47 Minutes (Album Notes)

1. Cranesong- We named our house in Utah “Cranesong”, because of the 4 large Sand Hill cranes that were in the front yard on the day we bought the house. They still fly by morning and evening during the summer as we look out across the valley that we love. I grew up in a family that yearned for the American west. I now live here more than half the year and truly feel like I was “just a mountain meadow seed, some western wind blew south”.

It’s dark outside.

The snowflakes glide then settle down

Wistfully, gently kiss the ground.

Like winter moths they swirl around

The lights of Eden valley’s towns.

Without a care, without a sound

It’s dawn outside.

The new sun rides the ridge above.

Kindling hearts and diamond dust,

As aspen groves and burning bush

Lie quiet beneath the gentle touch

Of winter’s pearl tipped artist brush

Where home becomes more than a word.

And dreams take wing like graceful birds.

In songs of silence Love is heard.

And life becomes living once more

It’s eve outside.

As two cranes cry their vesper hymn,

The monastery bells chime in.

The junipers kiss the blushing rim of

Pastel heavens drawing in

The starlit curtain of days end

And home becomes more than a word.

Our dreams take wing like graceful birds

In songs of silence Love is heard.

And life becomes living once more

You plant your roots, you settle down

You grow your money tree

You plan your end around

You fight the great divide

You finally figure out

You were just a mountain meadow seed

Some western wind blew south

2. JOY- My mom’s name was Joy. I wrote this for her when she was ill and got to play her this recording just prior to her passing. The first verse is informed by the great American play “Our Town”. The second by the long line of singer poets, the third by the life changing experience that music had on me growing up and the generational passing of the torch to my two daughters.

Oh darling Emily You got it right

This world is just too big and bright

Our town could never contain the light

Even the universe is too small

Ye poets are portals that mere mortal men

Turn to for comfort again and again

It takes fire and rain to comprehend

The fiction, the fear and the fall

But life’s in the knowing and loves in the chasing

And I’ve chased it since I was a boy

Never knew there was so much sadness

I never knew there was so much joy.

Oh, FM radio how did you know?

Left and right you split my soul

Into beautiful tragical clear stereo

Tore my Gemini twins apart

Just to be reunited by rhythm and rhyme

In muse’s own daughters in music’s own kind

Forget who you are and just look who you find

On that Southern Cross nailed to the stars

‘Cause life’s in the singing and love’s in the writing

So I’ve written since I was boy

Never knew there was so much anger

I never knew there was so much joy

Oh, flee as a bird; no you’re not weary yet

Time to relinquish regret

Peacefully forget

That old rugged boss soon you will lay down

To become fire or wind

Or rain or sky

or cloud or sea or ground

‘Cause life’s in the dying and love is the answer

To the questions since I was a boy

Never knew there was so much heart ache I never knew there was so much joy

Never knew there was so much of you in your boy…never knew there was so much joy

3. Their Time- A decade at a time autobiographical journey of the high and low points along the way, with a final reflection of gratitiude for the generation that brought us into the world as they quickly pass from it.

61 dawned sun (son) and light

Dawned black and white

Dawned left and right

The pins reset, the planes would fly

The mills would hum, the babies cry

They made their love, they built their shrine

On the mountain of their time

89 broke fresh and green

Broke like Dancy’s dream

Broke at the seams

The tide would rise, the boats would sail

The crowds would hum, the try would fail

I leveraged love, I dug my mines

In the gold vein of…my time

The 21st rose dun and grey

Rose a new bouquet

Rose a less travelled way

The pawns were moved, the queens were took

The bishop vainly, fell to the rook

We learned of love, buried our crimes

In the fresh red clay….of our time

Twenty twelve dawned bright and blue

Dawned white and new

Dawned and then withdrew

The pins reset, a soul would fly

The choir would hum, we would cry…and say goodbye

We raise our love, kneel at the shrine

So thankful of…thankful of….their time

4. Magic Man- Written for Buddy Autry, who took me under his wing in the late 60’s in north Georgia and taught me sleight of hand and allowed me to be his magical assistant at local talent shows and carnivals.

He was an old magic man
He could pull a rabbit from a hat
He could make four aces fly
Circle the room, and land in your lap
With a wave of his wand, a pretty lady, he just sawed in two
Would sing and dance as he pulled her apart
Oh, Mr. magic man
Wish you could fix my broken heart

He used to ride thru town
In stagecoach pulled by an old grey ox named blue
He promised miracles and for two bits he perform a trick or two.
I watched him like hawk
But never caught him with something up his sleeve
I believed that quarters came from empty ears
Oh, Mr. magic man
Wish you could make the love that left me re-appear

She was my everything
So everything is lost now that she is gone
The cards are blank, these turtle doves just don’t belong
The patter is all wrong….

He was an old magic man
And flowers would bloom in his trembling hands
And he could pour pure water in, turn it into gin
And then rain confetti out
One frosted night on Halloween
He leaned in to me and said the carnivals begun,
Then whispered, son…as the trumpet fanfare blew
Oh, Mr. magic man …I miss that kid. And I miss you
Oh, Mr. magic man …I miss that kid. And I miss you

5. Snowvember- My “Little Martha”, I wrote this instrumental while at my house in Florida. It contemplates the first tentative snowfalls that blanket the mountains of Utah while we are still enjoying the last rays of summer on Cape San Blas. It was recorded on my front porch with the sound of the wind and the water on a cheap guitar into a laptop microphone, but it captures that freshness of a song just written and played down for the first time.

6. One More Christmas to Remember- My personal reminiscing about childhood and the Christmas traditions I grew up with. The names and the images are from my life, but hopefully everyone will find their families and their traditions lurking beneath the surface.

Chocolate chip cake, Russian tea

Warming our pajamed feet by the old gas glass furnace

Fake spray snowflakes from a can

The tree trunk tightened in the stand

Charlie Brown and Linus

White Lights unraveled down the hall

Blinking, beckoning to crawl

Around each limb, and branch and bough remind us

One more December, one more Christmas to remember

Spindle dropping 45’s, Ed Ames, Elvis, and Burl Ives

God it must be him

Six strings strumming silent night

As the little drummer boy outshines gold and frankincense

White elephants and Rudolph’s hooves

In fact and actually on the roof

But just out of the frame for proof in our Polaroid prints

One more December, one more Christmas to remember

Clarence says a bell will ring

Each time an angel gets their wings

But there’s been too many tinkling bells here lately

I feel their presence in the room

Their eyes so bright their minds renewed

An unbroken chain of love down thru the ages

As we let memories wander thru our own back pages

Bricks of rim fire 22’s, plush white carpet living rooms

Papa’s envelopes

Breyer horses, Addy’s trunk

Priceless memories, worthless junk

Bo on a towrope

That Mama’s paintings, mother’s poems

Harmonicas, chrome, never blown

And a song for Georgia, ribbon tied and rolled up

One more December, one more Christmas to remember

The good book says that angels sing,

Each time a new soul gets their wings

But there’s been too many angel bands here lately

The heart’s not built to reminisce

About some bright place beyond this

So we wrap each precious memory in fine paper

Then once a year we pull them out

Weigh them shake them, turn them round

And wonder what forgotten year

What long lost loved one will appear

To share a laugh to dry a tear

To remind us while we all are here

To keep each other near and dear

And to stoke into a fire love’s glowing ember

One more December, one more Christmas to remember

7. The Day We Went Out on the Ice- Suzannah, Rebekah and I went walking out on the frozen lake in front of our house in Utah. Being from the south it was very unnerving and exhilarating to walk a 1/2 mile out on to the frozen surface. We each had cameras and took some amazing photographs as we laughed enjoyed a perfect moment in time together. As I was mixing this cut, my long time friend and guitar buddy from back home called me to say his father had passed away. Rather than quickly fade the song after the last line, I picked up my ’73 Strat and played the long outro in honor of him, his dad and the thousands of hours that we have given over to the guitar only to get back in tiny slivers the magic that we seek each time we pick one up…this time the magic made it.

The day we went out on the ice

Time stood still

We were frozen in the moment

The sun just giving back the sky

To the evening chill

The stars milling around backstage

Behind night’s black curtain

Waiting for the show to begin

Once again.

The day we went out on the ice

Love was real

As solid as the mountains

No need to ask, no need to try

Just enjoy the thrill

Laughs spilling down bank

Knee deep in fear and wonder

Too soon to be scattered by the wind….once again

Oh, the wise men and sages say we’re all eternal

No beginning, no end

Then why is my soul haunted by the constant thought of dying?

And losing my best friends….my best friends

The day we went out on the ice

I felt complete

And completely in the moment

On how just when the peace arrives

The tide recedes

And we trudge on with the journey

These pictures as our witness

That perfect is place where you’ve already been…amen

8. I’m Not Ready- Nothing consoles a young heart, broken over first love, like a guitar and a song. At 15, I found myself in a reverberating empty stairwell at Georgetown University singing to ease what at the time seemed to be a mortally wounded heart. That experience informed this song of decision so many years later.

It’s gonna take more than just a razorblade

My skin’s so thick I don’t think it will slice it up

Or cut the cord that flies me to the great unknown

Unbinds me on my journey home

Defines me even when I’m gone

As we should have known along

That suicide is wrong

It’s gonna take more than just pill or two

To ship me out, somehow I doubt they have the strength

To drown the voice that calls me from my soul within

Implores me to begin again

Ignores me even when I’m in

A stairwell with a cheap guitar

To serenade my broken heart

I’m not ready

I’ll tell you when I am

I’m not ready

I’ll tell you when I am

It’s gonna take more than just a lover’s leap

With jagged stones to break my bones and crack the code

Expose the God inside me circle black and white

That guides me in the way of light

Designed me with the will to fight

And with the power to let it go

But with the wisdom when to know

I’m not ready

I’ll tell you when I am

I’m not ready

I’ll tell you when I am

And if by chance my life is taken

Before I feel my time is thru

Will all the universe be shaken?

Or will I be just one more soul shot out into the blue?

Well I think I know the truth

But I’m not ready

I’ll tell you when I am

I’m not ready

I’ll tell you when I am

9. Curtain Call- For all the theatre rats and musical buffs out there. Just as “Glory Days” traces the arc of aging athletes, this song traces the arc of the people in my life who had a love affair with the stage and the classic musicals. For many, the brightest moment of that elusive dream came in High School or community theatre. Try and count all the references.

Memories stacked liked chairs

Behind the darkened high school stage where

We butchered hair, limped thru guys and dolls

Whispered break a leg…lights out, pratfalls

Now just empty halls

Too bad we could not make it last

Grease paint a new smile on our past

Too bad we all fell back to earth

Too bad the perfect bubble burst

But God bless us all

Who ever heard the curtain call

King Arthur’s cardboard sword

Anastasia’s wig that our own princess wore

The lion that roared, one music man trombone

Joe cable’s radio….Falstaff, El Gallo….Cyrano

Too bad the world is not a stage

And we were merely players at that age

Too bad we took our bows too soon

Too bad the wizard took the last balloon

But here’s to one and all

Who ever heard the curtain call

When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way

From your very first play, til your last dying day

Pity the crowd, but drink their applause

let ‘em hold their breath

With each well timed pause

Let the bard rewrite

On each opening night

Your own character flaws

Memories stacked liked chairs

Behind the darkened high school stage, where

We were all OK, the slipper fit just right

We defied gravity…exit left and right

Then said good night

Too bad we could not make it last

Grease paint a new smile on our past

Too bad belief just can’t suspend

Too bad the last act had to end

But God bless us all

Who ever heard the curtain call

10. I Fell- For Anna…the love song that I heard in my head.

All these years and thousands of songs later, this is the one I was always trying to write.

Easter Sunday in a southern storm

Just like a perfect rose found in full bloom

I caught her silhouette across the room

I felt a silent power I’d never felt

Oh and like the April shower on that asphalt shingled roof

I fell

That sunbaked summer was one sun bathed kiss

I laid my head across her rising chest

A prayer for new beginnings in each whispered breath

Rose with the padre’s clear twin tower bells

And just like the July fireworks in the Santa Barbara sky

I fell

Love is a chance meeting in a parking lot

Love is at the corner table counting change

Love is in the vase you break the store clerk makes you buy

It’s in your waiter’s eyes…always such a sweet surprise

November never felt so fresh before

Two shadows stroll as one around the park

Somewhere in twilight, neither day or dark

We stopped beside an antique wishing well.

And like the shiny penny down the waterfall

I fell

Love is checking books out just in front of you

Love is selling jewelry on the waterfront

Love is taking tickets at the turnstile for ride

It ‘s in your baby’s eyes, such a sweet surprise

The Christmas cold turns all our words to smoke

A midnight kiss that claims my heart again

A single flake lands on my true love’s chin

A passing stranger hums the First Noel

The lights flickered and glowed. I held my baby close

And like the feathered snow

I fell

Love’s behind the curtain when the show is through

Love rolls down the window in a raging storm

Love’s the smile dismissing your rehearsed goodbye

It lives there in her eyes…always