The Life You Save Might Be Your Own

All Songs © Thomas Oliver 

Traveling Kind

she was a looker
a tall glass of spring water
the kind of lady a boy dreams about and men desire
but she had a weakness
for men already taken
so she was always saying goodbye

and she’d said: so long now
I’ve already left
You knew I was the traveling kind
first time we met.
you take care now and watch you step
cause you never know
who you might meet next.

I was a free man
not her normal one-night stand
so she didn’t know what to think when I didn’t leave.
I said I don’t care
who you’ve been with or where
she just smiled and said you’re cute but a little naive


there’ve been other women
but none could hold a candle
to that traveling lady and the thirst she left behind.
some time in the night
no matter who i’m holding tight
I know come morning i’ll be saying goodbye

and i’ll say:


Where You Are

cellphones, emails
we stay in touch
anyway we can.
when i’m gone
you’re in town
when I come back
you’re on your way out
i’m not so sure how it got this way
all I know is I miss you every day

where you are is where I ought to be
oh no this life we’re leading
ain’t all its cracked up to be.
where you are is right where I need to be
cause this missing you is killing me

we come together
every chance we get
living separate lives
with separate careers.
two garages
miles apart
two sets of kids
play in separate yards
this life ain’t exactly what we planned
our day will come but until then

(chorus 2) :

and where you are I always want to be
and the good lord willing one day I won’t have to leave
cause where you are is right where I need to be
this missing you is killing me
yeah, this missing you is killing me.


The Life You Save Might Be Your Own

it’s just too hard, or too late
she says I can’t, or won’t change
there’s nothing left, to debate
she’s on her way.
I loved the way, we were
when she was less sure
and I was more than she’d hoped for
as she used to say.

now she’s waving goodbye
like she might be back in a while
but we both know better than that
she’s way too strong.

someone’s left and someone’s gone
doesn’t matter who was right or wrong
when love ends and you’re all alone
the life you save (just) might be your own

I was never that tough
always needed someone’s touch
and I was always in a rush.
to jump back in.
Being alone ain’t that bad
being lonely (now) that’s something else
been there and I ain’t doing that
not ever again.

now i’m waving goodbye
knowing it’s for the last time
what she’s looking for hope she finds
and it won’t take long



Now Like Then 
(written with J. David Leonard)

I remember every word
You said to me back then
How your love for me had changed
And even though it was the end, you said
We could always be friends
Even now, it still sounds strange

Now like then
My tears begin to fall
Remembering when
We thought we had it all
You threw away
The life that we had planned
The only thing that I have now
Is then

I was getting in my car
In the Wal-mart parking lot
When I heard you call my name
I looked around and saw you there
And simply said hello
Then the feelings rose and I had to turn away

(1st chorus):
(2nd chorus):
Now like then
I want to be the one
I can’t understand
Just how it came undone
You threw away
The life that we had planned
The only thing that I have now
Is then


Ms. Heartache

here she’s comes you better head for cover
she ain’t nothing but a world of trouble
ms. heartache’s on the prowl again
you better watch your step son
she’s looking for another man
(chorus) (a):
she’ll love you like you never been loved before
you’ll just keep coming back for more
but one day she’ll say you through
you’ll find out what heartache can do
(chorus) (b)
it’ll hurt so bad you can’t get out of bed
it’ll hurt so much you’ll wish you were dead
and then one day when you can finally stand
you see her with another man

(Verse 1):

I know what i’m talking about
she chewed me up and then spit me out
Ms. Heartache left me with a smile and a kiss
i’ve been licking me wounds
and hiding out ever since

(chorus): (a):
(repeat Verse 1)


 Then I Remember

days are bad, nights are worse
I just can’t seem to work, late enough
when i’m home all by myself
something in every room reminds me you’ve left

like the photograph, of us at the beach
walking in the ocean, up to our knees
you hair is blowing, in that summer breeze
we were so in love, it’s hard to believe

then I remember I can’t forget
cause remembering is what I do best
then I remember what I know too well
no matter how long you’ve been gone I ain’t over you yet

there’s hardly anything I can do
that doesn’t remind me, of me and you
i’ll be driving and i’ll hear some song
it’ll take me back to a time when nothing was wrong



Low-down, Mean Dirty Blue

well i’m just a man who tries to do right
always get home before daylight
and I love my baby as often as I can
but sometimes things don’t work out like I planned.

my baby said why do you treat me so bad
I said I didn’t know I did that
I thought I was your loving gentleman
she said lord help me, what you don’t understand

it’s just the blues, honey, it’s just the blues honey
it’s just those low-down, mean, dirty blues


landlord said you’re late again
I said i’m doing the best I can
he said yeah but it ain’t good enough
I said yeah but grandmama said you can’t get blood for a turnip


I saw those lights flashing in my rear view mirror
I said to myself, thomas, you shouldn’t be here
and that cop he seemed to agree
and he gave a ride downtown in his backseat

my lady came to the city jail
said i’m here to go your bail
but you gotta promise to straighten out
I said, honey, you took the words right out of my mouth.



Can’t Break a Broken Heart

not long after they married
she knew something was wrong
he’d rather stay out drinking
than to be with her at home
get out while you can
her family and friends
told her, it wasn’t her fault
but she worried, it would break his heart

you can’t end what didn’t start
you can’t leave a home that never was
you can’t tear up what’s been torn apart
you can’t break a broken heart


so, she tried to love him
out of the bottle he’d crawled inside
it almost cost her her soul
still she paid one helluva price
not long after she left
she heard he ended it
and she blamed herself for his loss
but of course it wasn’t her fault



Audience of One

you said i could
even when they said don’t try.
you said just sing your songs
and let the world go on by.
you said they sound good to me,
i’ll be your audience of one
maybe some day they’ll hear
what i’ve heard all along.

so this song’s for you
even though the others are too.
when all is said and done
you’re my audience of one.

now it don’t look so hard
not where we’ve come from.
that’s the way it always is
when you’ve come this far.
I hope I never forget
being lonely and lost
and how much it meant
when I first heard your applause.


 Stolen Kisses

you’d think by now i’d know better
than to let my heart get in the way
you think a man my age would have learned
not to go around tempting fate

cause the heart’s a strange and funny thing
it seems to have a mind all its own
and just when you think it’s done with hurting
it’ll remind you that you’re never too old

and i’m working on another broken heart
and this time, it’ll be, just the same
stolen kisses in dimly-lit places
followed by an old familiar stream of tears

Now I should never, be left alone
cause my heart tells me things I don’t need to know
like this minute there’s someone waiting for you
but you’ll have to break some promises to go



Man Enough

don’t remember when I learned it
men ain’t supposed to cry
don’t remember where I heard it
men don’t run and hide
men are supposed to be strong
talk straight, walk tall
and they never ever give up
well I guess I ain’t man enough

someone forgot to tell me
love changes all the rules
and if you follow where your heart leads
well, it’s bound to get bruised
no they never said
you’ll wish you were dead
then we’ll see what you think you’re made of
well I guess I ain’t man enough

things aren’t always as they appear
I know that now, wish I’d known then

so many things I was told
turned out not to be the case
like when you said I was your world
and no man could take my place
now I can’t hold these tears
can’t tell my heart how to feel
never knew love would hurt so much
well I guess I ain’t man enough


Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

tell me the stories of Jesus
about how he saved all mankind
tell me the stories of Jesus
I need a little love in my life

1. tell me how he made the lame leap
how he raised the dead from their sleep
about how he stopped that woman’s bleeding
and about how he got lazarus breathing.


2. tell me how he made the blind see
about how he cured those with leprosy
tell me about the boy and those fish
and about how he freed the oppressed, oh yeah

tell me how he loved the children
washed the feet of those who loved him
tell me about the two at emmaus
and about how he walks with us.
3. tell me how he hung on that cross
about how he suffered the cost
on the third day he would live again
tell me that story again and again

we all need a little love in our lives
a-amen, a-amen.


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