“Homeless Man” — The Lyric

Other People's Photography, Poetry, Songwriting | Posted by Jannie on 30 October 2014 @ 3:36 PM 25 Comments


i see an old man with a long white beard slowly walking
shufflin,’ shufflin’ across the street, ragged shoes on his feet
where is he going all alone tonight?
i wonder as i wait in my car at the red light

homeless man, i see you there
with your albert einstein hair
are you going to a cardboard castle somewhere?

the trench coat he’s wearing is brown and wrinkled like columbo’s
maybe he’s really some kind of spy, with the fbi
maybe he’s an alien sent from outer space
does he think his own planet is a nicer place?

homeless man, where do you go
when autumn winds begin to blow?
where do you sleep when streets are covered with snow?

take this dollar
from my hand…
homeless man

(8-bar break)

i hear him singing handel’s alleluia as he makes it to the corner
sounds a lot like nat king cole, yeah he’s gotta lotta soul
he turns around, opens his cardboard sign
i laugh ’cause it says “her lawyer was better than mine”

homeless man, thanks for the smile
and your happy hippie hobo style
maybe next time I’ll stop and sing for a while

and God bless you too
homeless man

alleluia, etc…


~~ a new tune of mine born about 10 blocks north of where that first photo (by Gregg  Klar) was taken.

(That’s the Texas State Capital in the distance, in case you didn’t know.)

I thank Kelly for pointing out that the song initially seemed to “drag on and on”, prompting me to slice the verses from 16 bars to 12. Thanks, Kelly! Sometimes less is more…

The second photo is by Steve’s Digicams.

And that’s pretty-much that for this!

Posted by Jannie for the occasion of this magic moment.



P.S. 1 more pic of our beautiful downtown, by Frink’s Photography.

Kelly actually had the great fortune of attending 1st through 4th grade at a small Montessori school at the edge of that big park!

I loves me some Austin, Texas!!

P.P.S. Unrelatedly… every month I plan to feature 7 Friends in my sidebar, those first 7 some of my very earliest blogging buddies, been friends now for 6 years.

xooxoxxoxoxoxo again.


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  • 1

    On 30 October 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Daisy said, 

    I really like the lyrics of your song, Jannie. Sad, but nice that his sign made you smile. The photos are all gorgeous! Yay! I’m on your sidebar. Wishing you a happy weekend! xoxo

  • 2

    On 31 October 2014 at 1:59 am

    Talon said, 

    Love the photos and love your song, Jannie. I can’t wait to hear it! I like how you gave him life and mystery. Beautiful.

    Isn’t it crazy how the years are rolling by? I still remember how excited I was when you came to my blog. I thought I was posting in an empty room and you filled it up with all sorts of goodness. Thank you, Jannie! xxoo

  • 3

    On 31 October 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Alice Audrey said, 

    Now you’ve made me all nostalgic for the Fiction Friday 55 days with the sidebar links.

    What gorgeous shots!

    The bum theme is a little near and dear to my heart as my son has taken up the lifestyle.

  • 4

    On 31 October 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Jannie said, 

    Dearest Daisy, this will probably be the only “sad” song on the CD. Yes, that long-time-coming second CD! Hoping to be back recording before too long. Yep, you’re in my sidebar, and ever in my heart of course. So far, so awesome on the weekend, how ’bout you? Get some trick-or-treaters?? xoxoxoxooxoxoxoxo

    Dearest Talon, yeah, I was your first commenter, how cool was that!??!! :) I couldn’t help but gravitate towards your goodness, the Universe having decreed it since before the start. Thinking in addition to a physical disc I’ll really pump up the iTunes marketing when the new project is recorded. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    Dearest Alice Audrey, kids with good parenting find their way back, some even sooner than later. Hard to see them make their mistakes, but they learn from them and are no doubt much stronger and wiser for the experience. And now, my dear in Montana… a toast to the Spirit of FFF55 tonight, ever heart-present. (Still have a little champagne in my travel coffee mug from earlier. (Thanks, Cathy for the bubbly!!) :) xoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  • 5

    On 1 November 2014 at 4:21 am

    Hilary said, 

    Hi Jannie – lovely photos .. but the homeless man story line with the Albert Einstein hair … great imagery … Hardwick and I must come into the 2nd or 3rd batch … we go back some way … but that’s not the important bit ..it’s connections made and kept …

    Glad the next CD is on its way … happy November .. cheers Hilary

  • 6

    On 1 November 2014 at 10:29 am

    Chris Edgar said, 

    Kids can definitely be counted on to give you honest and direct feedback on your music, hmm? And then people become adults and their feedback starts to sound like “you know, it’s really just my opinion, but that part didn’t work for me. Not that it’s the objective truth or that I know what I’m doing or something.” Well, actually, music industry people often sound like the aforementioned kids.

  • 7

    On 1 November 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Dr. J said, 

    I had no idea Austin was so big! I really had thought it was just like Gainesville.

  • 8

    On 2 November 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Jannie said, 

    Yes, my Dearest Lovely Hilary, you for sure are in the 2nd or 3rd wave of friends to first wash up onto this grateful shore! Yes, lyricwise, I am still wondering if I should put a “funner” line to rhyme with space. Give the listener some comic relief in such a heavy verse. Of course, it’s all in the way you sing it too. So many possibilities… Yep, gonna set some recording studio dates!

    And here’s another shot from a site called Pixpics (or something like that…) but I believe John Rogers is actually the photographer… When Kelly was going to said Montessori haven I’d often stroll past that Stevie Ray Vaughan statue after dropping her off.


    Or… I could actually say… “he turns around, grins and opens his sign, I laugh ’cause it says her lawyer was better than mine…” And I can just drink the wine on my own. :) ?? Yep, it’s indeed the connections in blogging, and the happiness of friendships that grow and last. YOU have been so so so sweet and a wonderful friend to me. I even owe you a Snail Mail letter, don’t I?!! As soon as I finish the one I’ve been writing to my sister-in-law for these past 2 months, I’ll get started on yours. Oh, and my nephew’s birthday card…

    Dearest Chris, Yeah, Kalyani and I were talking the other day how it’s good to at least listen to others’ opinions as objectively as we can. Take the best and forget the rest. With this song I kept what Kelly said in the back of my mind, and hadn’t played or sung it in the several months since I first started writing on it, and when I sat down with guitar again, I was like “okay, what would the melody sound like here if I slice those chords? Can I still tell my story with a sparer lyric? So it went. Now… I’d like to find out what night is the songwriter circle to play it for some fellow song types, see what they hear. So that means, practicing the song will be a good short-term goal for me.

    Dearest Dr. J. I remember when Kelly and I came back from a Canadian summer, 2009, it seemed Austin’s skyline had doubled in size in 6 weeks!! Ever growing, still got that teckkie thing going here. Plus, TX does not have a State sales tax, adding to the allure of our lone star republic.


  • 9

    On 3 November 2014 at 11:53 am

    Linda said, 

    Jannie, those are some beautiful pictures of your fair city. Never been but maybe I’ll get that way some day. That was a thoughtful, and sometimes fanciful tune you wrote. I loved the line that said “her lawyer was better than mine”.

    I will be watching for my Rosie to reappear on your sidebar – a place of honor. Today is the anniversary of his “transition”. Miss him muchly. Have a great week!!!

  • 10

    On 3 November 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Sara said, 

    I loved the lyrics, but I want to hear you sing them:~) I’ve missed your music very much and I’m pleased to see the lyrics of this song…which touched my heart, by the way:~)

    I agree about the photos…they are lovely!

  • 11

    On 3 November 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Jannie said, 

    Dearest Lovely Linda of Light and Wisdom, You were actually one of the 4th or 5th waves of wonderful winners who breezed in to this blog, as I recall. One year since Rosie left this physical realm, I am giving him a big hug for you. I know he can still feel the love that comes his way, and continues to send his to you. Yeah, Austin rocks!! Beautiful natural areas, great food, arts and such. Just wish it had the ocean… :) But the lakes are as nice as they get. The truth of the song is, it was actually in the day I saw that dude shuffling along. They taught us in Songwriting 101 “never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” :) :)

    Hey Cuteness, AKA — Sara. So guess what?? I shall now make a list of songs I’d like to include on this project… 1. Homeless Man, 2. Married Lady, 3. You Could Love Me Good, 4. Strange, 5. Banana Seat Bicycle, 6. Still Glad I Married You, 7. Only Guilty Of Love, 8. Mary, 9. Everybody’s Buttocks Are Beautiful, & 10. Love Is The Answer (the latter I think the verse lyric can still be better developed. I have played Homeless Man at a couple of Open Mikes, but before I pared it down to the above. I bet it will sound and be received better next O.M. Maybe I’ll videotape me???


  • 12

    On 5 November 2014 at 6:01 am

    Lynn said, 

    I love your song, Jannie Muffin, and so sorry to be late to the party! I am working some looong hours these days and can’t seem to sneak onto blogs like I used to.

    That line made me smile, too, “her lawyer was better than mine.” :) I saw one homeless man’s sign one day that said, “Why lie? Want money for beer.” :)

    And isn’t that awesome that Kelly is so discerning of the way a song should be? Good to have a daughter and friend in her.

    Thanks for putting my badge up at the top – I had forgotten about that photo. And it has been six years! You were my very first commenter – I think all commenters since have come because of you.


  • 13

    On 5 November 2014 at 7:38 pm

    brian miller said, 

    wow…what gorgeous night time pictures….so alive…i love the city…

    and i have a heart for the homeless as well…spent a good bit of time with them in my day…and all the more when i lived in the city…was a bit more noticeable there….wonderful song jannie…

  • 14

    On 6 November 2014 at 12:08 am

    claudia said, 

    i like his humor… made me smile as well… and who knows…maybe he IS a spy… smiles… a lovely song jannie…and beautiful pics

  • 15

    On 14 November 2014 at 9:55 pm

    DeniseinVA said, 

    You have such a wonderful blog. I love all your photos and words. Thanks for stopping by the Today’s Flowers site. It would be lovely to see your join us when you have flowers to share. All the best and have a great week!

  • 16

    On 15 November 2014 at 9:39 pm

    k and b said, 

    Sometimes I wish that the songs had tunes you could read too… I would love to know the tune you sing it to.

    Awsome pictures by the way.

  • 17

    On 16 November 2014 at 2:05 am

    Jannie said, 

    Dearest Lynn, I’ve been late to the party or a no-show at your blog of late. Hope you are enjoying those long hours of work? Yeah, I love that sign you mention! Yes, Kelly is a fellow musician, and her input is always valuable. And she just won an award from her choir teacher!!! I was your first commenter because the Universe had pre-ordained it… xoxoxoxoxo

    Dearest Brian Miller, and I bet the Homeless were all the better for having comingled with your awesomeness. Did they know you were a poet? What city was it? xoxo

    Dearest Claudia, you know…. after all is said and done and the way I like to make sure every word has it’s hair combed and its’ laces tied, :) I do think I shall not change a bit of it. Comes a time, when you’re writing, comes a time when the lyric settles down. Yep, could be a spy. All a disguise… :) xoxooxoxo

    K. and B. O.M.G.!!!!!!!!! I had begun to think you were just some of those “really nice people (well, and a dog, who is a person, of course)” who passed through, never to be heard from again. Oh, partially Doubting Thomas, me. :) SO AWESOME TO SEE YOU BACK!!! I guess until you hear the tune, you’ll have to listen for it on the wind. :) Or sing it to a melody you already know. xoxooxoxoxoxo

  • 18

    On 20 November 2014 at 8:09 pm

    SnaggleTooth said, 

    Wicked awesome lyrics n photos too Such a pretty place reflected on that water! Hope it didn’t freeze your toes too long…

    I wrote a “Homeless” tune years ago “’80’s” – from the POV of being the one who is homeless- thinking I was about to be. Then I moved here- I was lucky!

  • 19

    On 24 November 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Jannie said, 

    Hello, Dear Denise in VA, thank you for popping over. And so sorry you were in “mooderation” for a few days there. Something you had said in a comment at Talon’s or Lynn’s led me to assume you were extra-awesome, as proved true on your blog. Thank you so much, Denise of the flowers.

    Dearest Snaggle. I orginally had “are you a king going to a castle somewhere” but think I like the cardboard castle just fine. I have been pondering “maybe he’s an alien visiting from outer space, conducting some kind of study on the human race,” trying it on for fit over the lyric above. Hmnnn. Nope, toesies nice and warm here. Of course, I do have a nice pair a genuine fake-suede leather good-used-yardsale slippers this year, with a real cute genuine leather lace on them. I was thinking I’d be homeless too, until I found Lynnie G. via Vivian for a place to live my second year of college. I believe it was at 746 George Street. I’D LOVE to hear your Homeless tune sometime!!! And hopefully will.


  • 20

    On 29 November 2014 at 8:57 pm

    k and b said, 

    HOpe you had a great thanksgiving.

  • 21

    On 30 November 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Jannie said, 

    Hey Lovely K&B, yes indeed, best Thanksgiving ever! How ’bout you guys? xooxox

  • 22

    On 19 December 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Alice Audrey said, 

    To see this now makes me want to cry again.

  • 23

    On 24 December 2014 at 1:38 am

    Jannie said, 

    Oh, I’m sorry. Cry all you want. But everything will be okay!! Trust all will be revealed, and is unfolding as planned. Meantime, try to remember there is no path to happiness, but happiness is the path. And when things seem emotionally overwhelming, breathe in faster than you breathe out, exhaling slowly is a nice calming release, to get you centered again.


  • 24

    On 24 December 2014 at 1:44 am

    Jannie said, 

    Now, ALice please forgive me, I just scrolled up and realized what I’d said about the spirit of FFF55, the words penned before Galen died. And yes, I’ve been crying a bit from time to time too, now that I know. I at first thought your were crying about your son.

    Funny how even in cyberspace souls reach out and touch each other so deeply. I think Galen knows we’re talking about him tho. And he’s smiling at how kick-ass awesome you and I both are. :)

    Now, it’s late.

    good night.


  • 25

    On 14 January 2015 at 10:48 pm

    Alice Audrey said, 

    Galen did have a way of making everyone aware of how kick ass we all were. :)

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