Home     Music     Events     Credits     Media Kit     F.A.Q.     Reviews     Gallery     Links     Contact    

Messiah Refugee CD

The theme is spiritual meaning and questioning: although only two songs are explicitly about religion, most touch upon it or upon related topics such as abuse of power or love and forgiveness.  The arrangements are spare, centered around Rebecca's voice and a grand piano.
Liner notes

1.  Messiah Refugee
Lyrics
Backstory
2.  I Can Talk to You
Lyrics
Backstory
3.  Sisters and Strangers
Lyrics
Backstory
4.  Die Laughing
Lyrics
Backstory
5.  Father
Lyrics
Backstory
6.  Taking the First
Lyrics
Backstory
7.  Scars
Lyrics
Backstory
8.  My Cable TV
Lyrics
Backstory
9.  Beth Doesn’t Know
Lyrics
Backstory
10.  Too Much Is Not Enough
Lyrics
Backstory
11.  Bad Boss Blues
Lyrics
Backstory
12.  This Town Is Dead
Lyrics
Backstory
13.  I Will Be Remembered
Lyrics
Backstory
14.  Messiah Refugee
     (electric)
Lyrics
Backstory
Night Ship CD

Theatrical folk-rock: songs that set scenes, tell stories, and dramatize conversations, with sharp lyrics and memorable melodies. Etherial to edgy, personal to political.
Liner notes
1.  Working
Lyrics
Backstory
2.  World in His Pocket
Lyrics
Backstory
3.  Turn of the Tide
Lyrics
Backstory
4.  Right Thing to Do
Lyrics
Backstory
5.  Only I Know Me
Lyrics
Backstory
6.  Playing God
Lyrics
Backstory
7.  Kill His Memory
Lyrics
Backstory
8.  Fade to Black
Lyrics
Backstory
9.  Under the Moon
Lyrics
Backstory
10.  Other Ways to Fight
Lyrics
Backstory
11.  You Will Find Me
Lyrics
Backstory
12.  I Don't Want to Tell You
Lyrics
Backstory
13.  You Will Pay
Lyrics
Backstory
14.  Night Ship
Lyrics
Backstory
15.  Socks
Lyrics
Backstory
If you don't see the mp3 player buttons next to each song listed above, get the Adobe Flash player (free).
Rebecca Parks CDs are also available at Streetlight Records, located at 980 S. Bascom Ave. in San Jose.
To order by mail, contact us.



Works in Progress

1.  Wait for Me
Lyrics
Backstory
2.  Strange Piano Dreams
Lyrics
Backstory
3.  If I Could Be Two People
Lyrics
Backstory
4.  Freedom Is Your Right
Lyrics
Backstory
5.  Say Something
Lyrics
Backstory
6.  Secret Stage
Lyrics
Backstory
7.  Walk on Any World
Lyrics
Backstory











All songs by Rebecca June Parks ©Messiah Refugees Music (BMI) except I Will Be Remembered
by Rebecca June Parks and Gary Lee Parks ©Messiah Refugees Music (BMI),
and This Town Is Dead by Meryn Gruhn Di Tullio and Rebecca June Parks
©Messiah Refugees Music (BMI). All rights reserved.

© 2004-2017 Rebecca June Parks. Site: SkylightWebworks Home | Music | Events | Credits | Media Kit | F.A.Q. | Reviews | Gallery | Links | Contact






Messiah Refugee - Liner Notes

Rebecca Parks: vocals, piano, acoustic guitar
Gary Lee Parks: vocals
Meryn Gruhn DiTullio: cello, vocals
Mari Aranoff: flute
Kenny Schick: saxophone
Robert Berry: drums, acoustic bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric instruments on track 14

Produced and engineered by Robert Berry at Soundtek Studios, Campbell, CA

Mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA

Illustrations by Gary Lee Parks
Front cover inspired by Alphonse Mucha's Zodiac

Thanks to family and friends for their support. Special thanks to Becky and Beth Anastasio, Steve Gillette, Jai Josefs, Carol McComb, Linn Moffett, Patrick Moore, Dave Moorer, Barbara Richter, Peter Sterbach, and West Coast Songwriters.

Messiah Refugee

The light for which I used to search
I couldn’t find in any church.
I found faith too all-consuming,
And the teachers all too human.

Religion lost its grip on me.
A guru has no mystery.
Some say I’m lost, I say I’m free.
I’m a messiah refugee.

I met with God of my own will,
Alone at night upon a hill.
Though skeptics call this grand psychosis,
Mystics used to call it gnosis.

Religion lost its grip on me.
A guru has no mystery.
Some say I’m lost, I say I’m free.
I’m a messiah refugee.

I won’t join another’s creed.
I have no desire to lead.
What’s impossible to teach
Is within each person’s reach.

Religion lost its grip on me.
A guru has no mystery.
Some say I’m lost, I say I’m free.
I’m a messiah refugee.


© Rebecca June Parks

I Can Talk To You

I’ve just revealed the secret no one else would dare to say,
Perhaps I could have spoken in a less impulsive way,
But be that as it may,
In many faces I see anger that is hiding shame,
Or fear that covers just a hint that they might feel the same.
I feel I’m being blamed,

But you can always tell, how much I mean well.

When the whole world turns away,
When I don’t know what to do,
When the words are hard to say,
I can talk to you, I can talk to you.

I have a friend who’s self-destructing right before my eyes,
Other friends have warned her; she thinks they don’t sympathize.
I can’t reflect her lies.
I try to think of what would soothe her in her fragile pain,
A bit of wisdom to inspire the part of her that’s sane,
I’m wearying my brain.

By listening to me, you help me find the key.

When the whole world turns away,
When I don’t know what to do,
When the words are hard to say,
I can talk to you, I can talk to you.

Apologizing isn’t hard because I know I’m wrong;
If my good faith is not accepted, I’m not very strong,
I feel I don’t belong.
I try to be respectful, and careful what I say,
But when my values are at stake I leap into the fray,
My hand I overplay.

If you find my words rough, “I’m sorry” is enough.

When the whole world turns away,
When I don’t know what to do,
When the words are hard to say,
I can talk to you, I can talk to you.


© Rebecca June Parks

Sisters and Strangers

You were popular and cool,
Not spectacular in school,
Always found the sharpest things to say.
You made fun of my good grades,
I condemned your escapades,
Watched you win the games I couldn’t play.

Sisters, and strangers
Same eyes, but different points of view.
You couldn’t see what I went through.
Some understanding’s overdue.
We’re sisters, and strangers too.

I got promoted, got engaged;
You had some drinks, became enraged,
The celebration turned into a fight.
As if we were in our teens,
We played out familiar scenes.
Until now, we haven’t spoken since that night.

Sisters, and strangers
Same eyes, but different points of view.
I couldn’t see what you went through.
Some understanding’s overdue.
We’re sisters, and strangers too.

We share a common history.
We both want ties to family.
Forgiveness won’t come easily,
But you still mean a lot to me.

Sisters, and strangers
Same eyes, but different points of view.
I’d like to know what you went through.
Some understanding’s overdue.
We’re sisters, and strangers too.


© Rebecca June Parks

Die Laughing

The war on drugs is very hard to win,
But some of the force has adjusted.
A secret stash, a party and a raid,
And now it’s some cops who are busted.

Before I’d been around, I would be so upset,
When truth and ideals were clashing.
The more I see of life, the more amused I get,
And someday I might die laughing.

Officials hate to pay a welfare mom,
They question her judgment in speeches.
Then they bail out a reckless CEO—
It’s fine for the rich to be leeches.

Before I’d been around, I would be so upset,
When truth and ideals were clashing.
The more I see of life, the more amused I get,
And someday I might die laughing.

I used to read the news,
And get the blues,
Or scream in rage.
But now each scandal is
Some cheap showbiz,
A comics page.

Self-righteous men who claim to stand erect
Get caught with the ladies who blow it.
The best excuse that I have heard so far:
“But it wasn’t sex as we know it.”

Before I’d been around, I would be so upset,
When truth and ideals were clashing.
The more I see of life, the more amused I get,
And someday I might die laughing.


© Rebecca June Parks

Father

Marriage is like farming; he’s the seed,
And I’m the land that mustn’t grow a weed.
My husband planted ‘til I bore a son.
Of all his children, he just raises one.

With my own father, it was much the same.
He knew that someday I would lose his name.
But so that he could make a decent sale,
He made sure I could wear that virgin veil.

Father of creation,
Father of the nation,
And father of the family—
The ties that bind.
They love me and they hate me,
Defend me and degrade me.
They use my body ‘til I’m spent
And waste my mind.

I’d like to see my daughters go to school.
My son can go, but it’s against the rule
To give a girl a chance of any life
Beyond her fate as mother, servant, wife.

My brother taught me how to read and write,
And that let in a little bit of light.
Now he’s a teacher, I’m just property,
And I can find no path to being free.

Father of creation,
Father of the nation,
And father of the family—
The ties that bind.
They love me and they hate me,
Defend me and degrade me.
They use my body ‘til I’m spent
And waste my mind.

If defiled I’d be cast out.
It is the law, no room for doubt.
I’d be a beggar or I might
End up a lady of the night.
My prayers would even be denied.
Why does God always take men’s side?

Father of creation,
Father of the nation,
And father of the family—
The ties that bind.
They love me and they hate me,
Defend me and degrade me.
They use my body ‘til I’m spent
And waste my mind.


© Rebecca June Parks

Taking the First

Our Constitution says you can keep silent,
Just take the 5th if you choose not to speak.
But me, I have a different motivation:
To tell you all my thoughts would take a week.

For better or worse,
A blessing or curse,
I’m taking the first,
I’m taking the first.
In prose or in verse,
Ad-libbed or rehearsed,
I’m taking the first,
I’m taking the first.

Some of you might not get my religion,
Some of you prefer a different crowd.
You can take a stand on your own soapbox,
Everyone’s opinion is allowed.

For better or worse,
A blessing or curse,
I’m taking the first,
I’m taking the first.
In prose or in verse,
Ad-libbed or rehearsed,
I’m taking the first,
I’m taking the first.

The right to peaceable assembly,
The right to worship as I choose,
The right to make and sign petitions,
The right to print and speak my views!

I won’t be dispersed,
I won’t be coerced,
I’m taking the first,
I’m taking the first.
Opinions diverse,
My raving outburst,
I’m taking the first,
I’m taking the first.

For better or worse,
A blessing or curse,
I’m taking the first,
I’m taking the first.
In prose or in verse,
Ad-libbed or rehearsed,
I’m taking the first,
I’m taking the first.


© Rebecca June Parks

Scars

It’s there on my face, but the mark on my skin
Doesn’t show injuries deeper within.
The deadliest blade is the one you don’t feel,
And wounds to the soul take the longest to heal.

Scars from the flesh to the blood to the bone,
Scars in my bed and the walls of my home,
Scars on my spirit and scars on my dreams,
My pain and my healing revealed at the seams.

He promised me love, changed my name, changed my life.
He dulled all my senses and sharpened his knife.
So many pieces of my heart and mind—
When I finally left him a piece stayed behind.

Scars from the flesh to the blood to the bone,
Scars in my bed and the walls of my home,
Scars on my spirit and scars on my dreams,
My pain and my healing revealed at the seams.

They bear testimony to what I’ve endured,
I’m smarter and tougher and more self-assured.

Scars from the flesh to the blood to the bone,
Scars in my bed and the walls of my home,
Scars on my spirit and scars on my dreams,
My pain and my healing revealed at the seams.

It’s there on my face…


© Rebecca June Parks

My Cable TV

I shouldn’t have strayed from the channel for kids,
But Disney can’t tell me what my mission is.
I searched on pro-wrestling, I searched HBO,
And sometimes I stumbled on some girlie show.

My remote took me places that no saint should be,
Now Jesus has cancelled my cable TV.

When I got my calling I took up my tools,
And then, disregarding a few earthly rules,
My God-given knowledge of wires I applied:
I spliced in and trusted the Lord to provide.

And with His great blessing, I got it for free,
Now Jesus has cancelled my cable TV.

One Sunday I prayed I’d find what I should do:
A famed TV preacher seemed like he knew.
His words were inspiring, and I saw the light.
Then he asked for money; it didn’t seem right.

I’m sorry I failed you, hear my humble plea:
Oh Jesus, please restart my cable TV.


© Rebecca June Parks

Beth Doesn't Know

Beth was born with a simple mind.
She can’t ask or answer why.
She says what she wants with a word or two.
She likes cars and tools and trains,
Batman’s cape and treasure games.
She won’t wear a dress, only jeans will do.

Beth doesn’t know she’s different.
She sees the world firsthand.
Those who say she has limits,
Beth can’t understand.

As she leaves childhood behind,
Beth can’t hide how she's inclined.
She has her first crush on another girl.
May, a teacher’s aide at school,
Helps Beth find what she can do.
Beth says she wants May to marry her.

Beth doesn’t know the closet,
Or that old cruel command.
Those who say love has limits,
Beth can’t understand.

Beth’s innocence protects her
From those who won’t respect her.
No prejudice will reach her,
And shame you just can’t teach her.

Beth doesn’t know she’s different,
As she extends her hand.
She makes a warm connection:
This Beth does understand.


© Rebecca June Parks

Too Much Is Not Enough

We’re running out of forests,
We’re running out of fuel,
We’re running out of money,
We’re running out of cool,
We’re running out of patience,
We’re running out of grace,
We’re running out of time,
We’re running out of space.

Too much is not enough.
Too much is not enough.
Too much is not enough.
Too much is not enough.

We’re addicted to fast answers,
We’re addicted to our way,
We’re addicted to denial,
We’re addicted to display,
We’re craving stimulation,
We’re craving peace of mind,
We’re craving independence,
In craving we’re confined.

Too much is not enough.
Too much is not enough.
Too much is not enough.
Too much is not enough.

There’s hope in conservation,
There’s hope in charity,
There’s hope in innovation
There’s hope in you and me.

Too much is not enough.
Too much is not enough.
Too much is not enough.
Too much is not enough.


© Rebecca June Parks

Bad Boss Blues

He says I’m a star employee,
But he hates to be outshone.
He likes all my ideas,
As long as they match his own.
He doesn’t know the details,
But won’t take my advice,
Then he blames me for his failures,
‘Cause he will not pay the price.

I’ve come to the conclusion
He needs someone to abuse,
And I happen to be handy.
I’ve got the bad boss blues.

If I do the wrong thing,
He’ll curse me through and through,
But he’s really indecisive
When he tells me what to do.
First he needs it next month,
Then he needs it yesterday,
And when it’s almost finished,
He says, “Do it a different way.”

The only thing that saves me
Is he’s easy to confuse:
I reinvent the deadlines,
‘Cause I’ve got the bad boss blues.

Every time I see him
He makes me want to heave,
But until the market’s better
I can’t afford to leave.
I’ve tried to make a transfer,
But he will not let me go.
He talks about empowerment,
But it’s really all for show.

He must be directly descended
From the prehistoric ooze.
He needs some evolution,
And I’ve got the bad boss blues.


© Rebecca June Parks

This Town Is Dead

The company left here for a greener place,
Left boarded up buildings, people tossed like waste.
“As Good as It Gets” is on the rusted marquee.
Faces are vacant, like the stores I see.

They took our future, they took our past.
The whole town fell right out of the working class.
We’re out of options, we’re in the red.
Our way of living’s gone—this town is dead.

Two types of ghosts are in this haunted town:
Some are memories, some still hang around.
Young people leave the only home they know.
Old people stay ‘cause they’re too tired to go.

They took our future, they took our past.
The whole town fell right out of the working class.
We’re out of options, we’re in the red.
Our way of living’s gone—this town is dead.

Politicians see the devastation,
And offer just a fancy explanation.
They say it’s “the market's adaptation.”
Then they change the subject to salvation.

They took our future, they took our past.
The whole town fell right out of the working class.
We’re out of options, we’re in the red.
Our way of living’s gone—this town is dead.


© Meryn Gruhn Di Tullio and Rebecca June Parks

I Will Be Remembered

The land’s army was in disarray,
A young leader rose to save the day:
Kept the villages from being burned,
Made sure many mothers’ sons returned.

When the crops failed in a city’s fields,
He made other cities share their yields.
He had wisdom in the people’s sight,
And his monument proclaimed his might:

“I will be remembered:
Read my story carved in stone.
My heart is weighed and worthy.
I’m crowned in glory on my throne.
My kingdom’s foes surrendered.
I will be remembered.”

As an older king he paid respects
To his country’s ancient architects.
At their shrines he prayed for crops and peace,
For his people’s strength to never cease.

Many temples were in disrepair,
Under sand and worn by sea and air.
Would his also end up in the dust?
He said, “Somehow I just have to trust,”

“I will be remembered:
Read my story carved in stone.
My heart is weighed and worthy.
I’m crowned in glory on my throne.
My kingdom’s foes surrendered.
I will be remembered.”

Mythic places become lowly.
Sands of time have gathered slowly.
Legends that the ground is holy
Linger on in folklore only.

In the middle of a village square,
Sure that something from the past is there,
A young scientist removes the years,
And the message slowly reappears:

“I will be remembered:
Read my story carved in stone.
My heart is weighed and worthy.
I’m crowned in glory on my throne.”

“I will be remembered:
Read my story carved in stone.
My heart is weighed and worthy.
I’m crowned in glory on my throne.
My kingdom’s foes surrendered.
I will be remembered.”



© Rebecca June Parks and Gary Lee Parks

Messiah Refugee

The light for which I used to search
I couldn’t find in any church.
I found faith too all-consuming,
And the teachers all too human.

Religion lost its grip on me.
A guru has no mystery.
Some say I’m lost, I say I’m free.
I’m a messiah refugee.

I met with God of my own will,
Alone at night upon a hill.
Though skeptics call this grand psychosis,
Mystics used to call it gnosis.

Religion lost its grip on me.
A guru has no mystery.
Some say I’m lost, I say I’m free.
I’m a messiah refugee.

I won’t join another’s creed.
I have no desire to lead.
What’s impossible to teach
Is within each person’s reach.

Religion lost its grip on me.
A guru has no mystery.
Some say I’m lost, I say I’m free.
I’m a messiah refugee.


© Rebecca June Parks

Messiah Refugee

I was raised in the New Age movement. I spent much of my life looking for insight in all the wrong places. In time I discovered that I don't need or want a church or teacher to help me find God. Having only personal beliefs and experiences is lonely but liberating.

I Can Talk To You

My husband Gary is my best friend, and I can talk to him about anything, no matter how painful or difficult it may be. He has been steadfast in his support and his love.

Sisters and Strangers

In some families, sibling rivalry lasts into adulthood. At a time when my sister and I were both going through emotional turmoil, we had a falling out. Writing this song was my preparation for our reconciliation.

Die Laughing

This expression has always struck me as tragicomic. It seems to fit with how, as I ve grown older, I remain hopeful for a better world but I realize that human nature doesn't change all that much.

Father

Much has been made of the plight of women in the Middle East, but there was a time when European culture was scarcely any better. There have always been women who perceived how unfair society was to them, and who fought back in any way they could, often quietly.

Taking the First

As a kid I loved the Schoolhouse Rock American History series. These songs illustrated by cartoons are as much fun as they are educational. The series has no song about the First Amendment, so I wrote one.

Scars

As a child I witnessed domestic violence, and in recent years I have volunteered at a domestic violence agency. I admire the strength and courage of all the survivors, who have gone on to create much better lives for themselves and their children.

My Cable TV

A former paramedic who attended one of my shows told me a story about a psychiatric emergency. He arrived at the scene to find a huge TV set in the road. Some people led him to the guy who threw it out of a building. He asked the guy why he did it. The guy's response was quite insane and an irresistible refrain for a song.

Beth Doesn't Know

A friend's daughter has Down Syndrome, has insisted that she is a boy since early childhood, and in adolescence is showing an interest in girls. Writing a song about her was a challenge; usually a song focuses on just one issue or theme, but this one has two that interrelate.

Too Much Is Not Enough

This is reportedly what Mick Jagger once said about sex. I think it s an expression for our times. We re addicted to our diminishing resources and to consumption for its own sake.

Bad Boss Blues

This is my attempt to set Dilbert to music. When Gary and I perform this song at street fairs, often someone comments, "Funny, we have the same boss." My usual reply is, "Yeah, that guy really gets around."

This Town Is Dead

When a company town loses its company, not much is left for the people who live there.

I Will Be Remembered

Egypt has inspired many artists and writers, some of whom haven't really understood the culture. When Shelley wrote "Ozymandias," his verses were moving but his Egyptology was uninformed. Gary and I have tried to imagine how an ancient king felt about his monument based on our knowledge of Egyptian history.

Messiah Refugee (electric)

Some people ask me where the "rock" is in Theatrical Folk-Rock, and this is my answer. I don't often play with a full band, but if you listen carefully, you can hear the intensity even when I play solo piano.

Night Ship - Liner Notes

Musicians:

Rebecca Parks: vocals, keyboards
Gary Lee Parks: vocals, funny horn thing
Joe Eding: viola on Fade to Black
Kevin Harris: guitars, basses, keyboards, drums, banjo

Produced by Kevin Harris and Rebecca Parks

Recorded and mixed by Kevin Harris at Harwood Productions, Hercules, CA

Mastered and manufactured by Rainer Gembalczyk at Sienna Digital, Menlo Park, CA

Cover art and additional illustrations by Gary Lee Parks

CD cover photography by Martin A. Schmidt and Gary Lee Parks

Special Thanks

Thanks to family and friends for their support. Special thanks to Peter Sterbach, Steve Seskin, Penny Framstad, Peter Jansson, Vip Vipperman, Judy Hackett, Jai Josefs, West Coast Songwriters, and South Bay Folks.


Working

She’s mopping up this restaurant,
She’s cleaning up her life.
She could have stayed home with her kids
If she had stayed a wife.
It seems before she earns each paycheck
It’s already spent.
She was getting by until
The landlord raised the rent.
For her, there’s no glass ceiling,
She’s stuck right to the floor.
She can't say it's a living,
'Cause working isn’t working anymore.
He’s staring at the clock all day,
Perhaps he’s just depressed.
The end result’s the same if he
Does little or his best.
Retirement, if it happens,
Is another thirty years.
And thirty thousand dollars
Is the price to change careers.
It seems that he’s forgotten
Just what he’s striving for.
He can't say this is living,
'Cause working isn’t working anymore.
Some cash to set aside,
A chance to feel some pride,
A job that's going to last—
Is that too much to ask?
"Welcome to the company,"
He said when I was new,
"We’ve been looking long and hard
For someone just like you."
I put in hours I didn’t have
To get my due reward,
Then he said, "Your job’s duplicated
Which we can’t afford."
He thanked me for my efforts,
Then showed me to the door.
I can't say it's a living,
'Cause working isn’t working anymore.

© Rebecca June Parks

World in His Pocket

He's got the world in his pocket,
Doesn't pay his share of tax.
When the laws start to catch him,
He just makes those laws relax.

He gets his sweetheart deals done
While the public is asleep,
Some small change to a senator
And profits he will reap.
He's got the world in his pocket,
'Cause politicians are so cheap.

He's got the world in his pocket,
Reputation is intact.
When the truth starts to catch him,
He invents a different fact.

It's all been kept a secret,
No one ever seeks redress
For the overseas slave labor
And environmental mess.
He's got the world in his pocket,
'Cause he owns most of the press.

His power comes from his invisibility,
But all of his decisions impact you and me.
He can be counteracted by the public voice.
Support him or expose him—we do have a choice.

He's got the world in his pocket,
He sees what he wants to see.
When the deaths start to catch him,
He just says, "Well don't blame me."

His global corporate empire
Will make all stockholders thrive,
He'll make grand ambitious forecasts
And then shift to overdrive.
He'll have the world in his pocket,
While the world is still alive.


© Rebecca June Parks

Turn of the Tide

The last time we embraced,
The waves were swirling at our feet.
We touched like sea and sky,
The endless plane where two souls meet.
I could only see
The dreams I thought we could fulfill.
If I’d forseen the end,
I would have held you longer still.

The turn of the tide swept over us
And washed our love away.
The beach that we walked hand in hand,
I walk alone today.
The turn of the tide can come so fast,
My change of heart is slow.
What happened to the man I used to know?

We used to be so close,
And then you barely spoke to me.
I finally walked away;
I’m left with just a memory.
Your whisper's in the waves,
The sea reminds me of your eyes,
Something lingers yet,
I guess love never really dies.

The turn of the tide swept over us
And washed our love away.
The beach that we walked hand in hand;
I walk alone today.
The turn of the tide can come so fast,
My change of heart is slow.
What happened to the man I used to know?

Love eclipsed by loneliness—
The pain won’t go away.
It was hard to bring myself to leave,
But harder still to stay.
The turn of the tide can come so fast,
My change of heart is slow.
What happened to the man I used to know?


© Rebecca June Parks

Right Thing to Do

She’s tried to have those talks,
Can’t budge his mental blocks.
The chances of him listening are pretty slim.
He blusters through his day,
She stays out of his way.
She calls a friend and says what she can’t say to him.

This time her friend is male.
Though it feels like betrayal,
She makes a few excuses to be at his house.
Platonic conversation,
Covert investigation—
His eyes and words alone make her forget her spouse.

The right thing to do,
The right thing to do,
The right thing to do
Is sometimes wrong.

He sees the ring she wears.
Surely her husband cares, but
He can’t help seeing how she hates to go back home.
Each time she has to leave
Inside it makes him grieve:
Her soul is what he’s waited for through years alone.

The right thing to do,
The right thing to do,
The right thing to do
Is sometimes wrong.

Wedding vows are hard to break,
But loneliness is hard to take.
All is fair in love, it’s said.
Who wants a cold or empty bed?
The right thing to do,
The right thing to do,
The right thing to do
Is sometimes wrong.
She’s tried to have those talks.

© Rebecca June Parks

Only I Know Me

You taught me most of what I know,
And yet I'm leaving even so.
You made a plan who I should be,
So sure, but only I know me.

You said my wish was your command,
But what you failed to understand
Was how I longed to simply be
My true self; only I know me.

Yes, I love you,
Yes, I'm grateful,
There's part of me that wants to stay.
What you're asking
I can't give you.
To save myself I walk away.

You say without you I can't win;
You're hoping that I'll just give in.
In your strong arms I can't be free;
Let go now, only I know me.

© Rebecca June Parks

Playing God

You wanted to be the last answer,
To see the world thankful and awed.
You had a rare talent for magic.
You thought you would try playing God.

You came from such humble beginnings:
The fields and the house made of sod.
You must have been destined for greatness,
Or how could you be playing God?

I wanted to believe
In visions you would weave—
I was a bit naive.

You thought you could sense people's secrets,
But could not see your own facade.
You raged if your insights were questioned—
It's a serious game, playing God.

They're either below or against you,
They think you're a saint or a fraud.
And no one can comfort or warn you;
You're left all alone playing God.

I wanted to believe
In all that you'd achieve.
For that lost dream, I grieve.

You wanted to be the last answer…

© Rebecca June Parks

Kill His Memory

At the funeral this weekend,
They’ll treat him like a saint,
But you and I have secrets,
We know for sure he ain’t.
Who else did he mess up?
We’ve got to find them all,
And meet to plan a eulogy
Outside the schoolyard wall.
God sent our teacher’s soul to hell,
But we are still not free.
We have to dare to tell the truth,
To kill his memory.
Michael is the baseball star;
For sure they’ll let him speak.
He’ll call up the rest of us,
The timid and the weak.
"This man took me against my will"
Is all you have to say,
And if you can’t go through with it,
Please don’t give us away.

God sent our teacher’s soul to hell,
But we are still not free.
We have to dare to tell the truth,
To kill his memory.

Were we close? Yeah closer
Than anyone suspected.
Completely unprotected!
God sent our teacher’s soul to hell,
But we are still not free.
We have to dare to tell the truth,
To kill his memory.

© Rebecca June Parks

Fade to Black

You like your rebel confidence.
Those uptight squares who take offense
Don't see the art in how you act—
They're slaves to reason, slaves to tact.

At work they've seen you start to slip,
Though they don't catch that secret sip.
Your family says they're near the end,
But you protect your only friend.

Sometimes you just wish the world cut you a little slack,
Have another drink, fade to black.

You live among the peeling paint—
This neighborhood your soul will taint.
You take the bottle off the shelf
To feel at home within yourself.

Trying not to think about the things in life you lack,
Have another drink, fade to black.

The sun goes down and shadows rise,
And you're alone with all your lies
And memories of dark abuse.
You give yourself one last excuse.

When you banish all the ghosts they threaten to come back,
Have another drink, fade to black.


© Rebecca June Parks

Under the Moon

Looking at the night sky,
I remember when I last kissed someone—
It seems like a long time ago.
Even back at that time
I felt that somehow I'd missed someone:
A man that I don't even know.

Time passes by,
I hope I find him soon.
My love waits for me, somewhere
Under the moon.

I've almost given up—
So many new loves that didn't last—
It seems like it's not worth the ache.
I remain all alone.
The days are slow but the years are fast.
I don't want to risk a mistake.

Time passes by,
I hope I find him soon.
My love waits for me, somewhere
Under the moon.

I am in a shadow
Even when the moon is bright.
Maybe I will meet him
Tonight.
Time passes by,
I hope I find him soon.
My love waits for me, somewhere
Under the moon.
My love waits for me, somewhere
Under the moon.
Under the moon.

© Rebecca June Parks

Other Ways to Fight

My father was a quiet man of faith and peace.
He wouldn’t stand against the Nazis and police
Who went around him when they charged the neighborhood.
I said to him, "We save ourselves, but don’t do good."

He said, "There’s a time and place to take
A stand for what is right.
Many things you do by day
Are dangerous at night.
Trust me when I tell you—
There are other ways to fight."

I had dreams of courage held in check by fear,
Of throwing stones and bombs—an underground career.
I wanted to avenge the deaths of friends from school.
I thought my Pa a coward when he said, "You fool."

He said, "There’s a time and place to take
A stand for what is right.
Many things you do by day
Are dangerous at night.
Trust me when I tell you—
There are other ways to fight."

The war ended, I grew up, moved to the U.S.A.
It wasn’t too long after that, my father passed away.
Last year I went back to my house in Germany.
Several Jewish families came and greeted me.
They told me that my father hid them all away.
Because of him, grandchildren are alive today.

There’s a time and place to take
A stand for what is right.
My father had great courage
Hidden through a long dark night.
At last I see why he said,
"There are other ways to fight."


© Rebecca June Parks

You Will Find Me

Do not mourn me, do not miss me,
I am free now, please rejoice.
Feel my spirit right beside you—
If you listen, you’ll hear my voice.

You will find me in the green fields
Where I spent my summer days.
You will hear me in the laughter
When children play.

In the end my health was fading;
I had lingered far too long.
But from now on, in your mind’s eye,
You can see me young and strong.

You will find me in the first star
Shining down from evening blue.
I’ll be watching for your wishes
To come true.

I’ve transcended all the limits
That you know as time and space.
So wherever your heart leads you,
You will find me in that place.

You will find me in the colors
Of the ever-changing sea.
In the shimmer of the sunset,
There I’ll be.


© Rebecca June Parks

I Don't Want to Tell You

You know that I grew up in East Colorado,
That I've lived overseas and was married before.
I dreamed about dancing but feared my own shadow.
I've left little unsaid, but you ask if there's more.

I don't want to tell you—
My story is missing a page.
A tale of a moment of weakness,
But I've become stronger with age.
I don't want you to see me
As the person I was years ago.
I don't want to tell you,
And you don't want to know.

You once played a prank on a teacher you hated.
On a history test, you decided to cheat.
You once lied to lead on a woman you dated.
All I can say is that I've got you beat.

I don't want to tell you—
My story is missing a page.
A tale of a moment of weakness,
But I've become stronger with age.
I don't want you to see me
As the person I was years ago.
I don't want to tell you,
And you don't want to know.

What happened to me wasn't pretty—
To tell you might ruin your day.
And I have no need for your pity,
Anyway.
I don't want to tell you—
My story is missing a page.
A tale of a moment of weakness,
But I've become stronger with age.
I don't want you to see me
As the person I was years ago.
I don't want to tell you,
And you don't want to know.

© Rebecca June Parks

You Will Pay

You steal lunch money,
You rob a store.
You start a fight,
You start a war.
You pick on weaklings,
Exploit the poor.
You won’t get caught,
You’re making sure.
You can make your power play,
Karma will come back your way.
It could hit you any day.
Hurt someone and you will pay.
You’ll lose your status,
Or lose your wealth.
You’ll lose your friends,
Or lose your health.
You’ll go to pieces,
Or go to jail.
‘Cause in all you do
You leave a trail.

You can make your power play,
Karma will come back your way.
It could hit you any day.
Hurt someone and you will pay.

Your evil past can’t be destroyed.
The aftermath you can’t avoid.
You may buy time with lies and luck,
But someday you will self-destruct.
You can make your power play,
Karma will come back your way.
It could hit you any day.
Hurt someone and you will pay.

© Rebecca June Parks

Night Ship

Hello my love, how was your day?
It sounds like you have got a lot to say.
This modern work we both perform
Cannot make us feel relaxed and warm.
But we both know where we can go...

We fly in our night ship,
Through our private sky.
We soar, floating weightless,
Even as we lie.
We dream and awaken
To sweet reality.
We fly in our night ship,
You and me.

Sometimes we touch, sometimes we sleep.
Sometimes we talk and tremble, laugh, or weep.
We journey to a distant star,
But never find the end of who we are:
The thoughts profound, the thundering sound...

We fly in our night ship,
Through our private sky.
We soar, floating weightless,
Even as we lie.
We dream and awaken
To sweet reality.
We fly in our night ship,
You and me.

Do you suppose that time can bend?
That somehow you receive before you send?
You laugh at me, then raise your brow,
And say you'd like to bend the time right now:
Reshape the past, and make it last...

We fly in our night ship,
Through our private sky.
We soar, floating weightless,
Even as we lie.
We dream and awaken
To sweet reality.
We fly in our night ship,
You and me.


© Rebecca June Parks

Socks

Some things my husband seems to have reversed;
He gets up in the morning, puts his socks on first.
But I don't mind if it's unorthodox,
'Cause he just looks so sexy in socks.

He's very creative when it comes to food;
He makes big sandwiches to suit his mood.
Pickles and peanut butter, mustard and lox—
He's sittin' at the table lookin' sexy in socks.

He collects foreign accents, urns from Greece,
Deco lamps, and theatre seats,
Neon signs, historic rocks,
Statues from Egypt, and holes in his socks.

He proudly displays most of his facial hair,
But only I see him shave his derriere.
I'd still love him if he grew dreadlocks,
As long as he still looked sexy in socks.

Undressing for bed when the day has passed,
My husband out of habit takes his socks off last.
I'm wondering if anyone sells argyle jocks,
'Cause he just looks so sexy in socks.


© Rebecca June Parks

Working

After my mother got divorced and before she got her degree, she struggled to earn enough to raise three children. I fared much better, but discovered that a bad job that pays well is still a bad job. Yet I was more fortunate than my coworkers who worked 80-hour weeks on critical projects only to be sacrificed to save the stock price. This is how corporate greed really trickles down.

World in His Pocket

An ode to corporate excess. I wrote it after the WTO protests in Seattle, then Enron and other corporate meltdowns gave it new life. Guest vocal: Gary Lee Parks

Turn of the Tide

I loved one man before I met my husband. He pulled away when he feared that I wouldn't be able to hear what he really wanted to say. I gave up trying to get him to tell me anyway. But before that happened, our time together seemed timeless.

Right Thing to Do

A friend of mine became the confidant of an unhappily married woman, who left her husband for him even though no "affair" occurred. She just wanted someone to talk to. He was guilt-stricken at first, but eventually he realized that love knows no rules.

Only I Know Me

The people who tried to run my life—parents, teachers, partners—had the best of intentions for me, or so they thought. When what I wanted conflicted with what they wanted, the truth was revealed. This is my personal Declaration of Independence.

Playing God

Coastal California, where I grew up, is Guru Central. I witnessed the attempts of several people to start their own therapies, religions, and philosophies. Charisma attracts, then power corrupts. I played a bit part in one such epic tragedy when I was young and having difficulty believing in myself.

Kill His Memory

Not long after the latest scandal in the Catholic Church broke out, I had a vivid dream about a funeral in the chapel of a private school. The school staff was trying unsuccessfully to stop a group of students from loudly denouncing the deceased.

Fade to Black

I have stood helplessly and watched a close friend give up her life and her soul to alcohol. This song began as a letter to her that I never sent.

Under the Moon

As I got older and learned, often the hard way, about what I did and didn't want in a relationship, I wondered whether I'd ever find that elusive combination of chemistry and compatibility. Being single later in life isn't easy.

Other Ways to Fight

A nurse I befriended during my college years grew up in Nazi Germany. She told me about how she discovered her father's greatest secret on a trip home to the old country. There were many unsung heroes in WWII. I hope to change that for one of them.

You Will Find Me

After my grandfather died, my grandmother said, "In his last years it was hard to reach him. But now that his spirit is free, I feel closer to him than I have in a long time." Years after her passing, remembering her words still gives me awe-inspired chills. I dedicate this to both my grandparents. They are still with me.

I Don't Want to Tell You

I keep very few secrets, but I have sometimes had conversations like this. The details in this song are more from my parents' lives than mine. As for what "it" is, well...

You Will Pay

I was picked on a lot as a kid and never quite got over it, which explains my need to vent. But in many cases I heard about, life beat up those bullies for me later on. I love karma when it works.

Night Ship

When creative people marry, they just need passion, shared imagination, and a cozy place to cuddle. Wild nights, lazy mornings, and conversations, some without words, inspired this song.


Socks

It's amazing the unexpected things you discover when you live with someone. And my husband Gary is quirkier than most. He's a good sport for letting me sing this.

Wait for Me

There’s a missing part of me that I must find,
Without it I can have no peace of mind.
The things I need to find it are out there,
And this is one long journey I can’t share.

Wait for me, I love you so,
Wait for me, it’s hard to go,
But I just have to know
If I can make it on my own.
Wait for me, I’ve gotta find a way,
Wait for me, I’ve got a lot to say,
But I’ll be done one day,
Please wait for me and I’ll come home.

The love you give me nourishes my soul.
Sometimes I wish that I had just one goal.
Creative longings beckon me away,
But think of me and I won’t go astray.

Wait for me, I love you so,
Wait for me, it’s hard to go,
But I just have to know
If I can make it on my own.
Wait for me, I’ve gotta find a way,
Wait for me, I’ve got a lot to say,
But I’ll be done one day,
Please wait for me and I’ll come home.

Love can reach the longest distance,
You can find me anywhere,
Close your eyes and you will see me,
Search your heart and I’ll be there.

Wait for me, I love you so,
Wait for me, it’s hard to go,
But I just have to know
If I can make it on my own.
Wait for me, I’ve gotta find a way,
Wait for me, I’ve got a lot to say,
But I’ll be done one day,
Please wait for me and I’ll come home.


© Rebecca June Parks

Strange Piano Dreams

The keys are so small that I scrunch or so large that I pound.
The keys are in front of a throne and arrayed all around.
The keys are of paper or driftwood or pillows or foam.
The keys are on the hood of a car, made of fine polished chrome.

I’m having strange dreams of pianos,
I have surreal visions of the keys.
I’m having strange dreams of pianos,
Such strange piano dreams.

Sometimes I find those pianos inside other things,
Like the time when I opened a suitcase to tap on the strings.
Sometimes I don’t even see a piano at all,
Like when cities played pitches when I touched them on a map on the wall.

I’m having strange dreams of pianos,
I have surreal visions of the keys.
I’m having strange dreams of pianos,
Such strange piano dreams.

When I see a piano that’s all broken down,
I fear more dreams coming my way,
But the thing I find strangest in all of these dreams
Is that I always manage to play!

I’m having strange dreams of pianos,
I have surreal visions of the keys.
I’m having strange dreams of pianos,
Such strange piano dreams.


© Rebecca June Parks

If I Could Be Two People

My love and I are holding hands,
I see you watching wistfully.
When you met him, you knew you’d lost,
It’s clear that he’s the one for me.
Afraid of love I didn’t seek,
Surprised my heart could feel so weak,
I ache because I cannot heal
The longing that your eyes reveal.

If I could be two people,
One of me could be with you.
If I could be two people,
Each of me could see this through:
Loving him, loving you,
Both of me holding on steadfast and true,
If I could be two people,
One of me could be with you.

He’s my best friend, my great romance,
The grace within his soul is rare,
But you are one of very few
Whose inner beauty does compare.
His deep devotion holds my vow,
Your heart compelled you anyhow.
The finest man I’ve turned away,
You don’t deserve what I had to say.

If I could be two people,
One of me could be with you.
If I could be two people,
Each of me could see this through:
Loving him, loving you,
Both of me holding on steadfast and true...

Someday you will find her,
Your love that’s meant to be.
She will give you all I can’t,
It’s what I hope to see.

If I could be two people,
One of me could be with you.
If I could be two people,
Each of me could see this through:
Loving him, loving you,
Both of me holding on steadfast and true,
If I could be two people,
One of me could be with you.


© Rebecca June Parks

Freedom Is Your Right

You’ve called me up to tell me
You want to run away.
You’ve given all you can,
He’s given you no say.
In spite of all that’s happened,
In a way you love him still,
Even standing on the brink
Is taking all your will.

Your mind goes all directions as you think of what to do.
Though people hurt and people help, it all comes down to you.

You have what you need to bring an end to endless night.
Turn the key, unlock the door, and step into the light.
Blink away your tears and let your eyes reclaim their sight.
Seek out where you want to go, your freedom is your right.

He wasn’t always angry,
He could be cold or kind,
And sometimes you were desperate,
More often just resigned.
You thought that you could save him,
Now you have to save yourself.
Looking in the mirror scares you,
You see someone else.

Trying to remember who you were before he came,
Trying to believe me when I say you’re not to blame.

You have what you need to bring an end to endless night.
Turn the key, unlock the door, and step into the light.
Blink away your tears and let your eyes reclaim their sight.
Seek out where you want to go, your freedom is your right.

The time is now,
The place is here,
The choice is yours,
Let go of fear.

You have what you need to bring an end to endless night.
Turn the key, unlock the door, and step into the light.
Blink away your tears and let your eyes reclaim their sight.
Seek out where you want to go, your freedom is your right.


© Rebecca June Parks

Say Something

There’s a cliff where many people throw themselves into the sea,
But a gentle man invites them to his home to have some tea.
He doesn’t ask for details, but they tell him anyhow,
And some write to him later to say life is better now.

Say something, something rarely heard,
The future may depend upon your caring word.
Say something, you might save the day,
Remind a troubled soul that there's another way.
Say something.

At a high school drinking party, one girl had more than she should,
And it could have ended badly, with two boys up to no good,
But a classmate saw it happen, and he said, "Leave her alone."
Then he asked her what she needed, said goodbye, and drove her home.

Say something, something rarely heard,
The future may depend upon your caring word.
Say something, you might save the day,
Remind a troubled soul that there's another way.
Say something.

I don’t know if life’s unknown direction
Will ever put me through that kind of test.
I can’t promise I will be successful,
But I can promise I will do my best
To say something.

He had lots of ammunition, and he thought that no one cared.
All the classrooms were on lockdown, and the bookkeeper was scared,
But she asked him for his story, and she told some of her own.
He surrendered to her kindness, choosing not to act alone.

Say something, something rarely heard,
The future may depend upon your caring word.
Say something, you might save the day,
Remind a troubled soul that there's another way.
Say something.


© Rebecca June Parks

Secret Stage

My music and lyrics are the soundtrack of your evenings,
Surrounding you, as you’re sitting at your drawing board.
Inspiration, kind goddesses have colorful wings.
We have harmony.

Home, our secret stage,
Of every age,
When we engage.
We each play our part,
In song and art,
We know by heart.

Your paintings and etchings are the stage set of my evenings,
Surrounding me, as I’m sitting with guitar in hand,
Inspiration, redemption stories flow through the strings.
We have harmony.

Home, our secret stage,
Of every age,
When we engage.
We each play our part,
In song and art,
We know by heart.

Critics come and critics go,
And some may never like our show,
But if the world won’t see and hear it,
We applaud each other’s spirit.

Home, our secret stage,
Of every age,
When we engage.
We each play our part,
In song and art,
We know by heart.


© Rebecca June Parks

Walk on Any World

Neil Armstrong loved to fly,
Gave airplanes their first try,
Survived each flight surprise,
knew how to improvise.
He had the prefect prep
For that historic step.
The heavens called him home,
His soul is free to roam.

With the questions in his mind,
With the universe unfurled,
There’s no moon that he can’t find,
He can walk on any world,
Walk on any world.

Young Sally’s telescope
Gave her a lofty hope:
To find a ride to space,
Redefine a woman’s place.
Ace shuttle scientist,
Education activist.
To the heavens she has gone,
Her spirit ventures on.

With the questions in her mind,
With the universe unfurled,
There’s no planet she can’t find,
She can walk on any world.

The news said Star Trek’s warp drive might be realized.
Our future pioneers could seek much greater skies.

With the questions in their minds,
With the universe unfurled,
There’s no stars they couldn’t find,
They could walk on any world,
Walk on any world.


© Rebecca June Parks

Wait for Me

I once had to choose between a relationship and my music. This is how I attempted to explain myself before I ended up choosing my music. Now I have a great relationship too!

Strange Piano Dreams

All lines in this song are from real dreams I’ve had about playing unreal pianos.

If I Could Be Two People

A male friend who was going through a bad breakup seemed to develop a crush on me. I wrote this song to cope with the situation. The song’s bridge has since come to pass; he has a wonderful sweetheart.

Freedom Is Your Right

For about a year I volunteered on a domestic violence hotline. That might sound grim, but I found it surprisingly inspiring. These women (and some men) were often taking their first step toward freedom, and I was there to witness it and to help.

Say Something

I tied together three stories about people who spoke up with daring and caring. Don Ritchie lived across the street from a cliff where suicides were common and talked at least 160 people out of killing themselves during his lifetime. My brother, while in high school, prevented the sort of party rape that has been too much in the news lately. Antoinette Tuff talked a would-be school shooter into surrendering to the police without harming anyone.

Secret Stage

My husband Gary, who is an artist, recently said, "Your music is the soundtrack of my evenings." I thought that sounded like a song lyric.

Walk on Any World

Neil Armstrong, first to walk on the moon, and Sally Ride, first American woman in space, passed away with a month of each other. At around the same time, physicists announced that faster-than-light travel might be possible by warping space-time. I posted on Facebook, "Now Neil Armstrong can walk on any world he wishes," and a friend said I should write a song about it. So I did.