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Dreamtime

by John Michael Hersey

Released 2018
Chordophone
Released 2018
Chordophone
An early 80's-style pop rock coming-of-age musical.
  • 03:36 Lyrics Dreamtime

    This is the dreamtime

    See how the world can be

    Here in the dreamtime

    Sweet dreams will set us free

     

    Sweet dreams will set us free

    Remove the chains from your imagination

    Sweet dreams will set us free

    Just close your eyes and let yourself go

    And dance to your own tune

    Let go of all you think that you know

    And reach up to the moon

     

    (Chorus)

     

    See how the world can be

    Behold the shining dawn of your creation

    See how the world can be

    The future in the palm of your hand

    The glory and the power

    The universe in one grain of sand

    Forever in an hour

     

    Love

    Will show the way

    Love

    From night to day

     

    (Bridge)

     

    (Chorus)

  • 03:16 Lyrics Ferry's Slip Inn

    Down by the Delaware River

    Near the city of Camden, NJ

    There was a seedy tavern

    Where my band would play

     

    They had exotic dancers

    Sliding up and down a pole

    And scary, hairy bikers

    But I tell you that joint had soul

     

    A place we let ‘er rip in

    That was Ferry’s Slip Inn

    Served our apprenticeship in

    A club called Ferry’s Slip Inn

     

    And we sang …

    Come slip inside

    Come slip inside

    Come slip inside here

    Come slip inside

    Come slip inside

     

    Come sip and slide

    Come sip and slide

    Come sip and slide here

    Come sip and slide

    Come sip and slide

     

    Do the slip

     

    All of our friends would chip in

    Down at Ferry’s Slip Inn

    We’d play all night then trip in

    After Ferry’s Slip Inn

     

    (Chorus)

     

     

     

     

  • 02:43 Lyrics Audience

    Come see us

    Come see us

    Come move to the music of the band

     

    Come hear us

    Come hear us

    And be sure to lend a helping hand

     

    Cause if you think we just play the song

    Well, you couldn’t be more wrong

    It’s the energy intense

    From you the audience

     

    Get into us

    Get into us

    Get lost in the flashing of the light

     

    Come feel us

    Come feel us

    Come share in your rocking, rolling rite

     

    And if you think we just play the song

    Well, you couldn’t be more wrong

    It’s the spectacle immense

    With you the audience

     

  • 03:10 Lyrics How Do You See Me?

    Day after day I’m a slave to myself

    Then I open my mind just to find someone else

    You say you can read me like a book on the shelf

    Then turn me back to page one

     

    I like to believe that I’m suave but sincere

    A regular stud, just a thrill to be near

    But how does this humble existence appear

    To the outside looking in

     

    Tell me how do you see me?

    Am I all that I see when I face the mirror on the wall?

    How do I stand when you cut me down to size?

    Tell me how do I look in your eyes?

     

    How do I look in your eyes?

     

    I must be impressive; I’m always in style

    With designer jeans and a confident smile

    But still I keep wondering what you’re thinking while

    I do my best to catch your eye

     

    Tell me how do you see me?

    Is there more to this person that I know your searching for?

    Have you learned to remove this thin disguise?

    Tell me how do I look in your eyes?

     

    Tell me how do you see me?

    Do you see the right man that I’m always trying to be?

    Please don’t say that there should be no surprise

    When you tell me how I look in your eyes

     

    How do I look in your eyes?

  • 04:09 Lyrics The Heartbreak Kid

    She was a goddess

    In heavenly bodice

    She was the belle of the dreamer’s ball

    A green teenager

    A minimum wager

    I had the will but had no wherewithal

    Just a flower on the wall

     

    One day in homeroom

    My little heart went boom

    She turned around and she said hello

    At first I stuttered

    Then suddenly muttered

    “Next week’s the dance, if you want we could go”

    And she didn’t tell me no

    Oh Yeah

     

    But in everything I did

    And every word I said

    I was just the heartbreak kid

    With the lady in red

    I tried to be so cool

    But there are some things that you don’t learn in school

    When you’re just an adolescent fool

     

    I went from zero

    To locker room hero

    The most attention I ever got

    The guys were jealous

    They said to me, “Tell us

    What is your secret, that girl is so hot

    And you certainly are not”

     

    And then came Friday

    My pie in the sky day

    Cause when I showed up at her address

    She said, “It could be

    You misunderstood me

    It’s true I never said no, I confess

    But I never told you yes”

    Oh no

     

    (Chorus)

  • 04:06 Lyrics Off the Wall

    You may think I’m crazy

    But I’m not, oh no

    My thoughts a little hazy

    But they’re not, oh no

    You’re so smart

    You think you know it all

    So you put me down

    And say I’m off the wall

     

    You wear tie and collar

    But I won’t, oh no

    And chase the mighty dollar

    But I won’t, oh no

    You’re so rich

    You own the president

    And you say I’m strange

    Because I’m different

     

    Well, I’ll ride the new wave

    You can ride the old

    I’ll suit the wishes of my soul

    I’ll go ahead

    And you can stay behind

    Cause I’m off the wall and doing fine

     

    You accept the future

    But I can’t, oh no

    Sewn up with needle and suture

    But I can’t, oh no

    You tell me

    I’ve got to fit the mold

    But that’s not me

    Just doing what I’m told

     

    (Chorus)

     

    You turn your head

    Because you know it’s true

    You’re just scared

    Because I’m not like you

     

    (Chorus)

  • 03:24 Lyrics A Mystery to Me

    I can’t believe she wouldn’t let me in

    She cracked the door

    Then she cracked a smile

    Then she shut it again

     

    Don’t understand; don’t think I ever will

    She turned me on

    Then she turned away

    And left me standing still

     

    It’s a mystery to me

    How quickly love runs dry

    And don’t even ask me why

    Cause it’s a mystery to me

    A mystery to me

    How we let it slip away

    And even to this day

    It’s mystery to me

     

    Every time, it happens every time

    While you’re holding on

    She’s just holding out

    On that piece of mind

     

    A side of her you never really knew

    When you’re coming on

    It’s starts coming out

    Coming right at you

     

    (Chorus)

     

    I was wrong to ever get involved

    It’s just the kind of mystery that’s unsolved

    It’s just goes on and on and on and on and on

     

  • 02:59 Lyrics Working Girl

    This fact I can’t deny

    I am just a lazy slob

    Why should I break my back?

    And run the risk of a heart attack

    Not when I’ve found a better way

     

    There is a reason why

    I don’t get a steady job

    My darling mademoiselle

    Is the night clerk at the Grand Hotel

    We get to stay in bed all day

     

    I sure do love my working girl

    She knows I do the best I can

    My one true love, my working girl

    She loves her liberated man

     

    She wears a miniskirt and a pair of stilettos

    But that’s because the union said she had to get those

    She owns a set of handcuffs and a cat-o-nine tails

    In case she needs the police and the telephone line fails

    It all makes sense to me

     

    If there’s some stuff to buy

    My baby just says, “No prob!”

    She’ll just work some overtime

    I must admit there are times when I’m

    Amazed at what night clerk jobs pay

     

    (Chorus)

     

     

  • 03:25 Lyrics Ghosts in Your Bedroom

    Dancing light

    On the walls

    Do I see ghosts in your bedroom?

    Eerie laughter

    Haunted calls

    Could there be ghosts in your bedroom?

     

    You took pains to assure me

    There was never anyone before me

    But now some voice in this room

    Whispers of impending doom

     

    Whispers of impend, whispers of impend, pending doom

     

    I hear steps

    On the stairs

    Who goes there – ghosts in your bedroom?

    Echoes from

    Past affairs

    Say beware ghosts in your bedroom

     

    A poltergeist of your love

    Is watching us both from above

    You loved them all tragically

    Do you want to make a ghost of me?

     

    Do you wanna make a ghost, wanna make a ghost of me?

     

    Am, am, I, I, just, just, para, para, noid, noid

    Is this, is this, is this, justa, justa, dream?

    Not what it seems?

    Tell, tell, me, me, Sig, Sig, mond, mond, Freud, Freud

    That it’s, that it’s, justa, justa, lie

    That old lovers never die

    They just keep sleeping with you

     

    Please wake up, dear, and explain

    The clatter of rattling chain

    I’d rather not share your bed

    With the members of your loving dead

     

    Members of your love, members of your love, loving dead

     

  • 03:59 Lyrics Holiday Retreat

     

    It seems like forever

    The rain’s been coming down

    All this stormy weather

    I feel like I’m gonna drown

    I’ve been working hard everyday

    It’s a crime and it don’t pay

    I don’t care where I go I just got to get away

     

    It seems like I’ve never

    Been this far gone before

    Get your things together

    We’re heading right out the door

    We’ll just leave this whole scene behind

    The daily bump and the daily grind

    Let’s lose ourselves and see what we can find

     

    Oh baby I know when I’m beat

    I admit defeat

    Let’s beat a hasty holiday retreat

     

    I’m tired of the rat race

    The rats will always win

    I’m through running that race

    It’s making my poor head spin

    I’m quite happy to trade in my tie

    For a pair of shorts and a clear blue sky

    I’ll wave the white flag as I wave goodbye

     

    So come on, come on, baby

    This is our exit plan

    There ain’t no time for maybe

    Let’s get out while we can

    We’ll just leave this whole scene behind

    The daily bump and the daily grind

    Let’s lose ourselves and see what we can find

     

     (Chorus)

     

  • 03:39 Lyrics Every Reason to Fail

    I said goodbye

    I left my home

    It was time to fly

    It was time to roam

    I heard a voice

    It called my name

    I made a choice

    No one’s to blame

     

    I had to leave

    I couldn’t take it anymore

    Responsibility dragged me

    Like a ball and a chain

    I have to know what my life is for

    And everybody treats me like I’ve gone insane

    They all say:

    You better make sure it’s all right

    The street gets so dark at night

    You better have wind in your sail

    There’s every reason to fail

     

    I’m down and out

    A troubled soul

    I ‘m full of doubt

    I’ve lost control

    I miss my town

    But I can’t go back

    Now I’m staring down

    A railroad track

     

    (Chorus)

  • 03:34 Lyrics Give Me a Break

    One more restless night

    Of staring at the ceiling

    Turning left and right

    Trying to shake this feeling

     

    On a losing streak

    That seems to be unending

    My will is getting weak

    There’s no point in pretending

     

    I need a helping hand

    Before it gets too late

    It can’t be left up to fate

    Somebody out there now

    Some way, somehow

     

    Give me break, man

    All I want is a break, man

    Tell me what does it take, man

    To get a fair shake, man

    Just give me chance, sir

    All I want is a chance, sir

    For my song and dance, sir

    Can you give me the answer?

    Just give me a break

     

    One more endless day

    Of staring in the mirror

    Trying to find my way

    Nothing’s getting clearer

     

    I’ve tried my very best

    To keep on hanging in there

    They’ve put me to the test

    I’ve done that and I’ve been there

     

    But now I know that

    I can’t make it on my own

    I just can’t go it alone

    It’s got me on my knees

    Oh, won’t you please?

     

    (Chorus)

     

  • 04:21 Lyrics The Bottom Line

    Sunrise, sunset

    This fool tries to forget

    Just what was clear as I looked down from the top

    It’s a long way down to the bottom

     

    Have love, will travel

    But love will unravel

    The end was near, but I did not see the sign

    It’s a long way down to the bottom line

     

    Hot lips, cold heart

    She worked fast, she played smart

    What she’d begun there was no way I could stop

    It’s a long way down to the bottom

     

    One night too far

    In my friend’s brand new car

    She’s had her fun but sweet vengeance will be mine

    It’s a long way down to the bottom line

     

    My love, goodbye

    You will fall from the sky

    Way down to where the sun will no longer shine

    It’s a long way down to the bottom line

  • 03:35 Lyrics Keep on Turning It Out

    I’ve seen love through a thousand eyes

    This well-worn wheel never wears out

    And I’ve heard tales of a thousand loves

    From a whistful whisper to a shout

     

    So don’t you give up

    Just give us some more

    Some may say they’ve heard it all before

    But don’t you give up

    Cause you know what’s all about

    You gotta keep on turning it

    Keep on turning it out

     

    A true love song is a fingerprint

    In some small way one of a kind

    A fingerprint of what’s in your heart

    The unseen magic in your mind

     

    So just let it out

    Just say what you feel

    No matter what the critics say you steal

    Just it let it out

    Cause you know what’s all about

    You gotta keep on turning it

    Keep on turning it out

     

    (First Verse)

     

    (First Chorus)

     

     

NOTES
It was the early 1980s in southern New Jersey. I was young. I was in a band. It was Dreamtime. We played five nights a week at Ferry’s Slip Inn, in search of an Audience. It was great! I wondered out loud: How Do You See Me? I styled myself The Heartbreak Kid. I proclaimed myself out of the ordinary, proudly and defiantly, Off the Wall. In reality, the ways of the opposite sex …
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Fifteen Years

by John Michael Hersey

Released 2017
Chordophone
Released 2017
Chordophone
John Michael Hersey is a singer/songwriter known for his sophisticated yet accessible melding of rock, pop, folk, blues and country. Hersey is first and foremost a storyteller, one who happens to play a mean guitar.
  • 04:06 Story Lyrics Like a Vagabond

    Down in the darkness I stowed away

    A tempest is brewing I heard someone say

    It goes on

    Like a vagabond

     

    The captain is crazy, the crew is drunk

    We’re taking on water but still we ain't sunk

    It goes on

    Like a vagabond

     

    I can't stop the wind

    I can't the tide

    I have no idea when the waves will subside

    High in the crow's nest

    I'm sure they must know

    But here in the hold

    I'm just going with the flow

     

    I thought I did hear as the thunder did crash

    A lifeboat loosened and dropped with a splash

    It goes on

    Like a vagabond

     

    Now all the sailors in rocket-ship cars

    Are setting their sights on the shores of the stars

    It goes on

    Like a vagabond

  • 03:05 Magic Magic
  • 02:44 Story Lyrics Strange Strange Sea

    When up is down and black is white

    When up is down and black is white

    When good is bad and wrong is right

    I’m just a sailor upon the sea

    Just a sailor upon the sea

    And it’s a strange, strange sea my God has made for me

     

    Last night I sat watching the news on my TV

    Last night I sat watching the news on my TV

    There was death and destruction but the Mets won 5 to 3

    I’m just a sailor upon the sea

    Just a sailor upon the sea

    And it’s a strange, strange sea my God has made for me

     

    I hope you’re watching

    Whatever you are

    Maybe things look clearer

    From upon your star

    But here below it’s just me

    And this strange, strange sea

     

    It’s us and them and me and you

    It’s us and them and me and you

    It’s Christian and Muslim and Hindu and Buddhist and Jew

    And I’m a sailor upon the sea

    Just a sailor upon the sea

    And it’s a strange, strange sea my God has made for me

     

  • 04:54 The Color of My Skin
  • 02:25 Here in the Middle
  • 04:54 Story Lyrics The Storm Sometimes

    Sometimes I'm floating

    Sometimes I'm free

    Sometimes the shadows

    Don't bother me

    Sometimes the rain

    Is soft and warm

    Sometimes I lay awake at night

    And listen to the storm

     

    There among the clouds

    That's where I want to be

    Falling to the river

    And flowing out to sea

    Sometimes I can feel it

    My heart is in my head

    Like when I'm lying breathless, baby

    Warm inside your bed

     

    Thunder shakes the windows

    Echoes in my soul

    It's mine to have and hold

    Sometimes

     

    There, there that was it

    That was it there

    That powerful, blooming feeling

    That caught me unaware

    Sometimes I can see it

    Out the corner of my eye

    A strobe light to creation

    A flash across the sky

     

    (Chorus)

     

    Sometimes there is rhythm

    There is harmony in my heart

    Sometimes there's a dance

    Of which I am a part

    Sometimes time is

    Unfolding as it should

    Sometimes I feel good

     

     

     

    Sometimes I'm searching

    And sometimes I find

    Just what I'm needing

    To free up my mind

    Most times I'm waiting

    For the time to be right

    Sometimes this crazy storm

    Just has me staying up all night

     

    (Chorus)

     

     

  • 07:09 Brave New Man
  • 05:54 Times Arrow
  • 03:45 Story Lyrics One Track Mind

    I keep thinking about you, baby

    I can’t sleep thinking about you, baby

    In so deep thinking about you, baby

    I got a one-track mind

     

    Every night

    And every single day

    I’ve got a singular fascination

    That just won’t go away

    You stole my heart

    But it’s a victimless crime

    Cause just the thought of you

    Has me smiling all the time

     

    (Chorus)

     

    Before you

    Turned my world around

    I had a bad preoccupation

    With the love I never found

    I thought I was

    The loneliest boy on earth

    I felt my life had no meaning, no worth

     

    But you came along

    And convinced me I was wrong

    Even made me write this song

    You turned my hell about-face

    Into a place I call heaven

    Now twenty-four seven

     

    (Bridge)

     

    (Chorus)

  • 02:51 Clowns Cry Too
  • 03:41 You Don't Care
  • 04:27 Another Night
  • 03:07 The Skin I'm In
  • 03:47 One
NOTES
FIFTEEN YEARS is a selection of previously unreleased recordings from 1986 to 2001 featuring the evolving singing, guitar playing and songwriting of John Michael Hersey.

“Like a Vagabond” and “Magic, Magic” were recorded in 1986 at NYU and feature Katherine Bescherer on guitar and vocals, Kurt Gundersen on bass, Dore Abrams on piano and Adam Weber on drums. “Strange, Strange Sea,” (co-written with John Carney and Michael Vassaras) “The Color of My Skin” and “Here in the Middle” (…
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Personal Belongings

by John Michael Hersey

Released 2017
Chordophone
Released 2017
Chordophone
Rock, pop, folk, blues, adult alternative singer songwriter.
  • 04:15 Lyrics Get Through

    Every time I sing

    Or I’m playing with the band

    Do you ever wonder what’s on my mind?

    Do ya?

    I wish that I could show you

    And make you understand

    I’m trying to get through

    I’m just trying to get through

    To you

     

    Every time we talk

    And I don’t know what to say

    Do you think I’m trying to be unkind?

    Do ya?

    I want to get to know you

    But words get in the way

    I’m trying to get through

    I’m just trying to get through

    To you

     

    Draw back the curtain

    Pull up the screen

    Remove whatever’s in-between us

    I can’t be certain

    But still I feel

    There’s something here that’s real

    That’s true

     

    Every time we kiss

    And I look into your eyes

    Do you know it’s you that I want to find?

    Do ya?

    Don’t let my closeness throw you

    Or take you by surprise

    I’m trying to get through

    I’m just trying to get through

    To you

  • 03:52 Lyrics All My Life

    I have loved you all my life

    From the moment I was born

    You were shining in my eyes

    When they opened that first morning

     

    As a schoolboy I would walk

    Through the meadows of my home

    You were there among the stars

    And you followed all my roaming

     

    When I reached out to the world

    You’re the one who held my hand

    You’re the one who kissed my lips

    Gave me hope and understanding

     

    As a young man I worked hard

    And I learned how to survive

    For I knew with you I shared

    All my dreaming and my striving

     

    I have loved you all my life

    Though we’ve only met today

    You’ve been beating in my heart

    Where forever you’ll be staying

  • 05:29 Gig in the Street
  • 03:31 When It Rains
  • 03:28 Hole in My Heart
  • 04:10 Trying Times
  • 05:02 Junior
  • 03:37 La Dolce Blues
  • 03:48 Lady of the Day
  • 03:30 A Little Lovin'
  • 04:31 The Beaten Path
  • 02:59 Reachin'
NOTES
John Michael Hersey is a singer/songwriter known for his sophisticated yet accessible melding of rock, pop, folk, blues and country. Hersey is first and foremost a storyteller, one who happens to play a mean guitar.

Hersey has released seven albums of original material: Soup Du Jour (1999), Whirligig (2003), Mr. Lucky [with Speedo and the Cadillacs] (2004), How Am I Here? (2007), Adirondack (2014) [“raw, hard, observant and thought provoking” folkwords.com], You Got to Me, [“a timeless take …
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John Michael Hersey
2016
John Michael Hersey

Lyrics

I stayed up late coming undone

Cursing my fate and everyone

Wasting my time, hanging my head

Stuck in a rut, as good as dead

 

Then all at once, or so it seemed

It was a scene I thought I dreamed

A smile I found

Turned me around

 

You saved my life

With just one look

You saved my life

That’s all it took

Like a light in the dark

There you were, love’s bright spark

You saved my life

 

My self-esteem beyond repair

I didn’t dream, I didn’t dare

And all the promise of my youth

Was just a lie – that was my truth

 

But then so simply and so sweet

So tenderly and so complete

And so unplanned

You touched my hand

 

You saved my life

With one caress

You saved my life

No more, no less

Like the heat from a fire

You filled me with desire

You saved my life

 

I tried to fix my life alone

But I got nowhere on my own

So glad you came to my rescue

Where would I be if not for you?

John Michael Hersey
2016
John Michael Hersey

Lyrics

Caught unawares

I walked up the stairs

Under the silky sheet I disappeared

 

Your body lithe

We did rub and writhe

You brought me back to life; the slate was cleared

 

You got to me

With love untainted

So glad that we

Became acquainted

You got to me

 

Can it be true?

Tell me who are you?

Some cosmic visitor, some passing phantom

 

What a relief

It’s beyond belief

The seeds of ecstasy, we’re gonna plant them

 

You got to me

Showed me to shelter

A moment free

From helter skelter

You got to me

 

Hip to hip

Chest to chest

We let time slip

East and west

North and south

Did not exist

Mouth to mouth

Resuscitation

My soul was kissed

What a sensation

 

You got to me

Now we are lovers

What will we see

Under the covers

You got to me

John Michael Hersey
2013
John Michael Hersey

Lyrics

Just got back today

Spent some time away

All work and no play

Makes Johnny a dull man

Now I’m looking around

Got my ear to the ground

Every sight and sound

Is so beautiful, man

 

Some people say it’s an ugly world

Life’s a bitch then you die

It might be true

But I’d still rather laugh than cry

 

And I’m sitting pretty

Sitting pretty

Sitting pretty

In New York City

 

Take a subway ride

To the Lower East Side

Just rolling with the tide

And hearing the wind blow

Have some scrambled eggs

Sip my coffee dregs

Watch the arms and legs

Outside my window

 

Got into trouble

But I made my peace

Gonna make a new start

The streets are pumping something

Straight into my heart

 

(Chorus)

 

The night is coming

But I just can’t sleep

Got too much on my mind

I need a little of that

Sweet old bump and grind

 

(Chorus)

 

Fallen

04:00
John Michael Hersey
01/14/2014
John Michael Hersey

Story

From Hersey's latest album, Adirondack. 

Lyrics

Eve was in the garden

She saw the apple on the tree

Eve was in the garden

She saw the apple on the tree

And just like that lady

I couldn’t let that apple be

 

 

Nero played his fiddle

The smell of smoke was all around

Nero played his fiddle

The smell of smoke was all around

And just like that Roman

My city burned down to the ground

 

Lord, help me

I’m a fallen man

Lord, help me

Lord, help me if you can

 

Standing at the crossroads

Robert Johnson came to play

Standing at the crossroads

Robert Johnson came to play

And just like that bluesman

I fell down on my knees to pray

 

John Michael Hersey
2007
John Michael Hersey

Lyrics

Lots of woods and family farms

With houses in between 

Cedar lakes and big back yards

With oak trees tall and green

And although Philadelphia

Was just an hour away

When I was young my home town

Was mostly where I’d stay

 

And though I left there long ago

My thoughts meander still

Down to southern New Jersey

To a town called Franklinville

 

Back in the nineteen-seventies

Those were my teenage years

My hair was long, my jeans were tight

Rock music filled my ears

I learned to throw a football

I learned to drive a car

I learned to roll a number

I learned to play guitar

 

I may have seen the world since then

But I still get a thrill

Remembering South Jersey

And a town called Franklinville

 

I fell in love my senior year

I thought she was the one

But when the summer ended

Our love affair was done

So I had to say goodbye

To all the starry lakeside nights

And go and seek my fortune

Beneath the city lights

 

I’ve tried hard to forget her

But I know I never will

My first love in South Jersey

In a town called Franklinville

  

Now on many of the family farms

Developments have grown

A super highway passes through

The backyards I had known

And all my childhood memories

Are phantoms in my mind

Just like the phantom fortune

That I’m still trying to find

 

But there’s a part of me inside

The changing world can’t kill

Born in southern New Jersey

In a town called Franklinville

 

I may have left there long ago

But my heart beats there still

Down in southern New Jersey

In a town called Franklinville

John Michael Hersey
01/05/2014
John Michael Hersey

Story

From Hersey's 2007 album "How Am I Here?"

Lyrics

I’m the universal stranger

Have you seen my face before?

The moment I sense danger

I’ve got one foot out the door

 

I’m a wanted man

I’m running from town to town

I’m running from the blues

But the blues always track me down

 

Each time you take my hand

Child, you make me want to smile

But you must understand

I can only stay a while

 

(Chorus)

 

I think the coast is clear

And they take me by surprise

I try to disappear

But they see through my disguise

They’re ruthless and they’re cunning

And they always get their man

That’s why I keep on running

Just as fast as I can

 

I’m the universal stranger

First you know me then you don’t

A shadowy shape-changer

I could stay but I won’t

 

(Chorus)

 

John Michael Hersey
01/05/2014
John Michael Hersey

Story

From Hersey's 2003 album "Whirligig."

Lyrics

Welcome to class, boy

If you want to pass

You better listen to what I sing

About the bite and the sting

Of the birds and bees

Study your history

It ain't no mystery

We've been doing it since Adam and Eve

Born to woo and deceive

To strip and tease

And before your graduation

I’ll show what I've learned

I had an early education

In the art of being burned

 

Heartbreak 101

Let me show you how it's done

Here at the school

Where the golden rule

Is to do unto others and run

Heartbreak 101

 

When I was a student

I wasn't very prudent

I thought love would win the day

But it didn't turn out that way

And I paid the price

I had a lover

I never did recover

From the damage of her desire

When a passion that was hot as fire

Suddenly was ice

So with this institution

I want the world to see

There's gonna be retribution

For what she did to me

 

(Chorus)

John Michael Hersey
2002
John Michael Hersey

Lyrics

Mr. Programmer/Vulture

Is cultivating culture

For couch-potatoes to get off

Leading me to temptation

And my assimilation

I'm trying hard not to get soft

My mind is dirty

Someone should bust me

I'm over thirty

Don't trust me

 

Entertainers coming at us

We're giving them such status

More than the leaders we elect

Now anarchy makes money

In the land of milk and honey

That's show biz, what did you expect?

Upon the shelf

Someone should dust me

I'm not myself

Don't trust me

 

These greedy masqueraders

And all their imitators

Are adding garbage to the pile

Parading this week's flavor

Until it falls from favor

Sucking the substance from the style

This stormy weather

Is starting to rust me

Can't get it together

Don't trust me

 

John Michael Hersey
01/05/1999
John Michael Hersey

Story

From Hersey's 1999 album "Soup Du Jour."

Lyrics

Too many clouds, too little rain

Too few tears for so much pain

Too much laughter, too few smiles

So many stars, so many miles away

 

A great big sun lights up your skies

Each morning born, each evening dies

Away from work through the turnstiles

You head for home so many miles away

 

Look up, look up

See where you're going

It's not too late

It's still worth knowing who you are

Not just another face behind the wheel of a car

 

So many faces, who to trust?

So much love that's only lust

Glittering city that beguiles

I search your streets for something miles away

 

Look up, look up

See what you're doing

Take time to think

Is what you're pursuing what you desire?

You tell yourself it's what you want

And you're such a skillful liar

 

So many nights I've spent with you

So many times you pulled me through

My tribulations and my trials

But in the morning, dear

You leave me here

So close and yet so many miles away

John Michael Hersey
1999
John Michael Hersey

Lyrics

Men with ties, men with ties

Rule from offices in the skies

Bottom lines

And dollar signs in their eyes

Men with ties, men with ties

Big white mouths telling little white lies

But it’s good for business

Especially his mess, so he justifies

 

It’s the attire

That they require at the top

But you may find

They’re the ties that bind

 

Men with ties, men with ties

Making deals they deem wise

Running guns

From Washington in disguise

Men with ties, men with ties

Take the stand with alibis

Just last fall

He can not recall or just denies

 

(Chorus)

 

In this club for the well-dressed male

We’re never sure what is said

Behind these men there’s a paper-trail

That they’re trying very hard to shred

 

Men with ties, men with ties

Often fall, but again rise

For lecture tours

And talk-show boors to advertise

Men with ties, men with ties

Trying hard to revise

What we thought

Should have brought about their demise

 

(Chorus)

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