Tape From Minnesota

by Bob Frey

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All acoustic, just Bob with guitar and harmonica and an awesome batch of songs...


released May 1, 2004

Bob Frey - Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica


all rights reserved



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: Rachel

Rachel, dear Rachel, the river's on fire
Black smoke is rising, I can see it for miles
Rachel, dear Rachel, tell me what have you done
Don't you see all the trouble you've caused

The news hit me quickly of her secret demise
To the depths of her darkest disease
I was battered and tainted, but I was not surprised
See, we always lived quite carelessly
But, those who preceded us fell where we stood
We were younger, it set us apart
And, I always believed in her more than i should have
it had been that way right from the start


I remember the nights in the back-alley bars
I believed what i wanted to hear
Walking home as the streetlights gave way to the dawn
Moving slowly and keeping her near
Through hushed innuendo and vagabond tales
With a laugh and a toss of her hair
In the face of the innocent, both of us failed
Turn around, to see nobody there
And, an alibi each to prepare


The flowers still grow that you planted that spring
Near the boulevard off of the square
I think of you sometimes, like a place that I visited
But, will not return to again
You, like your Mother, so cruel and absurd
As all that surrounded you burned
Me, like a beggar in the company of strangers
i'm wondering which way to turn

Track Name: Mardi Gras
Through the rain on the window of the corner cafe
i watched and i waited, I was feeling afraid
For, what could I tell you? What could you say?
I slowly got drunk as the hour grew late
I remember you wore a raincoat on the Fourth of July
We sat by the lake, the people passed by
Your body was shaking, your hand was in mine
Your mouth tasted wet as I kissed you goodbye


Now, it's only pieces I recall
The crazy couple fighting in the hall
All them ghosts you always thought you saw
And, the Mardi Gras

On a train, in a station, and the snow falling down
'Neath a bridge, in the Valley, there was no one around
Driving hours to the ocean with the money you scrounged
From your sister's new boyfriend before they slipped underground
You found that upstairs apartment, on the corner, we could barely afford
Met you friends, at the college, and we slept on the floor
I read the postcard you sent and I burned it and I waited for more
Watched you dance at the wedding, then I ducked out the door


Now, it's only pieces I recall
You sang your songs for quarters on the mall
All your Father's stories from the war
And, the Mardi Gras

New York City seems cold, in the winter, I remember your face
At a bar, in the Village, so hard to erase
California seems far, but I'm lonely, and I feel out of place
I always believed you understood my mistakes

Track Name: Tape From Minnesota
Such a fire in the winter chill
Out of nowhere I can feel it still, all burned down
Standing ragged at the backdoor screen
I fell lightly in a basement dream, all unwound
Though no one waited, I did not stay long

At a table somewhere in betweeen
Second chances and a mystery, she came in late
With her hair back, like she used to do
Once a lover, now, just once removed and, once again
When the bottle broke I could not look away


I'll send a tape from Minnesota
I found a picture I forgot to show you
A song I never got to sing in them broken days
All the money I saved is gone
It wasn't much, but it lasted long
She was never the one, I figured out on the run, when I was miles away

Much too old to say I was too young
And, of all the things that I have done
I am not proud
But, I think I feel it coming 'round
Yeah, I think I'm finally coming down from all that stuff
If the aim is righteous, then let the shot be true

Track Name: Crossing Kansas
They're driving across the country in somebody's drive-away
They're heading East to West
Just like they said they would someday
They ain't leaving much behind them 'cept the bills they couldn't pay
They left before the dawn
Felt like they were in some movie making an escape
She says, "The road will take us where we want to go"
She asks how he is feeling he says, "I don't know"
"But, it sure feels right to be with you, to be sitting here right next to you..."
"And, Mary, suddenly I do not feel so old"

Jimmy does the driving, it used to be his job,
But, each time payday came
It felt like he was being robbed
Mary tells him stories 'til her head begins to nod
He dreams while she's asleep
About a place he doesn't know where life won't be so hard
He says, "I swear to God I'll get us there somehow"
"if it's the last thing that i do before they lay me down"
And, as the dawn is breaking on the plains, Mary stirs and she awakes
He says, "We're on our way, we're crossing Kansas now"

The road seems like forever, past the fields and the signs
She reads a paperback
Sometimes she quotes a line
He says, "I think we'll see the mountains in a couple hours time"
She turns and smiles at him
She says, "I know there's something waiting for us on the other side"
He says, "Sometimes I thought we'd never get away"
"I felt like I was dying, had to leave that place"
"I'm not sure where we're going to, but, I 'm glad I'm going there with you"
And they keep on driving 'cross the Kansas plains
Track Name: Old & Gray
It's early in the morning, we used to wake up late
I kiss you and I rise to start my day
Same routine most every morn, but that don't bother me at all
I'll love you, darling, 'til we're old and gray

I used to be a younger man, a younger man with younger plans
I would dream about the things that I might do
Plans and dreams and little schemes, now they've all changed a bit, it seems
Where once was one, there now is room for two


The first time that I saw you, I knew I'd fall in love with you
Now, every time I kiss you, Mama, it still feels like brand new

The world is sometimes crazy, the world is sometimes hard
The world is sometimes beautiful, it's true
For all that I don't understand, I know that I'm a lucky man
To be with one as beautiful as you...
To live with one as beautiful as you...
To love with one as beautiful as you...
Track Name: Me & Cyn
I used to meet her on Saturdays
Bloody Mary, breakfast queen
She was, oh, so young, and coming undone
Me, a bit older, and a song to be sung

She chased a dream out of Buffalo
Me, from Cleveland, both just off the road
The Winter was hard, we spent it in the bars
Waiting for Spring and making plans from afar


Now, it's Cyndy how's it going these days
I hear you're getting married in the Fall
Cyndy, all them folks we used to see
I barely do remember them at all

Sometimes I end up where we used to go
Not much has changed, 'cept I'm not out much anymore
But, I hear little bits of news, I'm sure you hear some, too
I should not mourn the passing years, but sometimes I still do

Track Name: Jonathan's Lullaby
Go to sleep, my little one
Go to sleep, my darling son
Go to sleep, my little one
We'll see you when the morning comes

We'll see you when the morning comes
When you awake you'll see the morning sun
We'll see you when the morning comes
I'll play you music and your Mom will sing you songs

I'll play you music and your Mom will sing you songs
Perhaps, we'll go out walking with the dogs
I'll play you music and your Mom will sing you songs
Before you know, another day is done

Before you know, another day is done
You're looking awfully tired, little one
Before you know, another day is done
So, go to sleep, my little one

Go to sleep, my little one
Go to sleep, my darling son
Go to sleep, my little one
We'll see you when the morning comes
Track Name: Something I Can Hold
Let me slip into the shadows
Let me slowly disappear
Let me leave you with a story
It's the one you want to hear
I hear the echoes of the sirens
I know soon I have to go
Leave me up, leave me down, leave me standing
Leave me something I can hold

Never have I felt so weary
Never have I felt so far
All these places, they look strange to me
Though I've seen them all before
I know friends they have deceived me
I know secrets have been told
Leave me up, leave me down, leave me standing
Leave me something I can hold
Track Name: (Boston)
She says she thinks she wants to move to Boston
I say I'm not so sure
See, it took some time for me to feel at home here
And, that's a feeling that ain't easy to ignore
But, she don't know if she can live here anymore

She says a lifetime is a long time in the same place
Though, it's true, she's been around
She says, "I always end up back here and it's a slow pace"
"In this dirty little town"
"Where everything occurs without a sound"

Was it all just a dream? The time that you fell...
Now, it's perfect confusion, nobody to tell
The castle is crumbling and nothing to sell
But, she hides it so well

Now, the leaves have turned to fire and the circle
Where we walk is still the same
She says she can't believe another year has come and gone
But, still nothing much has changed
She disappears a little more with every day

It's a piece of someone else's conversation
She ain't made sense of yet
It's the vision that seemed so clear, just this morning
Now, it's so easy to forget
It's another day of dealing indirect
With another non-committal silhouette

I found a charm, it was lying on the sidewalk
So, I gave it to you
You said you didn't need it
I said, "I think you do..."
And I, I could use some good luck, too
Me and you...
Track Name: Arctic Blue
In 1992, her eyes were arctic blue
Her hair was long, like silk
And it was woven through that whole year
At first, I'd only stare, she used to see me standing there
Without a word to say
I'd hold her eyes until she looked away

One day, I finally spoke, I felt like I'd explode
She said, "You stare at me..."
I said, "You're perfect like I've never seen"
She asked me, "Are the stories true?"
"All these things I hear about you..."
I said, "They probably are..."
"Precious one, you probably oughtta run far..."

But, see, she stuck around, she claimed me from the lost and found
She saw the good in me
She told me all the things that I could be
But, me, I had this thing inside, the Beast that wouldn't be denied
The Fury that could never sleep
Don't you know, the Demon lives deep...

I was just a kid back then, but I was old enough to understand
I knew that she could never stay
I knew one day I'd drive her far away
But, back in '92, her eyes were arctic blue
I was far from clean
She was perfect like I'd never seen
Track Name: Rose
Down a cobblestone alley in old Boston town
I walked as a young man through the rain falling down
I spied a young maiden, she beckoned to me
Said, "Come in from the rain and sit down, rest your road-weary feet"

I said, "Thank you, dear lady, it's true I am tired"
"In the course of a fortnight, I have walked many miles"
I asked her her name, and in a voice soft but clear
She answered, "My name it is Rose and you're most welcome here..."

Rose was a beauty such as i'd never seen
She had hair long and brown and her eyes sparkled green
In the time that it took her to fix me some tea
I knew I had fallen for Rose and her eyes sparkling green

I asked her, "Dear Rose, why no ring do I see?"
"Many offers to marry you must have received..."
"Please take no offense, but I've searched all my life"
"And, I'm sure that, dear Rosie, it's you who I want for my wife"

She said, "It is true, I have often been asked..."
"But, each time, I've been forced to decline"
"As with the others, I will give you your chance"
"To answer three questions of mine"

I asked her, "Dear Rose, tell me, what can they be?"
"These questions you speak of, please ask them to me"
"For you see, my dear lady, I surely must try"
"To give you the answers you seek and to make you my bride"

She said, "Tell me, young fellow, if a man is quite poor"
"How can he place piles of gold at my door?"
"How can a man capture the wind in the trees?"
"And, how can a poor man give the sparkle of diamonds to me?"

I said, "Rose, it is true, just a poor man I am"
"But, answer your questions, I believe that I can"
"I will plant you a garden with flowers so gold"
"When they bloom in the Springtime I'll place them in piles at your door"

"And, how can I capture the wind in the trees?"
"I will make you a chime, it will sing in the breeze"
"And, the sparkle of diamonds, you shall have it, most sure'
"For, three children we'll have and their eyes, love, will sparkle like yours"

She said, "My dear man, you have answered quite well"
"To marry you is my desire"
Now, I'm still a poor man, but my life's quite content
Living with Rose and our children and their sparkling eyes
Track Name: Red-Right 88
I grew up in Ohio, on the shores of a Great Lake
In a city name of Cleveland, some people called it a mistake
But, me, I never thought that, no, I never understood
I loved the city, I loved its teams, it didn't matter if they were good

In baseball we had the Indians, they almost always finished last
They'd contended in the Fifties, but that seemed so far in the past
The Cavaliers played basketball, though, most often, not so well
Team's owner was so terrible, the league stepped in and made him sell it
It was unprecedented...

Yeah, Cleveland had its basketball, it had its baseball, too
But, it loved its football team the most, and me, I loved 'em, too
The heartbeat of the City, they were called the Cleveland Browns
I cannot impress what that team meant to a struggling old steel town
Remember Jimmy Brown?

The Browns they had a glorious past, just like the town itself
From Lou the toe to Otto Graham to old Paul Brown himself
When the city fell upon hard times in the 1970s
They reminded us of what we'd been and what we still could be

I grew up a Cleveland fan and it's what I'll always be
I learned to love the underdog and I learned about loyalty
Cleveland fans, they understand it's more than just a game
Of all those losses none was worse than Red-Right 88

My folks had season tickets, but they only had a pair
I'd ride in on Daddy's shoulders, the ushers never cared
When I got too big to ride Mom let me take her seat
Then my brother rode on Daddy's back, it was Jimmy, Dad, and me
Just two seats to hold us three

The Browns were not that great then, but they always came to play
These are my fondest memories, all those Cleveland football days
In that big old stadium, there'd be 80,00 there
Row M of Section 29 and magic in the air
Nothing can compare

In the Fall of 1980, they were looking pretty good
I turned 14 that October and I read everything I could
About that Cleveland football team and a quarterback named Sipe
Though it seemed impossible, the playoffs were in sight
I started thinking, "Hey, they just might..."

They beat the hated Steelers, they beat the Bengals twice
Though they lost to Denver, they put up quite a fight
I watched 'em beat the Packers on a final second pass
Brian Sipe to ol' Dave Logan, we went crazy in the stands
Me and Mom and all those fans

I cannot describe that season, no, you wouldn't believe those games
All those final second victories, they earned the team a name
The Kardiac Kids we called 'em, and it seemed that they were blessed
They finished with 11 wins, that year the Central's best
That year Cleveland was the best
That year we were the best

The Browns had made the playoffs, they were division champs
They had homefield advantage and it seemed they had a chance
To make it to the Super Bowl, to make our city proud
The Browns were knocking at the door, and they were knocking loud
I still get excited now

On a January morning, in 1981
Dad and I, we rode the train, a father and a son
We walked down to the stadium to watch that playoff game
The Browns against the Raiders, and it was bitter cold that day
The wind came swirling off the lake

I mean it, it was bitter cold, but the players had to play
Missed kicks and interceptions, it was quite an ugly game
Neither team could pull away, the score was always tight
But, they'd won these kind of games all year and I thought they'd be alright
'Least, I hoped they'd be alright...

At the end of three full quarters, Cleveland had the lead
The score was 12 to 7, and we were freezing in our seats
When Oakland scored a touchdown to go ahead by two
Then, we fumbled on our 25, looked like the Browns were through
I bet Oakland thought so, too

But, the Browns still had some magic left, you better bet that we believed
We stopped 'em on a fourth and 1 inside our own 15
When the offense got the ball back with two minutes left to play
It seemed like it was scripted, like it had to be this way
The whole season had been this way...

We were waiting on a miracle, and it seemed like it might come
As the Browns began to drive the field in that frozen stadium
They made it to the Oakland 12, they were in field goal range
Run it once, then kick the ball, and put the game away
But, that's when things got strange

They'd already missed kicks that day, they didn't wan to try again
'Least not if they didn't have to 'cause there were other ways to win
As they huddled on the sidelines, we huddled in the stands
Coach Rutigliano, he came up with a plan
He was known as "Gamblin' Sam"

Sam, he told his quarterback, "Hey, here's what we're gonna do"
"The play is Red-Right 88, and I'll leave it up to you"
"Take one shot at the end zone, but only if it's safe"
"If you don't see someone open, then throw the ball away"
"Just throw it in the lake"

It felt like I was in a dream, as we sat there, Dad and me
The Browns were gonna win the game, it was too much to believe
'Cause if the Browns could get this victory, they'd be just one game away
From going to the Super Bowl, after all those years of waiting
All those years of keeping faith...

The teams both took the field, DeLeone, he snapped the ball
Sipe dropped back, looked right, then left, this is what he saw
Ozzie Newsome in the endzone, Ozzie Newsome with a step
Sipe cocked back and threw the ball, here's what happened next
You could probably guess...

The ball got caught up in the wind, Ozzie Newsome slipped
The defender reached him, saw the ball, and stepped in front of it
He made the interception, his teammates gathered round
The stadium fell silent, no one made a sound
Ozzie lay there on the ground...

We sat there stunned, in disbelief, if felt like it got colder
As we watched the players leave the field, I think I grew a little older
I learned that sometimes heroes fall, but heroes they remain
In defeat, there's honor to be found, there's honor and there's pain
It was so quiet on the train...

I remember Ozzie Newsome, I remember Brian Sipe
I remember Reggie Rucker, and the Pruitts- Greg and Mike
Clay Matthews and Thom Darden, Clarence Scott and Charlie Hall
The Kardiac Kids of 1980, I still love 'em all
Even Sam, despite that call

That game was 20 years ago, I've grown and moved away
My parents live in Michigan, my brother in L.A.
We all still love the Cleveland Browns, it's a lifelong loyalty
They still ain't made the Super Bowl, but that's okay with me
They will someday, you'll see...

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