Chin Up (2003)

by Susan Gibson

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1.
ANYTHING TO KEEP FROM CRYING I’ve been on the verge of tears For the better part of a year I can’t seem to catch my breath Trying to make myself grieve Is an emotional dry heave If only I could laugh myself to death I try to get ahold of my self I’m even checking into self help My smile is half a stiff upper lip I’ve got a lump in my throat Call a white collar or a white coat Someone to help me get a grip I’ve tried the truth and I’ve tried lyin’ I’ve tried not to look you in the eye I’ve tried to trust you, I’ve tried spying Anything to keep from cryin’ I’m pacing back & forth Wearing wagon ruts in the floor Tell myself I’m staying on track I’m tearing up and it’s blurring my focus I’m convinced it’s hocus pocus A smoke & mirror’s act I’ve tried the truth and I’ve tried lyin’ I’ve tried not to look you in the eye I’ve tried to trust you, I’ve tried spying Anything to keep from cryin’ I could rent a tragedy & I could laugh at all the people like me fall asleep with my television on Maybe I could find a new pill Get my prescription filled I’m looking for a new addiction Anything to keep from crying…..
2.
CHRISTMAS IN HOUSTON Get outta Houston by Christmas It’s at the top of her wishlist Cuz her family is coming to town Wouldn’t wanna get caught with her pants hanging down Keeping secrets and keeping score I don’t see her around here that much anymore What’s she been doing with her time She’s been serving as though she’s committed a crime She is tired of cat & mouse She is tired of playing house She don’t need a new job, she don’t need a new man She’s just trying to do the best that she can On her way out of town, she’ll go quietly A couple years of school under her belt Didn’t teach her to play with the hand she’d been dealt Out with the old in with the new A fresh deck of cards, another round or two She is tired of cat & mouse She is tired of playing house She don’t need a new job, she don’t need a new man She’s just trying to do the best that she can On her way out of town, she’ll go quietly You could call her a gun for hire She’s got plenty of ammo & she’s ready to fire She starts wars, she keeps the peace She could be the bad guy she could be the police She is tired of cat & mouse She is tired of playing house She don’t need a new job, she don’t need a new man She’s just trying to do the best that she can She is tired of playing ball She is tired of being tired at all She is tired, she is tired, she is so sick and tired S he would ask for some help but it’s never free On her way out of town, she’ll go quietly
3.
Shape I'm In 03:33
SHAPE I’M IN Most people think that I’m drowning I’m off the deep end splashing around Maybe that’s just the way I swim That’s the kinda shape I’m in So you throw me a rope I think you’re trying to tie me down Or did you feed me a line just so you could reel me in So you could throw me back again Would you hurry up and throw me back again Even water jumps from a comfortable cloud For crying out loud, for crying out loud For just a moment of individuality Til it hits the ground and washes out to sea. 100 times I have fallen from grace, it has never been a graceful fall And all the while I thought it was a swan dive Turns out it was a cannonball I wanna work without a net but I don’t want to hit the ground so I’m flapping both my arms, You think I’m trying to flag you down you know a net is a trap, it’s a body bag when you’re trying to swim around Even water jumps from a comfortable cloud For crying out loud, for crying out loud For just a moment of individuality Til it hits the ground and washes out to sea. Some folks are into giving ultimatums Either you love ‘em or you hate ‘em But I like the shades of grey It reminds me of a rainy day Kinda like today Even water jumps from a comfortable cloud For crying out loud, for crying out loud For just a moment of individuality Til it hits the ground and washes out to sea.
4.
Trophy Girl 03:40
TROPHY GIRL Mount my head on the wall Take my hand and break my back You don’t think that it’s wrong To show me off just to see them react I sit high on your shelf Gathering dust and losing myself You call them over to see I stand up straighter when they look at me Trust me trophy girl I won’t give you away But I’ve got to have something to show For the games that we play Dusty trophy girl Someday again you’ll shine There’s a clock next to you counting the hours Biding your time For now you are mine You got me locked in a tower Close your eyes I’ll sing you to sleep Then slip out in the quiet hours No one knows of the prisoners you keep Trust me trophy girl I won’t give you away But I’ve got to have something to show For the games that we play Dusty trophy girl Someday again you’ll shine There’s a clock next to you counting the hours Biding your time For now you are mine
5.
Clumsy Hands 04:10
CLUMSY HANDS There’s a gal out in ol’ West Texas She don’t believe in spells she don’t believe in hexes Try as she might she can’t explain what’s come over her She runs into things she trips over her shoes She’s got a funny story for every scrape & every bruise & she knew that there’d be trouble finding a man to give his heart to her she met a handy man and he lived down south she leaned in to give a kiss, accidentally hit him in the mouth she chipped his tooth and gave him a fat lip she said ‘I guess I thought this would be more romantic, I didn’t mean to hurt you, it’s just my clumsy antics’ But he wore her smile & did not care about the chip Put your heart in these clumsy hands I’ll be careful but you got to understand I have a tendency to break so many things Left ‘em laying around where I knew they should not have been Sometimes I fall down but I’ll get up again & keep your heart in these clumsy hands Now this handy man he traveled with his tools You gotta be prepared it was his only rule & when he met this gal he knew he’d have to make a few repairs A roll of duct tape and a socket wrench, he’s used ‘em plenty when he’s in a pinch And he handled that clumsy girl with everloving care Put your heart in these clumsy hands I’ll be careful but you got to understand I have a tendency to break so many things Left ‘em laying around where I knew they should not have been Sometimes I fall down but I’ll get up again & keep your heart in these clumsy hands Now every love story’s got to have a good end & some rules you break and some rules you bend & this handyman tried like hell to put the ending off I guess she broke his heart just one time too many He looked for his tape and found that he did not have any He headed south he headed south he headed south Put your heart in these clumsy hands I’ll be careful but you got to understand I have a tendency to break so many things Left ‘em laying around where I knew they should not have been Sometimes I fall down but I’ll get up again & keep your heart in these clumsy hands
6.
EVERYWHERE I GO I am a tourist seven days a week I don’t mind the traffic & I got a gypsy streak You can’t be the prodigal son if you never come back home But I hope you’re thinking of me everywhere I go Now I never have the money to ever hang around But I always got the money if you want to blow this town The only souvenirs will be the dust from the road And I’ll never shake it off me everywhere I go We could take the interstate We could take the scenic drive Like a fish moving up stream Keep moving just to stay alive No time to take the shortcut It’s a long and winding road & I’m thankful that it’s out there everywhere I go I am a tourist seven days a week I don’t mind the traffic & I got a gypsy streak You can’t be the prodigal son if you never come back home But I hope you’re thinking of me everywhere I go
7.
IF I’D THOUGHT If I’d have thought what I’d had said woulda hurt you so bad those word’s would never left my head I told the truth and I got caught. Where in the world would I be now if I’d a thought? You asked me what. & I told you what. Remember that you asked for it & then you said I took a cheap shot You give me grief and I said thanks a lot. Never woulda turned out this way if I’da thought I thought that I could smooth it over with a little eloquence I don’t think that the worst is over til we’re handed our consequences Don’t you know they get expensive More than I bargained for, that’s what I got. & all the while you’re selling out I bought and bought and bought and bought I tried to strike while the iron’s hot. I wasn’t kicking you while you’re down if only I’d have thought. I thought that I could smooth it over with a little eloquence I don’t’ think that the worst is over til we’re handed our consequences Don’t you know they get expensive
8.
EXCUSES, EXCUSES La da da da Excuses excuses what’s the matter with me Why does it seem I invite you It’s no use it’s no use in coming around Now that I’ve found one good reason Now I know there are many things that I should do Write a letter to you , I could wash a dish or two & I give myself deadlines, they pass me right by oh how time flies oh it flies & I find myself wondering when I will change I keep waiting around til that god given day Until then my time just keeps slipping away La da da da Now I need a decision, which way to go Do I bask in the glow or head out heel and toe & I’m too good at wishing on pennies and on stars it keeps me from taking some action & I find myself wondering when I will change I keep waiting around til that god given day Until then my time just keeps slipping away La da da da Excuses, Excuses what’s the matter with me? La da da da
9.
Sourpuss 03:06
SOURPUSS Look at you you sourpuss you don’t leave home without your frown You even got the matching set when you wear it with your furrowed brow Save your smile for company. You wouldn’t want to wear it out Like a Mr roger’s potato head you take off the smile you put on a pout Boy oh boy that’s quite a scowl when you get home from work Kick the dog you make her howl all because of some other jerks & when the going gets a little rougher it’s only fair that we all suffer we could hold a contest, you could win first place for the one who could keep the meanest mad look written on his face you’d go down in history written up in all the books as the one who spent the most time practicing his world famous dirty looks Boy oh boy that’s quite a scowl when you get home from work Kick the dog you make her howl all because of some other jerks & when the going gets a little rougher it’s only fair that we all suffer I’d give you a happy thought if I thought you could take it Even if you’re not really mad I think you just like to fake it Let’s see that Cheshire grin lets see those pearly whites Catch more flies with honey baby it’ll keep you outta fights. But you like to fight
10.
Do You 04:47
DO YOU I’m sorry that I kept you waiting Both sides of my brain debating I come to you now with my head in my hands I’ve got an idea I’ve got big plans Won’t you take another chance Give me another one too That’s why I waited on a slow dance So I could hang on to you Do you? What’s this world coming to? Oh, it’s making me realize that I need you I want my freedom but it don’t come cheap I want your love and a good night’s sleep Can’t you hold me in your arms Just til the end of this song That’s why I waited on a slow one Cuz they last a little longer Do you? Oh, I knew when I said it I was digging a hole I just didn’t’ know that the tape was rolling You try to forgive but you can’t forget Giving so much that you’re living in debt You can’t rewind & I can’t erase but I can kiss those tears right off of your face do you what’s this world coming to?
11.
ONE ROLLERSKATE I found a postcard that I meant to send you From a time when I missed you when we were apart I liked to miss you cuz at least then I had you Now this tattered postcard is all that’s left of my heart I found a roller skate we got at the yard sale You got the left one cuz I took the right And in the right moments we were a matched pair But nothing’s as useless as one roller skate And I wonder what happened, what made it so hard To find a mailbox and mail your postcard I sure am sorry, but it’s just too late Nothing’s as useless as one roller skate Nothings as worthless as one rollerskate I found a T-shirt you loaned to my sister The last time we all did some work in the yard And I wonder the would-haves and the could-haves and should-haves If only I’d mailed that old postcard I found a picture of both of us smiling Taken way back when you had short hair Your hair’s past your shoulders now love & I don’t remember if I’d seen us smiling, both of us smiling since that picture there And I wonder what happened, what made it so hard To find a mailbox and mail your postcard I sure am sorry, but it’s just too late Nothing’s as useless as one roller skate Nothings as worthless as one roller skate
12.
TAKE YOU WITH ME The mail’s been piling up for the last two weeks Give away two dollars for every dollar I keep I can’t even find my ends let alone make them meet Heading out the door again on four hours sleep I know you are waiting on my return Anticipating all the lessons I have learned Dreaming about it having money to burn Maybe someday baby it’ll be our turn I’d do it all for you Ain’t nothing that I would not do I’d do it all for you Everything I got to do If I could do it all again I’d take you with me when I go I pull in the driveway walk through that gate Came home a day early, but it was too damn late The house it feels so empty that’s the one thing I hate The note on the table said you could not wait I’d do it all for you Ain’t nothing that I would not do I’d do it all for you Everything I got to do If I could do it all again I’d take you with me when I go
13.
84 FORD GOODTIMES I wanna get out on the road It doesn’t have to be the right road I’d drive for miles and miles and miles in any direction I like the feeling of the wheel in my hands And taking off with no particular plans Waiting til I get over that hill to find a radio staion I wanna get out on the road It doesn’t have to be a straight road I don’t mind all the weaving and the winding in a room with a rear view I like the sound of gravel in my wheels And the howling of the hounds at my heels Once I’m outta range, outta danger, no reason to fear you I can’t wait to hit the city limits of this town Cuz after that the sky is the limit At least til we break down….the road I wanna get out on the road You can leave all your luggage just to lighten the load It’s not the destination, but the journey that I’ll treasure best I don’t have to be going nowhere But I’ll send you a post card when I get there I’m heading north or south or east or west I can’t wait to hit the city limits of this town Cuz after that the sky is the limit At least til we break down….the road

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released June 1, 2002

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