Take a page from these salty letters I've touched
You'll see
That more than a little bit is too much
For me
I caught myself thinking of things
Like briny-town strutters and black diamond rings
I caught myself talking out loud
Under the doorstop, holding a bough
Full of rust
Anchored in rust

She was a liar and I was a thief
and it's true
I recall all the details but I'll keep it brief
For you
I may not be all that I seem
But I'll still be waiting out there in-between
You may have found something, I'm sure
Something you've never seen there before
And I trust
It's anchored in dust

I know you're lost
Nailed to Herod's cross

Strangers have all got my number I know
And they
Solicit my time and ask me to go
But even if you're not around
I'll follow the slime trail and I'll track you down
So please keep in touch and we'll see
whether the things that you did to me
were just
anchored in dust

(From Welcome Love)



"Heaven help me if the time is right
Have the goods arrived?
When I got here it was still daylight
Andrea by my side"
"We paid good money for that bag of bones"
Replied my weary friend
"But now the angel from the great unknown
We may not see again
Is this how it will end
My long lost friend?"

Can't you see what my Andreanna's done?
If she's not here by morning she may never come

Dodging the law, the caché came and went
I called the Grenadines
We got a line on a load they sent
On down to Abilene
Joselito and the Cadré Crew
Somewhere in shanty town
Told us all about a rendevous
At Reno's Underground
With pistoleros down
From there in shanty town

Can't you tell me what my Andreanna said?
The door is open and the border guards are up ahead

Across the valley they would sell for gold
The youngest and the brave
In Santa Cruz that's what we were told
So plans were made
To join my brothers on the Verde Plain
Beyond the blue foothills
We waited there but they never came
Don't think they ever will
The air was cold and still
Beyond the blue foothills

Can you tell me where my Andreanna's been?
If you see her coming will you let her in?

Not long ago I was satisfied
I thought of only you
The wind is blowing, let us go inside
There's nothing left to do

Beneath a sky of blue and lavender
Our finest skills were used
For the service of a messenger
Who bore untimely news
In the village by the fields below
Strangers crowd the square
Few are chosen but their numbers grow
At night they gather there
The locals stand and stare
As strangers gather there

Can you tell me where my Andreanna's gone?
It's getting late and we've been waiting here so long

(From Treated and Released)



Redi-rock, Icy candy, so fine
Here's a 20 but the 40, that's mine
You got the money, honey I got the time
Time for what you been givin' away

Better watch out when the coppers come through
Someone said they were lookin' for you
Another prize for the boys dressed in blue
Asa K got married today

She had steel on her boots and a cast iron suit
When her daddy came to give her away
She was dressed for a fight when that thief in the night
Took his precious reward, Asa K

All the boys come and gather around
Loaded guns here to take us all down
Crazy eyes, soon they'll be glory bound
Asked 'em in, I never thought they would stay

Got some money hidden down in my shoe
Got some money that I want to give you
For some things that I want you to do
Asa K got married today

She had red satin lips and a gun on her hip
And another one hidden away
A beautiful bride with the law by her side
That precious young girl Asa K

Grab the change from my mama's fruit jar
Run'n'step, you don't have to go far
Don't get cute you know I know who you are
And I know what you been wantin' today

Take my nickels but don't take my dimes
When in need, they ain't easy to find
For a dollar you know I'd leave you behind
Asa K got married today

With her clothes in a sack and a wreath on her back
Painted silver, blue, red and gray
She had no time to choose and nothin' to loose
That precious young girl Asa K

Pack it up, push the black char on through
Pack it tight, you know what to do
Why is it that when I'm talkin' to you
You turn your back and start walkin' away

Look around I know you've been here before
Pull the shade, check the lock on the door
Come over here, I saved a place on the floor
Asa K got married today

Lyin' there next to me as calm as can be
Linin' cigarettes up on a tray
With a small on her face wearin' leather and lace
That precious young girl Asa K

The lights are on and the night is still young
I'm goin' out, I think I'll make one more run
Take a ride down around Evanston
We'll pick up Mark and Marie on the way

It's just a thought for all those concerned
I know you're ready and you're willin' to learn
This sugar daddy's got money to burn
Asa K got married today

When I come back around I'll put my end back down
We'll do it up, up and out of the way
Through the door on the right she'll be leavin' tonight
That precious young girl Asa K

(From Grandview and Under Whip And Chain)



They gave you flowers and candy
But you threw them out when you left the room
Don't ask or diamonds and furs
If all you want is cheap perfume
Standing there like a broken toy
Running around making all that noise

But why should you settle for nothing
When you can have it all
I'd like to tell you something
about you and your baby doll

The bright lights of the city
Don't they look pretty when the sun goes down?
Another spin on the roulette wheel
And your number comes spinning around
Set her up and knock her off her feet
Now watch that girl on a losing streak

But he'll still be there to hold you
If you should ever fall
I'm sure that that's what he told
He's not lying baby doll

Tell me why, tell me why did you say that
I thought you were my friend
But here we go again
Arm in arm, side by side, hand in hand
your every wish, my every command

All those boys and all those girls
Looking for love all over the world
But there's no one here to harm you
There's no one here at all
With those arms around you
You're my satin baby doll

(From Mandatory Minimum and Under Whip And Chain)



By the oceanside, Visconti's on Del Ray
Sipping Spanish wine at a table by the bay
Only for a moment she was here and now she's gone
Jimmy, tell me dear, did I say something wrong?

Baby don't love me
Baby don't love me
Baby don't love me

Quentin, bring the check and leave us to ourselves
Out here on the deck entangled in the spell
That our young girl wove before she disappeared
And left us all alone wishing that she were still here

Baby don't love me
Baby don't love me
Baby don't love me
Baby don't love me

Every time I think of all the things we could have done
In La Brea there's a place
I like to take them there when they're that young
She had her eyes wide open
The poor thing, she was choking
Her arms and legs were broken
And Jimmy, I was hoping
We could have done something like that with our new friend
Now we may not see her again
And if we do, who knows where or when?
Who knows where or when?

Baby don't love me
Baby don't love me
Baby don't love me
Baby don't love me
Baby don't love me
Baby don't love me
Baby don't love me
Baby don't love me




Baby me
I am so delighted that you're here
What on earth is there for you to fear?
Please don't run away
Honey why not stay
Where you should be?
Underneath this swaying Cyprus tree
Pretty darling won't you baby me?

Can't you see?
There is something that I want to know
If you love me can you tell me so?
The sun is going down
There's no one around
It's heavenly
And to complete this perfect harmony
All you have to do is baby me

Who knows where and who knows when
We may ever meet again
I've made my mistakes, I know it's true
But I won't regret ever wanting you

It's my lovers plea
If you listen you will understand
All I want to do is hold your hand
You can have your fun
'Til the day is done
I'll wait patiently
For, my darling, you're my destiny
How I wish that you would baby me

(From World On Fire)



It won't be long before I'm gone
Look who's whistlin' dixie now
Look who's ridin' on the snow-white ferris wheel
Look who pawned their clothes so they could buy a meal
If you're right I must be wrong
But we'll do all the law allows
The bulls are makin' rounds, it's Christmas everyday
For the workin' girls of Cisco's Cabaret

Should I fall backwards down the stairs
Who'll pick me up if I'm not there?
Who'll write me letters when I'm in the calaboose?
Who'll be there watchin' when they turn that rummy loose?

I've made my bed, now you make yours
Comb your hair and shine your shoes
We could sell and trade our sky blue Adelines
On the corner of Tuskegee and Divine
But it's too late to do the chores
While Miss Crista reads the news
She's got her wedding dress hiked up above her knees
Another hometown girl who only aims to please

Should I fall backwards down the stairs
Who'll pick me up if I'm not there?
Who'll take my temperature and keep my powder dry?
Who'll stand behind me when the law comes drivin' by?

I'm all coughed up and on the dime
You better take a look around
I lost my money playin' sink or swim 'til dawn
Why don't you come on home, back where you belong?
You missed your mark and I'm half-blind
Let's take a carriage into town
The Daphne Sitters book the Delecroix Hotel
The river's risin' and the baby's in the well

Should I fall backwards down the stairs
Who'll pick me up if I'm not there?
Who'll feed the cats and dogs on Tested Avenue?
Who'll still be hangin' round when the rent is due?

(From Welcome Love)



You don't come from the street and talk like that
You try, I understand I try a little bit to
But what's it matter to a bad kid like you

Who's the first in line, who's the last one called
So hard, so hard to please and there's so little to do
But what's it matter to a bad kid like you

You look so surprised
You're just having fun
That look in your eyes
That I recognize
Must be your favorite one

It's right and it's wrong, I really don't know
Don't push, I know you're here
I'm standing right next to you
But what's a bad little kid supposed to do




Locked inside the Dalton for the night
Playin' Bankers and Brokers in the hall
If you make a bet don't ask me for a light
I'll strike a match and raise a cannonball
I been wonderin' who you were
Since you walked out of that room
And now I'm still not sure
So you better step away before the next hand drops
I don't know what I'm playin' for but it might be a lot
And if I start to lean on you I may never stop
It'll be just like the day
On Monterey Bay

Stuck the Queen of Diamonds up my sleeve
She was a tawdry tart an' mama told me so
I hope nobody here is set to leave
If you are tell me where you gonna go?
'Cause the rain keeps comin' down
An' I been waitin' all night long
For the boy I sent to town
To bring me back some sugar in a little silver tin
I'm getting' kinda worried, I don't know where he's been
If you see him down the passway won't you let him in?
Then maybe when I'm through
I'll give some to you

40 days and 40 nights is such along, long time
To be waitin' in this station for the sun to shine
When you're half-blind but I don't mind

Any day now, I been told, we'll all be paid
With cash money comin' up from Dixieland
But right now I think I'll pass the Jack of Spades
I did my best but I can't shake this losin' hand
If I only had a slice
Of Melissa's cherry pie
She serves it up so nice
I know that you remember who I'm talkin' about
You were sittin' right beside me when she came walkin' out
Dressed up like a school girl lookin' for a castin' couch
Then again, I could be wrong
You might'a been gone

(From Ring Of Smoke and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



Was that a bullet that went flyin' by?
Or maybe it was a pocket knife
I've never seen such a riot of color
In all my life
I used to like the funny things she'd say
Until her brother moved to East LA
Now she just wants to hang around
Askin' for directions to the lost and found
I said Eddie, better put Cassandra down

I didn't know you were an acrobat
Doin' cart wheels on the ceiling
Ropin' doggies in a house of cards
Such a crazy feeling
She told my mother, as I recall
She had front row seats to your downfall
Our high-hat baby, she's Broadway bound
She don't like comin' to this part of town
I said Eddie, better put Cassandra down

Word is everybody layin' low
Lookin' for another place to go
Heard her yellin' from across the room
Like a big bass drum goin' boom, boom, boom

Wish I'd known she was here tonight
Hope my better half is showin'
Why she puttin' on a plastic mask
Wonder where she's goin?
Long ago we were hypnotized
By her long blonde hair an' those big blue eyes
Now she's spinnin' like a merry-go-round
Walkin' through the house in a hospital gown
I said Eddie, better put Cassandra down

(From Dead Rails)



Tell me princess, can you see
That man hanging from a tree
Rivers flowin' north to south
Put this tulip in your mouth
We may be the last to know
When our ship comes in
When it does please tell me so
And I won't ask again

Wheat fields burnin', this year's crop
Is goin' up in flames
The waterin' hose is tied in knots
I hope those clouds bring rain
But if they don't well that's alright
We'll go out on the town tonight
Girl, you're such a silly thing
Listen to those big bells ring

My name's known for miles around
But I can't sleep when I lay down
It seems my troubles multiply
Every time I close my eyes
I saw a young girl yesterday
Stoppin' traffic like she do
Walkin' down the Appian Way
Or was it Dalton Avenue?

What was her name? I can't recall
Where was she goin'? To and fro
Was she short? No, she was tall
Where she live? Well, I don't know
Could be she's from Arkansas
Maybe runnin' from the law
Danglin' jokers on a string
Listenin' to those big bells ring

I can't seem to find the time
To keep all my good friends in line
If, by chance, I get on track
They try an' knife me in the back
So I count on you my love
To carry on this memory
I trust in you, darling, because
No one else would talk to me

This whistle stop it still abides
The road no longer turns
The cars are bumpin' side to side
But I am not concerned
I've got my hatchet and my book
My leather gloves, here take a look
Sittin' on my front porch swing
Listenin' to those big bells ring

(From Dead Rails and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



Strange love, big blonde kept me up 'til dawn
Lookin' back I wonder who let her in?
Black stripes, cat fights kept me up all night
Can't remember where I been

Pack your bags, shut your mouth Let me show you out
You got a bad luck streak about a mile long
Leave me alone, you ain't welcome at home
That's for me and my big blonde

She was standin' there at the top of the stairs
She looked at me and asked me "Honey, what's wrong?"
I felt so disgraced, I felt so out of place
With that poker-faced big blonde

With her whips and her chains and her midnight train
It got up in my head and daddy I was gone
Couldn't get enough, I guess I ain't so tough
I guess she called my bluff, my big blonde

Couldn't get enough of that evil stuff
She likes her lovin' rough, my big blonde

(From Carefree Life and Under Whip And Chain)



Where did you end up going not so long ago?
When I asked you didn't tell me, you just said you had to go
Did you go out on the town? Did someone see you there?
Dancin' 'til the break of dawn at that black tie affair.

You left without your party dress, do you remember this at all?
You said that you would phone me back but then you didn't call
Maybe you were busy keepin' strangers occupied
I wish that you'd told me the truth, I wish you hadn't lied

You said you didn't have the time
Then you turned and walked away
Did it ever cross your mind
You might have to come back here one day?

I gave you what you wanted, why did you have to leave?
I don't mind bein' cheated on, just don't do it by degrees

If you'd come back to call on me
Knockin' at my door
Do you think I'd let you in
The way I did before?

Was the music softly playin'? Were there lights hung 'round the room?
Did you go out for a midnight walk beneath the summer moon?
Were the stars above all shining? Was there magic in the air?
Did you have yourself a good time at that black tie affair?

(From Grandview and Under Whip And Chain)



The lights of the city look pretty from the overpass
Cars are drivin' by, some of 'em are goin' real fast
I'm takin' in the sights from a different point of view
'Cause things don't look the same
In the breakdown lane

I thought Miranda told me we'd be gettin' home by dawn
We hit a few snags, somethin' musta gone wrong
Got some money in my pocket but that ain't gonna get us too far
And it's'a lookin' like rain
In the breakdown lane

Straight ahead tell me can you see
A cloud of smoke from up above comin' down on me

The whiskey in the glove box, can you pass it my way?
That ginny's backin' up, I hope they ain't plannin' to stay
Truth is honey, I ain't dressed for company
And we're all outta champaigne
In the breakdown lane

Maybe I should leave but I'm standin' still
Just because I said I'd go doesn't mean I will

The lights of the city look pretty from the overpass
The wind is pickin' up, I wonder how long it'll last?
I got a hand full'a dust and a head full'a nothin' at all
But there's no need to complain
In the breakdown lane

(From Dead Rails and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



She was sittin' there with her comic book
It was a special one, I had to take a look
Giant Man was raidin' Poisonville
And the Wasp was trapped deep down
Inside the iron mill

Bridgetown Girl

When I tried to speak with my blood red tongue
She kept her long white fingers on her plastic gun
I said "My dear, is that your laser beam?"
She said "You had me fooled
You're not as punch drunk as you seem
So let's not get hung up, I'm only tellin' you
If you'd move a little I could slide right through
'Cause I'm a dedicated diplomat
But tell me Jack where did you get a hat like that?"

Bridgetown Girl

"There's just one more thing before I'm asked to go
Do you come here often? I'd like to know"
"Not as often as it may appear
Only when I'm called and there's danger near"

Bridgetown Girl

(From Dead Rails)



Can we leave with out baby
She'll be fine on her own
It's gettin' late and I wanna go home

I'm up early tomorrow
It's already past two
I can't wait here much longer for you

She seems to be quite at home in this crowd
That gathers 'round her, you must be so proud

Can we leave without darling?
There's no reason to stay
She won't miss us if we slip away

Looking at her, now it's all very clear
She seems to say, "What are you doing here?"

Are you more or less listening?
She's alright, can't you see?
There's nowhere that she'd rather be

Can we leave without baby?
I'll be there, by the door
I don't know what you're waiting for

(From The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



It might not be too cool to stand outside the door
You better come in here and sit down on the floor
I'll tell your little boy, I'll tell him who I am
And that you're waitin' for your California man

Before the daylight breaks
He'll be comin' round
And then we're gonna shake
Shake that rambler down

It's like the wishing well across Delaney Bridge
You said you'd take me there but you never did
Like the loop the loop on Thomas Laurie Hill
You said you want to ride but you never will

Tell me where to run
Tell me where can I go?
But the answer son
Is "well, I don't really know

Come to me and don't put up a fight
There's things to do before we leave tonight
I've got my bags packed up and on the bed
If he don't show we'll flag a ride instead

So please don't let me down, I've told everyone
About this friend of yours and now if he don't come

I'll have to hide away
You know that's what I've heard
I'm gonna have to pay
I gave my partners my word

(From Maurice Mattei & A Roomful Of Victims)



I live a carefree life
I do what I want to do
Up here in Heaven the world seems right
How does it look to you?
Music is playing so quietly
Lets stay for one more song
One with a sweeter melody
Maybe I'll sing along

Why should I struggle night and day?
Why should I sacrifice?
The more you work, the less you play
It's much too high a price

The moon is so pretty up in the sky
I could stay here all night
Staring at people as they walk by
Out past the harbor lights.

Coming and going as you please
Is there something stopping you?
Living your life on bended knees
That must be hard to do

I live a carefree life
I live it day to day
And when it doesn't turn out right
Then I just go away

(From Carefree Life and Under Whip And Chain)



I was born in Dunham, Texas, born with ramblin' on my mind
When I grew up I thought I'd move out East to see what I could find
It was hard at first, I must admit, 'neath the lights of ol'Broadway
Until I hooked up with the man I'm workin' with today

On a carnival delivery, was it you who ordered clowns?
It seems we stop by every time that we're out makin' rounds

Tony in the Bronx, he wants to see the flying trapeze
His brother Joey can't resist a circus made of fleas
Across in Staten Island Julie wants a trotting horse
"They're out of stock," my partner says, "But we'll find you one, of course"

On a carnival delivery, was it you who ordered clowns?
It seems we stop by every time that we're out makin' rounds

Palaces line central park in the setting sun
We make deliveries after dark, our work is never done

The juggler goes to Eddie in Queens, remember him?
He hadn't called us in a year, I wonder how he's been?
Spinning plates in wooden crates bring gaiety and mirth
It's little things, I found, that make the greatest show on Earth

On a carnival delivery, was it you who ordered clowns?
It seems we stop by every time that we're out makin' rounds

On a carnival delivery I nearly had to laugh
The drunk magician grabs a sword and cuts the pretty girl in half

(From Ring Of Smoke and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



Chore boy, chore boy
Sweepin' up the floor boy
Sweepin' up all the dirt
I like to sit and watch you work
It picks me up when I'm feeling down

I know that you're my chore boy
But I ain't keepin' score boy
There's other boys just like you
Who do the same things that you do
They help out when you're not around

Take a look and tell me what you see
Is everything the way you thought it'd be?
I ain't here to try and make it right
If you can't help me today, don't bother me tonight

That must be my chore boy
Knockin' on the door boy
All the way from here to there
It may not be polite to stare
But where'd you find all those hand-me-downs?

Take a look and tell me what you see
Is everything the way you thought it'd be?
I ain't here to try and make it right
If you can't help me today, don't bother me tonight

You can't have no more boy
Get up off the floor boy
You know what I'm talkin' about
I'm gonna have to kick you out
But I'll be here when you come back around

(From Mandatory Minimum)



A little bit tired of your hustling
Wasting my time waiting for nothing
Give me a sign I can follow
I might make it up this time tomorrow


Coughing it up, no need to worry
This joker won't wait but I'm in no hurry
Something you said left me shaking
Look up all your doors, I'll still be here waiting





I want the dress with the velvet collar
Yellow sash trimmed black and red
I like a nice fit, should I talk louder?
Black and red, yeah, that's what I said

Claudia buckles under the weight
Of the telephone calls and the rendezvous
Claudia crumbles when she shows up late
For her dinner date at "the Tale Of Two"

"Give me a minute, I got to get ready
Under the hat box, there's an address book
Open it up and hold it steady
Is that a problem honey, what's with the look?"

Claudia shatters from the strain
The drag, the local runaround
Private parties, as yet unnamed
The lackeys, the losers, the gossip hounds

"This place is too noisy, the waiters are rude
Their heads would look good on a tray
One of them's mannered, the other's confused
The third is a walking cliché

Who could be calling, get their number
I'll call 'em back in a year or two
Come over here, sometimes I wonder
What the fuck is wrong with you"

Claudia hedges in regards
To opening doors and walkin' through
Nobody knows who put her in charge
It wasn't me and I know it wasn't you

(From Carefree Life and Under Whip And Chain)



Got a Clifton hand-job in the Richfield Mews
I felt cheated and she felt used
She was in a hurry, I don't know why
That wayward angel with the wandering eye
In the front seat of my Connie, the black and whites driving by

Got a Clifton hand-job on old short Vine
I came up empty but she was fine
She talked about playin' in a Rock'n'Roll band
While strokin' Mr. Henry with the palm of her hand
I know it ain'y easy, baby, I understand

Nowhere to run. lets have some fun
Me and my sisters want to know
If you'll agree to humor me
I'll take you anywhere you want to go

Got a Clifton hand-job over on Calhoun
Me and Miss Pierson by the light of the moon
Her mama's worried and her daddy don't approve
She think's I'm common, He thinks I'm rude
I may be crazy but I know I got to move

(From Under Whip And Chain)



Young, dumb, come an' get you some
A place to hide when you're on the run
Let's take a walk up around the bend
Watch your step an' come on in
Curly blonde hair, dressed in black
Lyin' on a mattress in a shotgun shack
Cousin Amanda
Cousin Amanda

She was a dancer, the back street kind
A dingy ballerina for the less refined
She lost her step an' her time was due
Set t'moonlightin' on the avenue
I found her out peddlin' an' brought her here
Providin' motivation for her new career
Cousin Amanda
Cousin Amanda

Perhaps I should have thought before I spoke
A habit learned from all these years livin' out among the common folk
Perhaps you need some time to think this through
Leave the details up to me an', like they say, the rest is up to you

Young, dumb, come an' get you some
Lose your leave, have some fun
Take a look, now ain't she cute
In those tattered old heels and her birthday suit
Do what you want, it's all right
If you pay a little more you can stay the night
Cousin Amanda
Cousin Amanda

(From Mandatory Minimum and Under Whip And Chain)



I cast my line thinkin' that I might get a bite
But soon I found myself somewhere in Crawford Heights
Ballin' the jack with strangers in the Queen's Motel
Walkin' the streets at night, cleanin' out the wishing well
I'm sittin' pretty by the glowin' billboard lights
It's open city over here in Crawford Heights
I know the drill, I always do what I must do
You want my number Johnny, well let me write it down for you

Here comes my sister, go talk to her a while
She's just like but she's got a lot more style

Well look down there now tell me can that be my ride?
A rusted Caddy movin' frontward side to side
A real gone daddy, wonder what he's lookin' for?
If I can flag him down he's bound to open up his door
I had a good friend once, he knew his way around
Until he got caught runnin' trade in Crawford Town
They sent him far away, now I may never see
That low down two-bit rounder that meant so much to me

If you keep talkin' I'll turn the meter on
The streets are empty, where's everybody gone?

I stand here long enough and I might blow away
A wind will sweep out across the Crawford Bay
Into the arms of some sweet daddy who will be
The kind of rider who might spend some time with me
He'll take me dancin' to the Elgin Dance Hall
An' he'll come runnin' for me everytime I call
And then this Crawford town, it won't be like before
You'll find somebody else 'cause I won't be here any more

I gotta go now but I'll be back real soon
Maybe come mornin', maybe tomorrow noon

(From Ring Of Smoke)



I live in Cross Plaines, yes it's true
And I know you live in Cross Plaines too
Ain't got no plans, don't have a clue
underneath this sky of blue

Nothin' seems to bother me at all
I got my schedule up here on the wall
In the mornin' time they let me in
And in the evenin' I walk out again

A friend of mine came here from Mexico
He said he heard this was the place to go
Found him a job layin' sand and clay
Now he don't wanna go away

The grass is green, the rivers rise
I got a doll baby by my side
The buildin's tall, the streets are wide
Out across the great divide

Listen Sally, come here Sam
Let me tell you who I am
Mr. Cash & Carry, that's my name
Hangin' on a stoop in ol' Cross Plaines

(On-line release for Blue Jordan Records)



I can't show my face 'round here without doing time
With daddy's girls and lady's men braking on a dime
To order up another round
Come on lay your money down
It's one more night when one more clown
Won't fit
In your Crown Vic

I love your ride, it's smooth and wide, I can hear it moan
In the alleyway while I'm getting played like a sinking stone
Miss Janie's working on my file
She's got class and she's got style
We'll have a drink and then
we'll split
In your Crown Vic

Open up but darling, don't forget
I haven't really come down since we met
No darling, not yet

Don't push me when I'm standing here propping up the bar
Just lead the way out to the street and pour me in the car
I've been over served and underpaid
Send a nurse and call the maid
Maybe I could work in trade
For it
For you Crown Vic

(From Maurice Mattei & A Roomful Of Victims)



Sometimes these sleepless nights, they fill my head
Starin' at the ceiling, lyin' in my bed
The crowd next door, I can hear 'em through the wall
A young man's barkin' like an old bloodhound
An' Miss Audrey bringin' the hammer down
It's a wonder I can sleep at all
That's when I get myself back on my feet
Go out ridin' down these empty streets
An' when I'm all alone, that's when I hear him call

He don't waste time, don't show no sympathy
Some nights I think he gets the best of me
On the turn off into Detroit once again
Walkin' the street outside some downtown dive
Daddy's little girl with the pale gray eyes
I might be wrong but could it be she needs a friend
Tell me where else is she gonna go?
If it ain't me somebody else, I know
Will be spendin' time with her on the losin' end

Please don't talk 'cause I won't listen
An' don't you move without permission

Ragged clothes, a mess'a tangled hair
Layin' low, no money anywhere
Look here mama, look at what your boy done found
She ain't too pretty but I guess that's alright
I hope she don't wanna put up a fight
'Cause if she does I'm gonna have to beat her down
Ain't that the same thing that you would do
If my cruel master had his hooks in you?
You'd be on your knees everytime he came around

(From The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



I been livin' at Shelley's doin' stand up at night
And that lady on Sunset Strip that's no whore, that's my wife
We been playin' the circuit, we don't get home 'til dawn
Everytime I think I won't go back but I keep ridin' on

These dead rails, dead rails
Girl, you look pale
Couldn't make bail
Been ridin' the dead rails too long

What'd you say 'bout my girlfriend? How would you even know?
Step back up on the ledge young man, I'll be waitin' below
Some are here for the bounty, some are here for the show
Pay the fare before you walk in, lock the door when you go

On those dead rails, dead rails
You're on the wrong trail
And you're bound to fail
Been ridin' down the dead rails too slow

All I want is a bridle and a horse that'll run
In a half-track of rivals, short of 14 by one

Lisa needs some protection she got lights in her eyes
Maybe we should be gettin' her help but nobody here tries
Why you lookin' so puzzled? What's'a matter, you lost?
Have a seat, keep your hands to yourself, turn the waterworks off

On these dead rails, dead rails
We'll be settin' sail
In a full force gail
Gonna take the dead rails across

(From Dead Rails and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



If I'd'a heard that you'd been waitin' this long
I'd left Baltimore a few days ago
I read your note, I must'a got it all wrong
Can't tell you why 'cause I don't really know
Yes, I admit that I was taken my time
I'm sorry,baby, what more can I say?
I didn't think that it would be such a crime
Don't be, don't be that way

I went to Wanda's Grill for black oyster stew
I ordered seconds, had to stay there the night
It was so good, girl, I brought some for you
Now tell me, ain't your papa treatin' you right?
But all you wanna do is break down and shout
"You go and find yourself somewhere else to stay
'Cause your mama's set on kickin' you out"
Don't be, don't be that way

I had a whole lotta things on my mind
And one of them sweetheart, was you
Why would you want to treat me unkind?
You know there's nothin' I wouldn't do, it's true

My friend Belinda from the Empire room
Payed for my fare and I lit out on a bus
Sat with a lady there, we left around noon
But all I did, you know, was talk about us
'Bout how I met you on your way to a show
When you were workin' at the Spice Cabaret
So baby, please don't tell me to go
Don't be, don't be that way

(From Ring Of Smoke)



The blanks are rigged and I'm unhinged
I've lost my waistcoat, let's begin
Before the clock strikes 12, my friend
We'll have to stock the shelves again
But I can't help the way I am
I just wish you would understand
I've had enough, I don't want more
I'm not like I was before

I'm tired of draggin' my heels around
I'm tired of livin' in this town
Runnin' the same ol' numbers down
Draggin' my heels around

Take me out and buy me things
I need some clothes and guitar strings
A chain of silver tied in knots
All I want is all you got
Now it's a crime that I can't stay
But look, here comes that rainy day
I was crossed, I must decline
Two bits short and out of time

I'm tired of draggin' my heels around
I'm tired of livin' in this town
Runnin' the same ol' numbers down
Draggin' my heels around

This is not where I belong
I know that it's true
Will you miss me when I'm gone?
Darling, I'll be missing you

Make some plans and seal them tight
I'll try to get some sleep tonight
Lock the doors and raise the chairs
Leave the keys beneath the stairs
The blinds are drawn so please don't fail
To make the beds and check the mail
And should I turn before I go
Please don't say I told you so

I'm tired of draggin' my heels around
I'm tired of livin' in this town
Runnin' the same ol' numbers down
Draggin' my heels around

(From Girl On Girl)



I got a one-way ticket down
The neighbor boy an' me
You might want to come along
But you can't come for free
Pay me now or pay me later
Ain't that what they say?
You know you'll find a friend down there
And then you'll want to stay

By the look that's in your eyes
I think you must be due
All this time spent double-talkin'
Must mean a lot to you
It don't mean that much to me
Ask this boy of mine
No need to use your charmin' ways
'Cause they won't buy my time

Check your purse and fix your face
Make yourself at home
This car we're in ain't got no brakes
But you ain't here alone

The birds, they fly from tree to tree
Their feathers red and black
We've got room enough for three
With you there in the back
Your daddy's ride keeps wearin' down
He don't seem too sure
Whatever keeps you comin' 'round
That mama's boy can't cure

The black and whites you think you see
Passin' by real slow
If they ever come for me
I'll tell 'em where to go
Where you goin' where you been?
What's a boy to do?
I'm always here at half-past ten
Waitin' 'round for you

Your favorite daughter hitched a ride
I saw her standin' there
With painted nails and flashin' eyes
And ribbons in her hair
Inside a room marked 103
Workin' on her bended knee
Someone I thought I'd never see
Down in Evanston

Tell me true, how is it so,
I promise not to say
Someone like you would ever know
How to play her ride this way?

(From Grandview)



Suzy lost her looks somewhere on the road
Between Cleveland and Kokomo
She broke a string trying to tune her guitar
On the way to another show
She thought she had a backup but she hadn't packed it
In her cobra skin makeup case
The one she found in Dayton at a place called
Dewana's Second-Hand Face Ta Face
Cindy says "what ya gonna do? you can't play
'Don't Love Me' if your e-string is gone"
"I'll do my best" says Suzy "anyway, you know,
I never even liked that song

Dressed in rags and hand-me-downs
Broken bootstraps in my hair
Can it be I see the lights of town
15 minutes from nowhere?"

Cindy sleeps in an empty warehouse
In front of Juice Boy's Wishing Well
Her old man delivers papers and cleans the floors
At the Fulton Hotel
Sometimes he's late 'cause he can't find a ride
Sometimes he doesn't show up at all
The next day he's got to work twice as hard
'Cause they leave the trash piled up in the hall
"I'm gonna take you away from all this"
Cindy says as she's readin' the trades
"If we can hook up with Jimmy in Portland
We're gonna have it made in the shade"

Like a dead weight with a wighat on
Tumblin' down a flight of broken stairs
I thought I saw a light but I was wrong
I'm 15 minutes from nowhere

Strange sparrows huddled on the rooftops
Flying in with the new Brighton Sound
Duplex movies playin' up the street
Where Jimmy is walkin' around
"One hand washes the other" he says
"There's no place on the turnpike for you
Give me a minute, let me check my watch
I got a couple of things left to do"
He's waitin' on his girlfriend
Ridin' down a shady grove in Aliston Heights
They've got a room lined up at the Regency
They're gonna be stayin' the night
With Blood Simple and the Three Ton Chains
Spiderpuppy and His Gentlemen
And word is the Six-Pence From Sunday
Are comin' into town with them
Last time they played the Royalton Arms
Jackie Finch blew a hole in the stage
I heard talk that in West Hollywood
Puppy's Spiderwalk is all the rage
"Leave a little for me" Jimmy says
As Miss Clara passes 'round Puppy's cake
"I think I got room for one more piece
I hope I didn't get here too late"

Unloadin' in the alleyway
Bummin' quarters on Washington Square
I been thinkin' I might have to stay
15 minutes from nowhere

(From Western Skies)



The sun burns hot, the tide rolls in
I always thought it would
The boys board up the Lion's Den
But it won't do no good
All this talk about the General Lee
Who really wants to know?
I'd a'clued you in if you'd asked me
Fifty losers ago

I sit atop the slack machine
And watch my pants spin dry
The prettiest girl I've ever seen
Just went walking by
She made her name in this old town
As a pricey jelly roll
Back when grain sold by the pound
Fifty losers ago

Annabelle plays the lead
on a pipe-end willy-hook
She's not the type to be deceived
But she's often overlooked

We read the news and then retire
My uncle brings the mail
His clothes are worn and uninspired
He's puzzled and derailed
A footman for nobility
Now he dangles to and fro
He's not the man he used to be
Fifty losers ago

(From Mandatory Minimum)



They got word of the way I was heading
Caught wind of your scent in my hair
Though I covered the tracks I was treading
Somehow someone saw they were there
Of the nine, to this day they have sent three
To collect all past debts which are due
There are fifty-three counts held against me
And each one of them darling, is true

I hid out, trying to lose them in Covedale
'Neath the blossoming Sycamore trees
Robbed a newsboy for money to post bail
But a stranger said "Son, if you please
There's no silver or gold that will undo
What you did to the lady so fair
With the fifty-three counts held against you
You can't barter to pay back your share"

Left a note for my brother last night late
It read "Jim, I'll be back here by dawn"
Got myself in a scrape out by Queensgate
When I got back my brother was gone
Grabbed a bottle of Gin from the table
And your lovely black velvet band
With the fifty-three counts, were they able
They would take me down here where I stand

Have you noticed a change in the weather?
There's a strong wind blowin' through town
It's tearin' through buildings and rippin' out trees
It's liftin' 'em up off the ground

I would never have come here but listen
Are those footsteps coming my way
'Cross the river that flows as it glistens
Much like it did on the day
That I came to this place without knowing
What I'd find as I rambled around
Down the side streets where others were going
It was you, all alone, that I found

(From Ring Of Smoke and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol.



No one wants to spoil the child
No one wants to see her grow up wild
Spending all her time out on the street
Without a penny in her pocket or shoes on her feet
She gives up pacing, walking 'round the floor
And says "Why don't we do something we've never done before"
Now don't you think we make a perfect pair
Me in my suit of lights, her with those diamonds in her hair

Despite what you may know about her
If one day she should cross your mind
And you can't seem to do without her
I'm sure that she could find the time

Why must I do those things to you?
Why don't we take some time and think things through?
Should I stay here? Perhaps I should go
I'll leave a little money on the dresser, no one has to know
She sits there staring in the corner of the room
And says "Why don't you leave here and if you don't come back it'll be too soon"
Now isn't that a funny thing for her to say?
After all this time it's like I still get in the way

With all the talk that seems to hound her
You might have left her far behind
But if she'd need someone around her
I'm sure that you would find the time

(From Mandatory Minimum)



It's not a mystery, it doesn't matter all that much to me
That's nothing you don't know, don't act like I never told you so
I think it's true, you might say it isn't
I'm hoping soon I will be forgiven

Don't want to ask for much, a little time would be enough
But there's things to do, I think it's funny but it bothers you
Your eyes are closed and your face is hidden
Someone like you should be forgiven

The laughs are loud and the jokes are cheap
Another puzzled girl out on the street
That hansom stranger's not here to waste his time
Running around these dead end streets, what did you think you'd find?

Better watch your step, something tells me that you might be next
You've got a wicked tongue, now won't you look at what it's gone and done
It's just a thought for this life worth living
Maybe forgotten but not forgiven




The door is always open on Fulton Avenue
Inside a backstreet hideaway, a room with a view
It looks out on a vacant lot, the cars pass down below
Get your things together if you want to go

Put on your shoes and find that dress
The one you always wear
A friend or two, I must confess,
might be waiting there

Up and down on Liberty the girls play lost and found
Sittin' in the doorways 'till daddy comes around
Why would I need to call on you, why would I even try?
I knew that you'd be comin' back when I saw you walk by

I can tell by your crosstown ways, before the night is through
For a few crumbs off the table there's not much that you won't do
I can tell by the way you walk and the things I hear you say
Your not some mother's daughter who somehow lost her way

The door is always open on Fulton Avenue
Inside a backstreet hideaway, a room with a view
It looks out on a vacant lot, the cars pass down below
Get your things together if you want to go

(From Carefree Life)



He puts his trousers on
One leg at a time
Misses his baby when she's gone
Done to the five and dime
What did that young girl say?
When is she comin' home?
She set about the break of day
Now it's gettin' dark and he's all alone

My, my
He's a gentleman
He's a gentleman bride

The little birdies sing
Up in the tallest trees
The doorbell don't ring
Where oh wherecan that poor girl be?
Walkin' from room to room
Starin' at the walls
Maybe she'll be here soon
But if he goes out she's bound to call

My, my
He's a gentleman
He's a gentleman bride

Cleanin' the kitchen, sweepin' the floor
Look out the window, open the door
Go upstairs and take a look around
Nobody's there, come back down

He'll take a late night drive
And maybe he'll catch a show
Down by the riverside
But before too long he'll have to go

My, my
He's a gentleman
He's a gentleman bride

(From Girl On Girl and World On Fire)



Last night I saw you dancing with someone I used to know
He held you close and kissed your lips as I did long ago
I may have been mistaken but why should I explain?
You're so grand, you're so grand at the game

While I recalled the carefree days and nights I spent with you
I saw you turn and look my way and I wondered if you knew
But you didn't miss a step, I guess that some things never change
You're so grand, you're so grand at the game

You're so happy when you're lost out in the crowd
Where the talk is cheap and the lights are bright
And the music's playing loud

Do you recall the things we said so many years ago?
Was I a fool, was I misled for trusting your heart so?
Why should I hang on to the memory of a love in vain?
You're so grand, you're so grand at the game

(From Treated and Released and World On Fire)



I suppose my words were not so well chosen
Now I can't go crawlin' back without the money I owe them
I'm so tired, can't you see?
If I had all I desired you wouldn't be standin' here next to me

I can tell that you feel your time has been wasted
I still have what you want but you're not strong enough to take it
And whatever you say well you know I've heard it before
If I had my way you wouldn't be comin' by here anymore

From the start inside Grandview
There are things that you should know
Check your ride, play your time out
before you turn to go
Down the hall, up the stairs, someone's waiting there
The boys in the back down here from Laurel Square

Jenny waits beneath the Grandview arch with her brother
Actin' like their surprised, passin looks to one another
Pickin' up crumbs off the floor and waitin' for a knock at the door
She said "excuse me now honey but I don't believe that I've ever seen
That boy comin' by here before"

If you're smart, inside Grandview
There are things that you will do
There's no handouts from the doorsteps
like on St. James Avenue
Down the street, up the block standing at the light
There's no need to hurry 'cause Grandview is open all night

I was on the steps makin' my way towards the hall
Taggin' behind was a good friend of mine
who's name and who's face I can't seem to recall
She walked in with a key in her hand
Had her hair in a black velvet band
She said "I'll be back here soon, Johnny got me a room
Down on State by his daddy's trinket stand

For my part, inside Grandview
I was callin' out my ride
with my hands in my pocket and my eyes open wide
Caught their look at the front door when I heard someone say
"Come back here tomorrow, there's nothin' for you today"

(From Grandview)



I knew that you were gone
Thanks for showing me around
It doesn't seem that long
Since you got back in town
No, it's not too much
I'm sure that you'll do fine
'Cause when the band strikes up
It's back to Greenwich Time

Ronnie hits the lights
Is everybody ready?
The band plays "Treat Me Right"
The beat is smooth and steady

I'd love a ringside seat
Down with the jigaboos
They like their whiskey neat
I guess this rounds on you
Don't want to spoil the fun
Before the night begins
But weren't you the one
Who brought those hustlers in?

Nicky's on the rail
He's overworked and hassled
Since he got out on bail
He's been trading fleece for tassels

Papa plays his game
From Evanston to Fairmount
The girls all know his name
They call him Mr. Bodycount

Another rim shot please
Before I have to go
The girl who's on her knees
That's someone I should know
Tomorrow night we'll see
We'll see what she can do
She can have the best of me
But she'll get the worst of you

(B-Side of promo single)



A half a dozen roses don't mean that much to me
A dozen would be better, I'm sure you would agree
A 50 dollar bill would treat me really fine
But a hundred would be better, a real good friend of mine

Across the street they're dancin', I can almost hear the sound
Watch 'em walk in hand in hand and lay their money down
Tell 'em that you'll be there if they want to know
Dressed up for a good time with no place to go

Half a dozen roses layin' side by side
Climb on in and take a seat, we'll go out for a ride
The city lights, so big and bright, they're such a sight to see
A half a dozen roses don't mean that much to me

Don't need to ask for favors or money in advance
You know you'll be there waiting, you wouldn't miss the chance
To play a hand or roll the dice for treasures bought and sold
Diamond rings and pretty things of silver and of gold

Half a dozen roses layin' on the floor
Pack your kit and don't forget when you come to my door
Don't waste your time, this heart of mine's not won so easily
A half a dozen roses don't mean that much to me.

(From Grandview)



I got a sweetheart and I got a ball'n'chain
One takes my money, the other carries my name
I'd give 'em both up an' hand the shackles to you
if I had half a mind, that's what I'd do

When I saw your picture, honey, I had to look twice
Page 27, bottom corner "Readers' Wives"
Shot in the backyard of your semi-detached
My pulse started racin', I almost had a heart attack

Buckles an' bows studded with diamonds an' pearls
Lookin' like you're half alive
I may not be like other guys
I don't know why but, honey, you're my kind of girl

I'm ragged an' dirty, maybe you're feelin' the same
Down in the trenches inside the pourin' rain
Kickin' the stall an' tired of walkin' the line
Climbin' the walls, honey, I wish you were mine

Satin red lips and tangled curly black hair
Shattered from pillar to post
Lookin' like you seen a ghost
Sittin' on a fence, legs danglin' up in the air

I'm walkin' the main drag, I got nowhere else to go
Anita's at the Regal, maybe I'll take in a show
I ain't got a friend but I'd rather be alone
It's gettin' late and I don't want to go home

(From Girl On Girl and World On Fire)



I believed in many things, the handcuffs on the slip
The hatchet and the rose I held between my lips
Walking down the hallway I assume a gentle air
Shouting out for service and playing with my hair
How I hate these wasted nights in a house of queens
Sitting in the corner while I order lime and cream
Living under curfew, we played a roundelay
Now wasn't I alarming 'til darling went away?

Heaven, send me a stranger
Have I been less than true?
If this telling should need correction
One inspection won't do

With the little time I've had I believe that I've done well
Bribing every sentry on a pathway down to Hell
Wasn't he delicious and usefully discreet?
Fit to be committed yet sadly incomplete
Lets have another drink, leave everything to chance
You're boring me to death, watch me while I dance
I must have been an heiress in another time and place
My lineage is noble, can't you see it in my face?

Heaven send me a stranger
I've no need of a friend
Though I stutter at my admission
This condition must end

May I say that I despise the longing in your eyes
The worthless things you say take my breath away
Tell me, I must know, have you nowhere else to go?

Another day will pass not soon enough for me
It's more than I can bear, I'm tired, can't you see?
Tired of the trellis and the ivy hanging down
The rows of golden delias buried in the ground

Heaven send me a stranger
Down on his hands and knees
Of the many that I've commissioned
No edition has pleased

(From World On Fire)



Where are you going? Your face is a mess
What have you done? Have you come to confess?
Something has brought you to knock at my door
A shadow of someone I once knew before

Have you been deceived? Was someone untrue?
Did you believe all the lies told to you?
Did they take you for granted and leave you behind?
Forsaken forever by the wandering kind

But he never was the man he used to be
Sometimes when you're in love, you're blind, you can not see
The time will soon come when you'll be telling me
That he never was the man he used to be

There in the night some things are allowed
In the dimly lit hallways, by the lure of the crowd
Every gesture a promise, every wish a command
That cannot be shackled by a gold wedding band

Cold-hearted lovers, rapacious and cruel
Angel-faced strangers, hellishly schooled
No rest for the wicked, no hope for the damned
One day, pretty lady, you'll understand

That he never was the man he used to be
Sometimes when you're in love, you're blind, you can not see
The time will soon come when you'll be telling me
That he never was the man he used to be

(From Carefree Life and Under Whip And Chain)



The way he takes your hand to dance
The way he speaks of love entranced
Quoting poets from across the sea
His words recall another time
He seeks, in vain, somewhere to find
A land of honor and of chivalry
He walks with you through garden paths,
Saying "Our love will outlast
Any trial or cruel adversity"
He's just like me, he's just like me

It seems somehow with each new day
He has a clever word to say
Fills your heart with numbing flattery
His lips caress your cheek at night
His eyes reflect the candlelight
Setting moods both dear and heavenly
He sends you flowers of a sort
Which arrive from distant ports
To initiate love's perigee
He's just like me, he's just like me

And though he leads his own parade
All the plans that he had made
For a rendezvous on Half-Moon Bay
Turned into a house of cards
This seemingly ill-starred
Loverboy must have his way
Come what may

His fingers fumble in the dark
He offers stumbling remarks
meant to ease the sting of calumny
He's never puzzled or unsure
He'll walk through any open door
In search of romance that was meant to be
He says "My Lord, what have I done
I thought you would be the one
Who would plant the seeds of destiny"
He's just like me, he's just like me

(From Welcome Love and World On Fire)



This summer night a light shines dimly down the avenue
I hear somebody shouting, maybe they're calling you
Each step I take brings me closer than I need to be
the slightest move I make
Is cause for so much sorrow
But I can't wait tonight
I'll have to come back here tomorrow

I came to dance
I came to have a good time
But I must go away

On marble steps the tourists sit and talk the whole night through
One lights a cigarette while others strain to get a better view
The locals stand there staring it seems like a comedy
We order one more drink
And find our way back to the room
Outside the passersby
Gather in groups beneath the crescent moon

I came to dance,
I came to have a good time
But I must go away

Along the square, a marketplace of thieves
Each one exchanging rounds
These ancient streets once so welcoming
Are filled with vacant sounds
The buses come and go
Bringing more jokers into town

I came to dance,
I came to have a good time,
But I must go away

(From Mandatory Minimum and Under Whip And Chain)



Ridin' a wagon wheel of pine and tar
I hang ten mama on this melody
If you can tell me who you are
I might tell you who I want to be

Check my coat, I know it's spent
The sleeves are frayed, air is peekin' through
Sometimes I wonder where my money went
I got about a nickle I can spend on you

I can't stop long enough to slow down
It takes a lot for me to turn around
Knock, knock, what's that crazy sound?
Hearts must be breakin' all over town

I'd give you my number, I don't have a phone
I'm loose and janglin', ain't that a man?
Is there a place that you call home?
Check my pulse if you understand

Tip City papa needs some fuel
And I been waitin' all night long
I know a place called Jenny's Jewel
It's back-woods honey, it's half gone

I can't stop long enough to slow down
It takes a lot for me to turn around
Drip, drop, what's that crazy sound?
Hearts must be breakin' all over town

How can you just stand there all alone?
Why don't you roll away
Why don't you roll away
Roll away the stone?

Jenny cooks biscuits in a frying pan
With buckets of gravy and collard greens
She's got a pocketful of country ham
Homemade grits and pork & beans

Salt-back salad, here I come
Greasy mashed potatoes and catfish pie
Memphis candy, dandelion rum
Black-eyed peas in Tupelo rye

I can't stop long enough to slow down
It takes a lot for me to turn around
Why not catch an out bound hound?
Hearts must be breakin' all over town

I can't stop long enough to slow down
It takes a lot for me to turn around
Double-shot, buy me another round
Hearts must be breakin' all over town

(Unreleased alternate version of Legal Limit)



If love is a song then something is wrong
It's such a pity to see
The melody's good but misunderstood
The lyrics are troubling me
They seem incomplete, I don't like the beat
It's either too fast or too slow
If love is a song then something is wrong
What it is I don't really know

If love is a song it's a little too long
It always turns out the same
I can't find the hook, I don't want to look
I already know the refrain
The message is clear, I don't want to hear
That stepping three quarter time
If love is a song it's a little too long
Or else I'm a little too blind

I made the wrong turn and got myself burned
Now what can I do?
Please try you best and give it a rest
Honey, I'm begging you

If love is a song it comes on too strong
A little to up-front for me
The band leader plays the same old clichés
The same old used harmonies
What once was a thrill now gives me the chills
You better take it outside
If love is a song it comes on too strong
Hey porter, won't you give me a ride?

A solo won't fit, I have to admit
I've heard more than enough
I'll show you the door, who needs an encore
When once is already too much?

If love is a song then something is wrong
Please don't play it again
I'd be inclined to leave it behind
I thought you were my friend
The final verse is always the worst
I think I better go
If love is a song then something is wrong
What it is I don't want to know

(From Welcome Love)



Pack your bags and come on down
I'll meet you there on Sunday
We could have real good time
I'll have to come back Monday
I'll be in Miss Crystal's five & dime
With my good friend Chester Valentine
Hope everybody there is doin' fine

I'm only a boy, you don't understand
I'm only a boy, mama needs a man

I do the chores, I work all day
I get up every mornin'
But Mama always gets her way
There's never any warnin'
I better go before it gets too late
If I can make it to the station gate
I'll be on my way by half-past eight

I'm only a boy, I do what I can
I'm only a boy, Mama needs a man

Before I get started I better make sure I can get back home
I don't know what I'd do if I found myself there all alone

So pack your bags and come on down
And don't tell anybody
There's a lot to do in town
I've got a little money
I'll bring my songbook and my mandolin
And I'll tell Chester you'll be comin' in
He keeps askin' me where you been

(From Treated and Released)



Do you remember when
We flew to Vegas with your friends?
They shipwrecked the Starlite Room
And you claimed they never told you why
But wasn't that more or less a lie?

I thought I was in the company of gentlemen
'Til I saw you laugh at that photograph
then I knew it was the same old you

It seems to me one time
You picked me up on 4th and Vine
Outside of Lexington
Your boys unfurled my gabardine
Wasn't that more or less obscene?

I thought I was in the company of gentlemen
'Til I saw you crawl half-way up the wall
Then I knew it was the same old you.

In certain circles ladies are inclined
To draw conclusions that sometime seem unkind

I thought I was in the company of gentlemen
'Til I heard you shout at that roustabout
Then I knew it was the same old you



You've had enough but still you only beg for more
Why would you come to me, ain't you been here before?
I haven't got the time
And though you're a friend of mine
Can't you see that I'm walkin' out the door?

No need to talk, don't waste your time, they're only words
Whatever you gotta say, I've already heard
You need some sympathy
But that's not up to me
Though you might disagree, I ain't got the nerve

I can't remember what it was I said
To you that night not so long ago
But it wasn't me that made your bed
It's too late to say I told you so

Out across the park, the gilded avenue
Strangers ask for change from homeless parvenus
It always starts the same
It seems like such a shame
I ain't got time for games
That's all I get from you

It doesn't matter where you been
Or what you've done, I don't want to know
I won't go down that dead end road again
It's too late to say I told you so

So if you're through I think that you should take your turn
Raise a glass and drink to what you'll never learn
A round will do you good
If one won't another should
You're so misunderstood and I'm so unconcerned

See the street lights wind their way up town
They'll take you anywhere you want to go
I thought you said you knew your way around
It's too late to say I told you so

(From Grandview)



Everything is more or less the same
As when you left about a year ago
A dew drop hangs out on the window pane
My plow is still stuck out there in the snow

There's one thing that I think I gave to you
You took it and you put it in your sack
Before you headed out for somewhere new
I gave it up and now I want it back

I had a list of things to do today
I lost it somewhere, wonder where it went?
There's always somethin' gettin' in my way
Someone wantin' money I already spent

But if you'd take a look perhaps you'd see
I think I wrapped it in a cloth of black
It wasn't much, I now, but honestly
I gave it up and now I want it back

The men in charge won't let me know
If I should stay or I should go
And I can't make a move until I hear
There's work upstate, I guess it's true
And maybe that's what you can do
But I can't really go until I'm clear

Of debts I owe back to the company
I pay up everytime they come around
I need some sugar, need some jasmine tea
But no one here wants to go to town

But if you'd take a look I think you'd find
Before you head back down the railroad tracks
I gave you something you must leave behind
I need it now and I want it back

(From Maurice Mattei & A Roomful Of Victims and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



Lovely dancers on the floor
It was all that they could do
To keep dancing as before
Though the music wasn't through
I asked my friend to explain but he just stared
I was a stranger there

We jumped through a ring of smoke
Landed on the other side
With a few uncommon folks
And though my eyes were open wide
I couldn't seem to find my way back anywhere
I was a stranger there.

What I've seen comes back to me
As if it were a dream
Things may be what they claim to be
but they're seldom what they seem

When we caught the last ship here
I had plans and I must say
One by one they've disappeared
But that was yesterday
What's the worry? What's the wonder? Why should I care?
I was a stranger there.

(From The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



It's gettin' dark and maybe we should go
For a walk down by the riverside
I'll bring my flag and whistle, wick and bow
Out to the water's edge at eventide

I'm set'n'ready and the road is near
They've shut the lights but we'll find our way
You know the place, it's not too far from here
Across the levee where those rounders stay

Then I won't worry about you
I'll push you in the water, I'll push you in the water
I won't worry about you
Then I won't have to bother, I'll push you in the water

Where'd you find that scarf of blue and red?
You're lookin' good, don't misunderstand
I think I see it darlin' up ahead
Come here beside me, let me hold your hand

The leaves are shakin' in the summer wind
Look at the moon shinin' through the trees
That moon may never shine for you again
You'll se it better when your on your knees

Then I won't worry about you
I'll push you in the water, I'll push you in the water
I won't worry about you
Then I won't have to bother, I'll push you in the water

Time has come. it's long past due
It's time to go on home
I spent all day findin' you
So we could be alone

My precious angel, your head hung down
Don't spread your wings to fly away
I'll clip 'em all and lay 'em on the ground
You'll be forgotten by the break of day

Then I won't worry about you
I'll push you in the water, I'll push you in the water
I won't worry about you
Then I won't have to bother, I'll push you in the water

(From Girl On Girl and World On Fire)



I never thought I'd fall for that
Skinny-legged workin' man's wife
'Til she showed off her wares
And I give her my ratchet knife
We were quite a pair in the ol' cafes
'Til I got tired of her down home ways
I went back to the street
She went back to her country life

I gotta get things together
Whenever they fall apart
Let's have another round
'Cause Jim, I don't know where to start
Lanny says we gotta take it from the top
He's losin' light an' needs a money shot
I thought we did it already
Well....maybe not

Sometimes I fall asleep when I'm in my bed
Then I wake up laughin' over what you said
I'm not Mr. Clean, yeah I understand
But try an' fix your face darlin' if you can

In the middle of nowhere
Man, that's where I'd love to be
With the seals and the trollops
The birdie flyin' up in the tree
Get busy and find me a rack o' lamb
Cook it up for sista if you can
When she left for work
That was the last thing that she told me

She's been bringin' home the bacon
From her 6 to 5 at Gotlieb's mill
She says she gonna quit soon
But I don't think she ever will
Isn't it pretty when the paychecks come
When the money's gone everybody runs
No more ramblers and gamblers
Stickin' their hands in the till

If you line 'em up I can shoot 'em down
I may not look tough but I been around
I don't run the cards like everybody else does
Not like some ol' has been that never was

I took a ride through the city
In Jackie's bambalance
She shakes a sweet money maker
But you gotta pay her in advance
She got a voice like a siren, better keep it brief
Got gold teeth rattlin' on a funeral wreath
So roll them bones and stop
Givin' the lady grief

(From The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



Everyone I see is walking round here in other people's clothes
Naugahyde and velvet are a must with tattered fishnet hose
But I can't see the crowd for the writing on the wall
Featuring attractions like Penny Wise and the Human Cannonball
Pleasing weary clientele whose names and faces I cannot recall
And I don't want to be in the Jane Gang
I hear a harmony someone else sang
At an uptown jamboree for the Jane Gang.

Boredom's past the legal limit I see her in the corner of my eye
Underneath a sign that reads "Local Wanna-Be's Need Not Apply"
I thought it was 10 o'clock but it was only 9
If I order one more drink I'll have to tip the barman one more time,
And though he may look dashing, I think my dear he's crashing by design
And I don't want to be in the Jane Gang
Beneath a dim marquee where a crowd hangs
Engaged in vacant repartee with the Jane Gang.

Fix me up, I think I'm broke, lead me to the door
Madam, find a hangman's rope and let me dangle head-first off the floor
You don't have to get excited, I already know
Your better half becomes ignited after every show
I'm the one who acts delighted whenever you're the one who wants to go.
And I don't want to be in the Jane Gang
I lost the melody between the fuzz and twang
Played for noted devotees of the Jane Gang

(From Welcome Love and World On Fire)



Puttin' on my walkin' shoes
Pickin' out my coat and hat
Tell me which one I should choose
I got a price tag on my back
Baby I must be confused
Come over here and take a look at that
Lift the latch up off the door
I need to catch a train
I'm gonna go out to the shore
I hope that it don't rain
You know who I'm lookin' for
I think his name is Jimmy Kane

Skippin' to the floor below
Like a real man do
I don't know which way to go
Why m'I askin' you?

Can you give me two for one
I'm gonna need a map
Better take my tommy-gun
Put it on my lap
You'll know I found him, hon'
If you see me come runnin' back

Pack a watch clip in my chain
There's a man I need to see
Don't you think it'd be a shame
If he wasn't waitin' there for me

I believe I'm ten feet tall
From my head down to my feet
When I'm walkin' down the hall
When I'm shufflin' up the street
Prop me up against the wall
There's a man I got to meet

Leave a note for papa's kin
Leave a note for Annie Lee
Tell 'em all where I been
Tell 'em who I went to see

I ride my horse to the marketplace
Katie's starin' up at the moon
Stickin' clover in a copper vase
In the middle of the afternoon
Can't you look me in my face?
Thought I told you I'd be back home soon

(From Girl On Girl)



Well I first met Jimmy Saders down on 8th and State and my baby said
"Can we please ride him on up to Grand?
A friend of his is waitin with a little bit of somethin' there
Now honey I know you understand"

Laughin' all the way about all them cops and robbers
Duckin' down when we came up around the bend
"Hang on my son" he said to me, there's someone here I need to see
That young girl up there claims to be my friend"

She looked like a bag of bones
Standin' there alone
"Jimmy, where you been?"
I thought I heard her say
She'd be comin' back this way
"Jimmy, come on in"

Well he dug out his old hitter and passed it down to my baby
She pulled it through while he was burnin' char
"Don't she seem to complicate the simplest of things?" he said
"Now give it here before we stop the car"

He took it back and pulled the char on through, he lit it up and took it down
And then he gave it back to her
She did the same and round and round it went past all the boulevards and streets
They'd do it up at every curve

She looked like a bag of bones
Standin' there alone
"Jimmy, where you been?"
I thought I heard her say
She'd be comin' back this way
"Jimmy, come on in"

As we drove past the Chatterbox she kept goin' on about
The postman who'd be comin' 'round at 10
"Well, I hope you're right" said Jimmy" but if Katie's got him all tied up
I don't think he'll be comin' back again"

He said "It'd been a month since I'd seen him when he passed by the other day,
I hope he's got the sense to make it right
If he don't show I know a place she might've taken him and if she did
he'll be there for the night"

She looked like a bag of bones
On the street alone
"Jimmy, where you been?"
I thought I heard her say
She'd be comin' back this way
"Jimmy, come on in"

(From Grandview)



This train keeps going, I hope it stops
There's lots of room at the bottom but there's none on top
It's passing every station they've got

Rolling 'cross the city from side to side
Missing all it's connections on it's moonlight ride
Everybody welcome inside

So climb on board and go take a number
There's no time to pack and no need to wonder

Skipping 'cross the curcuit like a double e
I'm standing six feet deep in apologies
I'm looking at you looking at me

Late night station on the jungle line
It's a semaphore signal to a friend of mine
He's catching up fast but he's a minute behind

The green lights mean go but the red lights keep flashing
And we're picking up sped with each light that we're passing

When you told me to be ready I was hoping and praying
I thought it only meant one thing
With a ticket in my pocket I was begging for corrections
Hanging on each word and taking down directions

This train keeps going, I hope it stops
There's lots of room at the bottom but there's none on top
You might think that you're leaving but I know that you're not

With your eyes on the trigger your intentions are showing
I'll be right here waiting when the whistle starts blowing




I didn't do what I was asked to do
I let my guard down and the wolves slipped through
I was leanin' on the whippin' post
Surfin' the rip tide on the Western Coast
I wasn't where I said I'd be
When the graveyard met the bow
I wish I'd done things differently
But I can't think about that now

I don't like this place anymore
Something's changed, that's for sure
Look at me, what I'm wearin' baby
Dressed in black and green, I think maybe
I should go where the palm trees sway
Ridin' whitecaps, chasin' foam
About a million miles away
from my Chula Vista home

And over at Redondo Beach
All the golden boys and girls
Are walkin' up and down the streets
Far from the breakin' curls

The clubs are empty, baby it's no fun
I'd like to leave but there's nowhere to run
The talk is filled with GI thrills and spills
Crossfire searches, rebels in the hills
My day's comin', what can I do?
Except to wait my turn in line
Pretty soon they'll be comin' 'round for you
It's just a matter of time

Ricky Sunset and his girlfriend Dee
I heard they moved down to Peru
Lookin' back, that's where you and me
Should'a gone if we'd of thought it through

The waves are poundin' outside my front door
I'm lookin' out the window at the shore
A bum is stumblin', walkin' through the mist
Starin' at the sky shakin' his fist
At vapor trails as the jets go past
Just some flyboys headin' home
I call my baby "Wendy come here fast"
But she's talkin' on the phone

(From Western Skies)



Will you write me a letter
And then please call the nurse?
Things may be much better
But they could be much worse
If you move my plate an inch
I fear I'll waste away
I need you more than words
Can ever say

I was the last boy standing, I know this must be true
Can you now return the days that I once gave to you?

Talk to me but slowly
Tell me if I'm wrong
I see you there below me
Is that where you belong?
Is it to much to ask of you
To hold these wandering hands?
Do the best that you can do
Help me if you can

I was the last boy standing, your eyes were open wide
I was the last boy standing by your side

I was the last boy standing, do you know where we met?
I was the last boy standing, don't forget

(From Girl On Girl)



I got a wagon wheel of pine and tar
What's that movin' up next to me?
If you can tell me who you are
I might tell you who I want to be

Check my coat, I know it's spent
The sleeves are frayed, air is peekin' through
Sometimes I wonder where my money went
I got about a nickle I can spend on you

The legal limit is all I want before I drop
I'd like to know
Down to the bottom or up on top
Can you tell me where you want to go?

I'd give you my number, I don't have a phone
I'm loose and janglin', ain't that a man?
Is there a place that you call home?
Check my pulse if you understand

Tip City papa needs some fuel
And I been waitin' all night long
I know a place called Jenny's Jewel
It's back-woods honey, it's half gone

The legal limit is all I want before I drop
I'd like to know
Down to the bottom or up on top
Can you tell me where you want to go?

Jenny cooks biscuits in a frying pan
With buckets of gravy and collard greens
She's got a pocketful of country ham
Homemade grits and pork & beans

Salt-back sugar, here I come
Mama's red potatoes and catfish pie
Memphis candy, dandelion rum
Black-eyed peas in Tupelo rye

The legal limit is all I want before I drop
I'd like to know
Down to the bottom or up on top
Can you tell me where you want to go?

(From Girl On Girl and World On Fire)



If your good ol' friends fill you full of lead
And drop you to the bottom of a river bed
Howlin' at the moon while you're sinkin' down
Gimme a call, maybe I'll come around

Let me know
Let me know
Let me know

If the man you love turns his back on you
And throws you in a dungeon, cuts you half in two
Burns your house down, robs you blind
Pass the word along if you find the time

Let me know
Let me know
Let me know

Well you may be hungry, you may be poor
You may be crawlin' from door to door
Lookin' for a handout, a place to sleep
Sellin' your wares on a downtown street

Let me know
Let me know
Let me know

Swallow the poison, Satan's on the loose
Stick your head in a hangman's noose
It doesn't matter darlin' where you run
You're gonna have to pay for what you've done

Listen for the bloodhounds, keep a low profile
Move down the line if someone tells you, "Stay a while"
Locked inside the tombs across from Hudson Bay
Tryin' to hitch a ride down the lost highway

Let me know
Let me know
Let me know

Pray for deliverance, pray for release
The salvation you bought, well, it might be fleece
Swing down chariot swing down low
It doesn't matter darlin', where you go

So if your good ol' friends fill you full of lead
And drop you to the bottom of a river bed
Howlin' at the moon while you're sinkin' down
Gimme a call, maybe I'll come around

Let me know
Let me know
Let me know

(From Western Skies and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



My head was filled with poison
But I didn't want to dim your attitude
You weren't even talking
Could it be perhaps, that I was being rude?
As I had another drink
I saw you slowly cloy the lovely Miss Bernard
I played the beloved
While she responded with a colloquial en gard

Sitting on the sofa
That Mumu had just bought for you uptown
Like a queen unstripped
Guzzling ale and looking for her crown
"I may have left it in the pantry
Underneath the Brixton chocolate candy charms"
"No" I said "I think I saw it
On the shelf next to your German coat of arms"

It was long before I knew
Long before I knew you were lying
Hours from the minutes when
I found out that you weren't even trying

How was I to know the feathers of this plume
Were filth to noble eyes?
How could I have seen and why should I have cared?
I guess I took a stab or two before I realized
That you weren't really sleeping
You were only paralyzed

Unamazed and quartered
In the entryway we were debating
On the points of etiquette
While your second face was poised for baiting
Thoughts of rearranging flowers
From the rusted ledge of your front balcony
Or perhaps of all the callers
Who would soon arrive when you were through with me

It was long before I knew
Long before I knew you were blinded
By the whispers
And it took a while before I was reminded

(From Girl On Girl)



The local fare
Are Jack the Lads and could've beens
Standing there
Talking about who just walked in
"Now wasn't he the rage
A year or two ago
But up there on the stage
Nobody wants to know"

It's a shame
Maybe what I heard was right
They're all the same
I see them almost every night
At the newstands and the halls
In a thousand photographs
But it isn't news at all
It's nothing but a laugh

So shouldn't we be getting paid
To watch these losers on parade?

My phone won't ring
And I don't know what's wrong
I was a pretty thing
'Til that wrecking ball came along

The misery beat
Won't fill a room or pay the rent
It takes a seat
Somewhere below what's heaven sent
Where the boys are like the girls
And nothing's really new
But all the money in the world
Wouldn't change their point of view

I don't know why we have to stay
To watch these losers on parade

(From Girl On Girl and World On Fire)



It may surprise you but I've never seen
Such beautiful things so casually ignored
Along the stairway there are photographs
A Paris Match lies on the bedroom floor

The dress you're wearing you may never wear again and it's true
The stylish patterns are refined and compliment the things you do
They're very lovely but I think they're lost on you

Where has he gone, tell me, where could he be?
Now I can see, it hasn't crossed your mind
Perhaps you're waiting for me to object but I suspect
You've often heard that line

Between the paintings and the gold leaf picture frames there are two
Precious souvenirs from streets off Contrapaine Avenue
It's all so touching but I think it's lost on you

While he's away the Duchess likes to play
A roundelay uncommonly composed.
There's something wicked in the melody
As you agree to gracefully unfold

the lace and leather from around your looking glass and through
Every beating that you took behind the mask I knew
The sky could fall and it would all be lost on you

(From Welcome Love)



It ain't change in my pocket that's a'jinglin around
It's a picture locket my daddy found
He gave it to me wrapped up in a bow
With a note that read "for Miss So and So"

Lover Man gone somewhere
maybe across town
What I ain't got he might find there
Then he'll come back around

No need to worry if he turns up late
'Cause my lover man, he don't like to wait
I work all night to pay him what I owe
And if I come up light he always lets me know

Lover Man gone somewhere
maybe across town
What I ain't got he might find there
Then he'll come back around

Ain't no picture in my pocket, no change in my coat
All I got on me is my daddy's note
When he comes by here he don't have much to say
Keeps the doors all locked 'til he goes away

(From Grandview and Under Whip And Chain)



I walk with my head held high
Come my darling, you will see
And this is the reason why
Because love's been good to me

Though I've had my share of falls
And my share of misery
In the end, all in all
I think love's been good to me

If you want to stay
Well, it's all right
I've been out all day
But I'll be back tonight

My lover comes and goes
She steals my heart away
She's gone but heaven knows
Her love is here to stay

Seems somehow
She's been away too long.
Tell me now
Do you know where my good friend's gone?

And if you call on me
Keep those bells a-ringin'
It ain't a bird you see
It's just my baby in the front room singin'

But if my songbird flies
Into another's tree
My girlfriend won't deny
The love she gave to me

(From Western Skies)



I did the time, I know I did
I got nothin' but regrets
Sold it for the lowest bid
But you must not forget
To write me from your seaside home
Call me when you find a phone
Post your notes to parts unknown,
If you come please bring a comb
And kit
I made a mess of it

The lamp light grows dim
That's all I got to say
Why let the big girl in
If she don't want to stay
I been suckin' on the shortest straw
Makin' a list of everything I saw
One step away from my kitty's claw
til' she jump up & cut me on my jaw
And lip
She made a mess of it

This room is fill with smoke
It's hard to believe
I'm on the wrong end of a rope
But I don't want to leave
We're tap dancin' in a minstrel show,
She's Miss Hi-De-Hey I'm Mr. Hi-De-Ho
Look at all the ladies in the front row
Every body says it's not where you go
It's where you sit
I made a mess of it

Got too much money in the hole right now
I don't know why & I don't care how
Listen to the vixen in the ol' hoosegow
Funny that's the only kinda milk cow
I can't quit

(From The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



A big old house, a winding driveway with a gate in front
Only the best, but even the best is not enough
When you travel the world you tire of seeing the same old suff
Those dreary cabalieros under the window as the sun comes up
You wanted to ride, you didn't want to stop
But the mandatory minimum is what you got.

Icy diamonds, social climbing in the city of light
Sittin' pretty, front row center on opening night
Friends in high places, aces, and catamites
A slight imperfection, on closer inspection, is not so slight
You wanted to climb up to the top
But the mandatory minimum is what you got

The people that bowed and knelt down before you
Are turning their backs, doing their best to ignore you
Bridges are burned and doubts are confirmed
The fortunes that once looked your way have now turned

Half alive, gold-plated dives and cabarets
Endless nights, aimless walks on aimless days
The toast of the town takes aim from her gilded cage
Beauty adorned is politely informed she's no longer the rage
You wanted it all, every last drop
But the mandatory minimum is what you got.

(From Mandatory Minimum and Under Whip And Chain)



I's dodgin' all them bullets down at the shoppin' mart
But when the clerk stuck his knife in me it nearly broke my heart
You gotta watch your back girl 'cause no one else here will
You can't help sleepin' at the wheel when time is standin' still

Minutes seem like hours, hours seem like days
My hands are shakin', my feet are made of clay

They're rollin' up the sidewalks and I done thought it through
Ever since they closed the Chatterbox there ain't been much to do
Sittin' on the rooftop hopin' for a fight
But in the jungle, the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight

Minutes seem like hours, hours seem like days
The bridge is out and the sky is turning grey

On my way back into town I ran into your man
He told me he was Knoxville bound and then he shook my hand

Our clocks are stuck on midnight or maybe it's half-past
I spent all day tryin' to find my pulse, there it is at last
Those lights across the highway I shot out one or two
Renee panicked when the law came by what else is new?

Minutes seem like hours, hours seem like days
I wanna move but your standin' in the way

(From The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



My baby left here walkin'
Took everything that she owned
Packed up her clothes in a suitcase
Left me here sittin' alone
Some of my friends tried to tell me
But I never thought that she would
My baby left here walkin'
Said she was gone for good

Where can she be? how I wonder
Is she alright? I don't know
We had some words between us
I said the wrong thing, I suppose
It seemed to happen so quickly
I didn't have time to explain
My baby left here walkin'
But I still love her the same

Nights are so empty without her
What in the world can I do?
It's such a long time since I've seen her
I guess that we're really through
Could it be she's found another?
Well, I can't think about that
My baby left here walkin'
And I don't think she's comin' back

(From Dead Rails and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



The Queen Mary sails on rusted iron rails
A stack of steel is laced with intricate detail
"Picture this," my mother says, "Your love has gone somewhere
But in these carvings lies a key that she has hidden there"
Above the manifold a comedy transpires
Laughter peels the paint in here, the mountebank retires
I'll take the minutes, keep the notes
At nearly any cost
Outside I hear my father's ghost
Whisper "All is lost"

My Queen's logic seems to say that I've done something wrong
I better not go anywhere I'll have to stay for long

Boatmen line the path that leads across the prow
Messina saves a chair for me beneath the shanty's bow
She lifts a flagon full of mere
An absinthe progeny
And speaks of places far from here
Where she would rather be
Riflin' through the drawers, Messina came and went
Daughter please let loose these straps, I promise to repent
My sins are many, turn around
Answer if you can
In Albany the sluts call me
Their sixty-minute man

My Queen's logic lifts her sails and I will soon be gone
We better not go anywhere we'll have to stay for long

"Penalties abide" the lovely barman calls
"Each word is chosen for its length beyond the galley walls"
Clayton holds the torch above
While others wait below
Our Lady's found a brand-new love
From Shelly's Candi-O
The sun shines bright and low, we open every door
The steward waits with prong and blade upon the thistled shore
He speaks in verse, a backwards rhyme
Of ancient memories
I tap my foot to pass the time
And sing a melody

My Queen's logic anchors fast and pines a gypsy song
I better not go anywhere I'll have to stay for long

Past portals framed with dust, "Why must I be alone?
Am I not your only son? Can I not come home?
Why could we not have stayed in lands
where we were meant to be
instead of traveling hand in hand
across the wicked sea?"
"I beg you to recall" my mother soon replies
"You've given me but grief and fear a nd told me only lies
You've made your bed, your sins have led
Us to this bleak return
Now the bow is bent and all my blood
Is cast from stem to stern

Your Queen's logic sets the course and we must both press on
You better not go anywhere you'll have to stay for long"

(From Treated and Released)



If you're restless or you're tired
There's something that I found
I can offer you a chance
To find a new romance
And turn your world around
If you want to follow me
It's not too far away
And I think that once you see
You might want to stay
In Newport, by the bay

Madam sets the atmosphere
Dims the lights and walks the floor
If your heart is on your sleeve
They may ask you to leave
Your troubles at the door
It's not much of a request
For what you had to pay
After all, you're just a guest
Inside the cabaret
In Newport, by the bay

The ladies want to talk about their working week
And these fine gentlemen listen when they speak
Perhaps before the night is over they'll be dancing cheek to cheek

In a place not far from here
Where there's always one or two
Who await with open arms
Seduce with tender charms
For a pittance which is due
On debts that are incurred
While held in passion's sway
Tell me, have you ever heard
And do you know the way
To Newport, by the bay?

(From Western Skies)



Last night I went out for a ride
I wasn't here when you came by
When I got back it was late
I hope you didn't sit and wait
I hope you weren't upset with me
I wasn't where I said I'd be
But I don't choose my company
I take what I can take

Someone I knew asked me to
A quiet little rendezvous
Down Ellington on the right
Behind the trees, the trailer lights
I didn't have a lot to say
I didn't know how long I'd stay
But if I let him have his way
I'd been there half the night

When no one's home
You should go away
When no one's there to let you in
Why would you want to stay?
Please go away, please go away

The neighborhood was dark and still
I had no plans to leave until
I got a call from Mon Amour
Someone who I had seen before
Asked the service of my time
I didn't want to be unkind
And though you are a friend of mine
I turned and closed the door

When no one's home
You should go away
When no one's there to let you in
Why would you want to stay?
Please go away, please go away

The clientele knows so well
And the management conspires
The girls are nice and for a price
They'll bow to your desires

Last night I went out for a ride
I wasn't here when you came by
I had other things to do
Somethings old and somethings new
So if you should come by again
Please don't be surprised when
The door is locked and I'm not in
I'm only telling you

When no one's home
You should go away
When no one's there to let you in
Why would you want to stay?
Please go away, please go away

(From Treated and Released)



Sara was an angel
She's sell her pussy for a few crumbs of crack
Papa at the Greenwich, he had a hand in it
The shit heel, now he's back
I used to take her to the Fulton
She'd think the cops were lookin' at us through the tv set
When will I see her again? Well, I don't know but I would bet

Not anytime soon I fear
She must be far away
Staring up at the moon, my dear
With nothing to say

I used to walk through
The streets of Florence, in Italy
Walking all alone, so amazed and puzzled
By the things I'd see
How it might have been different
If long ago in that other time and place, we had stayed
Wonder if I'll ever go back? well, right now I'd have to say

Not anytime soon I fear
There's so much to do
Staring up a the moon, my dear
Looking back down at you

Sometimes I listen to the radio
The talk shows keep me company
Somewhere down the band late at night
I hear the Marvelettes singing "You're My Remedy"
The DJ says "They don't write 'em like that anymore"
And I suppose I would agree
Maybe someday they will, but when? well, if you ask me

Not anytime soon I fear
The radio plays
Staring up at the moon, my dear
I've been here for days


(From Welcome Love and World On Fire)


Where's my pretty baby, I wonder where she's gone?
I thought that she'd be comin' back, maybe I was wrong
She left me here waitin' tied up to the railroad tracks
And drove off in a Coupe de Ville with the diamond in the back

Where's the girl I once knew, I don't understand
Tell me please what should I do? I'll do it if I can
My wandering desires have left me in double-dutch
Two is one too many and one is not enough

I called out to the brakeman, he untied me from the tracks
I went on down the street tryin' to get her back
I ran into someone I knew from the neighborhood
He said "Why you wastin' time with that, you know she ain't no good

I may not get around but I've seen her kind before,
Next time you see it comin' lock up all the doors
A lot won't do you any good and a little won't do much
Two is one too many and one is not enough"

Drinkin' and dancin' down Sunset Boulevard
You got me guessin'
and I'm undressin'you with my best regards

It was then I saw her car pull up outside of Jungle Jakes
I started out to cross the street as she put on the brakes
But when I saw her gettin' out she had lover boy in tow
A cracker from the east side, someone I didn't know

Standin' in the shadows, starin' from afar
as Miss So&So and her gigolo walked into the bar
The meter keeps on runnin' but my time is all used up
Two is one too many and one is not enough

(From Carefree Life and Under Whip And Chain)



Strike a match and light your cigarette
While I take in the view
Let's have a drink to all our friends
The ones we never knew
If I call Loretta one more time
I wonder what she'd say?
I love this town, why wouldn't I?
But not enough to stay

Take a left on Grand to Echo Park
Look, there's the calaboose
Let's drive down to the Funhouse Bar
And turn this young man loose
He'll try to lift old Rosie's dress
If she lets him have his way
I've done my time, I've done my best
But I don't want to stay

While you laugh and drinks are flowing
Point me to the nearest door
I don't know which way I'm going
But when you pin me to the floor
Can you tell me what we're waiting for?

At Million's Benny comes and goes
In his jitney newsboy truck
He brings in Mrs. Claw and Crow
And tapes her eyelids shut
He'll plunge a nightstick down her throat
Before the break of day
That's all I know, that's all she wrote
Now can I please go away?

(From Girl On Girl and World On Fire)



There's a house I know in old Detroit, many friends are waiting there
You can come an' visit anytime, we got a lot'a room to spare
But I wouldn't go when them bulls is ridin' 'round
An' I wouldn't stay if you hear a minstrel sound

My pal Willy leads a crew or two, says they call him Murder One
I'd hook up with them if I were you, they're movin' street trade by the ton
Ladies, we were raised in manners you would not suspect
An' my friend Willy say all he wants is your respect
To plead his case
The docket's full
Look at his face

I nodded out last night in Club Hi-Tone 'cause I'd been up for seven days
Hangin' with some slags in Sommerville 'til we went our separate ways
They headed east, I think I head west on 48
Seems like a year ago an' I can't keep my business straight

Now what's that movin' over on the right, I never seen that thing before
Like a light that's shinin' in my eyes, like a knockin' on the door
I should'a known by now to leave a little bit behind
I got some money left but ain't got a lot of time
Please come again
If I'm around
I'll let you in

(From Dead Rails)



I'll write my chain letter
With ink pen an' kitchen knife
To good friends back in the city
Even if it takes all night
I can't stop, I can't lie down
There's something I should do
And though my hands are shakin'
I pray that my aim is true.

I want 100 coffins for my ride
100 coffins by my side
100 coffins open wide
99 for my enemies, one more for me

Save me from wanderin' ways
And hold your lamp up high
Call me an' I'll be 'round
When you come walkin' by
Maybe the road has narrowed
Let's sit here an' think it through
If I make it north of Aintry
Maybe you can make it too

I want 100 coffins like before
100 coffins on the floor
100 coffins by my door
99 for my enemies, one more for me

(From World On Fire)



Not long ago, I still recall
How pleasant it all seemed
We'd push the nightstands to the wall
Hanging curtains in-between
Those younger days have disappeared
Things are different now
I've taken down the curtains, dear
Since we've been on the outs

I've rearranged the kitchenette
There's a splash of color there
A haunting shade of blue, and yet
Nobody seems to care
Outside the postman comes and goes
'Round three or thereabouts
Clouds pass by, a warm wind blows
Since we've been on the outs

Since we've been on the outs, I fear
I sleep the whole night through
Those daydreams that we held so near
Have gone because of you
And though I know it's true
I think back to the times we had
How strange they seem to me
Both the good times and the bad
Weren't what I thought they'd be

The slightest scent of perfume still
Seems to linger in the air
The pictures on the window sills
I put away somewhere
No, I haven't found that old hairbrush
That your friend called me about
But I take my time, no need to rush
Since we've been on the outs

(From Ring Of Smoke)



Look at her walk and talk
Well you know it takes a lot of work
Fussin' and fightin' down on her knees
rollin' 'round in the dirt
She wears a patch on her sleeve
It says "Should I stay or should I leave?"

Oh you plaything
Oh you plaything

A nickle can get you in trouble
And a dime can get you hurt
A quarter will buy you a chance
To sit down and watch her work
She must be out of her mind
She gets it wrong almost everytime?

Oh you plaything
Oh you plaything

Who's this clown inside your bag of tricks?
This broken record that don't know when to quit?

A sideshow in certain circles
But five will get you ten
This ride that you've been ridin'
Well it won't come around again
He writes of you politely
Someone he once knew slightly

Oh you plaything
Oh you plaything



Adrift on a sea
An ocean, dear me
Take shelter here by my side
We'll soon reach the shore
And not drift anymore
Come over here, my arms are open wide

If you need me you know where to find me
Close your eyes, you'll be able to see
A place far away that you'll know one day
Is waiting for you and me

The waves toss and turn
The wind is so stern
Unchained, it heeds no command
We'll soon reach the shore
And not drift anymore
Refuge is close at hand

If you need me you know where to find me
Close your eyes, you'll be able to see
A place far away that you'll know one day
Is waiting for you and me

(From Mandatory Minimum)



I must'a lost my head a long time ago
I should'a gone when I had the chance, now I just don't know
Gimmie a little room, as much as I can stand
I don't know who you are but you must know who I am

I'm the boy who spends his time chasin' a ring of smoke
Down an alley through a brick wall, there it goes

Call the doctor in and clear away the dust
It's a shame when you wake up in the mornin' and you cough up rust
I might be hangin' 'round with the wrong crew
One looks like a newsboy, the other looks a lot like you

Well they asked me in and hung this chain around my throat
Introduced me kindly to a ring of smoke

A ring of smoke

You can't get through a wall without an axe and pick.
You gotta chip away the mortar, you gotta do it bit by bit
But little did I know that it would take this long
I thought I'd have it done by now, I guess I was wrong

I left home when I was young, I wrote my ma a note
It read "ma, I've gone to run me down a ring of smoke"

A ring of smoke

(From Ring Of Smoke)



Guess I could go out to California
On the beaches where the palm trees sway
Get a room at the Beverly Hills Hotel
That's where I'd really love to stay
Have a drink or two down at the bar
Take it easy, better take it slow
Yeah California, that's one place
Where someday I'd really like to go

Sometimes it's good to settle down
With your loving family
Going to church on Sunday
Putting presents around the Christmas tree
Going to work every morning
Coming home at the end of the day
Sometimes it's good to settle down
Other times you're better off running away

I hear New Orleans is the place to be
Down on Bourbon Street, over Pontchartrain
A friend of mine, she went down there once
Last I heard she never came back again
I'd like to go down there for Mardi Gras
Stay out all night, have a real good time
Meet a friend, maybe someone who'd
Take me out dancing on the second line

Sometimes it's good to settle down
Hanging around with with old friends
Talking about times gone by
Tell me now, do you remember when?
Passing through the same old places
Nothing changing much from day to day
Sometimes it's good to settle down
Other times you're better off running away




Should you set the world on fire
I'd have but one concern
My singular desire
Would be to watch it burn
I'd willingly surrender
All that you'd want from me
To walk amidst the embers
Of everything that used to be

I can't help thinking that the time will come
Who knows when
I can't say
But the bitter end
Is always just a word or two away

Should you tear this world apart
I'd have but one request
That from the very start
you would do your best
To leave it all in tatters
When your work is done.
What does it really matter
I'd ask as much of anyone.

Sympathy is lost on those affected
And all their wants have long since been rejected
Let 'em burn, let the poor things struggle
To waste another day on them is hardly worth the trouble

Should you set the world on fire
I'd have but one concern
The one thing I'd require
Would be to watch,
I'd like to watch
Could I watch it burn?

(From World On Fire)



Her husband tied her to the bed
And went out drinkin' with some boys he knew
Sometimes it's funny what the flotsam of
The upper crust will do
She laid there wondering if he'd
Come home with red roses
Flowers she detests
The details of their love are so precise
And that's what he forgets

Beneath a ceiling fan, strapped with a leather belt
There's so much to ignore but you can't help yourself
I'm sure that she's inclined to want a lot of something else

He stayed out for a while
A free man on the town, much like it used to be
Between the bedposts his now lesser half
Struggled uselessly
Her wrists and ankles bleeding
Her hair was such a mess
She waited for a call.
As the hours passed the shadows rose
Above the bedroom wall

Beside the vanity, the fixtures on the shelf
The mirrored canopy only reflects itself
She may be blessed but she still wants a lot of something else

Dresses of satin and trinkets of gold
Once held the attentions the shackles now hold
The family secrets were soon to unfold
In moments of pleasure transgressions are told
To passing strangers these cards were dealt
I numbered one among the many who felt
The damage done was a fair trade for a lot of something else

(From Welcome Love and World On Fire)



With that baby in your arms
You're like a woman of the world
You've turned your back on playthings
No longer daddy's little girl
But you've still got that look of wonder
As you stumble through the bar
What kind of girl do you think
I think you are?

What kind of girl do you think I think you are?
It seems to me it's plain to see you knew right from the start
You've got a lot of nerve to say you've come so far
What kind of girl do you think I think you are?

Do you remember not so long ago
What you did and what you said
The doors were open all night long
On your side of the bed
Yes you kept the candles burning
In that backstreet abattoir
What kind of girl do you think
I think you are?

You're among the finest ladies, pillars of society
But does it ever cross your mind that ain't where you ought to be?
Perhaps you'd feel much better somewhere proppin' up a bar
What kind of girl do you think I think you are?

(From Grandview)



I've never seen this hotel so lit up
Guess everybody's headin' up town
Pretty Peg, don't bother to get up
You look a lot better lyin' down
I'll take a close inspection
Of things I've never seen
From the floor boards to the rafters
And all points in-between

How much more of this can you handle?
She says "Slim I'll tell you true
If you can find another match for that candle
I can handle just as much as you
I got my front door open
You keep your powder dry
'Cause I'm just sittin' on this porch swing
'Til you come walkin' by"

Room service closed up for the night
My dear, can you please kill that light?
Ain't it a little bright?

Peggy wore a coat of blue leather
When I met her at the shoppin' mall
She said "I'd like to get to know you better
But first there's someone I gotta call"
Now I'm trapped and cornered
Down where she wants me to be
But at least I'm off the street an'
That's good enough for me

(From Ring Of Smoke)



He stumbles through Baxter's and calls for the maid
Loosens his collar and wonders if the salesgirl's been paid
Like a cheap glass of brandy, the scent of vermouth
I hear he was once quite the lad, now that can't be the truth

"But" you said "my darling, I swear that it's true
And someday, that'll be you"

His horse came in limpin' but he wants to collect
He always delivers much less than you might expect
A crowd gathers 'round him, he salutes everyone
Says"you'd be doin' the same thing if you were me, son"

Now I have to wonder, how can it be
That someday that'll be me?

He lives in a house that his mama once owned
But there's no point in us droppin' by 'cause he's never home
He spends most of his time in a gin dive uptown
Eyein' the waitresses legs and orderin' 'rounds

Come look in this mirror, I still can't see
How someday that'll be me

(From Dead Rails and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



Handsome Johnny drew knives at pinafores
When his Charlotte was discovered
Spending time with Blackjack Davy at the shore
It took her three years to recover

Above a storefront on Merchant Avenue
Seeking only love for tender
Soothing lonely hearts and gilded parvenus
For the silver they surrender

Could it have been, maybe it was
I don't care because
I played no part in the path she'd chosen
Some doors are always open

Can you tell me what lies beneath this floor
And who's hiding in the shadows?
He looks like someone I had seen before
Dangling high up on the gallows

He might have broken free and found his way back to
The twisted pathway to this hovel
Waiting to pierce the veil that hides the rest of you
Or perhaps something more novel

Maybe he will, maybe he won't
Do what you want but don't
Play for time with a heart that's broken
Some doors are always open

You were born to live your life out on parade
Singing show tunes for the needy
I've heard it said that you were once the rage
'Til your wants became too greedy

It's such a sacrifice to watch the worthless fall
Bow and scraping for affection
I'd pay a million dollars if I could recall
Who got the best of your intentions

Is that unkind? is that untrue?
Well it's the least I can do
To cast my lot on a word ill-spoken
Some doors are always open

(From Girl On Girl)



There's a ragged little note
Her name and number in my coat
Guess it's been a week or two
She lives off of Angeline
You can call her anytime
She'll be waitin' there for you
She won't ask you for a lot
All you have to do is knock
And she'll open up the door
At the dark end of the hall
Number twelve, as I recall
It's up on the second floor

She's somewhere south of duchess

I met her on the boulevard
I was driving in my car
And she was walking into town
I did my best to catch her eye
And when she saw me drivin' by
She checked her back and turned around
Dressed in copper strides and lace
It was just another face
Nothing charming or refined
She asked if I could take her home
That she lived all alone
In a place off Angeline

She's somewhere south of duchess

There's a well known currency
For low-rent property
Of which we both agreed
When services are rendered
A proper fee is tendered

The room was painted blue and red
There was a dresser and a bed
She hadn't made in quite a while
Clothes were scattered here and there
A little worse for wear
No, they weren't the latest styles
Not too old and not too young
Her manners were undone
And if you really want to know
I sat her up and laid her down
She didn't make a sound
Until I had to go

She's somewhere south of duchess

(From Girl On Girl and World On Fire)



Up on the river bank I saw the poplar trees
With fruit that bent their branches down
Girl walkin' barefoot 'cross a bridge an' high above
The moon risin' on this river town
And it's the brightest one I've seen
I've come to like this southern lean

Over in Tupelo they're bound to race tonight
Maddy and James'll be long gone
But I'm gonna stay right here, not goin' anywhere
I think I'm right where I belong
'Cause somewhere along the way it seems
I picked up on that southern lean

When I feel the south wind blow
It's heavenly
Wherever it may go
That's where I'll be

Don't talk to me too fast, take your time if you please
We got all night and don't you know
They're settin' up for the fair
When mornin' comes we'll go there
So fill that ol' lamp with kerosene
I'll tell you about this southern lean

(From Dead Rails)



Well there's a strange new dance
That I only do for strangers
You better call the ambulance
'Cause I don't mind the dangers

You know, it makes me want to laugh
When I hear people talkin'
'Cause when a black cat cross my path
I just keep on walkin'

I wanna go somewhere I've never been
Hey, Miss Lady, let this stranger in
I'll pay in advance
Let's do a strange new dance

If I get hit by lightning
Or cut in two with a butcher knife
It might be a little frightening
But, you know, I'll still feel all right

They hung me down at the old town square
But I kept on kickin'
When I got loose I started dancin' there
I guess I just wasn't thinkin'

I wanna see something I've never seen
Hey, Miss Lady, do you know what I mean?
Gimme another chance
Let's do a strange new dance

Come watch me pirouette
Between the bombs and the bullet trails
Please excuse my bloody epaulettes
I'll be here waitin' while you do your nails

Underneath a tidal wave
Under a landslide, watch me disappear
You might think that I am brave
But, really, I'm just tired of standin' here

I wanna do something I've never done
Hey Miss Lady I'm not gonna run
Not while I'm in a trance
Let's do a strange new dance

(From Western Skies and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



Some of you have been around for a hundred years or more
But you can't seem to find an open road
Not like those two precious things that everyone adores
Now have you heard they're waiting to unload
Another cheerless tune
About staring at the moon
While gazing into one another's eyes?
To the solemn melody
The pensive maiden quietly replies

I can't take it when I see that circus come to town
The one that always sells out in advance
A maiden on the tightrope high above her circus clown
I'm sure she'd jump if he gave her the chance
Johnny's striking up the band
They walk on hand in hand
Crooning 'bout the ups and downs of love
I'd gladly lead them to the plank
If someone here would give them both a shove

I overstayed my welcome and I guess that much is true
But then again why should I even care?
I didn't know in these parts losers came in sets of two
But she must've been a wonder standing there
In an evening gown of lace
With that look upon her face
Your nightingale adorned with shopping bag
Let me raise a glass in praise to you
My friends in waiting, Strum and Drag




This property is fresh
Blood flows through its veins, its gleaming eyes
Are sliding up the walls
Staring at the ceiling
It's all I can afford
It's all that I can do to hold my breath
Why can't it just lay still?
Why does it have to speak?
I think I must be dreaming

How could I be so wrong?
It seems I have misjudged the time again
It's getting much too late
I hear the church bells ringing
If someone holds the door
I could find a place to hide away
This vacant bag of bones, for soon it will awake
Then you may hear it singing

If I had only found another kind of company
Then, I suppose
I wouldn't be here on my feet asking for
A brand-new suit of clothes

I've used the velvet glove
I've used the iron fist and I must say
It's hard to understand which one is more appealing
Charming and uncoiled
Beneath the bedsheets, lying on the floor
A property indeed, was I the last to see
The flesh it is concealing?

If I had only sought another kind of misery
Then, heaven knows
I wouldn't be here on the street waiting for
A brand-new suit of clothes

(From World On Fire)



I hope my daddy's listenin' on his short wave radio
Inside a marble mansion in the sky
Maybe there are angels beyond that ol' rainbow
to keep him company as time goes by

That's close enough, take your hands off the merchandise
I told you once, don't want to tell you twice
The wind blows quietly
The sun shines down on me
The girls are waiting and they've been so nice
Livin' somewhere south of paradise

There's cowboys on the prairie and boss man's gone to town,
He's bound to miss the payroll one more time
But I'll be mendin' fences 'til winter comes around
And then I'll have to move it down the line

That's close enough, you missed your shot now you can't pretend
I guess you'll have to try your luck again
I'm only passin' through
There's things I need to do
I may return but who knows where or when
And if I do you may be gone my friend
But if you're not, perhaps I'll see you then

(From Dead Rails)



Her lips weren't as exciting
As I thought they'd be
Her wit was less than biting
She hardly spoke to me
Her attentions were drawn to this an' that
And as she started mumblin'
When I sat her on my lap
I knew I wouldn't be comin' back

She worked on Mere and Covedale
But said she lived nearby
Next to the Pony Two-Rail
By Sista's Wash'n'Dry
Apartment #5, on the second floor
And when we walked inside
She turned around and locked the door
I felt like I'd been there before

I asked her what her name was
She told me, "Candy Cane."
I asked her "Why?" She said, "Because
That's my name, that's my name."

Her voice was cracked and shattered
I had to think for two
She said "It doesn't matter
Do what you want to do"
So I asked her if she'd turn her face away
I fumbled with her chassis
Unfurled her backwoods appliqué
It seems like only yesterday

I asked her what her name was
She told me, "Candy Cane"
I asked her "Why?" She said "Because
That's my name, that's my name"

(From Treated and Released)



Tie me up I've been so bad
So bad I can not say
Please my mistress, I believe
That you should have your way
A hundred lashes for my sins
Ninety-nine won't do
That's what I want
Can I get it from you?

Take my silver, take my gold
In trade for cruelty
Name your price I won't protest
It's all the same to me
The harshest sentence would be welcomed
For lessons learned anew
That's what I want
Can I get it from you?

That's what I want
Strap me to your wheel and let it ride
It's been so long
And I must beg forgiveness for the indiscretions
That brought me to your side

Keep me there among the many
Wandering through your door
Shackle me in chains of iron
Beneath your bedroom floor
Do your worst and you will please me
Stain me black and blue
That's what I want
Can I get it from you?

(From Under Whip And Chain)



The common standard is too hard to keep
I fell below that line some time ago
I do my best work when I'm half asleep
At least my darlin' tells me so
I thread the needle as he walks the floor
Stares at the ceiling from behind the door
Waiting for ...

The daily riot
The daily riot
Would it be true, should I admit
That I will leave if I can't quit
The daily riot.

My head is spinning from the altitude
I've thrown it all away and it's a shame
If you were in my place you'd love the view
But I can't say I feel the same
A gang of two receives polite applause
For giving orders and amending laws
Finding cause ...

For the daily riot
The daily riot
A plot uncoils from where I sit
The curtain rises bit by bit
On the daily riot
The daily riot

We counter to a counterfeit
Contract that does not permit
The daily riot
The daily riot

(From Western Skies and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



The last time I saw Richard
I was lyin' in a pool of blood
He was here with a boy named Kelly
Who was dealin' cards and playin' stud
He made us both walk the plank
But me and Richard broke the bank
The last time I saw Richard

I ran into my sugar daddy
He told me Richard's on the run.
"He's down with a friend in Dallas,
What's that funny face? You know the one"
And then as he was walkin' out
I tried to tell him all about
The last time I saw Richard

Pretty thing, don't you walk so fast,
I wanna tell all about the last...
...time I saw Richard.

Silver keys jinglin' in her hand
I caught her grinnin' when I called her ma'am

(From Under Whip And Chain)



Starin' out the window at the Stop'n'Shop in Kingston Square
I thought I heard somebody knockin' but there was nobody there
On a corner down the street the buses stop and then they move along
It's getting' kinda late, I wonder where my baby's gone?

A car was parked on the causeway late last night
A dark blue Fairmont, flashin' it's lights
I was walkin' up Central Boulevard, Jayme by my side
She said "Jim, I gotta move 'cause there's my ride"

I'm gonna sit right here 'til she comes around
I'm tryin' hard to listen but I don't hear a sound
On a cross street off Del Ray
Where me and my baby stay
We don't live too far from the lights of town

It looks like the moon's gone hidin' behind the clouds
Across the street there's a woman and she's talkin' out loud
About something she forgot somewhere, she's been there for a while
Leanin' on a cart full'a rags stacked in a pile

I wish I knew what it was that my baby found
What can it be that's keepin' her from comin' back down
To the two room hideaway
Where me and her came to stay?
We don't live too far from the lights of town

(From Ring Of Smoke)



Do you remember when the snow first fell
Holdin' each other by the wishing well?
Outside of Dallas at the Tooth & Tack
You kept tellin' me "Don't look back"
Sometimes at night I can still recall
Next to the Kingsnake Den, down the hall
I was sittin' in a chair below
While you and Candy put on a show
Dancin' and ballin' all night long
For the gringos of Club Babylon
In the mornin' they'd pass the cup
A little later they brought me up

You were half alive
Maybe takin' five, darlin'
Candy was open-eyed
A darkie on each side, crawlin'
Her money-maker stallin'.

I heard that she was daddy's little girl
Most likely to unhinge and stilt the world
Playin' her game out to the very end
And when they'd kill the lights she'd start again
The boys from Tulsa found her by the pier
Told her they'd take her home but they brought her here.

Before the shootin' started, those were days of wine an' roses
We better head down south before the borderline closes
I may not be your daddy but I ain't blind and all I know is
Each time we came to town
you had me makin' rounds

My Tarot cards, they warn of stormy weather
Give me some time and I might feel a little better
Then we can get together.

I'll bring my bull whip and my scatter gun
Some lonesome cowboy with Jamaican Rum
We'll have to call ahead and find a room
Near Augusta Sally's Sugar Tomb
I hear Miss Diamond's by the pearly gates
I better pack my things before it gets too late

You're a lot like Lee, you know the one from Texarkana
Worth her weight in gold 'til she got jonesed in Alabama
Let's find a hideaway in Charleston or Savannah
We'll leave your ma behind
We ain't the losin' kind

(From Welcome Love and World On Fire)



I wish I'd been the man you called
When fortune unveiled a darker face
And left you to yourself, lonely and abandoned
By those who sought to only take your place
If I had seen you begging for forgiveness from the wretched
All the ones that you had left behind
I'd have offered everyday and traded every night
That you were mine

To be there when your disappointments blossomed
Past the point of no return
Unrequited of your many needs, in lieu of debts received
From parasite and worm
Wandering through the hidden quarters of the darkest city
Without a friend to lend a helping hand
I wish that I had been the one you called
I wish I'd been that man

You're always welcome, can't you see
That misery loves bad company
At least that's what I've heard
My dear, I thought you knew me well
I'm sure you have a tale to tell
And up until the curtain fell
I'd stand by you
Listening to
Every useless word

As I recall weren't you in love
With love that taxes common courtesy?
You must know what I'm thinking of
I wouldn't be concerned because
It never really meant a lot to me
I only wish that I had been among the ones you called
When all the others turned and walked away
On the outside looking in, a chatterbox
With nothing left to say

(From Girl On Girl)



Here I go once again
here I go my old friend
Gone am I to the other side of the world

No regrets, no surprise
If you look in my eyes
You'll see I'm on the other side of the world

Let us take one last walk
And sing one more song
Standing here side by side
For soon I'll be gone

All in all I must say
There may be better days
Far away on the other side of the world

I can't dance, pardon me
All I know is that I
Have a moment or two
Left to tell you goodbye

Come to me, hold my hand
Think of me when you can
In a land on the other side of the world

(On-line release)



The moonlight shines on the beautiful palace roses
Miss Stewart reclines as her daughter gently reposes
Amid threats hurled by those in the know
A summons from Coventry Row
Accusations, unwarranted blows
Night encloses
The palace roses

Midnight tolls on the wonderful palace roses
Miss Stewart awakes, pen to paper she takes and composes
A letter to all those concerned
In language uncommonly stern
Addressing all hardships unearned
Madam closes
The palace roses

All of our preening and all of our scheming
Have left us in such misery
I am inclined to believe that the best of times
Were never meant to be
For although our manners were tailored as such
It's not as if we were asking too much
And yet all these young men recoil from our touch

The sun alights on the glorious palace roses
A daughter revives, opens her eyes and exposes
Her dear lifeless mother, so fair
Staring wide-eyed in her chair
Though lovely, her confident air
The palace roses

(From Dead Rails)



Alone in a bar one fine evening
When a young girl walked through the door
And those who were there, all they did was stare
As she swaggered her way 'cross the floor
"How are you my boys" she did tell them
"Did you miss me while I was gone?
You must understand I am what I am
And what I am I've been for so long

I'm the whore of Corryville
If she won't you know I will
So boys get in line, no one's left behind
For the whore of Corryville"

So I asked my drunk barkeep "Please tell me
From where did this girl arrive?"
"From here or from there, what's it matter from where?"
Was what that kind fellow replied
"But there must be some rhyme or some reason
For her manner her dress, tailored black"
Not so discreetly this is what he told me
As he led me with him to the back

"She's the whore of Corryville
For a twenty-dollar bill
She'll straighten your curves, I can't find the words
For the whore of Corryville"

Well into that room I did follow
And I found her there inside
With one boy in front and one boy in back
and one boy on her either side
"Come in don't be timid" she beckoned
"You're the one I've been wanting to see
Next to cut-throats and thieves, I do believe
You'd be a prize for a lady like me

For the whore of Corryville
Won't be satisfied until
Every boy in reserve
Gets what he deserves
From the whore of Corryville"

In the morning I felt lost and bewildered
As I stumbled out to the street
The air was so still, I stayed there until
I saw a cop who was out on his beat
Down through the town to my hovel
Up the dark stairs to my room
When I reached for my key I found a note there for me
Saying "Honey please come again soon"

From the whore of Corryville
Taped up on my windowsill
A beautiful sight for the long lonely nights
From the whore of Corryville

She's the whore of Corryville
Gildin' lilies with great skill
Toiling away through the night and the day
The whore of Corryville

(From Grandview)



Now that the Greenwich is closed
Where will the dopers go to get what they need?
Blood stains on the ceiling
It was a fine place indeed
On the East side there's a lost soul
And on the West side sits his jelly roll
In the North and the South the wind blows
Come on everybody
There goes the life of the party

Drag out the tassels and grease paint
The jewelry and paste for this battered old bird
She's been talking all night
And no one's heard a word
We need to find a place where she can bump and grind
She had a pretty face once upon a time
If she's a hard luck case then I'm half blind
Come on everybody
She'll be the life of the party

Dancing on nails and balcony rails
Who else would do what she does?
You didn't hear from me
But she'll never be
As graceful as she once was

The gifted are led by the loser
He takes one more drag and wipes the sweat from his brow
If he only knew then
What he still don't know now
He's got a lot of plans, a lot of things to do
How 'bout a great big hand for this jigaboo
I hope you understand what I'm telling you
Come on everybody
There goes the life of the party

(From Mandatory Minimum)



There he goes again,
they call him Mr. Hansom in this joint,
I've heard he's steppin' back a notch or two
but first I gotta see it with my eyes.
Whistlin' "Alley Cat",
orderin' a drink when no one's there,
somebody oughta tell his entourage,
better watch him now, I think he's gettin' wise.

I recall one Christmas day when he came walkin' in
sayin',"Please, can you set up another round of gin?"
Mumblin' somethin' 'bout the cold, he had himself a seat,
"But" I said,"Mr. Hansom I heard you can't take the heat."

There he goes again,
if you knock him down he's gonna get back up,
pass along a half'a twain of rope,
he'll hang himself before the night is through.
the waitress laughs,
let's watch her prop him back up on the stool,
a gifted child, she's got those bedside charms
she picked up out on Warsaw Avenue.

If you should ever come by in the good ol' summertime
you'd see him in the corner mixin' scotch and brine.
Talkin' to his partners with that hang dog face,
the last one 'round the bend in a three legged race.

There he goes again,
he's had enough, well yes but he's still here,
the regulars, it seems they've disappeared,
I'm sure they'll soon be back but until then...

There he goes again

(From Ring Of Smoke and Maurice Mattei & A Roomful Of Victims)



Mama made the wedding dress
Her initials on the sleeve
It looked like it was store bought
And it come down to her knees

It's a thirty dollar wedding
I got thirty dollars down
That the bride won't be here waiting
When the groom comes into town

Who's gonna pay the preacher man
Who's goone buy the wedding cake
Who's gonna ring the church bells
Up above the chapel gate

It's a thirty dollar wedding
I got thirty dollars down
That the bride won't be here waiting
When the groom comes into town

From here to San Antonio
Her father ride the rails
She'll tell you her life story
But she skips all the details

It's a thirty dollar wedding
I got thirty dollars down
That the bride won't be here waiting
When the groom comes into town

(From Under Whip And Chain)



I can talk and I can hear
Bells that ring - the hour's late
Curving lanes of stone are near
Passing by an open gate
From the window, can it be?
Someone there is calling me

Over paths, the vines have grown
Blooming ivy in the air
Leading me to parts unknown
Boulevards and crowded squares
I could turn and not forget
I could run without regret

Goodnight ladies, one and all
Maidens at my beckon call
A treacled harlot still holds sway
Time has come to go away

Hidden charms are gathered there
Slipping under candlelight
Golden reams of beaded hair
Decorate my parasite
Tell me dear, what shall we do
For an hour, maybe two?

Serpent clothed in bridal lace
Staring with half-opened eyes
Soon someone will take my place
Yet another will apprise
All the things that I hold dear
As I did while I was here

Goodnight, ladies, gentlemen
We may never meet again
Time will tell but now, you see
A treacled harlot waits for me

Did I wander narrow ways
Driven by my hands and feet?
In the morning, on the day
Walking down deserted streets
If it's true I want to know
Can you tell me if it's so?

(From Girl On Girl and World On Fire)



Miss Jenny taught me how to read and write
We used to stay up talkin' half the night
She told me of troubles with roguish men
In a town called Kilkenny
A wicked tale of a trip she took
Out on the Matabar Sea
It was her and compadre, Benny Devenhart
Immersed with the wanderin' kind
That weighed each word and played their part
Their motives, ill defined
Quite unaware of the price he'd pay
He offered gold and asked to stay

From the hangman's knot to the street below
It's a twenty-foot drop with six to go

I was only a boy but I remember well
All the details of the stories Miss Jenny would tell
Leading their victims and casualties
Through the alleys off St. Tallus Square
Well versed in crimes of every degree
They would gather the treasures there
By the sword and the knife, my mistress recalled
They'd hold each new client at bay
And meet after hours in Dorchester Hall
Dividing the spoils of the day
On a wall, by the bed, their rapiers were hung
Beside martinets, the lash and their guns

From the hangman's knot to the street below
It's a twenty-foot drop with six to go.

Cold-hearted deeds brought fruitful rewards
Unspeakable pleasures were theirs to afford
Living by threat and petty conceits,
Each trespass given its turn
Hosts to all terrors, made more complete
For riches being unearned
Accepting no quarter or any request
Word was soon passed through the town
A price for the heads of these unwelcome guests
Ten guineas, if dead, yet a crown
"Jenny, my dear," said poor Devenhart
"Perhaps it is time for us to depart"

From the hangman's knot to the street below
It's a twenty-foot drop with six to go.

Misled by their rivals, unjustly betrayed
In a gin palace near the mainline
My mistress found measures for her getaway
While leaving the other behind
Bad luck to the wanderin' kind
"Was she not concerned or did she not see
the debt her companion would owe?"
I'm sure that she did, in fact she told me
Some things which you may yet not know
Of her hand in deceits that had first brought them down
Of regrets that she felt after leaving that town

From the hangman's knot to the street below
It's a twenty-foot drop with six to go

(From Under Whip And Chain)



There's a place off of Crestview Lane
Where I parked my car one day in the pouring rain
Don't ask me 'cause I can't explain
Why I sat there waiting, only heaven knows
But it's charming in a common way, I suppose

It was only for an hour, maybe two
I couldn't think of nothing else to do
Then again that might not be true
There was Angeline, my Lilly of the West
Who had offered me her favors, I confess
In a world under whip and chain

For some money I think she might ride
A shiny trinket would get me inside
Sometimes it takes her hours to decide
With all my old acquaintances so near

Up ahead, could those be party lights?
Mama's coming home, tonight's the night
So what's the point of putting up a fight
When someone can be led so easily
Somewhere they didn't even want to be?
In a world under whip and chain

Was I indiscreet
Out there on the street?
You might have been watching
What's he out there for?
Don't go near the door
That joker might just come knocking

There's a place off of Crestview Lane
Where I parked my car one day in the pouring rain
Don't ask me 'cause I can't explain
Why I sat there waiting, only heaven knows
But it's charming in a common way, I suppose

(From Under Whip And Chain)



Volpina, come with me we'll go away
Do the things we said we'd do
Say the things we meant to say
These are words, I'm sure, that to you have often been spoken
But if you knew your way around
Who'd have thought that you'd be found
Without a promise left unbroken

I've seen you in places where you shouldn't be
Doin' things you shouldn't do
Seein' things you shouldn't see
But that's all over now, there's nowhere left for you to go
The street outside is full of noise
Crowded with the local boys
Tellin' me what I already know

Everything has changed, It's not the way it was before
All your debts are overdue
And time is what they want from you
But it's too late to give them anymore.

Volpina, we have both seen better days
Come and take a chance with me
Tonight's the night we'll run away

(From Grandview)



It's been such a long time
It's hard to believe that you're here
But please come inside
You look a bit tired, my dear
I haven't had time to keep up with the news
Last I heard weren't you Eastward bound?
Come on in, have a seat
Welcome to Richmond Park Downs

I lost your connection
Somewhere down the line way back when
And I never thought
You'd ever come by here again
You had lot's of plans, many places to go
With your friends out in ole New York town
That's the high life I hear
Welcome to Richmond Park Downs

I wish I could tell you that things here have changed
There's not much in Richmond that's new
And where I'm concerned the routine's the same
How different things must be for you

You must tell me all of the things
That you've done and you've seen
Was the world that you found
The same as the one in your dreams?
This may not be the time, I suppose that you're right
I'm just glad that you came back around
Get some rest while your here
Welcome to Richmond Park Downs

(From Ring Of Smoke and Maurice Mattei & A Roomful Of Victims)



Keep workin' sister, keep on workin' til the work is done
Burn down the silos, let's burn 'em down one by one
We'll meet on highway nine and hitch a ride to Santa Fe
Sit on a hillside, watch the twister blow the town away

You'll have to beg for food, the rest I'm bound to steal or borrow
We'll sing and dance tomorrow

Lip smackin' mama, why you marchin' in a marchin' band?
Talk slowly baby 'cause it's gettin hard to understand
Between the drummers and the trumpets and the piccolos
The room is spinnin' 'round, where it stops, nobody knows

One day you'll be my Bonnie, I can be your Clyde Barrow
We'll sing and dance tomarrow

Inside my ol' tophat I keep my brother's powder dry
Look up ahead, I think there's something flyin' in the sky
Please tell me sweetheart why you always starin' at the ground?
If you find something there, can you kindly pass it down?

Just 'cause your in the lead that don't mean that I'm gonna follow
We'll sing and dance tomorrow

Let me sleep upon it, haven't I been here before?
No I can't say I want it, I had my fill, I don't want no more

I'll tell you straight Joe I only wanna take your place
I wish that I could look that gal of yours in the face
In the mornin' time before she gets the coffee brewin'
A day don't go by that I don't wonder what she's doin'

Though she would tear my heart in two and fill my days with sorrow
I'd sing and dance tomorrow

Above your head I see a hatchet that's about to fall
A line'a gigolos and listen Joe, that ain't all
The cook is stirrin' 'round a pot of figs in' bacon grease
Throw in the chicken legs, let it boil, have a piece

The meat is thick, the skin is black an' the bones are hollow
We'll sing and dance tomorrow

Sometimes the summer wind, you know it's such a wicked thing
Blowin those clouds away but no one knows what it'll bring
The swayin' trees the metal fences and the gullotines
It all seems very nice but I can't tell you what it means

Though one day we may sink beneath the weight of all this cargo
We'll sing and dance tomorrow

I got a witness in a barroom on the edge of town
Where all the girls were wearin' high heeled shoes and evening gowns
We took a slow train back an' got here at the break of dawn
I knocked on your front door but Kimmy told us you were gone

If you can hear me tell the crew out there in the shallows
We'll sing and dance tomorrow

I think I'll leap upon it while she's sleepin' in the upper room
Don't everybody want it? I got a hunch she gonna wake up soon

She moves an' mountains fall, leaves be shakin' on the trees
Rivers are overflowin', can somebody help me please?
My wagon's in the ditch, my suit is made of mud and tar
Can't find my way back home and I don't know where you are

If only I could flag a ride outta ol' Chicago
I'd sing and dance tomorrow

(On-line release for Blue Jordan Records)



Everything is blood soaked under western skies
Everyone I look at stares back with empty eyes
My pockets are full of money, I don't even know why
All day long I'm watchin' cars go by

Climbin' the steps to get up to the roof
Those young men must think that they're bulletproof
Don't tell me, I don't want to know the truth
All I want to hear are lies
You look good under western skies

Thought I was livin' right but I was wrong
I think I've been around here way too long
Some people stay a while and then they're gone
Me, I don't go nowhere, I just hang on

Until there's nothin' left for me to do
Except to trail behind someone like you
Everything's different now but nothin's new
And I can't say that I'm surprised
I'm livin' under western skies

It took me too long to make up my mind
It's no good thinkin' I got left behind
It's my own fault so please don't waste my time
I've got a lot to do, can't you see that I'm

On my way out the door, I got a date
With Miss Dupree over on 8th and State
I'm in a hurry now I can't be late
But I'll be back before sunrise
Somewhere under western skies

(From Western Skies and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



It was a beautiful evening, the stars were shining
Through the blinds in my living room
I was staying with Missy, she was talking to me
And polishing her harpoon
When all at once Missy dear looked up
And she asked me "Whatever became
Of Mr. Chan with the wandering hands
In his filthy tea shop on the corner of 5th and Main?"
I said, It's there but they changed the name

It's called the Westwood Sex Club now
It's called the Westwood Sex Club now
It's called the Westwood Sex Club now

I remember that morning, the leaves were falling
From a hole in the roof above
Missy lay at my feet, talking in her sleep
And I was trying to listen because
I thought I heard her saying something about
How her daddy, a long time ago
Had taken her down to a place in town
Where the lights were bright like the ones in a carnival show
when she woke up she said she wanted to go

To the Westwood Sex Club now
To the Westwood Sex Club now
To the Westwood Sex Club now

I remember that Tuesday, after Missy got ready
We headed out to the sex club scene
When we walked inside we saw a couple of housewives
Selling razors and shaving cream
Mrs. Smith was there and so was Mrs. Ray
They were such a pretty pair
Dressed like doves, wearing rubber gloves
Dancing a jig and throwing Mr. Smith in the air
If you go they may still be there

They're at the Westwood Sex Club now
They're at the Westwood Sex Club now
They're at the Westwood Sex Club now

(From Western Skies)



Whatever happened to Pat?
I heard he went to the war
I wonder if he came back
And if he did what did he come back for?

Whatever happened to George?
With the wig-hat on
Everybody on board
Let's go an' find out where he's gone

There's a lot of talk about him publishin' a magazine
But then somebody told they saw him workin' at a Dairy Queen

I was chattin' with Lou
About a high flyin' crowd
Carrie, Billy and Sue
I wonder what they're doin' right now?

I need to find an angle, my circuits got all tangled, I can't play
That old harmonium, come on and gimmie some or go away

I shot a cannon down the center of Mainstreet late last night
'Bout when Shaneekwa Green was askin' Butter Bean for a light

Whatever happened to George?
That skinny kid
You're awake? Well I'm floored
I wonder what that kid done did?

(From Dead Rails and The Tempers Perform The Best Of Maurice Mattei Vol. 3)



I was raised by gypsy thieves on the banks of the Shenandoe
But that, sweet Kate, was a long, long time ago
When I came up my sister gave to me her silver blade
Looking back, I now confess, her desires were betrayed

When did I surrender? I can't believe it's true
Each step I take, reveals the rake oh Kate what did I do?

Our cunning ways have been abandoned, leave that rope alone
I know you love the streets but can you come back home?
The armor shields, the broken wheels, the leaves go ramblin' by
If you had another drink, do you think you could look me in the eye?

When did I surrender? What have I become?
The tumblers shake, the levee breaks oh Kate what have I done?

I'll make a vow to draw a breath when you talk to me
I'm not at all as fond of death as I used to be
Ignore the mist, the howling wind that follows me around
If I asked you for a dance, could I by chance, ever live it down?

When did I surrender? The straps are giving way
I took the bait a bit too late oh Kate what can I say?
When did I surrender? Don't you understand?
For heaven's sake unlock the gate, oh Kate I know you can

(From Dead Rails)



I talk to strangers but I don't aim to please
Sometimes they say things I don't understand
Ain't nothin' movin' but the mornin' breeze
At least that's how it looks from where I stand

I better look around before I go
I can't forget my partner's walking cane
He's out there waitin' on me and I know
I saw him wavin' from the passin' lane

Just a step away
From where we stood yesterday
Beyond the Great Divide
Beneath the tide
Where worlds collide

The traffic's heavy on the Portsmouth Bridge
It's all backed, it's like we're standin' still
My partner's stuck this side of Governor's Ridge
Now I guess he'll be waitin' there until

We start to move but that may take a while
Ain't that a cruiser? I see flashin' lights
It's stoppin' up ahead, about a mile
I hope things loosen up before midnight

Just a moment from
A place where we had once begun.
Beyond the ocean side
Where lovers hide
When worlds collide

Say, what's that? lightning? is the sky on fire?
I hear a rumble underneath the ground
Between the flooding banks and flaming wires
Am I mistaken? can you hear the sound?

I should have taken Hoffner Road, I guess
Or Phaidra Lane onto the motorway
Over the Langtry Turnpike, heading west
I could have been home by the break of day

Just a little more
Of what we both were looking for
Our eyes were open wide
Side by side
Where worlds collide

(From Western Skies)



The temperature's dropping and there's a killing frost
Better look down the street both ways before you cross
Someone stole your valentines and that's too bad
Between Clementine and Scarsdale we were had

I transposed and numbered a shanty on the bow
Where you goin' now? Where you goin' now?

Keep your hands busy writing postcards to yourself
I did three days but there's still thirty on the shelf
You better watch your step before you answer me
Remember, I'm not as quiet as I used to be

Were you still breathing when you took your wedding vows?
Where you goin' now? Where you goin' now?

They're crossed-tailed and shuddered but my clothes are still wet
From standing all night outside Lucinda's Wonderette
Under a patch of blue a concertina plays
"If I Were More Like You I Never Would Have Stayed"

With your eyes on the fence-post and your hands on a plow
Where you goin now? where you goin' now?

Take the jewels with you but wear them once for me
Look up in the sky and tell me what you see
When our paths cross again we won't know what to say
We'll both be marking' time for the one that got away

I'll dance the two-step if you show me how
Where you goin' now? where you goin' now?

(From Welcome Love and World On Fire)



There she goes on her widow's walk,
Walkin' right by me
Waiting for the one she's lost
Far across the sea
Gone to find another life,
She waits for his return
A thousand days, a thousand nights
She is unconcerned

I watched her from the steps above
Nearly every day
Waiting for the one she loved
Gone so far away
The days would come and days would go,
She didn't seem to mind
Always there on the steps below
Waiting for the time

Then one day a letter came to me
From that lover boy across the sea,
Saying "Dearest friend, please call on her
And tell her that a love so true for me is not deserved"

To those steps and to that town
I never did return
Into the rooms where she'd be found
Was never said a word
I kept my distance from her path
And never did I stray
For if, by chance, I should go back
To her what would I say?

(From Grandview and Under Whip And Chain)



Beneath the briers and thistles growing
I found a worthless treasure
On the banks of a river flowing
High above the measure
My way was slow I traveled blind
Seeking only what wasn't mine
Until I chanced to find
A worthless treasure

How many days had passed, I wondered
Through kind and bitter weather
The tangled vines that it lay under
Tied with a rope of leather
How many looked but did not see
While others walked by carelessly
Until it came to me
My worthless treasure

I wrapped it in a tattered curtain
And we set off together
Heading north where I was certain
My fortunes would be better
With no companions, side by side
'Cross town and over the great divide
Nothing but me and my
Worthless treasure

Hang on before you go
There's something I must know
If I had money in my pockets
would you spend a little time
Or would you still
have rambling on your mind?

(From Girl On Girl)



By a corner shop she doesn't mind the weather
I'm the first in line between the bull and heather
There's nowhere I would rather be
The price for tainted company
Is not nearly so dear, don't you agree?

You can take what's left
Though the merchandise is tattered
After one worthless regret
The rest won't even matter

Dressed in blue and gray, the customers are charming
When it's closing time their attentions are alarming
Tell me if you think I'm wrong
But this seems to be where I belong
Where the tempted can be bartered for a song

You can take what's left
The shelves are overflowing
There's more than you'd expect
And the inventory's growing

The wages of my sins, I fear
Are far worse than they might appear
Of all the things that I require
To pass the time of day
Which is the one I most desire?
It's hard for me to say

When you pass by I'm sure you'll find her waiting
A certain disrespect is so ingratiating
Tell me what you want to do
I wouldn't ask you if I knew
There isn't much to choose between the two

You can take what's left
after it's been used and handed down
Every Juliet
Waits for Romeo to come around

(From Welcome Love)



I wanna go to Lawrenceburg, I love them gamblin' boats
Drink myself a keg or two of gin
Sit up on the riverside an' watch the shanties float
I tell ya son, I only play to win
I'm leavin' after suppertime, I won't be back till dawn
If you thought I'd pay your way an' you could tag along
You'd be wrong
You'd be wrong
You'd be wrong

Might stop to watch the dancin' girls inside the Tiger Paw
With the money I got left, that's what I'll do
I seen a lotta things but I don't ever think I saw
A dancin' girl that ever had a clue
Livin' up in mama's place, better put your lid back on
If you think I'll be droppin' by when mama's up an' gone
You'd be wrong
You'd be wrong
You'd be wrong

Everytime I look around somebody's on the curb
Haulin' up the papers off the pier
Marjie took a trip down south, at least that's what I heard
Could be I'll be there this time next year

The roulette wheel is spinnin' 'round an' I done hit a nine
I think I'll have another drink or three
Don't move them chips sweet Geraldine 'cause some of 'em are mine
Listen here miss lady leave 'em be
I might seem like a country gent the way I ramble on
But if you think I'd lose my rent for a hat trick and a song
You'd be wrong
You'd be wrong
You'd be wrong

(From Dead Rails)



When we were talking I could not believe
The stories you told me were true
Yet, you were charming, you seemed so sincere
So I put my trust dear, in you
How could I have known they were all empty words?
How could I have seen through the mist?
To sacrifice everything now seems absurd
Misled by an unguarded kiss
You kept me here waiting for this

You said we'd find treasures beyond all our dreams
More riches than our hands could touch
And yet of these treasures and riches it seems
I found only sorrow and dust
To retrace my steps would now be too late
To undo this unholy tryst
In my weakest hour I swallowed the bait
Your golden hair coiled 'round my wrist
You kept me here waiting for this

I must have been blinded, how foolish, how proud
And yet, looking back now I see
That I was just one among those in a crowd
When you cast your eyes upon me
There've been many others, I know this is true
Your lies, they could not resist
But I never thought that one day you'd
Be adding my name to the list
You kept me here waiting for this

Along the path, I see the dangers
It's all I can do to carry on
The towns we pass are filled with strangers
Everyone I know is gone

I once saw a sign, it read "We Never Close"
But I can't recall where or when
We're walking in circles yet I don't really know
If I'll ever be by here again
"Don't stray far behind" you once said to me
"There are pleasures here you dare not miss
Oh the things we will do, the sights we will see"
Weren't these words that once crossed your lips?
You kept me here waiting for this

(From Ring Of Smoke)



You can't be blamed
Your friends and your lovers are close at hand
It's a routine, to stay for a while
Your head is turning, you give me a smile
It's so much like what has happened before
You've had quite enough but you're asking for more
Now who would have thought it when you walked through the door?

Is it too high a price to pay
To give up your young man's ways?

Pardon me sir if I seem confused
But discretion is surely advised
There isn't a path that's been more often used
I don't know a soul who's less than amused
By the far away look in your baby blue eyes

Nothing has changed
Time's crawling by but I understand
You're caught in-between the latest of styles
And you're either burning or you've been beguiled
By someone who's sitting alone on the floor
You think to yourself "who is she waiting for?"
Perhaps you should leave but you're not really sure

Is it too high a price to pay
To give up your young man's ways?

(B-side of promo single for Maurice Mattei & A Roomful Of Victims)



Tell me the truth
I hate it when you lie
I hate those teardrops falling
From your bloodshot eyes
Before the morning comes
Before it gets too late
You better sit right down
And get your story straight

'Cause he's got a couple of friends in town
Who follow you around
They tell him where you go
'Cause your daddy wants to know

He's the jealous kind
Maybe a little crazy too
And he's been spending time
Keeping tabs on you
He set you up real nice
You're going to have to choose
Take some good advice
You got a lot to loose

So now you better get some rest
Take off that party dress
Hang up the telephone
'Cause your daddy's coming home

With a little luck
He won't be here for a while
But if things get rough
You're going to have to change your style
And then it's back to the bump and grind
Working at Miss Adeline's
Pulling doubles for fives and tens
Doing time on the losing end

Tell me the truth
I hate it when you lie
I hate those teardrops falling
From your bloodshot eyes
Before the morning comes
You better get some sleep
You got nowhere to run
And you're in trouble deep

'Cause he won't be asking for a reason why
Doesn't want to hear your alibis
I'd help you but I don't know how
Tell me honey, who's sorry know?

(From World On Fire)


© 2008 Maurice Mattei