Ghosts

Days Don't Last Forever 

Those were the days. Swimming holes and summer sweethearts.
Let’s chart the ways through young men’s daydreams and bygone fortunes.
And now we’re going gray. Years of living bring useful knowledge.
We’ve not gone astray. Not gone astray. 
 
Where are you now? Quiet living, a wife and mother.
You should be proud. We can’t all be wives and mothers.
Someday, somehow I hope to join you (if) the world is willing.
It’s another route. Another route.
 
  Days don’t last forever. 
  Days will keep forever going by.
  Meet me at The Palace. 
  We’ll laugh and reminisce over the wine. 
 
Dance again.
Let’s get together and let’s dance again.
 
So what remains of unread books and unseen places?
And what were the names of unknown faces in untold numbers?
And are we still the same? Is this what’s meant by “growing older”?
Are we still the same? Still the same?
 
  Days don’t last forever. 
  Days will keep forever going by.
  Meet me at The Palace. 
  We’ll laugh and reminisce over the wine. 
  Kids are off to college. Work’s okay, the folks are doing fine. 
  Days don’t last forever. 
  Days will keep forever going by.

Not a Local Girl

Dee came in my life for my 16th summer. 
Country dance, Memorial Day.
Kisses in the park, secrets under darkness. 
Teenage romance underway.
 
The summer sun was sweet and sticky. 
School was out, time to play.
Hand in hand we’d stroll the small town sidewalks. 
Splash the river, waste the day.
 
  But she was not a local girl, you know.
  Grew up across the river in a vastly different world.
  She was not a local girl, you know.
  My friends all said “forget her.” But why should I forget her? 
 
Summer days were made for laughter. 
Summer nights are made for dreams. 
When summer brings new love, nothing’s ever better.
Surfing sun rays, sailing under moonbeams.

  But she was not a local girl, you know.
  Grew up across the river in a vastly different world.
  She was not a local girl, you know.
  My friends all said “forget her.” But why should I forget her? 
 
Hold on, sixteen. Hold on sweet sixteen. 
 
When we’re young we’re not the wisest. 
Don’t know what we have or need.
I let Dee slip on by September. 
A distant sun-baked, summer sunshine memory.
 
As years go by I hope you’re happy. 
Was that Sunflower song for you?
May your life be filled with endless riches. 
May you love all that you do.
 
  But you were not a local girl, you know. 
  Grew up across the river in a vastly different world.
  You were not a local girl, you know. 
  My friends all said “forget you.” But I never will forget you. 

All That Shines

The girls on the beach
tell all their secrets to one another.
Like who’s out of reach.
Who’s crushing on whose bigger brother.

The boys in the sand
are riding on surfboards and four-wheelers.
Don’t give a damn.
To be young’s the greatest feeling.

  Summertime brings out all that shines.
  Summertime shines on all that’s fine.
  Summertime is yours and mine.

The sun gods pose.
And try to impress bikini bunnies.
And God only knows...
Will they melt if it starts raining?

The older kids know
summertime brings the greatest pleasures.
With kids of their own
weekends turn to timeless treasures.

  Summertime brings out all that shines.
  Summertime shines on all that’s fine.
  Summertime brings out all that shines.
  Summertime shines on all that’s fine.
  Summertime is yours and mine.
  Yours and mine. Yours and mine.
  Yours and mine. Yours and mine.

When I See the Light

Don’t know where I’m going to wake up tomorrow.
Don’t know where I’m sleeping tonight.
Don’t know which way I’m heading in the morning.
Guess I’ll find out when I see the light.

Don’t know where I lost my direction.
Don’t know when I lost all my fight.
Don’t know how I’ll find my salvation.
Guess I’ll know when I see the light.

  When I see the light it surely will guide me.
  When I see the light it’ll carry me home.
  When I see the light all will be forgiven.
  And I know I won’t be alone.

Don’t know where I stumbled into darkness.
Don’t know how my days became nights.
Don’t know when my tomorrows became yesterdays.
But someday I will see the light.

  When I see the light it surely will guide me.
  When I see the light it’ll carry me home.
  When I see the light all will be forgiven.
  And I know I won’t be alone.
 
Andrew Olsen

Andrew Olsen talks to the trees.
Looking for advice about the birds and the bees.
Trying to find some answers to his pages of pleas.
Andrew Olsen talks to the trees.

The answers are all out there somewhere.
But not always plain to see.
We pray to the skies. Pray to the earth.
And Andrew Olsen talks to the trees.

  We’re seeking other souls and some logical guidance. 
  Looking out for love and someone to provide it.
  Opportunities lost ‘cos we’re so undecided.
  Years go on by when we stay safe in hiding.

Some people are adrift on an ocean.
Some forever are trying to break free.
And many poor souls are falling short of their goals.
And Andrew Olsen talks to the trees.

  What was the name of that song we were singing?
  What kind of fools bought that shit we were slinging?
  More potion please (I shouldn’t really be drinking).
  And God only knows just what we were thinking. 

Michael’s had another birthday.
A couple more months and it’s me.
Jennifer’s gone somewhere out on her own. 
And Andrew Olsen talks to the trees.

Once Upon a Time

So you say you’ve got to go.
Surprises like this always hurt.
I thought we’d have more time to build a life together.
Surprises like this are the worst.

I thought we’d made it through the cold.
I thought the Spring had finally come.
I thought we’d found a way to mend our tears and tatters.
Surprises like this are so dumb.

  Once upon a time we’d smile and make it better.
  Once upon a time there was twinkle in your eye.
  Once upon a time we made it through together.
  Things were beautiful, once upon a time.

Seven years flash in a blink.
Seven years fly by so fast.
Seven years is such a long long time, dear.
Why does nothing ever last?

  Once upon a time we’d both collapse from laughter.
  Once upon a time we’d dance right through the storms.
  Once upon a time we’d hold on to each other.
  Things were beautiful, once upon a time.

You need a change?
Change is good they tell me.
But what about this searing pain?
What about the way things used to be?

So you say it’s time to leave.
You say that nothing can be done.
You say that what I say really doesn’t matter.
Surprises like this are no fun.

  Once upon a time we’d smile and make it better. 
  Once upon a time there was twinkle in your eye.
  Once upon a time we made it through together.
  Things were beautiful, once upon a time.

  Once upon a time we’d both collapse from laughter.
  Once upon a time we’d dance right through the storms.
  Once upon a time we’d hold on to each other.
  Things were beautiful, once upon a time.
 
You Never Knew

Where am I going? What do I do?
I figured by now I’d be coupled with you.
You’re so far away. Half a world…so far away.
  
I sit home alone. I drive day by day.
I look for a path. I’ve got demons to slay.
You’re so far away. Half a lifetime…so far away. 

  Build for tomorrow. Live for today.
  Follow your bliss. Time will take it away.
  And you never knew how I felt about you. 

Memories linger. Fires still burn.
We're living our lives. The world always turns.
We’re so far away. Why in heaven are we so far away?

  Learn from the sadness. Celebrate joy.
  Days turn to decades. We build and destroy.
  And you never knew how I felt about you.

We all have our dreams, so real, so true. 
We can’t let them slip. We’ve got to follow them through.
They’re so far away. Take the plunge? You’re so far away. 

  Build for tomorrow. Live for today.
  Follow your bliss. Time will take it away.
  And you never knew how I felt about you. 

  Learn from the sadness. Celebrate joy.
  Days turn to decades. We build and destroy.
  And you never knew how I felt about you.

  You never knew how hard I fell for you.
  You never knew how I felt about you.

Song for Sophie

Sophie comes to call on sunny days.
A rest stop from the shops. A social getaway.
Sophie brings me cinnamon and songs songs.
We share a hug and a smile. I feel I still belong. 

  Sophie, you’re a dreamer.
  Long ago I was a dreamer too.
  There are days I feel defeated.
  Don’t let them ever take away your dreams from you.

Sophie’s got her plans. She’s got big dreams.
She’s run around the world. Seen things I’ve never seen.
She talks of younger days and college tries.
Confesses late night loves and other petty crimes.

  Sophie’s a believer.
  It’s nice to have someone believe in you.
  Says, “Inspiration. Never envy.”
  Don’t let them ever tell you your beliefs aren’t true.

“And so it’s time to take my leave,” she’ll say.
“I’ve got some big to-dos and mustn’t overstay.”
She could stay forever. I wouldn’t mind.
Sophie, where were you when I was twenty-five?

  Sophie’s a believer.
  It’s nice to have someone believe in you.
  Says, “Inspiration. Never envy.”
  Don’t let them ever tell you your beliefs aren’t true.

  Sophie, you’re a dreamer.
  Long ago I was a dreamer too.
  There are days I feel defeated.
  Don’t let them ever take away your dreams from you.

The Backroads

When we just young kids we were taught to take the safe route.
The interstate everyone’s on.
Now that we’re older, experienced and wiser, 
We wonder where the years have all gone.

We checked every box. Followed crumbs to the top.
But the urge calls for breaking away.
Ever feel you’ve been cheated? Kicked at? Mistreated? 
We’re not stuck. We’re not going to stay.

  It’s time to take the backroads.
  Time to see the sights.
  Time to sing the real songs.
  Taste the earthly delights.

You look back and take stock and connect all the dots.
An emptiness echoes inside.
Take time to savor and honor thy neighbor.
Life’s more than go along for the ride.

  It’s time to take the backroads.
  Negotiate the curves.
  Drive a little slower, now. 
  Live, love, and learn. 

Do you ever wonder who’s stolen your thunder?
Sometimes there’s no one to blame.
Take it to heart. Go and make a new start.
Readjust. Replenish. Re-aim.

  It’s time to take the backroads.
  Time to see the sights.
  Time to sing the real songs.
  Taste the earthly delights.

  It’s time to take the backroads.
  Negotiate the curves.
  Drive a little slower, now. 
  Live, love, and learn.

Nothing's Broken

I’m not worried. It’s not worth it anymore.
Your games are for children. I’m a grown-up. I don’t have to score.

You don’t know me. You never did and you never will.
So don’t spout theories. I won’t be listed in your book of kills. 

  But it’s okay ‘cos nothing lasts.
  We must learn to forget the past.
  It’s all right ‘cos nothing’s broken.
  Yes it’s all right ‘cos nothing’s broken.

You couldn’t shape me. I don’t call and I didn’t fold.
But I still wonder If I’m growing up or growing old.
You couldn’t save me. Different avenues can lead us home.
I’ll taste my pleasures. I’m not lost just because I roam.

  It’s okay ‘cos nothing lasts.
  We must learn to forgive the past.
  It’s all right ‘cos nothing’s broken.
  Yes it’s all right ‘cos nothing’s broken.
  It’s okay ‘cos nothing lasts.
  We must learn to forgive the past.
  We’re left bruised and we’re left battered.
  We’re left scared and we’re left scattered.
  But it’s all right ‘cos nothing’s broken.
  Yes it’s all right ‘cos nothing’s broken.
  It’s okay ‘cos nothing lasts.
  We must learn to forget the past.
  We’re left bruised and we’re left battered.
  We’re left scared and we’re left scattered.
  But it’s all right ‘cos nothing’s broken.
  Yes it’s all right ‘cos nothing’s broken.
  In every life tears have to fall.
  We must heed our anger’s call.
  But it’s all right ‘cos nothing’s broken.
  Yes it’s all right ‘cos nothing’s broken.
  It’s all right ‘cos nothing’s broken.
  Yes it’s all right ‘cos nothing’s broken.
  Yes it’s all right ‘cos nothing’s broken.