~ The United States of Me and You ~

All Words and Music*  ©2012 by JT Price

*Music for America the Beautiful composed by Samuel A. Ward
Used by Permission (Public Domain)

 (Scroll Down For Lyrics)


God’s Big Blue Ball - © 1988 by Jeff Price

I went to see a fortune teller somewhere in Brazil
I walked into her hut, it sat on a barren hill
I said, “What happened to the trees, where did the rain forest go?”
She said, “Did you come all this way to hear what you already know?”
I said, “I guess you’re right – we ignored the writing on the wall”
Well she laughed until she cried
“Such is life,” she sighed
on God’s Big Blue Ball”

From there I headed north, up to the North Pole
But by the time I got there, there was no more ice or snow
Then I turned and saw St. Nicholas out there in the drink
He was swimming for his life, trying not to sink
I said, “Hey Santa Claus! What caused this sudden thaw?”
Well he tried to raise his head
then went belly-up and dead
on God’s Big Blue Ball

Well Terra Firma’s dying, it’s going up in smoke
Mother Earth is crying and we act like it’s a joke
You don’t need to be a prophet to see what’s coming soon
All you gotta do is take a look at the moon

I went to Niagara Falls, up to Love Canal
It looked just like a ghost town as far as I could tell
There was not a soul to ask what had happened here
Then I looked beneath my feet and it all became clear
The toxic waste…the soil just oozed with chemicals
But you can’t stand in the way
of progress they say
on God’s Big Blue Ball

Well Jesus finally returned, the Second Coming came
But by the time he got here there was no one left to save
Well He walked along in wonder through the ashes of the past
His voice spoke like thunder, “They killed themselves at last!
Greed and lies and arrogance all come before a fall
They had the power in themselves
to build a heaven or a hell
on God’s Big Blue Ball”

In the not too distant future from a planet far away
a spaceship full of aliens came to investigate
Well they studied planet Earth to determine how she died
Finally they concluded she committed suicide
Well they laid a wreath in silence, they were saddened and appalled
And before they headed home
they placed a big tombstone
on God’s Big Blue Ball

America the Beautiful – Corporate Edition - © 2011 by JT Price

O Beautiful, these spacious skies, of carbon dioxide
The Earth is warming, science says, but science is a lie
America, America, you don’t need all these trees
when there’s oil to drill
and tanks to fill
on all your SUVs

The Rapture’s coming, some folks say, but not before I’m through
Christ will have to wait His turn – there’s plundering to do
America, America, this land now belongs to me
to profit from
till Kingdom come
from sea to rising sea

O Republican, or Democrat, the payroll is the same
They work for me to guarantee I’ll always win the game
So America, America, vote any way you please
Your ballot box
is now unlocked
- and I thank you for the keys

Come patriots, grab your flags, it’s time to sell a war
Your unemployed can be deployed – along with all the poor
America, America, don’t make me push and prod
You have no choice
You lost your voice
when you made me your God

And finally, for those who see, accusing me of wrong
You can bitch and cry, you can Occupy, and sing your silly songs
But America, America, don’t hate me for my success
when I could not
get what I got
without your willingness

Waiting for the Phone to Ring - © 2009 by JT Price

Woke up this morning, heart tight as a fist
Over in the corner, I heard the devil hiss
“You can trust in God – or be a part of my team
Another day and a dollar – if you’ll only come work for me”
Oh help me Jesus! Have mercy on me God!
I don’t need to win no lottery, but I sure could use a job

I got out of bed, said my prayer for the day
Filled out some applications, sent in some resumes’
Read through the classifieds and all through Craigslist
looking for a job where only scams seem to exist
Oh help me Jesus! God Almighty hear my prayer
I’m walking the straight and narrow -I’m just not getting anywhere

Went out and hit the pavement, went from door to door
Even went to Wal-Mart and asked to sweep the floor
Made a cardboard sign and stood there on the street
“Will Work for Food” it said “Or even a Trick for a Treat”
Oh help me Jesus! Please show me that you care
I’m bleating like a lamb – and the wolves are everywhere

Finally got an interview, put on a shirt and tie
Showed up an hour early – and still had to stand in line
behind three-hundred people who also had applied
And by the time my turn came, the job had gone bye-bye
Oh help me Jesus! Won’t you send some hope my way
I’m down to my last nickel – and the rent was due today

Went to bed that night, heart tight as a fist
Over in the corner, I heard the devil hiss
“You can trust in God – or be a part of my team
I’ll be your Sugardaddy – if you’ll only come work for me”
Oh help me Jesus – the devil’s got me by the throat
I don’t need to walk on water – I just need to stay afloat

Middle Class Blues - © 1988 by Jeff Price

I used to cry at the sight of the American flag
but the colors have all changed
from red and white in a field of blue
to green and black and grey
Still you tell us that you stand
for the working middle class
You say you’re one of us
while drinking from a champagne glass
You tell us change is in the air
and better days are near
Well here we go again
it’s another election year

After thirty years of hard work
and now at retirement age
I gotta go out and find something
that might pay minimum wage
‘Cause first I lost my benefits
and then I lost my job
But there ain’t no help for anyone
unless you’re a Wall Street slob
And the thing that I fear most…
God help me not to get sick
’cause a hospital
is a luxury hotel for the rich

And I’m feeling the squeeze
from them turning down the screws
It’s hard to breathe
when they’re tightening the noose
I’m feeling the squeeze
from them turning down the screws
Ain’t there no relief
for me and you
and these middle class blues?

Well since I was a child
I have loved my country
I didn’t understand then
the politics of money
Still I pledge my allegiance
with my taxes and my dues
But if someone’s getting rich
you can bet that someone’s getting screwed
You only hear those corporate voices
their vote you can’t ignore
But they’re not the ones who pay
or sacrifice for war

And I’m feeling the squeeze
from them turning down the screws
It’s hard to breathe
when they’re tightening the noose
I’m feeling the squeeze
from them turning down the screws
Ain’t there no relief
for me and you
and these middle class blues?

Well I still cry at the sight of the American flag
but now it’s only ’cause I’ve learned:
They want to make it against the law to scorch this flag
but not the people that it burns

Past Due Blues - © 1984 by Jeff Price

I got a certified letter in the mail today
Another “Past Due” that I can’t pay
They said they’re gonna tack on some legal fees
if they receive no leaves from my money tree
Oh no, what am I going to do
with these Past Due blues

Well I called them from a pay phone ’cause I can’t afford my own
They said they want no more excuses ’bout my delinquent loan
“So we’ll see you in the morning – and if you got no bread
We’re gonna screw you in the ground right up to your head”
Oh no, what am I going to do
with these Past Due Blues

Well I used to have a good job, I made a lot of money
I bought a new car, even had quite a honey
But that light went out faster than a shooting star
And my honey took off in my brand new car

Well it’s taken such a long time to get back on my feet
But it seems these days I’m working for everyone but me
And you know that old saying, “You can’t get blood from a stone?”
Well that’s what they always say right before one gets thrown
Oh no, what am I going to do
with these Past Due blues

The Murder of April Servino - © 1988 by Jeff Price

Cold rain blowing from an unfriendly New York sky
Strangers huddled together, trying to stay warm and dry
Peddlers in the alley have every cure that money can buy
There’s a man here, says he’s a doctor, and his trade he will apply
For only twenty dollars he can make an unborn baby cry
But no one really cares here, who lives or who dies
Hear the cold wind blow
Feel the cold wind blow

The runaways, the throwaways, they gather down below
Below Grand Central Station when the rain turns into snow
An old woman lies against the wall with black, frost-bitten toes
A young man shakes his head and says, “I don’t know, I don’t know
why I’ll probably die of old age here, forgotten and alone
when I’d gladly pluck my eyes out for one night in a place called home
One night in a warm bed
One night to safely lay my head”

On the streets the strong feed on the weak, and the rich feed on the poor
Demons and dealers hide like shadows behind each open door
Selling dirty snow in quantities that the children can afford
But each day, to get to heaven, takes just a little more
And once they are addicted, the dealers turn them into whores
They break them in themselves, then leave them bleeding on the floor
Hear the cold wind blow
Feel the cold wind blow

April Servino came when she was just fifteen years old
She became an angel the way a diamond comes from coal
But I knew her as a thief – and her crimes are well known:
In the long, long New York winters, with the days and nights so cold
Under her arms were food and blankets that she obviously stole
She’d feed the old and hungry, and cover their cold and tired bones
An angel full of light
A candle in the night

April was just a child who never got the chance to play
Just one more unnoticed life, like starlight in the day
One night in the darkness, I overheard her say
“I’m gonna find me a prince, he’s gonna take me far away
My knight in shining armor – well I know he’s on his way
Someday my love will come. Someday,” she said, “Someday
I will swallow all my tears
Someday, I’ll get out of here”

For four years April waited for a prince that never came
Like sitting in a ghost town and waiting for the train
Four years came and went on those streets of wind and rain
And no one blinked an eye – even God just looked away
till on the steps of St. Agness Church on a humid August day
April just grew tired – said good-bye to hope and pain
with a stolen pistol in her mouth and a bullet through her brain
Her blood still stains these streets, and may it never wash away
Hear the cold wind blow
Feel the cold wind blow
Hear the cold wind blow

If You Need a Hero - © 1990 by Jeff Price

If you need a hero, be one yourself
If you’re looking for a friend, be a friend
If you need a hand to hold onto, reach out to someone else
If you need a friend, then be a friend

If you need someone, there’s someone who needs you
In this world of sorrows without end
All alone, and on your own, there’s one thing you can do
If you need a friend, be a friend

When your God is silent, don’t despair
The hope you’ve lost inside you’ll find again
when you become the answer to someone else’s prayer
So if you need a friend, be a friend

If you need a hero, be one yourself
If you’re looking for a friend, be a friend
If you need a hand to hold onto, reach out to someone else
If you need a friend, then be a friend

Tea Party Nation - © 2011 by JT Price

Well they came out of the muck where superstitions breed
They came in from the fringe and gained legitimacy
They came out of the woodwork, they fell out of the trees
Well they came out of the dirt and then spread like a disease
Tea Party Nation – oh say can you see
the end of the world – if not democracy

They got Old Glory in their left hand, a Bible in their right
They got political power and military might
They got all heaven behind them and Jesus by their side
Well they’d like to see you saved, or they’d like to see you die
Tea Party Nation, oh me oh my
I think I need a drink and some Moose Meat Pie

Well they’re gonna end abortion, but keep the death penalty
They’re gonna rid the world of all the Adams and Steves
They’re gonna do away with science and rewrite history
and change the National Anthem to “A Closer Walk With Thee”
Tea Party Nation, gonna put you on your knees
all in the name of Homeland Security

Well “freedom isn’t free,” they say, so pick up a gun
‘Cause the only way to get it is to take it from someone
Be it in another country, or a school curriculum
Well they’re going after Satan, and the work is never done
Tea Party Nation – happy as a plumb
But I can’t help thinking…dumb dee dumb, dumb, dumb

Well they got their Glen Beck, they got their Rush Limbaugh
They got Nascar in the summer and deer hunts in the fall
They got their own amusement park and a Christian shopping mall
and a bush down in Texas who’s brighter than them all
Tea Party Nation, roadkill framed on the wall
while praying for the day when art will be against the law

Well I believed in evolution until they came along
Now I see that something has gone horribly wrong
when truth and facts and reason – even common sense is gone
but be a public moron and you’ll always belong
Tea Party Nation – no brains, all brawn
Must be from eating all those Twinkies and Ding Dongs

Well maybe I should get in, sit down, and shut up
drink a case of beer for lunch, buy a pickup truck
accept Jesus as my savior, and Moses just for luck
then turn and sell my soul just to make a buck
Tea Party Nation, the eagle has been plucked
so come the next election I’ll just vote for Daffy Duck

Tea Party Nation, oh say can you see
the end of the world, if not democracy
Tea Party Nation, oh say can you see
You can walk your talk, but don’t tread on me

Witch Hunt - © 1986 by Jeff Price

I see darkness coming dressed as light
A sword of righteousness turn bloody in the night
And I hear them say God’s Word gives them the right
I see a witch hunt coming down

Elected preachers making laws
A murder will be legal if it’s a murder for their cause
And all you pure in heart will be hunted like outlaws
in the witch hunt coming down

Take me far away from here
I don’t want to be around for this
Don’t want to see Christ betrayed again
for thirty pieces and a kiss

A church replaced by politics
They shall astound the masses with their bag of tricks
Their fire is almost ready, they’re putting matches to the sticks
for the witch hunt coming down

Take me far away from here
I don’t want to be around for this
Don’t want to see Christ betrayed again
for thirty pieces and a kiss

There’s another war right around the corner
They’ll say Jesus is their leader, but Jesus is a foreigner
They won’t recognize him among the murdered and the mourners
in the witch hunt coming down

In the good name of the Savior
I see forty million crosses sharpened into sabers
Killing and thinking that they’re doing God a favor
in the witch hunt coming down

There was a place so long ago
where the serpent – he fled the dove
I want to go back to that place
where God meant nothing – if not love

The United States of Me and You - © 2005 by Jeff Price

I am not a Republican, I ain’t no Democrat
I’m a human being first, an American after that
And I don’t live in no red state, I don’t live in a blue
I live in the united states of me and you

I am Native, Latin, and Asian, African and European
Not black, white, yellow or brown, red or even green
And I don’t belong on a pie chart divided up by colors
so don’t you try to frame me like a picture paint by numbers

We used to be The Great Melting Pot, room for one and all
Now it seems that all we got is labels, stamps, and walls
Pro this, anti that – you’re either for it or against
Each side tears the other down and builds a sound-proof fence
’till no one can hear no more, no one can see:
this land is yours, mine, made for you and me

You can say I’m Muslim, you can say I’m a Jew
You can say I’m a Christian, a Buddhist or Hindu
You can say I am an atheist or a New Age guru
But you can’t say I don’t belong if I don’t believe like you

And I don’t really care if someone is gay or straight
- just don’t vilify the other side, or religionize hate
You might believe in life, you might believe in choice
Well I believe that love should be the loudest voice

And we will be again a melting pot, room for one and all
We will lift each other up wherever we may fall
Good neighbors, good friends, Good Samaritans
on my street, in my town – that’s where it begins
Let it spread from North to South, from sea to shining sea
’till everyone can sing again, “This land was made for you and me”