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1.The Luckiest Man On The Face Of The Earth

You were the best supporting actor
The unforeseen factor
You were the guy who yanked the chains behind the stage
If you had talked a little faster
Maybe dressed in alabaster
You'd have been the hero of the age

Well here's your day in the sun, Lou
We see it now that you're done, you
Are the luckiest man on the face of the earth
The luckiest man on the face of the earth

You always played the second fiddle
You were the guy just right of middle
You were the man who drove the car while others slept
If you had flashed a little fancy
Maybe been a little dancy
You'd have been the jewel that they all kept

You were consistently
You were the king of the line drive
There was always something about you, Lou
And in the face of that disease
When the muscles start to squeeze
The life right out of you
When most men shudder at the dread
Here's this thing you said
'Bout being the luckiest man on the face of the earth

2.If I Wanted To

If I wanted to forget you
It'd a been easy
If I wanted to lose you
It'd a been quick

Hell, I lost myself
For four years
And I might have slipped away
But I fell sick

It ain't just you then
Who was in danger
Of disappearing
Underneath the wavesIt was everyone and
Everything I ever loved
Slipping out of knowing Into unmarked graves

If I wanted to
If I wanted to
If I wanted to, I tell myself I could have.
Is it true?
Did I want to?

It started as a vow
In some old tree house
You swore you'd never be your
Fathers when you aged
But you're all sitting at this bar
Wondering who you are
And you're becoming those at whom you
Once were so enraged

And a prison bar don't have to be
Too strong you know
It's how many there are side by side
That keep you in the cell

The camera dollies out
From where you’re lying in your bunk

But the camera'sIn the prison yard as well

They can tell you that
You won't amount to nothin', boy
Or that's what we expect
From nasty girls like you
They act like everything is figured out
But what'll they do when
That tragedy comes falling on them too

3.Cross The Mountain Stream

I'll carry my baby cross the mountain stream
So she can stay close to me
And when we get over the mountain stream
Maybe my baby be free

My baby can't really walk no more
Her legs are too weak and thin
She never dreamed of crossing that stream
She never thought she'd get in

Carry her cross that stream

My daddy fired his stillhouse up
Deep in the forest hills
Out come the drink of the devil there
Drink of a thousand ills
Carry my daddy cross the mountain stream
Make him some eyes that are clear
Silent and brewing or bull hot and flame
Make that stillhouse disappear

Carry him cross that stream

Carry me over the mountain stream
I think I can't do this alone
So carry me over the mountain stream
Tell me I'm on my way home

And when we get over the mountain stream
And everything is complete
When that great table is set for the feast
Let all the broken come eat

Carry me cross that stream

5.Bring The Sadness Back In

Don & Lori Chaffer

They were laughing at the bar about the girl with the big butt
Saying they ain't never seen nothing like that slut
And how could anybody ever think about bein' with her?

Joey likes to drink and when he drinks he likes to fight
And his buddies think it makes for a pretty funny Friday night
When Joey gets all liquored up and takes a swing and causes a stir

The whole world is full of laughter
But the high is wearing thin
I'm praying someone somewhere gently
Will bring the sadness back in

Underneath the mattress where he keeps his cash
Is a bunch of magazines he calls his secret stash
It's a life that he ain't never lived
But man he'd love to give them dice a roll

And every time he flinches while he's flippin' through the stack
He tells himself that anything that paper might lack
Is made up by the fact that
Every woman there is under his control

All these promises of freedomIn the bondages of sin
I'm praying someone somewhere gently
Will bring the sadness back in

Everybody's aching underneath their skin
But all of 'em are laughing as they're bein' sworn in
To testify, so help them God,
That everybody here's having a blast

6.I'm Gonna Sing

I'm sellin' all my records
And all my magazines
Tryin' to lose my memory
Of all them famous scenes
Gonna buy a horse now
And learn to ride that thing
Gallop in a field somewhere
And man, I'm gonna sing

Gonna sell my TV too
For seventy-five bucks
Take a bag of stale bread to the pond
I'm gonna feed some ducks
I'm gonna lend someone my laptop
Cause I can't give that thing away
And then I'm gonna write some letters once I figure out what to say

Going camping in December
Even if I freeze
Watch the snowfall quietly
Feel the winter breeze
Going to the beach soon Watch the ocean heave

And if I fall in love with standing there
Man, I ain't ever gonna leave

Wish I could get a promise
That if I want to rest
That I will learn to do it then
Feel the peace inside my chest

Cranked up like a drum head I'm thin; I'm 'bout to break
Chased away the boy I was
Cause he told me I'm a fake

Cranked up like a drum head I'm thin; I'm 'bout to break
Somebody save me from myself
For God Almighty's sake

Leave the children alone
Let them come to me

8.People Go By Like Flame

I had to take someone to the airport just this morning
I had forgotten about all the faces
Everybody that I saw was going to or coming from different places
But they all looked the same
Crushed and shy or loud and angry
Everybody just walked along without looking at anyone

I ran into a friend of mine from my junior high days I spent the night at his house once
I remember that night vividly
We were nearly strangers now. It'd been so long
And he was headin' off to Germany

It was him and his girlfriend, and he was gonna study French there
Or maybe it was it German

People go by like a flame
And you never even know their name
You might get warm
You might get burned
But either way a flame is not the sun
That rises every day

His girlfriend wasn't there when I showed up
And I remember thinking how lonely to go to Germany alone
Then he told me that she'd be there soon
But it still seemed really sad to me
He still looked like he was on his own
Now he was smart. He knew a lot
But I wanted to ask if him he was okay
There was just something in his eyes

Late at night, the moon is bright
And the fields are silver-gray
And no, it's true it ain't no sun
But it's pretty anyway

9.John Henry, Where'd You Go

John Henry, where'd you go
I wonder every time it snows
See the hammer and the body in the evening light
Skin of brown
Under a bed of white

The cracked mountains of those cold cruel mines
An elegy under the steam drill’s whine
If you listen right at suppertime
At sunset

You can hear it chime

That ringing sound like silver
That ringing sound like gold
That ringing sound like angel choirs
That never grow old

His mother hardly speaks
Her rocking chair just creaks
I will sit here in the darkness when the sun falls down
Eat supper cold
Listen for that sound

That was one hell of a year
So I'll make my prayer clear
Let the hammer crack the suffering tree
And crack the sky
So everyone can see

John Henry shines like silver
John Henry shines like gold
John Henry's like the angel choirs
That never grow old

His mother sings like silver
His mother shines like gold
His mother sings that ringing sing
Sing like angel choirs
That never grow old

10.Against The Window Pane

I believe the heart's a theatre,
And that the actors on its stage
Are playing dreams but they're imposters
And that the devil pays their wage.

I believe the passion of that drama
That we're certain is for realIs a diversion for our senses
While the director comes to steal.

And ever since I was a little kid,
I didn't want to run away,
But it scared me half to death to think that I might have to stay.
I've had a hundred scarecrow certainties.
I've built a wooden drawbridge for my brain.
But they all burn up
When I see Your face
Against the window pane.

I believe that in the passionate,
There's a part that is divine
I've seen the cosmos in a woman's smile,
Tasted eternity in wine.

But I don't just believe in sentiment,
Or miracles of everyday.
I believe that there are lepers healed.
I believe the dead are raised.

Jesus was a lover.
He had a fire in His eyes
That could burn away excuses, cremate your alibis.
He had a gaze that would expose to you all the subtle lies
That your soul permits your heart to tell concerning all that it denies.

11.What You Don't Know

Sometime while I was sleeping
We crossed into Virginia
I woke up and stepped out of the van
Ma'am, where's the cigarettes?
She said, "over there" with a southern drawl
I said, "do they all talk like you 'round here?"

Sometimes what you don't know can hurt you
Sometimes you can't see right from wrong
You're too blind to see
And too far down the road
And now she's gone, gone, gone, gone, gone

Crystalline and hazy
The memory is crazy
You never know the way that it might go
Like laughin' under summer trees
Or stayin' close when the branches freeze
I guess this is all I was ever supposed to know

Somehow I'm gonna get up from this car wreck
Somehow I'll get up and walk away
After two months in intensive care
And half a year in God knows where
I am gonna pick up and move on

Last night while I was dreaming
My daddy came and spoke to me
He said, son ain't no man ever loved too good this way
All brain and no feelin'
Gets you screwed into the ceiling
Don't try so hard to figure out what to say

'Cause sometimes what you don't know, it won't hurt you
And it ain't so hard to see what's right from wrong
Just open up your eyes
And take off that disguise
Boy, the way you dramatize
Won't make a heart that's wise
You're a man when you live inside your own skin

You're a man when you live inside your own skin

12.Up Before The Sun

Up before the sun
Of all the things I could've chosen
This is not the one
Neither sad nor fun
To be chewing on my fingernails
Up before the sun

Angry with the Word
Of all the ways I could've listened
This is what I heard
Neither fish nor bird
To be on the earth and wrestling
Angry with the word

Trusting in Your heart
All the things that could've killed me
Or torn me apart
Neither end not start
To be somewhere in the middle of it
Trusting in your heart

13.The Quiet Wonder

I'd shake your hand
If I had one to extend but it was
Blown off in the war
The war that ended just a minute ago
When I came in the front door

When I left town
'Bout a hundred years ago I didn't
Think I'd lose my way
The kind of losing where you wonder at the end
If you even know your name

I remember the days
When we sang
Sang the tunes of the night
With the quiet wonder of
Being so near

I understood
That the nature of your smile was always
Etched within the frame
Of the way that you insisted that you be
And I thought it was a game

Now you're gone
And I'm looking at the ground where you
Held us all aloft
And the burdens that you carried like a mule
On your back, tender and soft

All the crazy caravans
The trails of dust and memories
Rising like the feathers of a bird
Spread the wings, the family
Of bleary eyes and hungry for
The promise which will save us in a Word

14.Long On Diagnosis, Short On Cure

Last night I heard this old guy play guitar
He could push you with the music.
He could take you far
But he would push you with his right hand
And always hide his left
I just had one question for him,
"Mister, Have you ever been convicted of theft?"

Cause He'd (They'd) say
"This one's close to dying
This one's fine
This one's past the turning point.
He's crossed the line.
"Now he was awful good at triage,
That's for sure,
But he was long on diagnosis,
And short on cure.

A long-winded conversation in a dorm room late at night
Not so much about the truth as whether you said it right

I raised the prospect of hope eternal.
I was laughed at and scorned.
They rolled their eyes like dice on a table
But their number was forlorn.

Now, you can take your chance
Beat your fists on the boards of despair
You end up with splinters in your knuckles
Thinking, "unjust, unfair."
Or you can fall on the altar of sadness
And call for the knife.
But either way you're just denying your hearing.
Put your ear to God's chest, and clearly
It's the pulse of life.

Now you been close dying
In fact you've crossed the line
You done sailed right past the turning point,
Thinking everything's fine
But when the gas runs out
And your sitting there stone cold
You think, "I was young when all this started
Now I'm old."

But when the doctor pushes the triage crew aside
He says, "You're all long on diagnosis
Short on cure."
And he turns to you and says,

"Come on, Darlin' we can make this
Yes, I'm sure."

15.Leave Me Alone

Turn out the lights
Close the door
I'll not be taking visitors anymore

Shut off the power
Take down the sign
And let the machine answer the line

Leave me alone
Not because I'm angry
Just because I need to hear myself breathe
And be alive
And wonder why she's gone

Since I was a boy
Always her voice
Was ringing in the air around our home

How still the air
Winter is here
But missing is her warm familiar tone

Leave me alone
I just need a moment
To myself to quiet down to quiet down and grieve
And be alive
And miss her being so nearby she's gone

Don Chaffer: What You Don’t Know
All songs except Bring The Sadness Back In written by Don Chaffer
© 2002 Hey Ruth Music (ASCAP)
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