Derailed  —  Mike Birkeland, © 2014

In the pride of my youth, thought I could be a man
And shrugged off wise advice from my well-meaning dad
Packed up my bags when I had a little cash on hand
And hopped a westbound train on its way to Spokane


(But) I got derailed, in Libby, Montana
I got waylaid, so far from my home
And I lost my way, in Libby Montana
Delayed, so I stayed, my destination unknown

Met a mystical girl, inked up with Black Roses
Her tarot cards read, my fate was soon to be spoken
She said, “Boy I feel it strong, and boy I feel it so,
“My chemistry’s reactin’ … our bond has been foretold”

I fell under her spell, till she found a new fool
And soon I found myself down at the Red Dog Saloon
Still got me a spot there on my favorite stool
And in the bar lit night another train whistles through

Lincoln County, USA 
by Mike & Derek Birkeland, © 2014

My eyes have opened and I’ve grown some
In the time since I’ve been gone
Chasin’ treasure in the jungle
Where the nights are always long
Where the lights have lost their wonder
And I wonder how I’ve come,
To a place where distant memories
Take me back to my old home


Lincoln County, West Virginia
Lincoln County, USA
It’s so far, and I’m so lonesome
For my past, and my home place
Beyond the hills near my old holler
Lie the mountains where I roamed
Lincoln County, West Virginia
I think it’s time to go back home

Left her crying at the altar
Too young to stand up to that vow
Now she’s a mother with four children
Who lost her husband in the war
Wouldn’t blame her if my failure
Makes it hard to reclaim trust
But her children need a father
And I need to right the wrongs I’ve done


Captain of Industry  —  Mike Birkeland, Bill Isles, © 2014

Arthur was a self-made man who dabbled in gas and oil
Till he struck it rich off a mining claim, and on the backs of men who toiled
The captain of early industry, built a lavish country home
A mansion that he filled with kids, chandeliers and silver spoons …

Arthur was a millionaire who tried to live by the golden rule
But long work days left little time, to invest in his precious jewels
His good deeds would often benefit the hungry and the poor
But his mansion was a lonely place, for eight kids who longed for more

A rich man’s wealth earned him sway on many important boards
Politicians counted on his support, to fill their chests for war
Used a law degree to expand his means of commercial enterprise
Now his mansion is a monument, a testament to his life

Arthur earned high esteem, the regard of his fellow man
But respect was lost on the little ones who didn’t know their dad
His big old house still echoes sounds of a man who could turn a dime
But the expenses of his life exposed, the sorrow of lost time   (2 Tmx)


Leadfoot Jessie
Mike Birkeland, © 2014

Leadfoot Jessie, she was one of a kind
She was 60-years-old, when she learned how to drive
When she buckled up, behind the wheel,
She revved the motor, made the tires squeal
Leadfoot Jessie, hit the gas, then crossed the line …

Leadfoot Jessie, she could barely see
Took a pillow off the couch, and used it as a booster seat
And out on the streets, between the stripes
She burned rubber, and dragged all night
Leadfoot Jessie, got her name from the local police

Leadfoot Jessie, she lived for the thrill
She buried the needle, and threw out her box of pills
By all accounts, she put on a show
I swear her tires never touched the road
Leadfoot Jessie, found her fix well over the hill …

Leadfoot Jessie, turned over her keys
When the judge locked her up for disturbin’ the peace
And when they let her out of the county jail
She stole a car, and jumped her bail
Leadfoot Jessie, was last seen headin’ east

Yeah, Leadfoot Jessie, the subject of an APB …


by Mike Birkeland, Bill Isles, © 2014

There’s a little country church in the hills of Tennessee
Down an old dusty road, that brings back memories
Where I heard the Word of God, where He spoke and I believed
And where I met the one I love, who shared a vow with me … she said


Forever I’ll be faithful, forever I’ll be true
Forever, will my love here on this earth be bound for you
Forever, as we stand together, in this house of God
Forever, I will treasure you, forever is our love

In that little country church, about the time I turned 13 …
I carved a one word message on the pew that faced her seat
Forever in solid oak, forever ingrained by my misdeed
But every Sunday morning, that one word was clear to see — it meant

Beside that little country church, there’s a plot between two trees
My mind replays a lifetime, on the gravestone at my feet
Her smile is not forgotten, in my framework of memories
And the letter that she left behind gives comfort when I read … it says


Why Do Good Men Have to Grow Old?
by Mike Birkeland, © 2014

He never was a rich man.
He grew up on the farm.
Along the Rainy River.
It flows on by the old red barn.
He was married by 21.
They didn’t have much, except for love
Built a two-room house on their common bond
For 50 years their love stayed strong


And I remember the day he died.
Lord, it took me by surprise.
I remember all the stories he told.
Why do good men have to grow old?
Why do good men have to grow old?

No, he never was a rich man,
But he worked hard for all they had  ….
Outgrew their home, and moved up the river
Where he broke the soil just like his dad.
And he’d moonlight hauling timber
To pay the bills, pay off the farm.
Tended his fields and raised a family.
Through them his legacy still lives on.

And the river still flows on by.
Some things don’t change much over time.
Like the gift of faith … and hope … and love
Why do good men have to grow old?  (2 tmx)


Two Wheels — Mike Birkeland, Derek Birkeland, Sarah Birkeland, © 2014

Every day he rides by, ’bout a quarter to nine
On his modern horse, like a shining knight
That handlebar sweep, a chasis so fine
There’s nothing quite like that boy and his bike

Two wheels … and the open road
I’m ready to grab my bag and go
To feel the wind, and catch the breeze
That boy on his bike is all I really need …

A frame built for speed, it’s easy to see
When he passes by, I feel the heat
So I let my hair down, and dream big dreams
That boy and his bike, gonna my momma weep

Spokes shiny and clean, do you know what that means?
For a girl like me, it’s all I need to see
He cleans his ride, and he rides so free
Gotta catch that boy … on his 21-speed


Banjo Blues
©Mike Birkeland – 2014

It’s like I’ve heard this song before
About her walkin’ out that door
Seems she’s gone and found another man
Don’t know why she left today
She packed it all and ran away
But thank the Lord, my banjo’s in its stand …

Chorus 1
I’m singin’ the blues like I never have
Can’t get these thoughts out of my head
She bruised my ego, took my pride
I see a sleepless night ahead
Too many issues to understand
Yeah, I got the banjo blues, and I got ‘em bad

I roll over, I toss and turn
Inside I stew, outside I burn
Why did she go, I hadn ‘t played her all my songs
Picked up my socks, took off my shoes
Squeezed the toothpaste up the tube
And played so softly while she slept there all night long

Chorus 2
I’m singin’ the blues like I never have
Can’t assimilate or comprehend (say what?)
So I lean on my ol’ friend one more time
So many tunes run through my head
All those songs about train wrecks,
Yeah, I got the banjo blues, and I got ‘em bad

((BREAK)) Repeat Chorus 1


It’s Time
Mike Birkeland, © 2014

Verse 1
Sometimes I wonder if I’ve missed my calling.
I look outside and see a brand new day.
Care to join me in this lifelong journey?
The leaves are turning. A new season’s on the way.
And it’s time … that I heed His calling.
It’s time … to turn the page.
It’s time … to receive His forgiveness.
To seek tomorrow I must find Him today

Verse 2
On the bookshelf, lie His words of wisdom.
Sacred pages that now feed my faith.
The old and new. Testaments to salvation.
I know the truth, He saves with mercy and grace.
And it’s time … that I heed His calling.
It’s time … to turn the page.
And it’s time … to receive His forgiveness..
To seek tomorrow, I must find Him today.

And if you’re lost, He’ll lead your journey.
Out of the darkness and into the day.
Never alone … Cause He’s always there waiting …
And we must choose now of the path we will take.

And it’s time … to heed His calling.
It’s time, to turn the page.
It’s time to receive His forgiveness.
To seek tomorrow, we must find Him today.

To seek tomorrow we must find Him today.
To seek tomorrow we must find Him ….today.

Brothers in His Eyes
by Mike Birkeland, © 2014

Brother in Christ. Friend of Mine.
You lead me to his word.
You open the book. And find the lines,
That help to make me sure.
Sure of my fate. And my destiny.
Sure of each step on my faith journey.
You pick me up when I am down.
His grace comes alive when you’re around.

Seeking our Father.
Through faith in His only Son.
Growing through His wisdom.
Through His Spirit, three in one.
We pray, give thanks and worship.
We share His Word in our lives.
We are children of our Father.
And brothers in His eyes.

Brother in Christ. Friend of mine.
You help to share the load.
Carry my burdens, along with your own.
Down the long and winding road.
A companion in Christ, you help me see.
When I lose my way, you’re there for me.
You lift me up when I fall away.
You help me see His will when I stray.

Brother in Christ. Friend of mine.
A disciple of His son.
You bear His cross and follow Him.
For the truth you’ve come to know – Now go
forth with the spirit and Testify.
His sword and shield always at your side.
And share His word with all you meet, cause
His grace comes alive through your belief.

Brother in Christ. Friend of mine.
…Brothers in His eyes