The Superstore

by Stephen Simmons

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about

The Superstore is a re-release of Simmons' initial 2001 ep offering. Recorded with just a guitar and a harp in a dingy bar in Murfreesboro, TN. Originally a 5 song ep, the re-release has been expanded to a lengthy 14 tracks and remastered at Yes Master Studios in Nashville, TN.

credits

released October 15, 2001

THE SUPERSTORE lyrics
All songs written by Stephen Simmons
Copyrighted to Downguy Music / ASCAP
Or to Shiny Geode Music / SESAC
*Except for Highway Patrolman
Written by Bruce Springsteen / ASCAP

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Stephen Simmons Nashville, Tennessee

Stephen Simmons was raised in the small town of Woodbury, Tennessee. As a songwriter and Ten years as a Road Dog, Stephen’s vision has grown to entail more than just reflections of rural America. Stephen’s records (which were compared to everyone from Johnny Cash to Ryan Adams) combine virtuosic songcraft and musicianship with unparalleled artistic honesty. ... more

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Track Name: The Superstore
THE SUPERSTORE

Well I go down to the new superstore
To get a few groceries and some engine oil
Another Saturday afternoon nothing better to do
There’s a guy with his girl in the picture booth
He’s smiling at her in a cheap blue suit, as I read her lips, “I love you too”
There’s a man in a wheelchair looking at craftsman tools
He catches me staring and makes me feel like a fool
And as I walk away, I hear him say something ‘bout the war
There’s some stiff in a suit inside the music store
And he’s asking some teenager to help him find this tune
He says it’s the latest…the next big thing
Then I bump into some Joe with a chip on his shoulder
And he looks up at me like I’ve got something on him
And I say, “I’m sorry,” but he doesn’t speak

What keeps this world from going down
What saves the people of this country, of this town
Were all looking for something that’s already found
But we keep searching
That’s what keeps this world turning round

We’ll I’ve got my things so I’ll be on my way
I’ve got to get on with my lazy day
But as I start to leave the irony catches me
Everyone in this store’s in such a hurry
They’ve worked sixty-hour weeks now it’s time to spend that money
On necessities and a few things they don’t need
Most of these people work with their hands and they stay on their feet
Some have degrees and some G.E.D.’s
But they’re all here together an end to their means
We’ll this is Main Street America 2000 style
Must be two or three hundred of ‘em all crammed in one isle
But I’m no judge and this ain’t no trial

What keeps this world from going down
What saves the people of this country, of this town
Were all looking for something that’s already found
But we keep searching
That’s what keeps this world turning round

Yea we keep searching, and I guess that’s what keeps this old world turning round.
Track Name: Memories
MEMORIES

“Come up here my Grandson, sit on my knee and I’ll tell you one”
“Well giddy-up horsy, how fast can you run?
Well do it again Grandpa that sure was fun”

Memories, Memories
Some are kind and happy
Some are mean and scary
Memories, Memories
Such a tiny little head with so much to carry

I’m catching up to you brother
Gave you a head start but now I’m gaining speed
Round the corner I take the lead
Maybe next time little brother you can beat me

Memories, Memories
Some are kind and happy
Some are mean and scary
Memories, Memories
Such a tiny little head with so much to carry

Take my hand sweet Rebecca Lynn
Squeeze it tight don’t let this end
I always heard but I never believed
That the love of a girl could do this to me

Memories, Memories
Some are kind and happy
Some are mean and scary
Memories, Memories
Such a tiny little head with so much to carry

Don’t close your eyes Ma. Don’t close your eyes
So much love to give it can’t be your time
Why must this happen? I can’t say goodbye
But I’ll see you in heaven, will you be looking for me?

Memories, Memories
Some are kind and happy
Some are mean and scary
Memories, Memories
Such a tiny little head with so much to carry
Track Name: Kiss Me Baby
KISS ME BABY

Well his hands are shaking as he pulls into the filling station
Her love has clouded his mind, but he still knows what he could lose
And the cold steel in his hand, is a funny new sensation
And she says “Baby if you’re gonna prove your love to me, you know what you gotta do”

And he says “This world is full of people both good and bad
And you’ll love someone if they’re all you ever had
I love you crazy, I love you mad
I’d give my life for you, but my heart is torn
So kiss me baby, so I’ll remember what I’m doing this for”

Well her knees are shaking as he turns off the bedroom light
She’s made him wait as long as she could, tonight he won’t be denied
And she’s trembling inside, cause she knows that it’s not right
And he says “Baby if you’re gonna prove your love to me, you know what you gotta do”

chorus

Well love is elusive and hard to find
But we’re the only ones here who are blind
And we tell ourselves but our hearts don’t mind
When we think we’ve found love but it’s the wrong kind
And we need a little something to help us remind

Well her heart is breaking as they pull around behind the clinic
She knows this is what he wants her to do, and she thought that she did too
And she feels like a part of her is dying
She never thought she’d feel this way, like either way she’d lose
And he’s the only one that she’s ever loved
Right or wrong, good or bad
And he says “Baby if you’re gonna prove your love, you know what you gotta do”

chorus
Track Name: Loserville
LOSERVILLE

Well it’s another dead night around here, another Saturday night here in Loserville
And all us losers are looking for something to do
Well Robert Earle’s my best friend, and my Daddy used to work with his
Way back before they shut down the Textile Mill
Well Bobby and William both live up the road, and I’ve known ‘em for years, forever I suppose
Not a bad group all in all as losers go
Well I stole a twenty from my old Man’s wallet, just cause it was there
And we took off down the road just drinking our beer
A dangerous combination of nothing to lose, and nothing to fear

I didn’t know just how fast life goes
Took it for granted just because it wasn’t fun I suppose
I suppose

Well old man Johnson lives on the outskirts of town
That crazy old man, nobody goes around, nobody ‘cept for punks like me and my friends
We’d pull up in his yard and throw bottles at his house, open all his gates, and let his cattle out
And just for a laugh drive back by again
Well I guess he finally got tired of all of our shit, the day he came running out of that house choking that thirty-ought six. I just prayed to God that he’d miss
Well I heard the glass shatter and blood hit the dash, heard Bobby screaming, but William didn’t make a sound. And I was going too fast to ever slow down
Well I tried to gain control but I ran off the road, ran right through his front yard, right through his soul
The look on that old man’s face, forever etched in stone

I didn’t know just how fast life goes
Took it for granted just because it wasn’t fun I suppose
I suppose

Well William’s been dead for almost six years, heard Bobby moved off and had a couple kids
And they say Robert Earle these days, most of the time don’t even know where he is
But he was in the front seat with me on that cold January day
The day that old man bloodied that rusty Chevrolet
I still remember him screaming, “Look Out!” guess those were the last words that he’d ever say
Well me I finally got out of that town, got thirty more years and I figure I’m Hell bound
Sometimes I’d like to say that I’m sorry, but I don’t know just who I would tell

I didn’t know just how fast life goes
Took it for granted just because it wasn’t fun I suppose
I suppose, I suppose, I suppose

But me I can’t help wonder tonight in my cell, what’s going on tonight…..
down in Loserville.
Track Name: Black Skies
BLACK SKIES

Black Skies
Coming over the rise
Black Skies
Stretch on for miles and miles

You left me at 4a.m.
Didn’t say where you’d go didn’t say where you went
You say it’s you but I know it’s him
Black Skies again

Chorus

I told you how I loved you
Tried to prove to you those words were true
But he came in and stole you
Black Skies again

Chorus

There’s a flowing river down by the hillside
Where the trees are so thick the moon can’t shine her light
Tonight down here at the end of my line
Black Skies again

Chorus
Track Name: Just Go
JUST GO

A hundred miles an hour
Flying down your road
Passing farms and trailers and houses
All lined up in a row
Then I’d pull down your old driveway
You’d meet me at the car and say let’s go

Go crazy
Go half-mad for you baby
Go to the edge of the world
Just to make you my lady
Go driving
Go parking, go walking
Go anywhere with you
Just go

Well the picture said I love you
And I meant it to say so
And the waterfall was cold and clean
But it was probably my fault we got caught
So embarrassed that we had been seen
Young and careless, in love, naïve

Chorus

Sometimes that old wind blows in a funny way on certain days
And sometimes that old porch swing it sways in my mind when I dream
And sometimes I feel that you still think of me today and I know
That you still feel the need to

Chorus
Track Name: Houston
HOUSTON

Well I drink whiskey in the wintertime
To warm my bones and blood
And when the snow melts in the springtime
I drink ice tea to beat the sun
Well I know I drank too much back then
But I hardly ever used my gun
But that boy stole twenty dollars from me
In a card game I had won

But I ain’t going to Houston
Lord knows I hate that town
I killed a boy last winter there
And they’ll hang me if ever I’m found



Well I go to church on Sundays now
And I call Spokane home
And I work just like an honest man
I don’t cuss and fight no more
The preacher says that God forgives
For your sins he will atone
And he washed me in the blood in Wilson’s Creek
But I never told him what I’d done

Chorus

You could smell it in the air that summer day
And I could feel it in my bones
They rode in from the Southeast
I knew they were from Houston and they knew what I’d done
You could tell they knew that they had me
For they’d polished up their guns
But I drew first and took the Sheriff down
And his Deputies one by one

Chorus
Track Name: Lonely Town
LONELY TOWN

You can sit here all alone, with your own thoughts till dawn
You can lie here, or stand here, whichever way that you want
You can cry in the phone, but no one’s listening, no one’s home
You can scream out to be heard, but you won’t

Welcome to Lonely Town
Say you won’t stay long, you just broke down
Well I should know cause I been around
In Lonely Town

You recall your past, pray your memories will last
You get good at that, like you should be proud
But you don’t come here your cast, your a prisoner no guest
You’re cursed son not blessed, you sure don’t see no crowd

Chorus

You ponder your fate, you can’t go just wait
If someone would listen, you might pray. But there ain’t
Try to feel but you can’t. Try to touch, the same thing
No one to love, no one to hate
No one to blame

Chorus
Track Name: A Soft Bed
A SOFT BED

I’m tired and I’m weary and I need a place to rest
A place where I could get a warm meal and maybe a soft bed
I don’t know how long I’ve walked these streets that I now call home
I know there are many others like me still I feel so alone

I think I used to go by the name Jonathan
In my former life that’s who I think I was
But sometimes there by the bridge that I now sleep under
I lay there and wonder why Carl sounds more familiar

What could’ve been her name? Sometimes I do wonder
My finger looks like I used to wear a ring that something must have torn asunder
Cause I’ve got this hole in my belly that burns down in my soul
And I know with my memory I can’t be sure, but this ain’t the kinda pain caused by hunger

I don’t even know what day it is, I don’t read these papers I sleep under
I don’t know what drove me to this, and when I ain’t lookin’ for food I sometimes wonder

But I’m tired and I’m weary and I need a place to rest
A place where I could get a warm meal and maybe a soft bed
A soft bed

Someplace to lay my head
Safe from the cold night air
A soft bed
Track Name: Bulls In The Ring
BULLS IN THE RING

Driving through town, late last night
Two black guys on the corner, in a fight
They try to kill each other but it’s me they hate
They hate

You look me in the eye, and see if I’ll blink
And you watch me walk away like you know what I think
It’d justify your thoughts if true were those things
That you think
I think

You don’t know why you don’t look like I do
I don’t know why you act like you do
You say I’ve caused you pain
That I should be ashamed
Should be ashamed

We’re all here together, we’re all bulls in this ring
And we’re all seeing red cause we’re chasing the same thing
But you turn you’re eyes from God and your soul it’ll bleed
Cause the Devil’s the Matador pulling the strings
And fanning the flames
Of hate
Track Name: Start Out As Angels
START OUT AS ANGELS

Well sometimes I think about Tony Williams. He used to sit behind me in first grade
And we both got in trouble one day, I knew he should of never listened to me anyways
Out assignment was simple, color the picture in blue and pink
We decided a little red was all it’d need, and we colored up all over the page
Well Mrs. Carter was swift and mean, made an example for all the other kids to see
Boys and Girls don’t get caught looking like these, trying to color outside the lines
Just to do as you please
Well Tony and me got pretty tight, we had the same last name so we’s always next in line
It didn’t matter he was black and I was white, least not when we were five
I never saw Tony much more after about the fifth grade
His parents picked up and moved away, I heard they had family somewhere out of state

Well I finished school in eighty-two and Went to Junior College like a lot of folks do
But somewhere among all that knowledge, I got a different calling about what really wanted to do
I went through the Academy and I joined the Force
My parents were proud and they gave me their support
Sarah and I married in eighty-four, and three years later they moved me to Detroit
Well after ten hard years I worked my way up to Vice, and I fought the good fight
And I fought to stay alive
Cause I had three kids in the Suburbs and a wife, who made me always swear that I would survive

It was a routine bust, supposed to be neat and clean. They were gonna seize the house
And I was gonna watch the street.
All these dealers think they can just do as they please, we were gonna hit ‘em hard
Make examples of these.
But something went wrong, and shots were fired. And I heard it on the short wave like God almighty
Two officers down and the bust was blown, suspect was headed for the street
And he was armed and alone
Me and Jim took position, we sealed off the street. There was only one way out
And that was through him and me. I said a little prayer and Jim nodded at me
Then I thought of my kids and gritted my teeth.
He came busting out the door running for his life, I yelled, “Freeze” and drew but I was paralyzed
Stood there in a moment that’s still frozen in time. Just stood there staring in Tony Williams eyes
Well Jim opened fire and put two rounds in his side, and I kneeled beside Tony
And slowly watched him die. I took his hand and looked in his eyes
And I know he recognized me, that’s why he never fired

We all start out as Angels
But this World teaches us to hate
Damn the World for making things this way
Damn the Government, Damn the State
You damn the ones that you say you hate
But damn yourselves when you’re to blame
Track Name: Sweet Salvation
SWEET SALVATION

This old white line is longer
Than the time I’ve left to roam
I always thought I was stronger
I thought by now I’d have found my home
But you can’t wait any longer
You’ve been waiting all along
Cause pain ain’t nuthin’ without hunger
And my soul’s been starving for so long

Sweet Salvation
Finally know where I belong
I’m ready for redemption
Ready to finally go home

Well I set out just a young man
Hell-bent to make this world my own
But even the best of laid plans
Can fall apart out on the road
And I don’t know how I found you
In the kind a places that I roam
It’s always the fool that’s the last to see
It was more like you that found me

Sweet Salvation
Finally know where I belong
I’m ready for redemption
Ready to finally go home
Track Name: Long Walk Back Home
LONG WALK BACK HOME

Yesterday came a flood, and washed out all the valley
Today brought the sun, and I surveyed all the damage
So sure that you were the one, now I know what wrong is
I was thinking that love had finally come
Now I know it never did

But it’s gonna be a long walk back home
Well at least the daisy’s are blooming baby
While I sing my song
And I don’t know where I went wrong
But they’ll be plenty of time to ponder babe
Cause it’s a long walk back home

To tell the truth I never could see how love’s all it’s cracked up to be
I know I probably need it but it’s never been all that good to me
I shoulda smelled the rain and the storm clouds a brewing
Now I pray that Mother Nature will wash away my pain

Chorus

I know I’ll never pass this way again
Been deep inside the arms of a woman now I’m heading home again
It was a beautiful ride I surely hate to see it end
But now I’m slowly heading back to be the man I’ve always been

Chorus
A long walk back home
A long walk back home
A long walk back home
Track Name: Highway Patrolman
HIGHWAY PATROLMAN

My name is Joe Roberts I work for the State
I'm a sergeant out on Perenville barracks No 8
I've always done an honest job honest as I could
Got a brother named Frankie Frankie ain't no good
Ever since we were young kids it's been the same come down
I'd get a call on a short way Frankie's in trouble downtown
But if it was any other man I'd put him straight away
But sometimes when it's your brother you look the other way
Yeah me and Frankie laughin' and drinkin' nothin' feels better than blood on blood

Takin' turns dancin' with Maria
While the band played The Night Of The Johnstown Flood
I catch him when he's strayin' like any brother should
Man turns his back on his family he ain't no good
Well Frankie went into the army back in 1965
I got a farm deferment settled down took Maria for my wife
But them wheat prices kept on droppin' till it was like we's gettin' robbed
Frankie came home in '68 and me I took this job
Yeah me and Frankie laughin' and drinkin' nothin' feels better than blood on blood

Takin' turns dancin' with Maria
While the band played The Night Of The Johnstown Flood
[ Highway Patrolman lyrics from
http://www.lyricsyoulove.com/j/johnny_cash/highway_patrolman/ ]I catch him when he's strayin' teach him how to walk that line
Man turns his back on his family ain't no friend of mine
The night was like any other I got a call bout the quarter of nine
There was trouble at a roadhouse out on the Michigan line
There was a kid on the floor lookin' bad bleedin' hard from his head
There was a girl cryin' at a table it was Frankie she said
I ran out and I jumped in my car then I hit the lights
I must have done about a hundred and ten to Michigan County that night
It was down by the crossroads out bout willow bank
Seen the buick with Ohio plates behind the wheel was Frank
Well I chased him through them county roads
Till the sign said Canadian border five miles from here
Pulled over to the south out the highway watched his taillights disappeared
Yeah me and Frankie laughin' and drinkin' nothin' feels better than blood on blood

Takin' turns dancin' with Maria
While the band played The Night Of The Johnstown Flood
I catch him when he's strayin' like any brother should
Man turns his back on his family ain't no good



Music and Lyrics by Bruce Springsteen / ASCAP