I've wondered how to say anything, so I decided to let a song say it:
A SONG FOR FOLK LEGACY (A Record Edged in Black)
I was standing by my window one fine morning,
Without a thought of worry or of care,
When I saw the postman coming up the pathway
With such a jolly face and jaunty air.
He rang the bell and whistled while he waited,
And then he said, "Good morning to you, Jack!"
But he little knew the happiness he brought me
When he handed me that record edged in black.
With trembling hands I took the record from him;
I opened it and put it on to play.
When I heard that old time singer with his banjo,
It changed my very life right from that day.
I didn't know a thing about the singer.
As I read the liner notes from front to back,
And the only song I recognized, "Tom Dooley,"
On that wonderful first record edged in black.
Now, since that time, I've heard a lot of music,
And I learned to sing and play a bit, myself,
From those wonderful singers and musicians
In that stack of black-bound records on the shelf.
But you've got to get the customer's attention
As he browses through the old folk record rack.
So it's been two dozen years, or even longer,
Since I've seen a brand new record edged in black.
I know you can't return to days back yonder.
The world turns toward the morning, so they say.
But I, for one, would not be too unhappy
If a few things never changed from day to day.
I'd like to see the postman one fine morning,
Coming up the pathway with his pack,
He'd never know the happiness he'd bring me
If he handed me a record edged in black.
© 1986 by Bob Clayton, Arlington, VA
When I first sang this for the Patons in their living room, Sandy teared up a bit, and allowed as how he always wanted to put out more "records edged in black," but that hard times in the record biz meant that he couldn't. He allowed, however, that my song inspired him to again appreciate the original, "Letter Edged in Black."
If anyone puts out a memorial album of Sandy's singing, I hope it has a black-bound edge.