Do the Math

Second of four songs I wrote in February.

Best Beloved’s feet are even itchier than mine. We’ve driven all over two countries and we’ll never really settle down.

Seed for the song (this version, #3 I think) came from the discovery that Best Beloved’s favorite client was born in the tiny hamlet of Valentine Nebraska, a place we considered moving after driving through, just because it was so beautiful.

A few forced lyrics; I was in a hurry. Suggestions for better wording are always welcome.

like I said last night it’s time to go
ain’t sayin nothin you don’t already know
can’t do the math to stay in one place too long
I’ll tell you something so you know nothing’s wrong

gear’s loaded, truck’s warming up
good strong coffee, poured you a cup
guitar behind the seat, backpacks in the bed
so get your boots on, we gotta go just like I said

can’t do the math where you and I get divided
pluses and minuses are all pretty one-sided
you’ve already seen some action
but I’m telling you it’s only a fraction
add it all up you’ll get the same answer I did

valley in north Nebraska near Valentine
couple of minutes from the South Dakota state line
peaceful quiet and green where the river winds through
I’ve seen it before but now I wanna see it with you

can’t do the math where you and I get divided
pluses and minuses are all pretty one-sided
you’ve already seen some action
but I’m telling you it’s only a fraction
add it all up you’ll get the same answer I did

middle of the country the tall grass covers the plains
speed limit means we can have some fun racing the trains
sit behind the Flint Hills see the sunset silhouette
I’ve seen it before, but I haven’t seen it with you yet

can’t do the math where you and I get divided
pluses and minuses are all pretty one-sided
you’ve already seen some action
but I’m telling you it’s only a fraction
add it all up you’ll get the same answer I did

follow the ocean San Diego up to Vancouver
water left, dirt right; not a complicated maneuver
head across to Newfoundland take a ferry over the sea
how you do the math doesn’t make any difference to me

except I can’t do the math where you and I get divided
pluses and minuses are all pretty one-sided
you’ve already seen some action
but I’m telling you it’s only a fraction
add it all up you’ll get the same answer I did






My Favorite Dreams

Another 6-minute wonder (that is, about 6 minutes to write.) I spent 5 of them searching in vain for one more word that rhymes with dreams, then rearranged it so I didn’t have to.

When the subject is my Best Beloved, it just isn’t that hard. I’ll never know if they’re any good because I don’t care as long as they make her smile.

Continue reading “My Favorite Dreams”


Marmalade Coast

Noodling with chords I found myself playing a strange jazz progression. I spent some time noodling with a melody, da da da-ing it. Listened to it on repeat for a few hours one day while I read.

The next night doing the dishes, I opened the tea cabinet and smelled the Earl Grey, which in our house means you’re having marmalade whether you want it or not. Flashes of a night drive from Sacramento to Mendocino with my wife sparked more words and out it came.

Continue reading “Marmalade Coast”


But Not Faded

you might think it’s in pretty rough shape
it’s wrinkled and tattered and torn
it’s patched up in places with old yellow tape
it’s folded and creased and well-worn

our love makes quite a picture
of the beautiful life that we share
like an old photograph, right here in my heart
but not faded; it’s just seen some wear

yeah, it’s folded in half, down the middle
stuck with tape so it don’t come apart
two smiling faces together
the two of us, joined at the heart

our love makes quite a picture
of the beautiful life that we share
like an old photograph, right here in my heart
but not faded; it’s just seen some wear

it’s with me wherever I go
though the edges are ragged and frayed
’cause it keeps getting clearer as time passes by
and I know that it won’t ever fade

our love makes quite a picture
of the beautiful life that we share
like an old photograph, right here in my heart
but not faded; it’s just seen some wear


beautiful carelessly sultry

chorus
Hey beautiful carelessly sultry
lazily bright above
enthusiastically tightly warmly dizzy madly of

anxiously silly beside
awkwardly even between
boldly moving to measure up beyond reluctantly seen

chorus

silently tender despite
carefully crazy about
seldom recklessly foolish though
truthfully empty without

chorus

eventually happy within
perfectly better at
briefly bravely brightly blindly joyously wonderful that

chorus