Down in the Backpack

 

 

Milky Way
©Bill Harley, All rights reserved
Reprints with permission only

A modern version of "The Green Grass Grows All Around" - and a reminder that we all live in the same place, really.

We all live in the Milky Way
The Milky Way’s our galaxy
We all live in the Milky Way
It’s home to you and me

And in that galaxy, there’s a star
A fine star called the sun
A star in the middle of a galaxy
That’s home to you and me

We all live…

Around that star, a planet spins
A fine planet, called the earth
Planet ‘round the star,
Star in the middle of a galaxy
That’s home to you and me

We all live…

On that planet, there’s a sea
A fine sea, a shining sea
Sea on the planet, planet ‘round the star...

We all live…

By that sea, there’s a land
A fine land, a very fine land
Land by the sea…

We all live…

In that land, there’s a town
A Fine town, a very fine town
Town in the land, land by the sea…

We all live…

In that town, there’s a street
A fine street, a very fine street
Street in the town, town in the land...

We all live…

In that town, there’s a street
A fine street, a very fine street
Street in the town, town in the land…

We all live…

On that street, there’s a house
A fine house, your house!
House on the street, street in the town...

We all live…

In that house, there’s a person
A fine person, that’s you!
You in the house, house on the street...

We all live…

Down in the Backpack
Sung to the tune of: "Under the Boardwalk"(Resnick/Young) ©Alley Music Corp/Trio Music Co New Lyrics by Bill Harley

(with apologies to the Drifters and "Under the Boardwalk")

When the teacher calls and says "Did you get my note?"
And she says she didn’t get the one you wrote,
Look in the backpack, just look and see,
Cause when something’s lost that’s where its bound to be

When your kid says that she can’t go on the trip,
Unless you send in that permission slip,
Look in the backpack, look if you dare,
Down at the bottom, you’re sure to find it there.

Down in the backpack - Do you wonder what lies?
Down in the backpack - There’s a big surprise.
Down in the backpack - something starting to grow,
Down in the backpack - maybe you’d better not go,
Down in the backpack.

There’s the yogurt they left there yesterday,
And last week’s tuna fish they meant to throw away.
Down in the backpack - it’s there they’ll stay,
Never again to see the light of day.

Down in the backpack - treasures to be found,
Down in the backpack - something crawling around,
Down in the backpack - missing library books,
Down in the backpack - Maybe you’d better not look.
Down in the backpack - backpack.

So when things get lost, and you don’t know where they go,
And you ask your kid and he just says “I don’t know.”,
Look in the backpack, it’s not to late.
Archaeologists moving in soon to excavate.

Down in the back pack - something smelly and old.
Down in the backpack - something covered in mold.
Down in the backpack - So many things there reside.
Down in the backpack - I think there’s something that died.

The King of Calibar
©Bill Harley, All rights reserved
Reprints with permission only

Hmm. I can't explain where this came from.

In the far off land that’s known as Calibar
There lived an ancient king called Balthasar
Who lived on moldy bread and stale cigars
And played all day upon a blue guitar

He played guitar and sang a stupid song
He screeched and screamed and went on
much, much much, much, much, much too long
It never stopped it just went on and on and on and on and on
His voice was bad, but it was really strong

His voice was like a flock of quacking ducks
Or a thousand screeching, screaming fire trucks
Or slimy creatures moaning in the muck
The folks of Calibar were really stuck

Oh the old king Balthasar
From the land of Calibar
He played upon his blue guitar
And lived on bread and stale cigars

All day and night, old Balthasar would sing
The blue guitar poured music from its strings
A horrid noise, but no one said a thing
Because, now don’t forget, he was the king

He sang for days, for weeks and months and years
The people moaned and covered up their ears
“He’ll never stop,” they said, “And we’ll all die, we fear”
They sobbed and wept and cried into their beers

Oh the old king Balthasar
From the land of Calibar
He played upon his blue guitar
And lived on bread and stale cigars

‘Til one day he got up from his bed
“Bring me my guitar” the old king said
He strummed the strings and shook his graying head
And then the ancient king fell over dead

They called and brought the doctors from afar
To see what killed the king of Calibar
The doctors said “It’s really quite bizarre
He died from moldy bread and stale cigars

The queen of Balthasar was quite bereaved
The folks of Calibar all sobbed and grieved
They cried and wiped their noses with their sleeves
Though secretly they all were quite relieved

Oh the old king Balthasar
From the land of Calibar
He played upon his blue guitar
And died from bread and stale cigars

(The end!)

You're Driving Me Crazy
©Bill Harley, All rights reserved
Reprints with permission only

Sometimes, just acknowledging that others feel the same way is enough to keep you sane.

Chorus
You’re driving me crazy
You’re driving me mad
I’ve lost all the marbles
The few that I had
You’re driving me bonkers
But what can I do
You’re driving me crazy
So I’ll do it to you

(adult verse)
I know that you hear me
I know that you’re there
When I speak you respond
With a dull vacant stare
I’ve called out your name now 48 times
What does it take?
Here comes 49

Chorus

(kid verse)
If I wasn’t here
How would you spend your time
Since you seem to enjoy
Running your life and mine
Your list of suggestions
Goes on without end
And you call out my name
Again and again...

Chorus

Somewhere there’s a family
That’s gentle and kind
Where parents don’t nag
And children always mind
They say that apples don’t fall far from the tree
My family’s a fruitcake
Filled with nuts like me

Chorus

It's a Long Way
©Bill Harley, All rights reserved
Reprints with permission only

Thinking ‘bout the people that came before
It’s a long long way
Mothers and fathers from a distant shore
It’s a long long way
Some came for freedom some came for land
It’s a long long way
Some came bound and shackled hand in hand
It’s a long long way

CHORUS
It’s a long way
with many miles behind us
It’s a long way
with many more to go
It’s a long way
‘til tomorrow finds us
It’s a long long way
It’s a long long way

Some came with dreams of power, some came with dreams of gold
It’s a long long way
Some came with whatever their two hands would hold
It’s a long long way
No matter when you got here, no matter how
It’s a long long way
We’re all in the same boat now
It’s a long long way

CHORUS

If you want to go, you can’t get there all by yourself
It’s a long long way
If you want to go, you got to bring somebody else
It’s a long long way
It’s a long hard road, it’s a long steep climb
It’s a long long way
Reach back your hand, don’t leave anyone behind
It’s a long long way

CHORUS

When I was a boy, once I heard a man
It’s a long long way
He said he had a dream about the promised land
It’s a long long way
He said I may not get there and neither may you
It’s a long long way
But our children’s children may see it come true
It’s a long long way

CHORUS (2 times)

Most Valuable Player
By Minnie O'Leary, © Tomas O'Leary

I learned this great song from my friend Bob Reid.

I know a kid used to play on my team
The most valuable player I know
That player wasn’t the best at the game
But to me that kid looked like a pro

He played hard, played fair, treated other kids with care
No matter what the scoreboard said
That kid came out a winner
Always won the game

No we had some games where nothing went right
And we would be badly behind
That kid kept trying and never gave up
Till we were all out of time

Now some of us kids think the referee hates us
So once in a while why not cheat
But that kid would always play by the rules
Even though we might get beat

Now some of his teammates would make a mistake
By kicking the ball the wrong way
But that kid would never give us a hard time
Just say good try that’s okay

So anytime now I play on a team
I want that kid on my side
I know that I can play that way too
It’s finally time that I tried
I’ll play hard I’ll play fair
I’ll treat the other kids with care
No matter what the scoreboard says
I’ll come out a winner
Always win the game

Everything is Music
©Bill Harley, All rights reserved
Reprints with permission only

There is a wonderful book by composer Bruce Adolphe called What to Listen for in the World. I read it and wrote this song. The rhythm is an Afro-Peruvian song style I learned from a compilation by David Byrne, called "The Soul of Black Peru", on Luaka Bop Records.

Listen to the wind in the trees
The rush of the breeze
As it whispers and sighs
Listen to the cars in the street
Footsteps and feet
As people pass by
Listen to the roar of the crowd
The laughing out loud
Of kids as they play
Listen to the rain as it falls
The lone bird that calls
At the end of the day

CHORUS
Everything is music
Everything is music
Everything is music to me

There’s music in the stars as they spin
The day that begins
With a quiet sunrise
There’s music in the world as it turns
the fire that burns
into embers and dies
There’s music in the river that runs
From where it’s begun
Til it ends in the sea
There’s music in the waves on the shore
They crash and they roar
and sing out to me

CHORUS

Descant
1/ Everything is music to me
2/ Listen! Listen!
3/ Listen to the music playing…

Once you hear the world as it sings
all that it brings
then nothing’s the same
Once you find that we all belong
to one great big song
that always remains
Once you hear
the river of time
the rhythm and rhyme
in you and in me
Then you know the beat of your heart
Has its own part
in this big symphony

CHORUS

Mom and the Radio
©Bill Harley, All rights reserved
Reprints with permission only

Also found on "Yes to Running!"

Does this ever happen in your car?

Every time we’ve got someplace to go
My mom and I fight about the radio
She wants her station, I want mine
She says it’s her car, tough luck, don’t whine

The DJ says these songs are solid gold
But everyone they play’s about a million years old
One after another on and on
What makes it worse is my mom sings a long
She sings along and she sings

CHORUS
Doo waa diddy baby
My mom’s music drives me crazy
Doo waa diddy baby
And she don’t care

I got her to listen to my favorite band
She said "That’s just a bunch of noise that I can’t stand"
She turns the radio back to where she wants it to be
And starts to sing again, way off key
My mom sings off key
"Mom please stop it. Please," I cry
Cause everybody’s looking at us as we drive by
She rolls the window down, she doesn’t care
I sink down in my seat like I’m not there
I wish I wasn’t there, when she sings…

CHORUS

I promise when I get older
I will not be so weird
I promise if I have kids
I won’t make them want to disappear

The worst finally happened I’m telling you all
I was in school last week, walking down the hall
I was with my best friend, and I started humming some tune
When he looked at me like I came from the moon
I asked him what’s the matter, he said,
“What do you mean? What’s the matter with you?”
Suddenly I realized I was doing it too
"Oh no. Please help me. Someone," I said
My mom’s dumb songs are stuck in my head
They're in my head, and I'm singing…

CHORUS (2 times)

There's a Light in You
by Bob Reid, © Saranap Music additional lyrics Bill Harley

This song was written by my good friend Bob Reid. Bob has his own recordings and does great work with kids. You can check out what he's up to (and more verses of this song!) on his web page - www.bobreidmusic.com

There’s a light in me, there’s a light in you
Whatever language you speak
Whatever your point of view
Whatever people may say
Whatever people may do
There’s a light in you
Let your light shine through

Her eyes are brown, mine are blue
Our skins are different colors too
But there’s a light that’s shining like the sun
There in everyone
Shining like the sun

When things are bad, when things go wrong
You’re feeling weak, not feeling strong
You’ve got to keep your heart open wide
‘Cause there’s a light inside
Don’t you let it hide

There’s no one else your shape, your size
That has your ears, your heart, your eyes
If you don’t speak your truth wherever you go
The world will never know
You’ve got to let it show

I’ve got a light in this heart of mine
I’ve got to let it speak, let it shine
But I’ll never know what’s really true
If I don’t listen to you
You’ve got a light there too
So I’ll listen to you

Echo
©Bill Harley, All rights reserved
Reprints with permission only

Also found on "Yes to Running!"

Standing in the valley where the river runs
Warmed by the light of the morning sun
I open up my mouth and I start to sing
My voice comes back and the mountains ring

Hello
Yoo hoo
Echo
Is that you?
Can you hear me
Call you?
Echo
Yoo hoo

Singing out loud when no one’s there
Might seem kind of silly but I don’t care
When I hear my voice come back again
Sometimes it seems I’m singing to my best friend

Hello
Yoo hoo
Echo
What’s new?
Sunshine
Nice day
I’m fine
Okay

Spoken:
Hello
Hey you
Stop yelling
Right now
I mean it
Very funny
Ha ha ha
Aroooo

Sun sinks low and then goes down
This old world keeps a turning round
Sky grows dark and the stars all shine
And I call out to that friend of mine

Hello
Yoo hoo
Echo
Day’s through
Starlight
Moonbeams
Echo
Sweet dreams
Echo
Sweet dreams

Spoken:
Good night
Go to bed
Right now
I mean it
I don’t wanna come up there
Please
All right (Okay)
(Snoring)