Make Right The Time

by Danny Schmidt

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credits

released May 23, 2003

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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: Make Right The Time - part i
Hang tight the nightingale
Sings though her body’s frail
Songs where her feathers fail
To make right the time

The Earth’s on a string of beads
Just one prayer on the rosary
A single voice, a single: “Please,
Make right the time”

Every moment has a face
Eyes of purpose, lips of place
To know and speak of only grace
And to make right the time
Track Name: Tick Tock
Oh clear water -- tick-tock, ticky-ticky-tock
A little bitter but I ain’t bothered
Gonna keep mine stocked -- tick-tock, ticky-ticky-tock
The gift of life in a plastic bottle
Fill my glass from the tap like they asked, and it tastes just fine
Safe for now, now it’s just a matter of time

Love my brother -- tick-tock, ticky-ticky-tock
Brown skin now you’re bound to wonder
Gonna keep my trust -- tick-tock, ticky-ticky-tock
And not blink at the sound of thunder
A little understanding and kindness’ll do the trick
Hope there ain’t nothing, nothing that makes him tick

Will they check my pack -- tick-tock, ticky-ticky-tock
What’s a ball game without your flask
But the line’s too long -- tick-tock, ticky-ticky-tock
Gonna miss the lineups and the first at bats
It’s just a wait, play it safe at the gate, 'til they check you through
Hope they don’t catch me but partly I hope they do

Halloween -- tick-tock, ticky-ticky-tock
Ghosts and fairies in a sugar rush dream
But I just can’t stop -- tick-tock, ticky-ticky-tock
My mind’s racing with this one damn scene
Markin' blood on the door posts at night and they hope it takes
But I hope Willy Wonka’s guards they’ve been stayin' awake

CNN -- tick-tock, ticky-ticky-tock
A target list guessin' which one’s next
And a hundred cops -- tick-tock, ticky-ticky-tock
Intel and a ten foot fence
All’s quiet on the front but the front’s just the last defense
You gotta know what they’re tryin’ to blow
Oh, and you’ve got to know . . . when
Track Name: Today
The mirror in the morning's an uncomfortable stare
Cause the rising and shining can cast quite the glare
But kickback the cobwebs and peel back the skins
Cause the armor of night's the purveyor of sins
There's an army of lost souls don't know quite where to fight
There's an enlightened archer claims that all shots are strikes

refrain:
Tell me why does the breath rise
And fall with your best tries
And where goes the color when the notes trail away
You know silence is so soft
And my soul is bankrupt
From paying the price of tomorrow . . . today

If you always march mindless straight out towards the sun
You will burn yourself blind right back where you begun
And if you drink enough silver you can see the mirage
Of ghosts pitching pennies in the corporate garage
But if your drums match the beat of your heart in the hills
You will look on the place from whence god sends the chills

refrain

I can't tell you why but it seems love is true
Cause I feel there's a cable which ties me to you
From belly to belly, from cause to effect
The threads of transcendence have woven their nets
Is it catch me oh catch me, or please cut me loose
Or is it we all fall together encased in cocoons

refrain
Track Name: Sunny Days
Sunny day, sunny days
Don’t you trick me into stayin’
Don’t you lay me in the cornfield
Just to take the corn away
Sunny day, sunny days
Don’t you trap me in your rays
Either let me loose or promise not fade

Quiet storm, quiet storm
If the future holds to form
From nowhere comes an island
Where the winds are calm and warm
Would you trade another day at sea
For a gentle kiss right now?
Well tomorrow’s just as soft as lips allow
Sunny Days

refrain

Crystal clear, crystal clear
I’ve been deaf about a year
With wads of paper money in my head
That plug my ears
But last night the room was empty
And the wooden walls were pure
And the tunes so sweet I thought I’d found the cure
Sunny Days

refrain

In the end, in the end
It’s the fear to face your friends
And you can only try your best
And then just try and make amends
But today I was bathed in kindness
And wrapped in silk to dry
And the sidewalks rubbed my feet as I walked by
Sunny Day

refrain

Pack you bag, pack your bags
With your footprints and your rags
'Til the weight of all your yesterdays
They make your shoulders sag
And be wary of the offers
To carry off the weight
And the sometimes lips of Sunny Days
that brush across your face
Track Name: Cleopatra
She told me that her name was Cleopatra when we met
And I didn’t mind at all though she was lying I suspect
I told her I’m the emperor of all that I survey
“You can call me Alexander” -- well, she said that that was great
Going round, this old mobile, going round
It’s just as easy talking up as talking down

She told me ‘bout a boyfriend who’d proposed in middle school
And stories of her family I could tell she wished were true
It was Christmas in the Catskills and Easter on the cape
And Mama married money, and Daddy by mistake
Going round, this old mobile, going round
It’s just as easy talking up as talking down

And I told her ‘bout the time I got arrested in the park
For kissing after curfew and then for talking smart
And as they drove me to the station house, in cuffs and in conceit
I found a quarter bag of weed that’d been stuffed down in the seat
Going round, this old mobile, going round
It’s just as easy talking up as talking down

I told her ‘bout the incident with fireworks and doves
And she told me about Somoa and lilikoi and love
And we compared our notes on marketplaces, Brownsville and Bombay
And how the story of your life is always yours to trade away
Going round, this old mobile, going round
It’s just as easy talking up as talking down

But when things got quiet, she got far
And I caught a tiny glimpse of Cleopatra’s heart
Curled up in candlelight at home
And her fingers smelled like cigarettes and another night alone

There comes a time in every barroom night when the light starts getting strange
And the shadows and the highlights start to cross and start to change
In the hollow of her cheekbones hid both fantasy and flight
As she kissed me on the lips and disappeared into the night
Going round, this old mobile, going round
It’s just as easy talking up as talking down
Track Name: Boils Down To Blood
Ain’t no more china -- just silver spoons on paper plates
It’s the price you’re made to pay for being late
Pull up a barstool -- the twins can take the piano bench
Slide a little tighter now, and don’t complain
It was quite the scene when Maybelle got to Abilene
Cause kids they say the damnedest things
Like “Mama’s got a baby in her belly comin’ soon”
And the dinner stopped dead, they all turned their heads
And Papa spit his water ‘coss the turkey and the bread
It boils down to blood -- yeah, in the end
It boils down to blood -- yeah well, it’s boiled down again

It’s just a conversation -- the lady at the bar looked bored
So he stumbled on to share a few choice words
A hand in his pocket -- and one hand there on her knee
A hand on his shoulder -- oops, that makes three
He could hear it first before he felt the bottle burst
Hank Williams sayin’ it could be worse
The jukebox singing softly ‘bout the family and the curse
And it was more than luck when the boots let up
It’s his brother standin’ over with the shovel from the truck
It boils down to blood -- yeah, in the end
It boils down to blood -- yeah well, it’s boiled down again

It was damn near midnight -- who the hell would knock this late
Answered in a dumb and angry daze
Standin’ out in her bathrobe, arms tied across her chest
And all her eyes could say was: “Casey’s left”
Well come in girl, we’ll set a pot of tea to boil
I guess we’ll burn the midnight oil
Damn the man can’t handle when he’s got a thing too good
And she cried all night -- she was askin’ why
Well honey I don’t know, but honey I know we’ll be alright
Cause it boils down to blood -- yeah, in the end
It boils down to blood -- yeah well, now let’s boil it down again
Track Name: The Winds
Walking in the winds
A spot of springtime weather
A precessional of friends
Now strike the band to play
Walking in the winds
Do you take this man forever?
I don’t know about forever . . .
But I’ll take him everyday.

Walking in the winds
Been living just a half a life
Aloft but now descends
It’s the grounding of the self
Walking in the winds
Do you take this girl to be your wife?
Do I take this girl to be my wife?
No, but I take her for herself.

Walking in the winds
It can toss you quite a distance
So tie fingers onto hands
When you feel the grip is strained
Walking in the winds
Do you love this man in sickness?
Do I love this man in sickness?
Is there any day that’s sane?

Walking in the winds
Through the mud and through the mortar
Mold your house with just your hands
Warm the walls with company
Walking in the winds
For richer or for poorer?
For richer or for poorer?
Man, the whole world just turned free.

Walking in the winds
Might just stumble onto treasure
Through every curve and bend
There’s a cave to stop and look
Walking in the winds
Plan your dreams together
You best plan your dreams together
‘Fore they’re running underfoot.

Walking in the winds
Don’t let the daylight linger
You can claim the trip begins
Break the glass and sing the song
Walking in the winds
The ring upon the finger
Slip the ring upon the finger
Man, it’s been there all along.

Walking in the winds
When all the lipstick stains have dried
Smeared prayers across your lips
Yeah, now go and kiss the bride
We can only bless the time
And hope for gentle weather
And that the will to grow together
Just grows stronger in the wind.
Track Name: Anarchy For A Night Rag
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
Track Name: Closing Time
Time will tell if it’s prophecy
When Babel fell, did the babble cease?
The first world’s bank is the third world’s crime
And it all adds up at closing time

History is a rich man’s tale
A row of lamps on the paper trail
But the lights have dimmed and the trading’s died
And they’ve closed the books on closing time

Now border fence got raised again
And we all lament that the line’s so thin
But the neighborhood is tucked in tight
And lock your gates, it’s closing time

Tell me this, when you’re on the street
Do you look for hints in the eyes you meet?
Or do you look away and say “Just fine”
And hurry home at closing time

Now the Golden Years with their edges brown
Just one loose gear’ll grind the whole chain down
And grown men cry just to grease their minds
When they’ve lost their sense of closing time
Track Name: Already Done
It was silent in Manhattan when the mountains tumbled down
With waves of dust that scoured the streets 'til words themselves were drowned
It’s a book of moving Polaroids: Jumpers jump and eyeballs bleed.
A trail of tears to Jersey. The skyline on her knees.
It’s already done.

There’s a hole in Pennsylvania where the White House might've been
Cause bad men learned to fly grenades but good ones pulled the pin
And the Allegheny sings her prayers, a heroes' mass, a single grave
Confetti ‘cross the forest marks the ticker-tape parade.
It’s already done.

Well I guess I never really understood the rules of war
And who exactly it’s ok, or not, to go and burn
Terror flies it’s flag up high -- this side white and that side black
But terror’s just the timing -- who kicked first, and who kicked back
It’s already done.

If there was hope down in the rubble I’d hoped that it was this
That in our vulnerability we’d open up our fists
And lay hands upon the ruined and lay wrench upon the come unfixed
And though we cannot heal them we shall see no more get sick
It’s already done.

Already done when I heard “less than human” come from the lips of our president
Already done when I heard some guy shot some guy right through his turbaned head
Already done when I heard eyes for eyes might somehow help us find our dead
It’s already done when I heard our boys say the same words their boys said.

If you’re gonna fly your flag my friend be mindful how it’s made
And see it’s got six billion stars and stripes of every shade
And hang it in the door frame until the door itself’s repaired
'Til all the grieving’s come its course and there’s no one left that’s scared
Track Name: Make Right The Time - part ii
Sleep tight oh nightingale
It’s only just the winds that wail
Familiar tunes and foreign tales
To make right the time

They bring me dreams of jasmine tea
To sip through all indignity
Fragrant as to say for me:
Make right the time

For the gone and to the moved
Unresigned and unapproved
I offer only this to you:
Make right the time