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A PROPOSAL
PAISLEY AND POLKA-DOT
BE A CHILD INSTEAD
THE MAN AT THE PIANO
RARE AS GEMS
ONE MORE TIME
NO PARACHUTE
THE GREAT UNKNOWABLE
SAMOSAS IN SAMOA
LOVE TO BE WASTED
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
GOD HAS A PLAN
GAZING AT THE PEAK
GEOMETRY
AS IF TIME
SLIP AWAY
OLDER THAN METHUSELAH
NO WORDS
BIG BOX STORE
A LOT TO DO
EVERY WAKING MINUTE
BROKEN IN TWO
LET IT FLOW
I BELIEVE IN
THE GIRL IN THE WELLINGTON BOOTS
RHODODENDRONS
RANDOM ACTS OF CRUELTY
LASH ME TO THE MAST
WASTING MY BREATH
TIME TO UP AND LEAVE
MAKING MY PEACE
HALF MEASURES

 

A PROPOSAL         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

Iím a little bit shy; Iím no Fred Astaire
While you on the other hand radiate charm
If I sound a bit bold
Donít turn me down cold
Would you dance with me arm-on-arm

When the musicís playing my bodyís in charge
And my awkwardness seems to flutter away
So I take any chance
To show I can dance
That my two feet are not made of clay

         Just waltz with me round the dance floor
         Iíll lead and youíll follow along
         I wonít stumble and fall
         At this high fashion ball
         So nothing on earth could go wrong

Weíll not do the foxtrot or Lambeth walk
No jitterbug, Charleston, rhumba or swing
We wonít tango or twist
At least till weíve kissed
Or a nightingale ventures to sing

You know we might make it as partners, dear,
Our moves are as graceful as two birds in flight
To the left, to the right,
To the left one more time
To the right, then the left, then the right.

         Just waltz with me round the dance floor
         You and I make up far more than two
         I donít want to make trouble
         But donít burst my bubble,
         Indulge me by saying ďI doĒ

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PAISLEY AND POLKA-DOT         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

Darby and Joanie were joined at the hip,
They both loved jazz and exotic trips.
Their tastes were identical, but next thing you knew
They told all their friends that they were through.
         Now Darby's on a dairy farm in New South Wales
         With a lady who writes horoscopes and New Age tales.
         Joanie's moved to Windsor 'cause she's head-over-heels
         For a bluegrass picker who drives 18 wheels.

         Like a paisley shirt with a polka-dot tie,
         Or a fancy French dinner and blueberry pie,
         Who knows what will flop and what will fly
         Till you knuckle down and give it a try.

I play Django, you play Brahms,
You eat yoghurt, I eat Lucky Charms.
Our interests don't fit like a dovetail joint,
But then that's really beside the point.
         Remember the tale of Jack Spratt and his wife,
         They got along well the whole of their life.
         You can't tell who's gonna match with what,
         Till you up and give it your best shot.

         Like a paisley shirt with a polka-dot tie,
         Or a fancy French dinner and blueberry pie,
         Who knows what will flop and what will fly
         Till you knuckle down and give it a try.

Frankie and Johnny both had hot heads,
But Frankie's fried 'cause Johnnie's dead.
Donald and Lydia worked up a sweat,
Problem was they never met.

         Make your match in heaven or make it on earth
         Just no telling what the deal is worth
         Only rule of thumb that you can apply
         It's not gonna work unless you try.

         Like a paisley shirt with a polka-dot tie,
         Or a fancy French dinner and blueberry pie,
         Who knows what will flop and what wi ll fly
         Till you knuckle down and give it a try.

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BE A CHILD INSTEAD         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

She was pumped up for the interview
It was a job she'd hungered for
But when they offered her some coffee
She spilled it all on the floor.
         There were frowns of consternation
         She was hanging by a thread
         When she heard a voice inside her heart
         Saying "be a child instead"

                  So she said "Whoops!" "oh my!" and "darn it!"
                  "Somebody get me a mop
                  And I'll be Cinderella"
                           Started laughing and couldn't stop.
                            Your child still lives inside you
                            Can't throw the key away
                            So when life gets all too grown-up
                           Ask it to come out and play.

She had trained for just this moment
Practised each twist and spin
All the skaters who'd gone before her
Showed their mettle was forged from tin
         She stepped on the ice and it froze her
         And the fear flooded deep in her head
         When a tiny voice inside her heart
         Said "be a child instead"

                  So she said "dang me, don't care if they hang me"
                  As she felt a great wave of relief
                  No more jumps no more bumps she was Lara
                  Skating with Omar Shariff.
                           Your child still lives inside you
                           Can't throw the key away
                           So when life gets all too grown-up
                           Ask it to come out and play.

The armies lined up toe-to-toe
The pipes began to play
The generals said "if war we must
This will be the day"
         But the privates on the front lines
         Said "Hey, that makes us dead"
         And they heard a voice inside their hearts
         Say "be a child instead"

                  So they said "goodness me" and "I'm sorry"
                  Dropped their weapons right away
                  Chose teams with their enemies
                  And played Rover-come-over all day.
                           Your child still lives inside you
                           Can't throw the key away
                           So when life gets all too grown-up
                           Ask it to come out and play.

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THE MAN AT THE PIANO         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

(David's lyrics with his own music is entitled Ivory Keys)

He shuffled on stage like a crook to the gallows,
Almost collapsed to his knees.
Your heart skipped a beat with each breath that he took
Till his hands touched the ivory keys.
Then a grin crossed his face as they counted the tune in;
He could play any song that he pleased.
Tens of years disappeared in the blink of an eye
When his hands touched the ivory keys.

The song swung along, and the piano and master
Were locked in their own reverie.
The power in his soul could have lit up a city
When his hands touched the ivory keys.
As the final chord sounded, he lifted his hands
Like a fighter in victory.
Wouldn't you do the same if you cheated the reaper
When your hands touched the ivory keys.

         But why is it him sitting there on the stage
         He should be listening to me!
         I want to play in the fountain of youth
         When my hands touch the ivory keys.
         It's all black and white to me: he's made a deal
         To buy himself a reprieve.
         He's traded his soul so he'll never feel old
         When his hands touch the ivory keys

Why am I spoiling his moment of triumph
What use is jealousy?
That wasn't hellfire, but pure human passion
When his hands touched the ivory keys.
I surely can muster enough of my own
To fight off despair and disease,
And I'll celebrate like the man at the piano
When my hands touch the ivory keys.

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RARE AS GEMS         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

Dreams fulfilled are rare as gems
Keep them close and hold them dear.
Dreams unreached are jewels of paste
Shed them coldly; show no fear.

         Some dreams fly and some dreams fall
         But who'd prefer no dreams at all?
         Dreams are born; for dreams to grow
         One needs to let some old dreams go.

Broken dreams if kept alive
Weight the soul with pointless pain
While dreams forgotten, though unattained
Free our hearts to love again

         Some dreams fly and some dreams fall
         But who'd prefer no RARE dreams at all?
         Dreams are born; for dreams to grow
         One needs to let some old dreams go.

Broken dreams if kept alive
Weight the soul with pointless pain
While dreams forgotten, though unattained
Free our hearts to love again

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ONE MORE TIME          Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

So wrapped up in myself, I've failed again
To see how I behave can cause such pain.
I've cut you to the bone
I should have thought, I should have known
My selfishness would tear us both apart.

Your faith in me was hopelessly misplaced
Here stands a sinner humbled and disgraced
I know I must begin
Atonement for my sin
This simple supplication is my start:

         Please find it in your power
         To forgive my failures one more time
         And pour your mercy on my troubled soul.

While it may remain unfinished till we've died
We created something special when we tried
And if I've pushed us past the brink
I'll console myself to think
Though flawed, it's nonetheless a work of art.

         Please find it in your power
         To forgive my failures one more time
         And pour your mercy on my troubled soul.

My future lies entirely in your hands.
Whatever you decide I'll understand
And while I know that you pay heed
Not to empty words but deeds,
Believe I worship you with all my heart.

         Please find it in your power
         To forgive my failures one more time
         And pour your mercy on my troubled soul.

         (Yes) Please find it in your power
         To forgive my failures one more time ...

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NO PARACHUTE         words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

When they shot me out of a cannon
All I saw as I rose was the limitless sky
I was sure in my mind
Iíd be certain to find
A way I could learn how to fly

When I found I could travel no higher
My face became creased with a worrisome frown
Which just masked my fear
As it slowly came clear
What goes up must always come down

         They never packed me a parachute
         I scream at the top of my voice
         They never asked what I wanted to do
         They never gave me a choice, not a choice
                  Never a choice, never a choice at all

As the ground looms up ever closer
The outcome is clearly out of my hands
Thereís no chance in fact
Of surviving intact
Regardless of where I may land

         They never packed me a parachute
         I scream at the top of my voice
         They never asked what I wanted to do
         They never gave me a choice, not a choice
                  Never a choice, never a choice at all

Thereís a question thatís still on the table
And Iíll answer it now, wonít take much to explain
It might end in a mess
But I have to confess
Of course I would do it again!

         So they may not have packed me a parachute
         And though Iíve screamed at the top of my voice
         They may never have asked what I wanted to do
         But I donít need to be given a choice
                  Never a choice never a choice at all

Next time Iíll learn how to fly.

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THE GREAT UNKNOWABLE         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

When I face the great unknowable
Can I be sure I'll pass the test?
Will I have shown my faithful servitude?
Will I have earned my peace and rest?

Will I find some truthful witnesses
Who will swear as they've been told
Vouch for me without embarrassment
Show my flaws as solid gold?

         When my life is held up in the balance
         May I then be brave enough to fall
         On my knees to plead for my sins' pardon
         Though I warrant not the slightest grace at all.

Can I show the great unknowable,
Though my failures may abound,
In the time that's still available
I aim to reach the highest ground!

         When my life is held up in the balance
         May I then be brave enough to fall
         On my knees to plead for my sins' pardon
         Though I warrant not the slightest grace at all.

Can I show the great unknowable,
Though my failures may abound,
In the time that's still available
I aim to reach the highest ground!

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SAMOSAS IN SAMOA         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

(A Tribute to Fats Waller)

I suppose I'd eat samosas in Samoa
Munch timbits in far-off Timbuktu
I'd happily digest
The food you love the best
As long as I was doing it with you

And I'd also eat tahini in Tahiti
Or feast on pitted prunes in old Peru
The food that I would sample
Would be so much more than ample
If only I were eating it with you

         Fajitas and falafel, chapatis or a waffle
         Perogies and pakoras, from Muskogee to Kenora;
         However brief or fleeting, anywhere youíre eating
         Iím always glad to share it dear with you - signora

I would gladly munch on crackers in Caracas
Try catfood in the wilds of Katmandu
I might finish in Dunedin
But my heart would still be beatiní
- ĎCause I would be a-sharing it
- Not just a-grinning and bearing it
The things I wouldnít do to be with you

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LOVE TO BE WASTED          Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

I remember your face and the time and the place
Do you remember mine?
It was only a glance, but I cherished the chance
To watch your eyes sparkle and shine.
Perhaps I just dreamed, but for moments it seemed
That our fortunes would join and weave
But as you looked my way, I had nothing to say
And you stood up and took your leave.

Do you ever find that my face comes to mind,
And imagine what might have been?
Do you pretend that our love might transcend
The riches of kings and of queens?
If I knew that was true, I would surely pull through
The pain that I have borne.
But we went our own ways and I spend my days
Empty-hearted and forlorn.

         If I had been bold, would my life not be cold
         As a late November's day?
         But the moment had passed, it went all too fast,
         And there's a price to pay.

I live with regret that I cannot forget
The prize that I didn't pursue.
I hope that you found a life more profound
With a love who is ardent and true.
I will give this advice, won't charge any price
To any who dream of romance:
Take a solemn vow, that you'll never allow
True love to wait,
While you hesitate,
Instead of just taking the chance.

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TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

I don't often write letters; can't put things that well,
But I have to ask someone to spring me from hell.
The ones who might read it are just a small few,
So you'll understand why I'm writing to you.

I came to the northland to make a new start,
But the ones with the chances live worlds way apart.
It's a wonderful country, where people are free
To forget about people as humble as me.

         I've got three kids in school, and there's so much they lack
         Except maybe switchblades and quick hits of crack.
         Each time the phone rings I'm shaking with fear:
         Will I be the next mom dad that's mown down by tears?

So I'm sending this letter, and daring to hope
That you'll show me there's life past the end of my rope.
I don't want to beg, but I've nowhere to turn
So I've addressed it simply 'to whom it may concern'.

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GOD HAS A PLAN         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

A tramp lay in the doorway, shivering from the cold
I told him God loves each and every creature he beholds
He fixed his eyes upon me, I saw anger in him swell
So I smiled and told him do not fear, I love you as well

I came across a vagabond , her head held in her hands
She sobbed and said itís all too much, and no one understands
So I told her that the darkest days are just some kind of test
God has made a plan for you, that He alone knows best

         Yes, God has got it figured out, God knows what to do
         Iíll be getting His instructions, and then Iíll see them through
         He should be calling shortly, though itís getting rather late
         But thereís not a lot that I can do, so Iíll just sit and wait

A picture of an innocent, face down on the shore
Spoke volumes of his suffering, shocked me to my core
I was saddened, I was angry, I felt a wounded pride
There must be more that God can do, to stem the human tide

         If God has got if figured out, if God knows what do to do
         Where are His instructions, I want to see them through
         Why has He not called me, itís getting much too late
         What am I supposed to do, if not sit here and waitÖ

         Why has He not called me, itís getting much too late
         What am I supposed to do, if not sit here and waitÖ

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GAZING AT THE PEAK         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

I sit gazing here at the peak
All alone on this mountainside
Where the thin air turns a man quite mad
And where countless dreams have died.
         You must have gone at the crack of dawn
         Descended at breakneck speed
         Nothing to say why you left behind
                  All you would never
                  All you could ever
                  All you would never need.

We were set for the summit's height
Each step of our route so well-planned
We chose our goal with open eyes
Knew the risks when we began
         Did I do something to break your trust
         Or were you filled with fear
         Did your footing slip and your soul demand
                  It can't end now
                  It can't end here
                  It can't end now and here.

                           Won't try to take those last steps
                                     Can't summon much desire
                           And burdened with this broken heart
                                     I can push myself no higher.
                           And well I know the climbers' code:
                                     When a soul is lost this high,
                           Heís left alone to face his fate
                                    To save himself or die.

And so it's time (now) to make my peace
Hope is faint and it's fading fast
I'll light a fire and build a cairn
Count my faint breaths to the last
         I'll mention just this one regret -
         (I) couldnít fathom how love could stop
         When we were only inches short
                  Of this great peak
                  This top of the world
                  This greatest mountain top.

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GEOMETRY         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

I've played fair and square
But I find Iím now snared
In some fiendish triangle
And Iím running scared
The circle is broken
Iím bent out of shape
Iím out of the loop
With no way to escape

We were parallel lines
That never converged
We kept drawing it out
Hoping something emerged
Think outside the box
Keep your eye on the ball
Twist the cube right
Might work after all

Iíve looked at the angles and still cannot find
A form to make sure that our old love would bind
And whatever dimensions our love had before
Letís try them again before you close the door

I donít have a compass
I donít have a plan
Just living through each day
As well as I can
Better solve the equation
Give it one final shot
Come to the point
Or untie the knot

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AS IF TIME         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

Dawn breaks. I listen to birds sing.
In awe of the commonplace and all that it has to say.
Light shines. The morning time bells ring,
Calling the faithful ones to come together and pray.

         As sure as the sun will rise in the East every day.
         I cling to the hope that I too will not fade away.
         As if time ... doesn't pass ... for me.

Sun sets. I watch as the fire falls.
In awe of the universe and all that I'll never know.
Night comes. I wait as the dark calls,
And see the star-filled sky light up and quietly glow.

         As sure as the sun will set in the West every day.
         I cling to the hope that I too will not fade away.
         As if time ... doesn't pass ... for me.

Stillness. The roar of my heartbeat.
In awe of the fragile ties that bind me here to this earth.
Silence. My source and my soul meet,
And tell me my passing is as certain as once was my birth.

         As sure as the sun comes each morning and leaves every night,
         Life is so short I can't make the pretence of a fight,
         And claim time ... doesn't pass ... for me.

         And as sure as I am that the sun sets and rises each day,
         It shows moments so perfect I can only describe them one way.
         As if time ... doesn't pass ... for me.

Dawn breaks...

Sun sets...

Silence...

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SLIP AWAY         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

Thereís a time for every purpose
And we knew our time had come
We thought that giving peace a chance
Would hush the warriorsí drum
Now our strength is slowly failing
Our ranks are being thinned
We didnít have the answer
Itís still blowing in the wind

         The times they were a-changing
         And we could have seized the day
         We held the whole world in our hands
         And we let it slip away

Have the armed laid down their weapons
Have the greedy learned to share
Have we put an end to misery
Have the odds become more fair
Have we brought the earth a respite
Have the lonely found a friend
We may not like the answer
But thereís no use to pretend

         The times they were a-changing
         And we could have seized the day
         We held the whole world in our hands
         And we let it slip away

Were we merely wide-eyed innocents
Too slow to realize
Generations had to pass
Before weíd eye the prize
Did we become distracted
By comfortís easy charms
And leave ourselves indifferent
To othersí outstretched arms

         The times are still a-changing
         Let our children seize the day
         They hold the whole world in their hands
         Donít let it slip away -- I pray --
         Donít let it slip away!

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OLDER THAN METHUSELAH         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

Some say they get tired of their partner,
The mate they have chosen for life,
In sickness, in health, for better or worse
To love as a husband or wife.
But I still love you as much as I first did,
And my vows still feel shiny and new:
I'll be older than Methuselah,
Before I get tired of you.

We've weathered both good times and sad times,
We've sailed in the calm and the rough,
But I've never thought for one minute
To call out "enough is enough!"
I get up every morning, I'm thinking
How to stick by your side close as glue:
I'll be older than Methuselah,
Before I get tired of you.

         If I think of a life lived without you
         My world would be barren and bare:
         How could I break out in laughter;
         How could I weep with despair.

To be you I'd need patience like Job had.
To keep me from tearing my hair,
And I'd need all the strength of a Samson
To shoulder the burdens you bear.
I'd have to be wiser than Solomon
To tackle the crises that brew,
And I'll be older than Methuselah,
Before I grow tired of you.

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NO WORDS         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

Have you ever been touched,
So gently been touched,
By someone you never thought cared all that much?

No words need be said,
You are spinning a thread,
So strong it will never, ever shred.

         And if you said 'yes'
         You will do no less
         Than weave that thread a hundredfold.

Have you ever been held,
So fiercely been held,
By someone you love and who loves you as well?

No words need explain,
You are forging a chain
So strong it will never break again.

         And if you said 'yes',
         You will do no less
         Than link that chain a thousand-fold.

Have you ever been blessed
So humbly been blessed
To have known a good friend who gave friendship his best
No words need reveal
You are spokes in a wheel
So strong it can hurt more than time can heal

         But if you said yes
         You can do no less
         Than let that wheel turn as it will

(over/at end of line - instrumental of first verse)

. . . spin a thread
. . . link a chain
Though the wheel turns . . again and . . . again

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BIG BOX STORE          Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

I studied hard at college but by graduation day
All those well-paid, full-time jobs had melted right away
And seeiní as how the factories have moved away offshore
The only place to work now is the big box store

         Oh the big box store; the big box store,
         Itís with a big box smile they greet you at the door.
         Hello to the rich and hello to the poor
         vEverybodyís happy at the big box store

I open up my pay-cheque and it barely pays the rent;
Donít make a living wage Ďcause the moneyís always spent
I have to buy the cheap stuff to stretch my dollars more
And so I do my shopping at the big box store

         Oh the big box store the big box store,
         Itís with a big box smile they greet you at the door.
         Hello to the rich and hello to the poor
         Everybodyís happy at the big box store

Way deep down, of course, the owners have a heart
For charitable causes they duly play their part
At Christmas time they take in donations for the poor
That wind up with the workers at the big box store

         Oh the big box store the big box store,
         Itís with a big box smile they greet you at the door.
         Hello to the rich and hello to the poor
         Everybodyís happy at the big box store

The rich folks seem to think that bargain huntingís lots of fun.
Ten cents cheaper! The sport has just begun
Iíll show you good old fun like youíve never seen before
If the union ever makes it to the big box store

         Oh the big box store the big box store,
         Itís with a big box smile they greet you at the door.
         Hello to the rich and hello to the poor
         Everybodyís happy at the big box store
         (At least the customers are happy at the big box store.)

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A LOT TO DO         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

It must be fifteen years since
We knew each other well
So much has happened in between
The world has gone to hell
Letís sit down on the back porch
And have ourselves a brew
Because weíve got
         Weíve got a lot
         Weíve got a lot of catching up to do

Everything about us
Youíd put down and reject
We tried to understand you
You gave us disrespect
But Iím sure from your perspective
The opposite is true
And so weíve got
         Weíve got a lot
         Weíve got a lot of matching up to do

Letís talk it through then leave it in
The past where it belongs
Thereís no sense bearing grudges
Or trying to right old wrongs
Letís put our best foot forward
And build a bond thatís true
Because weíve got
         Weíve got a lot
         Weíve got a lot of patching up to do

Iíll store away your old toys
In the attic in a box
Reminds me our relations
Werenít always on the rocks.
Iíll try a whole lot harder
That I promise you
Because weíve got
         Weíve got a lot
         Weíve got a lot of catching up
         Weíve got a lot of matching up
         Weíve got a lot of patching up Öto do.

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EVERY WAKING MINUTE         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

We were married out of high school
For us the stars aligned.
There was never any question
Our fates would be entwined.
We weren't worried we had nothing
We would build it on our own.
Till the afternoon they called to say
She was never coming home.

         Sometimes people ask me if I miss her
         I feel a pain, I look away and say:
         Only every second and every waking minute
         Of every single hour of every lonely day.

She'd gone to run an errand
Some groceries at the store;
A moment's inattention
I won't see her any more.
What we thought was something solid
Went up in a puff of smoke
If this is part of God's great plan,
Well, I don't get the joke.

         Sometimes people ask me if I miss her
         I feel a pain, I look away and say:
         Only every second and every waking minute
         Of every single hour of every lonely day.

They claim that fate is random
And the chance was very small.
As if that's some consolation
Well, I'm not consoled at all.
They say "put it all behind you,
And make a fresh new start."
But it's not so neat and tidy
When there's a dagger though your heart.

         Sometimes people ask me if I miss her
         I feel a pain, I look away and say:
         Only every second and every waking minute
         Of every single hour of every lonely day.

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BROKEN IN TWO         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

Heartless, you led me astray
Expecting, youíd drop me some day
You were heartless, the spectacular words from your lips Ė untrue

Reckless, I followed your trail
Forgetting, my will was so frail
I was reckless, and now I admit that I am broken in two

         I surrendered to you once you caught my eye
         It could have been hello and goodbye
         I was just one of your escapades
         While I face those whose trust I betrayed

Ruthless, you didnít bother to pause
Ignoring, the damage youíd cause
You were ruthless, no thought at all about us - just you

Senseless, Iíve made myself sport
Accepting, Iíll be laughed out of court
I was senseless, and now I confess I am broken in two

         Maybe biology makes men the same
         But no one but me will shoulder the blame
         Itís all my fault I have caused so much pain
         No words can ever say what canít be explained

Hopeless, thatís how I must appear
Unravelling, I shed tear after tear
Iím hopeless, and here I lie, Iím broken in two.

And even as I fall, I hope you might call, and I will see you again.

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LET IT FLOW         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

He went to church and always paid his taxes;
He didn't do a thing to tempt his fate.
         You knew that he'd pull through,
                  There was still so much to do
You didn't see the end until too late.

All of us pass on before we're ready;
All of us will leave some work undone.
         However hard we pray,
                  We'll never find a way
To complete the life another has begun.

                  You must go, you must go,
                  Down to where the grieving river flows.
                  The river's there to share
                           The pain you try to bear:
                  So let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.

I shouldn't stand delivering a sermon
I have no right to tell you what to do.
         But sometimes if you're near,
                  he picture's not so clear,
What faces you may just obscure your view.

You're racing round, to keep yourself in motion,
You can't outrun the sorrow in your heart,
         But let yourself be still,
                  Don't fight back with your will
For then the healing in your soul can start.

                  You must go, you must go,
                  Down to where the grieving river flows.
                  The river's there to share
                           The pain you try to bear:
                  So let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.

You've done no wrong that calls for your atonement;
No guilt need send you sinking like a stone.
         Be a gently falling leaf,
                  Float on that stream of grief,
Let it carry you to somewhere quite unknown.

If grieving is a river it will move you
Toward the vast horizons of the seas.
         Your spirit may just mend,
                  And who knows -- it may send
You strength to sail away on some fresh breeze.

                  You must go, you must go,
                  Down to where the grieving river flows.
                  The river's there to share
                           The pain you try to bear:
                  So let it flow, let it flow, let it flow. Let it flow..

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I BELIEVE IN         Words: David Simmonds , © Canada, 2016

My daughter asked me a question
And I gave her some half-baked reply
But I knew she deserved something better than that
So I gave it the old college try:

She'd asked me 'what do you believe in
What principles guide you each day
What sustains you during the darkest of nights
What lights up the uncertain way?'

The question she posed was so simple,
Yet the answer demanded much thought.
I looked back on all that I'd seen and I'd done
And considered all I'd been taught

         And I said I believe in the kindness of strangers
         And family, neighbours and friends;
         I believe in using the love thatís inside us;
         I believe weíre all one in the end.

She asked me 'are you not religious
Do you not think that God has a plan
Do you claim to find your soul's inspiration
In the eyes of your fellow man?'

I said I don't know if there's heaven or hell
Or what happens after I die
Iím part of something much bigger than me
And I don't need to understand why

         And I do believe in the kindness of strangers
         And family, neighbours and friends
         I believe in using the love thatís inside us
         I believe weíre all one in the end

And though I answered my daughter's question
Iím not sure she was satisfiedí
But itís a question that she has to ask of herself
And find her own answer inside.

         And still I believe in the kindness of strangers
         And family, neighbours and friends
         I believe in using the love thatís inside us
         I believe weíre all one in the end

         And I also believe in the power of compassion,
         Of the need to live and let live;
         That these are the gifts that wait deep in the heart
         For anyone willing to give.

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THE GIRL IN THE WELLINGTON BOOTS         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

When I was young man so carefree
There were so many girls to embrace:
There was Milly from Hillier, and Tessy from Cressy
And Carla from Carrying Place
But the one who most held my attention
The ripest of all the fine fruits
Was the one whom I chose to propose to
The girl in the wellington boots
         Yes, the girl in the wellington boots.

Tíwas goodbye to Gwen from Glenora
Farewell to Suzanne from Waupoos
My courting days were behind me
Iíd fitted my neck in the noose
So the women got out their best dresses
And the men sighed and put on their suits
And one summer day I was hitched to
The girl in the wellington boots
         Yes, the girl in the wellington boots.

We were happy as clams at the outset
But the winter stretched out awful long
By the time the ice had all melted
I was certain that something was wrong
Did I somehow make her unhappy
All our talks came apart in disputes
Then one day she said I canít stand it
And gave me the wellington boot
         Yes, she gave me the wellington boot.

ďIím sorry to so disappoint you,Ē she said,
ĒBut thereís been a slight change of plan.
Now donít get yourself in a panic;
Iím not chasing some other man
But Iíve chatted with some of your old flames
And come up with a list of recruits
To become a same-gender partner
For this girl with the wellington boots
         Yes, this girl with the wellington boots.

And Iíve got some advice for you mister
When you hear it youíll probably squirm
But the male of the species is useless
Except as a donor of sperm.
If you ever forget to be humble
Thereís a fact that no witness refutes
You were ditched by the one you most courted
The girl in the wellington boots.
         Yes, the girl in the wellington boots.Ē

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RHODODENDRONS          Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

I never took to growing rhododendrons,
Nor a lilac, or a mallow or a rose,
But I'd love it if we found we could work some common ground.
Start a garden, see it blossom, how it grows.

Truth be told, I've no idea how to garden
Never had one to tend of my own,
But if you would take the lead, I will help you plant the seed
Certain we will reap much more than we have sown.

         Let me shelter you, let me care for you
         Let me be your water, warmth and light
         May you take command of my untutored hands,
         So beauty fills your days and sleep your nights.

When we're old we will stroll through our creation
And rejoice in our living work of art
We'll recall in the glow where the rhododendrons grow
When you taught me how to garden with the heart.

When we're old we will stroll through our creation
And rejoice in our living work of art
We'll recall in the glow where the rhododendrons grow
When you taught me how to garden with the heart.

         Let me shelter you, let me care for you
         Let me be your water, warmth and light
         May you take command of my untutored hands,
         So beauty fills your days and sleep your nights.

         Let beauty fill your days, sweet dreams your nights.

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RANDOM ACTS OF CRUELTY         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

Some truths we know just by instinct
Some wisdom we gain on our own
Some knowledge we learn from our parents
Some insights must come once we're grown
But sometimes the voice of experience
Doesn't matter a lick
We'll place our tongue on a cold metal pole
Though it's a lead pipe cinch it will stick.

We're pretty well sure of the outcome
If we jump off a ten-storey roof
Common sense suggests we not bother
Obtaining definitive proof.
So why do we need to see for ourselves
How a callous remark we let stray
Will wound like a sword swung in battle with force
Just as sure as night follows day.

         They tell us that evolution
         Sets humans and primates apart
         We put barrels of monkeys in orbit
         So heaven knows we are smart
         So smart we have started to treat them
         As if they were works of fine art:
         Random acts of cruelty
         That break another one's heart.

Must be something about our genetics
Some logic we simply can't learn
Pour gas on a woodpile and light a match
Then profess some surprise when it burns.
And when our selfish indiscretions
Tear the ones we love like sharp claws
We pretend we're entirely bewildered
When effect is connected to cause.

         If those we care for were jewels
         We'd not let them shatter in shards
         So why forget that the bonds we build
         Can collapse like a house of cards.
         Seems like we're bent on expanding
         That dubious collection of art
         Random acts of cruelty
         That break another one's heart.

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LASH ME TO THE MAST         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

The Mariners tell lurid tales
Of voices in full bloom
Who'd beckon vessels near to shore
And lure them to their doom
         So we made each other pledges:
         If resolve does not hold fast
         I vowed to take command of you
         And lash you to the mast

When we sailed into the ocean storm
You held firm and fast
I was maddened by my weakness
You lashed me to the mast
         And only once we landed
         And the storm had all blown past
         Did I ask myself, well, who is there
         To lash you to the mast

If we should put to sea again
How well would I prepare
To guard myself from sirens' songs
That beckon from their lair
         Across the many latitudes
         And oceans deep and vast
         I know that I'd be helpless lest you
         Lashed me to the mast

                  No vessel is too sturdy
                  To overcome the seas
                  If they want to take their vengeance
                  The seas do as they please
                           No life is so important
                           To demand that it be saved
                           While a stronger soul is sacrificed
                           And tossed into the waves

Your fragile life is worth as much
To you as mine to me
So I must also place myself
At the mercy of the sea
         I pray Iíll find the courage
         Before time has all but passed
         To take the helm myself so I might
         Lash you to the mast.

                  No vessel is too sturdy
                  To overcome the seas
                  If they want to take their vengeance
                  The seas do as they please
                           No life is so important
                           To demand that it be saved
                           While a stronger soul is sacrificed
                           And tossed into the waves

Odysseus of mythology
Such perils you have braved
While on the raging oceans
How many you have saved.
         Who, unsure that their steadfastness,
         Would hold until the last
         Then followed your bizarre command
         To lash you to the mast.

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WASTING MY BREATH          Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

I was going to tell you all the things you've ever meant to me
I was going to say Iíd perish if you left
I was going to mention everything I've somehow left unsaid
But I guess Iíd just be wasting my breath

I was going to change my old self-centered habits just for you
I was going to prove I wasnít blind and deaf
I was going to make a promise I would surely change my tune
But I guess Iíd just be wasting my breath

         I donít care to choose a villain or a victim
         I know Iím damaged way beyond repair
         Itís not as if I never tried to love you
         It isnít like I never said I care

I won't try to make you see that you'll be lonely on your own
That you'll never find another so bereft
I won't argue we should finish what we started long ago
ĎCause I know Iíd just be wasting my breath

         I donít care to choose a villain or a victim
         I know Iím damaged way beyond repair
         Itís not as if I never tried to love you
         It isnít like I never said I care

I must face up to the fact that you have had your fill of me
Love dies long before a loverís death
There's no reward in playing out a game that ends one way
So I know Iíd just be wasting my breath

I know Iíd just be wasting my breath

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TIME TO UP AND LEAVE         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

Now I may be a simple soul,
But don't mark me as a fool.
I know love can shed its kindness
And turn into something cruel.
I may not be the smartest
But don't think that I'm naÔve
When the trust has all departed,
Then it's time to up and leave.

         I don't rush into decisions
         I hate causing any pain
         But what we had has vanished
         And won't come back again.
         And I may not be religious,
         But I know what I believe:
         There's a time that calls for staying
         And a time to up and leave.

I don't like confrontations
I don't like to scream and shout.
So don't rage at me for saying:
"This is it! I'm getting out!"
I'm not trying to take advantage,
This is difficult enough,
But I've come to my decision,
Though the going may get rough.

         I don't have much education
         But there're lessons I have learned:
         Though a fire may not be blazing
         It can leave you scarred and burned
         You might have held me spellbound
         Now you've no tricks up your sleeve.
         But the magic has all ended,
         And it's time to up and leave.

Yes, I may be a simple soul,
But don't mark me as a fool.
I know love can shed its kindness
And turn into something cruel.
I may not be the smartest
But don't think that I'm naÔve
When the trust has all departed,
Then it's time to up and leave.

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MAKING MY PEACE         Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

Grey fills the sky;
Clouds scurry by,
Anxious to arrive where they'll be blown.
Still in my chair;
Quiet cloaks the air,
Time to make my peace with being alone.

Memories appear;
Unordered yet clear,
Stir feelings I have never quite outgrown.
But I'm ready to face,
I've come to the right place,
Where I make my peace with being alone.

         I've made it too hard
         To let down my guard
         And give my thoughts the liberty to roam;
         I hand them the keys;
         Let them go where they please,
         I will make my peace with being alone.

Calm bathes my soul;
My spirit feels whole,
Puts me at an ease I've never known.
Freed of my fear;
Answers come clear,
I may find my peace with being alone.

         Unlock the gate;
         Trust all to fate,
         I'll accept the outcome once the dice are thrown.
         My mind wanders free;
         Its universe to see,
         I begin to make my peace with being alone.

Calm bathes my soul;
My spirit feels whole,
Puts me at an ease I've never known.
Freed of my fear;
Answers dome clear,
I may find my peace with being alone.

         I've made it too hard
         To let down my guard
         And give my thoughts the liberty to roam;
         I hand them the keys;
         Let them go where they please,
         I will make my peace with being alone. (2 X)

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HALF MEASURES          Words: David Simmonds, © Canada, 2016

Some would say the glass is sitting there half empty,
Others say No, no, no, you mean half full.
It is wearing pretty thin,
Like angels on a pin,
The whole debate's a useless batch of bull.

         'Cause you don't know when the man will tap your shoulder
         And say 'I'm sorry pal it's time for you to stop.
         And I'll bet right then you'll find
         The question on your mind
         Is: did I drain my glass of every drop?

No I don't have much patience with half measures
Why the hell keep holding something in reserve?
If you're in you go full tilt,
And live it to the hilt:
You mostly get the life that you deserve.

         'Cause you don't know when the man will tap your shoulder
         And say 'I'm sorry pal it's time for you to stop.
         And I'll bet right then you'll find
         The question on your mind
         Is: did I drain my glass of every drop?

You don't take a half-baked bread out of your oven
It's the same with any plans you don't think through.
If you've got some clever scheme,
It is not enough to dream;
But give it all you've got, it might come true.

         'Cause you don't know when the man will tap your shoulder
         And say 'I'm sorry pal it's time for you to stop.
         And I'll bet right then you'll find
         The question on your mind
         Is: did I drain my glass of every drop?

If you're going to be a buddy be a good one
'Cause the payback's worth the effort in the end.
If you give with half your heart,
You are doomed right from the start
And the pain from your regret may never mend.

         'Cause you don't know when the man will tap your shoulder
         And say 'I'm sorry pal it's time for you to stop.
         And I'll bet right then you'll find
         The question on your mind
         Is: did I drain my glass of every drop?

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