Happy Samhain, here’s a track for the beginning of the Dark Half of the year:
I’ve never seen a stone circle, but it’s one of the things I hope to do next summer. I dream of singing this song at some circle, perhaps Callanish, or wherever else seems right. Seems only fair, after all the times I’ve sung it, and all the images that have come to me while so doing. The finding of the proper place will be as much fun as the singing, if not more so.
I’ve sung this song a lot over the last few days, in BART stations, and last night at the Freight and Salvage. I even sang it today for Giants fans. After all, what else did I have that was even remotely related to baseball? People were so high from the parade that most of them didn’t really care, as long as it had a beat–if they noticed me at all, that is.
Playing in BART stations is proving to be quite rewarding, as long as money isn’t the yardstick. My voice is improving, and I’m building a repertoire that’s more interesting than just the stuff I used to do at Faire. Giant, for instance, is a Stan Rogers song and something that could never have been written in any other era but our own. If you’ve never heard him before, you are in for a treat–and you really should hear Giant from his lips, he does it better than I ever will.
Tonight, after all, is a night for ancestors, and Stan Rogers is definitely one of mine, musically speaking. He and all the others whose recordings played for me tirelessly till I got it right–or at least got all the notes in the right place, made me the singer and drummer that I am. I hope someday to be good enough to do that service for musicians as yet unborn, should my own songs stand the test of time. I might stand at the forefront now, carrying their tunes on my breath, but others have to take up the songs or they die. Even caught as they can be now, on magnetic tape or bits of code, songs have to be sung, not just listened to. The great gift of recorded music can be a curse as well, causing us to shut our mouths if we don’t believe that we measure up to what we hear. So I sing Stan Rogers, and Bert Jansch, and even Todd Rundgren on occasion, and use their perfectly preserved bests as inspirations and teachers, a way to get better than I am now. A way to hitch my wagon to a star, as my ancestors bade me do.