Adult Themes, Americana, Ballad, Introspective, Love, Love’s Timing, Lyrics, Marriage, No Music Yet, Nostalgia, Optimism, Relationships, Romance, Storytelling, Young Love

Twenty Years Is Not Enough

So long ago, you and I decided to meet
When I saw you, my heart skipped a beat
And I was late getting there to you
You waited but I’m not sure you knew

From that first moment you were in my view
I was nervous and I tried to keep my cool
You were open to the rest of my broken heart
It was time for something special to start
So after many years of ups and downs
A twisted ride but you still kept me around
What we have is easier than tough
And my love, twenty years is not enough

And if it seems like I’m bitter and oh so cold
Maybe it’s because you’ve never seen me old
If I can’t find the solutions you’re looking for
I hope you don’t decide to walk out the door

Cause from that moment you were in my view
I was nervous and I tried to keep my cool
You were open to the rest of my broken heart
It was time for something special to start
And after many years of ups and downs
A twisted ride but you still kept me around
What we have is easier than rough
So, my love, twenty years is not enough

I wanna be there when our daughter gets married to the boy who never gave up on her
And thinks to himself if he’s a lucky man, they’ll be close like we are and always were

Cause from the moment she was in her view
He was nervous and he tried to keep his cool
And she was open to the rest of his young heart
And they knew something special would start
Then after many years of ups and downs
A twisted ride but she’ll keep him around
I’ll pray to God it will be easier than tough
And hope they know forever is just enough

November 19, 2022

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Adult Themes, Ballad, Folk Ballad, Heartbreak, Inspired By Situations, Lyrics, No Music Yet, Storytelling, Unrequited, Wistful

Give Me Some Hugs

Her neck is red
And mine is too
Her collar’s white
And mine is blue
I’ve been a victim
She’s not the one
Who shot me twice
With a silenced gun

She watched over me
Since I’ve been here
She’s helped me with
Depression and fear
She’s treating me with
Her smiles and the drugs
I just wish she could
Give me some hugs

These sheets are clean
The food’s just ok
Haven’t seen my family
Since the other day
I know I can’t leave yet
I have no yearning to
Cause I’d never see her
What would I ever do

She’s watched over me
Since I’ve been here
She’s helped me with
Depression and fear
She’s treating me with
Her smiles and the drugs
I just wish she could
Give me some hugs

The nurse I needed
My angel who’s alive
She’s a perfect wave
A flawless swan dive
When they release me
I’ll be needing her so
But she’ll never be mine
This, I already know

Yet she’s watched over me
Since I’ve been here
She’s helped me with
Depression and fear
She’s healing me with
Her smiles and the drugs
I just wish she could
Give me some hugs

I just wish she would
Give me some hugs

September 23, 2022

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Americana, Autobiographical, Inspired by a Place, Inspired by College, Introspective, Nostalgia, Redbird Country Essay, Storytelling

Where is Redbird Country?

I came across an interesting fact when I typed in a Google search for “redbird” years ago. It wasn’t just that one fact that a Redbird is the same as a Northern Cardinal. It’s also a “Summer tanager,” which is not as well known, but it is a medium-sized songbird that was described by a Swedish naturalist back in 1758. The location given was Carolina but it was revised to North Carolina.

As a Santa Cruz County native, I knew that Santa Cruz High School’s mascot is the Cardinal and so is Stanford’s, which is a school I longed to go to when I graduated from High School. I didn’t have the grades for it but I still liked going there to visit with a friend of mine, Mark Hernandez, who was our Senior Class President at Watsonville High School with other friends like my good buddy Gary Rojas who also made the trips during his Freshman 1987-1988 school year.

We eagerly hung out with his new friends in his dorm and I remember one weekend, we got to see the Cardinal Men’s Basketball team and it was such a blast to be able to be inside that arena, watching the excitement, feeling that rush of being alive, seizing the moment while still in our youth, seeing this team out on the court working their butts off for adoration and respect, but most of all, to win the game.

My wife Melanie, who you will be learning a little bit about in these columns I am now writing as a freelancer, graduated with the Class of 1989 from Webb City High School in Webb City, MO, and was part of the school’s dance team called the “Redettes”. Their team was the Cardinals.

The St. Louis Cardinals are a popular team to root for out here in Central Illinois. Sure, there’s the Cubs, but you still will see those diehard fans with their red and white jerseys and hats, parading around town or at work on game days.

Then we know that Illinois State University is the home of the Redbirds and they had several students that went on to become celebrities such as Jane Lynch, Craig Robinson, John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, Sean Hayes, and one of my personal favorites, Gary Cole, who played Bill Lumbergh in the cult classic Office Space.

Illinois State had banners all around Uptown Normal calling it “Redbird Country” but I have not seen them up in a while.

There are 7 States that have named the Northern Cardinal as their “state bird.” They are Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia, and then finally, Virginia. They are thought of as being a symbol of hope, joy, health, rejuvenation, and celebration. What I’ve found out is that it is also known among bird watchers that fans of the Northern Cardinal are rare, energetic, and always willing to take care of those in need.

Victoria McGovern once famously said, “May you come to find comfort in and remember: cardinals appear when angels are near. So go now, sit outside and drink your tea. Keep a look out for the little red bird — if it is there, your loved one will be.”

I don’t know if Redbird Country could be considered one place though. I think it’s all around us, because in my travels around the Midwest as an Uber & Lyft Driver, I’ve met countless people from all walks of life who are much like the cardinals mentioned in McGovern’s quote. Those people were like angels to me. I had a passenger last night who I talked with and she said, “I’m proud of you for going back to school.” I didn’t know her before that ride and I may never see her again.

So, in the question, “Where is Redbird Country?” – I have to reply that Redbird Country is everywhere but especially, after living here in Central Illinois for almost 20 years now, that even if I was not raised here, it is most certainly in my heart.

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About Family, Adult Themes, Americana, Ballad, Inspired by People, Inspired By Situations, Lyrics, No Music Yet, Nostalgia, Storytelling, Tribute Song, Women

Queen of Beer

When she died
All the family rejoiced
She was in so much pain
They did a long stein-hoist
They cheered and hollered
They were anxious to hear
What they were inheriting
From the true Queen of Beer

There was cash
All the jewels and homes
And the antique furniture
Her volumes of poems
They drank all the whiskey
They didn’t cry a single tear
Her death was a blessing
To heirs of the Queen of Beer

As they read the will they wept
But they accepted it with grace
She was buried in a simple coffin
In a gown made of linen and lace
Just a cross was her grave marker
In the town where she was raised
The Christian school she attended
Were surprised and amazed
When they opened their envelope
And read the long note she wrote
They would receive her whole estate
Except the Summer Home and Boat

They all stayed Labor Day Weekend
But went sailing the following Spring
The adults had grown tired of the tradition
But the kids thought it was everything

They found her stash
In an large oak and cedar chest
They chose to not report it
To keep it secret would be best
Let’s just say they had enough
To maintain the home every year
They’re grateful forever for being
The heirs of the Queen of Beer

The Matriarch and Queen of Beer

September 13, 2022

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Adult Themes, Heartbreak, Inspired by People, Inspired By Situations, Lyrics, No Music Yet, Old Wounds, Relationships, Storytelling, Toxic True Love

American Woman and Man

He takes trains, planes, trucks or cars
Depending on where he travels to
He’s got his briefcase full of catalogs
Sales is something he’s born to do
He sells to people looking for answers
He sells for checks to send to his wife
Now, he’s just a money making machine
But he’s not having a wonderful life

So no wonder he drinks
No wonder he wants to heal his heart
Drinking at the affluent hotel bars
While he and his family live apart
He likes going home when he can
But he also loves living on the road
So no wonder he drinks
He’s the one carrying the load

And his wife back home understands
She keeps the house, does the chores
She knows her role and does it well
Washes the dishes, cleans the floors
She carefully manages their household
So the children can focus on school
But all the while she’s missing him
Her dedicated but exhausted fool

So no wonder she drinks
No wonder she wants to heal her heart
Card games and cocktails with friends
Ubers to and from the mini-mart
She likes seeing him when he’s there
But she loves him staying on the road
So no wonder she drinks
She’s a prisoner in their abode

They’re very different people
But they’re pretty much the same
They’ve been living like this for years
Since they’ve shared their last name

So no wonder they drink
Trapped themselves in their roles
Doing their best to provide for their kids
But it seems like they’ve sold their souls
They dream of sending them to college
They’re working as hard as they can
No wonder both drink
That American woman and man
That American woman and man

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Adult Themes, Americana, Ballad, Country Song, Growing Up, Inspired by College, Love, Love’s Timing, Lyrics, No Music Yet, Nostalgia, Optimism, Relationships, Romance, Storytelling, Young Love

Soon Enough

I was twenty three
I liked this girl so much
I wanted her soft touch
And hold her close to me

But I had no game
She was seeing a guy
He was eagle, I was a firefly
In a jar wanting to to be free

In that push and pull relationship
I knew that something was wrong
But I didn’t care
I wasn’t scared
Cause I could write her a song
About how much I had fallen
And how much I would do
And I’d play it her someday
So she would know the truth
And I would call her bluff
Oh, and that day
Couldn’t come soon enough

Then I was twenty eight
She called me for a coffee date
I thought it might be fate
She was returning to me

She grew up, so did I
And when I saw her smile
Mem’ries flooded my mind
And it knew it was meant to be

That push and pull relationship
Changed into something right
And we shared
I wasn’t scared
Cause she stayed the night
And I played the song for her
Then she got so confused
About us and what we were
She told me her inner truth
I had called her on her bluff
She packed up
Couldn’t get out soon enough

I misjudged her intentions
I thought she’d seen the light
She turned to me for the real thing
Once they got into a blowout fight
But she didn’t see it my way
She said she liked the single life
I finally got what she was sayin’
She was never gonna be my wife

At the age of thirty two
We were given another chance
We did that wedding dance
She cherishes me tenderly
She treats me the same
as she did back when
It happened soon enough
Now we have a family

Yeah, it happened soon enough
Our loving, joyful, incredible family

August 21, 2022

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About a Friend, About Family, Adult Themes, Failed Friendships, Failed Relationships, Grief Song, Heartbreak, Inspired by People, Inspired By Situations, Introspective, Love, Lyrics, No Music Yet, Old Wounds, Optimism, Relationships, Storytelling

People We Know

People we know are lonely
People we know are afraid
People we know are hurting
From the games they’ve played

They didn’t know they were playin’
They just wanted happiness
But the walls got higher
Those are nasty frogs they kissed

And we try to cheer them up
Say they are worthy of more
We do our best to pull them from
That isolating heartbreak store
Where you pay for your mistakes
so you can quietly go
Oh, the ones who need us the most
Are all the people we know
The people we know

The heart goes through changes
But the hardest is a love that’s lost
You can’t seem to bargain
On how much it all will cost

You turn to friends and family
Sometimes they walk away too
But I hope this is a wakeup call
That person one day could be you

And they’ll try to cheer you up
Say you are worthy of so much more
They’ll do their best to pull you from
That isolating heartbreak store
Where you pay for your misfortunes
Then quietly allowed to go
Yeah the ones we need to be there
Are all the people we know

So
If you’re going through a hardship
If it’s all blown up in your face
If you cannot find the answers
After everyone gives you space

Reach out to the ones who are close
It’s in their eyes, the ones you trust
But if they don’t then get in touch with
All the people you know, if you must

And they’ll try to cheer you up
Say you are worthy of so much more
They’ll do their best to pull you from
That isolating heartbreak store
Where you pay for your misfortunes
Then quietly allowed to go
The ones who just might be there
Are all the people you know

Oh, those who’ll help us the most
Are all the people we know
The people we know
The people we know

August 11, 2022

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Adult Themes, Americana, Country Song, Inspired by People, Inspired By Situations, Lyrics, No Music Yet, Relationships, Romance, Saloon Song, Storytelling, Women

Carhartt Hat

He looks at her
She looks away
He’s rackin’ his brain
On what to do and say
He’s a roughneck
But he’s a little shy
She thinks he’s just
Some hometown guy

But he’s been watching her
From the end of the bar
And he knows she’s
No model or movie star
Men are ogling her
Lovin’ her body and smile
She knows they only see
her for her Country style
But she’s much more than that
He knows there’s more to her
As he tips his Carhartt hat

She looks at him
Gives him a wink
He wants to give her
Everything and the kitchen sink
He’s a farmer
They’ve met before
Back when she would work
down at the Gold Crown store

And she’s been watching him
He’s at the end of the bar
And she’s thinkin’ he’s never
gonna get a fancy shiny car
The bartender flirts with him
But he don’t really care
Cause he’s distracted by
The girl standing down there
Eventually he strides up to her
Like a confident kitty cat
She sees the man inside of him
Underneath his Carhartt hat

They say you know who a man is
By the label he chooses to wear
Some don’t reveal too much and wear
A t shirt and jeans to the County Fair
But that boy knows his brand
Is the best at the local Farm and Fleet
The only thing he still needs now
Is work boots for his blue collar feet

I look at them
From the stage
I think to myself
This night’s a page
Those kids are writing
They have no choice
They’re falling in love
As they hear my voice

He’s holding her
He’s now making her his
I hope they work out
Maybe have a couple kids
Who’ll plow the fields
Out on the family farm
All because he chose
To touch her on the arm
Well look at that
She’s wearin’ it now
His brand new hat
She wears it so well
His Carhartt hat
His brand new
olive Carhartt hat

July 21, 2022

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