Since my diagnosis, Sammy Shelor has been kind enough to loan me the theme song, ‘Long Gone,” which is our prayer for all who deal with similar conditions. While it still presents many difficulties, we hope to eventually subtitle it “Gone At Last.” I appreciate your prayers and concerns as we try to make the best out of this we can.
Archive for the ‘song lyrics’ category
I dedicate this song to my doctors, my nurses, and to anyone who suffers
The Brain Tumor Blues
I’ve got the Brain Tumor Blues But that don’t mean I’m thru
My neurosurgery pal drilled a hole in my skull and did what he could do
To rummage ‘round and carve about
And diagnosis that devil right out
It’ll take time but a cure’s what he pursues
It’ll be pinch of radiation and a touch of chemotherapy stew
I’m Wake Forest Gold but Duke Blue Devil will do
This new recipe ain’t no Bull City Bull
But the hippest new trick to make a country boy full
of hope for a cure and a comeback as good as new
So I’m off my gig a couple of months or three
But I’ll be back just you wait and see
My brain ain’t old, just hypertrophied
There’s doctoring to do and stories to tell
Still so many songs to play I’ve just gotta stay
And hang aound to for a few more Dr. B days
As y’all know “Turkey in the Straw” is a public domain tune, which means it has been around so long it belongs to all of us. (like me) Bet you didn’t know it has words.
Truth is as far as I know it didn’t until today. I’m making this up as I go along. This is a fine strategy for an artist; I do not recommend that approach for the doctor aspect of life. Better to know what you are doing ahead of time in that gig.
Anyway, here’s the chorus. Y’all feel free to chime in with a verse if you like. Just remember this is a public forum and “Turkey in the Straw” is a public domain song, so if you hear someone sing it in Tuscon next year, all you get is the satisfaction to know you are a part of the extended bluegrass family. To me, that’s enough, and this Thanksgiving I find myself more thankful than ever for the privilege.
Turkey in the Straw (Chorus)
Turkey’s in the oven… turkey’s in the straw
That’s as fine a turkey…. as I ever saw
Taters are a sizzling…… and the gravy’s in the pan
Have a cup of coffee, stay for supper if you can.
Y’all have a blessed Thanksgiving.
I have a saying I like: “If you want to do some good in the world you can count on resistance. If you want to do wrong you can count on being granted significant latitude.”
I once remarked to a friend I couldn’t understand why people were persecuting someone; it seemed to me he was doing his best to do right.
My buddy said, “I don’t know Doc, they did it to Jesus didn’t they?”
I never forgot that. This was a simple country man, but he had a lot of wisdom. One can expect a hard time for doing right.
One of the themes of my book is redemption. My Lit agent always says the King James is the backbone of Southern Literature. The longer I know him the smarter he gets.
This morning on FaceBook my friend Cliff Searcy posted on this subject. Go check it out. After I read over his thoughts these words came to me. If Jesus can rise from the dead, there is hope for redemption for all of us.
Just as sure as He
Rose from the dead
The spirit can rise in you
Just when you think
All in lost
And don’t know what to do
Turn to Him
And let your soul within
Give you life anew
I hope all of you have a blessed day.
My daughter got in late last night. We debated what song of the day I should post for Thanksgiving. It didn’t take long to realize there aren’t many Thanksgiving holiday specific bluegrass songs. She thought of ‘Turkey in the Straw’ (she always was a traditional young’un) and I came up with ‘Wild the Ride Turkey’ by Jerry Douglas. But neither is a Thanksgiving number per se, at least not like ‘Christmas Times a Coming.’
We noodled around with a few ideas, then crashed for the night. These words came to me this morning. Okay, I admit they ain’t that great, but I really wanted a bluegrass song to post today and I couldn’t find one. I’m getting ready to go eat turkey with my people, so I’ll revisit it later. Y’all change ‘em around or add to ‘em. The music belongs to all of us anyway. If you record it, you can give me half credit and send me a turkey!
Thanks to Bluegrass
Turkey’s in the oven
Gravy’s on the stove
Daddy plays the mandolin
‘Bout like Bill Monroe (poetic licence there folks)
Mama has a doghouse
And sings the tenor true
The kids can pick the old five string
And play some fiddle too
We don’t work the farm these days
But still dig the farm-yard swing
Country folk’s state of mind ain’t bout geography
It don’t matter where you live
From Washington to Maine
You’re good by me and family if bluegrass is your thing
The country doctor way of life
Is all we’ve ever known
But we’re thankful for the lessons that the music’s always shown
My guess is without it old Doc’d be dead and gone
So thanks again for all you do
With those old time songs
Not just today but all year round
We’re thankful for our friends
Cause here in Harvey County the music never ends
So when we’re at the Nursing Home
Here’s what we’re gonna do
Let bingo go, break ‘em out, and sing away our blues
Hey, I’m just thankful there ain’t no killing songs today. Y’all have a fine Thanksgiving.
I knew a man whose wife left him for some Italian fellow. He was bluegrass. She was, well….. let’s just say she got above her raising. He’s remarried now, and doing well.
One day he recalled how she said she was so sorry, but he thought her tears were likely gone before the plane took off. If occurred to me if his wife had been bluegrass it never woulda happened; she’d a taken a train.
The more I thought about it, I decided there needed to be a few more bluegrass jet plane songs. The trains dominate the genre, and rightly so. As somone wrote, there ain’t nothing romantic about a tarmack. There wasn’t much romantic about this guy’s first wife either, so it fits.
They took flight today
Dried up right away
Ain’t like a railroad song
The thing about these tarmack tears
Is they won’t last too long
She called the house to tell me
She’d booked a flight to Rome
She said there warn’t nothing left
To keep her here at home
She met some guy Italian
From his hairdo to his shoes
Ain’t nothing ‘talian bout me ‘cept the day old pizza blues
I walked her through the turnstile
She shed a tear or two
At a gift shop stop she somehow got
Stricken with the blues
Bought her one last Starbucks
And put her on the plane
I hope she bought a one way flight And don’t come home again
What she don’t know is when she’s gone
I’m gonna be just fine
The high pitched whine of a jet turbine
Don’t tug this heart of mine
Like the lonely moan late at night
Of the old steam whistle blues
That stirs my soul some sad way She ain’t never knew
O.K. Get on me for being silly if you want, but I see enough bad stuff in my work. For me music is just pure fun and an escape from the reality of the Doctor world.
This is the coolest thing I have ever run into. A couple blogs ago I posted the ’Coffee Song.’ I came up with some words and a melody, then posted the lyrics.
The next thing I know a fellow blogger, a Paramedic who goes by MM, sent me his version of it. I was shocked how close his interpretation was to what I had in my head.
I thought it would be fun to see what other versions people might come up with. I have this intellectual property rights lawyer cat who deals with all this so I can just have fun, and the song is BMI registered, though under my songwriter pen name. MM recognized all that in his e-mail; like me he’s just having a bunch of fun with life, and asked if he could send in his version. I dug it.
Along the way I have had a few tunes recorded by professional bluegrass bands. So with all that is mind I think I’ll open my first contest, and do so in honor of MM. Send in your version and if anyone records it, I’ll make sure the person who inspires them to record the tune gets mentioned in the liner notes on the CD.
You might think all this is far fetched, but I know a bunch of these bands on a first name basis. And, the fact is there are already two food outfits who sponsor touring bluegrass bands. The oldest tradition is with Martha White Flour, which first sponsored Flatt and Scruggs, and now Rhonda Vincent. The newest one is Mayberry Foods, which sponsors the Grascals. (Lead singer Terry Eldridge endorses Viagra, but that is another story. My wife says Seldom Scene needs to go for Cialis; Ben Eldridge does a fine version of ‘Lay Down Sally.’)
I’ve got some age on me, and I’m more of the Folger’s vintage these days, so who knows? Maybe someone will record the ‘Coffee Song’ and tour around the country in the Folger’s or Maxwell House bus.
By the way, what is it with paramedics and music? I played with one this weekend who could saw the fire out of a fiddle. I think they are like old Docs and music helps them deal with the tragedy they see on a regular basis.
Anyway, you can hear his version by clicking on his comment. His is the first one up, so this post is in honor of MM. Very cool.
Send in your version. Maybe it will be good for a few minutes of fame on some bluegrass CD liner notes or a ride to a concert on the corporate bus one day.
Last night’s jam session brought these words to mind. (Bluegrass people love coffee)
Cook up the morning coffee, and not the decaf kind
I don’t care what brand’s on hand as long as it satisfies
For to percolate right after playing all night
And keep the cobwebs from my mind
It seems to be it’ll have to be that high test blend of mine
Two more cups of coffee, and I’ll be good to go
Put on another pot of that mud, in hopes that I might know
How to find a way to start my day and go where I need to go
Two more cups of coffee and I’ll be good to go
Some folks always ruin the taste by doctoring with sugar and cream
Or add some new-fangled flavor they’ve found
Like nothing I’ve ever seen
Special moments for me can simply be poured up from an old tin can
So make mine straight, stout and black and as strong as you can stand
Some folks say if you drink too much
It might be bad for you
But Doc won’t leave the house for work without he has a cup or two
It keeps you alert, helps the brain, and circulation too
So pour me up more java mama and I’ll be good as new
Dr. B (BMI)
I figured I’d get your attention with the title. O.K. so it ain’t true. Remember, I’m a fiction writer, and that affords me a liberal inerpretation of life’s events. In reality, I’m a testosterone poisoned lug like all the other guys I know.
But, at least you gotta give me credit for effort. Take morning coffee for example. By habit, I am an early riser, and like to get up and read and write before daybreak. My wife enjoys sleeping in. I’m in a regular routine of drinking two or three cups of coffee, and then come time for the morning news, I take hers to her while she’s still in bed, and then we catch up with what’s happening in the world. It is the way we begin the vast majority of our mornings.
Now, before you get the notion my wife is some kinda prima donna, she ain’t. I figure she spends ninety percent of her waking hours doing something that helps me, and it is the least I can do. So, I guess that is my idea of being romantic, as practical and boring as it may be. Maybe one day I ought to surprise her and bring flowers.
This tune was e-mailed to me by another doc, and I liked the words, so I’ll dedicate it, and today’s post, to my Marfar.
“Two More Cups of Coffee”
Two more cups of coffee mama
And I’ll be good to go.
Pour up another pot of that mud
In hopes that I might know.
How to find my way on a given day
And go where I need to go.
Two more cups of coffee mama
And I’ll be good to go
Cook up the morning coffee dear
And not the decaff kind.
I don’t care what brand’s on hand
As long as it satisfies.
For to percolate right
After playing all night
And clear the cobwebs from my mind.
It seems to me it’ll have to be
That high test brew of mine.
Some folks always ruin the taste
By doctoring it with sugar and cream.
Or add some new fangled flavor they’ve found
Like nothing I’ve ever seen.
Special moments for me can simply be
Poured up from an old tin can.
So make mine stout straight and black
And as strong as you can stand.
I’ve read all the old studies that say
It might be bad for you.
But tend to file the ones away
with findings that are new.
How it keeps you alert
Clears your mind
Helps circulation too.
So pour up some more java mama
And I’ll be good as new.
And by the way, to the writer I would say NEVER call your wife mama. If I didn’t warn the boy, I’d have to have a new title for today’s post. (See my old post on “Bluegrass Batchelor Party.”)
An executive friend wanted me to write some words for a tune. His wife got transferred to Pennsylvania, and now in midlife they find themselves in a long distance relationship. The words are lame, and cover the same turf as countless tunes from multiple genres, except for one twist- it is unusual in bluegrass to long for geographic locales north of the Mason Dixon line. Of course, this is all tongue in cheek, ’cause there is just as much good bluegrass up North as here in the Carolinas. Perhaps one of our Pennsylvania bands can put the words to good use.
Pennsylvania on my mind
Can’t think of nothing more
Pennsylvania on my mind
I’m headed out the door
The weatherman says its colder there
By more than ten degrees
My mind knows that must be true,
But my heart just don’t believe
Meet me in Pennsylvania girl
That’s where I want to be
Its so cold and lonely here in sunny Tennessee
I’m gonna hit the Interstate
So lock the gate and stay up late
Just be sure to leave me out the keys
Ain’t no sweeter state to me
Than home in Tennessee
But that ain’t true when you’re up there
And not down here with me
So I’ll head north and hope to find
A Pennsylvania state of mind
Cause that’s the only place I long to be
Good to finally get on back
Above the Mason Dixon line
And in the arms of the only girl
I’d ever hoped to find
I think I’ll stay up North a while
I love Pennsylvania anyhow
More than that sunny south old hometown of mine
Dr. Tom Bibey