I Am A Sewing Machine

In America w/The Brooklyn Women's Chorus

Last Man on the Mountain live in Berkeley, CA

Hang On Girl

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  • Apr 15

    The Howland Cultural Center


  • Apr 20

    Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture


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Hang On Girl, by Bev Grant

Chorus:      Hang on girl, I know it feels like you are dying

                  And it’s hard to stop your crying

                  You were sure you had the right one by your side

                  Hang on girl, you’re not the first to be forsaken

                  Or to feel like you’ve been taken – taken for a ride


You know I’ve been through it, even thought I knew

What I was doing when I gave away my heart

But time’s final measure whether what you have is treasure

Or just the fleeting pleasure of a spark


Repeat Chorus


It’s not worth the pain you feel

When you start to peel away the fiction from the real

You’ll understand that the love you gave so freely

Won’t come back until you really love yourself

More than your man


Repeat Chorus


Small Town Girl by Bev Grant

I grew up in a small house in a small town by the river

Rode my bike every day, trying to find a way to something bigger

Pushing past the boundaries of being a girl and being young

And thinking I could be what I could be

My dad gave me my first guitar

I think he thought that I’d go far

But I went further than he ever hoped to see


Chorus:         Now I’m a small town girl in New York City

                    When I first set foot my eyes were big and wide

                    Stepped off the train at Penn Station

                    I’d just crossed this whole damn nation

                    A suitcase and a guitar by my side


Brooklyn was my destination, bumps and bruises welcomed me

Still a girl, not quite grown up, with a thirst to fill my cup and to be free

My boyfriend called me his old lady, we listened to Sister Sadie

I went to work while he played his saxophone

I brought home and cooked the bacon

Cleaned the mess he was making

‘Til I finally left to make one of my own


Repeat Chorus


Now I’m still living here in Brooklyn, my closet’s full of memories

Got some space for some new ones, making my own music when I please

My kids are grown, now I’ve got grand ones, full of life and energy

I feel like someone who got off scot free

I don’t regret the life I had and

Growing old’s not half so bad

So I keep living like I’m always gonna be.


Repeat Chorus



Poor Daddy by Bev Grant

I drove my daddy’s Edsel ‘til the time that I left home

It was white with salmon trimmin’, had lots of shiny chrome

My friends called it a lemon, they snickered kind of mean

But I drove that Edsel everywhere ‘til I turned 18


My daddy was a gambler but he never made much dough

Mom called Duncan’s Card House when he would fail to show

We’d be waitin’ for our dinner, waitin’ for him to come home

When we finally went to bed his plate was sittin’ there all alone


Chorus:      Poor poor Daddy, never satisfied

                 Wanted to be a big shot so he cheated and he lied

                 Poor poor Daddy, tried to grab a bigger slice

                 What he got cost him a lot when he finally paid the price


Well, that Edsel used to sit under a giant maple tree

Us kids would hide behind it, we’d yell “Olly Oxen Free”

While Dad was busy making deals, trying to cook the books

With shady schemes and get rich dreams, my dad was just a crook


Repeat Chorus


Dad could play a mean piano, putting stride to melody

Up a Lazy River, Lazy Bones, Georgia

We would gather around the upright, raising voices strong

He didn’t give us much, but I got the gift of song


When I think about that Edsel, you know I think about my dad

Craving the respect he musta known he’d never had

The day I left a hurricane came blowin’ through our town

Landed on the Edsel, that big old tree came crashing down


Repeat Chorus + tag


What he got cost him a lot, never hit the big jack pot.

Ended up with diddly squat when he finally paid the price.


Throw Me The Ball by Bev Grant

When I was a kid I always liked to play ball

Catchin’ in the schoolyard with my friend Saul

First Base was the position I chose

Sarah covered Short, stayin’ on her toes

Played ‘til dark or hear our mamas call

Everyone was hollerin’,


“Hey, throw me the ball!”

“Throw me the ball”

“First base!” I’d shout, “Let’s get the out”

“Throw me the ball”


It didn’t really matter who was at the plate

You hit it or you didn’t, there was no debate

‘Til sixth grade came, put an end to those days

Our bodies started changing up in weird ways

Grownups saying only boys allowed to play ball

But every time I saw them play, I had to call,


“Throw me the ball”

“Throw me the ball”

I like that infield chatter, messin’ with the batter

“Throw me the ball”


Last night I had a dream, I was in the back yard

My nephew started singin’, playing his guitar

Well I was thinking about a song to sing

I heard the smack of leather, only means one thing

Guys playing catch, grabbed my glove off the wall

They just looked right through me when I yelled,


“Throw me the ball”

“Throw me the ball”

“Throw it over here! Hey man – what, you can’t hear?”

“Throw me the ball”


Well I haven’t worn a glove for a number of years

But that dream last night it woke me up in tears

All the things they said girls could not do

All the battles we fought to prove it was not true

So many brick walls yet to fall

‘Til it’s a no brainer, and you gotta,


“Throw me the ball” / “Hey, it’s my turn”

“Throw me the ball” / “Buddy, you gotta lot to learn

“Throw me the ball” / “Get the runner at first”

“Throw me the ball” / “I’m workin’ up a thirst”

“Throw me the ball” / “Pop fly – Somebody call it!”

“Throw me the ball” / “I got it! I got it!”

“Throw me the ball” / “Put some mustard on it”

“Throw me the ball” / “Turn 2.  Let’s get the double play”

“Throw me the ball” / “You call me out?  No way!”

“Throw me the ball” / “Protect the plate.  Oh, man, it’s getting’ late” “I’m comin’ Ma”


You’re Not the One by Bev Grant

You’re not the one I was loving

He’s been gone for a while

His love was full of surprises

Waking me up with his smile

I don’t know how it happened

He vanished without a goodbye

Left me here with this stranger

By whose side I now lie


We used to go outside walking

It didn’t matter much where

Breathing the air we were breathing

Unconscious of anyone there

Now it’s a whole lot of silence

Filling up space with regret

Heavy with words left unspoken

And all that might happen yet


         Waiting for the right moment

         Who will play the next card

         A heart that’s in torment

         In a place that’s so hard


We both know the answer

I’m already halfway out the door

Still I keep wishing you show up

The way you were before

Flame can’t live in a vacuum

And smoke just gets sucked away

I can’t hardly stand it

There’s nothing left here to say


The Dirty Laundry Blues by Bev Grant

I left a tissue in the pocket of the jeans I washed that night

Full of angry tears it wiped away

Though the dirt went down the drain, tiny fragments still remain

Reminding me of all the things we didn’t say

When I asked you for some change you said to check the penny jar

Well that kind of change just wasn’t what I had in mind

Now I’m left to clean the mess, try to second guess

How love could be so clueless and so blind


Chorus:      Well I’ve got the, the dirty laundry blues

                  Tangled up and smelly, colors all confused

                  Try to sort it out, load it up, wash it all away

                  Clean laundry, brand new day


Well those jeans I washed that day have faded into gray

With holes in empty pockets front and back

No longer any use, there’s just no good excuse to toss them in the laundry sack

The only thing that’s left to spin’s the sorry state you left me in

It might be hard, but honey I’ll get over you with time

The next wash will be a start

I’m gonna give it all my heart

To scrub out all that nasty dirt and grime


Repeat Chorus 2X

Tag:                    I’ve got to sort it out, load it up, wash it all away

                         Clean laundry, it’s a brand new day


 The Space Between by Bev Grant

From the sweet anticipation of where this love might have led

The hours apart grow longer, and I welcome them instead

Of the dancing out of step and time, no matter how I try

In the space between it’s over and the time to say goodbye


And as the distance grows, the memory of what was day to day

Still lingers in the urge to call without a thing to say

Cause we’ve talked it through a thousand times convinced each one knows why

In the space between it’s over and the time to say goodbye


And from the longing for what I thought was real

And the hunger for the love that I no longer feel

Comes the knowing that the only change to count on lives inside

The space between it’s over and the time to say goodbye

The space between it’s over and the time to say goodbye.


It’s over.  Goodbye.


I Am A Sewing Machine by Bev Grant

I am a sewing machine, stitching your stylish new clothes

And right beside me others just like me sit here neatly in rows

My person works here each day, she can’t be more than 15

She’s constantly railed at, pushed and assailed to work faster at her machine


Chorus:      Chain stitch, overlock, drop feed, never stop

                 My needle’s stitching all day

                 Persons, they come and go

                 Hired to make me sew, fired if they disobey


Sometimes she makes a mistake or answers to her body’s need

They start to yell at her, make it hell for her, tell her she’s worth less than me

Sometimes, one of us breaks down, we all have limits you know

Me, they fuss over, fix, make over; her, they simply let go


Repeat Chorus


Bridge: My bobbin spins around, needle up and down, flying too fast for the eye

            Fabric that’s guided by fingers so small ‘til I hear a painful cry – aye, aye, aye


I am a sewing machine, stitching your stylish new clothes

My person’s forced to work 12 hour days, she can’t afford what she sews

I sew in China, in El Salvador, Bangladesh, the Philippines

Cotton to sateen, shirt waists to blue jeans, I am a sewing machine

Cotton to sateen, shirt waists to blue jeans, I am a sewing machine




I Felt the Earth Shake (“Ayiti” means Haiti) by Bev Grant

I felt the earth shake

I saw people break

When the sky fell on me

The kids in Port-au-Prince

Watched the trees begin to dance

Swallowed dust before they had a chance

While my stricken heart still beat

         Ayiti, you were home to me

         Now I can’t see my home


All I see is crumbled rock

Grief buried under shock

Empty shoes beneath my feet

Try to find solid ground

Looking for the lost and found

Silence screaming in our broken town

While our stricken hearts still beat


         Ayiti, you were home to me

         I am calling you, but you’re not home

         Ayiti, Ayiti


[Verse is Spoken] 

Before my world fell apart my new democracy was frail

Tethered to banks whose dictates almost always prevail

Years of interference from abroad

Left nothing in place to brace the pitiful façade

Of the government as it crumbled

NGO’s stumbled and everyone was humbled

By the fact no one had a plan

I thought that was the government’s job, I didn’t understand

But their role had been undermined

By foreign forces who nickeled and dimed them

Controlling who really held the power in the end

In the end, no one did, in that fateful hour


I don’t know where to start

The world I know’s been blown apart

Endless lines form in the heat

Trying to find my next meal

An end to this ordeal

A chance for us to heal

While my stricken heart still beats


         Ayiti, you were home to me

         I am calling you, bring me home (x2)


I felt the earth shake




Mother’s Wrath by Bev Grant

There was a time when there were no lines on my face

No lines to cross were in place

It was as far as the eye could see

Obscured only by mountain or tree

Creatures were free to rest or to roam

I was their mother, I was their home


Of course there was turmoil, the yin and the yang

The winds of change blew again and again

Species mutated, hierarchy began

With the evolving advancement of man

Once one of many content

They grew unruly, became hell bent


         Destruction, consumption, division and greed

         Competing idols of worship and creed

         Digging and drilling to suck at my core

         ‘Til I just couldn’t take any more, couldn’t take any more


Now I am writhing in ruin and pain

Melting in agony and acid rain

Naked of forests, mountains uncapped

Waters polluted, animals trapped

Trembling in sorrow, in need of a bath

You have unleashed your mother’s wrath


National Anthem: Arise! Arise! By Jean Rohe

Atlantic and Pacific flow

The Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico

The land between sustains us all

To cherish it our tireless call


Chorus:      Arise, arise

                  I see the future in your eyes

                  To a more perfect union we aspire

                  And lift our voices from the fire


We reached these shores from many lands

We came with hungry hearts and hands

Some came by force and some by will

The auction block or the darkened mill


Repeat Chorus


We died in your fields and your factories

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

With an old coat hanger in a room somewhere

A trail of tears, an electric chair


Repeat Chorus


Our great responsibility

To be guardians of our liberty

‘Til tyrants bow to the peoples’ dream

And justice flows like a mighty stream


Repeat Chorus (2X)