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Live At The Prism Coffeehouse (1999)

by Danny Schmidt

Introduction 00:35
Cliff Song 04:29
A part of her lives in a room in her head And a 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 refrain: 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 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 refrain 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 refrain 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 refrain
My baby likes donuts for breakfast My baby likes donuts for lunch My baby likes donuts for dinner My baby likes donuts a bunch My baby ain't always happy My baby ain't always sad My baby ain't always good to me But my baby ain't always bad Sometimes my baby acts crazy Sometimes she's off the wall Sometimes she talks like she hates living Sometimes she don't talk at all refrain: Oh won't you take this from me... Crazy love She don't like me playing the fool, Lord Thinkin "There he goes again..." My baby's got to learn to be patient My baby's just learnin 'bout men She thinks men are simple and hopeless I think she just mostly don't care Kick my ass if she caught me calling her Baby But what's fun ain't always fair I keep my baby from doing her business Oh let me count the ways And when she lays her head to rest, Lord She dreams of thirty-two hour days Don't help her get up in the morning And I can't stop talking at night Seems I don't make nothin easy But, Lord, my heart is right refrain My baby likes thinkin of killing My baby likes bearin her teeth Makes me smile when she's actin hard, Lord Cause I've seen what's underneath She lives a rough and a dangerous high life Sees a view uncommon rare How the hell can the face of an angel Look down with such despair Some days I'm just trying to help her Help with her troubled ways Come home and make love in the evening Cause she's perfect in crazy ways refrain My baby's a kiss upon waking She's the space between the stars She's an artist like the sun at sunset She's the key to the prison bars Snugglin in the poorman's vineyards Gulpin good cheap dry red wine Lookin over the moon and the garden And damn ain't everything so fine Take this cause it's all I can give you Crazy love and kind mistakes I love you still all roughshod and tangled Cause fairy tales don't always take refrain
Three chords and a bucket of trouble Three chords and I'll have no fear Three chords and I'm still standing Three chords with an ice cold beer Three chords and a grey picket fence Three chords and a kickback porch Three chords and a stormshow theater Three chords and a cat-tail torch Three chords and the leaves are turning Three chords and the air is crisp Three chords and the football's flying Three chords through the autumn bliss refrain: Hey you -- where'd you come from Hey you -- you better leave me be Hey you -- you keep pullin my grip loose As I'm holding to the simpletree Three chords like moon shine kissing Three chords that rub my head Three chords and wake up in bluejeans Three chords in a feather bed Three chords and a junksale treasure Three chords and a hat that fits Three chords and a dog that listens Three chords and sometimes sits Three chords and a friend who walks slow Three chords and an easy laugh Three chords who'll float down the river Three chords and'll float you back refrain Three chords and a naked baby Three chords who's chewin on leaves Three chords and the line gets fuzzy Between your friends and family Three chords and the kids are crazy Three chords in their hopelost songs Three chords and I remember Three chords that carry on Three chords and songs for singin Three chords and a fire to feed Three chords and the coals match the sunrise Three chords that's all I need refrain
We've been waiting since Thursday We're waiting today We'll be waiting tomorrow Well it sure feels that way You're taking your sweet time You're taking it slow I see you're a wise one You know what you know refrain: Weaving you this gentle welcome mat Waiting on the baby Sassafras There's love that is blinded That mama knows best And you'll drink of it deeply As you're held to her breast And you'll carry it with you In your stomache so round When you're lost in the forest Food will always be found refrain There'll be blood on the surface But a heart that's born clean Cause the love you were made from I'm proud to have seen There's a sharp-edged division In an unfeeling world Stay soft and stay open I hope you're a girl refrain Free's outside and drumming He don't know what else to do He's pounding the rhythm Of the long overdue There's a full moon that's rising There's no failure in fate Well it's your life to live for But I can't hardly wait This song's partly a blessing And it's partly a toast And a trail marker left from One who's partly across refrain
Kings lose, princes fall, and queens lose their heads And the paupers laugh cause they're better off than dead Cakes are empty, castles cold, and wine’s thick with lead But the beans are soaked and the piñata's full of bread refrain: Bells ring, angels sing -- their harmonies in ninths The honky-tonk witches punch makes children of the night Paper trade, promenade, the bear swings its claws Cause when you dance on air you're bound to fall Guns don't argue and the badge don't lie, the man knows no bounds But now the hunter's hunted -- set loose the hounds Priests and rabbis fight to see who'll play the host While the Goddess dances with fathers, sons, and ghosts refrain Streets grow wrinkled, buildings bend -- outlived their good But the blood's still flowing back to the woods The crowd's gathering, come make your way -- just read the trees But come empty-handed -- this party's free refrain Come make your way. Come set the stage -- Where the filthy rich and the filthy poor Can dance upon a level floor And spin like children been released 'Til all that's left is dust Where the power ties and the petty crooks Can turn back all the ledger books And all the locks fall away to rust
My story begins at a rest stop On the way from Houston to home Well accidents happen in road weary fashion When you're parked on the side of the road Especially parked on the side of the road Chapter Two was set in my first home Big brother was knocking me 'round I grabbed a big stick you know, a lesson learned quick you know And drove his ass into the ground I never helped him up off of the ground Chapter Three I was called to the torah Singing prayers to a god I don't know Being stretched to a man in phonetical clamor Thirteen but not ready to grow Chapter Four reads much like a whirlwind Imagination which uprooted trees I was taught to respect my mind's hurricane depth And shown words could blow soft like the breeze And that expression was calming release Chapter Five began it was wartime It was Dad that old fascist 'gainst me I fought with a passion sincere and irrational Didn't know it was work to be free I'm not sure I deserved to be free Chapter Six began with a soft kiss Scared to death my young manhood might show Not knowing where hands went or where exactly my brain went And feeling my will weren't my own Chapter Seven was eighteen years coming Five friends, an oasis of joy Free easy starts and a junk sculpture garden Life's bounty turned loose to enjoy Chapter Eight diverged in a dark woods The road less traveled was mine Hoping for better than school and the ladder And dreaming I could live just for time With no other signposts but time Chapter Nine was a bird with gold feathers Wrapped me up in her wings as we flew She showed me the charts and a place in my heart Where the flowers are always in bloom I could always go see them in bloom Chapter Ten was a hard lesson learning That the heart and the mind ain't the same That the same flames that light you can reach up and bite you If you haven't the skills of the game I'm still learning the skills of the game Chapter Eleven is owning my shadow Who creeps with me there on the floor As cold as it felt to me in the mirror that love held to me As I ran in a chill from my core From the cracks and the fears in my core Chapter Twelve is starting tomorrow I don't know but the pages go on There's no use in thinkin' cause Destiny's ink pen Always falls where it seems to belong
Lucky 06:41
I woke up this morning and I realized That I owned everything -- I owned everything I owned all the air in the world And all the house too And all the TVs and Landrovers And all of Jupiter's moons Well that's a lot to be owning So I shared it all -- I shared it with everyone I'm a good sharer you know -- I guess I learned that young Shared some land over here, and some food over there I divvied it all away, tried my best to be fair Inevitably though, there were inequities though I mean that certain folks got to use more of my stuff lots more of my stuff... Mostly rich people Yeah I woke up this morning and I realized That I owned everything -- everything Ain't it funny how sometimes you just wake Up in the morning and find that everything's changed Like going to sleep after a really big fight And wakin' up in the morning scared to open your eyes But you look over there -- there she is over there And oh my god, what the hell, something you dreamed must've been kinda funny to her cause she's grinning She's just grinning at you Or like when Kafka woke up -- woke up in the morning And all of a sudden, without any warning He looked in the mirror, saw his worst morning fears Yeah Kafka -- he was a cockroach... a giant one... a giant Czechoslovakian allegorical yucky-ass sorta cockroach.. that must have really sucked for him Kinda makes you scared to wake up Wake up in the morning When things have been going OK And you've gotten no warning But it all goes to show That there's just one thing you know You just never know But when you wake up in the morning And she grinning at you And you're not a giant cockroach even And you own everything Don't it make you feel Yeah don't it make you feel Kinda lucky.
Last Night 06:10
Deep night, there's no cover The moon's finding what the sunlight hides He's all alone, it's what he's chosen Cause every person is some clothes removed He hides away But there's voices there, they wait patient They know he's coming home, they know where he lives They're demon songs, they sing softly Sweet lullabies in a voice like his He's swept away His body's still, but his cells are dancing His sheets are soaked and his blood's too loud There's no more blankets -- he blames his body Like an unplanned baby with endless needs He burns away Morning comes, shines through the window Rays of glory strike an empty bed But don't look -- you'll get taken Sometimes paths of truth should be left untread He's gone away
This morning I woke up to dark clouds Stretched as far as my poor eyes could see Well why, dear God, are horizons so close But always ahead of me Cold words hit sharp like the raindrops And collect in a dammed-up hole Well the day has come when the dam is bust open With a force drowning men can't control refrain: Tonight I'm gonna grab me a bottle And go walking and drinking alone Tonight I'm singing all the sad songs I know Until I can't find my way home Time just wanders on aimless Like a tired and stubborn old man Who's always thinking that things will be different next time When he comes across kinder land And Jesus done built his own cross Lord, looks like I'm building mine But Jesus Christ had connections in heaven I'll have to wait in line refrain When I'm walking I feel like I'm going somewhere And you know whiskey will always agree And behind every sad song a poor man is crying Softly with his arm around me refrain
Belief? 05:10
Jesus is my savior Buddha is my guide And Moses brought the law from Sinai By my blood I'm to abide Krishna leads my dances Vishnu holds my many hands And Darwin helps me off my pedestal And makes this monkey stand Dylan wrote my bible And taught me not to read The New Age sings the songs of healing As they watch their fingers bleed I've got the same clues I've always had I search therefore I am There always was beginning And there always will be end If I believed in sinning I'd be a sinner true Cause if something's wrong it's something still And I'd live with what I knew If I believed in Salvation In grace I would be saved If I believed that roads led places I'd have laid mine straight and paved If I believed in people In the virtue of the climb And that knowledge transcends stomaches Then I might believe in mine If I believed in loneliness I'd throw a party for myself I'd throw out all my trophies And I'd live with empty shelves If I believed in connections To full embrace another soul Well love and friendship's touch is warm But it does not fill this hole If I believed in believing I'd close the doors and draw the shades And forget I was just passing through But it seems to late to stay Well I believe in believing It answers its own doubts Why, how come, what for -- shut up That's not what it's about
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
Heaven 05:19
Well in those hills of Ozark County There's backwards folks with forward minds And money don't grow in fertile soil And folks find life in what they know is real refrain: Oh, in heaven I roam. Oh, in heaven I roam. (x2) Well storms of tears and sunshine laughter And flowers bloom, then fall to seed Well I'm just sitting here watching all the trees grow And feeling that they're smiling down on me refrain I thought to know, you had to ask the questions A million answers, I just stopped asking why Cause when you're living right there ain't nothing so sweet as living Gonna eat my fill long before I die refrain Well in these hills of the Blue Ridge of Virginia You woke me up from a sleep of many years With one soft kiss and the smell of bleeding maples When I'm with you the air itself does breathe refrain
Canyon Walls 03:08
Every song's a stone Thrown off the back as the truck keeps going Marks my way back to yesterday, Lord But who's going there? Maybe 'fore I die I'm gonna make my way up high And see the patterns of the stones That mark the long and winding curves The long and winding curves Every song flows past Like a river through the canyon pass Carves its love in the stones above, Lord And whispers on along As time has flowed away I can hear the chords she plays And let the song of the river still echo high That there's truth in the canyon walls Truth in the canyon walls


For you completists out there, this is Danny's first album (now out of print). It was recorded live at the venerable Prism Coffeehouse in Charlottesville, VA in 1999, the year Danny began performing. It's raw, but real, and contains some early songs of Danny's that don't exist anywhere else.


released April 25, 1999


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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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