Umbrella Man

by Scott Albert Johnson

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    CD version of Umbrella Man, the 2007 album from Scott Albert Johnson. Album photography by Susan Margaret Barrett and James Patterson. Art layout by James Harwell.

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credits

released May 8, 2007

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about

Scott Albert Johnson Jackson, Mississippi

Scott Albert Johnson was bathed in the wide range of the American songbook, as well as the sounds of his 1970’s and 80’s childhood. That diversity is at the core of his new album, Going Somewhere. Johnson incorporates rock, jazz, blues, funk, country, and world music, mixed with thoughtful lyrics, strong vocals, and virtuosic harmonica playing, to create a unique, modern concoction of sound. ... more

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Track Name: Spaceship
I saw a light the other night
It sure was big, it sure was bright
It knocked me out, it was outta sight
Sure hope it comes back again tonight
They said it was from outer space
From some far-off and freaky place
I'm tellin' you, now, face to face
It disappeared without a trace

And if I saw a spaceship, could I tell you so?
If you thought I'd gone bananas, would you let me know?
'Cause I'm stuck here on this planet and I've got no place to go

And now you say I've gone insane
Some bad ideas got in my brain
You say it was a bird or plane
But let me tell you something, Jane
There's more to life than meets the eye
Way off beyond the earth and sky
Should I have called the FBI?
Or would they think it was a lie?

And if I saw a spaceship, could I hitch a ride?
Would it take me all the way to the other side?
'Cause I can't get off this planet, and Lord knows that I've tried...
I've tried – I’ve tried to get to the other side

I think that I shall never see
A light so lovely or so free
I wonder, will it ever be
Sitting here right next to me?
It's an illusion, so you say
There’s no such thing anyway
But I saw it just as clear as day
And I don't think I want to stay

And if I climbed aboard a spaceship, would you let me go?
Could it be there's still a few things that you still don't know?
Cause I'm jumping off this planet, and I just wanted to say "so long"… so long... so long...
..and that's the end of this song
Track Name: Turn Out Fine
When I was still a young man, she was always there for me
She said I was her hero, and I always tried to be
She didn’t have much confidence, but I let her borrow mine
And every day I just had to say, “Girl, you’re gonna turn out fine”

Well, time went by, and one day I was lying in my bed
She came to me with a sad, sad look, and then she softly said
“You’re not the man I used to know”… and I guess that was a sign
That if she stayed just one more day, things wouldn’t turn out fine

That was fifteen years ago… I’m married, got a kid
But I still smile after all this while ‘bout those crazy things we did
I saw her just the other day, riding the Orange Line
She didn’t recognize me but she sure did turn out fine
Track Name: What About Your Man
There’s a light shining through your lonely window
It’s a flame most cannot see
It leads to a room with a door in the darkness
And it seems that I’ve been given the key

Your sad smile that hangs on your face
Tells me I’ve come to the right place
But baby… what about your man?

I’m a man of very few illusions
I’m going nowhere, and I’m getting there slow
And yet I find myself still drawn to your doorstep
For reasons I’m not given to know

And you call to me in the night,
Saying please, baby, make it all right
But baby… what about your man?

We are living in a world of deception
Confusion, misdirection, lies and mystery
But that doesn’t change the truth that stands before us
And it won’t do a thing to keep you away from me

The clock is ticking and I hear it down the hallway
My time’s slipping away faster than I can see
But what can I say as I stand inside the doorway
Is it you who is falling, or is it me?

There’s a cold wind blowing through your broken window
Tonight I’m lonely, because you’re not alone
And so I wander on, with my hands in my pockets
These small pieces of life are all that I own

Still I know that I’ll return
When I see that candle burn
But baby… what about your man?
Track Name: Hollywood
Once upon a lonely time, in a young man's fantasy
The young man thought he knew what he believed he could be
Until he saw the carnival—the circus came to town
And he knew there wasn't much left for him there, he didn't care to stick around

The choice was made there and then
The forecast surely was good
The young man knew he'd be okay on the road to Hollywood

So when he hit the 101, his star shot up faster than light
And though it brought him down to his knees, he didn't put up much of a fight
Then one day he saw his name hanging over Sunset and Vine
And all he had to do to get it up there was just sign on the dotted line

It really wasn't too much to ask
You'd'a done the same if you could
You'd be so happy in your big old house in the hills of Hollywood

One night the young man went to bed, an old man waiting to die
And in his dreams, he traveled back home for a proper goodbye
“We're so proud of you, son
“You're the toast of the neighborhood
“We knew you'd never forget us way out there in Hollywood”
Track Name: Magnolia Road
The sweet, sweet surrender of a dark and cold December
The smell of burning firewood in the air
My friends and my relations make a bright constellation
Of the memories I once created there

When I'd go walking down the Magnolia Road
To find the places that I used to go
And when the time comes 'round to take me one thousand miles away
There I go, but here my heart will stay

There's not much explanation for this old infatuation
I know there isn’t much that I can do
'Cause time marches onward, with dreams left undiscovered
And still this road leads me back to you

And I am walking down the Magnolia Road
To learn the things that I used to know
And though I know I’m chasing shadows through the alleys of my past
The road will take me to the things that last

Tell me that old story of the power and the glory
Tell me how to chase my fears away
Give me one good reason to make it through one more season
Until the time when I come back to stay

And we’ll go walking down the Magnolia Road
Hold me tight until I have to go
Until the time comes 'round to take me one thousand miles away
There I go, but here my heart will stay
Track Name: The Yuppie Husband's Lament
Well, come over here, little baby, let me have a talk with you
Well, come over here, little sugar mama, let me have a talk with you
There’s a little matter we gotta discuss, that’s the matter of why you won’t be true

Now don’t be bringing me no excuses… I’ve had enough of all that jive
That private eye sure ‘nuff done his job, just as sure as I’m alive
Now I think I’m gonna get in my BMW convertible, gonna put my top down and drive

So you’ll be hearing from my lawyer, baby… in fact, you’ll be hearing from all three
And you can have my bookcase from IKEA®, you can have my widescreen TV
And you can have all your other men, baby, ‘cause you ain’t getting one more damn thing from me
Track Name: Umbrella Man
I’m out to save a world that doesn’t feel like being saved
I’m on a metaphysical mission, headed for a heavenly grave
I’m such a strange attractor, and I don’t wanna tell no tale
But my mojo is a-workin’ far beyond this earthly veil

Can’t you see
It’s clear to me
That you don’t understand my philosophy
But you gotta trust my plan
I’m the umbrella man

I’d take you for a ride, then I’d hang you out to dry
I’d leave you feeling lucky, but I ain’t that kind of guy
I’m sending out false messages, and I’m burning buildings down
I’d make a deal with angels if the devil’s out of town

But it’s true
I’m feeling blue
Because I don’t seem to be getting through to you
The whole world’s my biggest fan
I’m the umbrella man

It’s really kind of funny how it ever came to this
But my trigger finger’s itching and I know that I just can’t miss
The motorcade’s approaching and the time is close at hand
For me to claim my destiny and make a hero’s stand

Pick up the phone
Let it be known
That the kid sure as hell didn’t act alone
And I’d do it all again
I’m the umbrella man

Let it be known
Track Name: The Best of Me
It’s a rainy night in America and I don’t know where I am
I’m not the King of Anything… stuck in another jam
It’s times like these when I look inside and I wonder what I see
When the Man Upstairs doesn’t seem to care what will ever become of me

But there’s a lady with a phone beside her pillow
And there’s a little man staying up to watch TV
And I think of you and everything is clear now
It’s my job to give you the best of me

Don’t know how I got here from the places that I’ve been
This road has been the ruin of many better men
I don’t know why it took so long for me to learn how to be strong
And I don’t know how to disavow the things that I’ve done wrong

But I’m learning how to see across the canyon
Between who I am and who I need to be
And you’re the ones who keep me standing on my feet now
It’s your job – to keep getting the best of me

So I’ll keep on singing songs around the Southland
Songs about everything from A to Z
And I’ll dream a time when all these rhymes add up to more than echoes
And who knows – if we’re lucky – they just might set us free

And you and he and I will walk together
Anticipating all that’s yet to be
‘Til the day you both look back and remember ...

... I gave you the best of me