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Sometimes the things you gotta do to feed your family
aren’t perfectly aligned with that which feeds your soul.
Page down for lyrics and recordings of a bunch of songs.

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/ Saturday, 6.17.2017

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D.P. Knudten
Press Kit

tattered family quilt CD cover

tattered family quilt 

now available at CDBaby.comBandCamp • iTunes/Apple Music
“D.P. makes his words&music records debut with an extremely personal look at life. As he explains in the CD’s liner notes “What started out as an attempt to finally document some of the songs I’ve written over the past 20 years turned into something entirely more personal. After recording a number of tracks with no grand album concept in mind, a pattern began to emerge: a patchwork of songs about family, places we lived (and events we lived through), and some of the people we met on the way.”

Recorded throughout 2001 at Raven Recording in Englewood, Colorado, tattered family quilt is a heartfelt, funny, and personally quirky document of what it’s like to be father and part-time poet in the early years of the 21st Century.


tattered family quilt / track #1


©2002 D.P. Knudten – all rights reserved

Sorry GBS, but youth isn’t wasted on the young.
They just don’t always know what to do with it.

      Walking You Home - D.P. Knudten

There’s no time for talking between bells
Hallway’s too crowded with rude boy yells
Thank God we live the same part of town
Can’t help but see you walking around

‘Cause I’m kind of shy, in a loud way
But I made a vow I’m keeping today
You don’t have to go, but would you say yes
To me walking you home

I like your smile, I like your eyes
Not too tall or skinny, you’re just the right size
I like your hair, even your shoes
If I could have any girl, you’re the one that I’d choose

But I’m kind of shy, in a loud way…

There’s just so much I’d like to say
Been practicing hard, most of the day

I’ve known you since third grade
Loved you since fifth
Hearing you say my name my favorite gift
Went by your house ‘bout five times today
Wherever I go, it’s right on the way

But I’m kind of shy, in a loud way…

tattered family quilt / track #2

MAY 20

©1997 D.P. Knudten – All rights reserved

Some dates mean just a little bit more than others.

      May 20 - D.P. Knudten

Crowded doorway, awkward stances
He brushes past her, stolen glances
Her hand on shoulder, change the balance
It’s got him thinking about her talents

Hold on, tightly, bumpy road tonight
Not sure, maybe, it’ll turn out right
Careful, caution, no need to jump the gun
Patience, slow down, the game’s just begun

Out for dinner, calamari
Ravioli, shared Chianti
No decisions quite advanced yet
Still uncertain, haven’t danced yet


One year later, same companions
Walk the lakeside, his her hand in
He acts nervous, but she’s unwary
He asks a question…


tattered family quilt / track #3


words and music © 1997 D.P. Knudten – all rights reserved

Chicago can be incredibly cold—and not just in February.

      18 Below Lower Wacker - D.P. Knudten

I told you once take your hand off my collar
This country’s free so just leave me alone
I know why you’re here so stop lying
Take your help, shove it hard, and go home

All I need from you is a quarter
But most times that’s just too much to give
Ain’t you read what it says in the bible
Do unto others? Then just let me live

18 below, Lower Wacker
No rent, with a view, trouble free
I am the king off this jungle
I can live of the crumbs in your cans
Below zero means more than just weather
Say you care? Well, I don’t give a damn

Pigeons talk if you know how to listen
They warn of terrors you can’t understand
Just prepare for the next conflagration
Wait and see what the devil has planned


For 2 weeks I took the pills that they gave me
Twice a day, but now I just won’t
Better fighting off demons you can see
Than to live among those that you don’t

Goddamn you I said I don’t want your coffee
But leave it there, it won’t go to waste
Yeah, I staying, I don’t care ’bout this weather
Think I’d just leave and give up my place?


tattered family quilt / track #4

Liza Jo

©2002 D.P. Knudten – all rights reserved

Yeah, you know who this is for Elizabeth.

      Liza Jo - D.P. Knudten

Come on baby, turn over for daddy

Now I got it started
Time to hit the road
Head for the highway
Got to ease my load

‘Cause I’m going up country
Gots to see my Liza Jo
Will I be welcome?
Tell the truth I don’t know

Last time I saw her
Had a little fight
She said “Boy you’re banished
to the cold and lonely night”


So fill my tank up
Check oil too
Grab me a Snickers
And a good ol’ Mountain Dew


This old four-banger
Better make this pass
Got to see my baby
Got to make it last


tattered family quilt / track #5

Right Wrong Thing

©1997 D.P. Knudten – all rights reserved

Life is all about choices. Some aren’t so easy.

      Right Wrong Thing - D.P. Knudten

One moment, she calms
Eyes closed to the world
Her lips grow a frown
Her brow starts to furrow
She captures a breath
Holds it hard against its will
She smothers her cry
And wonders still

It’s a question of potential
That never has a chance
She wonders what would happen
If she took a different stance
She curls up in silence
And tries to hide the guilt
And accepts the warm-armed offer
Of a tattered family quilt

When built for love it hurts too much
To drive that love away
And now a late night shadow
Follows hard at height of day
But trust tomorrow’s coming
And wait for hope to spring
From the bittersweet regret/relief
Of the right wrong thing

tattered family quilt / track #6

Temperance & Grace

©1997 D.P. Knudten – all rights reserved

Geography as destiny? There’s a little more to it than that.

      Temperance and Grace - D.P. Knudten

Greystones stand empty
Burnt brownstones beside
A rusted used car lot
Of windowless rides
Anonymous neighbors
Spend lives ‘gainst the wall
And seek their relief
In an unlighted hall

Tondra is clenching
The spine of her book
And walks unaware
Of her trigger tight look
Unafraid on the outside
Fear festers inside
And though a child by years
She’s got a grown woman’s pride

The greystones were once golden mansions
The brownstones kept whole families safe
Tell me, when did things change
And hope give over to pain
At the corner of Temperance & Grace

Will Henry is learning
The way to play dumb
When anger barks hard
From the end of a gun
Smarter than most
He still needs help to survive
He’s got big plans providing
He sees 18 alive

Will Henry is fighting
Some real long odds
That he can escape
Colorfast bonds
And Tondra just might raise a child
On her own
For a man’s love can grow
Long after he’s gone

The greystones were once golden mansions
The brownstones kept whole families safe
Tell me, when did things change
And hope give over to pain
At the corner of Temperance & Grace

Greystones stand empty
Burnt brownstones beside
A rusted used car lot
Of windowless rides

tattered family quilt / track #7

Cornflower Blue

©2002 D.P. Knudten – all rights reserved

They really are. And she really is.

      Cornflower Blue - D.P. Knudten

Well, I’m facing an awful tough question
Maybe you got a suggestion why
Heaven has chosen to bless me
It’s certainly out to impress me
She, hair of golden spun sunlight
Me, waking up from a dark night
Eyes, burning bright of cornflower blue

I feel stupid, I feel giddy
How’d I get a girl so pretty to look
With such love and attention
There’s really so much I could mention
Smile, a full contact expression
Mild, milk and honey complexion
Wild, how her eyes are cornflower blue

What a headache
Makes my heartache
Just how much mess
Can one girl make
See her finger, that’s me around it
I’ll never give up this love
Now I’ve found it

Extra verse (unrecorded)
I’m her daddy, she’s my baby
Old man to this little lady
Hugs from her are worth more
Than diamond
Can’t find the right word for rhyming
Girl got my heart in detention
World takes on whole new dimension
All ‘cause I love a girl with eyes
Of cornflower blue


tattered family quilt / track #8

Father Daughter Dance

©2002 D.P. Knudten – all rights reserved

Yeah, I’m not going to like this at all.

      Father Daughter Dance - D.P. Knudten

You arrive all ruddy and red
Barely the size of my hand
I can’t do much, stand next to your mom
And hold on her hand
Then they pass you, wrapped up in white
To a home in the crook of my arm
Life just got simple, my only job
Keep this baby from harm

One sudden cry, heart in my mouth
Scare your daddy to death
Sneak in late, put my hand on your back
Feel soft for your breath
A night light low, bend over the crib
Kiss the side of your head
A smile grows, a thank you to God
Wander barefoot to bed

You pull away the harder I hold
That’s only a natural thing
To me, you’ll never ever grow old
Your life a perpetual spring
Then one day, you’ll get in a car
And start a life by moving away
Will you promise me
To always save a father/daughter dance

Can’t even walk yet, and I can see
A ballerina in pink
Or a tomboy at the top of a tree
Which one do you think?
It doesn’t matter as long as you’re whole
And as happy as a girl can be
(I wonder)
Will you act just like your mom
Or will you be more like me?

You pull away the harder I hold
That’s only a natural thing
To me, you’ll never ever grow old
Your life a perpetual spring
Then one day, you’ll find room
In your heart for another man
Will you promise me
To always save a father/daughter dance

Sleepy girl, put your head on my shoulder
I will always be here

tattered family quilt / track #9

Out of the Blue

©2002 D.P. Knudten – all rights reserved

Plan all you want. Then watch life happen.

      Out of the Blue - D.P. Knudten

It happened once a summer
Both of them just walking
No destination
Best friends long as they can remember
Always sat together
When eating crackers

Then there come something
Right out of the blue
Friends turn into lovers
Bride and groom

It happened in September
A regular appointment
Just hop up here, m’am
I’d say you’re carrying another
You’re going to be a mother
And you a daddy

Always come something
Right out of the blue
I guess we made a baby
Looks like you

It happened much too sudden
Pavement wet with water
A crunch of metal
One moment both of them were talking
The next a shocking silence
Please say you can hear me

Always come something
Right out of the blue
Once two together
Then just you

tattered family quilt / track #9

Color of Love

©2002 D.P. Knudten – all rights reserved

She’s a little older now, but still my angel.

      Color of Love - D.P. Knudten

Let me sing you a story in rhythm & rhyme
Of a pearl most precious and rare
A princess in waiting, a star barely born
I sing of the beauty, Bay Claire

She came of a sudden just past evensong
Unexpected but well welcome there
A gift from her mother to this blessed man
A girl we christened Bay Claire

Oh, how I wish you could feel
How she smiles at me
Growing warm like the sun escaping a cloud
And oh, how I wish you could learn
What she’s taught me
All the tints, shades and colors of love

But she’s got a sister thinks mischief
The greatest game to play
Can’t wait to enlist her
To help turn her daddy’s hair gray


But for now she’s an angel
That fell from a cloud
And landed right in my arms
As for me it’s all over,
She’s captured my heart
I surrender to her many charms

tattered family quilt / track #11

Ten Feet Away

©2002 D.P. Knudten – all rights reserved

A little perspective goes a long way.

      Ten Feet Away - D.P. Knudten

Sittin’ watchin’, my baby talkin’
As she climbs up your dress
Now don’t you start stoppin’
I just thought I’d drop in
And found you both a mess
Well, your still my flower
Who ain’t seen a shower
Since this baby was born
Well, don’t you once worry
There’s no kind of hurry today
So both you keep playing
‘Cause I’m happy staying
And watching here ten feet away

There’s only one problem
With being so close
Sometimes you’re just too close to see
All you’ve done, all you do,
How good you are to me
Is perfectly clear, from ten feet away

It took a while for me to ask out
The woman who now is my wife
But just one dinner and I found the friend
To join me to share the same life
Most times it’s charming
But others alarming
When I got nothing to say
But anger turns softer
And then into laughter and play
When I take a breather
Give my blessings a count,
From ten feet away


I know I’m your shoulder, but I’m seven years older
Besides that I am a man
Seems we tire early from holding things in
And doing best as we can
If I should pass on I want you to go on
And live a full life everyday
But if something happens
You’re not sure you can handle, just pray
And know I’ll be with you, the same as before
But ten feet away

But I’m kind of shy, in a loud way…

Hidden track on my 2002 CD, tattered family quilt

Before He Dies

©2002 D.P. Knudten – all rights reserved

I tried.

      Before He Dies

He says I’m just like him
More sensitive than most
I think the old man’s gone insane
As words choke in my throat
Try to remember a day
I didn’t fear his voice
That I was ever good enough
That I had made the right choice

Before he dies
Before he’s gone
Before I cry
Before we’re done

I guess I’ve got a lot to say
Held sour in my soul
And claim he wouldn’t understand
Even if I told
But time is going way too fast
While he goes gray
So help me find the perfect words
And grace inside, I pray


I am so much older now
A family of my own
Now I can start to understand
The pressure’s of a home
I’ve got my own mouth’s to feed
Our own dreams to live
I hope to tell him someday
I found the strength to forgive