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1.
The Diver 03:26
THE DIVER (DADGAD) capo 3 © Bob Wright I am a diver and I walk beneath the sea It’s a place that you must learn to move about in carefully I see the fishes and the shipwrecks in the dark And I glory in the pressure and the circling of the sharks I came for the adventure and for riches and for gold It’s a story you have heard before a story that is old But I heard the sirens singing and the choruses of whales And I learned to love their beauty and I came to know their tales I soon gave up on treasure that had dropped down to the sand From the fragile boats above me that had ventured far from land Cause it couldn’t match the beauty of the places I had found And I felt a sense of freedom every time that I went down I know the turtles and the mermaids all by name And I know it is a privilege to be back with them again Cause I’m tethered to the surface and I feel the heavy sea And I wish that I could stay there but it isn’t meant to be I know my time to spend with them is coming to an end Cause my bones ache from the nitrogen the cold and from the bends I’ll end my days a crippled man I knew the dangers all But it’s never been my nature to ignore a siren’s call I am a diver and I walk beneath the sea It’s a place you learn that you must move about in carefully I see the fishes and the shipwrecks in the dark And I glory in the pressure and the circling of the sharks
2.
COLD CLEAR WATER ©Bob Wright (ACCAPELLA) stick your feet in the creek even if they’re muddy stick your feet in the creek it’ll cool your brain stick your feet in the creek even if they’re bloody stick your feet in the creek it’ll keep you sane (chorus) cause there ain’t nothing better than cold, clear water cold, clear water cold, clear water ain’t nothing better than cold, clear water to make you feel allright Johnny fell in the well And they lowered him a ladder Johnny fell in the well And they said climb out Johnny fell in the well and he asked if he hadda ‘ Johnny fell in the well And he’s in there now (chorus) There’s a snake in the lake And he swims all crooked There’s a snake in the lake So we all got out There’s a snake in the lake Where the devil put it There’s a snake in the lake And it makes us shout (chorus)
3.
The Keeper 04:35
THE KEEPER (dropped D- capo 2nd) © Bob Wright Darkness on the water and the wind begins to roar The harbors in the distance just beyond a rocky shore The ship is running with the wind the captain scans the night Looking for the way inside looking for the light High upon a lonely cliff the keeper struggles on Fighting through the pain to do the things that must be done As long a he’s been stationed there he’d always done his chores Not a single ship had ever broken on his shore But earlier that evening he slipped upon a rock Bent his leg beneath him and he passed out from the shock When he had awoken there the sun had left the sky And out upon the water he could see their running lights The captain searched with practiced eye and bearings that were true Waiting for the harbor light to come into his view His vessel was committed he was out of room to turn He cursed a keeper of the light who couldn’t make it burn The crew could hear the crashing waves above the howling gale Got the anchors ready and they shortened up the sails The captain he was staring through the darkness off to port Just a few more minutes and their lives could all be lost The keeper took the lighthouse stairs once step at a time It was all that he could do to drag his busted limb behind The higher that he got the more determined he became The last thing that he managed was to reignite the flame The captain saw a burst of light and then he saw the rocks Turned the wheel a quarter turn and slipped in by the docks Above them they could see the light as bright as any star Shining through the dark of night to tell them where they are They found the keeper later he was dead beside the lens Sacrificed himself to save the lives of other men And later in the pubs that night they raised their glasses high Here’s to those who choose to be the keepers of the lights
4.
THE LITTLE BANJO SONG © Bob Wright One by one the 2x4s reach up to the sky Building bones for a home Someone starts a life Every time the hammer falls A nail bites deep and hard What was once an empty lot Soon becomes a yard (chorus) Keep in mind That everything must change Some blame man and some blame god But nothing stays the same Try to find A way to let it be Learn to turn those changes Into possibilities Crawling turns to walking Turns to dancing if you dare Learning how to make a sound Becomes a song to share Songs turn into memories Turn around and they are gone Or just for fun they might become A little banjo song (chorus)
5.
IMMMIGRANT DREAM © Bob Wright A Who are you Annie Kiley D With your hard calloused hands E D A And a husband who works as a riverboat man A7 You’re taking in laundry D You’re pregnant again A E A D But you’re proud of the life you have made… here… A E A You are proud of the life you have made (Chorus) E A D Hearts and hands… hopes and plans A E That’s what an immigrant brings E A D Thoughts of homes and families grown A E A Are only an immigrant dream D A E A They are only an immigrant dream You can walk to St’ Patrick’s And the river is free It could be the Shannon, the Liffey, the Lee It reminds you of Ireland So far cross the sea But you’re proud of the life you have made… here… You are proud of the life you have made (Chorus) It isn’t all good There are people who hate And at times you miss home With such pain that it hurts But you married for love And you have food to eat And you’re proud of the life you have made… here… You are proud of the life you have made (Chorus)
6.
7.
WILD WOMAN OF THE HILLS (DADGAD) © Bob Wright She’d lost track of the wars they’d won and suffered those they’d lost The very ground she walked upon was bloody with the cost Yet things still grew when planted there if sun and rain were right She didn’t know how that could be and didn’t pray at night Now those who saw her in the hills assumed she’d lost a son A husband or a father maybe all or maybe one With eyes as wild as winter clouds she sang to those who came A wordless song so sad and true they never were the same They heard the guns they heard the screams they heard the cannons roar They saw the bodies piled upon a cold and lonely shore They tasted blood and innocence torn from the soldiers true They left her food and left her there with all the things she knew Then I received a letter and it said that I must serve It said a war was being fought they needed men with nerve I hiked beyond the village where the air was cool and pure Walked up to her cabin and I knocked upon the door She said I tell no fortunes here and no spells do I cast But you can see the future just by looking at the past And then she sang her song to me it filled my heart with dread To see how little things had changed despite the many dead So I ignored my summons and my friends went marching off The people in my village wouldn’t talk to me no more They drove me out upon the road and left me there to roam And pass the caskets of my friends as they are coming home
8.
9.
THE HOT-CORN GIRL © Bob Wright Hot corn! Hot corn! Here’s your lily-white corn All you that’s got money Poor me that’s got none Come buy my lily-hot corn And let me go home They say I sing like Jenny Lind though I have never heard her I just sing songs to sell hot-corn so have to take their word there This Spring will mark my 13th year I feel I’m so much older For the streets they seal the child in you And force you to be bolder Like Jenny Lind I’m Nordic born but came here as a baby The magic of my father’s hands then made for me a cradle He worked in wood on ships so grand they danced upon the ocean But never could they ever match My cradles gentle motion He’d tell me stories of the sea while one hand gently rocked me And when he’d seen me off to sleep he’d just sit there and watch me My mother often tells me that, when I come home with pence’s She says that if he hadn’t died We’d all be in a mansion My brother’s they both run the streets I fear that it will kill them For both of them are little boys without a hope between them They steal whatever they can take their knives right there beside them Their blades are sharp as father’s tools Without a hand to guide them When summer comes I sell my corn and sing whatever moves me I wrap myself in mother’s shawl and hope the men ignore me My favorite songs are lullabies the ones you sing to babies I sing them to the rhythm of My father’s rocking cradle Hot corn! Hot corn! Here’s your lily-white corn All you that’s got money Poor me that’s got none Come buy my lily-hot corn And let me go home
10.
BUCKDANCER’S MOON © Bob Wright (key of G) G C G D when the airs too full of fiddle tunes and the dancers are worn out G C G D G you need some old buck dancers to dance those fiddles down cause fiddle tunes don’t disappear and they don’t stay in the room they keep on risin’ upwards till they bounce right off the moon the moon it turns an eerie blue and sends the tunes back down and all the old buck dancers rise back up from the ground (chorus) they hike their pants and begin to dance at the edge of the sleepy town and their high-topped boots flatten out the roots of the trees for miles around those spirits start to stompin’ when they hear those fiddle tunes and they dance all night in the pale blue light of the old buckdancers moon it happens every year or so and the tunes are extra hot and they hold a ghostly contest to see what all they got there’s a one-armed man who leads the dance and even Old Joe Clark and when they start to movin’ all the dogs begin to bark the people in the village think they’re howlin’ at the moon but if you listen close enough they’re howlin’ right in tune (chorus) they boil that cabbage down boys and do the chicken reel they do si do in a ghostly show rockin’ toe to heel and when the tunes are over and the air is sweet and clear they’re slappin’ backs and makin’ tracks until they disappear so fiddlers rosin up your bows and do what you do best fill the air for another year while the old buckdancers rest (chorus)
11.
12.
Lamonts Song 03:50
ON A BRIDGE BY A BRIDGE (Lamont’s Song) capo 2nd © Bob Wright D G D well he said that he lived on a bridge by a bridge A D by and by I would find it was true G and the people who passed by that house D A D on a bridge by a bridge came to him for his views A D so he’d give them a poem that he wrote or he owned G D dusted lightly with spice and with wit D G D and he lived on a bridge by a bridge all his life A D and he never got tired of it you would think that to live on a bridge by a bridge would be crowded and noisy for sure but he felt that to live means to live on a bridge by a bridge with the world at your door and he wasn’t afraid to be seen or be heard on a bridge by a bridge by the bay and if you listen close when you’re crossing a bridge by a bridge you can still hear him say that he’ll give you a poem that he wrote or he owned dusted lightly with spice and with wit and he lived on a bridge by a bridge all his life and he never got tired of it so if you ever come to a bridge by a bridge just take what you find there in stride cause someone who lives on a bridge by a bridge is someone with nothing to hide and he’ll give you a poem that he wrote or he owned dusted lightly with spice and with wit and he lived all his life on a bridge by a bridge and he never got tired of it
13.
THE WAVES COME SWEEPING IN (capo 2nd/dropped D- key of E) © Bob Wright E A E Sunlight on the water and the wind is nearly gone A E A father and a daughter B Walk the shores that they have known A B E A B E Toes in sand, hand in hand E Their footprints fade behind them B E When the waves come sweeping in (Chorus) A E The world turns water flows B E Anywhere it wants to go A B It’s always been that way A E Hurricanes ice and tides B E They don’t ever compromise A B E A So we just go on with our lives B E Hoping things will change They say the waters rising and the beach will disappear And we’ll have to move the lighthouse Again in a few years We take a chance when we build on sand That shifts and spins beneath us When the waves come sweeping in (Chorus) Down the beach a yellow dog is running in the surf Seagulls eye a blanket but the people get there first Another man lies in the sand And lingers in the water When the waves come sweeping in (Chorus)
14.
THE DAY THAT BIG MON DIED © Bob Wright G C My radio was busted I hadn’t hear the news D C G I was stuck among the truckers with some forty miles to do G C Am Tony met me at the door as soon as I arrived D C G And told me in a quiet voice that Bill Monroe had died (Chorus) D C G He left the world his music and he lived by his own rules D C D Now they play it all around the world, they’re teaching’ it in schools G C Am When we sat there with our banjos we could feel the songs inside D C G So we played through some bluegrass tunes the day that Big Mon died It doesn’t matter what they were they came from deep within We coulda played a thousand that had all come down from him We’d play as fast as we could play and then we’d slow it down Just the way that he would do when he came into town (Chorus) There are those who make a difference there are those who never do Cause they haven’t taken chances or had faith in what they do Or they haven’t got the talent or they haven’t got the drive To rise above the rest of us and touch so many lives (Chorus) I’d like to think he listens in… from a mansion in the sky
15.
WHEN BILLY THE KID LIVED IN NEW YORK © Bob Wright (capo 3rd- play these positions/ actual chord in parentheses) Am(Cm) Billy the Kid was an outlaw Em (Gm) Am(Cm) Billy the Kid fought the law F(Ad) C(Ed) G(Bd) Am(Cm) He learned evil ways some people say Em(Gm) Am(Cm) When Billy the Kid lived in New York Billy’s mama cried for her babies Billy’s mama hated what she saw Most of the kids were carrying shivs When Billy the Kid lived in New York F(Ad) C(Ed) G(Bd) Am(Cm) The 40 Thieves and Rabbits were the teachers that he knew Em(Gm) Am(Cm) They carved their way to power they were cold and bloody crews F(Ad) C(Ed) G(Bd Am(Cm) Murder and survival were the lessons that were taught Em(Gm) Am(Cm) When Billy the Kid lived in New York Billy was a charmin’ Irish Boyo Billy was the one the girls adored But everywhere he looked there were thieves and crooks When Billy the Kid lived in New York He saw the bloody riots when they tried to have a draft He saw the politicians with their power and their graft Every lawman that he saw could always be paid off When Billy the Kid lived in New York Billy loved his pistols and his horses Billy loved his whiskey and his whores Nothing seemed as cheap as life back on the streets When Billy the Kid lived in New York The five points on a sheriff’s badge reminded him of home Where gangs became your family so you didn’t fight alone Every Irishman was treated like a dog Em(Gm) Am(Cm) When Billy the Kid lived in New York… when Billy the Kid…. Lived in New York
16.
Boot Hill 01:37
17.
I STILL HAVE FAITH IN YOU ( drop D- capo 2nd) © Bob Wright E A E everyone tells me that you’ll never stay B everyone swears that it’s true E A E everyone tells me that you’ll go away A B E but I still have faith in you we’ve had our differences over the years we’ve had to dance with the truth we’ve had to deal with the worst of our fears but I still have faith in you I’ve heard you crying at night in your room I’ve heard he told you it’s through I’ve heard you say that you’re leaving here soon but I still have faith in you you’ll hear the whispers and rumors and lies you’ll hear some things that are cruel you’ll start to heal with each day that goes by A B D D and I still have faith… I still have faith… A B E I still have faith in you
18.
The Low Road 03:18
THE LOW ROAD (key of D) © Bob Wright D G He buried his soul in a hole in the desert D A And headed up north for a while D G He figured the cold would be a mixed blessing D A D So he shrugged it all off with a smile A G D A woman had driven him out past the town G D To the edge of a future unknown D G So he stuck out his hopes as a pickup passed by him D A D And slid to a stop up the road (CHORUS) G /D A D And it’s always the same It starts out for real A G/D A And it ends with a game And his heart feels strange G A D So he’s back on the low road again He’s seen the whole country now several times over So he doesn’t hurry about And all of the places he’s laid down his guitar All hope that he comes back around And the women all say that he’s welcome to stay But they tire of him pretty soon So he puts them in songs that he keeps in his pocket And leaves them in vagabond rooms (CHORUS) And if you were to ask him if his life is empty He’d answer with travelers eyes And tell you he always thought staying was easy But going keeps going for miles And the women still fall for the man and his music Then leave him off outside of town And the next time they hear him They tell all their girlfriends They once got to keep him around (CHORUS)
19.
THEY’LL BE TRAINS IN THE FUTURE (key of G) © Bob Wright (chorus) They’ll be trains in the future When we run out of gas They’ll be people at the depot Waiting for the train to pass Everyone will be downtown Instead of at the mall They’ll be trains in the future When we run out of oil Stoke a locomotive with another load of coal Stoke a locomotive with another load of coal Stoke it, stoke it, stoke it… You can get on in Milwaukee and get off in Alabam’ Ride a sleeper car from Baltimore Straight out cross the land People will be waving at you When you’re rolling through They’ll be trains in the future And buddy that’s the truth (chorus) You’ll have time to read the paper You’ll have time to read a book You may even meet a neighbor That you somehow overlooked You can sit back and relax And let the world go slidin’ by They’ll be trains in the future So get aboard and ride (chorus)

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released January 1, 2008

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Bob Wright/ Harbortown New York, New York

He is a multi-instrumentalist, an award winning songwriter and Bob Wright songs are often mistaken for traditional songs because their immigrant roots run deep beneath the surface of America and back to the places they came from for nurturing and inspiration. They surface in a modern world, constructed with a modern sensibility and a comforting resonance with the past. ... more

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