It Had To Be Said EP

by James Mahoney

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It had to be said, because one day there was an actual completed song, a song that someone actually wanted to hear again, a song written in tiny handwriting on a narrow receipt while lying on the couch watching baseball, strung out on cold medicine, a song that was the beginning of an unstoppable stream of future songs, or words to that effect.


released April 22, 2014

All words and music by James Mahoney except the words of “Revelation,” which are a poem by Robert Frost by the same name from A Boy’s Will (1913).

Typesetting and layout by Mandy Elliott

Pen-and-ink artwork copyright © 2014 by Ken Stark



all rights reserved


James Mahoney Missouri

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Track Name: The Baseball Song
Cleveland had a three-run lead,
But Major League pitching tends to bleed
After the sixth inning.
And you thought you were winning.
Well, now the lead’s gone.

Oh, the Texas batting coach is at home,
And Cleveland doesn’t play in a dome.
But I’m sure that he’s grinning,
Because his team is winning.
And the Cleveland bullpen wants to go home.

You may say baseball is slow,
But the grass needs time to grow.
Made me want to write this song.

Well, Harry and Steve were the best
Announcers over all the rest.
Joe Morgan and this loser,
Who sounds like a good schmoozer,
Well, they made me want to write this song.

When I sing sometimes I close my eyes
And build a wall so I can hide
All that I think is frail,
Or maybe too good, inside.
And this guitar has a bridge.
It’s built so we can ford
The river whose ferry fares
We pretend we can’t afford.
What gave these thoughts their start
Was when I opened my eyes
And found out what was over the wall:
Communion of eyes and heart.

Gary Matthews just hit a home run.
Oh, leaving the Cubs is fun.
It unleashes all your talent.
It makes you strong and gallant,
So you can be a Major League star.

Alfonseca got out of the jam.
As a Cub he’d just give up the grand slam.
But now he’s a good pitcher,
And he’s growing richer
On the Texas bullpen bench.

You may say baseball is slow,
But the grass needs time to grow.
Made me want to write this song.

What I would like for you to say
Is, “You played well, and it’s OK
To smile and laugh with my eyes.
And it’s OK if you capsize
For opening your sails too wide
To go where the Wind will blow,
For maybe He wanted you to stay
Somewhere new for awhile,
So there’d be no need to hide
Your friendship from my eyes.”
Track Name: Burke Farm
Oh, dear, it’s raining.
Here is my Cubs hat,
So your hair won’t need straightening
From walking through the yard.

Ping-pong is upstairs.
I lost the first round.
Guitars in the kitchen.
Let’s sing Johnny Cash!

A bonfire, s’mores,
“Do you know Weezer’s songs?”
Upstairs: air hockey,
Tinkertoys, and pool.

To make room for the women,
The boys will sleep outside.
My friends all purpose-driven,
I’m just ’long for the ride.

My Father woke me up
To watch the sun arise.
My grandma died that afternoon,
My mom at her bedside.
Track Name: Calamity
Circles next to circles,
Orbits not meant to cross.
When a planet lives up to its name,
It intrudes,

Disturbing the unprepared,
Awakening the unwilling.
Tidal waves, calamity result.

But not a final destruction,
But the foundation of newfound integrity.
Track Name: Santiago
Well, I’m OK.
I’m wearin’ new sandals.
Who needs boots?
And when do I get to lie down?

Well, I’m OK.
Not sure what I’m doin’,
But sure is nice to be back
’Mongst the slopes wet and green.

I’m doin’ fine.
The veil is pulled away
Midst the peaks
Of the bordering mountains.
Holy God,
Keep us from all harm.
We’ll find rest.

Well, I’m OK,
Though I could be better.
Won’t share a beer with my friend.
Gotta keep my head clear.

Well, I’m OK,
But it sure is sunny.
Is there some way
The clouds could stay out all day?

I’m doin’ fine.
I’m right where it begins.
I see Your throne,
Hear the choir of sisters sing.
Sacred Heart,
On the Mount of Martyrs, home,
Be my strength
To carry on.

Well, I’m OK.
Let’s cook some dinner
And drink some wine.
I hope we’re all headed in the Right Direction.

Well, I’m OK.
Let’s roll some cigarettes
And leave this place.
It’s far too nice for us anyhow.

I’m doin’ fine.
I’ll find You over there,
Towards the road,
Near the clearing where we’ll sleep tonight.
Holy Ghost,
What am I lookin’ for?
My one true fear
Is to never know.

Well, I’m OK,
Though your ankle’s seen better.
But I won’t let the Good Lord
Mess it up any more.

Well, I’m OK.
Can I teach you how to pray?
Though, of late,
It seems I’ve forgotten how.

I’m doin’ fine.
I’m back where it began,
in my room,
dreaming over the mountains.
O St. James,
Take me by the hand.
I’ll find home.
Track Name: “Revelation”
We make ourselves a place apart
Behind light words that tease and flout,
But oh, the agitated heart
Till someone find us really out.

’Tis pity if the case require
(Or so we say) that in the end
We speak the literal to inspire
The understanding of a friend.

But so with all, from babes that play
At hide-and-seek to God afar,
So all who hide too well away
Must speak and tell us where they are.