We Are Here – Lyrics

Fifty Miles to Detroit

It’s only 50 miles to Detroit
He picks me up in the company car
And we eat in a restaurant with a view of the whole wide world
And I sit there wondering where you are.
It’s only 50 miles to Detroit.
Well it’s 800 miles to your place
Hot weather, good food, red clay
And I do believe I mentioned you might have some love for me
But if I want it, I gotta drive three days
And it’s only 50 miles to Detroit.
In that city, in that city, in that city, I won’t be alone
In that city, yeah, I’ve got something.
It ain’t nothing like you baby, but at least it’s close to home.
You never promised me one thing
You simply took my breath away
Could you maybe wrap it up and send it north to me
I might find a use for breath some day
Here, 50 miles from Detroit.
In that city…
Sometimes I take the country roads
Sometimes I take I-94
And I play that tape you made me, all your favorite songs
But I never reach the good part by the time I reach his door.
‘cause it’s only 50 miles to Detroit.

Last Saturday

I don’t got no blues
No I got nothing to lose
I lost it all when you went away
I lost it all last Saturday.
I don’t got tears to cry
No all my tears ran dry
I cried’em all when you went away
I cried’em all last Saturday
Friday how could I have known
In one heartbeat you’d be gone
I woke up Saturday dawn
Inside that coop that you had flown.
No midnight oil to burn
No lessons I must learn
I learned’em all when you went away
I learned’em all last Saturday
And I don’t need no gin
Won’t bring you back again,
Besides, I drank it all
When you went away
I drank it all last Saturday.

Lucy on the Line

2 a.m. Telephone rings with a rage just like a woman’s scream.
I know before I pick it up, it’s Lucy on the line.
And all I hear… a low-pitched moan, ain’t no need to say hello.
I say, “Hang on, sister. I’m comin’ over. It’s gonna be alright.”
And oh, yes I’m flyin’, ‘cause Lucy’s on the line.
Lucy, she’s half to heaven, waiting outside the 7-11
With a bloody towel pressed to her face and a grocery bag of clothes
And she can barely climb inside. She says, “Oh, please hurry, we ain’t got much time.
He was sleeping when I left, but by now he knows.”
I know she’s scared. I’m scared myself. We make it down to Highway 12.
And my baby sister lies in the back like a broken doll.
But two lights suddenly appear, sneering in my rear view mirror
And he’s gaining on us fast like a hound of hell.
And oh… yes, I’m flyin’ ‘cause Lucy’s on the line.
And there’s moonglow over Tupelo and Aberdeen and Jackson
There’s something in the air, I swear, tonight.
Comes a time a woman’s gotta take a little action
She knows I’ll be there anytime, that Lucy’s on the Line.
Lucy wakes up, starts to cry. She says, “Oh, sweet Jesus, he’s right behind us.”
And it’s true. I can see the whites of his bloodshot eyes.
He pulls alongside, dontcha know, tries to force us off the road.
But I hit the gas, speed off at 85.
And up ahead’s an unmarked road to a place I’m sure that no one knows
But me and that guy I loved who moved away.
I hit the brakes, turn sharp right, tell my sister to hang on tight
And I can’t recall the words I need to pray.
And oh… yes I’m flyin’ cause Lucy’s on the line.
And there’s moonglow…
Evil chasing right behind. Headlights like to drive me blind.
And I can see him laughing like the devil.
I spin right the road it ends, he breaks the rail at Lookout Bend
And flies out into the air over the river.
The truck it drops like a drowning stone and I think he’ll leave her alone now
We climb, shaking, from the car.
We stand together in the wind. It’s the way that movie should’ve ended
With sisters standing tall against the dark.
And there’s moonglow…

Oh Well

It’s been a year, of course I’m fine.
Who wouldn’t be after all this time?
I’ve like my job, I love my friends,
Got a car that runs and a heart that mends.
It’s been a year, since the note,
Left in the pocket of my old green coat
Sorry hon, I wish you well, but no reason I could ever tell
Oh, well…
And I know that it don’t matter now,
the planet spins on like a blue and silver carousel
But in the grip of every day I push that good world far away
And wonder, why ever did you go? Oh well.
You didn’t leave, you just were gone.
Gone like that comet, like a fast child’s song
And I won’t say I didn’t cry
Over and over, why, why why?
And I know….
Cause God don’t give out guarantees.
Just rain and wine and mysteries, like these

Where Are You in the Morning?

I am standing in a room, I am standing all alone
I am holding a bright yellow telephone
I can see thru the walls, There are people in the street
They are doing mysterious things
And I know I gotta run, but my feet have turned to stone
And the phone becomes a blazing fire
All the people gather round, holding implements of hate
And I’m thinking all hope is gone
Then you ride up in an ’83 Bonneville
All around you hundreds of butterflies
Suddenly I’m safe inside your arms
Yeah you are there, in my dreams
You are there in my dreams
But where are you… in the morning? In the morning….
I am swimming in the sea, I am doing pretty well
I am trying to cross to Africa.
I am circling my arms, and my legs are really strong
And I hear the sound of distant music
Then the wind is picking up, and the waves are getting big
And I wonder why I ever did this
There are people on a boat, but they do not hear my cries
And I’m feeling all hope is gone
Then you ride up in a ruby red motorboat
All around you hundreds of butterflies
Suddenly I’m safe inside your arms
Yeah you are there in my dreams
You are there in my dreams
But where are you… in the morning?
I open up my eyes
Nobody by my side
But on the other pillow lies
One white butterfly
You are there in my dreams
You are there in my dreams
You protect me in my dreams
And you love me in my dreams
And you tease me in my dreams
You’re good-looking in my dreams
But where are you in the morning?

Greatest Show on Earth

Tiny walked the tightrope every night from 8 to 9 o’clock
Tillie was the girl who sold the sodapop under the big top
Tiny like to watch her from his perch, a hundred feet up.
She would steal a glance or two, I will not lie to you about it.
Mr. Tanner was the man who ran the cotton candy machine
He and Tillie worked so hard, he like to think they were a team.
Wanda walked the wire with Tiny in the spotlight every night
And she would whisper to her sister that she wished to be his wife.
Step right up, step right up and see…
Come one, come all, I’ll let you in free.
To the greatest show on earth.
Tiny first made love to Tillie behind the lion’s cage
It was perfect, it was passion, it was free-fall, it was rage.
Tanner watched them from the clown car and his eyes they filled with tears
Wanda she came up behind him, she said I know how you feel.
Tanner said I’d best forget her, she said I don’t think you can
We are in this thing together, don’t despair, I have a plan.
And that very night at midnight, underneath a waning moon
All the elephants saw Wanda sneaking out of Tillie’s room.
Step right up…
That’s how a ribbon and pearl
A gift from Tiny to his girl
Found their way into the hands of Ramon, the strongest man
With a note of poetry, signed with just the letter T.
The carousel went around and around and around.
Close your eyes, it’s five years later. Now you can open them.
Tillie Tanner tells her husband they are out of ice again.
Tiny walks the wire with Wanda in the spotlight and at home
But he no longer thinks of Tillie. His heart has turned to stone.
Step right up….

Platinum Girl

Here is my secret here is my mystery
I am not who you think, I’m not your platinum girl
Come sit beside me, I’ll take my costume off
And you can see that I’m not your platinum girl.
I know I never wanna be no precious metal
I know I never wanna make you love me better
I know I’m never gonna shine bright as no sun
Don’t I know it well.
Beneath the sequins, beneath the rosary
Beneath the glittering smile there ain’t no platinum girl
There ain’t no heartbeat, there ain’t no flesh and bone
There ain’t no coursing blood inside no platinum girl.
I know…
Go seek your fortune, go find her where you will
Go up to Vegas, go find your platinum girl
I won’t be waiting, no I won’t wait for you
I’ll find someone who don’t want no platinum girl.

Sleeper Car

This ain’t no ordinary train, now baby
This ain’t no ordinary train
We gonna travel far, right where you are
I’m gonna take you in the sleeper car
Porter got a twinkle in his eye now baby
Carrying our bag to room 14
Says, it never fails, the rhythm of these rails
Sleeper car gonna cure what ails
I’m gonna watch those cities fly by baby
Wrapped up in your arms
Gonna chase the moon, count every star
Whole wide world is in the sleeper car.
Old man coming up the aisle now baby
Selling things to eat
Old many coming up the aisle now baby
He got good things to eat
But we just lock the door, stay right where we are
All we need is in the sleeper car
Sandwiches, ice cream, old drinks, milk and orange juice
This ain’t no ordinary train song baby
This ain’t no ordinary train.
When we get there we just gonna turn right back around
Sleeper car is where we are bound.


I drive to Sandusky an hour each way
My wife says she loves me, every day
I think I am thankful, but who’s to say?
I drive to Sandusky, an hour each way.
I drive through the country, I like the view.
I take my communion, wouldn’t you?
Sometimes there’s a woman, halfway home.
I drive through the country.
But every night I shake a tumbler and I crumble to the floor
I’m like an old, imploding highrise no one lives in anymore
And when Miranda hovers over me I tell her I’m just fine
I sleep the sleep of sour sustenance til morning brings the time when I must
Drive to Sandusky
The rising sun it hurts my eyes
But I’ll come home, don’t you worry,
I make decent money, we get by
I may get promoted in July
I might get into heaven. I volunteer.
I make decent money.
But there’s this girl I loved in high school
She still keeps me awake
With all the bullies from the boyhood
And some other nameless ache
And when Miranda flutters round me
Like a bug around a fire
I slam the door and stalk these subdivision streets til it is time for me to
Drive to Sandusky
The rising sun it hurts my eyes.
But I’ll come home, don’t you worry.
My little daughter, she climbs on my knee to say
Won’t you tell me daddy, what do you do every day?
I say I drive to Sandusky
Any kind of light it hurts my eyes
But I’ll come home, don’t you worry

Please Pass You

Oh I wake up, I brush my hair
I go downstairs, I see you there
At the breakfast table, genuine formica it’s true,
In a robin’s egg blue.
I say good morning with a smile
I pour the coffee, you pour the juice
Please pass the salt, please pass the sugar
Please pass you.
Please pass your kisses, please pass your arms
Please pass your stories and the Lucky Charms
And your passion and the mustard and the ketchup too
And every thing I’ve ever wanted is right here in this room
Please pass the salt, please pass the sugar
Please pass you.
We could clear the table, put the plates on the floor
We’d be food for the gods above.
I’ll do the dishes when we’re thru
Please pass your love
Please pass you.
My favorite meal, that would be breakfast
With my baby in the morning sun
And with Lucinda Williams playing on the radio too
And I don’t think I’m going to work today
I got something else I gotta do
Please pass the salt…
We could clear the table…
My mama, she taught me manners
And my daddy he taught me too
I want to be someone they can be proud of
May I have seconds, if you please
May I be excused, I’m down on my knees
Please pass the salt please pass the sugar
Please pass your love…


You don’t need the lyrics to this. They are perfectly audible on the cd.


Jimmy had a vodka, in a perfect glass of ice
Folded up his napkin, into a white paper Jesus
Swiveled on his barstool, (he always liked a spinning world)
Smoked a half a cigarette, smiled a the pretty waitress.
Lily sat beside him, one hand deep inside her coat
Looked into the mirror, said, “God, don’t we look good”
Jimmy kissed her shoulder, whispered, “Well, I guess it’s time.”
“Gimme just a minute,” she said
“Gotta let me finish my wine”
Last call down at Valentine’s
Last call for the night
Last call down at Valentine’s
Who will you have, who will you hold, what would you like?
Lily pulled her hand out. She had pearl-gray 44.
Jimmy had a shotgun, his daddy’s favorite
Radio was blasting, some old Eagle’s tune
Noone ever heard their voices, as they counted back from 5 to 1.
Jimmy shot the barman, as he read a magazine
Jumped across the counter, and took what he came for
Lily got the couple by the door, they didn’t have time to scream
Little drops of red like rain fell onto the napkin Jesus


Jimmy found the waitress, in the kitchen all alone
“Come on, princess, put down the phone.”
Girl started crying, said “Please don’t take my life,
Gotta little baby at home. Who’s gonna be his mama?”
Jimmy hesitated, said alright, you can go
She ran to the back door, pulled on the handle
Lily stuck her head in, said, “Is this mercy that I smell?”
Fired off her pistol smiling. “Come on baby I hear sirens.”


Jimmy had a Pepsi, in a light blue paper cup
Some kind of sandwich, but he couldn’t eat much
Warden said “Come on son.” Chaplain rang the bell.
He folded up his paper napkin. Into a perfect letter L.


Little future billionaire
Heard I had a room to share
Tied her hair with rubber bands
Really good at modern dance
Told me secrets told me lies
Got me jealous, got me high
Did not have enuf to eat
Kissed me on Division Street
Maddie whatcha gonna do with all that money and all that fame?
Maddie whatcha gonna do. You can’t never go back again (2x)
We went shopping in a 3-foot snow
Christian truckers drove us home
We made angels on the ground
I have never laffed so loud
Burped and cussed and snapped her gum
Taught me how to steal for fun
Missed her mama, wished she had mine
Funny how things turn out sometimes
Maddie Whatcha gonna do with every fellow who turns your eye
Maddie whatcha gonna do Warren, Carlos, Sean and Guy
Ate NY up like a snack
Never once did she look back
Borderline Material Girl
Said “I want to rule the world.”
Hitchhiked naked in a book
I admit I snuck a look
Gave her babies funny names
One’s a boxer, one’s a saint
Maddie whathcha gonna do, married in a castle like Frankenstein
Maddie whatcha gonna do, skinny little punked-out buddy of mine
Writers come from far and wide
Pay me money sit by my side
I close my eyes and I recount
The nights we closed the discos down
Maddie whatcha gonna do with all that money and all that fame?
Maddie whatcha gonna do. You can’t never go back again

The Night When I was Born

Sister, won’t you tell me ‘bout the night when I was born,
The night when I was born
The night when daddy left for good
I love to hear the stories about all the things that happened
The night, the night when I was born.
Is it true they launched a rocket into space?
And the first time in nine years the home team won first place?
Oh, and tell the part where you and mama cried for hours and hours – for joy,
The night when I was born.
Sister won’t you tell me ‘bout the color of my eyes
What color were my eyes?
What color were our daddy’s eyes?
I love to hear the stories all about that special night
The night, the night when I was born.
Is it true the doctor’s pickup wouldn’t start?
Is it true there was a thunderstorm and half the town went dark?
Oh, and tell the part where you and mama cried for hours and hours – for joy,
The night when I was born.
Sister won’t you tell me how you held me in your hands
You held me in your hands
You held me in your trembling hands
And sister, won’t you tell me how you handed me to mama
The night, the night when I was born.Yes, I love to hear ‘bout all the things that happened,
The night, the night when I was born.

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