Enjoying The Fall

by Danny Schmidt

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1.
Hey, the sun’s sinking, Overhead the skies are grey All’s still but folks thinking On the words the preacher prays “Lay thee down in heaven’s sunlight And smile down upon the days gone by - By and By - His soul was taken and don’t ask the good lord why” “He was a good and was a kind man Kept his garden free of weeds Fed the sick and led the blind man To the light where souls are freed He left behind his ma and sisters And ours is not to ask what’s fair - what’s fair is fair - So lend some kindness for their loss is ours to bear” He went to church and looked on Jesus And how they stretched him ‘cross the post With all our sins washed down his body ‘Cross naked flesh when eyes were closed And at night he shared the burden Of his brother lying close at hand - hand in hand - And just like Jesus from eyes of love dropped tears of sin Thou shalt not steal thy neighbor’s money Nor take thy neighbor’s life And thou shalt have but for desire Not thy neighbor, but for his wife They sheathed their swords inside their bibles And when they come, they come to beat him straight But it’s the bible that takes a beating When you preach a love of hate Now listen good though I’m no preacher They killed a man for how he loved If you believe that shit you’re teaching You best take shelter from above Cause it’s our words which built the heavens And it’s our words which hold the mighty - All and All - Might come down crashing if our word for Angel falls
2.
Late night stupor, late night grins Late night supper, late night swims Late night set loose, locked in song Words ain’t right, but tunes ain’t wrong REFRAIN: Hi hidy baby hidy-ho Where I’ve gone no man can know The things I’ve won and the things I’ve seen And the things I’ve lost ain’t lost on me Minds are heavy, bellies filled From where the dream and baby spilled From flashbulbs silent ‘cross the night Are pictures burned where gone’s the sight If just a glimpse to see the face That pain and jubilation make Around your eyes, as through the door Is pushed an angel truly yours refrain From the middle to the edge I’ve seen And won the right to move between Through spaces only one can fit Are treasures buried deep in shit But I set that space between our paths To keep defined the other halves But that night ‘neath the cross of stars Well, gone enough was gone too far refrain Eyes can lie, but teardrops can’t They come like letters urgent sent One side Joy and one Regret To fill the cracks of needs unmet I mean this when I say to you All feelings good and bad are true And c’est la vie don’t say it all Like catch the wind or enjoy the fall
3.
Girlwhiskey 04:10
Kinda layin low -- a little girl with hands of silk A quick game of touch and go -- and the loss of words It’s just the way things go -- flowers open, petals wilt Fingers lock and people close And minds wander down down down Lips pressed together -- too tight to speak A little taste to top the night -- then drift off to sleep And my girlwhiskey -- she goes down smooth and sweet It’s hard to know -- what’s exception, what’s the rule And when the honest blade is cruel or when it’s kisses that carve the soul Sittin in the park -- children play and children fall And children tear their friends apart Rebuilt to run again again again Mamas teach your babies -- your babies teach the rest There’s some things those that know the least . . . they know the best And my girlwhiskey -- can you teach me to forget Now all alone -- a little bourbon wet and warm Off to dig yourself as whole -- a little trickle fills right in It’s still good to know -- with all the cracks there’s still no leaks And with the lights down soft and low No need to see so far so far so far It’s too soon to write her -- but too late to call It’s all spent in gettin there -- then free for the fall And my girlwhiskey -- don’t need the girl at all
4.
There’s a little man inside my head He calls himself sometimes my friend But he always helps me in the end He talks me through He likes to dance and carry-on And he shows me where my feet belong And sometimes before too long I’m a dancin’ fool And he likes to drink sometimes, and keep A fire burning while we sleep He says it scares away the beasts At least a few And sometimes in the summer sun He yells, “Catch me if you can, you bum!” And through the pretty girls we’ll run And they watch us too And sometimes when she’s all alone He likes to walk this one girl home And sweet words like ice cream cones Just melt on out And when she sometimes waves goodnight He says it means the time is right An arm around a neck is like The loss of doubt Your honor, don’t you understand Deterents only taunt the damned They’re slaps across a knowing hand And a face turned blue There’s a little man inside my head He calls himself sometimes my friend And if you choose to strike him dead Will I die too? There’s something like a million men Locked away in cages when They’re just doing like their friends Just like to do. Will I die too?
5.
Desiree rides the highway like tomorrow’s the end of the race With men in her rearview, like roadkill with grins on their face And the road is an old friend with curves that she knows she can take And the wind whips her face like a hot shower after a mistake She says, “Love is for being reborn or for waiting to die” She hadn’t touched it in years -- she still remembers the tears Tennee was named for a place he still never has seen Where the tops are all rocky and the pastures a little more green And where his Mama was born and returned to when Tennee was four At daybreak one morning with a kiss and a note on the door It said, “I’m sorry for going, but the sky’s just too big for me here My heart’s buried in snow, and I’m dying for home” Tennee grew fast and grew strong and grew hungry and mean With his Pa in Montana where the milk and the honey was weened And he grew without guidance from home or from heaven above And he drifted towards danger and towards strangers who might fill him with love But the edge got too narrow til it dropped like the blade of his knife Ironic enough, the judge said “sentenced to life” Desiree left from Westby, she’d been there as long as she dared A week and a half, and til the man with the strong fingers cared She was doin ‘bout sixty when a letter flew up from the floor She read it, and sped up, and tossed it for the wind to endure It said, “Darlin I love you, and darlin I’m with you Though I know I won’t see you again I’ll think of you often, remember you dearly And I hope you find peace in the end” Tennee liked the roadwork cause the air always struck him as free And his vision could drift from the ground where the guards said to be And though the crew was always changing, they were family if just for a time Cause there’s nothing like capture for a man to release what’s inside And while Tennee was dreamin, his cellmate pulled a note from the weeds And with a gulp and a glance, he slipped it into his pants When they got back for lockdown, Tennee’s cellmate pulled a slip from the bars He said “I guess while we’s out there, this letter has come from your ma” Tennee was shakin, he sat back, said “Read it to me -- School was never my thing, and my eyes are too tired to see” It said, “Darlin I love you, and darlin I’m with you Though I know I won’t see you again I’ll think of you often, remember you dearly And I hope you find peace in the end” Tennee was up as the sun first rustled the leaves Cause there ain’t never knowing just the first light and the faith to believe Peace of mind ain’t security, it’s learning to face the mistakes It’s still unsettling to wonder, in jail, who’ll be there when you wake You know scars don’t heal pretty but forgiveness can soften their pain Like a kiss on the head, from a ghost left for dead.
6.
Take me back to Memphis where The King smoked dope And he drove his gold Caddy through the mirrors and smoke When life goes drivin’ off ahead of you There’s reds and whites and catchin’ up to do On that Blue Railroad Train . . . Tell me Jimi Hendrix just before you died Was the rainbow in the tunnel really worth the ride I’m not to judge a man on what he can or should But I hope the hope the angels have some funk and that the sky kissed good Like that Blue Railroad Train . . . I’m gonna sing with Janis Joplin, watch her shake that thing And hear nothing in her pockets but freedom’s ring But don’t think for a second you had nothing to lose Cause it froze your heart and it stole your blues That Blue Railroad Train . . . Johnny Cash there’s a hymn I’ve heard that sings That in the ashes of the fire hides the King of Kings Well you’ve crawled through the soot and you’ve searched alone And Fourteen Stations later you’ve rode back home On that Blue Railroad Train . . . I know the world’s gone crazy and our souls are weak And that there’s sacred and profane along the paths we seek As long as there are questions there’ll be answers tried But you can’t know the destination before you ride That Blue Railroad Train . . .
7.
It was Thursday, the Budha was filled to the brim With a hint of The Ramblers rising up from the din So we ambled outside for some air and some room When we was struck by the smell of poison ivy in bloom They were drunk at the Biltmore again They’d come seekin solace, found Guiness instead Now they’re drunk at the Biltmore again There was a band out in front and their bass shook the ground Playin covers I’d hated the first time around But there weren’t no one listenin but me and my friends They were all workin madly on their means to their ends Gettin drunk at the Biltmore again They’d come seekin solace, found Guiness instead Now they’re drunk at the Biltmore again The girl in the corner, she was gone past her years Those champagne eyes with bubbles comin’ out through her ears She stood up and sat down and stood up again As I watched, from my perch, the mating dance of the damned She was drunk at the Biltmore again She’d come seekin solace found cheap love instead Now she’s drunk at the Biltmore again There was nice folks and mean folks and some folks we weren’t sure So we asked ‘em how they felt about the Australian War One ignored, one laughed, one said “All wars are bad” I agreed and bought a Foster’s for that studious lad He was drunk at the Biltmore again He’d come seeking solace found Foster’s instead Now he’s drunk at the Biltmore again I was young once and wild, had my follies and all Cause you got to learn how to run ‘fore you learn how to crawl And life ain’t all roses, cause roses ain’t fun We got drunk fairly often, we just never got dumb Like they was at the Biltmore again They’d come seeking something, found nothing instead They’re just drunk at the Biltmore again
8.
Went down to Oaxaca for a three week stretch On a bus ride meant to test my faith I leaned with the curves and I held my breath It made the drinking water taste almost safe I disembarked and kissed the road It was dirty -- it was made of dirt Surrounded by faces that I don’t know I guess home is where your eyes don’t hurt “Quiero pesos para el nino aqui?” Just a little slice of that American Dream Heaven help ‘em but don’t they know That I’ve got nothin that’s worth a thing In Zipolite there’s a horseshoe beach And I slept out in a hammock there A few tequilas and I could reach The water on a waft of air I spent my days beneath the sun Joined the little kids in the poundin’ surf Made a castle with this boy ‘fore he had to run To take his brother’s place at work It ain’t like when I was young The horror of that schoolbell’s ring Sixteen years and just to know That I’ve got nothin that’s worth a thing Out late in the marketplace Grande hoopla and crap for cheap Chocolate-covered crickets and horse-hair lace And little eyes and hands of thieves I felt the hand inside my pack I missed the face but all he took Was stuff you bring you don’t need back A couple candles and softback books I laughed at what the image brings Of the pick-pocket poet-king But all there is is all there seems That I’ve got nothin that’s worth a thing I crossed back without much fuss Just poles with mirrors and men with guns To tickle the belly of the bus And check the stickers on my rum My driver’s license and some shoot the shit They saw I’s square and sent me through But they made the guy behind me sit And wait to talk to god knows who They let me by it’s plain to see That buslag and freedom’s ring Was all that I could claim to bring And I’ve got nothin that’s worth a thing
9.
Mary read it on the rider's face The boys were heading to a far-off place He said, "Fetch McCreary and fetch the pipes And say your prayers to God tonight" Ride Ride with pipes and drums Down to Keller to oust the bums Ride Ride with pipes and drums Down to Keller to do what must be done McCreary led them down through misty hills His pipes were singing there'd be blood to spill But the same drone that turns a man to ghost Does wail back home to those love most Ride Ride with pipes and drums Strike a pitch and start the run Ride Ride with pipes and drums And chase the devil back where he belongs McCreary and the boys attacked While Mary kept the weeds fought back And left the table set for eight And watched the sunsets count her wait Ride Ride with pipes and drums Flour ground and axes swung Ride Ride with pipes and drums Bones and branches torn from where they'd hung The boys came home Mary fell and cried Six had left her now she counted five Cried "I worked too hard to bear those lives McCreary you chose those pipes or I" Ride Ride with pipes and drums Back home when the fighting's done Ride Ride with pipes and drums The farm's quiet and McCreary's pipes are gone
10.
A half-locked love, a treasure chest A stolen kiss or a gift for free? I found the keyhole but lost the chance In trade for honor among thieves God knows -- it’s hard -- on tippy-toes With a heart that rattles and hands that shake Like ten penny nails in a coffeecan I’m kinda subtle when I’m sneakin up A sunset walk, some feelings claimed You held my hand while I held my tongue But makin love and makin love songs ain’t the same There’s one that leaves it most unsung God knows -- it’s hard -- to sing so bold With a heart that rattles and a voice that shakes Like ten penny nails in a coffeecan Just sweet enough to stir things up Open window, it’s come and gone I missed the time but nailed the place I’ve seen you often but none at dawn It’s a light that’s missing from your face God knows -- it’s hard -- through lids half closed While one heart rattles but one head shakes Like ten penny nails in a coffeecan Gettin rusty as the days go by
11.
Columbine 03:10
The pecans are fallin in the early autumn You can’t blame em much, no they’ve got nothing to lose But it ain’t like god and like their mamas taught em Nature unnurtured, winter’s comin on blue Hang on, that’s what they’re sayin, but hang on why Innocence is a target while they meat’s still soft But the breeze it took to bitin and the leaves bled dry And winter’s disposition’ll leave the trees all tossed Came home alone this evening, turned the news show on There was kids jumpin terrified right through my screen To hell with higher learning, they was countin til dawn Blood on the black board, just mean on mean Hang on, that’s what they’re saying, but hang on how To the thickened skin of youth and a hope that’s worn too thin A little hidden here, and a little taste for now And a little’ll hold you over when the cold blows in Well the pecans are fallin in the early autumn You can’t blame em much, no they’ve got nothing to lose But it ain’t like god and like their mamas taught em Left out hangin til there’s guns in school
12.
When love grows tired, and her bones get old And her teeth turn soft And her heart goes cold Let the water pour, through the dust and dirt Til it’s called to rise from its dark disguise Then it falls back pure But there’s a newfound face, for every frozen soul Whose lips strike sparks Past eyes of coal When the light of day, she’s been gone for years And took her busy hands And her gentle mirror Let the water pour, through the dust and dirt Til it’s called to rise from its dark disguise Then it falls back pure There’s a light that shines, when your eyes are turned She whispers on your neck That your head’s returned There’s a time that comes, when your time is gone When you count what’s right Then you count what’s wrong Let the water pour, through the dust and dirt Til it’s called to rise from its dark disguise Then it falls back pure Every baby’s born, to an empty skin And with the world’s first breath That count fills in
13.
Frayed unsightly hided eyes Beholders of the beautified Inward past a lens despised The seer and the seen scene Silkworm shambles left betrothed Unsynthesized but what the cost In heaps between the lines were lost A mess of unwarmed ears Blackened seared the heartstrings scorched The dancing puppets of divorce They tumble free with songs to torch A cleansing taste of flame Body free the heart bestilled The eighth hole is the one that kills Fear the blood but love the chill The in and out sides meet Slurry slick the daisy bed A place to fall and rest your head Might take root when the winter’s dead A seed to sow so much more

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released January 1, 2001

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Danny Schmidt Austin, Texas

Named to the Chicago Tribune's "50 Most Significant Songwriters in the Last 50 Years," Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt is considered a preeminent writer, an artist whose earthy poetry manages to somehow conjure magic from the mundane, with lyrical depth drawing comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Townes Van Zandt. ... more

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