It’s Canadian Thanksgiving weekend … I look out my window and scan the nearby orchards to see the pickers, mostly young immigrants, in the long rows of apple trees filling large wooden bins with Spartan, Ambrosia, Gala, Honey Crisp, and Mac apples. Mmmmmmmm…

It’s a perennial and very pleasing vista in this fruit-growing Okanagan Valley. Even COVID virus couldn’t cajole or frighten the trees from loading down their limbs with sweet, juicy fruit.

It fills me with a toasty feeling similar to the one I get whilst sitting around a blazing fire on January’s chilliest days… it’s an inner swelling of coziness, warming from the inside outwards.

I get these homey sensations when I play a lovely guitar piece as well…

Today, I’m not writing one of my usual more wordy blog posts, but settling into a miniature musical Sunday with a short instrumental piece I recorded this week.

The part I’ve recorded (below) is just the introduction to the longer part of the song that includes lyrics and singing.

Enough To Be On Your Way was written by James Taylor and inspired by his brother Alex’s death in 1993 at the age of 46.

James (left) with brother Alex and Alex’s son James (whom JT wrote “Sweet Baby James” for)

I really love this song, and so I’ll play amateur armchair musicologist for a minute here.

I don’t truly know what JT was thinking when he sat down to write this, but I can speculate a bit just based on his chords and melody.

The song is played in G major (technically I play it in A# as I Capo up 3 frets on the guitar); major keys are usually fairly positive and upbeat. James uses mostly major chords (with an occasional minor one) along his journey before sliding into minor chording towards the end which will lead into the main body of the song which I’ve not recorded here.

When I listen (or play) to this, I see and hear it as a classical overture where the curtain is rising before the actors set foot on the stage; the music is quietly celebratory and praising of a loved brother (major chords), but then ultimately slips into a melancholy sadness (minor chords) when James thinks about the challenges (drugs, alcohol) his brother faced in life, and realizes that he’ll never see Alex again.

After this short musical interlude, James begins to sing and the song goes full on into minor chord territory marking the sensations of instability and sadness.

This is classic James Taylor guitar playing… unusual chord shapes and lots of pull-offs and hammer-ons… guitar-speak for lots of ornamentation.

Enough said on my part… Happy Canuck Thanksgiving… here is ENOUGH TO BE ON YOUR WAY