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Don Lange: Music

Gather At The River

(Don Lange)
Stevie Goodman was a friend and a helping hand for me in the early days, recommending me for important gigs and giving advice about recording. After hearing of his death on NPR I wrote this song for him (and, by turns, for all my old musical fellow-travellers). "Gather At The River" is featured on a companion CD to Clay Eal's new book on Steve Goodman, FACE THE MUSIC, a beautiful and expansive biography.

for Steve Goodman

Sailors were buried in the permafrost
one hundred years ago
They were looking for the Passage and they got lost
blinded by the ice, stiffened by the cold
Franklin and his men kneeled to pray
but their patron saint looked the other way
looked the other way

Now a plane goes up and a plane comes down
and we're empty as the air
the engine sings a mournful song
for the Travellers and the burden they bear
for the Minstral Show, for the Heart of Gold
for Tollhouse Keeper on the lonesome road
on the lonesome road


Shall we
gather at the river
long boats
will carry us away
friends and lovers will take that ride
there'll be a mighty singing on the other side

Little Magician cast a spell
as bright as any sun
the measure of his magic no tongue could tell
but he fell prey to a demon in his blood
he ran a good race, just a little too slow
we'll meet again at the end of the road

Snowmelt comes at the winter's end
and the Mississippi steams
out of Minnesota coming round the bend
heading for the City of New Orleans
take to the highways, take to the trains
there'll be a joyful noise when we meet again
when we meet again

©1985 Don Lange, Barking Spider Music, BMI