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Jim

Shoulak

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Ain't Found it yet [Lyrics and Story]


For all those who look - but just can't ever seem to find - "it". May you someday fill the void... [written 19 Sept 2011]

He sits alone at night in the stillness of his living room,

with his lap dog on his lap and his feet up on the footstool,

and he thinks about his life to the blue hue of his TV set.

The on-ly time he moves is to light another cigarette.

'Sixty-eight next Monday, but you know, that he ain't found it yet.

No, you know that he ain't found it yet...



She sits alone at night in front of her computer screen,

with her kitten on her lap and a bowl of choc'late ice cream,

and she thinks about her life checking profiles on the Internet.

Will she meet her "Mr. Right" or do something she'll regret?

So many would-be lovers, but you know, that she ain't found it yet.

No, you know that she ain't found it yet...



They sit alone at night, the same table in the restaurant;

five-thirty every day, 'servers know just what they want,

they don't think about their lives as they take the daily paper out,

the kids are gone for years nothing much to talk about...

Thirty years in August, but you know, that they ain't found it yet.

No, you know that they ain't found it yet...




This is for all the lonely people:

The artists who ain't found it yet...

The dreamers who ain't found it yet...

The lovers who ain't found it yet...

The poets who ain't found it yet...

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

Don't Take this Lying Down [Lyrics and Story]


Just me raging against domestic violence. Sent out, with love, to all those women for whom I worked at the shelters... Thank you for all I learned from you. I'm just sorry I had to learn it by seeing and hearing about the pure hell you all went through... Domestic Violence has got to end. Now. [written 15 Dec 2010]

So I see - that you bumped into the door again,

But you've used that line before, my friend,

And it's so hard to believe...

People talk - and you're fooling yourself, sister,

You can hear your neighbors whisper,

"Why doesn't she just leave?"

You know, it's hard to be a madman's girl,

When he controls every little thing in your world...



Don't take this lying down!

You don't have to keep his secret, there's hope and help to be found.

You are strong, you are beautiful, and you're precious in God's eyes.

Don't take this lying down. Don't take this lying down.



Long sleeve shirts - well, they cover up all the bruises,

But they can't hide the one who loses,

And you know it's always you...

You feel trapped - and you fear there's no solution,

So you dream of retribution,

'Cause there's not much else to do...

You know, it's hard to be a madman's wife,

When he controls every little thing in your life...



You wish that you could go back to the way things used to be.

You tell yourself things were good once, but was that all just a fantasy...?

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

Hold on to Each Other! [Lyrics and Story]


An all-purpose, one size fits all, rallying song against the injustices of the world. Peace & non-violence: Try it, you'll like it... Inspired by the words and actions of George Harrison, Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Ghandi, Tankman, Obi Wan, and Jesus. (Confession: I close my eyes and hear Neil Diamond singing it.) [written 10 Oct 2010]

Hold on to each other!

Let's hold on to each other!

'Got to hold on to each other,

And we'll make it through the night.



In the darkest night, we will light a candle.

In the perfect storm, our love will calm the sea.

Against all odds, we will be like Tank Man.

We'll come out alright if only we...



We will learn to love one another.

We will be the change that we want to see.

When we stand before the pow'r of death & evil,

We shall rise again if only we...



No one can defeat us, 'no one drag us down.

We have been to hell and back and we never made a sound.

So, if you think you've got us, and you strike us down once more,

We will surely rise again with more power than before...!



Now, we survived the worst that they threw at us,

We won't give up, because we've got a dream...

We will march again with eyes wide open.

We shall overcome if only we...

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

I Miss You Every Lent [Lyrics and Story]


Performed "sorta live" at the Lenten Lounge, somewhere in space and time... It's a religious sad, broken-hearted, cry-in-your-altar wine love song. I guess. Performed with a tip of the hat to Randy Newman. [written 2 Feb 2008]

Something was wrong between us; that much a fool could see.

The way I felt about you was not the way you felt about me.

We tried to talk it over. We tried coun'sling and therapy.

But when Ash Wednesday rolled around, much to my surprise, I found:

You ... gave up ... me.



Now I miss you every Lent.

I think about the good times that we spent.

I thought our love was Heaven-sent.

...I miss you every Lent.



Now, some folks give up drinking, or candy or TV.

Others decide to lose some weight, for them, a diet is key.

Some folks decide to pray more, or try to go smoke-free.

But when Ash Wednesday rolled around, much to my surprise, I found:

You ... gave up ... me.



Now I miss you every Lent.

I always figured you were content.

You still owe me for two month's rent.

...I miss you every Lent.



Now I miss you every Lent.

I'm still hoping that you'll repent.

(I'm still won'dring where the blender went.)

And I miss you... yes, I miss you... ev'ry Lent...

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

I Won't Be Here For Long... [Lyrics and Story]


A true story about my time one summer on third shift in the Kohler foundry (more like Dante's Inferno...). Dedicated to everyone who's ever said about their job: "I'll be through with you before you're through with me!" [written 2 July 1982]

The first night was a nightmare & from there it went downhill,

workin' in the foundry, graveyard shift.

'Fighting hard not to fall asleep every time that I stood still,

and poppin' caffeine tablets for a lift.

Eight hours of breathin' black iron dust -

And when you sweat, your tee shirt turns to rust.



But I won't be here for long, no - I won't be here for long,

I'll get out of here, just wait and see.

I won't be here for long, no - I won't be here for long,

I'll be through with you before you're through with me.



You better make damn sure you punch the clock by half-past 10,

'cause the foreman is on the prowl tonight.

He told me just last week this ain't no place to find a friend,

and he'll talk behind your back to start a fight.

"Just think of the money," someone laughs:

a third-shift foundry worker's epitaph.



Two-thirty in the mornin', still got half a night to go,

and anyone who's sane is home in bed.

The foreman's watchin' all the lines, and he sees they're runnin' slow -

just like the men who look like walkin' dead.

As we drag ourselves to the punch clock line,

they all say I'll get used to it in time...

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

It's All Because of Jim [Lyrics and Story]


This tune was written as a response to the jazz classic "Jim", performed by Ella and others. Of course, "It's All Because of Jim" wasn't written about me, even though the guy's name is "Jim"... yep, jes' a coincidence. ;) [written 22 Dec 1982]

All her friends are worrying about her:

They say this time she's gone out on a limb.

All I know is she's been singing love songs.

And if you ask her why, it's all because of Jim.



Jim treats her nice and sends her flowers.

She don't have time for no one else but him.

I just wish that she could be my sweetheart,

But she can't 'cause she belongs to Jim.



Oh, how I wish I could be in Jim's shoes...

Oh, how I wish that she were mine.

Oh, how I wish I could be in Jim's shoes -

I'd be happy all the time.



All her friends have told her she's a dreamer.

They told her that his future's looking dim.

But she don't hear a single word they're saying,

And if you ask her why, it's all because of Jim.



There's a very good chance she'll end up with her heart broke,

And cry a thousand tears over him.

But she says she's in love and she believes it,

And if you ask her why, it's all because of Jim.

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN [Lyrics and Story]


This one goes out to all my gellow survivors of child sexual abuse - especially those like me who fell victim to clergy. May we someday see the day of: justice for our abusers, heartfelt apology and regret, fair compensation, reconciliation, and peace... [written 15 June 2011]

He is lurking in the shadows,

You can't see him with your eyes.

He might be a next-door neighbor -

'Walks among us, no disguise.



He might be a dad or Father,

Or an uncle or a friend.

'Twisted mission starts with playing

Simple games of "let's pretend".



Oh - KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.

Oh - KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.



But you know, he's just the devil

With a smiling, trusting face.

He wants them to keep his secrets,

'Threatens their lives, just in case.



In his world, there are no bound'ries,

'n' paradise is always lost.

Monster, sick in mind and body,

'Most evil man you'll come across...



Listen to your children, when they tell you of his deeds.

Don't forget, they need your power. Don't ignore them - just believe!

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

Lay Your Weapons Down, Boys [Lyrics and Story]


Inspired by the little green army men "toys" most of us played with when we were kids. This song asks the boys making war around the world to just grow up. Or, at least step aside and let women rule the world for a while... [written 3 April 2011]

Lay your weapons down, boys,

Lay your weapons down.

Lay your weapons down, boys,

Lay your weapons down.

Lay your weapons down, boys,

Lay your weapons down.

Lay your weapons down, boys,

Lay your weapons down.



Lay your weapons down, boys, lay your weapons down.

Take off your bloody boots; we stand on Holy Ground,

Beat your swords to plowshares, O Lord, how sweet the sound!

Lay your weapons down, boys, lay your weapons down.

Lay your weapons down, boys, lay your weapons down.



Lay your weapons down, boys, lay your weapons down.

You don't kill in our name; we ask you, turn around.

Let us build a world where peace and love abound.

Lay your weapons down, boys, lay your weapons down.

Lay your weapons down, boys, lay your weapons down.



Lay your weapons down, boys, lay your weapons down.

Melt them so our children can have a new playground.

Let us work together and search for common ground.

Lay your weapons down, boys, lay your weapons down.

Lay your weapons down, boys, lay your weapons down.

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

Now That I'm 50 ;( [Lyrics and Story]


Written the night before my 50th birthday and performed live at "50-fest", a party I threw for myself. I'm pretty sure it was a good time - or, at least that's what they tell me... [written 5 Sept 2008]

Now that I'm 50, I've got to learn to drool.

And tell my kids that I used to walk to school

In the snow - uphill - both ways.

What's the matter with these kids these days?

I'm 50, hip-hip-hooray.



Now that I'm 50, I've got to start repeating myself.

Now that I'm 50, I've got to start repeating myself.

Take a nap everyday at ten,

Take another nap in the afternoon again.

'Cause I'm 50. Yippee.



Now that I'm 50,

I've got to wear black socks with shorts,

And give up all those competitive sports.

My knee will start predicting rain,

I'll tell everybody all my aches and pains.

I'm 50, look at me.



Now that I'm 50,

I'm gonna start forgettin' things.

Like the rest of the words to this song.

'Cause I'm 50, happy birthday to me.

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

Paradise Bay [Lyrics and Story]


To this day, I don't know where this song came from - or most of the others, actually - but thanks to the Spirit, the muses or the angels who whispered this sea shanty into my ear one day at the factory. Thank you for entrusting it to me. I'm still in awe. Wow. Featuring the talents of Jerry Danks (guitar and harmony vocals). [written 13 March 1981]

I'm leavin' tomorrow for Paradise Bay.

I'm a crusty old sailor and too old, they say.

I've waited a lifetime just for the day

that I spend forever in Paradise Bay.



The fleet that they got there is second to none,

with all ships but warships - there's no need for guns.

A navy of angels makes safe where they roam,

and a Heavenly lighthouse to bring the ships home...



The harbour they got there is the best all around.

When the summer fog rolls in, they all hear the sound

of the Heavenly foghorn call ships from the sea.

Paradise harbour is waiting for me...



I've sailed on the ocean; I've sailed on the sea.

The dolphins and mermaids all recognize me.

Brazil and West Indies and African Coast;

and a month in the doldrums, I remember the most...



So take all my journals, I'll need them no more.

Tell folks all my stories of far distant shores.

And when you speak of this sailor, be kind, if you may,

for he's sailing forever from Paradise Bay...


©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

Puppy Dog-Eyed Blues [Lyrics and Story]


Rasing a teenage daughter who has "poppi" wrapped around her finger. (And Poppi don't mind at all.) [written 15 April 2012]

Baby, don't you give me those puppy dog-eyed blues.

Baby, don't you give me those puppy dog-eyed blues.

'Cause if you ask me for some dough, you know I can't refuse-

So, baby, don't you give me those puppy dog-eyed blues.



Well, your bottom lip has just begun to pout,

And I know too well just what that's all about.

You want to go out shopping, but you' got no green,

So you come to me, and gimme that look - like I'm a cash machine!



Now, you call me "Poppi" with a singsong in your voice.

Then you gimme a hug, and now I got no choice...

You've got me wrapped around your finger, little girl-

But you've gone from little Barbie dolls to SUVs and pearls!

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

The Roses of Dundee [Lyrics and Story]


Sometimes a great love is non-"traditional". Mostly, it's misunderstood and feared by the Lilliputians. This song is dedicated to all my friends in same-sex relationships. [written 7 Nox 2010]

One, her name was Mary Rose, the other, Rosemarie.

The folks in town just called them "The Roses of Dundee".

Dum-dum-diddelee-dum-dum, dum-dum-diddelee-dee.

The folks in town just called them "The Roses of Dundee".



Now, Mary Rose, she taught me school, in 6th and 7th grade.

I never got to thank her for the difference that she made.

She helped the little children read books from the library.

'Read the paper to the old folks, t'was the kind of woman, she.



Now, Rosemarie, she owned a shop right down on Prior Way,

'selling linen, soap and candles, and the eggs her hens would lay.

She'd turn her back and let me take some candy, poor was I.

I miss the music of her laugh and the twinkle in her eye...



But rumors started flyin' 'bout these two women fair;

I woke one day to find the 'Roses were no longer there.

The small town minds could not accept a love like theirs, profound.

With insults and with injuries, they drove them from our town.



One, her name was Mary Rose, the other, Rosemarie;

but folks in town just called them "The Roses of Dundee".

Dum-dum-diddelee-dum-dum, dum-dum-diddelee-dee.

For all my life I'll always miss "My Roses of Dundee"...

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

The Ship Called 'Jonathan Lee' [Lyrics and Story]


A sea shanty written on my birthday, the prelude to my song "Paradise Bay". [written 6 Sept 1979]

At my table sat a sailor, drinkin'

ale and talkin' loudly,

and he spoke about the raging sea.

He was a captain, old and salty

proud and lonely, strong and homely

and people called his ship the Jonathan Lee.



He raised his head and started stories,

of all his seaward glories,

and how he'd weathered all of nature's storms.

Often times, he spoke of dying,

and I even saw him crying,

for all the men he lost while sailing the ship called Jonathan Lee.



People, listen to the tales

of the waves the captain sailed,

of the tales he told to me,

and the ship called Jonathan Lee.



His talkin' seemed to last for hours;

he drank his ale and cursed the waitress,

and he spoke again about the raging sea.

He said he was the greatest captain

that had ever sailed the ocean;

and the greatest ship, he said, was the Jonathan Lee.



But suddenly, the captain quieted,

and his sailor body crumbled;

I knew for certain he had sailed his last.

I drank his ale and took his body

to the harbour just past midnight,

and buried him beneath the Jonathan Lee...

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

Sleep with the Angels [Lyrics and Story]


[Schlaf bei den engeln / A Grown-Up Lullaby / A Deacon's Compline] While dealing with my depression one night, my old friend Jerry Danks sent me a message which read: "Schlaf bei den Engeln]". A simple act, but it helped me have a good night's sleep; and those words - that lovely wish - lead me daily on the road to dealing with many personal issues. Thanks, Bro. I pray that others my find some peace from these lyrics. [written 13 March 2012]

I sing for the lovers who wake up alone,

And the frightened who cry on the end of the phone.

To those who arise before dawning's first light-

May you sleep with the angels tonight.



For all of the free souls behind cell doors and locks,

For others, whose address is an old cardboard box.

May you come from the shadows and walk into the light, and,

May you sleep with the angels tonight.



I sing for the ones who never lived out their dreams.

And those who weren't good enough to play on a team.

And God bless the holy, and the prayers you recite-

May you sleep with the angels tonight.



To champions of justice and the dragons you face,

And the nameless who've disappeared without any trace,

And the ones who believe the end is in sight,

May you sleep with the angels tonight...



I sing for the children in refugee tents,

And those who must choose between medicine and rent;

The ones with no mourners at their burial site,

May you sleep with the angels tonight.



To all of you hungry for your particular cause:

And those who look after the least, last and lost.

For the mother who hears of another gang fight,

May you sleep with the angels tonight.



For those who watch margins and losses and gains,

For the captains of ore boats and the switchmen on trains;

To the ones who fear dying from a small insect bite,

May you sleep with the angels tonight.



And to you who've offended with thought, word or deed,

Give way to the slumber that you that you need.

You still have tomorrow to make things all right:

May you sleep with the angels tonight...

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

When You're Oblivious [Lyrics and Story]


[With Flags on Your Lapels / Capitol Hell] Written with W in mind, this song refers to the post-9/11 era, when Americans' patriotism was pumped up on steroids. I found is sadly ironic that the mudslinging continued in D.C. The politicos threw garbage on each others' suits; impossible to miss hitting the little metal American flag pins they all wore on their lapels... [written 6 June 2011]

The wind blows down from Washington and it has a putrid smell.

You throw garbage on each other's suits with flags on your lapels.

Our soldiers are a-dyin', yes, but life's a cabaret!

Don't bust your buttons as you boast, splash on your Eau de Decay.



You'll vote for the environment, if you get your highway built.

So many backroom deals are made; still, your conscience bears no guilt.

You vote down gay-rights issues and you're quick to throw the first stone.

You vote down immigration, but who cleans up your homes?



When you're oblivious, you can be mysterious.

You can look so serious when you tell us all your lies.

When you're oblivious, you can be notorious.

You can be disingenuous with other people's lives.



You live a life of privilege, and vote yourselves a raise.

Be careful not to hurt someone as you pop that cabernet.

Education's underfunded, our school buildings, obsolete.

While your kids go to Ivy schools, ours are dying in the streets.



It's hard to find a righteous one among you.

You all have your agendas, and it's definitely not us.

You promise us the moon and stars to get there,

From your leather chairs, you betray the people's trust.



Ego, money, sex and pow'r: it's the same old song & dance:

Who's got you in their pocket and who's got you in their pants?

You all just live a life preferred with an intern on your lap.

I'd like to see you eat your words 'cause they're all so fulla crap...



The wind blows down from Washington and it has a putrid smell.

You throw garbage on each other's suits with flags on your lapels...

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music

You Again. [Lyrics and Story]


A true story about a chance encounter in a bar "long ago and far away"... [written 27 April 1982]

I saw you again last night, and it took me by surprise,

'cause so many days had passed since I looked into your eyes.

The way that you smiled at me as you walked in the door -

brought back the feelings that I felt for you before.

I was slowly getting over you, hoping you had done the same thing, too...



But last night, I fell in love with you again.

I haven't felt this way since Heaven knows when.

I was doing alright 'til I saw you and then,

Last night, I fell in love with you again -

In love with you, again...


Your hair was different, but your smile was still the same.

And mem'ries of you holding me echoed in my brain.

Finally, you walked over, and we stood there, silently -

close, but not touching, released, but not free...

I was slowly getting over you, hoping you had done the same thing, too...



I saw you again last night, and you turned away - and smiled...

©2012 Jim Shoulak/Cedar Lodge Music