26 December 2013

For an Old Kentucky Anarchist

I never thought one could have a favorite song, but having discovered this one a year or so ago, it is hard to imagine one that speaks more true.There's a lot bound up in it for me, but essentially it seems a celebration of an authentic life against an artificial one. It falls within the fascinating and delightful realm of music known as 'folk punk'.

High upon a mountaintop, lay a garden untended and dry
'Twas a yard that hadn't felt children's feet runnin',
for the mother long ago taught her children how to fly
Within a simple cabin, untouched by industrial hands,
sat the aged mother in her home.
"You can't escape the picture frames -- there's too many," she said.
"They keep me from bein' alone."

Well, she spoke -- "He was an honest man, he worked hard to put food on our plates
"Well, we had more babies than we had arms -- we struggled all our lives, but the rewards were great
"And when my son came home from the war, he rested his head on my breast, and said:
"'Ma, I'm tired of being used and grinded down, I feel so low -- can you make me feel like I'm the best?'

"Well, my best friend truly wed a savage man -- he wore her like a bad tattoo.
For his only love was for a bottle; she said 'There's only thing left for me to do.
'To be wild once again, to take back my life, ran away and set flames to his truck
He won't ever know what he's been missin', I did every day -- joy, freedom, dance and love
Joy, freedom, dance, and love..

These are the stories this mother spoke to me as I brought her garden back to grow
I was rewarded with a warm meal, tales never to be told --
Some call it poverty, but they'll never know.
She said, "All I got's my stories and this old guitar.
"My crops have all come and gone away
 "I got a head full of recipes enticin' to the taste,
and a likin' to wake up and greet the day
"Got a bad back from raisin' my children,
"From huggin' my husband so tight
Hell, I never much for any government --
" -- and I got my Jesus when I feel the time is right
"Singing, 'I'm the richest I'll ever be --
"I embrace the world I have all around me
"So sing a dying song and slap your knee
"Have a taste of true anarchy!"

No comments: