Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I own a small home recording studio (the core of my setup is a Tascam 2488 Mk ii, for those who follow these things) and I write and record songs.  A couple of years ago, I recorded an album of songs called Dreams of Albion, all fifteen tracks of which are in some fashion about England, a place dear to my heart.

Dreams of Albion included the track "My Old West Country Home," which I wrote about the Cavalier migration from the West Country of England to the Chesapeake Bay.  This song was inspired by my then-current reading of David Hackett Fischer's classic book Albion's Seed, about the four principal migrations of Englishmen to North America, and it embodies the Cavalier migration in one fictional narrative account.  It goes like this (first verse only, out of three):

I saw some Roundhead captain with his muskets at our door
My father cried "God save the King!" then father was no more
I drug that Roundhead down the moor and I dunked him in the sea
And then I heard Old Ironsides had set his cap for me
So it's down the Dart, into wooden walls, and over the salt and foam
How I miss my old West Country home

Whereas in Witchy Eye I worked several songs into chapter headings, in The Lands Between I put them right into the text and into the mouths of various characters.  When it came time to write lyrics for a duet sung by a wife and husband pair of rabbits about their home (in the magical land) Back Yonder, I cannibalized my own melody and structure, so chapter three ends with Lemuel and Clarice Rabbit singing the following two verses:

Rhubarb in the garden patch, barley on the hill
Apple in the pie crust, whisky in the still
Cornbread in the oven, bacon in the pan
Water from the well out back, baked beans from a can
We'll sweeten up your biscuit with a touch of honeycomb
Step on in our old Back Yonder home

Seventeen fat bunnies, all bouncin' 'round our door
Grandma Hare ain't satisfied, she wants a dozen more
They bounce around the garden patch, they bounce around the creek
They bounce around the cotton fields eleven days a week
We feed 'em in the morning, then we just let 'em roam
Step on in our old Back Yonder home

Now, of course, I'm recycling it all again, as a blog post.  Ha!

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