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Lyrics by Joel Mabus

Promised Land

(Fossil 894)


All lyrics on this page 1994 by Joel Mabus
except for "Columbus Stockade," traditional
all rights reserved -- do not post this material to another website!

Scroll down or click on title to read the lyrics.

To learn more about this CD, click here
To order this or any album, click here

Alice And Ralph
Holding To The Land
Freeport (Factoryoutletville)
Five Kinds Of Snow
Columbus Stockade
Waiting For My Angel To Arrive
Sea Of Dreams
Promised Land



words and music 1994 Joel Mabus

Alice is a woman.................... Ralph is a man
Alice likes to dialogue................Ralph never can
Alice wants them both to do aerobics every night
Ralph wants to go down to the bar and watch the fight
Alice wants to go to Paris and study Art............
Ralph knows all the Three Stooges movies by heart.....
Alice wants a kid, Ralph wants a dog,
Alice does ballet, Ralph likes to clog,
Everybody knows that Alice & Ralph don't fit
Everybody knows that Alice and Ralph are a split-up waitin' to split

CHORUS: Oh, Alice and Ralph, Ralph and Alice
King and Queen in their own little palace.
Ralph and Alice, Alice and Ralph,
Pick your partner and you suit yourself

Alice is a lady...............Ralph is a guy
Alice offers options...............Ralph just tells you WHY
Alice blows off steam by going shopping at the mall
...Ralph puts his fist through the wall.
Alice loves those old movies that make her cry........
Ralph likes the ones where all the Nazis die....
Alice likes to ski, Ralph likes to skate
Alice shows up early, Ralph gets there late
Everybody knows that Alice and Ralph won't work,
Everybody knows that she is a fool and he is just a jerk.

Alice needs her sleep................Ralph has to snore
Alice tries to fascinate....................Ralph tends to bore
Alice defines her worth by accomplishing her goals
Ralph likes to work the remote control
Alice appreciates the finest of cuisine.........
Ralph prefers his weenie cooked with bean.......
Alice wants to talk, Ralph wants to read
Alice wants to stay, Ralph wants to leave
Everybody knows these two should never pair
Everybody knows except Alice and Ralph, & Alice and Ralph don't care.

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words and music 1994 Joel Mabus

Many years ago I left my home in old Kentucky
I thought the old hometown was just too small for my big plans
The old man slapped me on the back and told me I was lucky
He told me I was smart to be leaving while I can
The day I said goodbye to my mama she was crying
I told her that I loved her but it's just the way things are
I kissed 'em all goodbye and drove away like I was flying
With everything I owned in the back-seat of my car

CHORUS: And the cars keep a rolling
And my days are quickly gone
As my nights turn into morning
Take me back where I belong

I went from town to town until my pocketbook was empty
When I pulled into Michigan my pride was wearing thin
I remembered my old Uncle Frank who lived in Ypsilanti
I went knocking at his door and he kindly took me in
I asked him if he knew of any work I might be gettin'
He said he'd ask around awhile and see what could be done
And when he took me down I was as nervous as a kitten
My first day on the job at a place called Willow Run.

They put me on the second shift at good ole "Generous Motors"
They trained me for one hour, then I was on my own
They stuck me on the rivet gun and when the shift was over
My ears were hot and ringin' and my hands were cold and numb
I went out after work with the boys to do some drinking
They said I'd be a shop rat before the week was through
I didn't tell them boys just what all that I was thinking -
I thought I'd rather hang myself than live the way they do.

I told myself I'd work a while and make a pile of money
Then fix up my jalopy and I'd be on my way
But twenty years have come and gone and you might think it's funny
But every night I go to sleep a-dreaming of that day.
I'm stepping on the throttle, but I'm still losing power
My paychecks come and go just like the chassis on the line
The hookers on the street sell their bodies by the hour
And I know they love their job about as well as I like mine

Now the boys down in Detroit have been sharpening their axes
They say the cars we're making they just don't know how to sell
So they're shutting down old Willow Run and moving down to Texas
Well adios amigos, kiss my ass and go to hell
Leaving Ypsilanti, but I'm not sentimental
Got just one more thing to do before I shut my mouth
Sell the place up north and buy a Lincoln Continental
Just another General Motors rivethead a-goin south

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words and music 1994 Joel Mabus
[a new version appears on the Retold album]

I swear to God this morning that old sun don't want to rise
And that old pump just won't kick in till after six or seven tries
And Everybody's up and out the door by the time that lazy rooster crows
You just can't waste your daylight, that's something any farmer knows

Holding to the land - Working for the harvest
Holding to the promise - Following the plan
Praying for the rain - Trusting in the sunshine
Living out a lifetime - Holding to the land

I had to decide to swallow my pride and take a job in town
Some days I don't start farming till after the sun goes down
Tonight you might hear me cussin' that old tractor sittin in the barn
But I ain't gonna let no manicured banker subdivide my daddy's farm

Well I got the old pump to working, and the water tastes so sweet
Aunt Bunny's in the kitchen singing. 
I bet she's making something good to eat
The old man used to say, you gotta take her day by day
Cause life is short and full of blisters - that's what the old men say.

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words and music 1994 Joel Mabus

There used to be a town called Freeport in the rockbound state of Maine
An old fashioned hometown - simple straight and plain
And across from the Western Auto was the all-night camping store
But the simple life has passed away. It's all gone on before

And now they're changing the name of Freeport to FactoryOutletVille
Where you can shop & shop & shop & shop, & shop til you get your fill.
Oh, they're changing the name of Freeport to FactoryOutlet Town
Where the rubber shoes and chamois shirts will never let you down

All of the handsome tourists drive in on old route one
Shopping for their bargains - shopping for their fun
And their soles are made of rubber, and their shirts are made of wool
And they dine on wine and lobster until their Visa's full

Now all of the town officials are rubbing their hands with glee
The Beans with the two initials are living in luxury.
And the boutiques sell silk underwear and fancy imported beers
While the locals drink their Budweiser and send away to Sears

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words and music 1994 Joel Mabus
[a new version appears on the Retold album]

Deep down in Dixie where magnolias bloom
Old man winter don't get much room.
In southern California, every other year or so
They get a little white stuff - they got the nerve to call it snow!
Well, I live in Michigan , so I ought to know, 
Believe me when I tell you friends, there's five kinds of snow.....
There's five kinds of snow (I'm here to tell you)
There's five kinds of snow (Don't let 'em sell you)
Folks in the north-land are folks in the know,
Believe me when I tell you, there's five kinds of snow
There's five kinds..........

Snow number one is a lot of fun -
Flakes the size of nickels shining in the sun,
People making snowballs and sledding down the street
Singing "White Christmas" - it sure is sweet,
But that's only one kind of snow..........
There's five kinds of snow..........

Snow number two is a nasty little number.
Those icy little pellets can really be a bummer -
Sting you, slap you, knock you off your feet - 
You chip it off your windshield, you'll swear it's concrete -
But that's just two kinds of snow..........
There's five kinds of snow.........

The third kind of snow is a serious blow,
It'll shut down the town, it'll lock your door,
Turn off your power, shut off your phone -
Nine months later, little junior is born -
And that's three kinds of snow........
There's five kinds of snow.........

Snow number four is nothin' but a bore -
You wake up in the morning and there's four inches more.
You should be in dream-land, getting your rest,
But you're shoveling the driveway, clutching your chest -
And that's four kinds of snow..........
There's five kinds of snow..........

The last kind of snow is crusty little piles,
Crusty little piles for miles and miles,
They're black and ugly - look like rocks from the moon -
Look under your bushes - you gonna find 'em next June,
And that's five kinds of snow.........
Five kinds of snow.........
Bundle up the baby when the cold winds blow,
Wake me when it's over, there's five....kinds....of snow.

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words and music 1994 Joel Mabus

Tonight as we all sing and play
In a land not far away
I know of one who cannot say 
The thought that she is keeping
Trapped inside a hateful cell
Just because she will not tell 
The official lie that all is well
Her only crime is speaking

And if she's in prison, so am I
If She can't speak then how can I
Hold my tongue and turn my eye
Till she goes free, how can I ?

Tonight as we all break our bread
I know of one who goes unfed
Unknown, unheard and left for dead
His soul within him shrinking.
Beaten battered and controlled
His body broken, bought and sold
His suffering cannot be told
His only crime is thinking

And if he's in prison, so am I
If he can't speak then how can I
Hold my tongue and turn my eye
Till he goes free, how can I ?

Tonight we all must stand the test
Will we be silent like the rest
Or stand up tall and do our best
To say what we are seeing
So let the word begin with me
And then to you and he and she
And let the word be Amnesty
It's ourselves that we are freeing

'Cause if you're in prison, so am I
If you can't speak then how can I
Hold my tongue and turn my eye
Till all go free, how can I ?

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adapted and arranged by Joel Mabus

Way down in Columbus Georgia, wanted back in Tennessee
Way down in Columbus stockade - 
friends have turned their backs on me.

Go and leave me if you want to 
Never let me cross your mind
In your heart you love another
Leave me, darlin', I don't mind

Last night as I lay sleepin', I dreamed I held you in my arms
When I woke up I was mistaken. I was holdin' to the bars.

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words and music 1994 Joel Mabus

Waiting for my angel to arrive
Running out of answers and I'm running short of time
Once my angel finds me I know I'll be all right
Waiting for my angel to arrive

Waiting for my angel to arrive
Got no tears that I ain't already cried
Got no decisions to decide
Just Waiting for my angel to arrive

My angel knows I'm waiting, yes my angel knows I'm here
Won't somebody tell me when my angel will appear
Come down here and catch me, take me way up high
I'm just waiting for my angel to arrive

Standing on this bridge here, trying to understand
Fresh out of miracles, ain't got no other plan
Just hold my breath and count from one to five
And wait for my angel to arrive

Come down here and catch me, lift me way up high
Just waiting for my angel to arrive

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words and music 1994 Joel Mabus
[a new version appears on the Retold album]

In the morning comes the sun
And it shines on everyone
Whether great or small it warms us all
Until the day is done

And when that light has passed
The stars can shine at last
With their light so small they guide us all
Across the sea so vast

And on that sea of dreams tonight
We wander far from shore
And we, the dreamers of the dreams
Shall find our peace once more

And In the morning comes the sun
And it shines on everyone
Whether great or small it warms us all
Until the day is done.

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words and music 1994 Joel Mabus

Man and woman hand in hand
That's the way the dance is planned
Promenade the promised land
Everybody goes

[chorus] That's the way the world is
That's the way the world is now
That's the way the world is
Right now, right now, right now

Ain't no use to sit and cry
Rise and wipe your weepin' eye
Wave your hand and say goodbye
Everybody goes

[repeat chorus]
1994 Joel Mabus, Fingerboard Music, BMI

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  2001 Joel Mabus
Last revised: January 24, 2015 .