Give Us A Chune

A virtual jam session

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Mea Culpa

I guess it's my inner Catholic that still lurks deep , but I actually felt a little guilty about not having posted for a few days. Since posting now takes on the added burden of serving as confession, I suppose I'll need to come up with my own penance, too. Bless me, fellow bloggers. It's been 3 days since my last posting...

Media update: I have started a website to host some mp3 clips. I haven't gotten all the bugs worked out yet, so I can't seem to link to it without hitting a security window. I'll keep plugging away there.

How about a couple pics? Since 75% of my life is spent alone with dogs, I guess I'd better get them some net time.

Here's Edelweiss with a very young Spitze (shpit-zuh--German word with two meanings: literally "tip" for the white tip on her tail as a pup; slang for "the best"). Edelweiss adopted the 6-week-old Spitze right away and they've been a pack ever since.

And because she's never been without a pack, Spitze feels comfortable wherever she finds herself.
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Yes, I have gotten to know a great deal about dog psychology and the pack mind over the past few years. Please bear this in mind if you ever come by the house. Eventually I'll get used to your scent and I will respond verbally.

Been kicking around a lot of melodies and lot of lyrics lately, too. I recall promising to post some here, so this will serve as my penance: I guarantee that I'll be suffering pain--it's easier to sing these than print them out as poetry.

The germ of the idea was two fold: I never knew my grandparents well. I was young when we moved out to MN (from NY) and most of my contact with them was through Hallmark. The other part of it was that I've talked to lots of people of the past few years who have mentioned that they had a parent or a grandparent that played the mandolin (or fiddle, or banjo, but most often mandolin). I always wondered what those oldtimers played and why their instrument always wound up in an attic.

Here's my first draft. Let me know what you think. I'm still in heavy edit mode so the final draft may look very different.

My granddad was a 2 dollar bill
Every Christmas and every birthday
Nothing much between us but a generation
And 2 thousand miles of highway

Granddad played an old taterbug
Hardly ever had a word to say
I remember watching how his face lit up
So I asked him if I could play


Say granddad I could learn that tune
If you played it nice and easy
Something about a shady grove
And a skillet good and greasy

I don't know why it makes me cry
When you play the Wildwood Flower
But it would make me proud if you’d show me how
Let me stay another hour

Grandad smiled and he shook his head
And said “Boy ain’t you too young?
You got to get a lot more living behind you
Before you sing these songs

Every one of these lonesome songs
Is a friend who’s gone to glory
Passing ‘em on to another man
Is like the ending of the story”


A package came with a letter attached
The day that granddad passed
It said “I made me a mess of mistakes in life
And the worst one was the last

I want to you have this old mandolin
I hope you still want to play it
I hope you can remember your last wish
I hope you have the courage to say it”


I'll be every old timer with a fiddle and a song
I’ll be the lines on a wrinkled face
All you need to ask is what I wouldn’t give
The day at granddad’s place

So I travel the road and I play my songs
I pass the hat and I pass the flask
I still see granddad’s face sometimes
And I always stop and ask


At 9:50 AM, Blogger Nosbert Whistlepig said...

Great song Fred. I can't wait to sing it!

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Oh, I like it! Sorry I missed you at Forget. Still, I wouldn't have missed the sandhills either...

At 5:20 AM, Blogger Deb said...

Very nice- I can't wait to hear the musical arrangement!

That reminded me, my mom's old accordian is waiting for me. I only remember her playing it once or twice.


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