Oh Mama - plus!

Oh Mama - plus!

by Kristin Lems

Released 2000
Carolsdatter Productions
Released 2000
Carolsdatter Productions
The original "best hits" of Kristin Lems, released on vinyl in 1978, with 3 new bonus tracks.
The original home of "Mammary Glands" and many other classic tunes!
  • 00:31 Story Lyrics Chicago Calypso

    Chicago Calypso

    Words and music by KristinLems

    ©1979,1983, 2002, 2014


    I’m going back to Chicago, he place where I belong

    Well I might be gone tomorrow but today I’ll sing this song

     I’m going back to my mama, I love her, yes I do

    She’ll see I’ve changed a lot this year, and I’m sure that she has too.

    1. The clouds over Iceland were whiter than the snow

    And in the deserts of Iran, all the oil flares did glow

    Well I’ve seen sandy white beaches, and Caribbean blue

    But in the end, I’ll always wend my way back home to you


    2. I’ve seen museums and markets, walked barefoot by the shore

    Well I’ve heard street songs and sweet songs and I’d like to hear them more

     I’ve eaten snails, squid, and couscous and things that had no name

    But children everywhere I go seem to always laugh the same.


    3. Some they acted kindly and others treated me bad

    I’ll always remember all the good times that I had

    I’ve spoken French, Dutch and Persian, learned the language of the hands

    But at heart I’m just a local girl, come from Chicagoland!


    second verse on Oh Mama-plus! Edition only

  • 02:39 Lyrics Not Yet

    When I think of all the things that you meant to me

    It doesn’t seem right to say goodbye

    Something young is growing wings, some feeling you sent to me

    And it will never, never never say die

    And it will never, never never say die


    So don’t say our love almost was

    Despite how discouraged you may get

    You just keep a little faith because

    It might have only been a not yet, y’know

    It might have only been a not yet.


    We may have previous little chance to pursue our dreams

    But still we carry them along

    Life calls the tune and we must dance, are you what you seem?

    Is love the singer, singer, singer or the song

    Is love the singer, singer, singer of the song?


    It didn’t take too long  to feel that I care for you

    But too little time to be shown

    It may be new but it is real, your eyes wear it too

    Let’s keep it going, going, going, watch it grow

    Let’s keep it going, going, going, watch it grow


  • 05:00 Story Lyrics The Three Madonnas (Judy and Joni and Joan)

    The Three Madonnas – Judy and Joni and Joan

    Words and music by Kristin Lems © 2005, 2014

    1. I had three models when I was young

    What a great crowd I traveled among!

    It’s time that their influence on me was sung

    Judy and Joni and Joan

    1. It was the best of times, the worst of times too

    We all did the very best that we could do

    But through tears and fears their voices rang through

    Judy and Joni and Joan


    Both sides now, amazing grace

    Chelsea morning shining on my face!

    Diamonds and rust all over the place

    Carry me home

    1. I found Joan first, met her through some friends

    She wore no makeup and a peasant dress

    With a voice of such worldly innocence

    Judy and Joni and Joan

    1. When I came across Judy, she was sweet but strong

    Looking deep with Judy blue eyes into what was wrong

    And raising her voice in a tremulous song

    Judy and Joni and Joan


    1. Joni was a case unto her own self

    Magic musings and tunings, an endless wealth

    With her paintings, her poems, and her mysteries to delve

    Judy and Joni and Joan

    1. We were folksingers all, the novice was me

    I listened and learned from them faithfully

    The three Madonnas were my Trinity

    Judy and Joni and Joan


    1. Joan sparked my desire to sing out for what’s right

    Judy said, “A touch of elegance can bring delight,”

    Joni winked and said, “Be yourself, it’s all right!”

    Judy and Joni and Joan

    1. Three strong women, three lives so true

    Three voices in the storm, three hearts true blue

    Now I raise mine in thanks to the three of you

    Judy and Joni and Joan.


    1. I had three models when I was young

    What a great crowd I traveled among

     It’s time their influence on me was sung

    Judy and Joni and Joan...

    Judy and Joni and Joan...

    Chorus….Singing me home.


  • 03:15 Story Lyrics Between 96 and 97

    1. I turn the dial of my favorite medium

    In the morning to relieve my tedium

    My nervous finger grazes the dial

    Until I find the show that suits my style

    Just like the weather in the big vast sky

    It changes every day, and so do I


    I live my life somewhere between 96 and 97

    Looking for kicks on 96, on 97, looking for heaven

    2. The news on 97 is said so fine

    It musta taken years of practice to read those lines

    The ads are smooth, dispassionate

    And then they segue right over to a string quartet

    While their rowdy neighbor, 96 next door

    Is playin a rap about robbin a store


    3. I stopped at a light, 96 was on

    On a summer’s night with the window down

    A guy in a Camaro grinned and turned my way

    When the light turned green, he screeched away

    When I play 97 at other lights

    People never turn, it wouldn’t be polite

    4. When I feel down, all I want to hear

    Is 97, it helps calm my fears

    And now when I’m rushing to work or school

    I like 96's rhythm, as a rule

    I’m a sensuous animal in a bind

    That must share its cage with a thinking mind!

  • 04:07 Lyrics For all Women in Struggle

    This song is for all women in struggle

    Forced to make their troubled ways alone

    In the courts, in the homes, and in the factories

    Our heroines unnamed and unknown


    They knew they'd never change the world without fighting

    Even though they had a lot to lose

    If you can stand the pain, it's worth deciding

    To defend a woman's right to choose

    Oh my sisters, dear sisters, be strong.

    2. Before we had a movement to call our own,

    There were women fighting one by one

    And even now, when the going gets tough

    There are times there seems to be no one

    But we can never change the world without fighting

    Even though we've got a lot to lose

    If you can stand the pain, it's worth deciding

    To defend a woman's right to choose

    Oh my sisters, dear sisters, be strong

    3. Whatever rights we cherish now,

    There are mothers, and their mothers to thank

    For the sake of ourselves and our daughters to come

    It is time for us to join in the ranks

    For we can never change the world without fighting

    Even though we've got a lot to lose

    If you can stand the pain, it's worth deciding

    To defend a woman's right to choose

    Oh my sisters, dear sisters, Come along!

  • 03:32 Story Lyrics The Fifties Sound

    They say the fifties are comin again!

    Get out my bobby socks and run to the gym!

    The fifties band has got them out on the floor -

    Hey wait! I been through this nightmare before!

    1. Those olden days were not so golden you know

    Girls who got in trouble, they had nowhere to go

    Couldn't take their lives into their own hands

    Spent their time a swoonin over rock n roll bands

    2. In those days colored people knew their place

    Didn't try to barge into the human race

    But Elvis and the others picked up all their cues

    And made a million dollars singing white boy blues


    Whoa Whoa - whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa

    They're dancing to what oppressed us 20 years ago.

    3. Girls wore thick makeup, boys wore thick grease

    If you didn't have a steady, you were never at ease

    Swearin and sex, they were mortal sins -

    Why the hell you think we brought the sixties in?

    4. Everybody looked and thought and talked the same

    And learned all of the details of the dating game

    Boys, they were lettermen or else they were queer

    If they were small or shy they lived in constant fear


    5. Think of all the folks who miss the fifties sound

    The millionaires whose profits have been going down

    For the ku klux klan, those were the good ole' days

    And back then, women really knew their place

    6 Administrators missed the days when students obeyed

    Didn't meddle in the world the grownups had made

    The Pentagon's nostalgic for the days of yore

    When every kid would rush to join their latest war!


    7. So all you kids soakin up the scene

    Sorry to break in on your American dream

    But we lived through it and it ain't no fun:

    No one's gonna take back what we won!


    Teen angel, teen angel, rest in pieces!

  • 01:50 Story Lyrics Talkin Gender Neutral Blues

    1. I was walkin down the street one day

    Reading the signs that passed my way

    And after a while I started to see

    That none of those words referred to me...

    Good will towards men, all men are created equal, Praise Him!

    2. Well I asked some friends if they agreed

    That they felt left out in the things they read

    They told me yes, and added some more

    And soon we all felt pretty sore

    You got your Congressman, spaceman, sideman.... But I never heard a no house husband!

    3. Well some men came by and a fight began to grow:

    “You girls are so dumb you just don’t know,

    These here are called “generic words”

    They’re meant to include both the bees and the birds.

    ”Well gee fellas, how am I supposed to know?

    I certainly don’t feel included!

    4. Ok said I, if that’s so true,

    I’ll just use “woman” to cover the two

    "It don’t make a difference to us,” they said

    “If you wanna use woman, go right ahead.”

    I said, thanks, that’s really sisterly of you

    Glad to see you believe in sportswomanship!

    5. “Now hold your horses,” they started to cry.

    I think I’ll hold my mares, said I.

    “You’re leavin all of us guys behind.”

    Why no, we’re all part of womankind.

    So don’t fret friends, take it like a woman!

    You’ll get used to it, just like we all did!

  • 04:11 Story Lyrics Marynell

    Marynell, I did not know you very well

    Marynell hello, how have you been?

    Now nine years later here we sit

    To hear this singer tell of it

    And all those years drift back to me again.

    2. I was lonely, you were probably lonely too

    But in those days, I never would have known

    High School kept us all apart

    And we did not know how to start

    To cut through the defenses we had grown.

    3. The earliest of stirrings were already born inside

    That, later on, would grow to greater length

    We marched against the war, and Dr. King had not yet died

    But we had not begun to test our strength.

    4. How strange it passed, all those changes came so fast

    As each new action burned upon our souls

    It was a time to raise your voice, to try and make a moral choice

    With freedom and equality our goals.

    5. Marynell, I still don't know you very well

    But we're part of something greater than ourselves.

    Those restless days not far behind,

    You at your school and I at mine

    We took home more than books now on our shelves

    6. I have the same convictions that I first knew back in school

    Though quieter, they're with me everywhere

    Though days of rage are silent now, these times are no less cruel

    Tell me Marynell, do you still care?

    Tell me Marynell, do you still care?

  • 03:38 Story Lyrics Cuyahoga River

    *HONORABLE MENTION AWARD* Great Lakes Songwriting Contest 2011!!   

    1. I've lived upon this river shore since I was very small

    I've watched the seasons turning and I've seen the trees grow tall

    I've seen the factories coming to clutter on the shore

    They dump their waste into our lake, and every day there's more

     CHORUS:  Oh lovely waters that have carried my canoe

    Cuyahoga River, what have they done to you?

    2. Once we would go fishing in rowboats every dawn

    Now all we see is tanker ships, and all the fish are gone

    We could see trout swimming full twenty feet below

    But now the water's turned to ink, no matter where we row

    3.  Our river it was clean and clear, we'd swim there every day

    Now it's far too dangerous, a fence keeps us away

    The sun upon the water shone sparkling and royal

    But now we see a rainbow from reflections in the oil

    4. Late last Friday I drove home, smelled fire in the air

    Couldn't tell the origin, the smoke was everywhere

    A sheet of flame rose through the clouds, it cut them like a knife

    I saw the river up in flame and giving up its life

    5. Now the ashes settle on a charred and cindered lake

    Staying by this shoreline is a terrible mistake

    But the Cuyahoga's seen me grow, and now I've seen it die

    Figure I'll stay by it, though I cannot tell you why

  • 03:50 Story Lyrics Women Walk More Determined


    You know, women walk more determined than they ever have

    Women walk with a stronger stride than they ever did before

    Take a look sisters and brothers,

    cause you're gonna find you got another kind of woman

    Who will ask a lot and give a lot and live a whole lot more

    1. My friend, you and I have come a long way

    And we're gonna go farther still

    For the more I learn about myself and my world

    You know, the more both of us will

    All the ancient fears are coming out now

    And I'm gettin them under control

    For I realize until I love myself

    Nothin else is gonna make me whole


    2.It's hard to break all the traditions

    And sometimes we wanna give up

    But we gotta keep goin, gotta keep on growin

    Cause love ain't gonna let us stop

    You know we owe it to each other

    To grow as wise as we can get

    And we'll get to the end, my sister and friend

    We haven't seen the best of it yet


    3. Do you remember how it used to be, now?

    All the games we used to play?

    Never bringin it out, full of defenses and doubt

    Now everything that we believe we can say

    You've hurt me a lot and I've hurt you, babe

    And we'll always bear the scars

    But to learn about love and everything it's made of

    You gotta know just who you are!

    chorus twice

  • 02:58 Story Lyrics Mammary Glands

    Mammary Glands

    Mammary glands - wo wo! Mother nature's dairy delight

    You can't make cream or butter cause it's just a human udder

    And a natural mammalian sight.

    1. Do you wanna pay to take a peek

    At what drives men insane'

    They're in anthro books galore and I'm

    Just sure that you'll adore 'em,

    Even cave women have the same two simple...


    2. The men decided that a certain shape

    Stands out more than the rest

    Well they made such a major issue

    Women stuff their bras with tissue,

    Thrust shoulders back to look their best, show off their...

    3. If you're more than 36, you are desirable

    So don't be shy, they'll pay

    For once you finally sold out, you may get a center foldout

    They dig your dugs, you're on the way, with famous...

    4. It's a multimillion dollar enterprise

    But no one know what it's about

    If we'd think before we'd buy it

    We'd bust the myth, we would defy it

    And we might stand up and shout, 'They're only...'


  • 03:43 Story Lyrics Farmer


    Words and music by Kristin Lems

    1. I am a farmer, I been one all my life

    Call me a farmer, and not a farmer's wife

    The plough and hoe left their patterns on my hand

    And now they tell me this is not my land


    2. We raised two children, they are farmers too

    A crop and garden every year we grew

    Two hundred acres ain't no easy haul

    But it's a good life, no regrets at all


    3. When Joe turned 50, his back was actin up

    We three took over, so's he could rest up

    My Joe was buried where his daddy lies

    And soon some men came, askin for my price


    4. I said, "I live here, and here I'm gonna stay

    What makes you think I wanna move away?"

    They smiled real sly, said, "Now your farmer's dead.

    This farm ain't yours till you pay the overhead."


    5. I know we women, we ain't been in the know

    But we're no fools as far as farmin goes

    The crop don't know no woman's work or man's

    There ain't no law can take me from my land


    6. Cause I'm a farmer, I been one all my life

    Call me a farmer, and not a farmer's wife

    The plough and hoe left their patterns on my hand

    No one can tell me this is not my land

    This is my land!


    © 1979, 1983, 2000, 2014 Kleine Ding Music (BMI)


  • 04:41 Download Story Lyrics I Wasn't Surprised

    1. When our towns were in flame and yet we got the blame

    I wasn't surprised

    When police stormed the streets and no one came to our needs

    I wasn't surprised

    Well it wasn't our last and it wasn't our first

    My people are killed even right in our church

    And maybe I'm wise from too many cries

    But I wasn't surprised.

    2. When they shot Fred and Mark as they slept in the dark,

    I wasn't surprised

    When the commission contends it was in "self defense,"

    I wasn't surprised

    Well it wasn't our last and it wasn't our first

    My people are killed in their sleep, in the church

    And maybe I'm wise from hearing his cries,

    But I wasn't surprised.

    3.  In a Southern jail cell, a guard gave a girl hell, and

    I wasn't surprised

    She fought back and defied, became an outlaw statewide

    And I wasn't surprised 

    Well it wasn't our last and it wasn't our first

    My people are killed in the prisons and church

    And maybe I'm wise from too many cries

    But I wasn't surprised.

    4. Well right down the block, a young boy picked a lock

    And I wasn't surprised

    The man shot him dead, he was hungry, how he bled!

    I wasn't surprised

    It wasn't our last and it wasn't our first

    My people are killed down the block, in the church

    And maybe I'm wise from hearing his cries

    But I wasn't surprised.

    5. When they shot down my son, nothing wrong had he done

    I wasn't surprised

    He was walking to class 'cross the Jackson State grass

    And I wasn't surprised

    Well it wasn't our first and it wasn't our last

    My family is killed even crossing the grass

    And maybe I'm wise from hearing his cries

    But I wasn't surprised.

    6. I've seen your children fall and I grieve for you all,

    But I wasn't surprised.  

    I have known all along that they're mean and they're strong,

    So don't be surprised

    Well it wasn't your last, it was only your first -  

    The day will come round that they'll kill you in church

    And maybe I'm wise from too many lies

    But I wasn't surprised.

    7. I'm bitter as hell, but one thing I'll tell you -

    You might be surprised.

    If we stand side by side to stop this genocide

    They will be surprised.  

    For as long as we're silent, as long as we're still

    They'll gun us and shun us, you know that they will!  

    So raise your voices high in one unified cry

    And we'll see who's surprised!

    c 1975, 2000, 2014 Kleine Ding Music.  words and music by Kristin Lems.


  • 02:01 Story Lyrics Oh Mama!

    Oh Mama, it's hurtin even worse

    Love is such a blessing and love is such a curse

    Startin is so easy, partin is a pain

    Always gettin this heart involved will drive me insane

    1. Oh Mama, I never seem to learn

    You told me more than once how much a soul can burn

    But standin by the fire's heat felt so good

    I burned myself just like you knew I would

    2. Everyone I know has had a hurt or two

    Some cannot recover; most pretend they do

    We get knocked over, come back for more -

    Tell me, do you think that's what a heart is for?

    3. When the end comes, you know it hurts so bad

    But I try to keep in mind the beauty that I had

    Mama, I inherited this heart from you

    And now that I've got it, tell me what to do

  • 06:27 Story L'Isle Joyeuse, by Claude Debussy
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