Lions in the Den

 This song, so recently recorded, came into being a long time back, four decades ago to be precise.  It is as removed now in style, as it is in time, from its origins.

I had much to be thankful for in those days, as I do in thesed; but more often then than now I found myself taken by periods of melancholy.  I think on some level it’s to do with the state of the world and the harm done here by we who pass through it so quickly and yet cloy to our circumstances as if it were otherwise.

This is in many ways my lady’s song. We are not together as we were, though not so very far apart. For all that she was beautiful, I’ve loved her, always, for her heart. But we were as together then as a young man and woman might wish to be, happily living, just we two, at the head of Herbert Arm on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island.

The evening, near to night, bathed us in its pearly light.  From our rocky beach we gazed across the way to where the haze rose drifting o’er the Moyeha, over the delta where the deer might browse and the black bear wander.  Side by side we sat, and I with my guitar sang of how sad I felt, despite all that was beautiful in my own life.

And then…..Bill Buckingham, the Producer, Engineer and oft-times Arranger of this my latest album, took a liking to the song, which I’d brought to the studio in much the form it had when it came into the world.

First he Caribeanized it and I confess, no purist I, to liking it.  He lay in all the horns that I convinced myself sang for the loons of Herbert Arm.  Then he played a drum track full of jazz, a genre for which I do indeed feel fondness.  On top of that, I always knew Bill would find a way to utilize far more from his bag of magic musical tricks than I had or could have conceived he might. This is the third album we have done together and we have always tugged at one another, a little, to and fro on this matter.

Behind Bill’s masterful drumming and his keyboard work you might hear just a touch of my 1953 Gibson dreadnought guitar, with which I lay down the bed track. The vocal is here unchanged from when I sang it at that time.  And, however it came to be what it is now….I like it a lot.


 Lions in the Den 



Cmaj7     Dm7     Cmaj7   Fmaj7


There’s something reaching out for me

Cma7                   Am7                         Dm7-G9

Some sad, symphonic poetry

Dm7                          G9             Cma7

The words like lions in the den

Dm7              G9               Cma7

Too wild to lure into the pen

Fma7                                                              Cma7

So I’ll just strike another verse, and start again


‘Cause that’s the way

G9                                               Cma7

I try to make the sadness go away

My love’s beside me where I lay

The stars have swept the clouds away

And so there’s nothing I can find

Accounting for this state of mind

All mellow may my fingers play

That’s the way

I try to make the sadness go away

My words may make my lady sigh

Or she may let right go and cry

Tears don’t seem, unfortunately

To come too easily to me

I watch her cry……. most enviously

Such a simple way…. to make the sadness to away

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