FACT AND FICTION

by Mike Birch

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released December 10, 2016

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Mike Birch Methuen, Massachusetts

For Mike, it all started on a Sunday night in 1964 ... February 9 ... the Beatles took the stage on the Ed Sullivan show and while the girls in the audience screamed, his parents and grandparents exclaimed about the "long hairs", a 7-year-old boy thought, 'I'm going to learn to play the guitar one day!' ... more

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Track Name: Gypsy Wind
Gypsy Wind

She glides around the campfire
Guitar plays soft and slow
Flames reach ever higher
Gypsy dancer’s face is aglow

Her voice calls out a shimmering note
Begging stars and moon to listen
It’s as if time has slowed
She is one with the gypsy wind

She moves with the gypsy wind
She sings with the gypsy wind

Helplessly falling
Victim drawn to her calling
Hypnotized by her form
Blown away by the gypsy storm

Dark hair flows, streams of night
Siren song takes control
Her eyes flash to his inner fire
Summoning to her gypsy soul

She moves with the gypsy wind
She sings with the gypsy wind
She moves with the gypsy wind
She is one with the gypsy wind

Helplessly falling
Victim drawn to her calling
Hypnotized by her form
Blown away by the gypsy storm

She is one with the gypsy wind
Track Name: Look Down The Road
Look Down the Road

The grass here sure is brown
Bound to be greener over there
Maybe there won’t be anyone
Ragging on my long hair
I’m getting kind of tired
Of all the crap in this old town
Sorry I have to tell you
I won’t be sticking around

I’m not one to waste time looking back
Doesn’t matter what happened before, what I never had
I must be moving before I’m too damn old
Wonder where I’m heading? Just look down the road

Wasn’t too long, plans were made
Soon the deed of leaving was done
On the road with a couple of friends
In an old car that barely runs
Along the way we argue
But we have plenty of fun
Searching for that greener grass
Speeding down old route 101

I’m not one to waste time looking back
Doesn’t matter what happened before, what I never had
I must be moving before I’m too damn old
Wonder where I’m heading? Just look down the road

Never wanted to hurt your feelings
It was nothing you did or said
I knew I’d be leaving
Staying long’s not in my head

West coast ain’t much different
‘Cept that the grass’s always brown
Parted ways with my old friends
Got a job when the car broke down
Heard you called, looking for me
But your memory hurts down to my soul
Thinking about heading out one more time
Wondering where my wandering will lead … as I look down the road

I’m not one to waste time looking back
Doesn’t matter what happened before, what I never had
I must be moving before I’m too damn old
Wonder where I am tonight? Look down the road
Track Name: Open All Night
Open All Night

Mr and Mrs Brown, wearing frowns, fried eggs for dinner
Reverend Jones, always alone, knows he’s really a sinner
The waitress talks to them and smiles, and for a little while
They feel like winners

Open All Night bar and grill pancake emporium
Saturday night all the lonely people come
Open All Night bar and grill pancake emporium
Where do all the people come from?

Carol Ann with a fake tan drinking with her mom at the bar
She’s just 31, having no fun, asks why meeting men is so hard
The bartender pours another round and smiles, and for a little while
She forgets the invisible scars

Open All Night bar and grill pancake emporium
Saturday night all the lonely people come
Open All Night bar and grill pancake emporium
Where do all the people come from?

Sign of our times, sad people everywhere
Wrapped up in their own misery, no one cares

In a corner I sit, spotlight lit, playing my guitar
I’m just like them, looking for friends, waiting for tips in a jar
The people listen clap and smile, and for a little while
Our home is this bar

Open All Night bar and grill pancake emporium
Saturday night all the lonely people come
Open All Night bar and grill pancake emporium
Where do all the people come from?
Track Name: Ashes and Trees
Ashes and Trees

Promise of endless summer, fireworks and bonfires
Like children filled with wonder, passionate hearts of desire

The fire burns bright, smoke drifts away on the breeze
Last hope smolders amid the ashes and the trees

Sparks kindle flames, heat almost too much to bear
Two souls melt together, hot life to share

The fire burns bright, smoke drifts away on the breeze
Last hope smolders amid the ashes and the trees

All flames finally fade
Embers change to gray
Summer heat becomes winter cold
And love can lose its hold

The fire burns out, smoke drifts away on the breeze
Last hope smolders, amid the ashes and the trees
Track Name: Mr Limo Driver
Mr Limo Driver

Watching in the mirror
Adjusting your makeup and your hair
Sipping champagne
Talking on the phone to people who only care
That you’re the reason
They live as high as they do
And when the day is over
Do any of them really care for you?

Then I hear “Mr. Limo Driver, won’t you take me away?”
But it’s only your order to drive you home, it’s the end of another day

Mr. Limo Driver, never rides in the back
Mr. Limo Driver, white shire, jacket of black
Stoically silent, a master of tact
Mr. Limo Driver – I never ride in the back

Star of screen and stage
So why do you look so sad?
Fortune and fame
Must be more good than bad
Hard for me to fathom
What’s going on inside your mind
The obviously forced smile
Can’t hide all the pain behind

Then I hear “Mr. Limo Driver, won’t you take me away?”
But it’s only your order to drive you home, it’s the end of another day

Mr. Limo Driver, never rides in the back
Mr. Limo Driver, white shire, jacket of black
Stoically silent, a master of tact
Mr. Limo Driver – never rides in the back

At a red light my imagination drifts
To things that will never be
Then I catch your face in the mirror
Your eyes looking back at me

Then I hear “Mr. Limo Driver, won’t you take me away?”
But it’s only my imagination, it’s the end of another day

Mr. Limo Driver, never rides in the back
Mr. Limo Driver, white shire, jacket of black
Stoically silent, a master of tact
Mr. Limo Driver – never rides in the back
Mr. Limo Driver – I never ride in the back
Track Name: Thirty Miles To Richmond
Thirty Miles To Richmond

Papa shook my hand as we waited for the bus
Mama was crying, making her usual fuss
My sisters were smiling, their eyes glistening with tears
I climbed aboard the bus, then watched Richmond disappear

Camp was tough as everyone had warned
You have to work hard to earn a uniform
Sarge built a team from a bunch of innocent kids
Taught us to stay alive no matter what we did

Thirty miles to Richmond
This journey will finally end
Thirty miles to Richmond
I’ll soon be home again

Soon we were sent off to an unknown land
To fight in a war we didn’t understand
Surrounded by my friends, it was the usual tale
We were from the land of freedom, we could never fail

Tommy was my buddy
He was like a brother to me
Could do the work of ten
Thought we’d make history
But a bullet cut him down
No mercy from the enemy
As I wept over him
They did the same to me

Thirty miles to Richmond
This journey will finally end
Thirty miles to Richmond
I’ll soon be home again
Track Name: Miss Mexico
Miss Mexico

Sweetness and innocence
Even more behind a pretty face
Hidden intelligence
Kept quietly in its place

Admiral ambitions
Become so much more
Forget inhibitions
And walk through that open door

Do you miss your family?
Do you miss a life care –free?

Miss Mexico
Do you feel alone?
Miss Mexico
Do you miss your home?
Do you, do you, Miss Mexico?

I tried to warn you
That you were a little naïve
You would not listen
'Til the night he made you leave

Do you miss your family?
Do you miss a life care –free?

Miss Mexico
Do you feel alone?
Miss Mexico
Do you miss your home?
Do you, do you, Miss Mexico?

Hard to hide behind a mask
When your life has crashed
I’ve been trying to help you
But you won’t let me through

Do you miss your family?
Do you miss a life care –free?

Miss Mexico
Do you feel alone?
Miss Mexico
Do you miss your home?
Do you, do you, Miss Mexico?
Track Name: Desert Snow
Desert Snow

Feelings of sadness under empty skies
Traveling miles just to say goodbye
No one says it, but everyone knows it's true
Everything changes and memories fade, too.

Then a sign, a message from above
Sent to remind us of all the love
No matter what, there's always hope
From something unexpected, like desert snow.

All of a sudden dark day turns bright
Crystalline beauty, blanket of white
Grief is muffled, like footsteps in snow
A gift to a stranger, to let them grow.

Remember when things get too tough
We've got within us the power of love
No matter how bad, there's always hope
Some kind of miracle, like desert snow.

No matter how it seems, you're never alone
You can find new dreams, your destiny unknown
Feel it, feel it in your soul
Like desert snow

A new sunrise, a brand new start
Feel it inside, feel it in your heart
They're always with us, sweet memories
Bringing a smile, like a cool desert breeze.

Remember when things get too tough
We've got within us the power of love
No matter how bad, there's always hope
Some kind of miracle, like desert snow.
Like desert snow, like desert snow
Track Name: The Good From The Bad
The Good From The Bad

She always told her best friends
Her nose was her best feature
Wrinkled it up so cute
When she was kissing up to a teacher

It seems so long ago
She doesn’t know where time went
Doesn’t want to think
How that nose got all bent

He promised her diamonds
Instead she got fists of rock
But she thinks that she deserved
Everything she got

Can’t tell the good from the bad
It’s the only love she’s ever had
Put up with the abuse
Always an excuse
Can’t tell the good from the bad

Another night in the ER
This time a broken arm
Questions get no answers
But she’s sure he didn’t mean any harm
Get away her friends all say
But it’s not something she will do
All the tears, shame and pain
She still thinks love will see them through

He promised her the world
Instead all she got was dirt
She still believes
That it’s all she is worth

Can’t tell the good from the bad
It’s the only love she’s ever had
Put up with the abuse
Always an excuse
Can’t tell the good from the bad

Opposites why do they attract? It’s a hard fact
Good is drawn to bad
Pleasure and pain, quite insane
Good and bad together again

Can’t tell the good from the bad
It’s the only love she’s ever had
Put up with the abuse
Always an excuse
Can’t tell the good from the bad
Track Name: Sandcastles
Sandcastles

Up with the sun
Never real fun
Show the kids love every day
Wipe a nose
Watch the bus go
Help her husband on his way

Shower and dress
Kitchen’s a mess
It’ll have to wait until later
Workday calls
Mothers shift at the mall
Another day of meaningless labor

Late at night, when things go quiet
She closes her eyes, and smiles

She’s building sandcastles in her dreams
Waves won’t wash them away
A place where she can be a queen
Until the break of day … takes it away

Make dinner and clean
Husband watches TV
Help the kids do homework
When did life change
Sun turned to rain
Is this all she really deserves?

But late at night, when things go quiet
She closes her eyes, and smiles

She’s building sandcastles in her dreams
Waves won’t wash them away
A place where she can be a queen
Until the break of day … takes it away
Track Name: The Traveler
The Traveler

There at the beginning, there at the end
Looks so familiar like a long lost friend
So elusive, a shadow amongst men
Seeming to help, then gone again

No time paradox, no reason for prayer
Appearing where needed, everywhere here and there

He’s the Traveler through space and time
His wisdom and patience are touching all lives
Ending war and famine, committing no crime
He’s the Traveler, making sure we survive

Looks too young, feels too old
Burning with fever, but touch is ice cold
Shining so bright dark as a black hole
That looks right through into your soul

No time paradox, no reason for prayer
Appearing where needed, everywhere here and there

He’s the Traveler through space and time
His wisdom and patience are touching all lives
Ending war and famine, committing no crime
He’s the Traveler, making sure we survive

Round and round
No way to get down
Round and round
A whisper of sound
Round and round
And round and round again
Track Name: Kiss Or Kill
Kiss or Kill

Daddy’s little princess
Mommy’s little girl
Childhood of innocence
Protected from the world
One day things are different
Daddy’s never home
Mommy's past caring where he went
And the princess is alone

No blaming destiny, or the lack of will
It's all or nothing, kiss or kill

Teen years are tough
Sometimes so unfair
Saying ‘no’ is not enough
No one seems to care
Mind and feelings go numb
It’s easier to pretend
Than trying to pick up and run
From a world you can’t comprehend

No blaming destiny, or the lack of will
It's all or nothing, kiss or kill

Caught in a freezing whirlpool
Ice grips the soul
Emotions are torn to dust
In a suffocating black hole
Nothing really matters anymore
Each day takes its toll
Feeling ripped from thought
The heart grows cold

Escape from reality
It’s so easy to do
Don’t care about eternity
So there’s nothing left to lose
Love is hell, hell is love
Nothing is for sure
When facts aren’t enough
No reasoning any more

No blaming destiny, courage from a pill
It's all or nothing, kiss or kill
It's all or nothing, kiss or kill
It's all or nothing, kiss or kill
Track Name: Chasing The Sunlight
Chasing The Sunlight

Season’s changing, feel it in my bones
Time for rearranging, flying on home
Another year’s passed, it doesn’t seem fair
I thought it would last but I’m alone in the air

I’m still chasing the sunlight
Trying to get things to feel alright
Adding some color to all the grey
It would be a much brighter day … if you were still here

Remember the sun, our very first spring
Nestling the young under spread wings
Fierce winds came, I couldn’t protect you too
Watched you swept away, nothing I could do

I’m still chasing the sunlight
Trying to get things to feel alright
Adding some color to all the grey
It would be a much brighter day … if you were still here

Shadows can be hard to escape
Descending darkness from a simple mistake
Brightness can seem within easy grasp
But then can slip away too fast

I’m still chasing the sunlight
Trying to get things to feel alright
Adding some color to all the grey
It would be a much brighter day … if you were still here
Track Name: Scarlet and Sable
Scarlet and Sable

Miss Scarlet wore sable boots to stomp on men's hearts
But the blame wasn't all on her, the men did their part
She had turquoise on her fingers, silver on her toes
The men would follow her wherever she goes

Scarlet and sable
Myth and fable
Turquoise and silver
All the joys delivered
Blood is black under moonlight
Silvery runes glowing in the night

Miss Scarlet had golden keys to open all the doors
That hid the secrets never known before
Immortality, wisdom, infinite wealth
Cures for all illness, of unending health

Scarlet and sable
Myth and fable
Turquoise and silver
All the joys delivered
Blood is black under moonlight
Silvery runes glowing in the night

Scarlet and sable, myth and fable….

Miss Scarlet had the power to make the heavens open up
In a deluge of rain, then quickly turn to sun
A magic unknown in man's modern times
Where reality and fantasy are intertwined

Scarlet and sable
Myth and fable
Turquoise and silver
All the joys delivered
Blood is black under moonlight
Silvery runes glowing in the night

Scarlet and sable, myth and fable ...
Track Name: The Winds Of Change
The Winds of Change

Feeling hovers, dark
Wants to stop my heart
Silent whispers lead to the grave
Rising panic builds
Unexplained guilt
There’s nothing left to save

Squeeze eyes shut
Can’t keep it out
A vision of what shouldn’t be
Makes little sense
I must confess
I’m frightened by what I see

The air grows cold
Time twists then takes hold
Something sure feels strange
Wait for it … the winds of change

Fireball expands
All part of the plan
Can’t halt it once it begins
Nuclear strike
God-awful night
Destroy a multitude of sins

The air grows cold
Time twists then takes hold
Something sure feels strange
Wait for it … the winds of change

Must go back
Into the past
Change a fact
Make it fast
Fix neglect
Now is changed
Butterfly effect
Time rearranged

The air grows cold
Time twists then takes hold
Something sure feels strange
Wait for it … the winds of change