Like Melting Snow

By: Alan Graham

Work In Progress…

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David Bowie and Glenn Frey are now headlining in Rock-n-Roll Heaven. Two rockers dead within the same month is a major bummer for me; and so I indulge in a mournful but sweet celebration by playing their music and remembering those magnificent days of my young life.

Bob Dylan’s beautiful but sad ballad “Bob Dylan’s Dream” captures the same wistful remembrance of friends, lost never to be seen again, and that wishful dream wherein friends never part and endless joy abounds.

“Bob Dylan’s Dream”

While riding on a train goin’ west
I fell asleep for to take my a rest
I dreamed a dream that made me sad
Concerning myself and the first few friends I had.
With half-damp eyes I stared to the room
Where my friends and I spent many an afternoon
Where we together weathered many a storm
Laughin’ and singing ’till the early hours of the morn’.By the old wooden stove where our hats was hung
Our words were told, our songs were songs
Where we longed for nothin’ and were satisfied
Joking and talking about the world outside.

With haunted hearts through the heat and cold
We never thought we could ever get very old
We thought we could sit forever in fun
Our chances really was a million to one.

As easy it was to tell black from white
It was all that easy to tell wrong from right
And our choices they were few and the thought never hit
That the one road we traveled would ever shatter and split.

How many a year has passed and gone
Many a gamble has been lost and won
And many a road taken by many a first friend
And each one I’ve never seen again.

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
That we could sit simply in that room again
Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat
I’d give it all gladly if our lives could be like that.

 

The bitter-sweet Irish ballads “Carrickfergus” and “The Parting Glass” are also time travel machines to a long ago time and place.

I wish I was in Carrickfergus
Only for nights in Ballygrand
I would swim over the deepest ocean
Only for nights in Ballygrand
But the sea is wide and I cannot swim over
And neither have I the wings to fly
I wish I had a handsome boatsman
To ferry me over my love and I

(This verse is only sung on the “40 Years” CD)
My childhood days bring back sad reflections
Of happy times there spent so long ago
My boyhood friends and my own relations
Have all past on now with the melting snow
So I’ll spend my days in this endless roving
Soft is the grass and shore, my bed is free
Oh to be home now in carrickfergus
On the long road down to the salty sea

Now in Kilkenny it is reported
On marble stone there as black as ink
With gold and silver I would support her
But I’ll sing no more now til I get a drink
Cause I’m drunk today and I’m seldom sober
A handsome rover from town to town
Ah but I’m sick now my days are numbered
Come all me young men and lay me down
Come all me young men and lay me down.

The Parting Glass

Of all the money that e’er I had
I spent it in good company
And all the harm I’ve ever done
Alas, it was to none but me

And all I’ve done for want of wit
To memory now I can’t recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be to you all

So fill to me the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befalls
Then gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

Of all the comrades that e’er I had
They’re sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e’er I had
They’d wish me one more day to stay

But since it fell into my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

But since it fell into my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

So fill to me the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befalls
Then gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

Good night and joy be to you all

 
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