Bruce Mandel

We Call It Love (Mandel/Boynton)  ©Bruce Mandel (Raging Waters Music/SESAC)

What do we call this mountain, tall?

How do the bruises feel when we fall?

Every time we smile when the tears have dried,

Holding to the dreams that have survived.

The deepest water and the strongest tide,

We call it love.

 

What do we see in our children’s eyes?

What do we see in the tears they cry?

When everything inside us says to hold on tight.

We've got to keep them safe from the world outside.

When we have to let go with all our might,

We call it love.

  

     We wrap our hope around this fragile dream

     Like a coat, keep it warm.

     The only beacon in the darkest night,

     Guide us safe, through the storm.

  

What do we call this song we sing?

When the words all rhyme and we dance right in time,

We call it love.

 

Walking Through a Painting (Mandel)  ©Bruce Mandel (Raging Waters Music/SESAC)

Yesterday I walked my hometown hills,

In a golden autumn glow.

Migrating birds and turning leaves,        

Soon followed by wood smoke and falling snow.

 

Today I walked along the beach.

A white rainbow rising from the sea.

My bare feet re-connect me,

To the earth and who I’m meant to be.

 

     Like walking through a painting.  Beautiful in 3D.

     You can take it at face value or see what you need to see.

     Like walking through a painting.  What does the artist present as real?

     If you look between the brushstrokes, what might that reveal?

 

Tomorrow I’ll hike the Rocky Mountains.

Under the bluest skies I’ve ever seen.

Breathe that sweet Colorado air,

In the Ponderosa pine so green.

 

     Like walking through a painting.  Beautiful in 3D.

     You can take it at face value or see what you need to see.

     Like walking through a painting.  What does the artist present as real?

     If you look between the brushstrokes, what might that reveal?

 

Lately I’ve found myself walking,

The colorful corners of my mind.

Alone with my imagination,

Leaving this crazy world behind.

 

     Like walking through a painting.  Beautiful in 3D.

     You can take it at face value or see what you need to see.

     Like walking through a painting.  What does the artist present as real?

     If you look between the brushstrokes, what might that reveal?

 

Recycled Heart (Mandel)  ©Bruce Mandel (Raging Waters Music/SESAC)

These old feet used to explore all paths presented.

By this old heart that saw only the good

In the soul of man, in the peace of the plan.   

A boy who believed he could.

 

These old eyes would see doors of opportunity.

While these old hands could shape any dream.

This brain now knows that the doors have closed

If they were ever opened to me.

 

     I’d like to trade in this old bag of bones,  

     And my well worn book of William Blake poems.  

     You can have my stash of dusty dreams,  

     Lofty ideals and busted seams.                              

     I’ll throw in this box of broken parts.  

     It’s all here in this rusty cart.    

     I’ll give you all I’ve got, some might call it art,  

     In exchange for a recycled heart.  

 

These old joints used to bend easily with change.

Ready to chase gold at the end of the rainbow.

Never gave up on a dream, hard as it may have seemed.

When did my vision narrow?

 

     I’d like to trade in this old bag of bones,  

     And my well worn book of William Blake poems.  

     You can have my stash of dusty dreams,  

     Lofty ideals and busted seams.                              

     I’ll throw in this box of broken parts.  

     It’s all here in this rusty cart.    

     I’ll give you all I’ve got, some might call it art,  

     In exchange for a recycled heart.  

 

How did my outlook and thoughts become tainted?

Why do I no longer believe,

In the chance to succeed against all odds and greed.

When did my heart fall off of my sleeve?

 

     I’d like to trade in this old bag of bones,  

     And my well worn book of William Blake poems.  

     You can have my stash of dusty dreams,  

     Lofty ideals and busted seams.                              

     I’ll throw in this box of broken parts.  

     It’s all here in this rusty cart.    

     I’ll give you all I’ve got, some might call it art,  

     In exchange for a recycled heart.  

     It’s all here in this rusty old cart.    

     Would you trade for that recycled heart. 

 

Songwriter (Mandel)  ©Bruce Mandel (Raging Waters Music/SESAC) 

You see the world’s beauty almost as much as the pain.

Keep the newspaper closed, the TV turned off ‘cause it’s always the same.

Cain kills Abel.  Delila cuts Samson’ hair.

Romeo loves Juliet but family won’t let them go there.

 

Always an observer, you can be a fool or a sage. 

Trying to make sense of it all while you’re pacing the cage.

Music is your temple.  Lyrics take you to school.

Point of view can be a teacher but time makes the rules.

 

     You contemplate what the world is missing.               

     We need less fight and a lot more kissing.   

     With the art you create, emotions you generate,     

     You make the world a little brighter … Songwriter. 

 

Take one part reality add creative license to taste. 

Sprinkle in a little song craft, simmer, stir it and baste.

Then you write it down and sing it.  Hope that somebody hears.

Maybe make someone laugh.  Maybe move them to tears.

 

     You contemplate what the world is missing.               

     We need less fight and a lot more kissing.  

     With the art you create, emotions you generate,     

     You make the world a little brighter … Songwriter. 

  

        With your head in the clouds and your heart on your sleeve,

        Your feet fall somewhere between.

        Whatever it takes.  For however long. 

        All for the sake of the song.

 

     You contemplate what the world is missing.               

     We need less fight and a lot more kissing.  

     With the art you create, emotions you generate,     

     You make the world a little brighter … Songwriter. 

 

The Waitress (E. Clayton West) ©E. Clayton West used by permission 

Kerosine lamp burned out of fuel.

Sweep the dirt from off the floor. 

Reaching out into the theatre of fools,

Close the light and lock the door.

 

I’ve often thought I’d write a song for you. 

Oh, you picked me up when things were down.

A guitar played a midnight serenade,

And after closing, you would wait around.

 

     If I say what I feel, you won’t believe it. 

     And if I don’t, you’ll think it anyhow.

     Losers must learn to be believers.

     The horse must come before the plow.

 

You’ve heard my stories at least a thousand times.  

Not one complaint was ever said.

Before long, you’d help out and sing along. 

While waiting on tables I filled your head.

 

     If I say what I feel, you won’t believe it.

     And if I don’t, you’ll think it anyhow.

     Losers must learn to be believers.

     The horse must come before the plow.

 

If I could just tell you how much I really mean it. 

To catch you for a moment all by yourself.

And hold your hand and whisper to you my plan,

Wish you love, wish you well.

 

­Throw ‘Em and Sow (Mandel)  ©Bruce Mandel (Raging Waters Music/SESAC) 

Listen up I have a proposal I think your gonna wanna hear.

Give me four minutes of your time.  Then I’ll buy you a beer.

 

We have lots of official symbols.  Got ‘em for the Nation and for every State.

I think we are missing an important one and I don’t think this can wait.

 

There are birds and trees and flowers, but no contributions from man.

How about one that can survive Armageddon?  I propose beer bottles and cans.

 

     You’ve got your Coors Lite, Bud Lite and Natural Ice. 

     Schmidt’s and Schlitz cans sure look nice.

     Ballantine, Chesterfield and Genesee Ales,

     A 30 pack of Keystone never fails.

     Don’t forget the resurrected PBR.

     I love the patriotic colors flying from my car.

     Mabel’s Black Label and Colt 45,

     Let’s take the High-Life out for a test drive.

     Just throw ‘em and sow!  

 

Already gotta lotta cans and bottles littering this great land of ours.

Brewed from genetically modified ingredients, gonna to last longer than flowers.

 

Country, rock ‘n roll, rap, reggae or classical, the music that you listen to doesn’t matter.

Who cares if you lose your deposit.  Drink it, chuck it, empty your bladder.

 

     You’ve got your Coors Lite, Bud Lite and Natural Ice.

     Schmidt’s and Schlitz cans sure look nice.

     Ballantine, Chesterfield and Genesee Ales,

     A 30 pack of Keystone never fails.

     Don’t forget the resurrected PBR.

     I love the patriotic colors flying from my car.

     Mabel’s Black Label and Colt 45,

     Let’s take the High-Life out for a test drive.

     Just throw ‘em and sow!  

 

Time for a new National symbol ‘cause the old Bald Eagle is nearly extinct.

Beer cans and bottles on our National Emblem.  Let’s lobby Congress.  What do you think?

Beer cans and bottles, it’s a no brainer.  I’m buyin’.  It’s time to drink.

 

     You’ve got your Coors Lite, Bud Lite and Natural Ice.

     Schmidt’s and Schlitz cans sure look nice.

     Ballantine, Chesterfield and Genesee Ales,

     A 30 pack of Keystone never fails.

     Don’t forget the resurrected PBR.

     I love the patriotic colors flying from my car.

     Mabel’s Black Label and Colt 45,

     Let’s take the High-Life out for a test drive.

     Just throw ‘em and sow!  

 

Two Shadows (Mandel)  ©Bruce Mandel (Raging Waters Music/SESAC)

My name is Silas.  No more.  No less. 

I beg your attention for I must confess.

If you will listen as I explain,  

Perhaps you’ll understand my pain.

Snowbound December, under a Long Night Moon,  

Born in the shadow of a twin born too soon.  

 

With my first breath ache stabbed my soul. 

For a single twin is not whole.

Mama traded life hers for mine.

Not knowing my life would be so far from benign.

Devoured by his pain, Papa broke the tie.

Gave me away with a drunk tear in his eye.

 

     There’s enough light here to cast two shadows,   

     But it‘s darker than it may seem.  

     Breathe deep you can still smell sulphur,  

     From the match that struck down the dream.

 

That’s how life began.  Bulldozed by death and gloom 

Hat trick of devastation, gorilla in the room.

A child deprived the touch of his Mother

A man never cradled by a lover.

Whiskey burns my throat.  Pills dull my brain.

Weed floats the dream.  Religion justifies the pain.

 

     There’s enough light here to cast two shadows,  

     But it‘s darker than it may seem.  

     Breathe deep you can still smell sulphur,  

     From the match that struck down the dream.

  

        Life offers no apology.  The whispers promise relief.  

        Slip away like mercury, through the fallout of grief.  

 

 Can you smell that storm through the open door? 

Flames reach up, ash rains down on the floor.

Fiery shadows dance, jiggle and play,

In a peaceful kind of way.

That’s enough talking about how I got here,

At twenty-one, I’m done living with loss and fear.

 

     There’s enough light here to cast two shadows,  

     But it‘s darker than it may seem.  

     Breathe deep you can still smell sulphur,  

     From the match that struck down the dream.

     There’s enough light here to cast two shadows,  

     One shadow reaches for me.  

     I breathe deep choking on sulphur,  

     I gag for the chance to be free.

 

Way Back When (Mandel/Davison)  ©Bruce Mandel (Raging Waters Music/SESAC) 

I had a little red transistor that played the hits of the day.

From the Motown sounds to the Woodstock grounds, my destiny was to play.

From the first "I Saw Her Standing There" through the strings of cheap guitars,  

My red transistor hung real tough as I learned from my favorite stars.  

 

     Time stood still. Hours flew by,

     Learning The Letter, Hanky Panky and American Pie.  

     Played those songs over and over again

     Way back when.  

 

“Inna Gadda Davida” blew my mind, as did Dylans' way with words.

Steppenwolf really rocked my bones.  Got eight miles high with the Byrds.

My little red transistor has a place with the things of it's day.  

The tie-dye tee's and Guthries' keys, music had so much to say.  

 

     Time stood still. Hours flew by,

     Learning Sloop John B., Delilah and Light My Fire.  

     Played those songs over and over again

     Way back when.  

 

        Dayglo posters on the wall.  Ringo, George, John and Paul

 

     Time stood still.  Hours flew by,

     Learning Mellow Yellow, Country Road and Ride Captain Ride.  

     Played those songs over and over again

     Way back when.

 

     Time stood still.  Hours flew by,

     Learning Spill the WIne, Spooky and The Israelites.  

     Played those songs over and over again

     Way back when.   

 

You Did That Thing To Me (Mandel)  ©Bruce Mandel (Raging Waters Music/SESAC) 

You did that thing to me.

But it wasn't that good thing.

Didn’t even leave the sound of your footsteps behind.

The shadow of deceit was all I could find.

You did that thing to me.

 

I wanna kick you.  

'Til you feel just like I do.

It would’ve been tough enough to hear it from you

But I got it from your late night, bourbon drinkin', sittin' on the porch thinkin' fools.

 

     One late night the Milk moon wasn't white and I knew you were gone.

     Then I lay back in my bed, with the voices in my head

     And they must've been right,

     'Cause you did that thing to me.

 

You did that thing to me.  

But it wasn't that good thing.

Didn’t even leave the sound of your footsteps behind.

The shadow of deceit was all I could find.

You did that thing to me.

 

Bird’s Eye View (Mandel)  ©Bruce Mandel (Raging Waters Music/SESAC) 

Magpie looking for lucky treasure,

High and low, everywhere in sight.

What do you see?  What do you know?

Magpie says, “It’s all black and white.”

 

     Stand where you stand.  See what there is to see.

     For where you are is where you are, not where you will be.

     Go where you must go when the winds of change increase.

     Over, under or around, always go in peace.

 

Hoot owl perched high up in a tree,

Watches the world with wisdom and insight.

What do you see?  What do you know?

Hoot owl says, “Shades of gray not black and white.”

 

     Stand where you stand.  See what there is to see.

     For where you are is where you are, not where you will be.

     Go where you must go when the winds of change increase.

     Over, under or around, always go in peace.

 

Parrot talking up a blue streak.

His words leave birds green with envy.

What do you see?  What do you know?

Parrot says, “It’s a colorful world to me.”

 

     Stand where you stand.  See what there is to see.

     For where you are is where you are, not where you will be.

     Go where you must go when the winds of change increase.

     Over, under or around, always go in peace.