Rich Chambers
Words and Music: Boyce & Hart

Story

When I was a small boy, I used to watch reruns of the Monkees TV show.  I loved the show and the songs.  I can even remember discovering an old record copy of the Beatles "A Hard Day's Night" that my mom had kicking around, and wondering who these guys were that were copying the Monkees (Yep, and I really thought the Monkees were playing their instruments on the show too ... how gullible is that? ;-)  My favourite of all the Monkees tunes was "Last Train to Clarksville."  I loved the song then, and I still love it now.  So I figured, "what the heck, I'll cover it."  It was a fun song to record.  I hope you like it.

Lyrics

 

Take the last train to Clarksville
And I'll meet you at the station
You can be there by four thirty
'Cause I made your reservation

Don't be slow, oh, no, no, no!
Oh, no, no, no!

'Cause I'm leavin' in the morning
And I must see you again
We'll have one more night together
'Til the morning brings my train

And I must go, oh, no, no, no!
Oh, no, no, no!
And I don't know if I'm ever coming home.

Take the last train to Clarksville
I'll be waiting at the station
We'll have time for coffee flavoured kisses
And a bit of conversation

Oh... Oh, no, no, no!
Oh, no, no, no!

Take the last train to Clarksville
Now I must hang up the phone
I can't hear you in this noisy railroad station all alone

I'm feelin' low. Oh, no, no, no!
Oh, no, no, no!
And I don't know if I'm ever coming home

Take the last train to Clarksville
Take the last train to Clarksville
Rich Chambers
Words and Music: Rich Chambers

Story

A few years ago I was in a country music competition at a fair in Washington State. I was scheduled to play my song "Plastic Love" with the house band and then I found out shortly before the competition that I had time to do 2 songs. I decided that I really wanted to do something with just my guitar and me but I really did not have any originals that stood up well with this kind of sparse instrumention.  So I set out to write a song that could work with just me and my guitar. The end result was "Sorry Isn't Good Enough." I didn't win at the fair with this song. Hmm... actually, I don't think I even placed in the first three ... and there were only 5 performers (Oops ;-).  Needless to say, I didn't do the acoustic version of this song for the album ;-)

Lyrics

 
 
 
 

 

You told me there’s nothing more I can say there’s nothing more I can do
I’ve done enough to push you away you’re fed up you’re tired and through
I never wanted to walk on out on you
But with so much wrong it was the only right thing to do
 
I know
Lord I know
Sorry isn’t good enough for what I’d done
 
I wish I could go back in time and change the things I’ve done
I know I’ve crossed love’s fine lines and things just can’t be undone
I never wanted to hurt our love this way
Words aren’t enough but still I need to say
 
I know
Lord I know
Sorry isn’t good enough for what I’d done
 
I know were all but done
It’s just so hard because I love you so
I have to face myself
And live with how I let it all go
 
I know
Lord I know
Sorry isn’t good enough for what I’d done
Rich Chambers
Words and Music: Bruce Springsteen

Story

I've always been a huge Springsteen fan, and from the very first time I heard this song, I couldn't help but think how cool it would sound done by an entire band.  But I was careful to keep it as "stripped down" as possible; hence, the instrumentation is simply bass, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, solo guitar, drums, and one vocal.  This was the first song from the album to be completed.  It was initially going to be part of a heavier rock album but then I started to record "Plastic Love" and somehow "Johnny 99" just seemed to fall in with "Plastic Love's" country tone and the entire album sprung from there.

Lyrics

 

Well they closed down the auto plant in Mahwah late last month
Ralph went out lookin' for a job but he couldn't find none
He came home too drunk from mixin'
Tanqueray and wine
He got a gun shot a night clerk now they call him Johnny 99
 
Down in the part of town where you hit a red light you don't stop
Johnny's wavin' his gun around and threatenin' to blow his top
When an off duty cop snuck up on him from behind
Out in front of the Club Tip Top they slapped the cuffs on Johnny 99
 
Well the city supplied a public defender but the judge was Mean John Brown
He came into the courtroom and stared poor Johnny down
Well the evidence is clear gonna let the sentence son fit the crime
Prison for 98 and a year and we'll call it even Johnny 99
 
A fistfight broke out in the courtroom they had to drag Johnny's girl away
His mama stood up and shouted "judge don't take my boy this way"
Well son you got a statement you'd like to make
Before the bailiff comes to forever take you away
 
Now judge judge I got debts no honest man could pay
The bank was holdin' my mortgage and they was takin' my house away
Now I ain't sayin' that makes me an innocent man
But it was more than this that put that gun in my hand
 
Well your honour I do believe I'd be better off dead
And if you can take a man's life for the thoughts that's in his head
Then won't you sit back in that chair and think it over judge one more time
And let 'em shave off my hair and put me on that execution line
Rich Chambers
Words and Music: Rich Chambers

Lyrics

Jenny you are my sunshine you mean so much to me
Jenny you’re all I want you’re all I need
The right words I can’t find them I just don’t know what to do
I need a special way to say I love you
 
Jenny there’s gotta be a better way
To show you how much more I love you each day
Let the sun shine down as I hear myself say
Jenny there’s gotta be a better way
 
I’d bring you lots of flowers wine and candy too
But none of that is good enough for you
Horoscopes won’t help me and psychics just won’t do
And Hallmark’s not the way I want to greet you
 
Jenny there’s gotta be a better way
To show you how much more I love you each day
Let the sun shine down as I hear myself say
Jenny there’s gotta be a better way
 
I love you Jenny and I need to tell you
But I don’t know what to say
This song is kind of silly but it’s how I feel
My love is here to stay
 
Jenny there’s gotta be a better way
To show you how much more I love you each day
Let the sun shine down as I hear myself say
Jenny there’s gotta be a better way
Rich Chambers
Words & Music: Rich Chambers

Story

This is where the whole album started.  I've had this song sitting in the "back pages" of my original repertoire for quite sometime.  I've always really liked it but never had much opporutnity to perform it; hence, it always kind of sat on the "back shelf."  When I started recording and mixing my own music a few years ago I decided I would start with a basic country tune with limited instrumentation (I figured it would be best learning how to mix and record with a fairly basic tune), which gave me the perfect opportunity to dig "Plastic Love" out of the closet and dust it off.  From there, I just kept adding songs that were predominantly "acoustic based" and similar to "Plastic Love" in regards to basic instrumentation.  From out of this philosophy came the album "Last Train to Clarksville."

Lyrics

 

There goes my card again
You signed away my heart again
I just can’t seem to mend this tattered love
There goes my card again
You charged up my heart again
I can’t remember when we fell into plastic love
 
I still remember when I lost my heart again
How you looked at me with loving eyes
I fell in love with you; you said you loved me too
But all you really saw were those dollar signs
 
There goes my card again
You signed away my heart again
I just can’t seem to mend this tattered love
There goes my card again
You charged up my heart again
I can’t remember when we fell into plastic love
 
I bought you everything including a wedding ring
You said you loved me so for all time
But then you went and saw your attorney at law
You said tell me where to sign because half is mine
 
There goes my card again
You signed away my heart again
I just can’t seem to mend this tattered love
There goes my card again
You charged up my heart again
I can’t remember when we fell into plastic love
Rich Chambers
Words and Music: Rich Chambers

Lyrics

I’m gonna be A-L-O-N-E now
I’m gonna be A-L-O-N-E now
I’m gonna start C-R-Ying
That’s when all my tears come flying
I’m gonna be A-L-O-N-E now
 
I thought it would all turn around when I met you
You were the one that I would hold on to
You said you loved me so then you told me you had to go
Again I’m left standing on my own
 
I’m gonna be A-L-O-N-E now
I’m gonna be A-L-O-N-E now
I’m gonna start C-R-Ying
That’s when all my tears come flying
I’m gonna be A-L-O-N-E now
 
Everyone I date always leaves me
There is no line I have not heard
The game of love it hurts I should let it be
Then I turn and find that look from a woman’s eye
I’ll just try one more time you think I’d learn
 
I tried everything to forget about you
I told everyone that we were through
Soon you were all but gone it didn’t really take that long
I’ve done this so many times I knew what to do
 
I’m gonna be A-L-O-N-E now
I’m gonna be A-L-O-N-E now
I’m gonna start C-R-Ying
That’s when all my tears come flying
I’m gonna be A-L-O-N-E now
Rich Chambers
Words and Music: Rich Chambers

Lyrics

When I was just a boy I met a strange man
He kissed me on the cheek he shook my mom’s hand
I asked her all about it who was that smiling guy
She said he’s just a leach dressed up in a tie
 
Now that I have grown up to be a man
I follow all the news read everything at hand
Gettin’ all my parties straight there’s going to be a fight
I’m going home to Mom’s for dinner Sunday night
 
Sister leans left Brother falls right
Mamma’s in the middle she knows how to fight
Papa’s drinking beer says we’re too uptight
Politics and family we’re staying up all night
 
Every single week it’s always the same
We get a little crazy a little bit insane
Shouting out our point of views we never eat dessert
And Grandma’s baked it special and she’s just a little hurt
 
Sister leans left Brother falls right
Mamma’s in the middle she knows how to fight
Papa’s drinking beer says we’re too uptight
Politics and family we’re staying up all night
 
Communism, Capitalism, Socialism, Fascism,
Anarchism, Conservatism, Separatism, Federalism
Liberalism, Radicalism, Cannibalism, Star Trekism
Ah, too many “isms”
 
Sister leans left Brother falls right
Mamma’s in the middle she knows how to fight
Papa’s drinking beer says we’re too uptight
Politics and family we’re staying up all night
 
Politics and family
Politics and family
Politics and family
 
Politics and family we ain’t going to bed tonight
Rich Chambers
2008-02-22
Words and Music: W.Guthrie

Lyrics

Have you heard of the ship called the good Reuben James? Run by hard fighting men, of both honour and of fame, She flew the Stars and Stripes of the Land of the Free, But tonight she's in her grave at the bottom of the sea. Oh tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names? Did you have a friend on the good Rueben James? Oh tell me what were their names? Tell me what were their names? Did you have a friend on the good Rueben James? One hundred men went down to their dark and watery grave, When that good ship went down, only forty-four were saved. On the last day of October, they saved forty-four, From the dark icy waters of that cold Iceland shore. Oh tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names? Did you have a friend on the good Rueben James? Oh tell me what were their names? Tell me what were their names? Did you have a friend on the good Rueben James? It was there in the dark on that cold and watery night, They watched for the U-Boat and they waited for a fight, Then a whine and a rock and a great explosion roared, They laid the Reuben James on the cold ocean floor. Oh tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names? Did you have a friend on the good Rueben James? Oh tell me what were their names? Tell me what were their names? Did you have a friend on the good Rueben James? Many years have passed since those brave men are gone, Those cold icy waters, they're still and they're calm, Many years have passed, and still I wonder why, The worst of men must fight and the best of men must die. Oh tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names? Did you have a friend on the good Rueben James? Oh tell me what were their names? Tell me what were their names? Did you have a friend on the good Rueben James?
Rich Chambers
Lyrics: Traditional & Chambers - Music: Chambers

Story

When I was an undergraduate student at university, I had a part-time job in the university library.  One of the things I loved to do on the job was to sneak into far off corners and peruse through old and forgotten books. One day I stumbled across an old book of 19th century Canadian folk poetry and music.  The book was published in the early 20th century and was filled with old gems that I had never heard of or seen before.  One such gem was a folk song called "the Battle of Queenston Heights," which depicted the Oct 13, 1812 battle from the War of 1812 in which the British General  Isaac Brock was able to defend an invasion of Canada by a far superior numbered American force.  Brock lost his life in the battle and thus became the perfect subject matter for iconic folklore, to which this song grew out of.  But the song I read in that book that day was only lyrics. The music had been lost and the lyrics themselves had no known author.  I took those lyrics and used them in the verses of my song. I wrote my own lyrics for the choruses and put it all to my own music.  This work is by far one of the songs I am most proud of.  I feel that I have been able to preserve a little piece of Canadian history with this song. 

 

 

Lyrics

Upon the heights of Queenston one dark October day
Invading forces marshalled in battle’s dead array
Brave Brock looked up the rugged steep and planned a bold attack
No foreign flag shall float said he above the union jack
 
His loyal hearted soldiers were ready every one
Their foes were thrice their number but duty must be done
They started up the fire swept hill with loud resounding cheers
Brock’s inspiring voice rang out push on brave volunteers
 
Yo Ho Canadians we held our ground with pride
From Secord’s stroll to Voltigeurs to Tecumseh’s mighty cry
Yo Ho Canadians we burned that house to white
Born into a nation’s cheer at the Battle of Queenston Heights
 
But soon a fatal bullet pierced through his manly breast
And loving friends to help him around that hero pressed
Push on he said don’t mind me and air the setting sun
Canadians held the rugged steep the victory was won
 
Each true Canadian soldier laments the death of Brock
His country told its sorrow in monumental rock
And if a foe should ever invade our land in future years
His dying words will guide us still push on brave volunteers
 
Yo Ho Canadians we held our ground with pride
From Secord’s stroll to Voltigeurs to Tecumseh’s mighty cry
Yo Ho Canadians we burned that house to white
Born into a nation’s cheer at the Battle of Queenston Heights
Rich Chambers
Words and Music: Rich Chambers

Lyrics

The stars were out and the moon was bright as I looked across the grounds
I saw a bright lit ferris wheel and a crowd was gathering around
They loosely held their tickets waiting for a ride
They laughed joked loved each other they were caught up in the night
Time unlocks the cage for everyone
When the ferris wheel rolls on and on
 
It’s the fair the county fair of our youth
 
I saw two lovers holding hands as they sat off to the side
There were kids on midway games hoping to win a prize
I heard some people singing songs with a karaoke smile
Pressure had no ticket so it was left in the car for a while
Time unlocks the cage for everyone
When the ferris wheel rolls on and on
 
It’s the fair the county fair of our youth
 
Time roll on and the sun comes up the fair finally goes to bed
It lays asleep for another year resting a hopeful head
It leaves a seed of happiness for the old and young to call
The fair it never ages as it reaches through us all
Time unlocks the cage for everyone
When the ferris wheels rolls on and on
 
It’s the fair the county fair of our youth
Rich Chambers
Words and Music: Rich Chambers

Lyrics

Denny the dino was a real cool guy
Denny the dino was as tall as the sky
Denny the dino ate leaves up high
Denny the dino lived before our time
 
He was green and big and tall
With a neck as long as a shopping mall
Had a smile for everyone
Even the t-rex that scared his mom
 
Denny the dino was a real cool guy
Denny the dino was as tall as the sky
Denny the dino ate leaves up high
Denny the dino lived before our time
 
Denny he liked to play
With a stegosaurus whose name was Ray
When the pterodactyl flew on by
Denny and Ray would jump and wave hi
 
Denny the dino was a real cool guy
Denny the dino was as tall as the sky
Denny the dino ate leaves up high
Denny the dino lived before our time
 
He roamed ate played and sang all day
When the other dinos greeted him he’d say
 
My name is Denny and I’m a Brontosaurus
 
Denny the dino was a real cool guy
Denny the dino was as tall as the sky (I was 82 feet long)
Denny the dino ate leaves up high
Denny the dino lived before our time (I lived in the Jurassic period)
He lived before our time (that was 150 million years ago)
He lived before our time
Rich Chambers
Words and Music: Rich Chambers

Story

I wrote this song in 1994 while I was on a 40 minute jog. I started humming the chorus in the first kilometre of the run and by the end of the 40 minutes I had the chorus, verses, and all the lyrics in my head. It is pretty cool when songs come like this one did. (I am still not sure why the heck I was thinking about Christmas songs during that particular jog . . . it happened to be mid July) This version is a remake of the original 1994 version. I have always felt I could do the song better. I changed the key and sped it up from the original. It is paired with "Denny the Dino" to form the KID'S CORNER on the LAST TRAIN TO CLARKSVILLE album to be released in January 2008.

Lyrics

 

Let me tell you the true story of how rock n’ roll began
Way back in 1950 before it swept the land
It was Christmas Eve and all was still when I heard a faint sound
It came from way up north it was a band really gettin’ down
 
Rudolph was the drummer Santa clapped his hands
The elves sang loud while they played guitar it was a rockin’ Christmas band
Frosty was the bassman played so hot he melts his hands
Mrs. Claus on the tambourine they were Santa’s Rockin’ Band
 
Santa Claus decided it was time to spread some fun
So he hitched up all the reindeer for one more special run
He filled the stockings of Chuck and Buddy and little Elvis too
With rock n’ roll from the North Pole they’d know what to do
 
Rudolph was the drummer Santa clapped his hands
The elves sang loud while they played guitar it was a rockin’ Christmas band
Frosty was the bassman played so hot he melts his hands
Mrs. Claus on the tambourine they were Santa’s Rockin’ Band
 
Rock n’ roll may change but Santa’s band remains
And every Christmas Eve they still rock hard
So hard
‘Cause they believe in Christmas Eve
 
Rudolph was the drummer Santa clapped his hands
The elves sang loud while they played guitar it was a rockin’ Christmas band
Frosty was the bassman played so hot he melts his hands
Mrs. Claus on the tambourine they were Santa’s Rockin’ Band