Sunday 9 May 2021

Crack Willow Blues

On May 8th, this year, I was walking the dogs by, this, my favourite tree, a huge Crack Willow.
It was a cold, wet afternoon and I was thinking about a friend's burial.
I felt a blues brewing, so, standing by my tree I drafted "Crack Willow Blues".
But there's more to the story - see below...

Crack Willow Blues

Well I’m walking the woods the other day
Down by the stream where the willows sway
I spy my willow, the tallest there
I’ve a rope to climb it if I dare.

Cry willow, Crack Willow
Will you loose me some slack?

Then I saw an Old Man staggering round
Dragging a shadow around on the ground
And there’s an Old Woman sat by the tree
She ain’t got no shadow I can see.

Cry willow, Crack Willow,
Will you crack at my back?

I ask the Old man, “What do you see?
He turns, looks and points to me,
Holds his head and begins to cry,
“Have you seen a woman walking by?

Crying willow, Crack Willow
Will she come back?”

I said, “I’m staying my side of this rickety fence
Cos, she ain’t got no shadow
And you ain’t got no sense.
But it’s good to be thinking and it’s good to talk
I've got to go now and be on with my walk.

Cry willow, Crack Willow
I’m not coming back.”

He called, “I had two women who walk with me”
I left my first under this tree,
The other said she’d follow on
I keep on looking but I think they’re gone.

“Cry Willow, Crack Willow
Will they ever come back?”

So, I climb the fence and am looking around
I can see no shadows on that ground
Now, there ain’t no woman and there ain’t no man
And I’m left here thinking what I am.

Cry will you, Crack Willow
When will you crack?

Yeh, the Old Crack Willow began to crack
And I’m trying so hard to get me back
But I can’t get through this rickety fence
Now I ain’t got no shadow and I ain’t got no sense.

Crying willow, Crack Willow,
You cracked at my back.

So I sit a while and worry some more
When I see a shadow there on the floor.
She says, “Leafman, why're you hiding away?
I came to find you this Summer’s day!

Crying Willow, Crack willow
I just came back”

Now I see a young man walking by
I hold my head and begin to cry
Shouting, “Don’t you climb this rickety fence
Stay that side and make your sense!

Cry willow, Crack Willow
Won’t you cut him some slack”

Don’t walk in the trees and avoid the woods
They’re full of will you’s, coulds and shoulds.
Stay well clear of the rickety fence
Beware the shadow of recompense

Cry willow, Crack Willow
I’m not coming back.

John Pearce Draft II
July 6th Dawn at the kitchen table

12 bar blues in CFG - Style "What fools believe" - Tempo 95 - Memory 8

After the first Draft of "Crack Willow Blues" I wanted to take a photograph of the tree and, to do so, I needed to step back off the path. I took some photos, including the one at the top of this post, and there was a sudden, very loud, crack and the sound of something falling through the branches above. I cringed as a limb of a Cracked Willow fell behind, missing me by a a body length.

I realised I was surrounded by these huge, heavy trees and, obviously, felt vulnerable. I then realised that "my tree" had not yet cracked.

The second Draft, above, written in July, incorporated the experience

May 8th By the Crack Willow