Christmas at the Player Place

This past weekend, i had the great pleasure of traveling to San Antonio, to visit with two good friends and wonderful souls, David and Beth Player. i’ve been very fortunate to be in their home on previous occasions, love their kids (Amy/Rob, Nat/Kelly, Heidi, Dan/Sylvia) and always return home refreshed, thankful, and challenged to live life more fully as a result of my time with them.
David and Beth own, care for, and live on about 30 beautiful, well-groomed acres in San Antonio, a haven in the city that they have generously shared with thousands of friends and visitors over the years. i was there this time to play belatedly for Beth’s birthday at a gathering of friends on Saturday night but had the added gift of joining the immediate family for supper on Friday evening. i stayed on the grounds of the ‘compound’ in a room that, at present, doubles as space for storing many of the Player’s Christmas decorations.
So ….
In the half hour or so that i had between arriving and meeting the others for supper at Beth and David’s house, i wrote a song, which i sang for them after the meal, about my room and all those decoration. Usually, songs like that have a life span of one performance. But yesterday i went to the studio and, for fun, recorded a bare bones rendition of it. Enjoy.
PS – listening back to the song just now, i think i should have said, instead of “perhaps too soon,” “none too soon.” Is Advent really ever out of season?
PS2 – Nat or Dan, if y’all have a photo from the weekend, email it to me and i’ll post it to the site?

To hear the song, click on the URL line below:
christmas-at-the-players-place2

Terra Cotta Kings and God Save the Queen.

Mom, Gary and Sam walk to my house

Mom, Gary and Sam walk to my house

i played in Tuscaloosa this past week, for a gathering of college students, and had the good fortune of supper afterwards with old friends Kevin and Leslie Almond. Kevin chided me a bit about being so delinquent in adding content to my blog page, explaining that entries need not be ‘masterpieces.’ He knows my desire to write well and thoughtfully or not at all, and seems to know that i don’t see much value is just concocting short notes to fill website space. … But, in deference to his advice, i’m scribbling a few lines to absolve myself of website neglect. … Conditions are ideal. Yesterday was t-shirt warm; today there are four inches of snow on the ground and more is falling.
There have been some interesting song ideas in the last few days and i feel like i’m on the verge of a songwriting spree. It’s been awhile. … Last weekend, as part of our weekend celebration of Mom Levi’s 80th birthday, we went to the High Museum in Atlanta to an exhibit of the “Terra Cotta Warriors.” Do you know the story? Short version: China’s first emperor, Xin (pronounced Chin), a couple of hundred years B.C., was dead and buried beneath a small mountain (looks more like a hill to me). The burial place has been well known for over two thousand years. A few years ago, there was a drought in the area of the burial place. A farmer in the area was digging a deep well in hopes of finding water. His shovel hit a hard object which, he soon discovers, is the head of a statue, a terra cotta rendering of a soldier. The historical folk and archeologists get involved and, to date, have uncovered 6000 such statues. Most of them are solders and military in nature, but there are also horses, musicians, dancers, swans, acrobats. Seems the emperor wanted protection for the afterlife (as well as some entertainment and transportation) and employed a host of artisans to build an army for him. … There are lots of song ideas from the story but i think i’ll try my hand at one about the farmer who found the first soldier. For years, apparently, he (the farmer) had been walking on top of, and oblivious to, an invisible army. But for the dry season, he’d never have known it was there.
Second song idea was given to me (unintentionally) yesterday when i played at a coffee shop for a small gathering. A woman was telling me about one of her sons who, at 15, feels a bit awkward telling his mother that he loves her when they are in public, especially around his friends. He has come up with a code phrase which they both understand to mean, ‘I love you, Mom.’ The phrase – “God save the queen.” Clever boy. Mom doesn’t have any hurt feelings about it and seems to appreciate her son’s creativity. Maybe a nice song will come out of it.
And then, Facebook. Lots of people tell me i should be on it (and/or MySpace). i’ve not taken the plunge yet, am doubtful that i ever will, but a song might come from my musings about it.
Just got an invitation to walk around the farm with Gary, Mom and Sam. Will do so, guilt-free now that i’ve done my duty. Cheers all.