Monday, October 19, 2009
See the geese...
I woke up today and found
frost perched on the town.
It hovered in a frozen sky
and gobbled summer down...
The warriors of winter
gave a cold, triumphant shout
All that stays is dying'
and all that lives is getting out
...See the geese in chevron flight
laughin' and a racin' on before the snow
They've got the urge for goin'
and they've got the wings to go
And they get the urge for goin'
when the meadow grass is turnin' brown
Summer time is fallin' down
and winter's closin' in.
-Joni Mitchell, "Urge for Goin'"
A few decades ago, Tom Rush of New Hampshire recorded my favorite version of this song, and for me it will always be the quintessential autumn song. It evokes all the melancholy feelings of watching nature sink down into hibernation for the winter. The wistful melody and beautifully spare musical arrangement complements the somber mood of the lyrics, setting the tone for late fall and early winter. It just makes you want to build a good fire, fill your mug with steaming hot coffee or tea, grab an old quilt and hunker down until spring. If you enjoy folk and progressive country rock, seek it out and give it a listen if you can find it.