' I've lost the power I had to distinguish between what to ignite and what to extinguish' – Rowland S. Howard

Tag: Guy Clark

‘Songs of Innocence’

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.
And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the Sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.

Dylan Thomas ‘Fern Hill’

O after Christmas we’ll have no need to go searching
For the difference that sets an old phrase burning-
We’ll hear it in the whispered argument of a churning
Or in the streets where the village boys are lurching.
And we’ll hear it among decent men too
Who barrow dung in gardens under trees,
Wherever life pours ordinary plenty.
Won’t we be rich, my love and I, and
God we shall not ask for reason’s payment,
The why of heart-breaking strangeness in dreeping hedges
Nor analyse God’s breath in common statement.
We have thrown into the dust-bin the clay-minted wages
Of pleasure, knowledge and the conscious hour-
And Christ comes with a January flower.
Patrick Kavanagh ‘Advent”

Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee

William Blake, ‘The Lamb’

As the title suggests, this post includes a selection of ten songs which reflect an ‘innocent’ perspective on life. Generally speaking, they tend deal with childhood experiences or with the early teenage years. Of course, there will be a sequel:

1. Phil Ochs, ‘Boy in Ohio’ :

2. Neil Young, ‘Sugar Mountain’:

3. Lucy Kaplansky, ‘Manhattan Moon”:

4. Ricky Nelson, ‘Waitin In School’:

5. Chuck Berry, ‘School Days’:

6. Sam Cooke, “Wonderful World’:

7. Smog, ‘Teenage Spaceship’:

8. Guy Clark, ‘Texas 1947’:

9. The Go-Betweens, ‘Cattle and Cane’:

10. Mary Gauthier, ‘Sugar Cane”:

Voices Part II – Today’s The day

Carrying on from my previous post, here are some other rock songs which deal with the issue of the deaths of close friends/contemporaries and the passing way of close family members.

Will begin with two songs from recent albums by Kevin Hewick, which included fine tributes to close associates of his like Tony Wilson of Factory fame and that much under-rated songwriter, Jackie Leven.

The first is ‘Fac501’:

A sample can be heard here at https://pro.beatport.com/track/fac-501-original-mix/3488421

Next up is ‘A Young Man’s Dream of Revolution’ from his excellent Heat of Molten Diamonds cd:

That album also features the excellent song, ‘Elegy For Jackie Leven’, but there doesn’t seem to be even a sample of it available on the net.

To conclude this post, here are some of my favourite songs dealing directly with the death of a parent.

Will begin with Lucy Kaplansky’s beautiful song about her dad:

and follow it with Guy Clark’s beautifully crafted song about his father, ‘The Randal Knife – another song which proves his mastery of the ‘story’ song;

Will conclude for today with Johnny Duhan’s superb, ‘The River Returning”;

A sample can be heard here at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004GOAPI8/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp