When the Texas economy crashed in 89 I loaded my pregnant wife and 3 small children into our tiny little Isuzu and drove cross country to San Diego California where I knew people, had family and friends and hoped I could find work in construction.
We had no money of course so we packed food in the trunk and in coolers and planned on driving straight through and fixing food along the way.
Late afternoon somewhere in New Mexico or Arizona we stopped to make some sandwiches. As I got the mustard out I didn’t pay attention to the fact that the bottle was swollen to twice its normal size, having been in the trunk, in the summer, driving from Texas through the great southwestern desert.
When I opened the mustard about half of the bottle came out, part fine vinegar mist and part messy mustard spray. All over the roof of the car, the windshield, the driver’s window, and every part of the front of my body from my waist up including my glasses and my hair.
It took a while to clean everything up. I chose not to have mustard on my sandwiches after that. When I sold the car years later there were still mustard stains on the headliner.
And the happy ending? Sorry. When I got to California construction crashed but it boomed in Texas. And we’d already moved. Eventually I found work in information technology, working with computers, so maybe there is a happy ending after all because that’s the work I really love.
Recorded the vocal for this about 2012, when Fiona was 6 or 7. It’s taken all these years to learn enough about music and have the equipment to put it to music.
I was astonished to discover that other than a few flat notes, she’s singing perfectly in the key of F. This is worth investigating. I wasn’t aware a small child could, a capella, sing exactly in key. (I adjusted the final note because she was precisely two semitones flat; I suspect that was voice control, not pitch awareness. Also she was 6.)
Maybe children are more musical than I’m aware. Maybe I have an overdeveloped proud father muscle. Maybe I just love my little girl and music and when they come together, why wouldn’t it be perfect?
Fiona ER Canfield
If the stars could talk
What would they say?
Would they say those words to you?
If the wind could tell secrets
Would it share them with you?
Would you protect them with all of your strength?
If the sun could make you smile
Would its smiles be for you?
Would your eyes have protection from the rays?
If the moon could give you dreams
Would they be happy?
Would the dreams be for you?
Good night for now
And when we wake up
We’ll have dreams of the things that I said
And when we meet again we’ll discover
That the dreams have come true
That’s not 15 minutes long, it’s 15 minutes to write.
Last Saturday we played some of my songs for a bunch of friends in our living room. During the show, folks scribbled notes on slips of paper and dropped them in one of 6 hats:
At the end of the evening, I drew a random sample of suggestions from all 6 and wrote a song. In 15 minutes.
The suggestions were
a cowboy who doesn’t like horses or cows
I chose 2 people which is why there are 7 on the list.
It pretty much wrote itself. The video below (lightly edited for bonehead mistakes) was shot 15 minutes after I drew the suggestions. I’m switching a lyric to specifically mention Costa Rica, but even though “dark ages” would fit where I used “medieval” it just doesn’t flow, so that stays.
I wonder why I didn’t post these before?
what do you do when you’re in the wrong place
in the wrong place in the wrong time?
thinking like that can ruin your breakfast
looking for reason and rhyme
roping and riding and drivin’ ’em in
is driving me out of my mind
so I’m moving on
next week I’ll be gone
the week after that I’ll fine
my sister just doesn’t get it
she doesn’t have to, she knows I’m okay
her Harley will get me to LAX
I’m flying south today
I’m off on a plane to the tropics
heading south as fast as I can
get away from those horses and smelly old cows
in Costa Rica I could work on my tan
no more bacon and eggs in the morning
Aunt Jemima’s got nothing on me
that medieval torture of saddle tramp days
is washing away in the sea