A Small Song

Song Notes

TK/George M. Green
©1989

–Anybody who knows me knows that it would be quite unlike me to cold-call a publisher and ask for an introduction to a hit writer… but that’s what I did once it came to me that I needed to write with George Green.

George had written lyrics to some of John Mellencamp’s best songs. I especially loved–Rain on the Scarecrow–so I knew his work well. He was (and is) a real poet.

When we met at his publisher’s office he was hard to read, and I thought he was unimpressed with me, but he called later to say he had an unfinished lyric that might be right for me. I added a few lines, and it found its groove and melody.

The song is so hard-edged, so dark, but I don’t think it’s a tragic story. "They say a fool is a good man inspired by lies." Ain’t that just the truth?

This is a small song, just a roll of the dice
They say a fool is a good man inspired by lies
Had a lot of big plans, they’ve been cut down to size

I was a schoolboy in a room so small
My teacher was a giant, she was six feet tall
Had just one thing hanging on the wall
It was a picture of justice with the blindfold and all

This is a small song, but it’s the way I feel
It’s just a small wound but it does not heal
There’s a place by the river where they wash away sin
And sing a small song ‘bout a man I might have been

I met her at a party, it was Christmas Eve
She was just eighteen, I was home on leave
And we danced ‘til midnight, but it must have been a dream
Cause I woke up in the jungle with a rifle on my knee

This is a small song, but it’s the way I feel
It’s just a small wound but it does not heal
There’s a place by the river where they wash away sin
And sing a small song ‘bout a love I might have been

It’s just a small stream, really, but I slipped right in
And I gave up something I could not defend for long

This is a small song, it’s hard to understand
How so much harm came from such small hands
Still I wish you well, I’ve done the best I can
To find a dream buried in the Promised Land

This is a small song, but it’s the way I feel
It’s just a small wound but it does not heal
There’s a place by the river where they wash away sin
And sing a small song ‘bout a man I might have been

This is a small song, but it’s big enough
To keep a slow dance going when the lights come up
And when the waves break and you can breathe again
You hear a small song
A small song

words & music: Tom Kimmel & George M. Green
©1989 The Night Rainbow Music/Morrissette Music (admin. by HoriPro Entertainment Group, Inc.)/WB Music Corp./Katsback Music (ASCAP)

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