Songs from "In My Place"

Click on the song titles from the list below to go directly to that song's background story and lyrics.

Now That You're Gone
Scout's Honor
Americana Hopeless
In My Place
If I Could Have You
Don't Take This Life For Granted

All lyrics written by Peto Gerth
©2000 Peto-A-Go-Go Music/ASCAP

"Now That You're Gone"

Your general "I just left a few very emotional relationships behind and now I'm feeling all grown up and away from them" self-empowerment anthem. Feel it!

Words come you say?
I’ll wait for mine, don’t need to play
You took my heart and killed the rest
There’s not enough to show I’m living

Now that you’re gone
I can stand up again--I know where I’m standing
Now that you’re gone
I’m having feelings again--I know what I’m feeling
I can’t be wrong cuz this time I’m strong
Now that you’re gone

Simple things just come to you
The simple truth--you’ll never do
If I work hard, you stand to gain
It’s not enough to show you’re worth it


Memories are nice, but then
They don’t mean much if you don’t attend
The loneliness outweighs the fun
And it’s’s not fun so it’s not worth it


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"Scout's Honor"

Back at the time I wrote this song I had read an article in the Advocate magazine about James Dale, an Eagle Scout leader who did all these wonderful things as a scout for many years but was kicked out when it became known to higher ups in the organization that he was gay. His discrimination case against the Scouts became famous and went all the way to the Supreme Court. I found it an amazing example of just how stupid bigotry like this is and wanted to write about it, so I did. The song became a hit at gay-marketed internet stations the summer following the release of the CD and I found myself the proud owner of a #3 song at radio (sadly a now-defunct station) for their "Songs Of Summer" countdown. I even beat out Melissa Ethridge who was at #4! Yay!

What’s with the uniform?
Does it stand for truth and honor?
Well, how can we honor a boy
Who's been taught to be just like a man
Lashing out at all that he can
Especially against all that I am

If we hold these truths to be self-evident
Then where is the life creating equality
Where is the justice for all?

What's with the attitude?
Is it really so hard just to smile?
Well don't expect anything from me
When you treat me the way that you do
All my words that you misconstrue
That’s it, get out now cuz you’re through


Many times I’ve watched just to see what you think you can do
But look at where we are now and see the mess that we're in
I can't see how you're better than me
I don't see how you're better than me

So what’s the real matter here?
Is it fear that leads you to your worry?
Well how did you feel as a boy
When you wanted to be just like a man
Is this what you saw in your plan
Despising another man?


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"Americana Hopeless"

This song is really an essay on how we are all either repetitions or progressions of previous generations. Behaviors and attitudes are learned. And we all suck in some way or another but can be really really great in other ways. Basically, no one person is better than another even though we all have ways we annoy each other. Or something like that...

Cigarettes and shameless teens
Packing pistols in their jeans
Wanting, waiting, fornicating
Learning lies, they live for hating
Dump on me the laziness
Where’s this from — this yearning less
Learning lies, they live for hating
Dealing, dumping, swarming, clumping
Posture-poor, forever slumping fools

Who are these Americana hopeless?
Refugees from older thieves
The product of those like you and me
Unforeseen and unforgiven
Change the life we’re used to living
and we can see it clear

Power suits and their corporate ways
They’ll ignore a man until he pays
Leeching, lying, death-defying
Self-consumed and always prying
Dump on me the shallowness of these
Selfish hounds in such a mess
Ranting, raving, deprecating
Ill-intentioned and aggravating fools


So here we are ... facing life ... together — together

Well, I could sit back and let it go
But my mind persists and wants to know
Searching, learning — always yearning
For some good to start returning soon

So, who are we, the Americana hopeless?
Refugees from older thieves
The product of those like you and me
Unforeseen and unforgiven
Change the life we’re used to living
And we can see ...see it clear
We’ll see it clear

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"In My Place"

In My Place is a song I hold close to my heart for many reasons: I stretched musically within the pop realm and completely rewrote the structure of the song specifically for this CD (I had played a previous version in live shows before the recording); it's also fun as hell to sing...but most of all I basically got to yell "fuck you" in the form of a fun pop song to a past relationship that was very emotionally distructive for years. Vindication can be fun!!!

How many days wasted?
How many chances overdrawn?
How times must I tell you
To watch it or I’m gone?

You tell me that you love me
You tell me I’m your boy
But you treat me with such disrespect
I won’t fall for your ploy

Well, you could never put me in my place
The outcome slapped you in the face, and
You’ll never put me in my place
Cuz my place is not with you

Have you ever tried to listen to
Someone other than you?
The world revolves around all of us
It’s not just about you


If you try to hold me back again
Attempts will only fail
My strengths have grown and so have I
There’s just no way in hell...

That you will ever put me in my place
The outcome slapped you in the face, well
You’ll never put me in my place
Cuz my place is not with you...

I think it’s just a big mistake
The love you claim to have is fake, and
This silly dream you’ll have to shake
Cuz my place is not with you

So get yourself out of my face
I think you come from outer space, well
You’ll never put me in my place
Cuz my place is not with you

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"If I Could Have You"

Ok, forgive me here, but this lyrical slice of cheese became one of my favorite songs on this CD. When I originally wrote the song, it was a total fantasy/thought-up kind of thing and I knew as I was writing it that I was bordering on a fine line that could easily slide me into the cheesy love song realm -- especially because the music of the first version was slow and ballady. And each time I played it I kept thinking that it wanted to make me throw up...and yet there was still something that bound me to the song. Finally one night I had a musical stroke of genius (well, ok, genius in MY world) and just started banging the song out -- playing it faster and faster until it just sounded FUN. It took away the overly seriousness of singing a cheesy ballad and made it just a simple, sweet pop song. I loved doing the vocal arrangements as a 3 part harmony in the chorus when recording it in the studio. Also, it was the only song on "In My Place" in which I played lead guitar -- which always feels like a major accomplishment!

To say I think of you is like saying the world is round
But these mere words I say—they’re all that my mind has found
Don’t discard their value, for behind them lies such worth
An over-flowing waterfall across the barren Earth
For you...for you

If I could have you
Sunset would be my favorite time of day
If I could have you
My smile would last forever and a day
Your hand would not be without a hand to hold
For I am here and I can’t wait to hold you here, today

To say I feel for you would not be sharing all I have inside
So many overwhelming feelings that have become so hard to hide
So sit down here beside me and I will open up to you
Absorb every single syllable, for what I say is true
About you...about you


To say I think of you, well it’s like saying the world is round
But behind these simple words I say you lift me from the ground
Oh you do


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"Don't Take This Life For Granted"

Well, this song had a magnetism that I never expected. As I wrote and recorded it, it was just a fun little ditty about my move from Los Angeles to Seattle. When my bro-in-law Erik came in to record the fun slap-happy, wisky drums followed by he, Maxi and I all having a room-wide percussion session, and Chad doing the silly, squirty trumpet parts, well, the song sort of transended into another life form...and to this day, it's the one song that people love the most. It became the audience favorite at all the shows and the song with the melody and toe-tapping beat they couldn't get out of their heads, even if they couldn't remember the long-ass title.

I drove over two thousand miles, three states to get to me
To work to know what’s going on and face up to reality
Breaking habits, breaking bones --forget the broken heart
It's a long way back and I don't want to go so this is where I start

Don’t take this life for granted
Don’t you ever bother me
I’m just fine where I’ve landed
Well, this life is suiting me

Trippin’ up a bit has taught me well and now my eyes are open wide
I’ve never seen so much beauty out there and never felt like this inside
So here I am, surprised and thirty now but I feel like I just turned five
So much to see because so much is new and damn, I feel alive


I drove over two thousand miles when I thought I never would
Now like the seasons I begin to change and damn, I’m feeling good


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