The Man I Once Was

from by Stewart Eastham

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    The Man I Once Was (CD w/ mini-LP packaging & full lyric booklet)

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lyrics

I was born to an Irish man with a temper like the raging sand
That blew across the seas of deep despair
My mother was fourteen years old on the day that I was born
Saddled with a burden she couldn’t bear

In a northern California town, my father beat me up and down
Till they sent me away to live with my aunt
I roamed the hills of Idaho with a shotgun and a stiletto
Two years later, they forced me to come back

High school years in San Jose, relentless beatings everyday
Till one day I came up with a plan
I doctored up my paperwork and said, “Oh, please sign me up, sir”
At seventeen I went to Vietnam

But I don’t need your sympathy, I am everything that you are not
I don’t need your sympathy and I damn sure don’t need a thing you got

I came back from overseas and found a girl straight as can be
Married, two children followed soon
I earned my pay on the police force, my wife never understood, of course
How every day was like an open wound

I found myself going more and more down to the corner liquor store
Seeking out the innocence I’d lost
Her pastor tried to counsel us, but I never bought into that stuff
Wasn’t sure I could stand to pay the cost

Felt myself stuck in a cage, one night I lost it in a rage
My kids they screamed, I don’t know what happened then
Woke up in a pool of blood, a note said they were gone for good
Never ever saw my kids again

But I don’t need your sympathy, I am everything that you are not
I don’t need your sympathy and I damn sure don’t need a thing you got

First I lost my family and then they took my job from me
Moved up north to the town of Oroville
As a postman I made my rounds, I worked the roughest part of town
At Playtown USA I’d get my pills

Robbed one day of all my mail by a Mexican out for a thrill
He cracked me with a Louisville slugger bat
I never ever told no one, I was so ashamed at what was done
My head was never quite right after that

One night outside the Eagles Club, I spotted that ol’ Mexican
Smashed his head in with everything I had
Felt my whole past exhumed, I never wanted to sing that tune
But here I stand with blood on my hands

But I don’t need your sympathy, I am everything that you are not
I don’t need your sympathy and I damn sure don’t need a thing you got

With help from an old police friend, manslaughter’s what I got in the end
Spent some years in the Susanville state pen
After I finally got released, I found myself a sense of peace
With a woman who didn’t care where I’d been

We got a place up by the lake and cashed the checks she got from the state
We’d watch TV and drink and drink and drink
Till one day she wasn’t there, she passed away right in her chair
I closed her eyes and tried not to think.

But I wondered where my children were, with families of their own, I’m sure
Probably never thought twice of their old man
Now I’m up to sixty-five and the doctor says I’m soon to die
How I wish I could show them who I am

Please understand, I’m not the man I once was
Please understand, I’m not the man I once was

I’m not ready to go
I see the devil’s come to take away his own

Now I know, it’s my time to go

credits

from The Man I Once Was, released September 24, 2013

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about

Stewart Eastham Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville-based Americana singer-songwriter Stewart Eastham brings a sense of joy to his latest release, Dancers In The Mansion.

Dancers In The Mansion pushes the boundaries of what an Americana record can sound like. This dynamic collection of songs elevates the genre to new heights with its lyricism and innovative musical arrangements.

Eastham was born and raised in rural Northern California.
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