Lyrics

Stories in the Third Person

released January 2018

Download the Lyric Book for Stories in the Third Person

 


Amy Foster

F. Ziegler ©2018

(inspired by Joseph Conrad)

Amy Foster was the sea
With sullen eyes and angry cheeks
As red as any rose could be
Like she’d been slapped around for weeks

Amy Foster was the bread
The maker of a madman’s bed
Amy Foster was the word
That built the cage and snared the bird

A sliver of the moon hangs before the stars in darkness turns her shoulder to the Earth and looks away
The silver fire of Love arcs from horizon to horizon lights the world and then so gently fades to grey
And I am not the one she thought would learn to speak her language in a day
I am just the lost survivor washed up on the shores of old Eastbay

Amy Foster was the fear
Whispered into a fevered ear
So little kindness in her now
She ran whenever I call out

She couldn’t comprehend my curse
The need to sooth my fevered thirst
A little water was my plea
But Amy Foster was the sea

A sliver of the moon hangs before the stars in darkness turns her shoulder to the Earth and looks away
The silver fire of Love arcs from horizon to horizon lights the world and then so gently fades to grey
And I was not the one she thought could learn to speak her language in a day
I was just the lost survivor crushed upon the shores old Eastbay


Bend Me

K. Hanson & F. Ziegler ©2018

I saw her sitting with the sun in her hair
Knowing she would never see me that way
Her legs were crossed and her back was taught
She takes me to places I had never thought

She can bend me
She can shape me
She can take me to a wonderful place
I dreamed she’d hold me
And that she told me,
“Love will heal you and thrill you
And kill you and blow you away”

Skinny jeans and a black leather jacket
Rabbit fur and cowboy hat
Like Hanoi Jane in a 70’s movie
I’m kind a Fonda anything like that

Hands to my heart breathing in and out
My mind will travel where it shouldn’t go
And in the evenings with her far-away eyes telling
So many stories I will never know

Blow you away
Blow you away – Oh
Blow you away – Om
Blow you away – Om…


The Boy in the Boat

K. Hanson & F. Ziegler ©2018

The boy in the boat dreamed of summers
And adventures that he would take
With a 25 horse Evinrude Lark
On the back of an aluminum lake

You’d mix Pennzoil and gas
And set off so fast for a store in another state
Buying fireworks n’ Ash, soda n’ matches
For the Fourth of July celebration

His brother swam for the short side
On a dare from his sister and I
While the whole family watched from the dockside
And they laughed ‘til they nearly cried

26 miles long from the northernmost border
30 miles from the place I was born
3 hours west of the Mississippi River
On the edge of a South Dakota farm

Three in the back
Two in the front
Alight in a soft green glow
“North to Alaska” and “The Tennessee Waltz”
Playing on the radio
Then time slipped away
And the lake turned grey
And the sound of the waves was replayed…

The old folks would talk of the pool hall
And the owner who drank himself dry
And the sister who fell through the ice one winter
And the uncle who lost his mind

And the time that the boy almost died from the cold
And spent 7 long weeks sick in bed
And the blacks in the city and what they would do
Now that King and the Kennedys are dead

But time slipped away
And the lake turned grey
And the sound of the waves
Was replayed…


Matinee

F. Ziegler ©2018

Stranger said,
“Now what is your name?”
“My name is the dust on the wind.”
Stranger said,
“Then where are you blowing?”
“I blow to the heart of the land.”
Stranger said,
“The land is a desert.”
“The desert begins where it ends.”
Stranger said,
“You talk like a fool.”
“You don’t understand where I’ve been.”

Now I know the road
From here to the sun
And I know the sky and the land
And I walk the line
For the one’s left behind
Who will find their own way in the end

Stranger said,
“Now, what would you ask for?”
“I ask for the light of the day”
Stranger said,
“Now, where are you going?”
“I’ll star in my own matinee”
Stanger said,
“You know I must stop you?”
“You do what you need to my friend”
Stranger said,
“Will no whiskey tempt you?”
“I’ve whiskey and women to spend.”

But I am the road
From here to the sun
And I am the sky and the land
And I walk the line
For the one’s left behind
Who will find their own way in the end


Seven

F. Ziegler ©2018

I have had maybe seven days
In my whole long life
That I’ve really lived

And I have spoken maybe seven words
That were really heard
Or meant anything

And not a single thought was really mine
Just a line repeated from another time
Only seven

I have played maybe seven notes
That were really true
That were from my heart

And I have sung maybe seven songs
That have given hope
That have done their part

And not a single song was really mine
Just some notes repeated from another time
Only seven

I have cried maybe seven tears
In as many years as the night has eyes
I have told maybe seven lies
Multiplied by five, seven thousand times

Every thought is just overheard
And like a mocking bird
Echoes back to you

Not a single word is really ours
Just the mouth repeating
What the earth and stars

Already know – Where all the centers of the world collide
Already know – Where every angled corner coincides
Already know – The tigers, pistons, potions, ocean tides
Already know – That keep the fires of the earth ignited

Seven       Seven       Seven


Stay

F. Ziegler ©2018

You can’t give someone
What they don’t want to receive
Neither love nor loss
Nor the wisdom of release
When their mind clears
They may finally come see
What you wanted them to know
Right from the start

If you love someone
You must surely let them go
On their own way
Or else you may never know
If they love you
If they want you for their own
Or if they’re really just a captive
of your heart

In a world without mirrors
You would see past the tears on your face
To a place in the world
Where your hopes and your fears fade way
Where I want you to know
That you can always stay

In a world without mirrors
You would see past the tears on your face
To a place in the world
Where your hopes and your fears fade way
Where I want you to know
That you can always stay

You can’t give someone
What they don’t want to receive
Neither love nor loss
Nor the wisdom of release
When their mind clears
They may finally come say
That they loved you all along
And they will finally stay…


Existentialist Cowboy

F. Ziegler ©2018

Who needs the city?
Life in the saddle is enough for me
The rolling prairie, the endless desert
Give me a place to cool my heals
I’ll build a fire, pull up a rock
And you can join me for a cup of tea
It doesn’t matter, the world won’t stop
And I could use the company

Punch them doggies all day long
This prairie rhythm just can’t be wrong…

I used to drive a Chevy but now I stay at home
on the range where I belong
Used to count my blessings like
the money that I made
I made a pact with heaven ‘till the
clouds rolled away

Punch them doggie all day long
This prairie rhythm just can’t be wrong
Break out the guitars and sing along
This is my existentialist cowboy song

It isn’t easy out here in the wild
call of wind and the coyote howl
But I’m a body and a body must stay sound
I’d give my soul if I had one around

Just punch them doggies all day long
This prairie rhythm just can’t be wrong
Break out the guitars and sing along
This is my existentialist cowboy song
Mmm, cowboy song…
My lonely cowboy song.


John Singer’s Song

F. Ziegler ©2018

(inspired by Carson McCullers)

The words in my heart won’t give me rest
There’s something there wants to be heard
There’s something there wants to be spoken
But something just can’t find a voice

The words in my heart want no regrets
But something just won’t let them go
The words in my heart reach out for anyone
From in between the bars of hope

And when they find a way – they will testify
And when they find a way – they will preach
They will laugh and sing, they will justify
Any depth to which I reach

The words in my heart have no address
The words in my heart want to belong
And when they find someone who’ll listen
The words in my heart go on and on

And when they find a way – they will testify
And when they find a way – they will preach
They will laugh and sing, they will justify
And so joyfully will weep

The heart has a lonely business
That no one will understand
You’re a fool to believe that someone knows you;
a bigger fool to think that you know them

The words in my heart won’t give me rest
There’s something there wants to be heard
There’s something there wants to be spoken
But something just can’t find a voice


Louise

F. Ziegler ©2018

She’s so fundamental, she’s so fine
She makes me tremble almost every time
I walk the floors for her and beg the night
To bring her back into my wretched life

Louise, I can’t believe she didn’t know
I’d follow her forever anywhere she’d go, oh, oh

She’s so tempting, she’s so unrelenting
There’s not one percent of her that isn’t right
I’d walk the night for her
And stalk the times for her
To bring her back into my wretched life

Louise, I can’t believe she didn’t know
I’d follow her forever anywhere she’d go…
But then she kissed me and my life exploded
Now I’m stuck inside this prison for reasons I don’t know

One way or another, there’s
Too many ways to be betrayed
Three thousand miles to get back home and
Four to get away
I’m selling out and counting down the days
to my escape!

My father said do what I say not what I do
Sent up the river for five and twenty years
I’m selling out and counting down the days
A woman’s voice reminds me of my darkest hour

Louise…


Note to Self

K.Hanson, F. Ziegler ©2018

This here is a simple song
To help you move along
But I’m not here to say
It’s going to be OK

You’ve had a hard, hard time
You’ve had too much on your mind
And I’m not here to say
It’s going to be OK

It’s time to shake it off
Time to get out of your own way
And I’m not here to say
It’s going to be OK

Use your inside voice when you’re talking to the mirror
A whisper’s the only sound a troubled mind can hear
While the fog is lifting from the shower that you took
Take another look
It’s another day

If you’re here to tell the truth
If you’re here to set things right
Keep on singing on the soft and low
In the tempo of the night


Possession

F. Ziegler ©2018

I dream myself to sleep
With you in the morning and in the evening
When the rains of an early season
Erode my reason

I dream of our enfolding
Our Becoming – never ending
A labyrinth descending
Into our room

Possession like you needed my protection
Possession like a mirror holds a reflection
Until you walk away

“Sometimes I feel like a little girl”
She said and threw the ribbons in her hair
Pouting like ancient cherubim
In a picture of despair

And somehow even as a man-child
I knew exactly what she meant
There’s always a little boy down there
Somewhere hiding in the basement

Possession like I needed her protection
Possession like a mirror owns a reflection
Until you walk away

When everything is broken
You just gather up the pieces
And sweep them into corners
Where no one will ever see them

But every shard is calling
In a chorus of the one
“Hey, where have you been?
And what have you become?”

Possession like you needed my protection
Possession like a mirror holds a reflection
Until you walk away


Recovery

F. Ziegler ©2018

I used to drink and smoke and spit
And cuss and fuss and fight
And f**k the finest women that
Would keep me up all night
I’m in recovery

I could scare of my very shadow
It was like a walking curse
The people ’d see me come and run
Before I saw them first
I’m in recovery

I used to lie about all day and
Lie about all night
I used to think that cotton was
The fabric of my life
I’m in recovery

There was once the saddest city in a country far away
This saddest sack of cities had forgotten its own name
And of all the saddest cities that I’d visited or stayed
There’s only one… I can’t escape

When I watched my daddy die
There was such a frightful sound
As the silence dripped like poison and
The signals all ran down
I’m in recovery

But my mama she was happy
She was glad to see him go
So she could move my Uncle Ed
Into our broken home
I’m in recovery

There was once the saddest city in a country far away
This saddest sack of cities had forgotten its own name
And of all the saddest cities that I’d visited or stayed
There’s only one… I can’t escape

I was born in the USA but I know I’m from another place
I was born in the USA but I know… Yes I know…
I’m in recovery


The Land

F. Ziegler ©2018

The land where I was born shaped better men than I
Into the form of monsters that made their women cry
But made them weak and hollow men
And soon they all had died away

The land where I was born has broken men for years
And set them on a path through pastures soaked with blood and fear
And planted them with the seeds of doubt
And watered them with tears and shame

The land where I was born has shaped my soul
The land where I was born is all I’ve known
The land where I was born is not my home but ’ll be my grave
God save from the land where I was born

The land where I was born shaped better men than me
Into the form of monsters that made their children flee
But made them weak and hollow men
And soon they all had died away


Theologian

F. Ziegler ©2018

(inspired by Jorge Luis Borges)

I was told by a messenger angel
That when old Pastor Melanchthon died
A house was prepared like the home of his lifetime
But here on the other side

All the rooms were exactly in order
Books and papers and natural light
So when he was awakened as if from a slumber
He could sit down and continue to write

On the subject of justification
Theological methods and plans
The concerns of essential salvation
And the rules and conventions
Of a church-going man

When the messenger asked him of charity
And of fellowship given in love
He said there is no room in the church for salvation
Except for grace from above

Then the angels withdrew to their regions
And the rooms began to obscure
Till there was nothing but desert and demons
And the black earth of words to endure

On the subject of justification
Theological methods and plans
The concerns of essential salvation
And the rules and conventions
Of a church-going man

Sing me now not songs of charity
Sing me now not songs of faith
Sing me now not songs that fade away
Just save me before it’s too late

 



The Bones

released October 2014

As Ah Lay Dine

Ziegler ©2014 

(inspired by William Faulkner)

Our father was a fish
Lying in the mud
Eye-caked with dust
Alcohol and blood
Of work and war
Of toil and time
As ah lay dine

Our mother made a wish
For all the world
Leastwise her children
Leastwise her girls
That they would rise
Like boats upon
The poison tide
As ah lay dine

As ah lay dine, As ah lay dine
As ah lay dine, Oh ah lay dine
As ah lay dine, As ah lay dine
As ah lay di-i-i-i-i-i-ine

Now here am I
Beneath the waves
Searching for shore
To walk upon
Beyond the grave
Beyond the trouble
Our father raised
As ah lay dine…

As ah lay dine, As ah lay dine
As ah lay dine, Oh ah lay dine
As ah lay dine, As ah lay dine
I wish you all the boats our mother had in mind


I’ll Remember

Ziegler ©2014

A leaf flipping and twisting
on the breeze
Calls my attention to what is
in the field where I was planted
And to where my feet have landed
and the distance in between

The sun was shining I recall
the first time I heard your call
In a place where the walls had faded
feathers & fur in cages
Since then I’ve heard it all

The first time you kissed me
like the beat of a drum
I saw the death of our fathers
and the birth of our sons
In the warm light of a setting star
before the darkness comes
I’ll remember

Crying when you said you had enough
your tears when I said the same to you
The poor kid hiding in his room
brought us back again – back again

The endless pursuit of moments
that happen when
we’re not watching them
The daily bread and the daily grind
pick us up and beat us down again
But I know why we stay
and I know why we have faith
and I know why your eyes
haunt me still
– I remember


Mollusk (Arms of a Stranger)

Ziegler ©2014

Where did you go?
How did you hide from me so well?
It’s like you up and disappeared
and only left a shell
I was feeling so bereft
must say, it hurt like hell
It made me want to crawl
into the arms of a stranger

All your color drained away
when you retreated to the wreck
Masquerading in the backwater
among the sea-grass and the kelp
And you wouldn’t even come to rescue me
when I called your name for help
It made me want to crawl
into the arms of a stranger

So if you’re going my way
I don’t want your love girl
I don’t want your friendship
I don’t want your trust…
I just want to crawl
Into the arms of a stranger
I just want to fall
into the arms of a stranger

The hardest thing in life to give up
are your own illusions.
When friends fail and lovers leave you
without a clue
It’s like your soul evaporates
in the tide pools of confusion.
It makes you want to crawl
into the arms of a stranger

So if you’re going my way
I don’t want your love girl
I don’t want your sex
your friendship or your trust…

I just want to crawl
into the arms of a stranger
I just want to fall
into the arms of a stranger


The Bones

Ziegler ©2014

Beyond the fertile fields
out on the edge of town
Behind a ply-wood gate
beneath the frozen ground
Is as scarred and unholy
a place as can be found
and the bones of every person that I have…

The wind through
the trees is unhealthy and shrill
The birds on the meadow
are unnaturally still
The earth is dark and sour
in the fields that have been tilled
by the bones of every person that I’ve…

Dry as the bones of my ambition
Dry as the bones of my good will
Dry as the words of every prophet
That I’ve taken and forsaken and revealed

With my tools and many instruments
all my labor, all my skill
With every ounce of cunning
and every pound of will
Every child, every mother, every lover,
every shill
They were bent on self-destruction
so I gave them what they willed

The bones see through my bitter eyes
The bones speak from my swollen tongue
With the stories left unwritten
and the pages left unfilled
Lie the bones of every person that I have…

Beyond the brittle morning,
beyond the killing fields
After the rains have come
what will the storm reveal
The ground washed bare
of every effort to conceal
the bones of every person that I have…

Da… Da… Da…


Get the Girl

Ziegler ©2014

Now what’s been going on?
It’s not like you have been
completely straight
You say you’ve done your best
but it’s been much too little much too late
I can’t expect to carry on
with your half-full and my half-empty plate
And I’d do anything for you that don’t involve
attending my own wake

And all I wanted was to touch her hair
And all I wanted was to change the world
And all I wanted was to get the girl
now I’m not sure of anything…

You say I’ve doubted you
well I can’t help it I doubt everything
And this is nothing new
it’s just my way of
taking care of things
There is no stone unturned
there is no romance to my reckoning
When everything is upside down
at least I know where
the bottom is

It’s a compromise position
a flaw in my disposition
The usual competition
between my head & heart

And all I want now is to touch her hair
And all I want now is to change the world
And all I want now is to get the girl
but I’m not sure of anything…
some things never change


Her Collection

Hanson / Ziegler ©2014

Met her friend on the street today
Got high with him late last night
I could tell by the look in his eye
He was part of her collection
Part of her collection
More harm than good
She never does what she should
Gets away with murder every day
Always gets her way
Always gets her way

Mostly fact, hardly fiction
Strapped and pinned in submission
Call it stiff competition
They’re all part of her collection
Part of her collection

Lighting bugs in a jar
She shakes them up
just to watch
them glow
No matter how hard they
bang and buzz
She’ll never let them go –
never let them go

How they beg
and petition
With little hope
of resistance
She fucks you once
And you’re fucked for
the distance
When you’re part of
her collection
Part of her collection


Slow Burn

Ziegler ©2014

She’s got a way to walk the center lane
The middle of the road
Where she can see it both ways

Not like some jealous god
More like a snake with eyes
On both sides of her face

But when some righteous far-right
Is coming to her own door
Preaching stereotypes
And character assassination

She’s not immune
To putting up a fight
Let me make it perfectly clear

She’ll take a slow burn
She’ll take the low road
When her hive is poked
By some ignorant…

She’ll take a slow burn
She’s got a long fuse
But when she blows
There’s no telling what will get broken

She’s got a gentle hand
She knows that listening is a gift
So she might lend a moment
Until she ain’t got nothing left

I say “Why not let fools be fools
If that is their main objective?”
But when she hears the word of love
Wrapped up in fear and hate
Well, she might lose her perspective

She takes a slow burn
She’ll take the low road
When her hand is forced
By some ignorant…

She’ll take a slow burn
She’s got a long fuse
But when she blows
There’s no telling what will get broken


Milwaukee Bound

Ziegler ©2014

I rode all the way from Memphis
on a northbound line
Pulled into Chicago ‘bout
a quarter past nine
Smoked a little reefer
drank a lot of wine
By the time I got to Sussex
I was feeling fine

Who would have thought
that after all these towns
I’d be half way to nowhere
and Milwaukee bound

Now I got a little job
at the discount mart
Stackin’ up the medicine
and pushin’ carts
I met a little girl
at the bowl and grill
We made it in my Chevy
up on Brewer’s Hill

I thought that it was nothing
only making rounds
Now I’m half way to nowhere
and Milwaukee bound

Now I gotta find a way
to get on outta here
Stop spending all my money
on smoke and beer
Clean up my credit
pay off my bills
Then I’ll be trading in my Chevy
for a Coup de Ville

I mean who would have thought
that after all these towns
I’d be half way to nowhere
and Milwaukee bound


The Ballad of Reckless Annabelle

Ziegler ©2014

Call me Ishmael…
Call me troubled for a time
Call me restless; call me wanton
Call me anything you like
But when I went to marry Annabelle
An arrangement of my clan
I left her standing at the altar
And I fled to join the band

Brother Ethan he was steadfast
Brother Kevin he was wise
Brother Mitchell he was wild
And almost died before his time
Sister Lucy was a beauty
Who could play the concert grand
Sister Sara had the fairest
Voice and face in all the land

Now we made our way through every
Wind-blown dark mid-western town
And we sampled every sin and vice
And toasted every round
But every dark seductive temptress
Under brash and tarnished crown
Wore the face of lovely Annabelle
With her unrequited frown

Then one night in darkest Maryland
On that cold Atlantic shore
Came a chill as deep as death
From behind an open door
And a flash of searing heat
That could compete with any sun
Revealed the silhouette of Annabelle
With a black and smoking gun

Oh now Annabelle, dear Annabelle
Have you finally come for me
Have you tramped the lonely world
To drag me back to Milwaukee
Rest assured that I have loved you
Though I had to take some time
But now I will be taken willingly
By my black and mourning bride

Reckless Annabelle
Reckless Annabelle Lee
Dangerous Annabelle
Have you finally come for me
Have you tramped the lonely world
Just to have me by your side
Lovely Annabelle
Dangerous Annabelle
Reckless Annabelle Lee