Charlie King!

Higher Ground Lyrics

Lyrics to Charlie King and Karen Brandow's 2008 CD Higher Ground

The News, The Blues & The People – Take Two
© 2006 Charlie King / pied asp music (bmi)

Each morning on the road I read the paper and with every line I feel my spirits sink
Unemployment increased, murder in the middle east
Homeland insecurity suspending civil liberties
Landmark legislation in the nation makes it criminal to think
Each headline highlights one more crooked caper
Each by-line boasts of one more sordid scheme
If Bush gets into one more war I'm getting out
If congress passes one more fascist act I'm gonna scream
Feels like everything is falling apart at the seams, do you know what I mean?
But then I go and see Julie, up in Milwaukee a peace action devotee
Or Pat and Bernie, San Francisco California
Singing their hearts out for solidarity
I remember Tom Wilson and Juanita Nelson and the war tax they refuse
And I'm feeling so much better that I'm ready for the five o'clock news.
Oh! No! No…
The anchorman resembles Robert Redford
His sidekick looks like Chelsea Clinton's mom
She reports compellingly on a local spelling bee
Tune in at eleven ‘cuz she's rev'ing up for coverage of the prom
It's a sitcom
The weatherman's one liners make my head hurt
And the local team's been given up for dead
The film reviewer interviews a chimp – I'm getting out
The prom reporter's voting for their queen, I'm going to bed
If you tuned in for the news you've been badly mislead
Now it's back to you, Ted
I want to hear about Rebecca, Jeff & Martha marching in Ann Arbor
Or Mike and Susie taking on Toledo
They don't cover Chris Insera, Francisco y Yanira
El pueblo unido Jamas Sera Vencido
Or father Roy Bourgeois, in Columbus Georgia shutting down the SOA
If you believe the TV you'd think democracy was slipping away
I got something to say
We've still got WOSH, NCOSH, Philaposh, Connecticosh
Fight for worker's safety and health
United for a fair economy is challenging monopoly
And trying to spread around a little corporate wealth
There's a peace demonstration in every nation
Twenty million marchers can't be wrong!
So let's keep on fighting the good fight, people
And let's keep singing our songs
You won't read it in the paper, won't see it on the news
But you just might hear it in a talkin' blues
Thanks for the energy keeping me singing these songs

If Loving You Were A Dangerous Thing
© 1997 Andrew lawrence

Would I even hold your hand on our own front porch on a bright summer's day like today
Would the neighbors shoot the breeze, would they let their children play
Would it mean enough to both of us to throw it all away
Reaching out to hold your hand if loving you were a dangerous thing
Could I ever kiss your mouth on a crowded street on a rush of this love in my heart
If the sun were on your hair and a smile upon your face
And all around the baying hounds were hard upon the chase
Could I ever kiss your mouth if loving you were a dangerous thing
Some night come a brick through a window, some day some push comes to shove
No not for you and I long as we're walking man and woman
We're safe between the barbs on the wire of love
But would we have ever found our way to a place called home if the signs had all warned us away
Would I love you from afar, would I ever find a time
That the time was right to face the fight for what was rightly mine
Would we have ever found our way if loving you were a dangerous thing

Who's Gonna Bail Out Scooter?
© 2007 Charlie king, pied asp music (BMI)

Who's gonna bail out Scooter? Who's gonna bail out Scooter?
Who's gonna bail out, who's gonna bail out, who's gonna bail out Scooter?
Karl rove was the trouble shooter morals of a barracuda
Fronting for the great commuter who's gonna bail out Scooter?
Couldn't cow the prosecutor wrote scalia, e-mailed souter
Scrubbed the files from his computer who's gonna bail out Scooter?
Cheney lobbied to whitewash us ashcroft tried but was too cautious
Pat fitzgerald made them nauseous who's gonna bail out Scooter?
Got no help from wall street profits they're all feeding at the trough,
It's time to call the oval office who's gonna bail out Scooter?
When they hand you the ball, tell you to take the fall
Who-o-o-o ya gonna call? Who's gonna bail out Scooter?
Come gather round, this news I'll tell W. pardoned Scooter
The rest of us can go to hell W. pardoned Scooter
He's free although he broke the law W. pardoned Scooter
Well ain't that just what friends are for? W. Pardoned Scooter
When they hand you the balltell you to take the fall
Who-o-o-o ya gonna call? W pardoned Scooter
He still gotta pay a fine ya know W. pardoned Scooter
Where's he gonna get that kind of dough? W pardoned Scooter he sez
"Monopoly will never fail me." W. pardoned Scooter
Got a business card: "get out of jail free." W. pardoned Scooter
Mary sold a bag of pot. W pardoned Scooter…
Seven years is what she got. W pardoned Scooter
2 Million people, that's a lot. W... pardoned Scooter
To sit in u.s. Jails and rot. W... pardoned Scooter
When they hand you the balltell you to take the fall
Who-o-o-o ya gonna call? W pardoned Scooter
I signed Ibrahim''s petition. W pardoned Scooter…
Extraordinarily renditioned W. pardoned Scooter
Flown off to some Syrian jail W. pardoned Scooter
Came home without fingernails W. pardoned Scooter
Juan fought bravely in iraq W. pardoned Scooter
Home on leave, he won't go back W. pardoned Scooter
Searched his heart, made his decision W. pardoned Scooter
Got 12 months in army prison W. pardoned Scooter
When they hand you the balltell you to take the fall
Who-o-o-o ya gonna call? W pardoned Scooter
Whooo ya gonna call? W pardoned Scooter
Whooo ya gonna call? W pardoned Scooter

Who Will Be Next On The Gallows?
© 2007, Charlie king, pied asp music (BMI)

Saddam Hussein is falling through space with a prayer on his lips and fear in his face
Deep in the green zone they savor sweet release
In mortal defiance he drops through the air while soldiers like pit bulls baiting a bear
Make him by contrast the hero of the piece
The White House can claim one more mission complete iraqis in michigan dance in the street
Shiites in baghdad are lynched - eyes for an eye
The body count surges, the war blunders on they look for a leader who's ruthless and strong
Like the one they just hung, which begs the question "why?"
Why do we never grow weary of this? Condemned by the world or betrayed by a kiss
Guilty or innocent, hit or miss and who will be next on the gallows?
From bunk beds and ceiling fans, rafters and shelves copycat children are hanging themselves
As if it's a game. Watch what they do.
They do what they watch without judgment or hope the heart of this world at the end of its rope
Twisting in circles, learning that it's all true
Why do we never grow weary of this? Condemned by the world or betrayed by a kiss
Guilty or innocent, hit or miss and who will be next on the gallows?
Idi amin died at home in his bed pinochet passed away old and well fed
When franco was buried a hero, nixon sent flowers.
Yeah, saddam is guilty but please keep in mind we paid for his sins till he stepped out of line
We'll support any son of a bitch, but he's got to be ours
And when will we ever grow weary of this? The extravagant hand or the merciless fist
You play by our rules or you cease to exist and who will be next on the gallows?
Quadaffi, Lozada, Uribe Mugabe, Kissinger, Duvalier
Cheney, Gonzales, Negroponte who will be next on the gallows?

Higher Ground
New lyrics © 2007 Charlie King, original by Johnson Oatman Jr.

I have no desire to stay where lies destroy and fears dismay
Where money talks and fortune frowns come help me find some higher ground
Lift me up. Let me stand. Upon some decent, honest land
Sweeter soil than I have found o plant my feet on higher ground
The way we live will take its toll in broken lives and tortured souls
Open our hearts turn us around and guide our feet to higher ground
Lift me up. Let me stand. Upon some decent, honest land
Sweeter soil than I have found o plant my feet on higher ground
Sleep, work and worry, eat drink and shop the crazy treadmill never stops
We're jumping off the merry-go-round makin' our way to higher ground
Lift me up. Let me stand. Upon some decent, honest land
Sweeter soil than I have found o plant my feet on higher ground
This weary world has had it's fill of words of war on ev'ry hill
But can you hear that joyful sound a song of peace from higher ground
Lift me up. Let me stand. Upon some decent, honest land
Sweeter soil than I have found o plant my feet on higher ground

La Ley De Gravedad
© 1976 Flora Santiago

No se que le pasa a la ley de gravedad
Porque todo sube sube aquí ya no baja na'
No se que le pasa a la ley de gravedad
Porque todo sube sube aquí ya no baja na'
Que suerte tuvo newton que en estos dias no vivio
Fue su teoria, mira aquí ya se cayo
Sube sube el agua, la renta y la luz
Y pa' el pobre obrero el salario se estanco
No se que le pasa a la ley de gravedad
Porque todo sube sube aquí ya no baja na'
No se que le pasa a la ley de gravedad
Porque todo sube sube aquí ya no baja na'
Se oye a la gente en la calle comentar
Si el aumento sigue a donde iremos a parar
Hay que pagarle veinte, hoy pago trentiseis
Y a mitad de samana no hay pa' comer
Vueve por todas partes el mundo por estallar
Culpan a los obreros o a la tal crisis mundial
Llaman la policia y a la guardia nacional
Pa' proteger intereses y al embrollo colonial
No se que le pasa a la ley de gravedad
Porque todo sube sube aquí ya no baja na'
No se que le pasa a la ley de gravedad
Porque todo sube sube aquí ya no baja na'
Ya el obero de este pueblo comprendio
Hay que ‘cabar por siempre con el patron explotador
Son los trabajadores los llamados a obtener
Con su misma fuerza para todos el poder
No se que le pasa a la ley de gravedad
Porque todo sube sube aquí ya no baja na'
No se que le pasa a la ley de gravedad
Porque todo sube sube aquí ya no baja na'
No se que le pasa a la ley de gravedad
Porque todo sube sube aquí ya no baja na'
No se que le pasa a la ley de gravedad
Porque todo sube sube aquí ya no baja na'

Mrs McGrath Revisted
Tune traditional Irish, new words © 2007, Charlie King

Oh Mrs McGrath the recruiter said
Would you like to make a soldier out of your son ted?
With a sign up bonus and some college dough
Now Mrs McGrath, would you let him go?
Would you two sign here, send him over there two sign, two sign, two sign here
Would you two sign here, send him over there one went over and one stayed here.
Now Mrs McGrath stayed by the phone
For the 17 months that her son was gone
Then a stop loss order said he couldn't come back
Till he'd served another six months in iraq
Would you two sign here, send him over there two sign, two sign, two sign here
Would you two sign here, send him over there one went over and one stayed here.
It was three months more and ted was freed
But instead of home he went to walter reid
When his mother arrived she was heard to say
"I'm here for my son, get out of my way."
Would you two sign here, send him over there two sign, two sign, two sign here
Would you two sign here, send him over there one went over and one stayed here.
Then in rolls ted without any legs
And in their place he has two metal pegs
She kissed him a dozen times or two
"Sweet jesus, say that it isn't true"
Would you two sign here, send him over there two sign, two sign, two sign here
Would you two sign here, send him over there one went over and one stayed here.
I wasn't drunk and I wasn't blind
When I left my two fine legs behind
But a roadside bomb on the 5th of may
Tore my two fine legs from the knees away
Would you two sign here, send him over there two sign, two sign, two sign here
Would you two sign here, send him over there one went over and one stayed here.
Oh teddy mcgrath, his mother cried
Your fine young body was your mother's pride
I love the legs you was marching on
More than all of the money in the pentagon
Would you two sign here, send him over there two sign, two sign, two sign here
Would you two sign here, send him over there one went over and one stayed here.
This foreign war I do proclaim
Twas between george Bush and saddam hussein
As god's in his heaven I rue the day
I let those butchers take my child away
Would you two sign here, send him over there two sign, two sign, two sign here
Would you two sign here, send him over there one went over and one stayed here.

You Can't Buy Me
© 2005 Charlie King/pied asp music (MBI)

A Philip Randolph, born in 1889
Just 23 years after congress finally freed the slaves
He organized the brotherhood of sleeping car porters,
Back when organizing unions was a fast track to the grave
Old man pullman tried to bribe him, with a blank check and a letter
Said "it's good to seven figures, soon as you and I agree"
Randolph sent the check back with a note that stated simply
"You could buy my parents but you can't buy me"
You can't buy me, no, you can't buy me
You may own the government make the laws and pick the president
But the last word in the argument is you can't buy me
Natalia dimitruck of ukrainia state tv
Was a signer for the deaf upon the six o'clock news
When the anchorman said candidate yushchenko was the loser
He assumed she would report that, but she silently refused
"The results are rigged" she signed instead "please do not believe them.
I will not interpret lies. Perhaps the truth will set us free"
She sparked a general walkout of journalists by saying
You may own the media, but you don't own me."
You don't own me, no, you don't own me no you don't own me
You may own the government make the laws and pick the president
But the last word in the argument is you don't own me
One person at the bottom stands in solitary witness
Like rosa parks believing segregation could be stopped
The underdogs who've fought him know the emperor is witless
When the system comes apart it will unravel from the top
I don't even know her name, an old woman on the corner
Downtown kansas city on the first day of the war
Her sign must 'a been 4 feet tall, stating her position
And though passing drivers cursed her, her words could not be ignored
"God bless the people of iraq" – the message she had written
Made me think of them as family, not some faceless enemy
And having no illusions she could ever stop the slaughter, said
"I may not change this system, but it won't change me"
It won't change me, no, it won't change me
It may own the government make the laws and pick the president
But the last word in the argument is it won't change me
Cause you can't buy me no you can't buy me
The last word in the argument is you can't buy me

King Of The Whole Wide World
© 1984 Dave Gordon

When I was a baby, I's sittin' in my baby chair
Playin' with a jar of baby food and tryin' to grow my hair
Well my mother says to my father, "look at that royal frown
He's sittin' up there on his very own thrown,
We oughta buy him a crown
Well my father says to my mother, "doesn't he whine & fuss
It's ‘cuz he's king of the whole wide world
And there isn't anybody who knows but us"
Well I wasn't quite sure what a king was, but I thought I'd wait & see
Now I'm the king of the whole wide world and nobody knows but m
And when I was a young boy, quite peacefully I reigned
I longed to tell the other kids who I was but I modestly refrained
And I didn't go choppin' heads off or none of that royal stuff
I knew I's king of the whole wide world and knowin' that was enough
I'd walk among my subjects and you might be surprised
But all thought my childhood I never once was recognized
‘Cuz I didn't wear purple clothing, I din't use the royal "we"
I was the king of the whole wide world and nobody knew but me
And when I was a young man, I's livin' my life alone
I thought my kingdom ought to have an heir to the throne
She was just a female peasant but you know how a woman does
One night I got so close to her I told her who I was
I said, we could get together, maybe have us a little prince
I guess being the queen kinda frightened her
‘Cuz I ain't seen that lady since
But I can't really blame her, it's a big responsibility
Me being the king of the whole wide world when nobody knows but me
And now that I'm an old man, restin' my royal blood
My subjects fight among themselves and the rivers are full of crud
And there's lots of starvin' people, I could clear up all that mess
By revealing my identity, noblesse oblige I guess
But then I'd have to keep a secret service, keep bodyguards hangin' about
‘Cuz if they knew I was the king somebody might try and rub me out
Nobody calls me "highness", or "your royal majesty"
I am the king of the whole wide world and nobody knows but me
I'm the top man at the kremlin, I'm the head of a. T.‘n t.
I'm the king, I'm the king of the whole damned thing and nobody knows but me

I Wonder Why
© 1951 Irving Berlin new words © 2007, Charlie King, pied asp music (BMI)

I feel terror and there's no one there I see nucular weapons everywhere
Paranoiac is my nom de guerre I wonder why, I wonder why
Sheiks and mullahs plague my dreams at night
Asian warlords spoil my appetite
Spooks that used to haunt afghanistan now surface in iran
I wonder why
You don't need analyzing and it's not so surprising
That you feel strangely drawn to war.
Dress a sheep in wolf's clothing stir up deep fear and loathing
Crush dissent – that's what war is for.
There's one thing that's for certain both bechtel and haliburton
Got our party's back election day, hey, hey
Soldiers on the evening news they can't win but we can't lose
Cook the books and bombs away

Freedom Song
© 1996 Andy Wilkinson cain't quit music

Johnny was a cherokee cowboy, long braids hanging from his hat
He wrangled up on the little s ranch and he rode with my uncle jack
He sat like a shadow in the saddle, he wrote poetry with his rope
He had a light hand for the horses, and a smile for us little folk
Johnny and jack come a callin' took my brothers and sisters and I
To the hale county picnic, ought 7, the 4th of july
They had a big tent and a little brass band and box lunches on the lawn
And when they raised old glory to the top of the pole they call sang the freedom song
Oh say can you see? Johnny why aren't you singing?
Oh say can you see? Johnny is there something wrong?
Oh say can you see? Johnny where are you going?
Oh johnny why don't you stay and help us sing the freedom song?
The other men took their hats off, they hollered and they whooped it up
But johnny just stood there silent with a hurt and an angry look
Then his face grew soft and he kneeled right down and he sounded plumb worn out
When he said, "little partner, it's not my freedom that they're singing about"
Oh say can you see? Johnny why aren't you singing?
Oh say can you see? Johnny is there something wrong?
Oh say can you see? Johnny where are you going?
Oh johnny why don't you stay and help us sing the freedom song?
He mounted his horse in a couple of strides and I watched as he rode away
Across the plains of the land of the free ‘til he vanished in the home of the brave
Since then I've sung the freedom song a thousand times or more
And every time I wonder just whose freedom it is that we're singing for
Oh say can you see? Johnny why aren't you singing?

The Money's Gonna Flow
© 1959 Malvina reynolds, schroder music company new lyrics © 2007 Charlie King

Last night I had a lovely dream
I saw lobbyists with protest signs, trudging though dc
While president cindy sheehan watched jon stewart on tv
And she wore a yellow ribbon saying "I support our teachers"
I won't betray the trust of those who fight to help kids learn
It gives great aid and comfort to our brazen enemies
When students lack the proper tools to learn the abc's
(Not to mention the do re mi's)
I'm very tough on ignorance, an education hawk
School spending is inadequate, it's time to bite the chalk
O-o-o-oh the money's gonna flow
Are you telling me that you don't support our teachers?!?
O-o-oh the money's gonna flow
Are you telling me that you don't support our teachers?!?
On her limo was a bumper sticker: "I support our nurses."
These gallant men & women risk their lives to fight disease
It's no surprise they need supplies to keep us hail and fit
The war on germs is endless and its needs are infinite
Our current foreign policy is squandering the wealth
What good is global empire if you haven't got your health?
O-o-o-oh the money's gonna flow
Are you telling me that you don't support our nurses?!?
O-o-oh the money's gonna flow
Are you telling me that you don't support our nurses?!?
Cindy flaunts a flag lapel pin stating "I support our veterans"
Including those in hospitals, in jail or on the street.
They deserve to live the lifestyle that they've been fighting for
If they'd had better schools and jobs they wouldn't ‘o gone to war.
There's some that reaps the profits and there's some that pays the debts
Just for a switch let's tax the rich and spend it on the vets
O-o-o-oh the money's gonna flow
Are you telling me that you don't support our veterans?!?
O-o-oh the money's gonna flow
Are you telling me that you don't support our veterans?!?
Are you telling me that you don't support our nurses?!?
Support our teachers?!? Support the u.s.a.?!?

Romero
© 1998 Jolie christine rickman

This is my appeal to you the rank and file
Who serve as guard, police and garrison
Brothers we are all from among the same people
But at your hands the people die
In the name of god listen to the cries of the suffering
Rise up to the heavens
Why? I beseech you, order you, beg you
Cése la represión
Above all commands you are given by a man
The law of god must stand and thou shalt not kill
Above every order you're given by a soldier
The law of god says only "love"
In the name of god listen to the cries of the suffering
Rise up to the heavens
Why? I beseech you, order you, beg you
Cése la represión
Brothers I assure you you are not obliged to
Obey the ones who tell you to kill your people
Now reclaim your conscience
Now reclaim your people
Even you a soldier can
In the name of god listen to the cries of the suffering
Rise up to the heavens
Why? I beseech you, order you, beg you
Cése la represión

From way up here
© 1962 Malvina reynolds, music pete seeger

From way up here the earth is very small
It's just a little ball of rock and sea and sand
No bigger than my hand
From way up here the earth looks very small
They shouldn't fight at all down there
Upon that little sphere
Their time is short, their life is but a day
You'd think they'd find a way you'd think they get along
And fill their sunlit days with song
From way up here the earth looks very small
It's just a little ball down there
So beautiful and clear
Their time is short, their life is but a day
Must be a better way to spend the time that runs
Between those distant suns
From way up here the earth is very small
It's just a little ball down there
So beautiful and dear

Our father (the new, revised edition)
© 2007 Susan werner, frank chance music, ascap

Thy kingdom come to every nation they will be done in everything we do
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from those who think they're you
Lord send us forth to be of service to build the schools to dig the well
And deliver us from the creepy preachers
With their narrow minds and very wide lapels
Thy kingdom come to every nation they will be done in everything we do
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from those who think they're you
Lord send us forth to bring compassion to every corner of the world
And please allow for women in the catholic priesthood
And remind the pope that he could have been a girl
Thy kingdom come to every nation they will be done in everything we do
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from those who think they're you
Lord deliver us from politicians who drop your name in every speech
As if they're your best friend from high school
As if they practice what they preach
Thy kingdom come to every nation they will be done in everything we do
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from those who think they're you
Thy kingdom come to every nation they will be done in everything we do
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from those who think they're you

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