Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thank 'Em (Unions and Teachers)

Though I no longer live in the wonderful state of Wisconsin (out in Denver now, if you hadn't heard), my thoughts rest entirely there this week.  I am so proud of all of the state employees, teachers, and workers in general who are standing up for their rights and not backing down.  This is not a "budget bill", this is an attack on organized labor, on employees.  If you have no clue what I am talking about, this New York Times article will fill you in nicely.  

Since I can't be in Wisconsin right now taking part, I wanted to do a little something from afar.  Wrote this song last night, "Thank 'Em", with the theme of thanking teachers, and thanking unions.  It is available at that link for free streaming and download, please feel free to use it however you please. 

“It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.”
--Theodore Roosevelt

Thank unions,
Thank teachers

Joe works hard from morning to night,
gets home and kisses his beautiful wife.
Watches Fox News, thinks he's got it all figured out,
curses the labor unions, not knowing about...

Thank the unions,
do you like your weekends?
thank the unions,
for minimum wage,
thank organized labor.
Joe don't even know how lucky he is

Joe bitches about his property taxes,
hates the school board and the IRS.
His kids they get a quality, free education,
and the teachers they still get paid shit.

Thank a teacher,
that you can read and write,
thank a teacher,
you can multiply,
thank a teacher, 
thank your education,
count your blessings and get organized.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No Memories

a collaboration with poet Joe Briggs (work in progress, this might see some changes yet)

words by Joe Briggs 
music by John Statz

performed on the banjo

 No Memories by John Statz 

The snowlakes falling slow & bb size,
covering our roof, covering this tomb where I must live
My wife, my love died on the cusp of December,
She's painted in the walls, and makes the floor boards cry.

Need to go outside and feel the snow on my face,
Need to have the wind hit me like a morning alarm,
Want a light to turn on on this empty street,
Want to have...
No memories.
No memories.

Car is low on gas so I take the neighbor kid's bike
Pink with bad brakes, not looking to impress anyone.
Clouds in front of the sun like gauze over a wound.
Turn down main street, where the traffic lights flash and die.

Need to be outside and feel the snow on my face,
Need to have the wind hit me like a morning alarm,
Want a light to turn on on this empty street,
Want to have...
No memories.
No memories.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Staring down the flood

Budapest, Hungary - Feb. 2009

Staring down the flood...
at first, more like casually glancing at a trickle.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Like Jack Johnson

 Like Jack Johnson by John Statz 

Gonna write a song like Jack Johnson,
sittin' on the beach.
Writing songs to all da college girls,
feeling happy and free...

Well they got this and we got that,
and I don't mean to tit for tat
and Let's sit under the apple tree
and make a pie for you and me
mmmmmm (make apple pancakes)
(maybe its the weekend)

well the sun is out and so are we
and we are fun and happy free
pretend that I am talented
record the same song over again

Now this is the chorus, here
we'll make it sound more serious.
When you're gone, girl I miss you
and make sure that you always recycle.

well Times Like These, and times like those,
dreams be dreams and bubbletoes
gone going give a damn
cookie jar and middle man,
sweeping the floors, open the doors,
turn off your wars, don't go to da stores.
so many things rhyme with simple words,
and when they fail you can always mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Neglect (Instrumental)

 Neglect (Instrumental) by John Statz

my friend Mark asked me to come up with some music for a documentary to this idea:

"a seedy part of town down on it's luck---undeveloped low-income housing facing more neglect from city legislation

Tired of Telephones

 Tired of Telephones by John Statz

Wrote most of this song back in mid-January, but I finally settled some of the lyrics and the chorus melody.

We could make this place our own,
and I'm so tired of telephones.
Stay awhile and rest your bones,
this lonely heartsick needs you home.

It's been half a year,
the mercury has dropped.
Winter lasts too long, and I've been,
Waiting for you dear.

I'm a patient man,
but I've filled a page or two,
with thoughts on how impatient I get,
when I think of you... waiting to see you.


I still mark the days,
it helps me pass the time.
Winter's end, it brings good news,
it will be just fine... it will all be fine.


Well we could make this town our home,
and I'm sick of bags and telephones,
stay with me and rest your bones,
and we could make this place our own.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rust Belt City

 Rust Belt City by John Statz

Heavy smog hung over east,
where three rivers came to meet,
United Steel could not compete.
Now its a sad rust belt city,
Pittsburgh lost to 'cross the sea.

On the banks of Lake Erie,
where the river's flames burned free,
all the people they did flee.
Another sad rust belt city,
Cleveland burned and so did we.

Hark back the glory days,
when steel mills paid a living wage.
But now the nation only sees,
between the sea and shining sea,
a trail of sad rust belt cities.

Down the trail, down the stream,
will our cities still shimmer dreams?
Or will they dry up from underneath?
Like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati,
another sad rust belt city,
another sad rust belt city.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

One Night Stand - Rick Franz

Words by Rick Franz
Music by Rick Franz and John Statz

You’re wise to tell this cowboy goodbye
The mountains between make it
hard to be seen, by you… … … …

I wish I had,
the hombre in my hands,
who took you to the cleaners

Made yer heart such a wreck
Im glad I cant find him
cuz Id shake him up hard by the (his) neck … … … … … … …

Guess I’ll be movin on
Out on my own
You sure are lovely
You make me feel home

If timing was better aligned
(well) We mighta had better times
It’s probably, about time a man… ..
Knew the sting of a one night stand.

Ain’t it always a lady who writes the song
The one where the fella,
Ends up all alone, in the end.. … … …

Well I’ll hit the highway
and just ride it my way
And think on you fondly my friend.. … … ..

I­ hear them sing
Yippy yo yippy yay
Toward the sun, toward the moon
And day after day, of
wrestlin a dollar
from dried out seed.. … ..

Yer the finest thing
Ive ever seen.. ..
I hope that you’re happy
And get all you need.

I’ve heard them sing
Yippy yo yippy yay
Toward the sun I’ll be ridin
And another fine day… … … …

It’s probably, about time a man… ..
Knew the sting of a one night stand.

It’s probably, about time a man… ..
Knew the sting of a one night stand.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Young and In Love

I remember being so young and in love,
the foolishness of thinking that we were above,
and when it's time came ended, I'd be so broken up
but now it seems so silly, looking back at us.

Young man, I know, that you are freshly out of school,
and you think that you know where this world is headed to.
Draw your line in sand and refuse to step across.
You got all your years ahead, don't waste them on a loss.


Young man, I'm sorry that she tore your heart in two.
Learn here, a lesson, 'cuz a woman's likely to.
Hold your back up tall and breathe a sigh relief,
'cuz you have more to live for now that you have been released.


Now you just keep moving, and see what happens next.
You can go to England or maybe south of France.
What I'm trying to say to you is just have a blast.
Don't worry 'bout the women, let them fall into your lap.