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Lyrics by Joel Mabus

The Naked Truth
(Fossil 288)

 

All songs on this page 1988 Joel Mabus
Except "Duct Tape Blues" 1987 Joel Mabus
And "The Water's Wide" -- traditional
all rights reserved -- do not post this material to another website!

Scroll down or click on title to read the lyrics.

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The Only Way Out
The Duct Tape Blues
Touch A Name On The Wall
The Naked Truth
Hitler Was A Vegetarian
Shiny On The Outside
Ain't America Beautiful
Testing 1...2...3...
The Water's Wide 
Swing That Thing

The Only Way Out
words and music 1988 Joel Mabus


When you're picking up pieces of a broken heart,
Everyday life is the hardest part to do.
What they say is true -
[chorus:] that the only way out,
the only way out,
Yeah, the only way out is through.

Trouble come knockin' at my front door -
Special delivery - got a little bit more for you.
What they say is true -
[chorus] 

Well, I never can tell when enough's enough
Until it gets to be just a little too much, it seems 
What they say is true -
[chorus] 

Now Happiness shines like a burning light -
What it lacks in length it makes up in height, They claim,
If what they say is true -
[chorus] 

My trouble been comin' by threes and fours,
But the sun's gonna shine in my back door someday,
If what they say is true -
[chorus] 

[back to the top]

The Duct Tape Blues
words and music 1988 Joel Mabus
[a new version appears on the Retold album]

You say your world has gone to pieces -
Things just fell apart.
You want to put things back together
But you don't know where to start.
Well, I got your solution -
The stuff you need to use -
It's a thing called "duct tape,"
There ain't nothin' it can't do.
I say the world has gone to pieces -
What's a poor boy s'posed to do?
I'm just holding things together here,
Singin' the duct tape blues.

I tell you, duct tape is the answer
In a little silver roll.
It'll mend the widest crack,
It can patch the deepest hole.
I put duct tape on my sneakers
When they start to fall apart -
Since my baby left me
I'm wearin' duct tape on my heart.
I swear, the world has gone to pieces -
What's a poor boy s'posed to do?
I'm just holding things together here,
Singin' the duct tape blues.

Now, I'm going down to the Pentagon,
Gonna help my country out -
Tell them five-star generals
What it's all about.
I'll show them my roll of duct tape,
I'll explain what it can do, 
And tell 'em, "It's only 99 thousand dollars,
This week special, just for you!"
I say the world has gone to pieces -
What's a poor boy s'posed to do?
I'm just holding things together here,
Singin' the duct tape blues.

[back to the top]

Touch A Name On The Wall
words and music 1988 Joel Mabus
[a new version appears on the Retold album]

Well, I guess you could call it our summer of freedom, 
the year that we both turned eighteen -
We hitch-hiked to Denver, straight out of high school
man, we were sights to be seen.
And that was the year that you dated my cousin, 'til 
they took us away in the fall.
Now I dearly wish you were standing here with me as 
I touch your name on the wall.

[chorus:] Touch a name on the wall,
Touch a name on the wall.
God help us all
Touch a name on the wall.

Every time I come here I wear my fatigues, to honor 
the men that I knew.
I touch every name that came from my outfit, and I 
read them out loud when I do.
Now some people say that they all died for nothing, 
but I don't completely agree - 
'Cause this brother here didn't die for no country - He 
died for me.

[chorus]

Now, usually walls are made for division 
- to separate me from you.
But God bless the wall that brings us together, 
and reminds us of what we've been through.
And God damn the liars and the tin-plated heroes who 
trade on the blood of such men.
God give us the strength to stand up and tell them - 
Never again!

[chorus]

[back to the top]

The Naked Truth
words and music 1988 Joel Mabus
[a new version appears on the Retold album]

Truth and Falsehood were the best of friends.
That's the way this little story begins.
Way back yonder when the world was young,
These two girls went out to have some fun,
[chorus:] And that's the naked truth -
That's the naked truth -
That's the naked truth - 
You know I wouldn't lie to you.

You could always tell Truth by the dress she wore -
A long, flowing gown, way down to the floor,
Silky, silky, pearly white,
A little lace collar that she buttoned up tight,
And that's the naked truth...

Falsehood, on the other hand, she wore a dress of red -
A tight, sassy little number, turn your head.
Fishnet stockings and the high heel pumps,
A slit up the side make a dead man jump,
And that's the naked truth...

Now these two good-lookin', fun-lovin' gals -
( Uh, did I mention they were the best of pals? Yeah.)
They decided to go skinny dippin' one day -
They stripped buff naked and they swam away.
And that's the naked truth...

That's when Falsehood cooked up her wicked idea: 
Said, "Truth, honey, you just keep swimmin' , now, hear?
I'm gonna sit up on the beach and get a little sun."
Uh-huh, that's how the trouble begun.
And that's the naked truth...

You see, Falsehood put on that dress of white.
She buttoned it up, buttoned it up, buttoned it up tight.
She laughed to herself, she said, "Wait 'til people see -
They'll think it's Truth comin', and it's gonna be me!"
And that's the naked truth...

Well truth come out of the water drippin' wet.
Took one look at falsehood, -- "Is this the thanks I get?
I take off my dress for one tiny little minute,
I turn around and there's my best friend in it!"
And that's the naked truth...

Falsehood said, "You don't get the joke, here's the set-up
I wear your clothes, you get into my get-up."
Truth said, "Uh-Uh, girl, that won't do.
I'd rather go naked than be mistaken for you!"
And that's the naked truth,
That's the naked truth,
That's the naked truth,
You know I wouldn't lie to you.

And that's the way it is to this very day -
Something looks a little too good, you better just walk away,
'Cause a pretty little dress can cover up a lie,
But Truth goes naked - she's got nothin' to hide.

That's the naked truth - warts and all -
That's the naked truth - a little lumpy these days , but
She's the naked truth - you can tell her coming or going -
That's the naked truth - Yeah, that's the naked truth -
You know I wouldn't lie - I wouldn't lie to you.

[back to the top]

Hitler Was A Vegetarian
words and music 1988 Joel Mabus

Oh, your soybean burgers just don't hit the spot tonight;
And, darlin', somehow those tofu tacos just don't seem quite right.
And I'm thinking, as you dish me up your special seaweed stew 
Darlin', Hitler was a vegetarian too. (It's true !)

Hitler was a vegetarian, don't you know?
He also was an anti-smoker, militantly so.
Forgive me if I slip downtown for a plate of barbeque,
But darlin', Hitler was a vegetarian too.

Remember when you told me we were what we ate?
Well, I've thought about that, darlin',and I'd rather be an animal 
than slowly vegetate.
So next time you skin potatoes and you gouge their little eyes,
Remember this before you start to sermonize:

Hitler was a vegetarian, don't you know?
He also was an anti-smoker, militantly so.
Forgive me if I slip downtown for a coney dog or two,
But darlin', Hitler was a vegetarian too.
My darlin', Hitler was a vegetarian too.

[back to the top]

Shiny On The Outside
words and music 1988 Joel Mabus

Come along kids and I'll tell you a story of when I was a little boy.
I grew up down in a little town in southern Illinois.
I was ten years old in a year that's called nineteen sixty three,
And believe it or not, this is the way things really used to be:

[chorus:] A coke was a nickel - a dime was silver.
Lord, all the cars were long and wide -
And shiny on the outside.

Readin' and writin' and arithmetic was all that my teacher knew,
But she taught it so well, I can still spell nearly every word that I use.
And I remember still the emergency drill if the missiles ever start to fly -
You duck under your desk, cover up your head, and kiss this world goodbye.

There was Ike and Adlai Stevenson, Gus Grissom, Groucho & Bing,
Everybody talking 'bout that Malcom X, and Martin Luther King.
There was Jack and Bobby Kennedy, and Marilyn Monroe -
The blues of Louis Armstrong, and that smile on Nat King Cole.

But that was then and this is later and tomorrow it's another day,
And, you know, I really don't care if you pay no mind to a 
single word that I say.
'Cause if time goes by like it usually does someday you'll be just like me 
Boring the kids about the "good old days" and the way 
things used to be -

When a coke was a dollar - a dime was copper
Lord, but the cars were long and wide -
And shiny on the outside.

[back to the top]

Ain't America Beautiful
words and music 1988 Joel Mabus

Well if you don't mind...eating plastic food out of a little styrofoam box,
And if you don't mind...polyester suits, polyester shoes, and polyester socks,
Well then, ain't America beautiful?
Oh, it's a beautiful place to be.

And if you don't mind kissing your sweetheart under 
nuclear mistletoe,
And if you don't mind the serenade of muzak everyplace you go,
Well then, ain't America beautiful?
Mmm, it's a beautiful place to be.

And if you don't mind...a few brain dead individuals 
serving as top government men,
And if you don't mind...watching them get elected over 
and over and over again,
Well then, ain't America beautiful?
Nnnn, it's a beautiful place to be.

And if you don't mind a little acid rain, a little toxic waste, a little DDT,
And if you don't mind...going to war because the price of 
gasoline ain't what it should be,
Well then, ain't America beautiful?
Ahh, it's a beautiful place to be.

And if you don't mind...a few homeless people sleeping in the street, getting in your way,
And if you don't mind...a fed-up folksinger standing on a stage having his say,
Well then, ain't America beautiful?
Oh, it's a beautiful place to be.

[back to the top]

Testing 1...2...3...
words and music 1988 Joel Mabus

Testing - Testing - Testing 1,2,3...
Testing - Testing - Testing you and me -
Test: the public mood.
Test: general attitude.
Test: just a straw poll to see how the vote would go.
Test: the genes you carry.
Test: the one you marry.
Test: your little baby 'fore she starts to grow.

Test: workers on the line.
Test: probe into the mind.
Test: pre-determine those most likely to steal.
Test: whizzing in a jar.
Test: are you up to par?
Test: let's take a drop of blood to see how good you feel.

Test: the you-know-what disease.
Test: put your mind at ease.
Test: just a survey to find out who is who.
Test: though there is no cure.
Test: we must know for sure.
Test: will you be the one to wear a tattoo?

[back to the top]

The Water's Wide 
(traditional, arranged by Joel Mabus)

The water's wide and I can't get over
I've never had the wings to fly
Build me a boat that can carry two
And both will row, my love and I

I leaned my back against an oak
I thought she was a trusty tree
But first she bent and then she broke
And so my love proved false to me

I know a ship -- she sails the sea
Loaded deep as deep can be
But not as deep as this love I'm in
And I don't know if I sink or if I swim

Love is gentle and love is true
Love is tender, when the love is new
But Love grows old when the love grows cold
And it fades away like summer dew.

The water's wide and I can't cross over
I wish I had the wings to fly
Build me a boat that can carry two
And both will row, my love and I

[back to the top]

 

Swing That Thing
words and music 1988 Joel Mabus
[a new version appears on the Retold album]

Everybody gather 'round when they hear that swing's in town.
Everybody say - swing that thing.
When the band starts to play everybody say "Hey hey hey --
Hey, man, Swing That Thing!"
Swing it hot, swing it cool,
Make that rhythm pop.
Once you start to swing that thing
There's trouble if you stop!
Professors in music schools tell the kids, "Forget the rules -
Just hold on tight, now, and Swing That Thing!"

Now, Bluegrass pickers forget their licks - Peter, Paul & Mary drop their picks
When people ask them to Swing That Thing.
Musicians from the hearts of space raise their hands & slap their face
Say "I didn't know you could actually Swing That Thing!"
It drives the women crazy,
It makes the men insane.
Once you start to swing that thing
You'll never be the same!
Kids forget to rock and roll - Grandpa, he just lose control
When Grandma says, "Honey, Swing That Thing!"

Louis was the king of France, but Louis didn't stand a chance
When the people said "Swing That King!"
And Luther told the Pope of Rome - 
He said, "Pops, leave your stuff at home,
'Cause the people up here gonna do that Zwingli Thing!"
Swing it high, swing it low,
Swing it upside down,
Once you start to swing that thing
You'll never touch ground!
Mozart said to JS Bach, "Johan, put your horn in hock,
Man, 'cause you ain't never gonna swing your thing."
Swing it high, swing it low,
Swing it upside down.
Once you start to swing that thing
You'll never touch the ground.
Everybody gather round when they hear that swing's hit town.
Everybody say Swing That Thing!
Everybody say Swing That Thing!

[back to the top]

  2001 Joel Mabus
Last revised: January 24, 2015 .