LYRICS & SONG NOTES

Cotton Flowers

Sometimes girls grow up too soon
Never get a chance to bloom
Childhood taken away from them
By an uncle or a cousin, daddy’s best friend

Some girl, someone’s pearl
Some girl, she’s just a girl
With cotton flowers and no shoes
Who gave you the right to choose some girl

Sometimes mothers refuse to hear
Cannot believe what is whispered in their ear
What could make a person do such a thing
And who on Earth are we to blame

Some girl, someone’s pearl
Some girl, she’s just a girl
With cotton flowers and no shoes
Who gave you the right to choose some girl

What once was smiles and innocence
Suddenly becomes so serious
A playful girl on the way to school
One day carries the weight of the world

Some girl, someone’s pearl
Some girl, she’s just a girl
With cotton flowers and no shoes
Who gave you the right to choose some girl

A playful girl on the way to school
One day carries the weight of the world

*************************************************************

Once Around The Moon

He came in like a breeze on a sultry day
curiously welcome though he couldn’t stay
Saw him walking up his momma’s steps
hadn’t seen him since the day he left

She was doomed, just a goner
She won’t be the same
In a whirlwind they went once around the moon—-once around the moon

The same old fella she used to know
no big ideas, he never put on a show
Atlanta hadn’t changed him a bit
Though she acted like they’d never met

Jessamine curl climbing the porch rail
little yellow flowers caught in her hair
Bourbon in a jelly jar
bare feet on the seat of his car

She was doomed, just a goner
She won’t be the same
In a tangle they went once around the moon—-once around the moon

Always had a thing for him, he couldn’t tell
She was just a kid, so it was just as well
Too many years too young
Too much left undone

It was a three day pass, a long weekend
she wasn’t foolish to pretend
it was anything more than fun
He’d soon be someone else’s someone

She was doomed, just a goner   She won’t be the same
That tumble took her once around the moon,  once around the moon

***************************************************************

The Wrong Side Of Gallatin

It’s a snapshot, a melting pot of the haves and the have-nots
The wannabes, the used-to-bes and the barely getting by
There’s drugstore after drugstore, fast food and junk food
Discount tobacco beer cases stacked to the sky

On the wrong side of Gallatin
On the wrong side of Gallatin
The wrong side of the street

You’re on the wrong side of Gallatin
It’s the wrong side of Gallatin
The wrong side of the street

Was that a neighbor kid with some fireworks
Or was that a real gun shot
You never thought you’d ever learn the difference between

There’s no newsman in the copter
It’s been up there for an hour
Those searchlights ain’t no carnival scene

CHORUS

There’s the auto diesel college
Spinning rims and revving engines
Testosterone-filled pick ups and they’re all over-sized

You got your check cashed but you’re still broke
Why you’d let ’em tote the note
Were you desperately trying to improvise

CHORUS

First your bicycle, then your mower
Really worked your old car over
for 50 cents, some CDs, these folks just ain’t right

They broke your window and your taillight
out of meanness or maybe spite
Or just someone’s idea of a good time on Saturday night

CHORUS

****************************************************************

WHO AM I KIDDING

It took me nineteen years to find somebody
Who could even tolerate me
Maybe I’m really not all that bad
Oh but who, who am I kidding?

Figure I started out looking
I couldn’t have been much more than ten
But the fifth grade is no place
To look for a man
No I ain’t lying

You see I had this thing for older men
But I wore glasses and I was bean pole thing
They never saw me coming or going

There was this little freckled farm boy
And a scrawny kid named Ray
They didn’t last long
Guess I probably scared them away
No I’m not bragging

Can’t believe my luck has held out for all these years
Each morning I wake up and find you’re still here
Guess I’m sentimental, no these ain’t tears
I ain’t crying

You see I had this thing for older men
But I wore glasses and I was bean pole thing
They never saw me coming or going

***************************************************************

EMMETT TILL

Oh Emmett Till your momma, she can’t wait until
Her time has finally come and she can lay her burden down

Mamie sent her son south
Just to meet his Uncle Moses
Two white men tried to bury him
At the bottom of the Tallahatchie

He came back home to Chicago
With a face his momma barely know’ed
The pearls taken from his mouth

Oh Emmett Till your momma, she can’t wait until
Her time has finally come and she can lay her burden down

Fourteen and trying to be a man
Maybe impress a few friends
Well it was just a harmless whistle for the beauty
behind the counter of Bryant’s Grocery

Oh Emmett Till your momma, she can’t wait until
Her time has finally come and she can lay her burden down

Modest means and black skin
Mississippi law well it’s the white man’s friend
That’s the South in 1955

Oh Emmett Till your momma, she can’t wait until
Her time has finally come and she can lay her burden down
Her time has finally come and we can lay her burden down

****************************************************************

HOMEBODY BLUES

Don’t want no pallet on your floor
Don’t want no road that’s bound for nowhere
I want my feet on solid ground
I got no need to be running around

Don’t have big dreams that’ll never be
Don’t need some fool to try and convince me
What I can plainly see
All I want is simplicity

Won’t spend a dime on the lottery
No mountain of money gonna keep me happy
The endless pursuit of shiny things
It’s like chasing your tail to misery

It’s the sweet little things that make me smile
The back road home for the extra mile
The click of claws on the kitchen tile
My bare feet on my momma’s soil

Don’t want not pallet on your floor
Don’t want no road that’s bound for nowhere
I want my feet on solid ground
I got no need to be running around

****************************************************************

People often ask “What’s that song about,” or “What inspired that song?”   Here are a few explanations, but mostly they are fictional and come to me at random–at 3:00 in the morning, on a drive, in the bathtub, etc.

Semi Tire

After a recent trip to what’s left of my hometown, I wrote this song.  This Welsh word might be a better explanation, just don’t ask me to pronounce it.

Screen shot 2016-07-19 at 10.37.44 AM

“Kiss Indiana Goodbye”

The title is deceiving. It really has nothing to do with my home state, and hopefully none of my fellow Hoosiers will think of it as a slight. It’s really just an emotional snap shot–a girl who is tired of feeling overwhelmed and is finally putting the past in its proper place.

“Who Am I Kidding”

Growing up, I was skinny as a rail, wore glasses and often dressed in my brothers’ hand-me-downs (presumably why I often still prefer men’s clothing). My Grandma Pearl would infuriate me at every visit with the same question, “Have you found yourself a boyfriend yet, sugar babe?” In retrospect, maybe it was just her curiosity about my sexuality. I was quite a conundrum. I didn’t mind wearing dresses and being girlie, and I liked boys–but preferred rough-housing and getting dirty, to dolls and tea parties. Fortunately, I found someone who embraces, or at least tolerates my quirkiness.

“Lil’ Red Girl”

This is a pretty obvious little love/hate song dedicated to every woman suffering through that loathsome monthly visitor.

“Ode To Middle Age”

This was written in response to all the nostalgia in this world for lost childhoods–so many people wishing they could go back in time…”Oh to be a kid again.” I say, “NO THANKS!”

“Emmett Till”

While watching a documentary on the murder of Emmett Till, I was so inspired I had to write about it. Although I was a long time Dylan fan, I wasn’t familiar with his song “The Death Of Emmett Till.” I was hesitant to include the song, for that reason, but it was one of Otis’ favorites and a story well worth re-telling.

Homebody Blues

This is a traditional blues song written as a tribute to the few folks in this world who are indeed happy with their lot in life. People who don’t worry themselves with lottery tickets, or the latest gadget, but are instead on a quest for simplicity. “The endless pursuit of shiny things, is like chasing your tail to misery.”

Livin’ On Beans And Cornbread

This song was inspired by an auto-biographical series of books written by Rick Bragg–describing his family’s struggle to exist in the South during a time when people were often strapped to a cotton mill, the company store and/or bootleg whiskey.  ”Cotton in your whiskers, cotton in your shoes, a cotton lint tornado following after you…”

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: