Friday, March 28, 2008

A night at the Bluebird

Today, my cousin Texican wrote about country music and posted a mighty fine country song that he wrote. Songwriters are blessed with a gift to be able to conjure up an image, an emotion and a story and to package it with a beat and a melody that makes people want to sing along. If I had 3 wishes, one of them would be, just one time, to create a song that made people laugh and cry and sing along.
One of my many favorite country songs is about country music songwriters. It's called 16th Avenue and it's written by Tom Schuyler and was made popular by Lacy J. Dalton.

From the corners of the country
From the cities and the farms
With years and years of living
Tucked up underneath their arms

They walk away from everything
Just to see a dream come true
So God bless the boys who make the noise
On 16th Avenue

With a million dollar spirit
And an old flattop guitar
They drive to town with all they own
In a hundred dollar car

'Cause one time someone told them
About a friend of a friend they knew
Who owns, you know, a studio
On 16th Avenue

Now some were born to money
They've never had to say "survive"
And others swing a 9 pound hammer
Just to stay alive

There's cowboys, drunks and Christians
Mostly white and black and blue
They've all dialed the phone collect to home
From 16th Avenue

Ah, but then one night in some empty room
Where no curtains ever hung
Like a miracle some golden words
Rolled off of someone's tongue

And after years of being nothing
They're all looking right at you
And for awhile they'll go in style
On 16th Avenue

It looks so uneventful
So quiet and discreet
But a lot of lives were changed
Down on that little one way street

'Cause they walk away from everything
Just to see a dream come true
So God bless the boys who make the noise
On 16th Avenue

16th Avenue in Nashville is called the heartbeat of Nashville's Music Row. Another place that most aspiring country songwriters dream of is the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee. Last summer when we went to visit another favorite cousin outside of Nashville, C was able to go to the Bluebird and perform two songs that he had written.

The Bluebird has an Open Mic night for songwriters every Monday. The doors open at 5:30 but the line of hopefuls forms long before that.

Some of the performers are really good, some not so much, but each one of them is living a dream up there on the stage at the Bluebird. C had number 13. There had been several sub-optimal performances before his number was called and people at the tables had begun to be restless and talk to one another--but within a few chords, he had the audience following his every word--a high school english teacher from Maine living a dream on the stage at the Bluebird.


The Texican said...

Thanks Cuz,
Great post. I did learn that song for you, but I haven't sung it in a while. I'm going to break out the Big Baby Taylor and wail a little as soon as I finish this. Got something else I'm going to have to try now. I can't let Charlie get ahead of me.

Beth said...

You would enjoy the Bluebird--sometimes it takes two tries to get on stage. If they don't get to your number, they give you a stamped coupon and you get called early the next time you come. Charlie had two tries about 3 years apart--but he hung on to that coupon and it worked!

Mike said...

I want the demo CD!

Go C!

beckie said...

I know that song. I am not much of a country music listener, but do like that one and love her voice. You always have such great stories and I get the moral...keep on trying and reaching for your dream! Thanks, Beth.