When My Baby Comes Around

by Rod Johnson

supported by
Dave Polus
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Dave Polus This is an infectious album in every good sense. When an artist surrounds himself with excellent people, magic happens! Rod Johnson writes great songs, and Mike Gentry adds a light touch to the production. This is truly a gem... Favorite track: Parakeet.
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credits

released June 25, 2019

Produced by Mike Gentry with David Roof and Rod Johnson
Engineered by David Roof
Recorded, mixed and mastered at Rooftop Recording, Grand Blanc, Michigan www.rooftoprecording.net
Some recording at Willis Sound, Willis, Michigan willis-sound.com

Cover design by Ted Chesky
Cover photo by Pam Reister

All songs written by Rod Johnson
Arrangement on “Sing Sweetly“ by David Roof

Rod Johnson: acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, synth, percussion
Mike Gentry: electric guitar, good talks and good ears
David Roof: bass, acoustic & electric guitars, keyboards, vocals, percussion
Donn Deniston and John Crawford: drums
Robin Monterosso and Larry Bate: vocals
Dave Solo: acoustic and electric guitars
Jesse Thomas Morgan: piano
Kevin Brown: electric guitar
Erin Zindle: violin
Lily Roof: oboe

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Rod Johnson Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Track Name: Parakeet
I don’t know why you keep me like this
I don’t know if you even care
How long has it been since I touched the ground?
I’m just flapping around in the air

Sometimes I think this is no way to live
What would it be like to be free
Sometimes I think about flying away
But I like it when you look at me

[chorus]
So who’s your pretty boy?
Who likes to sing so sweet?
Just keep me in this handsome cage
And I’m your parakeet
I’m your parakeet

It’s not a very demanding gig
Most of the time I’m ignored
But there’s a bell to ring and songs to sing
And a mirror for when I’m bored

And I’m there when you want me to be there
Ready to sing away
I’m not sure if you even listen
I wish I had something to say

[chorus]

Parakeet, parakeet, parakeet—sing!

[chorus]
Track Name: Perfect for a While
I was a scrawny kid
Squinty eyes and pants too tight
Heart a thousand beats a minute
Never got to sleep at night

But now I'm fat and lazy
Never seem to move from my easy chair
Wish I could be different but without you
I'm not going anywhere
Ah, but

[chorus]
There was a time when everything was fine
There was a time when the stars aligned
There was a time when you smiled that smile
And I was perfect, for a while

I was born unlucky
Things never seemed to go my way
Until the day that I met you
And I knew it would be OK

But now my luck’s run out again
Now my sweet summer’s flown
Nothing much to do, nowhere much to go
Just sit here all alone
Ah, but

[chorus]

I was somewhere on the way from nowhere to nowhere
And suddenly things were looking good
How could I know it would only last a minute
I held on as long as I, held on as long as I could

[chorus]
Track Name: St. Lulu
It’s been a thirsty season
No one to hear my pleas
But now I’ve got myself a reason
To get down on my knees

I’ve never been a believer
Happy with the here and now
But now I’ve found something to believe in
So I’ll take this vow

[chorus]
I’ve been disappointed before
No one answers prayers the way that you do
Sometimes I just whisper your name: St. Lulu

Midway through my life
I was trapped in doubt
Then she appeared just like a dream
And showed me the way out

The way I worship Lulu
Some would call it a sin
But they haven’t seen her the way that I have
The light that shines within

[chorus]

I never looked forward to heaven
Couldn’t really see what it was worth
And now I say the hell with it
I’ve got heaven on earth

[chorus]
Track Name: The Further Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon
I can barely recall how it felt to me that night
When we set out on the road
I remember laughing as we made our escape
I was brave and you were bold
Like some madness was shining down upon us from the sky
We didn’t think too hard, to be honest, you and I
You and I

[chorus]
We ran, ran away on a moonlit night
Didn’t really care what came after
Now somewhere behind us, after all these years
We can still hear the little dog’s laughter

We had some good times, we had some real scares
By and large we were content
We were used pretty hard but we managed to avoid
Being broken or bent
The world was never easy and we often were afraid
We talked about how much we missed our kitchen days, but we stayed
But we stayed

[chorus]

We told ourselves that we would serve no more
We swore we would be free
We looked for a home but we never really found it
There was only you and me
And after all this time has gone by, I just wish
That I could pack it in and go back to being a dish
Just a dish

A dish too cracked to be served from or put on display
A spoon with tarnish gone too deep to be polished away

[chorus]
Track Name: In my Wrong Mind
Since you left me things got slippery
Feel this broken heart just like a bruise
Can’t stop thinking of all the sins I’m guilty of
But only by myself I stand accused

Nowadays I stay inside and listen
Always keep my curtains drawn
There’s someone waiting in the shadows
I won’t be safe until they’re gone [walk up]

[chorus]
If I had someone I could turn to
Maybe I could buy some time
But I don’t think no one can fix me, only you
When I’m in my wrong mind, uh huh
In my wrong mind

Every night I hear the whispers
They seem to come from deep inside
I don’t know if they know I’m listening
And I have nowhere I can hide

[chorus]
When I try to sleep I keep remembering
So many things I wish I could forget
So many ghosts that love to remind me
Saying “don’t you worry—we’ll get you yet”

[chorus]
Track Name: Caroline Yes and No
I’ve never hid the way I feel
I think you know by now
I’d show you you belong with me
If only I knew how
I promise I would stay with you
Forevermore
Oh Caroline, what are you waiting for?

Though I wish that I could call you mine
I’m proud to call you friend
But as long as there’s a chance that you
Will want me in the end
Then I’ll keep waiting
Long as I can
Oh Caroline, I’m a patient man

[chorus]
Caroline yes and no
Caroline maybe so
Caroline even though
Caroline… yes and no

I know how much it costs you
To keep on running round
You’ll never have to settle up
If you never settle down
But if that time should ever come
You can have me for yourself
Oh Caroline, I don’t want anybody else

[chorus]

It would make my heart rise up
To be at your side
I’d be there in a minute
If you’d only decide

[chorus]
Track Name: The Hills at Kandahar
The teenage girls are drinking
Annie Green Springs wine
Someone’s starting a bonfire
Everybody’s feeling fine
Headlights flash when they pull in the lot
It’s a Saturday night routine
Handshakes and handoffs
It’s a real Springsteen scene

[chorus]
There’s a restless urge that follows us
Wherever we are
It’s dark at the edge of the parking lot
At the hills at Kandahar

The music through the windows blends
In a beautiful rock and roll noise
We wander through the night, looking for a spark
In the darkness of high heeled boys
The girls all get reduced to tears
When their favorite song comes on
And they find someone to shelter with
Till it’s all exposed at dawn

[chorus]

All day long we wait for our lives to take shape
All night long we look for ways to escape

The cops come like it was foreordained
Though it always is a surprise
Everyone practices our innocence
And we all try our favorite lies
And we hop in cars and take to the roads
Like a stoned flock of birds
And the cops they ask if we’re being good kids
And we all know it’s only words

[chorus]
Track Name: Parachute
Days like this I just want to fly away
Fly up high in the bright light of day
In the empty atmosphere
I thought my cares might disappear
But there’s no substitute
I’m gonna parachute out of here

Once I felt lifted up by your love
A love as large as the skies above
Now the rain falls with my tears
And I count the wasted years
But it just don’t compute
I’m gonna parachute out of here

Parachute—it’s a long way down
Parachute—till I touch the ground

Well you took me for a ride on your plane
Took me up above the clouds and the rain
I hope that someday it will be clear
Why you no longer want to be near
Till then I’m absolutely gonna parachute out of here

I hope that someday it will be clear
Why you no longer want to be near
Till then I’m absolutely gonna parachute out of here
Track Name: No One's Fool
You stand me up
Honey I’ve had enough
You’re always late
You make me wait
But here’s some news
I’m telling you the score
I’m gonna shed my blues
I won’t wait no more
Well I know you think that you are cool
But you done broke the golden rule
And I’m no one’s fool
No one’s fool

Yeah I got wise
I’m gonna dry my eyes
Today’s the day
I’m gonna fly away
It was always true
That I was your guy
But now we’re through
That well’s gone dry
I been walking down this road a while
I ain’t walking it another mile
And I’m no one’s fool
No one’s fool

When I go out walking I hear people talking
About me behind my back
About the things you do and who you do them to
And how you threw me off your track
But I always listen and I know you’re kissin’
Other guys when I’m not around
So I’m all done crying and I’m testifying
That I’m gonna have to put you down

Go on home
Just leave me alone
Gonna shut my door
Won’t play your game no more
Hold my head up straight
I know that you are sad
But it’s too late
To keep the love we had
Well I don’t want to be cruel
But it’s time to send you back to school
Cause I’m no one’s fool
No one’s fool
Track Name: The Summer People
They’re on the roads, in their SUVs
Like an army on the roll
We’re on the sidewalks, eager to please
The tourist town patrol
With streets and stores sparkling in the sun
Open for another year
Of welcoming them all, and selling them the things
To remind them they were here

[chorus]
The summer people are like a bad boyfriend
They don’t need you but they don’t go away
The summer people think they own this town
And like it or not, they just may
We sell/give them things that we can never own
And when winter comes we face it all alone

He’s still back home, he’s got work to do
She’s at the summer place
These August days seem to last so long
The only sound is the surging of the waves
After a while she needs something to do
So she dresses and goes downtown
She doesn’t know we see the way she treats this place
Like it’s her own lost and found

[chorus]

The kids at night, in their pickup trucks
Roll up and down the shore
They can only go so far before the road runs out
What are they searching for?
Off in the dunes you can see a few
Gathered around a fire
The way they gaze across the firelight
Entangled in desire

Autumn’s like a dream, winter’s long and leaves you numb
Spring is sweet and fleeting and then the summer people come

It doesn’t last forever, though it seems like that sometimes
Eventually it all comes to an end
And we close up shop, and pack the toys away
All this time to spend
If our luck’s been good, maybe we’ve taken in
Enough to get us through
Now it all slows down, time to settle in
To another year of making do

[chorus]

The summer people, the summer people
The summer people come and go
The summer people, the summer people
The summer people come and go
Track Name: Mount Olivet
Tired of dying in the noonday heat
I took shelter on a shadowed street
It was long ago but I cannot forget
I was with you on Mount Olivet

I stood staring above the sunstruck town
At the heavens crashing all around
All my tears have not dried up yet
I will find you on Mount Olivet

Who’s that lying on that hill?
I’ve seen every broken bone
It was too much for me to take
I have sorrows of my own

But I always knew there would be a time
When my eyes came open & I began to climb
That I turned back I will always regret
We’ll meet again on Mount Olivet

We’ll meet again
Track Name: Exoplanet Blues
This poor world
Gonna be exhausted pretty soon
Short of food and water
Running out of room
But there are other planets
I heard it on the news
Gotta get off this rock somehow
Got the exoplanet blues

Planets, planets everywhere
As far as we can see
We gotta face reality
Nothing we can live on
Nothing we can use
Nowhere we can run to
Got the exoplanet blues

This one’s got no oxygen
This one’s much too cold
This one’s weather cannot be controlled
This one’s winter’s ten years long
Frozen toxic ooze
Is there nowhere we can go
Got the exoplanet blues

Every generation
Just might be our last
We need to find a new world
And we need it pretty fast
Another world to conquer
Another to abuse
A place to start right in again
With the exoplanet blues

Atmosphere of poison
Gravity’s too strong
Orbit too unstable to last too long
Time to make our choice
Nothing much to choose
Guess it’s all or nothin’
Got the exoplanet blues

This one’s got no oxygen
This one’s much too cold
This one’s weather cannot be controlled
This one’s winter’s ten years long
Frozen toxic ooze
Is there nowhere we can go
Got the exoplanet blues

Atmosphere of poison
Gravity’s too strong
Orbit too unstable to last too long
Time to make our choice
Nothing much to choose
Guess it’s all or nothin’
Got the exoplanet blues
Track Name: Sing Sweetly
I hear voices in the night
When the silences are deep
I know that you’re all right
When you sing yourself to sleep

Sometimes the night is hard to face
It seems to last so long
But the darkness is made beautiful
By the night bird’s song

[chorus]
May the shadows all around you
Never swallow you completely
Though I know how deep your sorrow goes
May you always sing sweetly

Once we all were courageous
Weren’t afraid of anything
But as time goes by it wears you down
It makes it hard to sing

So I hope as you grow older
When things are going wrong
You can reach down deep inside you
And find your song

[chorus]

Sometimes I can almost understand it
I hear your words and rejoice
Sometimes I just want to close my eyes
And listen to your voice

In the morning when the air
Is still and quiet all around
May you be able to recall
The dark night’s sounds

[chorus]
Track Name: Listening in my Sleep
Between the busy signals, beyond the dial tone
Canyons full of voices when you thought you were alone
Hidden ways from house to house where only children go
Words spoken in a private tongue that only children know

We spend the nights in concealment, trying to stay young
Almost touching, almost lost, almost come undone
We tell each other the softest lies, we promise to be kind
And when the dawn carries us off, no one’s left behind

[chorus]
Out on the midnight wave, suspended above the deep
I hear you in the secret wires, listening in my sleep
I feel the future rushing in, I pray my soul to keep
Listening, listening all night long, listening in my sleep

Someday we’ll be just like them, but please don’t take us yet
How will we live, remembering, how can we forget
No matter how full we come to be of troubled, restless rage
Forever we’ll remember that we used to be this brave

[chorus]

Lonely voices whispering the ghost of some old song
And everybody’s out there wishing they could sing along
Out on the secret wire, stay still, don’t look down
Or you’ll find yourself among them, broken on the ground

I fell asleep to the sweetest sound, your breathing in my ear
When I awoke, the sound was gone, and I was stranded here
Track Name: As Long as I Lie Perfectly Still
Last night as I was drifting off to sleep
Trying not to worry too hard about today
Morning seemed far off but now that it’s upon me
This bed is paradise, if only I could stay

The air trickles in my window
But I will not be troubled by the chill
If I don’t make a sound, I won’t have to lie
As long as I lie perfectly still

Too awake and waiting for the bedside radio
Any minute now they’ll be on the air
To tell me all the news someone thinks that I should know
But no one tells me why they think that I should care

And it’s so warm under this blanket
A few more minutes left in peace until
I’m dragged into the daylight, but I’m good for now
As long as I lie perfectly still

The world outside is hidden in a cloud
It isn’t very easy to see through
I could wait for the sun to burn off the fog
But let’s face it, the fog’s in me too

Sometimes the struggle just defeats me
I should try, but I don’t think I will
Here I stay so I don’t have to face it yet
As long as I lie perfectly still
Track Name: When my Baby Comes Around
Since my baby’s gone away
Nothing is the same
Wine’s gone sour, well’s gone dry
I don’t know who to blame
I can feel my whole world shaking
From the skies down to the ground
But it’s all gonna be just fine
When my baby comes around

When I go into town these days
I ask what do I do next
The waitresses and wastrels
Just look at me perplexed
If I want to do some damage
Opportunities abound
But it’s all gonna be just fine
When my baby comes around

I’ve searched for her and I’ve asked about her
Maybe I’m too late
But I’m not about to give up hope
And that means I just sit and wait

If I found a quiet harbor
From the storms out on the sea
Maybe I’d find shelter there
Someone to rescue me
I would sail until I find her
But my boat has run aground
But it’s all gonna be just fine
When my baby comes around

Just a few bright hours of sunshine
In a long, long stretch of rain
I’m waiting for a change to come
But now every day’s the same
I’ll hold on a little longer
What was lost lost may yet be found
And it’s all gonna be just fine
It’s all gonna be just fine
Yeah it’s all gonna be just fine
When my baby comes around

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