Beth Wood - Beachcomber's Daughter - album coverFor Beachcomber’s Daughter, Beth gathered Dallas’s finest studio musicians to form a core band that was just deadly! The great Milo Deering played just about everything with strings and contributed heavily to the arrangements and the overall fun of the project. BD is a lyric-driven, eclectic mix of styles, from downright rockin’ (Travelin’ John) to jazz standards (At Last) to folky (This Sanctuary) to piano ballad (Suitcases). In early 2008, Beth & Milo celebrated the release of BD onboard Cayamo, a songwriters cruise, alongside many of her musical heroes such as Lyle Lovett, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, John Hiatt, and more, how cool is that? Produced by Beth Wood and Patrick Mcguire.

Travelin' John

Tuning – DADGBD

He was a fair-weather prophet
Told the truth when he saw fit
But mostly he just kept to himself
Then he’d open up his pretty mouth
Out would come something profound
He never did complain about the hand he was dealt

He was Travelin’ John
Looks like he’ll be moving on
He is Travelin’ John
Blink once, here he comes
Blink twice, he’s gone

Well the whole town would start talking
When travelin John walked in
Long hair down his back and his sun-baked skin
He was a missionary’s son
An orphan and then some
And that’s all he would say about where he had been

He was Travelin’ John
Looks like he’ll be moving on
He is Travelin’ John
Blink once, here he comes
Blink twice, he’s gone

All the uptown ladies they look down their noses
But then they bring him garden roses
They all wonder what it’s like to be free to roam
To answer to no one, to call no place home

He wore an Indian necklace
He was free but never wreckless
I guess he’ll spend his days walking this earth
If you see him around
Ask him why he won’t settle down
He’ll say, you don’t have to own a thing to know what it’s worth

He was Travelin’ John
Looks like he’ll be moving on
He is Travelin’ John
Blink once, here he comes
Blink twice, he’s gone

Don't Give Me Diamonds

Tuning – Standard (I wrote this on piano but use Standard when I play it on guitar)

Don’t give me diamonds
Don’t give me gold
Just give me something
Thats true to behold
Walk with me, sweetness
Into the light
Don’t give me diamonds baby
Just give me tonight

I never had much of nothing
I never wanted for more
I just want something
That’s worth fighting for
Real love comes easy
When your heart is set right
So don’t give me diamonds baby
Just give me tonight

I can see with perfect clarity
The cut and color of your love
Your golden heart, twenty four carat to me
And one treasure is enough

One thing’s for certain
That we can count on
Time is a jewel
That we hold in our palms
We must carry it gently
Hold it up to the light
So don’t give me diamonds baby
Just give me tonight

I can see with perfect clarity
The cut and color of your love
Your golden heart, twenty four carat to me
And one treasure is enough

Real love comes easy
When your heart is set right
To don’t give me diamonds baby
Just give me tonight

Beachcomber's Daughter

Tuning – Standard

Where the ocean meets the land
He walks beside the water
He is a solitary man
And I am the beachcomber’s daughter

He comes here day after day
Collects his washed-up treasures
Who am I to say
What should give a man his simple pleasures?

Our cup, it surely overflows
But he never has learned to let any of this go
And if I’m cataloguing memories,
Well that’s just the old beachcomber in me

His mama died when he was a baby
They barely had enough to get by
He was raised by the neighborhood ladies
They did what they could for a motherless child

And he led his company to war
Where the general sent them to slaughter
He won’t speak of that no more
And I am the wounded soldier’s daughter

Our cup, it surely overflows
But he never has learned to let any of that go
And if I’m running from my memories,
Well that’s just the wounded soldier in me

We carry our history
It’s in our blood and it’s in our bones
Some may remain a mystery
But we carry it because it’s our own

Where the ocean meets the land,
Terns and pelicans skim the water
There walks a solitary man
And I am the beachcomber’s daughter

Suitcases

Tuning – (Piano song!  if only there were alternate piano tunings…)

I wrestled with my restless
But my restless had already won
I defended my defenses
But my defenses were already gone, already gone

And I wonder, baby, if all my broken places
Did they weaken our embraces?
You just laughed and carried my suitcases

I sat down with my silence
But I could not be still enough
I ran from my distance
But this distance has called my bluff, called my bluff

And I wonder, baby, if time will always chase us
With its sweeping paintbrush that erases?
You just smiled and carried my suitcases

You won’t lose your bad memories
Until someone comes and loves them away
So you learn to carry them gently
Until you can set them down someday

I emptied out my empty
And I filled it up with release
I sorrowed for my sorrow
And it finally gave me peace, gave me peace

And I want to tell you, baby, with all the sweetness that we’ve tasted
And the healing hands of love’s sweet graces,
You made me forget my suitcases
Some day I’ll walk away from my suitcases

At Last

Tuning – Standard

Written by Harry Warren & Mack Gordon (EMI Feist Catalog Inc)

This Sanctuary

Tuning – CGDGBD

There is a place where he goes
When he does not know what to say
It is a million miles away to tell you the truth
I’ve done my time reading maps
Reading compasses and charts
But the way into a heart must be given to you

And I wondered could there be
Any place for me
In this sanctuary?

A tom-boy kid with cut-off jeans
Skipping rocks and climbing trees
Riding horses with skinned knees, looking up at him
Where is she now, that tom-boy kid
She is a cast-away of youth

She stands at the labyrinth of truth
And she’s waiting to go in

And I wondered could there be
Any place for me
In this sanctuary?

If I could lay down my fears
I just might find my way in here

There is a place where I go
When I don’t know what to say
It’s almost every single day to tell you the truth
You came along, you found me here
With my pencil and guitar

And you offered me a heart
And a love that is true

And I wondered could there be
Any place for me

In this sanctuary?

Our New Century

Tuning – EADGBD

We had such high hopes for our new century
But so much stays the same, it’s a broken-record symphony
History is just a girl we dance with until we tire of her honesty
Honestly

We will not sail away on our high hopes for this new century
We will not soar above the clouds where the air is too thin to breathe
We will not ride the thermals with the eagle pair above the trees
Oh the trees

Where have they gone, our high hopes for you and for me
What have we done to our new century

They are still killing in the name of god, killing in the name of anything and nothing
I see no blood on my hands, still it chips away at my humanity

To live in a world where righteousness is held up above all things,
Everything

Where have they gone, our high hopes for you and for me
What have we done to our new century
So beautiful, so beautiful and clean

Some say hope is never gone, hope is a river that keeps on flowing
And it can carry you along in your tiny boat without you ever knowing
One day you feel yourself move, and your innocence is showing

I feel myself move
I had such high hopes for our new century
But so much stays the same, it’s a broken-record symphony
History is just a girl you dance with until you tire of her honesty
Honestly

Strangest Angel

Tuning – CGCGCD

(for Chris Whitley)

The strangest angel whispered to me
Of distant shores I would never see
Flying above this other world
Capturing heaven in a muscled pearl

My strangest angel singing to me
Of vast horizons and big sky country
All hallelujahs and swirling smoke
A whiskey sunrise the day I woke

Please just say something if I took too much from you
This desert silence is burning me through

O howling engines and new machines
O bone and steel and dust I have seen
Because you brought them all to me
Brutally tender, your migrant wing

Please just say something if I took too much from you
This desert silence is burning me through

O strangest angel, I hear the sound
You fly in circles on the long way around
I saved for you this crystalline tear
To salt the wounds that have brought you here

My strangest angel,
Stranger-less angel,
Dangerous angel,
Fade into blue

Dangerous angel,
Stranger-less angel,
My strangest angel,
I sing for you

Funeral Day

Tuning – CGDGBD

We were laughing, it was funeral day
I guess it might seem strange that we’d behave that way
It was just our bodies craving levity,
My grief a heavy blanket weighing down on me
So we laughed until the sun went down
Trading stories, passing the bottle around
Recalling all the good times we had
It didn’t seem so sad

It all started at the parlor doors
Cousin Henry’s kid tripped on an extension chord
We busted out, what else could we do?
Hell, I knew that you were up there crackin’ up, too
So we laughed until the preacher came in
Then we settled down and we listened to him
Staring at your photograph

It didn’t seem so sad

Well we got some dirty looks from the old blue-hair crowd
But with all due respect, I think we did you proud
By laughing out loud

Some days I miss you, years have gone by
There’s a tiny hole in my heart but I can’t bear to cry
You brought me joy, joy to everyone
And it’s just a simple story, we’re here and then we’re gone

So I laugh remembering that day
How we carried on and how it washed our tears away
I’m smiling and I’m looking back
It doesn’t seem so sad

Handsome Sparrow

Tuning – DADGBD

It’s a bitter pill
For me to swallow
To know you’ll still
Be gone tomorrow
Right or wrong
These tears keep coming
But I will sing my song
Because it’s what you wanted

There’s a handsome sparrow outside my window
He can’t fly me back to yesterday
Handsome sparrow, I’ve got some sorrow
Can you sing your song of joy and show me the way

I’ll be a fool
I’ll be a martyr
If I could just see you
I would beg or barter
But there are no deals
No rules to follow
Just this bitter pill
I must learn to swallow

And a handsome sparrow outside my window
He can’t fly me back to yesterday
Handsome sparrow, I’ve got some sorrow
Can you sing your song of joy and show me the way

Handsome sparrow outside my window
You can’t fly me back to yesterday
Handsome sparrow, my heart is hollow
Can you sing your song of joy and show me the way

It’s a bitter pill
For me to swallow
But on my windowsill
A handsome sparrow

Here on the Ledge

Tuning – DADGBE

Here on the ledge
I’m dancing with these questions
Where you going next
From this point of intersection
And I know it’s time to go
But I feel so comfortable
Here on the ledge
Can I hear the voice of reason
I made my faithful pledge
But it changes with the seasons
Clarity has made a fool of me
Cause I feel so comfortable here
On the ledge
I tiptoe to the edge

Time was after me
It was off to the races
I was running aimlessly
Yeah she put me through the paces
And I will admit at the heart of it
I have been so comfortable when
Time was after me

She’s no ordinary rival
She’s rushing right past me
And I’m just moving for survival
Maybe I will learn to be still
But I have been so comfortable when
Time was after me
One step so I can see

My story is not really my story in the end
And I know no one can write it for me
So I do the best I can

Looking out from here
Every road seems a long one
Regret is just the fear
That you’ve been walking on the wrong one
It seemed far away but the future’s here to stay
I let that be some comfort to me
Looking out from here
Onto another year

My story is not really my story in the end
And I know no one can write it for me
So I’m picking up my pen
I’m picking up my pen

Clean Up

Tuning – Standard

Please, o please won’t you make the bed
How can you be so cute and so lazy
O those pretty hairs on your pretty head
They fall in my sink and drive me freakin’ crazy

O I love you and I promise to until the end of time
But clean up your shit, man, before I change my mind

I have dreamed of a home that we could share
But not of your dirty socks and underwear
And not of empty beer cans in my sink
How many freakin’ light beers can one man drink

O I love you and I promise to until the end of time
But clean up your shit, man, before I change my mind

Some things should remain sacred
I still like to see you naked
But not while you’re sitting on the toilet
Call me crazy but that kinda spoils it…

O I long for the days of mystery
When your bodily ways were unknown to me
You may think that some tasks are just too lowly
But take out the stinkin’ trash for the love of all that is good and holy

O I love you and I promise to until the end of time
But take out the trash, man, before I change my mind
Clean up your shit before I change my mind