barb moran
in the works

Cover Art From One Millennium to Another


Murphy Satellite
Numbers The Fire in Townsend Burns
Kids Gypsy Lady
Johnny Love Here I Am
For Mr. Wizard Anything Could Happen
Pammy's Song To the New Century
Mister Chaz The Show


She came in on a bus out of Frisco late one night
She was smiling when she said I guess you could call me a long lost friend
And though her red hair made us wonder
What kind of spell she'd tried to put him under
We had to find the heart to tell her she was lost again
(I heard her saying...)

Where is Murphy tonight Where is Murphy tonight
I can see his eyes when he laughed
I can see them like I was looking at a photograph
Where is Murphy tonight

The steps down to the river and the hills outside of town
The arcades and the barrooms - spaces in between what's found and lost
Now all the words I hear
Sound like so many numbers from an auctioneer
Half the merchandise and at only twice the cost

Where is Murphy tonight Where is Murphy tonight
Cigarettes and beer
And too many memories for one musketeer
Where is Murphy tonight

Oh the evenings in September and the mornings in July
I guess it's true the year flies around the holidays
But I know that as the time goes by
You forget the things you can't deny
Until they touch your heart again and give it all away

All the boys from the neighborhood
And all the girls from what used to be Franklin's Woods
I see them standing in the places where Murphy stood
I think I hear them singing

Where is Murphy tonight Where is Murphy tonight
Some things are wrong and some things are right
Most things just keep on spinning til they're out of sight
Where is Murphy tonight

© 1985 Karl Williams
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Numbers numbers in the sky Numbers in the grains of sand
He says numbers never lie But does he tell you where you stand
He is growing very bold He is bound to take control
With numbers

Numbers more than meet the eye When he writes them on the line
Numbers numbers multiply There behind the dollar sign
He doesn't have to do a thing To surround you with a ring
Of numbers

You'll be positive you see
The end to negativity
But when you have the proof you need
Honey you can count on me

Imaginary though it seems Numbers numbers lead you on
Til you're locked up in your dreams
And the combination's gone
He won't even say goodbye He will leave you where you lie
For numbers

© 1983 Karl Williams
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First you find yourself a partner who won't leave before the job is done
If it gets too aggravating you can always ditch 'em later on
The work is very easy I'm sure you'll get the knack
I hear some folks even learn to do it lying on their backs
And nine months later got a daughter or a son of a gun

Kids Kids Kids
Just what the doctor ordered when you're looking for a reason to live
You feed them when they're hungry you watch them when they play
And like a magic potion they take all your cares away
Kids Kids Kids

Now they don't come with no directions so I'm gonna tell you how to begin
You find the holes in the noggin that's where you put the culture in
You can make yourself a Mozart or a PhD
You can claim yourself a little piece of immortality
You thought you was a loser now you found a way you can win

Kids Kids Kids
This is the answer to your problem or I don't know what is
You feed them when they're hungry you nurse them when they're ill
They grow up to be famous and take care of all your bills
Kids Kids Kids

Now there's one minor inconvenience you can count on 'round the age of twelve
You'll find the little rascals start thinking for themselves
This bloody independence is a terrible disgrace
All your preparations start to blow up in your face
You're on the road to heaven then things are going straight to hell

Kids Kids Kids
That's what you get for doing what your momma and your daddy did
You feed them when they're hungry keep them warm when it's cold
They move to California when you're broke and growing old
Kids Kids Kids

© 1983 Karl Williams
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Johnny Love Johnny
Just a line or two
Johnny Love Johnny
To say Goodbye to you
And hey Johnny in the coming years
Don't you know Johnny we're gonna miss you here

There was something strong
Something true
Something flowing out of you
That was so sincere
A confidence
An energy
Open-hearted melody
An ocean in a tear

Johnny Love Johnny
We all try and fail
But what you reached for Johnny
Was on a grander scale
You laid down the beat Johnny
Like a drummer boy
We stood in place and we watched you
While you marched like a lonely toy

©1982 Karl Williams
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I'm so tired of all this talk and all these answers you think you've found
and the circles that you walk and your claims that we're gaining ground
but I still stop every time you start to explain the way things go
you've been talking for so long I forget that you don't know
but you don't know

You don't know what's in your head cause you can't find it in your brain
and you don't know what's in your heart deep inside your private pain
from the fingers on your hand to the questions in your soul
is a distance you can't span and a course you can't control
you can't control

All your figures run away once you've freed them from your hands
your calculations save the day by destroying what was planned
you believe the things you see and you see just what you believe
and there's no escape from that melody and from the chorus no reprieve
no reprieve

I've been captured by your words and all the liberties you take
by the promises you keep by the power of your mistakes
but now I see just what you've done the situations you've put me in
I've been losing for so long and pretending that I win
that I win

There'll be new days when all your bones have turned to dust
And new ways when all your stainless laws are rusting
And more time than you can count on your machines
And there'll be new rhymes and we could never know what they'll mean

© 1982 Karl Williams
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My daddy beat me bad one time and I ain't seen my mother since
and my little sister works the bars but my brother he's a prince
he sends me money every week or so that I wonder where he gets
and he remembers that my favorite flower is the violet

And he will take me away when he comes back
he will take me away when he comes back
I don't have to worry bout this life of mine
he will take me away when he comes back

I worked two years in a factory placing bottles on a belt
I lasted two weeks in a laundry cause the owner thought I'd melt
Digger he comes by Saturday but I hate to see him drink
and sometimes when the men walk by well I feel my spirit sink

I take a course or two in evening school and I'm gonna learn to dance
but for a girl it seems that all you do is wait for that big romance
there were sixes in my mail today like Janie read last night
but in the daytime it don't ever seem to cause you such a fright

I have a friend who used to live with me but she's married now and gone
and she's invited me to spend a week on her husband's father's farm
in late July I'll see the stars and the corn so neat and new
and perhaps I'll find a special place to think my troubles through

© 1982 Karl Williams
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That big black shepherd he'll sleep in your lap
He likes the children his mind is a trap
He may be scratching or taking a nap
That Chaz comes calling and he's ready to snap

Mister Chaz
He treats us all so bad
But we still want what he has
Mister Chaz

He was a young man when he found his luck
On the back end of a vegetable truck
Some words will fly by but some words get stuck
Sometimes a few words can be more than enough

I'd like to find out if it's it's him or it's me
At the bottom of these things that I see
These things ain't happening naturally
I think his pockets hold the mystery

© 1982 Karl Williams
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Situations are drastic
Hit you like a brick
But these conditions are plastic
We could make a change if we could make it stick

Terminal performance
The greatest show on earth
Maybe now we'll have a warning
Get to see the change for what it's worth

Floating at a safer height
Flying through the days and nights
Satellite Satellite Satellite

Hanging like a judgement
Scientific thread
This elemental wonder
Walks you through the game but every bet is hedged

Moving in a purer light
Is it clearer from that height
Will things proceed or disunite
Satellite Satellite Satellite

Above these failures and the fights
Cause and comfort wrong and right
Is there any chance you might
Hear the wish we wish tonight
Satellite Satellite Satellite

© 1985 Karl Williams
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The snow fell on the chapel and on the evergreens
As I drove up from the city with all my family
And my love and I we said the words they told us should be said
Though we knew that we'd been married since the day that we first met
And the snow fell on our shoulders and the snow fell in our hair
And the snow fell like a dying soldier on the world's despair

Her brother drove the limosene to take us back to town
Her little cousin sat beside us and rolled the window down
There were siren in the distance they sound like someone else's fight
The policeman at the intersection turned us to the right
There was a fire in the city that's all that we could learn
There was a fire in the city inside of Townsend Burns

We danced away the evening and we loved away the night
Then we took two jobs together with kids who'd lost their sight
And we cursed misunderstanding and narrow-minded men
And we did the things we found to do we thought would make a difference
And she gave all she had to give and I matched her where I could
Now they're saying Townsend Burns was crazy in all likelihood

She wasn't home at midnight she wasn't home at one
There was nothing but the waiting nothing to be done
And just before the phone rang I put it to my ear
The policeman said Hello then he said You better come down here
I took his information down and I stood up to get dressed
But there weas nothing I could find to fill the hole inside my chest

Townsend Ebeneezer Burns grew up on the hill
His father was a banker his mother owned a mill
And his brother is a scientist he's very tall and thin
Sometimes I watch them in the courtroom sometimes I wonder what they think
The judge is always on the telephone while the attorneys for defense
And the three pieces of the DA's man they're arguing again

Now I lie in this bed at night now I lie in this bed
And I touch the pillow where she used to lay her head
And I can see the snow fall on those trees and round that spire
Falling like an empty promise that dies upon the fire

© 1982 Karl Williams
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Beads and jewels on your fingers in your hair
Golden slippers on your feet
Rags and ricjes on your doorstep in your hand
Your allegiance incomplete
Mother Mary by the door
Arms outstretched receives the poor
In the back room hear your mother and your son
The candle's lit and the curtain has been drawn

Oh Gypsy Lady
Take us down to the core
Oh Gypsy Lady
Til we trust ourselves no more

Three black cadillacs are parked on your front lawn
On a Thursday afternoon
Now I am no more the young man that I was
Still I come here to your room
Like the wild bird in the fall
I am answering the call
Gypsy Lady let us reassess my fate
The years go by but I know it's not too late

© 1981 Karl Williams
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Are you going to break all the old laws
Are you going to lead with that glass jaw again
You may have the moves of a fighter
But you know you weigh in much lighter my friend

I got me a seat here at ringside
I'm sitting here waiting for your pride to show
If you go on courting disaster
You know he's going to strike you a masterful blow

But here I am
Here I am
Here I am
Maybe I'm your man

It's getting hard to say you're farsighted
What with all the pain you invited your way
You might want to stop looking past me
Why don't you come on and ask me to stay

Daybreak and sunset
That's about as clear as the day gets you know
It's all these times in the middle
Make you think it's nothing but riddles and woe

© 1983 Karl Williams
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There ain't no predictions you can trust
Though the cold statistics say you must
Try and plot it on a narrow line
The future finds itself a new design

Anything could happen

Knew a man who had a heavy touch
Used to worry and complain too much
I believe that if your touch is light
You start to see things froma different height

Anything could happen

What's the problem here
We seem to be stuck in neutral
Can't go back and forward ain't looking too good
But maybe that's just an illusion
You know you only see what you're looking at
And you only look at what you think you're gonna see

So don't let them lead and lock you in
Don't just stand there like a mannikin
Every second that you let things slide
You could be starting on a brand new ride

© 1984 Karl Williams
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Jagdish Bhawan a gentleman an Indian living in Bombay
Calls his daughter across the water she's out on Monterey
Doctor Machingaidze in Zimbabwe from the University
Three little letters she's feeling better since she got her degree

Francoise Pierre runs across a thoroughfare near San Michele
Willy Coulter shrugs his shoulders tells his boss to go to hell
Senior Santopietro in San Pelayo is kneeling down to pray
Mrs. Courtland wants to move to Portland but we're all headed one way

To the new century
To the new century

Like a world museum like a mausoleum bodies strolling round
Fashion plated dedicated to living dying down
Black brown white yellow raging mellow starving new career
All mouths and fingers with a few dead ringers bringing up the rear

I got a crazy notion but a strong emotion that the journey's just begun
I know the facts are frightening and the circle's tightening
but there's so much we haven't done
There's a time for praying and a time for playing and a time to face your fears
So wipe your asses and raise your glasses cause we're moving on from here

© 1985 Karl Williams
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There were 5 balls hanging in the air when we came into the room
And a smile upon the juggler's face like a painting in a tomb
He had a brash commanding voice and he greeted us out loud
And the people at the tables laughed at his control of crowd and craft
Like the new king at his brother's casket arrogant & proud
He caught the balls & bowed

The MC stumbled to the stage and blew into the mike
He had a joke he tried to tell but he couldn't get it right
We found ourselves a table and the waitress brought us drinks
She was one of the gentle folk you could hear that in the way she spoke
Her troubles hiding in her throat like bad luck in a jinx
She said I guess you swim or sink

But the show goes on The show goes on
The drinks are strong the evening's long and the show goes on

There was milk in the looking glass the magician held up high
He said I'll tell you everything I do I don't want to mystify
But no matter how we looked at him his actions slipped away
And even for the volunteer the visions seemed to disappear
Just when he had it focused clear the bottle dropped away
Where he couldn't say

Now the magician wanted us to know that air's more thick than thin
The thing that's crucial here he said is simple discipline
He held his arm out from his side and rolled his shirt sleeve back
And while we watched his open hand he gave a nonchalant command
In words we couldn't understand then there was a kind of crack
And the milk had turned to black

The show goes on The show goes on
Let the eyes beware what the fingers dare The show goes on

We had another round of drinks and laughed with Danny D.
He talked about his early life and his insufficiencies
He spoke out of that secret place where head and heart combine
In words that kept the world at bay then doubled back in ricochet
Bringing all the pain he'd kept away or thought he'd left behind
He caught us weak & blind

The MC took the stage again with the juggler at his heel
And while he killed another joke the juggler juggled steel
The blades were flying in the air 3 then 4 then 5
And when the MC coughed and bowed the juggler moved toward the crowd
We heard each other breathe out loud He said I hope you all survive
This trick I'm going to try

And now we see our waitress and our drinks with the magician at the bar
And Danny D. stands in the wings holding a cigar
Someone says the band is on the way but still in another state
And the juggler takes our breath again He sends the blades above our heads
To the magician his belief suspended cannot hesitate
The blades fly fast & straight

The show goes on The show goes on
The quickest hands shall rule the land The show goes on

Hours floating by our eyes like visions on a screen
Electronic memories of someone else's dreams
And now the band is tuning up and the singer picks a song
And the guitar sings out all alone in a poetry of skin and bone
From every place the winds have blown For every hope the world has known
And the singer takes the microphone he says
Let the past be gone And let the show go on

Let the show go on Let the show go on
Beyond the night into the light Let the show go on

© 1982 Karl Williams
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