Tim Keller singer songwriter

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Live at Uncle Calvin's

Tim played some great rooms throughout the country, but in the late 1980s he developed a mutual love affair with the audience at Uncle Calvin's, a long-running coffeehouse concert series in Dallas. Repeatedly asking Tim back, the management proposed a live album; this is the result. Recorded over two nights in November, 1989, the album includes eighteen songs and all the between-song banter. An exclusive recollection of Tim's live tours, Uncle Calvin's released 500 copies of this cassette album; four cassettes remain, available here at a collector's price.

Collector's Cassette $18 includes shipping -- that's $1 per song.

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Tim's music is now available online from most national distributors, including CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, Google Music Store, Shazam, 24-7, Xbox Music, and others. Wherever you buy, look first at CD Baby for its comprehensive notes, editorial reviews, and song samples.
 

Sample Tracks

Hired Hand Listen
Tugging at the Wheel Listen
The Heart of Kansas Listen
I Can't Close My Eyes Listen
Starvation Peak Listen
Fence Me In Listen
Put the Wind at My Back and Go Listen
Wish Love Goodbye Listen
Standing on First Base Listen
Come and Go Listen
She Never Does Nothing Twice Listen
Shadows on the Lines Listen
Clear Texas Morning Listen
Emilie's Moon Listen
Mister Moon Has a Smile Listen
Waiting for the Apple Trees Listen
Just Say No Listen
Do You Believe Listen

 18 songs/78 minutes


 

Jack Keller, George Keller, Tim Keller
My grandfather George Keller, hired hand, with my dad Jack, grandma Eleanor, and my dad's sister Georgia, 1944.

Hired Hand

Eighteen wheels of music driving Highway 5
Not my kind of music, not my favorite drive
I would never choose it, this darkened highway drone
The way it just goes on and on and on and on alone
Maybe this guy Roosevelt, things won’t be so lean
I can join my family, stop hauling gasoline
The darkness is so thick and close, the roads all wind and sway
And it will still be thick and close unloading in Coos Bay
This darkness just unfolds, it never seems to end
And then I’ll make it home, and then I’m off again

I have worked for businessmen, I have worked on farms
I work for this oil company
I’ve worked for my family and I’ve worked for my country
But never have I ever worked for me
Never have I ever worked for me

I left Cape Girardeau when I was twenty-two
Cause working in that hardware store just wasn’t much to do
I held my thumb in the air and followed it out west
The land of opportunity, the land of my success
I met my wife at the pier they built at Malibu
We have moved from town to town as our baby grew
Cause this land ain’t no promised land of opportunity
I have been a hired hand and never worked for me

They’ve got a call for me to haul some gas to Bonneville
My one night off it’s double time and so I guess I will
Cause every day spent living is just more money spent
And every mile I spend alone we’re closer to the rent
I have dreams that don’t include Coos Bay or Bonneville
But I guess I can hold my dreams until I pay my bills
I’ve worked long and hard to make the biggest dreams come true
Dreams possessed by richer men, men I never knew

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

Tugging at the Wheel

It’s a long drive down to Bluefield when your wallet’s turning bare
And the leaves are falling off the trees and winter’s in the air
When I try to take my mind off all the troubles that I feel
I’m playing with the lines and I’m tugging at the wheel

When I don’t feel you near me, I wander across the lines
The lines aren’t enough to hold me in
I know you can’t hear me but you’re still on my mind
When I’m tugging at the wheel and the miles are wearing thin

I knew that West Virginia would someday call me back
I didn’t know this life would leave me no time to unpack
I keep my eyes wide open so I won’t miss the view
And I try to stay between the lines and keep my mind on you

Tugging at the wheel into the forest
Sometimes my eyes are fixed upon a tree
When I can’t tell the verses from the chorus
I hope this wheel will tug real hard on me

The miles all run together when you’re traveling at this pace
Trying to make each mile count, I sometimes lose my place
Keeping my eyes open, the miles just may reveal
The leaves are falling off the trees and I’m
tugging at the wheel

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

road, southeastern Colorado
 Trinchera Canyon, New Mexico, Tim Keller The Heart of Kansas

Where the wheat fields wave there’s a yellow line
In the middle of the road doing overtime
Window rolled down and the radar on
Come the heart of Kansas gonna be long gone
Come the heart of Kansas gonna be long gone

Come the heart of Kansas gonna be long gone
Bury me deep in her loving arms
Kick off the cover, leave on the light
Deep in the Kansas heart tonight

I’ve been living on the road, looking quite a sight
I’ll be washed in the light of her love tonight
Forty-five miles I’ll be pulling into Hutch
She’s a little bit of trouble but it ain’t too much
She’s just a little trouble but it ain’t too much

chorus

K.C. down to Wichita’s a hundred ninety-nine
Twenty miles more to the Reno County line
Cross the big river to the lights beyond
There’s a light in the window gonna lead me on
There’s something about that woman that leads me on

chorus

Where the wheat fields wave there’s a yellow line
In the middle of the road doin’ ninety-nine
Fastest yellow line that I've ever been on
Come the heart of Kansas gonna be long gone
Come the heart of Kansas gonna be long gone

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

I Can't Close My Eyes

My girl sure can wear her clothes
She really makes them shine
How it happened I don’t know
But I can call her mine
When we’re walking hand in hand
Doing up the town
I can’t believe that I’m the man
Showing her around
When people turn to look our way
I’m feeling ten feet tall
And she will sometimes turn to say
That I’m the best of all
But there is one thing I have learned
I really cannot do
Cause when I close my eyes with her
Then I’m still with you

I can’t close my eyes, cause I’m still with you
I can’t close my eyes without telling lies
And feeling all confused
When I hold her tight all through the night
I do everything right, but I realize
Something I can’t do without thinking of you
I can’t close my eyes

She has turned my world around
I’m a lucky man
She picked me up on my way down
I give her all I can
I meant every word I said
I told her we were through
And now I’m loving her instead
Except when I’m with you

chorus

We both agreed we’d run our love
Smack into the ground
It’s so good to see us now
With new loves we have found
And though I know that we have long since
Said our last goodbyes
I wonder as I lie at night
Do you still close your eyes?

chorus

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

 Starvation Peak

The Indians play hide-and-seek
Their bets are on my hide
I can’t even tell how many more of us have died
I never would have chose this way to go
I never would have chose New Mexico
If only there were something more to eat
They laugh even as I'm growing weak
And leave my bones atop Starvation Peak
And leave my bones atop Starvation Peak

This trail lasts forever, never made Santa Fe
Though they said we’re getting close
Two or three days
Everywhere there’s trash upon the trail
My bones will be trash upon the trail
My bones will be bare within a week
While the Indians play hide-and-seek
I bide my time on Starvation Peak
I bide my time on Starvation Peak

Time’s all I have and I’m running out of time
All I want is time, and a bite to eat
I am just a good night’s fun
Not even worth the climb
I bide my time on Starvation Peak
I bide my time on Starvation Peak

Hey hey hey oh, hey hey hey oh hey
Hey hey hey oh, hey hey hey oh hey

I never met the men below whose laughter pierced the sky
I never had a chance to turn and watch my family die
Those of you who follow on this trail
Go to Santa Fe or go to Hell
It’s all the same to me so I won’t speak
When you run out of food you’ll taste defeat
I gave my time to Starvation Peak
I gave my time to Starvation Peak

chorus

Hey hey hey oh, hey hey hey oh hey
I bide my time on Starvation Peak
Hey hey hey oh, hey hey hey oh hey
I bide my time on Starvation Peak
I count my time on Starvation Peak
I lose my time on Starvation Peak

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

 Fence Me In

I’ve got the coffee percolating on the countertop
Keeping track of time with a digital clock
I’ve got a microwave that makes my meals
A microcomputer that pays my bills
I’ve got a telephone that has a college degree
A snooze alarm that sings harmony - look at me!

When I get up out of my water bed
I’ve got a shower massage to rub my head
I stay cool with central air and heat
Nikes and Reeboks for my feet
I’ve got an $800 lucky charm
Security locks and a burglar alarm - fence me in!

Fence me in where I am king
Fence me in, protect my things
Fence me in where I am free
That’s my right, it’s all for me - fence me in!

I’ve got a house full of labor-saving devices
They take all my time but those are sacrifices
You make when you want to have the best
When you want to be sure you are a success
When something special comes to town
I stay home - I’ve settled down - fence me in! 

chorus

Hey I worked hard to earn this life
Six years of college and a bitchy wife
At work they say I’ve got the common touch
But poor folks they all waste too much
I’ve got six charge cards just for me
This house is mine, it’s set me free - fence me in!

chorus

Once in a while I think of going out
But then I think, what am I thinking about?
I got it all right here, just for me
In stereo sound on color TV - fence me in! 

I’ve got a washer and a drier that have their own room
A little foreign gardener keeps my garden in bloom
I’ve got a freezer full of lean cuisine
A girl comes once a week to keep it all clean
I’ve got a great big sauna and a little pool
With all these things you know I ain’t no fool - fence me in!

Fence me in where I am queen
Fence me in, protect my scene
Tie me down, you’ll set me free
That’s my right, it’s all for me
Fence me in!

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

  Put the Wind at My Back and Go

The streets are all full and I’m taking bull
From the man on the other side
I’d like to turn my head or go back to bed
But I think it’s coming time to ride
‘Cause if I get stuck at this light again
The car won’t be the only thing to blow
I’m packing it up, turn my notice in
Put the wind at my back and go

Put the wind at my back with the broken white lines
Where the roads have numbers, they don’t have signs...And go...
Go where the winds cut loose and blow
Maybe Montana, maybe New Mexico...
Put the wind at my back and go

Taillights, stoplights, sign lights, bright lights
Some nights I can’t see the stars
I can’t stay where the moon is gray
Where the nightlight comes from cars
Tell the landlord for me ‘cause he’s always ignored me
He can keep all the money I owe
I’m headin’ out of town and I ain’t turnin’ ‘round
Put the wind at my back and go

chorus

How do you feel about me leaving now?
Would you think of coming ‘long with me?
Where the stars still light the sky at night
And distance is something you can see
My love is still true but I’m no good to you
When I feel like I’m about to blow
When it comes down to it, the only way to do it
Put the wind at my back and go

chorus

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

 

 

Johnson Mesa, New Mexico by Tim Keller

 Wish Love Goodbye

There’s no more to say about it
When you've made up your mind
I’ll stay out of your way about it
Pretend love was blind
Now I will live without it
Just leave love behind
There’s no more to say
When you’re on your way
But wish love goodbye

There’s no more to say but to wish love goodbye
Stay out of its way and try not to cry
No more to say, send you away
Wish love goodbye

I’ll leave the door open
Help you carry your bags
I won’t be secretly hoping
You will unpack
I will not take a notion
That all love is bad
But love is no friend
When my heart depends
On the love that we had

repeat chorus

The best we can say about us
Is that our love was kind
The world won’t go away without us
Neither will time
Oh time will find out about us
But leave us behind
Time’s on the street
Love’s on its feet
I’ve lost my mind

repeat chorus

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

  

 

abstract photography by Tim Keller

 Standing on First Base

Lightning broke the three o’clock bell, the buses scurried home
Left Roy there on first base like it was his own
The batter took a practice swing, the blackest cloud his aim
Roy rose off of first base, flickered like a flame

The diamond turned as black as coal, the windup and the pitch
Just before the storm came down, Roy knew he wouldn’t miss
And there before the final crack, you should have seen his face
What finer time to be struck down than standing on first base

Take me when you take me, take me right there in my tracks
Take me from the middle of the race
Take me when I won’t be sitting still or looking back
What finer time to be struck down than standing on first base

In our dark and finest hour, beneath the burning glare
The tanks all marching on their way into Tian An Men Square
He stood alone in anger, raised his fist and never shrank
That man may have stopped a war: he didn’t stop that tank

Oh that death would strike me down in the middle of my game
Take me when I’m most alive and turn me into flame
Find me when I’m far from home, give me its embrace
What finer time to be struck down than standing on first base

repeat chorus

Tears fall from the storming sky for those it’s left behind
They’ll just have to wait their turn and hope it’s just as kind
If you stand in one place, you could die of thirst
But when you run from home your eyes are fixed on first

Those who won’t run from a storm may not have much sense
But they’re the ones who know to reach beyond the outfield fence
And there before the final crack, you should have seen his face
What finer time to be struck down than standing on first base

repeat chorus

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

Come and Go
by Tim Keller and Kate Rosa

Now the door swings again
In and out
It used to be my friend

Now the light’s creeping in
Raise the blinds
Set my memory to mend

If you want to take my mind
And then leave me behind
That’s the end
Now I know
Come a friend
Come and go

I have longed for the day
You would come
You might even stay

Come as you may
Come and go
I’ll sweep it all away

chorus

Comes a time closing in
Comes a time to begin
Though I’ve wandered
There comes a time to choose

chorus

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

 

Christina Boyce and Peter Burg camping, by Tim Keller

 She Never Does Nothing Twice

There goes my baby
She’s always wanting more
She never does nothing
That she’s ever done before
I’ve seen her waltzing on the ceiling
She’s always full of surprise
She’ll do anything once
She never does nothing twice

The first time I saw her
She was sitting in the back
Busy pulling pencils
From her little black sack
She pulled a light out of the bag
She shined it over my head
I know it’s not the light
It must have been something she said

She said, “Now come on over baby
That’s what this chair is for
Spend a little time with me
And you’ll be wanting more
I never had myself a cowboy
You’re close enough to suffice
I’ll love you til I leave you, honey
I never do nothing twice”

Sometimes she likes to lay me down
Sometimes she’d rather stand
I never have much time to think
It’s never what I planned
She’s been running me ragged
But that’s not much of a price
Cause I’m running with my baby
She never does nothing twice

Sometimes her hair is red
One time her hair was green
She shows me things I’ll bet
Our president has never seen
He’s busy talking cost of living
He’s talking sacrifice
My baby’s done that before
She never does nothing twice

She’s revving up the engine
Man, she’s calling me down
She gets that thing in gear
She may never turn around
She may drive into the ocean
She won’t take my advice
She might do it once
She never does nothing twice

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

Shadows on the Lines

Dark is the night, shadows on the lines
That run through the heart of this long road of mine
I found the moon, but I lost her in the stars
Now I try to find her in the lights of all these cars
All these cars, all these cars
Now I try to find her in the lights of all these cars

The lines run together, the roads run away
The names on the signs have less and less to say
About which way the road goes, where I might turn
How I might find her, when I might learn
When I might learn, I might learn
How I might find her, when I might learn

Shadows on the lines, lines around the block
Signs point the way but they won’t say when to stop
I found the moon, but I lost her in the light
I’m drawn by the shadows
I may find her there tonight
There tonight, tonight
I’m drawn by the shadows
I may find her there tonight

Follow all the signs laid out before
Stand in lots of lines, wait at lots of doors
I lost the moon at midnight
I love the way she shines
But I’m easily distracted by the shadows on the lines
On the lines, on the lines
I’m easily distracted by the shadows on the lines

The lines must be there for a reason
I’ll try to keep that in mind
But I am drawn by the shadows
That lay around the edges of the lines
They lay around the edges of the lines

The lines run together, the roads run away
The names on the signs have less and less to say
I found the moon, lost her in the light
I’m drawn by the shadows
I may find her there tonight
Tonight, tonight
I’m drawn by the shadows
I may find her there tonight

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

Clear Texas Morning
by Tim Keller and Bernice Lewis

Morning snow falls so slow
Water turns to coffee
Why so gray? Did I say I love you?
Northern wind keeps me in
Sets my mind to wander
Laughing eyes, open skies
Made everything so new

Morning snow won’t stop falling
And I don’t feel so brand new
Oh, what I wouldn’t give right now
For one clear Texas morning with you

Late last night I lay down
With my same old pillow
Empty room for company again
Was that you falling through
The cracks in my old pictures
Or was it just the pictures took me in?

chorus

I don’t know where love goes
When it goes forever
Does it fly out on a Texas wind?
Do you know, does it show
How it blows right through me
The way that Texas shows
Right through my skin?

chorus

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

 

 

Des Moines, New Mexico, abandoned house by Tim Keller

 

Emilie's Moon

Here’s a song about the moon for Emilie
She always loves the ones about the moon
When I sing this song, I hope she’ll sing along
Emilie, let’s sing about the moon

There’s a friend in the night, a true companion
Sometimes I think my friend is all my own
When all the rest have gone and left me standin’
Sometimes the moon will come and walk me home

I have walked alone with my companion
And I have journeyed farther than the light
I won’t count the times I’ve felt abandoned
I have been acquainted with the night

Here’s the one about the moon for Emilie
She always loves the ones about the moon
When I sing this song, I hope she’ll sing along
Emilie, let’s sing about the moon

I have laughed and cried and jumped and fallen
And I have done them in a single night
I have sat alone when no one’s callin’
And then the moon arrives all dressed in white

I have friends all scattered across the miles
But when the moon is high we’re all below
Then I think of you and stop and smile
And then I ask the moon to say hello

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)
 

Capulin Volcano moonrise by Tim Keller

 

 

Mister Moon Has a Smile

Mister Moon has a smile when the children sleep tight
So pull up the covers and sleep through the night
When you close your eyes, such a pretty sight
Mister Moon has a smile when you turn out the light

Go to bed now, close your eyes
You’re gonna get a big surprise
Mister Moon is full, about your size
Slip into a dream and up you’ll rise

chorus

Close your eyes, ride a balloon
Climb a cloud, Rocky Raccoon
Munch a bunch, a bunch of Lorna Doones
Shimmy with the cow when she jumps the moon

chorus

Close your eyes, wiggle your toes
Scratch your back, tickle your nose
Sleepy little eyes start to close
Mister Moon has a smile when you start to doze

chorus

All the little kids are fast asleep
(Slow to fall but fast asleep!)
Eyes are closed, dreams are deep
And now Mister Moon has a promise to keep

chorus

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

Waiting for the Apple Trees

I’m waiting for the apple trees to bloom
I’m waiting for the moon to turn to blue
I’m waiting for the sound
Of your footsteps on the ground
I’m waiting for the apple trees to bloom

It’s my feet wear the pathway through the grove
My hands cut the wood to fill the stove
It’s my job to bring the morning light
And it’s my heart that lies alone at night

chorus

On branches bare the sparrows cannot hide
I can watch them play from here inside
In winter time the whole world lies in wait
In my eyes the blossoms come too late

chorus

Deep in the night my eyes are open
The lights are out and I can’t see a thing
Without sight I somehow keep on hoping
Love will blossom here in time for spring

chorus

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

 

camper trailer named Green Apple, Des Moines, New Mexico

Just Say No

She said if you want space, baby, move to Utah
And that’s just what he did
Eating up the miles, the devil smiles
Like a great big bearded kid
Driving to the river, the river grew a dam
Damn dam dam, damn dam dam
When you see something wrong
And it’s starting to grow
Just say no, just say no

Just say no when they’re taking our land
Pushing it around their master plan
Take a monkey wrench in the palm of your hand
Nipping at the heels of justice

Speeding down the road in a battered truck
Tossing out each beer can
He says it’s not the can that’s ugly
It’s the road, it’s not the can
And they're building them roads
As fast as they can
Damn damn damn, damn damn damn
If you want a place where they can’t go
Just say no, just say no

chorus

Nipping at the heels, nipping at the heels
Try a monkey wrench, see how it feels
Twist to the left and the dam will burst
Earth first! Earth first!

He’s a brave bearded cowboy in a pick-up truck
Playing desert solitaire
He’s the bill of rights all run amok
He’s a corporate nightmare
When they killed a river to make a dam
He said, damn dam dam, damn damn dam
Pull the plug and watch it go
Just say no, just say no

chorus

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

 

Do You Believe

You were pushing two years old
And I was pushing out
You were full of family, I was full of doubt
You were such a miracle
You taught me to believe
And I believed in both of us
That’s why I had to leave

Do you believe in the light
Even when the sun is gone?
Do you believe every bird should be free?
Do you believe in the power of a song?
Do you believe in me?

A pretty picture was our life
And pictures don’t complain
No one was supposed to look
Beyond the picture frame
Your mother was a pretty wife
Upon a battlefield
Who covered up the wounds of war
And so they never healed

And I was just a vagabond become a refugee
I know if you could
That you would try to harbor me
But your room was not big enough
To hide a soldier on reprieve
And so I had to go alone
And pray that you’d believe

chorus

Honey, I have found much more
Than harbor from the war
I have learned to climb
Until I spy some distant shore
When I’m pierced by missing you
I dance upon the knife
And I put frames on pictures
But not upon my life

You live on a tidy street and I must live apart
But I believe your dancing feet
Are wildness in your heart
Back when you were pushing two
And I was full of grief
You taught me a miracle, the power of belief

chorus

©1989, 2016 Darcy Day Publishing (BMI)

 All photography this page by Tim Keller ©2016, except

Tim Keller portrait at top, and cover photo walking in cowboy hat, photos © Michel Monteaux.