Wild Sweet William
- Fox on the Run
- Fill My Cup
- The Measure of a Man
- Language of the Flowers
- If the Law Don't Want You (Neither Do I)
- One-Eyed Betsy
Birthed by Robin Macy & Kentucky White in the spring of 2013 at historic Bartlett Arboretum in Sumner County, Kansas
Cover Art: Jo Quillin Tomson
Acoustic rhythm guitar: Robin
All other guitars of great variety, mandolin, mandola, banjo, harmony: Kentucky
Bass and harmony: Blake McLemore
Fiddle: Stuart Duncan
Dobro: Jimmy Campbell
Percussion: Kirk Russell
Hammond organ: Carter
One-Eyed Betsy bass vocals: Wayne Murray & Steve Kimball
Harmony: Jennifer Pettersen
Fox on the Run
This is a homage to my bluegrass roots and the first rent-to-own guitar my parents bought me in 1969. Growing up in Missouri I fell in love with the high lonesome sound at an early age. This is the first tune I learned and perhaps my favorite of that defining genre. Arrangement Macy/White.
Fill My Cup
Inspired by the greatest drought of my generation; a 21st Century dust bowl. Thus, I found myself, for the first time, discouraged by the work, purposeful as it is. For Wild Sweet William.
Won't you fill my cup 'til it's overflowing
The bucket is dry and the cupboard is bare
The road is long looking over my shoulder
I'm getting older
But you're my answered prayer
Leaping small buildings in a single bound
I'm a-running the show, but ain't wearing a crown
When the day is done and the sun is set
I'll be counting on you to be my safely net
I like my coffee strong, take my whiskey straight
In a styrofoam cup or served in silver plate
I never trust a shooting star to bring good luck
Just having you near always fills me up
The Measure of a Man
While waiting at the local Toyota dealership for an oil change, I was interrupted by a news flash on the big-screen TV. General Patraeus had quite suddenly resigned as director of the CIA. And that was the beginning of a bluegrass song. Complete with a gospel third verse. Written for the great boys in the great band known as Driven.
The Measure of a Man is a blister on a hand
His work cannot be weighted by the pound
The Measure of a Man can be shouted 'cross the land, a pint of wisdom understood the world around
Will he take an easy road or tote the heavy load?
Satisfied he'll reap what he has sown
Will he set the standard high and do until he dies
An ounce of good, not gold - the measure of a man
The measure of a man hears the beating of the band
A song that can't be silenced by the years
The measure of a man is the blood inside his hand
A fist for every pound of sweat and tears
You will see it in his face, or feel it in the place that he leaves behind because he took a stand
Will he leave behind a trace?
Make the world a better place?
A mile of muscle is the measure of a man.
The measure of a man ever since the world began
Has been tested by the devil at the door
Will he choose ol' Satan's plan
or will he join the angel band?
Will he walk a weary road forever more?
Language of the Flowers
My mama taught me the language, long ago and still. This tune is for the Soil Sisters & Brothers who are uniquely represented in each lyric. They represent an army of support - the Arboretum's ongoing renaissance is because of them. And whom I treasure beyond measure. They are my best friends on this Good Earth.
There's a language little known lovers claim it as their own
Its symbols smile upon the land wrought by Mother Nature's hand
In their silent beauty speak of hope and joy to those who seek
For love divine and sunny hours is language of flowers.
Lavender, anemone, columbine make potpourri
Rambling rose says â€œI love you,â€
Azaleas bloom when spring is new
Peony and hellebore, Wild Sweet William we can't ignore
this bouquet for a wedding shower ~ is language of flowers
Irish bells, Russian Sage, Spanish jasmine, Queen Ann's lace
Poppies from the Orient 'round the world they complement
Our shoots of iris, zinnia, tulip time, wisteria
weave into our heart's desire ~ the language of flowers
Coral bells line lilac lane, a primrose path, they entertain
Lovely larkspur, trumpet vine & honeysuckle intertwine
Fragrant phlox, a pansy face, foxglove fold their hands in grace
Praying for a summer shower ~ the language of flowers
If the Law Don't Want You (Neither Do I)
My mama taught me to love literature more than chocolate. Long ago she introduced me to the Queen of memoir Mary Karr through her debut, The Liars Club. Ms. Karr wrote these flirtatious lyrics; truth is stranger than fiction when you live in rural America. I rewrote Rodney Crowell's melody and pray that he just might approve.
This is tribute to a little girl from Hesston, Kansas who lost her eye during infancy. Although I took some poetic license with the truth, Betsy – and her family are extraordinary. And that part is true.
A wee girl living on the tallgrass prairie
Could see as far as the redwing flies
But a cold night a-coming put a shudder on the morn
Left us all a-wondering bout the day that she was born
When an acorn fell from the sky into the young girl's eye
Mama cried hard and Daddy grew quiet
Doctor went to work but troubled what to think
Preacher on his knees sent prayers up to heaven
Children poked fun but all were forgiven
'Cause Betsy gave a little wink
Oh, my, one-eyed Betsy
She hit the ground running on the day she was born
Oh, my one-eyed Betsy
Gotta a whole lotta living there's no time to mourn
One evening little Betsy saw a ribbon in the sky
She spied the twister coming with her one good eye
Hollered for her daddy who was milking in the barn
And saved the family legacy by shouting the alarm
Long 'bout September Betsy had a little twitch
She grabbed her brother's arm as he was steppin' in a ditch
The rattler was a-waiting but Betsy saved the day
Her extraordinary viewpoint sent the snake away
(Optional verse for live performance during election years)
Early in the era of two-thousand sixty-four
With our nation on the verge of a second civil war
Republicans and Democrats just couldn't find their way
So we voted Betsy President to save the US