Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Evergreen Fields

Country Music and Elizabethan Poetry:
This is probably my favorite Billy Joe Shaver song, which of course no one has ever posted on YouTube because it isn't exactly a toe-tapper. I've heard a number of variations of it. As is the nature of music, lyrics change, particularly when sung by the writer. The lyrics as published by others usually have "crippleful" as "cripple for". I've listened. Listen hard. That isn't what he sings, and it a makes a subtle difference in the meaning. I first posted this on my birthday last year. I'm posting it again tonight because I was struck by how universal some themes are. The uneducated cowboy of 1986 and the educated man of 1586 are both talking about  "My crop of corn is but a field of tares" and "No fruit will be borne by his tree".  "The fruit is dead, and yet the leaves are green" versus "No fruit of the harvest lent weight to my pockets".  Both men are talking about coming to the end of their cycle. Although one much more immediate and terrifying. Maybe we should put Billy Joe under that kind of pressure and see what he can deliver.

Through ever green fields of my youth I'd go singing
My steps left no footprints behind
No fruit of the harvest lent weight to my pockets
Small knowledge was stored in my mind
Now youth has forsaken this old man
My seasons are numbered by three
No seeds have been sown in the plowed fields
No harvest is waiting for me

The crippleful life is the fate of a loner
No fruit will be borne by his tree
These thoughts pierce my mind while in echoes of memory
A small voice too late calls to me
Come run through my green fields you old man
Search beyond your window pane
Go touch my high mountains and valleys
Come sleep 'neath my evergreen fields


kim said...

thank you for this post comparing billy joe shaver's song and Tichborne's poem. a brilliant observation, i think.

i appreciate your blog very much, and not just because we both own and ride Kvale bicycles. ;-)

Gunnar Berg said...

Thank you. I appreciate it.
CKC rules.

Gunnar Berg said...

Kvale pictures are always appreciated - even if it's real world dirty and leaning against the wall of a messy garage.


reverend dick said...

Especially if it's real world dirty.

Gunnar Berg said...

I must admit I scrub and polish prior to any photo op.

kim said...

Gunnar, will photograph my ckc for you asap. Just switching handlebars and need to re-wrap them. Pics in the next day or so! Mine is from 1993. Kim