OK my friends… I’ve had a couple of weeks of fun and frivolity in my recent blog posts… recess is over for today… so…

Back to the harder work of lyric and songwriting.

Time to get back to some serious reflection and contemplation. Thoughts viewed through the poetry and filter of music.

In these COVID times, it’s quite simple to see our time, our lives, as difficult and maybe even unfair. There are so many sad and unfortunate stories across the globe that push us towards a feeling of despair.

I can only imagine not being able to hold the hand of a loved one dying in a care home or a lonely hospital bed. I can only imagine being held in a desolate refugee camp with little hope for the future of my small children.

It’s fair to say I’ve lived a sheltered and charmed life.

My good fortune was being born in a time and place, along with a gender and skin colour, filled with advantage. I’ve known little other than peace, health, and abundance.

There have been real fears over my years, such as nuclear war, but for the most part – in historic context – my life has been low on dire threat to me or my brethren. I’m not a great believer in random luck, but in this way, I truly have been lucky.

………………….

The lyrics I’ve written in today’s song The Not So Dusty Road – the road that you and I have walked as children of the late 1900’s and early 2000’s – are my attempt to strike a comparison of life 100 years ago with today’s western world.

One hundred years ago, life was lived on the edge of survival, with hunger, war and disease readily prepared to snatch away the breath of any who ventured too close to those ravages.

My images lean in on childbirth and war, gender issues, schools and technology.

The first half of the song is written viewed from the year 1920, the second half from 2020. Each consecutive verse is constructed from the angle of woman, man and child.

Let’s dive in:

THE NOT SO DUSTY ROAD

by Larry Green

(1920)

1.Woman

You heard the baby cries through ether fog
Victorian images, blooded queen in silken sheets
whose fate and fortune bestowed by God
whose joy to live and breed

2. Man

Childs’ faces pocked, lungs assailed by smog
crushed sons in mud, infected feet in bogs of icy thaw
returned at last
to steal the bread from kitchen ledges

3. Child

Stand in line and heed the bell
no shoes to wear, lunch from fields soaked in your sweat
your blood-red hands declared
from shaming eyes, the severe Judas prayer

CHORUS

The not so dusty road
so few have ever seen
the tarnished one that others strode
lost afar on the not so dusty road

(2020)

4. Woman

Ads tell me “Baby, you’ve come so far”
I aim the gun, I own my house, I drive my car
I cross my X, I boot my Ex
I squeeze my thighs with MeToo flex

5. Man

My baby’s fed, makin’ bacon in the house,
swapped the plow a few years back for bits and mouse
Sim life just moved onto my street
Sweet Niagara, the carpet’s moving under me

6. Child

What’s it like outside today she asked
wind or rain I’ll check the weather cam
smartboard lessons since burnt the chalk
wisdom’s candle, the cellphone aftershock

BRIDGE

The troubled bridge that brought me here
from where so many tumbled
dim voices distant in the tunnel

CHORUS

The not so dusty road
so few have ever seen
the tarnished one that others strode
lost afar on the not so dusty road