Grant Tilly

Grant Tilly

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Tilly's songs are a blend of acoustic-driven folk/roots music that unites disarmingly honest lyrics with razor-sharp wit. His tunes are like hot chocolate stories with Baileys—melting your heart and warming you up just enough to maybe do something stupid.

Biography

“What you can’t teach is Tilly’s gift of writing a song that sticks with you the minute you hear it.”
The Toronto Star

Originally from Calgary and now living in Toronto, Grant Tilly is a singer/songwriter, actor and writer. His songs are a blend of acoustic-driven folk/roots music that unites disarmingly honest lyrics with razor-sharp wit. Tilly’s tunes are like hot chocolate stories with Baileys—melting your heart and warming you up just enough to maybe do something stupid. Some highlights of Tilly’s music and performance resume include having his darkly comic folk/pop song “My God’s Better Than Your God,” from his debut album Before My Eyes, aired on CBC Alberta’s In The Key of A. “My God’s Better Than Your God” has subsequently received national airplay on various CBC programs and campus radio.

“Tilly opens ears and eyes with songs from the folk pop album Before My Eyes from the light, lost-love track Somebody Else to the hilariously tongue-in-cheek ‘My God’s Better Than Your God.’”
Calgary Sun

As an actor, Tilly performed in the national premiere production of Jersey Boys, which included a televised New Years Eve performance as a lead singer to a live crowd of thousands at Nathan Phillips Square. He has also performed in regional theatre across Canada and toured throughout the United States. “Grant Tilly is sweetly loopy as Doody, the guy who's clueless about anything more complicated than the four chords he's learned to pick on his guitar.” (The Toronto Star)

As a writer, Tilly’s country/rock fringe show, The Christian Republican Fundraiser in Dayton Tennessee, for which he wrote music and lyrics, was awarded “Best of Fringe” in 2008 and was remounted in 2010 at Talk is Free Theatre. "Inspired songwriting and a tight live band make this show a real humdinger." (CRITICS PICK: NNNN, Now Magazine)

Tilly’s newest project is the recording of his second CD, The World Keeps Passing By. This album is a departure from his debut CD, reflecting his growth as an artist and a performer.
With lyrics ranging from playful (“I’d get these emails/from random females/I’d try to take them home after one too many cream ales”—from “Until I’m With You”) to profound (“But there’s an old man’s frame, loose skin and tattoos, a shadow of who he once was/he’s got one hour back in the spotlight, and it’s gone”--- from “The Interview,” the story of a rock musician who left a group while the rest of his band members went on to fame), all listeners find a piece of themselves in Tilly’s capturing glimpses into the world of all of us just trying to “get by.”

Lyrics

With Open Arms

Written By: Grant Tilly

Should you want me, you know I’ll be waiting
I’ll be waiting here with open arms
And yes I’m aware of the trouble I’m making
By plying you with these charms

And I can’t understand what you’re going through
I’ve never been where you’ve been and I can’t say I’d want to, so
Take your time take every road every street
But should you find in the end only me

Then should you want me you know I’ll be waiting
I’ll be waiting here with open arms

I’ll be waiting here
I’ll be waiting here with open arms

Oh and maybe I’m just fooling myself
You’d say I’m only wasting my time
Well maybe, but that time is mine
And last time I checked hope wasn’t a crime
A crime

And should you want me you know I’ll be waiting
I’ll be waiting here to take you home
But until that day we’ve both got our stargazing
And many miles that we must roam

And I already know all the things that you’d say
And I’ll admit that you’re crazy but I mean that in a nice way, so
Take your time, take every road every street
But should you find in the end only me

Then should you want me you know I’ll be waiting
I’ll be waiting here with open arms

Until I'm With You

Written By: Grant Tilly

Oh I’ve dated
And I’ve mated
I’ve seen the prospects
And I’m not elated

It seems I’m better off on my own
Until I’m with you

I’ve picked up
I’ve been fixed up
Oh but lately seems all I’ve been
Is mixed up

So I’ll be spending my Fridays alone
Until I’m with you

Oh this is not
A Declaration of love
I just want to be with
Someone I want to be with

I never thought
I could get tired of
Just living day to day
But you’re getting
In the way

See I’d get these emails
From random females
I’d try to take them home after one
Too many Cream Ales

But I’ll be doing my drinking alone
Until I’m with you

Oh this is not
A Declaration of love
I just want to be with
Someone I want to be with

Seems all I’ve got
To grab a hold of
Is when you feel like this
You start to see
All that you might miss

I took my chances
Had my romances
But now I’m too tired for all those
Same old dances

I’m just hoping you might
You might let these poor arms hold you tight
‘Cause I know that my life won’t be right
Until I’m with you

And I’ll be doing my drinking alone
Until I’m with you

The World Keeps Passing By

Written By: Grant Tilly

He’s not young anymore
That’s what everyone keeps saying
What the hells he waiting for
It’s time he got his life in gear

Seems like everyone else
They’ve got the answers
They all know where he should go
What he should do how to get there
From here

Almost thrity now
With nothing to hold on to
He’s scratching by somehow
Odd jobs to pay the rent

Dawn breaks
and feet pass by the basement window
He keeps waiting for a change
But it hasn’t happened yet

And at night he dreams
Of back when life was perfect
Just a kid playing ball
Get up everytime he’d fall

'Cause now it seems
Getting up just ain’t worth it
Feels like he’s been left behind
And the world keeps passinj by

He’s got these photographs
Of days he still remembers
He just looks at them and laughs
How soon he’s gotten old

On the corner now with the old men
Who wait to work construction
As the world keeps driving by
They wait out in the cold

But still night he dreams
Of back when life was perfect
Just a kid playing ball
Get up everytime he’d fall

'Cause now it seems
Getting up just ain’t worth it
Feels like he’s been left behind
And the world keeps passin by

He still remembers that first kiss
Still remembers that taste
All those summers of pure bliss
Out at his grandfathers lake

Sleeping outside looking up at those stars
And wonderin’ what his life might be
Yeah, anything but this sad pathetic blace sheep
Of the family

Now he’s on a bus
Bound west for Vancouver
He’s not like the rest of us
His dreams just can’t be ours

He’d leave a note but he’s sure
No one is gonna miss him
Now he can sleep outside all year
Still staring at those stars

So let them dream
Of back when life was perfect
Just a kid playing ball
Get up every time he’d fall

'Cause now it seems
Getting up just ain’t worth it
Feels like he’s been left behind
And the world keeps passin by

The world keeps passin’ by

A simple Dream

Written By: Grant Tilly

Let’s buy that little house out on the edge of our old town
The down payment’s small because it’s so run down
But there’ll be lots of fresh air and good people around
We’ll dig in both our hands and we’ll raise it from the ground

We’ll both get jobs who knows working in what store
And I might try my hand at what my father’s father did before
My dad missed out when he struck out on his own
But maybe that life is still there it’s just buried in these bones

If that’s a simple dream, guess I’m a simple man
‘Cause for this dream I’ll do all I can

We may not have enough but we’ll have kids in that old house
Do our best to teach them just what this life’s about
We’ll raise good people, citizens through and through
And that’s more good to this world than any bank account could do

If that’s a simple dream, guess I’m a simple man
‘Cause for this dream I’ll do all I can

There’ll be high years and low years
That sun might refuse to shine
But in twenty or so years
Believe it or not that house could be yours and mine

We came to this city
Each looking for a bit of success
Now we’re reaching for that carrot
But we haven’t got it yet
Meanwhile just scratching by
Means slipping into debt
Now a simple dreams not simple anymore

No, a simple dreams not simple anymore

Let’s buy that little house out on the edge of our old town
The down payment’s small because it’s so run down
But there’ll be lots of fresh air and good people around
We’ll dig in both our hands and we’ll raise it from the ground

We’ll dig in both our hands and we’ll raise it from the ground

The Interview

Written By: Grant Tilly

Phone call
We'd like to talk to you
Heard you were the greatest
Back in the day

Come on downtown
To the studio
We've got your old records
That we'd love to play

But there's an old man's frame
Loose skin and tattoos
A shadow of who he once was
He's got one hour back
In the spotlight
And it's gone

But tonight he'll take a six pack
Out to the park
Have a few as he lays in the grass
And dreams beneath the stars

Of the tours and the lights
The girls and the fights
And the music
Oh the music

Then it's up with the dawn in the morning
To catch the bus home

Tell us
'bout the old days
Things were better
The music was true

Those guys you played with
Got famous
You feel bad
It never happened for you?

Then the old fire's back
In those eyes in an instant
No I never expected a thing
Just one brief moment of light
And it's gone

But tonight he'll take a six pack
Out to the park
Have a few as he lays in the grass
And dreams beneath the stars

Of the tours and the lights
The girls and the fights
And the music
Oh the music

Then it's up with the dawn in the morning
To catch the bus home

Don't Give your Heart to him

Written By: Grant Tilly

Oh I know that you’re already taken
I can tell that you’re out of my league
I guess that’s why I’m sitting here shaking
Like a leaf on a tree

If there’s one thing that I know for certain
Being with you is bad for my health
So let’s call it a night
I’m not quite feeling myself

Guess I’ll just lay low
Still I’d like you to know

You can stay out until early hours
‘Til the lights from the stars all grow dim
Smile when he brings you flowers

But please, don’t give your heart to him
Oh please don’t give your heart to him
Don’t give your heart to him

All this waiting is making me nervous
Like an itch that’s just got to be scratched
But it doesn’t seem right
When I know that you’re still attached

Still it seems like the problem is these days
Everyone’s playing for keeps
And he show gets the prize
Makes his move while the other man sleeps

But I hesitate
So for now I’ll wait

Go on let him hold your hold your hand tight
Fly you down to New York on a whim
He may charm you but try as he might
please, don’t give your heart to him
Oh please don’t give your heart to him
Don’t give your heart

Though I know he’s be lying beside you
Where I might be Mmmmmm
I still hope somehow your heart
Is gonna guide you

Oh here to me
Oh oh

So go on let him melt in those glances
Pull you close as the morning draws in
As for me I’ll be taking my chances

But please, don’t give your heart to him
Oh please don’t give your heart to him
Don’t give your heart to him
Don’t give your heart to him

Sky Song

Written By: Grant Tilly

Look at that Sky
In all it’s oranges and blues
How one colour blends into another
Fading into the night

And who’d have thought I
Could melt so easily into you
No you can’t tell one from the other
As we collide

Oh, and you ask yourself
Am I ready for this?
I had so many plans
A whole life I might miss

As all the dreams I had,
How they all get washed away

But it’s not giving up
See I know what I lose
I’ve been down all those roads
Now it’s you that I chose

I guess that’s the thing with dreams
Sometimes they’re subject to change

And oh, I want to take you away
Oh just let me take you away

As darkness descends
And we start out on our own
Mists and shadows might hide the path
We walk upon

It curves and it bends
But I have faith I’ve never known
Just trust the moon will light our way
Until the dawn

So now I’m learning to love
And enjoying the ride
It’s the freedom I feel
While still here at your side

So why keep moving on
When all you want to do is stay

And who knows what lies ahead
What this road has in store
I guess I’ll have to forget
How I plotted each course

For now we’ll be just fine
We’ll make it up along the way

And oh, I want to take you away
Oh just let me take you away

All of my life I’ve been chasing these dreams
All these shadows might have let me pass you by
But now I see that while these were just dreams
Here with you, this is living
This is life

‘Neath this blanket of stars
As we’re holding on so tight
All my fears and doubts are lost
In these clear skies

Tomorrow is ours
But now let’s not waste this night
As we’re waiting for that sun
If we could only slow that sun
Two lovers waiting for that sun
To rise

Discography

Before My Eyes 2003
The World Keeps Passing By 2012

Set List

Two all original 40 minute sets, including songs:

With Open Arms
Until I'm with you
We Can't go Back
A Simple Dream
Sky song
Don't you know when you talk like that
Beauty
The Pancake song
The Interview
My God's Better than Your God
The World Keeps Passing By
She Loves She
The End of the Day
Don't give your Heart to him