Strings

from by Bill Ackerbauer

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"Strings," poem by Bill Ackerbauer. Music traditional, "Rose Connelly," aka "Down in the Willow Garden"

lyrics

Strings

I could change the strings
on my old guitar
but it wouldn't sound like new.
I tune it up
then down again
a sloppy whole step
to play "Louis Collins"
in B flat.

That's the key to the highway
out of my weatherbeaten upstate town
looking over the once-majestic Mohawk as
it snakes through the shadow
of the Adirondack foothills
where lumber and leather
rolled down the line
on the F, J & G
to the E-RI-E
a rusty, dusty, rustic
memory of mules
flat-bottom boats
the sweet stink of woodsmoke
on my clothes.

Some nights my guitar sleeps
in its sturdy case
and pines for a player
dreaming the valley below
is a delta
muddy water
rocking in a cradle
of mossgreen levees.
Dreaming the hills above
make a rugged blue ridge
of rocky tops
dark hollows
and sour-mashed sunlight
on wet red clay.

I could change the strings
on my old guitar
but the coffee's almost ready
and it's just a brokedown engine away
from a blind man
wailing into a tin can
barrelhouse burning
gravedigger looking me right in the eye,
just the way I like it.

credits

from Discovery, released February 3, 2017
"Strings," a poem by Bill Ackerbauer
Music traditional, "Rose Connelly," or "Down in the Willow Garden"

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about

Bill Ackerbauer Johnstown, New York

Smokin' Bill Ackerbauer performs an eclectic repertoire of acoustic music, both as a solo performer and with several upstate New York bands, including Junk Rocket, The Doghouse Carpenters and The Bentwood Rockers. His original songs reflect the many walks of life in New York's Adirondack Foothills.

For more info, contact Bill by e-mail at billackerbauer(at)gmail.com or find him on Facebook.
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