Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Full Moon Fever: Moonshine is Fine

After a few brief but powerful storms passed through our area, I managed to sneak in a walk along the bikepath, tunes in tow, of course.

I was struck by how warm it was -- and I was captured by the teeming energy of what nature there was to surround me. Spring makes a certain call, an irresistable pull of life. The moist earth sprouting green, the ponds new with lily pads, the smell of woody decay and rain mixed to bring forth new growth.

I may be older and a bit wrinkly, but, I am a living thing, and am no stranger to that pulse, that need to push life through, reel with wild sensation, cry against the pain of birth, rage against the dying of the light, as one favorite poet might write.

The rural sensibility is hardly all about quiet repose. There is little that mountain or valley people don't connect to the cycles of earth, moon, nature itself, if tied by an invisible golden thread to a Godhead of some sort. Life is drawn hard from slim pickins but lived every bit.

When I completed my walk I made a trip to the grocery store, and when I came out, having survived Giant Eagle only by virtue of having my mountain tunes along, I was greeted by a perfect mellow full moon. Ah!

This song may already have made an appearance here. No matter, it's another perfect warm night on a summer porch kind of tune, presented again by Dirk Powell. His talent and commitment and pure devotion to the music has taught me to be completely unapologetic about this beautiful stuff.

There are as ever a lot of different, or slightly differing, versions of this song, variations to certain lines. It's been recorded hundreds of times. The tune is one of my favorites because of its irregular rhythm, more akin to the style of older mountain music. I've been playing through the songs on the album, Hand Me Down, and find the fast moving but somewhat syncopated lines to be a relaxing break from the stricter more predictable bluegrass back beat. These lyrics are only one set and are not ones that match the recording line for line. But you get the idea.


I've been a moonshiner for seventeen long years
I spent all of my money on whiskey and beer
I'll go down to some holler and set up my still
I'll sell you a gallon for a two dollar bill.

I'll eat when I'm hungry and I'll drink when I'm dry
If whiskey don't kill me Lord I'll live 'til I die.
God bless them moonshiners they're all friends of mine
Their breath is a sweet as the dew on the vine.

I'll go down in some grocery and I'll drink with my friends
No women to bother me or see what I spend
God bless them pretty women I wish one was mine
For their breath it is sweeter than even moonshine.

God bless that pretty woman I wish she was mine
For her breath it is sweeter than even moonshine.


At April 12, 2006 10:28 PM, Blogger Shameless Agitator said...

So you got the Creative Jukebox working for you?



At April 12, 2006 11:56 PM, Blogger Darkneuro said...

Spring fever strikes again ;)

At April 13, 2006 6:17 AM, Blogger littleblackcube said...

I love that song. Like the moonshine itself -simple, strong stuff.
BTW, You are so on tonight, and your writing walks a fine line between poetry and prose. The heat, the spring, the life all around me just makes me want to be outside. I am drawn to it, called to be a part of it and dread going inside for anything these days.

At April 13, 2006 10:54 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hello ladies,

Thanks for the comments!

Andi, now all I need is to speed up my connection and life will be perfect.

Darkneuro -- Again, and always! How are things down there where it's green and lush? Still in shock?!

LBC--Thanks! I had to be out of the office for a bit today and damn it if I didn't feel like just driving home, putting on my anti-office duds, opening all my windows, and pulling up weeds. Sigh.


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