Five Uneasy Pieces. Chapter 1….The Early Days


I started writing lyric poetry back in the early 1970s. It was more or less a kind of hobby. I would carry a notebook around and scribble down any ideas that would come to me at work or wherever.

There was really no shortage of ideas, although at first my style was pretty heavily influenced by the stuff I was hearing around me. Mostly Dylan, Tim Hardin, Joan Baez, Eric Anderson, Tom Petty, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson etc.

Later on, when I realized I had some actually affinity to lyric writing, I started writing what I thought were country lyrics. I mean that’s what they sounded like to me. Although I have learned from subsequent experience working with different composers that a lot of my work can be interpreted in pretty much any musical style the composer has in mind.

Because I am pretty much tone deaf and can’t sing, I have had to rely mainly on my inner voice to structure these pieces. Over the course of the last 4 decades I have managed to compile a songbook of close to 400 lyrics. I have them in a rather large Word file and sometimes in the afternoon after I’ve done whatever I have to do that day, I will dig into this file and wail away on a few of these pieces.

Before my wife comes home from work, of course. No need to inflict my vocals on anyone, especially someone I love.

I did have a couple of very good opportunities for partnerships early on. Gordon Lightfoot, whose coach house my wife and I lived in for three years, read and quite liked some of the stuff I was writing at the time, and for a little while there, he was actually interested in starting a partnership.

But in the end, he determined that his fans (and there were a lot of them), have come to expect his material to be all original, so he gracefully declined, but encouraged me to keep writing.

The other composer with whom I almost developed a partnership with was instrumentalist Hagood Hardy, who was an artist on Attic Records where my wife worked for a number of years. Hagood became famous with an international hit called The Homecoming.

One day I asked him if he had ever considered writing songs with lyrics and vocals, and he told me that one of his guilty pleasures was country music, and that he would love to find some country lyrics to work with. Not necessarily to record but definitely to publish, which was my main area of interest.

So I put together a songbook for him and he was delighted with the quality of both the lyrics and the storytelling that I had built into them.

This story ends sadly, however, as Hagood, who was actually in the process of starting to work with my lyrics, was diagnosed with cancer. In a matter of months he was gone. This was very sad because Hagood and lovely wife Martha were good friends and amazing people.

Anyway, this is a sampling of my work in the early days. I have been told by a number of people in the music business, that they are virtually ready to record. I took that as a compliment.

These pieces are from the songbook I gave To Hagood Hardy.


Somewhere in the night I feel you drift away
Somewhere in a dream I know the end is near
It ain’t right, but we’ve both seen better days
Now love and trust have turned to hate and fear

I guess I’ll never know what was on your mind
Or just what it was that you expected of me
But I’ve learned the hard way true love is hard to find
And the very best things in life are never free


So go now
Before you change your mind
Go now before you realize
Just what you’re leavin’ behind

And when you’re gone
I will try and understand
Why so many things about love
Are beyond our command

And maybe it wasn’t mean to be this way
Or maybe it was all just a big mistake
I don’t have any magic words to say
‘Cause there’s just so little give to the give and take

Everybody’s got their own road to ride
Everybody’s got their own cross to bear
Yours is the passion you couldn’t feel inside
Mine is the memory of you that will haunt me everywhere


So go now
Before we start to cry
Go now before you lose
The nerve to say goodbye

And when you’re gone
I will try and understand
Why so many things about love
Are beyond our command



It’s the road I ride
It’s a one night stand
Another broken promise
In this Promised Land
It’s a mile too far
It’s a long way to go
But it’s the road I ride
And it’s all I know

It’s the road I ride
To the point of no return
It’s a widow’s teardrop
Where a fire still burns
In a captive heart
Screamin’ to be set free
It’s road I ride
It’s all there is to me


It’s the road I ride
In this old Cadillac
It’s a one way street
It’s a knife in the back
It’s the highway’s cry
It’s the siren’s song
It’s road I ride
It’s where I belong

It’s the road I ride
With no fears or regrets
Or so I tell myself
As I try to forget
All the people and places
I have left in the dust
It’s the road I ride
Straight to hell or bust

It’s the road I ride
With its own set of rules
You steal an ounce of gold, boy
You got to pay back two
But I’m headin’ straight
Into the eye of the sun
It’s the road I ride
Till my life is done…



She built a house of cards
On a shaky table
She gave her heart to a man
She thought would be able
To give her everything
She was lookin’ for
But her house of cards
Tumbled to the ground
With the slammin’ door

She built a house of cards
On an acre of sand
Now love feels like cold rain
Slippin’ through her hands
There’s nothin’ she can do
Nothin’ she can say
It’s just a house of cards
Driftin’ on the tide
Of love that got away


Ain’t it funny how love
Can be a crazy game
No matter how you cut the deck
You can lose it just the same
No matter how many aces
You got up your sleeve
It’s just a house of cards
Blowin’ in the wind
When love decides to leave

The pain is mostly over now
And she feels alright
It’s been a while since she last worried
About makin’ it through the night
But the cards are callin’
Callin’ out her name
Beggin’ her to build
Another house of cards
Daring her to fan the flame



Well you were wrong
To say my love wasn’t enough
And you were wrong
To pull out when the goin’ got tough
And now I got nothing
But empty days and lonely nights
Cause two wrongs, baby
Don’t make anything right

You were wrong
Not to try as hard as you could
And you were wrong
To think that what we had was no good
Cause I loved you
Loved you with all my might
But two wrongs, baby
Don’t make anything right


Two wrongs
Don’t make anything right
All it makes is two sad hearts
Sleepin’ alone at night
I was sure we had a love
That burned so hot and bright
But two wrongs, baby
Don’t make anything right

I was wrong
For bein’ such lovesick fool
And I was wrong
For tryin’ too hard to love you
And now I know
But it’s 20/20 hindsight
That two wrongs, baby
Never make anything right



There are fires that burn
And dreams that turn
To ashes right before my eyes
And my poor hearts breaks
As the promises you make
Turn out to be nothin’ but lies

It’s a foolish dreamer
And a second rate schemer
Who thinks he can rise above
The cast iron bars
And the hard luck scars
In the prison of your love


(‘Cause) There ain’t a dungeon
That’s deep enough
There ain’t hard time
That’s half as rough
There ain’t any torture
You can think of

No, there ain’t any punishment
Half as cruel
As the solitary life
Of being your fool
And the pain I feel
In the prison of your love

It’s a long hard road
And it’s heavy load
That I have to carry for you
And the miles ahead
Hold nothin’ but dread
For what you’re puttin’ me through

But I do it all, baby
In the hope that maybe
When push finally comes to shove
You’ll start lovin’ me
And throw me the key
To prison of your love


I am a communications professional, primarily a writer. Through my own core skills and with the help of a select group of insanely talented associates, I work with primarily B to B clients, large and small to create hard working communications in whatever sector of the marketing universe their strategy dictates the need to travel through. I am also a mentor, blog editor and a pretty decent photographer.

If you have a marketing or communications challenge you would
like to discuss, (no obligation),  there are three ways you can contact me:

Direct Line: 416 463-3475
Skype: jimbobmur61

Finally, you can download my free ebook,
Small Business Communications For The Real World:

All content posted here Copyright, Jim Murray Onwords & Upwords Inc, 2016


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