music · Political · Song for Today

A Song For Today #24

It’s been a while since I posted a song. This one came to mind today as we were listening to Canned Heat – I thought about Woodstock, and then this Richie Havens song popped in. (Richie was the opening act at Woodstock) … I went looking for a live recording and found one here. There’s a fuller production (of course) on his 1968 double album enititled ‘1983’

I can remember hearing the song on the radio back in the late 60’s or early 70’s and I must have missed the D.J. announcing the song, because it took me years to track it down – before the age of the internet. When I did discover who it was, I went out and bought the album. It’s a bit patchy, with too many Beatles covers for my taste, but for some reason this song has remained one of my personal favourites from that era. The words are challening for any age, and the melody really does it for me, added to Richie’s percussive guitar style with open tuning. The addition of something like sitars on the album recording give an eastern vibe, that is very much of the time.

Just Above My Hobby Horse’s Head

Oh, day is near,
darkness gone
and the word is clear
Children see the light,
we close their eyes
and we call it night.

And as they dream their dreams,
we talk the hours away
And as we plan and scheme,
we change tomorrow to yesterday

Borrowed for the time,
the life we share
is a sacred right
we may find
we’re on the road
and there are no signs

And we say we love and we say we care
And we say we know and we say we’re there
If we live our hates and we fight our wars
And we burn our towns, what is going down?

Children raise their voice,
questioning all
has been their choice
from within
point the way
to where we’ve been

And as the music plays
and we become all the days
That become the years
of our lives,
of our lives

Richie Havens / Mark Roth

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