I bought my first Cheryl Wheeler songs. I have a few CW songs covered by other artists. Wow! CW's great - vocally as well as lyrically! What woke me up to her music? I saw her on an old Bluebird Cafe video. So I decided to check out her music by listening to the 90 second samples from her albums on i-Tunes and watching some of her videos on you-Tube. Back in September of 2007, my wife and I had reservations to see a solo show by CW at the Bluebird Cafe. Unfortunately, she had to cancel due to illness.
On December 21, 2017, Country Universe's Kevin John Coyne posted an article titled "Hugh Prestwood, Kathy Mattea, and "The Song Remembers When". The post included a link to a "Live from the Bluebird Cafe" video featuring Prestwood, Mattea and Cheryl Wheeler. I watched and enjoyed it on You-Tube. After writing that I never knew that "The Song Remembers When", a great Hugh Prestwood song recorded by Trisha Yearwood, was first offered to Mattea, I concluded my comment "Prestwood and Cheryl Wheeler have something in common. All or almost all of their songs are solo writing efforts. Singer/songwriter Cheryl is best known for writing “Aces” for Suzy Bogguss."
Some readers may already know of the three Cheryl Wheeler penned songs recorded by Suzy Bogguss, "Aces", "Don't Wanna" and "Moonlight and Roses", as well as "Further and Further Away" recorded by Kathy Mattea (with harmony vocal by Suzy Bogguss). I'll be brief on these 4 songs. If you're not familiar with them you can find the complete lyrics to these and many other CW songs on cherylwheeler.com.
"Aces" - "You can't deal me the aces and think I wouldn't play, don't let this be the reason you would walk away."
"Don't Wanna" - "feel you in my heart, don't wanna see you in my dreams anymore"
I don't need "Moonlight and Roses", "I don't want you to stand here and tell me lies"
"Further and Further Away" - I can see the place where I came from slipping ...
Here are my favorite lesser known CW songs, ballads first followed by funny songs, all with lyric samples:
- "Right Way to Do the Wrong Thing"
- Somehow the fair-haired boy has lost his place
- Stepped from the golden light, fallen from grace
- Scattered promises like broken glass
- Turned his heart away from all he has
- And you can't believe and you can't explain
- How a heart can beat and the world can change
- And it's left you wondering
- If there's a right way to do the wrong thing
- "Frequently Wrong But Never in Doubt"
- He belonged to the yacht club, the truckers, the shriners
- Though he had no boat and no rig
- Still he'd eat roast beef dinners
- And hob-nob with winners
- And wait till he hit something big
- But before he could get that big fish on the line
- They let everyone in and ruined the Shrine
- And he was easily riled and likely to shout
- Frequently wrong but never in doubt
- "Who Am I Foolin'?" (I didn't realize it was 7 minutes long when I purchased it on i-Tunes off Cheryl's Sylvia Hotel album. The Foolin' song is only a little over 3 1/2 minutes followed by a silent 45 second gap before "We're the Bank" - see below - begins. So you're getting two songs for the price of one.)
- I can go through the motions, sometimes I swear I'm ok.
- Sure I miss you, but I've been really movin', really turnin' away.
- But just when I thought the heartache was gone,
- It's tapping me on the shoulder.
- Saying who are you foolin'?
- Some things you just don't get over.
- "But the Days and Nights Are Long" (formerly known as: Boulder Hotel Room)
- Life is short, but the days and nights are long
- Time will heal all these wounds
- Some day soon
- I'll be rising I'll be strong
- "Summer's Almost Over"
- Who could help but welcome autumn and the promise of the winter snow?
- Still there's something sweet and wistful as I watch this lovely summer go
- But the sun is sinking sooner and the weeds have won at last
- With the berries on the bushes and the crickets in the grass
- Oh summer's almost over and I'm crying but I don't know why
- I'm almost everything you have ever wanted
- I'm almost your best dream come true
- We fit so perfectly
- Oh I almost can't believe
- How I'm almost all I need to be
- I wish I could fall in love
- Though it only leads to trouble, oh I know it does
- Still I'd fool myself and gladly, just to feel I was
- In love, in love
- I wish I could feel my heartbeat rise
- And gaze into some gentle, warm excited eyes
- And give myself as truly as an arrow flies
- In windless skies
"When Fall Comes to New England"
The northern geese fly south instead, and leaves are Irish Setter red ...
- The squirrels are on to something
- And they're working overtime
- The foxes blink and stare and so do I
- "Gandhi / Buddha"
- I must've been Gandhi or Buddha or someone like that,
- I must've saved lives by the hundreds everywhere I went.
- I must've brought rest to the restless, fed the hungry too,
- I must've done something great to get to have you
- "Since You've Been Gone"
- And since you’ve been gone I’m just fallin’ apart
- There’s a hole in my life, in my soul, in my heart
- And I stare out this window till light becomes dark
- And there’s nothing that’s touching me now
... It’s just your absence is present in all that I do ...
- "Driving Home"
- I was drivin home
- By the river side
- Richard thompson on
- And the day so fine
- Pennsylvania towns
- Sort of slip right by
- In a soft line south
- Under purple skies
- "Estate Sale"
- Estate sale today, from 1 o'clock to 4
- You go and get ready, I'll go start the car
- Better to be early, then we'll be the first in line
- And you know how I love this, it's amazing what you'll find
- Going through dead people's houses
- Wonderful things they have collected
- Open the drawers and trunks and closets
- Don't leave a corner uninspected
- "On The Plane"
- You will need to arrive at a quarter to five
- if your plane is departing at ten.
- When you called for a seat, we advised you to meet
- at the gate and we'd let you know then.
- The air that you're breathing's been re-circulating
- since Orville and Wilbur were boys.
- If you should choke, here's a thimble of coke.
- You do realize that coughing annoys
- I'm unworthy, and no matter what I'm doing,
- I should certainly be doing something else.
- And it's selfish to be thinking I'm unworthy,
- all this me, me, me, me, self, self, self, self, self.
- If I'm talking on the phone I should be working on the lawn
- which looks disgraceful from the things I haven't done.
- If I'm working on the lawn I should be concentrating on
- those magazines inside, since I have not read one.
- "We're the Bank"
- We're the Bank. We're not your friend. We want those records
- And we want them sent this afternoon
- Or your gross expenses will balloon
- And you'll only have yourself to thank
- Write "attention clerk", 'cause it's the way we work
- And we're the bank
"They're red, they're white, they're brown They get that way underground There can't be much to do So now they have blue ones too." Favorite verse:
"They have eyes but they do not have faces I don't know if their feelings get hurt By just hanging around in dark places Where they only can stare at the dirt."
The Chorus: "PotaTo potaTo potaTo Potato Potato Potato Potato PoTato poTato poTato PotaTo potaTo PotaTo potaTo PotaTo potaTo potaTo."Cheryl relates in the song's intro that as she was walking along one day, the chorus of the Mexican Hat Dance was going through her head. She decided to sing that song's chorus using only the word Potato. She challenged herself to sing it so the accent would fall at different times on the word "Po-Ta-To" and have it end on "To" as opposed to "Ta" or "Po". Got that?
Now get yourself some Cheryl Wheeler songs. You won't be disappointed.
Five Funny Songs - 1/29/18
A Few Autumn/Fall Songs - 9/5/17