Enjoying The Fall

by Danny Schmidt

supported by
David Enge
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David Enge Was fortunate enough to see him play this live...one of those songs you hear with you eyes and ears. Favorite track: McCreary's Pipes.
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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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Track Name: God's Love Of Man
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
Track Name: These Ain't Tynan's Blues
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
Track Name: Girlwhiskey
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
Track Name: Sometimes A Friend
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?
Track Name: Tennee, Mama, and Desiree
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.
Track Name: Blue Railroad Train
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 . . .
Track Name: Drunk At The Biltmore
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
Track Name: Oaxacan Vacation
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
Track Name: McCreary's Pipes
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
Track Name: Ten Penny Nails
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
Track Name: Columbine
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
Track Name: Not Unlike Water
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
Track Name: Frayed Unsightly Hided Eyes
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