2 O's, 2 E's

by John Voorhees

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1.
The Best War 03:39
A grimy crew are marching by In the shopping malls and stores They aren’t fully satisfied They want another war to end all wars There’s the war on drugs and homelessness Like the war on poverty They can talk about them ’til they’re blue in the face But there’s not enough blood to see Chorus: Singin’ “Hey! Is everybody ready? Ready on the cannon? Ready on the guillotine? Ready on the tanks and torture chambers? Ready for the best war you’ve ever seen?” Well our enemies were so clear cut Only twenty years ago But the whole world’s turned around since then And the men are feelin’ sluggish and slow The bad guys then are the good guys now They don’t know who they’re supposed to fight But they know they wanna do a lot of killing soon And they’d like to get started tonight (Chorus) Oh, maybe we can kill those radicals Who’d burn our flag so true Maybe we can kill rap music stars Or put ‘em all in a big zoo Maybe we can kill the vegetable lovers And the homosexuals too Or maybe we’ll just kill you You know you never can tell what a person like you might do Oh yeah Their blood pressure rises With every day without the first blow The whole world’s already shaken up You know a battle’s coming soon, you know What’s the harm in a little war? The fighting turns boys to men And now that nuclear bombs have hit the peace tom-toms We can have a front line again And we’ll go in … (Chorus) Don’t move too fast or they’re gonna getcha Cuz you know their trigger finger’s itchy And they’re all just singin’ “Hey! Is everybody ready? (Ready to defend your noble Uncle Sam?) Ready on the cannon? Ready on the guillotine? (Ready to kill the crummy scum who don’t give a damn?) Ready on the tanks and torture chambers? (Ready for another chance to win Vietnam?) Ready for the best war you’ve ever Ready for the best war they’ve ever Ready for the best war there’s ever been?"
2.
Justify 04:36
I visited the airport on a busy day To seek wisdom at the crossroads It seemed the only way For though I wasn’t panicked I was feeling unaligned I had no idea which path that lay ahead was mine An old man at the terminal raised a wrinkled hand Said, “Follow not your whims, my boy Make sure your time is planned For on the day of judgment when the trumpets fill the sky Your every waking moment you will have to justify Justify, Justify Justify your means and ways For at the end you’ll have to pay For all the days you cannot justify.” The woman next to him agreed “He’s right about the plans But all you must make sure about is money in your hands For though there’s many causes and the world outside is tough Keep your family comfy and you’re justified enough.” Her husband spoke in monotone “The money’s all you need I hear that when you’re rich enough you overcome your greed That’s why I work long hours in an office building high Making so much money I won’t have to justify Justify, justify Justify with dollar bills Money covers all your ills Until you will not have to justify You may nod your head or swear they’re all insane There are many, many pathways (as was becoming plain) But by seeing the directions I could not bear to go Another path was made clear and now my way I know I don’t believe in judgment, I don’t believe in plans And any fool will tell you that it’s hard to believe in man I don’t expect a day when God will never more forgive But I know there’s only one way I have found to live I will not be a monster for money or for land I will not sit here quietly and say that life is grand But as the time keeps rolling on until the day I die It’s to myself and to my God that I must justify Justify, justify Justify each step I take Make each gift that I can make Care when many will not care Speak when many will not dare Live a life that’s got some worth Keep in mind both God and Earth And that’s a path that I can justify Justify Justify
3.
If no one was to listen and nothing was to break My innocent remark would count as quite a big mistake I’ve never been to Normandy although I’ve climbed a tree And I’ve never called you anything but ‘she’ The titles in my library are really too obscure But the undertow is grinning as a wave breaks through the shore If Malcolm is a lighthouse keeper, I’m a drunken fish From the Philippines en route to Natchitoches And the days drag on like hours and the years plod on like seconds As a girl I don’t know beckons from the inside of the sky For I’ve never felt so frazzled* or so rhythmically distracted As my patience is refracted in a haze of when and why St. Patrick’s Day was frozen through a magnifying glass But it’s all been torn to ribbons by a diplomat on grass And the altar boys are busking in a new sidewalk café With their cocoa butter soaking up the hay Do the raindrops seem to tremble at a glance from Katmandu With a pocket full of promises and a bucket full of shoes? Though I see the lifeguard drowning, he’s talking out of key To a fellow with a bureaucrats degree And the days drag on like hours and the years plod on like seconds As a girl I don’t know beckons from the inside of the sky Though I’ve never seen a compass made from leftover tattoos I would love to watch you use one in the bitter by and by Is that Nancy in the window? Is she eating feta cheese? Cuz the rats are watching Jeopardy and falling on their knees As the gas truck hits a racetrack and begins to pick up speed All the congressmen have voted to proceed No, you can’t just sit there, stupid, no, you have to grab a shoe Cuz the rats are getting restless and there’s so much you can do Be the hero, be the villain, be the one that got away Nothing comes from nothing gained, I always say And the days drag on like hours and the years plod on like seconds As a girl I don’t know beckons from the inside of the sky And the occupants are joining forces, praying to the dishes And their words are mean and vicious and they will not wear a tie And the days drag on like hours and the years plod on like seconds As a girl I don’t know beckons from the inside of the sky For I’ve never felt so frazzled or so rhythmically distracted As my patience is refracted in the bitter by and by
4.
Poor little Malcolm Malcontent Hears how much is said and knows how little is meant But his chance to do a thing about it just sorta came and went Poor little Malcolm, Malcolm Malcontent Poor little Susie Sad-But-True Sees the world's corruption like only a very few But she knows despite her horror that there's nothing she can do Poor little Susie, Susie Sad-But-True Chorus: And if the misfits of the world should unite and take over It wouldn't mean the world would be all roses and clover Cuz people will be people, people make mistakes And it always takes more people to set it straight And Runaway Ronald has to run on by Careful not to look anyone in the eye They just might see down in his soul How far he is from being whole Poor little Danny Dump-On-Me Knows he'll be abused by everyone he sees And his face of resignation just makes everyone agree With poor little Danny, Danny Dump-On-Me (Chorus) Beligerent Brenda makes the world step back Takes no guff and she gets no flak And no one even wants to look her way But that's the price she's gonna have to pay Poor little Malcolm Malcontent Wrote this song to show that his concern was not all spent But I don't think it's gonna go too far towards paying the rent Poor little Malcolm
5.
Vision 03:10
If every dog can have a day I know that I can get my way I wonder when I'll reach the date And make a killing in real estate Chorus: If you've got something to say, you might as well talk to a wall Cuz I'm a man with a vision and I can't hear you at all Get a partner, Make a deal Get a big car and hang around with big wheels Seize a company losing ground Buy a mansion, buy a town (Chorus) I'm gonna live the American dream There's only one American dream, so it seems And if they could, they'd all live the American dream I have no ethics or convictions I will succumb to drug addiction Rehab will make me a drug fighter And I'll make a million with a good ghost writer (Chorus) I'm gonna live the American dream There's only one American dream, so it seems Make tons of money with a morally bankrupt scheme When you're on top you can't hear your victims scream And if they could, they'd all live the American dream When I get old, I'll have respect Beautiful yuppies all hanging off my neck Won't leave my money to my family I'll find a way to take my cash along with me
6.
There's a lot of people walking round with nothing on their mind It seems some time ago they up and left the world behind They don't know what they're doing, they don't know how to try But that's a hard way to live your life and a harder way to die There's a lot of people walking round with scars left on their hearts They don't talk to anyone for fear of pulling the seams apart Some folks call them crazy, some just call them shy But that's a hard way to live your life and a harder way to die Some people are just so sad that they can't even cry Some people even think the whole idea of truth is a lie There's a lot of people talking round that no one wants to hear The public tunes the public out 'til the voices disappear Everyone wants to change the world and no one cares about why It's such a lonely world out there it makes you want to cry And that's a hard way to live your life and a harder way to die
7.
(You'll have to listen)
8.
On another day, for another reason I walked our street all alone At a different time, with a different outlook Your image was held aloft by questions Why are you like you are? How did we make it that far? And my mind burned like a star on another day On another road I set my soul to wanderin' Fighting the impulse to head for home I see through different eyes, it's like a new dimension Here are the phantoms I'd forsaken I was blind to pretend We would never meet again Or that we'd meet as friends on another day Slowly orbiting the jetsam I try in vain to picture the whole It's hard to miss what you can hardly imagine But I feel a vacancy deep in my soul On another day I dusted off the history Turned pages past all reckoning Took another breath, smiled another heartache Let memory wash over my solitude Waves on an unfocused shore 'Til I could reflect no more And I softly shut the door on another day
9.
Rain Dance 03:55
Better get the children inside Better close the windows tight They're saying on the radio There's gonna be a thunderstorm tonight It's been too dry too long now The grass has all turned brown See that cumulonimbus forming Gonna wash some life into this town You can almost hear the garden saying Thank you You can almost feel relief beneath the ground Hear the rock 'n' roll men hummin' That the thunderstorm is comin' I been so dry I wish that I could drown Wish that I could drown Everybody's made of water Everybody smells the rain Listen for the sound of thunder Make us feel like animals again Better than the sweetest music Better than a mandolin Better get the big umbrella Look at all the goosebumps on my skin You can almost see the flowers doing warm-ups You can almost see the trees stretch out their limbs Doesn't matter what you're doin' You know the storm is brewin' You can feel it in the whistle of the wind Whistle of the wind Say you wanna go outside Say you wanna take a ride Well be advised the skies are lookin' gray You don't wanna be exposed When this kind of weather shows But I might just go dancing on the lawn today Are you ready for the rain now? Better get the children inside Better close the windows tight They're saying on the radio They're gonna wash the gullies out tonight There's gonna be a storm And you can almost hear the garden saying Thank you You can almost feel relief beneath the ground Doesn't matter what you're doin' You know the storm is brewin' And I been so dry I wish that I could drown Wish that I could drown So bring it down now
10.
Glowing 03:30
Saw her by the riverside Looking like a blushing bride And glowing Eyes as clear as mid-July Lips still damp from a kiss goodbye Glowing She was a lover who was never mine But I can't forget the way she shined Moon and the stars and the sun combined She was glowing, she was glowing Walking by the riverside As though created by the tide Glowing Dressed in document and song Smile surpassing right and wrong Glowing Other thoughts were banished by the curve of her hand And the perfect footprints in the dampened sand There was nothing left to contemplate or to understand She was glowing, she was glowing And when I left the riverside My heart she still occupied Glowing She told her life in serenade With every movement that she made Glowing She was a lover who was never mine But I can't forget the way she shined Moon and the stars and the sun combined She was glowing, she was glowing
11.
Must Go 03:35
If you feel that you must go Then how can I slow you down? If the answer must be no How can I make you come around? Even though you're sitting with me It's like you're already gone You're on the highway zipping through Dallas And the words I say too far away If you feel that you must go Then I'm just wasting both our times I didn't really want to know But now I know there's no denying I might as well just kiss you goodbye And wish you good luck and so and so And you might as well get on the road If you must go If there's nothing to decide Then what am I supposed to do? Yes it's true, you never lied That's what I love so much about you But I wish I had another chance Before you start your life again And if you don't want to hear this Then why's your car still in our yard? If there's nothing to decide Why should I even state my case? All I can say is that I tried And if I failed there's no disgrace I might as well just kiss you goodbye And wish you good luck and so and so And you might as well get on the road If you must go If you really go tonight I hope you don't forget my name I hope you call, I hope you write I know you won't, cuz you're still the same I might as well just kiss you goodbye And wish you good luck and so and so And you might as well get on the road If you must go
12.
Coming Down 05:21
I am not trying to avoid you But I know it looks that way I am not trying to cut off What you're trying to say Don't get discouraged, we'll talk on another day Okay? It's just that the rain is coming down The rain is coming down And I wanna go inside where it's warm and dry I don't disparage you motives I know your heart is good You'll make it out of the woods real soon Knock on wood Am I not paying attention as well as I could? I should It's just that the pain is coming down The pain is coming down I can barely stand up when I feel you cry I feel the pull of the life I have built Out of comfort and cowardice, stiffness and guilt And it stops me from staying too long Your situation is bad And I'm glad you reached out to me Previous plans just prevent me From being the key Maybe you'll find someone else Who can set your soul free We'll see But I feel my world is coming down World is coming down And it keeps me from making heartfelt try Cuz I don't believe in the future or past Like a normal man I just keep stretching the present As far as I can And when you say yesterday Might as well be The Sudan (Or Japan or Iran) And I feel the time is coming down Time is coming down And tomorrow's a good way to say goodbye And I feel the pull of the life I have built Out of comfort and cowardice, stiffness and guilt And it stops me from staying too long And it stops me from staying too long This is not just an excuse But I know it will sound that way It's hard enough for me to fight my way back Through the gray Don't get discouraged, we'll talk on another day Okay? It's just that the rain is coming down The rain is coming down And I wanna go inside where it's warm and dry
13.
April Snow 06:01
Peeking through the blinds again Another Monday morning dressed in white and gray It's preying on my mind again It's not supposed to still be this way But the time is coming 'round again When green grass is gonna push on through And it should've happened weeks ago now But who am I to tell this planet what to do? We are born again in Springtime Mother Nature rolls the stone away But not today And I can hear you say "Oh no! Not another April snow!" So I put on my boots again And I'm headed out the door There's not enough snow to shovel this morning There's just enough to make me wonder what it's here for Is it a reminder to the world To take things as they fall? Will we all love the spring so much better now Or maybe there's just no good reason at all No, not at all I have reveled in the winter I was making snow angels on the lawn And now, I'm just waiting for it all to go We are born again in Springtime Mother Nature rolls the stone away But not today And I can hear you say "Oh no! Not another April snow!" An April snow And who can you complain to Except your passing friends and say "Looks like another winner of a day, huh, Jane?" And "When d'ya think this mother of 'em all is gonna end?" Cuz the time is coming 'round again When green grass is gonna push on through And it should've happened weeks ago now But who am I to tell this planet what to do? I have reveled in the winter I was making snow angels on the lawn And now, I'm just waiting for it all to go We are born again in Springtime Mother Nature rolls the stone away But not today And I can hear you say "Oh no! Not another April snow!" And you can hear me say "Not another April snow!" And it won't let go
14.
I was once the sorest of sore losers Faced defeat with anger and with shame Then one day I woke to my good senses Thankfully I've never been the same I've learned to smile with wild abandon When I shake the consolation hand I can say "Good game!" with heartfelt pleasure As if losing was the very thing I'd planned I'm the king of all good sports It's a victory of sorts to say that I'm a magnificent loser And I can take embarrassment with glee I'm a magnificent loser And now everybody wants to play with me Play with me Everybody wants to play with me Before I came to my conversion Life was never like I thought it should Couldn't bear the smallest of small failures And on top of that, I wasn't very good Now that I've learned to be a loser I have no fear of better men I can look the victor in the eyeball And ask him " Do you want to play again?" I'm the king of all good sports It's a victory of sorts to say that I'm a magnificent loser And no one has more grace in their defeat I'm a magnificent loser I guess I've got a knack for getting beat Getting beat I guess I've got a knack for getting beat If he makes you happier, of course you have to go On that point I know we both agree I can think of nothing that would bring a warmer glow Than to think of you as happier than me Happier than me So when life brings its disappointments No one will know I feel a thing I'll just keep laughing like a madman I'll throw my shoulders back and then I'll sing I'm the king of all good sports It's a victory of sorts to say that I'm a magnificent loser And I can take embarrassment with glee I'm a magnificent loser And now everybody wants to play with me A magnificent loser And I can take my downfalls with a grin I'm a magnificent loster And I don't know what I'd do if I should win I won't win But I don't know what I'd do I don't know what I'd do if I should win

about

This is a collection of some of my older songs, recorded with just me and my guitar. The idea was to have a recording that actually sounds like what I do when I play live, but it also breathes a little life back into some songs that most people have only heard on my early cassettes and it adds two songs that haven’t seen the light of day since I was in college!

The original recording was actually done in the same sessions as Fiesta Time (2006), in a practice room in a Gulfport music store in the months immediately following Hurricane Katrina. I was supposed to be able to just get this together and release it very quickly, but life has a way of shifting your priorities around from day to day, and the next thing you know, it’s four years later.

Why these songs? Well, I started out with a much longer set list, and I was actually planning on a 2-part release, one disc called “2 O’s” and one called “2 E’s”, but the quality of the performances was not as consistent as I had hoped, so I whittled what I had down to a good solid hour.

A special THANK YOU shout goes out to my wonderful mother-in-law, Darlene Reichard, who funded this little misadventure, as well as Fiesta Time. Gracias, Dee! And I also need to thank my loving wife who was not only tremendously supportive of this little venture, but also took the striking picture of my old, delapidated glasses that I used on the cover. She also took the pic on the front of Fiesta Time. Isn’t she awesome?

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released February 28, 2009

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