The Stone Coyotes

The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


After the fact it’s hard to explain
I think I went in to get out of the rain
But all that really doesn’t matter now
Ther was nothing that told, nothing that warned
Just a path that looked a little forlorn
On a dead-end street that made me uneasy somehow

In the House of Confusion
Lit by the lamp of fantasy
Was it truth or illusion?
I don’t know – You tell me

There was dirt on the window and dust on the stair
Nothing in the room but an old vinyl chair
I don’t need to tell you I wasn’t jumping for joy
I called out, “Where has everybody gone?”
Someone left the record player on
Marc Bolan singing “Twentieth Century Boy”

Now I don’t know what’s real and what is not
I might have known once but I forgot
I crossed the threshold and something occurred
The clock struck zero and time stood still
The rain doesn’t stop and it never will
I can assure you that every line is blurred

I was dancing, I was acting coy
In the arms of a twentieth century boy
I introduced myself, said, “ It’s such a shame
I only know you by your Christian name”
He nodded once and he faded away
But I could swear I heard him say
“Welcome to the House of Confusion”


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


In fitful dreams
With dark themes
That threaten to pull me under
I call but make no sound
Lost and never found
Finally I wake to wonder

How we do this at all
Our backs against the wall
With love the only doorway
Praying for the light
Out of reach, out of sight
To guide us on our way

We call on the moon and stars
With voices from afar
Their secrets to uncover
We’re waiting here below
For what, we do not know
While unseen angels hover

I’ve said all this before
But I’ve been shaken to the core
So forgive me any lapse of reason
Courage is a lonely art
I must take heart
“To every thing there is a season”

And sometimes we hear things
Beating of gentle wings
On our windowpanes
Oh, but then
They’re gone again
And love is all that remains

In the dead of night
By electric light
We sing the songs of old
Come down to me, Sweet Mystery
And play your harps of gold


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith/D. Tibbles


First let’s get our facts straight
Let’s lay it on the line
This has been building up
For quite some time
You say you’ve been wounded
By the blade of a knife
Frankly, I’m a little bit tired
Of hearing how you’re scarred for life

Go ahead and walk away
What are you waiting for?
But don’t come running to me
When the wolves are at your door

It’s come to my attention
Yes, I’ve begun to suspect
You’d be the one hiding down below
When they cry, “All hands on deck”
You like to dress in tatters
As if you’ve been riding the rails
I’d call that into question
But we’d be going at it tooth and nail

I tried to warn you
But it’s just your style
To look right through me
With that all-knowing smile
You can’t see their eyes of fire
You don’t see them circle ‘round
You won’t hear them howling
Until they take you down


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith/D. Tibbles


You ask, “How goes the battle?
Are you holding the line?”
I may not look it
But I’m doing just fine
A little rough around the edges
A little worse for wear
But let me tell you I’m ready
Stop me if you dare

They tell you it can’t be done
Say you’re not the chosen one
Makes me want to scream and shout
You don’t know what you’re talking about

Gonna get up, won’t give up
Rise to the occasion
And see if within me
(It’s true – Within you)
Beats the heart of a champion

I’ve been drinking my life
From a broken cup
A lot of time in the trenches
That’ll toughen you up
There comes a time – Oh, yes, there does
To take off the gloves
To say, “That’s it – I’ve had enough”
Show them what you’re made of

So when you’re down for the count
You hear the standing eight
It’s right down to the wire
And you’re cursing your fate…


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


Right around December
When the hard winds blow
I think of the stranger
Drifted in with the snow
He didn’t stay long
But when he looked my way
Sent a cold chill through me
I can feel today

He said, “I’m a wanderer, I’m a soul-less soul
I’m a rolling stone
Look in my eyes
Ain’t nobody home”

“I could blame it on my Daddy
Left me when I was three
Or say it was my Mama
But it’s really just me
In my lifetime
I’ve been tempted to kill
I haven’t yet
But I probably will”

He died at the hands
Of a sheriff I know
Said, “We had to take him down
Shot a kid in Laredo
Now killers and dead men
I’ve seen plenty of those
But his eyes were open
And I wish they’d been closed”


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


In this boat of wood out on the ocean
Not many keepsakes do I have
No souvenirs of your devotion
Just a salt-stained photograph

Shine a light in your window tonight
Burn it brightly for me
For these are dark, uncharted waters
With no mercy on a sailor lost at sea

The harbor from view is hidden
And though I’ve done all within my power
Old fears come back unbidden
To haunt my every hour

Sometimes the waves seem to whisper
Come to us – We bring you peace
But your sweet face I remember
Then and only then their voices cease


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith/D. Tibbles


Once upon a time
A boy and a girl
Made a solemn vow
To rock the world
But one fateful night
Beneath the silvery moon
He sold his soul
Yes, he changed his tune

No matter where you go
No matter what you do
I’ll make it a point
To rock harder than you

We used to play till sunrise
On two guitars
Now I play in the shadows
While you mingle with the stars
You follow the fashions
You change with the trends
You go out and be seen
With your political friends

I’ll rock forever
I’m sticking to my guns
While you’re counting your gold
In the California sun
But you know in your heart
You’re living a lie
A keeper of the flame
Let the flame die


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


As I walked out in lower Manhattan
A girl I chanced to pass by
Something about her caught my attention
Something hard to identify

She carried a suitcase through the streets of the city
And shivered with cold in the thin coat she wore
She said, "Look at my face - it used to be pretty
Now I'm old and I'm twenty-four."

If you see the one who put the tears in my eyes
He's got a gold-tipped cane and a rose tattoo
Tell him I love him - Tell him goodbye
I would stay, but I'd be crazy to

At first it was romance just like in a movie
Romeo and Juliet when we began
But then it got dark and then it got ugly
He showed me affection with the back of his hand

He liked to mix his powders and potions
Bought in the alleys away from the light
He'd say, "I'll fix you up - name your poison"
I watched him age ten years overnight

Blowing smoke rings that gave him a halo
He'd talk about his criminal mind
He'd say, "Well, I guess it's just your fate to go
Falling in love with the dangerous kind."


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


I found a bird
I thought was killed
No sound to be heard
Lying cold and still
And then as if
To prove me wrong
It raised its voice
In one sweet song

The Phoenix flashes
In the fires of old
To rise from the ashes
On wings of gold

I sent a gift
To the world from me
And the world responded
And you took my face
In your good kind hands
And said, “Remember
Our love still stands”

If fate should come
To dash your dreams
There are still such things
As meadows and streams
You may ask me
How do I know?
The Bird of Freedom
Told me so


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


All alone the curtains drawn your head bent down in sorrow
The walls are closing in you said you dread tomorrow
Now I lay me down to sleep my tears could fill an ocean
Hey someone's come to call what's all that commotion

Bang bang bang bang
The whole house shook - The doorbell rang
Knock knock knock knock
Open up in the name of rock

Go away and leave me be I don't want to hear it
No we will not be denied we've come to raise your spirit
There is no time to waste given your condition
Ready or not, here we come, we've got the ammunition

We've picked the lock we came to rock we're looking for the sleeper
Your traumatized, paralyzed because you fear the reaper
So we come with bass and drum to interrupt your slumber
Take the chance time to dance we've got your number

The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


Sun in the sky, stay with me awhile
He said, “No, I’m travelling West many a mile”
Across the fields the shadows soon will play
To my surprise I thought I heard him say

This is your hour to sing
Time flies on cruel wings
This is your hour to shine
Oh, Children (Darling), yours and mine

I walked on the banks where the silver river rolls
Where mothers croon to babies with ancient souls
A woman beside her lover lies
He says, “The diamonds from the water are in your eyes”

Others walked here long ago
Where they vanished to the poets don’t know
They say there’ll be time enough to sleep
To be “rocked in the cradle of the deep


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


Somewhere out there I hear a church bell ringing
Somewhere out there a widow starts to weep
Out of nowhere a single flash of lightning
Somewhere out there a sentry’s fallen asleep

I’ve got a nagging suspicion
Something’s not quite right
There’s an old superstition
Thunder on the left – Trouble tonight

What’s that sound like the pounding hooves of horses?
Who’s that in the shadows lurking at the gate?
Rouse the guards – Marshal all your forces
Send out a warning – Pray it’s not too late

Somewhere out there a ship sails on a dark sea
Somewhere a drummer boy’s far from home
In my mind I see a ragtag army
Kicking up a cloud of dust on the road to Rome



The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


I don’t know what it was the other day
That brought you freshly to my mind
It might have been – yes, maybe it was the way
Someone laughed like you laughed from time to time

And it took me back to our favorite hill
Where the weeping willow stands
I said, “Tomorrow and tomorrow we will be here still”
And you said, “No, I think God has other plans”

Our pretty bird has flown
You’re sleeping under stone

In a room all white, gathered at the bedside
And you would get that look of mischief in your eye
You’d say, “Why the long faces? Why the solemn expressions?
You’d think I was going to die”

And sometimes still I strain to hear
Your sweet footsteps in the hall
Even though for years
You’ve been just a picture on our wall