A Friend Like You (All songs © 1997 by Ray Korona)
December of ‘95, most of France had had enough.
The so-called liberal president kept saying times are tough.
But everywhere you looked, the rich were getting more.
Everybody else was shown the door.
Tens of thousands out of work, now health care gets the axe.
Soon pensions will be sacrificed: Shut up and pay the tax.
The railroad workers vowed, "These ghouls can take a hike.
Get out on the street. We’re gonna strike!"
Chorus: Tous ensemble! Tous ensemble!
All together we will win.
Tous ensemble! Tous ensemble!
We can win together.
Just eight percent of workers were in unions now in France.
The railroad union could be crushed but still they took the chance.
And workers marched with homeless to bring down the elites.
Two million people filled the streets.
Bridge: Nurses, teachers, artists, unemployed
Black, white, women and men
Here to take our country back again!
The trains are running now and the factory whistles blow.
From economic genocide, it’s back to status quo.
But it’s a different world--now they know we’re there.
Listen, you can hear it in the air.
A FRIEND LIKE YOU
Voice 1: Now you write that you are coming back this way again
After so many years gone by.
Voice 2: Deep inside, I’m shaken to the core.
I never had a friend like you before.
Chorus (Both voices): Who are you, who am I?
What holds us together as the strongest waves go by.
When I’m sure I’ll never understand,
I touch your hand.
Voice 2: Distant drumming I heard calling drew me out to sea--
Seeking a place to light my soul.
Voice 1: Back here I still walk the same old ground.
Does either of us know where we are bound.
Voice 1: Change your mind and change your plans; life goes on this way.
But who’d ever change a friend like you?
Voice 2: I know if my darkest hour came
You would be there calling out my name.
Tag (alternating voices): A friend like you...
CALLING THE LAW
Let your roving eyes peruse that memo
And your free hand grab this report.
Make a move now back into your office.
Try your luck with those lines at a singles resort.
Chorus: The economy’s rough and I try to earn a living.
It’s hard enough with all the taking and giving.
I tell you right now you’re heading straight for a fall.
If there’s sexual harassment, I’m calling the law.
I’m not hear as your loving date
Or to help your libido unwind.
This is nine-to-five, not fantasy island.
Bring your newspaper here, leave your "Hustler" behind.
You can let it loose in your bedroom;
Do your thing in a men’s room stall.
But when you come here on a work day,
It’s not okay for you to drool and paw.
You can compliment me on my job skills
Not on how much you enjoy the view.
There are lots of things I’ve learned to put up with,
But I’ll tell you one of them sure isn’t you.
ONE SONG FOR ME
Chorus: Won't you sing one song for me?
I'd like to sing one for you.
Soft as a snowflake; warm as a kiss.
We'll see the sun shining through!
Some nights the river's cold icy blue;
Some days it's green in the sun.
Sometimes I feel such hope in the world;
Sometimes I'm sure that we're done.
I've seen those who wander around
Scattered like leaves in the breeze.
Some search for gold dust; some look for love.
Guess I'll just do what I please.
May the stars and planets all glow
Spinning their magic tonight.
Let there be music loose in the world;
Good friends by sweet fire light.
BALLAD OF JOE HOMELESS
Joe always worked hard come what may.
But he got sick for awhile, lost his pay.
So they dumped him on the street and oh...
In the city there’s a million miles of concrete
And Joe just can’t lie down to please his feet.
The block associations don’t want him on their street.
They’ve got the night sticks; they’ve got Joe beat.
Chorus: He keeps searching for a time and place
Where we can see each other in every living face.
Where there are no more desperate streets to roam
And everyone can find the way home.
Deep inside Joe’s got a story that must be told:
How bottles, cans and people’s lives are sold.
So many empty rooms, but he sleeps out in the cold.
If you don’t glitter, guess you’re not gold.
Joe don’t read newspapers; they’re blankets for his bed.
Old matches and butts start fights--a man’s left dead.
A new friend lends a room. Now Joe’s inside and fed.
But his bed outside has found a new head.
repeat chorus: Let’s keep searching...
Reaching for a way to climb a little higher,
Eddie kept repeating how Harry should retire.
Liz told her boss Jim she’d save him from the fire
With some family money if he’d help her to conspire.
Ken is busy scheming about what to acquire--
Why every time you see him, he looks a little slyer.
Eddie didn’t make it ‘cause he couldn’t learn to dress.
Jim fled to Costa Rica rather than confess.
When the news reached Liz, she poured a double scotch.
Somehow in the confusion, Ken moved up another notch.
Chorus: Look out, Executive Hill.
Where you’ve got to run or attack--
Watch out for a stab in the back.
Seen you with your hand in the till!
Look out, Executive Hill.
When Eddie’s family left, he felt so crucified.
He’d done it all for them, but they couldn’t see his side.
The courtroom overflowed the day Ken testified:
He’d known about the defects, they showed how he had lied.
The big success was Liz but she keeps a lot inside
And sometimes when she drinks, she mentions suicide.
But the ads were good; the competition dwindled.
The dividends got bigger as the customers got swindled.
Jim bet on the elections-- he gave all he could afford.
Came back from Costa Rica as the chairman of the board!
Repeat chorus and add tag: Looked out, Xecutive Hill.
In a small Italian village so many years ago,
Ambrosio’s young class would sing and play.
From that little one room school house to the valleys and the hills
They still whistle those old tunes he taught today.
Chorus: Ambrosio! O bella musica!
I feel your spirit; it makes me sing.
I know somehow as this long road bends,
We’ll hold each other: eternal friends.
Soon the children learned this lesson: put love in all you do.
Just try your best and leave the rest to fate.
Some grew up to plant the fields; some had children of their own.
They found life is mostly music we create.
On a balmy summer evening; the moon was high and full.
I walked out where the mountain meets the sea.
You could hear it in the ocean. It was shining from the stars.
I knew somehow his music lived in me.
VISION OF PEACE
When I was quite young, I saw a strange sight.
It was no dream or trick of the mind:
A woman who seemed to be made out of light
Though her features were clearly defined.
She stood in the tall grass by a lake that warm night.
Her words felt so true and so kind.
Chorus: Will you live for peace? Will you sing for peace?
May your heart find peace.
Then war came about and everyone said
We were right and I really should go.
But pain and destruction and lives drowned in red
Was the terror I soon was to know.
And after a bad fight as they buried the dead,
I heard her voice crying so low.
Now my friends and I say that wars must be banned
For the sake of all life everywhere.
But others tell us that we don’t understand--
They’re fighting to make the world fair.
But as bombs fall on people at some general’s command,
We’re chanting these words like a prayer.
THE GREAT FOLK RIP-OFF
As the pickers play,
Your pocket's picked.
Once again, you've been tricked
If you're a folk addict.
Downstairs in the church basement
It seemed so innocent and quaint.
I guess I might have known
That tender singer was no saint.
She drove three hundred miles
To perform for us that night--
A little audience of seventeen.
Now you know something wasn't right.
Chorus: Come on, sing along
Soon we're closing down
Sign the mailing list; buy a tape
This folksinger's leaving town!
Eventually we realized
She played no instrument at all.
She called this a cappella.
I call it how she makes her haul.
She doesn’t spend a nickel
On guitar strings or a band.
She says her repertoire’s traditional--
Another word for second hand!
There’s no doubt it’s a rip-off--
Just figure out the price per song.
To minimize the work,
She even made us sing along.
They asked for contributions
How incredibly unfair!
As she devoured her free cookies,
They said I should fold and stack my chair.
She’s fabulous and famous.
I read that outside on her sign.
And she also sells tee shirts--
Just call her 1-800 line.
She said we all were so good
She’d sing us one more tune.
Then she asked who would put her up
Someplace where she could sleep until high noon!
PEOPLES’ VOICE CAFE
A friendly face, a pc flyer,
Some homemade pastries on the way--
I’m in love with life all over
At the Peoples’ Voice Cafe.
Chorus: It’s a progressive cafe,
Made from dreams and brick and wood.
When the music starts to play,
The politics are always good.
So won’t you please become a member
Or better yet, a volunteer.
Put some muscle where your heart is
So we’re all still here next year.
I’m told there’s happiness in heaven.
That’s just a fantasy some say.
But with the concerts at the cafe,
You can count on Saturday.
GOODBYE OLD FRIEND
The midnight swims, camping in the country--
We tried everything since we knew.
One special night: Oh, what a party!
All our friends were there for you.
Chorus: They say it’s goodbye, old friend.
No it’s not the end.
Somehow, we go on. We go on.
Rewind the years; light up all these windows.
Bring the springtime back to our yard.
Some stormy days used to have rainbows.
Nothing ever seemed this hard.
We set a time; joined in celebration.
Calling out the joys once again:
Our love for you, your inspiration.
Everyone that day knew when
repeat chorus and add tag: We’ll go on.
OUR SOUP OF MANY LANDS
We all arrived as strangers
Here to staff Camp Guadalupe.
But the chef quit and the kids were coming
So we tried to make soup.
chorus: With strange and wondrous flavors
Mixed by many different hands,
It would feed all the hungry
Our soup of many lands.
Eototo said that corn
Gives very pure nutrition.
So we placed it in the boiling water
In the Hopi tradition.
The Tae Kwon Do instructor
Had her own taste idea.
She said add soy and a lot of ginger
Just like home in Korea.
From the secret stash he brought,
Jose gave his yucca root.
Said it’s so good and I’m glad to share it.
Hey, there’s no substitute.
Then Claire brought out her herbs
That help your stomach settle.
They’re from Haiti and they’re really magic.
She threw them in the kettle.
The kids got there ‘bout that time
And they all helped cook it too--
With what they brought like chips, raisins and
A chocolate covered cashew.
To call it nouveau gourmet
Would be to say the least.
But we laughed and we ate together
And we had the greatest feast!