Bill Davis | Far Out

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Far Out

by Bill Davis

Songs that tell stories.
Genre: Folk: Fingerstyle
Release Date: 

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1. Kite String
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2. Winds
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3. Night Freight
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4. The Inn Beneath the Star
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5. Flowers
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6. Clearance
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7. Don't Sing Me No Blues
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8. Spring Fever
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9. Secret Identity
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10. Storm
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11. Wizard
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12. Ghost Train
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13. Friends
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14. Franklin the Dragon
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15. Graveyard
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16. Natural Selection
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17. Bright Star Motel
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18. Temporary Road
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Liner Notes - Lyrics - the Stories behind the stories - acknowledgments - discography.

I love songs that tell stories - that start in one place and leave you in another or maybe take you for a ride and bring you back where you started. Hope these songs do that.

Kite String, Night Freight, & Friends have other versions that were done live at the Avalon Folk Festival and can be heard on Bare Facts) but all the songs on this album were newly recorded. You also might want to check out Elevator & Cecil the Snake, on the album We Are the Sea, And the songs Dolphin, Walter the Bug, Sour Grapes, & Hush Hush, on the CD Somos el Mar.
Thanks go to the “Perfessor” Alan Rubnitz for lending a critical ear and helping with the selection process & I need to acknowledge Larry Niven whose story "Not Long before the End" is the basis for the song "Wizard." That story is in his collection "All the Myriad Ways" and you will notice that I have quoted from the story a couple of times.
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Comments and Lyrics below:



Kite String - In the park a six year old girl was running across a field trying to get her kite up in the air without much success while her aged grandfather watched from a bench nearby. After the third or forth try she stopped as once again the kite had failed to stay aloft. Just then the wind picked up and the kite launched itself and flew so well she had to struggle to hold on as the string played off the spool. When the kite had reached four or five hundred feet her Grandfather helped her tie the string to the bench. The kite was still flying when I finished the lyrics.


KITE STRING

I had a kite on a string which the wind taught how to fly,
As I ran across a meadow one young and windy spring,
At one end was my laughter at the other was the sky,
And we were held together by that string.

The wind would pull it up and the wind would set it free,
It would dip and dive and dance across the sky,
I would laugh and cry and sing, I was a child and it was spring,
Was then I knew that I was meant to fly.

That kite, It may have ended ragged scraps in some old tree,
The string in some useless tangled ball,
But I can still remember how it tried to pull me free,
When the World was just that young, and the sky was just that tall.


The wind would pull it up and the wind would set it free,
It would dip and dive and dance across the sky,
I would laugh and cry and sing, I was a child and it was spring,
Was then I knew that I was meant to fly.

The years have come and gone since then, too often I look down
At the troubles that this old world has brought,
But then I'll feel that bright spring wind, and then I'll turn around,
And feel that tugging kite and what it taught.

The wind can pull you up and the wind can set you free,
You can dip and dive and dance across the sky.
You can laugh, and cry, and sing like children in the spring,
You can always know that you were meant to fly.

When my life is over and they lay my body down
When o'er this ol’ world I've ceased to roam
Tie your kite string to my grave, when the wind blows bright and strong
I’ll hold on tight and let it take me home.

May the wind pull you up, may the wind set you free.
May you dip and dive and dance across the sky.
May you laugh and cry and sing like children in the spring.
May you always know that you were meant to fly.


-------------------


WINDS

I heard the west-wind calling,
Calling me to roam,
Wild, and free, and open,
Where you are, your home.
That's the sound of freedom,
A wild, and mournful cry,
And it's not for being lonely,
It's the dust blown in my eye.

I heard the east-wind calling,
Wet and salty off the sea,
The foaming surf cried “Sail away,”
Let fate say what will be.
Chances changes, Power or Riches,
Bounty Wealth for if you're brave,
Hopes ride wind torn 'o’er the ocean,.,
Sea dreams glimmer on the wave.

I heard the north-wind calling,
Called cold and hard and chill,
The slanted snow shrieks “Never No,”
Forever and then until..
That's the wind that tops the mountains,
Cold harbinger of doom,
And no I'm not afraid of dying,
Its the cold that makes me shiver,
Come home soon.

I heard the south-wind calling,
Hot and humid, lust and life,
The breeze blows for just a moment,
And is cut off like a knife.
But, life's a summer's firefly,
Burning bright, and warm and new,
No, it's just the wind that's changing,
Hold me close while I love you.

-------------------

NIGHT FREIGHT - Bill Davis

Imagine if you will a hobo - a gentleman of the road. Someone who was once part of the world but who for one reason or another has chosen to travel his own way. Maybe it was a lost job, or a lost love, maybe it was just some bad luck. If you asked him how & why he won't tell you. He'd answer, to be polite, with practiced rationalizations and well worn “Road Philosophies”, But the real reasons he keeps to himself - like most of us...
He has had an occasional job, and an occasional companion over the past few months, but tonight he is alone. He’s spent the bulk of the evening at the local eatery nursing a cup of coffee then at closing time walked out of town along the railroad track, hoping to catch a freight It is a cold November night, there is a high moon, which is past full, and it is still. // so still that if he listens it hurts . So maybe he talks to himself.
Winter is coming on and he is cold, and lonely, and just a little scared as he contemplates that point on the horizon where the railroad tracks appear to meet.


Is it coming'? Can you hear it? Can you feel it? Do you know?
In the darkness, In the stillness, In the hunger, Of your soul.

Hear the rumble, Like distant thunder, Like a lone, And restless dream.
At the crossing', Whistle's blowing', There's the burst, Of the headlight's gleam.

There she is, All light and steam, Rolling thunder, Steel rails scream
Rolling' coal, Detroit steel, Farmer's toil, A thousand wheels.



Cry for lonely, Cry for scared, Cry for freedom, 'Fore you're dead.
Train whistle blows, On down the track, Live your life, Don't look back.

A hundred cars, Say you counted, Going too fast, For us to ride.
Gone down that mountain, Across that river, Going someplace, I can't hide.

Cry for lonely, Cry for scared, Cry for freedom, 'Fore you're dead.
Train whistle blows, On down the track, Live your life, Don't look back.

Steel Rails shining, In the Darkness, By the light, Of a lonely moon.


-------------------

A Man talking to his dog. The dog’s name is McGregor for no particular reason. He calls him Mackey.

INN BENEATH THE STAR

Come and sit down here beside me, That's a good old dog McGregor,
Keep watch this night so cold and still, As we have done before.
On these hills that are my homeland, Standing fast and sure beneath us,
Like a promise for the future, From our father's ancient lore.
We have walked these paths together, When our flock it needed keeping,
On nights when rain or fog or wind, Would chill you to the core.
Under stars so pure and steady,We have sought the way together,
Aye, McGregor you're a good old dog, And who could ask for more?

Down below the peaceful village. Slumbers in the Starlit darkness,
The air so still that I heard voices Just awhile ago.
That’s John the old innkeeper, And some late and weary travelers,
Must have put them in the stable, That's the last light that's aglow.
John's a story teller, Mackey, He once told me he had traveled,
Near a thousand miles, And that's a long long way to go.
Then he told me the stars you see here, Shining brightly right above us,
Are the same he saw in that far place, I guess that he should know.

But what's this Mackey? It's a star! A star I have not seen before.
It's shining ever brighter, What a grand and glorious thing.
It lights the sky, Do I hear singing? Quiet Mackey! Listen sharp!
It seems the rocks, and trees, and sky Have all begun to sing!
Allelujah, Allelujah, Allelujah, Allelujah
Glory in Excelsis Deo. Glad tidings we do bring.
For today a Son is born, He will be called “Emmanuel.”
Allelujah, Allelujah, Baby Jesus, Christ the King.

Quiet Mackey! Stop your Barking!
Come and sit here down beside me.
If you listen you can still hear singing Coming from afar.
It is a fine & wondrous thing we've seen This night together Mackey.
All the music for this newborn king All the trumpets and guitars.
I can't wait to tell old John, That there are things he hasn't seen,
Though he thinks he's seen most everything,
In his travels near and far.
But Oh, there is the light
Of the new day softly dawning.
Let's go down and get some breakfast
At “The Inn Beneath the Star”



-------------------


So can you talk to Flowers and if you could would they understand you, or could they answer?

FLOWERS

All the pieces of my life Have been scattered by the strife
Willy Nilly Where's my wife? Doing the laundry

All the questions in my soul say Time's a steady drummer's roll
Death takes a total toll There is the Quandary

There's flowers in the Garden
There’s flowers at the wedding
& There's flowers in the Graveyard
& Soon they wilt and Die

And the question that it poses Concerns itself with Roses
And if they all had noses Would they smell as sweet?

And when gathered into bowers Do those Philosophic flowers
Feel the Passing of the Hours Where’d they go if they had feet?

March out the Garden gate Watch the T.V. Stay up late
Do they communicate? A thorny question.

Or stuck up on a wall Would they not speak up at all
Till they whither die and fall A final lesson



Do they:
Complain about the quality of fertilizer? Do you think that they ever get any wiser?
Do guys talk bout girls & girls bout guys? Or Is that just a rumor?

Do they say “Hey Listen Fella’s” Lets go hang out at the trellis
Yo! check that set of pedals Baby Bloomer
When it comes around that season Do they find the bees quite pleasing
Or do they know the reason That they're buzzing' by at all?


-------------------


For a long time I was a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) Single Engine Land, Multiengine Land - Instrument Airplane. I was also rated for gliders and hot air balloons. But when I go to an airport now I am an airport bum.
When you fly IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) you get to fly in clouds (IMC - instrument meteorological conditions.) This is not a natural thing for people to do because since you aren’t attached to anything when your inside a cloud you can’t tell up from down unless you use the flight instruments. You also can’t tell if there’s anybody else in the cloud who is about to run into you. You need a clearance from Air Traffic Control which keeps tabs on where everybody who is flying IFR is and where they are going. The Clearance might sound something like: Cessna 12345 cleared to the Someplace Airport as filed (according to the way you said you were going) Fly runway heading (after takeoff) maintain 6000 ft (the altitude) Contact Departure on frequency 126.1, squawk 4321 (set your transponder to a number that helps radar identify you).

CLEARANCE

The Rain is pouring down , On this dark and dinghy town
& All the world seems dull, & dark & grey
And I feel like a jerk, In my cubicle at work
And I know that I must get away.
So I make up some excuse, And I carry off my ruse
And I drive the thirty miles out of town
Through the windshield wipers splash, I make my furtive dash
You know I’m growing tired of this ground.

In the briefing room I stand, Check the weather, file the plan
Share a joke with an old airport chum
And as I’m running down my list, Is there something that I’ve missed?
& I ask him if he wouldn’t like to come?
“Hell, yes! If you don’t mind, You know there’s only so much time
And I’d rather spend mine up in the air.”
“You know the Doctor’s took my certificate” He turned away and spit.
Then he laughed And I knew it was a prayer.

Nine two Victor cleared as filed, Fly runway heading Climb maintain
six thousand feet, Contact departure & squawk…
And we taxied through the rain, Checked our gauges once again
All business now, no time for idle talk
Then we’re off and climbing loud, Into the looming clouds
Where it’s whiteness all around, no up or down.
Keep your eyes in motion, for the air’s an unknown ocean
And it’s nothing like we know here on the ground

Then we break out in the blue, & the world is shining new
The Sun’s so bright it brings tears to my eyes
And for an hour or two we stay, like children laugh & play
Soaring, happy, & glad to be alive.
But all things reach an end, Soon I turned to my old friend
Said “Guess it’s time we got back on the ground”
I let him fly approach & land, he flew with a steady hand.
And the sun broke through the clouds as we touched down.

Well, a week or so went by, & I told my boss some lies
Back to the old routine, work day to day.
I was doing some report when a phone call stopped me short
With the news: my old friend had passed away.
At the funeral home that night his grandchild read High Flight.
And we talked about his life and then we prayed.
And in that silent space, with tears upon my face
I heard a voice and this is what it said:
Nine two Victor cleared as filed, Fly Runway heading, Climb, & maintain six thousand feet,
Contact Departure.

-------------------


Some folks just aren’t happy unless they’re miserable.
Don’t Sing Me No Blues

Yeah I woke up this morning Yeah I saw the holes in my shoes
Yeah I saw my baby had left me, I turned on the news
Time’s so bad and I’m so sad every time I try I lose
But Please Mr. Guitar man, don’t sing me no blues.

The blues can make you happy
Make you forget about your miserable life
Blues make you forget how your baby
Ran off – with you wife
And left you crying all alone
In the middle of a deep dark night
Please Mr. let me cry
God knows, I got the right.

You can sing a song about the open road all the places you have gone
Sing a song about true love, and I might even sing along.
You can sing about this or sing about that - anything you might choose,
But please Mr. Guitar man, don’t sing me no blues.



I got the blues in the night & I ain’t got a nickel and I ain’t got a lousy dime.
Tell me I’m gonna get out of jail when the midnight special shines
These days it seems like misery is the only thing I got that’s mine.
So Please Mr. Guitar man don’t make that guitar whine.



You can sing a song about the open road all the places you have gone
Sing a song about true love, and I might even sing along.
You can sing about this or sing about that anything you might choose,
But please Mr. Guitar man, don’t sing me no blues.

-------------------

“And the goat-footed balloon-man whistles far and wee.”

SPRINGFEVER
(The minister takes a walk in the springtime)

Picture a minister sitting at his desk the Tuesday morning before Easter. He is trying to write the Easter Sermon but it is not going to well. Perhaps there is just a touch of cynicism creeping around the edges of his faith these days, perhaps the powerful Easter message seems a bit out of place in this quiet Tuesday morning church, and perhaps it is just spring fever. Anyway he finds himself thinking about “That girl.” and other things un-theological. “That Girl” had come to church once, she sat in the back - seemed a bit out of place, she had stopped and spoken to him, maybe to ask his help in some problem, she hadn't said he wasn't sure. She reminded him of his wife a little when they were both younger. “That Girl” hadn't come back. He puts down his pen, walks out of his office spends a quiet moment looking into the sanctuary with the Spring sun shining through the stained glass. And then he goes outside for a walk.

In springtime warm and wet and green,
And hope and love are new,
Bicycles, balloons, brass bands are seen,
And always flowers and you.

A quiet church a moment still,
The pews alight with springtime sun,
No pot luck crowd on Tuesday morn,
Two weeks till Easter's done.

A bright spring wind makes mud and puddles,
The last of curb snow slush,
Far recess screams and kite string dreams,
Sidewalks and traffic's splash.

A high blue sky torn white clouds race,
I'm off to seek adventure,
For spring brings elves and fairies near,
And Horses become Centaurs.

Fair maiden won't you come with me,
I'm off the slay a dragon,
Then you and me can kiss and play,
And run and shout the chase on.

In springtime warm and wet and green,
And hope and love are new,
Unicorns and magic's seen,
And Always flower's and you.

-------------------

This song became the basis for a short play which was produced by the Elden Street Players for a short play festival.

Secret Identity

When Charlie was a little kid, of 8, or 9, or 10.
The World it was invaded by
Little squishy green space men.
They flew around in saucers, and zapped folks with their rays
And did all sorts of nasty things for days and days and days.

All hope was nearly gone,
But its darkest before dawn,
Would our hero be coming through?
Well Charlie knew just what to do......

He would quickly look about him, and take off his specs.
Step into a phone booth, wrap a red cape round his neck.
Change into his super suit, 'at made everybody stare.
And fly off to the rescue in his long red underwear.

Then some bad guys came around in the middle of the night,
Shooting' guns and spoiling' fun and not being polite,
They said things they shouldn't say, did things they shouldn't do,
Robbed several banks and didn't say thanks - now what are you going' to do?

Well Charlie got much older and I guess that most folks do,
Got himself a boring job, did exactly what they tell him to,
Married him an ordinary wife, has a ordinary kind of life,
Watches PBS on Sundays and stays away from strife,
Except for occasional dung beetle battles!

All hope is nearly gone it’s darkest ‘fore the dawn
Could our hero still come through?
Well … Charlie … Still Knows what to do
He'll quickly look about him and he'll take off his specs,
Jump into a phone booth, wrap a red cape round his neck,
Change into a super suit makes every body stare,
And run around the neighborhood in his red underwear.


-------------------

STORM

The night sits still and hot and soon,
Summer heat invades my quiet room,
A distant drumming in the stillness of the gloom,
Hangs the hazy blood red ogre summer moon.

Starring stirring I am now awake,
Hells furnace burns as tropic gods partake,
Distant drum dances die the forest waits,
The old tall trees stand still beside the lake.

Then comes a grumbling challenge to a battle's fire,
Rain whispers to the trees of a young girls dream desire,
A Flash, and a crash, and the wind wound sounds inspire,
The pagan drumming dancing of a Light Storm Fire.



The night sits still and hot and soon,
Summer heat invades my quiet room,
A distant drumming in the stillness of the gloom,
Hangs the hazy blood red ogre summer moon

-------------------

WIZARD (based on Larry Niven’s “Not Long before the End”)

The Wizard looked out from his castle so dark
And waved his black wand there was fire and sparks
And the wind blew and the clouds flew and Thunder just rolled
For the Wizard was nearly six thousand years old.

And it's; Magical mysteries potions and spells
Chanting incanting the tolling of bells
Far down in the village where mortal man dwells
Here this old minstrel the story he tells

Come a swordsman a slashing and shouting and brave-
ly slaying each foe with the magical blade
He wielded invincible power with each wave
To slay mighty dragons fair maidens to save

The wizard was sitting at home with his wife
The four hundred thirtieth love of his life
He lived in a castle high up in a tower
Where the Wizard he practiced his magical power .

Now swordsmen are stupid and Wizards are wise
Or so say the fairies and they tell no lies
Sometimes swordsmen are stronger than wizards are clever
But most times it's wizards hold the long end of the lever

”In that age battles between swordsmen and sorcerers were frequent.” ... - “Usually the swordsman lost, and humanity's average intelligence rose some trifling fraction. Sometimes the swordsman won, and again the species was improved; for a sorcerer who cannot kill one miserable swordsman is a poor excuse for a sorcerer.”

The sword, “Gli-ren-dee, was really a demon
Locked on to his arm the barbarian screaming
Against it no magic or potion could work
And the swordsman came on through the darkness and murk.

“What's murk anyway? ... So ... the swordsman comes up to the castle gate & says, “Wizard! To long hast thou held captive the fair damsel Esmarelda for thy vile and lecherous purposes!” (Ever notice how most of these damsels is named Esmarelda?) Well, the wizard's wife wasn’t named Esmerelda. She was named Barbara, & she was sixteen & he called her Boo-Boo and they were actually very happy together despite their age difference which, magically, did not appear to be anywhere near what it really was... And now there's this Mythical age Rambo character outside with an enchanted sword ... 'What to do?... What to do?”



So the Wizard he congers a magical disk
And sets it to spinning his powers to risk
And faster and faster by powers of ten
And when magic's gone it won't come again

“And the magic disk spun faster and faster using up the all the magic in the area at a prodigious rate, and, of course, when the magic was used up the swordsman's enchanted sword could not work. But before it faded entirely away the enchanted sword turned back into the demon it actually was and the demon bit the swordsman’s arm right off. And when the wizard's magical accelerating disk finally exploded in a ball of light his magic wouldn't work either & he suddenly found he was six thousand years old and rather feeble. So when the swordsman came to kill him with his bare hands… or rather bare hand. The wizard had to stab him with a very un-enchanted kitchen knife. Then he (and Barbara) moved on to where there was still some… ”



-------------------

Ghost Train takes place at the Herndon Festival which takes place the first weekend in June. The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad once ran through town but it is a hiker/biker trail now, but the station is still there and there is a caboose right next to where the carnival is set up. Ca-lI-oh-pee is how it’s supposed to be pronounced but a Carney would say Cal - I - Ope.
GHOST TRAIN - Bill Davis

The carnival was crowded funnel cakes and whip around,
The wooden horses pranced up on the old merry-go-round,
The Ferris wheel was all decked out in colored neon lights,
The June air was still and sweet that night.

There were shouts of happy children and the singing of the band,
The smell of cotton candy and the tickets in your hand,
The hoot and chatter coming from that old time calliope,
It’s three tries for a dollar says the man who's selling hope.

The Railroad that once had been there long since stopped its run,
The tracks were gone the depot still at the setting of the sun,
Nearby stood an old caboose to tell that story’s end,
But, here’s what happened that June night, so listen close my friend.

From far away somewhere down that old track’s right of way,
There came a sound that no one’s heard since a long gone yesterday.
The high pitched scream of a steam train whistle blowing a crossing down,
Everybody stopped to see just what was that sound.

The first thing that we saw was a cloud of smoke and steam,
A beam of light that split the night and another whistle’s scream.
It made a noise like thunder. That would shake the heavens down.
& A ghost of a black iron Steam train came rolling into town.

The carnival went quiet no one moved and no one spoke,
The train stood at the station hissing steam and smoke,
Nobody said a word and nobody went near,
For they could see by the firebox light that ghost of an engineer.

In the cars you could see the forms of folks inside,
Strange passengers looking out wondering why they’d died,
Later Willie Jones said he saw a man get off that train,
But, everybody said that Willie Jones was just insane.

Well, maybe so and maybe not; It’s not for me to say,
Though I was there and saw it all - not fifteen feet away,
I only know that Alice Brown, who was my bride to be,
Got on board that steam train then turned and waved to me.

The ghost conductor hollered “All aboard, it’s time to go,”
The train pulled out moving stately, smooth, and slow.
The last I saw of Alice Brown was on that dark June night,
When she got on board that ghost train & rode off to the light.

The carnival was crowded funnel cakes and whip around,
The wooden horses pranced up on the old merry-go-round,
The Ferris wheel was all decked out in colored neon lights,
The June air was still and sweet that night.

There were shouts of happy children and the singing of the band,
The smell of cotton candy and the tickets in your hand,
The hoot and chatter coming from that old time calliope,
It’s three tries for a dollar says the man who's selling hope.

-------------------


A couple of months after I wrote this I was at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. And there towards the middle near the top bout three rows down was a Paul I Pesce who had been killed on April 19 1972 age 21.

FRIENDS

I’ll tell you right up front, John, I don’t know the answers,
This game of life has stumped me more than once you can be sure.
But, if you need the couch, or a shoulder you can cry on,
I know enough to listen to the things that you’ve endured.

Come back into the kitchen and I’ll fix a pot of coffee,
I’d offer something stronger, but I’ve been sober for a year.
God its been a long time since those times we had, remember?
When we were young and fearless, it’s been what now? Thirty years?

Remember that old Beetle, that never had a muffler.
We’d drive it to those football games with a bass drum tied on top.
And Larry, Paul and Jimmy and the times we all went camping,
With What’s-his-name? Old Butterbutt? yeah! Dimmy William’s Pop.

You remember when we all took parts in Mrs. Shuey’s play.
Paul played Tom, and I was Huck, and you, of course, were Jim.
On that raft on wheels we drifted down the Mighty Mississippi,
When we jumped it rolled off the stage and smashed that violin?!

God, that was the saddest thing I think I can remember.
We both cried in the Honor Guard when Paul got killed in ‘Nam.
Yeah, I been down to the wall, I go there every April.
His name is near the middle, toward the top, ‘bout three rows down.

So tell me what you’re doing, where you’re living, how’s your family
Tell me John, I want to know about your plans and dreams.
‘Cause time goes on, it’s been a while a bunch of years have come and gone
Something tells me that your coming here is more than what it seems.

My God! John that’s terrible I wish that I had known,
There mighta been something, I don’t know, I might have been able to do.
At least I could have been there when things got dark and lonely,
Cause friends like us John, should try to see it through.

No I don’t know the answers, I can’t tell you what to do,
I don’t know all the reasons why, or how its all going to end,
But, Until that time I’ll cast my lot with Huckleberry Finn,
And go to Hell before I’d hurt a friend.
Until that time I’ll cast my lot with Huckleberry Finn,
And go to Hell before I’d hurt a friend.

-------------------

FRANKLIN THE DRAGON - Bill Davis

Franklin the Dragon, His tail was a wagging, he always was bragging How much he was feared.
& highly respected, For what he’d collected & the towns he had wrecked over Two thousand years
Now I ain’t no liar, When he lit his fire you’d get the desire To move out of town
It was Havoc & Flinders And a couple of Cinders, as all that had been there Was burned to the ground

Franklin lived in a cave in a dark lonely mountain
It was cold, damp & moldy & it smelled & the TV was dead
But so were his visitors. Franklin had grown tired of counting
The heroes & fools who came just to chop off his head

Now Frank’s one and only, But he’s growing lonely, ‘cause he’s got no cronies, with whom to converse.
No damsels with distresses, wearing Long dresses to share his caresses, now what could be worse?
Was it way last November? He couldn’t remember when last he dismembered a beautiful lass.
‘Twas a year ago Friday night he’d had his last fried knight & he wasn’t cooked just right he gave Frank gas

So Franklin decided to visit his relatives
Two headed Sebastians - Aunt Elsie McDuff
And Blister & Blaster and Squeamish their Jellyfish
And his Egotistical nephew named Puff.

But Elsie’d grown quiet on a vegetable diet, She wasn’t quite right, she was hardly a cow.
And Blister & Blaster were walking disasters, obeying their masters and pulling a plow.
Sebastians talked to themselves, answered themselves as well Franklin was bored as hell He soon had enough
He’d a craving for wreck & ruin, flying across the moon, singing a different tune, strangling Puff.

His green slimy scales shone gold in the moonlight.
His talons flashed silver, his eyes shone bright red.
A clatter of wings and he rose in the dark night.
On thunder and fire onward he sped.

Frank burned up a chicken coop, scared off a girl scout troop Then did a loop-de-loop, High in the Sky
Franklin flew through the dark, Franklin would leave his mark, terrified dogs would bark, babies would cry.

Now dragons are not real nice, if you want my advice, you will think once or twice, before you go near.
They may be admired, Because they breath fire, & never get tired, but they’re something to fear.

His green slimy scales shone gold in the moonlight.
His talons flashed silver, his eyes shone bright red.
A clatter of wings and he rose in the dark night.
On thunder and fire onward he sped.

-------------------

GRAVEYARD

There's a graveyard on the hill,
And When your life is over,
And the wind is quiet and the Sea is still,
You'll lie beneath the Stones and Clover.

You'll be all dressed up and no place to go,
No fun at all since you left your soul.
You'll have lost some weight, but you won't look well,
When you’re Lying 'neath the Stones and Clover.

Carved in each stone is an epitaph,
Some can make you cry, some can make you laugh.
Some tell of things that you can't do,
When you're lying' 'neath the Stones and Clover.

For it's “Dust to Dust” and “Now I'm Home”
And “Now Here under Lie my Bones.”
“Gone from this veil of Tears and Woe,
To Lie beneath the Stones and Clover.”

Ezekiel Liele lived a hundred and three,
When they carried him home to victory,
His fight had been fought his songs been sung.
Upon his stone it said “The good die young.”

“Dearest Father,” “Loving Mother,” “Baby Brother,” “Sister Sue,”
“Eighteen hundred forty seven.” “Nineteen hundred twenty two.”
Lived their lives, and lived them well. Ever after the tolling bell.
Now Angels peer from crumbling columns, In the silence of the Stones and Clover.

There's a graveyard on the hill,
And When your life is over,
And the wind is quiet and the Sea is still,
You'll lie beneath the Stones and Clover.

-------------------


NATURAL SELECTION

The earth keeps spinning round, and the people on the bottom fall off,
'Less they hold on tight with all of their might, and enough is never enough,
There’s a bird in a cage who read me a page of the newspaper on his floor,
He said “Hello my friend, It's not me locked in, It's you're locked out the door.

Oh the galloping Galapagos are very, very populous, with all of Darwin's pets,
I dinna’ really wanna’, but I met a big iguana, and I guess I passed the test.
Cause She said “I see the direction in your natural selection, but buddy where is your tail?
Evolution's made me cuter, I've invented a computer, and the check is in the mail.

The monkey in the zoo, just me and you, one & two make three.
In the sun and the moon we can sing our tune and always be on key.
When your in trouble try rubbing' up a bubble, Flubber-dub and Howdy-do!
De weather's hazy, I'm going crazy, ain’t nothing else to do.

Huckleberry Finn, came walking' in, from floating down the river.
And the wind began to blow, and the cold and the snow and I began to shiver,
“You don't know about me, without” said he, “You have read the book,”
If the truth be told, the phone's on hold, and the fish is on the hook.

Well it's plain to see I am out of sight, and I'm very nearly out of mind,
I'm going out of my head, but I ain't yet dead, and I hope you will be kind,
Cause the earth keeps spinning round and the people on the bottom fall off,
Unless they hold on tight with all their might, and enough is never enough.

-------------------

There is an actual Bright Star Motel in Panama City Florida, but it is a bit larger than the fictional one in this story, and it would probably not get an ice storm.

There was a man who had an argument with his son. Things were said that shouldn't have been said but couldn't be taken back and couldn't be forgiven & the son drove off into the night. Many years pass with no contact, anger faded to regret and resignation, but then one December the father received this Christmas letter...


THE BRIGHT STAR MOTEL

I’ve been six months out of prison but I’m doing pretty well
I got this job working at the Bright Star Motel
It’s just ten rooms and just like me a little bit run down
One shiny blinking neon light, five miles out of town.

Now Bob & Lucy own the place they hired me on faith
They go to church each Sunday just to sing about Amazing Grace.
Thankgiving they went to see their Grandkids in LeFarge
Won’t be back ‘til New Years. They left me here in charge.

So I fix the continental, make the beds and watch the desk,
My room’s back of the office where I go to take my rest
I read a lot and watch TV guess the job’s a little dull
But I don’t complain it’s better here than where I was last fall.

The light blinks on and the light blinks off
For all the world to see.
And underneath there is a sign that says
,,, Vacancy

Most nights we don’t fill up, sometimes it’s kind of slow.
But last Wednesday noon it started in to rain, then sleet and snow
By eight o’clock we were full They closed the interstate
No place else to go so we settled in to wait.

There were some High School kids from a glee club choir touring round the state
Three drunks from Benny’s Bar they’d be partying up late
A family moving down the road foreclosed home in Tennesee
A guy named John & A working girl who’s name was Crystal Lee

The light blinks on and the light blinks off
For all the world to see.
And I turn on the say sign that says
No Vacancy

Then sometime after midnight I heard somebody knock.
Guy says his car was stuck, he’d take anything we’ve got
His wife stood there beside him - six or seventeen at most
And eight or nine months pregnant & pale as a ghost.

I joked “If we had a stable friend I’d let you stay for free.
Your names not Joseph is it? He said “No I’m Jose & She’s Maria”

The light blinks on and the light blinks off
For all the world to see.
And underneath I turn on the sign that says
No Vacancy

Crystal Lee came in just then and she was mad as hell
Seems her John had stood her up. She cursed him out quite well
Then she saw Marie, that brought her to a stop
She said “Please excuse me girl - Looks like you’re about to pop!”

Maria nodded quitetly “Si, esta tempo” - “Yes, It’s time”
I tried to call up 911 but the ice had downed the lines
Jose and I just stood there not knowing what to do
But Crystal Lee took charge and said - “Move we’re coming through”

She took Maria into the back and put her on my cot
The radio played “Silent Night” but I’ll tell you it was not
The screaming woke the whole motel. They all came down to see.
& gathered in that motel office around a little Christmas tree..

Morning came new fallen snow & a newborn baby’s prayer
I didn’t see no angels - that don’t mean that they weren’t there.
Maybe just the kind that kids make playing in the snow
I made one of those myself if you really want to know.

So Peace on Earth & Merry Christmas to all the folks back home
I still can’t leave the state, but I’m not here all alone
We’ll raise a glass of Christmas cheer that’s me and Crystal Lee.
And hope that Christmas finds you all safe and warm and free.

Yes we’ll raise a glass of Christmas cheer and hope that you’re all well
Here’s a very merry Christmas from the Bright Star Motel.

-------------------

Temporary Road is a real road in Reston Virginia (the original is now a path) but the road has been there for at least thirty five years and will probably be the last sign post standing when the lone and level sands of our time stretch far away.
TEMPORARY ROAD

I've been traveling’ that Temporary Road,
long hard traveling’ down Temporary Road,
It can't be far down Temporary Road,
I'm going' home, Oh Lord! Down Temporary Road.

First we're here, and then we're there on Temporary Road,
All we got is what we share on Temporary Road,
All the good times that we had there On Temporary Road,
Will soon be gone, gone, gone down Temporary Road.

I met some friends on Temporary Road,
Sang some songs on Temporary Road,
Now it's good-bye now I gotta’ go,
Moving' on down, Oh Lord, Temporary Road.


When I'm dead and gone and buried Temporary Road will still be here!
When my great grand kids get married Temporary Road will still be here!
When the saints go marching' in Temporary Road will still be here,
We'll spend eternity on Temporary Road.

I've been traveling’ that Temporary Road,
long hard traveling’ Temporary Road,
It can't be far down Temporary Road,
I'm going' home, Oh Lord! Down Temporary Road.



discography:

Song Album

Aerobatic Pilot - 1989, Bare Facts
Artist - 1989
Ballad of the Break of Dawn - 1989
Bare Facts - Bare Facts
Bright Star Motel - Far Out
Cecil the Snake - We Are the Sea
Clearance - Far Out
Cycle Path - 1989
Dolphin - Somos el Mar
Elevator - We Are the Sea
Flowers - Far Out
Franklin the Dragon - Far Out
Friends - Bare Facts, Far Out
Ghost Train - Far Out
Graveyard - Far Out
Hazyman Crazyman Lover - 1989
Hush Hush - Bare Facts, Somos el Mar
Inn Beneath the Star - Far Out
Kite String - Bare Facts, Far Out
Let's Form a Committee - 1989
Little Bit Crazy - 1989, Bare Facts
Nasty - 1989
Natural Selection - far Out
Nervous - 1989
Night Freight - 1989, Bare Facts, Far Out
Don't Sing Me No Blues - Far Out
Sour Grapes - 1989, Bare Facts, Somos el Mar
Spring Fever - Far Out
Storm - Far Out
Temporary Road - Bare Facts, Far Out
Walter the Bug - Bare Facts, Somos el Mar
Winds - Far Out
Wizard - Far Out


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