‘Inch by Inch’ Liner Notes

Here’s a song about lost love and longing for living, written almost entirely in the driver’s seat. Continue reading below the lyrics for a little more about it.


I like to sing while I drive (don’t we all?), and quite a few of my songs came from my own private behind-the-wheel concerts, way back in my P.I. days. This one got started by singing an intentionally mispronounced Sepulveda, a street name exit on several LA freeways.

hauling freight
by night
a heavy weight
to right

Now that’s a lot of -ights!

Separated by miles and misunderstandings
Setting up the theme for faded love.

Separated by smiles
The most troubling line in the whole song. How can something that connects people be used to push them apart? And yet it happens all the time.

Anything to give you the edge
Even in intimate relationships, it’s no surprise to see acts of competition take place.

Making up is for fools
I saw a soul controlled by pride

Soon as you get out
I saw the one who committed treason rushing out to hurt again.

Watching the flowers grow
When nature is your sacred pathway.

In your heart for years
This phrase was scribbled in my notebook to help me remember how old this song is, and inadvertently became the foundation for the second verse when nothing else came to mind.

There on the open road
You seek your independence to flee the safe, beautiful world you know.

Within your heart
Try as you might, you can’t fool me. I see your longing for companionship.

‘Inch by Inch’ Liner Notes

Only Place to Be

My dear friend,

Life is for more than eating and drinking, watching and buying. Our body is worth more than the clothes we put on it. We can do more than just consume.

Let’s think about the joy that comes from the soul of the divine, the peace that comes from living a right and full life.

Don’t get sidetracked and stuck. Don’t buy a house along the road and forget how it feels to travel. Come, run the race! This road we’ve found is love, and it’s the only place for you and me. Love is the only place to be.

love is any road
you run with me


Only Place to Be

‘When I Went to Heaven’ Liner Notes

Looking for the lost along the road, then kicked to the curb himself.

Continue reading (below the lyrics) for a little more on the story.


This is one of the oldest songs in my catalog. Although the music and lyrics seem very simple, there’s a bit more to it than meets the ear.

Video available online: 11/2/16 home studio demo

When I went to heaven
I gained entry to the holy city. I found the house of God.

I did not fit in
I looked the part, knew the sacred texts, and pushed the right blood through my veins. Yet my own people want nothing to do with me.

So I went to Oakland
I am happy by the well, in the villages, teaching on the hillside. I walk with the people.

Saw my favorites in
Sounds like “saw my favorite sin.” Both phrasings meet the same end: adopting the worst of the orphans and bringing them into refuge.

I think you need to go and chase them
Move along now, they said. Go play your little games out there in the mud.

They threw me out the door
Yes, I’ve been rejected.

They said I’d be broken
Yes, I’ve been reviled.

I came back for more
But I’ll be resurrected.

I know the sun chase rays
From the eastward to the west

Not half as hard as I could chase you
“If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.”

You know I understand
“The student is not above the teacher.”

And when they push you
“When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next.”

I’ll comfort you
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

In my hand
Here’s another song: I’m in his hands

‘When I Went to Heaven’ Liner Notes

‘Oh Whenever’ Liner Notes

A loudly sung bedtime lullaby. You can continue reading a few notes about specific lines (below the lyrics)


 This song was written almost entirely under the cover of darkness. It started as a super loud parody of a bedtime song, but it took shape very quickly and never had a chance to get any quieter. It is by far the most requested song in my household’s bedtime playlist.

Video available online: Oh Whenever – 1/4/17

Got to go to sleep and dream
Let’s teach our little ones the value of a good rest. Let’s bless them with sweet dreams and a sense of security in the world around them.

My old best friend Sam
I really did have a childhood “best friend” named Sam once. He wasn’t kind to me, and belittled me. When I think about him I remember how hard it can be to be a kid. What can I do to make it better for others?

Take a look inside, check the attitudes I hide
A nod to introspection. Let’s be honest with ourselves and honest with others.

You see me for all I am
I see you for what you can be

It’s a job of the guardian to encourage potential in those under our care. They can’t do that for us. They can only see us for the truth of who we are in our word and deed. But we can see and believe in the hope of their future, and we can help them get there.

Whenever paper touches pen
We’re writing stories in their hearts with every interaction. I also really like the wording and melody here.

With these eyes of mine, the life there begins
A reminder that they are watched over with loving, life-giving eyes.

I see opportunity to believe
We model faith to others. Let us never forget that high and sacred calling.

Make it in, say it for you, shout it out
We take every opportunity to help write the brightest future into the stories of their lives. This is pure love.

You are not alone
Answering the deepest fear of many a childhood. A promise. A blessing.

Unwritten lyrics
At the end of the 2nd stanza, the line:

Be. Oh, come on, be you.

At the end of the song, a brief instrumental, followed by:

At night I’ve got to go now
Got to go to sleep
And when I dream, I dream of you

‘Oh Whenever’ Liner Notes