The Night of My Death

On the night of my death, I was feeling fine

Crossing the street towards my kids and my wife

The sun was blinding, low in the sky

The guy in the truck, who was mad at his wife…did not see me


On the night of my death, I swear I'd no regrets

Cleaned all wounds, squarely settled all my debts

Old enemies and lovers pulled me tightly to their breasts

Said, "Let bygones be bygones," and time did the rest


On the night of my death, all my affairs were neatly closed


Dotted all my i's and put all my ducks all in a row

I did look good, in my brand-new suit of clothes

Even the lawyers, they swore they'd never seen such perfect prose


On the night of my death, I gathered my friends around

We traded some songs, I said I'd see them again

I didn't think that was true, it didn't feel like a lie, at the time

Had the night of my life


On the night of my death, I wrote letters to my folks

I told 'em I loved 'em and I told 'em one more joke

Put all my stuff out on the street

Emptied my room for next guy

Left it all so clean


On the night of my death, I held my family tight

Told our kids everything would be all right

I didn't know if that was true, it didn't feel like a lie at the time

We had the night of our lives

Walk Me Down

Walk me down to heaven


Belay me down on twisted vines

I'm only here for the beauty

I ain't expecting peace of mind


Float me down the river

I'm seeing kings in the canyon's face

I see a light that shines, shines all around

So walk me down


Walk me down to heaven

But I won't grovel at the door

Gonna rest my head in the blue sea

Dry my bones upon the shore


Lift me up that I might see

Shimmy up your tallest tree

And I will sing your glory, for miles around

Walk me down


It's not a drum, I don't need to march

Just my own Eveready heart

And I ain't gonna wait till it stops

To start walking


Whose engine ain't running

Whose hands they are bleeding

White collar tightening

Whose medicines they're mixing

Whose dinner is in silence

Who’s in far-deep water

Wears his anger like medals

Self-serenades in puddles


So little I have learned

We watch the world slowly burn

But I still see the beauty

I see it all around

Walk me down

Your Money or Your Life

Your Money or Your Life


This is not my life

These are not my shoes

These pants, they fit way too tight

I will dance and shake them loose


Were you ever 14?

Driving your first car?

When you feel the wind in your hair

Is that not still who you are?


She whispers it so plain

Into the spitting rain

Says, "Boy, it's your money or your life"


We all take a few wrong turns

Through alleys cold and grey

Me, I chased the wrong bird

And my own bird flew away


Time is not your friend

Despite all that you do

If you end up getting lost

She will not come back for you


But she'll speak it oh so clear

Into your dirty ear

She says, "Boy, it's your money or your life"


Used to shine my own shoes

And try and sing the blues

Now I go to the shoeshine man

And I read the BBC news


I used to fix my own car

Break down somewhere far

Now they just plug in a chip

But I never have time to take a trip


So this is not my life

And these are not my shoes

I borrowed everything I have

And I'll give it all to you


And she'll scream it in my ear

So I could finally hear

She said, "Daddy, it's your money or your life"


Minor Birds​​​​​​​


I am the Lesser Nighthawk

The small and quiet cousin

Somebody gave that name to me

But it never felt like me


You are the common Starling

My Belgium rustbelt darling

Whoever gave that name to you

Didn't really know you


Seems to me

We'll always be minor birds


We're not the Nile, baby,

Amazon or Congo

We're just the Ohio

But we'll make it to the sea


Now I'm the Least Sandpiper

Always the younger brother

Chased all day by the sea

That's you and me


And if we gave a damn, they'd be hurtful words

We're minor birds

Rowing Back

Like the waves come so far, just to rest on the shore,

Or the sunsilver rays would lose everything to warm your face

Why'm I always rowing back to you?



Like an old dog, left behind,

Will learn to cross state lines

Just to sit with his best friend again

You know that I'd risk everything


Salt in my beard, blood in my eyes

And a face I know I’ve earned

I've heard sirens cry

Do not ask me why


I'm always rowing back to you

It's the only thing I know how to do


Have a little faith, my dear,

This storm won't last, and I'm praying fast

Don't take your light down from the windowpane


Have a little my faith, my dear,

'Cuz I'm bailing hard, then I'll square the yards

And come home


Like the waves come so far, just to rest on the shore

Or the sunsilver rays

I'd lose everything


When I'm halfway into your heart, you have to let me know
so I don't make my worst mistake, turn around and let you go

Send me a postcard, though you live so close
add just a few... too many Xs and Os   

And if I should lose my way
give up, or go astray
Please let me know
that I’m halfway there 

It won't take too much, for my love to coax
laugh a bit too long at the worst of my jokes
Ask me a favor and ask no one else
shoot me that look, I’ve been dying to see  

...Like a tall glass of water at mile 13 

I want to stay in this race, I want to pick up my pace
so please let me know.. that I'm halfway there

The Lucky Ones

Work our hands all day, neath the hot copper sun
not just for what we gain,  but for what we become

We become, the lucky ones

Now my hammer has awoken, and my nails they run and hide
the need to work, to build a home, will not be denied

Still they called us, the lucky ones

And we built this house against all odds, with sweat, blood, and pluck
and found that our good fortune had little to do with luck

And we built ourselves a great ship, tied two kites to the rails
with a mast so straight and tall, the wind couldn't help but fill the sails

And we sailed out, like the lucky ones

IYAWYSTYA (Leo’s Song)

It might look like a schoolyard, but it’s a map of the world
and all of the countries are little boys and girls

Who patrol the playground, their borders defined
who say woe to the traveller, with no allegiance aligned

...but you'll be fine
if you are who you say that you are

When you get a little older,  they're gonna put you on a graph
and if you’re an outlier, rest assured they’re gonna laugh

And you may find yourself dancing, quite all alone
or you might attract a little cluster of your very own

...and you’ll be fine
if you are who you say that you are

Might be a classroom, a greenroom, a courtroom, or a field
if you find your voice is shaking, keep your resolution steeled

As you gather your courage, your wit, and your fire
may you voice stay steady, as recite your lines'll be fine
if you are who you say that you are