The Hard Stuff

by Susan Gibson

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lktexascoach I love all things Susan Gibson. This album highlights the depth of her songwriting.
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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of The Hard Stuff, Remember Who You Are, A Thousand Eggs, The Best of You, The Second Hand (2014), Chin Up (2003), Outerspace (2005), TightRope (2011), and 1 more. , and , .

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1.
IMAGINARY LINES Went to New York City on a great big plane Hit the ground running just to catch the next plane When we got to the station we ran straight for the bus Half the population there ahead of us Dallas to New York, Brooklyn to Queens In the same amount of time You’re either going 1000 miles an hour Or you’re just standing in line Made an appointment with a business suit Took the underground, took the business route Scrapin’ the sky in an elevator car Stuck my foot in door cuz the door was ajar The contract read like it was War and Peace And the print was written fine He wouldn’t give me a handshake til I signed on the dotted line Imaginary lines Imaginary lines Imaginary lines Grabbed my own set of keys and unfolded the map Left the rat race, left the cheese in the trap Maybe I’m crazy for refusing the help I’m still driven, I’m just driving myself County roads and interstates, an inch for 50 miles You get the lay of the landscape when you drive across state lines Imaginary lines Imaginary lines Imaginary lines All these places I’ve been driving around Are more than dots on a map, they’re my new hometowns Plenty of folks I call my next of kin They take me as I am and they take me in All these man made boundaries can’t possibly define Who we make our families by drawing our own bloodlines Imaginary lines Imaginary lines Imaginary lines
2.
Antiques 04:09
ANTIQUES Back in the day Jeanie turned a lot of heads She was built like a Chevrolet Black hair, green eyes and red, red lips She could work like a man all day She did the Schottish and the Waltz and the Cotton-Eyed Joe The Two-Step and the Western Swing She kept her dance card filled while Barnie caught his breath Until he gave her a diamond ring Getting older ain’t for the weak, it only happens to the strongest ones They aren’t useless they are precious antiques, you better treat ‘em like one Well, they said “I do” in the year of ‘62 With a baby on the way And in the blink of an eye the only time he’d ever cry He gave that little girl away Now that sweet baby girl has a baby of her own & they live a couple states away Everybody’s working so they talk on the phone They visit but they never stay Getting older ain’t for the weak, it only happens to the strongest ones They aren’t useless they are precious antiques, you better treat ‘em like one Don’t save the bottle til it’s past it’s prime Celebrate the victory of the passing time Now the world is spinning 1000 miles an hour No wonder he feels left behind Everybody else is rushing around It’s the cruelty of all man kind He gives a brand new meaning to a firm handshake He’s unsteady on his feet He lost his hearing and his license and his wife of 50 years But he’ll never admit defeat Getting older ain’t for the weak, it only happens to the strongest ones They aren’t useless they are precious antiques, you better treat ‘em like one
3.
THE HARD STUFF Every 7 years your black cats and broken mirrors reach their expiration date Every 7 years you get a brand new body cuz your cells they regenerate Every 7 years you get the 7 year itch cuz you need a little change of scene Don’t just scratch the surface, gotta dig a little deeper, see you’re living in this world like its a pinball machine Who’s it gonna be? Who’s gonna push your little buttons send you rocketing into the abyss? Cuz when you’re gone you’re long gone, honey, and you don’t leave a trace or a change of address If you’re gonna be stupid, you better be tough Quit looking for loopholes to get through the hard stuff If your excuses don’t kill ya I guess you’re strong enough To stick it out. I guess you’ll stick it out You can run away if you want to but you know that you’ll never really make an escape Not even if you walk a mile in Hermes tennis shoes or borrow one of Superman’s capes Cuz that’s the funny thing the tragic thing about our fear we take it with us everywhere we go You gotta turn around and face it, face to face, you gotta grab it by the collar, smack it smack dab square in the nose Confrontation, resignation, sweet salvation, Hell, Damnation either way it’s difficult But if you keep doing the same old thing, you’re gonna get the same result If you’re gonna be stupid, you better be tough Quit looking for loopholes to get through the hard stuff If your excuses don’t kill ya I guess you’re strong enough To stick it out. I guess you’ll stick it out You’ll never get anywhere leaving well enough alone Nothin’ lifts a heavy heart like some elbow grease and a funny bone Between the worry and regret, you’re stuck there in the middle You can’t take it anymore, I guess you gotta give a little If you’re gonna be stupid, you better be tough Quit looking for loopholes to get through the hard stuff If your excuses don’t kill ya I guess you’re strong enough To stick it out. I guess you’ll stick it out
4.
Looking For a Fight Here he comes, he’s got his trouble by his side Maybe he could shake it off if he only tried Some would call it arrogance, he just calls it pride He don’t need a reason cuz he is sanctified There he goes again looking for a fight Clench his fists until his knuckles turn white The chip on his shoulder, yeah, it’s leaning to the right And he’s daring someone to knock it off tonight Hey Jack you got something to prove You think your dirty looks will make the mountains move “Outta my way!!” that’s your attitude there you go looking for a fight Drink a couple down before he heads out to the bar Get his courage up before he gets into his car It’s not fun and games until somebody gets hurt Tears on her face and tears in her shirt CHORUS Maybe mama didn’t love enough She may have a suffocating kiss Did daddy say real men are tough Did daddy show his love with a fist? He doesn’t have a conscience about how he leaves his mark Blood in the water for the great white shark He’d rather go blind than have to look in the mirror Cuz bullies are agreed of their own damn fear CHORUS
5.
The Big Game 03:43
I've tried every single word in the book Like love and hate Like now and wait Anything to get you on that hook It's not a trap Just cuz it's bait Maybe I need a websters dictionary Something to expand my vocabulary I got a million tricks up my sleeve. My slight of hand Don't need a wedding band If only I could make you believe The smoke and mirrors They ain't contraband Maybe I need some tips from Penn and Teller Or the spell to turn me into Cinderella I want my way with you Do what I want you to Why you gotta make it so hard For me to be easy You got me holding out a little hope your saltwater smile You little crocodile You're in the crosshairs of my scope Ive been holding my breath for quite a while I tend to shoot before I aim Maybe I wasn't cut out for the big game I want my way with you Do what I want you to Why you gotta make it so hard For me to be easy I need a little dignity, I need a little grace But the only thing I know of love is the thrill of the chase I want my way with you Do what I want you to Why you gotta make it so hard For me to be easy
6.
DIAGNOSTIC HEART I have a diagnostic heart, cold and analytic love I see the symptoms read the charts, sterile hands in rubber gloves Been too long in quarantine. I need some intensive care Disconnect me from machines. Let’s have a messy love affair This terminal immunity from your infectious laughter It’s a patient kinda privacy that kills happy ever after I begged do not resuscitate. I didn’t want your life support But your heart didn’t hesitate to heal my diagnostic heart According to Hippocrates, first do no harm Casual affairs yield casualties, the first to go, My diagnostic hear A miracle, a paradox, it takes two different heart beats Kinda like a pair of socks will warm a pair of cold feet Circulation is the key. Pressure builds and tears apart. A surge right through my circuitry, bypass my diagnostic heart According to Hippocrates, first do no harm Casual affairs yield casualties, the first to go, My diagnostic heart
7.
2 Fake IDs 04:23
2 Fake IDs 1 was 16 years old my first trip outta town We broke down on the outskirts of Plainview We were looking for trouble and that's what we found Cuz trouble was hiding in plain view We hitchhiked our way into Lubbock T X I did my makeup while you did your hair In a Volkswagen hatchback we were hotter than checks That we'd write for wine coolers and beer We went drinking and dancing & we shut the place down I held the money & you held the keys On our high heeled blisters we stumbled around We were flashing our two fake ID's We lied to our parents and we lied to ourselves We were just old enough to know better On Avenue Q, in a rundown motel Once again, you were my babysitter Three in the morning, a knock on the door No music, just red and blue lights The men scattered like roaches but they busted the whores And we cried as they read 'em their rights We went drinking and dancing & we shut the place down I held the money & you held the keys On our high heeled blisters we stumbled around We were flashing our two fake ID's It wasn't the first time and it wasn't the last I pretended to be someone else Washed off the lipstick & threw out the heels A child in adult camouflage Tired and hungover, we made a deal Snuck in through unlocked garage We straightened our story, the last of the lies Suspicious, but they had no proof How did we do it? Look 'em right in the eyes & swear we were telling the truth We’d been drinking and dancing & we shut the place down I held the money & you held the keys On our high heeled blisters we stumbled around We were flashing our two fake ID's
8.
Hurricane 03:53
Hurricane It starts like a depression on the radar screen. Maybe it’s a seasonal storm You know, a little rainfall can wash you clean but deadly clouds are starting to form Expand the walls around you, that’s the first defense no one can look in your mercurial eye If you’re always under pressure any disturbance and you can kiss your ass goodbye You can’t keep it all in~ this turbulence Waiting for the wind to change Right now you’re somewhere over the ocean Spinnin’ around tryin’ to change your path Right now you’re just churning up the water But someday you’re gonna hit land There’s a thousand angry voices swirling ‘round in your head And they’re squalling at you most of the time Words you wish you could take back, words you wish you’da said, an unapologetic paradigm So you keep it all in~ this tempest Waiting on the wind to change Right now you’re somewhere over the ocean Spinnin’ around tryin’ to change your path Right now you’re just churning up the water But someday you’re gonna hit land Better pray that the levee holds Hunker down when the wind starts blowing Better yet, evacuate the coast They’ll feel the fallout out in west Wyoming Right now you’re somewhere over the ocean Spinnin’ around tryin’ to change your path Right now you’re just churning up the water But someday you’re gonna hit land
9.
WILDFLOWERS IN THE WEEDS SG 3/3/18 Terri thinks she is cursed or the fruit of unlucky genetics Cuz there are laws of the Universe that govern the earthly and etheric All she needs is one clean break in her heart of her bad habits To really hunger for something before she reaches out to grab it As above, so below. Terri reaps what she sews 40 seasons since she’s planted any seeds in between winter and spring hides the secret of every living thing And she’s looking for the wildflowers in the weeds It’s the law of polarity, every action has an inverse reaction Terri believes in posterity but not the law of attraction so she keeps them to herself, all her dreams and her desires Of love and luck and health afraid of the action faith requires in her backward little town east is west and up is down Gravity, it is the only constant creed Prayers move slower than the speed of sound, fall from her lips straight to the ground Where they germinate like wildflowers in the weeds She looks at the classifieds. She looks at the internet. if only changing was as easy as changing the channels on her TV set She looks at her horoscope. She looks at the almanac She looks at the Bible and the Big Book, looking for a needle in a haystack Terri’s looking for some roots. She digging down below the surface Solving for the absolutes, she goes to work with a purpose Terri buys a piece of land. A quarter acre is more than she needs to feel the soil in her hands. She waters the wildflowers in the weeds
10.
8 x 10 04:05
8x10 In the still and silent morning, that’s when I miss you most Cardinals welcome in the sunrise, it sounds so sweet I’d spread it on my toast I put syrup on my cornbread. I like cheese on apple pie It’s the way you always did it. I never thought to ask you why Lick your thumb to thread a needle. Thin to win when cutting cards Find that thing that you love doing. Then work hard, you work real hard Take the 3rd when singing duets. Take the 5th if you need to lie It’s the way you always did it. I never thought to ask you why I miss your cool hand on my fever Your voice a long distance call Trying to remember every single lesson I got your picture on my wall 8 x 10 happy memories under glass inside a frame There’s a candle lit beside you, your eyes dancing in the flame There you’re staring at the camera with your Mona Lisa smile It’s the way you always did it, I never thought to ask you why I miss your cool hand on my fever Your voice a long distance call Trying to remember every single blessing I got your picture on my wall

credits

released October 4, 2019

Produced by Andre Moran at Congress House Studio in Austin, Texas
Mastered by Mark Hallman, Congress House Studios
Artwork by: Emily Shirley

MUSICIANS:
Susan Gibson: vocals, guitars, hand claps
Fred Mandujano: Drums & Percussion
Alexander Lynch: Bass
Andre Moran: Electric & Acoustic guitars, Synths, Vibes, Clarinet, Organ, Piano, and all manner of things!
Mark Hallman: Background Vocals, Hammond B3
Kevin Flatt: Trumpet
Tony Bray: Tenor Saxaphone
Brian Douglas Phillips: Pedal Steel
Marian Brackney: Violin, Backing Vocals
Jana Pochop: Backing Vocals, Hand Claps
Noelle Hampton: Backing Vocals

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