The Morning Paper

© 2014 Terry Murphy

 

I like to read the morning paper

But don’t watch the evening news

With the paper I get to wander

On TV they get to choose

All the chaos and the mayhem

Not much good to say

I like to read the morning paper

That’s how I start my day

 

I’d rather turn the pages

Than relocate channels

Or walk out to the mailbox

In boxers or my flannels

A paper lays out quite nicely

Helps catch jelly spills

I like to read the morning paper

And forget my social skills

 

I know it plays on radios

And new technology

But I forgot my password

And the words I can barely see

 

I guess I’m a bit old-fashioned

I’ll even read out loud

I like to scan the sports page

Like lookin’ for a face in the crowd

I jump from scores to stories

Like a fan getting on his feet

I like to read the morning paper

There’s room pull up a seat

 

I’m a bit of a techno peasant

My phone is not so smart

I’m a senile delinquent

Wouldn’t know where to start

 

I like to read the morning paper

When I stop in little towns

Look for local heroes

Hiding in the lost and found

Sit in the corner of a loud cafe

Observe the native ways

I like to read the morning paper

And hear what people have to say


Critical Acclaim      

© 2014 Terry Murphy

 

Sometimes I wax poetic

Or try and make you smile

With clever personality

Or wit once in awhile

I’ll try and spin a tale

About a person, place or thing

Or touch upon a memory

Of a private happening

I’m just another writer

Without fortune or fame

As it was in the beginning

It’s about critical acclaim

 

Of the patrons in the house

I like to find a face

As I sing an old song

Who would gladly take my place

Sit up under bright lights

And move about the stage

Wish they kept pickin’ guitar

From a tender age

It’s ok to be a player

Without fortune or fame

Still searching for a little

Critical acclaim

 

I sang songs from Dylan

Or Crosby, Stills, and Nash

Hank Williams and Paul Simon,

John Prine and Mister Cash

I’ve played my share of covers

And songs you recognize

Then changed my way of thinking

And I sorta realized

I can write my own songs

They kinda sound the same

Maybe just like them

I’ll find critical acclaim

 

If you are a writer

Leaving lead down on a page

Keep the words a flowin’

No matter what your age

Inspiration comes from

The places [wandering] you will see

Then start singing songs

In your community

It’s not about the bright lights

Of fortune or fame

It’s all about the gettin’

Of critical acclaim


Blue Highway

© 2014 Terry Murphy

 

He seemed to find comfort

Getting off the interstate

Exits homogenized

And corporations congregate

At times he took the big road

When he had to get somewhere

But when he took a road trip

Blacktop took him there

 

Take the blue highway

To see one of a kind

Tip the map sideways

And see what you can find

See what you can find

 

Look for neon signs

Dusty pickups in the lot

Pushing daily specials

Served hot hot hot

Sittin’ at the counter

With all the local joes

Sayin’ what they need

And where they go go go

 

Doin’ battle with the waitress

A game of hide and seek

Ya don’t look too hard

But you kinda like to peek

Answers come back

To the questions of the day

That hash from a can

Or made yesterday

 

Check the local color

To brighten up the trip

At a yard sale fruit stand

Free lemonade to sip

Rub elbows with real people

Talking bout real things

The backroads of America

Are worth the wandering


Kickin’ the Dream

© 2013 Terry Murphy

 

People like to say they’re

Livin’ the dream

But it’s not

As easy as it seems

Kids to feed and bills to pay

This thing called work

Most every day

It’s all good to pay your dues

But someday friend you get to choose

 

Chorus

Start kickin’ the dream

you knew you could

Start kickin’ the dream

you hoped you would

Start kickin’ the dream

you really should

Start kickin’ the dream

Cuz life is good

Stop thinkin’

Start livin’

Start kickin’ your dream

 

I got my cabin in the woods

The kids got fed and are lookin’ good

I changed the world

In my very own way

Was good to folks

Most every day

Got a smokin’ wife

And a big old dog

My turn now to

Live high on the hog

 

I got more guitars

Than a guy can play

And they’re all made

in the USA

wear cowboy boots

and old t-shirts

just might sleep

til my back hurts

kickin my dreams

cuz mine it is real

I even get to go

to Lambeau Field


From Over Yonder      

© 2013 Terry Murphy

 

Are you from around here

Are you from around here

Are you from around here

Tell me where you come from

 

No I’m not from around here (3x)

I come from over yonder

 

OOOOOOOOOH…I come from over yonder

OOOOOOOOOH…I come from over yonder

 

I wonder where you’re going (3x)

When you come from over yonder

 

I am yet to be decided (3x)

So I’m sittin’ here to ponder

 

OOOOOOOOOH…I come from over yonder

OOOOOOOOOH…I come from over yonder

 

Maybe we can go together (3x)

I’d kinda like to know you

 

That would make me happy (3x)

Over yonder we will go to

 

OOOOOOOOOH…I come from over yonder

OOOOOOOOOH…I come from over yonder

 

I’ll have to think about it (3x)

Cuz you come from over yonder

 

Go ahead and think about it  (3x)

Cuz I’m headin’ back to yonder

OOOOOOOOOH…I come from over yonder

OOOOOOOOOH…I come from over yonder


First Corner on Wandering Road

© 2014 Terry Murphy

 

When I was just a little man

On the corner I would wait

For a Greyhound bus to pass me by

And I would count the states

Someday I said I’d get there

To all those license plates

Kind of got me thinkin’

Of places far and great

 

Put that city limit sign

Smack in the rear view mirror

The morning sun is sneaking up

I’m getting out of here

The wind will fill my sails

Puttin’ on my Kerouac

May the road rise to meet me

Not sure when I’ll be back

 

I can see it in the distance

I can feel it in my bones

On a misty Sunday morning

I’m settin’ out to roam

Take me down that straight away

It’s where I want to go

To that first corner

On Wandering Road

 

Take me to an old friend

Have not seen in a while

Where we can tell old stories

The one’s that make us smile

Rollin’ down the windows

A song to keep instep

Lookin’ for that treasure

I haven’t been to yet

 

I’ll call you when I get there

Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing

Been keepin’ out of ditches

Still wearin’ my wedding ring

Somebody told me somewhere

A place I ought to see

It might take a day or so

But that’s where I will be


Junior’s Daughter

© 2014 Terry Murphy

 

I think I’m in love with Junior’s daughter

If I was chasin’ I might a caught her

But she was playin’ a little hard to get

Junior’s daughter would be quite a catch

 

I’ve known Junior for many a year

We used to fish off the same old pier

The only thing he ever worried about

Was when his little girl started steppin’ out

 

Junior’s daughter is quite a peach

To get that fruit ya’d have to reach

Get up on a chair so you can see

To my surprise she was lookin’ at me

 

Don’t tell Junior whatever ya do

I’ll tell him myself from the last church pew

When they pass the hat for the man above

Here’s an extra buck for my baby’s love


Empty Your Bucket

© 2013 Terry Murphy

 

Nobody goes through life undefeated

The finest apple even gets a bruise

I hate to sound so philosophical

Or mystical if that’s a word you choose

But now and then we wander thru a head wind

Or someone kicks you square in…to your shin

Everybody has a time when

We flat-out feel like cryin’

Empty your bucket

You’ll soon get another one to fill

 

Everybody picks a fight

With a whole lotta woe is me

Spillin’ those beans

And chase those dreams

Empty buckets only set you free

 

 

Well I could tell you all my favorite stories

And you could pass a few right back to me

To hear us whiz and moan about the sad times

Hardly seems like we are livin’ free

From all the tragedies imposed upon us

When we said what’s the sense of even tryin’

So my friend just kick your bucket over

This here just ain’t a hill we’re gonna die on


Makin’ It Up

© 2012 Terry Murphy   

 

Just another rich guy

Makin’ it up

Tryin’ to get elected

Just another rich guy

Makin’ it up

Try not to get infected

 

I read it in the paper

I hear it on the news

They even call my number

When I’m tying my shoes

Somebody yappin’

About another rich guy

Who started telling stories

And makin’ up lies

 

Numbers go up

And numbers go down

It’s just another horse on

The merry-go-round

Like any good horse

They pile it high and deep

Then spread it out

To fertilize a speech

 

It’s hard for us poor folk

To sort it all out

When it comes from both sides

Of somebody’s mouth

If Lombardi was alive today

I’m pretty sure he’d say

“What and the hell is goin’ on out there!”

Each and every day!

 

They sit on the left

And they sit on the right

When you’re tryin’ to get elected

There’s only one fight

How to spend the money

From another rich guy

Be the best politician

That money can buy


The Woody Song

© 2013 Terry Murphy

 

How would Woody Guthrie live

If he was here today

Bet he’d have wi-fi

At his own cafe

Bet he’d work the counter

Serve the common man

Singing a few new verses

About this land

 

Would he have a fancy phone

As he rides the rails

Takin’ pictures of landscapes

And corners of jails

Would he drink his coffee black

And his whiskey clean

Wearin’ Texas boots  

And busted up blue jeans

 

What would woody Guthrie say

If he were here today

He’d be speakin’ his mind

And come what may

He’d have a message

Without fail

This land of ours

Is still for sale

 

Would he be a session player

On a Dylan CD

Would he vote for a woman

Or even own a TV

Would he talk of global warming

Like the dust bowl days

Would he occupy  

And be the one who stays

 

I wonder what Woody sez

About insurance plans

And building a wall

Along the Rio Grande

About corporate thieves

And hip hop beats

And all those corn fields

Turned to streets

 

Would he drive a foreign car

Or a beat up jeep

Would he have a website

Or a farm to keep

I don’t think he’d sell out

To the Nashville crowd

He might host an open mic

Singin’ loud and proud

 

Would he go electric

With a whammy bar

Chase around models

Or movie stars

Would he live in Austin

Where the hip cats play

Five shows a week

A hundred bucks a day


Big Red and Old Blue    

© 2014 Terry Murphy

 

Here’s a story about Big Red and Old Blue

Each side knew what the other would do

Both well schooled how to play the game

Of making up ways to pass the blame

 

Big Red likes tea Old Blue sips wine

Each one likes a mighty fine time

Both agreed the other should pay

Who picks up the tab for them each day

 

Bridge-Hey Big Red, I’m right, you’re stupid

Hey Old Blue, you’re left, I’m cupid

Yap all day just to disagree

And constipate our democracy

 

We could use a new way to sort it out

Without end-around’s and twist and shout

What if common folk came up with plans

And compromise was allowed to stand

 

It’s all about the money it ain’t about a plan

It’s all about the team it ain’t about the man

Or woman if you think it gives your side the win

And in a couple of years we get Hillary again

 

Bridge-Big Red and Old Blue we only get two

Kinda boils down to a nail or a screw

Big Red and Old Blue what can we do

The hell with them here’s to me and you

 

They work for the few who put them there

And the CEO’s who want their share

Campaign reform is a dirty word

The more you pay the more you’re heard

 

I wish I had an answer but I really don’t

I’d like to run for office but I probably won’t

And who’s got the money to put up a fight

With the liberal left and the radical right

 

So that’s the story of Big Red and Old Blue

I’ve lost a little faith, how ‘bout you?

You can catch their act in Madison

Or the big show out in Washington


Love That Girl   

© 2014 Terry Murphy

 

She was driving north

I was headin’ south

It would be nice to see her

So I can kiss her on the mouth

 

I really love that girl (3x)

And I’m gonna make her mine

 

So I called her on the telephone

And we picked out a spot

Just off Highway 54

Right near a parking lot

 

I really love that girl (3x)

And I’m gonna make her mine

 

I saw her through the window

In the old Shell station

We had a cup of coffee

Discussed our situation

 

I really love that girl (3x)

And I’m gonna make her mine

 

Well I kissed her when I got there

And I kissed her when I left

The taste of those sweet lips

I surely won’t forget

 

I really love that girl (3x)

And I’m gonna make her mine


Shopping at the Resale Store

© 2014 Terry Murphy

 

Perhaps I always wanted

To get inside your pants

Did I get your attention

With junior high comments

Can’t blame me for tryin’

But you never gave me a chance

So I’m shoppin’ at the resale store

 

I wonder what it would be like

To wear a cowboy shirt

Don’t let it drive you crazy

Getting other people’s dirt

Better cut my losses

And find my wife a skirt

Cuz I’m shoppin’ at the resale store

 

Seems everybody has a good donation

For helpin’ out the resale nation

When I die and am out the door

Just take my old stuff back to the resale store

 

There’s grandpa’s old green sweater

And a hometown baseball cap

Inside a funky leather coat

I found an old road map

In the corner sets an old couch

For a quick five minute nap

When I’m shoppin’ at the resale store

 

Head on over to the dollar rack

Is the best place to buy

To see somebody walking out

With an old chair makes me cry

You’ll never find a treasure

Of course unless you try

Shoppin’ at the resale store

 

Goodwill has done gone corporate

 St. Vinny ain’t got the blues

He’s still diggin’ retail

Help wearin’ cool tattoos

Consider it recycling

Conscientious to reuse

So I’m shoppin’ at the resale store


Remember Your Name

© 2014 Terry Murphy

 

I wish I could remember your name

I know you told me yesterday

And you are not to blame

Your face is so familiar

Perhaps you feel the same

I wish I could remember your name

 

I was walkin’ the dog

On a winter day

The sun was shinning bright

When up from behind

Came A little car

And much to my delight

He smiled and waved

So neighborly

Like we were long lost friends

I sure wish I could remember

His first name again

 

I wish I could remember your name

I know you told me yesterday

And you are not to blame

Your face is so familiar

Perhaps you feel the same

I wish I could remember your name

 

I know names of plumbers

Am good with numbers

And most of my backyard creatures

A second cousin on

Your uncle’s side

And some of her best features

Every house

On a paper route

From nineteen sixty-five

Half the Green Bay Packers

Even those who aren’t alive

 

I wish I could remember your name

I know you told me yesterday

And you are not to blame

Your face is so familiar

Perhaps you feel the same

I wish I could remember your name

 

Just last week

I went to a show

To see old Taj Mahal

They hit the lights

A smiling face

Came from the concert hall

She walked up

And said, hey Terry

You sure look the same

The only thought

I had that night was

What the hell’s her name

 

I wish I could remember your name

I know you told me yesterday

And you are not to blame

Your face is so familiar

Perhaps you feel the same

I wish I could remember your name

 

I can recite

Really fast

The whole Greek alphabet

Some good parts

Of a Latin mass

And my first kiss

You bet

The plot in a

Steinbeck novel

If you can stand the pain

And one big mea culpa

Come again with your first name


Another February Sun   

© 2014 Terry Murphy

 

Another February sun

Warming up my heart

Another blue sky Sunday

Waiting for a start

There’s a world at the back door

Descending down a hill

All I hear is quiet

All that moves is still

 

There’s a spring house in the woods

Treasures left behind

An old shanty filled with goods

Memories strong and kind

 

A fresh trail has been broken

Tucked in through the trees

The snow is getting deeper

Just up to my knees

The wind it must be hiding

Forgotten by the cold

Nature paints a picture

A story to be told

 

Bread in the oven

Coffee in the mug

Laughter in the corner

My good dog on the rug

Icicles are growing

In a race against the sun

An old chair is waiting

My wandering is done


Rise and Shine  

© 2011 Terry Murphy

 

Rise ‘n’ Shine wasn’t good at school

‘Cept when it came to breakin’ rules

He kinda got a buzz from talking back

It worked for him to get a laugh

One time from the kitchen’ staff

For hangin’ underwear on a rich kid’s Cadillac

 

He was a master with a bar room stick

Most games were ended quick

He’d smiled and say your money looks like mine

He’d play the boys from out of town

Or the city cats who came around

He’d take your money and say let’s rise and shine

 

Rise ‘n’ Shine would work the crowd

Chalk it up and think out loud

Call the kiss in case you didn’t know

Sometimes I think he’d miss a bit

Just to keep you on the spit

Get on a roll and pull the ol’ Tebow  

 

Rise ‘n’ Shine would dance around

With a whistle and a song

With a whistle and a song

Say rack it up anyplace in town

Take your money and move along

Gonna take your money and move along

Rise ‘n’ Shine with a whistle and a song

Gonna take your cash money and move along

 

Every little town has a cool pool shark

Rise ‘n’ Shine came out after dark

Makin’ his way from tavern to tap

The locals would smile if the game got hot

The louder the dude the better he got

Three rails on the eight and another victory lap


Izzy Moonshine 

© 2011 Terry Murphy

 

They called him Izzy Moonshine

He was everybody’s friend

Didn’t like the middle

He liked sittin’ on the end

Didn’t matter to him

If you were old or new

When he found you in his spot

He’d say “solla ma dupa” to you

 

Salla ma dupa, solla ma dupa, salla ma dupa to everybody here

Solla ma dupa, solla ma dupa, solla ma dupa Izzy’s favorite cheer

 

He came over to this country

After fightin’ in a war

And if you asked about it

He’d say, “whatcha askin’ for

Then raise his glass and whisper

To the red, white and blue

And if you didn’t like it

He’d say “solla ma dupa to you”

 

They say when he was younger

He’d gamble for his check

And if he caught you cheatin’

He’d knock you to the deck

He told a lot of stories

If you said Izzy is that true

He’d say “solla ma dupa to you”

 

They called him Izzy Moonshine

He was everybody’s friend

Didn’t like the middle

He liked sittin’ at the end

He got four beers for a dollar

When a buck only bought two

If he didn’t get it

He’d say “solla ma dupa to you”


Elbows On The Bar

© 2011 Terry Murphy

 

In Packerland where I grew up

There were taverns all around

Hidden behind a corner

Was another yet to be found

Never thought too much about it

Just the way it was

Pinball in the back room

With a Coca-Cola buzz

 

The tavern door was a gateway to

A homemade fries and a BBQ

It was long before a Facebook page

An iPad touch or the Twitter rage

It’s where the news was passed around

Like a casserole at a picnic ground

It’s just the way it was back then

When the boys would make the rounds

 

Where have all the old boys gone

I wonder if anything’s changed

Do they still like a real good story

With the stools all rearranged

I just can’t see ‘em texting their wives

Who are sittin’ at home to say

I’m drinkin’ with the boys honey

I gonna be a little late

 

You could get a drink at a lot of spots

Some were busy and some were not

You were treated well if you told a joke

Paid your bill and shared a smoke

As my daddy told me

If you want to be a star

Ya oughta put a little more son

Than your elbows on the bar


Taverns and Taps  

© 2011 Terry Murphy

 

In little towns where time stands still

And dust collects on windowsills

Where neon signs say quietly come on in

Opening lines so well rehearsed

Like a cold north wind so often cursed

It’s just the way the ritual begins

 

The regulars will mark their space

With dollar bills some neatly placed

A coat and hat to guard the stool next door

Talk is slow and nonchalant

The barkeep knows just what they want

A cold draft like so many times before

 

Shake of the day and deviled eggs

Livin’ in a world with wooden legs

It’s what you’ll see in taverns and taps

Tucked away on darkened streets

Or right downtown near a place to eat

Old fashion taverns and taps

 

Some people come and go

Some people come and stay

Some people come for show

Some people come to play

In taverns and taps, in taverns and taps

 

To buy a drink for the guy next door

Means let’s talk a little more

Or maybe play another game of chance

Catch Bork and Bing or give em’ a chip

And one for yourself, if you’ll take a sip

Just the start of a time worn social dance

 

Certain things you just don’t say

Unless of course you know the way

To make it sound like neighborly advice

Deals are made and games are won

Some for real and some for fun

A patron’s nod will generally suffice

 

Some people come and go

Some people come and stay

Some people come for show

Some people come to play

In taverns and taps, in taverns and taps

 

In little towns where time stands still

And dust collects on window sills

And neon signs say quietly come on in

So come on in, come on in

Come on in, so come on in

To taverns and taps


Happy Ever After  

© 2011 Terry Murphy

 

Chorus

All she ever wanted was happily ever after

With a guy like Jimmy Stewart who filled her life with laughter

A guy who walked on water and loved her when he ought’r

All she ever wanted was happily ever after

 

She drove an old red Pontiac

With a sticker on the back

That said let’s all coexist

She lived her life that way

And somehow every day

Sang out loud “Love the one you’re with”

 

Old glasses she would fill

Puttin’ money in the till

Hustlin’ dollars for dazzling card tricks

She parked out in the back

Of a place called, Art’s Town Tap

Worked 4 days a week from 10 to 6

 

Chorus

 

A lonely car broke down

On the south side of town

Near the fence where the old school used to be

From there he hitched a ride

Then found himself inside

A Tap where advice was flowin’ free

 

The sunshine of the day

Inspired him to say

King of Clubs will be the next card you turn

She never missed a beat

Said “boy, you earned a seat”

Next to me cuz there’s lots for you to learn

 

The Ace of Hearts came up

But he had to interrupt

“Here’s the King I think you’re lookin’ for”

Son you just won my bed

You’ll get there when you’re fed

Winked a smile and said, “I found it on the floor”

 

Chorus

 

A big storm hit the town

Roads were closed for miles around

That lonely car was buried in the back

They even closed the Tap

Which created quite a flap

But no one ever found that old red Pontiac


Cole Acres

© 2011 Terry Murphy

 

Cole Acres came back on Christmas Eve

To visit the old man’s tavern

Where he grew up strong changing kegs

Sweepin’ out the corners of the cavern

 

The old boy pulled Cole Acres in

And told him son you know I’m dyin’

Now you really have a choice

But there ain’t no time for cryin’

 

This tavern’s been called Acre’s Tap

For forty-seven years

It really would mean a lot to me

If you took over pourin’ beers

 

What would Cole Acres do

I’ll tell ya what he’d do

He’d find a way to make his daddy proud

He knew there’d come a time

Any day would suit him fine

When he would finally hear the old boy say

Cole Acres I’m glad you’re back to stay

 

Cole Acres didn’t say a word

He just gave his old man a hug

And told him he would need a week

Before he pulled the plug

 

In Colorado as a carpenter

Work was getting kind of slow

He had a few loose ends to tie

But soon he’d let him know

 

He walked outside and scratched his head

And saw his name up on the place

His mind just started seeing things

Bout how to change the face

 

Cole Acres painted all the trim

And made it green and gold

Put a deck out on the back

Cause the steps were getting old

 

Dug out the old horseshoe pits

And covered them with sand

Up came the nets for volleyball

And a stage for a local band

 

Inside he kept the bar the same

With all his favorite brews

And added just a couple more

For those who like to choose

 

Before he opened up the place

He made a sign to hang outside

He brought it to his father’s bed

Pop winked and then he cried

 

You’ve now become a workin’ man

I knew that you could be

There never was a doubt my son

Now all the world can see

 

That Christmas Day we’re talking about

Was a couple of years ago

Cole Acres is a happy man

Pourin’ beers to folks he knows

 

In the hills of County Lafayette

In a town they called Leadmine

Was born a man Cole Acres

And he turned out mighty fine

Yes he turned out mighty fine


The Tavern League    

© 2011 Terry Murphy

 

There’s really no denying   

The sports teams in our state

The Packers are the champions

And the Badgers have been great 

The Brewers fill a beer hall  

It’s called Miller Park

Perhaps the untold story

Are games played after dark

 

After working for a paycheck

A soul must spread its’ wings

Open up the playbook

Just see what it brings

It’s a game that brings diversion

A sport that spells relief

A form of self-expression

And personal belief

 

A way to win the battle

In seasonal fatigue

It’s why we are all athletes

It’s why we are all athletes

Everybody gets to play

In Wisconsin’s tavern league

 

We play dartball, pool, and sheepshead

A little ship captain crew

A horse a piece in liar’s dice

In euchre we just bumped you

Softball in the evening

In cribbage knobs for two

Stay behind the line in bowling

Or pitchin’ ringers in horseshoes

 

Corn Hole in the summer

Got volleyball to play

The sound of a goal in foosball

Four kings just made my day

To the dedicated athletes

In the Wisconsin tavern league

Don’t forget the chili cook off

At the ice fishin’ jamboree


Stories and Lies    

© 2011 Terry Murphy

 

Two old gals sittin’ in a booth

One named Esther, one named Ruth

Both liked martinis no vermouth

One told lies, one stole the truth

 

A lie is not a lie, if you’re sittin’ in a tavern

Just becomes a story and makes it fit for gatherins’

If you’re gonna drink martinis, make ’em extra dry

You’re never-ever gonna know the difference ‘tween a story or a lie

 

Two old gals sittin’ at a bar

One rode in on the hood of a car

Tellin’ stories like a circus star

I do believe they didn’t ride very far

 

Two old gals sittin’ at a table

Sisters from their mother Mabel

Dry martinis make them able

To tell the tavern all their fables


Whiskey and Boots     

© 2011 Terry Murphy

 

He liked whiskey on Saturday night

Cuz Irish whiskey made him feel just right

Opened up an ordinary quiet man

Got him dancin’ to a country band

She wore her boots on Saturday night

Cuz cowboy boots made her feel just right

Opened up an ordinary quiet gal

Saturday nights she had a dancin’ pal

 

Whiskey and Boots              

Til the tavern closed

They liked each other

And it kinda showed

You could really tell

When they danced real slow

Whiskey and Boots

Til the tavern closed

 

Whiskey lost his wife years ago

She was a good woman as the story goes

Life was too short to wait around

He took to dancin’ to a country sound

Boots enjoyed life as well she should

She had money and her kids were good

But there was one thing she couldn’t buy

A back slappin’ toe tappin’ Irish guy

 

Saturday nights in a peaceful town

Good people dancin’ to a country sound

Whiskey and Boots showed many the way

It’s what you do, not what you say

Whiskey and Boots oh so friendly

She was seventy-six and he was eighty

On Sunday mornin’ they’d stand in the choir

Raise their voices and sing with fire


The Holiday Tavern   

© 2011 Terry Murphy

 

Here’s to Sully’s Tap in Chippewa Falls

The Sullivan Clan raised a family upstairs

Irish Catholic Democratic

With six good kids there were gifts to share

It was simply known as the holiday tavern

 

Every holiday was a different crowd

Open to just a chosen few

The Sullivans knew who might be hurtin’

A standing invitation for the boys in blue

 

Come join us for dinner at the Holiday Tavern  

Feast on good story, family and song

The front door is closed but the back door is open

At the holiday tavern everybody belongs

 

Cookin’ for people not for money

Nary a dime passed on a holiday

The Sullivan clan was givin’ back

To those who might ‘ve lost their way

It was simply known as the holiday tavern

 

The cloth was clean and pressed for patrons

carefully driven by the oldest boy Roarke

the table was set in their finest silver

passed down from the Murphy’s of County Cork 

 

Come join us for dinner at the Holiday Tavern  

Feast on good story, family and song

The front door is closed but the back door is open

At the holiday tavern everybody belongs

 

Post dinner Mary Margaret pulled out the banjo

Frank senior picked his ol’ Gibson guitar

On a table little Bridget was dancin’ a jig

With stools in a circle moved from the bar

It was simply known as the holiday tavern

 

Seamus closed his eyes as he played the fiddle

He studied music down the river in Eau Claire

Jack blew a tin whistle like nobody’s business

Colleen’s voice as pure as her curly red hair

 

Come join us for dinner at the Holiday Tavern  

Feast on good story, family and song

The front door is closed but the back door is open

At the holiday tavern everybody belongs

 

When St. Paddy’s day came

The front door stayed open

Bangers and mash

To start off the day

All day there was music

With corned beef and cabbage

For those who kept smiling

You were welcome to stay


Special Ed       

© 2011 Terry Murphy

 

Ed was hired as a bouncer

When the bar bands filled the stage

For his generous proportions

And the many friends his age

He kept the sidewalks shoveled

And the windows oh so clean

Partial to suspenders

And loyal to his favorite team

 

He had so many talents all

Gift wrapped in his head

All the folks knew he was special

So they called him special Ed

 

Ed had a cheery disposition

And a good outlook on life

The old boys would kid him

It’s cuz he never had a wife

He’d hustle in equipment

With a speaker in each hand

Twas his nature to be helpful

He loved hangin’ with the band

 

There was an old upright piano

A couple of keys out of tune

Most nights it held the speakers

In the corner of the room

When the band would take a break

And say “be back in a while”

Special Ed would hit the high notes

And the place would just go wild

 

He sang, Benny and the Jets, Benny Benny

He liked to sing Benny, Benny, Benny and the Jets

That’s a song he won’t forget


Hotel Motel Time  

© 2011 Terry Murphy

 

When the lights go on at closing time

It can really be a shock

That woman you’ve been lying to

Is sporting quite a rock

That mess we’ll call a mustard stain

Is gonna leave a mark

Holy crap it’s dark outside

Which way did you park

 

So it’s hotel motel time

Get your carnival ride and slide

When the bright lights hit the corners

There ain’t no place to hide

It’s hotel motel time

Is everybody clear

You ain’t got to go home

But you sure as hell can’t stay here

 

When the lights go on at closing time

You find stuff on the floor

Serious mementos

As you ramble for the door

Where did that twenty dollars go

You never thought you’d need

Last round was on the house

And everyone agreed

 

When the lights go on at closing time

It’s time to find your friends

The buddies that you came with

Who gladly helped you spend

It’s time for inventory

Is everybody here

Last call has come and gone

The night has disappeared


She Sang

© 2010 Terry Murphy  

 

She walked into Fred’s place

With the look of let me be

Must have been from out of town

That was plain to see

Gathered with her friends

And strolled up to the bar

Little did she know that night

That she would be a star

 

I wasn’t really looking

But blondes will catch my eye

As we sang our songs for free

Drinkin’ beers we didn’t buy

Pretty soon the music stopped

And often how it goes

The braver ones come forward

To sing the songs they know

 

She sang “ain’t no sunshine, when I’m gone”

“Only darkness every day, when I’m gone”

Under the bright lights she did no wrong

Singin’ “ain’t no sunshine when I’m gone”

 

There she stood so innocent

Said she’d like to sing

All the way from the hills

Stood that pretty thing

Fumbled with the microphone

And said, “what should I do?”

“Honey, you just close your eyes and sing

The boys will pull you through”

 

Couldn’t help but wonder

How time had gone so fast

Brought me back to yesteryear

Somewhere in my past

When pretty girls would walk up

And find a place to stand

Now they’re getting’ up on stage

Singin’ songs with the band

 

She sang, “ain’t no sunshine, when I’m gone”

“Only darkness every day when I’m gone”

Slipped out the back door and she was gone

Singin’ “ain’t no sunshine, when I’m gone”


The Sea of Good Fortune

© 2010 Terry Murphy

 

When the old sod went bad

He took all that he had

And put it on a boat to sail away

Worked for a place to stay

Scrubbing decks throughout the day

Kept mindful of a place

Still had dreams to chase

In a land they called Amerika

 

Now he’s sailin’ on the Sea of Good Fortune

Settin’ sites for the Bay of Good Luck

With a smile on his face

No regard for the pace

Waitin’ for his sun to come up

Just waitin’ for his sun to come up

 

When the farms of California

Get ripe with nature’s glory

The pickers come a runnin’ to clean the fields

With a pregnant wife Lolita

To the hills of Sausalito

Dreams can fly right over

The banks of the Rio Grande

For those who aren’t too proud

To work the land

 

Now he’s sailin’ on the Sea of Good Fortune

Settin’ sites for the Bay of Good Luck

With a smile on his face

No regard for the pace

Waitin’ for his sun to come up

Just waitin’ for his sun to come up

 

Born in 1969,

From a GI in Vietnam

Fought his way, to a village, on the coast

He was just another orphan

Forgotten by Uncle Sam

Empowered by his books

He overcame his looks

Helps those who just don’t

Give a damn

 

Now he’s sailin’ on the Sea of Good Fortune

Settin’ sites for the Bay of Good Luck

With a smile on his face

No regard for the pace

Waitin’ for his sun to come up

Just waitin’ for his sun to come up


My Kindergarten Teacher Got a Tattoo

© 2010 Terry Murphy

 

Storm clouds are brewin’

Twisters on the ground

Doesn’t seem to matter

World keeps spinnin’ round

The rules, they must be changin’

What am I gonna do

My kindergarten teacher

Just got a tattoo (repeat)  

 

She put it on the inside

Of her left ankle

I can see it when crosses her legs

As she reads to us her stories

Or talks about the weather

As she reads to us her stories

Or talk, talk, talks about the weather

 

I can’t wait for recess

To pass the word around

If I could spell apocalypse

I think I’d spell it now

Kinda drives me crazy

What am I gonna do

My kindergarten teacher

Just got tattoo

My kindergarten teacher

Just got a tattoo 

 

So Katy bar the door

Somebody hit the lights

Time to watch my language

And get to bed at night

Must be some kind of message

Bout how to live my life

Cuz that kindergarten teacher

Just happens to be my wife


Tennison Bay

© 2010 Terry Murphy

 

Tennison Bay take away my troubles

Wash them from the shore

Tennison Bay take away my troubles

Gonna leave them at the door

 

Starlight night, cool clear evening,

Sittin’ by the fire

Talk of friends, makin’ up songs

Gentle breeze as a back up choir

 

Might be rain, might be sunshine

Might be ninety-five degrees

Still the days go by so easy

With sunsets over seas

 

Tennison Bay take away my troubles

Wash them from the shore

Tennison Bay take away my troubles

Gonna leave them at the door

 

See the gulls fly in the distance

Dancin’ with the sails

Skippin’ rocks under blue skies

You know it never fails

 

Tennison Bay take away my troubles

Wash them from the shore

Tennison Bay take away my troubles

Gonna leave them at the door


Baby How ‘Bout You  

© 1988 Terry Murphy

 

Singin’ a song

Watchin’ the rain fall

Hearin’ the birds call

Baby I love you

 

Countin’ the stars

Over the campfire

Until we’re all tired

Baby How ‘bout you

 

And when we’re all together

Singin’ our happy campin’ song

Everything feels so right

Nothin’ in the world ever will go wrong

 

Singin’ a song  

Watchin’ the rain fall

Hearin’ the birds call

Baby I love you

 

Countin’ the stars

Over the campfire

Until we’re all tired

Baby How ‘bout you

 

Sun’s comin’ up

Over the tree line

Oh how we feel fine

Baby how ‘bout you

 

Let’s go to the beach

And get us a sun tan

Cuz I think we can

Sun’s comin’ out

 

And when we’re all together

Singin’ our happy campin’ song

Everything feels so right

Nothin’ in the world ever will go wrong

 

Singin’ a song

Watchin’ the rain fall

Hearin’ the birds call

Baby I love you

 

We’re gonna count those stars          

Over the campfire

Until we’re all tired

Baby how ‘bout you

 

It’s time to go

We had us a good time

Through rain and sunshine

Baby how ‘bout you

Ba-do ba-do

Baby how ‘bout you

Ba-do ba-do

Baby how ‘bout you

Boop boop ba-do                   


Fish Fries at the Legion Club

© 2008 Terry Murphy

 

Back in 1944, America was at war

All hands on deck, time to shut the door

Sick men with sad plans, ‘bout takin’ over the world

Liberate then consummate, war heroes and their girls

 

Fish fries at the Legion club, another Friday night

Proud men rejoicing with their families in plain site

Perch in the dining room, martinis in the bar

Makin’ up what you don’t know, the stories traveled far

 

Chorus

Fish fries at the legion club, every Friday night

Time to raise your glasses,

For makin’ the world all right

When Johnny comes marchin’ home

When Jimmy comes marchin’ home

Frankie’s already home

Every Friday night

 

Standing by the jukebox, in musical suspense

A radio in motion, six songs for fifty cents

Vic Damone and Dino, Frank and Sammy filled the air

A little Benny Goodman, Herb Alpert if you dared

 

With all the fightin’ over, everybody got along

Little brandy after dinner, for singin’ a favorite song

Could be a Roger Miller tune, or Johnny comes marchin’ home

Wrestle with the neighbor’s wife, or warm up with your own

 

Friday nights turned into months, and months turned into years

Legionnaires survived the war, and overcame their fears

Kids played on the tank outside, keeping out of site

Fish fries at the Legion club, another Friday night


So Heavy

© 2010 Terry Murphy

 

Katy Lynn is goin’ out tonight

Together with old friends

Burgers at the local bar

Catchin’ up til the good news ends

Leaves me sittin’ home alone

With a couple of hours to kill

Too short a time to go honky-tonkin’

Too long a time for cheap thrills

 

Think I’ll pick up the telephone

And make a couple of calls

But it seems too far away

Over there on the kitchen wall

What makes the phone so heavy

What have I to fear

Why wait to call old friends

The ones we hold so dear

 

What makes the phone so heavy

Since when am I so shy

Don’t owe them money

Never stole their honey

Never made their sister cry [repeat]

 

There’s my old friend Ben who kept me alive

After midnight many a time

And music friends who come and go

I wonder if they’re all fine

Relatives, young and old

From both sides of the fence

And the folks who write on Christmas cards

Call me when you get a chance

 

What makes the phone so heavy

Since when am I so shy

Don’t owe them money

Never stole their honey

Never made their sister cry [repeat]


New Orleans

© 1997 Terry Murphy

 

I had a birthday in New Orleans today

I saw my mother who winked at me to say

Here take my blanket

I’ve nothing else to give

I turned sixteen in New Orleans today

 

I had no breakfast in New Orleans today

The stores are empty the workers wouldn’t stay

Soldiers have taken most everything there is

No food to eat in New Orleans today

 

And the sun’s goin’ down and the waters comin’ up

As the levee breaks

And the sun’s goin’ down and the waters comin’ up

As the levee breaks

As the levee breaks in New Orleans today

 

Classes are cancelled in New Orleans today

The air is filled with silver birds that prey

Upon the bridges which carry us to school

I missed geometry in New Orleans today

 

I kicked a soccer ball in New Orleans today

As we were marching, marching, marching, to get out of the way

Pray for my coach who decided not to go

The nets are empty in

New Orleans today

 

I made a new friend in New Orleans today

We shared my blanket she said it was OK

The wind is turning she thinks it’s going to rain

We best find shelter in New Orleans today

 

And the sun’s goin’ down and the waters comin’ up

As the levee breaks

And the sun’s goin’ down and the waters comin’ up

As the levee breaks

As the levee breaks in New Orleans today

 

I am a refugee in New Orleans today

So many people who need a place to stay

To move or die is really not a choice

I choose to live in New Orleans today

 

And the sun’s goin’ down and the waters comin’ up

As the levee breaks

And the sun’s goin’ down and the waters comin’ up

As the levee breaks

As the levee breaks in New Orleans today


Somebody Somewhere

© 2010 Terry Murphy

 

Doesn’t seem right

In fact it feels real wrong

That this could happen

To someone so strong

Why take from those

With so much to give

Maybe somewhere

Somebody else lives

 

Somebody somewhere

Needs an angel

Somebody somewhere

Is crying out loud

Somebody somewhere

Needs an angle

So come down angel

Come down off your cloud

 

Makes no sense tryin’

To figure it out

Keep chasin’ dreams

They’re all about

I often wonder

Why it works this way

That those in line

Should somehow pay

 

So come down angel

Come down over me

And help me understand

Just what you see

Somebody somewhere

Is cryin’ out loud

Somebody somewhere

Needs an angel right now

 

I lost a father

You lost a son

There was a daughter

Who liked to have fun

A wife, a sister

A brother, too

Somebody somewhere

For me and you

 

Somebody somewhere

Needs an angel

Somebody somewhere

Is crying out loud

Somebody somewhere

Needs an angle

So come down angel

Come down off your cloud

 

There’s a hole in my heart

Where nothing will fit

But we’ve got memories

We won’t forget

Someone so close

Or someone so young

Who now is an angel

With someplace to run

 

 

Andrew, Andrew

We all are so blue

But like a champion

We will pull through

You showed us how to

Laugh, love, compete

You made life fun

You made life so sweet

 

Somebody somewhere

Needs an angel

Somebody somewhere

Is crying out loud

Somebody somewhere

Needs an angle

So come down angel

Come down off your cloud


Ode to Johnny

© 2010 Terry Murphy

 

The death of a poet

Might end tragically

But a simple existence

Retreats peacefully

 

He lived on the corner

Of honesty and wit

Where the words stood like fights

Daring to be picked

 

For songs to enlighten

Or put thoughts to jest

For complicated matters

His tales said it best

 

With clarity of purpose

And only one way out the door

The songs were never finished

Til they were better then before

 

Now he’s singin’ with his eyes closed

A sweet melody

His own composition

Won’t need harmony

A song about livin’

The way it should be

Those wonderful phrases

Picked so carefully

 

For those who didn’t know him

There was no finer man

So magically gifted

So quick to lend a hand

 

He could see the lighter side

Or pull the heavy load

I’m sure he’s somewhere smilin’

At the stories being told

 

Now he’s singin’ with his eyes closed

A sweet melody

His own composition

Won’t need harmony

A song about livin’

The way it should be

Those wonderful phrases

Picked so carefully


Winter’s Moonbeam 

© 2009 Terry Murphy

 

There’s a mandolin

That sits alone

Waiting for his friend to make it home

The mandolin will wait so patiently

Like a moon behind a cloud

Pretending not to see

 

I’ve done my part

And taught you well

Showed you how to laugh

Right from the start

Took you places

So you could tell

A story bout a place

You may have seen

Someone you have met

Along the way

I think I’ve changed the way

You live your life

 

I/she look[s] forward to your wonders

I look forward to your pains

I look forward to your losses

I look forward to your gains

As you neatly put your memories in your sack

I’m so happy to look forward

Some can only look back

 

She’s raised you right

To organize

To make it work

And find a way to keep your spirits high

Despite the times

Life’s disappointments

Somehow made you cry

To finish what you start

And do it well

She’d pick you up so quick

In case you fell

 

It’s your turn now

It’s time to go

Take all the parts

And make em’ whole

To filter out

That tug of war

Of silent conversations

In your head

To set a course

To chase down distant dreams

That brightens up your future

Like a winter’s moonbeam


Shane’s Lullaby

© 2010 Terry Murphy

 

Time to rest your eye’s little guy

Time to go to bed

Time to shut the lights off

Of the thoughts dancing in your head

 

Time to go to bed little guy

Time to go to sleep

Time to start your counting

Of all those rowdy sheep

 

Think about tomorrow

What you’re gonna do

When the sun comes shining

On the day brand new

 

Hope you had a good day

Filled with song and dance

Football and card games

And grass stains on your pants

 

Think about tomorrow

What you’re gonna do

When the sun comes shining

On the morning dew

 

Hope you had a good day

Filled with games and smiles

New friends and sunshine

Good times to last awhile


Watchin’ The World Go By

© 2010 Terry Murphy

 

Watchin’ the world go by

Don’t even have to try

No need to wonder why

Watchin’ the world go by

 

Watchin’ the world go by

Waitin’ for a dream to fly

The stars sleepin’ in the sky

Watchin’ the world go by

 

There’s grandma’s rocking chair

Me and the dog sit there

Staring with an open mouth

With the sun shining from the south

 

Some days I just don’t move

That’s how I get my groove

The moments I just sit still

Parked near a window sill

 

Sometimes I just stay put

Sometimes I just lay low

Sometimes it just feels good

With no particular place to go

 

Watchin’ the world go by

Don’t even have to try

No need to wonder why

Watchin’ the world go by

 

Watchin’ the World go by

Waitin’ for a dream to fly

Stars sleeping in the sky

Watchin’ the world go by

 

When the steam runs a little dry

January or July

Listen for a bell to ring

Think about a song to sing

 

Not much to understand

Slow down when you can

Kick back enjoy the view

And see what it does for you

 

Sometimes I just stay put

Sometimes I just lay low

Sometimes it just feels good

With no particular place to go

 

Sometimes it just feels good

With no particular place to go


Tennessee Sun 

© 2008 Terry Murphy

 

Sittin’ on a deck

In the Tennessee sun

A morning meal

With my buddy and my son

Time slips away

Til the order comes back

A little coffee please

With my double stack

 

Over the rail

Snake on a rock

There everyday

Like a clock

Sittin on a deck

In the Tennessee sun

Waitin’ for nuthin’

Cuz nuthin’ ever comes

 

Comin’ down the mountain in the Tennessee sun

Warmin’ up in the Tennessee sun

Pretty girls in the Tennessee sun

Good morning in the Tennessee sun

Third cup of joe

From a southern belle

Pretty girls

Served us well

Cool water

Rushin’ by

Dancin’ to the rhythm

Of the Tennessee sky

 

Another day started

With a smilin’ face

Back on the road

Keepin’ up the chase

Tennessee sun is

Warmin’ up the car

With the mornin’ memories

Takin’ us far

 

Comin down the mountain in the Tennessee sun

Laughin’ out loud in the Tennessee sun

Pretty girls in the Tennessee sun

Have a lazy day in the Tennessee sun


Another Sidewalk Star

© 2008 Terry Murphy

 

It was later in the evening

In the summer time

My wife and I were out

A favorite spot to dine

A nice Italian place

Not far from the mall

He must of seen us coming

He must have seen it all

 

Said his car was stranded

Not far down the road

Asked if we could help out

A desperate story he told

Said he needed money

To buy a little gas

He’d put it in his tank

To get him home at last

 

Told my wife how lucky she was

To have such a good man

One who’d help a stranger

One who’d understand

He seemed to be so genuine

So thankful and sincere

As he reached up to shake my hand

I think I saw a tear

 

But he had one hand in his pocket

The other one in mine

I paid him three whole dollars

For the story I was buyin’

He ended up just bein’

A lyin’ son of a gun

It takes a special person

To take money just for fun

 

We headed out the back way

To leave the parking lot

I kind of had a feeling

I might not see the car that stopped

Wife said, “hon, where ya goin’?

What cha’ looking for”

Just checkin’ my investment

Go ahead and lock the door

 

Then I saw my new friend

Workin’ another guy

His hands were tellin’ stories

Workin’ on another lie

I drove around the corner

Never saw a stranded car

I knew I had been taken

By another sidewalk star


Small Town Charm   

© 2006 Terry Murphy 

 

It was a weekend night at a small town diner

Just a couple of blocks from the river

‘Bout an hour til close but the lights still on

The boy and I gettin’ dinner

 

A long tall Sally met us at the door

And said you must be the music maker

With a smile as wide as a county fair

There’s a seat back there you can take her

 

A good old boy at the end of the counter

With a pack of smokes and a paper

There’s beauty all around with small town charm

If you look real hard you can take her

There’s beauty all around, beauty all around

There’s beauty all around, small town charm

 

When the boy and I sat down I said

You can bring her home for thanksgiving

He said that one there’s untouchable

It ain’t your dream that I’m livin’

 

If there’s one thing you can learn from me

Is never be afraid of a beauty

Back in the day when I met your mama

She herself was quite a cutie

 

A good old boy at the end of the counter

With a pack of smokes and a paper

There’s beauty all around with small town charm

If you look real hard you can take her

There’s beauty all around, beauty all around

There’s beauty all around, small town charm

 

I guess my guy figured this one out

That beauty has its place

There’s beauty waitin’ round every corner

But you gotta know your place

 

There’s one thing Pops you ought to know

I think beauty has its fun

And I ain’t afraid of this one either

But her boyfriend scares me some

 

A good old boy at the end of the counter

With a pack of smokes and a paper

There’s beauty all around with small town charm

If you look real hard you can take her

There’s beauty all around, beauty all around

There’s beauty all around, small town charm


Let Me Tell A Story

© 2004 Terry Murphy

 

I see the world so differently

Who says all things add up

I hear the world so partially

Who needs to know this stuff

Sometimes my eyes will travel

To places still not seen

Thoughts jump out the window

Like a kid on a trampoline

 

My teacher thinks I’m lazy

And that I talk too much

Most things I don’t remember

She thinks it’s just a crutch

My mental calculator

Moves slower than yours does

Sometimes I get confused

Is it a minus or a plus

 

But let me tell a story

Or fix that broken bike

And if you touch my buddy

I’ll be the first one there to fight

I might not know the answers

And homework ain’t my gig

But I’ll meet you on the corner

Cuz that’s where I feel big

 

I feel the world so painfully

They say I just don’t care

But if you lost your daddy

You’d think life’s not fair

I touch the world so hopefully

Because my arms are bent

They move at many angles

The ways a dollar can be spent

 

But let me draw a picture

You should hear my poem

And when my friends are down

I can really get ’em goin’

Let’s play some Texas hold ’em

I’ll be the first to take a chance

You won’t call me chicken

Cuz I got the guts to dance

 

So let this be a lesson

For us to understand

That all of us are different

Like players in a band

When we work together

We get that good time feelin’

Like singin’ your favorite song


Old Chairs 

© 2008 Terry Murphy

 

I’m like an old chair

That sits on the porch

Don’t move very well

Til somebody moves me

 

I’m like an old chair

That sits on the porch

Paint on the elbows

Where somebody touched me

 

Old chairs are like people

The older that they get

The bumps and the scratches

Somehow we do forget

And like ‘em like they are

With all their battle scars

And place them in a gentle spot

In the sun

 

I’m like an old chair

That sits on the porch

And hides leftovers

When the air is cold

 

I’m like an old chair

That bends and squeaks

With a few screws loose

But willing to hold you

 

Old chairs, no cares

How do you do

You wait so patiently

Old chairs, no fares

You take what you get

And give your rides

For free

 

I’m like an old chair

That’s up to the task

Of holdin’ the drinks

Til the guests come

 

And old chair hopes

Yea the old chair hopes

The old chair hopes

That the guests

Can hold their own


Make The World A Better Place

© 2007 Terry Murphy

 

Everyday people are the folks I like

Put their little kid on a hand me down trike

Go to work each day in a ’98 truck

Work real hard to make their own good luck

 

Ordinary people in a second hand store

Ain’t real rich and they ain’t real poor

Bringin’ in a bag of clothes that fit too tight

Leave with a set of old Christmas lights

 

They make the world a better place

A shake of the hand and a smiling face

Takin’ the lead in the human race

Without a lot of noise friend, without a lot of noise

Can’t you see that they’re happy

And they’re doing all right

Can’t you see that they’re living

Getting by without a fight

 

Backyard people in my neighborhood

Got time to chat about all that’s good

Loyal fans of the hometown team

Brave enough to share their childhood dreams

 

Down to earth people ain’t afraid to be wrong

Don’t remember all the words of their favorite song

Drive out of their way just to save a buck

Will be the first one there to help a guy that’s stuck

 

They make the world a better place

A shake of the hand and a smiling face

Takin’ the lead in the human race

Without a lot of noise friend, without a lot of noise

Can’t you see that they’re happy

And they’re doing all right

Can’t you see that they’re living

Getting by without a fight

 

My kind of people got a helping hand

From the Mississippi River to Packer land

Not too excited about themselves

Got family pictures on all their shelves


Can’t Take Away My Soul   

© 2008 Terry Murphy

 

He worked at Morning Glory

Fillin’ trucks on a loading dock

For twenty eight long years

Most days he punched a clock

Somewhere in a corporate office

So many miles away

Someone decided to take his job today

 

He got the news in a letter

A long white envelope

Hidden in between

Two bills and a prayer for hope

He couldn’t understand

How someone in a far away place

Made his life so crazy

And didn’t do it face to face

 

You can take away my paycheck

Take away my home

Take away my dignity

But you can’t take away my soul

You can’t take away my soul

 

After months of unemployment

The bills kept adding up

To fix his broken arm

He sold his pick up truck

He worked hard when he had it

For neighbors. folks and kin

But when he went to the bank

They wouldn’t let him in

 

You can take away my paycheck

Take away my home

Take away my dignity

But you can’t take away my soul

Take away my rocking chair

Take away my fishing pole

Take away my pension man

But you can’t take away my soul

You can’t take away my soul


Oh God She Cried On Her Wedding Night

© 2008 Terry Murphy

 

Oh god she cried on her wedding night

That sixty minute man is turning out all right

The velcro on the dress was worth the expense

Oh god she cried on her wedding night

 

His old man is a sex-pert what did you expect?

He was groomed for success with all due respect

It’s opening night when the lights go out

It’s time for you to yell and time for you to shout

 

What a day for a couple with so much to give

I finally found out how the other half lives

How much did we pay for jars of M&M’s

And aprons on the chairs with all those pretty hems

 

The day will go well and go off without a hitch

The music the church the dancing and the grits

The planning went well your mother and the stress

And eight bridal showers bragging about your dress

 

The Badgers will win the guests will still dance

After walking down the aisle you’ll still feel romance

You’ve waited so patiently as friends married off

Now it is your turn to yell from the loft

 

Don’t let that ring on your finger ever slow you down

I haven’t seen a rock like that since was in town

They say size doesn’t matter but that’s a line of crap

It’s our wedding night Dan, tomorrow take a nap


Lovin’ You

© 2006 Terry Murphy

 

Lovin’ you is easier than running a yellow light

Or sleepin’ in the mornin’ when I’ve been up half the night

Like a second piece of chocolate or kissin’ in moonlight

Lovin’ you is easier, lovin’ you feels right

 

Lovin’ you is easier than seconds on beef stew

Or takin a nap on Sunday after all the work is through

Like eatin’ greasy popcorn while sittin’ next to you

Lovin’ you is easier, hope you love me too

 

When life gets too fast and I need to slow it down

I look to see who’s near me and hope that you’re around

 

Lovin’ you is easier than runnin’ down a hill

Or sittin’ on the front porch with you I always will

Put a second cup of coffee on my window sill

Lovin you is easier lovin’ you is my thrill

 

When life gets too fast and I need to slow it down

I look to see who is near me and hope that you’re around


Fields of Peace  

© 2008 Terry Murphy    

 

If roses could make peace

I’d plant a garden wide

Let it bring on sleep

Where soldiers may have died

For roses don’t fight wars

Or point a loaded gun

If roses could sing harmony

Plant many and be done

 

Water it with love

Let happiness prevail

Let a garden bring on peace

Where others may have failed

Soon we’ll harvest peace

When the garden blooms so bright

And pass the roses on

Those who want to fight

 

Lots of reds and yellows

So many you’ll see

All the different colors

Like people they’ll be

The petals join together

To mend a broken fence

When the guns [fields] are quiet

The harvest will commence

If roses could make peace

I’d plant a garden wide

And line the city streets

Where kids have mourned and cried

For roses don’t payback

Like a man who lost a son

If roses could bring harmony

Plant many and be done


I Wonder

© 2008 Terry Murphy

 

I wonder if I’ll ever see California

And how’ll get there when I do

I wonder if I’ll get to drive an old sports car

What little towns I’ll wander through

 

I wonder ‘bout someday, yeah I wonder every day   

I wonder ‘bout someday, yeah I wonder every day

 

I wonder why I want to spend all my money

And whose money I’m spending now

I wonder if I’ll be the last guy to learn

It doesn’t matter anyhow

 

Someday is a comin’

Like the clouds in the sky

And the days keep on runnin’

By and by, by and by

 

I wonder if I get to chase a bunch of grandkids

And what their names will be

I wonder if one will learn to play the fiddle

If they’ll sing songs with me

 

I wonder if I’ll ever stop talkin’

I bet some people wonder too

I wonder how long I get to keep on singin’

And what will be my final tune

 

I wonder if I’ve done enough to get to heaven

And who I’ll see when I get there

I wonder why I get to keep kickin

With the stories I could share


The Mourning Dove   

© 2008 Terry Murphy

 

There’s plenty of deer in the great northwoods

You get two weeks to nail ’em good

Feed the family once again

Put the rack up in the den

There’s lots of skeet that fly real straight

You can hit ’em all day of you stand and wait

Get twenty-five in a row

Get your picture in the paper again

 

No….let’s go shoot a Morning Dove

There’re two on a wire up above

And if you miss with your first crack

There’s a couple on the feeder in the back

 

I like those guys who fish all day

Put a sticker on their boat

To show they paid

I like the way they play the game

Catch the fish

Put ’em back the same

I can’t believe in a state so fair

They’re gonna shoot that bird

Flyin’ in the air

Aim for a pail hangin’ up above

Just don’t shoot the Morning Dove

 

No I just don’t get why they shoot that bird

The prettiest song I ever heard

Wakes me up on a quiet morn

Natures call of another day born


Daddy’s Leather Coat

© 1995 Terry Murphy

 

He wore his daddy’s leather coat

On Friday nights in town

Playing eight-ball with the fools

Who’d lay their money down

The quarters would stack high

As the eight-balls came and went

At closing time he’d leave

After all the money had been spent

 

He was pretty good at drinkin’

He was pretty good at talk

He was pretty good at shootin’ pool

With a broomstick usin’ chalk

He always had a story

And rarely was it true

Now and then he’d buy one

If you bought him the first two

 

Sometimes he’s hustle Mary

Sometimes he’s hustle Jane

But most the time he’d hustle

Any woman with a brain

It didn’t matter to him

How old that girl would be

Or whether or not that woman

Had a ring for all to see

 

He lived his life the hard way

Sleepin’ in and getting fired

Somehow he’d find another

Til the bosses just got tired

Of sayin’ you’re a good man

Why not go back to school

You seem a little angry

At being called a fool

 

So he took off for the summer

Headed west was where he’d go

Until he found an old friend

Or made a new one at a show

That leather coat went places

Kept him warm and lookin’ tough

From Utah to Colorado

Until he’d had enough

 

He’d seen his share of places

Crazy people and cop cars

As he wandered through those small towns

Lookin’ for new bars

To walk in with his daddy’s leather coat

And twenty bucks

And hope like hell he’d walk out

Not usin’ all his luck

 

One day he met a woman

Who finally made some sense

He fixed things round the house

And she picked up the rent

They worked it out together

And sweat poured from their skin

Instead of looking outward

He started looking in

 

Suddenly the sunrise

Started takin on new shades

And getting there on Monday

He wasn’t so afraid

Of looking back and smiling

At those forgotten days

His life became quite simple

Yet rich in many ways

 

One day he found a closet

To hang that leather coat

A quiet execution

Of his daddy’s dry, dry throat

He was happy of his new way

Of keeping warm and looking tough

He learned to love the hard way

But that was good enough

 

He no longer hustled Mary

He no longer hustled Jane

He found himself a woman

A good one with a brain

It didn’t matter to him

How smart that girl could be

And that she wore his ring

For all the world to see


 

Good Tidings On Your Journey

© 2007 Terry Murphy and Anne Keller

 

When a princess meets a prince

A rainbow will appear

To carry all their dreams

From cloudy sky to clear

With a smile that lasts forever

Grins that never seem to end

Inside her heart is filled with laughter

It started when her prince came strolling in

 

He said she’s so easy to talk to

We could talk and talk and talk

He said she thinks this could last forever

And he said this is what I want

One plan led to another

And they pledged a future life

Now the prince can claim his princess

And take her home to be his wife

 

Who gets to sing the high parts

Who’s left to sing the lows

Of leftovers and cryin’ babies

That’s really how it goes

Flat tires and Monday mornings

When to appreciate

The laughter and the whispers

The melody of that first date

 

They say love lasts forever

Full of promises to share

Slow dancin’ on the front porch

Michael Buble fills the air

So you’re leavin’ on your journey

Bringin’ bags of trust and hope

Keep in step with your intentions

Hold each other as you go

 

May the road rise to meet you

And contentment latch your door

May the sun shine upon you

And happiness for evermore

Good tidings on your journey

And remember this is true

Every step you take together

We’ll be sending our love with you


Holey Moley

© 2006 Terry Murphy

 

Holey moley, holy cow

We’re gonna have a good time now

 

Holey moley, holy cow

We’re gonna have a good time now

 

You sing the high parts, I’ll sing the low

You clap your hands, I’ll tap my toe

Swing your partner to and fro

We’re gonna have a good time now

 

Holey moley, holy cow…

 

We’ll sing some harmony you carry the tune

We’ll make sweet music like a bride in June

It all comes together to fill the room

We’re gonna have a good time now

 

Holey moley, holy cow…

 

I’ll bring the bacon, you bring the beans

You wear your red dress but I’m wearin’ jeans

Let’s stay up late and chase our dreams

We’re gonna have a good time now


Catfish Bay 

© 2002 Terry Murphy

 

Take me down to the river bend

Gonna feel that river til the river end

The river moves and the river lives

We’re gonna take what the river gives

 

We’re goin’ down to catfish bay

Catfish bay’s where the black folk stay

Otis Redding on the radio

All dressed up no place to go

We’re in the middle of a long wet road

 

Sky is gray and the sun won’t shine

Clouds got busy and started cryin’

Rained all day and rained all night

Gives those catfish a little more fight

 

We’re goin’ down to catfish bay

Catfish bay’s where the black folk stay

Otis Redding on the radio

All dressed up no place to go

We’re in the middle of a long wet road

 

Find a place to spend the eve

Sandbars hiding up the river’s sleeve

Make that fire burn real hot

Rain is sizzlin’ on the coffee pot


Live Like an Artist

© 2005 Terry Murphy

 

I live like an artist

When my wife is out of town

Eat when I want

Leave guitars all around

I don’t have a list

To get done by noon

Just keep the dog barkin’

Get ’em medication soon

I live like an artist

When my wife is out of town

 

I don’t sleep real well

With her pillows in my arms

And I miss her so badly

But being an artist has a certain charm

 

I take all the time I need

To read the sports

Keep razors off my face

Stroll around in my shorts

There is peace and quiet

But noise when I care

Food in the freezer

Go out if I dare

I live like an artist

When my wife is out of town

 

An artist can’t be bothered

By structure or rules

Or painting the shed

Or picking up his tools

I work on my music

And sing nice and loud

And let the phone ring

When I feel so endowed

I live like an artist when my wife is out of town

 

I drink from the carton

Leave dishes in the sink

Talk out loud

Even say what I think

Call up the boys

Have a card game tonight

Haven’t been wrong

Only been right

I live like an artist when my wife is out of town

 

The dog is up and running

He hears her coming home

Quick pick up the place

You’re no longer at home

The dishes are clean

And the carpet is swept

The artist is leaving

But happy you bet

I live like an artist

When my wife is out of town


The Sod, It Ain’t No More

© 2005 Terry Murphy

 

The sod, it ain’t no more

The sod, it ain’t no more

Malchine has sold the land

The sod, it ain’t no more

 

On a cold and cloudy morn

I’m warm and in my bed

The sounds keep getting closer

Til they run inside my head

 

The drone of a diesel cat

And I raise myself to see

Soon I realize

The land will never be

 

A field for generations

Of soybeans and for corn

Its harvest days are over

As the bright lights have been born

 

The drone of a diesel cat

And I raise myself to see

Soon I realize

The land will never be

 

Yonder goes my darkness

Yonder goes my peace

Yonder goes my quiet

Yonder goes my sleep

 

The drone of a diesel cat

And I raise myself to see

Soon I realize

The land will never be


 

Two Cups of Coffee and a Flat-Top Guitar

© 2006 Terry Murphy

 

I sing about protest, I sing about pain

After thirty years they kinda sound good again

Did Dylan really know he’d be a shining star?

With two cups of coffee and a flat-top guitar

 

Two cups of coffee and a flat-top guitar

Don’t need a train whistle don’t need a fast car

Gonna sit on my front porch and I’m gonna travel far

With two cups of coffee and a flat-top guitar

 

I’ve been to Ohio and I’ve seen the southern man

For what it’s worth I sang Woodstock again

That big yellow taxi is gonna go far

With two cups of coffee and a flat-top guitar

 

The times are still changin’

Battle lines still bein’ drawn

Sometimes it’s shaky as to whose side I’m on

Give me my sweet Yvonne and fill my fruit jar

With two cups of coffee and a flat top guitar


Over A Barrel

© 2006 Terry Murphy

 

A man has the right to do what he must

But where is my protection for actions unjust

When the people in charge get to make all the moves

Are we forced just to live with what they choose

 

We all are so selfish were all in that boat

I know what I’d do if I wore his coat

I look for the wisdom and struggle with the cause

Sometimes all that power just brings out the flaws

 

Over a barrel, starin’ into a gun

Seein’ four corners with no place to run

Over a barrel, lookin’ out for my son

No end in sight, am I the only one

 

We’ve heard all your speeches and given you time

But every dead soldier’s got a family home cryin’

It isn’t their fault they’re doin’ their job

Put down your ego before the next life you rob

 

When innocent children come home in a box

And the weekend warriors start leavin’ in flocks

Even flag wavers chant “why are we there”

You won your election with your middle east scare

 

Where are the answers of the questions of youth

It just seems too easy to make up the truth

It’s real hard to listen when the lips move so fast

But that last broken promise won’t be your last


 

American Music

© 2003 Terry Murphy

 

Myself I drive a foreign car

A Swedish one by name

With nice new tires from Japan

Neighbors got one the same

The coffee comes from Bogotá

Chocolate from West Berlin

The whiskey hails from Canada

And my ale’s from Ireland

 

But the music’s from the fifty states

The good old USA

Those are the tunes I like to play

And that’s the way I’ll stay

 

There’s a Walmart going up next door

With China in every isle

Bright red Indonesian shoes

You can even get a Hong Kong smile

Korea made my kid’s baseball glove

And Taiwan made his bike

We all keep warm with Norway fleece

And Italian boots look nice

 

Got a belt from Guatemala

And sandals from Peru

The food I eat is from Mexico

And my t-shirt’s from there too

I wear my Scottish sweater

With my Honduran pants

Only other thing I know for sure is

Who gives a rip about France

 

We play guitars made in Kalamazoo

Montana mandos are the best

The banjos come from Burlington

It plays when the fiddle rests

Not much wrong with Texas swing

And delta has the blues

Kentucky gave us bluegrass

You can feel it in your shoes

 

So there’s lots of crap we use today

That comes from everywhere

When we sit down to play some tunes

It’s American music we share

The cowboys sang high lonesome

From the mountains in the west

But from my kitchen table

Are the songs I like the best


Find A Way 

© 1997 Terry Murphy

 

Man walkin’ fast on the east side of Milwaukee

Wearin’ a long black leather coat

It’s a Saturday night and he’s headin’ down Farwell

But he’s got no place to go

Ducks into Shank Hall just to warm his finger tips

But it’s a five dollar cover and he just might lose his grip

 

Find a way boy, find a way man

Find a way man, find a way

 

Guy sittin’ at the casino table north of the tension line

He just won fourteen dollars and you know he’s feelin’ fine

Whiskey runnin’ through his body and it’s called Indian blood

That man’s so damn happy cuz he thinks he’s got it so good

 

We’re all earth riders

And fly by nighters

We’re gonna make it through each day

We need confiders

And stand besiders

To help each other find a way

 

She’s got that spanky west coast look with a private college smile

Had dudes all lined up just to walk her down the aisle

She drives her daddy’s euro with the sunroof open wide

But he quit feedin’ her money so she stole his car and cried

 

He works the graveyard shift at a small town papermill

Got a country station decal plastered to his window sill

A pick up truck with a tape deck player and a seat at the corner bar

Cracks that six-pack on Friday night I’m glad he made it this far

 

She’s got a view from her backup bedroom as she looks down to the lake

Her eyes look like holes wonderin’ how much she can take

Her old man makes lots of money but he’s got a girlfriend too

Trapped inside that great big house she’ll do what she has to do


Singin’ Songs in the Key of Jesus

© 2006 Terry Murphy

 

From the hollers of old West Virginia

Came the pickers and grinners to play

They all came to feel Gilmer County

Where the music kept playin’ for days

 

On Main Street they blocked off the traffic

Put a flatbed downtown for a stage

Strung the lights near the bank for the square dance

Didn’t matter your dress or your age

 

Singin’ songs in the key of Jesus

Swingin’ low with your eyes shut tight

The chill of the night air upon us

Nice and slow all through the night

 

Cornbread and beans for three dollars

And a bake sale to fix your sweet tooth

Trailers parked down by the river

And the Jones boys still spreadin’ the truth

 

I found me a guitar in Glenville

One that I hold in my arms

Near the banks of a muddy green river

Sits round my neck like a charm

 

I hated to leave Gilmer County

Days of good story and song

Almost heaven in old Gilmer County

Where baked beans and Jesus are strong


Golden Arches

© 1997 Terry Murphy

 

Who put the golden arches

In the middle of my sunset

Same one who cut down the trees

By the farmer’s house I bet

What happened to the woods

I used to see out my back door

Just in case they’re askin’

I liked it a whole lot better before

 

Some might call it progress

To put up a shopping mall

There used to be a playground

For kids to play football

On the edge of a farmer’s field

Was a row of cool shade trees

But a chainsaw tornado

Brought them to their knees

So many times we take it all for granted

So many times we think we own the planet

I don’t like it, I don’t need it

I don’t get it, I don’t want it

 

I used to see a silo

Just off the road a bit

Now there’s a line of condos

For golfin’ folks to get

The cornfields have been changing

To bright light city streets

And the barn is now a restaurant

For people to go and eat

 

The gravel pit is growin’

And the dust is ridin’ high

As trucks roll down the highways

And developers drive by

When the earth we know stops givin

And the pockets all get full

There’s gonna be a happy meal waitin’

For the politicians with the pull

So many times we take it all for granted

So many times we think we own the planet

I don’t like it, I don’t need it

I don’t get it, I don’t want it

 

Let this be a message

To the younger generation

To get up off your backsides

And quit starin’ at Playstation

It’s really hard to measure

Just how much you care

I hope you can appreciate

This world we have Is such a treasure

 

So many times we take it all for granted

So many times we think we own the planet

I don’t like it, I don’t need it

I don’t get it, I don’t want it

 

Who put the golden arches

Who put the golden arches

In the middle of my sunset


Another Day for Redemption

© 2004 Terry Murphy

 

Morning paper

Sittin on the table

News for the day

Ain’t that great

Move the coffee cup

While I’m still able

Then I turn the page

It’s never too late

 

My dog should have died

But he’s lyin’ by my feet

I found my house cat

In the middle of the street

The breeze through the porch

Is keeping out the heat

I guess it’s gonna be

Another day for redemption

 

I let my hair grow

When I turned fifty

Some old friends

Asked a lot of questions

Saturday morning

Went to change the oil

Instead I cut my hair

Another day for redemption

 

Had a black beemer

A three twenty-five

A hole in the roof

For suntan consumption

Got the evil eye

For a hip euro car

I gave it to Bart Starr

Another day for redemption

 

Steal a lousy nickel

Gonna lose a dime

Just give it away

Comes back all the time

Take a little time

To pause for reflection

Cuz that’s the way it goes

Another day for redemption


What’s Right for You My Brother

© 2006 Terry Murphy

 

The older was the quarterback

The younger caught the ball

You can bet their sins were different

Inside confessionals

They both had wits about them

That came out differently

Each one on a mission

Bound by loyalty

 

One went to Chicago

And the university

He kept playin’ football

And studied economy

The younger to the barracks

Where hardness has its’ place

A boy becomes a man

With madness in his face

 

What’s right for you my brother

Just ain’t right for me

What works for you my brother

Just won’t work for me

The rules of life are different

When you make your own

If it works for you my brother

Let’s keep movin’ on

If it works for you my brother

Let’s keep movin’ on

 

They both became foot soldiers

And fought a different war

One took on a culture

One joined the marine corps

The older took a different path

To fight ignorance and greed

Both took noble causes

Both looking to succeed

 

They keep their daddy proud

And make their mama cry

No questions of each other

No reason to ask why

One lives life by theory

The other plays by ear

But when they get together

Each one buys a beer

 

And soon they’ll both be fathers

With a son to raise

In a quiet moment

They’ll think of younger days

And lessons to pass on

About how to find their way

They’ll probably ask each other

Just what they should say


The Mistress 

© 2006 Terry Murphy

 

Music is my mistress

It keeps me away

I love it in your arms

But I love it when I play

The songs bouncin’ round

From inside my head

The mistress is calling

The mistress needs a bed

 

And I guess I’ve been a long time away

And I wish there was something I could say

 

Singin’ out loud

For the prairie moon

Settin’ pace with the wind

I’ll be home soon

Gotta stone in my shoe

And a hole in my boot

With a song in my heart

And a hold of the loot

 

And I guess I’ve been a long time away

And I wish there was something I could say

 

Lying here between the two

Knowing what’s inside of you

Let it go, let it go

 

It’s late in the evening

My bedside is cold

You left the light on

I’ll be singin’ til I’m old

I lay down beside you

You’ll move in your sleep

The mistress is gone

Our secrets to keep

 

And I guess I’ve been a long time away

And I wish there was something I could say