Friday, January 14, 2005

Growing Old with Folk

Most every year we go to the World Folk Music Association benefit concert, this year at the Birchmere. For the most part, not my favorite kind of music, but one of the highlights of David’s musical year. Every year Dick Cerri MCs the concert. Even though his hair never changes, Dick is obviously aging. What is really interesting is that David and I are on the young side of the crowd. These are 60s folk die-hards who come out to the WFMA concerts and many of them are now grandparents.

If the audience is aging, what does that say for the performers? Some of them are REALLY old or dead by now. But the ones that show up to perform have the same enthusiasm as they pluck and tune. I really have no use for the twangy guitar players. But when a violin or a piano of any type is introduced into the act, I am much more interested. The highlights this year for me included Buskin and Batteau (The Boy with the Violin), Paul of PP&M, and David Mallett (The Garden Song).

It always sends a shiver through my spine when the entire audience of 600+ join together to sing something we have known forever. This year it was:

Garden Song
by David Mallett

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
Gonna mulch it deep and low
Gonna make it fertile ground

Inch by inch, row by row
Please bless these seeds I sow
Please keep them safe below
'Till the rain comes tumbling down

Pullin' weeds and pickin' stones
We are made of dreams and bones
Need a place to call my own
'Cause the time is close at hand

Grain for grain, sun and rain
Find my way in nature's chain
Till my body and my brain
Tell the music of the land


Plant your rows straight and long
Season with a prayer and song
Mother Earth will make you strong
If you give her loving care



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