Dedicated to all the folks who had the courage to journey to The Dark Heart Tavern, who’s lives are chronicled in these stories and who’s music helped to light the darkness. These stories are your stories. I am fortunate and honored to have been able to tell them.
Thank you to all the players whose considerable music talents added so much beauty to this album, Jon Preddice-Cello, Randy Hudson-12 string baritone guitar, Inda Eaton and Caroline Doctorow -background vocals and Pete Kennedy guitars, percussion, vocals and mandolin, Jean Schroeder percussion.
Produced by Pete Kennedy, Caroline Doctorow and Fred Raimondo
I have been writing songs for quite a number of years. Recently someone asked why I do it. It's a hard question to answer in a way that might make sense to most people. I have played a lot, but as far income from songwriting...not so much. I have a royalty check for $15.00 that I have never cashed, produced 2 CD's with Damaged Goods that have probably generated about what they cost... so it's clearly not for the money. And yet I continue to write, it is although more a passion than a hobby. I would guess that maybe I have written somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 to 200 songs.
Truth be told, I don't actually feel I write the songs. The songs, I believe write themselves. If I am open and keep my ego out to the equation, they come, if I try too hard what turns out, to me is pretty lame. Tom Waits in his induction speech to the Rock and Roll Hall of fame said, "You have set a trap for the songs, you have to be quiet and wait for the big ones to come along." So I try to be real quiet...not sure I have been quite enough. Tom Waits on the other hand is a zen master of song fisherman. Here's an example of one of his world record catches...
Tom Traubert's Blues
Wasted and wounded, it ain't what the moon did, I've got what I paid for now See you tomorrow, hey Frank, can I borrow a couple of bucks from you To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You'll go waltzing Mathilda with me
I'm an innocent victim of a blinded alley And I'm tired of all these soldiers here No one speaks English, and everything's broken, and my Stacys are soaking wet To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You'll go waltzing Mathilda with me
Now the dogs are barking and the taxi cab's parking A lot they can do for me I begged you to stab me, you tore my shirt open, And I'm down on my knees tonight Old Bushmill's I staggered, you'd bury the dagger In your silhouette window light go To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You'll go waltzing Mathilda with me
Now I lost my Saint Christopher now that I've kissed her And the one-armed bandit knows And the maverick Chinamen, and the cold-blooded signs, And the girls down by the strip-tease shows, go Waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You'll go waltzing Mathilda with me
No, I don't want your sympathy, the fugitives say That the streets aren't for dreaming now And manslaughter dragnets and the ghosts that sell memories, They want a piece of the action anyhow Go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You'll go waltzing Mathilda with me
And you can ask any sailor, and the keys from the jailor, And the old men in wheelchairs know And Mathilda's the defendant, she killed about a hundred, And she follows wherever you may go Waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda, You'll go waltzing Mathilda with me
And it's a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace, And a wound that will never heal No prima donna, the perfume is on an Old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey And goodnight to the street sweepers, the night watchmen flame keepers And goodnight to Mathilda, too
Welcome to The Tower of Song.I have chosen the title The Tower of Song as the title of my blog, because it is the title of a song written by Leonard Cohen. I believe Leonard Cohen to be one of the great songwriters of this, or for that matter any generation. This blog is dedicated to songwriters, some new some old, some known and some unknown. The posts will be about those songwriters, about their songs, about our songs..."you see you here these funny voices In the tower of song."
"Tower Of Song"
Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey I ache in the places where I used to play And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on I'm just paying my rent every day Oh in the Tower of Song I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get? Hank Williams hasn't answered yet But I hear him coughing all night long A hundred floors above me In the Tower of Song
I was born like this, I had no choice I was born with the gift of a golden voice And twenty-seven angels from the Great Beyond They tied me to this table right here In the Tower of Song
So you can stick your little pins in that voodoo doll I'm very sorry, baby, doesn't look like me at all I'm standing by the window where the light is strong Ah they don't let a woman kill you Not in the Tower of Song
Now you can say that I've grown bitter but of this you may be sure The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor And there's a mighty judgement coming, but I may be wrong You see, you hear these funny voices In the Tower of Song
I see you standing on the other side I don't know how the river got so wide I loved you baby, way back when And all the bridges are burning that we might have crossed But I feel so close to everything that we lost We'll never have to lose it again
Now I bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be back There moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track But you'll be hearing from me baby, long after I'm gone I'll be speaking to you sweetly From a window in the Tower of Song
Yeah my friends are gone and my hair is grey I ache in the places where I used to play And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on I'm just paying my rent every day Oh in the Tower of Song