Childish Eyes

Read the Lyrics
To view the lyrics, click on a "Song Title" below.
Listen to Song Samples
To hear song sample (in mp3 format), click on the "ListenMusic"
Release date: (Softwood Recordings) 1996
  1. Celebrate The Children
  2. Backhoe Girl | ListenMusic
  3. Hal Of Hardwood
  4. Thanks
  5. She Waits
  6. The Power Of The Word | ListenMusic
  7. Welcome Back
  8. Out On a Limb
  9. Walt's Waltz
  10. Geek Mythology
  11. Stagger Them Cantaloupes
  12. Moon Of Mine | ListenMusic
  13. You Can't Keep A Good Town Down
  14. Maya's Lullabye

Childish Eyes: Lyrics

CELEBRATE THE CHILDREN 
(Just in case anyone needs to be reminded...) 

There are creatures in our midst-alf-monster, half-angel 
The only devils you want to kiss--again and again and again and again 
They give us life and laughter. All they ask is that we love them 
Make our voices rise to the rafters, then give us a hug, so we... 

	Celebrate the children. They're our world. They're what's in it for us 
	Celebrate the children. Then we'll know how to celebrate ourselves 
	Celebrate the children. Not just today or only a week, a month or a year--forever. 

They can teach you how to dream, keep you honest, keep you guessing 
Show you more ways to let off steam than a tea kettle can 
Old priorities out the door. Rearrange them for the better 
Much clearer than before, for the love of a child, so we... 

In this time of human blindness, teach 'em peace, teach 'em vision 
Show 'em that there's strength in kindness. They'll give you hope in return 
They're the future of this planet. It's in our homes, in their hands 
We'll lose if we take 'em for granted. They're everything. We got to...

BACKHOE GIRL
(Once upon a time, there was a little girl who REALLY wanted to pursue a
different sort of career. She felt it in every fiber of her being. Her
peers laughed at her, society frowned, but she didn't care. She went on
to become the best in the business.) 

I'm getting bored with Barbies, I hate my tiny toys. I just want to dig a hole and make a lot of noise 
So, fit me with a hardhat and drive me to the site. Once I'm pulling levers, it'll be alright 

	Backhoe girl, I want to be a backhoe girl, swinging, swaying and digging the world 
 	I gotta do what moves me, and so it sure behooves me to be a backhoe girl 

My classmates call me crazy, my parents roll their eyes. 
Grown-ups all around me say I'm lost and quite unwise 
But when I'm with my bucket, above it all, it seems, not a soul can stop me scooping out my dreams 

It started in the sandbox, a rusty, little rig. Something deep inside of me said I was born to dig 
I thought we were in Heaven, my vehicle and I. Moving earth and gravel--honey, I could make it fly! 
Backhoe girl, I'm gonna be a backhoe girl, swinging, swaying and digging the world 
I gotta do what moves me, and so it sure behooves me to be a backhoe girl 

	Backhoe girl, I'm gonna be a backhoe girl, swinging, swaying and digging the world 
	I gotta do what moves me, and so it sure behooves me 
	Up in that cab I'll frolic, with dreams downright hydraulic 
	A chopper and a spreader, no boy can do it better 
	Than this backhoe, call me a wack-o, but I'm your backhoe girl 

HAL OF HARDWOOD
I was asked to come into my local, one-room elementary school and talk
to the kids about the role of the minstrel in medieval times. For me,
songs say a lot more than naked words, so I came up with this one for
the occasion. Turned out to be as much about me as about Hal. 

They call me Hal of Hardwood. I've a tuneful tale to tell 
From here and there I'll sing the news, amusing you, as well 
So fill me up with mutton, I'll fill you with a song 
Then off I go, a glutton, to stroll and roll along 

Sing high, sing low, I wander yonder meadows, to and fro 
With a lute around my neck, it's a hoot, so what the heck 
Alive and laughing and lucky to be a minstrel 

I'll croon in climbing castles for the wealthy ones in gold 
I'll wrap some music 'round the poor to ward away the cold 
My singing knows no borders, my tunes are colorblind 
In vast or tiny quarters, I'll leave no one behind 

The sheriff out in Sheffield is about to lose his job 
A farmer down in Marleyborne grew corn without a cob 
A heifer, name of Herschel, has joined the Mousketeers 
The news without commercials is music to your ears 

Now, some proclaim me but a fool to carry on this way 
A stupid, two-bit troubadour who roars for little pay 
But think them what they want to. Their insults I forgive 
The joy that I hold on to is all I need to live 

THANKS
For every teacher I've learned from or worked with in my life. These are
some of my greatest heroes. If all citizens were required to shadow and
emulate teachers for a week,then they'd have a clue. 

Sometimes you're Mom, sometimes you're Dad, sometimes the best friend that I never had 
You teach me my rights, you teach me my wrongs, you give me freedom to sing my songs 

In the beginning, you turned on the lights. I was lost in a forest of frights 
Three-foot-nine, but I could reach great heights. 
That's what you told me, and I believed you, 'cause... 

Along with muscles, my confidence grew. I could count. You were teaching me to 
I knew all the creatures at the zoo, and spelled their names, now. You made it come alive 

Surprised my parents, one night in my bed. Read a page to them, just like you said 
I was proud and felt my face turn red. They hugged and held me. Thank you for your believing 

Out on the playground, you made us a team--how to work out the tempers and steam 
Kept us laughing and we made a scene. We learned some tolerance. Your lessons come in handy 

When I was teenaged, I had to beware. Yeah, I liked you, but I didn't dare 
Don't know where I'd be if you weren't there. I had to keep it in, but now I'll sing it out 

Sometimes you're Mom.... 

If the world only knew how much you give and what you do. If the world only knew 
The celebrated creatures would be the teachers. My un-sung heroes, I'm singing to you 

SHE WAITS
I've heard this story all-too-many times from kids, and from adults who
vividly remember painful, frightening chapters of their childhoods. 

It's way past her bedtime. She should be asleep. There's school tomorrow, she knows 
But she can't help wondering and worrying about him. Why's he not home? Where'd he go? 
She sees all of Main Street and hears the cold wind. The town feels all ghostly and bare 
Is that his car coming? She must've been wrong. Is he O.K.? She's so scared 

Waiting up, wide awake, she stares out her window and listens for the door 
"One for the road," she can here him say 
What does the road need another one for? What does the road need one for? 

She found the brown bottle in his hiding place. Heard him and her mom calling names 
The whole house was shaking when he slammed the door. Now she just plays waiting games 
When she was real little, they'd go for a ride. He'd stop. She'd stay in the car 
Back then she just did it, 'cause he was her dad. She'd like to blow up those bars 

Her head is so heavy from wanting to sleep, but part of her needs to be awake 
She feels like his mother, but she needs a dad. There's not much more she can take 
The whole town's in bed now, except her and her dad. No way she can rest till he arrives 
She's mad at his drinking and hates what she's thinking: "Is her dad dead or alive?" 

THE POWER OF THE WORD
Learning to read changed my children's lives, their self-esteem, their carriage, 
and the very quality of their existence -- all exponentially for the better. 
I've seen it happen to every adult who's discovered literacy, too. 
This tune attempts to capture that moment. 

I'm here to talk about a magical fact. I'll tell you how I got the power, to be exact 
It took a little training and, to my surprise, there it was--music to my eyes 

I got the power of the word. It's what I need. I'm a part of the world, 'cause I can read 
The power of the word in my brain and soul--I'm in control! 

Till I got the power, I was kind of confused. Sorry looking scribble gave me headache and blues 
People kept reading to me, showing the way. Suddenly, I'm excited to say: 

Putting those letters all together is fun, especially when I can read and say every one 
Learning my language at home and school, never ever will I feel a fool 

There's a group of grown-ups I know in Duluth. Couldn't read a lick, and they were hiding the truth 
Bravely got a tutor and they found the key. Opened the door--now, they're free like me 

Newspaper, magazine and book are a snap! I know every number, every name on a map! 
Any sign of any kind, I know how. I got the power--no stopping me now! 

I got the power.... 

'cause what I see makes sense to me, what I see makes sense to me 
What I see makes sense to me--I got the power, the power, the power, the power! 

WELCOME BACK
A friend of mine, who was married with kids, got divorced and then came
out, asked if I'd ever consider writing a song about the child of a gay
father. 

When I was just a wee one, my daddy held me tight. 
I felt so warm in those big arms, especially in the night 
But when I turned eleven, it all began to change 
Hugs were hard for my old man. The guy was cold and strange 
I couldn't understand it. His love was out of reach 
But then one day we started walking, miles along the beach 
I'd never seen my daddy cry, till he opened up, that day 
At first I didn't know how to feel, but now I'm proud to say: 

My old man is a gay old man. Welcome back, Daddy, welcome back 
Loves me more than any papa can. Welcome back, Daddy, welcome back 
Out from the closet, Dad's so free. Now he can be himself with me 
I'm so glad my daddy's back in my life 

I know they'll call him names, now. They'll curse him long and loud 
We'll have to hold each other up against the ugly crowd 
We're ready for the struggle, together for the ride 
If people only knew him, they'd see the man inside 
My mama's sad and angry. She'll take some time to heal 
It hurts to have your bubble burst. (I know how she feels) 
Well, maybe they'll be friends again, somewhere along the way 
I love my mama. Hope she'll smile when she hears me say: 

My old man is a gay old man.... 

OUT ON A LIMB
This was written for the Children's Miracle Network. Nature's beauty is
as miraculous as children. That concept gave birth to this song. 

Let's go out, out on a limb. Show 'em the beauty of the world we're in 
Take a chance, grab a partner and dance--out here, out on a limb 

Childish eyes are smiling at you, hoping you'll grin right back 
Been enough tears to make an ocean. We'll dry 'em all and cause a commotion 

Look out there! Those trees are proud. Grass is green with envy 
Hold a child's hand, pick a wild flower, share the wonder of Nature's power 

Springtime mud is hubcap-high, what bare feet are made for 
Ease 'em right down, as the laughter flows, oozing through those tiny toes 

Flaming fall is a frolicking time. Children hop and holler 
Giving thanks for some good, clean air, but most of all for grown-ups who care 

Take that slide down a slippery hill. Kids are the finest company 
Cocoa's hot and the noses are running. Feel alive and your body's humming! 

Every child is a miracle--tall, strong, short or fragile 
Being there to love 'em's the least we can do. Lift 'em up where they can see the view 
(sound bite ends at end of chorus) 

WALT'S WALTZ
A tribute to the school custodian, a vital person in many a student's
life. Leaks are fixed and floors are mopped. Most important, though, is
the unconditional friendship. This one's for yet another un-sung hero,
now sung. 

There in the morning, as the buses all clank, up goes Old Glory with a yawn and a yank 
He waves at our windows. It's him we can thank, for the bad jokes and the stories and being there 
He's proud of his floors and the silence of doors. He'll applaud every new somersault 
The "Captain of Clean", he doesn't know mean, and he lets all us kids call him Walt 

"Host of the Hallway", "King of the Corridor", "Sultan of Spotlessness", grown-up, but fun 
Friend of the fearful, pal of the powerless, buddy of the bashful, Walt is the one 
Walt's always scrubbing. Hear him whistle and hum. He knows under desks he'll find yesterday's gum 
The Great Dirt Detective with the black-and-blue thumb is a worker and a teacher and a friend of ours 
He makes the place shine and the toilets flush fine. If it breaks, doesn't matter whose fault 
Better call on the man with the work suit of tan, and the cursive on the pocket says "Walt" 

Sometimes I'm down. I grumble and groan. But I can tell Walt, so I'm never alone 
He says he's had problems just like that, at home. Then he listens, then he chuckles and I start to laugh 
Got a pencil on his ear, and a whole lot of gear that he keeps in a humungus vault 
Well, it's O.K. by me if he wants mystery, just as long as he keeps being Walt 

GEEK MYTHOLOGY
A brief-but-thorough overview of the geeks, nerds, dweebs, dorks
and, yes, dinks, in our history, and their importance as integral
contributors to the evolution of Mankind. This composition is
must-listening for habitual name-callers, as well as history buffs.
Appropriate college credit given when applicable. 

Way back whenever when the world was new, there wasn't me and not even you 
Wacky-looking wooly things wandered and flew. Some even swam 
Out in the Garden there was Adam and Eve, and what she wore you wouldn't believe 
He put on a fig leaf and she called him a "dweeb". It all began 

One girl's geek is another one's goddess. This boy's dork is that one's dude 
We're all part nerd, dweeb, dink and Adonis. Time to change my mind and my attitude 

Then came a carpenter with long hair and beard. His wailing words were cherished and cheered 
He made a little mischief that a few folks feared. They screamed and swore 
Our country's daddy had some teeth made of wood. Man, he could chew like nobody could 
On the other side they called him "nerd" and "no good". He won the war 

I knew a lady playing chess in New York. We had a nickname: "The Duchess of Dork" 
She beat 'em all in saddle shoes from Cairo to Cork. Checkmate! 
Who are the winners in the games and the wars? Historic heroes you'd best not ignore 
They're all the champions you've got to root for. It's not too late 

STAGGER THEM CANTALOUPES
The first chapter of my autobiography 

Toddling was my passion, back in '43, crashing into walls and things and learning where to pee 
Out in Mama's garden, out there on her knee 
She pointed to those fruits and veggies and she said to me: "Child, 

Stagger them cantaloupes, seal your envelopes 
Never fear, just fertilize. Keep that twinkle in your eyes 
Stagger them cantaloupes, feed your high hopes 
Love your living, hold your own, leave no message at the tone" 

So I started walking, taught myself to run. I found out that moving slow just wasn't half as fun 
Mama showed me rhubarb, how it blocked the sun. 
She saved me from myself, again. That sucker weighed a ton. You got to... 

Got to kindergarten. Mama stayed away. I felt nervous and confused and too alone to play 
Finally it was lunchtime. I stared at my tray-- 
A chunk of Mama's mega-melon, sitting there to say: "Hey..." 

I'm in second grade, now, old and immature. What I want to be forever I'm not really sure 
Thank my stars for Mama, gardens and manure. 
For those who grow before their time, more childhood is the cure, so... 

MOON OF MINE
The moon is being obstinate, tonight, and refuses to appear.
Concerned, a little girl who depends on it tries to communicate. 

I know you're out there. I see your light. I think you're hiding. You know I'm right. 
Show me your face in my window. Don't be afraid. It's only me. Trade you a smile for a peak at you 
Make me laugh, be my friend, stay around. 

Maybe they'll let me stay up real late. I need to find you. I just can't wait 
Hope you're alright. Do you feel well? I'll be awake until you come. 
Why aren't you here? Are you mad at me? Hide and Seek isn't fun anymore 

I'll get my blankies. Don't go away. I really need them, especially today 
Oh, there you are, Moon! Finally found you. Where have you been? Doesn't matter 
Don't ever leave. I'll take care of you. Hear me sing, see me twirl, shine on me 

I'll dance in the night. Oh, what a sight! A giggle and a wiggle in your spotlight 
While I perform, you'll keep me warm, oh moon, moon of mine 

YOU CAN'T KEEP A GOOD TOWN DOWN
In the spring of 1992, the Winooski River succumbed to ice jams and
flooded the city of Montpelier, Vermont. The people rose up higher than
the water, and set an outstanding example for us all, with bravery,
ingenuity, selflessness and humor. This is for them. 

A mild March 11 in '92 found Mother Nature in a mischievous mood 
She ordered up jam with Winooski on ice. The river rose up and we all paid a price 
Sidewalks vanished under the tide. Wind-blown water took the town for a ride 
Off went the power, out went the phones. The banks all cried: "Can you float me a loan?' 

You know you can't, you know you can't, you know you can't keep a good town down 
What's a little water with friends around? You can't keep a good town down 

Mortified merchants could only stare, watching their livelihoods splash everywhere 
The scene was something from a madman's brain. Dumpsters drifted down State and Main 
Old Mother Nature, she'd seen enough. Taught us a lesson, strutted her stuff 
She turned down the heat and stayed around to see those cranes drop the I-beams down 

The tide left town not a moment too soon. The Capital City looked just like the moon 
All of a sudden, with the wave of a wand, folks were arriving with their work gloves on 
Out of the woodwork, down from the hills, friends and flood jokes warmed up the chills 
Mopping up together, not a soul was alone. The city was back, and it felt like home 

MAYA'S LULLABYE
For my eldest daughter, to help her feel safe before sleep. 

It's been a long day, the yawning's begun, now. Your eyelids are closing, like heavy, old shades 
Your soft, furry friends in your blankets surround you, and love's all around you. So don't be afraid 

I checked all the places, and nothing is there. Just tired, kind faces of Bunny and Bear 
I love you tonight, and I'll love you tomorrow. Sleep tight, sweet dreams, good night 

Your moon is out there to light up your dreaming. The sky's full of diamonds to shine on your rest 
You're tucked in and cozy, right where you belong, now. I'll whisper a song, now, the one you love best