This Page is Dedicated to My Beautiful Wife Margaret, the true Musician of the Family, for her background assistance, her wonderful choices of instrumental and keyboard parts, and for not getting too upset when I mess up and have to start over, yeah, she’s hardcore when it comes to music..My deepest love, and thanks..
“YOUTUBE LINKS” Click on Song Title to Hear Song
The 30th of April, 2000, marked the 100th Anniversary of one of Railroads most tragic events, the death of John Luther (Casey) Jones, near Vaughan Station, Mississippi. Jones was at the throttle of a Rogers built Engine, No. 382, passenger train, when it collided with the rear (caboose) of a freight train that was sitting on a sidetrack, but had 4 of its cars blocking the main line near the north switch, which Casey has undoubtly expected to be clear as he traveled south toward Canton on the main line.
The Locals still say they hear that Calliope Whistle blow, even today, when the nights of April are damp and still. The second of two songs written on the 100th Anniversary of the Wreck and subsequent death of Casey Jones. Thank you Pap for taking me to the towns old deserted depot where we would wait for hours just to see a train pass. Remembering you, a Mississippi Cotton Mill Town, and hot summer days, where I loaded my pockets slam full, of railroad dreams.
A tribute to the people, the places, and the memories of rural Clarke County, in east Mississippi. I think in all of us who have by necessity’s hand, become exiles in distant places, there are times when we yearn for the familiar again. This is especially true as the days roll on and we find ourselves drawing water from the wells of our memory, taking strength in the faces, the voices, and the places of that which we call home. I am one of those exiles, and it is my prayer that G_d will one day, restore me to that relevant place, where again I can walk among those to whom I took joy, laughter and hope.
I have enjoyed this song for a long time, yes, it is an old one. I have learned that my Grandfather also liked it, which now makes it even more special. I once performed this song at a Funeral, owing to the request of the deceased, when as a baby, was rocked to sleep by his mother, who sung to him, this ageless Barbara Allen.
This is a true story of a man who the old folks used to say, he knew the River like the back of his hand. He used to run a fishcamp in the Desoto area of Clarke County, MS, and ran his trout lines often, catching the fish which was prepared at his business. I got to know him in the early 80’s, when we both fought for the dignity of the Chickasawhay River, following a massive chemical spill which wiped out much of the aquatic life in 1981.
The Chickasawhay River is perhaps one of the State of Mississippi’s most beautiful rivers. It was on the banks of the Chickasawhay River I grew up, in the shadow of a Cotton Mill Town, where many fond memories of kin and friends I still hold dear. This song is about my beloved River, as well as my beloved Town of Stonewall, in Clarke County, which I will always cherish and remember….especially, when I return to those familiar banks, much older, and much wiser…
A song I wrote about one of my favorite roads, the Natchez Trace. Much sadness has taken place along its historical journey. The stories are true, and yes, I do sometimes grab my Pipes (Bagpipes) and head down the Devil’s Backbone. Enjoy..