Behind the Songs for Show 8.
Behind the Songs Main Page.
Don't Attack My Heart (2000)
I love this kind of word play. The man is telling a woman who is notorious as a heartbreaker to leave him alone.
Turn It Off and Listen (1996) From CD "River Earth and Sky"
This song resulted from a visit to the home of a friend who left no moment unfilled with sound from a radio or TV set. In a memorable performance the line "If you'll turn off your boom box so the rest of us can hear" drew a round of applause.
A Rainbow For Morgan (1997) (For the Record)
This song is based on a true story. Several years ago a 7 year old girl named Morgan Veoley was kidnapped literally from her front yard here in Bowling Green Kentucky. I confess that I had the thought of writing a song about the kidnapping on the afternoon of her abduction. I wanted it to have a happy ending. Unfortunately, the real story didn't turn out that way. After her funeral I started work on the song but it wouldn't come together. Then someone told me a story of something that happened at the grave side service. The funeral was public but the family wanted a private service at the cemetery. To paraphrase, this is the story. Morgan's favorite color was purple so she was buried in a purple coffin with purple balloons tied to it. Before the coffin was lowered the balloons were released and as they flew away a rainbow appeared in a blue sky with no clouds. Upon hearing that I thought to myself "that's the stuff that songs are made of." That gave me the title but I still needed a chorus. Then I heard a radio production of Peter Pan. (They still do things like that on public radio). The line as they gave it was "second to the right and straight on to morning" but I used the more familiar wording from the NBC Mary Martin production and later quoted in an episode of "The 6 Million Dollar Man" "Second star to the right and straight on to morning". The chorus wrote itself. I think it's a nice touch with morgen being the German word for morning.
I don't want anyone to think I am capitalizing on someone else's tragedy. So far I haven't made so much as a penny off of "A Rainbow for Morgan". If I ever do I will find some reputable missing child charity to give the profits to. I would say the chances are virtually nonexistent of that ever happening. But if it ever should I have gone public and will be held to my resolution.
A Place to Play (1992)
This was the second song I wrote. When I started writing songs I had only one subject, the farm in Iowa where I grew up. As you might imagine I exhausted that subject pretty quickly. Although I have moved well beyond that subject I'm still nostalgic for the old place, every so often I have dreams about it.
He Plowed His Fields (1994)
This song is my tribute to my father who worked himself to death to make sure I would have the opportunity to have a better life than he had. These are debts many of us have and we can never repay them. This song is just a token but I hope as he looks down on me he will know that I understand what he did for me and appreciate it.
Just a Cowboy Passing Through (1998)
I heard an interview on the radio with a historian who was doing some field research along the route of the Chism Trail. Although the cattle drives along this trail have taken on the status of legend, those legends are based in fact. The historian found a grave marker with no name on it, only the words "just a cowboy passing through". That instantly struck me as a perfect song title. I put together all the songs and stories i'd ever heard and all the movies I'd ever seen and this song is the result.
Joe's Tree (1993)
This song is based on the old song "My Grandfather's Clock". In that chestnut the clock is bought the morning the baby boy is born and stops running the moment the old man dies. I got the idea of substituting a tree for the clock when a tree was blown down next to a house we pass every day on our way into town. I deliberately stepped away from the obvious ending so that "Joe's Tree" won't seem like a straight rip-off.
Acting Our Age (1999)
This song is in answer to those many songs, written by young people, that portray old folks as lonely, unhappy, and sexless.
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