Brad Smith (jesus_h_biscuit) wrote,
Brad Smith

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I love this woman...

I adore Mary Chapin Carpenter. She is one of my very favorite singer-songwriters. The most amazing thing about my love of her is that she is a country artist and I normally don't care for country music. THere's something extraordinary about this one though.

I learned about her music by way of the Indigo Girls, whom I also adore musically. She played and sang on their "Nomads, Indians, Saints" album and I decided to check her out on a whim. I was in Tarpon Springs, Florida, (My second favorite place in the world - the first being Amelia Island) which is this quaint little predominantly Greek fishing village. I wanted something to listen to on the drive home, and so we stopped for lunch next door to a Sam Goody. THe first thing I found by her was her album "Come On Come On" and decided to buy that one. I didn't start listening to it until we made the Georgia state line and the first song I chose was "I Am A Town" and immediately I was transfixed by her. The song is so simple - nothing but piano, acoustic guitar, and cello - which is an amazing combination. Then she sings these lyrics like she's stitching a quilt with words and I swear to DOG that something in my soul was completely elated! It's a song about the south. If you live here, if you're ever been here, you'll understand this song completely. It's gorgeous and in my opinion one of the most perfect things ever written. The entire album is phenominal, there isn't a bad song on it. She writes great one liners as well, like "Lonely looks as bad on me as lonely looks on you..." "I want to look around and know you won't be coming back again on some pretense paper thin that I can see right through..." I posted the lyrics to her song "Only A Dream" in an early entry, I cannot listen to that song without bawling my eyes out. It reminds me of when my sister left home and was written about when HER older sister left home for college. My favorite lyric by her is from her song "I Take My Chances" where she sings
"I sat alone in the dark one night, tuning in by remote
I found a preacher who spoke of the light but there was brimstone in his throat
He'd show me the way according to him in return for my personal check
I flipped my channel back to CNN and I lit another cigarette.

I take my chances, forgiveness doesn't come with a debt
I take my chances, I take my chances every chance I get"

These are the complete lyrics to the first song I heard by her. I reccommend to all music lovers that you get this album!

I Am A Town
- Mary Chapin Carpenter

I'm a town in Carolina, I'm a detour on a ride
For a phone call and a soda, I'm a blur from the driver's side
I'm the last gas for an hour if you're going twenty-five
I am Texaco and tobacco, I am dust you leave behind

I am peaches in September, and corn from a roadside stall
I'm the language of the natives, I'm a cadence and a drawl
I'm the pines behind the graveyard, and the cool beneath their shade,
Where the boys have left their beer cans
I am weeds between the graves.

My porches sag and lean with old black men and children
Their sleep is filled with dreams, I never can fulfill them
I am a town.

I am a church beside the highway where the ditches never drain
I'm a Baptist like my daddy, and Jesus knows my name
I am memory and stillness, I am lonely in old age; I am not your destination
I am clinging to my ways
I am a town.

I'm a town in Carolina, I am billboards in the fields
I'm an old truck up on cinder blocks, missing all my wheels
I am Pabst Blue Ribbon, American, and "Southern Serves the South"
I am tucked behind the Jaycees sign, on the rural route
I am a town
I am a town
I am a town

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