Purple Sky

As much as I miss the greens and whites of northern Wisconsin, I’ve long been in love with the purple orange sunsets of the Arizona desert.

This song owes much to The Sons of the Pioneers, especially by way of Michael Nesmith’s album Tropical Campfires and the songs Moon Over the Rio Grande and Twilight on the Trail.

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All These Walls

People spend a lot of time fussing and fuming about things they can’t change. Like I used to.

I am apolitical, so this isn’t about what’s in the news, it’s about what’s in my head.

http://www.freeimages.com/photo/brick-wall-1194038

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Like the Sea

Em
we’ll be together
D
now and forever
Em D
like the sea and the earth and the sky
Em
yes we’ll live forever
D
always together
Em D Em
my golden-haired lady and I
Em D Em

gulls cry above us
here on the hillside
smell the sea spray in the air
we walk hand in hand
through gentle green grasses
the sun glinting gold in your hair

and we’ll be together
now and forever
like the sea and the earth and the sky
yes we’ll live forever
always together
my golden-haired lady and I

like waves of the sea
that will never give over
their flowing forever to shore
there’s room in two hearts
who’ve found one another
for loving to flow evermore

and we’ll be together
now and forever
like the sea and the earth and the sky
yes we’ll live forever
always together
my golden-haired lady and I

we’ve nowhere to go
our whole lives to get there
and never to walk alone
fill me with joy
and I’ll fill you with laughter,
golden-haired lady, my own

and we’ll be together
now and forever
like the sea and the earth and the sky
yes we’ll live forever
always together
my golden-haired lady and I


Home Like No Place (Me and Stephen Foster and Boll Weevil)

Huddie sang about that old boll weevil
And how that bug was looking for a home
Every time I hear that song
Seems he got it wrong
I know that old bug just liked to roam

Even Stephen Foster’s great plantation
And old folks at home were far away
How ever many times
We all sing Stephen’s rhymes
He’s wandering creation to this day

Me and Stephen Foster and boll weevil
We’re travelers not looking for a home
Roads rambled, rivers crossed
Some wanderers ain’t lost
We’re forty years from the milk and the honeycomb

Life ain’t some great eternal baseball game
There’s more for you and me than rounding third
Every child knows the poem
There’s no place like home
Don’t you believe everything you’ve heard

Me and Stephen Foster and boll weevil
We’re travelers not looking for a home
Roads rambled, rivers crossed
Some wanderers ain’t lost
We’re forty years from the milk and the honeycomb

Best beloved’s sitting by the fire
Simm’ring supper smell fills the air
But when Foster and the bug
Look up from the rug
You’d best believe they’ll take you off somewhere

Me and Stephen Foster and boll weevil
We’re travelers not looking for a home
Roads rambled, rivers crossed
Some wanderers ain’t lost
We’re forty years from the milk and the honeycomb
We’re forty years from the milk and the honeycomb


Long, Long Ride

Hi. My name is Joel and I cheat at 333.

chorus
I’ve got a long long ride
And it’s a dark dark night
With nothing but the stars to light my way
I’ve got some big big dreams
And some good good friends
And I know I’m gonna make it back someday

I left my small small town
For the bright bright city
I knew that I could make it if I tried
I had a true true heart
And a deep deep love
For a dream I had that would not be denied

chorus
I’ve got a long long ride
And it’s a dark dark night
With nothing but the stars to light my way
I’ve got some big big dreams
And some good good friends
And I know I’m gonna make it back someday

There were some rich rich people
Heard my hot hot music
Heard a gravy train a-comin’ from afar
Now they were sharp sharp thinkers
Had some fat fat bankrolls
And they spent it so that I could be a star

chorus
I’ve got a long long ride
And it’s a dark dark night
With nothing but the stars to light my way
I’ve got some big big dreams
And some good good friends
And I know I’m gonna make it back someday

bridge
I know you’ve heard this story two too many times
Mean city breaks a country boy’s heart
I’m telling you right now that’s not how it was
I made a name
And got my fame
I had it good
As one man could
But missing home was tearing me apart

chorus
I’ve got a long long ride
And it’s a dark dark night
With nothing but the stars to light my way
I’ve got some big big dreams
And some good good friends
And I know I’m gonna make it home today
And I know I’m gonna make it home today

performance notes
banjo in G
verse and bridge begin in C
vamp in bridge is D


Intent

Silently watching through the window as you play
Intent that every single note says exactly what you have to say

Will it disquiet you to know I hear your song?
I think about how lovely it would feel if you would only let me play along

I love you so
So here I go

I boldly strum the strings to let you know I’m there
You gently change your tune to let me know you care

I love you so
So here we go


storyteller

There was a whole story in my head when I wrote the chorus and a few snippets about a year ago. I guess it’s gone, I don’t know.

I love The Man from Snowy River. In one scene, Jim says to one of his mates, “You’re welcome at my fire any time.” Seemed like a real cowboy way of expressing your respect for someone.

storyteller

he had the kind of a face most folks wouldn’t even notice
they weren’t noticing now as he stood there in the blazing sun
made to walk by, but he caught my eye
and said “I could tell quite a tale, if you’d just buy me one.”

we stepped inside and I saw all the usual faces
the lonely, the losers, the lost, and me
he sipped at his ale and he told tale upon tale
and he took me to places I never thought I would see

“it’s a great big world, under a great big sky
a man can get lost, be hard to find”
with a look in his eye that made me hope it was true, he said
“You’re welcome at my fire any time”

couldn’t tell if he was looking at me or through me
and since he started talking, I hadn’t said a word
as we sat in that booth I learned a lot of truth
and he told me every story I’d ever heard

“it’s a great big world, under a great big sky
a man can get lost, be hard to find”
with a look in his eye that made me think it was true, he said
“You’re welcome at my fire any time”

he told stories that sounded like long lost letters from home
after while I wasn’t sure if they were about him or me
all the places I’d been he took me there again
then he leaned in and tapped me on the knee

“it’s a great big world, under a great big sky
a man can get lost, be hard to find”
with a look in his eye that made me know it was true, he said
“You’re welcome at my fire any time”

Good Pair of Jeans

I was stuck on the lyrics of another song and decided, about 45 minutes ago, to switch to this idea.

Sometimes a song just needs its own space.

my fav’rite hat is crushed and flat, it’s ragged at the brim
my fav’rite boots are scuffed and scraped and looking mighty grim
my overcoat of black cashmere no longer looks as slim
but nothing beats a good pair of jeans

nothing beats a good pair of jeans
just take a look at these and you’ll see what I mean
blue is best but I’d even wear ’em aquamarine
nothing beats a good pair of jeans

my sweetheart has a couple pairs with legs as long as hers
they seem to fit her well enough and follow her straight legs
follow ’em right to the ground, right where she wears her spurs
no, nothing beats a good pair of jeans

nothing beats a good pair of jeans
turn around and check the mirror, you’ll see what I mean
I’m thinking maybe she should get a pair in tangerine
nothing beats a good pair of jeans

I put all the holes in these; they ain’t no acid wash
I got some from Levi and some others from Oshkosh
wear ’em when I sit and read, wear ’em when I nosh,
’cause nothing beats a good pair of jeans

nothing beats a good pair of jeans
look down at your own and you’ll see what I mean
blue is best but I’d even wear ’em aquamarine
I’m thinking maybe she should get a pair in tangerine
if you know Captain Kangaroo you can even wear ’em green
nothing beats a good pair of jeans
no nothing beats a good pair of jeans