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lyrics by Joel Mabus

songs from

A Bird In This World

(fossil 2415)

To learn more about the CD A Bird In This World, click HERE  
To order this or any album, click here  

A Bird In This World is an album of original songs written by Joel Mabus released in 2015.  Of 10 tracks, one is instrumental.  The other nine have lyrics which are provided here. 
All lyrics ©2015 Joel Mabus all rights reserved -- do not post this material to another website!

Scroll down or click on title to read the lyrics or monologues.

Welcome Back To The Blues  
Simply Lost In The Blues  
Hillbilly Singer  
Kentucky Hambone Blues  
Hemingway's Beard  
Hoosier Blues  
Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet  
A Spin Of Desire  
How About The Blues  

 

Welcome Back to the Blues
words and music by Joel Mabus © 2015

Now when you're down to that old bottom dollar
Pondering what that might buy
Remember when you had a fistful
There was nothing that you could not try

Oh it was lobster and Crown Royal Whiskey,
Arrow collars and Florsheim shoes
But things ain't so fine at the end of the line
Welcome back to the blues.

Yeah, we used to call you Mr. Lucky
One of them fortunate few
You had the Midas touch, but you touched too much
And now your golden days are through

Oh, you had your turn in the spotlight
Taking offers you could not refuse
You were one of the best, but you're just like the rest
Welcome back to the blues

Oh the blues came to you early
Poor child in a lonesome night
Oh the blues showed you sweet, sweet mercy
And the blues taught you how to fight

So you kicked and you scratched to the top of the pile
You paid back each cut with a bruise
I thought you never would fall, but you're just like them all
Welcome back to the blues

Oh, you had your turn in the spotlight
Taking offers that you could not refuse
I thought you never would fall, but you're just like them all
Welcome back to the blues
Welcome back to the blues
Welcome back …

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Simply Lost in the Blues
words and music by Joel Mabus © 2015

My head in the clouds,
My feet on the ground
But somewhere in-between my hat and my shoes
There stands a man
Without a plan
Simply lost in the blues

Yeah, like a bug - on the breeze
Or a kite - in the trees
I fly whichever way the weather may choose
Not for me to decide,
Just along for the ride
Simply lost in the blues

It comes on kinda slow
But it grows and it grows
Like a moss on a shady old wall
Got a mind all its own
Before very long
The blues simply takes it all

And that's what you see
When you're looking at me --
The shell of a man with a slow burning fuse
Just making the rounds
Like the other sad clowns
Simply lost in the blues

An old friend came to say
It's a beautiful day
You got no right -- to be so glum
Ah, but you can't break this spell
With some joke you can tell
No, the blues ain't that easy, old chum

Again I explain
There's no pill for my pain
No flip of the switch, no turn of the screw
But one thing I got
It's a sweet little spot
Somewhere off in the blue --
Simply lost in the blues

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Hillbilly Singer
words and music by Joel Mabus © 2015

It was late one night at a roadhouse saloon
The band coming off of the stage
With my favorite hillbilly singer
Still good but showing his age

I said, I got all of your records
And if you don't mind me bending your ear
I'd like to know what you're drinking
He said, you can buy me a beer

I asked him what keeps you going
You sing your heart out, night after night
Well, he took a long drink and then he answered
He said, Son, I'll be telling you right -- he said

Sometimes you sing for the money
And sometimes you sing for the show
Sometimes you sing for a pretty young thing
With a big smile in the front row

Sometimes you sing cause you're lonesome
And you need that crowd and the cheers
Sometimes you sing for your supper
And sometimes that's just for the beers

And sometimes you sing for the memory
Of a love gone awfully wrong
Yeah sometimes you sing for the money
And sometimes you sing for the song

Well, I asked him where next he was headed
He said, Son, I don't rightly know
Some joint a whole lot like this one
Just a ways further down the road

He said, the boys in the band handle business
And they take me along for the ride
Just a wore-out hillbilly singer
Then he finished his beer and he smiled

He wrote me his name on a napkin
And he left with a tip of the hat
And here it is all these years later
I'm still remembering that

On those nights when nobody listens
And the guitar just don't want to play
I remember that hillbilly singer
And the things that he had to say

'Cause sometimes you sing for the money
Sometimes you sing for the show
Sometimes you sing for the pretty young thing
With a big smile in the front row

Sometimes you sing cause you're lonesome
And you need that crowd and the cheers
Sometimes you sing for your supper
And sometimes it's just for the beers

And sometimes you sing for the memory
Of a love gone awfully wrong
Yeah sometimes you sing for the money
And sometimes you sing for the song

Yeah sometimes you sing for the money
And sometimes it's all for a song

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Kentucky Hambone Blues
words and music by Joel Mabus © 2015

Well, I'm going to Kentucky, to get my hambone boiled
Going to Kentucky, I gonna get my hambone boiled
'Cause them Tennessee women -
they like to let good hambone spoil
I got them old Kentucky hambone blues

Well, you got water in the well,
but your pump don't work no more
You got water in the well, but your pump don't work no more
You can rattle that handle -- until your elbow bone goes sore
You got them old Kentucky hambone blues

Well, I'm going to Paducah, honey, where they ain't like you
Going to Paducah, honey, where they ain't like you
'Cause them Ohio River women --
they treat me like you just don't do
I got them old Kentucky hambone blues

Well, I'm going to Kentucky, whatcha want me to bring you back
Going to Kentucky, whatcha want me to bring you back
A pint of good bourbon -- or a Louisville baseball bat
I got them old Kentucky hambone blues

Well, I'm going to Kentucky, to get my hambone boiled
Up to Muhlenberg County, I gonna my hambone boiled
'Cause them Tennessee women -
they want to let good hambone spoil
I got them old Kentucky hambone blues
Yeah, I got them old Kentucky hambone blues

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Hemingway's Beard
words and music by Joel Mabus © 2015

You wake up one morning - and it's just as you feared
You go to the mirror - and everything's weird
There on your chin you see Hemingway's beard
Damned old Hemingway's beard
White as the Kilimanjaro's snows
Up both of your cheeks and under your nose
You say in your best taciturn prose:
Damned old Hemingway's beard

Now up late one night it's no big surprise
Scrubbing your face to see Vonnegut's eyes
Baggy and rheumy, more tired than wise
Damned old Vonnegut's eyes
Too long at the task, too long at the page
Too weary to once again rattle the cage
You've done what it takes; now here is your wage:
Damned old Vonnegut's eyes

Ah, when you were young you would look in the glass
See Brautigan's mane and Kerouac's brass
Now it's Steinbeck's old hair, and Ginsberg's old ass
And grave apparitions arise from the past

Facing you now so deep in the mirror
A reflection of time, a pale souvenir
White as a ghost - from ear to ear
Damned old Hemingway's beard
Bold pioneer, once vogue and now dead
With books in the library studied, not read
Haunting your vision and troubling your head
Damned old Hemingway's beard

Don't reach for a pill, grab a razor instead
And damn old Hemingway's beard

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Hoosier Blues
words and music by Joel Mabus © 2015

Your little home town -- is gettin' you down.
You got them old Hoosier blues
Time to vamoose, cut loose - you've paid your dues
You gotta lose yer Hoosier Blues

Every Tom Dick and Harry, from Terre Haute to Gary,
Mary Ann or Peggy Sue
Blow that pop stand -- bid your gang adieu
Ya gotta lose yer Hoosier Blues

Yeah, time to take an action; make a little traction,
north or south or east or west
Yeah, choose the route to suit your mood the best
But lose yer Hoosier Blues

Cole porter got 'em, Vonnegut forgot 'em,
Hoagy Carmichael -- Steve McQueen
Yeah, cats like that knew when to split the scene
They had t' lose their Hoosier Blues

So kiss 'em good bye -- if they should cry
Tell them what you aim to do
You're comin' back home but you got some stuff to do
You gotta lose yer Hoosier Blues

So kiss em good bye -- if they should cry
Tell them what you aim to do
You're comin' back home just as soon as you are through
But first ya gotta lose yer Hoosier
Lose yer Hoosier,
Lose yer Hoosier Blues

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Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet
words and music by Joel Mabus © 2015

The soul that knows no hunger…
Can never be tempted
By even the sweetest honeycomb
But the hungry soul
To the hungry soul
Every bitter thing…
Is sweet

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A Spin of Desire
words and music by Joel Mabus © 2015

A spin of desire, a web of romance
A kick of the spur in the seat of the pants
Some would say "an affair of the heart"
Or just old Cupid tossing a dart

Some call it passion; some call it pain
Some say it's chemicals at work in your brain
Some call it love, some call it luck
Some call it a night, and keep passing the buck

For one is a flower, for one is a weed
For one is a choice; for one is a need
It's this thing, or that thing or something else…
But don't ask me, I'm a stranger here myself

Yeah don't ask me, just passing through
Picking the blues, that's all I do
Go round and round until I get stuck
Then call it a night and keep passing the buck

Now you only live once (or possibly twice)
Some say it's all just a toss of the dice
Others declare "predestination!"
(Like the game's been rigged since before creation)

Some say it's all monkey-see, monkey do
Some take a existentialist view
If it quacks and it waddles you call it a duck
Or call it a night, and keep passing the buck

Well there's doctors, lawyers, executive chiefs
Prophets, and poets, and preachers and priests
Each is out to peddle whatever sells
But don't ask me - I'm a stranger here myself

Yeah don't ask me, just passing through
Making up songs, that's all I do
Go round and round until I get stuck
Then call it a night and keep passing the buck

Now some put their faith in cold hard fact
Others require a magical act
Some only read one book on the shelf
But don't ask me, I'm a stranger here myself

Yeah, don't ask me, just passing through
Making it rhyme, that's all I do
Go round and round until I get stuck
Then call it a night and keep passing the buck

Yeah, go round and round until you get stuck
Call it a night - good night -- good luck

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How About The Blues?
words and music by Joel Mabus © 2015

I got a question for you, mama -- How about the blues?
Think about it, baby -- We ain't got nothin' to lose
Break out them old records, and a bottle of wine
It won't be long we'll be feeling fine
How about it baby? How about the blues?

How about Robert Johnson? Three chords and the truth.
How about Hound Dog Taylor -- Howlin' Wolf - or Madcat Ruth?
How about Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith?
How about Louis Armstrong, and the cats he played with.
Yeah, how about it baby? How about the blues?

Let's take a trip from South Chicago, down to 'Narlins as they say
Stop in Clarksdale Mississippi, hit Beale Street along the way
Head from Muscle Shoals up to old St. Lou
Don't forget Kansas City and Detroit, too
Yeah, we'll touch all the bases. How about the blues?

How about Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Blake, Willie McTell?
How about Mississippi John Hurt or good ol' Junior Wells
How 'bout Big Bill Broonzy, or old Josh White
Sonny and Brownie - hey there's no need to fight,
We're gonna play 'em all! How about the blues?

So how about it mama, a taste of the blues tonight?
Why, I'll even cook supper, babe, I'm gonna do it right
Got cornbread & greens -- meat shakin' on the bone
So flip them sides on the gramophone
MMM- mmm How about the blues?

Yeah we'll cherish the music, relish the words
Sing along like a bird in this world
MMM-mmm --- How about the blues?

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These songs are published in 2015 by Fingerboard Music, BMI Please don't copy the lyrics to another site without permission.

©2015 Joel Mabus