Departures ~ The Lyrics

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Fly
Evey's Song
31 Years to Go (Song of the Actuarial Tables)
Big Blue Heron
Eachother’s Passersby
This Time
Safe Harbor
Departures
Passing Present
Fishy Fishy
Darkening Sky
Wiley Herman Duncan
Gift of the Song




Fly     back to top ^

To my grandson, Dean Alan Duncan-Morin...

I could let myself fly, and I’d never know why
I could let myself go, and I’d still never know
What it takes to be free

Here I am standing firm, no direction to turn
Weathervane spinning round, can the answer be found,
If I ride with the wind?

Chorus:
Take my hand and come along with me
Take my hand and we’ll see what we’ll see
Take my hand and we’ll go where
We can both be free

You could let yourself fly, and you’d never know why
You could let yourself go, and you’d still never know
What it takes to be free

There you are standing firm, no direction to turn
Weathervane spinning round, can the answer be found,
If you ride with the wind?

Chorus





Evey's Song     back to top ^

My Mom’s dream about her eldest sister...

Long ago I left behind the town where I was born I went away to fight a war and never came back home. I settled south and made a life, both years and miles away, And though I saw you when I could, we’d lost our day to day.

Chorus:
And is this where you live, and haunt eternity Or did you come here for a while to spend some time with me?

You stayed up north and lived your roles of sister, mom and wife And carried burdens family bring, each generation’s strife. You were there through all the years, through all the changes there Through all the loss, it was your tears that eased the other’s care.

Chorus

I’m the family elder now, how did it get that way? You crossed a couple years ago, you crossed but here I stay. But late last night, while in a dream, I came to your old home And sat and talked with you awhile, until the dream was gone.

Chorus





31 Years to Go (Song of the Actuarial Tables)     back to top ^

This song arrived just in time on the morning of our 31st wedding anniversary!

Long ago in Austin town where the flower children go,
Met a boy from a Texas town not far from Mexico.
Taught each other lots of things that neither one did know.
Stayed awhile in Austin town and love began to grow

Chorus:
31 years it’s been so far and 31 years to go
Married a boy from a Texas town not far from Mexico.

Traveled north a little ways and kids began to grow
And when we’d done old Dallas town to Canada we’d go.
Packed up all the pets and kids and headed northward Ho!
Found our Nova Scotian wood with entourage in tow.

Chorus

The years they passed, the years were good, but how were we to know
Our traveling days weren’t over yet, to Maryland we’d go
Packed up all our kit again, just like a traveling show
Settled in a Maryland town, how long, we didn’t know.

Chorus

Time goes by and years do fly, the kids are gone and grown
We up and left our Maryland town, came back to our Texas home.
And though we’ve circled round again, it’s hard for us to know,
Just where it is we’ll finally spend, the 31 years to go.

Chorus





Big Blue Heron     back to top ^

While waiting at the Shady Grove Metro Station for Bus 76 to Poolesville, Maryland, I saw a Blue Heron flying over our mass of concrete, steel and diesel fumes.

Chorus:
Big Blue Heron flying over my head
Swim with wings through the sky
Do you notice all the things that we did
As you make your way by

We have cleared away the grass and wood
Paved what once was your land
Drained the marshes where you proudly stood
Turned your world with our hand

Chorus

Still you find a place where you survive
Squeezed in narrow strips of land
Somehow managing to make your life
Fit into our master plan

Chorus

I have seen you in the northern woods
And here, above this parking lot
You make a home here in our urban wood
In the spaces we forgot.

Chorus





Eachother’s Passersby     back to top ^

Written in a bar in Old Town Alexandria after an eventful trip on the Metro. Every word true…

Tripping on the Metro, nobody around I know
Listening to the talk of passersby
Tripping on the Metro, wondering where I’m supposed to go
While the many stations pass me by

Chorus:
We are a bunch of people on a ride, a crazy crew, eachother’s passersby
We are a bunch of people on a ride, a crazy crew, eachother’s passersby.

Young Republicans expound, how gun control is just for clowns
They’re all impressed with Charlton Heston’s size
Committee here and golfing there, they run the town without a care
Until they see who’s up on the next tide

Chorus

A caffenated Nun it seems extols the virtues of nicotine
Whose benefits will all be proven yet.
She marches there she marches here, for Cancer, AIDS and “your cause here,”
And always has her coffee and cigarette.

Chorus

Tripping on the Metro, nobody around I know
Listening to the talk of passersby
Tripping on the Metro, wondering where I’m supposed to go
While the many stations pass me by





This Time     back to top ^

Introspective self- justification by the singer/songwriter...

I have taken roads for many reasons
Sometimes on advice and sometimes not.
But each new turn has brought about its season
And there’s no way to send back what I got.

Chorus:
Who knows how many times the soul will travel
Upon this earth in different time and guise
And will I get to try the things I missed by turns along the way
Or say, “I won’t be doing that, this time.”

When I think back to times when I had choices
For pathways leading far from where I am
I have to think the path I took led where I’m supposed to be
And for the rest, I won’t be doing that this time.

Chorus

The chance of life allows for no backtracking
Magic moments cannot re-create
And I must live my life where my feet brought me
And all the other choices have to wait

Chorus





Safe Harbor     back to top ^

Going through while being part of the Universe - my own personal journey - as a water sign, of course...

I’m a speck upon the ocean, a dot out on the sea
Will the pole star call me onward, will the head light guide me free?
Can the danger be avoided, and the hidden rocks revealed,
And my ship come to safe harbor in her time
And my ship come to safe harbor in her time?

I stand beneath the night sky, my feet firmly on the ground,
And I gaze above to find the stars I’ve previously found.
These points of light familiar move on their appointed way,
And show me to safe harbor in their time
And show me to safe harbor in their time.

The changing of the season brings a changing to the heart,
And the years go by much quicker, than they did right at the start.
The years will take me with them, while in this life I roam
And bring me to safe harbor in their time
And bring me to safe harbor in their time.





Departures     back to top ^

A song inspired by the untimely loss of several friends – a murder/suicide ripping the fabric of our lives, a young mother lost to cancer and a woman widowed in midlife, finding her way.

Our goodbye came in the morning
Life transformed starts the new day.
You are gone off on a journey
None can follow, ‘til their own day.
All the years we were together
Fade to distance, time cannot stay.
On my own finding a pathway
All alone, I’ll find my way.

Flames encroach but cannot hide
The deed committed there inside
A fear so strong it could not pass
The lives it held within its grasp
The name of love it took in vain
All eyes that saw, with tears did rain
But on the side we cannot see
Where love is perfect, they will be
Where love is perfect, they will be.

Morning light had not begun
The day the end did finally come
A vigil long, a battle brave
Could not avoid this early grave
A life departing out of time
Leaving all her loves behind
But in the gift her life did give
They’ll find their lessons as they live
They’ll find their lessons as they live

Our goodbye came in the morning
Life transformed starts the new day.
You are gone off on a journey
None can follow, ‘til their own day.
All the years we were together
Fade to distance, time cannot stay.
On my own finding a pathway
All alone, I’ll find my way.





Passing Present     back to top ^

There are so many kinds of loss - a song about going on with life...

Stepping out to the same old places
Looking round at familiar faces
Everything’s the same, but your not there

Never thought that going back
Would take my mind right down that track
To memories of time when you were there

Chorus:
It’s hard to let the passing present go
To dive into that future we don’t know

Memories warm the lonely room
And bring some light into the gloom
And everything’s the same but you’re not there.

Looking round for someone new
To fill that place that once meant you
It’d help if I believed that you’re not there

Chorus





Fishy Fishy (Homage to the Inshore Fishermen of Nova Scotia)     back to top ^

Composed while sitting by Bubble Pond in Acadia National Park in the fall of 2002 – so close to the North Atlantic the destruction of the fisheries by over fishing was surely on my mind...

I could be like a fish in the sea, It’s getting lonely, you can see. Used to be crowded here, but now it’s not Can’t even find the cousins I forgot!

Chorus:
Bubble bubble, now what’s the trouble, Are people eating too much fish? The omega-3s they be fine if you please But we’ve got to find a way to let the fishies play.

I could be like a boat all afloat Gear to my ears, the schools to note. It used to be easy, but now it’s not We’re just not bringing what we did to the dock

Chorus

We’ll take the trawlers and the factory ships We’ll make them cruisers, for whale watching trips And my old fisherman will bring the catch home Day after day, and leave the bottom alone

Chorus:
Bubble Bubble, now that’s the trouble It’s not people eating fish! The omega-3s they be fine if you please But we’ve got to find a way to let the fishies play.





Darkening Sky     back to top ^

A song about transition, whether from this life to the next, or one state of consciousness to another…

Floating down a darkening sky, as my life is passing by
Did I know the place I’ve come from, fading from my conscious mind
Will I know the place before me, waiting there for me to find.
Waiting there for me to find my way
Measure life by the day
Form the words I must say
In a place where I can be

Voices now are reaching out, asking me to turn about
I can hear them calling for me, but not understand their shout.
Others beckon on before me, trying to remove my doubt
Trying to remove my doubt today
Bring my mind all the way
Find the language to pray
In the place that I now see





Wylie Herman Duncan     back to top ^

My husband’s grandfather was an early pioneer in the Rio Grand Valley of South Texas. Life was hard, and distances were farther back then. I’m glad I got to know him, if only for awhile...

Chorus:
I’m Wylie Herman Duncan and I’ve lived to 83
Most my life in Texas, but I’m bound for Tennessee
My mother’s grave is waiting, where I will stand once more
Then I’ll go to meet her, upon that golden shore.

My daddy was a preacher man way back in Tennessee
Gave my momma thirteen kids, one of seven sons was me
Raised up in the Smokies, in the green woods and blue sky
The day my brother shot a man, to Texas we did fly

Chorus

We made our way to Texas, found work in Kaufman town
It’s just outside of Dallas, where we’d go to play around
Ride down to Deep Ellum, with our pistols at our sides
Two preachers kids out on our own, trying the other side.

The years went by in Kaufman and I put some money by
A big tall gal named Minnie Belle did chance to catch my eye.
Made me park my holster on the porch, but I knew no more I’d roam
In Sunday best I courted her, ‘til I could take her home.

Chorus

We married there in Kaufman, sweet Minnie Belle and I
But near the Rio Grande, our new life we would try
Packed up our possessions and got on board that train
Rode her south five hundred miles, down through the Texas plain.

When we got to South Texas to start our life out new
We saw Banditos hanging, at the place the train came through.
I found work on the levy, had twenty mules to drive,
Helped build the ports and waterways that made that valley thrive

Chorus

We found a dozen acres, where we could start our farm
For cash we grew some cotton, and there two sons were born.
The farm grew with the family, but riches dodged my hand,
Hog cholera and hurricanes kept me a working man.

My sons grew tall and handsome, they both went off to war
They made it home and married, they both had children four.
One like me went roaming, the other staid right here,
Helped us out the best he could and eased my Minnie’s fear.

Chorus

As we were growing older, my Minnie wasn’t well
All those years of hard work as a farmer’s wife did tell.
When she got so far under I couldn’t keep her home
That’s when they took her ‘way from me, and left me all alone.

The years have passed by quickly, the grand kids are all grown
They come here with their families, to see great Grand Dad’s home.
They like my pigs and guinea hens and my banana tree
But not one of the babies would be named after me.

Chorus

And then he went to meet her, upon that golden shore.





Gift of the Song     back to top ^

A song that could be about many a troubadour – this one was singing in Rockland, Maine when we met...

He started in Texas a long time ago
When folk was the fashion for those in the know
From campus to campus, all over this land
With voice and guitar he made up his own band.

Chorus:
And he sings it out loud and he sings it out strong
And he sings out his life, for the gift of the song.

Through decades of changes, he’s been on his way
The road has provided him places to play
And friends who can shelter an old troubadour
And are sorry to see when he goes out the door

Chorus

From British invasion to old rock and roll
He’s kept to the music that speaks to his soul.
Songs by Guthrie and Seeger and Tom Paxton too
And songs of the sea, joined by me and by you

Chanty:
So hoist up the main sail and set out to sea
We’ll sail over water as blue as can be
And if we go under, we’ll never be seen
But keep sailing onward, into our own dream

Chorus 2:
And he sings it out loud and we sing it back strong
And we sing out our life, for the gift of the song

You may see him in restaurants or out by the bar
You may join him in singing, while having a jar
And be thankful there’s someone who still carries on
‘cause you know we’ll be sad when these songs are all gone

Chorus 2

Chanty







back to top ^