Michael Hill
Ruler
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Ruler

Table Of Content (8 songs, 7 soundclips)

You are now in page 1

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Can't Recall A Time
Evil In The Air
Promises You Can't Keep
Soldier's Blues
This Is My Job
Why We Play The Blues
Wrong Number
Young Folks' Blues

Ruler

Can't Recall A Time

soundclip


by Michael Hill / Tony Lewis
recording of 1994, New York

from Bloodlines (Alligator ALCD 4821), copyright notice

I can't recall a time so many children had the blues
Can't recall a time so many children had the blues
In worlds of pain and pressure they're growing up too fast
The innocence of childhood, just a memory from the past
And I can't recall a time

Lord, I can't recall a time so many elders lived in fear
Can't recall a time so many elders lived in fear
Crime and disrespect have them locked behind behind closed doors
Stretching out fixed incomes while the cost of living soars
And I can't recall a time

Man abusing woman, adult abusing child
Teachers trying to teach, ha!, with bullets whizzing by
Lord, I can't recall a time it was so hard to keep the faith
(spoken: Listen now)
Most get less and less while just a few get more and more
Time is getting tight, the wolf is at the door
And I can't recall a time
My, my, my, my

(spoken: It's just hard to see so many people suffering so much.
Hard to keep the faith. You see it and it's sad)

Most get less and less while just a few get more and more
Time is tight, Lord, and the wolf is in the door

And I can't recall a time so many children had the blues

 

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Ruler

Evil In The Air

soundclip


by Michael Hill
recording of 1994, New York

from Bloodlines (Alligator ALCD 4821), copyright notice

There's a yellow moon over New York City and there's evil in the air tonight
Yellow moon over New York City and there's evil in the air tonight
Ideas are crossing people's minds, thoughts they never have in daylight

In the Bronx there's a wife who's tired, she's got sweet love on the side but it's making her a nervous wreck
In the Bronx there's a wife who's tired, sweet secret love on the side that's making her a nervous wreck
She runs her finger across the edge of a razor and she thinks about her husband's neck, yes she does

Subway train leaving Manhattan, in the last car too many taking a ride
Subway train leaving Manhattan, in the last car too many taking a ride
When it crosses the bridge to Brooklyn, (spoken: Lord have mercy) only one man will see the other side

In Queens there's a car that's disabled, three black men walk an unfamiliar street
In Queens there's a car that's disabled, three black men walk an unfamiliar street
Only two of them will see tomorrow, 'cause this night they walk into Howard Beach
Children, children, somebody!

Evil in the air, gotta look out
Evil, evil
Watch yourself, uh!
Dangers, dangers that are taking your life
Evil in the air, evil in the air

 

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Ruler

Promises You Can't Keep

soundclip


by Michael Hill
recording of 1994, New York

from Bloodlines (Alligator ALCD 4821), copyright notice

(spoken: For all the guys messing up a good thing. Can we talk)

Inquiring minds wanna know why a man can't just simmer down
(spoken: I said:) Inquiring minds wanna know now people, why a man can't just simmer down
The angels sent him true love but he's still out in the night, sniffing around

(spoken: Haha, nothing but a dog, y'all. But wait a minute, wait a minute now)

Wonder what the boy was thinking when he jumped up and took a wife
(spoken: I'm serious, I said)
Wonder what the boy was thinking, children,
when he jumped up, leaped up, stood up, and took a wife
(spoken: Now you have to wonder)
Knowing that she believes one man, one woman,
while he believes that variety is the spice of life
(spoken: Contradiction, but here's the deal)

Don't make those promises you can't keep, you're just burning your bridges down
Watch those promises you can't keep, broken promises come back around

(spoken: uhoh, uhoh)

Heard the boy was crying this morning, the one he truly loved has gone away
(spoken: He's crying. I hear that)
Heard the boy was crying this morning, the one he truly loved has gone away
(spoken: All you Romeo's, take the warning now)
If you're out there making promises you can't keep,
remember they'll come back to haunt you one day

 

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Ruler

Soldier's Blues

soundclip


by Vernon Reid
recording of 1994, New York

from Bloodlines (Alligator ALCD 4821), copyright notice

Ha, huh huh
Where I come from?
Brothers who have escaped from the 'hood to the front
American dream?
Just hoping you get home alive

Ha, all good soldiers know what to expect
Said all good soldiers know what to expect
Listen: got to see you darling, may never see you again
No no no

Never lost a battle, can't seem to win the war
Never lost a battle no no, can't seem to win the war
Ha, I just pray someone can tell me, what the hell we're fightin' for
Listen now

Old men fightin' on chairs, send the young ones off to die
Old men fightin' on chairs, send the young ones off to die
Ha, you know what?
Asked the captain to explain, and he could not tell me why
No no no no no

Listen: somethin' terrible in a whorehouse, his name was G. I. Joe
I'm tellin' ya, somethin' terrible in a whorehouse, his name was G. I. Joe
He had killed a bunch of children, he was off to kill some more

I've got the soldier's blues and I really paid my dues
Got the s-s-soldier, soldier's blues, really paid my dues
I fight the enemy abroad and in my home town too

I've got the soldier's blues and I really paid my dues
Got the soldier, soldier, soldier's blues, really paid my dues
Fight the enemy abroad and in my home town too

Ha, try to send me, to kill my family yon, in mama Africa
Got my children, killin' my brothers and sisters, in Panama
Lord knows it ain't right, this no way's right

(spoken:
And all those soldiers who did Vietnam
Back in the world with nowhere to live
Tired and weary
Company)

 

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Ruler

This Is My Job


by Michael Hill
recording of 1998

from New York State Of Blues (Alligator 4858), copyright notice

So cold and wet in the city,
he washes car windows in the night
Tryin' to make a little change,
from the cars as they wait for the light

People show such hostility,
they tell him to go find some work
To them it's all some kind of joke,
but his eyes show how much jokes can hurt

He tells them: you don't understand, but this is my job,
I may have nothing, I refuse to steal and rob
I never imagined this could happen in my life,
but it has, and I'm tryin' to survive

Walk around after midnight,
there's a whole population on the street
Cardboard box for a pillow,
and the steam from the grating for heat

Sometimes it is so overwhelming,
it can wear down your sympathy
But then you see someone holding on,
to a small piece of his dignity

Saying: you don't understand, but this is my job,
I may have nothing, I refuse to steal and rob
I never imagined this could happen in my life,
but it has, and I'm tryin' to survive

You don't understand, but this is my job,
I may have nothing, I refuse to steal and rob
I never imagined this could happen in my life,
but it has, and I'm tryin' to survive

Tryin' to survive, Lord
Tryin' to survive
Just tryin' to stay alive
This is my job
This is my job
I refuse to steal and rob,
so washing car windows is my job

 

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Ruler

Why We Play The Blues

soundclip


by Michael Hill
recording of 1994, New York

from Bloodlines (Alligator ALCD 4821), copyright notice

Times are really tough, there's trouble all around,
the cost of keeping up is steady wearing people down
Folks need something for their spirit to help them make it through
Well, this music is a healer and that s why we play the blues, why we play the blues

Millionaires will tell you: the economy's fine
That doesn't help the people on the unemployment line
You got too many families who need housing, jobs, and food
So we try to tell the story and that's why we play the blues, why we play the blues
(spoken: Huh! Kick it now!)

We know that life is sweeter when you got a fine romance,
but so much stuff is out here, folks are scared to take a chance
So many hearts are lonely, so many hearts confused
Well this music s good for loving, now, and that s why we play the blues,
why we play the blues
(spoken: One more)

Young people face the dangers and pressures of the street
and even in the classrooms children packing heat
We've got to show the wisdom and the strength that s in our roots, yes we do
Well, this music is a bloodline and that s why we play the blues, why we play the blues
(spoken: ... the keyboards, say it now)

Hey, now, we played a lot of places from the East out to the West,
we take it to the stage and put this music to the test
No matter where they come from, people understand the truth
Everybody knows the feeling and that s why we play the blues
Why we play the blues, y'all, why we play the blues
I got to, got to, got to, we got to, got to play the blues, play the blues now

 

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Ruler

Wrong Number

soundclip


by Michael Hill
recording of 1994

from Bloodlines (Alligator ALCD 4821), copyright notice

You tell me that you're too tired for lovin' baby, but you're up 'til three a.m. talkin' on the phone
You tell me that you're too tired for lovin' baby, but you're up 'til three a.m. talkin' on the phone
Guess if I really need some lovin' darling, I have to go out and find it on my own
(that's what I'm gonna talk about to you, I'm tellin' you)

You walk around the house like Godzilla baby,
but you get on the phone and you got a great big smile
You walk around the house like Godzilla darling,
but you get on that phone and you got a great big smile
Our love is turning to a wrong number darling
and I think I'm gonna have to hang up after a while
(but before I do I just need to know)

Do we have a bad connection darling or have we just ran out of time
Has my call been interrupted baby by another man on the line?

You walk around my house like Godzilla darling,
Lord but you get on the phone and you got a great big smile
Our love is turning to a wrong number darling and I think I have to hang up after a while
(but before I do somebody got to help me, Fred, Fred, play the blues for me)

Do we have a bad connection darling or did I just ran out of time
Has my call been interrupted baby by another man on the line?

You stomp around the house like Godzilla woman,
ha, but you get on the phone and you got a great big smile
Our love is turning to a wrong number baby and I think I have to hang up after a while
Lordy, mama, mama, mama

 

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Ruler

Young Folk's Blues

soundclip


by Michael Hill
recording of 1998

from New York State Of Blues (Alligator 4858), copyright notice

It used to be the grownups who played the blues
They told me "Mike, you gotta pay a whole lotta dues"
But it's a new world and now the children play
They say "Hold the rock 'n' roll, they're playin' young folks' blues today"

The latest little guy is rollin' and tumblin'
They say he sings like Wolf, plays like Hubert Sumlin
He's a mother, his mam is the first to agree
He's got the blues so bad, they wonder if he'll live to puberty

Young folks' blues, they're playing young folks' blues
I'll start my son when he's three, to pay his dues on MTV
Young folks' blues, hey!

I heard about a girl, child was pushin' eight
They say she sings like Koko Taylor, plays like Bonnie Raitt
You hear her troubles in every word she sings
She knows a lot about love, for a girl who hasn't had her first fling

We give a chance to the young folks, spreading the news
Paying their respects to the hero's of the blues
They reach new people, they may help the blues to thrive
And maybe some day our heroes will get paid while they're alive
Yes they will

The young folks' blues, I'm down with young folks' blues
I'll start my son when he's three, to pay his dues on MTV
Young folks' blues

Young folks' blues
Young folks' blues
Better early than never
I'm down with young folks' blues

 

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Ruler

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Ruler

Created by:
Bluesman Harry
Page last updated on:
June 8 2000


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