Say No

(Lyrics and music: Arne Erdmann © 2016)

For William Tonou-Mbobda – Say his name and say no!

We‘ll increase your income and your flexibility

give a boost to your mind and your creativity

your work will be productive, efficient and exact

you‘ll succeed if you follow the instructions it‘s a fact

Thank you for your offer, but I‘ll have it my own way

more efficiency is just stressing my day

I already work my ass off, that‘s what I say

and if I‘m more productive, for me it doesen‘t pay

the profit takes the company to Cayman Islands Bay

I say No – say No

Whatever kind of problem is bothering you

we can solve it, we can fix it, give back your life to you

we can change familiar patterns, that cause your suffering

just let go of your past, that‘ll change quite everything

This is very kind of you, you want to help I see

but my patterns help my friends to recognize it‘s me

and my past is holding me like roots are holding trees

suffering is part of me and it will always be

an ever happy person is someone who cannot feel

I say No – Say No

Your disease has a name we can call to keep it down

but you should not tell the people, when you go into town

we have pills, we have skills, we have means to set you free

you should do what you‘re told, it will work out, you will see

You offer to be my guide with your helping hand

and I would like to follow you, but I‘m afraid I can‘t

there‘ all kind of different people all across the land

and different it is not sick, you must understand

that you can call me names you like, but my life‘s in my hands

I say no – say No

If you are not compliant and refuse to work with us

you‘re a danger to yourself and in you we cannot trust

we will have to fix a needle, it is just for your own good

we will tie you down, sedate you, we‘re the masters, understood?

It is nice to have someone to tell me what I need

because I‘m a bit confused about the pills you feed

you say I can‘t find my way out there in the streets

and for more experience, you must imprison me

I don‘t see how I improve social and living skills

by lying on a bed totally stoned by your nice pills

you improve society, cause it‘s quiet and still

instead of fighting madness, you do fight against the will

I believe I‘m quite ok, but your system is ill

I say No – say No

Für Otto Werchan (1907-1963)

Otto Werchan wurde von den Nazis im KZ Buchenwald inhaftiert, weil er deren politischer Gegner war. Er wohnte in Forst / Lausitz, dort hat auch meine Großmutter gelebt, deren Geburtsname Charlotte Erika Werchan war.



You’re brave and strong, you know right from wrong

you have a loving heart and you’re awfull smart


I like what you think in the evening, I like what you say in the morning

you shine so bright you beam out the sunshine, I hear your voice and I feel fine




When you laugh my worries are gone, I like your wit and I like your tone

I like your wisdom, I like your style, your independence and your smile




I like your curiosity, I like the way you stand and fight

I adore your crazyness, I love your weakness and your might




You forgive me when I’m mean, you accept and understand,

when I’m drunk you let me in, you love me and stay my friend




You’re an image in my mind, that’s why you’re so hard to find

noone real compares to you, you are perfect, but not true



You’re in a song, that is not wrong

it’s half the truth and your the proof


© lyrics and music: Arne Erdmann 2016

Double Bind

A                                   D                                E

You treat me like a jojo, first you pull and then you push

you reveal a secret, then you hide behind a bush

you got me so confused, I don’t know where I stand

I’m drifting in an ocean while I’m standing on the land


Chorus (2x)

double bind, double bind, It’s a crying shame

at the same time freezing ice and burning flame


I feel like a puppet that is hanging on your string

making funny movements that don’t lead to anything

would you be so kind and at least write me a plot

so I can act with sense, not like an uncontrolled robot


Chorus (2x)

double bind, double bind, It’s a crying shame

it makes freedom and enslavement seem the same


since I fell in love with you we’re playing tit for tat

like we did in school except our playground is not flat

it has four dimensions and the rules change all the time

I give up, surrender, I can’t make our poem rhyme


Chorus (2x)

double bind, double bind, It’s a crying shame

I have been a part of it before you came


© Arne Erdmann 2016


I was lost in the wilderness, wondering which way to go

I heard the call of one lone voice guiding me on my way

and this is what it said to me:

Don’t ask what your kangaroo can do for you

Ask what you can do for your kangaroo

Your kangaroo is always strong, it helps when you don’t get along

inside its bag it’s safe and warm, no enemy can do you harm

your kangaroo is very strong, it’s always right and never wrong

just follow him and you will see delicious eucalyptus trees

Don’t ask what your kangaroo can do for you

Ask what you can do for your kangaroo

It jumps and hops where you must walk, decides and acts where you would talk

don’t you worry, with its power it let’s peace and freedom flower

Don’t ask what your kangaroo can do for you

Ask what you can do for your kangaroo

And when the day comes and you find there are some others of its kind

be assured its kicks and punches safe your eucalyptus lunches

Don’t ask what your kangaroo can do for you

Ask what you can do for your kangaroo

(lyrics and music: © Arne Erdmann 2016)

One too many goodbyes


Lyrics: © Arne Erdmann  2015

Music: Bob Dylan


I can see it in your eyes, I can hear it in your voice

I will stay and you will leave, we both have no choice

It seems I am collecting farewells of this kind

I am one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind


I will sit a long time watching the space where you have been

reconstructing my mistakes, your beauty and my sin

but then I’ll get exhausted ‚cause truth I will not find

I am one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind


Time may tell from a distance that I’m not really bad

just unsteady, too resistant and a little bit too sad

you’ll distinguish my deeds from the pictures in your mind

but you’ll be one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind


as my memory is fading and you’re swallowed by the past

remain two things I remember and I know that they will last

how my doubts led into darkness and your smile used to shine

I am one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind




Big world, short life

Big world, short life

I was born in kentucky, no stars did shine that night

though I was red and shrinkled, I was my fathers pride

My parents were old-fashioned, they told me all the rules

they told me ‚bout Jesus passion and that smoking was for fools


It’s a big world and it’s hard to get along

I got no map, but I got to carry on

It’s a short life and there is so much to do

I wish I knew when I’m coming home to you

I couldn’t stand the reading, so I cheated on the tests

I felt like I had left schools much wiser than the rest

My dad sent me to collage, I tried to meddle through

I failed to gain some knowledge, but I managed to meet you


The first three years were happy, our first boy born in may

your father bought the house that my wages should pay

my boss was a control freak and made me work too hard

the sex became a habit and our love just fell apart


The eldest of our sons is already in jail

they all call it bad luck, I say his father’s failed

I lost all my possessions gambling out in town

No college for my children, I had to let them down


Now I have two jobs, at least they pay the rent

so that our four dear children don’t have to sleep in tents

I have to stay out long though, our daughter used it well

she had a dozen boys until her belly swelled


You left early this morning with the suitcase and the car

and all that you have left me was a swearword and a scar

and I can’t even blame you ‚cause I betrayed you twice

but swearwords in front of children, that wasn’t very nice


© lyrics/music by Arne Erdmann 2015

Inner Struggle Blues

Inner Struggle Blues brandnew

D                                                                   C

I stand in the supermarket, wondrin‘ what to buy

D                                                   C      G          D

choosin‘ half an hour between the peas and the pie


D                                                                           C

Every day is a competition, every day is a running race

D                                                      C         G  D

every day is a competition between me and myself

I’m glad that I stopped smokin‘ and traded it for my bike

I couldn’t stand the choosin‘ between camel and lucky strike

You might say at least I quit and decided to get old

but I’m not sure if staying fit or a young death might be bold


I may swear to never leave you and mean it from my heart

while wishing deep inside me to make a brandnew start

Sometimes the boy inside me, sometimes the old man wins

but then for sure the woman the battle new begins

I’m thinking about me moving, can’t stand this bloody town

but the country makes me sick and the big city brings me down


Now that you heard my story, please tell me what to do

I don’t know which to put on first my left or my right shoe

I think there’s one solution: I should kill myself today

but shall I shoot or hang myself, which is the proper way?

there’s something I must tell you, you’re going straight to hell

‚cause I must choose between two rhymes to finish this song well


This song was a competition, this song was a running race

this song was a competition between me and myself.

© Arne Erdmann, Am Grün 42, 35037 Marburg,