Songs About Time and Your Uncle

by Samm Bennett

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1.
HOWLING MONKEY IN A TINY CAGE the red velvet curtain rose the audience stared at the darkened stage then a spotlight turned on and cast a blinding light at a howling monkey in a tiny cage the audience burst into applause the golden cage beneath the spotlight gleaming the audience rose in a standing ovation the monkey shook the cage and kept on screaming a howling monkey in a tiny cage his sharp teeth bared in a grimace of rage the people left the theater looking satisfied the-next day’s papers all had glowing reviews a monkey in the spotlight, howling in his cage they said this bold work of art really lit a fuse the monkey got booked on all the talk shows he’d howl just like he did for his stage debut his piercing scream just seemed to come so natural didn’t need no teleprompter didn’t need no cue a howling monkey in a tiny cage they called him a symbol of our angry age hear him howling hear him scream hey that’s showbiz man that monkey’s living the dream see him grimace see him scowl ain't there something so familiar about that monkey’s tortured howl? but one night he escaped and ran away across the city rooftops to the edge of town he looked out toward the darkness, the blackness of the forest he gave a little sigh, then turned around he crawled into the window, got back in his cage next day they took him to appear on a TV show he screamed and howled as was expected but something was different, it wasn’t the same you know this howling monkey now seemed like a fake his righteous rage now just another dull heartbreak a howling monkey in a tiny cage
2.
OLD FLOOD SONG the rain is coming you’d best beware those old floodwaters they just don’t care those old floodwaters they sure don’t play they’ll pull you under and carry you away, carry you away carry you away my woman went down to Luzianne said she gonna find her a better man but it weren’t no good man the poor girl found in deep floodwaters that poor girl drowned, poor girl drowned poor girl drowned you think that river is your good friend flowing lazy around the bend but come a storm it'll surge and swell your gentle river will turn to hell turn to hell turn to hell from a three story building just across town i was watchin’ the rain come pouring down underneath that stormy sky saw my best friends house float by, house float by house float by you think that river is your good friend flowing lazy around the bend but come a storm it'll surge and swell your gentle river will turn to hell turn to hell turn to hell oh, lordy lord lord.... i believe i been here a bit too long i’m tired of singing this old flood song i’d best be moving to higher ground this very evening i’m northward bound, northward bound northward bound tired of singing this old flood song
3.
ONE THIN DIME i was lost in space you were biding your time i was weighing the options for my one thin dime i could spend it on whiskey or give it all to the poor you told me I should invest it but you couldn’t be sure cause THERE ain’t nothing for certain so let’s draw the curtain honey time’s a-wasting time’s a-wasting i got a ten foot pole you got a line on the truth i got a ticket to Cleveland i’m gonna stop in Duluth we tried to wrestle the grizzly looks like the grizzly won ah but that shouldn’t oughtta stop us from trying to have some fun cause there ain’t nothing for certain so let’s draw the curtain honey time’s a wasting time’s a-wasting you think you got all the time all the time in the world until death walks in with his banner his banner unfurled he says "come with me now cause now, brother, now’s your time!" you say “but death, i never had a chance to spend that one thin dime!” so if death’ll only spare me over for another year i wanna spend it with you babe i wanna spend it right here i’ll put the dime in your pocket and a smile on your face and when it’s time to check out babe we’ll have made a friendlier place cause there ain’t nothing for certain so let’s draw the curtain honey time’s a wasting time’s a-wasting time’s a-wasting time’s a-wasting
4.
Do What You're Able last night i was talking to a friend of mine you don’t know him, his name is Jack he said Sammy I’m gonna catch a freight train i'm gonna ride it down that railroad track my baby went down to New Orleans i’m gonnna go down there and get her back i said go ahead and do what you’re able go ahead and do what you’re able go ahead and do what you’re able that’s all you can do now Jesus had his twelve disciples they all came to Jesus and said Jesus our lord and our savior what in the world are we gonna do when you’re dead he said well every now and then you’ll lose a button so you better get good with a needle and thread and then go ahead and do what you’re able go ahead and do what you’re able go ahead and do what you’re able that’s all you can do your life is real it ain’t no fable you ain’t Dick Clark you ain’t Clark Gable so just put your cards on the table then go ahead and do what you’re able now friends, my woman left me this morning said she couldn’t take another day with me i sat around all afternoon with my head in my hands a picture of abject misery but i’m going out tonight cause i believe what mama said she said there’s more than one fish in the sea i'm gonna go ahead and do what i'm able go ahead and do what i'm able go ahead and do what i'm able that’s all you can do
5.
OVER AMSTERDAM i got off the train stepped out of Centraal Station i'd made it to that little brick city my eager destination and as i walked those magic little streets for the very first time i thought that i could take this city and make it mine a pale grey sun was shining behind the clouds over Amsterdam she was just pretending ah but i fell in love so hard i was young and foolish she played me like a card i still remember waiting on her doorstep i waited there all night some junkies were mumbling in the alley i waited 'til the morning light a pale grey sun was rising behind the clouds over Amsterdam got up off her doorstep 'bout as sad as i'd ever been walked along the canals crossed those tiny little bridges over and over again you walk so long in that town you think you've gotten somewhere but you're right back where you started, my friend right back where you started, my friend how many years have passed since then? brother don't make me count however you want to add it up it's the wrong amount you ask me would i go back there well now, what would i go back for? wouldn't wanna ride that little trolley that rolls right past her door or see that pale grey moon hanging behind the clouds over Amsterdam
6.
BETTER TAKE CARE OF ME when the dust blows through your teeth and there's no more fat to chew a hole opens in the sky and the moon just falls right through you better take care of me you better take care of me when the train has jumped the track and the party's past its peak when there ain’t no fingers left but the dike has sprung another leak you better take care of me you better take care of me when it all goes up in smoke and the wind won't cry no name when the chariot swings too low and there's only God to blame you better take care of me you better take care of me i knew a man who weathered the storm ah but the flood waters never receded he got everything he wanted and nothing that he needed you better take care of me you better take care of me you better take care of me you better take care of me take care of me, take care of me...
7.
SING ALONG WITH MITCH there’s a man who wants you to sing along just follow the bouncing ball like you're playing ping pong pour yourself a nice tall glass of gin raise up your voice, and join right in sing along with Mitch he’s a prickly pear that son of a bitch just go right ahead sing along with that fool he’s the bona fide king, the king of uncool but don’t you worry ‘bout that don’t let that stop you man sing a long, sing along just as loud as you can sing along with Mitch might be a song about about a hole in the ground or some drunken Sinatra at the edge of town but whatever the words just join right in and once that song is over the next one begins he‘s got a million tunes and you can learn ‘em all they roll off your tongue like a bowling ball sing along with Mitch he's got a stiff delivery and a lousy pitch just go right ahead sing along with that fool he’s the the undisputed king of uncool and even if you’re getting the words all wrong sing along, sing along, sing a long sing along with Mitch now Mitch don’t like no rock and roll forget your rhythm and blues, your hip hop and your soul and ’ol Mitch won't bring you no funky beat he’s the whitest white man you’ll ever meet so put away your inhibition put away your doubt just open your mouth and let it all come out it’s all good as the Americans say cause ain’t nobody listening anyway sing along with Mitch he's got a pencil up his ass i heard his family is rich just go right ahead, sing along with that fool cause by now you know, he’s the king of uncool but don’tchu worry ‘bout that don’t let that stop you man, sing a long, sing along just as loud as you can ... sing along with Mitch sing along with Mitch sing along!
8.
Funtown 05:07
Funtown heard my father falling falling off the mountain he couldn’t see the moon floating on the river above, a flock of birds was passing through the night sky i counted every feather and then set off a-walking so hear me now so hear me now so hear me now i‘m on my way to Funtown heard a baby crying crying like a bonfire the wind was blowin’ the sound out across the graveyard a train was passing by it turned into a june bug it came a sudden rainfall some lightning struck a gravestone so hear me now so hear me now so hear me now i‘m on my way to Funtown to Funtown i dropped a dollar bill the ground began to tremble i saw a woman crawling crawling toward a smokestack and now a snake is hissing coiled around a moonbeam a hurricane is brewing on some distant planet’s ocean so hear me now so hear me now so hear me now i‘m on my way to Funtown to Funtown to Funtown to Funtown
9.
Nothing Left To Say But Goodbye i used to think that there was something something we could do to retrieve, darling, what we had but now the ways seem few matter of fact they’re long gone every path we might have explored no way to buy back the time we lost no way that we could afford nothing left to try nothing left to say but goodbye oh darling weren’t we full of hope the future looked real good we were gonna beat the odds ah, we were sure we could but it seems the cards were marked the dice were loaded too and anyway we were lousy gamblers baby you know it’s true nothing left to try nothing left to say but goodbye so here we are together now sitting here at this table this shabby little diner well ain’t it a hell of a place to end our little fable the waitress pouring our coffee she’s as bored as bored can be and there’s a distant sadness in her eye that envelopes you and me you and me it’s starting to rain outside umbrellas are coming up the waitress is giving me dirty looks as she refills my coffee cup guess it’s time to get outta here out into the nasty weather you go ahead and leave i’m gonna stay here a while ain’t no point in leaving together nothing left to try nothing left to say but goodbye goodbye
10.
THE NEW BOB DYLAN SONG there’s a rare endangered earthworm that’s just gone extinct there’s a chicken about to cross the road there’s a rumor going round 'bout your uncle's mistress there’s a stranger offering to carry your heavy load there’s a new kid on the block with a perfect haircut he says there ain’t no line between right and wrong he’s aimed a plastic water pistol at my head while I listen to the new Bob Dylan song listen to the new Bob Dylan song there’s a clown applying his greasepaint in the graveyard "there’s a time and place for everything", he says the funeral goers dance and throw confetti a passing Shriner smiles and doffs his fez and that might be thunder rumbling in the distance or the low pulse of an ancient temple gong but none of that can pierce my solid concentration as I listen to the new Bob Dylan song listening to the new Bob Dylan song a tour bus full of PT Barnum circus freaks is rolling down the midtown avenues they point and laugh at office workers passing by then they scream "you got no right to sing the blues!" meanwhile way up high, atop the Empire State swatting at airplanes there he is, King Kong i’d go look out the window but i’m busy now see i’m listening to the new Bob Dylan song listening to the new Bob Dylan song the president is sleeping in his presidential bed his wife's all wrapped up with his Chief of Staff the governor is knocking back some whiskeys he and his secret boyfriend share a nervous laugh and the mayor’s catching up on late night paper work his secretary’s stripped down to her thong but my mind is not on on sex, nor even politics no, i’m listening to the new Bob Dylan song listening to the new Bob Dylan song outside the sirens wail, the babies cry, the lovers moan the birds and butterflies are on the wing the ghost of Elvis Presley in a ghostly Cadillac borrows money from the ghost of BB King a traveling guitar salesman’s at the front door right on cue the doorbell rings ding dong but i won’t be needing, no, no new guitars today i’m listening to the new Bob Dylan song listening to the new Bob Dylan song deep within the jungle there’s a naked man he points his arrow toward some jungle beast his aim is true the arrow meets its target so tonight there’s gonna be a jungle feast and me i’ll grab some noodles down at the noodle shop you know they cook ‘em like they do in old Hong Kong and even though I’m hungry I can’t go just yet yeah, i’m listening to the new Bob Dylan song listening to the new Bob Dylan song there’s a demonstration happening down near City Hall and it’s happy hour at all the nearby bars half price on Molotov cocktails, two for one you can toss ‘em at the passing police cars orangutans and ballet dancers weave their way all throughout the tear gas shrouded throng i guess i’ll read about it in tomorrow’s papers but now I’m listening to the new Bob Dylan song listening to the new Bob Dylan song the midnight train is passing ‘neath the moonlight it’s bound for someplace better some might say but anyway, where’ere you go, well there you are my friend there’ll only be some new landlord to pay there’s a question on your lips, it seems quite urgent you need a swift reply, you say you can’t wait long i’ll do my best to answer, oh I swear I will once I’ve listened to the new Bob Dylan song listen to the new Bob Dylan song soon as i’ve listened, soon as i’ve listened... to the new... to the new Bob Dylan song i got to turn up the sound hey hey All words and music Copyright 2021 Samm Bennett - All Rights Reserved

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Recorded, mixed and mastered at Polarity Studio, Tokyo, Japan 2020/2021

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released May 25, 2021

All words and music by Samm Bennett - All Rights Reserved
Published by Directional Music (BMI)

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Samm Bennett - Polarity Records Tokyo, Japan

Singer and songwriter, player of unusual string instruments such as 3-string and 1-string guitar, plus jaw harps, mouthbow, electronics and junk, plus all manner of drums and percussion.

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