The Occasional String Band

Grey Dust Hits Lyrics

Copyright 2000

 

ONE LESS CAR (Schennum)

When you're riding on a bike you take a big risk

You could wind up flat on your back in the ditch

Cars whiz by one after another

Thereís no one in the car except one driver

Cars goiní by burn gasoline

Some don't burn all that clean

There's a bike up ahead that doesn't go with the flow

That's one less car.........one less car on the road

Alice Mae's car...It's weaving down the lane

She's headed for the store for the third time today

From her house to the store is about 3 blocks

She drives all the time - I don't know why she never walks

Cars goin by burn gasoline

Some don't burn all that clean

There's a bike up ahead that doesn't go with the flow

That's one less car.........one less car on the road

A pile of broken glass on the shoulder where I ride

Started out as a bottle of Thunderbird wine

It got drank in a car about an hour before dawn

And tossed out the window when the last drop was gone

Cars goin by burn gasoline

Some don't burn all that clean

There's a bike up ahead that doesn't go with the flow

That's one less car.........one less car on the road

 

Betty (Haworth)

My school bus drivers name was Betty

Back when I was in the seventh grade

She was tall and kind of pretty

She sure knew how to make those kids behave

Sometimes Iíd sneak a look at BettyÖIn the rearview mirror

Catch that faraway look in her eye

Showed no signs of driving unsteady

But I wonder what she did real late at night

And Betty didnít like being the last bus to arrive

So if sheís running late those kids be in for quite a ride

And Bettyíd like to find someone else to drive

But she canít find a man comes even close to qualified

When I had to sit up close to Betty

Sheíd tell me things I didnít wanna know

She needed someone she could talk to

Much much older than a twelve year old

And Betty didnít like being the last bus to arrive

So if sheís running late those kids be in for quite a ride

And Bettyíd like to find someone else to drive

But she canít find a man comes even close to qualified

 

THE FOREST FOR THE TREES (Schennum)

Makin' my way through the forest

Surviving on crackers and Spam

Looking for civilization

My compass knows right where I am

But the flora and fauna grows deeper

The weeds have grown way past my knees

Iíve been lost so long that I can't see the forest for the trees

I'm losing my sense of direction

It must be a sign of the times

Though it's printed out clearly on maps and some graphs

It's explained in some long winded lines

The details are so complicated

They're spelled out with captions and keys

It's confusing and it's hard for me to see the forest for the trees

I can't see the sun Ďcause it's cloudy

My clothes are all wet from the rain

I thought I'd be back by last Sunday

I'm way off my schedule again

And the halo of insects gets thicker

And the pollen is making me sneeze

I've been lost so long that I can't see the forest for the trees

I can't see the forest for the trees

 

They Know You (Schennum)

The doorbell is ringing won't you answer it dear

We're in deep water I think there's a SWAT team here

They say there's probable cause

I say they got the wrong house

Dressed in black spandex - night vision goggles

Armed with flame throwers - they got all the entrances blocked

They got all their firearms cocked

They've been working 'round the clock

Seems like they know you but you don't know them

They've been planning it for months on end

They're going on a tip from a "friend"

Who got a reward for turning you in

They're looking through your files and folders

They check every room every possible storage space

They find stuff to back up their case

It's all over the place

I know you're wishing they'd stop persisting

The chief is insisting they make an example of you

They probably will lock you up, too

There's nothing you can do!

Seems like they know you but you don't know them

They've been planning it for months on end

They're going on a tip from a "friend"

Who got a reward for turning you in

 

TOO MUCH ADVICE (Schennum)

She's got a cabin by the river

Where the air is clear and pure

The scenery just makes me shiver

Wish I could move on in with her

She's impressive and impulsive

She's got a taste for fine red wine

If she wasn't so repulsive

I'd hang out with her all the time

She's got too much advice for me

She rubs it in so tenderly

She knows where God stands on every subject A to Z

And she explains it all to me

She's a bit opinionated

Who am I to disagree

One time I did but then I changed my mind

Here comes some more advice for me

She's got too much advice for me

She rubs it in so tenderly

She knows where God stands on every subject A to Z

And she explains it all to me

 

WAY TOO FAST (Schennum)

You lost me way way back in your speech

You don't understand my situation

For I've been conditioned by my TV

And I require more intense stimulation

Your colors aren't vibrant, your voice doesn't change

You make one dull presentation

By reflex I go for the remote control

Which enables me to change the station

You're talkin' way too fast, too fast

Your lips move way too fast

Your jaw goes up and down up and down

What is it Iím supposed to grasp?

How can I go wrong when you help me along

With your uplifting inspiring sounds?

How could I miss with such helpful tips?

Talk slower. I'll write them all down!

But if my eyes become glazed and you see in my face

That I canít comprehend what you say

Then rent the latest show of what you think I should know

When it comes out on video tape

You're talkin' way too fast, too fast

Your lips move way too fast

Your jaw goes up and down up and down

What is it Iím supposed to grasp?

 

You Burned the Bridge (Schennum)

I crossed the bridge to get away I meant to stay in touch

It made sense at the time I thought I guess it was too much

Before I reached the other side your plans fell into place

To secretly get back at me my heart began to race

When you burned the bridge

Burned the bridge

Burned the bridge

Burned the bridge......

Not only did you burn it You dug the pylons out

With back hoes and dynamite to let the bank wash out

The sides where the supports were that held the structure up

Got washed downstream like flotsam, cellulose, and paper cups

When you burned the bridge, etc.

I barely got across it Gasping for my breath

If Iídíve made a false move Iídíve fallen to my death

It seems so strange to think that you were once my dearest friend

You could have let the cables hang you cut Ďem down instead

When you burned the bridge, etc.

 

NICE THINGS (Schennum)

Could be my imagination or it might be the tune

I'm drowning in the notes that saturate the room

I can't escape sounds that I hear in the air

They come from nearby but it isn't clear where

There's a radio down the hall if you listen you can hear it

It's tuned to a station that will lift up your spirits

That station plays love songs with insipid lyrics about nice things

Been working too hard been under some strain

Feels like we're circling some eternal drain

Deeper and faster the eddies are taking us

Around in circles of decreasing radius

Don't go toward the center, I don't want to get near it

But my rowboat is broken, I can't seem to steer it

As I gravitate toward love songs with insipid lyrics about nice things

There's never been a song that explains this condition (I swear)

You're hearing the first one that's ever been written

Barry Manilow started a trend when he was young (oh Mandy)

He's been alive forever he wrote the very first song

There's a speaker in the ceiling if you listen you can hear it

It's tuned to a station that will lift up your spirits

That station plays love songs with insipid lyrics about nice things

 

Free and Clear (Schennum)

You're my saving grace

You're a light that shines for me

Why I chanced to meet you

Is a mystery

Iíve been knocked down

And so have you

We helped each other

Clean our wounds

It feels so good to hold you so near

Love is exchanged - nothings owed - free and clear

No changes required

No compromises here

No sacrifices

Free and clear

Can there really be

Love without fear

Not keeping track of favors

Free and clear

It feels so good to hold you so near

Love is exchanged - nothings owed - free and clear

Can there really be

Love without fear

Not keeping track of favors

Free and clear

Free and clear

Free and clear

 

Genetic Cross Eyed Blues (Haworth)

Daddy call the doctor cuz the time has come

Gonna be a boy child and heís coming on the run

Lord give him all his fingers make him handsome and smart

May his bell always ring and his car always start

Doctor says heís healthy just one little thing or two

His eyes are crossed, colors off, collar bone is broken in two

All the other babies look so much better than this

Mama kind of cringed when she went to give him a kiss

Daddy called his lawyer is there some way we can prove

That doctor switched my boy for this little cross eyed dude

Lawyer shook his head said thereís nothing I can do

Itís just his eyes are crossed colorís off collar bone is broken in two

Daddy wanted him to be likes of which you never seen

Kinda man he never had a chance to be

Boyís only seven hafta wait and see

But if only he were more just a little bit more like me

Already called the doctor carís runnin right outside

You tell me itís a boy child and heís tired of the ride

Iíll take as many fingers and toes that come attached

I want it all for him everything that he can have

But all Iím gonna be is a little blue

If his eyes are crossed, colorís off, collar bone is broken in two

 

Life is Short (Schennum)

Long and lonely years pass by

And then one day you touch the sky

Life is Short - One day you find someone

Who warms your soul like the August sun

Life is Short - Your mind gets numb

When love feels right it makes you dumb

It blows right in and fogs your mind

Robs your senses and leaves you blind

Where oh where did it go wrong?

Why'd she sing that farewell song?

It's even more clear now than itís ever been

That I'll never meet someone like her again

Life is Short - one day you find a spark

That starts a fire inside your heart

That grows into a roaring blaze

And leaves you standing in a daze

Oh where oh where did it go wrong?

Why'd she sing that go to hell song?

It's even more clear now than itís ever been

That I'll never meet someone like her again

 

Just a Few More Miles (Schennum)

The creek slowly trickled by ~ You were on the other side

I wasnít worried ~ Didnít feel hurried

I might have shown a bit more care had I known

How hard the wind was gonna blow

Big gray clouds would hover low

How little time was left before the big storm

It rained like never before ~ The creek did not trickle anymore

All of a sudden ~ It swelled up and flooded

And it was wide and it was deep so deep

And the banks were high and steep

Iíll never cross it with my feet

Still thereís got to be some way we could meet

Canít build a bridge canít build a boat

Canít wade canít swim canít even float

Iím somewhere on one side

Youíre somewhere on your side

Why am I pacing up and down the bank?

I see the two sides wonít ever meet

And I got blisters on my feet

From walking so so many miles up stream

Just a few more miles upstream

Maybe thereís a bridge

Maybe thereís a boat

Maybe thereís a narrow place

Where we can cross somehow

 

The Parasite Blues (Schennum)

I don't want a job on some assembly line

I just want to lay around and play music all the time

So won't you subsidize me....... Subsidize me

Satisfy my needs so I can follow up some leads, baby

Subsidize Me

I need a place to sleep and I need a place to eat

I need a place to lay back and elevate my feet

So won't you subsidize me....... Subsidize me

Satisfy my needs so I can follow up some leads, baby

Subsidize Me

You need a better job so I can lead a better life

I like to sleep all day I like to drink all night

So won't you subsidize me....... Subsidize me

Satisfy my needs so I can follow up some leads, baby

Subsidize Me

I could use another loan...could you write a check for me?

I'll even pay you back if I can win the lottery

So won't you subsidize me....... Subsidize me

Help me pay some fees so I can do just what I please, baby

Subsidize Me

I'm doing some research and I'm a-racking up some debt

And there's several brands of beer I haven't tasted yet

So won't you subsidize me....... Subsidize me

Help me pay some fees so I can do just what I please, baby

Subsidize Me

 

WHO COULD HAVE GUESSED (Schennum)

She thinks she's so hot and I think she's right

That's why I kept calling her night after night

She said she'd call back... It's not the first time I've heard that

She did call me back just last week

Asked when would be a good time to meet

I knew right then my ship had finally come in

She said she had a feeling that now the time was right

She said "Let's get together tonight!"

Said she'd come right over if I'd like to have her around

I do not know how I could turn an offer like that down

She arrived at the door at the prearranged time

I helped her get comfortable....poured her some wine

Who could have guessed what was about to happen next

She opened up her briefcase...spread papers everywhere

Drew a diagram with some lines and some squares

Who could have guessed this was what was gonna happen next

I listened to her spiel I watched those big red lips

As they made out some words about distributorships

I should have guessed this was what was gonna happen next

This is not the dialog that I had had in mind

When I talked to you all those other times

For you I'd swim the ocean, I'd commit a violent crime

But I won't sell your products that's where I draw the line

Why did you wait 'til we were alone?

Why did you keep your intentions unknown?

Why can't you say AMWAY on the phone?"

 

SATISFACTION GUARANTEED (Haworth)

DIAL 1-900-PSYCHIC AND SHE'LL AMAZE WITH WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW

VISA NUMBER'S ALL YOU GOTTA GIVE MAKE YOUR MAILBOX OVERFLOW

THE RESULTS ARE JUST AMAZING

THEY CAN REDUCE THE SIGNS OF AGING

DOCTOR'S AND MOVIE STARS AGREE......SATISFACTION GUARANTEED

IF YOU DRINK DIET PEPSI GIRLS WONT NOTICE THAT YOU'RE UGLY ANYMORE

IF YOU'LL JUST PUT ON THESE UNDERPANTS YOU CAN LOOK JUST LIKE SOME HUNKY SPORTS HERO

AWESOME SCENT OF STETSON MAKE YOU SMELL JUST LIKE A STALLION

MAKES YOUR LADY WANNA RIDE UNTIL YOU SCREAM.........

SATISFACTION GUARANTEED

WHY DO WE LET YOU WASTE OUR PRECIOUS TIME

TRYIN TO TELL US HOW TO SPEND OUR EVERY DIME

THAT TELEPHONE IS GONNA RING BOUT DINNERTIME

EVERY OTHER NIGHT

THEYíVE MADE SOME NEW ADVANCES IN ANNOYANCE

AND HOW ARE YOU TONIGHT

WE KNOW YOU CAN'T RESIST FOR LONG

WE'LL MAKE YOU HUM OUR LITTLE SONG

WE'LL GET TO YOU EVENTUALLY.........SATISFACTION GUARANTEED

YOU'RE THE SOURCE FOR ALL OUR USELESS INFORMATION

WON'T GO AWAY YOU'RE ON EVERY SINGLE STATION

DIAL 1-900-PSYCHIC AND SHE'LL AMAZE WITH WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW

VISA NUMBER'S ALL YOU GOTTA GIVE MAKE YOUR MAILBOX OVERFLOW

THE RESULTS ARE JUST AMAZING

THEY CAN REDUCE THE SIGNS OF AGING

DOCTOR'S AND MOVIE STARS AGREE......SATISFACTION GUARANTEED

........SATISFACTION GUARANTEED

 

Personnel on Grey Dust Hits:

Steve Schennum: Guitar, Vocals, Mandolin, Harmonica, Bass (2,15)

Geoff Haworth: Bass, Vocals, Guitar (2,15)

Phil Kleinman: Dobro, Pedal Steel

Keith Milligan: Percussion

Tadd Morris: Drums

Chris Moyer: Alto Sax, Soprano Sax, Bass Sax, Bass Clarinet, Regular Clarinet, Flute

Ru Searson: Banjo on "Who Could Have Guessed"

Dan Maher: Guest Vocals on "Parasite Blues"

 

When the words get too clever I donít feel quite right

When I miss the punch line I laugh to be polite

Sometimes I wish I could catch on sooner

But itís over my head and I donít see the humor

Thereís a radio down the hall if you listen you can hear it

Itís tuned to a station that will lift up your spirits

That station plays love songs with insipid lyrics about nice things

 

TAKE ME BACK