Hungry for Love, Hope, and Home

I am a singer-songwriter by trade. When I met my wife, Dawn Ravella, I knew that her social justice work would change me and my songwriting profoundly and that it would be a good thing. At that time, most of her local work was with the homeless so sure enough, from her place (our NYC home), change came quickly. “Hungry” was quickly inspired by the many homeless men I got to know there (my wife was on a first-name basis with many of the NYC homeless) — by their heartaches, and their longing for a chance to find love, to contribute to society, to have hope, to have a home, and even to have family.

The song’s voice is a homeless man relating his own feelings about a cab driver’s drama as it unfolds before him on the city street. When I wrote the song, I had been inspired directly by Willy, a joyful man with an infectious personality, who often parked himself on the front steps of the building where we lived — a big, fancy church on the upper east side. I once brought Willy a juice and a bagel, then enjoyed a lengthy and profound philosophical discussion with him. He’d shared his thoughts on humanity, interpersonal relationships, and life — all this while shining my shoes (new and life-giving work he’d taken on which empowered him to earn money and make a legitimate contribution). It was clear to me that Willy had a lot to offer, but as I sat with him in front of the church I saw many people look away and rush past, hoping to avoid eye contact.

Gratitude to anyone who would call more attention to this important issue — and any number of issues with which people struggle — because everyone needs love. If you listen to “Hungry,” please take another moment to hear “A Tale of Two Young Men” and be inspired by your own ability to make a difference. Best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a hopeful year ahead!

HUNGRY
words & music: Glen Roethel • ©2008 Laughing Buddha Music/BMI • glenroethel.com

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Yellow cabbie in a traffic jam, architect of modern life

Sends his paycheck to Pakistan to feed his child and his wife

He works so hard, and his family is so far away

Honks his horn at the chiseled face of a frowning man – He just lost his girlfriend

I understand, I understand how it feels slipping through your hands

‘Cause I’m hungry – I’m hungry for love, too

I’m hungry – I’m hungry – I’m hungry for love, too

 

I wanna cure cancer – I know that I can do it

You might think I’ll eat my words… well…If only I could chew it

‘Cause I’m hungry – I’m hungry for hope, too

I’m hungry – I’m hungry – I’m hungry for hope, too

 

Cabbie parked ’cause he was tired – fell asleep in the fading light

The parking meter soon expired, but the policeman let him slide

 

I’ve seen that taxi now and then

From these concrete church steps on a cold winter night

He’d call me over, we’d share some laughs

Waiting at the traffic light, and he’d say…

 

I wanna catch a sunbeam, hold it in my arms

Give it to you to keep you warm and free – and safe from harm

‘Cause I’m hungry – I’m hungry for home, too

I’m hungry – I’m hungry – I’m hungry for home, too

 

I’m hungry… I’m hungry, brother

But I’m filled with love

Yes, I’m filled with love

Oh, I’m filled with love…for you

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