song lyrics

Many have asked, so here they are: 
Several albums’ worth of original lyrics 

Listed alphabetically )

+ 100 Different Ways of Being Alone (c) BettySoo

It’s the brother who never writes anymore
The uncle you never heard mentioned before 
The dad you didn’t know who left when you were born 
A mom who leaves her child behind at the store 
Life don’t work out like the plans you’d drawn 
Had yourself some dreams, now the wishing well’s gone 
Family can’t make things work on the farm 
Big city living can’t keep you warm 
A hundred different ways of being alone 

What you thought was true love left you wanting more 
A girl sits alone on her living room floor 
Boy turns away before he knocks on her door 
Neighbors don’t ask what he’s there for 
You’d leave this town, but there’s nowhere to run 
Things you used to love don’t bring no fun 
Sick of wishing every night you had someone 
Called everyone you knew, but nobody’s home 
A hundred different ways of being alone 

New man in town’s got your girl on his arm 
Careless thing you said caused so much harm 
Nothing’s the same as where you come from 
Beat you’re walking to ain’t such a different drum 
Tried to be a new voice, but your song ain’t your own 
Tried to make a mark, but you’re still unknown 
Tried to take a chance, now that bird has flown 
Left nothing here for you but rag and bone and 
A hundred different ways of being alone

+ Blackout (c) BettySoo

By the time we got to Richmond, you knew I was somewhere else
My mind was reeling down a different road
And you could see through what I felt
By the time we pulled into Charlotte and threw our bags on the bed
You hadn’t said a word in hours, and I’d torn my nails to shreds

And it’s dark with the blackouts drawn tight
Can’t tell from here if it’s 10 in the morning or the middle of the night
We’re gonna lie here together like nothing’s wrong
Window unit moaning its own sad song
And it’s dark, baby it’s so dark with the blackouts drawn

By the way you veered into that lot and dragged so hard the ashes raced to your lips
I knew you had so much to say, you just couldn’t find the words to do your anger justice
By the way, I know I haven’t said enough that I believe in who you are
And now it’s too late, it’d just fall empty like the bottles in the back seat of this car

+ Borderline (c) BettySoo

Empties lined up on the living room floor
Hasn’t made it to her bed in thirteen nights
On the ground with a glass in her hand, legs up on the couch
And she’s got no more will left to fight

She’s gonna cross that line, watch her world unwind
It’s not so hard to see what she wants
Is just a little bit out of reach across the borderline

She has a dream of running into the ocean, curling away under the tide
She’ll float in a bottle, a message lost in time
‘Til she washes up on the other side

Put on a happy face for your mother, wear a brave one for your dad
Pin on a smile for the ones who care for you the most
‘Round here, if you love ‘em, you don’t let ‘em know you’re sad

+ Coming Over Me (c) BettySoo

Counting down the hours 'til the final heart failure 
For the dream I cannot catch but still am running after 

Stretching out for the last stretch of a drive 
Away from the prison cell of what’s become of my life 

I can barely see the traces of  
Who I thought that by this time I’d have grown up to be 
I can almost feel the different air of freedom 
Coming over me
 
Two hands on the wheel - I can’t believe how free it feels
To drive and drive for hours just to sing these songs 
And then to another bed that stinks of bleach and dirty mattresses 
And trysts gone wrong 
All alone in another big city 

I am driving just before the sun comes up 
I am listening to hours of static on the radio 
I am running after chasing this elusive dream

+ Don't Say It's Nothing (c) BettySoo

It’s someone new
Charming the smile out of you
Don’t say it isn’t true

What do I do
If the light’s gone out for you
You found someone new

Don’t say it’s nothing
Don’t say it’s nothing, baby
Don’t say it meant nothing

Just one night
Disappears like faint starlight
In a city sky

Wrong and right
Can vanish from sight
In just one night

Don’t say it’s nothing
Don’t say it’s nothing, baby
Don’t say it meant nothing

I woke up and the moon was disappearing
I woke up and the sky was clear
I woke up and you still weren’t here

Don’t say it’s nothing
Don’t say it’s nothing, baby
Don’t say it meant nothing

+ Down to Goodbye (c) BettySoo

Don't look me in the eye when you say your sweet lies
And don't place your hand in mine when tomorrow you fly

And it's all come down to boxes and book and guilt-laced looks
It's your truck full in the drive
It's all come down to names and faces and places we've never been
It's come down to goodbye
It's come down to goodbye

No use to trying to explain the sky is the never the same
Nothing gold ever stays
Summer succumbs to autumn's flame

And it's all come down to boxes and book and guilty, sorry looks
It's your truck full in the drive
It's all come down to names and faces and places we've never been
It's come down to goodbye
It's come down to goodbye

It's all come down to boxes and book and guilty, sorry looks
It's your truck full in the drive
It's all come down to names and faces and places we've never been
It's come down to goodbye
Yeah it's all come down to piles of paper
Postcards from the wasted years
It's no more one last try
It's all come down to rings on the table and debts you can't ever pay off
It's come down to goodbye
Yeah, baby, it's come down to goodbye

+ Dreams (c) BettySoo

You’ve come a long, hard way
But still some days
You still feel all on your own
Other days you wish you’d gotten clean alone

Months of tears
You didn’t notice when your fears
Of every crushing sunrise
Erased the dreams inside

It’s time for longing
For hope and wanting
For wishes and yearning
For the dreams that burn in you
I know it feels like make-believe
When dreams seem so far out of reach
But that’s the thing about dreams

I know love left you low
But that’s all I know
A bigger story there, but we
We never talked about the hard things

Until you locked me out
And now, somehow
You’re making an art
Of laying open your broken heart

+ Easy Living (c) BettySoo

When I was born, I came out 
Fully dressed in springtime green 
I had a silver spoon right in my pocket 
And the strongest legs you’ve ever seen 
It didn’t take long before I learned 
My words could take down a full grown man 
And the lies ran out of my mouth 
Before I knew it, and they flew faster than Superman 

Easy living in the wings of a giving papa 
Easy riding along in the slow car of my mama
Easy finding my way down so many one way streets
Easy losing my heart to the first one who’d take it from me 

Comfort only goes so far 
When it comes in the shape of a brand new dress 
And sorry don’t mean much 
When he turns around just to hurt you again 
It didn’t take long before I learned 
To pretend it didn’t happen and I was fine 
And as long as I believed it 
Everyone would follow me in line 

Some things that come so easy 
Ain’t easy after all 
Some things that come so cheap 
Ain’t free if you have to fall

+ Forever (c) BettySoo

First vision of her a revelation 
Heavens opened and shone down 
He’s still waiting for another divine inspiration 
To make him sure of what he found 
No one ever loved her better 
She longs for something different just the same 
Sometimes, she wonders whether 
She shouldn’t have taken his name 

Blanket of night hides the ache in their souls 
Two bodies huddle with love that’s grown cold 
That old twisted cedar taps 
A familiar refrain on their window 

She’s thinking of painting the gray in her hair 
She looks in the closet at nothing to wear 
Will he notice when she starts coming home later 

This ain’t no love tale like Johnny and June 
This ain’t ever after, the fire died too soon 
This ain’t no lullaby, no one will sleep well tonight 

He’s remembering that morning 
They fell to their knees and asked 
Will you let me love you forever?

+ Get Clean (c) BettySoo

Been nursing dust on my shoes 
Didn’t want to shake these blues 
Been fighting better judgment 
Fighting what I know to be true 

This darkness burning a hole 
Heart wants to shake it, skin wants to hold on 
Be better if I quit it 
I’ve never done what I was told 

It’s time to get clean 
It’s time to get clean 
Take what’s hidden and make it seen 

Say love’s like shotgun spray 
One pellet kills the snake 
I’m not picking up that gun 
Sometimes I like to hear rattles shake 

Pull the curtains down 
Throw the doors open 
Strip the bed, turn every light on 
Step in the river, let it cover 
Let go when you go under

+ Goodbye (c) BettySoo

Say goodbye to the end of the story 
You thought would come with all love’s glory 
Say goodbye to the “happy ever” end 
Learn to smile when they say you’ll still be friends 

Say goodbye to the horse and its prince 
To big castles and the corpse of a witch 
Say goodbye to the promise of gold 
Just for doing more than you were told 

Say hello to this is real life 
Say hello to working for a living 
Say hello to cleaning your floors
And only salesmen knock on your door 

Say goodbye to getting straight A’s 
Never knew your smarts would leave someday 
Say goodbye to gas in your car 
Twenty bucks won't take you that far 

Say goodbye to your favorite dress 
You haven’t been that size since God knows when 
Say goodbye to that diamond ring 
You lost the only man who made enough to bring one 

Say hello to yes that’s really you in your mirror 
Say hello to driving this car till it dies 
Ain’t as romantic as it sounded 6 years ago 
Say hello to mildew in your shower 
And mom isn’t there to power out the stains 

Bye, goodbye, goodbye to sweet desperation 
Bye, goodbye, goodbye to old fashioned denial 
Bye, goodbye, goodbye to my fairy tale other self 
Bye, goodbye, Hello to me

+ Henry and Me (c) BettySoo

Henry and me, we got a good thing together
Back in 98 we left for warmer weather, just kids with fake IDs
Houston was big, and we could disappear
Neighbors don’t bug, don’t even come near, we can bus it out to Shreveport
Meet with Jimmy, see what he’s sold
If they’re playing in town, we’ll see the Little Band of Gold
Try our luck at the slots, sleep all the way home
Station’s just a 2 mile walk to our door
Never leave a car at the Greyhound lot
Henry says you might as well leave it unlocked

Henry’s always got us a new set of wheels, loves to strike his own kind of deals
This one’s hot out of Phoenix
He’s rolls in slow makes a show, it’s a '65 Ford, valet tag on the floor
We’re gonna go downtown, show it around
Drive to the coast, leave it for the beach folks
Trade it for a wagon with a picnic in the back and
See what kind of toys the kids dig these days
Then we’ll throw ‘em out the window on the gulf coast highway
So much trash out there, no one can tell anyway

Sunday nights I always call home, always Mom who picks up the phone
I tell her I’m good and I’ll visit soon
Same thing I’ve said for years
She’ll try to muffle those snot nose tears she knows I can’t stand to hear

Henry’s never been much of a flirt, so I never worried about him chasing skirt
Him and me is all we need
Henry’s new best friend’s just the next sucker Lookin’ for a fix, lookin’ for a holding brother
Me and Henry, we’re just like Bonnie and Clyde
Mad for love and dead presidents taken on the sly
Only thing’s we don’t got banks in our sights, just cars and fiends and hungry eyes
Just cars and fiends and hungry eyes

+ Hold Tight (c) BettySoo

When love shatters 
Shards, fragments fly everywhere 
Splintered hearts, wounded pride 
Black powder shame hanging in the air 

Casings fall soft on carpet 
Next to the bags by the door 
Every move is in slow motion 
Pull the pin and hit the floor 

It’s your pattern of disruption 
Striking everything within your sights 
I’m steeling for destruction 
You’re lighting the fuse, you’re ready to fight 

Waves pulsing in my bones 
Bells pealing in my ears 
Since when did this living room 
Become a battlefield 

Pressure pressing down 
Pressure pressing down 
Pressure pressing down 
Hold tight hold tight hold tight

+ Hometown (c) BettySoo

It’s a long way from here
Where the flowers of childhood grow
In your dreams, it’s so clear
Open your eyes, and it goes

Hometown calling
Its hometown son
Hometown pining
Who knew you’d come undone?

Shortest chapter of your story
Still, it holds something in its name
Hear it on the street, read it in the paper
It’ll reveal its claim

Hometown calling
Its hometown son
Hometown sighing
Who knew you’d come undone?

No charms to hold it higher
Than any other place
False memories pull at your desire
Spinning yarns of younger days

Your hometown calling
Its hometown son
Hometown dying, you knew it’d come undone
Your hometown dying, you knew it’d come undone

+ How to Live Alone (c) BettySoo

Throw out the leftovers you never ate
Go through the bills, see if anything’s late
Put an old record on, set the volume to eight

Turn off the lights when the record is through
Watch TV in bed, let it cast you in blue
Leave the curtains open, let the neighbors watch too

When morning comes around, grind up some beans
Pour a cup of water into the machine
Drink it hot at the sink, then rinse your mug clean
Put it right back on the rack

Since you woke up alone two years ago
You’ve had some time to let her go
Living on your own ain’t as hard as before
No one to tell you to shut the cupboard door
No one to shake you awake when you snore
No one to say that’s too big a pour
No one to tell you she’s looking for more
No one to stay up pacing the floor
No one to show you what tears are for
No one to pack up, empty the drawers
No one to drive off in the night anymore

Roll down the windows, let the traffic noise in
Let the evening air wake your arm’s goose skin
Enjoy the cigarette dinner making you thin again

Pick up a bottle on your way home tonight
Unlock the door, turn on the hall light
Tell yourself everything’s just as you like

+ If You Fall (c) BettySoo

If you fall will I be strong enough 
To help you find your feet to stand? 
Well that’s the same question I ask myself 
Every morning when I wake up holding your hand 

If you were taken from me would find a way 
Find a way to live on my own? 
Well that’s the same question I ask myself 
Every time I’m a long way from home 

I would learn to fly 
If it meant I could stay by your side 
Forever 
And I would learn to swim to distant lands 
If it meant I would find you 
When my fingers reached the sand 

If you couldn’t find anything that made you happy 
Would I change, would I change who I am? 
Well that’s the same question I ask myself 
Every time I don’t know where I stand

+ Josephine (c) BettySoo

Another night he’ll be home late 
Lipstick smear still on his face 
And the morning will be hell 
When she won’t want him to tell 
But when the lights go down on the room 
And the spot shines on the bright blue plume 
Tucked in a band around a delicate wrist 
Floating in the dark til the hand cues the pianist 

And it’s "Skylark" 
Sweet falsetto rings in the air 
Catch your breath while you stare 
His face like an angel singing a lover’s prayer 

Every Tuesday after he locks the office doors 
Pulls the tie over his head and onto the floorboard 
Cruises out of the suburbs to the emptying city 
Everyone’s going home but his day’s beginning 
His brown cropped hair drowned by raven curls 
Porcelain skin stark against a string of black pearls 
Good old Joe becomes lovely Josephine 
Still every eye closes when he starts to sing 

And it’s "Skylark" 
The melody drawing you in with every tone 
The longing that you hear feels like your own 
Til you find your heart’s true home

+ Just Another Lover (c) BettySoo

Am I just another lover to you? 
Another piece of skin you could get close to 
Someplace warm where you once fit in 
Invisible, expendable as oxygen 
Am I just another lover to you? 

Am I a well you once drew from? 
Just a place to wet your tongue 
Not quite good as a spring 
Enough to get you by, not enough to cling to 
Am I a well you once drew from? 

Am I a dirt road you left behind? 
Leading to a place you don’t want to find 
Not paved and pretty, but I took you through 
Why did you decide to pick up and move? 
Am I a dirt road you left behind? 

Am I just another lover to you? 
Another piece of skin you could get close to 
Someplace warm where you once fit in 
Essential but forgettable as oxygen 
Am I just another lover to you?
Am I just another lover...

+ Land of the Living (c) BettySoo

Singing her one last song, graveside
Quiet as a prayer
Whispering people don’t mean any harm
But you feel the weight
Of every eye there

Let loose your handful of dirt
And a daffodil, bright as morning’s birth
Hard to describe how the memories hurt
Send them down with her deep into the earth

Find your way back
Find your way back to
Find your way back to the land of the living

With no one’s hopes to let down now but your own
No mother’s dreams to borrow
Late to start over, but there’s miles of road ahead
So where will you go?

Find your way back
Find your way back to
Find your way back to the land of the living

As if you ever knew
What it’d be like to belong to just you
As if you ever knew
The land of the living
The land of the living

+ Last Night (c) BettySoo

Last night I saw you 
I saw you smile, and she smiled too 
She smiled at me, she smiled at you 
She said something soft 
Her hands locked on the crook of your arm 
She looked back at me, but you never stopped walking 

I called your number 
I called your number all night 
You were in the arms of another 
The close arms of another last night 
Last night 

How long does it take 
How many breaths in and away 
Does it take for a jealous heart to break 

Always wanted the wrong things 
Always hungered for the wrong things 
The greenest peach 
The palest cherry 
Always trusted the wrong things 
Always treasured the wrong things 
The tired rope swing 
From a crooked tree

+ Light It Up (c) BettySoo

Hammer to the heart, drive the point right through
Steel through soft pine, and I'm losing you
Can't find the fix
Can't stop the falling apart

If we could pull it all together
Make it work somehow
Love and anger
Why did we ever vow: for worse, for poorer
For sickness 'til death do us part

Go ahead, light it up
We know how to set ablaze what’s left of us
Come on baby, I’ve got a match
Light it up
Light it up

Someone’s screaming
Someone’s crying
Someone in the next room hears love dying
Cheap motels offer so much to set aflame

+ Listen (c) BettySoo

Listen to the hum of bells waiting to ring
To the held breath of a swimmer diving
To the stars in our sky no longer shining
To the rhythm of words on a page

Listen to the crackle of a wood bridge burn
To the tires spinning out on gravel and earth
To the cry of a baby just after his birth
Slapped into life by an able nurse

Listen to the moan of a hurricane wind
Tearing through homes like kindling
Never knocking once just bursting right in
To the sounds of play of the children missing

Listen to the ocean when he ravages the cliffs
To his claim that he takes only what’s his
To the gulls that scatter, looking for lift
When he beats against the rocks again

Listen to the sigh of the patient who reads
What’s not being said but what’s plain to see
To the sun in the west looking east
You’ll hear my heart when you leave

+ Love is Real (c) BettySoo

Sun still melting ice into the ocean
Seems so slow, but it’s in fast motion
Miles we moved passing by
Land that used to grow left bone dry
The west Texas sky

Midnight moon
Bedtime high noon
Sleep won’t come anytime soon
Sweat rolls off 'til the sheets get damp
Can’t get cool under the fan
Kick them off just to pull them up again

The hope for love came
And left come dawn
Left you empty handed and alone
Was it just a story
The prince who comes to rescue
Cuts through the brambles gentle kiss to wake you
Does love push through

Love is real
Time is an illusion
Hard to see them pass when you’re moving
In a world burning down
There’s still one thing that can heal
Love is real
Love is real

Love is here
Love is coming
Love is gonna stay with you even when you’re running
Doesn’t need a lie when it’s seducing
Doesn’t give a damn how it can use you
Love is gonna heal your heart’s worst bruising

+ Lullaby (c) BettySoo

Say goodnight to the sun
Rest your eyes, the day is done
Draw the curtains on this starry night
Yielding its distant light

Say goodnight to the moon
While you sleep, she sings her tune
Lullaby through the atmosphere
So faint it almost disappears

Still and calm
Sleep till dawn
Heaven grant you slumber ‘til then
Its watchful eyes
Will see you rise
When morning has come

+ Never Knew No Love (c) BettySoo

When the sun’s still beating down September
Can’t touch your toes to the pavement in the afternoon
Swinging out front, wondering whether
Sins of the summer gonna come, catch up with you soon

Never knew no dirt didn’t come off in the kitchen
Never knew no stain like the one you’re hiding now
Never knew no man like the one you been missing
Never knew no love could break love’s vow

Fan my face, but the moving just makes me hotter
Try to sit still as the creek down the way
That dry bed ain’t seen no fresh water
Spent the last two months drying out without the rain

Never knew no dirt didn’t come off in the kitchen
Never knew no stain like the one I’m hiding now
Never knew no man like the one I been missing
Never knew no love could break love’s vow

Can’t go back to the water’s edge ain’t no water…
Can’t return to his arms ain’t no water…
Can’t go dip beneath the glass surface ain’t no water…
Can’t dry off in the summer sun

Never knew no dirt didn’t come off in the kitchen
Never knew no stain like the one I’m hiding now
Never knew no man like the one I been missing
Never knew no love could break love’s vow

+ Never the Pretty Girl (c) BettySoo

I was never the pretty girl
I was never the homecoming queen
Never the one boys followed around
I was just the one who heard their secrets out

I was never the heartbreaker
Never the first one that you’d see
Never the girl you dreamt about
I was always just good old reliable me

I was never the fastest one
Never the one who made up to the top
Never the favorite
I was always the friend nobody regrets

I was never the bravest or the most sure
I was never the shyest or most demure
Never the mystery to unfurl
Never the pretty girl

But if you’ll take a chance on a plain face
You’ll find a heart that’s up for the race
You’ll find a head full of thoughts of love
You’ll find a hand that will fit like a glove

And if you’ll come back for a second look
You’ll find a tender heart loneliness shook
You’ll find eyes filled with the glow of you
You’ll find us two

I was never the pretty girl
I was never the homecoming queen
Never the girl boys followed around
I was just the one who heard their secrets out

I was never the bravest or the most sure
I was never the shyest or most demure
Never the mystery to unfurl
Never the pretty girl

+ New Color (c) BettySoo

Every day at 6 am, that same voice comes to me
With news of yesterday, new things I’ve done wrong
And I wonder as I stumble to wash my face
Why the same face keeps coming
The same face keeps rising up to greet me

It’s a new color I’m putting on myself
It’s a new pair of shoes I’ve got down on my feet
And it’s a new way to walk
And I’ll walk out of that door
But will it bring me a new me?

I keep telling myself that I am not the same
10 years ago I was so lost
10 years ago I had no name
I’m no longer in the shelter of a fist and hiding shame
But I don’t feel one step closer to the person I pretend to be

It’s a new color I’m putting on myself
It’s a new pair of shoes I’ve got down on my feet
And it’s a new way to walk
And I’ll walk out of that door

Let me stop and take a breath upon the steps of this house called Regret
And try to leave it behind me
Yeah I’ll stop and take a breath upon the steps of this house called Regret
And I’ll leave it behind

It’s a new color I’m putting on myself
It’s a new pair of shoes I’ve got down on my feet
And it’s a new way to walk
And I’ll walk out of that door
But will it bring me a new me?

+ Next Big Thing (c) BettySoo

She was leaving Iowa
Daddy said she was wasting her time
Chasing rainbows and dreams she was never gonna find
He had his own plans for her life
Said, "This road won’t take you far
And don’t bother coming back when they don’t make you a star."

That Tennessee river echoes the endless blue sky
Those dogwoods in spring make you ready to leave everything behind
For that music highway, leads you to the center of the state
If it could speak it’d tell you how many hearts it’s seen break
Hearts that said, "I’ll show that old Ryman stage what it ain’t ever seen.
You just wait, I’m gonna be the next big thing."

He was working in Beaumont doing everything he could to fill
That little bar from wall to wall just to make a 50 dollar bill
Nobody heard him when he said, "I’m leaving tonight for music row.
If I’m ever gonna be someone, those men in Nashville ought to know."

That Tennessee river echoes the endless blue sky
Those dogwoods in spring make you ready to leave everything behind
For that music highway, leads you to the center of the state
If it could speak it’d tell you how many hearts it’s seen break
Hearts that said, "I’ll show that old Ryman stage what it ain’t ever seen.
You just wait, I’m gonna be the next big thing."

Every day a line of crushed hearts leave that city
And every night a new line of hopefuls come driving in

That Tennessee river echoes the endless blue sky
Those dogwoods in spring make you ready to leave everything behind
For that music highway that leads you to the center of the state
If it could speak it’d tell you how many hearts it’s seen break
Hearts that said, "I’ll show that old Ryman stage what it ain’t ever seen.
You just wait, I’m gonna be the next big thing."

+ Not Enough For You (c) BettySoo

Last time I saw you, you were telling me about your plans
A house in the country and whole lot of uncleared land
You were talking like nothing was wrong
Like I wouldn’t mind hearing about where I don’t belong
Like it was no big deal you moved on

I gave you the best, the best of all I knew
Every morning my sweet caress, every night I softened your blues
I took no rest, but I couldn’t get through
Not enough for you

The sun was headed west when you told me you were getting gone
By the time the sky turned red, it was just me by my front lawn
Standing in the middle of the street
Like if I waited long enough, your heart would beat for me
Like I could make you love me

I gave you the best, the best of all I knew
Every morning my sweet caress, every night I softened your blues
I took no rest, but I couldn’t get through
Not enough for you

And it’s clear now, like it never was before
You’re never gonna settle down, you’ll never stop looking for more
So I can’t say why I still look for you at my door

I gave you the best, the best of all I knew
Every morning my sweet caress, every night I softened your blues
I took no rest, but I couldn’t get through
Not enough for you

+ Nothing Heals a Broken Heart (c) BettySoo

We took your seat out of the car after a couple of weeks
But your room is still unchanged, yellow and lime
Jeans still crumpled in the basket
A small tear on the left knee
From a big old oak you were proud to climb

And some days I just sit on the floor and wonder
How did one I’d give my life for manage to leave
Everyone said it was a saving grace
That I came through alive and fine
And nothing heals a broken heart like time
But no amount of waiting has healed mine
Nothing heals a broken heart

Red backpack with Winnie the Pooh still waiting to go to school
On an August morning you didn’t wake to see
New pencils and scissors, crayons and glue
Zipped inside and aching to breathe

And some days I feel like no one else remembers
The cartoon faced kid who set the napkins out for dinner
Everyone said you’re in a better place
And I’d learn to be fine
And nothing heals a broken heart like time
But no amount of waiting has healed mine
Nothing heals a broken heart

And some days I just sit on the floor and wonder
How did one I’d give my life for manage to leave
Everyone said you’re in a better place
And I’d learn to be fine
And nothing heals a broken heart like time
But no amount of waiting has healed mine
Nothing heals a broken heart

+ One Thing (c) BettySoo

Johnny’s broker than hard up
Church mouse is better fed
Less than nothing is what he’s got
Everything’s in the red

On the corner with a box of tools
Jobs don’t come his way
No one picks him but the bad luck blues
He’ll be standing there all day

But he’s got one thing
He’s got love
Yeah he’s got one thing
Is one thing enough?

Sylvie’s still wearing her apron
Forgot to hang it before she left
Wore it all the way home on the number one bus
Tied around a thin black dress

Lying on the couch with the lights low
Smoked enough to feel all right
Knock on the door says Johnny’s come
Slip past her daddy into the night

She’s got one thing
She’s got love
She’s got one thing
Is one thing enough?

Sylvie and Johnny since high school
Crazy how eight years fly
Friends say they look just the same
But you change when life passes you by

Can’t get their own place
Can’t buy gold rings
Haven’t got a clue what getting ahead
In life’s supposed to bring

They got one thing
They got love
Yeah they got one thing
Is one thing enough?

+ Original Condition (c) BettySoo

Bruised on the heart, frayed on the edge
Roughed up on the surface, lined from distress

Too late to return to the me you remember
Because here we are: September

No light but the moon, test your night vision
Don’t look at the scars from life’s incisions

The blush of youth gone
He left with a temper
And now here we are: September

You can read where I’ve been, see what I know
In the lines on my face, in the way I walk slow

Years fly faster the more of them we gather
Tough to learn to surrender summer’s faded splendor
But here we are: September

Don’t look now, every decision
Is taking its toll on our original condition

+ Revival (c) BettySoo

The rich they’re giving to the poor
The hungry ain’t starving no more
People acting what they say they believe
Not just words that fall to the street
Power shows more sympathy than greed

No more the woman in strife
No husband beating his wife
No child left hungry and alone
Running away on her own
Every family a warm home

Is this revival? Waking them up from the dead
Isn’t this revival? Isn't this what the son of man did?
Well hallelujah, then give me revival for the loss and for the need
And hallelujah, bring revival for the broken things in me
Oh hallelujah it’ll take revival 'cause I am weak and I’m just one
Revival, hallelujah, come

+ Return to Forever (c) BettySoo 2022

Under the bright hot lights
Before the eyes of strangers
Beneath the weight of this night
Beyond the nerves that waver

I saw a shadow at the door
It was just a silhouette
Somehow I knew it was you
Before the lights came up
And I could see you’d left

Under a moon that shivers
Under a sky that won’t descend
Swept by memory’s river
of the love I thought would never end

You used to wait out in your car
Your smoke giving you away
Crossing the ocean of asphalt
I’d rehearse what to say

Now I’m looking at nothing
But a city gone to sleep
Are you miles long gone
Or hiding just out of sight
With the secrets you keep

Well, I could call your number
And you could let it ring
And when it got the message
You could hear me sing

Under a moon that shivers
Under a sky that won’t descend
Swept by memory’s river
of the love I thought would never end

No return to forever
It’s a wide mile of blue
You made me promise we would never
But I still, I still love you

+ Secrets (c) BettySoo

I never wanted to fall in love
I never thought alone was the life for me
I never longed for another to fulfill my fantasy
I never thought that I was lonely

But you appeared and changed that completely
I gave my tender heart to you
You said you’d be forever true
But then you took my tiny heart and ran

I’ve got secrets that you’d like to know
Secrets you can’t live without
I know things you’re just dying to know
Secrets you know nothing about

Did that coffee taste a little strange the day you came over to arrange
The division of our property
I might have been a bit surprised when you said you’d take the house and car
But surely even I wouldn’t go that far

I’ve got secrets you probably need to know
Secrets you can’t live without
I know things you’re dying to know
Little tiny secrets you know nothing about

What a strange disaster
That’s not something a new car should do
I paced the floor waiting to hear if you’d pull through

I’ve got secrets you’d be better off knowing
Secrets too many to count
But don’t wait for me to tell you what they are
Until our cash is safely stored inside my private bank account

Secrets you’d like to know
Secrets you won’t live without
I know some things you’re just dying to know
Secrets you know nothing about

+ Since I've Changed (c) BettySoo

One day I’ll wake up
And it won’t be the first thing on my mind
One day I’ll open my eyes
And think about living a good life
One day I’ll wake up
And the morning won’t make me cry

I used to jump out of bed
In the morning
Used to jump out and get a quick start

Now, everything’s different
Everything’s different
Nothing’s the same
Now, everything’s harder
Everything’s darker
Since I’ve changed

One day I’ll walk down a street alone
And I’ll be all right
One day I’ll hear that it wasn’t my fault
And it won’t sound like a lie
One day I’ll walk down a street alone
And I’ll cherish the quiet night

I used to never be scared
Brave after hours
Used to say I could walk myself home

+ The Sound of Love (c) BettySoo

I spent my savings on a beat up old guitar
I spent my thoughts in bottles of wine
I spent that summer writing your name next to mine

I spent whole nights emptying out boxes
I spent whole days lying in bed
I spent whole months singing our song after you left

Isn’t it amazing what we’ll do in the name of love
Isn’t it amazing what we’ll give without ever having any possession of
Isn’t it amazing how we’ll let ourselves get torn apart
Amazing we still find sweet the sound of love

You sang me calm when I was shaking
You sang my heart out of my chest
You sang my breath for me using words you never meant

I wished you back despite your late night rage
I wished you back even with my fear
I wished you back because alone I disappear

Isn’t it amazing what we’ll do in the name of love
Isn’t it amazing what we’ll give what we never had any possession of
Isn’t it amazing how we’ll let ourselves get torn apart
Amazing we still find sweet the sound of love

I didn’t know how far
I didn’t know how far away
I didn’t know how far away you’d take me, but now I see

Isn’t it amazing what we’ll do in the name of love
Isn’t it amazing what we’ll give without ever having any possession of
Isn’t it amazing how we’ll let ourselves get torn apart
Amazing we still find sweet the sound of love

+ Stay (c) BettySoo

This is a song about floating disaster
A mother without her child
The memory of little fingers
Clutching to someone familiar
Left behind

This is a song about lives unremembered
When the ocean swallowed everyone who knew
The faces
Unnumbered graces

My last breath crowded by water
Rushing in before I can say what I’d say
That you are my very life
That I’d love you for life
If I could stay

This is a song about houses drowning
And that picture of you that got washed away
I wish I could remember
All the old days and the way that you smiled at me
From the frame

This is a song about
How I wish
Living was easy as a choice
Make the right decision
Put the blade aside, wake up in the morning for one more day

My last breath crowded by water
Rushing in before I can say what I’d say
That you are my very life
That I’d love you for life
If I could stay

+ Still Small Voice (c) BettySoo

If it’s a still, small voice how does it end the darkness
If it’s a still, small voice how does it make flee the night
Well that still, small voice makes tremble the darkness
That still, small voice is light

I was a solitary soul
No solace or respite
I was a solitary soul
No peace I could find
I was a solitary soul
No comfort in keeping
That still small voice it came to me
That still small voice is light

If it’s a still small voice how does it end the darkness
If it’s a still small voice how does it make flee the night
Well that still small voice makes tremble the darkness
That still small voice is light

I was a lost and ragged soul
No pathway clear for walking
I was a lost and ragged soul
Only shame following behind
I was a lost and ragged soul
No sight for the seeing
That still small voice it came to me
That still small voice is light

Well it’s a still small voice that speaks to my redemption
It’s a still small voice that triumphs over fright
That still small voice comforts my weeping
That still small voice is light
That still small voice is light
That still small voice is light

+ Story of Us (c) BettySoo

If there was song of the story of us
It wouldn’t have a refrain
There’d be a hundred verses
And never the same line
Coming back around again

I’d play it and you would
Understand it and
Give it just the right name

If there was a song of the story of us
It would feel new with every word
And everyone would think I was crazy for saying
It’s the best song I ever heard

And there’d never
Be another song
That I would prefer

If there was a song of the story of us
It would be easy to sing
It would shout to the world
That what makes us the happiest
Are usually the silliest things

And maybe no one else
Would get it
But that wouldn’t mean a thing

+ Summertime (c) BettySoo

Oh, ohh, ohh, summertime
Oh, ohh, ohh, oh summertime
Oh, ohh, ohh, oh summertime
Summertime

Swam so far it made you nervous
The push and pull pressure of the sea
Lungs collapsing, eyes stinging
Your heart was diving deep, deep, deep

Burned your feet running cross her sands
Now she’s clinging to your back, your neck, your hands
Legs browned beneath the hem of a salt stiff cotton dress
Now crumpled on the floor, a crimson mess

+ The Things She Left Town With (c) BettySoo

She’s got scissors on the table
A clock on the floor
Ten pointing at the mattress
Two pointing at the door
She’s got a picture in a locket of herself at fifteen
Just one key on that same chain turning her heart green

A room with a wall hung sink
A bag full of shoes
The things she left town with
An old toothbrush and booze

She’s got razors and journals all smooth and clean
Lined pages as empty as the sum of her dreams
She’s got a hoodie for cold nights and cigarettes for food
Matchbooks from restaurants
Late night tattoos

A phone with three numbers
One brother and home
An ex-husband who’s long gone, left her high, low, alone

She’s got forty-two dollars
Still owes rent for this week
Needs thirty-eight more or she’s back on the street
She’s got pictures from magazines folded so neat
Tucked into a Bible so no one will see

She wears a faded black dress
Cotton barely holding on
Seams stretched and puckered like the inside of her arms

A fading memory of love barely holding on
Scarred, bruised and tattered like the skin on her arms

+ What Songs Are For (c) BettySoo

Man, lately, you’ve been looking real good
Cut your hair the way your sister always said you should
Wouldn’t have guessed she’d have been right about that
But she was right about a lot of things
Pretty sure she always thought you spent too much
On the pretty little diamond ring you gave to me

No point in saying this
No one to say it to
Nothing to gain, though it breaks my little heart in two
Sometimes it just wants to let something out to you

That’s what songs are for
To say I love you though we’ve both moved on
That’s what songs are for
To say the things I can’t say anymore
I can say anything at all in the lines of a song
That’s what songs are for

Ran into a friend of yours the other day
Felt strange he never mentioned your name
Guess there’s no good reason we’d have talked about you
But you’re the only thing we had
We kinda mumbled and stumbled and got out quick
Left me sad, so many things I want to ask

Will it ever be a little like it used to be
I miss my friend who got everything about me
I know we can’t go back
I know we can’t go back

+ What the Birds Saw (c) BettySoo

What the birds saw
What the dog knew
What the guy at the corner store meant
When he asked after you

Why the moon hid
When I thought it was getting bigger
But when I finally looked
It was nothing but a sliver

I’ve never been good at seeing signs
You signaled every way you knew
You were leaving me behind
But you didn’t say the words
You didn’t say the words
So I thought you were mine

What the dreams mean
I’ll never know
What the years yield
Didn’t anything grow?

What came up
From spring and summer
Took what you wanted
Plowed the rest right under

+ What We've Got (c) BettySoo

I’m better off than I used to be
Better for the company I keep
I’m better for having you here with me

You’re better than a night of peaceful sleep
You’re better than a host of stars to me
You’re better than I ever could have dreamed

What we’ve got is like my favorite pair of jeans
Should’ve worn out long ago but I still wear ‘em
May look tired but they make me feel good
May look ragged but they fit like they should
And I pray I’ll get to keep ‘em
I’m glad, so glad for what we’ve got

I can’t believe you’ve stayed so long
I can’t believe I haven’t done you wrong
Enough times to drive you away

Your eyes remind me every day
How easy my heart gets led astray
I’m grateful for the mercy in your face

+ Wheels (c) BettySoo

I’ll learn to take it like a man
Brace these punches where I stand
Nothing like growing older to see
Where the fists are headed before they land
I’m gonna learn to laugh it off
Shrug my shoulders when they scoff
Keep on riding when I kick up gravel
Don’t need a big truck, two wheels are enough

The days grow shorter as the months roll by
Summer’s fading soon and the autumn sky’s
Got a cool wet sting to its evening sigh
Don’t feel ready for those winter nights
But I can’t change how fast time flies
Gotta brace these legs, lock my teeth
Push these pedals, keep spinning these wheels
And wave yesterday goodbye

I could have gone a straighter route
But they all end up headed south
No matter which way the water cuts the land
Gonna meet the ocean at the river’s mouth

The days grow shorter as the months roll by
Summer’s fading soon and the autumn sky’s
Got a cool wet sting to its evening sigh
Don’t feel ready for those winter nights
But I can’t change how fast time flies
Gotta brace these legs, lock my teeth
Push these pedals, keep spinning these wheels
And wave yesterday goodbye

Maybe I’ll reach that center line
Where the summer catches up to wintertime
The sun will work its best to loosen my skin
I’ll worry less about the cold and more about wind
Cause I can’t change how fast time flies
Gotta brace these legs, lock my teeth
Push these pedals, keep spinning these wheels
And wave yesterday goodbye

+ When We're Gone (c) BettySoo

When we’re gone they’re gonna find yellowed letters scrawled
With promises from older days
Pictures tucked between poems with faces they can’t name

Tokens of love in pockets and boxes
A ring you never threw away
A turquoise pin on a yellow scarf
A tarnished silver heart on a cheap brass chain

When we’re gone
They’re gonna see all the things we’ve held onto
From our hearts’ broken histories
When I go, let them be
Leave them behind in that house when you come to me
When we’re gone

Black leather jacket with a cat scratch on its shoulder
Oval mirror engraved inside with, “Let’s grow older together”
A paperback that lost its ending when it lost its cover
But the title page read, “to my sad girl”
Just under “The Good Soldier”

When we’re gone
They’re gonna see all the things we’ve held onto
From our hearts’ broken histories
When I go, let them be
Leave them behind in that house when you come to me
When we’re gone

+ Whisper My Name (c) BettySoo

You lifted my chin and brushed the hair from my face
And your hand felt warm when it slipped around my waist
I’ve never been good at learning my place
But all my thoughts escaped when you whispered my name

When you whisper my name
When you breathe me in
When you hold me close
All the trouble I’ve seen disappears into the night
And I know the tighter I hold onto you
The more everything will become right
When you whisper my name

The stars seem to shine brighter when you’re near
And you see when I’m sad before I shed a tear
Never felt so at home in my skin ‘til you got here
And when I feel you speak, you erase my fear

When you whisper my name
When you breathe me in
When you hold me close
All the trouble I’ve seen disappears into the night
And I know the tighter I hold onto you
The more everything will become right
When you whisper my name

Thought I knew what love was long before I met you
Lived plenty of years with a heart broken in two

When you whisper my name
When you breathe me in
When you hold me close
All the trouble I’ve seen disappears into the night
And I know the tighter I hold onto you
The more everything will become right
When you whisper my name

+ Who Knows (c) BettySoo

Everyone’s packing up their cars and headed down the highway
Ninety-five miles never took so long
Didn’t have much time, picked the two favorite things you could carry
Pray you don’t run out of gas before the wind gets strong

Who knows…if there will be a place to come home to
Who knows…if the nails and plywood will hold
Who knows…if it’s any safer where we’re going to
But it’s west and north for now

Sky had enough of being taken for granted
A housewife you only noticed for her clothes
Told you she was angry, like a man you’re laughing at her
Saying how pretty she looks before she blows

Who knows…if there will be a place to come home to
Who knows…if the foundation we dug will hold
Who knows…if it’s any safer where we’re going to
But it’s west and north for now

Who knows…if there will be a place to come home to
Who knows…if the nails and the plywood will hold
Who knows…if it’s any safer where we’re going to
But it’s west and north for now

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