BEGINNING AGAIN


Release Date May 1, 2018




Beginning Again was recorded in Woodstock, NY with
Pete Levin, keyboardist on historic recordings by Miles Davis, Paul Simon, Bryan Ferry and many others; Steve Holley on drums, formerly of Wings and Joe Cocker's touring bands;
Kirsten Maxwell, winner of numerous singer-songwriting competitions in the past three years;
and Mark Dann, bassist and producing partner, veteran of (at least) a couple hundred recording projects.
Read the lyrics (below) to the 14 new songs.


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Rod MacDonald, Box 3844, Boynton Beach, FL 33424
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all songs ©2018 rod macdonald, blue flute music (ascap)

1-the magic city

streaks of light snake thru the darkness
on a landscape low and deep
and then there on the horizon
as if rising from its sleep
the mosaic of tower windows awakens
awakens in the winter air
and i'm flying home to the city
in just minutes i'll be there in
New York the magic city of my heart

we cross the river and in an instant
there's traffic all around
people walking hand in hand,
horns blasting, sirens sound
Chinatown is still awake,
the Bowery throbs with the beat
of a band waiting to be discovered
and a crowd up on its feet

how can i explain how it feels like home
when i live somewhere else and my neighborhood's gone
and the people i once knew have scattered to the wind
still i never could forget how it always took me in
New York the magic city of my heart

it's freezing out and in the suburbs
the cops are saying "just stay home"
but there's a full house here tonight
in the lights when i look around
New Yorkers are tough and
so what if it's cold
you can stay in and watch television
if you ever get old

how could i ever forget the kind hearted people
who took me in off the street and gave me someplace to sleep, til
i had a place of my own, somewhere i could belong
and the friendships we made when we lived for a song, in
New York the magic city of my heart

i stand here on Bleecker St
watching the sun
rise like a fire
on the deserted morn
there's no one around me
as the past falls behind
and i know in that moment
the city is mine

i've been to the desert
i've been over the sea
i've heard the great silence
known love's mystery
and i've stood on my front steps
seen the dreams as they curled
up like smoke from the people who've come
from all over the world

the skyscrapers fade off as the plane takes flight
like the last drops of music and the final spotlights
and the friends i will miss and the streets that i know
i carry them with me wherever i go from
New York the magic city of my heart

2-speak to me of justice

donít speak to me of God
if you just mean white on black
speak to me of justice
and when you have done justice
you can speak to me of God

and donít shout to me of freedom
if all you mean is profit
whisper your compassion
and when youíve shown compassion
you can speak to me of freedom

tell me then of science
of knowledge, of wisdom
some lightís bound to find the cracks
if youíve pre-paid your opinions
and pre-ordered for your ignorance
you should demand your money back

donít sing to me of love
and then assault my body
show some understanding
and when youíve shown your understanding
you can sing to me of love

you canít sell peace and quiet
if all you mean is status quo
and thereís a necessary change in the wind
if you wonít speak for justice
you have to know that justice
will speak for herself again
   
donít preach to me of faith
yours, or any others
speak to me of justice
and when you have done justice
you can speak to me with love 

3-i'd love to be wrong

i'd love to be wrong but here's what i see
millions of people eyes glued to the tv
they have no idea what's about to come down
they think it's a game show with celebrity clowns
it's gonna get ugly the stench will be strong
but hey like i said i'd love to be wrong

i'd love to be wrong but here's what i feel
the workingman thinks he's gonna get a good deal
when all theyíre gonna do is enrich themselves
carve out some new breaks and screw everyone else
you better not get sick or your money's all gone
but hey like i said i'd love to be wrong

i'd love to be wrong but it looks very plain
betraying one's country for one's private gain
is a game the authorities should stop this very hour
but they're doing nothing they just want more power

so they can finally take it all away
your health, your retirement, your bright sunny day
your wilderness, your freedom to love who you please
your public school system, your kids' chance to succeed
your right to speak freely, your right to belong
but hey like i said, i'd love to be wrong

i'd love to be wrong i'd love to relax
i'd love to invent my own set of facts
but i think facts should be true so i can't agree
that what you imagine is at all real to me

i'd love to be wrong and have everyone free
instead of having your freedom be punishing me
i'm expecting more rain, and much bigger floods
more corporate judges, more morons in trucks
taking over the streets and waving their guns
small countries invaded by much bigger ones
the free world in crisis its leader denying
he's already been paid off for those bullets flying
and when it all falls apart, and
they start to crack down
on the weak and the helpless
will you just go along
well i hope you don't mind my little song
cause hey like i said, i'd love to be wrong

4-the great python hunt

there's so many pythons in the Everglades
they're paying hunters a minimum wage
to catch the pythons the state has put
an extra bonus on every foot

pythons are endangered in their Asian homes
hunted for their skins til they're almost gone
like Pilgrims and Protestants of history
pythons have come to the land of the free

they're heading for the USA
heading for the USA
 
pythons are eating every thing it's true
the deer, the rabbits and the raccoons too
there's a video of a python in the swamp
trying to eat a gator with just one chomp

but nothing eats pythons, that's a fact
they're big and strong and move real fast
pretty soon they may run out of food
and start showing up in your neighborhood

so they had a contest winner take all
went into the swamp and they had a ball
1000 men looking but they all missed
10,000 snakes and caught 106

experts from India who already know
how to catch the snakes were brought to Key Largo
Irula tribesmen with special dogs
yes, just more immigrants taking our jobs

you want to get rid of pythons? here's the way
feed them the American diet from the buffet
lots of pesticides, sugar and fat
they'll get sick and die off just like that

5-black friday


put on my jacket, went out to the car
turned on the radio, didnít get far
when the news of a man
interrupted my shopping jag

he was gunned down just for standing
in some part of this land
I couldnít buy a thing I couldnít understand
black friday just ainít my bag

thereís a fever goiní round
could easily catch it
get a new tv
then youíd have to watch it
black friday just ainít my bag

if youíre a late bloomer
and youíre still not a consumer
what is it you expect to prove
by not doing your duty
to make that merchandise move

well, itís Thanksgiving
and iíll shop if i want to
shop if i want to
shop if i want to
but black friday just ainít my bag
6-one more minute of moonlight

itís the end of day
i let it all waste away
i have nothing to show or to say
but give me one more minute of moonlight
one more minute of moonlight
and iíll pay what i have to pay

iíve no need to run
and iím hurting no one
the light shining here has only begun
so give me one more minute of moonlight
one more minute of moonlight
and iíll do what must be done

i watch the time slip quietly past
and though i know it cannot last

i know that youíre near
everything is so clear
and the silence is everything i need to hear
so give me one more minute of moonlight
one more minute of moonlight
and i will shed no tear

well the wind from the west
is finally at rest
and the shadows are off on some starry  quest
so give me one more minute of moonlight
one more minute of moonlight
and i will know iím blest

give me a sign
a moment that shines
as bright as you are in this heart of mine
give me one more minute of moonlight
one more minute of moonlight
and Iiíll never more be blind

it feels like midnightís stopped on a dime
and just canít move along this time

how can i be alone
where has everyone gone
sheís there in the window
her hair hanging down
so give me one more minute of moonlight
one more minute of moonlight
and i will carry on

7-in another teenage dream

in another teenage dream, she was only seventeen
he was the handsomest boy in town
but he was a poor boy in blue jeans so he joined the US marines
to have a future when he came back home
and a new President was voted in promising with a forceful grin
we wonít let the enemy push us around
after training him to be a man they sent him to Afghanistan
leaving his wife and newborn son behind

two tours later, when he's home he's in a world of his own
his eyes seem so far away
she tries to remember when he was her lover and best friend
before he saw the things he couldn't say
until the day the word comes back he's returning from Iraq
with a flag draped over his remains
she'll go back to their hometown and raise their son on her own
and try to start her life over again

and the leaders of the USA sit down on a rainy day
making plans they later will deny
who will bear the sacrifice, the children, husbands and the wives
and do they ever ask themselves why?

in another foreign land where the wind breathes only sand
a young man in a village must decide
to live there and be occupied or join the other side and fight
an enemy with weapons in the sky
that can pinpoint his parents' home and blow up everyone in his town
from a trailer near Las Vegas where they view
the funeral by his village wall, and when he comes, they kill them all
and they know there's nothing he can do

and the leaders of the USA say we're making progress every day
soon the enemy will give up the fight
a single man, bomb on his chest, blows up a market in the west
and do you ever ask yourself why?

and the people of the USA get down on their knees and pray
for victory and mercy from on high
but forgiveness waits around the bend in a war that never ends
and do you ever ask yourself why?

8-fake news & alternative facts


everybodyís talking Ďbout fake news & alternative facts
tell me which is true
Mars is called the red planet Ďcause itís Chinese, or
scientists say climate is coming for you

you gotta love fake news & alternative facts
you tell me which is true
too many people are voting, or
fewer than half the people chose you

fake news, fake news, Facebook is talking about
hiring 3000 new workers just to keep the Russians out

hey itís fake news & alternative facts all the time
you tell me which is true
immigrants took the jobs when the factories closed, or
millions will lose their health if itís up to you

yeah, itís fake news & alternative facts for the dumb and blind
you tell me which is true
Jesus died so gays couldnít marry, or
prison investors are counting on you

fake news, fake news, the Wall St Journal says listen to them
the NY Times is digging in, so they wonít have to print

fake news & alternative facts every morning
you tell me which is cool
that inaugeral was the greatest ever, or
the truth says: you got to pity the fool

9-genius

let's talk about genius what is it really
is it just the ability to do something well
like throw a baseball or smile for the camera
or rip everybody off to enrich yourself

they call some people genius because they can sing
or program ones and zeros to do anything
but i think real genius is to see what's ahead
turn that into art and art into bread

well i've been to the mountain, i've been to the sea
and it's you and me baby in love's mystery
you've stolen my heart, i've forgiven your crime
and we'll figure it out one day at a time

i once knew a genius he always looked cool
he could get any girl and he always did
in the eleventh grade he dropped out of school
to marry that cheerleader having his kid

you want to be a genius you want to have fame
you want everyone to remember your name
why don't you feed the hungry give the people their health
or do you think genius is just about wealth

if i were a genius i'd never let on
i'd just sit and write music from moonlight til dawn
maybe no one would hear it like that forest and tree
but somewhere in the world, there would be peace

i'll tell you what's genius it's just to keep going
when the hot air surrounds you and the wind is blowing
and the end of the road is out of sight, down the line
all you've got is the journey, and that suits you fine

10-chinatown

in a doorway in San Francisco
for a month of winter days
two hours every afternoon
i stood there and earned my pay

it was in the middle of Chinatown
January in the air
singing for people on their way somewhere
trying to make them lend an ear

it was my first school as a singer
watching all the people react
some would stop for a song or a minute
some would wave as they walked past

some would walk right into traffic
so they wouldn't have to pass near
some guy singing  in a bank doorway
that's the very last thing youíd want to hear

well i guess iíve come a long way
at least far enough to say
if i knew then what i know now
iíd head right back to Chinatown
and do it all again, my friend
yes iíd do it all again

there was one pretty girl in the afternoons
came by every single day
with a different guy, sheíd go upstairs
into the hotel across the way

i never did meet her or know her name
but she always gave me a smile
i want to thank her for those $5 bills
you know, they kept me alive awhile








11-beginning again

he used to trust the government
til he realized they lied
he thought for awhile he could
even join the other side
but it wasnít long at all
before he realized
they were all the same
and when he got wise
he went inside and killed the lights
and pulled down all the shades
while outside in the world
outside in the world
outside in the world
promises were made
billions were paid

yes, paid to the idiot boxes
perched somewhere on a shelf
the faces and the other faces
all talking to themselves
between the million advertisements
against the other guy
all paid for by somebody who
no one could identify
he unplugged the box up on the shelf
and sat down in the sun
while outside in the world
outside in the world
outside in the world
deals were done
the race was run

and he said
wake me when it's over
don't tell me who wins
i'm beginning again
beginning again

til only one was standing,
in a shaken, fearful land
the sun rose up, the sun went down
the days were close at hand
the news was playing in the bar
the night he walked right in
somebody bombed the market place
the drones were closing in
the preacher wore an automatic
the streets were bathed in sin
beginning again
beginning again
beginning again
he trusted no one
had no friends

12-the wall

letís build a wall 30 feet tall
only cost 4 billion to
keep them all out
you know who they are
drug dealers criminals thugs and
probably some very nice people too
itíll only cost 6 billion and
hereís the best part
someone else will pay for it
yeah thatís it
let someone else pay for it
only cost 8 billion
and while weíre at it
letís do something about
those already here
after all we have to defend our freedom
to hate and discriminate and anyway
itíll only cost 10 billion
to keep them all out
you know who they are

letís build a wall
concrete and steel
weíll bring it in by truck
only cost 12 billion
weíll use the land along the river
weíll take it if we have to
Ďcause thatís what freedom is
to build a wall to keep them out
you know who they are

those ones who want to be
here in the land of the free
only cost 15 billion
and if they invent a 31 foot ladder
weíll make it 40 feet tall
only cost 20 billion
to keep them all out
you know who they are

and you better love God
you better love God as we love God
or we're going to hurt you
weíre going to make you do everything
God tells us to make you do
until you love God as we do
but to begin with, letís build a wall
Ďcause thatís what freedom needs
a wall to keep them all out
only cost 50 billion
you know who they are

for 50 billion we could
teach some kids to read
probably feed a hungry family or two
or cure some small disease
but that wonít please the people
no, they donít even care
theyíre more afraid of whatís out there
so letís build a wall
only cost 100 billion
what will it cost your soul
you know youíre never ever
gonna have control

and while weíre at it,
letís hire 100,000 men and
give each one a rifle
to shoot anyone on a 31-foot ladder
100,000 jobs and 100,000 guns
the NRAíll go for that
only cost 200 billion
so letís build a wall
to keep them all out
you know who they are

13-everything is as it should be


the devil came knockin' at my door i said "come on in
tell me what's been on your mind my good old devil friend
would you like a cup of coffee, how the hell you been?"
he sank down in my easy chair and broke into a grin
and he said "everything is as it should be
i got two pretty girls chasin' after me
now neither one can get her fill
if one won't love me to death, the other one will."

i looked that devil in the eye, i said "you've got some nerve
you come around here like a friend, discontentment's all you serve
with all your talents, devil, why do you have to be so blind?
whatcha doing all the time, with the women on your mind?"
and he said "everything is as it should be
you're gettin' excited, i can see
you like to think i'm wrong tonight
but in the morning you will see that i am right."

next day i met a pretty woman on a lonesome street in town
i held her close i knew that she would never hold me down
but she had to leave to get back on to the one she was lovin' up
and i heard that devil laughing as i drained my whiskey cup,
and he said "everything is as it should be
you ainít so bad off, youíre still free
yesterday you were so proud
now you don't walk so tall, you don't talk so loud."

i said "old devil you proved your point, I guess i was wrong
i thought that i was quite content to be here all alone
but once in awhile i wish love was something else
than a educational experience to put up on my shelf"
and he said "everything is as it should be
just listen to yourself talk to me
now who's the one who's walking blind?
you're walkin' around, your head hangin' down, you got the women on your mind."

i didn't see the devil for quite awhile, til he showed up one night late
sank down in my easy chair, said "i made a big mistake.
i went and fell in love, i would've changed to treat her well
but all she wanted was a one night stand in my private hell."
And i said "everything is as it should be
hey i can spare the sympathy
think of all you taught to me
Ďyou can stay right down here in hell, or get up off your knees.í ď

14-deep bullshit blues

the woods are up in smoke
the Govínor says nope
you canít mention that climate stuff
he says heís not a scientist
but he clearly knows enough
to know the scientists are wrong
the scientists are wrong
and you know you can believe him
while we sing this little song

so make me a pallet on your floor
hand me down my walkiní shoes
throw my troubles out the door
i got them deep bullshit blues

the Govínor says those billions
the polluters were to pay
we wonít need that for the government
weíll take it another way
just give it directly to my party
Ďcause we got a party goiní on
and you notice heís not kiddiní
when we sing this little song

the Govínor must have been no fool
he must have learned the ropes
to profitize the public schools
and as for the hopes
of those who want to educate
without jumping through a million hoops
remember the prisons need inmates 
for his investment groups

so make me a pallet on your floor
hand me down my walkiní shoes
throw my troubles out the door
i got them deep bullshit blues