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The Invisible Man


Lyrics

"The Invisible Man"
Music & Lyrics by Scott Cooley.

Joined the army out of high school, where I learned to survive

Came home and got a job in the shop, building Buicks on the line

When they laid me off the last time, the unemployment ran dry

And when I couldn't pay the bills, I had to learn to live outside


Never used to be a drinker, but now it's how I live

Started just so I could stay warm, and it helped me to fit in

I’m a veteran now of my community too, and the city streets are my home

I may be an alcoholic, but I never have to drink alone


Well here I am, though you can't see me, the invisible man

I'm just glad that you can hear me, so you know where I stand

I'm not lookin' for a handout, I just wanna be heard

I'm just down on my luck, and all I've got are these words


Sometimes I know you see me, but then you look away, or through

And I don't always want to be noticed, I’m not proud of what I have to do

But I know you just don't wanna deal, so you pretend that I'm not there

It's as if  I don't exist, like a ghost who floats through the air


You might see me at the shelter, I'm not too proud to ask for help

You might see me at the bus station, yeah sometimes I talk to myself

But I make my world a better place, every day I find a way to help

On the street we've got each other's backs, it's never every man for himself


Well here I am, though you can't see me, the invisible man

I'm just glad that you can hear me, so you know where I stand

I'm not lookin' for a handout, I just wanna be heard

I'm just down on my luck, and all I've got are these words


You find some bottles to return, and anything that’ll burn

When you're cold and you’re hungry, you live and you learn

When you're all out of cash, you go through the trash

You find yourself some scraps, and find a way to make ‘em last

The bootstrap preachers say to pull yourself up

The mission workers say that you're not sober enough

When there's no money, no work, and nowhere to go

You take your tarp and your bag and find a place to lay low


Well here I am, though you can't see me, the invisible man

I'm just glad that you can hear me, so you know where I stand

I'm not lookin' for a handout, I just wanna be heard

I'm just down on my luck, and all I've got are these words


So now you’ve heard my story, and I hope you understand

I’m doin’ the best I can, the invisible man


Copyright © ℗ 2010 by Scott Cooley. All rights reserved.

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The Invisible Man
Album cover photo by Lenore Cooley
Song from the album Sense Of Belonging
Position Track # 13
Duration 5:02
Released June 21st, 2010
Label Scott Cooley Records
Format CD, MP3, FLAC, OGG
Genre Americana, folk
Studio Scott Cooley Music Productions
Producer Scott Cooley
Songwriter words and music by Scott Richard Cooley
Publisher Scott Richard Cooley Music Publishing, ASCAP
Personnel Scott Cooley - vocals, guitars, bass, drums
Track Chronology
"This Land Is Your Land"

(#12)
"The Invisible Man"

(#13)




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Brief Description

The Invisible Man is probably the saddest song I've ever written.  The inspiration was a series of articles published in the Flint, Michigan daily newspaper The Flint Journal about a "tent city" in Flint that had grown into a homeless community in an old parking lot at a closed General Motors factory.  The fenced-in parking lot had at least one opening people cut to get through to a former concrete-paved lot that had cracks in the pavement where trees and foliage had grown up, concealing the fact that people lived there in makeshift tents in the warmer months.  It was unique that this was almost like a city park, close to civilization, but at the same time almost totally hidden from it - no one knew it was there even though they drove by it every day.  Online commenters to the stories told of hearing of this place but never knowing where it was - that it was an urban legend or myth.  

Most residents were middle-aged male alcoholic veterans who were former GM employees.  The stories discussed their stories of their backgrounds, how they became homeless, and their daily life.  Pictures showed standard belongings for each included a plastic tarp, an igloo cooler, and a bag of clothes and miscellaneous personal items.  While the series explored their options in winter and why they chose to live in this particular location, it simultaneously publicized their presence to GM, the owners of the property, who once it had been brought to their attention, had the cops kick them out.  If you don't hear about the homeless, and don't see them in your daily travels, and don't seek out information about them on the internet or on television, the only time you might even be reminded they exist is at Christmas time, so as an average person with a home, you might not ponder their plight.  This series of feature articles that told their story in my original hometown compelled me to put myself in their shoes and write this song.  It's one of my most powerful songs, and one of my best.

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