Songs for Weary Souls

Once all you had to do when trouble showed its head was to pack up and leave.

And Guy Clark sang:

Pack up all your dishes

Make note of all good wishes

Say goodbye to the landlord for me

Sons of bitches always bore me.

She was there. So the morning was alive.

And Kristofferson sang:

I have seen the morning burning golden

On the mountain in the sky

Aching with the freedom of the feeling of an eagle when she flies.

Loving her was easier than anything I’d ever do again.

It was all about right now.

So Buffy Ste. Marie sang:

Don’t ask how of me.

Don’t ask why of me.

Don’t ask forever of me.

Love me.


You thought that you knew dusty, rough roads back then.

Because there was always a place to rest.

While Eric Anderson sang.

Take off your thirsty boots

And stay for awhile

Your feet are hot and weary

From a country mile.

Ready for anything you were.

Because that glowering man in black was always ready. Singing:

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine

I keep my eyes wide open all the time

I keep the ends out for the ties that bind

Because you’re mine

I walk the line

But something cracked open

Somewhere along the way.

Just beyond your reach.

So you grabbed tight to the lyric of goodbye.

And Jimmy Webb told the story:

Ran away with you when I was 17

To be with you

On the California coast

Drinkin’ margaritas all night in the old cantina

On the California coast

Our dreams of endless summer

Were just too grandiose



I’ll miss the blood red sunset

But I’ll miss you the most


That brought clarity.

And that ultimate gift.

A next time.

While John Stewart sang.

You once thought of me

As a white night on a steed.

Now you know how funky

I can be.

Then came the stumbling.

Then flat out free falling.

No clue where you’re tumbling

Or where you’ll end up.

And in this new world of downhill climbing, stripped away sunshine, not really knowing what’s next, or if it ever maybe sometime would get any better at all, John Stewart singled out some bright moments when he sang,

And our goodtime starts and ends

Without dollar one to spend

Cause how much baby

Do we really need?

Constant struggle for survival gets old fast.

Romance and poverty make a very tough couple.

You have few and far between bright moments.

Those bright moments revealed lyrics like caveman drawings on the walls

Continually rediscovered through the smokey mists if time

Like Dylan furiously writing in the cold 3rd floor walk up of a dump in the Village:

Yes to dance beneath the diamond sky

With one had waving free

Silhouetted by the sea

Circled by the circus sands

With all memory and fate

Driven deep beneath the waves

Let me forget about today

Until tomorrow.

And then like a timeless wind blowing snow from the Canadian cold plains of Abraham. Joni Mitchell speaks

I’ve looked at love from both sides now

From win and loose and still somehow

It’s loves illusions I recall

I really don’t know love

At all.

While scrunched down on the ancient brick sidewalks, under the promise of a Parisian spring rain, Jacque Brel growls:

If we only have love

Then tomorrow will come

And the days of our lives

Will rise on that morn.

And on a bus ride through the darkness, under Indiana stars, John Mellencamp listens to an old man who is riding beside him. And the man says,

Days turn to minutes

And minutes to memories

Life takes away the dreams

That we have planned

You are young.

You are the future

So suck it up

Tough it out

And do the best you can.

So you walk towards the water. You get down to the sea somehow, as Jackson Brown said, and you find this ancient storyteller, guy named Luke, taking down one very simple story. A story that will be told till the end of time. What Luke saw was a fisherman, Name of Simon. And what Simon said was this:

“God, we’ve worked all night long, but we’ve caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets. If you say so—I will let down the nets.”

And as Simon and his fisherman cast off from the shore, ready to fish, Sam Cooke sang.

It’s been a long time coming

But I know.

A change is gonna come.

2 Responses to “Songs for Weary Souls”

  1. Helen Gagel Says:

    Dang! What brought this on? Thanks for putting 4 of my all-time favorite songs in one post

  2. Paul Haider Says:

    Yes, there are so many weary souls out there tonight, and they all need the healing power of music and its lyrics of encouragement as well as wisdom. It must have been a while since you’ve listened to Jackson because you forgot that he spells his last name with an “e,” presumably in honor of E Street. I got back home a few hours ago from my pilgrimage to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and I wish that I stayed there longer in order to avoid the Bears game results.
    Paul Haider, Chicago
    P.S. “And when my mind is free, you know, a melody can move me/And when I’m feeling blue, the guitar’s coming through to soothe me/Thanks for the joy that you’ve given me.”

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