plea

Singer cover art

Lyrics & notes

17 Oct 1971
(music adapted from "Recitative and song" from Dido and Aeneas, by Henry Purcell)

sometimes I see people crowding by
in sorrow they die
in sadness they cry
and follow after a lie

when the whole world cries out
in torment and despair
how can I stop the pain?
Lord, hear me and help me to care
a tender touch—a healing touch
as You came to me come to them
You died for them
now gently lead them to life that's new

now He is pleading for you
to open your heart
don't just turn Him away
don't shut Him out
invite...

Lyrics & notes

(3/25/1976) words & music...

(1)
Singer cover art

Lyrics & notes

12 Jan 1978

I've always wanted a house on the ocean
all made of glass, perched high on a hill
then every morning I'd wake with the sunrise
and every night rock to sleep with the waves
all down the stairway that leads to the water
flowers are dancing in time with the breeze

but I'd be content with a room in the city
if you'll just live with me
we could grow flowers in pots by the window
you could whisper the breeze in my ear

I've always wanted to be a composer
I'd write refrains in my house by the sea
I'd fill all the country with music and dancing
...

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Lyrics & notes

7/73

it's a pity
you say you can't find
a good enough reason
to believe anymore
it's such an art
the way you've learned
yourself to close your eyes
to the answers
you once searched for

you've got it all worked out so
you don't have to depend on anyone
well it might seem like a foolproof plan
but it's a fool who wants to live a life without love

anyone can see it's a shame
you've got your own set of
questions to which no one
could begin to reply
and you're so sure of yourself
and your philosophy you laugh
inside each...

Truth cover art

Lyrics & notes

5 Aug 1980

keep on, keep on driving
even when the lights go out
and you just can’t figure it out
keep on, keep on walking
when the darkness falls around
and the circumstances confound you

Jesus, did I love your blessings
more than I loved you
Jesus, take away your blessings
still I will love you

stand on, stand on his word
when the earth crumbles beneath your feet
and you can’t help feeling defeated
hold on, hold on to his hand
when the sky tumbles into the street
and your dreams lie on the concrete

Jesus, did I love your...

Bluer cover art

Lyrics & notes

4/72

all her silver's sittin'
in a row on the shelf
along with a fine-carved wood
how I wish she could have made it
she always wanted the good things
and now they've got her

she's got a golden car with a
six on the floor and
shoes for every day of the year
will she ever hear the children?
she used to bend down and touch them
now she just looks down

yesterday she could see the world
the way a child alone can see
and I can remember how she used to
smile at me but today she could only
cry

she told me she'd had enough of God
...

Bluer cover art

Lyrics & notes

8/72

last night on the road
there was a guy thumbin' a ride
and I said, “Lord, I'd pick him up,
but I've gotta get where I'm
goin' on time.” I said,
“Can't it wait 'till tomorrow
when I've got more time to waste?”
but the Lord said,
“Do it now, my child,
cause tomorrow will be too late.”

love your brother now, my brother
please don't hesitate
there's not a kind of love that's worse
than a love that comes too late
now's the time to show some kindness
man, why do you wait?
don't let the only love you'...

Jimmy cover art
Jimmy & Me (MP3)

aka You Might As Well Smile
words & music by Jimmy Webb

Favorite version: Art Garfunkel, Watermark, 1978

Notes:

These next three songs are so resolute and positive and indefatigable that I'm hoping they'll inspire you to forgive me for the previous two... This one's a lot like the Serenity Prayer, I think—only a lot more personal. The plea starts out so deadpan that it lulls you into a false sense of blitheness. "You might as well smile..." No high-sounding motivations or promises, just "no pain...

Singer cover art

Lyrics & notes

23 Sep 1976

Your Book is like a mirror (oh, dear)
and today I finally took
took a good look
at myself—I looked at myself
the very things I hated most in others
I saw today in me
what I say and what I am
they seem to disagree
with me

You know every time I think
I've got it made in the shade
that's the time You choose to show
what You know to be me
the real me
and I see the foolishness of judging others
when You've forgiven me
Lord, forgive me once again
and teach my eyes to see like You see
and start with me

yes,...

Truth cover art

Lyrics & notes

Summer, 1985

all you want to hear is a sweet song
you don’t want to hear from me
just three short, painless minutes
and a hook that’s hot
crossover Christianity
but tell me, where’s the sacrifice
when we always keep things nice
following some formula conformity
you say you’re protecting someone else
but it’s really just yourself
who can’t accept your own humanity

the truth is stranger than fiction
and stranger’s truer than friend
it may hurt far worse to tell it now
but it’s gonna hurt far less in the...

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