The Right to Write (and a Song to Sing)

Recording by Jeff Bourque

Read the story behind the song — Something My Father Said

At a greasy spoon in Nashville,
In a greasy corner booth,
Sat a starry-eyed young poet,
Facing cold, bull-headed truth.
The crumpled notebook paper
Was giving him away:
He had come to make himself a name
But didn’t have a thing to say.

The waitress pouring coffee
Had been around the block.
So she sat across the table
And said, “Son, let’s have a talk.
Wanna be the next big something?
Write the next big song?
It takes more than words and worn-out chords
To make us sing along.”

“Put up your paper.
Put down your pen.
Go do some living
And come back again.
Laughter and heartache
Promise to bring
The right to write
And a song to sing.”

At a greasy spoon in Nashville,
A young poet walked away.
He went and found a family
And a stack of bills to pay.
Twenty years of pain and pleasure
Can teach a boy a thing.
Sometimes he’d smile and close his eyes
And this is what he’d sing:

“Put up your paper.
Put down your pen.
Go do some living
And come back again.
Laughter and heartache
Promise to bring
The right to write
And a song to sing.”

At a greasy spoon in Nashville,
She was counting up her tips,
As the radio was counting down
The weekend’s greatest hits.
Though it’d been a couple decades
It didn’t take her long
To hear how he had lived and learned.
She smiled and sang along:

“Put up your paper.
Put down your pen.
Go do some living
And come back again.
Laughter and heartache
Promise to bring
The right to write
And a song to sing.”

Written by Eric Schumacher and Jeff Bourque
©2014 emschumacher.com / Manicotti Music | All rights reserved.