Over the last year I have been recording song ideas on my ukulele into my phone and including the odd uke demo on my new releases.

Often I liked those demos as much, if not more, than the finished song.

So with this release I took 16 demos, some serious, some silly, some fun, all of which were recorded on my phone and, in some cases, added some extra instruments and in some cases left them naked.

In the case of "Take This Shortcut With Me" I had recorded some subway drumming on my phone, in New York's Union Sq station, I looped that and played the song, into my phone, of course, over the top of it.

The result, I hope, is a rough and ready, joyful and engaging experience.


released July 7, 2016

All songs written, recorded and produced by Jon Cross

Except the drums on "Take This Shortcut with Me" that was by two enterprising subway buskers in Manhattan.



all rights reserved
Track Name: The Little Things
Everyone has their problems
Each and every one of us
Every one of us
Love the way you want
Live the way you can
Disappear in a cloud of dust
A cloud of dust

Need to take a break
To break the need
It's close to breaking
With each passing day
The sounds of nature
And man combined
The sounds of you sleeping
As the birds and branches sway

Collect your breath, ready yourself
It's all about balance
It's all about the little things
The little things
Leave the ladder well alone
Who really needs the height
Always wait to see what the morning brings
The morning brings

Collapse the stars between your eyelids
Wait shy and still by the front door
It's a crisp clear night out in the suburbs
But you still don't know what people move there for
Track Name: Nothing Better
I've been down amongst the warehouses
Where the city parks the buses
And the Chinese take out food stocks are kept
And I want to walk the roads with you
Take photos of graffiti
You're the only partnership I will accept

We can hide out at the back of a bus
Till the dusk sets in
I will kiss you all afternoon
And we'll change all the numbers on the schedules
And re hire all they've let go
And we will run this city soon

Nothing better than a dog on your lap
Nothing better than some strong cheese
Nothing better than a Sunday night
Nothing better than old trees
Nothing better than strange music
Nothing better than the skin on your hands
Nothing better than a midnight movie
Nothing better than someone who understands

And the police have raided JC Penny's
To get their shirts 70% off
And everyone else leaves cos they can't stand the heat
And I've eaten in worst dives than this
I think we probably all have
But I don't want to go out walking in the rain to find a place to eat

And tonight we'll be all curled up
Underneath a Brooklyn moon
Keep our fingers crossed the idiots stay away
Let's bake up trays of cookies
Let's wreck all of the bicycles
And agree that it is here we want to stay
Track Name: Wilderness
Walking in the wilderness
Someone stole my batteries
I just can't linger any longer
Hold on tight to the string
I got your back if you got the shins

Sliding down a banister
Someone hit the barrister
And we all had cupcakes
Run if you think we can make it
But don't start if you're not going to shake it

We all wound up in Stalingrad
Henry broke his trouser bag
And we all had a go on the trombone
I heard you on the am news
You were calling us all out of the blue

Wracked up quite a bill that day
We should of let the milkman pay
Barry got the diagnosis
And we all slapped him hard on the back
Stand tall till your joints all crack
Track Name: When the Wheel Stops Going Around
I see that you've got this
I see that that there's nothing I need to add
You could run this whole fairground
With every idea you just had
Up top of the ferris wheel
Every other amusement ride below
I smile in pride and awe up at you
As round and round you go

But know I'm there when the wheel stops going around
I'm standing here with both feet firm on the ground
And I've got your back and I won't make a sound
Just know I'm here when the wheel stops going around

And sometimes this world is more like the carousel
Head is all jumbled and which way you're going you just cannot tell
And sometimes I'm just a blur out of reach that you can't make out
And sometimes it takes a few goes round to understand what it's all about

Let's take it all out on the rifle range
We've been to the hall of mirrors where everyone looks strange
Sometimes You're the strong man and sometimes you're the clown
But I'm always there when the wheel stops going round

The band says life is a carnival and I agree
But you can go on every ride and to every stall with me
Your hand in mine, I'm always at your side
Sometimes I'm the guest sometimes I'm the guide
Track Name: Sticky Taco Hands
We were both just out of school
And both of us tried to play it cool
You with all your piercings and coloured hair
We'd hang out most every night
Talking rebellion over a tasty bite
But acting like we don't have a care
Your eyes were torches under thick black mascara
And I could never take my eyes off ya
We were both going to compete in battle of the bands
I was nervous about my cheap guitar
But I knew your talent would take you far
Playing drums in Sticky Taco Hands

The boys would ask me what I saw in you
But they were just jealous and stupid too
You were everything in your Cure T-Shirt
We made plans to run away
And to take the country by storm one day
To shout at the sky and kick some dirt
I'd come and watch you rehearse
Everyone else was a hundred times worse
I could spend the rest of my life in the stands
Cheering for you every night
The rhythms and music nice and tight
When you played drums for Sticky Taco Hands

Then came the day when you fell ill
And my whole world came to a stand still
No rich adventures and love for you and me
I visited you every single day
All your favourite 45s we would play
Until the nurses told us off repeatedly
Your second to last night we escaped to the roof
Tried that drink that was 80% proof
Lay under the stars and talked of future plans
Now I'm alone and that I can't fix
You left me the memories and a pair of sticks
From when you played drums for Sticky Taco Hands
Track Name: King of the Long Walks
It's not my country
It's not my place
It's not my job to wipe that look
Off your face
Or to point out each
And every one of your mistakes
I'm just the long walker
King of the long walks

It's not my weather
It's not my chase
Im not the one who has to
Rest their case
Don't look to me for answers
Your admiration is misplaced
I'm just a long walker
King of the long walks

Doesn't matter to me
If under foot
Is grass or concrete
I've walked the cities
I've roamed the hills
You'll find me deep inside the Forrest
Not going to be one of those fools
Hanging from your window sills

This is not my office
This is not my home
I'm not the one
Who's never off his phone
I always wear a hat
Because I've never owned a comb
I'm the long walker
King of the long walks
Track Name: Your Days Are Numbered
Miss the marionette
The trumpet playing ghost
The large trouser wearing colonel
Has abandoned his post
Fitness hipsters on the run
And the weather can't decide
Alan get your gun
Let the smiling be your guide

I've seen a lot of costumes
On the downtown 6 train
There's one in every pack
That's driving you insane
We smoked a bag of peanuts
We fired off a letter
You can break almost every desk
Nothing's getting any better

Pale faced commuter
Do you care
That your days are numbered
Do you fight off the decay
Is there more for you to say
White faced suit sir
Do you wonder
If now will be the time
Stand up with no delay
Put that ignorance on display

Cauliflower eared priest
Nothing's left to sell
Barking back at bankers
This street has gone to hell
And in the corridors of biscuits
The music teacher strike
Wafts of stale memories
Protestors at the mic

Pale faced dictator
Do you care
That your days are numbered
All you bring is decay
No one wants what you have to say
Track Name: Take this Shortcut with Me
I'm the miles and miles of woodland
Between the houses and the highway
Bright green amongst the mist
Trees plump with rain let’s make it my way
Take this shortcut with me

I’m the lines in your headlights
I’m the horizon on the sand
I’m the wet air that never leaves you
I’m the rockabilly radio playing your favourite band
Take this shortcut with me

Rogers lake liquor shop on route 1
Fill up the gas at Irving
I’d travel anywhere you want to go
I’ve never met anyone more deserving
keep your head straight, keep your hands tight
stop the car from swerving
I know a shortcut
I know a place
I know that amazing
look on your face
with my fingers
your forehead I traced
and saw your lips at the corners curving
take this shortcut with me

I’m the miles and miles of telephone line
snaking between the bobbing leaves
I’m the glistening black asphalt
and every tire it receives
Take This Shortcut with me

Grab a bite at Jimmy’s Diner
fuel us up and fuel the car
I’d travel anywhere you want to go
nowhere is too far
stick a pin in a map
find adventure in the bizarre
I'll know a shortcut
I'll know a place
I know that amazing
look on your face
with my fingers
your forehead I traced
I’ve found all I’ll ever need deep in your arms
take this shortcut with me
Track Name: Personality, Guts, Luck, Money & Patience
Hearts not in it
Wanna leave
But the world's still waiting
Wanna breathe
Wanna walk
And I could talk but
You don't want to talk
Can't remember the last time you broke a sweat
Sad to know your life's so easy to forget

Let the piano play
A few doors away
Let the train rattle on
Let this city
Bare it's teeth
Kicked so hard
Like that first shot of spiced rum
It can be sweet to be this numb

Who is it that wants to work hard
It only gets you so far
You need the personality, the guts, the luck
Money and patience. That's just the start.

Give me somewhere where I'm left alone
I'll do what's asked of me, no complaint
But they keep stabbing till the blood pours from this stone
And the reasoning gets lost, grows faint.

Can you lose everything?
Let the bell ring
It's last orders somewhere
The whole bar stripped bare
Scare me into submission
No need for permission
I'll go quietly officer
There's nothing left to do
But officer you won't go quietly
Will you?
Track Name: The Day After Prom
She was the queen and I was the king
For her I would've done anything
She wanted the world and all I got her was a ring
And she left me the day after the prom

It wasn't so bad growing up round here
The mornings were bright the evenings were clear
And you could get just about anything for one glass of beer
But she left me the day after the prom

She pulled out my drive in her 58 corvette
The road in her eyes, her hair still wet
I didn't go with her, that decision I regret
But some legs just weren't made for roaming

I still live and still work in this ramshackle town
I try not to let the past grind me down
I hope what she was looking for, she eventually found
And she left me the day after the prom

I picture her sometimes, the country stretched out in front
Some people just live for the thrill of the hunt
And I hope that she's happy and has all that she wants
But some legs just weren't made for roaming
Track Name: Where All Points Tip
I've worn this nerve down to piano wire
Thin and tight like one of the high notes
Every second with my veins on fire
A scream working its way to the base of my throat

I am anxious and frustrated in a bustling crowd
I'm restless and sad when I'm alone
My insides a trash compactor so I don't say it aloud
My outsides a solemn painting in an empty home

How do you all do this
Every day
How do each and every one of you not flip
I can barely contain the rushing water and fire
As I'm running away from where all points tip
And it turns out less and less soothes me
And it turns out I care less and less
And it turns out you should probably remove me
Before we're all waist high in my mess

I'm done with all this repetition
And this place is not what it was
I feel a mixture of upset and indigestion
Nothing to fight when there's no hope and no cause

I've worn my system down to the bone
Uncomfortable in my own skin
Like a cheap T shirt that you've finally outgrown
And your patience is wearing thin
Track Name: All About Me Loving You
Start out crawling
In the dark on your hands and knees
Learn to say thank you
Learn to say please
Learn to fear the wind
But love the breeze
It's not all in the day's work you do
Sometimes it's just about me loving you

Learn to read
Learn to write
Learn to feed
And learn to fight
Learn to deal with the day
And embrace the night
It's not all in the pay check that they're giving you
Sometimes it's all about me loving you

Got a roof over our head
Got a decent queen sized bed
Got the things they say you need
We'll never let them see us bleed
And we both stick our feet in a comfortable shoe
But none of that matters above me loving you

Start to walk tall
Start to figure it out
Sometimes you want to laugh
Scream or shout
And you hate the ignorance
Cos there's enough of it about
It's not in trying to emulate the wealthy few
It's all about me loving you
Track Name: Someone Waiting In The Wings #2
It's a lovely day
Go outside
Take this big old world
For a ride
Feel what you like
But keep it inside
It'll be alright
You'll be alright

Close your mouth
Open your ears
Never let the cheap seats
See your fears
And you'll feel fit to burst
After so many years
But it'll be alright
You'll be alright

There will be a view
To take your breath away
There'll be cold salt waters
To clean your wounds
There will come a time
Everyone gets their day
There'll be someone waiting in the wings
To put all the air in your balloons

No one likes arrogance
No one likes a snitch
After every one good scratch
There'll be another itch
And you won't always have a needle
When you lose a stitch
But it'll be alright
You'll be alright

There will be a moment
That leaves you speechless
There will be places
Where you'll leave your heart
There will be paintings, poems
and moving pictures
There'll be someone shouting support from the bleachers
When it's your time to start
Track Name: Sing Sing Sing
I lived most of my life
The wrong side of the track
I don't know where I'm going
Don't know how to get back
There's a figure on my head
So they can't find me
Got my picture nailed
To an old oak tree

Gots to head right out
Past the city line
Where the livin is free
And the weather is fine
Gonna take big sip of that
Mississippi River
This wide old country
You know it'll deliver

And we'll sing sing sing
Till the day is through
And we'll sing sing sing
Till the clouds reveal the blue

I'll ride the rails
I'll find the meaning
Take the great glass elevator
Right through the ceiling
I'll make my fortune on the river boat
And spend it all again on
Sweet liquor for my throat
And I'll run for mayor of this
One horse down
Everyone could use a laugh
From this dusty old clown
I'll live out my days just barely afloat
Sand in my shoes and
Crumpled ones in my coat