Don't Come Cheap

from by Barry Childs-Helton

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Lyrics and music by Barry Childs-Helton

Hangin' on that line again
when you call me from Chicago—
if I'm twistin' on the hook again,
you'll never hear a peep.
I get this picture of your face
sleepin' tousled on my pillow—
almost autographed—
but I know it don't come cheap.

You imply a steamy scene,
yeah, you got my cameras running.
Are you betting that
you'll never be outgunned?
When you step down off that plane,
yeah, I'm sure
you'll look just stunning,
but I'm still sore
from the last time I was stunned.

I don't see where you get off
just camping in my daydream—
are you lookin' for some friendly fire
or the way to Lovers' Leap?
Either way, you've got a way
of damming up my mainstream—
there's some power there
but I know it don't come cheap.

Same old flame, same old game
at that same old line of scrimmage
where you thaw me out
till you put me back on ice.
Do you keep a silver frame
in case someone fits your image?
Well, I warn you,
every picture has its price.

Take it cool, take it cruel,
take it any way you want to—
we can dig each other's changes up
if you want to go that deep.
Did you figure out you want more
than some handle to hold on to?
I've got two good hands
but you know they don't come cheap.

Is it true it's just you—
baby, have you cut your tether?
Are we done with double-cross
and double play?
If you truly got that clue,
maybe we can get together.
If not, there goes the one
that got away.

If you're absent without leave
from some routine that's killing,
I've got troubles of my own to fix,
maybe nothin' that won't keep.
But nobody'd best assume
that anybody's willing—
the rewards are nice
but I know they don't come cheap.
You can load the dice
but that turn to roll ain't cheap.
You might fool me twice
but this time... oh, this time...
it don't come cheap.


from The Summers Behind You, released October 23, 2015



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Barry Childs-Helton Indianapolis, Indiana

Barry is known to science fiction fandom as a singer-songwriter-guitarist with wife Sally Childs-Helton, the Black Book Band, and Wild Mercy. (Photo by Beckett Gladney; banner photo by Shawn Olson.)

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