My Turn Now

My Geo Metro’s got bad shocks

Something falls off every seven blocks

I’m battling through life pothole to pothole

The floorboard’s about to rust away

I can see the street, but that’s okay

’cause my brakes are shot, I’m stopping like Fred Flintstone

I’ve been working double-time

Paying for things that aren’t even mine

And I ain’t got one thin dime to show for it

Now my girlfriend says she wants a rock

And I got nothing left to hock

I’m paying for everybody’s dreams but mine

But it’s my turn now

My dad said “I told you so

“An MBA is the way to go

“But no, Mr. Liberal Arts”

But I’ll get the last laugh when he’s 65

All bent up and half-alive

’cause that’s the thanks you get for what he calls real work

And what do I get for trying hard?

I still pay my VISA with my MasterCard

And the price of fast food? I’m about to die of hunger

I want to rest my back, use my head

Spend my money before I’m dead

Because you can see I’m not getting any younger

It’s my turn now

Put me on a damn game show

’cause hell, there’s nothing I don’t know

I’d kick some TV ass—I’m a Survivor

But the stuff I know, I can’t use

In my current job, ‘cause they don’t care who’s

The first president to get stuck in a bathtub

And who invented the parachute?

Well, I’ll give you a hint: it’s the same guy who

Invented the airplane—now there’s confidence for you

And who else but me would give a shit

That a pregnant goldfish is called a twit

And a dork? That’s a delicate part of a whale

What’s the middle name of Donald Duck?

And how much wood can a woodchuck chuck?

And exactly how do earthworms f—

Find a way to make other earthworms?

And who are the Simpsons’ real voices?

What country drives the most Rolls Royces?

Could you get that from just four choices?

I didn’t think so

My turn now

So buy me a vowel, you Hollywood square

Hell, I’d marry a millionaire

Whatever it takes—just show me the money

It’s my turn now

Into The Night

I stared at the front porch as I waited

While fireflies circled the light

Packed up my babies, loaded up the Chevy

And headed off into the night

I could hear through the window their voices

I could hear my girls saying goodbye

I didn’t hear if she told them that she loved them

As we headed off into the night

We drove through the green hills of Charlotte

We drove over the Eastern Divide

And the Great Smoky Mountains watched in the dark

As we headed off into the night

Now you can’t stop some people from talking

She tells folks that they ran away

But God and babies know the reason

They headed for shelter that day

And in the light of Nebraska they blossom

Like the sun on the prairie they shine

But I wonder what they will remember

That Was Then

You call me almost every day

And if you don’t, I’ll call back anyway

It’s a habit, but I wouldn’t have it any other way

Used to be 4:30 on the dot

Now it’s 5 or 6 or maybe not at all

But that’s your call, as they say

Because we both made our amends

And it looks like in the end we’ll end as friends

’cause that was then and this is now

I see the pictures on your wall

They haven’t changed very much at all

It’s as if I’m still with you every day

And when I call, I ring your doorbell 1-2-3

So your little dog will know it’s me

She’s still eager for that little treat, I’m glad to see

So I guess that some things never change

But others feel a little strange somehow

’cause that was then and this is now

And like a plant that’s brown and dry

You either water it or you let it die

But it won’t wait while you try to find a sign to tell you what to do

I can see you want me to be happy

That you found somebody new

So I try to find way to say

“Hey—good for you”

But it’s hard to let you be

I guess I thought that you’d end up with me somehow

But that was then

A Heartbeat Away

I got a friend who’s a singer

Late into the night he’s shining up his songs

Just gets better and better

Up there all alone

He won’t let anyone hear him

Afraid of some kind of something that he can’t explain

It’s just him in his bedroom he entertains

Just a heartbeat away

I see him just a heartbeat away

When the canoe toppled over

It was pretty funny at first, for two out of three

Just six inches under, but she couldn’t breathe

It’s one of life’s indignations

They say it was her life vest that held her down

They pulled her arm from the socket

But she still drowned

Just a heartbeat away

I saw her just a heartbeat away

She cries it out on his shoulder

Until the only sound left is the beat of his chest

A steady rhythm of comfort so she can rest

I think God grants supplications

I think sometimes he just lays them there right at your feet

But you’re too busy praying up to the sky

To just look down and see it

Just a heartbeat away

I see you’re just a heartbeat away

500 Miles Left To Yankton

500 miles left to Yankton

Prairie is flat as a day-old beer

Nothing to see, nothing to say

To this woman sitting beside me here

She was just 21 when I met her

In her second year writing for the

They’d sent her out to figure out who I was

As if I had any idea

But I always like talking about myself

And I’ll listen if you buy me a beer

She stopped asking questions, looked up from her ashtray

And said, “Mister, get me out of here”

Now it’s 400 miles left to Yankton

Prairie grass thin as an old man’s head

Nothing to see, nothing to say

To this woman sharing my bed

I’m always at home when I’m driving

Up ’til now I’ve been driving alone

But it was nice to have someone to talk to

Something to look at besides the damn road

I spent seven fast years drunk and peaceful

Happy just to quiet my brain

And I spent one long dry year trying to face myself

No closer to riches, no closer to fame

Now she’s heard all my jokes and my stories

So she reads out the signs that pass every so often

Wall Drug, Mt. Rushmore, Sturgis

Each word is like a nail in my coffin

Now it’s 399 left to Yankton

Look any direction—man, it’s all the same

Nothing to see, nothing to say

To this woman wearing my name

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Out of sight, out of mind

Wish I could just walk away from this trouble of mine

If I could just let it go, everything would be fine

But when she’s out of my sight, I go out of my mind

My girl is pretty, my girl is sweet

Can’t think of one good reason why the woman chose me

It ain’t her fault, it’s plain to see

The problem ain’t her, man, the trouble is me

I get so jealous—it’s quite a sight

Keep drinking cheap barn whiskey ’til I get in a fight

She drags me home, cleans me up, tells me it’s all right

But I know someone’s gonna steal her if I let that girl out of sight

Out of mind

Well I’d do anything to hold on to that woman of mine

When it’s the two of us alone, everything is fine

But when she’s out of my sight, I go out of my mind

I get embarrassed—it’s a disgrace

But I can’t help myself, I follow her all over the place

She’s just like me, just wants some space

But I see the boys a-lookin’, it’s all over their face

Don’t trust no one, not in the end

Don’t trust the boys in the bar, don’t trust my own best friend

I see her patience about to end

And if I don’t get a grip I’ll be the next thing she sends out of sight

Out of mind

Well, I’d do anything to hold on to that woman of mine

If I could just relax, everything would be fine

But when she’s out of my sight, I go out of my mind

I asked my shrink what can I do

Can’t go through life like no pitiful lovesick fool

Give me some strength, some self-respect

And the answer he gave was just what I’d expect

He looked at her, he looked at me

He said “I don’t need no seven-year Ph.D.

“Your problem’s simple, it’s plain to see

“Why would she be with you, when she could be with me?

“See, you’re not crazy—you’re plenty smart

“It’s just a matter of time before she breaks your heart

“How you got her in the first place—that’s got me in the dark

And if I were you, I wouldn’t let her get too far out of sight”

Out of mind

Well there’s another poor fool gonna say his goodbyes

If he were smarter, he’d have lied

‘cause when she’s out of my sight I go out of my mind

Why’d We Let the World In

Oh, baby, why’d we let the world in?

We had it all, just you and me back then

In our own little world

Why’d we let ‘em in?

The way you sang to me on that very first night

You lips were loose and your sweater was tight

Sweet hips to the left, hips to the right

I didn’t sleep for a week, toss-and-turning all night

The very first time I touched your hand

We behaved so good but my thoughts were so bad

Could’ve been the best lovin’ that I didn’t have

How’d I let it turn out so bad?

Then I got you all alone, like a dream come true

Will your buttons unbutton? Maybe one or two

Everybody knew who’s supposed to be with who

And it wasn’t me and you

Now your mama she cries and your daddy won’t talk

But the neighbors they do, all up and down the block

I want to pull down my shutters, deadbolt my lock

Let ’em knock

First you told her, then she told him

One to another until it came right back again

Take me back then, take me back when

It was just you, me and our original sin

How Could You Do This?

He offered her azaleas

Just like every time before

She met him in the doorway

Said, “I won’t see you anymore

“I found myself another”

And with that, she closed the door

He backed into the dark

Found himself in Central Park

Alone as a lonely man can be

He said, “How could you do this?

“How did you do this?

“How could she do this to me?”

It was halftime on the ballfield, 17-3

A boy stood in the floodlight

His jersey stained with green

A smile beneath his gold crown

For the young homecoming queen

While his father in the stands

Looked down into his empty hands

A fight song of his own he sang to me

He said, ”How could you do this?

“How did you do this?

“How could she do this to me?”

There’s a scar across Dakota

It cuts deep into the plain

It’s a monument to the ecstasy of pain

There’s a scar in New York City

With nothing to proclaim

But that sometimes, things will

Never be the same again

It started in the morning

Before the rising sun

11th of September, 1961

He read his morning paper

As he polished up his gun

Then he walked into the basement

And what’s done, is done, is done

It was forty years ago today

She left him in the lurch

I found him on the corner

Of Liberty and Church

He was deaf to all around him

That’s what bothered me the worst

As the towers tumbled down and five thousand souls rained around him

He raised his eyes and said these words to me

He said, “How could you do this?

“How did you do this?

“How could she do this to me?”

Same Old Same Old

Same old girl, same old bed

Same old pillow for my head

Same old words, soft and clear

She says “I love you” in my ear

In a world filled with change

I guess some things stay the same

Same old house, same old wife

It’s the same old, same old life

Everyone wants a change

Many a good thing gets thrown away

I’ve made mistakes, I’ve caused pain

I’ve known sorrow, and I felt shame

When this old world fills with rain

I guess some things never change

Same old house, same old wife

Got the same old, same old life

You don’t need to tell me life is hard

I don’t know how I even got this far

But I’m far enough that I’m with you

I guess I learned a thing or two

As this old world fills with change

Just let just one thing stay the same

Same old house, same old wife

Give me the same old, same old life

Same old words, soft and clear

I say “I love you” in your ear

Anything for You

I would do anything for you

You only wanted him to stay

He would do anything for her

And it goes on and on that way

I chose to let it cool with her

So I could give my heart to you

You said you needed room for him

There’s nothing left for me to do

You followed that flicker in his eyes

You said our dream would not come true

You would not live another lie

But now he’s turned away from you

I would do anything for you…

I had to read between the lines

There was so much you did not say

I had to see it in your eyes

You put your heart away

But I would do anything for you…

Up and Down

Momma woulda liked to run him out of town

But Zydeco Joe’ll always be around

Raking on his washboard up and down

Oh yeah

Up and down, I been looking

I been looking at it up and down

Up and down, I been looking

I been looking at it up and down

I know momma woulda said it’s a sin

If it doesn’t come out of the church she’s in

I know she’d never know the zydeco jump and spin

Oh no

Up and down…

My momma raised me only

She gave her very best

I watched her heart grow lonely

Then laid her down to rest

Momma probably woulda called you a whore

For taking me shaking on the old dance floor

But momma’s not around here anymore

Oh no

So up and down, I been looking

I been looking at you up and down

Up and down, I been looking

I been looking you up and down

Frozen Pizza Waltz

Emily pauses to look out the window

She thinks about leaving downtown

She watches the sun try to rise from the parking lot

Nobody else is around

She catches the train like she does every Monday

She doesn’t look back anymore

She tucks a loose curl back up into her hairnet

And walks to the factory floor

And she wonders, and she wonders

Emily ponders each circle of dough

That rises from dawn ’til the afternoon

They ride the conveyor belt all in a row

As naked and white as an empty room

She lays out her toppings like tables and chairs

Arranged for comfortable view

Red carpet here and some greenery there

She’s rebuilding a life she once knew

And she wonders, and she wonders

Boxed up and frozen they scatter like pollen

And travel to no one knows where

Emily hopes that the child she is calling

Will find his way back to her there

And she wonders, is he out there?

Tired, he silently opens the freezer

He looks one more time at his phone

He turns up the oven to 425

For another night dining alone

He traces his touch over ottoman olives

And tarragon tables that make him smile

It looks just like a room that he knew years ago

In a home that he had for a while

And he wonders, is she out there?

And she wonders, is he out there?

And he wonders, and she wonders…

Emily pauses to look out the window

The Hero

The hero, he will raise himself a statue

And another one will come and knock it down

Up and down, it’s been like this as long as I remember

As they fight over my dirty little town

Take the oil, take the gold

All we want is to grow old

They fill the sky and sail across the ocean

I can’t make out a single word they say

From far away it all gets set in motion

And when it’s over, both sides go away

Can they never fight at home?

And leave us all alone?

I raise my eyes and pray up to the Father

That one fine day we won’t be worth the bother

I came home and my neighbor’s house had fallen

His fig tree and his children are all gone

No one here will tell me why it happened

They all walk by as if there’s nothing wrong

Take my house, take my things

Just leave the wedding rings

All songs copyright Michael Campbell, Prairie Moon Music, Inc.