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  1. Boy Genius

From the recording Red Beet Records - 2008


(Peter Cooper) Well Known Music/SESAC/admin. by BUG Music

I remember steel guitar legend Lloyd Green smiling right before he played his part on this in the studio. And I remember smiling right after he started playing his part. When I gave the song to Lloyd, it opened with “strum, strum, strum.” When he finished with it, it opened with “da da da DAH DAH,” and it had a wondrous solo and an ending like nothing I’d ever heard. “This is a pretty fabulous song I wrote,” I remember thinking. “And producing records is kind of a snap.”

As for the lyrics… Imagine gifted former youngster Ryan Adams waking up one bleary late morning, opening up a magazine and realizing that the Bright Eyes kid exists in the world. And then there’s the FEMA fellow – the guy the president put in charge of emergency management – who heard one day about a mighty storm and realized he wasn’t going to be able to coast through his federal appointment. And then there’s me, who has more in common with those people than I’d normally like to admit. I’d have taken that FEMA gig and screwed it up, too. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. And, man, that’s plenty.


When the boy genius looked in the mirror
Boy genius didn’t like what he saw
He thought, “The genius thing is somewhat in question
And now I’m not looking like a boy at all”
He had gray hairs poppin’ at the temples
Gray half moons under his red eyes
Somewhere resting in a feather bed
Was another boy genius with a new surprise

Oh Lord, don’t let ‘em find me
Oh Lord, don’t let ‘em find me
Oh Lord, don’t let ‘em find me out

The big chief called his old buddy
Said, “Mike, I got a job for you.
I know you’ve messed up, hey we all mess up
But this is nothing hard to do.
Man, you get a six-figure salary, big leather chair
Starched shirts and sweet silk ties.”
Michael knew he could jive his way through
If the Good Lord was willing and the creeks didn’t rise

Oh Lord, don’t let ‘em find me
Oh Lord, don’t let ‘em find me
Oh Lord, don’t let ‘em find me out

Pretty sure that we can fool them for a week or two
Maybe we can fool them for a year
Maybe we can fool them for the rest of our lives
But… I don’t know

Was that the whole dam busting or just another leak
Is that a fine antique or just past the peak
Is that a blush of shame or a rosy cheek
Is that a foolproof system or a lucky streak
We got dark sunglasses and push-up bras
Control-top pantyhose and probable cause
We are breaking the bank, we are breaking the laws
We are basking in the glow of polite applause

And singin’ “Oh Lord, don’t let ‘em find me
Oh Lord, don’t let ‘em find me
Oh Lord, don’t let ‘em find me out”
Don’t let ‘em find me out
Don’t let ‘em find me out