Give'em What They Want

Patterson Barrett
Patterson Barrett


Some years ago, when I was out touring behind the "When I Was Your Age..." record, I played a few shows that inspired the first couple verses of this song. After that record, I resolved for a moment, that instead of singing songs people didn't necessarily want to hear (especially in a live setting), that I would simply give them what they wanted—it wouldn't be hard, just to do entertaining, up tempo songs that were, you "Yeah," I thought, "and that's what I'll call the record—Give'em What They Want".

Well, the title stuck, but I'm afraid all I can do is give you the songs that show up, even if they're not what you want.

This one's pretty lively, though.

Josh Hunt on drums, my longtime friend Jonathan "Doc" Simons on harmonica, and Brian Langlinais and Julie Christensen on vocals. The rest is me.


Give ‘Em What They Want (5:24)

--Patterson Barrett ©2017 (BMI) Criminal Tunes


A bar in New York City, a line running out the door

Inside it’s shoulder-to-shoulder on every inch of floor

Somehow I climbed up on the stage, started to sing

Thirty minutes later you could’ve heard a dropped pin ring

I wasn’t giving them what they wanted---But I tried

I didn’t give ‘em they wanted that night

But if you give them what they want

Well, you might get what you need

A brew pub in Frederick, Maryland, outside Washington, DC

Where people come to hear the songs, now all ears are on me

I sing my songs about heartbreak full of sweet, sad misery

Somehow hearing those me sing those songs helps to set their poor hearts free

I was giving them what they wanted

Well, I give them what they wanted that night

If you give them what they want

Then you might get what you need


Sometimes I’m set to wondering, what was I sent here to do

The only time I know my mind is when I sing and play for you


Somewhere out in Virginia, playing with my boy and young KT

Doing our best to be seen and heard above the big flat-screen TV

The place was full, the crowd was loud, call it chaos and cacophony

But everyone sings along when they play the song about Johnson City, Tennessee


We were givin’g them what they wanted

Yeah, we give ‘em what they wanted that night

If you give them what they want

You might get what you need


I got a family to feed . . . two kids in college

You know knowledge don’t come cheap

They got to eat, they need shoes on their feet