My Decade-old Oeuvre of Songs

Kevin M. Gallagher
23 min readApr 21, 2019


I‘m aware that I have plenty of acquaintances who may not be aware that I used to be a serious independent musician. If you’re at all curious what that sounded like, I have created a playlist of some of my most accessible songs and put them on SoundCloud for your listening pleasure. You’re invited to peep a listen to my old tracks, written and recorded between the ages of 20–24, here.

One can also download a ZIP archive with both of my music albums (from 2007 and 2010, respectively) for free here. One hour and ½ worth of songs in MP3 format, written, produced and recorded by myself (some assistance from other musicians), in the indie pop/rock singer-songwriter vein.

👨‍🎤 Perhaps someday I’ll record that third album I’d been planning? 🔴🎙️ After all it’s been almost a decade since the last one...🎵Anyhow, enjoy!

Included in this post are the lyric sheets.

… demo (2007) …

just what just what
just what is in this space
no decision to erase
and it’s all understood
i’ve got nothing new to say
i should find my voice today
or look for one to steal
just how just how
just how i truly feel
i’ve been thinking about things
i don’t know what this notion brings
but i fear i fear
i fear what is attached
when the patterns have been matched
and the experience is sewn
when i really really
really am alone
and just want something to own
before it falls apart
it’s a very very
very easy start
just let me in your heart
and i will do the work
and the last thing i want do is be a jerk
the world has enough you know
and they interrupt my flow
and if i’ve got nothing to show
for the years inside this town
then i don’t wanna be around
when it ends will there even be a sound
or will it fade into a blur
no more motion to occur
and get caught within a frame
by the camera that you aimed
the picture that it took
if you find yourself too scared to look
just shut your eyes to the scene
and focus on the screen
that projects into your brain
up on another plane
far above our crumbling earth
for what it’s worth
i don’t disown my past
but it’s escaping fast

i will admit that it’s nothing i hadn’t thought of before
i am out to get mine, and you are trying to get yours
but no matter what we do i can’t ever truly know you
you only show what you want to be gleaned
like a house that’s cleaned
well i’m inviting you in, take a good look around
i don’t bother to pick up this mess on the ground
i just lay it bare for all to see
my weaknesses, your vulnerabilities
you go to school cause that’s just what they’d expect
then you’re on the clock working a job no one respects
when i speak to you there’s a wall i can’t get across
so we all die alone and unknown in a sea of loss
i didn’t cover all the bases, yeah i’m open to attack
all my brutal honesty, you give it right back
i might seem critical, but i don’t intend to hurt
i just wanted to help your self be alert

when winter comes what’s left to do
but try and just run back to you
i’ve got the coupons in my pocket
a discount on a brand new locket to
cover up our eyes behind us
all dressed up in disguises for
a costume worn on halloween
the candy eaten in between the time
when christmas day comes calling
you look outside and snow is falling
cookies and milk are on the table
maybe tomorrow i’ll be able to
wake up and feel satisfied with
things that i have done and tried
but for now i’ll keep on drowning
faces that smile but are really frowning
when a new year comes to dawn
and i must find it in myself to proceed
ask her to be my valentine and
for that month she would be mine
to celebrate my irish pride
remember when our savior died
allegedly rose from his grave
just like i will some sunny day
when springtime’s filled with such beauty
and flora is just flourishing
in time we must all observe
a life which we do not deserve
my parents who gave birth to me
and didn’t know what i would be when i
choose to grow up and learn
that everything it must be earned
your own life is in your hands
so you’d better start making some plans
so i’m here to give my thanks
and a toast to posterity
and repeat it all again

we get tired of sittin’ around
but it’s all that we can do
music leaves you silent while
the sleep splits you in two
it’s okay.. for every day at work
i’ve got a new poem in my head
i don’t wanna be the one who’s stuck around
i’d rather make my life instead
i’m on a roll again tonight
the finish line lies within sight
i know i shouldn’t jump the gun
there’s only one way i can run
and though i can’t exactly sing
like van morrison in his prime
the words equal my spirit
and i enjoy when they come out in rhyme
but i’ve been waiting for the perfect time
i’m gonna tell it like it is
and i don’t want to be lazy any more
it could be worse
but i… no i shouldn’t end a verse like that
i know that it’s not hard to tell
just who i’m ripping off
but i might as well cause
where chords came from don’t matter to me
it’s how they flow so easily
i talk to this kid who’s twenty three
and he’s starting to question
what he’s done in life up until now
this other friend yeah he’s a dead end
everytime we talk he complains about
how he appears in his mind
know a girl, waited a year
for her ex-boyfriend to come back to her
as if he should
i hung with this guy, i wish he’d try
he’s got talent that gets puts to waste
just to get high
but me no i’m not perfect either
i’ve got flaws you know
secrets that don’t show
i’ll give life my best shot
but i’d be lying
if i said we’re not dying every day

however you claim you’ve changed
well that’s just what you say
to make up for your waste
and the taste you left behind
well you paid no mind to how you behaved
and just ignored everything i gave
your thoughts were all fantasies
tangible they will never be
and it was a far-fetched dream
with which you were always seen
but you don’t ever make it out
cause we’re deafened to your shouts
and it seems impossible
to make scattered pieces of your soul
into a whole
am i subject to your interpretation?
the foggy glass you’re looking through
or do you take me for who i say i am
like i once did for you
well soon i was finding out
you were not who i thought you were
i think we’d both concur it’s a mistake
and so i hope you just wake up
well you might think you’re clever now
but your head does not allow
for the roundedness i seek
and your disposition’s weak
and just when i come close to
the memory of your face, it’s erased

i want to be new
but i don’t know what to expect
in the back, on a crowded deck
i bared my soul
to the ones who’ve lost control
what are we doing?
i’ve been out of school for three years
and just when it’s getting good
it depresses me like i knew it would
i can’t keep waiting for my life to unwind
it’s something you gotta go and find
and it might be hiding someplace far away from here
so don’t expect for me to reappear
i guess i just feel hopeless
and i know it wouldn’t be so bad
if not for this thought i had
that something made me different
please don’t feel sorry
i swear i’ve heard it all before
and i don’t want more for me
cause it’s what’s in front that i didn’t see
i’m walking backward with some steps to retrace
and thinking i might lose the race
but you’ve got to wonder if it exists at all
and if our deeds will be recalled

i’m lookin’ out for myself
i can’t be kind to everyone else
but i picked you off of the shelf
i was tired and lookin’ for help
i got this problem you see
the things i do or say don’t agree
with the way i’d like to feel free
and wanting for someone else to define me
so i’m calling on all that i know
for this to be the one thing that goes well
you’ve got the workings of style
and i think i’m inviting you over for a while
cause my head’s been on tile
i won’t be a mess you clean up in the aisle
i’d like to make you my friend
cause i don’t know if or when my life will end
and we got time to spend
if it’s not meant to be then we could pretend
so i’m calling on all that i know
for this to be the one thing that goes well
so much for lyrical cliche
i’ve got nothing more to portray
so it’s much to your dismay
that i’m ending the song in a self-conscious way

well it’s three o’clock
while my mouth it moves i just
can’t seem to talk
not a single word that’s left to say
cause they were on paper before this day
and that industry is boring me
so i’ll just hit the street
and see if i can find
an elusive dream
i know you know the one
hiding under things we built beneath the sun
which all get swept away lately
blamed on disasters coming by way of sea
and this is what i’ve learned
from stuff on the screen
though i don’t make a scene
and the moves we make
have already been done
and that’s no fun
you’ve got your job
and you go to class
another year has passed
it’s enough for me to be
something to somebody
who really understands
cause my name gets lost
in the vast abyss
and so does this
and so does this
so if life were a puzzle
then i’d never solve it
i’d let the pieces dance before my eyes
and i’d be happy to pay the bills
those things don’t matter
yeah they are just there until
you get to that place where you were going
and you settle down there for the rest of your life
i’ve just been waiting for an explosion
it’s gonna come and take away desire

the light spills through the leaves on the trees
and casts some shadows on your face
clouds make them leave without a trace
and in the autumn months you look at all the ideas
you put to rest, would you say you tried your best?
you want to make the change
but to your friends you’ve been estranged
you spend your time just wondering where things went wrong
but when they hear the song
they’ll understand what took so long
your search for recognition and your ambition
is all that you have left — so you look up to see
a fraternal sun, high and distantly alone in a cool stretching sky
brushes away it’s veil of pale night, a boy flourishing in youth rouses
the soft oils of sleep still wet atop his lashes
oh you see, i don’t know where to begin
so i won’t get caught in that mess you made
i swear, it’s not what you’ve heard
it’s just the absurd, and the options weighed
well the time is ripe for a change of pace
all your broken grace gets brushed aside
and there is not a place to hide your fears
so bring your body near as we collide
and i don’t know if what you want is what i got
it’s in the box where you keep your things
you can come by sometime and pick up everything

just got back from the city babe
been on a bus, ain’t got time to shave
but i’ve been dreaming about you every night
i’m gonna get my way this time around

i think it’s funny when we’re out
and can’t agree on where to eat
you know i just want something
to fill me up real fast but you think
you think you’re fat and you are not
oh no i almost forgot
we’re gonna go back to your place
and sleep the night away
should i really expect it?
and should you really let me touch?
i’m sick of hanging on a line
but i’m stickin’ around, stickin’ around or
dickin’ around this time

be on time
before it gets out of hand
i don’t understand
it just always is

what if i said
that you’re always in my head
and if i lost you i know
that the world would just go right on spinning
it’s just a test for you
to determine this love is true
my mind is in place
is death something that you can face?

… debut LP (2010) …

i’m always waiting there
just sitting in my chair
every night
you see
i’m running out of dust
to place into your trust
take me slow
so we can go
down to the riverside
off of memorial drive
keep you on your feet
all this concrete
pressing into my skull
even against the lull
of all these folks
and their bicycle spokes
through and through
i never had a clue
i always thought you knew
what’s in store
what’s more —
can’t get inside your brain
i always try in vain
in your bed
listen what i said
and don’t you forget it now
lest you find out how
won’t do you no harm
to fall for my charm
check yourself at the door
end up on the floor
your hair in a wreck
right next to the tape deck

my girl is pretty pretty
and she thinks i am so witty
yeah, we’re living in the city
off of harvard avenue
i’ve got a studio in my flat
and she’s brought the cutest little cat
and we all live here together
in a blissful pas de deux
and when i’m on AIM at work
i keep her on my buddy alert
i love it when she wears her blue skirt
i’d like to order her a dessert
she knows how to make me melt
and she worries when i don’t put on my seatbelt
girl i love your lustrous eyes
i can’t contain my desperate cries
when evening comes you will surprise me
we’re going to the store
as i pick out an antique lamp
you pointed to a commemorative stamp
the same kind that i used to send you
a letter so long ago
i was seeing if you’d come to the dance
and you didn’t really want to go
ticket for a night of romance
and little did i know
we’d make love later that night
i felt the fire in my soul was about to ignite

i don’t mean to impose myself on you
it’s just something i do, i do, i do, i do and
there’s no need to take you seriously
like you wanna be, and be and be and be and
changing minds now all of the time
and there’s no rhyme, no rhyme, no rhyme no rhyme no
spell it out: i can’t control myself
and i dwell, and i dwell and i dwell and i dwell but
yeah i can’t help but think you’ve changed
you know you’re going to be a star
but you’d better stay just who you are
running around trying to think of words
you know i have none to this song
but i’m gonna sing it all night long
raise this sign, it’s so excruciating — -
ly divine divine divine divine
take me down and teach me to unfurl
as we twirl and we twirl and we twirl and we twirl and
you don’t have to stay
i just got to convey this delay
delay delay delay
that’s keeping me conforming to your will
until until until until i’m
silenced by the seed of guilt
you made me hate myself much more
’til i figured out you’re just a chore
bleeding dry just to maintain
all of the fictions in your head
but i’d rather make you come instead

well i was born in the time of greed
not to each according to their need
and when the union fell
i was learning how to spell
and when women walk on mars
i hope i’m strummin this guitar
sending signals out to you
we’re having trouble getting through
i’ve got more love than you could even claim
but i could change but the world would be the same
if i could place my bid
put it on a house and a kid
to watch the hedges grow
and if you see me say hello
and draft a bill to bail me out
don’t know what you’re living without
it’s not what i’d prefer
just have to get it to occur
i’ve got more love than you could even claim
but i could change but the world would be the same
our feelings bound against the ground
yeah there are places we could climb
nothing stands between us in my mind
get tired of waiting around when there’s nothing left to find
so you won’t get the best of me this time

i was running through the campus yard
when i saw you lying in the grass
your dress was the coolest thing around
so i hoped this loneliness would pass
in the back of the room you were scribbling notes
i was tracing the lines of a graceful design
i’d like to teach you something
about all of the things you took
but don’t get ahead of me
cause you’ll find out it’s not in the textbook
there’s people clogging up the halls
everyone’s wearing the same clothes
everyone’s saying the same words
they don’t know about my highs, my lows
in 2003 things were going for me
then the curtain came down
with immaculate sound
i wait out the time in hopes of trying to reconcile the past
next time i stumble upon something good i hope to make it last
shouldn’t wait out the time because there’s no way i’ll reconcile the past
next time i find something good i know that i won’t make it last

  • 06. crucify your need

i think we’re running out of glue
i think this book is overdue
well you should say something that’s smart
cause i got no lyrics for this part
but if i get down on my knees
would you do just as i please
and if to you i seem unsure
you can walk right out that door
you can watch me ruin it all
as you contemplate my fall
and there’s nothing that could replace
our times are wasted
we’re running out of oil
there’s toxins in the soil
there’s no limit that you can exceed
crucify your need
better start a family
join the bourgeoisie
there’s no reason to cast your doubt
learn to live without
despite the feel of recent months you still think there’s a chance we might aspire
to something greater than we
just bring us forward because most the stuff we get hung up on is such a waste
there’s a possibility that concerns our ability to make something worthwhile out of our time
well you fake it so good
as the sun tumbles away
and you’re talking to yourself
but you don’t know what to say
cause your heels are buried under ground
but you didn’t know that when
i didn’t know you then

friends keep passing in their cars
and going to the bars
gotta make some space for play
so i took my hand off of the wheel
wanted to be unreal
i didn’t care what they would say
just take me down that hometown drive
so i can feel alive
and maybe get this off my mind
sometimes they lie to me they say
you’re gonna be okay
but i can’t do this on my own
so what are we waiting for
yeah i don’t know if these thoughts are yours
or if they’re mine
it sounds so insincere
it’s not a new frontier
i know.. help me out this time
the stupid beat goes on and on
into a lucid dawn
under the misty spell of june
well you can’t find out what is real
looking at stainless steel
its only a first worldly headache
sometimes i fall into the dark
for that anodyne spark
echoing those who came before
bury your head under the sound
planets will come unbound
nothing will save us from that fate
you wouldn’t know what it’s like
as soon as i felt it it was gone
gotta get it right
so when we’re underground
just run a check on who we loved
and who was just.. hanging around

falling down is the greatest profession
just looking out from underneath
the rusted hull of my corroded vessel
against the current of the sea
oh let’s not focus on our differences
before we get a chance to be
nursing one of those fruitless obsessions
just pick me up from my debris
up and down is the way of addiction
most your time don’t come for free
i had a dream last night
she had dark hair and blue eyes
is there one out there for me?

drawing the first design
got the outline down
with no one else to thank
and no money in the bank
reading the tones real close
keeping it low so no one else can hear
you’ve just about had it up to here
i think i figured it out this time
when i’m trying then you know i won’t get through
to you
bringing it to their court
with provisions so that
we don’t need your help
no we can do this by ourselves
we labor in the hold
arguing over every detail
it’s just another way to fail
i think you figured me out that time
when you crave you know there is no other way
to play

above the city square
the bells are ringing out
but we cannot hear them
in this sea of endless doubt
it seems like an empty street
five hundred years from now
we’re trying to calculate the time
but we don’t know how
i’m running around don’t spoil my fun
we’re not losing focus
i made up an image for everyone
but you didn’t notice
no matter how hard you try
it always comes back to you
the vision is incomplete ’til the time
you can start anew
and when that day finally comes
yeah i should be waiting there
to help you into a frame of mind
we can always share
but for now
go on and kneel under the sun
or stare at the ocean
there are ten billion for every one
a poetic notion

got lost inside the contours of a perfect form
watch it delineate, spilling out in the shade
you never knew the score and always wanted more
reading into things in the all wrong ways
neglecting all the things you once held dear
taking classes to prepare for a career
dancing to la raza in the christian science plaza
my troubles would fade with you under the colonnade
you could see your likeness just reflecting in the pool
as i looked up said watch out there’s a shadow coming down on you
and your rule
i never missed the sky i always thought it was shy
dwelling under a roof sorta fucks with your mind
holding out in store for a future war
that will be about us and nobody else
building towers of song that reach the sky
while the muses are all with the other guys
your metaphor was apt to describe how we are trapped
there’s a funny way you say what i was trying to convey
i gave up my attempt to match the writing to your hand
the lines were pointing backward now encompassed in the bore of her command

i can keep my arrows flying all the other days
make sure you dont hear that siren plowing through the hay
you tell me what i’ve been doing say you heard it through the vine
well i can tell you the idea of achievement’s anathema to these swine
well you can go on
nobody’s watching
well you can go on
you keep on talking (x2)
take me to the discotheque i know i’ll meet her there
wait outside while i run in and become a millionaire
all these drinks and films of pink i follow with a prayer
i take flight at such great heights and all you do is stare
i can focus on the good and disregard the bad
but that won’t stop your friends from thinking its another fad
everyone’s got problems man you just look out for your self
if you wanna go down that road then you’ll surely need some help
well you can go on
nobody’s watching
well you can go on
you keep on talking (x2)
ride it out for a couple months and see how well you do
you’re at the start of a bright clean streak i know you thought it through
it takes a while to find yourself from another point of view
they still can’t tell the difference now but if they only knew

the sands of the sea and the stars in the sky
i’m wondering why i’m running out of things to do
we’re good at pretending that nothing’s wrong
and singing songs about the bluest part of you
but in the days we spent i was still distant to you then
and although we were high we could see no use in trying
i found out too late what was meant by your escape
but like everything else it’s gone, so don’t dwell for too long
just look at the feelings that you expressed
and no one guessed you would have taken it so far
it seems so hard to be anything at all
we seem so small but what’s imagined can come true
but nothing was ever good enough for you
and i feel it too maybe it’s better off this way
now i’m in a world with you outside
i know i tried, now i just keep you in my mind
the ideals we had are all fading away
and our will to remain is now going down
so when you choose to leave i won’t disagree
i just hope you stay with me for just one more day
we’ll call all the friends we have left in this town
to say goodbye, we wish you didn’t go so soon
i’m thinking it’s time for me to settle down
yeah no more fooling around
i wanna do what you meant to
it’s not that hard to pick up the phone
when you feel alone
and the world’s too big to take
i’ll try and be there to reach out my hand
for you to understand i will stay true until the end
so if you need to talk then i will be here
don’t feel intimidated there’s nothing to fear
you know he won’t be the only one to go like this
we just do our best and then get on with it

i made up these words to show you some
melodies i could not hum
and now they’re rising in their pitch
stop thinking about that stupid bitch
cause nobody wants to hear that song
let’s get some substance that belongs
we’ll take it to the chorus like gold soundz
make sure your volume’s up not down
i’m throwing it down on number one
there’s no alternatives to having fun
i’ve got the greatest trap to fall into
it won’t work without a part of you
but i don’t care you’re not there
i don’t care i don’t care
you’re not there
i forgot what i was going to say
i guess i’ll think about it another day
we’ve got to find a better way to be
instead of worrying about that side of me
but i don’t care you’re not there
i don’t care i don’t care
you’re not there i don’t care
just stumbling through this like a chore
there’s no subject there’s no gain
no crude devices in this refrain
don’t take what i say so literally
the speaker is not the same as me
so if something seems amiss
that’s what you get for being pretentious
i’m throwing it down on number one
there’s no alternatives to having fun
i’ve got the greatest trap to fall into
it won’t work without a part of you
but i don’t care you’re not there
i don’t care i don’t care
you’re not there
i forgot what i was going to say
i guess i’ll think about it another day
we’ve got to find a better way to be
instead of worrying about that side of me
but i don’t care you’re not there
i don’t care i don’t care
you’re not there i don’t care
what’s it take to convince someone they make the most out of their time
i just wanna know right now
i don’t wanna feel left out
are you guys talking about something that i don’t quite understand
could you explain to me how
everyone’s feeling now
i would say i’m an advocate of skepticism in these times
just look at the first romance
victim of circumstance

i thought there might be an easy way out from here
it doesn’t seem so clear as you try to shake this disarray
another passion play, an epilogue for the key part
under stage lights, facetiously
and we thought we could catch up with you
now all we do is try and trace your steps
it might be good for you to spend some time
away from where you so easily catch your breath
just looking back on a week in 2001
someone placed your faith inside another wish
decades are spent in devotion to the word
a different answer, another kind of glitch
well if there’s something you gotta say now, feel free
i’ve been improving me to the point
where i think i’m a good guy
if you want to try i think we’d work real well
is it contrived?
i can’t tell.

i’d like to show you how it feels to
live inside my world for a short while
so why don’t we discuss the reasons why i’ve
come to write another song
cause it’s getting to the point that i can
hardly stand you sitting there
beyond my reach
you’re not for me
i’ve been waiting to deliver
anything i can just to get by
so when you see me out on the street
toss some change into my dixie cup
cause youve been earning without discerning
where exactly all your wealth comes from
look in between
it’s a print machine
no i’m not looking to inflate the
distance they impose on all our trials
and tribulations are sensational
until they’re blown out by your smile
so take tip from me and don’t go
back into the grips of one who cares
there’s no guarantees
of security

remember when you said
i want it to be warm
we should go to the beach
we can sit on the rocks
i feel the light fading out
i’m playing to an empty house in here
and every time i think of you it all is clear
even though things aren’t the same
could there be
another place
where you wait for me?
yeah i don’t know but
i’ve got into a rut
and i have no doubt
there’s no getting out
so come back, pretty lady, come back to me
there’s other women out there but i can’t see them
without you i admit that i am lost…(x2)
take me back to when
who were we before?
what’d you say that time
everything isn’t fine
and whatcha doing now?
and has it gotten better for you
unlike me
cause there are things i do that you will never see
with each monotonous day
i lose my memory, i can’t feel no more
when you’re feeling bored
sense your forgotten life
i’ll find another route
i will not seek you out
so come back, pretty lady, come back to me
there’s other women out there but i can’t see them
without you i admit that i am lost…(x2)

she says she wants to write
but she barely does
she’s too self aware
can’t stop thinking of what was
that thing that made us who we are
and with each thing you learn
you grow further away
from the people who keep you at bay
someone to lead you back around the bend
and all this time you were only thinking
someday it would end
i’ve always had my reasons
now i’m running out
if i could get up tomorrow
and just turn around
i think that you should start plotting your next move
cause all i’ve got is this stupid crown
i wanna throw it away
i’d like to put it down
but everytime i try
it ends up on my sleeve
so what’s the difference either way
what do you exactly believe?
give me one try to beat this crush and i’d promise to stay sound
your letters i always keep them in a drawer
ages go by and people die im always looking at the ground
but i would always greet you by the door
the things we’ve done in between days well they don’t even compare
to being trapped inside your majestic stare
despite what people say you know i’m different from before
but you you always kept me coming back for more



Kevin M. Gallagher

Linux sysadmin/DevOps/SRE privacy & transparency activist 0xB604C32AD5D7C6D8