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22 July 2007


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So glad Emmy made it on the list - and...that EBTG song! Damnit, I still go back to all that stuff over and over again, EBTG is like some weird musical comfort food for me, like an old friend who has been there through EVERYTHING. I even bought Tracey Thorn's solo album, track "Grand Canyon" is GREAT ("Down among the heretics, the losers, and the saints/You are here amongst your own
You've come home") - and yes, I do love Scott's new stuff and I forgive you for not loving it too! Go ahead..."Make it Easy on Yourself"! There's no harm in that, and certainly, "No Regrets"...x

Lee Charles Kelley

Since I'm a lyricist, this stuff is right up my alley.

1) “Blame it on My Youth” – Frank Sinatra
(written by Oscar Levant and Ira Gershwin)

“If I expected love when first we kissed, blame it on my youth.
If only just for you I did exist, blame it on my youth.
I believed in everything like a child of three.
You meant more than anything, all the world to me.
If you were on my mind both night and day, blame it on my youth.
If I forgot to eat, and sleep, and pray, blame it on my youth.
And if I cried a little bit, when first I learned the truth
Don’t blame it on my heart, blame it on my youth.”

2) “Concrete and Clay” – Unit 4 + 2
(one hit wonders from England)

“Until the sidewalks and the street,
the concrete and the clay beneath my feet
begins to crumble my love will never die.
Because we’ll see the mountains tumble
before we say good-by, my love and I.”

2) “To Live is to Fly – Townes Van Zandt
(one of the greatest writers of folk-type songs)

“We all got holes to fill
And them holes are all that’s real.
Some fall on you like a storm,
sometimes you dig your own.
The choice is yours to make
and time is yours to take.
Some dive into the sea,
some toil upon the stone.
To live is to fly, low and high.
So shake the dust off of your wings
And the tears out of your eyes.”

4) “The Way it Always Starts” – Mark Knopfler and Gerry Rafferty
(from a great, great movie - LOCAL HERO)

“It gets so dark before the dawn.
That’s when it gets to me,
the city symphony of taxi horns.
That’s the way it always starts,
sittin’ here and waiting on the beating of my heart.

Last night I thought I heard my name.
Well, it was too dark to see but it just had to be
It sounds just the same.
That’s the way it always starts,
sittin’ here and waiting on the beating of my heart.”

5) “The Autumn Leaves” – Tierney Sutton Band
(a great yet simple lyric by the great Johnny Mercer – one of my heroes)

“The falling leaves drift by my window,
the autumn leaves of red and gold.
I see your lips, the summer kisses,
the sunburned hand I used to hold.
Since you went away the nights are long.
Now I hear old winter’s song.
But I miss you most of all, my darling,
when autumn leaves start to fall.”

6) “Be My Baby” – The Ronettes
(it's not the words but the "wall of sound" and Ronnie Spector's voice)

“The night we met I knew I needed you so.
And if I had the chance I’d never let you go.
So won’t you say you love me?
I’ll make you so proud of me.
We’ll make them turn their heads everywhere we go.
So won’t you please, be my, be my baby,
my one and only baby?
Be my baby now…”

7) “London in the Rain” – Marc Jacobs
(a little known artist – he wrote "The Rhythm of My Heart")

“Almost sundown, the streetlamps are on fire.
All the West End buses, so full of East End girls.
Their lips so red and sad and sweet,
they’ll steal your heart away,
like London in the rain.
All day, I took what I could steal
but I can’t make you believe what you don’t feel.
It’s cold and I’m Joe Louis, cryin’ in the snow,
like London in the rain,
like London in the rain.

8) “Tom Traubert’s Blues” – Tom Waits
(the gold standard of brilliant out-there misfits)

“Wasted and wounded,
it ain’t what the moon did,
I got what I paid for now.
See you tomorrow.
Hey, Frank can I borrow
A couple of bucks from you
to go waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda,
waltzing Matilda with you?
I’m an innocent victim of a blinded alley
and I’m tired of all these soldiers here.
No one speaks English and everything’s broken
and my Stacey’s are soakin’ wet
to go waltzing Matilda…”

9) “Dance Me to the End of Love” – Madeline Peyroux
(written by Leonard Cohen)

“Dance me to your beauty with the burning violin.
Dance me through the panic till I’m gathered safely in.
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove.
Dance me to the end of love.
Dance me to the end of love.

Let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone.
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon.
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of.
Dance me to the end of love.
Dance me to the end of love.

10) “In My New Book” – Greg Brown
(maybe better than Townes Van Zandt AND Dylan)

“Lipstick on a thermos cup, lust and whiskey fill it up,
and smoke blows from the chimney to the moon.
It’s too cold in the Midwest, chilly hands cup chilly breast,
things not said fill up ev’ry room.
And as he stands there in the door, there’s no room for him anymore.
She lies there saying, “Honey, take one last look.”
I’ll tell it all in my new book…

Lee Charles Kelley

I just realized how much time I wasted posting the song snippets above! So here's a snippet (the final verse, actually) from one of MY songs, which is about wasting your time loving someone who doesn't love you back:

"A Lovely Waste of Time"
(c. 1992 by Lee Charles Kelley)

"The world keeps turning,
and the green leaves all have rusted brown.
I'll still be yearning
when the snowflakes fall like eiderdown.
If thinking of you
makes me guilty of a crime,
I shouldn't love you
but it's a lovely waste of time.
And I still love you.
It's such a lovely waste of time."


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