Lyrics

Click here to download the PDF.

One More Beautiful Song

I’m stuck in this dream and I can’t get out
You’re on fire and I can’t put you out
Alarms are ringing in my hands and head
But I keep on hearing all the things you said
Then you turn to me so slowly
Touch my face and then you’re gone away again come dawn
I’m stuck in this dream but I won’t be long
I’m just looking for one more beautiful song
I’m leaving the scene, yeah, I’m getting out
I’ll retire at the height of my powers
No more singing someone’s empty praise
No more waiting for that blissful day
Then you turn to me so slowly
Touch my face and then you’re gone away again come dawn
I’m stuck in this dream but I won’t be long
I’m just looking for one more beautiful song
Yeah, I’m stuck in this dream but I won’t be long
Maybe I’ve got for one more beautiful song

© 2012 George Mann
Ithaca, NY (1/12/12)
George Mann: Acoustic guitars, mandolin, vocals
Jen Middaugh: Harmony vocals

When the Money Runs Out

I’m just trying to keep my family fed
But it’s bread and butter and soup again
In every town, in every house
Everybody’s thinking ‘bout
What’ll we do when the money runs out?
It’s the same old story once again
The workers lose and the bosses win
You crawl your way up to the top
Where it’s even worse when the axes drop
In every town, in every house
Everybody’s thinking ‘bout
What’ll we do when the money runs out?
What’ll we do if this town goes down?
Giving up on Washington
They never seem to get nothing done
In every town, in every house
Everybody’s thinking ‘bout
What’ll we do when the money runs out?
What’ll we do if this country goes down?
What’ll we do when the money runs out?
What’ll we do if this country goes down?
Time to start over again, time to start over again
Time to start over again, time to start over again
We’re gonna start over again

© 2011 George Mann
Ithaca, NY (6/15/11)
Scott Supeck: Drums
Marty Confurius: Bass
George Mann: Acoustic and electric guitars, vocals
Jen Middaugh: Harmony vocals

 

The Union Made Me Strong

Come all of you good workers, hear what I’ve got to say
There’s a growing menace in the good old USA
It threatens to destroy us if we just leave it alone
No one’s safe when bosses try to make us eat our own
Reactionary politicians have to make the news
Talk-radio hosts amplify the rubbish that they spew
If I didn’t know better, I’d think unions are to blame
For everything that’s going wrong and everybody’s pain
(Chorus)
Any time that working people start to get ahead
First they take our roses, then they try to steal our bread
But I can tell you any time I questioned right from wrong
The union made me strong!
They own the news, the TV and they own the radio
So is it any wonder that you’ve got nowhere to go?
They bleed you at the gas pump then they squeeze you at the store
How much they gonna squeeze ‘til you can’t take it anymore?

(Chorus)
If you’re still not sure you’re on the right side of this fight look at the other
(Arnold and Donald and Newt?)
Two percent owns half the wealth and for that pie they’d even sell their mother
(Well maybe not their mother…
But your mother, yeah, they’d sell your mother!)
Well, over in Wisconsin they’ve begun to set it right
Now Walker knows that he just chose the wrong people to fight
Are you gonna stand alone or answer to the call?
An injury to one is still an injury to all!

(Chorus)
Yeah, any time that working people start to get ahead
First they take our roses, then they try to steal our bread
But I can tell you any time I questioned right from wrong
The union made me — Solidarity forever! —
The union made me strong!
© 2011 George Mann
Ithaca, NY (5/18/11)
George Mann: Acoustic guitar, vocals
Doug Robinson: Bass
Alan Podber: Resonator guitar, harmonica
Jen Middaugh and Myriam Valle: Harmony vocals


Dear Faith

Dear Faith, I know you’ve heard this all before
There’s so much that needs fixing and you’re now past 94
But for every little victory there’s a dozen new fights more
It’s enough to put a strain upon your cranium
Dear Faith, I know the road will someday end
Soon you and even I’ll be gone and so will all our friends
But I know I’ll see you standing tall until the bloody end
And that’s because your hip’s made of titanium
For every day’s a treasure when you’re pushing 95
You wake and greet the morning and give thanks that you’re alive
Dear Faith, I hope you won’t think that I’m wrong
Or say there’s better subjects to get folks to sing along
For every working stiff deserves a mention in a song
Today’s your day, and that’s all I’m explaining
And every day’s a treasure when you’re pushing 95
You wake and greet the morning and give thanks that you’re alive
Yeah, every day’s a treasure when you’re pushing 95
I wake and think of you, Faith, and give thanks that you’re alive
Yeah, every day’s a treasure when you’re pushing 95
You wake and greet the morning and give thanks that you’re alive

© 2010 George Mann
Wilburland, Newfield, NY (6/3/10)
George Mann: Acoustic guitars, mandolin, train whistle, vocals
Marty Confurius: Bass
Jen Middaugh: Harmony vocals

 

I’m At the End of My Rope

Every morning about this time
She comes right in and she makes things shine
She does things in a certain way
Not much different from day to day
But this routine is getting old
The room’s too hot and my breakfast cold
Someday I swear I’ll leave this chair
Grab my things and get out of here
Time to shake this broken frame
Yeah, I’m ready for the change
I’m at the end of my rope and I feel I’m near the end of my days
Still clinging to one small hope that it wasn’t all a waste
I was a hero once, at least that’s what they say
But now I’m at the end of my rope and I can’t see the way home
How can I tell her I love her so?
When there’s so much that she’ll never know
My room’s my prison, my bed’s my cell
I ain’t seen heaven but I’ve seen hell
And I’ve been thinking it’s time to go
Maybe tonight when the sun is low
I close my eyes and I can see
All my buddies welcome me
Time to shake this broken frame
Yeah, I’m ready for the change
I’m at the end of my rope and I feel I’m near the end of my days
Still clinging to one small hope that it wasn’t all a waste
I was a hero once, at least that’s what they say
But now I’m at the end of my rope and I can’t see the way
Yeah I’m at the end of my rope
© 2011 George Mann
Ithaca, New York (9/13/11)
George Mann: Acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, vocals
Dana Billings: Drums, bass guitar
Jen Middaugh: Harmony vocals

 

Back Home in Derry
(words: Bobby Sands
Tune: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, by Gordon Lighfoot)

In 1803 we sailed out to sea, out from the sweet town of Derry
For Australia bound if we didn’t all drown, the marks of our fetters we carried
In the rusty iron chains, we cried for our wains, our good women we left in sorrow
As the mainsails unfurled, our curses we hurled on the English and thoughts of tomorrow
Oh, oh I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh, oh I wish I was back home in Derry
At the mouth of the Foyle, bid farewell to the soil as down below decks we were lying
O’Doherty screamed, woken out of a dream, by a vision of bold Robert dying
The sun burned cruel as we dished out the gruel, Dan O’Connor was down with the fever
Sixty rebels today bound for Botany Bay, how many will reach their receiver?
Oh, oh I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh, oh I wish I was back home in Derry
I cursed them to hell as our bow fought the swell, our ship danced like a moth in the firelight
White horses rode high as the devil passed by, taking souls to Hades by twilight
Five weeks out to sea, we were now 43, our comrades we buried each morning
In our own slime we were lost in the time, endless night without dawning
Oh, oh I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh, oh I wish I was back home in Derry
Van Diemen’s land is a hell for a man to live out his whole life in slavery
Where the climate is raw and the gun makes the law, neither wind nor rain care for bravery
Twenty years have gone by, I’ve ended my bond, my comrades’ ghosts walk behind me
A rebel I came and I’ll die just the same, on the cold winds of night you will find me
Oh, oh I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh, oh I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh, oh I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh, oh I wish I was back home in Derry
George Mann: Acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals
Dana Billings: Djembe, shaker
Trish Schaap: Harmony vocals

Miner’s Lullaby
(Words by Utah Phillips; Music by Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin)

Once, long ago, he was handsome and tall
And fit to be called to the war
We left our village, family and all
To never return any more

Now he picks up his coat, his bucket and lamp
And whistles away to the cage
Where men young and old from all over the camp
Gather in search of a wage

(Chorus)
Husband, sleep, lay your head back and dream
A slow fallen leaf borne down to the stream
Then carried away on the wings of morphine
Homeward far over the sea

My husband and I we are Roman in faith
And we have a secret to keep
If ever he finds himself trapped in the mine
Then gentle and long will he sleep

Now some men pass with family around
And linens and blankets so clean
But seldom a miner goes underground
Without his tin of morphine

And now there is word, an explosion is heard
The miners are trapped far below
If any survived down there alive
I’m certain we never will know

Although our families have vainly appealed
No rescue attempt can be seen
Our hope for loved ones in the dark earth sealed
Now lies in a tin of morphine

George Mann: Acoustic guitar, vocals
Marty Confurius: Upright bass, cellos
Vincenzo Pastano: Acoustic slide guitar

 

Bread and Roses
(Words: James Oppenheim, Music: Mimi Farina)

As we go marching, marching in the beauty of the day
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun exposes
For the people here are singing bread and roses
Bread and roses

As we go marching, marching, we battle too for men
For they are in the struggle and together we shall win
Our days shall not be sweated from birth until life closes
Hearts starve as well as bodies, give us bread but give us roses

As we go marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing, their ancient call for bread
Small art and love and beauty their trudging spirits knew
Yes it is bread we fight for but we fight for roses too

As we go marching, marching we’re standing proud and tall
The rising of the women means the rising of us all
No more the drudge and idler ten that toil where one reposes
But a sharing of life’s glories, bread and roses
Bread and roses

Marty Confurius: Bass
George Mann: Acoustic guitar, vocals
Mark Ross: lead and rhythm acoustic guitar
Jen Middaugh: Lead and harmony vocals
Myriam Valle: Harmony vocals

 

Cancer Changes Everything

I’m flying west tonight out to Australia
But as I go I’ve got you on my mind
Now Pittsburgh, Denver, Frisco lie behind me
And I’m sorry I can’t take you this time

You’ve been grounded from the road, now you’re staying close to home
Missing all the things you love for just awhile
And you know that so many people send you love
But sometimes it can be a bit too much

It’s all right to yell a little, it’s all right for you to cry
It’s okay to sit there silently just staring at the sky
Oh, and even if you’re out of tune just go ahead and sing
Go ahead, cancer changes everything

Everywhere I go I hear the same thing
Everyone it seems here has a tale
Of singers, poets, workers gone too early
And suffering that makes me mad as hell

It’s all right to yell a little, it’s all right for you to cry
It’s okay to sit there silently just staring at the sky
Oh, and even if you’re out of tune just go ahead and sing
Go ahead, cancer changes everything
Go ahead, cancer changes everything

Now I’m flying east tonight, home from Australia
Soon enough I’ll join you in your fight
But even if we can’t be in the same room
Your courage and your spirit bring me light

You’ve been grounded from the road, now you’re staying close to home
Missing all the things you love for just awhile
So it’s all right to yell a little, it’s all right for you to cry

It’s okay to sit there silently just staring at the sky
Oh, and even if you’re out of tune just go ahead and sing
Go ahead, cancer changes everything
Go ahead, cancer changes everything
Go ahead, cancer changes nothing

© 2011 George Mann
Humph Hall, Australia (1/20/11)
George Mann: Acoustic and classical guitars, keyboards, ebow, vocals

 

Come and Join the Union

Come and join the union
Fight for higher pay
Fight for shorter hours
That’s the union way

Stand up to your bosses
However tough they play
Workers stick together
That’s the union way

Women and men united
Like solid rock we’ll stay
Don’t let the boss divide us
That’s the union way

(Solo)
Black, white, brown and Asian
Unite we workers say
Come and join the union
That’s the union way

Organize the workers
Not organized today
Workers stand together
That’s the union way

Come and join the union
We’ll build a better day
For family and nation
That’s the union way!

© 1998 Julius Margolin
Scott Supeck: Drums Marty Confurius: Bass
George Mann: Acoustic guitar, vocals
Julius Margolin: Lead vocals
David Easton: Piano
Alan Podber: Resonator Guitar
Myriam Valle: Harmony vocals

 

The Hardest Thing to Conquer is Hate

I should have known better than to yell and make a scene
I’d been through this with you a few times before
And with everything you’d done and you had seen
You’d earned the right to be a little slow getting out the door
And I’m sorry that I took it out on you
With all my anger at my life and this society
But in that moment when I lost my control
I showed a side of me I’d wanted no one else to see
Now I know that these feelings can poison my soul
But it took all this time to find another way
The hardest thing to learn is patience
The hardest thing to conquer is hate
You should have known better than to say those things in there
And I know I should have spoken up instead of laughing
With nothing said, the implications floated through the air
And another friend fell down from a backstabbing
And I’m sorry that I didn’t challenge you
With all your anger at your life and this society
But in that moment when you lost your control
You showed a side to me I hope that no one else will see
Now I know that these feelings can poison my soul
But it took all this time to find another way
The hardest thing to learn is patience
The hardest thing to conquer is hate
The hardest thing to learn is patience
The hardest thing to conquer is hate

© 2011 George Mann
At Marja and Dave’s, Mattituck, NY (7/24/11)
George Mann: Acoustic guitar, ebows, vocals
Alan Podber: Resonator guitar
Jen Middaugh: Harmony vocals

 

There is Power in A Union
(Tune: There is Power in the Blood) (Words by Joe Hill)

Would you have freedom from wage slavery
Then join in the grand Industrial band
Would you from misery and hunger be free
Then come, do your share, lend a hand!

(Chorus)
There is power there is power in a band of working folk
When they stand hand in hand
That’s a power, that’s a power that must rule in every land
One Industrial Union Grand

Would you have mansions of gold in the sky
And live in a shack, way in the back?
Would you have wings up in heaven to fly
And starve here with rags on your back?

(Chorus)

If you’ve had enough of the “blood of the lamb”
Then join in the grand industrial band!
If, for a change, you would have eggs and ham
Then come, do your share, lend a hand!

(Chorus)

If you like sluggers to beat on your head
Then don’t organize, all unions despise.
If you want nothing before you are dead
Shake hands with your boss and look wise

(Chorus)

Come, all ye workers, from every land
Come, join in the grand industrial band
Then we our share of this earth shall demand
Come on! Do your part, lend a hand!

(Double Chorus)

Scott Supeck: Drums Marty Confurius: Bass
George Mann: Acoustic guitar, vocals
Mark Ross: Acoustic guitar, banjo, harmonica
Jen Middaugh and Will Russell: Harmony vocals

 

The Power of Song

On the road in Pennsylvania, another rainy day
Singing songs of struggle every mile of the way
Angels working overtime, standing guard along the line
You faced down that 18-wheeler, and you walked away
This wouldn’t be the first time you had sailed on through the eye
You’re a water-walking, near-miss sister, a black cat with nine lives
Angels working overtime, standing guard along the line
I swear you’ve got a magic shield around you
There is something in the music, the power of song
The wisdom of the ages and the strength to carry on
Something brought it out, but you had it all along
The power to change the world is in the power of song
I’m glad that I can sometimes tap that reservoir of light
When I’m in too many battles and I’m losing all my fight
Even in the darkest hours, they can’t take away what’s ours
Even in our heads the words are ringing
“Cause there is something in the music, the power of song
The wisdom of the ages and the strength to carry on
Something brought it out, but you had it all along
The power to change the world is in the power of song

(Spoken)
Yeah, I will always regret that I was 20 years too late to see Woody Guthrie
Or Cisco Houston, or even Odetta or Pete in his prime
But I’m glad I got to live in a time when political folksingers
And songwriters and poets roamed the land
Helping people cope with the idiocy of Bush and Cheney
Or the audacity of hoping Obama would change things much
Now I’m thinking about that night around the fire at the Oregon Country Fair
When beaten, soaked and tired people sat silent, listening, mesmerized
You are singing, and you’re playing, and you’re smiling…
And we are all around that fire once again
And everyone is warm inside
There is something in the music, the power of song
The wisdom of the ages and the strength to carry on
Something brought it out, but you had it all along
The power to change the world is in the power of song

© 2011 George Mann
Ithaca, NY (5/19/11)
George Mann: Acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals
Frankie Hernandez: Trumpet

Will Russell: Trumpet samples

Comments Off

Comments are closed at this time.