THINGS'LL BE BETTER NEXT YEAR

Oh daughter, I¹m so glad you called.
It¹s been a long time since I¹ve heard your voice.
Now how¹s the job and all?
Well, we¹ve been busy, doin¹ better than most
but it¹s been a bad year for the farming folks.
Sometimes we almost gave up hope.

   But with a whole lot of work, and luck, and love,
   and a little bit of help from the Lord above,
   Things¹ll be better next year.
   (We hope that) things¹ll be better next year.

Oh daughter, did you hear about the flood?
The levee broke through on the old Cape Road
and it filled my fields with mud.
We didn¹t lose it all, we did better than some
but we had to start over, then the rains wouldn¹t come.
Sometimes I swear the worst is yet to come.

   Chorus

Oh daughter, don¹t you think we¹re giving up.
This farm has seen hard times before,
but we always had enough.
Time heals trouble, honey, don¹t ask me why
Things always get better in the bye and bye.
You just don¹t count the days you cry

   ŒCause with a whole lot of work, and luck, and love,
   and a little bit of help from the Lord above,
   Things¹ll be better next year.
   (We hope that) things¹ll be better next year.
   Things¹ll be better next year
   (We pray that) things¹ll be better next year.



EASY

Easy we come, Easy we go
How easy the time flies once you pass the word go

Easy we come, Easy we grow
We ease through our youth 'til we find we¹re alone

   Some people go, and some people stay.
   and I thank the someone who sent you my way
   I thank the someone who sent you my way.

It's easier said than easily done,
to ease through a lifetime and love only one

But easy it seems, You're so easy to please
It's so easy to lose what we¹ve gained by degrees

   Some people go, and some people stay
   and I thank the someone who sent you my way.
   I thank the someone who sent you my way.

It's hard to stop laughing, and hard not to cry.
We hardly get going when it¹s time for goodbye.

It's easy we go, but hard to say when,
Much easier knowing we¹ll soon meet again.

   Some people go, and some people stay
   and I thank the someone who sent you my way
   I thank the someone who sent you my way.



THE PAL I LEFT BEHIND


My home and my past, they seem so far away.
Yet there¹s a pal, the best of pals
who¹s with me every day.
When I think back on the good old days,
I just can¹t keep from crying.
Oh, how I miss you, the pal I left behind.

   Will you still be there
   when my ramblin¹ days are through?
   Will your eyes still have that sparkle
   that drew me first to you?
   Will you step still be as spritely
   as it was when you were mine?
   Oh, how I miss you, the pal I left behind.

I promised not to leave you
and now look where I am.
I promised to be with you
until the bitter end.
Well, I haven¹t sent a postcard
cause you¹re not the writin¹ kind.
Still I hope that you¹ll remember me
and miss me too, sometimes.

   Chorus
 Oh, how I miss you. . . . .That old roan horse of mine.

 

IT'S RAINING


   It¹s raining, it¹s raining.
   Will I ever see the sun?
   It¹s raining, it¹s raining
   and I sure miss someone.

Gray skies all around me.
Gray skies all I see.
Gray skies will surround me
Until you¹re home with me.

I sit here by the window
waiting for your call.
I don¹t hear the phone ringing.
I hear the rain upon the wall.

   Chorus

Rain on the rooftop.
Rain on the windowpane.
Rain runnin¹ down my sidewalk.
Yes, it¹s raining here today.

It¹s raining in my heart today.
It¹s been raining since you went away.
It¹ll rain until I see the day
when you come home to me.

   Chorus



CHRISTMASTIME IN MY HOMETOWN

Throw the mattress in the back of dad¹s pickup truck.
Pull the wool blankets tight around
We¹d beg to ride five miles of cold gravel road
Just to see the colored lights in town.

Pull the plastic down tight on the woodpile.
Oh, they say it¹s gonna snow.
Let Old Man Winter pour his heart out.
There¹s nowhere we need to go.

   Oh, to be home again when the snow begins to fall.
   To sing the songs of the season,
   Friends and family, one and all.
   Oh, to be home again when the snow starts coming down.
   It¹s beginning to look like Christmastime in my hometown.

Get that box down out of the attic
Glitter and garland to guarantee
That pinetree-top in the corner¹s
gonna make a Christmas tree.

Let¹s all gather round the piano.
Can you play a Christmas song?
How Œbout ³Deck the Halls², page 24,
In a key we can sing along.

   Oh, to be home again when the snow begins to fall.
   To sing the songs of the season,
   Friends and family, one and all.
   Oh, to be home again when the snow starts coming down.
   It¹s beginning to look like Christmastime in my hometown.

(instrumental break)

Looking back now at the looking forward,
The gifts were the smallest part.
The greatest gift I got were the memories
I keep within my heart.

   Oh, to be home again when the snow begins to fall.
   To sing the songs of the season,
   Friends and family, one and all.
   Oh, to be home again when the snow starts coming down.
   It¹s beginning to look like Christmastime in my hometown.

 

THE OLD MILL VALLEY


   Take me back to the old Mill Valley.
   Take me back to the home I love.
   Give a call to my cousin Sally.
   When the train rolls in she¹ll pick me up.

Give a call to my uncle Luther.
Drop a line to my brother Paul.
Tell them all I¹ll be coming home soon.
Send my love. . . I miss them all.

We¹ll go down by the old Mill River.
There we¹ll sing those old time songs
and we¹ll laugh and play together
Like we did when we were young.

   Take me back to the old Mill Valley.
   Take me back to the home I love.
   Give a call to my cousin Sally.
   When the train rolls in she¹ll pick me up.

Tell my Pa to go and kill a turkey.
Tell my Ma to bake a berry pie.
When I get home, we¹re gonna have a party.
Gonna play all night till the sun is high.

Cousin Roy¹s gonna pick the banjo.
Uncle Johnny plays the mandolin.
Brother Bill¹s gonna saw the fiddle
And little Jeff¹s gonna join right in. . .

   Take me back to the old Mill Valley.
   Take me back to the home I love.
   Give a call to my cousin Sally.
   When the train rolls in she¹ll pick me up.

   Take me back to the old Mill Valley.
   Take me back to the home I love.
   Once I¹m home, I¹ll never leave there
   ŒTil I¹m called to my home above.


BUCKY'S PRESENT

The coyotes quit callin' as the first flakes were fallin'.
The cowboy was entering the draw.
The calves he'd been seekin' were huddled there peekin'
through the sagebrush, too frozen to bawl.

They followed their savior to a lean-to with hay where
the winter could do them no harm.
The storm growing stronger, he couldn't wait any longer -
he had to find his way back to the farm.

       Yippee ti yi yeh, it's Christmas day.
       You're out on the trail alone.
       Yippee ti yi yo,  gonna snow, really snow.
       The cowboy is miles from home.

For a spell what seemed hours he called to higher powers,
rode in circles, and wished he were home.
He said, "Buck, please forgive me for bringing you with me.
Merry Christmas, we're gonna freeze in a storm."

He dropped his reins to the horn and his hat to his collar
and turned to the driving wind.
The last words he remembered, half-crazy and cryin'
"Oh Bucky, please bring us both in."

   As the whiteness surrounded them,
   his own heart was pounding when
   a vision shone out through the snow.
   Oh God, if you hear me and have mercy for me,
   Show Bucky the right trail to home.

       Yippee ti yi yeh, It's Christmas day.
       You're out on the trail alone.
       Yippee ti yi yo, let'im go, let'im go
       Let him bring his old cowboy home.

With his heart as his lantern, he took off at a canter
hip-high through the drifting snow.
He ran straight as the crow flies
for the woodsmoke and the faint lights.
Old Bucky knew which way to go.

Did he follow his instincts or follow a Master?
Or follow a wandering star?
It's a mystery,  no miracle, calling God's creatures
back to the place they belong.
So when you're ridin' in circles, drop the reins to your heart,
and you'll find yourself where you belong.

       Yippee ti yi yeh, It's Christmas day.
       You're out on the trail alone.
       Yippee ti yi yo, let it snow, let it snow.
       The cowboy is finally home.
       His pony is finally home.
       May we all find our way back home.



AN OCEAN FROM HOME


If the hands of time could wave goodbye and memories had wings
I¹d fly tonight across the water to the place that calls my name.
       They say home is where the heart is.
        Mine¹s mostly here with you.
   But a little heart beats back across the sea,
   And it¹s calling me back too.

I¹m an ocean from home and I cannot see the shore.
I cannot feel that southern wind blowin¹ round my door.
Oh, what would I give to smell the new mown hay,
and walk those hills I used to walk back in another day.

The gentle waving of the corn are the arms that beckon me.
My candle in the window is the sunset through the trees.
   You¹ll never know what¹s left behind
   until from home you stray.
   The roots have grown too long and deep
   to take another clay.

I¹m an ocean from home and I cannot see the shore.
I cannot feel that southern wind blowin¹ round my door.
Oh, what would I give to smell the new mown hay,
and walk those hills I used to walk back in another day.

They say you can¹t go back once you¹ve gone away
ŒCause people change, and places change and thing¹s just aren¹t the same.
   But it don¹t keep me from trying
   and crying now and then
   for a life and time I¹ve left behind. . . .
   Œtil I get back home again.

I¹m an ocean from home and I cannot see the shore.
I cannot feel that southern wind blowin¹ round my door.
Oh, what would I give to smell the new mown hay,
and walk those hills I used to walk back in another day.

 

WAITING AND WONDERING

Jumping and running to answer the phone,
Hoping to hear what she¹s known all along -
The voice of a stranger she somehow knows well,
The voice of a prince sent to shatter the spell.

   Waiting and wondering, and hoping it¹s true.
   Building her hopes in a heart made for two.
   If you do care for her, let it show through.
   She¹s waiting and wondering and hoping for you.

Patience, a virtue she holds to excess.
The cost is her peace and her happiness.
When he is ready I know he¹ll appear.
She¹s waiting and wondering and holding her fear.

   Waiting and wondering, and hoping it¹s true.
   Building her hopes in a heart made for two.
   If you do care for her, let it show through.
   She¹s waiting and wondering and hoping for you.

Sometimes at night she will cry all alone,
³Hope is for fools who can¹t stand on their own.²
Though darkness passes, the sadness will stay.
She¹s waiting and wondering and wasting away.

   Waiting and wondering, and hoping it¹s true.
   Building her hopes in a heart made for two.
   If you do care for her, let it show through.
   She¹s waiting and wondering and hoping for you.

EIGHT MORE MILES TO LOUISVILLE

I've traveled o'er this country wide seeking fortune fair
Up and down the two coast lines I've traveled everywhere
From Portland East to Portland West back along the line
I'm going now to the place that's best that old hometown of mine

   Eight more miles and Louisville will come into my view
   Eight more miles on this old road and I'll never more be blue
   I knew some day that I'd come back I knew it from the start
   Eight more miles to Louisville the hometown of my heart

There's bound to be a gal somewhere that you like best of all
Mine lives down in Louisville she's long and she is tall
But she's the kind that you can't find a traveling through the land
I'm on my way this very day to win her heart and hand

Now I can picture in my mind a place we'll call our home
A humble little hut for two we'll never want to roam
The place that's right for that love sight is in those bluegrass hills
Where gently flows the Ohio by a place called Louisville

 

BOTTOMLANDS

As a child I knew the bottomlands.
I knew it's fury in the spring.
I knew it's blazing heat in the summertime,
and autumn mallards on the wing.
And I knew the way to your house down an icy gravel road.
Yes, I knew the way to your house with my eyes closed...
As we walked along in the bottomlands
Where the corn grows eight feet high.
And the mud comes up between our toes,
And the sun beats down like it somehow knows
the fall's not far away.
We'll walk again in the bottomlands someday.

Like a midnight freight through the bottomlands,
on a track to God knows where,
I took a ride on a life that was just as fast
and I landed somehow here.
But the air here smells of gasoline
and I miss the cricket's song.
How was I to know that it would be so long?....
Til' we 'd walk again in the bottomlands
Where the corn grows eight feet high
And the mud comes up between our toes,
And the sun beats down like it somehow knows the fall's not far away.
We'll walk again in the bottomlands someday.

Now in dreams I go to the bottomlands
and I feel the August sun,
And I smell mown weeds in the ditches
and I hear the river run.
And I see you on the riverbank
and you turn to me and smile.
It's a dream that seems more real with every mile.
Til' we walk again in the bottomlands
Where the corn grows eight feet high
And the mud comes up between your toes,
And the sun beats down like it somehow knows
the fall's not far away.
We'll walk again in the bottomlands someday.

I imagine a home on a riverbluff
overlooking the fields of green,
where me and you, like we used to do,
will walk the levee once again.
But I'm still a little restless,
and there are still some dues to pay.
The wish will keep me working toward the day...
When we'll walk along in the bottomlands
Where the corn grows eight feet high
And the mud comes up between our toes,
And the sun beats down like it somehow knows
the fall's not far away.
We'll walk again in the bottomlands,
We'll walk again in the bottomlands,
We'll go marching through the bottomlands someday.