Tuesday Song: “Ramble Where You Will”


I was thinking about Pete Seeger (who died yesterday) as I was writing this song. One of my personal highlights playing with Girlyman was getting to share the stage with him and many others (Kris Kristofferson and Sarah Lee Guthrie, among them) to sing “This Land is Your Land” in Ann Arbor in 2009. It always struck me how he wanted people to sing along, rather than just listen to him sing. It wasn’t just modesty – it’s like he wanted to help people tap into the energy (and fun) of singing with each other.

I’m plagued by doubts that I shouldn’t call this a “tribute,” because I just whipped it up in 30 minutes today, and he spent 50 years making music. But somehow it seems fitting. I doubt Pete would have wanted everyone to take all the “tributes” to him too seriously, anyway.

Yeah, once around the City Line
Don’t pay the fare, you pay the fine
Sooner or later, you get off
Just try to make sense of this stuff
A lot to chew on when it’s tough
Swallow too fast, you’re going to cough

So this is goodbye
It would be a lie
To say I never wondered why

You would get up, and you’d sing your song
Try to get me to sing along
To hear the sound of my own voice
It was a world that opened up
Sounds floweth over from my cup
You taught me that I had a choice

You sang for a long time
For nickels and for dimes
It doesn’t matter if it rhymes

I’ll look for you in the hills
May you always ramble where you will

Just sing the song, get off the stage
Use it to focus all the rage
Use it to make something new
‘Cause children mostly want to sing
To hear the sound – their voices ring
The show was never about you

Now you leave me here
To live another year
The tune of your song in my ear

I’ll look for you in the hills
May you always ramble where you will

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