Make It Better

by Jeremy Lyons

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1.
I Don’t Mind the Rain (by Jeremy Lyons) I don’t mind, the rain when it falls I don’t mind the wind when it blows I can take the heat I can stand the cold They don’t bother me. If I had to make up my mind Of any place that I would reside, I’d just look around To where you could be found That’s where I’d be. When I have a low down, worried mind And it seems that l just can’t get by I could be ok If I could get away Where I could find some peace. There’s a place that I left behind And even though it still makes me cry If you want to know That is where I go When I let myself dream. I miss the smell of warm, jasmine nights I miss the sound of those street parades Miss the evening light Miss the easy feel Miss the Southern tastes. Some may think that I just don’t care ‘Cause I had to go far sway from there But the would be wrong I will go back home some sweet day.
2.
Do You Ever 03:03
Do You Ever (by Dave Lehman) Do you ever think about me? Woah, do you ever Woah, do you ever Woah, do you ever think about me like I think about you? Oh, do you? Do you ever call my name? Woah… Do you ever call my name like I call out your name, Just the same? Do you ever scheme about me? Woah… Do ever scheme about me, babe, like I dream and a’scheme About you?
3.
Know 03:38
Know (by Jeremy Lyons) Know I ain’t got nothing for you, baby You know I ain’t got no kind of wealth You know I ain’t got nothin’ for nobody But I can’t live with nobody else. You know that I ain’t never met nobody Makes me feel so much like myself You know I don’t want no other woman ‘Cause I can’t live with nobody else. I know that I ain’t never gonna have you I know I can’t live by myself If I can’t have you life just ain’t worth living Cause I can’t live with nobody else No, I can’t live with nobody else No,I can’t live with nobody else.
4.
Clouds on Her Face I met a girl in New Orleans, in ‘92 Long time ‘fore my young days were through But when I was broken and torn and my life had fell down on me After a trip to where I did not want to be I found a friend, a smile and a hand to say “Let’s walk round the park a few times; it’ll be ok.” And I made her coffee; she watched me just breathe Trying to smother the anger, but I could not see Those clouds on her face when he’d call I didn’t notice just how it appalled her To think of the life she could’ve had If that son-of-a-bitch weren’t her children’s dad When she met him, she was so young He used to call to her, she’d always come Swept off her feet, though he was too old for her She had a plan, but she put it on hold When the baby was coming – what a great big adventure It started out well, but it slowly got tenser His bad moods got bigger; she’d pick up the slack for him She tried to leave him, but always went back to him With three kids in tow, and still many admirers She had to strangle her hopes and desires And there’s a cloud on her face when he calls The sunshine erased; it appalls me To think of the life she could have had If that son-of-a-bitch weren’t her children’s dad It was just like my soul’d been denied me I was in hole; she jumped in beside me Said she’s been there before and she knew how to climb on out I was not sure just what she was all about But I grabbed her hand; she pulled me to sanity Kicking and screaming every profanity Digging through mold, black mud and dirt and shit Reclaimed the past in spite of the hurt of it We peeled apart pictures, my past in photography All stuck together like this swollen geography And there’s a cloud on her face when he calls He don’t give her no space it appalls her To think of the life she could have had If that son-of-a-bitch weren’t her children’s dad Now he calls to her; she doesn’t come He shouts like she’s stupid or dumb She's had enough of his crap and his crowin' He got too rough, and now she is goin' And it's much too late for him trying to win her back She found a place; the kids' stuff is already packed And I make her coffee, and grilled cheese for her children She's got two jobs and the four of them fit in A little apartment that's lacking in anger And lacking in meanness, and lacking in danger There’s still clouds on her face when he calls Never lacking in grace, she just stalls him And plans for a life that she will have In spite of the fact that he’s her children’s dad.
5.
When I’m feeling better When I’m feeling better I’m gonna clean up this old place I’ll put everything in order Scrap the junk and all the waste When I get back on my feet Gonna start a new routine I’ll work and be productive Like a well oiled machine, oh yeah. When I’m feeling better I will be more organized I’ll get myself some good gigs And spend lots of time outside When I’m back up on my feet I’ll learn to play a thousand tunes I will read a thousand good books And study planets, stars, and moons, oh, yeah. When I’m feeling better I never will complain About him or her or so-and-so And all my aches and pains When I get back on my feet I will learn an honest trade I will master works of wood and earth And I‘ll never be afraid, oh no. When I’m feeling better I’ll finally write that book I’ll go hitching ‘cross the country And fishing with a hook When I get back on my feet I will leave this old coal mine I‘ll get a cabin in the woods Where the air is clean and fine, oh yeah. When I’m feeling better To Carnival I’m bound I’ll headline at the MOMS Ball And tear the roof on down When I get back on my feet To New Orleans I will go I’ll say goodbye to Boston town Where no one says “hello.” When I’m feeling better I am going to get fit Maybe I’ll try yoga Tai Chi, and all that sh…stuff When I get back up on my feet I’ll treat my body as a friend I’ll take good care of myself And I’ll never drink again, oh no. When I’m feeling better I will act in some great play I’ll become a famous movie star And then throw it all away When I get back up on my feet I’ll go back to my hometown Make everybody love me From the mayor straight on down When I’m feeling better I will be a different man I’ll go into politics I will take a stand. When I get back up on my feet I’ll read up on history I‘ll lead the workers of the world So that everyone is free When I’m feeling better I will travel round the world I’ll learn seven different languages And go with several different girls When I get back up on my feet I will say what’s on my mind I’ll tell all the world to screw themselves But I’ll never be unkind, oh no. When I’m feeling better I will know what life is worth I will cherish every morning That I’m still on this earth When I get back up on my feet I’ll go walking every day Try to make this world a better place In some small kind of way.
6.
Not Drag Me Down Well, sometimes I think I should hit that lonesome road, And hitch my way out of town ‘Cause there’s trouble in my head But all that being said, I ain’t gonna let it drag me down. Not drag me down Not drag me down No you know that I won’t let it drag me down. Well, sometimes I think I should give up this whole life When no one seems to care if I’m around An old man before my years, with a pocket full of tears, But I ain’t gonna let it drag me down Not drag me down Not drag me down Oh, you know that I won’t let it drag me down. A slow boy got no place in this fancy kind of race I speak but they don’t hear me make a sound But still waters, they run deep, and talk is always cheap So I ain’t gonna let it drag me down Not drag me down Not drag me down Oh, you know that I won’t let it drag me down.
7.
Make It Better (Greg Schatz) I was down I was so far down Then you came, and made it better I was lost I was so lost Then you came and made it better Now you’re gone I need a friend Won’t you please? Come back again? I was wrong I was so wrong Please come back And I’ll make it better
8.
Lazy Susan 03:45
Lazy Susan Someone should be usin’ This old lazy Susan And a friend of mine will want this coffee mug. I prob’ly won’t read it, But my bookcase, it might need it And I’ll have to pass on that old dirty rug. Oh, I’ve got a need for to look in every box Someone has left for me to find Her trash is pleasure It’s I might not treasure But at least the price won’t pray upon my mind. Oh. I’ve got an itchin’ To find something for my kitchen Something just been put out ‘cause it’s old And I’m a-gonna Peek and peer round every corner In my search for little, kitschy pots of gold End of month is here And it’s that time of year People moving in and moving out Just think what I’d be making If I could pay for all I’m taking Man, would I be loaded There’s no doubt. I found record albums, plates and tools; Ashtrays, glasses, tables, stools; Boxes, light bulbs, lamps and lampshades, too; Magnets, markers, pastels, paste; Wood that would just go to waste; And gizmos that I don’t know what they do; Stereos and VCRs, wooden trains and plastic cars; Books and binders; wound-up balls of string, Photographs and furniture; Look long enough and you’ll be sure To find a bit of almost anything. If I had a buck For every piece of trash I’ve stuck In some corner of my home to ever be Still I wouldn’t have as many As the nickels, dimes and pennies That I saved on stuff I found somewhere for free. A packrat like myself May have junk on every shelf But that doesn’t stop him looking for some more When folks put out the trash I’ll be saving lots of cash On stuff I’d otherwise buy at the store Let it not be forgotten I don’t take anything that’s rotten And mold to me strictly is taboo I ain’t no dumpster diver Nor a squat- or street-survivor I’m just not opposed to objects that ain’t new.
9.
Long Lunch 03:08
Long Lunch You’re stuck behind your desk You know what you would like next. There nothin’ wrong, but you still see to be depressed You are distracted, can’t concentrate Thinking of the reason you should have come in late So take a long lunch Go meet a friend You know that if you do it you’ll feel better once again It ain’t romantic But it’ll set you straight Take it ‘cause there’s too much on your plate. You’ve been workin’ like a dog Boss got you juinpin’ like a frog Midday comes around and you are mired in a bog Of apprehension Anxiety A lot of extra tension Of which you could be free If you take a long lunch Go meet a friend You know that if you do it You’ll feel better once again It ain’t romantic But it’s common sense And you know it ain’t no capitol offense Lunch it can be messy Lunch it can be neat Lunch it can be dressy Lunch can be discreet If you lunch with your friend You both can get you some But if you try and rush it Everybody may not come So take a long lunch. We are not machines We are animals indeed Sometimes we must succumb To a biological need We all work better When we’re relaxed So take a little extra time To empty your lunch sack And take a long lunch Go meet your friend You know that if you do it You’ll feel better in the end Could be romantic And really fun Take a lunch and then get all your work done Take it even when you’re on the run And I’ve a hunch you’ll have some sticky buns.
10.
11.
Three Score and Ten (Jeremy Strichartz) If I should fall down dying Before my time should come I thought I was a falling star Not a setting sun And if I should fall down dying Before my time should come There’s just one thing I’ll ask of you Finish the work I’ve done “Three score and ten,” said the Lord “These are the days of men,” said the Lord “Three score and ten,” said the Lord. I went on to the city My fortune for to find I thought I’d drown my troubles In bottles full of wine Oh, I went on to the city My fortune for to find I heard a voice a’callin’ Put worries on my mind

about

The bandcamp download of Make It Better includes original photos by Mark Ostow and alternate cover art by David Foote, as well a lyric sheet pdf.

credits

released August 1, 2016

Musicians:
Jeremy Lyons: guitars, vocals, five-string banjo, jaw harp, keyboards and percussion
Dinty Child (1,2,6,7): field organ, accordion, mandolin, mando-cello, fiddle
Jerome Deupree: drums (1,3,4,10)
Zack Hickman: upright bass (1,3,6,7)
William D. Lucey: bass guitar (2,4), harmony vocals, samples, percussion, keyboards (1,2,4,6,11)
Robbie Phillips: one-string upright “Wombat” bass (8,9), electric bass diddley bow (10)
Special guest Eilen Jewell: vocals on 7

Recorded and engineered by Dan Cardinal and Andrew Mazzone at Hi N Dry/Mark Sandman Music Project (Somerville, MA); by William D. Lucey at Milk Row Cemetery (Cambridge, MA); and by Steve Friedman at Melville Park Studios (Hyde Park, MA).

Mixed by Mark Bingham and mastered by John Fischbach at Piety Street Recording, New Orleans.

Photography by Mark Ostow. Design by JL, David Foote and Eli Epstein. Letter press printing by Union Press, Somerville.

Eilen Jewell appears courtesy of Signature Sounds Recordings.

Thanks to all of the above, plus Laura, Dana, and my family.

1. I Don’t Mind the Rain
2. Do You Ever (Lehman)
3. Know
4. Clouds On Her Face
5. When I’m Feeling Better
6. Not Drag Me Down
7. Make It Better (Schatz) with Eilen Jewell
8. Lazy Susan
9. Long Lunch
10. Special Rider (James)
11. Three Score and Ten (Strichartz)

All songs written by Jeremy Lyons © and p 2013 Five Eighths Music/BMI except for: “Do You Ever” © by Dave Lehman; “Make It Better” © Greg Schatz p. Gregage/ASCAP; “Three Score and Ten” © by Jeremy Strichartz; “Special Rider” by Skip James, Wynwood Music Company/BMI.

Produced by Jeremy Lyons and William D. Lucey

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Jeremy Lyons Cambridge, Massachusetts

Jeremy Lyons. Singer, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader. Slide and finger-style guitarist. Once a staple of the New Orleans scene, he is now known more for his work with Vapors of Morphine and the Busted Jug Band as well as a local children's music performer and educator. This page features Jeremy's output with New Orleans' Deltabilly Boys and as a solo artist. There is more to come! ... more

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