Checking In

Checking In CD Just in time for the new year and beyond! Jon Gailmor's new CD: "Checking In", with 13 brand-new, original songs in the Jon Gailmor tradition. Check out 'Checking In', lyrics and sound snippets, right here. Buy the new 'Checking In' CD at The Gailmor Music Store.

Read the Lyrics
To view the lyrics, click on a "Song Title" below.
Listen to Song Samples
To hear song sample (in mp3 format), click on the "ListenMusic"
Release date: December, 2004
  1. Terrierism
  2. A Town Meeting Tune
  3. Checking In
  4. Say It Now
  5. You Must Have Known
  6. Ma
  7. The Scat O' The Moose | ListenMusic
  8. Take Me There
  9. Country Whine | ListenMusic
  10. Seeds Of Home
  11. Wild Ride
  12. When I Was Old | ListenMusic
  13. In Your Hands

Checking In Musicians

Checking In : Lyrics

(The slightly-embellished story of the four-legged star of Vermont's
Circus Smirkus)

Lola was the runt of the litter
Rejected by her family and friends
Too small to be a fighter
No bite inside her
Left on the Windy City streets to fend
Living off leftover garbage
Can leave a mean hunger inside
A bitter wind was blowing, ribs raw and showing
Enough to kill a Pit Bull's pride

	 L:  Lover, licker, leaper
	 O:  One-in-a-million keeper
	 L:  Loyal as friend can be
	 A:  Acrobat, naturally  

Sniffing at the promise of springtime
Just searching for tidbit or two
The puppy's ears perked up
Lola got worked up
The voice that beckoned seemed so friendly and new
Never had this pooch been petted
Or scratched on her belly and ears
Her hind leg got to moving, head-to-tail grooving
Good riddance hunger and fears

Took that doggie home to the North Side
The treats and loving won her trust
They marveled at her hustle
Heart, brain and muscle
Soon she got to work and left her past in the dust
Training was no trouble for Lola
The signals and commands were a breeze
She learned her tricks in no time.  Showed up for show time
All decked out and raring to please
Look who's Number One on the Big Top
She lights up every face in the crowd
Hopping, bopping, crawling
That dog's enthralling
Never seen a city girl seeming so proud
So, don't you dare miss out on the circus
It's worth a trip of many a mile
To catch that awesome creature, brightening up the bleachers
Watch her now-she'll give you that smile


We are hereby warned:  Got to show up in the morn
First Tuesday, Town Hall, 10 or so 
Winter's on the wane.  We've all gone insane
Let's while away the weather, kids in tow
Greet the old town folks.  Hear the gossip and the jokes
Dip a doughnut in a good, strong cup of joe
Find your favorite chair and plant your buttocks there
We're getting down to business, don't you know

	Down from the mountains, up from the dales
	In from the woodlands, chock full of tales
	Check out the neighbors.  Find out the news
	We've all got the floor, today-our time to choose           

Gavel's on the wood and we're starting like we should
Read one-through-seventeen and what's in store
Elections, if you please, not a single sign of sleaze
We leave our blankin' rancor at the door
Salaries and funds give some citizens the runs
But we come to our senses in the end
Fire volunteers saving lives for all these years
We support our heroes to the end

Seniors and the poor, families, critters and lots more
We'd better help them out, this Meeting Day
We'll share a bit of wealth with the Earth and mental health
While passing generosity their way
Keeping schools afloat lights a fire 'neath the vote
It's kindled by the cash flow of the town
Concern is in the cries, talk is mostly civilized
More lively conversation can't be found

Stomachs start to growl and before the moods turn foul
We nourish our opinions over lunch
Between the goulash bites we discuss the wrongs and rights
With gossip, grapes and rumors by the bunch
Back to wrap it up, over one more steaming cup
More transactions, further business, final votes
There's a motion to adjourn.  Here's hoping we'll return
With vigor, passion and those anecdotes

	(For Cathy)
Years ago we took our chances
In a field among the branches
Summer was alive
Soon you would become a mother
The first child became a brother
Now we're feeding five

	By the time they're all dreaming, we're fading
	There's so much I've meant to tell you
	That's why I'm checking in
Toddlerhood to adolescence
Moodiness and effervescence  
Nothing in between
Through it all you've been a boulder
Solid hands and crying shoulder
Best I've ever seen
	Sailboats passing and waving on the water
	Time to come about and come aboard
	And so I'm checking in

My hair is gray and in new places
Our children have maturing faces
Watch them-there they go
I'm feeling blessed to have you 'round me
You give me chills and still astound me
Just to let you know
        I want to tell you that I love you in a song
        I've been loving you all along.  
        What a good time for checking in


	My dad departed early
	And Mom checked out in haste
	A thousand things we left un-said just weigh me down (they weigh me down)
	Children are my teachers
	Much wiser than their years
	Thanks to them, I'm learning how to say it now

The playground is a jungle where we can all be wild
Beware of bullies lurking on the prowl
I bottled up my anger.  My fear I pushed way down
There's no more room inside.  Better say it now!

	Say it now, say it now, anytime, anyhow
	Grab the moment, while you got it.  Let them hear it.  Say it now!
	How you're feeling-just set it free.  Don't wait till it's a eulogy
	Right now, say it now, say it now!
Got people in my back and forth who've been there every time  
They made the difference-helped me through, somehow
If I don't up and tell them, then how are they to know?
Can't wait another day.  Got to say it now!

The leaders make my blood boil.  Injustice rules the day
My sentiments are soil beneath their plow
But, what I think does matter.  I'll whip my seeds around
They'll grow to mighty heights if I say it now!

So tell folks when we love them and when they make us mad
And to our fellow-mammals make this vow:
We won't procrastinate, no longer hesitate
We'll just communicate and say it now!

(Micaela's Song)

You came a-crawling when we needed you most
You must have known
A gift greater than grandiose
A ribbon 'round our home
You're the one-made us complete
Electric eyes and wings on your feet
Born to be in our family
You must have known

We were the chosen ones, lucky for us
After three long years
Spread the welcome mat and made a fuss
You melted all our fears
Now we've got you-watch you soar!
Can't wait to see what's in store
Sing your tune-the world's in bloom
You must have known
	Designer genes and chromosomes
		Don't hold a candle to hearts and homes
	Always a part of us, never alone
		Where it counts, you're one of our own

We didn't know you when you first came along
Six months went by
But then we heard your voice and knew you belonged
We were all sky-high
So glad you found us and planted your roots
We're forever in cahoots
Tame or wild, you're our child
You must have known

Your sister and your brother love you to bits
Quite the trio, indeed
You laugh and play and give each other fits
It's in the sibling creed
We love you madly-it's yours to keep
Wide as the ocean and twice as deep
Adopting you was the thing to do
You must have known

You came a'crawling when we needed you most
You must have known
A gift greater than grandiose
A ribbon 'round our home
You're the one-made us complete
Electric eyes and wings on your feet
Born to be in our family
You must have known


I miss you most on Sundays
Our weekly, little chats
The way you called me "darling"
No one else did that
Your voice was all I needed
Just knowing you were there
To make you laugh until you cried
Was heaven, Ma

I got here six weeks early
You'd lost the one before
The pokes and tests were endless
They were making sure
I could've told the doctors
That everything was fine
And there was nothing like the warmth
Against you, Ma

We drove to school together
Each day for seven years
Companions in that Rambler
Elvis in our ears
I never saw you happier
Than in those simple days
When working made you feel worthwhile
I felt it, Ma

Like every other family
We had our ups and downs
When life collapsed around me
You were solid ground
The lessons that you taught me
Were right there in your ways
But best of all, through all my days
You loved me, Ma

From lonely depths of darkness
To towering joie de vivre
You wore all your emotions 
I'm smiling as I grieve
With chutzpah in your bloodstream
That twinkled in your eyes
I only wish we had more time
Together, Ma

Your gifts are here within me
I'll try to pass them on
The passion of your music
Shapes my every song
You gave me life and laughter
And even when I fell
You let me know that you were proud 
I miss you, Ma


In the grand, green scheme of things, I'm glad I'm a moose
Bobbin' in the swamps, where the plants are profuse
Humongous size belies my demeanor
I've got the moves to dodge the snow machiner

	Please don't shoot me.  'twould devastate my bride
	Besides, sportsmen would scoff at your kill
	I'll pose for your photos and show my best side
	Download my face and let me graze at will
		 Oh, I'm a gentle beast with many buds deceased
		 Wide-angle photo-op
		 That makes the traffic stop
		 Lift a glass to me
		 That I'm forever free
		 To wander clumsily
		 Tree to tasty tree 
I'm a proud, brown herbivore.  My rack is ornate
A-rutting and a-roaming, with a gangly gait
I'd like to think I'm elegant, though I look a fool
My self-esteem is fine-Mom thinks I rule!

	Drive with caution and keep me in your sights
	In bus and pick-up, car and RV
	My head's way up above your dims and your brights
	Maples that are moving might have eyes like me                  

Like your basic human types, I crave my personal space
You'll want to keep your distance from me, just in case
I may seem to dream, but if I deem you a threat
I'll probably charge you with a dearth of regret

	Give me compassion and my due respect
	Now, I'm out of here and bid you adieu
	We're all just earthlings, a world to protect 
	Got to keep it wild for all us moose and you


Deep breaths, long thoughts
Down time, swimming holes
Campfires, tall tales
Warm laps for sitting on
Daydreams, Playgrounds
Porches, creaky floors
Letters you wrote by hand

	Take me there 
	To the simple times
	I could do with a moment
	Alone with my thoughts
	Please take me there
	To the simple days
	When it all was rock 'n roll
P.F. Flyers
New sleds-wooden ones
Listening, reading
Fireflies and shooting stars
Thinking, pondering
Wondering, innocence
Tasting raindrops
Smelling the thunderstorm

Snow forts, snow cones
Friendships, fun and games
Young folks, old folks
Laughing, remembering
Backyards, neighbors
Picking strawberries
Fearing no one
Knowing the mailman


I've got an earwig in my coffee
The size of Maine
Its cousins linger in the laundry
And call my name
They're all around me, like a curse
Wherever I go, they were there first
But like the earwigs, who've chosen my place
I like it here

	Five seasons and growing's not one
	Pests on parade-their noses they thumb
	Demeanors decaying.  I'm praying for sun
	So wring me out and hang me up, 'till I'm done.  

The mice are dining within my sheetrock
From stud to stud
Mosquitoes and black flies take no prisoners
They go for blood
Coyotes and fishers consume my cats
It's downright treacherous, this habitat
Despite the dangers, the pains and pitfalls
I like it here

Well, it's been raining since I got here
Or so it seems
The multi-colored, designer mildew
Adorns my jeans
Chalk up the Sunblock to history
Let's hang the weatherman in effigy
My brain is waterlogged, but in the long run
I like it here

Just when you think it's safe to frolic
The mud arrives
The ruts and washboards upon the back roads
Make quite a ride
One day you'll wake up-your rig is gone
Only to turn up millennia later, like mastodons
It's unforgiving.  I'm verging on loopy
But I like it here
Put me away
I'm verging on loopy, like a groveling groupie
I like it here


Colonel Samuel was a farmer
With his family he did toil
They sold it all to feed the troops
As the Revolution boiled
When the fighting finally ended
And the fertile ground was gone
The government gave the clan some land
To plant themselves upon
Elmore Town

Now the soldier had four children
Molly, Jesse, Martin, Sam
In the fall of 1791
They came to claim their land
'twas a cold and damp November
With the winter at their heels
All the others headed back down south
But Martin liked the feel
Of Elmore Town

With the temperature tumbling downward
And the fleeing "V's" of geese
He befriended neighbor Indian Joe
They smoked the pipe of peace
Through the frigid months they hunted
For the warmth of spring they yearned
Then the families with their horses, cattle
Seeds and trees returned
To Elmore Town

Bitter cold claimed early orchards
But resilient seedlings grew
And the fledgling town began to flower
In 1792
With the farms and mills and iron wills
And livelihoods begun
A slew of settlers soon would follow
I like to think I'm one
In Elmore Town

	Though I've traveled far and wandered wide
	Seen wondrous sights from side to side
	With lands and seas that called to me
	I was bound to roam
	Well, I've lived among the worldly gifts
	I had it all, but felt adrift
	One day I found this little town.  Now I'm home. 

(Composed for the Peoples Academy High School 
Middle Level Last Chapel in 2003, and to honor 
Middle School and Junior High School children everywhere)

Part of me is fearless, the other's scared to death
It's time to try deodorant and something for my breath
These legs are someone else's-I feel like I have three
My body's got its own agenda, weirding out on me
Waking up's not easy, especially for school 
I'm trying on my attitude and seeing if it's cool
My mouth is worth a fortune.  Why pay for all this pain?
I look like some young alien with oatmeal for a brain

	I'm a shining star with a silver smile
	Built for discomfort, polishing my style
	Singing sweet harmony in the middle of the sea
	It's a wild ride, being....      
Talking's an adventure.  My singing is a joke
I yodel every syllable.  On good days I can croak
That growth plate is a nuisance.  I'm cramping up in style
My outside's growing up so fast, but inside I'm a child
Homework is a killer.  It takes a deadly toll
I'm sentenced to portfolios with no chance of parole
My recess and my gossip-they save my life, for sure
A good, old-fashioned food fight might just be the only cure

Romance makes me nauseous, a useless pile of mush
But then at times it feels so strange.  It could be just a crush
It's totally confusing, these waves that come and go
Would someone kindly tell me everything there is to know?
Welcome to my mood swings, a medley of extremes
Emotions make me crazy.  Have a look inside my dreams
I'm holding on to "blankie" and I can't wait to drive
Please leave me alone and help me out-I'm trying to survive


When I was old, my world was gray
I groused and moaned and lost my way
Complained and longed for yesterday
When I was old 				
I lost my teeth and missed my youth
When grownups always told the truth
I hid my heart and stayed aloof
When I was old

	So call me a fool and the "king of denial"
	But I'm more at home today as a child
	My laughter comes easy, along with the tears
	And time is right here for the taking

When I was old, I lay awake
From all the risks I didn't take
So fearful of the next mistake
When I was old
My mirror showed the aging signs
The wrinkled brow, the laughter lines
To smooth them out was my design
When I was old

When I was old and scared to die
My courage was in short supply
I filled with rage and wondered why
When I was old
I was so wise and knew it all
From politics to protocol
I felt alone, as I recall
When I was old	
When I was old, my world was gray
I groused and moaned and lost my way
Complained and longed for yesterday
When I was old


Smell that surf off the coast of creation
Pounding percussion of the Motherlands
Wondrous, tumbling, rumbling creatures
Depend upon a pristine sea   
Catch a wave, hitch a ride
Care about the rarities inside
Lying there, on the sands
Know that it's in your hands

	It flows and falls, rolls and rushes
	Brings life to the living with groans and gushes
	May it toss and wind or be calm and kind
	Time after time, cherish the water      

Hear that brook about to burst through the bedding
Bantering and bubbling, as it flies
Soothing sounds and the rhythm of a river
Carry you to springtime dreams
Watch it run, listen hard
Remembering the beauty in your backyard
Celebrate-you know you can
Clear water's in your hands

See right down to a pond's soft bottom
Gaze through the window of a country lake
Perch and sunnies and bass get to splashing
Join them for a cool, clean dive
Have a look, have a race
Check that reflection:  a familiar face
Take a dip, take a stand
Got a lake's life in your hands
Taste ice water on a hot, summer Sunday
All the way down to your thirsty toes
A liquid blanket for your innards in winter
Water keeps you kicking and alive
Fill your glass
Sip it slow
Can't survive without H2O
Keep it clean-make demands
It's all there, in your hands