Met a fellow musician the other night, someone who was at our gig on Jne 28, on the Main Stage at the Portuguese Festival in P-town, and he said he couldn’t get the song, Prayers for Lune, out of his head. Yeh. I like that. Anyway, my daughter and wife and I were on our way to UMass Dartmouth take our son out to dinner for his birthday, and we had dropped our 8 month old long-haired Chihuahua off at my daughter’s boyfriends house in Wellfleet. While we were on the way after dropping off the dog, my daughter got an email from her boyfriend saying the dog was wobbling around, and looked unsteady. Then he sent a video to her iphone, and it showed Luna wobbling around, almost falling down. She looked sick. We immediately called the 24 hour animal hospital in Dennis, gave them a credit card number, and told them Danny was coming with the dog. Then we called Danny back and he grabbed Luna and took off for the hospital. The doctor said it looked like her liver was bad, so she would have to keep Luna overnight. What a terrible day for us: prayers for Luna. But, then, early the next day, the vet called and said it wasn’t the liver, but must have been something the dog ate….maybe a pill someone dropped on the floor. Anyway, I wrote a song about it, and it’s the seventh cut on the new Leavin’ Nashvegas CD. And if you check the CD cover posted on the site, you will see a picture of Luna on the suitcase. Enjoy.
All songs tell a story, one way or another, either narrative or poetically implied. And narrations can be basic, as when you start at the beginning and end at the, well, end. Or they can be hinted at by the references in the song itself, without necessarily following a traditional narrative. I have one of the latter type in the song, Gram and Emmylou, off the new Leavin’ Nashvegas CD. Gram is, of course, the legendary singer/songwriter/drinking/druggie Gram Parsons. Emmylou is fabled songstress and songwriter, Emmylou Harris. As the story goes, Gram discovered Emmylou singing in a small bar in Washington, D.C. and brought her into his traveling band, The Fallen Angels. Her soaring harmonies can be heard on a lot of his songs. Parsons died on September 19, 1973, of a drug overdose, in the Joshua Tree National Park in California. There are many stories told about their relationship, but no one really knows what went on between them except Gram, who is dead, and Emmylou, who never (well, rarely) speaks about him. On her wonderful story-album, The Ballad of Sally Rose, she has a song that is obviously about him, though she never mentions him directly. It is called The Sweetheart of the Rodeo, an obvious reference to Parsons’ ground-breaking CD with The Bryds with the very same title: Sweetheart of the Rodeo. But no one knows for sure.
My song, Gram and Emmylou, on the new CD, starts at the beginning of their relationship, and ends with his death, in a few short verses. But I have set the song with references to his own songs: Hickory Wind, Grievous Angel, Sweetheart, etc. “A hickory wind blew him out of the south”. The four verse are alternatingly about him, and about her. I even include a reference to a song they wrote together: Boulder to Birmingham. Short, but flavorful. And Stuart Duncan and Adam Steffey play some fine licks. Check it out.