Dear Partner Letter #12: September 22nd, 1984 in Songs & Stories

Songs & Stories From Home Episode 72



Been knocked down, drug out, dropped and dismayed
Been lost on the road for too many days
Think I see the light that might show me the way
That leads me back to you
Been laughed at, lashed at, left in the dark
Been wandering too long with two halves of one heart
But I’ll be all right if I’ve spied the right spark
That finally pulls me through


If it’s really the light at the end of the tunnel my friend
Not just another freight train bearing down on me
If this is the track that finally takes me back
I’ll be coming home tomorrow night


Welcome to Songs and Stories from Home as we continue to share the Dear Partner Letters. That’s a song called Home Tomorrow Night performed at a concert McCoy and I did on September 22, 1984.


Dear Partner,

When I look back on a still active career of more than 50 years for much of that time I considered myself a songwriter and a singer who loved to tell stories. Then ten years ago I set out to tell the story of a life and in doing so felt more like a storyteller who sang and wrote songs. And yet songs remain and will always be the heart of this journey. 

Having said that these next couple letters will be shining a light on where we were in the Fall of 1984 letting the songs we introduced at that September concert doing much of the talking. The show was at Meany Hall. It turned out to be our last big production. We debuted twenty-two new songs. Ted took the songs I wrote and did a wonderful job of arranging them. We were joined on stage by the musicians we’d met recording Between Friends. The place was nearly full. We earned a bit of money for the Pat Sands scholarship fund. We printed books of lyrics. Enough so that everyone in the audience could take one home.

The introduction in the lyric book read in part:

It has been a while since we’ve gotten together.  Much has happened. The death of a friend, the serious illness of another as well as large questions of heart and heritage. There have been no easy or complete answers, while I believe the time has brought more feelings of hope, love, understanding, and thanksgiving.

I am especially thankful for the understanding and love of friends and family. I trust you will find some of that gratitude on these pages. I am hopeful that we will share these feelings, and more, tonight.

The show began with the band and me on stage. The first song was an invitation from the Between Friends album, let’s Leave the World Outside Tonight. The next song expressed some things I’d learned in the previous year. It’s called Not Through Loving Yet


You’re looking at someone who still is becoming
Some of what I thought I’d be
Chancing and choosing, winning and losing 
Hoping and blind faith and need


Times I’ve been compelled to run from myself
Till I’d nowhere else to go
Then saw through the eyes of someone who’d survived
Things that I needed to know


I learned faith in the process of love and lost causes
To love is no cause for regret
Although it has hurt me and still won’t desert me
I’m just not through loving yet


Then there were some plectrum banjo tunes accompanied by the band followed by the song, This Old Guitar of Mine


This old guitar has been at times the only friend I knew
It could tell what I was feeling if I was glad or mad or blue
Whenever there were feelings I felt I couldn’t explain
I picked up this old guitar and listened to her play 


Found a brand new love song in this old guitar of mine
Knows what I am feeling and what my heart has in mind
Close your eyes and listen to what it took our love to find
A brand new love song in this old guitar of mine 


Then the song Dear Partner that brought you onto the stage followed by a new one called Going for the Heart of it about how we’ve been singing all these years and we’re not done yet. At that point we introduced The Whole Love Song. And all these years later we still sing that song though I will say for the most part we’ve moved on from our start fast and get faster days. By the way it’s John Morton, the amazing lead guitar player, adding his voice on the last choruses.


In all the songs we sing and hear there are so many love songs
Love goes right love goes wrong love goes round and on and on songs
Love goes up loves comes down if there’s no faith or hope in love songs
We could sing them day and night and not be singing the whole love song


When there’s faith in a love song Hope to sing along
Love is never more strong cause they’re all there where they belong
Faith for reaching upward Hope for going on
Love for reaching out we’re singing the Whole Love Song


A love song without faith is like joy that’s known no sorrow 
A love song without hope is like today without tomorrow
Faith or hope or love they each can go so far, oh,
Put ‘em all together and we’re singing the whole love song


And then came You Simply Make My Day. This song is a good example of how I would take a line, you would take another, and then we would sing together to finish a verse or chorus.


I am flannel shirts and Levi’s you are satin, lace, and pearls
I make my way down country roads you’re a woman of the world
You are chauffer driven limos I’m a 60’s Chevrolet 
That’s how it is though every night you simply make my day


I am guitars and banjos playing three chord melodies 
You’re a lady on the town lit up by symphonies
You are champagne and caviar I’m a six pack and a steak
That’s how it is though every night you simply make my day


 And that song was followed by one we introduced the year before about a family in crisis called How Simple They Make It Sound. Then the song we played at the beginning of this Podcast, Home Tomorrow Night. Then What Should We Do With All The Memories. It’s a song about how we can get something all figured out in our heads and suddenly our heart has one more thing to say. The recording also offers a flavor of how much Grant Reeves added to the night with his saxophone.


I know we both agreed this was the course
Though neither one could say the word “divorced”
Now that we are so close to being free
Found we forgot about the memories


What should we do with all the memories
The ones we can’t let go of easily
If we stepped back a moment could we see
What we should do with all the memories


And at that point I turned the stage over to you and the band to introduce a Love Song from an Old Rock and Roller.


This old rock and roller has been around
In times that he wouldn’t or couldn’t slow down
The harder the living the faster the song
If something was missing, nothing was wrong


So turn down the volume on this old Les Paul
Set the rhythm in a slow six eight time
Have the piano play whole notes while the saxophone 
Trades licks with the bass in a melody line


A love song from an old rock and roller
Play it cool sing it soft and spare
This love song from an old rock and roller
In case you’ve forgotten he cares


You followed that up with a song that Ted arranged beautifully called I Run with the Wind. Before the music starts you can hear the wind. And there’s a great sax solo in there, too. It’s fun to think back now and remember those days when you truly did run with the wind.


People say I might have been something well I think I am
Have your scene from On the Waterfront, Baby, frankly I don’t give a damn
Just set me out on a 10K course let the race begin
Maybe you’ll catch me or maybe you won’t cause when I run I run with the wind


Nothing like the feelin’ of hittin’ your stride heart is racin’ nothin’ on your mind
You’ve got somewhere to run but nowhere to hide the feelin’s inside the feelin’s
Just set me out on a 10K course let the race begin
Maybe you’ll catch me and maybe you won’t cause when I run I run with the wind


At that point I rejoined you on stage and we ended the first half with a tribute to Pat Sands. Three songs. We’d sung the first song the year before. It was inspired by the last conversation I had with him when he talked about sometimes he felt so weary. 


Sometimes I get weary down in my bones 
Sometimes I get weary down in my soul
Sometimes I get weary and feelin’ so low
Sometimes I get weary there’s nowhere to go


Sometimes my heart breaks and just has to cry
Sometimes my heart laughs and just has to fly
Sometimes my heart bursts for no reason
My heart is so full of love sometime


And then a song written after he died called Love Has Survived. Peggy Bradley, my champion in Nashville, said she kept a copy of the lyrics to that song in her desk for years. She was especially taken by the line “there’s no place you can touch me that aint gonna hurt.” 


There’s no place you can touch me that aint gonna hurt
Nowhere I can go without ghosts that’s for sure
Sometimes feelin’ closer to dead than alive
Somehow I know now love has survived.


We finished the set and the trilogy with “One Less Believer,” the song that ended a previous letter and will end this one as well.


There’s one less Pilgrim who found it within reasons to keep goin’ on
More than one reason and more than one feelin’ 
Life’s not the same cause he’s gone
One less believer one less dreamer in the world today
One less of the faithful one less of the hopeful for lighting the way
There’s one less Pilgrim who found it within reasons to keep goin’ on
More than one reason and more than one feelin’ 
Life’s not the same cause he’s gone

Songs & Stories From Home | Mark Pearson Music

One of Those Times in a Life | Mark Pearson Music

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