Lyric and vocals - Norman Ball
Music and Instruments - Tom Saputo
© 2003, Norman Ball
|Blue Train (2003)
1. Cash Me Out - listen - read
2. Soulmate - read
3. Inside Job - listen - read
4. Tiny Shoulders - read
5. Outlaw - read
6. Thick and Thin - listen - read
7. Between the Notes - listen - read
8. Kill the Lights - listen - read
9. Check Your Local Listings - listen - read
10. Big Boots to Fill - read
11. Greenback Blues - listen - read
12. Bandit - read
13. Sunlit Stranger - read
14. There is no Door (Big Enough) - read
15. One House Down - read
16. Prince of Tears - read
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|"Check Your Local Listings" reached
# 6 on the Broadjam Regional Top Ten
When I was a very small boy in Scotland, my grandfather would take me to see the blue trains. We'd sit for hours watching them roll in and out of the station. More than paint, blue was an element of the journey. I understand that now. Trains, like people, make a melancholy sound as they leave us. Science has a term, the Doppler effect. But where science ends, the soul's journey begins. We are transported in equal measure by trains and music. The blue train jogs us to wakeful remembrance. All souls must ride the blue train where we listen aloud in song. Country, folk, soul, blues, rock; the genre game is a great American past-time, kind of like the conductor demanding tickets when everybody's headed in the same direction (Come to think of it, most conductors face backwards.) Some folks confuse alphabets for art or the names of things for the things themselves. Personally, I'd rather listen than be told. Music is the act of staying awake.
Johnny Cash was an artist, a ranging, roaming giant whose cup runneth over the warden's best-laid plans. If self-knowledge comes from losing oneself in unfamiliar places, then he religiously broke new ground for prisoners of all stripes. Johnny never mined a patch. Restless spirits gather no easy chairs 'cause if it's easy, then somebody's shirking. His affinity for prison locales was more than paint. To a restless spirit, all the world's a Folsom. Death is the wanderer's only furlough. Jails and trains, damnation and redemption. If we are not moving on down the line, then we are rotting in a dark crevice of our own soul.
Comfort is the plight of weary souls succumbing to the hammocks of the world, and mistaking lumbar support for having a spine. God frowns on idle schemers and His tribulations stubbornly resist the New Age sages.
Our reward, if it comes at all, is meted out in proportion to the courage we display battling our earthly travails. And no one has yet found a way to summon courage during a nap. If you are not beleaguered, my friend, then you've probably slipped between the cushions of your sleeper car. So Johnny, may the serenity that eluded you here take its eternal root in the Hereafter. Serenity's proper place is Heaven anyway. Though it beckons meekly, like the Holy Spirit, to the earthbound and to those, like yourself, with the courage to listen.
From a fellow traveler, God bless you Johnny Cash.