Saturday, June 14, 2008

Advice: Read Between The Lines and Come From The Heart

If I was going to leave behind a mixed tape of advice songs for my kids, these would be the first two songs. Both are chock full of great advice:

Steve Goodman: Between The Lines [purchase]

The day you’re born they sign a piece of paper
That will certify the date of your birth
And the day you die they sign another
Just to prove you’ve gone back to the Earth

Between those two pieces of paper
There is the truth that is so hard to find
The story of your life is written
But you must read in between the lines

When you're young you think it don’t matter
If you leap before you look
But those old folks are wiser and sadder
From the chances that they took

Now when your chance comes along you must take it
Just be careful and take your time
And the chances are good you will make
If you can read in between the lines…

When someone tells you they “love you”
And “no one has ever loved you more”
It is wise to stop and consider
How many times they might have said that before

Because when love leaves you crying
Then you will surely lose your mind
And you might have known love was lying
If you could read in between the lines

Guy Clark: Come From The Heart [purchase]
When I was a young man my daddy told me
A lesson he learned, it was a long time ago
If you want to have someone to hold onto
You're gonna have to learn to let go

You got to sing like you don't need the money
Love like you'll never get hurt
You got to dance like nobody's watchin'
It's gotta come from the heart if you want it to work

Now here is the one thing that I keep forgetting
When everything is falling apart
In life as in love, what I need to remember
There's such a thing as trying too hard


Matt said...

Those are both great songs, offering wonderful life lessongs. Thanks!

Matt said...

Err.. 'lessons'!
(although lessongs is kind of an appropriate misspell!)

Clay Eals said...

Good to see your post quoting "Between the Lines" by Steve Goodman. He often doesn't get his due. You might be interested in my 800-page biography, "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music." The book delves deeply into the genesis of Goodman's more than 100 songs, including "Between the Lines," which is one of the best lesser-known Goodman efforts.

You can find out more at my Internet site (below). Amazingly, the book's first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now. The second printing includes hundreds of little updates and additions, including 30 more photos for a total of 575. It just won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography: To order a second-printing copy, see the "online store" page of my site. Just trying to spread word about the book. Feel free to do the same!

Clay Eals
1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
Seattle, WA 98116-1958

(206) 935-7515
(206) 484-8008

boyhowdy said...

Hmm. Seems like I got the same exact comment when I posted a Steve Goodman song on my own blog. Wonder if Mr. Eals uses Google Alerts to catch and spam every mention of Goodman that pops up on the web? Wonder if this approach actually sells books?

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm? You know, I've seen this comment a few times myself. He does personalize them a bit. Notice the specific reference to the song in question. Anyway, you gotta do what ya gotta do...

And I know one guy who bought the book.... Me.

It's an impressive tome containing everything you could ever want to know about Steve Goodman and then some. It's really quite amazing how much information the book contains. But its well-written and full of interesting anecdotes.

Clay Eals said...

Thought I should answer a few questions. Yes, I keep track of "Steve Goodman" references with Google Alerts. It's a great tool for a variety of purposes, and I recommend it to anyone.

I do hope that my messages aren't considered spam, however. My understanding is that spam consists of messages to random thousands (millions) that don't pertain to anything under discussion. I do try to tailor my messages to a particular topic, and my intent is to reach people who are aware of Goodman but may be unaware of the book. Sales are nice, but the book was never about making money (if it had been, I could never have started it nine years ago), and I'm also happy if people find the book at the library. Mainly, I'm trying to connect the book with its audience, and it's great to see the warm and positive responses from those who are grateful to find out that such a book exists.

Paul, thanks for your kind words about the book. Music to my ears, of course.


Clay Eals
1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
Seattle, WA 98116-1958

(206) 935-7515
(206) 484-8008

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's OK by me. I'm truly impressed by the product of your efforts and I'm sure Steve would be too.

boyhowdy said...

No offense intended, folks -- I use the term spam pretty loosely.

Clay, I'm looking at a job which would, if it works out, put me in a high school librarianship for a performing arts school. As a teacher, I can't afford books of my own very much, but school budgets can be stretched more easily; if your book is right for the age group, let me know...

Clay Eals said...


High school and performing arts -- I daresay that this is a perfect book for that age. In fact, Chapter Three is one of the book's longest, and it covers Goodman's high-school years, including his roles in "My Fair Lady" and "Music Man" and his indelibly memorable (to those who heard it) performance of "Old Man River" as part of a variety show whose theme was "Showboat." Among the chapter's scores of sources is Hillary Clinton, a classmate of Goodman's. It took me more than six years, going back to when she was in the White House, for me to land the interview.

Happy to tell you more, but I'm guessing 'nuff said.