I wrote and recorded this song in 2006 in a fit of confusion and anger over what was going on in our country. I include it here as a reminder of what it feels like when we’re heading down the wrong path.

I was down by the seaside, down by the shore
I was wading in the water while I listened to the roar
There were sirens in the sky, I said what the heck
I was up to my knees, now I’m up to my neck
People on the rooftops, trying not to drown
While the Hummers all are moving to higher ground
They told me son, now don’t be a bore
We’re gonna study this thing a little bit more
We’re busy making profits so cut that jive
Pray to Jesus there’s no category five
Put a gag on the doctor, tell him to shove it
Put your ray-bans on, you’re gonna learn to love it

Who’s got their hand on the tiller?
Who’s got the hand on the wheel?
It’s looking to me like we’re lost at sea
I can’t tell you how sick I feel
Somebody call for the captain
Cause it looks like we’re gonna down
But the captain ain’t the one
Look at what he’s done
He’s run this ship aground

I was down on the tarmac watching planes come in
They fill ‘em up with boys and girls and send ‘em off again
Some clown asked “Why? Tell me what’s this for?”
Somebody said something ‘bout a permanent war
I turned around the man’s got his hand in my pocket
Saying, “Spare some change son, for some guns and rockets
Step right up it’s a big shell game
There weren’t any weapons but we won’t take the blame.”
The numbers keep climbing higher every day
You come back in a box they hide you away
I said, “This ain’t livin, we act like we’re dead.”
The next thing I know there’s a bag on my head


There was a knock on the door it was a man in a suit
He was talking on a cell phone wearing snakeskin boots
He took me to the courtroom and put me on trial
When I said “Where’s the justice?” everybody smiled
The judge was a wolf, the jury was too
The only lamb there was you know who
The DA said “We got you, it wasn’t that hard,
We found all your guilt on your library card
You were readin’ books by Buddah, Suess, and Camus
If you read that much something’s wrong with you.”
The judge found me guilty, said,” The terror will cease.”
They put me in the slammer for talking ‘bout peace


I was down in the alley, I was down on my knees
Feeling like I had some strange disease
Like I was living in a bubble or a fog or a cloud
Dreaming of the truth spoken right out loud
There’s a storm in the ocean, there’s a storm in my head
The sun’s coming up and the sky’s turning red
The captain’s in his cabin and he won’t come out
Saying everything’s fine, there ain’t any doubt
There’s a story I read, it reminds me of a tale
‘Bout somebody chasing some big white whale
I was wondering what the answer to the riddle would be
When I heard someone talking ‘bout a mutiny


© Bill Harley, all rights reserved. Reprints with permission only.


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