Lyrics for Spinning


  1. 1.
    Quiet Way (3:50)
    Above the roar, something that I longed to hear
    The crush of noise, but still I had a tender ear
    A sort of sigh, a murmur at break of day
    I knew it could be, maybe for me
    I was seeking the quiet way

    Out to the fields, the tall grasses bending low
    Toward a shape, stark against the morning’s glow
    I moved in close, you reached out as if to play
    My heart beating fast, sensing at last
    The path to the quiet way

    It was your eyes, deeper than I dared to glance
    And then that smile, setting all the lights to dance
    A simple tune from your mouth, I start to sway
    With your little song, you took me along
    And showed me the quiet way

    It’s in a room, it’s in the very heart of town
    It’s waiting there, when all the noise is bearing down
    When sleep is scarce and night has too much to say
    Remember this place and each shining face
    Who’s shown you the quiet way

    Remember this tune and then very soon
    You’ll come to the quiet way
  2. 2.
    Spinning (2:55)
    Ice blue sky, sun beating down
    Fall and winter in their deadly pas-de-deux
    Southbound traffic leaves a quiet town
    Those left behind know what to do

    Beneath a spinning sky the light retreats
    And then it steals one dancer as it all repeats
    It’s never quite the same, this dance of death
    We weave our troubled souls through dreams and breath
    (Our little puffs of icy breath)

    Slate gray days, these winds that leap
    And lodge in the indigo midnight eye
    We all lie down, our souls to keep
    And rise against logic to try and try

    To keep the cold at bay and love the night
    To balance dark ambition and deeper sight
    To ride this churning beast of our own fear
    Toward the fields of spring, spinning ever near
    (We look for little signs of nearing spring)

    Now that your blood’s grown thick with cold
    Kissed by the wind, you hear an old voice calling

    Live, it cries, don’t go to sleep
    Run and run toward the lights of town
    Sadness lurks in shadow’s creep
    Turn the tables and chase it down

    It’s just a fleeting moment, as they all are
    And soon you’re safe again, underneath the stars
    The sky is turning rosy with the gift of light
    And you’ve come spinning through another night
    (Another finite little winter night)
  3. 3.
    Too Late For Breakfast (4:44)
    It’s one more slip between that cup and this lip
    My best-laid plans are just another sinking ship

    I got to bed at a decent hour
    Didn’t even bother to take a shower
    Now I’m too late for breakfast once again

    I dreamed all night, those crispy spuds and the egg delight
    The warm café, man, I just can’t get it right

    I got to bed at a decent hour
    Didn’t even bother to take a shower
    Now I’m too late for breakfast once again

    There’s some black hole, between this bed and my fine goal
    It sucks me in, man, I just can’t gain control

    I got to bed at a decent hour
    Didn’t even bother to take a shower
    Now I’m too late for breakfast once again

    Lunch is fine, don’t get me wrong, but breakfast is my siren song
    The food of hope, I hear it croon, but always just beyond my spoon!

    All I want-café au lait and a big croissant
    All I get is some waiter’s smirking taunt

    I got to bed at a decent hour
    Didn’t even bother to take a shower
    Now I’m too late for breakfast once again

    Eschew those charms, don’t linger in your lover’s arms
    There’s one clear course; set many loud alarms

    Get yourself to bed a t a decent hour
    Don’t you even think about a shower
    Maybe you will get to breakfast just in time

    I got to bed at a decent hour
    Didn’t even bother to take a shower
    Now I’m too late for breakfast once again
  4. 4.
    Chickadee Blues (4:44)
    Got me a black cap, but that won’t keep me warm
    When I get blown around in this winter storm
    Got to find me some humans who know what I go through
    To help me fight off these chickadee blues

    Summer’s a banquet of berry and bug
    Enough to stuff any chickadee’s mug
    Winter, it takes everything I can do
    To stay ahead of these chickadee blues

    My little feathered body barely makes it through the night
    And has to start from scratch in the morning light

    People like me around, they think I’m cheery and choice
    But old Miles put my song in his mad trumpet’s voice
    Some other birds fly off to a tropical view
    No wonder I’ve got these chickadee blues

    Each new winter night recreates my need
    For about 250 sunflower seeds

    You can make me your state bird, call me a friend
    I’ll land on the hand that you kindly extend
    If I make it through the night, I’ll brighten up your day
    And hide my chickadee blues away
  5. 5.
    O Waly Waly (3:12)
  6. 6.
    Trailhead (3:15)
    How long had we been riding—the horses needed water
    We rested them by a small stream that ran just to the right
    Somewhere lay an opening—that was what we needed now
    With no apparent markings to guide us on our flight

    We bushwhacked through the underbrush, almost missed a sign that read:

    “This territory undefined, trespassers are transformed”
    The horses now were glistening and quivering with tension
    And if they’d shared the same dream in the camp the night before

    It was far too late to turn back, we’d covered all our tracks
    So we edged a little closer in our longing and our fear
    And just when weariness had us doubting our own journey
    There, all cobwebbed over; was the reason we were here

    It lay there like a coiled thing, a newlywed, an outlaw
    We edged toward it carefully, yet certain of our goal
    Disturb a sleeping trailhead at peril of your sanity
    But never make the journey at peril of your soul

    We jumped the horses over it, the trail was vague and murky
    But we thought that we could follow if we took it nice and slow
    There was a moaning as we passed, the horses shied and snorted
    And whether it remained in place, we’ll never really know

    Did we survive the journey? We’re here to tell the story
    But much remains to ponder, and some does not remain
    On a good day I would say we’re better for the trying
    On a bad day we’re just lost and lost and lost and lost again
  7. 7.
    Waiting (4:42)
    Old horse by itself in a scrawny pasture
    Stands like a statue all day, rain or shine
    Doesn’t even lift her head as the cars go sailing by
    She’s just waiting, waiting to die

    This house was once a home in a timeless desperate
    Laughter and song rang out through its festive walls
    Till those who loved it fell upon misfortune
    Now it’s empty, abandoned, waiting to die

    Everything’s alive, at least for a while
    But there are crossroads, detours all along the way
    Too many wrong turns and bridges burned
    The whole scene falls into decay

    You’ve found yourself in the company of people
    Any age, rich, or poor, it’s a state of mind
    They cannot fly from hole where they’ve landed
    All they can do now is wait—and wait—to die

    A cold particular wind ruffles the horse’s mane
    That same wind blows through the old home’s crumbling walls
    If you’ve felt that wind on your skin, you’d best get busy livin’
    Else you’re just waiting, waiting, waiting, to die
  8. 8.
    The Moment They Knew (4:12)
    It was foggy and wet and gloomy the moment they knew
    They loved the irony in that, the utter clarity blasting through
    That was years ago, but decades later, they still can recall
    The sweetness flowing through the moment
    They knew they would fall

    They were tired and sore and sweaty the moment they knew
    Pitching camp, a small fire struggling, the day’s journey through
    They saw those huge old trees lean in together, so far above
    They leaned in, too, the moment they knew
    They were in love

    Through the losses, changes, all the mistake
    Don’t doubt the moment that brought you here past every heartbreak

    When times get hard, call back the power of that first glance
    The storm will pass, you’ll still be standing, ready to dance
    It was still early, before dawn broke, the moment they knew
    They’d talked all night, with sleep a stranger, but wide awake with truth
    To hear them laugh, you might think that their minds had flown

    But that was the clue, the moment they knew
    Love had brought them home
  9. 9.
    Here Comes Joy (2:40)
    Here comes joy, let her in
    Here comes joy, let her in

    She’s been trying to gain access to you
    But you’re so down, sweet darlin’ that she can’t get through
    She’s been calling, waving, dreaming, she’s tried everything
    She needs a little help from us and that’s why we sing

    Here comes joy, let her in
    Here comes joy, let her in

    She’s rain on your garden, she’s balm on your soul
    She’s the ground that you can rest upon when it’s all out of control
    She’s the gift in every precious work that you send and receive
    The wants to meet you halfway and never, never leave

    Here comes joy, let her in
    Here comes joy, let her in

    Joy is not an accident, joy is no mistake
    She just waits to be chosen or not after every heart break
    You can’t stumble into happiness like you fall into despair
    She’s a deliberate destination and she wants to see us all there!

    Here comes joy, let her in
    Here comes joy, let her in
  10. 10.
    Be Nice (2:55)
    So the pushy woman in the grocery line stomped upon your shoe
    And some children in the neighborhood covered your car with crazy glue
    Then some guy flipped you the bird when he cut you off today
    BE NICE, dear, it’s the only way

    Be nice, it’s the bee’s knees
    Try saying “Shut your piehole PLEASE!”

    So the telemarketer got a little snippy, yes, it’s true
    But who knows, maybe she took a cue or two from you
    And the guy who ran the red light could have killed you, but-oh well
    BE NICE, ‘cause not to be nice is hell

    Be nice, it’s a habit, to be sure
    But then again, so’s serial murder.

    I know you have the option to shake your fist and curse
    But that’s just the beginning of a scene that could be worse
    You probably have a gun in there and god-only-knows what more
    Why break that rule and blow your cool just to settle some stupid score

    So someone let the air out of your tires just last night
    You’re feeling a little paranoid, you’re itching for a fight
    You suspect that it’s you’re brother-in-law but you haven’t any proof
    BE NICE—don’t perforate his roof

    Be nice, take a deep breath
    Help prevent another untimely death

    So your neighbor’s a racist, sexist, crabby, curmudgeonly, SOB
    He built a lovely pole barn but it’s on your property
    You’ll get the sweetest revenge when you tell him what to do
    Tell him—BE NICE—okeedokee—or I’ll sue (just kidding)!

    So-blow your top-give ‘em a bop-smile and say-
    Have a nice day-which is worse, in the end?
    It’s up to you, my surly friend-I know we drive each other nuts-
    And sometimes hate each other’s guts-
    But in the end, the best advice-is just to suck it up and-BE NICE!
  11. 11.
    Christmas Eve (3:40)
    I’m out for a walk on Christmas Eve, I am because I can
    I have a nice warm house to leave, and I’ll soon be back again
    It’s eight below and dropping in the shimmer of moon sparkle snow
    Then I think of the ones who are out here tonight
    Because they’ve nowhere to go

    I’ve known every Christmas of my 50[some years the gift of family
    With arms ever open to the hopes and fears, the love and the uncertainty
    We gather and laugh and listen, and I thank every star above
    Then I think of the ones who are lonely tonight
    Because they’ve no one to love

    I know everything can turn on a dime without a warning shot
    I could just slip off the edge of time, and then just as easily not
    There are those who would rule the world with rage and leave the lowly to rot

    So I think of each worker for peace tonight
    Because that’s all we’ve got
    I thank every worker for peace tonight
    Because it’s all we’ve got
  12. 12.
    Coyote (3:58)
    Coyote leaped in front of my car, stopped me in my tracks
    Right in the middle of the afternoon, on 115 near Cadillac
    It turned and looked, the way they do, when it reached the other side
    Like they know you’re helpless behind the wheel, so they let their caution slide

    Man, they don’t know the half of it—helpless isn’t the work
    When coyote came to slow me down, you better believe I heard

    Always something there in your way
    When you’re moving too fast
    Are you moving too fast for your own good

    It was a very late evening, then an early morn, I was off to catch a flight
    Pre-dawn blizzard, here came a deer smack in the glow of my headlights
    The very next sound was a sickening crunch, then the hiss of the radiator
    I tried to move, but the damage was done, couldn’t make my connection later
    Caught a ride with a friend with seconds to spare, let the car and carcass to the side
    But I cried all the way from Traverse City to my show in Montana that night

    Bird hits the window, you hit the wall, inertia changing form
    There’s a cry on the stair, and you don’t care to hide from the coming storm
    Something goes THUNK, something goes THUD, was it inside or out
    There’s a cry of pain, was its origin from somewhere else or your own heart
    There’s a reason boundaries get in the way, when we lose them, we know why
    Take a bead on the need you have to run measured up against the old, old urge to die

    Always something there in your way
    When you’re moving too fast
    Are you moving too fast for your own good
  13. 13.
    God's Gift to Women (2:28)