WORDS FILL MY HEAD

 

Late songs

 

‘Cross The Green Mountain

Masquerade

Tell Ol’ Bill

Tell Ol’ Bill

Tragedy Of The Trade

Waitin’ For You

 

 

‘Cross The Green Mountain

 

I cross the green mountain, I sit by the stream

Heaven blazing in my head, I dreamt a monstrous dream

Something came up out of the sea

Swept through the land of the rich and the free

 

I look into the eyes of my merciful friend

And then I ask myself, is this the end?

Memories linger, sad yet sweet

And I think of the souls in heaven who will meet

 

Altars are burning with flames far and wide

The foe has crossed over from the other side

They tip their caps from the top of the hill

You can feel them come, more brave blood to spill

 

Along the dim Atlantic line

The ravaged land lies for miles behind

The light's coming forward and the streets are broad

All must yield to the avenging God

 

The world is old, the world is gray

Lessons of life, can't be learned in a day

I watch and I wait, and I listen while I stand

To the music that comes from a far better land

 

Close the eyes of our captain, peace may he know

His long night is done, the great leader is laid low

He was ready to fall, he was quick to defend

Killed outright he was, by his own men

 

It's the last day's last hour, of the last happy year

I feel that the unknown world is so near

Pride will vanish and glory will rot

But virtue lives and cannot be forgot     

 

The bells of leavening have rung

There's blasphemy on every tongue

Let 'em say that I walked in fair nature's light

And that I was loyal to truth and to right                     

 

Serve God and be cheerful, look upward, beyond

Beyond the darkness of masks, the surprises of dawn

In the deep green grasses of the blood-stained world

They never dreamed of surrenderin', they fell where they stood

 

Stars fell over Alabama, I saw each star

You're walkin' in dreams, whoever you are

Chilled are the skies, keen as the frost

The grounds froze hard and the morning is lost                                

 

A letter to mother came today

Gunshot wound to the breast is what it did say

But he'll be better soon, he's in a hospital bed

But he'll never be better - he's already dead                

 

I'm ten miles outside the city, and I'm lifted away

In an ancient light, that is not of day

They were calm, they were blunt, we knew 'em all too well

We loved each other more than we ever dared to tell

                                                                 

[Source: released version on the Gods And Generals soundtrack]

 

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Masquerade

(Gerry Goffin/Bob Dylan)

Hey what's your name
hey what's your game
if you put me down I'll do the same
send horror shows to friends you know
cause that's the way things often tend to go
I'm at a loss to entertain
you see the cells are paralyzed inside my brain
I bid adieu to all of you
I think it's time to end this masquerade

Now life was sweet till they called the heat
the county jail has just reserved a two room suite
how do they get to be such drags
I just can't figure out what's behind their bags
one thing I know without fail
white man's justice will prevail
Buona Notta Aufwiedersehen
I think it's time to end this masquerade

I forgot to milk the cow
but I don't wanna do it now
like to sleep for a hundred years
till' this old world just disappears
And so to end this grand affair
I hear the commander in chief was even there
he worked so hard he broke his back
but Ronald Reagan was sleepin' in his sack
the Hard-ons are in
with nothin' to win
it's the same old show
Buenos Diae Auroueit it's a rodeo
I think it's time to end this masquerade

[Source: album liner notes to Back Room Blood by Gerry Goffin]

 

 

Tell Ol’ Bill

(released version)

                
The river whispers in my ear
I've hardly a penny to my name
The heavens have never seemed so near
All my body glows with flame.
 
The tempest struggles in the air
And to myself alone I sing
It could sink me then and there
I can hear the echoes ring.
 
I tried to find one smilin' face
To drive the shadow from my head
I'm stranded in this nameless place
Lyin' restless in a heavy bed.
 
Tell me straight out if you will
Why must you torture me within?
Why must you come down off your high hill?
Throw my fate to the clouds and wind.
 
Far away in a silent land
Secret thoughts are hard to bear
Remember me, you'll understand
Emotions we can never share.
 
You trampled on me as you passed
Left the coldest kiss upon my brow
All my doubts and fears have gone at last
I've nothing more to tell you now.
 
I walk by tranquil lakes and streams
As each new season's dawn awaits
I lay awake at night with troubled dreams
The enemy is at the gate.
 
Beneath the thunder-blasted trees
The words are ringin' off your tongue
The ground is hard in times like these
Stars are cold, the night is young.
 
The rocks are bleak, the trees are bare
Iron clouds go floatin' by
Snowflakes falling in my hair
Beneath the gray and stormy sky.
 
The evenin' sun is sinking low
The woods are dark, the town is too
They'll drag you down, they run the show
Ain't no tellin' what they'll do.
 
Tell Ol' Bill when he comes home
Anything is worth a try
Tell him that I'm not alone
That the hour has come to do or die.
 
All the world I would defy
Let me make it plain as day
I look at you now and I sigh
How could it be any other way? 
    

[Source: released version on the North Country soundtrack]

                                                                 

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Tell Ol’ Bill

(alternate version with one more verse)

 

 
The river whispers in my ear
I've hardly a penny to my name
The heavens never seemed so near
And all my body glows with flame.
 
The tempest struggles in the air
And to my lone myself I sing
It could sink me then and there
I can hear the echoes ring.
 
I tried to find one smilin' face
To drive the shadow from my head
I'm stranded in this lonesome place
Layin' restless in a heavy bed.
 
Tell me straight out if you will
Why must you torture me within?
Why must you come from your high hill?
Throw my fate to the clouds and wind.
 
Far away in a silent land
Secret thoughts are hard to bear
Remember me, you'll understand
Emotions we can never share.
 
You trampled on me as you passed
Left the coldest kiss upon my brow
All my doubts and fears have gone at last
I've nothing more to tell you now.
 
I walk by tranquil lakes and streams
As each new season's dawn awaits
I lay awake at night with troubled dreams
The enemy is at the gate.
 
Beneath the thunder-blasted trees
The words are ringin' off your tongue
The ground is hard in times like these
The stars are cold, the night is young.
 
From white to green, from brown to black 
Not one more minute can I waste 
They go too far, they drive me black 
At a slow and steady pace.
 
The rocks are bleak, the trees are bare
Iron clouds go floatin' by
Snowflakes falling in my hair
Beneath the dark and stormy sky.
 
The evenin' sun is sinking low
The woods are dark, the town is too
They'll drag you down, they run the show
Ain't no tellin' what they'll do.
 
Tell Ol' Bill when he come home
Anything is worth of try
Tell him that I'm not alone
And that the hour has come to do or die.
 
All the world I would defy
Let me make it plain as day
I look at you and now I die
How could it be any other way?   

 

[Source: circulating session recording]

                                                                 

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Tragedy Of The Trade

(Gerry Goffin, Barry Goldberg, Bob Dylan)

A young girl dies in the gutter face down
Taxi driver pulls up to the curb, dies without a sound
Copin' a squad car ridin' round is nowhere to be found
Each one has seen his last
But we must let it pass
Too much money to be made
The tragedy of the trade

 

And if you don't give ice to the mob
Life around here gets awful hard
You're likely to lose more than just a job
And if that aint bad enough
Times are getting so tough
Most people beggin to be underpaid
The tragedy of the trade

Young man working for the fast food store
Ses a recuiting poster and goes off to war
I don't think he ever knew what he was fighting for
They play Taps and lower the flag
When they bring him home in a body bag
But don't you be dismayed
It's just the tragedy of the trade

A baby cries in the ghetto morn'
Before he's five he'll wish he'd never been born
'Cause all society shows him is their hatred and their scorn
He knows he doesn't stand a chance
So he grows up with a gangster's stance
Just one more reason to be afraid
The tragedy of the trade


Remember the hum of the factory town
Business was booming
fo a thousand miles around
But they farmed out the work
and let so many people down
I hear it happened just recently
Another change in our history
The billionaire's promenade
The tragedy of the trade

The trade takes place around the world
on a derelict street
Where the masters and the slaves
often congregate to meet
They make deals - turn the big wheels
With starving children dying at their feet
The world's been run with Backroom Blood
Long before the time of the flood
And it's you who are betrayed
The tragedy of the trade

If you still have innocence, better lock it in a vault
Once it was a virtue, but now it's a fault
Too many people waiting around
just to rip you off
And as I understand
No one really gives a damn
It's not a game, but that's the way it's played
The scales of justice have really never been weighed
The tragedy of the trade.

[Source: album liner notes to Back Room Blood by Gerry Goffin]

 

 

Waitin’ For You

I never dreamed it could be
A someone made just for me.
When I'm letting her have her way,
I'm here to see what she has to say.
Ah, the poor girl always wins the day.
I'm stayin' ahead of the game,
And she's a-doin' the same,
And the whiskey flyin' into my head.
The fiddler's arm has gone dead,
And talk is beginning to spread

When did our love go bad?
Whatever happened to the best friend that I had?
It's been so long since I held you tight
Been so long since we said goodnight.
The taste of tears is bittersweet.
When you're near me, my heart forgets to beat.
You're there every night
Among the good and the true,
And I'll be around, waitin' for you.

Well, the king of them all
Is starting to fall.
I lost my gal at the boatman's ball.
The night has a thousand hearts and eyes.
Hope may vanish, but it never dies.
I'll see you tomorrow when freedom rings.
I'm gonna stay on top of things.
It's the middle of summer,
And the moon is blue.
And I'll be around, waitin' for you.


Another deal gone down,
Another man done gone.
You put up with it all, and you carry on.
Something holding you back,
But you'll come through.
I'd bet the world and everything in it on you.
Happiness is but a state of mind.
Anytime you want, you can cross the state line.
You don't need to be rich or well-to-do
I'll be around, waitin' for you.

 

[Source: released version on the Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood soundtrack]

                                                                 

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This page last updated 27 October 2015.