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Lyrics: How We Changed The Road (reposted from Facebook)



This one is going to be a private post (for now)*. There’s a lyrics contest hosted by American Songwriter magazine... If anything comes of it, I’ll make this post public, but for now it’s serving as a record of composition. (And I’ll share it with my step-sister, Jess, whose name works great if you’re writing a country song in your head.)


*I wasn’t sure how to make the note private, but that’s okay -- I want to make it public now anyway!


HOW WE CHANGED THE ROADS


Ah, Jess, you’re stuck in Texas with Scotland on your mind. I’m kicking stones in Brooklyn, worn smooth from daily grind. These hipster lumberjacks in flannel plaid and skinny jeans Have driven up the rent here; soon I’ll be kicking stones in Queens.


We came from a dying town that we couldn’t keep or quit. But we filed off our rough edges until we found places to fit. Some are in that town still; some tried but failed to follow; Some were lost to crystal, others to the bottle.


But when we were young we sought the answers: We were looking for a voice. We thought we’d choose our destinies. We never had a choice. We never saw the paths ahead of us, Or felt the burden of our loads. And now the roads have changed us. But how we’ve changed the roads.


Williamsburg’s all “artisans,” all dressed up as truck drivers. And I’m the only stupid redneck among these trust fund survivors. I carry my home on my back. I carry in my heart The memories of sense and place with which I just can’t part:


The fireflies in the summer under Norway spruce; The neighbor kids’ drunk father, his tongue too loud and loose; The crayfish in the backyard run; the marker on the hill Sloping to the creek; the ungrown child there still.


But when we were young we sought the answers: We were looking for a voice. We thought we’d choose our destinies. We never had a choice. We never saw the paths ahead of us, Or felt the burden of our loads. And now the roads have changed us. But how we’ve changed the roads.


Now, married life agrees with you, and single life with me; We’re as different as brother and sister could seem be, Grown but not stopped in our paths, we travel on our ways. The Oil town is in our pasts, and so are its best days.


But you weren’t made for Texas, and Scotland is a dream; I can’t pay rent in Brooklyn and won’t pay rent in Queens. I’ve a few more dicey bets to make before I’m set to cash in. And destiny, identity: These are simply things we fashion.


But when we were young we sought the answers: We were looking for a voice. We thought we’d choose our destinies. We never had a choice. We never saw the paths ahead of us, Or felt the burden of our loads. And now the roads have changed us. But how we’ve changed the roads.