Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Coal Quay Market Song

We saw Cathy Ryan and Cherish the Ladies more than a decade ago at the Southwest Irish Festival in Dallas. I even got to perform there once. I think they were desperate. This song is a fun little number that my daughter Meghan learned by heart. We'd sometimes break out in this song while we were riding in the car somewhere. I'd join her on the chorus. My little girl will never know how much those little moment meant to the old man.

I've always thought that life should be like a musical and we should just randomly break out in song at the slightest provocation. I suspect that's what heaven will be like.


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

Apparently not, if you listen to what Arlo Guthrie and Willie Nelson have to sing about it. Perhaps the song is only some sort of fire insurance for these guys, given the lifestyle they lead, but hey?  Even the mighty Elvis Presley put out a Gospel album to make his mama happy.

Meanwhile we get to enjoy this joyful rendering of the old Southern Gospel standard.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Freight Train

This is one of the first songs I learned to finger-pick on my guitar when I was learning. I once heard a recording of Elizabeth Cotten singing this song. This version for clawhammer is different from the one Elizabeth sang with her big dreadnaught guitar or the one I play on my classical guitar.

I love folk music because it's so open to individual interpretation.

Here is the original version as played in her unique style by Elizabeth Cotten playing a left-handed dreadnaught.

Here's a link to the Smithsonian Folkways biography of Elizabeth.


Tom King

Well here's a really good film of Elizabeth singing a kind of revenge song with this great line in it "I wish to my soul that old woman would die!"

You just can't get great lyrics like that anymore.


Monday, April 23, 2018

City of New Orleans - the Original

Probably my favorite version of "City of New Orleans' is Arlo Guthrie's. He did , however, get the song from a songwriter named Steve Goodman. He's an odd little guy, but he writes pretty good songs. I looked him up and found this version of Goodman doing his own song.


Tom King

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Me and You and a Dog Named Boo

I liked this song when it first came out, though I never was one much for the hippie lifestyle. I don't just hear the melody. I listen to all the words. It's a problem when your verbal IQ is 10-15 points higher than your performance (math) IQ. It means you can't help but hear the words. I hadn't thought about this for years until Me and Sheila and a Dog named Daisy drove 2300 miles in a U-Haul from Texas to Washington State. Seemed kinda appropriate for the trip.


Friday, April 13, 2018

May the Road Rise to Meet You

Nice close harmony from Mulberry Lane. These ladies do a nice job of this old Irish blessing, and I certainly could use an old Irish blessing right about now.


Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Bald Headed Men

Sheila, the boys and I once spent a Sunday at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. One of the performers was a perky little woman named Christine Lavin. While she's aged some since we saw her live, she's still funny and odd even with white hair. One of my favorite of her songs is a tribute to men without hair and as a man who is losing his hair with startling rapidity, I find myself quite fond of this song. She also did a version some years ago with five other women who called themselves "Six Bitchin' Babes", a nom de plume somewhat at odds with their collective feminism.

Great song, though. Christine can be forgiven for her politics if she keeps writing funny songs.