Lyrical Nirvana

Pease forgive the rather haphazard way that I through this piece together.

I love the written word, and often copy song lyrics that I like, for publication on this blog.

The only way to truly appreciate song lyrics, is to hear them accompanied by the intended music, and if possible, sung by those who did it the best.  I don’t do that here, but I think we can still “feel the words”.

This Joan Baez song was about the plight of one southern family in the Civil War. It would not be allowed on the radio today, despite the fact that Baez had a strong anti racism voice, and marched with Martin Luther King.

Joan Baez Lyrics
“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”

Virgil Caine is my name
And I drove on the Danville train
‘Til so much cavalry came
And tore up the tracks again
In the winter of sixty-five
We were hungry, just barely alive
I took the train to Richmond that fell
It’s a time I remember
Oh, so well

The night they drove Old Dixie down
And all the bells were ringin’
The night they drove Old Dixie down
And all the people were singin’
They went
Laaaaaa, la-la-la-laaaaaa
La-la, la-la
La-la-la-laaaaaa

Back with my wife in Tennessee
And one day she said to me
Virgil, quick come see
There goes the Robert E Lee
Now, I don’t mind I’m choppin’ wood
And I don’t care if my money’s no good
Just take what you need and leave the rest
But they should never have taken the very best

The night they drove Old Dixie down
And all the bells were ringin’
The night they drove Old Dixie down
And all the people were singin’
They went
Laaaaaa, la-la-la-laaaaaa
La-la, la-la
La-la-la-laaaaaa

Like my father before me
I’m a working man
And like my brother before me
I took a rebel stand
Well, he was just 18, proud and brave
But a yankee laid him in his grave
I swear by the blood below my feet
You can’t raise the Caine back up
When it’s in defeat

The night they drove Old Dixie down
And all the bells were ringin’
The night they drove Old Dixie down
And all the people were singin’
They went
Laaaaaa, la-la-la-laaaaaa
La-la, la-la
La-la-la-laaaaaa

———————————————————————–

Powerful lyrics from a great folk oriented singer/songwriter. I can feel the pain. Nothing can bring more pain, than love.


James Taylor Lyrics

“Fire And Rain”

Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone.
Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you.
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,
I just can’t remember who to send it to.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again.

Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus, You’ve got to help me make a stand.
You’ve just got to see me through another day.
My body’s aching and my time is at hand and I won’t make it any other way.
Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again.

Been walking my mind to an easy time, my back turned towards the sun.
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it’ll turn your head around.
Well, there’s hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things to come.
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.

Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend,
but I always thought that I’d see you baby, one more time again, now.

Thought I’d see you one more time again.
There’s just a few things coming my way this time around, now.
Thought I’d see you, thought I’d see you, fire and rain, now.

———————————————————————————————–

Simply a great song by one the best blues/folk oriented singers ever. We lost him too early.

The only way to appreciate this song lyrically or musically, is to hear Redding’s version of it. That is often the case.

“(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay”
Otis Redding

Sittin’ in the morning sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evening comes
Watching the ships roll in
Then I watch them roll away again, yeah

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the Frisco Bay
Cuz I’ve had nothing to live for
And look like nothing’s gonna come my way

So, I’m just gon’ sit on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

Looks like nothing’s gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I’ll remain the same, listen

Sittin’ here resting my bones
And this loneliness won’t leave me alone, listen
Two thousand miles I roam
Just to make this dock my home, now

I’m just gon’ sit at the dock of a bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
Sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

——————————————————————————————————-

One Tin Soldier

I know very little about the two writers of this song, but it is lyrically and musically one of the best antiwar songs ever written. It represents what we generally think of war, as well as those “little wars” we all have been a part of.

Written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Plotter

Listen, children, to a story
That was written long ago
‘Bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley-folk below
On the mountain was a treasure
Buried deep beneath the stone
And the valley-people swore
They’d have it for their very own
Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of heaven
You can justify it in the end
There won’t be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away
So the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill
Asking for the buried treasure
Tons of gold for which they’d kill
Then came an answer from the mountain
With our brothers we will share
All the secrets of our mountain
All the riches buried there
Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of heaven
You can justify it in the end
There won’t be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away
Now the valley cried with anger
“Mount your horses! Draw your sword!”
 And they killed the mountain-people
 So they won their just reward
Now they stood beside the treasure
On the mountain, dark and red
Turned the stone and looked beneath it
“Peace on Earth” was all it said
Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of heaven
You can justify it in the end
There won’t be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away
Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of heaven
You can justify it in the end
There won’t be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away

And finally, one of the greatest songs every written called Amazing Grace. John Newton was a sea captain, first for the British Navy, and then for private industry. His job for both, was running slaves from Africa to England initially, and then to America. He eventually found that he could not live with himself. How could anyone? He searched for the only true answer, God.

The words below, describe his journey in his own words, and were written in 1779

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

God Bless,
Wayne

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