COME SHARE THE FIRE - Notes on the Songs:
1. Come Share the Fire - “... A guitter ol’ fiddlin’ weaver o’ tales, a banjocological truth-tellin’ liar ...“ This is a song I wrote as a way of introducing myself to an audience. It works especially well on a chilly winter evening when we’re all gathered in a warm, little church sanctuary somewhere off in rural Minnesota. Fire is a metaphor for life, of course. It takes on deep meaning in Minnesota where the cold weather can literally kill you!
2. Many Mansions - A friend thinks that this is the best song I ever wrote. Well, who knows? I do like it, though I find that I don’t perform it often. Maybe I should. It presents a viewpoint that I believe deeply.
3. Disney World - This song had been sung many times before our family finally made it’s sacred pilgrimage to Disney World when the kids were in high school. When I sing it, I imagine myself sitting in front of our TV set when I was a little kid watching Walt Disney’s “Wonderful World of Color” - in black and white!
4. The Preacher & the Bear - An old favorite written by Joe Arzonia years ago. I was vaguely aware of the song, heard David Holt sing it, then worked up my own version with the added ending about the bear coming to church.
5. Sequoia Sempervirens - The scientific Latin name for the coastal redwoods of California. Individual trees are often connected underground to a much more ancient root system from which they propogate. For me, this has become a powerful metaphor for humanity. We, too, are deeply connected in invisible ways that root in eternity. The spiritual path consists in becoming increasingly aware of the roots and less bothered by the branches.
6. Good Things Come in Three - Written somewhere south of Seattle. ‘One and one makes three’ is a phrase I noticed while turning the compost one time. I pulled it out, shook it off a little bit and it seemed just fine. I figured that it would just get absorbed by some tomato if I didn’t use it.
7. Oda to Minnesota - Much of the blame for this song should go to Howard Mohr whose book,"How to Talk Minnesotan," precipitated much of it. Growing up in Minnesota was definitely an abetting factor. The odd thing is that all this just seems like common sense to us Minnesotans.
8. Golden Slippers - An old steamboat calliope tune that was popular back in the days of minstrelsy. I’ve adapted the lyric somewhat and do it on my banjo and amplified toy box lid.
9. A Mighty Fortress Revisited - This one takes Luther’s great Reformation hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” as a point of departure. As I reflected on the image of the fortress, it occurred to me that a fortress could be as much a prison that keeps us in as a protection that keeps other things out.
10. Kissin’ Don’t Last, Cookin’ Do! - One fine day I was driving on Highway 61 just north of Winona, MN when I noticed a billboard. At the bottom of the sign was the sagely phrase, “Kissin’ don’t last, cookin’ do!” It’s now emblazoned on our favorite red apron in the kitchen.
11. Devil’s Dream-Deedle Dee - “Devil’s Dream” is a well-known American fiddle tune. It was intriguing to imagine that the devil had nightmares and what they might be like. I do sense truth lurking somewhere behind the admittedly comic imagery.
12. Waltz for Morgan Moses - Morgan Moses was the stillborn son of friends of ours. Though he hardly got started, he won’t be forgotten. The tune bears some similarities to Jay Ungar’s powerful “Ashokan Farewell” which I hadn’t heard when I wrote it. Suzanne, this is the one you liked so much.
Recorded and produced January-May 1989 and May-June 1993 by Jack and Scott at Scott Malchow Productions, Minneapolis, MN. Mixed by Scott, Jack and Dave Schmidt.
“ . . . A guitter ol’ fiddlin’ weaver o’ tales, a banjocological truth-tellin’ liar . . . “ Jack Pearson is known across the country as “Mr. Song-Strummin’ Storyman!” His work weaves music, writing and storytelling to form a life-fabric uniquely his own. Jack is a resident and performing artist for K-6 schools and also provides a refreshing Gospel outlook through his original songs and tales. Since 1979 Jack’s artistry has been hosted in churches, camps and conference settings around the country. Jack lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his accordion-playing wife, Nancy. Find out more at www.jackpearson.org or www.myspace.com/jackpearsontunes.