25 April, 2009

new song on myspace

I posted another new song on My Space, plus a short blog on how (and why) I record my songs. The link is:


The song is about the contrast between two lifestyles. On one hand there's the drop-out-get-back-to-the-country-escape-society lifestyle. On the other there are those who want to plunge themselves into the heart of the human condition in all its ragged glory, usually best accessed on the streets of the City. Wendy Waldman wrote a great song on this subject. It's called "Back By Fall"; the best rendition is by Maria Muldaur on an album called Sweet Harmony. I borrowed a line from her song for mine, but first I contacted her through My Space for permission. She was graceful enough to write back, but her answer was no. So if you listen to her song next to mine you might catch the line that was changed.

Here are the lyrics:

This world is a big place and the people all gather
In buildings and cities where the big rivers flow
But there’s a road that leads out into wide open spaces
And it’s there that I’m fixing to go.

So I found me an acre in the Anderson Valley
On a high wooded ridge with a view of the sea
And I met me this woman named Emily Carson
And I asked her to live there with me.

Sweet was that summer, 1967, languid the days in the warmth of the sun
And the wind in the pines like a whisper from heaven brought no portent of the trouble to come.

Winter was hard but we met some good people,
Refugees from a commune they called the Morningstar Farm
Deep were the nights by the old Danish woodstove
Burning thoughts as a way to stay warm.

Emily had a brother, he came up from El Cerrito,
He was broken and homeless and ravaged by cocaine
And he wrestled with demons seven weeks on the back porch
Until the winter finally gave in to the spring.

One morning in April we found him sitting by the woodstove,
clean shaven and lucid and squirelly-eyed
He said I’ve had a vision of a pathway untraveled, and a call that will not be denied

You see the answer is simple, it’s like a wheel in a wheel
It’s like a night in the day, like a day inside the night
It’s a gift to be given, it’s a secret to reveal, it’s a love to bring into the night.

That summer was a scorcher and the wind burned the corn
And the carrion crows locked in circling flight
Emily grew restless, distant and forlorn
Like the wild fires that raged through the night

I should have known it would happen and one night it happened,
There were tears and accusations, tantrums and blows
And in the morning there was nothing but a note and a daisy
And a dust cloud hanging over the road.

Last night awakened by the first wolf of winter;
in the morning the hills in a blanket of white.
Sometimes I swear that there’s no music finer
than the sound of the wind in the pines.

Well, this world is a big place full of buildings and cities
And the cruelty gathers where the big rivers roll
But there’s a road that lead out into wide open spaces
And it’s there that I’m fixing to go.

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