Friday, December 15, 2023

My Lost Chicago



[nod to Frank Sinatra's "Chicago" theme]

Ooo-- Ooo--

Chicago, Chicago-- da-da-da-da-da-da / da-da-da-da-

Chicago, Chicago-- da-da-da-da / da-da-da-da- Ah---- 

1. Once upon a time so long ago

I had a home outside Chicago

In Second City, it snowed and snowed---

Now it's broken--- oh--- oh--

My old--- lost--- Chicago-- mm---

2. Buddy's still playing his blues licks

Came across Route 66, ooh--

from the South side that I fled

so many years ago--- oh--- oh--

My cold--- lost--- Chicago-- mm---


Sweet memories of snowy avenues

Where they played the Delta blues

[Blues riff:]

The Windy City's howlin' in my soul

it rages on, it's taken its toll

All of my life it's stayed with me

the bustlin' folk and the blues city - ooh----



Chicago-- Oh--- I miss--- my-- sweet home---

I miss--- my-- sweet home--- ooh---

[Repeat intro theme]

3. Haunted by-- Lake Michigan haze

frozen nights and windy days

In Old Town I sang at the 'Earl'

I was-- a-- young, creative girl--

in my--- lost--- Chicago-- mm----


Friday, December 8, 2023

Hymn #9 - "I Can't Put it into Words"


On August 20, 1977, NASA launched the Voyager 2 spaceship on a one-way ticket to oblivion. Three weeks later, its sister craft, Voyager 1, blasted off with the same destination. Their mission for the first dozen years or so, as they cruised through the solar system, was to gather data from the planets. Their goal for the next 60,000 years or so, as they leave us far behind, is to carry a message in a bottle to the stars. 

Alongside an array of high-tech cameras, infrared instruments, and a large parabolic radio antenna, each Voyager bears a stylus, a phonograph record, and directions for playing it. This record is made of copper and plated in gold, created to last forever, to offer an audio and visual slide show of all things Earthly. This is who we are, it says. Or were. 

And at the very end, summing up the power and the pathos of everything that went before, are two singular pieces of music by two singular men who couldn’t have been more different. One was a deaf German whose song was recorded by a string quartet in a professional studio. The other was a blind Texan who played his song on a cheap guitar in a Dallas hotel room. The German is Ludwig van Beethoven.

Leading into it is a song recorded and played by a twentieth-century street musician, Blind Willie Johnson. The song is “Dark Was the Night—Cold Was the Ground,” a largely wordless hymn built around the yearning cries of Johnson’s slide guitar and the moans and melodies of his voice. More... The Soul of a Man.

I can only hope and pray that my version did Blind Willie Johnson's masterpiece justice.  It haunts me and yet fills me with an intense joy that is hard to put into words.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Just as Lonesome as Can Be (Lonesome Blues)



Just as Lonesome as Can Be (Lonesome Blues)

Darkness hovers at the edge of town

I'm so lonesome and there's no one around

Just a shotgun shack

and an old dirt-floor juke from the past

Shake Rag down in Tupelo, yeah

on the railway by the poor folks' shacks

There ain't no train on them broken tracks

No one to save me, no one to stand by me

I'm just as lonely - as lonely as can be


Gotta get gone, gone, gone, gone

as far away as I can see---

So I jumped that long, black train

and rode off to my destiny

I am forgotten, no one knows I am alive

Nobody cares if I live or die

I'm just as lonesome, as lonesome as can be---



Heartbreak is no mystery

haunts like a dream just out of reach

"No" has been a gift; can't want for nothin' left to lose--- yeah--

I've been rejected since I was born

I am invisible and lovelorn, (so I've...)


The Color Line



1. My Lord, he is sharing a secret -

belief in equality of man

No, we must never forget

or we'll stumble in the dark where we began


2. Hold on to the dream and surrender

to a life that was planned by the Divine

Just try to remember  

What the world was like without the color line-- whoa---



Let's not draw--- any lines

Let us stay--- color blind

Tear down, tear down the color line-- whoa---



"How do you know what I can see

until you can look through my eyes?"

Don't you see me prayin' on my knees?

Crying is a thin disguise

Hold me, I'm trembling so

I sing the blues to love my foe [rep]   whoa //


3. My love, I feel you so near me

But I'm swimming in the sins of my past

You can't catch my fall when I'm weakened

I know that this love may never last -- whoa---



Let's not draw--- any lines

Let us stay--- color blind

Tear down, tear down the color line-- whoa--- I am no longer blind [rep]

Friday, May 19, 2023



REDEMPTION [I Won't Comply]


1. 2020's gone, now we're paying the price

The innocent were the biggest sacrifice

covered faces muzzled and masked

by an evil mandate the people never asked (for)

            No- no- no--

2. Rainbow pills at an all-time high

Thinking not for themselves, they believed the lie

(but) many with sense saw the plan to control

I was not willing to sell my soul, oh, no---



No, no, no!  I won't comply (rep)   

[BU Vox: I Am American! A free American!]

- not EVER - to the BIG LIE


3. Shut down, lockdown, take away our rights

There are no heroes when a brave man fights

Submit to the shot though it's not a vax

while the frontline heroes were given the axe, oh, no---


4. Cower and bow to tyrannical rule

wicked enforcers were evil and cruel

Their laws were meant for 'we, not thee'

No truth for the church or the family--- oo--



(The) well-orchestrated plan brought the lame to one knee

The truth is it was crimes against humanity---

"Just as I Am" without one plea, yeah-- yeah--

Amen, brother, I am free! (rep)

Freedom is life, so I'm leaving behind

their senseless rules they forced us to mind----

But God and Constitution are never wrong




This is redemption-- (rep)

I am redeemed!

Thursday, May 11, 2023

I Am That I Am ('His Master's Voice')


1. "I am that I am"

said 'His Master's Voice'

where there is music in the air--

and the sweet, sweet sounds

on the wings of a dove

is what I'll be singin' in the rounds


Oh, the grief, it tries men's souls 

the harder the burden, more glorious

The triumph comes on a mountain of gold

The story of salvation is told [repeat]

2. Mystic chords

in the tracks of time

(loving) angels everywhere--

and the heavenly presence

united by the sky

I'll be singin' when I die (when I die)

[SOLO] ooh--- aah---

3. The Rock is in my soul

and the preachers preach

a voice that is still unknown--

but a new life is mine

I can stop all of my cryin'

grateful to God that I have grown


[Spoken:] I am that I am

There is music in the air

and the sweet--- sweet sounds

is what I'll be singin' in the rounds--- oh--- mmm---

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Ain't Done Sufferin' Yet



1. This ol' world taught me

how to weep and moan

I ain't done sufferin' yet...

tryin' to find my way back home

I've been so lost and lonely

Got no one to call my own

ooh--- hoo---


2. Got an angel on my shoulder, now

the devil's not too far behind

(He knows) I ain't done sufferin' yet

- about to lose my mind.

My knees are worn, prayin'

the Lord won't be unkind

ooh--- hoo---



I--- want love

I--- want sanity

I--- just want to breathe-- easily---

Take me to the water's edge

Drown me in tenderness

Give me just a moment of peace

Oh, please have mercy on me--- [continue verse rhythm]




3. 'Oh, Lord, let me suffer on

let me drink until I die,' ... mm--

said no one on this planet, now

and I'm not fallin' for the lie

I AM done sufferin' now

To that life, I say 'bye-bye'...  Bye--- Bye---

Monday, November 14, 2022

Rise Up Singin'


Rise Up Singin'

1. How long is it gonna take?

Weeks, days, months... to shake

dying to be saved

It is the darkness that I craved.

Could mine be a life He'll save?

to keep me from an early grave.


Rise up singin' - hmm- mm--

Bells are ringin' - whoa-oh-oh-oh - oh-oh-oh   mm--

Souls uplifting, minds are shifting

and the world can't do me no harm------

2. My magic magnifying mind

where the blind leading the blind

I'm confessing now

fall down on my knees, take a vow

in everlasting life, His will

is my destiny to fulfill.



Now I see and hear and feel

I have nothing to conceal

A choir of gospel singers stand

I'm just a singer in his heavenly band--- oh---

of life--- love--- liberty--- oh, free me now!

love--- liberty--- oh, free me now!

love--- liberty------

Sing out for the sinners--

Singin' for the suffering souls--

Sing out for the winners--

Sing the force of rock and roll--

Rejoice! Rejoice!  We have a voice!

A choice to sing it loud---

So the world can't do us no harm--- oooh---

Rise up singin' oh-----  A-men 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

The Wolf


The Wolf

1. The Delta blues was his badge of shame (in rhythm and power)

A fount of power brought him fame (in rhythm and power)

Singin' to the ears of the world

from the Deep South to Chicago

Field-hollerin pickin' cotton grew (in rhythm and power)

the blues commander they all knew (in rhythm and power)

Hard-driving running from the law

and lonesome times in Arkansas



Hyp-no-tizer -- let it loose!

At the pleasure palaces

Howlin' in the cotton fields

Howlin' Memphis, Tennessee

Howlin' in Chicago, too

Singin' out to be set free


2. Mourning words - straight from his past (in rhythm and power)

sang freedom and the truth at last (in rhythm and power)

Honest, lurching power cries

intensity - the hollerin' rise

His message heard from near and far (in rhythm and power)

He blew his harp, played his guitar (in rhythm and power)

teasing, bending, ragged romp

boogied-down shuffles and the stomp


Hyp-no-tizer -- let it loose! yeah--



Burstin' out the radio

and the record machines

The hoodoo never lose

Paid the devil all his dues

to live and sing the blues [rep]




Can’t you hear him cryin’


Can’t you see him flyin’

Down Highway 49 at night

The Howlin' man was such a sight

a-woo-hoo--- [Can't you hear him cryin'] [rep]

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Graffiti Train



Graffiti Train

1. I want you to love them, I want you to care

I want you to give them hope and save them from despair

[Get on the ghost train now...]

I want you to respect them, I want you to feel their pain

I want you to walk into the pouring rain

Get on the ghost train now-- now-- now---- ooh---

2. Too many starts and stops in the worst part of the town

My life is a lonely hell and I am ghetto bound

[Here comes the lonesome train...]

There is too much poverty in the city all around

Crushing all the life of what was once profound

But now I'm homebound-- home bound-- home bound--- ooh---


He wanted me to ride the old graffiti train

He wanted me to witness and to feel their pain

But nothing'll ever save them if they don't save themselves

No free ride will ever pull them up from a living hell

ooh---  ooh---  ooh---  ooh---

3. Angels perched on high; in rhythm they all cry

to save our souls from judgement day before we die

[And the ghost train's soul...]

I want you to save them from the old train tracks

Box cars shelter from the cold and race attacks

Graffiti train... train.... train a-ride-- 

Train... train... train a-risin'--

Train... train... train alive----

Riding on the broken trains of the dying America


Ride on to another day

Another chance, another way

Outlaw on the train... I am free... Oh, Lord!

To paint my Graffiti train... wooo--wooo-- oooh---