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Mark Guerrero Selected Lyrics

Currently included are (in the following order):   "Pre-Columbian Dream," "I'm Brown," On the Boulevard," "Zoot Suit," "The Ballad of Lalo Guerrero," "If I Could Touch Your Life," "You Gotta Thank the Black Man (For Your Rock & Roll)," "Orale!," "Ay Yi Yi Yi (Nobody Told Me)," "Face and Heart," "Margarita," "Whitewash," "Oh Maria," "Rock & Roll Queen," "Wild Night At the Old Rest Home," "Livin' Off the Land," "I'm a Human," "Lonely," "He's An Artist," "Holy Moses," "What You Gonna Do (When the Well Runs Dry)?," and "Jukebox Man."


Pre-Columbian Dream

Standing in the mountains so high above the valley below
In the Central Plateau, in old Mexico
I gaze upon the silver lakes, as the morning breaks
On the temples that rise out of the blue, and I look at you
'Neath heavens where the ancient eagles flew

And I can see the love that shows through your eyes
As the lonesome coyote cries
I can see your people of the sun
As the timeless rivers they run
And your precious stones they sparkle and they gleam
In my Pre-Columbian dream

Walking on a causeway straight as an arrow running through the lagoon
We sing for the moon, and not a moment too soon
I come upon a marketplace, where a lonely face
In the crowd could do nothing but cry, though I knew not why
Dreaming of calamities yet to be

 Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1981 Ynez Avenue Music/ Irving Music, BMI


I'm Brown

You're brown, you can hang around
Just as long as you don't make a sound
Don't call us, we'll keep in touch
Just as long as you don't say too much
So take a step to the back of your heart
It isn't much but you know it's a start

Don't you know I'm brown
Can't you see my face
But I'm first a member
Of the human race

Don't shout, don't you know I found out
That you don't know what you're talkin' about
Lord knows, I know how it goes
Everybody's got to stay on his toes
Hey son, pick that off of the ground
Wake up, see what's goin' down

Don't cry, never say die
Don't you know that it's only a lie
Don't quit, duck, don't get hit
We're gonna make it bit by bit
Hey boy, get that shine on my shoes
You can't laugh when you're livin' the blues

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1972 Irving Music/ Ynez Avenue Music/ Scarecrow Music, BMI


On the Boulevard

Mario was in the barrio
Hablando with his friend Armando
Waiting for Anna
Pura Chicana
They were gonna go bailando

On the boulevard
You can play it hard
On the boulevard
But if you play it hard
You better stay on guard

On the boulevard
The stereos are playin' loud
The homeboys they're all walkin' proud
The neon is flashin'
Revealin' the passion
Of the ladies in the crowd

Kiki is a friend of mine
Cruisin' down for one last time
Searchin' for his Gloria

The cars are lined up chrome to chrome
Like chariots in ancient Rome
And no one has strayed
From this people's parade
Nobody wants to go home

I was in L.A. with Juan
A citizen of Aztlán
We were creatin'
And interrelatin'
With our brothers of the sun

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1979 Mark A. Guerrero


Zoot Suit

Orale carnal, aqui estamos
Shine up your calcos and put on your tramos
Grab your carlango and wear your tando
Let's go downtown, donde estan bailando
You know we might have to fight
Put on your zoot suit, let's go out tonight

We're proud as eagles and twice as fuerte
I miss you baby y quiero verte
We're nobody's fool, we know what's cool
Come over here chiquita, los pachucos rule
Te quiero with all my might
I've got on my zoot suit, let's go out tonight

I love my huisa
I love my honey
I've got a lot of style
But I ain't got no money

Please mi jefita, make some menudo
I'll be home late and I might be crudo
Make me some cafe in my favorite taza
Orale carnales, I love mi raza
Sabes que?, you've got the right
To put on your zoot suit, let's go out tonight

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1979 Mark A. Guerrero. All Rights Reserved.


The Ballad of Lalo Guerrero

In Tucson, Arizona on a cold Christmas eve
In nineteen hundred and sixteen the world was to receive
An infant with the promise to achieve renown
And from a small adobe house his music would resound
And since we're gathered here today
Father I just want to say

Thank you for your "Cancion Mexicana"
Expressing all your love for Mexico
From all of your hermanos y hermanas
We hope you've got a long long way to go

His childhood was painful, smallpox took its toll
The scars it left were many to his body and his soul
But his spirit was not conquered, his love of life prevailed
And though he made mistakes in life his music never failed
You made us laugh through all the tears
You brought us joy throughout the years

Thank you for your rocking "Elvis Perez"
Thank you for your jolly "Pancho Claus"
Las Ardillitas and your "Pancho Lopez"
I hope you feel the love in our applause

And "Los Chucos Suaves", they dance the night away
To "Chicas Patas Boogie" and you can hear them say

Thank you for your love songs and corridos
Songs that helped the people of Aztlán
Thank you for your melodies and ritmos
And the voice we love to sing the songs

We hope that you believe us
We love you ademas
Your music will not leave us
"Nunca Jamas"

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1994 Mark A. Guerrero. All Rights Reserved.


If I Could Touch Your Life

I do a lot of thinkin'
Before I go to sleep
And as my eyes are sinkin'
I pray your love to keep
And as my mind is driftin'
I slip into a dream
I can feel my spirit liftin'
'Cause you're part of every scene

If I could only touch your life
I'd show you what it's really like to be
Treated like a lady
If I could only be the one
To fill your heart before I'm done you'd see
What love is like if I could touch your life

I've got a lot of reasons
To love you like I do
And through the changin' seasons
You know my heart is standin' true
And as my love is growin'
Stronger by the day
Then I'm sure you'll soon be knowin'
That it was meant to be this way

Baby when I see your eyes the day begins
And I will always be there
When you need more than a friend
To love you once again

 Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1985 Mark A. Guerrero. All Rights Reserved.


You Gotta Thank the Black Man
(For Your Rock & Roll)

Well I jumped on the freeway out of town
Leavin' California I was Louisiana bound
Fed up to here with the L.A. scene
Lookin' for adventure down in New Orleans
Gonna get my fill of jazz and blues
I got to movin' when I heard the news
That you can thank the Lord Jesus for savin' your soul
But you gotta thank the black man for your rock & roll

Well I rolled into town about two weeks later
Seein' hide nor hair of an alligator
Searchin' high and low for old Congo Square
An old Creole said it wasn't even there
I got a room overlookin' Bourbon Street
With hot and cool music runnin' under my feet
But you can thank the Lord Jesus for savin' your soul
But you gotta thank the black man for your rock & roll

Bless my soul, I love the city of dreams
Dixieland music and riverboat queens
Jammin' with the ghosts of Storyville
On the graves of the jazzers buried on the hill
When I get home I'll tell you what I'm gonna do
Carve it in granite when my days are through
That you can thank the Lord Jesus for savin' your soul
But you gotta thank the black man for your rock & roll

Buddy Bolden and his hot cornet
Good ol' Louis wipin' off the sweat
Old Ma Rainey and her low down blues
Bessie Smith, she had nothin' to lose
Scott Joplin was the ragtime king
The Duke and the Count made the big bands swing
Robert Johnson gave us blues to the max
Charlie Parker blew the bebop sax
Little Richard, Chuck Berry too
Laid it all down and the legend grew
That you can thank the Lord Jesus for savin' your soul
But you gotta thank the black man for your rock & roll

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1979 Mark A. Guerrero. All Rights Reserved.


Orale!

On the streets of L.A.
From the hills to the bay
Listen to the music
Do you hear what I say
You can boogie all day
Or swing away
Do a mambo or a cha cha
To the discos they play

Y todos los batos locos dicen
Orale! Orale!
Y todos los batos locos dicen
Orale! Orale!

Come and eat some tamales
Baby please don’t say chale
Have a tostada
Or an enchilada
A bowl of posole
Or chicken and mole
A taquito suavecito
Or at least some frijoles

Ponte trucha
Tengo mi carrucha
Ese Nacho
Hay te wacho
Orale!

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1979 Mark A. Guerrero. All Rights Reserved.


Ay Yi Yi Yi (Nobody Told Me)

Ay yi yi yi, nobody told me
Ay yi yi yi, how could I know
Ay yi yi yi, nobody mentioned
I’d have it like this when I left Mexico

I got my first job in a sweat shop
In downtown U.S.A.
And when I wanted my paycheck
The boss said “I’ll call immigration today”

I was reading the news in the morning
I couldn’t believe what I read
They blame me for crimes and diseases
Unemployment and aches of the head

Tortilla curtain
Wire and tin
Tortilla curtain
Please don’t fence me in

They say go back where you came from
They always seem to forget
That I was here many thousands of years
And I’ll be here for thousands more yet

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1979 Mark A. Guerrero. All Rights Reserved.
 


Face and Heart

In the Aztec city of Tenochtitlán
Before Cortes and his deeds were done
There was a land of wonder on this earth
Where magic men in multi-colored plumes
Held sacred rites in ancient tombs
The wise men taught the children from their birth
And they said

You’ve got to develop a face and heart
Every boy and girl
You’ve got to develop a face and heart
To make it in this world

 With the native moon shining overhead
They danced in tribute to the dead
The sound of flutes and shakers filled the night
The feathered serpent slithered low
Upon the grounds where spirits go
Hissing solemn words with all his might
And he said

You need a face and heart
An honest face and heart
You need a face and heart to take it
You need a face and heart
An honest face and heart
You need a face and heart to make it

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1989 Mark A. Guerrero.  All Rights Reserved.


 

Margarita

She’s got traditional attitudes
She loves to dance in the night
And though she’s speaking in platitudes
Her gratitude’s never trite
She’s like a rose in the summer wind
Movin’ with rhythm and spice
Her blood is hot but she’s never sinned
Well maybe just once or twice
But everyone still treats her nice

She’s well aware of the ancient past
She gets the old country blues
Her roots are strong and were made to last
Not to be harassed or to lose
The morning breaks and we feel the change
Under a tropical sky
It’s so familiar yet somehow strange
Feelin’ the wind as we lie
Forgetting the great by and by

Ay Margarita your confidence
Is very silent but strong
Your education is not immense
But your common sense is seldom wrong
The night has come and the world is still
Waiting for something to fall
As sure as anything something will
Nobody knows when at all
But right now I wait for your call

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1995 Mark A. Guerrero.  All Rights Reserved.

(The song was written in 1976, but not copyrighted as a song until 1995 when I recorded it.)



Whitewash

There was a mural on the wall
In the plaza of L.A.
And the artist said it all
About injustice in his day
It had an eagle and a double cross
With the naked truth to bear
The government didn’t want
The people to see it there

So they whitewashed the wall
The powers that be
They whitewashed the wall
In the land, in the land of the free

It was in 1932
But it could have been today
Because Siquieros chose the truth
There was a heavy price to pay
He was a stranger in this land
In exile from Mexico
A man without a home
A hero for us to know

White paint and rollers can’t conceal
True colors are revealed
In the end

Our generation owes a lot to him
But it’s too late for an investigation
It’s time to go out on a limb
And demand a total restoration
Because they whitewashed the wall
The powers that be
They whitewashed the wall
Understand, in the land of the free

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1991 Mark A. Guerrero.  All Rights Reserved.


 

Oh Maria

Oh Maria, won’t you dance with me tonight
Oh Maria, everything’ll be all right
Oh Maria, won’t you step into the light
So I can see ya, sweet Maria

I can’t believe the beauty in her eyes
The rose in her hair makes me realize
I wouldn’t care if she told me dirty lies
‘Cause she’s got the power to cut me down to size

I love her perfume how it lingers in her hair
She walks in the room and there’s magic in the air
I’d try to touch her but you know I don’t dare
The rejection would be too much for me to bear

I love the way she thinks and what she has to say
She’s highly educated and reads most everyday
She’s very religious and she knows how to pray
I’d love to converse with her but what would I convey

Oh Maria won’t you take me by the hand
Oh Maria lead me to the promised land
Oh Maria won’t you help me if you can
And let me see ya, sweet Maria

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1979 Mark A. Guerrero.  All Rights Reserved
.



Rock & Roll Queen

Oh I got a woman and boy is she good to me
Oh I got a woman and boy is she good to me
Well she’s there when I need her
And knows when to let me be

When I woke up this mornin’ she asked me what I wanted to do
When I woke up this mornin’ she asked me what I wanted to do
Well she gave me what I wanted
It was sure good I’m tellin’ you

 Well she’s a boogie woogie baby and a rock & roll queen
She’s the undisputed champion of the music scene
She’s a record spinnin’, prize winnin’
Woman if you know what I mean

 Well she’s a love makin’, hip shakin’, cake bakin’ honey bee
She’s a back scratchin’, hole patchin’, love snatchin’ honey bee
She’s a maid, not afraid
To do a little something for me

 Well she’s a record spinnin’, prize winnin’
Love makin’, hip shakin’, cake bakin’, back scratchin’
Hole patchin’, love snatchin’, ad libbin’, never fibbin’
Finger poppin’, heart stoppin’, be boppin’, floor moppin’
Well let me tell you she’s a country strollin’, rock & rollin’
Woman if you know what I mean

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1972 Irving Music/ Ynez Avenue Music/ Scarecrow Music, BMI


 

Wild Night At the Old Rest Home

A veteran of the first war sat reflecting on his past
And wonderin’ if this dinner would turn out to be his last
And his woman in the corner, whose love could never be denied
Sat there with her smile breakin’, tryin’ to keep him satisfied

On a wild night at the old rest home
It was a wild night at the convalescent dome
A doctor who had his heyday in the days of the depression
Stood all alone with his stethoscope, nursing an obsession
He just can’t seem to figure out, though at times he feels quite nice
Why it seems these days nobody listens, or takes his good advice

A washed up dramatic actor who’s been nowhere near a stage
Since God knows when because the man is scared to death to tell anyone his age
He missed the smell of grease paint and the sound of applause
He says he’s gonna make a comeback soon, ‘cause he thinks he’s got a cause
A kindly public servant who put in fifty years or more
Serving his city and county, goin’ from door to door
Well on the day that he retired, they presented him a watch and chain
But tonight he can’t help thinkin’ ‘bout, was it worth it or in vain

 A former athletic star who many said was over the hill
Was put out to pasture, he was treated well until
He outlived all his usefulness to his team and to his game
So tonight he sits with the actor, reminiscing of their fame

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1972 Irving Music/ Ynez Avenue Music/ Scarecrow Music, BMI


 

Livin’ Off the Land

Livin’ off the land will make you healthy
Livin’ off the land will do you well
Livin’ off the land will make you wealthy
Livin’ off the land will ring your bell

 And when you wake up smilin’
For the first time in your days
And feel the sun caressin’ you
Through the clouds with golden rays
You’ll be livin’ off the land

Livin’ off the land will make you healthy
Livin’ off the land’ll make you feel alive
Livin’ off the land will make you wealthy
Livin’ off the land is the natural way to survive

 And listen to the silence
As it hits the canyon wall
And to the deafenin’ whispers
Of the ragin’ waterfall
You’ll be livin’ off the land
And that ain’t all

And when you suddenly find yourself
Aware of things you never were
And when diseases of the city
Somehow find a cure
You’ll be livin’ off the land
And that’s for sure

Livin’ off the land will make you healthy
Livin’ off the land’ll do you good
Livin’ off the land will make you wealthy
I’d be livin’ off the land if I could 

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1972 Irving Music/ Ynez Avenue Music/ Scarecrow Music, BMI


 

I’m A Human

I’m a hero and a villain
A wise man and a fool
I’m a genius and an idiot
A weapon and a tool
Yes I’m a lover and a hater

An overflowing cup
I’m a laugher and a crier
I’m down and I’m up
I’m somebody and I’m nobody
I’m night and I’m day
I’m a human, and I wouldn’t
Have it any other way

I’m oceans and I’m rivers
I’m water and I’m land
I’m an active volcano
I’m fire and I’m sand
Yes I’m a leader and a follower
A devil and a saint
I’m a teacher and a student
I’m music and I’m paint

I’m the moon and the sun
I’m darkness and I’m light
I’m the stars and the planets
Said I’m blindness and I’m sight
Yes I am sober and I’m drunk
I’m crazy and I’m sane
I’m a worker and a businessman
I’m pleasure and I’m pain

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1972 Irving Music/ Ynez Avenue Music/ Scarecrow Music, BMI


 

Lonely

 Since you left my life to live a life with someone else
It’s been hard to face the world and hard to face myself
Looks like I’ll have to walk this road alone
And it looks like I’ll have to make it on my own
Walkin’ with my head down
Walkin’ on the cold ground

Why’d you leave me lonely, lonely?
Why should I go on, lookin’ for the dawn?
Why should I go on and on and on and on and on?

I’ve been tryin’ so hard to make it right when it’s all wrong
And I can’t seem to get myself to sing a happy song
Looks like I’ll have to sing the blues awhile
And it looks like I’ll have to walk that ol’ country mile
It seems that I’m the only
Only fool who’s lonely
Walkin’ with my head down
Walkin’ on the cold ground

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1970 Atlantic Music, BMI


 

He’s An Artist

 Well he’s overworked and he’s underpaid
And he’ll let you know
And he’s overjoyed when he’s underfed
And he lets it show
His spirit’s free ‘cause he knows the world is his
He’s an artist
And he knows he is

 Well he loves his Bach and he knows his rock
Like he knows he should
And he hangs with crowds that talk so loud
Preachin’ brotherhood
He tells everyone he knows to call his lady ms.
He’s an artist
And he thinks he is

Well he ain’t no fool, he thinks that blues is cool
And he loves to dance
He read Shakespeare’s plays and on holidays
He does religious chants
He’ll do anything that Salvador Dali does
He’s an artist
And he wishes he was

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1973 Irving Music/ Ynez Avenue Music/ Scarecrow Music, BMI


 

Holy Moses

Holy Moses, rappin’ on my door
Tryin’ to get his message across
Holy Moses, his hand is gettin’ sore
Sayin’ it’s not mine, it’s your loss
Holy Moses, I just ain’t really ready yet
Holy Moses, I still have to get my feet wet
Holy Moses, don’t you know I’m young
I hear you callin’ with your fiery tongue
But I’ll be ready when the song is sung to me

 Holy Moses, I know you’re still there
Give me some time to learn
Holy Moses, it just ain’t fair
You know I don’t want to burn
Holy Moses, I’ll see you another day
Holy Moses, I just don’t know what else to say
Holy Moses, don’t you know I’m free
You say you’re always watchin’ over me
But right now won’t you let me be alone

Holy Moses, don’t give up on me
I never said I didn’t believe
Holy Moses, I’m beginning to see
I know it’s all there to receive
Holy Moses, I still ain’t ready yet
Holy Moses, I still have to get my feet wet
Holy Moses, don’t you know I’m young
I hear you callin’ with you fiery tongue
But I’ll be ready when the song is sung for me

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1974 Irving Music/ Ynez Avenue Music, BMI



What You Gonna Do (When the Well Runs Dry)?

What you gonna do when the well runs dry?
What you gonna use for an alibi
They’re not gonna stand for a lame excuse
You better think it over ‘for ya turn one loose
 
Times are hard, can you spare a dime?
Poverty is ugly but it ain’t no crime
Money isn’t everything but it don’t hurt
The rent is overdue but I lost my shirt

It’s gettin’ much harder to be employed
And welfare’s gettin’ harder to avoid
Mister won’t you give an honest man a break
I even went to college now for heaven’s sake
 
Back into the friendly unemployment line
Thumbin’ through the want ads at a quarter to nine
Leave that god-forsaken place at ten to one
But if I stand a chance I’m a son of a gun

Now I ain’t one to give up tryin’
I’m a day dreamer but there’s no denyin’
That I’ll get by, I know it’s true
I don’t know how but neither do you

My daddy said son the thirties were rougher
But this one ain’t over yet it could get tougher
I can’t imagine this gettin’ too much worse
Mama’s out shoppin’ with an empty purse

Now good things come to he who waits
But they might not happen ‘til the pearly gates
Swing wide open when I ask Him why
The skies are gonna part with His reply

What you gonna do when the well runs dry?
What you gonna do when the well runs dry?

 Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1992 Mark A. Guerrero.  All Rights Reserved.


 

Jukebox Man

 He’s been out on this circuit for God knows how long
There’s no end in sight but he’s crankin’ out the songs
His brain’s like a computer, he keeps ‘em all on file
A record simulator to make the people smile
 
He’s a jukebox man, jukebox man
Sing those words to the letter
Make me feel better
Mr. jukebox man

He dreams of fame and fortune while he’s singin’ in a bar
He knows the odds are bad of ever bein’ a star
But music is his purpose and reason to survive
It helps maintain his sanity and keeps his hope alive

Jukebox man, jukebox man
Sing the old and the new
You know what to do
Mr. jukebox man

Jukebox man, do what you can
Make me remember all the good times I had
And carry me back to a faraway time
When I was younger and the music was fine so fine

He belts out all the greatest hits, the chestnuts that they know
The songs we all grew up with, he puts on quite a show
At home his own creations sit silent on a shelf
A world of his own making but known to no one else

Jukebox man, jukebox man
He’ll go down singin’
The bells are ringin’
For the jukebox man

Words & Music by Mark Anthony Guerrero
c 1992 Mark A. Guerrero.  All Rights Reserved.

 

Contact me at:  info@markguerrero.net

Mark Guerrero
P.O. Box 2558
Palm Springs, CA 92263

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