Poetry That Echoes Around The Room, Out the Door And Into The Fields   9 comments

NogalesImage by kenne

I love the music of Tom Russell, he is a singer-songwriter who is in touch with those who ramble the earth. In the introduction to his 2012 book, “120 Songs” Russell writes about how songs beckon you to move a little closer, “Let me tell you a story.”

“They beguile us with their sing-song rhyme and tinkle-down melodies, yet they are imbued with trued feel for human history, poetry, emotion and cold hard facts of life, than a thousand dusty tomes from social scientists, poets, politicians, theologians and academic historians. Songs travel.”

Russell’s songs are about real people, their suffering and survival, and times when whiskey needs to be drank like wine — songs for as long as forever is.

GUADALUPE

There are ghosts out in the rain tonight,
high up in those ancient trees
Lord, I’ve given up without a fight,
another blind fool on his knees
and all the Gods that I’d abandoned,
begin to speak in simple tongue
and suddenly I’ve come to know,
there are no roads left to run

Now it’s the hour of dogs a barking,
that’s what the old ones used to say
It’s first light or it’s sundown,
before the children cease their play
when the mountains glow like mission wine,
then turn gray like a Spanish roan
ten thousand eyes will stop to worship,
then turn away and head on home

She is reaching out her arms tonight,
lord, my poverty is real
I pray roses shall rain down again,
from Guadalupe on her hill
and who am I to doubt these mysteries?
Cured in centuries of blood and candle smoke
I am the least of all your children here,
but I am most in need of hope

She appeared to Juan Diego,
she left her image on his cape
five hundred years of sorrow,
cannot destroy their deepest faith
so here I am, your ragged disbeliever,
old doubting Thomas drowns in tears
as I watch your church sink through the earth,
like a heart worn down through fear

She is reaching out her arms tonight. . . 

When you read the words in Russell’s songs, you can see the influence of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Federico Garcia Lorca and Charles Broskoski. The words and songs, “. . . suck  us in, slap us around, kick us in the belly and heart, and then push us back out into the world with a memory we’ll never purge from our blood.”

kenne

 

 

9 responses to “Poetry That Echoes Around The Room, Out the Door And Into The Fields

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  1. An absolutely wonderful write up. Enjoyed the videos too. More thought went into lyrics when such music was being made. Still some of that going on nowadays but very little. Truly appreciate you sharing this post. All the best,
    ~RDS

    randalldeanscott
  2. Reblogged this on Nature’s Abhorred Vacuum.

  3. Thank you for the good music. I added them to my favorite. I like the music with stories and a lesson to be learn.

  4. Reblogged this on Becoming is Superior to Being and commented:

    Time to reblog one of my favorite postings. — kenne

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