This song is really old. Sick old. (Even so old that I don’t perform it anymore), but I don’t mind using it for the 365 because my friend Steph Taylor of the band The State Of here in Florida challenged me with an a capella song where I accompany myself. Lo and behold, here it is. The main vocals in this recording are probably over a year old. I’ve decided that this counts because the rules are “write or arrange”. I feel like if covers count, so does this.
I remember writing this song in like 5 minutes or something. I scribbled it out on a dirty piece of paper with pencil and came up with the melody immediately following. I deliberately used Greek myth imagery (I love Greek mythology) in the first verse (pay the boatman with a coin). There was no deliberation upon writing this song that it would be about abuse. It just happened that way, although I do remember as I wrote the lyrics I reminiscing about Jimi Hendrix’s song Hey, Joe. This is such an amazing song. I love it. I first heard this on a mixed tape a friend made me in high school, and whenever I hear this song I think of him.
Other inspiration came from Alan Lomax’s Negro Prison Blues and Songs. I love these recordings. In Pittsburgh, I assisted a professor who introduced me to these recordings, and I fell in love with them. I highly recommend them to you.
The title comes from the Kurt Vonnegut book Deadeye Dick. I was struggling with a title at the time and opened this book and there it was. This book is also somewhat entertaining, and even has recipes you might enjoy.
Yesterday I worked for a huge portion of my day on a long-distance collaboration with Sam McCormally. After finishing a really rough draft I was quite unhappy with but sent anyway, I sat down and wrote another song to post for today, but will wait because I wanted to fulfill my assignment from Steph Taylor first so you might hear it, too. So I have been working and writing constantly for hours. Work gives headaches.
I played a show last night in West Palm Beach, Florida (Yet another smokey club. Man, Florida. Catch on, won’t you?). So, I’m here to tell you that I appreciate you coming, listening and reading. Have a fantastic Sunday. No shows today or tomorrow, so I’m off to the Keys with some friends from Portland for a few days. Never been there and should be a good time.
Celia Hildreth in 1943 (The 365 A Capella Version)
Missed the boat, Lord Have no shillings for the man, Lord Stranded by my guilt, Lord Iron shoes weigh down , Lord Pocket full of bills, Lord Pay my dues I will, Lord Saw the hard times through, Lord Weak things are strong, Lord My man, Lord Mighty, mighty man, Lord Daily showed his hand, Lord On a guilty conscience lay, Lord I cry, Lord, I cry, lord Every night I cry, Lord My soul for my crime, Lord Bruised lord Heart, soul, hand, and face, Lord A canon to my plea, Lord Beat down savory guilt, Lord Woman, Lord Mighty, mighty woman, Lord Found sweet mercy here, Lord Shot that mother down, Lord I cry, Lord, I cry, Lord Every night I cry, Lord My soul for my crime