Broke Down Town                                  © 2008 Nancy Sferra 

Dog is lickin’ food from a garbage can

As Willy hides his car from the repo man 

With a blue tarp flappin’ in the evening breeze, 

This town will bring a grown man to his knees 

Chorus 1:         Willy wonders how he got so low 

                      He’s starin’ at the river that flows below 

                      Everything is so broke down 

                      He’s got a beautiful view of a broke down town 

His old man staring at a TV screen

With a pint of his best friend, Old Jim Beam 

Heckling contestants on the “Price is Right” 

Found his courage in a bottle, a bottle of lies 

Willy rounds the corner for some cigarettes, 

Amanda’s outside on the store’s front steps 

Willy flips a quarter in her paper cup 

Mutters, man you gotta clean yourself up 

Chorus 2:         Willy wonders how he got so hard 

                      Lookin’ out the window past his small backyard 

                      Says everything is so broke down 

                      He’s got a beautiful view of this broke down town

Fan The Flames                     ©2013 Nancy Sferra 

Gotta be near 90, can't move from the couch 

Flies beat their brains against the window pane 

How can folks stand to live down south 

I use all my energy to complain 

Refrain:     You're no help cause you're fanning the flames again 

                Nothing left but the ashes 

                You fan the flames, my friend 

Alberta clipper screaming out from the west 

Brings cold that takes my breath away 

Stays too long like an unwanted guest 

The sea smoke rising out on the bay 

Refrain:     You're no help cause you're blowing cold again 

                Wind cuts right to the bone 

                You're blowing cold my friend 

Bridge:      Looks like I'm gonna get burned again 

                Maybe from the heat or your minus 10 

                Dance a little closer to the flame 

                Like a fire you make your own weather, my friend

A Dog and A Guitar                 © 2010 Nancy Sferra 

I’ve got some time off work and I’m trying to fill my days 

Got money in the bank and time to play 

I’ve got a map folded open on the front seat of the car 

Got the tires full of air, got a dog and a guitar 

Chorus:      I figure it will take me two or three days 

                A dog and a guitar to keep me sane 

                I can’t decide if I should phone you on the way 

                Or show up on your doorstep with a smile and a wave

The landscape flattens out, I watch the trees melt away 

As they give way to corn and wheat, the towns look the same 

The mountains loom ahead and the sun is in my eyes 

As it dips towards the mountain tops and fires up the sky 

Chorus:      It’s been a sleepless two or three days 

                A dog and a guitar to keep me sane 

                I can’t decide if I should phone you on the way 

               Or show up on your doorstep with a smile and a wave 

I’ve got a map folded open on the front seat of the car 

Got the tires full of air, got a dog and a guitar

Hardened Ground                         © 2005 Nancy Sferra 

What am I doing tomorrow, can’t be worse than today 

Tired of hanging in this dusty town where this hard work just don’t pay 

I’m free to go, just get in the car 

Haul down the road, I’m just not sure how far 

Chorus:            Oh, I’m free to go, leave this town 

                       Before this brown dirt gets me down 

                      All we have in common is we lost our fight 

                      Stuck on thinking can’t instead of might 

I’ve lived here all my life, I never intended to stay 

Every time I thought about leaving, minor complications just go tin the way 

I’m free to go, to break these chain s

I may never have this chance again 

Sitting at the four way, idling by the general store 

Realtor’s sign is swinging in the wind, you can’t buy your beer here anymore 

I’m free to go, hit the gas 

I better get going before the feeling’s passed 

Chorus:            Oh, I’m free to go, to leave this town 

                       To pull up stakes from this hardened ground 

                       All we have in common is spit and fight 

                        Just enough to make me hold on tight

Mercury On Glass                    ©2015 Nancy Sferra 

It's hard to come back 

Many years that I've lost track 

I could have tried to find you 

Our past is paper thin 

Compared to where we've both been 

All those doors we've walked through 

Chorus:              We were mercury on glass 

                        We chased what never came to pass 

                        Between us, between you and me 

Talked about our wanderlust 

Wrote our names in the dust 

Erased by the promise of tomorrow 

You went left, I went right 

A gentle kiss, we said goodbye 

The bitter taste of sorrow 


Standing here in this room 

In the shadows of the evening gloom 

Your life laid out before me 

Pictures of your pretty wife 

Your kids, your house, your too short life 

I'm glad that you were happy

Rain                                 ©2007 Nancy Sferra 

It’s 2 am and she’s here all alone, 

Been waiting for an hour for a ride to take her home 

Waitress refills her coffee, remarks on the pouring rain 

She can hear it all running down into the outside drain 

Sign outside says “dine” but the N’s burned out 

Message written for the down and out 

Cook’s in the kitchen singing Pancho and Lefty to the radio 

Living the outlaw life and ending up in Ohio 

Waitress stops by to ask "is there anything I can do 

Do you want to use the phone to see if he’s coming out for you"

I’m sure he’s on his way, he’s just slow on account of the pouring rain 

It’s hard to make your way when you can’t even see your lane 

Car pulls in the parking lot with its brights turned on 

Night’s unfit for anyone but the underdog 

Couple runs through the door, they’re clothes are soaking wet

His hand’s on the small of her back, stabs out his cigarette 

It’s four am and she’s sitting here on her own 

Been waiting three hours for her baby to come and take her home 

A wash of light is showing out to the east 

She picks up her bag and heads out to the street

Tell-tale Eyes                                    © 2007 Nancy Sferra 

Wrinkled hands knotted in her lap, veins stand out like the roads on a map 

Rocking gently to a phantom beat, old black dog curled at her feet 

Looks at me and she taps her head, stops her rocking for a moment and says 

Broken window pane, light comes through it just the same, just the same 

Chorus:             She said she has tell-tale eyes 

                        I would have called them worldly and wise 

                        Her mind’s filled with memories 

                        That spill out her eyes like the coming sea 

She says she likes me coming around, to see an old woman and her poor old hound 

The folks round here treat her okay, she has her share of good and bad days 

Sometimes it’s too much for me, all the reminiscing about family

It changes with the track of time, she should just let those sleeping dogs lie, sleeping dogs lie 

Chorus:    She said she has tell-tale eyes 

               I would have called them worldly and wise 

               Her wrinkles are because of age 

               But her life’s in black and white like a well read page 

I looked at her face and I knew what she meant, the lines of joy and sorrow were easy to detect 

And when I looked in her pale blue eyes, what I saw was a hint of a sigh 

Her old black dog stared at me, when I stood up to take my leave 

As I started to say my goodbyes she said 

Don’t you think he has tell-tale eyes, tell-tale eyes, tell-tale eyes

The Last Blue Door                             © 2005 Nancy Sferra 

Aging blue on a rusty hinge, peeling to white on a weathered fringe 

Last blue door on a hang-dog block, scarred and worn with a brand new lock 

Chorus:       When I knock you don’t answer the door 

                  That rust and wood can’t take much more 

                   I’d explain but don’t know where to begin 

                  That last blue door won’t let me in 

Cindy and John carved in the frame, and graffittied walls with lover’s names 

Couples lost to the sun and rain, fading off the bricks in a wash of pain 

One more key to throw in a drawer, I won’t remember what lock it’s for 

I’ll find another blue door someday, where my love and I will stay 

Chorus 2:         I no longer knock when I pass that door 

                      That rust and wood couldn’t take any more 

                       I’ve learned to live with our past sins 

                       That last blue door won’t let me in

Off The Deep End                                  © 2001 Nancy Sferra 

The last time you said goodbye, there was that freedom glimmer in your eye 

I didn’t think you’d show your face again 

But there you stood expecting me to let you in 

You ate my food, you slept in my bed

Played with the dog, and messed with my head 

Made it look like you intended to stay 

Lucky for you there were others who took in strays 

Chorus:            You keep pausing and changing your mind 

                       Swing like the weather or a gate on a fence 

                       You’re going to chase me right off the deep end 

Once was confusion, twice was a mistake

The third time you left, I thought it would take 

You acted like you went for a walk round the block 

Returned to home like the hour hand on a clock 

I moved across town, bolted the doors

No longer willing to give you house tours 

Either way, I end up alone 

I know it was a mistake to answer the phone

The Last Day                                   © 2010 Nancy Sferra 

Another day starts in the dark

Out here on the corner of 6th Street and Park 

Unlock the door, turn on the light

I’ve been working hard for forty years from morning til night 

Chorus:     I’ve watched this city come awake 

                From my tiny corner stake 

                I’ve watched my regulars age 

                And the changing headlines bold on the front page 

It’s time I said my goodbyes

The newsstand business is starting to die 

I should retire to the shore

I mean, who reads papers and no one smokes anymore 

Bridge:              Through Vietnam and Watergate, 

                        Summer of Love and Purple Haze 

                        A pack of smokes was thirty cents, 

                        Now I can’t afford this rent 

                        The War on Terror and Medicaid, 

                        The Internet, and Free Trade 

                        I’ll go the way of the dinosaur, 

                        It’s all just commentary anymore