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Nat Marshal
No Regrets
North Of 80
Nowhere running
Oh Dunnawetter
Old sawhorse Gabe
People canít believe
Pillow for two
Please Donít Come HereTonight
Please Lord Donít Take Any More
Raining Bad Luck
Rise and Fall
Romans 13
Roots
The Story of Scott Wagner
She Ain't Wrong She's Just Real
Sheís Beautiful
Smokeless Joe
Snake wind
Something out in the dark
Song For Jay
Spares and Strikes
St. Paddy's Lament
Sweet Pickle Barrel
Take It
Take This Bottle
Talking Conforming Blues
Talking Hegins Pigeon Shoot Blues
Talking Progress Blues
That River
The cowboy and the hippie
The Ballad of Jesse Jones
The Goodnight Song
The Leatherman
The Mountain
The Story of Scott Wagner
There was a time
Thick as Thieves
This Dollar goes round and round
This worlds got more
There Was A Time (Those days are gone)
Tobacco From Tennessee
Trees
VFW
Vinyl
Walk of Shame
Walking The Streets
We Can't Be Free (More, More, More)
We're All Gonna Die
Welcome Home
West Virginia
When youíve got spain
Whiskey
Winds of Idaho
Winters thoughts
Women, words, and wine
Words of the miners who worked Montour Ridge
Working With Your Hands
Wouldnít it be nice
You Can't Drink Your Way Out
Youíre still with me
 



NAT MARSHAL
Van Wagner
(1996)

I saw you on the street today
But you didnít have much to say
I guess thatís why weíre here
Just to make it through the year

The years they go by uncounted
And Iíll meet you half way
But if this is all itís amounted to
Then Iíll see you another day
Yeah, Iíll see you another day

The winterís a-cominí on
Itís time to put the sweaters on
And build that fire high
Itís gotta last through the night

The nights they go by uncounted
And Iíll meet you half way
But if this is all itís amounted to
Then Iíll see you another day
Yeah, Iíll see you another day

And thereís a girl Iíd like to see
I wonder if sheís thinking of me
But whatís the use of worrying
Cause timeís gonna tell us when

My tears they go by uncounted
And Iíll meet you half way
But if this is all itís amounted to
Then Iíll see you another day
Yeah, Iíll see you another day


No Regrets
Van Wagner
March 12, 2003

Iím thinking about my coffin and what itís gonna be
Made of Oak or solid Hickory?
Well I hope itís Pennsylvanian in the wood that is used
I hope itís ruff cut lumber and the nails show through.

Thinking about my funeral whoís gonna attend.
Will there be a sermon what hymns will they sing?
Will loved ones just tell stories 3 for a dime?
Or will there be remembrance that I went down a dying?

 Well Hope thereís some laughter as they look back on my life
 Stories told by Robbie and finished by my wife.
 I tried to raise some good times, good times I have had
 No regrets, no regrets have I had in this land.

No I donít want a grave, thatís a waste of good stone.
Leave it for the rattlesnake so he can have a home.
Let the likens grow upon it as time passes on
I plan to leave no mark on Godís earth when Iím gone.

But for those who will remember and wonít let me go
Head up the Susquehanna straight against the flow.
In the breath of a coal mine or the mist of Ricketts Glenn
Iíll be in these mountains all over again.
 
 
 


North of 80

Van Wagner, summer 2001
 
 
 
 

When Armstrong stepped on the moon

America stepped with him too.

But the giant leap left some behind,

Buried in the foothills of time.
 
 

Not much has changed here today,

Prosperity never seems to stay.

100 miles off the map,

But we all know exactly where weíre at.
 
 

            North of 80 it ainít the same.

            I donít know how else to put it to explain.

            Thereís a different tune in the air.

            Thereís a northern feel, that makes it real everywhere.
 
 

Pennsylvaniaís hard to call.

Not just one shoe fits us all.

7 worlds all in one

Sharing nothing but the air and the sun.
 
 

The truth is most folks donít see

Much more than the southern tear.

Harrisburg to Philly and out to the West

But they forget about the part where I fit best.
 
 

            Chorus
 
 

So next time youíre on the road

And feeling shaky in your soul.

Take your watch and throw it away

Come up North just for a day.
 
 

Once your life learns to breath

Youíll find it so hard to leave.

Donít be surprised if your tracks disappear

And youíre surrounded by a future up here.
 
 

            Chorus
 
 


Nowhere Running
Van Wagner and Darren Schlappich
1996

Clockwork till dawn
When I felt it coming,
Slow it down
Nowhere running, nowhere running.

Go now,
While the days donít count,
 Waiting perched too long to get what's out,
Nowhere running, nowhere running

 Nowhere running, itís too fast for you
 You donít see what you put me through.
 Nowhere running nowhere running

Sweet drops of vine dew
Looking feeling bad
In through to you,
Nowhere running nowhere running

Rest a while
Take it back
With out our past we canít look back,
 Nowhere running nowhere running

 Nowhere running, itís too fast for you
 You donít see what you put me through.
 Nowhere running nowhere running



 

Oh Dunnawetter
Van Wagner and Matt Harrison June 2004

Every time Iím in Sunbury the rainís a coming down.
Winds pick up, thunder rolls around.
The air gets cool as day turns to night
Lightning crashes what a powerful sight.

Oh Dunnawetter, the fields are turning green.
Itís the life of the land
From Godís own hand
Making it pure and clean.

Miles of water coming down today
Miles more headed towards the Bay.
Old Chesapeake up to the brim
Back in the North is where it begins.

From the top of the mountain on Mile Hill Road
See the storm brewing in the valley below
The wind picked up, the leaves coming down
The storm so close you could touch it from the ground,
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



People Canít Believe
Van Wagner July 1998

People canít believe that Iím not down these days
Iím not flat out these days, they just canít believe
and people may say, they didnít think Iíd find my way,
Iím just wasting days, thatís what theyíd say.

(CHORUS)
 But now itís me, the one who everybody  thought
 would fall to his knees, and wind up sinking like a rock

People canít believe that Iím still free these days
and not locked up some place, they canít believe.
All too busy pointing their fingers at me,
when they couldnít even see ten inches in front of their face.

     (CHORUS)

     (BRIDGE)
some would speak, that Iím the blackest of sheep
not the kind of company, you wanted your kids to keep.

Well people wonít believe, what Iíve done with my life some day
and my beautiful wife some day, they wonít believe.
And come some day, when my soul flies away
My tombstone will say, ďhe believedĒ

     (CHORUS)

(BRIDGE)



Pillow for 2
Van Wagner Sept. 1994

Looking out this window
All I can see is what I already know.
My love for you is so strong and true,
That no ocean is gonna stop me from caring for you.
Your face you voice your words, are carried with me constantly.
And in my heart all the memories.

 But for how long will you go.
 This is all I need to know.
 And when youíre gone will I be on your mind,
 That is one place I shouldnít be hard to find.

Iíve always felt warm with you.
But when youíre gone what am I supposed to do?
Iím giving you my heart to take with you,
So when you sleep sleep on a pillow made for 2.
Will you please hold me?
Your touch seems to set me free.

 Chorus

and everytime your heart starts aching,
Know that Iím back home faithfully waiting.

 Chorus


Please Donít Come Here Tonight
Words Van Wagner
Music Wagner and Roger Renteria J.R.
1995

Standing on the edge of it all.
Donít push me I might fall.
So much has gone so much to come
I donít need it all just give me some.

 Please donít come here tonight
 Iíve got it all set up insight.
 Please donít come here tonight
 Just leave your note on the step outside.

If I were a knight in an ancient war.
Iíd find my best friend was a sharpened sword.
But that ainít me man I must deny it all.
Theyíll be no armor on me come this fall.

 Chorus



Please Lord Donít Take Any More
Van Wagner 1996

Please lord donít take any more
I just donít think I can take it.
Please lord donít take any more
One more just might break me.

I feel Iíve lost so much lord, Iím not sure why Iím calling.
Iím trying to get myself off the ground or keep myself from falling.
And Iím sure if the one I loved was the one I left behind me,
So Iím back-stepping with a pattern just to keep it all behind me.

I grew up with a brother that I lost when I was 13
I hope that heís missing me in our time in between.
Thatís when I knew myself best and pain was just a stranger.
But now I find my only peace is breathing in danger.

 Chorus

Your son lord is near me in my life I can see him.
He spirit reaching through me and his music I can hear it.
Man what I give just one afternoon to sit and do some picking.
Me and Max and our old guitars and let the sunset do the singing.

And itís still living in me as Iím looking now at this one.
Itís been coming for a year now and Iím thankful for the warning.
But time alone to say goodbye canít fix pain inside him.
So Iím asking lord to take his hand and let Steve keep on living.
 



Raining Bad Luck
Van Wagner, Summer 2000

This rain wonít quit, coming down today.
This rain wonít quit coming down today.
Yeah this bad luck seems to want to stay.

I got up, like any day
I got up, like any day
But that bad luck had something to say.

Went to the mountain, to set it right.
Went up on the mountain, gonna set myself right.
But that bad luck put up another fight.

ÖÖ(.tales from the land of bad luck)

It rained all day, all day.
It rained all day, all day.
No that bad luck, donít wanna go away.
 
 


Rise and Fall
(Mar/April 99)
Van Wagner
 

Thereís something about a waltz, That makes me feel fine
I only feel like myself, ¾ the time.
Iíve got friends playing jazz, keeping all kinds of time,
Oh but a waltz, suits me just fineÖ

 And itís old rise and fall
 Old rise and fall
 Old rise and fall, to my life.

Before I was old enough to drive, I was young enough to dance.
I now I sit far from home, and Iíd kill for the chance.
My mom shouldíve given up on me, and my 2 left feet,
But when it came to the waltz, I was always on beatÖ.

And itís old rise and fall
 Old rise and fall
 Old rise and fall, to my life.

Tonight Iím gonna see a girl, whoíll dance you off your feet
And once the band picks it up, then weíll take tot he street.
With the stars spinning over our heads, and the drinking of wineÖ
Oh but a waltz, suits me just fine..

 And itís old rise and fall
 Old rise and fall
 Old rise and fall, to my life.


Romans 13
Van Wagner 1995

Well living down here, just ainít so crystal clear.
Yes living down here, just ainít so crystal clear.
Iím riding in a car, with a blind man at the wheel.

Equality ainít no game and this I surely see.
Equality ainít no game and this I surely see.
But a manís dealing black-jack making a joker out of me.

Lord I know that your word is true.
Lord I know that your word is true.
But I donít like the rulers, making a fool outta you.

My cup may be filed, and it may be over-flowed.
My cup may be filed, and it may be over-flowed.
But it sure tastes like poison as itís going down my throat.

Submission blues lord God itís a tearing the life right outta me.
Submission blues lord God itís a tearing the life right outta me.
Itís so hard to be yourself, living under authority.


Roots
Van Wagner
Finished Dec 24, 2002
Verses 1999

Like a rain the past has its track laid down.
Iím hitched a rail to some lost town.
Iíll find my way around this world
With a handful of hope and the heart of a girl.

Gotta put roots down of my own.
Gotta put roots down, build myself a home.
Gotta put roots down, in some land
I need some place to stand.

Last night I wondered my thoughts in a knot
At the end of the string, found truth was all I caught.
Itís skin tight wrapping let me see who I am
Tomorrow dripping and covering the land.

 Chorus

I just lost the game while I turned it around
The winning turn is back in that town.
Iíll tell it and tail it without footprints
And fill my thirst from the spring of the tense.

Chorus
 
 



She ainít Wrong Sheís Just Real
Van Wagner Spring 2000

She had a way of a different kind
She kept hours of her own time
You could say she was a freeborn girl,
Broke her reins in this straight lined world.

16 years trying to play the game,
Went to prom just like every Jane.
Pretty in pink, with ribbons and bows.
Phony smile and plastic rose.

 She ainít wrong sheís just real,
 Itís the only love she feels, the only love she feels.
When I look into her eyes,
Sheís not wearing a disguise
She ainít telling any lies.

Excuses flowed from her motherís mind.
Was so sorry about her daughterís life.
But her daughter didnít feel the same,
She didnít care what others would say.

Itís not about whoís right or wrong
Sheís just living a life of her own.
She gives country clubs something to discuss
But she knows more about love than most of us.

 Chorus
 
 


Sheís Beautiful
Van Wagner
1997

Sheís beautiful, sheís cold to hold.
Just to hold her in my time
And speak a sound from my mind.
Sheís beautiful.

 But why am I so blind,
 The last thing I need is more time.
 Itís gonna bring me down,
 Sheís beautiful.

Sheís magical, sheís made of gold.
Just to show her that I care
And run my fingers through her hair.
Sheís beautiful.
 


Smokeless Joe
Van Wagner November 1998

Old Smokeless Joe never found the time,
To cross over the county line.
He wasnít one of the rambliní kind.
Oh, Old Smokeless Joe.

78 years on fertile land,
Lost 2 sons back in Vietnam,
Now the years run through the hands,
Oh, of Smokeless Joe.

Then came the banks with their moneybags,
Them in suits and Joe in rags.
Forced to salute a green back flag,
Oh, Old Smokeless Joe.

Now he bought a place down in the town,
Half an acre of old factory ground.
The water from his spigot runs rusty brown,
Oh, for Smokeless Joe.

Sits at night on his front porch swing,
And tries to remember how the wood cocks would sing.
The sounds of Danville (or the city) just ainít the same
Oh, to Smokeless Joe.

Old Joe died on the first of May,
Only thing he owned was a jar of clay,
And a beat up bible to show the way,
Oh, for Smokeless Joe.

Well that old man was a friend of mine,
I think about him when I cross the county line.
Montour soil was as sweet as wine,
Oh, to Smokeless Joe.



Snake Wind
Van Wagner
1996

Thereís a snake wind blowing, blowing up from the bush.
Thereís a snake wind blowing, blowing up from the bush.
I can hear him rattling, heís a calling my bluff.

Donít let him fool you, when you laugh you may get bit.
Donít let him fool you, when you laugh you may get bit.
The snake winds blowing and you may get frost bit.

Iíve been out hog stomping, walking with my feet on the ground.
Iíve been out hog stomping, walking with my feet on the ground.
But that snakes gonna get me, as I go crawling on the ground.

You may have good friends and they may have shotguns.
You may have good friends and they may have shotguns.
But when your time blows, your stomping days are done.

Iíve been out in the woods, Iíve been by the riverside too.
Iíve been out in the woods, Iíve been by the riverside too.
If that snake up and bit me, who's to say he wonít bite you?


Something out In the Dark
Van Wagner 1999
 

I have a friend from the south of the state, heís your every day Joe.
He lives his life, day by day and he travels a broken road.
All his life, heís never believed in something that he could not see.
He said if God is real, then where is he now, amidst all my (this) misery.

 When the world has run you through
 That doesnít mean, heís turned his back on you.
 Canít you believe and trust your heart.
 That thereís something, out in the dark.

I kind of feel for people like that and the lonely paths theyíve choose.
The only reason they canít see God is because their eyes are closed.
In the breath of a song, or a night gone wrong his presence is through and through.
If you want to see God then just look in the eyes of the person right next to you.

 When the world has run you through
 That doesnít mean, heís turned his back on you.
 Canít you believe and trust your heart.
 That thereís something, out in the dark.

Weíve got to stop living our lives, just expecting more and more
And start living like miracles, which is exactly what we are.
Youíve got to build your life on faith if you want to get off the ground,
Because a sea of apathyís a perfect place for any good soul to drown.

 When the world has run you through
 That doesnít mean, heís turned his back on you.
 Canít you believe and trust your heart.
 That thereís something, out in the dark.


Song For Jay
Van Wagner
Dec 24, 2002

Just a kid from the country, but there was something that music spoke to me.
Took the sound of the city streets and wrapped it up with a wicket beat.

 So spin those records round
They scratch a mournful sound
Spin those records round
Weíre laying the master down.

While other groups were rude and raw, bragging with their golden jaw.
3 kids from Hollis Queens proved that only song was king.

 Chorus

Iíve branched out as the years rolled by, finding melodies throughout my life.
As I live to write more songs, his 2 turntables will both spin on.

 Chorus
 
 


Spares and Strikes
By Van Wagner
September 2001

It was red pin night down at the lanes, the amateurs stay away.
Vince is in his IROC II, heading for the P-nut Bowl.
He walks in like Clint Eastwood, to the sound of pins and maple wood
He grabs a seat at the bar and sips a beer like a hungry shark.

In walks Joe from Nescopeck, tries to hide the red on his neck.
He drove down from Shickshinny, in his diesel Ford F-150.
He checks out lanes 9 and 10, and bowls alone for 20 pins.
Vince is watching from the bar, this is what heís waited for.

 The lanes stretch out like highways, thereís thunder in the pins.
Thereís cash on the barrel head and egos in the wind.
Some will be heroes and some will go down, in this town.

Vince moves slick, Vince moves slow heís gonna go a round with Joe.
He throws 100 dollars down, Joeís heart begins to pound.
Vince shakes off his practice frames, he fires a twister down the lane.
He turns his back to the pins, he hears them fall and cracks a grin.

Joe stares down the lane and squints, he holds the ball like a 30-06
He takes his aim and lets her fly, and kisses all 10 pins goodbye.
Itís back and forth with strikes and spares, smooth as the gel in Vinceís hair
Thereís a crowd of folks watching now, to see the best show in town.

 CHORUS

Now Berwickís known for itís bowling men, the red-necks and the Italians.
The P-nut bowl and Stenkoís Lanes have seen their share of tied up games.
But  a Tie game seems distant now as Joeís streak bottoms out
A sound breaks the smoky air, thereís 2 pins standing there.

Now a 7 Ė 10 split will break most men, but Joe stands tall and thin
His muscle shirt says no fear, but heís wishiní he was outta here.
He holds a breath and lets her fly, he hooks the 10 on the inside
It whipped around to the other pin, and took it down with a crooked spin.

 Chorus

They reached the end of the game, they had tied up in the 10th frame.
Vince took a look at Joe, saying ďI guess itís time to goĒ
Joe said thatís no contest, Iíve got to know whoís the best.
Youíre the one who started this, and I plan to finish it.

On they went through days and nights, back and forth with spares and strikes.
A shoot out in the Berwick Lanes, the worlds longest tied up game.
If you ever go down to the P-nut bowl, look around for Vince and Joe.
Up to lanes 9 and 10, the Redneck and the Italian.


St. Paddyís Lament
Van Wagner
March 17, 2003

I donít know why they knock me down
Iíve asked nothing from this town.
They want to paint me to be the beast
Just become Iím from the East.

 But it only makes me stronger, my roots just grow longer
 Like the Ponderosa Pine all around.
 But the winds can sure blow hard here, and even the tallest pine tree
 Has a point that will bring it to the ground.

So the punching bag Iíve become
To take their frustrations out on
As they get drunk on their words
They just grind me into the dirt.

Chorus

On this St. Paddyís Day
For once I can feel the same
For Iíve come to a new land
And been met with a hard hand.

Chorus
 
 
 


Sweet Pickle Barrel
By Van Wagner  June 2002

This world is full of exit ramps
Itís the road of life but you just get one chance.
Youíve got to go just where you feel.
I donít buy any squawk or talk
About predetermination before you can walk
I got a feeling itís much more real.

 Donít go looking for sweetness in the bottom of a pickle barrel
 Donít go looking for hard rock in the tune of the wild wood flower.
 Donít look for true love, down at the corner bar
 Donít search for sunrise in the dayís final hour.

Now donít get me wrong I surely believe
In the lord above and that heís looking after me
Thereís no way I could make it alone.
He may know when heís calling me away
But until then thereíre quite a few days
Itís in my hands where I make them go.

Chorus

So red is red and black is blue
What it is to me may not be for you
I didnít mean that when I wrote this song.
Everybodyís got their own beliefs
Thatís about the coolest thing to me
I just offer my thoughts right or wrong.

Chorus



Take It
Van Wagner
1994/95

 When you see an open door you better take it.
 When your break comes by you best not break it.
 Cause thereís no guarantee youíll get it back.
 No thereís no guarantee youíll get it back

If your pen starts slipping write it down.
When your ride starts leaving get out of town.
when youíre told youíve lost get up and win.
And each time you fall down get up again.

 Chorus

When itís dark and the day is going down
Remember the sun will be back around.
Donít you ever hang your head down low,
Cause if your chance comes you will not know.

 Chorus

Youíre gonna meet some people turning cheeks
And youíll meet a man whose pocket leaks.
And the Truth wonít always be in your hand.
But theyíll always be someone who understands..

 Chorus
 



Take this Bottle
Van Wagner, Oct. 11, 2000

I had a friend names whiskey Lou who drank his dreams away.
They found him dead in the river one day, his lips cold as the clay.
He had cut his hand on a broken heart, back in 1972.
He sings his pain with a bottled refrain but his singing now is through.

Please lord take this bottle, smash it on the stone.
I pray those demons stay far away, and leave us folks alone.

I knew a girl from down the road hair as fine as the wind.
Just a smile from her could knock me down, her eyes could do just the same.
But the years passed on and the shine was gone, there was wind for her hair.
Her eyes showed scars of prison bars, sheíd shut the door and drank the keys

 Chorus

Iíve been the slave of a cigarette steel chains in every drag.
I still hear him scratching on my door, Iím so close to letting him in.
Weíve all got bottles with some kind of poison we choke ourselves as we drink
The sting of liquor or the lies of lust, poisons that kill within.

 Chorus



Talking Conformation Blues
Van Wagner and Chad McKonley
1995 & Feb. 2000

Through out life IĎve been meeting men
that tell me Iíve got to be like them.
Said if I try to be unique
someoneís gonna step on my feet.
I guess I better start wearing steel toed boots, Iím a Herman survivor.

They complain about the way I dress,
my styles are outdated and my cloths are a mess.
They hate me and my clothes it seems,
they even hate the holes in my jeans,
I got holes in my shoes, holes in my socks, and holes in my briefsÖ
I suppose Iím a holy man!Ötheyíre not much for religion I guess.

Well my appearance is only half the story,
 my music accounts for most the glory.
You ought to see the looks on their faces
when I pull out my banjo at most placesÖ
Kids run and hide, husbands hide their wives, The SPCA turns the dogs loose, I think theyíre afraid of its size, and the 5th string.

MTV MTV,
everybodyís always telling me.
Saying my music ainít cool my music is weird,
get that mandolin outta here!
Bluegrass is for hillbilliesÖ.thank you, I always appreciate compliments.

I hope thereís still some people out there
who arenít afraid to take the dare.
Be yourself be unique, and if anybody steps on your feet,
give me a call, Iíve got a few extra pair of Herman survivor boots around here somewhereÖ..
thank God weíre not all the sameÖthat would be about as useful as teats on a bore hog!


Talking Hegins Pigeon Shoot Blues
by Karl Shellenberger and Van Wagner May 2002
 

Get out your shotguns boys and girls
We're heading up on top of the world
Where the men are men and the women are too
Heading up the Hegins pigeon shoot
Boys become men
Girls become women
Pigeons become broken-hearted

They have their scrapple as the sun comes up
They head out to Hegins in their pickup trucks
Their shotguns shining in the morning sun
Time to get drunk and have some fun
Lead a-flyin'
Feathers dying
Big men, little birds.

Now that all the smoke has cleared
There's 300 pigeons lying there
The boy scouts run out to ring the necks
Of the pigeons still sucking breath
They're trying to live
They're trying to breathe
How dare they? Donít they know this is a pigeon shoot

To those of you that think it's wrong
That's why we composed this song
And to those of you who are confused
This is what to gotta do:
Get out your 12-gauge
Head on up to Schuylkill County
Win friends and influence uncles

the hegins pigeon shoot is no more
cause the animal rights people won their war
so if you got the urge to shoot some pigeons
stay away from a town called hegins


Talking Progress Blues
by Van Wagner
Dec. 31, 99

I was out for a drive the other day,
and thought about the farm land blowing away
thought about the soil, thought about the land
thought about the farmer, thought about his hands
callouses so thick they could bust a jack hammer.

Itís the same thing as I look around,
tear up the farms dice up the ground
build another shopping plaza,
 throw in some neon to give it pazaz-a
build some condos, throw in a mini-mall, the world can always use another parking lot.

Thereís one thing Iíve never seen
tearing down a mall to plant some seed.
Imagine where there once was a store,
now thereís nothing but rows of corn.
Sounds pretty good to me, Iíd shop there.

Iím told the way it is today
itís better to grow houses than hay.
The markets low and who can blame them,
for all they do itís a sin what we pay them.
Make more money planting asphalt, I hear itís got a good yield,
and itís drought resistant.

Well I guess thereís nothing to worry for
cause thatís what our politicians are for.
We elect them down to Washington D.C
and they know whatís best for you and me
Iím sure weíll always have enough food and clean water...
but I wouldnít bet the farm on it.


That River
 
 

It was the hottest August night, kill the engine dim the lights

The river

My heart in my throat, turned up the radio

The river

I stole from Hollywood, cheesy line no good

The river

Her standards were low even I had a go

The moon was full as a Danville Pint, on the shore.
 
 

          Oh you should have seen it

          Oh youíd feel it

          Deep in your soul
 
 

Saturday 8am, you could see it begin

That river

28 feet, this is big, not since 96

That river

Did the best that we could, leave the metal save the wood

That river

By dark it was up, now a boat no more truck

To the deck we retreat a good friend and me, bring it on.
 
 

Chorus
 
 

They said it canít be done the bets all were on,

Against us.

The river far too low, the current too slow

Against us

100 years gone by, no one had even tried

against us

Call it stubborn call it luck, 20 miles ďwe ainít  stuck.Ē

Explain it how you must the water, 5 of us sailed on.
 
 



 

The Ballad of Jesse Jones
Van Wagner  1996/1997

Well way up Clinton County way, lives a man named Jesse Jones,
In a shack built on a steep hillside heís lived for years all alone.
All his friends told him not to go, but he swore that it was his fate.
And the years roll by and itís tearing him down, lord soon itís gonna be too late.

It was 19 hundred and 29, when he left his home on the flats.
Working as a boy in the big iron mill, throwing slag as his soul went black.
Well he quit that town and he left his home, telling all heíd never be back.
As the sun went down on Danville town he started walking them railroad tracks.

He found his way up northern state, cutting timber on old Kettle Creek.
But the Market bottomed out and he found himself all alone without a job again.
He took to the trees with no money in his hand, to live a live off of the land.
Like the fog on the mountains, he rolled away, the only prayer was the gun in his hand.

Cold and bitter he now sits by a fire, trying to count the years gone by.
And the Fires burning low and the woods all gone, and the old man is getting tired.
He stands up out of that old rocking chair, and he tilts his crooked head up at the skyÖ
Saying ďwhy my God have you forgotten me, the only point to my life is to die?Ē

Well the wind blows cold on the northern tier as an old man comes down from the hills,
Tired and worn he heads south on a road, crawling back to old Danville.
All his friends told him not to go, but he swore that it was his fate.
And the years rolled by and itís tearing him down, lord soon itís gonna be too late.
 


The Cowboy and The Hippy
Van Wagner 1998

Now the cowboy and the hippy are sitting and talking of life.
And the Cowboy looks up to catch the sun sinking to the night.
He says ďthatís how it goes..youíre up then youíre down for a while.Ē
Then the hippy looks up from his drink to agree with a smile.

 Itís fountains of dreams and puddles of luck,
How they stumble through life and never get stuck.
Just a cowboy and a hippy too scared to wake up,
All they ask of tomorrow is to see the sun come up.

The hippy keeps talking about a band heís trying  to find.
A bunch of good guys, who can all keep good time.
He says ďI hear this music in my head every time I sleep..
And itís just a matter of time, before that band finds me.Ē

 Itís fountains of dreams and puddles of luck,
How they stumble through life and never get stuck.
Just a cowboy and a hippy too scared to wake up,
All they ask of tomorrow is to see the sun come up.

Now the night has set in, and the place is ready to close.
So they gather their things and head outside by the road.
The cowboy tips his hat, and the hippy just smiles a goodbye..
Then both of their eyes are caught by a diesel running by.

 Itís fountains of dreams and puddles of luck,
How they stumble through life and never get stuck.
Just a cowboy and a hippy too scared to wake up,
All they ask of tomorrow is to see the sun come up.



The Goodnight Song
Van Wagner
1997

Now the summers getting closer the winters winding down.
My heart canít catch a bit of rest, my thoughts wonít settle down.

The thing thatís got me scared the most, it chills me to the bone
Is not the fear of losing you, but seeing you alone.

So each night when you go to bed, where ever you may be
Remember thereís a prayer for you, for every star you see.

I donít want to lose you.



The Leatherman
Van Wagner, Matt Harrison, and Karl Shellenberger

The Leatherman is your best friend on your journey through life,
With itís trusty pliers and its razor sharp life.
The handle wonít fall apart like the generic brands
Thereís only one true American Leatherman.

 All the ladies know that this tools for real
 Made of the finest steel, just see how it feels
 When you break a string while you are performing
 To pull the peg, reach down to the top of your leg.

Have you ever been stuck in your harmonica holder?
And you couldnít get it loose with a 2-ton boulder.
Just take that trusty tool to that stubborn bolt,
And youíll bust out of that holder like a wild colt.

Chorus

When youíre on a date and the night is to itís end.
And you walk her to the door and she invites you in.
Donít hesitate, procrastinate juts go on in,
When your stomach gets queasy reach for your Leatherman.

Chorus



The Mountain
Van Wagner
1995

Iíve got to find it, got to find my way back in.
I can feel itís presence, like a ghost wind chilling the air.
And I can see that I belong there to this day.
Iím gonna get back to the mountain someday,
but until I do thereís always ďsomeday.Ē

 I can feel it all coming back
 Never gonna leave my track.
 Burned into my heart
 Even when itís so dark.

When I see her I want to stop the space between.
When Iím with her, every move comes straight out of me.
Her scars of ages tell the years that have seen her before.
But her beauty lies in her spirit evermore.
and thatís why, I take her hand in mine.

 Chorus


The Story of Scott Wagner
Van Wagner 1995/1996

Well sit back friends and Iíll tell you, about a ramblersí ways,
Itís the story of Scott Wagner, from up Alaska way.

He comes around when he feels like it, and passes the family around,
And when asked about his childhood, all heís got is his town.
Heís been up and down Susquehanna, and the Mississip has been his too.
Heís fished the Pacific Ocean, and the Yukon through and through.

His brothers are lawyers and bosses, and his father was a lawyer at heart,
Yet heís not like the others, heís always been apart.
He knows the value of a dollar, and all the trouble it brings,
But When friends are down and troubled, he offers all he can give.

His lifeís been saved on a ladder, by a parking meter below
And the local politicians say ďthatís where your taxes go.Ē
He could spend hours and hours, just walking around in a field,
Pickiní up arrowhead pieces, and handing them all to me.

Grover was a hell of a rover, heíd tell you if he wanted you to know,
But if you ever asked about his mind, the answerÖonly God knows.
When I asked him about his old guitar, about where he found it and when.
He just shrugged his shoulders, and ran his fingers through the wind.

Well I guess thatís part of his storyÖthe end will never be told.
For his roads keep on getting longer, and his feet are getting too old.
So if you ever pass a rambler, be sure to look in his eyes,
For theyíve seen life on the outside, and thatís where the answer may lie.


There Was A Time (those days are gone)
1997-1998
Van Wagner
 

There was a time when I was so alone,
I had me a blanket but I was so cold.
There was a time when I knew no way to go,
Thatís cause I was living like I was here alone

 But those days are gone
 Days are gone
 Those days are gone,
 Days are gone.

There was a time when I knew no friends
They were all after the same thing.
There were some days that all seemed the same,
Just a broken record day after day.

 Chorus

There was a time when music filled the room,
We were all humming the same tune.
But we all got old and started singing all new songs
I wish I hadnít grown up and gone so wrong.

 Chorus

Itís time I step back, and step back once again.
Just a few more years where I can be young again.
They say that age is just a frame of mind,
It seems my picture got lost somewhere down the line

 Chorus



Thick as thieves
By Van Wagner   June Ė02

He left for Baltimore when he was just a kid
Thatís where I met him in the fall of 36.
In a smoky pool hall on 89th and spruce
We knew he was a country boy by the size of his boots.
With a home-made pool stick he began to show his stuff
I lost 3 packs of cigarettes and I had seen enough.
Bet tobacco and dungarees
But when the winter wind blows again weíll  be thick as thieves.

We became the best of friends me and Sam
Shot pool all over town and rambled through the land.
Hobo-ed on freighters, on the B&O tracks
Took nothing with them but the shirts on their backs.
Dodging railroad bulls in almost every town
Most nights our pillow was a stone on the ground.
Living off cabbage and black eyed peas
But when the winter wind blows again weíll  be thick as thieves.

Got split by draft cards in the spring of 44
I got shipped to Iceland to a cold ocean shore.
Sam got sent to Italy and on to the front
I lost touch with him after a month.
But I listened to the headlines on the BBC
Thought about my good friend and where he might be.
I often wondered was he alive like me
But when the winter wind blows again weíll  be thick as thieves.

Now 50 years later Iím an old man
I help with the church choir and little league when I can.
I rarely think about those years of the war
And old Samís memory is faded and worn.
I moved on with life, married and settled down
Iím far from that kid in Baltimore town.
Now weíre different Sam and me
But when the winter wind blows again weíll  be thick as thieves.

I looked at my grandkids this memorial day
And it took me back to those Baltimore days.
At 5 Oíclock the telephone rang
There was quiet, then a voice did say
ďHey kid are you up for a game
dust off your cue stick the rules are still the same
Iím at the pool hall, just cigarettes and me
when the winter wind blows again weíll  be thick as thieves.Ē


This Dollar Goes Round and Round
Van Wagner Sept-Nov, 1999

This dollar goes round and round

Some folks work and honest day and earn an honest wage,
Some folks come into the world with millions in the bank.
Some live off of charity be it wrong or right,
Some hold their breath all day and kiss lady luck goodnight.

40 hours of labor surely has its due
For 40 strings in a bar room knocking down the brew.
Some believe in savings and some believe in fun,
Iíll take the best of both worlds and save my money for my fun.

 And this dollar goes round and round,
 In the pockets of everyone in town,
 Itís been through the best, and been through the worst,
 Itís been a blessing and itís been a curse.

I remember when a phone call only cost a dime
And 18 cents on a letter sent it down the line.
And the thing that scares me most of all is my hair ainít even gray,
Just imaging in 20 years what weíre gonna pay.

ďA fool and his money arenít together very longĒ,
The words of a wise man so Iíll stick them in this song.
So lay your silver dollar down its time to play the fool,
And pass it on to someone else thatís the silver dollar rule.

(Chorus)

(Break)

(Chorus)


This Worldís Got More
Van Wagner 1997

If I were poor, When I woke up tomorrow
Would you still take a chance on me?
It seems this world can turn on a dollar
And leave you scrounging for anything shiny that you see.

 This worldís got more inside it,
 Some get lost while others might find it.
 Thatís just how it goes, everything day by day.
 A dollar ainít nothing but, one manís dream and another manís bad luck.
 I canít build my life on someone elseís broken dreams

If all I had, just blew away like dry dirt
Would you still see me, as your closest friend?
Thereís no telling when rain could turn to a dry spell
And leave your soul thirsty and praying that it ends.

 This worldís got more inside it,
 Some get lost while others might find it.
 Thatís just how it goes, everything day by day.
 A dollar ainít nothing but, one manís dream and another manís bad luck.
 I canít build my life on someone elseís broken dreams

Sometimes I feel like old water on the boil
Going stale as the pot goes dry.
All closed up in this copper kettle,
Scratching off the days, as they go passing by.

 This worldís got more inside it,
 Some get lost while others might find it.
 Thatís just how it goes, everything day by day.
 A dollar ainít nothing but, one manís dream and another manís bad luck.
 I canít build my life on someone elseís broken dreams



Tobacco From Tennessee
(February 2001)

I donít know why that I love her so
Maybe her smile or her skin,
But I know it is something that is driving me wild
No I canít put my finger on it.

I know I usually donít ask you much
But this ainít no time for pride.
Come on, let me in, put my Jones-iní to an end.
I need some of what you got inside.

 She got lager from Pottsville
 She got single malt Scotch Whiskey
 She got roots on the Schuylkill
 And Tobacco from Tennessee

Some donít believe in love at first sight,
They say thatís for fairy tales and such.
But I know itís for real, thereís no faking how I feel.
With You I just canít get enough.

My folks raised me to be cultured and such
To appreciate the finer things in life.
But I waste no time with cappuccino or wine,
No I prefer the culture of my wife.

 Chorus


Trees

All my life for all that I've known him
All the years that we've been friends.
One thing that always surrounds you
Are the trees all over God's land.

These trees tell your story
These trees inspire life.
Chestnut Oak all over Bald Top
To White Birch for you and your wife.

Green Hemlock the forests of Krislund
Silver Maple on the river shore
Cherry Blossoms all over Washington
Bamboo at China's Door.

Giant Pine of California
Sugar Maple on the Ohio farm.
Norway Spruce where you met Sonia
Here again at the Pine Barn.

Olive Trees of Northern Tunisia
Black Cherry in Allegheny's Hills
Childhood for Sonia and Sara
A grandmothers love that's with you still.

White Oak of Schuylkill county
American Elm of Dickenson Law
You've been, together in nature
And now forever more.

Doug Fir now in Riverside
As you turn your house to a home.
Remember this link you have with each other
Surrounded by trees you're never alone.
Surrounded by trees you're never alone.
 
 


Vinyl
March 28, 2003
Van Wagner

Used to like the way the library creaked
The sound of old floors under my feet.
The smell of time, old books in the air
Passed by the fossils and head upstairs.
At the top of the steps Iíd turn to the right
And there behold a beautiful site.

Vinyl, oh dusty vinyl
That cracks and pops like a fire
Vinyl, oh dusty vinyl
Music never sounded finer

When my brother lived in Arkansas
I went to see him, when I was 16 years old.
In the corner of his living room
I found a treasure to heal my gloom.
ďHawks and DovesĒ ďComes a TimeĒ
ďRust Never SleepsĒ and ďTonightís The NightĒ

Chorus

But now very few records are made
Itís hard to find a needle and a good turntable.
Someday while my grandkids play
Theyíll find my records in an old soda crate
What will they think when they dust them off
And Find Leadbelly or Seals and Croft?

Chorus
 
 



VFW
Van Wagner
1995

Hereís to our friends in the VFW
Donít you forget all theyíve done for you,
Without them where would you be now?
With hearts of steel and hands of iron,
Donít you let the hands of time
Erase all that they have done.

Some are gone, but not forgotten,
remembered by the cause they fought in
only to see it slip away.
Itís hard for us to see the blood loss
Thawed like the mountains first frost
Still in all itís the heart of our land.

 Chorus

Looking back itís in my lifeblood
As full of life as the rolling creek mud
Waiting for roots to take a hold.
Holding all with all itís got left
Alone it will never come to sweet rest
In the river of life, you canít walk alone.

Can see now whatís in our hands.
No silver dollar nor golden watch band
What weíve got is deeper in the soul.
Reach on in and take a hold now
Grab on with all your might now
In your hand lies the whole  world.

Chorus
 


Walk of Shame
Van Wagner 1998
 

Sheís too young to be worn out, as she walks on back to her room,
With the night folded in her arms and she smells of stale perfume.
She had it all planned out, every detail up in her head.
Now her mind is emptiness and her eyes are glazed and red.

 It gets hard, to do it over and over.
 With every night, just the same.
 Her face is covered over.
 As she walks, the walk of shame.

Her cheeks are stained from make-up from tears streaking down.
She prays she doesnít see anyone, as she hurries across the town.
She could waste her time, and ask what she already knows,
Last night was no surprise, itís just the way things go.

 It gets hard, to do it over and over.
 With every night, just the same.
 Her face is covered over.
 As she walks, the walk of shame.

Sheís done it all many times before, itís getting like routine.
She soaks her nights in alcohol, and hopes the day goes clean.
But the good times fade away like the words he spoke last night.
Sheís not sure if itís all wrong, but she canít say if itís right.

 It gets hard, to do it over and over.
 With every night, just the same.
 Her face is covered over.
 As she walks, the walk of shame.


Walking the Streets
Brian Crane and Van Wagner
December 14, 2003

Saturdays on main street
Farmers and crops.
Couple packs of baseball cards
Donruss and Topps.

Stop by the Twin Kiss
Grab a grape slush.
Head up to Lovers Leap
Hang off the bluff.

    Walking the streets of my old town.
    They canít tear my memories down.
    Concrete crumbles, streets go stale.
    Far too real for any ferry tale.

Stop by the River View
A game of crooked pool.
Town and Country of Martins
As blue as a mule.

Late night at Stingers
Second hand smoke.
21 and done
Then I awoke.

Chorus

Many years later.
I walk around.
The streets are still the same.
At least on the ground.

Iíve got some photographs
I carry with me.
Theyíre worth a thousand words
My memories.
 
 



We Canít Be Free (More More More)
Van Wagner
March 11, 2003

Cardboard boxes, 2 x 4ís, toilet paper and a new skateboard
Good guitar to pick out on, piece of paper to write this song.

But we blame the logger and miner underground
Criticize the rancher and farmer out of town.
If you want to blame someone, just follow us to the store
Weíre the ones screaming gimee ďmore, more, more.Ē

Big Macs Whoppers with cheese, chicken wings, cold ice cream.
Leather coat, sneakers too, brand new purse and Spanish boots.

Look out now for my SUV itís a gas-drinking hog and itís thirst-y
Petroleum products everywhere, plastic bottles and underwear.

 Chorus

Gold jewelry, diamond rings, steel cars and soda cans.
Concrete highways, asphalt too, electric plants to give us juice.

I jumped a dragline, jumped a chainsaw, jumped a John Deere, ran into a smoke stack

 Chorus
 


Weíre All Gonna Die
Van Wagner and Brian Crane
March 21-04

Some kick the bucket, some up and die.
Some a blaze of glory, some just go quite.
Some buy the farm, others rent the ranch.
Some have their lease run out, Some the dead manís hand.

Look on the bright side
There ainít no need to cry.
Birth is the cause of death
And Weíre all gonna die.

Some in their sleep, others on the road
Some in their hearts, some in their souls.
Cashiní in their chips, end of the rope.
Some just for kicks, some just a joke.

Chorus

Off to greener pastures, the big round-up in the sky.
Finally bit the bullet, ďhell he just diedĒ
Standing by the pearly gates waiting to get in.
When role  is called up yonder, you go first my friend.
 
 
 
 



Welcome Home
Written by Van Wagner
July 2001

A young G.I. stands in a valley of green.
Just out of high school with an M-16.
In a country he never heard of until a year before.
Half way around the world, in the Vietnam war.

He lights another Lucky Strike, now a pack or 2 a day.
Itís the only thing heís found, that keeps his head straight.
Each cigarette he burns, marks a man whoís gone down.
Heís feeling about as empty as the shells on the ground.

 Itís time we tell him he ainít alone
 Itís time we say welcome home.

At night he hears the mortars and the sound of far off guns.
And the rhythm of his heart, is pounding like a drum
His eyes are playing tricks on him with shadows from the flare.
He fires at the tree line but thereís nobody there.

Now most stay back home far from the war.
While scholars discuss what weíre fighting for.
Both politics and peace are far from him.
The only thing heís fighting for are the lives of his friends.

Chorus

A young army nurse holds the hand of a marine.
Sheís trying to save his life, itís a daily routine.
The courage she shows just living each day.
Is counted on the hands of the lives sheís saved.

Some are called lucky and make it back home.
But even if they made it there war wasnít done.
Many got the cancer from our agent orange.
While the country that they fought for just folder itís arms.

Chorus

Itís far too late for words like right or wrong.
But weíre far overdue, to honor what theyíre done.
To all of the veterans, their families, and friends.
I bid you a welcome home to bring your war to and end.


West Virginia
Van Wagner
1995

West Virginia, never seen ya
But I feel you in the ground.
Someday maybe one day
Iíll be with you for a sound, Iím coming down.

Blueridge Mountains, Iíve once been through you
Only stopping for someone else.
Now itís for me, and times the only
Crooked angel in my path, Iím a coming back.

Once she knew me, yeah I could feel it
The spirit inside of myself.
But now Iím lonely, feeling empty
Heading down south once again, Iím a  turning in.

 On and on and on and on we go.
 Time forgotten, not forgotten wheels slow.
 And what makes it all so real,
 Is when we try and fake the feel,
 Come on now get real.


When Youíve Got Spain
Van Wagner
1995

The rainy clouds donít phase me and the sun donít bring me down.
The smile that Iím not wearing isnít like the one youíve found.
And the emptiness inside me
Is there and unfilled still.
Iím in no hurry
To get over the next hill.

 Life can be so depressing when youíve got Spain
 Yes, life can be so depressing when youíre got Spain.

Wondering if itís rolling or if itís already done.
Wondering when Iím going or if Iím already gone.
I canít be found in the mirror nor in the group on high.
Iím still not sure if Iíll be near her when I lay down tonight.

 chorus

When I sit and think about the choices that we made.
I think about the river that we both forgot to wade.
And I wonder if our boat couldíve crossed the angry tide
or if it wouldíve been tossed up.
I guess weíll never know since we never really tried.
No more sangria in my cup.

 Chorus



WHISKEY
Van Wagner
(Summer 1996)

Sometimes Iíll wonder, then again Iíll think again
Why she up and took all I had
If I was her, Iíd probably do the same
Cause you canít keep smiling if youíre sad.

  CHORUS:
  Ainít nothing cooler than whiskey
  And two bit dancers on my porch swing
  Wonít be too hot if youíve got whiskey
  Forgetting summer after spring.

Well I canít take back the years Iíve passed by
Thinking only of whatís to come with time
Iíve got to wonder if she thinks of us again
Cause now Iím leaving to break the rhyme.

  CHORUS

Can she ever see me as I sit out here tonight
Wondering if sheíll find me without the moonís light
The moonís not what put us here, but thatís why Iím reaching out
Gotta find whoís gonna take us home

  CHORUS



 

The Winds of Idaho
Van Wagner Sept 2002

I woke up to the sound of coyotes
And the site of the Sawtooth range.
The smell of sage and sawdust
Idaho in a morning rain.

A logging Camp outside of Stanley
Salmon River between the plains
This ground is hard and dusty
The work is just the same.

   As fall sets in on the Aspen
   The Lodgepole waiting for a snow.
   I can almost feel myself changing
   With the winds of Idaho

We're skidding Fir, we're skidding Lodgepole
We're setting chokers on the bull line.
Every few hours we hit the coffee
It's been steepin on the fire.

That's how it is Pacific logging
Nut no 2 days are the same
Something new in every holler
This land is far from tamed.

   Chorus

Soon the snow will cut our season
And rust will take our chains.
Soon we'll be leaving
Pack up camp, head home again.

But I'll keep a bag of saw dust
For cabin fever setting in
I'll close my eyes and smell the forest
And breath in the Idaho wind.

   chorus
 



Winterís Thoughts
words, Van Wagner
music, Van Wagner and Mathew Harrison
1997

Many days come, many days go, many days fade away.
Remembering some, remembering none, holding to yesterday.

The brooks crystal waters the meadows green, your hair in the morning sun
These things I wish, these things I pray were there in everyone.

In each of us lies a soul of gold, and a heart stronger than steel.
Yours might be silver and mine be coal, but itís how they make you feel.


Women, Words, and Wine
Van Wagner
Winter 1997/98

Folks ainít the same, down this way
Wish I was back home Susquehanna way.
Grinning like a juke box and spending the whole day,
Trying to remember what I did with yesterday.

 Seems like I always forget
 Something from my past I should regret.
 I donít know why but I feel so fine
 Thank God for women, words, and wine

What Iíd give to be standing in July
Dancing in a rainstorm with my dad outside.
As a kid we'd watch the creak rise
and set said down the mountainside.

Chorus

The 16th of May found itís way into my life
the days roll past quicker every night.
In a year Iíll be looking back at here,
Hope her reflection is still shining clear.

Chorus



Words of the Miners Who Worked Montour Ridge
(Oct 99)
Van Wagner

I wish the mines were still running, on the other side of town,
Iíd drown myself in labor in a life underground.
Thereís something in a minerís life thatís familiar to me,
For itís only when Iím underground that my mind is truly free.

 And Iíve sung the song of a miner though Iíve never worked below.
 But the words just come to me, like itís something that I know.
 Just a borrowed whisper I heard as a kid
 Words of the miners, who worked Montour Ridge.

The House that I was raised in, on top Montour Ridge,
Was built upon a mine drift, through the iron ore within.
I dreamed I heard the miners sing at night, as I would sleep.
Their ghosts still down there digging ore 100 feet deep.

CHORUS

Iíve written many songs now, at age 23
And now Iím wondering if the songs belong true to me,
Or if they were a miners words sung 100 years before,
Whispers of a minerís life that Iíve borrow from the ore.

CHORUS

Well when my time is ended and my songs are sung no more,
Iíve asked you where to bury me in a song Iíve sung before;
ďDown where the mountains melt, and the river flows into the sea.Ē
Take me to Montour Ridge and sing ďThe Minerís Prayer.Ē

CHORUS

ďthe miner is gone weíll see him no moreĒ



Working with Your Hands
Ollie and Van Wagner 2005

There was a time, when the family far, was the way of
life for most
Fresh eggs, homemade pies, hotcakes and toast.
Haying fields, feeding pigs from daylight til dawn
Hard work sure but it put muscles on your arm

Now there aren't as many people living off the land
Only a handful still working with their hands.
We won't make it long if we no longer can
Make it, fix it, grow it,  working with our hands.

Grandparents tell your family about how you worked
the land.
Tell them how in living you've got to use your hands.
It's honest work that keeps you fit, I hope they'll
understand.
That's how it was and how it is you've got to use
your hands.

Now in the fall as a kid we'd split the fallen Oak.
In woodstoves and the fireplace the wood would turn to
smoke.
We'd stack it up between the trees cause dad was quite
a man.
That's how we fought the cold back then, we beat it
with our hands.

Late summer the counters clear mom shaved off the
skins.
Apples, peaches, tomatoes, pears let canning time
begin.
She'd cook them down and sterilize working so hard.
The lid snapped down all winter long we had summer in
a jar.

Chorus



Wouldnít It Be Nice
Van Wagner
Fall 1996

Wouldnít it be nice if we all were friends
Wouldnít it be nice if we all held hands?
Wouldnít it be nice if we all were friends
Wouldnít it be nice if we all held hands?
But you know thatís not the way it is.

If you help me Iíll help you too
If you fall down Iíll look at you.
If you get up Iíll shake your hand
and if you stay down, Iíll cover you with sand.
Cause itís not the rich manís world no more.

If you come back Iíll be here for you
And if you come back Iíll have him here too.
If you want friends you can bring them too
Cause youíre not alone if thereís two.

If you get hungry Iíll fill your gut.
If you need rest then Iíll sit you on your butt.
If you need a bath Iíll put on the stove.
If you get dirty then Iíll wash your cloths.
Cause thereís no need for blame any more.
Yeah thereís no need for blame any more.


YOU CANíT DRINK YOUR WAY OUT
Van Wagner and KJ
Feb 2005

I stopped in the pub at the corner
The day was horrendous, I thought
I sat at the seat near the window
And brushed off the tears I had fought

A businessman worked at his Berry
A single mom put lipstick on
I felt more at home with these strangers
Since the love there at home was all gone

(CHORUS)
 You canít drink your way out
 Canít drink your way out.
 Thereís no bottle big enough
 No glass tall enough.
 You canít drink your way out.

Then in came a man with a topcoat
His worried face looked into mine
He took up the chair two seats over
And ordered two glasses of wine

I watched as one glass clicked the other
He seemed to be toasting the air
I finally asked whatís the matter
There are the words that he shared

(CHORUS)

(Bridge)
He said life is hard Ė you often get charred
But success only works if you try
If you grab at loose ends youíre alone in the end
You might as well lay down and die

(INSTRUMENTAL CHORUS)

So I shook his hand and started to stand
There was something I had to decide
I can go back tonight and make it all right
Or hit the highway and ride
(CHORUS)
 


YOUíRE STILL WITH ME
Van Wagner
(August 1998)

If I could have one prayer come true, Iíd pray to God for you
Just to see you walk in through those doors would make me feel so new
I try to keep myself from losing my mind by singing some folky tune
But no matter how hard I try, nothing can take the place of you.

  CHORUS:
  Oh but youíre still with me
  I can feel you in the air
  Itís a truth that conceals me
  And lets me know youíre still there.

With a voice as clear as mission bells, she sends a message from the sea
And as the fog rolls in on me, I know she sent it all for me
As I kneel here beneath these trees, and dream myself back to a home
On bald top mountain I dream to be, loneliness so unknown.

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