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Stay
If I could make you laugh forever
If you smiled until you died
If the stars lined up together
They still do from time to time
Would it be all fine?
If it’s not enough, enough
And the times are tough on love
If you’d like a game of chance
And you live for Truth or Dare
Part of you wants to make it
Part of you needs to take your time
If I’m on the last leg of my pants
And you’re still trying to find a chair
It’s gonna be hard to make it
If I’m the only naked one
So you pushed me now to shove
That’s no way to fall in love
So what if you want me to stay
So now that we’re alright, just get away
So what if you want me to stay
Away
And I can’t leave

If it’s not enough, enough
And the times are tough, so tough
So what if you want me to stay
So give me a reason to anyway
So what if you want me to stay
Away
So what if you want me to stay
So now that I’ve come home, just run away
So what if you want me to stay
Away

by Bill McGarvey and Stephen Dima
From Bill McGarvey’s Tell Your Mother
© 2003 Billy Liar Music, BMI

 

Tell Your Mother
I guarantee you’ll feel a whole lot better
If you put it all down into a first-class letter
Make sure you’ve got the nine-digit zip code
Then throw it right out of your bedroom window
A little layer of wake up makeup
She’s playing games with the ladies in waiting
Dressing in styles to fit their conversations
So many skinny girls in a rock n roll nation
I’m gonna tell your mother
I think I found her long lost baby tonight
Pretty soon someone’ll turn up and spot you
Take you home when they see right through your disguise

Look at you with your cigarette poses
You suck it all down, taking lethal doses
Working on your frozen moments
As a child you screamed for your ice cream cones and
You probably have a big brother
He liked to tease you when your friends came over
Scaring the boy you’d taken to your prom
You swore you would kill him when you got home
I’m gonna tell your father
I think I found his long gone baby tonight
Pretty soon someone’ll sneak up behind you
Take you home when they see right through your disguise
Don’t even bother asking
You’re all alone and I’m scared of what you’re gonna find

A little layer of wake up makeup
You play the games with the ladies in waiting
Making the room feel a few degrees colder
It’s the price you got to pay when you’re trying to get over
I’m gonna tell your mother
I think I found her long lost baby tonight
Pretty soon someone’ll slip up and kiss you
Take you home when they see right through your disguise
I’m gonna tell your father
I think I found his long gone baby tonight
Pretty soon someone’ll show up and hold you
Take you home when they see right through your disguise

I’ll tell your big brother
He’ll take you home and give you a piece of his mind
I’m taking you over and over
I’ll take you on so I can take you right off my mind

by Bill McGarvey and Stephen Dima
From Bill McGarvey’s Tell Your Mother
© 2003 Billy Liar Music, BMI

 

5 o’clock Hero
I get home early
Little man, little feet
First-time winner, fifth grade spelling bee
Mom’s in the kitchen, she’s defrosting meat
Dad’s in his corner living room seat
Mom says “OK, spell F-A-I-L-U-R-E for me.”
“No, no instead let me show you what it means”
Send him on home
The 5 o’clock hero

Dad is staring at the TV screen
Cartoons are on but the sound is weak
Coyote chases that roadrunner again
Takes another sledgehammer to the head
I wonder how long before he kills that bird dead
Send him on home
The 5 o’clock hero

And all the self-help books on every shelf can’t help us now
To all the unread Winners and to our dusty Personal Power

The palm behind the crucifix from a Sunday so long past
It welcomed him to Jerusalem on the back of a borrowed ass
Tonight, tonight I brush my teeth and then hurry back to bed
Tonight, tonight I sleep so hard I resurrect the dead
Send him on home
He’s the 5 o’clock hero

by Bill McGarvey and Stephen Dima
From Bill McGarvey’s Tell Your Mother
© 2003 Billy Liar Music, BMI

 

Now
Something must be burning
Cause girl, I know you’re cooking
It’ll always be your life
Setting up the table
Biting back your anger
Polish up your forks and knives
Are you hungry now?
Come sit down
It’s over now
You should be proud

Hear the neighbor’s dogs
Barking at the summer
And October’s nearly done
No one wants to tell them
The sun’s already lifted
And there’s no more warmth to come
It’s over now
But they still howl
They found us out
Those useless hounds

You’re so good
You’re so sweet
You’re a reason to make ends meet
If I only knew how
Lucky days in a week
Seven chances for relief
What more do you need now?

We feel like a painting
A frozen little moment
That almost comes alive
You don’t need a critic
Or any great appreciation
To see that something’s died
We’re older now
It’s all around
We’re tired out
We can’t sleep now

Life is good
Life is sweet
But then I’m living on memory
I’ll have to teach me how
Lucky days in a week
Seven chances at misery
What more do you need now?

It’s over now
Take your bows
An empty house
Your finest hour

You’re so good
You’re so sweet
You’re a reason to make ends meet
If I only knew how
Any day of the week
A little bit of our masterpiece
The paint’s all dried up now

by Bill McGarvey and Stephen Dima
From Bill McGarvey’s Tell Your Mother
© 2003 Billy Liar Music, BMI

 

Jericho Smile
She’s never heard of Texas
She’s camped out in Queens
Her mother’s bought her a Lexus
She’s a clean machine
She was crying in a bank
When we first met
Filling out a deposit slip
She broke down instead

She’ gonna be just fine
She’s got a Jericho smile

There’s a room where she walks round in circles
And where she says all her prayers
Four walls closing in on her
It’s like they’re not even there

She’ gonna be just fine
She’ gonna be just fine
She’s got a Jericho smile

That’s OK
Let them laugh and shout her away
Let them forget the sound of her name
And tremble at the site of her face
Let her walls fall down, she’s not that strong
Maybe it’s good enough to just carry on

She’ gonna be just fine
She’ gonna be just fine
She’s got a Jericho smile

by Bill McGarvey and Eric de Picciotto
From Bill McGarvey’s Tell Your Mother
© 2003 Billy Liar Music, BMI and Caught in the Rain Music

 

Look What You’ve Done To Me
Maybe I’m not strong enough
I’m always sure I’m about to fold
I’m waiting here by the phone
The longest cord into a tiny hole
Look what you’ve done to me
I’m an idea changing hands
Batteries for a Christmas tree
You forget that I’m your man
Forget I’m your man

Maybe I’m not smart enough
You know the things that I can’t stand
Put up with the stupid stuff
I know those things weren’t in your plans
Look what you’ve done to me
I’m a dollar in your hands
Save it up for emergencies
You should spend it while you can
While you still can

Look what you’ve done to me
I’m a friend but not your fan
Tell me off, tell me anything
I swear I’ll try to understand

Maybe I’m not sure enough
I always doubt what’s right in my hands
Try again but sure enough
It always feels like my last chance
Look what you’ve done to me
I’m an idea changing hands
Looks like your done with me
I’m a failure as a man
Still I’m your man

by Bill McGarvey
From Bill McGarvey’s Tell Your Mother
© 2003 Good Thief Music, BMI

 

Settle Down

(Ballad of the Cornfed beauty)
She’s a corn-fed beauty who sleeps on a boat
She works three cubes down, but she lives on the phone
She’s got a caffeine smile and she spit when she spoke
I just might be in love
Settle down

She wears mini-skirts and sweaters that don’t quite fit
She’s got bright green eyes that just won’t quit
The Spanish boys on the block blow her whistles and a kiss
But they don’t cross her mind
Settle down

From the corner of my eye I can see her now
Tapping a No. 2 pencil to her plucked eyebrow
I should have left my head in the lost and found
A long, long time ago
Settle down

by Bill McGarvey
From Bill McGarvey’s Tell Your Mother
© 2003 Good Thief Music, BMI

 

You Do It All Yourself
You do it all yourself
You do it all yourself
Saving up your time
Holding up your life
You do it all yourself

Sentimental fools
They’re giving pretty cards and cash to drunken grooms
Borrowed and blue
You’re moving without a sound
You do it all yourself
You do it all yourself
Saving up your time
Holding up your life
You do it all yourself

Nobody walked you home from school
So you found your way alone and learned too soon
Innocent and cruel
Takes you a long way down

You can never be too careful
You never were too kind
You never let yourself be cared for
You play the victim and commit the crime
You do it all yourself
You do it all yourself
Saving up your time
Calling it a life
You do it all yourself

by Bill McGarvey
From Bill McGarvey’s Tell Your Mother
© 2003 Good Thief Music, BMI

 

Hang On
There’s dirty laundry thrown out all over Woodbine Avenue
No one knows what it’s doing there, but we both do
Now, I don’t care if no one gets the joke
I look at you, but I’m just a camera
Your eyes stare back like West Philadelphia
Sad and strong, but hiding something true

I’ve fallen down trying to catch up to you
I’ve stumbled down all the wrong avenues
I’m coming strong and someday I’ll be there too
Hang on

This city lost it’s love on the day you died
And freedom’s just become one more waste of time
Now Independence Day can go to hell
Let’s take a walk down Island Avenue
I’ve fixed the sidewalks and the street for you
But you won’t know, your feet won’t touch the ground
I can’t let you down, please hang on

I’ve fallen down trying to catch up to you
I’ve wandered down alleys and avenues
I’m coming strong and someday I’ll be there too
Hang on

Little Kiersten’s learning how to grab the moon
Now, she can’t speak a word but she reaches you
Her mother says that she’s the Lamb of God
She can reach that far
Please hang on

I’ve fallen down trying to get close to you
I’ve stumbled down alleys and avenues
I’m coming on and someday I’ll be with you
Hang on

I’ve fallen down trying to catch up to you
I’ve wandered down all the wrong avenues
I promise you, someday I’ll be there too
Hang on

by Bill McGarvey
From Bill McGarvey’s Tell Your Mother
© 2003 Good Thief Music, BMI

 

That’s What You Get
My sorry was great
Did you hear what I said?
Straight from the heart of a man you thought was ten years dead
Don’t walk away
Don’t go to bed
My sorry was late
But that’s what you get

I was waiting for rain
A kid on the corner
My sister would call out my name
“You should be indoors”
But there’s no running away
From where you were meant
The rain came in sheets
Dropped me to my knees
That’s what you get

Away
Please stay away
Away
Please take me away

It’s one for your time
And two to forget
By three you’re alone
Walking yourself home
That’s what you get

Waste
What a waste
Waste
Wasting away

It’s one for your time
And two you’ll forget
By three you’re alone
Walking yourself home
That’s what you get

When nothing is left
Except the words that you said
That’s what you get

Come on and kiss me goodbye
And curse me under your breath
That’s what you get

by Bill McGarvey
From Bill McGarvey’s Tell Your Mother
© 2003 Good Thief Music, BMI

 

Standing Next To Gloria Steinem
That’s when I claimed you for mine
I saw you first on the downtown green line
Your arm was pressed against mine
We’re riding local with the whole East Side
Peeping-Toming to your conversation
Your crazy rhythm and your animation

You’re maybe 5’ 5”
Strawberry blonde and blue-green eyes
Going off for a while
On Indie films and cheap sub-titles
I turned to see who you were talking to
I stood there paralyzed
Holding the strap right next to you
I still can’t believe my eyes
You were standing next to Gloria Steinem

I’d like to ask for your name
Standing next to Gloria Steinem
But what would Gloria say?
Standing next to Gloria Steinem
Staring back at you from bug-eyed glasses from 1973
Wanted to rescue you with free bus passes
But I’m not sure you wanted to be
You were standing next to Gloria Steinem
Little lamb you’re riding next to a lion
Save a little space for one of my kind
And take a chance on me

You positively glow
She speaks to you in her famous monotone
Her voice is serious and low
It’s Gloria’s stop and she gets ready to go
She whispers something that starts you blushing
She smiles at me then disappears in the rushing
You were standing next to Gloria Steinem
We must be living in dangerous times
You’re burning bridges like the bras in her mind
You should be burning for me
You were standing next to Gloria Steinem
You, me and Gloria we make quite an item
You build the walls and I promise to climb them
Someday you’ll fall for me

by Bill McGarvey
From Bill McGarvey’s Tell Your Mother
© 2003 Good Thief Music, BMI

 

Outside the Lines
I followed you the other day
Took me ten blocks out of my way
But I didn’t mind at all
You were trying hard to look so mean
Clutching your Home magazine
So I laughed and then you saw
Can you smile?
There’s something I want you to know

I went without a face
And tried to look for you in unknown places
Where I knew no one at all
And as the day stretched into years
I became best friends with my worst fears
I was hopeless and so small
And I tried, tried, tried
To be someone I thought you should know
That’s why
I take my life
Outside the lines

It’s taken me a long, long time
To move beyond a child’s life
And start feeling like a man
Your pretty face inspired me
To mow your lawn and rake your leaves
If I only knew your name
But you’re fine, fine, fine
You’ll never let your coffee get cold
For your sweet, cream high
I’d take my life
Outside the lines

Now, I’ve followed you through Don’t Walk signs
And crossed outside the yellow lines
But you never notice me
And I don’t care what my friends say
I might jay walk my life away
To prove that I’m for real
And sometime
When the red lights start making you blind
For your tired eyes
I’ll take my life
Outside the lines

by Bill McGarvey and Stephen Dima
From Bill McGarvey’s Tell Your Mother
© 2003 Billy Liar Music, BMI

 

I Hear Voices
I heard some footsteps falling
Behind the back porch door
I told myself all night
It’s the wind and nothing more
At night when I hear voices
At night when I hear voices
They sound like you

You may not always love me
Some dreams we cut in half
Our friends have goals and plans
I’m not sure what we have
At night when I hear voices
At night when I hear voices
They call your name

I save a snapshot photo
One where I made you smile
Inside a plastic holder
To prove my mind’s not gone wild
At night when I hear voices
At night when I hear voices
They sound like you

by Bill McGarvey
From Bill McGarvey’s Tell Your Mother
© 2003 Good Thief Music, BMI

 

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