Song Lyric Sunday-Singer/Songwriters 10-2-16

Have to thank Helen for this week’s theme. I LOVE it but I was awash with options and it wasn’t until Daily Musings post that I realized who I had to choose, and why.

During my high school years, I was introduced to Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, and the rest. I became a dedicated fan. While all my peers were listening to the Beatles, I immersed myself in folk music. I tried out for my school’s folk singing group, The Dozen Cuzins (I know, I know) and we travelled the South singing in competitions.

I’m telling you right now, Joan Baez may well have saved my life. I could pull myself out of any level of depression (and there were some deep, dark phases) by putting on a Baez album and cranking up the volume!

I followed her for years and have used her music in my therapy practice, assigning different songs to clients, as anthems to learn for their stage of healing. Seriously, if you’ve got a nasty boss or an abusive spouse, try singing along, loudly, with Joan to the song  “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around!”   Add your own words and you will FEEL the power!

My son is exactly the same age as Joan’s, so when I first heard the song she wrote to her son Gabriel, I was deeply moved. I can’t hear it now without tears and a quick phone call to my son.

So here’s my choice.


Honest Lullaby
Early early in the game
I taught myself to sing and play
And use a little trickery
On kids who never favored me
Those were years of crinoline slips
And cotton skirts and swinging hips
And dangerously painted lips
And stars of stage and screen
Pedal pushers, ankle socks
Padded bras and campus jocks
Who hid their vernal equinox
In pairs of faded jeans
And slept at home resentfully
Coveting their dreams
And often have I wondered
How the years and I survived
I had a mother who sang to me
An honest lullaby
Yellow, brown, and black and white
Our Father bless us all tonight
I bowed my head at the football games
And closed the prayer in Jesus’ name
Lusting after football heroes
Tough Pachuco, little Neroes
Forfeiting my A’s for zeroes
Futures unforeseen
Spending all my energy
In keeping my virginity
And living in a fantasy
In love with Jimmy Dean
If you will be my king, Jimmy, Jimmy,
I will be your queen
And often have I wondered
How the years and I survived
I had a mother who sang to me
An honest lullaby
I travelled all around the world
And knew more than the other girls
Of foreign languages and schools
Paris, Rome and Istanbul
But those things never worked for me
The town was much too small you see
And people have a way of being
Even smaller yet
But all the same though life is hard
And no one promised me a garden
Of roses, so I did okay
I took what I could get
And did the things that I might do
For those less fortunate
And often have I wondered
How the years and I survived
I had a mother who sang to me
An honest lullaby
Now look at you, you must be growing
A quarter of an inch a day
You’ve already lived near half the years
You’ll be when you go away
With your teddy bears and alligators
Enterprise communicators
All the tiny aviators head into the sky
And while the others play with you
I hope to find a way with you
And sometimes spend a day with you
I’ll catch you as you fly
Or if I’m worth a mother’s salt
I’ll wave as you go by
And if you should ever wonder
How the years and you’ll survive
Honey, you’ve got a mother who sings to you
Dances on the strings for you
Opens her heart and brings to you
An honest lullaby
Songwriters: Joan C. Baez
Honest Lullaby lyrics © Gabriel Earl Music

Lyrics from Google Music


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Thought a blog might help me develop better writing habits so I could finally finish my book, 16 years in the writing, but so far it's mostly photos and FUN!

12 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday-Singer/Songwriters 10-2-16”

  1. Thanks for the mention and Joan Baez is someone I listened to from an early age as my father was a big fan. We listened to her all the time in our house- and he played some of her songs on the banjo. Thanks for the reminder <3

    1. I read the answer to that question in her book many years ago but can’t remember it now. Maybe Narcissism? (a hint in some of her relationship choices, Dylan, Steve Jobs…) But that makes me think of the question I have had to face in my profession a few times. Is it insanity or is it creative genius? Some Narcissists are simply correct in their self-perception!

      Good to hear from you!

      1. Oh, I wish you remembered!! I have always wondered about that. Surely not narcissism…maybe he was a boy and she was a woman? She dated Steve Jobs??? Didn’t know that.
        I think there might be a very fine line between genius and what we see as insanity. And what is sanity anyway?
        “correct in their self perception”… indeed!! two sides to everything.

      2. I do not remember it like this at all. And all this time, I thought Joan Baez left Bob Dylan for being, well, Bob Dylan or something. I’m disappointed in him. That’s just not nice. I’d like to know the whole story…I mean, did he find a new lover, or did his head just get too big too fast? And an apology is something I don’t get. If you need one, you’ve done something you shouldn’t. But I guess it’s better than nothing. But 44 years…what’s up with that?

      3. All I know is the Song Diamonds and Rust used to really get to me. I assumed it was personal and unfortunately it seems Joan and I made similar relationship choices when we were younger! Dang. It’s why I have a history of many years of contented solitude between my earlier relationships. Pretty happy as a solo act most of my life. But an apology is good anytime if it’s sincere, don’t you think?

      4. Diamonds and Rust…yeah, good song, loved it. Don’t we all make similar relationship choices when we were young? Isn’t that life? I guess an apology is good any time. Maybe it helps with forgiving?

      5. I don’t read newspapers, don’t have a TV, so…no I hadn’t heard about Dylan. But wow…I like that he got the Nobel Prize for Literature!! How very cool. He’s always been one of my favorites, perhaps the favorite. I just read he’s been on tour continuously for like the last 28 years or something, too! They call it the Never Ending Tour.

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