October 2020 Muse Letter

REMEMBERING THE DREAM

Last February at the Key City Theater in Port Townsend, WA we created a video of songs and stories from the Civil Rights Movement entitled Remembering the Dream. Over the last 21 weeks we’ve shared that video in 21 distinct chapters or segments. We added an audio introduction to each and shared them as part of the Songs and Stories From Home Podcasts.

Beginning on October 5th you will be able to watch Remembering the Dream as a single event from a dedicated playlist on the YouTube Channel. Here is the link.

There is also a playlist dedicated simply to the Podcasts if you want to revisit particular moments and get a sense of how they may be relevant to what is going on today. Here is a link to the Podcast Memphis.

Our nation continues to confront and be confronted by its racial history. The Civil Rights Movement is an example of this country moving toward a more perfect union with liberty and justice for all. I believe it can be an example and an inspiration as we move forward at this moment of Black Lives Matter.

GRATITUDE AND GRIEF

It has been a little over a month since my mother, Ruth Pearson, and the fellow I replaced in the Brothers Four, Mike Kirkland, died. Their deaths were a week apart. There was a nice article in the Seattle Times about Michael.

As I mentioned in the last Muse Letter, the defining emotions I feel as I deal with their deaths are gratitude and grief. There was and continues to be great joy in those relationships. That is why the sorrow can strike so hard when it does.

What I’ve learned is that gratitude is something I can and that I do choose to feel and express. Grief, on the other hand, decides when it will appear and is something that chooses me. I have learned in times of loss that there are no shortcuts when it comes to dealing with grief, nor should there be.

What experience has taught me is that considering myself to be in mourning for one year after someone I love dies has helped form and give shape to both the gratitude and the grief.

There have been other losses during this time. Here is a song I wrote recently to celebrate our friend, Paul Meyer’s, life.

 

GOODBYE, MY FRIEND

You fought the good fight you finished the race
You stayed the course you kept the faith
Now I’m gonna miss you in so many ways, Goodbye, My Friend

I’ll miss your smile and I’ll miss your touch
I’ll miss that laugh that I love so much 
The part of me that is part of us
So hard to let that go 

You fought the good fight you finished the race
You stayed the course and you kept the faith
Now I’m gonna miss you in so many ways, Goodbye, My Friend

Miss you in ways both big and small
So many I can’t count them all
Simply being there maybe most of all
Who I was when you were there

You fought the good fight you finished the race
You stayed the course you kept the faith
Now I’m gonna miss you in so many ways, Goodbye, My Friend

Miss feeling I am not alone
The feeling I have made it home
What I did not know I’d know
Till hand in hand with you

You fought the good fight you finished the race
You stayed the course you kept the faith
Now I’m gonna miss you in so many ways, Goodbye, My Friend

©Copyright 2020
Love Gives More Music

OLD FRIENDS, BROTHERS TWO/TOO

There have been lots of changes due to Covid. This October and November, Mike McCoy and I were going to celebrate 55 years of friendship and musical partnership with some live performances that were going to help introduce an album of new songs and videos. At the moment all of those things have been postponed.

As important as the 55 years of friendship and partnership have been (we both came to the University of Washington on football scholarships in 1965), this fall it is also 25 years that McCoy has lived and walked a life of faith. His life is a testament to the transformative power of faith, grace, and love as well as the joy that can come with it.  

In the next few months McCoy and I will continue to share songs and stories that have been created along that journey. 

Here is the song Dear Partner, a song we introduced at a concert at Meany Hall in 1983. It is a song that gets more meaningful every year.

DEAR PARTNER

Dear Partner, Old Soulmate, we've come a long way
Down fast lanes and dirt roads crossed and ocean or two
Shared adventure and danger with friends and strangers
Doing the best of what we thought we could do

Now there's more lines on my face then I've left for the ladies
More no's than ever were yeses or maybes
More times I wondered where do I belong
My boots have worn out before I could die with them on

Thought we'd go out in a great ball of fire
Get shot or arrested as we fooled with desire
Thought we'd be gone when the piper cam round
Before life filled us up and started slowing us down

Dear soulmate, dear partner, how'd we get this far
In old cars and beer bars and no one to blame
The dream was to stay young until we keeled over
We've been young together, grown old just the same

Now it seems to take more work the harder we play
And tomorrow gets closer than some old yesterday
For the people we love and the places we've been
I wish we'd known better but I'm sure glad we didn't

Thought we'd go out in a great ball of fire
Get shot or arrested as we fooled with desire
Thought we'd be gone when the piper came round
Before life filled us up and started slowing us down

Repeat First Verse

© Copyright l983
Love Gives More Music

ON THE WINGS OF A DREAM

This is truly a significant moment in the life of our country. The choices are stark and very real. In the upcoming election we are not only deciding what we are going to do (together) going forward, but who we are choosing to be as a nation as well. Put another way, it is a moment when we will be deciding and declaring what it means to be one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Leading up to the election I will be singing and talking more about LIBERTY and JUSTICE framed by the words in a song I am working on called On the Wings of a Dream.

 

ON THE WINGS OF A DREAM

It goes back to the scriptures and back to the founders
Back to what we pledged on our first day of school
Back to a dream of Martin Luther King
Back to what we mean by the Golden Rule
It’s a beautiful dream that says everyone’s equal
With rights to life, liberty, happiness too
A dream full of hope for a more perfect union
It’s still not too late for that dream to come true 
Chorus
With faith we can fly on the wings of a dream
We still may become all we hoped we could be 
It will take everyone and we’ll have to believe
That we can fly on the wings of a dream

©Copyright 2020 
Love Gives More Music

WHAT’S TRULY IMPORTANT

At the end of next week our grandkids and their mom will be going back to New Jersey. (Their dad has been in New Jersey for a couple weeks.) The three months we have spent together have been precious and dear and alive with the daily energy of a seven and five-year-old. Our time together is also a reminder of how important it is to be aware of the world our children and our grandchildren are going to inherit. 

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