Many have asked, so here they are:
Several albums’ worth of original lyrics
Listed alphabetically

It’s the brother who never writes anymore
The uncle you never heard mentioned before
The dad you didn’t know left when you were born
A mother who leaves her child behind at the store
Life don’t work out like the plans you’d drawn
Had yourself some dreams now the wishing well’s gone
Family can’t make things work on the farm
Big city living can’t keep you warm
A hundred different ways of being alone

What you thought was true love left you wanting more
A girl sits alone on her living room floor
Boy turns away before he knocks on her door
Neighbor doesn’t ask what he’s there for
You’d leave this town but there’s nowhere to run
Things you used to love don’t bring no fun
Sick of wishing every night you had someone
Called everyone you knew, but nobody’s home
A hundred different ways of being alone

New man in town’s got your girl on his arm
Careless thing you said caused so much harm
Nothing’s the same as where you come from
Beat you’re walking to ain’t such a different drum
Tried to be a new voice, but your song ain’t your own
Tried to make a mark, but you’re still unknown
Tried to take a chance, now that bird has flown
Left nothing here for you but rag and bone and
A hundred different ways of being alone

Counting down the hours
To the final heart failure
For the dream I cannot catch
And sometimes can’t aspire to

Stretching out for the
Last stretch of a drive
Away from the prison cell of
What’s become of my life

I can barely see the traces of
Who I thought that by this time
I’d have grown up to be
I can almost feel the different air
Of freedom
Coming over me

Two hands on the wheel
I can’t believe how free it feels
To drive and drive for hours
Just to sing my songs
And then to another bed
Stinks of bleach and dirty mattresses
Trysts gone wrong
All alone in another big city

I am driving just before the sun comes up
I am listening to hours of static on the radio
I am running after
Chasing this elusive dream

When I was born, I came out
Fully dressed in springtime green
I had a silver spoon right in my pocket
And the strongest legs you’ve ever seen
It didn’t take long before I learned
My words could take down a full grown man
And the lies ran out of my mouth
Before I knew it, and they flew faster than Superman

Easy living in the wings of a giving papa
Easy riding along in the slow car of my mama
Easy finding my way down so many one way streets
Easy losing my heart to the first one who’d take it from me

Comfort only goes so far
When it comes in the shape of a brand new dress
And sorry don’t mean much
When he turns around just to hurt you again
It didn’t take long before I learned
To pretend it didn’t happen and I was fine
And as long as I believed it
Everyone would follow me in line

Some things that come so easy
Ain’t easy after all
Some things that come so cheap
Ain’t free if you have to fall

First vision of her a revelation
Heavens opened and shone down
He’s still waiting for another divine inspiration
To make him sure of what he found
No one ever loved her better
She longs for something different just the same
Sometimes, she wonders whether
She shouldn’t have taken his name

Blanket of night hides the ache in their souls
Two bodies huddle with love that’s grown cold
That old twisted cedar taps
A familiar refrain on their window

She’s thinking of painting the gray in her hair
She looks in the closet at nothing to wear
Will he notice when she starts Coming home later

This ain’t no love tale like Johnny and June
This ain’t ever after, the fire died too soon
This ain’t no lullaby, no one will sleep well tonight

He’s remembering that morning
They fell to their knees and asked
Will you let me love you forever?

Been nursing dust on my shoes
Didn’t want to shake these blues
Been fighting better judgment
Fighting what I know to be true
This darkness burning a hole
Heart wants to shake it, skin wants to hold on
Be better if I quit it
I’ve never done what I was told

It’s time to get clean
It’s time to get clean
Take what’s hidden and make it seen

Say love’s like shotgun spray
One pellet kills the snake
I’m not picking up that gun
Sometimes I like to hear rattles shake

Pull the curtains down
Throw the doors open
Strip the bed, turn every light on
Step in the river, let it cover
Let go when you go under

Say goodbye to the end of the story
You thought would come
With all love’s glory
Say goodbye to the “happy ever” end
Learn to smile when they say
You’ll still be friends

Say goodbye to the horse and its prince
To big castles and the corpse of a witch
Say goodbye to the promise of gold
Just for doing more than you were told

Say hello to this is real life
Say hello to working for a living
Say hello to cleaning your floors
And only salesmen knock on your door

Say goodbye to getting straight A’s
Never knew your smarts would leave someday
Say goodbye to gas in your car
Twenty bucks doesn’t take you that far

Say goodbye to your favorite dress
You haven’t been that size since God knows when
Say goodbye to that diamond ring
You lost the only man who made enough to bring one

Say hello to yes that’s really you in your mirror
Say hello to driving this car till it dies
AIn’t as romantic as it sounded 6 years ago
Say hello to mildew in your shower
And mom isn’t there to power out the stains

Goodbye to sweet desperation
Bye, goodbye, goodbye to old fashioned denial
Bye, goodbye, goodbye to my fairy tale other self
Bye, goodbye, Hello to me

When love shatters
Shards, fragments fly everywhere
Splintered hearts, wounded pride
Black powder shame hanging in the air

Casings fall soft on carpet
Next to the bags by the door
Every move is in slow motion
Pull the pin and hit the floor

It’s your pattern of disruption
Striking everything within your sights
I’m steeling for destruction
You’re lighting the fuse, you’re ready to fight

Waves pulsing in my bones
Bells pealing in my ears
Since when did this living room
Become a battlefield

Pressure pressing down
Pressure pressing down
Pressure pressing down
Hold tight hold tight hold tight

If you fall will I be strong enough
To help you find your feet to stand?
Well that’s the same question I ask myself
Every morning when I wake up holding your hand

If you were taken from me would find a way
Find a way to live on my own?
Well that’s the same question I ask myself
Every time I’m a long way from home

I would learn to fly
If it meant I could stay by your side
And I would learn to swim to distant lands
If it meant I would find you
When my fingers reached the sand

If you couldn’t find anything that made you happy
Would I change, would I change who I am?
Well that’s the same question I ask myself
Every time I don’t know where I stand

Another night he’ll be home late
Lipstick smear still on his face
And the morning will be hell
When she won’t want him to tell
But when the lights go down on the room
And the spot shines on the bright blue plume
Tucked in a band around a delicate wrist
Floating in the dark til the hand cues the pianist

And it’s Skylark
Sweet falsetto rings in the air
Catch your breath while you stare
His face like an angel singing a lover’s prayer

Every Tuesday after he locks the office doors
Pulls the tie over his head and onto the floorboard
Cruises out of the suburbs to the emptying city
Everyone’s going home but his day’s beginning
His brown cropped hair drowned by raven curls
Porcelain skin stark against a string of black pearls
Good old Joe becomes lovely Josephine
Still every eye closes when he starts to sing

And it’s Skylark
The melody drawing you in with every tone
The longing that you hear feels like your own
Til you find your heart’s true home

Am I just another lover to you?
Another piece of skin you could get close to
Someplace warm where you once fit in
Invisible, expendable as oxygen
Am I just another lover to you?

Am I a well you once drew from?
Just a place to wet your tongue
Not quite good as a spring
Enough to get you by not enough to cling to
Am I a well you once drew from?

Am I a dirt road you left behind?
Leading to a place you don’t want to find
Not paved and pretty but I took you through
Why did you decide to pick up and move
Am I a dirt road you left behind?

Am I just another lover to you?
Another piece of skin you could get close to
Someplace warm where you once fit in
Essential but forgettable as oxygen
Am I just another lover to you?

Last night I saw you
I saw you smile, and she smiled too
She smiled at me, she smiled at you
She said something soft
Her hands locked on the crook of your arm
She looked back at me, but you never stopped walking

I called your number
I called your number all night
You were in the arms of another
The close arms of another last night
Last night

How long does it take
How many breaths in and away
Does it take for a jealous heart to break

Always wanted the wrong things
Always hungered for the wrong things
The greenest peach
The palest cherry
Always trusted the wrong things
Always treasured the wrong things
The tired rope swing
From a crooked tree

Toggle Content

Sun still melting ice into the ocean
Seems so slow but it’s in fast motion
Miles we moved passing by
Land that used to grow left bone dry
The west Texas sky

Midnight moon
Bedtime high noon
Sleep won’t come anytime soon
Sweat rolls off til the sheets get damp
Can’t get cool under the fan
Kick them off pull them up again

The hope for love came and left come dawn
Left you empty handed and alone
Was it just a story
The prince who comes to rescue
Cuts through the brambles gentle kiss to wake you
Does love push through

Love is real
Time is an illusion
Hard to see them pass when you’re moving
In a burning down world
There’s still one thing that can heal
Love is real

Love is here
Love is coming
Love is gonna stay with you even when you’re running
Doesn’t need a lie when it’s seducing
Doesn’t give a damn how it can use you
Love is gonna heal your heart’s worst bruising

Say goodnight to the sun
Rest your eyes, your day is done
Draw the curtains on this starry night
Yielding its distant light

Say goodnight to the moon
While you sleep, she sings her tune
Lullaby through the atmosphere
So faint it almost disappears

Still and calm
Sleep till dawn
Heaven grant you slumber ‘til then
Its watchful eyes will see you rise
When morning has come

When the sun’s still beating down September
Can’t touch your toes to the pavement in the afternoon
Swinging out front, wondering whether
Sins of the summer gonna come, catch up with you soon

Never knew no dirt didn’t come off in the kitchen
Never knew no stain like the one you’re hiding now
Never knew no man like the one you been missing
Never knew no love could break love’s vow

Fan my face but the moving just makes me hotter
Try to sit still as the creek down the way
That dry bed ain’t seen no fresh water
Spent the last two months drying out without the rain

Can’t go back to the water’s edge (ain’t no water)
Can’t return to his arms (ain’t no water)
Can’t go dip beneath the glass surface (ain’t no water)
Can’t dry off in the summer sun

I was never the pretty girl
I was never the homecoming queen
Never the one boys followed around
I was just the one who heard their secrets out
I was never the heartbreaker
Never the first one that you’d see
Never the girl you dreamt about
I was always just good old reliable me

I was never the fastest one
Never the one who made up to the top
Never the favorite
I was always the friend nobody regrets
I was never the bravest or the most sure
I was never the shyest or most demure
Never the mystery to unfurl
Never the pretty girl

But if you’ll take a chance on a plain face
You’ll find a heart that’s up for the race
You’ll find a head full of thoughts of love
You’ll find a hand that will fit like a glove
And if you’ll come back for a second look
You’ll find a tender heart loneliness shook
You’ll find eyes filled with the glow of you
You’ll find us two

I was never the pretty girl
I was never the homecoming queen
Never the girl boys followed around
I was just the one who heard their secrets out
I was never the bravest or the most sure
I was never the shyest or most demure
Never the mystery to unfurl
Never the pretty girl

Every day at 6 am, that same voice comes to me
With news of yesterday, new things I’ve done wrong
And I wonder as I stumble to wash my face
Why the same face keeps coming
The same face keeps rising up to greet me

It’s a new color I’m
I’m putting on myself
It’s a new pair of shoes
I’ve got down on my feet
And it’s a new way to walk
And I’ll walk out of that door
But will it bring me a new me?

I keep telling myself that I am not the same
10 years ago I was so lost
10 years ago I had no name
I’m no longer in the shelter
Of a fist and hiding shame
But I don’t feel one step closer
To the person I pretend to be

Let me stop and take a breath
Upon the steps of this house called Regret
And try to leave it behind me
Yeah I’ll stop and take a breath
Upon the steps of this house called Regret
And I’ll leave it behind

She was leaving Iowa
Daddy said she was wasting her time
Chasing rainbows and dreams she was never gonna find
He had his own plans for her life
Said this road won’t take you far
And don’t bother coming back when they don’t make you a star

That Tennessee river echoes the endless blue sky
Those dogwoods in spring make you ready to leave everything behind
For that music highway – leads you to the center of the state
If it could speak it’d tell you how many hearts it’s seen break
Hearts that said I’ll show that old Ryman stage
What it ain’t ever seen
You just wait, I’m gonna be the next big thing

He was working in Beaumont
Doing everything he could to fill
That little bar from wall to wall just to make a 50 dollar bill
Nobody heard him when he said
I’m leaving tonight for music row
If I’m ever gonna be someone
Those men in Nashville ought to know

Every day a line of crushed hearts leave that city
And every night a new line of hopefuls come driving in

We took your seat out of the car
After a couple of weeks
But your room is still unchanged
Yellow and lime
Jeans still crumpled in the basket
A small tear on the left knee
From a big old oak you were proud to climb

And some days I just sit on the floor and wonder
How did one I’d give my life for manage to leave
Everyone said it was a saving grace
That I came through alive and fine
And nothing heals a broken heart like time
But no amount of waiting has healed mine
Nothing heals a broken heart

Red backpack with Winnie the Pooh
Still waiting to go to school
On an August morning you didn’t wake to see
New pencils and scissors
Crayons and glue
Zipped inside and aching to breathe

And some days I feel like no one else remembers
The cartoon faced kid who set the napkins out for dinner
Everyone said you’re in a better place
And I’d learn to be fine
And nothing heals a broken heart like time
But no amount of waiting has healed mine
Nothing heals a broken heart

The rich they’re giving to the poor
The hungry ain’t starving no more
People acting what they say they believe
Not just words that fall to the street
Power shows more sympathy than greed

No more the woman in strife
No husband beating his wife
No child left hungry and alone
No running away on her own
Every family a warm home

Is this revival?
Waking them up from the dead
Isn’t this revival?
Is this what the Son of man did?

Well hallelujah then give me revival
For the loss and for the need
And hallelujah bring revival
For the broken things in me

Oh hallelujah it’ll take revival
Cause I am weak and I’m just one
Revival, hallelujah, come

I never wanted to fall in love
I never thought alone was the life for me
I never longed for another to fulfill my fantasy
I never thought that I was lonely
But you appeared and changed that completely
I gave my tender heart to you
You said you’d be forever true
But then you took my tiny heart and ran

I’ve got secrets that you’d like to know
Secrets you can’t live without
I know things you’re just dying to know
Secrets you know nothing about

Did that coffee taste a little strange
The day you came over to arrange
The division of our property
I might have been a bit surprised
When you said you’d take the house and car
But surely even I wouldn’t go that far

I’ve got secrets you probably need to know
Secrets you can’t live without
I know things you’re dying to know
Little tiny secrets you know nothing about

What a strange disaster
That’s not something a new car should do
I paced the floor waiting to hear
If you’d pull through

I’ve got secrets you’d be better off knowing
Secrets too many to count
But don’t wait for me to tell you what they are
Until our cash is safely stored
Inside my private bank account

This is a song about
Floating disaster
A mother without her child
The memory of little fingers
Clutching to someone familiar
Left behind

This is a song about
Lives unremembered
When the ocean swallowed
Everyone who knew
The faces
Unnumbered graces

My last breath crowded by water
Rushing in before I can say what I’d say
That you are my very life
That I’d love you for life
If I could stay

This is a song about
Houses drowning
And that picture of you that got washed away
I wish I could remember
All the old days and the way that you smiled at me
From the frame

This is a song about
How I wish
Living was easy as a choice
Make the right decision
Put the blade aside, wake up in the morning for one more day

If it’s a still, small voice how does it end the darkness
If it’s a still, small voice how does it make flee the night
Well that still, small voice makes tremble the darkness
That still, small voice is light

I was a solitary soul
No solace or respite
I was a solitary soul
No peace I could find
I was a solitary soul
No comfort in keeping
That still small voice it came to me
That still small voice is light

I was a lost and ragged soul
No pathway clear for walking
I was a lost and ragged soul
Only shame following behind
I was a lost and ragged soul
No sight for the seeing
That still small voice it came to me
That still small voice is light

Well it’s a still small voice that speaks to my redemption
It’s a still small voice that triumphs over fright
That still small voice comforts my weeping
That still small voice is light

If there was song of the story of us
It wouldn’t have a refrain
There’d be a hundred verses
And never the same line
Coming back around again
I’d play it and you would
Understand it and
Give it just the right name

If there was a song of the story of us
It would feel new with every word
And everyone would think I was crazy for saying
It’s the best song I ever heard
And there’d never
Be another song
That I would prefer

If there was a song of the story of us
It would be easy to sing
It would shout to the world
That what makes us the happiest
Are usually the silliest things
And maybe no one else
Would get it
But that wouldn’t mean a thing

Oh, summertime
Swam so far it made you nervous
The push and pull pressure of the sea
Lungs collapsing, eyes stinging
Your heart was diving deep, deep, deep

Burned your feet running cross her sands
Now she’s clinging to your back, your neck, your hands
Legs browned beneath the hem of a salt stiff cotton dress
Now crumpled on the floor, a crimson mess

She’s got scissors on the table
And a clock on the floor
Ten pointing at the mattress
Two pointing at the door
She’s got a picture in a locket
Of herself at fifteen
Just one key on that same chain
Turning her heart green

A room with a wall hung sink
A bag full of shoes
The things she left town with
An old toothbrush and booze

She’s got razors and journals
All smooth and clean
Lined pages as empty
As the sum of her dreams
She’s got a hoodie for cold nights
And cigarettes for food
Matchbooks from restaurants
Late night tattoos

A phone with three numbers
One brother and home
An ex-husband who’s long gone
Left her high low alone

She’s got forty-two dollars
Still owes rent for this week
Needs thirty-eight more
Or she’s back on the street
She’s got pictures from magazines
Folded so neat
Tucked into a Bible
So no one will see

She wears a faded black dress
Cotton barely holding on
Seams stretched and puckered
Like the inside of her arms

A fading memory of love
Barely holding on
Scarred, bruised and tattered
Like the skin on her arms

I’m better off than I used to be
Better for the company I keep
I’m better for having you here with me
You’re better than a night of peaceful sleep
You’re better than a host of stars to me
You’re better than I ever could have dreamed

What we’ve got is like my favorite pair of jeans
Should’ve worn out long ago but I still wear ‘em
May look tired but they make me feel good
May look ragged but they fit like they should
And I pray I’ll get to keep ‘em
I’m glad, so glad for what we’ve got

I can’t believe you’ve stayed so long
I can’t believe I haven’t done you wrong
Enough times to drive you away
Your eyes remind me everyday
How easy my heart gets led astray
I’m grateful for the mercy in your face

I’m gonna take it like a man
Take the punches where I stand
Nothing like growing older to see
Where the fists are headed before they land
I’m gonna learn to laugh it off
Shrug my shoulders when they scoff
Keep on riding when I kick up gravel
Don’t need a big truck, two wheels are enough

Days grow shorter as the months roll by
Summer’s fading soon and the autumn sky’s
Got a cool wet sting to its evening sigh
Don’t feel ready for those winter nights
But I can’t change how fast time flies
Gotta brace these legs, lock my teeth
Push these pedals, keep spinning these wheels
And wave yesterday goodbye

I could have gone a straighter route
But they all end up headed south
No matter which way the water cuts the land
Gonna meet the ocean at the river’s mouth

Maybe I’ll reach that center line
Where the summer catches up to wintertime
The sun will work its best to loosen my skin
I’ll worry less about the cold and more about wind
Cause I can’t change how fast time flies
Gotta brace these legs, lock my teeth
Push these pedals, keep spinning these wheels
And wave yesterday goodbye

When we’re gone they’re gonna find
Yellowed letters scrawled
With promises from older days
Pictures tucked between poems
With faces they can’t name
Tokens of love in pockets and boxes
A ring you never threw away
A turquoise pin on a yellow scarf
A tarnished silver heart on a cheap brass chain

When we’re gone, they’re gonna see
All the things we’ve held onto
From our hearts’ broken histories
When I go, let them be
Leave them behind in that house
When you come to me
When we’re gone

Black leather jacket
With a cat scratch on its shoulder
Oval mirror engraved inside with
“Let’s grow older together”
A paperback that lost its ending
When it lost its cover
But the title page read “to my sad girl”
Just under “The Good Soldier”


You lifted my chin and brushed the hair from my face
And your hand felt warm when it slipped around my waist
I’ve never been good at learning my place
But all my thoughts escaped when you whispered myname

When you whisper my name
When you breathe me in
When you hold me close
All the trouble I’ve seen disappears into the night
And I know the tighter I hold onto you
The more everything will become right
When you whisper my name

The stars seem to shine brighter when you’re near
And you see when I’m sad before I shed a tear
Never felt so at home in my skin ‘til you got here
And when I feel you speak, you erase my fear

Thought I knew what love was long before I met you
Lived plenty of years with a heart broken in two


Everyone’s packing up their cars and headed down the highway
Ninety-five miles never took so long
Didn’t have much time
Picked the two favorite things you could carry
Pray you don’t run out of gas before the wind gets strong

Who knows if there will be a place to come home to
Who knows if the nails and plywood will hold
Who knows if it’s any safer where we’re going to
But it’s west and north for now

Sky had enough of being taken for granted
A housewife you only noticed for her clothes
Told you she was angry, like a man you’re laughing at her
Saying how pretty she looks before she blows

Who knows if there will be a place to come home to
Who knows if the foundation we dug will hold
Who knows if it’s any safer where we’re going to
But it’s west and north for now