Lyrics for the Smithsonian Folkways LP/CD
MANY WINDOWED NIGHT
by Thom Parrott


I'M GOING NOW
words & music by Thom Parrott
Copyright 1967 by Thom Parrott

I'm going down to the highway,
Gonna hitch myself a ride.
Don't know where I'm going.
I just need someplace to hide.
I'm going now. I'm going now. I'm going now.

I once had a woman...
I once had a girl.
She was just my woman,
But I was her whole world.
I'm going now.

I never wanted love,
I didn't want to take the load.
She gave me all her love,
Now I'll take the open road.
I'm going now.

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ONE MORE NICKEL
words & music by Thom Parrott
Copyright 1968 by Thom Parrott

I've been standing here all day long.
Begging nickels and dimes.
Now I've got thirty-four cents in my jeans.
It's almost time.
Just one more nickel and I'll have me a bottle of wine.

Say, mister, have you got a nickel?
I haven't had my coffee today.
You've only got a five dollar bill.
Well, thanks for trying anyway.
Just one more nickel and I'll have me a bottle of wine.

Say, madam, I haven't had a morsel
Since almost two days ago.
You've searched to the bottom of your purse
And there's only one token to show.
Just one more nickel and I'll have me a bottle of wine.

Standing on the corner. It's getting late.
Nobody's been passing by.
Guess the liquor store's closed anyway.
Guess I'll crawl into an alley and die.
Just one more nickel and I'd've had me a bottle of wine.

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THEY ASK ME WHY I WANDER
words & music by Thom Parrott
Copyright 1966 by Thom Parrott

The people that I meet, as I go rambling round,
Have often had me in their homes,
And the friends that I have made, as I go from town to town,
Sometimes wonder why I roam.

They ask me why I wander.
I ask them why they stay.
Cause the world is spinning,
And nobody's winning,
And what did you do today?

I've heard a lot of talk in the places I have been,
But none of it has seemed to mean a thing.
As I've left the talk kept on tho it sounded mighty thin,
And I hope I say more in the songs I sing.

They ask me why I wander....

The promises of politicians, rich men and their wives
Seldom live for more than half an hour.
I sometimes feel that it is best to let them live their lies,
And waste their lives in foolish games of power.

They ask me why I wander....

The roads are sometimes muddy and the roads are sometimes rough,
And the jobs are sometimes very hard to find.
But the singing's there for pleasure and the people there for love,
And the hunger is a pain that I don't mind.

They ask me why I wander....

My words begin to tumble and my mind begins to reel
And the sense of what I'm saying seems to slide.
So I will leave you here now with one more fond goodbye,
And walk the highway hoping for a ride.

....And what did you do today?

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MANY WINDOWED NIGHT
words & music by Thom Parrott
Copyright 1965 by Thom Parrott

The many windowed night looks out
From dancing street to silent depths of solitude.
Lying wakeful on my bed
I hold your hand as you drift off in dreams.
The night becomes a fairy tale
Of laughing children, singing Gods.
And I, the Gypsy Rover,
Whistle thru your valley, casting magic spells.

I watch you rising, falling,
In the easy rhythm of your sleep soft breathing.
And smiling softly, I reach out
Caressing the hair that flows beside me.
My room becomes a wonderland
Where life is endless, all is good.
And the shadows of the soft lit night
Are freely flitting satyrs.

My body aches from weariness
And so I slide to lie beside you quietly.
I reach gently to caress your lips
In the tender evenings final kiss.
You, half-waking, turn to nestle
Warmly, closely into me.
The many windowed night revolves
From dancing street to love filled depths of solitude.

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HOLE IN THE GROUND
words & music by Thom Parrott
Copyright 1968 by Thom Parrott

My age is ten years. I wear raggedy pants.
And I beg from the soldiers, when I get the chance.
My mother is living in a house in the town.
But my daddy lives in a hole in the ground.

The soldiers are friendly. The soldiers are fun.
I play with the soldiers. I field strip their guns.
I tell them I live with my mother in town,
But my daddy lives in a hole in the ground.

The soldiers are nice men, yes they are my friends.
And they feed me candy without any end.
They say they are new here. Could I show them around?
Could I show them where my daddy lives in the hole in the ground?

I show all the soldiers what they want to see.
Because they are good men and so nice to me.
That night there's a booming from outside of town.
From near where my daddy lives in the hole in the ground.

The next day I go to visit my daddy.
I walk and I look all across the rice paddies.
But I can't find my daddy. There's no one around.
And I can't find the hole where he lived in the ground.

But I've still got my soldiers to visit today.
But they don't want to see me. They all turn away.
Some faces are sad and some wear a frown,
As I speak of my daddy in the hole in the ground.

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OUR CHILDREN ARE DYING
words & music by Thom Parrott
Copyright 1968 by Thom Parrott

The naked, starving parents with no longer any hope.
Who would long ago have hung themselves, but couldn't buy the rope.
Who have turned upon themselves because they cannot reach the foe.
And strangle on the thousand things we will not let them know.

For we cut the corners. Save the dollars.
Never mind the babies that founder in the squalor.
And just close our hearts when we hear the crying.
Our children are dying.

Three crushed and bleeding family's, with no bath in two small rooms.
Where, in the winter, there's no heat. Eight children now. Another soon.
Five faces scrubbed, they run away, to find their lessons in the school.
To learn a life they cannot lead. To learn, by rote, the Golden Rule.

Chorus.

With eager, awkward minds at first, they try to win the teacher's heart.
And, though the teacher tries so hard, forty loves have no chance to start.
And soon the children know the rules. There's no time for love, only time for fear.
The funeral starts here.

Chorus.

Inspired by the book
Our Children Are Dying
by Eliot Shapiro.

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