Lyrics

​I'm So Happy

Daddy's wagon, faux wooden panels,

Mama's daughter in tomboy flannel,

and me, underneath a salt and pepper sky,

I could have died,

In the arms of that Missourian midnight friend,

On the backroads of some teenage promised land

Where a dead end diamond was the only end in sight,

I could have died right then and there,

and still been alright, singin'

 

I'm so Happy I could die,

I'm so Happy I could die

Yeah, I could die,

 

Oh, but eight years later, I finally swayed her,

She traded them blue jeans for a dress that her Mama made,

and a couple of silent tears in her Daddy's eyes,

He was happy to cry,

And when I lifted that veil of Chantilly lace,

She had eternity written all over her face, and I knew,

I couldn't wait for the rest of my life

But I could have died right then and there,

and still been alright, singin'

 

I'm so Happy I could die,

I'm so Happy I could die,

I'm so Happy I couldn't hide it if I tried,

But why would I?

I'm so Happy I could die,

 

Wood and tin,

Paper and china,

SIlver and gold,

Ruby and diamond,

Sixty-two short years,

Til death done us part,

One day just and innocent Daddy's daughter,

The next, oh Lord, the cancer's got her,

Heaven's newest angel on every card,

All of this right before my eyes,

Right now,

 

On a wax paper table, my legs left to dangle,

The smell of ammonia and hope gone stale,

He points at a chart covered in dotted lines,

and says that they're mine,

His face looks severe in a sad sort of way,

His mouth says, "Who knows,"

but his eyes say, "Any day,"

He pauses, expecting a cry, but sees a smile,

I could die right here and now and be alright,

The only life that's left for me is on the otherside, so,

 

I'm so Happy I could die,

I'm so Happy I could die,

I'm so Happy I couldn't hide it if I tried,

But why would I?

I'm so Happy I could die,

Athens Blacktop

On a proper piece of pure prairie land,

By the boneyard of fantasy,

Where the Dickson stand and deliver,

and the Sangamon runs to the sea,

Near the quarters of good Honest Abe,

At the borders of soda and pop,

Little Annie let me take you away,

Down the Athens Blacktop,

 

Country queen, common promenade,

Calloused hands so fit to hold,

A carnival of ages, running on company coal,

A corn-walled kingdom, alive and at peace,

Where they're making a crown of the crop,

Little Annie there's so much to be,

Down the Athens Blacktop,

 

I know you don't want me to see you this way,

So blue--Annie just wait,

Who needs tomorrow, when we've got today?

Don't talk, Just walk,

Down the Athens Blacktop

 

My grey haired Daddy in his busted up truck,

The little boy I used to be,

Used to cruise from East St. Louis,

Through the roads of Ancient Greece,

Half an hour from capitol field,

Just a Midwest skip and a hop,

Little Annie what we had was real,

Down the Athens Blacktop,

 

So Little Annie in your big city dress,

With your piles of pick-me-up pills,

Would you throw them away, 

Would you throw them away,

For a stray through the Illinois hills?

Take your place in the Spoon River cure,

Where the best way to start is to stop,

Little Annie we can finally be sure,

Down the Athens Blacktop,

 

 

I know you don't want me to see you this way,

So blue--Annie just wait,

Who needs tomorrow, when we've got today?

Don't talk, Just walk,

Down the Athens Blacktop

 

 

 

 

Heaven Knows

Another evening falls, a sigh,

An empty house, another sigh,

I rest my head, but still no peace I find,

And Heaven knows, Heaven knows,

Heaven Knows why?

 

A garden scene it all began,

Decided by the Maker's plan,

Fate forced our hand and so began our deep decline,

And Heaven knows, Heaven knows,

Heaven Knows why?

 

He looked serene atop the hill,

As to the Earth his blood was spilled,

I killed the Great Me, Myself, and I,

And Heaven knows, Heaven knows,

Heaven Knows why?

 

Another evening falls, a sigh,

An empty house, another sigh,

I rest my head, but still no peace I find,

And Heaven knows, Heaven knows,

Heaven Knows why?

 

 

Madeline

Maddie Turner,

You're a pretty girl,

At least that's what my mother says,

Your Bible pendant,

and that safe Sunday dress,

Same old preacher's daughter stare,

I knew your name,

I guess since Kindergarten school,

You little lady debonair,

I was somewhere breaking all the rules,

You were somewhere playing fair,

 

Oh, maybe someday I will change my mind,

I don't love you Madeline,

 

I heard you looked my way,

Like crushes do,

Some years back in Junior High School,

You were looking pretty swell, I guess,

I think you thought I thought I would,

Valley girl with all your little tricks,

Bandit boy misunderstood,

I wasn't something you could love so true,

I was something you could fix,

 

 

Oh, maybe someday I will change my mind,

I don't love you Madeline,

No, I don't love you Madeline,

 

If you want me,

You can have me,

Can you fix me now dear Maddie?

I swear to God there's not a bridge left to burn down,

You can just sit there and stare,

but if you're the angel that my parents say you are,

Don't leave me in the dark, oh,

Madeline I'm lost,

Madeline I'm lost,

Madeline I'm lost,

Madeline I'm lost,

 

 

Oh, maybe someday you will change my mind,

I don't love you Madeline,

I don't love you Madeline,

I don't love...

You are What You Harvest

You are what you harvest,

This world is your field,

The seeds that you sew,

The weeds that you grow,

Could be your last meal,

You are what you harvest,

The death and the light,

The cuts on your fingers,

The question that lingers,

As day turns to night,

You are what you harvest,

 

You are what you harvest,

The time that you spend,

The fruit you've collected,

The buds you've neglected.

The sugar you lend,

You are what you harvest,

The water you spare,

The whiskey you've hidden,

The coattails you've ridden,

The love that you share,

You are what you harvest,

 

You are what you harvest,

No heaven in sight,

The answers you're seeking,

The truth that you're reaping,

The scriptures you write,

You are the forsaken,

You are the diseased,

You are the pariah,

You are the messiah,

To whomever you please,

 

You are what you harvest,

The blood on your sleeve.

The fate you've forgiven,

The nails that you've driven,

In eternity's tree.

 

 

American Dream

Well there's leaves in your hair,

Beggar's lice on your shirt,

And it looks like you've hurt your share,

Was a good line of work,

Out plowing the dirt,

Til the bank came and stripped you bare,

Now you're living on time,

And the welfare dime,

Like you swore that you'd never be,

But you're standing in line right behind,

The American Dream,

 

Daddy left her the diner,

He's long passed away,

Who knows what he'd say anymore,

If he'd seen his daughter,

A single mother of three,

Have to give up the family store,

Now she's putting in time,

For comitting no crime,

Like he prayed that she'd never be,

But she's standing in line right behind,

The American Dream,

 

Oh, and old Mister Mason,

In blue collared rags,

With his bags and his grocery cart,

Used to smile and wave,

In his factory days,

As he did since the factory's start,

The whole assembly line,

Just woke up to find,

Uncle Sam started speaking Chinese,

Now they're standing in line right behind,

The American Dream,

 

Brother look at the faces,

They're everywhere now,

In this good old American town,

Once belonged to themselves,

Now to somebody else,

So they're usually turned to the ground,

Oh, they honestly tried,

But they swallow their pride,

And a mouthful of government beans,

For they're standing in line right behind,

The American Dream,

Yeah, they're standing in line right behind,

The American Dream,

We're all standing in line right behind,

The American Dream.

Two Horses

I never meant to be your ordinary friend,

Or some kind stranger you might never see again,

Or worst of all be one of those who broke your heart,

And made you wonder why you wished upon a star,

And yet here we stand all alone and broken down,

And your somebody's baby on the other end of town,

I swore I'd never let our love begin to fade,

And yet here we are all in black and white and grey,

 

I know it didn't turn out just right,

Is it too late to apologize?

We could escape this city,

Run into the night,

On two horses to paradise,

On two horses to paradise,

 

Can you remember just how bright we used to be?

Back when all we knew was just across the street,

We were babies in a buzz, dreaming dreams a baby does,

So in love without knowing what it was,

And on that night before you left wearing that Chicago dress,

You held my hand and I held yours and held my breath,

Can you remember just hw bright we used to be?

Back when promises were something we could see,

 

I know it didn't turn out just right,

Is it too late to apologize?

We could escape this city,

Run into the night,

On two horses to paradise,

On two horses to paradise,

 

And here I am all alone and broken down,

And you're some stranger on the other end of town,

Do you recall the very first "I love you too,"

Cuz I sure do,

I sure do,

 

I know it didn't turn out just right,

Is it too late to apologize?

We could escape this city,

Ridin through the night,

On two horses to paradise,

On two horses to paradise,

 

 

It Doesn't Have to Kill

Little lady with the two first names,

What you running from?

Come kingdom come it will all just be a game,

Little lady so your fella's gone,

We all know where you're coming from,

That funeral drum has called us all by name,

 

And if love had to bury every broken heart in history,

This whole damn world would be a cemetary,

Girl, it doesn't have to kill you if you don't want it to,

Oh girl it doesn't have to kill unless you want it to,

 

Little lady with the trembling legs,

What are you trembling for?

What's in store, sure, no one can say,

Of course little lady he can't break your heart,

If you don't give him your heart to break,

But what is love without a little heartache?

 

And if love had to bury every broken heart in history,

This whole damn world would be a cemetary,

Girl, it doesn't have to kill you if you don't want it to,

Oh girl it doesn't have to kill unless you want it to,

 

Don't break your heart,

Darling pull yourself through,

Don't break your heart or let your heart break you,

 

Little lover with your head in your hands,

Why are you breaking down?

Again you've found what so many can't,

Little lover so your heart may crack,

And your back may finally break,

But love will make it worth all of the pain,

 

 

And if love had to bury every broken heart in history,

This whole damn world would be a cemetary,

Girl, it doesn't have to kill you if you don't want it to,

Oh girl it doesn't have to kill unless you want it to,

 

Don't break your heart,

Darling pull yourself through,

Don't break your heart or let your heart break you,

 

Don't break your heart,

Darling pull yourself through,

Don't break your heart or let your heart break you.

 

 

 

Bowling Green

Days pass so quickly now,

I forget how to speak,

These fields are dust shrouds,

No rainclouds,

Or grain for us to eat,

No work in this ghost town,

Just dirt mounds,

And shoeless baby feet,

Off to find us the good life,

The high life,

Or the life of anything,

 

And yet I can't leave,

Without you on my sleeve,

For the high life ain't no life at all,

Unless you answer my call,

 

Come, come I can't wait for you to see,

It's now or never,

Now, now is the day for you and me,

To shine or sever,

Love, where is the love you used to be,

And that I remember?

Back, back in the days of Bowling Green,

And rolling heather,

 

Don't pass so quick,

Do you forget who,

we're supposed to be?

I thought you were all mine,

And the sun shined,

For good on you ane me,

But now theres no raincloud,

You're just too proud,

To close your eyes and let me lead,

To find us the high life, 

Or the good life,

Or the life of anything,

 

You know I can't leave,

Without you on my sleeve,

For the high life ain't no life at all,

And still, you don't answer my calls,

 

Come, come I can't wait for you to see,

It's now or never,

Now, now is the day for you and me,

To shine or sever,

Love, where is the love you used to be,

And that I remember?

Back, back in the days of Bowling Green,

And rolling heather,

Back, back in the days of Bowling Green,

And rolling heather,

 

Come, come I can't wait for you to see,

It's now or never,

Now, now is the day for you and me,

To shine or sever,

Love, where is the love you used to be,

And that I remember?

Back, back in the days of Bowling Green,

And rolling heather,

Back, back in the days of Bowling Green,

And rolling heather,

 

Come, come I can't wait for you to see,

It's now or never,

Now, now is the day for you and me,

To shine or sever,

Love, where is the love you used to be,

And that I remember?

Back, back in the days of Bowling Green,

And rolling heather,

Back, back in the days of Bowling Green,

And rolling heather

Mansions in Glory

God draws the lines,

I just color them in

Oh it's always been a picturebook story,

And You never can lose if you only can win,

Since we all get a Mansion in Glory,

Since we all get a Mansion in Glory,

 

Oh love don't you know what today is?

It's the same as we met way back when,

When we danced in the dirt and wore Beatles tshirts,

And we ran with our backs to the wind,

And it didn't take long til I told you

I was frightened to let a girl in,

But after kissing my cheek, you proceeded to speak, 

And while grinning your innocent grin, you said,

 

God draws the lines,

I just color them in

Oh it's always been a picturebook story,

And You never can lose if you only can win,

Since we all get a Mansion in Glory,

Since we all get a Mansion in Glory,

 

And who could forget what would follow?

A love that we couldn't conceive,

Forged deep in our souls in eternity's coals,

And still carved in that Sycamore tree,

And oh how I hated to leave you,

When I headed for old Tennessee,

But we talked through the night, 

You laughed while I cried,

And said "Love, you've jut got to believe, that,

 

God draws the lines,

I just color them in

Oh it's always been a picturebook story,

And You never can lose if you only can win,

Since we all get a Mansion in Glory,

Since we all get a Mansion in Glory,

 

But no words of goodbye,

No "Honey, I hate to leave so soon"

You went to the light and left me here,

Shouting your name at the moon,

Will I see you again?

Oh, honey I wish that I knew,

But the truth is, deep down,

I think that I do

Least I hope that I do,

I hope that I do,

 

Oh love don't you know what today is?

It's the first of the rest of my life,

It's been three bitter years since we buried you here,

And I still chase your voice in the night,

But I'll never forget what you showed me,

How one day we all have to die,

But this road that we're on is no more than a song,

And our love will live on by and by,

 

 

God draws the lines,

I just color them in

Oh it's always been a picturebook story,

And You never can lose if you only can win,

Since we all get a Mansion in Glory,

Since we all get a Mansion in Glory,

John Dennis

Rainfeather Records

R

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© 2020 John S R Dennis

© 2020 Rainfeather Records

Photography on page and album by

Kristin Indorato (Mortal Flames Press Photos)

Kelsey Ann Thomas (Mortal Flames Covers)