Lyrics — Something I Saw or Thought I Saw

Copyright © 2000 Dry Fly Music
  1. Twenty-third Street
  2. Harry's Last Call
  3. Just before We Lost the War
  4. Winter Song
  5. Moving Day
  6. Buddy Bolden's Blues
  7. St. Valentine's Day
  8. Traveling by Cab
  9. Fix Your Hair the Way You Used to
  10. Judgment Day
  11. Mobile
  12. Will You Be My Rose?

Twenty-third Street

This moonlight in New York
will not go away
I sit in this hotel
and tonight I'm just too drunk to pray
She said that she'd always love me
but that she might not always stay

Have a seat
Have a seat
And we can look at the world through this window
on 23rd Street

I came a long way to see her one more time
There was a subway to take me uptown
There was an address she gave me last Christmas
where she said she could always be found
I listened as she said she loved me
I'll always remember that sound


If you look closely down to the sidewalk
you can see yourself as a ghost
We would walk 'round the block with no reason to talk
Back then we were younger than most
It's a love that you never will see
Hey, buddy, I don't mean to boast


Well, there's some folks bring love to a hotel
and some just bring their own quiet end
My story is not one hard to tell
and I just want to tell it again
She said that she'd always love me
All I need is to find her again


Harry's Last Call

"Harry called while you were out," she said.
He asked, "Was he drunk?"
She said, "No, but he'd been drinking.
I could tell."
"What'd he want this time?"
"He wants to talk to you," she said.
"All I know is he's somewhere in Nebraska,
hole up in some motel."

He handed her the groceries
and opened up a beer.
He slapped the cold off his sleeve
and said, "I'm glad I wasn't here."
"But he's your best friend," she said.
He took a drink and said, "He was."
She said, "He's calling back, you know."
And he told her, "He always does."

Old friends
blown away by the wind
Never to return again
till they round that final bend
Old friends
driving through the rain
from Sacramento to Fort Wayne
just like we all did then

"So, what're you gonna tell now
when he calls back again?"
He just shrugged and said,
"I'm not gonna say a thing."
"But it's Harry," she told him.
"Yeah," he said. "It's Harry once again.
And Harry only calls when he's drunk
or when he needs something."


"But you bummed the world together.
It was always just you two.
"Yeah, we were young and we had some times
till the day that I met you.
And he just kept on moving
once I made my choice to stay.
And now he's still out on the road,
but it's like he never goes away."


When the kitchen phone rang once more,
he threw his arms around her waist.
"Let me go," she said. "It's Harry.
If I want to get the phone I will."
But he just pulled her tighter
and he didn't say a thing.
And he held her until the ringing stopped
and all the house was still.

Just before We Lost the War

The July wind blew from the mountain
and threw a chill on the lake shore
The whitecaps danced around us
like they never have before
There ain't no room in this little town
No one to settle up the score
So we must live with what we both put down
just before we lost the war

My love for you has gone unspoken
Still you knew the words I'd say
Yet we stand here with both hearts broken
on this windy summer day
I can't find relief in the lies I told
but they came right from my core
I still believe one of us ran cold
just before we lost the war

I used to think that time was plenty
and time was all I knew
But it gets cut short for so many
It could be me; it could be you
There ain't no wind that can blow the truth
back to where it stood before
And I couldn't change it in a cold phone booth
just before we lost the war

So say goodbye and fare-thee-well
Tell everyone I'm doing fine
For as far as I can tell
I'm just ten years down the line
What we give we can't get back
and we always ask for more
We could not retreat; we could not attack
just before we lost the war

Winter Song

Smoke 'em if you got 'em
You're not too far from the bottom
and it's still so early in the day
She told me what she taught 'em
We're just halfway into autumn
But when winter comes, it's here to stay

The snow falls pretty and it covers up the ground
and it hides
what will not go away
Down in the city she buys clothes by the pound
just to fool me
into thinking her way

Come sing a winter tune
a winter tune so gay
It's too bad the check had to come so soon
and I hear it's your turn to pay

Well, her eyes were blue and her eyes were green
and you never knew
which ones you'd see
They would stare through a film of cosmoline
and they were always trained
right on me

She said he went insane
in a Ford Fairlane
parked beside a stand of hemlock trees
They were safe out of the rain
when he finally made his claim
and he didn't ask and didn't say please


There weren't nobody
on that mountain road
when you slide off deep into the snow
Now the night is getting cold
and has a very good hold
with no reason to ever let go

Your own Mother Earth wants to call you home
and protect you
from all harm
She's so lonely in the night
and if you only held her tight
there'll be no need for alarm


You never travel steerage
when you're in a Boston marriage
No matter what the people may say
You found yourself a lover
Drag her underneath the cover
and show her where the hound dogs bay

An after dinner cigarette
another shot of anisette
Adjust the seat in the Fairlane
You gave them what they want
in the finest restaurant
and you didn't cry or didn't name names


Moving Day

Lock the door and say goodbye
There's new folks moving in
Leave the key in the mailbox now
and kiss me once again
Kiss me for the ones who say
all love comes to an end
Though we never let it go that way
we start alone again

Our years they ran in circles
It was a long and stormy ride
No pot of gold for the happy groom
No brass ring for the bride
Nothing but the two of us
and the promises we made
Love disappeared in a summer wind
so soft she could've stayed

Two stars hanging in the sky
behind a drifting cloud
And when two hearts must say goodbye
love cannot be proud
Love cannot take sides
or take a stand or answer why
Sometimes two hearts must fall away
no matter how they try

Moving day is over now
This house is just a shell
Say goodbye to the sights and sounds
we came to know so well
Your car is loaded to the roof
It's just the same as mine
There's no room for the dreams we had
I guess they stay behind

Buddy Bolden's Blues

I've been to Germany, I've been to Spain
Walked down Beale Street and turned up Main
When I put her on that last mail train
there was nothing left to lose

I listened to the engine whine
And when she set off this one last time
she didn't leave a single thing behind
Just like Buddy Bolden's Blues

There's nothing uptown, no money down
Buy the high-tension whiskey just to pass around
Faces in the window, but I'm standing on the ground
and I'm down to twos and fews

The rhythm section is one seat short
And you can't get on board without your passport
You knew she took so you'd come up short
Just one more gig you must refuse

In this town you can't let down your guard
The boys play trumpet, but they blow too hard
In the final hand you get no wild card
just the Buddy Bolden blues
The morning sun on a brown suitcase
And soon you too will have to leave this place
Just one more gone without a trace
singing Buddy Bolden's blues

Her eyes were closed when she said goodbye
She couldn't see me and she didn't try
Still she kissed me and I don't know why
but she was never one to leaves clues

Trains come to town only to leave
The band plays loud to let the mourners grieve
The heart stays hidden in a rolled up sleeve
Empty pockets pay no dues

The sun don't rise in a greasy sky
The rails may call, but the roads just sigh
Believe I'll give New Orleans one more try
with a spit shine on my walking shoes

Stand on the corner, trying to catch a break
But good luck these days is too hard to fake
And there's nothing left of her but what talk we make
Just like Buddy Bolden's blues


St. Valentine's Day

The church was cold and darkness
at the early morning Mass
Till the sun brought its own colors
to the figures in the stained glass
And they shown from a light
that came from so far away
It was a miracle to my young eyes
on St. Valentine's Day

The streets, they were bog iron
The air was cruel and thin
I could wrap my scarf around my neck
but something always found its way in
Like I wrap myself around you now
when there's nothing left to say
And I hold you like the miracle
of St. Valentine's Day

Just to hold you before the sunrise
when the world is just a darkened heart
and that heart is full of lies
'Cause I told you it ain't ever gonna go away
This miracle I feel in your arms
on St. Valentine's Day

Walk me out on the frozen lake
Put an end to all my fears
I can stand here if you can too
I can stand right here for years
With your arms around me
like it was always meant to be this way
When the miracle comes back one last time
on St. Valentine's Day


Traveling by Cab

He was too old for that bar
but it was the only one around
And he needed a beer
So that's where he was found
He took an empty stool
amid the jocks and punks
He could take them all to school
when it came to being drunks

Miles from home again
He was overdrawn on luck
Hoping that tomorrow
they'd find that part for his truck
So he drank a beer, then two
as a rock band hit the stage
When all he wanted to do
was have a drink with folks his age

Then the beer it turned to whiskey
The barmaid ran a tab
You can hit freefall until last call
when you're traveling by cab

There were young girls in the mirror
with no trouble on their minds
As the picture became clearer
he stared ahead just to look behind
Then the band kicked off their first set
They wore their guitars well
There was anger, light and speed,
every whistle, every bell

They had smoke bombs, they had lasers
The singer banged his tambourine
But it's hard to play the music
when you're a pinball machine
Then the drummer took a lighter
and set fire to his sticks
as the barmaid squealed with laughter
and said, "That's one of my favorite tricks."


As the whiskey took the driver's seat
he touched his wedding ring
He kept thinking of Chuck Berry,
Howlin' Wolf and B.B. King
Then the band it took a break
and it was possible to talk
As the barmaid poured a free one
she said, "Don't they really rock?"

At first he had no words
so he drank his whiskey down
Then he slid off his barstool
and stood on shaky ground.
He said, "That ain't rock'n'roll.
That's just Vaudeville plugging in."
And she looked up and said,
"Ain't that the way it's always been?"

(Refrain #2:)
The beer will turn to whiskey
The barmaid runs a tab
The years spin by in a free fall
Till you're traveling by cab

Fix Your Hair the Way You Used to

Fix your hair the way you used to
Pull it back and let me know
that you're the same girl I met
on that warm night back in Tupelo
There ain't no wind in this town
There's no one around that we might know
Fix your hair the way you used to
one last time before you go

Well, dreams come running up so fast
and they always leave so slow
I feel from present down to past with you
How it happened I don't know
I'm not pleading or complaining
I'm just wondering if you're leaving friend or foe
Fix your hair the way you used to
one last time before you go

Hey, we had us a ride
but all rides come to an end
And I never question why
or say because
And you can say goodbye
and I'll say once again
Just let me see my world
the way it was

I've called down to the front desk
and they've held a cab for you
And I've just got this last request
It's such an easy thing to do
I just want to see the girl
who once gave me her heart and let it show
Fix your hair the way you used to
one last time before you go

Judgment Day

I was born just out of town
and I never could get in
So I turned to traveling 'round
where the nights fade and the days begin
They called me a hobo
but I never took that name
And they called me a pilgrim
but I was not to blame
As I wandered through the tall pines and the clay
trying to put a hurry-up on Judgment Day

They jailed me in St. Louis
'cause I was easy prey
And everyone was happy
to go home early that day
Till it was just me and my cellmate
staring eye to eye
And then he started laughing, saying,
"Let me guess, you're not the guy."
He offered me a cigarette
As I reached he pulled away
Saying, "You never get a last request
until it's Judgment Day."

Her eyes they were flawed diamonds
She said, "That's the price of fame
Where all the girls are beautiful
All the women look the same
And all the men come courting me
because I'm the final one
And they give their names so quietly
just like you might've done
And names are just the final thing
a man must give away
And you'll pass yours on so willingly
when it comes Judgment Day"

Well, I heard her sing a melody
from a window in the jail
And I knew the day I broke out
she'd cover up my trail
Expecting nothing more
than the name I tried to toss
Staring into my heart with the eyes
of St. John of the Cross
Wondering if I'd return again
but it don't work out that way
Once you've turned your back and the rope goes slack
around Judgment Day

It was long out on the Great Plains
with nowhere left to go
The road was full of nothing
and the sky was full of snow
I've seen this road before
in the sun and rain and wind
But I don't need it anymore
Let that be my only sin
For whatever the next motel costs
I'll be glad to pay
And I'll hide out till I hear that song
that calls me Judgment Day


The road was the color of the road
and the sky was the color of the sky
And the heat was the breath of your kiss
when you waited far too long to sigh
Your stories were just stories
Your love not even that
Though you knew of my past glories
when I could win a heart when I tipped my hat
Your beauty was just beauty
though many men were spared
And like the others you saw through me
But I always came prepared

There were drops of white on a southern dawn
that made the cotton look so real
But there was nothing upon nothing
on that long road to Mobile

You held me close on your back porch
but I've been held before
Where rich girls knew what silence was
and what a kiss was for
You promised me undying love
as the sun broke through the trees
You promised me the stars above
as you fell to your knees
Well, a promise is a promise
when you cannot fake the lie
When you give your heart in the morning light
there's no Sunday goodbye

But the world always begins anew
when the summer church bells peal
And there was nothing upon nothing
on that long road to Mobile

Jesus lived and Jesus died
and it was just to make you sweet
And they nailed him down and Mary cried,
"All love is incomplete."
Still I believe the soldier
who gambled big that day
Who traded clothes for a crown of thorns
to guide him on his way
"A crown of thorns," his wife scoffed
"That's all you've brought today.
You've just returned with a crown of thorns
and you call it a day's pay?"

A crown is just a crown
and a deal is just a deal
And there was nothing upon nothing
on that long road to Mobile

Alabama turns it back
when the air's too thick to breathe
And there was no air in that shotgun shack
when I knew I should leave
I'll leave alone the way I came
as the maid undoes your stays
I had a race I thought was run
but now I see it goes two ways
A destination holds no gold
It's all in the journey
So leaving and returning now 
It's all the same to me

When the sun burns every seed you plant
You cannot sell the yield
And there was nothing upon nothing
on that long road to Mobile

Will You Be My Rose?

Will you be my rose?
Will you take my hand?
Will you keep me there
when it's time for me to make a stand?

Will you be my rose
in the morning true
when the nighttime fails
and the world begins anew?

Will you be my rose
when I'm gone away
in the sweet repose
at the end of the day?

When I'm all alone
and a cold wind blows
will you see my face?
Will you be my rose?

A rose in the snow
so fresh and clean
A rose that's the brightest red
I have ever seen
A rose that can show me
when all goes wrong
You found a place for me
a place I belong

I've search my whole life to find you
from sunrise to sunrise
I never gave up, I always knew someday
I'd look right up into your eyes

Will you be my rose?
Will you hear my song?
When I ask forever
will you touch my cheek, will you come along?

To another town
To another day
Will you be my rose
down the lost highway?


(Repeat 2nd verse)

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