John Seay

John Seay

 Baltimore, Maryland, USA
SoloFolkAcoustic

John Seay writes songs that make people think, laugh, cry, smile and remember. Based in Baltimore, he won the '06 Susquehanna Music and Arts Festival Song Competition, and was a Finalist in Paul Stookey's Music-to-Life Song Competition at the '06 Kerrville Folk Festival. And that's not all ...

Biography

"Put Ansel Adams, John Prine, and Ernest Hemingway into a stolen steam locomotive heading to Walden Pond by way of Texas Low Country and Fell's Point while scratching songs into wooden walls with bent nails and bark and you'd have John Seay's tunes. John has won numerous awards for his tunes and approximately one verse into his first tune you'll know why. His playing and singing are deceptively simple, but deep deep deep and heartrendingly brokenly beautifully written and sung. And that's all I have to say about that." -- David Morreale (S.N.A.F.U.)

2008 Sandra James Song Competition Finalist
2007 Mid-Atlantic Song Competition Honorable Mention (3X)
2007 Williamsburg Live Finalist
2007 Solarfest Finalist
2007 Maryland State Arts Council Composition Grant Recipient
2006 Susquehanna Music & Arts Festival Winner
2006 Kerrville Music-to-Life Finalist
2006 Woody Guthrie Fest Honorable Mention
2006 Pacific Songwriter Honorable Mention
2004 Newsong Semi-Finalist
2002 Newsong Finalist

Lyrics

some other john seay

Written By: john seay

some other john seay words & music & ©2006 john seay

my name is john seay, maybe yours is too
i doubt it though, it’s not like jones or johnson
and i never met another john seay, at least not a john seay who
we both knew we had that one odd thing in common

so it came as a surprise to learn that there were many others
i don’t believe i’ll ever be the same
it’s kinda like discovering a band of long-lost brothers
ever since i googled my name

there’s a john seay in birmingham alabama
plays bass like me, or at least i think he did
some kinda computer guy, looks like he’s into web design
i don’t know if he’s married or has kids

and a john seay worked on the movie ‘blade runner’
there’s another in the kentucky national guard
and mister john seay of fredericksburg virginia
murdered his girlfriend in somebody’s front yard

and i don’t believe i’ll ever be the same ever since i googled my name

there’s a property appraiser near miami
an artist near the san francisco bay
there’s even a john seay who got nominated for a grammy
man, wouldn’t that look good on my resume

and there’s a minister in lexington, and a bugler in boston
and a martial arts instructor and an obgyn, both from austin

a cowboy poet at the bar-d ranch
a sign maker in texarkana
a plumbing inspector in albemarle virginia
a rebel soldier from the civil war
a softball coach from labrador
a rep for an arkansas hardware store
and some songwriter from baltimore
and at least a couple hundred more
not the least of which ... the sheriff of cherokee county georgia

and i don’t believe i’ll ever be the same ever since i googled my name

now i know that every song should have some kind of raison d’etre
something profound or interesting to say
and i truly wish that i had come up with something perhaps a little b’etre
but what the hell -- i’ll tell you anyway

when my baby accuses me of some random infraction
i now have the perfect fits-all-purposes reaction
i just say ‘babe you know that couldn’t have been me
must have been some other john seay’

i got cats

Written By: john seay

i got cats words & music ©2002 john seay

we’ve been gettin’ serious, you and me
these past few weeks, especially
and you’ve never been to my place
and i guess you’re gettin’ curious
if i’ve got some deep dark secret there
that might come between us
well if that’s the case, you might be right
‘cause at my place, there ain’t no mice
i got cats, cats are my thing
my reason to laugh, my reason to sing
and if it ever came down to my cats or you
well if it came to that, i’d take cats

hairball on my window sill
dead bird on the stoop
what’s this here on my yellow bed spread?
i can’t tell if it’s barf or poop
cat hair in my coffee cup
cat hair in my food
but at least a cat’ll halfway pretend to like you
if he’s halfway in the mood

i like cats, cats are so cool
who else can look you right in the eye while they purr and drool?
that’s why if it ever came down to my cats or you
well if it came to that, i’d take cats

don't get me wrong, i like dogs too
dogs are good to have around
but it’s too easy to form attachments
to man’s best friend, i’ve found
with cats, you never have to wonder
with cats, you always know the score
to a cat you’re just a source of food and heat
who knows how to open a door

i like cats, cats are okay
it’s not that big a deal when they die or run away
so if it ever came down to my cats or you
well if it came to that, i’d take cats

new century

Written By: john seay

new century words & music ©2004 john seay

i can’t roll down the windows of my car without a key
without a couple double A’s i can’t watch TV
and wherever i go i can feel those red light cameras watchin’ me
in this here new century
and i can’t read my cell phone bill, it’s eighteen pages long
it’s in some foreign language, something must be wrong
i just find the bottom line, pay it and move on
in this here new century

it’s a whole new world -- we’re surrounded by things we don’t understand
it’s a bold new world -- you can carry it around in the palm of your hand
but it’s a cold, blue world -- and i’m so twentieth century
i wonder what they’re gonna do with guys like me

you know in doses few and far between the internet is cool
but too much and i become an unsophisticated fool
an ocean of information, me and my inner-tube
in this here new century
and it’s good to get an email from a loved one far away
but wadin’ through the rest, there’s not enough time in the day
whatever happened to hand-written letters anyway
in this here new century

it’s a whole new world ...

i can’t keep up with the technology, somethin’ basic is missin’ it seems to me
well maybe not completely gone but we don’t see it slippin’ away
day by day, the changes are subtle and slow
then one fine day, you wake up, look around -- hey, whaddya know

it’s a whole new world ... in this here new century

my niece is getting married this summer, up in connecticut
to some guy she ran into out there on the internet
they found a way to fall in love before they even met
in this here new century

and i know that i could get this stuff if i really wanted to
but somethin’ makes me drag my feet, it’s not just fear of the new
inchin’ toward the precipice, i hope we all make it through
this here new century

nobody's moon

Written By: john seay

nobody’s moon words & music & ©2005 john seay

high on the appalachian trail, foggy winter day
lost in conversation as the blazes rolled away
politics and religion and the rhythm of the trail
when suddenly she said something to me
her voice both firm and frail

she said that she feels like the moon, and i am like the earth
that holding her tightly somehow makes her slightly
uncertain of her worth
she said that she needs to break free soon
from the pull of my gravity
she just can't envision spending infinity spinning around me

i didn't answer til i thought it through
then i chose my words with care
i told her i would float away through space
if she ever wasn't there
if she ever wasn't there
'cause i am the earth, she's right about that
but the metaphor comes undone
she's nobody's moon
here in my universe she is the sun

long weird year

Written By: john seay

long weird year words & music & ©2005 john seay

it's been a long weird year
it’s all you can do to keep up with the changes
in a year this weird maybe the strangest entry of them all is the way we all just settled
right into the new protocol
and you can say ‘man what’s the big deal
after all we’re still here’
yeah, but still and all, it’s been a
long weird year

it’s been a long hard climb
the top of this mountain’s still hidden in clouds
we can’t stay here, we can’t climb down
and the storm is surely risin’
there’s no sign of a savior out there on the horizon
you can say ‘man what’s the big deal
after all there’s still time’
but still and all, it’s been a long hard climb

tsunamis and hurricanes, the thing in iraq
sweet little sadie and the pit bull attack
earthquakes and fires, rivers of pain
warmongers re-elected by a nation insane
and as for the thought of not living forever
on the one hand, goddamn it
on the other, whatever
you can say ‘man what’s the big deal
after all you’re still here’
but still and all ...

it’s been a long weird year
it’s nearly over but still you know
part of me is gonna be sad to see it go
‘cause a new year’s comin’ soon
and this one has all the makings of a real monsoon
in times of such uncertainty
one truth is loud and clear
all and all, could be a long weird year

think third world

Written By: john seay & sarah pinsker

think third world
words & music ©2005 by john seay and sarah pinsker

something’s wrong with my tv think third world
try no electricity think third world
i put on five pounds last week think third world
millions starving as we speak think third world
mr coffee’s on the blink think third world
at least you’ve got clean water to drink think third world

think third world think third world
when luxuries become necessities think third world

late for work, my car won’t start think third world
would you like to try my donkey cart think third world
stuck in traffic, moving slow think third world
we all get where we need to go think third world
hours in the waiting room think third world
my doctor comes in may or june think third world

think third world think third world
when luxuries become necessities think third world

the network news can’t really show
the poverty that millions know
their daily struggle to survive
finding food to stay alive
and as for life expectancy
millions die before they’re three
while we sit in air-conditioned cars
daydream about movie stars

i don’t know how it got this way think third world
i only know it’s safe to say think third world
if we just let it roll along think third world
it’ll roll right over us before too long think third world
if you don’t appreciate what you’ve got
you’re not alone ... not by a long shot

The Wedding Guest

Written By: John Seay

the wedding guest words & music* ©2008 john seay

*with a little help from wagner and mendelssohn

here comes the bride, woop-diddy-do
nowhere to hide all alone in my pew
i shoulda lied, said i had stuff to do
if she sees me i don’t know what i might do

i got invited to the wedding of my ex-wife
she wanted me to see how happy she’ll be in her next life

there stands the groom, smilin’ so proud
clueless that doom wears a white wedding gown
i’ll hold my piece forever, i don’t care
that she caught herself a self-made millionaire

i got invited to the wedding of my ex-wife
she wanted me to see how happy she’ll be in her next life

here comes the ring, there go the vows
some schmoe is singin’ about bluebirds and fluffy clouds
well, don’t get me wrong, i wish them both well
as they head off to the seventh circle of hell

i’m glad that i survived the wedding of my ex-wife
i hope her new guy has no big plans for their sex life

Songwriters

Written By: John Seay

songwriters words & music ©2008 john seay

songwriters, funny people, seldom have a clue
think they know what’s goin’ on, never really do
take me right now for instance, dishin’ out these lies
tryin’ to sound like i’ve been around, world-weary and wise

but we’re songwriters and we don’t know nothin’
and we don’t show nothin’ we don’t want you to see
yeah we’re songwriters, let me tell you somethin’
a songwriter’s one thing you hope your children don’t grow up to be

songwriters walk the line between the real world and dreams
don’t reside on either side, don’t like to be on teams
songwriters sometimes try to hide the fact that they’re a jerk
with clever lines and pretty rhymes and fancy fingerwork

but we’re songwriters and we don’t know nothin’ ...

they say that there are two kinds of people in the world
people who believe it’s true
and people who don’t -- which are you?

songwriters, sorry, got a little carried away back there
songwriters know a bridge is supposed to take you somewhere
but i make no apologies, i do what i must do
and if you buy that, well hey mack
have i got a bridge for you

but we’re songwriters and we don’t know nothin’
and we don’t show nothin’ we don’t want you to see
we’re songwriters, let me tell you somethin’
a songwriter’s one thing you hope your children don’t grow up to be
like me

Fat Consumer Blues

Written By: John Seay

fat consumer blues words & music ©2008 john seay

i love my ipod, i love to manage my tunes
i love my geek squad, i love to call in the goons
i love my five foot wide HD flat plasma screen
on which i watch some of the stupidest shows you’ve ever seen
i love the sweet lap of luxury in which i have landed
life for me is so damn easy, i can barely stand it
i love everything about the whole freakin’ deal
if only i didn’t hate the way it makes me feel

i got the late bloomer, baby boomer, fat consumer blues
i have one simple mantra: use, use, use
i belong to the special club, but i never pay no dues
i got the fat consumer blues

i love my big house, i love my humongous yard
you know i love succeeding without trying very hard
i’m in the top point five percent of people livin’
who take it all for granted, this sweet life we’ve been given
i love everything about the whole freakin’ deal
if only i didn’t hate the way it makes me feel

i got the late bloomer ...

now you might think my burden is an easy one to bear
when you’re not the one who’s hurtin’ it’s easy to say how much you really care

i love my G-5, man i sit there for hours
i love my photoshop and my pictures of bugs and flowers
when i look around at those less fortunate than me
the dissonance is cognitive, wouldn’t you agree
i love everything about the whole freakin’ deal
if only i didn’t hate the way it makes me feel

i got the late bloomer, baby boomer, no sense of humor, ugly rumor,
gloom and doomer, fat consumer blues
i have one simple mantra: use, use, use
i belong to the special club, we never pay no dues
i got the fat consumer blues

12/25/95 (the tattoo song)

Written By: by john seay and greg trafidlo

12/25/95 (the tattoo song) by john seay and greg trafidlo

in a sleepy little town in east west virginia
no need to go into how i happened to be there
i ran into a warrior from north south carolina
had a tattoo on the back of his hand and a story to share

it was too early in the mornin’, too hungover to be up
i saw him sittin’ on a bus stop bench
he seemed about my age and station
i was comin’ out of a coffee shop, sippin’ the day’s first cup
so i sat on down and started up the old conversation

we chatted about the weather and the coming of the fall
pretty soon i noticed the numbers near his thumb
and so i asked him whether he’d mind much at all
if i were to inquire where that tattoo came from

he said: my hand may reach for the bottle
my fingers may hold it tight
my arm may rise but i’ll tell you what
i’ll never take another drink while i’m alive
thanks to twelve twenty-five ninety-five

well my baby was running late, but let’s not get into that
suffice it to say i was more than okay for the chance to sit and listen
and as he started on his quiet tale his eyes went kind of flat
i figured he was seein’ someone, somewhere off in the distance

he said:
i once had the perfect life, good job, nice home, great kids
my wife and i were more in love than most folks can imagine
but the drinkin’ was gettin’ outa control and i kinda hit the skids
too late i began to see my whole life around me crashin’

and it all came to a head one christmas --1995
they say i threw the whole dang tree right through the big bay window
and when i came to somehow i knew there was one way i’d survive
let the date of my last drink always remind me what i been through

and that way my hand may reach for the bottle ...

his bus arrived and off he went, i was sittin’ there alone
wonderin’ where my baby was, i was just about to call her
when i got a dear john text message on my cell phone
so i headed off to find the nearest tattoo parlor

and now my hand may reach for the bottle
my fingers may hold it tight
my arm may rise but i’ll tell you what
i’ll never take another drink while i’m alive

Discography

"No Real Dogs" 1999
"More Songs for Slow Learners" 2000
"Eleven Scenarios" 2001
"All Over the Map" 2003
"Hand Picked Fresh" 2004
"About Faith" 2005
"I Know You Can Hear Me" 2007
"What in the World" 2008"

OLD / NEW" 2013

Set List

Mostly originals, mostly finger-style guitar playing, plenty of humor, topical and romantic, irreverent -- lots of ragtime and blues, John Prine-esqe songs ....