This Is Life

by Mike Hicks

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credits

released 25 December 2012

Written, Arranged, and Produced by Mike Hicks for Michael B. Hicks Music
Recorded, Engineered, Mixed and Co-Produced by James Waddell at Lyricanvas Studios, Nashville, TN
Mastered by Richard Dodd
Photography by Jason Jefferson
Graphic Design by Andre Miguel Mayo

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Track Name: Feels Good
"Feels Good"
Words and Music by Michael B. Hicks
Michael B. Hicks Music, BMI © 2012

Feels good to wake up in the morning and lift my hands
Breath stankin' while I'm yawning, but I woke up again
My teeth ain't perfectly straight but they get the job done
Roots feeling a little thick, hair's nappy but at least I got some

Oh...Oh...
It feels good to be alive...alive

Feels good to hit the switch and know my light bill is paid
My fridge ain't full, but I'll enjoy the sammich I made
Yes, gas is high, but at least I have a car to drive
And I don't really have nowhere to go, so I'll simply enjoy the ride

Oh...Oh...
It feels good to be alive...alive

La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La

Feels good to have some minutes to spare on my cell phone
I'll use my rollover minutes and I'll call home
My mom is well and my dad, I'm glad he is ok
When they get some extra cash, they're gonna head up this way

Oh...Oh...
It feels good to be alive...alive

It feels good
Track Name: How 'Bout You Shut Yo' Face!
"How 'Bout You Shut Yo' Face!"
Words and Music by Michael B. Hicks
Michael B. Hicks Music, BMI © 2012

Back when I was 14 in the 9th grade
Basketball was the sport I played
But all of a sudden, I woke up one day
And my desire to hoop just went away
And so I told my coach that I was through
And that God had something else for me to do
That black man looked and said, “you’s a fool"
He said, "you’ll never make it through school…”

But the next year in the 10th grade
For the most part, I made all A’s
My teacher pulled me aside just to say
That she and my coach still felt the same way
I told her that my heart was in ministry
That white woman began to laugh at me
She even went as far as to call me silly
And she said, “that’s cute, but you need a plan B”

Little did they know, I had a wonderful father
Who said, “Coach just wants you on his roster
And for that teacher, don’t even bother”
So I went on to graduate with honors
My momma told me, “continue to preach;
Keep writing, for your destiny, it can be reached”
So now I laugh and look back and say
To everybody who said I'd never make it…

Chorus:
How ‘bout you shut yo’ face!

Verse:
So to that unmarried mother to be
And that kid overlooked by society
And to that college student with all those dreams
And that frustrated kid who just wants to sing
At some point, somebody’s got to be great
Might as well be us, it’s ours to take
So join with me and politely say
When they speak the negativity...

Repeat Chorus
Track Name: Where Have Our Songs Gone?
"Where Have Our Songs Gone?"
Words and Music by Michael B. Hicks
Michael B. Hicks Music, BMI © 2012

They sang songs to help gain freedom
And now we act like we don't need them
They sang songs about injustice
But now we sing to please the public
Somebody tell me, "Where have our songs gone?"

They sang songs that brought us healing
Now our music has no feeling
They sang songs to create art
But now our music's lost its heart
Somebody tell me, "Where have our songs gone?"

Our influence remains strong
But somewhere we went wrong
Where have our songs gone?

They sang songs about the struggle
But now our music is in trouble
Track Name: Live Love (feat. Chantae Cann)
"Live Love" (Feat. Chantae Cann)
Words by Michael B. Hicks; Music by Ron Gilmore
Michael B. Hicks Music, BMI © 2012, Ron Gilmore Music, BMI
Produced by Mike Hicks & Ron Gilmore

Live love, give love
Show love and sow love
Then you'll reap love, speak love
To see love, just be love

It's the look in your best friend's eyes
The smile that they cannot hide
It's the tears of joy they cry
After a heartfelt birthday surprise
It's a lover's warm embrace
And the look upon their face
After the perfect date
They've discovered the perfect way (to)

Live love, give love
Show love and sow love
Then you'll reap love, speak love
To see love, just be love

It's the note a musician plays
Long after he walks off stage
It's dancing the night away
As a means to simply escape
It's bowing five times a day
To meditate or to pray
It's two hands that are raised
To the sky in sincere praise

Live love, give love
Show love and sow love
Then you'll reap love, speak love
To see love, just be love

Love cares, love shares
Love's there when all hope is gone
Love won't leave you alone, oh no
Love feels, love heals
Love's real and Love never fails
Yes, love always prevails
That's love
Track Name: I Just Need You
"I Just Need You"
Words and Music by Michael B. Hicks
Michael B. Hicks Music, BMI © 2012

I haven't felt like this in a while
I thought that you should know
That all it takes to make me smile
Is to hear you say, "hello"
I don't need expensive gifts
Nor poetry with exquisite rhymes
'Cause you give my heart a lift
With a little bit of your time

I'm such a lucky fella
You make my worst days better
If it's you and me together
No need for all the extra

'Cause I just need you
I just need you
I just need you
I just need you

I don't need a fancy restaurant
Nor a romantic trip to France
Babygirl, all that I want
Is to simply hold your hand
I don't need to have caviar
Nor a glass of vintage wine
Because a late night ride in my car,
A coke, a conversation will do just fine

I'm such a lucky fella
You make my worst days better
If it's you and me together
No need for all the extra

'Cause I just need you
I just need you
I just need you
I just need you

I don't mean to sound complicated
I don't want my love to go understated
Next to you, those things are overrated
Your company alone keeps me elated...and elevated

I'm such a lucky fella
You make my best days better
If it's you and me together
No need for all the extra

'Cause I just need you
I just need you
I just need you
I just need you
Track Name: Better For You
"Better For You"
Words and Music by Michael B. Hicks
Michael B. Hicks Music, BMI © 2012

I may pray almost everyday
And I try to live life the right way
I like to try to buy you nice gifts
But every now and then, I'm kind of hit and miss

I make sure that the bills are paid
But every now and then, I may be a day late
And when it comes to sticking to the plan
I try to do the best that I can

I want to be better...better...better...in all that I do
I want to be better...better...better...better for you

I like to show you how much I care
Although sometimes I'm nonchalantly there
And I like to stay on top of everything
But sometimes I'm surprised by what life brings
And your feelings I'm dying to know
But every now and then I miss the little signs that you show
And though I really hate to see you cry
It hurts even worse when the blame is all mine

I want to be better...better...better...in all that I do
I want to be better...better...better...better for you
Track Name: I Want You Back
"I Want You Back"
Words and Music by Michael B. Hicks
Michael B. Hicks Music, BMI © 2012

I want you back, I need you back...I want you back, I need you back
I want you back, I need you back...I want you back, I need you back
I want you back, I need you back...do I keep on singing?
I want you back, I need you back

As a kid, I had a different mind state
I was cool and all, but I could never relate to my peers
Because amidst all of the tears at the basketball games, you were there
You were always on time--you were the first in line to shake my hand
You were the perfect example of a man and I was your biggest fan
It was like you could do no wrong
The records you played at home became my favorite songs
We always got along and I was proud to say that my daddy was never gone

But then, the roots of things started to fall apart
An unforeseen divorce--it broke my heart
And it was like somebody pressed reset and caused life to restart when you remarried
No, I wasn't happy, but we tried to make it work
Your friends became jerks, you quit preaching at church
And I knew that it hurt
It was never the same, you tried, but your priorities began to change
And not to throw blame, but things quickly got a little strange

And dad, I won't lie...I won't sit here and deny that I became really bitter
It wasn't your wife--I didn't have too many issues with her
I had a problem with us--well, the sudden lack thereof
See, you were at her boy's concerts, but not at mine
And even as a man, I wished that you would make the time
And I was done making an effort at all
But my girl (who you've not met yet) said I should call
I find it hard to do, so in reaching out to you, I put it on wax
'Cause I want you back, I need you back

I've always wanted an opportunity to tell the whole world exactly what you mean to me
And though I downplay it kind of subtly,
Let's not overlook the fact that now I've been overseas
And when I get love for what I do here and abroad
I'ma always think of you and thank God
But pride and pain are so hard to juggle
Which makes calling you a harder struggle
See, you're the reason for all that I have and now you're all that I lack
And I want you back...dad, I need you back
So I keep on singing
Track Name: Debt/Sallie
"Debt/Sallie"
Words and Music by Michael B. Hicks
Michael B. Hicks Music, BMI © 2012

I received an ovation at the '05 graduation
It was a celebration of my matriculation
But I made an observation that caused me much frustration
So about this revelation I'll render this proclamation
We equate our education to overpriced information
A job with long duration is our justification
But after much perspiration due to financial obligation
Debt is my habitation, searching for an occupation

I borrowed money to go to school, I went to school to make money
But how I use that money is kind of funny, but I'm not laughing
'Cause I worked hard for it and now I can't enjoy it
'Cause more money--I owe it, and I'm wondering how that happened

It's financial incarceration with limited visitation
It's a jacked up situation--an unbalanced equation
Hopefully articulation will clear up speculation
Like most folks in our nation, I was sitting in a congregation
Where Biblical misinterpretation and religious indoctrination
Caused faulty application and self condemnation
But I found liberation through personal adaptation
Christ purchased my salvation...I'm talkin' 'bout reconcilation

A different kind of debt did I owe, no amount of seed that I could sow
Could cause enough fruit to grow to buy me life again
It was the grace of God alone, He called me as His own
Was lost, but now I'm home, no longer indebted to my sin

So I'm free...debt free

I went to high school in a small town, college in a small city
Where I met this girl named Sallie...Sallie was really pretty
Nobody warned me that Sallie could be really sadiddy
The way she flirted with me was really kind of witty
See Sallie looked up my address and she sent me a letter
She said she really like me and she wanted us to be together
And so we started strong and it just kept getting better
Sallie would always buy me things, and I would always let her
See, Sallie's of a different mold, she's a different type
Her charm had me in a hold, and she held on tight
I asked her, "…school is costly, but i should finish right?"
She said, "I got you covered, go do what you like…
You wanna go to school? Then I support you, Mike…
You wanna shoot for the stars? I'll help you take flight."
She'd always bring me the sweetest bread--I'd take a bite
My graduation cap and gown was her favorite sight
And once I graduated, Sallie started acting funny
I looked her in the eye and asked, "Sallie, what's wrong, Honey?
My future looks bright, our sky--it looks sunny…"
She said, "we're finished, Mike…and now I want my money…
A future for us? Little interest…
I hooked you up & you talkin' 'bout you been blessed…
Remember when we met…and that letter I sent?
Next time, boy don't forget to read the fine print."

Sallie Mae

Sallie, may I take this time to tell you that I don't want you no more...
Track Name: Chasing The Skyline (feat. Kyle Sapp)
"Chasing the Skyline"
Words and Music by Michael B. Hicks
Michael B. Hicks Music, BMI ©2012

A mind still rooted in southern ways
Talking with a southern drawl, walking at a southern pace
And with shoes still soiled from the southern Georgia clay
He looks out into this new city

Though daunting his endeavor seems
He fights the appeal of those clever schemes
It's the opening scene from his favorite dream
And the bright lights make the night pretty

He wonders what he might find
Under those billboard signs
He hopes to be treated kind
By the four corners of these times

He's chasing the skyline

The noise of excitement's a deafening sound
Not a thing here reminds him of his small hometown
He's on top of the world as he travels underground
He's fulfilled, yet he's hungry for more

He's clueless as to what lies ahead
Sees the dirt and the grime, calls it beauty instead
He dismisses the horror stories he's read
He longs for whatever is in store

He wonders what he might find
Under those billboard signs
He hopes to be treated kind
By the four corners of these times

He's chasing the skyline
Track Name: Living For Better Days
"Living For Better Days"
Words and Music by Michael B. Hicks
Michael B. Hicks Music, BMI © 2012

People passing over the bridge he sleeps under
A night time symphony is heard of steady rain, gentle thunder

He looks up to the sky and he begins to cry
Another lonely night...he's asking God, "why?"

But then his crying turns into laughing
He realizes that life--it happens to the best of us
And surely the rest of us
Embracing his ups, facing the downs
A hopeful frown replacing his frown
He's living for better days, when it will no longer be this way
He's living for better days

Slowly time passes along...he works for the lowest wage
He can't afford to keep his lights on...so the moon lights up his place

He looks up to the sky and he begins to cry
Another lonely night...he's asking God, "why?"

But then his crying turns into laughing
He realizes that life--it happens to the best of us
And surely the rest of us
Embracing his ups, facing the downs
A hopeful frown replacing his frown
He's living for better days, when it will no longer be this way
He's living for better days

Several years have now gone by...he's made it through his rough times
He is now enjoying life with his wife and children by his side

He looks up to the sky and with joy, he begins to cry
No more lonely nights...he closes his eyes

And then his crying turns into laughing
He realizes that life--it happens to the best of us
And even the rest of us
Embracing his ups, facing the downs
A hopeful frown replacing his frown
He's living in better days, and it wasn't always this way
He's living in better days
Track Name: Runnin'
"Runnin'"
Words and Music by Michael B. Hicks
Michael B. Hicks Music, BMI © 2012

It's like, the closer I get to You...the further away I seem to feel...
And regardless of the good I do, for some reason I just can't be fulfilled
'Cause when I finally seem to get a grip, I tend to stop looking for more
And I find myself starting to slip further from You than I was before...

So I've learned to keep runnin', runnin', chasin', chasin' after you...


Even when I lift my hands in praise...and I lift my voice to tell You "thanks"
I run down Your list of names, but my routine seems to push You further away...
So I say "I bless You, adore You, and magnify Your holy Name..."
But my list of verbs just seems to bore You; my worship is lifeless, and it all sounds the same...

So I've learned to keep runnin', runnin', chasin', chasin' after you...

I'd much rather catch You...knowing that in You I'll find rest...
Than to stop chasing after You...and surely lose my Breath...

So I've learned to keep runnin', runnin', chasin', chasin' after You...
Track Name: Song Of The Singapore Sun
Thousands of miles between us
Yet my eyes only see you
The separation makes it seem tough
And I'm glad these days are few

Convinced that we'll be just fine
Joyful thoughts occupy my mind
And of these visions, dawn is bringing more
As I watch the sun rise in Singapore

The heat spikes as the day progresses
And as I walk down foreign streets,
Thinking of love, my mind obsesses
The stress reflected in misguided feet

Hoping that we'll be just fine
Nervous thoughts invade my mind
And the rays of noon are beaming more
As I feel the sun hover in Singapore

I'm wondering if the sun is a sign
Illuminating the difference of times
Seems that we're on divided paths
The hours removed put you in my past

I sit contemplating at Merlion Park
As dusk slowly draws near
My hope fades into the dark
Giving way to my deepest fear

Doubtful that we'll be just fine
Uneasy thoughts linger in my mind
And the bells of change are ringing more
As I watch the sun set in Singapore
Track Name: This Is Life
"This Is Life"
Words and Music by Michael B. Hicks
Michael B. Hicks Music, BMI © 2012

It was last Friday, I had just gotten paid
I worked overtime, the only thing on my mind
Was that my girl and I--we were going on a date
But on my way home, something kind of felt wrong
My car started shaking and the noise it was making
Told me that my chance of a date at 8 was gone

And very timely, a car pulled up behind me
The headlights--they would blind me
The driver spoke so kindly
With a voice that I soon recognized, standing right before my eyes
To my delight and to my surprise
My girl told me to hop inside

It's the upside of the downs, the smiles that chase the frowns
It's just life...This is life
It's the joyful type of pain, watching the sun run from the rain
It's just life...This is life

One morning some time ago, traffic was moving really slow
My schedule was tight, and I was losing the fight
Caught by every light, annoyed with the radio
Nobody cared that I was in a rush, I beeped the horn, but clearly it wasn't enough
After being a jerk, I called into work
Expecting the bossman to yell, to gripe and fuss

He said he knew why I was late, I had so much on my plate
It nearly took my breath away when he had something else to say
I asked, "What do you need to say boss? Am I about to get laid off?"
He said, "No man, you're way off...you've already asked for today off!"

It's the upside of the downs, the smiles that chase the frowns
It's just life...This is life
It's the joyful type of pain, watching the sun run from the rain
It's just life...This is life

It's the good and it's the bad...this is life; yes, it's life
It's happy and the sad...this is life; yes, it's life
It's the ins and the outs...this is life; yes, it's life
Rest assured, you'll have some doubts...it's all a part of life

It's the upside of the downs, the smiles that chase the frowns
It's just life...This is life
It's the joyful type of pain, watching the sun run from the rain
It's just life...This is life