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Nope… You really CAN’T get there from here.

wA Land So Far Away


I remember a Sunday so long ago, the concept of Sunday was a new one… this special day when no one worked (in those days my mom worked weekdays and my dad was off on Tuesday and worked Saturdays).

On this day we were driving out to the country — the outskirts of the then-small city of Orange, California — to pick up friends of my folks and then driving up to the mountains at Big Bear.

In those days, Orange was mostly orchards and farmhouses, spreading out from a tiny downtown built around a turn-of-the-last-century roundabout (a traffic circle, if you will). Besides some fruit packing plants there wasn’t much to town except the children’s hospital I’d been born in.

We met up with another car load of young adults and, leaving Orange, we drove down two lane roads for hours until, sometime long after noon (another slightly hazy concept — I think remember someone on the picnic explaining that it meant the sun was directly overhead) we arrived in what I recall as a big valley meadow between two sets of snow-capped mountains.

I don’t remember too much about the picnic but this is what I do remember — even though it seems oddly dreamlike:

After we’d been there a few hours and the sun was edging down toward the mountains I now know to have been in the west, we heard a long, low roar echoing out of the mountains behind us. A visceral, beastly roar…

Everyone froze and the girls — I swear this is what I remember — got scared. I think someone said something like, “Well, maybe that’s the Big Bear they named this place after.” A couple of the guys wanted to go see what it was. But a couple of the girls seemed genuinely frightened and one of them seemed panicky, insisting that we pack up and go.

And we did. As the adults hurriedly packed up (the scared girl was sitting in the back of one of the sedans and refused to come out even to help pack up) I remember looking down at my arm and seeing the little bumps around the hairs on my arm. Someone said they were “goosebumps” and that was a new one to me, too. I don’t remember much else except that it was long after dark on Sunday night when we dropped my folks’ friends off.

To this day, I still wonder what the hell that sound was. And, sometimes, when the memory seems really vivid, it can still raise goosebumps and I can still feel the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

NEW VERSION of the brand new song from last week

It takes a while to find each new song, often as not, and this one is no exception. I’ve been rolling around some changes (I’ve wrestled with the “lots and lots of lots” issue but I’m sticking with what I wrote for now).

This version was actually recorded earlier in the week. The vocals are still somewhat awkward. Some of the guitar work is, too. But it’s pretty different than the first, fingerpicked version and I think it’s worth putting up, capturing a different aspect of the song… I think it suggests where I want to go a little better. I’ll probably rough it out with a fleshed out version with drums, bass, and more guitars in the coming weeks…

A Land So Far Away

more stream & DL options

previous versions
Sunday, April 29, 2007

lyrics
A Land So Far Away

I was born so long ago
between some forgotten wars
times were different then I know
it’s the one thing that’s for sure

There were cows across the road
I can still feel the dairy smell
where it’s only houses now
and they stretch all the way to hell

and back then I never thought
I would ever hit the road
but before I knew what was what
there was nowhere else to go

ch and right now I know I want
to find this place called home
I don’t know where it is
and I don’t know where to go

I was born between some wars
between the mountains and the shore
in a land so far away
you just cant
get there anymore

I saw the world there’s a lot to see
and sure I was impressed
lots of hope lots of fear
and lots of girls undressed

lots of bar rooms lots of dreams
lots of lifelong friends
lots of pals you’ll always love
and never see again

ch right now I know I want to find…

I was born so long ago
between some forgotten wars
times were different then
it’s the one thing that’s for sure

and back then I never thought
I would ever hit the road
but before I knew what was what
there was nowhere else to go

ch and right now I know I want
to find this place called home
I don’t know where it is
and I don’t know where I have to go

I was born between some wars
between the mountains and the shore
in a land so far away
you just cant
get there anymore

2007-04-29
(C)2007, TK Major

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A Land So Far Away

A Land So Far Away
NEW SONG ALERT!

Written a few hours ago

It’s not normally my practice to comment on the images that accompany my blog posts but
yes — that really is the town where I was born in the image above… as represented on an orange crate label from the Orange Fuit Co. And, yes, I remember the town when vistas like that were still possible. Of course the sky was often that color, too… the smudge pots were brutal and even then the smog drifted down into Orange County from LA.

But the orange groves wrapped around the low hills and rows of eucalyptus did the sentry thing and… after the rain… the mountains would glisten with snow against a brilliant blue sky and it was… just… beautiful.


This first version of the song is very rough. The vocals and, ha ha, harmony are particularly shaky. Not that my saying so will make them sound better… I just want you to know that I know.

A Land So Far Away

more stream & DL options

lyrics
A Land So Far Away

I was born so long ago
between some forgotten wars
times were different then I know
it’s the one thing that’s for sure

There were cows across the road
I can still feel the dairy smell
where it’s only houses now
and they stretch all the way to hell

and back then I never thought
I would ever hit the road
but before I knew what was what
there was nowhere else to go

ch and right now I know I want
to find this place called home
I don’t know where it is
and I don’t know where to go

I was born between some wars
between the mountains and the shore
in a land so far away
you just cant
get there anymore

I saw the world there’s a lot to see
and sure I was impressed
lots of hope lots of fear
and lots of girls undressed

lots of bar rooms lots of dreams
lots of lifelong friends
lots of pals you’ll always love
and never see again

ch right now I know I want to find…

I was born so long ago
between some forgotten wars
times were different then
it’s the one thing that’s for sure

and back then I never thought
I would ever hit the road
but before I knew what was what
there was nowhere else to go

ch and right now I know I want
to find this place called home
I don’t know where it is
and I don’t know where I have to go

I was born between some wars
between the mountains and the shore
in a land so far away
you just cant
get there anymore

2007-04-29
(C)2007, TK Major

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Let’s not talk about lonely nights…

Let's not talk about girls...

 

I think of this as kind of a campfire song.

This is my way of tying it into the First Day of Summer. Which is today.

Anyhow, I used to camp a lot in the mountains of California — in the coastal ranges and in the Sierra. And I always did the campfire thing. When you’re camping the way I used to camp, the fire defines all your time after the sun goes down. You cook over it. You eat around it. Maybe you drink around it. For sure, you talk. Maybe you play guitar or tell stories around it. And when a new log doesn’t go in, the dimming fire defines the arc of the evening back into darkness and the pillowy solitude of sleep.

Ah… I kind of dozed off there for a moment.

previous AYoS version December 28

Let’s Not Talk About Girls

let’s not talk about lonely nights
or waiting for her to come home
we all know what it’s like
don’t think that your’e all alone

let’s not talk about girls
let’s not talk about broken hearts
let’s not talk about love and
how love can tear you apart

let’s not talk about togetherness
hearth home or family
let’s not talk about how it all falls apart
for all the world to see

let’s not talk about girls
let’s not talk about broken hearts
let’s not talk about love and
how love can tear you apart

(C)1980, TK Major

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Let’s not talk about lonely nights [Let’s Not Talk About Girls]

Let's Not Talk About Girls

This song sprung out of conversation and, of course, is also a reference to the Chocoloate Watchband song, “Let’s Talk About Girls.”

It was originally much longer and more overtly tongue in cheek… it started feeling like a fraternity drinking song toward the end.

This much shortened version is less overtly jokey. I sort of wanted something that could be taken a few ways. The problem with jokes in songs is that once you’ve heard the joke, you pretty much don’t care to hear the song again. (Well, I don’t.)

previous AYoS version

Let’s Not Talk About Girls

let’s not talk about lonely nights
or waiting for her to come home
we all know what it’s like
don’t think that your’e all alone

let’s not talk about girls
let’s not talk about broken hearts
let’s not talk about love and
how love can tear you apart

let’s not talk about togetherness
hearth home or family
let’s not talk about how it all falls apart
for all the world to see

let’s not talk about girls
let’s not talk about broken hearts
let’s not talk about love and
how love can tear you apart

(C)1980, TK Major

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