Artist: Jackson Browne

Doctor My Eyes ~ Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne is an American rock singer-songwriter and musician. His introspective lyrics made him prominent in the Southern California confessional singer-songwriter movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Browne was born in Heidelberg, Germany, where his father, an American serviceman, was stationed. Browne’s mother, Beatrice Amanda, was a Minnesota native of Norwegian ancestry. Browne has three siblings: Roberta “Berbie” Browne who was born in 1946 in Nuremberg, Germany (Nuernberg) and Edward Severin Browne who was born in 1949 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. His younger sister, Gracie Browne, was born a number of years later.  Browne moved to the Highland Park district of Los Angeles, California, at the age of 3 and in his teens began singing folk music in local venues like the Ash Grove. He attended Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, California, graduating in 1966.

Later in 1966 Browne joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and signed a publishing contract with Nina Music. His songs were performed by Joan Baez, Tom Rush, the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, the Byrds, Steve Noonan, and others. After moving to Greenwich Village, New York, Browne was briefly in Tim Buckley’s back-up band. In 1967 Browne was romantically linked to Nico of the Velvet Underground. He was a significant contributor to her debut album, Chelsea Girl, playing guitar on several of the songs he had written (including a version of one of Browne’s earliest songwriting efforts; “These Days”). After leaving New York City, Browne formed a folk band with Ned Doheny and Jack Wilce, and settled in Southern California.

Doctor My Eyes

This is a 1972 song written and performed by Jackson Browne and included on his debut album Jackson Browne. Featuring a combination of an upbeat piano riff – accidentally found courtesy of an instrument with a broken action that Browne was writing songs on.

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Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
And the slow parade of fears without crying
Now I want to understand

I have done all that I could
To see the evil and the good without hiding
You must help me if you can

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long

‘Cause I have wandered through this world
And as each moment has unfurled
I’ve been waiting to awaken from these dreams
People go just where they will
I never noticed them until I got this feeling
That it’s later than it seems

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what you see
I hear their cries
Just say if it’s too late for me

Doctor, my eyes
Cannot see the sky
Is this the prize for having learned how not to cry

  • Audio from the 1971 album, Jackson Browne:

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Lives in the Balance ~ Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne is an American rock singer-songwriter and musician. His introspective lyrics made him prominent in the Southern California confessional singer-songwriter movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Lives in the Balance

The following video is a live acoustic featuring David Crosby, Graham Nash, and David Lindley.

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I’ve been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headline
and the sound of the crowd in my ear
You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you’ve seen it before
Where a government lies to her people
And a country is drifting to war

And there’s a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places
Where their business interests run

On the radio talk shows and the T.V.
You hear one thing again and again
How the U.S.A. stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend
But who are the ones that we call our friends–
These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can’t take any more
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone
And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

There’s a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
Where we can’t even say their names

They sell us the President the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us everything from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they’re never the ones to fight or to die
And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

  • Audio from the 1986 album, Lives in the Balance:

album-lives-in-the-balance
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Running on Empty ~ Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne is an American rock singer-songwriter and musician. His introspective lyrics made him prominent in the Southern California confessional singer-songwriter movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Running on Empty

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Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
In ’65 I was seventeen and running up 101
I don’t know where I’m running now, I’m just running on

Running on – running on empty
Running on – running blind
Running on – running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive
In ’69 I was twenty-one and I called the road my own
I don’t know when that road turned onto the road I’m on

Running on – running on empty
Running on – running blind
Running on – running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Everyone I know, everywhere I go
People need some reason to believe
I don’t know about anyone but me
If it takes all night, that’ll be all right
If I can get you to smile before I leave

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don’t know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
I look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

Running on – running on empty
Running on – running blind
Running on – running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Honey you really tempt me
You know the way you look so kind
I’d love to stick around but I’m running behind
You know I don’t even know what I’m hoping to find
Running into the sun but I’m running behind

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