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Ownership of these lyrics

Except for those songs labeled as "Traditional" these songs belong to me. They are my property and I own them. You may print out a copy for each member of your family who wants to sing along. But you may not hand them out at the mall, sing them in a public place, record them on any media and sell or give them away or any other means of distribution. Some people think that it's ok if you don't make money on it. Suppose you stole a car and gave it to a stranger or a friend. You wouldn't be making any money on it but IT WOULD STILL BE STEALING! If you don't want to be a thief then don't rip me off. In the case of those traditional songs, they belong to all of us so help your self.

Thank you

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An Antique Man.

(Max Robinson)
March 26, 2002
Revised April 21, 2009.

I wander through the musty isles
of other peoples lives
Searching for those wonderful
old things that have survived
Radios, phonographs
old records I admire
And little known machines that
record on silver wire.

Refrain:

I do the best I can
I'm an antique man.

I bring the devices home

and clean them up with care
That vacuum tube technology
is easy to repair
Friends and neighbors come around
to see what's on view
I get a kick from knowing those
old things work good as new.

Refrain

Bridge:

I like all old things
Perhaps I shouldn't tell
Old movies, old music
Older women as well.

Spoken:

Just kidding Sue,
It's only you.

My hair has turned to silver

and is starting to shed
My face is getting wrinkled now
my waist line seems to spread
The years are really counting up
each winter it's one more
I'm older than those dusty things
I bring home and restore.

Refrain

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Around the Courthouse Square.

(Max Robinson)
October 5, 1995
Revised July 4, 1998
Revised June 18, 2002.

The center of my home town was
a building old and gray
Surrounded by a shady park
where folks stopped on their way
Memories of childhood days
that shine so bright and fair
All the wondrous things there were
AROUND THE COURTHOUSE SQUARE.

The farmers sat and talked of life,

the weather, crops and land.
Why rich got rich and poor stayed poor
they could not understand.
They never raised their voices and
were careful not to swear
'Cause children might be listening
AROUND THE COURTHOUSE SQUARE.

Some evenings a band would play

and people gathered round
To sit on iron benches or
have picnics on the ground.
It was a kinder gentler time
and no one was aware
That one day we would fear to walk
AROUND THE COURTHOUSE SQUARE.

We'd shop the nearby down town stores

then ease our weary feet
The shade of those old Elm trees was
a respite from the heat
Relaxing in this peaceful scene
and breathe in sweet cool air
It was a pleasant place to be
AROUND THE COURTHOUSE SQUARE.

I went back in later years

they told me a sad tail
Douche Elm disease was killing trees
and remedies all fail
They drove me through the down town streets
I saw to my despair
Not one tree stood in the block
AROUND THE COURTHOUSE SQUARE.

Thirty-two years after

I went back to Marshalltown
I'd heard a rumor that the old
courthouse had been torn down
Instead I found that it had been
restored with loving care
Spruce and maple now grow all
AROUND THE COURTHOUSE SQUARE.

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Forever Ago.

(Max Robinson)
July 14, 2002.

We fell in love as young people do
And have done since before time began.
The anticipation, the wonder, and joy
Was more than we could understand.

Chorus 1:

The years pass us by like shadows of clouds
Moving fast while feeling quite slow
Once we were young and so much in love
But that was forever ago.

Then there were kids in soccer and school
And the corporate ladder to climb.
Love seemed to get lost along the way
Too tired or don't have the time.

Chorus 1

Bridge:

Children mature and start their own lives
Matching up with husbands and wives
This is when couples drift apart
And look around for a younger sweetheart.

We rediscovered each other And fell
in love all over again.
To our surprise and great delight
We haven't lost that old yen.

Chorus 2:

The years pass us by like shadows of clouds
Moving fast while feeling quite slow.
We're no longer young but still in love
The same as forever ago.

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Prairie Soil.

(Max Robinson)
May 15, 1992
Revised July 15, 1994
Revised Mar. 31, 1995
Revised Dec. 30, 1998.

My great grandfather left his Pennsyl
vania home behind
Set out on a journey
in hopes he would find
a better way of living on a
homestead of his own;
To raise a family instead
of growing old alone.
He settled down in Iowa
to plow the prairie loam
Married a half indian girl
who made his house a home
Winter winds were bitter summer
days were long and hot
But they were blessed with children
and the bounty of their crops.

Chorus 1:

Those were the times when earth, air

and water were unspoiled,
And a family could be happy living
on the prairie soil.

In his turn my grandfather

took up the family farm
He worked the land with horses and
muscles in his arm.
His wife bore three fine children,
two boys and a girl,
But sickness claimed a baby boy
and took him from their world.
The boy and girl were brought up by
a firm and gentle hand;
And when the time was right each one
was given half the land
The boy served Uncle Sam then
married his sweetheart
My mom and he stayed together
till death did them part.

Chorus 1

In thirty nine I was born

into my parents care
Although I was the fourth boy
there was love to spare
The brother just before me had
died in his first year
Two boys remained behind when the
oldest wed his dear.
Looking back now I can see
we were poor as mice
We had no running water
and no electric lights.
But we grew up in a strong
and loving fam'ly home
We didn't know we were poor
till we were nearly grown.

Chorus 1

The fifties brought some changes;

at first they did no harm.
Soon we knew we couldn't live
on our little farm.
One night the kitchen table saw
us gathered all around;
With many tears and sorrows
here is what we found.
We had no choice but to sell
the farm and move away
To Florida where Dad could get
a job and earn good pay.
Since our home was sold I've
seen many years of toil,
But still my roots are buried deeply
in that prairie soil.

Chorus 2:

Gone are the times when earth air

and water were unspoiled,
Not many family farms are left
on the prairie soil.

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I'd Still Be Young (If I Weren't So Old).

(Max Robinson)
November 6, 2000.

I was a high school athlete star
With honors brought home from near and far
Now after a game of shuffle board
A 2-hour nap is my reward.

Chorus:

Hare turns gray, eyes grow dim
And visits to the doctor are mighty grim
Who was it said these years are gold?
I'd still be young if I weren't so old.

I used to stay up all night long
Drinkin' beer and singin' songs
Now decaf coffee is my extreme
Then fall asleep perchance to dream.

Chorus

Back when I was in my teens
The girls -- well you know what I mean
Now-a-days when I kiss my wife
I take a chance and risk my life.

Chorus

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He Plowed His Fields.

(Max Robinson)
March 4, 1994.
Revised September 1997.
Formerly "Within My Memory".
Revised January 5, 1999.

My father spent his life in toil
To scratch a living from the unforgiving soil
Had little schooling but was nobody's fool
He had a wisdom they can't teach in school.

Chorus:

He plowed his fields
Then sowed his seed
And kept us well, my brothers, Mom and me
He always answered every question patiently
Though he is gone he lives within my memory.

He looked forward happily to the coming day
He never worried, that was his way
We lived in poverty and pleasures were few
Yet somehow he always saw us through.

Chorus

He had a thousand dreams that would not come true
Wishing for a change that was overdue
We'd find better times coming 'round our door
I pray his dreams are fulfilled on Heaven's shore.

Chorus

Coda:

He's living on and dreaming still
Deep down inside of me.

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I'm Looking For the Highway.

(Max Robinson)
January 4, 1996.

A young man has the wanderlust
we never know why
He leaves his hometown if he has
to stay he thinks he'll die.
The years role by and now he feels
a pull that's growing strong
And almost without knowing he
begins to sing this song.

Chorus:

I'm looking for the highway that

will lead me back home.
The memories of days gone by
are bright as polished chrome
That is where my roots are, why
did I decide to roam?
I'm looking for the highway that
will lead me back home.

The cities call and people leave
their country lives behind.
They don't know how rich they were
for money strikes them blind.
They have big houses, fine cars and
high state in other's eyes
Why are they so unhappy? Then
one day they realize.

Chorus

They say you can't go home again

no matter how you try.
But I'll recall my place of birth
until the day I die.
The highways you can drive shown
on maps are the wrong kind
The highway that will lead me home
is deep inside my mind.

Chorus

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The Pictures On My Radio.

(Max Robinson)
May 27, 1993.
Revised Aug. 4, 1998.

I remember when I was
no more than three or four
Listening to the radio
while playing on the floor.
I learned the words by heart to all
the songs they played;
And sang along with every one
to pass the long, long day.
My favorite cowboy shows were
Tom Mix and "The Lone Ranger";
They always ended "The Tom Mix Show"
by leaving him in danger.
"The F. B. I. In Peace and War",
"The Shadow" and "The Thin Man"
Would solve the crime and catch the crook
in half an hour's time span.

I can't hear shows like "Fibber McGee

and Molly" any more;
I laughed until I cried when he
opened that closet door.
I shivered in the cold with
Sergeant Preston and old King;
And I stood on the stage
and sang duets with Bing.
It was nineteen fifty when I
saw my first TV,
I was disappointed in
the pictures I could see.
The pictures on my radio were
in color and life size;
But TV pictures were all gray
and tiny to my eyes.

The golden age of radio

has been gone for years
As I explore the dial today
my eyes are filled with tears
News morning, noon and night
or endless call in shows
I wonder if it's worth restoring
vintage radios.
But sometimes as I spin the dial
late into the night,
I hear a sound and my
imagination takes flight
Once again Lone Ranger rides
as he did long ago
And in my mind I see those pictures
on my radio.

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This page last updated June 24, 2009.

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