John Newman

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John Newman

When the road hit the horizon
big black clouds were hangin' low
heard the radio said rain
but lord it was cold enough for snow
I saw the plains stretch out around me
far as any man can see
and I felt America
inside me

rode through towns just like jack pines
been cut and shaped by the wind
seen old men with old pictures
inked on their skin
and when I saw there was pride
still alive in their eyes
I felt America
inside me

and each town has its women
who've been mother and wife
I counted years in their faces
heard their stories of life
watched their kids suffer in love
and I saw them fight for what's right
and I felt America
inside me

I broke bread with Americans
who never asked me where I'd been
they were all different religions
all colors of skin
the kind that do what they promise
and take pride in what they do
and I keep that America
inside me

America

repetitions elicit meaning
soul crying, heart dreaming
years behind me
years to go
locked on memory
Nowhere to go

I repeat and I repeat again
I look for changes in the now and then
I repeat and I repeat again

familiar sounds, familiar voices
reflex habits, ingrained choices
rhythmic silence solicits consent
lingua franca of impermanence

I repeat and I repeat again
I look for changes in the now and then
I repeat and I repeat again

totem coding, a world is born
something salvaged from the storm
we know each other by the things we do
we know each other but I don't know you

I repeat and I repeat again
I look for changes in the now and then
I repeat and I repeat again

Totem Taboo

when the iron sky is falling
the distant rain comes calling
collecting on a bill
you never knew you owed
but still you pay it all
so you can feel good in your soul
when they drive the first nail in
you'll be alone
so tell me if it's so
is this really what you were looking for?

out there on distant highways
the only home you knew
peels back it's face
and laughing
reveals itself as no real home at all
faces blend into the walls
voices heard you can't recall
and stories told
slip fast away
too hard to hold
the masquerade is put to bed
and now no matter what you said
the truth confronts you
like an orphan
hungry lost and cold
your disillusion strips you bare
it beats you and it leaves you there
a vagrant
without a dollar bill to spare
so tell me if you dare,
is this really what you were looking for?

lay down your sword and go
you are romeo no more
for juliette has found another
and she is not dead just sleeping
and juliette is sleeping not alone
and the mountains that came crawling
singing songs that
drew you all in
crept away while you weren't watching
and now they're back right where they started
back where they've always been
and juliet she sleeps
not alone
so tell me if you know,
is this really what you were looking for?

What You Were Looking for


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When the road hit the horizon
big black clouds were hangin' low
heard the radio said rain
but lord it was cold enough for snow
I saw the plains stretch out around me
far as any man can see
and I felt America
inside me

rode through towns just like jack pines
been cut and shaped by the wind
seen old men with old pictures
inked on their skin
and when I saw there was pride
still alive in their eyes
I felt America
inside me

and each town has its women
who've been mother and wife
I counted years in their faces
heard their stories of life
watched their kids suffer in love
and I saw them fight for what's right
and I felt America
inside me

I broke bread with Americans
who never asked me where I'd been
they were all different religions
all colors of skin
the kind that do what they promise
and take pride in what they do
and I keep that America
inside me

America

repetitions elicit meaning
soul crying, heart dreaming
years behind me
years to go
locked on memory
Nowhere to go

I repeat and I repeat again
I look for changes in the now and then
I repeat and I repeat again

familiar sounds, familiar voices
reflex habits, ingrained choices
rhythmic silence solicits consent
lingua franca of impermanence

I repeat and I repeat again
I look for changes in the now and then
I repeat and I repeat again

totem coding, a world is born
something salvaged from the storm
we know each other by the things we do
we know each other but I don't know you

I repeat and I repeat again
I look for changes in the now and then
I repeat and I repeat again

Totem Taboo

when the iron sky is falling
the distant rain comes calling
collecting on a bill
you never knew you owed
but still you pay it all
so you can feel good in your soul
when they drive the first nail in
you'll be alone
so tell me if it's so
is this really what you were looking for?

out there on distant highways
the only home you knew
peels back it's face
and laughing
reveals itself as no real home at all
faces blend into the walls
voices heard you can't recall
and stories told
slip fast away
too hard to hold
the masquerade is put to bed
and now no matter what you said
the truth confronts you
like an orphan
hungry lost and cold
your disillusion strips you bare
it beats you and it leaves you there
a vagrant
without a dollar bill to spare
so tell me if you dare,
is this really what you were looking for?

lay down your sword and go
you are romeo no more
for juliette has found another
and she is not dead just sleeping
and juliette is sleeping not alone
and the mountains that came crawling
singing songs that
drew you all in
crept away while you weren't watching
and now they're back right where they started
back where they've always been
and juliet she sleeps
not alone
so tell me if you know,
is this really what you were looking for?

What You Were Looking for

a thin hotel room
looking down on
the town square
of a place that they buried
long before I was born
on the walls made of cardboard
the sweat stains of strangers
change into the shape
of the dreams they left there
the greyhound stops daily
and picks up the pieces
in the windows the matchstick men
they just stare

there's dust in the hallways
and dust on the floor
dust on the worn bricks
slips in through the door
there's dust in our hearts
and dust in our souls
dust in those things
that we thought we controlled

in the bar
all the travelling salesmen
are lonely
drinking their time and their
memories away
there are ghosts in the corner
that hold up a mirror
and the salesmen keep drinking
just pretend they don't care

there's dust in the hallways
and dust on the floor
dust on the worn bricks
slips in through the door
there's dust in our hearts
and dust in our souls
dust in those things
that we thought we controlled

Dust to Dust

never ever thought I was the first
fool to think I'd be the last
you were just a smile away
what I thought I heard you say
and now it seems I've come off worst
and you're wearing out a different past

every dream has a girl like you
much much too good
to ever be true
every ending needs a fool like me
just the way that it's gotta be

wasn't long that I held your eye
then you were
kissing some other guy
I think about you every day
what I thought I heard you say
turns out it was
just a lie
ain't no need to tell me why

every dream has a girl like you
much much too good
to ever be true
every ending needs a fool like me
just the way that it's gotta be

Thought I Heard You Say

Suzie does the shoeshine/made it through the grapevine
hundred miles an hour/ just to crash on time
Hoodoo jumpin' two-time/everybody snowblind
you can take it this time/ cos the next one's mine
oh yeah

got you on the rebound/pass you on the slowdown
no-one knows me downtown/they just a fooling around/
pay you for the lowdown/sixty second takedown/
jesus with the bringdown/just get outta town
oh yeah

suzie got her shoeshine/made it to the prime time
we all left in good time/ for the uptown line
angel in the headlines/trouble with the driveline
keep me for the next time/is it yours or mine
it's mine/all mine
oh yeah

Soft Shoeshine

hey sweet suzanne
tell me where are you today
how'd I let you get away
I don't remember
hey sweet suzanne
you're a memory I'll keep
even if the pain runs deep
I will remember
hey sweet suzanne
there was light once in your eye
was I a better man than I
than I remember?

well I can't seem to close my eyes
or sleep at all
you realize
'cos it's you I'm looking for
like I always did before
but you would always be there
and if I knew which way to go
to find you now
and bring you home
I swear I'd run there

hey sweet suzanne
tell me where are you today
how'd I let you get away
I don't remember
hey sweet suzanne
you're a memory I'll keep
even if the pain runs deep
I will remember
hey sweet suzanne
there was light once in your eye
was I a better man than I
than I remember?

the truth is
all too plain to see
a girl like you
was too good for a fool like me
if I could find my way to you
hold you
like I used to do
I swear I'd never leave

hey sweet suzanne
tell me where are you today
how'd I let you get away
I don't remember
hey sweet suzanne
you're a memory I'll keep
even if the pain runs deep
I will remember
hey sweet suzanne
there was light once in your eye
was I a better man than I
than I remember?

Sweet Suzanne

Doctor told my mama
now listen up don't sue me
'cos what I gotta tell ya
I'm just doing my duty
I checked your little boy
and I'm telling ya truly
the boy got, the boy got
a definite boogie

the boy got, the boy got
a definite boogie
from the top down, all around
sugar suckin' cutie
the boy got nothin'
but a definite boogie
well I hope he's gonna be alright

mama said the doctor he's just gotta be foolin'
I don't believe he
ever had no medical schoolin'
she said I gotta settle down
else she gonna shoot me
cos she ain't got the time
for no definite boogie

the boy got, the boy got
a definite boogie
from the top down, all around
sugar suckin' cutie
the boy got nothin'
but a definite boogie
no way he's gonna be alright

twenty years gone
like it happened in a movie
been run down, turned around
checked head to toe for cooties
can't keep a job
but the ladies think I'm groovy
cos the one thing I got
is a definite boogie

the boy got, the boy got
a definite boogie
from the top down, all around
sugar suckin' cutie
the boy got nothin'
but a definite boogie
you know I'm gonna be alright

Definite Boogie

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When the road hit the horizon
big black clouds were hangin' low
heard the radio said rain
but lord it was cold enough for snow
I saw the plains stretch out around me
far as any man can see
and I felt America
inside me

rode through towns just like jack pines
been cut and shaped by the wind
seen old men with old pictures
inked on their skin
and when I saw there was pride
still alive in their eyes
I felt America
inside me

and each town has its women
who've been mother and wife
I counted years in their faces
heard their stories of life
watched their kids suffer in love
and I saw them fight for what's right
and I felt America
inside me

I broke bread with Americans
who never asked me where I'd been
they were all different religions
all colors of skin
the kind that do what they promise
and take pride in what they do
and I keep that America
inside me

America

repetitions elicit meaning
soul crying, heart dreaming
years behind me
years to go
locked on memory
Nowhere to go

I repeat and I repeat again
I look for changes in the now and then
I repeat and I repeat again

familiar sounds, familiar voices
reflex habits, ingrained choices
rhythmic silence solicits consent
lingua franca of impermanence

I repeat and I repeat again
I look for changes in the now and then
I repeat and I repeat again

totem coding, a world is born
something salvaged from the storm
we know each other by the things we do
we know each other but I don't know you

I repeat and I repeat again
I look for changes in the now and then
I repeat and I repeat again

Totem Taboo

when the iron sky is falling
the distant rain comes calling
collecting on a bill
you never knew you owed
but still you pay it all
so you can feel good in your soul
when they drive the first nail in
you'll be alone
so tell me if it's so
is this really what you were looking for?

out there on distant highways
the only home you knew
peels back it's face
and laughing
reveals itself as no real home at all
faces blend into the walls
voices heard you can't recall
and stories told
slip fast away
too hard to hold
the masquerade is put to bed
and now no matter what you said
the truth confronts you
like an orphan
hungry lost and cold
your disillusion strips you bare
it beats you and it leaves you there
a vagrant
without a dollar bill to spare
so tell me if you dare,
is this really what you were looking for?

lay down your sword and go
you are romeo no more
for juliette has found another
and she is not dead just sleeping
and juliette is sleeping not alone
and the mountains that came crawling
singing songs that
drew you all in
crept away while you weren't watching
and now they're back right where they started
back where they've always been
and juliet she sleeps
not alone
so tell me if you know,
is this really what you were looking for?

What You Were Looking for

a thin hotel room
looking down on
the town square
of a place that they buried
long before I was born
on the walls made of cardboard
the sweat stains of strangers
change into the shape
of the dreams they left there
the greyhound stops daily
and picks up the pieces
in the windows the matchstick men
they just stare

there's dust in the hallways
and dust on the floor
dust on the worn bricks
slips in through the door
there's dust in our hearts
and dust in our souls
dust in those things
that we thought we controlled

in the bar
all the travelling salesmen
are lonely
drinking their time and their
memories away
there are ghosts in the corner
that hold up a mirror
and the salesmen keep drinking
just pretend they don't care

there's dust in the hallways
and dust on the floor
dust on the worn bricks
slips in through the door
there's dust in our hearts
and dust in our souls
dust in those things
that we thought we controlled

Dust to Dust

never ever thought I was the first
fool to think I'd be the last
you were just a smile away
what I thought I heard you say
and now it seems I've come off worst
and you're wearing out a different past

every dream has a girl like you
much much too good
to ever be true
every ending needs a fool like me
just the way that it's gotta be

wasn't long that I held your eye
then you were
kissing some other guy
I think about you every day
what I thought I heard you say
turns out it was
just a lie
ain't no need to tell me why

every dream has a girl like you
much much too good
to ever be true
every ending needs a fool like me
just the way that it's gotta be

Thought I Heard You Say

Suzie does the shoeshine/made it through the grapevine
hundred miles an hour/ just to crash on time
Hoodoo jumpin' two-time/everybody snowblind
you can take it this time/ cos the next one's mine
oh yeah

got you on the rebound/pass you on the slowdown
no-one knows me downtown/they just a fooling around/
pay you for the lowdown/sixty second takedown/
jesus with the bringdown/just get outta town
oh yeah

suzie got her shoeshine/made it to the prime time
we all left in good time/ for the uptown line
angel in the headlines/trouble with the driveline
keep me for the next time/is it yours or mine
it's mine/all mine
oh yeah

Soft Shoeshine


About Me

Bio

I'm a versatile and creative writer who has published short stories and poetry, sold and optioned screenplays (short and feature length)and come dangerously close to getting my original TV series greenlit.
I'm a blues-rocker by personal taste but my lyrics can be adapted to just about any style imaginable. I consider lyrics to be emotional paintings; what you see and feel when you read the words is more important than any meaning that could be applied to them.

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