Songs

 


 MP album & cassetteSongs


Friends,

Recently, while pandemic-puttering around my house, I came across a record album and cassette of songs I wrote, performed, and recorded in the 1970s and early 80s. I was a professional musician then, mostly a singer-songwriter-guitarist, and at various times a rock band leader, hand drummer, studio musician and, for a few months, a singing, guitar-slinging prospector — a part I played in a movie out West, with a burro as companion.

I was in my 20s and 30s, living in a time and circumstances different from today’s. But the songs (playlist below) have life in them for the here-and-now—including, I hope, for you. If you like, have a listen.

❤️ 🙏
Marcus/Mark

.

🎶🎤🎶

SONGS
from years past
for voice & guitar

 

» Lyrics are down the page, below A Story.
» To listen to each song on its own page, with lyrics:
Sad-eyed Lady | Waiting | All My Life | Meanwhile, Well & Passing the Time | Good Times | Elegy for a Fly | Be a God Lullaby | Sun Shines | Hahahahaha | Sitting in the Woods | Doin’ Nothin’ Blues | A Cat Named Moose | Got My Horse | It’s Not Here | I Repeats | Dog Pail | When Kisses Speak | Good, 20th C. | Sour Words | One Night a Robin | Hello to the Future





A Story

The first song, Sad-eyed Lady, comes with a story — a performer’s intro, if you will. I was never much for making such intros; I preferred to let the music speak for itself. And this intro isn’t short. But I believe the story is worth telling. See what you think.

I wrote Sad-eyed Lady for a feature film that I directed and acted in during the Vietnam War. The film was set in the Caribbean, around the island of Grenada, mostly aboard this classic, 137-foot, 1915-era yacht:

the yacht (Janeen)

A few weeks into the filming, the project was cut short. The eccentric local dictator (in a speech to the U.N., he professed relationships with extraterrestrials) had heard from his spies that our performers and crew were generating excitement and admiration among the locals.

His spies were right. We were a free-spirited bunch of attractive young actors, musicians, and crew, many of us dressed in hippie regalia of the time. (I sometimes wore a white, Indian cotton shirt; pink, wide-wale, corduroy pants; sandals; and reflector shades. Sheesh.) A few of us lived on the boat, including me, but most lived in a cottage colony on the shore near St. George’s, the island’s capital town. We went to town often when we weren’t filming. There, crowds of people gathered around us and followed us through the streets smiling, laughing, and dancing, treating us like celebrities.

The dictator didn’t like that, and thought we might be a threat to his rule. One afternoon when we were filming offshore, he sent a motorboat fleet of bare-chested thugs with clubs, and uniformed police with pistols and rifles, out to our boat. They came aboard, arrested us, stole many of our valuables (watches, etc.), and, at gunpoint, hauled most of us (the shore residents) ashore and locked us up in the island’s 300-year-old stone prison.

prison

The prison was in an historic fort perched on a clifftop at the entrance to St. George’s harbor. The lockup was a nasty place. It was maybe 20-feet square. There was no light inside except for daylight through a small barred window in the wooden door (above). There was no furniture except for a filthy pee & poop bucket in one corner. Clearly, the floor was where prisoners’ pee and poop often ended up. Anyone who didn’t want to sit down on it had to stay standing.

After several days, we made bail, which cost us all our money. Though broke, we had to stay on the island for several weeks, awaiting trial. The government sent us to live in an abandoned leper colony on a remote coast. There were no doors there, no windows, and only enough electricity for a few bare lightbulbs and an old phone. We slept on dusty concrete floors. Despite help from sympathetic natives, we never had enough to eat.

Maurice

The trial was brief. We were freed, thanks to the efforts of Maurice Bishop, a charismatic, British-educated, Marxist lawyer and native of the island who had the courage to represent us. He had recently returned from London, where he had been a founder of the Legal Aid Clinic for the West Indian community in Notting Hill. (Familiar to those of you who have seen Small Axe, Steve McQueen’s remarkable film anthology.)

Maurice w/Fidel & Ortega

A few years later, as instigator of the Caribbean’s most vibrant Black Power movement, he engineered a coup, and became the island’s revered leader. He died by firing squad in a subsequent coup, which was soon followed by an anti-communist (and typically racist and xenophobic?) intervention in the tiny island by the U.S. Marines, ordered by then-president Ronald Reagan.

U.S. Marines in Grenada

Another thing may have helped free us: a phone call—innocuous and entirely personal, but no doubt tapped—that my loving father, a senior U.S. Army colonel with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made to me at the time from his office in the Pentagon.

_______

That’s the story’s end, except for this about the movie’s theme:

The movie is set in the (then) present day, in which many people in the U.S. have concluded that our country’s bedrock principles and values have been irrevocably corrupted from within.  (Back then, the Vietnam War caused many of us to think along those lines.) Word spreads among some of those people that a ship, the beautiful yacht, is sailing the U.S. coasts, putting ashore here and there to pick up people who want to sail away from the U.S., to re-establish elsewhere what our country has lost.

Since all our money went to pay our bail, the movie was never completed. 


Lyrics

Sad-eyed LadyWaitingAll My LifeMeanwhile, WellPassing the TimeGood TimesElegy for a Fly | Be a God LullabySun ShinesHahahahahaSitting in the WoodsDoin’ Nothin’ BluesA Cat Named MooseGot My Horse | It’s Not Here | I RepeatsDog PailWhen Kisses SpeakGood, 20th C.Sour WordsOne Night a RobinHello to the Future


🎶 
Sad-eyed Lady

You know that you love me
and you should come with me
out to the ocean
where a great ship sails

She’s sailing to San Salvador
and then well who knows where
but she can sail forever
if there’s no place to go

Sad-eyed lady
won’t you come with me
Your home is gone
so come along

A lightning bug flies
through the ashes of your home
You see a lighthouse in your mind
Yes you know you’re not alone

So your friends have gone away
to new places near and far
but the best of them
will be together again
with me upon the sea

Sad-eyed lady
won’t you come with me
Your home is gone
so come along

Yes where you gonna go
from here my love
this country or that
or that island over there

For me you know there’s no place
but here upon the sea
Here all people are free my way
and here I’ll always be

Sad-eyed lady
won’t you come with me
Your home is gone
so come along

Sailing sailing over the sea
warm on the deck and the stars over me
Friends sing along while I play my guitar
People must be happy to be what they are

It’s too late to sing any more any more
This darkness has shapes and sounds that quiet me
I’m going to go to sleep and in the morning go away
I can leave what I have to leave behind me

Sad-eyed lady
won’t you come with me
Your home is gone
so come along

 

🎶 Waiting 

‘Round here the birds are flying
‘Round here things are on the move
But I’m just sitting still and I’m waiting
for you

It’s been so long since I’ve seen you
It’s been so long since you were here
Now I know that you are near me
and I’m waiting
Where are you

I know you’ll be beside me
I know that you’ll be here
so I’m just sitting still
and I’m waiting

‘Round here the birds are flying
‘Round here things are on the move
but I’m just sitting still
and I’m waiting
Where are you



🎶 All My Life 

All my life
All my life
I’ve been running away
Now I’m home again
always home again
and this time I’m home to stay

I’ve been thinking so fast and moving so fast for so long
trying to fit the whole world into a song
But that just doesn’t matter right now
and the whole wide world is here anyhow

I’ve seen you come
I’ve seen you go
I don’t know why you’re here
But the music says
that you’re home my friend
I hope that you feel no fear

I’ve seen you cry your tears and break your own heart
I’ve seen you let your whole world fall apart
Yes I’ve seen you look for the place that’s best for you
You know you’re always there but you don’t know what to do

Cry you can cry but there’s a whole lot of loving going on
Cry you can cry but there’s a whole lot of loving going on

Somebody’s lonely looking for a memory
hoping to see what he’s dreaming of
trying to get back to the happy times he’s come through
trying to fall in love

Did you ever look for a pair of eyes that can heal you
for a stranger who can say a few words and reveal you
who’ll caress your pain and let you forget your cares
or maybe you’ve been through with that for years

In which case
you’ve lived so long
and you’ve done so well
but sometimes you almost cry
I want to know if before you go
someone will tell you why

Why you feel that pain that comes and goes
a thought of what life is and why it ends
Why it sometimes feels like a joke or a long long ride
Why you sometimes feel there’s nobody on your side

Listen can you hear the world go ’round
Can you see the sunshine all night long
Listen can you hear the world go ’round
Can you see the sunshine all night long

All my life
All my life
I’ve been running away
Now I’m home again
always home again
and this time I’m home to stay



🎶 Meanwhile, Well

Li-li-living for so-so-something that hasn’t happened yet
Li-li-living for so-so-something that hasn’t happened yet
God grant it will

Get a little vacation
Get ahead on the job
Get that relationship on track
Set that head in line for Heaven

I’ve got dreams
I’ve got dreams
dreams of the perfect life
the one just right for me
Every dream I ever have can come true
I hope that this one will

Suffer suffer ooh pain
suffer suffer unh! tension
suffer suffer oh want
suffer suffer

Well I suppose if I could have anything I’d —

Li-li-living for so-so-something that hasn’t happened yet
Li-li-living for so-so-something that hasn’t happened yet
God grant it will

Meanwhile (sigh) well…

 

🎶 Passing the Time

Tick tick tick
tick tick tick
We’re just passing the time
’til the shepherd comes back to the pasture
Ho hum
Because it seems that to most
the man left some questions unanswered

Oh dear oh dear

Spaceships are sailing away ’cause he might be there
The scissors are out ’cause he might be hiding in someone’s hair
You never know
No one ever knows enough they say

Well the world could be a better place for me
say many who see ways to sett me free
So they chip away and hope to finish some day
and then
and then

Everything will be…
Everything will be…
Everything will be…
Everything will be

Your god is alive and well somewhere nearby
His angels are trying to look you in the eye
Until then
Until then we’re just
We’re just

We’re just passing the time
’til the shepherd comes back to the pasture
Ho hum
Because it seems that to most
the man left some questions unanswered

Oh dear oh dear

Spaceships are sailing away ’cause he might be there
The scissors are out ’cause he might be hiding in someone’s hair
You never know
No one ever knows enough they say

Too bad
Too bad
Too bad
Too bad
Too bad
Too bad
Too bad

 

🎶 Good Times

There will be good times
What else can happen
when someone’s laughing in your face

First a kiss of admiration
for being impatient
now that you’re sad
You’re being had

Is it a riddle dear
stuck in the middle dear
or are bad times gone forever
someone else’s pleasure

Oh no no no
you know the place to go isn’t here
If it’s the best for now
well you’ll escape somehow
to where the world is clear

You’re a special one
You’re not like everyone
So let’s get out of here
Mmm hmm

It’s a white white night
So let’s turn out the light
and hold each other near
Mmm hmm

I have tales of love and travels where hearts can go
Does it show
I work on the train to glory
a round trip I’m sorry baby you’re at the end

Heavens
I need you so
but someone’s got to go
and make the joke seem funny
Besides I need the money

I’ll dress real fine
and oh my eyes will shine
on everyone you know

I’ll be real strong
No matter what goes wrong
I’ll have fun you know

There will be good times
What else can happen
when someone’s laughing in your face

First a kiss of admiration
for being impatient
now that you’re sad
You’re being had

Good times
Good times
Good times

 

🎶 Elegy for a Fly

Elegy for a fly
Elegy for a fly
passed away
and I paid

Went to the store
bought some fly paper
hung it by the door
waited for the flies to die

Oh what a show
It’s one we all know
watching lives go away

Where does the spark go
when the struggles are over
Is something lost or does it just change

You don’t have to cry sweetheart
when Mommy and Daddy die
Just look at the bugs love
They seem to take it in stride
Aye-yi-yi-yi

If it’s a crying shame
then take the blame
out to the funeral dance perchance

There’s lots of action there
The crowd is jumping
and the honey flows free

Oh the band is playing
and everybody sings

Out here in sunny prehistory
the butterflies fly happily
around around around
around around around and ’round

Out here in sunny prehistory
the butterflies fly happily
around around around
around around around and ’round

Out here in sunny prehistory
the butterflies fly happily
around around around
around around around and ’round

Bzz bzz bzz  

Elegy for a fly
Elegy for a fly
passed away
and I paid

 

🎶 Be a God Lullaby

Sometimes I’m tired
of singing the same old songs
and I think I’ll slip away for a while

People seem like a dust that blows
through hopelessly forgotten paradise
Oh let’s all go there

Weak weak links in the living chain of souls
Somewhere in space there is a race that knows

Mutate mutate me choose the fate
Me sing the songs that can’t go wrong

So hard to sing a tired song to you
So much left to say that’ll make you smile
So help yourself and everybody else
feels free of the slightest care

Mutate mutate at a rapid rate
Everyone get it on until we all belong
Don’t say Yes if it make a mess
but don’t say No to a chance to grow

Feel the pain and if you want complain
or stay the same and affix some blame
Everyone be right and everyone be wrong

So hard to sing a tired song to you
So much left to say that’ll make you smile
So help yourself an everybody else
feels free of the slightest care

Be a god
Be a god
Be a god lullaby

Be a god
Be a god
Be a god

 

🎶 Sun Shines

Sun shines from my face
Sun shines from my face
Sun shines from my face
Feels good just to be alive

Feels good to be alive
Feels good to be alive
Feels good to be alive

But I don’t expect to feel worse
No I don’t expect to feel worse
I don’t expect to feel worse
when I’m dead and gone

People sitting all around
People sitting all around
People sitting all around

Can’t feel better now than they do right now

Summertime wind
Summertime wind
Summertime wind
whipping through the trees
whipping through the trees

Waves on the lake
Waves on the lake
Waves on the lake
Calm down below
Calm down below

 

🎶 Hahahahaha

Well I’m going home fast as I can
run right home fast as I can
fast as my feet can fly

The old dirt road on a moonlit night
runs straight down to some delight
no words can ever say
All right

Run run run run
run run run

Wake you sleeping birds and bees
and come and help me sing you trees
and grass and rocks and metal water
‘ere the sun will fade away forever
Men have done all that they can

Well I sit down on this quiet road
Out comes a little hopping toad
and sits there
and doesn’t do a thing

Just as live as he can be
he sits there breathing out and in
Not a sound for miles around

Sit sit sit

Lie flat down on my back
They say those stars are talking back
Well go ahead I’m listening
Tune me in

And the stars say
haha
hahaha
hahahahaha

 

🎶 Sitting in the Woods

I’m sitting in the woods feeling glad
I’m sitting in the woods feeling glad
I’m always here I’m not going anywhere
I’m sitting in the woods feeling glad

 

🎶 Doin’ Nothin’ Blues

The doin’ nothin’ blues
have got me down people
You can hear me play
but I don’t hear a sound

I wish that I felt somethin’
It’s hard bein’ nothin’
The doin’ nothin’ blues
have got me down

When I’m by myself
I’m stiff as a tree people
When I’m with my friends
I’m a puppet people

But no one’s in control
least of all me
The doin’ nothin’ blues
have got me down

So sad

Yes my baby’s kicked me out
out of house and home
I ain’t got no job no money
no car to drive around

But I can’t hold back this smile
this lightness in my bones (you see it)
because the doin’ nothin’ blues
can’t get me all the way down

I’m out here all alone
on a cold cold street
Don’t know where I’m goin’
what will become of me

But I can’t hold back this smile
this lightness in my bones
because the doin’ nothin’ blues
can’t quite get me all the way down

 

🎶 Cat Named Moose

Pfff look out
for a cat named Moose
because he’s loose
as a goose
in a noose
with no excuse

Pff look out
He prowls around
looking for things to bite
and he does it at night

He charges from nowhere a furry falcon
and nips and squeezes and escapes
parump parump parump
in a flurry of thundering paws

It’s enough to make you gasp and exclaim
Pff look out
for Moose
because he’s loose
as a goose
in a noose
with no excuse 

Look out

 

🎶 Got My Horse

Got my horse
got my gun
Going to town
to have some fun

I’m gonna drink ’em down and shoot ’em up
and maybe go and see my little woman

Got to let off some steam
because a cowboy’s mind
is as hard to steer
as a mule team

 

🎶 It’s Not Here

When can we have what we want once for all
When can we have what we want once for all

We can’t
Not now
Never

‘Cause it’s not here
It’s not here
It’s not here
It’s not here

It’s not here
It’s not there
It’s not anywhere

It’s not here
It’s not there
It’s not anywhere

It’s an itch people itch people itch people itch people mmm
Feels so good
Touch it
You know where it is

When a winter moon
shines beyond the lake
and the stars approach
and the lake ice whoops and whinnies

We fly on this old earth rock
We breathe and feel our time away
so leisurely

Somewhere
I am with you forever
and I mean you

It’s not here
It’s not there
It’s not anywhere

It’s not here
It’s not there
It’s not anywhere

It’s not here
It’s not there
It’s not anywhere




🎶 I Repeats

Flying along through the days
sometimes with greatest direction
I lead myself a dying pathfinder
to divine exploration

This mind fills with the thing
a path that I forget as I follow
What joy
Struck it rich again boys

Now what did I just say

I repeats




🎶 Dog Pail

What will you put in your pail now your dog’s run dry
and just the outhouse is left in the old backyard
You want a spaceship to come and land and take you away

Well I hate to disappoint you and I surely won’t direct you
but I bet you sincerely want to feel a little better right now
Well go ahead

And what will you do now your money’s come in
but your friend won’t fuck
though you’re feeling kinda hot inside
Tell a lie
Sure

But the main thing is you’re feeling disappointed
’cause you still sincerely want to feel a little better right now
Ain’t that the truth

All stand
All stand
All stand and sing a hymn to the glory of pain
the joy  within discomfort as it happens every day

Oh root of all evil source of all peace
gratefully we sing of thy marvelous way

It hurts so much to suffer words cannot say
No song can release us from great agony
But soon there’s always rest
moments of eternal happiness
seeds of pain

Witness the worst that’s every been done
Probably did it yourself that once just for fun
Well the blood got bad but someone was begging for more

So you raised your gun
and took one last shot

But the thrill was gone
The killing stopped

You went home
You felt clean
As clean as anyone can

Yes what will you do now your dog’s run dry
and just the outhouse is left in the old backyard 
You want a spaceship to come and land and take you away

Well I hate to disappoint you and I surely won’t direct you
but I bet you sincerely want to feel a little better right now

Yes I hate to disappoint you and I surely won’t direct you
but I bet you sincerely want to feel a little better right now

Well go ahead
Feel better
Don’t let me stop you
Do it

 

🎶 When Kisses Speak

When our kisses speak louder than words
I look into your eyes and I see you’ve heard
that love comes quick I think you know the way

Sure we’re breaking all the glasses and spilling all the food
but what we’re doing there aren’t any rules

So come on baby let’s do the do the do the
It doesn’t matter what we do
when we just want to be together
and pass the time

Kisses speak louder than words
Yeah lips don’t lie when
you’ve got them puckered
or if they do then I’ll be your fool

So we’re smooching with the lips
and poking with the tongues
How can something so simple
be so much fun

You see these smiles
They’re silly silly silly
hee hee hee

It doesn’t matter what we do
when we just want to be together
and pass the time

When kisses speak louder than words
I look into your eyes and I see you’ve heard
that love comes quick I think you know the way

When kisses speak louder than words
When kisses speak louder than words
(spoken:) When kisses speak louder than words
(whispered:) When kisses speak louder than words

 

🎶 Good, 20th C.

Wear that yoke and tote that bale
and when you get too old
we’ll send you checks in the mail
for being so good now and
doing what’s got to be done

So raise those kids and feed those faces
and make life easier and better for all concerned
Good work

Walking on the cliffs and gazing out to sea
Hands and knees to the edge watching birds fly beneath

These are troubled times
as all troubled times
good for watching hope
fade away

Old fears are being realized
Keep your eyes peeled it’s getting good
Good to see some of your things decay

Walking a world where sea birds fly
and waterfalls blow up in the ocean wind
Tiny flowers grip the cliff in every niche
where the birds nest and sleep

Oh the birds eyes close
and their heads and their beaks nod
Others awake ride the wind and watch the sea

forever on the hunt for food

There was a time when people raised stones to the gods
built their own little earth on the crust of this
built temples and homes and fences and factories and parking lots
came wearing that yoke and toting that bale

and then getting old and getting checks in the mail
for being alive and for having done what perhaps had to be done
for having raised the kids and fed the faces
and made life better maybe for all concerned
maybe

 

🎶 Sour Words

Nothing to speak but sour words
Too much to do that wastes my time
Have to work in the dark while sunny days go by
Come ‘ere you

Beautiful girl but you just won’t do
’til you suffer some more
You need heartbreaks to go through
to wake you up angel

My what delicious laziness
to put words and music to the craziness
of me and you and all around
to sing of all the shadows under the sun

To sing of this is it
To sing of you know it
because because it might
as well be this as anything
no matter what you prefer

The wishes we wish for peace and fun
for prosperity and happiness for everyone
Whatever the price we’re willing to spend
Everywhere there are banks that will back us up and then
you might say 

My what delicious laziness
to put words and music to the wondrousness
of me and you and all around
to sing of all the things under the sun

To sing of this is it
To sing of you know it
because because it might
as well be this as anything
no matter what you prefer

 

🎶 One Night a Robin

One night a robin woke up at 3AM
and sang through the 5 o’clock dawn
Chirp chirp

He might have been singing just for fun but then
there might have been something going on
like that lady in the next tree
with one eye open and looking to build a nest
She could feel the warmth of a spring day coming
was too excited to need any rest

Meanwhile back with the chirps
sure enough this robin had this heart set
on building a family with the lady in the next tree

He thought to himself
I must sniff this blossom before it fades
I must seize the worm before it is gone
And yet i must not be too bold

I must let my heart speak its own truth
and pray that the lady will love what she hears

I must sing
And sing he did

Blue skies
and plenty of bugs
for me and you

Lullabies
for the babies of course 
and just we two

So lets fly ’round the neighborhood
and dance ’til the sun comes up
hear the music of the sweet spring morning
and see if we’re in love

Well fly around they did
and one thing led to another
and love and lust often being the same thing
pretty soon they were watching over
some little blue eggs in a nest

Not too much later those little blue eggs
got a little too small for the little birds inside
and the eggs cracked open and the little birds stepped out
And then there was a whole family of robins in that nest

Now the little birds were always hungry of course
and the mother and father were always busy gathering food
If one of then woke up at 3AM it wasn’t to sing
It was to break up some cricket carcasses and
stuff them down the throats of those young birds

Eat they said eat and you’ll grow up big and strong
Swallow it down now that’s it
As long as you can put
some fat on your bones
nothing can go very wrong

Soon the little robins learned to fly
and flew off on their own
Then the mother and father quickly noticed
it was boring hanging around home

So what those birds did then was
they left
one at at time

Robins aren’t particularly faithful to one another after nesting
Each just goes his or her own way until it’s springtime again
time to find another mate and time to maybe do
some singing in the middle of the night and
then see this whole story repeat itself

One night a robin woke up at 3AM
and sang through the 5 o’clock dawn
Chirp chirp

He might have been singing just for fun but then
there might have been something going on

 

 

🎶 Hello to the Future (with Dirt Bubbles)

Dirt bubbles roll by
sometimes in clusters
people inside each one

Sap runs up and down
the main stem of the universe
This must be Paradise

There’s a bomb in the church
and a fire in the yard
and a spark on the radio

All the buttons undone
the kids are having fun
with the money I’ve worked
so hard to save

Hello to the future
I’m sorry you’ve been waiting so long
I didn’t really see you
I thought you were a dream

I hope you stick around
It’s a pretty dull town
and there isn’t too much going on

I’ll take you to my friends
and hope you get along
but people can see only
what they can see

Hello to the future
I’m sorry you’ve been waiting so long
I didn’t really see you
I thought you were a dream

All the engines in your room
making pain for everyone
I was looking for the switch
when you said why not relax

There’s a bomb in the church
and a fire in the yard
and a spark on the radio

All the buttons undone
the kids are having fun
with the money I’ve worked
so hard to save

Hello to the future
I’m sorry you’ve been waiting so long
I didn’t really see you
I thought you were a dream


 

 





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