“Best of Brooklyn Folk”

The Complete Lyrics

by John Henry Sheridan

 (“Brooklyn Folk” 2001; “Best of Brooklyn Folk” Revised 2014)



01) “Brooklyn”


Wake up to another pot of coffee

To a lesser version of me

To another cup of everyday

Get dressed when I'm done taking a shower

I've got less than an hour

Before I've got to be in class

Bus stop – pay my dollar-fifty

These metro cards are nifty

'Cos I don't gotta look for change

Get off and step into the real world

The smell, touch, taste and steel world

And listen to the traffic roar



It's just another day in Brooklyn

It's just another morning in Anywhere, USA

Just another headaches, another of traffic

Another day of boredom and of dealing with our feelings

Just another calendar day of appointments...in Brooklyn


Time flies when your busy with a good time

But I'm just doin' hard time in a prison called the daily grind

Junction – gotta cross that mess of traffic

That metropolitan magic that we like to call “advancement”

Classroom – got my pen and pad ready

Gotta keep my head steady through the rest of a long day

Lunch break – grab another cup of coffee 

Gotta get the ghosts off me

My past haunts me everyday



Just another day in Brooklyn

Just another afternoon in Anywhere, USA

Just another headaches, another of traffic

Another day of boredom and of dealing with our feelings

Just another calendar day of appointments...in Brooklyn


Head home to where I conduct business

Hours to go before rest, before I put my head down

Bus stop – ten blocks to my house

And it's feeling pretty cold out yet I walk the walk everyday

Unlock my door when I get there

And what the hell do I care if there's messages on my machine? 

But I shouldn't be complaining, I'm getting educated

And at least I'm keeping busy



Just another day in Brooklyn

Just another evening in Anywhere, USA

Just another traffic, another day of headaches

Another day of people, another day of disappointments 

Another day of dollars, another day of buses

Another day of streets, and another day of fusses

Over petty little things from petty little people

Over made up little problems far detached from the real world

Another day of worries, another day of illusions

Another surety, another day of confusion

Another day of nausea, and of hidden agendas

Another day of hope and of …


Tragic endings

In Brooklyn

Tragic endings 

In Brooklyn


In Brooklyn, in Brooklyn




02) “Opinions”


Left to right, right to left

After so many words there's nothing left

To say, to do, to feel



Too many opinions cluttering the storage space in my brain

I try to sane but it's tough when words keep coming

Emotionally damaging, mentally numbing

The words keep quacking like ducks

Saying this one is the better one and the other one sucks

And I try to keep my head afloat but the words are like lead

And they're weighing on my head and my head is the boat 

And they're sinking me, quickly


“Did you hear what Johnny said?

I think that boy deserves a hole in his head”

“And Lucy said, 'you're ugly' and Valerie said, 'you're cute'

“And Tom thinks, 'you should cut you're hair', … and doesn't Andy wear nice boots?”




“Man I love that movie, but the sequel really blew

And your cousin kinda reminds me of this girl that I once knew

But she smoked too much pot, and her friends drank too much beer

And don't you think Greg's been to one too many frat' parties this year?”



I said they're sinking me quickly



03) “The People That I Hate”


I used to think I had in all in my hands

I used to think I understood what I now can't understand

I felt like I was higher, higher than the rest

Above the world around me, above even the best



But now even I can tell that we all make mistakes

That on our road to perfection we all lose some face

And I thought I could help myself from joining the rat race

But I guess I'm not much better than the people that I hate




We're all on a mission, on our road to happiness

We think we know where to find, but we can only guess, oh oh

My goal was clear, but on the way I must have lost my sight

Or maybe now I can truly see that my prize wan't worth the fight










04) “Mellow”


I'm in a mellow mood and the stars are out and the moon just winked at me

All the guys are about hummin' their tunes and the girls are all extra pretty

And when I'm eighty-four I can still sing this song when the buds blossom in the trees

'Cos I'm an easy-going guy and in an easy-going way I kinda like the tease 

Oh oh



Na na na, na na na na

Na na na, na na na na na

Na na na, na na na na na


When the springtime creep in closer and the air just smells like life

And the wind is warm and more smiles are worn and the stars shine extra bright

Is when I take out my guitar and strum a silly chord or two

And write a song that sings about promise and goodness in a way that I don't normally do




And a pretty woman's smile is worth a million words or more

But I'd rather watch a smile because them words can be such a bore

Oh I hope to make some pretty ones cheery from the words here in this song

Because a smiling face always seems so much happier than a pouting one

Alright yeah yeah




And the fireflies are flyin' and the beers are nice and cold

And I'm wonderin' what the difference is between the young and the old

And I come to the conclusion that they are like day to night

Both essential to the cycle, oh and everyone's alright

Woh oh oh oh




I'm in a mellow mood in a pleasant vibe in a world dictated by time

But I ain't got the time to figure things out so I'll just concentrate on this rhyme

And if it don't make sense five years from hence, then I'll change what I've written down

But in a lilting way and at least for today I kinda like how these mellow words sound

Woh oh oh oh




Woh oh oh 





05) “Clarity of Vision”


Long tired day, sleeps awaiting me

In a bed where I'll lay just an hour from now

When I get home from this roaming around

Homeward bound, safe and sound from the noisy city


Bad news in papers

It seems always safer

On the next jump of land

Thoughts are so romantic



I know what I want

At least I really, really, really, really think that I do

I know what I want

And it involves you


It involves you

It involves you 

It involves you


This is the way that it goes day by 

We should all live in moderation

Sitting on a train, on a bus or plane

Who's to say what's the better mode of



Got a pack on my back 

Hit a pub – get whacked

Have some beers, thank you cheers

This is just a vacation



I know what I want

At least I really, really, really, really think that I do

I know what I want

And it involves you


Lost on a train in the middle of winter

Standing in the rain in the middle of Britain

One thing remains throughout all my endeavors

And that's a sore spot for you


Had a dream, it would seem that the meaning 

Would be lost in the way of lack of patience

Here I am 19, on the wings of a dream

Confident without . . . hesitation, right


Bad news in papers

It seems always safer

On the next jump of land

Thoughts are so romantic



I know what I want

At least I really, really, really, really think that I do

I know what I want

And it involves you


(Excerpts from early Christian chants; Latin; early Middle Ages)


I know what I want

And it involves you




06) “Ode To Street Music”


I went out on the streets today, I brought my guitar with me

As always I found a spot, dropped the case, and tried to earn an honest buck

Times Square, Broadway, the village, or in the subway by the trains

It doesn't make much difference to me, I'll play wherever people go it's all the same

Anywhere a street's a street, it's always just a cold slab of concrete for me

No three foot stage, no amps, no lights, the only performance platform that I know

Is under the street where the audience never stays for the whole show

And I never get payed the same salary twice


Oh no no no oh oh oh


I wake in the morning, drink old coffe, I grab my coat and guitar

I'm off to work, I'm performing today, first on a city corner, then in a subway

I never play the same song twice, well I can't read music and my hands are like ice

So nothing's ever quite the same for a street musician no-name

Maybe after work I”ll hit the bar, or hit the liquor store and buy a jar of whiskey

To take the edge off 'til tomorrow which I hope never comes

Ohh but I know surely will, and bring the same mundane poverty-stricken life

To consciousness again


Oh oh oh oh oh oh


“Thank you sir, have a good day now”


The next day it's MSG for me, I may get chased out but people have money there

And I know I can pull in at least $50 between 7 and 8 o' clock

But I better hope I don't get locked up just like last time

For knocking out a cop, he quicked me out and went to confiscate my earnings

And that was dinner that night, it's amazing what a person might do when hunger is never satisfied

No caviar for me, no steak, no rich man's wine

White bread or pizza will do fine and as for liquor, I'll stick to the cheap kind


Wah oh oh

La da da da


My survival tonight is based on your kindness so can you spare some change
To the music man whose name you'll never know dressed in raggy clothes

Who'll give a front row seat to anyone who asks for a personal show

“Hey, thanks man, have a wonderful...is there a song you'd like to hear?

'Cos tonight I'm taking requests”


La da da

La da da ooh oh ooh oh etc...





07) “Daddy”

I think I feel you every time I look at your shelf

I would’ve liked to have known you so in times like this I could ask for your help

Sometimes I need you when I feel alone and can’t quite find me

I’m in need of direction - don’t know north from south from west from east



Daddy, can you help me with the finding of myself?

Will I find the answer in a book upon your shelf?

Daddy, can you hear me? I am calling out your name

I lost you at age six, and the world called it a shame

Ain’t it a shame!


Sometimes Mom would sit me down and tell me about you

She never said you were perfect, but I think that’s what I like most about you

So when I call your name in the morning or in the night

Just sit there and listen and everything will be alright




Fa la la, la la la la la, la la la la la la
Fa la la, la la la la la, la la la la la la la
Fa la la, la la la la la, la la la la la la la
Fa la la, la la la la la, la la la la la la la



08) “Best Friend”


Can Johnny come out and play?

I know it's cold outside and the ground is ice

But I'm lonely and he's my only friend

And he stuck up for me when the kids were being mean in the schoolyard


Can Johnny come out and play?

I found some money on the ground 

And I can split it with him

And we can go buy ice cream


Can Johnny come out and play?

I know it's snowing outside – we could build a snowman

Oh he's sick you say, well then can I come in?

My mom says it's ok - don't worry, I won't catch nothing from him


Please Mrs. So & So won't you tell him that I rang

And when he's free he can call me absolutely any time

Tell him I'll be writing a letter to my bestest friend

And can he guess to whom I'm sending it?


Please Mrs. So & So won't you tell him that I came

And on the way down the street I told everyone the name

Of the nicest person in the world, the coolest boy in town

I said that Johnny is my best friend and they all turned around 

They all turned around


Can Johnny come out and play?

I just stopped at the store and bought a bat and ball

So we can go play baseball

Oh no I don't have a glove - it's ok, I'll just use my bare hands 


Please Mrs. So & So won't you give him this information

He's invited to my party, it'll be just a small congregation

Just Mom, him and me, 'cos Daddy's on a long vacation

Somewhere out at sea or at least that's what Mommy told me


And I got a chocolate cake 'cos I know it's his favorite

Mom says she doesn't care if I eat 'til I burst

Oh please Mrs. So & So won't you pass on this invitation

If Johnny's not gonna be there, that would be the worst



09) “Blizzard”


I am all alone

The blizzard drove me home

When I was on my way out

To someone else's house

The blizzard drove me in

And now I can't even get out

And no one can get in

I'm trapped inside my house


And the blizzard's closing in

And the blizzard's closing in


So I sit here alone

Waiting by the phone

Although the lines have been torn down

And the phone will make no sound

I'd rather pretend to await a call

False hope is better than none at all

I can't let the blizzard win

I won't be pushed around again

So I make myself some tea

Relax with a book and read

And I really must admit

The snow is so pretty


And the blizzard piles up

And the blizzard piles up


A night and a day have passed

And I tune into the weather forecast

They say only one more day

'Til the blizzard goes away

The house is pretty cold

And the heat is running low

The roof is pretty old

And it's holding a lot of snow

The doors and windows are fixed shut

And time moves so slow

And when the roof will no longer hold up

I will have no place to go


And the blizzard doesn't stop

And the blizzard doesn't stop…



10) “Wandering Man”


Blue skies, white clouds on a Saturday afternoon 

The grass is green and today I'm reading in between the lines of the tabloid drool

I'm back in the saddle with my head held high and I'm kicking up lots of dust

I'm a no longer fearin' 'cos the smoke is clearin' and I can see that greyhound bus



Somewhere out there someone is waiting for me

And I don't care if they're younger or older than me

All I know is that I've been feeling pretty lonely and I doubt that holds true for me only



I just want a pretty young woman to hold me

I just want a pretty young woman to tell me that she's genuinely miss me

If I took that greyhound out of town

mmm mm mm mm, mm mm mm 



The coast is clear, the circus in town and the check is in the mail

My schooling is done, sorry gotta run, time to put my ship to sail

And my words come flyin' like bats outta hell with American flags tattooed on their wings

Oh too much to do with a random slot of time, it's my goddamn right to strum and sing

About one thing, two thing, everything or nothing just about whatever's on my mind

And if you don't want to hear, you don't have to listen, I don't want to waste nobody's time



Ohh somewhere out there crowds are waiting for me

And I don't care if they're younger or older than me

All I know is I want to be there one and only main attraction



I just want a hundred thousand people to play to

I just want a hundred thousand people singing my song 

Cheering for me, is that so wrong?

Before I take that greyhound out of town 

Mm that greyhound out of town

Before I take that greyhound, that greyhound


We got rats in the cellar, we got dogs in heat, and mosquitos that'll give disease

This crosstown traffic, metropolitan magic is enough to make the locals wheeze

We got a hundred new problems in half as many minutes, we don't got the time to think before we act

This is fast-paced city livin', somehow we stay driven, is it the power of love or the lack?



Ohh somewhere time is standing still and waiting for me

And I don't care how long it takes for time to find me

All I know is I need some time to unwind me from this ball of stress my life has bind me



All I want a secure and peaceful existence

All I want is a safety net under all that I've earned

I need confidence before I can hop on that greyhound out of town

That greyhound out of town

Na ooo, oo oo oo oo

Na ooo ooo



11) “The Things I Wish I Could Say”



Best of Brooklyn Folk

John Henry Sheridan

A collection of 11 of the best tracks from the original 19 track album "Brooklyn Folk" (2001). From the mind & heart of a 20 year-old Brooklyn College student.

Genres:  Folk: Singer/Songwriter Pop: Folky Pop Acoustic

Release Date: 2001 / 2014

All songs written and performed by John Henry Sheridan Trumpet and some backup vocals by Jason Hills Recorded, Mixed, and Produced by Jason Hills Cover Photography by Jason Hills and Anonymous © John Henry Sheridan 2001 Coral Sound Music 2014

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