Don't Fix What's Broken

by Dylan Bell

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about

This album is a work-in-progress: collection of "mostly-there" songs will be eventually retooled and released as an album. I'd love some input from you the listener: favourite songs, least favourite, etc. Please let me know what you think at dylan@dylanbell.ca . New stuff is being added, so check in to see what's changed

To hear my non-pop stuff, please check out the album "Alter Ego". Enjoy!

credits

released July 11, 2016

Dylan Bell - vocals and vocalizations, basses, acoustic and electric guitars, piano/keyboards, drums, percussion

Suba Sankaran - background vocals on "Other Side"

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about

Dylan Bell Toronto, Ontario

In a word... multifaceted. Toronto-based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. From a neo-classical choral opus to an unabashed rock song, I've probably written it... or at least working on it. I'm fortunate enough to make my work my play, touring across North America, Europe, and Asia. Visit me at www.dylanbell.ca ... more

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Track Name: Daddy-O
A rainy day in late October
Phone is silent on the wall
And foolishly I start to wonder
Just why you haven't called

Then it crashes down before me
I struggle up, and turn the page
And life goes on, the same as always
But everything has changed

Daddy-o, my Daddy-o
So hard to let you go

You came to me while I was sleeping
I thought you had something to say
But even as I ran towards you
You turned and walked away

When I awoke, my heart was aching
Had to find out what went wrong
I tried to will myself to slumber
But you'd already gone

Daddy-o, my Daddy-o
So hard to let you go

A rainy day in late October
A day the sunshine never came
Moaning wind through empty branches
Echoing your name

So I say the words you used to tell me
Every day since I was small
"Don't forget, I'll always love you
And don't forget to call"

Daddy-o, my Daddy-o
So hard to let you go
I can't let you go
Track Name: It's Not That I'm Lazy...
Verse 1
Well you tell me I can never buy a diamond ring
To sparkle on my baby’s hand
She says the only diamonds she could want
Sparkle in the sea and sand
Well you tell me that I gotta learn to play the game
Better buckle-down and learn my place
Well you can take your six figures, your shark-skin suit
And shove ‘em up your briefcase

Chorus
It’s not that I’m lazy… it’s that I just don’t care
It’s not that I’m lazy…it’s that I just don’t care
You can colour me crazy, say I’m going nowhere
It’s not that I’m lazy… it’s that I just don’t care

Verse 2
Well you tell me “get working those idle hands
Or you’ll find the devil in control”
But let me tell you:
Your busy hands and your busy heart
Leave you no room for your soul
So go on, take the biggest, and take the best
Take everything your money can buy
I’ll be happy living off the rest:
The sun, the sea and the blue sky

[Chorus]

Verse 3
You can have your sixty-hour grindstone
Your two lousy weeks of holiday
I’ll take the fifty weeks you left behind
And groove my life away
Maybe one day you’ll realize
That you’re tired of being played a fool
It sure is easy to play the game
When you stop playing by the rules

[Chorus]
Track Name: Don't Fix What's Broken
VERSE 1
She always said I was a work in progress
A diamond in the rough
She said a lot of stuff about opening my eyes
Showing me the world
(Even though I never like to venture far from home)
But what’s so bad about Even-Steven?
Steady and reliable
Easily deniable habits and rituals
Ground into the bone
And I guess that’s why I am alone

CHORUS
“Don’t fix what’s broken”, I said to her
“I just don’t care.
Don’t fix what’s broken: what would I do
If you’re not there?
Cause if you ever go, I’ll never know
How to put myself together again”

VERSE 2
She said to me “Why don’t you gamble, gamble?”
But how can you just give your soul and never count the cost?
She said “You’ve got to put your cards on the table”
But don’t you understand that nothing ventured, nothing lost?
I’ve heard enough about self-improvement
Pardon me, I think I’m doing fine all on my own.
She said “You’d better loosen up those heartstrings
Or you’re gonna wake up all alone.”

CHORUS

BRIDGE
She said “jump into the water”
But I don’t like to swim
She’ll never understand my reasons why
She’ll get tired of my games someday
Eventually, she’ll walk away
And all I can do is wave goodbye…

VERSE 3
I never said I was a genius, genius
Never said I didn’t have a thing or two to learn
But old dogs, new tricks
Matches and a house of sticks
Sounds a little like a recipe for getting burned.
So don’t go talking ‘bout changes, changes
I’ve become accustomed to my fear of the unknown
Well baby here’s your hat, but what’s your hurry?
And why’d you have to leave me all alone?

CHORUS
“Don’t fix what’s broken”, I said to her
“It’s just not fair.
Don’t fix what’s broken: what will I do
Now you’re not there"
Don’t fix what’s broken, I said to her
It’s just no fun
Don’t fix what’s broken, now it’s too late
I’ve come undone
Why did you have to go
Now I’ll never know
How to put myself together again.
Track Name: Better Days Ahead
They promised us a shiny dream
The likes of which we’d never seen
No ifs, ands, buts, or in-betweens
It was high times for one and all
But it was built on shaky ground
The house of cards came crashing down
The guys in suits, they all skipped town
And let us take the fall

Lord, there were better days behind us
Let there be better days ahead
Lord, there were better days behind us
Let there be better days ahead

They promised us a holy war
A Grand Crusade worth fighting for
So we beat our plowshares into swords
Jumped on board, and joined the ride
The blood upon the desert sand
The blood of children on our hands
It was all for supply-and-demand
They don’t a damn who lived or died

Lord, there were better days behind us
Let there be better days ahead
Lord, there were better days behind us
Let there be better days ahead

A cold voice on the telephone
Tells me she ain’t coming home
She’s got to go to somewhere
Where the future’s looking bright
I didn’t see it coming on
Tell me where it all went wrong…

They said the best was yet to come
Milk and honey for everyone
If we all joined hands and played along
There’d be high times for you and me
So we did our best, played by the rules
They played us for a pack of fools
Forgetting what we learned in school
Ain’t nothing comes for free

Lord, there were better days behind us
Let there be better days ahead
Lord, there were better days behind us
Let there be better days ahead
Track Name: Little Things
It’s 3 o’clock, and time for tea:
A door into my history.
Something I can’t understand:
A letter in her aging hand.
She said “You’ve got his spidery writing
And the wrinkle in your brow, that’s his too.
I never knew until today
How much of him remains in you.
Oh Lord, how I miss him
When my lonely day is through.

“I’m always glad when you stop by”,
A tear behind her tired eye.
“You know you always did him proud:
Can you read this letter, once, out loud?”
It said “I never showed you Paris,
But I built a little house for you.
I wasn’t always perfect,
But I did the best that I could do.
And you always kept me laughing
When my working day was through.

“’Cause it’s all in the little things
It’s always in the little things
They can keep you close or take you far
They can plant a kiss, or leave a scar
But either way
They make us into who we are.”

It’s 3 o’clock, and time for tea
And memory washes over me
I won’t be coming ‘round no more:
Time has finally closed that door
I won’t be coming ‘round no more…

It’s beautiful: a summer day:
Time to give the girl away.
Something borrowed, something more:
The wedding dress that she once wore.
I said “You’ve got her pixie figure,
And the colour in your cheeks, that’s hers too.
I never knew until today
How much of her remains in you.
And I know she’ll be smiling
When this perfect day is through.”

Cause it’s all in the little things
It’s always in the little things
They can keep you close, or take you far
They can plant a kiss, or leave a scar
But either way
They make us into who we are.
Track Name: K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Sunshine)
You say you’re moving too fast
Don’t know how to slow it down
How long can you keep flying
Before you crash into the ground?

Forever spinning
You’re sinking while you’re swimming
I see an angel face that’s lined with worry
Forever racing
Don’t know what you’re chasing
So stop and tell me baby, what’s your hurry?

Keep it simple, Sunshine
Time to give your heart a place to land
Keep it simple, Sunshine
And you can hold forever in your hand

Do you remember sleepy mornings
Nowhere to go, no-one to be
Now I look into the mirror:
Is that shadow really me?

Forever running
Horizon never coming
And everything you seek is slipping further away
So take a good look around you
Take a breath, and follow through
It comes back double if you just start living for today

Keep it simple, Sunshine
Try to make the morning last all day
Keep it simple, Sunshine
Be careful you don’t give your soul away

Take a look at all you’ve got
Now take a look at all you’ve lost
And ask yourself
Ask yourself: is it really worth the cost?

Keep it simple, Sunshine
Time to teach your heart to understand
Keep it simple, Sunshine
And you can hold forever in your hand
Track Name: Fiddle While We Burn
I read a story, a while ago
Told about the Fall of Rome
Crazy days…
Horses in the Senate, blood in the wine
Lady Rome in slow decline
Big Fat Nero in the centre of it all
Fiddling while Rome burned

The story said it was the lead:
Poison lead meant poisoned heads
(or so I read)
Lead in the plumbing, poisoning the wine
Sanity in slow decline
Lead went liquid in the centre of it all
Trickling while Rome burned

And they all joined hands, and fiddled while it burned
And they all joined hands, and fiddled while it burned

I read a story about the Plague
Seven hundred years ago:
Did you know?
Shout-outs to Heaven, wafers and the wine
Couldn’t slow the wrath this time
Black Armageddon, the ending of it all
Fiddling while Rome burned

And they all joined hands, and fiddled while it burned
And they all joined hands, and fiddled while it burned
‘Cause they’d come right back to the point of no return
So they all joined hands, and fiddled while they burned…

I read a story yesterday
Summer’s never going away
(or so they say)
Suntans in winter, icicles in June
Oceans rising to the moon
We all stand naked in the pressure-cooker sun
Thinking that we won’t get burned

So turn it up a few degrees
Bring a planet to its knees
Blame the fella in his monster SUV
Blame everybody else, but don’t blame me
I got my head buried firmly in the sand
Thinking that I won’t get burned.

And we all join hands, and fiddle while it burns
And we all join hands, and fiddle while it burns
‘Cause we’ve come right back to the point of no return
So let’s all join hands, and fiddle while we burn…
Track Name: Rocket Science
You pulled me to my window
Beacon in the cold streetlight
Lonliness has cast me on an island out of sight
Angel in a raincoat
Acting like you don’t see me
Looking like your loneliness has washed you out to sea
Unlock the door
Pull you ashore
Cause I need to know you now

Baby, don’t cry
There ain’t no sin in sorrow
So take my hand and don’t ask why
It ain’t rocket science baby
We’re just two lonely people who can try
To make it through the day

You worry about the future
Calculate the wrong and right
Seems that everything you know is framed in black and white
I can’t see tomorrow
I can’t remember yesterday
I guess that everything I see is wrapped in shades of grey
Let bridges fall
Don’t speak at all
Cause I need to know you now

And baby, don’t cry
There ain’t no sin in sorrow
So take my hand and don’t ask why
It ain’t rocket science baby
We’re just two lonely people who can try
To make it through the day

The solace found in silence
The sanctity of skin on skin
It’s hard to tell where one soul ends and where the next begins
Just let the rain
Erase the pain
Cause I need to know you now

And baby, don’t cry
There ain’t no sin in sorrow
So take my hand and don’t ask why
It ain’t rocket science baby
We’re just two lonely people who can try
To make it through the day
Track Name: Cutting Room Floor
Scene 1:

Open with a crane-shot
Twelve miles off the shore
It’s cargo for dinero
But he won’t tell me any more
Packed in shiny boxes
But he won’t tell me what’s inside
Well I might be the captain, but
I’m just along for the ride
He tells me:

Ask me fewer questions
I’ll tell you fewer lies
You don’t want the bigger picture
So let me cut it down to size
You don’t really want to know the score
We’ll leave a few scenes on the cutting-room floor

Scene 2:

Jump-cut to Wall Street
Double-martini in my hand
Spinning straw with Rumplestilskin
But I just don’t understand
He tells me "The return on your investment
Will leave you laughing at the moon!”
Well I might pay the piper
But he’s the one that calls the tune
He tells me:

Ask me fewer questions
I’ll tell you fewer lies
You don’t want the bigger picture
So let me cut it down to size
You don’t really want to know the score
We’ll leave a few scenes on the cutting-room floor
You don’t mess with supply-and-demand
And the more you know, the less you’ll want to understand

Scene 3:

Tight closeup on the anchorman
Getting ready for the show
My lead story’s gonna shake it up
But they tell me it’s a no-go
Well the word came from City Hall
They want to make the story go away
Well I might be the talking-head
But they still tell me what to say
They say:

Ask me fewer questions
I’ll tell you fewer lies
You don’t want the bigger picture
So let me cut it down to size
You don’t really want to know the score
We’ll leave a few scenes on the cutting-room floor
You don’t mess with supply-and-demand
And the more you know, the less you’ll want to understand
Track Name: Wings To Fly
Standing on the threshold, feeling scared
Uncertain, unrehearsed, and unprepared
The play has started, but I’ve lost my lines
The journey has begun but I can’t read the signs
It’s time now: I have to say goodbye
Don’t ask me: don’t know the reasons why
But it’s time to fly

They say you can’t move forward standing still
The tell me all it takes is strength of will
But maybe they’re just words that people say
And tomorrow’s dreams will be eclipsed by yesterday
Go on now: I know that’s a lie
I hope so: at least I have to try
To learn to fly

Take a look around you
All you find are open doors
And who knows what is on the other side?
And though it may confound you
No-one tells you which is yours
But half the fun is trying:
Half the fun is flying…

I’ve never been a fan of long goodbyes
So let me be concise, and summarize:
The time we’ve had together, hold it dear
And though I won’t be with you, know my heart’s still here
I’m gone now: a glimmer in the sky
And someday, you’ll know the reason why:
You gave me wings to fly
Track Name: Other Side
What are you doing?
Doin’ nothin
Why do you do it?
I don’t know
What are you thinking?
Thinkin’ somethin
Try’n to decide which way to go

Maybe I’ll be a race-car driver
Build me a spaceship, sail to Mars
But that’d distract me
From doin’ nothin
Feels too fast and looks too far

But take a good look on the other side
Sure looks good on the other side

Look at those people
Doin’ somethin’
What are they doing?
I don’t know
Scrapin’ and scratchin’
All for nothin’
Thinking they’ve got some pl ace to go

And take a good look at the other side
Sure looks good on the other side

Don’t try to tell me I must do something
What would you ask me? I don’t know
I’m happy to see you
Keep on runnin’
But take a deep breath before you go

And take a good look on the other side
Sure looks good on the other side
Track Name: Junior Boy/Future Girl
Time to tell you all a little goodnight story
About Junior Boy and Future Girl
She came on back, ‘cross space and time
To tell her man what’s coming round
A little bit further down the world.
Lemme tell you:
She’s the force that’s unstoppable
He’s the object, immoveable.
So people, let the show begin…

Junior Boy says “what's with the little crooked-ass smile
You’re looking like the cat what caught the bird”.
Future Girl just laughed and said
“Baby if you seen what I saw, you’d be grinnin’ too
For now, just take me at my word.
Lemme tell you:
I’m the force that’s unstoppable
You’re the object, immoveable
So baby, let the sparks begin.

Cause even through the ups and downs
I found there was you
When the world was turned around
Behind me was you
Even when I lost my way
Beside me was you
There always was you”

“You better understand I sometimes gonna make you crazy
Lord knows you’ll drive me up the wall.
But lemme tell ya:
I got the laws of gravity
Wrapped around my finger
So take my hand, and let us fall
Cause baby, we’re the force that’s unstoppable
You’re the object immoveable
So honey, let your Future in”.
Track Name: Tell No Lies
Well, I suppose you’ll tell me
That I cannot change a thing
Well, I hear you…
Forgive me if I try to prove you wrong
Cause someone, somewhere, told me something
I don’t know who it was
Can’t remember
But it’s the thing that helps me get along

Please play fair
Tell no lies
Be good to people
Open up your eyes

Tell me that it’s complicated
Tell me I’m a child
In the real world
A nice guy’s just a sucker with a smile
And maybe there is just no room
For sentiments like these
But no matter…
At least you were distracted for a while

Please play fair
Tell no lies
Be good to people
Open up your eyes

Don’t tell me it’s impossible
I’ve walked this road before
And believe me…
I stumble far more often than I stand
But everyone believes in something
I believe in you
So come with me
And if you fall I’ll try to lend a hand

Please play fair
Tell no lies
Be good to people
Open up your eyes
Track Name: Divine The Rain
Sullen rain
Won’t leave me alone
Broken rain
Falling like the tears that fell for you
Last November
In a cold and barren hinterland
You slipped away among the ghosts
Of Admiral Byrd and Hilary

Lonely days
Drenched in soggy linen
Wrapped around me like a shroud
Careless days, and long-forgotten nights
Of scotch and supper
Stories of adventure (false and true)
The folly of our youth:
We thought we’d live forever

If only you had known
Would you have changed a single thing
About your life, and how you life you lived it?
Or is this ours to ask?
If only we had known
Would it have changed a single thing?
It’s not for us to ask:
We may as well direct the wind
We may as well divine the rain

Wanderlust was always your religion
So answer me:
Why’d you have to wander far away
Where I can’t find you?
Gone before your time, and out of time
Beyond our time, you leave us
Picking up the pieces

Year will pass
And all we’ll have is memory
But I don’t mind
Cause all that I can do is carry on
And I’ll see you
Hiding in the strangest places:
Words and phrases, picture-frames
Or maybe I will find you
In the sullen rain
Track Name: Undo Button
If I had a digitized index
In a microchip inside my home
If I had a digitized index
That could find all the stuff I own
It wouldn’t take me an hour just to find my shoes
I could file away the junk that I never use
Nothing misplaced and nothing to lose
If I had a digitized index
Everything would be squeaky-clean, oh yeah
Everything would be squeaky-clean

If I had an undo-button
Plastered to the roof of my mouth
If I had an undo button
Whenever conversation ran south
I could take back the things that I said to you
The thoughtless deeds that made you so blue
Every word that I say would be shiny and true
If I had an undo-button
You and me would be peachy-keen, oh yeah
You and me would be peachy-keen

If I had a backup system
When my processor’s had enough
If I had a backup system
Whenever things got too tough
If could have me a meltdown in the pouring rain
I could hit “restart” and it would all be the same
There’d be nothing lost, and nothing gained
If I had a backup system
Everything would be so serene, oh yeah
Everything would be so serene

But I don’t have a digitized index
So I guess I’ll keep looking for clues
An I can’t find that undo-button
So I hope that you’ll forgive and forget
Still don’t have no backup system
So I’ll have to keep this ship afloat
And I guess I’ll muddle through somehow, oh yeah
I know I’ll muddle through somehow
Track Name: There Always Was You
I guess I always had an easy ride
And when I landed I came down fast
I never was afraid of shadows
I never clamoured for the past
But then I stared into the mirror
Didn’t recognize the man that I saw
I’d finally stumbled through the looking glass
And couldn’t find my way back home

A poster child for independence
I’d always make it on my own
But when your soul is smashed to pieces
It’s the fool goes it alone
But sometimes strength must come from weakness
And letting go doesn’t mean giving in
And though I had to learn the hard way
I guess I’m wiser in the end

And even through the ups and downs
I found there was you
And when my world got turned around
Behind me was you
And when I thought I’d lost my way
Beside me was you
There always was you

I’d love to say I came out grinning
I walked through fire and came out clean
And while that looks good on the pages
It just don’t jibe with where I’ve been
But you always said I was a fighter
I never believed you, at least until now
And though I’m nursing cuts and bruises
I know that I’ll survive somehow


And even through the ups and downs
I found there was you
And when my world got turned around
Behind me was you
And when I thought I’d lost my faith
Beside me was you
There always was you


I catch myself longing for yesterday
As if the good things will never last
But how can I embrace the future
If I can’t make peace with the past?
I almost let it take the best of me
And there are days when it still might be true
But I close my eyes and I remember
And all I was
And all I am
And all I will be
Gives thanks to you.