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Don't Be Discouraged

by Peter Lehndorff

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    Partial proceeds (once expenses are met 🙂 ) go to the Huntington's Disease Program at UConn Health. See my website for downloadable lyrics and liner notes.
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    Comes in a colorful six-panel folder with brief song descriptions, musician credits, and acknowledgments. Lyrics are available for download on our website.

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1.
Chorus: Well, don’t be discouraged, when the future is not bright. And don’t be discouraged when nothin’ turns out right. Don’t be discouraged if things look bad at first No, don’t be discouraged. It’s bound to get worse. Well, your pipes seem to leak a lot. Your plumber’s name is Ray. Your wife seems to call him over, whenever you’re away. Your kid pulled off her braces, now she wants a new tattoo. Your in-laws they just sold their house and they’re moving in with you. Chorus Well, they’re cuttin’ back your hours at work. There’s rumors going ‘round. Everything keeps going up. While yours keep going down. You’re angry at the government. You voted to let them know. It turns out it was all a trick, some kinda Russian TV show. Chorus Well, you saved up for a vacation. To go off to Italy. You ended up being quarantined with your plumber’s family. And folks ask “How’s it goin’?” You always say, “It’s just fine.” Well two can live as cheaply as one for about half the time. Two can live as cheaply as one f or about half the time. Chorus
2.
Reunion 03:53
I went back to Fitchburg Mass. I Had lunch with some old friends We were the class of ‘68. It’s fifty years since then. We arrived as strangers, 12 guys with thinning hair. We could have used some name tags when we first got there. We went to an all-boys school, taught by brothers, not by monks. We held dances in the gym, by and large, they stunk. We laughed about our teachers and Catcher in the Rye. How every day we had to wear a jacket and a tie. The river that ran through my town changed colors every day. Sometimes it was red or green, sometimes purple, sometimes grey. The paper mills and the factories have all but moved away. The river kept on flowin’ and we all moved away Bill was a park ranger. He wore a wide-brimmed hat. Our quarterback was a beekeeper. Try to picture that. Norman moved to Montreal. He was a social worker. Frank became a CPA. Bobby became a lawyer. Well, some were good at science. Some wrote computer code. Some of us are all high-tech. Some still have flip phones A few of us brought our wives. A few of us are gay A few of us still go to church. But most have dropped away. Some guys couldn’t make it there. But Jeff called from Idaho. And we made plans to say goodbye to Nick at his nursing home. The river that runs through my town is all cleaned up today. The paper mills have all closed down. And the fish have come to stay. I looked at that old yearbook. I was on the debating team. And for an hour or so I was seventeen. I went back to Fitchburg Mass. I had lunch with some old friends...
3.
Well, some people wonder what they could’ve been If they could go back and start over again. But nothing could change my love for you. I wish our life could’ve been a little easier, A little more fun — a little less theater. But, nothing could change my love for you. I suppose I could’ve worked a little harder, Been a little richer. Been a little smarter. For richer or poorer, good times or bad, I wouldn’t change much about the love we’ve had... But nothing could ever change my love for you. No, nothing could change my love for you. We’ve had more ups than we’ve had downs. You pick me up when I’m on the ground. And nothing could change my love for you. Well, I love you a bushel and a peck. A bushel and a peck, my heart’s a wreck. But, nothing could change my love for you. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you do. Sometimes I get a little confused. Sometimes I get a little bit flustered — Sorry ‘bout your cat, and the dust buster. But, nothing could change my love for you. No, nothing could change my love for you. I suppose I could’ve worked a little harder, Been a little richer. Been a little smarter. For richer or poorer, good times or bad, I wouldn’t change much about the love we’ve had... But, nothing could ever change my love for you. No, nothing could change my love for you.
4.
I used to think about my bucket list. Was the glass half empty? Or was the glass just too damn big? I Woke up each morning. You were smiling at me. When I looked into your eyes, you were all I need. After every rainstorm. After that hurricane. After it snows like hell, the sun always comes out again. Things are what they were. They will be what they are. People said we were goin’ places. And we did... Just not far. So far. So good. Doin’ okay. Feelin’ pretty good. Can’t complain, knock on wood. So far. So good. When I was fifty, things were a little iffy. When I turned sixty I just said, “Oh what the hell.” I wish you were with me, I wish you were near. I wish I could show you that we’re doin’ okay right here. So far. So good. I’m doin’ okay. I’m Feelin’ pretty good. Can’t complain, knock on wood. So far. So good. So far. So good. I’m doin’ okay. I’m Feelin’ pretty good. Can’t complain, knock on wood. So far. So good.
5.
Your coat is in the closet; Your purse is by the door. There’s a box of your things up on the second floor. I live in the same old house. I still have your old hound. Every day he walks in, to see if you’re around. I’ve got a sense of humor. And I’ve got some real good friends I’m easygoing. But sometimes it just depends. When I think about the bad times. Sometimes I have to laugh. Last month was your birthday. Two years now have passed. I tried to join that dating site, but I quit halfway through They kept asking, what I want? I kept describing you. I wrote: “I’ve got a sense of humor. And I’ve got some real good friends I’m easygoing. But sometimes it just depends. We both came with lots of baggage. We unpacked it over time Now it fits, in one suitcase. What was ours is just mine. The sun came through the curtains, Onto your side of the bed. I was drinking my morning coffee, I remembered what you said... You said: “You’ve got a sense of humor. And you’ve got some real good friends You’re easygoing. But sometimes it just depends. You’re easygoing. But sometimes it just depends.
6.
Please Mr. Squirrel, don’t eat all my granola. Please Mr. Squirrel, climb into your tree. Well, I love Mother Nature, and the birds and the bees, Rocky and Bullwinkle on TV. Please Mr. Squirrel, don’t eat all my granola. I climbed the mountain, to see what I could see. Got to the top, and pulled up a rock, and fixed myself some tea. I fell asleep under a tree, I woke up as the victim of a robbery. Please Mister Squirrel don't eat all my granola. I gave him a candy bar. I gave him a piece of cheese. He never said thank you. He never said please. He ate my sandwich. He drank all my tea. I don’t know what that squirrel wants from me... Please Mister Squirrel don't eat all my granola. Please Mister Squirrel, climb into your tree. I know he seems cute enough He took my raisins. He grabbed my nuts. Please Mister Squirrel don't eat all my granola. I packed up my tent to move away, to get away from him. Walked on down the mountain, to go back home again. Started to drive, and nearly lost control. Squirrel in the back seat with my jelly roll. Please Mister Squirrel don't eat all my granola. Please Mister Squirrel, climb into your tree. Well I brake for rabbits and chipmunks too I don’t wear fur. I eat tofu. Please Mister Squirrel don't eat all my granola.
7.
When my dad got sick I guess I was nine We walked on eggshells. He was mad all the time He fell down a lot. He slurred when he talked He looked like a drunkard. But never touched a drop. He went to his doctor. He went to his shrink. And even that med school didn't know what to think. Well, no one looked back at his family tree. How his mom and his granddad had that same malady. If I knew then, what I know now I couldn't change much of anything, anyhow. It was 50/50. And life’s a coin toss When you have to dance the Huntington's Waltz They had him committed back in '83 Then some brothers and some cousins got that same damn disease A ticking time bomb began to go off And we all started dancing the Huntington's Waltz. When I turned forty, more or less The Huntington's caught me. My life was a mess. They said I was crazy. It was killing my brain. I pushed you away. Somehow you remain. If I knew then, what I know now I wouldn't change much of anything, anyhow. It was 50/50. And life’s a coin toss When you have to dance the Huntington's Waltz Some brothers and some sisters, they have it as well. Their kids and our grandkids, only time will tell. I guess I'm pretty lucky to know how this ends Thanks for sticking with me goodbye my good friend. If I knew then, what I know now I wouldn't change much of anything, anyhow. It was 50/50. But I won the coin toss When you danced with me at the Huntington's Waltz When you danced with me at the Huntington's Waltz.
8.
People say that I’m a lucky guy. I try to smile and not be blue. But there are times that I have to wonder, if it could have been me and not you. Chorus: I guess I’m a guilty survivor. I should feel lucky, but I don’t know how. People say I dodged a bullet. But every silver lining has a cloud. When we were kids, you used to say (that) You’d grow up to be just like mom. You’d learn to dance. I’d learn guitar. We always seemed to get along. You got her smile. And you got her figure. But you also got her damn disease. As your mind slipped away, your so-called friends used to say. “The apple didn’t fall far from that tree.” Chorus: I guess I’m a guilty survivor. I should feel lucky, but I don’t know how. People say I dodged a bullet. But every silver lining has a cloud. When you got home from college, I remember how you used to joke. (You said) "I’m afraid I’m becoming our mother." How I wish that was never so. I guess I’m a guilty survivor. I should feel lucky, but I don’t know how. People say I dodged a bullet. But every silver lining has a cloud. Every silver lining has a cloud.
9.
Tonight I wish that I could be with you. To hold you in my arms again and tell you “I love you.” Look into your smiling face, And be held in your warm embrace. Tonight I wish that I could be with you. And tonight I wish that we could kiss again. Feel you breathing next to me. My lips upon your skin. Run my fingers through your hair, Just to know that you are there. Tonight I wish that I could be with you. Remember that old couple at the grocery store. They were smiling at each other as they shuffled through the door. You said as they rolled down Aisle Two, "Hey, wait a few years buddy, there goes me and you." And tonight I wish that I could be with you. And I wish that I could hear your voice tonight, And hear you softly whisper that "everything’s all right." Wish that we could talk again, Laugh and cry like two old friends. Tonight I wish that I could be with you. Sometimes you and I would go out driving, Sometimes with no maps or a special place to go. You will always be my destination. And you will always be all I need to know. And tonight I wish that I could be with you. Hold you in my arms again and tell you “I love you.” Wish that we could kiss again, Laugh and cry like two old friends. Tonight I wish that I could be with you.
10.
Well I did my homework and I worked real hard. I got good marks on my report card. I got a prize in science. And I got a prize in art. But my teacher still gave me her two cents worth. Well, Everyone’s an athlete, everyone’s a nurse. They know the secrets of the Universe None of them were famous (that would be worse) They all wanna give me their 2 cents worth. Bridge: They tell me what to do. They tell me where to go, They tell me what they’re thinking and how much they know. Somebody famous was a friend of a friend. I’ve heard that same story Again and again. Chorus: Everybody gives me their 2 cents worth, 2 cents worth, 2 cents worth. Some of them are smart, Some of them are jerks And they all wanna give me their 2 cents worth. Verse: I went to college. I got a degree. (Maybe I should go and get my Phd.) I’ll write a book. I’ll be on TV. And then I’m gonna give you my 2 cents worth. Bridge: It’s not worth a quarter. It’s not worth a dime. Not worth a nickel. Half of the time. 2 plus 2 plus 2 cents worth, Add it all up it’s just 2 cents worth. Chorus: Everybody gives me their 2 cents worth, 2 cents worth, 2 cents worth. Some of them are smart, Some of them are jerks And they all wanna give me.... Yeh, they all wanna give me their 2 cents worth.

about

Peter Lehndorff's first full album in 25 years. Of the ten songs, a few are funny like the title song, 'Don't Be Discouraged' and a story about my encounter with a squirrel. But there are also stories that reflect his experience as a caregiver. A few of the songs were written a while ago but never recorded professionally.

Don’t Be Discouraged: anthem to realistic pessimism.
Reunion: about his 50th reunion and his hometown.
Nothing Could Change: light-hearted country duet.
So Far So Good: hope and resilience.
It Just Depends: moving forward after loss.
Please Mr. Squirrel: a humorous ode to a squirrel.
The Huntington’s Waltz: thankyou letter to a caregiver.
Guilty Survivor: survivor’s guilt every silver lining has a cloud.
Tonight I Wish: love song about trying again.
Two Cents Worth: unsolicited advice.

credits

released May 6, 2022

Credits:
Jim Henry: production/engineering
Peter Lehndorff: guitar, vocals
Jim Henry: guitar, dobro, mandolin, and bass
Susan Hill: vocals
Tracy Grammer: vocals and violin
Lisa Bastoni: vocals
Paul Kochanski: upright bass
Chris Haynes: accordion and piano
Joel Tepp: clarinet and harmonica
Lorne Entress: drums
J.J. O’Connell: drums
Dave Chalfant: mastering
Peter Lehndorff: graphic design

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Peter Lehndorff Hampden, Massachusetts

Partial proceeds from my bandcamp site will be donated to The Huntington's Disease Program at UConn. Huntington's Disease is the genetic brain disease that took the life of Woody Guthrie.

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