Lyrics for The Lives of Saints and Sinners

Track Listing:

  1. Sharp as a Nail
  2. Ain’t Got Nothing on Me
  3. A Most Spectacular Song
  4. A Room with a View
  5. All I Build
  6. Pale Moon
  7. Final Days
  8. It’s My Time
  9. Green
  10. If I Had My Way
  11. Not Enough Hours in the Day
  12. Temptation

Sharp as a Nail

My ways are not either or,
I’m both a saint and a sinner from the moment I pass through my door.
And I pray with each new day to fill,
That I won’t have to draw on my personal stores of good will.

Cause I don’t want to be good,
I don’t want to do right,
I don’t want a soft word that will warm me at night,
I just want the word that’s sharp as a nail,
Potent as wine,
That beats like a drum in the walls of your mind,
A word to refine.

I once read a book about a girl,
Who was fired up with longing for healing and changing her world.
She ended with kids and a home,
An anonymous saint whose good deeds remained wholly unknown.

I know it ends well,
Ordinary is good,
But I still have a fear of living less than I could,
I want to live by the word that’s sharp as a nail,
Potent as wine,
That beats like a drum in the walls of your mind,
A word to refine.

He came and gave his blood to start dead hearts beating,
His tongue like a sharp cat o nine tails
Ripping holes in our old set ways.

It’s the brightest of truths that we like to make dim,
But how far do we go to try living like him?
To live by the word that’s sharp as a nail,
Potent as wine,
That beats like a drum in the walls of your mind,
That’s bare as the tree he suffered to climb,
A word to refine.

Ain’t Got Nothing on Me

You can try your tricks you can cross my tracks,
You can tell me that I’d better start to watch my back,
But there’s one little thing in your case you lack,
You ain’t got nothing on me, no, you ain’t got nothing on me.

They’ll try to show that grey is white,
Try to tell you that your hat ain’t on quite right.
Well, go ahead and wallow in your own dark spite,
You ain’t got nothing on me, no, you ain’t got nothing on me.

I tried to tell those jurymen
Whatever I thought would most please them,
But why am I trying to make amends?
You ain’t got nothing on me, no, you ain’t got nothing on me, oh boys,
The informer you had ain’t got no lead,
And you ain’t got nothing on me.

And they’ll try to shake you down,
And they’ll try to shake you down.
Say, “You’re time is up,
If you play dead then it won’t get rough,”
But their empty threats are gonna soon be exposed,
Their two strong arms are just as long as their nose.

So if they try to trim your soul
To fit in the shape of an uptown mold,
And squeeze you into their yes man fold,
“You ain’t got nothing on me, no, you ain’t got nothing on me.”

I’ll go along my merry way,
Got a whole lot of nothing to do today,
You can step up behind me but it just won’t pay,
You ain’t got nothing on me, no, you ain’t got nothing on me, oh boys,
The informer you had ain’t got no lead,
And you ain’t got nothing on me,
On me,
On me.
(back to top)

A Most Spectacular Song

There is a grey building with hospital beds,
For the sick and the lonely, the young and the dead,
The stories within it would soon turn your head,
I’m going to address them in song.

It’ll be a most spectacular song,
It’ll have many verses, a bridge and a chorus,
I’ll tie it all together in song
And sing it for you someday.

There once was a woman who ruled from her bed,
She filled all who served her with terror and dread,
Was she better off living or is she better off dead?
I really don’t know to this day.

But I’ll let you know for sure in my song,
By the third or fourth chorus you’ll be singing along,
It’ll be a most spectacular song.
I’ll sing it for you someday.

There once was a man who said only three words,
Said ‘em over and over as he paced round the ward,
It was, oh, so comic and slightly absurd,
Oh, what is he doing today?

And I’ll have to write him a verse in my song,
In a different setting it might have some meaning,
He might be more at home in a song,
And stop pacing the floor all day.

There was a young mother whose life was cut short,
All efforts to save her, they all came to naught,
And her sweet expression would sure break your heart,
But that sort of thing happens each day.

And I’ll let you know just why in my song,
It’s a sensitive issue so it might be quite long,
But if I sing it in verse it won’t seem so wrong.
I’ll start composing today.

When I get home from work you’re waiting for me,
You make me a drink and I put up my feet,
And tell you a few of the strange stories
That are always a part of my day.

And I’ll have to write you a verse in my song,
You sit there so lovely, I just can’t resist it.
I don’t deserve such a verse in my song,
But it’s written there anyway,
I’ll sing it for you someday.

(back to top)

A Room with a View

I’ve often wondered what it’s like,
To float along beside the Isle of Wight,
You there floating too.
With sand by day and scenic walks by night,
In the moonlight,
What is that like?

I’ll have to wonder for another day, oh, I’ll have to wonder for another day.

We’d have a room, we’d have a view,
A picture of the Arno running through,
And our sun clothes on.
We’d shout out love and beauty from a tree,
Like the story,
But now I see,

I’ll have to save it for another day, oh, I’ll have to save it for another day.

I should have known I’d have to wait,
The most exquisite portion doesn’t come,
Till much later on.
And so I’ll simply strum along and write
One more indie song,
Wouldn’t you like to hear it?

But you’ll just have to wait another day, oh, these other folk will hear it right away,
But I won’t play it on the phone,
So you’ll just have to wait another day, another day, another day.

(back to top)

All I Build

Was a time I had a plan in mind,
To build a house to lay my head, just the usual kind,
After all these days of roaming, would be the end of the line.
Just a heap of rubble, is payment for my trouble,
And now I plead,

Chorus:
Take these hands, take this work, take these tools from me,
All I build turns to dust and it’s tiring me,
But if you will it I will trust,
Just don’t let go of me.

Seems these days I draw a fine line,
Between the markings on the wall and a more sure sign,
Was this your plan or was I just putting in my time?
There’s been a thread that’s broken,
The last act left unspoken,
And now I plead,

Chorus

Easy come and easy go,
But my skin is as thin as water and my bruises all show,
It would help to feel your healing hands staunch the flow.
Is this the end of the story?
The pain without the glory?
I’m asking please,

Chorus

(back to top)

Pale Moon

He used to see her down by the water,
Where she’d dip her feet.
Her dark hair shining, he was repining
For a chance to meet.

One night in October she came walking over,
Whistling a haunting tune.
But her left sandal got caught in a manhole
Obscured by the light of the moon.

Pale moon, pale moon,
Don’t go hiding your rays so soon,
Don’t leave ‘em standing in the gloom,
He don’t even know her name.

He rushed over and helped her recover,
She seemed to be okay.
Then she laughed and said that they
Should meet the very next day.

She thought it’d be charming if somewhat alarming
To serve him with a live crab.
But an old fear of shellfish caused him to yelp
And swoon right over the pan.

Pale moon, pale moon,
Don’t go hiding your rays so soon,
Don’t leave ‘em standing in the gloom,
She was only pulling his leg.

“Well, my dear, it’s perfectly clear
That we must soon be wed.
For time has shown we’re accident prone,
And we don’t want to wait till we’re dead.”

So they gathered some people and went to the steeple,
A beaming bride and groom.
And hand in hand, with new wedding bands,
They tripped by the light of the moon.

Pale moon, pale moon,
Don’t go hiding your rays too soon,
See those young lovers looking at you?
Will you show them your light today?

Pale moon, pale moon,
Don’t go hiding your rays too soon,
They need your light on their new honeymoon,
Will you show them your light today, show them your light today?

(back to top)

Final Days

We’ll go down to the pits tonight,
That’s the only thing to do,
Have a few and we’ll feel all right,
We might chance on something new.

Driving around in a beat-up van,
I had only eyes for her.
Her wish was always my command,
Was that to blame, was that my curse?

Chorus:
Oh, take me down, take me down,
To some jagged hole far from this cursed town,
I was only looking on I didn’t push him down,
But my demons gather round.

I never had too much to say,
I’d just sit back and take it in.
Other folk can have their way,
Never seemed much of a sin.

I don’t know why it all went bad,
We saw him standing all alone.
Can I blame the drinks I had?
Is that why I just looked on?

Chorus

When our final days go down,
Will we all be gathered round?
I’d look across the milling throng
And meet the eye of him I wronged.

Then I’d go down on my knees,
Lift my hands up with my plea,
“Lord, make me what I couldn’t be,
On that night, on that night.”

Chorus

(back to top)

It’s My Time

I’m saying goodbye, my dear companions,
We’ve traveled so well but now I set out on my own.

I’m not sorry to go, I know you’ll miss me,
But my race is run, the fight is won,
I’m on my way.

It’s my time, it’s my time.

I know it’s been said don’t go down gently,
But why should I rage, my debts been paid?
I’m a free man now.

One foot out the door, my hands aren’t empty,
He leads me on to a strange beyond
Where we’ll meet again.

It’s my time, it’s my time.

I’m saying goodbye, my dear companions,
I’ve loved you well, it’s a hard farewell,
But I’m on my way,
I’m on my way,
I’m on my way.

(back to top)

Green

I always tread softly and I never tell lies,
I usually relent and I always apologize.
You’re naturally rambunctious, unyielding but kind,
You get your own way and you always know your mind.
If the sky were to fall,
You’d calmly take stock of it all.

Chorus:
Like a duck in the water, a trout in the stream,
You just seem to glide through life effortlessly,
Could I borrow your colour?
I find I’m feeling green.

I’m from a good family I’ve been brought up real well,
The world is my oyster but I keep a more cozy shell.
It’s not that you’ve had each advantage so far,
But you’ve got what it takes and you’ll always become a star.
If you were selling baked beans
I know you’d still look like a queen.

Chorus

I know that I’m guilty before I even begin,
But you’re conscience stays clear, no accuser can wear it thin.
If you’re given a slight
Don’t keep you from sleeping at night.

Chorus

(back to top)

If I Had my Way

If I had my way, I’d run outside,
Knock on your door, go for a ride.
We would take the nearest train
Through the hills, get off in Spain,
And once in Spain, go to the countryside.

If I had my way, we’d go back in time,
Live in a house from a nursery rhyme.
We’d have four pigs and a sheep,
Live down the road from Miss Bo Peep,
If I had my way in a nursery rhyme.

Chorus:
But the night is dark and the ocean’s wide
Don’t get to have you by my side.
I’m in a lonely place tonight, only hope you’re doing all right,
Haven’t had my way for a long, long time.

If I had my way, we’d jump in a book,
‘Bout a noble queen and her loyal cook.
We would cross the class divide
You’d be my cook, I’d be your bride
We’d cook all day and eat outside.

We’d make a spread like you’ve never seen,
Cook shrimp and clams in a big tureen,
We’d invite all of our friends,
Enemies would make amends,
Be like that film that you’ve never seen.

Chorus

(back to top)

Not Enough Hours in the Day

Look out, look out I’m moving real fast,
Got a head full of steam, don’t get hurt by the blast.
Got an armload of plans gonna put into play,
There’s just one thing in my way, oh,
That there’s not enough hours in the day,
No there’s not enough hours in the day.

Take heed, take heed, I’ve a plan on the go,
Got steaks on the broiler, got friends in the know.
I’ll grab the bull by the horns, hitch him up to the plow,
I’m just putting it on hold for now, oh,
Cause there’s not enough hours in the day,
No there’s not enough hours in the day.

My body and mind they get up, earn their bread,
But my will doesn’t rise till ten minutes before bed,
So there’s not enough hours in the day.

One day real soon it’ll all fall in place,
I’ll stop holding my cards I’ll start playing my ace,
I’m not going to hang my dreams at the door,
I’ll just file them in my bottom drawer,
Cause there’s not enough hours in the day,
No there’s not enough hours in the day.

(back to top)

Temptation

In a distant valley
A lady lived there with her man.
They tilled the soil with their hands,
And in the evening she’d gaze at the starry expanse.

On one such evening
A stranger blazed into her path.
Time seemed to stop when he laughed
And with his dark eyes a burning, returning the night after that.

“Come dear lady
We’ll go wandering at will,
I’ve seen your eyes on those hills
And I will show you the splendor that lies in each rock and each rill.”

She said, “You’re like the dawn,
But I’ve become wise to your ways.
I have a darling at home,
He’s good and strong and kind, so why should I throw that away?

In a tragic story
We’d go off in a flash,
Heartache and doom in our path
But I’m no Helen of Troy, and I can’t see the good come of that,
No I can’t see the good come of that.”

And so she turned and went home,
He catches her eye as she leaves,
But dark, radiant eyes can deceive,
They may not offer the wonder we’re hoping to find underneath,
So I hope she’s now living in peace
With her darling at home at her feet.

(back to top)