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“Snapshot” Lyrics

My Turn

My turn to impress my will upon you
My turn to get a word in edgewise
My turn to point the truth out as I see it
And shout it out and express my self without restraint
My turn to draw attention
My turn to take a chance
My turn to be the leading man
My turn to dance

My turn to decide if we should linger
My turn to get the punch line for a change
My turn to show you how I really feel
Or conceal myself before your very eyes up on the stage
My turn to call the doctor
My turn to draw the line
My turn to set this place alight
My turn to shine

My turn to be a politician’s nightmare
My turn at stealing flowers from a grave
My turn to disappear when things get too rough
And then appear to be the guilty one who’s not to blame
My turn to turn the corner
My turn to take the wheel
My turn to gamble everything
My turn to deal

RG thoughts: The germ of this song, and the following song, was started in Portugal in 1994 on a DEEP PURPLE songwriting trip with Ian Gillan. On such a trip one doesn’t expect to have finished songs, more like germs of ideas that musically or thematically will stimulate the rest of the band, although once I’d started on this, I finished it in a matter of minutes. Didn’t sound much like a DEEP PURPLE tune to Ian or I. I can never predict how a song is going to turn out after it has been arranged and performed by others, but this one came out pretty much true to the original way I heard it; a funky groove. Incidentally the clavinet part is actually played on a guitar, courtesy of Mick Moroch. It is the song for anyone who has ever been neglected, ignored or belittled, not that I’d know anything about that, I’m a bass player, 😉

Burn Me Up Slowly

Some days I got my shit together
All my troubles floating on the breeze
Flowing easy like a lazy river
Down the valley to the waiting sea
And I know everything must end
All I’m asking until then

Burn me up slowly
Take me the distance
Surround me with music
I’m not ready for silence

Some days are like a walking nightmare
Too many chains hanging ’round my neck
Every road I take is heading nowhere
Every turn is what I least expect
Everything will fall apart
All I’m asking, have a heart

Burn me up slowly
Take me the distance
Surround me with music
I’m not ready for silence

Some days I wish could go on forever
Hanging ’round with someone special like you
Be stranger be a friend be a lover
These are the days just too good to be true
All things will turn to dust
All I’m asking, if it’s not too much

Burn me up slowly
Take me the distance
Surround me with music
I’m not ready for silence

RG thoughts: This started out completely differently but, as soon as I decided to sing it myself, it turned into a reggae kind of beat – I must have been from the Caribbean in a former life, a pirate maybe? It is really a plea to be allowed to grow old – life is too short. It’s very romantic to burn bright and short but I don’t subscribe to that point of view, certainly not at my age – it’s too late to burn out fast! On the actual session, it was one of five songs we did on the first day of recording. However, we forgot about a solo until later in the evening. I suggested a saxophone and although I knew Randall played some kind of sax, he hadn’t brought his on that first day. However, Peter Denenberg, my co-producer thought there might have been an old one down in the basement of Acme Studios, in Mamaroneck, NY. He and Randall investigated and reappeared a few minutes later with a dusty, dented old sax. I was doubtful but Randall put a new reed into the mouthpiece, warmed up for all of about a minute and went into the studio and recorded this solo, the one and only take. Great musician.

Beyond Emily

Rainy night and the mist hanging around
Time is listening like a shroud
Into the house comes an eerie light
Settles down easy around the room
Sending signals out of the gloom
Now’s the time to be thinking thinking
Beyond Emily

Faded photograph kept in a broken frame
Hangs there waiting just the same
Waitin for a love that’s never coming back
A distant drum beating in your heart
But has this story gone a little too far
Now’s the time to be thinking thinking
Beyond Emily

Cut the thread, take another road
Don’t look at the trail behind you
Is that you there in the photograph
Just fading fading away

Snap your fingers bang on a different drum
Get those shadows out on the run
Yesterday’s papers don’t have a lot to say
Just stack them over there by the door
Who’s going to need them anymore
Now you’re finally thinking thinking
Beyond Emily

RG thoughts: A song that had been hanging around my basement studio for a number of years before I felt that I had a group of musicians that could do it justice. Joe Mennonna’s light touch with the horn arrangement works a treat. There is no Emily, she represents any one, or any thing, that is in the past, or should be.

Queen Of England

Through the cane field come a lullaby
Say a prayer for the lost and the broken down
It don’t matter where you come from
You will end up being from the wrong town

I came up from Jackson Corner
Just to have me a drink and look around
I went back with Deacon’s daughter
She was looking for a way to get out of town

Everything gonna be allright
And the sun’s gonna shine tonight
Everyboy gonna come my way
And we’ll understand it all one day

Caught a ride with pulpwood driver
He was drinking red liquor from the floorboard
Said he used to have a daughter
Now he don’t want to think about it any more

We went flying down a two lane
God knows why we did’t see the bridge out
She went down in yellow water
Now it’s all in the world I can think about

I had a dream
It didn’t make no sense
I saw myself tangled up in a barbed wire fence

Queen of England got a number
And they tell me she don’t go nowhere without it
Get in trouble, call the number
And you never hear another word about it

RG thoughts: Randall brought this one to the table and I loved it on first listen. It’s an apocryphal notion that the Queen has a telephone number that, if ever she gets into trouble, she can just call it up and everything gets straightened out. Just like that! We could all do with a number like that. Warren Haynes plays great slide guitar on this one and gets right into the mood of the song. Vaneese Thomas has just the right gospel touch, along with Deena Miller.

No Place To Go

There’s a light up in your window
You can see for miles
I wouldn’t have packed my suitcase
If I’d been half as wise
I’ve been looking for some answers
Got nothing much to show
Let me lie down there beside you
I got no place to go

Been in one too many stories
I guess you’ve heard them all
Been in one too many shelters
Riding out the storm
Been in one too many houses
Looking for a home
Let me lie down there beside you
I got no place to go

Let’s hope it makes sense this time
Maybe we’ll make love this time
Let’s pray we’ll be good this tme
I hope we make love

RG thoughts: Another song written during a Deep Purple writing session, this time in Devon, England in January, 2001. DEEP PURPLE songs are not usually written, as such, but evolve from the jamming that goes on when the band get together, so a song like this would probably be out of place on a DEEP PURPLE record. This song came to me as a whole, in about an hour, late one night, after listening to a lot of old blues tunes. Only later did I see its potential for my own album, especially with encouraging words from Jim, my eldest step-son. Songs, to me, are drawn from life and when I wrote this one I didn’t realize how much of my life was in it, particularly events pertaining to 2001, of which the World Trade Centre atrocity is but a part.

The Bargain Basement

Thought you complain about it you like the open road
You love the pain about it all those goodbyes again
All those forgotten faces from the bargain basement
Diamonds everyone I follow them away oh yeah

If ever love is made to measure I’d take you by the lake
A tune to sing your pleasure played by a minstrel boy
But something satisfies me from the bargain basement
Sit with me a while before I fly away oh yeah

The most that I can offer is less than you can take
Go and find another from down the highway
I’ll sit and count my jewels from the bargain basement
This band of fools carries me away oh yeah

RG thoughts: The oldest song on the album, this was written in 1979, when I first came to America to stay for a while, not knowing that I would end up living here. It has existed as a neglected relic all these years, but it wasn’t forgotten, it was always there in my mind waiting for the right singer. My daughter Gillian, after graduating from NYU in 1998, spent some time travelling the world. She stayed in Dahab, Egypt for almost a year, working as a divemaster. One day on the phone she informed me that she’d joined a band. When she was tweve or thirteen I had recorded a couple of songs with her in my home studio, but I had no idea of the potential of her voice until hearing her sing at a gig in Dahab in 1999, when Les, my wife, and I were there visiting with my step-son Paul. On her return home I asked her to try singing ‘The Bargain Basement’ and the song sprang to life.

What You Don’t Say

You can keep it up
You can keep in touch
You can say enough
You can say too much
Communication loud and clear
It’s what you don’t say that I hear

Alarm bells ringing
Sirens wail
Giving information
Telling a tale
Smoke screen hiding what is real
It’s what you don’t say that I feel

It’s a secret place
Where we see ourselves so clear
Face to face
I reach for you but you’re not here

You can tell the truth
You can spin a line
Is it a rumour
Or an alibi
Are you lying all the time
It’s what you don’t say between the lines

RG thoughts: This idea had been hanging around as an unfinished demo in my studio for almost a decade. This was the first idea that Randall and I worked on when I initially visited him in Athens, GA and he helped me with the middle part. I realized then that Randall and I had a good rapport and could work well together. The song also is a nod towards J.J.Cale, whose debut album ‘Naturally’ is one of my all time favourites; his quiet, understated grooves were the early inspiration for ‘Snapshot’. Eran Tabib’s spare solo aches with what he doesn’t play.

Nothing Else

I went down to the edge of the river
Wondering what I’d find
I couldn’t know what fate would deliver
Looking into your eyes
Thinking ’bout nothing else, nothing else all day
All tied up like a boat in the harbour
Sheltering from the storm
Come here baby you said in a whisper
I’m gonna love you and keep you warm
Nothing else, nothing else all day
I’ve been thinking ’bout nothing else all day

Where did you come from, where are we going
How did I find you here
Nothing matters in the heat of the moment
Love is the power makes everything clear
Nothing else, nothing else all day
Watching the light shining down from the window
Snaking across to you
There in the corner waiting in the shadow
Smiling at me through the gloom
Nothing else, nothing else all day
I’ve been thinking ’bout nothing else all day

Where did you come from and what’s the attraction
Where do we go from here
I can’t imagine but what does it matter
As long as I breathe as long as you’re near
Nothing else, nothing else all day
I’ve been thinking ’bout nothing else all day

RG thoughts: One morning, a year or so ago, I was in a rush and, walking past the door to my studio, went in for a few moments’ respite, picked up my acoustic guitar which happened to be tuned to an open tuning, and started playing a vague rhythm. The entire song came to me in an instant. I love it when that happens. Quickly recording a bit on the cassette recorder I use to make quick references, it was later that night before I could return to the studio and make a proper demo. My studio is not a real studio in the sense that it is sound-proofed, it is merely a basement room with some recording gear (along with dozens of boxes of old cassettes full of unfinished thoughts). Making the demo that night required that I make as little noise as possible, because all the family were sleeping. The hushed quality that it acquired then is what I asked the musicians to attempt when we did the main sessions a month or so later. They responded better than I could have imagined and the song still has that quiet nature. It’s highly unusual, at least my experience, for the atmosphere of a demo to be so faithfully retained. Gerry Leonard, the Irish guitar player, contributed to the beautifully eerie coda.

Could Have Been Me

I could have been a gardener digging up the weeds
I could have been a farmer sowing seeds
I could have been a painter with a whole new point of view
I could have been standing next to someone like you
It could have been me

I could have been a sailor testing the breeze
I could have been a failure hiding in the trees
I could have been a vagabond with nothing left to lose
I could have been making love to someone like you
It could have been me

I could have been reaching out with an olive leaf in my hand
I could have been screaming out like the leader of the band
I could have been anything if I could only choose
I’d want to be waking up with someone like you
It could have been me

RG thoughts: Another studio thought from the early 90s. I even had a finished lyric for it but really didn’t like it much. Then, going through tapes one day I found a version without lyrics and a whole new song appeared. The best things happen when you’re not trying. During the first day of recording ‘Snapshot’, with Randall, Joe Bonadio and Eran Tabib, we put down five songs; this was the fifth and has a subdued, almost morose quality to it which I find works so well with the lyric; a poignant song about an under-achiever. Nick Moroch plays the superb guitar solo, in one take, after never having heard the song before. He did that quite a bit on several songs on the album.

The More I Find

The more that I’m thinking
The less that I’m sure of
The more that I’m hiding
The more I show

The less that I give to
The more I depend on
The more that I take from
The less that I own

The less I remember
The more that I want to
The more I hold on to
The less that I keep

The more that I yearn for
The more I’m a slave to
The less that I look for
The more I find

RG thoughts: I occasionally write a set of words with no tune in mind, as I did with this. It’s original title was ‘More And Less’ and is almost a zen-like observation of the ironies of life. Again, drawn from life, these are home truths to me; I really do think that we are owned by our possessions. It sounds celtic, I suppose, because that is what I am – it’s in the blood.

When It Comes To You

Well I bark like a tree
Hiss like a tape
Change like a baby
And screech like a brake
Draw like a breath
Clean like a slate
Fire like a starter
And crash like a gate
But I don’t know what to do
I don’t what to do when it comes to you

I can think like a tank
Skip like a stone
Run like a colour
And jaw like a bone
Snap like a finger
Slide like a rule
Stretch like a canvas
And box like a tool
But I don’t know what to do
I don’t what to do when it comes to you

Trap like a bear
Fight like a dog
Sink like a kitchen
And jam like a log
Drag like a net
Spin like a tail
Spread like a rumour
Bite like a nail
But I don’t know what to do
I don’t what to do when it comes to you

RG thoughts: One day, when Randall and I were in the later stages of making ‘Snapshot’, I showed him the lyrics, written more or less as a fun excercise in word play. We immediately broke into a spontaneous idea that stuck. For some reason I have an affinity for songs whose first verse, and every subsequant verse, start on what in the 50s would have been called the “middle eight.”

Some Hope

Some hope for an end to what they’re going through
Some hope for a better world
Some hope for a second chance at something new
Another tale another place another girl

Some hope to get out from behind the bars
Some hope for something left to lose
Some hope for a live that isn’t quite so hard
A little food a little heat a pair of shoes

Some hope for eternity
Some hope the end is soon
Some hope for nothing
Some hope for the moon

Some hope for the sun to chase the clouds away
Some hope for the rain to come
Some hope for another shot on another day
A longer game a smaller share a bigger gun

RG thoughts: One of the last songs to recorded for the album, it is a wonderful memory for me; none of the musicians had heard the song before; I had no idea what to do with it but as soon as I started jamming with Randall, Joe and Eric, it defined, and refined itself, quickly. The album is called ‘Snapshot’ because it was done very rapidly; hardly any of the musicians that came to the studio had a clue what the songs were going to be and yet all played and had fun – that mysterious quality that is most apparent when it is absent. I like the ambiguity of the title – is it optimistic or pessimistic? I’ll opt for the former myself.

If I Could Fly

The night has fallen
The trees are bare
And a voice is calling me off somewhere
I can hear you now
You’re loud and clear
In a perfect world you would always be near
If I could fly
If I could fly tonight
I’d fly tonight to you

The days are long
The days and nights
And I ache for you when I turn out the lights
I need your touch
No words can say
And I’d be there if I could just find a way
If I could fly
If I could fly tonight
I’d fly tonight to you

RG thoughts: A song that I’ve had for about 12 years but couldn’t find a home for. Now it has one. Joe Bonadio was always bringing odd looking, eclectic drums to the studio, but I wasn’t prepared for this; he plays a metal beer keg instead of either a ride cymbal or a hi-hat! I laughed until I heard him play it, then it made sense; anything is a legitimate instrument if it achieves its aim and sounds good (and is played by an expert). Randall, one take again, playing lovely sax all the way through. I remember sitting in the control room shaking my head at the sheer spontanaity and finesse of his phrasing.

It’s Only Life

Been to sea, I’ve been on land
I’ve seen the mountains turn to sand
It’s only natural to be amazed
At how much crazy stuff is taking place
Been a fool, been all right
I pace the floor thinking of you all night
I guess I could change it if I would
But I can’t do what I always thought I could
It’s only life …

I was standing on a hill
If she hadn’t come along I guess I’d be there still
You broke my heart when you said goodbye
And left me standing wondering why
I’ve been running and I got caught
All my troubles were my own fault
Where do you go when the road is blocked
How can you act like you’re never going to stop
It’s only life …

Been a fool, been all right
I pace the floor thinking of you all night
I guess I could call you if I would
But I can’t do what I think I should
It’s only life …

RG thoughts: Written during one of the final days of the recording session for the album, this is one of those songs that sound like they’ve always been there, like the genie in the bottle, but just needed someone to come along and liberate it. I started playing it to Randall and it sort of wrote itself. Randall was there to hold me up, musically speaking. The session was fun; Larry Saltzman’s guitar, Mickey Lee Soule’s piano, and Joe Mennona’s wonderfully laid back horn arrangement (and playing) provide the right kind of bluesy quality but the icing on the cake is Warren Haynes’s wonderfully dirty slide guitar.

One thought on ““Snapshot” Lyrics

  1. James wrote on 2019-03-01:

    I remember when this album was first out I found myself singing, very quietly, If I Could Fly as I left my local shopping centre and realised that the – unrequited, of course – love of my life was working in her office above the entrance. How apt; if I could fly indeed… The song always reminds me of her. Really like the album, and your daughter’s singing on it.