Today's show was about celebrating the life and music of one of my favorite singer songwriters--Dave Carter who died unexpectedly on July 19, 2001. I was at the Vancouver Folk Festival in Vancouver BC (which had been a 10+ year summer pilgrimage every year, the highlight of my year). In fact, the first time I ever heard a Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer recording, 2 things were instant thoughts in my mind:
1. I have to get a copy of the song "The Mountain" to Joan Baez somehow and
2. these folks HAVE to play the Vancouver Folk Festival.
So getting the news at the Festival of Dave's sudden death, made that particularly, bitterly ironic. Right before he died, Dave had forged a relationship with Joan Baez, who it turns out was going to record a few of his songs on her next album and invited Dave and Tracy to tour with her. Dave had even written a song specifically for Joan and Tracy to sing together.
There was an incredibly beautiful and moving celebration/tribute to Dave at Cathedral Park...Joan Baez came and sang The Mountain, Richard Shindell and a who's who of Portland songwriters and the many of us who were so deeply touched by his spirit, joined in as we sang his songs.
I got a call today from a man listening on the web in Oklahoma City and we shared a beautiful moment ras he told me how he had known Dave when he was in college in Oklahoma
Dave Carter had a shining spirit that still lives in the lyrics to so many of his brilliant songs. But only Dave Carter could have written the ultimate song to be played at one's memorial service and i will leave you with his words and hope that their beauty will leave you wanting to explore more of the music he left behind.
When I Go
Spring, spirit dancer, nimble and thin
I will leap like coyote when I go
Tireless entrancer, lend me your skin
I will run like the gray wolf when I go
I will climb the rise at daybreak, I will kiss the sky at noon
Raise my yearning voice at midnight to my mother in the moon
I will make the lay of long defeat and draw the chorus slow
I'll send this message down the wire and hope that someone wise is listening when I go
Sigh, mournful sister, whisper and turn
I will rattle like dry leaves when I go
Stand in the mist where my fire used to burn
I will camp on the night breeze when I go
And should you glimpse my wandering form out on the borderline
Between death and resurrection and the council of the pines
Do not worry for my comfort, do not sorrow for me so
All your diamond tears will rise up and adorn the sky beside me when I go