Sunday, June 26, 2011

Merlin's Lament

Here's a song by Dave Carter...I hoped to find a version on YouTube but there seems to be only one, not by Dave and Tracy but by someone else. It is poorly recorded and poorly done in my estimation but Guy-Michael Grande's heart was in the right place. Dave is gone now and those who know all weep for that. In 2009 there was a memorial concert and that's where the YouTube I found was taken. Ick. I hate it when they die early.


In a castle keep, in a vault of stone
In a house at the end of the lane
An old man weeps in his door alone
And he sings out this mournful refrain.

She will not come back
She will not come back
Though the mountains fall down to the sea
And the sky burns to cinders and the river runs black
She will not come back to me.

No lightnin reed from his books of lore
And the staff in the corner, no fire
And the crystal ball always bright before
Is grey as the dust of desire.

She will not come back
She will not come back
Though we call on the powers that be
They will cipher this message in his cold zodiac
She will not come back
She will not come back
She will not come back to me.

And joy my love was a dancin spring
And life was the touch of her lips
And a brook ran mad to my cave down stream
From the miracle hills of her hips.

She will not come back
She will not come back
Though the stars hang their tears in the trees
And tireless Orion lies spent in his tracks
She will not come back
She will not come back
She will not come back to me
She will not come back to me.

Wiki says: Dave Carter (August 13, 1952 – July 19, 2002) was an American folk singer-songwriter who described his style as "post-modern mythic American folk music." He was one half of the duo Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, who were heralded as the new "voice of modern folk music" in the months before Carter's unexpected death in July 2002. They were ranked as number one on the year-end list for "Top Artists" on the Folk Music Radio Airplay Chart for 2001 and 2002, and their popularity has endured in the years following Carter's death. Joan Baez who went on tour with the duo in 2002 spoke of Carter's songs in the same terms that she once used to promote a young Bob Dylan:
"There is a special gift for writing songs that are available to other people, and Dave's songs are very available to me. It's a kind of genius, you know, and Dylan has the biggest case of it. But I hear it in Dave's songs, too."
Carter's songs were often noted for their poetic imagery, spirituality and storytelling while retaining connection to the country music of his southern American upbringing. Carter's memory has been kept alive by his many admirers, most notably his former partner. Tracy Grammer has continued to introduce previously unrecorded songs and recordings that the duo were working on prior to Carter's death.

Carter died of a massive heart attack Friday July 19, 2002 in a hotel room in Hadley, Massachusetts after returning from an early morning run. He and Grammer were slated to play that weekend at the Green River Festival in Greenfield and were booked that summer to play many of the nation's top folk festivals and folk clubs. He was 49. Carter's death came as a great shock to the folk music community. Tracy Grammer gave her account of Carter's final moments in a letter to fans:
"Yesterday, shortly after he went unconscious, he came back for a lucid minute or two to tell me, 'I just died... Baby, I just died...' There was a look of wonder in his eyes, and though I cried and tried to deny it to him, I knew he was right and he was on his way. He stayed with me a minute more but despite my attempts to keep him with me, I could see he was already riding that thin chiffon wave between here and gone. He loved beauty, he was hopelessly drawn to the magic and the light in all things. I figure he saw something he could not resist out of the corner of his eye and flew into it. Despite the fact that every rescue attempt was made by paramedics and hospital staff and the death pronouncement officially came at 12:08 pm Eastern Time, I believe he died in my arms in our favorite hotel, leaving me with those final words. That's the true story I am going to tell."


I said it this way

How You Are Leaving Me

I stumble along
trying to get it, get it.
Man, what can I do
to convince you that
you've risen higher than this
yard we've known so long?
You've returned to nest
in the old haystack we called
good enough once more.
But I know you'll go,
again you will step away
and one time soon, soon
you will not come back.

December 3, 2009 8:05 PM


  1. Tis burned now
    that house of grass
    A nest is built anew

    On sacred ground
    A mountain top
    Beyond yon hills of bleu

    She flies beyond
    And thru the gap
    Bringing gifts
    Straight to you

  2. My son has a huge tattoo on his chest. "Death is only the beginning". It is a memorial of sorts to his grandparents, and I suppose there is room for my initials too, when the time comes. But I see death as only an ending for the living. The end of a relationship, a marriage, a partnership. For the dead...existence continues.

  3. I think there is a quaternity of relationship between birth, and across from birth of course death, and then at some kind of "right angle" orgasm and across from orgasm (the creation of life) the peak spiritual experiences (the true creation in that same sense of soul).

    The reason I think of these four as intimately related is that I believe when you experience one of them something about that experience straddles both this world and some other in an immediate and direct way. I believe we cannot say that in the same way about any other life experience. I have experienced three of the four and I suspect that what Tracey said about Dave will turn out true for me as well.

    I will not fight death when it comes to me. I feel quite fortunate. Not everyone gets all the other three. It's not that big a deal here, but I think it may be a bigger deal in the beyond.

    One must die a right kind of death, whatever that may mean. Of that I am certain. It is important that we each figure out what that may mean for us.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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