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Swing swing, gallows swing
From anger back to sorrow
Morning gets what midnight brings
And I’ll be dead tomorrow
Just another ghost

My wife left me last wintertime to join another man
I lost her love forever and I lost my mind right then
When I tried but couldn’t picture her sweet face inside my head
I could only see her lover’s grin, it’s true I killed him dead

But I’ve always been an honest man, as crystal as the sea
I’ve always said when I’ve done wrong, and I’ve said when wrong’s done me
So listen to my warning though I know it might sound strange
To those who cast condoning eyes upon me when I hang

And let me tell you what I’ve learned, what my guilty mind has seen
Of life and then of death and then how ghosts get stuck between
There’s no slamming doors, no rattling chains, no long black veils at night
But you’d wish there was cause then you might could die to put things right

But ghosts have got no bodies left, and ghosts have got no will
There just etchings on your conscience by the hands that had them killed
And the world it all looks yellow now, and every breath is foul
And the water tastes like rancid oil, and the mockingbirds just howl

And you can never touch someone you love, it’ll burn them if you try
And the face inside the mirror stares back with goldfish bowls for eyes
And the only dream you ever have is of lying there awake
And it never rains upon your head, it spits into your face

A ghost has haunted me -- and worn me thin
I got what I deserved a thousand times again
Oh listen please -- my final words
Before you bring yourself to watch the final length of cord

Cause ghosts don’t die when hands take hands, and ghosts are not released
It’s ash to ash and dust to dust, or beast and back to beast
I hope your heart is large and that there’s room enough in you
For the ghost you choose to make of me and the ghost that haunts me, too

Swing swing, gallows swing
From anger back to sorrow
Hide your eyes and wash your wings
Cause I’ll be dead tomorrow
Just another ghost


from Parables & Primes, released July 12, 2005


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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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