by Chris Monti

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released December 1, 2010



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Chris Monti Somerville, Massachusetts

Chris Monti is a singer/songwriter whose original songs are influenced by Rock + Roll, Country-Blues and Old-Time Fiddle Music as well as music from West Africa, Egypt, India and South America.
Chris has played with country-blues great Paul Geremia and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. Chris has a puppet show called "The Yankee Peddler", and a dance band Big Biscuit. .
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Track Name: Home
Home -words and music © 2011 Chris Monti

If I had a dollar for every time I've been | Down to the ocean for to take a swim | If I had a dime for every time I've gone | I'd spend it all to get back home |

If I had a ride for every ride I've caught | If I caught sight of everything I've sought | If I could feel you from across the room | I'd sweep you up with that old dust broom |

We would dance across that warped wooden floor | Upon the dust of memories alights a little more |

If I had a chance for every coin I've tossed | If I had a win for every time I've lost | Would you still love me the way you do | If I wasn't coatless and without shoes? |

If I had a lover for every one I've loved | If I had a raindrop from every cloud above | If I had a good time for every cup I've drained | There wouldn't be time enough for all the pain |

If I did it all and then did it all again | And after every ending the beginning came and went | There's nothing I could change, even if I tried | Despite all the tears my poor mother cries |

If I had a dog, I would walk around | I'd let him walk me all over the town | If I had a house cat living in my home | I'd let him teach me how to live all alone |

If the sun did shine on every sunny day | And if I let you in after I'd turned you away | I'd still be here all by myself | Unread notebooks collecting memories upon the shelf |

But a book is kindling if that's all you've got | And a body needs fire to get good and hot | I'm cold as ice, I'm cold as stone | What I'm trying to say is, “Please come home” |
Track Name: Going Swimming
Going Swimming -words and music © 2011 Chris Monti

If I could I surely would | Make all that I feel understood | So I’ll ask you straight and I’ll ask you plain | Won’t you come swimming with me? |

Going swimming you and me | Going swimming for the world to see | Test the water, it sure looks good | Won’t you come swimming with me? |

Well I don’t know but I’ve heard told | That you’re bound to lose what you try to hold | On the other hand I’ve heard it spoken | That an empty heart is a heart that’s broken |


I’ve got no towel, got no bathing suit | I’ve got a ragged voice, I play a broken lute | Nothing on my plate, nothing in my pan | But I’ll treat you just as well as I can |


If I could I surely would | Try to be about twice as good | But what you see is what I’ve got | Wont you come swimming with me? |

Track Name: The Eleven
The Eleven -words and music © 2011 Chris Monti

Old-time music in Richmond, VA | Mrs. Phyllis Ladd Blackwell, she don't play | But she sits right up close to her daughter and her man | To get the feel of the pickin of that old-timey band |

It takes a worried man to sing a worried song | I’m worried now but not for long | A little fiddle music tends to brings me ease | Is that the sound of a banjo in the whisper of the trees? |

New Orleans, playing with a Dixieland band | Playing in the corner, ain’t no bandstand, grandstand | “We don’t do ‘St Louis Blues’ in D! | We’ll do ‘Saints’ in F, watch the B flat minor,” said the tenor banjo playing Louisiana old timer |

There’s a Jesuit priest down on Bourbon Street | Who learned clarinet at Peterson’s feet | He said, “The best ministry the people to bring | Is to move their bodies with that Nawlins Swing” |

I heard my dad play once when I was four | The only time Bill Halley came a-knockin at our door | My old Dad put his guitar away | In the closet ten years ‘till I was ready to play |

I learned from Jon Hathaway in his cramped little room | The man could play the guitar like he was sweeping a broom | The best thing to me that he ever did say is, | “You can play anything that you want to play” |

The earth of music is wide, its water deep | It has no secrets that it wants to keep | So sing it out, play it loud | Part the foggy, noxious cloud | Of doubt and despair, clear the air | Feel the wind on your face, feel the breeze in your hair | In the rat-a-tat-tat of the marching band | Hear the cosmic call to reach out your hand |
Track Name: Darlene
-words and music © 2011 Chris Monti

I wake up in the morning in my cabin in the fog | I've got a pain in my head like my head against a log | I smell coffee brewing but I live alone | I reach under my pillow but my gun is gone |

I am stripped down naked so I pull my pants on | Peek around the corner and take a look around | I spy a long-haired woman, her ear to my phone | Feet on the table like she was right at home |

Darlene, Darlene | Won't you leave me alone | I don't have the time to let you run me down |

She looks up and sees me, puts my phone down and smiles | Says, “I let myself in through the back window with a brick | Cleaned out the fridge, made us some coffee and eggs | Went poking around for the checkbook...” |

Darlene dresses sharp in a working-woman's-day-suit | Behind her child's-big-eyes her mind is astute | I can't say for sure that she means to do me harm | But I've got the feeling she wants to get those big strong hands on my farm |


I live alone I say and I push her away | Throw the eggs in the trash and the coffee down the drain | I open the door on the world of morning light | I say, “Darlene, get out of my sight” |


I can fix myself breakfast, I need my day to my own | And in the evening I don't mind sleeping alone | You are a beautiful girl, but a woman on the make | And the little I have left of self-respect and time... there's nothing that I'll let you take |


Darlene you're a fox, I'll give you that | But I fear for my hens like a mouse fears a cat | Come around again with your eye on my crops | Like a .22, tin-can, fence-post I'll drop |

Track Name: Independence Day
Independence Day
-words and music © 2011 Chris Monti

This is my own Independence Day | This is my own Independence Day | I can't find a better way | I can't find a better way to celebrate | Than to be here alone |

The indifferent maw of death took my new wife | Interrupting our plans for a happy life | Interrupting all our argument and strife | Cutting our ties with a merciless knife | One last shrill note from the fife, and then the rustle of leaves |

Mother's gone I can't do it alone | If I do nothing they'll never be born | Missing life by a few lazy days | Better off, let me count the ways | Never enter this maze, never feel so alone |

I abandon my charges and I take to the wing | No more life this world to bring | No more searching, no more song to sing | Everything goes cold |

This is my own Independence Day | This is my own Independence Day | I can't find a better way | I can't find a better way to celebrate | Than to be here alone |
Track Name: Chicken Shack
Chicken Shack

-words and music © 2011 Chris Monti

Dressed in black by the chicken shack | You stole my chickens now I’m taking them back |

I wake up in jail surly and hung over | Not dreaming of grouse or geese or plover | But of you you you, you filthy little thief | And of the theft of my chickens that’s brought me so much grief |

I approach you like a man and ask for what’s owed | But all you do is jeer and goad | I take a swing and miss and meet with you fist | And that’s the last thing I remember… | Then I awake in a cell, bloody face and hands tender | My minds gone from black to blue to red | How I’ll get you back, the only thought in my head |

I duck the pillory, now I’m on the loose | I dodge the hangman, slip the noose | Knock down the guard with my fist where he stood post as a sentry | and make and exit of the entrance of that old penitentiary | I jack the bondsman who’s post bail, sweep my tracks and leave no trail | With the bondsman’s purse I buy a coat and a gun | And I go the bar to drink down the sun |

When the day draws down I make for the woods | Through the fields, to the farmhouse, to my stolen goods | Downwind of the dogs, I inspire no bark | And then the clouds break and the light cuts the dark | In the glow of the moon’s pale blue light | I am revealed to be as I am tonight |

Dressed in black by the chicken shack | You stole my chickens, now I’m taking them back |

I slip into the coop as quiet as a fox | And realize I have neither sack nor box | How many chickens can I hold against my breast? | I fit eight in my coat and set free the rest |

Like a mad fat man I make for the road | A trail of feathers giving away my load | The highway made I slow to a walk | And quiet my scared chickens with soft soothing talk | But then a shift in the air, something’s not right | My chickens and I are not alone on the highway tonight | Jumped by bad actors at the edge of town | Gun butt to head and I go down | They open my coat and there to be found | Eight sleeping chickens making not a sound |

Till the light of the moon hits the black of their eyes | They startle our assailants with their angry chicken cries | The scared men swing till all the chickens are dead | While I can do nothing but bleed from the head | The chickens dispatched they go for my gold which till this morning the bondsman did hold | Of boots coat and gun I am also relieved | Then left with my chickens to shiver and grieve | My brood in my arms I’ll bleed till I die | With the last of my breath this thought I confide: |

There is no chicken that a man did own | That the grim chicken reaper didn’t bring back home |
Track Name: Honey Bee
Honey Bee

-words and music © 2011 Chris Monti

Honey bees in the air in the early morning light | About their honey bee business, buzz around in flight | Honey bee, oh honey bee |

I hear the rush of the city, the traffic going past | This ain’t my first morning but it might be my last | So I set right down with my guitar on my knee | And write a little ode to the honey bee |

Cabbage and grapes and beans and corn | They’re all wet with dew in the early morn’ | The doc is in the field and the potter’s in the barn | Storyteller’s in the backyard workin on a yarn |

Honey bee, honey bee, honey bee three | Laying so still on the stoop with me | Two of them drained of life from the cold | The other too soon for his fate to be told |

I lay him in the leaves in the warmth of the sun | He might see another morning ‘fore his race is run | Honey bee, good luck to you honey bee |

Mandy comes out for a cup of tea | And I tell her the tale of the honey bee | Each in our own way, honey bee | We’re praying for you |

I let him sit for a while for to give him some time | Finger pickin the guitar and scribblin lines | Then I get right down on my hands and my knees | And I check on my friend below the dogwood tree | And lo and behold, there ain’t no honey bee |

Honey bee lives through the cold in the night | To fly around once again in the morning light | Honey bee, how I love you honey bee |

Honey bees in the air in the early morning light | About their honey bee business, buzz around in flight | Honey bee, oh honey bee |
Track Name: Violence
-words and music © 2011 Chris Monti

People sit in broken rooms | Wondering where to go | People shuffle towards the door | Wondering why it is so |

People wander City Hall | Minds wallowing in despair | Dragging hands over peeled walls | Eyes fixed in a crazy stare |

Families on the open road | Faces pressed to the glass | Pull the plug, turn the crank | I’ve saved up some money for gas |

People driving in their cars | Not going anywhere | Wheels rolling dirty tar | The wind is in my hair |

With the might and right of Providence | We’ll clean our house of decadence | We’ll tax it out, we’ll raise the rents | We’ll arm the men who watch the fence |

| What we see is violence | Under the guise of self defense | Name and subjugate the dissidents | While the righteous swell to corpulence|
Track Name: My Old Man
My Old Man

-words and music © 2011 Chris Monti

My old man keeps fit and trim | Pays good care to the shape he's in | My old man keeps fit and trim, hey now | Me, sometimes I let myself go | I loose track of the morning for the love of the show | Me, sometimes I let myself go | Hey now |

I could learn a thing or two from my old man | I could learn a thing or two from my old man | Hey now |

My old man he's a model of dedication | A good family man as he travels the nation | Keeps his mind on his work and his wife and kids | Keeps and eye on the future when he makes his bids | I've got a good woman for the first time ever | And though my work's got me on the road to wherever | I plan to be as good as my old man |

I've learned a thing or two from my old man | I've learned a thing or two from my old man | Hey now |

Now this ain't to say my old man's a saint | His momma says he is but I say that he ain't | This ain't to say my old man's a saint, oh no | But any troubles between him and me, we try to lay them out in the air to see | Air them in the open breeze |

Me and my old man | Me and my old man | Hey now |

My old man raised me to understand | That I should use my skills to help my fellow man | Well I've grown up to be a picker and singer | Not an academic or some big-time shit-slinger | I'm not always sure that I can understand | How I'm doing any good with a guitar in hand | But at least I'm not a banker or a politician |

Making jokes is all well and good | But a man's still got to do what he knows he should | I'm a writer and a singer and I take my work most seriously |

I made a promise to my old man's old man | When they laid him in the ground I touched his hand | I made a promise to my old man's old man | I said, “Grandpa I promise to do right by you | I'll do all the things a good man should do | But I'll do them in the way I know to be true to who I am” |

Like my old man and his old man | Like my old man and his old man | Hey now |
Track Name: Oh My Love
Oh My Love

-words and music © 2011 Chris Monti

Oh my love, I'm going to miss you when I'm gone | Oh my love, I'm going to miss you when I'm gone | I'll miss your shy smile and the weight of you in my arms |

I laid down last night but I could not get to sleep | I laid down last night but I could not get to sleep | I gave you what I had but I guess I didn't give it to keep |

I'm like a man out walking in a cold and blowing rain | I'm like a man out walking in a cold and blowing rain | No shelter for my body, no solace for my brain |

The sun my shine on us again someday | The sun may shine on us again someday | But by the look of the skies it won't be today |