Modern Jazz Lyrics

Lyric compositions by Jim Hillman

 in collaboration with various composers.

Most of these tunes - you can listen to the MP3 sample links under each title - were composed between 1990 and now, as repertoire for my group The Merlin Factor. The group has achieved a certain reputation in Canadian jazz circles, and won a JUNO (Canada’s equivalent to the Grammies) in 1994. This web page is an effort to make the material available for use to others.

If you have questions or require a chart, you can reach me at With the exception of ‘Intentions’ all the songs have received contracted or verbal permission from the composers, and are registered with SOCAN in Canada; if you perform or record them, please do so legally. Thanks to vocalists Jacintha Tuku and Kim Richardson for the majority of the tracks; as well to Geraldine Hunt, Ranee Lee and Yvette Tollar for individual contributions. Above all, thanks to the composers, who graciously allowed me to write lyrics to their compositions.

Some of the MP3 tracks are only demos, reluctantly included in the absence of anything else; at least it allows you to hear the phrasing etc. I hope you enjoy these songs, and that they can someday be heard by a larger audience. Thank you.


Click on the name of a song for its lyrics.

Album: Choose - The Merlin Factor
Song Music By Lyrics By
FUTURE SAMBA Paulo Ramos Jim Hillman
NOTHING TO DECLARE Marcus Miller Jim Hillman
BAKER’S ANNEX Jim Beard Jim Hillman
PRAYER FOR HUMANKIND(NESS) David Restivo Jim Hillman
TIME IN PLACE Mike Stern Jim Hillman
INTENTIONS George Adams Jim Hillman
SNOW PLACE John Tank Jim Hillman
AS LONG AS YOU’RE LIVIN’ Jan Jarczyk Jim Hillman
Relationships - The Merlin Factor
Song Music By Lyrics By
NEW LULLABY Paul Motian Jim Hillman
CONFIDENCE GAMES James Gelfand Jim Hillman
TORCHLIGHT Jack Cortner, Chris Palmaro Jim Hillman
SPEAK Gary Willis Jim Hillman
UNKNOWN PASSWORD Ron Seguin Jim Hillman
Frontier Tunes - The Merlin Factor
Song Music By Lyrics By
GO FOR IT James Gelfand Jim Hillman
FRONTIER TUNE James Gelfand Jim Hillman
THE GENTLEST ONE I KNOW Sonny Greenwich Jim Hillman
JOURNEY HOME Warren Williams Jim Hillman
THE TO-DAY SHOW James Gelfand Jim Hillman
STARDUST ON YOUR SLEEVE John McLaughlin Jim hillman
SHE NEVER HAS A WINDOW Vince Mendoza Jim Hillman
Jim Hillman - The Merlin Factor
Song Music By Lyrics By
SUNSPLASH James Gelfand Jim Hillman
’SMATTER Kenny Wheeler Jim Hillman
UPTOWN McCoy Tyner Jim Hillman
THE TRANSLATORS John McLaughlin Jim Hillman
Song Music By Lyrics By
ELEPHANT’S MEMORY Sunny Murray Jim Hillman
THAT MOMENT Wayne Shorter Jim Hillman
RIO REVISITED Djavan Jim Hillman
BEFORE LEAVING Norman Lachappelle Jim Hillman


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Music: Paulo Ramos
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Lookin' real: dig this feelin' of peace-time,
New life-on-lease time,
West & East comes a truce, could it be
That we'll be free...maybe...someday?

Lookin' fine - new alignment and laughter,
But what are we after?
After this will we miss our mistakes
For human sakes

Tell me when we'll be free
From pretending to be,

What we're not ready yet to believe...maybe...someday.

Lookin' back: days of snacks, cars and motors,
Modem computers,
Racks of load-em-up guns, cigarettes,
Consumer debts...

When they thought they were free,
Ever spending to see
They were not, but they wanted to be...maybe...someday.

I still can't understand what they planned
For the lives of their sons.
Such a wait for they created; so late
The arrival of CONCEPT ONE.

Look ahead, lose your dread of tomorrow,
No need for sorrow,
Soon we'll borrow e-motions, download behaviour codes.


Maybe then we'll be free
From pretending to be

What we're not ready yet to believe.
Maybe, someday

We'll forget who we are
Reconnecting to stars
Dancing sambas of dreams never far.

- solo -

Never quite got it right;
Satellites spoil this culture of clean.
Now we gear up to clear atmos-fear-ic concerns
- No more TV screens?

Maybe soon we'll be free
From electricity.

When it's done will our sun be the key?
Lately some say

We'll connect to the stars;
Better yet: who we are
Will be just who we wanted to day.

Tell me when - we'll be free
From pretending to be

What we're not. Ready yet to believe?
Maybe, someday

We'll forget who we are,
Reconnecting to stars
Dancing sambas of dreams never far,


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Music: Marcus Miller
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

You will never know just what you mean to me,
You will never suspect.
There's not a chance you'll figure out
What this dance is all about
Between us:
I've got too much pride to protect.

Won't be leaving clues of what I'd do for you.
I won't show you what's real
Until your heart's beat begins to change
- When my karma's  re-arranged -
You'll know it then, I'll show you then what I'm feeling.

But if I tell you what you mean to me, will it be over -
No returning this yearning unspoken?
That's why love hides inside my heart:
My heart's better off burning than broken.

If there's duty paid on lovin' undeclared,
Write my balance in blue.
Exactly how much, you'll never know,
You can't count how much I owe;
That bill's unpaid, I'm still afraid of losing.

   - solos -

Just tell me how long 'til it turns around, how many lifetimes
Undercover, your lover forever?
I've got to change someday to now,
Somehow just find some way out of never...

'Til your kiss is mine, I guess these lips are sealed;
No affection displayed
Until you sense love I can't declare
- Anywhen, no matter where -
It's there for you, I'll share these blues with you someday.


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Music: Jim Beard
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

The news arrived from Alexandria.
Elusive lies contained the truth.
The sand was silent; skies remained aloof.

Coincidence, that I should take the call -
The incident was yours to plan.
"Too late to stall, of course - we played our hand"...

One more stand made on foreign shores -
Hunger facing bread.
One more land betrayed, all the elders ignored
Younger ways ahead.

The West Suez, a fire for miles that night,
An S.O.S for all to see.
The light reflecting off the Nile was free.


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Music: David Restivo
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

So much harder now than then
You make believe
Faith can start somehow
Just when there's no relief
Losing sight of yesterday
In tomorrow's steady glare  
Choosing rights to guess your way                
What was wrong with prayer

Custom made for twisted plans
These times you live
Trust betrayed, can't understand
Does no one give
You've had your fill of sacred words            
Of wisdom seldom shared
Hoping still some song is heard                  
Someone's song of prayer

One song even you might sing one day
In prayer for humankind(ness)
For blindness cured, for faith
Restored by songs of love
Maybe songs of love are what you believe                  
Do you believe

Even when you hear sweet themes you've heard before    
Love's rhythms play                
In keys of dreams too seldom scored            
So they sound cliché                    
Prayers can spring your heart's release                
From bonds of blue despair                

Songs that sing of love and peace                
Become songs of prayer.                            

   solos -

Say you'll sing along, just once
To humour me
Say this thing's not wrong - this hunch                    
You could soon be free                        
Say your life was blessed by love                
It could be, if you dare
Let your life express it        
Love could become your prayer

One prayer that a child might hear
One day a song for humankind(ness)
For blindness cured, for faith
Restored by songs of love
Maybe songs of love are what you believe
Do you believe
Someday when our faith designs a different sound
Compassion's voice
Will sing of humankind(ness) found    
Do we have a choice                
Believers chose that peace would come
It's going to come, I swear
Some will close their hearts
But some just might join in prayer


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Music: Mike Stern
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Could have stopped her fall.
Could have stopped to trace Parisian calls.
Should have faced your future, after all
The things left unsaid, and
All the things she said instead,
You knew - too late -
Her fate was in your hands.

Once her lips were yours,
Until her slip-of-tongue had played its course,
Until you knew - too young - her smile's remorse,
Excusing you from disregard,
Losing you, she played her cards
Too few. Too late.
Her fate is in your hands.
Take her in your arms and make her smile.
Tell her a lie for once -
It's not about the truth this time.
Never was.
   - solos-

You knew too late.
Don't wait for her again.
Take her in your arms and make her smile.
Tell her a lie for once -
It's not about the truth this time.

Never was your place to share,
Just a space to smile away her cares
Until she dialed away her solitaire.
Comparing was the natural choice,                
Daring you to match his voice.

   repeating chorus :

She knew. She waits.
Her fate is in your hands.
Take her in your arms and make her smile.
Tell her a lie for once -
It's not about the truth, not anymore;
And were you ever really sure
Of what you knew too late?
Don't wait for her again.
Take her back in time you'll make her smile.
Tell her a lie for once -
It's not about the truth, not anymore;
And were you ever really sure
Of what she knew etc.


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Music: George Adams
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

How would you like a moment in the spotlight?        
When you're 'hot', it falls on your skills,                
All of your talents (so many talents you've got)...

You gotta like it, the spark of recognition,        
It's ignition lifting you far;
Drift into stardom, finally famous and rich.                
You've arrived (I hope you're still alive),        
Fame for the keepin', don't be sleepin',    

Open your eyes, the world is on your platter, baby ;
Doesn't matter what you deserve,
Don't you be nervous - it isn't a moment for that !
   - solo -

Time for your deal,
The bottom line's ascending;
Neverending make-what-you-can,
Breaks in Manhattan - it's about hype in the end,

Starting with rumours, good humour on the talk shows.
Even rock promoters will say "you're on your way up,
Gonna be bigger than Bach!"

So take a bow, remember why and how:
Companies kept with, who ya' slept with,

They've booked your room at Hotel California.
Gotta warn ya': do as you're told,
Then when you've sold out, live in a media swarm:                    

   - solo -

Sign o' the times, your face is found in traffic,
Photographic shoots are routine, magazine covers,
Now you're the one to be seen,                    

Seen in the movies, a guest on Larry King's show.  
Everything so ASAP - N.B. a CD,
Now that you're ready to sing.                
The news is clear: you're 'Person of the Year';
Here comes a Grammy-Oscar whammy!
Like it or not, celebrity's your status.
In it's stratosphere you can fly;
Why not invite us ? We wanna be where you're at.
How can you blame us, now
you're famous?

New home, L.A....
Sign a lease for just one day.


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Music: John Tank
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

She saw my tomorrow:
Reshaping sorrow, recovering slow.
She saw me go where there's snow on the ground;
New life to know, no more friends hangin' round.
She predicted work there, on the line,
Assembling time.

Since my decline is on it's way
Of life astray I'm trying to run away
From something I knew dead-ends ago.    

Headin' somewhere new, now she's let me know
In her vision: snow.

Chances for the taking, chances are it's true
I'll get there if I break out,
I can make out longin' you,
Long as I can go -
Headin' for the snow.

(Lookin' for work)    
Just wanna go somewhere it's real...
Just wanna be someone I mean...
Just want a chance livin' a dream...

Gotta stretch my dollars, have to stretch the truth.
No cents in true confession -
Learned my lesson, time to move,        
Get into a groove. Got somethin' to prove.

(Somethin' to prove)
Just wanna go somewhere it's real...
Just wanna be someone I mean...
Just want a chance livin' a dream...                                            
   - solos -

So much for the future.
Too much from the past
Can't make it when the sutures on your wounds
Are slipping fast,
Out of your control.
Guess it's time to roll,

(Get out of town)
Just wanna go. Nothin' is real...
Not gonna be someone I mean...
Ain't gotta chance livin' a dream...
Seven years of chances,
Chances' story told.
Just no escaping dances played for
Dancers growing old,
Beaten by the cold,
Frozen by the snow
Falling again.


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Music: Jan Jarczyk
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

You can be happy...
          as long as you're livin',
Livin' the moment,    
          as long as you're given,
Given just one chance -  
          take it for all it's worth,
Worth every minute,
          as long as you're in it - life,

Better believe it -
          it's crazy to be in doubt.
You can be crazy,
          that's what it's all about.
It's all about lovin',
              and lookin' for how-to-love.
Lovin' is givin'
              as long as you're livin' - life :

You can be someone,
              as long as you're no one else.
No one'll love ya',
          if you only love yourself.
Long as you're lonely,
              find out just who you are.
If you know who you are, you might be who you want.

Go where you wanna,
          nobody's stoppin' you.
Stoppin' at nothin' -
          freedom's in front of you,
Free for the takin',
          remember to take it all.
All is forgiven -  
          as long as you're livin' - life.


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Music: Sonny Greenwich
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Sundown, living for the sundown,
Somehow, living only somehow.
Some die - giving in, yes - some die
Dreaming: someday, dreaming only someday...
Day breaks:
One more heart aches.
One more day takes one more heartache, one more sundown -
Living for the sundown.

Sunrise, never seeing the sunrise.
The sun dies when day begins. The sun dies.
Darkness. Children of the darkness,
Working for the heartless, living for the heartless

Sun sets:
Once more tears wet one more sunset.
One more tear lets one more sun rise -
Never seeing the sunrise.


Children of the coal mines, children of the coal mines
And gold mines, coal mines and gold mines
And diamonds, coal and gold and diamonds:
Our diamonds - carbon crushed for diamonds

As hearts break,
Once more sun sets.
One more day makes one more tear, yet one more sundown -
Living for the sundown.


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Music: Paul Motian
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

You took your leave;
I saw you go,
Leaving us here to grieve,
And face the moment.
One moment's decision: *
Guess it was time to go.

No reason for tears;
I saw you smile
After all these years,
Wishing that I'd kissed you.
How long will I miss you?
How long is the Nile?

after solos, repeat (second verse first), then:

* Was it time to go?
How much did you love me?
Will I ever know?
Hoping you can hear me,
Until it's time to go.

Confidence Games

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Music: James Gelfand
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Stormy skies, mourning.
For the weather-why's, a warning...

Nothin' to say, there's nothin' but grey,
Nothin' but somethin'-is-on-it's-way,
Somethin' upsettin' my Saturday fun.
Nothin' to do, nothin' but blues -
There's some kind of crisis in the news -
And no forgettin' that somethin's gotta be done.

Nowhere to go - somethin' comin'...
Lettin' ya' know that thunder's on the way
Comes a summons: too many clouds for the sun.
Wonderin' why, second-guessin -
This kind of sky is messin' up my day.
Is it a lesson of judgement finally come ?

Still time, still moments -
Storms stealin' near,
Prime sky-time omens    
Of a future full of fear.

Barometer max, pressure in play,
Baby, relax and take off the day -
Maybe tomorrow we'll get to the task.
Sky to beware, weather to seize,
Time to prepare, but baby, please,
There's time to borrow, and somethin' I wanna ask:
Couldn't we break just a minute,
Couldn't we make-believe the sun is out ?
There's somethin' in it - you just can't cancel the day.
Couldn't you say "Copacetic,
Café-au-lait is what it's all about."
It's not prophetic, but I got somethin' to say:

There's still time, still moments -
The storm still might clear.
They're still mine, these moments,
And the future's still not here.

       - solos & interludes -

We're out on the edge, look over
the ledge -
I'm bettin' we'll hedge on the privilege of
Gettin' to witness -the end of the world.
Could it be true, our moment is through,
Could there be nothin' we can do
To save the fitness of the future for a boy and a girl?

Then how 'bout a kiss to forget it?
How 'bout a tryst at the movies, just for fun,
A final edit: the lovers escape, curtain call.
Gettin' reel kicks, tail-spinnin' -
Nothin' that fixes end-milleniums,
But while we're in 'em, we can be havin' a ball.

Still chasing moments,
After two thousand years
Still escaping omens
Of apocalypse still near,

Still waters run deep,
Still winds bring storms.
It's all still worth one leap -
Keep your heart still warm.

Still life, reflecting
Dreams still come true.
There's still lives connecting -
Seems I've still got you,        

And there's still time - let's hang out,
'Cuz this joint still grooves.
No time for pangs of doubt, and
Not much point not hangin' in here -
Where you gonna move?


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Music: Jack Cortner, Chris Palmero
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

One more time, goodbye;
No more alibis.
Knowing you and I can't go on, we lie

In the torchlight glow,
It started long ago.
Could we ever know
Love would grow so strong?

Longing to touch your skin,
Sweet sin beyond believing
Grips my heart, desire unknown.
It's too much - give in,
Until it's time for leaving you
To sleep alone - it's not my home.

One more night your torchlight calls.


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Music: Gary Willis
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

If you'd try to find an answer,
I could stop these questions,
Relieved to hear you
Voice some small concern
For the why-you-lie,
Tell me, how-come my deception?
Believing all your cover
For lovers and suggestions
That burn my heart with questions
You're not answering anymore...
Why not? Take a chance,
Just try to explain this thing
That we've got, this "circumstance",
And why I remain absurdly faithful.
I never thought I'd be lying in bed
For the right to be sure
Of where I might stand,
Never thought you'd forget that night,
Can't you remember it?
I heard you say:

"My words are weak, soft my spirit,
But my heart can speak - you've got to hear it, sending you
Regrets and tears you must believe by now.
Don't let me hear you're leaving,
Just let me love you - stay somehow,"

   - solo -

If still your heart speaks, I'll hear it,
Until we part, keep me near it, finding you.
Not far away, does love unspoken call?
For my heart to stay unbroken,
Tell me you need me after all

Regrets and tears, trust deceived by now.
Don't let me hear you're leaving,
Tell me you just might stay somehow

Not far away, does love unspoken call
For my heart to stay unbroken?
Tell me you need me after all

Regrets and tears, trust deceived by now.
Don't let me hear you're leaving,
Knowing I just might say, somehow,
Don't ever go away.

If your heart loves, just let it speak.


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Music: Ron Seguin
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Ever true to your pastime,
Never showing your other side
'Til you're through for the last time,
Letting go on the naugahyde

Where you never loved me -
Never once -  no reason.
Only  severed love scenes,
Only substance treason.

Never meeting in lobbies,
Never sharing your Cameos .
So discreet with my hobby,
Ever caring for Romeo.

Leatherette excites you,
Epaulettes, naked shoulders.              
Cigarettes at night still make you bolder.
You release your sentry, plead your case for the big show,
Try to ease your entry with words you don't know.


Imitation emotions
Unprotected fidelity
Stimulation from lotions,
Disconnected realities

You insist on living,
Yet you're always nervous.
Can't resist Miss Giving,
Never call room service.

Never quick with attention
Never tenderness, harmony.
Only kicks from dissension,
Rough surrender to felony.

Always cuffed, your feelings,
Holding back for the tension.          
Not enough of things you never mention,
Like a sentence spoken with a 3-letter last word.
Find this sentence, broken by one unknown password.


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Music: James Gelfand
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

They get kicks saying no, the big nix, no show,
But your fix is "Let's go!" - say you're ready to play.
They've got tricks to stop you, D.O.A.
But their licks are copped, and you've got your own D.N.A.

So it's best ignore it,
Better go for it.
Good God! - believe it -
'Cuz they can't conceive it.        
It takes a minute,
So take time to be cool, but don't wait around:

Got to go for it, hope it all falls in line.
What's to show for it?
Someday your star just might shine.
Get down and do it, you'll get through it.
You've got the groove, it's your move,
Prove what you can do.
Let's hear a solo, let's hear you blow.
We're here to sing "It's your thing,
Just do what you do!"    
       - solo -

We like to rock it,
Why don't you cop it?
'Cuz you can't stop it,
Just gotta pop it!
Y'ain't no Bobbitt,
You've got what it takes, so take what you need.

Face the facts: your show's ready to knock 'em out.
Take your axe and blow, baby - let's take it right out!

       - solos -
The big thrill is saying "yes", and they will, but my guess is
There's still more tests, still a long way to go.
The big gas, success - the lane's fast,    
Impress the big brass. Your song's a hit - let 'em know
That you've got the feelin',
Your stock's reelin',
Your show-stealin',
Your foes kneelin',    
There's no ceilin',
No one in the way, now you can play...

Got to go for it, hope it all falls in line.
Lot's to show for it - someday your star will shine.


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Music: James Gelfand
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

.....from out of nowhere, there's a station;
You're running empty.
Fill up and go - one invitation:  
Serve yourself please, cash in advance.
From out of somewhere, the sensation:

This town is hiding regrets.
Forget it, it's not your destination, no need to care.
Yet the feeling's there in the air -
I could swear I hear crying, husbands lying...
Take a look around, better head for higher ground -
Direction west:

- solo -

Where pioneers practice their stage bows -
The frontier's closing.
A prickly-pear cactus of an age now:
Serve yourself first, cash is your chance.
Your compass steers you past the sage brush
Toward the tracks at High Noon.
(Two hours: a show of real-time drama/Hollywood.
But the script's no good;
There's no way he can lose.)
And now heros languish in frozen anguish.
They've faced the truth:
Uncle Sam and Baby Ruth never were a family.
No home-on-the-range,
Only perfect strangers on-the-make.

But once we knew their faces;
Once there were open spaces,
And California gold.


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Music: Sonny Greenwich
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Glowing like an ember,
She lives in grace.
I can't remember knowing
A gentler face.
Her lips in laughter bent;
Her lips - the gentlest lips.

Glances that soften,
That enchanting smile
Of hers - so often, it dances,
And all the while
The gift of love she lends.
Her gift - the gentlest love.

Tender her caresses, and
Your heart confesses surrender;
It understands
A touch that's angel-sent.
Her touch - the gentlest touch.

Whispering she needs you;
Persuasion strong.
Somehow she leads you, whistling -
To sing along.
Her song's no sad lament;
Her song - the gentlest song.

       - solos -

Spirit unbroken,
A heart that mends.
A word unspoken, you hear it
And comprehend
Her soul's compassion spent;
Her soul - the gentlest soul.

When I'm at sixes and sevens,
Or five times blue.
Count on her presence for fixes:
She'll try to prove
Her love for two was meant -
The gentlest one I know.


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Music: Warren (Slim) Williams
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Searching inside  
For something transcending.
Looking to find your
Truth, never-ending.

Listening to hear it,    
Knowing it sounds right.      
Feeling you're near it;                    
Holding it in sight.

So long ago, you forget, you used to know  
Some other space where time's
So far away, you can't connect with feelings that say
Love is in-phase there, calling you closer,
Calling you...

The power behind it,
Gentle like thunder.
One day unwind it,
Sensing the wonder...

Spinning in rapture,
Reeling relentless
In memories captured,
Wisdom that's senseless...
It's yours: step through doors
Straight towards what you've sensed before
In your heart - you're sure - it's what you've always known.    
Stay on course, locate the source, and the rest is yours:
Take the journey home.
       - solo -

Wondering who's with you,
Floating along side.
Who is it gives you
Strength for the long ride?

Always in motion
Forward, you tumble.
Following notions,
Fearing you'll stumble

Along the way: stars collecting souls that stray,
Galaxies calling, stellar horizons,
A sun at play, Mars deflecting meteor spray.
Moonlight is falling, memories are rising...
Look and you'll find it:
Truth is transcending.
Love is what binds it,
Search never-ending.

Trust in your spirit.
Know when it feels right.
Must be you're near it;
Touch it, and you might    

Find you're home - no more pretending friends are near,
As if you never knew that
There's an end where you will never be alone:
So immense, unending, and clear, so forever true...
Whatever you do, the journey takes you home.


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Music: James Gelfand
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Wake up, six bells, alarm...
Turn it off- I gotta get up and dress.
I gotta get where I'm going,
I gotta get going, gotta get ahead-
Ahead of the rest.
Best ingest. Nothing to scoff-
Fungus on the coffeecake.
Try a Nutrishake? - I'm out of milk.
Get going, I'll get it while I'm driving to work...

1:00 p.m.

Tough break, lunch with the boss.
Break a leg, I gotta put on a show.
I gotta show him I'm working.
Promotion time's coming, gotta
       work him to
Promote my own show.
No mistakes, I'm on the go:
Cancel all my coffeebreaks,
There's a job to fake. Try Nutrishake?
Look busy, I'm pretending I'm in love with my work...

Don't sink...focus...don't shout
"I'm losin' it!"
Can't think, toasted...burnt out
Yes, I'm going insane....


8:00 p.m.
Get down, up for the night,
Partytime! - I gotta show 'em I'm hip.
I gotta make conversation,
Gotta circulate, circumnavigation,
'Cuz this world is a trip.
Hip chip-dip; flip, fly and flop-
Shake your buns 'till you drop.
Music never stops, attitude to cop:
Better off being a bimbo or a blonde on the booze...

2:00 a.m.
Top the- tank, pop the clutch, and head for home,
Stop at a banking machine-
I'm overdue with my Visa,
My manager's squeezing me- those
   rubber checques-
Better check my messages, messages,
Messages filling up the damn machine.
I know I'll never call back...

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother trying to get by.


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Music: John McLaughlin
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Stardust on your sleeve...
On a night to believe
A sense of something right,
Something magic in the weave.
Wind dust across the sky,
You could see, if you tried,
A pair of northern lights
Burning brightly - you and I...

Standing on stairs by the shore,
We kissed once more, but the timing was wrong.
Such a moment could only belong to the night -
In their passion, the stars sang along - what a sight!    
As the moonbeams mixed with sand kissed your hand,
I felt sundrops on your lips,
Softly mixed with the taste of the stardust.

       - solos -

Moondust in your eyes...
Should have been a surprise
To find our souls were mixed
With the magic in the skies.        

Waiting for dawn to arrive
The world came alive, slowly stirring with sound.
Hints of morning appeared all around - drops of dew,
Were they teardrops of love on the
     ground? - I never knew...
As the stardust on your sleeve
     took its leave,
I took one last skyward glance,
     one last chance
To be kissed by the stars.


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Music: Vince Mendoza
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

So distant, the doctor on the morning phone:
"I'm so sorry to be bothering you, but I wonder, could you come down?
It's just to sign some slips, it seems we've reached that stage;  
By now, you should know I can't allow her release without authorization.

Can't leave her here in the hospital;
It's not a place she belongs,  
Needing more than what we offer her.
What she needs is time, but tell me,
                   how long
Can you hope to find a cure?  
When a home would be best for her,
With a chance to resolve her future -  
There's not much more to say.

Try to find a place that's quiet, maybe you could buy it -
Just some space out-of-the-way.
Look for somewhere cozy to keep her future looking rosy,
And sweep her tendencies away.
Says she never had a window;
Try to find a place where she can see the light of day."

   - solos -

Her voice seemed so distant on the Sunday phone:
"Hi, if you're sure I'm not spoiling your supper, maybe you could come down?    
It's just to talk a while, and ease you through the change
I'll make, for your sake - I'll be breaking my lease, with your authorization.

Can't stay here in this neighbourhood;
It's nowhere that I belong.
Feeling something else inside:
The need to discover - what's the matter, what's wrong?
Can't I hope to make you see
That a change is best for me?
It's a chance to resolve my future
- There's not much more to say.

I'll try to find a town that's quiet, down a road that's private
There's a place for me to stay.
I'll get myself together, only time will tell me whether
Lonely thoughts still come my way.
I know that I don't have much money;
Maybe you can help - it's funny,
You're always there to pay.
Someday soon I'll find that window of opportunity
That almost opened yesterday.


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Music: James Gelfand
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Something movin, new in the heavens,
'87/observatory/South America/
February twenty-third...

Telescopic eyes look at the skies,
Checking the size of the Magellanic Cloud,
It appears in sight, something not right,
Piercing the night, forming a cumulo-gaseous shroud,
Nebula Tarantula, exploding into light, so proud...

Fifty thousand times as bright as the sun;
Still on the run, ten million years on the files.
Twenty times as big, a nuclear rig, funeral dig,
Cremating in extra-terrestrial style.
What's to say, in a day,
If it expands to a radius of a billion miles?
Take a look!

If we ever get it together,
Wonder whether we'll ever make a move,
Escaping the ultimate death of our system?
Loading data, compute equation: Relocation.
Six million years left-
Get ready to finally leave our planet, Earth.

After 1st solo:

At the speed of light, reception, fleeting,
Turns around perception, science meeting God.

After 2nd solo:

Everyone got one hundred billion neutrinos!

Supernova pyre, system on fire,
Sending a wire, to the astronomers'gain.
Superfax received, message perceived,
Science relieved - some of the origin theories explained.
No, we're not exceptional-it's only life and death, again...

When our sun explodes, when it unloads,
Taking the mode of some kind of stellar grenade,
Maybe alien eyes, searching the skies,
Will be advised that our part in the plan has been played.
Will they ever suspect, if we eject,
Get off the wreck, and start a new escapade:
Outer space!

If we ever get it together,
Wonder whether we'll ever make a move
Escaping the ultimate death of our system?


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Music: Kenny Wheeler
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Felt I knew  your love,
Felt I knew it from some time, before.
Déjà vu, our love:
Future perfect, past for ever more.
Reaching in, I grew in love;
Reaching  out to find an open door,
More and more uncovering the truth, my love,
Discovering the way you let me know that I'm

So in love with you,
Loving you-in-love-with-me.
Knowing love is truly more
Than knowing ecstasy.
Can't believe I'm touching you,
Can't believe you're here with me,
So in love, love that had to be,
Had to be the way you make me feel that I'm

So in love with you,
Floating in a love for real.
Know it's love when you
Understand the way I feel
Even when you're not around:
I can feel your love surround -
It fills my heart - no, we're not apart;
Knowing that I always felt I knew your love.


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Music: McCoy Tyner
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

A feelin' that it's time to go uptown
Slips into my mind and spins it 'round.
I'll get you on the line, we'll hit some sounds.
So baby, take your time, we'll get unwound.

I'm down for the place they call "uptown",
Checkin' out the chase that's goin' 'round.
There ain't another place that's goin' down,
So head for outer space, and hit uptown,

You can be what you feel.
It doesn't matter if it's real.
You can be honest or jive -
Just make your attitude alive!


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Music: John Mclaughlin
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

You said it was over,
All over now, wasn't it?
Is it? - all over...
Was it only a moment,

You told me hope builds from yesterday.
It's hopeless - I'm just not in it.
A minute... please...take...time...
Just wait a sec' - you told me
There was hope, then gave me a rope to hang
You don't care, but hold me close, and
Tell me now the reason why you cried -
Was it exciting?
All over, over or not, over what?
A smile, a whisper, a tear alone...
You left me alone...


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Music: James Gelfand
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Wandering...this land is homeless...
Wondering...where do I sing my song?
Is there a way home?
People needing faith, new religion
Inside this devil's kitchen.

Some say it's in Revelations,
But Sunday doesn't mean a thing.
What can I sing?
Is there a song to renew,
Give them what they've lost, nothing new,
Except We Shall Overcome?

"Love" - watch while we invent the illusion.
Working to shape confusion's clay,
We say that the solution is love,
Knowing it's not enough.

Wonder will it ever turn around?
Or will I wander, observing
Systems unravelling my song,
'Till no one hears my song?

- solo -

"Love" - wait while we create sweet collusion,
Trying to ape Confuscian sayings,
And playing at the delusion of love,
Knowing it's not enough,

One earth, will it still turn around,
When I'm no longer lamenting
It's splendours fermenting, in song -
Did no one hear my song?


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Music: Sonny Murray
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

If you say you love me,
I'll never forget
Three little words
To be forgotten never
Say them only once -
Let me know you love me
If it's true you love me,
Kissing me as well
Impresses my
Romantigraphic memory.
Kisses tell the truth;
Words convey you love me,

If you say you love me,
I'll never forget.....


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Music: Wayne Shorter
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Another night in a smoky café,
Nothin' happenin' - I was headed for home.
"Got a light? Are you going my way?
Need a lift? Baby - you all alone?"
I said "I'm happily married with kids -
Get the drift? Don't need no number to phone."
But tell me why? Please tell me why?

'Cuz then she looked at me straight in the eye,
Wet her lips, and softly asked me, would I kiss her if she smiled?
Then she smiled...and in the time it took
The questions disappeared, and all the while
Something happened, in that moment
Something started planting seeds of sin.

You can't resist the effect of a grin,
You can't win, when lips are opened up inviting you to kiss,
Just one kiss, to make me realize
Domestic life would never be like this;
'Cuz something happened in that moment,
Something started planting seeds of sin.

- solos -

And now I'm back in suburban retreat
Life is neat, no complications caused by damsels-in-distress.
Restlessness, confronted only by
A cozy life without romantic stress.
Yes, something happened in that moment,
Something started planting seeds of sin.

Guess I'll go down to the neighbourhood bar.
It's not far; I hear they recently re-opened it in style.
In a while, will I discover if
The waitress there who's blond responds to guile?
Will something happen in that moment,
Something start to grow from
seeds of sin?


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Music: Djavan
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

Can you hear me?
From far away, sweet Brasil,

How I miss the shades of colour
That light your kiss,
A kiss that left me longing...

To go back there, and
Feel the magic of your hotmosphere,
So much love in your clean, fresh air,
Under your skies - immense.

I don't know just what you did
To make me love you.
Not a day goes by I don't think of you.
Can't resist your velvet glove, you've
Really got me hooked, my tickets booked -
It's the look in your eyes that keeps
Driving me crazy...

Y eu nao gosto aqui, nao mais;
Please take  me to paradise.
Someday soon it would sure be so nice
To not be crying for you, Brasil,
But there's nothing here for me,
There's nothing for me here,
There's nothing here for me,
There's nothing for me - can you hear me?

- solos -

So far away,
But so close inside my heart-please stay,
Don't you ever let that thing go away
That left me with saudade.

Don't leave me, reduced
To just another tourist, seduced.
Can't we get together and make a truce?
Can't we make up with a kiss?

'Cuz I don't care 'bout what you did
To make me suffer.
Keep telling all your lies, I'll be your cover.
Just take me back, my latin lover,
Under my skin, I'll never win,
Wonder when you'll break me -
Inside you keep driving me crazy...

Aqui eu nao gosto frio, no more.
Can't forget Guanabara's shore;
Mystic women in Salvador
That left me crying for you, Brasil,
There's nothing here for me,
There's nothing for me here,
There's nothing here for me,
There's nothing for me here...


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Music: Norman LaChappelle
Lyrics: Jim Hillman

On our way, we sail to separate shores.
Nothing much to say;
What seemed so much to share no more.

Leaving souls as one.
One more night, heartache with the sun.
One more chance to embrace, and face what might-have-been
Love, remembered before we go.

Always knew we'd find it once again.
Lost our way, it's true;
Still glad we took the time, my friend.

Take my hand to hold.
Olden days - were they what they seem?
One more dream, if there's find...we'll never know  
Dreams, remembered before we go.

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