Beyond the Mall

There are places Where there are hills
They’re not just called hills, they’re really hills
There are places Where there are forests
Not like “Twelve Pines,” but really forests
There are places where the birds sing
And you can hear the eagle call
I know they’re out there
Somewhere beyond the mall

There are places
Where there are rivers
Not surrounded by concrete, but living rivers
With fish in them And frogs and little tadpoles
With ducks and deer drinking by the sinkholes
There are places far away
The trees turn colors in the fall
I know they’re out there
Somewhere beyond the mall

There are places
You can see the sky
Not neon signs and billboards, but just the sky
There are places with dirt on the ground
Without the miles of asphalt, not a car around
Where on and in the soil
Good little critters crawl
I know they’re out there
Somewhere beyond the mall

There are places like that
And things don’t have to be like this
I mean not just cosmetic changes
Things really don’t have to be like this
There are places where people know their neighborhood
Where people live there
And they think that life is good
There are places like that
Somewhere on this spinning ball
I know they’re out there
Somewhere beyond the mall

There are places
That I know I’ve gotta find
Otherwise I will undoubtedly lose my mind
Otherwise I’ll end up just like you
On Ritalin or Prozac or whatever things you do
I’m going where the water is blue
And the trees are oh so tall
I know they’re out there
Somewhere beyond the mall

“Beyond the Mall” originally appeared as the title track of a web-only release on Soundclick in 2003.

It’s one of a series of songs I wrote around that time period, when I was spending a lot of time in one of the most mall-ridden cities in the world, Houston, Texas. Also drawing from my experience growing up in suburbs that went from being relatively rural, to relatively built up, in the course of my childhood. Which is the story of my generation, as well as at least one generation before me, and all the ones after. In most of the US, anyway.

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