RETURN TO PARADISE

LYRICS
(TAKEN VERBATIM FROM THE ORIGINAL LYRIC SHEET)
SIDE ONESIDE TWO
Starlings Strong Hand Of Love
Stand Like Steel Christmas At Denny's
I Don't Ever Want To Live Without You Love Tells No Lies
Friend Of Old Weight Of The Sky
You Can Still Walk Tall Ready To Go
True Blood  



STARLINGS

Riding with my family in a '58 Buick
I can still recall
How we'd drive through the valley
To my Grandmother's house
Every summer vacation
When I was small
And I'd gaze out the window
At the farms and the orchards
And the sound of our motor
Would frighten the starlings
And they'd rise from the fields to fly

My mother would grumble
"Those birds are a curse
They're a thorn in the farmers" side
But I couldn't help feeling sad and inspired
By their desperate ballet in the sky

Chorus
Say a prayer for the starlings
A hot, dry wind beats their ragged wings
Have a thought for the starlings
No one ever listens to the songs they sing
Say a prayer for the starlings
There's no welcome for them anywhere
Leave some crumbs for the starlings
They say that Winter will be cold this year

She was sitting on a curb by the Seven Eleven®
She asked if I had some spare change
Her skin wore that leathered and windburned look
And the light in her blue eyes was wild and strange
I sat down beside her and asked her her name
She said, "pick one you like, I need something to eat"
And her life made me think
Of the dead leaves in Autumn
Drifting like ghosts down the street

Is the life that we celebrate only a dream
A lie that we serve like a god made of stone
And our hearts are the hunter
Birds with no nesting place
Weary and aching for home

Chorus

Written By Randy Stonehill
© 1989 Stonehillian Music/Word Music (a div. of Word, Inc.)/ASCAP



STAND LIKE STEEL

Martin Luther King in Alabama
Faced a howling mob with just a Bible in his hand
He could hear the distant thunder
He knew his days were numbered
But he believed in freedom
And so he never ran

Chorus
He said
You've got to stand
Stand like steel
And carry your cross through the fire
That's part of the deal
You've got to stand
Stand like steel
Nobody ever promised a garden of roses
Nobody gets to heaven without a fight
That's right
Stand like steel

A South African named Stephen Biko
Spoke against Apartheid
And the tyrants in his land
They locked him up to their own disgrace
But he told the truth as they slapped his face
He said, "You can take my life
But there'll be someone to take my place"

Chorus

Now we all must fight our private battles
To tear away this darkness
That enslaves us from our birth
It takes more than guts
To be strong enough
It's an act of faith in the power of love
And we dare not talk of freedom
Until we're free from our own curse

Chorus

Written By Randy Stonehill
© 1989 Stonehillian Music/Word Music (a div. of Word, Inc.)/ASCAP



I DON'T EVER WANT TO LIVE WITHOUT
YOU

It's a blessing in my life
It's a lesson I have learned
Standing naked in this blinding light
Where there's no such thing
As too young to die
And there's no such thing as
Too old to cry

Chorus
I don't ever want to live without you
I don't ever want to lose your touch
I don't ever want to live without you
I could never stand to lose that much
I don't ever want to live without you
I don't ever want to lose your touch
I don't ever want to live without you
I could never stand to lose that much

Still you know the man in me
All the inconsistencies
You manage to love me anyway
And everybody feels the same desire
Moving closer to the fire
Everybody needs this warmth to stay alive

Chorus

If it was all left up to me
I shudder at the thought
Of who or what I'd be
I'd be so alone
So alone

Everybody feels the same desire
Moving closer to the fire
Everybody needs this warmth to stay alive

Chorus

Written By Pierce Pettis
© 1988 Let's Have Lunch Music/ASCAP



THIS FRIEND OF OLD

There you go
On the way to meet your fortune and your dreams
Down a road
That is often not the highway that it seems

Chorus
Well I've been down that road and back again
I had the grandest dreams on the way
But if you find somehow
When the hours have run
That your hour to shine has come and gone
Then you'll know what friends are for
And you know I always keep an open door
This friend of old will one day be your friend
Once more

You are strong
With a youthful power that will not always be
So move along
Reach as high above the stars as you can see

But if those stars don't shine on your castles there
And if your grandest dreams start to fade
And if you find somehow
When the hours have run
That your hour to shine has come and gone
Then you'll know what friends are for
And you know I always keep an open door
This friend of old will one day be your friend
Once more

Chorus

Written By David Edwards
© 1988 Pease Farm Produce/ASCAP



YOU CAN STILL WALK TALL

I know you're hurting
Baby what can I say
Can the pot say to the potter
Why did you make me this way
And when the pain drives you down to your knees
And you cry out for help in the darkness
That's the safest place you can be

Chorus
Hey baby
Baby you can still walk tall
You just move a little slower now that's all
Slow enough to notice the beautiful and small
Baby you can't run anymore
But you can still walk tall

The doctors say
There's nothing more they can do
Yeah but just 'cause they're closing the book
That don't mean the story is through
A wise man once told me
When your road's at an end
You just hang on to hope anyway
And that's where a new road begins

Chorus

I don't believe this life is for nothing
And not a moment escapes the good Lord's eyes
This world tries to tell you there's no answer
But if true love is real
That must be a lie
That must be a lie

I am your friend
I know that's understood
And if we could trade places right now
Baby you know that I would
Life can be hard
And the future's unknown
But our saving grace is the promise
You don't have to face it alone

Hey baby
Baby you can still walk tall
You just move a little slower now that's all
And in your humbled silence
You'll hear your Father call
Baby you can't run anymore
But you'll dance again someday for sure
Baby you can't run anymore
but you can still walk tall
You can still walk tall
You can still walk tall
Baby you can still walk tall

Written By Randy Stonehill
© 1989 Stonehillian Music/Word Music (a div. of Word, Inc.)/ASCAP



TRUE BLOOD

I catch the scent in the morning air
Like sweet perfume from a holy garden
I feel the warmth of a love so rare
It finds no wrong too great to pardon

Chorus
Oh true blood
Spring of life from an endless river
Oh true blood
The perfect gift of a soul delivered
I'll remember
I will wait for You
For only Your heart is rue
Only Your heart is rue

I find You there in my daughter's eyes
A distant light like the dawn of Eden
Her childish joy so pure and wise
Recalls to me my spirit's freedom

Chorus

And when my heart's a barren altar
And shadows hide You from my view
Your hand of mercy never falters
It always pulls me back to You

Chorus

Written By Randy Stonehill
© 1989 Stonehillian Music/Word Music (a div. of Word, Inc.)/ASCAP



STRONG HAND OF LOVE

Down peppers the rain from a clear blue sky
Down trickles a tear on a youthful face
Feeling in haste and wondering why
Up struggles the sun from a wounded night
Out venture our hearts from their silent shrouds
Trying to ignite but wondering how

Chorus
We can laugh and we can cry
And never see the strong hand of love
Hidden in the shadows
We can dance and we can sigh
And never see the strong hand of love
Hidden in the shadows

Young dreamers explode like popped balloons
Some kind of emotional rodeo
Learning too slow and acting too soon
Time marches away like a lost platoon
We gracefully age as we feel the weight
Of loving too late and leaving too soon

Chorus

Written By Mark Heard
© 1989 Ideola Music/ASCAP



CHRISTMAS AT
DENNY'S®

They got Christmas Muzak®
Piped in through the ceiling
And the refills of coffee
Are always for free
And the waitress on graveyard
And the surly night manager
Are wishing that all of us losers would leave

There’s a star on the sign
At the Texaco® Station
Like the star long ago
On that midnight clear
As I look all around
At these cold, empty faces
I doubt that you'd find many wise men here

And I'm dreaming about
A silent night
Holy Night 
When things were alright
And I'm dreaming about
How my life could have been
If only, if only, if only
But somewhere down the road
I gave up that fight
Merry Christmas
It's Christmas at Denny's tonight

Once I had a home
And a wife and a daughter
Had a company job
Earning middle-class pay
Then Lisa got killed
By a car near the schoolyard
And my wife started drinking
Just to get through each day
I will never forget
That little red wagon
Turning to rust
All alone in the rain
One morning I flagged down
A truck on the highway
I just couldn't bear
To go back there again

And I'm dreaming about
A silent night
Holy night
When things were alright
And I'm dreaming about
How my life could have been
If only, if only, if only
Well, it's not just the blind man
Who loses his sight
Merry Christmas
It's Christmas at Denny's tonight

They say
Life's made of cruel circumstance
Fate plays the tune and we dance
Dance til we drop
In the dust and we're gone
And the world just goes on

The cop at the counter
He's the guardian angel
He watches these orphans
Through dark mirrored shades
And the register rings
Like a bell sadly tolling
For the fools we've become
And the price that we paid
Oh when I was a boy
I believed in Christmas
Miracle season
To make a new start
I don't need no miracle
Sweet baby Jesus
Just help me find
Some kind of hope in my heart

And I'm dreaming about
A silent night
Holy night
When things were alright
And I'm dreaming about
How my life could have been
If only, if only, if only
But I'll still be here
At the morning's first light
Merry Christmas
It's Christmas at Denny's tonight
Merry Christmas
It's Christmas at Denny's tonight

Written By Randy Stonehill
© 1989 Stonehillian Music/Word Music (a div. of Word, Inc.)/ASCAP



LOVE TELLS NO LIES

The wind is in the trees
The sun is rising
Feel it warm upon your face
And everywhere you turn
There's life in motion
Like a heartbeat you can trace
Now don't imagine that it's only chance
That has brought you to this place

Chorus
Love tells no lies
Right before your eyes
Like rain from heaven it comes falling
Love tells no lies
And if you are wise
You'll come when love is calling

The sky's a brilliant blue
The clouds are sailing
Like a ship that's coming in
A world beyond your fears
Is at your window
Just like a long-lost friend
Take the narrow road that leads you there
It doesn't matter where you've been

Chorus

We wander through our days
Like strangers in some play
Never sure of where we stand
But voices in our dreams
Whisper better things
It's true
Like a heart made new
And it's there in the good Lord's hands

Chorus

Written By Randy Stonehill
© 1989 Stonehillian Music/Word Music (a div. of Word, Inc.)/ASCAP



WEIGHT OF THE SKY

Michael was funny
He was charming and wild
In my high school days
He was the king of the street
Rode his Harley down Blossom Hill Road
And his life was over in a heartbeat

Chorus
Not me
I think I'm gonna stick around
I've just got to find out how this movie ends
And as I stumble through the mystery of this life
I'm gonna keep on trying
To find a friend

Danny was an actor
He was quick and he was good
But his eyes betrayed a sadness that troubled me
One night they found his empty car down on the beach
He'd just taken off his clothes and walked into the sea

Chorus

Lost and drifting
On the river of longing
Bowed and bloody from the weight of the sky
Longing to call out for someone's forgiveness
But we're not sure who or why
Maybe we're frightened
Like children in the darkness
Chasing shadows in the strangest dream
Sometimes living feels harder than dying
Sometimes it feels like we're trapped in between
In between

Mickey was so beautiful
And gentle and kind
The last time I saw her I almost cried
She'd married a sailor who liked to use his fists
She could bandage all the cuts
But she was dead inside

Chorus

Written By Randy Stonehill
© 1988 Stonehillian Music/Word Music (a div. of Word, Inc.)/ASCAP



READY TO GO

Some people say that faith
Is just the dream of desperate men
I shake my head and say
This life's too short to play pretend
I know that Jesus called my name
He brought my heart to life again
You can read the look upon my face
And see my sights are set 
On a far, far better place

Chorus
Oh get ready to go
When the trumpet blows from the eastern sky
Oh get ready to go
When they open the door to paradise
That's right, that's right
Don't forget your destiny
Sing the song
Carry on
Know the best is yet to be

Some people say that love
Will leave you lonely in the end
I felt like that before
I finally found a faithful friend
Heaven works its holy plan
By the mighty power of an unseen hand
There's a shining home for you and me
And we're just reaching out
To the One who holds the key

Chorus

Leave your burdens at the door
You won't need them any more
The Father's promise will not fail
Leave your tears
Leave your fears
And don't you bother to forward your mail

Chorus

Some people say that hope
Is really just a fleeting thing
Because they've never known
The hope that only God can bring
This might sound too good to be true
Just the way that miracles often do
Amazing grace is close at hand
And this song can't change your life
But I know that Jesus can

Chorus

Written By Randy Stonehill
© 1989 Stonehillian Music/Word Music (a div. of Word, Inc.)/ASCAP


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