Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Drifting Too Far from the Shore

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We had a practice session for an upcoming church service and this is a recording of one of my favorites written by Charles Moody, one of eight children born on October 8, 1891.
"The list of artists who have recorded “Drifting Too Far From the Shore” reads like a Who’s Who of bluegrass and early country gospel. Curiously, Charles W. Moody himself never got the chance to record it. First to commit the song to a record were the Carolina Gospel Singers on September 27, 1929, in Richmond, Indiana, for the Gennett label. Those who followed suit includes The Monroe Brothers, Porter Wagner, Hank Williams, Carl Story, Jerry Garcia, Boone Creek, Pure Prairie League, Old & In the Way, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Bill Monroe, Rose Maddox, the Country Gentlemen, Roy Acuff, Red Smiley, Don Stover, The Stanley Brothers and Emmylou Harris, as well as Helen, June and Anita Carter." - source Native Ground
I sing the lead on this version. I'm including the words so you can sing along. Recorded in the key of D, 

Drifting Too Far From the Shore
Out on the perilous deep,
Where dangers silently creep,
And storms so violently sweep,
You are drifting too far from the shore. (Chorus)
   Drifting too far from the shore,
   You are drifting too far from the shore (peaceful shore),
   Come to Jesus today, let him show you the way,
   You are drifting too far from the shore.
Today the tempest rolls high,
And the clouds overshadow the sky,
Sure death is hovering nigh,
You are drifting too far from the shore. (Chorus)
Why meet a terrible fate,
Mercies abundantly wait,
Turn back before it’s too late,
You are drifting too far from the shore. (Chorus)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The French Song

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I have so much fun playing music with the locals in the surrounding area. The William Brothers show up at a number of these events and sing a number of great country tunes. When you play music in central Massachusetts it is inevitable that you will hear what is called "The French Song". This is about as French Canadian as you can get. I'm including the lyrics so you can sing along.

The French Song (in the key of G)

Quand le soleil dit bonjour aux montagnes,

Et que la nuit rencontre le jour.

Je sui seule avec mes reves sur la montagne,

Une voix me rapelle toujours.

Ecoute a ma porte les chansons du vent
M'rapelle les souvenirs de toi

Quand le soleil dit bonjour aux montagnes

Je suis seule, je ne veux penser qu'a toi

Now when the sun says good-day to the mountains

And the night says hello to the dawn

I'm alone with my dreams on the hilltop

And I can still hear his voice though he's gone

I hear from my door the love songs through the wind

It brings back sweet memories of you.

Quand le soleil dit bonjour aux montagnes

Je suis seule, je ne veux penser qu'a toi.

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request

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On September 20, 1984, Steve Goodman died of leukemia at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. He had anointed himself with the tongue-in-cheek nickname "Cool Hand Leuk" (other nicknames included "Chicago Shorty" and "The Little Prince") during his illness. He was 36.
Four days after Goodman's death, the Chicago Cubs clinched the Eastern Division title in the National League for the first time ever, earning them their first post-season appearance since 1945, three years before Goodman's birth. Eight days later, on October 2, the Cubs played their first post-season game since the 1945 World Series. Goodman had been asked to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before it; Jimmy Buffett filled in, and dedicated the song to Goodman. Today, the Chicago Cubs plays "Go, Cubs, Go" at the conclusion of every home game win, a song Goodman wrote for his beloved team.
In April 1988, some of Goodman's ashes were scattered at Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs. He was survived by his wife and three daughters. His eldest daughter, Jesse, passed away in 2012. - Source Wikipedia

Monday, October 17, 2016

American Terrorism

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As Trump prepares to lose his latest strategy is announcing that the election is rigged. Some of his followers have decided that perhaps bullets should replace ballots.Trump is joined by people who are supposed to know better such as Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Al) who supposedly should know better.

Meanwhile Speaker Paul Ryan continues to endorse Trump in spite of comments decrying his "rigged" comment.

I was ill on Saturday and watched Trump's harangue in Portsmouth. I was experiencing vertigo and realized my physical nausea matched my political nausea. This is such a dark time.

Friday, October 14, 2016

You Want It Darker

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A new album will be released on October 21st  from Leonard Cohen named You Want It Darker corresponding with his  82nd Birthday. Cohen stated in a interview that he is ready to die, but I as a longtime fan of his songs and poetry, hope he stays around as long as possible.

Two of  of his more famous songs were  Bird on the wire and  , inspired in part by his muse and lover Marianne Ihlen. When she was dying of leukemia Cohen wrote her this letter.
Well Marianne, it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine. And you know that I’ve always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don’t need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road - The New Yorker

Leonard Cohen - Bird on the Wire 1979

Like a bird on the wire, 
Like a drunk in some old midnight choir 
I have tried in my way to be free. 

Like a worm on a hook, 
Like a monk bending over the book 
It was the shape, the shape of our love twisted me

If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it all go right on by
If I, if I have been untrue
It's just that I thought a lover had to be some kind of liar too


If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it all go right on by
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope that you know by now it was never to you

Like a little baby stillborn
Like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me

But I swear, I swear by this song
I swear by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee

I saw a beggar he was leaning on his wooden crutch,
he said to me, "You must not ask for so much."
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,
She cried to me, "Hey, why not ask a little bit more?" 

Oh like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in some old midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

I Never Will Marry

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The chorus of this cheery tune was derived from a British broadside ballad known as "Down by the Seashore". There are many variations, I've included two that I found on YouTube, also listen to the version performed by Joe Val.

One morning as I rambled all down the seashore
The wind it did whistle, and the waters did roar
I heard a fair damsel make a pitiful sound
It sounded so lonesome in the waters around

I never will marry, or be no man's wife
I expect to live single all the days of my life
The shells in the ocean shall be my death bed
The fish in deep water swim over my head

She plunged her fair body in the waters so deep
She closed her blue eyes in the waters to sleep
My love's gone and left me, the one I adore
She's gone where I never will see her anymore