singer   /   storyteller   /   humorist   /   folk-theologian

LYRICS / CLOUDBASE

 
CHANGES IN ATITUDES, CHANGES IN ALTITUDES
© Jimmy Buffett (with a little help from Steve Kemp & Ed Kilbourne)
 
I took off for a weekend last fall
Just to try and recall the whole year
All of the places and all of the races
I wondered where they all disappeared
I didn't ponder the question too long
I was hungry and went out for a bite
Ran into a chum who owned an old LS-1
And we wound up talkin' all night
 
'Bout those changes in atitudes
Changes in altitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of our climbing
And all of our running
If we couldn't soar we would all go insane
 
Makin' a turnpoint at some little airport
Reminds me of the places I've been
Memories of great flights that brought so much pleasure
Make me want to go back again
If my life suddenly ended tomorrow
I could somehow adjust to my fate
All I would need is the call to "proceed"
As I'm diving through St Peter's gate
 
It's those changes in atitudes
Changes in altitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of the high flights
And all of the relights
If we couldn't soar we would all go insane
 
Sometimes when I'm working I look at the sky
And part of my heart takes a tow
I connect with a cloudstreet somewhere in West Texas
Oh God, how I'm ready to go
Then somebody taps on my shoulder
And I quickly get out of my plane
When they see the grin and they aks where I've been
I don't even try to explain
 
'Bout those changes in atitudes
Changes in altitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of our climbing
And all of our running
If we couldn't soar we would all go insane
If we couldn't soar we would all go insane
If we wern't already crazy we would go insane
 
THE NEW GLIDER BLUES
© 1988 Fly-By-Night Music (Ed Kilbourne)
 
Have you heard the latest news that the LS-22's will have nothing on their
panel but a screen
That will give the latest views from the satellite you chose and display
the sink in red, the lift in green.
There's no stick upon the floor, no rudders anymore, just two wires that you
plug into your brain
A computer reads your mind through a fiber-optic line and with this
information flies the plane.
 
Honey, I need a new glider!
The one that we have's obsolete
Soaring's no fun at just 60 to 1
I can't expect to compete
With a plane like this new 22 dear
The first ones will be here in May
I just knew you'd decide it's a matter of pride
So I ordered us one yesterday
 
The deutche-mark's headed down and the dollar's gaining ground, it might
get back to 1 to 1 again
So for just 200 grand you place an order with a man who promises delivery
by spring
Then three years from that date he says "Just one more wait. The factory
is quite busy now, you see.
"I know they're anxious to get through with your new LS-22, 'cause they've
just announced the LS-23!"
 
Honey, I need a new glider!
The one that we have's obsolete
Our investment is doomed if we don't trade it soon
Hell, we've had it for over a week!
Just look at this new 23, dear
The first ones will be here in May
I just knew you'd decide it's a matter of pride
So I ordered us one yesterday
 
ONE MORE CLIMB
© 1988 Fly-By-Night Music (Ed Kilbourne)
 
He'd finally gotten close enough to need just one more climb
If he could top 6000 ft, he'd be on final glide
The thermal was a weak one, a half a knot at best
But the day had died and there was nothing left, there was nothing left
 
At 40 miles, 6000 feet is 35 to 1
And with a little luck it can easily be done
But instead of luck a headwind told him he'd need 42
But 40's all the factory says she'd do
 
CHORUS:  One more climb, yeah, give me one more climb,

                  And it lifts me high, yeah, circles in the sky

                  Lord, just let me have one more climb
 
At 57 hundred feet it was zero all around
He tried 2 more circles and he started loosing ground
It was less than what he needed but he turned and headed home
And looked for signs of lift but there were none, there were none
 
The audio was quiet, the air was smooth as glass
He'd recompute the numbers with each check point that he passed
At the river 22 miles out he was still 500 low
The time had come to call and let her know CHORUS
 
That morning she had kissed him just before he took his tow
And said 'I want you to remember now whenever you get low
I'll be wishing you a thermal each time you need a lift
So when all hope is gone please don't forget, please don't forget.'
 
No, he had not forgotten but her idea made him laugh
Her love was always with him and he believed in that
But wishes will not get you home when what you need is height
Then something nudged his wing and said "Turn right" CHORUS
 
He can't swear that he heard a voice but he knows the bump was real
And as he rolled the glider round he got that solid feel
2 kts to 3000 ft with just 10 miles to go
He called her up and said "I'm coming home, I'm comin' home"
 
He was 1 of 2 to finish on the task they called that day
He couldn't wait to thank her, he knew she'd be amazed
When he told her how her thermal had saved him from defeat
He found her in the trailer, fast asleep. CHORUS
 
He gently shook her shoulder and she smiled a sleepy smile
He said "Wake up dear, I made it! Have you been asleep awhile?"
She said "Only for an hour but I had the strangest dream
Do you have any idea what this means, what this means?"
 
"I dreamt I found a tiny bird dragging its left wing
I lifted up its feathers and the bird began to sing
It sang a tune I'd heard you singing earlier today
And then to my suprise it flew away!"
 
He said, "The dream is strange alright, as strange as strange can be"
And when he told her of his flight, she certainly agreed
I guess when someone loves you, no matter what you do
From time to time you'll have a dream come true. CHORUS & Repeats
 
THE $65 LS-4
© John McCutchon (lyrics adapted by Ed Kilbourne)
 
This morning while reading my copy of the latest Sailplane Racing News
The classified had a most curious ad for a glider brand new never used
I read with suspicious amusement what seemed like a wild stroke of luck
"LS-4A" it said, "Must sell" the ad read, "Total package, 65 bucks."
 
Well I was use to this newsletter's typos but I called up that number
straightway
"What response have you had to your classified ad?" she said, "None, your
the first call today."
I said "There's been a mistake in my copy, they've printed your price wrong
somehow"
"No, no" replied she, "They checked that with me" I said, "Don't sell that
plane, I'm leaving now.
 
She lived in a part of the city, that folks like me only pass through
Airline captains, bank presidents, and doctors are the residents and the
houses are massive and new
As I turned up her half mile long driveway, there in the heat of the day
In the bright sunlight gleamed the plane of my dreams, just 65 dollars away
 
The cockpit was lined in white sheepskin, the instruments carefully placed
A computer you read on a tiny TV and the 10-function program worked great
A small fridge in the front of the trailer dispensed either water or wine
Draft beer or ice tea, but what was boggling to me was for 65 bucks it was
mine!
 
I thought that the woman must be crazy to be selling this plane at that price
But as she walked down the lane she seemed perfectly sane, she was charming
and really quite nice
She smiled with complete satisfaction as she handed me the title and the keys
I said, "I've just got to know, why you've let this thing go. What's wrong
with the plane, tell me please!"
 
She said "I'll be fifty next Tuesday. I've lived here with my husband Earl.
After thirty years wed, without a word said, he left me for a young teenage
girl.
But with his credit cards here on the table, I knew she'd be hard to maintain
Last night from Florida he, sent a wire to me, said 'I need money, dear, sell
the plane'!"
 
CLOUDBASE
© 1988 Fly-By-Night Music (Ed Kilbourne)
 
There's a ghosttown called Cloudbase way up in the sky
The streets run forever 10,000 feet high
It's a place where old dust devils go when they die
To rest at the end of the day.
 
One day on a flight west of old San Antone
I was low in South Texas and a long way from home
I was telling my crew they should stand by the phones
When a voice on my radio said.
 
"Is that you, 46?" and I clicked my mike twice
"Long time no see, you're new ship sure looks nice
I've got ten knots behind you, if you're rolling the dice
Turn around and join me for the ride."
 
It's against all the rules but when I turned around
I saw a big dust devil rise from the ground
And as I sang that old hymn 'once was lost, now I'm found'
It lifted my burden away.
 
Now if you don't believe me, I'll understand why
Because when I reached cloudbase 10,000 feet high
Old Xray Tango came in along side
Rocked his wings, waved his hand and flew on.
 
We dove through the shadows and sped towards the sun
I got him in the climb, he got me on the run
When I heard him exclaim "Now we're having fun!"
I turned around and his glider was gone.
 
I've lost friends on the highway, lost friends to the sea,
But like this ghost in the sky they are all part of me
And since life is a task toward the same mystery
We will all meet again later on.
 
In a place they call Cloudbase way up in the sky
The streets run forever 10,000 feet high
It's a place where old dust devils go when they die
To rest at the end of the day.
 
We'll all rest at the end of the day.
 

DOCTOR'S ORDERS
© 1988 Fly-By-Night Music (Ed Kilbourne)
 
My doctor called me on the phone, he said the tests are in
It's worse than we expected, this looks kind of grim
But don't loose hope 'cause in the past, Johnson has been wrong
Meet me at the airport and bring your plane along.
 
Chorus: Take a glider, take a tow, and call me in the morning
Leave your message at the tone, the Doctor has gone soaring
If this is an emergency and you're about to die
You better call a Doctor that doesn't like to fly
 
The conditions had gone critical, the cus had poped at 10
The patient on the table and the Doctor wasn't in
The assistants and the nurses were nervous as can be
Following instructions on 1-2-3 point 3.

I met him at the airport, he had the tests in hand
Dick Johnson's latest polars for our brand new LS-10s
"We must operate" he told me "To catch this thing in time
So let's put these things together and get them on the line!"
 
RIDGERUNNER
© 1988 Fly-By-Night Music (Ed Kilbourne)
 
Ridge runner, ridge runner, down on the trees
You got four fully loaded gliders in a 20 knot breeze
You got belts across your bodies, you got maps across you knees
Pennsylvania through Virginia turn around by Tennessee
 
Will you make it back home, ridge runner?
Will you make it back home, ridge runner?
 
Ridge runner, ridge runner, look out up ahead
You got a gap across the mountains and the sky looks very dead
You better get up off the deck and go for altitude instead
Three miles can take 2000 feet that's what the Bible said
 
And you'll make it back home, ridge runner.
And you'll make it back home, ridge runner.
 
Four ridge runners getting lower in the sky
You got the turnpoints in you cameras but no one's very high
Radios are silent cause you ain't got long to fly
Half way down the mountain 'bout to kiss it all good bye
 
You won't make it back home, ridge runner.
You won't make it back home, ridge runner.
 
Ridge runners, ridge runners, way up in the wave
Even Jesus must be wondering just how you boys got saved
You were almost 6 feet under now you're dancing on your grave
There ain't nothing like some altitude to make a man feel brave.
 
You're gonna make it back home, ridge runner.
You're gonna make it back home, ridge runner.
 
One more ridge to run and then the home field come in site
Redline in formation now to end this record flight
Then its put the planes away so you can stay up half the night
And say "Can you believe tha cloudstreet boys, we must be livin' right!"
 
'Cause we made it back home, ridge runners.
Yes we made it back home, ridge runners.
 
LAST ONE UP
© 1988 Fly-By-Night Music (Ed Kilbourne)
 
It's a mighty big sky so I need to ask why
You're closing our gliderport down
You say you need the airspace to service your airbase
And you don't want the traffic around
But it seems very clear you don't want a frontier
Where outlaws like me tend to roam
Will anyone cry when the last glider flies
And the last sailplane pilot goes home
 
When the FAA puts a TCA over everyplace we soar
And their "Keep Out" signs are posted on our ceilings and our floors
When the privilege to fly the ridge comes from Washington, DC
I will raise my cup to the last one up in a sky that once was free
I will raise my cup to the last one up in a sky that once was free
 
We purchased some land, assured by a man that no one would find us out here
I remember the Monday, we cut the runway, watched by a hawk and two deer
The very next week we got a call from a sheik said he once owned the land
next to ours
But he sold to GM, next month they move with a factory to build a few cars
 
Now there's a giant mall and the traffic crawls where our planes were once
tied down
And late last year a man shot two deer that had wandered into town
And there's a hawk that flies in the smoke filled skies where she circles
all alone
So I raise my cup, she's the last one up, in a sky we once called home
So I raise my cup, she's the last one up, in a sky we once called home

THE HIGHER YOU CLIMB
© Hickory Grove Music (Fogelberg)
 
The higher you climb, the more that you see,
The more that you see, the less that you know,
The less that you know, the more that you learn,
The more that you learn, the higher you climb.
 
The farther you reach, the more that you touch,
The more that you touch, the older you feel,
The older you feel, the less that you need,
The less that you need, the higher you climb.
 
FROM A DISTANCE
© Julie Gold
 
From a distance the earth looks blue and green
And the snow capped mountains white.
From a distance the ocean meets the stream
And the eagle takes its flight.
From a distance there is harmony
And it echos through the land,
It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace,
It's the voice of everyman.
 
From a distance each one has enough
And no one is in need.
There are no guns, no bombs, no disease
No hungry mouths to feed.
From a distance we are instruments
Marching in a common band,
Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace,
They're the songs of everyman.
 
From a distance you look like my friend
Even though we are at war.
From a distance I can't comprehend
What all this war is for.
From a distance there is harmony
And it echos through the land,
It's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves,
It's the heart of everyman.
 
It's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves,
It's the heart of everyman