Tag Archives: bob dylan

The Day: Homage to Many

The day they drove old Enron down and the people were singing

and the jail doors were ringing

and Ken Lay had his life go ding, that was the end of everything…

Oh, yes that was the day they drove old Enron down

My neighbor hanged himself

His Catahoula made it to another life

The surgeon killed Lay, as was asked, he couldn’t come back and and that was that

Skilling leaves a paltry payment for all Enron took. Now there are books about what they took

That was when we took Enron down, for stealing from widows

The day we took Enron down, for stealing jobs and pensions

end la la la


# # #

So Bob Dylan, World Poet, how do I end this. Yes, I know you did not write this, the original or certainly this trifle but the original sounds a bit like you.

Maybe mention Arlo on fishing trip, when he said writing music is like fishing. Just don’t set up downstream from Bob Dylan. I agree. At nearly 60 I’m still a beginner guitar player but have a nice instrument and I can’t play Bob Dylan for the life of me. I understand pitch, music but even with my beautiful guitar I’ve short, stubby fingers that cannot make the most of a violin, piano or guitar, and a body and feet that cannot do ballet. I’ve the mind and the sense to do so but not the ability. It is very frustrating as I see music in my head, even in my dreams, and I cannot make it come true. I look up lyrics and make up the chords I wish to use but to me an F is a misnomer because even when a pro friend helped me choose a guitar and had me take down the action I’m still having issues and at my age my voice is going as well as my dexterity.

Best I can do is get my Dad’s violin that has been in a closet for years before he died over the holidays. I would like to recondition it, if it can be done, try to re-learn it if usable, or give it to his alma mater who now has a violin scholarship in his name.

Thanks to all my cool musical folks. Yes, Robbie Robertson wrote it and Joan Baez and Johnny Cash played it. The night they brought Old Dixie down.

Now I’m looking at The City of New Orleans, written by Steve Goodman (rest in peace, 1984) and covered by several artists including Arlo Guthrie and even the ever graceful Dolly Parton.

I heard from a friend in Houston from way back. I walked to the trial end and stood there with saddened former employees of Enron who lost their lives and pensions due to this scheme. Sadly, another came up with other victims in the name of Bernie Madoff. He made off with a lot of money. I think it was 32 billion. In this case, people also lost life savings and pensions, homes and everything. I’m talking about everything they worked for including reserved newspaper delivery money since they were ten years old. No, I never “invested” my nickels and dimes there.

I always wanted a newspaper route but it would not have paid anything except additional exercise because it was a half-mile to a mile door-to-door up and down hills and by bicycle it didn’t pay. Town did the duty by truck. Yes, of course it was when Walter Cronkite was on TV News and we couldn’t read the NYTimes on the internet.

The City of New Orleans is one of my favorite songs. I may even be able to play a version of it. It’s funny that as a writer remembering lyrics is my weak point as I write. Good morning, America, how are ya? Don’t you know me, I’m your native son….. Cheers! Dee



It’s Not Fair

I know, nothing is fair. Love and life, war, strife. Having a meal or not being able to find one.

We are about to choose the leader of the nation based on political attacks.

I have made my choice. Bob Newhart will be President. VP will be Whoopie Goldberg as I always wanted a VP named Whoopie. Sorry, VP Goldberg as you’ll have to go to a lot of funerals.

Secretary of State is Robert Klein. UN Ambassador is Meryl Streep as she speaks all the languages and is a consummate actor.

Chief of staff is up for grabs. Go for it. Dee

ps. It’s not up for grabs, Chief of Staff is Bob Dylan. Joan Baez is head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the military.

pps Jane Fonda is head of the Afghanistan project but that’s CIA so you know, and whoops, did I say CIA?

ppps Jimmy Buffett is head of the Manatee Program, sorry CIA, I blew it again. I’ll stop now. No, I can’t.

Cheech and Chong are doing everything that has anything to do with TSA.

The people who become famous for becoming famous, the Kardashians, are in charge of busting anyone who wants to have tv shows as bad as their shows. They are the new J Edgar Hoover. OK I’ll ‘splain it to you, it’s the FBI. You’re in charge of reality TV shows.

Who is the CIA? Can you help me with this?  It is anyone who went to prep school, any Ivy League school. Secret societies. All I can guess is that you play tennis and golf because you’ve never worked a day in your life, just sail to get away from the life you do not live. D



Teach Your Children

well, that was the song my tone deaf band sang at age 12, at a concert. Whenever I rose up to do harmony they came up with me. That was my only concert, even though in a huge school we did place second.

It’s after nine a.m. and the dog doesn’t know where to go so I’m thinking of taking her out, again. She loves sleeping on the bed but wants me now as well and I’ve been up for hours. My husband works on the other coast and is looking forward to a long weekend with us. Shhhh, sleep, dear.

I’d like to think the songs of Bob Dylan, CSNY, PPM, Joan Baez and others have made a different life for parents and children. I was too scared of Dylan at age 12 and I’ve only about 12 chords, never enough for Joan Baez even though I sing her music all the time. Dave Mason, I took up guitar again at age fifty and cannot play Joan Baez, I’m a beginner. One of the best musical virtual friends (now deceased) I have is Johnny Cash. I made fun of country/western music as a kid at age 12, just to be cool. A fool, I was.

Johnny Cash is one heck of a teacher even after he’s gone. When I was in private lessons I’d download free lyrics then unpack my mind and new guitar and make up chords to go with it. No primers, no music, or chords. I’d just hear in my mind, and do it.

It was time to quit private lessons as my teacher was rude to me, treating me like a kid, and when we sang a song together and he followed me to harmony he became angry, denigrating me by saying I had perfect pitch. It was American Pie and I did a riff at the end that he liked, practiced all week. He was impressed then did a turnaround.

I told him I never thought of it but Dad and all my music teachers said so. I think he had such talent on instruments that he taught his kids well, I had perfect pitch but nothing like his playing ability so as Dave Mason would say, we agreed to disagree. Dee

New Things

When I was 12 years old we moved to a very different place. We usually had only the networks and PBS for television (I liked PBS when it began showing Julia Child). OK, also Sesame Street to keep my young brother occupied for a bit.

As to music I’d always bought transistor radios and only had a few channels so it was mostly top 40. Then I met other kids who listened to Dave Mason. I tried out a lot of bands and began with Elton John, lots of famous balladeers including Joan Baez. Dylan, but was missing several components, but in gym class got to play the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens. I created a stretch class for that, no teacher, I was in 10th grade.

Our family was back north (luckily I didn’t have to shoot BB guns in gym class anymore) a year later. I was into Beatles, Bad Co. and a lot of other music.

One thing I missed was country. I thought it simple and somewhat backward but I was wrong. It is true music, granted I can probably transpose many songs into the traditional cowboy chords. Who spoke to me? Johnny Cash, CSNY (not country, but worth mentioning as well as Peter, Paul and Mary). Joan Baez, always, though her chords are too difficult for this neophyte.

At the time we laughed at Glen Campbell while singing his songs, as he is a legend in many ways. This year at the Oscars they sang a song he wrote to his family about having Alzheimers. He has done wonderful work and I love the simplicity of country songs and the lyrics these “cowboys” put to music.

Perhaps I mis-speak but I am not a fan of “entertainers” taking the stage and yelling undecipherable lewd lyrics into a microphone. I grew up with Mozart, Bach, Beethoven. I believe that folk, country and pop have a place and not just on the oldies channel.

Speaking of which, I do not yet have or use Pandora. I do not listen to music in the car as I usually only drive a couple miles per day. My guitar teacher was so pleased that I actually wanted to learn a song that came from this decade, Hey There Delilah. We parted ways and moved before that ever happened.

It just shows that anyone, musician, dancer or otherwise should always keep up with the times but also remember classical training. That is first. For cooks as well. Learn the groundwork and riff away. Cheers! Dee


I got a $100 nylon string guitar for Christmas at age 11. Dad taught me A, C, D, E, G. I had quit five years of violin but was still taking piano lessons that would stop soon due to a bad teacher.

Then I got a band and we actually performed. My two girlfriends were clueless and tone deaf and when I tried to sing harmony they followed me. Disaster.

Apologies are due to CSNY for Teach Your Children, PPM for Day is Done, and the Kingston Trio for their version of the folk classic, 500 Miles.

Now I have a Seagull Artist Mosaic Folk acoustic guitar that I hydrate and do not play. I think I’m afraid of hurting those above and others. At first in private lessons I overreached, learning B7 the first week. I was learning twinkle, twinkle little star at the time. Yes, and I now use slinky strings made by Ernie Ball. Sadly he’s gone but his son was my neighbor. No, I did not get the strings for free.

I created a music library and learned about Johnny Cash, more Dylan. I sing and just come up with the chords. Often I just download lyrics and make it up. There is no artistry to it, just what was musically given (like golf, my father hates that I have perfect pitch but knows he brought the game) and the desire to create, not perform yet.

The lyrics challenge is like a food challenge. I used to have a mystery box arrive at my door every week and figure out what to cook with anything that was in it. That was a challenge, especially in winter in the Rockies.

So it’s bye bye Miss American Pie, took the Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry….

I prefer This Land Is Your Land….this land was made for you and me. Dee


Whether you hear it from Johnny Cash or Bob Dylan, we all have to serve someone. Whether it be the Lord or our families, we all have to do it.

The people who don’t do it are on the bottom or the top, neither think they’re responsible for anything or anyone. It is those of us in the middle who have to make up for everyone else’s failings.

We serve our companies, our bosses, our mortgage banks or landlords, electric and gas companies and more.

If we’re good we serve our spouses and children and help them thrive. We go to those games or attend spelling bees, just to make our kids happy and let them know we care.

Some of us go so far as to do regular volunteer work. Thank goodness for volunteers! I’m a volunteer trainer (a volunteer, volunteer trainer) who has done much good over the years but not lately and that hurts my heart and soul.

I’ve worked for non-profits in the bad neighborhoods and on birthdays the staffs all got together. The menfolk brought in fresh fried catfish, oysters, fries et al but the white girl never knew the secret location of this catfish stand. She never quite made “sistah.”

But I served and did what I needed to do in the community. Now my husband talks about “servant leadership” and of course we’re both in the same boat and our oars are rowing together but in different venues which is good ten years into a marriage.

I don’t recommend required government service (not a draft) at age 18. From what I’ve seen of AmeriCorps it does not make good use of the “volunteers” or of the organization used to care for them.

Instead, I’d start young. Scouts, especially when they’re out from under this cloud, sports, FFA for rural kids. If your parents won’t let you work summers after you’re 14, start now and get volunteering under your belt for college resumes and make it something you’ll love and stick with for life.

Giving back is one thing some people do instinctively. The top and bottom do not necessarily do so. OK, save Gates/Buffett major world change doings. Right now the only thing I can give is my time and perhaps a few dollars to a charitable organization of my choice.

At age 12, I got a cheap guitar (nylon strings) and started a band. We played in public at our school, three songs. CSNY’s Teach Your Children was in the mix.

So, let’s teach our children, walk that 500 miles, and serve someone. Years ago I was brought to a seer who said I was a teacher. Things are going bad in Washington with the sequester and we’re all going to get together or go separately. Serve someone. Dee


My mother said, even when I was in high school, that I liked to listen to dirges.  Sad songs.  As this flood of music comes back to my brain and to my heart I hear a lot of ladies’ names: Angie (Rolling Stones): Sara (Dylan); and happier ones like Amie (Pure Prairie League).

Then there are the war tunes, including Brothers in Arms (Joan Baez) and spirituals (Let Us Break Bread Together).

And we can’t forget when the levee ran dry, and the three men I admired most took the last train for the coast.  That must have been the day the music died.

When I bought my new guitar, bad purchase – a dreadnaught – but it sounds nice, I asked for a  beginner book and was steered towards the Carpenters. I told Doc that’s a slippery slope and I don’t want to go there so started with Dylan and a country song book.

We spent a few months in Scotland and our favorite restaurant was right down the block, Italian, run by Rocco, formerly an Italian Carabinieri (cop).  Our last evening we exchanged gifts.  Rocco gave us little pastries in limoncello from Sicily.  We gave him a classic Sinatra CD “Come Fly With Me” and ended the night with the entire restaurant singing “Deep in the Heart of Texas” after Jim sang the first few verses of “El Paso.” [Marty Robbins]

That led to a much more slippery slope.  Our last evening in Scotland was memorable, even though we had to get up at 3:00 to get on the road to London and home.

Perhaps the” London Homesick Blues” got to us and we had to go home to the Armadillo, sweet country music from Amarillo to Abilene….”  I think Jerry Jeff should change it to Aberdeen. Perhaps if he wasn’t in England, he’d like the countryside more, especially from Scotland, an ornery bunch if there ever was one.  Sign me up!

I do like anthems, dirges, songs that mean something so Mom was correct.  I’d ask her to listen to a song, even early Beatles, and she didn’t understand.  Then came a lot of rock, plus James Taylor, Dave Mason, Carole King, Dan Fogelberg, Art Garfunkel, young Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Loggins et al.

I think people who write, perform and listen to this music must not eat, bring own veg food or chomp on the local grub.  There’s an idea, follow a band to find out what they eat, then go out as an advance person and make it healthier.  Not me, I’ve never been a Band Aid.  But if you’re hurt I probably have something in my car to fix it.

Please know I’m going to use what I’ve made of your songs to play to put babies to sleep and for family and friends to sing a song or two over the holidays.  Thank you songwriters and singers, nautical wheelers, Dee