Little By Little

I wrote this as a lopey laid back meditation on life but when I played it live, many years ago, with my old compadre Mike Borman on keys and key bass he livened it up with a new bass line and a cool horn line. Thanks Mike! The horn section here of Chad Watson, Paul Slavo, and Joe Turano created a kind of New Orleans feel that funs it up, particularly at the end.

Little by little, the world keeps turnin
Little by little, and I keep learnin
That change comes slow, no matter who you know
How can I pretend to be the man I’m suppose to be?

Little by little, my dreams keep dyin
Little by little, but I keep tryin
To comprehend the beginning and the end
Walls go up and walls go down
I listen but don’t hear a sound

Time goes by so slowly
And I'm still here with no one to hold me

Little by little, I keep praying
Little by little, I hear you saying
You’ll stay with me, Honey can’t you see
By the things I say and do, it is me who understands you

©2017 Sossity Musi

Soul Survivor

This is based on a true story when I was visiting a 2nd cousin (RIP) in Fort Lee New Jersey when I thought it was cool to just kind of stand there when dancing and quickly learned that it was not cool, not at all. After being humiliated I returned to my high school and asked my friend OB Baker to show me some moves that were popular on the north side of Hartford. He did and our boys school quickly became popular with the girls schools because we knew how to dance!

I was a too cool teen back in the summer of 66
Who thought the way to dance
Was stand there like my shoes were bricks
I asked a Jersey girl to dance and hardly moved my feet
She took one look at me and
Turned around and took her seat

I’m a soul survivor
Somethin bout the music that I can’t let go
I’m a soul survivor
Baby, follow me down that road,
Follow me down that road

Humiliation made me pay attention to the latest craze
I studied Otis, Curtis, Aretha, James, and Marvin Gaye
And learned the Skate, the Pony,
The Funky Four Corners and the Boogaloo
And with this sweet soul music
My boys and I knew just what to do

We changed the reputation of dances that were once a bore
And the pretty girls came running
And we kept them coming back for more
Now all I have to hear is a couple of bars of Sam and Dave
To make my mood improve and soulfully I’m on my way.

©2017 Sossity Musi

You’re The One

This is an old one that’s been sitting around in mothballs and needed the right set of musicians to get it right. That’s the Sound! Moody and atmospheric, it’s an easy one to get lost in. Sometimes what you want it not what you’ll get.

I have fought a raging river
Trying to stop the way I feel
I want you, you’re the one
You’re the one

I make love to keep from loving
Now I know the reason why
I want you, you’re the one
You’re the one, yeah

There’s a dark and windless ocean
Deep inside me with your name
I want you, you’re the one
You’re the one, yeah

©2017 Sossity Musi

When Tomorrow Comes

Songwriting if often cathartic, sometimes without a clear understanding of what’s at work. This was one of those songs. I went through a box of Kleenex in the writing process and although I don’t really know why, I accept it and am thankful.

When tomorrow comes
The clouds will clear and the sun will shine
The birds will sing and the bells will chime
I’ll open my eyes and it’ll be all right
When tomorrow comes

It’s been a hard road, it’s been a rough road
It’s been a long road, but I keep goin on
I may be tattered I may be torn
But the darkest hour is just before the dawn, and
(Chorus)

Oh see the rain blow, against my window
And hear the branches, as they break and fall
I’ll have to dig down, and find the courage
To meet it head-on, and take it all, but
(Chorus)

I’m gonna keep on pushin
I’m gonna keep on tryin
I’m gonna keep on holdin on, holdin on, holding on ‘cause
(Chorus)

©2017 Sossity Musi

Runnin’ With The Boys

An old close friend died of cancer a couple of years ago and got me thinking about things. I jumped in my time machine and take you on a trip through the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s with many personal and pop song references along the way.

Snot nosed kids, on Blueberry Hill,
Good at killin time, looking for a thrill
Casting out our lines, then takin’ up the slack,
Flatten out our pennies, on a railroad track

Keep movin and we never ask why,      
Answer questions with a fake and a lie
Not looking for trouble but it knows our names,
So we saddle up the horses and grab the reins

RWTB- racin toward the sun  
RWTB- stealin Wrigley’s gum,
RWTB- hop-a-long petty crime
RWTB- with a belt on our behinds

Boogaloo down Broadway, seeing Jimi jam,
Chasin down the music, just as fast as we can
Bumpin and grindin,  to soul brother number 1,
Lordy, lordy, lordy we had so much fun

Getting sweaty at a dance in the dark,
Bone dry tinder, looking for a spark
Cruising down the coast, in a 442,
Didn’t wanna break hearts, but that’s what we do

RWTB- down the Old Post Road
RWTB- our wild seeds were sowed    
RWTB- weed, whites, and wine
RWTB- with the girls not far behind

Got to keep movin, got to keep groovin

Nixon was a fixin, to spoil all the fun,
And have us run through the jungle, with a Bible and a gun
We stared at death, but to save our skin,
Packed our bags, and scattered to the wind 

Some went north and some went west,
A brain-drain losing the brightest and best
We never thought on American ground,
Kent State shots would take four of us down

RWTB- I thought murder wrong
RWTB- we sang our protest song
RWTB- your not gonna change our mind
RWTB- with the cops not far behind

©2017 Sossity Musi

Walk

This was written a number of years ago after seeing an article about a deaf 11 year old boy who, alarmed at his mother’s longer than usual absence, started walking to find her. Found under a bridge on the 101 Freeway social services worked with him trying to piece together his story (he had no language) and discovered that he had started in Alaska!

I've got no name, I've got no home I can't hear, I'm all alone
Abandoned when I was ten, searchin' for who I am

       Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk

I can't write, I can't read, I'm no one with no ID
Driftin', from place to place, til I see my mother's face

 My father, he died. My mother, left me
 She never came home Now I'm all alone

My father, he died. My mother, left me
She never came home Now I'm all alone
It's getting colder, I'm getting hungry
I've got to find her

     Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk

       ©2017 Sossity Music

Where's My Baby

This was one of those songs that sat around for years unfinished; with only a chorus, until our dog Sparki died and I was moved to put the two things together.

Where’s my baby, where’s my baby girl
If you see her, won’t you send her home

I’ve looked everywhere we’d go
I’ve asked everyone I know
But they all say, she’s gone away
And there’s nothin I can do to bring her back to me

Where in the world can she be?
Doesn’t she know what she means to me?
Has my best friend, come to an end?
How will I ever go on?

Maybe something happened to her
Maybe she’s caught in harms way
I have got to keep on searchin
Won’t you please help me find her

©2017 Sossity Musi

Use Me

If you were alive in 1972 you can’t help but remember this Bill Wither’s classic running up the charts with it’s simple but funky clavinet and bass; not to mention the flipped on its head sentiment of being used. We’ve all been there. Last year at a gig in Santa Monica the band opening for us did a version of Use Me and Daniel Crawford (Demont’s brother) and I looked at each other nodding our heads with the silent understanding that “We can DO this.”

My friends feel it's their appointed duty
They keep trying to tell me all you want to do is use me
But my answer yeah to all that use me stuff
I wanna spread the news
That if it feels this good getting used
Oh you just keep on using me until you use me up
Until you use me up

My brother sit me right down and he talked to me
He told me that I ought not to let you just walk on me
And I'm sure he meant well yeah
But when our talk was through
I said brother if you only knew
You'd wish that you were in my shoes
You just keep on using me until you use me up
Until you use me up

Oh sometimes yeah it's true you really do abuse me
You get in a crowd of high class people
And then you act real rude to me
But oh baby baby baby baby
When you love me I can't get enough
I and I wanna spread the news
That if it feels this good getting used
Oh you just keep on using me until you use me up
Until you use me up

©1972 Universal Musi

Baby

I spent my teaching career in the heart of LA working and teaching people from all walks of life. We were a diverse group and one thing I missed when I retired was the middle aged black women I worked with referring to me as “baby.” I loved that.

Baby, I love it when you call me
Baby, You thrill me when you call me
Baby, You know when you call me
Baby, the world’s all right with me

When I’m far away, or just across town
And I get a little lonely and I start to feel down
Nine times out of ten the phone will ring
With your voice soft and clear, sayin

When I’m at my job, and things ain’t goin right
I try to reason with my boss but he’s looking or a fight
It’ll calm me down if I can hear you say, that little word

When I’ve done wrong and made a mistake
And I feel like a fool and my head begins to ache
You’ll take me in your arms and whisper in my ear

©2017 Sossity Music

Just a Game

I wrote this song years ago when we were embroiled in the conflicts in Central America. Sadly, the song is as relevant today as it was then. With our trigger happy president at the helm maybe even more so. (I had originally planned to fade the track at about 5 minutes but Demont’s shout at the end celebrating a great take makes me smile every time I hear it and so I left it in.)

Smoking hills, talking trees, who can you depend on
Guns at dawn took my son, orders from a general
Now the air is quiet, stillness marks my pain
Somewhere sits a man who says it’s just a game

I must wait helplessly, I don’t understand it
Twisted word democracy, does it really matter?
Who’s behind the trigger, who’s the one to blame
He was just a pawn in someone else’s game

It’s just a game, it’s just a game, it’s just a game
Well, if it’s just a game, why do I feel like crying

Waiting for the kind words, words that never came
Who will turn to me and say it’s just a game
It’s just a game, it’s just a game, it’s just a game

©2017 Sossity Musi

What’s Goin On

What can I say? A classic. Marvin Gaye at the height of his powers. We’ve put our own spin on it and hopefully kept the heartbreaking power of the battle-worn soldier returning home only to find America a troubled and unsettled land. Another political song with just as much pertinence today as when it was written during the Vietnam war.

Mother, mother, there's too many of you cryin'
Brother, brother, there's far too many of youdyin'
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin here today

Picket lines, picket signs,
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me so you can see
What's goin on, what's goin on,

Father, father, we don't need to escalate
War is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin here today

Mother, mother everybody thinks that we are wrong
But who are they to judge us simply cause our hair is long
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today

©1971 Jobete Musi