Monday, January 26, 2009

Stars for a Diamond

One of these days I'll write a whole post about the late Townes Van Zandt. I'm in love with his poetry, in love with his heart, his soul, his sad cowboy voice and his dark eyes. He was the king of the mixed metaphor, but I don't care. He speaks to my soul.

For now, here are some lyrics that tug at my heart today:
I'll kindle my fires with the words I can't send you,
And the roads I can't follow and the songs I can't sing.
I'll wander alone on the sleigh bells of winter
With the stars for a diamond and the world for a ring.
--from "The Catfish Song"
Texas gets a bad rap sometimes, but remember Texas produced Townes Van Zandt, Buddy Holly, Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin ... and me.


And here is a link to a video of Townes singing "The Catfish Song."
The Catfish Song

Way down at the bottom of that dirty old river,
Down where the reeds and the catfish play,
There lies a dream as soft as the water,
There lies a bluebird that's flown away.

To meet is like springtime, and to love's like the summer.
Her brown eyes shone for nobody but me.
But in autumn forever the fool come a-falling
And the rain turned to freezing inside of me.

I'll kindle my fires with the words I can't send you,
And the roads I can't follow and the songs I can't sing.
I'll wander alone on the sleigh bells of winter
With the stars for a diamond and the world for a ring.

Well, all you young ladies who dream of tomorrow,
While you're listening, these words will I say:
Cling to today with its joy and its sorrow.
You'll need all your memories when youth melts away.

The angel of springtime he rides down the south wind.
The angel of summer, he does just the same.
The angel of autumn, she's blue and she's golden.
And the angel of winter won't remember your name.

Down at the bottom of that dirty old river,
Down where the reeds and the catfish play,
There lies a dream as soft as the water.
There lies a bluebird that's flown away.
Oh there lies a bluebird that's flown away.

Post Script (added Jan. 28 3:40 p.m.)
I found out that Townes left behind a musical son, J.T., who plays his father's songs and sings occasionally onstage. Here is J.T. Van Zandt singing, "Nothin." All the gentleness, without all the pain.
J.T. Van Zandt

11 comments:

Ernie Branscomb said...

I was going to reply, but I got too windy. Your choice of heroes really resonated with me. I answered you on my blog, so I wouldn’t take too much space here. I come by and read your stuff all the time, and appreciate it, but the Van Zandt post really struck a chord with me. My heart is a bluebird, and it swam away with my soul.

Kristen said...

Dear Indie,

Reading this song made me lightly cry. I really needed someone to tell me to, "Cling to today with its joy and its sorrow" because I will need them to be a remembered life for myself! I am heading over to iTunes right now ... to see if they have him. . . .

Lots of Love Today for You,
Kristen

Indie said...

Oh, I'm so glad you guys agree. Townes is soulful, and he can make everyone's heartache just seem poetically, and sort of beautifully, soulful too.

Ernie, I'm going right over to your blog to see what you have to say. I'm glad mixed metaphors don't bother you either :)

Kristin, these songs are great: "To Live is to Fly" and "Snowing on Raton."

Lotta K said...

I don;t remember how I found your blog, but I just want to say that I love T v Z too!

Indie said...

Lotta K, it was I who found your blog in one of my occasional searches for Swedish speakers on Blogspot. (Not that I speak it; I'm learning Swedish).

Thanks for stopping by.

Townes is amazing. I'm happy to find that others share my feelings. He died without ever becoming successful.

Carol said...

I have never heard of him until here on your blog, Indie. What a handsome, brooding man.

Indie said...

Carol, yes, handsome and brooding.

As a result of watching YouTube videos of him, yesterday I discovered his oldest son J.T. Van Zandt.

J.T. sings some of his dad's songs and plays guitar, LOOKS hauntingly like Townes, but seems to be an unshattered man with an intact soul.

Kristabel said...

Mmmmmmmm. Yummy.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Kristabel
Women are supposed to like shattered men, with lost souls, so they can put them all back together again the way they want them to be.

You Lost concentration at “handsome and brooding” and stared drooling too soon. Pay Attention!

But, at least the broken hearts over here seem to be healing nicely. That's good!

Indie said...

Heartaches do eventually, or so I'm told.

Kristabel, I completely agree.

Kristabel said...

Thanks for the schooling, Ernie. I just can't help myself!

xo