Thursday, December 08, 2011

Free album: Wanting to Live Forever (1986)

On the morning of Jan. 27, 1986, I woke up with a powerful urge to create something, so I picked up the 12-string and started strumming chords. D - G -D - G - D - G ...

I liked the sound but I couldn't think of a new way to make a transition to a third chord - and then the words started coming out.

I sat down this cold morning to write myself a folk song;
I sat down this cold morning to right the world's eternal wrongs.

I wrote about getting "stuck on these two chords and a phrase," and the seeming inevitable doubts about why anyone would bother listening to advice from me, "a man of many failures and a man of many broken dreams."

Finally the message crashed through the white noise:

It's the failures of this world that you turn around and build to make success;
It's the broken dreams that force you to be more when you could settle for less;
It's the wanting to live forever that leads you to a goal that cannot die;
It's the wanting to see the stars that gives a simple soul the will to fly.

And there was my folk song, and the words about "wanting to see the stars" gained additional poignancy when, the next day, the Challenger explosion rocked us.

"Wanting to Live Forever" became the cornerstone of my 12th homemade album, which I offer here for your perusal. The project finds me waist-deep in my ballad era – it took only eight songs to fill a 45-minute cassette. One of my friends' favorite songs on Watershed had been "Sweet Sarah Wilde," about a childhood friend who marries another man and raises "three lovely children," and I began thinking about those three kids and came up with three more songs. "Suite: Sarah and Her Children" comprised Side 1. The second side leads with "Wanting to Live Forever" and continues with three more stories.

It turned out rather nicely, if I say so myself.

Click on the album art or here to download a .zip file of the whole album, or check out the individual songs below.

Side 1 - Suite: Sarah and Her Children
1. Sweet Sarah Wilde (5:10)
2. Peter's Journey (5:07)
3. Abigail Angel (6:10)
4. Daniel Shorting (4:29)

Side 2
5. Wanting to Live Forever (5:09)
6. Years of Our Lives (7:06)
7. Outside Lefty's (4:28)
8. No Guarantees (5:23)

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