,
La la la!

The little she-kitten,
Hello, hello,
Hello, and how are you?

The little she-kitten,
Hello, hello,
Hello, and how are you?
1999


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Going Home

Well, you know,
I'm going
Over there,
Where the grass
Is always green,
And not brown,
Like here.
Well, you know,
I'm going
Home.

Well, you know,
I'm going
Over there,
Where the trees
Fill the sky,
Not empty,
Like here.
Well, you know,
I'm going
Home.

Na na na,
Na na na na
Na na na,
Na na na na,
Going home.

Well, you know,
I'm going
Over there,
Where there are hills
And streams,
Not flat plains,
Like here.
Well, you know,
I'm going
Home.

Na na na,
Na na na na
Na na na,
Na na na na,
Going home.
2020


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Half Sick of Shadows

We walked together in the sunlight,
We walked together on the shore.
We walked until you turned away from me,
And returned to the shadows once more.

You were half sick of shadows,
Sick unto death, you swore.
Only half sick of shadows,
Not so as not to return.

We walk together 'neath the storm cloud,
We walk together as before.
We walk, but with us dwells the shadow,
The shadow which we had off sworn.

Will we not see the sunlight?
Will we ne'er see it more?
Always to dwell in the shadows,
The shadows which we so abhor?
2009


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Hallway

I saw you
In the hall today,
I saw you,
And you looked away.
I saw you,
And I looked away.

I like you,
Do you like me?
I hear the answer
Constantly,
But the language,
I don't understand.

Be my translator,
I implore.
Your heart do I wish
To explore.
1995. For D.


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Hanukkah

I don't know why;
I'm looking forward to Hanukkah.
I don't know why;
I'm not even Jewish.

How is this night
Different from all other nights?
I don't know,
But I want to learn it.

Is this a myst'ry
Planted in my dreams
From a branch of my family tree
I've never seen?
Ancestors wand'ring
Across the Sinai,
Searching for the land
They'd call their own.

I don't know why;
I'm looking forward to Hanukkah.
I don't know why;
I'm not even Jewish.

The candle's bright
On the menorah tonight.
Elijah's cup
Runneth over.

Is this a myst'ry
Planted in my dreams
From a branch of my family tree
I've never seen?
Ancestors wand'ring
Across the Sinai,
Searching for the land
They'd call their own.

I don't know why....
I don't know why;
I'm looking forward to Hanukkah,
Looking forward to Hanukkah,
Looking forward to Hanukkah.
2020


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Heaven Comes Between Us

I've been waiting all my life for this,
I wish that you were here.
Longing ev'ry day for your kiss,
I'm pining away.

In everything I do, I think of you.
I wish that you would stay,
But

Heaven comes between us,
Our lives have come between us,
I lie in despair.

Heaven's plan's misplaced,
I miss your loving face,
Why is love unfair?

They say all is fair in love and war,
But I can't feel that way.
Once we were Pyramus and Thisbe,
Now Willoughby and Marianne.

The walls you've built between us
Grow steeper every day,
Cause

Heaven comes between us,
Our lives have come between us,
I lie in despair.

Heaven's plan's misplaced,
I miss your loving face,
Why is love unfair?

'Cause you run away, run away,
Life is so scary.
Run away,
You run away,
Run away from love.

But you run away,
Run away,
Life is so scary.
You run away,
Run away,
Run away from love.

I've been waiting all my life for this,
I wish that you were here.
2021 & 2004


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Hiatus

Will this time soon end,
Or did it just begin?
The hiatus of love,
What has happened to... "Us?"

I wonder,
Will e'er again?
Will there ever again
Be an, "Us?"

We've been friends so long,
Now what has gone wrong?
How could so many
In-depth talks
Lead to a
Wall of silence?

I truly hope
With all my heart
That we'll soon
Talk again,
Because it really isn't
Worth a relationship,
If I lose my oldest friend.
If I lose...
If I lose you.
1997. For M.


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Hold On

Hold on,
Hold on to the one you love,
Hold them tight,
And just keep telling yourself
It will be alright.

Hold on,
Hold on to the one you love,
Hold them tight,
And just keep on repeating
That things will get better soon.

Pretend,
Pretend with the one you love
That things are fine
when you're in public.

Pretend,
Pretend with the one you love
That things are fine
When you're with your friends.

But the crying and the yelling,
It always resumes,
You see the homicidal look
In his eyes.

Just keep on telling yourself
You love him.

You know you do.
If you didn't,
You wouldn't still be here.

Just check your armor
At the door,
It's time to get your heart
Trampled on some more.

I'll trust you no matter
The stab wounds I bear.

This is love,
So I stand here defenseless
Before you,
Hoping and praying
That you love me,

Hoping and praying
That you still love me.
2003


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Honeysuckle Tree

You and me are like
The honeysuckle tree.
It couldn't be,
And yet, there it is.

Standing tall,
Fully bloomed in the meadow.
Improbability pervades our lives.
You're my four-leaf clover,
My needle in a haystack,
You are my white elephant.

Don't make it a tragedy,
Don't make it a tragedy.
Before you, I never experienced concinnity.
Don't make it a tragedy.

I am the selkie in your northern sea,
And the deer in your meadow.
I'm the one you spent your whole life
Looking for.
I am waiting for you.

I'm your four leaf clover,
Your needle in a haystack,
I am your white elephant.

Don't make it a tragedy,
Don't make it a tragedy.
Before you, I never experienced concinnity.
Don't make it a tragedy.

You and me are like
The honeysuckle tree.
It couldn't be,
And yet, there it is.

Standing tall,
Fully bloomed in the meadow.
Improbability....
Improbability....
Don't make it a tragedy.
2004


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How Great It Is

How great it is,
How great it is,
To know that
You love me.

And now, I ask,
How can it be,
That after all
These years,
After all these years....

I often wondered
In days of youth
If you, too,
Liked me.

And now,
After all these years,
I finally see
That you loved me,
That you love me.

How great it is,
To know at last,
And now I finally see,
That you loved me,
That you love me.

And now,
After all these years,
I finally see,
I know as you embrace me,
I feel it when you hold my hand,
I see that you loved me,
That you love me,
That you love me,
That you love me.
1997. For M.


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How Many Days

She grew milkweed for the monarchs
In her garden near the lake.
When they said it was unsightly,
She said, "Friends, make no mistake."

And she said,
"How many days do they have?
Tell me, how many days,
When we destroy their home
More every hour,
Tell me, how many days?"

And the scan lit up
Like butterfly wings,
With white dots all around the sides,
Like a monarch in flight.

"How many days do I have?
Tell me, how many days
Until I fly away,
Like the monarchs in my garden?
Tell me, how many days?"

And her breathing fluttered,
As the metamorphosis in her lungs
Stole her life away.

"How many days do I have?
Tell me, how many days
It's all I want to know.
How many days?"

And the jeweled butterfly
In the jewelry box
Sat alone to await the day.

And she pinned it to my jacket,
But when I got home, it had gone.
And I knew it meant
That she'd be gone, too,
Like a butterfly migrates.

"How many days do I have?
Tell me, how many days
Until I fly away,
Like the monarchs in my garden?
Tell me, how many days?"

They told her six months when it was one,
A week when it was a day,
A few days when it was an hour,
And scant hours when it was moments.

While her son was driving
From half way across the country,
Azariah up and died,
And the monarchs took flight.

"How many days do I have?
Tell me, how many days
It's all I want to know."

"How many days do I have?
Tell me, how many days
Until I fly away,
Like the monarchs in my garden?
Tell me, how many days?
How many days?"
2020. For Azariah (1949 - 2008).


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I Hear a Bird
I hear a bird,
It sings today.
I hear a bird,
It flies away.

Singing so peacefully,
I wonder why.
I wonder why.

I see a bird,
High in the tree.
I hear a bird,
She sings to me.

Singing so peacefully,
I wonder why.
I wonder why.

Can you hear the bird?
It still sings today.
Protect the dove of peace,
Before she flies away.

Singing so fleetingly,
I wonder why,
Why does she fly?

If we all tried,
And set it all aside,
We could turn the tide.
2021. Inspired by the January 6 Capitol riot.


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I Never Saw a Moor
Lyrics circa 1865 by Emily Dickinson
Adapted 2000 by Susannah M. Rolfes


I never saw a Moor--
I've never seen the Sea--
Yet I know how the Heather looks
And what a Billow be.

I never spoke with God
Nor visited him in Heaven--
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the Checks were giv'n--
1996 & 2000


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If I Knew Then

You were the first boy I ever kissed,
And as such,
I thought you'd be the last.

But you weren't.
But you were not.
But you were not.
But you were not.
But you were not.
But you were not.

You were the first boy I ever kissed,
And as such,
I hoped you'd be the last.

Behold, the setting sun
On us.

If I knew then what I know now,
If I knew then what I know now,
If I knew then what I know now,
Would we ever...?

You were the first boy I ever kissed,
And, as such,
I thought you'd be the last.
2000. For Sarah.


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If Nothing Else

If nothing else good can be said of me, they'll say
I was loyal to a fault.
If nothing else good can be said of me, they'll say
I forgave too much.
If nothing else good can be said of me, they'll say
I created a beautiful world
Inside my head,

If nothing else,
If nothing else.
If nothing else,
If nothing else.

If nothing else good can be said of me, they'll say
I was unique.
If nothing else good can be said of me, they'll say
I had a mystique.
If nothing else good can be said of me, they'll say
I was too clever by half,
Half the time.

If nothing else,
If nothing else.
If nothing else,
If nothing else.

And when they gather 'round to say goodbye,
I wonder if anyone will cry.
I hope it's understood:
I wouldn't have been normal if I could.

If nothing else good can be said of me, they'll say
I had good intents.
If nothing else good can be said of me, they'll say
I had no pretense.
If nothing else good can be said of me, they'll say
I was never afraid of the truth,
For good or ill.

If nothing else,
If nothing else.
If nothing else,
If nothing else.
2009


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Is It Just Me?

Is it just me,
Or are we speaking
In code all the time?

Is it just me,
Or are we speaking
Between the lines?

Believing what we have is deeper
Than love could ever be?

Is it just me,
Just me?
Is it just me,
Just me?

The harm'ny of existence between us,
You're more like a brother
Than a lover to me.

Romantic love pales and is base
Compared to what I found with you...
Concinnity.

When I met you,
I was reluctant
To share my life with you.

I sensed danger,
But now I see through
Alexithymia.

I finally see
What we really have,
What we really have.

Like the girl with
The pearl earring,
How can it be
So romantic
To say I'm not in love?

Romantic love could never touch
The purity of this,
Romantic love could never touch
The intensity of this.

Is it just me,
Or are we speaking
In code all the time?

Is it just me,
Or are we speaking
Between the lines?

Believing what we have is deeper
Than love could ever be?

Is it just me,
Just me?
Is it just me,
Just me?
Is it just me?
2004


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The Light in the Darkness

If you look now,
You can't see...
Your 'social Darwinism'
Almost killed me.

But you're blind, so blind.
You spared me,
But you kill others.

If you look now,
You can see
The light in the darkness.

If you look now,
You can see me.
You almost killed me.

If you look now,
You can see
The light in the darkness.

If you look now....
2005. For all the children whose teachers sided with their bullies.


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The Lost Library

So many things my grandfather wanted to teach,
But he never had the time,
I guess our modern world is just built that way.

Seems the only people who have the time
To give you the time of day,
Are the children.

But you brush them aside,
Tell them there's no time.
A lifetime of that,
And you will find...
All we have lost.

But you can't ask the children
To read you libraries of knotted cord,
If you made their parents throw the key away.

No, you can't ask the children
To read you libraries of knotted cord,
If you made their parents throw the key away.

The wisdom of the ages,
The secrets of the past,
The hope of the future.

The Library of Alexandria,
The builders of the Sphinx,
The birdsong on Mauritius.

But you brush them aside,
Tell them there's no time.
Lifetimes of that,
And you will find...
All we have lost.

But you can't ask the children
To read you libraries of knotted cord,
If you made their parents throw the key away.

No, you can't ask the children
To read you libraries of knotted cord,
If you made their parents throw the key away.

You were alive,
And just beginning.

You were alive,
And now it's ending.

You, you're alive.
Oh, you, you're alive.
You're alive in me.

The secret of Greek fire,
The Mayan codices,
The language of Minoans.

The names of our ancestors,
The places that they built,
The dreams they relied on.

But you brush them aside,
Tell them there's no time,
Centuries of that,
And you will find
All we have lost.

But you can't ask the children
To read you libraries of knotted cord,
If you made their parents throw the key away.

No, you can't ask the children
To read you libraries of knotted cord,
If you made their parents throw the key away.
2009


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#metoo

You are the rain on my parade.
You are the face
That comes to mind
When someone says
#metoo;
It's always you.

You didn't have my permission,
But then again,
You never asked,
Didn't think it was your task.

We all rely on intuition,
Not expecting you
Would come along and
Void the social contract.

But it's a fact:
Your friendship was an act
To get close to me,
Closer than I wanted.

You are the rain on my parade.
You are the face
That comes to mind
When someone says
#metoo;
It's always you.

Hurricanes and tornadoes
Make me think of you;
You always were a storm.

Hurricanes and tornadoes
Make me think of you,
The devastation
You wrought
In my life.

You are the rain on my parade.
You are the face
That comes to mind
When someone says
#metoo;
It's always you.

How can we survive?
How can we survive
Looking over our shoulders
At the people
Right in front of us?
We have to trust.

But you're not worthy,
Proved yourself untrustworthy.

You are more than the rain on my parade;
You are the hurricane.
You're the tornado.
And I picked up the pieces,
I moved on, but can't forget.

And it's your face
That haunts me,
In my memory.
It's always you.
2018


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My Father Cheats At Solitaire

My father cheats at Solitaire,
He fools nobody, nobody, nobody
But himself, himself,
He fools nobody, nobody, nobody
But himself.

When you cheat at Solitaire,
You fool nobody, nobody, nobody
But yourself.

Nobody, nobody nobody
But yourself.

'Cause when my father's family
Would have their reunions,
They'd all sit by themselves,
With their own deck of cards.

No Old Maid, no Go Fish,
Not Hearts or Euchre,
They'd all sit by themselves,
With their own deck of cards.

My father cheats at Solitaire,
He fools nobody, nobody, nobody
But himself, himself,
He fools nobody, nobody, nobody
But himself.

My father cheats at Solitaire,
He fools nobody, nobody, nobody
But himself.

Nobody, nobody, nobody
But himself.

Nobody, nobody, nobody
But himself.

Nobody, nobody, nobody, nobody, nobody...
But himself.
1997


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One of Us

Thank you, thank you for loving me.
Thank you, thank you for caring.
I wish this wasn't ending,
But it takes more than one of us,
One of us.

You say we had all the right feelings,
But they came from the wrong people.
I wish you'd see it my way,
But it takes more than one of us,
One of us,
To make a relationship.

You say you cannot save me.
I say, "Save me from what?"
You say, "From this depression."
I say, "Of course; you're not God."

You say all you can do is just thank me
For liking you, and hope someday
I like myself just as much as I liked you.

Thank you, thank you for loving me.
Thank you, thank you for caring.
I wish this wasn't ending,
But it takes more than one of us,
One of us.

I wish this wasn't ending,
But it takes more than one of us,
One of us,
One of us.
1998


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Poisoned Summer

I don't understand why it happened.
Not long ago, we were so happy.
Now, there are needles, and wires,
IV drips, and radiation.
This should be the summer of our love.

Drove by the beach
Where we used to swim,
Drove by your house,
But you're not in.
This should be the summer of your life.

Remember when we laughed 'til we cried?
I wonder if it was a dream.
There's just one thing you need to know.

My love for you will still be strong,
After your poisoned summer has gone,
Whether you're here with me or not.

My love for you will still be strong,
After our poisoned summer has gone;
I will be with you 'til the end.

They told me, don't look back.
Those days are gone, let them go.
Yet I still dream of growing old with you.

I thought I knew what love was then.
What did I know?

Love is being here with you,
Knowing our time could soon be through,
There's just one thing that you should know.

My love for you will still be strong,
After your poisoned summer has gone,
Whether you're here with me or not.

My love for you will still be strong,
After our poisoned summer has gone.
I will be with you 'til the end.
2021.


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R'lyeh

There is something
Moving,
Deep beneath the ground,
And I feel it
Trembling,
Trying to get out.

Ah,
There is something
Moving,
Deep beneath the ground.

I travel this path alone now,
Alone now, alone now.
I travel this path alone now,
Alone now, alone now.

Alone, it creeps,
Through sunken island dreams,
Through eldritch island dreams,
In R'lyeh.

And though it sleeps,
I know that it dreams,
I know that it dreams alone.

I travel this path alone now,
Alone now, alone now.
I travel this path alone now,
Alone now, alone now.

There is something
Moving,
Deep beneath the ground,
And I feel it
Trembling,
Trying to get out.

Ah,
There is something
Moving,
Deep beneath the ground.
2018 and 2020
A song about the COVID-19 pandemic.



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Reality

I remember when these
Old jeans were new.
First time I wore them,
I went to see you.
You were to me
All the world and more.
Now, I put on these
Stained, tattered, faded, torn
Jeans,
I think of us:
Stained, tattered, faded, torn.
All that is left are a
Pocketful of memories,
And wondering,
Should I say hello
To a stranger I once loved?
1999. For J.


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Ringtone

I miss the sound of your ringtone,
But now, it only makes me cry.
I feel so alone,
But I don't want any other guy.

Alone, in the stillness of the rain,
My heart aches with endless pain.
I miss the way you used to talk to me.
Don't you even want to talk to me?

The rain and that ringtone....
The ringtone in the rain....

The rain, and that ringtone,
And the darkness of the night.
The rain, and that ringtone,
And the shadows in my mind.

I wish I could hear that ringtone,
One more time.
I wish I could hear that ringtone,
Going out of my mind.

I wish I could hear that ringtone,
Just one more time.
I wish I could hear that ringtone,
Going out of my, out of my mind.
2011


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River Swans

Driftin' down the swany river
On a rainy day,
Oh say!

Driftin' down the swany river
On a rainy day.

Driftin' down the swany river
On a rainy day,
Oh say!

On a very rainy,
On a very rainy,
On a very rainy day.

1983


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(What Caused the) Silence

They say that I was the girl who never talked.
They say that I was the girl who talked all the time.

Silence.
What caused the silence?

'Cause I was the girl who never shut up.
I was the girl who talked all the time,
And then I was the girl who never talked.

What caused the silence?
What caused the silence, now?

Unapproachable, silent girl with no friends.
Unapproachable, silent girl in isolation.

Motormouth.
Pressured speech.
Do you ever stop talking?
When do you even breathe?

Silence,
What caused the silence now?

Unapproachable girl,
Unapproachable world,
Unbreachable gulf of silence.

What caused the silence?
What caused the silence, now?

Silence falls when trauma comes,
Silence leads to isolation.
Silence falls when trauma comes,
No one to talk to anymore.

Unapproachable girl,
Unapproachable world,
Unbreachable gulf of silence.

What caused the silence?
What caused the silence, now?

Silence falls when trauma comes,
Silent and hopelessly isolated.
Silence falls when trauma comes,
Silent and desperate for connection.

I was the girl who never talked.
I was the girl who talked all the time.

Silence.
What caused the silence?
What caused the silence, now?
1991 & 2020


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Silent Struggles

Here I go through silent struggles, knowing
That I suffer all alonely.
I heard you say you would love me forever,
But now you've left me on my own.

I loved you truly,
But you did leave me,
And now I see you
Holding her hand,
Holding her hand.

You said you'd be there
Until forever,
But now I see you
Holding her hand,
Holding her hand.

It's not that I thought
We would be ever again
That which we once were,
But now I don't have the satisfaction
That you still don't have another love.
I've been replaced.
I've been erased.
Have you forgot?
I have not.
I loved you, I loved you.

I loved you truly,
But you did leave me,
And now I see you
Holding her hand,
Holding her hand.

You said you'd be there
Until forever,
But now I see you
Holding her hand,
Holding her hand.

Here I go through silent struggles, knowing
That my love has come to an end.
As I go through all my sorrow, I know
One day my pain will also end,
I'll start again, I'll start again.
But for now,
All I can see
Is what's
Right before my eyes.

I loved you truly,
But you did leave me,
And now I see you
Holding her hand,
Holding her hand.

You said you'd be there for me
Until forever,
But now I see you
Holding her hand,
Holding her hand,
You're holding her hand,
Holding her hand,

Have you forgotten all about me?
Yes, you have.
1997. For J.


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Singing in a Damaged Voice

Singing in a damaged voice,
That's what I'll do.
They don't give me another choice,
It's all that I can do.

There's another road sometimes,
There's another way through,
But singing in a damaged voice
Is all that I can do.

'Cause there's a song within my heart
That I must set free,
And singing with a damaged voice
Is all that's left to me.

And you can say all that you want of
My voice quality,
But even with a damaged voice,
The music calls to me.

There's no other path in life
That I can take.
I'm singing in a damaged voice,
No matter how I ache.

There's another road sometimes,
There's another way,
But singing in a damaged voice
Is all I have today.

Singing in a damaged voice,
That's what I'll do.
They don't give me another choice.
I've got to see it through.
2018


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Student Housing

I hear the sound of water--
Dripping, dripping--
I see the broken plaster on the floor.

I hear the telephone that isn't ringing,
Ringing in my ears,
The echoes of the water,
Like a scraping,

I brush it from my face,
And lay aside my velvet shirt.
We're too alike already.

In the distance,
I can hear the radio
That never silences,
Playing in my head.

I hear the sound of water--
Dripping, dripping--
I see the broken plaster on the floor.
I hear the telephone that doesn't ring.

I search for distractions,
But I find none,
Save but for the sound,
Dripping, dripping--
Playing like a song.
1999


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The Swallow

A swallow flew into my room,
Amidst the frozen afternoon.
A swallow flew into my room,
It flew
In winter,
It flew.

I watched the trembling little bird,
I thought, "Perhaps you haven't heard,
Fly south
In winter,
Fly south."

A swallow flew into my room,
The cold wind would have spelled her doom,
Had she not found a friend with whom
To spend the winter,
Cocooned.

A swallow flew into my room,
She sang for me a happy tune,
Remembering the time she spent
With me,
In winter.
2020


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36

For 36 days,
Your voice was far from me.
Not a word,
Not so much as a hello.
But now you want
To talk again.
Can't you see?
It's just not that
Easy for me.
After 36 days,
I'm still afraid.

For 84 days,
I thought that
You loved me.
I spent each day
In the company of you.
Then you said that
You loved me no longer.
I sat there, I heard.
I threw my arms around you,
But you said, "No, I can't.
I just don't feel comfortable
Anymore."

Was that the end?
What happened to my friend?
And then you said,
You wanted still
To be friends.
And I did try,
I wanted that, too,
But I soon found
That it's just far too hard.

For 36 days,
Your voice was far from me.
Not a word,
Not so much as a hello.
But now you want
To talk again.
Can't you see?
It's just not that
Easy for me.
After 36 days, 36 days
After 36 days,
I'm still afraid.
1996. For J.

1996. For J.


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Through the Night

Our mother and father are gone,
And only we remain.
The people there when I was born
Are gone, all.

I remember Pa-pa's big hands,
And the songs my mother sang.
Grandma's sayings and Dad's jokes
Are gone, all.

And in this darkest time,
These moments that last for years,
I'm standing there beside you,
All through the night.

The tears streamed down our faces,
As we held onto her hands.
We knew she was already gone,
But we couldn't let go;
We loved her so.

And in that darkest hour,
When I couldn't stop my tears,
You're standing there beside me,
All through this night.

Life has thrown us tempests,
No port in a storm.
In the forest primordial,
When flood waters rage,

I'm standing here beside you,
You're standing there beside me,
We're standing there together,
All through the night.
2021 For my sister, and our late mother (1946-2020).


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Tied to the Beauty

All my friends have moved to far-off places,
To Germany, to Italy, and California.

But I'm tied to the beauty of my valley,
I am tied to the beauty of these Indiana hills,
I am tied to the mem'ries of my fam'ly,
I am tied to my Indiana home.

They all said they couldn't wait to leave it,
Couldn't wait until graduation.
I always hoped they'd stay,
That they wouldn't go away,
'Cause I knew this would always be my home.

I am tied to the beauty of my valley,
I am tied to the beauty of these Indiana hills,
I am tied to the mem'ries of my fam'ly,
I am tied to my Indiana home.

And ev'ry time that I drove home from college,
In awe of the beauty of these Indiana hills,
I could hardly wait
Until I could graduate;
Nowhere else on earth could feel like home.

'Cause I'm tied to the beauty of my valley,
I am tied to the beauty of these Indiana hills,
I am tied to the mem'ries of my fam'ly,
I am tied to my Indiana home.

Friends are moving here from far-off places:
Chicago, New York City, and San Francisco.
More come day by day,
'Cause they couldn't stay away,
We are tied to our Indiana home.

We are tied to the beauty of this valley,
We are tied to the beauty of these Indiana hills,
We are tied to the mem'ries of our fam'lies,
We are tied to our Indiana home.
We are tied to our Indiana home.
We are tied to our Indiana home.
2005


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Trail of Tears

I sing a song of sadness,
I sing it as we walk on,
Into the land of setting suns,
The land of the setting sun.

Oh my love, oh my love,
Whatever should I do,
Without you, without you?

I sing a song of mountains,
I sing of our ancient hills.
I sing it as we walk along,
Into the land of setting suns.

Oh my love, oh my love,
Whatever should I do,
Without you, without you?

Oh my love, oh my love,
Whatever should I do,
Without you, without you?
1999


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Understand

I fear that you don't understand me,
I fear that you don't understand me,
I fear that you don't understand me.

You, I will not reprimand,
Just because you don't understand.

I fear that you don't understand me,
I fear that you don't understand me,
I fear that you don't understand me.

Or have I spoke too soon?
I fear I can be read like a book
And if you are not my friend,
I fear you'll use that against me.

I fear that you might understand me,
I fear that you might understand me,
I fear that you might understand me.

Or have I spoke too soon?
For understanding is the key
For us to end all these wars,
The key to unity.

I fear that you don't understand me,
I fear that you might understand me,
I fear that you don't understand me,
I fear that you might understand me,
I fear that you don't understand me,
I fear that you don't understand.

Understand,
Oh understand,
Oh understand,
Oh understand me.
1995


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The Way Home

I know the way home,
I know the way.
This place is so gray,
I cannot stay.

Oh, I know the way.
And as the night
Swirls all around me,
I run away.

Arise, arise.

As I take wing,
My heart all aflutter,
I know the way.

I lift up my eyes
Unto the mountains,
I know the way.

Arise, arise.

As I rise up,
And lift my eyes up,
I know the way.

I head for the hills,
I head for the mountains;
I know the way.

Arise, arise.
Decamp from here,
My way is clear.

I know the way home,
I know the way.
2021. For my late mother (1946-2020).


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What Lies Ahead

I see, I see you there.
I see, I see you there.
I know the heavens will open,
And you...
Will be blessed,
Will be lost
On you.

I know what lies ahead.
2005


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When I Come Here

I know how you feel,
'Cause I'm feelin' it, too.
You're so alone,
All you want is
All that you can't have.

All you want is
All I want, is
Someone there,
Just to talk,
And to hold your hand,
And you could rest your head
On their shoulder.
Why can't I just have that?

When I come here....
When I come here....

I will always think of you
when I come into this place.
Memories will flood my mind,
I will see once more your face.
When I come here,
When I come here.

When I come, when I come here.
When I come, when I come.
When I come, when I come here.
When I come, when I come.

I will always think of you
When I come into this place.
Memories will flood my mind,
I will see once more your face.
When I come here,
When I come here.
1996. For Emily and J.


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Where's The Door?

I would do anything for you,
Anything to save you,
Anything to reach you.

I would do anything for you,
But not anymore,
Not anymore.

I would do anything for you,
Anything at all,
Larger or small.

I would do anything for you,
Until today,
When I say,
"Where's the door?"

I have been crying all the time,
But now, all my tears are shed,
And the feelings
I once had for you are dead.

I would do anything for you,
No matter the cost,
No matter my loss.

I would do anything for you,
Even though you
Were already lost to me.

I would do anything for you,
Until today,
When I say,
"Where's the door?"

Until today,
When I say,
"Where's the door?"
Nothing left to say,
I'm on my way,
Oh, Where's the door?
2016. For Sarah.


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Who Has Seen The Wind
Lyrics circa 1872 by Christina Rossetti

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing thro'.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.
circa 1987 - 1990


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Winter's Day

It's a cold winter's day outside,
It's the first one of the year.
It's a cold winter's day in my heart now,
Because you are not here.

I loved you, I loved you,
And I thought that you loved me.
I loved you, I loved you,
But now, it's history.

Now, I see you in the distance, and I...
I feel very paranoid,
But I'm not angry, and I'm not hateful,
I just don't know how to...be...anymore.

I loved you, I loved you,
And I thought that you loved me.
I loved you, I loved you,
But now, it's history.

Head in my hands,
Crying again.
Joy has gone,
Will never come again.
Head in my hands,
Tears won't stream down,
If my eyes won't let them
All come down.

It's a cold winter's day.
Never knew that I could feel this way,
But now, you've left me on my own.
Now that you have gone away,

I see I loved you, I loved you,
And I thought that you loved me.
I loved you, I loved you,
But now, it's history.

Head in my hands,
Crying again.
Joy has gone,
Will never come again.
Head in my hands,
Tears won't stream down,
If my eyes won't let them
All come down.
1996. For J.


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Without You

Words cannot describe what I'm feeling.
I lost my best friend today.
Careless driver going down a byway,
Dusty gravel road where you walked each day,
Lovely autumn afternoon,
On your final day.

Without you,
Without you,
I feel...
I feel...
I feel so lonely.
My best friend all my life.

I recall the day that I met you.
Surely we would be together always.
Time, forever our enemy
Drove us apart far too soon.

Without you,
Without you,
I feel...
I feel...
I feel so empty.
My best friend all my life.
Gone tonight.
1998


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Wonder If I...

I will be alright, somehow,
With or without your love.
I will be alright somehow,
On my own.

I don't mean to pry,
But you made me cry,
And I
Wonder if I
Should even try,
And I wonder if I
Even will know why.

I've been waiting
All this time,
And I'm going out
Of my mind.

If I thought you'd
Understand,
I would not make
This demand.

I don't mean to pry,
But you made me cry,
And I
Wonder if I
Should even try,
And I wonder if I'll
Even hear good-bye.

I will be alright, somehow,
With or without your love.
I will be alright somehow,
On my own.
2005 & 2021


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Wond'rous Star

Wonderous star in the sky above,
Wonderous star tonight,
Wise men and shepherds are gath'ring beneath,
Following yonder star.

Wond'rous star in the sky tonight,
Wond'rous star above,
Lend thy light on this
Coldest night,
Wond'rous star above.

Wond'rous star in the sky tonight,
Wond'rous star above,
Wond'rous star in the sky tonight,
Wond'rous gift of love.

Guide my feet on this darkest night,
Be my lamp to my mind.
In this hard-hearted world below,
Show us how to be kind.

Wond'rous star in the sky tonight,
Wond'rous star above.
Wond'rous star in the sky tonight,
Wond'rous gift of love.

Wonderous star that shines in the sky,
Wonderous star tonight,
One day, all nations will gather in peace,
Following yonder star.

Wonderous star,
Wandering star,
Wond'rous star above.

Soon, all the nations will gather in peace,
Following yonder star.

Wond'rous star in the sky tonight,
(Star, wonderous star, bright tonight.)
Wond'rous star of love,
(Star, wonderous star, so bright tonight.)
Wond'rous star in the sky tonight,
(Star, wonderous star.)
Wond'rous gift from above.
(Wonderous star, wonderous star, so bright tonight.)

Soon, all the nations will gather in peace,
Following yonder star,
Following yonder star,
Following yonder star.
2017


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Writing A Song For You

I am writing a song for you,
I am writing a thing or two.
I am writing a song for you.
Writing, writing
A song for you.

I am trying to write what is real,
But how can I say what I feel?
I am trying to write what is real.
Trying, trying
To say what is real.
1998


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You Inspire Me

You inspire me,
You inspire me,
You inspire me no more.

To write love songs,
To write sad love songs,
Of the unrequited kind.

I had to know you.
I had to love you.
What am I to do,
Now that I have you?

Give up loneliness.
Give up yearning.
Give up unrequited love.

What am I to do,
Now that I have you?

You inspire me,
You inspire me,
You inspire me no more.
2018


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You Meant The World To Me

You meant the world to me, my love.
You meant the earth, the sea, and all that lies above.
You meant the world to me, my love,
And I would follow after you
In all I'd do.

When I walked into the room,
And saw you there with him,
I knew what you had done,
Betraying me again.
I offered you my hand,
You trembled as you took it,
And you knew that I would love you,
No matter what you may have done.

You meant the world to me, my love.
You meant the earth, the sea, and all that lies above.
You meant the world to me, my love,
And I would follow after you
In all I'd do.

You meant the world to me,
The earth, the sky, and the sea.

Broken glass beneath my feet,
Scattered ashes of the life that we had planned.
Now I walk this world alone,
Until I find myself upon a new land.
2003

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