• Hesh Meister

'Soul In Exile Redux'—Full Lyrics

This is my latest album, released on January 28, 2022.

It is a Rock album, in the Album Rock genre, by an artist who still believes in the power of Rock’n’Roll and albums, for fans of Rock music, in a world where such releases are increasingly rare, if not altogether archaic. It is the keystone release of my magnum opus, designed to put me and my music before newer and wider audiences who may be thirsting for new releases of this style of music. As with the best albums in the genre, it is designed to be listened to in one sitting, taking in the music, lyrics, and the story they tell. The best way to listen to it is in physical, tangible form, and it is available in CD format; in keeping with the times, it is also available online at all the major streaming and download sites. But since the CD does not include a lyric sheet, and listening interruptedly to the streamed or downloaded version does not lend itself to following the lyrics, and it is impractical to skip around this blog looking for the original lyric posts—I have compiled all the lyrics to the songs on the album here. And so, without further ado:

JERSEY SHORE BABY


This is the story of a love affair

Of passion and despair with that lazy crazy place

The holy city the holy land, oh Lord have mercy

Jerusalem New Jersey, to me it’s no disgrace

Who’s that child sitting in the stroller

A junior rock’n’roller in front of daddy’s hotel

Ridin’ across the sky suspended from a cable

Mixing bowl cradle casino carousel

Well folks met folks and the seeds of love were sown

Paradise found now for the time it could be home

In the wild turbulence the seeds were scattered and blown

But what’s been planted must grow

Thus did the Jersey Shore Baby


I once shared a playpen with an inner lake angel baby

And maybe just maybe she rubbed off on me

And when thirteen came around there came the magical weekend

Off the lovers’ deep end between I and she

I found the secret to life on a lucky charm imprinter

And I shattered to splinters all I used to be

From neb-nerd to cool no longer a pushover

The old way was over and I felt so free

I made this town mine I made it all my own

Dreamland high above all the mundanities of home

I had stumbled upon Eden but my flight fell like a stone

Into open ended exile thrown

Orphaned Jersey Shore Baby


A simpler time in the not too distant past

When the cars were fast and the love was in bloom

A more innocent age when the buildings were standing

Life wasn’t so demanding and the bust was a boom

Maybe one day I can end this dispersion

With no more diversion keeping me from my one true love

Well it’s no time to bitch it’s time to get moving

About time to start proving these dreams made flesh and blood

And though what we grew up with in our generation

May have fallen into disintegration

But I’m marshaling forces to turn desolation

Into paradise by the sea, I’m the Jersey Shore

Rebuild the scenery, I’m the Jersey Shore

Well come waltz with me, I’m the Jersey Shore Baby

 

COASTAL GROOVE (YOU KNOW IT'S ALL RIGHT)


I said Help me Doc I got songwriters’ block

I just can’t find my inspiration

He said That ain’t no block you just ran out of stock

what you need dude is a long vacation

I was in the east my heart was in the west

and when asked why resist assimilation

I left my heart back in Asbury Park

that was the explanation

In junior high I would lift my eyes

to from where will come my salvation

In the army I swore I’d head straight for the shore

when my three years reached their cessation

The beacon that shined its light into a mind

blackened by social darkness and isolation

With the promise that someday after the bull gets blown away

I’d undertake massive relocation

Chip on my shoulder since I was a soldier

Drive your friends crazy don’t get lazy

Underground homesick grab yourself a broomstick

This ain’t no statement just block abatement


Tramping around through the streets of this town

under an onslaught of precipitation

The mist was so thick I knew I’d be sick

without some spiritual medication

I staggered my way to nuevo dolce cafe

and sat down to the taste of innovation

Then the evening sky cleared so I regrouped and steered

my sights to nocturnal invasion

Saw her sitting on the boardwalk rails

with her usual gang of friend females

in sweatshirt jeans and flirtation

Flashed her my jazz and blues and snakeskin shoes

and then she was mine for the duration

She took my arm she felt so warm

she was a summer night's soft intoxication

I didn’t inquire she was lover for hire

but she didn’t fit the characterization

What am I trying to say here this ain’t no cliché here

You wanna be a beatnik you gotta be a streetnik

Check the rhyme and meter you ain’t gonna beat her

Blinded by the light Bruce no use call a truce


But you know it’s all right

Yeah you know it's all right

But you know it's all right

It's all right if it's all night


Well maybe the agencies declared a hiring freeze

But I’m not looking for a job or a vocation

This is the time I’ll seize just to follow the breeze

Blowin’ through town on revisitation

I’ve come here to spurn the life of Sit And Learn

And I don’t want no redemption or salvation

No matter which way I turn my bridges seem to burn

So I’m just here in life to find my station

From the seaside bar joints to the land’s end points

Pick choose and shoot for my destination

I’ve come to anoint the long-awaited counterpoint

To these trends of cynicism and stagnation

127 miles of as many different styles

The possibilities of limitless exploration

No more self-denial or tribulations and trials

I won’t accept any statute of limitation

Playing my wordgames so what if it all sounds the same

None of this crap rap beatin’ like a clap trap

Radio hum drum makes me go ho hum

Rock’n’roll tidy bowl no soul pigeonhole

Grab your attention keep it in suspension

It’s the great backlash against all the cheap trash

Mindless conformity mental deformity

If you ain’t receivin’ it don’t you believe in it

 

BRUCE!


One hazy teenage summer as my world began to change

A song oozed through the radio so new and different and strange

So unlike the current trends, my hair stood on end

At the sound of that guitar and that sax

I stood still and succumbed to the piano and drums

And I knew there was no turning back

He was the boss, the doctor, the angel of soul

King of the Jersey Shore, crown prince of rock’n’roll

The music he made reached deep inside and took hold

Oh the love that it gave me!


Through whirlwind years of love and pain

after I first discovered him

Through earthquake battles shaking the walls

after being told to sink or swim

Through the storm and the stress and the fear and the threats

Always on the edge of a hurricane squall

Through innocence and wildness and ecstasy and crisis

Whether laying low or walking tall

He’d be speaking straight to me whenever I’d hear him sing

He was right there with me telling me he’d been through the same thing

He gave me strength and courage through whatever fate would bring

Oh the faith that can save me!


Not just a rock’n’roll singer, he was my big brother

He was my male role model above any other

He showed me how to express the things that I’d feel

And he showed me what it meant to be true and be real


Then people made faces whenever I’d mention his name

I couldn’t understand why, it was such a damn shame

Ten years of backlash

Disrespected and bashed

Especially in his own backyard

Headbands and hangers-on and that ersatz refrain

All the hype and hoopla, so cartoonish and lame

His love life displayed

More than the music he made

Where the hell was the hero with his guitar?

Three fugazy albums and an image gone sour

Gave me reason to doubt his undeniable power

Taking on the world’s weight

Stumping for issues and candidates

The way he’d never dream of selling me a car

His myths and legends have become unhip and passé

His rock’n’roll promises have all faded away

I used to believe, I still wanted to believe

But he’s making it so damn hard!

Well I still tear up the highways whenever I’m back down here

Into the bars and the backstreets of these towns here

I follow all the bands that emulate his sound here

Still looking for him ‘cause I know he’s around here

And when I finally meet him after I waited so long

I’ll say Thanks for the music, the great lyrics and songs

You showed me how to hold on to a dream that’s so strong

Someday it may raise me!

 

EXILE DETOUR (Instrumental)


CODA


So why do I keep coming back? ‘Cause of all I’m saying here

Teenage punk fantasies of getting a band and playing here

On hold for twelve years but now there’s no delaying here

I’ve established the fact ‘cause now I’m back and babe I’m staying here

I feel free! Myself! Loose! Unchained and unfettered here

Unweighted unburdened untied and untethered here

Because for the first time life began to look better here

And so I upended the reason for following the law to the letter here

Oppression thrown off and independence declared here

The forces that would claim me all blinked when I stared here

They fell before my challenge they took and lost my dare here

Now I got the last word about how long to grow my hair here

Now I’m the one to decide how outrageously to dress here

Which realities to question and what conventions to test here

And if the past was cursed then the future is blessed here

‘Cause I won’t stop till I’ve shot to the top

and I’m up there with the best here

Falling in love and coming of age here

Finding the key to the universe and unlocking the cage here

Planning my strategy and setting the stage here

And if you ask me what’s all the rage here

Well—rock’n’roll is king here!

The angels they sing here!

It’s all got that swing so it means everything here!

History was made here!

The greats all stayed and played here!

The bands made their stands on the strand’s grand parade here!

No apologies here!

The place to just be is here!

The wild innocent spirit in the night still runs free here!

There’s a heart that still beats here!

The unfinished completes here!

Romance blooms in every crack in the streets here!

I know just what gives here!

No more negatives here!

I’m reborn, I feel alive, I touch life, I live here!


So now I’m coming back to be with the things that formed me

To stomp on ideology and laugh at conformity

In spite of all the well-meaning naysayers who warn me

I’m coming back to harvest all the things that are going for me

I’ve come back to this place from the ends of the earth

To taste that shot of love and experience rebirth

I can lie on the sand and melt into the turf

I sit by on the water’s edge and become one with the surf

It’s a way of life it’s not just another place

It’s where everything moves at just the right pace

Without any needs to get caught up in the race

It’s contentment and ease and a certain style and grace

So this is the story of where it’s all at

Where the awkward geeky kid became a supercool cat

Where the Jersey Shore Baby sprang free of his trap

It ain’t just an act he’s here and he’s back …

and that’s that!

 

CONVENTION HALL


There she stands straddling the boardwalk

Pushing out from the beach into the sea

Like some vaunted marine version of radio city

She stands crumbling but she’s calling out to me

She’s the crown jewel of the waterfront

The echo of former grandeur

The haggard old lady of the coastline

A glimmer of former splendor

Once upon a time she saw royalty come and go

Long ago when she hosted many a famous face

But now even the derelicts that used to hang here are gone

They moved along and never were replaced

Her star once shone bright in the sky

But like a meteor, she fell

It was a downward spiral onto the slagheap

And all that’s left now is a hollow shell

I walk the terraces soaked with ocean spray

Beneath the paint-chipped vaulted ceiling

I search around for a way inside

Just to get the feeling

Just to stand within the cavernous hall

To let her spirit surround me

And to try once again to make heads or tails

Of what’s going on around me.


Well I can’t believe that this is happening yet again

After we both agreed once that we didn’t want to repeat that end

But you had this thing about “growth,” above everything else

And at the same time you say I’m thinking only of myself

Why don’t you look in the mirror

Well we went out west to change our place and change our luck

We didn’t last a year there before the disaster struck

It was those ‘friendships’ you cultivated outside of us, away from me

Well I know how close your kind of ‘friends’ can be

Now the picture is so much clearer


And all your advisers whisper in your ear

That you could be doing so much better than me

Your enablers tell you what you want to hear

And they show you what you want to see

Your sycophants that all surround you

With your pronouncements, they’ll all agree

And all of the above, they drown you

With brown tides of sympathy

And you emphatically state “there is no us”

You resent the way I push and you’re not even willing to discuss

But if I don’t fight for us, what does that make me?

Well you stall, blackball, and build your wall

With the help of all your ‘friends’

You obfuscate and manipulate

All your means to reach your ends

You may say that there is no more us

I say it isn’t so

There always was an us, there is an us

And I refuse to let it go!


And as I sit inside by the piano onstage

Playing my heart out to four thousand empty seats

The hidden sounds of concerts and celebrations of better days

Embedded in these walls release their heat

And set me on fire with a passion that consumes

A passion that once existed for you filling up this empty room

Bringing some life to light the palpable darkness and gloom

Struggling in vain to counteract the words of my inner prophet of doom

No more funny places

No more famous faces

No more days at the races

No more steeplechases

No more former graces

No more love embraces

All that’s left is empty spaces

And the glory with barely any traces

It’s all gone!

 

HEARD IT ON THE HIGHWAY


Well I heard it on the highway like the holy word of G-d

It was so loud and clear I had to pull over, I was so awed

Well I heard it on the highway and I couldn’t resist the push

It was just like a commandment from heaven,

like the voice in the burning bush

Well shake, rattle, and roll down the Garden State

Down Routes 35, 71, and 88

Even if we’ll just run round in circles cursed by fate

We’ll capture all the views now ‘cause we may never be here again


I heard it on the highway, it was the greatest song in history

It had a rhythm and melody all its own but the lyrics, they were a mystery

It was the sound of the rock’n’roll heart

and it was beating in full blues time

It said, Go down to the ocean and make the music of your mind

Well I saw it from the highway

Risin’ on the horizon like Mt Sinai in flames

Like a fiddler on the roof down on the Parkway

Singin’ out that tune and calling my name

It was handed to me by the seaside

White hot and written in stone

Full power forward and full speed ahead

No stopping now that you’re on your own


It was the day I graduated

when I came back in touch with the calling

It was there where fifteen bands were playing

Paying respect to the one who had fallen

It was just as the all-star open jam was ending

The sound of drums boomed from way up high

There were ten bolts of lightning, one for each Word

crashing through the mist-choked sky

I heard an organ scream through a Leslie

But none on Earth ever sounded so great

I looked up to heaven, I thought I saw the moon

But I knew I was staring clear through the gates

I kicked off my shoes, I fell down on my knees

I bowed face down into the sand

But he didn’t want none of that false formality

She just wanted me to reach out my hand


Well I heard it on the highway …

 

KNOCKED OUT IN THE FIRST ROUND


When I saw that above-mentioned vision, I must have gone blind

When I heard it on the highway I nearly lost my mind

I was knocked out in the first round

Dead before I hit the ground

Knocked out in the first round

And I left what I once was behind


I saw the boardwalk lying empty like an unplowed field

I saw the casino’s doors all shut and sealed

I was knocked out in the first round

When I saw what became of my old town

Something got stolen and I couldn’t live it down

And it burned like a scar unhealed


There was a circle on the floor where the carousel used to be

There was G-d-only-knows-what where dad’s hotel used to be

There was just dirty water where the bumper boats used to be

There were cruisers and dealers where the rollercoaster used to be

The ferris wheel used to be

The pier of steel used to be

The sky ride, the high dive, this town’s appeal used to be

I don’t want to be a Used To Be


The true believers all come by busload and caravan

And it seems like every one of them has got a plan

But they’re all knocked out in the first round

When they see the disparities that still abound

Ready once again to burn it all to the ground

They don’t care, just as long as they see their man


Everybody holds out hope for some improvement

But nobody holds out any hope for any new amusement

It’s all knocked out in the first round

They bulldozed the Palace down

All they saved was the Tillie grin from the silly old clown

Now it’s all history but hey, at least there’s movement


There are upscale condos where the Monterey used to be

There are upscale condos where Net Lane’s used to be

There are upscale condos in what the Berkeley used to be

There are upscale condos where the St. James used to be

There’s upscale where everything we knew used to be

There’s upscale and more upscale as far as the eye can see

Maybe what’s better is what Used To Be


So here I am, still in my position as a rock’n’roll singer

A piano player in the place where my soul still stubbornly lingers

I wanna make sure my glory days don’t fade away

I wanna make sure my glory days are here to stay

I wanna make sure my glory days keep on being glory days

‘Cause they’re slipping right through my fingers


C-8 meets C-4 and then—implosion

Another piece of a broken dream falls into the ocean

We’re all knocked out in the first round

Dead before we hit the ground

Knocked out in the first round

Flat out cold still on the way down

Knocked out in the first round

Fall like bricks but without a sound

Knocked out in the first round

What I saw when I finally came back to this town

Knocked out in the first round

So much happened since then but I still can’t live it down

Knocked out in the first round

Oh … knocked out!

 

LOVE RUNS AGROUND


Love runs aground

A wrenching sound

Into the shore like a burning ocean liner

Drifting, smoking, ramming into this town

What happens to a love that couldn’t get much finer

Hellstorm

Hellfire

Seven days and seven nights just like a bad dream

Nobody knows if there will be any survivors

Such a senseless end was unforeseen


Straight from the wedding

They were heading

Off to a happy ending

But they caught fire out at sea

They lost power

In the fateful hour

Just what went wrong remains a mystery

Hellstorm

Hellfire

The burning hulk beached off the convention hall

Destruction meets destruction and the toll rises higher

Spectators from the city

Come one, come all


Is this conflagration

The sorry culmination

Of a romance everybody said

Showed a sea of promise


Sha la la


It was magic

Now it’s tragic

Fairy tale love gone become a nightmare

Save Our Ship

Save Our Survivors

Save Our Souls

sweet rock’n’roll


It was a class act

Now it's a sad fact

B-movie love affair done gone up in flames

Save Our Ship

Save Our Survivors

Save Our Souls

sweet rock’n’roll


Love runs aground …

 

SOUL IN EXILE


Well our love ran aground when the passion engine locked

The sudden jolt caused me to bolt and finally take stock

Our house was made of glass and you flung that rock

And I was shattered by the crash

I moved the token of our love from my finger to my pocket

I’d love to take it to the lake and shoot it off like a rocket

Or maybe I’ll just take it downtown and hock it

After all, I could use the cash

I tried walking all over the shards of what we used to be

But in my blindness and oblivion I stepped on them in my bare feet

My soul in exile, trailing my blood in the street

Oh those glass memories cut so deep


Remember what must be like ancient history

How we’d spin up to the cities in search of music and poetry

The little lost sheep poet’s son-in-law would turn his own key

From an old tradition into a song

From the bottom line to the middle east to the castle by the sea

From the funky clubs down the aisle on the way to the canopy

This time it was to be for real, it was to forever be

And you marched on right along

I Love You I Love You I Love You Seven Times Round My Soul

went the refrain

And for snail’s pace time I couldn’t put it on for fear of withdrawal pain

My soul in exile, tried crying but no tears came

This time nothing remains


Well our love running aground

It must have been a spectacular sight to see

Considering how it blew up like Independence Day fireworks

In front of the whole community

And speaking of independence

I’m taking my time cherishing my newfound liberty

Time and money are mine to spend

Any which way now that I’m free

I’m doing all the things I couldn’t do with you

And I’m doing them with such glee

You thought I wouldn’t have the guts

But that just shows how well you really knew me

You think I’ll just sit here and rhapsodize

Till I question my sanity

But that won’t happen this time, you see

I’m through with the dirge and elegy.


Well there would have been a time

I’d have loaded up my car with all my past mistakes

And like a stunt in a movie

I’d stick the accelerator to the floor and disconnect the brakes

I’d take her up Edgemont

And with a figure-eight spin I’d ditch her in the lake

As if somehow all that would

Eliminate all the pain and dull all the ache

Well this time I think

I’ll leave all the garbage by the curbside

I’ll set all the flotsam at the waterline

Let it get taken by the high tide

Then I’ll point my car whichever way she’ll go

And hit the road for that long, long ride

But without you as the rider by my side

I have only my faith as a guide


My ship runs adrift when cast off from you

With nowhere to land, no direction, little hope of rescue

My soul is in exile as long as it’s not one with you …


©2022 The Hesh Inc.


Full album is available on my Bandcamp site (in case you missed the link above).


Also see album credits here.


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