DAVID RUSH
Writer
Two Lyrics from "Prairie Lights"

(on this project, I wrote lyrics only)

Set in a small Nebraska town at the turn of the century.  Abe and Sophie Birnbaum have adopted two Jewish orphans sent west on the Orphan Train.  Both have some challenges to face in helping the children become a family.  

 

Birnbaum’s Emporium

 

In this song, Abe convinces the young boy  that his store, Birnbaum’s Emporium, is a wonderful place.

 

 

WHEN I WAS A BOY AS YOUNG AS YOU

I BEGAN TO DREAM AND PLAN;

WHAT WAS IT I COULD DO

TO BE USEFUL TO MY FELLOW MAN?

 

I WASN’T GOOD AT BUILDING THINGS,

PUT A HAMMER IN MY HAND AND YOU WERE LOOKING AT A FOOL.

THEN I WONDERED “COULD I TEACH?
BUT LEARNING WAS BEYOND MY REACH,

AND WHO HAD TIME FOR SCHOOL?

AND MEDICINE, YOU SEE,

WAS FOR PEOPLE SO MUCH SMARTER THAN ME.’

So I said to myself, my boy, look around.  What do people always need?

 

CLOTHES TO KEEP THEM WARM AND DRY,

GOOD HEALTHY FOOD FOR EVERYONE TO EAT;

HATS AND GLOVES AND CANDLE WAX,

BUTTONS, BOXES, TIES AND TACKS

AND SHOES TO KEEP THE WATER FROM THEIR FEET.

After all..

 

A DOCTOR HELPS A PERSON WHEN HE’S SICK,

AND THEN THE PATIENT GOES AWAY;

BUT A MAN WHO OWNS A STORE

HELPS OUT PEOPLE EVERY DAY.

CUZ

 

WHAT DO PEOPLE THINK OF WHEN THEY THINK OF WHAT THEY NEED

AND WHEN THEY NEED TO THINK OF WHERE TO GO TO FIND IT?

THE FINEST DRY GOODS A BIRNBAUM’S,

RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BLOCK.

 

WHERE DO PEOPLE GO TO WHEN THEY GOTTA GET A GADGET

AND THEY GOT TO GET A GUY TO STAND BEHIND IT?

THE FINEST HARDWARE HERE AT BIRNBAUM’S,

RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TOWN.

 

BIRNBAUM’S EMPORIUM

WELLSPRING’S FINEST STORE-IUM,

EVERYTHING YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IS HERE;

BIRNBAUM’S EMPORIUM,

WELLSPRING’S FINEST STORE-IUM,

EVERYTHING YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IS HERE

 

 

Momma, Good Morning

 

Alone, after a quarrel with the young girl, Sophie daydreams about family:

 

SOPHIE, SOPHIE

LOOK WHAT’S HAPPENED TO YOU;

CHILDREN IN YOUR HOUSE,

YOUR DREAM HAS NEARLY COME TRUE.

YOU PRAYED TO BE A MOMMA,

AND THEN THE CHILDREN CAME.

BUT A WOMAN’S NOT A MOMMA BY HERSELF,

THE CHILDREN HAVE TO GIVE YOU THAT NAME.

 

I HAVE GROWN TO LOVE THEM,

I HAVE GROWN TO CARE,

MY HEART HAS FOUND A PURPOSE

I NEVER KNEW WAS THERE;

MY HEART HAS FOUND DIRECTION

AS CLEAR AS IT CAN BE.

I HAVE GROWN TO LOVE THEM,

BUT HAVE THEY GROWN TO LOVE ME?

 

“MOMMA, GOOD MORNING.”

WHEN WILL THEY SAY?

WHEN WILL THEY WHISPER,

“MOMMA, GOOD DAY.”

AND WHEN THE SUN FADES

OUT OF SIGHT,

WHEN WILL THEY WHISPER

“MOMMA, GOOD NIGHT?”

 

SOPHIE, SOPHIE,

HOLD ON TIGHT, HOLD ON FAST;

VISITORS THEY ARE,

WILL THEY BE CHILDREN AT LAST?

UNTIL THEY CALL YOU “MOMMA”

IT’S NOT REALLY THE SAME.

WHEN WILL THEY MAKE THAT DREAM COME TRUE?

WHEN WILL THEY GIVE ME THAT NAME?

 

I HAVE MADE THEM SAFER

THAN THEY WERE BEFORE;

SOUP AND SHOES AND KISSES,

LOVE CAN DO NO MORE.

I HAVE MADE THEM HAPPY;

SEE THEIR FACES SHINE.

I HAVE MADE THEM BETTER,

BUT HAVE I MADE THEM MINE?

 

 

“MOMMA, GOOD MORNING.”

WHEN WILL THEY SAY?

WHEN WILL THEY WHISPER,

“MOMMA, GOOD DAY.”

AND WHEN THE SUN FADES

OUT OF SIGHT,

WHEN WILL THEY WHISPER

“MOMMA, GOOD NIGHT?”

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