Song A Week, Volume 4

by James Tristan Redding

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1.
Burger King offers these junior breakfast burritos I think they are pretty good Three burritos costs three dollars ninety cents And that’s a pretty sweet deal I wrote this in 15 minutes While I waited for Burger King to open Obviously it isn’t the greatest thing ever written Writing bad lyrics is better than writing no lyrics NPR is the best on a cloudy morning When you’re hungry and need a breakfast burrito Listening to Paula Poundstone almost makes me forget How very hungry I am today I wrote this in 15 minutes While I waited for Burger King to open Obviously it isn’t the greatest thing ever written Writing bad lyrics is better than writing no lyrics Not every song needs a bridge Some are better off without one But after finishing the verses to this one I had eight minutes left, so here we are
2.
It was wild it was crazy it was out of this world People running scared Nations crumbled cities fell at the tempo of the twerk Booty everywhere Weather stations said vibrations never had such shaking Squatting in the streets Entire populations failed resisting the temptation To turn the other cheek From the booty tornado There was moving there was grooving even blue suede shoes Out there on the floor Bikinis briefs and speedos reggae trance and blues EDM of course In the booty tornado Boom ba dah boom bum biddy bum Gom ba dah gom ba gom Bam biddy bam damn biddy damn Boom ba dah boom bum bomb
3.
Figure 1. The VLA in one of its more compact antenna array configurations. The 27 antennas are moveable on rail tracks, and different configurations are used to obtain different spatial samplings of incoming cosmic radiation. Figure 2a. An example of a possible SKA configuration. In this model, patches of collecting area (stations) extend from a dense core in a log-spiral arrangement. The pattern continues to baselines of ~3000 km. The huge number of SKA sensors gives excellent spatial sampling characteristics without the need to periodically relocate antennas. Figure 2b. An artist’s impression of the SKA core region, with planar-aperture arrays and dishes visible. All the sensor technologies will share wide band communication as well as signal processing and data-processing infrastructures. Figure 3. A view of the SKA as an information and communications technology (ICT) machine. Signals from a variety of different types of electromagnetic-field sensors (antennas and receivers) are transported and processed via common machinery. Sensors are chosen largely on the basis of their performance-to-cost ratio within particular frequency bands.
4.
Wish I were you and you were me Maybe the taste would be sweet Better to ask than wonder why Over the Southern Sky Picture a night together Higher than I can measure Capture it all in a letter And seal it with a kiss Throw to the wind a question How does a loss become a lesson Give it away and learn to listen I hope you’re hearing this Wish it were easier done than said To forget what I regret Lookin’ for sunshine through the clouds Or the last train out of town Picture a night together Higher than I can measure Capture it all in a letter And seal it with a kiss Throw to the wind a question How does a loss become a lesson Give it away and learn to listen I hope you’re hearing this Let the colors come and comfort me Paint the river like a galaxy Now is all we really ever have Maybe you’re my better half
5.
How bittersweet the taste to know you’ll never hold An angel in your arms Skin as smooth as half and half two lips like a rose TNT straight to your heart Tonya Harding Harley Quinn and Elizabeth The First She rocks any role she plays Gotta’ meet her think I need her even if it hurts Yes I’ll do anything it takes I’d die and go to heaven if that would do the trick Spin that metal chamber squeeze until it clicks Blink my bloodshot eyes look around and ask Saint Peter Where is Margot Robbie when you need her Her laugh is like a cupcake for both my ears to eat Without that messy frosting in my hair Her eyes light up like safety flares and fill these city streets Except no one had to die there I’d sell my vital organs to spend a couple days Half awake and slowly bleeding out in her embrace She would give my eulogy and stun the holy preacher Where is Margot Robbie when you need her Tom Ackerley you bastard I hope you know you “married up” Well, anyone would have to honestly If you ever choose to leave her, then you’re just plain nuts But try to mention me before you leave I’d crawl inside a mailbox with a big old bag of food Intercept the invite to a bash in Hollywood Demand an introduction from a washed up Justin Bieber Where is Margot Robbie when you need her I’d climb the highest mountain or dive the deepest sea Steal a plane or rob a bank if she would notice me But instead I’ll strum this ditty in my t-shirt jeans and sneakers Where is Margot Robbie when you need her I’ll wonder every day until I finally meet the reaper Where is Margot Robbie when you need her
6.
Wall or no wall, the floor is cracked Gotta’ find a way to turn the clock back Wall or no wall, we trashed the attic Because the man next door called us melodramatic Wall or no wall, the doors are locked The rooms are becoming like a prison block Wall or no wall, the gas is leaking Getting light headed and my thoughts are fleeting Wall or no wall, the plumbing is wrecked The pipes exploded out of sheer neglect Wall or no wall, the switch is defective The circuit set off all the smoke detectors Wall or no wall, the paint is peeling The sight is giving me a sinking feeling Wall or no wall, the windows are broken Around the foundation there is steady erosion Wall or no wall, the roof is gutted The rain poured in and the basement flooded Wall or no wall, the garden’s dead But all the worst weeds grow inside my head Wall or no wall, we destroyed the frame Tried to flush our mistakes but they clogged the drain Wall or no wall, the ceilings falling If we’re not careful it will crush us all Wall or no wall, we shredded the curtains Threw ‘em to the ground lit a match and burned ‘em Wall or no wall, that’s not the question Not if Cain and Abel turn to Smith and Wesson Wall or no wall, we’re afraid of the neighbors And it’s making us a bunch of haters Wall or no wall, with or without The call is coming from inside the house
7.
Didn’t want to meet you at the movies There was nothing I wanted to see Spend all my money on you baby But love got the better of me Didn’t want to wrap my coat around you But I couldn’t let you freeze Wasn’t sure, should I try to steal a kiss? Then love got the better of me Just like a light switch when I need to see A spoon of sugar in my cup of tea You made it easy when you whispered please Your love got the better of me Don’t want you to see me crying The tears they taste so sweet Used to worry I’d be waiting here forever But love got the better of me Don’t ever want to lose this moment In this dress it’s hard to breathe Wasn’t sure, should I give my hand to you? Then love got the better of me Just like a vision when I need to believe A silver ribbon round the apple tree You made it easy when you got down on one knee Your love got the better of me Wonder where we’ll be in 50 years I’ll go anywhere you are Watching all our worries disappear Safe inside my arms Like a pair of glasses when I’m 93 The stitches holding my heart to my sleeve You made it easy when you swept me off my feet And love got the better of me Don’t mean every day will be just perfect We’ll try our best to trust As the years pass I hope through thick and thin Love gets the better of us
8.
Got the message drove on down told me at the desk Said you can't go home until they run a couple tests Nothing got the best of you or slowed you down before A broken wrist in '66 a stroke in '94 You were tough as nails I'll admit I almost cried Spent a month or two sleeping by your side Wish I told you more the things I knew I should I would trade places with you if it would do any good Traded dirty jokes then we gave the nurse a wink Cranked up Born To Run got the patients all to sing Smuggled in a quarter pounder just because you asked Then the doctors busted us and everybody laughed Read out loud even though I was scared of how it ends Hadn't done that since I can't remember when Maybe you could feel it as I closed the storybook I would trade places with you if I only could Put myself in your shoes and tried to feel the pain Wish I knew how to trade with you and take it all away Kept all the sketches the crossword puzzles too Dig them out and think of you some Sunday afternoons We were making memories of course I didn't know it then Bittersweet and beautiful and I'd do it all again Really kept me guessing never showed your hand Waited 'til the hourglass was almost outta' sand Fumbled with the words and just prayed you understood I would trade places with you, you bet I would
9.
And there she was, could she see me Did I smile too much Would she ever let a stranger hold her hand What’s wrong with me, is it normal To live half asleep And I wonder if I’ll ever smile again Just a pair of strangers on a crowded train Unexpected glances not enough to stay As the day is dying when I’m all alone Every night I ask myself will I find love Maybe this time could be different I have heard before If you love it then you have to let it go These walls I’ve built to protect me Haven’t served me, no When did I become this lonely wounded soul Just a pair of strangers on a crowded train Unexpected glances not enough to stay As the day is dying when I’m all alone Every night I ask myself will I find love Let my heart be weightless Open up my eyes It isn’t always easy But I have to try As the day is dying when I’m all alone Every night I ask myself will I find love Beneath the stars above doesn’t everyone deserve A chance at love
10.
I’m inventing a 27th letter To add to the old 26 Etching the edges crafting the curves Pulling out all my tricks Got no complaints of the others They’ve all been real good to me But there’s just enough room for one more Somewhere between A and Z I want to describe what it looks like Except the design isn’t done And anyway spoiling surprises That wouldn’t be any fun Trust me you’re all gonna’ thank me From the look to the sound to the feel By putting it into a sentence You give it a whole new appeal Is it changing the meaning? Not really, Just enhancing the flavor a touch And pronouncing it couldn’t be easier You’re just gonna’ love it so much What is the name for this letter? I think I should let you decide As long as I’m getting the credit Call it whatever you like
11.
Tiny claws on the hardwood floor Whiskers twitching in the dark Beady little eyes and heartbeat like a drum Listening closely for the part When someone’s clumsy thumbs Fumble with the crumbs Which tumble down into my empty grasp The only way I know As this beggar down below Get away far and get away fast Dreaming dreams of rising from the earth My brittle bones made of wood Leaves are reaching to collect the morning dew How I wish I could Toughen up and trust Muster up the stuff Just enough to keep control But then I run again Turn my tail and then Spend the bitter end in a hole And somewhere someone’s flying And I know how they feel And all I want is roots to hold me down The getaways are fleeting The learn to stays are hard The listen closely but don’t make a sound
12.
Tug at the thread hangin' from the edge Of the green canvas jacket on my back Take a breath as she scares me half to death Pretend I didn't notice where she sat Better check the tie around my neck Straight and narrow just like me Purple hair seems like she don't care About the rest of Tennessee For just a moment I turn my head Watch her walk by like such a tease Look away just in time before I start to sweat Nobody flirts like me Try my best not to make a mess Drink the coffee in my cup Clear my throat and wonder where she goes When she runs outta' luck Lookin' mean in her black skinny jeans Daring me to speak Hope the road takes you where you wanna' go And I hope it's back to me For just a moment I turn my head Watch her walk by like such a tease Look away just in time before I start to sweat Nobody flirts like me I been searching high and low Been looking for a sign Of all the buses in all the world You walked onto mine
13.
One cream two sugars some things never change Always know which one is yours Corner table will never be the same When you walk out the door We shared everything the beauty and the hurt You were my best friend Didn't know it'd be so hard to find the words Sitting here again In the distance a train is passing through A lot like me and you Lost and lonesome the way it all began Better say it while I can Thought we'd grow together 'til we're old and gray Instead we grew apart Want to say it all before you walk away Didn't think it'd be this hard In this moment, there’s only you and me When we were seventeen Clock is ticking I hope you understand Gotta’ say it while I can How many winters were we silent as the snow Feels good to get it off my chest Ten more seconds hold my hand then let it go I guess it's for the best Grab my coat as you walk away from me Like strangers on the street I can't fight it when you turn for one last glance Gotta' say it while I can
14.
La mañana no se detiene cuando suspiras Los ríos no se paran a tus pies El cielo no te ve llorando Pero yo sí Los peces no nadan para conocerte El bosque no te ahorra espacio Las nubes no escriben tu nombre Pero yo sí Subes la marea en mi puerto, el sol en la ventana Y la fuerza del río en mis venas Eres la sombra en verano, la chispa de la noche Parece que no lo sé, pero yo sí La tierra no recuerda tu nacimiento El colibrí no canta para ti El camino no está creado para encontrarte Pero yo sí Tú das gracia a mis pasos, los colores a mi lienzo Y el perdón a mi pesar Cambias lo triste en placer, perdido en encontrado Nadie más lo sabe, pero yo sí Lo que no haré es tirar mi suerte No, no voy a alejarte Sí, recuerdo que nada es para siempre Pero siempre es ahora La mañana no se detiene cuando suspiras Los ríos no se paran a tus pies El cielo no te ve llorando Pero yo sí Nadie más lo sabe, pero yo sí
15.
If you were a cable car I would wait for you Pick me up and carry me out of all my blues If you were a freight train I would climb aboard Take me down the tracks where I've never been before If you were a bicycle I would peddle fast Way past all the concrete 'til we find the greener grass If you were a fishing boat I would jump on in Anywhere you're floating beats the places I have been Tell me which one will you be So I know what I will see And when exactly you'll be passing by Make it midnight make it noon I'll be ready when you do Hop in and let you take me for a ride If you're headed west, well, that'll work for me There's a great big world outside of Tennessee If you're going south take me almost anywhere Keep me in suspense until we get there If you're bound for China tell me where to sign Come on let's see what we can find If you're deep sea diving I'm going down with you And I got nothing left to lose Tell me where we're gonna' go Unless you don't want me to know A good surprise is always worth the wait Just tell me what to pack And say we're never coming back Promise that and baby it's a date
16.
I know that he's the one you want And you can’t believe he’s gone I know it didn’t always hurt Maybe hard to find the words I know that Johnny Walker Red Makes you light a cigarette I know you’re tougher than you look And it took what it took It was good ‘til it went bad, perfect ‘til it broke Felt like forever love until he hit the road Spent so many sleepless nights staring at the phone I know you know it’s over but you still can’t let him go Tell me baby what don't I know I know your favorite Reba song How you can’t help but sing along I know your diary’s full of dreams And you rock a pair of jeans I know you tried to say goodbye With teardrops in your eyes I know you've been to hell and back For him and that's a fact It was good ‘til it went bad, perfect ‘til it broke Felt like forever love until he hit the road Spent so many sleepless nights staring at the phone I know you know it’s over but you still can’t let him go Tell me baby what don't I know I know that you’ll move on I know that you’ll stay strong And I know all this pain will fade away It won’t seem so heavy when you’re heart is good and ready But I don’t know how long it's gonna' take
17.
Love the way the engine sounds after that sun goes down Gotta’ grab the keys and take a ride To a little place I know, chicken’s hot and the beers are cold And the women, man you won’t believe your eyes Who’s that tearin’ up the floor? Never seen her before Better make sure she’s got a drink Takin’ turns on the old jukebox keep dancin’ and we just don’t stop Heart starts up when she gives me a wink Something tells me she can rock my world Hope the band knows how to play Brown Eyed Girl We can show everybody from the bar to the lobby How to have a good time tonight Make it feel brand new under the same old lights This place always hits the spot, oh and I swear she’s got About the best smile I’ve seen all year Stick around ‘til closing time last dance and her hand’s in mine Tilts her head, says let’s get outta’ here Something tells me she can rock my world Hope the band knows how to play Brown Eyed Girl We can show everybody from the bar to the lobby How to have a good time tonight Make it feel brand new under the same old lights Well I can’t believe my luck we’re getting in my truck Headin’ home with her right by my side But if she don’t stick around you know where I’ll be found Tomorrow night under the same old lights
18.
You're one of a kind for better or worse You speak a whole new language that I have never heard Your questions are the stones that I'm skipping on the surface You've been singing softly and finally I heard it You're one of a kind a prism in the sun You can hold my world between your finger and your thumb Your laughter makes the sun shine when nothing else can do it You've always been beside me I just never knew it And I'm about to meet you You're one of a kind I got to admit You threw me like a boomerang and I came back so quick Your footsteps are the beat of my new favorite song You've got everything I need and everything I want You're one of a kind the rain against the roof You took my breath away and left me with the truth Your memories are vines around the bricks that I've been laying You've been climbing up a little higher every day And I'm about to kiss you You're one of a kind nothing like the others Sweet as cotton candy in twice as many colors A shining string of pearls that landed in the gutter Just waiting for the loving hand of another lover And I'm about to lose you You're one of a kind a diamond in the rough You shook me like an earthquake and left me in the dust Your words are like the glimmer of a star that a disappeared You've been gone for centuries but I'm still standing here You're one of a kind the icing on the cake You broke my brittle heart to pieces it was great Your promises are buried underneath the flower bed You've been pushing daisies but I will not forget And I still think about you
19.
On our doorstep every Sunday rolled up in a plastic bag All the stories fit for printing black and white front to back I can't wait to flip the pages past the cartoons and classifieds Start to scribble in the answers same old thing I always find One across is lonely like before you came around Seven down is perfect how my life is looking now Eleven down is just four letters the diamond that you wear Twelve across is where I'll follow you yep that's anywhere Eight, nine, and ten are something borrowed, old, and blue And five across is you You're looking beautiful as always fluffy slippers and a robe Got a couple eggs from our backyard over easy on the stove Oh I love the look you give me when you ask what's on my mind The clues are getting closer but they still can't get it right Fourteen across is heaven like where I woke up today Twenty down is patience baby you were worth the wait Fifteen across is sugar 'cause honey you're so sweet Sixteen down is a long one everything you gave to me Two, three, and four mean I got nothing left to lose And five across is you You reach across the table and fill my empty plate Pick up the paper then you turn to me say Six across is laughter 'cause it's always in the air Thirteen down is magic in the memories that we share Seventeen across is sunshine even when it rains Twenty one is music every time I hear your name Eighteen and nineteen bring me nothing but the truth And five across is you
20.
Walked into the back yard The grass around my feet First time in a long time I could really breathe Back as bare as winter Hands up in the sky Frozen like a statue Watching for a sign How will I know How will I know How will I know when to go home Rising like a harvest moon Low across the water A flower pushing through The concrete city floor All across Kentucky Parts of Arkansas Farmers in the fields Waiting for a storm How will I know How will I know How will I know when to go home Kerosene and cedar Got me through the night Found the way back home once Couldn't do it twice
21.
Must be ten thousand memories in that chair Up and down those seven flights of stairs City out the window changing with the times Is it hard to leave it all behind Break room smells like Chik-Fil-A and coffee Your big old laugh always filled the office Puttin' out fires, savin' lives, if those weren't your intentions There's a couple things I'd wanna' mention I'd say get some hard earned rest Start to care a little less Kick those Oxfords off grab the Cuervo and the salt Grab your Coppertone and cruise Yeah that's what I would tell you If I didn't know you at all Don't be fooled by all of this confetti Everybody here misses you already Brenda, Campbell, Stephen, Rich and Kevin, Josh and Ben And me of course, tryin' this again I'd say empty out that desk Party more and worry less Kick those Stacy's off grab the Triple Sec and salt Pop your Ray Bans on and groove Yeah that's what I would tell you If I didn't know you at all I know you'll have so much fun Soak up a lotta' sun Fly away some place you've never been You deserve this all so much But I hope you'll keep in touch And I'm glad to say that you're my friend
22.
Driving home I been thinking about How good tonight turned out Never seen the stars shine so bright You were singing karaoke in the car, you were Carefree I was trying so hard Looking for the words to get it right Tonight was magic and you looked beautiful Should have been so easy to say to you Oh I tried but I got tongue tied Blinked my eyes and the moment slipped away Wish you'd heard what I meant to say Can't remember what I said, about your Pretty green eyes or your little black dress You must have thought I didn't care Then we were talking in your drive, and I Leaned in for a kiss goodnight Why didn't I tell you then and there Tonight was magic and you looked beautiful Should have been so easy to say to you Oh I tried but I got tongue tied Blinked my eyes and the moment slipped away Wish you'd heard what I meant to say Didn't get too far down the road Before I reached out for the phone Had to call you up I couldn't let it go Tonight was magic and you looked beautiful Should have been so easy to say to you Took me all night hope I got it right I'll let you decide if it's too late But it couldn't wait, what I meant to say
23.
Jeans and flannel leather boots on gravel Good old Mr. Randall handy as they come Ain't a talker reminds me of my father Just like clockwork twenty years and then some Since he handed me the keys he's been watching over me Hell, sometimes I forget he's even there Always fixing something keeps this whole place running No matter what I break he's got a spare Right above my ceiling I wonder if he hears me When I finally hit my knees and say a prayer The man upstairs Last Thursday cake and candles for his birthday He left one burning and lit a cigarette Sat before me kept me up 'til morning Swappin' stories like two best friends Tuggin' on his beard he wiped away a tear And put that last piece of cake in some Tupperware He's always fixing something keeps this whole place running No matter what I break he's got a spare Right above my ceiling I wonder if he hears me When I finally hit my knees and say a prayer The man upstairs Wonder what I’ll miss the most when the old man finally goes Up to hear the angels sing Looking out at the clear blue sky said he’s ready and I know why ‘Cuz someone’s watching over him
24.
Telephone doesn't ring FM doesn't say a word Only thing that moves is the shadows on the wall Since you walked out the door the only thing I've heard "Everyday I Have The Blues" playin' somewhere down the hall Well I'm starin' at the moon out the window in my room Holding my breath and counting down to twelve It's almost January 1st might as well be the last night on earth All by myself but it's New Years for everybody else TV dinner's gettin' cold next door neighbors making love Neon shines between the blinds from a bar across the street Another bottle disappears a few more footsteps in the dust Everything is faded except your memory Well I'm starin' at the moon out the window in my room Holding my breath and counting down to twelve It's almost January 1st might as well be the last night on earth All by myself but it's New Years for everybody else It's almost January 1st might as well be the last night on earth All by myself but it's New Years for everybody else
25.
First memory of his voice I was only three He asked me did I want sprinkles on the cone Sunday after church sittin' on his knee Too young to know that someday he wasn't comin' home Eyes so full of pride he walked me to the door Suitcase in my hand dressed up from head to toe Weeks turned into months and years became so short The day I heard the news flew back from the coast Wish I dialed that phone wrote that letter And said one more goodbye Maybe this would feel a little bit better When I turn out the lights So say what you mean beautiful bittersweet Take it from me Still got that faded photo I'm grinnin' ear to ear His beat up Catalina taught me how to drive Took me to a ball game damn near every year It was golden every moment 'til we ran outta' time Wish I dialed that phone wrote that letter And said one more goodbye Maybe this would feel a little bit better When I turn out the lights So say what you mean beautiful bittersweet Take it from me Just about cried both my eyes out On the way back to the house Bought me some iced cream sat down for awhile And started thinking out loud Wish I turned that key spent a few more seconds Looking in those eyes Maybe this would feel a little bit better When I turn out the lights So say what you mean beautiful bittersweet Take it from me
26.
Say what you will but my bags are all packed Lord knows I made up my mind Broke off the rear view so I can't look back What makes you think that I'll be home tonight Turned off the lights grabbed the keys to the Ford Left all the pictures behind Closed all the curtains and walked out the door What makes you think that I'll be home tonight Must be two hundred times that I told you before You can't still be wondering why I can't stay anymore honey life's just too short What makes you think that I'll be home tonight Filled up the tank so I don't need to stop Said all my tender goodbyes Packed up some jerky and a bone for the dog What makes you think that I'll be home tonight Stayed here too long let you do me all wrong It was only a matter of time You can't change the past or the fact that I'm gone What makes you think that I'll be home tonight Must be two hundred times that I told you before You can't still be wondering why I can't stay anymore honey life's just too short What makes you think that I'll be home tonight Do what you want with the house and the yard Burn it all down if you like That's what you get girl you broke my damn heart What makes you think that I'll be home tonight
27.
You sure make a first impression And you know how to keep me guessin' Felt the heat and saw somethin' in your eyes When your hand was touchin' mine You fixed the collar of my shirt And looked so good it almost hurt Once you light it up you know you can't go back Guess I finally met my match The heat is rising standin' next to you Yeah burnin' up the air that's in the room Felt the embers from the very start Pouring whiskey on the fire in my heart I don't wanna' lose that spark Broadway lights bring out your baby blues Caught in a neon blaze with you Pull me closer for a kiss Never felt a flame like this The heat is rising standin' next to you Yeah burnin' up the air that's in the room Felt the embers from the very start Pouring whiskey on the fire in my heart I don't wanna' lose that spark Moon is climbin' up the sky You whisper baby hold me tight Like no one ever knew me better Say we'll stay this way forever
28.
Heard the tires screamin’ as she took a wrong turn By the broke down mill where the creek no longer flows Just before the line went dead said she thought she saw A black Ford pick up on Double Branch Road Spreadin’ like a wildfire in whispers one by one There’s a lotta’ gossip at the Gas n’ Go Even the boys in blue can’t seem to track it down A black Ford pick up on Double Branch Road The voices of the ones we’ve lost echo in my mind Like a thunder storm three counties wide Chase the light and spin my wheels while the rain is fallin’ hard No one knows where the bodies are Grabbed a clear glass bottle of somethin’ strong and dark Loaded up my mama’s six chamber Colt Maybe for the last time course I could be wrong A black Ford pick up on Double Branch Road The voices of the ones we’ve lost echo in my mind Like a thunder storm three counties wide Chase the light and spin my wheels while the rain is fallin’ hard No one knows where the bodies are Hard to find the words why a hunter needs to hunt It’s a thrill that most will never know Hid the Sheriff’s car and slid into the front seat Of a black Ford pick up on Double Branch Road
29.
Couldn’t say the last time I stayed up after dark Took a chance or rolled the dice, listened to my heart Never took the fast lane or threw caution to the wind Waited on the sidelines for my life to begin Stepped across the cracks between the pavement in the clouds In a pair of silver slippers and a long white cotton gown Stood in line and heard the laughs of souls ahead of mine One by one they reached the pearly gates and stepped inside Well I tried living perfect but my dreams I left behind Funny thing about life is no one makes it out alive I’d be breaking all the rules if I could do it all again Lord in my next life, gonna’ live before it ends Lord in my next life, gonna’ live before it ends Saint Peter raised an eyebrow, yawned and checked the clock Looked me up and down, then he offered me a scotch Said “son, I checked the transcript … a mighty careful life; Coulda’ let your hair down, coulda’ drawn outside the lines” Well I tried living perfect but my dreams I left behind Funny thing about life is no one makes it out alive I’d be breaking all the rules if I could do it all again Lord in my next life, gonna’ live before it ends Lord in my next life, gonna’ live before it ends Then he handed me a ticket, one-way back to Earth And told me “hold on tight now, this is gonna’ hurt! So dig a little deeper and take a couple risks It ain’t time to die yet ‘cause you never really lived”
30.
Take a left on Cherry Lane Neighborhood doesn't look the same See that white picket fence Where I played with Jack, my oldest friend He don't live there anymore Since the factory closed its doors Let me show you how it used to be On that little dead end street That's where Johnny broke his arm, where I learned to drive a car Choked on a cigarette had a 4th grade broken heart Love to show you 'round, but there's no going back Because the town where I grew up ain't on the map About a quarter mile of broken dreams Just a stretch of old route 33 There used to be a diner open late Silenced by the interstate Let me show you how it used to be On that little dead end street That's where Johnny broke his arm, where I learned to drive a car Choked on a cigarette had a 4th grade broken heart Love to show you 'round, but there's no going back Because the town where I grew up ain't on the map All the pictures I remember Only shadows of the past Wish I could see them clearer They seemed to disappear so fast
31.
Way too old to crush like a kid But when the feeling hits I’m floatin’ ten feet above my head And I haven’t even met her yet She’s got me turned up every day There’s static in my head I’ll always want her here to stay But I can’t wait to miss her again She’s walking, dancing, slidin’ slow In my universe like a maze Tripped and fallen, so damn close From a thousand miles away She speaks logic through her heart In the most “Suriya” way Travels till she’s broke But always finds a place to stay Fights like a feminist for the beaten Broken and dismayed She’s the perfect heartbeat in your chest Like a folk song startin’ to play She’s walking, dancing, slidin’ slow In my universe like a maze Tripped and fallen, so damn close From a thousand miles away Now I’m comfortably frozen, no need to pose She’s got me in a daze Closer than she’s ever been A thousand miles away
32.
Runnin' all the reds down on Hollywood and Vine 1am and getting awful frisky Pullin' out of the Body Shop before I grab a bite Of somethin' tasty backstage at the Whiskey This ain't coffee in my thermos, that ain't flour on my desk But I'm callin' my presciption in Stoppin' by the doctor after hours on the strip Let me show you where I've been Step into my office, throw your briefcase on the floor Step into my office, buckle up and shut the door Step into my office, you may leave a little sore Step into my office, and you'll come on back for more Watch me walking by in my business suit Makin' all the right stuff jiggle Suspenders and spandex, speedo and socks It takes a lot of work to care this little Step into my office, throw your briefcase on the floor Step into my office, buckle up and shut the door Step into my office, you may leave a little sore Step into my office, and you'll come on back for more It's all about the Benjamins don't matter if they're clean They all spend the same Green's my favorite color and I don't leave the driveway For less than 100k
33.
Muscles in my hands they can't understand Tension like a vice every day Why do I hold on when the moment's gone Got to let it slide fade away Need a little love shine a light on me Someone help me please To take this moment slow it down Breathe in deep and be here now It's slipping through my fingers But I'm learnin' to surrender So teach me how to slow it down Days are gettin' long just keep draggin' on Tryin' to find a stronger hand to hold One step at a time tonight I'm doing fine Facin' all my monsters on my own Did the best I could but I ain't too proud Please could you show me how To take this moment slow it down Breathe in deep and be here now It's slipping through my fingers But I'm learnin' to surrender So teach me how to slow it down How it feels to make a promise to a friend Sound of water crashing on the rocks Nothin' golden in the will to try again It's learnin' when to stop
34.
My buddy said he saw me with a fat girl before I said you got me, I admit it, sailed my ship to her shore Met her in the bakery stuffing bon bons down her face I said girl can I get some? I’ve got to have a taste Offered her some water, thought she was gonna’ choke She said that’s mighty sweet, but I’d rather have a coke I tried that skinny love, and it’s better when it’s thick Girl, I just need to tell you I like my women big So thin girls, don’t bother to apply There’s no doubt about it, I’m a fat girl’s guy My baby could break my back with one of her hugs Big girls have so much more to love Big girls have so much more to love Ever since we met I’ve bought stock in Breyers Ice cream A gallon lasts three minutes, then she licks the carton clean When we make love she likes to get on top One time she almost crushed me but I didn’t make her stop! Diabetes, you best not come around Cholesterol if you rear your ugly head you’re going down My girl is perfect, I wouldn’t change her at all She fell from heaven, my love cushioned her fall So thin girls, don’t bother to apply There’s no doubt about it, I’m a fat girl’s guy My baby could break my back with one of her hugs Big girls have so much more to love Big girls have so much more to love If there’s a moral to this story, I guess it goes like this If you’ve never had a fat girl then you’re missing out on bliss So thin girls, don’t bother to apply There’s no doubt about it, I’m a fat girl’s guy My baby could break my back with one of her hugs Big girls have so much more to love Big girls have so much more to love
35.
Just off Porter Road you park along the tracks Between the Beemers and trucks with rebel flags What you think you know leave it at the door Don't talk about the White House or the war No one's askin' and probably never will Who you're lovin' or how you pay the bills They'll look you in the eye like you deserve Shake your hand and take you at your word Blue jeans and beer nuts ice cold PBRs Cigarettes and cinder blocks tattoos and battle scars Happy hour is every hour always time well spent Fran's Eastside Tavern changes strangers into friends Trina's laughin' and Tommy breaks a grin Can't believe he sank that dang cue ball again Behind the bar a TV's tuned to Wrigley Field Clock is runnin' but in here we're standing still Underneath that beat up trucker hat There's a million dollar a smile Brand new brother from a different mom and dad Just like family for a little while
36.
Before I get to heaven, I better feed the dog Pay my parking tickets off and probably call my mom Might go sign my name up for them black belt kung fu lessons Yeah I've got some plans before I get to heaven Before I get to heaven, I'm gon' ask out Mary Sue Take her to the drive in, man I hope she says I do Ride that Harley coast to coast see what I've been missin' Yeah I've got some plans before I get to heaven Every now and then I get a little bit worried life will pass me by Fear of missing out keeps me in doubt sometimes So I'm slowin' things down to the here and now ain't no place like the present Take the long way 'round before I get to heaven Before I get to heaven, think I'll fix up this old house Pressure wash the driveway and clean those gutters out Pierce both ears get a few tattoos to keep them neighbors guessing Yeah I've got some plans before I get to heaven Every now and then I get a little bit worried life will pass me by Fear of missing out keeps me in doubt sometimes So I'm slowin' things down to the here and now ain't no place like the present To set a few things right before I get to heaven I don't wanna' end up at the pearly gates with a truckload of regrets Been a long weird ride but I ain't seen nothin' yet Every now and then I get a little bit worried life will pass me by Fear of missing out keeps me in doubt sometimes So I'm slowin' things down to the here and now ain't no place like the present Gotta' soak it all up before I get to heaven Take the long way 'round and the road outta' town Set a few things right have some fun tonight Make the best of life before I get to heaven
37.
My buddy Steve had a real good plan A thousand dollar phone in the palm of your hand Picture of an apple right there on the back Why didn’t I think of that Hanging with the King down in Memphis Tennessee Said it’s all about the hips and I’m inclined to agree Makin’ so much money he can’t even keep track Why didn’t I think of that Why didn’t I think of that Wouldn’t be where I’m at Could’ve been a real fat cat Why didn’t I think of that Talking to the Donald and I don’t mean the duck P. O. T. U. S. now doesn’t that suck Made all this dough without payin’ any tax Why didn’t I think of that Why didn’t I think of that Wouldn’t be where I’m at Could’ve been a real fat cat Why didn’t I think of that Bring on the limo the babes and bling If only I could think of the next big thing A waterproof toaster or air conditioned shoes How the heck can I lose Met the Kardashians at their place in the hills Asked ‘em how on earth they’re keepin’ up with these bills Told me people pay ‘em to look cute and relax Why didn’t I think of that Why didn’t I think of that Wouldn’t be where I’m at Could’ve been a real fat cat Why didn’t I think of that
38.
Sometimes late at night I curse your name Guess some things never change Half an empty bed where the words start makin' sense Rememberin' what you used to say All these memories comin' back Like a tidal wave inside Way it felt when you held me I could tell That would be the last time I'm not the same without your love Couldn't keep you it ain't no wonder why Something's changin' in my heart I been thinkin' 'bout how tough you were For leavin' before you treated me unkind Do it different if I could Gave it all I don't care how it looked Saw it comin' clear as day and you left me anyway Hope you know I understood I'm not the same without your love Couldn't keep you it ain't no wonder why Something's changin' in my heart I been thinkin' 'bout how tough you were For leavin' before you treated me unkind One fine day I will be a stronger man Carry more than my own weight Wish we met when I was better but it's best I understand You made me who I am today
39.
Out here alone under the stars Turn off the headlights find somewhere to park Light up and lay down empty my lungs Eyes in the distance heart in the trunk Untie the laces kick off my shoes Just like the night I'm all black and blue Reach for the bottle drown out the pain Me and my memories fading away Nowhere to run nothing to lose I know what I've done why I don't have you Can't seem to find a goddamn to spare Too high to cry too drunk to care Can't say I'm proud of what I've become A damn fool layin' here stupid and stunned Now you're gone there ain't shit else to do Screwed myself good amen that's the truth Nowhere to run nothing to lose I know what I've done why I don't have you Can't seem to find a goddamn to spare Too high to cry too drunk to care So dear God if you're up in the clouds Come and save me I'm here on the ground I surrender it's too late to lie Maybe I need you just for tonight
40.
That cotton dress sure makes me guess What's goin' on underneath I like your style, come sit awhile And order up somethin' sweet We'll talk about what makes you proud And maybe what makes you smile I got a plan wanna' hold your hand And tell you what's on my mind You got every single thing I need I just wanna' take you home with me Lemme' show you baby what I mean Pretty please You don't have to be alone tonight Come with me I'm gonna' treat you right All you gotta' do is step inside Lemme' give you a ride You got the moves, oh yes you do That spin my head around I know a place that'll put a smile on your face We'll be the talk of the town You got every single thing I need I just wanna' take you home with me Lemme' show you baby what I mean Pretty please You don't have to be alone tonight Come with me I'm gonna' treat you right All you gotta' do is step inside Lemme' give you a ride Don't matter where you're from Or what you're sippin' on Somethin' 'bout this just feels right We can dance the night away 'Til the stars all start to fade And I'll watch the sun come up in your eyes
41.
Pin my hair up hope you never see Through the mask I'm puttin' on Handsome, humble but I know you'll never be The one I really want Froze like winter I didn't make a sound When I saw her yesterday Heart was heavy when I look her and down The one who took my man away That's the kind of girl he oughtta' be with Strong as hell but somehow still the sweetest Guess at first I didn't wanna' see it That's the kind of girl he always needed Take it slow and even though I haven't cried today The night has just begun Think of him and where he's been as I'm layin' wide awake I'm glad he found someone That's the kind of girl he oughtta' be with Strong as hell but somehow still the sweetest Guess at first I didn't wanna' see it That's the kind of girl he always needed Wish him well while I'm picking up the pieces That's the kind of girl he always needed
42.
Let's get gone, let's run from the rest Say that you're liking the way that I test you I'm nothing like the others you've seen Listen to the sound you know talk is cheap Liking the way that you move, but it's more than that Letting your faith play the role baby don't look back Looking to me for a sign tell me where we're at Promise I won't let you down Just follow me You're my ecstasy You've been searching for something I know I'll treat you the way you know that he won't Heaven help me but I guarantee When you're in my heart you'll always be free Liking the way that you move, but it's more than that Letting your faith play the role baby don't look back Looking to me for a sign tell me where we're at Promise I won't let you down Just follow me You're my ecstasy
43.
They call it motor city but plants have all shut down Big old emtpy red brick mausoleums Casualties of cash in cardboard boxes on the ground An empire we saw smashed to smithereens They took away our paychecks and our homes were reposessed But they can't shake my faith or take my pride So I'm still primin' engines 'cuz it's all that I got left And I pray that I won't quit until I die I just keep replacin' wires changin' oil and patchin' tires And puttin' all my trust into the Lord Because I've seen heaven's gate in all my dreams and I can't wait To ask St. Peter where to park my Ford They're sellin' motor city run down shacks and fixer uppers Pennies on the buck no question asked Meanwhile I'll be fixin' F-150s in the gutter Long as I got the grace and diesel gas
44.
Same old movie in my head every summer me and her Talkin' names like James if it's a boy or Lisa for a girl Holdin' onto the memory of a barefoot porch on a Saturday And the face in a faded photograph seven thousand miles away Dog tags and a wedding ring, how'd it come to this Hard to do the right thing when you don't know what that is Heart is halfway 'round the world but my boots are on the ground Countin' down the days here ain't too much longer now Tunin' out the choppers and squintin' through the dust Thinkin' of the one I love and the place I wish I was Did my best couldn't fix the rest but I pray she understands Either way I'm learnin' what it means to be a man Dog tags and a wedding ring, how'd it come to this Hard to do the right thing when you don't know what that is Heart is halfway 'round the world but my boots are on the ground Countin' down the days here ain't too much longer now Open up that envelope and a tear rolls down my face Loves me and she's proud as hell P.S. little Lisa's on the way
45.
When it's all about to crumble When I stumble and I fall Breathe in deep and thank the stars above You listen when I talk Funny how it's easier to reach you When I'm on my knees I could really use your help right now Won't you take a walk with me I love the way you listen to me You gimme' grace to speak my heart Somehow when I tell you what I'm thinkin' about The night don't seem so dark When I'm afraid there's something I can't do You show me that I can I'm hopin' that someday I'm gonna' be The man you think I am Knowing that I'll never be alone Makes my life worth living I feel your gentle touch beside me And know that I'm forgiven I love the way you listen to me You gimme' grace to speak my heart Somehow when I tell you what I'm thinkin' about The night don't seem so dark When I'm afraid there's something I can't do You show me that I can I'm hopin' that someday I'm gonna' be The man you think I am When you smile I know I'll never fail Every time you wag your tail
46.
Yeah I got a favorite bar 'Bout a twenty minute drive A busted clock above the door It's always quarter after five Billy's gamblin' on the Rams Reds look good to me and Steve Someone's winnin' big tonight Bet it won't be me Said she can't take another day Of watching me drink away The man she loved and wanted to believe Against all odds I'm hopin' she won't go But I don't wanna' know 'til I get back home Time to double down on Cincinnati and me More times than I can count She came and bailed me out Drunk and too damn proud A loser in his Crown Like an angel in a Chevy Cavalier She couldn't understand When I pawned her daddy's watch And my weddin' band If they win I'll be the king of world Until the sun comes up again Either way I know one of these days I'm losin' my best friend
47.
Painted every corner Really thought I knew this house of mine This room I've never noticed Wonder how it'd feel to walk inside Would there be darkness in that moment Or could sunlight fill the space and make it golden Behind a door I never opened Halfway down the hallway Right between the kitchen and the stairs No one here to tell me What fills the room I didn't know was there Is it promises I've broken Or is it all the things I left unspoken Behind a door I never opened Even if I wanted Can't pretend that something hasn't changed Heads I swing it open Tails I turn around and walk away With every breath I know it Once I step inside I'll never close it The door I never opened
48.
In my college days I thought I was smooth Chasin' ponytails and daisy dukes Spent my twenties runnin' 'round like a fool But I been tongue tied since I met you Told the boys we'll meet up Friday night Pop some tops under the neon lights Didn't say you'd be along for the ride And we'd be dancin' side by side To tell you the truth it happens every time You shoot me a look and my words start flyin' Wanna' leave the games behind you gotta' gimme' a sign Baby I'm tryin', don't get me to lyin' Sold my '67 Nova today Ain't been workin' on it anyway Put up my putter 'cuz I know you don't play Even bought tickets to the damn ballet Take a look at what you're doin' to me You got me wearin' my heart on my sleeve I'd tell my buddies but they won't believe I'm speechless on your polkadot sheets No more fishin' 'cuz honey I'm hooked, even gave away my little black book Threw my name in for a few extra shifts, savin' up for a ring Wanna' leave the games behind, told everyone it's time Baby I'm tryin', don't get me to lyin'
49.
Didn’t count the hours the footsteps or the miles Swear it feels like yesterday I left it all behind I sold the stuff worth selling and gave away the rest All except the photograph sitting on my desk Torn around the corners and faded pretty hard Looks like any day now the frame could fall apart Still it stands there steady a statue from the past Half my life in black and white in paper, wood, and glass Something in the shadows makes the clock rewind Brings me back to better days when all we had was time Little league and laughs instead of lawyers, lies and looks All those Kodak flashes burn like matches in a book Torn around the corners and faded pretty hard Looks like any day now the frame could fall apart Still it stands there steady a statue from the past Half my life in black and white in paper, wood, and glass Wouldn’t trade it wouldn’t wash away the tears A little pain is worth it for the years that you were here Some nights I wonder if you ever wish you could Step back in time inside that paper, glass, and wood
50.
I really miss, I wish you would I wonder where, that's how it starts I like the way, I bet we could I'm thinkin' of, question mark Finish this sentence don't keep me in suspense I'm tired of guessing so tell me how it ends Reach for the memory then send it all back home Finish this sentence you wrote so long ago My favorite color is, we never knew You always loved, it's out of my hands Guess it was never, wanted us to Promised for better, fill in the blank Finish this sentence don't keep me in suspense I'm tired of guessing so tell me how it ends No more ellipses or parenthetic blues Finish this sentence it's the least that you can do You saw it comin' and gave me a sign I started runnin' ran outta' time We had it all then but everything changed Tell me the rest of the words on the page Finish this sentence don't keep me in suspense I'm tired of guessing so tell me how it ends Pick up the pencil and write it all down Finish this sentence and close the chapter out
51.
Dear songsters from our weekly group, I wrote this one for you To celebrate the awesome gift you've shared with all your tunes I want to thank each writer, even though it'll take awhile So please sit back and settle in, and be prepared to smile It's been a sonic journey with two Marty's and three Matts And three great singers around the world named Emma, how about that Victoria, Zahid and Tony, made it all worthwhile And so did Tonia, Sergey, Rob, Mattias, Mark and Kyle Rossel joined us, so did Sonshine, Wendy and three Stephens Two Seths, Svaha, Shawn and Pio, all kept us believin' Rachael, Richard, two Fionas, Øliver and Thor Jess and Jesse, Joe and Jude, kept us comin' back for more We jammed with Sunny, Sandy, Sarah, Samuel and Liam With Scott and Patrick, Paul and Pamela, Paula and Pauline Three Mikes, two Michaels, Max and Janet, Jerry, Pat and Jane Yes without Luciano, it would never be the same Thanks to Lydia, Nathan too, and Lindsay for her music Drew, Deanna, Davis, Ed and Holly got us movin' Henry joined, and Emihle, four Andrews, and two Andy's All things considered, Ethan Frank and Eric all earned Grammys Theresa, Tamora, Thao and Thomas, Tim Tim Tim and Tina Erin, Evan, Francis, Frankie, Norman, Nik and Lia Another Nik, a Nicholas, Marissa, Rich and Ricky Griffin, Roy, and Madison, Nigel, Zed and Niki Amelie and Andriana, Anthony and Carrie Bryon, Carla, Caroline, GeeTee, Greg and Gary Three Chris's, Katie, Kristen, Kari, Christian and Christine Keanazy, Kyle and Cristhopper, Deborah and Ãmîñe Bernii, Brandon, Amahle, Annika and Blake Jenny, Jen, and Jennifer, four Jameses and two Jakes Jamie, Jay, another Jay, and yet another Jen Keith, two Kevins, Claes and Clarence, Carol, Craig and Ken Aaron, Abbie, Abril, Adam, Alan, Ben and Nick Alex, Bill, Anoki, Ashley, Andile, Dave and Ric Colin, Darren, Dallas, David, Isabella, Zack Cherene, Ciaran, Carlo, Colby, Jackson, Jan and Jack Three Dans, a Daniel, two Danielles, Denise, Joanna, John And Jon without an H as well, he kept us rocking on Donovan and Deepa, you were awesome, so was Julia And finally, thank you Jordan, every song you sang was coolia Can't believe week 52 is just around the corner The distance to the finish line is getting so much shorter What a year it's been and 2020's fast approaching Thanks for keeping Song A Week 2019 always growing
52.
This is not a song no it's a credit card Plastic with a hologram and a watermark Good to fill the tank or empty out a shopping cart The perfect silent partner to finish anything you start This is not a song it's a new pair of shoes Laces in a bow lily white and baby blue Waiting in their little box patiently for you Ready to walk anywhere do anything you wanna' do This is not a song no it's a pack of smokes Light one up and take a drag feel it in your throat Toss 'em with a matchbook or a lighter in the pocket of your coat You got a secret weapon now hit the road and go for broke This is not a song it's an IOU Not green or gold just a pledge from me to you Still workin' out what it's worth if you want the truth May not buy you anything but it sure wants to
53.
I was broken down I was fallen on my knees Full of desperation Defeat and disbelief Had no trust to speak of Couldn't find my faith Until you raised the good book And washed my fear away You took me in when I had nowhere else to go Gave me shelter, gave me comfort, gave me hope Like the love we read about that doesn't have a price Never mind the pages, you brought those words to life Does it ever end The need to pray Will there be a moment Our souls are finally saved If you taught me one thing Over all the rest It's by grace alone we're saved And we are blessed You took me in when I had nowhere else to go Gave me shelter, gave me comfort, gave me hope Like the love we read about that doesn't have a price Never mind the pages, you brought those words to life So the next time I meet anyone Who's havin' trouble hangin' on I'll know exactly what to do Rememberin' how lost I was Think about that heavy cross And treat 'em like I would if I were you
54.
You were lookin' cute at the Dairy Queen Offered you a treat if you know what I mean Turned your pretty head around like Linda Blair Flipped me the bird and chased me outta' there Baby what's your damage who made you this injured Pulled a tenth avenue freeze out in the dead of winter God help us both if we match on Tinder I blew you a kiss and you gave me the finger Saw you again at the Texaco Told you I was sorry for what I said befo' Nearly caught a cast iron skillet to the head Girl you sure know how to make a man sweat What makes you kill a man who's already surrendered Squeezed out my soul and hit puree on the blender Fried up all my stupid hopes and dreams for dinner I blew you a kiss and you gave me the finger Thought I learned my lesson and I left you alone So why do you keep on blowin' up my telephone Unplugged the cord and spun around and there you stood You said "read between the lines" and I sure understood My little wooden heart has come apart in splinters Chopped down my pride with an axe and yelled "timber" Let's light up a match and burn it all down to cinders I blew you a kiss and you gave me the finger I tried run away but your curse it lingers You swerved in my lane without a glance or a blinker Like a big Maytag dryer you put my mind through the wringer I blew you a kiss and you gave me the finger

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Entire collection of original songs written and recorded week by week for Song A Week 2019, an international songwriting group.

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released February 12, 2020

Written, performed, engineered and mixed by James Tristan Redding and, where applicable, a co-writer as named per song. Words and music copyright 2019 by James Tristan Redding. Registered with BMI. All rights reserved.

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James Tristan Redding Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Godin Guitars Official Artist and Founder of www.songaweek.org.

His catalog of 400+ titles includes collaborations with hit writers Mark Narmore, Steve Dean, Elliott Park and Pete and Pat Luboff, among others both stateside and worldwide.

Redding has landed cuts by recording artists Eli Alger, Dan Whitehouse, Emma Gale, and David Easterling.
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