Threeboot Philbrick's Lament

1969 Gordon Bok, BMI

 

Philbrick isn't his name, though it might as well be; this is a composite of attitudes and opinions and hummings of more than one person. I've just changed the name to indulge the guilty. It doesn't really matter who says it anyone, as long as it gets said.

He used to talk about the land as though it were a woman, an the way the different seasons made it change. He didn't care to own it, he want to change it, and he couldn't understand the man that did.

The land was always there, like the wind, in his talking, and to see the young men leave it for the cities made him sad. He said a man was loaned the land for him to watch, and to take care of, and he'd never (just by leaving) change his lot.

You're a dirty, hungry, scaly bag of timbers,

And you've seen the last of your deep water days,

And I have, too.

But I'd like to cut us free, and we'd go astray together,

And we'd try that last long voyage,

Me and you.

 

They'd have you think a man who liked his home

Was nothing but a fool.

So they dress up and they go and leave the only thing they ever had,

And if I ever could believe that it was worth it,

I'd go too.

 

But I'd just as soon be here as someplace there.

I don't need many things:

Little coffee, little rum.

And I can lie here in the cover

With those little stars above me,

And hear that wind running easy down the bay.

 

But you're a dirty, hungry, scaly bag of timbers,

And you've seen the last of your deep water days,

And I have, too.

But by God, I'll cut us free, and we'll go astray together,

And we'll try that last long voyage,

Me and you.

 

But there's snow on my shoes and on my head,

And there's snow on that hungry Northern wind.

And you take a look around you:

All your rambling friends are dead,

And I guess it won't be long before the day comes,

We go, too.

 

 

Threeboot Philbrick's Lament is recorded on the albums Clear Away in the Morning, North Winds Clearing and Peter Kagan and the Wind, and is also in the songbook Time and the Flying Snow