The Things That Count

by Markus Rill

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released January 1, 2008

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Markus Rill München, Germany

A unique sandstone voice and songs that’ll get under your skin. Markus Rill has a way of combining stripped-down storytelling with rough-edged roots’n’roll that’s utterly captivating

»Songs that are beautifully shimmering with ambiguity - brilliant lyrics« - Rolling Stone"

"Rill shows great depth as a songwriter, bandleader and producer" - No Depression/USA
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Track Name: Straighter Road
Straighter Road
(words & music Markus Rill)

I made a wreck of my dream
it took me a while to find out what was left of me
I made a mess of the truth
it took me a while to figure out what was left for me do

Now I’m following a straighter road
I’m learning what I should have known
no more excuses made and no more lies will be told
there’s just one way for me to go
I’ll be following a straighter road, straighter road

I’ve had enough of the dark
had enough of doing damage to my soul and tearing up my heart
a brand new chapter begins
and I gotta find a balance in the grand new scheme of things

Now I’m traveling on a straighter road
learning what I should have known
no more excuses made and no more lies will be told
till the blacktop turns to gold
I’ll be following a straighter road, straighter road

And I can’t go back and right my every wrong
they still lie heavy on my soul
I’ve been weighed down by my conscience for too long
I gotta get back on my feet and roll along
on a straighter road

Now I’m following a straighter road
learning what I should have known
no more excuses made and no more white lies will be told
there’s just one way for me to go
I’ll be following a straighter road, straighter road
Track Name: Unlike You
Unlike You
(words & music Markus Rill)

Steel strings on a neck of wood
they’re ‘bout all that I can trust
this guitar always sings the truth
it’s good and fair and just
unlike you

Now the blues they are the darndest thing
they ain’t doing what they should
they don’t get me satisfied
and I don’t think they ever could
Unlike you

The blue sky and the highway, they’ve never let me down
They’ve never broken this heart of mine in pieces on the ground
They’ve been true - unlike you

There was a time when I had faith in you
now that time is gone
Why the hell did you do what I never would do
and why am I still hangin’ on
Unlike you

The blue sky and the highway, they’ve never let me down
They’ve never broken this heart of mine in pieces on the ground
They’ve been true - unlike you

There are things you can’t explain
UFOs and love and the smell of rain
This must be one of these things

And I hang on to the notion
That truth and beauty, they are one
If that’s so then the very truest thing
I ever laid my eyes upon
Must be you

The blue sky and the highway, they’ve never done me wrong
But they’ve never kissed and held me and loved me all night long
Through and through - unlike you
The whole night through, unlike you
So please be true
Track Name: What Might've Been
What Might've Been
(words & music by Markus Rill)



The days are long since I gave up smokin’
The nights are long since I quit drinkin’ too
But I won’t cry and I can keep from chokin’ up
I just can’t keep from thinkin’ about you

You won’t call today and you won’t write tomorrow
It’s not like I wait
I will hear from you at some point in time, girl, I know
But it will be too late to change the shape we’re in
And find out what might’ve been

Shooting stars and prayers and late night wishes
They rarely work like they’re supposed to do
But I don’t mind, I just go about my business
Trying to keep from thinkin’ about you

You won’t call today and you won’t swing by tomorrow
It’s not like I count the days
I’ll run into you somewhere down the line, girl, I know
And it will be too late to change the shape we’re in
And find out what might’ve been

What might’ve been could’ve been grand
I could’ve been your man, I could’ve held your hand
What might’ve been, it could’ve been a disaster
I could’ve let you down, you just let me down faster

The days are long since I gave up smokin’
The nights are long since I quit drinkin’ too
But I won’t cry and I can keep from chokin’ up
And soon I’ll keep from thinkin’ about you
Soon I’ll keep from thinkin’ about what might’ve been
Track Name: Scene Of The Crime
Scene Of The Crime
(words & music Markus Rill)



They found the body by the railroad tracks
It was Carlos Escondido
That was twenty years ago on April 25
I’d never been seen on the scene of the crime
I got away clean

Back then I was young and I loved that girl so wild
Her name was Carmen Sanchez
She took off with Carlos and I hated the guts of that guy
But I’d never been seen on the scene of the crime
I got away clean

It’s been twenty years since then
Still lies heavy on my mind
Conscience is a funny thing
Draggin’ me back to the scene of the crime
I return tonight

Carlos Escondido, he peddled weed and pills
And I know Carmen’s mind was weak
So I reckon he deserved just what he got that night
Twenty years ago on April 25
But I still see his ghost sometimes

It’s only psychological
Only in my mind
But I’m only human after all
I return tonight to the scene of the crime
Return tonight

Tonight Camen Sanchez is sleeping soundly in my bed
Carlos is six feet underground
Me I’m out riding through the night
You might find me on the scene of the crime
Ha, to think I’d get away clean

It’s only psychological
Only in my mind
But I’m only human after all
I return tonight to the scene of the crime
I return tonight, scene of the crime
Track Name: Sarah Stein
Sarah Stein
(words & music Markus Rill)

Sarah Stein she was a young girl in Vienna dreaming of stages and dancing in the street
The neighbor boy he liked to watch her and she liked it when he came to see
He had a fire in his eyes, she always wondered where that fire would lead
But this was Europe in the 30ies and so one day Sarah’s family had to leave

She made it all across the ocean and she grew up in some far-off distant land
Just like that boy back in Vienna, people liked to see her dance
So she danced from coast to coast became famous then she became a wife
But that boy back with the fire in his eyes still crossed her mind from time to time

She’s oddly out of place and strangely out of time
A Vienna ballerina on the Dakota County line
She can’t shake the memory of the life she left behind
A Vienna ballerina by the name of Sarah Stein

She taught children how to stand on tiptoes and how to twirl around
And her husband was a good man till he passed away without a sound
Still she figures she found better luck than she could’ve ever hoped to find
now she’s living in a rest home with her memories on the Dakota County line

She’s oddly out of place and strangely out of time
A Vienna ballerina on the Dakota County line
She can’t shake the memory of the life she left behind
A Vienna ballerina by the name of Sarah Stein

When the grandkids come to visit she likes to tell them ‘bout life in the old world
They bring their history books and they’re full of pictures of back when she was a girl
She sees a young man in there,
he’s got a fire in his eyes, the sign of a skull on his uniform of black
This was Europe in the 40ies and she knows now she ain’t ever going back

Cause now she’s in another place and it’s a different time
An old ballerina on the Dakota County line
Still dancing in her memory, still dancing in her mind
That old ballerina by the name of Sarah Stein
Track Name: Gotta Keep My Hands Off
Gotta Keep My Hands Off
(words & music by Markus Rill)



There’s temptation waving at me with a temporary fix
I know it’s not the kind I want but it’s a good sight better’n this
All this thinkin’, all this feelin’, and all of this regret
So I made me up a song to sing lest I forget

I gotta keep my hands off of my drug, keep them off of my drug
Gotta keep my hands off of my drug, it’ll only mess me up
It’ll screw me up, it’ll spin and turn my poor head around
I gotta keep my hands off of my drug, it’ll only bring me down

Once I gave my heart away but, Lord, she let me go
I did things I never should’ve done and I know I should’ve known
But tonight I miss her so bad, yeah, and I miss the things I done
I don’t know how to make it better but I know it gets worse if I go wrong

I gotta keep my hands off of my drug, gotta keep them off of my drug
Gotta keep my hands off of my drug, it’ll only mess me up
It’ll screw me up, it’ll spin and turn my poor head around
I gotta keep my hands off of my drug, it’ll only bring me down

And I know that I could find someone to hold me tight tonight
That would not take away the pain
All I want is just to see the love in a pair of pale blue eyes
I might never see those eyes again

I gotta keep my hands off of my drug, keep them off of my drug
Gotta keep my hands off of my drug, it’ll only mess me up
It’ll screw me up, it’ll spin and turn my head and heart around
I gotta keep my hands off of my drug, it’ll only bring me down

I gotta keep my hands off of my drug, it’ll only bring me down
Track Name: On The Sly
On The Sly
(words & musicMarkus Rill)

She turns her collar up against the wind
pulls her Packers cap down low
Cathy won't tell her next of kin
she don't want anyone to know
where she goes and why
she’s gotta take care of a little something on the sly

She’ll be off to college in a year
she'd rather leave today
don’t need nothing to tie her down here
she'll dump that ol' boyfriend anyway
she’ll never tell and he’ll never get wise
to what it is she’s doing on the sly

She's passing women with little girls and boys
they're all leading different lives
Cathy's made her choice
and she knows if this'll ever make her cry
she’ll have to do her crying on the sly, on the sly

She wonders if she's being selfish
She thinks she’s bein’ considerate
she might wind up being fortyish and full of regret
sobbing through long and lonely nights
over doing what she's about to do on the sly

She's passing women with little girls and boys
They’re all leading different lives
Cathy’s made her choice
and she knows that if this'll ever make her cry
she’ll have to do her crying on the sly

Who’s to say what’s right or wrong
Who’s to say what’s wrong and right

She's passing women with little girls and boys
They’re all leading different lives
she feels she's got no choice
and she knows that if this'll ever make her cry
she’ll have to do her crying on the sly, on the sly

She turns her collar up against the wind
Track Name: Faith Is Hard
Faith Is Hard
(words & music by Markus Rill)



She’s hoping this one can be trusted
So she allows her deams to fly
She’s seen her bubble getting busted
But this one’s not that kind of guy

Her uncle used to tell her it was alright
“Just don’t tell anyone”
he would sneak into her room at night
have his way and have his fun

Faith is hard to come by
In a world that’s full of lies
It doesn’t matter just how hard you strive and try
The world will leave you cryin’
Faith is hard to come by

At age 19, she gave her wedding vow
And her heart was filled with joy
The boy got drunk, lost his temper every then and now
She lost her unborn baby boy

Trust is hard to come by
In a world that’s full of lies
It doesn’t matter just how hard you strive and try
The world will leave you cryin’
Faith is hard to come by

Now she’s thinking this one, he might go behind her back
So behind his back she’s snooping around
She don’t like to have to cover up her tracks
She don’t like what she’s found

Faith is hard to come by
In a world full of pain and lies
It doesn’t matter just how hard you strive and try
The world will leave you cryin’
Faith is hard to come by

Love is hard to find
Faith is hard to come by
Track Name: The Things That Count
The Things That Count
(words & music Markus Rill)



When the sun comes up I know it’s gonna go back down again
‘n I know the name of every picker ever played in Elvis Presley’s band
And I know my favorite color is the blues
I know a lotta things but I don’t know a lotta things
That are of a lotta use

Late at night when the lights are out I ask myself
What do I know about
Love and God and why we’re here and where we’re from
And where it is we’re bound
I ask myself what do I know about the things that count?

I still wrestle with my demons but I no longer let ‘em win
I just tuck my shirt in and serve my nine to five again
And I know I got no reason to complain
I got some good folks in my corner
And a good mind to keep out of the rain

Late at night when the lights are out I ask myself
What do I know about
Love and God and why we’re here and where we’re from
And where it is we’re bound
I ask myself what do I know about the things that count?

I don’t know where this life will lead me
I guess I’ll see when I will see
I don’t know what this life has taught me
Ah, but it’s done taught me humility

Late at night when the lights are out I ask myself
What do I know about
Love and God and why we’re here and where we’re from
And where it is we’re bound
I ask myself what do I know about the things that count?
Track Name: Dimestore Paperback Memory
Dimestore Paperback Memory
(words & music by Markus Rill)

Girl, don’t you worry
I won’t bother you no more
I won’t call on the phone, trying to catch you alone
Or mill around your back door

It’s been a year
And it’s been a good year
Though not quite every bit just as good, I admit,
As when I called you dear

You told me to move on, whatever that’s supposed to mean
I’m just trying to be strong and forget and I think I’ll succeed
Cause I barely remember how your hand on my chest used to feel
You’re just a distant fading dimestore paperback memory

And I’ve given up hope
I no longer believe
In your love and laughter and forever after
I stopped dreaming that dream

Don’t life move in curious ways?
I don’t know where this will lead
But I know what I see and I know what is real
and you’re not here with me

You told me to move on, whatever that’s supposed to mean
I’m just trying to be strong and forget and I think I’ll succeed
Cause I barely remember how your lips on mine used to feel
You’re just a distant fading dimestore paperback memory

You told me to move on, whatever the hell now that’s supposed to mean
I’m just trying to be strong and forget and I think I’ll succeed
Cause I barely remember how makin’ love to you used to feel
You’re just a distant fading dimestore paperback memory

Girl, don’t you worry
I won’t bother you no more
Track Name: I'll Wait For You
I'll Wait For You
(words & music by Markus Rill & Andi Obieglo)

If the wind came by and asked me “what are you wishing for?”
I don’t know I’d know the answer anymore
All I know for sure is both you and I are hurt again
And I don’t see how we could make it work ever again

Some never forgive
Some never forget

But I’ll wait for you for the longest time
Leaves me no choice, this heart of mine
I hope someday soon I can stop this crying
But it feels I’ll be waiting for you the longest time
The longest time

Now if the stars looked down upon us what would they see in me
A true soul who don’t give up on love or a fool to blind to see
All I know for sure is you still sneak into my dreams
And I wish I had a clue just what those dreams might mean

Some never forget
Some never forgive

But I’ll wait for you for the longest time
Leaves me no choice, this heart of mine
I hope someday soon I can stop this crying
But it feels I’ll be waiting for you the longest time

And I can’t change it
No matter how I try

I’ll wait for you for the longest time
Leaves me no choice, this heart of mine
I hope someday soon I can stop this crying
But it feels I’ll be waiting for you the longest time
I’ll wait for you
Track Name: Just Like It Never Did Exist
Just Like It Never Did Exist
(words & music by Markus Rill)

So I welcome the pain
I had a hunch she’d come around today
She won’t leave me alone
And time moves at a pace that’s all its own

Sometimes I find clarity
Mingling with joy and other rarities
But when I look into my memory
It seems you are all there is to see

But I’ll learn to accept, girl, that it’s ended
I’ll learn to say “it’s for the best”
I’ll go on with my life after love’s ended
Just like it never did exist

You never said goodbye to me
Sometimes that thought still brings me to my knees
And in the distance between you and me
You could fit the whole Atlantic sea

But I’ll learn to accept, girl, that it’s ended
I’ll learn to say “it’s for the best”
I’ll go on with my life after love’s ended
Just like it never did exist

You did what you had to do
Me, I’ll go and find my groove

But it’s a shame, girl, that it ended
Ah, but it’s for the best
A damn shame it ever ended
Just like it never did exist