Lyric Contest Winners: January/February 2018

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Congratulations to our January/February 2018 Lyric Contest winners listed below. Click here to enter the March/April 2018 Lyric Contest.

1st Place
“Every Drink Tells A Story (For Merle)”
Gary Hale
Fogelsville, PA

Every drink tells a story
Every sip writes a line
You tell it your way 
I’ll tell it mine
We all have a story
We all have a drink
And we all have a headful of memories to drown
So we don’t think

On the honky tonk highway
Where the neon lights shine
Follow the teardrops
And you’re gonna find
All the poets and prophets
The old broken hearts
The sad army of faces
That gather each night in this bar

Some sit at the tables
Some walk the floor
Some fight the good fight
Some don’t care anymore
A bottle of whiskey
A pitcher of beer
A jukebox with sad songs
That’s all we need here

Every drink tells a story
Every sip writes a line
You tell it your way
I’ll tell it mine
We all have a story
We all have a drink
And we all have a headful of memories to drown
So we don’t think

Like a broken down Shakespeare
Who lives in the past
I’ve got these four walls
A bottle and glass
I’ve got a home here
And it suits me just fine
Don’t have to do nothin’
‘Cept live out my time

Every drink tells a story
Every sip writes a line
You tell it your way
I’ll tell it mine
We all have a story
We all have a drink
And we all have a headful of memories to drown
So we don’t think

2nd Place
“Shouldn’t I Be?”
Sarah Kervin
New York, NY

I won’t mind the scars, and I will bear the pain
Cause I’ve been there before, never seems to change
And I can take the tears, but they never came
Like a cloudy sky, that never seems to rain

Shouldn’t I be broken? Shouldn’t I be aching?
Was I just pretending? Was my heart never taken?
Shouldn’t I be crying and drinking and second-thinking?
And dying and shouting and each day doubting
And putting it all on the line
But if there was nothing real,
Then there is no break to heal
So shouldn’t I be fine?

I’ll cry myself to sleep, I’ll never speak your name
If my heart could agree
It’s worth the cost to stay
But I’m locked in this charade
Only blind enough to see
The ripple on the surface that hides what’s underneath

Shouldn’t I be broken? Shouldn’t I be aching?
Was I just pretending? Was my heart never taken?
Shouldn’t I be crying and drinking and second-thinking?
And dying and shouting and each day doubting
And putting it all on the line
But if there was nothing real,
Then there is no break to heal
So shouldn’t I be fine?

I dont’t wanna be just fine
Love should draw a battle line
I don’t wanna be just fine
Love should draw a battle line

I dont’t wanna be just fine
Love should draw a battle line
I don’t wanna be just fine
Love should draw a battle line

So break me down
And make me cry
Just make me feel like
I’m alive
Move the safety net and defy

‘Cause if you’re not scared
Then you’re not taking chances
And if you’re not taking chances
Then what are you doing with this life?

Take a step back and redefine
I don’t wanna be just fine
But shouldn’t I be fine?

3rd Place
“Dumb As Dirt and Slick as Oil (Coal Oil Johnny’s Lament”
Rand Hubiak
Franklin, PA

All this wealth, it drips from me
And all this time, it slips from me
Go on: Tell me ’bout profligacy
Like I’d ever give a damn

An orphan and a hillbilly
Tis fortune bent her will to me…
That derrick, it did spill from me
Tis crude the riches ran

The black gold sheen and all that green, 
Slipperiest thing I ever seen

Dumb as dirt and slick as oil,
Damn these greenbacks in my shirt —
(Dumb as dirt and slick as oil)
How they make my coat sleeves hurt
I’ll throw ’em at the teller
And not return until I’m returned unto the soil,
Cuz I’m dumb as dirt and slick as oil

What the hell d’ya mean, ‘Don’t know my name!”?
This here’s a gold watch come from Spain
See to my mare drink but champagne
Close the doors; we’ll have a night!

I was born of steel but made of pitch
Us common folk don’t know from rich
But Fortune, she can be a bitch
Come the wheel, you’d best hold tight

The black gold sheen and all that green,
Slipperiest thing I ever seen

Dumb as dirt and slick as oil,
Damn these greenbacks in my shirt —
(Dumb as dirt and slick as oil)
How they make my coat sleeves hurt
I’ll throw ’em at the teller
And not return until I’m returned unto the soil,
Cuz I’m dumb as dirt and slick as oil

Now, much of what’s attributed to me’s apocryphal mythology,
But spend-thrift was my tendency that I am but the Fool’s King Bee
The fabric of my history’s half-wove of others’ recklessly
Committed acts, but now I see that catalog’s formality
Given my foregone finale

These diamonds on my fingers, from coal they once did come
To buy me coal they will return when through my dumb luck I have run
John Barleycorn’s kiss lingers upon the stench of my cold breath
No gloves upon my fingers; They feel the pinch of my death
And Sweet Irene, I did forsake you when the money drove me mad
Likewise our little Johnny, who never knew his dad

The black gold sheen and all that green,
Slipperiest thing I ever seen

Dumb as dirt and slick as oil,
Damn these greenbacks in my shirt —
(Dumb as dirt and slick as oil)
How they make my coat sleeves hurt
I’ll throw ’em at the teller
And not return until I’m returned unto the soil,
Cuz I’m dumb as dirt and slick as oil

Spend your days riding the rails, pay it back in sweat and toil
I’m penniless; I’m dumb as dirt and slick as oil!

4th Place
“The Gift of a Song”
Ynana Rose
San Luis Obispo, CA

Charlottle sits in a wheelchair by the door
Following the sun as it moves across the floor
When I play, her blue eyes come alive
She sings in perfect harmony, much to her surprise

When it’s time for me to leave, she takes my hand
I ask about the golden ring on her thumb fit for a man
She gets a faraway look in her eyes
“This is the wedding band of the only man I loved in my life”

“Henry Jackson was my man, we had 20 years together
I see him every day but her never grows old
He sang ‘Amazing Grace’ in the sweetest tenor
I swear it feels like yesterday, but it was 40 years ago.”

Lately Charlotte’s sleeping more and more
Her head hangs low, she just stares at the floor
But she smiles when she hears my guitar strings
And says, “Play me something old time so I can hear my Henry sing.”

“Henry Jackson was my man, we had 20 years together
I see him every day but he never grows old

Honorable Mention

“They Opened Fire”
Emina Dedic
Acworth, GA

“Old Time Hymn”
Matthew Soileau
Spring, TX

“Love Better Tomorrow”
Matthew Soileau
Spring, TX

“That Needle”
Jeremy Chirpas
Lewis Center, OH

“Chasin’ Shade”
Jamie Trent
Evington, VA

“Zombie”
Frank Renfordt
Hagen, Germany

“Then I Met Jesus”
Gretchen Keskeys
Sacramento, CA

“Drunk On Love”
Erin Chase
Newton, MA

“Always”
Beni Thomas
Mednon, UT

“I’ll Miss Love”
Joe Colavito
Ringwood, NJ

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