You Like Me

by Micah Sommersmith

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1.
03:24
Brian caught you staring at me Staring at me across the classroom And that’s how Brian knows that you like me And Natalie got a note from Brian While Mr. Leigh was rambling about something That Brian caught you staring at me Staring at me across the classroom And that’s how Natalie knows that you like me And Marlon heard while playing hopscotch Right between the six and seven That Natalie got a note from Brian While Mr. Leigh was rambling about something That Brian caught you staring at me Staring at me across the classroom And that’s how Marlon knows that you like me And Glenny read a Sharpie scrawl Scribbled on a bathroom stall That Marlon heard while playing hopscotch Right between the six and seven That Natalie got a note from Brian While Mr. Leigh was rambling about something That Brian caught you staring at me Staring at me across the classroom And that’s how Glenny knows that you like me And Zoe heard in general music While tuning up her ukulele That Glenny read a Sharpie scrawl Scribbled on a bathroom stall That Marlon heard while playing hopscotch Right between the six and seven That Natalie got a note from Brian While Mr. Leigh was rambling about something That Brian caught you staring at me Staring at me across the classroom And that’s how Zoe knows that you like me And Zoe stopped me in the hallway With a conspiratorial whisper That she had heard in general music While tuning up her ukulele That Glenny read a Sharpie scrawl Scribbled on a bathroom stall That Marlon heard while playing hopscotch Right between the six and seven That Natalie got a note from Brian While Mr. Leigh was rambling about something That Brian caught you staring at me Staring at me across the classroom And that’s how Brian And that’s how Natalie And that’s how Marlon And that’s how Glenny And that’s how Zoe And that’s how I know That you like me
2.
So, you were fairly young when you came into this world (as a boy, as a girl, it doesn't really matter). See, your parents saw in you all they wanted for themselves; you were going to be their own little them, only better. So they scolded you, they praised you, they molded you, they raised you to do everything that they had learned that you're supposed to do... and so when the neighbors say "What a great little kid!" well, it's your parents they're applauding, not you. And when they take you down to Cannibal Town They will make you feel right at home But there's a dirty little secret about Cannibal Town It's filled with cannibals Now, your parents are busy; your parents have jobs, and others have the same problem too. So to keep you kids from forming unsupervised mobs, they send the whole lot off to school, where you learn things like Geography, Science, Orthography, the Stories of the Brave and the Bold, and things like Knowing you Place and Hiding you Face and Doing Whatever You're Told. And when they take you down to Cannibal Town They will make you feel right at home But there's a dirty little secret about Cannibal Town It's filled with cannibals Now you find yourself working in an office in the city in a building made of metal and glass, and your primary duties include sleeping through meetings, looking pretty, reading memos and kissing ass. And they don't pay you much but it's just enough to keep you suffering in silence, not considering violence, oh it's a science. You don't buy it? I don't hear you deny it, and you're so quiet I've a feeling I won't see you at the riot. All right, so when you were a child you thought like a child, and you acted like a child and you smelled like a child. Now as a woman or a man, there's a change of plan: can't keep your damn head in the damn sand, gotta take a stand. See, everybody wants something, and most think that maybe they can get it from you, but the truth is this: if you don't get remiss, they can really only get it if you want them to. And when they take you down to Cannibal Town They will make you feel right at home But there's a dirty little secret about Cannibal Town It's filled with cannibals credits
3.
I could never sing like you did I wouldn’t dare, even if I had the choice It was tarnished, and faded, and muted But it was always the golden voice I sort of thought you were immortal So preternaturally ancient and wise Till the day that you stepped through that portal To some kind of other side And now I hope you run into the Sisters of Mercy again Yes and I hope that they sweeten the dark of your unending night I know you’ll have greeted the darkness just like an old friend Oh but I hope there’s a big enough crack to let in some light You’d been to the past and the future You knew how the cycle repeats And this chaos, deception and murder Well it wasn’t something you needed to see But now I hope you run into the Sisters of Mercy again Yes and I hope that they sweeten the dark of your unending night I know you’ll have greeted the darkness just like an old friend Oh but I hope there’s a big enough crack to let in some light Yes now I hope you run into the Sisters of Mercy again Oh and I hope that they sweeten the dark of your unending night Now I never did catch you to tell you that you were my man But your fingerprints are on every song that I write
4.
03:30
My kids know, when they come to me, That my advice is always free In any situation I just look them in the eye I say “Life is short, so buy some stilts In this time frame, there’s no place for gilt” And in exasperation They say, “Why, Dad, why?” And I’m the perfect dad ‘cause I’m a grown man What I mean, my jokes are bad, they make you groan, man I’m not as smart as I hope I sound, No, I’m the biggest dope around Acting like I’m so profound, But I’m just blowing smoke And when I open up my mouth you’re gonna hear another dad joke. In the car, wherever we go, I bring the oars, ‘cause I’m on the “rowed” And we can only snack when I’m driving slow; when I speed up, that’s a fast And when we drive by a fueling station, My family knows the situation They roll down all the windows, ‘cause I’m passing gas I’m the perfect dad ‘cause I’m a grown man What I mean, my jokes are bad, they make you groan, man You say I’m a bad influence But I know that you’re mad into this Got a whole band of miscreants Ruing every word I spoke ‘Cause when I open up my mouth you’re gonna hear another dad joke. This way of life you can’t unlearn No stone or phrase goes unturned I unearth the mirth, no fun spurned My wires, juices, they hum, churn See I’ve been infected by the pun germ Unasked, unwelcome, unearned So when my boy says, “Dad, you’re some nerd” I get the SPF, ‘cause that’s a son burn My first aid humor’s unstoppable Ointment jokes are always topical And you just need some Irish aspirin to build a Pill O’Fort And when my kids go out with all their friends Well their embarrassment never ends ‘Cause when they say they’ll be home around ten-ish I say “Tennish? Why, that’sh my favorite shport!” I’m the perfect dad ‘cause I’m a grown man What I mean, my jokes are bad, they make you groan, man When it comes to puns, I make the most The ones that make your head shake the most Like the Virginia settlers built acorn boats So they could row-an-oak Yes, when I open up my mouth you’re gonna hear another dad joke. No there’s never any doubt, there’s gonna be another dad joke. East, west, north, or south, you know I compass up a dad joke.
5.
I sing for Clara The finest mind of her era And the melodies she harbored As she sat in the shadow of Robert Robert the genius The composer, and Clara the pianist He the tortured brooding artist She the wife, and guess whose job was hardest Oh how she loved him Asked nothing of him Kept his house While she played his tunes With no time for her own Think of what we lost The melodies forgotten, tossed The music we will never hear, The songs unsung For there was women’s work to be done I sing for Clara And her sisters through every era In the shadows, incidental To the man monumental I sing for the millions Possessing that uncommon brilliance Never polished to the finest By a world that would rather think them mindless I sing for Clara This tune she taught to me
6.
04:45
Tonight my bedsheets hold me tight The only thing that's keeping me in place I feel I could float right into space But if I hold on I know I'll be alright I feel I could float right into space Drift away in zero gravity And the way I feel you feel for me Is the only thing that's keeping me in place I can't feel the way you feel for me And the bedsheets don't hold me quite so tight If I let go I know I'll be alright Just drift away in zero gravity
7.
Laudate Dominum Qui solem lunamque creavit. I know the sun will shine till the day I die And a few billion years more And I'll be fine till the day I die With the sunlight keeping me warm And I can measure the days as they pass me by And on days when I can't seem to stop myself whining I look up to the sun and I see it's still shining And if somehow the sun Were to suddenly dim I would survive through faith in the one Who created the sun And I know the moon will turn, turn, turn about the earth For at least a few billion years more I know that it will pull, pull, pull against the ocean And peel it away from the shore And I can mark the months as they pass me by And on nights when it seems that the whole world is burning I look up to the moon and I see it's still turning And if somehow the moon Were to stop in its tracks I would survive through faith in the one Who created the moon
8.
Life is series of branching paths Decision theory taught me that And you get weary, I understand From choice after choice now With every turn there’s something to choose Something to win and something to lose And sometimes you yearn to wear some other shoes As the choices press down But darling please believe that hope is not forsaken You are not alone in the choices that you’re making ‘Cause whichever you choose, and whenever you do I’m right beside you I’m yours all right Wherever you go, I’ll follow you I’ll follow through ‘Cause I’m yours all right Darling please believe that hope is not forsaken You are not alone in the choices that you’re making ‘Cause whichever you choose, and whenever you do I’m right beside you I’m yours all right Wherever you go, I’ll follow you I’ll follow through ‘Cause I’m yours all right Whenever you pull the lever in whichever direction I’m there for you, I care for you, did I mention I don’t need a contract with seventy subsections Stipulating nothing, my support is unquestioned The best thing about being me is being with you The rest of the world can see, they know it’s true If we got a problem, if we got an issue Stick with me, you’ll see, we’ll see this through Whichever you choose, and whenever you do I’m right beside you I’m yours all right Wherever you go, I’ll follow you I’ll follow through ‘Cause I’m yours all right
9.
Boy Beautiful baby boy Bright and blazing bolt, jumping jolt of joy In love In love with the world all around you Every moment a miracle, the sights and the sounds all astound you But they’re gonna pluck you like rose right from the garden They’ll say the softest parts of you all need to harden They’ll offer continents to conquer, crowns to wear If you give up the parts of you that feel and care They’re gonna throw you in the dream crusher They’re gonna pull you apart They’re gonna tear you down, they’re gonna throw you around They’re gonna break your heart They’re gonna throw you in the dream crusher Rip you up at the seams Turn you from a sacred work of art To just another moving part in their machine They’re gonna crush your dreams Girl Glorious glittering girl Flying free with your fearsome flag unfurled In love In love with the body you’re given Wherever you roam, you’re at home in the skin that you live in But they’re gonna tell you you’ve been broken all along Point out how every single piece of you is wrong They’re gonna laugh at every hope you ever cherished Say all you need is four white horses and a carriage They’re gonna throw you in the dream crusher They’re gonna pull you apart They’re gonna tear you down, they’re gonna throw you around They’re gonna break your heart They’re gonna throw you in the dream crusher Rip you up at the seams Turn you from a sacred work of art To just another moving part in their machine They’re gonna crush your dreams Child Cherished and chosen child Beloved Wise and wondrous and wild Stay Stay in love with yourself Stay in love with the world, and with everyone else There’s so much poison that they’ll try to make you swallow There’s so much noise, but every word of it is hollow They want your tenderness, my love, they want your pride They’ve got a box that they want you to fit inside Don’t let them throw you in the dream crusher Don’t let them pull you apart Don’t let them tear you down, don’t let them throw you around, Don’t let them break your heart Don’t let them throw you in the dream crusher Rip you up at the seams Child, you are a sacred work of art Not just another moving part in their machine
10.
02:30
There are pilgrims at our border, let them in. Amid the chaos and disorder, let them in. While we ponder and debate, they are standing at the gate, So rid your heart of hate and let them in. If they come from Guatemala, let them in. If they come from Nicaragua, let them in. If they come across the ocean, if they’re Haitian or Laotian, Let yourself feel some emotion, let them in. The statue says, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” And Jesus on that Galilean shore, Said, “Let the little children come to me.” If they come here fleeing violence, let them in. If they come seeking asylum, let them in. If they’re worried and afraid, If they’ve hoped and dreamed and prayed, Then let yourself be swayed and let them in. And if they come to work our fields, then let them in. If they come to cook our meals, then let them in. If they come with hands to labor, Then be a friendly neighbor, Stop rattling your saber, let them in. It’s written there in Deuteronomy, To treat the stranger in your land as your own kin. I don’t know how much clearer it could be: Love your neighbor as yourself and let them in. Yes it’s written there in Deuteronomy, To treat the stranger in your land as your own kin. I don’t know how much clearer it could be: Love your neighbor as yourself and let them in.
11.
You stand in line A line that shuffles slowly and seems to stretch for miles You wait to give your line To the family all in black with their red-eyed smiles A line about how sorry you are About the pain they must feel It’s all rehearsed in your head But it just doesn’t seem real You try to figure what to say and how to say it You search for words that might supply some healing balm Who knows the price of grief? but now you watch them try to pay it Maybe it’s easier to say nothing at all And then some day You face the line A line that shuffles slowly and seems to stretch for miles You hear a thousand lines You receive them with a nod and a red-eyed smile These lines about how sorry they are About the pain you must feel It’s all rehearsed, but their eyes Tell you the feeling is real You won’t remember what they say or how they say it There are no words that will supply that healing balm You’ve learned the price of grief, and now you’re busy trying to pay it You’ll just remember that they said something at all You won’t remember what they say or how they say it You’ll just remember that they said something at all
12.
I'm wearing my girlfriend's pants And nobody notices, nobody notices Because me and my girlfriend, see we're the same size Some days when we walk down the street You know some people stare at us, some people swear at us And I'm wearing my girlfriend's pants, but I know that that's not why You see me and my girlfriend, we're in love (Yes we're in love, yes we're in love) But for some people, that will never be enough You know these people, they just don't care (They just don't care, they just don't care) And that won't change no matter whose pants I wear So I'm wearing my girlfriend's pants And nobody notices, nobody notices Because me and my girlfriend, see we're the same size
13.
03:34
You’re moving in for two-three months My parents knew your parents once We both have off from school And you seem pretty cool But we don’t have a lot to say And we can’t sit inside all day The weather’s nice and clear So I’ve got an idea It’s you It’s you I like Let’s spend the summer, you and me On a tandem bike You may be short, I may be tall But friend, that’s no concern at all We’ll both adjust our seats Some oil will cure that squeak The sun is high, the days are long These country roads stretch on and on We’ve got no place to be I’ve never felt so free It’s you It’s you I like Let’s spend the summer, you and me On a tandem bike Some bikes are built for one Some bikes are just no fun They make you struggle on your own But that reality’s Not how it has to be And you don’t have to ride alone This summer soon will reach its end I’ll say goodbye to you, my friend We’ll go our separate ways Live out our separate days This bicycle will turn to rust Some day our bones will turn to dust Nothing on earth can stay But right now, here, today It’s you It’s you I like Let’s spend the summer, you and me On a tandem bike It’s you It’s you I like Let’s spend the summer, you and me On a tandem bike
14.
Friend, I’ve forgotten Friend, I’ve forgotten your name I tried to hold onto it, but much to my shame The sequence of syllables started to all sound the same So friend I’ve forgotten, Friend, I’ve forgotten your name. Friend I’ve forgotten Friend I’ve forgotten your face Somewhere or other the features all fell out of place The curves and the edges that miles and years have erased Oh, friend, I’ve forgotten, Friend, I’ve forgotten your face. And friend, Oh, friend I’ve forgotten your voice Believe, please believe, please believe me, it wasn’t by choice When I try to imagine it now, I only hear noise Friend, I’ve forgotten, Friend, I’ve forgotten your voice. Friend, I’ve forgotten, Friend, I’ve forgotten your touch Of all of the wounds that I carry, none pains me as much I have to believe it was gentle, and loving, and such But friend, I’ve forgotten, Friend, I’ve forgotten your touch. But sometimes when I’m in the snow, or the sun, or the rain Or when I’m awake, or sometimes when I’m dreaming again There’s a feeling that I can’t describe, that I can’t explain But friend, I remember Friend, I remember you then. And sometimes when I feel like I’m flying, or like I could drown When the world’s all as it should be, or it’s all falling down Sometimes I hear a hello, sometimes an amen And friend, I remember Friend, I remember you then.

about

Written, performed, and produced by Micah Sommersmith. Recorded 2016-2019 in Princeton, WI (mostly).

Cover illustration by Audrey Truell.

Tracks 1, 3, 5, 7 originally written for SpinTunes - spintunescontest.blogspot.com
Tracks 4, 6, 8, 9, 11 originally written for Song Fight! – songfight.org
Thanks to everyone from both of these communities for feedback, support, camaraderie, and inspiration. This album would not exist without you.

Track 1 is dedicated to the participants in SpinTunes 13 (even the ones whose names didn’t make it into the lyrics).
Track 3 is in tribute to Leonard Cohen.
Track 5 is in tribute to Clara Schumann and the tune is adapted from the third movement (Adagio) of her Piano Trio.
Track 10 is dedicated to all who travel in search of a better life. End child detention, end family separation, just let them in.
Track 13 is dedicated to Eli Passage.
Track 14 is in honor of Margaret Weaver and is dedicated to everyone living with dementia or memory loss.

This album is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Copy it, share it, put in online, record your own versions of these songs or incorporate them into your own artwork, just credit me and don’t do it for money. More info at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

Find more of my music and say hello at micahsommer.bandcamp.com or
facebook.com/MicahSommersmith

Thank you for listening. I like you.

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released August 13, 2019

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