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Steve Key: Songs/Lyrics

Brother You Never Had

(Steve Key)
May 29, 2012
Steve Key Songs (BMI)
Originally released on "New Hope" (Local Folkel Records 1990)
Recorded and mixed at Splice of Life, Brighton MA, June '89 to January '90
Produced by Darleen Wilson, engineered by Coleman Rogers
Bass: Richard Gates
Drums: David Patt
Thanks to Dori, for the initial spark; to Patricia Shih for constructive comments at Karl Williams' workshop.

Dori was a volunteer at the Stone Soup concert series in Providence, RI. She told me about her work at the women's shelter and that's where the song started. It went off into another character, a woman who was engaged to a compulsive liar. Guess I was playing Therapist Joe with all that stuff about her father.

I met Freyda Epstein at the Folk Alliance conference in Chicago. She took a copy of the "New Hope" CD and later expressed interest in covering "Brother You Never Had." It appears on the Freyda and the Acoustic Attatude CD on Red House Records under the title "Brother". Bob Vasile sings lead, while Freyda sings harmony and plays violin. Ralph Gordon played bass. It was a beautiful recording by three amazing musicians and I was honored to be included on their only CD. Freyda died in a car crash a few years later. I still hear from Bob, who is very active in music performance.
Where the battered women stay
You work every Saturday
And you listen to their stories, sounding familiar
You feel alien to men
You can't trust anyone of them
You feel scarred inside like all these sheltered mothers

If I reach out for your hand
Would you really understand
I'm not the lover who made you sad
I'm the brother you never had

There's a man living far away
Who keeps pictures of yesterday
Father and his little girl, smiling with pride
But those pictures never tell
How he put that girl through hell
Anger and fears that the years cannot heal or hide

Can't you see there is a man
Who will listen and understand
Not some lover to make you sad
But a brother you never had

There's a man working two floors down
And another at a club downtown
They whistle and laugh, make their awkward pass at you
And there's one you will see tonight
He's got your father's smiling eyes
And you know he's telling lies
But you want to believe they're all true

Do you only look for men
Who will take you in again
To be the center of your world
Like that father and his little girl
But I see much more inside
Than the child or the hopeful bride
I want to reach out for your hand
I want to listen and understand
Not as a lover to make you sad
But a brother you never had

If I reach out for your hand
Would you really understand
I'm not the lover who made you sad
I'm the brother you never had