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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Joe Offer Songs of hope and optimism (53* d) ADD: Fashioned in the Clay (Elmer Beal) 26 Jun 09

My Walkman woke me up to this song this morning. I found that a couple of verses have been posted at Mudcat, but not the entire song. It's the title song for the Bok-Muir-Trickett album titled Fashioned in the Clay. Anbody know anything about what Elmer Beal has done since he wrote this song in 1983?

(Elmer Beal, Jr., 1983)

When it seems that everyone is worried for themselves,
Buying plans for fallout shelters, stocking up the shelves,
Living in the fast lane, and staying high at night,
Thinking that by accident we'll blow out all the lights;

Look, now, at the potter whose wheel is spinning 'round,
Shaping with her hands the past and future from the ground:
Cups that will be filled and drunk, so warm in wintertime,
Plates and bowls for dinner served with candlelight and wine:
    She believes, she believes,
    By her work it's so easy to see
    That the future is more than the following day,
    It's fashioned securely in the clay.

Look now at the farmer working in his field,
Hoping that the sun and rain will guarantee his yield.
Like the seed the wind has blown to unfamiliar ground,
He waits to see what fate will bring as each year rolls around.
He believes...

Elsewhere, there are lovers in a warm embrace,
Happy with their plans to carry on the human race.
Now the baby cries and wonders if it's all alone;
Softly, voices reassure: there'll always be a home.
They believe...

So, if you had been worried that tomorrow wouldn't come,
Look to see the ones whose lives are following the sun.
And the hope that springs so clearly from the work they do
Will spread a little further when it finds a place in you.
    We believe, we believe,
    By our work it's so easy to see
    That the future is more than the following day,
    It's fashioned securely, in the clay.

    Here are the notes, from Gordon Bok:

      Elmer Beal is from Blue Hill, Maine. He's a farmer, woodcutter, educator and musician, and a maker of fine songs. He's also a member of Maine's favorite acoustic group, "Different Shoes."
      Elmer says he wrote this for his wife, Carole, a potter, inspired by the optimism in her work, at the time it takes between starting the job and seeing the results. (GB)

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