In one version of the story it is your birthday. You are turning 16. Your Dad hands you the end of a ball of string and says, “your Mom and I thought you were ready. You have earned this.” You follow the string. It is wound around most everything in the house. And the yard. It takes almost ten minutes to get to the end. It is tied to a 00018 Martin guitar. You recognize it right off the bat. It is your teacher's guitar. It is a galaxy away from anything you have earned. You pick it up and are surprised to see, there on the side, a sizable hole. Dad says "Sorry about the hole... Dave got into a fight at the Alley Cat and hit someone with it, but he said we can get it fixed and it won't change the sound." Won't change the sound, you are thinking... really?
there’s a hole in the master plan
things keep falling in
we stand around the edges
In one version of the story you are in your sixties. You are holding on to the idea that music can change the world. That it really is the common language of possibility and transformation in a world full of wonder, beauty, magic, and some incredibly debilitating realities. A backward slide. Maybe the heart only beats because of music. Maybe a heart stops beating, and some music dies. Maybe a heart stops beating and the music insists on sticking around. Expanding. Maybe music is the way the mourners survive. However it works, the heart stopped beating. The months turned into an accelerated free-fall. One day there was a phone call from Dennis. "When you are ready, let's try writing some songs together. Let's see what happens." Every few weeks, the same call. One day you give it a go. And the chimney fills with birds.
I hear your guitar playing, sometimes when I dream
white bird across the water
guitar pick in the morning on the cover of the bed
oh it’s hard being married to the dead
In one version of the story you are 4 billion years old. One day there is a phone call from Dennis. "When you are ready, let's try writing some songs together. Let's see what happens." You give it a go. The chimney fills with birds. You write some words, he plays some chords and you both start singing at once, in harmony, before you have said even a single word out loud. It happens over, and over. For months. For two years. Still. You know this is about something bigger than either of you. And you smile and say, thank you. Four billion years, and one way or another, it was all leading to this moment. You are supposed to write a proper list of all you have done as a singer, a songwriter, composer, a musician. Stars in the sticker book. But some very fine people have died. Some are dying. And there's a 00018 Martin guitar in the living room that needs playing, and a song is trying to find you. You are holding on to the idea that music can change the world. For now, you are living, and really... if someone doesn't know the story, the best thing would be... come give a listen.
do you remember, Mesopotamia ?
all we knew and didn’t know
oh I’ve watched you come and go
time and again, Mesopotamia
between the silence and the roar
we are always wanting more
you were beautiful and strange
some things don’t change
you are beautiful and strange