In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on!

. . . from the BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Musical Double Dip: Down That Lonesome Road

I seem to have a weakness for musical posts lately. Of course, they typically take less research and writing than more serious academic statements, and are probably more fun for me and my readers! And, music is such an important element in my life. Rare are the moments when I don't have some tune or piece playing in my head, and I can't hardly do a menial chore, like dishes or ironing, without plugging into my iPod or switching on the radio to stir my spirit. As Shakespeare said, “The man that has no music in himself, nor is moved with sweet concord of sweet sound, is fit for treason, stratagems and spoils.” (The Merchant of Venice). That's certainly not me!

So, bear with me as I present two wonderful recordings for your listening and viewing pleasure. The first, Walk Down That Lonesome Road, is a beautiful acapella piece by James Taylor. Like several other songs that I've featured, I first heard this sung several years ago by the Brockport, NY High School Choir, of which my son Colin was a member. It's a somewhat sad song, reflecting a difficult truth we've all experienced at some time: that if we act impulsively and say hurtful things, we may lose the companionship we so need in life's journey. The pain is worth it if we learn the lesson, though, and this is as appealing an expression of it as you'll ever hear. Lyrics are reproduced below the video.


Walk down that lonesome road, all by yourself.
Don't turn your head back over your shoulder.
And only stop to rest yourself, when the silver moon
Is shining high, above the trees.

If I had stopped to listen once or twice,
If I had closed my mouth and opened my eyes,
If I had cooled my head and warmed my heart,
I'd not be on this road tonight.

Carry on (carry on, carry on),
Never mind feeling sorry for yourself.
It doesn't save you from your troubled mind.

Walk down that lonesome road, all by yourself.
Don't turn your head back over your shoulder.
And only stop to rest yourself when the silver moon,
Is shining high, above the trees.
Now, for something completely different! While searching YouTube for Walk Down That Lonesome Road, I stumbled upon another song very similarly titled, Look Down That Lonesome Road, by bluegrass artist Tim O'Brien. If you were feeling a little blue after Mr. Taylor's song, Mr. O'Brien's will lift your spirits back up, and then some! So lean back, kick off your shoes, and prepare to slap your knee! Again, lyrics appear after the video. Enjoy!


Down where that Southern rail crosses the Yella Dog,
I met an old auctioneer, I heard his monologue
He said I got horses, I got mules, and I got sheep
Some I wanna sell boys, and some I wanna keep
Says I got a tale or two that I need to tell
Sit down beside me and rest yourself a spell
I've lived a good long life and I've got no regrets
Let me tell my story before I forget

Look down that lonesome road, before you travel on
I hate to say goodbye, so I'll just say so long

See the way that Bay horse rides, it seems just like a sin
That horse is broke in two, he lost his couplin pin
And yonder there's man a comin, bless his poor heart son
His head's all empty, his bread it's just not done
But look at that old mule here, the one with one lamp lit
He's about half blind but there's work in that mule yet
He'll pull a heavy load boys, I know him well
They never did give that mule no back up bell

Look down that lonesome road, before you travel on
I hate to say goodbye, so I'll just say so long

They say whiskey slows you down and clouds up your thinkin
But as long as they make whiskey I'd say we'll keep on drinkin
As long as life keeps hittin hard, a drink will help you to take it
And long as we drink whiskey, they'll continue to make it
Some folks have to slow down if they're maimed or lame
Other folks keep movin, keep rockin on just the same
I walk like an old fox, I shake my big old tail
Even though there's a hell hound he's sniffin on my trail

Look down that lonesome road, before you travel on
I hate to say goodbye, so I'll just say so long

Just kick this old dog, make real sure he's dead
Then find go another dog, don't you hang your little head
Gonna be a lot of livin after I am gone
I'll leave a little for you son, come get your share done

Look down that lonesome road, before you travel on
I hate to say goodbye, so I'll just say so long
Look down that lonesome road, before you travel on
I hate to say goodbye, so I'll just say so long
Don't ask me what these lyrics mean, but the song is so rousing, who cares?

3 comments:

The Queen said...

Anything by my man James is worth listening to and does my soul wonders! I must have seen him in concert at least six times and would not mind seeing him six more times. I hope to meet him some day and give him some advise on teenage twin boys, but only if he sings me a song or two. What do you think my chances are, Tom? Do you have any connections that would help you sister-in-law make her dream come true? Love to everyone in NY!!

It's A Wonderful said...

I don't know how I missed your new post. So sorry. Thanks for the sweet music...I saw JT years ago, but I don't remember much of the concert. I never really was a concert-going gal. I preferred musicals and the opera. What a nerd I am, I mean, was.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post dad! I completely forgot about this piece, but hearing it just now gave me chills, what a beautiful song. Acapella music is so beautiful.

-Colin