Little Grey Sheep

by Danny Schmidt

/
1.
Hold my hand, the leaves are burning The leaves are burning, now hold my hand Face the breeze of pages turning The page is turning, now hold my hand Close my eyes to watch the ocean I watch the ocean and I close my eyes Rise and fall of blind emotion I fight the notion and I close my eyes Clench my teeth to taste tomorrow I taste tomorrow and I clench my teeth Take today what once was borrowed Until tomorrow, I’ll just clench my teeth Stuff my ears, the bells are ringing The bells keep ringing, now stuff my ears I look around but no one hears them No one hears them but the damn bells still ring Spill my lungs of dirt and fury Cause dirt and fury have filled my lungs Kick my feet and spit my story Of rage and glory, come clear my lungs Tie me down to trees and mountains Tie me tight and tie me strong Bring me food then bring me down When the fire’s all cleared and the smoke’s all gone
2.
I’ve lived my life in two pursuits To capture time and free the truth I never asked for all your love I only asked for you But sometimes sunshine hits my glass And answers ‘fore I have to ask How the hell can rainbows Show so many shortest paths? Chorus: But now I find it’s time To take the lines and draw again A blinding light, a climb to grace To fall in love, to fall into the best of friends Looks like I’m in love again I see my heart outside my skin And all the teardrops leaking out As the dreams come sneaking in It’s lovely, though, so I forget That just to love is not to get And hours of sweet nothings Still add up to nothing yet Chorus A different time, a different place Unembroidered, disembraced A kiss upon the cheek Leaves me defeated, not defaced Roads diverge, and rise and fall You hope, at least, the road still calls Yours by way of Pleasantville And mine, by Shambhala Chorus
3.
When the Porters sound the trumpet For a gathering of friends You can leave the hourglass at home Cause you’ll have no need for sand Half a pound of shrimp apiece And half a quart of wine I guess we came unwound a bit Where the Shenandoah winds Trading tunes for sips of whiskey Sharing songs for gulps of air And if I could even see to play Then I’m sure I played my share Chorus: And while the river hums Sweet southern harmonies A father and a son There were girls of all description There were scenes of all disguise As they filed by with plates of food It was a feast for hungry eyes Then a father, full of wisdom Said I learned when I was young That a pretty face ain’t worth the chase Go ugly early, son Chorus And then loneliness conspires Like old women over cards To throw matchsticks at dry wood to see If one might shoot back sparks And there shines that certain moonlight Seems to whisper in your ear That the fire keeps you just so warm As the closest girl is near Chorus But when you gaze at her beside you You best rid yourself of pride Til the colors of your feathers They match the color of your hide Cause in the question of the conquest You might find it’s just as true That the girl that you chose early She went ugly early, too Chorus Now it strikes me more than memories When I think back on that night That a father could be quite so wrong And still so deeply right But you share the fruit you’ve gathered Like you share the night in songs Well ain’t it like a father’s words To hold you like a son. Just like a son. Chorus
4.
Cliff Song 04:06
A part of her lives in a room in her head And part of her lives wild in the woods I wanted to make love to both parts at once But a part of me knew that I never could Chorus: But Cosima says we're too close to the edge I can't help but be scared when she's scared But she also agrees it's a beautiful scene Life's valley through the mist and the fears And life, oh life -- it sure looks alive from here. I showed her her name engraved on my heart She said there must be some mistake I tried to invite myself into her room But there were things that she was scared I would break Chorus We sang our song softly together She swayed to the guitar I'd strum But she was scared that her life might go dancing away If three hearts all started to drum Chorus Well fear ain't nothing -- it's falling that's real And to let the fear rule you's a shame Cause dreams and memories can't warm me at night And hugging pillows just ain't the same Chorus
5.
I’m gonna sit and wiggle I’m gonna sing again I’m gonna speak my heart and hope you can hear it And I hope that you understand, understand Sit and sniff the daisies And pop the poppies, too Breathe in and hold it, hmmm, don’t you know that It’s kind what the kind buds do, the kind buds do Hold me down. Hold me down. Hold me down . . . around the waist I’ve got a new friend My friend’s a girl She’s got hands like rain and legs like a river She could carve up the whole damn world, the whole damn world She made me breakfast And I made her cry She said: “What about the moon? What about the magic?” Yeah, but what about the goddamn tides, the goddamn tides? She don’t know -- the way I come and go She swears she loves me, but I swear that she don’t know Sunshine and sangria So easy going down Let’s lay with today and just hope for tomorrow And love being here right now, here right now So hold me down Hold me down Hold me down . . . around the waist
6.
I spent the night with Houston once But I bet that she forgot Cause Houston seems to think That you’re important or you’re not So I don’t give a damn for Houston Or her Jr. High School prom dance state of mind Wrap me up in Austin You can kiss her mouth without kissing her behind I dropped a quarter once in Dallas It went rolling down the bluff They arrested me for littering They said I didn’t drop enough They’ve got the cleanest cells in Texas Even their jailbirds’ve got no soul Wrap me up in Austin Where at least when I’m locked up I feel at home There’s nothing all that bad That I could say about San Antone Except for all its bark There ain’t much dog meat on that bone I mean it’s nice enough to visit It’s nice enough to get back in your car Wrap me up in Austin I’ll remember Davy Crockett from afar There’s snakes out in the desert There’s fireants in dirt There’s oilmen in Lubbock And there’s bankers in Fort Worth Now I’m scared to leave South Congress They might kill me, or worse, They might think that I’m with them Wrap me up in Austin Where a bum can wear his panties like a man They say that it’s god’s country Then they fill their cups with spit Well maybe god felt sorry For the Baptists and the hicks I don’t give a damn for Texas And I expect that she don’t give a damn for me So wrap me up in Austin And adios to Tejasito, we’d secede
7.
It’s your birthday so I set about to makin something fine A gift so bright that with it you might glow from time to time But, alas, I’m less the artist than the dreamer, sad but true So I gazed into the clouds and, look, I found a song for you! It’s a tale of sweet Odysseus who thought it time to rest From those adventures past and those that soon might come up next But a siren called and beckoned, “There’s no adventure such as me” Odysseus, her ears did burn -- the siren sang off key The siren on his knees he sang, “I’ve not seen the likes of you Born of steel and born of silk, and the contradictions of the two” But Odysseus was silent, just this grin upon her face Cause she either knew this song by heart, or she knew not what to say The siren sang, “Odysseus, I’ll not keep you from your life To go and live the stories of the men and of the mice And I would not bind your feet for it is they that count the time For your eyes to find the poetry and your hands to paint the lines” The siren he seemed harmless so she told him he could stay Beside her as she wandered through the landscape of the day They found Homer with his muse and they found Isis on the skids And they perched themselves like gargoyles, then they pounced upon the kids And they walked along the tracks until they fell upon a cave Where they talked of revolution and the first few plans were made Through the tonic and the poison and the dwindling candle lights They knew they’d fight together, though, they knew not who they’d fight Well, adventure she’s a strange bird -- she’s brazen and she’s shy She’ll swoop down unsuspecting, but she’ll fly off if you try To catch her for her feathers, she’ll just show herself in scales But close your eyes, she’ll brush your cheek with wings of fairy tales So go and close your eyes now girl, and blow your candles strong And keep your wishes true cause it’s to them that you belong And take this song for what it’s worth -- what it’s worth is this, I’ll say It’s just a smile upon your lips and a Guinness pint that’s raised Here Here! . . . To many more m’dear. Here Here! . . . To many more m’dear.
8.
Emigrant, MT 04:27
Immigrants to Emigrant, dusty as the road Thankful as Wyoming’s plains to find the Yellowstone Sit and watch her carve a slice of Paradise below Making up the story as she goes Picture window picture frame, proscenium display Big sky, no wonder why the Crazy Mountains stay The osprey and the prairie dogs, they do their dance all day Spirited, and spirited away I lay my line at suppertime, I throw my fly again The mountain lets the river sip the snowmelt from its hands Unlicensed and undisciplined and humbled in the end I left the fish for bears and better men Cherry pancakes, pecan pie, a table set for four And company like paint pot steam, colorful and warm Fireworks they light the Fourth, level with our eyes Wildfire country kind of skies Fresh to full the moon’s refilled to lead the night’s parade Far more stars than I have words or wishes I could make There’s church and then there’s Chico Springs or the river down to Pray But me, I’m just a Teton man I’d say Emigrants from Emigrant, home and back to home With memories and all our needs packed up as we drove Thank you very, thank you much, and thank you awful so For Montana and a taste of Yellowstone
9.
California’s on fire again California’s on fire again And the orange groves at night Burn expensive and bright Cause California’s on fire again Embers and sparks filled the air Embers and sparks filled the air As my sister’s left hand Touched the gold of the band I swear that there were sparks in the air Then a rain came to cool down the hills Yes, a rain came to cool down the hills And a blanket of smoke Rolled itself down the coast When a rain came to cool down the hills And the water fell crystal and clean Yes, the water it fell crystal and clean Like the tears in my eyes For my brother and bride Yeah, the water it fell crystal and clean But the soil drank reckless and hard Yes, the soil drank reckless and hard And it belched out a toast And then slumped down the slopes Cause the soil drank reckless and hard Now it feels like I’m running through mud Yes, it feels like I’m running through mud Cause the faster I go Seems the deeper the hole Yes, it feels like I’m running through mud It was all blue skies and birds the next day It’s all sunshine and birds the next day And there was nothing to do But to bake and to bloom It was all blue skies and birds the next day California, she’s always a mess California, she’s always a mess And the here and the now is all she can vow Cause tomorrow’s a mystery furled on her brow And I swear that in time She’ll repeat the design Cause California’s a beautiful mess But right now she’s on fire again Right now she’s on fire again And the orange groves at night They burn festive and bright Cause California’s on fire
10.
We’ve got two hearts that beat together Got two rings, they’re intertwined We’re all set then -- can’t beat the weather A wedding march to lead the brides Chorus: I’ve got dirt and I’ve got water The Acorn Inn -- it’s planting time I’ve got my friends and I’ve got my family And I’ve got my sunshine right by my side They’ve come back home to sweet Virginia To gracious ground and sacred soil Wheres there’s no such thing as to live in sin, y’all When it’s all in love and it’s all for joy Chorus Save the tears to fill the punch bowl With water pure as hearts are clear Cause through the years they’ll spill back tenfold On friendships old as the friends are dear Chorus If love’s as rare as the invitation To come and join in love’s parade Well then I declare, it’s a fine conception Arm in arm -- it’s a prominade Chorus
11.
When I die, let them judge me by my company of friends Let them know me as the footprints that I left upon the sand Let them laugh for all the laughter Let them cry for laughter’s end But when I die, let them judge me by my company of friends When I die, let them toast to all the things that I believe Let them raise a glass to consciousness And not spill a drop for grief Let the bubbles rise at midnight Let their tongues get light as thieves And when I die, let them toast to all the things that I believe I believe in restless hunger I believe in red balloons I believe in private thunder In the end I do believe I believe in inspiration I believe in lightning bugs I believe in slow creation In the end I do believe I believe in ink on paper I believe in lips on ears I believe what's shared is savored In the end I do believe I believe in work on Sundays I believe in raising barns I believe in wasting Mondays In the end I do believe I believe in intuition I believe in being wrong I believe in contradiction In the end I do believe I believe in living smitten I believe all hearts will mend I believe our book is written By our company of friends
12.
When I met Trouble she danced round the table I met Trouble she danced round the table She looked young and I looked able And now Trouble keeps calling on me She smells like smoke and tastes like desire She smells like smoke and tastes like desire And all I’ve got that’s all that she requires Oh and Trouble keeps calling on me But tell her I’m broke, ain’t got no money Tell her I’m broke, ain’t got no money And that a poor man’s jokes ain’t half so funny Oh and Trouble keeps calling on me Chorus: Here she comes -- there she goes Trouble finds what Trouble knows First my body, now my soul’s. . . in Trouble I know she’s no good and I know I know better I know she’s no good and I know I know better But she’s carved like flint and she’s cut like a feather And trouble keeps calling on me I’m damned if I do but I will if she lets me Damned if I do but I will if she lets me Cause it sure begs the question when the question comes beggin’ Oh and trouble keeps calling on me Chorus Trouble can dance and trouble can tremble She’ll show herself seamless or watch herself crumble And she’ll build you up big just to watch your ass tumble Oh and trouble keeps calling on me Trouble’s a maybe and trouble’s a sometimes Trouble’s a desperate edge on the fun times And the most beautiful bomb’s they’ve still got to blow sometimes And trouble keeps calling on me Chorus As the years get long and my eyes get bigger And the skinside and inside both pull the trigger Well her’s ain’t a beauty I struggle to figure Oh and trouble keeps calling on me Now I call her Trouble and she calls me Weakness I call her Trouble and she calls me Weakness A sweet symbiosis of cause and convenience Oh and Trouble keeps calling on me Oh now Trouble she keeps calling on me Oh now Trouble please keep calling on me Chorus

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released November 5, 2007

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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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