Nothing Hid

by Bob Frey

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Minneapolis singer-songwriter Bob Frey at his very best, his wry, intelligent and heartfelt lyrics matched with beautiful and simple melodies, supported by wonderful musicians. A hidden treasure...


released October 4, 2013

Bob Frey - Guitar, Vocals
Corey Hess - Bass, Drums
Kale Baglyos Reed - Violin, Mandolin
Matthew Unga - Lead Guitar


Paul Loughridge - Drums
Seth Tate - Organ
Marc Conklin - Guitar


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Bob Frey Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bob Frey is a longtime devotee to the art of writing and performing songs. His unique and memorable voice immediately engages his audience, the perfect vehicle for his wry, intelligent lyrics.
On each of these albums, Bob shows himself to be a versatile writer, his simple folk melodies forming a sound and solid base for his poetic observations and stories. He is the brother of author James Frey.
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Track Name: Prologue
I guess there's no accounting for timing
And, I would never turn my back on luck
I've never been too good at disguising
Or, pretending that I was not struck
I guess I could've been a bit cooler
But, then again, the coolest thing I ever did
Was to ask for your number and tell you I love you
I kept nothing hid
Track Name: Wine & Letters
So, we'll take our time as days go by
We will treasure what we never can reclaim
And, from far away, a Mother's grace
Comes the sound of someone calling
Now, a boy with deep brown eyes, in a lonely place
But, he tells you that he's happy

So, we'll face the hours, embrace the years
Making lists and drawing marks upon our walls
And, closer still, a Father's face
Neither one will be forgotten
Just like a dog, in the curl of sleep, forever blessed
I wish you everything you wanted


Is there something that you need from me?
Is there something I should say?
I think you always get the best of me
All the rest I'd throw away
I think it's always been that way

So, we'll chase the hands in a backwards race
I remember how I longed for you to stay
As the dawn came in, I fell asleep
Intoxicated and so beautifully beguiled
Illuminated, as the Springtime fell
After Winter seemed forever

So, we'll watch the Sun, we'll see it shine
In the light we'll watch it grow, our greatest hope
Most precious one, and we'll let go
But, still hold on just like a Brother
And, if I had to tell the truth, the best I'd do
Is in the end I know the water always wins


So, I see us still just as we were
I read "Stones of Summer" through the fleeting light
Into the Fall, the quiet still
And, if I promised you a poem I'd write it down
In the early hours, just like I do
And, wine and letters on your birthday

Track Name: Stones In My Pocket
The whole thing started in the Wintertime
Now, it's Summer right outside my door
I'm just like you, lover, waiting for good news
I wake up in the morning and you're next to me
Still, I'm feeling just a bit unsure
It's been a long time, lover, just trying not to lose

We were rolling right along, just like a Southbound train
Or, the thunder when the rains come in
Strong and true and certain in our time
Then the whole thing changed, not me and you
But the world that we were living in
I should've seen it coming, but I guess I missed the signs


Friends will visit now and then
Your sister's on the phone
As we try to sleep, it's just you and me
And, our baby in the other room
I hold you closely, all through the nite
I know it sure feels dark outside
But, it'll soon be light
My dear, the dawn is coming, it'll soon be light

Feeling every second like you can't escape
From the demons of the nite before
Harder still are the ones that you don't know
But, we've always been together, lover, now I feel
Like we're together just a little more
We got one shot, mama, let's give it our best go

You've got a Swan around your neck
There's an Eagle overhead and there's a Hawk sitting on our fence
I've got stones in my pocket, I'm seeing Butterflies
I'm writing letters to our friends, I'm writing songs for you
And, it seems like such a long time since
We could just sit around and think of nothing for a little while

Track Name: The Little Things
In the middle of anywhere two people sit
He's looking at her and she's looking at him
Inside the stillness, both locked down again
But, there's nothing to win
They're both losing again

He searches for words as a cigarette burns
How many times before one of them learns
She puts her hands through her hair
He shifts, and he turns, he says "I love you know..."
But, it comes out like a warning

She says, "I love you, too" as the smoke swirls above
"But, are we just familiar, or really in love?"
He says, "I'm trying to please you"
She says, "Don't try so much..." as her voice trails off
He swallows down hard


It's the little things keep breaking us down
It's the little things keep breaking us down
It's the little things keep breaking us down
Yeah, they're breaking us down...

Somebody's early, or somebody's late
Somebody's tired, someone made a mistake
Someone forgot, someone misunderstood
But, the intention was good...
But, so often we find
Always a step out of time
Like we're falling behind


He says, "Let me show you the things I still see"
"In all of my pictures, you're standing with me"
She says, "Do you think we're as strong, you and me"
"As strong as we need to be?"
"'Cause it seems like we should be..."

Track Name: Black Swan
The first time that I saw you, dear
You were dressed in black
Your hair was beautiful and long
Curved graceful, like the neck of a swan
I didn't expect you, dear
But, still I had been waiting
On that bright March morning, darling
I began creating
Mental sketches of a love affair
One with me and you
Me, the battered troubador
You, elusive truth
Me, I saw it that first day
But, you, you saw it sooner
You told me years later
That right away you knew it
On that morning, long ago
I still see it clearly
My Black Swan amidst the white ones
The One I love so dearly

Every now and then it happens
The exception to the rule
The unanticipated
The unpredictable
Some may speak of miracles
Some may speak of chance
Some may speak of mystery
We'll never understand
But, darling, I don't need to figure out
What I already know
We'll always be together, dear
My Black Swan upon the snow
On that morning, long ago
I still see it clearly
My Black Swan amidst the white ones
The one I love so dearly
Track Name: Nothing Hid
I met her in December
Looking back it just makes sense
Me and her starting something
Just when the year was starting to end

But, I met you in the Springtime
Just when the snow was starting to melt
She was years away, but I was never afraid
About telling you just how I felt

But, at first, you seemed a bit uncertain
You told me that your life was a mess
But, I was falling for you and all the things that you do
And the way you looked inside that dress

So, I kissed you on the steps at midnite
I was scared I might've made a mistake
I was cursing to myself as I walked to the street
But, I was smiling when you called the next day


I guess there's no accounting for timing
And I would never turn my back on luck
I've never been too good at disguising
Or, pretending that I was not struck
I guess I could've been a bit cooler
But, then again, the coolest thing I ever did
Was to ask for your number, and tell you I love you
I kept nothing hid


I said it first, then I said it stronger
You kept me waiting just a little longer

Now, there's a ring upon your finger
I got one around mine, too
And, it always fits just right, my dear
It ain't too tight and it isn't too loose

I still kiss you on the steps at midnite
And, I whisper that I'll never forget
I'm still falling for you and all the things that you do
And the way you look inside that dress

Track Name: I Will Not Be Treated This Way
I remember you well in the city
As your hair danced around in the breeze
And, the glance that you gave as you reached in your pocket
You left a letter and stood up to leave

You left a letter and stood up to leave
I stared at the words that you wrote
I took a pull from my beer and I didn't say a word
I watched as you walked out the door

He reached out to her on a Sunday
By Friday, she still had not called
Then she's drunk at his door on a Saturday morning
But, soon she'd forgotten it all

And, then she says, "It's just the way that it's written..."
"Maybe we'll understand it someday"
Now, he walks down the road, he's got a chip on his shoulder
He says, "I will not be treated this way"


I will not be treated this way
I will not be treated this way
I walk down the road, I got a chip on my shoulder
I will not be treated this way

This scene ain't no different than anyplace else
It's a puddle that thinks it's a sea
All the hip people sit at the back of the bar
And, they're looking so pleasantly pleased

They're looking so pleasantly pleased
Saluting the beautiful ones
Everyone thinks that they're somebody else
With magnificent work to be done

There's a rich man who sits at a table
He's surrounded by piles of gold
And, people who smile as they reach in his pocket
Each one does just what they're told

So, why does he feel so alone
He feels so alone and afraid
He's got all the best things that money can buy
But, it seems he gets worse everyday


It's true that I'm just getting older
But, I feel pretty much just the same
As I did long ago, when I started this road
And, I think it's a poor goddamn shame

If you drink from the cup of forgiveness
You lose yourself deep in a dream
And wake up to find that nobody's been saved
My dear, you'll know just what I mean

Track Name: The Last Leaf
Winter came early in '74 and along with rain and the snow
Influenza returned and with a vengeance it burned
Through the cities and the rich country homes
With death indiscriminate calling for whoever should answer the door
There were many fell victim who didn't see the Spring
From the Winter of '74

Mary and Margaret were sisters and together they'd lived their whole lives
They never did marry, in the city they lived, growing older as the years passed them by
Margaret took ill that December, doctor said there's not much I can do
Her best chance to survive is any hope that resides
In her soul that just might pull her through

But, Margaret was ready for leaving, by the window in her bed where she lay
So resigned to her fate, not a meal would she take, lady waiting on her final day
As she stared out her window each morning at the leaves on the vine 'cross the lane
She said, "Mary, I know that when the last leaf is gone
Then, I, too, shall no longer remain"

Joseph was an artist in the city, "He's crazy", the townsfolk would say
He'd walk through the streets, speak of his masterpiece, "Yes, I know that I'll paint it someday"
He lived below Mary and Margaret, he stopped up to see them each day
And, as Margaret lay dying, he could hear Mary crying
As the wind shook the leaves 'cross the lane

Several days passed, Margaret still hanging on, she said, "Mary, I think it must be a sign"
"Despite the wind and the rain, I can see through the pane, that one leaf still remains on the vine"
"Please bring me some broth, my dear Sister, I'm feeling much better today"
"I thought death was calling, but the last leaf ain't fallen"
"Guess to die now, it isn't my fate"

The news reached them later that evening, old Joseph the painter had died
He was found in his bed, his clothes icy and wet, his pallet and brush by his side
Dear Margaret, did you never wonder why that leaf never shook in the breeze
He painted it there in the cold Winter air
For you he made his masterpiece
He saved you with his masterpiece
Track Name: All My Years
Outside the sun is shining, it's my birthday once again
Phone calls, cards, and letters, best wishes from my friends
Talking to my brother on the telephone today
"Is there something that you need? I could send it off your way..."
I wish that I could tell him, "Yeah, there's something you could send"
"Like an answer, a correction or a key"
And, I hope I can protect you from whatever's 'round the bend
I'll do my best, whatever it may be


I'd give up all my years just to dry away your tears
That you might find some comfort, that you might have your time
I'd do anything for you, it ain't some empty platitude
More a cry of desperation in the nite
"Won't you be alright..."

The light shines through our windows, every morning every day
You paint a perfect picture, and you give it back to me
You always were unlikely, but I never doubted you
Such strength behind the beauty and you always speak the truth
You and me, the lucky ones, even in our darkest hour
We'll fight the beast as others taste the tea
The two of us together, darling, every minute matters now
We can see that that's the way that it should always be

Track Name: Winners & Losers
I don't believe in the churches
They always seemed like a bust
But, I believe in forgiveness
And, I believe I can trust
In the eyes of my child
In my lover at dawn
I believe in the music, I believe in the songs

There's winners and losers
Little sores and bruises that cover us all...
Track Name: Katie
I remember you in the Mississippi blue
As the grass beside the river turned to green
You were just a kid with a lot of stuff kept hid
I always tried to be a place where you might lean
Now, it's crazy, Katie, dear, to think that you're not here
The songs we used to sing still sound the same
'Cept, then again, they don't, I guess it's hard to figure out
I still hope you might pass by this way again


Katie, a picture lasts forever, darlin'
Katie, I don't think it had to be this way
katie, someday we'll be together, darlin'
Katie, I think about you every single day

It was not so long ago in the early April snow
We sat beside the window and you spoke
As that Springtime nighttime fell, I wonder still if you could tell
I allowed the both of us just a little hope
Now, there're pictures on the wall, I used to love to watch you draw
I got a folder of the stuff you left undone
There's a dream I sometimes have and sometimes I meet you in it
In the silence, for just a second, then you're gone...
Track Name: Sure Sounds Good To Me
Let's pack up all our recent troubles, babe
We'll throw 'em all into a sack
We could drive straight through to the ocean, babe
We'll dump 'em in and never will look back

I'll find you stones inside the canyon, babe
I'll keep a couple just for luck
I'll show you faces on the mountain, babe
No matter what I say it could never be enough


I play my music in the nighttime
I earn my money in the day
I've got a feeling that we're gonna be okay
I say it to you, darling, and it sure sounds good to me

I know I trouble you sometimes, my dear
I cannot leave well enough alone
But, it's only comfort that I seek, my dear
Misunderstood, but I'm not trying to do you harm

I tell you stories from Ohio, babe
I tell you secrets that I keep
You give me photographs of you from long ago
They paralyze me, dear, sometimes when you're asleep
Yeah, I get lost inside them sometimes when you're asleep
They devastate me, darling, sometimes when you're asleep


Sometimes I think I don't deserve you, babe
But, other times I think I do
And when I tell you that I love you, babe
It's only 'cause it's true
And everything I do it's all because of you

(Repeat first verse)

Track Name: The King of 49th Street
In the early days of me and you
We got a dog and we named him Louie
All of us were younger then
He was just 8 weeks old with all that wrinkled skin
You'd decided you'd move in with me
We'd get a dog, it'd be just us three
I remember many weekend mornings
At a coffee shop looking through the listings
We were looking for a Shar Pei pup
You know, the Chinese dogs, look so cute and funny
You said you'd always wanted one
They were hard to find but we sure had fun
We read a couple books, learned about the breed
'Bout their different coats and their maladies
We learned about their histories
Smuggled out from China sometime in the sixties
There wasn't room for dogs in the revolution
In the midst of all that persecution
Someone thought to save these dogs
Sent 'em out through Hong Kong 'fore they all were lost

We were on a hunt and one day we found
Just an hour out of town
The ad said "Shar Pei pups for sale"
So, we called the number and made our way
Out to the country and we found the place
We could see the big dogs through the gate
I said, "They kind of look ferocious"
You paused a second, then you shrugged your shoulders
You said, "All the puppies must be in the house"
Then the door flew open, and a man came out
He said, "Glad you made it, let me get the pups"
He disappeared a minute, then he came back up
They came rolling out in a joyous mess
There were little puppies every place we stepped
Cutest things we'd ever seen
They were nipping and yelping and rolling and peeing

We must've spent two hours with those dogs
Trying to find the one for us
The pups were tired, back in their beds
After all that playing could barely keep their heads up
From that litter of pups we'd pared it down to two
But, how to know which one to choose?
The little boy or the little girl
Falling fast asleep inside their little worlds
So, we called them gently one last time
One little puppy began to rise
That little boy mustered all his strength
And, though he looked so tired, he came back out to see us
Right then we knew he was the one
We signed the papers and brought him home
On your lap, the whole ride sitting
So proud and brave, just like he was a king
I'm not sure why we called him "Louie"
It just seemed to fit that little puppy
For his AKC registration name
We decided we'd call him "King Louie the Brave"


He was the King of 49th Street
And I don't think he's really gone
It's only now we just don't see him
But, I believe he's still around
He's standing noble at the threshhold
He watches over what we do
I am not crazy, here's the thing
He was the King of 49th Street
And I say, "Long live the King"

That first summer I can't forget
We took him with us every place we went
Every place we'd go, all the folks would stop
To say "hello" and play with that friendly pup
He was a rascal from the very start
A bandit with a giant heart
And though the breed can sometimes be aloof
He greeted everybody with a friendly "woof"
Right away we knew he was a special dog
He was smart and clever and quick and strong
As a little puppy he'd play the clown
He'd crawl up a hill and then he'd roll back down again and again...

He was with us when you married me
In the last days of the century
In a city park, he wore a black bow-tie
When we said our vows, he was by our side
I know some folks thought it was kind of funny
To include our dog in the ceremony
But, for us, it never was a question
As the old saying goes, he was our best friend

Two years later, we got another dog
A Great Dane named Napoleon
We thought that Louie might like a friend
He kind of did and he kind of didn't
He was used to being the only one
So, they'd fight a little bit, off and on
Though he was much smaller, he held his own
A noble king fighting for his throne


Then, in the year 2004
Our family grew a little more
On a February Monday morn
You gave to me a perfect son
We were a little nervous about the dogs
With a newborn baby in the house
I brought blankets from the hospital
To give the dogs a sniff of who was coming
But, as it went, we didn't need to worry
About Napoleon or Louie
We named our baby "Jonathan"
And they loved him like he was one of them

The years went by, he slowed down a touch
But, not so much that it worried us
He still looked slim, he still looked strong
Until one Fall morn, I noticed something wrong
I found a little lump inside his throat...

We lost him in the Wintertime
We could not save him for the tears we cried
We built a fire, and played my songs
On his favorite couch inside his favorite arms
We took it hard, did the best we could
I think it hurt much harder than we thought it would
He was the first thing that we did together
You know what I mean, though I could write it better
Somehow the love we shared for that little dog
It was like a picture of the two of us
Though I'm crying a little as I write this song
It's only 'cause I miss him, not because he's gone
Now, his ashes rest inside an urn
Your father sculpted out of wax and bronze
It's beautiful, fit for a king
But, it's just his body inside that thing
I promised I'd remember him
I promised him that I wouldn't forget
I promised him that I'd write this song
So, here it is...


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