Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I am a town

I was going to write about Madeleine Peyroux (yes, yes, belated discovery) but got distracted by this beautiful melancholic song by another favourite singer songwriter, Mary Chapin Carpenter. So it's a song about a southern town a universe away. But I come from a small town myself (Alor Star) and I, too, was brought up in a Southern Baptist church. Under the skin, we are all the same.


I'm a town in Carolina, I'm a detour on a ride
For a phone call and a soda, I'm a blur from the driver's side
I'm the last gas for an hour if you're going twenty-five
I am Texaco and tobacco, I am dust you leave behind

I am peaches in September, and corn from a roadside stall
I'm the language of the natives, I'm a cadence and a drawl
I'm the pines behind the graveyard, and the cool beneath their shade,
where the boys have left their beer cans
I am weeds between the graves.

My porches sag and lean with old black men and children
Their sleep is filled with dreams, I never can fulfill them
I am a town.

I am a church beside the highway where the ditches never drain
I'm a Baptist like my daddy, and Jesus knows my name
I am memory and stillness, I am lonely in old age;
I am not your destination
I am clinging to my ways
I am a town.

I'm a town in Carolina, I am billboards in the fields
I'm an old truck up on cinder blocks, missing all my wheels
I am Pabst Blue Ribbon, American, and "Southern Serves the South"
I am tucked behind the Jaycees sign, on the rural route
I am a town
I am a town
I am a town

1 comment:

highway6southbound said...

Awesome song by an awesome singer. I always loop it for a couple of hours every time it comes up on shuffle on my play list.

Thank you for posting the words.