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like no one else

 

backwoods woman

club in new york city
where they're supposed to be so hip
i played a couple tunes for them
and they looked like they got hit

you could have heard a pin-drop
could have heard a teardrop fall
then a voice from the back row
said i don’t like this at all

he said, "hey backwoods woman
why do you wanna make me cry?
i just came to hear some music here.
i came to have a good time."

i said, "hey yourself, city charlie,
what do you call the blues?
you don’t learn in music school,
you scrape it off your shoes."

i wish i knew

papa i’m a long way from richmond
it’s a cold all day here up north
i don’t think i’ll be coming back down south
i just don’t fit in there anymore

i wish i knew where i was going
i wish my eyes could see the path my feet are on
i don’t know where to go

i’ve got a friend who says i’m still so young
that whats inside me is still undone
and some day the line between where i’ve been and where i’m going
will start to show and i’ll know where to go

i’ve got another friend says life
is like the carpet at your feet
flecks of color woven in piece by piece
eventually you stand back the pattern starts to show

but me i don’t know where to go

it’s been a while pa since i was a young child
had arms around me most every day
now i live my life so untouched somehow
i can only hope it don’t stay this way

carolina

would you take a northern girl to Carolina
ride with me down the long grey road
you know I’ll sing while I’m driving
to stay awake and scare off the cold

sliding down the interstate
is not some people’s idea of a thing to do
but it’s better than whiskey to forget
things you’d rather leave behind
and if there’s one thing that I’ve learned in all this time
it’s the only things you hold are what you hold in your mind

pink sunrise in the morning
I guess it’s time to rest my eyes
they’ve been burning me a warning
I’m gonna cross outside the lines

how much damage can nightmares do
when a mockingbird sings all night for you
you wake up and it’s almost four
and he’s still outside your motel door

waltz with me joe

waltz with me joe
while they close down this place
waltz with me slow
don’t look at my face

you must have known
that I’d dance with you
it looks so easy
when you know what to do

all of my life
I dreamed of a waltz
I hummed all the music
and swayed by the wall
I chose a life
with a tough country man
I don’t think he likes me
and he don’t like to dance

so waltz with me joe
while they close down this place
waltz with me slow
don't look at my face
you must have known
that I'd dance with you
it looks so easy
when you know what to do

all of my life I dreamed of a dance
the days go so fast
you don’t get much chance
I don’t believe I’ll pass this one by
don’t hold me too close
don’t look in my eyes

Livin’ on a budget

a sidewise glance
implies romance
smile, wish on a star
Union Pacific,
don’t get specific,
drinks in the dining car
jokes and conversation
it started kinda nice
he promised me a t-bone
but I got beans and rice

I’m livin’ on a budget
I can’t afford the price

he showed up at the door
hair slicked-back,
tie tack, top hat and tails
token for a sleeper
ticket for a ride
shoeshine,
manicured nails
progressive interaction
a touch of spice
drinking from the top shelf
always breaks the ice

I’m livin’ on a budget
I can’t afford the price

different train
some old story
do or die
no guts no glory
high heeled shoes
dress for success
diners club
on the American Express

luxury lines
too many times
lose their appeal
low monthly payments
no money down
no guarantee, no deal
I ran up all my credit
not too long ago
another fifteen years
to pay off what I owe

I'm livin' on a budget
I can't afford the price

yeah I can't afford low interest
I can’t afford your big shiny car
I can’t afford a full nelson
when a flatcar will do
I can’t afford the moon and stars
I can’t afford a filet
I’d just as soon eat stew
I’d rather truck a handcart
than ride first class with you


I’m livin’ on a budget
I can’t afford the price

Seems like another life

stand on the corner
lean against the wall
open one hazy eye,
as the rain starts to fall

I had a house in the outskirts
I had a dark eyed wife
I had two little daughters
it seems like another life

can you spare a dollar?
how about some change
gotta buy me some whiskey
medicine for the pain

maybe it’s the poison
it doesn’t matter now
I woke up one December morning
on the floor of a bus downtown

and it seems like another life

look at them who are walking
how they turn their eyes away
I wonder if they can smell me
or does the breeze blow the stench away?

they have a house in the outskirts
they got a dark-eyed wife
oh, they probably got
two little daughters,

and it seems like another life

maybe it’s the poison
it doesn’t matter now
I woke up one December morning
on the floor of a bus downtown,

and it seems like another life

The Ballad of Charlie Asher
got a little red horse that I like to ride around
I’m not real social so I ride him out past town
on a cabin porch there stood a long-haired man
he stood in silence he didn’t raise his hand
I’d ride by to a pond I’d found
with my head down and my hair down
and my eyes upon the ground
after a while you know at night I’d lie awake
wonder who he was in his cabin by the lake
so I asked around
I said who is that long-haired man
they said that’s Charlie Asher, he don’t give a damn,
he lives on what they gave him
for his leg after the war
and he just ain’t too much use to society no more


got caught in the rain one day back by the pond
beating it for home found an army coat on a log
it said Asher on the pocket
it smelled like dust
scrawled in ink on one sleeve
the words "in God we trust"
well he don’t like a man
who loses much no more
so I took it as a gift
and hung it by my door

in my head I composed a thank you note
sat at my desk and this is what I wrote
well you don’t look like a man
who loses much no more
so I thank you for the gift
it’s hanging by my door
I took a kitten and I ran in real fast
left it on the porch while he was down in back
added to the note, hey dear Charlie here’s a friend,
if he’s inconvenient I can take him back again.
now two pair of eyes watch as I ride by
Charlie and the cat on the porch side by side


one winter day he was waiting by the path,
cat around his legs,
braid down his back.
he said I’m Charlie Asher and I don’t believe
we’ve met... well at least we ain’t talked yet
Nice little horse there
looks like he’s your friend
when our eyes met I wished Charlie’s eyes would mend
I went into town, he said, the other day
your picture on a poster
said to come and hear you play
I didn’t know you was musical
and I sure would be obliged
if you’d bring you guitar down
and play for me sometime


well, it just so happens Charlie
I wrote a song for you
it’s down and dirty simple
but the message still comes through
your past is like a blanket boy
woven tight and warm
if you don’t know how to use it,
it can do you harm
don’t wear it on your head, boy
don’t wear in on your eyes
there it can smother you
it can make you blind
wear it on your shoulders
like a coat or like a shawl
it might get heavy sometimes
but you can stand up tall


now I play for Charlie
he makes me tea
we drink in silence
quiet company
he don’t offer information
about what he’s seen and heard
he just says play that song again
you know I love the words

Whiskey joy

I can’t sing a lullaby for you
it’s too bad you won’t hear it if I do

whiskey joy

get yourself a juice glass
keep it by the bed
fill it up with bourbon
say it clears your head

whiskey joy

your eyes can’t see me anymore
your ears can’t hear me anymore
your heart can’t feel me anymore

whiskey joy

what have I done to make you hide this way
was it something I said
was it something I didn’t say

whiskey joy

I can’t sing a lullaby for you
it’s too bad you won’t hear it if I do

whiskey joy

Spruce Top Blues

don’t lock me in that long back box
don’t lock me in the dark
slide your fingers down my throat
hold me in your arms

I lived on black mountain once
with moss upon my face
never thought I’d leave my home
never thought I’d leave that place

days I stood beneath the sun
nights beneath the stars
then one day the big saw come
now I’m a steel guitar

I felt the axe rip through my skin
I thought that I was dying
I woke up in a factory bin
still alive and crying

I sang on that mountainside
I sang with the wind
come and lay your hands on me
and I will sing again

don’t lock me in the long black box
don’t lock me in the dark
slide your fingers down my throat|
hold me in your arms

Angel face

angel face
this is the hottest day
coffee in the morning
crickets in the grass
the mist is burning quickly
you’re the only one
dark dark night so deep
angel face

angel face
this is the coldest day
ice across the river
ferns upon the glass
clouds of breath around you
you’re the only one
brought a quilt of small bright pieces
angel face

I bring all my lovers
here to the mountains
they never do forget
angel face

angel face
this is the longest day
taste the air of evening
turn and look behind you
the deer are in the meadow
you’re the only one
step very careful
angel face

Love’s Not Made

replace me with a cook
replace me with a maid
find a working woman
to sign over her pay
you need a chauffeur
to drive your car
you need a psychiatrist
to tell you who you are

you know like no one else when love’s not made

I filled the empty places
where love’s not made
other handsome faces
but love’s not made
what they want to hear
I could learn to tell
eventually I got tired
of lying to myself
child’s not born
knowing how to run
notice they don’t fall once
and think they’re done
they keep trying
that’s what it takes
they’d get nowhere
if they didn’t learn from their mistakes

Lyrics and Music copyright© 1995 Lisa Bigwood/New Pants/Ascap

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