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LUCKY MAN - A SONGWRITER'S NOTEBOOK (2012)

Lucky Man TRACK LIST:

1. Lucky Man (4:45)
2. Enough For Us (4:13)
3. Calypso Rose (3:41)
4. To The Light (5:11)
5. I Am Not Cactus (5:01)
6. Is It Really True? (3:44)
7. Britta’s Birthday Song (4:11)
8. Don't Give Up On Me Virginia (4:17)
9. Cat Woman (4:54)
10. Dear Ruthie (4:11)
11. The Other Man (5:17)
12. When It's Right It's Right (2:25)
13. Lessons (3:51)
SOUND CLIPS:

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 Calypso Rose
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 To The Light
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 Enough For Us
PURCHASE:

Buy the CD directly from Severin. $17 in the U.S., $25 International
(Includes Shipping & Handling)
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Lucky Man - A Songwriter's Notebook is Severin Browne's fifth album. The CD contains thirteen songs that showcase a variety of musical styles. The CD was produced by Severin Browne, Edward Tree, Jeff Kossack and Holland McRae. It was mixed by Edward Tree and Mastered by Dennis Reed at Syntropy Mastering in Ashland, Oregon. Severin's first new album in ten years is a selection of the many songs that Severin has written and performed over the years, mostly from the past decade. Here is what Severin has to say about the collection:

I've always had a problem with choosing a genre that I'd like to be known for. I love so many different kinds of music, and I like to write songs with those sometimes diverse styles in mind. So I was very disappointed when, on the last day of mixing my From the Edge of the World CD in 1995, my producer (Yoshio J. Maki) told me that no radio station was going to play it because of its diversity.

I have since come to terms with the fact that radio stations, as well as the music business in general, want to be able to put each artist in a little box that they better stay in if they know what's good for them. It was in dwelling on this idea that I realized that my latest collection of songs had only one common link, and that is that they were all written by me. So I gave each song the production that I thought it needed when I recorded it. So "Cat Woman" got a New Orleans "Second Line" feel, and "Calypso Rose" got steel drums and a Trinidad feel. "Is It Really True" got a bluesy-rockish treatment with Rosemary Butler and Debbie Pearl doing backing vocals and "Dear Ruthie" got a simple guitar-vocal arrangement to tell its simple story.

I hope that you will listen to this CD in the spirit that I made it, and enjoy the many different elements that I love so much.

Severin

LYRICS
Lucky Man

I sat beside the window for my meal
  and ordered up the Blue Plate Special deal.
    I'm a Lucky Man, I'm a lucky man

Just outside the window I could see
  a homeless man was looking back at me.
    I'm a lucky man, I'm a lucky man

The window was the only thing between that man and me.
  He was so close that I could count every worry-wrinkle,
    every bloodshot vein, each confused expression on his face.

He saw me look, then quickly turned away,
  embarrassed that he might be seen that way.
    I'm a lucky man, I'm a lucky man.

I suddenly remembered him from school.
  That high school jock was always oh so cool.
    He was a lucky man, he was a lucky man.
 
But how on earth could that man fall so far from where he was?
  He looked to me to be on top - the king of his own world,
    a magnet for the girls - everybody said he'd done it right!

My memory doesn't like to go so far.
  That high school jock once beat me up for playing my guitar.
    I'm a lucky man, I'm a lucky man.

My food arrived - I packed it up to go.
  I paid the bill, then walked outside and said "Here’s your dinner, Joe."
    "You're a lucky man, tonight you're a lucky man."

He took the food and said "God bless," then looked me in the eye.
  Now maybe he remembered this guitar boy from school
    back when he was so cool, but he just turned and walked into the night.
I'm a lucky man, I'm a lucky man.

Words by Severin Browne and Britta Lee Shain
Music by Severin Browne

-----------------------------------------------------

Enough For Us

We would play our music by candlelight,
  When that burned down we'd use the moon.
I'd crow up the sun - you'd blow your saxophone to kingdom come.

That was enough for us.
  From here I see how much that was,
    now that the world's got in my eyes.
Back then when time stayed home
  with love safe on the radio.
    It was easy to be wise.

Serenades for girls on the avenue
  Blue bottled songs for the night.
We'd close up that bar out on the Metropole - well alright!

That was enough for us.
  From here I see how much that was,
   now that the world's got in my eyes.
Back then when time stayed home
  with love safe on the radio.
    It was easy to be wise.

Here we stand, drunk and remembering
  those dusty old dreams somehow unsung.
I forgot the words, you hocked your saxophone - oh, to be young.

That was enough for us.
  From here I see how much that was,
    now that the world's got in my eyes.
Back then when time stayed home
  with love safe on the radio.
    It was easy to be wise.
 
Words by Severin Browne and Charles John Quarto
Music by Severin Browne

-----------------------------------------------------

Calypso Rose

People through the ages all have disagreed
  what it takes to be a man, what character you need.
Well, there's a woman from Trinidad who says she's got it down:
  all it takes to be a man is make a joyful sound.

Calypso Rose say "a man is a man"
  I say it's a little bit more than that.
A man can choose his own direction
  and what he wears as a hat.
Calypso Rose say "a man is a man"
  I say that's a pretty good place to start.
But if you want to be a good man,
  you've got to open up your heart.

Everybody's different from his neighbor man.
  But some will go a whole lot further to be the best that he can.
Some say that's important, some say not so much...
  Some say everything you need you find in a lover's touch.

Calypso Rose say "a man is a man"
  I say it's a little bit more than that.
A man can choose his own direction
  and what he wears as a hat.
Calypso Rose say "a man is a man"
  I say that's a pretty good place to start.
But if you want to be a good man,
  you've got to open up your heart.

And when your life is through and you have passed away,
  How you gonna 'count for your lies and cheating
    on your judgment day?

Calypso Rose say "a man is a man"
  I say it's a little bit more than that.
A man can choose his own direction
  and what he wears as a hat.
Calypso Rose say "a man is a man"
  I say that's a pretty good place to start.
But if you want to be a good man,
  you've got to open up your heart.

Words & Music by Severin Browne

-----------------------------------------------------

  To The Light

I've heard it said
  the earth looks peaceful when it's seen from outer space
  such a pretty place for you and me.
How do we
  hear the wisdom of the crickets in the night,
    singing out of sight from way down here?
Way down here - where there's only right or wrong -
  why can't we just try to get along?

I've heard it said
  there's a hundred billion galaxies of light
    lighting up the night for you and me.
We could be
  just as peaceful as the earth from outer space
    living in a place of harmony.
Harmony - could be such a joyful sound,
  but why do we just put each other down?

Just consider that there is no wrong or right.
  And consider that there is no black or white.
There are always shades of gray to help us find our way
  To the light.

I've heard it said
  every culture has a history in stone,
    dances of their own they like to do.
Wouldn't you
  like to be accepted just the way you are?
    Is that really so hard to see?
Couldn't we find a way to understand?
  Blow away that line in the sand...

Just consider that there is no wrong or right.
  And consider that there is no black or white.
There are always shades of gray to help us find our way
  To the light.

Words & music by Severin Browne, Freebo, David Roth, and James Lee Stanley

-----------------------------------------------------

  I Am Not Cactus

I am a common man content with who I am.
  I work a common job - I have no travel plans.
    My little corner of the world is all the beauty that I need.

You've seen my garden from your bus stop every day.
  I've seen you watching as I water my array.
    I'll cut a rose for you the next time that I think I've caught your eye.

I know what happens next - I've seen this one before.
  Two lovers find each other, but lose themselves in wanting more.

I'm not cactus - I've got no thorns to protect myself from you.
  But I've got hands to work the soil - loving hands that know just what to do.
But I don't know how to begin...
  Please don't hurt me - I am not cactus.

My roses need a lot of care to grow and thrive.
  They're not like cactus who need nothing to survive.
    And cactus needles make you sorry that you ever got so near.

I know what happens next - I've seen this one before.
  Two lovers find each other, but lose themselves in wanting more.

I'm not cactus - I've got no thorns to protect myself from you.
  But I've got hands to work the soil - loving hands that know just what to do.
But I don't know how to begin...
  Please don't hurt me - I am not cactus.

You took my flower, but what's this I recognize?
  Beneath your smile I see fear in your eyes.
    Could I be guilty of not seeing past my insecurity?

You know what happens next - you’ve seen this one before.
  Two lovers find each other, but lose themselves in wanting more.

We're not cactus - we've got no thorns to protect ourselves from love.
  But we've got hands to work the soil - loving hands are what we]re dreaming of.
Could this be how it begins?
  Sit beside me - I am not cactus.

Words & music by Severin Browne

-----------------------------------------------------

Is It Really True?

The rats are fat in this big old house - the ivy's growing wild
  Making lonely rings in the corridor.
All the kids in the neighborhood swear there are ghosts in here,
  But I'm the only ghost that I know.

Is it really true that two can feel like one?
  So many things that I've been taught
    I've been a sucker for having bought.
Now what I want from you - is who - I can blame
  for starting such a lie - or is it really true?

I've got friends looking out for me with worry in their eyes.
  They tell me I should go out and find someone.
But God knows I've had lovers before and I can't stand the pain
  Of seeing all my dreams melting in the sun.

Is it really true that two can feel like one?
  So many things that I've been taught
    I've been a sucker for having bought.
Now what I want from you - is who - I can blame
  for starting such a lie - or is it really true?

Words & music by Severin Browne

-----------------------------------------------------

Britta's Birthday Song

How much time does it take on either side?
  Sometimes I forget and let it burn.
But some things just get better with more time,
  And that's a lesson it takes time to learn.

The longer it steeps, the better the tea.
  The more time that the sauce can slowly simmer naturally...
Today we celebrate another year... Happy Birthday!

And how much time does it take to write a song?
  Sometimes just a minute, sometimes years.
But when you hear those people sing along,
  Then you know it's worth the extra tears.

The longer it steeps, the better the tea.
  The more time that the sauce can slowly simmer naturally...
Today we celebrate another year... Happy Birthday!

A good dose of Country with Rock n Roll seasonings
  Makes of a good pot of stew.
Most of us came here with no expectations,
  But look what we found here with you.

And how much time does it take to make a friend?
  Sometimes nothing clicks and I'll move on.
But then I'll find the ones that never end
  And all my thoughts of loneliness are gone.

The longer it steeps, the better the tea.
  The more time that the sauce can slowly simmer naturally...
Today we celebrate another year... Happy Birthday!

Words & music by Severin Browne

-----------------------------------------------------

  Don't Give Up On Me Virginia

You never told your mama that you loved me,
  But I can't blame you for holding back the news.
God knows you've got reason to doubt me,
  But the more you doubt the more of you I lose.

Baby I'm a lonely man, but I'm not the only man
  who's seen his reflection in a bottle.
Let me set the stage for you: honey, I can change for you.
  I know I can.

Don't give up on me Virginia.
  You'll never find another man as true.
Don't give up on me Virginia.
  I'll be good to you.

I dreamed I saw you dancing with another.
  When I woke up my heart was full of rain.
If losing you is the price I pay per bottle,
  I'll pour my fear of loving down the drain.

Baby I'm a lonely man, but I'm not the only man
  who's seen his reflection in a bottle.
Let me set the stage for you: honey, I can change for you.
  I know I can.

Don't give up on me Virginia.
  You'll never find another man as true.
Don't give up on me Virginia.
 I'll be good to you.

Words by Severin Browne and Britta Lee Shain
Music by Severin Browne


-----------------------------------------------------

Cat Woman

I sell breasts and legs in New Orleans,
  jambalaya, crawfish etouffee.
She came in through the door with eyes like Mardi Gras,
  smiled and served me up her resume.
There was not much I could do to resist her
  so she started work that very day.
On breaks she'd go out back, toss chicken to the cats
  I understood that woman right away...

She's a Cat Woman - you hear them howl all day
  for their Cat Woman to finish work and play.
    I hope that woman knows I'd like to be her cat someday.

I knew our meeting wasn't accidental,
  and someday soon she'd walk right through my door.
But when she finally came I almost knew her name.
  Fate is just too hard to ignore.
And I knew I had to spend some more time with her,
  so I asked her out on Friday night.
Gumbo on the bayou, m'cher meow oh miyo...
  We hung out with the cats 'til early light.

She's a Cat Woman - you hear them howl all day
  for their Cat Woman to finish work and play.
    I hope that woman knows I'd like to be her cat someday.

Words & music by Severin Browne and Margaret Marston

-----------------------------------------------------
 
Dear Ruthie

Ruthie, walking slowly, went to fetch her morning mail -
  inching past her roses, not much faster than a snail.
    A single letter waited with no address, just her name.
She looked at it and wondered - a curiosity.
  Then she broke the seal and held it high so she could see.

The note said, "Dear Ruthie, I'll be in your neighborhood
  "on Saturday afternoon. I'd like to visit if I could."
And it was signed "Love always, Jesus"...

Her heart was all a'flutter like a baby butterfly,
  Jesus wants to see me, oh I can't imagine why.
    No one so important ever noticed me before...
But I've got no food to serve him, and he'll be here today.
  I'll count my change and buy some treats so he'll enjoy his stay.

The note said, "Dear Ruthie, I'll be in your neighborhood
  "on Saturday afternoon. I'd like to visit if I could."
And it was signed "Love always, Jesus"...

She hurried to the local store and bought some fruit and cheese.
  But as she started home she heard a raspy voice say "Please..."
    A homeless man was huddled in a blanket by a door.
He said "I haven't eaten, and you look truly blessed."
  But she said "No, this food is for a very special guest."

A moment passed, then Ruthie sighed and gave the man the food.
  And seeing how he shivered, she gave him her coat too.
    Then she started home again not knowing what to do.
As she passed her mailbox - another letter there.
  She picked it up, walked in the house, then sank into her chair.

The note said, "Dear Ruthie, I loved seeing you today.
  Thank you for the lovely meal - I knew you wouldn't turn away.
And dear Ruthie, for giving me your coat
  the angels have a song for you. I hear it now. It's lovely too.
Thank you just for being you."
  And it was signed "Love always, Jesus."

Words & music by Severin Browne

-----------------------------------------------------

The Other Man

When I fell in, it felt like a treasure bin,
  Buried treasure in a no-man's land.
But what I didn't know - there was a curse on all that gold.
  A curse that I was soon to understand
    When I found out I was the other man.

My heart burned and then it sank - I felt like making her walk the plank!
  She was a bogus map to a promised land.
And I was buried to my chin, and the tide was coming in
  And she did nothing but lie there getting tan...
    When I found out I was the other man.

Out to sea - there's a wind that blows a sailor home
Out to sea - where a pirate goes to lick his wounds and curse his luck
  But doesn't have to be the other man.

Now the clanging of the bell reminds me of my hell
  But there is nothing for me on dry land.
I've never been the jealous kind, or felt so far behind.
  I'm like a ship in need to new command,
    A schooner tossed on windy seas unmanned...
      It makes me wish I was the other man.

Words & music by Severin Browne

-----------------------------------------------------

When It's Right It's Right

I'm dreaming, I'm floating, I'm here beside you.
  Some things we know instinctively
    as we walk through our lives.

These love songs - I've heard them,
  but never understood until I fell in love with you.
    When it's right it's right.
    When it's right it's right.

Most of us go through our lives uncertain
  how we see our final destination.
But then when we approach that final curtain
  we want to be with someone that we love.

I know you, you know me, familiar mystery.
  Some things we know instinctively.
    When it's right it's right.
    When it's right it's right.

Words & music by Severin Browne

-----------------------------------------------------
 
Lessons
 
Through the forest I'm winding, my pathway I'm finding
  I walk hand in hand with a certain one.
There are moments she sends me, but other times she offends me
  'til I don't know who I am when the day is done.

I feel like I've been here before.
  I've passed this same tree, this same shore.
    I've seen this same horizon calling to me.

Now my question is "Why are there always lessons?"
  And what if we never learn them, do they return again?
Is there magic that keeps us moving forward
  like a tide that pulls us shoreward?
    And will these lessons end?

Now the trees in the forest like a thousand-voice chorus
  they say to end it, and be on my way.
I want to live life, not waste it.
  And now it's so close I can taste it.
    So why do I hesitate another day?

I feel like I've been here before.
  I've passed this same tree, this same shore.
    I've seen this same horizon calling to me.

Now my question is "Why are there always lessons?"
  And what if we never learn them, do they return again?
Is there magic that keeps us moving forward
  like a tide that pulls us shoreward?
    And will these lessons end?

So my question is "Why are there always lessons?"
  And what if we never learn them, do they return again?
Is there magic that keeps us moving forward
  like a tide that pulls us shoreward?
    And will these lessons end?
      May these lessons never end...
 
Words & music by Severin Browne
© 2015 Severin Browne