Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Obit: folksinger Al Grierson (Nov 2000)

Related threads:
Remembering Al Grierson (6)
Lyr Add: 'Til the Circle Is Complete (Al Grierson) (8)
Happy! – Dec 1 (Al Grierson, et al) (4)


Mike Regenstreif 04 Nov 00 - 04:23 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Nov 00 - 05:41 PM
Frankham 04 Nov 00 - 09:22 PM
MK 06 Nov 00 - 01:28 PM
Groucho Marxist (inactive) 06 Nov 00 - 02:14 PM
DebC 07 Nov 00 - 03:36 PM
Nancy-Jean 28 Feb 01 - 09:14 PM
Art Thieme 28 Feb 01 - 11:58 PM
DebC 01 Mar 01 - 08:42 AM
Jim the Bart 01 Mar 01 - 10:06 AM
Joe Offer 01 Dec 01 - 05:06 PM
Art Thieme 01 Dec 01 - 09:18 PM
Joe Offer 01 Dec 01 - 10:26 PM
Sorcha 01 Dec 01 - 10:27 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Dec 01 - 10:31 PM
Sorcha 01 Dec 01 - 10:46 PM
Joe Offer 01 Dec 01 - 11:10 PM
Joe Offer 01 Dec 01 - 11:13 PM
Jeri 01 Dec 01 - 11:40 PM
Sorcha 01 Dec 01 - 11:45 PM
Jeri 01 Dec 01 - 11:56 PM
Sorcha 02 Dec 01 - 12:01 AM
Joe Offer 02 Dec 01 - 12:16 AM
Art Thieme 03 Dec 01 - 01:43 AM
Art Thieme 03 Dec 01 - 07:28 PM
53 04 Dec 01 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Jon Bartlett 04 Dec 01 - 05:36 PM
Art Thieme 05 Dec 01 - 07:12 PM
GUEST,Ragamuffin Brian 04 Sep 04 - 02:31 PM
Amos 06 Aug 05 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 06 Aug 05 - 04:45 PM
Amos 06 Aug 05 - 05:26 PM
Amos 06 Aug 05 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 06 Aug 05 - 09:32 PM
Amos 06 Aug 05 - 11:46 PM
Severn 07 Aug 05 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 07 Aug 05 - 01:58 PM
GUEST 07 Aug 05 - 04:21 PM
Amos 07 Aug 05 - 11:29 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 08 Aug 05 - 12:38 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 08 Aug 05 - 10:05 PM
Amos 22 Jul 12 - 11:22 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: The late Al Grierson
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 04:23 PM

Al Grierson, a folksinger (in the true sense of the word) and traditionally-based songwriter, and a great friend to many of us in the folk music world, was killed on Thursday when he was caught up in a flash flood near San Antonio, Texas.

Al was from the Vancouver area, but lived in Texas for the past few years and in Oregon for several years before that.

Al was a special human being whose passing has left a big whole in many of our hearts.

For the roses, Al, for the roses.

Mike Regenstreif


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The late Al Grierson
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 05:41 PM

I got to know Al after meeting him at the Washington Folk Alliance. Interesting and very commited guy. I'm very sorry we've lost him.

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The late Al Grierson
From: Frankham
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 09:22 PM

Oh my God!!!!!! I've been on-line to Al for so long. He was one of the most talented of the singer-songwriters. This is terrible news! He will be sorely missed. Please if anyone knows if there is anything we can do. Anyone we can contact.

This is devastating. He was a fine spirit and a great humanitarian. I feel crushed.

Al had just purchased his new truck that he named after Don Quixote's horse. He was so happy because he was able to finally get around to the gigs he needed to attend. This is such a tragedy.

Whenever I think of the song "Bread and Roses" I will think of Al. This is how he signed all his letters, "For the Roses" because the song says we can't just live by bread alone.

He was taken from us too soon. He had so many more songs to write.

He never had the chance to see his songs reach a wider audience. He was so committed to writing and had such reverence for folk musicians and singers. This is reflected in his songs.

He leaves us CD's of his songs, though. He was a poet in more ways than one.

We talked about what had happened to folk music and how it had become so commercialized. He was committed to the ideals that nourished Woody Guthrie. He wanted so much to be a part of Woody's Festival in Okemah.

To me, he was in that tradition. He was like Woody as a writer. He had a highly developed social conscience. He was a nice person as well. I can't believe it!

I regret that more people didn't have a chance to know Al and appreciate what he gave us.

God rest you Al. For the roses.......................

Frank Hamilton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: MK
Date: 06 Nov 00 - 01:28 PM

Thought this might be of interest to some. Texas Folksinger Al Grierson died last week. Here is the link to the story which I picked up from CNN.
Here's the text of the story. Click here for another Grierson tribute.
-Joe Offer-

Texas flood claims folk singer, but his music lives on

Humble eloquence
Rainy night, rushing water
Til the Circle is Complete

By John North
CNN.com Writer
, November 5, 2000

(CNN.com) -- A poet died in Texas the other night, swept away in a flash flood after his pickup truck stalled in high water a couple miles from home in the rolling, dusty Hill Country.

Around central Texas, Al Grierson, 52, was known as the "Poet Laureate of Luckenbach," a reference to that afterthought of a hamlet made famous by singer-songwriter Waylon Jennings.

But the Canadian-born Grierson's reputation loomed much larger than a fanciful title in a town of 25. He was internationally lauded among folk singers and songwriters, and he was a regular at the world-renowned Kerrville Folk Festival in nearby Kerrville, Texas.

Singer-songwriter Anne Feeney of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is getting ready to record a couple of his songs next week. Feeney said Saturday the group Peter, Paul and Mary are currently performing a song she wrote. But she can think of five songs by her old friend Grierson that they should be playing today.

He was a man who could stare up at the ceiling and solve the mysteries of life, or write about 50-cent sneakers and $5 wine. He could play a thousand traditional songs, from work songs to British and Irish pub tunes, and compose a most romantic tribute to a woman he'd only just met.

While irked that Grierson chose Thursday to step out of his pickup and into the water -- "He knows better!" she fumed -- Feeney also sees poetic sense in the folk singer's death.

"I hope he had a moment to savor before it was over," she told CNN.com. "How many people get a chance to be swept away by the raw forces of nature? It's actually pretty astonishing."

Humble eloquence

Twice-divorced and a father of several children, Alan David Grierson was a lifelong wanderer who knew as much about philosophy, literature and history as many a college professor.

A former Buddhist monk, he lived in a red 1977 International Harvester school bus in a makeshift camp called Armadillo Farm outside Luckenbach, located about 80 miles west of Austin, Texas.

Except for his Guild guitar, possessions meant little to Grierson. But he was an inveterate e-mailer who ran his own Web site, Feeney said.

Clint Harding, who hosts the weekly "Blue Highways" radio and Web folk music program from St. Louis, Missouri, could see his old friend clearly Saturday as he described him for CNN.com. Grierson stood maybe 5 feet 8 inches, wore wire-rim glasses, sported a sweat-soaked hat on shoulder-length gray hair and had weather-worn skin that made him look older than his years.

"He looked like he'd just gotten off a train somewhere, but he was one of the most gentle people," Harding said. "As soon as you met him, you felt that he cared about you and he'd known you for a long time."

Among folk singers and writers, he inspired awe because he could write such perfect songs, Feeney said. He was a two-time finalist in the Napa Valley Music and Wine Festival's emerging songwriter showcase and a former guest on National Public Radio's "River City Folk" program.

In 1995, Grierson recorded his first album, "Things That Never Added Up to Me," followed last year by "A Candle for Durruti." Both frequent playlists on folk radio around the world.

Feeney said he referred to her as his "fairy godmother" because she often went around the nation touting his work. But Feeney said she was more than a friend. She admired his talent.

"He was such a truly humble man," she said. "He'd say, 'Oh, it's so great that you're singing my songs!' Can you imagine Cole Porter saying that? He really was just a deeply humble man with a tremendous vision."

He also was generous with his time. On the night the swirling waters carried him away, Grierson was headed home after performing at a school.

Rainy night, rushing water

The police reports from the Gillespie County, Texas, Sheriff's Department are quite simple.

About 5:45 p.m. Thursday, while on a rural road three miles from Luckenbach, Grierson's northbound pickup came to a section of high water. Heavy rains in central Texas have killed at least five people in recent days, and lingering showers are expected through Friday, said sheriff's Sgt. Jim Judd.

When Grierson tried to cross the water, the truck stalled. As Grierson stepped into the floods he was swept away.

Rescue teams searched without luck through the night, Judd said. Grierson's body was found at mid-morning Friday, about two miles from where he'd left the pickup.

A Gillespie County justice of the peace pronounced him dead at the scene.

Judd remembered seeing him around Gillespie County and knew he lived at the Armadillo Farm.

"We're small enough in population to where it doesn't take long for the deputies to know people," he said. "I recognized his vehicle and kinda knew who he was."

Judd also knew that Grierson was a singer. Matter of fact, he recalled that authorities found the man's guitar after Grierson disappeared. It was still in its case, sitting in the pickup.

Til the Circle is Complete

About that pickup -- Harding can't help but see the irony that Grierson died because of it. Friends helped him buy it after he very boldly sent out a computer message this year asking for their help when his old vehicle gave out in the spring.

It didn't cost much, but Grierson was proud of his wheels, Harding said.

"He was just starting to get some bookings, some opportunities where transportation would be necessary," he said.

Feeney last performed with Grierson a couple weeks ago in Austin. Even though he's gone, she said she takes comfort in knowing that he enjoyed every moment as if it were his last. Among friends and loved ones, he never left anything unsaid.

There's also the legacy of his music, Feeney said.

"Al will be around as long as people sing his songs," she said.

Grierson's memorial service will be put on by friends and fellow musicians this Wednesday at one of Al's favorite Austin hangouts, Artz Rib House, where mourners will be encouraged to sing songs, read poems, and tell stories.

Perhaps one of the songs sung at the service will be "Til the Circle is Complete," a favorite from Grierson's first album. Some like to play it at weddings, some like to play it at christenings and some like to play it at funerals.

To Harding and Feeney, it's as fitting a eulogy as any that could be written about the eclectic entertainer. In one section, Grierson sings of living and dying:

"May you set your shoes to dancing
in the hour of your death
and meet it with the courage it deserves.
May your shadow pass in pirouettes
of such amazing grace
that the tears of those who mourn you
disappear without a trace
In a smoke that shapes their sorrow
to the fading of your feet
In a ring around the rainbow
where the circle is complete."


Click for related thread


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The late Al Grierson
From: Groucho Marxist (inactive)
Date: 06 Nov 00 - 02:14 PM

I'm very saddened by this news.

I got to know Al when I moved to Vancouver about 20 years ago. He knew more Woody Guthrie and Joe Hill songs than anyone I've ever encountered and was one of the nicest guys I've ever met.

I went to the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas a couple of years ago and connected with Al for the first time in many years. He was still one of the nicest guys in the world and had also become a great songwriter in the years since I met him.

I'm surprised there hasn't been more said about him in this thread. I guess he wasn't known to Mudcatters. That's a real shame.

Thanks for the roses Al.

Groucho (aka Lou)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The late Al Grierson
From: DebC
Date: 07 Nov 00 - 03:36 PM

I only knew Al Grierson through the emails that we exchanged back and forth. I did phone him on his birthday last year and we had a lovely talk. I was in Austin last June and wanted to meet this winderful guy in the flesh, but he was on the west coast at that time. Alas,an opportunity missed.

But what prompted me to get in touch with Al was an email that he posted to Folk DJ-l. The discussion had turned to how DJs deal with CDs that they receive but don't play for some reason or another.

Al's post was thoughtful, humble and (I thought) very clear as to the type of attitude we as artists should have about not only the folk radio community, but anyone in our business. It is a piece of writing that *I* think any professional or semi-professional artist should read because Al talks about something that many of us can lack: humility.

I didn't know Al well, but what I did know impressed the hell out of me. Not only was he a fine artist but a fine human being. I am proud that I knew him just a little and that I could call him a friend.

Al always ended his emails "For the Roses". If the tributes to Al were roses, he has more now than I think he ever bargained for.

Debra Cowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The late Al Grierson
From: Nancy-Jean
Date: 28 Feb 01 - 09:14 PM

A memorial of a special kind was given for Al Grierson by the 70 folksingers who rode the train three glorious days across Canada to the International Folk Alliance Conference in Vancouver (Feb 14-18,2001). Al's family knew of our memorial.

Wearing commemorative bandanas inscribed "In memory of Al Grierson 1948-2000. "For the roses" Montreal-Toronto-Vancouver Folktrain February 2000" we piled off the train at Jasper, singing train songs at the top of our lungs and made our way to the station. Towns people had been alerted and the folk memorial gathered more and more voices. We sang old songs and a new song dedicated to Al's life written by one of our passengers. The station house rocked with joy. Just a few words were said, then we went outside to stand by the Jasper bear statue. In memory of Al Grierson, we tied a bandana 'round his neck.

The train ride was also a bonding of old and new friends.There was scenery, singing and sharing. Much was admired and passed on about Al Grierson during those three days. Another example of how love moves through music.

Nancy-Jean


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The late Al Grierson
From: Art Thieme
Date: 28 Feb 01 - 11:58 PM

I have been searching the www trying to find Al's recordings---LP---cassette or CD-----but to no avail. I'm hoping someone out there might know how those might be purchased !?

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The late Al Grierson
From: DebC
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 08:42 AM

Hi Art and everyone else.

Kevin McCarthy put a tribute to Al on his website it is here

It looks like you can get "Things That Never Added Up to Me" and "A Candle For Durruti".

Al is missed very much.

Debra Cowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The late Al Grierson
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 10:06 AM

I read about his death in Acoustic Guitar magazine. I believe they called him the "poet laureate of Luchenbach Texas". I had heard his name for years, but only know him by reputation. It's a sad day when a man like him passes on.

For the Roses, Mr. Grierson
Bart


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 05:06 PM

In another thread, Art Thieme made mention of an Al Grierson song called "Old Coyote." I searched the Forum and Digital Tradition, but all I could find were a couple of references to Grierson's singing of traditional songs. Can somebody post "Old Coyote" and maybe a few other Grierson songs?
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Art Thieme
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 09:18 PM

Joe-----It's a long song and I DID post it in this forum. I called the thread something like---The Best Song I Ever Heard or The Best Song Ever etc.

I searched for it too but with no results. Strange. I remember asking Phyllis Barney to look in here so she might read the lyric. Phyllis is the head person at Folk Alliance and she was going through the continuing anguish of the NAACP boycot of the hotel where the F.A. is locked into holding it's 2002 convention in Florida. My references to COYOTE in various posts are gleaned from the trickster aspect of that animal's character from Native American lore. If nobody is able to find my posting of the song I'll get out the cassette I've got of the song and laboriously, once again, type it out---one letter at a time. ;-)

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 10:26 PM

I've tried every trick I can think of, Art, and can't find the song. I sent a message to Pene Azul, since he has a few tricks of his own. It helped me find a lot of other great stuff you've posted, though.
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Sorcha
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 10:27 PM

If it's here, I can't find it. I just spent an hour searching everything I could think of including clicking on Art's name, filtering Best for 3 yrs, coyote, old coyote, Phyllis Barney, Al Grierson, etc. etc. etc. I give up, Art.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 10:31 PM

He gave me his CD at the Washington Folk Alliance a few years ago. I'll hunt for it. Is the song on it?

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Sorcha
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 10:46 PM

I found 2 songs a la Google that are not here. One is LONG. Shall I post them here, in one new thread or two new threads?
Best to post them here, Sorcha - I'll move them. Should be one song per message, with the song title in the message title, posted in the thread where they were requested. the fewer threads we have, the easier it is for people to find their way around here.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: THE PETALS (Al Grierson)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 11:10 PM

Posted by Sorcha in another thread.
-Joe Offer-


THE PETALS
(Al Grierson)

Come with me and be my love and we'll go high above the city
To the mountains where the olden rivers run
And I'll lay for you a table just as fine as I am able there
To eat the golden apples of the sun

And it'll be you and me, honey, at the dawn of all creation
Watching God set down the needle in the groove
And we'll both just sit and gaze into the empty face of darkness
Till we notice something move
Where the necessity of sin has yet to blossom or begin
Though you can feel the heavy purpose in the air
As in the beauty of His grace He comes to look upon your face
And kiss the petals on the flowers in your hair


Come with me and be my love, oh lay me down among the lilies
Lay beside me like an autumn afternoon
Lay beside me till I shiver in that place inside the river
Where you hide the silver apples of the Moon

And it'll be you and me, honey, at the fall of Rome
And off in China at the building of the wall
And with an unknown soldier who was buried with the king
For running naked with a message down the hall
To tell them Pharaoh's drunken army wasn't even after Moses
They were looking for the answer everywhere
To the riddle of the sphinx; it's not where anybody thinks
It's in the petals on the flowers in your hair


So come with me and be my lover in the shadow of the furnace
Where another holy chamber used to be
And a chilly wind's still blowing there to keep the embers glowing
In the ashes of some other century

And it'll be you and me, honey, at the burning of St. Joan
Pulling meaning from a senseless sacrifice
Like a pair of lonely pilgrims on our way to find forgiveness
In a place between the fire and the ice
And the streets are all embarrassed at the sound of her confession
And there's incense in the smoke that fills the square
As the smell of holy flesh from Burgundy to Bangladesh
Recalls the petals on the flowers in your hair


Then come with me and be my love and we'll go round and round the riddle
Whether God should be a lady or a lord
Or if a fate not fully flowered was protecting Mr. Howard
Or rehearsing in the hands of Robert Ford

And it'll be you and me, honey there in Northfield, Minnesota
Where the living ended bloodied up in chains
And as we drag them from the streets we'll be ashamed to tell the dying
That they maybe should have stuck to robbing trains
And though love is like a river, you can never really break it
You can shape it on the anvil of despair
And is there still a trace of lead there on the fingers of the dead
That pull the petals from the flowers in your hair


Then come with me and be my love, oh give me hope and give me shelter
Lay me down between the lion and the lamb
See me safely through the slaughter, down beside the peaceful waters there
And love me till I don't know who I am

And it'll be you and me at the apocalypse, honey
As the world goes up in flames
And everybody acts surprised; they got that look there in their eyes
But there's a man been going round just taking names
And it looks like Rhett and Scarlet with the burning of Atlanta
In the background on some old-time movie screen

Or like Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton all wrapped up in each other's arms
While a movie orchestra plays "The Internationale" and in the background the
Bolsheviks are busy taking the city and they're so wrapped up in each other
They don't even seem to notice and you gotta wonder-if that's what he was
Really doing, how John Reed ever even wrote "Ten Days That Shook the World"

And it's a long way back to 1917

And there ain't no second coming, ain't no "comes the revolution"
Just a rainbow sign dissolving the air
Time was but time shall be no more, there's no more peace and no more war
And no more petals on the flowers in your hair

Until there's you and me, honey, at another new creation
Watching God set down the needle in the groove.

copied from: http://www.balladtree.com/articles/001107a.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: CANDLE FOR DURRATI (Al Grierson)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 11:13 PM

Posted by Sorcha in another thread.
-Joe Offer-


CANDLE FOR DURRATI
(Al Grierson)

Well the headline on the paper said the good guys won the war
And the red star won't be shinin' over Moscow anymore
My heart fell like a sparrow in the depth of my despair
When I saw La Pasionaria with a flower in her hair

In a postcard by Picasso, so defiant and serene
With the mercy of a mother and as grand as any queen
She had gathered all her children under many different drums
In the power of her promise when the revolution comes

In the darkness and disorder, in the fire of our fears
She had bound our broken bodies in the rainbow of her tears
In the hour of our triumph, with a promise to prevail
And another for the future in the hour that we failed

And so my friend and comrade, as you go across the sea
I ask no shining souvenirs, but only send to me
The finest rum of Cuba from the finest sugar cane
And a postcard by Picasso when you reach the coast of Spain

And remember 'til tomorrow as we leave our banners furled
That it only took six days to make, and ten to shake the world
Light a candle for Dorruti and we'll honor all the brave
With a rollcall of the fallen in the dust on Franco's grave

(Repeat first verse)



Notes: Candle for Durruti (Al Grierson) Written some time after the fall of the Berlin Wall, this song is a tribute to La Pasionaria, Dorruti, the Lincoln Brigade and all the others around the world who fought and generally died in defense of freedom in Spain. The Spanish Civil War is seen by many as the real beginning of WWII, and also represents perhaps the most spectacular outpouring of international solidarity the world has ever seen. Though the war in Spain was won by the Spanish fascists (with the aid of Hitler's planes, Mussolini's troops and America's oil), the legacy of the International Brigades who went to defend Spain's democractic government continues to inspire many today.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 11:40 PM

Art, thanks for mentioning the Folk Alliance. I found it in one of those threads.

Click here for "Old Coyote."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Sorcha
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 11:45 PM

Wow, Jeri, good on ya! I really think it should be added here, or at least an "Add" applied. Wonder why no one could find it with Old Coyote or Coyote???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: COYOTE
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 11:56 PM

Posted by Art Thieme in another thread. (Link above.)

COYOTE
(Al Grierson)

I've been reading all about it in the annals of some ancient lore,
How you were smuggled through the garden by the angel at the basement door,
And while the serpent in the branches held the mother of the world beguiled,
You were pissin' on the Tree of Knowledge while the Good Lord smiled.

Old coyote
Little brother of necessity and the seeker of the sacred clown,
Old Coyote, You're the fire in the water and the diamonds in the cold cold ground.

On the mountain top with Moses and with Daniel in the lions den,
In the bedroom with Delilah -- in the hollow in the hearts of men,
On the hill on Friday Evening when the soldiers rolled them bones,
In the garden Sunday mornin' when they rolled away the stone.

Old Coyote,
On the edges of eternity dancin' through the crack of dawn,
Old Coyote,
With a pearly white Madonna and the devil with the blue dress on.

In the bed between the Travellin' Salesman and the Farmer's Daughter,
At the elbow of the preacher when the wine turned back to water,
In the cabin of a smokin' locomotive on a high speed train,
Between the Tower of Babel and the cities of the plain.

Old Coyote,
You're a 30-carat Buddha in a barrel full of old tin cans,
Old Coyote,
Just a loose screw messin' with the engine of our best laid plans.

Now there's an ancient city hidden deep beneath the waves,
It was founded on the principles of justice -- and the sweat of slaves,
And I heard a lot about it in a New Age gospel hymn,
But I ain't never gonna wade in any water where the fish won't swim.

Old Coyote,
In a verticle position while the world walks upside down,
Old Coyote,
At the center of the circle while the wheel goes 'round and 'round.

Now there's a big wind blowin' down the cities from the outlaw trail
You can even hear it whistle in the belly of the great white whale,
Hear it howlin' through the desert where Ezekial saw the wheel,
From the breath upon the water to the breaking of the seventh seal.

Is this the end of history or just a wagon full of roses standin' at the gates of Rome
The devil's army on the deep blue sea,
Or just the legions of the lonely only lookin' for the long way home.

'Cause there's an angel with a trumpet in the graveyard where the night wind groans,
Hear it echo from the brothel on the bayou where the black snake moans,
From the Playboy mansion to the penthouse to the pool,
From the palace of the kingdom to the alley where the mad dogs rule.

Waitin' for the holocaust--
waitin' for the fire that was promised at the end of time,
Waitin' for the Pentacost
Hidin' like a phoenix in the ashes and the ice cold lime.

Old Coyote,
At the center of the chaos waitin' since the Lord knows when,
Old Coyote,
Gonna wait a little longer 'till it all comes 'round again.

Little brother of necessity -- the seeker and the sacred clown,
You're the fire in the water and the diamonds in the cold cold ground,
A 30-carat Buddha in a barrel full o' old tin cans,
Just a loose screw messin' with the engine of our best laid plans,

Old Coyote,
In a vertical position while the world walks upside down,
Old Coyote,
At the center of the circle while the wheel goes 'round and 'round.
Old Coyote,
At the center of the circle while the wheel goes 'round and 'round.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Sorcha
Date: 02 Dec 01 - 12:01 AM

That is a total of 5--2 already in the DT and 3 more here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Al Grierson Songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Dec 01 - 12:16 AM

The two entries in the Digital Tradition just make mention of Grierson:

THE WHISTLE PUNK'S SONG - an alternate version collected by Grierson.
Mr. Block (Joe Hill) - apparently recorded by Grierson.

I can't figure out why "Coyote" didn't turn up. Art posted it in August. When you post a song, it doesn't really matter what thread you post in - but it's a good idea to put ADD and the song title in the title of the individual message.

-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Art Thieme
Date: 03 Dec 01 - 01:43 AM

"Old Coyote" was on a cassette Al put out before his 2 CDs. It was called A COMPASS LOST.

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Art Thieme
Date: 03 Dec 01 - 07:28 PM

Coyote is behind nobody finding his song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: 53
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 04:37 PM

i haven't heard of him personaly, but he'll be truly missed, we never know when it will be our time to go so we need to be ready. BOB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: GUEST,Jon Bartlett
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 05:36 PM

Al and I used to sing together quite a bit twenty odd years ago. If it's of interest, I'd post an obit I did for the newsletter of the Vancouver Folk Song Society.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 07:12 PM

Here's info on Buenaventura Durruti:

www.spunk.org/texts/writers/durruti/spool1877.html

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Al Grierson - A Tribute Program
From: GUEST,Ragamuffin Brian
Date: 04 Sep 04 - 02:31 PM

Dear All,

      "Heads Up" on an absolutely unique acoustic music program from
Ragamuffin.

      For a few years my Ragamuffin pal and I have been talking about
putting out a tribute to Al Grierson, inspired by
      initially hearing Al's song Resurrection on Ray Wylie's Dangerous
Spirits. Finally with Jack Williams coming through
      this Spring we had what we thought would make a fine, absolutely
unique programme to honour Al Grierson.

      For The Roses - Al Grierson (1948-2000) is streaming 24/7 from:

      http://www.ragamuffin.fsbusiness.co.uk/ragaradiohome.htm

      click on Al's picture on the big screen to play.

      The playlist for the programme is at:

      http://www.ragamuffin.fsbusiness.co.uk/algrierson/


      Finally the programme is a snapshot from two hours of recorded
material and hopefully we have edit into the program enough of every
performer's work to give a wider audience a picture of the event.

      Hopefully we have done Al Grierson justice.

      For The Roses
      Al Grierson (1948-2000)

      "Al Grierson is not gone from this festival.... he's here... and he's
there... lots of Al Grierson songs, tributes, stories and lots of the
spirit.. There's a tribute sat night after mainstage at Threadgill."
      - Brian (Breadman) Wolfsohn

      He was on his way home after performing a concert to children when his
truck stalled in a Texas creek.



      Poet, songwriter, maverick and true spirit Al Grierson lost his life
in a flash flood near his home in Luckenbach. He was on his way home after
performing a concert to children when his truck stalled in a Texas creek.



      This Ragamuffin Radio programme is an edited version of a two hour
memorial concert held at the 18 day Kerrville Festival in May, 2001. It
features Al Grierson's friends and compadres. They gathered together one
cricket filled Midnight under a Texas moon. They sang his songs, honoured
him with theirs and recalled this colourful character with the same love,
humour and passion he shared with them.

      Al Grierson was a "Dustbowl Don Quixote" personified. He had more
songs, knew more songs than you can shake a stick at. A little of his legacy
is here. There's more if you dig, hopefully you will and purchase Al
Grierson's music for yourselves. Money from Al's CDs goes to help his
children with their education.

      The Ragamuffins
      (Limey Mike and Brian, the Old Grey Silver Fox)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Amos
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 04:36 PM

Grierson is also behind a strange twist that ended up influencing the Mudcat indirectly. The Mudcat Blue Bottle Special CD has a song I did on it called "Circles" -- at least I gave it that name, but it is not my song, and it's true name is "Melanie and Sherry-Lynn".

I heard it on as tape from our own Jen Ellen long ago and decided to send a recording of it to MM for the Blue Bottle CD, which he was producing as a surprise birth-present for Max' daughter.

But I didn't know who did it or wrote it. The version on the tape was by an old friend of Jen's named Dan, and she wrote him and asked. Turns out he was a friend of Al's:

Who was the author of that "Melanie and Sherry Lynn" song you do? ....


Al Grierson. He worked on the Canadian Pacific Railroad as a cook for many years, started writing songs, and then went into some Buddist monastery on Mt. Shasta in the late '80s. He emerged in the mid '90s, and released two albums, the second of which is quite rare. In the fall of 2000, the big floods hit some place in Texas, and he was helping someone, got in his truck, and was washed away. He gave me Melanie and Sherri-lynn, and wouldn't take a dime for it, even though I knew he needed it. He also didn't record it, out of respect for my recording. Back at you. Dan


The song should be credited to Al, one of the many people I regret never having met.

There are some nice memories of him including a reference to "Melanie and Sherry-Lynn", on this page.

I guess the world really does go 'round in circles, huh?

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 04:45 PM

Amos, Could you post those words

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson
From: Amos
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 05:26 PM

Sure thing, Art. But I gotta find 'em...

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyric Add: Melanie and Sheri-Lynn (Grierson)
From: Amos
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 06:34 PM

Melanie and Sherry-Lynn


Al Grierson


Now Melanie and Sherry-Lynn, they can fill most any days
With crocuses and daffodils and independent ways.
And if their dreams should disappear, like a hobo leaving town
They'll carry on until the rainbow comes around.

And the world goes round in circles
Like a crazy ferris wheel
And it's good to know there's a place to go
'Til the hurt begins to heal.
Where your troubles melt like starlight
On a chocolate ice-cream cone
And you're old enough to make it on your own.


The moon fell out of bed last night
And got caught between the leaves
Where the branches look like elbows
In a pair of silver sleeves.
And a whistle whispers lullaby
To all the cities and all the farms,
Like a mother train, with a baby in her arms.

And the world goes round in circles
Like a crazy ferris wheel
And it's good to know there's a place to go
'Til the hurt begins to heal.
Where your troubles melt like starlight
On a chocolate ice-cream cone
And you're old enough to make it on your own.


Now grownups, just like little folks,
They get bruises when they fall.
But little folks, they don't ever say
That it don't hurt at all.
And Melanie and Sherry-Lynn
Know its easier than pie;
But grownups hardly ever seem to cry.

And the world goes round in circles
Like a crazy ferris wheel
And it's good to know there's a place to go
'Til the hurt begins to heal.
Where your troubles melt like starlight
On a chocolate ice-cream cone
And you're old enough to make it on your own.


Now the whistle hangs its handkerchief
Like a brakeman on the fly
Where the stars are hung like lanterns
On the eyelds of the sky.
And the words come back in an echo
Of a smokey, sad, "So long" --
If we hold each other close, we'll all be strong.

And the world goes round in circles
Like a crazy ferris wheel
And it's good to know there's a place to go
'Til the hurt begins to heal.
Where your troubles melt like starlight
On a chocolate ice-cream cone
And you're old enough to make it on your own.


And the world goes round in circles
Like a crazy ferris wheel
And it's good to know there's a place to go
'Til the hurt begins to heal.
Where your troubles melt like starlight
On a chocolate ice-cream cone
And you're old enough to make it on your own.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson (Nov 2000)
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 09:32 PM

Amos, Thanks very much!

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson (Nov 2000)
From: Amos
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 11:46 PM

The pleasure is all mine, Sir.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson (Nov 2000)
From: Severn
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 01:11 PM

Thanks for everybody bringing back the old thread on Al Grierson, whose death saddened me greatly at a time I was no longer on line (the ex ended up with the computer), and who I was still in correspondance with by letters and telephone until he died.I was informed of his death by a call from a mutual friend, who later sent some posts from the FOLK-DJ List with some sketchy information, but all this fills in a lot of information and aquaints me with a lot of material I'd never heard. In fact, he told me when "Durruti" came out that that was "old stuff", and he probably had another album's worth of songs written since then.

He did not like to or have room to keep many belongings around, but he liked to read with an eye on music, poetry and history, and I was able to find him some of the types of things he wanted for cheap in the used bookstores and library sales of the Washington DC area that he couldn't find living in either Austin or Ashland Oregon. In exchange for me sending him some of Woody Guthrie's writings, he sent me an advance cassette tape of his second CD with a couple of midnight "kitchen versions" of newer songs recorded on the spot to fill out the empty space. One of them was "Old Coyote", which was printed earlier in the thread, and the other was "the latest revision of 'Dover To Dundee'", which might have still been a work in progress, but, if anyone is interested, I can transcribe the words and even run off a copy of the two songs. I would be interested in any recordings that were not on the two CDs, or even in finding an actual CD copy of "Durruti".

For The Roses,
(Al's traditional e-mail sign off)
Severn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson (Nov 2000)
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 01:58 PM

Severn, I only met Al once---and that was only for a second---at the big Folk Alliance meeting in Cleveland a few years back when the Rose Tattoo people were doing a hobo workshop. I'd be very interested in seeing those lyrics if you're up to putting them here. His words did seem to have more in them every time I actually heard them bing sung by him. The depth of the guy's insights really comes out in his performances of his own songs. Many levels are there.

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson (Nov 2000)
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 04:21 PM

For Art 'n' Amos 'n' Joe 'n' all others who care, transcribed from the cassette he sent me:


(spoken)

Oh...it is now twenty after eleven at night on March the 15th, 1997. I was going to bed early. Instead, I'm sitting here.....the ink isn't wet on this sucker yet! I had this recorded, but then I realized I wanted to change a couple of words here and there, so you're getting a version of this that's....as I said, the ink isn'twet on the page yet. I haven't made the changes in print. I't's called "Dover To Dundee". I just finished it today. I started it a couple of weeks ago..........


DOVER TO DUNDEE

O, fare thee well, Old John Barleycorn,
Companion of my days.
The times of thistle. rose and thorn
To rough and rowdy ways.
We turned our hands to every task
We've answered to the roll
Drained every cup and every cask
And fathomed deep the bowl.

For when I had a golden thread
As fine as I could sew,
I'd sew my truelove to my coat
And down the road I'd go.
I'd drink my fill in every town
From Dover to Dundee
And never see the sun go down
In sober company.

I lost my heart, I lost my head,
Likewise my watch and chain
My needle and my golden thread.
I lost my love in vain.
I fell asleep each night to chase
The horse who wears the horn,
But only ever found the face
Of Old John Barleycorn.

And so I found a flask of gin
And sugar here for two.
A silver bowl I mixed it in
and poured a drink for you.
I built a fire in the dark
As fine as I could frame,
For I could play sweet Joan Of Arc
And you could be the flame

I held the ocean in my hand
To mark me through the year.
I counted every grain of sand
As each became a tear
And as each tear became a coin
And every coin a star
Heard every voice in Heaven sing,
"There's whiskey in the jar"

And still the promise seemed to rise
As certain as the sun
God yet may turn with loving eyes
To every counting done.
Her mercy on the dancing man
On yonder gallows tree
And sanctify each drunken mile
From Dover to Dundee.

O, fare thee well, Old John Barleycorn
Companion of my days.
The times of thistle, rose and thorn
to rough and rowdy ways.
We turned our hands to every task
We've answered to the roll,
Drained every cup and every cask
And fathomed deep the bowl


Again, For The Roses,
Severn


Could you make me a copy of that cassette, Art, and I'd run you off the two songs that not on the CD in exchange?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson (Nov 2000)
From: Amos
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 11:29 PM

Wow....that is one fine piece of work!


Thanks, very much, Severn.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson (Nov 2000)
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 12:38 AM

A friend once told me, "Art, I just got a set of strings for my Ovation guitar." I replied, "Sounds to me like a good trade!"

Severn, So does your good offer. I will begin searching for the cassette. I'm at folkart@ivnet.com   I can't get a Personal Message because I can't seem to log on---.

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: OBIT: Goodbye Al Grierson (Nov 2000)
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 10:05 PM

Severn,

Still looking.

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Re: Al Grierson (d. Nov 2000)
From: Amos
Date: 22 Jul 12 - 11:22 PM

One of the back-burner projects I have cherished in my mind for years has been to make a memorial CD of Al's songs. I would like to request anyone who has any recordings of his performances or lyrics to send them--PM for details. I will be retiring from my day job in a couple of months and may finally have time to make this happen. I think it would be a shame for his wonderful songs to be lost to humanity, but there are precious few records of them out there--even the lyrics are hard to find except for those posted here!!

Thanks in advance for any encouragement. Does anyone know if his wife is around and able to be contacted? Just to clear up permissions, etc. Gotta do it right, right?

Amos


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 October 1:48 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.