Zeke Hoskin Song Lyrics G through L

Songs A through B
Songs C through F
Songs M through Q
Songs Q through Z
Choruses are in italics and are sung after every verse.

The Generals (Say It's Time For Peace)


When the generals say it's time for war, you may be wrong to go
The generals may know all about war, but war is all they know
So take it with a grain of salt when the generals say, "Let's fight"
But when the generals say it's time for peace, the chances are they're right

When the pacifists say it's time for peace, you know they may be wrong
There comes a day when you have to fight, though you'd rather get along
You can't make everything go away by wishing with all your might
But when the generals say it's time for peace, the chances are they're right

Maybe a dozen folks want this war
Only half of them know what for
They won't do the fighting, they don't know how
What a pity they're all in the white house now

When a songwriter tells you what to think, don't bother to listen long
The only think we know for sure is how to write a song
So think for yourself: who dies? who prospers every time we fight?
Cause when the generals say it's time for peace, the chances are they're right

Go Back To Sleep

Go back to sleep. The fragile night of early Summer dies too soon
Go back to sleep. Ignore the sunshine when it swears it's almost noon.
We were up past sunset singing love songs while the bashful stars crept out of hiding one by one until they filled the skies
The morning sun is telling lies, believe the clock and not your eyes, go back to sleep.

Go back to sleep. Cuddle close to me and slumber for a while
Go back to sleep. Ride the soft slow ship of dreams another mile.
Day is coming soon enough with much to do and miles to go and promises to keep, and you know that you'll keep them best
When you've had a good night's rest, so lay your head upon my breast, go back to sleep.

Lullaby of morning, the evening's made for song
The night is made for loving and the day is made too long
The morning's made for sleeping in, and that's what we should do
It's next to the best thing in life sleeping next to you

Go back to sleep. Although the sun got up too early by mistake,
Go back to sleep. And always know I love you sleeping or awake.
Day is prying at the window like a burglar bent on breaking in and robbing us of slumber, but that's what the blind is for
Let me lie a little more beside the sweet love I adore, go back to sleep.

Grandma's A Pirate

What does an octogenarian pirate say? "Aye, Matey."
What does he say next year? "Aye, matey-one."
I hardly ever sing the third verse

I'm sure that Grandma's a pirate. At her birthday party last night
She told everybody, "Aye, matey", that's pirate talk all right
When I grow up, a pirate is what I want to be
And I'll make my teacher walk the plank the first time we go to sea

Grandma's a pirate, Grandma's a pirate
She must have a cannon, I hope she lets me fire it
Grandma's a pirate, I wanna take a trip
On Grandma's pirate ship

I'm sure that Grandma's a pirate, cause she hid the cookie jar
When I asked her where the cookies is, she said, "Not 'is', it's 'arrr'"
I bet she has a wooden leg, though she never lets me see
But I heard she got a titanium hip and that's enough for me

I'm sure that Grandma's a pirate, she has a parrot too
It doesn't say the kind of things that pirate's parrots do
But I'm teaching it to speak right, so far it's doing great
It already says "Shiver my crackers" and "Polly wants pieces of eight"

I haven't seen my Grandpa since I was only three
I bet he's sailing his own ship in some far-distant sea
Now Grandma plays in her garden, keeps digging here and there
I bet she buried a treasure chest and can't remember where

Groundhog Day

It's Groundhog Day, it's Groundhog Day
Just when you thought winter had settled in to stay
Sunshine's here to tell you Spring is on its way
Look! There goes your shadow cause it's Groundhog Day.

Groundhog's hibernating beneath the winter storm
Getting tired of waiting for the weather to get warm
Wakes up in a panic, afraid he's slept till May
Runs outside and finds it's only Groundhog Day

Winter wind is freezing our noses and our cheeks
We need a hearty breakfast, haven't seen the sun in weeks
Some sausages and pancakes would help us feel okay
Grind the hog for sausage meat, it's ground hog day

In the year two thousand one, old Punxsutawney Phil
Woke up on a cloudy day, but saw his shadow still
The TV lights were blazing bright, they scared him right away
Causing six more weeks of winter after Groundhog Day

Winter's halfway over, it's February Two
If you're not a groundhog, I'll tell you what to do
Eat a hearty breakfast, then when you've been fed
Go out and see your shadow, then go back to bed

Fire up your Harley and ride around the block
When you kiss your lady, do you get an awful shock?
Truckers all use grounding chains to drain the charge away
You gotta ground your Harley cause it's Ground Hawg Day.

Harp-Breaking Bastards

If you prefer to pronounce that word as "scoundrels", feel free.

I'm a harper by trade, and my living is made by playing the harp all day long
I know every note that O'Carolan wrote, I can back up a dance or a song
I'll play anywhere, be it foul, be it fair, as long as it's there I can drive
But I'll tell you no lie, I'm reluctant to fly, for it's seldom my harp will survive

The harp-breaking bastards who load the great planes
With crowbars and sledgehammers, grab-hooks and chains
Their music's the roar of the airplanes above
But the smash of a harp is the sound that they love

I remember the day I agreed for to play in a land far away from my home
I build a great box with steel bars and stout locks, I lined it with velvet and foam
I marked it FRAGILE, and I worried the while I soared through the unfriendly sky
I arrived safe and sound, and my harp it was found – a week later – smashed – in Shanghai

. . . They plug up their earholes and unplug their brains
Oliver Cromwell is buried and gone
But the harp-breaking bastards go slaughtering on

There's a carol we sing, where on hovering wing, the angels play harps made of gold
They don't have to check them for devils to wreck in the clamour of Hell's baggage hold
I'm planning to play for yet many a day on this lovely green Earth ere I die
But I envy the band up in God's promised land – it's the only way harpers can fly

. . . the scum of the ramp rats, the spawn of the drains
If Heaven's the place where the good harpers go
Then the harp-breaking bastards are going below

Helping Cupid

Valentine's comes but once a year
Cupid works much too hard, that's what I hear
Flies around the country, never wears his pants
Shooting arrows tipped with sweet romance

Valentine's should come all year round
That would wear out Cupid, right down to the ground
Someone should help out that chubby little guy
Take your pants off, grab a bow and arrow and fly

If you love somebody all the time, you've gotta let it show
If you wait three hundred and sixty-four days, they're gonna call you slow
I knew a guy with a once-a-year gal, I sympathized with his plight
I asked why he was grinning, he said . . . "Tonight's the night"

Don't save your loving for one special day,
Don't let the calendar organize it all away
No matter if it's February, June or July,
Take your pants off, grab a bow and arrow and fly.

Hey, Mr Conductor

I was bound for Calgary when I got on that train
And I met a sweet Guyanan girl, to me she did explain
She was bound out to Vancouver where she's take a ship back home
And she held my hand that evening neath the panoramic dome

Hey, Mr Conductor, why won't this train run late?
When I got on in Toronto, I sure had to wait
But I've got to say goodbye to Rose a few miles down the line
And it's the first time in twenty years that this train's run on time

She talked of tropic beaches in a warm and pleasant land
In a snowy dawn near Thunder Bay, she thought it was white sand
And I told her of this country, of the land I love the best
And she slept within my arms that night, her head upon my breast

The sun rose near Regina, 'twas the dawn of our last day
And I knew there wasn't time to say the things we had to say
Then I saw that Calgary Tower standing up against the sky
Underneath its base we'd have to say goodbye

I give my Rose just one last kiss, then grab my pack and go
And somewhere through the blizzard I hear the whistle blow
And I hear the wheels a-rumbling, now she's gone and going far
Goodbye my Rose, god damn the CPR.

Hunting The Duck

This song makes fun of a whole generation of lets-go-out-and-kill-something hunting ballads. It's on Life Is Lethal and Lethal Reprieve.

This cramped city life isn't right for a man
We're born to live free and to kill what we can
So it's off to the country, where the air's fresh and clear
With a carton of ciggies and twelve dozen beer

So blow the horn loudly and rev up the truck
We're off to the boondocks to murder the duck

We climb in the truck about six-forty-five
And proceed to tank up for the long weary drive
When we get to the cabin, we're all brightly lit
Can't remember who drove and can't tell what we hit

It's up with the dawn, though the coffee's no good
And down to the lake through the dew-spangled wood
When we get to the blind, we're as happy as boys
Till we find out that Harry forgot the decoys

We crouch without moving from sunrise till three
Except every five minutes we stand up and pee
At last! There's a duck, and we fill it with lead
Can't figure who shot it, but the bugger's sure dead

Then it's back to the cabin for whisky and steak
And we talk about women till nearly daybreak
No one believes what the other guys say
But we've got to talk dirty to prove we're not gay

The next day the ducks have gone elsewhere in flocks
So we have to shoot tree trunks and beer cans and rocks
Tom dropped his gun when he fell in the lake
And Dick shot a full can of beer by mistake

Then it's back to the city, refreshed by our sport
Burning gas by the gallon and beer by the quart
We'll have to draw straws to see who has the luck
To pick two pounds of shot out of three pounds of duck.

The Hydrogen Mines

The water is scarce, and the children drink first
And yesterday Grandmother died of her thirst
We smelted her body for what she could give
Four liters of water for those who still live

No desert on Earth is a thousandth as dry
As Tranquility Sea where my grandmother died
And high overhead hangs the world of her birth
We die from the want of the waters of Earth

The bright sunlight sparkles on oceans and bays
Just four hundred thousand kilometers away
But the hydrogen rockets no longer are flyin'
And I'm working to death in the hydrogen mines

The yield isn't much from they hydrogen ore
Each liter of water takes ten tonnes or more
But that is the best our prospectors can find
And I'm working to death in the hydrogen mines

My pressure suit's old and its gaskets are weak
And water is lost when the air starts to leak
If you don't watch your cooling and work up a sweat
In the hydrogen mines, you lose more than you get

We sat by our comm sets and heard the war cried
We saw the bright flashes as great cities died
If any survive on that planet so fair
They've billions to bury and no help to spare

The last crops are dead in the dry growin' frames
The last child is born, and she bears my last name
But I won't be around her to hear her last cryin'
Cause I'm working to death in the hydrogen mines

I Believe In Christmas

My non-cynical Christmas song. It's on Life Is Lethal and our Christmas album

I'm not sure of Christ, but I believe in Christmas
I believe in Chistmas trees and mistletoe
Peace on most of Earth, and some folks get enough to eat
Who've gone a little hungry since this time of year
Some weep about the Christ child in the creche
But babes are born in worse than mangers every day
But, what the hell, the days are getting longer now
In all the world except the Southern Hemisphere

I'm not fond of greed, of war toys and computer games
But no child should grow up without a teddy bear
And after all these years, I still remember how I felt
The year I found a bicycle beneath the tree
They tell me once you're grown up, there's more joy
In giving to your loved ones than in what you get
How can I know for sure? I seldom see my nieces
Or my nephew, they're in Montreal and Calgary

Those who keep the Old Faith will burn their bright Yule logs and tell you
Christmas is far older than the church of Christ
And therefore there are Christians who'd never have a Christmas tree
Their God could not forgive a day of pagan cheer
Christmas started I don't know how long ago
But Christmas is as newborn as the northbound sun
And so, my cherished friends, rest merry on this day of joy
And peace be with you all through this and every year.

I Love Chocolate

This song has accumulated far too many verses to sing all at once. When I sing it now, I ask the audience to suggest topics and either pull out the appropriate verse or improvise a new one.

Father never seemed to make Enough to feed his children steak
But Mom churned out that chocolate cake Chocolate made my childhood

I love chocolate, I love you, I hope you never prove untrue
But I'll have chocolate if you do, I can count on chocolate

Chocolate is so action-packed, It makes those children hyperact
But too much speed is what I lack, Grown-ups need more chocolate

Dogs love chocolate, don't know why, Speeds their hearts up till they die
Vet bill's gonna make you cry, Don't let dogs have chocolate

Some say growing old's the pits, Balding heads and sagging hips
But chocolate doesn't give us zits, I'll trade my youth for chocolate

Careless love can break your heart, God knows smoking isn't smart
Too much beer can make you fat, Nothing's safe but chocolate

How do you know your youth is spent? Your get up and go has went
Chocolate straightens what is bent, Feed your lover chocolate

Some of you might think this song Is short of meaning and much too long
And I'm not gonna say you're wrong, Let's go have some chocolate

I'm Not In Denial

This one's on Groundhog Day and also Work In Progress 2009

When I was just a boy I learned how to be a man
Got to face misfortune cheerfully, just to prove you can
When everything goes wrong you've got to grit your teeth and smile
But now, if you don't cry real tears, they say you're in denial

I'm not in denial, I'm not in denial
Why should I plead guilty every time life sends a trial?
I can handle this just fine, and no, god damn it, I'm not cryin'
I'm not in denial at all

You tell me that I drink too much, I wish you'd take a hike
I never met a glass of whiskey that I didn't like
It won't love me in the morning, I knew that without your warning
I'm not in denial at all

I'm not in denial, I'm not in denial
I'm not staring at the wall, I'm counting all the tiles
Every time I hear from you things could get worse -- they do
I'm not in denial at all

You say denial is a state where folks refuse to care
Where people lie about their weight and vote for billionaires
Allow me please to explicate: De Nile's a river, not a state
I'm not in denial at all

I'm not in denial, I'm not in denial
You're so hung up on tears you've started seeing crocodiles
No pyramids, no burning sand, you just barged in on dry land
I'm not in denial at all

I'm not in denial, I'm not in denial
Get your cotton-pickin' hands off my inner child
You're a nerd and I'm annoyed, who told you you're Sigmund Freud?
I'm not in denial at all

I've Forgotten The Chords

My homage to Bob Dylan and all the peaceniks. This song is on Life Is Lethal and Lethal Reprieve

We were marching, marching, our vision was plain
We were trampling our fences and smashing our chains
A world without war is what we were arranging
A world that was peaceful and sane
I've forgotten the chords to "The Times Are A-Changin'"
It looks like they've changed back again.

It's the same old guitar that I played way back when
And I'm making a hundred times what I did then
I could buy a real good one with one week of pay
But there's never much left at the end of the day
What the hell, I just know a few chords anyway
And I guess the times changed back again

We fought for free love, and we knew we would win
And we'd laugh when the rednecks would rave about Sin
Now one-parent poverty cannot be hid
Now AIDS is a-slaughtering, we hope that our kids
Will do what we tell them and not what we did
And I guess the times changed back again

We fought for a world that was peaceful and clean
With hatred and hunger no more to be seen
Now everywhere people are killin' and dyin'
Corporations and governments stealin' and lyin'
And yuppies who snicker we were foolish for tryin'
And I guess the times changed back again

The Sixties are gone, for no decade can last
But the future has always grown out of the past
So call me nostalgic or call me deranged
But I think of a time, though today it sounds strange
When plain ordinary people could make the world change
'Cause the times need a-changin' again

Coda (after last chorus)
I looked up the chords to "The Times Are A-Changin'"
Let's go out and change them again!

Johnson Street Bridge

There's a bridge in Victoria, B.C. that is past its pull date

Back in the nineteen twenties, George Green worked at the forge
Lovely Midge was his sweetheart on the far side of the gorge
One night he thought of strolling by to trade some kisses sweet
When he got to the gorge, they said, "Sorry, George, there's no bridge on Johnson Street"

There's no bridge on Johnson Street, there's no bridge on Johnson Street
You can swim across the gorge if you feel equal to the feat
If you walk around the end, when you get there you'll be beat
So good bye Midge, cause there ain't no bridge at the end of Johnson Street

George didn't give up easy, next day he told his boss
"I know how we can make a pile and never risk a loss
Start rolling out bridge girders, cause they'll need ten thousand feet
To save an hour and join Craigflower to the end of Johnson Street"

When they built that bridge, they didn't think it would last a century
Folks crossed by horse and buggy, they crossed by Model T
But at last it was too worn out to withstand the next big quake
We need a new span, so we asked for plans, but that was our mistake.

They looked at three designs, then they figured out somehow
We could do it in nineteen twenty three, but we can't afford it now
So we'll chip the rust and paint it till it looks all nice and new
Cheer up, chaps, it may not collapse for another year or two.

If you drive around, you'll waste the gas and worsen global heat . . .

Jonathan Livingston Seafood

More of this one is stolen than in most of my songs. Not only
did I steal the seagull, I also inadvertently swiped eight bars of
the melody of Tom Lehrer's
MLF Lullaby

Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to show off
Every aerobatic opposition he could blow off
One day near La Guardia his program got upset
He got sucked into the intake of a transatlantic jet

Jonathan Livingston's feeding all the fish
Sliced, diced, and toasted, he's a mighty tasty dish
High above the ocean, halfway to Heaven
Sucked through the engine of a 747

The first turbine blade trimmed the feathers of his tail
The next turbine blade cut his little pink toenails
Jonathan exclaimed, "That's what comes of stunting blind
There's a flying people seagull eater going through my mind"

Jonathan Livingston wasn't neat and clean
His feathers were all rumpled and he reeked of kerosene
The angel at the gate said, "What's that dreadful smell?
Heaven is no place for fuels – You can go to Hell"

Jonathan Livingston flies above the flames
Teaching all the bats of Hell aerobatic games
He says, "Come reincarnation, I know where I'm going:
I'll come back as a fiddler – I've been through a lot of Boeing"

The Landlords

In a time without mercy, they clearanced the Highlands
Evicted the people to make room for sheep
Uprooted poor crofters from stony half-acres
To cross the Atlantic so stormy and deep
To a land without lairds, where you're no' hanged for hunting
And a square mile of land's any settler's to hold
There's more Scots in my land than e'er walked the Highland
They've built a new country more fair than the old

So here's to the landlords, you vile sons of bitches
Who sundered our people from the land of their birth
For your cold ancient castles and blood-spattered riches
You condemned our ancestors to inherit the earth

The absentee landlords sucked Ireland's blood
While starvation was reaping from Derry to Cork
There was no hope in life but to ship out in steerage
Where the great lady stands at the gates of New York
To be cops, and cowpunchers, and laborers, and lawyers
In a new land that Cromwell had never suppressed
More Irish eyes smile in Ohio than Antrim
The wild geese have flown to a much better nest

We've plundered this land from the Cree and the Chippewa
Iroquois, Blackfoot, Algonquin, and Sioux
We herd them to slumlands and try to forget them
While they rot there in squalor with fuck-all to do
And some year, our great ships will take them and dump them
On Ganymede, Titan, Callisto, and Mars
They'll weep for old Earth and they'll curse us for bastards
While their grandchildren grow to inherit the stars

The Last Douglas Fir

This 1975 song was the first thing I wrote that I thought was good enough to get other people to sing. It wasn't.

They took out a contact to cut down the last Douglas fir in year twenty-oh-three.
They cut it down, cut it up, built them a house with a sign up for all folks to see:

          This is the very last Douglas fir house 
                That anyone ever can make
    For two thousand dollars you can spend the night here
             And reminisce 'bout old time sake

But don't shed a tear for the last Douglas fir
For things will come back just the way that they were
We've planted another, so dry up your tears
You can come back and see it in three hundred years

We've cut down the poplars, we've cut down the pines, we've cut down the maples and oaks
The grass, and the trees that were too short to cut, have been killed by the fumes and the smoke
We've killed all the fish, and we've killed all the whales, we've killed all the birds and the bees
And there's nothing alive that ain't under a dome now we've cut down that Douglas fir tree

I read in a book, just before it was burned, that folks used to live different ways
We used to sleep fewer than five in a bed and eat more than once every three days
Now, where'd they get paper to print such a lie? Where paper came from is not known
But sometimes I stare at the place where that tree was and wonder where people are goin'

But don't cast a curse on MacMillan Bloedel
They know your best interests, you know that so well
They've planted a forest, so take back that curse
Cause things may get better when things can't get worse

The Last Longhorn

My mother dropped me on the grass midst tumbleweed and sage
And wild and free I roamed the range till 'bout six months of age
Some crazy rounder roped my neck and tied my feet with gut
Took his iron from the fire, burned his initials in my butt

Yeah, he tied me up and burned me, cut notches in my ears
He rounded up my brothers and he turned them into steers
Then turned us free to graze and grow and hoped that we would thrive
Till it came the time to round us up for the fall's big cattle drive

I am a free range longhorn cow, I'm big and fast and mean
I roam the valleys and the mountains and the foothills in between
I'm not your pampered dairy cow, don't look to find me there
But I'm gonna get that man who monogrammed my derriere

Came fall and came the roundup, I recognized his voice
The others milled to get away, I made a different choice
I could not reach his cruel heart, he rode too high to gore
But I got him right where he got me, that boy won't ride no more

His comrades came and raised him up, they sang a mournful song
How a cowpoke's life is dreadful hard, and seldom dreadful long
Then they drove the herd a thousand miles with no rest or relief
But they never sang no songs about the weary, footsore beef

There's been a change in ranching now, they've fenced the open range
With feedlocks full of hormones a cow's life sure is strange
So eat your supermarket steak, enjoy that tender cut
And I'll get you like I got the man who autographed my butt

Life Is Lethal

This definition of life came from the grafitti wars during the early days of AIDS. It was the title song of my first cassette album and half the title of Lethal Reprieve.

There is a condition, transmitted sexually
With one hundred percent mortality
And I've got it, you've got it, we've all got it
And it's our parents' doing that we caught it
It's called "being alive", and we might as well love it
Even though we're dying of it

Don't try to cure it, please
The cure is much worse than the disease
If we kill all the children and the women and the men
No one will ever have to die again
We're born with a one-way ticket on a hearse
Life is lethal but the cure is worse

Every now and then, history sends a man
Like Alexander or Genghis Khan
Though Genghis was canny, Alexander was greater
They both kept a lot of folks from dying later
So remember them kindly for all of their killin'
They prevented more deaths than penicillin

Drinkin' my coffee, eatin' my toast
Newspaper says we're all gonna roast
Bombs gonna fall, missile's gonna fly
And a year after that one, nobody's gonna die
And the sun will be beaming in his daughter's direction
Cause the Earth has got rid of her skin infection

Life is lethal -- death is final -
Life is lethal but the cure is worse

The Lizard That Ate Vancouver

Thanks to Zite Hutton for suggesting this song

Johnny had a lizard, a cute little baby skink
Johnny dropped his chemistry set, the lizard took a drink
I don't know what the lizard drank, it wouldn't be good for you
But it sure made that lizard grow, it grew and grew and grew

Help! Help! Call the lizard remover
A twenty foot lizard is loose in Vancouver
The situation had better improve, or
We're all gonna get eaten up

The lizard ate up Johnny, it ate up both of his folks
It ate his baby sister, then out of the house it broke
It ate up everybody it could find in the neighborhood
It found that, though they act peculiar, people are mostly good

. . . fifty foot lizard . . .

It ate up a Volkswagen, ate it driver and all
Decided it was pretty good, but just a little small
It wandered onto the highway, it found the transit lane
Ate forty-three buses and three hundred vans, cause it was growing again

. . . hundred foot lizard . . .

The more it ate, the more it grew, and more, and more, and more
It's eaten everybody except for me and you
And, if you don't behave yourself, it's gonna eat you too

. . . thousand foot lizard . . .

Lust Mop

This songload of single-entendres was a Bob Franke songwriting assignment. Enjoy the rhyme scheme.

I'm not saying I'm an unusual guy or a man you cannot trust
But, every now and then, just like all other men, I feel a little illegal lust
I tried not to notice other women's bosoms, but that was a total bust
My mind gets dirty everywhere I take it, gotta bring it home to dust

With the lust mop - - - That's what I come home for
Rub it up and down, slide it all around - shake it out the door
The stuff I track in from the neighbor's yard ain't hard to handle when the handle gets hard
Don't need a brain wash - if you just mop - with the lust mop

I'll stop enjoying and affectionate hug when Hell gets a frozen crust
And I can't help notice when a well-hung skirt blows up in a sudden gust
I'm trying to be your perfect knight but my armor's got a bit of rust
My mind gets dirty everywhere I take it, gotta bring it home to dust

Now, under the surface I'm a loyal guy, but my periscope's got a roving eye
And lots of people say that that is wrong
But I'm as luck as I can be cause I got a girl who trusts in me
At least, until she heard me sing this song

So, like all men, I've gotta work at not doing what my hormones scream I must
While the TV tells me if I drink the right beer, I'll give my sex life added thrust
So I get a little overstimulated, as we've previously discussed
My mind gets dirty everywhere I take it, gotta bring it home to dust

Songs A through B
Songs C through F
Songs M through Q
Songs Q through Z