Humorous Storytelling, Serious Folk

All of July

I must pay for all my sins, I must run away again

I’m disappearing for the whole month of July

To a town I cannot name, with my heart all full of shame

I just hope nobody asks me why

 

They will welcome me in with the open arms of friends

I’ll do my best to leave it a better place

With silence in my mouth from all the hate down south

I will absorb it and then send it on its way

 

Chorus:

Because a man cannot say goodbye anymore, ……

No a man cannot say goodbye anymore

 

The deep sleep it will come, I will wake up with the sun

Drink my water and sit out with the birds

For I feel my only crime is being hungry all the time

In every possible definition of that word

 

Chorus:

© 2011 John Craigie

Breakin’ Down

Ain’t nobody in this city got any hopes or dreams

They just look up, wait for something to drop

Into their hands and set ‘em free

 

Chorus:

And we’ll sell it  all before we drown

Everything I own is on the verge of breaking down

 

Verse 2:

Rise up early in the morning see what the day will bring

Nothing to the left, nothing to the right

All a man can do is sing

 

Chorus

 

I don’t wanna know Betty

Betty don’t wanna know me

We’ll go to the party child, get ourselves a little wild

Reach in the bowl and grab the key

 

Chorus

© 2011 John Craigie

Boston in November

I’m far away from the sun tonight, far away from the rain

Far away from the festivals and the fourth of July parade

I can’t help but wonder, when we said goodbye

If there wasn’t something else there hanging in your eyes

 

So tell me where will you go when the leaves fall

Who will lay down by your side

You and I could sing while the whole world sleeps

Boston in November, that’s where I’ll be

 

I wonder what your hair looks like in the fall

I wonder if your skin gets light or if it doesn’t change at all

Through all of my stuttering and all of my awkwardness

Through all of everything all I really wanted to ask

 

Was where will you go when the leaves fall

Who will warm your pretty hands

I could make you laugh as the world gets sad

Boston in November, meet me if you can

 

I know you’re out there tonight drinking under the moon

I know you think of me when the poppies are in bloom

But when they drop their wings and you could feel the autumn wind

Darling just look out east see the fire in the distance

 

And tell me where will you go when the leaves fall

Who will sing you to sleep

I could hold you through the snow, in the spring I could let you go

Boston in November, don’t make me do it alone

© 2011 John Craigie

Black Swan Lullaby

I know, from one of these branches I can see the moon

I know, cause I’ve taken my chances every time I sing to you

 

Like a black swan flying over your head as you sleep

Like a black swan flying over your bed as you dream

 

I know if the moon is bright enough, I could see your soul

I know if the moon is full enough, darling you will lose control

 

Like a black swan flying over my head as I sleep

Like a black swan flying over my bed as I dream

© 2011 John Craigie

Washed Off With the Rain

If I whistled in the dark, you’d probably still know it was me

I’ve traveled too far for you not to see

If life is just one song if tonight is all we get

How hard must I sing to make sure that you never forget

 

Are your questions just like my questions

Are your worries just the same

I may never know, you may never know

If it all gets washed off with the rain

 

So we smoked your plants and smiled, sang to the sun as she slept

You were gone after awhile, but this opium it seems never left

 

I wonder why it mattered so much

If all my singing was in vain

I may never know,  you may never know

If it all gets washed off with the rain

 

If we ever get, lucky I guess, to find each other in our dreams

Just put your throat up to my throat I’ll hum an F and you hum a C

 

So this is my last trip, it’s the straight life from now on

But I’ll still jones for your lips after every other addiction is gone

 

And I fear that if we did make love

The whole universe would burst into flames

I may never know, you may never know

If it all gets washed off with the rain

 

Yes I may never know, you may never know

If it all gets washed off with the rain

© 2011 John Craigie

So Many Lives

When I was a caterpillar inching along

I stared up at the sunshine all day long

I fell for all the butterflies floating around

I didn’t have a prayer boys, butterflies never look down

It’s been so many lives just to find your eyes, babe you gotta let me in

 

When I was a bumblebee, baby you were the queen

They told me of your beauty, oh but I never did see

I sang outside your window everyday as the sun went down

I guess you were busy, oh you never came around

It’s been so many lives just to find your eyes, babe you gotta let me in

 

When I was a sperm whale swimming free

I spent my lonely nights out in the cold Spanish sea

They told me you were out there off the coast of Oregon

I swam around the world babe, but I guess you were already gone

It’s been so many lives just to find your eyes, babe you gotta let me in

 

When I was a chimpanzee swinging from the vines

I walked across the jungle just to sit down by your side

But when I finally got there, there were too many on your arm

I fell out of the tree singing “last time’s a charm”

 

It’s been so many lives just to find your eyes, oh you gotta let me in

It’s been so many lives, I tell you now’s our time, oh just let me in

© 2011 John Craigie

Chapel Hill

I’m moving to Chapel Hill come early next spring

I’m moving to Chapel Hill come early next spring

I’m gonna rinse these west coast blues right off of me

 

There’s a woman down on Franklin St., makes me vegan cherry pie

There’s a woman down on Franklin St., makes me vegan cherry pie

We just listen to Arlo Guthrie and we stare up at the sky

 

Getting your music on the radio is damn near impossible

Hearing your music on the radio is damn near impossible

They tell me sometimes WCOM plays Nalgene Bottle

 

Them Blue Ridge Mountains, they’ve been calling out my name

Them Blue Ridge Mountains, they’ve been calling out my name

These Sierra Nevada’s don’t care if I go or if I stay

 

That’s why I’m moving to Chapel Hill come early next spring

I’m moving to Chapel Hill come early next spring

I’m gonna rinse these west coast blues right off of me

© 2011 John Craigie

Dog Eyed Girl

To the girl with the dog eyes,

You’re the only one who knows that’s a nice thing to say

I got woken up at sunrise,

To your ukulele ringing through my brains

 

Some song about a Brooklyn moon

And a poor boy exhaling into you

And your chorus was that old familiar phrase

Singing the road giveth and the road taketh away

 

To my toothless angel

You’re the only one who’ll smile at that line

I found a word for the color

Of your nameless and perfect eyes

 

But I lost it in a drunken haze

I screamed it out into the North Country rain

And when it echoed back all it did say

Was the road giveth and the road taketh away

 

I won’t sleep when I’m dead,

When I’m dead they’ll probably be other stuff to do

I don’t need to sleep I don’t need to sing this to them

I just need to sing this to you

 

To the girl with the dog eyes,

And whatever else it was that brought me here

I hope you wake up next sunrise

With this song at the edge of your ears

 

And all the blue skies that warm your blood

Let you realize how lucky I was

I had the perfect farewell but it somehow slipped away

Singing, the road giveth and the road taketh away

© 2011 John Craigie

Halloween Sunset

Let them pumpkins rot let ‘em melt all away

We can always plant more come some summer day

I wanna heal ya when you need to be healed

 

I wanna find you in New England when the leaves start to change

I wanna take all your troubles, give them all another name

I wanna heal ya when you need to be healed

 

I wanna dance with you underneath a Halloween sunset

I could be your scarecrow baby, I could be your skeleton

I wanna heal ya when you need to be healed

 

You’ve been running from this curse for so long

I couldn’t tell you why the world gave up on you

You’ve been singing your song like a banshee in the night

I couldn’t tell you why the world gave up on you

 

They’ll let us come and go under them bright city lights

We’ll sing with all our soul, we’ll sing with all our might

I wanna heal ya when you need to be healed

 

I wanna take your pulse under the bawling rain

I wanna steal all your sadness and absorb up all of your pain

I wanna heal ya when you need to be healed

 

You’ve been running from this curse for so god dammed long

I couldn’t tell you why the world gave up on you at all

They always told you to seize the day

But we can do better than that, they ain’t invented the word yet

For what they’re gonna do to this day

 

So let them pumpkins rot let ‘em melt all away

We can always plant more come some summer day

I wanna heal ya when you need to be healed

© 2011 John Craigie

Banjo Renews

The rain’s been making my woodstove hiss

There’s a hole in the ceiling, there’s a hole in the ceiling that I can’t fix

 

I’ve been tripping on my fever, someone’s casting spells on me,

Someone’s casting spells on me and I’m getting healed

 

Chorus:

And I call all the angels and I tell ‘em that I’m sorry, you know

Life comes from every angle, when you let go of your worries

Oh darling let go

 

I’ve been drinking all your water, cause this rain makes me thirsty,

This rain makes me thirsty and I must drink

I’ve been singing to your daughters, they’ve been singing along with me, They’ve been singing along, their harmonies sound good

 

Chorus:

 

I’ve been catching all the drips in a pot

I’m boiling up the rain now, I’m boiling up the rain and I’m making tea

God came to me in a vision as I drank

My god was the fire, my god was the storm outside

My god was my dinner, my god was my banjo

My god was the highway, my god was my Astro van

My god was my audience, my god was your laughter

My god was your soul, my god was our soul

Screaming down from the stars

Singing my god and your god may not be the same, but they probably are

 

Chorus:

© 2011 John Craigie